Caucus Bylaws

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CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE (Last amended 05/15/2015 at Rural Caucus during CDP State Convention in Anaheim.)

ARTICLE I
NAME AND PURPOSE
SECTION 1: NAME
The name of this organization shall be the Rural Caucus (This Caucus) of the California Democratic Party (The Party).
SECTION 2: PURPOSE
A. The purpose of this Caucus shall be to promote rural issues and to elect Democratic candidates. B. All persons registered as Democrats, pursuant to the laws of the State of California, may become members of This Caucus. C. These Bylaws shall govern the organization, operation, and function of This Caucus. D. This Caucus shall elect officers and shall conduct such other business as the policy and program of the Caucus may require. E. This Caucus may not endorse candidates for partisan public office unless a candidate has received an (official endorsement) by the CDP as provided under the CDP’s Bylaws. F. Unless a candidate has received an official endorsement all motions of support, recommendation, or other expressions of approval, no matter how denominated, shall be out of order at any meeting of This Caucus, but This Caucus may take positions on ballot measures. G. It is the purpose of This Caucus to accurately represent the needs of rural Democrats. H. This Caucus does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or economic status.
ARTICLE II
MEMBERSHIP
Section I: QUALIFICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP
Any person is eligible for membership for This Caucus if such person is registered to vote as a Democrat, has an interest in identifying and promoting rural issues of California, subscribes to the purposes of the Rural Caucus and has paid dues as specified in Section 3.
Section 2: NOTIFICATION OF MEMBERSHIP
A. The Chair of This Caucus shall notify each member of This Caucus, that he or she is a member of This Caucus and of the date and place of regular meeting of This Caucus.
B. The Chair of This Caucus shall enclose with each notification a copy of these Bylaws.
Section 3: DUES
A. Dues shall be paid by This Caucus’s members. The membership shall establish time and manner and amount of the payment of Dues.
B. The dues for each calendar year shall be $20 effective January 1, 2016.
C. The Dues of This Caucus may be waived on the grounds of economic hardship by request to the Treasurer. D. This Caucus shall neither raise nor disburse funds other than minimal dues, standard or routine costs of meetings and reimbursements.
ARTICLE III
OFFICERS
Section I: OFFICERS
A. The officers of This Caucus shall be a Chair, 10 Vice Chairs, one of whom will be voted by the other Vice Chairs as “Chief Vice Chair,” a Secretary, a Treasurer and a Communications Officer.

B. The Chief Vice Chair shall preside over meetings or delegate the function in the absence of the Chair or Chief Vice Chair, and perform other functions as delegated by the Chair.
C. Regions of Responsibility for the 10 Vice Chairs shall be as follows:
1. Northern Coastal: Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, Marin, Trinity;
2. Northern: Siskiyou, Modoc, Shasta, Lassen, Plumas, Sierra, Nevada;
3. Northern Central: Tehama, Glenn, Butte, Colusa, Yuba, Sutter, Yolo, Sacramento;
4. Bay Area: Solano, Napa, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara;
5. Gold Country: Placer, El Dorado, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne;
6. Central: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced;
7. Mid Coastal: Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura;
8. South Central: Kern, Kings, Tulare, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa;
9. Southern Coastal: Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego; and
10. Inland Empire: Inyo, San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial, Mono.

D. All officers shall be elected to two year terms, meet the following qualifications and have the following duties and responsibilities:
1. The Caucus Chair must be a member of the Democratic State Central Committee.
2. The Chair of the Caucus is the Executive Board Representative.
3. The Chair shall preside over all meetings or delegate the function in the absence of both the Chair and the Chief Vice Chair.
4. The Chair shall distribute the agenda seven days prior to meetings or delegate this function to any appointed member of This Caucus.
5. The Chief Vice Chair shall preside over meetings in the absence of the Chair and perform other functions as delegated by the Chair.
6. The Secretary’s duties shall include but not be limited to the following: Taking minutes at all general and executive committee meetings of This Caucus and providing copies of minutes to the Chair and/or posting them online for review within two weeks after each meeting. The Secretary should also have, at each meeting, a list of all standing committees, and such special committees as are in existence at the time, as well as copies of these bylaws and minutes from prior meetings.
7. The Treasurer shall at the end of his/her term turn over to the properly elected successor all records and documents associated with the office of Treasurer of This Caucus. The Treasurer of This Caucus shall submit quarterly financial reports with the Treasurer of the Democratic State Party. The Treasurer shall promptly account for all Caucus funds and prepare financial reports, as required by the Finance Committee of the DSCC. The Treasurer shall present a biennial fund raising and budget proposal and shall submit it to the Budget and Finance Committee or the State Chair for recommendation and approval.
8. The duties of the Communications Officer are to use and maintain email lists, Facebook and the Rural Caucus website to inform members and the public of activities of the Caucus as directed by the Chair.
9. The officers shall be the Executive Committee and will have the power to conduct any business which cannot be delayed until the next scheduled meeting. As the Executive Committee is representative of the membership, no vote may be taken by secret ballot. Any such action must be reported at the next caucus meeting for concurrence. The Executive Committee may meet and cast votes electronically, including by telephone, web chat, and/or electronic email.

E. Between each CDP Executive Board and/or Convention, each Regional Vice Chair must convene at least one properly noticed teleconference or in person meeting inviting all Rural Caucus members, County chairs, resident in the Counties represented by that Vice Chair. If a Vice Chair fails to perform this function, the non-performing Vice Chair’s position will fall vacant and be subject to nomination and election at the Executive Board or Convention at which the non-performance is announced. Notice by E-mail of regional teleconference or in person meeting will be acceptable.

F. The Chair shall announce at each Rural Caucus meeting which regions have held teleconference or in-person meetings, since the last Executive Board meeting or Convention, and which regions failed to do so.
Section 3: ELECTION OF OFFICERS
A. This Caucus’s officers shall be elected to their two-year terms at the annual meeting of the State Central Committee during odd numbered years.
B. All officers shall be elected by the entire membership of This Caucus.
C. All voting for This Caucus’s officers shall be by secret ballot except when there is but one candidate.

Section 4: VACANCIES
In the event that any office shall become vacant, the vacancy shall be filled on a temporary basis by the remaining officers of This Caucus and a new election for the office shall be held at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

Section 5: REMOVAL OF OFFICERS
A. An officer of This Caucus may be removed from office for cause, that is, misconduct or neglect of duty in office.
B. An officer of This Caucus may be removed for Party disloyalty (endorsement or support of a non-Democrat).

Section 6 APPOINTMENTS
A. The chair may appoint members to the Caucus to support roles after seeking input from the Executive Committee.
B. Regional Vice Chairs are encouraged to recruit and to appoint Regional Assistants to support regional outreach.
C. Appointed Caucus leaders shall have voice but no vote at Caucus Executive Committee meetings, unless the appointments fill vacant officer positions per these bylaws, in which case appointees shall have voice and vote at Caucus Executive Committee meetings.

Section 7: REIMBURSEMENTS
Executive Committee members are eligible for mileage reimbursement and travel expenses for attending Democratic events on behalf of the Rural Caucus within their respective service areas.
ARTICLE IV
MEETINGS
Section 1: PUBLIC MEETINGS
All public meetings of This Caucus shall be open to all members of the Democratic Party and members of the Press or invited guests regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, religion, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, persons with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or economic status.
Section 2: REGULAR MEETINGS
A. This Caucus shall convene its first regular meeting at the Convention of The Party in odd-numbered years.
B. This Caucus shall hold meetings at each regularly scheduled meeting of the Executive Board of The Party, unless cancelled by a majority vote of the Executive Board of This Caucus. This Caucus shall also meet upon call of the chair or a majority vote of the Executive Board of This Caucus.
Section 3: SPECIAL MEETINGS
A. This Caucus may hold special meetings in any of the following ways:
1. Upon call of the Chair;
2. Upon call of the officers; or,
3. Upon the call of the Chair within 15 days after receipt by the Chair of a written request signed by a majority of the members of This Caucus.
Section 4: PLACE OF MEETINGS
Regular meetings will be held at a time and place designated by the Executive Board of The Party.
Section 5: AGENDA
A. The agenda for all regular meetings shall be determined by the officers of This Caucus.
B. Such agenda shall include provisions for the adoption of This Caucuses Bylaws, election of officers, and such other matters as may be deemed in the best interest of This Caucus.
Section 6: QUORUM
Ten percent (10%) of the membership of This Caucus including at least one officer shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. If at any regular or special meeting of This Caucus a quorum is not present, those present may adjourn until a time when a quorum shall be present.
Section 7: PROXIES
Members of This Caucus may be represented at any meeting of This Caucus by proxy consistent with the Bylaws of The Party (ARTICLE IV, Section 6).
Section 8: PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE AND VOTING
Issues of Rural Caucus policy may be voted on by the Executive board of the Rural Caucus via email or electronically and then recommended to the body for electronic vote. In all cases not provided for by law or by these Bylaws, the meetings of This Caucus shall be governed by Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
ARTICLE V
OBLIGATIONS UNDER GENERAL PROVISIONS OF CDP BYLAWS The Rural Caucus specifically recognizes its obligations to adhere to the General Provisions of the CDP Bylaws.
ARTICLE VI
AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS
Section 1: AMENDMENT
A. These bylaws may be amended at any meeting of This Caucus, provided that the Caucus amends these bylaws in the following manner:
1. The amendment must be submitted to This Caucus and filed with Secretary no less than thirty days (30) prior to the meeting at which the amendment is to be voted on.
2. A copy of the amendment shall be sent with the meeting notice to each member of This Caucus at least ten days (10) in advance of the meeting at which the amendment is to be voted on, and,
3. Two-thirds (2/3) of those members of This Caucus actually present and voting at any meeting have approved the amendment.
Section 2: EFFECTIVE DATE
These bylaws or any amendment thereto shall become effective immediately upon their adoption.