Oak Forest Area Democrats
BY LAWS OF
OAK FOREST AREA DEMOCRATS
Updated August 3, 2020
ARTICLE I Organization Identity
The name of this organization shall be Oak Forest Area Democrats.
ARTICLE II Mission
This organization shall have as its mission, objectives and purposes:
A. To support and promote the Democratic Party at all levels of government and continue its historic role as a party which promotes social justice, the local, state and national interest, and the needs of all people.
B. To keep the Oak Forest area community informed of the Democratic Party and its principles and activities. Approved informational activities include political rallies, qualified speakers on current events or happenings, letters to the editor, telephone banks, block walking, a newsletter to interested citizens and voters or any other activity approved by the Executive Board.
C. To help organize area precincts by identifying activists to fill precinct chair vacancies and encourage precinct chairs and volunteers to work their precincts.
D. To encourage, support and mentor our future leaders and candidates for the Democratic Party and provide input to the County and State Party on local issues of importance to voters with suggested solutions.
E. To endorse candidates for elective office.
ARTICLE III Membership
A. All persons who are Democrats and /or interested in the Democratic Party and its principles, are eligible for membership in the organization. The primary focus for membership includes, but is not limited to the Oak Forest area. However all who support the principles of the Democratic Party are welcome to join.
B. Membership dues shall be set by the Executive Board annually in December. The membership year is January 1 to December 31 of each year. Dues are due in January of each year. No prorating of dues will be allowed.
C. A member in good standing means a member whose dues have been paid in full at least three months prior to the date of the meeting of the election or vote. Each member in good standing shall be entitled to vote.. There shall be no proxy voting.
ARTICLE IV Organization Officers and Executive Board
A. The Oak Forest Area Democrats shall have the following officers: President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. To be eligible to serve as an officer, a person must be a member in good standing (see Article III). The term of office shall be one year and begin on June 1 and end the following May 31.
B. Officer elections shall be held at the yearly anniversary meeting of the organization in May. Nominations will be accepted at the meeting held immediately prior to the Election and at the meeting in which the Election is held. The President may fill vacancies for any unexpired term on an interim basis until the next regular meeting when filling the vacancy will be confirmed by a vote. The aforementioned officers and the Immediate Past President shall constitute the Executive Board of the Oak Forest Area Democrats.
C. The Executive Board shall determine by majority vote the standing committees and the Chairs of each standing committee. The standing committee chairs will be appointed at the first meeting of the newly elected Executive Board. Suggested standing committees may be Endorsement, Nominating, Finance, Membership and By-laws Committees at the discretion of the Executive Board. The functions of the Executive Board shall be:
Maintenance of a continuous program of political activity and education.
Development of organizational awareness in every precinct in the designated area.
Establish dues, if any, to be collected from members.
Development of fund-raising activities to support the organization, the Harris County and Texas Democratic Party, and area candidates.
Any other functions as provided for in the Bylaws or approved by the Executive Board.
The scope of responsibilities of any standing committee.
Approve expenditures of $250.00 or less. Expenditures of over that amount must be approved by a majority of the members in attendance at a duly called meeting. Expenditures approved by the Executive Board must be reported to the membership at the next meeting.
ARTICLE V Duties of Officers
A. The President shall preside at all meetings and be the official spokesperson for the Executive Board. The President shall have the power to call special meetings. The President shall be the official spokesperson at all official meetings or gatherings with other Democratic organizations, Democratic officeholders, and/or candidates seeking office. The President shall be a non-voting member of all duly appointed committees. The President may appoint special committees either for a determinate period of time or for the period of a specific task or project.
B. The Vice-President shall preside in the absence of the President. Committee chairs shall report to the Vice-President prior to each business meeting and shall serve as their primary contact regarding organization business.
C. The Secretary shall keep the minutes and attendance of all meetings and be prepared to submit minutes for approval at the next scheduled meeting. The Secretary shall make such records available to the membership upon request.
D. The Treasurer shall receive and deposit all moneys of the organization and shall record all financial transactions and report them to the Executive Board and the General Membership. The Treasurer shall be responsible for timely submission of all Texas Ethics Commission reports in compliance with all State laws.
ARTICLE VI Meetings Required
The Oak Forest Area Democrats shall meet at least once within a two month period for the purpose of conducting organizational business in the event of an Emergency Declaration by the Harris County Judge, Texas Governor or President of the United States, or where the Executive Committee has determined it's not safe for the members, an online, virtual meeting will be considered a valid meeting. In the event of such a situation occurs, the Organization can continue all the functions necessary via online, virtual meeting. In order to be considered a valid, online, virtual meeting—members must be able to see and hear one another for discussion and voting purposes. The Social Committee shall organize social events open to the General Membership and guests in the event there is no regularly scheduled business meeting. Special meetings may be called by the President with the consent of the majority of the Executive Board. Notices of any meetings may be sent by email for those members who provide email addresses at the time they join the organization. Members are responsible for keeping the Secretary informed of their correct email address. A quorum shall be needed for the purpose of conducting business. A quorum shall be no less than ten percent of the members in good standing.
ARTICLE VII Constitutional Authority
The ultimate governing body with final authority over the organization shall be the General Membership. The General Membership shall empower the Executive Board to conduct the business of the organization. Regular business meetings, Executive Board meetings and Standing Committee meetings shall be conducted in accordance with these By-laws, or if the By-laws are silent, in accordance with the relevant sections of the current edition of Roberts Rule of Order. These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at a duly noticed meeting provided the proposed amendment has been presented in writing at the preceding meeting. Amended by affirmative vote of 2/3 of the voting members at a duly noticed meeting of the members of the Oak Forest Area Democrats on the 3rd day of August 2020.