SCDCC Bylaws

 

SIERRA COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE BYLAWS

Adopted January 25, 2020

 

Article I – Name and Purpose

Section 1:  Name

The name of this organization shall be the Sierra County Democratic Central Committee (SCDCC) and is authorized by the California Elections code. It is commonly known as the Sierra County Democrats or the Sierra County Democratic Party.

Section 2:  Purpose

The SCDCC shall serve as the official governing body of the Democratic Party in Sierra County as provided in the California Election’s Code, under the general direction of the Democratic State Central Committee and the Democratic National Committee, to further the success of the Democratic Party and its duly nominated candidates. The SCDCC shall conduct such other business as is deemed appropriate by its membership.

Article II – Membership

Section 1:  Eligibility

All elected, appointed, and alternate members shall be residents of Sierra County, and be registered to vote in Sierra County as members of the Democratic Party. Each member shall serve as at-large representatives though representation from all communities is encouraged. No person shall be seated until taking the requisite oath or affirmation of office.

Section 2:  Elected Members

Regular members of the SCDCC shall be those elected according to the provisions of the Election Code and the California Democratic Party bylaws. Information about the process and timing is available at the Elections Office. Candidates shall request the proper forms; and seek the required number of signatures of support from Democrats in the County and meet filing deadlines. Elections are held every four years in Presidential Primary Elections. Elected members serve for four years.

Section 3:  Appointed Members

A registered Democrat residing in Sierra County, who has attended at least two consecutive Regular meetings, may be appointed by majority vote of the members of the SCDCC to fill a vacancy that occurs and shall serve to the end of that term. The appointed member is entitled to the same rights and privileges as an elected member.

Section 4:  Alternate Members

Each elected or appointed member in good standing may nominate a registered Sierra County Democrat who has attended at least two consecutive Regular meetings, as an alternate member who must be confirmed by the membership. An alternate member has the right of voice at meetings even if their principal member is present but may vote only in the absence of that member. An alternate member may serve on committees or serve as a representative of the SCDCC to the State Committee or its Executive Board, provided all regular members who are candidates are first given the opportunity to serve. In the absence of elected or appointed members willing to serve as Officers or Chairs of Committees, alternate members may be elected to those positions.

Section 5:  Ex Officio Members

Ex Officio membership is outlined in the Elections Code and those members shall be recognized by SCDCC accordingly. Appointees of those members shall be eligible as voting members of the SCDCC in their absence. SCDCC recognizes as Ex Officio members: the most current Democratic nominees for the Congressional District, State Senate District, State Assembly District and the California Democratic Party Regional Director.

Section 6:  Associate Members

Any registered Democrat, residing in the United States, who has paid the annual dues, shall be considered an Associate member, in recognition of their support of the SCDCC. Associate members who are not Elected, Appointed, or Ex Officio members of the Central Committee are welcome to attend SCDCC meetings, and shall have voice but no vote at such meetings. All Associate members shall be informed of SCDCC activities; may be invited to attend and/or assist at functions and fundraisers; and may serve with voice and vote as members of SCDCC standing or ad hoc committees. (Amended June 28, 2020)

Section 7:  Terms of Membership

Regular membership, including elected, appointed, alternate and Ex Officio, shall terminate, subject to renewal by election or appointment every four years in Presidential Primary Elections. Terms shall begin from the month following the Election when the Organizational meeting convenes. Where vacancies are filled, the term shall be the remainder of the applicable four-year term. Associate membership is for the calendar year, and begins when a person pays the appropriate dues. (Amended June 28, 2020)

Section 8:  Absences

An elected or appointed member who is absent from three consecutive regularly scheduled meetings without a valid excuse may be removed by a vote of the committee. Valid excuses include, but are not limited to illness, absence from the County, or attendance to duties required by their employment.

Section 9:  Vacancies

Vacancies will occur when an Elected, Appointed or Alternate member:

  • no longer resides in the County.
  • changes their voter registration and is no longer a registered Democrat;
  • becomes incapacitated or dies;
  • resigns from membership;
  • becomes ineligible for continued membership for any reason cited under the California Elections Code, or
  • is removed from the Central Committee in accordance with these Bylaws.

A member who moves out of the County causes an automatic resignation from the Committee due to lack of residency. The member must notify the Chair within 10 days, so the vacant seat can be filled. Vacancies shall be filled, as soon as possible, by the appointment of a qualified voter through nomination by any member of the SCDCC and approval of the membership. The Vice Chair shall file whenever any person is appointed to fill a vacancy, the notices of the appointment with the election official and the State Central Committee within 30 days. The notice shall contain the name and address of the person appointed and the name of the person replaced and shall indicate the date of the appointment. Alternatively, the updated roster may be submitted with the changes noted.

Section 10:  Dues

Annual dues will be determined by the membership for elected, appointed, alternate, associate, and County appointees of Ex Officio members. The term for annual dues is the calendar year by January 31st or within 30 days of election or appointment. If the payment of dues is a hardship, the Executive Committee may waive dues for that member.

Article III – Officers

Section 1:  Officers and Election of Officers

Elected Officers shall be: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. Election of officers shall be held at the regular meeting held the month following the Organizational meeting in even numbered years. Elected officers shall serve terms of two years or until a successor is elected. Retiring officers shall deliver all properties and records of the SCDCC to their successor or the Chair.

Section 2:  Duties of Officers

The Chair shall:

  • Preside at all meetings of the Central Committee and the Executive Committee.
  • Conduct all meetings according to Rosenberg’s Rules of Order.
  • Cast the deciding vote in the case of a tie.
  • Create the meeting agenda in consultation with the Executive Board and send via email prior to the meeting.
  • Serve as ex-officio member of all committees.
  • Prior to each Central Committee and executive Committee meeting, prepare and distribute to each member, the agenda of business to be conducted at the meeting.
  • Serve as official spokesperson of the Committee.
  • Serve, or appoint a designee to serve, at District, Regional or State Democratic meetings.
  • Perform other duties as directed by the Central Committee and Executive Committee and these Bylaws.
  • Conduct general correspondence and report on all correspondence to the membership.
  • May delegate tasks as necessary and appropriate.

The Vice Chair shall:

  • Perform the duties of the Chair in his/her absence.
  • Perform other duties as directed by the Central Committee and the Executive Committee and these Bylaws.
  • Be a member of the Fundraising Committee.

The Secretary shall:

  • Preside over meetings in the absence of the Chair and Vice Chair.
  • Assist in the execution of the policies of the Central Committee and the Executive Committee.
  • Prepare, keep, and distribute minutes of Central Committee and Executive Committee meetings and provide a draft copy via email prior to each meeting at which the minutes would be approved.
  • Provide the current membership list and a copy of these Bylaws to each new member.
  • Maintain Central Committee and Executive Committee rosters and attendance records.
  • Maintain an ongoing record of each member’s attendances at all regularly scheduled meetings.
  • Perform other duties as directed by the Chair, Central Committee and Executive Committee and these Bylaws.

The SCDCC Treasurer shall:

  • Serve as the liaison for SCDCC with the Outside Treasurer, if one is employed.
  • Receive and deposit of all monies in the appropriate accounts and expend monies as stipulated by the authority of this Committee.
  • Present written financial summaries of all monies and separate accounts to each meeting of the Committee and the Executive Board. These summaries may be emailed to the various recipients and will include a spreadsheet of all Budget items.
  • Preside over meetings in the absence of the Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary.
  • Perform other duties as directed by the Chair, Central Committee and Executive Committee and these Bylaws.
  • Prepare, maintain and retain current membership lists and provide copies to the members.
  • Have available to the membership at each meeting a list of members who have paid dues with the date and amount of dues paid.
  • Notify the Executive Committee if any member’s dues are three months in arrears.
  • Send a letter of appreciation when anyone pays the annual dues, including a notification that this donation certifies them as an Associate member for that calendar year, along with a summary of the privileges of an Associate member. (Amended June 28, 2020)

Section 3:  Vacancies

Vacancies in any office caused by the resignation or removal of any Officer shall be filled by an election of the membership. The Nominating Committee will meet and provide their recommendations for the Office. Nominations may also be made from the floor. Elections will be held as soon as possible.

Section 4:  Recall of Officers

Any Officer of the SCDCC may be recalled for cause by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the eligible voting members present and voting. Cause shall include, but not be limited to:

  • Giving public support as a member of the SCDCC to, showing preference for and/or working on behalf of a non-Democratic candidate in a partisan or nonpartisan election.
  • The recall has been requested by the Executive Board or a petition listing the alleged grounds signed by six voting members.
  • Written notice has been sent to each member by the Secretary at least 10 days prior to the regular meeting stating the alleged grounds.
  • The officer is allowed up to 30 minutes to address the Committee before the vote.

Section 5:  Due Process

Any member or Officer being disciplined in any way shall be entitled to due process before being recalled or terminated. Due process requires, without limitation, adequate notice and an opportunity to be heard. Adequate notice shall include placing the removal proceedings on the tentative agenda included in the notice of the meeting with specification of the name of the member subject to proposed discipline and the reason(s) therefore.

Article IV – Meetings

Section 1:  Nondiscrimination

All public meetings at all levels of the Democratic Party shall be open to all members of the Party regardless of race, religion, national origin, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, persons with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or economic status.

Section 2:  Organizational Meeting and Purpose

The Organizational meeting shall take place every two years in April. The purpose of the Organizational meeting is to introduce all newly elected members. The Chair of the SCDCC will administer the Oath or affirmation of Office to the elected members present. Elected members will then nominate and elect appointed members and alternates to fill as many openings as possible. The Oath or Affirmation will then be administered to the appointed members. The membership will next elect Convention Delegates and an Executive Board Representative to the State Party. In addition, members may discuss Party structure, and/or the opportunities and responsibilities of membership, so all can consider how best to serve.

Section 3:  Regular Meetings

Regular meetings shall be held. The time and day shall be established by the membership and may be changed by a vote of the members. The meetings shall be held in an accessible location. In all cases not covered by law or by these Bylaws, procedures shall be governed by Rosenberg’s Rules of Order. Notice of the meeting date, time, location and draft agenda shall be emailed at least 7 days prior to the meeting date. The Chair shall call the meeting to order as set forth in the agenda.

Section 4:  Special Meetings

A special meeting may be called by the Chair, the Executive Committee, or by a vote of one-third of the membership after giving five days’ notice to all members. Notice shall state the time, place, date and the agenda of the special meeting. Special meetings shall be limited to the agenda provided in the notice.

Section 5:  Remote Meetings

When it becomes advisable, for whatever reason, that the SCDCC not meet in a face-to-face format, meetings may be held via phone or internet conferencing. All other requirements of Article IV, Sections 3 and 4 shall remain the same. (Amended August 30, 2020)

Section 6:  Members Eligible to Vote

Voting membership of the Central Committee shall consist of those Elected and/or Appointed members as named in Article II, Sections 2 and 3 of these By-laws, and the Ex Officio Members as named in Article II, Section 5 of these By-laws, along with Alternate Members when appropriate as named in Article II, Section 6 of these By-laws.

Section 7:  Quorum

A quorum for a regular meeting shall consist of the number of voting members equal to one-third of current elected and appointed members. A quorum for a special meeting shall consist of the number of voting members equal to one-quarter of current elected and appointed members.

Section 8:  Alternate meeting/voting

A member must be present in order to participate in the business of the SCDCC or any subordinate body of the SCDCC. In circumstances where time is of the essence or the weather prevents attendance in person, the Chair may ask for a vote via email or if the meeting is being conducted on a conference call.

Section 9:  Exigent Motions

When a majority of the SCDCC officers (as identified in Article III, Section 1) agree that action on an item cannot wait until the next regularly scheduled meeting or a special meeting, the Chair, via e-mail, may put the item before the elected and appointed SCDCC members as a formal motion, with votes to be submitted via e-mail response to the Chair. A majority vote of the elected and appointed SCDCC members shall be required for the motion to pass. The results of such a motion shall be reported at the next meeting of the SCDCC and be recorded in the minutes. (Amended August 30, 2020)

Article V – Committees

Section 1:  Appointment

The SCDCC Chair will appoint Standing Committee Chairs with the approval of the membership at the first regular meeting following the Organizational meeting. Committee chairs and members will serve for two years. All Elected, Appointed or Alternate and Associate members are encouraged to participate actively in at least one Standing Committee. Additional committees may be formed as needed.

Section 2:  Committee Budgets

Committees will prepare a detailed budget which the Chair will submit to the Budget Committee whose Chair will submit for approval of the membership. Once approved, that Committee is authorized to expend funds according to its budget. If expenses will exceed the budget, the Chair will submit them to the membership for approval and an adjustment to the approved SCDCC budget.

Section 3:  Executive Committee

The Executive Committee: Shall be comprised of the Officers of the SCDCC and the Chairs of all standing committees. The Executive Committee shall be empowered to carry out the policies of the SCDCC, general administrative duties, their duties outlined in these Bylaws, and any other duties required by the membership. The Executive Committee will meet as needed to carry out their responsibilities.

Section 4:  Standing Committees

Strategic Planning Committee:

The Strategic Action Committee shall be the repository of ideas, recommendations and proposals regarding the SCDCC’s strategic direction. Shall be responsible for setting biennial objectives, evaluating ideas and options toward those objectives, and recommending action. The purpose of Strategic Planning is to help focus the members on priorities and goals.

Communications/Technology Committee:

The Communications/Technology Committee shall be responsible for maintaining an internet presence for the SCDCC, including links to important membership documents, special event posts publications such as fundraising materials, access to Act Blue, newsletters, programs or invitations, copies of campaign materials used for propositions and partisan and nonpartisan candidates, and any or all other information deemed worthy of public review by the Executive Committee. The committee shall make recommendations to the Executive Committee regarding the use of the most current software and hardware technology for the promotion of SCDCC, including an annual budget for the acquisition and use of proposed technology. The Committee will be sure that any website such as Chamber of Commerce, information about Sierra County, and our own website will have the most up to date and correct information about the SCDCC. The Committee will work with the other Standing or Ad Hoc committees to facilitate informing the public and the membership of the SCDCC activities.

Nominating Committee:  Is responsible to convene in the month before the Organizational meeting to recommend a slate of Officers to the membership for nomination and election in at the first regular meeting following the Organizational meeting. Members may also nominate Officers for election from the floor at that meeting. If an Officer position becomes vacant, the Nominating Committee shall meet and make recommendations at the earliest following meeting.

Fundraising Committee:  Is responsible to carry out fundraising activities and present proposals and expenses for prior approval by the membership. The Chair will provide a written report for members at the conclusion of each fundraiser.

Events Committee: Is responsible for representing the SCDCC at approved public events. Will gather and provide appropriate and timely information and resources for the public.

Voter Registration /Membership Committee:  Is responsible for working to increase the registration of Democratic voters in Sierra County in all ways and at all opportunities possible. The Chair will enroll SCDCC in the CDP Bounty Program whenever that effort is available. All voter registration efforts will be brought to the whole membership for approval, support and assistance. The Voter Registration committee will work with the Events and Fundraising committees to coordinate efforts. Is responsible for finding eligible members for appointment to vacant membership positions as quickly as possible. Will assist elected and appointed members to find and refer eligible Alternate members so the body will have as many active members as possible. Members will also be responsible to carry out an annual Associate Membership drive.

Resolutions, Legislation, and CDP Platform Committee:  Is responsible for assisting members individually or as a body to prepare resolutions correctly to be sent to the State Party for consideration. Copies of the proposed resolution, etc., shall be submitted to the SCDCC membership for review, discussion and approval. This committee may also bring current legislative issues to the members for information or to request approval or action by the membership.

Publicity Committee:  Is responsible for informing the public of SCDCC meetings, activities, fundraising efforts, public events, election of Officers, and other items which have been approved by the members that affect registered Democrats of Sierra County. Publicity will be correct, timely and appropriate to the cause.

Budget Committee:  Shall examine all proposed expenditures and make a recommendation to the membership. Will develop a proposed SCDCC budget and present it to the SCDCC membership prior to the beginning of each Fiscal Year, which is July 1 through June 30. Members are responsible for an annual review of the Treasurer’s records covering the previous calendar year. Three members will be elected when Officers are elected. The committee will review the records and prepare and present a report with findings and recommendations to the membership.

Article VI – Other Democratic Organizations

Section 1:  Definition, Purpose, and Chartering

Any organization that includes in any part of their name the words Democrat, Democrats, Sierra County Democrats, shall first be chartered by the SCDCC as a Democratic Club. A Democratic Club is an organization of Democrats allied by defined geographic area, special interest or cultural community. The purpose is to support and strengthen the Democratic Party through the political development, activity and advocacy of its membership. The SCDCC has the authority and responsibility, pursuant to the Elections Code, to charter any Democratic Club in Sierra County. A Democratic Club shall request to be chartered by the SCDCC initially and then biennially in order to use the name Democrat in their title.

Section 2:  Procedure

Membership shall be open to all Democrats regardless of race, religion, national origin, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, persons with disabilities as defined by the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, or economic status. The Club shall have a minimum of ten (10) members who are registered Democrats or have expressed the intention to become registered Democrats when eligible. Bylaws, membership roster and officers for the Democratic organization must be submitted with a chartering fee of $20 to the SCDCC at the time of request for a charter and biennially thereafter. SCDCC has the authority to deny or revoke a charter of any organization for cause by a majority vote of the membership.

Article VII – Endorsements

Section 1:  Endorsements of California Candidates and Statewide Measures

The SCDCC shall support all candidates who have received the Party endorsement for partisan office. The SCDCC shall not publicly take a position contrary to the California State Democratic Party on endorsed candidates or on statewide ballot measures.

Section 2:   Nonpartisan Candidates and Ballot Propositions/Initiatives

The SCDCC may endorse candidates for nonpartisan offices providing:

  • The candidate is a registered Democrat.
  • Endorsements are limited to elective offices within Sierra County.
  • Each candidate shall be interviewed separately and for an equal amount of time.
  • No candidate may be present during the SCDCC’s debate or vote regarding endorsements.
  • The option of “no endorsement” and “no position” shall exist.
  • Voting requires a simple majority of those eligible members present.
  • The SCDCC shall invite commentary by proponents and opponents of local ballot measures, each receiving equal time prior to the vote. Presenters shall not be present during the discussion or vote.
  • Endorsement of local ballot initiatives, propositions or measures requires a majority to pass. If the motion fails to pass, the SCDCC can take a “no endorsement” or “no position” stand.
  • A previously granted endorsement may be rescinded in the event the action receives a 2/3 vote of eligible members present.

Article VIII – Professional Accounting Services

If a Professional Accounting Service, also known as the Outside Treasurer is contracted, it shall:

  • Be a professional accountant who is a non-member of SCDCC.
  • Shall handle all financial transactions of this Committee as directed by the Committee Treasurer.
  • Shall ensure that all financial reports required by law are filed on time and that the procedures are fully compliant with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and other relevant regulations and regulatory bodies.

Article IX – Code of Conduct

The SCDCC adopts for itself the California Democratic Party’s “Code of Conduct” in its most current version, and hereby states that it applies to all SCDCC meetings (whether in-person or via internet), internet exchanges (including e-mail and SCDCC social media accounts), correspondence, phone calls, texts, and events or activities sponsored by or affiliated with the SCDCC. (Amended August 30, 2020)

Article X – Amendments

These Bylaws may be amended at a regular meeting, providing a ten-day written notice of the text of the proposed amendments is given to all members. Adoption of amendments shall require two-thirds of the voting members present.