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, 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, 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.