I'm looking for documents like an organizational charter that might be stable over years.

National level, not state or local.

  • 1
    About the closest you can get would be the party platforms adopted at Presidential nominating conventions. You need to remember that the Democratic party was founded a couple of centuries ago (1828, per Wikipedia: tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(United_States) ), and both the party and the world have changed considerably since.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 16:49
  • @jamessqf. Appreciate the information, but a party platform is too ephemeral for my purposes. Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 16:52
  • The primary policy document of the Democratic party is its party platform, which is revised every four years at the party's nation convention. democrats.org/where-we-stand/party-platform The party's ideals drift over time and the other documents of the party are every bit as malleable as the platform. State parties also have their own platforms.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 19:04
  • There is no document that is eternal in a political party fixing its political stances. The Democratic and Republican Parties completely traded places in policy-space on most issues between 1921 and 2021, for example. The mission statements, charter and bylaws are revised just as often as the platform is.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


The Democratic Party has a charter and bylaws that, among other things, describe the function and organization of the Democratic National Committee in Article 3 of the charter:

  1. The Democratic National Committee shall have general responsibility for the affairs of the Democratic Party between National Conventions, subject to the provisions of this Charter and to the resolutions or other actions of the National Convention. This responsibility shall include: [list of duties]

You've asked in comments about antidiscrimination provisions. Those are defined for the whole party by the charter in Article 8 (as well as in other places):

  1. The Democratic Party of the United States shall be open to all who desire to support the Party and who wish to be known as Democrats.

  2. Discrimination in the conduct of Democratic Party affairs on the basis of sex, race, age (if of voting age), color, creed, national origin, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic identity or disability is prohibited, to the end that the Democratic Party at all levels be an open party.

  3. To encourage full participation by all Democrats, with particular concern for minority groups, Blacks, Native Americans, Asian/Pacifics, Hispanics, women and youth in the delegate selection process and in all Party affairs, as defined in the Bylaws, the National and State Democratic Parties shall adopt and implement an affirmative action program which provides for representation as nearly as practicable of the aforementioned groups, as indicated by their presence in the Democratic electorate.
    This program shall include specific goals and timetables to achieve this purpose.

  4. This goal shall not be accomplished either directly or indirectly by the national or state Democratic Parties' imposition of mandatory quotas at any level of the delegate selection process or in
    any other Party affairs, as defined in the Bylaws; however, representation as nearly as practicable of minority groups, Blacks, Native Americans, Asian/Pacifics, Hispanics, women and youth, as indicated by their presence in the Democratic electorate, as provided in this Article, shall not be deemed a quota.

  5. Performance under an approved affirmative action program and composition of the Convention delegation shall be considered relevant evidence in the challenge of any state delegation. If a state Party has adopted and implemented an approved and monitored affirmative action program, the Party shall not be subject to challenge based solely on delegate composition or solely on primary results.

  6. Notwithstanding Section 5 above, equal division at any level of delegate or committee positions between delegate men and delegate women or committeemen and committeewomen, as defined in the Democratic National Committee Charter, Article Nine, Section 16, shall not constitute a violation of any provision thereof.

I believe the reference to the "Democratic National Committee Charter" in Section 6 of Article 8 is referring to the party-wide charter. Section 16 of Article 9 of the charter is exactly what's described in Section 6 of Article 8: it requires equal division between men and women in party committees and conventions.

  • As far as I can tell, neither of these would be considered a "mission statement". They describe the organization and processes, but not the principles of the party -- nothing that distinguishes it from other political parties.
    – Barmar
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 15:41
  • Other than being a link-only answer, I'd accept the documents as being exactly what I was looking for. Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 16:53
  • Article 8, paragraphs 1 and 2 (with regard to discrimination) iare the parts most relevant for me. Perhaps you might include them in your answer. Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 16:56
  • @Burt_Harris I'm actually not sure what besides a link would have be most appropriate to include here, but since you're particularly interested in Article 8 I've included that.
    – cpast
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 18:05
  • @Burt_Harris If there's something specific you were looking for, that should be stated in the question. I assumed you were looking for something that describes the overall goals of the Democratic party.
    – Barmar
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 20:09

Regarding "Mission Statement" --

Although the power structure and bureaucracy are given first place, the DNC charter does in fact contain a message of substance in terms of political values.

Quoted below is the rarely viewed Article IX, Section 17

Democratic Party Credo

We Democrats are the oldest political party in America and the youngest in spirit. We will remain so, because we enjoy the challenge of government. Time and again, for almost two centuries, the Democratic Party has made government work -- to build and defend a nation, to encourage commerce, to educate our children, to promote equal opportunity, to advance science and industry, to support the arts and humanities, to restore the land, to develop and conserve our human and natural resources, to preserve and enhance our built environment, to relieve poverty, to explore space. We have reached difficult and vital goals.

We recognize that the capacity of government is limited but we regard democratic government as a force for good and a source of hope. At the heart of our party lies a fundamental conviction, that Americans must not only be free, but they must live in a fair society. We believe it is the responsibility of government to help us achieve this fair society.

  • a society where the elderly and the disabled can lead lives of dignity and where Social Security remains an unshakable commitment;
  • a society where all people can find jobs in a growing full-employment economy;
  • a society where all workers are guaranteed without question the legal right to join unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively for decent wages and conditions of employment;
  • a society where taxes are clearly based on ability to pay;
  • a society where the equal rights of women are guaranteed in the Constitution;
  • a society where the civil rights of minorities are fully secured and where no one is denied the opportunity for a better life;
  • a society where both public and private discrimination based upon race, sex, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status, philosophical persuasion or disability are condemned and where our government moves aggressively to end such discrimination through lawful means;
  • a society where we recognize that the strengthening of the family and the protection of children are essential to the health of the nation;
  • a society where a sound education, proper nutrition, quality medical care, affordable housing, safe streets and a healthy environment are possible for every citizen;
  • a society where the livelihoods of our family farmers are as stable as the values they instill in the American character;
  • a society where a strong national defense is a common effort, where promoting human rights is a basic value of our foreign policy, and where we ensure that future by ending the nuclear arms race.

This is our purpose and our promise

  • You sure have to dig deep to find out whether the party actually aligns with your personal values. You'd think something like this would be in the Preamble.
    – Barmar
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 21:28
  • Precisely my reaction when I ran across it a few elections ago. It's actually a really inspiring text. Burying it is symbolic of some of the party's present-day struggles
    – Pete W
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 21:31

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