Rules and Bylaws


 

Michigan 11th Congressional District

Democratic Party

Bylaws

As Revised: February 9th, 2019

As Approved: February 27th, 2019

 

 

ARTICLE I. ORGANIZATION

This organization is titled Michigan 11th Congressional District Democratic Party (“the District”) and is a chartered unit of the Michigan Democratic Party (“the MDP”).

 

ARTICLE II. COMPOSITION

The  District is composed of its elected Officers and Executive Committee, and appointed District Committee members, all of whom reside in the 11th Congressional District and have current registrations on file with the MDP.

The 11th Congressional District covers portions of Wayne County and Oakland County which includes the following major cities: Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Canton Township, Clawson, Commerce Township, Farmington, Highland Township, Lake Angelus, Livonia, Lyon Township, Milford Township, Northville/Northville Township, Novi/Novi Township, Plymouth/Plymouth Township, Rochester Hills, South Lyon, Troy, Walled Lake, Waterford, West Bloomfield, White Lake Township and Wixom.

 

ARTICLE III. PURPOSE

The purpose of the District is to promote the values of the Democratic Party and support our Democratic Congressperson. Additionally, the District coordinates with other clubs, organizations, campaigns, and activists to assist in recruiting, training and electing candidates who share our values.

 

ARTICLE IV. POLICY

Section 1. Any form of discrimination, bullying, or harassment is prohibited and shall be subject to appropriate corrective action. Such action may include censure, suspension, or removal from office or the organization.

 

Section 2. All meetings of the District shall be open to the public regardless of actual or perceived race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, economic status, religion, ethnic identity, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical appearance or disability. In cases where confidential consideration of party strategy is necessary, the District may hold meetings limited to district members who are Michigan Democratic Party members.

Section 3. No tests for membership in, nor any oaths of loyalty to the 11th Congressional District shall be required or used which has the effect of requiring prospective or current members of the Democratic Party to acquiesce in, condone or support discrimination on the grounds of actual or perceived race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, economic status, religion, ethnic identity, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical appearance or disability.

Section 4. The time and place for all public meetings of the District, on all levels, shall be publicized fully and in such a manner as to assure timely notice to all interested persons. Such meetings shall be held in places accessible to all Party members and large enough to accommodate all interested persons.

Section 5. The District shall support the broadest possible participation without discrimination on the grounds of actual or perceived race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, economic status, religion, ethnic identity, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical appearance or disability.

Section 6. The District shall publicize fully, and in such a manner as to give notice to all interested parties, a full description of the legal and practical procedure for selection of District Officers, Executive Committee and District Committee Members. Publication of those procedures shall be done in such a fashion that all prospective and current members of the District have the opportunity to know the pertinent procedure in time to participate in each selection procedure at all levels of the District.

Section 7. Proportional voting shall be used in the election of delegates and alternates to any Convention, and in the election of delegates and alternates of the Democratic State Central Committee, and in the election of multiple-position offices as directed by the MDP.

Section 8. All rules and bylaws of the District shall be consistent with the Rules of the MDP at all times. District Bylaws shall be available on request, in writing, and posted on the MDP public website. A material and delivery fee may be required before transmission of said document.

Section 9. The unit rule, when an entire delegation vote total is cast unanimously as a result of a majority vote, is prohibited in the District.

Section 10. No rule shall be adopted by the District which would require a person to cast a vote or be recorded as voting contrary to that person’s judgment. Votes shall not be taken by secret ballot at any meeting of the District at any level.

Section 11. On all questions of procedure not resolved by these Bylaws or the Rules of the MDP, the the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be used.

 

ARTICLE V. VOTING PRIVILEGES/HOLDING DISTRICT OFFICE

Section 1. In order to vote in a District Convention or Caucus a person shall be a member of the MDP with a current registration on file for at least thirty (30) days prior to the Convention, Caucus, or Meeting. A Party Member shall be a qualified and registered elector in order to vote on nominations for public office.

Section 2. District Precinct Delegates, Democratic elected officials and Democratic nominees to partisan offices-in the current or previous election cycle, are exempt from the thirty (30) day advanced membership requirement. However, 11th Congressional District Precinct Delegates, Democratic elected officials and Democratic nominees to partisan offices shall be a member of the MDP in order to vote at any District Convention, Caucus, or Meeting.

Section 3. Former members of the District whose MDP membership has lapsed in the thirty (30) days preceding any Convention, Caucus, or Meeting may renew their membership on the day of the Convention, Caucus, or Meeting and shall be permitted to vote on that date.

Section 4. In order to be elected or appointed and hold any office in the District, a person shall be a member of the MDP at least thirty (30) days prior to the election or appointment and maintain membership during the term of office. If MDP membership lapses while a person holds office in the District, all rights and privileges of that office are suspended until membership is renewed, at which time all rights are immediately restored.

 

ARTICLE VI. MEMBERSHIP

Membership of the District shall consist of the following: 1) all duly elected Democratic precinct delegates residing in the District; 2) members of the MDP residing in the District; and 3) members of the District Democratic Committee which includes elected Officers and Executive Board members, and appointed District Committee Members.



 

ARTICLE VII. MEETINGS

Section 1. The regular meetings of the District Committee and Sub-Committees shall be on the day and at the location and time designated in the meeting notice. At least five (5) days notice shall be given of the date, time and place of all meetings. Notice may be given by mailand email; notification may additionally be posted thru social media and electronic messaging. Email is a standard and acceptable form of communication for all meeting communication. A quorum shall exist at an Eleventh District Committee meeting when one-fifth (1/5) of the District Committee members are present.

Section 2. The full District Committee Membership shall meet quarterly to review the activities of Sub-Committees and Officers of the District. Additionally, to increase accessibility and encourage engagement with the District, these meetings will be held at four separate regional locations; subsequently defined as: North, East, West, and Wayne. The areas of these regions, and locations of the quarterly meetings, are to be defined at the discretion of the Chair.

Section 3. Special meetings of the District Committee may be called by at least two Officers.

Section 4. Any proposed resolution to be voted on during a meeting shall first be submitted seven days prior, in writing, to the Chair of the Party Affairs and Operations Committee for review and shall be presented by the District Chair to the District Committee for their review to be voted on at said meeting.

The submitter of the proposed resolution may fulfill the “in writing” requirement by either paper or electronic transmission of the full text of the proposed resolution. Any proposed resolution that has not met the requirements of this Section will be ruled out of order.

Section 5. Solicitations and promotions at District Meetings are allowed only with the Chair’s approval before the start of the meeting.

Section 6. The Chair and Vice-Chair are ex officio members of all Committees and Sub-Committees, with the right to vote.

 

 

ARTICLE VIII. OFFICERS AND DISTRICT COMMITTEE

Section 1. At the MDP Spring Convention in odd numbered years, a Caucus shall be held, on the date set by the State Central Committee, to elect four (4) officers. (District Chair, Vice-Chair of a different gender, Treasurer, and Secretary) and an Executive Committee of fifteen persons to serve for 2-year terms or until their successors are duly elected. Additional Officers and District Committee Members may be appointed thirty (30) days after the Spring Convention. The District Committee may fill vacancies in any of its offices, membership, or nominations.

Section 2. Within thirty (30) days of the Spring Convention, a meeting of the Officers and the District Committee shall be held to amend or adopt bylaws and pass a resolution that states the acceptance of the Rules of the MDP and Code Of Conduct. At that meeting the District Committee may take action to expand the list of Officers and/or District Committee up to 30 members.

Section 3. The District Committee shall keep minutes of all meetings. Minutes shall be available to all District Members.

Section 4. The District Chair shall preside at all District Committee Meetings, and have such other duties as are usual to the office of District Chair, or that may be required by the organization.

Section 5. The District First Vice-Chair shall be a member of a different gender  from the Chair. The Vice-Chair shall assist the Chair in the discharge of their duties, and shall assume and fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the Chair in their absence.

Section 6. Additional District Vice-Chairs shall assist the Chair and perform such duties as requested.

Section 7a. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the financial receipts and disbursements of this organization subject to the approval of the District Committee. The funds of this organization shall be deposited in a financial institution and shall be drawn upon only by any two (2) of the following officers: Chair, First Vice-Chair, and Treasurer. The Treasurer shall prepare financial reports per request and for all District Committee Meetings. As the Treasurer is so required; Michigan Campaign Finance Reports and Federal Elections Commission Reports will be prepared in accordance with the applicable rules and laws. All reports and supporting documentation will be archived digitally and retained for six years or as otherwise required by law, if longer. To encourage best practices, it is strongly recommended that the Treasurer educate and train themselves in procedures provided by local, state, and federal entities.

Section 7b. Upon election of a new Treasurer, the past Treasurer shall forthwith deliver to the new Treasurer all access to funds, books, and records kept during their tenure in office within a period of no longer than ten (10) calendar days.

Section 8. The Treasurer’s Report shall be detailed, full, and complete. For each account, the Report shall state the name of the specific account, the report starting date, the beginning balance, all cash received, all cash disbursed, closing balance, and the report closing date.

Section 9. All repayable or reimbursable expense incurred on behalf of the District shall have prior approval by the Officers and or the District Committee. A “petty cash fund” will be established via the Financial Policies and Procedures setting the limits and type of expenditures that can be made by the Chair and Vice- Chair on behalf of the District without prior approval and not to exceed $150.Any purchases made by the Chair or Vice-Chair from the petty cash fund will require a proof of purchase to be presented at the next Executive Committee meeting; this proof may be a receipt, account ledger, invoice or other form of document.

Section 10. Claims for reimbursement shall be presented in a digital format showing the nature of the expense, the total amount due, and the original (not copied) paid bill(s) of sale. The claim for reimbursement shall be signed by the claimant and dated. The technology utilized for signature shall be at the discretion of policy set by the Party Affairs and Operations Committee as state in Article X Section 3.

Section 11. The Recording Secretary shall keep an accurate record and minutes of the proceedings of the meetings of the District Committee. They shall keep and preserve all books, documents, correspondence, records, minutes, effects, and any other property of the District, and deliver to a  newly elected secretary all the aforesaid items kept and preserved during their tenure in office. All materials involving previous minutes, agendas, account access and other necessities shall be transferred with ten (10) calendar days. They shall see that proper meeting notification is given to the District Committee and the general membership. They shall manage a mass emailing program for quick and efficient communication with members and associates.

Section 12. The Corresponding Secretary shall be responsible for all official and social District communication. They shall assist the Recording Secretary, particularly in the absence of the Recording Secretary.

Section 13. The Parliamentarian shall be responsible for advising and assisting the District Chair in the application of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, the Rules of the MDP, and these Bylaws. The Parliamentarian shall be responsible for advising the Chair regarding good order at District meetings.

Section 14. Officer-At-Large positions shall be filled to bring a balance based on geographical residence, various personal skills and, personal Political interest. Officers-At-Large shall assist the Chair and perform duties as requested.

Section 15. Sergeant-At-Arms. The Sergeant-At-Arms shall assist the District Chair in maintaining good order at meetings and among the attendees, and be quick to stifle any verbal or physical disturbance or disruptions.

 

 

ARTICLE IX. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE:

Section 1. Any Officer may be subject to removal for cause (example: malfeasance, misfeasance, abuse of power, and violation of federal, state, or local laws). Prior to any motion for removal, a good faith effort to resolve the issue shall be made by the parties involved.

Section 2. Any Officer of the District may be removed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the District Committee present at a meeting specifically called for that purpose.

Section 3. Any meeting for the purpose of removing an officer from the District shall be called by the Chair or Vice Chair, or by a notice signed by a majority of members of the District Committee.

Section 4. The Party Affairs and Operations Committee shall promulgate rules and procedures for removal from office for cause. Such rules shall be presented to the District Committee for adoption as a rule/procedure for removal for cause.

 

ARTICLE X. COMMITTEES

Section 1. The Chair, subject to the approval of the majority of the District Committee present at a meeting, shall appoint committee members and chairs necessary for the work of the District.

Section 2. Standing Committees shall include the following:

  1. Party Affairs and Operations
  2. Candidates, Leadership and Fundraising
  3. People and Basebuilding
  4. Logistics
  5. Screening and Endorsements

 

 

Section 3a. Party Affairs and Operations Committee. This committee shall review and examine these Bylaws every two years after adoption and make sure that the District Bylaws are in compliance with any changes made in the Rules of the Michigan Democratic Party. All amendments as a result of a change in the Rules of the MDP and or the District shall be submitted to the Secretary of the State Central Committee for review and approval within thirty (30) days of the amendment to be posted on the public website as required in the Rules of the MDP.

Section 3b. The Party Affairs and Operations Committee shall deliberate on and create policy for the District Committee in the areas including, but not limited to; financial matters and ethics, bylaws, and general operating procedures. All policy deliberated on must pass out of the Committee to be voted on by the Executive Committee during the following Executive Committee meeting, unless tabled by the Committee.

Section 3c. The Party Affairs and Operations Committee shall study proposed amendments, and submit findings to the Chair for consideration at least ten (10) days prior to a  District Committee Meeting. Policies and resolution referred to in this Committee will be analyzed in accordance with the Rules of the MDP and in accordance with policies, resolutions and platforms of the MDP. The Committee shall propose rules for the conduct of elections at the District Convention in January for the Membership to approve. These Rules shall govern the Caucus elections at the Spring Convention in February.

Section 4. Candidate, Leadership and Fundraising Committee. This Committee shall plan and organize activities producing income for the District. Additionally this Committee shall work with local clubs, organizations, campaigns, and activists to seek out and encourage potential candidates, including precinct delegates, receive training and mentoring in developing political campaign and leadership skills.

Section 5a. People and Basebuilding Committee  
This Committee shall use every means possible to engage members and the public with the message of the District. The Committee will implement strategies  for effective communication and mass marketing. Outreach methods will cover a wide range of items, including but not limited to: 1) reporting to print and TV media; 2) selecting, designing and managing the Eleventh District Democratic website; 3) designing and managing social media and networking platforms

Section 5b. People and Basebuilding Committee shall also focus on increasing membership and will manage the annual membership drive. The Committee will give full attention to the several constituency groups and caucus groups within the District. The Committee will take charge of any internal organizing work that needs to be done in The District. The Committee will recommend and manage activities for group cohesion.

Section 5c. People and Basebuilding Committee shall also take lead on programming involving civic engagement strategy, tactics and general issues engagement.

Section 6. Logistics.  This Committee will seek out appropriate meeting places, and report on condition of use, such as rental fees and availability of AV equipment. This Committee also will be in charge of meeting preparation such as seating, sign-in tables, lighting, sound systems and AV systems, maps and displays, food and beverage service.

Section 7. Screening and Endorsement. All District Committee members shall be members of this Committee. The Committee shall consider making recommendations to the Membership regarding endorsing or not endorsing candidates and ballot proposals, subject to the majority vote of Members.

Section 8. These Committees shall include the appropriate Sub-Committees established by committee chairs.

ARTICLE XI. ORDER OF BUSINESS

At meetings the business of the District shall proceed in approximately the following order:

1. Roll Call of Officers 
2. Approval of Previous Minutes
3. Report of Officers
a. Chair 
b. Vice Chair
c. Treasurer (Financial Report)
d. Secretary
4. Reports of Committees 
5. Old Business
6. New Business 
7. Announcements and Meeting Feedback
8. Next Steps
9. Adjournment

ARTICLE XII. BYLAW AMENDMENTS

Section 1. Proposed amendments to these Bylaws, excepting the first adoption or amendment of these Bylaws by the newly elected leadership, shall first be referred to the The Party Affairs and Operations Committee, which shall report its recommendations to the District Chair for review by the District Committee at the next meeting. In a second meeting the Bylaws will be voted on by (2/3) majority of District Committee present and voting at a meeting.

Section 2. The proposed amendments shall be presented to the District Committee members at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the meeting with the exception of changes of the Rules of the MDP.

Section 3. Bylaws shall be adopted and in full force and effect to comply with the Rules of the MDP and shall supersede all bylaws, rules, motion and policies of a contrary nature.

Section 4. When there is a change in the MDP Rules, the District is required to amend the Bylaws within thirty (30) days to comply.

Pursuant to the Rules of the MDP, Article 2, Section 5, the District Committee of the District convened and adopted these Bylaws on February 27th, 2019 within thirty (30) days of the District Caucus at which the District Committee was elected.

 

So witnessed and ascertained,

_________________________ Date _________________________

Kent Douglas, Chair

_________________________ Date _________________________

Regina Strong, First Vice Chair

_________________________ Date _________________________

Renay Weiss-Stansell, Secretary

 

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