Warren County Democratic Party Central Committee Bylaws
Article I. Name
The name of this organization is the Warren County Democratic Party Central Committee.
Article II. Purpose
The purpose of the Warren County Democratic Party central committee (hereinafter referred to as “central committee”) shall be to organize and perpetuate a representative, effective, and responsive party organization; advance the interests of the Democratic Party; to sustain and advance the principles of social justice and democracy; and to uphold civil rights, civil liberties, and constitutional government. In order to achieve these goals, it is the duty of all central committee members to raise funds and to attract and elect good, qualified candidates to office.
Article III. Organization
Section 1 – County Convention
The Warren County Democratic Party is an integral part of the Iowa Democratic Party. The Warren County Democratic Party convention held biennially in accordance with state law, and by the call of the chairperson of the Democratic Party of Iowa, shall be the supreme governing body of this organization.
Section 2 – Constitution
The Constitution of the Democratic Party of Iowa is the Constitution of the Warren County Democratic Party.
Section 3 – County Central Committee
The central committee shall be the governing body of the Democratic Party in Warren County when the convention is in adjournment. The central committee shall consist of a base of seventy-five (75) members with a minimum of two (2) members from each precinct. Membership from each precinct shall be proportionately determined in accordance with the Constitution of the Iowa Democratic Party. Actions of the central committee shall be in accordance with the expressed policies of the County convention, the provisions of these bylaws, and the Constitution of the Iowa Democratic Party and the Code of Iowa.
Section 4 – Affirmative Action
The central committee will afford all members of the Democratic Party full, timely and equal opportunities to participate in activities of the Warren County Democratic Party without prejudice on the basis of sex, race, age, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, physical disability or handicap, or ethnic origin. The central committee will also work to raise public consciousness regarding affirmative action, and will insist that there be justice and fairness in the party at all times.
Section 5 – Fiscal Year
The fiscal year shall coincide with the calendar year.
Article IV. Membership
Section 1 – Organization Meeting
The central committee, comprised of precinct committee persons elected at precinct caucuses, shall meet and organize within ten (10) days prior to, or ten (10) days following, the County convention.
Section 2 – Officers
Members of the central committee shall elect a County chairperson, a vice chairperson, a secretary, a treasurer, an Outreach/GOTV chairperson and such other officers as they may deem necessary. The term of office of each officer shall begin immediately upon election and shall continue until adjournment of the next biennial statutory convention, and/or until a successor is elected and qualified.
Section 3 – Executive Committee
The executive committee shall consist of all the above officers, affirmative action chairperson, the chairperson of every committee enumerated in Article VII, below, and the President of Simpson Democrats (or his or her designee).
Section 4 – Notice of Election
Notice of the election of central committee officers shall be announced throughout the County at least four (4) weeks in advance of the County convention. Notice of election to elect officer(s) who are being replaced due to resignation, death, or incapacitation need only be included in the call of the meeting.
Section 5 – Elections
Officers shall be elected in the following order: County chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary, treasurer, Outreach/GOTV chairperson, and such other officers as may be deemed necessary. The outgoing County chairperson shall preside over the election of the new County chairperson, unless the County chairperson is seeking reelection, in which case an outgoing officer not seeking the position shall preside. Once elected, the newly elected County chairperson shall preside over the remaining elections.
In order to be placed into consideration for an office, a qualified individual must be nominated, and that nomination must be seconded.
All contested elections shall be by signed ballot. Each ballot must include the name of the nominee being voted for, the signature of the voter, and the voter’s precinct. All ballots shall be counted by the Parliamentarian, vice chairperson, and secretary.
IN THE EVENT MORE THAN TWO INDIVIDUALS ARE NOMINATED FOR A POSITION, AND IF AFTER THE VOTE NO ONE INDIVIDUAL OBTAINS A MAJORITY OF THE VOTES CAST, THE TWO NOMINEES WITH THE HIGHEST VOTE COUNTS SHALL BE PLACED INTO NOMINATION FOR A SECOND ROUND OF VOTING.
Section 6 – Membership Vacancies
Vacancies that occur on the central committee between caucuses shall be announced at one central committee meeting and can be filled by a majority vote of the central committee at any subsequent properly called meeting for which notice of such a meeting shall state “that vacancies on the central committee will be filled.” When a vacancy exists at the time of the precinct caucuses which are called in odd numbered years, the caucus shall endeavor to fill the vacancy. The central committee shall ratify the election of central committee members at the first meeting following the odd numbered year caucuses.
IN THE EVENT NOMINATIONS ARE MADE TO FILL MORE THAN ONE CENTRAL COMMITTEE VACANCY IN ANY GIVEN PRECINCT, AND MORE NOMINATIONS ARE MADE THAN AVAILABLE VACANCIES, EACH VACANCY SHALL BE VOTED UPON INDIVIDUALLY. IF AFTER THE VOTE ONE OR MORE OF THE NOMINEES OBTAINS A MAJORITY, THEY SHALL BE DEEMED ELECTED. IF THERE REMAINS ANY VACANCIES AFTER THE ELECTION IN THE FIRST ROUND OF VOTING, THERE SHALL BE A SECOND ROUND OF VOTING CONSISTING OF THE REMAINING NOMINEES.
IF AFTER A VOTE NO INDIVIDUAL OBTAINS A MAJORITY, THE TWO NOMINEES WITH THE HIGHEST VOTE COUNTS SHALL BE PLACED INTO NOMINATION FOR A SECOND ROUND OF VOTING. ONCE A VACANCY HAS BEEN FILLED, ALL REMAINING NOMINEES FROM THE PRIOR ROUND OF VOTING SHALL BE VOTED UPON FOR THE NEXT VACANCY, AND SO FORTH UNTIL ALL VACANCIES ARE FILLED BY A MAJORITY VOTE.
Section 7 – Officer Vacancies
In the event of the resignation, death, or incapacitation of the duly elected officer during the officer’s term, the office shall be declared vacant by the central committee and the central committee shall elect a new officer following the procedure outlined in Sections 3, 4 and 5 of this Article and in accordance with the Iowa Democratic Party Constitution, Article 3, Section 3.
Section 8 – Removal of Officers
Officers may be removed by the central committee for nonresidency, inattention to duty, incompetency, or support of a candidate for public office who is running against a candidate nominated by the Iowa Democratic Party. Removal shall be by a majority vote. Notice of a vote to remove an officer must be included within the call of the meeting mailed to each member pursuant to Article V., Section 1. In the event an officer is removed, the next order of business for the central committee shall be the election of said officer’s replacement. The notice prescribed in this section shall satisfy that required by Section 4 of this article with respect to election of a new officer.
Section 9 – Contracts
- All contracts binding upon the central committee shall be authorized by resolution at a regularly convened meeting of the central committee.
- All budgeted and general operating expenditures in excess of $100.00 shall have central committee approval.
Article V. Meetings
Section 1 – Frequency and Notice of Meetings
The central committee shall meet at least once every three (3) months. The central committee, by vote of the majority of those central committee members present, may direct the County chairperson to call regular meetings at times in places selected by the central committee. The County chairperson may call special meetings as deemed necessary. The County chairperson shall cause notice of all meetings to be mailed (or e-mailed to those members who specify preference for such delivery) to each member and officer of the central committee at least seven (7) days before the date set for such a meeting. A majority of the executive committee can call a meeting of the central committee. It is further provided that up on receipt of a petition signed by twenty-five percent (25%) of the members of the central committee, the chairperson shall call a special meeting which must be held within ten (10) days of the receipt of such a petition. Twenty-five percent (25%) of each year’s meetings of the central committee may be held at a location outside the county seat.
Section 2 – Open Meetings
The central committee meetings shall be open to the public (except for those concerned with the hiring of staff). All votes shall be public. Proxy voting and prorated voting are prohibited. All motions shall be carried by a majority vote.
Section 3 – Quorum and Conduct of Meeting
No business of the central committee shall be conducted in the absence of a quorum, which shall consist of twenty-five percent (25%) of the total voting membership of the central committee or forty percent (40%) of the precincts. Meetings shall be chaired by the County chairperson and in the absence of the County chairperson, by the vice chairperson. The secretary will provide the minutes of the previous meeting and the treasurer will issue a report at each regular meeting.
Article VI. Officer Duties
Section 1 – County Chairperson
The County chairperson shall serve as the Chief Executive Officer, with the consent and approval of the executive committee. The County chairperson may delegate or appoint such other persons as the County chairperson deems fit and necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the County chairperson. The County chairperson shall be specifically required to:
- Plan and preside at all executive committee and central committee meetings;
- Be appraised of all Warren County Democratic Party activities;
- Be the official spokesperson for the Warren County Democratic Party, and shall communicate with all other affiliated Democratic organizations;
- Shall keep the vice chairperson informed at all times;
- Appoint such committees as may be deemed necessary;
- Be an official member of all committees of the Warren County Democratic Party with the right to be given timely notice of the meetings of such committees;
- Obtain the approval of the central committee prior to employing any person as an employee of the Warren County Democratic Party; and
- Shall provide additional copies of written agenda at each central committee meeting.
Section 2 – Vice Chairperson
The vice chairperson shall assume the duties of the County chairperson in the County chairperson’s absence. The vice chairperson shall also do the following:
- Assist the County chairperson with his/her duties and responsibilities;
- Assist all other officers and committee chairpersons at all Warren County Democratic events; and
- Establish and maintain a “telephone tree” and e-mail list so that central committee members can be notified regarding important matters on short notice.
Section 3 – Secretary
The secretary shall:
- Be responsible for all files and records except those specifically required to be in the possession of any other official of the party;
- Prepare necessary documents and preserve such files and records as may be necessary;
- In conjunction with the chairperson shall be responsible to give written (or electronic) notice of meetings at least seven (7) days prior to said meeting to all central committee members, central committee officers, and democratic candidates for office (who have provided their address or e-mail to the secretary);
- Be responsible for such communications as may be necessary such as thank you notes, flowers, and sympathy cards;
- Be responsible for any other methods of communication for the party;
- Keep minutes of each meeting of the central committee which shall include all motions and those members making said motions; and
- Provide additional copies of written minutes of the previous meeting at each central committee meeting;
- Include a copy of minutes of prior meeting and a copy of the treasurer’s financial report with the written (or electronic) notice provided for in subsection C, above.
Section 4 – Treasurer
The treasurer shall, with the approval of the central committee:
- Determine which financial institutions shall have the custody of the party’s funds;
- Shall be responsible for preparing, maintaining and filing all legally required and necessary reports and tax returns;
- Have written copies of receipts and disbursements at each regular central committee meeting, along with additional copies of financial report, as specified below, at each central committee meeting;
- Make a report at the Warren County Democratic convention of the total receipts and disbursements in connection with the previous Warren County Democratic convention;
- Work with the finance chairperson as necessary; and
- Assist in an annual audit of all financial records and transactions of the central committee accounts by a special auditing committee. The copy of each audit shall be made available to each member and officer of the central committee;
- Prepare a financial report at every duly called meeting of the central committee, and provide this report to the Secretary to be delivered to the central committee members along with the County chairperson’s notice of meeting.
Section 5 – Outreach/GOTV Chairperson
The Outreach/GOTV Chairperson shall be:
- Responsible for the Warren County Democratic Party voter identification, registration, and get-out-the-vote activities, as well as other election day and voter programs; and
- Responsible for the recruitment of young people into the party, to encourage, educate and facilitate activities related to young persons.
Section 6 – Affirmative Action Chairperson
The affirmative action chairperson shall promote recruitment of new members into the Democratic Party and encourage their full participation in the caucus/convention, platform development, delegate selection process, and within the central committee and other party organizations with particular concern to those groups which have been historically under represented within the Democratic Party.
Article VII. Committees
Section 1 – Finance Committee
There shall be a standing finance committee which shall hold regular meetings chaired by the finance chairperson. The finance chairperson shall be appointed by the County chairperson. There shall be at least eight (8) other members on the finance committee which shall include the County chairperson, treasurer and vice chairperson. Other members of the finance committee shall be selected by the finance chairperson with the approval of the County chairperson. The finance committee shall:
- Develop and implement finance programs and submit such proposals of events to the central committee; and
- Develop a fundraising budget for the central committee to approve at the regularly scheduled meeting to be held in the month of November of each year.
Section 2 – Publicity Committee
There shall be a special publicity committee. The publicity chairperson shall be appointed by the County chairperson. The publicity committee shall publish event dates, times and locations and do such other tasks as the County chairperson directs.
Section 3 – Auditing Committee
There shall be an auditing committee which will annually audit the books and records of the central committee. The central committee shall authorize the annual audit of all financial records and transactions of the central committee accounts by the special auditing committee. This audit will occur prior to the February meeting each year. The report of the audit committee shall be made to the central committee at the February meeting of the central committee. A copy of the audit shall be made available to each member of the central committee. The auditing committee shall consist of three (3) people appointed by the County chairperson. Such members need not be selected from the central committee membership.
The treasurer shall be present at all the meetings of the auditing committee. The auditing committee shall have the authority to recommend that an outside accountant be hired with the approval of the central committee.
Section 4 – Bylaws Committee
The County chairperson shall appoint a bylaws chairperson who shall also function as the Parliamentarian for the central committee. The County chairperson shall also appoint a bylaws committee to make suggestions for the revisions or addition to these bylaws every two (2) years. The County chairperson shall determine the number of members of the bylaws committee and the term of their service.
Section 5 – Other Committees
The County chairperson shall appoint such other committees as may be deemed necessary.
Article VIII. Amendment of Bylaws
This set of bylaws may be amended at any County convention by a majority vote of the total seated delegates in the County convention. All proposed amendments must be in writing and must be submitted by an elected delegate to the County chairperson not less than five (5) days prior to the County convention or by a written petition signed by twenty (20) seated delegates. These bylaws may also be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at a central committee meeting, provided that notice of the proposed amendments shall have been given in writing at the previous central committee meeting and the proposed amendments shall be in accord with the Constitution of the Democratic Party of Iowa.
Article IX. Rules of Order
The most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the central committee in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they’re not in conflict with these bylaws or the Constitution and bylaws of the Democratic Party in Iowa or of the Democratic National Committee.
* As adopted on March 28, 2005, by the Warren County Central Committee.