CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE
DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF LOUDON COUNTY, TENNESSEE
Whereas the Democratic Party of Loudon County, (the LCDP), in order to: 1. Improve the conduct of party business; 2. Extend the control of party affairs to all Democratic voters in the county; 3. Permit Democratic voters to choose their own candidates for public and party office; 4. Improve the conduct of public office in Loudon County:
Do hereby February 21, 2013, adopt the following
ARTICLE I – MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1 –Qualifications for Membership
SECTION 2 – Rights of Members
SECTION 3 – Membership Duties
ARTICLE II – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
SECTION 1 – Executive Committee
SECTION 2 - Powers and Duties
ARTICLE III – OFFICERS
SECTION 1 – Chapter Officers
SECTION 2 – Election of Officers
SECTION 3 – Term of Officers and Committee Members
SECTION 4 – Duties and Responsibilities of Officers
ARTICLE IV – COMMITTEES
SECTION 1 – Permanent Committees and Their Duties
SECTION 2 – Formation of Other Committees
SECTION 3 – Committee Recommendations
ARTICLE V – MEETINGS
SECTION 1 –Number of Meetings
SECTION 2 – Special Meetings
SECTION 3 – Quorum
SECTION 4 – Meeting Agenda
SECTION 5 – Meeting Rules
SECTION 6 – Handicapped Accessibility
SECTION 7 – Notice of meetings
ARTICLE VI – REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
SECTION 1 – Reasons for Removal
SECTION 2 – Replacement of Officers
ARTICLE VII – AMENDMENT
SECTION 1 – To Amend By-laws
ARTICLE I – MEMBERSHIP
A. Membership in the LCDP shall be open to all bona fide Democrats, eighteen years of age or over, residing in Loudon County. To be a Loudon County bona fide Democrat you must sign a sworn oath affirming the principles of The Democratic Party.
B. Membership in the LCDP shall not be denied because of race, color, religion, age, disability, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.
The rights of the members shall include but are not limited to the following:
A. The right to attend any County Assembly Meeting.
B. The right to petition, in writing, for the placement of any item on the agenda of a County Assembly Meeting.
C. The right to hold and run for office in the LCDP, through the procedures outlined in these By-Laws.
A. The membership of the LCDP shall elect officers and county representatives as stated in Article II, Section 1 (C), of this document. These elected officers and representatives comprise the body of the LCDP County Assembly. The election of these officers and representatives shall be accomplished by a simple majority vote on that date so chosen for the Loudon County Reorganization Convention.
B. The responsibilities of members shall include but are not limited to the following:
1. Attendance, participation, and voting at regularly scheduled meetings of the LCDP.
2. Support with personal time, talent, and financial resources, to the extent feasible, the Democratic candidates desiring to run for public office in Loudon County.
3. Elect the officers of said LCDP per the steps outlined in these By-Laws.
4. Promote the Democratic Philosophy and ideals of The Democratic Party.
ARTICLE II – County Assembly
A. LCDP County Assembly shall be elected by the Democrats of each County Commission Civil District at District meetings of the party to be called by the chair for that purpose. The number of representatives allocated to each County Commission District is determined by following Article II, Section 1 (C).
At such a meeting the qualified Democrats from each County Commission Civil District shall caucus, elect their Civil District Chairman, and elect their committee from the qualified
1. Democratic residents of their respective district, and announce the names to the LCDP County Assembly Chair.
2. If such County Commission District meeting, duly called, fails to meet or fails to elect its representative(s), the County Assembly Chair may appoint the representatives from the District. The members of the County Assembly so elected shall serve until the next regular election provided for herein.
1. Any County Assembly member absent for three (3) consecutive meetings shall be notified, by the secretary of the Loudon County Democratic Party that their presence is required for the next meeting. If that member is absent from the required meeting, that position will be declared vacant unless the member replies before that next meeting with a request for a temporary leave of absence, stating a reason and the estimated length. The County Assembly will then vote on approval and name a temporary replacement if approved.
In the case of attendance, the members absence from the meeting in which they were notified they must attend will be considered a waiver of the right of appeal provided the member has not been approved for leave of absence prior to this or at this meeting.
1. Each County Commission Civil District shall have one representative to the County Assembly for each fifty (50) votes, or major fraction thereof, cast for the Democratic candidate in that civil district in the most recent Democratic Gubernatorial Primary Election, with the exception that no civil district shall be represented by less than one (1) committee person. The representatives from each district shall elect one of their number as District Chairperson, who shall preside at any meeting of the district representatives. The representatives shall also elect one precinct captain for each precinct in their district.
An additional number of “At Large” County Assembly members, not to exceed twenty-five (25), may be allocated to the Democratic Party, once shown to be Loudon County bona fide Democrats. These members are to be nominated by their respective District Chairperson and approved by a majority of The LCDP County Assembly
D. EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS OF E/C.
1.The retiring Chairperson and one representative, each to be selected by the Young Democrats Club and Loudon County Democratic Women`s Organization, shall automatically be ex-officio voting members of the new County Assembly, in addition to all other members. The officers of the party shall be members of the County Assembly for his/her district, in addition to being members of their district as set out and determined by paragraph C above, subject to Article III, Section 4 (A) 5.
2. Active members who become incapacitated and are no longer able to actively participate may be granted emeritus status. Such members shall have voting privileges, but shall not be counted in a quorum and shall not be required to attend meetings.
If a vacancy occurs for any reason, the Chair of said district shall nominate a replacement to be voted on by the County Assembly. If the vacancy is the Chair of a district, the LCDP Chair will then nominate a new Chair from the remaining members of said district to be voted on by the County Assembly.
A. The LCDP County Assembly shall be the governing body of the Loudon County Democratic Party.
B. The LCDP County Assembly shall have the authority to make decisions and act in the name of the Democratic Party of Loudon County, and may delegate its authority for the carrying out of such policy matters and official business to duly authorized officers or committee persons.
C. The County Assembly will designate and certify the official democratic nominees for local office. All candidates seeking nomination and/or endorsement by the LCDP shall be qualified members, and shall have signed the Pledge of Support, as required by the TNDP Official Credentials Form, of said party, provided that this provision shall apply only to offices held only within Loudon County.
D. At least 120 days in advance of any qualified deadline, a primary will be held in accordance with all applicable state laws, or constitutional provisions, to provide for the election of candidates for local offices.
E. All powers and functions not specifically enumerated, delegated, or otherwise denied shall be the domain of the LCDP County Assembly.
F. The officers shall not use their official position, nor shall any party funds be used to influence the outcome of any party primary in which there is a contest.
G. The Bereavement Procedures for LCDP office holders and County Assembly members (current or within last 20 years) shall be as follows: On behalf of the deceased, a $50 (fifty dollar) donation will be taken from the LCDP treasury and put in the Fund To Elect Democrats in Loudon County. A sympathy card from the Party will be sent to the family honoring and recognizing the service of the loyal Democrat.
ARTICLE III – OFFICERS
The officers of the LCDP E/C shall be a Chairperson, First Vice-Chairperson, Second Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, and Sergeant-At-Arms.
A. The officers shall be elected by the membership of the LCDP at a meeting that shall be held in the month of March of odd numbered years. Public notice shall be given of said election at least fourteen (14) days and no more than twenty-one (21) days prior to the meeting of the Party, which shall be called for the purpose of electing said officers. In the event a vacancy exists, or is created among the officers, the LCDP County Assembly shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term.
B. A meeting of the County Assembly to elect a successor to that office shall be held within thirty (30) days of the date of a vacancy in office.
C. To be qualified to serve as an officer of the LCDP, an individual must be a member of the Loudon County Democratic Party in good standing.
D. When elections are complete, the following Oath will be given at the Reorganization Convention to all Officers and County Assembly members: “I, (name), do hereby solemnly promise, before my fellow Democrats, to fulfill to the best of my abilities the duties of the office to which I have been elected. I further promise that if for any reason I cannot perform these duties I shall resign so that a replacement may be obtained.”
The term of officers as well as committee persons shall be two (2) years. The first meeting of the LCDP County Assembly shall be held no later than one (1) month following the election of the Committee. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as prohibiting officers of the County Assembly from continuing in office until their successors are duly elected.
1. The Chairperson of the County Assembly shall preside at all meetings of the County Assembly except those involving the election of officers or other business in which he/she or the officers have a direct vested interest. In conformance with Roberts Rules of Order, as the Chair, the Presiding Officer must remain impartial. As a member, the Presiding Officer has a right to debate. Thus, if the Presiding Officer wishes to speak to an issue, he/she must relinquish the Chair to another Officer. The presiding Officer resumes the Chair when the motion has either been voted on or temporarily put aside by a motion to refer it to Committee, postponed to another time, or laid on the table.
2. He/she may call special meetings as set out in Article V, Section 2.
3. He/she will represent the LCDP in its external relations subject to the desires of the County Assembly.
4. He/she shall take such steps as shall be necessary and proper to implement the decisions of the County Assembly.
5. He/she shall have the prerogative of being a voting member of all committees, except in the County Assembly where he/she shall vote only in case of a tie.
6. He/she shall be authorized to sign contracts and obligate funds in the name of the LCDP, subject to the specific approval of the County Assembly.
7. He/she may place any item on the agenda of the County Assembly meeting. However, The Chair is required by other sections in these By-Laws to prepare the agenda for each meeting, regular or special.
B. First Vice-Chairperson 1) He/She shall assume the duties of the Chairperson in the latter’s absence. 2) He/She shall be a non-voting member of all committees.
C. Second Vice-Chairperson 1) The duties shall be as prescribed by the Chairperson and/or the County Assembly. 2) He/She shall assume the duties of the Chairperson in the absence of the Chairperson and the First Vice-Chairperson.
1. He/she shall keep minutes of all meetings of the County Assembly and general Party meetings.
2. He/she assists the Chair and other appropriate entities in preparing official agendas.
3. He/she shall be responsible for all necessary correspondence except that which comes within the jurisdiction of one of the committees. All communications regarding official business of The LCDP will be copied to The LCDP County Assembly Secretary, including the notification of any member absent for three (3) consecutive meetings that their presence is required for the next meeting. The secretary is the custodian of the records of the County Assembly.
4. He/she shall be responsible for notifying the membership of the meetings as prescribed under Article V.
5.He/she shall be responsible for calling roll of all County Assembly members at the meetings
1. He/she shall collect and disburse all funds of LCDP as directed by the County Assembly.
2. He/she shall keep records of all receipts and all disbursements and shall submit a report of the financial condition of the party semi-annually.
3. He/she shall be bonded if the County Assembly so desires.
4. He/she shall be a voting member of the Ways and Means Committee.
F. Sergeant-at-Arms 1) He/She shall be responsible for calling all County Assembly meetings to order with a Moment of Silence and the Pledge of Allegiance, 2) He/She shall be responsible for preserving the peace during meetings. 3) He/She shall aid the chair when to call to order.
A. District Chairpersons
1. Provide a point of contact between the voter base in each district and LCDP.
2. Encourage voter turnout from their districts and attendance at party functions.
3. Maintain a list of the Democratic, Independent, and prospective voters in their district.
4. Coordinate canvassing and phone bank efforts in the district of prospective voters.
5. Get to know the voters in their district on a personal level so they can recommend nominations for officers and committee Chairs to the party Chair.
6. Set goals for their district and meet quarterly with the other District Chairpersons to share ideas and develop a plan for reaching out and building the voter base in each district.
ARTICLE IV – COMMITTEES
A. The Permanent committees of the Democratic County Assembly shall be as follows: (1) Ways and Means; (2) Elections; (3) Program; (4) Rules; (5) Political; (6) Publicity; (7) Credentials Committee; (8) Membership
A. Members and Chairpersons of these committees shall be chosen by the LCDP Chairperson with the consent of the County Assembly, from among the membership of the County Assembly and/or from among Loudon County Democrats in good standing. If possible, each committee should consist of three (3) or more members, of which at least one (1) shall be an elected member of the County Assembly. As the members of the “Permanent Committees” are selected by the Chair, each member will be voted on by members of the County Assembly. A majority vote of the County Assembly present is necessary for election to each Committee. The members of the committees shall be elected as they are needed by the Party. Membership is not limited to only one committee, but no person shall be the Chair of more than one committee. Any subcommittee formed must be made known by the committee chair at the next regularly scheduled County Assembly meeting. The duties of these committees shall be as follows:
1. The Ways and Means Committee shall work with the Treasurer and plan such fund raising activities as are necessary.
2. The Elections Committee shall be charged with responsibility for implementing the fair and impartial carrying out of all County Assembly Nominating Conventions or Primary Elections.
3. The Program Committee shall plan and arrange for guest speakers, educational programs, and social and party functions such as dances, rallies, and picnics.
4. The Rules Committee shall include such items on the agenda of the County Assembly meetings as membership desires. Items may be placed on the agenda at the request of five (5) or more voting Democrats or one (1) County Assembly member. The Chairperson of the Rules Committee shall act as parliamentarian of the County Assembly under Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
5. The Political Committee is charged with the formulation of strategy for the elections to office of Democratic nominees for public office. It shall take no action on primary elections. Its meetings may be closed at the direction of the County Assembly. It shall maintain a comprehensive file of Democratic voters of Loudon County.
6. The Publicity Committee shall be responsible for obtaining newspaper, radio, and Internet publicity for the LCDP, its platform, and candidates.
7. The Credentials Committee shall review the records of the Party to ensure that each member voting at an election of officers or County Assembly membership is a member of the Loudon County Democratic Party, as stated in Article I, Section 1.
8. The Membership Committee shall be responsible for recruiting and enlisting new participants in the LCDP by utilizing existing Votebuilder and Loudon County Election Commission records, as well as the sign-in data from LCDP events or programs, and by contacting all new individuals.
Other Committees shall be formed as necessary. To establish a procedure, by recommendation of the Chair with the County Assembly’s consent, or on majority vote of the County Assembly upon motion duly made.
A recommendation by any committee to the full County Assembly must be approved by majority vote of the County Assembly before taking effect.
ARTICLE V – MEETINGS
There shall be not less than two regular meetings of the LCDP County Assembly to transact Party business each year. A nominal regular meeting schedule will be once a month, preferably on the same day of the week. Regular meetings of the County Assembly shall be open to all Democrats as defined in Article 1.
Special meetings may be called as follows:
A. By the Chairperson to fill a vacancy in Officers or County Assembly members.
B. Upon written request of 25% of the current County Assembly.
C. Upon written request of 50% of the current LCDP membership.
Special meetings may act only upon the business for which the meeting has been called. Special meetings of the County Assembly shall be open to all Democrats as defined in Article 1.
A quorum shall consist of those County Assembly members present and a simple majority of the quorum shall be sufficient to carry the measure. All votes by the members of the E/C or members of the Party shall be made in person. No votes by proxy or extension shall be allowed.
A. Any item may be placed on the agenda as prescribed beforehand and if possible, the agenda of the meetings should be publicized beforehand. Further, items may be placed on the agenda: See Article IV, section 1,(B),4.
B. If an issue pertains to a District or Districts, but not to the county as a whole, by majority vote of the County Assembly members of the affected District or Districts.
All proceedings of this organization shall be conducted under and pursuant to Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, except as otherwise herein provided.
All meetings of the Democratic Party of Loudon County shall, to the extent that appropriate facilities are available, be held in a place and manner so as to make them accessible to the handicapped and physically impaired.
All meetings, regular or special, shall be given seven (7) days prior notice
SECTION 8 – On Line and Verbal Voting Protocol
County Assembly members can cast their vote via email on-line, or via phone if no email, only in special circumstances. To be used only in an unanticipated event when a vote is needed prior to the next meeting date. County Assembly members who do not attend regular meetings can only vote on-line one time per year. Procedure:
1. Email entitled: Urgent Notice Requesting a Motion to call a vote (indicating a two-day deadline)
2. Second email: Your Vote is Needed (A Motion to was submitted and seconded by ..........) (response needed by ...... date)
3. Third email: Results of vote. E-mail should indicate motion results and a tally of the votes.
4. An e- copy to be sent to the secretary to be included in the next monthly minutes.
ARTICLE VI – REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
A. Conditional Expulsion
An assembly member or officer may be removed from office (by majority vote of the County Assembly in session) if he/she shall have:
1. Disregarded the orders of the County Assembly.
2. Acted beyond his/her authority as prescribed in the By-Laws.
3. Failed to carry out his/her duties as herein provided.
B. Automatic Expulsion
A member of the County Assembly shall automatically forfeit his/her membership in said committee (and the position shall be declared vacant) for the following reasons:
1. Been convicted of a felony while in office.
2. Used direct financial inducement in the conduct of Party affairs.
3. Been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.
4. Become incompetent – in the opinion of two (2) licensed physicians.
5. Qualifies for political office as an Independent, or represents any political party other than the Democratic Party and opposes a qualified Democratic nominee.
6. Demonstrates disloyalty to the Democratic Party by publicly supporting an opponent of a Democratic Candidate in any partisan general election held in Loudon County or at the National, State, or local government. Public support may include:
a. Soliciting contributions, or contributing to, an opponent of a Democratic candidate in any pending partisan election.
b. Publishing an article or “letter to the editor” in support of an opposition candidate, or in opposition to a legitimate Democratic candidate, in a pending partisan election.
c. Recruiting campaign volunteers to support an opposition candidate.
d. Canvassing or phone banking voters in support of an opposition candidate.
A. Notice and Opportunity to be heard.
The County Assembly may vote to expel a member for cause(s) listed in section A above, but only if written notice is given to the member. The issue will be taken up at the meeting prior to the meeting in which dismissal action is voted upon. A vote of two-thirds of the members present at the subsequent meeting is required to expel a member. Candidates for automatic expulsion under section (B) above may appeal their expulsion by the same procedure.
A. If removed from office for the reasons listed in Section 1 of this Article, or if an office is vacated for some other reason, officers shall be replaced by election of the County Assembly as prescribed in Article II, Section 1 (E).
B. Resignations: The resignation of any officer of The LCDP County Assembly shall be made in writing and shall take effect at the time specified therein, or, if no time is specified, then it shall take effect upon receipt of such resignation by the Chair or secretary, to become a part of the official record as per Article III, Section 4 (D) 3.
ARTICLE VII – AMENDMENT
All changes to the Bylaws shall be submitted to the secretary at a regularly scheduled meeting of the County Assembly of the LCDP. The Chairperson shall announce that proposed change(s) is forthcoming to our latest edition Bylaws, and the change(s) will be conveyed to all County Assembly membership via electronic mail (email) seven (7) days before the regularly scheduled meeting. If electronic mail is not available to the County Assembly member, a hard copy of the changes for review will be available seven (7) days before the next regularly scheduled meeting. The Chairperson shall open the floor for discussion of the proposed changes at this meeting. It will then be advertised by the Chairperson and, giving due notice of any more changes, that a vote will be taken at the next regularly scheduled meeting, and that two-thirds of the members present shall carry the measure.