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SIDA Constitution

 

 

 

 

The Staten Island Democratic Association

Revised Constitution

 

Voted on at July 17, 1979 Meeting, revised at

Sept. 17, 2013, Dec. 17, 2013, Nov. 21, 2017, February 19, 2019 and January 21, 2020 meetings

 

Preamble

 

 

We believe in the principles of the Democratic Party on the national, state and local levels. We believe that the successful furthering of these principles demands an active party organization in every community. We believe that such an active party organization can exist only if it is representative of all the Democratic voters in such communities. In consonance with these beliefs, we adopt the following Constitution, to be the guiding instrument of such an organization to be formed in Richmond County.

 

Article I

 

 

The name of the club shall be: The Staten Island Democratic Association.

 

Article II

 

 

The purpose of the club shall be:

a)    To provide an independent, vigorous, liberal Democratic organization in Richmond County;

b)    To promote the basic principles of the Democratic Party on the national, state and local levels;

c)     To encourage the participation of all Democrats in the affairs of their party;

d)   To seek and support candidates for public and party office of ability and integrity who are dedicated to public service, to promote measures designed to serve all the people, and to encourage the appointment of qualified public officials and employees without regard to political sponsorship; and

e)    To further the interest and participation of all citizens in the civic affairs of our community.

 

 

Article III

Membership

 

 

Section 1: Qualifications. Any person at least 17 years of age who subscribes to and desires to further the purposes of the club as set forth in Article II hereof shall be eligible for membership, restricted to enroled Democrats or those who state their intent to enrol as soon as eligible.

 

Section 2: Classes and Privileges. There shall be only one class of membership, i.e., regular members who shall enjoy all the rights and privileges of membership. Any eligible person may become a regular member (i.e., a member in good standing) upon payment of the annual dues prescribed for such members in accordance with Section 3 of this Article.

 

Section 3: Dues.  Dues of the members will be set by a vote of the membership.

 

Dues are due on January 1 of the calendar year. If you have not paid by January 31, your membership is in arrears.

 

Members in default in payment of dues after the 31 day of January of any year shall cease to be members in good standing. However, any person first becoming a member after the first day of October of any year will remain a member in good standing for the next calendar year without the payment of additional dues.

 

A person who has not paid dues for the current calendar year, but paid for the previous year is in arrears, and can restore “member in good standing” status by paying the dues for the current calendar year.

 

A person who last paid dues prior to the previous calendar year is a lapsed member, and upon paying dues becomes a new member, subject to the 45 day restriction for voting.

 

A person must be a member in good standing to:

 

·        Make motions

·        Vote on motions

·        Vote for endorsements

·        Vote in club elections

·        Run in club elections

 

 

Section 4: Expulsion. The expulsion of any member for conduct inimical to the best interests of the club or contrary to the purposes of the club, as set forth in Article II hereof may be proposed by a petition enumerating the reasons thereof, signed by at least five members of the Executive Committee or 15 members of the club and submitted to the Corresponding and Recording Secretary or the Executive Secretary. The Secretary shall present the petition at the next meeting of the Executive Committee. The Secretary will give the member in question at least ten days notice by registered or certified mail of the time and place of such meeting, the charges against him or her, and his or her right to make a statement in person and/or in writing to such meeting. A vote of at least two‑thirds of the full membership of the Executive Committee shall be required for expulsion. If the Executive Committee votes to expel the member, written notice shall be immediately give the member, who shall have ten days to appeal such action by written notice to the President, or Executive Secretary, or Corresponding and Recording Secretary. If such appeal is taken, the action of the Executive Committee shall be inoperative unless and until ratified by a vote of two‑thirds of the members present and voting at the next meeting of the club.

 

Article IV

Meetings

 

 

Section 1: Annual Meeting, The annual meeting of the club shall be held in January, on a date to be fixed by the Executive Committee. The purpose of the meeting shall be the election of officers and members‑at‑large for the Executive Committee and the transaction of such other business as may properly come before it.

 

Section 2: Other Meetings. There shall be monthly meetings. A special meeting may be called at any time by the President or the Executive Committee, and shall be called within 21 days by the President upon the written request of at least fifteen members. [Revised Sept. 2013]

 

Section 3: Notice. All members shall be given at least seven days written notice of the annual meeting and at least five days written notice of other meetings.

 

Section 4: Quorum. Fifteen members or 15% of the membership, whichever is the fewer, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

 

Section 5: Voting. Except as elsewhere provided in this constitution, every member in good standing shall be entitled to one vote, provided that:

 

          a) He or she has been a member for at least 45 days.

 

b) He or she is a registered voter and an enroled Democrat, or states an intention to enrol as soon as feasible.

 

Votes must be cast in person and not by proxy, and all questions shall be decided by a majority of those voting, except when a 2/3 vote is required by parliamentary rules or provisions of this constitution.

 

Section 6: Agenda.  The President, or in the absence of the President, the Vice President, with the input of the Executive Committee, shall prepare an agenda for each meeting. Members who wish to have something added to the agenda must notify the President before the meeting. [Revised Sept. 2013]

 

 

Article V

Officers

 

 

Section 1: Titles. The officers of the club shall be the President, Vice President, Executive Secretary, Corresponding and Recording Secretary, Social Secretary, and Treasurer.

 

Section 2: Term of Office. All officers shall be elected at the annual meeting of the club in January of each year and shall serve until the next annual meeting and until their successors shall have been elected and shall have qualified. No member shall hold the office of President for more than two terms unless five years shall have passed after the second term.

 

Section 3: Qualifications. Any member in good standing shall be eligible to hold office, provided, however, that no member shall be eligible to hold more than one office at the same time.

 

Section 4: Membership on the Executive Committee. All officers shall be members ex officio of the Executive Committee, with full powers.

 

Section 5: Duties.

 

a) President: The President shall be the chief administrative officer of the club, who shall preside at all meetings of the club and of the Executive Committee, submit a report to the membership at each meeting of the club on condition and activities of the club, and shall perform such other duties as the Executive Committee may from time to time direct.

 

b) Vice President: The Vice President shall, at the direction of the President, perform such duties as the President or the Executive Committee may from time to time direct. In the event of the temporary absence of the President, the Vice President shall serve as Acting President.

 

c) Executive Secretary: The Executive Secretary shall assist the President and Executive Committee in the administration of club activities and duties.

 

d) Corresponding and Recording Secretary: The Corresponding and Recording Secretary shall be responsible for the preparation and safe keeping of minutes of all proceedings of the club. He or she shall prepare and mail notices of all meetings of the club and such other notices as shall be required by this constitution.

 

e) Social Secretary: The Social Secretary shall be responsible for the development of all social activities involving the club. He or she will present to the Executive Committee for approval each project with plans clearly outlined. He or she will work with the chairperson of any and all committees with related functions, e.g., find raising, membership and campaign.

 

f) Treasurer: The Treasurer shall have custody of all funds which shall be deposited in a bank or banks designated by the Executive Committee. No expenditures exceeding $25 shall be committed without the authorization of the President or Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the maintenance of books of account showing all receipts and disbursements and such other books of account as the Executive Committee may direct, which books shall be open to the inspection of any member of the club upon reasonable notice. The Treasurer shall prepare and submit all financial reports required by law, shall render an account of the financial condition of the club at each meeting of the Executive Committee, and shall make an annual report to the members at the annual meeting.

 

Section 6: Vacancies. If the office of President shall become vacant, the Vice President shall be President to serve the remainder of the unexpired term. A vacancy in any other office shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by the Executive Committee

 

Section 7: Removal. The removal of any officer for conduct inimical to the best interests of the club or contrary to the purposes of the club as set forth in Article II hereof, may be proposed by a petition enumerating the reasons therefor, signed by at least five members of the Executive Committee or 15 members of the club and submitted to either the Executive or Corresponding and Recording Secretary, who shall present the petition at the next meeting of the Executive Committee. The Secretary will give the officer in question at least ten days notice by certified or registered mail of the time and place of such meeting, and the charges against him or her, and his or her right to make a statement in person or in writing to such meeting. A vote of at least two ­thirds of the full membership of the Executive Committee shall be required for removal. If the Executive Committee votes to remove an officer, written notice shall immediately be given the officer, who shall have ten days to appeal such action by written notice to the President or either Secretary named above. If such appeal is taken, the action of the Executive Committee shall be inoperative unless and until ratified by a vote of two‑thirds of the members present and voting at the next meeting of the club.

 

Article VI

Party Officers

 

 

Section 1: Membership on the County Executive Committee. Endorsement of candidates for the Executive Committee of the Democratic County Committee of Richmond County may be considered at a meeting to be held subsequent to election of county committee members and prior to the organizing convention of the Democratic County Committee. At that time candidates for election as officers of the County Committee of Richmond County shall be voted upon at such proposed meeting by secret ballot by members entitled to vote pursuant to Article IV, Section 5, in a manner consistent with the guidelines for elections as set forth in Article VIII, below. Candidates who obtain a majority of votes cast shall receive the endorsement of the club. If elected, they shall be members ex officio of the Executive Committee of this club with full powers to vote, provided that they currently hold membership in the club.

 

Section 2: Duties. Executive members of the Democratic County Committee of Richmond County who are elected with the endorsement of the club shall consult with the Executive Committee and with the general membership from time to time, and shall render reports to the general membership from time to time.

 

 

Article VII

Executive Committee

 

 

Section 1: Numbers. The Executive Committee shall consist of seven members at‑large elected by the membership of the club, all officers of the club, former presidents for the three terms following the end of their term of office, and all Executive Members of the Democratic County Committee of Richmond County endorsed and holding membership pursuant to Article VI, Section 1.

 

The number of members of the Executive Committee may be increased in accordance with the provisions of Article VIII, Section 4B.

 

Section 2: Term of Office. Members at large shall be elected at the annual meeting and shall serve until the next annual meeting and until their successors shall have been elected and shall have qualified.

 

Section 3: Qualifications. Any member in good standing shall be eligible to serve as a member‑at‑large of the Executive Committee.

 

Section 4: Functions. The Executive Committee shall direct and supervise the policies, management and procedures of the club, and in pursuance of these functions may make such rules and regulations not inconsistent with law or this constitution as it shall deem necessary and proper. The Executive Committee may form such sub‑committees as it deems necessary to conduct the administration of the club.

 

Section 5: Meetings. The Executive Committee shall meet on the call of the President within 21 days following the annual meeting and thereafter shall meet regularly once every month on such dates as it may determine. Special meetings may be called at any time upon at least 24 hours notice by the President, or, in his temporary absence, by the Executive or Corresponding and Recording Secretary, and shall be called by the President upon the written petition of five or more members of the Executive Committee.

 

Section 6: Quorum and Voting. Five members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Every member of the Executive Committee shall be entitled to one vote on all questions, which must be cast in person and not by proxy, and except as elsewhere provided in this constitution, all questions shall be decided by a majority of those voting.

 

Section 7: Vacancies. If vacancies occur in the membership-at-large of the Executive Committee, the person who received the next highest number of votes for “member-at-large” in the election shall fill the vacancy.

[Revised Sept. 2013]

 

Section 8: Removal. Procedures for removal of an Executive Committee members shall be the same as those provided for the removal of officers in Article V, Section 7, above, except that removal shall be automatic if any elected member of the Executive Committee fails to attend three consecutive meeting of the Executive Committee, unless a requested leave of absence is granted by the Executive Committee. Notification of this action will be sent in writing after the second meeting missed.

 

Article VIII

Elections

 

 

Section 1: Time. Officers and members‑at‑large of the Executive Committee shall be elected at the annual meeting.

 

Section 2: Nominations.

 

a) Nominating Committee. At the October meeting there shall be elected by ballot a Nominating Committee of nine members of the club. Balloting for members of the Nominating Committee shall conform, as nearly as may be, to the procedure for election of members‑at‑large of the Executive Committee as set forth in Section 4B of this Article. The member of the Nominating Committee who receives the most votes shall be the chair of the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall select nominees for each of the offices and for members‑at‑large of the Executive Committee, which selection shall be made by majority vote of the Nominating Committee. At the November meeting, the Nominating Committee shall submit to the members of the club a written report setting forth the nominees for the various positions. If requested by two members of the Nominating Committee, the report shall include a minority report in which additional nominations may be made for any position or positions and such nominees shall be deemed to have been nominated in addition to the nominees of the majority. The report shall also set forth the procedure for nomination by petition.

 

b) Nominations by petition. Additional nomination may be made by petition signed by 15% of those members in good standing or 15 members, whichever is the fewer, as of the final date for the submission of such petitions namely, the December meeting at which all candidates shall be presented to the membership as an order of business. Nominating petitions shall be submitted to the Corresponding and Recording Secretary, or, in his or her absence to an officer designated by the President or the Acting President.

 

c) Nomination from the floor. Nominations from the floor may be made only in the event that no eligible candidate has been otherwise nominated for an office.

 

d) Notice. All names of persons nominated will be included in the mailed notice of the annual meeting.

 

Section 3: Members entitled to vote. All members eligible under the provisions of Article IV, Section 5, shall be entitled to vote in club elections.

 

Section 4: Voting Procedure. Voting shall be by secret written ballot, except when there is no contest for an office.

 

a) Officers. There shall be a separate vote for each office in the order listed in the constitution. Each member entitled to vote shall have one vote for each position to be filled, and a majority of votes cast shall be necessary for election. If no nominee receives a majority on the first ballot, additional ballots shall be had between the nominees having the two highest numbers of votes until one such nominee obtains a majority.

 

b) Executive Committee. After the officers have been elected, there shall be a single ballot for members‑at‑large of the Executive Committee. Added to this ballot shall be the name of any person nominated for an office who shall have failed of election. Each member entitled to vote shall have one vote for each position of member‑at‑large of the Executive Committee, and the seven nominees who receive the highest number of votes shall be declared elected. In the event of any tie which makes it impossible to determine which seven nominees are elected, all those nominees tied for 7th place shall be deemed elected.

 

 

Article IX

Candidates for Public and Party Office

 

 

Section 1: Endorsement of Candidates in Primary Elections. Endorsement of candidates for election to party office or for nomination as the Democratic candidate for public office where such office is to be voted upon in a forthcoming primary election in Richmond County, or in a political subdivision which includes all or part of Richmond County, may be proposed by the Executive Committee or by a written petition signed by 15% of the membership entitled to vote pursuant to Article IV, Section 5, above, or 20 such members and submitted to the Executive or Corresponding and Recording Secretary. Such proposal shall be included in the notice of meeting next sent out and shall be placed upon the agenda of that meeting. Names of additional candidates for such office may be proposed from the floor of that meeting by any member of the club. All candidates proposed for such office then shall be voted upon by secret ballot by members entitled to vote pursuant to Article IV, Section 5. The candidate who obtains a majority of the votes cast shall receive the endorsement of the club.

 

The provisions of this section shall not apply to candidates for election as members of the Democratic County Committee.

 

Section 2: Endorsement of Candidates in General and Special Elections.

 

The procedures set forth in Section 1, above, shall be used for the endorsement of candidates in general or special elections.

 

Article X

Committees

 

 

Section 1: Audit Committee. There shall be an Audit Committee which shall examine and audit the books of account of the club every year, within 30 days of the Annual Meeting and election of club officers; and at such other times as the President or the Executive Committee shall direct. A report of the Audit shall be submitted to the Executive Committee and to the members at the next general meeting following such Audit. [Revised Dec. 2013]

 

Section 2: Campaign Committee. There shall be a Campaign Committee which shall direct and supervise the activities of club in all primary and general elections in which the club participates. In addition, the Campaign Committee shall select and designate Area Captains and candidates for membership on the Democratic County Committee of Richmond County, provided, however, that such selections and designations shall be subject to approval by the President or the Executive Committee.

 

Section: 3: Other Committees. The President or the Executive Committee may, from time to time, create such other committees as may be deemed necessary.

 

Section 4: Committee chairs and members. Chair persons of all committees shall be appointed by the president by and with the consent of the Executive Committee and may be removed at any time by the President. Members of all committees shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the respective chairs.

 

Article XI

Use of the Club Name

 

 

No person, whether a member of the club or otherwise, shall use the name of the club in any way which may indicate official sanction by the club of any statement or action or in any way which may indicate support of the club of any candidate without prior authorization by the Executive Committee, or by the membership of the club.

 

 

Article XII

Notices

 

 

All notices required by this constitution shall be deemed given when mailed. This provision shall not apply to special meetings of the Executive Committee called upon 24 hours notice, as prescribed by Section 5 of Article VII.

 

 

Article XIII

Order

 

 

Parliamentary Procedure shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order (revised) in the absence of any contrary provisions in this constitution.

 

 

Article XIV

Amendments

 

 

Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by the Executive Committee or by written petition signed by 15 members or 15% of the membership, whichever is the greater, and submitted to the Executive or Corresponding and Recording Secretary. To become effective, any amendment so proposed must be approved and adopted thereafter by two‑thirds of the members present and voting at a single meeting of the club. The substance of the change (s) to be effected by such proposed amendment (s) must be included in the notice of the meeting.