Constitution and By-Laws
The 15th-29th Democratic Club
of Kent County, in the State of Delaware
We, the Democrats of Kent County, in the State of Delaware, seek to maximize the participation of residents in the Democratic Party as a powerful force in determining elections at all levels of the political process. We shall raise our voices on issues that directly impact the residents within the 15 State Senatorial and 29 State House of Representative District(s) respectively. We will advocate on behalf of our community and on the progress of our State and local governments. Therefore, we hereby adopt this Constitution and By-laws of The 15th-29th DEMOCRATIC CLUB of Kent County, in the State of Delaware(hereinafter The 15th-29th).
ARTICLE I - NAME
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be:
(a) The 15th-29th DEMOCRATIC CLUB, (hereinafter The 15th-29th).
ARTICLE II - PURPOSE
Section 1. The purpose of this Organization shall be as follows:
(a) To have full representation of Democrats residing in the 15th State Senatorial and 29th State House of Representative District(s),
(b) To have full representation of Democrats in the delegate selection and committee process at all levels of Democratic Party conventions and organizations for the 15th State Senatorial and 29th State House of Representative District(s);
(c) To select, screen, support and endorse Democratic candidates;
(d) To encourage and develop political leadership within the 15th State Senatorial and 29th State House of Representative District(s) community;
(e) To take public stands on issues relevant to the 15th State Senatorial and 29th State House of Representative District(s) community;
(f) To propose, support and, when necessary, oppose legislation relevant to the 15th State Senatorial and 29th State House of Representative District(s) community.
ARTICLE III – ORGANIZATION AND PROCEDURE
Section 1. ORGANIZATION:
(a) The 15th-29th shall make application with the Delaware State Department of Elections and comply with all requirements indicated therein.
Section 2. PROCEDURES:
(a) All regular and special meetings of The 15th-29th shall be conducted in accordance with this Constitution and By- laws and Robert’s Rules of Order,
(b) All actions of The 15th-29th, provided a quorum is present, shall be by vote of a majority present. EXCEPTION- an amendment to the By-laws, reversal of endorsement, vote of no confidence or censure shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the membership in good standing;
(c) May not take a position in support of a candidate for office other than a registered Democrat;
(d) Shall support the County, State,and National Democratic Party;
(e) Shall cooperate with other Democratic organizations in Kent County in the State of Delaware.
ARTICLE IV - GENERAL MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. The General Membership of The 15th-29th is open to any registered member of the Democratic Party who supports the Scope and Purpose of The 15th-29th.
Section 2. The term of membership shall be from the beginning of fiscal year
January 1, through the end of the fiscal year December 31.
Section 3. DUES:
(a) Membership dues are $5 monthly. Dues shall be collected from each member on a monthly basis; to remain in good standing, each member must be current in his/her dues payment.
(b) The dues year shall be from January 1 through December 31;
(c) Any initial member who joins in the last quarter of the dues year (November through January) shall have their membership prorated to $5. All other members shall pay $15;
(d) A renewing member may pay dues in December and January of each year and have those dues applied to the following dues year;
(e) No member may be denied membership due to inability to pay. A waiver of dues can be made to the treasurer upon request. If such request is granted dues will be noted as paid. A request for waiver is good only for the dues paying year and must be renewed annually.
Section 4. Unless otherwise ordered by The 15th-29th Officers, the general membership meeting shall be normally conducted on the second Friday of each month at a time and place designated by The 15th-29th Officers. The General Meetings shall be open to the membership unless a motion is made and passed by a majority of the members present to go into executive session.
ARTICLE V - ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Associate members are those members who are citizens but not yet registered to vote. In addition, all Democratic elected officials will be considered Associate Members.
Section 2. DUES:
(a) Membership dues for an associate are $10 annually. Dues shall be collected from each associate member at the start of the fiscal year annually;
(b) The dues year shall be from January1 through December 31;
(c) Any initial associate member who joins in the last quarter of the dues year (November through January) shall have their membership prorated to $5. All other associate members shall pay $10;
(d) A renewing associate member may pay dues in December and January of each year and have those dues apply to the following dues year;
(e) No associate member may be denied membership due to inability to pay. A waiver of dues can be made to the treasurer upon request. Said request will be automatically granted and dues will be noted as paid. A request for waiver is good only for the dues paying year such request is made. A waiver must be renewed annually.
Section 3. Associates members shall have no voting privileges in The 15th-29th until they are a registered Democrat; EXCEPTION - a sitting Democratic official of the 15 State Senatorial and the 29 State House of Representative District(s).
ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS
Section 1. The officers of The 15th-29th shall be a Chair, 1 Vice Chair, 2 Vice Chair, Treasurer, Recording Secretary and Correspondence Secretary.
Section 2. The term of office for all officers shall be 2 years.
Section 3. Officers shall be elected by a majority vote at the Bi-annual Election meeting held in odd number years in February, commencing in the year 2011.
Section 4. Officers shall be installed at the March General membership meeting. An exception to this will occur upon the initial installation at the Clubs’ beginning. Officers may be installed by majority vote at the time of formation. The effective date of office tenure shall be 1 March of the year of Club origination.
Section 5. Should the position of an officer become vacant The 15th-29th Officers shall elect a person(s) to fill the vacancy(ies).
Section 6. As of 1 January 2012, all candidates for a voting office with The 15th-29th or its Officers must have been a registered, active member in good standing of The 15th-29th for the previous six (6) months.
Section 7. ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP:
(a) An active membership in good standing shall be considered to be a current dues paying member or a member with a waiver duly noted by the treasurer.
Section 8. CHAIR
(a) The Chair shall preside over all The 15th-29th meetings, and Executive Committee Meetings
(b) The Chair shall appoint members of the Standing Committees, and such Special Committees as are deemed necessary;
(c) The Chair shall be an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee;
(d) The Chair shall initiate plans for the development of The 15th-29th;
(e) The Chair shall coordinate The 15th-29th efforts in support of the 15th State Senatorial and 29th State House of Representative District(s) office holders and candidates for public office as well as of Democratic office holders and candidates endorsed by our community;
(f) The Chair shall execute the directives and programs of The 15th-29th;
(g) The Chair shall appoint a Parliamentarian.
Section 9. FIRST VICE-CHAIR
(a) The First Vice-Chair shall, in the absence of the Chair, preside at all meetings of The 15th-29th and the Officers;
(b) The First Vice Chair shall oversee and coordinate activities for the recruitment and retention of general and associate membership;
(c) The First Vice-Chair shall perform such other duties as are assigned to the office by the Chair.
Section 10. SECOND VICE-CHAIR
(a) The Second Vice-Chair shall, in the absence of the Chair and First Vice Chair, preside at all meetings of The 15th-29th and the Officers;
(b) The Second Vice Chair shall oversee and coordinate activities for political advocacy;
(c) The Second Vice-Chair shall perform such other duties as are assigned to the office by the Chair.
Section 11. TREASURER
(a) The Treasurer shall chair the Finance Committee,
(b) The Treasurer shall collect all dues and receive all monies belonging to The 15th-29th and deposit the same in a bank so designated by the Officers;
(c) The Treasurer shall pay all expenditures approved by The 15th-29th and prepare an itemized monthly report to be distributed at the general monthly meeting. Said Treasurer’s monthly report shall list all monies received and expended on behalf of The 15th-29th;
(d) The Treasurer shall render a written annual report at the last fiscal meeting which may be submitted to an auditor selected and approved by the Officers;
(e) The Treasurer shall establish and maintain financial records using accepted accounting methods;
(f) The Treasurer shall propose and submit a budget at the beginning of each fiscal year;
(g) There shall be three designated signatories on any check issued for the expenditure of funds;
(h) Two signatures shall be required for any check issued. The signatures shall be any two of the following officers: Chair, 1st Vice-Chair, or Treasurer;
(i) In the absence of one of the signatories listed in Article VI Section 12 (h) The Officers shall designate the needed signatory;
(j) All contracts shall be signed by the Chair and one other officer;
(k) In the absence of the Chair, the Officers shall appoint an alternate from the officers to have the necessary signatures for the signing of a contract;
(l) The Treasurer shall perform such other duties as are assigned to the office by the Chair.
Section 12. RECORDING SECRETARY
(a) The Recording Secretary shall keep a record of the meetings of The 15th-29th and of the Officers meetings,
(b) The Recording Secretary shall copy, distribute, file, and preserve reports and perform such other duties as assigned by the Chair;
(c) The Recording Secretary shall maintain a record of attendance and meeting records;
(d) The Recording Secretary shall sign the attendance record;
(e) In the absence of the Chair, First Vice Chair and Second Vice Chair the Recording Secretary shall preside at all meetings of The 15th-29th and the Officers;
(f) In the absence of the Correspondence Secretary, the Recording Secretary shall assume the duties of the Correspondence Secretary.
Section 13.CORRESPONDENCE SECRETARY
(a) The Correspondence Secretary shall maintain an active membership list,
(b) Under the direction of the Chair or the Officers the Correspondence Secretary shall write official 15th-29th correspondence;
(c) The Correspondence Secretary shall provide meeting notices in accordance with Article VII Section 5 of The 15th-29th By-laws;
(d) The correspondence Secretary shall assist the Treasurer;
(e) In the absence of the Chair, First Vice Chair, Second Vice Chair, and the Recording Secretary the Correspondence Secretary shall preside at all meetings of The 15th-29th and the Officers;
(f) In the absence of the Recording Secretary, the correspondence Secretary shall assume the duties of the Recording Secretary;
(g) The correspondence Secretary shall perform such other duties as are assigned to the office by the Chair.
Section 14. PARLIAMENTARIAN
(a) The Parliamentarian shall advise the Chair as to the proper procedures conducting meetings, and shall rely on these By-laws and Robert’s Rules of Order;
(b) The Parliamentarian shall not have a vote on the Officers; EXCEPTION – In the event of a tied vote, the Parliamentarian shall decide.
Section 15. The 15th-29th officers shall not publicly endorse a candidate in their official capacity who has not been endorsed by The 15th-29th membership.
ARTICLE VII - MEETINGS
Section 1. The regular meetings of this organization shall normally be held in the
boundaries of Kent County, in the State of Delaware on the second Friday of each month at a date and place designated by The 15th-29th Officers.
Section 2. Election of officers shall be conducted at the Bi-Annual Election Meeting to be held in odd numbered years at the regularly scheduled meeting on the second Tuesday in February. A sixty (60) day notice of the Bi-annual Election Meeting shall be provided to members by electronic text or voice messaging and or regular mail.
Section 3. Special meetings of the General Membership may be called for any purpose under the following requirements:
(a) The location must be within the boundaries of Kent County, in the State of Delaware,
(b) A special meeting may be called by the Chair;
(c) A special meeting may be called at the written request of two (2) of the officers, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee,
(d) A special meeting may be called at the request of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the membership of the Executive Committee.
Section 4. Special meetings shall be chaired in the same manner as provided herein.
Section 5. Meeting notices shall be provided as follows:
(a) Notice of any meeting shall be by electronic text or voice messaging and or regular mail,
(b) Notices of regular meetings shall be sent no later than two weeks prior to the date set for the meeting;
(c) The Secretary shall provide at the first fiscal meeting a list of the year’s meeting dates for distribution to the membership;
(d) A special meeting shall have a minimum two (2) day notice. Such notice shall be by electronic mail, personal notice, or phone contact;
(e) Regular mail is insufficient to meet the notice requirement for special meetings.
Section 6. A quorum of the general membership shall be one-third (1/3) of the members.
ARTICLE VIII - COMMITTEES
Section 1. There shall be the following Standing Committees:
(a) Finance Committee
(b) Voter Registration and Outreach Committee
(c) Membership Education Committee
(d) Recruitment and Retention Committee
(e) Political Advocacy Committee
Section 2. FINANCE COMMITTEE
(a) The Finance Committee shall be chaired by the Treasurer;
(b) The Finance Committee shall be responsible for developing a yearly budget and financial plan for the organization.
(c) The development of the budget and financial plan shall be done in consultation with the Officers. The Treasurer shall provide periodic reports to the Officers and to the membership.
Section 3. VOTER REGISTRATION AND VOTER OUTREACH
(a) The Voter Registration and Outreach Committee shall elect its own chair;
(b) The Voter Registration and Outreach Committee shall develop a voter registration and voter education outreach plan for the 15th State Senatorial and 29th State House of Representative District(s) community with goals and time lines. Such a plan shall include Voter registration drives, registration of new residents, community forums, get out the vote strategy, and a plan to organize predominately all registered Democrats in the 15th State Senatorial and 29th State House of Representative District(s).
Section 4. MEMBERSHIP EDUCATION COMMITTEE
(a) The Membership Education Committee shall elect its own chair,
(b) The Membership Education Committee shall prepare a packet of materials in English for distribution to new members which shall include a copy of the Constitution and By-laws, an explanation of the State Democratic Party and the Kent County Democratic Party structure. Translation of materials in other languages shall be provided as needed;
(c) The Membership committee shall organize periodic training sessions in Robert’s Rules of Order;
(d) The Membership Education Committee shall organize a speakers’ bureau on topics of issues and concerns for the membership;
(e) The Membership Education Committee shall distribute a yearly survey to determine the interest and concerns of the membership;
(f) The Membership Education Committee shall compile in writing the rules and procedures for Kent County, State and National Democratic Conventions.
Section 5. RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION COMMITTEE
(a) The Recruitment and Retention Committee shall be chaired by the 1st Vice-Chair;
(b) The Recruitment and Retention Committee shall develop a plan to recruit and retain general and associate members. Such a plan shall be voted and acted upon by the general membership.
Section 6.POLITICAL ADVOCACY COMMITTEE
(a) The Political Advocacy Committee shall be chaired by the 2nd Vice Chair,
(b) The Political Advocacy Committee will work on issues such as but not limited to: quality of life, growth and expansion in the district(s), heath care, education reform, economic and workforce development, quality jobs with benefits, uniformity of the building codes (statewide) and accountability to home buyers from builders and developers;
(c) The Political Advocacy Committee will aid our Delaware Legislative Representatives on these and any other legislative issues that impact the 15th State Senatorial and 29th State House of Representative District(s) community;
(d) The Political Advocacy Committee will present issue oriented resolutions to the general membership for a vote and any further action deemed necessary. The general membership is not precluded from offering resolutions from the floor;
(e) The Political Advocacy Committee shall organize community forums, help develop issue oriented platforms, and present The 15th-29th position(s) through the media;
(f) The Political Advocacy Committee shall identify, recruit, and encourage 15th State Senatorial and 29th State House of Representative District(s) residents to run for public office;
ARTICLE IX - VOTING
Section 1. ALL BUSINESS
(a) Voting on all nominations, resolutions, election of officers, screening and endorsements, general policy, and legislative programs shall be open to the General Membership of The 15th-29th provided,
(b) The 15th-29th member joined the organization at least thirty (30) days prior to The 15th-29th meeting at which they seek to vote;
(c) It has been certified that the member is a registered Democrat.
ARTICLE X - ELECTIONS
Section 1. ALL ELECTIONS
(a) Nominations shall be accepted from the floor,
(b) Only those general members who have paid dues or who have received a fee waiver as of the January meeting may vote in the elections so long as verification has been obtained that the individual is a registered Democrat;
(c) Members must be present in order to vote. There will be no proxy or absentee ballot vote;
(d) Whenever possible The 15th-29th will strive for parity.
ARTICLE XI - PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
Section 1. ALL DECISIONS
(a) Rules contained in the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of
Order shall govern The 15th-29th on all matters not otherwise contained in the Constitution and By-Laws.
ARTICLE XII - AMENDMENTS
Section 1. CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
(a) The Constitution and By-laws may be amended at any General meeting of The 15th-29th by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the general members in good standing present, provided that written notice has been given to the general membership at least three weeks before the General Meeting and shall be effective upon approval.
ARTICLE XIII - REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Section 1. (a) An officer can be removed from office by a two thirds (2/3) vote of the general membership present for:
(1) Three (3) unexcused absences;
(3) Non performance of duties;
(4) Publicly or financially supporting anyone other than a Democrat in a partisan election;
(5) Ten (10) days notice shall be provided to the membership and the officer;
(6) The officer shall have an opportunity to answer the charge(s).
ARTICLE XIV - VENDOR PREFERENCE
Section 1. (a) For club mailings and other goods/services procured by The 15-29th, preference will be given to “union shops” whenever possible.
Effective Tuesday - February 1, 2011;
I hereby certify that the foregoing are the Constitution and By-laws of
The 15th-29th Democratic Club; formed in the 15th State Senatorial and 29th State House of Representative District(s) in Kent County, in the State of Delaware
John “Jack” Mc Cutchan, Interim Chair