By Laws

The Greater Blackstone Valley Dems

ByLaws (as crafted Feb 15, 2011)

Article I – NAME

This organization shall be known as the Greater Blackstone Valley Dems Political Action Committee, hereinafter called the GBVDems.

Article II – PURPOSES

The GBVDems is a coalition of Democratic activists in the Worcester & Norfolk Senate District who are engaged in common endeavors to promote and support local, regional, state and national Democratic Party candidates, town committees, issues and legislation, provided that there shall be no endorsement by GBVDems of a candidate in a contested Democratic Primary. The GBVDems shall act in accordance with all regulations, rules, charter and bylaws of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

We will:

• promote the Democratic message and ideals in keeping with the party platform;
• assist and support Democratic Party nominees seeking election within the district;
• assist and support Democratic Town Committees in their responsibilities where feasible and requested;
• offer events of interest to Democrats and potential Democrats.

Article III – GENERAL MEMBERSHIP

A. General membership shall be open to any registered Democrat residing in the Commonwealth’s Worcester & Norfolk Senate District
B. The voting membership, as they deem necessary or desirable, may elect into membership any other registered Democrat (in accordance with Article IV) who shares common political interests and our purpose.

Article IV – VOTING MEMBERSHIP

A. Three designees, if submitted, of each greater Blackstone Valley Democratic Town Committee shall serve as voting members. They do not have to be elected to that Town Committee, only recommended by said committee and are residents of said town. No community shall have more than 6 voting members.
B. Not withstanding the above (A), those individuals who have participated in the creation of GBVDems shall be voting members who shall count as members from their town of residence. A list of those individuals shall be approved at the next charter meeting which approves these bylaws. All officers shall have voting rights.
C. The voting members shall grant voting rights to additional members who have attended at least three meeting in succession and request voting rights. Voting membership can be terminated if said member misses one year of general/charter meetings
D. The above (IV C) notwithstanding, members may be removed in conformity with Section II of the Charter of the Democratic Party of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Article V – MEETINGS

A. There shall be a minimum of four (4) general meetings per calendar year. Charter meetings, to amend these bylaws or elect a new Chair should she/he resign or be permanently incapacitated, (see Article VIII A) may be called as needed.
B. Special meetings may be called at any time by the Chair or by a majority of the elected officers.
C. A quorum for a general or charter meeting shall consist of at least five (5) voting members.
D. Meetings will be conducted in accordance with a format approved by the members.
E. All general and charter meetings shall be open to the public.
F. Each general meeting shall be announced at least seven (7) days prior to its occurrence, and each charter meeting at least fourteen (14) days prior to its occurrence. In either case, voting members, officers and town committee chairs shall be notified by email or telephone if no email is available

Article VI – OFFICERS

A. There shall be a Chair, a Vice Chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and an Affirmative Action/ Outreach Advisor and others if and as determined by vote of the membership
B. Officers shall be elected by the membership for a two year term at the first meeting of a calendar year.
C. Officers, including the Chair, shall have full voting rights (see Article IV B).
D. Active candidates for elected office, except at the municipal level, shall be ineligible for election as an officer of the GBVDems

Article VII – DUTIES OF OFFICERS.

A. CHAIRPERSON
The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings and shall be a member ex officio of all committees. The Chair, or other officers appointed by the Chair, shall appoint members of all sub committees.
B. VICE CHAIRPERSON
The Vice Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Committee in the absence of the Chairperson. She/He shall perform all duties and have the powers of the Chairperson in the case of her/his temporary absence. In the event of a protracted absence of the Chair, the remaining officers shall appoint a Chair pro-tem for the duration of the Chair’s absence. In the event that the Chairperson should resign or be permanently incapacitated, a new Chair should be elected at a charter meeting.
C. SECRETARY
The Secretary shall keep and report true, accurate, and complete records of all proceedings of all general meetings. The Secretary can designate an officer to keep a record of attendance and a list of all voting members or keep such records her/him self. The Secretary or her/his designate shall issue notice of all general and charter meetings (as described in Article V, F) and bylaw amendment (Article VIII B & D) and shall
perform such other duties pertaining to the office as may be reasonably required by the Chair. In the absence of the Secretary, the Chair shall appoint a Secretary pro-tem for the duration of the Secretary’s absence.
D. TREASURER
The Treasurer shall have the custody of all funds belonging to the GBVDems, shall receive all money, shall deposit same as directed by the GBVDems. He/she shall pay all orders subject to the approval of the Chairperson and shall keep accurate books of account and submit any financial reports as required by Massachusetts General Laws (see Article X). The Treasurer shall be the custodian of the GBVDem’s money and any instruments that the GBVDems may at any time decide to execute. The Treasurer shall submit a
financial report as requested. The Treasurer shall in any event submit an Annual Report to the membership. Additionally, the Treasurer shall file reports with the appropriate state and local offices with regard to fundraising. The fiscal year will originate with the calendar year.
E. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND OUTREACH ADVISOR
The Affirmative Action / Outreach Advisor shall be responsible for developing strategies and activities to expand membership with particular attention to increasing participation in the GBVDems of the Party’s Affirmative Action target groups.

Article VIII – BY LAWS

A. These bylaws may be amended from time to time as required by a written request from a voting member, providing the proposed amendments meet the requirements of the State Democratic Party. To consider the amendment request, a charter meeting will be called.
B. The Secretary will announce a charter meeting (see Article V C) and state in detail such articles or sections that are to be acted upon.
C. The affirmative vote of a majority of those voting members who are present at a charter meeting with a quorum and cast their vote is sufficient to amend, change, or repeal these bylaws
D. If amended, the amended bylaws will be constructed and circulated by the Secretary or his/her designee and will forward, as required, a copy to the Office of the Secretary of State and to the State Democratic Committee. They shall remain in force until further amendment.

Article IX – SEVERABILITY

If any section of these bylaws is found to be invalid, all other portions of the bylaws shall continue to be in full force and effect.

Article X – FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES

From time to time the GBVDems shall engage in fundraising to support its outreach to voters and support Democratic candidates’ campaigns. This function is a critical difference between town committees and a formal PAC and is heavily regulated. Fundraising will be organized by a subcommittee appointed by the Chair.

This subcommittee’s recommendations regarding solicitation and spending of funds shall be approved by the voting membership. The proper reporting of both donor identification and the disbursal of such funds shall be recorded, and proper legal records shall be sent by the Treasurer to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign & Political Finance (OCPF) as required by law.

APPENDIX

For the convenience of those who may not have access to the boundaries of the Worcester Norfolk Senate District, the towns originally participating in this Committee are as follows:
Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Dudley, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millville, Northbridge, Oxford, Sutton, Uxbridge, Webster

GREATER BLACKSTONE VALLEY DEMS