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Optional Member Code
 

By-Laws

Adopted March 16, 1983

Amended September 1, 2012

Adopted May 21, 2013

Revised and Approved May 20, 2015

Article I. Name and Authority

The name of the organization shall be the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee, hereinafter referred to as the BCDSCC.

The BCDSCC shall represent the Maryland Democratic Party within Baltimore City and shall perform such functions required by the laws of the State of Maryland, the Charter and By-laws of the Democratic Party of the United States, and the Constitution and By-Laws of the Maryland Democratic Party.

Article II. Membership

Section l: Democratic Voters in each legislative district in Baltimore City shall elect seven (7) members to the BCSDCC during the gubernatorial primary.

Section 2: All BCSDCC members shall be residents of and registered Democratic voters of the district from which they are elected.

Section 3: Members shall serve a term of four (4) years, or until their successors qualify.

Section 4: Vacancies. Any vacancy shall be filled by a majority of the remaining    members of the district in which a vacancy occurs within forty-five (45) days of the date the vacancy occurs.

A. A press release from the BCSDCC regarding the availability of the position and requesting resumes will be released at least fourteen (14) days prior to the date which applications are due.

a. The resumes are collected at the BCSDCC’s Post Office Box, then distributed to the district chair who shall share them with the BCSDCC members in that district.

b. The district committee will hold an open meeting to interview candidates and vote on the candidates to serve. Votes to select the new members must be a roll call vote and a signed ballot vote.

B. The new appointments shall be immediately reported to the Chair of the BCSDCC who is to certify same to the Maryland Democratic Party Chair within ten (10) days after filling such vacancy.

C. In the event such vacancy is not fulfilled within forty-five (45) days, the Maryland Democratic Party Chair shall fill the vacancy.

D. Members appointed through this process are considered voting members of the BCSDCC and the Maryland Democratic Party.

Section 5: Gender Balancing:  Each district shall ensure their districts are gender balanced by a date designated by the Maryland Democratic Party following the election of the BCSDCC. Gender balanced means that there are equal numbers of men and women in each district. Each district must hold an open process to select its additional members.

A. A press release from the BCSDCC regarding the availability of the position(s) and requesting resumes will be released at least fourteen (14) days prior to the date which applications are due.

a. The resumes are collected at the BCSDCC’s Post Office Box, then distributed to the district chair who shall share them with the BCSDCC members in that district.

b. The district committee will hold an open meeting to interview candidates and vote on the candidates to serve. Votes to select the new members must be a roll call vote and a signed ballot vote.

B. The members selected during this process are considered “At-Large” members.

a. At-Large members are allowed to vote on BCSDCC business but are not eligible to vote to fill BCSDCC positions, elected official vacancies or recommendations to boards and commissions.

 b. At-Large members are eligible to vote on all Maryland Democratic Party business.

C. Should a vacancy occur in the members selected for gender balancing purposes, the same process used to select these members will be used to fill the vacancy.

Section 6: The Baltimore City Young Democrats and the United Democratic Women's Club of Maryland shall each be entitled to a representative on the BCSDCC as non- voting members.

Section 7: Code of Ethics 

A. Members of the BCSDCC shall be subject to the same substantive rules of ethical guidelines as state public officials to assure that they shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner that reflects creditably upon the office that they serve.

B. Members shall not use their office to gain special privileges and benefits, and shall refrain from action in their official capacities when their independence of judgment would be adversely affected by personal interests.

Article III. Duties and Responsibilities

Section 1: The BCSDCC shall fill the vacancy of a Senator or Delegate who is unable to complete his or her term due to death, resignation or removal. The BCDCC shall ensure that reasonable public notice is given concerning the vacancy, the procedure for filling the vacancy, and the qualifications and requirements for candidates to fill the vacancy. Meetings held by the BCSDCC for the purpose of filling such a vacancy shall be open to the public, and votes for the purpose of filling the vacancy shall be conducted by written ballot and roll call vote.

Section 2: The BCSDCC shall fill ballot vacancies if there is a failure to have a Democratic candidate file for nomination, or death, resignation or removal of local party nominees. Vacancies should be filled using a similar process as outlined in Section 1 of this Article.

Section 3: The BCSDCC shall make recommendations to the Baltimore City Board of Elections and other state or local boards as requested by the Governor. The BCSDCC will ensure public notice of the opportunity to serve including the qualifications and requirements of the position(s). Meetings held by the BCSDCC to make these recommendations shall be open to the public and votes shall be conducted by written ballot and roll call vote.

Section 4: All BCSDCC members shall initiate and participate in activities that build the Democratic Party and get Democrats elected. These activities include, but are not limited to:

A. Fundraising for BCSDCC activities and candidates the BCSDCC supports.

B. Increase voter registration and participation.

C. Actively support the Democratic nominee in any General Election and coordinate voter engagement activities with the campaign(s).

D. Engage voters at every level to ensure success of Democratic nominees

Section 5: The BCSDCC shall be responsible for drafting a two-year work-plan for each election cycle held during its term. This plan, which shall be submitted to the Maryland Democratic Party Chair, will detail the BCSDCC’s efforts to build the local party and support its candidates over the two-year period between General Elections.

 Article IV. Meetings

Section 1: The BCSDCC shall hold a monthly meeting unless otherwise voted upon by the majority of members of the BCSDCC present during a meeting where such a motion is discussed.

Section 2: A quorum for the conduct of business at meetings of the BCSDCC shall be one-third (1/3) of the voting members of the BSCDCC.

Section 3: Notice of regular meetings shall be sent by first class mail, postmarked at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the meeting as well as by electronic mail.

Section 4: The Chair may limit the agenda of any meeting to those items submitted to the Chair by a member of the BCSDCC at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the meeting.

Section 5: All meetings of the BCSDCC shall be open to the public.

Section 6: Special meetings of the BCSDCC must address a specific issue and may be called by:

A. An affirmative majority vote of the Executive Committee.

B. A two-thirds (2/3) vote from the general membership at a regular meeting where a special meeting is discussed.

C. In the case where such a meeting might be called outside a regular meeting, a petition of one-third (1/3) of the voting members of the BCSDCC is required to call a special meeting.

Section 7: The authority for the rules of procedure of the Committee shall be those contained in the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, except when they shall conflict with the Constitution or By-laws of the Maryland Democratic Party, or a resolution to the contrary duly adopted by the Maryland Democratic Party.

Section 8: All actions taken by the BCSDCC shall be voted on by a majority of the voting members of the BSCDCC present at a meeting.

A. Voting members are those members who were elected by the voters in their district during the gubernatorial elections.

B. At-Large members as defined in Article II section 5 subsection B are not considered voting members.

Section 9:  Minutes.

A. Minutes of BCSDCC meetings are sent to the members for review and approval at the next BCSDCC meeting.

B. Minutes are available by written request to the Chair of the BCSDCC.

C. The BCSDCC must file with the Maryland Democratic Party copies of the        minutes of its meetings, which include the attendance of members at each meeting and a method of certifying members’ attendance. Minutes should be sent no later than seven (7) days after approval by a majority of the BCSDCC members at the meeting following the meeting where minutes were taken.

 Article V. Removal

Section 1: Removal of Members for lack of attendance:

A. A member of the BCSDCC may be considered to have resigned and their seat vacated by virtue of their regular failure to participate in the activities and affairs of the Maryland Democratic Party at the local or state level.

B. Failure to participate shall be determined as failure to attend a majority of regularly scheduled meetings of the Maryland Democratic Party and the BCSDCC during any twelve-month period starting the date he/she is elected to the BCSDCC. However, where one serves as a Delegate or Senator in the Maryland General Assembly, he/she may be excused from attending meetings whenever the Maryland General Assembly is in session or in special session.

C. Process for removal:

a. Any member may send written petition the Chair of the BCSDCC to remove a member for lack of participation as defined in subsections A and B.

b. The Chair shall examine minutes of meetings to confirm said lack of participation.

c. The Chair shall send a letter to the member via certified mail to notify the member of said petition, and to inform them of his/her removal from the BCSDCC.

d. The Chair will then inform the Chair of the district committee of the need to fill the vacancy.

e. The member in question has the right to appeal as outlined in section 4 of this article.

Section 2: Removal of Members for Conduct. Grounds for such disqualification and removal from office shall include: 

A. Malfeasance in office.

B. Upon conviction of a felony.

C. Openly supporting or endorsing a candidate for public office of another political party or an independent candidate who is opposed or will be opposed by a Democratic nominee for the same office, or a write-in candidate who is opposed or will be opposed by a Democratic nominee for the same office. Violation of this subsection may include endorsing or making public statements of support for a candidate; donating money or in-kind goods or services that are subject to official reporting; displaying signs on real or personal property; wearing or displaying campaign buttons, bumper stickers, or similar displays; or participating in coordinated or cooperative campaign efforts in support of such a candidate or candidates.

D. Process for removal:

a. A petition for removal must be presented to the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party by a majority vote of the BCSDCC or bearing the signature of any three (3) bona fide Democrats registered to vote in the district the member in question represents. The petition must cite the grounds for removal in accordance with Sections 1 and 2 of this Article.

b. Within five (5) days of receiving the petition for removal, the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party will refer said petition to the Maryland Democratic Party’s Credentials Committee for its review and recommendation.

c. Within fifteen (15) days of received the petition for removal, the Credentials Committee shall hold a hearing on said petition affording the member in question the opportunity to confront the petitioners, present evidence and witnesses to rebut the grounds for removal and question any witnesses testifying against said member. The member in question shall have the right to employ legal counsel at his/her expense, and the right to examine all evidence presented to the Credentials Committee.

d. Within ten (10) business days after the last day of the hearing, the Credentials Committee shall make a written recommendations for action on the petition to the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party. The Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party shall notify all parties of the recommendations of the Credentials Committee by registered mail within five (5) business days of receiving the recommendation.

e. If the Credentials Committee recommends the member in question be removed from office, the removal shall automatically take effect, unless the member in question files an appeal.

Section 4: Appeal

A. The member in question may appeal their removal following the procedure set forth below, provided that the appeal is limited to the question of violation outlined in the original petition documents.

B. The appeal of removal must be presented to the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party by the member appealing the removal within fifteen (15) business days of the action by the Secretary of the Maryland Democratic Party.

C. Within five (5) business days after receiving any appeal the Chair shall refer said appeal to the Credentials Committee for its review and recommendation.

D. Within fifteen (15) business days after receiving any appeal the Credentials Committee shall hold a hearing on said appeal affording the member the opportunity to confront the petitioners, present evidence and witnesses to rebut the grounds for disqualification, and question any witness testifying against said member. The member who is appealing shall have the right to employ counsel at his/her expense, and the right to examine all evidence presented to the Credentials Committee.

E. Within ten (10) business days after the last day of the hearing, the Credentials Committee shall make a written recommendation for action on the appeal to the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party.

F. The Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party shall notify parties filed of the recommendation of the Credentials Committee by registered mail within five (5) business days of receiving the recommendation.

G. If the Credentials Committee recommends that the member be removed from office, the removal shall automatically take effect, unless the member files a request, in writing, within fifteen (15) business days of their notification to have the recommendation reconsidered by the Executive Committee of the Maryland Democratic Party. In the event of such a request, the Executive Committee shall vote on the recommendation of the Credentials Committee at its next meeting, with there being no further right to appeal.

Article VI.  Officers

Section 1: Once elected during the gubernatorial primary, the newly elected BCSDCC shall meet within thirty (30) days after certification of the election and shall elect from the membership the following officers to serve for the ensuing term of four (4) years. All officers shall be elected by and serve at the pleasure of the BCSDCC.

A. Chair

B. First Vice Chair

C. Second Vice Chair

D. Recording Secretary

E. Corresponding Secretary

F. Treasurer

G. Sergeant at Arms

Section 2: The Chair

A. Shall preside at all meetings of the BCSDCC and of the Executive Committee.

B. Shall call all regular and special meetings as directed.

C. Make all pertinent reports on behalf of the BCSDCC to the Maryland Democratic Party any other state, city or other governmental official or body.

D. Shall create and appoint members of committees, in consultation with the Executive Committee, and be an ex-officio member of all committees.

E. Shall be the only official spokesperson for the BCSDCC.

F. Perform such other duties as may be required by law or as may be directed by the BSCDCC.

Section 3: The First Vice Chair

A. Shall perform the duties of the Chair in his/her absence or during his/her disability

B. Shall perform other duties as delegated, assigned, or directed by the Chair, or its Executive Committee, or these By-Laws.

Section 4: The Second Vice Chair    

A. Shall perform the duties of the Chair in his/her absence or during his/her disability if the First Vice Chair is unable to fulfill this duty.

B. Shall perform other duties as delegated, assigned, or directed by the Chair, or its Executive Committee, or these By-Laws. 

Section 5: The Recording Secretary 

A. Shall keep minutes of all meetings and shall forward copies of minutes to the Chair as soon as possible. The minutes of each meeting must be filed with the Secretary of the Maryland Democratic Party within seven (7) days after approval by the BCSDCC.

B. Shall keep all records and documents of the BCSDCC to be maintained in physical or electronic form.

C. Shall keep the official attendance records for the BCSDCC.

Section 6: The Corresponding Secretary

A. Shall send all letters and prepare communications on behalf of the BCSDCC.

B. Send notice of BCSDCC regular and special meetings as required in Article IV Section 3 of these bylaws.

C. Perform other duties as required.

Section 7: The Treasurer

A. Shall be in charge of all funds and shall make disbursements as directed by the Chair with approval of the Executive Committee.

B. Shall be personally liable for filing state required financial reports in a timely fashion.

C. Shall keep accounts of all monies raised and/ or received by the BCSDCC.

D. Shall deposit all funds and valuables in the name of the BCSDCC and/or depositories as the Executive Committee or BCSDCC shall designate.

E. Shall not expend any money or incur any liability whatsoever, except with the authority and direction of the Chair of the BCSDCC, subject to the budget adopted by the BCSDCC.

F. Shall prepare and present a financial report for the regular meetings of the BSDCC and the Executive Committee and shall be responsible for preparation and    presentation of an annual budget.

G. Shall be bonded in such amounts as may be designated by the Executive Committee, the cost of said bond to be paid by the BCSDCC.

H. Shall be the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and work with said committee to determine a balanced budget prior to the start of the fiscal year.

Section 8: The Sergeant at Arms

A. Shall maintain order at all regular and special meetings of the BCSDCC.

B. Shall perform such other duties as assigned by the Chair.

Section 9: Removal from Office

A. A resolution recommending to the BCSDCC the removal of an officer must be introduced at any regular or special meeting of the Executive Committee.

B. The resolution shall have priority over every other motion, and must be considered immediately. If the officer named is the Chair, the First Vice Chair shall preside over the consideration of the question. The action must be approved by a majority of the members of the Executive Committee present.

C. The recommendation shall be presented to the BCSDCC at either a regular or special meeting, which must be held in 30 days of the Executive Committee’s action. If a majority of the voting members of the BCSDCC present agree to the resolution the officer shall be removed from their position immediately and the vacancy must be filed as prescribed in Section 11 of this Article.

Section 11: Vacancies.

In the event of the death, disability, removal, or resignation of any officer of the BCSDCC, the vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by the BCSDCC at its next meeting or special meeting called for that purpose.

Article VII. The Executive Committee

Section 1: The Executive Committee

A. Shall consist of the elected officers and two additional members appointed by the Chair. The two additional members shall not be members of the same district

B. Shall conduct all business of the Committee between regularly scheduled meetings and report any action to the BCSDCC at the next meeting

C. Authorized to approve expenditures up to $250

D. Shall review the annual financial statement of the Treasurer.

Section 2: Conduct of Business. A majority of the voting members of the Executive Committee is considered a quorum for the purpose of conducting business.

Section 3: Meetings

A. The Executive Committee shall meet on a regular basis at least six times in each calendar year

B. Special meetings may be called by the Chair or by a majority vote of members.

 Article VIII. Finances

Section 1: The BCSDCC shall have the authority to establish and implement a budget to raise and disburse funds in accordance with membership approval

Section 2: No members of the BCSDCC shall be individually liable for the debts or obligations incurred by the BCSDCC, the Treasurer and the Chair.

Section 3: The Treasurer shall prepare a complete financial statement to include all receipts disbursements, receivables and debts at the close of each fiscal year. Said report shall be presented to the Executive Committee for review with copies for each member of the BCSDCC.

Section 4: The fiscal year shall begin on January 1 and end December 31 each year. A financial review of the books, records and accounts of the BCSDCC shall be performed at the end of year.

Section 5:  A balanced budget showing revenues and complete expenses will be completed and approved by the BCSDCC prior to the start of each fiscal year. The Treasurer, along with the Budget and Finance Committee shall determine the process for developing the budget each year.

 ARTICLE IX. Committees

Section 1:  Standing Committees.

The BSCDCC has the following standing committees, the Chairs and members of which are appointed by the Chair of the BCSCC.

A. The Constitution and Bylaws Committee is charged with amending the bylaws as needed and in general ensuring the BCSDCC follows the Bylaws consistently.

B. The Budget and Finance Committee is chaired by the Treasurer and is charged with designing a balanced budget each year and assisting the Treasurer with overseeing the financial well-being of the BCSDCC.

C. The Fundraising Committee is charged with planning and executing fundraising events and initiatives to raise funds for the activities of the BCSDCC.

D. The Voter Registration Committee is charged with increasing the number of registered voters in Baltimore City. 

E. The Communications Committee is charged with marketing and promoting the work of the BCSDCC including maintaining the website and social media while working with the various committees on flyers, announcements and more.

Section 2: Ad-hoc committees. 

A. The BCSDCC shall from time to time establish committees to achieve specific tasks within a specific timeframe.

B. These committees must be established by a majority vote of the Executive Committee, and the Chairs and members be appointed by the Chair of the BCSDCC.

C. Minutes of ad-hoc committee meetings must be submitted to the Recording Secretary.

Section 3: Diversity Leadership Councils

A. The Maryland Democratic Party has a network of Diversity Leadership Councils for the purpose of conducting constituency outreach, fostering Democratic activism and involvement, community organizing and empowerment.

B. The Chair of the BCSDCC may appoint, with the consent of the Executive Committee, persons to serve as representatives to the Maryland Democratic Party Diversity Leadership Councils.

Article X. Amendments

These By-laws may be amended by written resolution submitted at a regular or special meeting of the BCSDCC and acted upon at the next or special meeting of the BCSDCC by a majority vote of the voting members present.

Article XI. Governing Documents

Section 1:  Notification

A. The BCSDCC shall annually provide the Maryland Democratic Party and the State Board of Elections with a copy of its By-Laws.

B. The BCSDCC shall notify the Maryland Democratic Party within thirty days of adopting any amendment to the By-Laws.

Section 2: Review

A. Any provision of the By-Laws of the BCSDCC that violates the By-Laws of the Maryland Democratic Party shall be null and void.

B. The review process is outlined as follows:

a. A request for a review is filed with the Secretary of the Maryland Democratic Party by a member of the Maryland Democratic Party Executive Committee and the BCSDCC is notified.

b. The Maryland Democratic Party Rules Committee reviews the challenged provision(s) and forwards its recommendations to the Maryland Democratic Party Executive Committee and the BCSDCC. (At least a week before the Rules Committee conducts any review of a challenged provision(s), the BCSDCC must receive notice of the meeting.)

c. The Maryland Democratic Party Executive Committee determines that the challenged provision(s) violates a specific provision(s) of the Constitution or By-Laws of the Maryland Democratic Party. (At least a week before any review takes place by the Executive Committee; the BCSDCC must receive a copy of the recommendations of the Rules Committee and must receive notification of the meeting of the Maryland Democratic Party Executive Committee.)

d. The BCSDCC is notified of the decision of the Maryland Democratic Party Executive Committee.

Article XII. Adoption

These By-Laws shall be effective immediately upon its adoption by a vote of a majority of the voting BCSDCC members present at a meeting called for this purpose and shall be recorded with the Maryland Democratic Party.

Members of the 2015 By-Laws Committee:

Ronald Bailey

Michael Ball

Scherod Barnes

Angela Gibson

Sharon McCullough

Odette Ramos

Joyce Smith

John E. Wesby, Jr.

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