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ByLaws of the Washington 2nd Legislative District Democrats
Approved September 5, 2017, Amended April 3, 2018
Article I. Name and Purpose.
Section 1. Name. This body shall be known in full as the Washington State Second Legislative District Democrats, abbreviated as the 2nd LD Dems.
Section 2. Purpose. The 2nd LD Dems organization exists to promote citizen participation in the Democratic Party, through advancing the principles and programs that reflect the values of the Democratic Party. It also supports the election and recruitment of Democratic candidates and candidates for nonpartisan office, who demonstrably share the principles and support the programs of the Democratic Party.
Article II. Dual Nature of the 2nd LD Dems.
Section 1. The 2nd LD Dems Party Organization. Washington State law and the Charter and Bylaws of the Washington State Democrats limit membership to elected and appointed Democratic Precinct Committee Officers residing in the 2nd LD. The same references assign certain duties to this organization, including the election of specific officers, nomination of candidates for public office, and approval of bylaws. The Party Organization meets at least quarterly. Additional details are provided in Article VI of these Bylaws and in Article IX of the Washington State Democrats’ Bylaws.
Section 2. The 2nd LD Dems Association. The 2nd LD Dems Association includes as voting members: members of the 2nd LD Dems Party Organization, acting Precinct Committee Officers, and members in good standing (Article III, Section 2, of these Bylaws). Non-voting members include those who attend meetings and are willing to be publicly identified as Democrats. No one will be excluded from attending meetings because of not having paid dues. Monthly meetings include explorations and discussions of issues, candidates’ voting records, and positions on issues, and similar educational and advocacy purposes.
Article III. Membership.
Section 1. Precinct Committee Officers. All Precinct Committee Officers are granted membership in the 2nd LD Dems Association and/or the 2nd LD Dems Party Organization per Article II, above. ‘Elected’ means “certified by civil authorities and the Washington State Democrats;” ‘appointed’ means “approved by the executive body of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party in the county in which they reside;” and ‘acting’ means “appointed to serve as a guide to a precinct, but not residing in that precinct.”
Section 2. Other Members.
U.S. Citizens. Any U.S. citizen who is a resident of the Second Legislative District, who is 16 years or older, and self-declares to be a Democrat, may become a voting member of the 2nd LD Dems Association, upon payment of current dues or having dues waived.
Non-U.S. Citizens. Any non-citizen resident of the Second Legislative District, who is 16 years or older and self-declares to be a Democrat may become a voting member of the 2nd LD Dems Association, but may not pay dues or otherwise financially contribute to the organization (IAW with federal laws).
“Non-U.S. Citizens. Persons holding the status of permanent resident, commonly referred to as “green card holders”, may be fully participating members of the organization (except where state or federal law or state party rules precludes participation). Persons identified as “Foreign Nationals” may voluntarily participate in the organization, but may not contribute financially in any way, and may not be compensated by another for their participation.”
Section 3. Membership Duration. Memberships established at any time during the year after the dues-setting meeting (Art. III, Sec. 3) remain active until the end of the next dues-setting meeting, when all memberships expire. A person who becomes a member during the dues-setting meeting shall remain a member until the end of the next annual dues-setting meeting, provided that the person pays any additional dues required after the 2nd LD Dems Association sets the amount of dues.
Article IV. Membership Meetings.
Section 1. Regular Meetings. Regular meetings are scheduled by the Executive Board, and approved by the membership. The 2nd LD Dems Executive Board may change the schedule for a particular regular monthly meeting, so long as an attempt to notify all members has been made at least ten days before that meeting. The schedule of all regular meetings may be changed by a majority vote of members.
Section 2. 2nd LD Dems Party Organization Meetings. Party meetings must be conducted at least quarterly, in conjunction with Regular Meetings. The following duties must occur during a Party Organization meeting: reorganization; replacement of: chair, vice chairs, and/or state committee representatives; candidate nominations; state committee reports; and voting on bylaws.
Section 3. Reorganization Meeting. A Reorganization meeting shall be held during December or January, following each biennial general election to elect officers under Article V of these bylaws. Business shall be conducted in accordance with state law and rules established by the Washington State Democrats and with consideration of actions of the County Democratic organizations within which the 2nd LD Dems is situated. Membership status during the Reorganization meeting shall be as set forth in Article III, Section 2.
Section 4. Special Meetings. A special meeting may be called by 25% of the membership, 25% of the PCOs, or, after consultation with available officers, by the Chair, so long as an attempt to notify all members has been made at least ten days before that meeting if possible.
Section 5. Quorum. A quorum for the conduct of business at a regular/special meeting shall consist of a majority of those members present when the meeting is called to order. At a reorganization meeting, a quorum shall consist of a majority of those elected PCOs present when the meeting is called to order.
Article V. Officers/Executive Board.
Section 1. Titles, Meetings, and Election.
Titles. The officers of 2nd LD Dems shall be the Chair, the First Vice Chair, the Second Vice Chair, the State Committee Woman, the State Committee Man, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. Collectively, these officers constitute the voting members of the Executive Board of the 2nd LD Dems. Past 2nd LD Dems Chairpersons are non-voting members of the Executive Board.
The Chair is the Chief Executive Officer of 2nd LD Dems Party Organization and 2nd LD Dems Association.
The First Vice Chair presides in the absence of the Chair.
The Second Vice Chair presides in the absence of the Chair and First Vice Chair.
Gender and County Representation Assurance. Within the positions of Chair, First Vice Chair, and Second Vice Chair, at least two different genders and both counties will be represented.
The State Committee members represent the 2nd LD Dems at regular meetings of the Washington State Democratic Central Committee (WSDCC).
The Secretary prepares minutes of the meetings of the Organization, Association, and Executive Board.
The Treasurer maintains the books of account for the Organization and Association, is custodian of financial accounts, and prepares reports required by the Public Disclosure Commission.
Meetings. Members of the Executive Board shall meet on a regular basis to prepare the meeting agendas and conduct emergency business between meetings. At Executive Board meetings, a quorum of the majority of officers is required when financial decisions are being made. Attendance may be made through electronic means, and printable electronic votes are permitted as necessary to maintain the quorum.
Election of Officers. All officers shall be elected at the biennial reorganization meeting of the District Democratic Party Organization. Officers are not required to be PCOs, but must be registered voters in the Second Legislative District willing to be identified publicly as Democrats. Only PCOs elected during the primary election preceding the reorganization shall be eligible to vote for the Chair, the First Vice Chair, the State Committeewoman, and the State Committeeman. All members of the organization are eligible to vote for the Second Vice Chair, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. Newly elected officers shall take office at the close of the reorganization meeting, and outgoing officers are responsible to turn over official records to their successors as soon as feasible after the meeting adjourns.
In any contested election of an officer, the vote shall be by signed ballot. A majority shall be required to elect. In uncontested elections, individuals may be elected by acclamation.
Section 2. Vacancies in Office. Offices may be vacated by written resignation, death, issues of health that do not allow the individual to write a resignation, or recall by the membership.
Section 3. Replacement of Officers. At the next regular or special meeting of the 2nd LD Dems after a position is vacated, a replacement officer shall be elected. In the case of the Chair, the First Vice Chair, the State Committeewoman or Committeeman, only PCOs elected or appointed prior to the beginning of the vacancy shall be allowed to vote. The vote shall be by signed written ballot, unless uncontested. In the case of other officers, all regular members shall be allowed to vote. Whether elected by PCOs or Members, a majority of those present, eligible, and voting is required to elect a replacement.
Section 4. Recall. Recall of any officer requires written notice, signed by at least five members, of whom at least three must be PCOs, and presented to the membership as a special order of business at the beginning of the next regular meeting or at a special meeting called in accordance with Article III, Section 3, of these Bylaws. If the person being recalled is not the Secretary, the notice shall be delivered to the Secretary. If the person being recalled is the Secretary, the notice shall be delivered to the Chair.
A notice of recall shall specify, at least ten days in advance of the meeting at which it is to become an item of business, the grounds or alleged actions which would justify the removal from office, and all parties present at the meeting, including the accused, shall be given opportunity to support, oppose or question the cause of recall. If the Chair is accused, the meeting shall be led by the Vice Chair next in line. The officer being recalled shall not be allowed to vote on the motion itself. A simple majority of all PCOs who reside in 2nd LD Dems may remove the individual from office (Specified in RCW 29A.80.061 for Chair of the District; extended to all elected officers by this Bylaw provision).
Article VI. The Party Organization.
Section 1. Membership Composition and Responsibilities. All elected and appointed Democratic PCOs, residing in the 2nd LD are members with voting rights and voice in the 2nd LD Dems Party Organization. Non-voting members include officers of the 2nd LD Dems who are not elected or appointed PCOs, in the positions of Chair, Vice Chairs, and State Committee Representatives. Washington State law and/or policies of the Washington State Democrats define voting participation. For instance, only PCOs elected in the previous primary election are allowed to vote during reorganization meetings.
Section 2. Functions. The 2nd LD Dems Party Organization is the official body that conducts Party affairs at the LD level. The Party Organization protects the right of replacement of a 2nd LD Democratic representative to the State Senate or House of Representatives by officially nominating the Democratic winner of a top-two primary. Additional duties of the Party Organization include: election/replacement of officers, as listed in Section 1, above; receiving SCR reports of state meetings; and approving bylaws.
Section 3. Meetings. The Party Organization shall meet at least quarterly; meetings are normally scheduled in conjunction with regular meetings of 2nd LD Dems Association, see Article IV, Section 2.
Section 4. Representative to County Central Committees. If the governing documents of the Democratic Central Committees of any county containing any part of the 2nd LD Dems require the 2nd LD Dems to elect or appoint one or more representatives to that county organization, then any such representatives will be appointed or elected as required by the county organization’s governing documents. Any such appointed or elected county representative may also serve (but is not required to serve) as an elected 2nd LD Dems officer. While vitally important, the county representative position is not a voting member of the 2nd LD Dems Executive Board.
Article VII. Other Committees.
Section 1. Standing Committees. Standing committees may be initiated by majority vote of members present and voting at any regular or special meeting or by the Chair in consultation with at least three other officers. Once created, standing committees shall continue in existence until the next biennial reorganization meeting, unless disbanded by majority vote of members present and voting at any regular or special meeting. The committees on Elections and Affirmative Action are required by state party rules. The 2nd LD Dems also has a Budget Committee.
Section 2. Ad Hoc Committees. Within the limits of authority as defined by Washington State law and dictates of Washington State Democrats, ad hoc committees may be formed by the Chair, by vote of any Standing Committee, or by the membership at any regular or special meeting. As the ad hoc committee is formed, it shall have a task and a tentative ending date for its project, with an expectation of a report on or before that date.
Section 3. Annual Ad Hoc Audit Committee. The Chair shall appoint two members, in good standing, to perform an annual audit of the LD books of account. The members cannot hold the title of Treasurer, have signatory powers of the 2nd LD Dems bank account, or authorize standing rules for the audit committee duties. The audit will be limited to a review of the financial records and processes.
Article VIII. Parliamentary Authority.
In matters not governed by law, the Charter and Bylaws of Washington State Democrats, or these Bylaws, the parliamentary authority shall be the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
Article IX. Amendments.
Section 1. Proposed amendments. An amendment to these Bylaws may be proposed at any regular or special meeting (as a Party Organization topic), so long as notice of the amendment and its wording has been offered at the previous regular meeting or published electronically or by mail, if email is unavailable, at least one week in advance of the meeting, during which the changes are to be considered. When it has been so offered, the notice of amendment shall be a privileged item of agenda (before old business) at the meeting when the amendment is officially considered. If an emergency amendment is proposed without waiting for a following meeting, it is subject to the provisions of Section 2, below.
Section 2. Conditions for Passage of Amendments. Any amendment presented with notice, as defined in Section 1, may be debated by any member of the 2nd LD Dems Association. Bylaws amendments are approved by the 2nd LD Dems Party Organization members at the end of debate. Two-thirds (2/3) of the Party Organization members present and voting shall be required for passage.
An emergency amendment, presented without notice as defined in Section 1, may be passed temporarily under the same conditions as an amendment presented with notice, except that it must be approved by a simple majority of Party Organization members present and voting. In order to maintain an emergency amendment in effect, it must be affirmed at the next regular meeting, with the same restrictions as an amendment presented with notice. If affirmed at this second meeting, it shall become a regular amendment.
Section 3. Effective Date of Amendments. Amendments presented with notice become effective at the end of the meeting at which they are passed. Emergency amendments, presented without notice, take effect during the meeting at which they are first passed, but do not become a permanent part of these Bylaws until they have been affirmed at the next regular meeting.
This revision of the bylaws was approved April 3rd, 2018