Howard County Democratic Central Committee By-Laws
Article I – Name and Authority
This organization shall be known as the Howard County Democratic Central Committee (“the Committee”). It shall have such authority and powers as may be granted, delegated, or otherwise permitted by the laws of the United States and the State of Maryland, by the Charter and By-Laws of the Democratic Party of the United States, and the Constitution of the Maryland Democratic Party. The Committee shall be the county governing body of the Democratic Party pursuant to Maryland Election Law §4-202.
Article II -Purpose
The purpose of the committee shall be to organize a representative and effective party organization in Howard County and to sustain and advance an environment that fosters the election of Democrats; to act as the governing body of the Democratic Party in Howard County; to affiliate with and advance the interests of the Maryland Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of the United States.
Article III – Membership
Section 1. Election of Members
The Howard County Democratic Central Committee (HCDCC) shall be elected in the Party’s Gubernatorial Primary consisting of twenty (20) members elected at-large. Central Committee members shall be elected by a process that recognizes three gender categories: female, male and non-binary. Elections shall ensure that no one gender category shall exceed 50 percent of the committee’s total membership. A committee shall be considered gender balanced as long as variance between men and women in the group does not exceed one ( 1 ). In the case of gender non-binary, they shall not be counted as either a male or female, and the remainder of the committee shall be equally divided.
Section 2. Filling a Vacancy
In the event of a vacancy on the Committee, the said vacancy shall be filled by a plurality vote in accordance with Article V, Section 5 of this document, within forty-five (45) days of the occurrence of such vacancy.
Section 1. Election of Officers
The members shall elect a Chairperson, Second-Chairperson, three Vice-Chairpersons, A Corresponding Secretary, a Recording Secretary, and Treasurer to serve a term of two years. Officers shall be elected at a called meeting in June following the Gubernatorial Primary Election, and in June of the Presidential election year. A member may serve unlimited successive terms as an officer of the Committee. In the event of the death, disability or inability of the Chairperson to serve, the Second-Chairperson shall become Acting Chairperson for up to sixty days. Within sixty ( 60) days of the Second-Chairperson assuming the duties of the chair, the members shall elect a new chairperson. Upon the death, disability, or inability of any other officer to serve, the members shall elect a new officer to serve the unexpired term.
Section 2. Duties of Chairperson and Second-Chairperson
The Chairperson shall be the chief executive officer of the Committee. Either the Chairperson or Second-Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Committee, preserve order during deliberations, appoint special Committees, appoint the chairpersons of such special committees, appoint legal counsel for the Committee to serve at the pleasure of the Chairperson and perform such other duties as may be required by law or as may be directed by the Committee or the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland. The Second-Chairperson shall be of a different gender than the chair.
Section 3 Duties of Vice-Chairpersons
There shall be three Vice-Chairpersons, one of whom shall be designated as the First Vice-Chair, and the others shall be designated as the Second Vice-Chair and Third Vice-Chair. The First Vice-Chairperson shall serve as administrator of the Precinct Organization program, otherwise known as the Neighborhood Contact Program and Field Organizing Program. The Second Vice-Chairperson shall be the Director of Communication and Technology. The Third Vice-Chairperson shall be the Director of Strategy and Special Projects. In addition, the Vice-Chairpersons shall perform such other duties as may be delegated, assigned or directed by the Chairperson of the Committee.
Section 4. Duties of the Corresponding Secretary
The corresponding Secretary shall be responsible for communication at the directions of the Chair or Committee, and such other duties as may be delegated, assigned, or directed by the Chairperson of the Committee.
Section 5. Duties of Recording Secretary
The Recording Secretary shall be responsible for recording the minutes and attendance of all Committee meetings. The recording secretary shall have custody of the minutes of all meetings, distribute the minutes to Committee members, and file the minutes and attendance with the office of the Maryland Democratic Party within twenty-one (21) days after each meeting.
Section 6. Duties of Treasurer
The Treasurer shall keep accounts of all monies received by the Committee. The Treasurer shall deposit all monies and valuables in the name of the Committee in such depositories and banks as the Committee shall designate. The Treasurer shall make no disbursement of any money or valuable thing in excess of the sum of Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) without prior approval of the Committee. The Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget and make periodic financial reports at the regular meetings. The Policies and Procedures of the Committee shall provide procedures for the signatures of checks.
Section 7. Committee Policies and Procedures
The Committee shall establish Policies and Procedures with further delineation of roles and responsibilities for officers and other committee members.
Article V – Meetings
Section 1. Schedule of Regular Meetings
There shall be no fewer than Seven (7) regular meetings per year. Regular Committee meetings shall take place on the first Wednesday of the months of February, March, May, June, September, October and December.
Section 2. Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Committee may be called by the Chairperson or Second-Chairperson, or by 2/3 of the members, with 7 days written notice given to each member stating the time, place and purpose of said special meeting. Meetings may be called on shorter notice by agreement of 2/3 of the members, with proper notification.
Section 3. Conducting Meetings
The Committee shall have a quorum for the purpose of meeting and conducting business. A quorum is defined as 1/2+ 1 of the voting members.
The Chairperson or Second-Chairperson may limit the agenda of any meeting to those items submitted to the Chairperson or Second-Chairperson at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to a regular or special meeting by a member of the Committee.
In the absence of a provision to the contrary in these By-Laws, or a resolution duly passed by this Committee, all meetings shall be conducted pursuant to Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised.
Section 4. Executive Session
The Committee shall have the right to operate in executive session. The Policies and Procedures shall establish procedures for conducting an executive session. The meeting minutes shall state the reason for executive session; otherwise, all of its meetings shall be conducted in public session.
Section 5. Voting Procedures
All votes of the Committee shall be taken in public, and decided by a plurality, unless otherwise specified in this document. There shall be no voting by proxy within the Committee. Each member may vote via voice communication once per year. Other voting specifics shall be provided for by Policies and Procedures.
Article VI – Responsibilities and Resignation/Removal of Committee Members
Section 1. Member Participation
It is the responsibility of each Member of the Committee to attend more than half of the Regular meetings of the Committee and at least one (1) meeting of the Maryland State Central Committee during any twelve (12) month period. In addition, members shall participate in all principal events of the Committee.
Section 2. Resignation/Removal
A member may be declared to have resigned, and thus removed, by the Howard County Democratic Central Committee for failure to meet the attendance and participation standards set forth in Article VI, Section 1 above, and in Article III, Section 5 of the Maryland Democratic Party By-Laws. Such members may appeal their removal to the State Central Committee following the procedure set forth in Article III, Section 6 of the Maryland Democratic Party By-Laws.
Section 3. Mandatory Resignation
A member certified to the ballot for a partisan elected office shall be considered to have resigned from the Committee. Any vacancy created will be filled in accordance with the procedure outlined in Article V, Section 5 of this document.
Article VII – Powers and Duties of the Committee
Section 1. Howard County Democratic Central Committee and the Maryland Democratic Party
The Committee shall have all of those powers and duties enunciated in these By-Laws, the Constitution and By-Laws of the Maryland Democratic Party and The Acts and Statutes of the State of Maryland.
Section 2. Budget
Committee shall approve an Annual budget. The fiscal year of the committee shall begin on September 1 of each year following approval of these bylaws. The Committee shall approve the budget for the fiscal year before that time.
Section 3. Standing Committees
The Committee shall maintain such standing Committees as may be deemed necessary by the Chairperson or Second Chairperson.
Article VIII – Statement of Policy
The Chairperson shall be the official spokesperson of the Committee. No other statements of policy shall be made by any other member of the Committee unless such member is previously authorized by the Committee. Nothing herein shall preclude members from making statements of their own opinions as long as it is clear that they are not speaking for the Committee or the Democratic Party of Howard County. The Policies and Procedures may establish additional procedures for statements of policy.
Article IX – Endorsements
Section 1. Personal Endorsements
Each member of the Committee shall be free to personally endorse and support the Democratic candidate( s) of his/her choice in any primary election, as long as he or she does not make the endorsement as a Central Committee Member.
Section 2. Committee Endorsement prior to Primary Election
The Committee shall not endorse nor shall it expend any of its monies on behalf of individual candidate( s) prior to the conclusion of the primary election.
Section 3. Committee Endorsement of Public Policy Issues
Except for the period between January 1 and Primary Election Day in a gubernatorial or presidential election year the Committee may, by an affirmative vote of two thirds (2/3) of those members present at a meeting or special meeting, take a position of support or opposition on any public policy issue which the Committee deems appropriate, provided that written notice of the issue to be considered has been given to each member at least five (5) days prior to the meeting at which a vote shall be taken. Nothing herein shall preclude a member from personally supporting a different position, provided, however, that the member clearly indicates that he/she is not speaking for the Committee or for the Democratic Party of Howard County.
Article X – Amendments
This document may be amended by a two thirds (2/3) vote of those members of the Committee constituting a quorum, provided, however, that a copy of the proposed amendment( s) has been submitted to each member at least five (5) days prior to the meeting at which such amendment(s) shall be voted upon.
These By-Laws and any amendments here to shall become effective immediately upon the adoption of the same by the members of the Committee.