CONSTITUTION

PREAMBLE

Whereas, persons interested in becoming involved in the Democratic Party in the County of New York, 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 New York County and establish the hereafter stated Constitution and By-laws.

ARTICLE I – NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Young Democrats of New York County, to be known as the Manhattan Young Democrats (“MYD”).

ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP

Section 1
Regular membership in the MYD shall be limited to persons no younger than sixteen years of age, and who have not yet reached the age of thirty-six. Persons under the age of sixteen shall, at the discretion of the Executive Board, be deemed associate members of the MYD, and persons over the age of thirty-six shall, at the discretion of the Executive Board, be deemed honorary members of the MYD. No criteria other than age or political party preference shall be an acceptable reason for exclusion from membership.

Section 2
No person shall be excluded from membership because of sex, race, creed, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, or economic status.

Section 3
Voting members are required to pay an annual membership fee (in accordance with the by-laws, except in cases of financial hardship), and to provide an address, birth date and telephone number. Voting membership shall also be limited to members in good standing.

Section 4
The MYD, in keeping with the ideals of equal participation, shall endeavor to increase the memberships of women and minorities.

Section 5
Members in good standing shall be those members who have attended at least one (1) previous general body meeting or other official Manhattan Young Democrats event (e.g. a committee meeting, happy hour event, panel discussion, etc.) in the previous calendar year, and have paid the annual membership fee, with exception of those cases of financial hardship, and are registered Democrats who either live, work, or attend school in New York County.

Section 6
No person who is a 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 in the Manhattan Young Democrats.

ARTICLE III – OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE BOARD

Section 1
The officers of the MYD shall be as follows: President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. Those officers, along with chairs of standing committees and cabinet level appointments shall comprise the Executive Board of the MYD.  The immediate past president of the MYD shall serve as an Executive Board member as specified in Article III Section 3e.

Section 2
The officers of the 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 the MYD must be members in good standing and submit a completed application consisting of answers to several questions posed by the current Executive Board, two weeks before the election. The answers to the application shall be made available to the general membership at least one week prior to the election.

a) 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.

b) 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 the members in good standing. All votes shall be cast in secret using the ballot as provided. The candidate with over 50% of the vote shall be declared the winner. If no one candidate receives over 50% of the vote, there will be a run-off election between the two top vote-getters. Votes shall be counted and certified by the President Emeritus along with a verifying agent designated by each of the candidates.

Section 3
The duties of the officers shall be as follows:

a) The President shall be the chief administrative officer of the MYD, shall direct the implementation of the policies adopted and authorized by the Executive Board, shall serve as an ex-officio member of all committees of the MYD, shall serve as a non-voting member of the New York County Democratic Committee, shall represent, in consultation with the Executive Board, the organization in public and to the media and shall represent, in consultation with the Executive Board, the MYD at any other appropriate levels within the local state or national Democratic Party. The President shall chair the Executive Board meetings and further report on his or her activities at each Executive Board meeting. The President shall chair the membership meetings, shall be responsible for any administrative affairs of the MYD including maintaining organizational files and records in a safe and orderly manner, shall maintain correspondence with national, state, and other local levels of Young Democratic organizations, Democratic Party organizations, 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. In the event that the President, due to absence, death, resignation, removal, or other reason, cannot fulfill the duties of the office of President, the Vice President shall act as the interim President until such time as a permanent replacement has been selected in accordance with Section 5 of this Article.

c) The Treasurer shall be responsible for all financial records of all receipts and disbursements of funds of the MYD in accordance with all federal, state and local laws and regulations, 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, shall keep all organizational financial records in balance, 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 other reason, cannot fulfill the duties of their elected 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.

d) The Secretary shall record and distribute minutes of all Executive Board and general membership meetings, shall be responsible for coordination of general membership correspondence including mailings and phone banks, shall be responsible for notifying members of each meeting and/or event, shall be responsible for the maintenance improvement of the Manhattan Young Democrats website and other new media, and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President or the Executive Board.

e) Any immediate past president of the MYD who does not hold another Executive Board position shall also serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Executive Board.

Section 4
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.

Section 5
If there is a vacancy in any officer level position with less than 4 months left in the year, that position will be filled by a vote of the Executive Board at the meeting immediately following the announcement of such vacancy.  If there is a vacancy in any officer level position with 4 months or more left in the year, then that vacancy will be filled by a vote of the general membership, in accordance with the procedure laid out in Section 2 of this Article.

Section 7
The President may, from time to time, appoint cabinet members, subject to the confirmation by the Executive Board, to assist in the execution of the administrative duties of the MYD.

ARTICLE IV – EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS

Section 1
The Executive Board shall be the governing body of the MYD and shall develop the policies designed to achieve the goals stated in this Constitution and the By-laws of the MYD.

Section 2
The Executive Board shall meet at the call of the President, who shall call at least twelve (12) meetings per year. At least five (5) days written notice of an Executive Board meeting shall be given to each Executive Board member, giving the date, time, and location of such meeting. All other members of the MYD who give written notice to the Executive Vice President and the President requesting to be informed of said meetings will be given notice of the meetings as well.

Section 3
The President shall chair all Executive Board meetings unless absent or unable to do so. Should the President be unable to chair a meeting, the Executive Vice President shall do so, and the Treasurer shall chair said meetings should the President and the Executive Vice President both be unable to do so.

Section 4
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 the eligible Executive Board votes. The Secretary shall call the role at the beginning of each meeting.

a) Any meeting at which a quorum is not present shall be deemed a committee of the whole.

b) 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 member shall participate in Executive Board meetings via electronic means, such as a conference call, and be considered present at said meeting and included as part of the quorum.

Section 5
All decisions, confirmations, committee membership choices, votes or other acts of the Executive Board at any meeting shall be accomplished by a majority of the quorum present at that meeting, unless otherwise specified in the Constitution or By-laws.

ARTICLE V – COMMITTEES

Section 1
There shall be standing and ad hoc committees described in the bylaws, whose membership shall consist of members in good standing who have elected to be members of those committees. All standing committees will meet annually to elect a chair, which will be decided by a majority vote of members in attendance at that committee meeting.

Section 2
The President may, at his or her discretion and with the vote of the Executive Board, form ad hoc committees as are deemed necessary by the President or the Executive Board.


ARTICLE VI – LIAISONS

Section 1
The President may appoint, subject to confirmation of the Executive Board, the following liaisons to the Executive Board, who shall serve at the discretion of the Executive Board: College and University Liaison, High School Liaison.

Section 2
The duties of the liaisons are as follows:

a) 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 other duties as assigned by the President or Executive Board.

b) 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 other duties as assigned by the President or Executive Board.

Section 3
Any vacancy in the Liaisons shall be filled by the President, subject to confirmation by vote of the Executive Board.

Section 4
The President may, at his or her discretion and with the vote of the Executive Board, appoint such other liaisons as are deemed necessary by the President or the Executive Board.

ARTICLE VII – DELEGATES

Section 1
The President may appoint at the request of the Assembly member or Democratic Political Club from each Assembly district, subject to confirmation of the Executive Board, a delegate to represent that district as a Ex-Officio member of the Executive Board.

Section 2
The duties of the delegates are as follows: The Delegates shall act as a liaison 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 other duties as assigned by the President or Executive Board.

Section 3
Any vacancy in the Delegates shall be filled by the President, subject to confirmation by vote of the Executive Board.

Section 4
The President may, at his or her discretion and with the vote of the Executive Board, appoint such other Delegates as are deemed necessary by the President or the Executive Board.

ARTICLE VIII – MEETINGS OF THE MANHATTAN YOUNG DEMOCRATS

Section 1
The MYD shall hold regular monthly meetings, which shall be called and chaired by the President, or if the President is unable to chair the meetings it shall be chaired by the Executive Vice President or the Treasurer.

Section 2
At least ten (10) days notice of any MYD meeting shall be given to each member, including date, time, and location.

Section 3
The President shall set the agenda for each meeting. Part of that agenda must contain a “Member’s Report” where any member will be able to bring up projects for consideration that are not considered in this Constitution or the By-laws, or have not been otherwise considered by the President or the Executive Board.

ARTICLE IX – REMOVAL OF OFFICERS

Section 1
The process for removal of any 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. Charges demanding removal shall be referred to an Ethics Committee of three (3) members in good standing, chosen by a majority of a quorum of general members during the next general MYD meeting following the meeting in which a motion for removal is made. 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. The Officer against whom charges have been brought shall have 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 behalf and to represented by counsel.

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

d) 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 or should not be dismissed. Such findings shall then be forwarded to the Executive Board in the form of a recommendation to the MYD to be dealt with under the following subsections of this Article.

e) If the Ethics Committee finds that the charges are not sustained and the officer should not be removed, said charges will be dropped and struck from the record.

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

g) The parties calling for removal of an Officer must be present at the Executive Board meeting at which removal is considered, and the Executive Board member must be notified in writing at least fifteen (15) 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.

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

ARTICLE X – AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION

Section 1
Amendment to this Constitution shall be adopted only by a three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of the membership at the meeting designated for the election of officers, or at a meeting designated by a three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of the Executive Board, during an Executive Board meeting.

Section 2
Amendments shall become effective immediately after the adjournment of the meeting at which they were adopted.

Section 3
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.

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BY-LAWS

ARTICLE I – POLICY

Section 1

It shall be the policy of this organization to endeavor to uphold all ideals set forth in its constitution and by the Democratic Party.

Section 2

This organization 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 those organizations in New York County, State of New York.

a) In the event of such a chartering, the Executive Board of the MYD shall establish rules governing the participation of its members and officers in the activities of such organizations.

b) The MYD shall endeavor to facilitate to the maximum extent possible the election of its members to positions of state and national responsibility in the two organizations named in this article.

Section 3
No members of the MYD shall, in their official capacity as members of the MYD, support any political candidate who is in the process of trying to obtain a Democratic nomination, or who is running a contested primary. Further, the MYD as an organization shall not support any aforementioned individual. This section should not be read to 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 the MYD.

ARTICLE III – AMENDMENTS AND RESOLUTIONS

Section 1
Amendment to these By-laws shall be adopted only be a three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of the membership at the meeting designated for the election of officers, or at a special meeting as designated by a three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of the Executive Board, during an Executive Board meeting.

Section 2
Amendments shall become effective immediately after the adjournment of the meeting at which they were adopted.

Section 3
All amendments to the Constitution and 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
When members are given notice of meetings, they must be informed that an amendment is on the agenda for the amendment to be considered at that meeting.

Section 5
The Executive Board, by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members present and eligible to vote at that meeting, may adopt such provisional rules as it deems necessary in order to facilitate the running of the MYD. Such provisional rules cannot be in conflict with or in contravention of the Constitution and By-laws of the MYD.

Section 6
The general membership of MYD, by a majority vote of members present and eligible to vote at that meeting, may adopt resolutions.  Such resolutions cannot be in conflict with or in contravention of the Constitution and By-laws of the 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 vote takes place.

ARTICLE IV – FUNDRAISING

Section 1
The President shall have the authority, with confirmation of the Executive Board, to establish such fundraising events as are deemed necessary by the Executive Board.

Section 2
An annual membership fee shall be set by majority vote of the members present and eligible to vote at that meeting. The annual membership fee may be changed from time to time.

ARTICLE V – FINANCES

Section 1
The Executive Board shall, through majority vote of the members present and eligible to vote at a particular meeting, have the power to dispose of its financial assets in a manner consistent with the goals and principles stated in the Constitution and By-laws of the MYD.

Section 2
The President and the Treasurer shall establish such bank and/or investment accounts as deemed necessary by vote of the Executive Board.

Section 3
Any checks issued by the MYD shall bear the signature of both the President and the Treasurer.

Section 4
In the event that the MYD is disbanded or dissolved, all assets and real property of the MYD and its committees shall revert to the benefit of New York County Democratic Committee.

ARTICLE VI – MEETINGS OF THE MANHATTAN YOUNG DEMOCRATS

Section 1
Meetings of the 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 VII – STANDING COMMITTEES

Section 1
The standing committees of the Manhattan Young Democrats shall be: the Finance Committee, Healthcare Issues Committee, Economic Issues Committee, Community and Social Equity (CASE) Committee, Environmental Issues Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee, Transportation Committee, Education Committee and the Women’s Issues Committee.

Section 2
Committee Chairs are to be elected by a vote of paid-MYD members at the first Committee Meeting after the General Election. If for any reason the Chair can no longer Chair the committee a vote will be held at the next available meeting. A new committee can be established if 6 MYD Members approach the Executive Board with the intent to form one and are approved. The board will promote the first meeting of the committee, at which a Chair will be elected.

ARTICLE VIII – CABINET MEMBERS

Section 1
The cabinet may consist of the following Executive Board Members who are appointed by the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer after a call for submissions has been announced to the MYD Membership. Directors report directly to the Officers.

a) The Communications Director, who shall be responsible for assisting the Executive Board in media outreach, messaging, and the distribution of information to the membership. The Communications Director will work closely with the New Media Director and Secretary to ensure consistent, and adequate, messaging.

b) The Finance Director, who shall be responsible for assisting the Executive Board in raising funds by tracking donors and finding new sources of funding for the organization. The Finance Director will assist the Treasurer in filling reports and meeting deadlines. The Finance Director will work closely with the Director of Special Events for planning fundraisers.

c) The Political Director, who shall be responsible for assisting the Executive Board in tracking elections, candidates, appointments, and any legislative issues of interest to MYD.

d) The Director of Special Events, who shall be responsible for assisting the Executive Board in planning and executing special events for the organization. These events may include, but are not limited to, fundraisers, conventions, and campaign invasions. The Director of Special Events will work closely with the Finance Director in planning fundraisers, and with the Director of Development in planning membership building activities.

e) The Community Services Director, who shall be responsible for assisting the Executive Board in coordinating with various volunteering opportunities and to connect MYD members with those opportunities.

f) The Director of Development, who shall be responsible for assisting the Executive Board in boosting general membership of MYD.

g) The New Media Director, who shall be responsible for assisting the Executive Board in implementing new and more efficient ways to communicate with members and prospective members. The New Media Director will work closely with the Communications Director to maintain consistent messaging. The New Media Director will coordinate with the Secretary to ensure adequate maintenance the website and other established “new media.”

h) The Creative Director, who shall be responsible for assisting the Executive Board with consistent branding and visual messaging. Anything produced by the organization for public consumption, with the exception of standard documents on letterhead, must have consult of Creative Director.

i) The Field Director, who shall be responsible or assisting the Executive Board with volunteer recruitment and deployment for campaign purposes. The Field Director will consult with the Political Director to recommend strategy on issues and campaigns to the Executive Board.

j) The Social Media Director, who shall be responsible for assisting the Executive Board with social media outreach and strategy. The Social Media Director, in regard to social media tools, will consult with the Secretary for outreach and notification of events, the New Media Director for consistent online presence, the Communications Director for consistent messaging, and the Development Director for new membership outreach.

k) Any other position deemed necessary by the President and approved by the Executive Board. The new cabinet member’s duties must be outlined before selecting someone to fill the position.