Approved July 16th, 2012
CHARTER FOR THE GREATER BOSTON CHAPTER OF
THE YOUNG DEMOCRATS OF MASSACHUSETTS
Article 1: Organizational Structure and Statement of Purpose
Section 1-1: Organization
The name of this organization shall be Greater Boston Chapter (hereafter referred to as “GBYD”) of Young Democrats of Massachusetts (hereafter referred to as “YDM”), and it shall be an independent organization of Democrats in the Greater Boston area, as defined in the organization’s bylaws, under the age of 36 years. GBYD shall be affiliated with the YDM, an independent organization of Democrats in Massachusetts under the age of 36, as a Chartered Regional Chapter per the YDM charter; and will be affiliated with the Young Democrats of America through the YDM.
Section 1-2: Statement of Purpose
GBYD shall serve young democrats in the Greater Boston area as the official local chapter of YDM and its capacity as the official umbrella organization for young Democrats in Massachusetts.
The purpose of the GBYD is to
- Connect Democrats under the age of 36 by providing networking, volunteer, electoral, and educational opportunities throughout the Greater Boston area,
- Foster civic engagement by encouraging young people to become involved in the democratic process,
- Increase awareness of and participation in the Democratic Party by presenting the ideas and beliefs of the Party in an open and public manner,
- Develop young leaders by providing training and workshops to members and other Democrats,
- Stimulate dialogue on important issues facing Greater Boston, Massachusetts and the nation,
- Support the electoral efforts of Democrats, particularly those who are young and those who share the values and beliefs of GBYD and YDM, and
- Initiate and assist in advocacy of legislation and ballot initiatives which further the policy objectives of GBYD and YDM.
Section 1-3: Organizational Structure
GBYD shall consist of the Board of Directors and general Chapter membership.
Article 2: Membership
Section 2-1: Eligibility
All persons under the age of 36 years are eligible to be members of GBYD if they: 1) reside, work, or attend school in the Greater Boston as defined in the bylaws; 2) identify with the principles of the Democratic Party; and 3) pledge to support Democratic candidates. All Chapter members who are so eligible must be registered to vote within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and must be a registered Democrat. These conditions should not exclude permanent residents who are not eligible to register to vote within the United States and temporary residents who choose to remain registered in another state.
No person who is a voting member of a regional chapter affiliated with YDM outside of the Greater Boston area in Massachusetts may be a voting member of GBYD.
Any member of GBYD is also a member of YDM.
Section 2-2: Termination of Membership/Ineligibility
Any GBYD member changing their registration to that of another party or un-enrolled (no party), or fails to register in the Democratic Party after becoming a member, if eligible, shall cease to be a member of GBYD. Members who temporarily leave the Boston area for military service, education, political activity, or other endeavors of limited duration, may choose to remain members of GBYD, so long as they continue to be registered in the Democratic Party, where possible.
Section 2-3: Dues
Membership dues may be solicited, with the following conditions and restrictions: 1) any such requirement must be included as part of the bylaws of GBYD; and 2) no person otherwise eligible for Chapter membership shall be denied membership on the basis of their ability to pay dues.
Section 2-4: Voting Members
Voting Members shall be those members who have attended at least one (1) meeting or other official Chapter event in the previous calendar year, and meet the requirements of membership. This clause shall not limit the ability to vote or seek office in the Chapter’s first official member convention, but will be in full effect and force thereafter.
Article 3: Officers of YDM
Section 3-1: Eligibility
Any person serving on the Board of Directors of GYBD must fit the qualifications of a Voting Member.
Section 3-2: Board of Directors
Membership on the Board of Directors shall consist of the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Communications Director, Political Director, and Membership & Outreach Director. No person may simultaneously hold more than one of these offices.
Section 3-3: Elections
Officers shall be elected annually by the membership within 30 days before or after the YDM Annual Convention each year.
Officers shall be elected by majority vote through secret ballot. 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.
Section 3-4: Duties and Responsibilities
The Board of Directors shall meet monthly to discuss any business pending before GBYD. All officers shall participate in chapter events and are encouraged to participate in events sponsored by the state board. The board may also choose a certain number of members to form committees as needed to better carry out the business of GBYD.
- The Chair shall
- Preside at all Board meetings, general meetings, conventions, and events sponsored by GBYD
- Set the time, place, and agenda for such meetings, in consultation with the rest of the Board
- Act as the official spokesperson of the Chapter
- Lead the Chapter once at least once a year in setting an annual agenda for the organization during a convention to be held no longer than 30 days after GBYD elections.
- Oversee the overall functions and operations of GBYD
- Serve as GBYD’s representative on the YDM Board or appoint a proxy
- The Vice-Chair shall
- Assist the Chair in all tasks and preside as Chair in their absence
- Fill the remainder of the Chair’s term in the case of a vacancy
- Set and coordinate GBYD elections to fill vacancy of Vice Chair in the case of the Chair’s vacancy and thus the Vice Chair becoming the new Chair
- The Treasurer shall
- Maintain GBYD finances
- Act as a liaison between GBYD and the YDM Treasurer on all financial matters
- Participate in an OCPF training within 60 days of GBYD election
- Comply with all state campaign political finance laws and guidelines
- Collect dues in the event they are solicited
- Ensure financial transparency to the GBYD membership
- Coordinate GBYD fundraising efforts
- Build relationships with other fundraising bodies associated with the Democratic Party
- Serve on the YDM Fundraising Committee
- The Secretary shall
- With the collaboration of the rest of the Board of Directors, distribute an agenda before all meetings of the Board of membership meetings
- Take and distribute minutes for Board and general meetings
- Maintain public schedule on all available GBYD/YDM outlets of upcoming and planned events and coordinate with Communications Director to publicize as such
- Maintain clear and accurate records of membership and attendance, and convey these to the Secretary of YDM at their request
- The Communication Director shall
- Contact, or assist the Board in contacting, GBYD members concerning upcoming meetings, conventions, and other events
- Maintain the GBYD website, Facebook group, twitter, linkedin account, and any other associated websites or other social networking presence
- Conduct media relations through a regularly updated press list and maintain said list
- Work with the Chair and the GBYD Board to handle all correspondence on behalf of GBYD
- Serve on YDM Communications Committee
- The Political Director shall
- Serve as principle organizer and coordinator of membership involvement in endorsed campaigns
- Serve as primary point of contact with ongoing local, regional, and national campaigns on behalf of GBYD and the GBYD Board
- Proactively connect and maintain relationships with local, regional, and national campaigns as ell as initiate and/or schedule actionable electoral opportunities where applicable as agreed upon by the Board
- Oversees the endorsement process should the Chapter choose to do so, consistent with the GBYD By-Laws
- Serve on the YDM Political Committee
- The Membership & Outreach Director shall
- Organizing programming to provide for the professional and educational development of all members
- Contribute to the YDM job listserv
- Coordinate with the YDM Membership Director
- Collaborate with the rest of the Board of Directors to set yearly recruitment benchmarks to be decided in the yearly agenda
- Devise a workplan to meet recruitment benchmarks to be presented to the Board of Directors
- Ensure awareness of GBYD among traditional membership constituencies such as, but not limited to: state employees, labor unions, campaign professionals, and political activists
- Work with the GBYD Board to expand GBYD’s outreach beyond the political sector
- Maintain relationships with all CDM chapters within the Greater Boston area to provide for their member’s continued involvement as a Young Democrat
- Serve on the YDM Membership and Outreach Committee
Section 3-5: Vacancy
In the event that the position of Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Communications Director, Political Director, or Membership & Outreach Director is vacated, the Chair shall call a special election no later than 15 days of the vacancy to be held no less than 30 days and no later than 45 days after the announcement. If the Chair fails to call a special election within 15 days, any member of the GBYD Board of Directors shall be entitled to do so. Should no member of the GBYD Board of Directors call for such an election within 30 days of vacancy, the Chair of YDM, with the consent of the YDM Vice Chairs of Programming and Policy and Administration and Finance and the YDM Director of Membership shall be entitled to call a special election and communicate it to all GBYD members no later than 30 days before the election. The Chair of YDM is entitled to call a special election if the Chair fails to meet the election timeline requirements.
Article 4: Activities:
Section 4-1: Member Meetings
General membership meetings or events shall be held no less frequently than every 60 days.
Section 4-2: Member Convention
Membership Conventions shall be held periodically and announced no less than 30 days before the date of convening. These meetings shall be the time at which endorsements, resolutions, charter, bylaws, elections, and dues are voted upon as well as any other business that may properly come before GBYD. Such anticipated action shall be included in the notice for the meeting. All of the foregoing actions shall require a simple majority of members present and voting for passage. The board may, prior to the meeting, invite candidates, public officials, or other relevant guests to address the membership as part of the meeting agenda.
Section 4-3: Board Meetings
The GBYD Board of Directors shall meet on a monthly basis to be agreed upon by the directors and publicized to the membership. Board meetings shall be open to all GBYD members, unless reasons of collective bargaining, privacy, or other considerations similar to those in the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law require the Board of Directors to vote to hold an Executive Session. All votes of the Board of Directors shall be recorded; no secret ballots shall be permitted.
Section 4-4: Endorsements
GBYD is authorized to endorse candidates for local seats in the General Court of Massachusetts and for officers in the Greater Boston area, provided that the state board has not taken any action of this kind in a given race. Such action shall authorize GBYD to campaign on behalf of the endorsed candidate.
- The Chapter’s representative to the YDM Political Committee shall inform and seek the input of the YDM Political Director regarding GBYD’s intention to endorse, in advance of making an endorsement, and report the results to the Board before bringing the matter to a Membership Convention vote.
- In the event the Board decides to proceed with endorsement proceedings, a Membership Convention shall be announced pursuant to Section 4-2.
- Notice of endorsements shall be transmitted to the state board.
- In a contested primary should the state board elect to endorse a different candidate in a race in which GBYD has already endorsed, the state endorsement shall supersede and nullify GBYD endorsement.
Section 4-5: Policy Statements
Policy statements on timely matters may be adopted by a simple majority vote of the GBYD’s Board of Directors, so long as they are in agreement with YDM’s Platform and the standing positions of GBYD and YDM, as voted at their respective conventions.
Article 5: Quorum
Section 5-1: Quorum
For the Purpose of Holding Board Meetings
Under the charter, if 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 GBYD.
Article 6: Bylaws
Section 6-1: Purpose and Scope
GBYD’s bylaws shall serve to supplement this Charter, but shall in no way contradict its substance or intent. The bylaws are intended to address issues of process not stated in this Charter, but may not address policy questions.
Section 6-2: Passage and Amendment
Amendments to GBYD ‘s bylaws may be made by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors or by simple majority vote at a convention of GBYD members.
Article 7: Promulgation and Amendment
This charter, and any subsequent amendments hereto, shall take affect upon the ratification of those members eligible and present to vote at a convention called for that purpose. An affirmative vote of 2/3 of the members present and voting shall be required both for original ratification and to amend to this charter. A copy of the charter as ratified shall be transmitted to the Secretary of YDM who shall notify GBYD if any provision herein contradicts either the Charters of either YDM or the Young Democrats of America.
At any convention of the general chapter membership, provided that 30 days notice has been given, amendments to these bylaws may be proposed, debated, and acted upon. Such amendment shall specify which portion of these bylaws it is amending or whether it is completely new in subject matter. The amendment shall also state when it shall go into effect. Each time the bylaws are amended, a copy of the revised bylaws as ratified shall be transmitted to the Secretary of YDM who shall notify GBYD if any provision therein contradicts either the state or national Young Democrats charter.