According to a copy of the proposed charter, the Alabama Democratic Party is scheduled to consider major changes to its party charter, including how members of the party’s executive committee will be selected and terminology used for diversity, during its upcoming meeting in Montgomery on Saturday -Caucuses used is obtained from APR.
In addition, the proposed changes expand or remove a significant portion of the inclusive language contained in the current statute, which was adopted in 2019.
The proposed charter, if adopted, would tighten control for elements in the party that had greater influence prior to Chris England’s presidency and this with the inclusion of the Diversity Caucuses and various changes to the party’s composition in recent years have lost.
The change that has generated the most controversy among party members is the reclassification of diversity caucuses into “diversity constituencies” and the apparent consolidation of multiple diversity caucuses into a single ethnic minority committee.
Where previously the Hispanic, Native American, and Asian/Pacific Islander caucuses existed as separate entities, the proposed statutes appear to place them within a single minority ethnic committee.
Renaming the Minority Caucus to Prevailing Racial Minority, changing the name of the Youth Caucus to the Young Adult Committee, adding a Veterans Committee, and retaining the LGBTQ+ Caucus are other proposed changes.
There is no mention of a caucus or committee for persons with disabilities, while the current bylaws mandate a caucus for persons with disabilities.
Another drastic change concerns the general selection of members for the state board. Under the current constitution, each of the Diversity Caucuses independently elects new members on a free basis in accordance with the Diversity Goals, with such lists of new members being either accepted or rejected by the other members of the Executive Committee as a whole. If a motion is made to reject a particular list, two-thirds must support that motion for the caucuses electoral lists to be rejected.
The proposed changes would allow “a faction of the elected minority members of the State Committee” to select “that number of people, if any, to place on the State Committee,” with the predominant racial minority faction meeting two hours in advance for a scheduled organizational meeting to designate additional minority members. The proposal does not provide an option to reject this list.
Josh Coleman, president of the Alabama Young Democrats and a member of the Democratic National Committee, wrote a letter to Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Randy Kelley earlier this month, expressing concern about the proposed bylaws.
Coleman, who ran for party leader last year, mentioned that many SDEC members, including himself, had not received a copy of the proposed charter from the party leadership, while many other members had not been briefed on the charter or the upcoming meeting in accordance with the Rules of Procedure.
As of January 18, Coleman had not received an official copy of the proposed charter from party leadership, instead relying on a copy circulated among members.
“If these are the proposed amended bylaws, they appear to eliminate or reduce most diversity caucuses, disenfranchising key groups within the Democratic Party,” Coleman wrote in the Jan. 11 letter. “Implementation of these proposed amended bylaws that would result in Alabama SDEC not being governed by a diverse and equal party committee as required by the DNC charter would be a sad step backwards for our party.”
Additionally, in a statement sent to , Coleman described the “changes” to the party’s bylaws as “a complete rewrite” that removes the state party from complying with DNC requirements “relating to diversity, inclusion and belonging.” APR On Wednesday.
“We, the Democratic Party, are a big tent party — our diversity is our strength,” Coleman said in Wednesday’s statement. “Under these proposed statutes, we appear to be more focused on exclusion than inclusion here in Alabama.”
In an interview with Alabama Politics This Week on Thursday, Chairman Randy Kelley described the changes as “minor” and said rumors circulating among party members about scrapping the diversity caucuses amount to disinformation.
“The caucuses cannot be eliminated,” Kelley said. “The charter reflects the charter of the Democratic National Committee.”
The state’s Democratic Executive Committee will meet just before lunch on Saturday to consider amendments to its bylaws, as well as several job vacancies.