Hudson City Democratic Committee By Laws

BY-LAWS
For the Governance of the Democratic Party
of the City of Hudson, Columbia County, New York


Article I: General Provisions
1. Official Organization
The Hudson City Democratic Committee (hereinafter “City Committee”) is the official organization of the Democratic Party in the City of Hudson (the “City”) pursuant to Article 2 of the New York State Election Law (“Election Law”).  Except as limited by law or by these rules,  the affairs of the Democratic Party in the City of Hudson shall be vested in the City Committee.

2. Mission of City Committee
The mission of the City Committee, for which these rules are drawn, is to promote and establish Democratic principles and programs in Hudson, Columbia County, the State of New York, and the United States, and to provide the best possible government for the people of the City, County, the State of New York, and the United States.

3. Purpose of Rules
In furtherance of the City Committee’s mission, the purpose of these rules is to inspire and encourage leadership of the Democratic Party in Hudson; to recruit the greatest number of Democrats to participate in the affairs of the Democratic Party in Hudson; to ensure the continuing success of the Democratic Party in Hudson, Columbia County, New York State and the United States; and to provide an orderly and democratic way to carry on the business of the party.

4. Nondiscrimination
The City Committee shall not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.


Article II: The Hudson City Democratic Committee
1. Membership
a. The City Committee shall be constituted by the election in each election district of the City of two members, each of whom shall be an enrolled member of the Democratic Party residing in the City of Hudson, preferably but not limited to those residing within the district he or she would represent.  Committee members shall be elected biennially for terms of two years at the primary election in odd-numbered years, each such term beginning at the commencement of the biennial organization meeting immediately following said primary election and ending immediately before the next biennial organization meeting, unless sooner terminated pursuant to these rules.

b. The officers of the City Committee (see Article III, Section 2), shall for all intents and purposes, be considered full members of the City Committee with a vote equal to every other committee members. (except where prohibited by Election Law)..

c. Membership on the City Committee also conveys membership to the Columbia County Democratic Committee hereinafter “County Committee”) .

d. The Secretary shall give all new City Committee members an orientation package promptly after their election, which shall include, but not be limited to, a copy of these rules.

2. Responsibilities of Members
The responsibilities of a member of the City Committee include but are not limited to the following:

Attend City Committee meetings;

  • Attend County Committee meetings;
  • Serve on at least one standing committee of the County Committee;
  • Carry designating petitions and campaign for candidates in general elections;
  • Help organize Democrats in one’s election district—including registering voters, finding and training volunteers, raising funds, recruiting candidates, and supporting those candidates’ campaigns for office;
  • Serve as a liaison between the City Committee and the County Committee;
  • Make an annual financial contribution (of any amount they are able) to the City Committee and to the County Committee.
    • For standing members elected or appointed between September 2015 and January 2016, annual financial contribution should be made by February 1, 2016.
    • Taking effect October 1, 2016: All members shall make an annual financial contribution by October 1. 

3. Regular Meetings
By January 1 of each year, the City Committee shall determine and distribute to each City Committee member the dates and times of the regular City Committee meetings for that year. These regular meetings shall be held at least six times per year, beginning each year with an annual operating meeting in January (see Article II, Section 8) and including in odd-numbered years a biennial organizational meeting within twenty days after the party primary election (see Article II, Section 7). Any change in the date or time of a regular meeting must be communicated to each City Committee member sent at least one week prior to the new date of the meeting.

4. Special Meetings
a. The Chair may call special meetings of the City Committee. Timely notice of such meetings should be provided.

b. The Chair  may from time to time, call urgent special meetings of the City Committee. While timely notice for such meetings is sometimes impossible, notice of urgent special meetings must be made to every member of the City Committee by email and no business may be transacted at an urgent special meeting, unless a quorum is present (See Article II, Section 5)

c. Special meetings may be called by City Committee members (with or without the approval of the Chair) when at least three members sign a petition calling for such a meeting.  In such cases, the Secretary shall call the meeting for the time and place designated in the petition. The members of the City Committee who are present at such meeting shall select a chair to preside at the special  meeting. The date, location and agenda of any special meeting called in this manner must be communicated first to the Secretary and then  by the Secretary to each City Committee member at least two weeks prior to the meeting.

5. Quorum
The quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the City Committee, shall be the presence of one-third of the sitting members of the City Committee.  No business of the City Committee shall be transacted in the absence of a quorum.

6. Manner of Acting
Unless otherwise specified herein, the City Committee shall act according to the majority vote of those members present at any official meeting, provided that a quorum be present. There is no provision for proxy voting. Only members in attendance at a meeting may vote.

7. Biennial Organizational Meeting
Within twenty days of the party primary election in which its members are elected, the City Committee shall hold a biennial organizational meeting at which it shall, before conducting any other substantive business, elect a temporary chair to preside over the meeting until the election of the new Chair of the City Committee, after which the new Chair shall preside. It shall also elect a temporary secretary to record the minutes of the meeting until the election of a new Secretary, after which the new Secretary shall record the minutes.  The City Committee shall then fill any vacancies on the City Committee (see Article II, Section 9,b), after which the City Committee shall elect its four new officers (see Article III). Each nominated and seconded candidate for office shall be given an equal period of time, of no less than three minutes, to make a statement, followed by a question and answer period of no less than five minutes, provided that there are sufficient questions. The temporary Chair shall be the primary teller of all votes.  Within three days after each biennial organizational meeting, the Secretary shall file with both the state and county boards of elections a certificate stating the names and mailing addresses of the new officers.

8. Annual Operating Meeting
Every January, the City Committee shall hold an annual operating meeting at which it shall:
a.  Consider and take action on the long-term strategic plan presented by the Chair (see Article III, Section 2);

b.  Receive a written accounting prepared by the Treasurer of the City Committee of the Committee’s income and expenses for the past calendar year.

9. Vacancies
Resignations
a. The resignation of any member will be accepted by the Chair of the City Committee (and promptly communicated to the County Committee,  only if it is unconditional and in writing (including by email).  Any resignation will be deemed effective upon receipt by the Chair, unless a later date is specified in the resignation, not to exceed thirty days from the date of its communication. Resignation or declination of a member elected at the primary election cannot be accepted until after election of the officers at the biennial organization meeting immediately following that primary election.

Filling of Vacancies - Elected Members
b. City Committee vacancies for elected seats shall be filled by a majority vote of City Committee members.  Vacancies in any district seat on the City Committee may be filled by any enrolled member of the Democratic Party residing within the City of Hudson. Members appointed to fill vacancies shall serve for the remainder of the replaced member’s term.

Filling of Vacancies - Officers
c. With regard to officers other than Chair, the City Committee shall elect new officers at its next meeting to fill such vacancies until the next biennial organizational meeting; it shall also at that meeting fill any vacancies created by the elevation of existing officers. With regard to the office of Chair, the Vice Chair shall serve as Acting Chair until the next meeting of the City Committee, to be held within thirty days of the office of Chair becoming vacant. At that meeting, the City Committee shall elect a new Chair to serve until the next biennial organizational meeting; it shall also at that meeting fill any vacancies created by the elevation of existing officers.

Vacancies caused by Redistricting
 d. In the event that the boundaries of election districts change or a new district is created within an existing district, the City Committee members from those districts shall by majority vote, determine which members shall represent which new or reconfigured districts and/or which districts shall have vacancies filled by City Committee appointments as described above.

10. Removal from Office
Disloyalty or Corruption
a. Pursuant to Section 2-116 of the Election Law, a City Committee member may be removed from office for disloyalty to the party or for corruption in office. The Chair (or any group of at least three City Committee members)  may originate notice to remove the member from office. The notice of intent to remove the member must be given at least two weeks prior to a hearing on the matter. This hearing shall be held by the full City Committee or by a subcommittee thereof appointed for such purpose, which shall report its findings to the full City Committee. Removal requires a two-thirds vote of the City Committee.

Repeated Absence
b. If a Committee Member fails to attend three consecutive scheduled meetings, the Chair (or any group of at least three City Committee members)  may originate notice to remove the member from office. The notice of intent to remove the member must be given at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which such a vote will take place. Removal requires a two-thirds vote of the City Committee.

No Confidence - Officers
c. Officers sit at the pleasure of the full City Committee. Officers may be removed for any reason, by a three-quarter  vote of the City Committee.  The Chair (or any group of at least three City Committee members)  may originate notice to remove the Officer from office. The notice of intent to remove the officer must be given at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which such a vote will take place.


Article III: City Committee Officers and Executive Committee
1. Enumeration, Means of Election, and Term of Office
The City Committee shall have five officers: Chair, Vice Chair, 2nd Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. Each shall be elected by the Committee at its biennial organizational meeting for a two-year term.  Pursuant to Section 2-112 of the Election Law, all officers must be enrolled members of the Democratic Party residing in the City of Hudson, but need not be elected members of the City Committee. Each officer shall serve until the election of his or her successor, unless removed from office (see Article II; Section 10).

2. Duties
The duties of the officers shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

Chair
a.  The Chair shall set the agenda for and preside at all meetings of the City Committee and be ultimately responsible for assuring that the policies, strategic planning, and programs of the City Committee are successfully implemented.  In the event of a tie vote on any issue before the City Committee, the Chair shall cast the deciding vote.

Vice-Chair
b.  The Vice Chair shall, in the absence or disability of the Chair, perform the duties of the Chair and other duties as delegated by the Chair.

2nd Vice-Chair
c.  The 2nd Vice Chair shall, in the absence or disability of the Chair and Vice Chair, perform the duties of the Chair and other duties as delegated by the Chair or Vice-Chair.

Secretary
d.  The Secretary shall manage the list of City Committee members, prepare minutes for each meeting (to be distributed to City Committee members promptly after such meeting), and be responsible for notifying City Committee members of meetings in accordance with Article II, Sections 3 and 4. The Secretary shall additionally be responsible for the City Committee’s official correspondence.

Treasurer
e.  The Treasurer shall be responsible for collecting, managing, and disbursing all City Committee income (subject to Article VI) and for preparing and filing all required government reports—including, but not limited to, the campaign finance filings required by the state and county boards of elections. The Treasurer shall be additionally responsible for preparing a written report to be distributed to all City Committee members in advance of each City Committee meeting. This report shall present income and expense details for the period since the last report was issued as well as summaries for the year to date, listing budgeted amounts for the same periods. The Treasurer shall also present a written full-year accounting to the City Committee at its annual operating meeting.

3. Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair, Vice Chair, 2nd Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Executive Committee shall meet from time to time at the officers' discretion to coordinate details and set agendas for meetings.


Article IV: Execution of Instruments
1.  Contracts, Instruments
No member of the City Committee may enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of the City Committee without the written authorization by resolution of the City Committee. Such authority may be general or may be confined to specific instances.

2. Deposits
Funds of the City Committee may be deposited from time to time to the credit of the City Committee only with such depositories as may be selected by the City Committee.

3. Orders for Payment of Money
All checks, drafts, or other orders for the payment of money issued in the name of the City Committee shall be signed by such officer(s) or member(s) of the City Committee and in such manner as shall be determined from time to time by resolution of the City Committee.

4.  Endorsements for Deposit
Endorsements for deposit to the credit of the City Committee in any of its duly authorized depositories may be made, without countersignature, by any officer of the City Committee or may be made by hand-stamped impression in the name of the City Committee, unless otherwise provided by resolution of the City Committee.


Article V: Administrative Matters
1.  Robert’s Rules of Order
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the City Committee in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these rules and any special rules of order the County Committee may adopt.
The Chair (or Acting Chair)  shall be the teller of City Committee votes. The Chair shall also provide interpretations of Robert’s Rules of Order and of these Rules.

2. Notices and Minutes
All members of the committee shall receive timely notices and minutes of meetings.

3. Treasurer’s Account Books Open to Members
The Treasurer’s account books shall be available to all City Committee members during regular business hours upon request.

4. Use of Email for Notices
All notices of meetings and transmission of minutes and other material may be made by email, provided that copies are mailed to those members of the City Committee not having email capability.

5. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the City Committee shall be the calendar year.


Article VI: Indemnification
The City Committee shall indemnify and hold harmless its officers and members from and against any and all liability, cost, damage, claim, or expense incurred in carrying out his or her responsibilities as a member or officer of the City Committee, except where such liability,  cost, damage, claim, or expense arises from or is caused by, in whole or in part, the negligence or willful misconduct of said officer or member.


Article VII: Amendments
These rules may be amended by a majority vote of the City Committee members, provided that notice of intention to amend and the text of such amendment has been given at least two weeks in advance of the meeting at which such a vote will take place. Any City Committee member may originate such notice.


Revision adopted unanimously by the Hudson City Democratic Committee -  January 12, 2016

Additional Resolutions Passed

Expenses $50 and under can be approved via majority decision of the Executive Committee. (4/12/16)

Budget Allocation to Events Working Group (4/12/16)

  • $3,000 is allocated for 2017 event fundraisers. 
  • One of the goals of this allocation is that the Events Working Group will use this money to organize events that will net $6,000 ($3,000 gain plus returning the original $3,000). 
  • The Event Working Group Chair will take the lead on deciding how the $3,000 is spent. 
  • The Event Working Group Chair must inform the Treasurer of the budget. 
  • The Treasurer has the right to veto any expense. 
  • A majority vote of the Executive Committee can override the Treasurer’s veto. 
  • While $3,000 has been allocated for fundraisers, the Events Working Group must work with the Treasurer to ensure that funds are available for reimbursement. (HCDC is not committing to maintain a $3,000 balance.)

Poll Inspector Meals (5/10/16)
HCDC approves the following budget allocation:
  • $15 per Democratic poll inspector (and 1 poll inspector organizer) for Primary Elections that do not include candidates running for City of Hudson positions.
  • $25 Democratic poll inspector (and 1 poll inspector organizer) for General Elections and Primary Elections that do include candidates running for City of Hudson positions.