Westside Young Democrats is a chartered Democratic Club with the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and a chartered chapter of the California Young Democrats.
Membership voted to approve these bylaws on May, 17, 2023.
BYLAWS OF THE WESTSIDE YOUNG DEMOCRATS
The Westside Young Democrats shall endeavor to stimulate in young people an active interest in governmental affairs, increase the efficiency of our government, maintain the viability of our free institutions, and contribute to the growth and influence of the ideals and philosophy of the Democratic Party.
Article I: Name And Affiliation
Section 1. Name
The name of this organization shall be the WESTSIDE YOUNG DEMOCRATS (hereto referred as “the Organization” in these Bylaws).
Section 2. Affiliation
The Westside Young Democrats shall be affiliated with the California Young Democrats.
This Organization shall always be governed by the provisions of the Bylaws of the California Young Democrats. The Organization may also affiliate with other Democratic Party entities, such as the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.
Article II: Membership
Section 1. General Membership
- Regular membership in the Organization shall be open to persons who are at least fourteen (14) years of age and not more than thirty-five (35) years of age, who are registered Democrats or who intend to register when eligible.
- Every regular member of the Organization shall be eligible to hold office as described in Articles III and IV of these bylaws.
- Persons below the minimum age of fourteen (14) or over the age of thirty-five (35) may be admitted as non-voting members of this Organization.
- The cost of Annual Dues shall be reassessed annually at the first meeting of the Executive Committee following the general membership meeting at which elections are held.
- Eligibility for voting shall be limited to members who are in good standing at least four (4) days prior to the scheduled meeting at which the vote is to take place. Members may renew their membership for voting eligibility up to and on the day of a meeting, provided their dues have not lapsed beyond one (1) year.
- Memberships defined as a “lifetime membership” shall have the recipient remain as a member until they exceed thirty-five (35) years of age, assuming no disciplinary procedures regarding membership removal have taken place as defined in Article VI, Section 3.
- A “Member in Good Standing” shall be defined as: a member who is currently eligible to vote by meeting the age requirements, party registration requirements, and dues payment requirements as described in this Section.
Section 2. General Membership Meetings
- The General Membership shall meet a minimum of twice every year.
- The General Membership may convene special meetings in the following manner:
- At the call of the President and at such time and in such place as the President may designate; or,
- Upon written request of at least four (4) members--submitted to the President--and at such time and in such place as they may designate.
- Notice of special meetings must be provided no less than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the meeting as specified in subsection c of this Section. However, this notice must be delivered earlier in the following circumstances:
- Endorsements. In the case of a meeting with a recommended endorsement on the agenda, the Communications Director (or President or another designated Executive Officer) must notify the General Membership of such meeting at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting, but not more than fifty-nine (59) days prior to the meeting.
- Bylaw Amendments. In the case of a meeting with recommendation to amend these Bylaws, the Communications Director (or President or another designated Executive Officer) must notify the General Membership of such meeting at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the meeting.
- Officer Removal. In the case of a meeting with a recommendation to remove an officer on the agenda, the Communications Director (or President or another designated Executive Officer) must notify the General Membership of such meeting at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the meeting.
- The Communications Director (or President or another designated Executive Officer) shall announce meetings by electronic means designed to reach as many members as is reasonably possible at the time. For example, sending notice of a meeting to the Organization’s full email list and/or posting notice on the Organization’s Facebook page satisfies this requirement.
- In the event that any Member in Good Standing or guest of the Organization indicates a need for any accessibility accommodation at any meeting or meetings of either the Executive Committee or the general membership, the President and the Executive Committee must, to the best of their ability, ensure that such accommodation is made.
Article III: Officers
Section 1. Officers
The officers of this organization shall be a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Communications Director, and Political Director.
Section 2. Duties
- The President shall be the chief executive officer and the official voice of the Organization. The President shall preside over all meetings and shall, with the approval of the Executive Committee, make non-elected appointments to the Executive Committee as necessary.
- The Vice President shall be responsible to the President and shall act on behalf of the President in their absence.
- The Treasurer shall serve as chief financial officer and maintain all financial records of the Organization, collect membership dues and ensure the prompt payment of expenses. The Treasurer, in collaboration with the President, shall also propose an annual budget at the first Executive Committee following the first general membership meeting.
- The Communications Director shall serve as the secretary of the Organization and maintain all non-financial records of the Organization, serve all required notices, and discharge any other duties the President may require.
- The Political Director shall liaise with Democratic Party candidates and elected officials on behalf of the Organization to coordinate their participation in any official events. The Political Director shall also manage the Organization’s Endorsements process as described in Article V, Section 2 of these bylaws, including by presiding over the process at any General Membership meeting where endorsements are taking place.
Section 3. Election of Officers
All officers shall be elected annually during the first general membership meeting to be held no later than the last day of June. The announcement for such a meeting must include a copy of these Bylaws or a linked reference to them. The President, Vice President, Treasurer, Communications Director, and Political Director shall be elected by the entire membership of this organization at said meeting in the order listed in Section 1 of this Article; provided that, if an appropriate professional from outside the Organization has been serving as Acting Treasurer or Communications Director, the membership may choose by majority vote to leave either office vacant and continue with the existing arrangement.
All candidates for office shall indicate their “intent to run” with the President at least three (3) days prior to the first general membership meeting, or any regularly scheduled meeting where a vacancy in any office is to be filled.
Section 4. Term of Office
Officers elected annually shall take office immediately following the adjournment of the general membership meeting at which they were elected. Every officer shall hold office until the installation of their successor or removal.
Section 5. Vacancy
Vacancy in any of the offices shall be temporarily filled by the President until the next regularly scheduled business meeting when a Member in Good Standing can be elected to fill the remainder of the previous officer’s term. If there is a vacancy of the office of the President, then the Vice President shall temporarily fill that office until a general membership meeting is held to elect a member to complete the remainder of that term.
If there is a vacancy in the office of the Treasurer or Communications Director, then the President, with the consent of at least two-thirds of the Executive Committee, may choose to hire an appropriate professional from outside the Organization to serve as Acting Treasurer or Communications Director. This Acting Treasurer or Communications Director may remain employed in this capacity by the Organization indefinitely, and either office may remain vacant, so long as no Member in Good Standing has indicated a desire to serve as in either position at a regularly scheduled business meeting and thereafter been duly elected.
Section 6. Removal of Officers
If an officer is found to be in violation of the Organization’s ethical code, disciplinary action may be taken as dictated in Article VI. For any other reason, an officer may be removed from their office and the Executive Committee only if all the following conditions are satisfied:
- Executive Committee Recommendation
- An Executive Committee member must make a motion at an Executive Committee meeting to recommend removal of such officer to the General Membership.
- The motioning member must then explain the reason for the motion, and the member against whom the motion is made must be allowed to respond.
- The motion must pass by a two-thirds (⅔) supermajority of the Executive Committee. The officer against whom the motion is made may not vote.
- General Membership Approval
- The Executive Committee member who motioned for removal must transcribe and deliver, by electronic mail, the reason(s) for making the motion to the member recommended for removal.
- At the next general meeting, the member recommended for removal must be given an opportunity to respond to the recommendation for removal.
- The General Membership must approve the removal by a two-thirds (⅔) majority of members present and voting. The officer against whom the motion is made may not vote.
Article IV: Executive Committee
Section 1. Executive Committee
There shall be an Executive Committee of this Organization, which shall have all the powers and duties of this Organization when the full membership is not in actual session.
- The President, with the advice of the Executive Committee, shall set the agenda for all meetings.
- The Executive Committee shall conduct the business of the Organization and approve financial transactions in between normally scheduled general meetings.
- The Executive Committee shall approve an annual budget, proposed by the Treasurer no later than the second Executive Committee following the first general membership meeting.
- The Executive Committee shall have the power to create new temporary Executive Committee positions beyond those enumerated in Section 2 of this Article. The President, with the approval of at least one half of the Executive Committee, shall then appoint a member to fill any position thus created for an initial term of one year.
- The Executive Committee shall have the power to create new standing committees of the Organization as the need arises, provided that any new standing committees thus created are open to all members and are announced to the general membership at the next regularly scheduled business meeting after their creation.
Section 2. Executive Committee Membership
The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers and other members the President appoints, who may take on roles such as:
- Outreach & Recruitment Director
- Community Director
- Fundraising Director
- Special Events Coordinator
- Immediate Past President
Section 3. Executive Committee Organization
The President shall be the Chair of the Executive Committee and designate a member of the Executive Committee to serve as its Secretary.
Section 4. Executive Committee Meetings
- The Executive Committee shall meet a minimum of once every two (2) months.
- The Executive Committee may convene special meetings in the following manner:
- At the call of the President and at such time and in such place as the President may designate; or,
- Upon written request submitted to the President by a majority of the members of the Executive Committee and at such time and in such place as they may designate.
- Notice of regular and special meetings shall be delivered via electronic mail.
Section 5. Removal of Executive Committee Members
The President, at their discretion, may remove any non-elected member of the Executive Committee by notifying the Executive Committee in person or by electronic mail. However, to prevent abuses of quorum rules, any such removal is effective the day following the President’s announcement.
Article V: General Provisions
Section 1. Campaigns
The Executive Committee and all officers shall use their respective powers and influence to achieve a high level of effective participation by the chartered clubs and their members in the campaigns of Democratic Party nominees.
Section 2. Endorsements
- This Organization may endorse state ballot measures; legislation; local issues; and candidates, who are registered Democrat, in local, state, national, and special primary or runoff elections and in nonpartisan elections.
- Endorsements of legislation and local issues — but not ballot measures or candidates — may be made by an advocacy committee by unanimous vote. The committee will be composed of at least two (2) Officers, two (2) Executive Committee members, and three (3) voting members, to be appointed by the Political Director. The voting members on the Executive Committee must be approved by a 60% vote of club membership at the first meeting following their appointment. Any voting member of the club or elected official who has been endorsed by the club may submit legislation or local issues to a member of the Advocacy Committee for potential endorsement at any time.
- This Organization shall not endorse more candidates for an office than the number to be elected for that office.
- Recommendation for endorsement of candidates shall be made by the Executive Committee (of which, ⅔ must vote) upon the affirmative vote of at least sixty percent (60%); provided that any Executive Committee member who is a family member of a candidate, is receiving compensation from an independent expenditure involved in the candidate's race, or is currently receiving compensation from a candidate for the office being considered or such a candidate’s campaign must recuse themselves from any endorsement recommendation vote involving that office. If no candidate reaches 60%, a “no consensus” recommendation may be adopted. The recommendations will be placed on the consent calendar.
- In a special election run-off where only one (1) Democrat remains in the race, a majority of the Officers may make a full endorsement of such candidate.
- The General Membership may delegate its endorsement power to the Executive Committee.
- Notice of a meeting of the General Membership shall provide that endorsements will be on the agenda for any endorsements to take place. This notice shall be tendered at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting.
- Endorsements may be made with or without notice based on a unanimous vote of the General Membership present.
- A "Consent Calendar" may be used for membership to confirm recommendations by the Executive Committee.
- The Organization does not permit motions to add recommendations to a Consent Calendar.
- A motion to remove a recommendation on the Consent Calendar — including a recommendation of “no consensus” — may be made by any Member in Good Standing, other than the President or Political Director.
- If such a motion is made and seconded, the recommendation will be removed if and only if at least fifteen percent (15%+1) of Members in Good Standing present vote to remove the recommendation for separate consideration by the General Membership.
- Should a recommendation be removed, it will be moved to separate consideration. The process for recommendations for separate consideration is described in this Section, Item 8.
- A vote will be held on any remaining recommendations on the Consent Calendar following any removals. Upon an affirmative vote of a majority (50%+1) of the members of the Organization present and voting, the recommendation of the Executive Committee shall become the endorsement of this Organization.
- In the case of the failed approval of an Executive Committee recommendation, each item for separate consideration will be held in the order in which it was originally placed on the Consent Calendar.
- During the discussion period:
- Democratic candidates may speak for up to two (2) minutes pertaining to the office in consideration;
- Supporters or opponents of a ballot initiative may speak for up to two (2) minutes; and
- any Member in Good Standing may speak for up to one (1) minute to recommend the Organization chose to stand on“no consensus.”
- Each two-minute speaking time may include up to three speakers (including surrogates for candidates), but the speaking time must be used all at once. Only one person may speak to recommend no consensus.
- The general membership shall then vote on the endorsement directly. During said vote, all Democratic candidates shall be listed on the first ballot. If a sixty percent (60%) vote is not achieved for any candidate, succeeding ballots may be taken.
- "No endorsement" shall be an option on each ballot and shall be counted toward the total. If an endorsement is not made, succeeding ballots shall drop the name or names of candidates receiving less than twenty percent (20%) of the vote. Where there is no candidate who has less than 20% of the vote, or three (3) ballots have been taken, it shall be deemed that the Organization has made no consensus in said race.
- During the discussion period:
- Immediately following the endorsement of a candidate or ballot measure — whether on a Consent Calendar or as an item for separate consideration — a candidate or representative may speak for up to thirty (30) seconds about their campaign.
- In general, this Organization shall only endorse candidates for offices which include, comprise, or are wholly located within the Westside region. However, exceptions can be made for offices located in Los Angeles County wherein at least one candidate is a young Democrat and has explicitly requested this Organization’s endorsement.
- This Organization shall make no form of endorsement of any candidate for office unless it is via the process outlined in these bylaws; this includes encouraging members to vote for or support an unendorsed candidate.
Section 3. Parliamentary Authority
Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall be the official parliamentary authority of this Organization on all questions of procedure where they do not conflict with these bylaws.
Section 4. Quorum
A quorum shall be presumed to exist at any properly called Membership Meeting at which:
- 3 Officers OR
- 2 Officers and 1 Executive Committee member OR
- 2 Officers and 2 General Members OR
- 1 Officer and 3 General Members
Article VI: Decency & Disciplinary Action
All members of the Organization and guests attending the Organization’s events are expected to conduct themselves in a decent and respectful manner at all times including but not limited to strict adherence to the Organization’s Code of Conduct. Bullying, discrimination, and harassment will not be tolerated.
Section 1: Investigating Claims
The Organization will take claims of bullying, harassment, or discrimination seriously. The Executive Committee may form a subcommittee comprised of disinterested parties to investigate any claims.
Section 2: Removal
Persons attending the Organization’s events in violation of this code may be removed and/or banned from the Organization’s events and activities by officers of the Organization.
Section 3. Revoking Membership
Members, including Executive Committee members, found in violation of the Organization’s decency expectations may be subject to disciplinary action including but not limited to revocation of membership.
- Non-officer members found in violation of the decency policy may have their membership revoked upon a motion vote of the officers. The motion must pass by a three-fourths supermajority of the officers.
- Officers found in violation of the decency policy, may have their membership revoked by a motion of the officers, a motion of the Executive Committee, or a motion made at a general membership meeting. The officer for whom the motion is made may not vote in any such vote.
- A motion made by officers must pass by a three-fourths supermajority of the officers.
- A motion made by the Executive Committee must pass by a majority of the Executive Committee
- A motion made at a general membership meeting must pass by a majority of members present and voting at the next general membership meeting.
- All items belonging to the Organization by a removed member are to be returned immediately upon removal.
- All dues and contributions made by a removed member are automatically forfeited to the Organization.
Section 4. Revoking Endorsements
Endorsements for any candidate found to be in violation of the Organization’s decency expectations may be subject to revocation by the same mechanisms outlined in Article VI, Section 3.
Article VII: Amendment Of The Bylaws
Section 1. Amendments
These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote at a general membership meeting. Any such amendments shall take effect on the first Monday after the adjournment thereof unless a specific exception is stated in the motion to amend.
When necessary to bring the club into compliance with newly adopted rules of an affiliate Party organization (ex: California Young Democrats), the Officers may ratify an amendment to these Bylaws by a unanimous vote, if and only if the required changes must be instituted within 21 days. In such an event, the newly amended language will be strictly limited to changes necessary to comply with the new rules and the general membership will be notified of the changes both before and after the Officer vote occurs.