March 1, 2017

Bylaws

Revised April, 2017 | Click here for printable version. 

PREAMBLE
ARTICLE I: NAME, POWERS AND GENERAL POLICIES
ARTICLE II: MEMBERSHIP
ARTICLE III: OFFICERS
ARTICLE IV: MEETINGS AND ELECTIONS
ARTICLE V: COMMITTEES
ARTICLE VI: CLUBS
ARTICLE VII: FINANCES
ARTICLE VIII: ENDORSEMENTS
ARTICLE IX: AMENDING THE BYLAWS

Appendices are available in printable version.

PREAMBLE

The Brevard County Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) is dedicated to expanding the Democratic electorate and electing Democratic candidates in Brevard County, Florida.  We bring our community together to stand up for Democratic ideals of social, racial, economic and environmental justice.

ARTICLE I. NAME, POWERS AND GENERAL POLICIES

Section 1. Name: The name of this organization shall be the Brevard County Democratic Executive Committee (DEC).

Section 2. Governing Body: The governing body of the Brevard County Democratic Party shall be the DEC.

Section 3. Powers: The DEC has supervisory power and jurisdiction over Democratic Party affairs in Brevard County.  It shall set policy and prescribe and enforce rules and regulations concerning Party affairs.

Section 4. Compliance: These bylaws shall be in compliance with Florida Statutes and the Charter and Bylaws of the Florida Democratic Party (FDP), and shall submit a copy of its bylaws and any amendments thereto to the State Chair and the Rules Committee Chair.  The FDP Charter and Bylaws and the State of Florida Statutes shall prevail in the case of a conflict and shall govern in all cases to which these bylaws do not speak.

Unless otherwise provided in these bylaws, Florida Statutes and/or the Charter and Bylaws of the FDP, the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern.

Section 5. Loyalty Oath: Prior to taking office, members of the DEC, its officers and officers of Democratic Clubs, Organizations or Caucuses chartered within Brevard County shall execute by written oath or affirmation the loyalty oath contained in Appendix 2.

Section 6. Inclusion:

6.1 Meetings: Meetings of the DEC shall be open to all members of the Democratic Party regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age, religion, economic status, ethnic identity, national origin, physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.  

6.2 Membership: No tests for membership in, nor oaths of loyalty to, the DEC shall be required or used which have the effect of requiring prospective or current members of the DEC to acquiesce in, condone or support discrimination on the grounds of race, color, creed, sex, age, religion, economic status, ethnic identity, national origin, physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.

Section 7. Voting: No vote shall be taken by secret ballot, and, in keeping with the Democratic principle of “one person, one vote,” no DEC votes shall be weighted.

Section 8. Grievances: All grievances shall be reported within thirty (30) days of any bylaws violation.

8.1 DEC Bylaw Violations: Disputes and grievances regarding violations of these DEC bylaws may be resolved by the Chair, State Committeewoman and State Committeeman. Should one (1) person hold two (2) of these offices, the Vice Chair shall also be involved in said resolution.  Such resolution may be appealed to the Steering Committee whose decision shall be final.

8.2 FDP Bylaw Violations: Grievances regarding violations of FDP bylaws shall be reported via an appeal to the FDP Judicial Council as outlined in Article II, Section 5.5 of the FDP bylaws.

 

ARTICLE II: MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Elected Members: The elected membership of the DEC shall consist of a man and a woman from each precinct who are registered Democrats, and who reside in, are registered to vote in, and are elected from the precinct they are to represent. Should the Democratic registration of any precinct total more than one thousand (1,000) as of January 1 of a year in which qualifying for election to the DEC occurs, an additional one (1) man and one (1) woman are entitled to be elected to represent all such precincts. They shall be elected by a plurality vote on the First Primary Ballot of each presidential election year. When new precincts are created, additional DEC positions shall be created for the new precinct as described in this section. Such positions shall be filled by the DEC according to its procedure for filling vacancies.

1.1 Election of Members: DEC members shall qualify and be elected to office at such times and in such manner as provided by Florida Statutes. DEC members shall be elected every presidential election year by a vote of the Democratic voters in their precinct of residence. Persons seeking election must qualify with the Supervisor of Elections between noon on the 71st day and noon on the 67th day prior to the primary election. (Florida Statutes, Chapter 103.091 (4)). Results are determined by a plurality of votes cast in the primary. Terms commence on December 1st of that year.

1.2 Applications for Nomination: Any qualified Democrat may submit an application for nomination at brevarddems.org/volunteer or at any DEC meeting. The Credentials Committee shall (1) validate that a vacant seat is available in the applicant’s precinct; (2) validate the precinct and party of potential members; and (3) obtain a loyalty oath before placing nominations before the DEC for a vote. Qualified applicants whose applications are received before the 10th of any month will be nominated at the next regular or special meeting they attend, provided they submit a loyalty oath on or before the date of the meeting. Qualified applicants whose applications are received after the 10th of any month will be nominated at the next regular or special DEC meeting they attend after the 1st of the following month, provided they are in attendance and have submitted a loyalty oath on or before the date of the meeting.  If an application does not attend a regular DEC meeting within three months of the date of their application, the application will expire and must be resubmitted.

1.3 Changing Precinct of Residence: Once elected in a precinct, if an elected member moves out of his or her assigned precinct, the member must report a vacancy within 30 days.  If the member moves into another Brevard County precinct where there is a vacancy, the Credentials Committee shall nominate the member for membership in his or her new precinct at the following DEC meeting, and membership will be awarded in the member’s new precinct based on a majority vote of those present at a meeting at which a quorum is present.  If there is no vacancy in the member’s new precinct, and appointed memberships remain available according to Article II, Section 2 of these bylaws, the member will be appointed by the DEC chair to serve at-large and will be approved by a majority vote of those present at the next DEC meeting at which a quorum is present.

1.4 Term of Office: Elected members who receive a plurality vote in the primary shall take office on the first day of the month following each presidential general election and shall serve for a term of four (4) years.  Aside from elected officers, the term of office for elected members shall expire on the last day of the month of the presidential general election.

Section 2. Appointed Members: Membership of the DEC may include an additional ten percent (10%) of the total elected membership to which entitled. These members shall be appointed by the DEC Chair and approved by a majority vote of the membership of the DEC present and voting. Appointed members shall be registered Democrats residing in the county. Appointed members shall serve at-large and shall enjoy voting and other privileges and responsibilities of membership except holding office. Selection of appointed members shall be made in order to achieve political, economic, or minority balance within the DEC.  

2.1 Term of Office: The term of office for appointed members shall be one (1) year commencing with the date of appointment; however, it shall expire immediately prior to the commencement of the organizational meeting of the next committee.

Section 3. Automatic Members: Automatic members include all Democratic members of the legislature who are residents of Brevard County, city and county Democratic elected officials who hold both partisan and nonpartisan offices, presidents of duly chartered Democratic clubs, and presidents of chartered local Democratic caucus chapters who reside in Brevard County.

3.1 Attendance: Automatic members shall not be required to meet attendance requirements. Automatic members shall not be computed when determining a quorum.

Section 4. Absences: To request an absence be excused, a member must provide a written request to the Credentials Committee Chair in advance of the meeting to be missed. The Credentials Committee Chair will consult with an Officer of the DEC to determine whether an absence is excused. Absences may be excused for reason of illness, business, out-of-town or other reasonable excuse. An office shall be deemed vacant after (3) unexcused absences in any one (1) calendar year.

Section 5. Leaves of Absence:  Members may request a leave of absence by written request to the Credentials Chair if they are going to be unable to attend more than 3 consecutive, regular meetings due to long-term health issues or other truly extenuating circumstances.  If a Leave of Absence is granted at the discretion of the DEC Chair, a proxy will be requested.  If a proxy is not provided, the Credentials Chair will have the option of filling the seat for the duration of the approved absence.

Section 6. Vacancies: An office shall be deemed vacant by death of the incumbent, by resignation, by removal, by ceasing to be an inhabitant of the precinct from which the member was elected or appointed, by refusal to accept the office, by the conviction of any felony, by the decision of a competent tribunal declaring void their election or appointment and removal by said tribunal, and by failure to attend, without good and sufficient reason, accumulating three (3) unexcused absences in any one (1) calendar year. (Florida Statutes, Chapter 103.131)

Vacancies in the DEC shall be filled by action of the DEC within sixty (60) days. In the event no county committeeman or committeewoman is elected, or a vacancy occurs from any other cause in any county executive committee, the Chair shall call a meeting of the DEC by due notice to all members, and the vacancy shall be filled by a majority vote of those present at a meeting at which a quorum is present. Such vacancy shall be filled by a qualified Democrat residing in the district where the vacancy occurred and for the unexpired portion of the term. (Florida Statutes, Chapter 103.091 (5))

Section 7. Removal From Office:Any DEC member, DEC officer, or club officer may be removed from office upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the entire DEC membership at a regular or special meeting provided that there shall have been at least ten (10) days written notice of the purpose of said meeting. Such removal may be for cause including, but not limited to, violation of the loyalty oath, malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, and/or conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.

 

ARTICLE III: OFFICERS

Section 1. Elected Officers: The DEC, at their organizational meetings, shall elect a Chair, a Vice Chair, who shall be of the opposite sex from the chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a State Committeeman and a State Committeewoman, each of whom shall be elected from among the elected membership of the DEC. Other officers may be prescribed in the DEC’s bylaws. Terms of office are for four (4) years.

1.1 Chair: The DEC Chair presides over DEC meetings and is the official spokesperson representing the DEC. The Chair appoints members and chairs of DEC committees. Additionally, the Chair is an ex-officio member of all committees and co-signs checks with the Treasurer for authorized expenditures.

1.2 Vice Chair: The Vice Chair performs the duties and exercises the powers of the Chair when Chair is absent or incapacitated, is an ex-officio member of all committees, and performs other duties as assigned by the Chair.

1.3 Secretary: The Secretary keeps minutes of all DEC meetings, maintains required records (except records in the Treasurer’s custody), ensures compliance with all DEC reporting requirements established by law or FDP rules (except Treasurer’s reports), consolidates monthly reporting from standing committees, serves as member of the Credentials Committee and performs other duties as assigned by the Chair.

1.4 Treasurer: The Treasurer will follow generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for the proper accounting, management, deposits and expenditures of funds of the DEC, and ensure compliance with applicable Florida statutes  and laws, as well as FDP and DEC rules. In addition, the Treasurer produces and distributes to members written monthly, quarterly and annual reports of receipts and expenditures, as well as any additional ad hoc financial reports requested by the Chair and/or the Budget and Audit Committee. The Treasurer shall act as the primary signatory on authorized expenditures. The Treasurer and Chair will cause an annual public audit to be done of DEC funds for the calendar year ending December 31. The Treasurer serves as a member of the Budget and Audit Committee. Treasurer shall obtain bonding in accordance with state statutes.

1.5 State Committeeman and State Committeewoman: The duties of the State Committeeman and State Committeewoman are to serve as liaison between the FDP and the DEC; liaison between the DEC and the clubs; members of the State Executive Committee and DEC Steering Committee; members of the Campaign Committee; and members of other committees at their own discretion.

Section 2. Appointed Officers: The Chair shall appoint the following officers who shall serve at the pleasure of the Chair:

2.1 Sergeant-at-Arms: The Sergeant-at-Arms maintains order and decorum during proceedings of the DEC at the direction of the Chair.

2.2 Parliamentarian: The Parliamentarian advises and ensures the compliance of proceedings with accepted rules of parliamentary procedure and applicable rules and bylaws, and provides advisory opinions to DEC members on parliamentary inquiries.

2.3 Deputy Treasurer: The Chair may appoint a member as Deputy Treasurer who may exercise the powers and duties of the Treasurer when specifically authorized by the Chair and the Treasurer. Deputy treasurer will be bonded.

Section 3. Officer Vacancies:

3.1. DEC Chair Vacancy: In the event of a vacancy in the office of the DEC Chair, a meeting shall be held within forty-five (45) days, upon written notice to members of at least fifteen (15) days, to elect a new chair. Notice of vacancy shall be sent by certified mail to the State Chair within ten (10) days of said vacancy. Vacancies on the DEC shall not be filled by action of the DEC within the period from the time the DEC Chair position is declared vacant until the election of a new DEC Chair to replace the previous chair.  In the event that a vacancy in the office of DEC Chair is filled by a person of the same sex as the DEC Vice Chair, or vice versa, the requirement that they be of the opposite sex shall be waived for the unexpired term.

3.2. Other Elected Officer Vacancies: In the event of a vacancy in any elected officer position other than DEC Chair, a meeting shall be held within forty-five (45) days, upon written notice to members of at least fifteen (15) days, to elect a new officer. The vacancy shall be filled by a majority vote of those present at a meeting at which a quorum is present. Such vacancy shall be filled by an elected member for the unexpired portion of the term. (Florida Statutes, Chapter 103.091 (5))

3.3. Interim Officer Appointments: The Chair may temporarily appoint a member to serve in an elected office that has become vacant until elections can be held.

Section 4. Leave of Absence: Any officer of the DEC seeking the Democratic nomination for public office shall take a leave of absence from the DEC office commencing at the time of opening a campaign account for said public office and extending for the duration of the campaign. The vacancy created shall be filled by the DEC by election or appointment as outlined in Article II, Section 5.

 

ARTICLE IV: MEETINGS AND ELECTIONS

Section 1. Organizational Meeting: Each presidential year, the outgoing DEC Chair shall call an organizational meeting for the purpose of electing officers within 30 days after newly elected members take office. (Florida Statutes, Chapter 103.091 (4) & FDP Bylaws, Article V, Section 3.2)

1.1 Agenda: The organizational meeting shall be called to order by the outgoing DEC Chair who shall chair the meeting until the election of the new chair who shall then assume the chair. The order of business shall be as follows: (1) Invocation; (2) Pledge of Allegiance; (3) Roll Call; (4) Credentials Report; (5) Election of Chair; (6) Election of State Committeewoman; (7) Election of State Committeeman; (8) Election of Vice Chair; (9) Election of Secretary; (10) Election of Treasurer.

Section 2. Regular Meetings: The DEC will hold monthly membership meetings at a regular time and place to be announced by the Logistics and Administration Committee.  Monthly meetings may be cancelled at the discretion of the Chair, provided that the DEC meet at least once every calendar quarter with such calendar quarter beginning in January of each year.

Section 3. Special Meetings: Special meetings of the DEC may be called by the Chair, or by petition signed by not less than ten (10) percent of the members of the DEC to the Chair or to the State Committeewoman or Committeeman, at a place designated either by the Chair or the members petitioning for the meeting. Notice of any such meetings shall state the purpose of such meeting. This stated purpose shall be the only business of such special meeting.

Section 4. Meeting Notices:  Official notice of meetings must be mailed, emailed, or transmitted by other electronic media at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting date.  Notice shall include the time and date of such meeting and the place such meeting will be held.

Section 5. Quorum:  The quorum requirement shall be thirty percent (30%) of the total membership then in office, if total membership of 300 or more; forty percent (40%) of the total membership if total membership is 299 or less. Automatic members shall not be computed when determining a quorum, and proxies may not account for more than fifteen percent (15%) in computing a quorum.

Section 6. Proxies:  Any member who, for any reason, is unable to attend any DEC meeting may execute a written proxy by completing the form in Appendix 1. The holder of such proxy shall be a qualified Democrat residing in Brevard County who is not a member of the DEC. Such proxy shall be sworn to before a notary public, or, in the alternative, may be validated by two (2) registered Democrats signing as witnesses. Any proxy which is incomplete in any way shall be returned to the member issuing the proxy. The member sending the incomplete proxy shall be notified immediately by phone or email that the proxy is incomplete.  No person shall be permitted to hold more than one (1) proxy. For a proxy to be honored, the holder of the proxy shall submit the original copy of the proxy in person prior to the commencement of the meeting for which it is intended to be used.

 

ARTICLE V: COMMITTEES

Section 1. Appointment: The Committee Chair and membership of DEC committees shall be appointed by the DEC Chair from among the members. The chair may also appoint non-DEC members, who are registered Democrats, as Advisors to committees.

Section 2. Role of Committees: Committees of the DEC shall be responsible for developing proposals and plans for activities to be undertaken by the DEC to further its stated goals. Actionable proposals shall be presented as motions during a regular or special meeting for approval by the DEC.  Committees shall be responsible for the execution and oversight of proposals and plans; however, all members of the DEC are obligated to assist in ensuring the successful completion of programs and activities approved by any committee of the DEC.

Section 3. Committee Reports: Committee Chairs shall provide written activity reports to the Secretary via email three (3) days in advance of each regular meeting. Reports shall include status updates, budget requests, proposals and metrics as directed by the Chair.  Committee reports shall be offered orally by each Committee Chair at regular meetings.

Section 4. Standing Committees: The following standing committees shall perform the duties provided and such other duties as assigned by the DEC Chair.

4.1 Steering Committee: The Steering Committee shall be composed of the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, State Committeeman, State Committeewoman, Standing Committee Chairs, and Club Presidents. The Steering Committee shall meet at the call of the Chair, at least quarterly, to coordinate and support the activities of the DEC and its chartered organizations.

4.2 Affirmative Action Committee: The Affirmative Action Committee shall be responsible for all efforts to increase minority Democratic voter registration, minority voter turnout and active minority participation in the DEC, Democratic candidate campaigns, and local clubs and caucuses.  The Committee shall also inform Democratic candidates, voters and members of the DEC about relevant minority issues, and shall work in conjunction with the Florida Democratic Party Affirmative Action Committee.

4.3 Budget and Audit Committee: The Budget and Audit Committee shall develop and present the annual budget at the first regular DEC meeting each January, oversee annual audits, ensure accuracy of monthly Treasurer budget reconciliation and forecast reports to the DEC, and produce quarterly reports for the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections.

4.4 Bylaws Committee: The Bylaws Committee will evaluate and recommend proposed amendments to DEC bylaws, and will ensure they align with and support FDP bylaws and Florida Statutes.

4.5 Candidate and Campaign Committee:  The Candidate and Campaign committee shall create a 4-year rolling calendar of city, county, state and national public offices up for election and shall be responsible for recruiting and training candidates based on the needs of our community.  This committee shall also train and mobilize volunteers in the DEC and across Brevard to serve as volunteer teams for Democratic candidates.

4.6 Communications Committee:  The Communications Committee shall be responsible for all internal and external communications of the Brevard DEC and shall support the communications efforts of local Democratic candidates for office.

4.7 Credentials Committee:  The Credentials Committee shall maintain membership records of the DEC, report vacancies, receive membership applications at DEC meetings, qualify applicants, and make recommendations of applicants for both elected and appointed memberships.  The Credentials Committee may also make suggestions on committee appointments for new members and shall organize and conduct caucuses to elect delegates to the national and state Democratic conventions.

4.8 Environmental Committee:  The Environmental Committee shall expand the local Democratic electorate by engaging, mobilizing and activating local voters who care about environmental issues, and shall inform Democratic candidates, voters and members of the DEC about relevant environmental issues.

4.9 Government Affairs and Resolutions Committee: The Government Affairs and Resolutions Committee shall serve as liaison between the DEC and governmental bodies and elected officials, and shall provide regular updates to the DEC regarding upcoming relevant legislation, agenda items and calls to action.  In addition, the Government Affairs and Resolutions Committee shall promote Democratic positions on key issues to local government bodies and elected officials, publishing official resolutions as appropriate.

4.10 Precinct Organization Committee: The Precinct Organization Committee shall recruit, train, support, organize and oversee precinct committeewomen and committeemen to support Democratic candidates and increase voter engagement, registration and turnout.

4.11 Ways and Means Committee:  The Ways and Means Committee shall propose and implement fundraising activities and provide accurate projections to the Budget and Audit Committee.

4.12 Young Democrats Committee:  The Young Democrats Committee shall increase Democratic youth (< 40 years of age) voter registration, youth voter turnout and active youth participation in the DEC, Democratic candidate campaigns, and local clubs and caucuses.  The Committee shall also inform Democratic candidates, voters and members of the DEC about relevant youth issues, work to develop local Young Democrats clubs across Brevard, and participate in statewide Young Democrats initiatives.

4.13 Veterans and Armed Forces Committee: The Veterans and Armed Forces Committee shall be responsible for all efforts to increase Democratic voter registration, voter turnout and active participation in the DEC, Democratic candidate campaigns, and local clubs and caucuses by veterans and members of the Armed Forces. The Committee shall also inform Democratic candidates, voters and members of the DEC about relevant veteran and armed forces issues.

4.14 Outreach Committee: The Outreach Committee shall conduct volunteer recruitment and build alliances with local organizations that share Democratic and progressive values.  

4.15 Labor Committee: The Labor Committee shall increase union member voter registration, union member voter turnout and union member voter participation in the DEC, Democratic candidate campaigns, and local clubs and caucuses.  The Committee shall also inform Democratic candidates, voters and members of the DEC about relevant labor issues.

4.16 Clubs and Caucuses Committee: The Clubs and Caucuses Committee will ensure compliance of local clubs and caucuses, work to develop and promote new clubs and caucuses and ensure club and caucus leader participation in the DEC. This committee includes the Certification Subcommittee, which is required by FDP Bylaws (Art. VI, Sec. 2.2), and is comprised of the DEC Chair, State Committeeman and State Committeewoman. Should one (1) person hold two (2) of these offices, the Vice Chair shall be a member of the Certification Subcommittee.

4.17 Logistics and Administration Committee: The Logistics and Administration Committee shall provide assistance with planning and logistics for DEC events, and shall be responsible for overseeing the administration of a local office.  

4.18 Hospitality Committee: The Hospitality Committee shall build community and camaraderie among the members of the DEC by ensuring food and decor at regular DEC meetings and other DEC events, and by reaching out to members experiencing major life events (e.g., birthdays, births and deaths).  The committee shall also greet and orient new members and guests at monthly membership meetings.

4.19 Activism Committee: The Activism Committee shall support other DEC committees in identifying opportunities for direct action (e.g., rallies, marches, sit-ins, editorial campaigns, mass attendance at public meetings, etc.), and in organizing and executing direct actions in support of Democratic ideals, legislation and candidates.

4.20 Voter Registration: The Voter Registration Committee shall ensure all members of the DEC are trained in voter registration requirements, shall make sure voter registration resources are at major events across the county and at all DEC events, and shall host regular voter registration drives and events throughout the community.

4.21 Intelligence Committee: The Intelligence Committee shall perform research on our local electorate so that we may effectively understand and respond to the needs of our community, and on legislative best practices so that we may recommend and lobby local politicians and elected bodies to enact local laws that are most supportive of our Democratic ideals and platform.

Section 5. Special Committees: Special committees may be created by the Chair or by petition of not less than ten (10) percent of the members of the DEC, submitted in writing to the Chair at a regular meeting. The Chair and membership of such special committees shall be determined by the Chair, if they are formed at the initiative of the chair, or by a majority vote of the DEC, if they are formed by petition.  Special committees may be disbanded when the Chair has determined that their function has been fulfilled, or for special committees created by petition, by a majority vote at a regular meeting.

 

ARTICLE VI: CLUBS

Section 1. Jurisdiction: The charter of a Democratic club shall be entirely within the jurisdiction of the DEC. The DEC shall not be authorized to establish a maximum number of Democratic clubs for Brevard County.

Section 2. Requirement for Chartering: It shall be the duty of the DEC to provide Democratic clubs with copies of the standard bylaws, applications for chartering and recertification and procedural guidelines for same, and any other forms and information necessary for establishing and operating said club. Democratic club bylaws shall be in compliance with DEC bylaws, the Charter and Bylaws of the Florida Democratic Party, and Florida Statutes and shall include the following, unless otherwise provided herein: the anti-discrimination policies of the Florida Democratic Party, a provision prohibiting endorsement in primary elections and prohibiting the endorsement of anyone other than the Democratic nominee in general elections, a provision requiring votes by secret ballot for officers and directors only; a provision for adding amendments to the standard bylaws, a provision prohibiting proxy voting, and a provision that the quorum of any meeting of a Democratic club shall be ten percent (10%) where membership of the club is 1,000 or more or twenty percent (20%) where membership of the club is 999 or less.

With the exception of the organizational meeting, the standard club bylaws shall include a forty-five (45) day membership requirement prior to a member being permitted to vote or participate in any club election for officers or board members.

Prior to being chartered, prospective clubs must submit a packet that includes a copy of the completed standard bylaws, an application for a charter, and a list of officers and members to the Certification Subcommittee of the Clubs and Caucuses Committee.

With at least two (2) DEC officers signing the application, a recommendation to approve or to reject the club shall be submitted to the DEC for ratification. Upon approval, the signed application for charter and the club packet of information shall be sent by the DEC Chair to the State Chair and to the Chair of the Committee on Clubs, Organizations, and Caucuses. The Committee on Clubs, Organizations, and Caucuses shall review the packet and shall recommend approval or disapproval to the State Chair. Once the State Chair approves, the Central Committee shall make the final decision. Certificates of charter for approved clubs shall be sent to the appropriate DEC Chair for presentation to the club.

Section 3. Charter Recertification: In July of every odd-numbered year, Democratic Clubs shall submit an application for a Certificate of Compliance to determine their compliance with the Charter and Bylaws of the Florida Democratic Party, Florida Statutes, and bylaws of the DEC. Clubs shall submit applications for re-certification with a copy of their current bylaws, officers, and membership to the Certification Subcommittee of the Clubs and Caucuses Committee.

The Certification Subcommittee shall review the application and bylaws and shall issue a Certificate of Compliance unless it is determined the club is in violation of the Charter and Bylaws of the Florida Democratic Party, Florida Statutes, or the bylaws of the DEC.

If it is determined a club is in violation, it shall be so notified and shall have sixty (60) days from receipt of notification to correct the violations(s). If the violation(s) is not corrected by the end of the said period, the Certification Committee may recommend the revocation of the club’s charter to the DEC. In the event such recommendation is made, said club shall be so notified. Notice of revocation shall also be given to the State Chair and to the Chair of the Committee on Clubs, Organizations, and Caucuses. Charter revocation shall result in the forfeiture of all rights and privileges of the use of the word Democrat, Democratic, or derivative thereof.

Section 4. Minimum Membership: The DEC requires a Democratic club to have at least ten (10) members prior to chartering.

Section 5. Annual Party Contribution: Clubs shall be assessed an amount annually to be paid to the DEC, consistent with that mandated by the Charter and Bylaws of the FDP.

In January of each year, each Democratic club chartered under the rules of the FDP shall pay an annual contribution based on membership as of December 31 of the preceding year to the DEC based on the following:

Clubs with 0 to 50 members………………………….$25.00

Clubs with 51 to 100 members ……………………..$50.00

Clubs with 101 to 300 members ……………………$75.00

Clubs with 301 to 500 members … ………………$100.00

Clubs with 501 to 750 members.. ………………..$150.00

Clubs with 751 to 1000 members ………………..$250.00

Clubs with over 1000 members …………………..$500.00

Eighty percent (80%) of the contribution shall remain with the DEC and twenty percent (20%) shall be remitted to the FDP no later than April 1 of that year.

Section 6. Grievances: Disputes and grievances involving Democratic clubs may be resolved by the Chair, State Committeeman, and State Committeewoman. Should one (1) person hold two (2) of these offices, the Vice Chair shall also be involved in said resolution. Such resolution may be appealed to the DEC whose decision shall be final unless appealed to the Judicial Council no later than forty-five (45) days from the date of said decision.

Section 7. Dissolution: Upon dissolution of a club for any reason, the club’s assets and funds, after all debts have been satisfied, shall become the property of the DEC.

 

ARTICLE VII: FINANCES

Section 1. Funds: The DEC shall raise and expend funds in support of DEC programs and activities.  In order to preserve local autonomy and authority, any contributions (cash or in-kind) that originate from donors outside of Brevard County shall require acceptance by a vote by two-thirds (2/3) of members present at a DEC meeting.  The Ways & Means Committee will make every effort to ensure that at least 50% of funding comes from donors who contribute less than $500/year (excluding in-kind donations).

Section 2. Budget:

2.1 Adoption of Budget: The DEC shall adopt an annual budget authorizing expenditure of funds. By January 1 each year, each officer and committee of the DEC shall submit to the Budget and Audit Committee a proposed budget for activities under that officer or committee’s jurisdiction. Before first regular meeting of the year, the Budget and Audit Committee shall develop a proposed budget for the upcoming year which prioritizes committee requests and reconciles expenditures with the income projected by the Ways and Means Committee. The Budget and Audit Committee shall then submit their proposed budget at the first regular DEC meeting each year where it shall be approved and adopted by majority vote.

2.2 Amending the Budget: Subsequent to adoption, the Budget may be amended upon motion at a regular or special meeting. A motion to amend the Budget to authorize new expenditures shall not be in order unless the Ways and Means Chair or Treasurer certifies that sufficient funds are available or projected to meet the new expenditure, or unless an offsetting reduction in another budget item or items is included in the motion.

Section 3. Accounts: All funds received by the DEC shall be deposited in a qualified banking institution in the name of “The Democratic Executive Committee of Brevard County.”  A separate interest-bearing account may also be established for funds not required for immediate use. (Florida Statutes, 106.021 (b)).

Section 4. Petty Cash: Petty cash may be withdrawn by the Treasurer or Chair to cover budgeted expenditures up to $100 per week. (Florida Statutes, 106.12 (2)(b))

Section 5. Disbursements: (a)  Funds of the DEC may be expended only upon authorization by the DEC through adoption in the budget, an approved budget amendment, or by authorization of the Chair. (b) Disbursements authorized by the DEC shall be made upon the signature of the Chair and the Treasurer. (c) The Chair shall be authorized to use DEC funds not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) per month at the Chairs discretion for purposes furthering the goals of the DEC.

Section 6. Vendors: The DEC will make every effort to use locally-owned vendors whose values are in alignment with the values of the Democratic Party.

Section 7. Distributions of Funds:  The distribution of DEC funds among members is forbidden.  The DEC may reimburse members for actual travel expenses incurred at regular or special meetings in those cases where the meeting is more than thirty (30) miles in each direction from the member’s home.  

Section 8. Annual Audit: The Treasurer shall ensure the completion of an annual audit each calendar year ending December 31. (Florida Statutes, 103.121(3)) The audit shall be conducted by qualified examiners who are not members of the DEC. Audits shall be conducted in substantial compliance with standard accounting procedures. Prior to April 1, the Treasurer shall file a copy of the audit with the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections, with the Florida Democratic Party, and shall provide the DEC Chair and Secretary with a copy.

Section 9. Receipts and Records:  Accurate records or receipts and expenditures shall be maintained by the Treasurer.  All financial records of the DEC, including a full copy of the annual audited financial report, shall be available for examination by any member upon written request to the Chair.

Section 10. Party Assessment Fees:  For candidates who do not qualify by petition, party assessment fees shall be two percent (2%) of the annual salary of the office sought by the respective candidate.  All assessments shall be remitted to the FDP and distributed as described herein.  If the DEC endorses, intends to endorse, certifies, screens or otherwise recommends one (1) or more candidates for nomination, the DEC shall forfeit all party assessments which would otherwise be returned to the DEC and such assessments shall be remitted instead to the FDP State Executive Committee.  The FDP Chair shall return the two percent (2%) party assessment fee to the DEC upon the FDP Chair’s determination that the DEC is in compliance with all Florida Statutes, the FDP Charter and FDP bylaws.

Section 11. Campaign Plan:  By not later than December of every odd-numbered year or as otherwise directed by the Chair, the Campaign Committee in conjunction with the Budget and Finance Committee, shall prepare in writing a Campaign Plan detailing the expenditure of party assessment fees to be received by the DEC and other income to be submitted to the DEC at the first regular meeting of the following year for ratification. Upon approval by a majority of the DEC. members present and voting at such meeting, the Campaign Plan shall be sent by the DEC Chair to the FDP Chair and the FDP Budget and Finance Committee.

 

ARTICLE VIII: ENDORSEMENTS

Section 1. Definition: Endorsement shall be defined as endorsing, certifying, screening, or recommending, in any manner, candidates in primary elections.

Section 2. Party Assessment Fees: Party assessment fees to which the DEC is entitled shall be retained by the State Executive Committee if the DEC chooses to endorse.

Section 3. Campaign Support: All State Executive Committee funds and campaign support shall be withheld from the DEC until after the second primary election.

Section 4. Candidate Qualifying: No endorsement shall be made prior to the close of the period of candidate qualifying.

Section 5. Requirements: The following requirements shall be met prior to the DEC being eligible to endorse:

5.1 Precinct or District Positions. Eighty percent (80%) of all precinct committee positions or ninety percent (90%) of all district committee positions, as appropriate, shall be filled.

5.2 Meetings. The DEC shall have held at least four (4) meetings at which a quorum was present during the previous twelve (12) month period.

5.3 Membership Support: Two-thirds (2/3) of the total membership, exclusive of its automatic members, shall vote in favor of endorsement.

Section 6. Standards: The following standards shall be met for the DEC to endorse:

6.1 Membership Support: Two-thirds (2/3) of the total membership, exclusive of its automatic members, shall vote in favor of endorsing a candidate in a given race.

6.2 Limitations: Endorsements by the DEC shall be limited to those races in which the DEC assessment applies or to non-partisan races in which registered Democrats are running.

 

ARTICLE IX: AMENDING THE BYLAWS

Section 1. Amendments:  The Bylaws of the DEC may be amended at a regular meeting by two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast of members present and voting, provided that no amendment may be voted upon without ten (10) days written notice of the proposed amendment and meeting.

Section 2. Notice of Adoption:  A copy of the bylaws as amended shall be filed with the FDP within thirty (30) days following the adoption of any amendment.

 

APPENDIX 1: PROXY FORM

Appendices are available in printable version.

 

 

APPENDIX 2: LOYALTY OATH

Appendices are available in printable version.

 

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