Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution of Arlington Young Democrats

Adopted November 16, 1978

Amended May, 1983

Amended November 19, 1987

Amended August 28, 2003

Amended January 26, 2006

Amended September 16, 2009

Preamble

We the Young Democrats of Arlington County, in order to further the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party, to promote the election of the party’s candidates for public office at all levels, to encourage the involvement of young people in civic and political affairs, and to promote harmony and fellowship with one another, establish this Constitution of Arlington Young Democrats.

Article I:  Name and objectives

Section 1: The name of this organization shall be “Arlington Young Democrats” (AYD).

Section 2:  The objectives of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) shall be:

  1. To support and elect Democratic candidates for public office;
  2. To widen and increase the interest, knowledge, and participation of young people in government, the political process, and civic involvement;
  3. To train and develop young people for positions of leadership;
  4. To serve those in need in our community;
  5. To increase awareness and activism on issues of importance to young people;
  6. To increase the role of under-represented people in the Democratic Party, government, and society; and
  7. To provide opportunities for young people to network and socialize.

Article II:  Policy

Section 1:  Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) shall contribute to the activities, growth, and influence of the Democratic Party.

Section 2: Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) shall support and endorse only those candidates for public office who have been nominated or endorsed by the Democratic Party.

Section 3: Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) shall not endorse candidates in any contest for the nomination or endorsement of the Democratic Party, and shall maintain its neutrality until after such contests are settled.  Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) shall provide an equitable forum in a manner determined by the Executive Committee for all candidates seeking the nomination or endorsement of the Democratic Party to solicit its members’ support.  Nothing in this article shall be interpreted to preclude individual members of Arlington Young Democrats from endorsing candidates seeking the nomination or endorsement of the Democratic Party in his or her individual capacity, provided that no Officer of Arlington Young Democrats shall cause his or her affiliation or title with Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) to be used in connection with such an endorsement.

Section 4: Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) shall actively support the candidates and the platform of the Democratic Party at all levels; although nothing in this Constitution shall be interpreted to preclude Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) or its members from advocating for amendments to, or the inclusion of particular views or issues in, the platform of the Democratic Party at any level.

Section 5: Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) shall recruit members from the entire community.

Section 6: Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) shall not act in any manner not consistent with this Constitution. Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) should act with consideration of, and to the best of its ability in a manner consistent with, the Virginia Young Democrats, the Young Democrats of America, the Arlington County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, and the Democratic National Committee.

Article III:  Membership and Dues

Section 1:  Membership in Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) is open to anyone between the ages of thirteen and thirty-five years, inclusive, who believes in the principles of the Democratic Party.  No person will be denied membership on the basis of race, gender, religion, economic status, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

Section 2: No person will be considered a member of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) until a membership form, as approved by the Executive Committee, has been completed and dues have been paid or waived.  Membership renewal and collection of appropriate dues will occur as established in the Bylaws.

Section 3: Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) members who were in good standing for at least one year and who have attained the age of thirty-six years may, unless such membership be disapproved by a majority of the active membership, become affiliated with the organization as non-voting members and will hereafter be referred to as “associate members.”

Article IV: Officers

Section 1:  The officers of the Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) shall be President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Finance Director, Party Representative, Political Action Director, Outreach Director, Community Services Director, Recruitment Director, Retention Director, Publicity Director, Programming Director, New Media Director, and President Emeritus.  These officers shall perform the duties prescribed by this Constitution and the Bylaws adopted by Arlington Young Democrats (AYD).  No person may hold more that one office at a time.  The collective of officers is known as the “Executive Committee.”

Section 2: The duties of the officers of the Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) are as follows:

President – Presides over meetings of the Executive Committee and the general membership; exercises general managerial tasks with respect to the operation of the organization; establishes and terminates special committees as needed and appoints a chair to such special committees; shall be notified of each committee meeting; appoints or removes a Recruitment Director, Retention Director, and Publicity Director, subject to the approval of a majority of the elected Arlington Young Democrats’ (AYD’s) Officers; and shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of President by other provisions of the Constitution and under the Bylaws.

Vice President – Presides over the organization in the absence of the President; oversees the schedule and the presentations of meetings of the general membership and programs outside of regular general membership meetings; appoints or removes a Programming Director and New Media Director, subject to the approval of a majority of the elected Arlington Young Democrats’ (AYD’s) Officers; shall be notified of each committee meeting; shall become President in case of the removal of the President from office or of his or her death or resignation; and shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of Vice President by other provisions of the Constitution, under the Bylaws, and as delegated by the President.

Secretary – Transcribes minutes of the meetings; provides a written report of meetings of the Executive Committee and the general membership; shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of Secretary by other provisions of the Constitution, under the Bylaws, and as delegated by the President.

Treasurer – Establishes procedures to handle disbursements and expenditures; tracks and reports all receipts and disbursements; maintains all financial records; should the need arise, prepares filing reports to the State Board of Elections; ensures financial records are open to inspection by any member of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) at any reasonable time; and shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of Treasurer by other provisions of the Constitution, under the Bylaws, and as delegated by the President.

Finance Director- Oversees planning and implementation of all fundraising activities; and shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of Finance Director by other provisions of the Constitution, under the Bylaws, and as delegated by the President.

Community Service Director – Coordinates outreach and service to volunteer and charitable organizations; and shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of Community Service Director by other provisions of the Constitution, under the Bylaws, and as delegated by the President.

Outreach Director- Organizes outreach to people under-represented in the Democratic Party and in Arlington Young Democrats (AYD); supervises the activities of caucuses created pursuant to Article VI, Section 3; and shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of Outreach Director by other provisions of the Constitution, under the Bylaws, and as delegated by the President.

Party Representative – Coordinates relationships with other recognized Democratic organizations; manages the Arlington Young Democrats’ (AYD’s) resolution process; appoints a Resolutions Advisor to assist with the management of Arlington Young Democrats’ (AYD’s) resolution process; and shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of Party Representative by other provisions of the Constitution, under the Bylaws, and as delegated by the President.

Political Action Director – Oversees political activity of the organization, including voter registration; coordinates efforts with the campaigns of local, state, and federal Democratic candidates; coordinates Arlington Young Democrats’ (AYD’s) interactions with local, state, and federal governments; and shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of Political Action Director by other provisions of the Constitution, under the Bylaws, and as delegated by the President.

Recruitment Director – Coordinates the execution of membership drives and recruitment; collects membership forms and dues in accordance with Article III, Section 2; and shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of Recruitment Director by other provisions of the Constitution, under the Bylaws, and as delegated by the President.

Retention Director – Coordinates activities related to the retention and renewal of members; maintains the official membership list; and shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of Recruitment Director by other provisions of the Constitution, under the Bylaws, and as delegated by the President.

Publicity Director – Coordinates the dissemination of information regarding Arlington Young Democrats (AYD); produces and disseminates a periodic newsletter informing the membership and broader public of the organization’s activities; and shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of Publicity Director by other provisions of the Constitution, under the Bylaws, and as delegated by the President.

Programming Director – Plans and coordinates programs for the monthly meetings of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD); and shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of Programming Director by other provisions of the Constitution, under the Bylaws, and as delegated by the President or Vice President.

New Media Director – Oversees the construction, editing, and regular updating of the website of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD); manages Arlington Young Democrats’ (AYD’s) presence in and marketing through electronic media; and shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of New Media Director by other provisions of the Constitution, under the Bylaws, and as delegated by the President or Vice President.

President Emeritus – Advises and assists the President and other officers as needed and as requested in the exercise of their duties; and shall exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to the office of President Emeritus by other provisions of the Constitution, under the Bylaws, and as delegated by the President.

Section 3:  Unless the method of selection is otherwise identified under this Article, each officer will be elected by a plurality vote of present Arlington Young Democrat’s (AYD’s) members in good standing, present, and voting.  Each officer shall serve until his or her successor is elected and each officer’s term shall begin upon the adjournment of the meeting at which he or she was elected.  The position of President Emeritus shall be occupied by the person to have most recently served as President before the current President.

Section 4:  Only members in good standing at the time of the election shall be eligible to vote for the officers of this organization.  Members in good standing consist of those members who have completed their membership form fully and who have paid their dues to any member of the Executive Committee at least seven days prior to the election and those members who have paid their dues for the year prior to the election and who pay their current dues by the time of the election.

Section 5: In the event of a vacancy of an officer, Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) may elect a replacement in accordance with the Bylaws.

Article V:  Meetings

Section 1:  Notice must be given to the Executive Committee and the general membership of each regular and special meeting.

Section 2:  The regular meetings of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) will be held at least once a month unless otherwise ordered.  Special meetings of Arlington Young Democrats’ (AYD’s) general membership maybe called by the President, a majority of the Executive Committee, or by the written request to the President and the Secretary of ten percent of Arlington Young Democrats’ (AYD’s) members in good standing .

Section 3:  Regular and special meetings of the general membership maybe cancelled, postponed, or adjourned by the President with approval of a majority of the Executive Committee.

Section 4:  Ten percent of Arlington Young Democrats’ (AYD’s) members in good standing shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting business.  A quorum shall be assumed unless challenged by a member in attendance.

Article VI:  Committees and Caucuses

Section 1: There will be an Executive Committee, the voting members of which shall be the officers of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) as defined in Article IV, Section 1.  The Executive Committee meets at the call of the President or of any three members of the Executive Committee.  Notice of the meeting shall be given to each member of the Executive Committee.  Fifty percent of the officers shall constitute a quorum for the purposes of conducting business.  A quorum shall be assumed unless challenged by an Executive Committee member in attendance.

Section 2:  Standing committees are as established in this section.  All committees develop policy and recommend passage or non-passage to the Executive Committee.  The Executive Committee considers the policy and recommends passage or non-passage to the general membership as required by this Constitution or in the Bylaws.

Resolutions Committee – Considers and votes whether to forward resolutions to the Executive Committee.  The Executive Committee then considers all resolutions sent by the Resolutions Committee and recommends adoption or non-adoption to the general membership.  Resolutions of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) are adopted by the vote of the general membership.  Resolutions may be proposed to the Committee by any member of the Arlington Young Democrats (AYD).  The Party Representative, as elected, serves as the chair of the Committee, and the Resolutions Advisor, as appointed, serves as the vice-chair of the Committee. Voting members of the Committee include the Committee chair, Committee vice-chair, and any other member of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) present at the meeting.

Finance Committee – Plans and coordinates fundraising activities and reports such activity to the Executive Committee for approval.  The Finance Director, as elected, serves as the chair of the Committee.  Voting members of the Committee include the Committee chair and any other member of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) present at the meeting.

Community Service Committee– Plans and coordinates community service activities and reports such activity to the Executive Committee for approval.  The Community Service Director, as elected, serves as the chair of the Committee.  Voting members of the Committee include the Committee chair and any other member of the Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) present at the meeting.

Outreach Committee – Plans and coordinates involvement of under-represented people in the Arlington Young Democrats (AYD); and with the Outreach Director, supervises the activities of the caucuses created pursuant to Section 3 of this Article.  The Outreach Director, as elected, serves as the chair of the Committee.  Voting members of the Committee include the Committee chair and any other member of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) present at the meeting.

Political Action Committee– Plans and coordinates voter registration and assistance with local, state, and national political campaigns.  The Political Action Director, as elected, serves as the chair of the Committee.  Voting members of the Committee include the Committee chair and any other member of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) present at the meeting.

Membership Committee– Plans and coordinates recruitment, retention, and renewal of members.  The Member Recruitment Director and the Member Retention Director, as appointed, serve as the co-chairs of the Committee.  Voting members of the Committee include the Committee co-chairs and any other member of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) present at the meeting.

Communications Committee– Plans and coordinates the dissemination of information regarding Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) and the maintenance of organization media.  The Secretary, as elected, serves as the chair of the Committee, and the Publicity Director and New Media Director, as appointed, serve as vice-chairs of the Committee.  Voting members of the Committee include the Committee chair, Committee vice-chairs, and any other member of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) present at the meeting.

Section 3: Any member of the Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) may form a caucus to forward ideas, advance an issue or propose resolutions.

Section 4: There will be those special committees as established by the President who will also appoint the chair.  The special committee shall meet at the call of its chair, and its meetings shall be publicized to the general membership.  As with standing committees, voting members of any special committee, other than those created pursuant to Article VII, Section 2, include the Committee chair and any other members of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) present at the meeting.

Article VII: Grievance and Disciplinary Proceedings

The Bylaws shall govern all disciplinary and grievance proceedings.

Article VIII:  Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) in all cases to which they are applicable and when they are not inconsistent with this Constitution and/or the Bylaws.

Article IX:  Amendments

This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of members in good standing, present, and voting provided, however, that all proposed changes have been provided to the general membership in writing at least twenty days in advance of the vote.  Any proposed amendment not adopted at one of the three meetings following the meeting at which the proposed amendment was submitted to the general membership shall be considered rejected.

Article X: Bylaws

Bylaws further governing Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) shall be passed as needed.  Bylaws may be added, deleted, or amended by a majority vote of members in good standing, present, and voting provided, however, that all proposed changes have been provided to the general membership in writing at least twenty days in advance of the vote.

Bylaws of Arlington Young Democrats

As amended, 16 September 2009

Regular Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) meetings are conducted on the third Wednesday of each month January through November unless otherwise ordered by the Executive Committee.

Elections for Arlington Young Democrats’ (AYD’s) Executive Committee shall be held on first Thursday of December, unless otherwise ordered by the Executive Committee.  Should the Executive Committee order elections to be held on any other date, notice of such elections must be given to the general membership not later than a fortnight (fourteen days) prior to the date on which the elections are to be held.

In the event of a temporary absence or disability of the President, the Vice President shall fulfill the duties of the office.  If the Vice President is unable to fulfill the temporary absence of the President the President, or if not the Vice President, may appoint any elected official to fulfill the duties of the President during the temporary absence.

The membership form will contain at least the full name, mailing address, telephone number, email address, birth date, statement of commitment to Democratic values and the signature of said member.

Membership dues are $20.00.  A member will be considered in good standing as long as the member’s dues are paid and the member’s membership form is completed each year.  The fee can be waived for yearly dues on a need basis as determined by the President and confirmed by the Treasurer.

Each committee chair is to provide a report at the first general membership meeting stating the intentions of the committee for the coming year.  The Executive Committee should be provided the report three days in advance.

The chair or a designated representative of each standing committee, special committee, and caucus should be prepared to provide a report including account totals when applicable to the general membership at each meeting.

Caucus chairs are elected by a majority of the caucus members.  Notice of caucus meetings must be provided to the President, Vice President, Secretary, members of the caucus, and to the general membership.

Any member or officer of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) may be absolved of membership and or duties when any two members of the organization bring good reason, including failure to perform duties, affiliation with another political party or acting against the Democratic Party or the government, with proof to the Executive Committee and the Executive Committee votes to forward the action to the general membership for a majority vote to expel the member or relieve the officer of his/her duties.

Notice, whenever required by this Constitution, by any other applicable rule, or the Bylaws of Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) and unless otherwise ordered may be provided by postal mail, facsimile transmission or electronic mail sent to the appropriate address or number submitted to the Treasurer by each member at least three days in advance.

Ordered means the Executive Committee, or general membership when designated, has received an item in writing, considered the matter and taken a vote with enough active members present to conduct business.

Appoints means the designated appointer has selected and reported that selection of an Arlington Young Democrats’ (AYD’s) member to an appointed position as dictated in this Constitution and or the Bylaws.

Members in good standing consist of those members who have fully completed their membership form and who have paid their dues to any member of the Executive Committee at least seven days prior the election or those members who have paid their dues for the year prior to the election and who pay their current dues by the time of the election.

A majority vote is greater than 50 percent of members in good standing and present.  A plurality vote is the greatest share of votes cast.

As allowed by the governing document of the Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC), the President and the Party Representative shall serve as the voting members of the Steering Committee of the Arlington Country Democratic Committee (ACDC).