Article 1: Organizational Structure and Statement of Purpose
Section 1-1: Organization
The name of this organization shall be the MetroWest Chapter (hereafter referred to as “MWYD”) of the Young Democrats of Massachusetts (hereafter referred to as “YDM”), and it shall be an independent organization of Democrats in the MetroWest area, as defined in the organization’s bylaws, under the age of 36 years. MWYD shall be affiliated with 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 YDM.
Section 1-2: Statement of Purpose
MWYD shall serve young Democrats in the MetroWest area as the official local chapter of YDM and in its capacity as the official umbrella organization for YDM. The purpose of MWYD is to:
- Connect Democrats under the age of 36 by providing networking, volunteer, electoral, and educational opportunities throughout the MetroWest 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 Democratic Party in an open and public manner;
- Develop young leaders by providing training and workshops to members, as well as to other Democrats;
- Stimulate dialogue on important issues facing the MetroWest area, the state of Massachusetts, and the United States of America;
- Support the electoral efforts of Democrats, particularly those who are young and those who share the values and beliefs of MWYD and YDM; and
- Initiate and assist in advocacy of legislation and ballot initiatives that further the policy objectives of MWYD and YDM.
Section 1-3: Organizational Structure
MWYD 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 MWYD if they:
- Reside, work, or attend school in the Metrowest area as it is defined in the MWYD bylaws;
- Identify with the principles of the Democratic Party; and
- Pledge to support Democratic candidates.
All MWYD members who are so eligible must be registered to vote within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and must be a registered Democrat. These conditions should exclude neither permanent residents who are not eligible to register to vote within the United States, nor 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 MetroWest area in Massachusetts may be a voting member of MWYD.
Members of MWYD shall complete at least two (2) volunteer commitments every twelve (12) months. The volunteering can be done to further or support any policy, issue, or candidate that is aligned with the principles of the Democratic Party and YDM.
In addition to the list of towns and cities that fall within the Metrowest region as to be defined by MWYD bylaws, any member who self-identifies as a resident of, employee within, or student within the Metroweset region shall meet the eligibility requirements as stated in Section 2-1(1).
Any member of MWYD is also a member of YDM.
Section 2-2: Termination of Membership/Ineligibility
Any MWYD member changing their registration to that of another party or unenrolled (no party), or fails to register in the Democratic Party after becoming a member, if eligible, shall cease to be a member of MWYD. Members who temporarily leave the MetroWest area for military service, education, political activity, or other endeavors of limited duration may choose to remain members of MWYD, so long as they continue to be registered in the Democratic Party, where possible.
In addition, any member may at any time be removed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of MWYD membership present at a Member Convention (as defined in Section 4-2) for conduct that is unbecoming of a member of MWYD, YDM, or the Democratic Party.
Section 2-3: Dues
Membership dues may be solicited, with the following conditions and restrictions:
- Any such requirement must be included as part of the bylaws of MWYD; and
- No person otherwise eligible for MWYD membership shall be denied membership on the basis of their ability or inability to pay dues.
Section 2-4: Voting Members
Voting Members shall be those members who have attended at least two (2) meetings or other official Chapter events in the previous twelve (12) months, 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 MWYD
Section 3-1: Eligiblity
Any person serving on the Board of Directors of MWYD must fit the qualifications of a Voting Member.
Section 3-2: Board of Directors
Membership on the Board of Directors (hereafter “Board”) shall consist of the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer & Finance Director, Secretary, and Political 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 thirty (30) days of the YDM Annual Convention each year.
Officers shall be elected by majority vote through ballot. Voting members must sign their names onto a ballot before it can be cast. 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 of the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors shall meet monthly to discuss any business pending before MWYD. All officers shall participate in chapter events and are encouraged to participate in events sponsored by the state board. Additionally, all members shall oversee and facilitate membership development activities. The board may also choose a certain number of members to form committees as needed to better carry out the business of MWYD.
- The Chair shall:
- Preside at all board meetings, general meetings, conventions, and events sponsored by MWYD;
- Set the time, place, and agenda for such meetings in consultation with the rest of the board;
- Act as the official spokesperson of MWYD;
- Serve as MWYD’s representative to YDM board, or appoint a proxy; and
- Oversee the overall functions and operations of MWYD.
- Create and execute a communications plan to further mission of MWYD;
- Coordinate with the Vice-Chair of Programming & Policy of YDM as it relates to MWYD membership; and
- Serve on the YDM Membership & Outreach Committee.
- The Vice-Chair shall:
- Act as the principal to the Chair and preside in the absence thereof;
- Fill the remainder of the Chair’s term in the case of a vacancy;
- Coordinate and oversee all of MWYD’s events and programming; and
- Assist the Chair and other Board members in the operations of MWYD.
- The Secretary shall:
- Take and distribute minutes for board and general meetings;
- Handle correspondence on behalf of MWYD;
- Maintain clear and accurate records of membership and attendance, and convey these records to the Secretary of YDM; and
- Contact MWYD members concerning upcoming meetings, conventions, and other events.
- The Treasurer & Finance Director shall:
- Maintain MWYD’s finances through clear and accurate records;
- Act as a liaison between MWYD and the Treasurer of YDM on all financial matters;
- Collect dues in the event that they are solicited; and
- Coordinate all fundraising efforts.
- The Political Director shall:
- Coordinate electoral activities;
- Facilitate endorsement of candidates, and provide support to young Democrats running for public office;
- Oversee the Political Committee; and
- Serve on the YDM Political Board.
Section 3-5: Vacancy
In the event that the position of Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer & Finance Director, or Political Director is vacated, the Chair shall call a special election within thirty (30) days of the vacancy.
If the position of Chair is vacated, then the Vice Chair shall immediately assume the position of Chair and shall call for a special election within thirty (30) days of the vacancy in order to fill the now vacant Vice Chair position. If the Vice Chair chooses not to remain in the Chair position, he may also, upon assuming it, call for the election of a new Chair to take place at that special election.
Article 4: Activities
Section 4-1: Member Meetings
General membership meetings or events shall be held no less frequently than every sixty (60) days.
Section 4-2: Member Conventions
Membership Conventions shall be held periodically and announced no less than thirty (30) days before the date of convening. These meetings shall be the time at which endorsements, resolutions, charters, bylaws, elections, and dues are voted upon as well as any other business that may properly come before MWYD. 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 MWYD Board shall meet on a monthly basis, the date to be agreed upon by the directors and publicized to the membership. Board meetings shall be open to all MWYD members, unless reasons of collective bargaining, privacy, or other considerations similar to those in the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law require the Board to vote to hold an Executive Session. All votes of the Board shall be recorded; no secret ballots shall be permitted.
Section 4-4: Endorsements
MWYD is authorized to endorse candidates for local seats in the General Court of Massachusetts and for officers in the MetroWest area. Such action shall authorize MWYD to campaign on behalf of the endorsed candidate(s). The following procedure must be followed:
- The MWYD’s representative to the YDM Political Committee shall inform and seek the input of the YDM Political Director regarding MWYD’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 MWYD has already endorsed, the state endorsement shall supersede and nullify the MWYD endorsement.
Section 4-5: Policy Statements
Policy statements on timely matters may be adopted by a simple majority vote of the MWYD Board, so long as the members of the Board are in agreement with YDM’s platform and the standing positions of MWYD and YDM, as voted at their respective conventions.
Article 5: Quorum
Section 5-1: Quorum for the Purpose of Holding Board Meetings
Under this charter, if a notification of at least fourteen (14) days has been given for holding a Board Meeting or a Member Convention, and an objection from the majority of MWYD membership has not been raised, no quorum attendance roll call shall be required for the purpose of holding the meeting and performing the active functions and duties of MWYD.
Article 6: Bylaws
Section 6-1: Purpose and Scope
MWYD’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 Procedures
Amendments to MWYD’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 MWYD members, as defined by Article 2.
Article 7: Culture
MWYD shall strive for a culture of civility, particularly in regard to different viewpoints. MWYD members shall acknowledge that at the core of even the most blistering of opposition, there are fellow Americans who believe in a better country in the same way that we do. Possessing this empathy will not make us any less effective in our methods, our vision, and our ability to advocate for the policies we believe in.
Article 8: Promulgation and Amendment
Section 8-1: Ratification Procedure
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 two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting shall be required both for original ratification and to amend this charter. A copy of the Charter as ratified shall be transmitted to the Secretary of YDM who shall notify MWYD if any provision herein contradicts the Charters of either YDM or the Young Democrats of America.
Section 8-2: Amendment Procedure
At any convention of the general chapter membership, provided that thirty (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 MWYD if any provision therein contradicts the Charters of either YDM or the Young Democrats of America.