Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
THE DEMOCRATS OF THE DESERT
(Approved by the Membership 9-14-2013)
(Amended by the Membership 4-25-2015)
II. Purpose …………………………………………………………………….2
III. Membership ………………………………………………………………..2
IV. Meetings ……………………………………………………………………5
V. Directors ……………………………………………………………………6
VI. Officers ……………………………………………………………………..7
VII. Standing Committees ……………………………………………………..9
VIII. Election of Directors ………………………………………………………11
IX. Removal of Directors ……………………………………………………..12
X. Endorsement ………………………………………………………………13
XI. Rules of Procedure ……………………………………………………….13
XII. Amendments ………………………………………………………………14
XIII. Jurisdiction …………………………………………………………………14 Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
BYLAWS OF THE DEMOCRATS OF THE DESERT
The name of the Association shall be “Democrats of the Desert” (also
known herein as the “Club”).
The purpose of the Club shall be to form a membership club to promote the presence of Democrats in the Coachella Valley. The Club is a community based political organization, which studies local and national issues and makes recommendations to members and/or other individuals in the community. On the basis of knowledge, verifiable information, and consensus, the Club seeks to influence decision-making and the electoral process by educating the electorate, and grooming and supporting qualified Democrats wishing to run for office.
A member of the Club must be a citizen of the United States of America and a registered Democrat in the State of California. The member must subscribe to and support the Purpose of the Club. The member must submit a membership application which is accepted by the Board (as defined herein) or the Board’s approved designee, and pay annual dues as set forth in these Bylaws. Upon proof of the preceding, membership shall be granted to an applicant by the Board of Directors. Any acceptance of membership shall be fully consistent with the Club’s charter.
3.1 Classes of Members
There shall be five classes of members: Student/Youth, Individuals, Household (two or more members), Century ($100.00 annual dues) and Century Household ($150.00 annual dues).
3.2 Annual Dues
The annual dues for each Class of members shall be set and may be modified from time to time by the Board. Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
3.3 Members in Good Standing
A qualified (pursuant to 3.0) member of the Club shall be considered to be a Member in Good Standing if the member’s Annual Dues have been paid in full and she or he has been a member for at least sixty (60) days. A member shall cease to be a Member in Good Standing once that member is more than three (3) months delinquent in payment of his/her Annual Dues, and shall thereafter be removed from membership in the Club at such time as the Membership Chair or President may designate.
3.4 The Membership
The Membership of the Club at any time is defined to be all Members in Good Standing at that time.
3.5 Privileges of Membership
Members in Good Standing shall have the following membership privileges: (a) to vote in all matters submitted to the vote of the general membership including, but not limited to, election of Officers and Directors;(b) to serve on the Board of Directors; (c) to attend meetings and functions of the Club; and (d) to exercise the rights and privileges granted to members by these Bylaws or otherwise fixed by the Membership or by the Board.
Any member who is not or ceases to be a registered Democrat shall automatically be removed as a member of the Club with no action required other than notification to the member by the Executive Secretary.
A member may also be removed from membership for any of the following:
Affiliating with or joining another political club that is not directly supportive of the goals and values of the Democratic Party.
Publicly advocating that the electorate should not vote for the nominee of the Democratic Party for any partisan office.
In a partisan race, publicly giving support or publicly avowing a preference for a candidate of another Party or a candidate who is opposed to a candidate nominated by the Democratic Party.
Interfering with other members’ ability to participate in activities of the Club including threatening members with
Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
retaliatory actions or generally engaging in conduct unbecoming a member of the Democratic Party.
Engaging in improper activity involving administrative practices such as mismanagement or misdistribution of funds and other such activity as determined by the Club.
3.7.1. Moving for Removal
Any Member in Good Standing may, at any meeting of the Club, make a motion that any other member of the Club be removed from the Club for reasons set forth in this article. The motion shall state in detail the act(s) or omission(s) which the motion believes warrant the removal of the member who is subject of the motion.
3.7.2 Automatic Postponement
The motion to remove a member shall automatically be deemed postponed until the next meeting of the Club and shall automatically be taken up for action as an item of old or unfinished business at that next meeting.
3.7.3 Service by Certified Mail
Within seven (7) days after the making of such a motion for removal, the Executive Secretary of the Club shall send a certified letter to the member who is the subject of the motion for removal (hereafter known as the Cited Member), notifying the Cited Member that at the next Regular Meeting of the Club, as defined herein, the motion will be taken up concerning the Cited Member’s removal. The certified letter shall serve as notice to the Cited Member and shall advise the Cited Member:
of the names of the members who made and seconded the Motion;
of the opportunity the Cited Member will be given to challenge the allegation at the next regular meeting; and
of the date, time and location of the next regular meeting
3.7.4 Opportunity to Be Heard
At the next Regular Meeting, the Cited Member, if present, shall be given the opportunity to admit, deny and/or explain the charges lodged against him/her. An equivalent amount of time shall be made available to the maker of the motion and/or his/her Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
spokesperson(s) to substantiate the charges by presenting clear and convincing evidence.
3.7.5 Voting for Removal
A subsequent vote shall be required to remove the Cited Member from being a member of the Club. The vote may be taken either at a Regular Meeting or via written ballot as the Board shall determine, in either case within one calendar month of the Regular Meeting at which evidence is presented pursuant to Section 3.7.4. In the case of a written ballot, the case for removal shall be summarized in writing by the Board, together with a statement of equal length or less by the Cited Member should the Cited Member wish to provide such a statement. To remove the Cited Member from the Club shall require a vote of at least a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Members in Good Standing who vote on the ballot constituting not less that twenty-five (25%) of the Membership of the Club.
A removed ember may apply for readmission into membership after a period of five (5) years from the original effective date of removal provided that s/he is qualified to be a member pursuant to Section 3.0. The application should be accompanied by a written statement from the removed member stating why the problems that led to his or her original removal are no longer applicable and why s/he should be readmitted to membership. The Board will present the application for readmission to the Membership at its next Regular or Special Meeting together with the Board’s recommendation as to whether the removed member should be readmitted to membership. The Membership will then vote on the application following the same procedures as defined in Section 3.7.5. for Removal and requiring the same percentage or numbers of Members in Good Standing to readmit the member as required for removal in Section 3.7.5.
In the event of an affirmative vote of the Membership for readmission, the removed member will be readmitted to membership upon payment of Annual Dues.
4.0 Annual Meeting
There shall be an Annual Meeting of the Club in the month of February at a time and place to be determined by the Board for the purpose of electing Officers and Directors as stipulated by these Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
Bylaws. Membership will receive a minimum of fifteen days’ notice of the date, location, and time of the Annual Meeting.
4.1 Regular Meetings
There shall be a Regular Meeting of the Members of the Club at a specified recurring day of each moth at a time and place to be determined by the Board and communicated with Notice to the Membership. The Board of Directors may cancel or reset the date of any given Regular Meeting with five (5) days Notice to Members. For these purposes the February Annual Meeting shall be considered a Regular meeting except for the Notice requirements of time and place.
4.2 Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Membership of this Club for any purpose or purposes may be called at any time by the Chair or Executive Secretary or upon a vote of the majority of the Board of Directors by giving Notice of said Special Meeting to all members at least five (5) days but not more than forty-five (45) days in advance of said meeting. Notice of Special Meetings shall include the date, time and place of said meeting and the nature of the business to be conducted.
For purposes of conducting the business of the Club at the Annual or any Regular or Special Meeting, no less than ten percent (10%) or fifty (50) or more members, whichever is lesser, of the general membership must be present at any regular of special meeting in order to constitute a quorum.
4.4 No Proxy Voting
Voting members may only case their votes in person. Proxy voting is not allowed.
5.1 Board of Directors
The management of the Club shall be conducted by the Board of Directors (“Board”) that shall conduct the affairs and business of the Club and perform such other duties as herein specified. The Board shall authorize all expenditures of funds of the Club, delegating such authority as is consistent with sound business practice. Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
5.2 Board Membership
The Board shall be composed of all duly elected Officers of the Club as defined in Article VI, who serve ex-officio, and all duly elected Chairs of Standing Committees as defined in Article VII.
All members of the Board must be Members in Good Standing.
5.3 Board Chair
The President (or in the absence of the President, the Vice President; and in the further absence of the Vice President, the Executive Secretary) shall Chair the Board at its meetings.
5.4 Election and Tenure of Office of Directors
The election by the Membership and tenure of Directors is pursuant to procedures defined in Article VIII.
5.5 Meetings of the Board
Any three (3) Directors or the President of the Club may call a meeting of the Board with five (5) days notice. By calling meetings as necessary, the President must ensure that the Board meets at least once every quarter.
5.6 Quorum of the Board
The attendance of one-half (1/2) of the members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a Quorum of the Board. In the vent of a tie vote at any meeting of the Board, the side with which the President (or, in the absence of the President, the Chair of the meeting) has voted shall be deemed the majority.
5.7 No Proxy Voting
Proxy voting shall not be permitted at meetings of the Board.
5.8 Removal or Resignation of Directors
Removal or resignation of Directors shall be pursuant to procedures defined in Article IX.
6.0 Number and Terms of Officers
The officers (“Officers”) of the Club shall be President, Vice President, Executive Secretary, Treasurer/Controller, and Immediate Past-President (non-voting). All elected officers shall Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
serve two-year terms and be elected at the Annual Meeting of the Membership pursuant to Article VIII.
6.1 Duties of Officers
In addition to such duties as may be prescribed by law, the duties of the Officers shall be as follows:
The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Club and of the Board and shall act as Chair of the Board. The President shall, with the approval of the Board, appoint such ad hoc committees not otherwise provided for hereunder and which he or she may deem necessary or desirable and shall be and ex-officio member of all such committees.
6.1.1 Vice President
The Vice President shall perform the duties of the President during the Presidents absence or when necessary to vacate the Chair of the Board under Robert’s Rules of Order and shall undertake other duties assigned by a majority vote of the Board.
6.1.2 Executive Secretary
The Executive Secretary shall have the duty of recording the minutes of all meetings and carrying on such correspondence and recording of the affairs of the Club as directed by the Board and/or solely by the President. Special assignments may be instructed by the acting President (solely) for those items that do not fall under any of the Standing Committees. These special projects can range from statistical analysis of voting patterns of newly and existing registered voters to providing each meeting (both Board and General) with up-to-date educational information for the Club’s perusal or action. The Executive Secretary shall follow instructions from the President on such matters as proof reading correspondence for corrective measures. The Executive Secretary shall perform the duties of the President in the absence of the President and Vice President. The Executive Secretary shall be required to administer and enforce the terms within these Bylaws and enforce the spirit of “Jurisdiction 13.2” when it applies to the Robert’s Rules of Order. The Executive Secretary shall also Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
maintain the record s of the Club including the official copy of these Bylaws.
The Treasurer/Controller shall receive all income to the Club, maintain local records of such receipts and shall process all cash, checks/credit card payments for deposit in a bank chosen by the Board to safeguard the funds of the Club.
The Treasurer/Controller shall receive all statements/invoices for goods and services and, having verified correctness of such statements and/or invoices, shall prepare, sign, and forward checks in payment thereof. The Treasurer/Controller shall receive and review monthly bank statements for the Club account(s) and shall prepare monthly reports of financial activity and deliver such reports to the Board and to the membership, as requested by the President.
The Treasurer/Controller shall cause to be prepared and filled all required quarterly, semi-annual and annual reports to the Federal Elections Commission and California’s Fair Political Practices Commission of all Club financial activity.
6.2 Election of Officers
The election of Officers will follow procedures defined in Article VIII.
6.3 Removal or Resignation of Officers
The Removal or Resignation of Officers will follow procedures defined in Article IX.
VII. STANDING COMMITTEES
7.0 Standing Committees
There shall be six (6) Standing Committees, as listed below. The chairs of the Standing Committees are members of the Board of Directors and elected pursuant to Article VIII.
The Standing Committees are:
7.0.1 Membership Committee
The Membership Committee will seek and propose new members, maintain records of members, and solicit annual dues from members. Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
7.0.2 Fundraising Committee
The Fundraising Committee shall raise funds for the use of the Club, including the organization and management of the Activist Awards event(s).
7.0.3 Program Committee
The Program Committee shall be responsible for scheduling and organizing events and activities of the membership, and programs for Meetings of the Club, consistent with the aims and purposes of the Club.
7.0.4 Public Relations and Outreach Committee
The Public Relations and Outreach Committee shall prepare communications with the Membership including the Club website; shall promote awareness of the Club and Club activities and events in the general media; shall develop relationships with other Democratic clubs and organizations; and shall reach out to new communities of Democrats.
7.0.5 Political Action Committee
The Political Action Committee shall be responsible for organizing and implementing political action goals as directed by the Board.
7.0.6 Hospitality and Social Committee
The Hospitality and Social Committee shall be responsible for catering arrangements for all regular General Membership Meetings and for recommending, planning and implementing such Special Events as approved by the Board.
7.1 Chairs of Standing Committees
The Chairs of the Standing Committees shall serve as Directors of the Club and serve on the Board of Directors.
7.2 Election of Chairs of Standing Committees
The Chairs will be elected by the Membership pursuant to procedures defined in Article VIII.
7.3 Removal or Resignation of Chairs of Standing Committees
The Removal or Resignation of Chairs of Standing Committees will follow procedures defined in Article IX.
7.4 Ad Hoc Committees
With the approval of the Board, the President may for Ad Hoc Committees, and appoint the Chairs of such Ad Hoc Committees, for Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
specific, time-limited, purposes that are not otherwise addressed in these Bylaws.
7.5 Members of Committees
Members of a Standing or Ad Hoc Committee shall be appointed and terminated by the Chair of the Committee with the approval of the President. With the exception of the Chair, there are no fixed terms for membership in a Standing or Ad Hoc Committee.
VIII. ELECTION OF DIRECTORS
8.0 Election by the Membership
All Officers and Chairs of Standing Committees, who collectively form the Board, shall be elected by the Membership at Annual Meetings.
8.1 Staggered Terms
The offices of President and of Treasurer/Controller and the Chairs of the Membership, of the Fundraising, and of the Political Action Committees shall all be elected in odd-numbered years for two year terms. The offices of Vice President and of Executive Secretary and the Chairs of the Public Relations/Outreach Committee, of the Programs Committee, and of the Hospitality Committee shall be elected in even numbered years for two year terms. In the event of a vacancy in any of these positions the procedures and terms of office defined in Article IX will apply.
8.2 Nominating Committee
There shall be a Nominating Committee that will make recommendations of a proposed slate of candidates to be presented to the Membership. The Nominating Committee will be composed of (a) the President in even-numbered years and the Vice President in odd-numbered years who will, respectively, chair the Committee; and (b) four (4) Members in Good Standing elected by the Membership at the October Regular Meeting prior to the Annual Meeting at which the election will occur. The Nominating Committee will initially present its report to the Board of Directors no later than the December meeting prior to the Annual Meeting at which the election will occur. The Nominating Committee may recommend m ore than one qualified candidate for a given position. The Nominating Committee will also solicit agreement from all recommended candidates as to their willingness to serve if elected.
8.3 Nomination of Candidates
The Board will present the slate of candidates recommended by the Nominating Committee to the Membership at the Regular Meeting immediately preceding the Annual Meeting at which the election is to occur. This slate may also include additional candidates recommended by the Board. The slate of candidates will automatically be entered into Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
nomination. At that Regular Meeting the President will invite additional nominations from the floor, provided, however, that such additional nominations are accompanied by a written or verbal communication that any additionally nominated candidate is willing to serve if elected. Prior to the adjournment of that Regular Meeting, absent an earlier motion duly made and carried declaring nominations by closed, the President will declare nominations by close by fiat of these Bylaws.
8.4 Election Procedure
At the Annual Meeting, the Membership will vote to elect the designated Officers and Standing Committee Chairs from among the candidates duly nominated at the immediately prior Regular Meeting. A simple majority vote of the Members in Good Standing present at that Meeting shall be required to elect a Director. In the event there are three (3) or more candidates for a position and none obtains a simple majority vote on the first ballot, there shall be a second runoff ballot between the two candidates who obtained the most votes on the first ballot.
Ballots for ascertaining winning candidates will be conducted by show of hands and counted by the Executive Secretary or by acclamation, unless one or more of the candidates requests a written ballot, in which case the Executive Secretary will conduct a written ballot. In the case of a written ballot, the votes shall be tallied by a committee of three (3) individuals selected by the Executive Secretary.
IX. REMOVAL OF DIRECTORS
9.0 Removal or Resignation of Directors
The position of any Director, including that of any Officer, shall become vacant in the following instances only: (a) if the Director submits his or her resignation either orally at a meeting of the Board or in writing to the Executive Secretary or President; (b) if such Director is removed from office by resolution duly adopted the three-fourths (3/4) of those Members in Good Standing present at a duly called meeting of the Club or seventy-five (75) members whichever is greater, following Notice of the proposed removal given to all members at least twenty-one (21) days in advance of the meeting at which the removal will be voted upon; (c) if the Board, by majority of a quorum, as defined in Section 4.3, declares the office vacant after such Director fails to be a Member in Good Standing of the Club at any time during his or her term of office; (d) if the Director fails to attend four (4) regularly scheduled Board meeting in any given twelve (12) month period unless excused by the Chair of the particular meeting.
9.1 Filling of Vacancies Caused by Removal or Resignation of Directors Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
The fact of a vacancy of a Director shall be announced by the President at the next Regular or Annual Meeting. Except for the office of President, the vacant position of a Director, including that of any Officer, shall be filled by the President as an interim appointment pending an election by the Membership to fill the vacancy at the next Annual Meeting following election procedures defined in Article VIII. In the event of a vacancy in the office of President, the Vice President shall serve on an interim basis pending an election by the Membership to fill the vacancy at the next Annual Meeting following election procedures defined in Article VII; the office of Vice President shall serve on an interim basis pending an election by the Membership to fill the vacancy at the next Annual Meeting following election procedures defined in Article VIII; the office of Vice President will remain vacant during this interim period with the interim President assuming the duties of the Vice President. With any vacancy, the subsequent election will be for a 1-year term if the position would not normally be elected at that Annual Meeting as per Section 8.1; otherwise it will be filled for a normal 2-year term.
10.0 Support of Candidates for Partisan Office
The Democrats of the Desert shall support only candidates and nominees of the Democratic Party for election to partisan office.
10.1 Endorsement of Candidates for Partisan Offices
The Club shall only endorse a candidate for a partisan office if the candidate has been endorsed by the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee (“RCDCC”).
10.2 Endorsement of Candidates for Non-Partisan Offices
If the Club wishes to make a recommendation for endorsement of a Democratic candidate running for a non-partisan office for consideration by the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee, the Board of Directors shall present this recommendation at a Regular Meeting. Members in Good Standing shall vote on the recommendation by written ballot. Notification of the pending vote will be given to all Members in Good Standing at least fifteen (15) days before the Meeting at which the vote will be held.
XI. RULES OF PROCEDURE
11.0 Rules of Procedure
All meetings of the Club, the Board of Directors, and meetings of the Officers shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order except when such rules conflict with these Bylaws. Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
Unless otherwise stipulated herein, notice (“Notice”) as used in these Bylaws may be by either;
Written communication mailed to the Membership including publication in any newsletter of bulletin of the Club; or
Electronic mail sent to all Members in Good Standing of the Club who have registered an electronic mail address with the Club and a telephonic communication to those Members in Good Standing who have not registered and electronic mail address; or
A combination of the above.
These Bylaws may be amended by either (a) a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Members in Good Standing present at a meeting of the Club, provided that copies of the propose amendment have been sent to the Membership of the Club at least fourteen (14) days in advance of the meeting at which the amendment will be voted upon, or (b) the written agreement of two-thirds (2/3) of the full membership.
13.0 Conformance with RCDCC
In the event of any conflict between these Bylaws and those of the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee (RCDCC), the California Democratic Party or the Democratic National Committee, those of the higher aforesaid governing body shall prevail. Any such conflicts shall be brought to the attention of the President of the Club by the Chair of the RCDCC at the time of the annual re-chartering of the Club and sufficient time shall be given to the Club to cure the Bylaw conflict to complete the re-chartering process.
13.1 Gaps in Coverage
Should a matter arise that is not covered by these Bylaws but that is covered by any applicable Bylaw of the RCDCC, the California Democratic Bylaws of The Democrats of the Desert
Party or the National Democratic Party or National Democratic Committee, those of the hi9gher aforesaid governing body shall prevail. In the absence of any specific applicable Bylaw by any such governing body, Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall prevail.