THE ELLICOTT CITY &WESTERN HOWARD DEMOCRATIC CLUB BY-LAWS
(Approved Version 9/11/2015)
Article I. NAME
The name of this club shall be the Ellicott City and Western Howard Democratic Club, herein referred to as ECWHDC.
Article II. PURPOSE
The goal of the ECWHDC is to proactively promote and support actions that will ensure that Howard County, the State of Maryland and the United States of America are governed in the best possible manner. We will take socially responsible actions consistent with our beliefs. We believe that this goal is best realized through active involvement in the Democratic Party. As such, the ECWHDC is created to accomplish the following things:
Sec. 1 We will educate ourselves and the community as well as debate, adopt positions and act on international, national, state and local issues.
Sec. 2 We will represent the needs, values and opinions of Democratic residents of Western Howard County to the best of our ability.
Sec. 3 We will adopt positions on ballot questions and actively support those endorsements and positions.
Sec. 4 We will take actions to stimulate interest and participation in voter registration and voting.
Sec. 5 We will support the objectives, principles, platforms and candidates of the Democratic Party, insofar as they meet with the objectives of the club.
Sec. 6 We will consider and may take actions to endorse Democratic candidates for election to public office. If fewer Democrats are seeking office than there are seats for that office, the ECWHDC may choose to endorse unaffiliated (or Independent) candidates for office. The ECWHDC also may choose to endorse candidates for non-partisan elective office.
Sec. 7 We will identify and encourage qualified Democrats to run for elected office, as well as take steps to develop and support their candidacy
Article Ill. VALUES
The ECWHDC has been created to promote good government. To accomplish this goal our club is structured and will be governed to reflect the following values:
Sec. 1 Our meetings will be open to all. Our membership will be open to all registered Democrats of Howard County and Carroll County, Maryland.
Sec. 2 Except as noted herein, ECWHDC meetings and votes will be governed by the most recent edition of Roberts Rules of Order to ensure that all members are treated fairly and that meetings are run openly, effectively and efficiently.
Sec. 3 The structure and actions of the ECWHDC will support the principles of equal opportunity irrespective of race, religion, sexual identity or orientation, disability, ethnic background, national origin, age and/or gender.
Article IV. MEMBERSHIP
Sec. 1 Voting membership in ECWHDC is open to those registered to vote as Democrats in Howard County and Carroll County upon payment of their annual dues.
Sec. 2 Each person seeking to be a voting member is required to complete a membership application that affirms that they are a registered Democrat in Howard County and Carroll County, Maryland. They also shall provide the President or his or her designee with the member's contact information, including his or her current address, phone number and E-mail address, if any.
Sec. 3 Associate membership, without voting privileges, is open to registered Democrats who are non-residents of Howard County and to residents of Howard County under the legal voting age, upon payment of their annual dues.
Sec. 4 Other non-voting membership categories may be established by a majority vote of those members present and voting at the ECWHDC annual meeting
Article V. DUES
Sec. 1 Annual dues shall be determined at the ECWHDC annual meeting.
Sec. 2 In 2007, such dues shall be payable on or before the annual meeting. Beginning in 2008, such dues shall be payable to the club annually for the year beginning on January 1 and ending the following December 31. Each member shall be sent a written notice that payment is due. Dues will be collected starting January 1.
Sec. 3 Dues will be collected from January 1 through December 31 and will not be prorated.
Article VI. VOTING
Sec. 1 Each voting member shall be entitled to one vote.
Sec. 2 A new member is eligible to vote at an Annual, General, or Special meeting seventy-two (72) hours after payment of dues on all matters except a motion calling for an endorsement of any candidate.
Sec. 3 A new voting member is eligible to participate in a vote to endorse candidates thirty (30) days after they have completed a membership application and paid their dues.
Sec. 3 A voting member is eligible to participate in a vote to endorse candidates thirty-five (35) days after they have completed a membership application and paid their dues and have attended at least one meeting in the same calendar year as a motion for endorsements.
Sec. 4 Proxy voting is allowed on all issues so long as the following procedural
steps are taken:
- A proxy vote must be delivered in writing or by e-mail in such a manner that it can be verified that the proxy vote is from the voting member.
- The proxy vote must be delivered both to the President and to the Secretary of the ECWHDC who will confirm in writing or be return e-mail that the proxy vote has been received.
- The proxy vote must be on a specific question. It may not be interpreted to apply to a related question.
Article VII. NOTICE
Sec. 1 Members are responsible for informing the President or his or her designee of any changes to the contact information submitted in their application for membership.
Sec. 2 Except as provided in Article VI, Section 3, notice shall be provided via E-mail, unless the member has invoked Article VIII, Section 3 or has no E-mail.
Sec. 3 All members have the right to elect notification by first class mail instead of E-mail by notifying the President or his or her designee in writing or in person that he or she is electing notification by first class mail.
Article VIII. ENDORSEMENTS
Sec. 1 Adoption of a motion calling for endorsement of any candidate shall be by secret ballot and shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of those members present and voting. Proxy votes will be considered to be the same as those of a member present and voting so long as they meet the requirements of Article VI, section 4.
Sec. 2 Notice of endorsement meetings for a scheduled public election, regular or special, shall be given to all members at least ten (10) days in advance of such meeting.
Sec. 3 The club shall not endorse more candidates for any office than the number to be elected. If more candidates, than can be elected, receive the affirmative vote of a majority of members present who are eligible to vote, the candidates receiving the most votes for each open position shall be endorsed. If there is a tie for the last position between two or more candidates, a run-off ballot shall determine the winner from among those candidates.
Sec. 7 Adoption of a motion taking a position on a ballot question shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of those members present. Proxy votes will be considered to be the same as those of a member present and voting so long as they meet the requirements of Article VI, section 4.
Sec. 8 Additional rules for any endorsement meeting may be adopted at any membership meeting prior to the date of the endorsement meeting, as long as such changes do not conflict with these By-laws. A copy of such rules shall be provided to all candidates seeking endorsement and to all club members.
Sec. 9 If the endorsement meeting is canceled due to inclement weather, the meeting shall be rescheduled by the Chair of the Endorsement Committee and the President of the club. Members and candidates shall be notified of the new date at least ninety-six (96) hours prior to the rescheduled endorsement meeting.
Article IX. MEETINGS
Sec. 1 There shall be an annual meeting each June for the purpose of electing officers and setting dues levels of the ECWHDC. The meeting shall be announced to voting members at least twenty (20) days in advance of said meeting.
Sec. 2 General membership meetings shall be held at least eight (8) times per year in as many months, as determined by a simple majority vote of the Executive Board, upon twenty (20) days notice to the general membership of the club.
Sec. 3 Special meetings shall be held as determined by the President, by a simple majority of the Executive Board or by a petition of at least ten percent ( 10%) of the member of the club as presented to the President, and provided that notice is given at least seventy-two (72) hours in advance of said meeting.
Sec. 4 The Executive Board shall meet at least eight (8) times per year in as many months, as determined by the President, upon seven (7) days notice to the Executive Board members.
Article X. EXECUTIVE BOARD
Sec. 1 The Executive Board shall be composed of the officers (see Article XII),
the immediate past president, and the Chairpersons of the Standing Committees.
Sec. 2 All Executive Board meetings shall be open to all voting members of ECWHDC.
Sec. 3 A quorum of the Executive Board shall be a simple majority of all Executive Board members.
Sec. 4 Action by the Executive Board shall be reported to the membership no later than the next club meeting.
Article XI. ELECTIONS
Sec. 1 The election of Officers and Board members shall be held at the Annual meeting each June.
Sec. 2 Beginning in 2008, a nominating committee of at least three (3) and no more than seven (7) voting members, who are not currently officers, of ECWHDC shall be appointed by the President and approved by a simple majority vote of the Executive Board at least thirty (30) days before the Annual meeting. For 2007, the nominating committee shall be selected by those present and voting at the meeting at which these by-laws are adopted.
Sec. 3 The Nominating Committee shall seek and nominate persons for each office.
Sec. 4 The Nominating Committee shall notify voting members of the nominations in the written notification of the annual meeting. Every member seeking office shall be listed.
Sec. 5 Additional nominations for the officers may be made from the floor at the Annual Meeting.
Sec. 6 If an election is contested, the voting shall be by secret ballot. If there is no majority, there will be a run-off between the two nominees with the most votes. No discussion shall precede any run-off election.
Sec. 7 All officers of the club shall be elected for one year, and their term of office shall begin at the end of the Annual meeting.
- Article XII. OFFICERSSec. 1 The officers of the club shall be President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. When the membership elects a new President, the Immediate Past President shall also become an officer of the ECWHDC, so long as he/she is still a voting member in good standing.
Sec. 2 Duties of the officers:
- The President shall preside over all meetings of the club and shall be the official spokesperson for the club.
- The Vice-President shall preside at all meetings during the absence of the President or at the President's request; and shall assume the Presidency should the President resign or be removed from office.
- The Treasurer shall keep all club records related to membership, dues and general finances; make a report at each-Executive Board meeting or any other time the President requests; pay any obligation under $100.00 and any expenditure over this amount which has been approved by the membership at any meeting.
- The Secretary shall record the minutes of all Executive Board meeting and any other meeting as requested by the presiding officer; send out meeting notices; draft club correspondence for the President's signature; report mail correspondence received; and keep all non-treasury records of the club.
Sec. 3 Eligibility to hold office shall not be limited by the holding of positions in other organizations.
Sec. 4 The officers of the club, shall, at the June meeting, propose to the membership the Standing Committee Chairpersons, not to exceed 5 in number, and to include ways and means, issues/platform, voter services, membership and communications. Nominees for these committee chair positions need to be approved by majority vote of those voting members present and voting at the June meeting.
ARTICLE XIII. VACANCIES
The President shall, with the approval of a majority of the Executive Board, nominate voting member(s) of ECWHDC to fill vacancies on the Executive Board, including officers other than President. The member shall assume the position upon approval by a simple majority vote of the members present and voting at a meeting called for this purpose. At least twenty (20) days notice of said meeting will be provided to the voting membership of the ECWHDC by mail or e-mail.
ARTICLE XIV. RECALL
Sec. 1 Any officer may be recalled for nonfeasance, malfeasance or misfeasance by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of those members present and voting at a General or Special meeting of the membership, provided that notice of such recall action shall have been given in writing by first class mail, to allow said officer to respond in writing, at least twenty (20) days before said meeting. Notice of the proposed recall action shall also be provided to the membership at least 20 days prior to said meeting via mail or email.
Sec. 2 Any officer who is no longer a registered Democrat in Howard County, MD shall be removed from office and from voting membership in the club upon confirmation of changed registration, from the Howard County Board of Elections.
Sec. 3 Any Standing Committee Chairperson may be removed for nonfeasance, malfeasance or misfeasance by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of those members present and voting at a General or Special meeting of the membership, provided that notice of such recall action shall have been given in writing by first class mail, to allow said officer to respond in writing, at least twenty (20) days before said meeting. Notice of the proposed recall action shall also be provided to the membership at least 20 days prior to said meeting via mail or e-mail.
ARTICLE XV. COMMITTEES
Sec. 1 The Executive Board or club membership may establish additional Standing Committees as part of the Standing Rules by a simple majority vote.
Sec. 2 A member is eligible to serve as a committee chairperson if he or she has been a voting member in good standing of ECWHDC
Sec. 3 A standing committee chairperson who is also an officer of the club is only entitled to one vote, and shall not be considered to be a standing committee chairperson with authority to vote
ARTICLE XVI. AMENDMENTS
Sec. 1 These By-Laws shall be amended at any General, Special, or Annual membership meeting by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present and voting.
Sec. 2 The proposed language of such amendments must be provided to voting members by mail or e-mail at least twenty (20) days before the meeting at which they will be considered.
Sec. 3 The By-Laws shall be printed in their entirety, dated, and distributed to every member of the club by the Secretary, not later than twenty (20) days after any meeting at which the By-Laws have been amended in any substantive way.
ARTICLE XVII. QUORUM
No action may be taken at any Annual, General, Special or Endorsement membership meeting unless at least ten (10%) of the voting members are present.
ARTICLE XVIII. STANDING RULES
The Executive Board may establish and amend Standing Rules by a simple majority vote of the Board. These rules shall not contradict the ECWHDC By-Laws or the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order.