The Bylaws of The San Francisco Young Democrats
REVISED JULY 2013
The San Francisco 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 philosophies of the Democratic Party.
ARTICLE I. NAME AND AFFILIATION
The name of this Organization shall be THE SAN FRANCISCO YOUNG DEMOCRATS.
The San Francisco Young Democrats shall be affiliated with the California Young Democrats, the Coalition of Bay Area Young Democrats and the Young Democrats of America.
ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP
Regular membership in this Club shall be open to persons who are at least fourteen (14) years of age but not more than thirty-five (35) years of age, and who are registered Democrats or who intend to register as Democrats when eligible. Such persons must also live in or be employed in the City and County of San Francisco.
Persons below the minimum age or over the age of thirty-five (35) may be admitted as non-voting members of this Club. No non-voting member may be used for the purpose of representation at any meeting of this Organization.
Voting privileges are reserved only for Members in good standing. A Member in good standing must have paid yearly dues at an amount determined by a two-thirds vote of the Full Board and have attended at least one general membership meeting within the twelve (12) months proceeding any vote, as well as the meeting at which a vote of the Members will occur. The eligibility of events sponsored by the San Francisco Young Democrats or organized by the California Young Democrats or the Coalition of Bay Area Young Democrats will be subject to Full Board approval in terms of meeting these requirements.
ARTICLE III. ELECTED BOARD OFFICERS
A. Elected Board Officers
The Elected Board Officers of this Organization shall be the President, the Vice President of Internal Affairs, the Vice President of External Affairs, the Treasurer, and the Secretary. The San Francisco Young Democrats Elected Board shall include all Elected Board Officers, The Immediate Past President, and any Officers of The Young Democrats of America, College Democrats of America, California Young Democrats, or Coalition of Bay Area Young Democrats residing in or employed in San Francisco, assuming such persons are no older than thirty-five (35) years of age and are members of this Organization in good standing.
The President shall be the chief executive officer and official voice of this Organization and shall be its representative at all Democratic Party functions. The President shall preside over all meetings of this Organization. The President shall also appoint non-elected board members, the chairs of all standing committees, and the chairs and memberships of all special committees, unless otherwise provided for in these Bylaws. All appointments from the President are subject to the approval of the Elected Board until a Full Board is convened, where such appointments are subject to the approval of the Full Board.
The President shall establish an organizational calendar and shall make all efforts to maintain and strengthen communications with various clubs.
The Vice President of Internal Affairs shall be responsible to the President. The Vice President of Internal Affairs shall also manage the Organization’s functionality, including the membership database and the annual chartering with the California Young Democrats. In the absence of the President, the Vice President of Internal Affairs shall preside at the meetings of this Organization. Should a vacancy occur in the presidency of this Organization, the Vice President of Internal Affairs will assume the duties of President until such time as a replacement is selected according to these Bylaws.
The Vice President of External Affairs shall be responsible to the President. The Vice President of External Affairs shall also coordinate outreach efforts, co-sponsored activities, and major events. The Vice President of External Affairs shall further assist in the managing of the Organization’s outreach to Democrats older than thirty-five (35) years of age, as well as outreach to new Young Democratic organizations seeking support from this Organization.
The Treasurer shall submit financial statements to the Elected Board at regularly scheduled intervals and shall chair the Finance Committee. In addition, the Treasurer shall be responsible for seeing that all disbursements, receipts, banking relationships, FPPC statements and in general, any and all bookkeeping responsibilities of the Organization are fully and properly performed. An annual budget of this Organization shall be prepared for approval of the Elected Board at least thirty (30) days prior to the fall Full Board meeting or at a time designated by the President.
The Secretary shall maintain all records of this Organization, serve all required notices, and discharge any other duties at the discretion of the President. The Secretary shall prepare materials as necessary to maintain the Organization’s current membership in the California Young Democrats.
C. Election of Officers
All officers shall be elected annually at the January membership meeting of the San Francisco Young Democrats.
The President, The Vice President of Internal Affairs, The Vice President of External Affairs, Treasurer, and Secretary shall be elected by the entire membership of this Organization at the January meeting in the order listed. An unsuccessful candidate for an officer position may be elected for any remaining officer position, provided they meet all requirements as stipulated by these Bylaws. All candidates for office shall file their "intent to run" with The Secretary at least thirty (30) days prior to election.
Every Member in good standing shall be eligible for any office in this Organization.
D. Terms of Office
Officers elected at the January meeting shall take office immediately after the adjournment of the meeting. Every officer shall hold office until the adjournment of next year’s January meeting or until removed pursuant to Section F of this Article.
Vacancy in any office shall be filled by nomination of The President or Acting President and a majority vote at a meeting of the Elected Board, which shall be summoned with at least twenty-one (21) days notice to the Membership.
Any officer or board member may be removed by a two-thirds vote at a meeting of the Full Board, contingent upon the following procedures:
Written charges shall be provided against the officer to every member of the Full Board at least five (5) weeks in advance of the meeting at which the removal shall be moved.
The officer shall be given the opportunity to answer said charges and to know the identity of his or her accuser(s). Notification by certified or electronic mail to all known addresses shall be deemed as an invitation to answer such charges and shall constitute sufficient notice.
A motion for removal, if passed, shall take effect immediately, at which time a vacancy shall be declared pursuant to Section 5 of this Article. If within twenty-four (24) hours the officer submits a resignation, the motion to remove shall be expunged from all records and the resignation shall be recorded as such.
The excessive absences of an officer or board member at properly noticed meetings of the Full Board shall create a vacancy in his or her office, as determined by the President. At the close of the second consecutive meeting in which a board member has not submitted a written excuse for absence or submitted an officer’s report, his or her office shall be declared vacant via dereliction of duty. When personal, academic or professional obligations prevent an officer’s board attendance, an officer may submit a written note and an officer’s report prior to the next meeting, directed to the President or Secretary as a sufficient excuse for absence.
ARTICLE IV: THE FULL BOARD
A. The Full Board
There shall be a Full Board of this Organization, which shall have all the powers and duties of this Organization when the full Membership is not in session.
The elected and appointed board members of this Organization shall be known in their entirety as the Full Board.
The President shall be the Chair of both the Elected and Full Boards, and the Secretary shall be the Secretary of both the Elected and Full Boards.
The Full Board of this Organization shall meet a minimum of four (4) times a year.
The Full Board may convene in special meetings in the following manner:
At the call of the President and at such a time and in such a place as the President may designate; or
Upon written request to the President from a majority of the members of the general membership, or two-thirds of the Full Board and at such a time and in such a place as it may designate.
Notice of regular and special meetings shall be given by the Secretary. The Secretary shall send notices via electronic mail, and when electronic mail is not available, deposit the notices in the United States Mail addressed to each member of the Full Board at least ten (10) days prior to the convening of each meeting. If special meetings are called with less than ten days notice, the Secretary must notify the Full Board by telephone.
E. Procedure and Action
Members of the Full Board shall have the exclusive power to offer or sponsor amendments to these Bylaws, adopt such resolutions as may be in order, and take such actions as may be appropriate and consistent with these Bylaws.
Meetings of the Full Board shall be run according to these Bylaws and Robert's Rules of Order (Newly Revised).
Any report or resolution to be presented to the Full Board must be copied in sufficient numbers as to allow each member one (1) copy.
All members of the Full Board must volunteer at least two (2) hours of their time per year to this Organization. Such activities may include chartering work, outreaching efforts, work on behalf of an endorsed candidate, or any activity as determined by the President.
F. Full Board Votes
No member of the Full Board may be entitled to more than one vote. To vote by proxy, the following conditions must be met:
The person holding a proxy must be a member of this Organization in good standing.
The proxy holder may not be a member of the Full Board, and no person may hold more than one proxy.
No member of the Elected Board shall be represented by an alternate or proxy.
Proxies shall be filed in writing with the Secretary in a timely fashion.
A majority of the Full Board Membership present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, whether in-person, by phone, or by email.
ARTICLE V: STANDING COMMITTEES
A. The Issues and Actions Committee
There shall be a Standing Committee for Issues and Actions. The Chair or Chairs of this committee shall be appointed by the President and confirmed by a majority vote of the Full Board. The Chair or Chairs of the Issues and Actions Committee shall appoint at least five (5) and no more than ten (10) members, all of whom shall be Full Board members and/or Members in good standing.
If a singular Chair of the Issues and Actions Committee runs for election to any office enumerated under these Bylaws at the next Club election, that person shall cease to be Chair, and shall immediately turn over all Issues and Actions Committee documentation to the President, or, if the President has appointed a new Chair, to the new Chair of the Issues and Actions Committee.
It shall be the duty of the Issues and Actions Committee to create a roadmap for carrying out the political objectives of this Organization, including endorsements, campaign mobilizations and Action Days. It shall further be the duty of the Issues and Actions Committee to provide minimal research on candidates for possible endorsements and to supply this Club with pertinent information about their backgrounds and positions.
The Issues and Actions Committee will also be required to provide information and analysis on any ballot initiatives that the Membership of this Organization wishes to consider for endorsement. The analysis shall include the preparer, the title of the initiative, the sponsor, the type of measure (i.e. ordinance, charter amendment, statement of policy), an overview, the pro-position, the con-position, some objective analysis, and the endorsement recommendation of the Issues and Actions Committee: yes, no, no recommendation, or no position.
B. The Membership Committee
There shall be a standing Committee on Membership consisting of at least two (2) and no more than five (5) Full Board members and/or Members in good standing.
The President shall choose a Chair or Chairs for this Committee.
It shall be the duty of the Membership Committee to maintain the Club’s list of members, meeting attendees, and track membership dues. It is also the duty of the Membership Committee to develop and carry out strategies and events related to the preservation of this Club’s current membership as well as recruitment of new members into the Organization.
C. The Finance Committee
There shall be a standing Committee on Finance consisting of at least two (2) and no more than five (5) Full Board members and/or Members in good standing.
This Organization’s Treasurer shall serve as Chair of the Finance Committee.
It shall be the duty of the Finance Committee to coordinate all Club fundraising efforts and to monitor all expenditures and banking records.
D. The Communications Committee
There shall be a standing Committee on Communications consisting of at least two (2) and no more than five (5) Full Board members and/or Members in good standing.
The President shall choose a Chair or Chairs for this Committee.
It shall be the duty of the Communications Committee to maintain the Club’s website, develop and distribute e-newsletters, produce and distribute a printed quarterly, and produce all press releases for the Club.
ARTICLE VI: SPECIAL COMMITTEES
A. Special Committees
A Special Committee may be created at the direction of the President for any club issues in need of special consideration not already covered by a Standing Committee.
The Chair or Chairs of any Special Committee shall be a Full Board member and/or a Member in good standing, as well as the Committee’s composition.
ARTICLE VII: GENERAL PROVISIONS
The President and Treasurer shall agree upon all expenditures up to and including $100. All expenses over $100 and up to and including $500 shall be proposed by the President and approved by a majority vote of the Elected Board Members present. Expenses exceeding $500 shall be proposed by the President and approved by a majority vote of the Full Board Members present.
B. Organizational Records
The President, Secretary and Treasurer shall, whenever possible, forward relevant organizational records periodically and at the close of each year to an established San Francisco Young Democrats archive. This information may include, but is not limited to, photos, memorabilia, meeting minutes, leadership rosters, conference notes, agendas, credentials reports and other statements. Such records serve to preserve the history of this Organization for future generations.
ARTICLE VIII: ENDORSEMENT PROCEDURES
The political platform of San Francisco Young Democrats shall consist of any and all endorsements made by the Club.
The San Francisco Young Democrats may endorse:
Any Democratic primary candidates for major political office;
Any Democratic candidate for partisan political office;
Any Democratic candidate for non-partisan political office;
Any initiative, measure, advisory petition, or action; and
Any Member in good standing or Alumni Member for any office within the Democratic Party structure.
The San Francisco Young Democrats may not endorse:
Any non-Democrat for any position;
Anyone who is a member of the Ku Klux Klan or any other racist organization; or
Anyone who supports the violent overthrow of the United States government.
B. Endorsement Procedures
For endorsements of candidates or measures which will appear on ballots for any regularly scheduled local, state, or national primaries or general elections, the Issues and Actions Committee will provide minimal research to this Organization’s membership on the candidates or measures under consideration.
The Issues & Action Committee shall inform each eligible candidate, in writing or by electronic mail, of the endorsement procedures. All candidates will be invited to fill out a questionnaire created by the Issues and Actions Committee and to the endorsement meeting. Once eligible candidates have been given an opportunity to participate, the Members in good standing must vote in the affirmative by at least a majority of fifty percent (50%) plus one (1) at a regularly scheduled, notified general meeting for the endorsement to become official. If no candidate receives the sufficient number of votes for an endorsement, then this Club’s official recommendation on such a race will be no position. If fifty percent (50%) plus one (1) vote no recommendation in a particular candidate race, then this Club’s official recommendation will be no recommendation.
Endorsements of ballot initiatives at the local or state level may be made by this Club at any genernal membership with prior notification. The Members in good standing must vote in the affirmative by at least a sixty percent (60%) supermajority for the endorsement of a yes, a no, or a no recommendation vote to become official. If no position receives the sufficient number of votes for an endorsement, then this Club’s official recommendation on such an initiative will be no position.
Endorsements of non-ballot-related issues may be made by this Club at any general membership meeting without prior notification. This is open but to, not limited to, endorsements of other clubs or organizations, pending votes by the local, state, or federal legislatures, military actions, executive orders, policy initiatives, and community or political events. The Members in good standing must vote in the affirmative by at least a sixty percent (60%) supermajority for the endorsement to become official. If the issue, legislation, or event requires immediate action, a sixty percent (60%) supermajority vote of the Full Board may also be used to trigger an endorsement.
The Full Board is permitted to submit recommendations for any item, other than a candidate for public office, under consideration for endorsement by this Club. Such a recommendation must have the support of at least sixty percent (60%) of the Full Board to be presented to the Club’s Membership.
C. The Ballot Initiative Recommendation Procedure
Two weeks prior to any membership meeting at which an initiative will be considered for endorsement, the Issues and Actions Committee will have made a recommendation of yes, no, or no position to the Full Board for each of the initiatives to be considered. A sixty percent (60%) supermajority is needed for this Committee to make a recommendation to the Full Board. If the Issues and Actions Committee does not submit recommendations two weeks prior to the meeting, then the Issues and Actions Committee shall not make a recommendation to the Full Board on that issue.
After the Issues and Actions Committee submits its recommendations to the Full Board, it will be the responsibility of the President to host a board meeting or a call to discuss the Issues and Actions Committee recommendations. In either instance, the President may call for a vote at an in-person meeting (if a quorum is present), a vote over the phone, or an electronic vote. A sixty percent (60%) supermajority is needed for the Full Board to make a recommendation to the Membership.
In the event of an electronic vote, the Chair or Chairs of the Issues and Actions Committee may facilitate a process in which Full Board Members shall cast their votes in an online repository. The electronic vote tally and results shall be accessible to all Full Board Members throughout the entire voting process. In the event of a dispute, a majority vote of the Full Board, conducted either in-person or over the phone, shall invalidate any electronic vote.
D. The Ballot Tabulation Process
For single-seat races, all candidates must appear on the same ballot. This Organization will automatically give preference to Young Democratic candidates on Our ballots. To receive this designation, a candidate must be a Member of the San Francisco Young Democrats in good standing. YD candidates shall appear at the top of the ballot and be noted accordingly.
Each voter may vote for as few or as many candidates as they approve of.
Once the ballots are summed, that number is then halved. If this quotient includes a fraction, then that number is rounded up to the nearest whole number to determine the endorsement threshold for all the candidates on a given ballot. If this quotient is a whole number, then that number will be added by one (1) to determine the endorsement threshold for all candidates on that ballot.
For single-seat / single-choice races, all candidates must appear only once on the same ballot. If no candidate reaches or surpasses the established threshold, then no candidate is endorsed. If one candidate reaches or surpasses the threshold, that person is endorsed for that race. If more than one candidate reaches or surpasses the threshold, then the candidate with the greatest number of votes is endorsed. In the case two or more candidates tie while reaching or surpassing the established threshold, then multiple unranked endorsements may be issued.
For single-seat / multi-choice races, all candidates must appear only once on the same ballot. If no candidate reaches or surpasses the established threshold, then no candidate is endorsed. If one candidate reaches or surpasses the threshold, that person will then receive the exclusive first-place endorsement. If more than one candidate reaches or surpasses the threshold, the candidate with the greatest number of votes will receive the first-place endorsement; the candidate with the second-highest vote total will receive the second-place endorsement; the candidate with the third-highest vote total (assuming there is one) will receive the third-place endorsement, and so-on. If more candidates pass the threshold than there are places allotted for endorsement, then the candidate(s) with the fewest number of votes will be eliminated. In the case two or more candidates tie while reaching or surpassing the established threshold, then multiple unranked endorsements may be issued. If candidates tie for last-place and the number of endorsed candidates exceeds the number of allowable endorsements, then all last-place candidates will be eliminated.
For multi-seat / multi-choice races, all candidates must appear only once on the same ballot. If no candidate reaches or surpasses the established threshold, then no candidate is endorsed. If one candidate reaches or surpasses the threshold, that person will then receive an endorsement. If more than one candidate reaches or surpasses the threshold, then those candidates shall be endorsed. If more candidates pass the threshold than there are places allotted for endorsement, then the candidate(s) with the fewest number of votes will be eliminated. If candidates tie for last-place and the number of endorsed candidates exceeds the number of allowable endorsements, then all last-place candidates will be eliminated.
The San Francisco Young Democrats shall not endorse more candidates than seats available for endorsements.
If the position of “No Recommendation” is the only position that reaches or surpasses the endorsement threshold, then the Club will endorse no one for that race. If the position of “No Recommendation” receives more actual votes than a candidate or set of candidates whom also reach or surpass the endorsement threshold, then the “No Recommendation” result will be nullified.
YD Members in good standing who run for California or National Democratic Party Delegate may automatically receive a recommendation from this Club, unless otherwise designated by the Full Board, or unless a normal endorsement vote can be arranged.
With regards to contests for Elected Board Office of this Club, the same approval voting methodology shall be used, except there shall be no endorsement threshold and there shall not be a “No Recommendation” option. In the case of a tie, a new election must be scheduled for the Membership.
ARTICLE IX. AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS
These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Membership at any regularly-scheduled membership meeting. Any such amendments shall take effect on the first Monday after the adjournment of such a meeting, unless a specific exception is stated in the motion to amend.
Any Bylaws amendment must be presented to the full Membership in writing by its sponsor the day of the vote.
Notice to amend these Bylaws shall be given twenty-one (21) days prior to any Membership meeting at which such a change is to be voted upon.
ARTICLE X. SUSPENSION OF THE BYLAWS
A. Suspension of the Bylaws
Any section of these Bylaws may be suspended by a two-thirds vote of the Membership at any regularly-scheduled Membership meeting. A motion to suspend must identify the Article and Sections being suspended and may not suspend more than one article. This Article may not be suspended.
ARTICLE XI. DISSOLUTION
Dissolution of this Organization requires the unanimous approval of the Full Board and approval of three-fourths of the Members in good standing at two consecutive General Meetings of San Francisco Young Democrats. Upon dissolution, all unspent funds (after expenses and liabilities are accounted for) will be donated to the California Young Democrats. Any privately-obtained funds that remain may be donated to another nonprofit organization with prior approval of the Full Board. It is hoped that the organization that receives these funds will return it to any new Young Democratic organization that comes into existence in the City and County of San Francisco.