By-Laws of the Young Democrats of Massachusetts
The criteria that YDM uses for endorsing a candidate are as follows:
- The candidate’s views must be consistent, but need not be exact, with the YDM Platform;
- The candidacy must be a viable one, meaning the candidate must have the ability and resources to win;
- The candidate must receive a two-thirds vote of the YDM Board of Directors to receive an endorsement.
The Young Democrats of Massachusetts maintains two (2) types of operating accounts. A nonprofit 501c4 account and the Young Democrats of Massachusetts Political Action Committee. Both of these accounts are managed by the YDM Treasurer, with oversight by the Vice-Chair of Administration and Finance. Currently, the funds for these accounts are both kept with Citizens Bank. Below is proposed protocol for maintaining these accounts accurately and to provide further transparency to the Young Democrats of Massachusetts Board of Directors.
- The Treasurer and the Vice Chair of Administration and Finance will read OCPF’s Campaign Finance Guide for Political Action Committees and People’s Committees (http://www.ocpf.net/guides/guide_pac_2010.pdf) immediately after the April Board elections.
- Monthly Statements will be received electronically and reviewed monthly by the Treasurer.
- A monthly balance sheet of receipts and expenditures will be kept online by the Treasurer and will be reviewed by the Vice Chair of Administration and Finance and the Chair.
- Any irregularities to the monthly balance should be reconciled by the Treasurer and immediately reported to the Vice Chair of Administration and Finance, and the Chair of YDM. This includes erroneous charges, uncashed checks, reimbursements, etc.
- The reconciled monthly balance sheet for the PAC and the c4 account will be distributed to the YDM Board for every monthly board meeting.
- All received checks will be copied prior to being deposited in the bank account and kept on file. Digital copies of checks will be kept if a scanner is available. The Massachusetts Democratic Party will provide a location to file all YDM documents, if necessary. It is the Treasurer’s responsibility to keep these copies.
- All itemized receipts for YDM expenditures will be copied and kept on file. Each copy should also note the recipient, the reason for the expenditures (e.g. food for Convention Party, t-shirts for volunteers, invitations for fundraiser, etc.) as well as the corresponding check number used to pay for item. It is the Treasurer’s responsibility to keep these copies.
- All check stubs will contain the following information: Date, the recipient, reason for check (memo), and the exact amount of the check.
- Donor information will be sent to the Fundraising Director monthly for follow-up thank you cards.
- All information will be maintained for a period of 6 years as required by state law.
- All new PAC treasurers for YDM and Chapters shall attend at least one of the OCPF PAC trainings.
- All reimbursements over $50 must be approved by the Board of Directors.
- All requests for YDM funds shall include an itemized budget.
Holding YDM Offices Simultaneously:
No member of YDM may hold more than one office of the Executive Committee simultaneously.
Consideration of Documents at Monthly Meetings:
Any item that an individual or committee wants to discuss at an YDM Monthly Meeting, where said item’s wording is of substantial length (over two pages), must be distributed to the YDM Board of Directors 48 prior to said Monthly Meeting.
Democratic State Committee Youth Services Subcommittee:
There may be a position referred to as the “YDM Liaison to the Democratic State Committee Youth Services Subcommittee.” This position shall be filled for a one-year term by vote of the Board of Directors at the first Monthly Meeting following the YDM annual convention, or upon vacancy to fill the remainder of a term. The individual who holds this position shall be responsible for attending all YDM Monthly Meetings and meetings of the Democratic State Committee Youth Services Subcommittee. In addition, he or she shall be responsible for communication between the YDM and the Youth Services Subcommittee.
Annual Conventions and Organizational Meetings: YDM Annual Conventions and Organizational Meetings shall be permitted to be held on the same day.
Wording of Official Documents:
The Secretary shall be empowered to make grammatical and technical changes to the wording of the Action Agenda, Platform, and Charter, so long as the changes are not substantive.
Young Democrats of America:
YDM will register as the Massachusetts Chapter of the Young Democrats of America before each YDA National Convention. At YDM’s annual organizational meeting, the membership will elect a YDA National Committeeman and a YDA National Committeewoman. At YDA regional and national conventions, each member of the Massachusetts delegation will have an equal share of YDM’s total allotment of votes.
YDM Candidate Publicity:
Candidates for positions defined in the YDM Charter or Bylaws and elected at the Annual Organizational Meeting may be entitled to a candidate statement in the Final Call to Convention that will be sent by the Board of Directors to the YDM membership no later than ten days prior to the election.
Basic membership dues shall be set at $35.00 per year running from Convention to Convention. Comprehensive membership dues, which shall include free admission to all YDM events for which a fee is charged, shall be set at $125.00 per the same year. While all members shall be encouraged to pay dues, inability to pay shall not be grounds for denial of membership or participation in YDM.
Section 1: (Notice)
The time, date, and place of the annual convention shall be determined by the Board, and this decision shall be publicized not later than thirty days prior to the date set for said convention. Official notice shall be given in the form of an Initial Call to Convention drafted and attested by the YDM Secretary to be posted on the website, distributed to members, and published in any other forum as determined by the Board. This Call shall state the deadline for early statements of candidacy, proposals for amendments to the charter, bylaws, and platform of YDM, as well as any resolutions to be considered at the convention, along with the submission requirements thereof, all to be submitted to the Secretary in a manner stated in the Call. Such deadline shall not be more than twenty days prior to the date fixed for convention. This Call shall also state the requirements necessary to vote and seek office relative to age, residency/matriculation, party affiliation, and attendance. The Secretary shall notify any declared candidate for YDM office of his or her ineligibility if such applies.
The Final Call to Convention shall be issued by the Secretary not later than ten days prior to the date fixed for the convention and not before the deadline fixed by the Board for amendments, resolutions, and statements of candidacy as provided for above. This Call shall restate the time, place, and eligibility requirements and state the requirements for consideration under suspension of the rules. This Call shall also include the texts of any documents to be considered of which the Secretary is in receipt and a list of declared candidates for the several offices, along with their statements.
Section 2: (Credentialing)
Throughout the year attendance shall be recorded at all YDM meetings and events conducted. For Board meetings, the attendance shall be as recorded in the minutes, and for other events sign-in sheets shall be used as the official record. Care shall be taken that records accurately reflect actual attendance in cases wherein pre-registration is permitted. Events co-hosted with other organizations shall be counted toward this attendance requirement at the discretion of the Executive Committee. As soon as possible following the last scheduled meeting or event prior to the convention the Secretary shall compile attendance data and cross reference the names of those who meet the attendance requirement with the other eligibility criteria. The Secretary shall transmit to the Chair the list of names of those persons eligible to vote and seek office.
Section 3: (Quorum)
Upon calling the convention to order the Chair shall read the list of names provided by the Secretary as being credentialed to vote. Any eight of those so named shall constitute a quorum for conducting the business of the convention. If quorum is not achieved the Board shall fix a new time, date, and place for the convention to be held not less than seven nor more than thirty days following the original date. The Secretary shall reissue the Final Call with the new information regarding time, date, and place, but this shall not be construed to extend any deadlines provided for in the Initial Call.
Section 4: (Amendments and Resolutions)
Matters before the convention shall be considered in the following order: amendments to the YDM charter, amendments to the YDM bylaws, amendments to the YDM platform, other resolutions. Per the charter, amendments to the charter not already before the convention require the votes of the three-fourths of the members present and voting to suspend the rules for consideration. All other documents not already before the convention require the votes of two-thirds of the members present and voting to suspend the rules for consideration. Documents included with the Final Call take precedence in each category over those which require a suspension of the rules. Proposers of documents subject to suspension of the rules are responsible for providing copies to the members. Documents considered under this paragraph shall take effect at the adjournment of the convention unless otherwise provided in the enacting clause thereof, but any amendments affecting the election of officers shall be considered valid when executing section five of this bylaw at the same convention.
Section 5: (Nominations)
After all documents are considered nominations for offices are in order. Nominations may be made from the floor for candidates not previously declared. Nominations shall be considered in the following order: Chair, Vice-Chair for Programming and Policy, Vice-Chair for Administration and Finance, Secretary, Treasurer, YDA Committeewoman, YDA Committeeman, Standing Committee Chairs. These nominations require seconds, and the nominee must accept the nomination, either verbally if present, or in writing if not present. Only those persons whose names are on the credentialed list are eligible for nomination. Equitable time for speaking and questions by candidates may be provided by appropriate motion. The election for each office in sequence shall be conducted before opening the floor to nominations for the next office. Contested elections shall be determined by ballot, and uncontested nominees may be elected by acclamation. Ballots shall include the preprinted names of candidates who declared before the deadline and write-in spaces for names of candidates nominated from the floor. The terms of those elected shall commence immediately upon the adjournment of convention.
Section 6: (Procedural Matters)
All proceedings of the convention shall be conducted in accordance to the most recent revision of Robert’s Rules of Order and the Secretary may act as parliamentarian if the need arises. Minutes of the convention shall be recorded by the Secretary, and shall include the list of attendees eligible to vote, the names of those moving and seconding any motions or nominations, and the results of any vote taken. The Secretary shall distribute the minutes to the Board for their ratification at the first Board meeting following the convention.
-Accepted April 6, 2008, Amended December 11, 2011
Meeting Schedule and Requirements
- The Board of Directors shall meet at least on a bi-monthly basis.
- The Executive Committee shall meet on a monthly basis.
- All Regional Chapter, Caucus, and Committee Chairs shall submit to the Secretary a report at least 48 hours in advance of the meetings of the Board of Directors. Such reports shall then be distributed to the board of directors and shall include action items to be included on the Board of Directors meeting agenda.