From our friend, Jason Rae, Secretary of the Democratic National Committee:
Dear DNC Member,
I enjoyed seeing so many of you and having the chance to catch up this past weekend in Washington, D.C. at the DNC’s winter meeting. I left feeling energized about the work that we have done as a party the last two years under Chair Perez’s leadership to organize, mobilize and win. I’m even more inspired now for the work that it coming before us in 2019 and 2020.
As we do after all of our DNC meetings, we’ve prepared a short report for you on our busy weekend, where we came together for two general sessions, an Executive Committee meeting, four Standing Committee meetings, as well as a number of caucus and council meetings. Here are some updates about what happened during the 2019 DNC winter meeting:
We had two general sessions during this meeting. We started with a fabulous general session on Friday, where we were joined by the amazing Stacey Abrams. Stacey shared important insights about her own race in 2018 and the future of our party.
During Saturday’s general session, we heard welcome remarks from the Mayor of Washington, D.C. Muriel Bowser, who talked about the importance of statehood for the District of Columbia and its residents. We also heard from Manny Guzman, an organizer with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, about how the DNC’s investments in state parties helped them to organize diverse communities. We also heard from the Reverend Al Sharpton, who left us feeling inspired.
We also had a fabulous panel discussion with leaders from state parties, including Washington State Chair Tina Podlodowski, Florida Executive Director Juan Penalosa, and New Jersey Executive Director Liz Gilbert. These individuals spoke about the unique ways that they have been organizing in their state, how they have engaged grassroots groups, and what they are planning for 2019 and beyond.
In addition to hearing from these speakers, we watched several inspiring videos created by the DNC. Those videos included: We Are Democrats, Defining Amendment XV and Honoring Juneteenth: Our Power In Time.
Finally, DNC CEO Seema Nanda and DNC CFO Joe Smolskis shared an update on the Party’s finances. You can see highlights of their reports here.
The DNC also considered reports from two of our Standing Committees at the Saturday session.
Resolutions Committee Report
The Resolutions Committee considered a number of resolutions submitted by members.
Among the resolutions adopted by the DNC were those celebrating Democrats gaining the House majority, Nancy Pelosi retaking the speakership, condemning President Trump for the longest government shutdown in history, recognizing Black History Month, and many more. In addition, we passed a number of commemorative resolutions honoring individuals such as John Culver, Greg Pettis, Tyrone Gayle, Carolyn Warner, and more. The DNC Executive Committee also passed three resolutions at their meeting recognizing Congressman John Dingell, Babs Siperstein, and Ed Hill.
A packet of the final resolutions, as approved by the DNC, can be found here.
Credentials Committee Report
Credentials Committee Co-Chairs Karen Carter Peterson and John Currie reported out on the hours of work that the Credentials Committee engaged in regarding a challenge to the election of the state chair and vice chair from the Alabama Democratic Party. You can find a copy of the report here, which was approved by the full body on Saturday.
Executive Committee Meeting
On Friday morning, the DNC Executive Committee met and heard a number of important updates, including one from Congresswoman Grace Meng about the work that House Democrats are doing right now. The Executive Committee also heard remarks from D.C. State Chair Charles Wilson. We had a great polling presentation from Katie Connolly of the Benenson Strategy Group. You can see a copy of the slide deck here.
Caucus and Council Meetings
Throughout the DNC meeting, each of our regional caucuses, as well as our constituency caucuses and councils, held meetings to discuss the core buckets from 2018, and 2019/2020 DNC priorities. Our political & organizing department also presented on all those things and their presentation can be found here. An accessible version of this presentation can be found here. Each session talked about the importance of the delegate selection process and how to be engaged in that process, from working to appoint members to their state’s Affirmative Action Committee, to reviewing the plans, and finally educating people in their area about how to run for delegate positions.
Several elections took place to fill vacancies in specific caucuses and councils. In the Eastern Region, Yvette Lewis from Maryland was elected to a vacant Executive Committee representative position. In the Midwest Regional Caucus, Mark Mallory and David Walters were elected to two vacant Executive Committee representative positions.
In addition, I want to recognize DNC Black Caucus Chair Virgie Rollins for the amazing Black History Month breakfast she organized for Saturday morning. The speaker, Dr. Frederick Haynes III, was remarkable. I left inspired and called to action.
Those are a few quick highlights from our meetings in Washington, D.C. I am truly looking forward to working with each and every one of you in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
Have a wonderful week, and I look forward to speaking with you soon. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or my office.
Democratic National Committee