Arizona Democratic Party Legislative District 15 By-Laws
These bylaws cover the operation and organization of the AZ LD15 Dems (hereafter “LD15”), a district party committee established pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes Title 16, Sections 821-828. Such sections shall be considered Appendix I of these bylaws.
Article I. ORGANIZATION
Section 1. Legislative District Committee
There shall be a Legislative District Committee, with membership as provided by law and in Article II of these bylaws, which shall have duties and responsibilities as provided by law and these bylaws. The LD15 Precinct Committee Persons (PCs) shall be the governing body of the AZ LD15 Dems and shall have authority over all actions of the Executive Committee and other committees of LD15.
Section 2. Executive Committee
There shall be an Executive Committee, with membership as provided by and in Article II, which shall have duties and responsibilities as provided by law and these bylaws subject to the direction of the LD15 Committee.
Article II. MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Participation
Unless otherwise prescribed by law, the LD15 Committee shall consist of all Democratic PCs residing within the boundaries of LD15 who have been elected or appointed pursuant to the laws of the state of Arizona. All members shall have the right to fully participate in the meetings, discussions, and other activities of LD15 as provided by law and these bylaws.
Section 2. Precinct Committee Persons
A PC candidate shall be a registered Democratic voter living within the precinct.
The term of office for PCs shall be as follows:
The term of office of an elected PC is two (2) years, commencing on October 1 in even-numbered years after the primary election in which the PC was a candidate and elected and continues until September 30 after the following primary election at which PCs are elected.
The term of office of an appointed PC begins upon approval by the Board of Supervisors of the county of residence and continues until September 30 after the following primary election at which PCs are elected. Appointed PCs shall have all the rights and obligations of elected PCs except that they shall not vote in any political party committee biennial organizational meeting.
A vacancy in the office of PC is defined in ARS 38-291 and in the bylaws of the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP). If the PC changes party registration or moves from the precinct in which the person was elected or appointed, the PC shall be deemed to have resigned from office. The chair of the county in which the vacancy in the precinct occurred is charged with the responsibility of filling the vacancy. The county chair shall accept applications from qualified Democratic electors and forward them to the elections department of the applicable county for approval by the Board of Supervisors. Vacancies for PCs existing after the biennial election of PCs shall not be filled prior to the biennial organizational meeting of LD15 and the applicable County Committee.
The duties of PCs shall include, but not be limited to:
voting at LD15 elections;
assisting the Democratic Party in voter registration;
assisting and encouraging voters to vote on election days;
attending LD15 meetings;
working within the precinct from which elected or appointed;
creating enthusiasm and support for the Democratic Party;
helping elect Democratic candidates;
assist in recruiting and training leaders of the Democratic Party;
encouraging financial support of LD15 and the ADP;
serving on various committees as applicable.
Article III. MEETINGS
Section 1. Meetings
LD15 shall meet at least nine (9) times in a calendar year.
The Executive Committee shall meet upon the call of the Chair or in accordance with any resolution adopted by it.
Any special meeting of LD15 may be called by the Chair, by a simple majority of the Executive Committee, or by at least fifty percent (50%) of the voting members of LD15 by filing a formal petition with the Secretary and must be convened within twenty (20) days of the date designated by any such petition. The petition must contain the reason for the meeting, which must be provided to members in the meeting notice.
Meetings of LD15, the Executive Committee, and any subcommittees may be held in person or virtually (telephonic or electronic).
Section 2. Notification
Proper notice shall be given as to the date, time, and place to each member of the body that is meeting, at least ten (10) days prior to a meeting. Notices of meetings may be delivered by email unless prohibited by statute.
Section 3. Quorum
Unless otherwise specified in these bylaws, a quorum of members of the body that is meeting shall consist of at least twenty-five (25) percent of LD15 PCs, if notice has been given in accordance with Section 2 of this article. A quorum shall be present for all voting.
If less than five (5) days' notice of a meeting is given, then the quorum shall be fifty percent (50%).
Section 4. Debate
No members shall speak more than two (2) times on the same agenda item.
The secretary shall direct members as to the maximum amount of time they are allowed to speak between one (1) and five (5) minutes depending on the number of members in attendance.
In the event that allowing everyone to speak would be disrespectful to all members in attendance, the chair may limit the number of speakers allowed to speak.
The number of members allowed to speak For an Issue and Against an Issue shall be equal.
Section 5. Voting
Voting within LD15, the Executive Committee, or any of their subcommittees shall be on an individual basis and may be by actual roll call vote, by division of the body in commonly accepted manner or by voice vote, as may be appropriate. No slate or title identification shall be made on any ballot or in balloting. Only members of the particular committee shall have the right to make motions, vote, or exercise any other parliamentary rights at meetings of the committee.
Section 6. Proxy Attendance
Proxies are not allowed under these bylaws. To participate, PCs are required to be in attendance in person or via electronic media.
Section 7. Open Meetings
All meetings of LD15 and its subcommittees shall be subject to applicable open meeting laws.
Section 8. Parliamentary Procedure
All meetings of LD15 and its subcommittees shall be conducted under Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, most current edition.
The Chair may appoint a Parliamentarian who shall serve without a vote by reason of such office. Should the Parliamentarian be absent at any meeting at which their services are required, the Chair may appoint another to act as Parliamentarian for any such meeting. The Parliamentarian shall be a non-voting member of the Executive Committee.
Section 9. Biennial Organizational Meeting
Pursuant to ARS 16-823, LD15 shall meet no later than the second Saturday after the general election to organize by electing from its membership its officers and State Committee members as prescribed in ARS 16-825. Only the PCs residing in the district and elected pursuant to ARS 16-821 will be eligible to vote during the biennial organizational meeting.
Pursuant to ARS 16-823, the Chair of LD15 shall give notice of the time and place of the organizational meeting by United States mail to each precinct committeeman at least ten (10) days before the date of the meeting. If the PC has provided a valid email address and has authorized the Chair to give notice to the PC by email instead of by United States mail, the Chair shall provide notice of the meeting by email at least ten (10) days before the date of the meeting.
Article IV. OFFICERS
Section 1. Officers
Pursuant to ARS 16-823, the statutory officers of LD15 are Chair, two (2) Vice Chairs, Secretary, and Treasurer. The latter two offices may be filled by the same person. The statutory officers are to be elected from LD15 membership at the Organizational Meeting.
At the LD15 Organizational Meeting, LD15 may also elect from its membership other officers deemed necessary to conduct the business and operations of LD15 under procedures set forth in Section 2 of this Article.
Section 2. Election of Officers
All nominations for LD15 officers to be elected pursuant to this Article shall be made from the floor of the LD15 Organizational Meeting and no slate identification shall be allowed on any ballots or balloting at these elections.
Any duly elected or appointed PCs may be eligible for any elective office, but no person shall be nominated as a candidate without the consent of such person having first been obtained.
In all cases where there is more than one (1) candidate for office, voting shall be conducted by individual ballot. A person must receive votes on a majority of ballots cast. If a second or subsequent ballot is necessary, the name of the candidate with the lowest vote total from the preceding ballot shall be excluded from the subsequent ballot. The same procedure shall be followed until a nominee shall have received votes on a majority of ballots cast.
An automatic recount shall be performed if (1) the number of votes cast is greater than the number of committee persons present in person or represented by proxy; or (2) the ballot shall result in the election of an officer rather than only the elimination of a candidate and there is a margin of less than six (6) votes between the elected officer and the next candidate.
Officers shall be elected in the following order: Chair; First Vice Chair; Second Vice Chair; Secretary; and Treasurer. If additional officer positions were created per Section 1(B) of this Article, officers will be elected in the order in which the positions were created.
Section 3. Duties of Officers
In addition to their duties as members of LD15 and the Executive Committee, the duties of the officers shall include but are not limited to the following:
The Chair shall
direct the affairs of LD15 and serve as its official spokesperson;
coordinate the district wide activities of the Democratic Party;
preside over all meetings of LD15, the Executive Committee, and other meetings that may be held;
in consultation with the Treasurer, submit a proposal for approval for an annual budget to the Executive Committee;
assign duties to officers not specified in these bylaws;
appoint all committees except as specifically provided for in these bylaws and to appoint chairs and members to those committees;
direct any office LD15 may establish; and
perform other duties as set forth in these bylaws. Pursuant to ARS 16-823, the chair is ex officio a member of the county committee of the county in which a plurality of the district's registered voters resides. If the LD15 chooses to be represented on the executive committees of any county in which representation by Legislative Districts Committees is requested, the Chair or their designee will serve as that representative.
The First Vice Chair shall
perform the duties of the Chair during the absence or disability of the Chair until the Chair returns or, in the event of a vacancy, until a successor is elected;
serve as the chair of the Volunteer Committee;
perform duties assigned by the Chair or by these bylaws.
The Second Vice-Chair shall
perform the duties of the Chair during the absence or disability of the Chair and the First Vice-Chair or, in the event of a vacancy, until a successor is elected;
serve as the chair of the Field Planning Committee;
perform duties assigned by the Chair or by these bylaws.
The Secretary shall
keep records of all meetings of LD15, and the Executive Committee;
provide electronic copies of minutes to the members of the respective committee in a timely manner;
maintain a roll of PCs in LD15;
maintain a copy of formal reports of LD15 officers, committees, and sub-committees;
maintain a copy of all resolutions adopted by LD15;
perform such other duties as are assigned by the Chair.
The Treasurer shall
serve as the custodian of all funds and securities of LD15;
maintain adequate records pertaining to the finances of the LD15 and file all required financial reports at requisite intervals as required by appropriate governmental agencies;
be responsible for the financial affairs of LD15;
serve as a member of any committee pertaining to finance or that receives or disburses funds;
at least once a month, to the extent that funds are available and expenditures are authorized by law, pay outstanding bills which are those bills that have been duly incurred within the current budget as permitted by these bylaws;
disburse funds in accordance with the direction of the Executive Committee;
ensure that all campaign finance reporting laws and regulations that apply to LD15 are honored when receiving contributions and making disbursements;
perform other duties as set forth in these bylaws.
The Parliamentarian, if appointed by the Chair, shall (1) advise the Chair and other officers, committees, and PCs on matters of parliamentary procedure; (2) be knowledgeable in and able to interpret parliamentary procedures, these bylaws, and Robert’s Rules of Order; and (3) perform other duties as may be assigned by the Chair.
Section 4. Term of Office
The term of office is two (2) years, commencing immediately following election at the biennial organizational meeting and ending at the next biennial organizational meeting.
A vacancy in an office occurs if an officer resigns, ceases to hold valid status as an LD15 PC, dies, or is removed from office. The office will be filled by a majority vote of LD15 members at the next regular meeting unless that meeting is less than thirty (30) days from the date the seat was vacated. In such a case the vacancy will be announced at the next meeting and the election to fill the vacancy will occur at the following regular meeting.
If an officer is absent for three (3) consecutive LD15 regular meetings or three (3) consecutive LD15 Executive Committee meetings without cause, such absence shall be deemed a resignation.
Appointed officers shall serve subject to the pleasure of the Chair.
Section 6. Concurrent Positions
No elected LD15 officer shall concurrently serve as an officer of any political action committee (PAC).
Section 7. Conflict of Interest
No elected LD15 officer shall be employed as a campaign manager or as a paid consultant to any partisan campaign.
No elected LD15 officer shall concurrently run for any office in a partisan election.
Article V. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Section 1. LD15 Office
Any elected LD15 officer shall be removed from office by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the total number of LD15 PCs in attendance at a special meeting called for such action.
Section 2. Precinct Committeemen
A Precinct Committee Person may be removed from office for cause. Cause for removal includes the following:
Failure to fulfill the duties of the office under Arizona law or the bylaws of the county of residence.
Malfeasance in office.
Willful or corrupt misconduct in office.
Harassment, bullying, or other behavior inconsistent with the expectations outlined in the Arizona Democratic Party’s Code of Conduct.
Public support of an opposition party candidate in a partisan election; or
Conviction of a felony.
The procedures for removing a Precinct Committee Person shall be as follows:
Vote to Recommend Removal by a District Executive Board. A majority of a District Executive Board may vote to recommend the removal of a Precinct Committee Person whose precinct falls within that District. No fewer than fourteen (14) days before the meeting when the recommendation for removal will be discussed and voted on, the District Secretary must send written notice to the Precinct Committee Person whose removal from office is being sought. The written notice must include: (1) all reasons for the recommendation for removal, including any supporting documentation, (2) the date, time, and location of the meeting where the matter will be discussed and voted on, and (3) a statement that the Precinct Committee Person whose removal is being sought may respond in writing, will have an opportunity to respond at the meeting, and has the right to present documents or call witnesses to testify on their behalf at the meeting.
Meeting of the District Executive Board. The District Chair will preside over the meeting where the recommendation for removal is discussed and voted on and must ensure that the meeting is either recorded or transcribed verbatim. A representative of the District Executive Board must present the reasons for potential removal and give the Precinct Committee Person whose removal is sought a chance to respond. The Precinct Committee Person must have the opportunity to present documents or call witnesses to testify on their behalf before any vote on a recommendation for removal. The District Executive Board may then vote to recommend the removal of the Precinct Committeemen.
Removal Vote by County. If a District Executive Board recommends the removal of a Precinct Committeemen, the District Chair shall send all materials related to the removal recommendation to the Chair of the county of residence of the PC , who shall promptly schedule a meeting of the county Executive Committee to vote on whether to remove the Precinct Committeemen from office. If the county does not have an Executive Committee, the chair of the county of residence shall convene a special committee to meet and vote in the same manner as a county Executive Committee for purposes of Precinct Committeemen removal. No fewer than fourteen (14) days before the meeting of the county Executive Committee at which that vote will be held, the county Secretary must send written notice to the District Chair and the Precinct Committeemen whose removal from office is being sought. The written notice must include:
all documentation related to the recommended removal, including the recording or transcript of the District Executive Committee meeting during which removal was recommended,
the date, time, and location of the meeting where the matter will be discussed and voted on,
a statement that the Precinct Committeemen whose removal is being sought may provide an additional written statement in advance of the meeting and will have an opportunity to speak at the meeting,
a statement that the District Chair (or their designee) may provide an additional written statement in advance of the meeting and will have an opportunity to speak at the meeting. The county Executive Committee must be recorded (or transcribed verbatim. After the Precinct Committeemen and District Chair (or their designee) are provided a reasonable opportunity to speak, the Precinct Committeemen may be removed by a majority vote of the county Executive Committee.
If the county Executive Committee removes a Precinct Committeemen, the county Chair must promptly send a written notice and recommendation to the county Board of Supervisors under A.R.S. § 16-821(B).
Pending removal, a Precinct Committee Person may be suspended from all official duties and activities of LD15 and the committee of their county of residence pending the completion of removal proceedings under Subsection B of this Section by a majority vote of the LD15 Executive Board if:
The Precinct Committeemen was provided with the written notice required by Subsection B(1) of this Section;
The cause specified in the written notice required by Subsection B(1) of this Section involves conduct that presents a risk of ongoing harm to the county party, LD15, or any third person;
The Precinct Committeemen was provided with no fewer than 48 hours of written notice of the LD15 Executive Board’s intent to hold a suspension vote; and
The Precinct Committeemen were provided with an opportunity to address the District Executive Board prior to the vote to suspend the Precinct Committeemen.
Any meeting at which a vote to suspend a Precinct Committeemen is discussed or taken must be recorded or transcribed verbatim.
A suspension under this Subsection will terminate upon the earlier of the following:
The District Executive Board voting not to recommend the Precinct Committeemen’s removal under Subsection B(2) of this Section;
The county Executive Committee voting not to remove the Precinct Committeemen under Subsection B(3) of this Section; or
The county Board of Supervisors determined that the Precinct Committeemen’s office is vacant under A.R.S. § 16-821(A).
Article VI. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The membership of the Executive Committee shall consist of the LD15 officers listed in Article IV of these bylaws.
The duties of the Executive Committee shall be to
act on behalf of LD15 between LD15 meetings;
approve the LD15 budget and any amendments to it;
approve specific contracts extending beyond the Chair’s term;
adopt and maintain policies and procedures for LD15;
provide advice on appointments made by the Chair;
perform other such duties as may be assigned by the Chair.
Article VII. OTHER COMMITTEES
Section 1. Committees
The Chair, in cooperation with the Executive Committee, may create committees as necessary and appoint chairs and members to such committees. Standing committees are outlined here:
Create and implement (working with other organizations as appropriate) PC training, focusing on jobs during the entire election cycle. Incorporate other volunteers into training, expanding volunteer and PC base.
Work with other vice chairs to follow up with outreach or constituent connection efforts.
Send information about LD events and meetings and encourage attendance.
Seek out opportunities for building community through an introduction to active individuals and/or small events for groups of new volunteers.
Develop, maintain and manage Intern Program - Young Dems Outreach
Actively seek out opportunities for connection and communication within our community including but not limited to neighborhood association meetings, blood drives, food banks, parades, voter registration, and other events.
Communicate with elected officials about attendance and support needed.
Set up small monthly coffees for legislative updates with Dem legislators during session.
Create and Maintain Welcome Packets for New Volunteers/PCs/Canvassers
Communicate actively and often to the community through FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube
Assist with messaging for affiliated social media accounts including candidates and Interns.
Send Newsletter of events and important information to the mailing list.
Develop literature for canvassing, literature drops,
Elect or Appoint an Equity Chair
Work with Black, Latino, LGBTQ, and Millennium constituencies, including working with partner groups and setting up small events for specific communities dependent on LD representation.
Finance and Fundraising Committee
Continue and expand monthly donors and donations.
Organize “ask” at each monthly meeting.
Organize LD fundraisers, incorporating raffles, prizes, new speakers, etc.
Field Planning Committee
Maintain volunteer database/PCs/mailing list/website with 1st Vice Chair.
Responsible for keeping VAN current with field data, assisting others in understanding value and best practices for gathering, retaining and using data.
Produce reports as needed to facilitate data-driven decision-making.
Develop Field and Outreach plans for the LD in conjunction with State and County Parties
Manage distribution of literature
Section 2. Special Committees
Special committees may be appointed by the Chair or may be directed by LD15 for activities that are time limited.
Section 3. Committee Statement
No committee shall be authorized to issue any statement on behalf of either the LD15 Committee, the Executive Committee or as coming from LD15, and any statement or report issued by any committee on its own behalf shall be confined within the scope of its duties.
Section 4. Expenditure of Funds
All funds for committees are under the internal control of LD15 and fall within the duties of the Treasurer.
Article VIII. STATE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Pursuant to ARS 16-823, State Committee members will be elected at the organizational meeting. LD15 shall elect the number of State Committee members allotted by the laws of Arizona and the bylaws of the Arizona Democratic Party.
A vacancy in the LD15 State Committee membership shall occur and be filled as delineated in Article II, Section 5 of the bylaws of the Arizona Democratic Party.
A deemed resignation by an LD15 State Committee member shall occur and be filled as delineated in Article II, Section 4 of the bylaws of the Arizona Democratic Party.
Article IX. COUNTY COMMITTEES
Per Arizona laws, codes, and designations, legislative district committees are individual political party committees and are not subgroups of county committees.
Should any county committee of a county in which Legislative District 15 lies in whole or part request representation from LD15 on the county Executive Committee or other subcommittee of the county committee, LD15 will decide by majority vote whether to send such representation. If LD15 is to be represented, the representative will be the Chair or their designee. Should additional representation be requested, the Executive Committee will determine who shall represent LD15.
There is nothing in this article that restricts any member of LD15 from running for or holding at-large or other positions on county committees for which they qualify.
Article X. ENDORSEMENTS
Section 1. Contested Primaries
Neither LD15 nor its Executive Committee shall endorse any candidate in a contested primary election. Individual LD15 officers and others appointed or elected to LD15 leadership positions shall remain publicly neutral in contests between Democrats in any contested primary election.
No member of LD15 shall publicly endorse any candidate of any opposing political party for any office in a contested primary, general, or special election. A candidate of an opposing political party is defined as a candidate who is not registered as a Democrat.
Nothing in this article restricts a PC from working on behalf of any favored Democratic candidate, as this is a function of being a PC.
Section 2. Vote of No Candidate Support
In the event serious concerns are raised about a candidate’s legitimacy or intent, the Executive Committee may call for a vote of No Candidate Support by LD15. Approval shall require the agreement of at least eighty percent (80%) of LD15 members voting. Such meetings shall be convened per Article III, Section 1.C of these bylaws.
Article XI. BYLAWS
Section 1. Effective Date
These bylaws shall go into effect immediately upon their adoption and shall continue in force for present and future membership subject to amendment or termination in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
Section 2. Amendments
These bylaws may be amended by a vote of not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the members of LD15 present at a regular or specially called meeting of LD15.
The Executive Committee shall oversee revisions to these bylaws, as described in Article XI, Section 2.
Only LD15 members in good standing may propose a change to the bylaws. Any proposed change to the bylaws must be presented in writing accompanied by a statement explaining the purpose to be achieved and reasons supporting the change. All proposed changes shall be prepared and submitted according to current procedures established by the Executive Committee.
Proposed amendments in writing must be received by the Secretary at least thirty (30) days prior to potential consideration at a meeting. The contents of the proposed amendments to be considered shall be transmitted to all members at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting.
Proposed bylaw amendments may be modified or refined by LD15 members during discussion prior to holding a vote on the proposed change. Members present will be provided the opportunity to review final proposed amendments prior to voting.
No proposal to amend or terminate these bylaws shall be considered by the Executive Committee or LD15 unless it has been submitted in compliance with the provisions of this section.
The bylaws of LD15 cannot be contrary to the bylaws of the Arizona Democratic Party or law. In such a case the Arizona Democratic Party Bylaws or applicable law shall supersede the bylaws of LD15.