By-Laws of the Bernal Heights Democratic Club
ARTICLE I : NAME
The name of this organization shall be Bernal Heights Democratic Club, hereinafter referred to as CLUB
ARTICLE II : STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
A. The CLUB is organized to give the residents of Bernal Heights an effective voice in government through working within the Democratic Party and by other means to promote the goals listed in SECTION B of this ARTICLE II.
(1) Strengthen the political voice of Bernal Heights through active participation in the electoral process.
(2) Preserve and improve Bernal Heights as a mixed ethnic and mixed income neighborhood.
(3) Retain a mix of renters and homeowners in Bernal Heights, and address any critical community issues as they arise.
(4) Register new voters and encourage all registered voters to participate in every election.
(5) Engage in educational activities to promote awareness of issues facing voters, through candidates nights, position papers, issue forums, etc.
(6) Organize and involve the residents of Bernal Heights in issues affecting their individual and collective interests.
(7) Endorse and actively promote the victory of propositions and candidates for local, state and national office.
(8) Form coalitions with other organizations on issues and candidates of joint concern.
(9) Work for economic and social justice and civil and human rights for all persons, and for a world at peace.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
A. Any person may apply for membership in the CLUB who:
(1) subscribes to the Statement of Purpose of ARTICLE II,
(2) completes a CLUB membership application, and
(3) pays membership dues as set forth in ARTICLE IV of these By-laws, and
(4) who is not a registered California voter in any other party than the Democratic Party.
B. There shall be two categories of membership in the CLUB:
(1) MEMBER: A MEMBER shall be a person who has satisfied the requirements of SECTION A of this ARTICLE III, and who resides in Bernal Heights, which is that district of San Francisco, California bounded by Cesar Chavez Street on the north, Highway 280 on the South, Highway 101 on the East, and San Jose Avenue on the West.
(2) AFFILIATED MEMBER: A person or organization who has satisfied the requirements of SECTION A of this ARTICLE III, and who resides outside the boundaries of Bernal Heights as defined in these By-laws.
ARTICLE IV: DUES
A. Annual dues are at the following rates: HOUSEHOLD member $35.00; REGULAR member; $25.00 LOW INCOME/YOUTH member $10.00; SUSTAINING member $50.00; SPONSORING member $100.
B. Dues rates may be changed only by a vote of the membership at a duly noticed meeting with this agenda item clearly indicated in the notice. Such meeting shall occur at least 2 months prior to the effective date of the change.
C. The annual dues renewal date for all members of the CLUB is January 1 of each year. Memberships commencing or renewed during any month of the calendar year expire on January 1 of the following year.
D. If a MEMBER is paid for the prior year, s/he may retain voting eligibility for the next year by paying renewal dues anytime prior to voting at a Club meeting.
ARTICLE V: VOTING RIGHTS
A. Voting privileges are granted by these By-laws only to those persons who qualify as MEMBER, as differentiated from AFFILIATED MEMBER under ARTICLE III, SECTION B of these By-laws.
B. Voting privileges become effective on the thirtieth (30th) day following submission of a new membership application with requisite payment and the completion of membership requirements.
C. Meeting the above requirements shall constitute the definition of a “member in good standing.”
ARTICLE VI: OFFICERS
A. The CLUB shall have the following officers:
President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer
B. The duties of each officer shall be those designated in Roberts' Rules of Order, latest revised edition, as otherwise provided in these By-laws, and as follows:
(1) The President shall serve as chair of the Executive Committee and be responsible for agendas, soliciting guest speakers and chairing of membership meetings. The President shall also be responsible for the production of the endorsement card (including collection of contributions) and for the maintenance of the membership list.
(2) The Vice President shall assume responsibilities of the President when the President is absent.
(3) The Secretary shall be responsible for recording any actions taken by the membership during general meetings as well as maintaining attendance lists for club activities.
(4) The Treasurer shall be responsible for dues payment transactions and for presenting financial reports to the membership and filing required local, state and federal reports.
ARTICLE VII: COMMITTEES
A. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
(1) The Executive Committee shall consist of all officers, plus up to seven at-large members.
(2) It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to plan the agenda of the regular membership meetings, to act on behalf of the CLUB on routine matters and in emergency situations, to recommend dismissal of any officer to the membership, to make recommendations to the membership on endorsements, and to oversee all other activities.
(3) An Executive Committee quorum shall be a majority of its members.
(4) Meetings shall be open to the general membership, but voting shall be limited to members of the Executive Committee.
(5) Executive Committee meetings shall be held approximately every other month at the request of the President or of a majority of the Executive Committee members.
B. PRECINCT ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
(1) Any MEMBER or AFFILIATED MEMBER may serve and is encouraged to serve on the Precinct Organizing Committee.
(2) The Precinct Organizing Committee shall be responsible for developing and implementing get-out-the-vote operations within Bernal Heights.
(3) In the absence of a Precinct Organizing Committee, the Executive Committee may act in its stead.
C. AD HOC COMMITTEES
(1) Upon recommendation of the Executive Committee, an ad hoc committee may be created upon a two thirds affirmative vote at any meeting at which there is a quorum of the general membership.
(2) Any MEMBER qualified to serve as an officer in the CLUB may then be nominated to serve as Chair by any other member in attendance.
(3) The Chair of the ad hoc committee shall then be immediately elected by majority vote, including multiple ballots if necessary.
(4) All ad hoc committees expire unless reauthorized at the next general meeting at which there is a regularly scheduled election of officers.
ARTICLE VIII: MEETINGS
A. Regular meetings of the membership shall be scheduled by the Executive Committee, to be held as often as necessary to conduct the business of the club, make endorsements, or produce events.
B. Meetings of the CLUB shall be called by the President or may also be called by written request of at least ten percent of the membership.
C. At least five (5) days advance notice must be given to the membership of the date, time and location of all meetings of the CLUB.
D. A quorum shall consist of ten percent of the membership of the CLUB at any general membership meeting and is required for the actions in Section F
E. There shall be no proxy voting.
F. The following motions for a vote of the membership shall be in order only if the matter has been announced at the preceding general meeting and noticed to the members by mail and/or email to those members who have provided an email address to the CLUB, at least five days prior to the meeting, except as provided in Article VII, Section C, of these By-laws:
-election of CLUB officers or Executive Committee members;
-motions for dismissal of officers or Executive Committee members;
-motions of candidate or proposition endorsement;
-motions amending these By-laws.
G. Records shall be kept of attendance and of actions taken by the membership at every meeting.
ARTICLE IX: ELECTIONS OF OFFICERS/EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
A. Elections of all officers and Executive Committee members shall be held annually during the first membership meeting of that year, and terms of office shall extend until that meeting.
B. Should a vacancy occur at any other time, the Executive Committee may:
(1) Allow the vacancy to remain until the next general election, or may:
(2) Announce the vacancy at any general membership meeting, solicit nominations to fill the vacancy, and schedule an election at least thirty days following the announcement.
C. Any MEMBER, as defined in Article III Section B of these By-laws, who has been a MEMBER for six months prior to the solicitation of nominations, may enter or have entered his or her name in nomination for any position.
D. The Executive Committee shall present nominations at the general meeting preceding the election, at which time nominations may also be made from the floor. Nominations may thereafter be made by personal communication with any Executive Committee member fifteen or more days prior to the election. No nominations may be made at the election meeting.
E. All elections shall require a majority of the votes cast for each position, with multiple ballots if necessary. Election winners assume office immediately.
ARTICLE X: ENDORSEMENTS
A. Endorsement of any candidate for public office, or of any position on a ballot question (pro or con) shall require at least sixty per cent (60%) of the votes cast on the race.
B. Multiple ballots shall be permitted, but the Executive Committee shall determine the number of ballots allowable and establish rules for a "no recommendation" alternative.
C. In candidate races, the CLUB may use a ranked choice voting system similar to that used by the City and County of San Francisco. The Executive Committee shall determine if this method will be used for each endorsement meeting, shall announce this in the notice announcing the meeting and shall explain the method of voting and of counting the ranked ballots at the outset of the voting process at each meeting. Nothing in this section shall affect the 60% requirement for endorsement described in Article X.A.
D. Ballots shall normally be counted by Executive Board members and any CLUB Member volunteers they shall solicit. If Executive Board members are not present or unable to participate in the counting, the meeting Chair shall appoint ballot counters from volunteer CLUB Members. The counting shall commence as soon as practicable after the official adjournment of the meeting as determined by the Chair. Any member may observe the counting. The counting shall normally take place in the same location at which the voting was conducted. If for any reason this is not possible, the Chair, prior to adjournment, shall announce where the counting shall be conducted. The new location shall be as close as possible to the voting site and where ballots will be secure and there is room for observers.
E. Registered Democrats shall be the only candidates eligible for endorsement in partisan elections.
F. An endorsement may be rescinded by a two thirds vote of the membership at any meeting where there is a quorum, or (as an emergency measure) by a three fourths vote of the Executive Committee. The “emergency measure” provision shall be invoked only in extraordinary circumstances such as a candidate or measure being removed from the ballot or a candidate indicating publicly that s/he no longer wishes to be a candidate or if some material fact becomes publicly known subsequent to the CLUB’s endorsement meeting that could not reasonably have been known prior to the CLUB’s endorsement, and the Executive Committee has a good faith belief that had it been known it would have precluded a CLUB endorsement.
G. Selection for representatives at California Democratic Party Pre-Endorsement Conferences shall be done by the membership at a legally called membership meeting. The Treasurer shall provide a roster of only “members in good standing” to the Chartering Authority and the Regional Director.
ARTICLE XI: REMOVAL OF OFFICERS/EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
A. Any position may be declared vacant by majority vote at any Executive Committee meeting if the holder of that position has:
(1) Chosen to resign, or has:
(2) Failed to attend, without excuse, three of the four immediately preceding Executive Committee meetings.
B. Except as provided in Section A, a position shall be vacated only upon approval of at least sixty percent of the MEMBERS in attendance at a general meeting complying with the requirements of Article VIII Section F of these By-laws.
ARTICLE XII: AMENDING THE BY-LAWS
A. Amendments to these By-laws may be moved only at membership meetings held during the months of November through the following March, unless recommended by majority vote of the Executive Committee.
B. If an amendment to these By-laws is moved and seconded, a vote shall be held within ninety days, under the requirements of Article VIII Section F.
C. At the meeting wherein adoption is considered, any proposed amendment must receive at least two thirds of the total vote cast on the question. If so approved, the amendment(s) shall be immediately incorporated into these By-laws as a new Article following this Section.
These By-laws amended:
At the membership meeting on January 6, 2017
At the membership meeting on December 6, 2016
At the membership meeting on March 10, 2016
At the membership meeting on January 30, 2015
At the membership meeting on February 12, 2009
At the membership meeting on April 28, 1998
(Original By-laws adopted August 5, 1988)