BYLAWS OF THE COASTSIDE DEMOCRATS
Approved on March 10, 2005; amended Aug 7, 2014, at the General Membership Meeting; amended May 31, 2015, at the General Membership Meeting; amended May 21, 2017, at the General Membership Meeting; amended November 3, 2017, at the General Membership Meeting; amended June 27, 2020 at the General Membership Meeting; and amended May 21, 2023 at the General Membership Meeting.
Article I: Name and Affiliation
Section 1. This organization shall be known as the Coastside Democrats or the Coastside Democratic Club, herein after referred to as the “Club”.
Section 2. This Club shall be affiliated with the San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee, herein after referred to as the SMCDCC.
Article II: Purpose
Section 1. A purpose of this Club is to support the candidates of the Democratic Party.
Section 2. An equal purpose of this Club is to support the principles of:
- honest and transparent government and elections
- equal and inclusive opportunity and justice for all Americans
- government benefiting all citizens, not just the wealthy
- full respect for our natural environment and international treaties
- public health and education, women’s rights and the welfare of seniors
- outreach to youth and all ethnic communities
Article III: Membership
Section 1. Membership in the Club is open to all registered Democrats who live or work in San Mateo County.
Section 2. People who are not registered Democrats but support progressive causes may become nonvoting Friends of the Coastside Democrats and participate in Club activities.
Section 3. Membership may not be limited due to race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, ethnic identity, physical ability, sexual orientation or economic status.
Section 4. The membership year starts on May 1.
Section 5. Membership dues must be current in order to vote at any meeting. Membership will lapse if dues are more than 45 days past due.
Section 6. A Member in good standing must be a registered Democrat in San Mateo County and a member of the Coastside Democrats whose membership is current.
Article IV: Dues
Section 1. The dues schedule shall be proposed by the Board and approved by majority vote of the membership.
Section 2. All dues are due and payable on the first day of the membership year.
Article V: Officers
Section 1. The elected officers of the Club shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Any member of the Club may run for office.
Section 2. The Executive Board, herein after called the “Board”, consists of the elected officers, and 3 elected At-Large members.
Section 3. All elected positions shall be for a term of one year.
Section 4. The duties of the Board shall be to determine the programs and activities of the Club and to distribute a newsletter to all members.
Section 5. The duties of the officers are:
- President. The President shall be the presiding officer at all General Meetings and at meetings of the Board. The President is responsible for assuring that the programs and directives of the Board are carried out. The President is an ex-officio member of all committees. The President may delegate authority as it appears prudent. The President is the official Club spokesperson.
- Vice President. The Vice President shall preside at any meetings where the President is absent or when requested by the President. The Vice President shall assist the President as otherwise mutually agreed upon.
- Secretary. The Secretary shall keep the minutes of each Membership Meeting and each Board Meeting. The Secretary shall distribute the previous Board minutes prior to each Board Meeting. The Secretary shall prepare and distribute Club correspondence as directed by the Board or other officer and shall receive correspondence from other sources.
- Treasurer. The treasurer shall maintain the books and financial records of the Club and shall prepare a Treasurer’s report for each meeting of the Board. The Treasurer shall maintain the Club’s bank Account and shall receive and disperse Club funds. The Treasurer shall maintain the membership rolls for the Club and shall prepare the reports needed to maintain our affiliation.
Article VI: Meetings
Section 1. The Annual Meeting of the membership shall be held in the first month of the membership year for the purpose of the election of officers and At-Large Board members. The President shall make a report on the activities of the Club for the past year. There will then be an opportunity for all members to discuss the future direction of the Club.
Section 2. General Meetings shall be held at least quarterly. The time and place shall be set by the Board.
Section 3. Special Meetings may be called by any two members of the Board or by the President with at least 7 days notice to the membership.
Section 4. A quorum must be present to conduct business at the Annual, General or Special Meeting of the membership. A quorum shall consist of the greater of 10% or 8 paid up members, and must include at least one officer.
Section 5. Board Meetings shall be held at least every other month. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Board, including at least two officers. A quorum must be present to conduct Board business.
Section 6. The Board may conduct emergency meetings via electronic mail if a regular meeting cannot be conducted because of the urgency of a matter before the Board. Decisions made via electronic mail must be approved by 2/3 of the Board.
Section 7. The time and place of all Membership and Board Meetings shall be set by the Board.
Section 8. Meetings held via online video conference or electronic mail will fulfill all associated meeting requirements set forth in this Article with the included restrictions still in force. Decisions made via electronic mail or online video conference must be approved by 2/3 of the Board.
Article VII: Elections
Section 1. Elections shall be held at the Annual Meeting.
Section 2. The Board shall appoint a Nominating Committee no later than 45 days prior to the Annual Meeting. The Nominating Committee shall report their nominations for all Board positions to the membership no later than 30 days prior to the election. Multiple nominations for any position are allowed.
Section 3. Nominations may be made by any three members and submitted to the Nominating Committee.
Section 4. Nominations may be made from the floor, with two seconds, at the Annual Meeting.
Section 5. Nominees must agree to serve.
Section 6. All members must be present to vote and must have been a member for at least 30 days prior to the election.
Section 7. The election of officers and At-Large Board members shall be by secret ballot. Ballots shall be counted using an Instant Runoff method. A Tellers Committee shall be appointed by the President which shall not contain any persons running for office.
Article VIII: Resignation and Removal from Office
Section 1. Any officer or At-Large Board member may be removed from office by a vote of the membership at a General or Special Meeting. Complaints must be submitted in writing to any Board member. The complaints against such a person must be sent to the membership at least 14 days prior to the meeting date at which the removal is to be voted upon. Removal of a Board Member must be voted on at a meeting of the membership where a quorum is present. Prosecution and defense for the removal of a Board Member shall be given at least 5 minutes each to present their positions. The vote to remove must be by a 2/3 majority of those members present.
Section 2. Any officer or At-Large Board member may be removed from office by majority vote of the Board for:
- Registering in a party other than the Democratic Party
- Endorsing a candidate that is not a registered Democrat only when the Club has already endorsed a candidate for that position
- Missing three consecutive Board meetings
- Engaging in conduct deemed to be unbecoming during the execution of Club business
Section 3. The Board may appoint a member to fill the unexpired term of a resigned or removed Board member, or may call a special election.
Article IX: Rules and Procedures
Section 1. The rules to be followed at membership and Board meetings shall be Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised. Should these bylaws conflict with those rules, these bylaws shall prevail. Should the Bylaws of the SMCDCC conflict, the SMCDCC bylaws shall prevail.
Article X: Code of Conduct
Section 1: Adoption of the CDP Code of Conduct
- COASTSIDE DEMOCRATS hereby adopts the Code of Conduct of the California Democratic Party (hereinafter “CDP Code”) and incorporates the CDP Code, as it now exists or as it may hereafter be amended, as a part of these bylaws. A copy of the current CDP Code is shown below and if hereafter amended by the CDP, the amended CDP Code shall be considered to:
- Have superseded the version below, and,
- Be operative as if included here.
Section 2: Violations
Any violation of the Code shall be considered a violation of the Club bylaws and shall subject the officer/member to discipline. Such discipline shall be in addition to any disciplinary actions by the California Democratic Party or any of its constituent parts.
Section 3: Availability
Copies of the Code shall be:
- Made a part of the notices of any and all meetings of this CLUB by inclusion of an appropriate link, and,
- Made available to members attending any such meeting by the officer responsible for check in.
CDP CODE OF CONDUCT
The California Democratic Party (CDP) is committed to providing a welcoming, respectful, friendly, safe, supportive, and harassment-free environment for members, employees, and all others associated with the CDP. The CDP expects all leaders, members, employees, and others associated with the CDP to act professionally, respecting the personal rights and dignities of all individuals involved with the party so as to create a productive, inclusive environment for all.
All individuals should feel welcome and safe within the CDP, regardless of their sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, religion, creed, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, body size, domestic violence victim status, or any other legally protected classifications.
The CDP’s behavior standards are not limited to CDP conventions and other meetings. Harassment will not be tolerated at any and all events sponsored by or affiliated with the CDP, as well as in CDP-related calls, texts, emails, and social media like Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat.
The CDP will not tolerate harassment—that is, disrespectful or unprofessional conduct based on any of the protected categories listed above. Prohibited harassment can be verbal (such as slurs, jokes, insults, epithets, gestures, or teasing based on the protected categories listed above), visual (such as the posting or distribution of offensive posters, symbols, cartoons, drawings, computer displays, or emails based on the protected categories listed above), or physical (such as physically threatening another person, blocking someone’s way, touching private parts, making physical contact in an unwelcome manner, etc.).
The CDP will not tolerate sexual harassment, that is, harassment based on sex or conduct of a sexual nature, which includes harassment based on sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity or gender expression. Prohibited sexual harassment may include all of the actions described above as harassment, as well as other unwelcome sex-based conduct, such as unwelcome or unsolicited sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, conversations regarding sexual activities, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexually harassing conduct need not be motivated by sexual desire and may include situations that began as reciprocal relationships, but that later cease to be reciprocal.
The CDP prohibits quid pro quo sexual harassment, such as when submission to sexual conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s membership in the party, appointment to committee, leadership, or other role within the CDP; or submission to or rejection of sexual conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting that individual.
The CDP prohibits the creation of a hostile environment, that is, conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile or otherwise offensive environment, including but not limited to: unwelcome sexual advances, flirtation, teasing, sexually suggestive or obscene letters, invitations, notes, emails, voicemails or gifts; sex, gender or sexual orientation-related comments, slurs, jokes, remarks or epithets; leering, obscene or vulgar gestures or making sexual gestures; displaying or distributing sexually suggestive or derogatory objects, pictures, cartoons, or posters or any such items; impeding or blocking movement, unwelcome touching or assaulting others; any abusive yelling or screaming, other verbal threats, or disrespectful language directed at a person; any sexual advances that are unwelcome as well as reprisals or threats after a negative response to sexual advances; and conduct or comments consistently targeted at one gender, even if the content is not sexual.
The examples above are just that—examples. In general, any conduct listed above or that is based on the protected classifications listed above that could interfere with an individual’s participation in the CDP or could create an offensive environment will be considered harassment in violation of this code of conduct. This is the case even if the offending individual did not mean to be offensive. It is essential that we all be sensitive to the feelings of others.
The CDP takes very seriously its responsibility to provide all members with a welcoming, respectful, and safe environment and urges any member who feels uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe to report harassment (of themselves or observed with respect to others) as soon as possible. Retaliation for reporting harassment or discrimination, or participating in an investigation with respect to harassment or discrimination, is prohibited.
Retaliation may include, but is not limited to, exclusion from meetings or committees, ostracism, bad-mouthing, or other conduct that may limit engagement with the CDP, or that would be reasonably likely to deter a reasonable CDP member from reporting harassment or participating in a harassment investigation.
Article XI: Committees
Section 1. There may be Standing Committees, as follows:
- Membership – responsible for supporting the membership
- Program – responsible for planning Membership meetings and activities
- Legislation – responsible for informing the membership about relevant political matters
- Publicity – responsible for informing the public and membership about Club activities
- Finance – responsible for producing and monitoring a yearly Club budget.
Section 2. Ad hoc committees may be created by any elected officer. Ad hoc committees may be disbanded by the officer who created them or by 2/3 vote of the Board.
Section 3. The Chairs of the Standing and Ad Hoc Committees shall be nominated by the President and approved by majority vote of the Board provided a quorum is reached. The Chairs may recruit additional committee members from among the Club membership.
Section 4. The purpose and function of the committees shall be approved by the Board.
Section 5. All committee chairs are responsible for reporting the activities of their committees at each Board Meeting, in person or by written report.
Section 6. Committee members shall publish their reports on the Club website.
Article XII: Finances
Section 1. The Treasurer shall maintain a checking account in the name of the Club.
Section 2. The President and the Treasurer shall be signatories on the Club checking account. Only one signature shall be required on each check, except that two signatures shall be required for check amounts over $400.
Section 3. The Board may instruct the Treasurer to open additional accounts as the Board sees fit.
Section 4. The Treasurer shall distribute an up-to-date financial report at each Board Meeting. The Treasurer shall also submit an annual report to the membership at the Annual Meeting.
Section 5. In the event of dissolution of this Club, all Club assets shall revert to the SMCDCC.
Section 6. The Treasurer is the Chair of the Finance Committee and is responsible for ensuring that expenditures are made consistent with the budget. If changes are needed, the Treasurer will first get approval from the Board.
Article XIII: Endorsements
Section 1. Only one registered Democrat per contested position may be endorsed in a voter-nominated top-two open primary.
Section 2. Only one registered Democrat per contested position may be endorsed for office in a general election.
Section 3. The California Democratic Party endorses in statewide elections for candidates and propositions. The Club may vote to concur with these endorsements or remain neutral.
Section 4. Only the San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee (SMCDCC) may endorse candidates and measures in non-partisan local elections. The Club may vote to recommend the endorsement of one registered Democrat per contested position running for local office to the SMCDCC. The Club may vote to recommend endorsement of local measures to the SMDCC.
Section 5. If the SMDCC does not vote on a local ballot measure and a general membership meeting is not held, the Club Board may vote to endorse a local ballot measure, but not candidates. Club Board endorsement for local ballot measures must pass by a 60% majority.
Section 6. Club endorsements and recommendations must be approved at an official meeting of the membership by at least 60% of those voting for that individual candidate, proposition, or measure.
Section 7. The membership shall be notified at least 15 days prior to an endorsement meeting.
Section 8. The Board will call for nominees from all members in good standing (as of July 1) in October to submit their name, affirm their voter registration and submit their responses to any Board’s questions to determine their qualifications for representing the club in their Assembly District. The Board will then select the appropriate number of AD reps and alternates at a Board meeting by a majority Board vote before November 1st.
Section 9. Delegates to the CDP Pre-endorsement meetings shall be chosen as follows: current Board members and active Club volunteers (defined as members who have volunteered to organize or staff an official Club activity or event in the previous year) will be the first asked to fill the available delegate positions. If any positions are unfilled after Board members and active Club volunteers have responded, a notice will go out to all Club members and the first to respond will be awarded the available position(s). The delegate positions will be allocated among all members residing in Assembly District 23.
Article XIV: Resolutions
Section 1. The Club will from time to time take positions on local, state, and national legislation.
Section 2. The Club may also take positions on other issues.
Section 3. A resolution on issues may be submitted to the membership by the Executive Board or by a petition signed by six or more members.
Section 4. A resolution must be approved at an official meeting of the membership by a majority of those voting.
Article XV: General Policies
Section 1. All membership meetings of this Club shall be open to the public, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, ethnic identity, physical ability, sexual orientation or economic status.
Section 2. All Board meetings are open to the membership.
Section 3. The activities of this Club shall be as open to the public as possible, consistent with a reasonable degree of decorum, as determined by the President.
Section 4. These Bylaws and all Annual reports shall be available to the public.
Section 5. Membership and Newsletter lists shall not be disseminated or used for non-Club business without Board approval.
Article XVI: Amendments
Section 1. Amendments to these Bylaws may be submitted to the Board by any two Board members or by any 5 members.
Section 2. Proposed amendments must be distributed to the membership at least 14 days prior to a vote by the membership.
Section 3. Proposed amendments must be voted on at a meeting of the membership where a quorum is present. Proponent and opponents to the amendment shall be given at least 5 minutes each to present their positions.
Section 4. Voting on amendments shall be by secret ballot. Amendments must receive a 2/3 vote of approval from the members present to pass.
Section 5. Amendments take effect immediately upon approval.