By-laws of Boston’s Ward 18 Democratic Committee
Article I – NAME
This organization shall be known as the Ward 18 Democratic Committee, hereinafter called the Committee.
Article II – PRINCIPLES AND PURPOSES
This Committee is organized and constituted under authority of and in accordance with the provisions of the General Laws of the Commonwealth, and shall have as its principles and purposes to advance progressive change, transparency and accountability by:
A. Reaching out, engaging and empowering historically marginalized and underrepresented communities through issue forums, civics information, and voter registration;
B. Holding regular, well-publicized membership meetings, both in-person and virtually, that are open to the public, advertised in advance, and held on various social media platforms and at accessible venues that rotate throughout each neighborhood in Ward 18, with multi-lingual and kid-friendly practices; and
C. Working for candidates and issue campaigns that share the Committee’s progressive values, including, but not limited to economic fairness, racial and social justice, sustainable infrastructure and environment, and a strong democracy.
This Committee will also foster and advance the ideals and aims of the Democratic Party; work and organize for the success of the Democratic candidates of the District, County, State
and Nation; to do all things necessary and incidental to the building and strengthening of the Democratic Party in Massachusetts and within Ward 18.
Article III – MEMBERSHIP
A. The Ward 18 Democratic Committee shall consist of thirty five (35) members who are registered Democrats in Ward 18 and who shall have been elected at the Presidential Primary for a period of 4 years, together with those elected to membership by the members of said Committee, in conformance with the provisions of law.
B. With respect to current numbers of the Committee who served as such for 20 or more years or current members of any ward committee who have served within such city for 20 or more years, said member’s elected position on the Committee shall be vacated after the member has served over twenty years and s/he becomes a voting member of the ward committee, per the Massachusetts Democratic Party Charter.
C. Members of the Democratic State Committee who reside in Ward 18 shall be voting members of the Committee, per the Massachusetts Democratic Party Charter.
D. The Committee, following the election of its members, shall meet and organize, chose a Chairperson, Vice Chairpersons, a Secretary, Treasurer, Affirmative Action and Outreach Advisor, and such other officers as it may decide to elect. At such meeting the Committee may add to its elected members provided it does not exceed the total allowed by law as found on file with the Secretary of State’s Office.
E. The Committee may, by vote at any meeting, authorize the appointment of Associate Members. Associate Members shall not have the right to vote, unless otherwise specified by the Massachusetts Democratic Party, but shall have such other powers and duties as the Committee may determine.
F. Any duly elected member of the Committee who ceases to be a registered Democrat in Ward 18 shall cease to be a member of the Committee at that time.
G. Vacancies shall be filled by vote of the Committee. Eligible Associate Members, if any, shall be the candidates first considered for filling the vacancies, per the Massachusetts Democratic Party Charter.
H. Members may be removed in conformity with Section II of the Charter of the Democratic Party of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as further explained in Article XVI of these By-Laws.
Article IV – OFFICERS
- The officers of the Committee shall consist of a Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer, and such other officers as it may decide to elect. The Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be elected every two years at the Committee’s organizational meeting, which shall be held no later than April 15th in non-presidential years and as defined in state law in presidential election years.
- The officers of the Committee shall also include three Vice Chairpersons, residing in and representing each of the three neighborhoods in Ward 18: Hyde Park, Roslindale and Mattapan, and an Affirmative Action and Outreach Advisor. The Vice Chairpersons and Affirmative Action and Outreach Advisor shall be elected every two years at a Committee meeting following the organizational meeting, which shall be held no later than May 15th.
- There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of the officers of the Committee and any others the Committee may decide to elect.
- In the event of death, resignation or the permanent removal from the Committee of any of the abovenamed officers, their places shall be declared vacant and be filled at the next regular meeting of the Committee. A statement of such changes in the officers of the Committee shall be sent immediately by the Secretary of the Committee to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, to the Secretary of the Democratic State Committee and to the city clerk.
- In the event of the death of the Treasurer, Office of Campaign and Political Finance regulations on the timing of filling such vacancy shall take precedence.
Article V – CHAIRPERSON
The Chairperson shall, in addition to the duties required by law, preside at all meetings of the Committee and shall have general charge and supervision of all Committee activities. The Chairperson shall have the power to appoint all standing committees and such other special committees as are created from time to time. The Chairperson shall have the power to call all special meetings of the Committee and all regular meetings at such time or times as may seem to be advisable, subject only to the vote of the Committee in fixing the number of regular meetings to be held during the course of the year.
Article VI – VICE CHAIRPERSONS
The Vice Chairpersons shall preside at all meetings of the Committee in the absence of the Chairperson. The Vice Chairpersons shall perform all duties and have the powers of the Chairperson in the case of the Chair’s temporary absence.
Article VII – SECRETARY
The Secretary shall keep a record of all proceedings of the Committee and shall issue notice by mail or email to each member of each meeting of the Committee at least seven days prior to the date of the meeting. The Secretary shall, within ten days after the organization of the Committee, file with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Secretary of the Democratic State Committee and the City Clerk, a list of the officers and members of the Committee; and shall immediately file with the same officials a statement of the changes in the organization or membership of the Committee thereafter.
Article VIII – TREASURER
The Treasurer shall have the custody of all funds belonging to the Committee and shall pay all orders subject to the approval of the Chairperson and shall procure and file vouchers for all such payment. No expenditures of funds of the Committee shall be made by the Treasurer outside the regular activities or expense thereof except upon the approval of a majority of the Committee at a special or regular meeting. The Treasurer shall submit a report of the financial condition and transactions of the Committee at all regular meetings. A detailed report shall be provided at least annually. Additionally, the Treasurer will file reports with the appropriate state and local offices with regard to fundraising.
Article IX – AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND OUTREACH ADVISOR
The Affirmative Action and Outreach Advisor shall be responsible for developing strategies and activities to expand participation in the Committee of the Party’s Affirmative Action target groups.
ARTICLE X – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Executive Committee shall consist of the duly-elected officers of the Committee and any others the Committee may decide to elect. The Executive Committee shall meet regularly and shall have the power to act upon all matters pertaining to the Committee arising between the meetings of said Committee.
Article X – CALLING A MEETING WITHOUT CONSENT OF CHAIRPERSON
- In the event of a refusal of the Chairperson to call a meeting of the Committee or Executive Committee, a majority of the Executive Committee may, in writing, order the Secretary of said Committee to call a meeting of the Committee or Executive Committee.
- Seven members of the Committee can request a meeting by a petition in writing to the Secretary and the Secretary shall call such meeting within two weeks.
Article XI – QUORUM
One third of the members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Article XII – BY-LAWS COMMITTEE
There shall be a By-Laws Committee appointed by the Chairperson from the duly elected members. The Chairperson shall designate the Chairperson of the By-Laws Committee.
Article XIII – CHANGES IN THE BY-LAWS
A. These By-Laws may be amended or repealed at any regularly called meeting of the elected members of the Committee, provided such proposed change is in writing and is signed by the elected member proposing it and is in the hands of the Chairperson before the call of the next meeting, at which meeting the proposal is to be acted upon. The proposed by-law change shall be sent to all members with the announcement of the meeting at least 30 days before the meeting in which the change will be considered. The By-Laws can be changed by majority vote of Committee.
B. Any proposed changes in the By-Laws submitted in according with subsection A shall be referred forthwith by the Chairperson to the By-Laws Committee, which shall make a report with its recommendations at the Committee meeting at which the by-laws change will be considered. A majority of the elected members present and voting shall be necessary to approve or disapprove the change in the By-Laws. By-Law change proposals which contradict the provisions of the Massachusetts Democratic State Party Charter cannot be considered.
C. Unless and until amended or repealed by the elected members, these By-Laws shall continue in effect from year to year and no formal motion shall be necessary at any meeting of the Committee in order that they continue in force.
Article XIV – ORDER OF BUSINESS
The order of business at Committee meetings shall be as follows:
- Calling the roll of officers and members and announcement of quorum (sign-in sheets may be used in lieu of roll call).
- Reading the minutes of the previous meeting.
- Treasurer ’s Report
- Reports of officers and committees.
- Reading of communications addressed to the Committee.
- Old or unfinished business.
- New business.
- State Committee Reports
The order of business may be waived by a two-thirds vote of the elected members present and voting.
Article XV – MEETINGS
Regular meetings of the Committee shall be held at least four times in non-election years and six times in election years, at least once each quarter.
Article XVI – REMOVAL OF LOCAL MEMBERS
By accepting membership and office, each Committee members and officer pledges to perform diligently and honorably their duties or resign. Committee members and officers may be removed by procedures guaranteeing adequate notice and due process and by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting, a quorum being present, for the following reasons: (a) failure to attend at least half of the regularly scheduled committee meetings during any calendar year; (b) public endorsement or support of any candidate whose announced intention is to oppose the nominee of the Democratic Party which nominee publicly supports the majority of the platform of the Democratic Party as adopted at the most recent state and national Democratic conventions; (c) unauthorized use of the Committee or Party name or resources; (d) conviction after appeals are exhausted of a criminal offense other than a misdemeanor; or (e) any other reason or reasons determined by the Committee to warrant removal.
A Committee member or officer must be given an opportunity to resign before notice of the hearing on the question of removal is given to the membership of the Committee. A member or officer removed under this section shall have 30 days to appeal to the State Committee, and the vacancy may not be filled in such case until the final decision of the State Committee is made.