Code of Conduct

CODE OF CONDUCT for the 31st District Democrats

This code of conduct for the 31st District Democrats is meant to establish a means to resolve a grievance of a member or members against another member or members while upholding the values of the Democratic Party.

The members and officers of the 31stLDD are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the values of the Democratic Party. Given that a great strength of the Democratic Party is its diversity in form and function, it is also expected that members and officers of the 31stLDD will strive to respect the inclusion and expression of diversity and to seek the best resolution to conflicts as they arise.

Simple misconduct during a duly called meeting, which includes but is not limited to objectionable language, addressing members directly during session, or repeatedly failing to adhere to the topic of discussion shall be immediately resolved via Robert’s Rules of Order.

Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Violence, threats of violence or use of violent language directed against another person.
  • Sexist, racist, or other discriminatory language, including language claimed to be humor or levity.
  • Posting sexually explicit or violent material online while in an official capacity
    (real or reasonably perceived), or to an official message board, official email list,
    or other official organizational site.
  • Posting (or threatening to post), without permission from that individual, other
    people’s personally identifying information (also known as “doxing”) in any public
  • Personal insults, or personally disparaging remarks during debate of a motion.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.

The following paragraphs define procedures for applying the above Code of Conduct. It is noted here that procedures given in these rules are not to be construed as having legal standing. Complaints that require mandatory reporting under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) shall be reported to the appropriate entities as required by the RCW.

The complainant shall submit a complaint in writing to the 31st District Chair, or to the 31st District First Vice-Chair in the event that the complaint is against the 31st District Chair.

The member or members to whom the complaint is directed shall be notified of the complaint. Should said member(s) refuse to address, explain or mitigate the complaint in a manner that is satisfactory to the complainee(s), the 31st District Chair, or First Vice-Chair in the event that the complaint is against the 31st District Chair, shall appoint an ad-hoc investigative committee to resolve the complaint. The committee shall consist of three members of the 31st District Democrats, having at least one officer and at least one person from the general membership. The committee may not include any member directly involved in or substantively affected by the complaint. The committee shall dissolve at the conclusion of the matter.

The results of the investigation and the substance of the complaint shall be held in confidence by the executive board and the investigative committee, unless such information is compelled for release to law enforcement under the RCW, or unless otherwise agreed to in writing by both the complainant(s) and the complainee(s). The membership shall be made aware of the complaint to the extent that an action is taken that affects the membership.

The investigative committee shall investigate the complaint as it sees fit and with due diligence and deliver a written report with recommended action to the executive board within three weeks of receipt of the complaint or by the next executive board session, whichever is later. In the event the executive board is not scheduled to meet within six weeks of the receipt of the complaint, a special session with quorum of the executive board shall be called within four weeks of receipt of the complaint. The executive board may by simple majority vote to grant additional time for the investigation, not to exceed a total of ten weeks from the date of receipt of the complaint. The complainant(s) and complainee(s) shall be given prompt notice in writing of any such extension of time for the investigation.

The investigative committee can recommend that the complaint be dismissed, that the member(s) be issued a written reprimand, that the member(s) be removed from appointed and/or elected positions within the organization , and/or that the member(s) is suspended from participation in future 31st District meetings and events as allowed by the By-laws. The executive board shall specify the duration of time that any such restrictions on participation will be in effect. The executive board may identify actions such as a written apology, cultural sensitivity or anger management training that if completed by the complainee and agreed to by the complainant will shorten the duration of any restrictions imposed.

The executive board shall consider the report and recommendation submitted by the investigative committee and may accept the recommendation by a two-thirds vote. If the executive board vote falls short of a two-thirds vote then the complaint is automatically dismissed. If the complaint is against an executive board member that member shall have neither voice nor vote and quorum shall be reduced by one.

The parties involved in the complaint shall be notified in writing of the recommendation of the investigative committee and any action taken by the executive board.

The complaint and the materials collected during the investigation shall be archived in confidence by the executive board unless otherwise agreed to by the parties involved.

This Code of Conduct was adopted by the 31st Legislative District Democrats at our general meeting on June 22, 2002, and is thereby part of our organization’s Standing Rules.

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