Events

DFL Executive Committee Approves Emergency Measures to Protect Against Coronavirus

This evening, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s Executive Committee met and approved a slate of emergency measures designed to combat the spread of COVID-19. These measures include:

  • All conventions scheduled from March 14th – May 1st are postponed. The Minnesota DFL is working on scheduling virtual conventions starting in April.
  • The Minnesota DFL will limit the business of all conventions, from OU to state, to only essential items: election of delegates and alternates, election of CD/state pre-convention standing committee members, conferring endorsements, and voting on resolutions.
  • The Minnesota DFL will prohibit any official DFL sponsored event, at all levels in the party, where more than 25 people would gather in person from occurring from March 14th – May 1st.  This includes fundraisers, party meetings, social events, unit central committees, conventions, etc.
  • The Minnesota DFL will shift all campaign organizing efforts, including direct voter contact, from in-person work to virtual work, and we encourage campaigns to do the same.
  • The Minnesota DFL Headquarters will not be available for DFL or public meetings from March 14th– May 1st.
  • The Minnesota DFL Headquarters will be closed to the public.  Only credentialed personnel, party leaders, and elected officials will be permitted to access the building from March  14th – May 1st.

Ken Martin, Chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party released the following statement:

“The Minnesota DFL is committed to doing everything we can to halt the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and well-being of all Minnesotans. Tonight, the Minnesota DFL’s State Executive Committee approved significant changes to our convention schedule which will allow us to conduct essential party business while dramatically lowering the risk of coronavirus transmission.

“The Minnesota DFL will immediately shift all conventions without contested endorsements from in-person events to teleconferences. All conventions with contested endorsements will be postponed for a period of six weeks. The Minnesota DFL will continue to monitor the situation carefully and may make future changes in consultation with public health experts.

“This was not an easy decision to make, however we are currently in the middle of one of the worst public health crises in the past century and the Minnesota DFL is committed to doing our part to keep our party members, candidates, elected officials, and the public at large safe during this difficult time.”

Below is a more detailed explanation of the changes adopted by the Minnesota DFL’s State Executive Committee. These changes are set to expire after the Minnesota DFL state convention:

DFL CALL TO CONVENTION

  • ORGANIZING UNIT CONVENTIONS: All conventions scheduled from March 14th – May 1st  are postponed.
    • For those conventions with no competitive endorsement contests, the OU must hold their convention using teleconferencing software which the Minnesota DFL will provide at no cost to the OU.  The convention must be rescheduled to one of the following weekend days, April 4th and 5th, April 18th and 19th, or April 25th and 26th.  The Minnesota DFL will provide training to OU leadership on the technology as well as help administer the technology for each convention. These OUs will be asked to select a three-hour window of time during which the convention will take place from a list that the Minnesota DFL will distribute. This will allow state party staff to assist with conventions.
    • For those conventions with a competitive endorsement contest, the OU must hold their convention in person on one of the following weekend days, May 2nd and 3rd, or May 9th.  The DFL will provide financial assistance to those units who incur significant financial hardship as a result of changing the convention date.
  • SENATE DISTRICTS CONVENTIONS:  All conventions scheduled from March 14th – May 1st are postponed.
    • The SD NON-ENDORSING UNIT must hold their convention using the teleconferencing software which the Minnesota DFL will provide at no cost to the SD NON-ENDORSING UNIT.  The convention must be rescheduled to one of the following weekend days, May 2nd and May 3rd, or May 9th. The Minnesota DFL will provide training to SD NON-ENDORSING UNIT leadership on the technology as well as help administer the technology for each convention.
    • For those conventions with a competitive endorsement contest, the OU must hold their convention in person on one of the following weekend days, May 2nd and 3rd, or May 9th.  The DFL will provide financial assistance to those units who incur significant financial hardship as a result of changing the convention date.
  • CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CONVENTIONS:  CD conventions scheduled on May 2nd and May 9th are postponed to May 16th and May 17th.
  • STATE CONVENTION PRE-CONVENTION COMMITTEE MEETINGS:  The in-person State Convention Pre-Convention Meetings scheduled for May 2nd and 3rd will be postponed to Friday, May 29th in Rochester, MN. At the discretion of the committee conveners, meetings may be held prior to May 29th using DFL-provided teleconferencing or video conferencing software. Resolutions must be submitted by May 15th.

RULES & BYLAWS

  • Loosening the requirements on party notification of events:  forgo notification requirements for party meetings, conventions, endorsements, etc.
  • Allow party units to conduct conventions via telephonic, internet, or other electronic means.
  • Allow delegates to conventions to carry up to (1) proxy vote for delegates who are unable to attend in-person conventions. These proxies must be instructed as to the vote preferences of the delegates not in attendance. Proxy instructions should be ranked whenever possible.
  • Prohibit walking sub-caucuses at conventions held via teleconferencing or video conferencing and elect all delegates from OU conventions to the CD/State convention as at-large delegates. The presidential preference of delegates will be recorded.
  • Limit the business of all conventions, from OU to state, to only essential items: election of delegates and alternates, election of CD/state pre-convention standing committee members, conferring endorsements, and voting on resolutions. All other business will be deferred automatically to the next regularly scheduled central committee meeting of that unit.
  • The Minnesota DFL will prohibit any official DFL sponsored event, at all levels in the party, where more than 25 people would gather in person from occurring from March 14th – May 1st.  This includes fundraisers, party meetings, social events, unit central committees, conventions, etc.
    • Meetings below 25 people should be moved to teleconference if possible. If they must be in-person, meetings should be conducted swiftly and limited to essential business.
    • The Minnesota DFL’s rules will be superseded by those of federal, state, and local public health authorities should the rules of public health experts be more strict than those implemented by the Minnesota DFL.
  • For those units that meet via teleconferencing or video conferencing, and where no contested endorsement occurs, the following will be allowed:
    • Alternates will be automatically upgraded to full voting delegates.
    • The DFL party will officially chair the convention in order to run teleconferencing and video conferencing software.
    • Candidates for delegate to the state convention and congressional district convention must indicate to the Minnesota DFL their intent to run one week prior to the convention.
    • Candidates for endorsement for legislative office must indicate to the Minnesota DFL their intent to run one week prior to the convention.
    • Candidates for election to congressional district pre-convention committees must indicate to the Minnesota DFL their intent to run one week prior to the convention.
    • Debate on resolutions will be limited to one speech in favor and one against.

OFFICE PROTOCOL

  • The Minnesota DFL will shift all campaign organizing efforts, including direct voter contact, from in-person work to virtual work, and we encourage campaigns to do the same.
  • The Minnesota DFL Headquarters will not be available for DFL or public meetings from March 14th– May 1st.
  • The Minnesota DFL Headquarters will be closed to the public.  Only credentialed personnel, party leaders, and elected officials will be permitted to access the building from March  14th – May 1st.
  • No official staff travel out-of-state from March 14th – May 1st.

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