Constitution and Bylaws
THE NORTHVILLE DEMOCRATIC CLUB
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS – As Amended, March 15, 2015
ARTICLE I – ESTABLISHMENT
The Northville Democratic Club is established under the Charter of the Michigan Democratic Party.
Article I – Section 1 – PURPOSE
The Club’s purpose, in collaboration with, the Michigan Democratic Party, is to create an effective grassroots organization in Northville for progressive change
Article I – Section 2 – FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
A. All public meetings of Northville Democratic Club shall be open to attendance by all members of the Democratic Party regardless of actual or perceived race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, economic status, religion, ethnic identity, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, physical appearance or disability.
B. No tests for membership in, nor any oaths of loyalty to, the Northville Democratic Club shall be required or used which has the effect of requiring prospective or current member of the Club to acquiesce in, condone or support discrimination on the grounds of actual or perceived race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, economic status, religion, ethnic identity, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, physical appearance or disability.
C. The time and place for all public meetings of the Northville Democratic Club on all levels shall be publicized fully and in such a manner as to assure timely notice to all interested persons. Such meetings must be held in places accessible to all Club members and large enough to accommodate all interested persons.
D. The Northville Democratic Club shall support the broadest possible participation without discrimination on grounds of actual or perceived race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, economic status, religion, ethnic identity, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, physical appearance or disability.
E. The Northville Democratic Club shall publicize fully and in such a manner as to assure notice to all interested parties a full description of the legal and practical procedures for selection of Northville Democratic Club officers and representatives. Publication of those procedures shall be done in such a fashion that all prospective and current members of the Northville Democratic Club will be fully and adequately informed of the pertinent procedure in time to participate in each selection procedure of the Northville Democratic Club.
F. The Northville Democratic Club shall publicize fully and in such a manner as to assure notice to all interested parties a complete description of the legal and practical qualifications for all officers and representatives of the Northville Democratic Club. Such publication shall be done in a timely fashion so that all prospective candidates or applicants for any elected or appointed position within the Northville Democratic Club will have full and adequate opportunity to compete for office.
G. All rules and bylaws of the Northville Democratic Club at all levels shall be consistent with the Rules of the Michigan Democratic Party and shall be available on request in writing to any member of the Northville Democratic Club.
H. The unit rule is prohibited in the Northville Democratic Club.
I. No rule shall be adopted by the Northville Democratic Club which would require a person to cast a vote or be recorded a voting contrary to that person’s judgment.
J. On all questions of procedure not resolved by the Rules of the Michigan Democratic Party or these Bylaws, the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used.
K. Votes shall not be taken by secret ballot at any meeting of the Northville Democratic Club at any level.
ARTICLE II – ORGANIZATION
Article II – Section 1 – MEMBERSHIP
The Club shall be open to anyone regardless of residence, race, creed, national origin, gender, age or disability. Members will receive notice of meetings or calls to action, and other Club and Democratic Party activities. Members should update their contact information at least once per year, preferably in April to ensure they remain on the membership list.
Article II – Section 2 – VOTING MEMBERSHIP
Voting members must be a Club member for at least 30 days, have attended at least two meetings or Club sponsored events within the previous twelve months, and be current on the payment of annual dues.
Article II – Section 3 – BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND ELECTION AND DUTIES OF OFFICERS
A. The Board of Trustees shall consist of the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasury and seven At-Large Trustees elected to two-year terms from June 1 to May 31 of the second year. The President and Vice-President must be of the opposite gender. At least two-thirds of the Trustees must be residents of Northville Township or the City of Northville.
B. The President shall preside at all membership and board meetings, and transact such other duties as are usual to the office of Club President. The President shall be a member ex-officio of all committees of the Club.
C. The Vice President will assume the responsibility to manage the membership list. However, the Vice President may delegate this responsibility to the Chair of the Membership Committee. The Vice President shall assist the President in the discharge of his/her duties, and shall assume the responsibilities of the President in his/her absence.
D. The Secretary shall keep an accurate record and minutes of the proceedings of the meetings of the Trustees, Officers and the membership. The Secretary shall keep all effects of the organization and pass them to the next Secretary upon his/her election. The Secretary shall fulfill the meeting notification requirements of the Club. The Secretary shall provide electronic versions of the minutes and other documents of interest to the membership to the Technology Committee for posting to the Club’s web site. The Secretary shall be responsible for all correspondence for the club.
E. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the financial receipts and disbursements of the Club subject to the approval of the officers. The funds of the Club shall be deposited in banks with any two of the following officers: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer as signers on the account. The Treasurer shall make financial reports to the membership at all regular meetings and pass all records and funds to the new Treasurer upon his/her election. The Treasurer shall also control all funds in the Club’s PAC.
F. All officers shall report to the Board of Trustees.
G. The Board of Trustees shall conduct the business of the Club including questions of policy, between regular monthly meetings of the Club membership except that the Board of Trustees may not:
Remove trustees of the board;
Amend this Constitution and Bylaws;
Endorse candidates on behalf of the Club;
Appropriate monies of the Club to candidates for office or to PACs.
H. When conducting the business of the Board of Trustees, the presence of six of eleven of the members of the Board of Trustees shall constitute a quorum.
I. Should the President resign during a term of office, be removed, or the office otherwise become vacant, the Vice President shall assume the title and duties of the President. Should any other officer resign, be removed, or the office otherwise become vacant, the Board of Trustees shall select a member of the Board to serve the remaining term of office.
J. Should a Trustee resign during a term of office, the President may nominate a replacement to complete the term of office. The membership must confirm the nomination by a majority vote at the next membership meeting.
K. Any officer or member of the Board of Trustees may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of eligible voting members.
Article II – Section 4 – COMMITTEES
Committee membership is open to all members of the club. Committee Chairs are appointed by the President in consultation with the Board of Trustees.
This committee shall put on at least one annual fundraiser and provide food, decorations, name tags, etc. for said fundraiser.
B. OUTREACH AND EVENTS
This committee shall put on Town Hall meetings, debates, bring speakers to the meetings, and organize rallies. This committee will also develop the capacity to personally contact all potential voters in Northville and Northville Township. It will also find opportunities to be visible in the community through philanthropy and participation in community events.
This committee shall seek out new ways to achieve the goals of this Club via electronic and related means of communication including the maintenance and improvement of the Club’s web site. This committee will also post documents provided by the Secretary to the Club’s web site.
D. VOTER IDENTIFICATION, CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENT AND CAMPAIGN ORGANIZATION
This committee shall organize the Club’s members to phone bank, to do mailings, to do door-to-door canvassing, to find speaking engagements or visibility, to raise money for Democratic candidates running for Governor, US Senate, US House, State House, State Senate, and County Commissioner. This committee shall also recommend candidate endorsements to the membership.
ARTICLE III – NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
A. Nominations for Trustee shall be closed fourteen days prior to the May membership meeting held in odd years. Members of the Club in good standing shall elect the officers and At Large members of the Board of Trustees at the May membership meeting held in odd years. Each member in good standing may vote for one candidate for each officer position and up to seven candidates for the seven At-Large Trustee positions. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes for each officer position and the seven candidates who receive the most votes for At-Large Trustee are elected to the Board of Trustees. In the event of a tie, additional votes shall be taken, but only for those candidates who are tied, until the tie is broken. A person may only be elected to one office.
B. Provisions for proxy voting shall be made. Upon the close of nominations fourteen days prior to said May membership meeting, the Chair of the Membership Committee shall notify all members in good standing of all of the nominees for the four officers and the seven At-Large Trustee positions. All voting shall be conducted by paper ballot, and the election shall be conducted by an Election Committee appointed by the President and approved by the Board of Trustees. A record of the ballots and voting shall be kept for a period of at least 30 days in case there is a challenge to the outcome of the vote.
ARTICLE IV – MEETINGS
Article IV – Section 1 – MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS
Membership meetings of the Club shall be held once a month. However, the Board of Trustees may decide not to hold a membership meeting in particular months. Membership shall be notified of monthly meetings in a timely manner. Seven calendar days advance notice to members shall be required for any proposal to distribute money from the PAC fund. Such notice may be provided via email and/or U.S Postal Service. A quorum for a vote on distributing PAC monies shall consist of those members present at a membership meeting when proper notice has been given. Members shall also be allowed to vote via email in extraordinary situations, such as the removal of an officer, or when a decision must be made between membership meetings.
Article IV – Section 2 – SPECIAL MEETINGS
Special membership meetings may be called by any three trustees.
Article IV – Section 3 – ANNUAL MEETINGS
The Annual Meeting will be a time for the President to report to the membership the Club’s accomplishments over past the year including but not limited to money raised, elections, club activities, candidate help, visibility, and issue awareness. The Annual meeting will be the May membership meeting unless otherwise decided by the Board of Trustees.
ARTICLE V – FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the Club shall begin June 1 and end on May 31 to coincide with when the new trustees take office in odd years.
ARTICLE VI – AMENDMENTS AND MODIFICATIONS TO THESE BYLAWS
Amendments and/or modifications to these Bylaws may be made by a two-thirds vote of those members eligible to vote who are physically present at a membership meeting provided that a proper 10 calendar day notice of the proposed Bylaws changes has been sent. If less than 30% of the eligible voting members are present at the meeting where a bylaws change is approved, any five members may challenge the validity of the vote (within 24 hours) and call for a vote by email and/or U.S. Postal Service. In such a case, the Bylaws amendment(s) shall not be approved until the completion of said vote (up to two weeks) and the participation of at least 30% of eligible voting members.
ARTICLE VII – DISSOLUTION
In the event of dissolution of the Club, all real and personal property shall revert to the Michigan State Central Democratic Committee.
Original Constitution and Bylaws adopted by the voting membership of the Club at its regular meeting this 13th day of March, 2005.
Revisions, amendments and modifications to these Bylaws pursuant to Article VI of these Bylaws, adopted by the voting membership on April 28, 2009, May 21, 2012, January 21, 2013 and March 14, 2015.
Northville Democratic Club