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Convention Rules

Rules for the 2023 May California Democratic Party Convention

1. The primary purpose of this biennial Convention is to organize the newly-elected constituted Democratic State Central Committee (This Committee) and elect Regional Directors.  Matters not heard at the Convention will be received by the Secretary and held over to the next meeting of the Executive Board.

2. The Chair of This Committee shall be the Chair of the Convention and the Secretary of This Committee shall be the Secretary of the Convention. In the absence of the Chair of This Committee, the Vice-Chair of This Committee of the self-identified gender other than that of the Chair shall serve as the Presiding Officer and Chair of the Convention.

3. Delegates to the Convention shall be the members of the Democratic State Central Committee, or their qualified proxies as specified in the Bylaws, whose appointment/election has been transmitted to the State Party no later than Tuesday, March 28, 2023, 60 days prior to the biennial state convention.

4. Seating of the delegates shall be by the Assembly District within the Region.

5. No one will be admitted to the Convention floor who is not a delegate, or proxy holder, except by special authorization of the State Chair.

6. Credentialing will close at posted times unless special circumstances exist. At that time, consideration will be given by the Credentials Committee, which can stay open or reopen credentialing. In order to vote, and have one’s vote counted, at this Convention, a member must have timely paid their annual DSCC dues and registration fee (or had them waived, by request from the DSCC Member) to This Committee, registered for the meeting, received /obtained their credential prior to the close of credentialing, completed and returned to the proper authority any ballot that may be issued, and agreed to the CDP Code of Conduct, prior the close of credentialing

7. The Credentials Committee shall issue its final report and place the official voting list of delegates in the hands of the Convention Secretary subsequent to the close of credentialing.

8. Election of Regional Directors.

  • a. Regional Directors shall be elected for two-year terms on Saturday of the first Convention of This Committee held in odd-numbered years. Regional Directors shall be elected at Regional Caucuses, each composed of all members of This Committee resident in the respective regions. The time for the opening of registration for the Regional Caucus shall be included in the Agenda for the Convention and the Convener must ensure that the Caucus site is available and open by the time called for in the Convention Agenda. To allow all candidates for Regional Director to address the Regional Caucus, the Convener shall commence candidate presentations as close to ten minutes after the time for the opening of registration outlined in the Convention Agenda as is practical under the circumstances. Voting will be commenced thirty minutes after the time for the opening of credentials called for in the Agenda, and voting will commence without regard to whether any or all candidates have finished their oral presentations. No one will be allowed to vote in the Caucus who has not arrived by thirty minutes after the time called for in the Convention Agenda. Voting members or their proxies standing in line to be registered at the time voting commences are considered to have arrived in time. 
  • b. Regional Caucuses, comprised of all members of This Committee resident in the respective regions, shall take place on Saturday, May 27, 2023, to elect their respective Regional Directors. The ratification of Regional Directors shall take place on Sunday, May 28, 2023. A candidate for any office shall file a notice of intent to run for that office with the Secretary of the Party no later than 5:00 PM, Thursday, May 11, 2023, being the day, which is sixteen (16) days prior to the commencement of credentialing for the Convention.  Should the incumbent officeholder fail to file the notice of intent-to-run by that date, then the filing deadline shall be extended to 5:00 PM, Wednesday, May 17, 2023, being the date which is nine (9) days prior to the opening of credentialing for the office.  No withdrawals shall be allowed after that date. 
  • c. Following the close of nomination for officers, no additional nominations shall be permitted, except for an office for which no person has been nominated prior to the close of nominations or for which all persons nominated have withdrawn.
  • d. No vote for any person shall be counted unless the person has been duly nominated for, and has accepted that nomination for the office for which such vote is cast.
  • e. In the event only one person is nominated for any office and such person accepts the nomination, the Secretary of the meeting shall be directed to cast a unanimous ballot for such candidate at the time of the election.
  • f. In the event no candidate receives a majority on the first ballot, a run-off election (second ballot) shall be held between the two persons receiving the largest number of votes actually cast for all candidates who have been duly nominated for and accepted the nomination for the officers involved.
  • g. Elections of Regional Directors shall be governed by the provisions set forth in Article III, Section 3, subsections c. of the Bylaws and the deadlines and restrictions on withdrawal shall be as outlined in Article III, Section 3, subsection b of the Bylaws. 
  • h. All voting for officers shall be by DNC-mandated open ballot process except when there is only one candidate.

9. The Resolutions adopted by the members of This Committee and the Executive Board of the California Democratic Party are expressions of philosophical beliefs and principles that the Party wishes to declare.  Any resolution involving a local issue will be referred to the appropriate local Democratic Party entity.


a. Form

  • (1) All resolutions must be typed.
  • (2) Inducement (e.g., Whereas) clauses shall be limited to three (3) or less, and resolve clauses shall be limited to two (2) or fewer.
  • (3) Resolutions must be no longer than one (1) 8-1/2” x 11” typewritten page.
  • (4) All resolutions must be adopted by a County Central Committee, or a Chartered Democratic Club or sponsored by twenty-five (25) members of This Committee, or a majority of the members of This Committee who meet at a Regional Meeting as described in Article III, Section 4d of the CDP’s Bylaws.
  • (5) Resolutions that call for a change in the CDP bylaws or platform, state the endorsement or support of a candidate for public office or opposition to a candidate who is a registered Democrat, or mandate or restricts the spending of money by the CDP, shall be ruled out of order and will neither be heard by the Resolutions Committee nor be able to reach the floor by way of Section 9(d) below.

b. Timely Resolutions

  • (1) Resolutions must be received by the State Chair of the Party in Sacramento, by 5 p.m., thirty (30) calendar days prior to a meeting of This Committee, except as provided in subsection (c) below.
  • (2) Copies of resolutions submitted according to the above procedure shall be mailed by the State Chair of the Party to all members of the Resolutions Committee prior to a meeting of This Committee.

c. Resolutions Committee will present prioritized resolutions in the committee report to the convention body.

d. Late/Floor Resolutions

  • (1) Twenty-five (25) copies of each resolution must be provided to the Resolutions Committee by the sponsor(s) of the resolution.
  • (2) All resolutions to be considered at a meeting of This Committee must be presented for consideration at the Resolutions Committee meeting preceding the general session.  In order to be considered at the general session, a late resolution must have the unanimous consent of the Resolutions Committee to be considered and all resolutions must be approved by the Resolutions Committee.  Any resolution heard by the Resolutions Committee, failing to obtain approval (excluding referrals or those ruled “out of order”, may be brought to the floor of a meeting of This Committee with the signatures of three hundred (300) members of This Committee on forms approved by the Resolutions Committee.
  • (3) All resolutions to be presented from the floor shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Convention for signature verification by 5:00 p.m…. on the day before the resolution is presented.
  • (4) The sponsor of a resolution presented from the floor shall be responsible for providing the Secretary of the Convention with sufficient copies of their resolution for each member of This Committee.

e. Resolutions pending at the close of a Convention of This Committee shall be referred to the Executive Board of This Committee.  All such resolutions shall first be presented to the Resolutions Committee for recommendation to the Executive Board.  The Resolutions Committee shall recommend: adoption, adoption with amendment, or rejection.  Such resolutions shall be presented to the Executive Board for consideration in their original form unless the sponsor agrees to the amendment(s) recommended by the Resolutions Committee.

10. Requests to hang signs, banners, and placards must be submitted before the Convention to the Convention Coordinator.  A small fee may be charged per sign. No large signs or large quantities of materials will be allowed in the General Session Hall. The only large quantities of materials or large signs allowed in the hall are those that are official CDP materials or have been pre-approved by the CDP and have already been placed in the hall.

11. PROXIES: Proxies will be subject to the provision set forth in the By-Laws. Because in order to vote, and have one’s vote counted, at any meeting of This Committee, a member must have timely obtained their credential prior to the closing of credentials, a member may authorize, by signed written authorization, any registered member of This Committee to obtain their credential on their behalf. The provisions of Article IV, Section 6, subsections a-e shall apply to such authorizations. In all cases at This Convention, proxies vote in districts where the appointing member resides as required by This Committee’s By-Laws.

12. The By-Laws and Rules of the California Democratic Party shall govern over these Rules for the 2023 California Democratic Party Convention in the event of a conflict.

13. Any matter not provided for in these rules or the California Democratic Party By-Laws and Rules shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.

14. In general, motions subject to floor debate, whether via committee reports or from the floor, shall be subject to the following limits on debate.  There shall be three (3) speakers on each side of a motion, including the maker of the motion, and each speaker shall be limited to one (1) minute.  These rules may be suspended by a motion to amend these limits on debate, but such a motion shall not be debatable and may only apply to the specific motion before the body.  

15. Attendees will be required to provide proof of Covid vaccination and negative test upon entrance to the Convention. Additional requirements may be imposed by the Venue and other governing State or Local authorities, and CADEM Staff.