Background: This committee, created by an affirmative vote of the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, is responsible for leading the Washington State Democratic Party’s efforts to turn our platform into law. It has three focus areas:
- Tracking Legislation: The Advocacy Committee is responsible for tracking legislation for the State Central Committee, especially bills at the state level. The Committee would be responsible for delivering regular reports to the Chair and SCC during all sessions of the Washington State Legislature.
- Ballot Measures: The Advocacy Committee will, on a year-round basis, be reviewing initiatives and referenda filed by citizens in their capacity as citizen lawmakers. Once petitions are printed for any initiative or referendum, the Committee will bring before the SCC at its next meeting a recommendation on that initiative or referendum. The Committee will also recommend positions on constitutional amendments and other measures once the Secretary of State certifies them for the ballot.
- Empowering local party organizations to create legislative action committees. The Advocacy Committee is charged with helping county and legislative district organizations create and sustain their own legislative action committees, using the King County Democrats’ LAC as a model.
The Advocacy Committee will be meeting at every regular meeting of the WSDCC and every state convention, and in between meetings as much as possible. At all times, it will work collaboratively with the Chair, the other standing committees, and the Platform Committee to carry out its mission.
Language: The following amendment was APPROVED at the September 10th, 2017 meeting of the Washington State Democratic Central Committee (WSDCC).
A BYLAWS AMENDMENT relating to committees, amending Article II, Section E.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE WASHINGTON STATE DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE:
Section 1. Intent. The SCC recognizes that the first purpose for which the Party exists, as spelled out in its Charter, is to “Adopt and promote statements of policy to serve as standards for Democratic elected officials and goals for the people of the state.” The SCC finds that the Party and its platform would benefit from the establishment of a standing Advocacy Committee tasked with tracking legislation, recommending positions on state-level ballot measures, and coordinating with the legislative action committees of local party organizations.
Section 2. Article II, Section E, subsection 1 of the Bylaws is amended to read as follows:
1. The SCC shall have the following Standing Committees: Resolutions Committee, Rules and Bylaws Committee, Affirmative Action Committee, Finance Committee, Elections Committee, Advocacy Committee.
Section 3. After subsection 7 of Article II, Section E, add the following new subsection:
8. The Advocacy Committee shall promote the Party’s platform. It shall track and evaluate legislation on the SCC’s behalf, recommend positions on statewide ballot measures to the SCC, and coordinate with county and district legislative action committees to advance Democratic causes through grassroots lobbying. Each autumn, prior to December 15th, the Committee shall create an agenda of action priorities, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, for the following year by surveying the SCC and local party organizations. During sessions of the Washington State Legislature, the Committee shall periodically report on the status of the Party’s state-level priorities in addition to tracking any other major bills of concern that are moving in the statehouse.
Section 4. Renumber the subsequent subsections consecutively and correct any internal references accordingly.
Section 5. This amendment shall take effect immediately.
Section 6. Within two weeks following adoption of this amendment, the Chair shall appoint at least twelve members of the SCC to serve on the Advocacy Committee, with two of those designated as Co-Chairs. The Committee must hold its first meeting by October 30th, 2017.