Bylaws of the Coastside Democrats
Approved on March 10, 2005
As amended Aug 7, 2014, at the General Membership Meeting
Article I: Name and Affiliation
Section 1. This organization shall be known as the Coastside Democrats, herein after referred to as the “Club”.
Section 2. This Club shall be affiliated with the San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee, herein after referred to as the SMCDCC.
Article II: Purpose
Section 1. A purpose of this Club is to support the candidates of the Democratic Party.
Section 2. An equal purpose of this Club is to support the principles of:
honest and transparent government and elections
equal and inclusive opportunity and justice for all Americans
government benefiting all citizens, not just the wealthy
full respect for our natural environment and international treaties
public health and education, women’s rights and the welfare of seniors
outreach to youth and all ethnic communities
Article III: Membership
Section 1. Membership in the Club is open to all registered Democrats who live or work in San Mateo County.
Section 2. People who are not registered Democrats but support progressive causes may become nonvoting Friends of the Coastside Democrats and participate in Club activities.
Section 3. Membership may not be limited due to race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, ethnic identity, physical ability, sexual orientation or economic status.
Section 4. The membership year starts on May 1.
Section 5. Membership dues must be current in order to vote at any meeting.
Membership will lapse if dues are more than 90 days past due.
Article IV: Dues
Section 1. The dues schedule shall be proposed by the Board and approved by majority vote of the membership.
Section 2. All dues are due and payable on the first day of the membership year.
Article V: Officers
Section 1. The elected officers of the Club shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Any member of the Club may run for office.
Section 2. The Executive Board, herein after called the “Board”, consists of the elected officers, and 3 elected At-Large members.
Section 3. All elected positions shall be for a term of one year.
Section 4. The duties of the Board shall be to determine the programs and activities of the Club and to distribute a newsletter to all members.
Section 5. The duties of the officers are:
President. The President shall be the presiding officer at all General Meetings and at meetings of the Board. The President is responsible for assuring that the programs and directives of the Board are carried out. The President is an ex-officio member of all committees. The President may delegate authority as it appears prudent. The President is the official Club spokesperson.
Vice President. The Vice President shall preside at any meetings where the President is absent or when requested by the President. The Vice President shall assist the President as otherwise mutually agreed upon.
Secretary. The Secretary shall keep the minutes of each Membership Meeting and each Board Meeting. The Secretary shall distribute the previous Board minutes prior to each Board Meeting. The Secretary shall prepare and distribute Club correspondence as directed by the Board or other officer and shall receive correspondence from other sources.
Treasurer. The treasurer shall maintain the books and financial records of the Club and shall prepare a Treasurer’s report for each meeting of the Board. The Treasurer shall maintain the Club’s bank Account and shall receive and disperse Club funds. The Treasurer shall maintain the membership rolls for the Club and shall prepare the reports needed to maintain our affiliation.
Article VI: Meetings
Section 1. The Annual Meeting of the membership shall be held in the first month of the membership year for the purpose of the election of officers and At Large Board members. The President shall make a report on the activities of the Club for the past year. There will then be an opportunity for all members to discuss the future direction of the Club.
Section 2. General Meetings shall be held at least quarterly. The time and place shall be set by the Board.
Section 3. Special Meetings may be called by any two members of the Board or by the President with at least 7 days notice to the membership.
Section 4. A quorum must be present to conduct business at the Annual, General or Special Meeting of the membership. A quorum shall consist of the greater of 10% or 8 paid up members, and must include at least one officer.
Section 5. Board Meetings shall be held at least every other month. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Board, including at least two officers. A quorum must be present to conduct Board business.
Section 6. The Board may conduct emergency meetings via electronic mail if a regular meeting cannot be conducted because of the urgency of a matter before the Board. Decisions made via electronic mail must be approved by 2/3 of the Board.
Section 7. The time and place of all Membership and Board Meetings shall be set by the Board.
Article VII: Elections
Section 1. Elections shall be held at the Annual Meeting.
Section 2. The Board shall appoint a Nominating Committee no later than 45 days prior to the Annual Meeting. The Nominating Committee shall report their nominations for all Board positions to the membership no later than 30 days prior to the election. Multiple nominations for any position are allowed.
Section 3. Nominations may be made by any three members and submitted to the Nominating Committee.
Section 4. Nominations may be made from the floor, with two seconds, at the Annual Meeting.
Section 5. Nominees must agree to serve.
Section 6. All members must be present to vote and must have been a member for at least 30 days prior to the election.
Section 7. The election of officers and At Large Board members shall be by secret ballot. Ballots shall be counted using an Instant Runoff method. A Tellers Committee shall be appointed by the President which shall not contain any persons running for office.
Article VIII: Resignation and Removal from Office
Section 1. Any officer or At-Large Board member may be removed from office by vote of the membership at a General or Special Meeting. Complaints must be submitted in writing to any Board member. The complaints against such a person must be sent to the membership at least 14 days prior to the meeting date at which the removal is to be voted upon. Removal of a Board Member must be voted on at a meeting of the membership where a quorum is present. Prosecution and defense for the removal of a Board Member shall be given at least 5 minutes each to present their positions. The vote to remove must be by a 2/3 majority of those members present.
Section 2. Any officer or At-Large Board member may be removed from office by majority vote of the Board for:
Registering in a party other than the Democratic Party
Endorsing a candidate that is not a registered Democrat only when the Club has already endorsed a candidate for that position
Missing three consecutive Board meetings
Engaging in conduct deemed to be unbecoming during the execution of Club business
Section 3. The Board may appoint a member to fill the unexpired term of a resigned or removed Board member, or may call a special election.
Article IX: Rules and Procedures
Section 1. The rules to be followed at membership and Board meetings shall be Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised. Should these bylaws conflict with those rules, these bylaws shall prevail. Should the Bylaws of the SMCDCC conflict, the SMCDCC bylaws shall prevail.
Article X: Committees
Section 1. There shall be the following Standing Committees:
Membership – responsible for supporting the membership
Program – responsible for planning Membership meetings and activities
Legislation – responsible for informing the membership about relevant political matters
Publicity – responsible for informing the public and membership about Club activities
Finance – responsible for producing and monitoring a yearly Club budget.
Section 2. Ad hoc committees may be created by any elected officer. Ad hoc committees may be disbanded by the officer who created them or by 2/3 vote of the Board.
Section 3. The Chairs of the Standing and Ad Hoc Committees shall be nominated by the President and approved by majority vote of the Board provided a quorum is reached. The Chairs may recruit additional committee members from among the Club membership.
Section 4. The purpose and function of the committees shall be approved by the Board.
Section 5. All committee chairs shall report the activities of their committees at each Board Meeting, in person or by written report.
Section 6. Committee members shall publish their reports on the Club website.
Article XI: Finances
Section 1. The Treasurer shall maintain a checking account in the name of the Club.
Section 2. The President and the Treasurer shall be signatories on the Club checking account. Only one signature shall be required on each check, except that two signatures shall be required for check amounts over $400.
Section 3. The Board may instruct the Treasurer to open additional accounts as the Board sees fit.
Section 4. The Treasurer shall distribute an up-to-date financial report at each Board Meeting. The Treasurer shall also submit an annual report to the membership at the Annual Meeting.
Section 5. In the event of dissolution of this Club, all Club assets shall revert to the SMCDCC.
Section 6. The Treasurer is the Chair of the Finance Committee and is responsible for ensuring that expenditures are made consistent with the budget. If changes are needed, the Treasurer will first get approval from the Board.
Article XII: Endorsements
Section 1. Only one registered Democrat per contested position may be endorsed in a voter-nominated top-two open primary.
Section 2. Only one registered Democrat per contested position may be endorsed for office in a general election.
Section 3. The California Democratic Party endorses in statewide elections for candidates and propositions. The Club may vote to concur with these endorsements or remain neutral.
Section 4. Only the San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee (SMCDCC) may endorse candidates and measures in non-partisan local elections. The Club may vote to recommend the endorsement of one registered Democrat per contested position running for local office to the SMCDCC. The Club may vote to recommend endorsement of local measures to the SMDCC.
Section 5. If the SMDCC does not vote on a local ballot measure and a general membership meeting is not held, the Club Board may vote to endorse a local ballot measure, but not candidates. Club Board endorsement for local ballot measures must pass by a 60% majority.
Section 6. Club endorsements and recommendations must be approved at an official meeting of the membership by at least 60% of those voting for that individual candidate, proposition, or measure.
Section 7. The membership shall be notified at least 15 days prior to an endorsement meeting.
Article XIII: Resolutions
Section 1. The Club will from time to time take positions on local, state, and national legislation.
Section 2. The Club may also take positions on other issues.
Section 3. A resolution on issues may be submitted to the membership by the Executive Board or by a petition signed by six or more members.
Section 4. A resolution must be approved at an official meeting of the membership by a majority of those voting.
Article XIV General Policies
Section 1. All membership meetings of this Club shall be open to the public, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, ethnic identity, physical ability, sexual orientation or economic status.
Section 2. All Board meetings are open to the membership.
Section 3. The activities of this Club shall be as open to the public as possible, consistent with a reasonable degree of decorum, as determined by the President.
Section 4. These Bylaws and all Annual reports shall be available to the public.
Section 5. Membership and Newsletter lists shall not be disseminated or used for non-Club business without Board approval.
Article XV: Amendments
Section 1. Amendments to these Bylaws may be submitted to the Board by any two Board members or by any 5 members.
Section 2. Proposed amendments must be distributed to the membership at least 14 days prior to a vote by the membership.
Section 3. Proposed amendments must be voted on at a meeting of the membership where a quorum is present. Proponent and opponents to the amendment shall be given at least 5 minutes each to present their positions.
Section 4. Voting on amendments shall be by secret ballot. Amendments must receive a 2/3 vote of approval from the members present to pass.
Section 5. Amendments take effect immediately upon approval.