BY-LAWS of the San Juan County Democrats
We, the Democrats of San Juan County, State of Washington, believe in the concepts expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America that all power to govern resides with the people. We organize and pledge ourselves to promote a truly representative party, open to all who support its principles. We further pledge to make every effort to encourage maximum participation in the political process and to protect individual rights, civil liberties, our environment, and social and economic justice for all.
ARTICLE I – NAME
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the “San Juan County Democratic Party”, commonly known as the “San Juan County Democrats”. Hereafter, in these by-laws, the San Juan County Democrats shall be referred to as “the SJCD”.
Section 2. Any use of the name “Democrats” or “Democrat” in any election that implies that an organization or candidate is a part of the SJCD, without the approval of this organization, shall be prohibited.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
Section 1. The SJCD shall function continuously and shall otherwise operate under the applicable Charters, By-Laws, and Rules of the National and Washington State Democratic Parties and under the these By-Laws, insofar as they are not in conflict with the aforementioned documents of the parent organizations.
Section 2. The SJCD shall:
a. Assist in the election of Democratic candidates who, by their records and reputations, demonstrate that they are in general agreement with the adopted SJCD platform and who have been endorsed by this organization;
b. Encourage voter registration and voting;
c. Work with the elected public officials at all levels to achieve the goals of the SJCD; and
d. Promote citizen participation and support the SJCD’s political goals and its objectives.
ARTICLE III – ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
Section 1. Voting Membership: The highest authority of the San Juan County Democratic Party shall be its Voting Membership. Any registered voter in San Juan County who declares that she or he is a Democrat, who agrees not to be a member of any other political party, who, according to SJCD records, has attended at least two regular or special SJCD meetings or committee meetings within the most recent twelve-month period either in person or virtually, and who agrees to have his or her name enrolled in SJCD records as a Democrat, shall be a Voting Member of the San Juan County Democratic Party.
Section 2. San Juan County Democratic Central Committee (hereinafter referred to as “the Central Committee”): The governing body of the San Juan County Democratic Party shall be the San Juan County Democratic Central Committee (“the Central Committee”). The Central Committee exists to serve the Voting Membership. The Central Committee shall consist of the elected and the appointed Precinct Committee Officers.
Section 3. The Executive Committee: The Executive Committee may consist of:
- the following Officers elected by the Central Committee: the Chair (the chief executive officer of the County Democratic Party), the Vice-Chair (of a gender differing from that of the Chair), the Secretary, the Treasurer, the three Deputy Vice-Chairs, the State Committeewoman, the State Committeeman, the 40th District Representative, and
- such additional non-voting officers deemed to be necessary by the Chair and appointed by the Chair, who may include, but shall not be limited to, a program chair, a press chair, a sergeant-at-arms, and a parliamentarian.
The Executive Committee shall meet at the call of the Chair and shall have such powers and duties as are delegated to it by the Central Committee. All actions of the Executive Committee must be reported to and ratified by the Central Committee at the next Central Committee meeting. Only Officers elected by the Central Committee, as per provisions of these By-Laws, are voting members of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall prepare an annual operating budget which shall be approved by the Central Committee.
Section 4. Vacant Positions: The Chair is empowered to fill any vacant PCO or vacant elected Officer position by appointment, with the concurrence of the Central Committee at its next meeting. This procedure shall afford every Democrat registered to vote in the county a fair and equal opportunity to know of this vacancy. The Chair shall announce the vacancy on the SJCD’s website and by e-mail to all on the SJCD’s e-mail list. After the passage of ten days following the announcement, the Chair shall make the appointment.
ARTICLE IV – MEETINGS
Section 1. Voting Membership Meetings: There shall be an annual meeting of the Voting Membership, at a time and place set by the Executive Committee and approved by the Central Committee. There may also be special meetings of the Voting Membership, called by a majority of the Central Committee, at a time and place set by the Central Committee. Along with such other purposes as shall be necessary and proper, Voter Membership meetings shall serve as a forum where free and open discussion of all political ideas and issues will be encouraged. If necessary, the Chair may impose rules for formal debate on important issues. The Voting Membership must receive sufficient advance notice of all meetings.
Section 2. Central Committee Meetings: A regular meeting of the Central Committee shall be held quarterly, at a time and place set by the Executive Committee, with sufficient advance notice given to all members. A special meeting may be called by the Chair, by a majority of the voting members of the Executive Committee, or by thirty (30) percent of the Central Committee. The Chair shall set the time and place for such a meeting and shall give the members of the Central Committee sufficient advance notice. The January meeting of the Central Committee conducted on every odd-numbered year shall serve as the Central Committee’s “organizational meeting”. The Officers of the Executive Committee shall be elected by the Central Committee at that time.
Section 3. Executive Committee Meetings: The Executive Committee shall meet in between quarterly Central Committee meetings, in-person or by teleconference, at a time and place set by the Chair. At the initiative of the Chair, the Executive Committee may also communicate by e-mail, as necessary, to carry on business of the organization.
Section 4. Robert’s Rules of Order: Meetings of the Voting Membership, the Central Committee, and the Executive Committee, except as otherwise provided for by Rules adopted at those meetings, shall be held pursuant to and in conformity with Robert’s Rules of Order, as most recently revised.
Section 5. Quorums: No quorums shall be required for the conduct of either Voter Membership Meetings or Executive Committee or other committee meetings. For Central Committee meetings, at least 50% of PCOs then in office must be present for consideration of any matter on which only PCOs may vote, except that only 5 PCOs must be present to consider the approval of PCO appointments.
Section 6. Sufficient Advance Notice to Central Committee: The requirement for “sufficient advance notice” shall be met by an e-mail notice, stating the time and place of the meeting, sent to each Central Committee member at least ten days prior to the meeting. Upon their request, persons without e-mail accounts must be sent notice by mail, which shall be sent at least thirteen days before the date of the meeting.
Section 7. When, in the judgment of the Chair, sufficient technology is available, county-wide meetings by teleconferencing may be allowed.
ARTICLE V – VOTING PROCEDURES
Section 1. Voting privileges on all business that comes before the SJCD will be extended to all Voting Members, except that only elected or appointed PCOs may vote on the following:
a. Election or removal of the Chair, Vice Chair, Deputy Vice-Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, State Committeewoman, State Committeeman, and any other representatives whom the SJCD is authorized to send to other party organizations;
b. Nomination for County Partisan Offices pursuant to rules of the Washington State Democratic Central Committee for the Selection of Candidates and Nominees for Public Office;
c. Nomination of candidates for County Council vacancies, if applicable;
d. Approval of PCO appointments; and
e. Amendments to these By-Laws, as provided below.
Section 2. Voting by E-Mail or Telephone: When deemed necessary by the Chair, the Central Committee or the Executive Committee may vote by e-mail or by telephone, with the same quorum requirements applied. The subject of such a vote may not include endorsements, the confirmation of appointments of PCOs, the election of officers, or the amendment of these By-Laws.
Section 3. Voting by Proxy: A PCO or Executive Committee member unable to attend a meeting may send a limited proxy with another PCO or Executive Committee member to vote on any specific issues or elections at one meeting per year. The proxy must be in writing and state the issues or elections covered by the proxy. The recipient of the proxy may vote the proxy as he or she wishes. Proxies may not be used in the election of officers, the confirmation of appointed PCOs, or the amendment of these By-Laws.
ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS
Section 1. The Officers of the organization, referred to as the Executive Committee, shall be:
a. The Chair, who shall be the executive officer of the SJCD, responsible for the conduct of all meetings described in these By-Laws and with such other duties and responsibilities as may be assigned by the Central Committee or the Voting Membership or as may be set out in these By-Laws;
b. The Vice-Chair (of a gender different from the Chair) who functions as Chair in the Chair’s absence;
c. The Deputy Vice-Chairs, one each from San Juan/Stuart, Orcas/Waldron, and Lopez/Shaw, shall support the Chair in conducting the business of the organization;
d. The Secretary;
e. The Treasurer;
f. The State Committeewoman;
g. The State Committeeman; and
h. The 40th Legislative District Representative.
The Vice-Chair, Deputy Vice-Chairs, Secretary, and Treasurer shall have such duties as may be assigned them by the Voting Members, the Central Committee, the Executive Committee or the Chair, or as may be otherwise set out in these By-Laws. The State Committeeman, State Committeewoman, and 40th Legislative District Representative shall have such duties as set out in the By-Laws of the Democratic Party of the State of Washington.
Section 2. The Chair may appoint such further Officers as needed or the Voting Membership or the Central Committee may do so by resolution that defines the office and sets the time for a vote. Such Officers may include, a program chair, a sergeant at arms, a press chair, a parliamentarian, and any other officer needed for the good of the order.
Section 3. All Officers shall be registered to vote in San Juan County.
Section 4. All Officers shall serve until their successors are elected at the County reorganization meeting held in January of each odd-numbered year, or until their successor is selected.
Section 5. The county-wide position of Vice-Chair (Article VI, Section 1.b) (of a gender different from the Chair) will be initially filled by a special election called by the Chair, to take place no sooner than ten days after the public announcement of the opening.
Section 6. No officer of this organization may, in that capacity, endorse or support a candidate for office who is not a Democrat or a candidate for a Democratic nomination. Doing so may subject that officer to removal under Article VII, Section 2.
Section 7. A person may hold no more than two SJCD elective offices simultaneously.
ARTICLE VII – REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Section 1. Any Executive Committee Officer or appointed PCO who fails to attend four consecutive regular quarterly meetings may be removed from office by a vote of those eligible to vote for that office.
Section 2. Any Executive Committee Officer or appointed PCO may be removed for any reason, upon two-thirds vote of those eligible to vote for that office, provided at least 15 days prior notice of the meeting and the grounds for removal are given to the members and the Officer whose removal is sought.
ARTICLE VIII – COMMITTEES
Section 1. The Chair may establish committees and designate the chair and members thereof or the Voting Membership or Central Committee may establish committees by a majority vote at County meetings.
Section 2. The Chair or his designee shall be an ex officio member of all committees.
ARTICLE IX – NOMINATIONS AND ENDORSEMENTS
Section 1. The SJCD may endorse candidates for elected county, state, or federal offices in the primary and general elections and may endorse measures on the ballot, pursuant to the SJCD’s rules, the Charter of the State Democratic Party and its “Rules for the Selection of Candidates and Nominees for Public Office” and any such other rules or regulation passed by the State Central Committee, and pursuant to the applicable statutes of Washington State.
Section 2. The SJCD may endorse candidates for non-partisan office.
Section 3. SJCD endorsements of candidates or endorsements of ballot issues, initiatives, or measures shall be made in accordance with SJCD Rules for Endorsements. Those Rules shall be proposed by the Executive Committee and adopted and amended by the Central Committee.
ARTICLE X – FINANCIAL PROCEDURES
Section 1. The Executive Committee shall develop and monitor the SJCD’s budget. The Treasurer shall prepare and provide for publication and approval the annual budget at the time of each annual meeting of the Voting Membership. The Treasurer shall also provide year-to-date revenues, expenditures and balance, at each quarterly meeting and at any other meeting as requested by the ExecutiveCommittee or Central Committee.
Section 2. Contributions to nominated or endorsed candidates and ballot propositions shall be reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee prior to consideration and approval by the Central Committee at a regular or special meeting of that body. The Executive Committee shall set priorities for such donations at least three months prior to each election. All suggestions for contributions must be submitted, by e-mail or writing, to the Chair at least 10 days prior to the Central Committee meeting.
Section 3. No money shall be paid from the funds of the SJCD except by check signed by the Chair, or the Vice-Chair, or the Treasurer. For amounts exceeding five hundred dollars, the signature of two of these officers shall be required. Expenditures under five hundred dollars may also be made using a SJCD credit card.
Section 4. The Executive Committee may require that the books be audited. In pursuit thereof, the Executive Committee shall establish an audit committee at the reorganization meeting, made up of persons who are not the Chair, Vice-Chair, or Treasurer, to audit the books of the SJCD prior to the next Central Committee meeting. The results of such audit shall be reported to the Central Committee prior to the next regularly scheduled Central Committee meeting.
Section 5. The Treasurer’s duties shall include the filing of the required reports to the Public Disclosure Commission in a timely manner.
ARTICLE XI – AMENDMENT
Section 1. These by-laws may be amended at any Central Committee meeting, provided that the proposal, made by any Voting Member or PCO, has been presented in writing to each elected or appointed PCO at least 10 days prior to the meeting.
Section 2. An affirmative vote of at least 60% of the elected or appointed PCOs is required to amend these by-laws.
Section 3. These by-laws shall function continuously.
As Amended by the CENTRAL COMMITTEE on May 13, 2017.