21st LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION
Pursuant to the Charter of the Democratic Party of the United States, the Charter of the Democratic Party of the State of Washington, and the Snohomish County Democratic Central Committee Bylaws, we do hereby organize ourselves as a body politic, with all rights and privileges granted under those documents and adopt the following Bylaws
The name of this organization shall be the “21st Legislative District Democratic Organization”, hereafter referred to as “the 21st LD”.
The purpose of the 21st LD shall be:
- To promote the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party.
- To assist in the selection and election of Democratic candidates for public office.
- To increase citizen participation in government and their communities.
General membership is granted automatically to:
- Elected and appointed Democratic Precinct Committee Officers in the 21st Legislative District.
- Members of the Executive Board not otherwise eligible to vote.
- All appointed Democratic Precinct Organizers. Precinct Organizers shall be general or associate members, appointed by the Chairperson, subject to approval or removal by the general membership. Precinct Organizers are responsible to fulfill the responsibilities of Precinct Committee Officers, to the extent permitted by law, in those precincts having no Democratic Committee Officers. Precinct Organizers shall endeavor to identify Democrats residing and registered to vote in the assigned precinct for appointment or election as Precinct Committee Officers.
Non-PCO General membership is granted, upon request, to any registered voter residing in the 21st Legislative District who declares themselves to be a Democrat and who have satisfied membership requirements as provided for in these bylaws.
Non-PCO members have all privileges granted to general members except the ability to vote in elections of officers. Voting rights are granted upon the satisfaction of one of these provisions:
- The member has signed in at a general or special meeting within the last 3 months.
- Twenty days have elapsed from requesting membership.
- Exception – This requirement does not apply to members present and registered at the reorganization meeting.
Auxiliary membership is granted upon request to any person of legal voting age who declares themselves to be a Democrat and is not qualified for either general or associate membership and who has satisfied membership requirements as provided in these bylaws
Auxiliary members are granted only permission to speak in debate.
If a member no longer qualifies for membership at their current level, they shall automatically be transitioned to the highest level of membership that they still qualify for.
Section 3.02 – Membership dues
All members are responsible to contribute to the organization’s financial needs through payment of dues and/or through in-kind contributions, if possible. A reasonable yearly membership fee shall be assessed upon all members of the 21st LD. The membership fee shall only be set at the first general meeting of each year. The Executive Board shall recommend the amount of the assessment, subject to approval or change by the voting membership. Membership dues for existing members must be paid (or waived) before or at the February general meeting each year. If a member pays dues in November or December, the next year’s due requirement is automatically waived.
Section 3.02.02 – Waiver & Records
No person shall be required to pay membership dues. A waiver of membership dues may be obtained by a request made in writing and delivered to the Treasurer.
Records concerning payment/waiver of dues shall be kept strictly confidential by the Treasurer and shall only be disclosed by a unanimous vote of the other Executive Board members. If disclosed, the reason for such disclosure shall be reported to each member whose information was disclosed.
If a member’s dues are not paid or a waiver obtained by the date of the March general meeting, that member shall be removed from membership.
Members shall supply a mailing address for validation of residency as well as for use for written notifications that must be sent to members. If a member provides an email address, this address shall be used for written notifications in place of postal mail, unless the member requests otherwise.
So that voting members of the 21st LD shall be able to freely communicate with each other for the purpose of proposing resolutions, bylaws, amendments or other business requiring notice, a mailing list of the voting members of the 21st LD shall made available upon request to other voting members. “Voting members” applies to all General and Associate Members. This membership list shall only be available to voting members and shall consist of: precinct, name, and one or more of the following pieces of contact information: phone number, email address, mailing address (default).
Section 3.04.01 – Rules
Use of the BCC Line is mandatory when the message is being sent more than 10 members.
Any abuse of the membership list shall result in disciplinary action. Abuse shall include, but not be limited to:
- Use of contact information for purposes not germane to the business of the 21st LD.
- Sharing of information with non-voting members.
- Repeatedly failing to comply with requests by members to halt further communication.
If a member wishes to have all contact information withheld from the membership list, they may request in writing. This request shall be confidentially reviewed and voted on by a committee made up of the Chair and Vice Chairs. If the request is denied and the member chooses to terminate membership, the member shall have their membership dues for the current year refunded. A member may choose to block up to two contact forms in writing, submitted to the Secretary, without going through the opt-out process.
At the discretion of the Chair, requests to obtain the membership list may be referred for approval or rejection by a vote of the membership at the next meeting. The Chair shall provide notice to the requestor and the membership providing justification for the referral.
Section 3.05 – Acting Precint Committee Officers
Acting Precinct Committee Officers shall be general members, appointed by the Chair, subject to approval or removal by the general membership. Acting Precinct Committee Officers are responsible to fulfill the responsibilities of Precinct Committee Officers, to the extent permitted by law, in those precincts having no Democratic Committee Officers. Acting Precinct Committee Officers sharll endeavor to identify Democrats residing and registered to vote in the assigned precinct for appointment or election as Precinct Committee Officers.
Article 4 – Officers
In addition to those specified in these bylaws, all officers are expected to fulfill their duties as specified by the parliamentary authority and any additional duties assigned to them.
The Chair shall be the presiding officer of the organization and shall conduct meetings in accordance with the all applicable laws, the Charter & Bylaws of the national and Washington state democratic party organizations, these bylaws and all adopted rules. The Chair shall be the principal spokesperson for the organization. Other members may be granted the right to speak on behalf of the organization only by a majority vote of the Executive Board.
The first vice-chair must identify as a different gender than the Chair. The vice-chairs shall fulfill the responsibilities of the Chair in their absence and are expected to be well versed in parliamentary procedure, the bylaws, and any other responsibilities of the Chair that they may be required to fulfill.
Section 4.02.03 – State Committee Representatives
There shall be two state committee members elected identifying as different genders. The State Committee Representatives are responsible for attending all meetings of the State Central Committee and shall vigorously advocate for any resolutions or other orders passed by the membership. The State Committee Members shall coordinate their efforts with and serve as elected alternates of the County Committee Representatives.
There shall be two county committee members elected identifying as different genders. The County Committee Representatives are responsible for attending all meetings of the Snohomish County Central Committee and shall vigorously advocate for any resolutions or other orders passed by the membership. The elected county committee members shall coordinate their efforts with the State Committee Representatives so that, if necessary, they may be prepared to act as a proxy for the State Committee Members, if granted a proxy by their respective State Committee Representative.
The Secretary shall be responsible for recording meeting minutes, attendance, and resolutions. They are also responsible for maintaining and providing access to organizational records, and handling any required correspondences including, sending the call to meetings.
The Treasurer shall be responsible for handling all funds of the organization. They shall also be required to comply fully with all organizational rules and all other applicable rules and legal requirements surrounding political activities, such as those of the Public Disclosure Commission. The Treasurer shall also assist with budgeting, fundraising, and any other fiscal activities, as needed. To assist the Treasurer, the Chair shall appoint a Deputy Treasurer, subject to confirmation by the membership.
The Sergeant-At-Arms is responsible for maintaining order at meetings at the direction of the Chair and in accordance with any rules or policies adopted. The Sergeant-At-Arms shall be appointed by the Executive Board, subject to approval of the membership.
The Parliamentarian is responsible for providing guidance to the Chair on parliamentary process during meetings. The Parliamentarian may be appointed by the Executive Board, subject to approval of the membership.
The Chair shall appoint, when possible, a voting member of the 21st LD under the age of 36 to be liaison to the Young Democrats organization, subject to confirmation by the membership.
Appointed officers should be appointed at the first or second general meeting after Reorganization. Appinted officers are granted voting rights in the Executive Board.
Section 4.03 – Election
Any registered voter residing in the 21st District who declares themselves to be a Democrat may be nominated and elected as an officer of the 21st LD. In accordance with State Charter and Bylaws, officers are elected at the organizational meeting held in December or January following the general election in even-numbered years. At the organizational meeting, only elected Precinct Committee Officers may vote in the election of officers. After the organizational meeting, only appointed and elected Precinct Committee Officers may vote in the election of replacement officers. Officers shall serve until the next organizational meeting, or until successors are elected.
1) All offices shall be open to nominations from the floor. Nominations may be made prior to an election in writing and must be signed by the person being nominated.
2) Nominations and election of each office shall be held one at a time in the following order: Chairperson, First Vice-Chair, Second Vice-Chair, State Delegates and County Delegates, Secretary, Treasurer.
3) If there is no nominee for a position at the time of the election, it shall remain open until filled by election.
4) Brief comments may be made on behalf of each nomination and second, and by candidates. Comments shall be limited to one minute per speech for the nomination and second. A speech may be made by the candidate, limited to three minutes.
5) Voting shall be by signed written ballot. Unopposed candidates may be elected by acclamation.
6) The candidate receiving a majority of eligible votes cast, shall be elected. Absentee candidates must accept the results before taking office.
7) If no candidate receives a majority, the candidate with the fewest votes shall be dropped. If there are multiple candidates tied with the fewest votes, should no candidate wish to withdraw, a runoff vote shall occur between the tied candidates, with the candidate earning the most votes proceeding to the next round. In the event of a tie during a runoff, the winner of the tie shall be decided by lot.
8) Between each round of non-runoff voting, candidates may make a speech limited to one minute and may withdraw at any time between rounds of voting.
9) When only two candidates remain, In the event of a tie, there shall be a revote. If that revote results in a tie, the election shall be decided by lot.
Resignation of an officer shall be made in writing and shall be effective upon receipt by the Executive Board. All written resignations should be kept on file.
A vote to remove any officer for cause may be initiated by one of the following:
- a petition signed by at least as many members as constitutes a quorum at a general meeting.
- a two-thirds vote of the entire Executive Board
It is the responsibility of the Executive Board to promptly inform the membership upon breach of officer attendance requirements.
A vote for removal shall be initiated if an officer:
- is absent for four (4) regularly scheduled consecutive general meetings.
- is absent for three (3) regularly scheduled consecutive Executive Board meetings
- is absent for six (6) regularly scheduled Executive Board meetings in a twelve (12) month period.
Section 4.05.03 – Process
Once a vote to remove an officer is initiated, written notice shall be sent to all members within 4 days. The vote for removal shall be held at the next general business meeting, or a special meeting called for that purpose, held at least 10 days after notice is given.
Unless amended or repealed, pursuant to Washington State law, RCW 29A.80.061, the Chair may only be removed by the majority vote of the elected precinct committee officers in the chair’s district. Voting on the removal of other officers shall be open to all members eligible to vote in the election of a replacement. Votes on removal of officers require written notice to be sent to the entire membership, at least 10 days before the vote, and a majority vote in the affirmative.
In the event of a vacancy, the Executive Board shall inform the membership in writing within 7 days. An interim replacement may be appointed by the Executive Board to fulfill the officer’s duties until a successor can be elected. This interim appointee may not vote on Executive Board matters. An election shall be held to elect a replacement at the start of the next general meeting at least 7 days after written notice is sent to the membership.
In the event of a vacancy in one of the Chair positions, the remaining chairs automatically succeed any vacant position above them.
Regular membership meetings shall be held monthly except for the meeting in the month of August, which may be cancelled by a majority vote at the July meeting. In the event of an absence of all Chairs from a general meeting, the body shall select a temporary Chair to preside over the meeting using a plurality vote. In the event of a tie, the chair shall be decided by lots.
The Chair shall see that written notification of all regular meetings for the year is mailed to the voting membership at least ten days prior to the first meeting of the new calendar year. Changes to the yearly schedule must pass by a majority vote of the Executive Board. Written notification of any changes in the date, time and place of that schedule shall be made to the voting membership no less than ten days prior to the meeting.
At least 10 days before any regular meeting, a Call shall
- Be posted to the front page of the 21st LD website, which shall satisfy notification for members that have not provided email contact information.
- Be emailed to all members that have provided email address contact information.
- State the time, place, and any matters that require prior notice.
After the initial Call has been made, any changes to the motions submitted must comply with these requirements. If a member is unable to receive notice by internet, special accommodations shall be granted by the Executive Board.
Meetings may be canceled or postponed by the executive board due to severe weather or other extreme circumstances. The executive board shall notify the membership with explanation, in the event there is cause to cancel or postpone a meeting. Notification shall follow the same process as the Call.
A proposed agenda shall be included with the Call to inform members of scheduled speakers, old business that must be addressed, and a proposed order which addresses these matters.
Special meetings may be called by the Chair or by a petition signed by at least as many voting members as constitutes a quorum. Such petition must state the date, time, place and purpose of the special meeting, and a copy of the petition shall be submitted to the Secretary. Written notification shall be mailed to the membership no less than seven (7) days before the special meeting of the date, time, place and purpose of the special meeting and only those items included in the stated purpose shall be officially acted upon at such special meeting.
A quorum for any general or special meeting shall consist of twelve voting members.
To accommodate members that may have difficulties attending meetings, a member may petition the body, in writing, to grant a specific member to hold their proxy vote. This petition must provide a justification for the request and the person to assign the proxy vote to. Notification of the request shall be placed on the call and agenda of the next business meeting. The petition shall be read at the next business meeting and, if so moved, shall require a two-thirds majority vote to grant the petition. In no case may one member hold more than a single proxy vote and proxies expire 3 months from being issued, unless otherwise specified in the motion to pass them. Executive Board members are prohibited from holding any proxy votes.
All Executive Board members and state legislative representatives may attend and participate in meetings using audio or video conferencing. Members may request to be granted this right using the same process as obtaining proxy voting privileges, except that only a majority vote is required In the event a public emergency or natural disaster makes the holding of an in-person meeting of the organization unlawful or impossible, the organization may conduct its meetings by electronic or other remote access means as reasonably necessary for the duration of the emergency or disaster; provided that the organization shall use its best efforts to implement any such virtual meetings with full regard for the need to maintain as much as possible accessibility for all members, including those with disabilities and those who lack access to sophisticated technology tools. Any action that could be taken at an in-person meeting, including bylaws amendments, may also be taken at a virtual meeting held pursuant to this clause but any action taken at any such virtual meeting shall be subject to ratification at the first regular meeting of the organization held after such virtual meeting or meetings. During a virtual meeting, all reasonable technology must be used to authenticate each individual who attends. Determination to hold a given meeting as virtual is by the Chair.
The Executive Board shall consist of all elected officers of the 21st LD.
Section 6.02 – Duties
Section 6.02.01 – Annual Review
The Executive Board shall perform an annual financial review of the books of the organization, and the results shall be presented to the membership at the January or February meeting.
Section 6.02.02 – Schedule Meetings
The Executive Board shall prepare a two-year calendar to fulfill the purpose of the organization to be submitted for approval by the membership at the February meeting.
The Executive board shall submit a budget to finance the organization’s activities for approval by the membership at the March meeting.
The Executive Board shall also be empowered to make such other necessary decisions to ensure the proper operation of the 21st LD, subject to approval of the membership at the next regular meeting.
Section 6.04 – Executive Board Meetings
The Executive Board shall meet at least five (5) days before any regular membership meeting. If the Executive Board is not able to meet due to inclement weather, or other extreme circumstances, the meeting may be canceled without the need for rescheduling. Additional board meetings may be called by the Chairperson or by a quorum of the Executive Board.
All general and associate members shall be allowed to attend Executive Board meetings.
A quorum for Executive Board meetings shall consist of four members of the Executive Board.
If Executive Board members cannot attend the meeting in person, they may attend in a form that allows aural participation, including but not limited to phone or video conference. No votes shall be conducted or cast by email.
In addition to pursuing the duties of their respective committees, individual matters may be referred to any standing committee by the membership.
This committee shall be responsible for formulating and coordinating strategies to promote inclusion in the 21st LD. Special attention should be given to encouraging the participation of under-represented minorities in the membership of the 21st LD.
Section 7.01.02 – Endorsements and Elections
This committee shall be responsible to monitor upcoming elections, identify declared and/or potential candidates, interview candidates on the ballot and review initiatives, and then present their recommendations to the membership for endorsement. Once endorsements have been made, this committee shall also plan, recommend and coordinate campaign efforts for endorsed candidates and initiatives.
This committee is responsible for strategizing, reviewing, recommending, and coordinating fundraising activities to the membership. In addition, this committee is responsible for planning events for the 21st Legislative District.
Section 7.01.04 – Education and Issues
This committee shall be responsible for developing and overseeing training of members and PCOs in meeting process and canvassing efforts (including Vote Builder). In addition, this committee shall seek to facilitate education on issues relevant to the 21st Legislative District including producing briefs for use in canvassing and seeking out speakers for presentations at general meetings and special events.
This committee shall be responsible for the planning, development, and maintenance of the technological assets that support the efforts of the 21st LD. This committee shall also be responsible for moderating online forums used for communication and advancement of the 21st LD, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, and any websites owned by the 21st LD.
This committee is responsible for reviewing all proposed bylaws amendments and presenting recommendations to the membership. This committee may also recommend changes in policies, special rules and standing rules as needed. This committee shall be responsible for a full review of the bylaws, policies, and special/standing rules every 6 months and shall present to the membership recommendations for proposed amendments.
Committees, for purposes different than the standing committees, may be established by the membership. The Executive Board may recommend committees be established as deemed necessary, subject to approval by the membership.
The Quorum for any committee is a majority of its members or two, whichever is greater.
All committee members not specified in these bylaws may be appointed by the membership. The Chair may appoint members to serve on committees. Any member so appointed shall be voted on by the membership at the next general meeting. The Chair is an ex-officio member of all committees, except nominations and disciplinary, but does not have a vote on these committees unless granted this right by the membership.
Committee members, including those specifically appointed in these bylaws, may be removed from their committee by a two-thirds vote of members present at a general or special meeting, or a simple majority if prior notice is given.
Section 7.06 –
At the discretion of the Committee Chair committee meetings may be held electronically.
Section 8. 01 – ACCOUNTS
To comply fully with Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) and other campaign finance laws, take full advantage of the enhanced powers granted Legislative District Organizations, and maximize the 21st District Democrats support of Democratic candidates, the 21st Legislative District Democratic Organization shall establish, maintain and file the appropriate Public Disclosure Commission reports for Exempt (Operating) and Non-Exempt (Political Action) accounts. To ensure a transparent political process, all PDC reporting must be made using “full reporting”. Under no circumstances is the 21st LD to file reports that knowingly omit or obfuscate the source or destination of funds.
Section 8. 01.01 – THE OPERATING ACCOUNT
This Exempt account shall be utilized to fund operating expenses and indirect support of candidates, such as Party mailings, and other forms of support provided for by law.
Section 8. 01.02 – THE POLITICAL ACTION FUND – THE VICTORY ACCOUNT
This Non-Exempt account shall be utilized to provide direct financial support to candidates who have been endorsed by the 21st Legislative District Democratic Organization, in accordance with applicable campaign finance laws. The emphasis of contributions will be to assist candidates whose candidacies or ballot measures further the interests of
the 21st Legislative District Democratic Organization. Financial support for the Political Action Fund will be generated through direct mail and other fundraising activities.
Section 8. 01.03 – DEPOSIT AND TRANSFER OF FUNDS
Because Washington State law allows for the transfer of funds from Political Action Fund accounts to Operating Accounts but prohibits the reverse, all proceeds from the 21st District Democrats fundraising events shall be initially deposited in the Political Action Fund and maintained there until the Treasurer needs to transfer funds to pay Operating Account expenses. All accounts used to collect digital payment shall be governed in accordance with the provisions in this article.
Section 8. 02 – EARMARKED CONTRIBUTIONS
The 21st Legislative District Democratic Organization shall not accept donations earmarked for or against candidates. A donor’s support for or opposition to any candidate shall not be a factor in the decision of the membership to allocate funds. The Executive Board may accept contributions that are earmarked for operating expenses for campaign activities unrelated to the support of any candidate. Such contributions shall be used for the specified purpose or returned to the donor.
Section 8. 03 – DISBURSEMENT
Section 8. 03.01 – OPERATING ACCOUNT
Disbursements from the Operating Account made by the Executive Board shall be made in accordance with the 21st Legislative District Democratic Organization Budget. Disbursements falling outside the budget may be made by means motions passed or ratified by the membership. All disbursements over $250 require the sign-off the Treasurer and at least one an additional officer listed on the bank account.
Section 8. 03.02 – POLITICAL ACTION FUND
All disbursements from this account must be made with the approval of the membership. No disbursements shall be made to support candidates or initiatives that are not endorsed by the 21st LD. Disbursements that are destined to a PAC/SuperPAC must be approved by the membership, with prior written notice, by a two-thirds majority vote.
Article 9 – Parliamentary Authority
Absent other controlling rules or procedures, all meetings and procedures shall be governed by the most recent edition of Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised. Due to the need to evaluate and adapt to changes in new editions of Robert’s Rules, to be suitable for adoption, a new edition of Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised, must be published for at least six months before automatically replacing the previous version. The membership may adopt the newer edition before this 6 month period has elapsed by a two-thirds vote with prior written notice.
1) All proposed amendments must be made in writing.
2) Upon receipt, proposed bylaws amendments shall be published for review to the 21st LD website and shall be automatically referred to the Rules Committee.
3) This committee shall have a minimum of 14 days to review and present recommendations and proposed changes to the membership for a vote at the next business meeting after the review period.
4) If the proposed amendment is submitted along with a petition for a special meeting at which to vote on the amendment, the Rules Committee shall review and present their recommendations for a vote at that special meeting.
5) Amendments to these Bylaws require written notification and a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of PCOs present for adoption. The membership may vote to refer the matter back to the committee if more deliberation is necessary.
Article 11 – Code Of Conduct
(i)1) The 21st LD Democrats Organization operates under 21st LD Democrats Code of Conduct, as defined in our standing rules, which is based on Washington State Democrat’s Code of Conduct .