Fulton County Democrats By-Laws

The Fulton County Democratic Party is the organization that represents all citizens residing in Fulton County who wish to adhere to the principles and further the aims of the Democratic Parties of Georgia and the United States of America.

Any Democrat may become a member of the Fulton County Democratic Party. To become a member, individuals must complete a basic application form established by the Vice-Chair for Membership and pay annual dues, or opt out of dues as specified in Article XIII. These members are called “Regular Members” or “General Members.”

1. Purpose of the Fulton County Democratic Party Committee. The Fulton County Democratic Party Committee (hereinafter “FCDPC”) shall have general responsibility for the coordination and furtherance of the work and purposes of the Fulton County Democratic Party and shall perform generally the functions of a County Democratic Committee, subject to the provisions of the Charter and By-Laws of the Democratic Parties of Georgia and the United States of America, the resolutions and other actions of the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”), and these By-Laws. In discharging its operating responsibilities, the FCDPC shall, but is not limited to:

a. Increase voter awareness and participation;

b. Promote development of Party organizations and activities;

c. Seek and encourage qualified candidates for public office;

d. Support Democratic nominees;

e. Perform such primary and election functions as required by law;

f. Maintain appropriate records;

g. Promote and add logistical support to the State Affirmative Action Program;

h. Raise funds to support the purposes of the FCDPC;

i. Perform such other duties as may be required by the FCDPC;

j. Elect Officers for the FCDPC;

k. Elect State Committee members; and,

l. Determine Party Districts and Apportionment.

2. Party Districts. FCDPC shall be comprised of residents of Fulton County who are elected to represent Party Districts. Each County Commission District in Fulton County shall constitute a Party District.

3. Election of FCDPC Members. Elected members of the FCDPC shall be elected in accordance with the Charter and By-Laws of the Democratic Parties of Georgia and the United States of America. Specifically:

a. Twenty-five members shall be elected from each Party District or County Commission District in Fulton County. District Commission seats are County Commission Districts 1 – 6. The post to which each member is elected shall be assigned a number (1 through 25).

b. In addition to the Party Districts designated in Article III Section 2, there shall be one “at large” Party District which shall encompass all of Fulton County. This at-large Party District will have 25 members elected. The post to which each member is elected shall be assigned a number (1 through 25).

c. Fulton County Democratic Party members can only vote for members running in the Commission District in which they reside. Countywide candidates will be voted on by all members present.

d. Members holding odd-numbered posts (one, three, five, etc.) shall be elected in Presidential election years. Members holding even-numbered posts (two, four, six, etc.) shall be elected in Gubernatorial election years.

e. The Caucus shall be held 45 days following the General Primary election starting in 2018. 2016 elections shall be held during the August 2016 meeting.

f. The candidate(s) receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected without the necessity of a run-off. We will follow elections guidelines set by the National Democratic Party.

g. Subject to section 3(d) above, elected members shall serve a four year term which term shall begin on the first day of the first month after their election. Terms of committee members, except ex-officio members as established in article III, section 6 and except “at large” elected members pursuant to article III, section 3(b), shall be terminated following a general reapportionment which termination shall become effective following the election of new members pursuant to the reapportionment in the next scheduled General Primary Election. Elections to fill the vacancies which shall be caused by reapportionment shall take place in the next scheduled General Primary Election.

h. Selection to fill a vacant seat shall be conducted in accordance with rules established by the Membership Committee.

4. Resignation and Removal of Committee Members.

a. A member may resign by written notice to the Chairperson, and such resignation shall be effective immediately.

b. An elected member who shall cease to have his principal residence in the district in which he or she was elected shall be deemed to have resigned effective upon his or her change of principal residence.

5. Roles and Responsibilities of FCDPC Members (“Committee Members”). All Committee Members are expected to maintain a membership in good standing each year. Committee Members are expected to attend all business meetings and notify the Membership Chair when they cannot attend. Committee Members are expected to participate in FCDPC activities and provide leadership within their own neighborhoods and regular spheres of influence to further the goals of the FCDPC.

6. Ex-officio Committee Members. All officers of the FCDPC as elected or appointed pursuant to Article IV, upon election or appointment and thereafter, are ex-officio members of the FCDPC. These ex-officio members shall serve a four (4) year term which shall begin upon their taking office pursuant to their election or appointment as an officer of the FCDPC. These ex-officio members have all the rights, entitlements and enjoyments allowed or given over to regular or elected members of the FCDPC. The ex-officio member status may be held, at the sole discretion of the holder, in addition to or in substitution of regular member status.

1. The Committee shall meet regularly at least once each quarter. The Committee Chair may call special meetings. Where meetings are not held in a previously designated time and place, members shall be provided appropriate notice at least 5 days in advance.

2. Emergency meetings may be called by the Chair upon 5 days appropriate notice.

3. A quorum for a meeting shall require the presence of fifteen members of the FCDPC, except in specific situations where a 40% quorum is required (Article V, Section 3(f), Article IX, Section 1).

4. All decisions shall be taken by simple majority vote except where a two-thirds vote is required (Article V, Section 3(f), Article IX, Section 1).

5. No person shall be entitled to more than one vote. Proxy voting is not allowed. Secret ballot shall never be permissible.

6. All meetings of each body of the Committee shall be open to the public unless the Committee votes to go into Executive Session.

7. Unless otherwise provided for, Robert’s Rules of Order, most recently revised, shall govern the conduct of all meetings.

1. Definition of Executive Committee. The executive committee of the FCDPC shall be comprised of six elected and five appointed officers. The elected officers shall be a Chairperson, a First Vice Chair, Vice-Chair for Membership, Vice-Chair for Political Direction, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The appointed officers shall be a Communications Director, a Field Director, and a Region Captain for each of three county regions: North Fulton, Mid Fulton, and South Fulton. These elected and appointed officers shall constitute the Executive Committee of the FCDPC.

2. Duties of Elected Officers.

a. Chairperson. The Chairperson shall be responsible for carrying out the programs and policies of the Democratic Party, and the FCDPC. The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings establishing their agenda and implementing their decisions. Following consultation with the Executive Committee, the Chairperson may appoint deputies or assistant officers. Following consultation with the Executive Committee, the Chairperson may establish ad-hoc committees and appoint persons to chair such committees. The FCDPC shall be notified by the Chairperson of such appointments. The Chair shall be an ex-officio member of all standing and ad-hoc committees. Following election, the Chairperson shall have the specific responsibility to formulate a Strategic Plan for the Party for that year and through the next election cycle and present that plan for approval to the Executive Committee. The Chairperson will present the approved strategic plan to the FCDP membership.

b. First Vice-Chair. The First Vice-Chair shall preside at meetings of the FCDPC in the absence of the Chair and shall perform such other duties as may be delegated by the Chair. The First Vice-Chair shall be an ex-officio member of all standing and ad-hoc committees. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Chair, the First Vice-Chair shall become Acting Chair and shall have the authority, powers and duties of the Chair. The First Vice-Chair will Chair the Finance Committee. In consultation with the Chair, the Treasurer, and the Region Captains, the First Vice-Chair may appoint members to 5 the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee, headed by the First Vice-Chair, shall plan and execute fundraising activities to assure the Party has the resources to meet its Strategic Plan.

c. Vice-Chair for Membership. The Membership Vice-Chair shall have overall responsibility for all Membership activities. Duties of the Membership Vice-Chair include keeping membership rosters and contact information up to date including Regular Members and Voting Members, maintaining contact with all members, conducting orientation of new members, and building the membership of the FCDPC. The Membership Vice-Chair shall Chair the Membership Committee. In consultation with the Chair and the Region Captains, the Membership Vice-Chair may appoint members to the Membership Committee.

d. Vice-Chair for Political Direction. The Vice-Chair for Political Direction will also be known as the Political Director. The Political Director shall have responsibility for Candidate Recruitment and Training. The Political Director shall be the liaison to Elected Officials and their Staff. The Political Director will plan and execute any lobbying activity. The Political Director will work with counterparts at other County Committees, the Democratic Party of Georgia, and the Democratic National Committee as necessary to coordinate events, messaging and issues.

e. Secretary. The Secretary shall keep and distribute all official minutes of General FCDPC Meetings. The Secretary shall distribute the minutes to the membership via internet posting within (30) days of the meeting. The Secretary shall perform operational duties for the organization including but not limited to distribution of agendas, nametags, etc, ordering of supplies, arranging and confirming venue and speaker logistics, preparation of reports, including the annual report to the Democratic Party of Georgia, etc.

f. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall serve as custodian of all FCPDC funds. The Treasurer shall maintain records of all financial transactions, kept on a calendar year basis, and a list of unpaid obligations. The Treasurer shall see that all appropriate financial records are audited each year. The Treasurer shall provide not less than semiannually, to the Voting members, a financial report to be in such form and contain such information as the Executive Committee shall determine from time to time. The 6 Treasurer shall perform all record-keeping and compliance filing, including reports to the Democratic Party of Georgia, the County of Fulton, the State of Georgia, the Democratic National Committee, and the United States government. The Treasurer has accountability for knowing and understanding all compliance requirements, meeting in person with the Legal Counsel of the DPG not less than one time during his/her tenure to validate knowledge of all applicable rules. Documentation of compliance processes as well as all records must be provided to the next Treasurer elected immediately following the election. The Treasurer shall be an ex-officio member of the Finance Committee.

3. Election of Officers. FCDPC officers shall be elected in accordance with the Charter and By-Laws of the Democratic Parties of Georgia and the United States of America. Specifically:

a. The Committee shall elect officers no sooner than the General Election and no later than December 31 of even numbered years, to take office January 1 of the following year, or immediately following the election, whichever is earlier. The new Chair shall immediately upon taking office notify the State Committee Chair and appropriate Congressional District Chair of his/her election.

b. Prior to the election meeting, the Chairperson shall appoint, with the approval of the Executive Committee, five (5) members of the FCDPC as a Nominating Committee. It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee to call for nominations for officers and to determine which individuals whose names are submitted for nomination are qualified to fill FCDPC offices. Members of the Nominating Committee shall not be candidates for office. By appropriate notice to the members at least 10 days in advance of the election meeting of the FCDPC, the Nominating Committee shall provide the names of qualified individuals nominated by the Nominating Committee. Nominations may also be made from the floor at the election meeting.

c. Election shall be by a majority of the votes cast by members of the FCDPC and shall be by open ballot.

d. The Chairperson shall be elected on the first ballot cast; the remaining officers shall be elected by subsequent ballot. The Chairperson and the First Vice Chairperson shall be, whenever possible, of opposite gender. The election sequence of officers shall be as 7 follows: Chairperson, First Vice-Chairperson, Vice Chairperson for Membership, Vice Chairperson for Political Direction, Secretary, and Treasurer.

e. Officers shall serve for a term of two years or until their successors have been elected and qualify.

f. An elected officer may be removed by the FCDPC for cause, with reasonable notice, and with the opportunity to be heard, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the FCDPC, provided forty percent of the FCDPC membership is present. Cause for removal may include failure to perform designated duties of office; conduct that brings discredit upon the Democratic Party; and convictions for crimes of moral turpitude.

g. In the event of a vacancy, or the resignation or removal of an officer in accordance with Article V Section 3(f), above, the FCDPC shall proceed immediately with the election of a replacement at a regularly scheduled meeting of the FCDPC, where nominations shall be taken from the floor. Such election may not take place any sooner than 25 days after such vacancy, resignation or removal. The person elected shall immediately take office and shall serve out the balance of the term.

4. Duties of Appointed Officers.

a. Field Director. The Field Director shall have overall responsibility for grassroots organizing and campaign execution within the county, according to the Strategic Plan. The Field Director shall coordinate the activities of the Region Captains in the recruitment and training of volunteers and Cluster Captains. The Field Director will have responsibility for the overall Voter Registration and Get Out the Vote initiatives, according to the Strategic Plan. The Field Director will be the liaison to candidates, legislative staff, political committees, and other organizations with shared goals. The Field Director will keep a calendar of county events.

b) Communications Director. The Communications Director shall have responsibility for the traditional and social media efforts of the FCDPC including execution of email and maintenance of the website, continuing to expand the new media reach of the FCDPC, maintaining the online events calendar and news, etc. The Communications Director shall chair the Communications Committee. In consultation with the Chair and the Region Captains, the Communications Director may appoint members to the Communications Committee.

c) Region Captains (North Fulton Region Captain, Mid Fulton Region Captain, South Fulton Region Captain).

i. Definition of Regions. After each legislative change which alters the electoral map within Fulton County, the Three Region Captains, in consultation with the Field Director and the Chair, may review the Region boundaries. The Region boundaries must be unanimously approved by all Three Region Captains. The boundaries will stay in effect until any new boundaries are adopted. The record of the current Region boundaries will be maintained by Chair and will be passed to the next Chair immediately following the election. The Definition of the Regions is used to determine who may vote to approve the appointment of Region Chairs. Regular and Committee Members may choose to participate in whatever Region(s) they choose for general activities.

ii. Each Region Captain has responsibility for execution of the grassroots efforts within their region. Responsibilities include conducting appropriate Voter Registration, Persuasion, and Get Out the Vote events, in consultation with the Field Director. In non-campaign years, responsibilities include assisting with candidate recruitment, filling Post Seats and Cluster Captain positions, community education and outreach, etc, in consultation with the Field Director and according to the Strategic Plan.

d) Parliamentarian. The Parliamentarian is a non-executive appointment. The Parliamentarian will oversee the orderly conduct of official meetings, at request of the Chair. The Parliamentarian will rule on disputes according to Robert’s Rules of Order. If the Permanent Parliamentarian is not available to participate in a given meeting, the Chair may appoint a substitute Parliamentarian to assist with the conduct of any official meeting.

e) Counsel. The Counsel is a non-executive appointment. The Counsel shall be an attorney who is a member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia. He or she shall be available for consultation, upon request of the Chairperson, on legal and procedural questions relating to FCDPC and its activities, and the interpretation of and compliance 9 with the Charter and By-Laws of the Democratic Party of Georgia and the DNC, and the By-Laws of the FCDPC.

5. Appointment of Officers.

a) Application Process. In the first business meeting following election of a new Chair, the Chair will announce and distribute for review the application process for appointed positions. The application deadline must be at least 7 days after the announcement of the process. The Chair will make appointments from the applications received.

b) Eligibility for Appointed Positions. All appointees for Executive Committee members must be Democrats residing in Fulton County, with the exception of the Counsel as noted below. Other eligibility requirements apply. Specifically:

i. For The Communications Director and Field Director, priority consideration will be given to Committee Members, and then to Regular Members. If no Committee Member or Regular Member is qualified for the position, the Chair may entertain applications from non-members.

ii. Applicants for the Region Captain positions must be Committee Members, registered to Vote in that Region.

iii. The Parliamentarian must be a Committee Member.

iv. The Counsel must be a Democrat within Georgia. Preference will be given to applicants from Fulton County, but qualified applicants from outside the county who understand the Fulton County legal requirements may be considered in the event that there is no qualified candidate within the county.

c) Approval of Appointments.

i. The elected officers must approve appointments of the Communications Chair, Field Director, Parliamentarian and Counsel by a majority vote.

ii. The elected officers must first approve the appointment of each of the Region Captains by a majority vote. Then, the Committee Members from the Region must approve the appointment of the Captain appointed for their region. The approval 10 vote will occur at a regular business meeting. Each Region will caucus to review and vote on the appointment. The Chair will appoint one existing executive committee member to oversee each Region Caucus. Each region must attain a quorum of five members to vote, and the simple majority will rule. At Large Post Seat Holders will caucus where they maintain their Voter Registration.

d) Removal Process for Appointed Positions. The Chair may initiate removal of any appointed officer for any reason. The removal process is the same as the approval process. Appointed officers may also resign in writing via mail or email to the Chair.

e) Terms of Appointed Positions. Appointments Expire with the Terms of Office of the Appointing Officer.

6. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the conduct of the affairs of FCDPC in accordance with the policies of the Democratic Party of Georgia and DNC. The Executive Committee shall establish its own rules and, when convened by the Chairperson, may act in meeting, by telephone, or by written note, including email and facsimile.

1. Definition of Precinct Clusters. As soon as possible following their appointment and approval, each Region Captain will review and refine the cluster definitions within his/her own region. Precinct clusters will be made up of one or more contiguous precincts within the region which share similar features and organizing opportunities and challenges. The clusters will be defined with the intention of defining workable physical areas within the region which can be led by a single individual for purposes of driving grassroots organization. Region Captains shall identify no fewer than 10 and no more than 20 precinct clusters. The Region Captains shall define the naming convention for each cluster, based on a municipality, key street or neighborhood, or a local landmark.

2. Appointment of Precinct Cluster Captains. Once the clusters are defined, the Region Captain will take applications from members interested in filling the Cluster Captain role. Applicants may be General or Committee Members. Applicants must have their voter registration in the region of the cluster they seek to lead, OR in a cluster contiguous to the cluster they seek to lead. Appointments to the Cluster Captain positions must be approved by the Committee Members within the region. These approval votes can be made at any regular meeting, a 11 general FCDPC meeting or a regularly scheduled Region meeting. There must be a quorum of five (5) Committee Members to approve an appointment.

3. Roles and Responsibilities of Precinct Cluster Captain. Cluster Captains will coordinate specific tasks within their assigned precinct cluster. They will work with the appropriate Region Captain in moving the specific party building activity. They will lead the efforts of members and additional volunteers within their own cluster, spearheading Voter Registration and GOTV efforts within their cluster. This is a hands-on grassroots organizing role.

County Divisional Committees or “clubs” are eliminated, are not authorized and have no official recognition.

Both General Members and Committee Members are expected to contribute twenty-five ($25) per annum to the FCDPC. No member, however, shall lose his or her membership status as a consequence of not making such contribution.

1. Proposed amendments to the By-Laws shall be in writing and filed with the Chairperson at least thirty (30) days before the meeting at which they are to be considered. Said proposal shall be referred to the By-Laws Committee for consideration. The By-Laws Committee shall make a written recommendation to the FCDPC at least ten (10) days before the meeting at which they are to be considered. Amendments shall be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the FCDPC, provided a forty percent (40%) quorum is met.

2. Amendments to the By-Laws shall not require that members of the FCDPC or the officers, thereof, stand for election or re-election prior to the natural expiration of their term. Specifically, amendments to the By-Laws shall never be interpreted, unless such is stated with particularity in the amendments, so as to terminate the Members of the FCDPC or the officers, thereof, which are in existence at the time the amendment is passed.

The FCDPC and its members in their official capacity are explicitly prohibited from supporting a Democratic candidate who has opposition during a primary or Democratic opposition during a special election, nor shall any Party member use his/her office to support an opposed primary candidate or a candidate who has Democratic opposition in a special election. No Party member shall publicly support another candidate other than the Democratic nominee in a General election; provided, however, nothing herein shall prevent any member from making any endorsement in a non-partisan election.

1. The FCDPC shall be open to all who desire to support the Democratic Party and who wish to be known as Democrats.

2. Discrimination in the conduct of the Democratic Party affairs on the basis of sex, race, age (if of voting age), color, creed, national origin, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, ethnic identity or physical disability is prohibited, to the end that the Democratic Party at all levels is to be an open party.

3. To encourage full participation by all Democrats, with particular concern for minority groups, the FCDPC shall adopt and implement an affirmative action program which provides for representation as nearly as practicable of such minority groups, as indicated by their presence in the Democratic electorate.

4. This goal shall not be accomplished either directly or indirectly by the imposition of mandatory quotas; however, representation as nearly as practicable of minority groups, as indicated by their presence in the Democratic electorate, as provided in this Article, shall not be deemed a quota.

5. The FCDPC shall provide for an Affirmative Action Subcommittee.

1. The FCDPC shall undertake, through the FCDPC officers, all reasonable actions and efforts to protect the special identity of the FCDPC including, but not limited to, the protection of: all names, monikers, identifiers, symbols, marks, rights, or the like associated with the FCDPC as provided to it by law and/or by the Democratic Party of Georgia and/or the DNC.

2. The FCDPC shall not vote to directly contribute any of the FCDPC’s funds, goods or services to any person, entity, candidate, campaign or committee without first obtaining a recommendation from a majority of the FCDPC Executive Committee.