Dear DNC Member,
I am excited to be sharing my first update with you as your new Secretary. I am looking forward to working with all of you to strengthen our party as we work to achieve victories up and down the ballot in 2017, 2018, and beyond.
Following all of our DNC meetings, we’ll be sharing a report of what happened so you as a member can know and can share it with your constituents.
We had a very exciting meeting in Atlanta, where we elected our new DNC National Officers. It was an action-packed week, where we came together for two General Sessions, an Executive Committee Meeting, four Standing Committee meetings, and a cumulative 18 Caucus and Council meetings.
Here are some updates about things that happened during last week’s meetings in Atlanta:
On Friday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed welcomed us to the City of Atlanta. He spoke about the significance of the symbol of Atlanta being the phoenix, a mythical creature who rises from the ashes, and its symbolism in the Party’s ability to “[get] up after a crisis and [dust] yourself off…not turning on one another.” We also heard from California Attorney General Xavier Beccera, Jason Carter, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who also spoke of the task we have ahead of us: to stand up, unify together, and fight back.
In addition to hearing from these speakers, we watched several inspiring videos created by our Digital shop, including Democrats Fight Back, We Are Democrats, tributes to President Barack Obama and former Interim Chair Donna Brazile, and a surprise message from Secretary Hillary Clinton.
After these presentations, the DNC considered several reports from our Standing Committees. Those reports included:
Resolutions Committee Report
The Resolutions Committee considered a record number of 50 Resolutions, which were a combination of message and commemorative Resolutions.
Among the Resolution recommended for adoption by the DNC were resolutions highlighting the accomplishments of President Obama and Vice President Biden; supporting the creation of a permanent cybersecurity advisory board and Chief Information Security Officer; calling for a transparent independent investigation into Russian hacking of the 2016 Election; opposing President Trump’s Muslim Ban; standing with the Mayors and people of sanctuary cities; and protecting the Affordable Care Act. There were also resolutions commemorating the lives of Democrats who have passed away since the last DNC Meeting.
Several Resolutions were referred to the newly elected DNC Chair, the Unity Reform Commission, the Rules and Bylaws Committee or the DNC Executive Committee for future review and consideration.
A packet of the final resolutions, as approved by the DNC, is available by clicking this link.
Credentials Committee Report
The DNC Credentials Committee met on Friday morning to consider a challenge filed regarding the seating of the representatives of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party on the Democratic National Committee.
After reviewing the documents and hearing from representatives of the challengers and the challenged parties, the committee approved a motion to recommend to the Democratic National Committee that the challenge filed be rejected and that the credentials of the challenged individuals be recognized as valid and that they be seated as the duly elected DNC members from Pennsylvania.
Rules & Bylaws Committee Report
At the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting, RBC members took time to share their observations about the 2016 delegate selection process.
As the committee charged with the responsibility of assisting in the administration of the delegate selection process and enforcement of our affirmative action, inclusion and delegate selection requirements for the national and state parties, it was important to take some time to “debrief” on the 2016 process.
Members discussed what worked well during the 2016 presidential nominating process, and offered suggestions on where the process could be improved for the next cycle. Those ideas and comments are part of the information that will be considered by the next Rules and Bylaws Committee as it prepares the rules for the 2020 Delegate Selection process.
The committee was also joined by the Unity Reform Commission Chair and Vice Chair, Jen O’Malley Dillon and Larry Cohen, who gave the members and update on the planning for the Commission’s work.
As you all know, the 2016 Democratic National Convention established the Unity Reform Commission to review the nominating process with a specific focus on ensuring the process is accessible, transparent and inclusive.
The Commission is required to issue its report and recommendations to the Rules and Bylaws Committee by January 1, 2018, for its prompt consideration and action.
For more information about the Unity Reform Commission and to stay updated on their work, please visit www.democrats.org/unity-commission.
Finally, at Saturday’s General Session, we heard from former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, who reminded us of the people we are fighting for, and the values that our Party stands upon. Secretary Kander spoke of the bright light that lies ahead for our Party, and for the future of this country, and he encouraged us to have honest conversations about the things we believe in, because only honesty will win us elections.
DNC National Officer Elections
On Saturday, February 25th, the DNC Membership elected their new National Officers for the 2017-2021 term. After his election as DNC Chair, Tom Perez – in an inspiring act of unity – moved to appoint Congressman Keith Ellison as Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee, a move that was affirmed by acclamation.
We have an exciting new slate of DNC leadership who will bring fresh ideas and innovation to our Party. Our new leadership is as follows:
- Hon. Tom Perez, DNC Chair·
- Rep. Keith Ellison, DNC Deputy Chair
- Assemblyman Michael Blake, DNC Vice Chair
- Maria Elena Durazo, DNC Vice Chair
- Rep. Grace Meng, DNC Vice Chair
- Hon. Karen Carter Peterson, DNC Vice Chair of Civic Engagement and Voter Participation
- Ken Martin, DNC Vice Chair & ASDC President
- Jason Rae, Secretary
- Bill Derrough, Treasurer
- Henry Muñoz III, National Finance Chair
Many of you have inquired regarding the ballot review process. Our office has begun to receive requests to view the ballots from the contested elections.
In the interest of transparency, as well as in compliance with the DNC Rules regarding no secret ballots, we have consulted with the Chair and a tally sheet of how each member voted in contested elections will be made available to interested parties upon request. This sheet will list each member and how his or her votes were cast.
We realize that this may cause concern for some of you, but ultimately we felt it was important to make sure that we continue having the most open and transparent party election in party history.
I was inspired by our Winter Meeting in Atlanta, and it ignited me with hope for the future. I am looking forward to working and communicating with each and every one of you in the weeks, months, and years ahead, as we work to rebuild our Party and ensure that, as our Chairman Tom Perez wisely said, this dark moment we are in is only a one-term moment.
Have a wonderful week, and I look forward to speaking with you soon. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Democratic National Committee