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5. Club Constitution and Bylaws

DEMOCRATIC CLUB OF SANTA MARIA VALLEY BYLAWS

Revised on September 20, 2018; Amended on June 18, 2015; January 15, 2009; April 21, 2005;

September 16, 2004; September 16, 2004; July 20, 1989; and May 23, 1989.

ARTICLE I: Name

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Democratic Club of Santa Maria Valley, hereinafter referred to as “the Club”.

ARTICLE II: Objectives and Policy

Section 1. The objectives of the Club shall be to:

  1. Support the continual improvement of American government at all levels.
  2. Inform, educate, and empower Democratic voters in the community.
  3. Perpetuate the ideals and principles of the U.S. Constitution.
  4. Urge qualified Democrats to become candidates for public office and support endorsed candidates.
  5. Be a source of information about Democratic candidates, policies, and activities.
  6. Create an all-inclusive environment that welcomes, supports, and empowers our members and guests, without regard to race, ethnic origin, gender identity, religion, color, culture, or background.

Section 2. The Club shall retain the right to interview any or all declared Democratic candidates for any political offices at all levels of government within the Club’s jurisdiction. The Club shall only endorse and support Democratic candidates for office.

Section 3. The Club may also make endorsements of Democratic candidates by designating Club delegates to conventions, councils, and other official Democratic meetings within the districts where the Club is located. Following the primary election, the Club shall support Democratic candidates running in the general election.

Section 4. The Club shall be an official member of the California Democratic Party and the Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committee (SBCDCC).

Section 5. The use of the masculine gender in these bylaws includes all genders and orientations.

Section 6. The use of the phrase “written” or “in writing” in these bylaws includes electronic notification.

ARTICLE III: Membership

Section 1. Any person who supports the principles, purposes, values, and policies of the Democratic Party shall be eligible for Club membership.

Section 2. All Club members must be registered Democrats with the following exceptions as non-voting members:

  1. A minor who intends to pre-register at age 16 or register as a Democrat at age 18.
  2. A person in the process of naturalization, who intends to register as a Democrat on becoming a citizen.

Section 3. The Club retains the right to verify that a potential member or a candidate seeking the Club’s endorsement is registered as a Democrat.

Section 4. Any member shall be considered in good standing upon paying dues at his specified due date.

Section 5. Any member who represents or identifies himself as a public spokesperson for the Club and/or publicly supports other than Democratic candidates for office shall be subject to expulsion from the Club according to Article III. Section 6.

Section 6. Any member may be expelled for cause upon a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present at a regularly-scheduled General Meeting, which shall establish a quorum, but only after members have been notified of the above intention in writing, at least ten (10) days prior to said General Meeting. The expulsion becomes effective immediately following said vote to expel the member.

Section 7. The Chairperson of the Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committee shall be a voting member of this Club.

Section 8. Club members shall retain the right to vote to fill vacant elected positions, vote on candidate endorsements, proposed amendments to the bylaws, and other recommendations from the Board that require membership approval.

ARTICLE IV: Officers

Section 1. Elected Officers of the Club shall consist of the following: President, Vice-President, Program Manager, Treasurer, Secretary, and Membership Coordinator.

Section 2. The President, Secretary and Membership Coordinator shall be elected at the first scheduled General Meeting in even-numbered years. The Vice-President, Treasurer and Program Manager shall be elected at the first scheduled General Meeting in odd-numbered years. All elected Officers shall hold office for a period of two (2) consecutive years or until their successors are elected and installed.

Section 3. Upon election, Officers shall review and be guided by the current Democratic platform as approved by SBCDCC.

Section 4. When an Officer resigns, passes away or moves from the Club’s jurisdiction, an election to fill that vacancy shall be held at the next regularly-scheduled General Meeting after the membership has been notified at least twenty-eight (28) days in advance of said election.

Section 5. An Officer may be removed from office if he misses three (3) consecutive regularly- scheduled General or Executive Board meetings without excused absences as determined by the President.

Section 6. If the Executive Board determines any elected Officer is not reasonably performing his duties, the Board shall make a written recommendation to Club members at least ten (10) days in advance of the next regularly-scheduled General Meeting that said Officer be removed from office. Upon such recommendation of the Board, a quorum of members shall be established at said meeting, and upon a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of that quorum, said Officer shall be removed from office effective immediately.

Section 7. Any elected Officer may resign by submitting a written notice to the Club President, another elected Officer, or by orally announcing his resignation at a General Meeting.

Section 8. Any Officer who moves outside the Club’s jurisdiction or changes party registration must notify the Club President, or Vice-President in the absence of the President, and submit a written resignation message within ten (10) days. Said resignation is effective the date of the resignation notice.

Section 9. A Club member shall not hold two (2) elected offices simultaneously to ensure the Board is at full-strength with the required six (6) members.

ARTICLE V: Club Elections

Section 1. The President or the Chair of the Candidates & Endorsements Committee shall appoint members to an ad hoc Nominating Committee for the purposes of finding qualified candidates for elected positions and helping to facilitate the upcoming election. No elected Officer shall be a member of this Committee.

Section 2. To qualify as a candidate for Club office or as a delegate, a member must be in good standing for at least six (6) consecutive months prior to his candidacy or nomination. An exception to this rule shall be granted by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of members present at a regularly-scheduled General Meeting.

Section 3. Potential candidates may nominate themselves for Club offices and shall declare their candidacy in writing to the Nominating Committee or be nominated from the floor by a Club member in good standing at the time of the election. All nominations require a second to the motion.

Section 4. Any person nominated by the Nominating Committee must accept such nomination to be considered a candidate for any elected Office. Any person nominated from the floor at the time of the election must orally accept said nomination to be considered a candidate.

Section 5. The Chairperson of the Candidates and Endorsements Committee, an elected Officer or a designated Committee member shall announce an upcoming election and all candidate’s names at least twenty-eight (28) days prior to said election.

Section 6. The Chairperson of the Candidates and Endorsements Committee, a designated member of the Committee, or an elected Officer shall conduct the election of other Officers and/or delegates. The election procedures shall follow Robert’s Rules of Order, except where those rules conflict with these bylaws.

Section 7. All elections of Officers shall be by signed ballot if more than one (1) candidate is seeking to fill a vacant office. When there is only one (1) candidate seeking to fill a vacant office, the election shall be by motion and acclamation of all members present at the time of the noticed election.

Section 8. All ballots shall be counted by the Chairperson of the Candidates and Endorsements Committee and an elected Officer for the sole purpose of determining the results of the election. These signed ballots shall remain confidential and be destroyed after ten (10) days, except when the results of the election are contested by a candidate in said election.

Section 9. If a candidate contests the results of a duly-held election, said candidate shall have the right to review the paper ballots, under the supervision of the Vice-President, within seven

(7) days of the election date. If the candidate and the Vice-President determine and agree there was an irregularity in the election, the Vice-President shall inform the President of the results of the review within three (3) business days. The President shall determine what actions are needed to cure the election irregularity and ensure said remedy is enacted within three (3) business days.

Section 10. If the candidate and the Vice-President disagree about the findings of the ballot review, the candidate shall have the right to appeal the findings to the President within three

(3) days. The President shall hear the candidate’s appeal within three (3) business days of notification and render a decision on the appeal within three (3) business days. The President’s decision on said appeal shall be final and cannot be further appealed by the candidate or any designated representative.

ARTICLE VI: Duties of Officers

Section 1. The President shall perform the duties outlined in Addendum I. Section 2. The Vice-President shall perform the duties outlined in Addendum II.

Section 3. The Program Manager shall perform the duties outlined in Addendum III. Section 4. The Treasurer shall perform the duties outlined in Addendum IV.

Section 5. The Secretary shall perform the duties outlined in Addendum V.

Section 6. The Membership Coordinator shall perform the duties outlined in Addendum VI.

ARTICLE VII: Standing Committees

Section 1. The President shall appoint the SBCDCC representative and the Chairpersons of the following Committees:

Precinct Organization, Public Relations, Legislation, Ways & Means, Young Democrats, Headquarters, Telephone, Candidates & Endorsements, Newsletter, Community Outreach, Labor Liaison, Website & Social Media, Tabling Events, Correspondence, and any ad hoc committee formed for a specific purpose.

Section 2. The President may appoint members to serve on Committees or delegate the selection of Committee members to the Chairpersons of said Committees.

Section 3. A Committee Chairperson may be removed from his position if he misses three (3) consecutive General Meetings or Committee meetings without excused absences as determined by the Vice-President or fails to perform his duties as defined or required.

Article VIII: Duties of Committee Chairpersons

Section 1. The Chairperson of the Precinct Organization Committee shall establish and maintain a precinct organization plan and recruit volunteers to assist in conducting surveys, registering voters, and conducting get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaigns in coordination with the Vice- President.

Section 2. The Chairperson of the Public Relations Committee shall create media releases and publicity about Club-related information and events, conferring with the President as needed. Said media releases or publicity shall be released to the local media at least seven (7) days in advance of said Club events. The Chairperson shall be responsible for sending email notices to Club members as needed.

Section 3. The Chairperson of the Legislation Committee shall keep the Club informed about relevant proposed and signed local, state, and federal legislation, as well as pertinent petitions.

Section 4. The Chairperson of the Ways and Means Committee shall be responsible for identifying, managing, and/or conducting fundraising activities for the Club in conjunction with the Treasurer.

Section 5. The Chairperson of the Young Democrats Committee shall advise and assist the youth members of the Club as they learn about the Democratic Party, the Club and its activities, and local politics. The Chairperson shall secure a parental release form for each Club member under age 18, prior to each youth acting as a Club youth representative or volunteering for Club events and activities.

Section 6. The Chairperson of the Headquarters Committee shall be responsible for general office security, scheduling and adequately staffing the office with trained volunteers during open hours, keeping the office clean and tidy, and maintaining adequate quantities of the Club’s applications and supplies.

Section 7. The Chairperson of the Telephone Committee shall be responsible for creating and maintaining a list of Committee members for the purpose of calling Club members as needed.

Section 8. The Chairperson of the Candidates and Endorsements Committee shall work to find qualified candidates to fill vacant Officer and Chairperson positions. The Chairperson shall work to identify qualified Democratic candidates for local political offices, in coordination with our community partners and according to the following procedures:

  1. The Committee shall retain the right to interview any declared Democratic candidate seeking a Club endorsement upon official notice of his candidacy and submission of all required Club paperwork. The Committee shall forward a written recommendation to endorse or not endorse said candidate to the President within twenty-four (24) hours of its decision. The President shall notify the Executive Board of said recommendation in a timely manner.
  2. In the rare event there is insufficient time to complete the normal Club endorsement process, the Executive Board shall retain the right to recommend endorsement of a qualified Democratic candidate upon submission and satisfactory review of all required Club paperwork, based on the official endorsement of the SBCDCC.
  3. The membership shall be notified of the recommendation at least ten (10) days prior to the next regularly-scheduled General Meeting when an endorsement vote will occur.
  4. An endorsed candidate may include the Club’s endorsement in campaign materials. If the membership votes to not endorse a candidate, the Democratic Club shall retain the right to request that all campaign materials containing or inferring endorsement by the Club be destroyed or modified to remove any such wording.

Section 9. The Newsletter Editor shall publish a newsletter with Club news and activities, a monthly calendar of Club and community events, and relevant items submitted by Club Officers, Chairpersons, and members at least monthly at least one (1) week before each regularly-scheduled General Meeting.

Section 10. The Chairperson of the Community Outreach Committee shall work in coordination with other community organizations with complementary missions to further the shared goals of improved civic representation, programs, and services in our community.

Section 11. The Chairperson of the Labor Liaison Committee shall be responsible for communicating with local labor unions, reporting relevant labor union news and events, and coordinating Club activities with complementary union activities.

Section 12. The Chairperson of the Website and Social Media Committee shall be responsible for maintaining the official Club website and Social Media platforms under general guidance of the President and other elected Officers.

Section 13. The Chairperson of the Tabling Events Committee shall be responsible for identifying suitable tabling events and activities that will increase Club visibility, membership, and achieve other Club goals throughout the year. The Chairperson shall be responsible for contacting the sponsoring organization, completing and submitting the required application forms in coordination with the Treasurer; soliciting volunteers to ensure adequate staffing is maintained for the entire event; and creating a volunteer schedule as well as other necessary tasks as related to specific events.

Section 14. The Chairperson of the Correspondence Committee shall be responsible for sending cards to members who are ill and/or have lost a loved one, and/or as directed by the President and/or other elected Officers.

ARTICLE IX: The Executive Board

Section 1. The Executive Board shall consist of elected Officers and the Chairpersons of all Standing Committees.

Section 2. The Executive Board shall meet at least monthly, no less than fourteen (14) days prior to the next regularly-scheduled General Meeting or as needed to conduct Club business in an efficient and timely manner. Board meetings are open to Club members and invited guests.

Section 3. The Executive Board shall act upon any Club matters that may arise from General Meetings and Board meetings. The Board may act or recommend action to the membership on relevant community issues.

Section 4. A quorum for an Executive Board meeting shall consist of at least three (3) elected Officers and two (2) other Board members following a minimum seven (7) day notice of an Executive Board meeting.

Section 5. The President or Presiding Officer shall retain the right to call for an Executive Session in a Board meeting as needed. An Executive Session includes all elected Officers present and other Club members or invited guests as designated by the elected Officers. Any actions taken in Executive Session shall be reported to the Board upon adjournment of the Execution Session.

Section 6. The Executive Board shall retain the right to form any ad hoc committee as needed to conduct Club business effectively and efficiently.

ARTICLE X: Meeting Procedures

Section 1. Club members shall have the right to be recognized at General Meetings, as determined by the President or Presiding Officer.

Section 2. Non-members may be recognized to speak at the discretion of the President or Presiding Officer.

Section 3. The President or Presiding Officer shall follow the written meeting agenda as closely as possible. Meeting procedures shall adhere to Robert’s Rules of Order, except when it conflicts with these Club bylaws.

Section 4. Club decisions shall be determined by a simple majority vote of those members present for all noticed General Meetings unless otherwise stated in these bylaws. A quorum shall be established by those members present at a regularly-scheduled General Meeting.

Section 5. Any member in good standing may request a paper ballot for any non-election vote and contest the results of said paper ballot vote during that same General Meeting. He shall have the right to review the paper ballots under the supervision of the Vice-President within seven (7) days of the voting date. If said member and the Vice-President determine and agree there was an irregularity in the voting, the Vice-President shall inform the President of the results of the review within three (3) business days. The President shall determine what actions are needed to cure the voting irregularity and ensure said remedy is enacted within three (3) business days.

Article XI: Delegates, Voters, and Alternates to Official Democratic Party Bodies

Section 1. Club delegates, voters, and alternates for conventions, conferences, and councils shall be elected by the majority of the membership present at a regularly-scheduled General Meeting.

Section 2. The President shall appoint Club members in good standing to fill delegate, voter, or alternate positions after soliciting volunteers for said positions if there isn’t time to schedule a General Meeting to elect said delegates, voters, or alternates.

Section 3. Delegates, voters, and alternates shall reflect the general direction, bylaws, and policies of the Club when voting and/or representing the Club. Any questions regarding this policy shall be directed to an elected Officer prior to voting at any convention, conference, or council.

Section 4. If it is determined a delegate, voter or alternate has seriously violated the trust placed in him by the Executive Board and Club members, he shall explain his actions to the elected Club Officers. The President shall retain the right to replace said person if the Officers determine his explanation doesn’t support any actions taken or not taken. The new delegate, voter or alternate shall be elected according to these bylaws.

ARTICLE XII: Club Communications

Section 1. The Club shall retain the right to communicate with members via electronic and written methods and by telephone.

Section 2. The Club shall retain the right to create and maintain any official Club websites and social media platforms.

Section 3. The Club shall retain the right to publish a newsletter.

ARTICLE XIII: Dues

Section 1. Elected Club Officers shall retain the right to review the current annual dues for established membership levels and set new dues rates to be effective January 1 of the upcoming calendar year.

Section 2. Dues for new and renewing Club members are payable upon application. Renewal dates for existing members are determined by the Membership Coordinator. Dues payments are for a one (1) year-long membership unless otherwise specified.

Section 3. Any Club member who allows his dues to become two (2) months in arrears shall be sent a final notice of renewal by the Membership Coordinator. A member shall be considered inactive in the Club when his membership is at least three (3) months in arrears.

Section 4. The Executive Board may approve a waiver of, or reduced, dues on a case-by-case basis for any member.

ARTICLE XIV: Process for Amending and Revising the Bylaws

Section 1. The Elected Officers may review the Club’s bylaws annually. The Board retains the right to propose amendments or revisions to the bylaws whenever deemed necessary to ensure the Club’s business is accomplished effectively and efficiently.

Section 2. Any Club member in good standing, with the concurrence of four (4) other Club members in good standing, may propose amendments or revisions to the Club’s bylaws at any time by submitting said changes in writing to any elected Officer.

Section 3. Club members shall be notified in writing and receive copies of the proposed amendments or revisions at least twenty-eight (28) days in advance of the next regularly- scheduled General Meeting when members will vote on said proposed bylaw amendments or revisions.

Section 4. The Club’s bylaws shall be amended or revised upon approval by two-thirds (2/3) of those members present at a regularly-scheduled General Meeting, following at least a twenty- eight (28) day notification of the upcoming vote.

Section 5. The effective date of any amended or revised bylaws shall be determined by the Executive Board at the time such amendments or revisions are approved by members.

ARTICLE XV: Proxy Voting

Section 1. No proxy voting shall be allowed at Executive Board and/or General Meetings of the Club.

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The above Bylaws, amended on May 23, 1989; July 20, 1989; September 16, 2004; April 21,

2005; January 15, 2009; June 18, 2015; and revised on September 20, 2018, are the official Bylaws of the chartered Democratic Club of Santa Maria Valley.

Addendum I

Democratic Club of

Santa Maria Valley

Position: President

The President shall:

  • Be responsible for the overall direction and operations of the Club.
  • Act as the public face of the Club.
  • Represent the Club to media organizations.
  • Represent the Club at public events and community meetings or designate a Club Officer or Chairperson to attend if the President is unavailable.
  • Preside at Executive Board and General Meetings.
  • Provide direction to the Secretary for the creation of agendas for Executive Board and General Meetings.
  • Appoint Chairpersons to standing and ad hoc Club Committees.
  • Appoint Representative to SBCDCC.
  • Sign checks greater than $500.00 in conjunction with the Treasurer.
  • Serve as an ex-officio member on all committees.
  • Assume other responsibilities and duties as needed.

Addendum II

Democratic Club of

Santa Maria Valley

Position: Vice-President

The Vice-President shall:

  • Assume the responsibilities of the President when the President is temporarily unavailable.
  • Assume the role of Acting President if the President becomes incapacitated, can no longer fulfill his responsibilities as President, moves from the Club’s jurisdiction, or passes away.
  • Assist the President as determined by the President.

 • Review any election ballots or votes that are contested by a candidate or Club member.

  • Supervise the Committee Chairpersons in fulfilling their duties and guide them in following the currently approved SBCDCC platform.
  • Ensure each Chairperson knows his responsibilities and duties and is trained upon his appointment to his Committee.
  • Be the Club liaison and coordinator with endorsed Democratic candidates, their staff, and campaigns in election years.
  • Ensure adequate quantities of campaign literature are maintained in election years.
  • Coordinate Club election-year activities with the Chairperson of the Precinct Organization Committee.
  • Serve as an ex-officio member on all committees.
  • Assume other responsibilities and duties as needed.

Addendum III

Democratic Club of

Santa Maria Valley

Position: Program Manager

The Program Manager shall:

  • Identify speakers for General Meetings at least two (2) months in advance when possible.
  • Contact any potential speaker no later than six (6) weeks prior to scheduling him as a speaker at a General Meeting.
  • Inform speakers about meeting protocols and obtain a short biography of the speaker at least three (3) weeks before the scheduled General Meeting.
  • Confirm with the speaker that he will present a program as arranged, at least seven (7) days prior to the scheduled General Meeting date.
  • Assist the Vice-President as requested or needed.
  • Assume other responsibilities and duties as needed.

Addendum IV

Democratic Club of

Santa Maria Valley

Position: Treasurer

The Treasurer shall:

  • Act as custodian of all Club funds and accounts.
  • Collect and deposit all monies received to the designated Club bank accounts in a timely manner.
  • Disperse funds as authorized by the Board.
  • Sign checks greater than $500.00 in conjunction with the President.
  • Prepare and present Treasurer’s reports at regularly-scheduled General Meetings or as needed by the Executive Board.
  • Manage the Club’s online payment systems.
  • Provide the Club’s accountant with all financial information as requested, in a timely manner.
  • Assume other responsibilities and duties as needed.

Addendum V

Democratic Club of

Santa Maria Valley

Position: Secretary

The Secretary shall:

  • Prepare agendas for Club meetings at the direction of the President.
  • Transcribe draft Board Meeting and General Meeting minutes.
  • Disseminate above draft minutes to the Executive Board for any corrections at least ten

(10) days prior to the next Board or General Meeting.

  • Provide copies of the prior month’s minutes to Club members present at the next regularly-scheduled General Meeting.
  • Act as a depository for electronic and paper copies of all minutes and official reports submitted by Club Officers and Chairpersons, as required, unless otherwise directed by the Executive Board.
  • Check the Club email account at least two (2) times each week and forward emails to the appropriate person(s).
  • Serve as an ex-officio member on all committees.
  • Assume other responsibilities and duties as needed.

Addendum VI

Democratic Club of

Santa Maria Valley

Position: Membership Coordinator

The Membership Coordinator shall:

  • Seek and coordinate the recruitment of new Club members.
  • Accept completed membership applications and renewals.
  • Collect membership dues for new and renewing Club members and provide receipts if requested.
  • Give all monies collected to the Treasurer within three (3) business days.
  • Update and maintain the official roster of Club members in a timely manner.
  • Notify Club members no later than thirty (30) days before the expiration of their memberships.
  • Distribute the membership roster to elected Officers and designated Committee Chairpersons quarterly or as requested by an elected Officer.
  • Notify Committee Chairpersons of members’ volunteer interests, as specified on their membership and renewal applications.
  • Create and maintain a record of the names and contact information gathered at tabling events for distribution as appropriate no later than seven (7) days after the event ends.
  • Assume other responsibilities and duties as needed.

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