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Governing Documents

Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party of Minneapolis

Constitution & Bylaws

 

As Amended by the City Convention on April 10, 2016, and the Central Committee July 14, 2016

 


Article I. General Principles

Section 1. Name

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

Section 2. Subordination

This constitution and any bylaws adopted pursuant to it are subordinate to the Minnesota DFL Constitution & Bylaws and the Official Call. Matters not specifically governed by this constitution or its bylaws, but provided for in superior documents, shall be given effect, notwithstanding inconsistent 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, outreach and inclusion, qualifications for voting, election of and voting by delegates, convention and meeting registration fees, endorsements, and preparation, issuance and distribution of DFL sample ballots.

Subsection A. Minneapolis DFL ward, school board district 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.

Section 3. Affirmative Action, Outreach, and Inclusion

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

Subsection A. The DFL Affirmative Action, Outreach, and Inclusion Statement found in the Official Call shall be read at each party convention and at all meetings before elections or appointment ratifications take place.

Subsection B. Non-Discrimination. Discrimination on the basis of gender or gender identity, age, religion, creed, economic status, ethnic identity, national origin, race, color, sexual and affectional orientation, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance or veteran status in the conduct of Minneapolis DFL affairs is prohibited.

Subsection 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.

Subsection D: Contributions. Voluntary contributions to the party may be made, but under no circumstance shall a contribution be mandatory for participation.

Section 4. Amendments; Bylaws

Subsection AAmendments. 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.

Subsection 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 Minneapolis DFL Central Committee and notice of intent to consider the bylaws was included in the meeting notice.

Subsection C. Any amendment to this Constitution and/or its Bylaws will not take effect until the adjournment of the convention or central committee meeting at which it was adopted.

 

Article II. Party Organization

Section 1. Officers

The Minneapolis DFL Party officers shall consist of a Chair and Vice Chair (not of the same gender), an Outreach Officer, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Deputy Treasurer, a Fund Raising Director, and two at-large Directors (the at-large directors being gender balanced). These officers shall serve a term beginning at the conclusion of the meeting at which they are elected, and ending at the adjournment of the next City Convention held in an even-numbered year. If that Convention did not complete its election of officers, a subsequent Minneapolis DFL Central Committee meeting shall elect such vacancies. Outgoing officers shall remain non-voting members of the Executive Committee until December first of the year their successors were elected. Elections for these officers shall occur at city conventions held in even-numbered years.

 

Bylaw 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 City Convention.

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

Bylaw C. The Outreach Officer shall prepare and enforce the Minneapolis DFL Affirmative Action, Outreach, and Inclusion 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.

Bylaw D. 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.

Bylaw E. 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 all of the Minneapolis DFL Conventions. 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.  The Deputy Treasurer will assist the Treasurer in his or her duties.

Bylaw 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, outreach and inclusion, fundraising, and the sample ballot.

Bylaw G. In the temporary absence of the Chair, the order for succession for official activities of the Chair during that absence shall be the Vice Chair, followed by the Outreach Officer, the Secretary, and then the Treasurer.

Section 2. Minneapolis DFL Central Committee

The Minneapolis DFL Central Committee shall include the Minneapolis DFL Executive Committee, the ward representatives of each ward, 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 Minneapolis DFL Party Officers according to Article II, Section 5. A quorum shall consist of twenty percent of the members with at least one-half of the senate districts represented. Pursuant to Article III, Section 9 of the State DFL Constitution, all members except DFL State Central Committee members shall be counted toward quorum.

Subsection A. Minneapolis DFL 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.

Subsection 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. The Minneapolis DFL Central Committee according to need may establish standing committees.

Section 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 of each senate district and each congressional district if they reside within the City of Minneapolis. Vice chairs of senate districts and congressional districts may serve as alternates to their chairs. If the chair or the vice chair of a senate district or congressional 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. A quorum shall consist of thirty percent of the members of the Executive Committee, and must also include at least one-half of the senate district chairs or highest ranking officers.

Section 4. Ward Committees

The Minneapolis DFL Central Committee shall establish Ward Committees for each of the city wards in the year prior to a city council election, or for a specific ward in the event of a special city council election. When establishing a Ward Committee, the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee shall appoint a convener, appoint all members of the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee and precinct chairs who reside in that ward, and appoint any additional members (who shall be residents of the ward). Ward representatives shall be appointed conveners. However, if they are absent or unavailable, preference shall be given to the highest-ranking DFL officer living within each ward. When appointing additional members, the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee shall strive to appoint supporters of all known candidates in equal numbers. In years preceding ward conventions, Ward Committees shall be established no later than December 15th. Each Ward Committee shall elect a chair and a vice chair. The Ward Committees shall be responsible for the organization of ward conventions and city precinct caucuses, if any. Ward Committee chairs and vice chairs shall maintain the same neutrality required of unit chairs and vice chairs as provided in the State DFL Constitution. Ward Committees may create and populate sub-committees (from their membership) at their own discretion. In addition to serving on the Ward Committee for the ward in which the Minneapolis DFL Chair resides, the Minneapolis DFL Chair is also an ex-officio member of all other Ward Committees, entitled to notice and all other non-voting member privileges. Ward Committees will cease to exist upon the adjournment of their respective ward conventions.

Section 5. Vacancies, Dismissals

In the case of a vacancy of the Chair, the Vice Chair shall succeed to the office of Chair and a new Vice 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 Minnesota DFL Constitution.

 

Article III. Endorsing Conventions

Section 1. Call

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

Subsection A. Each caucus may elect one delegate and one alternate for the city, park district and school board conventions per 100 votes in the DFL party candidates average vote, calculated in the manner for which the State Party’s Constitution provides.

Subsection B. 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.

Subsection 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 a date set by the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee.

Subsection D. 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.

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

Bylaw 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. If separate Park Board and School Board district conventions are held, those convention conveners shall be appointed by the Minneapolis DFL Chair with preference given to the highest-ranking DFL officer living within that jurisdiction. These appointments shall be subject to ratification of the Central Committee and made in accordance with the DFL Outreach and Inclusion Principles.

Section 2. Ward Conventions

The business of the ward convention shall include consideration of endorsement for City Council and the election of two ward representatives to the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee. Each ward convention shall consist of delegates and alternates elected by their precinct caucuses. 

Subsection A. The Ward Committee shall be responsible for organizing the ward conventions and the precinct caucuses held within that ward.

Section 3. City Convention

The business of the City Convention shall be to consider endorsement for citywide offices, election of Minneapolis DFL 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.

Bylaw A. The Minneapolis DFL Central Committee shall appoint two members to each convention committee from each ward, in accordance with the DFL Outreach and Inclusion Principles. These committees may include committees on Rules, Credentials, Endorsements, Resolutions, Arrangements, and such other committees deemed necessary by the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee.

Bylaw B. Two co-conveners for each pre-convention committee shall be appointed by the Minneapolis DFL Chair, subject to ratification by the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee and in accordance with the DFL Outreach and Inclusion Principles. The conveners shall be full voting members of the committees regardless of whether they are elected permanent chairs of the committees.

Bylaw C. The Minneapolis City Convention shall consider any resolution which meets all of the following criteria:

i.     it must relate to an issue of citywide importance or significance;

ii.    it must not violate the DFL Constitution and Bylaws;

iii.   it must align with the DFL Ongoing Platform and Action Agenda;

iv.    it must receive signatures from 10% or more of eligible delegates or upgraded alternates and be submitted on a form approved by the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee; and

v.     it must be turned in to the convention secretary on the day of the convention, but in no case later than one hour after the Minneapolis City Convention is convened.

Resolutions which pass the Convention with 60% or more support will be entered into the official minutes of the convention, referred to the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee, and given to candidates endorsed at that Minneapolis City Convention.

Bylaw D. In the event the City Convention considers taking a position on a ballot question, the following process shall be used:

i.     Endorsements of ballot questions can only be passed by a 60% majority of the delegates at a City Convention.

ii.    A motion to end debate or call the question at a City Convention on the endorsement of a ballot question shall be out of order unless at least three speakers for and three speakers against the endorsement have addressed the convention, unless there is no delegate who wishes to make these speeches.

Section 4. Park Board and School Board District Conventions

The Minneapolis DFL Central Committee shall call endorsing conventions for Park Board district commissioners or School Board district directors. These conventions may be called in conjunction or concurrently with the City Convention. City delegates and alternates shall be delegates and alternates to these district conventions.

Section 5. Convention Cancellation

Once called, no convention may be canceled except in extraordinary circumstances, in which case the Chair, in consultation with the Minneapolis DFL Executive Committee, 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 Minneapolis DFL Chair shall, in consultation with the other officers and the Convener, call another convention. The rescheduled convention shall be held within forty-five days of the date of the cancellation and shall be called with at least ten days written notice. Date requirements for conventions prescribed by this constitution do not apply to a rescheduled convention.

Section 6. Special Elections

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

Subsection A. City. 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, other than a ward, delegates shall be only those elected to the last City Convention who reside in that subdivision.

Subsection B. Wards. If the election of ward delegates was held less than two years prior to the special endorsing ward convention, delegates to a special endorsing ward convention shall be those delegates. If the election of ward delegates was held more than two years prior to the special endorsing ward convention, the delegates shall be the delegates elected to the last City Convention who reside in the ward. The Minneapolis DFL Central Committee may either undertake the organization of a special endorsing ward convention, or may delegate this responsibility to a Ward Committee pursuant to Section 2, above.

 

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Dan McConnell,
Jul 23, 2016, 8:48 PM