2010 TDP Resolutions Thread

25

Big tip of the hat to MarkCamann

Purposes of a resolution

1.  To memorialize someone recently deceased.

2.  To congratulate a person or group.

3.  To amend the Rules of the Texas Democratic Party (TDP).

4.  To amend the TDP Platform.

5.  To urge Democratic elected officials, especially in the Texas Legislature and the U.S. Congress, to advocate certain positions on policy issues.  As the delegates assembled at the state convention are the highest authority within the TDP, such resolutions should carry weight with elected officials as the consensus of the grassroots of the party.Structure of a resolution

1.  Give the resolution a title that indicates not merely the topic, but also the position to be advocated (i.e., instead of “Resolution on Vouchers for Texas Schools,” it would be better to put “Resolution Opposing Vouchers for Texas Schools”).

2.  List the reasons for the resolution at the beginning, each reason being in a separate paragraph beginning with the word “whereas” (capitalized, italicized or in boldface).

3.  List each action to be taken in separate paragraphs introduced by the words “be it resolved” (capitalized, italicized or in boldface).

4.  Use semicolons to separate each paragraph, and avoid periods.  A well-written resolution should consist grammatically of a single sentence.

5.  Keep the resolution brief.  It should fit easily on a single page.

6.  At the end of the resolution, write: “Submitted to and Adopted by Precinct __ in ___ County, Texas, Senatorial District ___, on March 2, 2010″ and leave a signature line for the precinct convention secretary, who will sign it if the precinct convention adopts the resolution.

I'll start by submitting a resolution for precinct conventions to consider on March 2:

RESOLUTION TO PROTECT THE MINERAL RIGHTS OF HOMEOWNERS

WHEREAS, the Texas Department of Insurance adopted a rule on August 13, 2009 to allow title insurance companies to take a “blanket exception” regarding their responsibility to determine whether a landowner also owns the mineral rights for a piece of property; and

WHEREAS, the rule makes it harder for Texas homeowners to know whether or not they own the mineral rights to their own property; and

WHEREAS, the rule may shield unscrupulous title insurance companies from legal action if they engage in wrongdoing;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party supports changes to the state insurance policy that will protect homeowners by strengthening their ability to obtain information about ownership of mineral rights on their property and abolishing the “blanket exception” available to title insurance companies.

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  1. Proportional Allocation of Texas Presidential Electoral Votes
    From the Progressive Action Alliance:

    WHEREAS, the “winner-take-all” awarding of Presidential Electoral Votes from the State of Texas results in disfranchisement of those who voted for the minority candidate; and

    WHEREAS, The U.S. Constitutional guarantee of “one man, one vote” has been reaffirmed by multiple Supreme Court verdicts; and

    WHEREAS, The “winner-take-all” awarding of Presidential Electoral Votes from the State of Texas results in the violation of the guarantee of “one man, one vote” by discarding the votes of those supporting the minority candidate; be it therefore

    RESOLVED, that the Texas Democratic Party should support:

    The institution, by State law or by amendment of State constitution, of proportional awarding of the State of Texas's Presidential Electoral Votes based on the proportional results of the U.S. Presidential voting within this State.

  2. Demanding Accountability from Texas Military Forces Museum
    WHEREAS, the Brigadier General John C.L. Scribner Texas Military Forces Museum was formally opened at Camp Mabry in Austin in November 1992; and

    WHEREAS, the stated “Vision” of the Texas Military Forces Museum is to “Create an outstanding public facility and a world class museum with compelling and informative exhibits telling the story of the Texas Military Forces from 1823 to the present and into the future” as well as to “Create a world class archives and library” and “Properly house and care for our artifacts;” and

    WHEREAS, the Texas Military Forces Museum has been incorporated with a State Charter and established as a not-for-profit corporation with the Internal Revenue Service; and

    WHEREAS, the Texas Military Forces Museum received in August 2007 a military diorama of the Battle of Palmetto Ranch, the last land battle of the American Civil War, constructed by students from the Highland High School in Gilbert, Arizona, under the tutelage of history teacher Glen Frakes over a period of three years; and

    WHEREAS, the diorama project involved the participation of more than 200 students who contributed over 7,000 man-hours of pro bono labor to the project worth an estimated $60,000 to $130,000, in addition to the estimated material cost of $23,000; and

    WHEREAS, Jeff Hunt, the current Director of the Texas Military Forces Museum, judged the Palmetto Ranch diorama to be historically inaccurate and, instead of returning the diorama to Glen Frakes and the students of Highland High School with comments and corrections, did knowingly and intentionally destroy the diorama; and

    WHEREAS, Jeff Hunt, in his capacity as Director of the Texas Military Forces Museum, in his destruction of artifacts entrusted to the care of the Texas Military Forces Museum, has committed a breach of the stated “Vision” of the Texas Military Forces Museum and a gesture of hostility towards the students and faculty of Highland High School in Gilbert, Arizona;

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party shall call upon our Democratic Congressional delegation to advocate and support legislation to revoke the State Charter and the not-for-profit corporation status of the Texas Military Forces Museum;

    AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Texas Military Forces Museum shall not be granted either a State Charter or not-for-profit corporation status until such time as the Texas Military Forces Museum makes restitution to Highland High School in Gilbert, Arizona, in the form of $23,000 in reimbursement of material costs, and furthermore accepts the resignation or otherwise dismissal of Jeff Hunt as Director of the Texas Military Forces Museum.

  3. RESOLUTION TO REGULATE CREDIT SERVICE ORGANISATIONS
    WHEREAS, Payday, auto-title and other short-term lenders have been registering as credit service organizations, or CSOs, with the Texas Secretary of State to avoid state usury laws and regulation by the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner  

    WHEREAS, CSOs take advantage of financially illiterate individuals, having no limits on the fees they can charge, and no restrictions on how the companies attempt to collect their debts

    WHEREAS, a segment of these financially challenged individuals, repeatedly renew these loans, incurring still more charges,

    WHEREAS, CSOs are not allowed to lend money directly to consumers, use a third-party broker, to skirt usury laws that prevent exorbitant interest rates by instead charging huge and unregulated service fees.

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party supports the establishment of regulation of credit service organizations under the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner and to prohibit the use of third party brokers by credit service organizations

    Suggestions

     

    • Let me promote at least one of these here
      RESOLUTION CALLING FOR THE REPEAL OF TEXAS “DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE” CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

      WHEREAS, we believe every Texan has the right to participate fully and equally in society and enjoy its benefits and freedoms, and

      WHEREAS, protecting vulnerable members of our state from unwarranted discrimination is fully consistent with the goals, aspirations and values of the Texas Democratic Party and Texans in general, and

      WHEREAS, the Texas Constitution Bill of Rights in Article I Section 3 states “all free men, when they form a social compact, have equal rights, and no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive separate public emoluments, or privileges, but in consideration of public services”, and

      WHEREAS, Article IV Section 1 of the United States Constitution specifies the duty of states to respect the  “public acts, records, and judicial proceedings” of other states, and

      WHEREAS, the states of Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont all hold that marriage is the legal right of all adult citizens,

      THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party calls for the repeal of Article I Section 32 of the Texas Constitution.

  4. Proposed TDP platform plank – Firearms
    From the Gun Owners Caucus of the Texas Democratic Party:

    The Texas Democratic Party supports the right of the people to keep and bear arms as expressed in the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America and Article I, Section 23 of the Texas Constitution.  We also acknowledge the necessity of prohibiting ownership of firearms by those who are convicted of a felony in an American court, deemed to be mentally incompetent, dishonorably discharged from American military service, and/or convicted of a crime of domestic violence.

  5. Fightin Childhood Obesity Through Nutritional Excellence in Texas Schools
    WHEREAS, the Texas Department of Agriculture is the administering state agency for nutrition policy and programs in Texas public schools; and

    WHEREAS, high-fructose corn syrup, a chemically altered caloric sweetener not found in nature, now represents over 40% of caloric sweeteners added to foods and beverages, including those served in meals and drinks served to students in Texas public schools; and

    WHEREAS, the increased use of high-fructose corn syrup in the United States mirrors increased rates of obesity, including childhood obesity;

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party shall call upon our Democratic Congressional delegation to advocate and support legislation mandating that no public school in Texas shall in any capacity serve, sell, or allowed to be offered for sale to students, faculty, or visitors any foods, drinks, snacks, desserts, or condiments that contain high-fructose corn syrup in any form, including but not limited to HFCS-42 and HFCS-55.

  6. Clean Energy Resolution

    Clean Energy Resolution

    For an Energy Efficient & Renewable Energy Economy for Texas

    WHEREAS; Texas can and should meet future energy needs, create green jobs and lead the nation by further developing energy efficiency and renewable wind, solar and geothermal technologies, and

    WHEREAS; Increasing energy efficiency benefits consumers, businesses and industries while reducing power demand at a third of the cost of generating electricity, and

    WHEREAS; Greenbuilding standards and improved building codes can help reduce energy demand and combined heat and power allows wasted heat energy to be tapped, and

    WHEREAS; Texas leads the nation in wind generation and solar potential, and clean energy technologies create more jobs than coal or nuclear plants, but

    WHEREAS; Coal plants contribute to air pollution and global warming and the health of Texans is threatened by seven additional coal plants that are under construction and four more that are proposed, and

    WHEREAS;   Nuclear reactors are extremely expensive, produce dangerous radioactive waste for which there is no storage solution, have security and safety risks, consume vast quantities of water, and the mining of uranium for nuclear fuel has contaminated drinking water in parts of South Texas, and nuclear power is not a solution to global warming, and

    WHEREAS; The two commercial nuclear reactors proposed for the Comanche Peak site west of Dallas/Ft. Worth and two proposed for the South Texas Project site near Bay City, are being rushed through licensing, despite citizen and legal opposition,

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the ___ Precinct (Pct #) of the Democratic Party of Texas that a moratorium on coal and nuclear plants should be enacted immediately and be effectively enforced in order to protect our economy, reduce climate impacts, and protect the health of all Texans, especially our children, and that Texas should lead the nation into a clean, sustainable future by pursuing energy efficiency and renewable energy.

    This resolution was authored by the SEED (Sustainable Energy and Economic Development) Coalition and Public Citizen's Texas Office.

    For more information on how we can achieve a clean energy future, go to http://www.IEER.org.  Dr. Arjun Makhijani's book is online there: Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free:  A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy.

  7. Equality Texas Resolution–Birth Certificates
    RESOLUTION

    SUPPORTING ACCURATE BIRTH CERTIFICATES

    Precinct #____________

    Senate District #__________

    __________ County, Texas

    WHEREAS, we believe every Texan has the right to participate fully and equally in society and enjoy

    its benefits and freedoms; and

    WHEREAS, in 2008, 6,375 children in the custody of the State of Texas were, unsuccessfully, awaiting

    adoption, and thousands of children remain in foster care for years, awaiting adoption; and

    WHEREAS, encouraging the adoption of children in the custody of the State of Texas is an important

    goal for a rational public policy; and

    WHEREAS, courts in the State of Texas further this goal by approving adoptions by two parents of the

    same sex, including same-sex partners, grandparents adopting their grandchildren, adoptions by multiple

    relatives, and adoption by the legally-married same-sex partner of their partner's biological children; and

    WHEREAS, the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics routinely issues amended birth certificates to the

    adopted children of heterosexual couples; and

    WHEREAS, the Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 192.008(a) explicitly prohibits the issuance of

    birth certificates to the children of same-sex parents that list both parents; and

    WHEREAS, a federal court has already ruled that a similar law in Louisiana is unconstitutional because

    “[r]egardless of whether out-of-state adoption decree[s] contravene [state] law or public policy, the

    obligation to recognize the judgment[s] under the full faith and credit clause remains,” and

    WHEREAS, the failure to list both parents on a birth certificate makes it more difficult for an adopted

    child to access many forms of government benefits, acquire a passport or a social security card, or

    register for public school, be picked up at school by an unlisted parent, or have an unlisted parent make

    routine medical decisions for the child; and

    WHEREAS, maintaining the access of children to education, state benefits, and a stable and recognized

    familial structure, are fully consistent with the goals, aspirations and values of the Texas Democratic

    Party and Texans in general;

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party supports the passage of an amendment to the Health and Safety Code to eliminate the limitation prohibiting the issuance of accurate birth certificates to the children of same-sex parents.

    Adopted by Precinct # _____ in Senatorial District # ___

    of __________ County, Texas on March 2, 2010.

    ___________________________

    Precinct Chair # ______________

    _______________ County, Texas

    Telephone ____________________

  8. Equality Texas Resolution–Non-Discrimination/Employment

    RESOLUTION

    SUPPORTING NON-DISCRIMINATION LEGISLATION

    Precinct #____________

    Senate District #__________

    __________ County, Texas

    WHEREAS, we believe every Texan has the right to participate fully and equally in society and

    enjoy its benefits and freedoms, and

    WHEREAS, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Texans suffer pervasive

    discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and education because of

    homophobia and a lack of legal protections, and

    WHEREAS, protecting vulnerable members of our state from unwarranted discrimination is

    fully consistent with the goals, aspirations and values of the Texas Democratic Party and Texans

    in general, and

    WHEREAS, non-discrimination laws help to ensure that LGBT people have equal access to the

    same opportunities and protections granted to others, such as the ability to work in an

    environment where people are judged by their job performance, not by their sexual orientation or

    gender identity or expression, and

    WHEREAS, the State of Texas does not have a statewide, non-discrimination policy covering

    sexual orientation and gender identity or expression,

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party supports the passage of

    comprehensive non-discrimination legislation that would make discrimination based upon sexual

    orientation, gender identity or expression illegal in employment, housing, insurance, education

    and public accommodations.

    Adopted by Precinct # _____ in Senatorial District # ___ of __________ County, Texas on March 2, 2010.

    ___________________________

    Precinct Chair # ______________

    _______________ County, Texas

    Telephone ____________________

  9. Equality Texas Resolution–Competitive Benefits

    RESOLUTION

    SUPPORTING COMPETITIVE INSURANCE BENEFITS

    Precinct #____________

    Senate District #__________

    __________ County, Texas

    WHEREAS, we believe every Texan has the right to participate fully and equally in society and enjoy its benefits and freedoms, and

    WHEREAS, the purpose of the University of Texas System is, according to its mission statement, “to cultivate in students the ethical and moral values that are the basis of a humane social order” and to “recruit and appropriately recognize exemplary administrators and staff members who provide leadership and support of the educational enterprise in an energetic, creative, caring, and responsible manner”, and

    WHEREAS, the partners and dependants of unmarried employees, whether straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, of the University of Texas and Texas A&M University Systems are currently denied coverage under university benefits, and

    WHEREAS, the State of Texas currently refuses to recognize certain marriages performed outside the state, and thus considers many employees as unmarried, and

    WHEREAS, Section 1601 of the Insurance Code requires the University Systems to provide insurance benefits “at least equal to” private industry, state agencies, and peer institutions, and

    WHEREAS, 23 of the top 25 national universities, 8 of the top 10 public universities, and numerous private universities in Texas such as Baylor College of Medicine, Southwestern University, Rice University, and Southern Methodist University already offer competitive insurance benefits to their employees, and

    WHEREAS, approximately 83% of Fortune 500 companies and several local government agencies, such as the City of Austin and Travis County, offer competitive insurance benefits, and

    WHEREAS, given that, nationally, millions are without adequate health care, ensuring equal access to medical care for employees and the integrity of the public university system, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or veteran status, is fully consistent with the goals, aspirations and values of the Texas Democratic Party and Texans in general, and

    WHEREAS, provision of competitive benefits would not affect, in any way, the status of marriage or conflict, in any way, with the existing Family Code, because such provision does not hinge on a recognition of a marriage or civil union, and

    WHEREAS, the financial burden on those employees without competitive benefits is insufferable, and the lack of coverage has led to the financial ruin of many employees, and

    WHEREAS, the lack of competitive benefits has been shown to greatly reduce the ability of Texas public universities to recruit and retain top faculty and staff, specifically because of the absence of such benefits and otherwise disparate treatment of employees, and

    WHEREAS, the University of Texas System has already lost top candidates for faculty positions to other university systems such as the University of California and Ohio State University, and

    WHEREAS, the cost of immediately implementing competitive insurance benefits has been estimated to be extremely small, and the cost at the University of Texas at Austin is estimated to be significantly less than the salary of a single reserve football coach, and

    WHEREAS, the lack of competitive benefits for public university employees creates an active climate of discrimination which harms the academic and educational goals of Texas public universities;

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party supports the passage of legislation empowering the University of Texas and Texas A&M University Systems, and all Texas universities, to provide competitive benefits to employees comparable with private industry, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or veteran status, thus bringing Texas into alignment with growing trends in the private sector as well as existing state law.

    Adopted by Precinct # _____ in Senatorial District # ___ of __________ County, Texas on March 2, 2010.

    ___________________________

    Precinct Chair # _______________________________ County, Texas

    Telephone ____________________

  10. Equality Texas Resolution-Safe Schools

    RESOLUTION

    SUPPORTING SAFE SCHOOLS FOR ALL CHILDREN

    Precinct #____________

    Senate District #__________

    __________ County, Texas

    WHEREAS, we believe every Texan has the right to participate fully and equally in society and

    enjoy its benefits and freedoms;

    WHEREAS, all children should be safe and feel safe while at school, regardless of their ability,

    color, country of origin, disability status, economic status, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or

    expression, parental marital status, physical appearance, race, religion, or sexual orientation;

    WHEREAS, one survey documented that up to 40% of all Texas school children were verbally

    harassed or bullied at least once during the previous year, and that 17% of Texas school children

    were physically abused or bullied at school during the preceding year;

    WHEREAS, a professional teachers organization found that over 90% of teachers surveyed

    reported that bullying and harassment were problems in their classroom;

    WHEREAS, simple school programs to discourage bullying and harassment have been shown to

    be inexpensive and effective;

    WHEREAS, successful programs to decrease incidents of bullying and harassment can also

    reduce the number of disciplinary referrals, decrease drop-out rates, and increase test scores.

    WHEREAS, cyber-bullying, through text, emails, social networks, etc. and has become a

    pervasive problem in our nation's schools;

    WHEREAS, the State of Texas lacks clear jurisdiction to address cyber-bullying off campus

    even when such bullying is severe enough to affect the educational environment;

    WHEREAS, the State of Texas does not have a statewide model policy or statute setting

    minimum standards or policies for schools to adopt or implement,

    WHEREAS, the State of Texas does not have any system or provision for reporting incidents of

    bullying or harassment;

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party supports the passage of

    legislation to protect all school children from bullying and harassment by requiring the State of

    Texas to promulgate, and Texas school districts to adopt, a model policy on bullying and

    harassment setting forth minimum acceptable standards, and the highest aspirations, for student

    safety.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Texas Democratic Party supports state-wide

    minimum standards for the prevention of bullying and harassment in Texas schools that:

        – are designed to make Texas schools safer without increasing the number or severity of

    disciplinary referrals of students;

        – require consistent reporting of incidents of bullying, harassment and sexual harassment,

    so that problems can be identified and addressed early;

       - establish reporting standards that aid in the identification of the causes of bullying and

    harassment;

        – grant school districts the jurisdiction to address all incidents of cyber-bullying that are

    serious enough to affect the educational environment on campuses, regardless of location

    or type of equipment used to bully;

        – require parental notification about incidents of bullying and harassment so that parents

    may be informed of risks to their children, and provide exceptions to this notification

    requirement if the such notification would pose risks to the students involved;

        – standardize the definition of bullying and harassment across the education code so that

    educators can know which standards or definitions to apply.

    Adopted by Precinct # _____ in Senatorial District # ___of __________ County, Texas on March 2, 2010.

    ___________________________

    Precinct Chair # ______________

    _______________ County, Texas

    Telephone ____________________

  11. Equality Texas Resolution–Republican Primary

    REPUBLICAN PARTY OF TEXAS

    RESOLUTION SUPPORTING NON-DISCRIMINATION FOR ALL TEXANS

    Precinct #____________

    Senate District #__________

    __________ County, Texas

    WHEREAS, we believe every Texan has the right to participate fully and equally in society and enjoy its benefits and freedoms, and

    WHEREAS, we acknowledge that many people's attitudes about homosexuality are based upon heartfelt beliefs, and their right to hold those beliefs must be respected while being balanced with the need to live in an open society that values respect, individual liberty and personal responsibility, and

    WHEREAS, beliefs regarding homosexuality, its morals, its causes, and its impact upon society have been unfairly singled out in our party platform, including in these excerpts from the most recently adopted platform, the 2008 Platform of the Republican Party of Texas:

    Family and Defense of Marriage – We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman, which is the foundational unit of a healthy society, and we oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists. We call on the President and Congress to take immediate action to defend the sanctity of marriage. We are resolute that Congress exercise authority under the United States Constitution, and pass legislation withholding jurisdiction from the Federal Courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage. We further call on Congress to pass and the state legislatures to ratify a marriage amendment declaring that marriage in the United States shall consist of and be recognized only as the union of a natural man and a natural woman. Neither the United States nor any state shall recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse. We oppose the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married.. ..

    Marriage Licenses – We support legislation that would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple and for any civil official to perform a marriage ceremony for such.

    Homosexuality – We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country's founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.

    Texas Sodomy Statutes – We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy.

    Child Support and Visitation – ….We also believe that no homosexual or any individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child, and that visitation with minor children by such persons should be prohibited but if ordered by the court limited to supervised periods.

    Adoption -…. We oppose mandatory open adoption and adoption by homosexuals.

    Support of Our Armed Forces -….We strongly recommend …..disqualification of homosexuals from military service; immediate discharge of HIV positive individuals…;

    and

    WHEREAS, Democratic party activists successfully use the anti-homosexual language in our Texas Party Platform as a tool for recruitment, fundraising and campaigning against us,

    WHEREAS, for victory in 2010, we must appeal for the votes of independents and moderate Democrats who do not hold negative beliefs about homosexuals, and

    WHEREAS, we seek the votes of gay Republicans who agree on the broad issues that make us all Republicans: limited government, lower tax rates, capitalism and a strong national defense, and

    WHEREAS, Republican parents and siblings of gay Americans, and gay Republicans, find the Platform's references to homosexuals to be offensive and deeply hurtful, and

    WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court has declared that “intimate, adult, consensual conduct” is protected under the United States Constitution, and

    WHEREAS, any issue presented by the threat of same-sex marriage in the State of Texas has been resolved by amendment to the Constitution of the State of Texas, thereby safeguarding the institution of marriage,

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Republican Party of Texas shall remove all negative references to the word “homosexual” in the party platform, including in those excerpts set forth above, and that such action be taken out of the dignity and respect accorded all citizens of the State of Texas.

    Adopted by Precinct # _____ in Senatorial District # ___ of __________ County, Texas on March 4, 2010.

    ________________________________

    Precinct Convention Chair # _________

    _____________________ County, Texas

    Telephone ________________________

  12. Clean Money Clean Elections
    Resolution to establish public funding of political campaigns in Texas

    WHEREAS political campaigns have become so expensive that ordinary Americans no longer feel they have a voice in their democracy and good people don't have a fair chance to compete and

    WHEREAS special interests have more influence over legislation than the voters and

    WHEREAS candidates and lawmakers spend more time fundraising than taking care of business

    THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED: that we shall create a publicly financed campaign system that gives candidates an option to forego private funding without having to undermine their ability to run a competitive campaign.  It also allows qualified candidates to run for public office without compromising their independence, since they won't have to ask for money from those with a vested interest in public policy.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT:  Precinct ___ Democrats endorse the passage of the FAIR ELECTIONS NOW ACT (S.752) in the Senate sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), and in the House (H.R.1826) sponsored by Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.). We also endorse the CLEAN MONEY, CLEAN ELECTIONS ACT (H.R. 2056) sponsored by Rep. John Tierney (D-MA).

    These bills would accomplish five key objectives favored by most Americans, as it would:

    • Eliminate the perceived and real conflicts of interest caused by the financing of campaigns by private interests;

    • Limit campaign spending by requiring that candidates who choose to participate in the Clean Money, Clean Elections system spend no more than the fixed amount of Clean Money, Clean Elections funding they receive;

    • Allow qualified individuals to run for office regardless of their economic status or access to large contributors;

    • Free candidates and elected officials from the burden of continuous fundraising; and

    • Shorten the effective length of campaigns (when the public is bombarded with broadcast ads and mass mailings) by defining the point at which candidates receive Clean Money, Clean Elections funding to pay for campaign expenditures.

    Submitted to and Adopted by Precinct Number____________, ________________________County

    Precinct Convention Secretary:____________________________________, date:________________

  13. Students for Gun-Free Schools Resolutions

    If you'll introduce these, you'll have my eternal gratitude.

    They're authored by Students for Gun-Free Schools — specifically: me, John Woods (Virginia Tech / UT-Austin), Philip Wiseman (UT-Austin), and Rebecca Eisenberg (Southwestern University).

    If you have any questions, you can reach me at 512 850 5824, or john at gun free schools dot org.

  14. Resolution in support of the Employee Free Choice Act
    Resolution in support of the Employee Free Choice Act

    WHEREAS unions have led American workers to higher standards of living whether or not they were members of a union

    WHEREAS unions led the fight for a 40 hour work week and health benefits

    WHEREAS corporations like Walmart have used illegal and unethical union busting tactics like threatening the jobs of employees and physical intimidation to prevent formation of unions

    WHEREAS the failure of the federal government to protect the rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain union membership has fallen to its lowest level in over 60 years

    WHEREAS protecting the rights of all working Americans is the duty of the federal government

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party supports the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.

    Submitted to and Adopted by Precinct __ in ___ County, Texas, Senatorial District ___, on March 2, 2010.

    _______________________________

    Convention Secretary

  15. Preserve the Existing Delegate Allocation System
    This might not be a popular stand, but I thought the “raucus caucus” energized the Democratic electorate.  I understand both sides, but I think there's something to be said for giving grassroots activists a voice in the process.  Otherwise, I'm afraid that important decisions will move back to the “smoke-filled rooms”, and we'll lose our input to the process.

    RESOLUTION TO PRESERVE THE EXISTING DELEGATE ALLOCATION SYSTEM

    WHEREAS, it is essential to provide motivated individuals the opportunity to participate in the political process in a meaningful way; and

    WHEREAS, a motivated core of faithful Democratic Party supporters is essential to ensuring victory for Democratic candidates; and

    WHEREAS, the two-part caucus and primary system in the State of Texas allows full participation by all Texans by way of their vote in the Primary Election; and

    WHEREAS, the same two-part system allows interested citizens to be directly involved in the process during the Caucus process; and

    WHEREAS, if the Caucus process is eliminated, important decisions will be made not by the people themselves, but by party bosses in a “smoke-filled room”;

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party supports the preservation of the current hybrid system of allocating presidential delegates by a combination of primary and caucus results, while continuing to make improvements to foster increased involvement by all those who wish to be involved in the process.

    • Haha I will take this one
      but I'm only going to submit it if there's an opposing resolution.

      Does anyone have a copy of Senator West's committee findings?  I was thinking about bringing that in case this issue came up, but I can't find it anywhere.

  16. Remove Barriers to Third Party Candidates
    I'll be flat-out honest: I'm more Green than Democratic.  As excited as I am about the Obama presidency, he's not a “liberal”.  “Socialist”?  You gotta be kidding me!  I'm tired of a two-party system where the sides are against each other JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE AGAINST EACH OTHER.  What this system needs is a third party, someone who can go in and say “I agree with you because you're right, not because you have a 'D' or 'R' after your name.”

    To anyone who is afraid of a third party “splintering” the party, I would suggest this: If your platform is so weak that a third party is a threat, you should strengthen your platform — because you're doing something wrong!

    Just look at the Republicans now… they've turned into a gooey mess because they've tried to suppress their Libertarian wing instead of letting it spin off on its own.  It will be their undoing.  But when we're in the driver's seat again, what will keep us from doing the same thing?  It's all about accountability.  I submit that allowing a third party into the mix will keep us Democrats honest — and will be better for the Citizens of Texas.

    RESOLUTION TO REMOVE BARRIERS TO THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES

    WHEREAS, the Citizens of Texas have a right to elect the representatives of their choice; and

    WHEREAS, the existing laws of the State of Texas have been drawn up in such a way as to prevent participation in the political process by any party other than the Democrats and Republicans; and

    WHEREAS, partisan politics between the two major parties have prevented important work from being accomplished both in Austin and in Washington; and

    WHEREAS, the Democratic Party of the State of Texas is strong and principled, and has nothing to fear from allowing other views to be expressed in the public forum; and

    WHEREAS, competition is a good thing, and will make the Democratic Party of the State of Texas stronger for its efforts;

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party supports eliminating the rule requiring any Third Party to obtain the signatures of 5% of Texas voters before the Party's name can be included on the ballot.

    • Result: Fail
      Is anyone surprised that this one didn't make it? There were only three of us at the convention, and one of the others was a just-out-of-college volunteer with a candidate's campaign. He maintained that we don't need a third party like the Greens, because the Democrats are moderate, and we don't need anything to the left of that. Great… that means the Republicans have succeeded in dragging the entire political discourse to the right. Now, our only choices are moderately conservative, radically conservative, and tea-party conservative.

      We had a spirited debate, but the other attendee ultimately sided with the party line. Fair enough. But my other resolutions passed, including the one for preserving the “two-step” caucus process. 3 out of 4 ain't bad. (For reference, the others were the Mineral Rights and Payday Loans resolutions.)

  17. Demanding an investigation into the tax protest of Rick Perry
    From the Texas Forward Campaign

    http://www.texasforward.org

    —————————-

    WHEREAS in March 2001, Governor Rick Perry bought an exclusive lot on Lake LBJ's Horseshoe Bay and

    WHEREAS Horseshoe Bay Republican Senator Troy Fraser sold Perry the Hill Country tract six months after Fraser bought it, along with an adjacent one and

    WHEREAS Rick Perry protested his first property-tax assessment OF $414,700 for this prestigious address and

    WHEREAS after Perry protested, the Burnet Central Appraisal District slashed its appraisal to $313,762, the price the governor said he paid to Fraser and

    WHEREAS the district kept this appraisal for six years during the now-notorious real estate bubble

    WHEREAS according to Burnet appraisal district Chief Appraiser Stan Hemphill, attorney Colleen McHugh of the defense firm Bracewell & Patterson (now Bracewell & Giuliani) filed a protest on the governor's behalf in November 2001 and at the time, McHugh was Perry's chair of the Texas Public Safety Commission and

    WHEREAS the protest argued that Perry's lot was worth $100,000 less than the appraised value and

    WHEREAS in December 2001, days after Bracewell announced it had recruited Perry Chief of Staff Barry McBee as a lobbyist, the district agreed to ­reappraise Perry's lakefront lot at the stated purchase price and

    WHEREAS in that first year, the devaluation lowered Perry's tax bill from $8,418 to $6,308 and

    WHEREAS over its six-year life, the lower appraisal kept more than $14,000 in the governor's pocket that he otherwise would have paid as taxes to local ­government entities (More than 60 percent of which would have gone to the Marble Falls Independent School District) and

    WHEREAS Burnet District Appraiser Tammy Ribera says that a sales price is widely regarded as the best indicator of a property's value-provided the sale is “arm's-length” meaning a deal made by two parties with no special ties with one another – financial, familial, political – and no incentive to stray from market value and

    WHEREAS the Texas Tax Code, defines “market value” as the price a property would sell for if “both the seller and purchaser seek to maximize their gains and neither is in a position to take advantage of the exigencies of the other” and

    WHEREAS the property was bought from Rick Perry by Wallace Holdings LLC in 2007 and

    WHEREAS Wallace Holdings LLC advertised the property with an asking price of $2.85 million – nine times what Perry states he paid Fraser for it

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party demand an official inquiry into this incident from the Texas Ethics Commission and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Burnet County Commissioners' Court investigate the relationship between the Burnet Central Appraisal District, Governor Perry, and Senator Fraser in reference to this incident and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Rick Perry be required to pay back lost tax revenues to Burnet County and the Marble Falls Independent School District and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Burnet County Commissioners' Court officially rebuke Rick Perry and Troy Fraser for using their position, influence, and connections to relieve the burden of the very taxes Rick Perry and Texas Republicans claim to have cut in the face of an $11 – $15 billion dollar state deficit.

    Submitted to and Adopted in _________________ County, Texas, Senatorial District ___, on March 20, 2010.

    _______________________________

    Convention Secretary  

  18. Good points
    I'm guilty of “stuffing” a resolution or two, myself.  If you can keep a resolution relatively clutter-free, it'll stand a better chance of passing both at the precinct and at the senatorial level.

  19. I agree with clutter-free
    After you've written your resolution, it's worth taking a close look at the “Whereas” clauses to see whether they build a convinving case for why the actions specified in the “Resolved” clause are needed.  Any “Whereas” clause that doesn't help to make your case is just begging to be deleted.

    (Thanks, Derby, for bringing back this article that I wrote two years ago. I'm thrilled to see my name mentioned on the front page of my favorite website!)

  20. Happy to do it!
    As KTM said earlier, a lot of people think the 2010 midterms might not be “sexy,” but they're possibly more important to the future of Texas government – not to mention redistricting – than the 2008 elections were.

    Corpus Christi or Bust!

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