The Standing Committees of the Democratic National Convention
Written by Patrice Taylor, Director of Party Affairs & Delegate Selection, Democratic National Committee
This July, 50,000 Americans will come to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. The fundamental purpose of the Convention is to formally select the Democratic Party’s nominee for president and vice president. The Convention is a four-day meeting and celebration of what the Democratic Party has accomplished and what we look forward to achieving in the future. In the days between, Convention delegates, alternates and members of the party conduct official party business. For decades, official business has been accomplished by the three Standing Committees of the Convention: Credentials, Platform and Rules.
About the Standing Committees:
Each committee has a total of 187 members. The overwhelming majority of the membership is made up of the 162 seats allocated to every state and territory. These seats are proportionally allocated to the presidential campaigns based on the state wide vote.
Committee members selected within the state and territories are allocated to presidential candidates based on the results of the presidential preference primary or caucus. Presidential candidates who have qualified to receive committee positions nominate the individuals for these positions. Standing Committee members do not have to be Convention delegates.
In addition to the state elected members, each committee also has 25 Party Leader and Elected Official (PLEO) members. These members are nominated by the Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and elected by the DNC’s Executive Committee. In the current presidential cycle, the PLEO members were elected on January 22, 2016.
The Credentials Committee is responsible for resolving any questions regarding the seating of delegates and alternates to the Convention. This committee is expected to meet sometime prior to the Convention.
- Assumes jurisdiction over any credentials challenges not resolved by the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee 57 days before the Convention, or challenges filed after that date.
- Recommends final resolution of any outstanding challenge or dispute related to the seating of delegates and alternates.
- Issues a report that is considered as the first item of business at the National Convention.
The Platform Committee presents the draft National Platform to the Convention. This committee is expected to meet sometime prior to the Convention.
- Reviews a draft Platform prepared by the Platform Drafting Committee.
- Recommends the Democratic Party’s National Platform for approval by the Convention delegates.
The Rules Committee is responsible for recommending the rules for the convention, rules of the Party, and other convention business. This committee is expected to meet sometime prior to the Convention.
- Recommends individuals to serve as the Permanent Officers of the Convention, including the Chair, Secretary and Co-Chairs.
- Issues a report that is considered as the second item of business at the National Convention.
- The report includes the committee’s recommendations on the following matters: the Convention agenda, the Permanent Rules of the Convention, Amendments to Party Rules, and resolutions on any matter not addressed by other standing committees.
The 2016 Convention will be the most inclusive in party history. As the Director of Party Affairs, I not only work with the candidates for president but also with the state Democratic parties across the country to explain exactly how the process of completing party business works and to ensure that it is conducted openly and fairly so that when the Convention convenes this July, every Democrat will have had their voice heard.
The Democratic National Convention will be held July 25th — 28th in Philadelphia, PA. Questions? Feel free to tweet us at @DemConvention