Our Revolution Statement on the DNC Unity Reform Commission Meeting

WASHINGTON – Sanders-appointed Unity Reform Commission members on Saturday expressed optimism following the fifth, and final, meeting of the Democratic National Committee’s Unity Reform Committee. The eight members appointed by Sen. Sanders to the commission include Our Revolution Board Chair Larry Cohen, President Nina Turner, Board members Lucy Flores, Jane Kleeb, and Jim Zogby, as well as former Berkeley Mayor Gus Newport, Jeff Weaver, and Nomiki Konst. 

The recommendations include, but are not limited to:

  • Reducing the number of unpledged, “superdelegates,” in the presidential nominating process by 60 percent.
  • Electoral reforms and a process for rewarding states that have same-day registration, same day party change, open primaries, other measures that increase civic participation
  • Commitment to re-evaluating allocation formulas so primary and caucus winners receive more pledged delegates
  • Commitment to reexamine the primary calendar, and offer incentives to states to ensure the calendar is appropriately spread out so voters in each state receive the necessary exposure to the candidates
  • Steps toward transparency and greater inclusion in Democratic National Committee spending including the creation of an Ombudsman Committee and strengthening the conflict of interest provision.

“The Unity Reform Commission proposals, assuming adoption by the DNC in 2018, lead to a Democratic Party that would be a beacon in voting rights and transparency.  Much of the attention of the URC is on the Presidential nominating process, particularly the cut in unpledged superdelegates on the first ballot from 715 to less than 300,” said Larry Cohen, Chair of Our Revolution’s Board of Directors and Vice Chair of the Unity Reform Commission. “Just as important, the reforms mandated for party caucus and primary reform provide for same day registration and same day party registration. Similarly, party leadership elections must be open and transparent rules for nominations and deadlines must be simple not controlled by insiders.  In all of our recommendations, we are saying to party officials in all states: This party must be inclusive in building membership and leadership—no barriers.”
The Democratic Party created the Unity Reform Commission at the behest of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic Convention. The Commission was envisioned to be a space for the Party to resolve concerns about its nominating process and Party operations. Secretary Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Democratic Party Chairman Tom Perez all made appointments to the 21-person Commission. Through four working groups (Caucuses, Primaries, Unpledged delegates, and Party reform) the Commission has focused on making recommendations to expand the base of the Democratic Party. 
“We can be proud of the work we’ve done so far, but we have many more miles to go,” said Nina Turner, President of Our Revolution. “Now, we must engage the people the Democratic Party seeks to represent. One of the reforms I would have liked to see was the elimination superdelegates because I believe that no one person should have more of a voice than any other. This commission was only the first phase of the process. Our Revolution will continue to work with partner organizations to engage the grassroots until the DNC adopts the reforms recommended by the Unity Reform Commission.”