BY-LAWS of the San Juan County Democrats
We, the Democrats of San Juan County, believe in the concepts expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States 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 1 – NAME
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the “San Juan County Democratic Central Committee”, commonly known as the “San Juan County Democrats”.
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 Democratic Party without the approval of this organization shall be prohibited.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
Section 1. This organization shall function continuously and shall otherwise operate under the applicable by-laws and rules of the State and National Democratic Charter and rules and the laws of the State of Washington.
Section 2. This organization shall:
a. Assist in the election of Democratic candidates who by their records and reputations are in general agreement with adopted party platforms and who have been endorsed by this organization.
b. Encourage voter registration and voting.
c. Work with the elected Democratic public officials at all levels to achieve the goals of the Democratic Party; and
d. Promote citizen participation and support the goals the party’s political objectives of social and economic justice.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. All San Juan County Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) and Executive Board Members, whether elected or appointed or acting, shall be members of this organization.
Section 2. Any registered voter in San Juan County who declares that she or he is a Democrat and who agrees to have his or her name published as a Democrat shall be eligible to be a Voting Member in this organization and may vote on all matters except for those matters which by statute or State Democratic Party Charter are limited solely to PCOs and as set out in Article V. Any other person who declares that he or she is a Democrat shall be eligible for non-voting membership in this organization.
Section 3. Membership donations will be encouraged from all members.
Section 4. The Chair is empowered to fill any vacant PCO or Officer position by appointment, with the concurrence of the PCOs at its next meeting.
ARTICLE IV – MEETINGS
Section 1. A County meeting may be a regular or a special meeting.
Section 2. A regular meeting shall be held quarterly in January, April, July, and October, at the call of the Chair or Executive Board, with notice given to all members. The Executive Board shall meet in between quarterly regular meetings in-person, or by teleconference or communicate by e-mail, as necessary, to carry on business of the organization.
Section 3. The Chair or a majority of the Executive Board may call a special meeting.
Section 4. County meetings will 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.
Section 5. County meetings, except as otherwise provided for by Rules adopted, shall be held pursuant to and in conformity with Roberts Rules of Order, as most recently revised.
Section 6. A quorum shall consist of 10 members. At least 60% 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 7. At least ten days in advance of the meeting date, an e-mail notice stating, the time, and place of the meeting shall be sent to each member. Any member who does not have e-mail capabilities must notify the Secretary at the time when he or she becomes a member and written notice shall be sent to that member.
ARTICLE V – VOTING PROCEDURES
Section 1. Voting privileges on all business that comes before the organization will be extended to all Voting Members in good standing, except that only elected or appointed PCOs may vote on the following:
a. Election or removal of the Chair, Vice Chairs, and delegates to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee.
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. Filling of County Council Member vacancies, if applicable.
d. Approval of PCO appointments.
e. Approval of amendments.
f. Endorsement of candidates and issues.
ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS
Section 1. The Officers of the organization, referred to as the Executive Board, shall be:
a. The Chair, who shall be the executive officer of the organization.
The Officers shall have the duties general to those offices and any specific duties set forth in these by-laws and any assigned by the Chair. Only elected or appointed PCO’s may vote for the Chair or Vice Chairs, State Committeeman and State Committeewoman.
b. The Vice Chairs, one each from San Juan/Stuart, Orcas/Waldron, and Lopez/Shaw, shall support the Chair in conducting the business of the organization.
c. The Secretary
d. The Treasurer
e. The State Committeewoman
f. The State Committeeman
g. The 40th Legislative District Vice Chair
Section 2. The Chair may appoint such further Officers as needed or the membership may do so by resolution that defines the office and sets the time for a vote. Such Officers may include deputy vice chairs to insure that the Executive Board has a balance from the various islands, a program chair, a sergeant at arms, press chair 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.
ARTICLE VII – REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Section 1. Any Officer who fails to attend four consecutive regular meetings may be removed from office by a vote of those eligible to vote for that Officer.
Section 2. Any Officer may be removed upon two-thirds vote of those eligible to vote, 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 – EXECUTIVE BOARD
Section 1. The Executive Board shall consist of the Officers listed in Article VI, Section 1.
Section 2. The Executive Board shall meet quarterly at the call of the Chair prior to the quarterly regular County meeting. The Executive Board may conduct its meetings and other business by e-mail and a record of such meeting will be made available to all members, by e-mail prior to the organization’s quarterly meetings and in writing at such meeting. Failure to respond to e-mail meetings subjects the Executive Board members to removal as set forth in ARTICLE VII above.
ARTICLE IX – COMMITTEES
Section 1. The Chair may establish committees and designate the chair and members thereof and the membership may establish committees by a majority vote at County meetings.
Section 2. The Chair or his designate shall be an ex officio member of all committees.
ARTICLE X – NOMINATIONS AND ENDORSEMENTS
Section 1. This organization may nominate or endorse candidates for local, county, state and national offices in the primary and general elections pursuant to the Charter of the State Democratic Party and its “Rules for the Selection of Candidates and Nominees for Public Office”, specifically Section VI “Threshold demonstration of party support required”, and any such other rules or regulations passed by the State Central Committee and pursuant to the applicable statutes of Washington State.
Section 2. The organization may endorse those non-partisan officers such as judicial candidates that may run for office in local, county, state and national elections.
Section 3. In order to ensure accountability and responsibility, the organization shall act collectively on all endorsements. Public endorsements of candidates or issues on behalf of San Juan County Democrats shall be made by the vote of the Central Committee (PCOs only as defined by Article V, Section D of the Charter of the Democratic Party of the State of Washington) at a regular or special meeting. Independently-elected PCOs may endorse candidates or issues as individual PCOs. Violation of this policy by any member of the Executive Board will be handled by immediate public retraction of any endorsement by the Central Committee as determined by the Executive Board.
Section 4. This organization may endorse any ballot measures.
Section 5. Except as described in the next paragraph, approval of all motions to endorse candidates and ballot measures shall require a 66-2/3% affirmative vote from among those elected and appointed PCOs who are present at either a regular or special meeting at which endorsements are on the agenda and at which motions to endorse are made, considered, and voted on. To be eligible to vote, PCOs must be present during the entire endorsement deliberation process, starting with candidate presentations, if any, and ending with voting.
For those specific elections of candidates or ballot measures where eligibility to vote is limited to residents of specific precincts or taxing districts, only PCOs resident in those specific districts or taxing districts shall be eligible to make motions to endorse, to second such motions, and to vote, with a simple affirmative majority vote required for approval. All other provisions of the prior paragraph shall apply.
Section 6. None, one, or more than one candidate may be endorsed for any office.
ARTICLE XI – FINANCIAL PROCEDURES
Section 1. The Executive Board shall develop and monitor the organization’s budget. The Treasurer shall prepare and provide for publication at the time of each e-mail the annual budget and year to date revenues, expenditures and balance.
Section 2. Contributions to nominated or endorsed candidates or ballot propositions shall be reviewed by the Executive Board prior to, and approved by the membership at, a County regular or special meeting. The Executive Board 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 County meeting.
Section 3. No money shall be paid from the funds of the organization except by check signed by the Chair, or the Vice Chairs, or the Treasurer.
Section 4. The Executive Board may require that the books be audited. The Executive Board shall establish an audit committee at the reorganization meeting made up of persons who are not the Chair, Vice Chairs, or Treasurer, to audit the books of the organization prior to the next general meeting; the results of such audit shall be reported to the membership prior to the next regularly scheduled County meeting.
ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENT
Section 1. These by-laws may be amended at any regular meeting, provided that the proposal 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.