Monday, February 1, 2010

Opportunities for Progressives in participating in DFL Precinct Caucuses

Tomorrow night (Tuesday, Feb 2nd) is precinct caucus night. Please attend your caucus, and help us in the following ways:

To find your DFL Precinct Caucus location, use this site:

The important business of a precinct caucus is to elect a precinct caucus chair and associate chairs. It is very important that more Progressive Democrats of America (and DFL Progressive Caucus) members and supporters become DFL Party Officers at every level. Please volunteer to become a precinct chair or associate chair. The next most important pieces of business are the election of delegates to the County Unit (or in Metro precincts, the Senate District) convention, and delegates to the various preconvention committees.

We encourage you to become delegates to your County Unit convention, and also to the Resolutions Preconvention Committees.

Finally, the resolutions process is an opportunity to encourage the adoption of progressive, pro-peace policy by DFL endorsed and elected public officials, and party officers and staff. The resolutions process begins by you offering your resolution at your precinct caucus, and your caucus voting to adopt or defeat it. Resolutions adopted by a caucus get forwarded to the resolutions preconvention committee, who will then add it to a ballot to be considered by delegates at your county unit (or senate district convention). Each county unit can vote to approve and forward at least twenty resolutions to the State Convention. There delegates again vote to determine which resolutions will become part of the party platform. Success of a resolution at any level can be used to demonstrate support for our agenda when talking to legislators and media. Please report back the success or failure of our resolutions at caucuses and conventions.

Print out these resolutions and bring them to your precinct caucus on Tuesday night. If you know that your caucus site has multiple precincts assigned to it, bring extra copies of these resolutions and any supporting materials you find or create for people in other precincts. Try to arrive at least 15 minutes early, so you can distribute these materials, socialize, and make sure that the precinct convener receives a copy of your resolution and will forward your resolution and the results of votes on it to the Senate District organization.

Department of Peace Resolution on Official DFL form (PDF)

State of Minnesota shall divest from Israel Bonds Resolution on Official DFL form (PDF)

For more information about the Cabinet-level Department of Peace please consult resources at

For more information about divestment from Israel, please consult the following websites: US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, PDA's Israel/Palestine Action Group, and consider that Special Envoy to the Middle East for Peace, fmr. Sen. George Mitchell has signaled that economic sanctions including cancellation of loan guarantees may be used against Israel to force them to resume peace talks (a Palestinian condition for talks is Israel halting illegal settlement construction in Arab East Jerusalem), that three DFL Members of Congress from Minnesota signed the McDermott/Ellison letter calling on Obama to work to lift the siege of Gaza, and that 4 DFL Members of Congress have signed on to H. Res 130, supporting Senator Mitchell's mission to restart the peace process between Israel and Palestine.

One potential argument to employ against any critics of the resolution in your caucus: Legislation that might implement the State Board of Investment's divestiture might make the trigger to divest an act of the State Department, similar to the legislation for divestment from Iran, crafted by MN State Senator Terri Bonoff. Resolutions are not legislation, do not have to supply the level of detail required to enact a law, but are offered to inform and instruct law-makers.

Please report back to: your notes about your caucus experience, which resolutions were offered, if you or other known progressives or peace activists were elected as delegates and pre-convention committee members, or party officers. Please also report any obvious violations of party rules that were committed to obstruct any of these resolutions.

Also - if you are unable to attend your precinct caucus but would like to be part of the process, you have a chance to become a delegate by submitting the letter nomination form (PDF) - someone must bring it in (physically) to your precinct caucus convener on Tuesday, February 2nd at or just before 7 PM. You can also bring in letters from friends and family who would support you and these resolutions at your county unit convention.