CONSTITUTION OF THE HOWARD COUNTY YOUNG DEMOCRATS
Whereas, persons interested in becoming involved in the Democratic Party in Howard County, State of Maryland who seek to promote the involvement of young people in the political process, to educate young voters about those policies and practices consistent with the highest principles of the Democratic Party, to support those candidates for office who articulate such principles, such persons do hereby associate themselves together and form the Howard County Young Democrats and establish the hereafter stated Constitution.
ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of this organization shall be the Howard County Young Democrats (“HCYD”).
ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP
Regular membership in the HCYD shall be limited to persons no younger than fourteen years of age, and who have not yet reached the age of thirty-six. Persons under the age of sixteen shall, at the discretion of the Executive Board, be deemed associate members of the HCYD, and persons over the age of thirty-six shall, at the discretion of the Executive Board, be deemed honorary members of the HCYD. No criteria other than age or political party preference shall be an acceptable reason for exclusion from membership.
No person shall be excluded from membership because of sex, race, creed, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, or economic status.
The HCYD, in keeping with the ideals of equal participation, shall endeavor to increase the memberships of women and minorities.
Members in good standing shall be those members who and are registered Democrats who either live, work, or attend school in Howard County and have made a good faith effort to attend a meeting or otherwise actively involved in politics, as determined by the President.
ARTICLE III – OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE BOARD
The officers of the HCYD shall be as follows: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Political Director. Those officers, along with chairs of standing committees and cabinet level appointments shall comprise the Executive Board of the HCYD. The immediate past president of the HCYD shall serve as an Executive Board member as specified in Article III Section 3e.
The officers of the HCYD shall be elected every year for one (1) year terms, commencing in January.
a) The Executive Board will decide, at a meeting prior to the election, if candidates for HCYD office will have access to the HCYD membership list for the purpose of campaigning. If approved by the Executive Board, access to the list and permission to use the list must be afforded equally to all candidates for HCYD office.
b) Nominations for candidates for officer positions shall be made from the floor with the consent of the nominee. In the case of an uncontested candidacy, the nominee has the option to address the membership. In the case of a contested candidacy, the President Emeritus (most recent past President) will randomly designate the order in which the candidates will speak. All candidates waiting to speak or having already spoken must be isolated from the membership meeting. Once each candidate has spoken, the President Emeritus shall declare the nomination period closed and distribute ballots to the members in good standing. All votes shall be cast in secret using the ballot as provided. The candidate with over 50% of the vote shall be declared the winner. If no one candidate receives over 50% of the vote, there will be a run-off election between the two top vote-getters. Votes shall be counted and certified by the President Emeritus along with a verifying agent designated by each of the candidates.
c) In the event of the necessity to reformat the organization, any member may serve as an officer through designation of the President.
The duties of the officers shall be as follows:
a) The President shall be the chief administrative officer of the HCYD, shall direct the implementation of the policies adopted and authorized by the Executive Board, shall serve as an ex-officio member of all committees of the HCYD, shall represent the wishes of the organization to the Howard County Democratic Committee, shall represent, in consultation with the Executive Board, the organization in public and to the media and shall represent, in consultation with the Executive Board, the HCYD at any other appropriate levels within the local state or national Democratic Party. The President shall chair the Executive Board meetings and further report on his or her activities at each Executive Board meeting. The President shall chair the membership meetings, shall maintain correspondence with national, state, and other local levels of Young Democratic organizations, Democratic Party organizations, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the Executive Board.
b) The Vice President shall assist the President in the performance of the President’s duties. In the event that the President, due to absence, death, resignation, removal, or other reason, cannot fulfill the duties of the office of President, the Vice President shall act as the interim President until such time as a permanent replacement has been selected in accordance with Section 5 of this Article.
c) The Treasurer shall be responsible for all financial records of all receipts and disbursements of funds of the HCYD in accordance with all federal, state and local laws and regulations, shall prepare and submit the required expenditure reports for the state and county Boards of Election, shall report all financial activity at each Executive Board meeting, shall keep all organizational financial records in balance, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President or the Executive Board. In the event that the President and the Vice President, due to absence, death, resignation, removal, or other reason, cannot fulfill the duties of their elected offices, the Treasurer shall act as interim President until such time as a permanent replacement has been selected in accordance with Section 5 of this Article.
d) The Secretary shall record and distribute minutes of all Executive Board and general membership meetings, shall be responsible for coordination of general membership correspondence including mailings and phone banks, shall be responsible for notifying members of each meeting and/or event, shall be responsible for the maintenance improvement of the HYCD’s website and other new media, shall be responsible for any administrative affairs of the HCYD including maintaining organizational files and records in a safe and orderly manner, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President or the Executive Board.
e) The Political Director, who shall be responsible for assisting the Executive Board in tracking elections, candidates, appointments, and any legislative issues of interest to HCYD, and shall be responsible for any coordination with elected or appointed officials, within assent from the President.
Any immediate past president of the HCYD who does not hold another Executive Board position shall also serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Executive Board.
Should any officer miss four (4) consecutive Executive Board or General Meetings without notice to the members of the Executive Board, such act will be considered an official act of resignation of that officer’s position.
If there is a vacancy in any officer level position with less than 4 months left in the year, that position will be filled by a vote of the Executive Board at the meeting immediately following the announcement of such vacancy. If there is a vacancy in any officer level position with 4 months or more left in the year, then that vacancy will be filled by a vote of the general membership, in accordance with the procedure laid out in Section 2 of this Article.
The President may, from time to time, appoint cabinet members, subject to the confirmation by the Executive Board, to assist in the execution of the administrative duties of the HCYD.
ARTICLE IV – EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS
The Executive Board shall be the governing body of the HCYD and shall develop the policies designed to achieve the goals stated in this Constitution and the Byaws of the HCYD.
The Executive Board shall meet at the call of the President, who shall call at least four meetings per year. At least five (5) days written notice of an Executive Board meeting shall be given to each Executive Board member, giving the date, time, and location of such meeting. All other members of the HCYD who give written notice to the Executive Vice President and the President requesting to be informed of said meetings will be given notice of the meetings as well.
The President shall chair all Executive Board meetings unless absent or unable to do so. Should the President be unable to chair a meeting, the Executive Vice President shall do so, and the Treasurer shall chair said meetings should the President and the Executive Vice President both be unable to do so.
No meeting of the Executive Board shall be official without a quorum of the Board in attendance. A quorum shall consist of no less than fifty percent (50%) of the eligible Executive Board votes. The Secretary shall call the role at the beginning of each meeting.
a) Any meeting at which a quorum is not present shall be deemed a committee of the whole..
b) A member shall participate in Executive Board meetings via electronic means, such as a conference call and be considered present at said meeting and included as part of the quorum.
c) With the consent of a majority of board members, email may serve to enact any policy herein granted.
All decisions, confirmations, committee membership choices, votes or other acts of the Executive Board at any meeting shall be accomplished by a majority of the quorum present at that meeting, unless otherwise specified in the Constitution or By-laws.
ARTICLE V – COMMITTEES
The President may, at his or her discretion and with the vote of the Executive Board, form ad hoc committees as are deemed necessary by the President or the Executive Board. All ad hoc committees expire at the conclusion of the current officers term.
ARTICLE VI – MEETINGS OF THE HOWARD COUNTY YOUNG DEMOCRATS
The HCYD shall hold regular monthly meetings, which shall be called and chaired by the President, or if the President is unable to chair the meetings it shall be chaired by the Executive Vice President or the Treasurer.
At least ten (10) days notice of any HCYD meeting shall be given publically, including date, time, and location.
The President shall set the agenda for each meeting. Part of that agenda must contain a “Member’s Report” where any member will be able to bring up projects for consideration that are not considered in this Constitution or the By-aws, or have not been otherwise considered by the President or the Executive Board.
ARTICLE VII – REMOVAL OF OFFICERS
The process for removal of any officers shall be as follows:
a) Grounds for removal shall be misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in the performance of an officer’s duties.
b) A motion for removal must be made at a regular or special meeting of the Executive Board. Charges demanding removal shall be referred to an Ethics Committee of three (3) members in good standing, chosen by a majority of a quorum of general members during the next general HCYD meeting following the meeting in which a motion for removal is made. The Ethics Committee shall investigate the charges and shall, if requested by either the persons bringing the charges, the Executive Board or the Officer against whom the charges have been brought, hold hearings regarding the motion for removal. The Officer against whom charges have been brought shall have the opportunity to confront the person making the motion, to call, examine, and cross examine witnesses in connection with the motion, to make arguments on his or her behalf and to represented by counsel.
c) The President or, if the charges are being brought against the President, the Executive Vice President, shall be a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Ethics Committee and shall chair any hearings that may be held.
d) Once the Ethics Committee has completed its investigation, it shall make findings, determined by a majority vote, as to whether or not the charges should be sustained and the Officer charged should or should not be dismissed. Such findings shall then be forwarded to the Executive Board in the form of a recommendation to the HCYD to be dealt with under the following subsections of this Article.
e) If the Ethics Committee finds that the charges are not sustained and the officer should not be removed, said charges will be dropped and struck from the record.
f) Once the Ethics Committee has made a recommendation that the charges should be sustained and the Officer should be removed, the Executive Board shall place the motion for removal on the agenda of the next HCYD meeting, which shall be held no more than sixty (60) days following the day the charges are first brought before the Executive Board.
g) The parties calling for removal of an Officer must be present at the Executive Board meeting at which removal is considered, and the Executive Board member must be notified in writing at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting. The Officer subject to removal must be given the opportunity to respond at and/or before the meeting at which removal is considered.
h) Removal shall be accomplished by a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the HCYD members present and eligible to vote. Only those who were members in good standing before charges were brought in front of the Executive Board shall be eligible to vote on the motion for removal.
ARTICLE VII – AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION
Amendment to this Constitution shall be adopted only by a three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of the membership at the meeting designated for the election of officers, or at a meeting designated by a three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of the Executive Board, during an Executive Board meeting.
Amendments shall become effective immediately after the adjournment of the meeting at which they were adopted.
When members are given notice of meetings, they must be informed that an amendment is on the agenda for the proposed amendment to be considered at the meeting.
ARTICLE VIII – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
The most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the proceedings of all meetings of the HCYD.
ARTICLE IX– AMENDMENTS AND RESOLUTIONS
Amendment to thshall be adopted only be a three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of the membership at the meeting designated for the election of officers, or at a special meeting as designated by a three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of the Executive Board, during an Executive Board meeting.
Amendments shall become effective immediately after the adjournment of the meeting at which they were adopted.
All amendments to the Constitution proposed for adoption must be presented in writing to the Executive Board at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting at which such amendments will be considered.
When members are given notice of meetings, they must be informed that an amendment is on the agenda for the amendment to be considered at that meeting.
The Executive Board, by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members present and eligible to vote at that meeting, may adopt such provisional rules as it deems necessary in order to facilitate the running of the HCYD. Such provisional rules cannot be in conflict with or in contravention of the Constitution By-laws of the HCYD.
The general membership of HCYD, by a majority vote of members present and eligible to vote at that meeting, may adopt resolutions. Such resolutions cannot be in conflict with or in contravention of the Constitution By-laws of the HCYD. resolutions shall be non-binding. The procedure for such votes shall be established by the Executive Board prior to the meeting at which the vote takes place.
ARTICLE X – FUNDRAISING
The Treasurer shall have the authority, with confirmation of the Executive Board, to establish such fundraising events as are deemed necessary by the Executive Board. At least one fundraiser be held annually
An annual membership fee shall be set by majority vote of the members present and eligible to vote at that meeting. The annual membership fee may be changed from no more than once a year.
ARTICLE V – FINANCES
The Executive Board shall, through majority vote of the members present and eligible to vote at a particular meeting, have the power to dispose of its financial assets in a manner consistent with the goals and principles stated in the Constitution By-laws of the HCYD.
The President and the Treasurer shall establish such bank and/or investment accounts as deemed necessary by vote of the Executive Board.
Any checks issued by the HCYD shall bear the signature of either the President and the Treasurer.
In the event that the HCYD is disbanded or dissolved, all assets and real property of the HCYD and its committees shall revert to the benefit of Howard County Democratic Committee.
ARTICLE VI – MEETINGS OF THE HOWARD COUNTY YOUNG DEMOCRATSSection 1
Meetings of the HCYD shall occur on the final Wednesday of every month a meeting is called, barring any conflict with religious holidays or other extenuating circumstances. In the event of the change, the President may select a new time.