Article 1: Organizational Structure and Statement of Purpose
Section 1-1: Organization and Definitions
The name of this organization shall be Greater Boston Young Democrats (hereafter referred to as “GBYD”) and shall be a chapter of Young Democrats of Massachusetts (hereafter referred to as “YDMA”) serving the municipalities of Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Brookline, Burlington, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Newton, Revere, Somerville, Watertown, Winchester, Winthrop, and Woburn. Any member of GBYD is also a member of YDMA.
Section 1-2: Statement of Purpose
GBYD shall serve the Greater Boston area by:
- Connecting Democrats under the age of 36 to networking, volunteer, electoral, and educational opportunities throughout Greater Boston;
- Fostering civic engagement and encouraging young people to become involved in the democratic process;
- Increasing awareness of and participation in the Democratic party by presenting the ideas and beliefs of the party in an open and public manner;
- Developing youth leadership through training and workshops;
- Stimulating dialogue on important issues facing Greater Boston, Massachusetts and the nation;
- Supporting the electoral efforts of Democrats, particularly those who are young and those who share the values, beliefs and priorities of GBYD;
- Advocating for legislation and ballot initiatives which align with the core values of GBYD, and;
- Operating in a manner that promotes inclusion, fair treatment and respect for all humans and seeks to unite people across any and all divides.
Section 1-3: Organizational Structure
GBYD shall consist of a Board of Directors, appointed committees, and members generally.
Article 2: Membership
Section 2-1: Eligibility
All persons under the age of 36 years are eligible to be members of GBYD if they:
- Primarily: reside, work, or attend school in the Greater Boston area.
- Maintain the principles and ideology of the Democratic Party as adopted at the last platform convention and support candidates of the same kind.
- All Chapter members who are so eligible must be registered as Democrats within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; these conditions should not exclude permanent residents who are not eligible to register to vote within the United States and temporary residents who choose to remain registered in another state.
- No person who is a voting member of a regional chapter affiliated with YDMA outside of the Greater Boston area in Massachusetts may be a voting member of GBYD.
- Any person who has reached the age of 36 may be elected to honorary membership in this organization upon nomination by the committee with jurisdiction over nominations and majority vote of the Board. Prior to nomination and election to honorary membership, candidates shall have demonstrated a commitment to the highest ideals of the Democratic Party and shall have performed extraordinary service to the Greater Boston Young Democrats. Honorary members shall be accorded full, non-voting, floor privileges at any meeting of the Greater Boston Young Democrats but shall not be counted towards a quorum and shall not be an officer in any role or capacity.
Members who temporarily leave the Boston area for military service, education, or political activity—and those who do so for other endeavors of limited duration not to exceed four months— may choose to remain members of GBYD, so long as they continue to be registered in the Democratic Party, where possible.
Section 2-2: Termination of Membership/Ineligibility
Any member who changes their registration from the Democratic Party, votes in another chapter, or expresses support for the opponent of the Democratic nominee—unless that show of support is based on a deeply held belief—shall be automatically removed and the Outreach Director shall be required to enforce this provision on their own initiative.
Section 2-3: Dues
Membership dues may be solicited, and their receipt conditional of voting membership provided that such a requirement is authorized by a majority vote of the convention and that the board shall provide a hardship exemption process; the Board of Directors may authorize an augmentation provided that it not exceed more than 30% or $5 of the amount so authorized, whichever is greater.
Section 2-4: Voting Members
Voting Members shall be those members who have previously attended at least two chapter meetings and at least one membership convention during the term of the current or prior Board of Directors and meet the requirements of membership. This clause shall not limit the ability to vote or seek office in the Chapter’s first official membership convention, but will be in full effect and force thereafter.
Article 3: Officers of GBYD
Section 3-1: Eligibility
Any person serving on the Board of Directors of GYBD must fit the qualifications of a voting member. No person may simultaneously hold more than one office. To assume the power and duties of an office any person shall be elected to they shall make an affirmation to support the organization and exhibit good behavior and such affirmation shall be prescribed by the Board in their standing rules.
Section 3-2: Board of Directors
Membership on the Board of Directors shall consist of the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Communications Director, Political Director, Secretary, Outreach Director, Policy Director, Fundraising Coordinator, and the prior GBYD Chair as an Ex-Officio. The prior chair will not be required or counted to establish a quorum and will not have voting rights.
Section 3-3: Elections
Officers shall be elected annually by a membership convention at a determined time each year, not more than 30 days after the annual YDMA membership convention. Each person elected at such convention shall be deemed a member-elect upon the adjournment of the convention and transmission of a certificate of election to the Board signed by the Convention Chair and Clerk and who thereafter having taken an oath or affirmation as prescribed by the Standing Rules of the Board shall assume the powers and duties of the office to which they were elected.
[Rule of Construction: If 16 days after the YDMA membership convention, a GBYD membership convention has not been called, one shall be authorized under the authority of this section and shall occur 30 days after the YDMA convention at 8pm and take place virtually via Zoom.] Any members of the most recent Convention Rules Committee may undertake or cause to be undertaken any requisite action for the holding of such convention.]
Officers shall be elected by majority vote through secret ballot. If a majority is not achieved on the first ballot, the candidate with the least number of votes shall be dropped from the balloting, and another round of ballots shall be cast until one person receives a majority of the votes. The rules of the convention shall prescribe a manner for the production and recording of certificates of election for each office.
Section 3-4: Duties and Responsibilities
The Board of Directors shall meet monthly to discuss any business pending before GBYD. All officers shall participate in chapter events and are encouraged to participate in events sponsored by the state board. The board may also choose a certain number of members to form committees as needed to better carry out the business of GBYD, but no committee shall be given plenary power, except as it may relate to investigations or to the enforcement of compliance with the charter or orders of the Board which enforcement the Board may delegate.
The Chair shall:
- Preside at all Board meetings and conventions and lead all chapter meetings, and other events sponsored by GBYD.
- Set the time, place, and agenda for such meetings, except where limited by the Standing Rules.
- Act as the official spokesperson of the Chapter.
- Set, in consultation with the board, an annual agenda for the organization to be announced no more than 30 days after the annual elections.
- Oversee the overall functions and operations of GBYD and enforce all provisions of this charter.
- Serve as GBYD’s representative on the YDMA Board or appoint a proxy.
The Vice Chair shall:
- Assist and support the Chair in all tasks and preside as Chair in their absence
- Fill the remainder of the Chair’s term in the case of a vacancy
- Set and coordinate GBYD elections to fill the vacancy of Vice Chair in the case of the Chair’s vacancy and thus the Vice Chair becoming the new Chair.
- Serve as GBYD’s ex-officio interim member to YDMA committees to which a representative from GBYD has not yet been selected.
The Treasurer shall:
- Maintain GBYD finances and hold the position of treasurer on the part of GBYD in all situations where such a position may be required.
- Act as a liaison between GBYD and the YDMA Treasurer on all financial matters.
- Participate in an OCPF training within
630 days of GBYD election.
- Comply with all state and federal campaign political finance laws and guidelines.
- Collect dues in the event they are solicited.
- Ensure financial transparency to the GBYD membership.
- Coordinate GBYD fundraising efforts.
- Build relationships with other fundraising bodies associated with the Democratic Party.
- If the role Fundraising Coordinator is not filled, The Treasurer shall assume the combined roles as Finance Director.
The Communications Director shall:
- Maintain the GBYD website, Facebook group, Twitter, Linkedin, and any other associated websites or other social networking presence.
- Conduct media relations through a regularly updated press list and maintain said list.
- Work with the Chair and the GBYD Board to handle all correspondence on behalf of GBYD
- Work with Caucuses and Board to promote awareness on GBYD actions and activities.
The Political Director shall:
- Serve as the organizer and coordinator of membership involvement in endorsed campaigns.
- Serve as the primary point of contact with ongoing local campaigns on behalf of GBYD and the GBYD Board.
- Proactively create and maintain relationships with local, regional, and national campaigns as and initiate and/or schedule actionable electoral opportunities where applicable as agreed upon by the Board.
- Oversees the endorsement process should the Chapter choose to do so, consistent with the GBYD By-Laws.
- Scout positions where promoting a Young Democrat is a realistic option to fill for an elected position.
The Secretary shall:
- Contact, or assist the Board in contacting, GBYD members concerning upcoming meetings, conventions, and other events
- Compose and keep record of the
- Maintain a public schedule on all available GBYD/YDMA outlets of upcoming and planned events and coordinate with Communications Director to publicize as such.
- Maintain a copy of this Charter, of the Standing rules of the Board, of all resolutions of the Board, all reports of committees received, the results of all record votes taken, and the certificates of election and appointment of all members and furnish all of the forgoing to a standing committee with relevant jurisdiction for their joint record keeping.
The Outreach Director shall:
- Maintain clear and accurate records of membership and attendance, and ensure those individuals who are eligible to vote are accounted for.
- Devise a work plan to meet recruitment benchmarks to be presented to the Board of Directors.
- Plan and organize community outreach efforts.
- Set goals and execute plans with the Board for recruiting new members, establishing relationships with organizations with shared objectives, and create and maintain relationships with community leaders.
- Coordinate with the Communications Director to ensure visibility in the community.
- Ensure diversity of outreach efforts to impact the community in a variety of areas that align with GBYD goals.
The Policy Director shall:
- Update GBYD committees and the Board on relevant state and federal docket legislation
- Maintain active relationships with state Representatives and Senators who represent districts in which most votes in the last election were cast within GBYD’s territory.
- Work with State House committees and Representatives to draft and endorse legislation that support the Democratic party platform
- Follow legislation through its life cycle until it is adopted or fails to accrue votes necessary to pass.
- Work with local State Representatives and Senators to promote and add language to legislation deemed necessary by the board to achieve goals set by GBYD.
- Participate in the YDMA Public Policy Committee meetings and activities.
The Fundraising Coordinator shall:
- Coordinate and organize all fundraising events.
- Work with the Board to set fundraising goals for the organization.
- Work closely with the Treasurer to ensure consistent communication throughout the organization and to ensure accurate financial records.
- If the role of Treasurer is not filled, The Fundraising Coordinator shall assume the combined roles as Finance Director.
Section 3-5: Vacancy
In the event that the position of Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Communications Director, Political Director, Fundraising Coordinator, Policy Director or Outreach Director is vacated, the Chair shall work with the Vice Chair to appoint an interim member who meets all prerequisites and who shall not have been previously removed from office by the Board.
If the Chair fails to make an appointment within 30 days of the vacancy, the GBYD Board of Directors shall be entitled to call a convention for a special election. In the event that both the Chair and Vice Chair are concurrently vacant a special election to fill such vacancies will be called by the President of YDMA in no fewer than 7 days but no more than 14 days following the notice to the President of YDMA of such vacancies. At any time following the declaration of a vacancy, the Board may vote to delegate the powers and duties of the office vacant to any other member of the board who shall be nominated by the Chair, or may choose to jointly exercise the same.
Section 3-6: Board Member Absence Policy
A Board member should not miss more than 3 scheduled Board meetings after taking office. If a Board member misses a 4th scheduled Board Meeting, a vote may be called by any current Board Member to verify the accuracy of the absences, which with the concurrence of 2/3rds of the members of the Board shall remove the member from office.
Article 4: Activities:
Section 4-1: Chapter Meetings
The Chair shall have the power to call meetings of the Chapter to call for the reports of officers to the membership, make announcements of recent developments, and advertise upcoming events. Chapter meetings shall occur once per month, on a consistent day and time as often as possible, except in months in which the Board of Directors shall hold a monthly report and open testimony session open to all members. Chapter meetings shall be public events, open to all current and former members as well as guests of GBYD.
Section 4-2: Member Convention
Membership conventions shall be held periodically and announced by the Chair no less than 30 days before the date of convening, unless such a convention shall be ordered by the Board with a set agenda, in which case 14 days notice shall be sufficient. These meetings shall be the time at which charter amendments, elections, endorsements, resolutions, and dues are voted upon as well as any other business that may properly come before GBYD. Such anticipated action shall be included in the notice for the meeting. All of the foregoing actions, excepting charter amendments, shall require a simple majority of members present and voting for passage. The Board may, prior to the meeting, invite candidates, public officials, or other relevant guests to address the membership as part of the meeting agenda, and should such a convention have been called by the Chair their invitation shall be sufficient should no meeting of the Board of Directors intercede the call to convention and the convention itself.
The Board shall appoint, in advance of each convention, five persons, including a chair, to serve as a Convention Rules Committee, to submit rules for the approval of the convention at the commencement of the session—and at least 2 members of this Committee shall be members of the Board of Directors and at least 2 members shall not be such members. These rules once adopted by the convention shall continue in force and effect until a subsequent Convention Rules Committee amendment is adopted by the Convention. In the absence of such an appointment, the first order of business at any convention shall be to select members for such a committee.
Section 4-3: Board Meetings
The GBYD Board of Directors shall meet on a monthly basis to be agreed upon by the directors and publicized to the membership. Board meetings shall be open to all GBYD members, unless reasons of collective bargaining, privacy, or other considerations similar to those in the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, or for sensitive matters surrounding discussions of internal affairs which may require the Board of Directors to vote to hold an Executive Session. All votes of the Board of Directors shall be conducted by secret ballot.The Board shall operate within the provisions of its Standing Rules and no action taken in contravention of them shall be valid under this charter.
Section 4-4: Endorsements
GBYD is authorized to endorse candidates for State Representative or State Senator in the General Court of Massachusetts, or Municipal office in the Greater Boston area, provided that no endorsement shall have been advanced at the state level in a given race. An endorsement shall authorize GBYD to campaign and support of the endorsed candidate.
- The Chapter’s representative to the YDMA Political Committee shall inform and seek the input of the YDMA Political Director regarding GBYD’s intention to endorse, in advance of making an endorsement, and report the results to the Board before bringing the matter to a Membership Convention vote.
- In the event the Board decides to proceed with endorsement proceedings, a Membership Convention shall be announced pursuant to Section 4-2.
- Endorsements granted by GBYD will be one of the two following types: Level 1 and Level 2.
- Level 1 Endorsement: The Political Director will coordinate with the candidate’s campaign to supply volunteers for political activities which the campaign needs. GBYD publicizes their endorsement and provides ways to get involved in the campaign.
- Level 2 Endorsement: GBYD publicizes their endorsement through social media and other platforms, providing ways to get involved in the campaign.
- Notice of endorsements shall be transmitted to the YDMA Political Committee.
- In a contested primary or preliminary race should the state board elect to endorse a different candidate in a race in which GBYD has already endorsed, the state endorsement shall supersede and nullify GBYD endorsement.
Section 4-5: Policy Statements
Policy statements on timely matters may be adopted by a simple majority vote of the GBYD’s Board of Directors and should be presented to the YDMA Board and Policy Committee.
Section 4-6: Appropriations
Any appropriation made from funds under the control of GBYD shall not be drawn from the treasury except as authorized by the Board of Directors acting in accordance with this section.
Before making any appropriation the Board shall have:
- Established a standing rule providing for the procedure of appropriations including the standards of transparency and reporting to be maintained,
- Referred any matter seeking to make annual or supplementary appropriations the standing committee of jurisdiction at least 7 days prior to a vote on the floor of the Board, and
- Adopted a report of the standing committee with jurisdiction over rules or Board administration which shall have certified
The Chair and Treasurer shall be bound by the provisions of this section and shall enforce this provision at all times except where it would fall into conflict with state or federal law, or where an advisory opinion issued to any party by OCPF would indicate to the Chair or Treasury that their action would violate state policy.
Section 4-7: Quorum
For the purpose of holding Board meetings under the charter a majority of the members duly sworn and chosen shall be required, if a notification of at least three days has been given for holding a Board Meeting, no quorum attendance roll call shall be required for the purpose of holding the meeting and performing the active functions and duties of GBYD, and the Board may prescribe alternate methods should less notice be given.
Article 5: Promulgation and Amendment
This charter, and any subsequent amendments hereto may be proposed, debated, and acted upon at a membership convention called for that purpose. Such amendment shall specify which portion of this charter these bylaws it is amending or whether it is completely new in subject matter. No amendment in the nature of a substitute shall affect more than one article of this charter. A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a majority of the whole number of eligible voting members. An affirmative vote of 2/3 of the members present and voting shall be required both for original ratification and to amend this charter which shall enter into effect immediately upon their ratification. Each time the charter is amended, a copy of the revised bylaws as ratified shall be transmitted to the Secretary and Parliamentarian of YDMA.
From time to time the Board of Directors may make subsequent amendments to this charter if it approves a motion to proceed to the precise text of the amendment followed by a unanimous record vote approving the amendment at least 14 days after, and provided that no petition of disapproval shall have been submitted to the Board signed by 25% of the voting membership, as verified by the Secretary. No amendment made under this section shall affect voting membership, membership conventions, or the amendment process itself.
In the case where any two or more provisions of this charter shall contradict the more specific provision shall prevail. The Board of Directors upon the request of any member of that body, or by the request of any five members of the organization generally, shall sit as a Commission on the Charter with sole power to make any interpretation of this charter necessary for the continuation of the organization. Such method of amendment shall not be used to enact more than three amendments during the term of any single Board of Directors.
This article contains an exhaustive recitation of the exclusive valid methods of amendment to this charter.
An amendment to this article may be made only with the following conditions: the concurrence of at least 2/3rds of the whole number of eligible voting members during a convention, and having been put before a second convention during the term of the succeeding Board again with precisely the same language, have been approved again with the concurrence of at least 2/3rds of the whole number of eligible voting members.
As amended at 6 December 2021 GBYD Convention.