Procedural Rules / How to Submit a Resolution

NOTE: The following is the initial result of work by the CDP Resolutions Committee, in consultation with the Rules Committee, to clarify and codify the procedures of the Resolutions Committee, as per CDP By-Laws Article V, Section 5c which reads in part:

"The Resolutions Committee shall establish and publish the procedures for the proposition of resolutions that are consistent with these By-Laws."

For the most part, these "Procedural Rules for the Resolutions Committee of the California Democratic Party" detail past procedures that the Committee has used in processing the large volume of requests sent to their Committee. The Resolutions Committee has worked with a number of people in drafting and finalizing this document in its attempt to clear up any potential confusion regarding the process.

I. Authority
Pursuant to the California Democratic Party (CDP) Bylaws & Rules, Article V Section §5(c), "the Resolutions Committee shall establish and publish the procedures for the proposition of resolutions that are consistent with" the CDP Bylaws.

Except as otherwise provided in these Procedural Rules or CDP Bylaws, the Resolutions Committee (hereinafter: "the Committee") will be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order. Except as otherwise provided herein, these Procedural Rules may be suspended by a 2/3 vote of the Committee members present and voting at a meeting of the Committee.

The Committee may set rules at Committee meetings for debate by members and will set rules allowing a sponsor of a timely resolution to speak in support of the resolution during a Committee meeting.

The Committee shall not send to the floor of a General Session any resolution calling for a change in the CDP Bylaws or platform; nor stating the endorsement of, support of a candidate for public office, nor opposition to a candidate who is a registered Democrat; nor mandating or restricting the spending of money by the CDP. Note that this prohibition may not be suspended in any circumstance.

II. Committee Chairs
The Committee will be presided over by co-chairs appointed by the CDP Chair. A lead chair may delegate responsibility to one or more chairs to conduct business between meetings of the Committee.

The responsibilities and powers of the lead chair(s) include, but are not limited to:

A. Conferring with staff and resolution sponsors or advocates prior to the annual CDP Convention or Executive Board meetings to develop a consent calendar for the Committee or otherwise help ensure the smooth operation of Committee meetings.

B. Acting as agents of the Committee or negotiating on behalf of the Committee to draft amendments, resolutions, or substitute resolutions; or appointing other members of the Committee or CDP staff to perform such roles.

C. Presiding over meetings of the Committee.

D. Conferring with the CDP Chair and staff concerning resolutions or resolutions procedures.

E. Representing the Committee in discussions and negotiations with other committees or caucuses.

F. Issuing parliamentary rulings at Committee meetings or when acting as Chair during a General Session of an annual CDP Convention or Executive Board meeting.

Note that decisions made by a lead chair or his/her appointee are not binding on the entire Committee, which may decide by vote at a Committee meeting to take an action other than that pursued by a lead chair or his/her appointee outside of a Committee meeting.

III. Presentation of Resolutions
All resolutions must be typed. A resolution, when initially submitted, must fit on a single 8 ½" x 11" page.* A resolution shall contain no more than three "inducement" or "whereas" clauses and no more than two "resolve" clauses, and shall be no longer than 400 words.

Resolutions may be presented to the Committee for passage at any Executive Board meeting or at an annual CDP Convention that will take place in an odd numbered year. Resolutions are not considered at "Platform Conventions," which occur in even numbered years.

All resolutions presented to the Committee for passage at an annual CDP Convention must previously have been adopted by a county Democratic central committee or a chartered Democratic organization, or must have been sponsored by 25 members of the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) or a majority of the voting DSCC members in attendance at a regional meeting as described in Article III, Section 4d of the CDP Bylaws.

All resolutions presented to the Committee for passage at an Executive Board meeting must be sponsored by a member of the DSCC.

If a resolution is sponsored by multiple DSCC members, a list of the sponsors and their respective assembly districts should appear at the bottom of the text of the resolution.

Although a resolution may be sponsored by multiple groups or individuals, for every resolution submitted to the Committee one single sponsor contact must be designated by the other sponsors. A single alternate sponsor contact is optional. The sponsor contact and alternate must be DSCC members. The sponsor contact and alternate will each be considered to have full authorization to negotiate with a lead chair of the Committee or his/her appointee regarding changes to or disposition of the resolution.

The following information about the sponsor contact and alternate must appear at the bottom of every resolution: name, email address (if any), and mobile or home telephone number.

Resolutions may be submitted three ways: via online submission form (preferred & recommended method); emailed to resolutions@cadem.org or mailed to the CDP Sacramento office at 1830 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811. Online submission is the safest way to ensure your submission is received.

IV. Form of Resolutions
All resolutions submitted for passage by the Committee must refer to the California Democratic Party. A resolution must not call for action by a local Democratic organization or county Democratic central committee.

All resolutions must be statements of principles.

Resolutions should generally not reference specific bill numbers or legislation. A resolution that references specific legislation will normally be returned to the sponsor contact to be rewritten as a statement of principle.

The Committee will, at any annual CDP Convention or Executive Board meeting that immediately precedes an election, consider and recommend to the floor a CDP position on each ballot measure certified by the Secretary of State for the upcoming election. No resolution supporting, opposing, or recommending a neutral position on a ballot measure is necessary and none will be considered. Democratic entities wishing to communicate their position on a ballot measure should do so at the meeting of the Committee.

No resolution shall call for a change in the CDP Bylaws or platform; nor state the endorsement of, support of a candidate for public office, nor opposition to a candidate who is a registered Democrat; nor mandate or restrict the spending of money by the CDP.

V. Actions That May be Taken by The Committee
Once a resolution is submitted to the Committee, it becomes the "property" of the Committee. As such, the Committee shall have authority to take any of the following actions with respect to a submitted resolution: send to the floor of a General Session; postpone to another meeting; refer back to the sponsor contact; grant a request by the sponsor contact for withdrawal of the resolution; allow for the addition of sponsors; or refer to another CDP committee, a CDP caucus, a county Democratic central committee, or other local Democratic entity. Furthermore, the Committee may amend or rewrite the resolution, merge it with another resolution, or provide a substitute resolution prior to sending it to the floor of a General Session.

If a lead chair, or his/her appointee, or the Committee proposes changes to a resolution (other than minor technical or grammatical changes), the sponsor contact will be notified of such proposed modifications. In the case of a resolution with multiple sponsoring individuals or organizations, the sponsor contact is responsible for communicating with the other sponsors and determining whether they wish to continue to be listed as sponsors of the resolution in its new format. The sponsor contact will notify the Committee of this determination no later than 5 pm on the day before the resolution is to be brought to the floor of a General Session or an annual CDP Convention or Executive Board meeting. If no notification is received from the sponsor contact authorizing the inclusion of the names of sponsoring individuals or organizations, the resolution will become a Committee sponsored resolution.

A. Referral to Other Entities: Prior to an annual CDP Convention or Executive Board meeting, the Committee’s lead chair(s) or their appointee will attempt to identify resolutions referencing issues that fall under the purview of another CDP committee or caucus. To the extent possible within the time available, resolutions being referred will be forwarded to the appropriate committee or caucus chairperson with sufficient time to allow the receiving entity to review and act, or recommend action, at the subsequent annual CDP Convention at which resolutions are considered (odd numbered years only) or Executive Board meeting.

When a lead chair or his/her appointee intends to refer a resolution that was submitted at least 30 days in advance of the upcoming annual CDP Convention or Executive Board meeting, he or she will notify the sponsor contact of this decision no later than 10 days prior to the upcoming annual CDP Convention or Executive Board meeting.

B. Resolutions Returned to Their Sponsors: Resolutions calling for action by a local Democratic organization or Democratic central committee will be returned to the sponsor contact and will not be considered to have been received by the Committee until the error is corrected. A sponsor contact may be asked by a lead chair or his/her appointee, prior to the beginning of an annual CDP convention or Executive Board meeting, to modify a resolution. If he or she submits changes to the resolution no later than 10 days prior to the start of the annual CDP Convention or Executive Board meeting, the modified version of the resolution will be heard by the Committee.

C. Resolutions Determined to be Reaffirmations: The Committee may declare that a newly submitted resolution is a reaffirmation of a previously passed resolution if the principle stated in the new resolution is substantially the same as that of a previous resolution. If a resolution is determined to be a reaffirmation, it will simply be adopted as such by the Committee and will not be sent to the floor of the General Session for a re-vote.

D. Prioritization and Action on Timely Resolutions: At an annual CDP Convention that takes place in an odd numbered year, the Committee shall send to the floor of a General Session (also known as “prioritizing”) between 10 and 15 resolutions for consideration by the Convention delegates. At a CDP Executive Board meeting there shall be no minimum or maximum number of resolutions sent to the floor of a General Session. The Committee will take action on all timely resolutions no later than noon on the day prior to the last scheduled General Session. The purpose of this deadline is to allow the sponsor of any resolution that was not sent to the floor of a General Session by the Committee, sufficient time to take action to bring their resolution directly to the floor as described in Section VIII below.

VI. Timely Resolutions
For a resolution to be considered timely it must be received by the CDP Sacramento office no later than 5:00 p.m., 30 calendar days prior to the start of the annual CDP Convention, or no later than 5:00 p.m., 30 calendar days prior to the start of an Executive Board meeting. The start of the Convention or Executive Board meeting is defined as the day the Chair or his/her designee calls the meeting to order.

Note that resolutions are not considered at "Platform Conventions," which occur in even numbered years.

VII. Late Resolutions
Resolutions not complying with the above time limits, for either Executive Board meetings or annual CDP Conventions, will be termed "late resolutions." In order for a late resolution to be considered for passage, the sponsor of the resolution must provide the CDP staff with 35 printed copies of the resolution for use by the Committee members. Submitters of late resolutions are also requested, but not required, to provide an electronic copy of their resolution to the CDP staff by email to resolutions@cadem.org or by other electronic means.

Late resolutions will be heard by the Committee only with unanimous consent of the members in attendance at a meeting of the Committee. Once a late resolution has received unanimous consent to be heard, it will be treated in the same way as if it had been submitted as a timely resolution.

No further action will be taken by the Committee on a late resolution that does not receive unanimous consent to be heard at that meeting of the Committee. However, the resolution will automatically be heard by the Committee, as a timely resolution, at the next Executive Board meeting or annual CDP Convention at which resolutions are considered. (Resolutions are not considered at "Platform Conventions," which occur in even numbered years.) The sponsor need not re-submit the resolution.

VIII. Floor Resolutions
As described in Section V above, some resolutions will not be sent to the floor of a General Session by the Committee, or will not be sent to the floor as originally submitted. The sponsor of a timely resolution that was defeated, tabled, postponed, referred, amended, rewritten, merged, substituted, or not prioritized shall have the right to gather signatures to directly present the resolution to the floor according to the procedures described in this section.

Article IV, Section 8c (2) and Article VII, Section 7d of the CDP Bylaws prohibit certain types of resolutions being brought to the floor of any General Session.

A. Any late resolution that did not receive unanimous consent, as described in Section VII above, has not been heard by the Committee and therefore cannot be brought to the floor. However, any such late resolution will automatically be heard by the Committee, as a timely resolution, at the next Executive Board meeting or annual CDP Convention at which resolutions are considered. (Resolutions are not considered at “Platform Conventions,” which occur in even numbered years.)

B. Any resolution calling for a change in the CDP Bylaws or platform, mandating or restricting the spending of money by the CDP, or stating the endorsement of, support of a candidate for public office, or opposition to a candidate who is a registered Democrat, shall not be heard by the Committee and therefore may not be brought to the floor under any circumstances.

To bring a timely resolution to the floor of an annual CDP Convention, the sponsor of the resolution must obtain the signatures of 300 credentialed DSCC delegates on official forms that will be provided by the Committee after it has taken final action on the resolution. Those signatures must be submitted to the CDP staff no later than 5:00 pm on the day before the resolution is to be brought to the floor of a General Session. If 300 signatures are verified, the sponsor of the resolution will, prior to the beginning of the General Session at which the resolution is to be brought to the floor, provide the Secretary of the Convention with sufficient printed copies of the resolution for each DSCC delegate in attendance.

To bring a timely resolution to the floor of an Executive Board meeting, the sponsor of the resolution must obtain the signatures of 135 credentialed DSCC Executive Board members or 40% of the entire Executive Board (whichever is fewer) on official forms that will be provided by the Committee after it has taken final action on the resolution. Those signatures must be submitted to the CDP staff no later than 9 am on the day of the General Session at which the resolution is to be brought to the floor. If 135 signatures are verified, the sponsor of the resolution will, prior to the beginning of the General Session at which the resolution is to be brought to the floor, provide the Secretary of the Convention with sufficient printed copies of the resolution for each Executive Board member in attendance.

IX. Non-Prioritized Resolutions
Any resolution passed by the Committee at an annual CDP Convention that was not prioritized or successfully brought to the floor as described in Section VII above, or any prioritized resolution not acted upon by the delegates to an annual CDP Convention, will automatically be heard by the Committee at the next Executive Board meeting. The Committee shall recommend that the Executive Board either adopt, adopt with amendment, or defeat the resolution. It shall not be referred, and it shall be presented at the General Session in its original form unless the sponsor contact agrees to any amendments or changes recommended by the Committee.

X. Miscellaneous
Resolutions adopted at an annual CDP Convention or Executive Board meeting will be posted on the CDP web site.

We need you to be a part of the California Democratic Party's blue wave by Donating Every Month between now and the 2020 Election! LEARN MORE

Stay Informed