Bylaws

11th Legislative District Democratic Organization
Bylaws
Approved: April 16, 2013
Also available in PDF: Bylaws

Preamble

 

This organization is dedicated to fostering and perpetuating the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party, to increasing the interest of 11th Legislative District citizens in public affairs, and to creating a society where all people may achieve the highest degree of social justice and welfare.

 

Article I:  Policy

 

Section 1:    This organization shall carry out the work of the Democratic Party with in the 11th Legislative District of the State of Washington under authority of the Charter of the Democratic Party of the State of Washington, the Bylaws of the King County Democratic Central Committee, and the laws of the State of Washington.

 

Section 2:    It shall be the primary objective of this organization in all its operations to contribute to the growth and influence of the Democratic Party and to increase party responsibilities in harmony with the principles of the District, County, State and National Party Platforms.

 

Section 3:    The mission of this organization shall include:

 

a)       Discussing and deciding the issues of the day in accordance with Democratic values and principles.

b)       Recruiting and helping to elect to public offices, Democrats who, by their records and reputations, are in agreement with the platform of the Democratic Party.

c)       Holding elected officials accountable to the people they serve.

 

Article II:  Membership

 

Section 1:    All 11th District Precinct Committee Officers (PCO’s), elected, appointed, and acting, who physically reside in the 11th Legislative District, are automatically members of this organization.

 

Section 2:    Any other Democrat who physically resides in the 11th District is eligible for membership and may become a voting member four weeks after payment of annual dues.  Proof of residency may be required.  Any Democrat who does not reside in the District may become a non-voting affiliate after payment of annual dues.

 

Section 3:    Annual Dues / Subscriptions are:

 

a)    Household Membership (2 individuals at same address)                                                    $27.00

b)    Individual Membership (1 individual)                                                                                     $15.00

c)    Student or Senior (1 individual)                                                                                 $10.00

d)    Low-Income, Permanently Disabled (1 individual)                                                              $  6.00

e)    Supporter Only, no voting rights (per address)                                                                        $10.00

f)    Household Monthly Membership (2 individuals at the same address)                           $5.00 / month

g)       Dues are payable in February of each year.  A member joining after February may prorate their dues payment for the remaining quarters of the year.  Memberships shall be valid through January of the following year.  If a member decides to pay their dues monthly, a $5 / month minimum payment is required through our online payment provider.

Article III:  Meetings

 

Section 1:    Regular membership meetings shall be held on a regularly scheduled day of the week of at least every other month at a regularly scheduled time.  Regular meetings may be canceled or rescheduled for good cause by the Executive Board or by the membership.

 

Section 2:    The Chair may call special membership meetings.  Special membership meetings may also be called, by the Executive Board, or upon request of 20 percent of the membership.

 

Section 3:    All membership meetings are open to the public.

 

Section 4:    Members shall be sent a meeting notice, including a proposed agenda, approximately five days prior to each meeting.

 

Section 5:    Fifteen (15) members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business at a membership meeting.

 

Article IV:  Officers and Delegates

 

Section 1:    Officers of the organization shall be the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.

 

Section 2:    Delegates shall be the County Committeeman, Committeewoman and Alternates for each gender, and State Committeeman and State Committeewoman.

 

Section 3:    Eligibility:  Any person who was a voting member in good standing of the organization in all or part of the previous biennium, whether Precinct Committee Officer or not, is eligible to run for District office.

 

Article V:  Duties of Officers and Delegates

 

Section 1:    The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the membership and of the Executive Board and shall be the chief executive officer of the organization.  The Chair shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.

 

Section 2:    The Vice Chair shall serve in the absence of the Chair and take on special assignments at the request of the Chair and/or the Executive Board.

 

Section 3:    The Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the membership and shall report them at each membership meeting.  The primary distribution of the minutes shall be through publication in the monthly newsletter.  Minutes of each Executive Board meeting shall also be kept by the Secretary and will be available to Executive Board members at, or prior to, the next Executive Board meeting.  In addition, the approved minutes of the Executive Board meetings shall be available to the general membership.  The Secretary shall, in cooperation with the Chair, prepare and respond to letters and other correspondence on behalf of the organization.  The Secretary shall keep a permanent file of all District records in a notebook.  Such notebook will be available to any member upon request.

 

Section 4:    The Treasurer shall maintain the organization’s bank account and shall promptly deposit therein all funds belonging to the organization.  It is the Treasurer’s responsibility to assure that all bank accounts in the name of the 11th Legislative District Democratic Organization have authorized signers on file at the bank.  The Treasurer shall prepare a monthly financial statement and report the same at each membership meeting.  The Treasurer shall make accurate and timely reports to the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) as required by law.

 

Section 5:    Delegates shall represent the organization at the King County Democratic Central Committee Executive Board and the Washington State Democratic Central Committee as authorized, and they shall report to the membership after each meeting.

 

 

 

Article VI:  Executive Board

 

Section 1:    The Executive Board shall be composed of the Officers, Delegates, and up to ten at-large positions.

 

Section 2:    The at-large positions may be filled by appointment of the Chair and confirmation by the membership for a term running concurrently with District Officers and Delegates.

 

Section 3:    The Executive Board shall meet at the call of the Chair for the purposes of planning and directing the activities and policies of the organization.  Such meetings will occur no less than once every two months.

 

Section 4:    All Executive Board meetings are open to the membership.

 

Section 5:    A majority of its members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business by the Executive Board.

Article VII:  Committees

 

Section 1:    To assist the organization in conducting its affairs, committees may be established or terminated by the Chair or by the membership.

 

Article VIII:  Elections and Voting

 

Section 1:    Only elected PCOs may vote at the District organizational meeting held in January of each odd-numbered year.

 

Section 2:    Only elected and appointed PCOs may vote to fill Democratic vacancies in partisan public offices.

 

Section 3:    Except as provided in Sections 1 and 2 of this Article, all members may vote on all matters arising at membership meetings.  (See Article II for the definition of members.)

 

Section 4:    Elections for each position shall be held individually.  To be eligible for nomination, a qualified candidate must be present or have submitted a signed statement indicating a desire to be nominated.  A qualified candidate is a member in good standing, living within the boundaries of the 11th Legislative District

 

Section 5:    Each election shall be determined by a majority of those voting.  If there is more than one candidate for a position, voting shall be by written, secret ballot.  If no one receives a majority, the candidate receiving the fewest votes shall be eliminated and balloting conducted again, until one candidate receives a majority.

 

Section 6:    Officers and Delegates are elected to a term extending until the next District re-organization meeting.

 

Section 7:    Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws, all matters coming before the membership shall be decided by a majority of those members present and voting.

 

Section 8:    Proxy and absentee votes shall not be recognized.

 

Article IX:  Appointment of PCOs

 

Section 1:    Any member may apply to become a PCO in a precinct with no resident PCO.

 

Section 2:    Prospective PCOs shall submit their applications prior to or at a membership meeting, and those petitions shall be voted on at that meeting.  Upon approval of the membership, the Chair shall submit the application

to the King County Democratic Central Committee for formal appointment.  The 11th Legislative District Democrats waive the requirement of voters’ signatures as a qualification for an acting or appointed Precinct Committee Officer.

 

Section 3:    Appointees who live in the precinct they apply to serve shall be appointed PCOs.  Appointees who do not live in the precinct they apply to serve shall be acting PCOs.  Acting PCOs have an affirmative duty to recruit a precinct resident to become an appointed PCO.

 

Article X:  Vacancies

 

Section 1:    Upon the death, resignation or removal from the District of an incumbent PCO, the position shall be declared vacant.   In the event that an Officer or Delegate does not attend any district membership or Executive Board meeting for a ninety-day period, the membership may declare the position to be vacant.   A Board member may be excused from attendance after notifying the Chair prior to the meeting.

 

Section 2:    Any vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term at the next regular or special meeting, provided that written notice shall be mailed to all members at least ten days prior to the meeting.

 

Article XI:  Endorsements

 

Section 1:    This organization may endorse candidates for any public office, ballot measures, or initiatives or referendum signature campaigns.

 

Section 2:    To be eligible for endorsement for election to a partisan office, a candidate must publicly identify himself or herself to be a Democrat.

 

Section 3:    To be eligible for endorsement for election to a non-partisan office, a candidate must demonstrate Democratic values.

 

Section 4:    To assist the members in the endorsement process, the Executive Committee may develop and send a questionnaire to potential candidates and otherwise investigate their records and reputations.

 

Section 5:    Endorsements will normally be given at any time after filing closes. Early endorsements will be considered at the request of the candidate or campaign, for federal, state, and county candidates, and for incumbents of that office.

 

Section 6:  Endorsement of any candidate or issue shall require a two-thirds majority of those members present and voting.

Article XII:  Operations and Rules

 

Section 1:   The Chair and Treasurer shall have authority to sign checks on behalf of the 11th Legislative District Democratic Organization (for bank policy and liability purposes only, the title “President” may be substituted for title Chair).

 

Section 2:   Expenditures of up to and including $50.00 must be approved by the Executive Board and expenditures of  more than $50.00 must first be authorized by the membership, except that the Chair and Treasurer may pay routine, recurring monthly expenses without specific approval (e.g., mailing cost, copying cost).

 

Section 3:    Campaign contributions may be made only to an endorsed candidate, ballot measure, or initiative or referendum signature campaigns. The Executive Board shall determine contribution amounts, based upon the financial health of the organization and the General Election ballot. All campaign contributions must be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board.

 

Section 4:    The membership may adopt special rules to govern any matter not in conflict with these Bylaws.

 

Section 5:    On all matters not governed by these Bylaws or by special rules, Robert’s Rules of Order (most recent edition) shall govern.

Section 6:    Emergency votes on endorsements of candidates may be held electronically and be validated by a vote at the next General Membership Meeting.  A two-thirds vote of members responding is required.

Article XIII:  Amendment of Bylaws

 

These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority of those elected and appointed PCOs present and voting at any regular or special meeting, provided that the amendment was printed in the meeting notice or was presented at the previous regular meeting.