Bylaws

BYLAWS OF THE BIG BEND DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS

A CHARTERED CHAPTER OF THE DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS OF FLORIDA

As Adopted 5/18/2017

ARTICLE I – NAME

The name of this Chapter shall be the Big Bend Democratic Progressive Caucus (hereinafter referred to as the “Chapter”), a chartered chapter of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida (hereinafter referred to as the “Caucus”).

ARTICLE II – PURPOSE

The purpose of this organization shall be to strengthen and maintain a relationship between the progressive community and the Democratic Party. The Chapter will build on the foundation of the progressive history of the Democratic Party to promote the continued development and growth of core progressive ideas and principles within the Democratic Party.

ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP

Democrats registered to vote in the state of Florida interested in the objectives of this Chapter shall be eligible for membership. No other residency restriction may be placed upon membership or the privileges of membership in this Chapter.  In accordance with Article VI of the Florida Democratic Party Bylaws, with the exception of the organizational meeting of this Chapter, those members permitted to vote in any Chapter election for officers must have been a member of the Chapter at least forty-five (45) days prior to the date of such election. Officers and Directors shall be required to execute the loyalty oath in the form included in the Bylaws of the Florida Democratic Party.

ARTICLE IV – DUES

Annual dues and levels of membership shall be determined by the Chapter Officers and Board of Directors and are payable to the Treasurer upon joining; and, thereafter, in advance on or before December 31 of each year. The Membership Committee will notify delinquent members when two (2) months in arrears. Those members who do not pay within 15 days of that notification will be placed on “inactive” status.  The voting privileges of members placed on “inactive” status will be suspended until the dues are paid.

ARTICLE V – OFFICERS

Section 1.  The Officers of the Chapter shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and other such officers as deemed necessary by the membership. Officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these bylaws.

Section 2.  All terms of office shall be for two (2) years. Officers shall be eligible to serve more than one term in the same office.

ARTICLE VI – DUTIES OF OFFICERS

Section 1.  The President shall preside at all meetings of the Chapter and the Board, of which the President is automatically Chairman; shall be an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee; shall appoint all the Standing and Special Committees and their Chairs; shall represent the Chapter at county, district and state functions; shall give guidance to the Committee Chairs in their work and shall perform all duties pertaining to the office of the President.

Section 2.  The Vice President shall render all possible assistance to the President in matters pertaining to the Chapter, and shall assume the office in the absence of, or inability of, the President to serve.

Section 3.  The Secretary shall keep an accurate record of all meetings of the Chapter and Board of Directors; shall maintain a current list of members with addresses, phone numbers and email addresses; and shall have a copy of the Chapter Bylaws with any amendments properly recorded. Any secretarial duties may be delegated, as a procedural matter, to staff or another Board of Directors member.

Section 4.  The Treasurer shall receive all monies of the Chapter; shall keep an accurate record of receipts and expenditures; shall present a statement of all income and all expenditures at each meeting occurring since the previous meeting of the Chapter, and at other times when requested by the Board of Directors; and shall pay out funds only as authorized by the Board. The Treasurer shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Budget and Finance Committee. The Budget and Finance Committee shall audit books of the Treasurer annually and report findings to the Chapter.

Section 5.  The creation of additional officers may be undertaken at the time these Bylaws are adopted or amended.

ARTICLE VII – MEETINGS

Section 1.  The Big Bend Democratic Progressive Caucus shall meet monthly, unless otherwise decided by the Chapter or by the Board of Directors.

Section 2.  Special meetings may be called by the President or a majority of the Board of Directors, with one week’s notice to the members. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call to meeting.

Section 3.  Twenty percent (20%) of the total membership shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any regular or special meeting.  A majority vote is required to carry motions.

Section 4.  All meetings shall be in a facility accessible to the physically disabled.  The Board of Directors may approve and adopt procedures to hold caucus meetings by remote conference, as may be required to efficiently conduct its business.

ARTICLE VIII – BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1.  There shall be a Board of Directors composed of the elected Officers, and a minimum of three (3) elected Directors.  Each Board member shall have one vote irrespective of the number of Board positions he or she may hold at that time.

Section 2.  The election of Directors shall be held every two (2) years, in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article IX.

Section 3.  The duties of the Board of Directors shall be to plan each meeting so as to be organized, to transact business of the Chapter in regular or special sessions, and to make recommendations to the Chapter. No act of the Board shall conflict with action taken by the Chapter.

Section 4.  Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held monthly, or at the request of the President, or at the request of three (3) Directors, and may be held by conference call or in person.

Section 5.  Thirty percent (30%) of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum.

ARTICLE IX – ELECTIONS

Section 1.  Officers and Directors shall be elected every two (2) years at a meeting held in the first quarter of the odd-numbered year, with the exception of the charter year.

Section 2.  The President, as Chairman, shall appoint a Nominating Committee at the final quarterly meeting of the Board of Directors in the year preceding the election. This Committee shall be composed of three (3) members who shall be appointed by the President.  This Committee shall present a candidate for each elective office at a meeting held in the first quarter of the odd-numbered year.  Additional nominations from the floor shall be in order at that time.

Section 3. The Nominating Committee shall notify the membership of the election of Officers and Directors at least 10 days prior to the first quarter meeting via electronic or regular mail.

Section 4.  With the exception of the organizational meeting, there shall be a forty-five (45) day membership requirement prior to a member being permitted to vote or participate in any Chapter election of Officers or Board members.

Section 5.  If a vacancy occurs in the office of the President, the Vice President shall become President.  Other vacancies occurring shall be filled by the Chapter at a regular meeting.

Section 6.  Voting for Officers and Directors must be by secret ballot.  Proxies and absentee voting are prohibited.

Section 7.  Any member may be removed from office upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the entire membership of the Chapter at any regular or special meeting after ten (10) days’ notice to the membership that a motion for the purpose of removal of said member will be considered at the regular or special meeting.  The removal may be for causes including, but not limited to, the following:  malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, and conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.

ARTICLE X – STANDING COMMITTEES

Section 1.  The Standing Committees shall report to the Board of Directors and shall be

  •   Budget and Finance
  •   Bylaws, Policies, and Procedures
  •   Campaign
  •   Membership
  •   Communications
  •   Legislative
  •   Outreach

Chairs of the Standing Committees shall be appointed by the President at the beginning of each calendar year or following the first quarterly meeting.

Section 2.  Duties of the Standing Committees:

  1. The Budget and Finance Committee shall prepare a budget for the upcoming fiscal year and submit it to the Board of Directors of the Chapter for adoption at its final meeting of the preceding calendar year; shall review the financial records of the Chapter and ensure accurate financial records are maintained for the Chapter; and shall perform a comprehensive annual audit of the Treasurer and report the findings to the Chapter.
  2. The Bylaws, Policies, and Procedures Committee shall recommend such changes to the Bylaws as may appear necessary and feasible and draft policies and procedures as requested by the Board of Directors.
  3. The Campaign Committee shall work with the State Caucus and the Florida Democratic Party toward the election of Democratic candidate nominees for the area covered by this Chapter, including local, state, and federal candidates.
  4. The Membership Committee shall ascertain that all persons wishing to be members are, in fact, registered Democrats, and organize and assist on membership campaigns.
  5. The Communications Committee shall see that all activities, including meetings, are advertised through the appropriate media, including social media and other online platforms, as well as develop digital and printed media for use in conjunction with advertising and training as requested by the Board of Directors.
  6. The Legislative Committee shall monitor pending legislation before the Florida Legislature, as well as local governing bodies, keep the Board of Directors informed and recommend actions to be taken by the Chapter on issues of importance at all levels of government.
  7. The Outreach Committee shall ensure that the activities of the Chapter are actively represented in Leon and surrounding counties, keep the Board of Directors informed and recommend actions to be taken by the Chapter on issues of importance to ensure Chapter activity in all surrounding counties.  They shall seek to build a coalition with, and promote solidarity amongst, existing local progressive groups by establishing and maintaining a local council for the purposes of coordinating issue‐based campaigns and events.
  8. The responsibilities of the Standing Committees, may be modified, expanded, and/or re-assigned from time to time by the Board of Directors as the need arises and circumstances require.

ARTICLE XI – ANTI-DISCRIMINATION PROVISION

The caucus hereby adopts and shall enforce the following anti-discrimination provisions:

Section 1. No Democratic Loyalty Oath shall be used which has the effect of requiring members of the Democratic Party to condone or support discrimination on the grounds of race, color, creed, sex, age, religion, economic status, ethnic identity, national origin, physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.

Section 2. The time and place for all general membership public meeting of Democratic party Caucus Chapters shall be publicized fully in such a manner as to assure timely notice to all interested persons, and shall be open to all members of the Democratic Party regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age, religion, economic status, ethnic identity, national origin, physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.

Section 3. In order to fully and adequately inform prospective and current members of a full description of the legal, practical and pertinent procedures for selection of all Democratic Caucus Chapter representatives and officers, the Chapter shall publicize such procedures fully in such a manner as to assure notice to all interested Democrats in time for them to have adequate opportunity to participate.

ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENTS

These bylaws may be amended by a majority vote at a regular meeting pursuant to notification to the membership in writing at least one week prior to the meeting. Bylaws and any changes or amendments are subject to and shall be submitted for approval by the Florida Democratic Party Committee on Clubs, Organizations, and Caucuses, together with copies of the Minutes of the meeting at which these amendments were adopted.

ARTICLE XIII – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

The most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Chapter in all cases to which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and the rules of the Florida Democratic Party and Democratic National Committee.

ARTICLE XIV – ACCOUNTABILITY

Section 1. In order to apply for, or maintain a Charter with the Florida Democratic Party, a Chapter must have a minimum of five (5) members of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, and a minimum of five (5) additional members in good standing of the local Chapter. A member in good standing is one whose State Caucus and/or local Chapter dues have been paid and are up to date.

Section 2. The Chapter shall pledge to abide by the Charter and Bylaws of the Florida Democratic Party, the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, the Florida Statutes and any other policies and procedures adopted by these entities. Failure to abide by the provisions of any one of these governing documents or the policies and procedures of the State Caucus may result in suspension or revocation of the Chapter’s charter.

Section 3. Charter Re-certification:  By July of each odd-numbered year, local Chapters should apply to the Florida Democratic Party for a Certificate of Compliance.  Failure to do so shall result in the forfeiture of all rights and privileges of the use of the word Democrat, Democratic, or derivative thereof.

Section 4.  Dissolution:  In the event this Chapter wishes to dissolve, a resolution stating the date of dissolution and the reasons for same shall be adopted by a majority vote of the Chapter after being submitted in writing at the previous meeting.  When the Chapter disbands for any reason, the Chapter’s assets and funds, after all debts are satisfied, shall become the property of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida.

Section 5.  Grievances:  Pursuant to Article VI of the Florida Democratic Party bylaws, disputes and grievances for Caucus Chapters should be submitted to the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida for resolution.

Article XV – ENDORSEMENTS

The State Caucus reserves the right to endorse Democratic candidates in state and federal elections once the qualifying period has ended. After qualifying has ended for a race, local chapters may endorse in local elections only after the proposed endorsement has been reviewed and approved by the State Caucus’ Campaign Committee.

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