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Bylaws

AUTHORITY  

The Staunton Democratic Committee (SDC) is organized under the authority of and in accordance with the Code of Virginia and the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVa) Plan.  Nothing contained in these Bylaws is intended to conflict with either the Code of Virginia or the DPVa Plan.  If any such conflict exists, then the Code of Virginia or the DPVa Plan, as the case may be, shall have precedence.  Any provision declared invalid shall be stricken and the remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect.

 

Within ninety (90) days of adoption, the Chair of the SDC shall submit these Bylaws to the DPVa  Headquarters.

 

PURPOSE

The SDC exists to facilitate and encourage the full participation of all Virginians in choosing their elected officials and controlling their political destiny; to serve as the organizing body of the Democratic Party within the City of Staunton by:

  • Encouraging voter registration and participation in elections and democracy.  

  • Organizing and appointing election officials to work all primary, general and special elections, 

  • Offering qualified candidates for public office.

  • Encouraging the organization and participation of Young Democrats in the Democratic Party. 

  • Aiding in the victory of the Democratic Party’s nominees in all elections. 

  • Considering the SDC, DPVa and National Party platforms when making SDC decisions.

 

 

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

The SDC shall be comprised of:

  • The Members - detailed in Article I.

  • The Elected Officers shall include the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

  • The Elected Officers are voting members of and shall comprise the Executive Committee

  • The Chair of each Standing or Ad Hoc Subcommittee shall be invited to regularly scheduled Executive Committee meetings for the purposes of collaboration and coordination.  Subcommittee Chairs are non-voting members of the Executive Committee.

  • Standing and Ad Hoc Subcommittees are detailed in Article VII of the Bylaws.

  • Additional Ad Hoc Subcommittees can be formed at the direction of the Executive Committee for specific purposes and durations.

 

ARTICLE I - MEMBERSHIP OF THE STAUNTON DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE

  • Based on the definition of a member from the DPVa Plan, every resident of Staunton who believes in the principles of the Democratic Party is hereby declared to be a member of the SDC.

  • Voting Members of the SDC are those who fill out the SDC Membership Application and sign the pledge on the form.  Voting Members are eligible to vote in SDC elections and other activities as outlined in these bylaws.

  • Donations are requested of all Democrats of the City of Staunton and shall be determined annually by the SDC.  

  • No one will be denied membership to the SDC due to non-payment.

 

ARTICLE II - ELECTION OF OFFICERS 

  • The Elected Officers shall include the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

  • The Elected Officers are voting members of and shall comprise the Executive Committee.

  • The Executive Committee, in collaboration with the Subcommittees and members, shall meet regularly to organize, plan and implement the projects and goals of the SDC and regularly communicate the nature of these projects, plans and goals to the membership.

  • A reorganization meeting shall be held in January of even years to elect officers.  If the January meeting is canceled then the reorganization meeting and elections will be held at the next monthly meeting and the current officers will continue in their positions until after the elections are held.

  • At the October meeting preceding the biennial reorganization meeting, the Chair shall appoint an Election Subcommittee.

  • The Nominating Subcommittee shall assist with advertising and recruiting candidates for the Executive Committee positions.

  • The Election Subcommittee shall perform the election of officers at the biennial reorganization meeting.

  • The Chair shall advertise the reorganization meeting in a newspaper of general distribution serving Staunton, on all SDC social media, and by email to all Voting Members who have provided one, and shall state that the purpose of said meeting is to reorganize the SDC and elect new officers. 

  • This meeting shall be scheduled to fall within the guidelines of the DPVa Plan.  All Democrats are to be encouraged to attend.

  • At the reorganization meeting the Chair of the Election Subcommittee will entertain and record nominations for each Executive Committee position. All nominees must be Voting Members of the SDC.  All nominees must accept their nomination before their name will be presented for consideration by the Voting Membership. 

  • At this point, the election shall proceed by secret ballot.

  • All nominees who run unopposed shall be considered elected by acclamation. 

  • The Election Subcommittee will prepare ballots as necessary, provide a secure method of collecting ballots, tally and prepare election results. Results will be recorded by the outgoing Secretary and read to the membership by the outgoing Chair.

  • The newly elected officers shall be sworn in by the Parliamentarian or designee and assume their positions immediately upon their election at the reorganization meeting.  

    • Oath: 

      • “I, (state your name), do hereby promise to faithfully perform all the duties of the office to which I have been elected to the best of my ability, and to uphold the principles and bylaws of the Staunton Democratic Committee.”

  • Within 14 days of the election, the outgoing officers and the incoming officers will meet to inventory and transfer all properties both physical and electronic of the SDC and to change the officers of record on all bank and other accounts as is appropriate.

  • The Secretary shall submit to the DPVa and to the DPVa District 6 Chair the names of all Voting Members, and of all officers, their titles, addresses, e-mail addresses and phone numbers.  Officers are elected for a two (2) year term beginning immediately upon their election at the reorganization meeting.

 

ARTICLE III - DUTIES OF THE ELECTED OFFICERS 

  • The Chair:

    • The Chair shall carry out the duties required by the DPVa Plan.

    • The Chair shall coordinate and collaborate with others to develop and organize a plan and to implement the goals, principles, projects and plans of the SDC.

    • The Chair shall preside at all meetings.  

    • The Chairs of standing subcommittees shall be appointed or reappointed by the Chair of the SDC following each reorganization meeting.

    • The Chair shall appoint ad hoc subcommittees as needed to carry out the work of the SDC including but not limited to the Election Subcommittee.

  • The Vice-Chair:

    • The Vice-Chair shall carry out the duties required by the DPVa Plan.

    • The Vice-Chair shall perform such duties as may be assigned by the Chair. 

    • The Vice-Chair shall assume the duties of the Chair in the event of the Chair’s absence, and assume the duties of the Chair in the event of the Chair’s resignation or inability to perform the duties of the Chair until a new Chair is elected at the next regularly scheduled SDC meeting.  At the next regularly scheduled SDC meeting nominations will be accepted from the floor by the Election Subcommittee and voted on by a simple majority of the Voting Members present.

  •  The Secretary:

    • If neither the Chair nor the Vice Chair is present, then the Secretary shall preside at meetings.

    • Shall keep minutes of every meeting of the SDC and send them electronically, or by mail if necessary, or have the minutes available on the SDC website to the Voting Membership within ten (10) days,

    • Shall also record attendance at each SDC Regular Meeting, Special Meetings and Executive Committee Meetings.

    • Shall maintain a list of all Voting Members.

    • Shall keep all records organized in an orderly fashion, 

    • Shall have minutes of all previous meetings at each regular meeting.

  • The Treasurer:

    • Shall be responsible for all monies of the SDC, and act on behalf of the SDC to collect all monies and pay all appropriate bills for which itemized receipts have been presented.  All monies received shall be deposited within ten (10) working days.  

    • Shall submit a written financial report, which will include the status of the budget, at each Regular meeting to the Secretary and make a verbal report to the SDC.  

    • Shall submit to the Chair, no later than the 31st day of December of each year, a detailed written report of all receipts and expenditures of the SDC.  Any funds received by any other member shall immediately be transferred to the Treasurer.  

    • If the Treasurer is incapacitated, the remaining officers shall appoint a fellow officer to perform this duty.  

    • All monies, checkbooks and ledgers belonging to the SDC must be given to the Chair in the event of the resignation of the Treasurer.

    • Shall make available all financial records by appointment with the Trustees for the yearly review and upon a change of the Treasurer.

  • All Officers:

    • Any official SDC records of all officers will be available for inspection by any member of the Executive Committee.  A request to inspect records shall be given in writing and shall be honored by all officers within ten (10) days of the receipt of such request. Additionally any official records of all officers may be reviewed by any member provided a written request is submitted and an appointment is made. This appointment shall occur within 14 days

 

ARTICLE IV - EXPENDITURES

Each year in January, the members of the Executive Committee and the Finance and Fundraising Subcommittee will draft a budget for approval by the Voting Members. Once approved by the majority of Voting Members at the yearly budget meeting, the budget will serve as a guide for expenditures for that calendar year.  Expenditures within the budget will be considered approved by the Voting Members.   The budget can be changed as needed if approved by a majority of the Voting Members after a review and discussion at a Regular or Special Meeting.

 

For expenditures outside the budget, the SDC Chair may spend up to $100 for purchases necessary for carrying out SDC events or functions without other approval.  Appropriate records including a receipt and rationale for the expenditure shall be given to the Treasurer and attached to the corresponding financial records. 

 

If expenditures outside the budget exceeding $100 amount are deemed necessary, then all members of the Executive Committee shall be polled, and a majority of the Executive Committee must approve the expenditures up to $250.  The purpose of the expenditure and the vote of the Executive Committee shall be recorded by the Secretary in the minutes and attached to the corresponding financial records.

 

If expenditures outside the budget above $250 are anticipated, voting approval by a majority of Voting Members present at a Regular or Special meeting is required.  

 

The SDC acknowledges that purchasing union-made products and services supports working families. Our purchases also help keep good, middle class jobs here in the USA. The SDC pledges to do their part to support working families by purchasing union-made products and services; and the local economy by patronizing local, minority and/or women-owned businesses; whenever possible

 

ARTICLE V - VACANCIES  

Vacancies on the Executive Committee shall be filled at any Regular Meeting of the SDC after the vacancy has been announced.  Nominations will be accepted from the floor by the Election Subcommittee and voted on by a simple majority of the Voting Members present.

 

The Chair of the SDC shall fill vacancies of chairs of standing subcommittees as soon as practicable after they occur.

 

ARTICLE VI - AMENDING BYLAWS  

These Bylaws may be amended by an absolute majority (more than 50% of the SDC Voting Members) at any time, or may be amended by a majority vote of the SDC Voting Members present, if the proposed amendment is mailed and/or emailed to the Voting Membership at least fifteen (15) days before the vote on the amendment.  Proposed amendments shall be clearly designated in the mailing to the SDC.

 

ARTICLE VII - STANDING AND AD HOC SUBCOMMITTEES AND OTHER POSITIONS

All Subcommittee Chairs will serve a two (2) year term, or until the next reorganization, whichever comes first, unless they resign or are removed.

  • Publicity – This subcommittee shall gather and present information on Democratic activities and events to the SDC and the public, maintain a list of media contacts and issue press releases as authorized by the Chair.  This subcommittee may also participate in other public education and messaging to other organizations.

  • Outreach – This subcommittee shall encourage membership from groups and individuals within the community to broaden participation in Democratic Party activities and support of Democratic Party candidates, while seeking as much diversity as possible, enabling the growth of the SDC and serving as liaison with various community groups such as civic associations, charitable organizations, and Young Democrats.

  • Precinct/Ward – This subcommittee shall supervise all precinct operations, appoint and coordinate with precinct captains and undertake the development of a grassroots campaign organization at the precinct level to help all Democratic candidates and those endorsed by the SDC in all elections.  It shall organize poll workers and coordinate the distribution of campaign literature in a timely manner.

  • Finance and Fundraising – This subcommittee shall prepare an annual budget for the activities of the SDC, initiate fundraising activities in coordination with other subcommittee chairs, and enlist the support of individuals and organizations that are potentially able to contribute to the financial support of the SDC.  The Treasurer shall be the Chair of this subcommittee.

  • Nominating – This subcommittee shall seek out qualified Democrats for vacancies on the Executive Committee, standing subcommittees, politically appointed positions, advisory commissions and boards at all levels of government and candidates to run for political office.

  • Bylaws – This subcommittee shall periodically review these Bylaws and suggest such changes as are appropriate to facilitate the orderly working of the SDC.  Any member may suggest changes for consideration by the Bylaws Subcommittee.  The Parliamentarian shall chair this subcommittee.

  • Operations - may include the positions of the IT Manager, Office Manager, Volunteer Coordinator, others.  May help other subcommittees in tasks like delivering and acquiring campaign materials, delivering yard signs, managing the SDC office and related volunteers, managing the IT infrastructure, etc.

  • Campaigns - this subcommittee shall liaison with campaign committees and 6th CD Dem Committees to coordinate SDC efforts with a campaign and/or another Democratic Committee.  May also interface with other outside organizations in order to effectively carry out the SDC programs.  

  • Elections  - an ad hoc committee appointed by the SDC Chair to perform the election of officers at each biennial reorganization meeting and, as needed, at other Regular or Special Meetings.

  • Trustees - an ad hoc subcommittee of three members who shall perform a review of all financial records once a year and in the event of a change in Treasurer.  The members shall be chosen by the Executive Committee in odd years and serve for 2 years.

  • The Parliamentarian:

    • Shall be appointed by the Chair and shall advise the Chair and the SDC with respect to matters of SDC organization such as parliamentary procedure, rules, meeting calls and these Bylaws.

    • The Parliamentarian shall chair the Bylaws Subcommittee.

 

ARTICLE VIII - MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS

Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern all SDC meetings except where they are contrary to any provision of these Bylaws.

 

Meetings may be in person, virtual or both as needed.

 

Membership Meetings

The SDC Regular Meeting monthly schedule shall be established at the reorganization meeting as to the day, time and place.  The day and time may be changed by the SDC to suit the situation, giving members at least one (1) week notice.  However, any combination of posting on social media pages, a phone call, e-mail or text will suffice to notify members in case of cancellation due to inclement weather or emergencies.

 

Special meetings to address a single issue may be called at the request of three (3) Voting Members of the SDC including one (1) member of the Executive Committee.  A three-day waiting period is required for setting the said meeting date, time and location.  Members shall be notified before any special meeting by posting on social media and by email.  Notification shall consist of the date, time, location and subject matter of said meeting.

 

Membership meetings may proceed without a quorum.  Any member may, however, request a quorum call before the vote on any issue.  A quorum shall consist of eight (8) members of the (see Article I) SDC Voting Membership as has been recorded by the Secretary.  

 

Provided a quorum, if requested, is met, a simple majority of those members present and voting shall be necessary for the passage of all motions or resolutions by the SDC, except where stated otherwise.

 

All regular meetings are public.  However, the SDC may adjourn to closed session upon a simple majority vote of those SDC Voting Members present and voting.

 

Visitors are assumed to be Democrats or persons supporting the Democratic Party.  Visitors who disrupt meetings or who are clearly not favorable to the SDC and/or the Democratic Party may be asked to leave.

 

Executive Committee Meetings

The Executive Committee shall meet once a month and as needed.  The monthly meeting schedule shall be established at the reorganization meeting as to the day, time and place.  The day and time may be changed by the SDC Executive Committee to suit the situation with proper notice.  

 

ARTICLE IX - RESIGNATION AND/OR REMOVAL

Resignation:

  • Any officer may resign by giving written notice to the Secretary, or in the case of the Secretary, by giving notice to the Chair.  

  • The officer must submit all manuals, documents and funds to another member of the Executive Committee within ten (10) days.

  • Any subcommittee member may resign by giving written notice to the Subcommittee Chair.  

  • All reports and other materials belonging to the subcommittee shall be given to the Chair within ten (10) days.


 

Removal from Elected Office: 

  • Absence without the justification of an officer from three (3) meetings during the officer’s two-year term, neglect of duty, or publicly supporting, endorsing or assisting a candidate opposing a Democrat endorsed candidate shall constitute grounds for removal. 

  • The SDC may remove an Elected Officer by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those Voting Members present and voting if found guilty of any of the aforementioned acts. 

  • Such action shall not be taken without ten (10) days written notice to the accused officer and an opportunity for him or her to refute such charge(s) in a hearing before the SDC at the next regular meeting following the 10 day notice.  

 

Revocation of voting rights of a member: 

  • No member of the SDC shall publicly support, endorse, or assist a candidate who is opposing a Democratic candidate. 

  • The SDC may remove the voting rights of a member by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those Voting Members present and voting, any person found guilty of the aforementioned acts. 

  • Such action shall not be taken without ten (10) days written notice to the accused officer and an opportunity for him or her to refute such charge(s) in a hearing before the SDC at the next regular meeting following the 10 day notice.  

  • A member may petition the SDC for reinstatement of voting rights at a regular meeting one year from revocation. 

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