( - promoted by Phillip Martin)
The primary election in Texas is only weeks away, and on the same night of March 4 the convention process begins with precinct conventions held at every polling place at 7:15 p.m. (7:30 p.m. for Republicans). A lot of attention will be placed on these precinct conventions as a way for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to pick up additional delegates. (For Phillip Martin's explanation of the process, click here: Part 1 and Part 2.)
But there's more to the precinct convention than just choosing a presidential candidate. Those who attend the precinct convention also have a chance to influence the party platform and to advocate specific legislative agenda through the resolutions process. (For my guide to resolutions in the Texas Democratic Party convention process, click here. The Republican Party of Texas follows a similar process.) Once every two years, the grassroots of the party have the opportunity to express their views collectively rather than individually, and this collective voice should be taken seriously by Democratic lawmakers.
If you want to introduce a resolution on an issue that is important to you, you don't necessarily need to write the resolution from scratch. You might find something on the internet. For example, if you want a resolution on global warming, try a Google search for "global warming" and "whereas," because resolutions invariably include the word "whereas." You can edit the resolution as you see fit, and close it with "Submitted to and Adopted by Precinct ____ in ____________ County, Texas, Senatorial District _____ on March 4, 2008" and add a signature line for the precinct convention secretary. If your resolution will call for specific legislation to be enacted, include a "resolved" clause with wording similar to this: "BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party urges the Congressional delegation from Texas to draft and support legislation" establishing whatever provisions you seek.
As I explained in my earlier posting, resolutions have a much better chance of rising to the level of the state convention if they are introduced in multiple counties and senatorial districts, and for that reason it is a good idea to circulate your proposed resolutions prior to March 4 through the website of a sponsoring organization.
I believe that the Burnt Orange Report is an appropriate place to post resolutions for use at Democratic precinct conventions in Texas, and my intention is to use this thread to share resolutions I have received that in my judgement are worth disseminating statewide. Most of these resolutions could also be used in the Republican convention process (far be it from me to try to stop Republicans from stealing our legislative goals!) if the language is modified appropriately (for example, substituting "Republican Party of Texas" in place of "Texas Democratic Party"). Remember that you can modify the language of the resolution any way you see fit, and if at any level of the convention process the same resolution arrives in multiple versions, the Resolutions Committee will decide which version will move forward, or the Resolutions Committee may combine different versions into a new one.