BYLAWS OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY YOUNG DEMOCRATS
The San Fernando Valley 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.
NAME AND AFFILIATION
Section 1. Name
The name of this organization shall be the SAN FERNANDO VALLEY YOUNG DEMOCRATS (hereto referred as the Organization in these Bylaws).
Section 2. Affiliation
The San Fernando Valley Young Democrats Young Democrats shall be affiliated with the California Young Democrats, the California Democratic Party through the Los Angeles County Central Committee and the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley.
This organization shall be governed at all times by the provisions of the Bylaws of the California Young Democrats.
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 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 sixty 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 year.
- 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 submitted to the President of at least ten (10) members 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 must notify the General Membership of such meeting at least 10 days prior to the meeting, but not more than 59 days prior to the meeting, as specified in subsection c of this Section.
- Bylaw Amendments. In the case of a meeting with recommendation to amend these Bylaws, the Communications Director must notify the General Membership of such meeting at least 21 days prior to the meeting as specified in subsection c of this Section.
- Officer Removal. In the case of a meeting with a recommendation to remove an officer on the agenda, the Communications Director must notify the General Membership of such meeting at least 21 days prior to the meeting as specified in subsection c of this Section.
- The Communications Director 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 posting notice on the Organization’s Facebook page satisfies this requirement in 2014.
Section 1. Officers
The officers of this organization shall be a President, Vice President, Treasurer and Communications 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 his/her 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.
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.
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. Election of Officers and Term of Office During Public Emergencies
The term of each officer may be extended during a state of public emergency (such as COVID-19). A public emergency is a declaration made by any governmental entity, which prohibits in-person gatherings within Los Angeles County.
If a public emergency declaration is in effect until after the last day of June, then there shall be a virtual board meeting before the last day of June, where board members shall vote to extend officer terms for an additional three months. This extension must be approved by at least a supermajority (66%) vote of board members present during a virtual board meeting. A virtual meeting constitutes a virtual conferencing platform enabling at least fifty participants in 2020.
If a public emergency declaration is still in effect after three months, then the term of all officers shall continually be extended in increments of three months subject to the supermajority vote requirement at a virtual board member meeting.
If an extension of an officer’s term is not approved by a supermajority (66%) vote of board members during a virtual board meeting, then a virtual general membership meeting must take place within thirty days to complete the remainder of an officer’s term.
After a public emergency declaration prohibiting in-person gatherings is lifted, all officer positions are subject to an election during a general membership meeting that must take place within 30 days to complete the remainder of each officer’s term.
Section 6. 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 and other subsequent vacant positions until a general membership meeting is held to elect a member or members to complete the remainder of that term. All of these rules are subject to the public emergency exception stated in Article III Section 5.
If a position becomes vacant during a declared public emergency as stated in Article III Section 5, then the President shall fill any and all vacant positions subject to the rules listed under Article III Section 5.
Section 6. Removal of Officers
An officer may be removed from his or her office and the Executive Committee only if all of the following 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 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 majority of members present and voting. The officer against whom the motion is made may not vote.
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.
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:
- Political Director
- Outreach & Recruitment Director
- Community Service/Issues 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 the Communications Director shall serve as its Secretary.
Section 4. Executive Committee Meetings
- The Executive Committee shall meet a minimum of once every two 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 of 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 by the Communications Director via electronic mail.
Section 5. Removal of Executive Committee Members
The President, at his or her discretion, may remove any non-elected member of the Executive Committee by notifying the Executive Committee in person or by electronic mail. However, in order to prevent abuses of quorum rules, any such removal is effective the day following the President’s announcement.
Section 6. Code of Conduct Committee
The President shall have the authority to create and appoint members to a Code of Conduct Committee to investigate any allegation of harassment by a club member including, but not limited to, sexual harassment or bullying. The members of the Committee are given the discretion to commence any investigation(s). The Committee must inform the SFVYD board of any recommendation(s) upon completion of the investigation.
A majority of board members present during a meeting must vote in favor of the Committee’s recommendation(s) for the Committee’s recommendation(s) to be binding and for any action to be taken by the board.
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.
- This Organization shall not endorse more candidates for an office than the number to be elected for that office.
- Recommendation for endorsement shall be made by the Executive Committee upon the affirmative vote of at least 60% of those present and voting.
- In a special election run-off where only one 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.
- Endorsements may be made with or without notice based on a unanimous vote of the General Membership.
- Upon an affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Organization present and voting, the recommendation of the Executive Committee shall become the endorsement of this Organization.
- The General Membership may, by a 60% affirmative vote of those present and voting, override a recommendation of the Executive Committee and endorse an alternative candidate for the same office.
- When a 60% vote is not achieved for any candidate, succeeding ballots may be taken. All Democratic candidates shall be listed on the first ballot in the case of the failed approval of an Executive Committee recommendation.
- "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 20% of the vote. Where there is no candidate who has less than 20% of the vote, or three ballots have been taken, it shall be deemed that the Organization has made no endorsement in said race.
- A "consent calendar" may be used. If a "consent calendar" is used, objection to any one candidate by five members of the Organization present shall cause the candidate objected to be removed from the consent calendar for separate consideration by the General Membership.
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:
- At least 10 members are present, and
- One officer is present, and
- One general member who is not an Executive Committee member is present.
CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY ENDORSEMENT PROCESS & PROCEDURES
Section 1. Chartering
The Chair of the Chartering Organization shall have certified the validity of the Charter, and that the Club was chartered and has submitted a roster of members in good standing duly registered as a member of the Democratic Party of California to both the Chair of the Chartering Organization and to the appropriate Regional Director(s).
The required paperwork shall be submitted to the Chair of the Chartering Organization and the appropriate Regional Director(s) on or before July 15 of the year immediately prior to the endorsement process, or by such date determined by the Chair of the Chartering Organization and/or Regional Director.
Section 2. California Democratic Party Endorsement Membership Provisions
For a member of the San Fernando Valley Young Democrats to count towards the allocation of delegates for the California Democratic Party Endorsement Process:
- Must be a member in good standing as of the July 1 of the appropriate year, or by such date as determined by the California Democratic Party.
- The member's status shall be certified by the Club’s President, Secretary or Treasurer.
Section 3. Allocation of Delegates
Club representatives shall be allocated as follows: one representative, resident in the Assembly District and duly registered as a member of the Democratic Party of California, for each full 20 members in good standing registered to vote in the Assembly District who are listed on the roster submitted to the Chair of the Chartering Organization and appropriate Regional Director(s). The President shall select the club representative(s) for each district from the list of submitted members and timely notify the appropriate parties of the selection.
Club members who are members of SFVYD and other clubs may only be counted for representation once. Such representatives must be registered Democrats.
If a San Fernando Valley Young Democrats member is listed on two or more rosters, the member shall only be counted once and the appropriate Regional Director(s) shall count the name on the roster of the organization which does not deprive another organization of representation. If possible, provided.
However, if that is not possible, the individual on the roster which was first submitted will be counted unless the individual is listed as a Representative from another organization, in which case the individual shall be counted only on the roster of the organization sought to be represented.
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 (California Democratic Party, Los Angeles County Democratic Party, Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley, or 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.
Last ratified by a vote of the
General Membership on September 17, 2020
Last certified by Michael Barth,