Bylaws of the YDMA

Endorsements

Candidates

The criteria that YDMA uses for endorsing candidates are as follows:

  1. The candidate’s views must be consistent, but need not be exact, with the YDMA Platform;
  2. The candidacy must be a viable one, meaning the candidate must have the ability and resources to win;
  3. The candidate must be a registered Democrat in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Municipal, Federal, and State Endorsements

The candidate must receive a two-thirds vote of the YDMA Board of Directors to receive a YDMA endorsement.

Municipal Endorsements

The candidate must receive a vote in accordance with the YDMA regional chapter charter and/or bylaws to receive a YDMA Chapter endorsement.

Ballot Initiatives, Legislation, Events

The criteria that YDMA uses for endorsing ballot initiatives, legislation, and events are as follows:

  1. The views must be consistent, but need not be exact, with the YDMA Platform;
  2. Must receive a two-thirds vote of the YDMA Board of Directors to receive a YDMA endorsement.

Finances

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 YDMA Treasurer. 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.

  1. The Treasurer 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.
  2. Monthly Statements will be received electronically and reviewed monthly by the Treasurer.
  3. A monthly balance sheet of receipts and expenditures will be kept online by the Treasurer and will be reviewed by the President.
  4. Any irregularities to the monthly balance should be reconciled by the Treasurer and immediately reported to the President of YDMA. This includes erroneous charges, uncashed checks, reimbursements, etc.
  5. The reconciled monthly balance sheet for the PAC and the c4 account will be distributed to the YDMA Board for every monthly board meeting.
  6. 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 YDMA documents, if necessary. It is the Treasurer’s responsibility to keep these copies.
  7. All itemized receipts for YDMA 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.
  8. All check stubs will contain the following information: Date, the recipient, reason for check (memo), and the exact amount of the check.
  9. Donor information will be sent to the Fundraising Director monthly for follow-up thank you cards.
  10. All information will be maintained for a period of 6 years as required by state law.
  11. All new PAC treasurers for YDMA and Chapters shall attend at least one of the OCPF PAC trainings.
  12. All reimbursements over $50 must be approved by the Board of Directors.
  13. All requests for YDMA funds shall include an itemized budget.

Chartering

YDMA will register as the Massachusetts Chapter of the Young Democrats of America before each YDA National Convention. At YDMA’s annual organizational meeting, the membership will elect a YDA National Committeeperson (male-identifying) and a YDA National Committeeperson (female-identiying). At YDA regional and national conventions, each member of the Massachusetts delegation will have an equal share of YDMA’s total allotment of votes.

Candidates for positions defined in the YDMA 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 YDMA membership no later than ten days prior to the election.

Dues Structure

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 YDMA 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 YDMA.

Bylaws and Charter Oversight

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.

Conventions

YDMA Annual Conventions and Organizational Meetings shall be permitted to be held on the same day.

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 YDMA 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 YDMA 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 YDMA 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 President the list of names of those persons eligible to vote and seek office.

Section 3: Quorum

Upon calling the convention to order the President 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 YDMA charter, amendments to the YDMA bylaws, amendments to the YDMA 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: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, YDA Committeeperson (female-identifying), YDA Committeeperson (male-identifying), 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.

Meetings

  1. The Board of Directors shall meet at least on a monthly basis.
  2. The Executive Committee shall meet twice a month.
  3. 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.
  4. Any item that an individual or committee wants to discuss at an YDMA Monthly Meeting, where said item’s wording is of substantial length (over two pages), must be distributed to the YDMA Board of Directors 48 hours prior to said Monthly Meeting.

Elections

  1. The officers of the Executive Committee shall be elected at YDMA’s Annual Convention by a simple majority vote of secret ballots cast by eligible participating YDMA members. If a majority is not achieved on the first ballot, the candidate with the least number of votes shall be dropped from the balloting, and another round of ballots shall be cast until one person receives a majority of the vote.
  2. The Political, Public Policy, Diversity and Inclusion, Events, Fundraising, Technical, and Communications Director shall be elected by a majority vote of eligible participating YDMA membership at the Annual Convention. Voting procedures shall follow those provided for in this charter and associated bylaws.
  3. The four At-Large Directors shall be elected by a simple plurality vote of the eligible participating YDMA membership at the Annual Convention.
  4. The College Democrats of Massachusetts shall choose their two Directors to serve one year terms, and convey their appointments to the Executive Committee.
  5. Chairs of Regional Chapters shall be elected during a meeting of the members of the Regional Chapter in accordance to the rules in that regional chapter’s charter. Elections shall be held within three months preceding the YDMA Annual Convention.
  6. Chairs of chartered caucuses shall be elected during a meeting of the members of the Caucus in accordance to the rules in that caucus’ charter. Elections shall be held within three months preceding the YDMA Annual Convention.
  7. The YDMA Democratic State Committeeperson (male-identifying) and YDMA Democratic State Committeeperson (female-identifying) shall be elected at a special election, within 30 days after the end of the 4-year term of service held by the previous representative, by a simple majority of vote of the Board of Directors. If a majority is not achieved on the first ballot, the candidate with the least number of votes shall be dropped from the balloting, and another round of ballots shall be cast until one person receives a majority of the vote.

Board Member Requirements

  1. No member of YDMA may hold more than one office of the Board of Directors simultaneously.

Board Member Removal

  1. Any member of YDMA may submit a notice of intent to vote to remove an officer. Notice of this intent must be issued through a Board email, at least 21 days in advance of a vote, in order to allow for due process. The notice must contain the name of the member proposing the removal, the name and title of the officer who is up for removal, and a statement describing the grounds for removal. Once the 21 advance days have passed, a vote must be taken at the next board meeting.
  2. A member of the Executive Committee can be removed by a majority vote of the Executive Committee, followed by a two-¬thirds vote of the Board of Directors under the rules of quorum.
  3. Any other officer of the Board of Directors may be removed by a two¬-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors under the rules of quorum.
  4. In the case of removal of a State Committeeperson (female-identifying) or State Committeeperson (male-identifying), the officer removed must submit a letter of resignation to the Democratic State Committee Chair. The Board of Directors shall also author a letter requesting the removed officer be removed from his or her DSC seat, to be signed by the remaining Executive Board members, and submitted to the Democratic State Committee Chair.

Board Member Leave of Absence

Board members who are unable to fulfil their duties for a specific period of time of less than 4 months within their term may take a leave of absence. A leave of absence longer than 4 months will be considered a resignation of the chair.

  1. For chapters, the interim chair will be determined by the chapter charter line of succession.
  2. For caucuses, the interim chair will be the caucus vice chair. If the caucus has no vice chair, the chair may nominate an interim chair to be approved by the board of directors.
  3. For directors, the interim director will be nominated by the director to be approved by the board of directors.

Quorum

Section 1: Quorum For the Purpose of Holding Board Meetings

A notification of at least fourteen days has been given for holding a Board Meeting, no quorum attendance roll call shall be required for the purpose of holding the meeting and performing the active functions and duties of YDMA.

Section 2: Exception to Section 1

If fourteen days notice is not given, suspension of Section 1 may be obtained through a Board email notice which must be left open for 48 hours and must be completed by noon on the day of the proposed meeting. If a Board notice is not sent, then a roll call of at least half of the filled executive committee seats plus two other board members or any eight board members must be present to hold an official Board meeting.

Section 3: Quorum for the Purposes of Voting on Official Business

  1. Matters which require a vote of the Board of Directors shall be brought to the floor for a vote by the President, and any of the three following quorums will be deemed acceptable:
    1. Fifty percent roll call attendance of the entire Board of Directors, accounting only for seats which are filled, or
    2. A majority of the Executive Committee, three At-­Large and one other Board member, or
    3. If the President decides to hold a vote of the Board of Directors via email, then the following guidelines shall be followed:
      1. A Board email must be sent out detailing the vote in question and the vote must remain open for a 96 hours.
      2. Email votes can only be opened on a weekday. If a weekend day falls during the 96 hour period required, the weekend hours shall not count toward the 96 hours required, but votes cast during this time shall be valid.
      3. Votes, in order to be counted must be sent to the President and the Secretary in one email.
      4. All votes taken over email are considered public. Votes requiring a secret ballot shall not be taken over email.
      5. Fifty percent of the board casting an online vote, accounting for only seats which are filled, considers the vote valid
      6. Votes must be preserved for inspection for thirty days following the close of voting.

Social Media

Board members of a regional chapter or caucus have administrative access to their own regional chapter or caucus social media accounts. One member of the YDMA executive committee or the Communications Director, chosen by the regional chapter or caucus, must also be given administrative rights to regional chapter or caucus social media accounts. This person is only allowed to use the social media accounts with the permission of the regional chapter or caucus chair. If they do so without permission, the regional chapter or caucus social can choose a new YDMA executive committee member or the Communications Director to have administrative rights.
 

Inactive Chapters

 A chapter or caucus is deemed inactive if it meets one of the following criteria:

  1. The chapter or caucus has no chair.
  2. The chapter or caucus has not held a public event within 3 months.

If a chapter or caucus has been deemed inactive and there is a chapter or caucus board, any member of the YDMA may submit a notice of intent to vote to remove members of the existing board from the chapter or caucus. Notice of this intent must be issued through a Board email, at least 21 days in advance of a vote, in order to allow for due process. The notice must contain the name of the member proposing the removal, the name and title of the officers on the board (up to and including the chair) who are up for removal, and a statement describing the grounds for removal. Once the 21 advance days have passed, a vote must be taken at the next YDMA Board of Directors meeting. Those members who have been proposed to be removed are allowed to make a statement either through email or the board meeting. If the vote is passed, the YDMA Board can organize a new election for the chapter or caucus.

Last Updated February 12, 2018