Here’s what happened to reach the Republican Party of Texas Platform we have today, now that the vote on the planks has concluded:
1. People submitted resolutions at their precinct conventions on March 3rd.
2. The State Party Chairman appointed Mark Dorazio as the Chairman of the Temporary Platform Committee.
3. County and Senatorial District Conventions formed Resolutions Committees to process the resolutions from precinct conventions and any new resolutions submitted directly to their conventions.
4. Pandemic delayed the May 23rd County/SD Conventions until up to as late as June 27th.
5. The State Convention in Houston was postponed until July 16-18.
6. Almost all resolutions were submitted to the RPT by June 27th.
7. Volunteers and staff diligently entered the thousands of resolutions from the 248 County and SD Conventions which took place into one document for the Platform Committee, either by copying and pasting or retyping them, sorting them into the 9 categories of the Platform while doing so, by the week before convention.
8. State Republican Executive Committee members from the 31 districts each nominated one volunteer to serve on the Temporary Platform Committee. Chairman Mark Dorazio then appointed 9 subcommittee chairmen from among these 31 committee members.
9. Volunteer platform committee secretaries/editors were recruited. These people served every hour of every day that the committee and subcommittees met, and worked long after the meetings concluded.
10. Thursday, July 9th, the mayor of Houston announced he was reneging on the city’s contract to host the RPT Convention at the Houston Convention Center.
11. As scheduled, for the full day of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 13, 14 and 15, the Temporary Platform Committee met in Houston, but not at the Convention Center. At the hotel across the street from the Convention Center they met in 9 subcommittees, and then as a committee of the whole. They considered every plank from the previous platform, considered the new submitted resolutions, and heard testimony from delegates who showed up to speak to the committee on particular resolutions or planks. The committee concluded business at 11:54 PM on Wednesday.
12. During the virtual convention general assembly on Sunday, July 19th the delegates approved a motion which included postponing voting on the party Rules and Platform Reports until some other time in the future, by a method to be recommended by a Committee of 10 which was then elected.
13. The Committee of 10 recommended voting on the Platform and Rules via a “Survey Monkey-style” survey to delegates and alternates by electronic mail, with a minimum of three (3) days allowed for them complete the survey. Each Platform plank from the Permanent Platform and Resolutions Committee shall be voted on individually by each delegate, and the Minority Reports from both that Committee and the Rules Committee shall be included for separate votes. The electronic mail notification on the voting platform shall include a paragraph from the person designated to present the Minority Report, as well as the proposed language from the Committee, pursuant to RPT Rule 24. Sufficient identifying information shall be included to allow for seating of alternates and SD identification for weighted voting purposes. The results of the Survey Monkey-style voting shall be ratified at the next regular SREC meeting but announced as soon as available by RPT staff.“
14. Mark Ramsey, chairman of the Legislative Priorities Committee, and Karen Marshall, an editor of the Platform Committees, set about creating a method for delegates to vote which met these criteria and included backup methods to handle the kind of problems encountered during the July virtual convention. An enormous amount of effort went into crafting the ballot so that it met all party rules and parliamentary requirements, as well as be as user-friendly as possible.
15. SREC Members served as their districts’ delegates’ support through the four day voting process, and provided access to the ballot and a unique passcode to any delegate who notified them during that time they had not received their ballot.
16. After Platform and Rules voting concluded after four days, the volunteer team went through and eliminated any duplicate votes, corrected the counties of the voters who answered “Texas” on that question, and sorted the votes by district. Then the votes were weighted according to each district’s delegate strength. After a few sets of eyes double-checked the data and the math, the results were published. Both Minority Reports, Rules and Platform, passed, as well as all proposed planks, by well over 60% each.
Thank you, everyone who participated as delegates in the virtual state convention in July, and who then voted on the recent Platform and Rules ballot.
Now that you know the process by which our Platform develops, even in unprecedented circumstances, I hope you will know how to craft your future resolutions and advocate for them effectively.
- Submit your resolutions by email, so they don’t need to be retyped. (Don’t scan or Xerox copy a document. The text should be selectable, able to be copied and pasted.)
- Be sure to give each resolution a short title/subject, and identify under which of the 9 Platform categories each belongs.
- Email a copy of your new resolution(s) to your Senate District’s member of the Temporary Platform Committee before the committee meets. Members are posted on the RPT website before state convention.
- Show up in person on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of convention week to testify to the Platform Committee on your resolution(s).