(These bylaws were last amended August 2021.)
Jump to section:
- Article I: Name
- Article II: Policies
- Article III: Membership
- Article IV: Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs)
- Article V: Officers and Duties
- Article VI: Executive Board
- Article VII: Vacancies
- Article VIII: Removal of Officers
- Article IX: Membership Meetings
- Article X: Endorsements
- Article XI: Committees
- Article XII: Finances
- Article XIII: Amendments and Miscellaneous Provisions
This organization is established to promote the values and principles of the Democratic Party, to support its candidates, to educate the residents of the 45th Legislative District about the Party’s goals and activities, and to extend opportunities to participate in the Party to all Democrats in the District.
Article I: Name
The name of this organization shall be the 45th District Democrats.
Article II: Policies
- Section 1. This organization operates under the applicable bylaws and rules of the King County Democratic Central Committee (hereafter KCDCC), the Washington State Democratic Central Committee (hereafter WSDCC), the Democratic National Committee (hereafter DNC), and the laws of Washington State.
- Section 2. It is the policy of this organization to contribute to the growth, development and influence of the Democratic Party and to increase the Party’s effectiveness and inclusiveness by guaranteeing maximum participation, equal representation and equal treatment for all.
- Section 3. This organization supports the platform of the Democratic Party and those candidates and Democratic nominees who, by their records and their reputations, are in general agreement with that platform.
Article III: Membership
- Section 1. The membership of this organization consists of all elected, appointed, and acting 45th District Democratic Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) and district residents who are at least sixteen years of age, declare themselves to be Democrats, and pay dues.
- Section 2. PCOs are not required to pay membership dues but are encouraged to do so. All members are accorded equal privileges except as provided for in these bylaws or as required by state law.
- Section 3. The district may establish annual dues at its biennial reorganization meeting or at a subsequent monthly membership meeting.
- Section 4. The effective date when an individual becomes a member is the earliest of:
- (a) The date when their term of office as an elected PCO begins;
- (b) The date when the 45th District Democrats recommend their appointment as an Acting PCO or Appointed PCO;
- (c) The date when applicable dues are paid, if the individual was a voting member during the previous calendar year; or
- (d) Seven days after paying applicable dues
- Section 5. An individual shall cease to be a member:
- (a) as of the date they are no longer a PCO, unless they have paid dues for the applicable member year; or
- (b) as of January 31st each new year if no dues payment has been received for that calendar year within the previous sixty days; or
- (c) upon their death; or
- (d) immediately following a vote in favor of their expulsion by a majority of the membership.
- Section 6. Members shall not use any title of office or identify themselves as representing the 45th District unless authorized by the membership or the executive board.
- Section 7. A member’s privileges may be temporarily suspended with cause for a specified period of time by an affirmative vote of a majority of the membership.
- Section 8. Motions to suspend or expel a member may only be made at a properly noticed meeting following a finding by the executive board or a disciplinary body appointed by the Chair that the member has violated the adopted code of conduct or behaved inappropriately. A member facing a suspension or expulsion motion must be notified at least seven days in advance of the meeting that such a motion will be introduced and considered.
- Section 9. Elected and appointed precinct committee officers may neither be suspended nor expelled, but the membership may consider and adopt a motion asking a precinct committee officer to resign.
- Section 10. The Executive Board may waive dues and extend annual membership status to any person for whom the payment of dues would constitute a hardship.
Article IV: Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs)
- Section 1. KCDCC rules and bylaws govern the appointment of PCOs.
- Section 2. An appointed PCO supersedes an acting PCO, who may or may not reside in the precinct. A primary task of each acting PCO is to recruit a precinct resident to file for PCO.
- Section 3. Applications for acting and appointed PCOs are considered at regular district meetings. A prospective PCO must be in attendance at the meeting where their application is acted upon.
- Section 4. Applications for acting and appointed PCOs are voted on one at a time. When only one person applies for PCO in a precinct, a vote of raised credentials is taken to direct the Chair to recommend that individual to the County Chair unless there is a request for a written ballot. Every application for PCO presented to the organization at a regular membership meeting must be approved or denied at that meeting and cannot be tabled or postponed.
- Section 5. Approval of any person to the position of acting or appointed PCO requires a majority of those present and eligible to vote. The District Chair is responsible for sending all recommendations to KCDCC in a timely manner.
- Section 6. By a two-thirds vote at a regular meeting, the organization may temporarily delegate to the Executive Board the power to recommend to KCDCC the acting and appointed PCOs in the following month, provided the procedures of this article are otherwise followed. Delegation of this power is appropriate in a situation of heightened activity and impending deadlines (as for caucuses).
- Section 7. Only elected and appointed PCOs may participate in a special nominating caucus to select candidates for appointment to fill a vacancy for state representative or state senator in this district.
- Section 8. A precinct is deemed vacant if the elected PCO or appointed PCO dies, resigns from office; ceases to be a registered voter; or ceases to reside in the precinct from which the PCO was elected or appointed.
- Section 9. A PCO is considered to have resigned from the position upon written resignation directed to the organization, termination of registration to vote in the precinct which they represent, or any other manner declared by the Revised Code of Washington.
- Section 10. The Chair must electronically transmit notice of any PCO resignations to the district membership within seven days of receipt. The Chair must also announce any PCO resignations at the next membership and executive board meetings.
- Section 11. No PCOs may be recommended to the County Chair between the certification of the general election in even numbered years and the reorganization meeting following the general election.
Article V: Officers and Duties
- Section 1. The officers of this organization are the Chair, First Vice Chair, Second Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, two representatives with different genders to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, two representatives with different genders to the King County Central Democratic Committee’s executive board, two alternates with different genders to the King County Central Democratic Committee’s executive board, one delegate to the King County Young Democrats, and one alternate to the King County Young Democrats. Terms of office are for two years, commencing at the 45th District’s biennial reorganization meeting.
- Section 2. Any district resident who considers themselves to be a Democrat and is willing to be known as a Democrat is eligible to be nominated, elected and serve in any elected officer position (although some positions may be subject to age and gender limitations). Except for the positions of treasurer and secretary and any additional executive board positions created in accordance with these bylaws, electors for district officers shall be the elected and appointed PCOs for precincts in the district.
- Section 3. An individual may concurrently serve in up to two elected officer positions, except that an individual shall not concurrently serve in more than one of the following elected officer positions: Chair, First Vice Chair, Second Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. A person serving in more than one officer position shall retain only one vote on the Executive Board.
- Section 4. Additional officers may be elected by the membership from time to time to fill posts suggested or required by applicable rules and laws. Unless state or county bylaws restrict voting on a particular position to PCOs, all members shall be eligible to cast votes in such officer elections.
- Section 5. The Chair is the executive officer of the organization. The Chair presides at all meetings, appoints all committee chairs and committee members, serves as the district’s spokesperson, and performs all duties customarily carried out by the executive officer of an organization.
- Section 6. The First Vice Chair serves in the absence or incapacity of the Chair, acts as a third Alternate Delegate or an alternate to the Chair at KCDCC, and performs other duties as directed by the Chair. The First Vice Chair does not automatically succeed the Chair if that office becomes vacant.
- Section 7. The Second Vice Chair serves in the absence or incapacity of the First Vice Chair and performs other duties as directed by the Chair. However, the Second Vice Chair does not serve as a fourth alternate delegate or as alternate to the Chair at KCDCC, and does not automatically succeed the First Vice Chair if that office becomes vacant.
- Section 8. The Secretary records the minutes of all district meetings, distributes copies of the minutes to the executive board, prepares a summaries of minutes to be transmitted electronically to the membership, and performs other duties as directed by the Chair.
- Section 9. The Treasurer is responsible for the safekeeping of the organization’s funds, preparing checks for disbursement of funds, making monthly reports to the memberships, submits an annual report on the district’s fiscal health, and performs all functions normally attendant on the office, including strict adherence to the reporting requirements of Washington’s public disclosure laws.
- Section 10. Delegates and alternates to KCDCC represent the district organization at each meeting of the County Central Committee and report back to the membership. Two individuals with different genders serve as delegates, and two additional individuals with different genders serve as alternate delegates from the district organization. An alternate delegate is seated in the absence of a delegate or in the absence of the District Chair if the First Vice Chair is unable to attend.
- Section 11. Representatives to the WSDCC represent the District organization at each meeting of the State Central Committee and report back to the membership. Two individuals with different genders serve as representatives from the District organization.
- Section 12. In addition to committee chairs, the Chair may appoint the following non-voting officers; Parliamentarian and Sergeant-at-Arms.
Article VI: Executive Board
- Section 1. The District Executive Board is composed of all elected District officers and the chairs of all standing committees. Standing committee chairs are appointed by the District Chair at the biennial reorganization meeting or thereafter as needed. Appointments are subject to ratification by either a majority of the membership present and voting at a membership meeting, or by a majority of the executive board present and voting at an executive board meeting.
- Section 2. The Executive Board meets on a regular basis for the purpose of planning and directing the policy and activities of the organization. Meetings are called by the Chair or at the request of a majority of the members of the executive board. These meetings are open to all members of the district organization.
- Section 3. Regular meetings of the executive board shall ordinarily be held nine days in advance of regularly scheduled membership meetings, but may be canceled or moved to a different time or venue if circumstances warrant, provided that members of the organization are notified of the changes at least twenty-four hours in advance. Special meetings of the executive board may likewise be called at any time by the Chair, provided that members of the organization are notified at least twenty-four hours in advance.
- Section 4. Any regular or special meeting of the executive board may be held electronically, provided the meeting is conducted using a conferencing medium that allows all participating members to clearly hear each other in real time. Roll call votes must be taken and recorded on any and all motions considered by the board at an electronic meeting. Instructions for joining the meeting must be provided to all members of the executive board at least twenty-four hours in advance. Members of the organization must be notified at least twenty-four hours in advance that they have the opportunity to participate in the electronic meeting. Upon receiving a request to participate from a member in good standing, the Chair shall provide the instructions for joining the electronic meeting. To govern its electronic meetings, the board shall adopt rules specifying the type of equipment or software required for participation, contingency procedures to address technical difficulties or malfunctions, and methods for seeking recognition, obtaining the floor, and making written motions.
- Section 5. If a member of the executive board who is not able to physically travel to the venue of an in-person meeting wishes to participate electronically, the Chair shall attempt to reasonably accommodate that individual’s request. That individual’s participation in the meeting may only count towards a quorum if they can clearly hear the proceedings of the meeting from their remote location and can be clearly heard by those boardmembers physically present for the meeting.
- Section 6. The Executive Board is responsible for the preparation of an annual budget. Approval of the budget requires a simple majority of those present and voting at a regular membership meeting.
- Section 7. A majority of the Executive Board constitutes a quorum at its meetings.
Article VII: Vacancies
- Section 1. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Chair, the First Vice Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair until the election of a new Chair. A new Chair shall be elected by the elected and appointed PCOs at a special election at the next regular meeting after adequate notice is published . Notice of the special election must be published at least seven days before the meeting at which the special election will take place.
- Section 2. Vacancies in other elected positions may be filled by temporary appointment of the Chair until a special election at the next regular meeting after adequate notice is provided. Notice of the special election must be published at least seven days before the meeting at which the special election will take place.
Article VIII: Removal of Officers
- Section 1. Upon petition for removal signed by at least one-third of the elected PCOs, the District shall consider the removal of the Chair. The Chair may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the elected PCOs present and voting at a regular or special membership meeting, not counting abstentions.
- Section 2. Upon petition for removal signed by at least one-third of all elected and appointed PCOs, the District shall consider the removal of any officer aside from the Chair. Officers except for the chair may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the elected and appointed PCOs present and voting at a regular or special membership meeting, not counting abstentions.
- Section 3. A petition for removal must be published at least seven days before the meeting at which the removal of an officer or member of the Executive Board will be considered.
- Section 4. The Chair may remove an appointed committee chair with or without cause with the approval of a majority of either the membership or the executive board.
Article IX: Membership Meetings
- Section 1. General membership meetings of the organization will be held monthly at a regular time and place, unless changed by the Executive Board. These meetings are open to all Democrats.
- Section 2. A quorum consists of twenty percent of PCOs.
- Section 3. The Chair, after consulting with the executive board, may change the format of a regularly scheduled in-person general membership meeting to an electronic, online-only meeting due to unsafe weather conditions, a public health emergency, the unexpected unavailability of the organization’s regular meeting place, a natural disaster, or other catastrophic event. The decision to call an electronic, online-only membership meeting in place of a regularly scheduled in-person general membership meeting must be made and noticed least six hours before the meeting’s announced start time. The notice shall specify what virtual venue is to be used for the electronic meeting and provide access instructions. A meeting that cannot be changed to an electronic, online-only format at least six hours in advance shall either be held in-person as previously scheduled, or canceled.
- Section 4. The Chair may, after consulting with the executive board, call a special electronic, online-only meeting of the membership for any reason by giving seven days’ notice of the time and date of the meeting, the virtual venue that shall be used to host the meeting, and the instructions for accessing the virtual venue.
- Section 5. For the purposes of these bylaws, “virtual venue” means a conferencing medium that allows all participating members to clearly hear each other in real time. At any electronic meetings of the membership, recorded votes must be taken on any motions that the body considers. The Chair may elect to take recorded votes using a polling or voting mechanism offered by the virtual venue.
- Section 6. When organizing electronic, online-only membership meetings, the executive board shall, to the extent feasible, provide assistance to those with disabilities and those who lack the means necessary to connect to the virtual venue in order to maximize their ability to participate.
- Section 7. Any action that could be taken at an in-person general membership meeting, including bylaws amendments, may also be taken at an electronic, online-only general membership meeting held pursuant to this article. Any amendment to these bylaws adopted at an electronic meeting shall be subject to ratification at the next in-person general meeting of the membership that the organization holds.
Article X: Endorsements
- Section 1. The organization may make endorsements of candidates or take positions on ballot measures within the applicable rules of KCDCC, WSDCC, and the DNC.
- Section 2. The endorsement of a candidate by this organization or the establishment of a public position of this organization can be made by a simple majority of members in attendance at a regular meeting of this organization. The district may adopt standing endorsement rules specifying a higher threshold for endorsement. Notice that the consideration of endorsements will be on the meeting agenda must be sent at least seven days in advance of the meeting, except for meetings that are held between the close of the filing period and the date of the general election every year.
Article XI: Committees
- Section 1. Within sixty days of a district reorganization meeting, the Chair shall establish or reestablish the following standing committees by appointing a chair or co-chairs plus at least two other voting members: Administration and Rules, Data Management, Communications, Endorsements, Events and Hospitality, Fundraising and Membership, Legislative Action, Outreach and Recruitment, PCO Support, Technology, and Volunteer. Within fifteen days of a district reorganization meeting, the Chair shall also establish or reestablish a standing Finance Committee led by the Treasurer.
- Section 2. In consultation with the executive board, the Chair may at any time establish ad hoc committees. Every committee so designated shall have a chair or co-chairs and at least two other voting members. Once appointed, committee chairs may designate one or more committee members to serve as vice chairs.
- Section 3. The chair or co-chairs of all standing committees shall submit workplans on behalf of their committees to the executive board for approval no later than the date of the February executive board meeting each year, or, if the committee has been reconstituted after January 31st of the current year, thirty days following the appointment of the committee’s leadership and members. The chair or chairs of ad hoc committees shall submit a workplan within thirty days of the committee’s formation. Every workplan must identify the committee’s objectives for that calendar year and a timeframe for accomplishing each one.
- Section 4. Committee chairs shall be responsible for calling meetings of their committees as necessary to develop and carry out their workplans. Committee chairs shall provide no less than twenty-fours’ notice when calling any meeting of their committee.
- Section 5. Any committee meeting may be held electronically, provided the meeting is conducted using a conferencing medium that allows all participating members to clearly hear each other in real time. Roll call votes must be taken and recorded on any and all motions considered by the committee at an electronic meeting. Notice of the meeting must be provided to all members of the committee at least twenty-four hours in advance of the meeting’s start time in accordance with Section 4 of this article, and access instructions must be provided at least one hour in advance. Committees shall abide by the rules adopted by the executive board for the governance of electronic meetings of the executive board. Committee chairs must notify the executive board if a committee member requires assistance connecting to the conferencing medium chosen by the committee for an electronic meeting due to a disability or lack of access to the internet.
- Section 6. The Administration and Rules Committee shall be responsible for drafting rules to govern the organization’s meetings and committee operations, including the Code of Conduct and enforcement procedures for the Code of Conduct, and drafting updates to these bylaws for consideration by the membership. The committee shall also provide orientation to new members of the executive board and review resolutions submitted by members prior to their consideration by the membership. The committee may propose revisions to submitted resolutions in consultation with the drafters as part of its review process.
- Section 7. The Data Management Committee shall be responsible for managing the organization’s data systems. The committee shall make reports available for committee activities consistent with privacy and security standards and ensure that data flow is in compliance with campaign finance laws. The committee shall also provision access to VoteBuilder, any coordinated voter contact systems, and any successor voter file system.
- Section 8. The Communications Committee shall be responsible for communications between the organization, the membership, and the public, including announcements sent through email or mobile messaging services, the content of the website, social media, press releases, and the creation of voter literature.
- Section 9. The Endorsements Committee shall be responsible for vetting candidates, evaluating ballot measures, and making endorsement recommendations to the membership.
- Section 10. The Events and Hospitality Committee shall be responsible for hospitality at meetings and the organization of special or seasonal events. The Events and Hospitality Committee shall assist with the organizing of regional events the 45th helps facilitate, such as the annual Eastside Dinner, if requested.
- Section 11. The Finance Committee shall be responsible for drafting budgets in consultation with the executive board and assisting the Treasurer in carrying out fiscal and compliance duties. The Finance Committee shall regularly scrutinize reports filed by the organization with the Public Disclosure Commission to check for errors.
- Section 12. The Fundraising and Membership Committee shall be responsible for the organization’s development. It shall work with the other standing committees and the executive board to strengthen the organization’s financial resources and run membership campaigns to grow the organization.
- Section 13. The Legislative Action Committee shall be responsible for championing the organization’s platform planks and policy priorities at the local, state, and federal levels. It may draft and recommend a legislative priorities agenda each year for adoption by the membership.
- Section 14. The Outreach and Recruitment Committee shall be responsible for recruiting new members, increasing participation, and building community relationships with voters, residents, and constituencies within the 45th and involving those not currently well represented. The committee shall also work with the executive board and representatives of peer local party organizations to identify and recruit candidates for office.
- Section 15. The PCO Support Committee shall be responsible for providing precinct committee officers with the tools and resources they need to discharge their duties effectively, and recruiting new PCOs to serve the Democratic Party in precincts within the 45th.
- Section 16. The Technology Committee shall be responsible for administration of the organization’s website content management system and cyber assets, including its domain registrations, password management, and web hosting. The committee shall additionally be responsible for researching and recommending vendors and platforms for the organization’s use at the request of the Chair.
- Section 17. The Volunteer Committee shall be responsible for recruiting volunteers for committee membership and other internal roles and tasks, working with executive board members and committee chairs to identify volunteer needs, and facilitating best fit between the two.
- Section 18. Within fifteen days of a district reorganization meeting, the Chair shall appoint at least five members to serve as that cycle’s initial Code of Conduct Committee, a special committee which shall be responsible for investigating alleged violations of the membership’s adopted Code of Conduct and recommending constructive remedial actions or sanctions to the executive board upon finding that the code has been violated by a member of the organization. The Chair shall ensure that the special committee is continuously constituted of at least five voting members. Whenever a complaint alleging a Code of Conduct violation is received, the Chair shall designate one of the committee members as the presiding member for that particular complaint. The presiding member shall be responsible for calling meetings of the committee, organizing its investigation, and presenting its findings to the executive board. The committee shall use a preponderance of the evidence standard when investigating complaints. Members serving on the executive board may not be members of the committee and may not observe the committee’s proceedings without an invitation. The committee shall not have any representation on the executive board.
- Section 19. At least ninety days prior to any date on which the Washington State Democratic Party has scheduled precinct or legislative district caucuses, the Chair shall establish the following caucus committees by appointing a chair or co-chairs and at least two other members: Logistics, Rules, Credentials, and Platform. The Logistics Committee shall secure any venues that are needed for the caucus or caucuses, the Rules Committee shall develop proposed rules, the Credentials Committee and its on-site representatives shall be responsible for preparing and certifying the list of participants that it has registered after finding them entitled to accreditation, and the Platform Committee shall be responsible for drafting a platform for delegates to the legislative district level to consider, as well as vetting any resolutions that are submitted.
- Section 20. Not later than seven days following a general election day in an even numbered year, the Chair shall establish a temporary Reorganization Committee consisting of at least three members of the organization. The Reorganization Committee shall manage preparations for the biennial reorganization of the District, including the possible transfer of signing responsibilities on 45th’s financial accounts and the establishment of an online filing system where candidates for officer positions may declare their interest and submit statements of five hundred words or less for precinct committee officers to consider. The Reorganization Committee’s responsibilities shall cease after the newly elected officers hold their first executive board meeting of the term.
Article XII: Finances
- Section 1. No money shall be paid from the funds of the 45th District except by bank or credit union account transaction through the Treasurer or the Chair. No member other than the Treasurer or Chair may incur a debt or otherwise obligate the 45th District for the future payment of funds without approval of the Treasurer, Chair, or Executive Board.
- Section 2. The membership shall approve a budget. The budget must be adopted and may be amended by a majority of the members present and voting at a meeting, not counting abstentions. Notice that the adoption or amendment of the budget will be considered must be published at least seven days before the meeting at which the budget is presented.
- Section 3. The Chair, Treasurer, or Executive Board may authorize expenditures for budgeted items.
- Section 4. The Executive Board may authorize non-budgeted expenditures of one hundred dollars or less, except that the Executive Board may not authorize any non-budgeted contribution to any candidate, ballot coalition, or political committee, unless the membership votes to grant it such authority for a specified period of time.
- Section 5. Prior to passage of the budget, the Executive Board may authorize reasonable expenditures as necessary to maintain the district organization.
Article XIII: Amendments and Miscellaneous Provisions
- Section 1. Amendments to these bylaws must be approved by a two–thirds vote of the members in attendance at a regular meeting of this organization. Notice that bylaw changes are on the meeting agenda must be sent to all members at least seven days in advance.
- Section 2. These bylaws shall become effective upon a majority vote of the elected PCOs present and voting at a reorganization meeting, not counting abstentions.
- Section 3. These bylaws may not be suspended for any purpose.
- Section 4. State law, the charter and bylaws of the WSDCC, and the KCDCC bylaws shall govern in case of conflict with these bylaws.
- Section 5. In the event of a special nominating caucus or nominating convention, the bylaws of the Washington State Democrats shall govern.
- Section 6. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the District and its meetings in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any standing rules or special rules of order the District may adopt.