Bylaws

DEMOCRATIC CLUB of SARASOTA BYLAWS
(As Amended by a vote of the membership on November 12, 2005)

ARTICLE I – NAME

The name of this organization shall be the DEMOCRATIC CLUB of SARASOTA.
ARTICLE II – OBJECT AND PURPOSE

The objective of this organization shall be:

  • to stimulate active interest in political and governmental affairs;
  • to strengthen and further the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party;
  • to provide reasonable and ongoing financial support to the Democratic Party of Sarasota County (Democratic Executive Committee of Sarasota County or DECSC) as permitted by law;
  • to promote participation among Democrats;
  • to support and elect the duly selected nominees of the Democratic Party in national, state and local campaigns, and
  • to foster good fellowship among Democrats.

In all primary elections, no candidate will be endorsed or supported individually by this club. At no time will a candidate from another party be supported by this organization.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP

Section 1.
Democrats registered to vote in Florida and interested in the objectives of this club shall be eligible for membership, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin or physical disability. Officers and directors shall execute by written oath or affirmation, the loyalty form included in the bylaws of the Florida Democratic Party. A majority of the club’s members must be residents of Sarasota County.

Section 2.
Democrats not registered to vote in Florida may become Friends of the Democratic Club of Sarasota by paying annual dues. Friends are entitled to all the rights and privileges of members except voting, serving as officers or directors, and inclusion in quorum counts.
ARTICLE IV – DUES

Section 1.
Annual dues shall be set by a majority vote of the board of directors and are payable to the treasurer by the first day of the current month in which the member joins the club. Thereafter, dues will be paid yearly by the first day of the month in which the member originally joined the club.

Section 2.
In January of each year, the club shall make an Annual Party Contribution to the
Democratic Party of Sarasota County (DECSC) in accordance with the bylaws of the Florida Democratic Party.
ARTICLE V – OFFICERS

Section 1.
The officers of this club shall be a president, vice-president, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, and treasurer. The board of directors shall consist of the five officers and eight directors.

Section 2.
The five officers are elected in even-numbered years and serve for a term of two years.  The directors are elected for a term of three years with staggered terms so that at least two directors complete their terms each year. Officers and directors must remain members in good standing.

Section 3.
In the event that any office or directorship becomes vacant, the board of directors shall appoint, by majority vote, a replacement, who shall serve until the next general election. The replacement shall serve for the unexpired period of the vacancy.
ARTICLE VI – DUTIES OF OFFICERS

Section 1.
The president shall preside at all meetings of the club and board of directors, of which the president is automatically the chair; shall be ex-officio member of all committees except the nominating committee; shall appoint all standing and special committees and their chairs; shall represent the club at county, district and state functions; shall give guidance to the committee chairs in their work and shall perform all duties pertaining to the office of president.

Section 2.
The vice-president shall render all possible assistance to the president in matters
pertaining to the club, and shall assume the office in the absence of or inability of the president to serve.

Section 3.
The recording secretary shall keep an accurate record of all meetings of the board of
directors and club (if business is conducted) and shall maintain the official copy of the club bylaws with any amendments properly recorded. The recording secretary shall also maintain copies of all club policies and club resolutions.

Section 4.
The corresponding secretary shall prepare and send such correspondence as required.

Section 5.
The treasurer shall receive all monies of the club, and keep an accurate record of receipts and expenditures, as authorized by the board. The treasurer shall make a monthly and an annual report to the board. In the month following the Treasurer’s annual report, the president shall appoint an audit team to perform an annual audit. The audit team shall prepare an audit report that shall be submitted to the board of directors at the next board meeting. The treasurer shall assist the audit team.
ARTICLE VII – MEETINGS

Section 1.
Meetings of the club shall be held monthly, on the second Saturday of each month, unless otherwise ordered by the members of the board of directors.

Section 2.
Special meetings may be called by the president or a majority of the board of directors, with one week’s notice to the members. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call.

Section 3.
Twenty percent (20%) of the total membership shall constitute a quorum for the
transaction of business at any regular meeting. Twenty percent (20%) of all members eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum for elections. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the total membership shall constitute a quorum for special meetings. A majority vote is necessary to carry motions.

Section 4.
All general meetings shall be in a facility accessible to the handicapped.
ARTICLE VIII – BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1.
The board of directors shall consist of the elected officers and eight elected directors.

Section 2.
At least two directors, plus any number required to fill vacancies, shall be elected each year.

Section 3.
The duties of the board of directors, shall be to plan each meeting, to transact business of the club in regular or special sessions and to make recommendations to the club.

Section 4.
The board of directors shall meet within the week following the regular meeting of the club or at the request of either the president or three members of the board of directors.

Section 5.
Five (5) or more members of the board shall constitute a quorum.

Section 6.
Any member of the board who misses three meetings in a year, without being excused, may be removed by a majority vote at a regular club meeting.
ARTICLE IX – ELECTIONS

Section 1.
Election of officers and directors shall be held during the club’s regular meeting in February. If absence of a quorum prevents an election from being held, the election shall be held at the next regular or special meeting at which there is a quorum; the previously-elected officers shall continue to serve until their replacements are elected.

Section 2.
The president shall appoint a nominating committee composed of 5 members in October.  The president shall introduce the nominating committee to the members at the regular November meeting. This committee shall present a candidate for each elective office at the regular meeting in January. If a candidate’s name is withdrawn before the election, the Nominating Committee shall present a replacement candidate as soon as practicable before nominations are accepted from the floor for the office. Nominations shall be accepted from the floor during the meeting at which elections are held.

Section 3.
There shall be a forty-five (45) day membership requirement prior to a member being
permitted to vote, or participate in any club election for board members or to serve as a board member.

Section 4.
All voting must be held by closed ballot and all meetings must be announced. Proxies and absentee voting are prohibited.

Section 5.
Removal From Office: Any elected officer or director may be removed from office upon a two-thirds vote of the entire membership of the club at any regular or special meeting after ten days notice to the membership that a motion to remove said member will be considered at the meeting.  The removal may be for causes including, but not limited to, the following: misconduct, neglect of duty, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, and conviction of a felony.
ARTICLE X – STANDING COMMITTEES

Section 1.
The standing committees shall be budget, membership, public relations and ways and means and shall be appointed by the president promptly after each annual meeting.

Section 2.

  1. The Budget Committee shall prepare a budget for the fiscal year, submit it to the board of directors for adoption at the March meeting and make it available to the membership. The Treasurer shall be an ex-officio member of the Budget Committee.
  2. The Membership Committee shall require that all persons wishing membership affirm they are registered Democrats, shall organize and assist in membership campaigns, and shall maintain a current list of members with addresses and phone numbers.
  3. The Public Relations Committee shall see that all activities including meetings are advertised through the media.
  4. The Ways and Means Committee shall find manners of fund raising and shall coordinate all fund raising activities. The treasurer shall be an ex-officio member of the ways and means committee.

ARTICLE XI – ANTI-DISCRIMINATION PROVISION
THE CLUB HEREBY ADOPTS AND SHALL ENFORCE THE FOLLOWING
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION PROVISIONS

1. No Democratic loyalty oath should be used which has the effect of requiring members of the Democratic Club to condone or support discrimination on the grounds of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin or physical disability.

2. The time and place for all meetings of the Democratic Club shall be publicized fully and in such a manner as to assure timely notice to all interested persons. All meetings of the Club and components thereof shall be open to all members of the Democratic Party regardless of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin or physical disability.

3. In order to fully and adequately inform prospective and current members of a full description of the legal, practical and pertinent procedures for selection of all Democratic Club representatives and officers, the club should publicize fully and in a manner as to assure notice to all interested Democrats in time to have adequate opportunity to participate.
ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENTS

The bylaws may be amended by a majority vote at a regular meeting pursuant to notification in writing one week prior to the meeting. Bylaws and any changes or amendments are subject to approval by at least two-thirds (2/3) of the Certification Committee (DEC chairman, state committeeman and state committeewoman) and the Florida Democratic Party Committee on Clubs, Organizations, and Caucuses together with copies of the minutes of the meeting at which these amendments were adopted.

ARTICLE XIII – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

The most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the club in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and the rules of the Democratic Party of Sarasota County, the Florida Democratic Party or the Democratic National Committee.
ARTICLE XIV – ACCOUNTABILITY

Section 1 – Charter recertification. In July of each odd numbered year, the club shall apply to the certification committee of the Democratic Party of Sarasota (DECSC) for a Certificate of Compliance. Failure to do so shall result in the forfeiture of all rights and privileges of the use of the word Democrat, Democratic or derivatives thereof.

Section 2 – Dissolution. In the event this club wishes to dissolve, a resolution stating the date of dissolution and reasons for same, shall be adopted by a majority vote of the club, after being submitted in writing at the previous meeting. When the club disbands, for any reason, the club’s assets and funds, after all debts are satisfied, shall become the property of the Democratic Party of Sarasota (DECSC).

Section 3 – Grievances. Disputes and grievances may be resolved with the county chair, state committeeman and state committeewoman of the Democratic Party of Sarasota (DECSC). Should one person hold two of these offices, the vice-chair of the Democratic Party of Sarasota (DECSC) shall also be involved in said resolution. Such resolution may be appealed to the Democratic Party of Sarasota (DECSC) forty-five days from the date of said decision.

Democratic Club of Sarasota