Convention 2016

Sunday afternoon, April 3, Central High School

Our SD64 DFL Convention will be held on the afternoon of Sunday, 3 April 2016 at Central High School, 275 Lexington Parkway North. If you have been elected a Delegate or Alternate to the convention at your precinct caucus, please join us for the afternoon.

Registration opens at 12:30pm, the Convention begins at 1:00pm. Allow time for parking and carpool or use transit if you can.

If you need special accommodations (interpreter, seating, parking etc.), contact Liz Wefel chair@sd64dfl.org.

Parking at Central High School

Delegates to the SD64 convention should enter in the gym (west-facing) entrance to Central High School on Marshall Ave labeled “door 13” (even though the address is listed as 275 N. Lexington Ave.). As the gym entrance has stairs, the handicap-accessible entrance is door 2, on the ground level to the right of the main stairs on the south face (see the map below).

central-plan

Parking on-site is limited, so if you do not live in the vicinity of Central, we highly recommend carpooling or the use of public transportation (Central High is on bus route 83, a half mile south of the Lexington Ave exit from the Green Line). The front lot near the south entrance is expected to fill quickly, so participants could use the back (north) lot or the single line of parking spots by the gym entrance (west side). There is street parking and some overflow parking at both the Dunning Rec Center to the west and Oxford Community Center to the east on the other side of Lexington. As both Marshall and Lexington are very busy, please be careful walking to the caucus.

What Happens at the Convention?

The DFL Party uses conventions to endorse candidates and to debate and set the issues the Party will stand for. The convention process sets the framework for the DFL Party by helping shape the platform and Action Agenda, selecting candidates who will receive endorsements, electing party leaders, and voting on the party constitution and bylaws. These meetings are a great way to get involved in the democratic process and make your voice heard—even if you’ve never attended before.

General Tasks at the Convention:

  • Election of local party leaders
  • Election of delegates and alternates to the next level of conventions in the DFL structure
  • Discussion of proposed resolutions to the DFL platform and Action Agenda
  • Endorsement of Candidates
  • Deliberation of party unit constitutional changes

For further information on DFL conventions in Minnesota, please see the MN DFL caucus/convention info page.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve put together a short list of some of the most frequently asked questions about SD 64 conventions. If this is your first convention, or if you have any questions, please read below. If you have any questions not addressed here, let us know at info@sd64dfl.org.

How long will it last?

If things run smoothly, we hope that we can get through the agenda in a few hours. Many items such as the election of officers and directors should go fairly quickly because we propose and adopt the nominations as a slate. Other items have the potential to take longer, such as subcaucusing for state delegates. We have some suggestions below on what you can do to help make the day go smoothly.

What can I do to make things run smoothly?

Review the materials that we will be covering

Read through the agenda and through these FAQs. Look at the materials that we’ll be discussing, such as the proposed rules. If you’ve never subcaucused before, look at the information on that process (see below).

Ask your questions in advance

If you have questions regarding the agenda, the process, or anything else, let’s try to get those answered in advance. Please contact us at info@sd64dfl.org and we’ll help you understand the process.

Volunteer to help at the convention

We need lots of volunteers to help the convention run smoothly! If you can help on the day of, please let us know at arrangements@sd64dfl.org.

What should I bring?

As we expect a relatively short convention, we will not be having any catering or food at the convention, you might want to bring some snacks. However, please note that food is not allowed to be eaten inside the gym.

Bring a pen or two for filling out resolutions ballots. We also ask that you consider bringing cash or a check to make a donation to the Senate District. Conventions are very expensive to run. We have to rent the space and the equipment and we pay for printing and supplies. We will be spending several thousand dollars to put this event on and it’s all funded by donations.

How do I get elected to be a state delegate? How does subcaucusing work?

SD64 DFL will be electing 28 delegates and 28 alternates to the State DFL Convention, which will be held in Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis on Saturday, June 4th. The purpose of the State Convention, among other things, is to endorse state-level candidates, such as governor, secretary of state, U.S. Senator, etc.

All delegates and alternates elected will also become delegates to the Fourth Congressional District Convention, which will occur on May 22nd in St. Paul (tentatively scheduled for Noon at the Carpenter’s Union Hall), where we endorse a candidate for the U.S. House.

Elections typically take place through subcaucusing. This 2008 video by Team Franken might give you a feel for the subcaucus process. The video is a few years old and was originally meant as a guide for precinct caucuses, but the same principles apply to this year’s convention (the part on electing delegates and subcaucusing starts at about 1:30 in the video).

You may also find our subcaucus calculator helpful for following the action, but be aware that the only calculation that will count at our convention will be whatever is being done by the chair and those managing the convention.

How can I make subcaucusing run more smoothly?

If someone nominates a subcaucus with a candidate (or issue) that interests you, consider joining their subcaucus. Although you can still form your own, the more subcaucuses we have the longer it will take. You don’t need to nominate your own subcaucus to become a delegate.

To make things run more smoothly, we suggest you limit the length of your subcaucus name to five or fewer words. Remember the first word must be a candidate name or uncommitted. For example “Franken – Healthcare” or “Dayton – Labor.” Additionally, per the DFL Call the name of a sub-caucus “must not be readily confused with the title of a previously nominated subcaucus.” If you call a sub-caucus, keep the name short, clear, and easily distinguished. The Convention Chairs may rename your sub-caucus for clarity or even reject those that violate the Call.

We will have poster board available if you want to make a sign for your subcaucus, but feel free to bring your own pre-made sign.

What is the no-endorsement thing?

Some people may believe that all of the candidates are wonderful and don’t want to pick one (or conversely, some may not like any of the candidates). If someone believes that the Senate District should not endorse a candidate, they can vote “No Endorsement.” Voting “No Endorsement” will increase the number of total votes in the count, and the total votes needed for an endorsement.

If I am an alternate should I come to the convention?

Yes! Alternates can still seek to be delegates to the state convention. Alternates will be upgraded after the first credentials report. The process to upgrade will be announced from the stage. Unseated alternates will be able to watch from the visitors’ area, and may be upgraded any time after the first credentials report if delegate spots become available.

Who is my precinct delegation chair?

Typically, the precinct chair elected at precinct caucuses on March 1st will serve as your delegation chair. If the precinct chair is not at the convention, then the vice chair will serve. If neither are at the convention, your precinct will need to select someone to serve that role for purposes of the convention.

Do I need to tell you if I can’t come to the convention?

No. Because of how the registration and credentials process works, you don’t need to tell us if you are not coming.

What if I can’t be there at the start of the convention?

If you’re not able to make it right at the start, please get there when you can. Keep in mind if you plan to participate in the election process for state delegate, you must be there when the process starts because we “freeze” the floor, which means no one can come or go from the part of the gym where we are doing the election process.
The same is true during the endorsement voting process. We will “freeze” the floor before each round of balloting and “unfreeze” it after all the ballots have been collected. During this time period NO ONE except delegates and upgraded alternates can be sitting in the floor area for delegates.

Can I leave and come back?

We understand emergencies happen and people need to leave early, or leave and come back. If you must leave, please notify your precinct delegation chair AND hand your credential badge into them or to the credentials table. If you come back, head straight to the credentials (registration) table for a badge. Please do not take your badge with you when you leave unless the convention is adjourned.

Pre-Convention Committees

These committees do the behind the scenes work before and at the convention. Feel free to peek in on their work!

  • Arrangements. This committee organizes the logistics and helps run things the day of the convention.
  • Credentials. This committee enters the data from the caucuses, prepares the list of eligible delegates, and hands out voting credentials at the conventions.
  • Nominations. This committee screens candidates who are running for SD64 DFL office and proposes a slate of candidates for the convention.
  • Resolutions. This committee compiles all the resolutions adopted at the precinct caucuses and administers the voting at the SD64 convention.
  • Rules & Constitution. This committee decides the rules that govern the SD64 convention and reviews and proposes revisions to the constitution of SD64.