Democratic Women of Kern BYLAWS
(as amended, May 12, 2018)
ARTICLE I: Name
The name of this organization shall be Democratic Women of Kern (hereinafter called DWK).
ARTICLE II: Purpose
The purpose of this organization shall be to form a group of dedicated Democrats who are committed to supporting in every way possible and appropriate the following:
- Democrats who have a strong commitment on women’s issues as defined by the current platforms of the National Democratic Party and of the Democratic Party of the State of California;
- The principles and policies of the Democratic Party as defined by the current national and state platforms, and the development of Democratic candidates for partisan or nonpartisan public office who have a strong record on women’s issues as defined above;
- The visibility and representation of Democratic women at the local level, and especially in the hierarchy of local Democratic Party organizations; and
- The furtherance of respectful and dignified conduct among all Democrats, especially where there is competition for a nomination or controversy over a policy issue.ARTICLE III: Members and Dues
Section 1. A member shall be a registered Democrat, or if not legally qualified to register to
vote, shall express the intention to register as a Democrat when so qualified.
Section 2. Members cannot publicly endorse or support other than a Democratic candidate for a partisan public office unless there is no Democratic candidate running for that office.
Section 3. Active membership: A qualified individual shall be considered eligible to vote in the November election (for Executive Board members) only if:
- The member joined no later than the September general meeting; and
- The member has paid all Club dues and is in good standing.
st Section 4. Annual membership dues for January 1
$35 – General Membership;
$50 – Family Membership;
$20 – Senior Citizen (55 and older);
$20 – Student (with valid ID) st
st through December 31
Dues are due on January 1 and payable by the March general meeting of each calendar year. A returned check fee of $35 will be charged for any returned check.
Section 5. The Executive Board (hereinafter called E-board) may grant a one-year suspension of dues, based upon economic hardship, in response to a written request for such a suspension of dues.
Section 6. Membership will be terminated if dues are not paid in a timely manner. The Treasurer shall email reminders to overdue members before the March general meeting due date.
Section 7. Members may be expelled from the organization by action of the E-board for public support of other than a Democratic candidate for a partisan public office, as stated in Article III section 2, or for any other violation of any of the rules contained herein, including conduct deemed contrary to the values and/or purposes of the organization, and as stated in Article X.
Section 8. Only members in good standing are allowed to participate/vote in business meetings of this organization.
ARTICLE IV: Officers
Section 1. Officers of DWK shall be President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding/Media Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Chair, and three Members-at-Large. The officers shall constitute the Executive Board. Voting rights are limited to these nine positions as elected by the members. President, Vice-President, and Treasurer positions shall be held by members who have been members in good standing for one year or longer. Required signatures on checks must include those of the President, Vice President, or Treasurer with a secondary signature by the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, or Corresponding Secretary.
Section 2. President duties shall be to preside over meetings; appoint parliamentarian and all standing and special committee chairs and approve all membership appointments to standing and special committees and be an ex officio member of all such committees, except for the Nominating Committee; ensure that all members are notified of Club meetings; may be one of two required signatures on checks; activate committees; facilitate communication between membership and officers; and may be one of two required signatures on checks.
Section 3. Vice President duties shall be to preside at meetings in the absence of the President; assist President; assist Treasurer in filing all state and federal campaign disclosure reports, Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), and Federal Elections Commission (FEC) registration and reporting as required by laws; and may be one of two required signatures on checks.
Section 4. Recording Secretary duties shall be to record and report minutes of each of each general and Executive Board meeting. Minutes shall conform to Robert’s Rules. The recording secretary may be one of two required signatures on checks.
Section 5. Corresponding/Media Secretary duties shall be to issue notices of meetings; check DWK email; respond to and/or pass emails on to the appropriate E-board member; conduct the general correspondence of the Club; and may be one of the two required signatures on checks.
Section 6. Treasurer duties shall be to keep custody of funds and to disburse same after receiving receipts, as provided by current budget and approval of the membership and/or E-board; may be one of two required signatures on checks; make monthly financial reports to the E-board and general membership; send notices of unpaid dues to members; file the appropriate federal and state campaign disclosure reports and FPPC and FEC registration and
reporting as required by law; purchase liability insurance for the Club annually; and present financial records for any annual audit.
Section 7. Membership Chair duties are to maintain the current membership list; assist the Corresponding/Media Secretary in monitoring the DWK Facebook page; and welcome new members and provide directories and welcome items to new members upon joinder. The Membership Chair shall assist the Treasurer as needed at DWK events.
Section 8. The duties of the three Members-at-Large shall be to participate in meetings of the E-board and to do whatever special tasks they agree to undertake for the E-board.
Section 9. Officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these Bylaws and shall conform to the parliamentary authority of the most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.
Section 10. Any officer wanting to resign from the organization must do so in writing.
Section 11. Any officer missing three consecutive meetings will be presumed to have resigned unless good cause is shown. Such officer shall be so informed by certified letter from the President.
ARTICLE V: Nominations and Elections
Section 1. At the regular meeting in September, a Nominating Committee of three members shall be elected by the membership. The Nominating Committee shall provide a slate of candidates for the ballot and shall report that slate of candidates at the regular meeting in October. Nominations from the floor will be taken at this time provided that the candidate is present or written consent has been given.
Section 2. Membership shall hold elections annually at the November meeting. Ballots shall be mailed to members the week following the nomination of the slate at the October general meeting. The ballot may be returned by mail or turned in at the November meeting. Proxy ballots shall be accepted provided that the member has signed for the proxy. Ballots shall be counted by three members who are not running for any position.
Section 3. The Officers and E-board Members-at-Large shall be elected to serve for one-year terms and their term of office shall begin the first day of the following January.
Section 4. No member shall hold more than one office at a time, and no member shall be eligible to serve more than three consecutive terms in the same office.
Section 5. A vacancy among the officers of the organization shall be filled immediately by a majority vote of the members present at the next regular meeting after the vacancy occurs; except that in the event of the resignation or death of the President, the Vice President becomes President for the unexpired term.
ARTICLE VI: Meetings
Section 1. The regular meeting for DWK shall be the second Saturday of the month unless
otherwise scheduled by the President and upon a majority vote of the E-board. Section 2. Eighteen eligible voting members present shall be a quorum.
ARTICLE VII: Committees
Section 1. A Finance Committee composed of three members shall be appointed by the President promptly after the January meeting. It shall be the duty of this committee to prepare a budget for the calendar year beginning the first day of January to be submitted no later than the February E-board meeting. The Finance Committee may from time to time submit amendments to the budget for the current calendar year, which may be adopted by the majority.
Section 2. An Auditing Committee of three members shall be appointed by the President at the January meeting. It shall be the duty of this committee to audit the Treasurer’s accounts at the
close of the calendar year, December 31 , and to report no later than the February E-board
Section 3. Other standing committees may include Endorsements, Community Projects, Voter Registration, Scholarship, Outreach, and Campaign Committees.
Section 4. Such other committees, standing or special, shall be appointed by the President. The President shall be an ex officio a member of all committees except the Nominating Committee.
ARTICLE VIII: Endorsement of Candidates and Policies
Section 1. The DWK endorses all and only those candidates who meet at least one of the
- They are the candidates endorsed by the California State Democratic Party;
- They are the nominees of the Democratic Party;
- They are Democratic candidates running in a primary or general election who havesought the Democratic Party endorsement, and have been explicitly endorsed by meansof the procedure set forth below in Section 3 of this Article; or
- They are candidates for non-partisan office, are registered Democrat, and have beenexplicitly endorsed by means of the procedure set forth below in Section 3 of this Article.
Section 2. The DWK can endorse a policy position, including a ballot proposition, if and only if the position meets at least one of the following conditions:
- The position has been explicitly articulated in the current platform of the National Democratic Party or in the platform of the California State Democratic Party;
- The position has been explicitly approved by the Democratic National Committee or or by the Democratic Central Committee of either the State of California or Kern County; or
- The position is consistent with the policy positions that fall under conditions (a) and (b) of the present section and has been explicitly approved by means of the procedure set forth below in Section 4 of this article.
Section 3. The procedure by which the DWK explicitly endorses a candidate per Section 1 (b) and (c) of this article, or a policy position per Section 2 (c) of this article, is as follows; (a) Any member may make a motion at a regular meeting to endorse any candidate, ballot measure, proposition, or Congressional resolution/bill, Assembly/Senate bill. The request will be forwarded to the Endorsement Committee, which shall conduct a review and thereafter present the motion, as well as its recommendation, to the next regularly scheduled general meeting, or (b) Endorsements may be brought forth to the membership as a recommendation from the Endorsement Committee for a candidate, ballot measure, proposition, Congressional resolution/bill, or Assembly/Senate bill. Any endorsement shall be duly set forth in full on the
agenda, the agenda sent (in accordance with these Bylaws) to each member prior to the meeting, and thereafter, upon a vote at the regularly scheduled meeting, the endorsement is approved by 60% of the members present and voting.
Section 4. The public use of the name of the DWK in any private endorsement, purposefully or intentionally, on the part of any member of the organization, of any candidate or policy position that does not meet one of the three conditions of Section 2 or 3 of this article, respectively, is strictly prohibited and may result in removal of member from the organization.
ARTICLE IX: Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern this organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws and any special rules of order this organization may adopt. Above and beyond such rules and Bylaws, the officers and members of the DWK should strive to perform all of their activities with a spirit of optimal consensus, collegiality, consultation, and goodwill.
ARTICLE X: Code of Conduct
Section 1. Any member or applicant for membership who engages in conduct that injures the good name of this organization, disturbs its well-being, or hampers its work may be expelled or denied membership as applicable and as set forth below.
Section 2. Any applicant for membership may be denied for violation of Section 1 of this Article upon a two-thirds vote of the E-board.
Section 3. Any member may be expelled upon a violation of Section 1 of this Article, upon written notice of the violation provided 10 days in advance of the next regular general meeting, the expulsion and reasons therefore to be listed on the agenda and provided to members prior to the vote, and the member being provided sufficient time to address the membership at the meeting, but in any event not longer than 10 minutes. Thereafter, the membership shall vote on the expulsion, and the member may be expelled upon a 60% vote.
ARTICLE XI: Amendment of Bylaws
These Bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the organization by a 60% vote of those members present, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting and mailed or emailed to each member prior to the meeting during which the amendments will be voted upon.
ARTICLE XII: Discontinuation of the Organization
In the event that the majority of the membership is no longer interested in the organization, the organization will dissolve. All funds held at the time the organization dissolves will be given to the Kern County Democratic Central Committee, the organization that charters this organization.
- New members joining between September 1 and December 31 may pay one-half theannual dues.
- Emergency issues decided by the E-board via phone, text, messaging, or email require amajority vote of the E-board.
- Proposed motions requiring financial contributions must be submitted in writing, either inhard copy form or via email, to the President for E-board approval, prior to the E-board meeting.