This is a formal announcement of a special meeting of members of Democrats Abroad Canada (“DACA”) called for Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 7:30PM EST via WebEx. The purpose of the meeting is to consider passage of a revision to Article 15.2 of the Democrats Abroad Canada Bylaws (the “Bylaws”), proposed by the Board of Directors of DACA.

Article 15 addresses how DACA members become Democratic Party Committee Abroad (“DPCA”) voting representatives. This announcement addresses the reasons the DACA Board is proposing this amendment, what it attempts to do and why we recommend it.

Background

Democrats Abroad (“DA”) is formally known as the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (“DPCA”). DA has a Board of Directors at the international level. Members organize themselves locally into Country Committees (like DACA) and local chapters.

DA calls annual international meetings where certain members of the Country Committees have the power to vote on initiatives related to DA’s governance and activities. These voting members are called “DPCA Voting Representatives”.

DA assigns each Country Committee a number of votes in proportion with the size of its membership. These votes are assigned to each country’s DPCA Voting Representatives. For example, larger Country Committees, like Canada, have more votes at the international meetings.

In Canada, we assign one vote per DPCA Voting Representative. Therefore, we have more DPCA Voting Representatives than most Country Committees.

Why is the Board Proposing this Amendment?

DA’s Charter requires each Country Committee to elect DPCA Voting Representatives nationally. The Charter also requires even sex distribution among the group of DPCA Voting Representatives from each Country Committee (i.e., the DPCA Voting Representatives from Canada must be an equal number of people who identify as female and people who identify as male).

Under the current Article 15.2 of DACA’s Bylaws, DACA’s DPCA Voting Representatives are:

  1. all of the elected officers of the Board; and
  2. Chapter Chairs who are in office as of May 1st each election year.

Article 15.2 does not say anything about sex distribution.

DA has informed the DACA Board that Article 15.2 violates the DA Charter because:

  1. it allows Chapter Chairs to serve as DPCA Voting Representatives and they are not elected nationally (which is required under the DA Charter); and
  2. it does not provide for even sex distribution among the DPCA Voting Representatives from Canada.

Accordingly, DACA has to revise Article 15.2 to be in compliance.

What does the Amendment do?

The Amendment (below) eliminates Article 15.2 and replaces it with new text that does the following:

  1. confirms that the nationally-elected members of the DACA Board of Directors’ Executive Committee (Country Chair, Executive Vice Chair, two (2) Vice Chairs, Secretary, Membership Secretary, IT Manager, Counsel and three (3) Members-at-Large will also serve as DPCA Voting Representatives; and
  2. establishes a process for nationally-electing the remaining DPCA Voting Representatives for DACA in a manner that takes sex distribution into consideration.
  3. The Amendment provides that each national election will follow the following process:
    1. candidates can choose to run for Executive Committee officer positions and/or DPCA Voting Representative;
    2. the votes for the candidates for officer positions will be counted first, and the members of the Executive Committee will be declared;
    3. anyone who ran as an officer and for a DPCA position will be removed from the slate of candidates for DPCA Voting Representative because they will already have a DPCA vote as an elected officer of the Executive Committee;
    4. the votes for the remaining candidates for DPCA Voting Representatives will be tallied;
    5. based on the sex distribution balance of the Executive Committee (e., the number of officers who identify as male, female non-binary, etc.), the DPCA Voting Representatives candidates who will balance the sex distribution of the overall group of DPCA Voting Representatives will be declared according to who received the most votes; and
    6. for the purpose of achieving even sex distribution among the DPCA Voting Representatives, non-binary individuals will be treated as neutral and the sex distribution will be determined based on the self-identified sex of those candidates who identify as male or female.

Why does the DACA Board recommend the Amendment?

The Board recommends this approach for the following reasons:

  1. This Amendment ensures that DACA’s DPCA Voting Representatives are all elected nationally and have even sex distribution as a group. This ensures that we can use all of our Country Committee Votes at each DA annual meeting.
  2. By distributing DPCA Voting Representative responsibilities among the Executive Committee and individuals who only serve as DPCA Voting Representatives, it allows the group to draw on a range of knowledge and experience and national and international involvement while keeping the group at a manageable size.

CURRENT ARTICLE 15 Democratic Party Committee Abroad Voting Representatives (DPCA Voting Representatives)

15.1 The DPCA Voting Representatives shall represent the views of DACA at the international meetings of the DPCA. The number of voting members is based on country membership and other factors and is determined by the DPCA. The Country Chair and the Executive Vice Chair are Voting Representatives by virtue of their offices. All DPCA voting members pledge to attend the Annual DPCA meetings or may timely proxy their vote to another board member or a member of their chapter board.

15.2 DACA voting representatives to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) shall be members of the DACA Board, its Officers, Members at Large, IT Manager and Chapter Chairs who are in office May 1st of each election year. Each voting representative shall share an equal portion of the voting allocation assigned to it by the DPCA in February of the same year.

PROPOSED ARTICLE 15 Democratic Party Committee Abroad Voting Representatives (DPCA Voting Representatives)

15.1 The DPCA Voting Representatives shall represent the views of DACA at the international meetings of the DPCA. The number of voting members is based on country membership and other factors and is determined by the DPCA. The Country Chair and the Executive Vice Chair are Voting Representatives by virtue of their offices. All DPCA voting members pledge to attend the Annual DPCA meetings or may timely proxy their vote to another board member or a member of their chapter board.

15.2 The following 12 board members upon election would automatically become DPCA Voting Representatives: Country Chair, Executive Vice Chair, two (2) additional Vice Chairs, Secretary, Membership Secretary, IT Manager, Treasurer, Counsel, and 3 At-Large Members.

To elect the remaining DPCA Voting Reps there will be one slate of female, male and non-binary candidates. Candidates can run for both a Board position and on the DPCA slate.

DA Canada members vote for the Board positions, and for up to 12 on the DPCA slate.

Once the Board positions have been declared elected, two things will happen:

  1. The elected names, if also appearing on the slate of DPCA candidates, will be removed.
  2. Based on the declared sex distribution of the Board, the candidates with the most votes of each sex will be declared winners such that the DPCA representation is sex balanced. If the number of allowed DPCA reps for Canada is an odd number, the imbalance on the elected DPCA Voting Reps shall be of the opposite sex to the larger sex makeup of the Board. If the number of elected DPCA Voting Representatives is an odd number, the final DPCA Voting Representative position will go to the candidate who received the most votes.

In the event that a DPCA rep cannot fulfill their position, a candidate of the same sex as the departing rep shall be elected as an acting DPCA rep by a vote of the Executive Committee. The candidate shall be selected in voted order from the previous DPCA slate.

In the event of non-binary DPCA Voting Representatives, they shall not be counted for the purposes of gender parity, and the remainder of the delegation shall be equally divided.

This proposal will be voted on electronically, with the ballot being distributed no later than 15 days prior to the special meeting. The ballot will also have instructions for how to access the special meeting on WebEx.

If you have questions or concerns about the Amendment, please reach out to Steve Nardi at chair@democratsabroad.ca.

Democratically yours,

Board of Directors
Democrats Abroad Canada

+