Bylaws of the 5th District Democrats
Adopted January 6, 2021
This organization is established to promote the philosophy of the Democratic Party, to support its candidates, to educate the residents of the 5th Legislative District about the ideals, goals and activities of the Democratic Party, and to extend opportunities to participate in the Party to all Democrats in the District.
Article I: Name
The name of this organization is the 5th District Democrats.
Article II: Policies
Section 1: This organization operates under the applicable bylaws and rules of the King County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC), the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, the Democratic National Committee (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 Party responsibility by guaranteeing maximum participation, equal representation and equal treatment for all.
Section 3: This organization supports the National, Washington State, King County and 5th District Democrats platforms of the Democratic Party and those Democratic Party 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:
(A) All elected, appointed, and acting 5th District Democratic Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs), as specified in Article IV, and
(B) Other residents of the 5th Legislative District who will be of voting age in Washington by the next general election, declare themselves to be Democrats, and have been in compliance with the membership dues requirements for the prior twenty-one (21) days.
Section 2: Annual Membership dues are established by the organization membership and must include provisions to ensure that no one is denied the right to fully participate in the organization because of inability to pay. Membership expires on the 31st of January following the year for which the dues requirement was fulfilled. PCOs are not required to pay membership dues but are encouraged to do so.
Section 3: Persons who have paid current membership dues but do not meet the requirements of Article III, Section 1 are associate members and may attend meetings, speak in debate, but may not vote, and have the rights of honorary members under Roberts Rules of Order.
Section 4: All members are accorded equal privileges except as provided for in these bylaws.
Article IV: Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs)
Section 1: PCOs are elected through the statewide primary election process in even-numbered years, and serve two-year terms starting on December 1 of even-numbered years.
Section 2: KCDCC rules and bylaws govern filling vacant PCOs, which requires the recommendation of a majority of PCOs in the District. An appointed PCO serves in their precinct of residence. An acting PCO does not reside in the precinct in which they serve. A primary task of each acting PCO is to recruit a precinct resident to file for PCO.
Section 3: For any precinct that does not have a PCO, applications for acting and appointed PCOs are considered at regular membership meetings.
Section 4: Acting or appointed PCOs require recommendation by a majority of members present and eligible to vote as defined by the KCDCC bylaws, and approval by KCDCC. The District Chair is responsible for sending all recommendations to the KCDCC within 30 days.
Section 5: A PCO is considered to have resigned from the position upon:
(A) Written resignation directed to the organization,
(B) Termination of registration to vote in the represented precinct,
(C) Written or public declaration of disaffiliation with the Democratic Party or affiliation with another political party, or
(D) Any other manner declared by Washington State statutes.
Section 6: The Chair announces all PCO resignations at the next Executive Board and regular membership meeting and publishes such resignations to the membership.
Article V: Officers and Duties
Section 1: The officers of this organization are:
(B) First Vice-Chair,
(C) Second Vice-Chair,
(F) Two (2) Delegates and two (2) Alternate Delegates to the KCDCC executive board,
(G) Two (2) Delegates to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and
(H) One (1) delegate and one (1) alternate delegate to the King County Young Democrats and Washington State Young Democrats.
Their term of office is until the next reorganization meeting. This is normally two (2) years, but may be one year when a special reorganization meeting is necessary due to redistricting.
Section 2: Any member who is a resident of the district is eligible to be nominated, elected, and serve in any elected officer position (although some positions may be subject to age and gender limitations). Electors should strive for leadership that includes persons from groups historically marginalized based on gender, race, age, religion, sexual orientation, economic status and ethnic origin, and that reflects the district’s diverse geographical areas, cities and towns. The electors for officers who are delegates to other Democratic organizations by virtue of their position shall be the elected and appointed PCOs serving in their precinct of residence. The electors for all other officer positions shall be all district voting members.
Section 3: Additional officers may be elected by the membership from time to time to fill posts suggested or required by applicable rules and laws.
Section 4: The Chair is the executive officer of the organization. The Chair presides at all meetings, appoints all committees, designates members to perform such duties deemed necessary, and performs all duties customarily carried out by the executive officer of an organization. The Chair is also a voting representative of the District to the KCDCC executive board and to the state chairs organization.
Section 5: 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 the KCDCC executive board, and performs other duties as directed by the Chair. The First Vice-Chair does not automatically succeed the Chair if that office becomes vacant. The First Vice-Chair is also a voting representative of the District to the state chairs organization.
Section 6: 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 automatically succeed the First Vice-Chair if that office becomes vacant.
Section 7: The Secretary records the minutes of District membership and executive board meetings and prepares a summary for distribution to the membership, and performs other duties as directed by the Chair.
Section 8: The Treasurer is responsible for the safekeeping of the organization’s funds, prepares checks for disbursement of funds, periodically makes reports (oral or written) to the members, submits an annual report, and performs all functions normally attendant on the office, including strict adherence to the requirements of the Public Disclosure Commission.
Section 9: Delegates and Alternates to the KCDCC Executive Board represent the District organization at each meeting of the KCDCC Executive Board and report back to the membership. Delegates shall be of differing genders and Alternates shall also be of differing genders. 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 10: Delegates to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee represent the District organization at each meeting of the State Central Committee and report back to the membership. Delegates shall be of differing genders.
Section 11: Delegates and Alternates to the King County Young Democrats and Washington State Young Democrats represent the District organization at meetings and functions of those organizations and report back to the membership.
Article VI: Removal of Officers
Section 1: Officers may be removed for serious cause.
Section 2: A special meeting may be called for the purpose of removing an officer upon written request of twenty electors for that office. Notice of such meeting shall be published to the membership at least 10 days in advance of the meeting. Statements of the grounds for removal, as well as a rebuttal to the grounds for removal if the officer chooses to respond, shall be provided to the membership at least 5 days prior to the meeting.
Section 3: The quorum for a meeting to remove an officer shall be 40 of the electors for that office.
Section 4: A two-thirds (2/3) vote is required to remove an officer.
Article VII: Executive Board
Section 1: The District Executive Board is composed of all elected District officers, members who are also officers of the National, Washington State or King County Democratic organizations, and the chairs of all standing committees.
Section 2: An individual may fulfill multiple Executive Board positions, but each individual is entitled to just one vote.
Section 3: The Executive Board meets on a regular basis for the purpose of planning the activities and administering the policies of the organization. Executive Board meetings are called by the Chair or at the request of fifty percent (50%) of the Executive Board members.
Section 4: 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 5: Notice of regular Executive Board meetings is published to the membership. These meetings are open to all members.
Article VIII: Standing Committees
Section 1: The existence and function of Standing Committees is flexible, depending on both recognized needs and availability of members with the requisite time and skills. Examples of possible Standing Committees include: Endorsements, Communications, Fund Raising, Legislative Action, PCO Support, Diversity and Inclusion, Membership, Platform and Resolutions, Rules, and Credentials. Standing Committees may be established from time to time, either by motion of the general membership or by the District Chair.
Section 2: Standing Committee Chairs are appointed by the District Chair, with the approval of the Executive Board and a majority of those members present and voting at a regular membership meeting. In the absence of a Standing Committee Chair, the District Chair may appoint any member to be responsible for any of the functions that would normally be part of that role.
Article IX: Membership Meetings
Section 1: Regular meetings of the organization will be held monthly at a regular time. These meetings are open to the public.
Section 2: The District Chair, or the First Vice-Chair upon the written request of a majority of the Executive Board, may call special meeting. Notice and the purpose of such meeting shall be published to the membership at least 10 days in advance of the meeting.
Section 3: A quorum consists of at least twenty-five (25) voting members.
Section 4: Any form of electronic meeting is acceptable provided that each participant is able to hear and speak directly to all other meeting participants.
Section 5: The Executive Board may adopt procedures for taking votes by email or other forms of electronic communication.
Section 6: In all matters not covered by these bylaws or other adopted rules, meetings will conform to the latest revision of Robert’s Rules of Order.
Article X: Endorsements
Section 1: The organization may make endorsements of candidates or take positions on ballot proposals within the applicable rules of KCDCC, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and DNC.
Section 2: The organization will adopt standing rules on Endorsements.
Article XI: Amendments
Section 1: Amendments to these bylaws must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the PCOs serving in their precinct of residence in attendance at a membership meeting of this organization. Notice that bylaw changes are on the meeting agenda must be published to the membership at least 10 days prior to the meeting.