DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR PARTY OF MINNESOTA
Constitution & Bylaws
As of March 2002
Amended 5 May 2001
§ 1. Name
The name of this organization shall be the Minneapolis Organization of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party of Minnesota.
§ 2. Policies
General rules and policies stated in the constitution, bylaws, and calls of the Fifth Congressional District DFL, Minnesota DFL, and the National Democratic Party 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.
§ 3. General principles
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. 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 encourage DFLers to recruit individuals for political activity in the DFL and government so underrepresented communities shall be represented in reasonable proportion to their presence in the state. We will recruit, encourage, and inform those who are underrepresented to participate in DFL party activities. Our plan is to ensure the openness of the party process and empower those with less opportunity rather than to guarantee the results.
These efforts will be directed toward underrepresented communities including but not limited to Low and Moderate Income Persons, Youths, Senior Citizens, People with Disabilities, African Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, Chicanos/Latinos/Hispanics, Native American Indians, Lesbians and Gays, and will ensure equal division between men and women at all levels as defined in the National Charter. We seek to provide communities with the skills necessary to pursue election to delegate, party and government positions, and to promote ongoing party participation.
We reaffirm our commitment to the family farmer, to sound trade unionist principles, and to the equality of men and women.
Voluntary contributions to the party may be made, but under no circumstances shall a contribution be mandatory for participation.
§ 4. Amendments; bylaws
(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.
(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.
§ 1. Superior documents
This constitution and any bylaws adopted pursuant to it are subordinate to the Fifth Congressional District DFL and Minnesota DFL constitutions and bylaws, 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.
§ 2. Subordinate bodies
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. Conflicting provisions
If there is a conflict between provisions of this constitution and general provisions of superior documents, the provisions of this constitution shall apply unless the superior document clearly prohibits such application.
§ 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 Finance Director, and two at-large Directors (one of each gender). These officers shall take office on December 1 of the year in which they were elected by the City Convention, or if that Convention did not complete its business, by a subsequent City Central Committee meeting. Officers elected to fill a vacancy take office immediately. Newly elected officers shall be non-voting members of the Executive Committee until they take office.
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 Minneapolis DFL Convention.
Bylaw 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.
Bylaw 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.
Bylaw 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.
Bylaw E. The 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 sample ballot.
Bylaw F. The order of temporary succession shall be Chair, Associate Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
§ 2. Minneapolis DFL Central Committee
The Minneapolis DFL Central Committee shall include the Minneapolis DFL Executive Committee, the ward coordinators, and those members of the Fifth Congressional District 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 III, section 5. A quorum shall consist of thirty percent of the elected delegates with one third of the senate districts represented.
Bylaw A. Committee meetings may be called by the Chair, by one-eighth of the membership of the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee, or by majority of the Minneapolis DFL Executive Committee. Notice of meetings shall be sent out not less than ten days in advance of the meeting.
Bylaw B. The Minneapolis DFL Central 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 consist of the Minneapolis DFL officers, the chair and associate chair of each senate district, and all members of the Fifth Congressional District DFL Executive Committee residing in the City of Minneapolis. The senate-district secretary and treasurer shall serve as ranked alternates for chair and associate chair to the Executive Committee only. A quorum shall consist of thirty percent of the members of the Executive Committee.
Bylaw A. 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.
§ 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.
§ 6. Minneapolis DFL Platform Commission
The Minneapolis DFL Central Committee shall select two co-conveners of opposite gender for the Minneapolis DFL Platform Commission. Each ward convention shall elect two members of opposite gender for a two-year term. During years in which no ward conventions take place in certain wards, the Central Committee shall select two members of opposite gender from those wards for a two-year term.
The Minneapolis DFL Platform Commission will propose a process by which a Minneapolis DFL Platform would be adopted. This Minneapolis DFL Platform will be a short statement on major Minneapolis-specific issues not contained in the State DFL Party Platform.
§ 1. Call
The Minneapolis DFL Central Committee shall issue the call for all special endorsing conventions provided for in this constitution.
Bylaw A. Ward conventions shall be held in those city election years in which City Council members are elected, no earlier than March 1 and no later than thirty days prior to the City Convention. Ward conventions may be scheduled as part of the City Convention.
Bylaw B. City Conventions shall be convened 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.
§ 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. Each ward convention shall consist of delegates and alternates elected by their precinct caucuses, in a manner for which the 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.
Bylaw A. Precinct delegates and alternates elected anywhere within Minneapolis at the most recent precinct caucuses who have moved within Minneapolis shall be eligible to participate in the ward convention as the last alternate in their new precinct.
Bylaw B. The convener of each ward convention 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.
Bylaw 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, Platform & Resolutions, and such other committees deemed necessary by the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee.
Bylaw 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.
Bylaw C. City delegates and alternates elected anywhere within Minneapolis at the most recent precinct caucuses who have moved within Minneapolis shall be eligible to participate in the city convention as the last alternate in their new precinct.
Bylaw D. The Minneapolis DFL Constitution Commission shall be an ongoing commission. During convention years when City Council members are elected, the commission delegates shall be elected at the ward conventions. During convention years when City Council members are not elected, delegates shall be appointed by the Minneapolis DFL Chair, subject to ratification by the City Central Committee and in accordance with the 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 term of office shall begin immediately following the City Convention and shall run through the following City Convention.
§ 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.
Bylaw A. 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.
Bylaw B. The timing in article IV, section 1, bylaw A, does not apply to a rescheduled convention.
The Minneapolis DFL Central Committee, by a two-thirds vote of those present end 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.