Jeanne Atkins, Democratic Party of Oregon chair, emailed the following letter to State Central Committee members on Jan. 11:
Fellow SCC members:
On January 2nd I received a new resolution on the subject of opening the Democratic Primary to nonaffiliated voters, with the request that it be considered under our emergency resolution processes. The proposal was made by SCC delegate James Barber.
The DPO by-laws state that if an issue is raised by a proposed resolution that could not wait to be considered at the next regularly-scheduled SCC meeting, the Chair "may" determine that an emergency exists and that the proposal be the subject of an emergency meeting of the SCC. It was agreed by the proponent and by our Rules Chair and our Parliamentarian, that if an emergency were found, Article XVIII, Section 1 of the by-laws would require a special meeting of the SCC to discuss and vote on the question. It was also agreed that the meeting could be conducted by telephone.
Furthermore, it was agreed that whatever the Chair determines on the question of an emergency can be overruled by the Administration Committee.
As your Chair, I ruled that an emergency did not exist. Put most simply, it was my finding that the key matter within the resolution – whether to open the primary to nonaffiliated voters – had already been properly vetted through the Platform and Resolutions Committee this fall, and debated and voted on at our most recent SCC meeting in Portland (November 19, 2017). Robert's Rules does allow for possible reconsideration votes, but only if notice is given at the time of the original vote.
The Administration Committee heard me out and then had their own thorough discussion. They concluded, by a divided vote, to let my determination stand.
A number of challenging issues were considered:
I am forwarding this information to you because I know there has been discussion among some, but not all of you, regarding this proposal, and I wanted to inform you of my actions and the conclusion of the Administration Committee.
Linked below is the resolution and its face sheet so you can be aware of its contents. I am happy to answer any questions you may have or provide additional information. The resolution will be forwarded to the PRC Committee for further consideration and potential action in the future.
Thank you for your attention,