By-Laws

BY-LAWS OF THE ROCKPORT DEMOCRATIC TOWN COMMITTEE

Adopted on June 22, 2000             Last Revised on September 13, 2014

ARTICLE I – NAME

The name of the COMMITTEE shall be The Rockport Democratic Town Committee.

ARTICLE II – PURPOSE

The COMMITTEE is constituted for the purpose of promoting the Democratic Party in the Town of Rockport, Massachusetts, with a goal of encouraging diversity and broad participation with respect to ethnicity, gender and age.

ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP 

A. Regular membership on the COMMITTEE shall consist of not more than 35 residents of the Town of Rockport, who shall be registered Democrats and who shall have been duly elected by the voters of the Town of Rockport every four years at the time of the Presidential Primary.

B. Types of Membership

1. The Committee shall consist of three types of voting memberships: regular, 20-year, and ex-officio. In addition, The Committee may elect associate members.

2. Regular members. Regular members are Committee members elected at presidential primaries in conformity with state election laws as well as those subsequently elected to fill vacancies. The Committee shall have 35 positions for regular members but is not required to fill vacancies should the number of members drop below 35.

3. Twenty-year members. Members who have served on The Committee for 20 or more years as regular or ex-officio members shall become 20-year members. New 20-year members will cease to be regular members, and the vacant positions shall be filled in the normal manner. There shall be no limit on the number of 20- year members. In accordance with state party policy, members who will attain 20-year status following the presidential primary election may not appear on the ballot in the presidential primary. 20-year members shall have the same rights and responsibilities as regular members.

4. Ex officio members. State Committee members shall be ex- officio members of The Committee. Service as an ex-officio member shall count towards 20-year status.

5. Associate members. The Committees may, by vote, at any meeting authorize the election of associate members. Associate members shall have all the privileges and obligations of Committee membership except the right to vote. Young Democrats not yet eligible to vote may be associate members. Non-residents and others not eligible to vote may be associate members. If a person is eligible to be a Committee member and The Committee has vacancies, that person is not eligible to be an associate member.

C. Nomination of Committee Members

At least thirty (30) days prior to the deadline for filing nomination papers for members to be elected in the Presidential Primary, the Committee Chair(s) shall cause to be sent to each member a written notice of the time and place where members may assemble to sign nomination papers.

D. Term of Membership

Members shall hold office for four years following the presidential primary election and until the new committee shall have been elected.

E. Filling of Vacancies

Vacancies in the Committee shall be filled by vote of the Committee from among the enrolled members of the party and those present at the meeting when the election is held.

F. Removal of Members

1. Members and Officers of The Committee pledge themselves to perform their duties diligently and honorably or resign. Committee Members may be removed in accordance with the Charter of the Democratic Party of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as most recently amended. As of December 2005, this section reads:

Members of town and ward committees may be removed by procedures guaranteeing adequate notice and due process and by a 2/3 vote of those present and voting, a quorum being present, for:

a. failure to attend at least half of the regularly scheduled committee meetings during any calendar year.

b. public support for or financial contribution to an opponent of a nominee of the Democratic Party which nominee publicly supports the majority of the platform of the Democratic Party as adopted at the most recent state and national Democratic conventions. A member for whom a long and deeply held belief would be violated by support of the nominee shall not be removed under this section.

c. unauthorized use of the Party name or resources.

d. conviction after appeals are exhausted of a criminal offense other than a misdemeanor. A member must be given an opportunity to resign before notice of the hearing on the question of removal is given to the membership of the committee. If a ward, town or city committee refuses to act upon or remove a member duly charged, the charge may be appealed to the Judicial Council. A member removed under this section shall have 30 days to appeal to the Judicial Council, and the vacancy may not be filled in such case until the final decision of the Judicial Council is made.

2. Change in residence. If any member changes residence to outside of town, the member shall cease to be a member of the Committee at the end of the calendar year during which the member’s residence has changed.

3. Change in party. If any member cancels or changes party enrollment, that person shall forthwith cease to be a member of the Committee.

G. Members and Policy Statements

Members shall not issue statements of policy, written or oral, in the name of the Committee, unless and until approved by a vote of the Executive Committee or the Committee.

ARTICLE IV – MEETINGS

A. In off-election years, there shall be at least one regular meeting per quarter.  In

election years, there shall be a minimum of six regular meetings, at least one

regular meeting per quarter.  

B. One of the election year meetings shall be held within thirty to forty days following the election mentioned in Article III.A. and shall be for the purpose of electing Officers of the COMMITTEE.

C. SPECIAL MEETINGS MAY BE CALLED AT ANY TIME AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRPERSON OR ON WRITTEN REQUEST BY FIVE OR MORE MEMBERS.

D. Notice of all regular and special meetings shall be sent at least seven days before the date of said meeting to each member and associate by regular mail or by e-mail to the address shown on the records of the COMMITTEE.

E. Ten Members shall constitute a quorum at any regular or special meeting.  Motions shall be carried by a majority vote of those present and eligible to vote at such meetings.

F. The conduct of meetings shall be in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order except where otherwise noted in these by-laws.

G. Attendance shall be recorded at each meeting.

H. Any Member missing three meetings in any one year without notification of an officer shall be given the opportunity to resign or shall resume active participation.

ARTICLE V  – OFFICERS

A. The officers of this organization shall consist of a Chairperson or co-Chairs, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer.  These officers shall be elected at the Committee organizational meeting held every even number year no later than April 15th, and shall serve for a term of two years, at the end of which new elections for officers shall be held.  No officer or Chair shall serve more than four consecutive terms.

B. There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of the officers of the Committee and others elected.

C. In the event of a vacancy in any office, a special election shall be held at the next regular meeting to fill the vacancy. Proper notice of the vacancy and special election shall be given to all members.  A statement of such changes in the officers of the Committee shall be sent immediately by the Secretary of the Committee to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, to the Secretary of the Democratic State Committee and to the town/city clerk.

ARTICLE VI- DUTIES OF OFFICERS

A. Chairperson

1.  The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings and shall assist in the formation of the COMMITTEE

2.  The chairperson shall have the right to vote at all meetings of the COMMITTEE, as do the other Members.

3. The Chairperson shall be a member, ex-officio, of all committees.

B. Vice-chairperson.  The Vice-Chairperson shall assume the duties of the Chairperson in his or her absence or inability to serve.

C.  Secretary

1.  The Secretary shall keep a true and accurate record of all meetings of the COMMITTEE and shall issue notices, as specified in Article V. D. of all meetings of the COMMITTEE.

2.  In the absence of the Secretary, a Secretary Pro-Tem shall be appointed.

3. The Secretary shall have custody of the bond of the Treasurer if such is required.

A. Treasurer

1. The Treasurer shall pay out all monies on behalf of the COMMITTEE and shall draw and sign all checks required in the transaction of the COMMITTEE’S business.

2. All disbursements shall be by check.

3. Any single expenditure of $500 or more must be approved by affirmative vote of the COMMITTEE

4. The Treasurer shall make a financial report at every regular meeting and shall submit an annual report at the first meeting following the end of each calendar year.

5. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the handling and reporting of political contributions and expenditures in accordance with State and Federal election laws and shall be responsible for filing all reports required by the Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

6. In the event that the sum of money in control of the Treasurer should exceed $5000, the Treasurer shall, at the expense of the COMMITTEE, furnish a surety bond in such company and in the amount the COMMITTEE shall determine.

7. An Auditing Committee may be appointed by the Chairperson upon a vote of the COMMITTEE.  The function of the Auditing Committee shall be to audit the accounts of the Treasurer and report at the next meeting of the COMMITTEE.

ARTICVLE VII – FISCAL YEAR

The fiscal year of the COMMITTEE shall be from January 1 to December 31.

ARTICLE VIII – SUPPORT OF CANDIDATES

A. The COMMITTEE, upon approval by a majority vote, shall help, endorse and expend such money as is deemed advisable to elect all Democratic candidates in a general election.

B. No political candidate shall be endorsed by the COMMITTEE in a primary election unless he or she is unopposed.

ARTICLE IX – DELEGATES TO STATE CONVENTION

A. The COMMITTEE is responsible for holding a caucus in accordance with the instructions and regulations of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee for the purpose of electing delegates to all Democratic State Conventions.

B. Any registered Democrat in the Town of Rockport is eligible to participate in such a caucus.

C. The COMMITTEE may contribute financially toward expenses incurred by delegates to the Convention, the amount of such financial support to be determined by the COMMITTEE.

ARTICLE X – DUES

A. Each Member of the COMMITTEE shall pay dues to the Treasurer annually in an amount voted by the COMMITTEE at the meeting referred to in Article V.B.

B. Payment of dues by Associates shall be optional.

C. No Member shall be prohibited from voting at a regular or special meeting because of non-payment of dues.

ARTICLE XI- NOMINATION OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS

At least thirty days prior to the deadline for filing nomination papers for the election referred to in Article III A, the Chairperson shall:

1. Place a notice in the local newspaper stating the time and place where nomination papers may be signed and giving the deadline for signing, and

2. Instruct the Secretary to notify in writing each Member and Associates of the time and place where nomination papers may be signed and the deadline for signing.

ARTICLE XII – BY-LAWS

A. These By-laws may be amended, changed or repealed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of those Members present and voting at a meeting called for such purpose.

B. A copy of any proposed change or amendment must be sent in writing to each Member at least two weeks prior to the meeting called for such purpose.

C. A copy of these By-laws shall be presented to each new Member and Associate of the COMMITTEE