The ad hoc Bylaws and Rules committee (established on Sep. 26, 2018 for the purpose of reviewing and updating the 31st District Democrats Bylaws) has submitted the following proposed Bylaws. Voting on these bylaws will take place during the 31st District Democrats’ 2019 Reorganization Meeting (January 12, 2019). Update: These bylaws were approved during the 2019 Reorganization Meeting.
- Full details of the Reorganization Meeting can be found here, including the proposed Agenda and proposed Rules.
- Proposed rules for the adoption of these bylaws can be found in section 7 of the proposed Reorg Rules.
- A summary of the changes to the old bylaws can be found here.
THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION BY-LAWS
This organization is dedicated to increasing the participation of the citizens of the 31st Legislative District in governmental affairs and implementing the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party.
ARTICLE I. AUTHORITY
The name of this organization is the 31st Legislative District Democrats (hereafter 31st District Democrats or 31LDD). This organization operates in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington and the rules of the Democratic National Committee, Washington State Democratic Central Committee (WSDCC), and the King and Pierce County Democratic Central Committees (KCDCC and PCDCC, respectively).
ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Members in good standing shall include:
A. 31st Legislative District Democratic Precinct Committee Officers (hereafter referred to as PCOs), including elected and appointed but not acting PCOs.
B. Democratic residents of the 31st Legislative District who have filled out a membership form and paid membership dues for the current calendar year.
- Members who have filled out a membership form and paid membership dues for the current calendar year at least four weeks prior to voting shall be eligible to cast votes.
- Members who have paid dues for the current year less than four weeks prior to any meeting at which a vote may take place shall not be eligible to vote unless they also paid dues and were considered a member in good standing in the prior calendar year.
Section 2. 31st District Democrats will not share personal or biographical information collected for membership in the organization such as name, address, phone, or email unless required by law, except with endorsed campaigns or as required for the operation of the organization.
Section 3. All members and officers shall abide by the WSDCC Code of Conduct.
ARTICLE III. DUES
Section 1. Annual dues shall be $31 per individual member; however, members may pay what they can afford, with a minimum of $5 for full rights and privileges. Eligibility for reduced dues is determined by the Membership Chair and includes limited income situations, such as veteran, senior, and/or student status. Questions arising from any reduction may be reviewed by the Executive Board.
Section 2. Annual dues for out-of-district membership, which does not convey voting privileges, shall be a minimum of $5.
ARTICLE IV. EXECUTIVE BOARD
Section 1. Statutory and non-statutory Executive Board positions
A. Statutory Executive Board Members shall include the Chair, a First Vice Chair who must live in Pierce County and be of a different gender from the Chair, the elected representatives to King and Pierce Counties’ Central Committees, and two Washington State Democratic Central Committee members who are not of the same gender. The statutory Executive Board members shall be elected by PCOs.
B. Non-statutory Executive Board Members shall include a Second Vice Chair who must live in King County, one Secretary, and one Treasurer, as well as the Chairs of the standing committees. The non-statutory Executive Board shall be elected by a vote of members in good standing.
Section 2. Pierce and King County Central Committee Representatives
A. The election of representatives and alternates to the Pierce and King County Central Committees’ Executive Boards shall comply with the current bylaws of those organizations. The county representatives will review changes respective to their county’s Bylaws and report back to the District.
B. The elected delegates to the County Central Committees shall serve on the 31st District Democrats Executive Board. The alternates may serve on the Executive Board in their absence.
Section 3. The Executive Board shall meet at least once a month, chaired by the 31LDD Chair, or the next senior officer available in the event of the unavailability of the district Chair, to plan meetings and other district events and conduct other necessary business.
Section 4. Duties of Executive Board members shall be as prescribed in WSDCC and KCDCC or PCDCC rules and as established by convention.
Section 5. Frequent absence or failure to perform the functions of office by an officer shall be grounds for disciplinary action or removal from office by the Executive Board, subject to WSDCC and KCDCC or PCDCC rules.
ARTICLE V. MEETINGS
Section 1. The organization will meet at least once every two months. A call to meeting shall be made at least seven days in advance with proper notification, which is hereby defined in this document as notification by mail, electronic mail (email), or published on the 31LDD website. Advance notice is required for both regularly scheduled and special meetings.
Section 2. The regular 31st District Democrats meeting shall be held at least eight times each year. The dates and times of the meetings shall be established by the Executive Board.
Section 3. Special meetings may be called by the 31LDD Chair; by majority vote of the Executive Board; or by a petition of the membership signed by two-thirds of the members in good standing.
Section 4. In all matters not expressly covered by these Bylaws, or by the WSDCC Charter or Bylaws or by the RCW, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, latest edition, shall govern all regular and special meetings, including meetings of the Executive Board and any sub-committees.
ARTICLE VI. VOTING AND ENDORSEMENTS
Section 1. Only 31st District Democrat members in good standing will be eligible to vote on endorsements.
Section 2. Election of the Executive Officers
A. Election of statutory officers and the non-statutory Second Vice Chair – King County at the biennial reorganization meeting shall be by a vote of PCOs.
B. Election of all other officers shall be at the biennial reorganization meeting by a vote of all present and voting members in good standing.
Section 3. Election of Standing Committee Chairs
A. Members in good standing shall elect the Chairs of the Communication, Fundraising/Events, Membership, PCO Coordination, Website/Technology, and Outreach/Public Relations committees.
B. The Treasurer shall chair the Finance and Budget Committee.
Section 4. No proxy ballot shall be recognized.
Section 5. All contested elections for statutory officers shall be by signed ballots in accordance with national and state Democratic rules.
Section 6. Eligibility requirements for endorsement (candidates)
A. A candidate seeking endorsement must meet the following requirements before the body may vote on endorsement:
- The candidate must appear in person at a 31st District Democrats meeting.
- The candidate must have completed the 31st District Candidate Questionnaire no later than three weeks prior to an endorsement vote.
- One or both of these requirements may be waived for good cause upon a 2/3 vote of the present and voting body. Factors for waiver include whether the candidate is a known Democrat seeking to retain his or her elected position; availability of the candidate to appear and/or complete the Questionnaire; level of office; and history of activity in the Democratic Party.
Section 7. Eligibility requirements for endorsement (non-candidate)
A. Representatives from a non-candidate campaign (Initiative, Levy, etc.) seeking endorsement must meet the following requirements before the body may vote on endorsement:
- A representative must appear in person at a 31st District Democrats meeting.
- The campaign must have filled out a Request for Endorsement: Initiative or Levy no later than three weeks prior to an endorsement vote.
- One or both of these requirements may be waived for good cause upon a 2/3 vote of the present and voting body.
B. In the event that a member in good standing would like the 31st District Democrats to endorse an Initiative or Levy, that member may bring forth an Endorsement Request in accordance with these rules, acting in place of a Representative from the campaign.
Section 8. Adoption of Resolutions
A. Process for Consideration of Resolutions
- All Resolutions must be brought forth by a sponsor or sponsors (hereafter known as the Resolution Sponsor).
- The Resolution Sponsor must submit a proposed resolution to the 31LDD Chair no later than three weeks prior to when the body will consider the Resolution.
- Resolutions must be drafted according to the guidelines set forth by the WSDCC.
- The Resolution Sponsor or a representative they designate must appear in person at a 31st District Democrats meeting to present the Resolution.
B. The adoption of a Resolution seeking to express the opinion of the district shall require approval by a simple majority of members in good standing who are present and voting.
Section 9. Procedures governing endorsements
A. Voting on endorsements will occur during the first General Meeting of the 31st District Democrats following candidate filing week. Endorsements may also be considered at subsequent meetings prior to the General Election.
B. Endorsements prior to candidate filing will be considered early endorsements, and should be limited to known Democrats seeking to retain their elected position and without a declared opponent running as a Democrat.
C. If more than one Democrat declares candidacy for the same position in the U.S. House of Representatives, the 31st District Democrats will endorse only one candidate in advance of the August Primary; motions for dual endorsements or endorsement of a second candidate for the same Congressional seat/year will be ruled out of order. In the event that an endorsed candidate does not proceed to the General Election, the 31st LD Democrats may vote to endorse another single candidate after the Primary and before the General Election.
D. Voting in absentia shall be allowed on a case-by-case basis as voted on by the body provided four weeks notification has been given.
ARTICLE VII. AMENDMENTS
Section 1. No amendment to these Bylaws may be considered unless notice of the proposed amendment has been sent by means set forth in Article V, Section 1 to members in good standing with at least four weeks notice.
Section 2. Bylaws may be amended by vote of 2/3 of elected and appointed PCOs who are present and voting.