Article I. Name
A. The name of the club shall be the STONEWALL YOUNG DEMOCRATS. The club will also be known by the acronym SYD.
Article II. Purpose
A. In recognition that the future of every society depends on its capacity for perpetual renewal, the STONEWALL YOUNG DEMOCRATS have formed so that every new generation of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex (LGBTI) community will take its place as equal citizens of society and members of the Democratic Party. STONEWALL YOUNG DEMOCRATS is open to all Democrats who wish to learn about and become involved with their community, bringing their unique and awakening voice, their new ideas, perceptions and dreams.
B. STONEWALL YOUNG DEMOCRATS is dedicated to the renewal and generational change of leadership in the LGBTI Community and in the Democratic Party. We respect and strive to learn from those who have come before us. We offer continuity for their visions and their values.
C. STONEWALL YOUNG DEMOCRATS shall act on both political issues and non-partisan issue advocacy. We recognize that our involvement in politics and the government is a powerful means to aid and improve society; but our organization can also lend a hand, helping people more directly. As important as it is for the health of society to have a perpetual debate and contest of ideas with other political parties, we shall also strive to find the commonalities that will allow us all to work together to improve the world.
D. STONEWALL YOUNG DEMOCRATS is chartered with the Democratic Party. We proudly celebrate that the Democratic Party has been our greatest champion and avenue for achieving political gain for the LGBTI community. We endeavor to share this legacy within the LGBTI community and reinforce our mutual ties.
E. STONEWALL YOUNG DEMOCRATS also seeks to bring our issues and concerns to the Democratic Party and to society. Our voices must be heard if we are to be represented as equal members in each. We proudly stand against discrimination, inequality and injustice; and our citizenship will strengthen our society and our Party.
F. STONEWALL YOUNG DEMOCRATS are citizens of many communities. We strive to further understand the cultures, the histories, the difficulties and the dreams of each of these communities; to be representative of them and to strive for justice and prosperity.
G. Finally, STONEWALL YOUNG DEMOCRATS recognize that we are ourselves a unique community. This organization provides a forum and a celebration of who we are: a unique and varied people, standing together, never alone, and never forgotten.
Article III. Membership
A. All members of the club shall be registered Democrats, or if ineligible to register must declare their intentions of doing so when eligible.
B. Voting Membership
1. In accordance with California Young Democrats bylaws, all voting members must be under the age of thirty-six (36) years.
a. Voting members under the age of eighteen (18) years must have presented acknowledgement of their involvement with Stonewall Young Democrats by a parent or legal guardian.
b. Guidelines and procedures for verifying this acknowledgement and confirmation of the acknowledgement will be handled by the Membership Committee.
2. Charter Membership: The original 11 members of Stonewall Young Democrats have the designation of being Charter Members. They are automatically full voting members for the first year (2004) and their dues requirement is waived. Beyond this designation there are no additional privileges of charter members. After their first year, charter members will be required to pay dues if they wish to retain full voting status. Upon reaching the age of 36 they will no longer have voting or representational privileges.
3. Active Membership: Individuals who are of qualifying age and who have paid may vote at any General Membership meeting, run for any of the elected offices, participate in committees, and represent SYD in Democratic events. An individual must be a member of good standing for a period of at least 45 days before voting in a meeting.
4. For both Charter and Active Members: Dues shall be paid annually at rates established by the Executive Board subject to ratification by the membership present at the next membership meeting for which due notice of the proposed change can be given. Upon joining Stonewall Young Democrats the rights of voice and motion shall be accorded. A grace period of thirty (30) days will be granted following expiration of membership during which a person may exercise all privileges of membership.
5. Persons shall not be required to pay past missed dues to re-establish membership after a lapse. However, if membership is re-established after the grace period has lapsed, the individual must be a member of good standing for a period of at least twenty-five (25) days before voting in a meeting.
6. Stonewall Young Democrats may opt to waive membership dues (and pay membership fees to Stonewall Democrats and the CA Young Democratic Club or any other affiliated or associated Democratic Clubs) at the discretion of the Executive Board.
C. Non-voting Membership
1. At-large Membership: Any person meeting age and Democratic registration requirements who wishes to be a member without paying dues shall be granted At-large membership. At-large members receive all privileges except the privileges of voting, filing and running for SYD office, representing Stonewall Young Democrats at any Democratic event, automatic membership into Stonewall Democratic Club or any other affiliated organization.2. Honorary Membership: Individuals who have attained thirty-six (36) years of age may hold honorary membership. Honorary members may attend meetings and events but otherwise they have no more privileges than at-large members.3. Patron: The class of Patron is effectively an honorary membership except that it holds a distinction of honor or recognition, either for financial contributions or for recognized excellence of service to Stonewall Young Democrats or to the cause or community of LGBTI Youth. Patron class membership will be approved by the Executive Board.
D. Membership lists.
1. Only the President and the Secretary shall possess copies of the membership list. Members of the Executive Board may request access to the club list when a written request is submitted to the President and the Secretary, copying the members of the Board.
2. The Club shall comply with the reporting requirements of the Democratic Party and all other affiliated organizations.
3. The Secretary shall insure the confidentiality of the membership computer files. He or she may authorize members of the Membership Committee to update the computer files for authorized purposes only.
4. Except as provided herein, authorization for access to the membership list shall only be granted by a majority vote of the Executive Board.
Article IV. Officers
A. Elected Officers
1. The elected officers of the Club shall be President, Operations Vice-President, Political Vice-President, Community Vice-President, Communications Vice-President, and Secretary, and the two members at-large.
a. The hierarchy of succession will follow the order as listed below.
b. The term of office for elected officers shall be 1 year.
c. The term will expire at the closure of the election meeting in which a new officer is elected.
B. Appointed Officers
1. The Appointed Officers are Controller and Parliamentarian. They will be appointed by the president and confirmed by a majority of the elected officers excluding the President.
2. Appointed Officers’ terms will expire after the election of new officers. The only exception to this is replacement elections for a vacant office.
C. A member may only hold one Officer position at a time.
D. In the event of a vacancy of the President, the Operations Vice-President will become the President. In the event of a vacancy of any other Elected Officer, the President may appoint an interim officer. In either case, a special election for a replacement will be held at the next duly noticed meeting.
E. An officer may be removed by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Executive Board.
F. The Officers of SYD, and in particular the Political Vice President, having been charged with the administration of the endorsement process, are primarily responsible for effectuating it to the benefit of the club, the community, and our endorsees. Maintaining the integrity of the process in the eyes of the community is a major element in the effectiveness of that endorsement. Accordingly, Officers of SYD shall, in all they do, whether in their capacity as officers, members of the Executive Board, or as individuals, seek to uphold and maintain the integrity of the process, and, to that end, shall not advocate for or against endorsement recommendations 24 hours prior to the meeting at which they are to be voted upon. As transparency is a major element of integrity, merely providing information about what the endorsement recommendation is, shall not be considered a violation of this rule, and is in fact encouraged.
G. The duties of the officers shall be as follows:
1. The President shall be the principal executive officer and spokesperson of the Club.
a. The President shall carry out the policies and be governed by the by-laws of the Stonewall Young Democrats and shall do everything necessary to carry into effect policies of this organization as voted upon by the membership.
b. If Stonewall Young Democrats does not have a Treasurer as per Article IX.A.7 the President shall appoint a professional Treasurer who may be compensated. Any compensation for the Treasurer must be approved by the Executive Board and the General Membership. No such contract for services shall extend beyond the end of term of the officers, unless approved by both the Executive Board and General Membership. The Treasurer need not be a member.
c. The President shall appoint Chairs, Co-Chairs, and at-large members including of all committees, except where those positions are explicitly held by officers as specified elsewhere in these bylaws. Appointments of committee Chairs, Co-Chairs, and at-large members must have consent of a simple majority of the Elected Officers excluding the President.
d. The President shall also appoint ad-hoc committees as necessary to the functioning of the club.
e. The President shall appoint the appointed officers upon approval of a majority of the elected officers excluding the President.
2. The Operations Vice-President shall do everything necessary to assist the President in the performance of his or her duties. In the event of vacancy of the office of the President or the absence or temporary disability of the President, the Operations Vice-President shall exercise all powers of the President.
a. The Operations Vice-President shall be in charge of the program and location of all general membership and Executive Board meetings of the Club.
b. The Operations Vice-President shall, in consultation with the president, determine the agenda for all General Membership meetings, to be amended and adopted at said meeting.
c. The Operations Vice-President shall be responsible for ensuring that enough copies of said agenda are made available at the meeting; shall ensure that all Committees are ready to report at Executive Board meetings; shall ensure that the Rules and Membership standing committees meet as necessary; and shall ensure the functioning of all ad-hoc committees unless reporting of said committee to another officer is expressly determined.
3. The Political Vice-President shall do everything necessary to assist the president in the performance of his or her duties. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the President and Operations Vice-President, or the absence or temporary disability of the President and the Operations Vice-President, the Political Vice-President shall exercise all powers of the President.
a. The Political Vice-President shall be in charge of all political activities of the Club, including development of a political platform, political position papers, coordination of political activities such as rallies, demonstrations, marches, candidate and issue forums, and distribution of political leaflets and election year slate cards.
b. The Political Vice-President shall supervise the activities of the Political Action committee.
4. The Community Vice-President shall do everything necessary to assist the President in the performance of his or her duties. In the event of a vacancy in the offices of the President and Operations and Political Vice-Presidents or the absence or temporary disability of the President and Operations and Political Vice-Presidents shall exercise all powers of the President.
a. The Community Vice-President shall be in charge of all community outreach activities of the Club, including visibility and participation in community functions, including pride events.
b. The Community Vice-President shall supervise the activities of the Social Events such as voter registration, Health Advocacy, Labor Advocacy and Education Advocacy committees.
5. The Communications Vice-President shall do everything necessary to assist the President in the performance of his or her duties. In the event of a vacancy in the offices of the President and Administrative, Political, and Community Vice-Presidents shall exercise all powers of the President.
a. The Communications Vice-President shall be responsible for the conduct of all press conferences and other media or press related events called or participated in by the Club; and shall also be responsible for issuing all press releases and other written communication with non-members and other organizations, including other Party organizations as approved by the Executive Board or the General membership.
b. The Communications Vice-President shall assist the Community Vice-President in coordination of community visibility efforts, especially as such efforts relate to the media.
c. The Communications Vice-President shall oversee the duties of the Communications Committee.
d. The Communications Vice-President shall in the vacancy, absence, or temporary disability of the Secretary, perform duties of that office.
6. The Secretary is responsible for all records of this organization, except for those records maintained by the Controller.
a. The Secretary shall maintain and archive all records, providing access to these records by the membership and Executive Board where access is permitted.
b. The Secretary shall be responsible for ensuring the confidentiality and security of membership lists and all materials whose security is specified in these bylaws or the standing rules.
c. The Secretary shall record and distribute the minutes of all membership and executive Board meetings.
d. The Secretary shall serve all required notices, maintain the membership roster, with current addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses and maintain the Club’s mailing lists.
e. The Secretary shall serve as a member of the Communications Committee.
7. The Controller is responsible for maintaining all financial records and reports of the club.
a. The Controller shall secure written reports within 48 hours from those responsible for all fund-raising activities.
b. The Controller shall report to the membership the current financial status of the club at all general membership meetings.
c. The Controller shall be responsible for the preparation of and timely financial reports as required by law.
d. The Controller shall be responsible for ensuring the confidentiality of all records and membership lists.
e. All financial records shall be subject to review by any officer upon reasonable notice.
f. The Controller shall serve as a member of the Fundraising Committee.
8. The Parliamentarian serves as an advisor to the President or the acting Chair in any membership meeting.
a. The Parliamentarian shall advise the Chair of the meeting in interpreting the rules and bylaws of the club and assuring the meeting follows appropriate parliamentary process. If asked, the Parliamentarian may similarly advise any member.
Article V. Nominations and Elections.
A. Officers are to be elected at a regular membership meeting with due notice of such election to all members whose dues are current. Due notice is defined in this instance as two week notice via e-mail notification.
B. Officers shall be elected in the order of hierarchy as previously described, starting with President.
C. At the September/October membership meeting, the President will form a Nominating Committee and appoint a chair of said committee, to be approved by the general membership. The chair and members of the committee may not run for any office. The committee will then start soliciting nominations for any and all offices to be elected. The committee will start reporting nominations at the November/December Executive Board meeting.
D. All members who have made intention known prior to the Executive Board meeting, before the November/December meeting, may submit—in writing or email—a single page, typed, candidate statement to be placed on the Club’s website.
E. At the January election, the nominating committee will report all nominations, ask for final nominations, and then close presidential nominations. Elections will then start for President.
1. Following the election of President, final nominations for Operations Vice-President will be held, and after its closing, election of Operations Vice-President will be held. This process will continue down the hierarchal line.
2. Following the election of all elected officers, the election of At-Large members to the Executive Board will be held.
F. Elections will be held as follows:
1. Elections will be overseen by the Chair of the Nominating Committee.
2. The Nominating Committee will present the procedures, guidelines and agenda for the upcoming election for review and approval of the Executive Board by the September/October Executive Board meeting. Upon approval the guidelines will be presented to the membership.
3. Voting for officers shall be on secret ballots. Each round of voting shall be on distinct ballots, (coded in some way, by color, letter, number, or any other predetermined way) pre-made by the secretary.
4. Distributing, collecting, and counting of the ballots will be made by people appointed by the nominating chair, and not running for any office. The counters will report the result to the nominating chair, which will announce a winner if a candidate receives a majority of votes cast, or a run-off of the top-two vote getters.
5. In the event of a three or more person tie for top vote getter, or in the case where one person is the top vote getter but does not achieve a majority and there is a tie for second place, all persons in the tie will go on to the run-off.
6. If, after the election has been reduced to two people, and a tie cannot be broken, new nominations and election will be held at the next meeting.
G. Upon the election of a new President, the Nominating Committee Chair will serve as the chair of a transition team to help transfer documents, accounts, etc. between outgoing and new President.
Article VI. Membership Meetings.
A. Bi-Monthly membership meetings shall be held. 7 day advance notice must be provided to members.
1. If a meeting cannot be held on the scheduled date, the Executive Board will select a replacement date and due notice will be given as to the change.
B. A printed agenda shall be made available and adopted at each meeting.
C. A quorum of the Executive Board must be in attendance for the meeting to be held.
D. Special membership meetings may be called at the discretion of 20% the membership or by a majority of the Executive Board with due notice given to all members.
Article VII. Executive Board.
A. The Executive Board shall be responsible for administrative, procedural, and political implementation of the club.
B. The Executive Board shall be composed of all officers.
1. Two At-large members will be elected during the November Officers elections, one of each gender.
2. The At-large members will be automatically removed upon failure to attend three consecutive Executive Board meetings.
3. Vacancies in At-large members to the Executive Board will be filled by election by the Executive Board.
C. The Executive Board will meet at least six times per year, determined by the President, with due notice to be given to all members.
D. Quorum at Executive Board meetings will be a majority of filled positions, four (4) of whom must be officers of the Club.
E. An emergency meeting of the Executive Board may be called by
1. The President,
2. Any three Officers of the club
F. Such meeting shall require reasonable notice to all members of the Executive Board.
G. Each member of the Executive Board will be afforded exactly one vote, even if that person holds multiple positions.
Article VIII. Committees.
A. Standing committees. The following are the standing committees of the club. Committee Chairs will be appointed by the President and confirmed by a majority of the Elected Officers, excluding the President, unless otherwise noted in these by-laws.
1. The Rules Committee keeps record of all standing rules voted on at general membership meetings. They also recommend new rules and bylaws as appropriate or directed by the general membership. The committee is also responsible for keeping the rules of Stonewall Young Democrats consistent with requirements of other organizations with which SYD are affiliated. The Parliamentarian is the chair of this committee. The Rules Committee reports to the Operations Vice President.
2. The Membership Committee is responsible for working with the secretary in maintaining and updating membership lists; communicating with members when it is time for membership renewal; setting and working toward reaching new-membership goals; and credentialing members at meetings. The Membership Committee reports to the Operations Vice President.
3. The Political Action Committee is responsible for planning and carrying out political activities of the club including events, position papers, resolutions, tabling, voter registration etc. The Political Action Committee shall assist the Political Vice President in writing and maintaining a SYD political platform to be approved by majority vote of the membership. The Political Action Committee reports to the Political Vice President.
4. The Social Events Committee is responsible for social events of the club, including but not limited to mixers in months where there is no membership meeting. The committee reports to the Community Vice-President.
5. The Health Advocacy Committee is responsible for club involvement in issues regarding health advocacy. It reports to Community Vice-President.
6. The Education Advocacy Committee is responsible for club involvement in issues regarding education advocacy. It reports to Community Vice-President.
7. The Labor Advocacy Committee is responsible for issues relating to labor, unions, etc. It reports to the Community Vice President.
8. The Communications Committee is responsible for club communications and press including but not limited to the website and meeting announcements. The Communications Vice-President is the Chair of this Committee.
9. The Fundraising Committee is responsible for club fundraising efforts. The committee works with the Controller to file fundraising reports. It reports to the Operations Vice-President.
B. Ad-Hoc committees may be formed at any time by the Executive Committee or the General Membership. Chairs are appointed by the President and approved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. They will report to the Operations Vice-President unless otherwise noted. Ad-Hoc committee may be time bound to certain events, and expire at the end of certain events. They may also be time bound to certain dates and expire after that date. They may be disbanded at any time by a vote of the executive committee or general membership. All Ad-hoc committees disband at the election of new officers.
C. Committee reports will be presented to the Executive Committee by each committee’s Chair. Where the committees mentioned in these bylaws may also report to a specific Vice-President who is responsible for facilitating the coordination, communication and consistency between similar committees.
D. The President may remove any Chairs or Co-Chairs of any committee, except where such positions are explicitly held by an Officer as specified in these bylaws. The removal may be blocked by a 2/3 vote of the elected Officers.
Article IX. Democratic Party affiliations
A. SYD shall comply with all rules and bylaws of the National, State and County Democratic Parties, California Young Democrats, and Los Angeles County Democratic Party.
B. SYD shall maintain affiliation with the California Young Democrats.
C. The meetings of Stonewall Young Democrats abide by the open meeting policy set forth by the Robert’s Rules of Orders. Thus, no meetings shall be restricted to anyone based on age, sexual orientation, race, disability and/or gender.
D. Stonewall Young Democrats financial documents are available for public viewing online at www.sos.ca.gov. Stonewall Young Democrats shall comply with all Campaign Finance Laws by retaining the services of a professional accounting firm.
E. The Chair of the Rules Committee shall file and maintain a current copy of the bylaws with the Secretary of Stonewall Young Democrats and shall provide notice of any proposed bylaw amendments to the President and Secretary of Stonewall Young Democrats in sufficient time to be reviewed at a regularly scheduled meeting for consideration or adoption.
Article X. Endorsements & Voting
A. Any person who supports to the Mission Statement of Stonewall Young Democrats, and pays dues may be a member, but only persons meeting the requirements of sections C and E may vote on election endorsements and club officers.
B. The three levels of memberships shall be:
1. Lifetime Membership $80 (up until the member reaches 36yrs of age)
2. Annual Membership $20 (up until the member reaches 36yrs of age)
3. Annual Student/Low Income $10 (up into 36yrs old)
C. Recurring Members: Membership shall be renewable annually on the day of the month in which a member joins the club. The date of joining shall be the date the President or Treasurer receives both the new membership dues and the signed Membership form. If mailed, the date of joining shall be the date the envelope containing both the new membership dues and the signed Membership form is postmarked in the envelope. Members shall renew within two months of expiration of their dues, otherwise they will no longer be entitled to vote on club matters. If dues are not paid within six months, the member shall be dropped from the membership list, and must join as a new member to resume membership privileges. Renewing memberships the day of an endorsement meeting are allowed, if they are within the grace period. A grace period of thirty (30) days will be granted following expiration of membership during which a person may exercise all privileges of membership.
D. Voting Privileges: Voting privileges for endorsements and on club officers become effective after an individual has joined the club 45 days prior to the club endorsement meeting.
E. Endorsement Panel: The Executive Board of Stonewall Young Democrats shall interview declared candidates for each race being considered. Any candidate who receives the majority of votes during deliberation is placed on the consent calendar to be ratified or pulled from consent.
F. Early Endorsement: The President and the Political Vice President comprises the early endorsement committee. They will report their recommendations to the executive board for approval. If the Executive Board approvs the recommendation of the early endorsement committee, the early endorsement recommendation will be placed on the consent calendar for the general membership for official club approval. The Stonewall Young Democrats will consider an early endorsement if you meet the following criteria:
1. Attending Stonewall Young Democrats hosted events and/or
2. Raising funds on behalf of the Stonewall Young Democrats and/or
3. Recruiting new members to the Stonewall Young Democrats.
G. Incumbents: Stonewall Young Democrats favorably view incumbents who actively engage with the club. Engagement can be defined by:
1. Attending Stonewall Young Democrats hosted events and/or
2. Raising funds on behalf of the Stonewall Young Democrats and/or
3. Recruiting new members to the Stonewall Young Democrats.
H. Endorsement Meeting: The membership will vote on whether to approve the consent calendar or pull races from the consent calendar. In order for a race to be pulled from consent, there must be 10 eligible voting members wishing to pull the race. The recommended candidate must achieve a simple majority to become the official candidate endorsed by Stonewall Young Democrats. In the case that the recommended candidate fails to gain a majority of the vote; the non-recommended candidate must achieve a 2/3rd majority voting threshold to receive the endorsement from Stonewall Young Democrats. If both votes fail then the automatic official position of Stonewall Young Democrats becomes a “No Endorsement”.
Article XI. Amendments.
A. These bylaws may be amended with a 75% vote of those present and voting at a regular membership meeting provided with a 30 day review period notice of the text of the amendment is given to the membership.
Article XII. Other Procedures.
A. Unless otherwise specified all rules, processes, procedures (including meetings) and other parliamentary issues are defined by the most recent official published version of Robert’s Rules of Order.
B. There shall be no proxy voting or absentee voting.