Update from your State Democratic Executive Committee members
Now that the historic 2018 Mid-Term elections for Texas Democrats, and 2018 holidays season are behind us, AADT and TDP will continue to build on our successes for the crucially important 2020 season. The next quarterly SDEC meeting will be on Saturday, March 30th at Leander High School in Leander, Texas, and all welcome to attend.
Prior to attending the general plenary session of December 15, 2018, AJ Durrani; Razi Asaduddin; Emad Salem; Syed Hassan; Francine Ly and Huma Ahmed, participated in each of their committees. The following are brief summaries of those committee meetings:
Legislative Affairs Committee
The committee heard from staff liaison Glen Maxey, the TDP Legislative Affairs Director, who provided some positive results from the 2018 Mid-Term election. Most notable is that Texas Democrats now control County Commissioners Courts representing 85% of the state’s population. He indicated that the deadline to file bills is March 6th and as TDP gears up for the Texas 86th Legislative Session, one of the goals for this legislative session is online voter’s registration, which includes but not limited to the following:
-- electronic or online voter registration,
-- automatic registration,
-- same day registration,
-- two (2) year vote by mail applications,
-- automatic renewals by Clerk of vote by mail,
-- requesting out of county ballots be sent by email if no address available,
-- allowing vote by mail for caretakers of persons with disability, truckers, and off shore workers,
-- allowing early voting ballot boards and signature committees to allow corrections to ballots:
-- making a list of rejected mail ballots available and allowing voter to cure defects,
-- allowing mail ballots postmarked to arrive through sixth day after election;
-- appointing alternate judges of early voting ballot boards,
-- allowing update of voter registration address on same application as ballot by mail request,
-- clarifying deadlines for vote by mail (closed offices and postal issues),
-- optional for county to do early voting on weekend before election,
-- deputy voter registrar statewide jurisdictions and training;
-- requiring campus early voting at colleges over 10k,
-- removing limit on new countywide polling place counties,
Report from TDP Legislative Advocacy Director Birk Wilkison, which includes his new responsibilities involving advocacy to help win back a Texas House majority in 2020 by focusing on online trainings and other infrastructure to help win back rural voters who is the key to victory without straight party voting next year.
David Griggs, chairs the Legislative Committee, announced nine new subcommittees which will be formed to organize around issue areas for the 86th Legislative Session:
-- Agriculture and Rural Issues
-- Business Investments, Financial Services, Insurance, Pensions and Taxation
-- Criminal Jurisprudence, Corrections, Homeland Security and Public Safety
-- Defense and Veterans Affairs, International Affairs and Trade
-- Elections and Redistricting
-- Ethics, Governmental Affairs and Reform, Intergovernmental Affairs, Urban and County Issues, Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence
-- Higher Education and Public Education
-- Health and Human Services
-- Environmental, Natural Resources, Energy, Transportation, Recreation, Parks and Water
Report and updates came from Kolby Duhon, Chair, TDP Deputy Executive Director (now Executive Director) Manny Garcia, along with several TDP staff members who updated the committee on the various communication tools being used by the Party this fall, including an emphasis on digital communications. TDP reportedly earned $50 million in media during the election (included MSNBC cable news programs, the Texas Tribune and other state and national media outlets). Staff also reported on the statewide Fair Shot Tour during the fall, covering 40 Texas cities and reaching 7 million Texans in 35 media outlets. Digital Communications reportedly generated 5.4 million text messages sent to 1.9 million Texans, resulting in 37,000 volunteer responses that generated $1.9 million. The committee also heard from two newly-elected state representatives from central Texas - Reps. Erin Zweiner (HD 45) and James Talarico (HD 52) - who shared their experiences from the campaign trail.
Remember the TDP digital and communications resources are available to Party volunteers include:
1. Presentation on National Delegate Selection Plan and Adoption of Method of Allocating National Delegates to Senate Districts:
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has allocated a total of 262 National Delegates and 19 Alternates to Texas for the 2020 Democratic National Convention by the DNC. This is an increase from 240 and 17, respectively form the 2016 allocated figures. Of the total 262 allocated to Texas for 2020, 149 National Delegates would be elected from the 31 Senate Districts in Texas at the 2020 Democratic State Convention. The 19 Alternates spots shall be allocated to Presidential Preference by statewide primary results.
The Rules Committee was tasked to come up with a recommended method to allocate these 149 slots to the 31 SDs.
The TDP staff had developed matrixes which showed the allocation utilizing two procedures -- Method 1 (Equal weight given to the average of last two presidential elections and populations of the district) and Method 2 (Equal weight to vote in most recent presidential (Clinton) and most recent gubernatorial (Valdez) Elections).
After discussion, a motion was made and seconded to adopt Method 2. This Committee decision will be forwarded to the next full SDEC meeting for approval.
The staff will post the 2020 Delegate Selection Plan draft on our website thirty days before the meeting for public comment. The Rules Committee officers and staff will prepare an overview of the plan and post it at that time, also. The Rules Committee will consider any comments submitted during the comment period at their meeting immediately prior to the meeting on March 30th, amend the Plan accordingly, and the SDEC MUST adopt it that day. It is due at the DNC Rules and Bylaws committee on May 3, 2020.
The Affirmative Action Committee, appointed by TDP Chair, will complete its work on the Affirmative Action Plan by the end of February and it will be a part of the Delegate Selection Plan. They will make a recommendation on the affirmative action goals at that time, and any amendments to their recommendation MUST be submitted to the Rules Committee during the 30-day public comment period.
2. Consideration of Proposed Rule on ratio of Delegates to 2020 State Convention:
The current TDP Rule for determining State Delegates at the County or Senatorial District Convention allocates one State Delegate slot for each 225 votes for the Party’s candidate for Governor in the last General Election. Given the very large turnout for the recent November 2018 General Election, this ratio would result in a historically large State Convention delegate number which is unlikely to be sustained by actual attendance and considerable Party resources would be expended to plan for a figure which would not actually occur. TDP staff suggested that the Rule be amended to go back to the ratio of 300:1 which would still result in a Convention of some 12,000 State Delegates. No decision was made and this item will be the subject of further discussion.
The staff will recommend that the 2020 Primary ballot does not have a line for “uncommitted” after the candidates for President. This is an option we could choose. Since this is a major policy decision, the Rules Committee will discuss and amend the plan if the body decides to do so.
The committee assignment of identifying 5 compliments and 5 challenges (Pros and Cons) experienced at the 2016 and 2018 Texas State Conventions was extended as there were only a handful of committee members who submitted the assignment.
Again, committee members and convention attendees are encouraged to reach out to their caucus members to ensure that everyone’s input/output are realized and received.
Of note: connectivity was of major concern and interest to be resolved for the next Texas State Convention. We all have unlimited data; however, the problem is that there are no service while inside the building.
The only business on their agenda was the approval of five new County Chairs along with the new SDEC representatives from the Non-Urban/Agricultural Caucus who were elected the night before.
Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association
During AADT’s executive members lunch hour, we meet with Alice Yi, the President of the Austin Texas Chapter of APAPA to discuss AAPI data and how best to utilize the information to increase voter’s turnout in the Asian American communities.
AADT’s membership dues are $20 per member, from State Convention to State Convention, which is a 2-year membership. AADT Executive Members meets quarterly and are generally held immediately upon the conclusion of the Texas State Democratic Party’s SDEC meetings. This helps keep close travel, lodging, meals and other out-of-pocket expenses for AADT Executive Members.
AADT’s membership dues used to pay for refreshments and food provided to caucus attendees at the Texas State Convention.
For your convenience, AADT’s membership form is attached, please complete and return with your check to our treasurer at:
Asian American Democrats of Texas (AADT)
Attn: Nabila Mansoor, Treasurer
7719 Ehrhardt Lane
Sugar Land, TX 77479
OR if you prefer to pay by credit card via ActBlue at: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/aadt_membership#basics
As always, it is our honor to represent you. Again, contact us with any questions or concerns.
Razi Asaduddin, President – AADT Francine Ly, Vice President – AADT
SD Executive Committeeman SD Executive Committeewoman
Cell: (832) 429-7294 Cell: (972) 863-2935
AJ Durrani, DNC – AADT
Cell: (713) 702-2377