Precinct chair orientation

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					  Precinct chair orientation



Bexar County Democratic Party
Objectives
 Maximize Democratic turnout in
  November, 2012.
 Get our candidates elected… not just
  locally, but even our statewide
  candidates.
 Be active in every precinct in Bexar
  County.
 If we all work together, we can Turn
  Texas Blue!
What’s on the agenda for today
1. Structure of the Bexar County
   Democratic Party
2. Duties of a precinct chair

3. Robert’s Rules of Order
4. Resources for precinct chairs
Part 1

  Structure of the Bexar County
   Democratic Party (BCDP)
Structure of the
Bexar County Democratic Party
 The BCDP is governed by the County
  Executive Committee (CEC), which consists
  of all precinct chairs and the county chair.
 Conduct of the business of the BCDP and the
  CEC is subject to (in this order):
     Federal Laws and The Texas Election Code
     The Rules of the Texas Democratic Party
     The Continuing Rules of the BCDP
     Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised
Structure of the
Bexar County Democratic Party
 County Executive Committee (CEC) meeting

            Tuesday, June 7, 6:30 pm
             Luby’s, 911 North Main
 All precinct chairs and applicants should
  attend.
Structure of the
Bexar County Democratic Party
 Between CEC meetings, the Executive
  Council conducts legal and financial
  business and drafts communications.
 The Executive Council consists of:
     County Chair
     Treasurer
     Secretary (non-voting)
     Four Deputy Chairs
Structure of the
Bexar County Democratic Party
 There is one Deputy Chair for each of the
  four County Commissioner Precincts.
 Deputy Chairs are elected at the first CEC
  meeting in the new term.
 Deputy Chairs communicate with precinct
  chairs in their Commissioner’s Precinct.
 Your County Commissioner’s Precinct is the
  first digit of your four-digit precinct number.
Structure of the
Bexar County Democratic Party
 The Secretary takes minutes of meetings.
 The Secretary is elected at the first meeting in
  the new term.
 The Treasurer reports to the Budget and
  Finance Committee and to the CEC.
 The Treasurer is elected no later than July 1
  in the new term.
 Nominations for Treasurer are screened by
  the Budget and Finance Committee.
Structure of the
Bexar County Democratic Party
 The agenda for CEC meetings is set by the
  Steering Committee, which consists of:
     County Chair
     Four Deputy Chairs
     Secretary
     Treasurer
     Presidents (or a representative) of Democratic
      clubs (with 25 or more members)
     State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC)
      members from Bexar County
     A representative of each standing committee
Structure of the
Bexar County Democratic Party
 CEC meetings take place at least four times
  per year, usually the first Tuesday of the
  month.
 Precinct chairs should receive notices of the
  CEC meetings by mail.
 Quorum is 1/4 of the current CEC.
 Filling vacancies requires a majority quorum.
  “Majority quorum” means more than half.
Structure of the
Bexar County Democratic Party
 During the CEC meeting, discussion doesn’t
  go on forever!
 Discussion alternates between four speakers
  for the motion and four against (1 from each
  of 4 Commissioner’s precincts).
 Each speaker is limited to two minutes.

 The CEC can extend debate.
Structure of the
Bexar County Democratic Party
 Standing Committees include:
     Budget and Finance
     Campaign
     Communications
     Election Integrity and Voter Protection
     Fundraising
     Precinct Chair Recruitment
     Rules
 The CEC can also form ad hoc committees.
Structure of the
Bexar County Democratic Party
 Committeee members don’t have to be
  precinct chairs.
 Each committee elects two co-chairs. One
  co-chair must be a CEC member.
 There are additional qualifications for
  members of the Budget and Finance
  Committee. They must be appointed by the
  Executive Council and approved by the CEC.
Structure of the
Bexar County Democratic Party
 Democratic clubs affiliated with the BCDP
  include county-wide organizations:
     Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio
     Bexar County Young Democrats
     Bexar County Democratic Women
Structure of the
Bexar County Democratic Party
 Several Democratic clubs affiliated with the
  BCDP are regional organizations:
     Northwest Democrats
     North East Bexar County Democrats
     Mission Democrats
     Alamo City Democrats
 Regional organizations have claimed a
  jurisdiction for the purpose of turning out the
  Democratic vote in their precincts.
Structure of the
Bexar County Democratic Party
Structure of the
Bexar County Democratic Party
 Jurisdiction is not the same as membership
  area.
 If your precinct is within the jurisdiction of an
  organization, we encourage you to coordinate
  your campaign work with them.
 That doesn’t mean you have to be a member.
 We want every precinct to be active, and we
  want to avoid duplicated effort.
Part 2

  Duties of Precinct Chairs
Eligibility for Precinct Chairs
 Eligibility to serve as Precinct Chair is
  determined by the Texas Election Code.
      Age 18 or more
      Registered to vote in Bexar County
      Must live in the precinct
      Not elected official or candidate for federal,
       state or county office
Eligibility for Precinct Chairs
 After the Primary in even-numbered years,
  newly appointed Precinct Chairs must be
  officially affiliated with the Democratic Party.
 Two ways to become affiliated:
     You voted in the Primary.
     If you didn’t vote in the Primary, you must take
      an oath of affiliation. See Texas Election
      Code Section 162.008.
Duties of Precinct Chairs
 Most important: Attend the CEC meetings.
 If you must miss a CEC meeting, notify the
  BCDP office.
 Your meeting attendance is tracked on the
  BCDP website.
 Be sure that the party office has your current
  contact information (address, phone
  numbers, e-mail address).
 Organize your precinct convention on the
  night of the primary.
Duties of Precinct Chairs
 Organize your precinct by getting to know
  your precinct and its voters.
 Encourage Democrats in your precinct to
  vote.
 Act as liaison between voters in your precinct
  and elected officials.
 Help to find election workers for your precinct.
 Dress your polling place with campaign signs
  for Election Day, and work your polling place.
 Understand the Party rules and the Election
  Code.
Can we count on you to conduct the
campaign in your precinct?
 The November 2012 election will be
  competitive. We have a strong chance of
  electing our statewide candidates for the first
  time in… far too long!
 We need to know where our precinct chairs
  are active.
 If we have precinct chairs who don’t want to
  do their part, we have other people who can
  help. But we need to know!
Can we count on you to conduct the
campaign in your precinct?
 We are asking every precinct chair to work
  their precinct by building and leading a team
  of volunteers to turn out the Democratic vote.
 Some precincts don’t have a precinct chair.
  In these precincts, we try to find someone to
  serve as precinct team leader.
 We ask every precinct chair: “Can we count
  on you to lead your precinct team?”
Can we count on you to conduct the
campaign in your precinct?
 If the precinct chair doesn’t want to be
  precinct team leader:
      We will try to find someone else to lead the
       precinct team.
      We will NOT remove precinct chairs for
       refusing to work their precinct.
      But in an election this close, every precinct
       matters!
Part 3

  Robert’s Rules of Order
Robert’s Rules of Order
 The Rules of the Texas Democratic Party designate
  Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised (current
  edition) as the parliamentary authority for meetings.
 Robert’s Rules of Order are named after the original
  author, Gen. Henry Robert, who published them in
  1876.
 Parliamentary procedure is based on these
  principles:
      Decisions are made by a majority.
      Each member can vote and express an opinion.
      Decisions are reached fairly and efficiently.
Agenda of CEC meeting
 1.    Call to order
 2.    Pledge of allegiance and moment of silence
 3.    Introduction of elected officials and candidates
 4.    Approval of agenda (can be amended by CEC)
 5.    Statutory business (when required by the Election
       Code and/or TDP rules)
 6.    Approval of minutes of previous meeting
 7.    Reports by County Chair, Executive Council,
       Treasurer, Standing Committees
 8.    Unfinished business
 9.    New business (Items not specified on the agenda
       may be brought up here)
 10.   Announcements
 11.   Adjourn
I don’t “motion,” I “move”!
 Most business is conducted through motions.
 A precinct chair introduces the motion by standing, saying
    “Madam Chair,” being given the floor, and saying “I move
    that….”
   Another precinct chair stands and says “I second the
    motion.” (Otherwise, the motion fails.)
   There is discussion on the motion.
   During the discussion amendments can be made, but no
    new motions can be made while the original motion is “on
    the table.”
   A vote is taken on the amendment first.
   A vote is taken on the amended main motion.
   The chair announces the result of the vote.
Votes in the CEC meeting
 Only CEC members can vote. The Chair does not vote
  except to break a tie.
 Usually voting is done by voice vote. Chair announces
  whether the ayes or the nays “have it.”
 To verify the result of the vote, you must stand and say “I
  call for a division of the house.” You cannot interrupt, nor
  can you do this after another motion is made.
 Verifiable methods of voting (can be counted):
    Secret ballots are prohibited by the Rules of the TDP.
    Show of hands
    Standing vote (To facilitate counting, chair can ask the
      ayes and nays to move to opposite sides of the room)
    Roll call vote (If anyone objects, it must be established
      that at least 10% want to have a roll call vote.)
What to do if…
   you can’t hear what’s going on
 You rise and say “Point of Privilege.”
 (You may interrupt.)
 You explain.
 No second is needed, and there is no debate.
 The situation should be resolved.
 “Point of Privilege” can also be used to complain
  about room temperature or anything else that is
  interfering with the meeting.
What to do if…
   you want to ask a question
 You rise and say “Point of Information.”
 (Do not interrupt unless it is urgent.)
 No second is needed, and there is no debate.
 If the matter requires further study, instead of “Point
  of Information,” you say, “I move that we refer this
  matter to the ____ Committee.”
    This motion requires a second and then a vote.
    If the motion prevails, the Committee meets
      separately and brings the issue back at a
      subsequent meeting.
What to do if…
   you want to amend a motion
 During discussion of a motion, you rise and say
    “Madam Chair.”
   (Do not interrupt.)
   When acknowledged, you say, “I move that this
    motion be amended by….”
   The amendment must be seconded (or the
    amendment fails).
   There is discussion and then vote on the
    amendment.
   If the amendment is acceptable to the person who
    made the main motion, it is called a “friendly
    amendment.” No vote is taken on the amendment.
What to do if…
   discussion is dragging on and on
 You rise and say “Madam Chair.”
 (Do not interrupt.)
 When acknowledged, you say, “I move the previous
  question.”
 A second is needed (or the discussion on the main
  motion continues).
 A vote is taken on ending discussion. A two-thirds
  vote is required.
 If the previous question prevails, discussion ends, no
  further amendments are permitted, and a vote is
  taken on the main motion.
What to do if…
   you disagree with the Chair’s ruling
 You rise and say “I appeal the Chair’s decision.”
 (You may interrupt.)
 A second is needed.
 There is discussion.
 A majority vote is needed to overturn the Chair’s
  ruling.
What to do if…
   someone makes an insult
 You rise and say “Point of order.”
 (You may interrupt.)
 No second is needed, and there is no discussion.
 There is no vote, and the Chair makes a decision.
What to do if…
   you want to suspend the meeting
 You rise and say “Madam Chair.”
 (Do not interrupt.)
 When acknowledged, you say, “I move that we
    recess until….”
   A second is needed.
   The motion is not debatable but can be amended.
   A vote is taken to recess the meeting.
   Recessing the meeting does not mean ending the
    meeting.
   To end the meeting, say instead, “I move that we
    adjourn.”
What to do if…
   you want to deal with an issue later
 You rise and say “Madam Chair.” (Do not interrupt.)
 When acknowledged, you say, “I move that we
    postpone this matter until….”
   A second is needed.
   The motion is debatable and can be amended.
   A vote is taken to postpone the matter.
   If you don’t want to take the matter up again at a
    specific time, say instead, “I move that we table it.”
   Tabling the matter doesn’t mean voting the matter
    down. It puts the issue on a list of things to be
    considered later, after someone says, “I move that
    we take from the table….”
What to do if…
   you change your mind after a vote
 You rise and say “Madam Chair.”
 (You may interrupt.)
 You say, “I move we now reconsider our action
    relative to….”
   You cannot make a motion to reconsider unless
      You voted with the majority and
      You wish to change your vote.
   A second is needed.
   The motion is debatable but cannot be amended.
   A majority vote is needed to overturn the decision
    previously made by the body.
What to do if…
   the issue is improper for the CEC
 You rise and say “Madam Chair.”
 (You may interrupt.)
 You say, “I object to consideration of this question.”
 There is no discussion, and no amendments are
  permitted.
 A two-thirds vote is needed to remove the matter
  from consideration.
What to do if…
   a later item on the agenda is urgent
 You rise and say “Madam Chair.”
 (You may not interrupt.)
 You say, “I move that we suspend the rules and
    consider….”
   A second is needed.
   There is no discussion, and no amendments are
    permitted.
   A two-thirds vote is needed to consider the matter out
    of its scheduled order.
   Although the language of this motion is to “suspend
    the rules,” all rules are still in effect, and only the
    order of the agenda is actually suspended.
What to do if…
   you can’t remember all this stuff
 All of these motions are summarized in a two-page
  chart in the booklet of Rules of the Texas Democratic
  Party.
 For experienced followers of Robert’s Rules: note
  that one page has motions listed in “order of
  precedence,” and the other page lists motions that
  have no order of precedence.
 If another motion was being considered when you
  make a motion, the Chair might determine that your
  motion is “out of order.” But this is not an arbitrary
  ruling, and you can still appeal the decision.
Part 4

  Resources for Precinct Chairs
Resources for Precinct Chairs
 The BCDP website www.bexardemocrats.org
      Precinct chair list and contact info
      Training materials
      Events calendar
      Meeting minutes, agenda, Treasurer’s report
 Bexar County Elections www.bexar.org/elections
      Precinct maps, number of registered voters, election
       results
 Texas Democratic Party resources
      www.txdemocrats.org
      Grassroots Handbook
      Voter Activation Network (VAN)
 Other resources
The BCDP Website
The BCDP Website
             General
The BCDP Website
The BCDP Website
Resources formerly available on the BCDP website, will be revised and
made available again soon.




                                                      Being a
                                                      Precinct
                                                       Chair
                                                       (6 pages)
Bexar Elections Dept. Resources
Bexar Elections Dept. Resources
Bexar Elections Dept. Resources
Bexar Elections Dept. Resources
Bexar Elections Dept. Resources
Bexar Elections Dept. Resources
Bexar Elections Dept. Resources
Bexar Elections Dept. Resources
Bexar Elections Dept. Resources
Bexar Elections Dept. Resources
                Grassroots
TDP Resources   Handbook
                 (80 pages)
TDP Resources
TDP Resources
 The Voter Activation Network (VAN) is a
  statewide database of registered voters.
 Voters have been identified by the TDP
  based on primary voting history:
     Hard Democrat
     Soft Democrat
     Unknown Partisanship
     Soft Republican
     Hard Republican
TDP Resources
 Voters in the VAN have also been identified
  as to how likely they will vote in the
  November election:
     Certain
     Likely
     Potential
     Unlikely
     Non-voters
TDP Resources
 If you are a precinct chair, you can get a VAN
  account for your precinct from
  http://texasvan.com.
 If you are not a precinct chair, you can get a
  VAN account for your precinct by becoming a
  Majority Builder, contributing $10 per month
  to the TDP.
 If you learn to use VAN, you’ll know who to
  target for your get-out-the-vote effort.
 You’ll also know which voters to target for
  persuasion.
Resources: Future Training Sessions
     Building and Training Your Precinct Team
     Using Targeting to Your Advantage

    Blue Grassroots…
    Our Strategy for Turning Texas Blue
    Get Your Message Out
            Using Social Media
    Getting Out the Vote
    Precinct Convention Training
Resources: Training
 Materials from previous training sessions will
  be placed on the party website
 The TDP has conducted a series of webinars
  on a dozen campaign-related topics.
Resources: Democratic organizations
 Every Democratic organization in Bexar
  County has experienced campaigners.
 These organizations can help you find hard
  Democrats in your precinct and in nearby
  precincts.
 We are working to establish regional
  organizations in parts of Bexar County that
  are not yet covered.
Our #1 Resource:
              You, the Precinct Chair

				
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