Monday, March 1, 2010

Write a Resolution at Your Precinct Convention

You can play a part in assembling the Democratic platform. Here's how. The precinct conventions begin on Tuesday, March 2 after the polls close, at about 7:15 p.m. Each convention takes place at that precinct's primary polling place. You can attend the convention with your printed resolutions on the political issues of your choice, and you can also sign up to be a delegate at the Senate District convention. For some ideas on how to write a resolution, or to print out one you would like to see included at your precinct, go to Below are instructions for writing resolutions as well as some examples, which you may also print out and carry with you.

Purposes of a resolution:
1. To memorialize someone recently deceased.
2. To congratulate a person or group.
3. To amend the Rules of the Texas Democratic Party (TDP).
4. To amend the TDP Platform.
5. To urge Democratic elected officials, especially in the Texas Legislature and the U.S. Congress, to advocate certain positions on policy issues. As the delegates assembled at the state convention are the highest authority within the TDP, such resolutions should carry weight with elected officials as the consensus of the grassroots of the party.

Structure of resolutions (copied from Burnt Orange Report)
1. Give the resolution a title that indicates not merely the topic, but also the position to be advocated (i.e., instead of "Resolution on Vouchers for Texas Schools," it would be better to put "Resolution Opposing Vouchers for Texas Schools").
2. List the reasons for the resolution at the beginning, each reason being in a separate paragraph beginning with the word "whereas" (capitalized, italicized or in boldface).
3. List each action to be taken in separate paragraphs introduced by the words "be it resolved" (capitalized, italicized or in boldface).
4. Use semicolons to separate each paragraph, and avoid periods. A well-written resolution should consist grammatically of a single sentence.
5. Keep the resolution brief. It should fit easily on a single page.
6. At the end of the resolution, write: "Submitted to and Adopted by Precinct ___ in ____ County, Texas, Senatorial District ___, on March 2, 2010" and leave a signature line for the precinct convention secretary, who will sign it if the precinct convention adopts the resolution.

Example Resolution
WHEREAS we believe every Texan has the right to participate fully and equally in society and enjoy its benefits and freedoms; and WHEREAS lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Texans suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and education because of homophobia and a lack of legal protection; and
WHEREAS non-discrimination laws help to ensure that LGBT people have equal access to the same opportunities and protections granted to others, such as the ability to work in an environment where people are judged by their job performance, not their sexual orientation or gender identity; and
WHEREAS the State of Texas does not have a statewide non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation and gender identity,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party supports the passage of comprehensive non-discrimination legislation that would make discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity illegal in employment, housing, education and public accommodations.
Submitted to and Adopted by Precinct ____ in _____________ County, Texas, Senatorial District 11, on March 2, 2010.
Convention Secretary

Resolution Supporting the Immediate Implementation of U.S. Comprehensive Immigration Reform

WHEREAS, The U.S. is and has always been a nation of immigrants who have enriched the American culture, and millions of immigrants work hard, contribute to our economy, raise families, serve in the U.S. armed forces, and study at universities;

WHEREAS, undocumented workers in the U.S. have been hindered from attaining legal immigration status which would allow them to work in compliance with work visa rules because current immigration laws and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS)cannot meet the demand for visas;

RESOLVED, that immigrants be treated with respect and humanity. Exemplary treatment of immigrants by citizens can serve as the moral basis to call for government attitudes and legislation to reflect the same virtues.

RESOLVED, that the government develop structures and mechanisms that safeguard and monitor the national borders with efficiency and respect for human dignity.

RESOLVED, that the government establish more functional legal mechanisms for the annual entry of a reasonable number of immigrant workers and families by implementing comprehensive immigration reform.

RESOLVED, that the government recognize the central importance of the family in society by reconsidering the number and categories of visas available for family reunification, by dedicating more resources to reducing the backlog of cases in process, and by reevaluating the impact of deportation on families.

RESOLVED, that the government establish a sound, equitable process toward earned legal status for currently undocumented immigrants, who desire to embrace the responsibilities and privileges that accompany citizenship.

RESOLVED, that the government legislate fair labor and civil laws for all residing within the United States that reflect the best of this country’s heritage.

RESOLVED, that immigration enforcement be conducted in ways that recognize the importance of due process of law, the sanctity of the human person, and the incomparable value of family.

RESOLVED, that laws and policies be changed to decriminalize immigration so that an individual's right to move across borders is protected as an activity essential to human survival and economic progress.

RESOLVED, regardless of birth place or citizenship, the human rights of all persons in the U.S. shall be protected.

RESOLVED, that all persons in the U.S. are subject to the law of the land including taxation laws.

RESOLVED, that all workers, regardless of birthplace or citizenship, have the right to a safe work place, a living wage, and the right to unionize, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the funding currently allocated for border control and interior enforcement be reduced, and construction of a Mexico/US border fence and construction and operation of detention centers cease so that resources are redirected to:
• stem overwhelming influx of immigrants by helping to develop sustainable economies in the sending regions
• reduce backlogs of those awaiting residency and work authorization and naturalization
• support communities with the integration of an influx of immigrants until the local economy and tax revenues stabilize

Submitted to and Adopted by: PRCT. _____- _________ County
Precinct Convention Secretary (signature) ________________________ on ________ (date)
Submitted to and Adopted by State Sen. District 11 , ______________________ County
Sen. District/Co. Secretary (signature) __________________________ on ________ (date)


Resolution Supporting the Memory of Denis E. Bergeron

WHEREAS, DENIS BERGERON SR., lifelong active Democrat, passed away on OCTOBER 24, 2009 at the age of 87; and


WHEREAS, DENIS BERGERON SR. helped figure out how to store supplies on the INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION; and



WHEREAS, DENIS BERGERON SR. wrote a memoir, IN FRONT OF PATTON, published in December, 2008; and

WHEREAS, DENIS BERGERON SR. competed in the SENIOR OLYMPICS as a runner well into his 60s; and

WHEREAS, DENIS BERGERON SR. is survived by his daughter Judith and sons Dennis Jr., William, and Bryan, and five grandchildren; and

WHEREAS, DENIS BERGERON SR. set an outstanding example for others through his involvement in the political process, both partisan and nonpartisan, and by his enthusiastic support of NASA’S SPACE MISSION; and

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that this convention honor the memory and lifetime achievements of our dearly departed friend and mentor, DENIS E. BERGERON SR., and support his family with our thoughts, prayers, and a moment of silence and reflection.

Submitted to and Adopted by Precinct _____ in ___________County, Texas, Senatorial District _____ on March 2, 2010.



WHEREAS President Obama submitted a significant budget increase for NASA and yet proposed cancelling the Constellation Program to return humans to the Moon in NASA’s 2011 budget proposal;

WHEREAS President Obama has taken considerable criticism for setting out a plan to make great leaps in exploration beyond Earth orbit by taking intelligent steps to adjust to Constellation’s underfunding and economic issues facing NASA when he was inaugurated;

WHEREAS George W. Bush proposed the Vision for Space Exploration program, which became Constellation, in 2004 as part of his re-election campaign and then did nothing to build support for the program;

WHEREAS under Bush, no new money was provided to NASA to begin the Constellation program, instead NASA science, robotic missions, and human spaceflight programs were ended to provide funds for Constellation;

WHEREAS Bush set in motion cancellation of Space Shuttle program and retirement of the International Space Station just as it was completed to find obtain money for Constellation;

WHEREAS the Bush plan (not Obama plan) to cancel the shuttle program created the six-year gap for American human access to space, leaving America’s space program to rely on Russia for all human launches;

WHEREAS Bush planned to terminate the space station shortly after completion, wasting billions and billions of taxpayer dollars and years of scientific productivity;

WHEREAS the NASA Constellation program was an “unfunded mandate,” with NASA’s fraction of the federal government’s discretionary funding decreasing from .7 percent to .4 percent under Bush;

WHEREAS Bush’s long range budget plans for Constellation called for initial small budgets followed by gigantic budget increases – essentially massive balloon payments – when the next president took office;

WHEREAS the Augustine “blue ribbon” panel determined that NASA would need an additional $3 billion every year for the foreseeable future to build the Constellation program, but a 17 percent yearly increase in NASA’s budget would still not keep the space station alive or quickly bridge the gap between the shuttle and Constellation launch capabilities;

WHEREAS Bush’s administration created economic conditions ($1 trillion Iraq war and economic crash of 2008) that ensured discretionary funds would not be available to the Constellation program, leaving it on life support as President Obama took office;

WHEREAS Obama’s budget takes into account the Augustine panel’s recommendations and calls for a significant increase for NASA of about $1 billion per year to .6 percent of the federal budget;

WHEREAS the Obama proposal will extend the life of the space station to at least 2020 and enable a more technology-focused approach for humans to explore Mars without detouring through old technology to old destinations;

WHEREAS Obama’s NASA 2011 budget proposal increases NASA’s budget by a billion dollars a year and focuses the Agency on a flexible approach for exploration that focuses on “game changing” technologies, advanced science, and commercial approaches for space operations that are becoming routine;

WHEREAS NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, a Houston/Clear Lake resident, is shifting focus from an old destination, the Moon, forward to Mars, the ultimate destination. The new approach proposed by Obama is not an end of human space exploration leadership, but a new beginning born of and innovative culture as the NASA of the Apollo era;

WHEREAS NASA today is quickly developing new plans and programs to advance space exploration, to enable the Johnson Space Center to develop new missions exploring new destinations beyond our Moon in order to continue leading human exploration of space;

WHEREAS significant additional federal funds are required for NASA to quicken the pace of human exploration as both Democrats and Republicans are now requesting of the Obama Administration, in a non-partisan effort the parties should undertake federal budget and tax policy that funds NASA at $3 billion more per year while maintaining other important federal government programs and not increasing deficits;

Whereas the Democratic Party through its Congressional and executive branch leadership should support Obama’s flexible path by defining new exploration programs that build on the initial work of the Constellation Program, including the Orion Program originally based in Houston, in order to integrate the best of government work with the best that commercial organizations offer;

WHEREAS NASA should consider the possibility of continued Shuttle missions at a reduced rate of two missions per year to bridge the gap designed into the Constellation Program by the previous administration;

WHEREAS NASA can blend the best of the past, with the best of Constellation, with the best that U.S. industry can provide commercially to restart America’s exploration of the universe with inspiring programs that rely on cutting edge technology and innovation brought about by the best of human creativity;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Democratic Party supports President Obama’s new directions for NASA and will help the President propose and undertake new programs blending the best of Constellation Program with the best of commercial spaceflight to advance human exploration and ensure NASA’s Johnson Space Center continues as the world’s “home of human space flight.” Ultimately the first spoken words from Mars will be those of an American calling the home of human spaceflight, Houston, from the true frontier of space.

Submitted to and Adopted by Precinct ¬¬¬¬_____ in _____ County, Texas, Senatorial District ____, on March 2, 2010.

Signed by Secretary to Precinct Convention

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