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46th District Democrats (Washington)/Bylaws

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46TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS BYLAWS
Adopted April 21, 2005

ARTICLE I – NAME

The name of this organization shall be the 46th District Democrats.

ARTICLE II – POLICY

Section 1: This organization shall function continuously and shall operate under the applicable Bylaws and Rules of the King County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC) and the State and National Democratic Parties.

Section 2: The purpose of the organization shall be to promote citizen participation in the Democratic Party, advance the 46th District Democrats’ platform, and support and work for the election of Democratic candidates and candidates for nonpartisan office who demonstrably espouse the principles contained in that platform.

ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP

Section 1: All elected, appointed and acting Democratic Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) registered to vote in the 46th District shall be members of the organization.

Section 2: Any other registered voter of the 46th Legislative District who declares himself or herself to be a Democrat may become a voting member upon payment of current organization dues. Those who were not members in the preceding calendar year shall be eligible to vote 21 days after receipt of their dues.

Section 3: Dues apply for the calendar year from January through December. Categories of membership shall include (a) individual membership, (b) family or couple membership, and (c) retired/low income/student membership. Annual membership dues shall be reviewed on an annual basis by the District Executive Board. If, upon such review, the District Executive Board believes a dues adjustment should be made, a motion to that effect shall be made to the membership at the next regular membership meeting, following notice as required by Article IV of these Bylaws. Any change in membership dues, and its effective date, shall be voted on by the membership.

ARTICLE IV – MEETINGS

Section 1: The regular monthly meeting shall be held on the third Thursday of each month. The District Executive Board may change the date and place for a particular regular monthly meeting, so long as all members are notified at or before the regular monthly meeting preceding the monthly meeting to be changed.

Section 2: A reorganization meeting for the District shall be held following each biennial general election, and shall be conducted in accordance with procedures prescribed by state law, the Washington State Democratic Party, and the KCDCC.

Section 3: A special meeting may be called by 25% of the membership, 25% of the PCOs, or by the Chair.

Section 4: Written notice of the time, place and purpose of each regular or special meeting shall be sent to each member no later than 10 days prior to the date of the meeting.

Section 5: Any election to fill a vacancy in any elective office of the organization shall be announced at the immediately preceding District meeting. Notice thereof, and of any proposed amendment to these Bylaws, any proposed dues changes, any endorsement of a candidate or ballot issue, or any donation or contribution of funds in support of any candidate, ballot issue or group (except an official Democratic Party organization), shall be included in the meeting notice sent to each member no less than 10 days prior to the meeting at which such business is to be transacted. The deadline for the inclusion of items in the monthly District Newsletter shall be included within the preceding month's newsletter.

Section 6: A quorum shall be declared by the Chair to exist at any regular or special meeting of the membership when 40 voting members or 10% of the voting membership, whichever is less, is present. Once a quorum has been established for a duly called meeting, it may not be questioned until action on the items indicated in the written notice has been taken.

ARTICLE V – OFFICERS

Section 1: Officers of the organization shall include the following, to be elected by majority vote of eligible voters present at the biennial reorganization meeting – or, to fill a vacancy, at another District meeting – after appropriate notice as required by Article IV of these Bylaws:

  1. Chair
  2. 1st Vice-Chair
  3. Female Delegate to the KCDCC Executive Board
  4. Male Delegate to the KCDCC Executive Board
  5. Female Alternate to the KCDCC Executive Board
  6. Male Alternate to the KCDCC Executive Board
  7. Female Delegate to the State Democratic Central Committee (WSDCC)
  8. Male Delegate to the WSDCC

Only elected or appointed PCOs may be elected to the offices listed in Subparagraphs a-f of this Section, while any member in good standing may be elected to the offices listed in Subparagraphs g and h. However, only elected or appointed PCOs may vote for any of the foregoing offices.

Section 2: Additional officers shall include the following, to be elected by majority vote of eligible voters present at the biennial reorganization meeting – or, to fill a vacancy, at another District meeting – after appropriate notice as required by Article IV of these Bylaws:

  1. Two 2nd Vice-Chairs
  2. Secretary
  3. Treasurer
  4. Sergeant-at-Arms
  5. Five District Executive Board Members-at-Large

Any member in good standing may be elected to the foregoing offices.

Section 3: All officers shall serve until the next biennial reorganization meeting or until their successors are duly elected and installed.

Section 4: The Chair shall be the chief executive officer of the organization, shall preside over its meetings, supervise the preparation of its newsletter and other public announcements, and shall represent the District on the KCDCC Executive Board. In addition, the Chair shall serve as a deputy treasurer.

Section 5: The 1st Vice-Chair shall serve in the absence of the Chair and perform other duties as may be assigned by the Chair. The 1st Vice Chair shall also serve as a deputy treasurer. The two 2nd Vice-Chairs shall perform such duties as may be assigned to them by the Chair.

Section 6: The Secretary shall take and maintain minutes of District and District Executive Board meetings. The minutes shall be posted for public inspection. The Secretary shall also assist the Chair in managing the organization's incoming and outgoing correspondence.

Section 7: The Treasurer shall be responsible for the collection, recording, safekeeping and disbursement of the organization's financial resources. The Treasurer shall manage the organization's bank account(s) and prepare appropriate reports to the Public Disclosure Commission. The Treasurer shall make an oral financial report at each regular District meeting and submit a written report monthly for filing in the minute book.

Section 8: The Sergeant-at-Arms shall be responsible for maintaining order at District meetings and shall take charge of arranging tables, chairs and other meeting hall facilities.

Section 9: The five District Executive Board Members-at-Large shall perform such duties as may be assigned to them by the Chair.

Section 10: The two Delegates to the KCDCC Executive Board shall represent the District on the KCDCC Executive Board and report back on the business of that organization.

Section 11: The two Delegates to the WSDCC shall represent the District on the WSDCC and report back on the business of that committee.

Section 12: Prior to each biennial reorganization meeting, the District Executive Board shall propose procedures for conducting the election of officers at that meeting and shall cause those procedures to be published in the meeting notice sent to each member no less than 10 days prior to the meeting. To the extent adopted by the general membership and in compliance with the procedures referred to in Article IV, Section 2, those procedures shall govern the election of officers.

ARTICLE VI – VOTING

Section 1: Elected, appointed and acting PCOs shall be entitled to vote at all District meetings. In accordance with state law (RCW Chapter 29.42, Political Parties) and the Bylaws of the Democratic Party of the State of Washington (Article IX, Legislative District Organizations), only elected and appointed PCOs may vote for the offices listed in Article V, Section 1 of these Bylaws, or to fill legislative vacancies or adopt or amend District Bylaws.

Section 2: All members in good standing shall be entitled to vote for the offices listed in Article V, Section 2 of these Bylaws, and on all other items up for consideration at District meetings. Those who are not PCOs may vote, provided that the appropriate annual dues have been received at least 21 days in advance of the meeting at which the vote is held.

Section 3: Proxies shall not be recognized in voting on any District business.

ARTICLE VII – VACANCIES IN OFFICE

Whenever a vacancy in an elected office shall occur, the Chair may appoint a temporary replacement to serve until the next District meeting at which time, after notice as required by Article IV of these Bylaws, a new officer shall be elected.

ARTICLE VIII – REMOVAL OF OFFICERS

Section 1: A District meeting may be called for the purpose of removing any officer upon the written request of 25% of the PCOs. Notice of this meeting must be sent to all PCOs at least 10 days in advance. At this meeting, the officer (or officers) concerned may be removed by a majority vote of PCOs attending.

Section 2: Elected officers other than the District Chair, 1st Vice Chair, Delegates/Alternates to the KCDCC Executive Board and Delegates to the WSDCC may be removed by the District Chair for failure to perform properly the functions of their office. Unexcused absence from two consecutive District or two consecutive District Executive Board meetings shall be grounds for removal. Notice of removal and the grounds therefore shall be given in writing to be effective immediately, provided that the decision of the District Chair must be sustained by a majority vote of the membership of the organization present at a regular meeting, following written notice as required by Article IV of these Bylaws.

ARTICLE IX – APPOINTED AND ACTING PRECINCT COMMITTEE OFFICERS

Section 1: All PCOs, to vote in PCO organizations, must reside or be duly elected in their own precinct, except that acting PCOs may be appointed to serve vacant precincts. An acting PCO (a) must live in the District but need not live in the precinct, (b) shall have voting rights as provided in Article VI, Section 1 of these Bylaws, and (c) shall be superseded by appointment of a resident in the precinct.

Section 2: The KCDCC Chair shall appoint only PCOs approved by the District organization. Within 15 days of such approval the District Chair shall submit the application to the KCDCC Chair, who shall take action on the appointments within 15 days of their submittal. If the KCDCC Chair has reason to deny such an appointment, he or she shall refer the matter back to the District organization, stating the reasons in writing within 15 days.

Section 3: All applications for appointed or acting PCOs shall be supported by at least 10 signatures of voters registered in the precinct which they propose to represent. These applications shall be submitted to the District organization at the next District meeting. When more than one application for the same precinct position is submitted in any District meeting, they shall be voted on at the same time.

ARTICLE X – AREA COORDINATORS

Section 1: The function of the Area Coordinators shall be to coordinate the precinct work in sub-areas of the 46th District. As directed by the District Chair, each Area Coordinator shall be responsible for working closely with elected, appointed or acting PCOs and recruiting and training acting PCOs where necessary to fill vacancies.

Section 2: Area Coordinators shall be appointed by and serve at the discretion of the District Chair, provided that such appointments shall be subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the District Executive Board present and voting at a meeting of such board.

ARTICLE XI – NEWSLETTER EDITOR

Section 1: The Newsletter Editor shall, at the direction of the Chair, prepare and disseminate District Newsletters and other public announcements with respect to the organization's business, including notification to the membership regarding the time, place and purpose of meetings.

Section 2: The Newsletter Editor shall be appointed by and serve at the discretion of the District Chair, provided that such appointment shall be subject to a majority confirmation of the members of the District Executive Board present and voting at a meeting of such Board.

ARTICLE XII – DISTRICT EXECUTIVE BOARD

Section 1: All elected officers and the Newsletter Editor shall be voting members of the District Executive Board, which shall be responsible for implementing policies and transacting business approved by the membership.

Section 2: Executive Board meetings shall be held at regular intervals at the call of the Chair and shall be announced in the District Newsletter. All such meetings shall be open to the membership. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members of the Executive Board.

ARTICLE XIII – EXPENDITURE OF DISTRICT FUNDS

Section 1: Adoption of an annual budget by the District membership shall constitute authorization for payment of expenses provided for therein. The Executive Board may also authorize in advance any reasonable expenditure incident to a fund-raiser event or other program approved by the District membership. All other expenditures must be authorized by a majority vote at a District meeting, following notice as required by Article IV of these Bylaws.

Section 2: No expenditure of funds of the 46th District Democratic Organization in excess of $2,500 shall be made except by check signed by two of the following three officers: District Chair, First Vice-Chair and Treasurer.

Section 3: The District Chair shall appoint, each year, an Audit Committee of at least two non-Executive Board members to review the District's financial records for the period since the previous audit and present a report to the membership no later than its June meeting. These appointments shall be subject to confirmation by the District membership.

ARTICLE XIV – COMMITTEES

Section 1: There shall be six standing committees and such additional committees as the Chair may from time to time appoint. The District Chair shall appoint all committee chairs and shall serve as an ex-officio voting member of all committees. All committee members shall serve at the discretion of the District Chair.

Section 2: The Program Committee shall be a standing committee responsible for the development of District meeting programs.

Section 3: The Legislative Action and Research Committee shall be a standing committee responsible for (a) developing, insofar as feasible, a political profile of the 46th District for the purpose of targeting political campaigns, (b) facilitating organization members’ access to relevant aspects of the voting records, qualifications and performance of persons likely to be seeking electoral support in the District, and (c) assisting the organization with action plans to advance key issues consistent with its platform. The Committee shall, insofar as feasible, coordinate its efforts with related activities of the WSDCC, KCDCC, and other interested organizations.

Section 4: The Finance Committee shall be a standing committee with responsibility for developing an annual budget and recommendations for fund raising strategies to support the political and program objectives of the organization.

Section 5: The Membership Committee shall be a standing committee with responsibility for facilitating the growth and satisfaction of the membership, including the recruitment, training and support of the District's PCOs and Area Coordinators.

Section 6: The Platform and Resolutions Committee shall be a standing committee responsible for developing, and proposing for adoption by the membership, a platform fairly representative of 46th District Democratic voters’ views on matters of political relevance. Suggested positions highly specific in nature, or on transitory issues, shall be considered proposed Resolutions and treated in accordance with Article XV of these Bylaws.

Section 7: The Community Outreach Committee shall be a standing committee responsible for developing and implementing an action plan for linking the 46th District Democrats with neighborhood and community organizations within or affecting North Seattle.

ARTICLE XV – RESOLUTIONS

Any proposed resolution must be submitted in writing to the District Chair or Newsletter Editor and referred thereby for review and recommendation by the Platform and Resolutions Committee. The proposed resolution shall be published in the Newsletter prior to the regular District meeting at which it is to be considered, unless the Committee withholds the resolution. The foregoing requirements of advance review and written notice may be suspended upon a two-thirds majority vote of members present and voting at a duly called meeting,

ARTICLE XVI – SUPPORT OF CANDIDATES AND BALLOT ISSUES

Section 1: The District Chair shall call endorsement meetings to be held annually (a) after the close of the filing period for candidates but before the primary election, and (b) after the primary election but before the November general election. When applicable, the Executive Board may call an endorsement meeting to be held prior to a Party nominating convention.

Section 2: The District Executive Board may make recommendations to the membership for endorsement. No such recommendations shall be made except upon a two-thirds majority vote of Executive Board members present and voting at a regular meeting of the board.

Section 3: The District Executive Board shall propose rules for the purpose of endorsing candidates and issues. The proposed rules shall be published in the meeting notice sent to each member no less than 10 days prior to the endorsement meeting. The general membership shall adopt those rules prior to beginning the endorsement process.

Section 4: Endorsement of candidates in special elections, decisions regarding contributions to candidates for special elections, and endorsements of or contributions to ballot issues may be considered at any District meeting, given notice as required by Article IV of these Bylaws.

Section 5: The membership at any meeting may, by a two-thirds majority vote of members present and voting, delegate to the District Executive Board the authority to:

  1. Make a post-primary endorsement in any specified race; and/or
  2. Approve the distribution of funds to any group in support of any candidate or ballot issue in accordance with priorities for such distribution established by the District and in accordance with the provisions of federal, state, and local law.

Any such endorsement or approval of distribution of funds by the Board shall be by a two-thirds majority vote of Board members present and voting at a duly called Executive Board meeting, and shall be exempt from the notice provisions of Article IV of these Bylaws and from the expenditure provisions of Section 2 of Article XIII of these Bylaws. Any such action by the Board shall be included in the next monthly District Newsletter.

Section 6: No candidate shall be considered for endorsement without having (a) declared his/her past and present party affiliation within the past five years (with the exception of candidates for judicial office), and (b) completed and returned to the District Chair, prior to the endorsement meeting, any Candidate Questionnaire required by the District. Responses to candidate questionnaires shall be posted for public inspection at endorsement meetings.

Section 7: For partisan offices, the 46th District Democrats shall endorse only those candidates having declared affiliation only with the Democratic Party for a period of at least one year prior to the endorsement meeting. For nonpartisan offices other than judicial office, the 46th District Democrats shall endorse only those candidates having (a) declared affiliation only with the Democratic Party, or (b) publicly indicated nonaffiliation with any political party for a period of at least one year prior to the endorsement meeting.

Section 8: No motion for endorsement shall carry and no contribution shall be authorized, at any District meeting, except by a two-thirds majority vote of members present and voting.

Section 9: As used in these By-laws, the term “endorsement” shall include adoption of a position specifically opposed to a candidate or ballot issue.

ARTICLE XVII – AMENDMENT AND SUSPENSION OF BYLAWS

Section 1: These Bylaws shall function continuously.

Section 2: These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of members present and voting at a duly called District meeting after notice as required by Article IV of these Bylaws.

Section 3: These Bylaws may be suspended only for the purpose of waiving the requirement of advance written submission of proposed resolutions as set forth in Article XV of these Bylaws, which suspension must be supported by a two-thirds majority vote at a duly called meeting.

ARTICLE XVIII – RULES OF ORDER

In any situation not expressly covered by the rules of higher Party authority or these Bylaws, Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, most recent edition, shall prevail.

As Adopted with Amendments: February 1985; November 1986; February 1987; June 1992; March 1993; July 1993; April 1995; January 2000; June 2002; November 2002; April 2003; April 2005.

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