Article I – Name
The name of this organization shall be the San Diego Democratic Club.
Article II – Purpose
The mission of the San Diego Democratic Club shall be to secure for all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people the equal human rights guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution of the United States and to foster the ideals of the Democratic Party and contribute to the Party’s growth and influence.
To achieve this mission, the San Diego Democratic Club will work to: define and implement the platform policies of the Democratic Party at local, state, and national levels to reflect the needs and desires of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community; encourage active participation in Democratic Party activities at the local, state and national levels; register voters who support the Club’s mission and encourage their participation in the electoral process; advocate for legislation consistent with the Club’s mission; evaluate candidates for public office and actively support those candidates who best promote the Club’s mission; evaluate ballot measures and advise the community of the Club’s recommendations; actively support the election of qualified lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender candidates for public office; educate public officials, candidates for public office, and the general community on political issues of importance to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community; build coalitions with other organizations that support the Club’s mission; include underrepresented and diverse groups within our community in order to bring about greater harmony and understanding; and increase the Club’s visibility and influence by participation in community activities and events.
The San Diego Democratic Club shall maintain a platform enunciating priorities consistent with the goals stated in Section 2 above. The Club platform shall be updated at least every two years, prior to the beginning of a legislative session. The platform shall be ratified upon a two-thirds vote of the membership at a regularly-scheduled Club meeting.
Article III – Affiliations
The San Diego Democratic Club shall maintain a charter with the San Diego County Democratic Party and adhere to the County Party bylaws and policies governing duly-chartered Democratic clubs.
The San Diego Democratic Club shall operate as an affiliate of the National Stonewall Democrats and shall comply with its affiliation agreement with the National Stonewall Democrats in all instances. (Agreement attached hereto as Exhibit 6).
Article IV – Membership
Any person who is a registered Democrat, or, if unable to register, is at least sixteen years of age and has expressed the intent to register as a Democrat, and who subscribes to the stated purpose of the San Diego Democratic Club, shall be eligible for membership in the club.
Every person who is eligible to be a member of the San Diego Democratic Club and who has paid annual dues shall be a member in good standing. Dues may be paid only by personal credit card, personal check, or cash provided by the individual. Corporate, business or organizational checks or payments are not accepted in satisfaction of membership dues. Membership commences: 1) on the postmark date of a membership form with payment sent to the club’s mailing address; 2) on the date a membership form with payment is completed online on the club’s website; 3) on the date that a membership form with payment is hand delivered to the President, Treasurer or Membership Director, or 4) in the case complimentary membership provided to the a member of the Stonewall Young Democrats, on the date when a Stonewall Young Democrats officer provides complete membership information to the SDDC Membership Director. Questions of eligibility shall be determined by the Executive Board upon the recommendation of the Membership Director.
Any member whose actions are judged by a majority of the Executive Board to be prejudicial or detrimental to the San Diego Democratic Club may be expelled from the club, upon recommendation of the Executive Board, by a two-thirds vote of those members present and voting at a properly noticed and called meeting of the club. Notice that such action is being considered shall be mailed to the member subject to expulsion at least five (5) days prior to the meeting.
Individuals who are not registered as Democrats may become associates of the San Diego Democratic Club. Associates are not considered members and are therefore not eligible to vote, hold a position on the Executive Board or represent the Club at Democratic Party activities.
The annual dues shall be set by the Executive Board. Dues are payable when a person joins the club and annually thereafter.
Article V – Officers
The elected officers of the San Diego Democratic Club shall be the President, Executive Vice President, Vice President for Development, Vice President for Political Action, Secretary, and Treasurer. Elected officers shall take office at the first general membership meeting following their election and shall hold office for one year or until their successors are elected.
The duties of the elected officers shall be as follows:
The President shall set the agenda for and preside over all meetings of the Executive Board and of the membership; nominate appointed directors to serve on the Executive Board, as specified in Article VI of these bylaws, for approval by the membership; appoint committees as may be deemed necessary; serve as the official representative of the club in public forums; make decisions for the club on policy when specifically empowered to do so by the Executive Board; advise the membership of pertinent matters affecting the welfare of the Democratic Party and the club; disburse funds of the club within limits set by the Executive Board; and act as Treasurer in the absence or inability of the Treasurer.
B. Executive Vice President.
The Executive Vice President shall preside at meetings of the Executive Board and of the membership in the absence or inability of the President; be responsible for overseeing the Program Director, Volunteer Director, Special Events Director, Community Outreach Director, the Woman’s Caucus, the Youth Caucus, and other non-geographical caucuses as may be recognized pursuant to Article VIII of these bylaws; and perform such other duties as the President may direct. The Executive Vice President shall assume the office of President if that office becomes vacant.
C. Vice President for Political Action.
The Vice President for Political Action shall be responsible for coordinating the club’s candidate evaluation, political campaign, and legislative activities and shall oversee the Political Relations Director the Mobilization Director, the Legislative Advocacy Director and the club’s geographical caucuses.
D. Vice President for Development. The Vice President for Development shall be responsible for coordinating the club’s higher level membership/donor program and shall oversee the Membership Director, Fund Raising Director(s), Publications Director, Media and Marketing Director, and the Information Technology Director.
The Secretary shall maintain a record of all meetings of the Executive Board and of the membership; be prepared to read the minutes of the previous meeting at the current meeting of the Executive Board or of the membership; receive and maintain in official club records the reports of elected officers, appointed directors and chairs of recognized caucuses; maintain a compendium of bylaws, standing rules, resolutions and policies adopted by the Executive Board or the membership; handle correspondence as directed by the President or Executive Board conduct e-mail votes of the Executive Board as directed by the President, pursuant to the procedures specified in the Board Policies; regularly retrieve and distribute mail received in the clubs Post Office box, and perform such other duties as the President may direct.
The Treasurer shall maintain the financial records of the club; receive and disburse funds of the club; prepare an annual budget of anticipated revenues and expenses; provide addenda to the budget as required; report the financial status of the club to the Executive Board on a regular basis; make an annual report to the membership; prepare and submit all required state and federal tax forms and Political Action Committee financial disclosure reports to the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FFPC) and Federal Elections Commission (FEC),on a timely basis; and provide all information necessary for periodic audits as may be directed by the Executive Board.
An officer may be removed from office upon recommendation of a two-thirds majority of the Executive Board on a roll call vote or upon submission of a petition signed by at least fifteen (15) percent of the members. Such recommendation or petition must be submitted to the membership at a properly called and noticed meeting where a quorum is present and shall require a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting to remove the officer. Notice that such action is being considered shall be mailed to the officer subject to removal at least five (5) days prior to the meeting.
Article VI – Appointed Directors
The appointed directors who shall sit on the Executive Board shall be as follows: Publications Director, Media and Marketing Director, Fundraising Director, Membership Director, Political Relations Director, Legislative Advocacy Director, Program Director, Mobilization Director, Community Outreach Director, Information Technology Director, Volunteers Director, and Special Events Director.
The duties of the appointed directors shall be as follows:
The Publications Director shall design and edit the club’s monthly printed newsletter, the Freedom Awards program book, election endorsement mailers and advertisements, club advertisements in the program books of other organizations, membership brochures and other publications as determined by the Executive Board.
B. The Media and Marketing.
The Media and Marketing Director shall prepare and distribute press releases to promote club activities and positions, prepare and distribute the club’s weekly electronic newsletter, and promote and implement public relations strategies to enhance the club’s presence in the community.
C. Fund Raising.
The Fund Raising Director(s) shall coordinate the annual Freedom Awards, events for upper dues level members, and other fund raising programs.
The Membership Director shall promote membership in the club; coordinate all membership renewals, maintain all membership records; certify the standing of members in the club; and coordinate club outreach and recruitment activities.
E. Political Relations.
The Political Relations Director shall be responsible for coordinating activities to maintain and enhance relations between the club and elected officials, candidates for public office, the local, state and national Democratic Party, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus of the California Democratic Party and shall develop activities to increase lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender participation in public boards, commissions, and elective office.
F. Legislative Advocacy.
The Legislative Advocacy Director shall represent the club on any local, state or national lobbying organizations with which the club is affiliated; keep the Executive Board and club membership informed on the status of legislation related to the club’s platform; recommend club positions on pending legislation; and coordinate the communication of the club’s legislative positions to elected officials, the club membership and other organizations.
The Program Director shall arrange the location and coordinate the logistics for club meetings; arrange for guest speakers for club meetings, and coordinate with the Vice President for Political Action in scheduling candidate forums.
The Mobilization Director shall promote and implement the registration of voters and coordinate the club’s GO TEAM and get-out-the-vote activities on behalf of candidates and ballot measures. In addition, the Mobilization Chair shall promote participation of club members in activities in support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender equality as well as allied interests.
The Volunteers Director shall be responsible for the recruitment and placement of club volunteers.
J. Special Events.
The Special Events Chair shall be responsible for coordinating the club’s participation in special events including parades, festivals, and street fairs and handling associated logistics (including booth set-up/take-down, etc).
K. Community Outreach.
The Community Outreach Director shall coordinate involvement and participation with diverse community organizations and activities and assist in the establishment of positive relationships with leaders of other community organizations.
L. Information Technology.
The Information Technology Director shall manage, maintain and coordinate the club’s technical and data resources; establish and maintain the club’s Internet presence through the club website and other online forums and tools; and to handle other information technology projects as directed by the Executive Board.
Following the election of the executive officers, the President-elect shall nominate the appointed directors for approval of the membership at the first general membership meeting following the election of officers. Approval requires an affirmative vote by a majority of the members present and voting at the first general meeting of the club following the meeting of election of officers. Upon approval, directors shall immediately be sworn in as members of the Executive Board. In making the selection of the appointed directors the President-Elect shall be directed to make her/his best effort to ensure that a minimum of forty percent (40%) of the total number of positions on the Executive Board are held by women and that a minimum of twenty-five percent (25%) of the total number of positions are held by people of color. The directors may appoint committees to assist them in fulfilling their functions on behalf of the club.
Removal of an appointed director shall require a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board.
Article VII – Committees
Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall be chaired by the immediate past president and shall consist of four additional members, of which two members shall be appointed by the President and the remaining two members elected at a membership meeting from among members who do not sit on the Executive Board. In the event that the immediate past president is no longer a member in good standing of the club or is otherwise unavailable to serve as chair of the Nominating Committee, the President shall appoint another club member to serve as chair.
In addition to the Nominating, Committee, the President and the Executive Board may convene other committees, on an ad hoc basis, All members of the club may recommend the formation of such committees to the President and the Executive Board.
Article VIII – Caucuses
The Women’s Caucus shall be a standing caucus of the club. The Chair of the Women’s Caucus shall be appointed by the President, subject to approval by a majority vote of club members present and voting. The Women’s Caucus may develop for conducting its business, subject to the approval by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board.
The Youth Caucus shall be composed of the members of the Stonewall Young Democrats of San Diego (SYDSD), a separately chartered, independent Democratic Club.
A. The President of the SYDSD shall serve as the San Diego Democratic Club’s Youth Caucus Co-Chair and as a member of the SDDC’s Board. If the Executive Vice President of the SYDSD is of a different gender than the President, the Executive Vice President shall also serve as Youth Caucus Co-Chair and as a member of the SDDC Board. If the Executive Vice President of SYDSD is the same gender as the President, then a member of the SYDSD board of a different gender shall serve in the Youth Caucus Co-Chair position.
B. Members in good standing of the SYDSD may opt-in to membership with the San Diego Democratic Club without paying additional membership dues. The SDDC will pay the National Stonewall Democrats dues for SYDSD members who opt-into membership with the SDDC. SYDSD members may also opt to pay their dues to NSD when paying dues for SYDSD. SYDSD members may be considered members of SDDC only when membership information has been provided to the SDDC to the satisfaction of the SDDC’s Membership Director.
As stated above, the SYDSD is an independent and separately-chartered Democratic Club, operating under charter of the San Diego County Democratic Party. The SYDSD and its officers and board are solely responsible for maintaining the Club’s chartered status, for fulfilling the SYDSD’s fiduciary responsibilities, including filing requisite financial reports with state and federal campaign reporting entities. The SYDSD may also make their own endorsements, separate and distinct from the endorsements of the SDDC.
Additional caucuses, including geographically-based caucuses, may be established at any time to address special concerns of groups or regions within the San Diego Democratic Club. The chairs of additional caucuses shall be appointed by the President, subject to approval by a majority vote of club members present and voting. Caucuses may develop rules for conducting their business, subject to the approval by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board. Officially sanctioned caucuses shall adhere to the purposes of the club.
Except for the Stonewall Young Democrats, election to positions of leadership in caucuses and voting on matters of policy within caucuses shall be limited to members of the San Diego Democratic Club. Caucuses may not speak for the club as a whole unless specifically authorized to do so by the Executive Board or the position of the caucus has been presented to and been adopted by the membership.
At the call of the President a caucus not designated by these bylaws as a standing caucus may be scheduled for review of its recognition by the Executive Board. In such review the caucus must be supported by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Executive Board present and voting at a called meeting of the board for formal recognition of the caucus to continue.
Article IX – Executive Board
The Executive Board shall consist of the elected officers, the appointed directors, the two co-chairs of the Youth Caucus, the chairs of other recognized caucuses, and the immediate past president. The members of the Executive Board must be members in good standing of the San Diego Democratic Club. When a member of the LGBT community from San Diego, in good standing as a Club member and residing in San Diego County, serves as an elected or appointed member of the Democratic National Committee, that member shall be entitled to serve as an ex officio member of the Executive Board, with full voting privileges.
The Executive Board shall meet at the call of the President or upon call of a majority of the Executive Board. Meetings require five days notice, which may be waived in the case of an emergency by a two-thirds majority of the Executive Board.
A. Emergency actions or funding to a maximum of $200.00 may be authorized upon agreement of any four of the six elected officers. A “good faith” effort shall be made to poll all six. If necessary, the elected officers may be polled by telephone or by e-mail. Any action taken by this method shall be communicated to the other Executive Board members in a timely manner.
The quorum for meetings of the Executive Board shall be one-third of the voting members of the board. Proxies shall not be valid at meetings of the Executive Board. No one member of the Executive Board shall have more than one vote, even if qualified by more than one criterion.
Meetings of the Executive Board shall be open to the membership unless the board by a two-thirds vote calls for a closed session. Discussion at any Executive Board meeting may be limited by a majority vote of the board to members of the board.
The duties of the Executive Board shall be to approve the budget; authorize the receipt of revenue and payment of expenses; set the membership dues; formulate policy and approve projects to carry out the purposes of the club; review all projects and activities of the appointed directors and caucuses of the club; and make decisions regarding the employment of any paid staff.
Article X – Elections
Officers of the club shall be elected at a membership meeting to be scheduled during the month of January each year and assume office at the first general membership meeting following their election.
Officers may be nominated in one of two ways, by the Nominating Committee or from the floor immediately prior to the voting for each office. The Nominating Committee shall report to the meeting that precedes the election meeting. Members shall be given at least one week’s notice of both meetings.
In developing its slate of nominees, the Nominating Committee shall make its best effort toward the attainment of a goal of having gender equity in the offices of President and Executive Vice President and gender parity in all of the elected positions.
The officers shall be elected individually in the order of President, Executive Vice President, Vice President for Political Action, Vice President for Development, Treasurer, and Secretary. The election of officers shall be by secret ballot; however, if there is only one nominee for an office, and provided that no objection is raised, the candidate can be elected by acclamation without a ballot. To be elected, a nominee must receive a majority of the votes cast for that office. If no nominee receives a majority on the first ballot, a runoff shall be held between the two nominees receiving the greatest number of votes. In case of a tie, the candidates who tied will be included on the runoff ballot. If there is only one nominee for an office, the ballot shall include a choice of no election for that office which shall be included in tabulating the votes cast.
Nominees for election as President or Executive Vice President must have been dues-paid members for at least 90 days prior to taking office and must have been dues-paid members for at least twelve months out of the two years preceding the election. Nominees for other offices must have been dues-paid members for at least 90 days prior to taking office.
In the event a position is not filled in the annual election of officers, or there is a vacancy because of resignation or removal, with the exception of President, a special election shall be held to fill the position according to the procedures for nominating and electing officers in the annual election. An officer elected in a special election shall take office immediately. When there is a vacancy in the office of President, the position shall be filled by the Executive Vice President and a special election shall be held to elect a new Executive Vice President.
Only the following are eligible to vote in the election of club officers in January: (1) Those persons who were current members as of November 1, provided they are also current on the date of the election (members may become current by payment of dues at the election meeting), and (2) those whose membership expired between August 1 and October 31 and renewed within 90 days of their expiration date. For the election of Club officers only, absentee ballots shall be accepted from members who are eligible to vote but unable to attend the meeting at which the election is held. Polices and procedures for absentee balloting shall be prescribed by the Executive Board. For the election of Club officers, absentee ballots shall count toward a quorum.
Delegates and alternates from the club to caucuses, councils, conventions and other meetings including the National Stonewall Democrats Leadership Council representatives, shall be elected at a called meeting by plurality. Members may cast as many votes as there are delegates to be elected. Candidates for delegates must have been members in good standing for at least 90 days prior to their election as delegates. When delegates and alternates cannot be elected at a regular or specially called meeting, or there are not enough delegates or alternates to fill the positions allotted to the club, the President, or the President’s designee, shall have the power to fill any vacancy with any member in good standing. Such appointments shall be temporary with the appointee subject to replacement upon the arrival of any regularly-elected delegate or alternate. When selecting delegates an effort shall be made to reflect the diversity of the membership of the San Diego Democratic Club.
Club endorsements or ratings of candidates for public office and club positions on ballot positions shall be pursuant to the “Standing Rules for Endorsements” attached to these bylaws as “Exhibit 1.”
Article XI – Meetings
Meetings of the membership shall be held at least four times each year, including a meeting during January for the purpose of electing club officers.
A quorum for meetings shall be 10% of the members in good standing at the time of the meeting. Proxies shall not be valid at membership meetings. For the election of Club officers only, absentee ballots shall be accepted from members who are eligible to vote but are unable to attend the meeting at which the election is held. Policies and procedures for absentee balloting shall be prescribed by the Executive Board. For the election of Club officers, absentee ballots count toward a quorum.
Notice shall be given to members of all meetings in a timely fashion. Newsletters or written notices shall be mailed at least seven days prior to the meeting. Notices may be sent electronically at least 5 days prior to a meeting; however, any member without an electronic address on file shall be mailed a written notice at least seven days prior to any meeting.
Meetings may be closed to non-members at the request of any member and the approval of two-thirds of the members present and voting.
Article XII – Rules of Procedure
The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall be the parliamentary authority for the club on all questions not covered by these bylaws.
Questions of interpretation of these bylaws may be appealed to the Executive Board whose decision shall be final.
The Executive Board may designate an employee to be an ex officio member of the board, but no employee shall be a voting member of the board.
Membership records shall be confidential and the use of the club mailing lists shall require a two-thirds affirmative vote of the Executive Board.
Article XIII – Amendments
These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote at a properly noticed membership meeting at which a quorum is present.
Standing Rules for Endorsements – San Diego Democratic Club
1. Club endorsements of candidates for public office and club positions on ballot propositions may be determined at any properly noticed club meeting, provided that a quorum is present and that the notice of the meeting (normally contained in the Club newsletter) included notification of the races or ballot measures which are to be considered for endorsement or rating. (A quorum 10% of the members in good standing at the time of the meeting.) To be eligible to vote for endorsement of a candidate or ballot proposition, a member must have been a member in good standing at least 25 days prior to the meeting. A recently lapsed member, whose membership expired within 65 days of an endorsement meeting, shall be able to vote upon payment of dues, whether in advance of or at an endorsement meeting. Proxy voting and absentee voting is not permitted; however, a club member who attends a meeting where an endorsement vote is held may exercise the option to cast an endorsement ballot prior to the vote, pursuant to the procedures indicated in Section 17 below. Candidates and their staff members, who are otherwise eligible to vote, are also eligible to vote on all endorsements.
2. Voting on any endorsement shall be by secret ballot when requested by any member eligible to vote.
3. The Executive Board shall recommend the selection of races and propositions to be included on the slate for consideration. The selection may be modified by a majority vote of those eligible members present and voting.
4. In partisan and non-partisan elections, only Democratic candidates may be endorsed. This rule is not subject to suspension.
5. An affirmative vote of at least 60 percent of the club members present and eligible to vote shall be required to endorse a candidate, rate a candidate, or take a position on a ballot proposition. The vote required is measured by all those eligible members “present,” not just those “present and voting”. The option of “No Endorsement” shall be included on the endorsement ballot for each race or ballot measure.
6. Only one candidate may be endorsed per seat. An endorsement implies that the club recommends that people vote for that candidate rather than any other candidates for that seat. It does not necessarily imply that the club supports all of the candidate’s positions. In the case of candidates for County Democratic Central Committee only, the Club shall have the option of listing all duly-paid Club members in endorsements, without making an endorsement, and without limiting the number of candidates listed to the number of seats available. At its discretion, the Club’s executive board may also recommend the Club endorse in Central Committee races, even when more Club members are running than seats are available.
7. Candidate surveys shall be prepared and approved by the Executive Board and shall be reviewed periodically (at least every two years) to ensure that current issues are adequately reflected as specified in the club’s platform. Candidates for judicial office will be evaluated on a specifically tailored and limited survey and/or attendance at the appropriate meeting. The completed survey shall be scored and assessed by the Vice President for Political Action.
8. Candidates wishing to be considered for an endorsement or acceptable rating must meet ONE of the following criteria: 1) They are eligible candidates for state-wide or national office; 2) They are declared a friendly incumbent by the Executive Board, with approval of the membership; or 3) They have completed a candidate survey.
9. All candidates for non-partisan office who are eligible for an endorsement or an “acceptable” rating and all Democrats for partisan office will be invited to appear at the endorsement meeting to answer questions.
10. Prior to voting on a candidate race, a Club member shall either make a motion that the Club consider an endorsement in the specified race or a motion that the Club forgo an endorsement and immediately consider rating candidates in the race. A single such motion may include may include more than one race; however, at the request of any member, a separate vote to consider an endorsement or to consider rating candidates shall be taken on a particular race. A simple majority vote is required for either motion to pass. If neither a motion to consider an endorsement or a motion to consider rating candidates in a race receives a majority vote, then the outcome shall be listed as “No Position” in that race.
11. If no candidate receives the required 60 percent vote for endorsement, sub-sequent ballots shall be taken deleting the candidate receiving the least number of votes and those receiving no votes on the previous ballot.
12. If after the completion of balloting, no candidate has received the 60 percent of the vote required for an endorsement, the chair may entertain motions to rate one or more of the candidates. If a candidate is endorsed, no remaining candidates shall be rated acceptable.
13. The club may choose any of the following options for rating candidates:
a. “Acceptable”—Circumstances justifying this rating include, but are not limited to: (i) the candidate does not qualify for an endorsement, however the club feels the person is supportable, (ii) the candidate has a good record and/or good position statements, however the club disagrees with the candidate on one or more significant issues,
(iii) there are more than one good candidates, and the club prefers to rate them each as acceptable rather than endorse a single candidate.
b. “Unacceptable”—Circumstances justifying this rating include, but are not limited to:
(i) the candidate has a poor position or record on one or more critical issues,
(ii) the candidate has demonstrated a lack of responsiveness or sensitivity to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
c. “No Position”—Circumstances justifying this rating include, but are not limited to the following:
(i) not enough information is known about the candidate, (ii) the candidate appears to be between the ratings of “Acceptable” and “Unacceptable,”
(iii) it would not be politically expedient to take a position.
14. The club may rate any ballot proposition as “Support,” “Oppose,” or “No Position.”
15. In the event that the club entertains a motion to rate a candidate or ballot proposition, and 60% of those voting cannot agree on the assignment of any of the rating options listed above, then that candidate or proposition shall be assigned the rating of “No Consensus.”
16. No candidates, including candidates who are also club members, may be present for debate on the office for which that candidate is contending.
17. A club member who attends a meeting where an endorsement vote is held may exercise the option to cast an endorsement ballot prior to the vote. The Teller shall hold such ballots until the vote is called for that particular race or ballot measure. In the event that the motion to consider an endorsement in a candidate race fails, the ballots submitted in advance shall be discarded. Ballots submitted in advance are considered only in the first round of balloting; they are not included in runoffs.
18. Club fundraising activities may only be conducted for the campaigns of those candidates endorsed by the club and those ballot propositions earning a rating of “Support.” The club, by a 60% vote, may designate certain races/issues as “priority campaigns” to indicate that those campaigns should be given priority in terms of fundraising or club-coordinated volunteer efforts.
19. These rules may be suspended by a 2/3 vote of those present and voting, provided that a quorum is present. These rules may be amended by a 2/3 vote of those present and voting at any properly called club meeting, provided that a quorum is present, and provided that notice of the proposed amendment was included with the notice of the meeting.
Friendly Incumbent Endorsement Guidelines
A. Friendly incumbent endorsements may be considered for all incumbents who have a supportive voting record on appropriate issues, as determined by the Executive Board. The friendly incumbent endorsement is intended to reward incumbents for their support and should be completed early so the candidate has a greater opportunity to use the Club’s endorsement to discourage challengers.
B. A friendly incumbent endorsement does not require the completion of a questionnaire or attendance at an endorsement meeting.
C. The Executive Board may determine eligibility for a friendly incumbent endorsement for an incumbent who has no voting record by virtue of holding an administrative, executive or other non-legislative office. At the discretion of the Executive Board, and in consideration of the recommendations of the Vice President for Political Action, the Board may choose to require a friendly incumbent to have previously completed a club questionnaire, prior to consideration of friendly incumbent status.
D. Friendly incumbent endorsements may be approved on a consent calendar. Any member may remove a candidate from the consent calendar for separate consideration.
E. Where an incumbent does not receive a friendly incumbent endorsement, the office will be treated as open. All candidates that office (including the incumbent) will then be required to follow the standard endorsement procedure.
Endorsement Meeting Guidelines
The Vice President for Political Action, or another Board member designee, shall make a good-faith effort to invite all candidates for office to appear for a candidate forum on the race to be considered. When the Club takes up a race, the Vice President for Political Action shall announce the score each candidate received on the Club questionnaire, with an elaboration on particular answers if necessary.
At the discretion of the Executive Board, the Club may choose to forgo a formal candidate forum, or to conduct a candidate forum in each race being considered by the Club.
The forum structure shall be as follows: A. Candidate Opening Statements – 3 to 5 minutes, with candidates informed of the timing in advance. B. Discussion – Question and Answer – 10 to 20 minutes a. Questions to be addressed so that all candidates may answer them. No questions aimed only at one particular candidate. b. Depending upon time constraints, at the discretion of the Vice President for Political Action, members shall submit written questions or be given the opportunity to submit questions from the floor. c. Members are encouraged to ask questions relevant to the Club’s mission of advancing LGBT equality, although issues of candidate viability, fundraising ability, endorsements or the candidate’s “vision” are also appropriate.
d. Generally three to five questions per race are appropriate.
C. Closing Statements – 2 to 3 minutes for each candidate
D. Discussion and Voting a. At least three members advocating for or against an endorsement shall be recognized by the meeting chair, with each side provided equal opportunity to address the membership. Discussion may be limited to one or two minutes per speaker. b. Members shall be instructed that the threshold question for consideration is whether to endorse in a particular race. After the discussion of endorsement, a vote is generally taken, consistent with the bylaws. Following a decision to endorse, the members may discuss the individual merits of endorsing a candidate, as well as providing any arguments against endorsing in a particular contest.
c. Voting may be done by a show of hands or membership cards, or by secret ballot when requested by a member.
1. The San Diego Democratic Club shall maintain a platform enunciating priorities consistent with the Club’s mission. The platform shall be updated at least every two years, prior to the beginning of a legislative session. The platform shall be ratified upon a two-thirds vote of the membership at a regularly-scheduled Club meeting.
2. The Club will endorse or oppose legislation and take positions on nominations of individuals to legislatively-confirmed positions at the local, state and federal level. Legislation to be endorsed or opposed must be consistent with the Club’s priorities as stated in the Club’s platform. Nominees endorsed or opposed by the Club must be nominated to positions relevant to the Club’s platform priorities or the nominees must have a proven record of support or opposition to the Club’s priorities and principles as enunciated in the platform. This endorsement process applies to legislation and legislatively-confirmed appointments and not to proposed ballot initiatives or candidates for elective office.
3. An SDDC board member will serve as the appointed Legislative Advocacy Director. The Legislative Advocacy Director will recommend legislative initiatives to be endorsed or opposed. Additionally, the Legislative Advocacy Director will recommend those legislatively-confirmed nominees to support or oppose.
4. The ability to make recommendations on endorsements and opposition will be vested in the Legislative Advocacy Director with the advice and approval of the Board.
5. The Legislative Advocacy Director may endorse or oppose legislation or appointees consistent with the Club platform with the consent of a majority of the Club’s elected officers.
6. The Legislative Advocacy Director shall on a regular basis report to the full membership on legislative endorsements and other action.
7. At any regularly scheduled SDDC meeting, individual Club members may request the Club take a position on specific legislation or nominees not identified for endorsement by the Legislative Advocacy Director. Member-initiated actions require a 60 percent vote of the membership present at a meeting for approval.
8. By a 2/3 vote, the Club’s Board may waive the requirement for legislation to be directly related to the SDDC’s approved platform. If the requirement is waived, a position may be taken with a 60 percent vote of the Board.
9. At a regularly-scheduled meeting of the SDDC, any member may move that the Club take a position on non-platform related issues by requesting a waiver of the rules and receipt of a 2/3 vote for the waiver. If the waiver is granted, a position may be taken with a 60 percent vote of the membership present.
10. The SDDC shall work in coordination with other organizations at the local, state and national level to lobby for and against legislation and nominations.
11. Upon a 60 percent vote of the Executive Board, the Club may designate certain legislation “priority” legislation and dedicate funding and/or Club coordination efforts accordingly. Priority legislation must be related to the SDDC’s core mission to advance the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.
Standing Rules for Awards – San Diego Democratic Club
1. The Freedom Banquet Committee, chaired by the Fund Raising Director(s), will appoint an Awards Subcommittee.
2. The Awards Subcommittee will present a list of candidates to the Freedom Banquet Committee for all awards except the President’s Award. The nominated candidates must meet the appropriate criteria:
A. Brad Truax Human Rights Award – This award, considered the Club’s highest honor, is presented to an individual who has made sustained and significant contributions toward the advancement of lesbian, gay bisexual, and transgender rights, at the local, state, or national level. The recipient need not be a Club member.
J. Douglas Scott Award for Political Action – This award is presented to a Club member who demonstrates political action within the lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual community and the Democratic Party. The award recognizes political work done within the Party to educate and advance the political agenda of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender movement and/or work within the community to encourage participation in the Democratic Party and electoral process.
Gloria Steinem Award for Communication – This award is presented to an individual or organization who has worked to educate the non-gay/lesbian/ bisexual/transgender community about our needs and create avenues of communication between the two communities.
Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Community Action – This award is presented to an individual or organization who has demonstrated service to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender community through participation in other organizations and community events.
R. Steven Pope Award for Volunteerism – This award is presented to a Club member who demonstrates outstanding volunteerism within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, the Club, political campaigns, and the Democratic Party. The award recognizes the need to acknowledge volunteers who consistently and selflessly give their time and energy to further the Club’s political agenda.
Herb King Lifetime Achievement Award – This is a special award (not routinely presented every year) given to a Club member for in recognition of many years of extraordinary service to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
3. The Freedom Banquet Committee will present their selections to the SDDC Executive Board for ratification.
4. Club members are eligible to receive only one award in any one year.
5. An additional award may be chosen by the Club President:
President’s Award – This award is presented to a club member at the discretion of the Club President in recognition of special service to the Club and/or the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.
SAN DIEGO DEMOCRATIC CLUB – BOARD POLICY GUIDELINES
Note: Board Policy Guidelines can be amended or suspended by a two-thirds vote of the Board present at any regular or special Board meeting where a quorum is present.
A. Newsletter/Website/Endorsement Mailer/E-Blast
1. Paid advertising may be accepted for the newsletter, website, E-blasts, or Club endorsement mailer in accordance with a rate schedule approved by the Board.
2. Political advertisements may be accepted only from candidates or initiative campaigns endorsed by the Club. Non-political advertisements may be accepted from businesses or individuals, as long as the advertising does not violate the content restriction included in Number 3 below.
3. Sexually explicit advertising or advertising that is contrary to the mission of the Club will not be accepted.
4. Endorsed candidates may, at their own expense, print flyers to be inserted into the newsletter announcing fund raising and other campaign activities. If the campaign has been designated as a priority campaign, the Club may pay for the printing of the insert. Special candidate advertising may also be placed in the Club’s weekly E-blasts to members.
5. The President may approve informational or event-related inserts provided by other organizations, provided that the content of the material is consistent with the Club’s mission, platform, endorsements, and statements of position, and also provided the insertion is in compliance with postal and political campaign regulations.
6. As a general rule, a maximum of three inserts will be approved per month, with priority given to flyers for priority campaigns.
B. Meeting Programs
1. Program topics should be consistent with the mission of the Club as stated in Article II of the bylaws and the Club platform.
2. If the program is a candidate forum, all Democratic candidates who have filed for a partisan office and all candidates who have filed for a non-partisan office shall be invited to participate.
3. If the program is a presentation regarding a ballot initiative, the Club will endeavor to have representatives from both the opponents and the proponents. An exception may be made where the Club has already taken a position to endorse or oppose an initiative.
4. The Program Chair Director shall submit program proposals to the Board for approval at least one month prior to the program.
C. Use of the Club’s Membership Lists.
Per the bylaws, the membership records are confidential. Use of the Club’s membership lists is subject to a two-thirds vote of the board.
1. The membership list shall not be provided to ballot measures and candidates not endorsed by the Club.
2. Unless approved by the Board by a two-thirds vote, the membership mailing list and the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/friends voter list may not given to a campaign or another organization or individual. If approved, club members can put labels on mailers and the Club can process the mailing, or the Club may arrange for a professional mailing firm to handle the addressing and mailing. Candidates for club offices and board positions may request access to Club membership lists for purposes of campaigning. When requested, the Membership Director shall provide a copy of the membership list, including member name, mailing address and e-mail address, where provided. All membership lists shall be returned to the Membership Director after the conclusion of a club election.
3. The Club’s membership list and gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender friends voter list are not to be rented, traded, or sold.
4. The Club membership list may be provided to the San Diego County Democratic Party and the National Stonewall Democrats, with the exception of those members who specifically request confidentiality. This policy is to go into effect after the notice of the policy change has been published in the Club newsletter for three consecutive issues. On future membership forms, there will be a check-off box for members to indicate if they do not want their name given to the Democratic Party or National Stonewall Democrats.
D. Procedures for Absentee Voting for the Election of Club Officers
(Note: These procedures are based on the procedures for mail balloting prescribed in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised and the procedures for absentee balloting of the Registrar of Voters.)
1. Absentee ballots are only permitted for the purposes of the election of Club officers.
2. The announcement of the meeting at which the election is to be held shall include instructions for requesting an absentee ballot.
3. Any member eligible to vote in the Club election (i.e., member in good standing for 90 days prior to the election) shall be entitled to obtain an absentee ballot. Although the intent of the absentee ballot is to provide those unable to attend the meeting with the opportunity of voting in the election, members are not required to state the reason why they will be unable to attend.
4. A written request for an absentee ballot shall be submitted to the Secretary Nominating Committee Chair and mailed to the Club’s post office box or delivered in person, and must be received no later than seven days prior to the election. The request must be signed by the member and should indicate the address to which the absentee ballot is to be mailed. The Nominating Committee Chair shall retain the written request so that the signature of the member is available for validating the ballot according the procedures below.
5. In order to accommodate members who may be going out of town, the Secretary Nominating Committee Chair or member designated by the Nominating Committee Chair shall mail the absentee ballot to members in a timely manner upon receipt of the request (preferably within 3-5 days after the request is received). The post office box shall be checked twice a week during the month preceding the election, if possible, and after the delivery of mail on the day of the deadline for submitting requests. All absentee ballots shall be mailed no later than the day after the deadline for submitting requests to the address indicated on the request.
6. In order to be valid, (1) the mail ballot must be received in the Club’s post office box or hand delivered to the Teller at the election meeting, and (2) it must be submitted in the manner specified below. If the ballot is hand delivered to the Teller, it can be delivered by anyone designated by the voter. For example, if a member is sick and requested an absentee ballot, the member can either return the ballot by mail or have a friend deliver it to the Teller at the election meeting.
7. Absentee ballots shall include the names of all eligible members nominated for each office at the meeting prior to the election meeting, and there shall be spaces for write-in candidates.
8. Each mail ballot shall be accompanied by an instruction sheet, a pre-printed No. 10 envelope (pre-addressed to the “Election Teller” in care of Club’s post office box), and a blank smaller envelope. The Nominating Committee Chair shall print the member’s name on the back of the pre-printed envelope. The voter is to be instructed to complete the ballot, fold it and place it inside the smaller blank envelope, seal the smaller envelope, place the smaller envelope inside the larger envelope, seal the larger envelope, and sign their name across the flap of the outer envelope.
9. The Nominating Committee Chair shall keep a list of all members who have been sent absentee ballots so that their names can be struck from the list of members eligible to receive ballots at the election meeting.
10. The Nominating Committee Chair shall give the Teller all of the unopened envelopes containing absentee ballots and a copy of all requests for absentee ballots received by the deadline. The Teller shall verify the signatures by cross-checking the signature on the envelope against the signature on the request for an absentee ballot. (If the back of the envelope is not signed, the ballot is invalid.) Next, the Teller shall take the small envelope with the ballot still sealed inside, and place it in a separate receptacle for absentee ballots. After the validity of all absentee ballot envelopes have been verified, the Teller shall place the absentee ballots in the ballot box.
11. Absentee ballots are not counted in runoffs. In the event, however, that a member requests an absentee ballot but attends the Club meeting where the election is held, the member shall be eligible to vote in person in any runoff.
12. These procedures can be amended by a majority vote of the Executive Board at any properly noticed board meeting at which a quorum is present.
E. Club Electronic Mailing List
1. The Club shall maintain an e-mail distribution list to send messages to Club members and to friends of the Club.
2. The e-mail list shall be used only for Club business. Appropriate messages include announcements of Club activities, announcements of major local Democratic Party activities, legislative action alerts, fund-raising events and campaign volunteer activities for endorsed candidates, and announcements of community activities of particular interest to the Club membership. If a message doesn’t clearly fit these criteria, the President shall make the determination of whether it may be posted. As a general guideline, no more than five messages should be sent to the list per week.
3. The President, the three Vice Presidents, the Legislative Advocacy Director, and the moderator shall have posting privileges. The Executive Board may also authorize other board members to have posting privileges.
4. The e-mail list of the Club shall not be loaned or sold to organizations, political campaigns, or individuals; however, messages that meet the criteria stipulated above may be forwarded to the list. The recipient list shall never be displayed or made publicly available.
5. Members shall have the option of being excluded from electronic mailings.
F. Email Voting Procedures
1. The Secretary shall serve as the Teller unless the Secretary is unavailable or ineligible to serve, in which case the President shall appoint another Executive Board member to serve as the Teller.
2. The Teller shall determine that all Executive Board members have ready access to receiving and sending e-mail in a timely manner. If a Board member does not have timely e-mail access, the Teller shall contact the member by telephone or other means to obtain their vote.
3. When an e-mail vote is called for, it need not be the exclusive means of voting. An eligible voter may choose to cast a ballot by telephone or in writing, if signed by the voter, and received by the Teller within the time allotted for voting.
4. An e-mail vote is permissible only when it is determined that a matter must be decided before the next regularly scheduled Executive Board meeting and that it is not practical to call a special meeting in the time available. A call for a vote by e-mail shall be made by either the President, by the Executive Vice President if the President is out of town or otherwise unavailable, or by a two-thirds majority of the elected officers. For e-mail voting purposes, a quorum shall be considered a majority of the Executive Board eligible to vote and is determined as votes are received by the Teller.
5. For this purpose, a vote of “abstention” shall count as vote cast toward the quorum. If the Teller does not receive a number of eligible votes equal to or greater than the quorum by the deadline for voting, the election fails.
6. The Teller shall use all due diligence to assure that all Board members eligible to vote have received notice of the vote to be taken and any information or discussion necessary to be fully informed of the matter to be voted on and the consequences of the vote.
7. The Teller shall set a reasonable time for response of not less than 36 hours and make the deadline a prominent part of the call for ballot. If the notice of the vote is sent out between noon on Friday and 8:00 a.m. on Monday, the time for response shall be at least 72 hours.
8. The Teller shall verify that the email was cast from an email address registered to an eligible Executive Board member.
9. The Teller shall not release any information prior to the final tally as to the number of ballots or the nature of the votes cast except ascribed below.
10. The Teller shall tally the votes and announce the results to the President or presiding officer if other than the president within 24 hours of the deadline for voting or as soon as number of votes cast is sufficient to determine the outcome.
11. Board members are permitted to change their vote up until the time the results are announced to the President.
12. Matters not covered herein shall be governed first, by the San Diego Democratic Club Bylaws and second, by the most current edition of Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised.