CONSTITUTION

 

PREAMBLE

Whereas, there exist persons interested in becoming involved in the Democratic Party in the County of New York, in the State of New York, who wish to stimulate the interest of young people in government affairs, promote the involvement of young people in the political process, 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, and 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, form the Young Democrats of New York County and establish the hereafter stated Constitution and By-Laws.

 

ARTICLE I – NAME

Section 1

The name of this organization shall be the Young Democrats of New York County, to be known and referred to hereafter as the Manhattan Young Democrats or MYD.

 

ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP

Section 1

General membership in MYD shall be awarded as follows:

a) General membership in MYD shall be limited to persons no younger than sixteen (16) years of age, and who have not yet reached the age of thirty-six (36). Persons under the age of sixteen (16) shall be deemed associate members of MYD, and persons over the age of thirty-six (36) shall be deemed honorary members of MYD, both at the discretion of the Executive Board.

b) No person shall be excluded from membership because of race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, marital status, disability, economic status or gender identity.

c) MYD, in keeping with the ideals of equal participation, shall endeavor to increase the memberships of women and minorities.

Section 2

Voting membership shall be awarded as follows:

a) Voting membership in MYD shall be limited to identified Democrats who either live, work, or attend school in New York County.

b) Voting members shall be required to pay an annual membership fee (in accordance with the procedures set forth in the MYD By-Laws, except in cases of financial hardship), and to provide a first and last name, mailing address, date of birth (including day, month and year), phone number and email address.

c) Voting membership shall be limited to members in good standing.

Section 3

Members in good standing shall be defined as follows:

a) Members in good standing shall be those members who have attended at least one (1) general body meeting or other official Manhattan Young Democrats event in the previous calendar year.

b) Members shall be in good standing only if they are up to date on their annual membership fee (except in cases of financial hardship).

Section 4

No person who is a voting member of a Young Democrats organization in another County outside of New York City in the State of New York may be a member in good standing of the Manhattan Young Democrats.

 

ARTICLE III – OFFICERS

Section 1

The officers of MYD shall be as follows: President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary.

Section 2

The process for elections of all Officers shall proceed as follows:

a) The Officers of MYD shall be elected every year for one (1) year terms, commencing in January 2003. For the year 2002, officers will be elected within thirty days of the approval of the Constitution and By-laws of the Young Democrats of Manhattan County. Officers of MYD must be voting members in good standing, and must submit a completed application consisting of answers to several questions posed by the current Executive Board four (4) weeks before the election. The answers to the application shall be made available to the general membership at least two (2) weeks prior to the election.

b) Elections of new Officers shall take place at November general meetings.  The terms of newly elected Officers shall commence the January following their election.

c) The Executive Board will decide, at a meeting prior to the election, if candidates for MYD office will have access to the MYD membership list for the purpose of campaigning. If approved by the Executive Board, access to the list and permission to use the list must be afforded equally to all candidates for MYD office.

d) Nominations for candidates for Officer positions shall be made from the floor with the consent of the nominee. In the case of an uncontested candidacy, the nominee has the option to address the membership. In the case of a contested candidacy, the President Emeritus (most recent past President) will randomly designate the order in which the candidates will speak. All candidates waiting to speak or having already spoken must be isolated from the membership meeting. Once each candidate has spoken, the President Emeritus shall declare the nomination period closed and distribute ballots to all voting members present and in good standing. All votes shall be cast in secret using the ballot as provided. Votes shall be counted and certified by the President Emeritus, along with a verifying agent designated by each of the candidates. The candidate with over fifty percent (50%) of the vote shall be declared the winner. If no one candidate receives over fifty percent (50%) of the vote, there will be a run-off election between the two top vote-getters, according to the same procedures established in this subsection.

Section 3

The duties of the Officers designated herein shall be as follows:

a) The President shall be the chief administrative officer of MYD.  The President shall direct the implementation of the policies adopted and authorized by the Executive Board, and shall oversee all political and policy affairs, generally.  The President shall serve as an ex-officio member of all committees of MYD, shall serve as a non-voting member of the New York County Democratic Committee, and shall represent the organization in public and to the media and at any other appropriate levels within the local state or national Democratic Party, in consultation with the Executive Board. The President shall maintain correspondence with national, state, and other local levels of Young Democratic and Democratic Party organizations.  The President shall chair all Executive Board meetings and, further, report on his or her activities at each Executive Board meeting. The President shall chair general body membership meetings (in accordance with Article VI).  The President shall be responsible for any administrative affairs of MYD, including maintaining organizational files and records in a safe and orderly manner, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the Executive Board.

b) The Vice President shall assist the President in the performance of the President’s duties. The Vice President shall oversee all programming and membership development activities of MYD, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President or the Executive Board.  In the event that the President, due to absence, death, resignation, removal or any other reason, cannot fulfill the duties of their office, the Vice President shall act as interim President until such time as a permanent replacement has been selected in accordance with Section 5 of this Article.

g) The Treasurer shall be responsible for all financial records of all receipts and disbursements of funds of MYD in accordance with all federal, state and local laws and regulations.  The Treasurer shall prepare and submit the required expenditure reports for the state and county Boards of Election, shall report all financial activity at each Executive Board meeting, and shall keep all organizational financial records in balance.  The Treasurer shall oversee all fundraising efforts of the organization, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President or the Executive Board. In the event that the President and the Vice President, due to absence, death, resignation, removal or any other reason, cannot fulfill the duties of their offices, the Treasurer shall act as interim President until such time as a permanent replacement has been selected in accordance with Section 5 of this Article.

h) The Secretary shall record and distribute minutes of all Executive Board and general membership meetings. The Secretary shall be responsible for coordination of general membership correspondence including mailings and phone banks, shall be responsible for notifying members of each meeting and event. The Secretary shall oversee all event planning, and public MYD communications and messaging, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President or the Executive Board.  In the event that the President, the Vice President and the Treasurer, due to absence, death, resignation, removal or any other reason, cannot fulfill the duties of their offices, the Secretary shall act as interim President until such time as a permanent replacement has been selected in accordance with Section 5 of this Article.

Section 4

The President may appoint cabinet members (as described in the By-Laws of MYD), subject to the confirmation of the Officers, as are deemed necessary to assist in the execution of the administrative duties of MYD.

Section 5

At the request of the Assembly member, Democratic Political Club or District Leader from each Assembly district in New York County, the President may appoint a Delegate (as described in the By-Laws of MYD) to represent that district as a Ex-Officio member of the Executive Board, subject to confirmation of the Officers.

Section 6

Should any Officer miss three (3) consecutive Executive Board meetings without being excused, such act will be considered an official act of resignation of that Officer’s position. Should any Officer miss three (3) consecutive general body meetings without being excused such an act shall be ground for removal as outlined in Section 8 of this Article.  Officers shall be given written warning by the Executive Board after the second absence from either meeting.

Section 7

If there is a vacancy in any Officer level position with less than four (4) months remaining in the year, that position shall be filled by a vote of the Executive Board, at the Board meeting immediately following the announcement of such vacancy, in accordance with Article IV Section 5, subject to the approval of the remaining Officers.  If there is a vacancy in any Officer level position with four (4) months or more remaining in the year, then that vacancy will be filled by a vote of the voting membership, in accordance with the procedure laid out in Section 2 of this Article.

Section 8

The process for removal of all Officers shall be as follows:

a) Grounds for removal shall be misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in the performance of an officer’s duties.

b) A motion for removal must be made at a regular or special meeting of the Executive Board.  The Officer in question and the MYD general body must be notified of the motion removal within seven (7) days of said motion, and before the removal process may proceed further.

c) Charges demanding removal shall be referred to an Ethics Committee of three (3) voting members in good standing, including at least one Executive Board member, chosen by a majority of members present and in good standing during the general MYD meeting immediately following the Board meeting in which a motion for removal is made.

d) The Ethics Committee shall investigate the charges and shall, if requested by either the persons bringing the charges, the Executive Board or the Officer against whom the charges have been brought, hold hearings regarding the motion for removal. During the hearing, the Officer against whom charges have been brought shall be afforded the opportunity to confront the person making the motion, to call, examine and cross examine witnesses in connection with the motion, to make arguments on his or her own behalf, and to be represented by counsel.

e) The President or, if the charges are being brought against the President, the Vice President, shall be a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Ethics Committee and shall chair any hearings that may be held.

f) Once the Ethics Committee has completed its investigation, it shall make findings, determined by a majority vote, as to whether or not the charges should be sustained and the Officer charged should be dismissed. Such findings shall then be forwarded to the Executive Board in the form of a recommendation to MYD. If the Ethics Committee finds that the charges are not sustained and the Officer in question should not be removed, all charges will be dropped and struck from the record.

g) If the Ethics Committee makes a recommendation that the charges should be sustained, and that the Officer should be removed, the Executive Board shall place the motion for removal on the agenda of the next Board meeting, which shall be held no more than sixty (60) days following the day the motion for removal was first brought before the Executive Board.

h) All parties calling for removal of an Officer must be present at the Executive Board meeting at which removal is considered, and the Officer must be notified in writing at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting. The Officer subject to removal must be given the opportunity to respond at and/or before the meeting at which removal is considered.

i) Removal shall be accomplished by a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the voting members present and in good standing. Only those who were voting members in good standing before the motion for removal was brought in front of the Executive Board originally shall be eligible to vote on the motion for removal.

 

ARTICLE IV – EXECUTIVE BOARD

Section 1

The Executive Board shall be the governing body of MYD, and shall develop the policies necessary to achieve the vision set forth in the Constitution and By-Laws of MYD.

Section 2

The Officers of MYD, along with Cabinet level appointments (as established in Article III Sections 3 and 4 respectively) and elected Committee representatives (as established in the By-Laws of MYD) shall comprise the voting membership of the Executive Board of MYD.  Any immediate past President of the MYD who does not hold another Executive Board position shall serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Executive Board, as shall all Deputies and Delegates (as established in Article III Section 5).

Section 3

The Executive Board shall meet at the call of the President, who shall call at least twelve (12) meetings per year. At least seven (7) days written notice of an Executive Board meeting shall be given to each Executive Board member, including the date, time and location. All other members of MYD who give written notice to the President or the Vice President requesting to be informed of said meetings will be given notice of the meetings as well.

Section 4

The President shall chair all Executive Board meetings. Should the President be unable to chair a meeting, it shall be chaired by the Vice President, the Treasurer or the Secretary, in that order.

Section 5

No meeting of the Executive Board shall be official without a quorum of the Board in attendance. A quorum shall consist of no less than fifty percent (50%) of Executive Board voting members. The Secretary shall call the role at the beginning of each meeting, in order to establish quorum.

a) Any meeting at which a quorum is not present shall be deemed a Committee of the Whole.  Decisions made by a Committee of the Whole shall be non-binding and shall not be implemented until approval at the next official meeting of the Executive Board at which a quorum is present.

c) A Board member may participate in Executive Board meetings via electronic means, such as a conference call, and be considered present at said meeting, for the purposes of establishing quorum.

Section 6

All votes, decisions, confirmations, approvals or other acts of the Executive Board, at any meeting, shall be accomplished by a majority vote of the quorum present and in good standing at that meeting, unless otherwise specified in the Constitution or By-laws of MYD.
 

ARTICLE V – GENERAL BODY MEETINGS

Section 1

MYD shall hold regular monthly general membership meetings, which shall be called and chaired by the President.  Should the President be unable to chair a meeting it shall be chaired by the Vice President, the Treasurer or the Secretary, in that order.

Section 2 

Specially-designated general body meetings shall be those called by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Executive Board, at an official Executive Board meeting.

Section 3

At least seven (7) days notice of any MYD meeting shall be given to each member, including date, time, and location.

Section 4

The President shall set the agenda for and chair each general body meeting. The agenda must contain a “Member’s Report” wherein any member will be able to bring up subjects for consideration that are unaddressed in the Constitution or By-Laws of MYD, or have not been otherwise considered by the President or the Executive Board.

 

ARTICLE VI – COMMITTEES

Section 1

There shall be standing committees, as described in the By-Laws of MYD, whose membership shall consist of members in good standing who have chosen to be members of those committees.

Section 2

The President may, at his or her discretion, subject to the approval of the Executive Board, form ad hoc committees, as are deemed necessary for the successful execution of MYD operations.

 

ARTICLE VII – AMENDMENTS

Section 1

Amendments to this Constitution shall be adopted only by a three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of all voting members present and in good standing at the meeting designated for the election of Officers, or at a specially-designated general body meeting (as established in Article V Section 2).

Section 2

When members are given notice of meetings, they must be informed that an amendment is on the agenda for the proposed amendment to be considered at the meeting.

Section 3

All amendments to this Constitution, proposed for adoption must be presented in writing to the Executive Board at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting at which such amendments will be considered.

Section 4

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

Section 5 

Once adopted, all amendments made hereafter shall either be explicitly footnoted or codified in separated articles and sections at the end of this Constitution.

 

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BY-LAWS

 

ARTICLE I – POLICY

Section 1

It shall be the policy of the Manhattan Young Democrats to endeavor to uphold and advocate for the principles set forth in its Constitution, and those of the Democratic Party.

Section 2

MYD may charter and become a part of the New York State Young Democrats organization and/or the Young Democrats of America, and endeavor to carry on the work of these organizations in New York County, in the State of New York.

a) In the event of such a chartering, the Officers of MYD shall establish rules governing the participation of all members in the activities of such organizations.

b) MYD shall endeavor to facilitate, to the maximum extent possible, the election of its members to positions of state and national responsibility in all organizations under which it is chartered.

Section 3

No members of MYD shall, in their official capacity as members of MYD, support any political candidate who is in the process of trying to obtain a Democratic nomination, or who is running in a contested primary. Further, MYD as an organization shall not support any aforementioned individual. This section does not preclude any MYD member from supporting a candidate in his or her own individual, personal capacity.

 

ARTICLE II – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

Section 1

The most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the proceedings of all meetings of MYD.

 

ARTICLE III – FINANCES

Section 1

An annual membership fee shall be set by the Officers. The annual membership fee may be changed from time to time.

Section 2

The President and Treasurer shall have the authority, subject to the approval of the Executive Board, to organize such fundraising events as are deemed necessary by the Executive Board.

Section 3

The Executive Board shall have the power to dispose of all financial assets in a manner consistent with the principles set forth in the Constitution and By-Laws of MYD, subject to the approval of the Officers.

Section 4

The President and the Treasurer shall establish such bank or investment accounts as deemed necessary by the Executive Board. Both the President and the Treasurer shall be named to all bank or investment accounts as representatives of the organization.

Section 5

Any checks issued by the MYD shall bear the signature of either the President or the Treasurer.

Section 6

A Budget Committee shall be appointed no later than two (2) months following the commencement of new Officer terms.  The Committee shall be chaired by the Treasurer, and will consist of at least (2) additional members of the Executive Board.  The President shall serve as an ex-officio member of this committee.  The Budget Committee will meet quarterly to review the organization’s budget and approve appropriation requests from Executive Board and general members.  All Budget Committee appropriations shall be subject to the approval of the Officers.

Section 7

In the event that MYD is disbanded or dissolved, all assets and real property of MYD and its committees shall revert to the benefit of New York County Democratic Committee.

 

ARTICLE IV – GENERAL BODY MEETINGS

Section 1

General body meetings of MYD shall occur on the third Tuesday of every month a meeting is called, barring any conflict with religious holidays or other extenuating circumstances. If the third Tuesday cannot be the day of the meeting, some day close to the third Tuesday will be substituted for a one-time accommodation.

 

ARTICLE V – STANDING COMMITTEES

Section 1

An Issues Assembly shall be held on the last Tuesday of every month, barring any conflict with religious holidays or other extenuating circumstances.  If the last Tuesday cannot be the day of the meeting, a day close to the last Tuesday shall be substituted as a one-time accommodation.  The Issues Assembly shall function as a standing committee, as described in the Constitution of MYD, and shall act as a forum for discussion of all issues of interest to the MYD general membership.

a) The Issues Assembly shall periodically elect Members-at-Large, by a majority vote of the voting members present at a given Assembly meeting and in good standing, to represent the Assembly as members of the Executive Board.  The number of Members-at-Large allowable for a given year shall be set by the Officers no more than two months following the beginning of their term.  

b) The Issues Assembly shall be chaired by the Vice President or an eligible cabinet level designee as determined by the Officers within the first month of their term.

 

ARTICLE VI – CABINET MEMBERS

Section 1

The cabinet may consist of the following positions, as appointed by the Officers, after a call for submissions has been announced to the MYD general membership.  All cabinet appointees shall report directly to the Officers as designated herein.

a) The Political Director shall be responsible for tracking elections, candidates, appointments, and any legislative issues of interest to MYD.  The Political Director shall develop and manage campaign strategy and mobilization for MYD, including volunteer recruitment and deployment.  The Political Director shall run the Open Seat Project (specifically, assisting MYD members in running for any office which is uncontested at the party level, particularly with respect to County Committee positions).  The Political Director shall report to the President in developing strategy around these issues, and the execution of all duties. The Political Director shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President or the Executive Board.

b) The Policy Director shall be responsible for maintaining and updating the internal policies of MYD, and developing the policy platform and agenda for MYD, in consultation with the Executive Board and the general membership.  The Policy Director shall be eligible to chair the Issues Assembly (as described in Article V Section 1), shall consult on all policy programming.  The Policy Director shall report to the President in the execution of all duties, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President or the Executive Board.

c) The Technical Director shall be responsible for maintenance and development of the MYD website.  The Technical Director shall maintain all MYD email accounts.  The Technical Director shall be responsible for developing and maintaining new tools to aid in the efficient and effective operations of MYD.  The Technical Director shall report to the President in execution of these duties, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President or the Executive Board.

d) The Membership Director shall be responsible for  growing the general membership of MYD and membership participation.  The Membership Director shall keep track of and maintain current membership lists.  The Membership Director shall be eligible to chair the Issues Assembly (as described in Article V, Section 1).  The Membership Director shall report to the Vice President in execution of these duties, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President, Vice President or the Executive Board.

e) The Programming Director shall be responsible for coordinating all regular MYD programming.  Such programming includes the organization of Learning Labs and other training sessions on subjects of politics and policy, as well as the coordination of volunteer and other service opportunities for MYD members.  The Programming Director shall coordinate speakers and presenters for general body meetings, as well as for any panel discussions organized by MYD.  The Programming Director shall be eligible to chair the Issues Assembly (as described in Article V, Section 1).  The Programming Director shall report to the Vice President in the execution of these duties, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President, Vice President or the Executive Board.

f) The Finance Director shall be responsible for raising funds by tracking donors and finding new sources of funding for the organization. The Vice President of Finance shall assist the Treasurer in filling reports and meeting deadlines. The Finance Director shall work with the Events Director on the planning of fundraisers.  The Finance Director shall report to the Treasurer in the execution of these duties, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President, Treasurer or the Executive Board.

g) The Events Director shall be responsible for planning and executing special events for the organization. These events may include, but are not limited to, fundraisers, conventions, and campaign invasions. The Events Director shall organize space and logistics for all regularly scheduled MYD meetings, including general body meetings and Issues Assemblies.  The Events Director shall report to the Secretary in the execution of these duties, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President, Secretary or the Executive Board.

h) The Communications Director shall be responsible for regular media outreach and communications on all mediums, including social media outreach and strategy.  The Communications Director shall be responsible for MYD messaging, in consultation with the Secretary.  The Communications Director shall maintain consistent branding across all MYD communications and resources.  Anything produced for public consumption, with the exception of standard documents on letterhead, must have consult of the Communications Director..  The Communications Director shall report to the Secretary on all matters in order to ensure consistent and adequate messaging.  The Communications Director shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President, Secretary or the Executive Board.

i) The College and University Liaison shall act as a liaison between the Executive Board and local colleges and universities, shall coordinate and implement recruitment efforts at such schools, shall report to the Executive Board on matters of concern to local colleges and universities and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President or Executive Board.

j) The High School Liaison shall act as a liaison between the Executive Board and local high schools, shall coordinate and implement recruitment efforts at such schools, shall report to the Executive Board on matters of concern to local high schools and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President or Executive Board.

Section 2

Any Cabinet vacancy may be filled by the President, at his or her discretion, subject to confirmation of the Officers.

Section 3

The President may, at his or her discretion, appoint such other Cabinet members as are deemed necessary to assist in the execution of the administrative duties of MYD, subject to the confirmation of the Officers.  All new cabinet member duties must be outlined in writing and approved by the Officers prior to appointment.

Section 4

Should any Cabinet member miss three (3) consecutive Executive Board meetings without being excused, such actions will be considered an official act of resignation of that Cabinet member’s position.  Cabinet.  Should any Cabinet member miss three (3) consecutive general body meetings without being excused, such actions will be grounds for immediate dismissal by the Officers, or by a two thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Board.  Cabinet members shall be given written warning by the Executive Board after the second consecutive absence from either meeting.

 

ARTICLE VII – DELEGATES

Section 1

Delegates shall act as liaisons between the Executive Board and local political clubs and Assembly districts, shall coordinate and implement recruitment efforts, shall report to the Executive Board on matters of concern to local clubs and neighborhoods, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President or Executive Board.

Section 2

Any Delegate vacancies may be filled by the President, at his or her discretion, subject to confirmation of the Officers.

Section 3

The President may, at his or her discretion, appoint such other Delegates as are deemed necessary, subject to the confirmation of the Officers.

 

ARTICLE VIII – RESOLUTIONS

Section 1

The Executive Board, by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the quorum present and in good standing, may adopt such provisional rules as it deems necessary for the adequate facilitation of MYD, subject to the approval of the Officers. Such provisional rules cannot be in conflict with or in contravention of the Constitution or By-Laws of MYD.

Section 2

The general membership of MYD, by a majority vote of voting members present and in good standing at a general body or standing committee meeting, may adopt resolutions.  Such resolutions cannot be in conflict with or in contravention of the Constitution or By-Laws of MYD.  Resolutions shall be non-binding.  The procedure for such votes shall be established by the Executive Board prior to the meeting at which the votes take place.

 

ARTICLE IX – AMENDMENTS

Section 1

Amendments to these By-Laws shall be adopted only by a majority vote of all voting members present and in good standing at the meeting designated for the election of Officers, or at a specially-designated general body meeting (as described in the Constitution of MYD).

Section 2

When members are given notice of meetings, they must be informed that an amendment is on the agenda for the proposed amendment to be considered at that meeting.

Section 3

All amendments to these By-Laws, proposed for adoption, must be presented in writing to the Executive Board at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting at which such amendments will be considered.

Section 4

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

Section 5

Once adopted all amendments made hereafter shall either by explicitly footnoted or codified in separated articles and sections at the end of these By-Laws.