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DNC rules Alabama Democratic Party must create new bylaws with proper vote

A vote must be held on new bylaws by Feb. 1, 2024, the DNC committee ruled.

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The Alabama Democratic Party will have to pass new bylaws by February, as the Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee has ordered the 2023 bylaws to be invalidated.

The 2023 bylaws have been a source of turmoil within the party over the past several months, with the party ultimately passing the bylaws in a manner that the challengers asserted — and the DNC agreed — blocked underrepresented segments of the party from the vote.

The DNC also agreed with the challengers, led by Vice Chair Tabitha Isner, that the new bylaws adversely affect them by turning their caucuses into committees.

The Rules and Bylaws Committee found several issues with the way ADP passed its 2023 bylaws:

  1. Chair (Randy) Kelley has not maintained a complete and accurate list of SDEC members during his tenure as chair;
  2. Requisite notice of the meeting was not provided to a number of SDEC members, including many at-large members of the diversity caucuses;
  3. At the meeting, current SDEC leadership attempted to impose a $50 fee on at-large diversity caucus members without providing them with prior notice of the fee or that failure to pay the fee could be grounds for removal from the SDEC; and without a mechanism in place to allow these members to pay the fee once they were made aware of it;
  4. Had these members received proper notice of the meeting and the fee, more members of the SDEC may have been able to participate in the Meeting, thereby altering the outcome of the bylaws amendment vote; and
  5. The 2023 Bylaws conflict with the DNC Charter and Bylaws by denying certain diversity constituencies an equal opportunity to elect at-large members of their choice,

The committee has ordered a new vote on the SDEC’s bylaws be held at which all duly-elected members of the SDEC be permitted to participate, in accordance with the terms of its resolution.

The resolution states that the vote must be “held in accordance with whichever set of SDEC bylaws Chair (Randy) Kelley determines to be in effect” subject to certain “procedural safeguards:”

  1.  The Challengers must be given an opportunity to review the proposed bylaws and provide comments before they are put to a vote.
  2. All duly elected members of the SDEC, whether elected pursuant to the 2019 or 2023 bylaws, including all at-large members of the Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, Youth, LGBTQ+, and Disabled Persons Caucuses or Committees, must receive 10 days’ prior written notice of the meeting and be permitted to participate and vote in the meeting.
  3. Prior to the meeting at which these votes will occur, Kelley must compile an up-to-date list of all duly-elected SDEC members. Each diversity caucus or committee must be asked to supply Kelley with a list of its at-large members who have been elected by the full SDEC, including their contact information, for Kelley to incorporate into the membership list. Kelley must submit the final membership list to the Co-Chairs of the RBC and the Challengers for review prior to issuing notice of the meeting to the membership.
  4. No membership fee may be imposed for an SDEC member to vote at the meeting.

A set of revised, compliant bylaws and a complete SDEC membership list must be submitted to the committee by November 28 and a vote must be held on the bylaws by February 1, 2024.

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Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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