Convention Packet 

 
 

convention packet contents

Welcome Letter

Agenda

WyoDems101

The Platform Process

Robert’s Rules of Order Guide

Platform Convention Rules and Officers

 

Welcome Letter

Dear Young WyoDems,

Welcome to the first Platform Convention of the Young Democrats of Wyoming!

It’s incredible to think about how far we’ve come in the past year… from officially electing our Executive Committee last April, to having organized and trained and marched and started building chapters across the state! We are proud to support, educate, and empower Young WyoDems across the Equality State to run for office -- and win!

The Young Democrats of Wyoming mobilizes young people between the ages of 14 and 35 to participate in the electoral process to elect Democrats, influence the ideals of the Wyoming Democratic Party, advocate for progressive issues, and train the next generation of progressive leaders.

The Young Democrats of Wyoming has hundreds of members statewide – including high-school and college students, young workers, young professionals, and young families. Our membership reflects the broad diversity of our state and the Wyoming Democratic Party.  Our programs engage Young WyoDems through their local county, college, or high-school chapters, through events like our quarterly state meetings, platform convention, and issue advocacy.

Community and college-based and local organizing are the cornerstones of our efforts and the Young Democrats of Wyoming remains committed to supporting our local chapters with the tools they need to succeed and grow.

We are glad you are here!

Sincerely,

Your Young WyoDem Team: Robert West (Chair), Shayna Lonoaea Alexander (State Committeewoman), Orion Bellorado (Treasurer), and Carrie Murthy (Secretary)


agenda

LOCATION: UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING BERRY BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION CENTER

Click here to view a Map of the location. 

8:30-9AM | CHECK-IN

Pick up your #YDW2018 convention packet and vote card, and start meeting some legit Young WyoDems making progress across the state. Grab a seat and get ready to get to work!

9AM |CONVENTION CONVENES

Welcome Address: Robert West, Chair of the Young Democrats of Wyoming 

Opening Remarks: Joe Barbuto, Chair of the Wyoming Democratic Party

9:30-9:45AM | WYODEMS 101

Let’s make sure everyone in the room knows the party structure and exactly what Wyoming Democrats are about. You’ll learn the basics about the DNC, our state party, the county parties, and the constituent caucuses.
Presented by: Shayna Lonoaea Alexander, State Committeewoman Young Democrats of Wyoming

9:45AM-11AM | YOUNG WYODEMS

Young WyoDems were gone for a minute. We’ll get you up to speed on what we’ve been working on and how you can help.
Presented by: Robert West, Chair of the Young Democrats of Wyoming

11AM-11:30AM |STATEWIDE CANDIDATE FORUM

We're pleased to bring together our WyoDem statewide candidates to sit down and talk with Young WyoDems about their vision for Wyoming and how they're the best candidate for the job.

Special Guests: Jim Byrd for Secretary of State and Jeff Docktor for State Auditor.

11:30AM-12PM |YounG Wyodems CANDIDATE FORUM

Not only are Young WyoDems organizing for candidates across Wyoming, they're running for office themselves. Meet them, get to know them, and learn why they've decided to step up and lead their own communities.

12PM-1:30PM |LUNCH WITH KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Keynote: Andi Summerville, Laramie Mayor and Young Wyoming Democrat

1:30PM-3:30PM |PLATFORM WORK

Fired up?! Ready to go! We’re going to be arguing talking about issues important to us. Refer to the DRAFT 2018 Platform, the Convention Docket, and your Robert’s Rules of Order Guide.

3:30PM-4:30PM |BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Ready to Run. Get the rundown from Young WyoDems who ran in 2016 and how you can best prepare for your run as a candidate in 2018. This is helpful for Young WyoDems interested in helping campaigns too. 

Build a Chapter. Want to start a chapter in your school or county? Maybe you already have started a chapter and have some questions. We want to help you succeed!

4:30PM |CLOSING


Wyodems 101

The party’s structure is complicated. Just remember: Every Democratic organization exists to convert political-bystanders into voters and volunteers on campaigns or candidates for city, state, and federal campaigns. We’ve broken-down the parts that apply to us.

The Democratic National Committee or DNC is a union of Democratic State/Territorial/District parties from across the nation. Representatives from every state and territory form the national level party structure. The DNC coordinates Democratic campaign activities and promotes the Democratic Party. It oversees the platform and bylaw process at the national convention. It also coordinates National campaigns such as the primary/caucus races and the presidential campaign.

The Young Democrats of America or YDA is the official youth-arm of the Democratic Party. The organization’s purpose and structure is similar to the DNC except membership is for Democrats 36 years and younger. The YDA holds national meetings, conventions, and works to organize in every state.

The Wyoming Democratic Party or WDP is our state party.

 

STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE

The WDP is governed by the State Central Committee, which must meet three times a year including once in April of each off-year (odd-numbered non-election years). Your County Chair, Vice Chair, State Committeeman, and State Committeewoman represent your County Party on the State Central Committee. Your Young Democrats of Wyoming Chair, Vice Chair, State Committeeman, and State Committeewoman are also on the State Central Committee.

 

STATE CONVENTION

The Wyoming Democratic Party is governed first by the biennial State Convention, which meets in each election year, traditionally in May. The State Convention adopts the Democratic Platform of the WDP. In presidential years it also elects delegates and alternates to the National Convention and elects Wyoming’s Democratic National Committeeman and National Committeewoman. The State Convention is the only time changes to the WDP Bylaws can be adopted.

 

STATE OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

In addition to the National Committeeman and National Committeewoman elected at our State Convention, the State Central Committee elects a State Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. This happens at an organizing meeting of the State Central Committee in April of each off-year. The Executive Committee of the WDP consists of these officers, the National Committeeman, National Committeewoman, representatives of the Democratic Caucus in each house of the State Legislature, and the Chair of the Wyoming Young Democrats.

 

STAFF

Our Executive Director leads the WDP staff. One of the primary jobs of the Executive Director and any field staff is to work with County Parties.  

 

COUNTY PARTIES

A County Party is the smallest unit of organization for a political party – that means they’re as grassroots as it gets. They serve to engage people and act as a conduit between being an involved citizen to a person who actively contributes to local progressive politics.

structure breakdown.png

The Young Democrats of Wyoming or YDW is the official youth-arm of the WDP. We organize, mobilize, and represent Democrats between the ages of 14 – 35. We’re chartered with the Young Democrats of America which means our Chair, Vice Chair, State Committeewoman and State Committeeman attends national meetings and convention representing our state.

We hold officer elections every old-numbered year in April. In even-numbered years we hold a platform convention in April.

We’re committed to being a vehicle for progressive change. We want to have a presence on every college campus, in every county, and most importantly, at the polls. As Young WyoDems have been defunct for nearly a decade, we have a lot of work to do and a reputation to build. We will work to recruit and train Young WyoDems to run and win municipal public offices (Mayor, City Council, School Board, County Commissioner, etc. )

 

RESOURCES

Democratic National Committee: www.democrats.org

Wyoming Democratic Party: www.wyodems.org

Young Democrats of Wyoming: www.yda.org


the platform process

Here's how the Platform process works! 

In accordance with our Constitution, the Executive Committee is required to write and adopt a Platform and hold a Platform Convention, where the General Body (that’s you!) will consider amendments to the Platform.  We will also deliberate over any resolutions.

Leading up to and at Platform Convention, Young WyoDems can submit amendments and resolutions, and will advocate for their amendments and resolutions. That means sometimes having hard conversations about the issues we care about--and it can get a little heated. Just remember: Keep it civil. We might disagree, but we will respect that we’re all here because we want what’s best for our communities and Wyoming.

As a body, we’ll vote to consider the amendments. If a majority of the body votes in favor of considering them, then the debating begins. Sponsors (the author of the amendment), will have 5 minutes to present. The General Body then discusses why they believe we should vote a certain way.

Use your Robert’s Rules Guide to help you understand the process.

After all the amendments are considered and voted on, we’ll vote to adopt our official 2018-2020 Platform. We’ll deliberate on any resolutions using the same process and then vote to adjourn on our first Platform Convention.

Then what? Congrats - we did it!  Treat yo self on a job well done! Go home and watch Netflix.


robert's rules of order guide

Fundamental principles of Robert’s Rules of Order

  1. Every member of the meeting has the right to speak once on an idea (if they wish) before anyone may speak a second time.

  2. Every member of the meeting has the right to know what is going on at all times.

  3. Only urgent matters may interrupt someone who is speaking or break into a queue.

  4. The group discusses one idea at a time and makes a decision about that idea before going to the next idea. Any exception to this is extraordinary and requires a motion and a vote.

  5. Any deviation from the rules is an extraordinary decision, made by the whole group.

HOW TO COMMUNICATE FORMALLY IN A FORMAL MEETING

New ideas are brought to the meeting by a report, an agenda item, or as new business. Each of these events creates a new main motion that is then up for discussion. The motion is discussed in an orderly fashion and then voted upon.

1.      You want to tell people why they should vote for or against the motion.

  • During the discussion period for the motion, join the queue of speakers. After being recognized by the chair, state your position (“I am for/against the motion because…”) and then make your case in a limited amount of time.

  • If you wish to speak a second time, you may re-join the queue and wait until all those waiting have spoken once. Do not start a conversation with the chair or another speaker. That is rude to those waiting to speak. If you believe that a public conversation is necessary, ask for permission to break the rules from the chair and explain why it is so important to do so.

  • If you are in the queue and concerned that you will be skipped, first consider whether it is urgent enough to interrupt other speakers. If so, say “Point of Order,” wait for recognition by the chair, and then point out the urgent problem. “Point of Order” is a way of saying that the chair is breaking the rules of the meeting, so use it sparingly!

2.      You have a question about the facts behind a motion or something claimed by another speaker, or you wish to correct something said by another speaker.

  • Join the queue of speakers. After being recognized by the chair, state your question or correct the previous speaker. The chair will decide whether to allow a conversation or not. You may not initiate a conversation yourself.

  • Do not interrupt and say “Point of Information” because that is rude, disruptive, and time-consuming. See the proper use of “Point of Information” below.

3.      You want to change the wording of the motion under consideration, or add or subtract from the motion without fundamentally changing the topic.

  • Join the queue to speak. After being recognized by the chair, say “I move to amend the motion by” and then state that you want to add words to the motion, strike words from the motion, or strike and replace words. If the motion is a resolution, you may move to amend the resolution itself – adding, striking, or replacing words.

  • Your motion to amend (if accepted by the chair) will be discussed. You should explain your reasons for making the change only after the motion is seconded and discussion begins. The amendment will be either accepted or rejected by a vote and then the discussion of whether to accept the main motion will continue.

4.      You want to avoid coming to a decision on the motion during this meeting and instead charge someone else to study it further.

  • Join the queue to speak. After being recognized by the chair, say “I move to refer to a committee” and add details about which committee should study it and what the deadline for their report would be (as needed).

  • Your motion (if accepted by the chair) will be discussed. You should explain your reasons for making the change only after the motion is seconded and discussion begins. Others may move to change your motion (“move to amend”). If your motion passes by a majority vote, the idea will not ordinarily be discussed again at the meeting.

5.      You want to stop the debate. (Also known as “call the question” or “previous question”)

  • Join the queue to speak. After being recognized by the chair, say “I move to close the debate.” Before doing so, please recognize that this will require a 2/3 vote (or unanimous consent) and may take longer than just listening to those who want to speak.

  • Your motion must be seconded, and there will be no discussion of the idea of closing debate. The motion (if accepted by the chair) must pass with 2/3 of the group’s votes.

6.      You believe that the chair announced the results of a voice vote incorrectly. (Unusual)

  • Do not wait for recognition from the chair. Say “I call for a division of the assembly” in a loud. This will require a roll-call vote that is time-consuming but will establish an exact count. The roll-call vote is final.

7.      You are confused about the main motion or a procedure underway and need immediate clarification.

  • Do not wait for recognition from the chair. Say “Point of Information” in a loud voice. The chair will recognize you by name, ask you to state your question, and will then attempt to clarify the situation.

  • If there is a queue of speakers and you can follow the current discussion, consider joining the queue and speaking on your turn. If it looks like there will be a vote or some other motion before you can find out what’s happening, then interrupt by saying “Point of Information” out loud.

8.      You are concerned about an urgent situation that prevents the group from working together properly.

(Only for extraordinary situations)

  • Do not wait for recognition from the chair. Say “Question of Privilege” in a loud voice. The chair will recognize you by name, ask you to state the problem, and will then attempt to resolve the problem.

  • If the problem is not urgent, join the queue to speak and wait for recognition and begin by saying “I have a question of privilege.” Then state the problem.

9.      If you want to propose something reasonable during a meeting, you may join the queue and just ask the chair how to do it using parliamentary procedure. Some examples: stop talking about a motion temporarily and move it later in the day, depart from the agenda to discuss something specific, limit debate to a certain amount of time or number of speakers, reconsider a past decision, take a short break, or ask a smaller group to research and report back later the same day.

10.  You want to change the wording of the motion under consideration, or add or subtract from the motion without fundamentally changing the topic.

  • Join the queue to speak. After being recognized by the chair, say “I move to amend the motion by” and then state that you want to add words to the motion, strike words from the motion, or strike and replace words. If the motion is a resolution, you may move to amend the resolution itself – adding, striking, or replacing words.  Your motion needs to receive a second before it will be considered by the body.

  • If your motion to amend is accepted by the maker of the main motion and the person who seconded the main motion as friendly, the amendment is approved without a vote of the body.

  • If your motion to amend is not accepted by the maker of the main motion and the person who seconded the main motion as friendly, it must be voted on by the body.

  • Your motion to amend (if accepted by the chair) will be discussed. You should explain your reasons for making the change only after the motion is seconded and discussion begins. The amendment will be either accepted or rejected by a vote and then the discussion of whether to accept the main motion will continue.

While you often have the right to force the group to vote on your proposal, please take the chair’s advice seriously. Finally, you may interrupt to appeal the ruling of the chair but you should be sure!


Platform convention rules and Officers

Who gets a vote?

Each voting member of the Young Democrats of Wyoming attending the Convention is a delegate and will have one vote. You are a Young Democrat of Wyoming voting member if:

  • You are a registered Democrat under the age of 36, OR

  • You are a Democrat at heart, but not old enough to register yet (i.e., if you are 14-17 years old) or you have a criminal record that bars you from voting.
     

Quorum

Platform Convention action can be taken only with the presence of a quorum (50 percent plus 1) of delegates present. The quorum for debate and amendments to the platform will be re-computed at the beginning of platform deliberations.


Proposing an Amendment

Proposals to amend the draft platform may be made by voting members of the Young Democrats of Wyoming.

Amendments should be substantive in nature. Amendments related to formatting, punctuation, grammatical, and spelling corrections are not necessary and will not be incorporated into the platform discussion. The Young Democrats of Wyoming Executive Committee is authorized to make formatting, punctuation, grammatical, and spelling corrections to the final platform.

Amendments will be submitted electronically via the amendment form at https://www.youngwyodems.org/amendments. Required elements of the amendment form include: the name, email address, phone number, Convention attendance, section header, line number, and proposed amended language.

Voting members of the Young Democrats of Wyoming may submit amendments in advance of the Convention. During the Convention, delegates may use their personal devices to submit amendments, or may use a Young Democrats of Wyoming-provided laptop reserved for submitting amendments.


Discussing and Voting on Amendments

While only delegates may vote, participation in the discussion and debate will be open to all Convention attendees to the extent consistent with orderly process. Discussion of amendments will follow the order of the draft Platform.

Proposing an amendment will be considered as a motion for its adoption. The amendment will be read by the chair and a second will be invited. Failing a second, the amendment will be dropped from consideration without discussion.  If a second is obtained, the author will be invited to speak in support of the motion. The discussion will proceed through alternating remarks against and for the motion.

A speaker will not be given a second opportunity to speak until all wishing to speak a first time have finished. In the absence of contrary speakers, the amendment will come to a vote. All speeches will be limited to 2 minutes. Deviations in the interests of an orderly debate will be allowed at the discretion of the chair.

All amendments will be defeated or adopted by a simple majority vote. No proxy votes will be allowed.

A “call for the question” is a motion to cut off debate. It requires no second. It cannot be debated, but comes to an immediate vote and must be approved by a 2/3 majority. A successful call for the question brings the previous motion being debated to an immediate vote.


Adopting the Platform

After all amendments have been discussion and voted upon, the Platform will be considered final and adopted.

The Young Democrats of Wyoming Executive Committee is authorized to make formatting, punctuation, grammatical, and spelling corrections to the final platform.

 

Platform Convention Officers

  • Chair: Robert West. Responsibilities: The Chair calls the meeting to order and presides over the Platform Convention meeting and discussion.
  • Secretary: Carrie Murthy. Responsibilities: The Secretary documents the official minutes and vote tallies pertaining to amendments and adoption of the Platform.
  • Parliamentarian: Shayna Lonoaea Alexander. Responsibilities: The Parliamentarian ensures the Platform Convention follows the appropriate rules (see Platform Convention Rules and Robert’s Rules of Order Guide) and will assist in counting votes and general procedural decorum.  
  • Sergeant at Arms: Orion Bellorado. Responsibilities: The Sergeant at Arms maintains order and security.