Table of Contents: Constitution

Table of Contents: Bylaws 

Constitution

Preamble

Whereas, persons interested in becoming involved in the Democratic Party in the County of Kings in the State of New York, who wish to stimulate the interest of young people in government affairs, to promote the involvement of young people in the political process, to educate young voters and people who will become eligible to vote, to advocate those policies and practices consistent with the highest principles of the Democratic Party, to support those candidates for office who articulate such principles and perpetuate the ideals of justice and social welfare, such persons do hereby associate themselves together and form the Young Democrats of Kings County and establish the hereafter stated Constitution and By-laws.

ARTICLE I: Name

The name of this organization shall be the Young Democrats of Kings County. For all intents and purposes, this organization may also be known as the Brooklyn Young Democrats (“BYD”).

Section 1

The Brooklyn Young Democrats will be chartered with, and affiliated with the New York State Young Democrats, and by and through the New York State Young Democrats, will be affiliated with the Young Democrats of America.

Section 2

The Brooklyn Young Democrats will be chartered with the Kings County Democratic Party and work with all levels of the Democratic Party.

ARTICLE II: Membership

Section 1

A Member of BYD is anyone who:

  1. Is no younger than sixteen years of age and who has not yet reached the age of thirty-six;
  2. Lives, works, or attends a school within Kings County; and
  3. If capable, is registered to vote and is a registered voter within the Democratic Party; and
  4. Has paid their dues for the current year, as prescribed in Section 1 of the BYD Bylaws. This requirement may be waived, on a case-by-case basis, upon approval by the Executive Board.

Section 2

A Voting Member is a member who has attended at least one general body meeting within a given calendar year following and including the first meeting in February 2012 as well as fulfills the requirements as prescribed by Article II, Section 1of this Constitution.

  1. The Executive Board may, by a majority vote, issue an excused absence to a member for reasonable cause. Such a member must still have attended one of the three previous meetings for which they have not received an excuse.

Section 3

Membership will not be affected by race, sex, color, national origin, sexual orientation, or physical handicap.

Section 4

No person who is a voting member of a Young Democrats organization in another county in the State of New York or in any other state may be a voting member in the Brooklyn Young Democrats.

Section 5

For the purposes of chartering and/or re-certification with the New York State Young Democrats and/or Young Democrats of America, only the qualifications necessary for membership as outlined in Article II, Section 1 of this Constitution shall be deemed necessary for a member to be listed on all pertinent documentation.

ARTICLE III: Officers and Executive Board

The BYD Executive Board will be the chief policy making body for the chapter.

Section 1

The Executive Board will have all the powers necessary for the proper and legal execution of all duties of the BYD.

Section 2

The Executive Board will meet no less than four (4) times during the course of one (1) calendar year. Such meetings may be conducted via electronic means including, but not limited to, a conference call. A simple majority of the voting members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum.

Section 3

The President shall be tasked with scheduling each Executive Board meeting.

  1. Two-thirds (2/3) of the voting members of the Executive Board may, at any time and for any reason, call for an Executive Board meeting. Notice of such a meeting must be given to the entire Executive Board no less than 48 hours prior to when it is to be held. Such a meeting shall be presided by the Executive Vice-President; should the Executive Vice-President not be present, the order of determining the presiding officer shall be the Secretary followed by the Treasurer.

Section 4

  1. The seven (7) voting members of the Executive Board shall be the President, Executive Vice-President, Northern Brooklyn Regional Vice-President, Central Brooklyn Regional Vice-President, Southern Brooklyn Regional Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
  2. All appointed officers and committee chairs shall serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member.
  3. Any member of the BYD holding national or state office with the Young Democrats of America and/or the New York State Young Democrats who is not an elected officer of the BYD shall serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Executive Board.
  4. Any immediate past president of the BYD who does not hold another Executive Board position shall also serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Executive Board.

Section 5

Should the BYD incorporate and/or register as a corporation or political action committee of any type with the proper governing agency, including, but not limited to, the Secretary of State of New York, the New York State Board of Elections, New York City Board of Elections, New York City Campaign Finance Board, New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or the Federal Election Commission, the seven (7) voting members of the Executive Board shall constitute the Board of Directors of the corporation or political action committee. The President shall serve as Chairperson of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE IV: Officer Duties

Section 1: President

The President will be the chief executive officer for the organization. He/she will preside over all chapter meetings. The President will have all of the following duties and powers. The absence of a specific power or duty from this list is not necessarily a denial of its existence.

  1. Establish administrative procedures not otherwise provided for by this Constitution or the Bylaws of the BYD.
  2. Act for and on behalf of the county chapter when they are not in session.
  3. Attend all meetings of the New York State Young Democrats. When the attendance of the President is not possible he/she will appoint a suitable replacement and give said person his/her voting proxy.
  4. Schedule and establish the agenda for each general and Executive Board meeting.
  5. Conduct and preside over all general and Executive Board meetings pursuant to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised. The President may, at his or her discretion, suspend said rules at any meeting.
  6. Serve as delegation chair to the New York State Young Democrats state convention.
  7. Have a one hundred dollar ($100) transaction limit without approval of the Executive Board.
  8. Appoint chairpersons of committees, caucuses, or other officers deemed necessary to assist and/or execute administrative duties, pending the approval of a majority of the Executive Board. The President shall outline the duties which the appointed officer is expected to perform. Such appointments must be approved by a simple majority of the Executive Board.
  9. Manage the re-certification process every two (2) years with the New York State Young Democrats.
  10. Remove anyone from any appointed position with the approval of 2/3 of the Executive Board.

Section 2: Executive Vice-President

The Executive Vice-President will have all the following duties:

  1. Act as President Pro-Tempore in the absence of the President.
  2. In a case where the President’s office becomes vacant, the Executive Vice-President will become the President automatically and will assume all powers, duties and responsibilities associated with that position.
  3. The office of the Executive Vice-President then is vacant and will be filled by an appointment by the new President, pending the approval of the Executive Board and the general body.
  4. Assist the President.

Section 3: Northern Brooklyn Vice President

  1. Northern Brooklyn Vice President shall serve as the main outreach for recruitment and advisement for any and all Young Democrats that live, work, or go attend school in the 50th, 51st, 52nd, 53rd, 54th, or 57th Assembly Districts.
  2. Assist the President.

Section 4: Central Brooklyn Vice President

  1. Central Brooklyn Vice President shall serve as the main outreach for recruitment and advisement for any and all Young Democrats that live, work, or go attend school in the 42nd, 43rd, 44th, 55th, 56th, 58th, or 60th Assembly Districts.
  2. Assist the President.

Section 5: Southern Brooklyn Vice President

  1. Southern Brooklyn Vice President shall serve as the main outreach for recruitment and advisement for any and all Young Democrats that live, work, or go attend school in the 41st, 45th, 46th, 47th, 48th, 49th, 59th, or 64th Assembly Districts.
  2. Assist the President.

Section 6: Secretary

The chapter Secretary shall have all the following duties and powers:

  1. Keep accurate minutes of all chapter meetings (general and Executive Board).
  2. Assure publicity for all upcoming events and meetings.
  3. Keep an accurate listing of membership and the membership’s contact information.
  4. Provide such membership information to other members when deemed necessary
  5. See to all correspondence of the chapter as directed by the President.
  6. Validate the voting eligibility of members.
  7. Serve as Parliamentarian.
  8. Assist the President.

Section 7: Treasurer

The chapter Treasurer will be the chief financial officer of the organization and shall have all the following duties:

  1. Be responsible for developing fund-raising ideas and soliciting donations.
  2. Maintain accurate financial records for the organization.
  3. Coordinate all financial activities, including any tax responsibilities with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), New York State Board of Elections, and/or any related or necessary entity.
  4. Advise the chapter, President and the Executive Board of the financial condition of the chapter.
  5. If deemed necessary by the Executive Board, file any reports for the New York State Democratic Committee, New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) and/or any related or necessary entity in a timely manner with the assistance of any necessary members and/or officers has he or she deems necessary.
  6. Write checks and make deposits as directed by the Executive Board.
  7. The Treasurer will not have the right to make financial transactions without the approval of the Executive Board.
  8. Act as the chairperson of any fund-raising or finance committee.
  9. Assist the President.

Section 8: Ex-Officio Officers

  1. All committee or caucus chairpersons shall serve as ex-officio and non-voting members.
  2. At the discretion of the voting members of the Executive Board, ex-officio and non-voting membership in the Executive Board may be extended to the Brooklyn Borough President, Members of the United States Senate, Members of the United States House of Representatives, Members of the New York State Assembly, Members of the New York State Senate, New York City Council, Democratic National Committee, New York State Democratic Committee, and/or other such organization deemed eligible by the Executive Board, provided that he or she is an eligible BYD member, pursuant to Article II of this Constitution.

ARTICLE V: General Body

The BYD general body will meet no less than eight (8) times during the course of one (1) calendar year.

ARTICLE VI: Elections and Voting

Section 1

Elections of officers will be held at the first meeting in February of each calendar year. All terms are for one (1) year. At the conclusion of the first meeting in February, the terms of the outgoing Executive Board shall immediately expire and the terms of the incoming Executive Board shall immediately begin.

Section 2

A simple majority vote of the electorate is necessary to deem a winner in a contested election. Should no candidate receive a simple majority, the electorate shall continue to vote until a candidate is elected with a simple majority. In races in which there are three (3) or more candidates, after each round of voting, the candidate with the fewest votes shall be removed from the ballot.

  1. In the case where no one has applied to run for a Regional Vice Presidency, the Executive Board may appoint an individual from that region to serve in the role of Regional Vice President.

Section 3

No proxy or absentee ballots may be used in any election or vote at any meeting.

Section 4

The President shall designate a Presiding Officer to preside over the elections.

  1. The President may designate him or herself as the Presiding Officer provided that he or she is not running for re-election.
  2. The Presiding Officer is not required to be a member of the BYD.
  3. The Presiding Officer may not vote in any election of which he or she is presiding.
  4. The Presiding Officer shall preside over all elections, both special and annual regular, and all other voting occurring at a general meeting, pursuant to Article III, Section 2 of the Bylaws.

Section 5

  1. The Executive Board shall provide a questionnaire for potential candidates for elected Executive Board positions no later than three weeks before an election and potential candidates will have up to two (2) weeks prior to the election to fill-out the questionnaire. Submissions shall close on the date two (2) weeks prior to the election at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time, at which time no more applications shall be accepted.
  2. Following receipt of candidate, the Secretary, in consultation with the Executive Board, shall validate that said candidate fulfills the necessary requirements of being a voting member as prescribed by Article II, Section 2 of this Constitution and Article III of the Bylaws.
  3. No candidate that has attended less than three (3) BYD sponsored events within the year preceding the day of an election shall be eligible to run for any Executive Board office.
  4. Questionnaire responses shall be provided to the membership no later than one (1) week before an election.

ARTICLE VII: Forming Committees and Caucuses

  1. The President and the Executive Board may form a committee or caucus at any time for any reason they deem necessary.
  2. Any five (5) voting members may, with approval from the Executive Board, form a committee or caucus that those five members deem necessary.
  3. The President shall choose from those five (5) original members a Committee or Caucus Chairperson.
  4. The committee or caucus shall be allowed to conduct its own meetings, elect officers other than Chairperson, and create its own rules of governance.
  5. Any and all actions performed by any committee or caucus shall be subject to review by the Executive Board.

ARTICLE VIII: Supporting Candidates

The BYD shall support the duly nominated candidates and the platform of the Democratic Party.

ARTICLE IX: Constitutional Amendments

  1. Amendments to this constitution must be submitted in writing to the chapter President and chapter Secretary at least two (2) weeks (14 days) prior to a general meeting.
  2. The President shall place the amendment on the agenda for that meeting.
  3. The amendment will be considered approved if two-thirds (2/3) of the Executive Board and two-thirds (2/3) of the general body (in attendance) vote in favor of the amendment.
  4. If the proposed amendment to these bylaws fails to be approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the Executive Board, the general body in attendance may adopt it with a three-fourths (3/4) vote at the general meeting at which it was to be considered.
  5. Amendments to this Constitution voted upon at the February meeting, or the meeting that shall be designated as the officer elections with the later receiving priority, require a simple majority of the voting membership at that meeting in order to be adopted.

ARTICLE X: Number of Offices

No one person may hold more than one office in the BYD organization with the exception of serving as a committee chair provided that the committee was created by the President and Executive Board.

ARTICLE XI: Impeachment and Removal from Office

All elected and appointed officers are subject to impeachment for reasons including, but not limited to, malfeasance, conviction of a felony or misdemeanor, or excessive absences from general and Executive Board meetings.

Section 1

  1. The President may remove any appointed officer for any reason and at any time with a two-thirds (2/3) majority approval by the Executive Board.
  2. The President shall, if deemed necessary, appoint a member, upon the consent of a simple majority of the Executive Board, to replace the removed officer.

Section 2

Removal of elected officers shall proceed as follows:

  1. Should a simple majority of the entire voting general membership deem that any elected officer has performed actions warranting impeachment, they must present a resolution of impeachment which shall enumerate the reasons for which the elected officer should be removed from office. The resolution must be delivered to the entire Executive Board.
  2. A committee of five (5) voting BYD members shall be formed to investigate the charges and provide a recommendation to the Executive Board and general membership.
  3. The chairperson of this investigatory committee shall be determined by the elected officers other than the accused and the officer(s) whom served as signatories in the related resolution of impeachment. Should there be no eligible officers to serve as chairperson, the accused shall be removed from office.
  4. The chairperson shall choose the four (4) other members of the investigatory committee from the general voting membership. No more than two (2) of the selected committee members may be signatories of the resolution of impeachment.
  5. The investigatory committee shall have two (2) weeks (14 days) starting from its formation to conduct an investigation relating to the charges against the accused and provide a report of their investigation and a recommendation of what actions should be taken.
  6. The report and recommendation of the investigatory committee shall be provided to the entire general voting membership.
  7. At the next scheduled meeting, the first order on the agenda shall be consideration of removal of the accused from office. The chairperson of the investigatory committee, or his or her designee, shall serve as presiding officer for the duration of the meeting and may conduct the meeting in a manner he or she deems fit for the occasion.
  8. The accused shall be removed from office following a two-thirds (2/3) vote in the affirmative of the entire general voting membership of the Brooklyn Young Democrats.

Article XII: Resignations

Should any elected or appointed Executive Board member feel it necessary for him or her to resign, he or she must submit a letter of resignation to the President with the Secretary copied. In the event that the resignation is that of President or Secretary, the Executive Vice President must be copied in lieu of the resigning officer.

Article XIII: Dissolution

In the event of the dissolution of the BYD, all funds in the treasury and other assets and records shall go to the New York State Young Democrats after all obligations have been met, to be safeguarded.

Article XIV: District Lines

Section 1

All references to Senatorial, Assembly, or Electoral Districts for the purposes including, but not limited to, the boundaries of the various regions for this Constitution and the Bylaws shall be amended following changes by the New York State Legislature pursuant of redistricting as per the outcome of each decennial census via such adoption by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the BYD membership.

Section 2

Should the New York State Legislature fail to pass such legislation as to certify it as law of the State of New York, all references to the boundaries of the various regions for this Constitution and the Bylaws shall not be amended until the February meeting following the adoption of such district lines by the State of New York and shall be adopted as such by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the BYD membership.

 

Brooklyn Young Democrats Bylaws

 

BYLAW I: Membership Dues

Section 1

Dues for general membership shall be set at twenty dollars ($20) per year for regular members and ten dollars ($10) per year for students.

Section 2

If any member the BYD, after November 1st of any given year, has paid his or her membership dues, the respective member will be credited for both the current and following calendar years.

Section 3

All membership dues will be deposited into the organization’s savings account.

BYLAW II: Endorsements

Section 1

BYD may endorse in political contests, including primary, runoff and general contests as well as those of a contested or unopposed nature. When an endorsement is issued, the candidate and/or campaign that receives the endorsement will have permission to utilize said endorsement in their electoral efforts; additionally, BYD will have the ability, through its executive board, to coordinate with the candidate and/or campaign to provide support for their electoral efforts.

Section 2

The executive board will be responsible for creating an endorsement survey that any candidate and/or campaign seeking the endorsement of BYD must complete in order to be on the endorsement ballot. The survey will be updated yearly at minimum.

Section 3

The executive board will vote whether to initiate endorsement proceedings in a given race; a simple majority vote by the executive board will initiate endorsement proceedings in that race. The general body may overturn a decision of the executive board to not endorse in a given race; if the general body achieves a 2/3 majority vote in favor of endorsing in a given race, the executive board's decision will be overturned and endorsement proceedings will be initiated in that race.

Section 4

When endorsement proceedings in a given race have been initiated, the executive board will send endorsement surveys out to the candidates and/or campaigns in that race. Any and all candidates and/or campaigns that complete the endorsement survey, by a deadline pre-designated and communicated by the executive board, and return it to the executive board will be eligible to appear in front of the general body at the general meeting designated by the executive board for an endorsement vote. Copies of the endorsement survey responses will be made available to the general body voting on the endorsement for a given race.

Section 5

The executive board will designate a general meeting for an endorsement vote; the designation must occur at least two weeks in advance of the given general meeting and must be communicated to the general body. At the designated general meeting, any and all candidates and/or campaigns that have completed and returned an endorsement survey to the executive board may present in front of the general body. When all candidates and/or campaigns that are eligible and present at the meeting have made a presentation, the endorsement vote will commence; no representative from any candidate and/or campaign vying for the endorsement of BYD may be present during the endorsement vote they are seeking.

Section 6

Only Voting Members of BYD will be eligible to receive an endorsement ballot in the endorsement vote proceedings, which will be presided over by the President or his/her designee. The endorsement ballot will list any and all candidates and/or campaigns that have completed and returned an endorsement survey to the executive board for the given race. Candidates and/or campaigns that have not completed and returned an endorsement survey to the executive board are eligible to be selected as a write-in option on the endorsement ballot. A 3/5 majority of the Voting Members participating in the endorsement vote will be required for a given candidate and/or campaign to receive the official endorsement of BYD for a given race. If no candidate and/or campaign reaches that threshold, BYD will not make an official endorsement in that race.

BYLAW III: Elections

Section 1

Notice of elections must be publicized at least 2 weeks in advance of the date of elections.

Section 2

Voting on changes to the Constitution and these Bylaws shall precede voting for officers.

  1. Prior to the election the current Executive Board shall provide the membership with a list of candidates and changes to the Constitution and Bylaws in order to provide ample time for consideration by the membership.

Section 3

  1. All Executive Board candidates will be required to provide to the current Executive Board, via the Secretary, a statement of candidacy that must include, but is not limited to, his or her name, address at which he or she is registered to vote, and date of birth by a date determined by the current Executive Board.
  2. All Executive Board candidates must fulfill all of the voting eligibility requirements as dictated by Article II of the BYD Constitution.

Section 4

Elections shall be conducted by a presiding officer appointed by the President, pursuant to Article VI of the Constitution.

Section 5

The electorate and eligible candidates for the Northern Regional Vice President, Central Regional Vice President, and Southern Regional Vice President shall consist of the eligible BYD members that live, work, or attend school within the assembly districts which constitute the region in which said Regional Vice President is to represent.

  1. No member who is eligible to vote for more than one Regional Vice President may do so.
  2. The order of precedence of which election a member that is eligible to vote for more than one Regional Vice President shall be: by residence followed by school attendance then followed by place of employment.
  3. The Secretary shall validate and enforce the eligibility of the membership.

BYLAW IV: Vacancies

Section 1

Should a vacancy of any Executive Board position other than President occur with six months or more remaining, a special election shall be held the remainder of the term.

Section 2

If vacancies with fewer than six months remain within the term of service of the position, the Executive Board may appoint a member to fill the vacancy.

BYLAW V: Amendments

Section 1

  1. Amendments to this constitution must be submitted in writing to the chapter President and chapter Secretary at least two (2) weeks (14 days) prior to a general meeting.
  2. The President shall place the amendment on the agenda for that meeting.
  3. The amendment will be considered approved if a simple majority of the Executive Board and the general body (in attendance) vote in favor of the amendment.
  4. If the proposed amendment to these bylaws fails to be approved by simple majority of the Executive Board, the general body in attendance may adopt it with a two-thirds (2/3) vote at the general meeting at which it was to be considered.

Section 2

Amendments to these bylaws may only be adopted after an official general body meeting held after an official Executive Board meeting at which the amendment was adopted.

Section 3

Amendments shall become effective immediately after the adjournment of the meeting at which they were adopted.

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