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Members Call Democratic Committee Meeting

Members of the Virgin Islands Democratic Territorial Committee gathered Saturday in a meeting called by the membership to begin the process of updating its bylaws.

The meeting was held by teleconference at the University of the Virgin Islands’ St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses.

Former Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen said the party committee had been stymied in its effort to meet because of a lack of quorum.

"For more than a year since the primary we have been unable to update bylaws, adopt a platform, approve clubs or take any action because we did not have quorums even though many of us took upon ourselves to call, email or text members to attend," Christensen said. "We thought that a member-called meeting with an agenda that addressed the items members were concerned about might make a difference."

Under the committee’s current bylaws, a petition of 25 percent or more of the committee membership can request a meeting. If the state chair does not schedule the meeting, the members can hold the meeting.

State Chairman Cecil Benjamin and Vice Chairman Riise Richards did not attend.
held today at State Chair and Vice Chair did not attend. National committeeman Emmett Hansen was the only member of the executive committee to attend and would have been next in line to chair the meeting, but declined.

Christensen was voted to serve as chair pro tem. May Adams Cornwall volunteered to be secretary pro tem and was accepted.

The members voted to amend the bylaws of the membership section, and adopted the position that the section of law determining the number of ex officio members of the DTC, now fixed at 20, should be repealed.

The meeting adopted the existing platform as a working document. Christensen drafted the original platform ten years ago and, while minor changes were made over the years, a more thorough revision is needed, she said.

"More work needs to be done to make them relevant and more responsive for today. It is a working document," she said. "Everyone thought that we needed to accept it because the basic principles are there, to put it on the front burner."

The members also approved the New Horizon Women’s Democratic Club and the St. Thomas Hispanic Democratic Club

The meeting also voted to support retaining the party symbol on the ballot.

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