Proposed Amendments to East Bay Stonewall Democrats Bylaws
The board wants to share our proposed bylaw changes related to our club's endorsement process. Members will be voting on these changes at General Membership Meeting on Wednesday, July 17th (location TBD). Please read the changes below:
ARTICLE VIII – COMMITTEES
8.1 – Committees: Each committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of Directors and may develop recommendations for consideration by the Board. The Board may also delegate certain matters to committees, including developing new projects, improving existing services and identifying problems for resolution.
8.2 Scope - The Board may establish committees as needed. The size, duration and responsibilities of such committees shall be established by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. In addition, the club shall maintain the following standing committees:
· The Political Affairs Committee (PAC) is responsible for the political activities of the club. The PAC shall be comprised of only members of the Board. Consistent with the provisions of Article IX, the PAC shall develop protocols for holding meetings of the general membership for the purpose of considering the endorsement of candidates and ballot measures. The PAC shall also make recommendations regarding the disbursement of funds in affiliated political action committees. The PAC Chairperson shall preside over the PAC. Board members may not serve on the PAC at any time when their service would constitute a conflict of interest. Examples of conflicts include but are not limited to declaring candidacy for political office or being employed on behalf of a candidate or their committee. Members of the PAC must resign from the committee immediately upon the existence of a conflict. The PAC Chairperson shall establish an annual budget for PAC funds and the PAC shall be tasked with developing strategies for raising those funds.
· The Membership and Communications Committee is responsible for developing recommendations regarding the recruitment and retention of club members and managing related membership and communications processes. The President shall designate a member of the Board of Directors to serve as chairperson and preside over the committee.
· The Policy and Advocacy Committee is responsible for the policy activities of the club, including developing recommendations regarding the endorsement of legislation, and regarding the club’s involvement in related policy matter. The Committee is also responsible for coordinating the advocacy activities of the Club.
8.3. Committee Membership - Committees shall be comprised of Executive Officers, Board Members, and/or members of the club. Committee appointments are made by the President, and unless otherwise specified herein the President shall designate one member of each committee to serve as chairperson. The President shall appoint each Board Member to serve on at least one committee.
ARTICLE IX – ENDORSEMENTS
9.1 – Offices Endorsed: Subject to the requirements of the State Party By-Laws and the laws of the State of California, the Club may make endorsements of candidates for local elected offices as well as Democratic Candidates in primary elections for state and federal offices and for State and Local Ballot Measures that have been qualified. Endorsements for Democratic Party positions are subject to the process described in Section 9.11. To be eligible for endorsement, a candidate must be a registered Democrat. The PAC may determine which election races and ballot measures to consider for endorsement in a given election cycle.
9.2 – Candidate Endorsement Eligibility: A candidate seeking public office with a jurisdiction over all or a portion of Alameda County may seek the official endorsement of the Club. To be eligible, the candidate must submit a completed endorsement questionnaire to the PAC Chairperson no later than seven days after the latest candidate filing date for the election, as set by the Alameda County Registry of Voters. The questionnaire shall contain a provision that may be signed and dated by the candidate identifying and authorizing a third party to submit the questionnaire on their behalf.
9.3. – Ballot Measure Endorsement Eligibility: Only a ballot measure that will appear on a ballot within Alameda County may seek the official endorsement of the Club. To be eligible, the chair of an FPPC-recognized campaign committee must submit a completed ballot measure endorsement questionnaire to the PAC Chairperson not later than seven days after the latest candidate filing date for the election, as set by the Alameda County Registry of Voters. If no campaign committee exists, any person who signed the official Argument in Support of the measure for the Alameda County Voters Guide may file to seek the measure’s endorsement, subject to the same requirements, identified above. The questionnaire shall contain a provision that may be signed and dates by the ballot measure representative identifying and authorizing a third party to submit the questionnaire on their behalf.
9.4 – Endorsement Process: After the endorsement application deadline has passed, the PAC Chairperson shall notify the Board of the number of candidates and ballot measures seeking the Club’s endorsement and shall notify all candidates of the date, time and location of the endorsement meeting with the general membership. Notice of the meeting shall conform with the provisions of Article V of these bylaws and be made available to the public. The PAC Chairperson shall establish the format and manner for evaluation of candidates and measures, as well as the date, time and location for the endorsement meeting. Upon approval of the date and location by the Board, the PAC Chairperson shall notify the candidates and ballot measure representatives of the date and time for the endorsement meeting, along with instructions for the format of the meeting and the Club’s endorsement tiers.
9.5 Threshold for Endorsement – All candidates and ballot measures must receive at least 60% of the votes cast in order to receive the Club’s endorsement. Members shall be provided the names of all candidates and ballot measures that meet eligibility requirements, as determined by the PAC Chairperson. In instances where a member does not cast a vote, it shall not be included in the total of votes cast for purposes of determining whether the threshold for endorsement has been reached.
9.6 – Ballot Markers – For candidate endorsements only, the PAC Chairperson shall place two markers besides the names of each candidate who appears on the ballot.
LGBTQ Candidate Marker – For each candidate who identifies themselves as LGBTQ in their candidate questionnaire, there shall be a marker beside their name on the ballot identifying them as such, for the benefit of the membership.
East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club Member Marker – For each candidate who is a current, dues-paying members of the Club, there shall be a marker beside their name on the ballot identifying them as such, for the benefit of the membership.
The PAC Chairperson shall determine the marker for the ballots and shall include a prominent legend explaining each marker at the top of the first page of the ballot for the benefit of the membership.
9.7 – Tabulation of Results: The PAC Chairperson, or another member of the PAC if the Chairperson is unavailable, along with not less than one other Board Member, shall meet in private after the endorsement meeting to tabulate the vote of the general membership. The PAC Chairperson shall report the outcome to the full Board within 24 hours of the endorsement meeting, along with the tiered endorsement benefits each endorsee is entitled to, pursuant to Section 9.10 of this Article. The reported results shall be limited to “endorsed” or “not endorsed” and shall not contain specific information about vote counts. The ballots shall be retained by the PAC Chairperson through the date of the election. Any requests to recount votes or other challenges to the endorsement process shall be adjudicated by the PAC Chairperson, in consultation with the Board President.
9.8 – Publishing Slate of Endorsed Candidates: The Secretary shall notify all candidates, ballot measure proponents, and the Club’s membership of the outcome of the vote taken at the endorsement meeting within 48 hours of the adjournment of the meeting.
9.9 – Rescission: A request to rescind an endorsement may be filed by any member of the Club by submitting a signed, dated request, with a basis for the request to the PAC Chairperson. If supported by a majority of the Board, the endorsement of a candidate or ballot measure may be placed before the general membership for rescission. The general membership, by a two-thirds majority vote, may vote to rescind an endorsement.
9.10 – Endorsement Benefits: Candidates and ballot measures that secure the endorsement of the Club are entitled to various levels of endorsement support by the Club, its Board, and Members.
Tier 1 – For all candidates who are neither LGBTQ nor Club Members, as well as all ballot measures, the Club shall authorize the use of the Club’s name and seal on campaign literature or materials, and the endorsee may identify themselves as endorsed by the Club through the date of the election for which they sought Club endorsement.
Tier 2 – For all candidates who are members of the Club but do not identify as LGBTQ, the endorsee shall have all the benefits of a Tier 1 endorsee but shall also be eligible to receive a campaign contribution from the Club. The amount of any financial contribution shall be recommended by the PAC and approved by the Board.
Tier 3 – For all candidates who identify as LGBTQ, the endorsee shall have all the benefits of Tier 1 and 2 endorsees but shall also be eligible to receive volunteer hours from the Club’s Board and membership. The amount of any financial contribution shall be recommended by the PAC and approved by the Board.
The PAC will determine the amount of financial assistance to provide eligible Tier 2 and 3 endorsees by considering the total amount of eligible funds. Priority in funding shall always be given to Tier 3 candidates and the amount of assistance awarded shall be tiered such that Tier 3 candidates receive larger contributions.
The number of volunteer hours provided to Tier 3 candidates shall be determined by the Board, at the recommendation of the PAC.
The PAC may hold additional fundraisers for endorsed candidates or measures that align with the Club’s mission that are separate from and in addition to the endorsement process.
9.11 – Endorsements for Democratic Party Positions: An openly LGBTQ member of the Club may seek the endorsement of the Board for a leadership position in another Democratic club or caucus that is part of the official political apparatus of the California or Alameda County Democratic Party. An applicant for an endorsement under this section may apply to the PAC Chairperson for the endorsement by identifying the organization, position, and the date of the appointment or election in writing. If the applicant is part of a slate of candidates, the Board may consider endorsement of the entire slate. The decision to endorse shall be official upon the vote of a majority of the Board. The endorsed candidate may use the Club’s name and logo for the race and position for which they were endorsed.
East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club. P.O. Box 10996, Oakland, CA 94610 Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org