Platform Documents

 

Amendment 1

2016 IDP Constitution, Article VI, Section 10 (Page 13):

Strike the Current Language:The Committees shall initially meet at a time and place selected by the State Chair, which shall be at least twenty-five (25) days prior to the date designated for the convening of the State Convention.

Strike the sentence.

Rationale: Article VI, Section 10 requires a copy of the platform report be distributed to the delegates at least 7 days in advance of the convention.  It takes the platform committee at least three meetings to prepare a 3,000-word platform.  IDP staff prepares the convention call booklet for printing several weeks before the State Convention.  The platform report must be completed, not started, at least twenty-five days prior to the State Convention.

Amendment 2

2016 IDP Constitution, Article VI, Section 11 (Pages 13-14):

Amend the Current Language: “The State Chair shall, in concert with and subject to the approval of the State Central Committee of the Iowa Democratic Party appoint such special convention committee members that have not been elected by the District Conventions at least twenty-five (25) days prior to the day designated for the convening of the State Convention.

The State Chair shall, in concert with and subject to the approval of the State Central Committee of the Iowa Democratic Party appoint such special convention committee members that have not been elected by the District Conventions prior to the first meeting of each convention committee.

Rationale: The convention committees need to know who their members are so they can communicate with their members.

Amendment 3

2016 IDP Constitution, Article VI, Section 2 (Pages 13-14):

Amend the Current Language: “The State Central Committee shall be composed as follows: The District Committeepersons from each Congressional District, the National Committeepersons, the Chair of the State Affirmative Action Committee, the President of the Iowa Young Democrats, State Rules Chair, State Platform Chair, and the elected chairs of the twelve Constituency Caucuses.  These Committee members shall be entitled to vote on all policy matters not in conflict with the Code of the State of Iowa.”

The State Central Committee shall be composed as follows: The District Committeepersons from each Congressional District, the National Committeepersons, the Chair of the State Affirmative Action Committee, the President of the Iowa Young Democrats, a person elected by the State Platform Committee to represent that committee on the State Central Committee, State Rules Chair, and the elected chairs of the twelve Constituency Caucuses.  These Committee members shall be entitled to vote on all policy matters not in conflict with the Code of the State of Iowa.

Rationale: People should not run for chair of the State Platform Committee just to get a seat on the State Central Committee.  This amendment would prevent that from happening.

Amendment 4

2016 IDP Constitution, Article V, Section 4, Subsection c (Page 8):

Amend the Current Language: “Members of the above District Convention Committees shall be elected by county conventions; the right to elect District Convention Committee members being apportioned to preference groups within county conventions that divide into preference groups, else election shall be by the convention as a whole.”

Proposed Language: Members of the above District Convention Committees shall be elected by county conventions; election shall be by the convention as a whole.

2016 IDP Constitution, Article V, Section 4, Subsection d (Page 8):

Amend the Current Language: “Each District Convention Committee shall nominate to the District Convention those members of the committee which it recommends be elected to serve on the corresponding permanent Committee of the State Convention; election being apportioned to preference groups within District Conventions which divide into preference groups, else election shall be by the convention as a whole.”

Proposed Language: Each District Convention Committee shall nominate to the District Convention those members of the committee which it recommends be elected to serve on the corresponding permanent Committee of the State Convention; election shall be by the convention as a whole

2016 IDP Constitution, Article VIII, Section 2, Subsection f (Page 15):

Strike the Current Language:When convention delegates and alternates are elected by preference group, and more than six (6) representatives of the convention's committees are to be elected, those committee members and alternate members shall be apportioned to the preference groups in the same manner as the delegates.

Proposed Amendment: Strike the sentence.

Rationale: Preference groups are created at county and district conventions for selecting delegates.  There are several reasons for this, including, but not limited to: (1) electing national delegates in a presidential election year where more than one Democrat is running; (2) a general showing of strength; and (3) if no candidate obtains thirty-five percent in a primary election, convention delegates may be reconvened for purposes of a nominating convention.  See Iowa Code § 43.65 (2018) and Iowa Code § 43.78 (2018).

Any Democrat can serve on a convention committee without being a delegate or an alternate to a convention, so there is no real reason to elect them by preference group.  It also defeats the purpose of two provisions in the IDP Constitution intended to make the convention process more efficient.

Article III, Section 3, Subsection c (Page 5):
At least ten (10) days prior to the County Convention, each of the convention committees shall nominate individuals to serve on the corresponding committee of the District Convention.

Article V, Section 3, Subsection b (Page 7):
At least fifteen (15) days prior to the District Convention each of the Convention Committees shall nominate individuals to serve on the corresponding committees of the State Convention.

Convention committees are essential to the success of our conventions at every level.  Convention committee members are often folks with great skill and experience such as long-time platform and rules committee members.  In addition, committees often work as teams. Electing convention committees by preference groups makes it much more difficult to elect the best, most experienced convention committee members, making it more difficult and time-consuming for the committees to perform their tasks.  We should lock in the process of electing them by the convention as a whole at every level.  Doing so will make it much more likely that the individuals our convention committee members nominate to serve at the next level will be elected to do so, leading to more effective and efficient work by our convention committees, regardless who they may or may not support for a given office.

Amendment 5

2016 IDP Constitution, Article V, Section 3, Subsection b (Page 7):

Amend the Current Language: “The number of members and alternates on all committees to the State Convention from each Congressional District shall be determined by the State Central Committee for the Iowa Democratic Party, in advance of the District Conventions, based upon the weighting requirements of Article VIII, Section 7.

Proposed New Language: “The number of members and alternates on all committees to the State Convention from each Congressional District shall be determined by the State Central Committee for the Iowa Democratic Party, in advance of the District Conventions, based upon the weighting requirements of Article VIII, Section 7.  The number of members, the number of alternates, and the formula used to calculate them, shall be provided to the District Central Committees and District Convention Committees at least 21 days prior to the District Conventions.  The dates and the locations of the first State Convention Committee meetings, and the temporary chair contact information shall also be given to the District Central Committees and District Convention Committees at least 21 days prior to the District Conventions.

2016 IDP Constitution, Article VIII, Section 6 (Page 16):

Amend the Current Language: “The state chair shall designate the temporary chairs of the state convention committees before the scheduled date for the congressional district conventions.”

Proposed New Language: “The state chair shall designate the temporary chairs of the state convention committees at least 21 days before the scheduled date for the congressional district conventions.”

Rationale:

Article V, Section 3, Subsection b (Page 7);
At least fifteen (15) days prior to the District Convention each of the Convention Committees shall nominate individuals to serve on the corresponding committees of the State Convention.

These nominations are given to the District Convention Secretary before the District Convention starts, and the elections are usually affirmed by unanimous consent of the District Convention Delegates (to avoid having to elect dozens of people individually).

People volunteering to serve on these committees should know when and where the first meeting will be and have contact information for the temporary chair before they volunteer to serve as members on the committee.

Amendment 6

Amend the Bylaws of the Iowa Democratic Party by striking Article I, Section 1, and by inserting, in lieu thereof, the following:

Section 1.  The Platform and the Statement of Principles

A.  Each convention shall adopt a platform consisting of a Statement of Issues.  The Platform Committee may set its own rules for development of its report, including but not limited to rules governing debate, amendment, and adoption of platform planks.  The Statement of Issues in the Platform Committee report shall consist of no more than 3000 words.

B.  The Rules Committee shall set time deadlines and make rules governing convention debate, amendment, and adoption of platform planks as necessary for the efficient and fair consideration of the platform.

C.  The Platform Committee of the State Convention shall, prior to the convening of the State Convention, hold a public hearing to allow Democrats the opportunity to comment on the draft platform.

D.  The State Convention shall adopt a Statement of Principles.  The Statement of Principles shall be a statement of abiding Democratic values and principles.  The State Central Committee shall approve and forward a proposed Statement of Principles to the Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party no later than 21 days prior to the State Convention.  The draft Statement of Principles shall be considered for debate, amendment, and adoption at the State Convention.  The Statement of Principles adopted by the State Convention shall be the Statement of Principles for the Iowa Democratic Party.

Rationale: This Bylaw amendment was recommended by both the Polk County Convention and the Third District Convention in Resolutions passed at each earlier this year.  The amendment relieves platform committees of the duty of drafting a Statement of Principles at all levels of the Iowa Democratic Party.  Platform Committees are exceedingly busy.  Drafting the Statement of Issues portion of the Platform in some county, all district, and the State platform committees takes many hours.  Platform Committees have struggled to find time to complete work on a Statement of Principles.  In addition, Platform Committees are constrained by current language to begin their drafts with immediate past Statement of Principles and to make few changes.  This limitation on creativity has disappointed many platform committee member at all levels.

This amendment maintains a process for creating a single, state-wide Statement of Principles for the Iowa Democratic Party.  It will be drafted by the State Central Committee and submitted to the State Convention for debate, amendment, and adoption.  We currently have the capacity for adopting 104 different Statements of Principles (99 counties, 4 districts, and the state).  Adopting this amendment will result is a single Statement of Principles for the Iowa Democratic Party and will give our platform committees more time to focus on the Statement of Issues.

Carl Olsen
2018 Secretary
State Platform Committee
2018 Chair
Third District Platform Committee
Iowa Democratic Party

130 E Aurora Ave
Des Moines, Iowa 50313-3654
515-343-9933
carl@carl-olsen.com

 

Iowa Democratic Party

2016 IDP Constitution

2014 IDP Constitution

2016 IDP Bylaws

2016 IDP Platform

2017 IDP Off Year

1st District Platform

2nd District Platform

3rd District Platform

4th District Platform