Final Version Distributed 4/15/98
SOMERVILLE DEMOCRATIC WARD & CITY COMMITTEE
This organization shall be known as the Somerville Democratic Ward and City Committee.
The Committee is organized and constituted under authority of and in accordance with the provisions of the General Laws of Massachusetts and shall have as its purposes the following: to foster and advance the ideals and aims of the Democratic Party; to work in cooperation with the Democratic State Committee; to aid in carrying out the planks of the platform of the State and National Committees of the Party; to work and organize for the success of the Democratic candidates in the City, State and in the Nation; to do all things necessary to strengthen the Democratic Party in Somerville.
The Somerville Democratic Ward and City Committee shall be composed of the following:
- The members of the seven Ward Committees elected by the voters of each ward at the
presidential primary election and/or their successors shall have the right to vote on all
Ward and City Committee matters.
- Associate members may be elected by a majority vote of the appropriate Ward
Committee. Associate members shall not have the right to vote on Ward and City
WARD AND CITY COMMITTEE COMPOSITION
Each Ward Committee shall retain the right to convene meetings at the direction of the Chairman to deal with matters deemed important to the Democratic Party, including without limitation endorsement of candidates, discussions of Party platforms or planks, fundraising. etc. The City Committee, which shall be composed of the membership of the seven Ward Committees, shall convene at the call of the City Committee Chairman for the same or similar purposes.
A quorum shall exist when a majority of the members of a Ward Committee or the City Committee are present and voting.
- Each Ward and the City Committee shall have the following officers: Chairman, 1st Vice Chairman, 2nd Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Affirmative Action Officer, each elected by the members as these by-laws provide.
- No person other than an elected member of a Ward Committee shall hold office in a Ward Committee or in the City Committee.
- The officers of each Ward Committee and the City Committee shall be elected by a majority vote of the membership of each at a duly called meeting.
- Nomination and election of officers shall be held each presidential primary election year at the first meeting of the Ward and/or City Committee following such primary.
- Any person appointed by the Chairman of a Ward committee or the City Committee shall serve at the discretion of the Chairman.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
- The Chairman of each Ward Committee and the City Committee shall preside at all meeting of their respective Committees.
- The Chairman shall be the only person empowered to incur liabilities that shall be binding upon such Committee.
- The 1st or 2nd Vice Chairman shall serve as Chairman Pro-tem of the Committee in the absence of the Chairman.
- The Chairman or designated Vice Chairman shall serve Ex-Officio on all committees.
2, 1st Vice Chairman and 2nd Vice Chairman
- The Vice Chairman shall perform such duties as are designated by the Chairman.
- The 1st Vice Chairman shall serve as Chairman Pro-tem of the Committee in the absence of the Chairman. The 2nd Vice Chairman shall serve as Chairman Pro-Tem in the absence of the Chairman and the 1st Vice Chairman.
- The Secretary shall keep a record of all the proceedings of the Committee and shall send notices of meetings and perform all other duties appropriate and consistent with the office. The Secretary shall have the authority to delegate functions to the clerks or assistants.
- The Secretary’s report of the previous meeting shall be distributed at each meeting. The Secretary shall deliver all books, papers and property of the Committee in his/her possession to his/her successor.
- In the absence of the Secretary, the Chairman shall designate an elected member to service in his/her place pro-tem until he/she returns.
- The Treasurer of each Ward Committee shall be empowered to open an account in a bank and execute a signature card in the name of the Ward Committee and shall deposit all funds received in the bank including without limitation the deposit of Ward Committee dues authorized by these by-laws.
- The Treasurer of the City Committee shall be empowered to open an account in a bank and execute a signature card in the name of the City Committee and shall deposit all funds received in the bank including without limitation the deposit of City Committee dues authorized by these by-laws.
- The Treasurer’s Report shall be read at each meeting.
- All disbursements shall be made by check. The Treasurer shall sign checks for all expenditures of money for authorized and proper purposes. Either the Chairman or another office of the Ward or City Committee shall counter-sign all checks. Two signatures shall be required on all checks.
- The City Committee Treasurer’s accounts shall be audited by a Certified Public Accountant every two yeats, and a report of the audit shall be read at the next meeting of the elected members following the audit.
- The Treasurer shall deliver to his successor in office all money and property as well as all financial records of the Committee within fifteen (15) days after the election of his/her successor.
- In the absence of the Treasurer, the Chairman shall designate an elected member to serve in his/her place pro-tem until he/she returns to his/her duties.
- Affirmative Action Officer
- The Affirmative Action Officer of the City Committee shall serve as a member of the Executive Committee and shall provide input to the Executive Committee regarding how best to ensure that all activities and functions of the Democratic Party be accessible and open to all registered Democrats, regardless of race, color, national origin, age, ancestry, religious creed, gender, sexual orientation, familial status, disability, or other protected class status.
- The Affirmative Action Officer(s) for the respective Ward Committees shall be responsible for organizing outreach efforts for the Committee which are designed to increase participation in the Somerville Democratic Party by members of the protected categories outlined in (a.) above.
The following rules govern the filling of vacancies in both the Ward and City Committees.
- In the event of a vacancy occurring in the office of Chairman, Vice Chairmen, Secretary, Treasurer or Affirmative Action Officer due to death, resignation or inability to serve for any reason, or if the office is declared vacant by a two-thirds vote of the elected members present and voting at a duly called meeting, such vacancy shall be filled as follows:
- The Chairman Pro-Tem, in the case of a vacancy in the office of Chairman, shall calla meeting of the elected members within thirty (30) days after the vacancy occurs, at which time a new Chairman shall be elected by a majority vote of the elected members present and voting.
- In the event of a vacancy in the office of Vice Chairmen, Secretary, Treasurer, of Affirmative Action Office, the Chairman shall call a special meeting of the elected members with thirty (30) days of said vacancy, at which time a new Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer or Affirmative Action Officer shall be elected by a majority vote of the elected members present and voting.
- All members of the Ward Committee or City Committee shall be notified in writing of any special meetings called to fill vacancies in the offices of Chairman, Vice Chairmen, Secretary, Treasurer or Affirmative Action Officer at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to said meetings.
- If a member changes his residence from the ward in which he was elected during his term, he shall cease to be a member at the end of the calendar year in which such residence is changed.
- If a member changes or cancels his party enrollment, he shall immediately cease to be a member of the ward and/or city committee.
ELIGIBILITY TO AND TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
1, No person shall be eligible for membership in the Democratic Ward and City Committee unless he/she is an enrolled Democratic voter in the City of Somerville, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- If written resignation of an officer or member of the Democratic Ward and City Committee
is received by the Chairman or Secretary, it shall be necessary that resignation be acted upon by the entire body. The Chairman shall report the resignation in the notice of the next meeting.
- In a contested partisan election, active public support or endorsement of a candidate other than a Democrat by any member shall require that the Chairman immediately request the resignation of that member and shall cause such request to be made public forthwith.
There shall be formed an Executive Committee consisting of the Officers of the City Committee (Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and Affirmative Action Officer) and such other officers as my be elected by the members in accordance with these by-laws as well as the Chairman of the seven Ward Committees.
The Executive Committee shall be empowered by majority vote to schedule meetings of the full City Committee; to raise and expend money from the City Committee Treasury in furtherance of the goals of the Democratic Party in Somerville; and to carry out such other duties and responsibilities as are delegated to the Executive Committee by the full City Committee. The Executive Committee shall meet not less than four times each year.
The By-Laws Committee shall be a standing committee comprised of one representative from each of the seven ward committees. Each Ward Committee Chairman shall appoint a representative who will serve for a one year term.
Ad Hoc Committees
Ad-Hoc Committees may be appointed by the Chairman at any time. Such Ad-Hoc Committees will be formed as needed to accomplish specific goals and tasks of the organization such as planning special events.
- There shall be a minimum of two meetings a year of each Ward Committee and the City
Committee at times and places to be designated by the Chairman. Nothing in this section shall be construed to be in violation of the General Laws of Massachusetts.
- A Duly Called Meeting shall require that written notice be sent to all members of the particular Ward or City Committee. Such written notice shall be postmarked at least seven days prior to the date of the meeting date and mailed to members at their home address(es). Written notice shall be made by first class mail. Notice shall be considered given if notice of the meeting is received by members at their home addresses at least 72 hours prior to the scheduled meeting date.
- The Chairman of each Ward Committee shall call a special meeting upon a written petition signed by ten (10) elected Committee members which petition shall set forth the purpose or purposes of the proposed meeting. In the event that the Chairman fails to call a meeting within ten (10) days of receipt of the petition, ten (10) elected members of the appropriate Committee may call a special meeting by giving at least seventy-two (72) notice in writing to all members of such committee, stating the date, time, place and purpose of said meeting. No business other than that specified in the Call shall be transacted at any special meeting.
- Member shall attend at least half of regularly scheduled Ward and City Committee meetings during any calendar year. Failure to attend shall cause the Chair of such Committee to immediately request the resignation of such member in writing and such request shall be made public forthwith.
CHANGES IN THE BY-LAWS
1, These By-Laws may be amended or repealed using the following procedures:
- A written request for the repeal or amendment, signed by at least ten members of the City Committee, must be submitted to the Chairman of the City Committee prior to the call of the next meeting of the City Committee.
- The chairman shall refer the proposed amendment to the By-Laws Committee.
- The By-Laws Committee shall study the proposed amendment(s) and shall make a report with the committee’s recommendation(s) to the full City Committee membership not later than the following meeting. A two-thirds vote of those members present and voting shall be required to adopt by changes in the By-Laws.
- Unless and until amended or repealed by the elected members, these By-Laws shall continue in effect from year to year, and no formal motion shall be necessary at any meeting of the City Committee in order that they continue in force.
INTERPRETATION OF THE BY-LAWS
In case of any question arising as to the interpretation of any provision of the By-Laws, the Chairman shall refer the matter immediately to the By-Laws Committee which shall immediately confer and then render a decision, which decision shall be binding upon the body unless overruled by a vote of two-thirds of the elected members present and voting.
ORDER OF BUSINESS
The order of business at meetings shall be as follows:
- Sign in of officers and elected members
- Distributing the records of the previous meeting
- Reports of officers and committees
- Reading of communications addressed to the Ward or City Committee
- Unfinished business
- New business
CONDUCT OF MEETINGS
The meetings of the Democratic Ward and City Committee shall be conducted in accordance with the rules of parliamentary procedure set forth in the most current version of Roberts’ Rules of Order.
ENDORSEMENT OF PERSONS FOR APPOINTED POSITIONS
The Democratic Ward and City Committee shall have the authority to endorse any person for appointive position in the city or state by a majority vote of the elected members present and voting at a regular or special meeting called under the provisions as set forth by these By-Laws.
The dues for membership in the Democratic Ward and City Committee shall be as follows:
- Each member of a Ward Committee shall pay over to the Treasurer of such committee at the first meeting of each year the sum of $1.00 which shall be the annual dues.
- Each member of the City Committee shall pay over to the Treasurer of the City Committee at the first meeting each year the sum of $7.00 which shall be the annual dues. These dues may be reduced or waived where a committee member makes a request in writing that he/she has a financial hardship. All such requests shall be kept confidential. Members who do not attend the first meeting each year shall be sent bills by the Treasurer.