Our Bylaws

Bylaws for the 48th Legislative District Democrats 2011

PREAMBLE: The 48th District Democrats serves as the official organization of the Democratic Party of the State of Washington for the 48th Legislative District. This organization is dedicated to increasing citizen interest in government at all levels and encouraging Democrats to seek and serve in elective public office in local, state, and national governments. The goal of this organization is to articulate the principles of the Democratic Party and to work to have these principles enacted as public policy by our elected and appointed governmental bodies.

NAME
The name of this organization shall be the 48th District Democrats.

POLICY
King County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC), National Party rules and bylaws, and the State Constitution and statutes.

Section 1. It shall be the policy of this organization to contribute to the growth, development and influence of the Democratic Party and to increase Party responsibility by guaranteeing maximum participation, equal representation and equal treatment of all.

Section 2. This organization shall support the platform of the Democratic Party and those candidates who, by their records and reputations, are in general agreement with the platform and who have been endorsed by this organization.

ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. All 48th District Democratic Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs), whether elected, appointed or acting shall be members of this organization. Although not required to pay dues under King County Democratic Party rules, Precinct Committee Officers, whether elected, appointed, or acting, shall be encouraged to be voluntary dues.

Section 2. Any registered voter in the 48th District who declares to be a Democrat, who fills out a membership form, and who agrees to have his or her name published as a Democrat shall be eligible for full membership in this organizations Any other person who declares to be a Democrat shall be eligible for non-voting membership in this organization.

Section 3. This organization may set membership dues not to exceed an amount reasonably affordable by all income levels. All members in this organization will be encouraged to pay annual dues. Members who are not PCOs must have completed the membership/dues form and paid dues thirty (30) days prior to granting voting privileges to such members. Non-payment of dues shall not be a limiting factor on the membership of any PCO, nor shall it be a bar to membership to any otherwise qualified person who files a statement with the Chair requesting waiver of dues for this reason.

Section 4. A member in good standing shall be any PCO or any other member who meets the conditions of Sections 2 and 3 of this Article.

ARTICLE IV. PCOs

Section 1. PCOs shall be elected pursuant to the applicable State laws or appointed by the procedures provided by State law and the KCDCC.

Section 2. The 48th District Chair, in order to ensure that tasks regularly done by PCOs are performed in a precinct where no PCO has been elected or duly appointed, may name a member not resident in such a precinct to serve as Acting PCO until such time as a PCO is appointed or elected for that precinct.

ARTICLE V. MEETINGS

Section 1. The 48th District Democrats shall hold regular monthly meetings. A meeting for any month may be cancelled only by a vote of the body at the previous monthly meeting.

Section 2. The regular meeting of the 48th District Democrats shall be on the third Wednesday of each month, but if in any month that day is impractical as a meeting day the Chair shall fix the time and place of the meeting and cause all members to be notified thereof.

Section 3. Special meetings may be called by the Chair, provided that reasonable notice is made to all members. Special meetings may also be called by petition of a majority of the members in good standing or by petition of all members of the Executive Committee excluding the Chair.

Section 4. All official business of the 48th District Democrats must be completed at a regular or special meeting. In addition, meetings will serve as a forum where free and open discussion of political ideas and issues will be encouraged. If necessary, the Chair may impose reasonable rules of formal debate to facilitate discussion.

Section 5. Meetings shall be held in conformity with the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, except as otherwise provided by these bylaws and any other rules adopted by the organization.

Section 6. A quorum for any meeting shall consist of 40% of the members signing in at that meeting. No special quorum of elected and appointed PCOs shall be required for any matter on which only they qualify to vote.

Section 7. Notice of regular meetings shall be mailed to all members at least seven days in advance of the meeting. The notice shall include the time and place of the meeting, the proposed meeting agenda, and any other matter requiring special notice, such as the removal or replacement of officers.

ARTICLE VI. ELECTION PROCEDURES

Section 1. Voting privileges on all business that comes before the organization shall be extended to all members in good standing except that, pursuant to state law, only elected or duly appointed PCOs may vote on the following:

a. Election or removal of the Chair, Vice Chairs, Delegates or Alternates to the KCDCC, and members of the State Central Committee;

b. Adoption of or amendment to these bylaws; and

c. Filling legislative vacancies or other functions specifically delegated by the State or County Democratic Party.

Section 2. Formal nominations shall be made from the floor. A person who is unable to attend an election meeting may announce their candidacy with a written statement delivered to the Chair to be read at the meeting. Any person eligible to hold an office may be nominated by any Democrat, including him- or herself.

Section 3. If a division is called for after any vote, voting shall be by show of hands, standing, or by a signed ballot.

Section 4. The nominations and elections for each office shall be held one at a time. Each nomination may take no more than five minutes, including the candidate’s speech or a statement on his or her behalf if the candidate is not present.

Section 5. All officers shall be elected by a majority of eligible voters present and voting. In the event that no person receives a majority on the first ballot, the person receiving the least number of votes shall be eliminated and another vote taken. On each succeeding vote the same rule shall apply until one person receives the majority for that position.

Section 6. All elections for officers shall be by written ballot except in uncontested elections.

ARTICLE VII. OFFICERS AND DUTIES

Section 1. Only elected or duly appointed PCOs may be elected to the following offices: Chair, Vice Chairs, and the Delegates and Alternates to the KCDCC. All members in good standing are eligible for all other offices.

Section 2. The duties of the officers shall be as follows:
a. The Chair shall be the executive officer of the organization and be the presiding officer at all its meetings.
b. The First Vice Chair shall serve in the absence of the Chair, and shall coordinate the organization’s events and fundraising activities.
c. The Second Vice Chair shall recruit, retain and train precinct committee officers in the district.
d. The Third Vice Chair shall recruit members and maintain membership records.
e. The Treasurer shall receive and dispurse funds of the organization, prepare a financial report for each regular meeting of the organization, and file such public disclosure reports as required by State Law.
f. The Communications Director shall manage communications among members, maintain technology to facilitate such communications, keep minutes of all meetings, and maintain all records of the organization except as assigned to other officers.

Section 3. The Chair may appoint a Parliamentarian, Sergeant-at-Arms, and an Editor of the newsletter.

Section 4. The Chair may from time to time delegate other duties to each or all of the other officers.

Section 5. The organization may from time to time establish other elective offices to perform specific responsibilities. Such offices shall not automatically continue past the reorganization meeting in January of the next odd-numbered year.

ARTICLE VIII. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE

At any regular meeting, by a vote of 2/3 of the members eligible to vote for the office present and voting, the organization may remove any elected officer. Such officer shall be given seven days written notice of the intent to consider the proposed removal. Such notice shall be made by the member intending to bring the matter to the floor. Notice of the proposed removal shall be included in the notice of the regular meeting.

ARTICLE IX. TERM OF OFFICE, VACANCIES

Section 1. All officers shall serve until their successors are elected at the District reorganizing meeting held in January of each odd-numbered year.

Section 2. In the event of a vacancy in any elected office occurring after the District reorganizing meeting, an election shall be held to fill such vacancy at the next regular meeting provided that the notice of the election is published in the notice of the meeting.

ARTICLE X. EXECUTIVE BOARD

Section 1. The Executive Board (EB) shall consist of all the elected officers of this organization. It may also include as non-voting members the chairpersons of all committees and the editor of the newsletter.

Section 2. The EB shall meet every month at the call of the Chair. Notice of such meetings shall be published in the newsletter. In urgent situations, special meetings may be called by the chair upon notice to all EB members. EB meetings shall be open to the membership of the organization. Minutes of all EB meetings shall be made available to the members at the next meeting of the organization.

Section 3. The EB may, in urgent situations, take any actions appropriate to the full organization, except for the election or removal of officers, provided that any such action be ratified or rescinded by the organization at its next meeting. Any such action shall be included in the agenda published in the notice of the next meeting.

ARTICLE XI. COMMITTEES AND RESOLUTIONS

Section 1. The Chair may establish committees and designate the chair and members thereof with the concurrence of the organization.

Section 2. All resolutions and motions not pertaining to organizational business must be presented to the Chair in written form prior to their introduction from the floor.

ARTICLE XII. ENDORSEMENT PROCEDURES

Section 1. At any meeting at which endorsements have been given as an item for the agenda, the membership may endorse candidates for elected office or for ballot issue propositions.

Section 2. The EB may make recommendations to the membership for endorsements. Any such recommendations shall be considered prior to any other motions to endorse.

Section 3. Endorsements may be single or multiple for the same office. Endorsements may be made in non-partisan races, provided that persons with affiliations with any other party shall not be considered for endorsement.

Section 4. Endorsements for elective office shall not be made prior to the closing of filing for that office. After filing and before the primary election, endorsements require a 2/3 affirmative vote of members present and voting. After the primary election, endorsements may be made by a simple majority of members present and voting.

ARTICLE XIII. FINANCIAL PROCEDURES

Section 1. No money shall be paid from the funds of the organization except by check signed by two officers. The Treasurer, the Chair, and one other officer are authorized to register with the bank to sign checks.

Section 2. The following expenditures may be authorized by the Chair so long as they are reported at the next regular meeting:

a. Routine expenditures in connection with District meetings (e.g., hall rentals) or the newsletter; and

b. Necessary expenditures in conjunction with fundraising activities or special events that have been authorized by the membership.

Section 3. All other expenditures, including contributions to candidates, causes, or affiliated organizations must be approved by the membership at a District meeting.

Section 4. The EB of the membership may require that the organization books be audited.

ARTICLE XIV. AMENDMENTS\

These bylaws shall function continuously and may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the elected and duly appointed PCOs at any District meeting, provided that notice of each proposed amendment was published in the notice of the meeting.

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