Minneapolis City DFL 2004 Convention - Proposed Rules

These will be proposed by the Rules Committee to the 2004 Minneapolis DFL City Convention.

Minneapolis Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party


Saturday 15 May 2004

10:00 a.m.

Orpheum Theater

910 Hennepin Avenue


Accessible site


Registration 9:00 a.m.

  1. Call to Order 10:00 a.m.
  2. Credentials Committee's preliminary report
  3. Rules Committee's report
    1. Adoption of the agenda
    2. Adoption of the rules
  4. Reading of Affirmative Action Statement
  5. Election of permanent Convention chairs
  6. Appointment of Convention officials
  7. Credentials Committee's second report
  8. Consideration of Constitutional Amendment (30 minutes)
  9. Earl Netwal (Ward 12, Precinct 9) will move the following amendment:

    Resolved, That the constitution is amended by striking from article IV, section 2, the second and third sentences, thereby repealing the amendment adopted at the 2001 City Convention requiring precinct caucuses in the same calendar year as municipal elections.

    Note: The amendment would result in the following change to the current provision (wording to be struck out is struck out):

    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.

  10. Endorsement of candidates for Board of Education (3)
  11. Nominating Committee's report; election of officers
    1. Chair
    2. Associate Chair
    3. Secretary
    4. Treasurer
    5. Affirmative Action Officer
    6. Finance Director
    7. Directors (one of each gender)
  12. Other business
  13. Adjournment




1. Registration. Registration shall begin at 9:00 a.m. and shall remain open until adjournment of the Convention. Delegates and alternates to this Convention shall be the delegates and alternates now residing in Minneapolis who were elected at 2004 precinct caucuses from precincts in Minneapolis.

2. Seating.

(a) Delegates and Alternates serving as Delegates will be seated by Ward. Ward maps will be available in the registration area. No new delegate may be seated from the time that ballots are distributed until they are collected.

(b) Alternates shall be seated separately in the auditorium until the Credentials Committee has given its first report, at which time Alternates may proceed to the registration area to be upgraded. In Wards in which there are more Alternates than available slots and in which the Alternates were nor ranked, Alternates will be upgraded by lottery.

(c) Delegates leaving the Convention floor shall turn in their badges to the delegation chair. Delegation chairs shall turn in returned badges to the Credentials Committee.

(d) Any delegate or alternate who has moved outside his/her precinct but within the City shall become last alternate in his/her new precinct. If there is more than one delegate and/or alternate who has become last alternate, lots shall be drawn to determine rank.

(e) Disputes as to eligibility may be referred by the complainant to the Credentials Committee for resolution and may be appealed to the Convention thereafter.

(f) Only delegates, alternates serving as delegates, candidates for endorsement, Convention officials, and elected public officials shall be allowed on the floor of the Convention. Each campaign shall be allotted four floor passes and may distribute these to any of its campaign workers.

3. Delegation chairs. The Ward delegation chair shall be the highest-ranking officer if present; otherwise, the Ward delegation chair shall be appointed by the Convention chair.

Limits on Speakers

4. Debate on Motions and Resolutions. Only delegates or alternates serving as delegates may participate in debate. Each speaker shall be limited to one minute. After three alternating speakers have been heard on each side of an issue, further debate is excluded, except that debate may be extended for a specific time by a majority vote. A motion to extend debate is not debatable. Speakers must identify themselves and their Ward when recognized and must address the Convention using the public-address system, provided that the chair shall reasonably accommodate persons who are unable to use the public-address system.

5. Debate on Proposed Constitutional Amendment. The author of the proposed amendment will read the text of the amendment to the Convention. The author of the amendment shall have up to 4 minutes to address the Convention in support of the amendment. Up to five speakers in opposition to the amendment will have up to two minutes each to address the convention. Up to three speakers in favor of the proposed amendment will then have up to 2 minutes each to address the convention. Speakers for and against will alternate. Debate will then be closed.

6. Special guests. At the discretion of the Chair, DFL-endorsed candidates, elected officials and special guests may address the Convention for up to one minute per speaker.

Voting Procedure

7. Literature. Campaign literature may not be distributed in the Convention hall during balloting.

8. Voting. All voting shall be by delegates and alternates serving as delegates who are sitting in the location designated for their Ward. The only exceptions shall be tellers, people working at the credentials area, and other workers who are considered by the chair to be essential to the business of the Convention. Roll call or announcement of votes by Ward shall not be allowed. Paper ballots shall be used for endorsements and any contested elections but shall not be allowed for further business unless moved and supported by at least one-third of the delegates present. The Convention tellers shall distribute, collect, and count the ballots by ward. No more than two representatives of each candidate on the ballot shall be allowed to observe the counting. After tellers total the ballots, the totals by candidate will be reported to the Convention. The results by Ward shall be available to any delegate or Convention official.


9. Nominations for endorsement.

(a) For each office, the chair shall first call for nominations from the floor for endorsement. Nominations shall be by name only. After the candidates have been named, the chair shall determine an order for speaking time by lot.

(b) Each nominee shall be allowed a total of five minutes to address the Convention, as the candidate sees fit.

(c) No time shall be allowed on behalf of candidates present and declining the nominations. After the conclusion of speeches, there will be a 45-minute question-and-answer period.

(d) Each nominee shall state whether he or she will or will not run against the DFL candidates endorsed for the office if three candidates are endorsed.

(e) All questions must be submitted in writing to the chair before the beginning of the question-and-answer period, with name, ward, and precinct of the questioner. Only single questions will be accepted.

(f) The chair will select questions at random to ask. Inappropriate questions may be discarded at the discretion of the chair. Inappropriate questions are those of a personal nature, those meant to be answered by only one candidate and redundant questions.

(g) Each candidate will have a maximum of 60 seconds for a response to each question. The order of answering will begin in reverse order of the nomination speeches and will rotate with each question.

10. Requirements. A 60-percent affirmative vote of the delegates voting on the issue shall be required for endorsement. The phrase "60-percent affirmative vote" means that to be endorsed, a candidate must receive 60 percent of the votes cast for that ballot, excluding blanks and abstentions. Ballots marked no endorsement shall be valid. Each vote for endorsement shall be a test of quorum. When more than one person is to be elected, the Convention may endorse as many persons as there are positions. Each delegate may vote for as many candidates as there are persons to be elected. A 60-percent vote of no endorsement means that there shall be no further endorsement for that office. Balloting for that office will then cease.

11. Balloting for endorsement. There shall be a minimum of five ballots before a motion to adjourn or no endorsement is in order. Following the acceptance of each ballot's results by the Convention, the paper ballots shall be immediately destroyed. Any candidate not receiving 10 percent or more of the ballots cast shall be automatically dropped between the first and second ballots. Any candidate not receiving 15 percent or more of the ballots cast shall be automatically dropped between the second and third ballots. Any candidate not receiving 20 percent or more of the ballots cast shall be automatically dropped between the third and fourth ballots. The candidate with the lowest vote totals after the fourth ballot and each subsequent ballot shall be automatically dropped until there remains no fewer than one more candidate than there are remaining positions for endorsements.

12. Election of Party officers. For each office, the chair shall call for nominations by name only. After the candidates have been named, the chair shall determine speaking order by lot. Each candidate will have one minute to address the Convention. Elections shall be by majority vote.

13. Central Committee endorsement. Prior to the primary, the Minneapolis DFL Party Central Committee may not endorse. If DFL-endorsed candidates should fail to win the primary, the Minneapolis DFL Party Central Committee shall be empowered to endorse candidates.

General Rules

14. Campaign signs. Only campaigns seeking endorsement at this Convention may post signs inside the Convention hall. Signs may NOT be affixed by any method to any surface inside the Orpheum theater. Freestanding and hand-held signs only will be allowed in the Convention hall. Signs may be posted beginning at 9:00 a.m., and must be removed by the campaigns at the end of the Convention. All arrangements must comply with the rules of the Orpheum Theater.

15. Other business. City Convention business shall take precedence over other conventions.

16. Officials. The chair shall appoint the Convention tellers and other officials as required. Staff persons shall serve at the discretion of the chair.

17. Quorum. The quorum for this Convention shall be 50 percent plus one of the number of persons registered and seated as delegates reported in the second Credentials Committee report.

18. Motion to table. A motion to table shall be construed as a motion to postpone indefinitely and, therefore, shall be debatable.

19. Parliamentary procedure. This Convention shall be governed in turn by the DFL Call, the State DFL Party Constitution, the Fifth Congressional District DFL Party Constitution, the Minneapolis DFL Party Constitution, these rules, and Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised. The Convention shall be its own judge as to the interpretation of these rules.

20. Resolutions. Minneapolis-specific resolutions are in order. Resolutions moved for consideration by the Convention may be so moved from the floor by a written petition signed by at least 10 percent of registered Delegates. Resolutions must pass by 60 percent of delegates voting.

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Bash,

Dorian Eder,

Melissa Kovach,

Lauren Wood, and

Earl Netwal, chair,

Rules Committee.

Last updated on May 12, 2004