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Constitution and Bylaws

Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party of Minneapolis

Constitution & Bylaws

As Amended May 13, 2006

Article I  

General Principles

§ 1.  Name

The name of this organization shall be the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party of Minneapolis.

§ 2.  Subordination

This constitution and any bylaws adopted pursuant to it are subordinate to the Fifth Congressional District DFL and Minnesota DFL constitutions, bylaws and calls, the National Democratic Charter, rules on the selection of delegates to the National Convention, and law.  Matters not specifically governed by this constitution or its bylaws, but provided for in superior documents, shall be given effect if the provisions in question clearly apply to the Minneapolis DFL, notwithstandinginconsistent language.  General rules and policies stated in these superior documents shall govern the Minneapolis DFL if clearly applicable. These policies shall include, but are not limited to, affirmative action, qualifications for voting, election of and voting by delegates, convention and meeting registration fees, endorsements, and preparation, issuance and distribution of DFL sample ballots.  Voluntary contributions to the party may be made, but under no circumstance shall a contribution be mandatory for participation.

Subdivision A:  Minneapolis DFL ward and park district conventions and organizations and operation of sub-municipal central committees, commissions, and clubs, if any, shall be subject to this constitution and its bylaws.

§ 3. Affirmative Action

The Minneapolis DFL Chair and all officers shall act in accordance with the Affirmative Action Principles set forth in this section. These principles shall apply to both appointed and elected positions.

Subdivision A:  The following Affirmative Action Statement shall be read at each party convention and at all meetings before elections or appointment ratifications take place:

“The goal of affirmative action is to recruit individuals for political activity in the DFL and the democratic process of our government. The DFL is an active participant in the struggle to end all forms of bigotry and discrimination.  As part of our commitment to ending discrimination, we seek to increase the participation of members of those communities that have been traditionally shut out of and/or underrepresented in the political process. As part of this commitment, we will seek to elect members of these communities to positions both within the DFL Party and in public office. These efforts will be directed toward all underrepresented communities.”

Subdivision B: Non-Discrimination.   Discrimination on the basis of gender, age, religion, economic status, ethnic identity, national origin, color, sexual and affectional orientation, disability or veteran status in the conduct of Minneapolis DFL affairs is prohibited.

Subdivision C:  Meeting Locations.  All meetings will be held in public buildings accessible to persons with disabilities and senior citizens.  Buildings which by their character prevent open discussion of any issue are not suitable locations.  If commercial establishments are utilized, unionized establishments shall be given priority in site consideration.  Wherever possible, meetings will be held at locations accessible to public transportation.

§ 4. Amendments; Bylaws

Section A.  Amendments. This constitution may be amended by a majority vote of any convention of the Minneapolis DFL organization where consideration of the constitution is indicated as part of the call.

Section B.  Bylaws. Bylaws to this constitution may be adopted and amended by majority vote of the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee.  Bylaws concerning matters not expressly governed nor in conflict with this Constitution or Minnesota election laws may be adopted by a majority vote of the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee members voting on the question, provided that a quorum is present, and further provided that such bylaws were considered at a prior meeting of the Central Committee and notice of intent to consider the bylaws was included in the meeting notice.

Article II

Party Organization

§ 1. Officers

The Minneapolis DFL Party officers shall consist of a Chair and Associate Chair (of opposite gender), a Secretary, a Treasurer, an Affirmative Action Officer, a Fund Raising Director, and two at-large Directors (one of each gender).  These officers shall take office immediately upon their election by the City Convention.  If that Convention did not complete its business, the officers shall take office immediately upon being elected by a subsequent City Central Committee meeting.   Officers elected to fill a vacancy take office immediately.  Outgoing officers shall remain non-voting members of the Executive Committee until December first of the year their successors were elected.

Subdivision A.  The Chair shall be the chief executive officer of the Minneapolis DFL Party. The Chair shall be empowered to convene and conduct the meetings of the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee and shall also convene the Minneapolis DFL Convention.

Subdivision B.  The Associate Chair shall aid the Chair and shall fulfill the duties of the Chair in the absence or inability of the Chair to act.

Subdivision C.  The Secretary shall (1) keep the minutes of all Central and Executive Committee meetings, (2) keep records of all official Minneapolis DFL actions, (3) prepare all necessary documents, (4) prepare and send all official Minneapolis DFL correspondence, (5) notify all members of Central and Executive Committee meetings, and (6) send copies of revised constitution and minutes of conventions to the state DFL office for permanent recording.

Subdivision D. The Treasurer shall manage all party funds and submit a full written report of receipts and disbursements to each Central and Executive Committee meeting and the Minneapolis DFL Convention. The Treasurer shall also complete and submit any report on party finances or campaign contributions required by the agencies of the state or federal government.  The Treasurer shall also arrange for an independent audit of party finances once a year.

Subdivision E.  The Affirmative Action Officer shall prepare and enforce the Minneapolis DFL Affirmative Action Plan, and shall develop, coordinate, and ensure implementation of specific activities designed to promote ongoing and increased access to and participation of traditionally underrepresented constituencies in party affairs.

Subdivision F.  Additional duties of the officers shall be assigned by the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee. These duties shall include, but shall not be limited to, affirmative action, fundraising, and the sample ballot.

Subdivision G.  In the temporary absence of the Chair, the order for succession for official activities of the Chair during that absence shall be the Associate Chair, followed by the Secretary, the Treasurer and then the Affirmative Action Officer.

§ 2. Minneapolis DFL Central Committee

The Minneapolis DFL Central Committee shall include the Minneapolis DFL Executive Committee, the ward coordinators of each ward in the city, and those members of the State DFL Central Committee residing in the City of Minneapolis. Between conventions, the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee may declare and fill vacancies among party officers and ward coordinators according to Article II, Section 5.  A quorum shall consist of thirty percent of the elected delegates with at least one-half of the senate districts represented.

Subdivision A. Central Committee meetings may be called by the Chair, by one-eighth of the membership of the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee, or by a majority of the Minneapolis DFL Executive Committee.  Notice of meetings shall be sent out not less than ten days in advance of the meeting.

Subdivision B. The Minneapolis DFL Central Committee is the primary entity of the Minneapolis Democratic Farmer Labor Party, subject only to the City Convention and superior DFL organizations as cited in Article I, Section 2.  The Committee shall be responsible for the management of party affairs in the City subject to the control of the governing convention. Standing committees may be established by the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee according to need.

§ 3. Minneapolis DFL Executive Committee

The Minneapolis DFL Executive Committee shall be responsible for the administration and organization of party affairs within the City subject to the control and direction of the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee.  The Minneapolis DFL Executive Committee shall consist of the Minneapolis DFL officers and the chair and associate chair of each senate district if they reside within the City of Minneapolis.  If the chair or the associate chair of a senate district does not reside within the City of Minneapolis, their positions on the Executive Committee shall be filled by the next highest ranking party officer(s) within the district who reside within the City of Minneapolis. Chairs of Minneapolis DFL ongoing commissions will serve as non-voting members.  A quorum shall consist of thirty percent of the members of the Executive Committee.

§ 4. Ward Coordinators

Two ward coordinators of opposite gender and two alternate coordinators of opposite gender shall be elected at each ward convention. Their terms shall expire at the following ward convention.

§ 5. Vacancies, Dismissals

In the case of a vacancy of the Chair, the Associate Chair shall succeed to the office of Chair and a new Associate Chair shall be elected by the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee. Vacancies in other Party officer positions shall be filled by the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee.  Party officers may be dismissed by the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee for cause only on grounds of clear malfeasance or nonfeasance in office using the same procedures as outlined in the Fifth Congressional District DFL Constitution.

Article III   

Endorsing Conventions

§ 1. Call

The Minneapolis DFL Central Committee shall issue the call for all endorsing conventions provided for in this constitution.

Subdivision A. Ward conventions shall be held in those city election years in which City Council members are elected, no earlier than March 1.

Subdivision B. City Conventions shall be convened in election years when there is a citywide contest by the Chair, or other officers in order of succession of the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee.  Park district convention conveners shall be appointed by the Chair of the Minneapolis DFL with preference given to the highest-ranking DFL officer living within that jurisdiction. These appointments shall be subject to ratification of the City Central Committee and made in accordance with the DFL Affirmative Action Principles.

Subdivision C:  When a municipal election occurs in a year when statewide precinct caucuses are not being held, the delegates to the conventions that may endorse candidates for that municipal election will be elected by and from precinct caucuses held for that purpose, on the first Tuesday in March at 7 p.m. in the same manner as the last statewide precinct caucuses, except as this subdivision otherwise provides. 

Subdivision D: Each caucus may elect one delegate and one alternate for the City and Park District Conventions per 100 votes in the DFL party candidates average vote, calculated in the manner for which the State Party’s Constitution provides.

Subdivision E: Each caucus may elect one delegate and one alternate for the ward convention per 25 votes in the DFL party candidates average vote, calculated in the manner for which the State Party’s Constitution provides.

§ 2. Ward Conventions

The business of the ward convention shall include consideration of endorsement for City Council and the election of ward coordinators and alternates and ward representatives for the Constitution Commission. Each ward convention shall consist of delegates and alternates elected by their precinct caucuses, in a manner for which the Constitution and bylaws shall provide and pursuant to a call which the Central Committee shall issue, in the same calendar year as the general election for which the convention is considering an endorsement.  No amendment to the bylaws affecting these precinct caucuses shall take effect before the end of the calendar year in which it is adopted, unless the Central Committee finds by a two-thirds vote that earlier implementation is necessary.  Ward conventions shall be convened by the ward coordinators.

Subdivision A.  Precinct delegates and alternates elected anywhere within Minneapolis at the most recent precinct caucuses who have moved to another precinct within Minneapolis shall be eligible to participate in ward and city conventions as the last alternate in their new precincts.

Subdivision B. The Ward Coordinators shall arrange pre-ward convention committees.

§ 3. City Convention

The business of the City Convention shall be to consider endorsement for citywide offices, election of City Central Committee officers, and any amendments to this constitution or its bylaws. It may transact such other business as may come before the Convention. Delegates and alternates elected at the most recent precinct caucuses shall be delegates and alternates to the City Convention.

Subdivision A.   During years in which Council members are elected, each ward convention shall elect two delegates (no alternates) to each pre-city convention committee.  During convention years when City Council members are not elected, the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee shall appoint two members to the committees from each ward, in accordance with the DFL Affirmative Action Principles.  These committees may include committees on Rules, Credentials, Endorsements, Resolutions, Arrangements, and such other committees deemed necessary by the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee.

Subdivision B.   Conveners of pre-convention committees shall be appointed by the City DFL Chair, subject to ratification by the City Central Committee and in accordance with the DFL Affirmative Action Principles.  The conveners shall be full voting members of the committees regardless of whether they are elected permanent chairs of the committees.

Subdivision C:  Any resolutions affirmed by the Convention shall be referred to the Central Committee.

§ 4. Park District Conventions

The business of the park district conventions will be to consider endorsement for district park commissioners. City delegates and alternates shall be delegates and alternates to park district conventions.

§ 5. Convention Cancellation

Once called, no convention may be canceled except in extraordinary circumstances, in which case the City Chair, in consultation with the Convener and if possible all City officers, shall declare a cancellation.  Every effort shall be made to notify the delegates, publicizing through the media and other appropriate means.  In case of a cancellation, the City DFL Chair shall, in consultation with the other officers and the Convener, call another convention.  The rescheduled convention shall be held within twenty-five days of the date of the cancellation and shall be called with at least ten days written notice.  The timing in article IV, section 1, Subdivision A, does not apply to a rescheduled convention.

§ 6.  Special Elections

If any special election is called for an elective office for which candidates would be endorsed by the Minneapolis DFL, the City Central Committee, in consultation with the City Officers, may issue a call for a special endorsing convention for that office.  The Central Committee shall appoint members of pre-convention committees.

Subdivision A.   Delegates to the special endorsing convention shall be the delegates elected to the last city convention.  If the special election is for a subdivision of the city, delegates shall be only those elected to the last convention from that subdivision.

Article IV

Constitution Commission

The Minneapolis DFL Constitution Commission shall be an ongoing commission. Each ward convention shall elect one delegate and one alternate to the Commission for a four-year term. In cases of vacancy, a delegate from the same ward as the vacancy occurs in shall be appointed by the Minneapolis DFL Chair, subject to ratification by the City Central Committee and in accordance with DFL Affirmative Action Principles.  This commission shall review and make recommendations regarding the Minneapolis DFL Constitution and Bylaws to the City Central Committee and the Minneapolis DFL Convention. The Commission shall serve as the pre-convention committee. The Commission shall be composed of thirteen delegates and thirteen alternates, one from each ward. Their terms of office shall begin immediately following the ward convention at which they are elected and shall run through the following ward convention for the delegate’s ward.

Article V

Constitutional Convention

The Minneapolis DFL Central Committee, by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting, may call a special City Convention for the sole purpose of amending this Constitution, at any time, on no less than thirty and no more than 120 days written notice to the City delegates and alternates.

Official Convention Call

Minneapolis Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
PO Box 581396, Minneapolis, MN 55458-1396


Saturday, May 13, 2006
Call to order 10:00 a.m. (Registration opens at 9:00 a.m.)

Patrick Henry High School
4320 Newton Avenue North in Minneapolis

Dear delegate or alternate:
        This notice is the official call for the Minneapolis City Convention.
        The agenda includes endorsing of four candidates for School Board,
        electing party officers, and amending the city party's constitution.

        You are receiving this notice because you were elected as a delegate or
        alternate at your precinct caucus in March 2006.  If you have moved out
        of the precinct that elected you in March to another precinct in
        Minneapolis, then you can still participate in your new precinct as the
        last alternate.

Nominations Screening
    For those interested in serving as party officers in Minneapolis, please
plan to screen with the Nomination Committee on either May 9 or May 11.  The May
9 screening will be from 6-8 p.m. at Tatta Bunna coffee shop (2100 Plymouth Ave
N).  The May 11 screening will be from 6-8 p.m. at Diamonds Coffee Shoppe (1618
Central Ave NE).  No appointment is necessary-just come by when you can during
those two screening times.

Accessibility and Accommodations
    The Patrick Henry site is accessible to persons with disabilities.  Please
contact our Affirmative Action Officer, Mary Whitney (612-721-2048 or or our Arrangements Director, Ruthann Swanson
( if you need any auditory or visual aids, an
interpreter, or any other special accommodation or arrangement.
    The Patrick Henry site is accessible by bus.  Metro Transit bus line #5
provides service to the high school: routes K, L, and M run directly by the
school, and route S runs two blocks away.

Please write or call if you have any questions; we look forward to seeing you on May 13th!

David Weinlick, Minneapolis DFL Chair
5941 Sheridan Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410

2006 Convention Minutes






Saturday May 13, 2006

10:00 a.m.

Patrick Henry High School

4320 Newton Avenue North


Accessible Site


I. Call to Order

The convention was called to order at 10:15 am.

II. Credentials Committee Preliminary Report

Tim Bonham reported that 541 delegates had checked in, resulting in 271 delegates required for a quorum.

III. Rules Committee report

The body adopted the agenda as printed.

Julie Mattson Ostrow moved to adopt the convention rules as printed.

A motion was made to amend the rules to use Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) to select the endorsed candidates for the Board of Education. The motion was not adopted.

A motion was made to amend rules, limiting Board of Education candidate speeches to four minutes rather than seven. The motion was not adopted.

The body voted to accept rules as printed.

IV. Election of permanent convention chairs

The body elected David Weinlick and Sue Ponsford as permanent convention chairs by acclamation.

V. Appointment of Convention Officials

The body voted unanimously to accept the central committee’s appointment of pre-convention committees.

The body voted to appoint Burt Black as convention parliamentarian.

VI. Credentials Committee Second Report

The credentials committee reported that 107 alternates had been, in addition to the 598 delegates checked in, for a grand total of 705

VII. Affirmative Action Statement

Affirmative Action Officer Mary Whitney read the affirmative action statement.


The following candidates were nominated for the Board of Education: Pam Costain, Chris Stewart, T. Williams, Jill Davis, Tom Madden, Judith James, Joe Erickson, Polly Harrison Townsend, Harry Grigsby, Fred Easter.

Fred Easter withdrew from seeking the endorsement.

On the first ballot, 747 ballots were cast with 60% (449 votes) required for endorsement. Candidates Pam Costain and Chris Steward were endorsed.


Votes Received



Pam Costain




Chris Stewart




T. Williams




Tom Madden




Jill Davis




Joe Erickson




Polly Harrison Townsend




Judith James




Harry Grigsby




On the second ballot, 646 ballots were cast with 60% (388 votes) required for endorsement 2nd Ballot: (3:00 pm). Candidate T. Williams was endorsed.


Votes Received



T. Williams




Tom Madden




Jill Davis




Polly Harrison Townsend




Joe Erickson




No Endorsement




A motion was made to suspend the rules and endorse from the floor. The motion was adopted with a 2/3 vote.

A motion was made to endorse Tom Madden from the floor, still requiring 60% of the delegates.

Jill Davis, Polly Harrison Townsend, and Joe Erickson withdrew from the seeking endorsement.

A motion was made to suspend the rules and endorse Tom Madden by acclamation. The motion was adopted. The body proceeded to endorse Tom Madden.


A motion was made to endorse the Instant Runoff voting (IRV) ballot measure.

After a seven minute presentation by the Better Ballot Campaign, a motion was made to suspend the rules and forego the 15 minute question and answer period specified in the convention rules. The motion was adopted.

On the first ballot, 655 ballots were cast with 60% (393 votes) required for endorsement. The IRV ballot measure was endorsed.

IRV Ballot Measure


% of Votes


In Favor









Gary Farland, chair of the constitution commission reported on the work done by the commission to revise the Minneapolis DFL constitution.

The goals were to make the document more understandable, reflect current practice, be consistent with other DFL bodies, and clarify responsibilities and accountabilities and make the process of conducting DFL business more efficient. The proposed revisions retained the existing bylaws, but improved the structure and language. Substantive changes were introduced to improve the functioning of the Minneapolis DFL party. 1

A motion was made to amend the Minneapolis DFL constitution, accepting the proposed changes to Article I.

A motion was made to table the motion to amend the constitution. The motion was not adopted.

The motion to accept the proposed Article 1 amendments was adopted.

A motion was made to adopt the remaining proposed changes to the constitution as a whole, rather than voting on each Article separately.


A proposal was made to amendment the motion, striking out Subdivision D. The amended motion would result in City and Park district conventions delegate allocation remaining at 1 delegate per 25 votes rather than 1 delegate per 100 votes. The motion was not adopted.

The body voted to adopted the motion to accept the remaining amendments to the Minneapolis DFL constitution as a as a whole.


Joelle Riley, Chair of the Nominating Committee nominated the following candidates for Minneapolis DFL offices: Keesha Gaskens (Chair), Nick Wallace (Associate Chair), Shireen Stone (Secretary), Tim Bonham (Treasurer), Mary Whitney (Affirmative Action Officer), Andy Hauer (Fundraising Director).

Tony Hofstede and Scott Kroyer were nominated for male at-large director.

Liz Weilinski was nominated for female at-large director.

A motion was made to elect the uncontested nominees by unanimous ballot. Tony Hofstede withdrew from consideration, leaving all nominations uncontested.

The body voted unanimously to elect the entire slate of officers.


The convention was adjourned at 4:03 p.m.

2006-2008 Officers

Chair Nick Wallace h:612-872-4954 2300 Pleasant Ave S 
Minneapolis, MN 55404-3262
Associate Chair Vacant    
Secretary Vacant    
Treasurer Tim Bonham h:612-721-1007 4309 30th Ave So 
Minneapolis, MN 55406-3710
Fundraising Director Andy Hauer h:612-332-7623 19 1st St S #B-1203 
Minneapolis, MN 55401-1839
Affirmative Action Officer Mary Whitney h:612-721-2048 3408 Minnehaha Ave S 
Minneapolis, MN 55406-2625
At-Large Director Liz Wielinski h:612-788-5688 3519 2nd St NE 
Minneapolis, MN 55418-1107
At-Large Director Scott Kroyer h:612-727-1957 3911 E 54th St 
Minneapolis, MN 55417-2241
Constitution Comm. Chair Gary Farland h:612-824-6744 3145 Humboldt Ave S 
Minneapolis, MN 55408-2559

*2006-2008 Officers Serve as Ex-Officio Members of the Minneapolis DFL Through December 1, 2008

Past Events


OCTOBER 26, 2006

Minneapolis School Board Candidate Debate/ForumField Community School PTA will sponsor and host a Debate/Forum between candidates seeking election for the Minneapolis Special District #1 Board of Education. When:Monday, October 9, 2006 6:30-8:30 PM Where: Field Community School Commons 4645 4th Avenue South Minneapolis, MN Who: Minneapolis School Board Candidates:
Pam Costain
Tom Madden
Doug Mann
Chris Stewart
T. William

Our future is truly the future of our children. We all know the issues:
student success
achievement gap
teacher stability
state/federal mandates
special education funding
early childhood education
workforce preparedness
class size
the list goes on...

All are invited to attend the special event to listen and participate in this community forum and to learn more about the candidates seeking election for our school board on November 7.

Open to the Public

Free of Charge

Any Candidate Literature Welcome - though confined to a table by the entrance.

The debate is sponsored by FIELD SCHOOL PTA and will be moderated by the League of Women Voters

For more information: John Quincy Field Community School PTA 612-209-2058

First Annual

Minneapolis DFL & Minnesota Fifth Congressional District DFL


Tuesday, July 25th

Rossi's Blue Star Room
80 South 9th Street

(Between Marquette Ave and Nicollet Mall on 9th Street )

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Featuring Jazz and Blues Singer

Charmin Michelle
With promotions by
Stoli Blueberry Vodka
Please help the "Blue-est City" in Minnesota take the lead in winning back the State in November!!
Come meet the DFL-Endorsed Candidates


Minnesota DFL Chair Brian Melendez

Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin
Minneapolis City Council Vice-President Robert Lilligren
Minneapolis City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden
Minneapolis City Council Member Gary Schiff
Minneapolis City Council Member Betsy Hodges
Minneapolis City Council Member Ralph Remington
Minnesota State Senator Linda Higgins
Minnesota State Legislator Diane Loeffler
Minnesota State Legislator Keith Ellison
Minneapolis DFL Chair Keesha Gaskins
Fifth Congressional District DFL Chair David Lee

$50 Suggested Donation

Your donation to the Minneapolis DFL & Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District is fully eligible for the $50 per person / $100 per married couple refund through the Minnesota Political Contribution Refund Program.

Refund forms will be available at the Fundraiser.

Minneapolis School Board Community ForumMon, July 24, 6:30-8pm at Franklin Library, 1314 Franklin Ave E. Share your thoughts and concerns with the four DFL endorsed candidates for School Board. For more info, contact Sarah Greenfield, at or phone 306-7257.
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Jul 25, 2009, 10:43 AM
Unknown user,
Jul 25, 2009, 10:43 AM