The Fine Print
San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party Central Committee By Laws
These bylaws shall govern the organization, operation, and function of the political party known as the San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party Central Committee.
Article I – Name
The name of this organization is the San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party Central
Committee, referred to herein as the Committee or SLOCDP.
Article II – Mission and Purpose
Section 1: Mission. As the voice of the Democratic Party in San Luis Obispo County, the mission of the Committee is to support and elect Democratic candidates and to promote Democratic values and principles in San Luis Obispo County.
Section 2: Purpose. The purpose of the Committee is to:
(a) Elect Democratic candidates who reflect Democratic Party values;
(b) Register Democratic voters;
(c) Raise money;
(d) Organize and support local Democratic Clubs; and
(e) To perform such other duties and services as will benefit the Democratic Party in and for San Luis Obispo County.
Article III – Membership
Section 1: Voting members shall be the following Democrats who are in good standing by virtue of payment of dues and regular attendance in accordance with Articles IV and VII of these bylaws. The term of membership is described in Article IV.
a. Members elected by Supervisorial district in accordance with State Elections Code.
b. Members elected by the Committee to fill vacancies in the representation from Supervisorial districts.
c. Ex-officio members designated in the California Elections Code, (these are Democratic members of Congress and the California Legislature, specified state-wide officers, and Democratic endorsed candidates for those positions in the most recent general election who reside in the county or their resident alternates).
d. Members of the Democratic State Central Committee resident in this county.
e. Representative of each volunteer Democratic club in this county which is chartered by this Committee, submitted to the Committee by the Chartered Club President.
f. Democrats who were registered as Democrats at the time they filed for election to office who serve in any of the following public offices in San Luis Obispo County, California, are eligible for membership on this Committee: Sheriff- Coroner, District Attorney, Clerk-Recorder, Assessor, Auditor-Controller, Treasurer-Public Guardian, County Superintendent of Public Schools, County Supervisor, and Council member and Mayor of an incorporated city. Their term of office on this Committee shall match the term of the public office they hold. In determining a quorum for this Committee, the number of these “public office members” will not be counted to determine the number of members who must be present to constitute a quorum, nor will they be counted as part of the General Membership when determining the number or members required for a vote. The Committee will notify each such qualified public office holder in this provision after the first meeting after the certification of their election to join the Committee, including the requirement for paying dues, unless two-thirds (2/3) of the Committee votes to not invite one or more.
g. Each member listed in subsections a-g above may appoint an alternate to attend and vote in their absence. Alternates must meet the same geographical and/or membership requirement as the primary member, except that those who are pre-registered to vote as Democrats are eligible to serve as alternates, provided that all other eligibility requirements are met. Members will submit the name and contact information of their alternate to the Chair or Recording Secretary in advance of a regular meeting where proposed alternates will be voted on by a majority of the Committee. Alternates have the same rights and expectations of participation as their primary member, but may only vote in the absence of their primary member.
Section 2: Each member of the Committee shall further the objectives of the Committee by active participation as an officer, subcommittee chair or member, or equivalent volunteer service for the Democratic Party.
Section 3: Each member and alternate of the Committee shall sign the Committee’s conflict of interest statement annually at the meeting when they are required to pay dues.
Article IV – Organization, Terms, and Dues
Section 1: Officers of this Committee shall be nominated at the first regular meeting following the certification of the state primary election in Presidential Election years, and elected at the next regular meeting.
Section 2: Terms of membership and of office shall be from time of the meeting in Article IV, Section 1 to the next such meeting (four years), or from time of election until the next such meeting, unless otherwise specified (for example, club representatives with an annual term of office shall serve an annual membership on the Committee, AD chairs and State Party Regional Directors shall serve terms concurrent with those offices).
Section 3: Dues shall be payable at the meeting in Article IV, Section 1, or upon assumption of membership and annually thereafter. The dues shall be set at the time of the meeting in Article IV, Section 1.
Article V – Officers
Section 1: The officers of the Committee shall be a Chair, two Vice-Chairs, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, a Treasurer and State Executive Board Representative(s). These officers shall be elected by the Committee at the meeting to elect officers as defined in Article IV, except for the Executive Board Representative who shall be elected at the same time as DSCC representatives are elected.
a. Alternate members who are pre-registered to vote are not permitted to serve as officers or DSCC representatives, until such time those members are 18 years of age.
Section 2: Chairs of sub-committees shall be appointed by the Chair and confirmed by vote of Committee. Standing or sub-committees and their functions shall be established by resolution of the Committee; these meetings shall be noticed to the Committee members in advance.
Section 3: Duties of Offices
a. The Chair shall be the chief executive officer responsible for carrying out the objectives and policies of the Committee. The Chair shall be the official spokesperson for the SLOCDP. The chair shall carry out all normal duties and functions of presiding officers, including creating and distributing regular and special meeting agendas.
b. The two Vice-Chairs shall assist the Chair in the performance of the duties of that office.
c. The Recording Secretary shall be responsible for internal communications; shall write and distribute minutes of the monthly meetings, send out required notices, maintain the membership roster and all records of the Committee.
d. The Corresponding Secretary shall be responsible for writing external correspondence on behalf of the Committee, such as replies to requests from the State Party, and letters to individuals.
e. The Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget; shall collect income and pay expenses of the committee, and shall provide monthly financial reports to the Committee; and ensure that state and federal financial reports are filed by a qualified person or entity as required by law. The Committee may authorize the Treasurer to use the assistance of a paid professional service in carrying out these duties, who may be designated as Assistant Treasurer.
f. The State Party Executive Board Representative(s) shall represent the Committee at meetings of the state party E-Board.
Article VI – Executive Committee
Section 1: There shall be an Executive Committee of the Committee to include the Officers of the Committee and the immediate past Chair for a period not to exceed one year.
Section 2: The Committee may delegate to the Executive Committee any of the powers and authorities of the full Committee in the management of the business and affairs of the Committee except with respect to: (1) the approval of any action which, under law or the provisions of these by-laws, requires the approval of the full committee, (2) the filling of vacancies on the Committee; (3) the amendment or repeal of any resolution of the Committee which by its express terms is not so amendable or repealable, or (4) the removal of any member or officer.
Section 3: Any action taken on behalf of the Committee by the Executive Committee between regular meetings shall be subject to ratification by the whole Committee at the next regular meeting.
Article VII – Attendance
Members, or their alternates, are expected to be regular in attendance at meetings and regular contributors to the substantial work of the Committee. Any member who is absent three (3) or more consecutive, regularly called meetings may be removed by a vote of the Committee, unless his or her absence is caused by illness or temporary absence from the County on the date of the meeting.
Article VIII – Vacancies
Section 1: When vacancies exist either in membership or in office, the Committee shall fill the remainder of the term of such vacancies by nomination at a regular meeting and election at the next regular meeting. Persons nominated to fill vacancies must meet the eligibility requirements that pertain to the seat vacated.
Section 2: Notice of any nominations made pursuant to this Article shall be made in the minutes and on the Agenda for the subsequent meeting. Notice of election shall be communicated to the membership and to applicable officials.
Article IX – Quorum/Meeting/Voting
Section 1: One third, plus one, of the members in good standing as defined in Article III, Sections A-F present at a regular meeting shall constitute a quorum. Alternates of primary members are only counted toward quorum when primary member is not in attendance.
Section 2: The Committee shall meet at least ten times per year, at a time and place set by the Committee, normally at the meeting where officers are elected. Meetings are to be called by the Chair.
Section 3: Notice of all regular Meetings (General, Executive, Committee, etc.) shall be given by email to the membership with email address that is on file with SLOCDP no fewer than seven days prior to the convening of said meeting. Emergency meetings will be noticed by email to the membership at least 24 hours prior to convening of meeting.
Section 4: Voting is open to members or qualified alternates defined in Article III only. Proxy voting shall not be allowed. There will be no votes taken by secret ballot.
Section 5: The Whole Committee is defined as all committee members (or their alternates) in good standing as defined in Article III, Sections A-F.
Article X – Removal of Members
Section 1: Members who are severely deficient in the requirements of Articles III and VII may be removed according to the processes defined below.
Section 2: In addition to the provisions in Section 1, the Committee may also remove any member who registers as a member of another party, or who publicly advocates that voters should not vote for an endorsed Democratic Party candidate for any office according to the procedures set forth in Section 4.
Section 3: Automatic Forfeiture of Committee Membership & Right to Seek Membership
a. The following shall automatically cause an individual to forfeit any present and future membership in the committee:
1. The commencement by the individual, or at the behest of the individual, of legal action against the committee or any of its members for activities taken in the course of committee activity, or
2. The threat to commence such legal action, or
3. A vote by a majority of the members of the whole committee that they perceive an action by an individual to have been or to be for a purpose which may lead to the commencement of such legal action.
b. Nothing in Section 3.a shall prevent the committee itself from threatening, commencing, or causing to be commenced, legal action when it deems such action necessary or useful.
c. Once an individual has forfeited membership under Section 3.a they shall not be eligible for future committee membership until a majority of the whole membership of the committee has voted in a regular meeting, with at least ten (10) days prior notice, that their right to seek membership has been reinstated.
Section 4: Removal of a Member or Officer
a. A member may be removed from the Committee upon two-thirds vote of the whole Committee.
b. An officer of the Committee may be removed from office by a majority vote of the whole Committee when found to have engaged in conduct detrimental to the Committee or Party.
c. Such charges and notice of intent to remove from office or membership shall first have been presented at a regular meeting. The Committee will, in person or via U.S. Mail, notify the subject member or officer within ten (10) days of the meeting where the action was presented. At the next regular meeting following such presentation and notice, the officer or member shall be given an opportunity to answer the charges and confront the persons making the charges. In the event of a removal, the position shall be filled according to Article VII.
Article XI – Endorsements
Section 1: Endorsements of candidates for all partisan public offices are governed by the California Democratic Party rules and regulations.
Section 2: Endorsement of candidates for all local, non-partisan offices in districts with jurisdictions which do not extend beyond the boundaries of this county shall be governed by this process.
a. Notice of opportunity for SLOCDP Endorsement is made to candidates in the following manner:
1. Announcement of opportunity posted on all digital SLOCDP platforms
2. Email to area mailing list
3. Email to SLOCDP membership
b. The Committee may endorse only as many candidates as there are seats to be filled in any one election.
c. The Committee shall not endorse a candidate who is not registered as a Democrat.
d. The Committee shall endorse only candidates who have completed the full evaluation process as established by the Committee upon recommendation of the Endorsement sub-committee.
Each candidate shall be given an opportunity provide a written statement and/or complete a committee provided questionnaire supporting their candidacy, which will become part of the Endorsement sub-committee’s recommendation to the Committee.
1. Each candidate who submits a completed questionnaire will meet with the Endorsement subcommittee and participate in a candidate interview.
2. Once the Endorsement subcommittee has gathered the requisite information, the subcommittee will take a vote to determine whether or not each candidate will be recommended for Endorsement.
3. In compliance with the timeline below, the Endorsement Committee will make its recommendation to the greater party at the next General meeting
e. Required Vote for Endorsement. The quorum for an endorsement vote shall be 50% of the whole Committee. No vote on endorsement shall be by secret ballot.
1. After the filing deadline. An endorsement may be made for nonpartisan office in San Luis Obispo County after the filing deadline by the affirmative vote of sixty (60%) percent of those members voting at a regular meeting of the Committee.
2. An endorsement may be made for all nonpartisan office in San Luis Obispo County no earlier than the opening of the filing period for the designated election by the affirmative vote of sixty-seven (67%) per cent of those members voting at a regular meeting of the Committee.
3. In any vote on endorsements, “No Endorsement” shall be an option on each ballot and shall be counted in the total required for endorsement.
f. The Committee may financially support only the candidates who have been endorsed by the Committee. The Endorsement sub-committee shall notify all eligible candidates in selected races of the endorsement process and timelines.
g Individual members of this Committee may endorse candidates for office only as individual citizens. The Committee or Party office of those members making such endorsements may be indicated for identification purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the Democratic Party.
h. The period of candidate endorsement shall be from the date of endorsement until the candidate’s specific election date; therefore a 60% vote of the Committee members present at a regular or special meeting shall be required to revoke any candidate’s endorsement. The process for revocation would require: 1) Submittal to the Executive Committee of motion for revocation for discussion and approval; 2) Placement on the agenda and a vote at the following regular or special meeting.
Section 3: Local Ballot Propositions, Initiatives, or Measures.
a. The Endorsement sub-committee shall identify and notify each side of a selected qualified local ballot proposition, initiative, or measure of the possibility of an endorsement as soon as is practicable after the close of the filing or qualification deadline of such a matter.
b. Each side shall be given an opportunity to provide a written statement and/or complete a committee provided questionnaire supporting their position on said matter, which will become part of the Endorsement sub-committee’s recommendation to the Committee.
c. The Committee shall only endorse a position on said matters for those who have completed the full evaluation process as established by the Committee upon recommendation of the Endorsement sub-committee.
d. A 60% vote of the Committee members present at a regular meeting shall be required to approve an endorsement. The quorum for an endorsement vote shall be 50% of the whole Committee.
e. If the Committee fails to endorse either position on said matters, the Committee shall not provide any substantial support to either position.
f. The Committee shall not endorse any local proposition, initiative, or measure before the close of the filing or qualification deadline of such a matter.
Article XII – Chartering Clubs
Section 1: New Clubs
a. Clubs requesting a new or reinstated charter from the Committee will notify the Chair and the Recording Secretary when they start organizing.
b. Organizers may use the Democratic Club name for up to six (6) months to organize members before officially submitting the chartering documents.
c. To complete the chartering process, the club must submit their bylaws (which must require its voting members to be registered Democrats), officer roster, and a membership roster (name, address, phone, email) of no less than twenty (20) members who are not members of another Chartered Club.
d. A majority vote of the Committee at a regularly scheduled meeting is required to charter a new club or to reinstate a revoked charter.
Section 2: Maintaining a Club Charter
a. To maintain a Club Charter in good standing, a club must submit a current membership roster of a minimum of twenty (20) members (name, address, phone, email) and $100 in dues to the Committee’s Recording Secretary not later than January 10 of each even numbered year. Clubs may request from the Executive Committee a waiver of dues based on their activities in their community.
b. To maintain their charter in good standing and retain voting and other privileges at the Committee, the Club must submit these materials or have their charter temporarily suspended.
c. Any club that is not compliant in submitting required documents by March 10 of the even numbered year will have their charter revoked and must go through the process in Article XII, Section 1 to re-charter the club.
Section 3: Insurance
a. Chartered Clubs have the right to be covered under the Committee’s event insurance policy, if said policy exists and such coverage is allowable under the policy, upon their request to the Committee Chair or designated officer.
b. If there are additional charges for a Club-sponsored event, it will be the responsibility of the Club to pay those in advance of the event.
Article XIII – Waiving Timelines
Any timelines listed in these Bylaws (including, but not limited to those regarding removal of officers and members, filling vacancies, endorsements, et cetera) will be waived only by a two- thirds (2/3) vote of the Committee
Article XIV – Parliamentary Procedure
Robert’s Rules of Order, current edition, shall guide the proceedings of the Committee. In cases of conflict of Robert’s Rules of Order with any provision in these bylaws, the bylaws of the Committee and of the California Democratic Party shall take precedence.
Article XV – Amending
Proposed amendments to these bylaws shall be presented in writing to all Committee members at any regular meeting. A majority vote of the qualified members present at the meeting shall be required for adoption of the proposed amendment at the next regular meeting.
[Bylaws adopted February 9, 1983, amended: August 8, 1990, May 8, 1991, May 12, 1993, June 9, 1993, November 10, 1993, August 14, 1996, July 10, 1997, May 12, 1999, August 22, 2002, and July 14, 2004; reaffirmed July 2006; amended January 2007; amended May 12, 2010, May 11, 2011; Amended October 9, 2013, Amended January 8, 2014, Amended August 12, 2015, July 17, 2017, February 19, 2018, June 18, 2018, April 13, 2020, January 21, 2021]