Rule Change #1


The rules were amended on July 25, 2017 to make it easier for State Committee members to participate in meetings.


The Problem: Members typically didn’t hear about meetings until 10 days before they happened, making it difficult to plan affordable travel and get time off work. Plus, members can only add items to the agenda if submitted 15 days before the meeting—impossible if the meeting wasn’t even announced until 10 days prior!

The Solution: At least 25 days before a meeting, the Secretary will post the meeting date and location on the party website and send an email with the same information to members. The official written meeting notice may still go out as late as 10 days prior to the meeting, and it will include an itemized agenda for members to review so they can engage in discussion and cast thoughtful votes.


Rule Change #2

Guarantee that more elected State Committee members have a role in decision-making by designating seats for them on the Executive Committee.


The Problem: Although State Committee members are democratically elected by registered Democrats to be their voice in the Party, the current rules do not require any Executive Committee (EC) members to be drawn from the State Committee. The EC handles State Committee business between meetings and develops recommendations to the full Committee—shouldn’t the people who were actually elected to do this work be guaranteed spots? Currently, only about 30% of EC members are also members of the State Committee.

The Solution: Require that 24 of the 52* Executive Committee seats be filled by members of the State Committee, and choose these EC members during the organizational meeting so that State Committee members are provided the opportunity to cast their votes for these positions.

* The number 52 assumes adoption of the limit on Vice Chairs (see rule change #3).

The party will consider this rule change at a meeting on October 2, 2017.


Rule Change #3

Provide a balance between the number of elected State Committee members and non-members on the Executive Committee by limiting the number of Vice Chairs.


The Problem: The rules currently allow for an unlimited number of Vice Chairs, none of whom must be State Committee members. Right now there are 29 Vice Chairs who make up 38% of the vote at Executive Committee meetings. Really. 29. Only 6 of them are elected State Committee members.

The Solution: Limit the number of Vice Chairs to five to ensure balance on the Executive Committee between the elected State Committee members and non-members.

The party will consider this rule change at a meeting on October 2, 2017.


Rule Change #4

Give Executive Committee members a say in deciding who will serve as the Party’s Executive Director.


The Problem: The current rules allow a single person to appoint the Executive Director of the Party without any formal review or approval by State or Executive Committee members. That is a lot of power for one person—shouldn’t the Executive Committee get to weigh in?

The Solution: Continue to allow the State Chair to appoint the Executive Director, but make it upon the approval of a majority vote of the Executive Committee.

The party will consider this rule change at a meeting on October 2, 2017.


Rule Change #5


The rules were amended on July 25, 2017 to restore language about the State Committee's purpose, its units of representation, and how its members are selected.


The Problem: The rules adopted at the September 19, 2016 organizational meeting were inadvertently missing some pretty important language—the sections about the purpose of the State Committee, how it is organized, and how its members are elected. Without these crucial parts, the rest of the rules make no sense.

The Solution: Article II, Section 1, sub-sections (a), (b), and (c)i, ii, and iii as shown in the 2009 NYS Party rules, which describe State Committee powers, units of representation, and election of members, have been restored.


Who proposed these changes?


NYS Democratic Committeewoman Kelleigh McKenzie, recently elected to represent the 103rd Assembly District in Ulster County, drafted these proposed changes to the Party rules. Nine other State Committee members signed onto the proposed amendments before they were originally submitted and six additional members signed on in June, 2017. At the July 25, 2017 meeting, the NYS Democratic Committee Progressive Caucus voted to endorse all five rule changes.

If you are a State Committee member and would like to add your name to the growing list of supporters, please fill out this form!

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