2014 Constitution of the Iowa Democratic Party
with Results of Amendments of June 18, 2016
Article II, Section 2: Add new paragraph “b” as noted and re-letter the previous paragraph “b” to “c”:
Section 2 - In Even-Numbered Years: precinct caucuses shall be held each even-numbered year upon a call issued by the State Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, which call shall be subject to the approval of the State Central Committee of the Party.
The State Chair shall issue the call at least 90 days before the date of the precinct caucuses. The call shall be issued to all County Central Committee officers and all major news media in the state. The call shall also specify the dates and times for the County, District, and State conventions. A precinct caucus shall be convened for each precinct within the state. In presidential election years, County Central Committees shall arrange for the caucus sites according to the following priority order:
a.  Precinct caucuses shall be held at public meeting facilities or sites used for public meetings located within the precinct boundaries where possible.
b. Additional requirements for locations, staffing, and training for precinct caucuses shall be maintained in the Iowa Democratic Party Standing Rules.
b c. If no public meeting facility is available within the precinct boundaries, a public meeting facility in an adjacent or nearby precinct may be used. In nonpresidential years, county central committees may arrange for several precinct caucuses to meet at a common site. Each precinct will conduct separate business at that site. Public meeting facilities shall be used whenever possible. Notification of each precinct caucus shall be as prescribed by law.
Add underlined language to Article II, Section 3, paragraphs “c”, “d”, and “e”:
Section 3 - Responsibilities: Those members of the Iowa Democratic Party in attendance who are eligible to vote at a caucus, as provided by the Statutes of the State of Iowa shall:
c. Elect delegates and alternate delegates to represent the precinct at in their a County Convention. The number of delegates to be elected shall be determined based upon the size of the County Convention and a formula of proportional representation outlined in the Iowa Democratic Party Standing Rules. In presidential years, the election of delegates to County Convention may be by Preference Group as outlined in the Iowa Delegate Selection Plan.
d. Discuss and may indicate priorities regarding such issues of national, state, and local importance or interest as those in attendance may determine. Platform Rresolutions or issue statements adopted by a precinct caucus shall be forwarded to the County Platform Committee in the manner and as directed in the packet of information provided by the Party.
e. Elect by majority vote (from the delegates and/or alternate delegates to the County Convention) members and alternate members of the Platform Committee and the Committee on Committees for such County Convention – to represent and cast the votes to which the precinct is entitled on those committees and their subcommittees. Alternate members of the convention Committees may only replace an elected member from the same precinct who is unable to fulfill their responsibilities.
Add the underlined words in Article II, Section 4, paragraphs “a” and “b”:
Section 4 - Meetings in Odd-Numbered Years: Meetings shall be held upon the call of the State Chair with the approval of the State Central Committee; in the first quarter of odd-numbered years, within precincts and/or jointly in centralized convenient locations within counties, and by vote of those members of the Iowa Democratic Party in attendance, shall:
a. Discuss and may indicate priorities regarding platform resolutions on such issues of national, state, and local importance or interest as those in attendance may determine; and forward such resolutions to the County and State Platform Committees for such action as their members may wish to take.
b. Nominate a committeeperson if a vacancy has occurred in that post between the election year caucus and the off-year county central committee meeting. The committeeperson nominated at the off-year meeting shall stand for election by the County Central Committee, and if elected, serve until the completion of the term of the predecessor.
Add the underlined words and delete the words with lines drawn through them in Article III, Section 1:
Section 1 - County Central Committees - Structure: The County Central Committee shall be, composed of committeepersons elected at the precinct caucuses, shall meet and organize at their biennial organizational meeting. Members term of office shall begin immediately following the Call to Order of the next County Central Committee meeting start of the biennial organizational meeting and shall continue for two years until the successor is elected and qualified; unless he or she is sooner removed by the County Central Committee for non-residency, inattention to duty, incompetence, or support of a candidate for public office who is running against a candidate nominated by the Iowa Democratic Party.
The biennial organizational County Central Committee meeting shall take place in the odd numbered years at a time set by the County Central Committee between March 1 and April 1. Members of the County Central Committee assembled shall forthwith elect a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and such other officers as they may deem necessary. Such officers need not be selected from the County Central Committee membership; however, they shall be qualified voting members of the Iowa Democratic Party. The term of office for each officer shall begin immediately upon election by the County Central Committee, and shall continue for two years, and until the successor is elected and qualified; unless he or she is sooner removed by the County Central Committee for non-residency, inattention to duty, incompetence, or support of a candidate for public office who is running against a candidate nominated by the Iowa Democratic Party.
If no alternate precinct committeepersons are elected at the precinct caucuses, the vacancy shall be filled as soon as possible from a pool of Democrats nominated by one or more members of the central committee and by majority vote of County Central Committee members attending any official committee meeting provided that due notice of such election was previously given.
Add the underlined words and delete the words with lines drawn through them in Section 2 of Article III:
Section 2 - County Central Committees - Meetings: County Central Committees shall meet at least once every three (3) months. The Committee may, by majority vote of those committee members attending any official committee meeting, direct the Chair to call regular meetings at times and places selected by the Committee. The Chair shall cause notice of such all meetings to be mailed (postal or electronic) to each member and officer of the Committee at least seven (7) days before the date set for each meeting.
Upon receiving a petition signed by twenty-five (25) percent of the members of the County Central Committee, the Chair shall call a special meeting, which must be held within twelve (12) days of the receipt of such petition. The Chair shall cause notice of such meetings to be mailed (postal or electronic) to each member and officer of the Committee at least seven (7) days before the date set for such meeting.
Add and remove language as specified in Article III, Section 3, paragraphs “a” and “b” to improve clarity:
Section 3 - Conventions/Responsibilities: County Conventions by vote of the accredited delegates shall:
a. Elect delegates and alternate delegates to the Congressional District State Convention. Such delegates and alternate delegates so elected shall also represent the county at the State Congressional District Convention. No delegates to District or State Conventions shall represent less than one vote.
b. Approve, adopt, and may indicate priorities regarding county platform resolutions.
Add the underlined and strike the words with lines through them in the printed Sections of Article V:
Section 1 - Congressional District Central Committees:
a. Congressional District Central Committees shall exist. The membership shall consist of the District Committeepersons on the State Central Committee, and one person for each full 5,000 votes cast for the Democratic candidate for Congress in the last two General Elections. Each county shall have at least three members.
b. One member shall be the County Chair or the Chair's designee. Others shall be elected by the County Central Committee at their first regular meeting following their biennial organizational meeting specified in Article III, Section 1.
c. The Chair of the District Central Committee shall be elected by the District Central Committee from among the District Committeepersons on the State Central Committee. The primary purpose of the District Central Committee shall be the election of a Democratic member of Congress.
The District Central Committee shall also be responsible for assisting the election of legislators from districts which cross county lines.
d. Each County may elect alternates to the district committee to serve as substitutes at District Central Committee meetings if the elected committee person is unable to attend. The number of alternates should not exceed twice the number of apportioned county representatives to the district committee. It is the responsibility of the county chair and the elected representative to notify an alternate if they are to be a substitute for them at a given meeting.
e. The District Central Committee shall hold a minimum of one meeting every three months. A report of the financial status of and programs of the State Central Committee as well as a the financial status of the district shall be presented.
f. The District Central Committee shall conduct a district workshop in odd-numbered years which shall be open to all active Democrats. This workshop may be one of the required meetings.
g. The Chair of the District Central Committee shall propose programs of activities for the Committee.
Section 2 - Conventions, Call and Apportionment: Congressional District Conventions, composed of delegates elected at County Conventions to represent their respective counties at such District Conventions, shall be held each even-numbered year within the Congressional Districts. The State Chair shall, subject to the approval of the State Central Committee, issue a call for such conventions in the same manner and at the same time that the call for precinct caucuses is issued. The number of votes to which each county shall be entitled in such conventions shall be the same as for the State Convention as based upon the weighting required by Article VIII, Section 7.
Section 3 - Conventions, Responsibilities: District Conventions, by vote of their accredited delegates present, shall:
a. Elect eight district committeepersons, by majority vote, four of whom shall be men and four of whom shall be women, who shall represent such district on the State Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Iowa, and whose terms of office shall commence immediately following the next State Convention, and shall continue for two years, and until his or her successor is elected and qualified.
b. Elect from the delegates and/or alternate delegates from such District to the State Convention, members and alternates of all committees for such Convention, to represent and cast the votes to which such District is entitled on such committees. 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. At the District Convention further nominations may be accepted. Elected alternates to State Convention Committees may only replace an elected convention committee member from their own district.
d. At their first meeting each District Convention Committee shall elect a number of members to a Temporary similar State Convention Committee as needed, and as provided herein. The fruits of the work of the Temporary Committee shall be provided to the Permanent State Convention Committee before the first permanent Committee meeting - sufficiently in advance for timely consideration.
Section 5 - National Convention Delegates' Election: In each Presidential election year, District Conventions shall elect their District's proportionate share of 75% of Iowa's delegates and alternate delegates to the National Democratic Presidential Convention.
THREE AMENDMENTS PROPOSED:
1) Amend Article V, Section 1, Subsection c. to read:
Members of the District Central Committee assembled shall elect a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and such other officers as they may deem necessary, at their first meeting following each District Convention. Such officers need not be selected from District Central Committee membership; however, they must be eligible members of the Iowa Democratic Party and reside in the relevant District.
2) Move the existing final sentence of Article V, Section 1, Subsection c., reading as below, to be included in Article V, Section 1, Subsection a.:
The primary purpose of the District Central Committee shall be the election of a Democratic member of Congress. The District Central Committee shall also be responsible for assisting the election of legislators from district which cross county lines.
3) Amend Article VI, Section 2 - State Central Committee Structure, by adding the words indicated:
The State Central Committee shall be composed as follows: The District Committeepersons and District Chair from each congressional District.
Strike the list of caucus groups in Article VI, Section 2. Add to the list of Constituency Caucus groups as noted in the second (unnumbered) paragraph of Section 2:
Add the underlined wording in the last half of the unnumbered paragraph of Section 2:
Section 1 - State Central Committee Authority: The State Central Committee of the Iowa Democratic Party shall be the governing body of the Party when the State Convention is in adjournment; however, such actions by the State Central Committee shall be in accord with the expressed policies of the State Convention and the provisions of this Constitution.
Section 2 - State Central Committee Structure: 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 Black, Latino, Pacific Islander/Asian, Disability, Stonewall, American Indian, and Armed Forces Veterans caucuses elected representatives 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 Constituency Caucuses, including the Black, Latino, Pacific Islander/Asian Asian & Pacific Islander, Disability, Stonewall, Native American Indian, Women, Senior/Retirees, Labor, Rural, Progressive, and Armed Forces Veterans caucuses. Membership of these constituencies caucuses shall consist of all of each minority's delegates groups registered Democratic representation at their respective biennial reorganization meeting respectively to the State Convention. Each Caucus shall meet one half hour after the start of the seating of delegates on the day of each State Democratic Convention and shall then elect a Caucus Chair by a majority vote and a Caucus Vice-Chair, also by a majority vote, to be their representatives on the State Central Committee. An alternative method of electing and/or filling a vacancy for the Constituency Caucus groups shall be during the Constituency Caucus Convention to be held each odd-numbered year. The results of the said elections shall be reported to and ratified by the entire Convention. Both the Caucus Chair and Vice-Chair shall be members of the State Central Committee. The Caucus Vice-Chair shall only vote in the absence of the Caucus Chair.
PASSED (but I did not get the changes that were being made as it was explained)
1) Change the last sentence of Article VI, Section 2, Paragraph 1 - State Central Committee Structure, to read as follows (change in word order and additional language):
The Caucus Vice-Chair shall vote only in the absence of the Caucus Chair, or if the Caucus Chair is already voting in another capacity.
2) Insert the following text as Article VI, Section 2, Paragraph 2:
If any person holding one of the positions listed above (in Article VI, Section 2 Paragraph 1) is subsequently elected to any of the caucus or committee leadership positions listed there, the body electing him/her to that additional position shall also elect a second person to represent that body on the State Central Committee and cast its vote there until such time as the leader in question resigns, or no longer holds any other position listed in Article VI, Section 2, Paragraph 1. In the case of the constituency caucuses, the voting role would automatically be filled by the Caucus Vice-Chair, unless s/he also already holds a seat on the State Central Committee.
Add the underlined language in Article VI Sections 2 and 3:
Election of officers: The State Central Committee shall meet and organize no later than thirty (30) days following the adjournment of the State Convention. Members of the state Central Committee shall elect a Chair, Vice-Chair, a Secretary, and a Treasurer and such other officers that they may deem necessary within ninety (90) days following the general election. Such officers need not be members of the State Central Committee however, they must be eligible members of the Iowa Democratic Party. The term of office of each officer shall be for two years and until his or her successor is elected and qualified.
Meetings of Committee: The State Central Committee shall meet at least once every three (3) months. Meetings of the Committee may be called by the Chair as deemed necessary. Regular meetings at stated times and places may be scheduled by a majority vote of the Committee in attendance at an official meeting. A special meeting of the Committee may be called by any ten (10) members of the Committee, provided they cause to be mailed (postal or electronic) to all other members and officers of the State Central Committee a signed petition designating the time and place proposed for such meeting, which shall be held no less than five (5) days after the mailing of the petition. The State Chair shall cause five (5) days’ notice by mail or three (3) days’ notice by electronic mail or telephone, to be given to each member and officer of the Committee for all other meetings, regular or special. Quorum: The State Central Committee shall conduct no business in the absence of a quorum, which shall consist of a simple majority of the voting members.
Elected and Party Leaders: The Democratic floor leader in the House of Representatives and Senate of the Iowa General Assembly, and the Democrats holding offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Speaker of the House, the elected representative of the Democratic County Elected Officials Organization, and the elected representative of the Association of Democratic County Executives shall be extended an invitation and may attend all meetings regular or special of the State Central Committee in ex-officio, nonvoting status.
Section 3 - Members' Terms and Vacancies: The term of office of a member of the State Central Committee shall begin immediately following the adjournment of the State Convention and shall continue for two years and until his or her successor is elected and qualified, with the exception of the Constituency Caucus Chairs and Vice Chairs elected during the Constituency Caucus Convention whose term of office shall begin upon their election and continue until their successor is elected. When there is a vacancy on the State Central Committee which has occurred other than at the expiration of a regular term, a new member shall be elected by a majority of votes cast by the County Chairs and County Vice-Chairs of the Congressional District in which the vacancy occurs. These County Central Committee officers shall cast the number of votes allotted to their respective counties in the last previous State Convention. If a Chair and Vice-Chair from the same county cannot agree on a candidate, each shall be allowed to cast one-half of the number of votes to which their county is entitled for the candidate of his or her choice.
Add the underlined language in the last sentence of Section 6 of Article VI:
Section 6 - Treasurer: The Treasurer, in concert with the State Central Committee, shall determine who shall have custody of the funds for the Party which shall be under the control of the State Central Committee. He or she shall cause written accounts of receipts and disbursements to be prepared prior to each regular meeting of the State Central Committee. These written accounts shall be a record of all receipts and disbursements subsequent to the last previous report and shall be presented to the members of the State Central Committee at each regular meeting. He or she shall also make a report of total receipts and disbursements subsequent to the last previous State Convention, to each State Convention. Bonds and Audit: The Treasurer, and any other officer or employee who may be responsible for the handling of the State Central Committee funds shall be under bond, the amount to be determined by the State Central Committee. The State Central Committee shall cause an audit of all financial records and transactions of the State Central Committee accounts to be made by a certified public accountant at least once in each calendar year, and at such other times as may be directed by the State Central Committee. A copy of the findings of each audit shall be sent to each member and officer of the State Central Committee upon completion.
Remove the words with lines through them and add the underlined words in Article VI, Section 9, subparagraphs c.1 and c.2:
Section 9 - State Convention Responsibilities: The State Convention by vote of its accredited delegates present, shall:
a. Approve, adopt, and may indicate priorities with respect to a party platform.
b. Determine all other matters of party concern.
c. In each year, when the election of the office of President of the United States is to be held, the State Convention shall:
1) Elect 25% the remainder of the delegates and alternate delegates to the National Democratic Convention not elected at the District Conventions and,
2) Elect the National Committeepersons by majority vote of the delegates present and voting at the state convention.
Remove the sentence with the line through it in Article VIII, Section 3 and Section 4 and make the two grammatical corrections in Section 4:
Section 3 - Naming Own Replacement: In case a delegate may be temporarily or permanently absent from the proceedings of any convention, the delegate may choose a temporary or permanent replacement from among the alternates of the delegate's preference group. If the delegate refuses or is unable to select a replacement, the delegation shall choose one of the alternates from the same preference group to replace that delegate. Elected convention alternates need not be present to be accredited.
Section 4 - National Convention Delegates: Candidates for the position of delegate or alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention shall be required to submit a petition which is to be filed with the State Chair twelve (12) days before the Convention or the Chair of the Rules and Nominations Committee at the Convention by the time stated in the published rules. Each petition shall include a signed statement of support for a Democratic Candidate for President and also be signed by one percent of the delegates to the convention. Each presidential candidate’s state or district representative, as appropriate, shall have an opportunity to approve or disapprove the inclusion of each National Delegate candidate in a process outlined in the Delegate Selection Plan. A valid petition for the national delegate position shall be considered a valid petition for the national alternate delegate position.
Add new Section 3 to Article IX;
Section 3 – A Constituency Caucus Convention shall take place each odd-numbered year to afford the Constituency Caucus groups an opportunity for networking with the State Affirmative Action Committee and amongst the groups. The election of the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Constituency Caucuses MAY take place during this convention rather than the state convention in the even-numbered years.
Remove reference to the IDP Bylaws and insert the appropriate reference to the Standing Rules in Article XII, Section 9:
Replace “14” with “7” in Section 9, paragraph a:
Replace “7” with “3’ in Section 9, paragraph d:
Section 8 - Accessibility: Where possible and giving priority to all Democratic polling places, caucus sites, district convention sites, state convention sites, and meeting sites are to be totally accessible to the handicapped.
Section 9 - All County, District, and State Convention organizing committees duly elected under the applicable provisions of the Code of Iowa, this Constitution and Iowa Democratic Party By-Laws Standing Rules shall publish a booklet containing the reports of the Arrangements, Rules and Nominations, Credentials, and Platform committees, and such other information as may be deemed necessary for the operation of the convention. The Arrangements committee shall cause this booklet to be physically distributed as a paper booklet or distributed in electronic format no later than seven (7) days prior to the start of the convention. The Arrangements committee shall have the option of publishing the booklet in electronic format under the following conditions:
a. A separate paper credential document, which shall include an alternate designation form and instructions for obtaining a paper version of the booklet, must be mailed to each duly elected delegate to the convention. This credential will be mailed no later than fourteen seven (14 7) days prior to the start of the convention.
d. All convention committees publishing electronic booklets must provide paper copies to any delegate on request no later than seven three (7 3) days prior to the start of the convention. The credential document shall include instructions informing delegates how to obtain a paper copy of the booklet and the responsible party to contact to get a paper booklet.
Amend Article XII - General Provisions, Section 8 - Accessibility, to read as follows:
In accordance with the guiding principles of the Iowa Democratic Constitution, at no time shall it be acceptable to prevent the participation or abridge the rights of an otherwise qualified participant in Democratic Party activities. Where possible and giving priority to all All Democratic polling places, Precinct Caucus sites locations, district convention sites County, District, and State Convention sites (including Convention Committee and Constituency Caucus sites) and meeting sites all Central Committee and their Constituency Caucus Meetings at all levels are to be totally accessible to the handicapped People with Disabilities for the purposes of the type of activity to be conducted at each site.
Additionally, it shall be the responsibility of the Temporary/Permanent Chair of any event to ensure that there is a timely and appropriate opportunity for those who have a need for an accommodation to request such, and barring an extraordinary burden on the Iowa Democratic Party, such accommodation be made. It will be acceptable and encouraged for coordinators of any activity to anticipate requests for accommodation, whether received or not, and to act proactively. At no time will the members of the majority require a minimum number of people to make the same request.
Add this paragraph to follow at the end of Article XII Section 6 Subsection A:
d. The State Convention shall identify twelve (12) platform planks as Priority Platform Planks, which shall thenceforth be listed separately at the beginning of the planks of the final platform as “Priority Platform Planks.” Elected Democratic officials and Democratic candidates for office who, in their official capacity, do not support, promote, advocate for, and vote for enactment of all Priority Planks shall be sanctioned by the Iowa Democratic Party, and shall thenceforth not receive any resources or support from the Iowa Democratic Party for elections, campaigns, and communications until such time as they support, promote, advocate for, and vote for enactment of all Priority Platform Planks.
Remove Article XV - By-Laws:
Section 1 - Adoption and Amendment: By-laws of the Iowa Democratic Party shall be adopted/amended by a majority vote of the State Central Committee following at least three weeks’ notice (of the proposed by-laws, the time and the place of the meeting) to all members of the State Central Committee and its officers, and to all County Central Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs. They can also be amended as is the Constitution as in Article XIV.
Section 2 - Scope: By-Laws shall be in conformity with the provisions of this Constitution, shall be designed to advance the purposes of the Iowa Democratic Party as stated in the Preamble, and shall not abridge the right of precinct caucuses, conventions, convention subcommittees, convention caucuses, central committees, and central committee subcommittees to elect their own leadership and representatives - but they may specify procedural rules, committee roles, and leadership roles to be observed by those groups within the party.
Resolution: All Delegates Are To Be Pledged Delegates
Whereas, democratically-elected representation that is freely chosen by, responsive to, and accountable to the majority will is the very essence of what the Iowa Democratic Party stands for, and;
Whereas, the Caucus-to-Convention Delegate Selection Process is throughout dedicated to the democratic election of delegates by preference groups, according to their proportionate size, except for the one notable, glaringly undemocratic exception of the selection of unpledged delegates according to position, history, or status, and;
Whereas, the top-down imposition of unpledged delegates to the National Convention according to party position, history, or status, rather than their democratic election by the Iowa Democratic Party that such delegates purport to represent, is fundamentally undemocratic and opposed to the most sacred tenets of the Iowa Democratic Party, and;
Whereas, the very existence of such unaccountable, unpledged delegates compromises the integrity of the nomination process, and of the Democratic Party itself, through making the undue influence of money, support, and favors, in return for support and votes, whether in fact or in appearance, whether direct or indirect, and whether immediate or promised in the future, easy to commit, and difficult to detect, and;
Whereas, as declared in the Constitution of the Iowa Democratic Party, Article VI, Section 7: “The State Convention is the supreme governing body of the Iowa Democratic Party,” this 2016 State Convention of the Iowa Democratic Party has the power and the responsibility to determine its own representatives to the National Convention of The Democratic Party,
Therefore, Be It Resolved, That:
1. It is the will of this 2016 State Convention of the Iowa Democratic Party that the Constitution of the Iowa Democratic Party, Article VIII Section 4, be amended to include the following: “All National Delegates shall be pledged delegates, elected by preference group at the District and State Conventions,” and;
2. It is the will of this 2016 State Convention of the Iowa Democratic Party that all Democratic National Committee members seek to have this amendment, and all changes needed to effect this amendment, made in the Charter and By-Laws of The Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee, and to the Delegate Selection Plan.
RULED OUT OF ORDER BY THE CHAIR
Changed “will” to “recommendation” in the first resolution.
PASSED AS AMENDED