Announcement: Proposed By-laws

The following version of our bylaws will be voted on in our August general meeting.  Please attend and participate in the conversation!

37th LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION BYLAWS

[Adopted July 9, 2012)

Mission

This organization is dedicated to increasing the participation of individuals who live in the State of Washington’s 37th Legislative District in governmental affairs and politics on the local, state, and national levels, and to implementing the ideas and principles of the Democratic Party in order to provide to all people the highest degree of justice, opportunity and general welfare.

Article I: Policy

Section 1.        The 37th Legislative District Democratic Organization (also referred to as the “37th District Democrats” or the “37th District”) shall operate under the bylaws of the King County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC), and the charter and by-laws of the Washington State Democratic Central Committee (WSDCC).

Section 2.        The policy of this Organization shall be to determine and promote the needs, hopes and aspirations of the people of the District and to communicate them to the county, state and national party organizations and to our elected officials.

Section 3.        The 37th Legislative District population is ethnically, religiously and socio-economically diverse, and its voters are overwhelmingly Democratic.  We embrace human and civil rights for all people, and are committed to equal opportunity and strong affirmative action programs.  This organization works to eliminate any discrimination based on race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or economic status wherever it is found.

Article II: Membership

Section 1.        All elected and appointed Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) who reside in the 37th District are automatically voting members of this organization. PCOs are encouraged to pay membership dues though it is not required.

Section 2.          Any person who declares them self to be a Democrat, is a resident of the 37th District, and who is either a registered voter or will first become eligible to be a registered voter within one year may become a voting member of this Organization upon payment of dues.  Any other person who declares them self to be a Democrat shall be a non-voting member upon the payment of dues.

Section 3.          Dues are payable on or before February 1st of each calendar year and membership so paid shall extend through January of the following year.  Dues paid within a calendar year shall not be pro-rated for balance of the year or extended for a twelve (12) month period but shall only apply as membership for that calendar year.  Dues may be paid in advance for the next Calendar year, applicable as membership for that year only (including the following January). Dues paid after November 1st can be credited to the next year.

Section 4.        Dues amount shall be set based on a recommendation of the officers and ratified by the general membership for the next twelve (12) month period.  Dues shall be set for the following categories:  Individual; Family; and Limited Income. Unless the membership adopts a dues structure, the dues for the categories listed above shall be presumed to carry-over in the following year.

Section 5.        Persons unable to pay all or part of their dues may be excused from payment of dues on written notification to the Treasurer.  Such information shall be confidential.

Article III: District Meetings

Section 1.        The regular meeting of this organization shall be on the second Monday of each month except that in any month in which the date is a legal holiday, the meeting shall be as announced in the newsletter, published on the website and at a minimum, distributed by email to the membership.. An endorsement meeting or a holiday party may be held in lieu of the regular meeting scheduled for that month.

Section 2.      A “special meeting” shall be called upon written petition to the chairperson specifying the purpose of the meeting and signed by 15 percent of the members or 30 members, whichever number is smaller; or by a request of the majority of the members of the Executive Board listed in Article VII, Section 1; or by 25 percent of the PCOs.

Section 3.        Notice for all meetings must be transmitted to all members no later than seven days before the meeting.

Section 4.        All meetings of the 37th District Democrats shall be open meetings.

Section 5.        Quorum.  Twenty voting members must be present at a meeting to transact business except that twenty elected PCOs must be present to transact any business on which only they may vote.

Article IV: Officers

Section 1.  Executive Board:  In accordance with  the by-laws of KCDCC and WSDCC, any voting member in good standing may be elected an officer of the Organization.

  • The Chairperson shall be the Chief Executive Officer and shall preside over meetings of the organization. He or she shall be Chairperson of the 37th District Executive Board and an ex-officio member of all committees and shall perform or direct the administrative duties of the organization.
  • The 1st Vice Chair shall serve in the absence of the Chair, and chair the program activities of the 37th District, and perform other duties as directed by the Organization.
  • The 2nd Vice Chair for Business Operations shall chair the financial activities and financial oversight responsibilities of the 37th District, and shall be responsible for special events, fundraising and membership.
  • The 3rd Vice Chair for Political Operations shall supervise and organize the duties of all PCOs; Provide necessary information and supplies to carry out such duties; Recruit PCOs after even year elections in vacant precincts, either as an appointed or acting PCOs, and strive for diversity in this process; and shall perform such administrative duties as directed by the Organization, including reviewing the eligibility for acting and appointed PCOs.
  • The 4th Vice Chair for Communications and Technology shall coordinate and manage the technology data assets of the organization., including the coordinating and publishing of a monthly newsletter., managing of the constituent database and maintenance of the website. The Secretary shall prepare and maintain minutes and other records of the District Organization and the Executive Board meetings, prepare and send letters and resolutions and other materials, shall certify the existence of a quorum at all meetings, and shall notify the membership of vacancies in the officers’ positions pursuant to Article IV, Section 7, and shall perform such administrative duties as directed by the Organization.
  • The Treasurer shall receive and disburse all funds of the organization, shall be responsible for budget development and shall maintain proper financial records, including preparing and filing all reports required by the Public Disclosure Commission. Minor expenditures may be authorized by the Executive Board as provided in Article VII, Section 5.  Special expenditures, including contributions to candidates and causes, must be approved by the membership.  The 37th District shall maintain a bank account or accounts, and all checks drawn on such accounts must be signed by the Treasurer and Chairperson.  In event of either’s unavailability, the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd or 4th Vice-Chair shall be authorized signers.  The Treasurer shall prepare summary reports of the financial condition of the Organization on a monthly basis and share the report with  members at the regular meetings.  The Treasurer shall maintain a current membership list and shall perform such other administrative duties as directed by the Organization.

Section 2. Appointed Officers: The Chair may appoint the following officers:

  1. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall assist in maintaining order at the meeting and perform administrative duties as assigned by the Chair.
  2. The Parliamentarian shall serve as the chairperson of the Bylaws Committee, shall advise the chair on all parliamentary questions, and shall perform such administrative duties as directed by the Organization.
  3. Five At-Large Members of the Executive Board may be appointed by the District Chair for the purpose of area coordination and membership and shall attend all Executive Board meetings and shall perform duties as directed by the 37th District.

Section 3.        The ranking for succession to the duties and responsibilities of absent officers shall be as follows:  1st Vice Chair, 2nd Vice Chair, 3rd Vice Chair, 4th Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. In the absence of any officers, said officer’s duties and responsibilities shall be assumed or delegated by the next officer in descending rank (for example, in the absence of the Secretary, his or her responsibilities shall be assumed or delegated by the Treasurer.)

Section 4.        The terms of office shall be two years.

Section 5.        District Officers who are absent from two consecutive meetings without notification in advance to the District Chair or Secretary, may be removed from their offices by a two-thirds vote of the members of the 37th District present and voting.  The Secretary shall report all foreseen absences to the Chairperson and note them in the minutes of the meeting.

Section 6         The District Chair, if absent from two consecutive meetings without notification in advance to the 1st Vice-Chair or Secretary, may be removed from office by a majority vote of all the district’s elected and appointed PCOs. The Secretary shall report all foreseen absences to the Officers, and note them in the minutes of the meeting.

Section 7.        In the case of the vacancy of an office, it shall be filled by election at the next possible meeting after the vacancy occurs.  Seven days’ notice of the election to fill the vacancy must be given to the membership. The Executive Board may make appointments on an interim basis.

Article V : Voting

Section 1.        All voting members may vote on all business of this Organization except as provided in Article X, Section 1, and except that only elected or appointed PCOs may vote in the adoption and amendment of Bylaws and in the election and removal of the Chairperson, First Vice Chairperson, Committee man and woman and Alternate Committee man and woman to the Executive Board of the King County Democratic Central Committee, and to the State Democratic Central Committee.

Section 2.        The election of all Officers, Committee men and women, Alternate Committee men and women, and Precinct Committee Officers shall be by written ballot provided that at least two persons were nominated for any given position.

Section 3.        Nominations and elections shall be held one position at a time, and shall be decided by a majority of those voting.  If no nominee receives a majority on the first ballot, the candidate receiving the least votes shall be eliminated, and on each succeeding ballot the same rule shall apply until one nominee receives the required majority.  A tie shall be decided by the flip of a coin.

Section 4.        No proxy or absentee ballot shall be recognized in voting in any business of the organization.

Section 5.        Resolutions for consideration at a District meeting shall be submitted in writing and given to the District Chair in advance of the Executive Board meeting, providing time for consideration and recommendation by the Board to pass on to the membership. Resolutions presented later may be considered at the discretion of the District Chair using the following factors to determine whether a resolution should be considered:  The resolution is written and legible; there are sufficient copies available for the membership to review; the resolution is timely; and the resolution will likely be moot if postponed for the next Executive Board and 37th District meeting.

Article VI: County and State Party Committee Representatives

Section 1.        One male and one female Committee Representative and one male and one female alternate Committee Representative shall be elected to represent the District on the King County Central Committee Executive Board.

Section 2.        One male and one female Committee Representative shall be elected to represent the 37th District on the State Central Committee.

Section 3.        Committee Representatives and alternates shall be elected in accordance with Article V, Sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 of these Bylaws.

Section 4.        Committee Representatives and alternates shall serve, be removed, and be replaced in accordance with the rules prescribed for Officers in Article IV of these Bylaws.

Section 5.        Committee Representatives or Alternates shall give reports to the membership at the next regular 37th District meeting following each meeting of the Executive Board of the Central Committee.

Section 6.        One male and one female shall be elected to serve on the Legislative Action Committee of the King County Democratic Central Committee.

Section 7.        In addition to the provision for removal contained in Article IV, Section 5 of these Bylaws, unless replaced by a duly notified alternate, or excused by the County Chair, any Committee Representative to the Executive Board of the King County Democratic Central Committee who is absent from two consecutive meetings for which notice has been provided in advance, may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the members of the 37th District present and voting. The vacancy shall be filled by election, provided the voting membership is given seven days advance notice of the election.

Section 8.        In addition to the provision for removal contained in Article IV, Section  5 of these Bylaws, unless excused by the Chair, any Committee Representative to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee who is absent from two consecutive meetings for which proper notice has been provided, may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the members of the 37th District present and voting.  The vacancy shall be filled by election provided the voting membership is given seven days advance notice of the election.

Article VII: Executive Board

Section 1.        The Executive Board shall consist of all elected officers in Article IV and Committee Representatives in Articles VI of these Bylaws.

Section 2.        The following persons shall be ex-officio members of the Executive Board and as such, shall have the right to vote at Executive Board meetings:

  • The immediate past Chairperson
  • Elected government officials who are members of the 37th District Democratic Organization.

Section 3.        Although policy making authority resides in the District membership, the Executive Board shall meet monthly for the purpose of planning the policy and activities of the Organization.  The meetings shall be open to the membership and members notified of the time and place of meetings.

Section 4.        The Executive Board shall review the agenda for the monthly District meeting.

Section 5.        The Executive Board may approve all routine expenditures included in a budget approved by the District membership and expenditures of $350.00 or less. Expenditures for supporting or opposing a specific measure and, or candidate must be approved by the membership.

Section 6.        A quorum of the Executive Board shall consist of a majority of the members listed in Article VII, Section 1.  The Executive Board may conduct business required by Article VII, Sections 3 and 4 in the absence of a quorum.

Article VIII: Committees

Section 1.        The Chairperson may create special committees and appoint their chairs as needed.

Article IX: Appointment and Recall of Precinct Committee Officers

Section 1.        The District Chair, upon advice and consent of the membership at a regular meeting, shall recommend persons for appointment by the County Chair to fill vacancies in the office of Precinct Committee Officer.  Appointed Precinct Committee Officers’ terms shall expire in accordance with Washington State Law, and the charter and by-laws of the KCDCC and the WSDCC.

Section 2.        Appointed Precinct Committee Officers must live in the precinct which they represent.

Section 3.        Acting Precinct Committee Officers must live in the district.  Acting Precinct Committee Officers’ terms will expire with the approval of an Appointed Precinct Committee Officer or in accordance with Washington State Law, and the charter and by-laws of the KCDCC and the WSDCC.

Section 4.        Applications for Appointed and Acting Precinct Committee Officers shall be submitted to the 3rd Vice Chair prior to the regular 37th District meeting at which they will be presented for approval.  When more than one application for the same precinct position is submitted at the District meeting, they shall be voted on at the same time.

Section 5.        Removal of Precinct Committee Officers can be made in accordance with the recall provision of the King County Democratic Central Committee By-laws.

Article X:  Endorsements and Nominations

Section 1.        Eligibility to Vote.  All persons who have been members for at least twenty-five days prior to the endorsement meeting, as certified by the Treasurer, shall be eligible to vote on endorsements addressed in that meeting.  The deadline for the membership certification shall be midnight of the 25th day before the endorsement meeting.  That deadline for membership will be met by submittingappropriate membership information and dues payment (Article II) to the Chair or Treasurer in a letter postmarked by the deadline time and date.

Section 2.        Eligibility for Endorsement.   To be eligible for endorsement by the 37th District Democratic Organization, candidates, except those seeking judicial offices, must declare in writing that they are a Democrat. An option is to have a completed KCDCC Candidate Questionnaire on file with the KCDCC declaring himself or herself a Democrat.

Section 3.        Endorsement Requirement. Endorsements shall be made by a three-fifths majority vote of those present and voting except as required by Article X, Section 8.

Section 4.        Endorsements of candidates for nomination at state or county nominating conventions.  The executive board shall schedule an endorsement meeting before any

state or county nominating convention for the purpose of endorsing candidates for the party’s nomination.

Section 5.        Nomination of candidates by the 37th Legislative District Democrats.  The executive board shall schedule and conduct a nominating meeting only as directed by the state party.  Requirements for notice and eligibility to vote shall be as directed by the state party.

Section 6.        Endorsements of candidates and ballot measures.  The executive board shall schedule an endorsement meeting the first Monday after filing week for the purpose of endorsing candidates or ballot measures. No motion for endorsement of a candidate opposing a candidate nominated by the 37th Legislative District Democrats will be considered. If this meeting does not fall on the same day as a regular meeting of the organization, it will be in lieu of the regular meeting that month.

Section 7.        Endorsement of candidates and ballot measures after primary elections.   The executive board shall schedule an endorsement meeting after the primary election for the purpose of endorsing candidates or ballot measures in the general election, except that no endorsement shall be considered in races where a candidate endorsed or nominated by the District before the primary election advances to the general election.

Section 8.        Early endorsements. The Organization may consider a motion for early endorsement only when the following conditions are met:

  1. The candidate must meet the requirement of Section 2 relating to eligibility for endorsement;
  2. The Executive Board must approve the motion going before the Organization;
  3. The Executive Board must give members seven days notice of the motion.

A motion for early endorsement requires approval by a four-fifths majority vote of the eligible members present and voting.

Section 9.        Endorsements of candidates and ballot measures in special elections.  The executive board may schedule an endorsement meeting before any special election for the purpose of endorsing candidates or ballot measures in the special election.

Section 10.      Other endorsements and reconsideration of endorsements.   The District may make an endorsement at other times for any race or ballot measure in which the District did not make an endorsement at the designated endorsement meeting.   No motion for reconsideration shall be heard after the close of the meeting at which the endorsement is made.

Section 11.      Notice.  Names of District Members shall be published in two separate monthly notifications prior to an endorsement meeting, except in the case of endorsements of candidates and ballot measures in Article X, Sections 8 and 9.

Section 12.      Voter Lists. Political candidates seeking endorsements may obtain lists of the names of those eligible to vote at endorsement meetings by written request to the district Treasurer or Chair. Lists to be shared with candidates shall include member name and member home address. Lists shall not include e-mail address or phone number. Available lists shall be provided within ten (10) days of receiving the candidate’s request.  The candidate may obtain the available mailing list for the membership from the District Treasurer or Chair for a  price set by the Executive Board.

Article XI: Robert’s Rules of Order

Section 1.        Robert’s Rules of Order shall prevail in instances where the By-laws of the KCDCC, the WSDCC or the 37th District are silent.

Article XII: Amendments

Section 1.        These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of elected and appointed Precinct Committee Officers at any District meeting provided that the amendment is filed with the Chair or Secretary at least two weeks prior to that meeting.  Notice of the proposed amendment shall be given with the regular notice of the meeting.  These by-laws may also be amended by mandates from WSDCC and KCDCC.

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