You Say You Want a Resolution

We all want to change the world.

While the Beatles song didn’t really mention a resolution, creating one can be the starting point for change. Writing and submitting a resolution for consideration at the Hays County Democratic Party’s convention on March 21 is your way to be directly involved in defining our party’s values and to take a stand on important issues. Resolutions that delegates approve at the county convention are forwarded for consideration at the Texas Democratic Party’s convention in June.

Resolutions typically fall into one of the following categories:

  • urging Democratic elected officials, especially in the Texas Legislature and the U.S. Congress, to advocate certain positions on policy issues
  • amending the rules of the Texas Democratic Party (TDP)
  • amending the TDP platform

Structure of resolutions
Read the resolutions approved at the 2018 HCDP convention for examples of how to structure your resolution. The basic structure is listed below.

1. Give the resolution a title that indicates not merely the topic but also the position to be advocated (e.g., instead of “Resolution on Vouchers for Texas Schools,” use “Resolution Opposing Vouchers for Texas Schools”).

2. List the reasons for the resolution to provide information that will strengthen its understanding and importance. Each reason should be in a separate paragraph beginning with the word “whereas” in capital letters.

3. List each action to be taken in separate paragraphs introduced by the words “be it resolved” in capital letters.

4. Use semicolons to separate each paragraph. A well-written resolution should grammatically consist of a single sentence.

5. Keep the resolution brief. It should fit easily on a single page.

6. At the end of the resolution, include a submission statement with the following information:

Submitted to the Hays County Democratic Party by ____________ (your name) on March __, 2020.

Process of resolutions
You have an idea for a resolution and now know the proper structure for writing one, so what happens next?

1. Write your resolutions using the proper format, and send them to the HCDP resolutions chair (diana@hayscountydemocrats.org) by March 19. The resolutions committee will review the submitted resolutions, amend them if needed, combine them with other similar resolutions, or vote them down if not relevant. The committee will then present their recommended resolutions at the county convention.

2. Delegates at the county convention will consider all the resolutions recommended by the resolutions committee. Resolutions that pass at the county convention and that are not local in nature will be forwarded to the Texas Democratic Party for consideration at the state convention. Resolutions that deal with local concerns will be sent to the appropriate relevant people, offices, or organizations.

3. A Temporary Resolutions Committee consisting of members of the State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC) will organize the resolutions submitted for the state convention. They can pull out any resolution they don’t like unless it has come from multiple counties or senatorial districts.

4. Resolutions concerning TDP rules or the TDP platform will be referred to the Rules Committee or the Platform Committee.

5. At the state convention, each senatorial district elects one member for each of various committees.

6. The resolutions committee at the state convention will consider the submitted resolutions, combine them with others as possible, and then refer them for a vote on the convention floor. 

7. The SDEC will send resolutions passed by the state convention to the Democrats elected to the Texas Legislature and U.S. Congress, as appropriate. 

Aside from voting, writing resolutions is a great way for you to have input on issues that matter to you. Perhaps your resolution will make it all the way to our elected representatives for their consideration in proposed legislation.