Young Democrats of Michigan Constitution and Bylaws

PREAMBLE

The Young Democrats of Michigan shall aspire to spark in young people an interest in governmental affairs, increase the accountability and efficiency of our governmental institutions, maintain the viability of said institutions, work to elect candidates at all levels of government, and contribute to the growth of, as well as influence, the values and policies supported by the Democratic Party. 

ARTICLE I:  NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Young Democrats of Michigan (YDM). 

ARTICLE II:  POLICY

Section 1: ENDORSEMENTS: This organization shall have the ability to endorse and/or support the candidacy of any person for public office prior to nomination by the Democratic Party through majority vote of the YDM Executive Board. Additionally, this organization shall have the ability to endorse, support, and/or oppose any ballot proposals, legislation, policy, and other forms of political work through majority vote of the YDM Executive Board. 

  1. Any person seeking an endorsement must complete a Candidate Questionnaire, provided by the Electoral Director of the YDM.
  1. YDM shall have the ability to contribute money and/or any other YDM resources to any endorsed candidate seeking public office, or other endorsed political work with majority vote of the Executive Board.
  1. Whenever possible, YDM should endorse candidates who align with the organization’s approved platform. 

Section 2: FUNDS

The Treasurer shall be responsible for the financial receipts and disbursements of this organization subject to the approval of the YDM Executive Board, by majority vote.

  1. The funds of this organization shall be deposited in credit unions, and shall be drawn upon by the Chair and/or Treasurer. 
  1. The Treasurer shall make a full annual, and brief quarterly, financial report to the Executive Board. As well as a full annual report to YDM members at the next regularly scheduled convention. 
  1. When a new Treasurer is elected, the past Treasurer shall deliver the funds, all the books, and records to the new Treasurer within thirty (30) days of election results. 
  1. Monthly bank statements of YDM shall be made available through the Treasurer for YDM members who express interest. 
  1. No part of the income or assets of YDM shall transfer to any of its members or non-members, except for the reimbursement of actual expenses or reasonable compensation for services as approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board members. 

Section 3: This organization shall keep itself informed on issues of local, state, and national importance and shall call public attention to such issues.

Section 4: This organization shall support the Democratic Party in local, state, and national elections.

Section 5:  This organization shall be governed by this constitution and any by-laws, rules and policies it may adopt. Along with the Rules of Michigan Democratic Party.

ARTICLE III:  CHARTERED ORGANIZATIONS

Section 1: An organization may be chartered as an YDM organization if it has met all of the following criteria:

  1. The organization has been approved by a majority vote of the YDM Executive Board.
  2. Elect officers for the chapter, including a Chair and Vice-Chair of different gender identities, and an officer-at-large, and where necessary, Treasurer and Secretary. Elections must be announced at a meeting prior and must be communicated to YDM members of the region of the prospective chapter. Election results must be communicated to the YDM President and/or Membership Director of the Young Democrats of Michigan. Votes shall NOT be taken by secret ballot.
  3. A presiding officer of the organization submits the following to the Membership Director of YDM: 
  1. A written application for charter, provided by the Membership Director of the YDM.
  2. A complete and up-to-date membership list containing the name, address, telephone number, and date of birth of each member to the Membership Director of the YDM at the time of application.  For purposes of chartering, this list cannot contain the names of any persons who are members of other YDM-chartered organizations.  This provision does not prohibit a person from belonging to more than one chartered organization for purposes other than chartering.
  3. A complete and up-to-date copy of its constitution and bylaws to the Membership Director of the YDM at the time of application.
  4. The organization has a membership of at least three (3) persons excluding the organizations executive board who are age 16 through 36 years.

Section 2: A chartered YDM organization may not exclude persons from membership because of race, creed, religion, handicap, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, or economic status. 

Section 3: A chartered YDM organization may not have any board members be a part of an opposing partisan organization other than the Democratic Party. Notwithstanding this requirement, non-partisan organizations are permitted. 

Section 4: A charter shall be required to submit an annual report to the Membership Director every (12) months after their chartering date.

Section 5: A charter may be forfeited if the organization does not satisfy the requirements of this Article within sixty (60) days of YDM notifying the organization of any violations. 

Section 6. A charter may also be removed if a chapter does not follow the bylaws of the YDM and/or of the MDP rules and bylaws, or if a chapter falls below the minimum membership number, or by a two-thirds majority vote of the whole membership of the YDM at a statewide convention.

Section 7: A charter may be granted to any college or high school organization meeting the requirements of this article.  

ARTICLE IV:  MEMBERSHIP

Voting members of YDM shall consist of any registered member of the MDP within 30 days of a vote, who are between the ages of 16 and 36.

ARTICLE V:  OFFICERS, EXECUTIVE BOARD AND ELIGIBILITY TO RUN FOR OFFICE

Section 1: The Executive Board of the YDM shall consist of the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Director, Outreach and Inclusion Director, Electoral Director, Communications Director, Events Director, and up to four (4) Officers-at-Large. All officers shall serve a two-year term commencing with the YDM State Convention at which they are elected, or upon their appointment. No county (or in Wayne County, no congressional district) shall have more than two (2) members among the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Section 2: A person is eligible to run for office if they meet the following qualifications:

  1. They are an eligible member of the MDP between the ages of 16-36, thirty (30) days prior to the election.
  2. The Chair and Vice Chair must be of differing gender identities.
  3. All elected officer positions shall consist of the following: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Director, Inclusion and Outreach Director, Electoral Director, Communications Director, and Events Director.

Section 3: Anyone wishing to run for the office of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, or Treasurer must file an affidavit of candidacy which contains their name, address, telephone number, email, and office being sought, with the Secretary, Vice Chair, or  Chair at least 14 calendar days prior to the YDM State Convention at which the election is being held. Nominations from the floor shall only be allowed if no eligible candidate has filed an affidavit of candidacy in time.

Section 4: The Chair, regardless of any other qualifications, shall not serve more than three (3) consecutive terms in office.

Section 5: The Chair may appoint up to four (4) non-voting Officers-at-Large to the Executive Board, with a majority approval of the board.

Section 6: The officers of the YDM shall have the following duties: 

  1. Chair: Manages all administrative duties of YDM.
  2. Vice Chair: Special Projects and assist all administrative duties of Chair.
  3. Treasurer: Fundraising and keeping a record of all finances.
  4. Secretary: Records minutes, manages administrative records, and correspondence with YDM members.
  5.  Membership Director: Manages recruitment, membership applications, processing, maintenance, and recording of charter organizations.
  6. Inclusion and Outreach Director: Responsible for assuring underrepresented communities are being attracted to the party and fostering inclusion and better intercultural awareness.
  7. Electoral Director: Liaison between YDM and campaigns, trainings and support for members running for office. Head of the endorsement process.
  8. Communications Director: Public relations and social media activities.
  9. Events Director: Responsible for planning and coordinating events and fundraisers.
  10. Officers-At-Large: Delegated tasks from Chair or Executive Board and acting Liaison for Membership. 

Section 8: VACANCIES:
A. Vacancy of Chair
If the position of Chair becomes vacant, the Vice Chair shall succeed as Interim Acting Chair. The Interim Acting Chair  shall convene a special meeting of the Executive Board within thirty (30) days of the vacancy to set forth a call-to-convention for a Special Election. The Special Election shall be held no later than ninety (90) days from the date of the vacancy. Eligibility requirements are outlined, pursuant to Article V, Section 3. 

B. Vacancy of Vice Chair
If the position of Vice Chair becomes vacant, the Chair shall appoint an Interim Acting Vice Chair within thirty (30) days of the vacancy. The Chair shall convene a special meeting of the Executive Board within thirty (30) days of the vacancy to set forth a call for candidates and a Special Election. The Special Election shall be held no later than ninety (90) days from the date of the vacancy. Eligibility requirements are outlined, pursuant to Article V, Section 3. 

C. Simultaneous Vacancy of Chair & Vice Chair
If the positions of Chair and Vice Chair are vacant at the same time the Executive Board shall elect an Interim Acting Chair  and Interim Acting Executive Vice Chair within thirty (30) days of the vacancy of both positions and set forth a call for candidates and a Special Election. The Special Election shall be held no later than (90) days from the date of the vacancy. Eligibility requirements are outlined, pursuant to Article V, Section 3. 

D. Vacancies Generally
In the event any other elected office shall become vacant, the vacancy shall be filled by an interim appointment by the Chair  subject to approval by the Executive Board at its next meeting and shall not require a special election to complete the term of office. A position shall be considered vacant following four (4) or more unexcused absences from regularly scheduled board meetings. Unexcused absences are to be defined by majority vote of the Executive Board. 

E. Resignations

Members of the Executive Board wishing to resign must submit their resignations, in writing, to the Secretary. In the event of the resignation of the Secretary, such communication shall be sent to the Chair  in place of the resigning officer.

Section 9: A quorum for an Executive Board meeting shall consist of a majority of the voting members of the Executive Board.

Section 10: The Executive Board shall approve, by a majority vote of those present at a board meeting at which a quorum is present, all YDM activities (financial, social, political, civic). 

Section 11: The Executive Board is within its rights to create additional voting and non-voting positions, committees, and policies within the board if they are deemed reasonable and prudent for the organization by a 2/3 vote of the Executive Board.

Section 12: All committees and their chairpersons shall be appointed by the Chair, subject to confirmation by a majority vote of the Executive Board. All Executive Board decisions can be overruled by a 2/3 vote of the YDM members present at a properly constituted State Convention.

ARTICLE VI:  STATE CONVENTIONS

Section 1: Election of officers shall take place at the YDM State Conventions; or Special Elections, pursuant to Article V, Section 8; held during odd-numbered years. 

Section 2: The Chair shall issue the call to the State Convention at least sixty (60) days prior to the convention.

Section 3: The Chair and Executive Board shall publicize the 14-day filing deadline for candidates pursuant to Article V, Section 3. as part of the call to State Convention. The deadline shall also be made conspicuous on the home page of the YDM website at least 30 days prior to the convention.

Section 4: State Conventions shall be governed by the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. 

Section 5: All meetings shall be chaired by the Chair. In their absence, the Vice Chair  shall chair the convention, followed by a floor vote of temporary chair in their absence.

ARTICLE VII: AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

Section 1: Amendments to this constitution may be made only in the following manner:

  1. A synopsis of the proposed amendment(s) shall be submitted in writing at least 10 days prior to a State Convention to the Secretary of the YDM.
  1. The proposed amendment(s) shall require a two-thirds vote of all members present and voting at the State Convention in order to be adopted.

Section 2: All amendments to this constitution become effective immediately upon adoption by the membership as outlined in this constitution at an official State Convention.  

ARTICLE VIII:  ASSETS AND PROPERTY

Upon its dissolution, all assets and real and personal property of the YDM and its committees shall revert to the benefit of the Michigan Democratic Party.