Our Bylaws



 Stonewall Democrats of Dallas

    Bylaws

(revised 01/2010)

   Article I. Name

The name of the organization shall be Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, also known as Dallas Stonewall Democrats, herein also referred to as the “Organization” or “SDD.” 

Article II. Purpose

Section 1           Mission Statement

SDD is devoted to advancing equal rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. SDD draws its strength from a countywide network of individuals composed of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and pro-equality allied Democrats. This organization works to elect pro-equality Democrats in municipal, statewide, and federal elections by:

A. Sensitizing Democratic candidates and officeholders to the political needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.

B. Promoting the Democratic Party’s message of economic justice and social progress in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.

C. Encouraging gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender participation in the campaigns of Democratic candidates and at all levels of the Democratic Party.

D. Facilitating the elections of Democratic candidates to public office by maximizing the Democratic turn-out in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities.

Section 2           Nondiscrimination

SDD shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, ethnic or national origin, age, disability, veteran status, social or economic status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or any other factor unrelated to membership and the mission of the SDD.

In addition, SDD is committed to diversity on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, ethnic or national origin, age, disability, veteran status, social or economic status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, geography, and rural, suburban, or urban residence. SDD is committed to making every good faith effort to be inclusive in its membership and leadership.

                                                            Article III. Membership

Section 1           Members

Anyone may make application for membership in the Organization. To be accepted as a member, the person must:

A. Have a Democratic Party primary election voting history and/or affirm allegiance to the purpose of the Organization, and;

B. Pay monthly or annual membership dues as set by the Executive Board.

Section 2           Membership Dues

Annual membership dues shall be set by the Executive Board. The Treasurer or a member of the membership committee shall notify members when their dues are payable on the anniversary of their joining the Organization. Those whose dues are not paid within two months of their anniversary shall be automatically dropped from membership in the Organization. Membership may be reinstated upon payment of dues.

Section 3           Membership Voting Rights

Members shall have the right to vote on the endorsements of the Organization, run for office in the Organization, vote on election of the officers of the organization, and vote on amendments to the bylaws. Members’ dues must be current in order to vote on any business of the organization, or as otherwise defined in these bylaws.

Article IV. Officers

Section 1           The officers of the Organization shall be a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these bylaws and by the parliamentary authority adopted by the Organization, with the assistance of the at-large members of the Executive Board.

Section 2           At the annual meeting of the membership held in November of each calendar year, nominations shall be accepted for the offices. To be eligible for election, each candidate for office must be a current member of the Organization. The election shall be held at the same meeting. The officers shall be elected by a simple majority of the membership present with a “show of hands” vote, to serve for one year or until their successors are elected, and their term of office shall begin on January 1st of the subsequent calendar year.

Section 3           The President shall preside at all meetings or designate the Chair of the meeting; shall be Chair of the Executive Board; shall be a voting member of all committees; shall create special committees as deemed necessary; and shall be the official spokesperson for the group. The President of the organization shall have the discretion to disburse funds up to $250.00 for business that arises between Executive Board meetings that must be paid prior to the next meeting. The Executive Board must be made aware of these funds at the following Board Meeting. Funds over $250.00 must be approved by the Executive Board prior to disbursement.

Section 4           The Vice President shall preside at all meetings designated by the President and shall perform all duties as assigned by the President.

Section 5           The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the Organization, and shall perform all duties as assigned by the President.

Section 6           The Treasurer shall collect and, under direction of the President, disburse the funds of the Organization. All funds shall be kept in a financial institution(s) approved by the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall keep books of account in which there shall be recorded all receipts and disbursements of the Organization. The Treasurer shall have the authority to sign checks and disburse funds as directed by the President for amounts less than $250.00. All checks greater than $250.00 shall require two Officers’ signatures. The Treasurer shall submit all statutory records to the Texas Ethics Commission in connection with the operation of the registered Political Action Committee. The Treasurer shall perform all other duties as assigned by the President.

Article V. The Executive Board

Section 1           The Executive Board shall consist of the Officers and at-large board members. At-large board members shall be nominated by the President and approved by a simple majority of the elected Officers.

Section 2           The Officers, at their discretion, may appoint an unlimited number of at-large members to the Executive Board to implement the purposes and goals of the Organization. To be eligible to serve, a prospective at-large member of the Executive Board must be a member, in good standing, of the Organization. Such members’ terms shall be set by the Executive Board at the time of appointment and shall not exceed the yearly term of all regularly elected Officers. In addition, such members shall not stand for election to their appointed office, but shall serve at the pleasure of the Executive Board.

Section 3           The Executive Board shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Organization between its business meetings, set the hour and place of meetings, make recommendations to the Organization, and perform such other duties as are specified in these bylaws. The Executive Board shall be subject to the orders of the Organization, and none of its acts shall conflict with action taken by the Organization.

Section 4           The quorum for meetings of the Executive Board shall be a simple majority of its members.

Section 5           The Executive Board shall meet at the discretion of the President or a simple majority of the Executive Board. Notice of all meetings of the Executive Board shall be given to each member of the Executive Board by email, mail or by telephone at least seven days prior to the meeting date, except in cases of emergency.

Section 6           Each member of the Executive Board shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote. A member must be present to vote. An Executive Board member may be present via telephone conference. No proxy voting is permitted.

Section 7           Any vacancy occurring on the Executive Board shall be filled by a nominee of the President and approved by the Executive Board.

Section 8           Any Executive Board member, whether elected or appointed, may be removed for cause by a two- thirds affirmative vote of the members of the Executive Board at a properly called meeting. Any member of the Executive Board who misses two consecutive meetings of the Executive Board with unexcused absences shall be automatically dismissed from the Board. Any board member so removed who serves as an elected officer shall also forfeit their elected office.

Article VI. Meetings

Section 1           The regular meetings of the Organization shall be held on the third Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise ordered by the Organization or by the Executive Board. These meetings shall be known as the “monthly meeting” and shall be for the purpose of conducting regular business, receiving reports of officers and committees, and for any other business that may arise under the guidelines of these bylaws.

Section 2           All members shall be notified of the time, date, and location of the membership meetings by email, mail or telephone at least 7 days, but no more than 14 days, in advance of the date set for the meeting.

Section 3           The November meeting shall be known as the “annual meeting” and shall be for the purpose of electing officers, receiving reports of officers and committees, and for any other business that may arise under the guidelines of these bylaws.

Section 4           Special meetings may be called by the President, or by a majority of the Executive Board, or at the request of 10% of the general membership of the Organization. 10% of the membership will be based on the number of members in good standing from the previous month as stated by the Treasurer. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call. Except in cases of emergency, at least seven days’ notice shall be given.

Article VII. Standing Committees

Standing committees of the Organization are listed here. Other committees may be formed and put in place at the discretion of the President of the Organization. All committees should consist of a Chair from the Executive Board and volunteers from the membership and shall perform all duties as assigned by the President 

Membership Committee

Section 1           The Membership Committee shall be a standing committee of this Organization and consist of three members: two members appointed by the Executive Board and the Chair appointed by the President. The Membership Committee shall meet as needed to review prospective memberships, and may deny an applicant’s membership for just cause subject to review of the Executive Board. Members of the Organization endorsing or supporting Republican candidates may have their membership privileges suspended or revoked by the Membership Committee upon the complaint of any other member also subject to the review of the Executive Board.

Section 2           The Chair of the Membership Committee shall preside over all meetings of the Membership Committee, shall certify the eligibility of any individual applying for Organizational membership, and shall perform all duties as assigned by the President.

Section 3           Members of the Membership Committee shall serve for one year, not to exceed the term of regularly elected Officers of the Organization.

Section 4           The Membership Committee will be responsible for checking members in at regular meetings and ensuring that only members in good standing are allowed to vote on issues and endorsements during these meetings.

                Endorsement Committee

Section 1           An Endorsement Committee shall be a standing committee of this Organization. The Chair of this committee will be the Political Affairs Chair, who is appointed by the President of the Organization. The Political Affairs Chair will preside at all committee meetings and endorsement screenings. The President and Political Affairs Chair may appoint members of the Endorsement Committee to assist with and/or conduct the endorsement screenings.

Section 2           The Organization may endorse a candidate(s) or issue(s) in any election submitted to the electorate for a vote, as long as the issue or candidate appears on a ballot within Dallas County.

Section 3           No member of the Republican Party, candidate in the Republican Primary, or Republican candidate in a general election is eligible for endorsement by this Organization. Endorsements may be made in Dallas County nonpartisan elections only if the candidate has a Democratic Party primary election voting history or affirms allegiance to the Dallas County Democratic Party.

Section 4           The Endorsement Committee shall be in charge of creating the procedures and implementing the process by which candidates and/or issues shall be selected and/or identified for possible endorsement by the Organization within the guidelines of these bylaws. Upon the request and direction of the President and Political Affairs Chair or a majority vote of the Executive Board, the Endorsement Committee will prepare the list of candidates and/or issues to be considered for endorsement. The screening of candidates will be completed by members of this Organization attending the endorsement screenings for endorsement consideration in primary, general, or nonpartisan elections.

Section 5           The Endorsement Committee may, at its discretion, require candidates for endorsement to complete a questionnaire or to produce any such documents as a prerequisite for endorsement. The contents of all questionnaires must be approved by majority vote of the Executive Board, prior to dissemination.

Section 6           Endorsement recommendations for a primary, general, or nonpartisan election shall be made by the members attending properly called endorsement screenings or meetings, as needed. Candidate(s) or issue(s) for endorsement consideration must receive a majority vote of the members present at the conclusion of the final endorsement meeting to receive an endorsement recommendation. In the event no candidate(s) or issue(s) for endorsement consideration receives more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election must occur. A situation of no endorsement is permitted. Recommendations to vote against a candidate(s) or ballot issue(s) are also permitted.

Section 7           Prior to submission to the membership, the list of issues and/or candidates recommended for endorsement shall be approved and ratified by a majority vote of the Executive Board. When considering this list, the Executive Board, by a two-thirds majority vote, may in its discretion either (a) remove from the recommendation list a candidate or candidates who are deemed nonviable or otherwise inappropriate for endorsement consideration by the general membership, or (b) place onto the recommendation list a candidate or candidates who are deemed viable or otherwise appropriate for endorsement consideration by the general membership. Upon approval of a final list of endorsement recommendations by the Executive Board, the endorsement recommendations will be submitted for acceptance or rejection, individually or as a group, to the general membership of the Organization at a regularly scheduled membership meeting. The recommendations must be approved by a majority vote of the members present prior to dissemination to the general public.

Section 8           Members shall have the right to interrogate any candidate or candidate’s representative seeking endorsement during the endorsement screening. Members shall further have the right to disseminate information in favor of or against any particular candidate(s) or ballot issue(s), whether produced by the candidate or a member, to the members present at the endorsement meeting. No member shall be restricted in communicating his or her opinion or views either verbally or in writing at any meeting of the Organization. No member, including members of the Executive Board, shall be barred from endorsing candidates prior to or contrary to the Organization’s endorsement provided that the member so doing does not use the Organization’s name in their endorsement.

Section 9           In order to participate in the screening process, or vote on the Endorsement Committee’s recommendations, a member must be a dues-paying member in good standing at least 30 days prior to the endorsement screening. A membership list will be used to determine eligibility to participate in screening or approving the list of candidates recommended by the Endorsement Committee. This will eliminate “special interest” drop-ins and drop-outs.

Voter Registration Committee

The Voter Registration Committee shall be a standing committee of this Organization and consist of at least three members: two members appointed by the Executive Board and a Chair appointed by the President. This Committee will be in charge of registering voters, delivering the voter registration cards to the county elections department or the post office, and coordinating voter registration activities. This committee will ensure that voter registration is set up at all high-attendance LGBT functions such as, but not limited to, Alan Ross Pride Parade and LifeWalk. This committee will also set up voter registration drives in LGBT communities during at least two weekends leading up to voter registration deadlines for upcoming elections and periodically throughout nonelection periods.

                     Audit Committee

The Audit Committee shall be a standing committee of this Organization and consist of three members: two members appointed by the Executive Board and the Chair appointed by the President. The Audit Executive Board Member will oversee a committee of members who will review a quarter’s spending within one month after the quarter’s ending. The Audit Executive Board member, or a member appointed by the Audit Chair, will present their audit report to the General Membership at least quarterly, within one month of the end of the quarter.

Article IIX. Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Organization may adopt.

Article X. Amendment of Bylaws

Amendments to these bylaws may be offered at any regular meeting of the Organization. Once amendments to the bylaws have been offered, the Executive Board shall vote whether or not to forward the amendments to the Bylaws Committee. The Bylaws Committee, after approval of the Executive Board, shall consist of an Executive Board member as committee chair, and other members of the organization. The Bylaws Committee will make amendments and present them to the Executive Board. The Executive Board will then vote by a two-thirds majority to present changes to the membership. A two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at a properly called membership meeting shall be required for adoption of any amendment to these bylaws.

        

 
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