Constitution of the New York State Young Democrats
ARTICLE I - PURPOSE
Section 1. Name.
This organization shall be known as the New York State Young Democrats.
Section 2. Purpose.
This organization shall foster, supervise and coordinate the activities of the Young Democratic Chapters in New York State.
Section 3. Mission.
The purpose of the organization shall be to advance the highest principles of the Democratic Party, to foster and maintain truly democratic procedures in the Democratic Party, to support Democratic candidates of integrity, ability and conviction for public office and party positions, and to arouse and animate participation by all Democrats in the activities of their party.
Section 4. Activities.
The New York State Young Democrats shall support the duly nominated candidates and the platform of the Democratic Party.
ARTICLE II - ELIGIBILITY
Section 1. Age and Registration.
This organization shall be composed of the regular members in good standing of each duly Chartered Chapter of Young Democrats in the State of New York as hereinafter designated. Such Chapters shall be organized as provided in the following sections of this Article. Any Democrat between the ages of sixteen (16) and thirty-five (35), both inclusive, shall be eligible to be a regular member of any duly chartered chapter of the New York State Young Democrats. Except as required pursuant to this Section, all other membership requirements of each duly chartered chapter shall be determined and enforced by such Chapter pursuant to its governing documents. Regular members who are registered Democrats and will not reach the age of thirty six (36) on or before May 31st of the year of the next convention shall be eligible for elected state office.
Section 1.1. Members for Chartering Purposes.
For the purposes of chartering at the State Convention all members of a chapter must be registered Democrats in the county where they are a member with the exception of members under the age of eighteen (18) who must reside in the county in question. There will be an exception for members who do not have a Chapter in their county of registration or college students whose primary residence is the county even if their registration is elsewhere. Members between the ages of sixteen (16) and twenty-one (21) who are registered or pre-registered to vote, but are listed as unaffiliated with any political party for purposes of this section. Non-Citizens, those not eligible/unable to register to vote, and others who do not have access to become registered Democratic Party members shall be allowed to become members if they submit any of the following forms of identification to the Convention Credentials Committee alongside their chapter’s roster: a piece of mail delivered to their address, a driver’s license or any other form of identification, and/or any other forms of proper documentation as determined by the Convention Credentials Committee.
Section 2. Chartering.
Each Chapter, subject to the continuing approval of the County Chair of the County within which the Chapter is organized or to the approval of the State Executive Committee of the New York State Young Democrats as granted in Article II, Section 3, shall have the authority to establish Young Democratic Chapters and a State charter will be granted to each group whenever they have ten (10) active members. Each county shall have its own county organization and operate under its own Bylaws of the New York State Young Democrats. No charter shall be issued to any Chapter unless the Chapter meets the requirements of membership as hereinafter provided.
Section 3. Charter Approval.
If a charter application has been submitted to the County Chair for approval at least 30 days before the final date for filing with the State Organization and same has not been acted upon by the County Chair, then the charter application may be approved by a simple majority vote of the members present at the State Executive Committee meeting preceding the State Convention, as specified in Article III, Section 4 of the Constitution.
Section 4. County Chair.
For purposes of this article and of Article IV of this Constitution, “County Chair” shall refer to the highest ranking officer of the county’s Democratic Committee at the time of chartering.
ARTICLE III - CONVENTION
Section 1. State Convention.
A State Convention shall be held biennially at the call of the President at a time and place agreed upon by the State Executive Committee. The State Convention shall be held in May during odd-numbered years at which time elections shall be held. Should the President fail to issue a Call to Convention by March 1, a call shall be issued by a majority vote of the State Executive Committee.
Section 2. Notice.
Notice of State Conventions must be given to all Young Democratic Chapters at least thirty (30) days prior to said State Convention.
Section 3. Eligibility.
All delegates and alternates must be members in good standing of the Chapter they represent and residents of the County in which their Chapter is located. Said Chapter shall certify said delegates and alternates as members in good standing and such certification shall be final.
Section 4. Certification.
All voting delegates attending the State Convention must be registered and certified by the Credentials Committee. No person shall be allowed to participate as a delegate or alternate of more than one Chapter. Proxies will be accepted for the State Convention. Proxies must be on file with the State Secretary at the time of the vote. If, after the Call to Order, a delegate must permanently leave the room due to an emergency, an assignment of proxy shall be permitted upon the recording by the Chair of the Credentials Committee. No person may be designated to hold more than three proxies at any one time.
Section 5. Credentials.
Organizations attending State Conventions must submit to the Credentials Committee by registered or certified mail postmarked at least thirty (30) days prior to when the State Convention convenes a roster listing all members with address, Date of Birth, and E-Mail address (Telephone Number shall be optional but recommended), together with $0.50 for each person. All chartering documents may be submitted by a different date, as defined by the Call to Convention, if they are submitted in an electronic format. Said forms must be certified by the President and the Secretary of the organization.
Section 5.1. Delegates.
Organizations attending the State Convention must submit a list of the names and addresses of their delegates and alternates who are going to attend the State Convention certified by the President and Secretary of the organization. A delegate or alternate delegate shall not be permitted to vote unless the required lists have been submitted to the Credentials Committee prior to the time of the vote.
Section 6. Voting.
At any State Convention, each Chapter shall be entitled to one vote for every ten (10) members of the Chartered Chapters who are residents of the county in which their Chapter is located. Additional votes shall be awarded in whole multiples of ten and no fractional votes shall be awarded.
Section 6.1. Vote Cap.
No chapter may be permitted to cast more than 25% of the total votes at State Convention.
Section 7. Convention Quorum.
A quorum shall consist of a representation of at least 50% of the Chartered Chapters.
Section 8. YDA Convention Delegation Chairperson.
The New York State Young Democrats shall be duly represented at each convention of the Young Democrats of America by a delegation of members, the chairperson of which shall be the President or his/her designee.
Section 9. YDA Convention Delegation.
The State Executive Committee shall appoint those persons who shall be duly accredited delegates at all meetings and conventions where the New York State Young Democrats are to be represented, except where this conflicts with Young Democrats of America Bylaws.
Section 10. Council of Presidents.
Immediately following the election of officers there shall be an Election for the Chair of the Council of Presidents, which shall be composed of the Chapter Presidents of all chartered chapters. Each chartered Chapter President shall be entitled to one vote for Chairperson.
Section 10.1. Filling of Vacancy of Chair of Council of Presidents.
In the event that the chairperson of the Council of Presidents resigns as chair or is no longer a chapter president, the New York State Young Democrats President shall within 30 calendar days call for a meeting, in person or by phone, of chartered chapter presidents to elect a new chairperson. If an election is not called within 30 days, then the vacancy shall be filled as outlined in Article V, Section 6.4.
ARTICLE IV - CHARTERING
Section 1. Dues.
State dues for the members of the County Chapters chartered by the New York State Young Democrats shall be $.50 per member biennially which shall be paid to the State Treasurer by the County Chapter as State dues. Charters will be granted bi-annually and a charter fee of $65.00 will be due thirty (30) days in advance of the annual State Convention. Charters shall be renewable upon payment of the charter fee and compliance with the membership requirements previously set forth.
Should a County Chapter choose to pay dues via a third-party vendor, as selected by the State Treasurer, said chapter shall be required to additionally pay all fees charged by said vendor. All County Chapters shall be made aware, via the Call to Convention, the rate at which the vendor charges fees.
Section 2. Local Dues.
Each local organization shall set the amount of local dues for its organization, if any.
Section 3. Charter Fees.
Any organization desiring to become affiliated with the New York State Young Democrats shall submit to the President and Secretary of the New York State Young Democrats a copy of its constitution and a list of current members in an electronic format, together with a $65 charter fee and a letter of approval from the County Chair. Those organizations unable to present the letter from their County Chair must follow the procedures established in Article II, Section 3.
Section 4. Honorary Membership.
All enrolled Democrats over the maximum age for membership shall be eligible for honorary membership in the New York State Young Democrats. No honorary member shall be entitled to vote nor shall any honorary member be entitled to the privileges of the floor at any meeting for the purposes of speaking on any matter pertaining to the business of any New York State Young Democrats Chapter or State Convention except when unanimous consent is given. No honorary member shall hold any appointed or elected office in any local or state organization.
Section 5. Chartering Between Conventions.
A charter may be granted between State Conventions by approval of a majority of the State Executive Committee provided that all other requirements for chartering set forth in Section 3 are met.
Section 6. Revocation.
The New York State Young Democrats shall be empowered to revoke the Charter of a Chapter by a two-thirds vote of the State Executive Committee voting members in attendance.
ARTICLE V - OFFICERS
Section 1. Officers Named.
Officers Named: President, Executive Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, the two National Committee Members, Capital Region Vice President, Central Region Vice President, Downstate Region Vice President, Hudson Valley Region Vice President, Northern Region Vice President, Western Region Vice President, and Legal Director.
Section 1.1 National Committee Members.
One of the National Committee Members must be female identifying and the other National Committee Member must be of a different gender identity than the female-identifying National Committee Member.
Section 2. Duties.
The duties of the respective officers shall be outlined in the Bylaws.
Section 3. Eligibility.
The eligibility to run for the named offices in Article V, Section 1 shall be outlined in Article II, Section 1.
Section 4. Elections.
The New York State Young Democrats shall elect at the biennial State Convention the officers enumerated in Section 1 of this Article, who shall serve for a term of two years or until their successors are elected and installed.
Section 4.1. Oath or Affirmation of Office.
Upon completion of elections at the State Convention, all elected officers and caucus chairs shall, as a matter of ceremony, recite the following Oath of Office: “I, (STATE YOUR NAME), do solemnly swear or affirm to uphold the Constitution and Bylaws of the New York State Young Democrats and to protect and defend the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of New York. I swear or affirm to faithfully discharge the powers of the office to which I have been elected with honesty and integrity to ensure the growth and success of this organization and the Democratic party now and in the future.”
Section 5. Attendance at Meetings.
The State Executive Committee shall meet at least twelve (12) times per year at the discretion of the President, or the Executive Vice President and two additional Vice Presidents, or upon petition of one-quarter (1/4) of its voting members. The State Executive Committee meetings shall provide the option of telephone conference calls and may provide for a video conference call. Members of the State Executive Committee may be present at the meeting and vote by joining the video or telephone conference call. In the case that a county chapter that has submitted all of its chartering documents the State Executive Committee must be scheduled to meet within two weeks to review and/or approve their charter
Section 6. Vacancies.
Section 6.1. Vacancy of President.
If the position of President becomes vacant, the Executive Vice President shall succeed as Interim Acting President. The Interim Acting President shall convene a special meeting of the State Executive Committee within thirty (30) days of the vacancy to set forth a call for candidates and a Special Election. The Special Election shall be held no later than ninety (90) days from the date of the vacancy.
Section 6.2. Vacancy of Executive Vice President or Regional Vice President.
If the position of Executive Vice President or a Regional Vice President becomes vacant, the President shall appoint an Interim Acting Executive Vice President or Regional Vice President within thirty (30) days of the vacancy. The President shall convene a special meeting of the State Executive Committee within thirty (30) days of the vacancy to set forth a call for candidates and a Special Election. The Special Election shall be held no later than ninety (90) days from the date of the vacancy.
Section 6.3. Vacancy of President and Executive Vice President.
If the positions of President and Executive Vice President are vacant at the same time the State Executive Committee shall elect an Interim Acting President and Interim Acting Executive Vice President within thirty (30) days of the vacancy of both positions and set forth a call for candidates and a Special Election. The Special Election shall be held no later than (90) days from the date of the vacancy.
Section 6.4. Vacancies Generally.
In the event any other State elected office shall become vacant, the vacancy shall be filled by interim appointment by the President subject to confirmation by the State Executive Committee at its next meeting and shall not require a special election to complete the term of office.
Section 7. Special Elections.
Special Elections shall be conducted as set forth in the call for candidates, provided that elections shall be conducted in the same manner as it would be at a State Convention with Chapters casting the same number of votes as were allotted in the last State Convention. Chapters formed since the last State Convention would be allotted votes based on membership.
Section 7.1. Special Elections Not Applicable.
A Special Election shall not be conducted to fill any vacancy whose remaining term is three (3) months or less and the individual serving as interim acting shall complete their term.
Section 8. Prior Criminal History.
No candidate for elected or appointed office of the New York State Young Democrats shall be required to disclose prior criminal conviction or incarceration before their consideration for an office.
ARTICLE VI - STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 1. State Executive Committee.
The State Executive Committee shall consist of the following members listed in Sections 2 through 4.
Section 1.1. Quorum.
In order for a meeting to be deemed official, there must be a quorum of greater than fifty percent (50%) of the current voting members of the State Executive Committee as outlined in Section 2. Vacant positions do not count toward the quorum.
Section 1.2. Gavel Order.
All meetings shall be chaired by the President. In their absence, the following shall be the order in which the gavel passes: Executive Vice President, followed by the Treasurer, followed by the Secretary, followed by the National Committee Member of the opposite gender or gender identity as the President, followed by the National Committee Member of the same gender or gender identity as the President, followed by the Legal Director, followed by the Chair of the Council of Presidents, followed by the Regional Vice Presidents in alphabetical order of region. If none of the aforementioned officers are present, then it is deemed that quorum has not been reached for the meeting.
Section 2. Voting Members.
The State Executive Committee shall consist of the following voting members:
Section 2.1. Named Officers.
Officers named in Article V, Section 1 and Article VI, excluding the Legal Director.
Section 2.2. Caucus Chairs.
The Caucus Chairs referred to in Article VII shall serve as ex-officio voting members.
Section 2.3. Chair of the Council of Presidents.
The Chair of the Council of Presidents shall be an ex-officio voting member of the executive committee.
Section 3. Non-Voting Officers.
The State Executive Committee shall consist of the following non-voting members:
Section 3.1. President Emeritus.
The President Emeritus shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member of the State Executive Committee. The President Emeritus shall not be subject to any age restrictions as defined by Article II of this Constitution.
Section 3.2. Legal Director.
In order to maintain impartiality, the Legal Director shall be an ex-officio, non-voting officer of the State Executive Committee.
Section 3.3. Chartered Presidents.
The President of each Chartered Chapter shall serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the State Executive Committee.
Section 3.4. Appointed Officers.
The President may appoint any officers, as well as Chairpersons of Special Committees which they deem necessary to carry out the program of the New York State Young Democrats, with the advice and consent of the State Executive Committee. All appointed officers shall be non-voting members of the State Executive Committee.
Section 4. Non-Voting Ex-Officio Officers.
The New York State Young Democrats recognizes the importance of certain partner organizations and hereby includes the following in its State Executive Committee:
Section 4.1. YDA Officers.
Any New York State Young Democrat elected or appointed to serve as a Young Democrats of America officer, a YDA caucus officer, a YDA committee officer, or a YDA Northeast Region officer or in another position carrying membership on the YDA Executive Committee, shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member of the State Executive Committee.
Section 4.2. New York Democratic Law Students Council.
The leader of the New York State Democratic Law Students, or their designee if that leader is over the maximum age as specified in Article II, Section 1, shall serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the State Executive Committee.
Section 5. Duties.
The State Executive Committee shall be responsible for chartering of new Chapters and shall perform other general administrative roles as outlined by this Constitution, the Bylaws and directed by the President with the advice and consent of the State Executive Committee.
Section 6: Sub-accounts.
Financial sub-accounts, where provided for in this constitution and bylaws or by the Executive Committee of this organization, shall not be used except by the individual, organization or sub-unit for whom the sub-account is held.
Section 6.1. YDA Meeting Fundraising.
Up to fifty percent (50%) of any funds raised specifically for travel or lodging purposes by any member of the State Executive Committee may be used for the sole purpose of attending Young Democrats of America conventions or conferences.
Section 7. Presidential Spending.
The President shall have complete spending power up to $150 per individual expense. The Executive Vice President and Treasurer must approve any Presidential spending beyond $150 and under $300 per individual expense. The board, by majority rules, must approve any presidential spending after $300 per individual expense.
ARTICLE VII - CAUCUSES
Section 1. Named Caucuses.
Named Caucuses: Caucus of Color; College; Disability Issues; High School; Jewish; Labor; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer+ (LGBTQ+); Rural (YDR); and Women.
Section 1.1 College Caucus.
The College Democrats of New York shall serve as the de facto College Caucus. The CDNY President shall serve as the Chair of the College Caucus and the Executive Board of CDNY shall serve as the Executive Board of the College Caucus with the role and duties of each member within the CDNY board being the same as their position within the College Caucus. The CDNY Constitution and Bylaws shall substitute any required caucus bylaws and shall not be subject to ratification by the State Executive Committee. The College Caucus shall not be subject any oversight of its governance, finances, or other related matter by the New York State Young Democrats
Section 2. Duties.
Duties shall be reflected in the bylaws of the respective caucus. Caucus Chairs must maintain a detailed, updated list of members to be made available to NYSYD prior to the start of each convention. Additional duties shall be reflected in the bylaws of the respective caucus.
Section 3. Certification of Chairs.
Following elections within their respective bodies, the NYSYD Secretary and Legal Director shall confirm and record the vote count on an official document; thus certifying the Chairs for each of the Caucuses named in Section 1 of this Article.
Section 4. Vacancy of Chairs.
If a Caucus Chair position is vacant, the remaining officers and/or members of the caucus shall call for an election within thirty (30) days of the said vacancy. If an election is not called within 30 days, then the vacancy shall be filled as outlined in Article V, Section 6.4.
Section 4.1. Caucus Elections.
Members of the New York State Young Democrats shall elect at the biennial State Convention a Caucus Chair for each of the Caucuses named in Section 1 of this article, who shall be a member of the said caucus and shall serve until the following State Convention or until their successors are elected and installed. Caucus chairs shall be elected by a simple majority of those present.
Section 4.2. Notice.
Members who intend to run for a Caucus Chair position must announce their candidacy according to the provisions of the Call to Convention.
Section 5. Caucus Membership.
Only regular members of a duly chartered chapter as defined in Article II, Section 1 of this Constitution shall be eligible for caucus membership. All other membership eligibility requirements shall be determined by each respective caucus pursuant to its respective bylaws.
Section 5.1. Caucus Bylaws.
No later than sixty (60) days after the State Convention, each caucus shall submit any amendments to its bylaws concerning the governance of the caucus to the Executive Committee for approval by a simple majority. Each caucus's bylaws shall address its stated purpose, eligibility for membership, voting rules and requirements, leadership positions, duties of said caucus leaders, and procedures for respective bylaw amendments. All subsequent amendments made by a caucus to its respective bylaws must also be ratified by the Executive Committee by a simple majority vote. All caucus officers must be qualified members of the New York State Young Democrats, as defined by Article II of this Constitution. Upon ratification by the Executive Committee, enforcement and resolution of disputes originating from the governance of the caucuses shall rest upon the Executive Committee with the consultation of Legal Director.
Section 6. Caucus Benchmarks.
The New York State Young Democrats shall implement a benchmark system for the caucuses in order to ensure equal representation of votes by the caucuses and the membership of the New York State Young Democrats on the State Executive Committee. This shall be done by incorporating the following requirements to be met over the course of 2 years between conventions by all caucuses: Maintaining a membership of at least 20 individuals; holding at least two programming-based events where there is a discussion, training, networking, or other resource-based advancements for the members of the New York State Young Democrats which shall be open to everyone who is a member or general public per this Constitution excluding campaign activities; two “action-based” events for campaigns or candidates including, but not limited to, door-knocking, phone-banking, candidate fundraisers, text-banks; and holding at least one caucus conference call at minimum of one per quarter. The Convention Credentials Committee shall determine if these benchmarks are met prior to each convention. Should a caucus fail to meet the aforementioned benchmarks, they shall be designated a “task-force” until the next convention and their chair shall not have voting power within the State Executive Committee.
ARTICLE VIII - REMOVAL
Section 1. Removal of State Executive Committee Members for Absence.
Members of the State Executive Committee who shall be absent from or not represented by proxy at two consecutive meetings of the State Executive Committee shall have their office declared vacant at the first subsequent meeting thereof, provided that notice of that action is provided to the subject member by certified mail no less than ten (10) days prior to the date of that action and that the State Executive Committee, by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of those in attendance, may waive the declaration of the vacancy upon personal appeal of the subject member in attendance at the next meeting. Absence from a State Executive Committee meeting held in accordance with Article V, Section 5 where a telephone conference call number is not available shall not count as an absence for the purposes of this section.
Section 2. Removal of State Committee Members for Criminal Acts.
If a state committee member is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor charge related to honesty, such State Executive Committee member shall disclose the conviction to the President, the Executive Vice President, the Chair of the Council of Presidents, the Regional Vice Presidents and the Legal Director within thirty (30) days of the conviction. Such conviction shall be grounds for impeachment and removal by the State Executive Committee in accordance with the procedures delineated in Article VIII, Section 3 of the Constitution. Failure to disclose a conviction for a felony related to honesty shall result in an automatic vacancy of the position and such vacancy to be effective thirty-one (31) days after the date of the conviction. This section shall not apply to a conviction that predates a state committee member’s term in office.
Section 3. Impeachments.
Elected and appointed officers of the New York State Young Democrats may be impeached by a simple majority at any regular or special meeting of the State Executive Committee. Upon passage, a resolution of impeachment must be forwarded to the accused within ten (10) days.
Section 3.1. Removal.
In order to be removed from office, the impeached state committee member shall have the right to a trial to be held no less than twenty (20) days and no later than forty-five (45) days following passage of said impeachment resolution. The trial, convened by the State Executive Committee, shall be chaired by the Legal Director or, in the case of the Legal Director being impeached or if the Legal Director is unavailable, the trial shall be chaired by a non-voting state committee member appointed by the President. The accused shall have the right to present witnesses in their defense, cross-examine the witnesses for the prosecution and to be represented by counsel. An impeached state committee member shall be removed from office only upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the state executive committee.
ARTICLE IX – PUBLICATION
Section 1. Constitution and Bylaws.
The Constitution and Bylaws shall be published on the New York State Young Democrats website and shall be generally available upon request.
Section 2. Budget Financial Disclosure Reports.
The Current Operating Budget and Financial Disclosure Reports Filings, which are filed with the State Board of Elections, shall generally be made available upon request by any member of the State Executive Committee. After June 1, 2020, the report shall be published on the New York State Young Democrats website and shall include include a detailed accounting of all donations received by the New York State Young Democrats and disbursements made by the New York State Young Democrats. The failure to deliver or make the Current Operating Budget available for inspection the most recent Financial Disclosure at two consecutive State Executive Board meetings shall be grounds for automatic impeachment at the third consecutive meeting of the State Executive Board where the budget report remains unavailable.
ARTICLE X – AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Amendments.
This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the New York State Young Democrats in State Convention assembled.
Section 1.1. Grammar and Spelling Amendments.
The Legal Director shall be empowered to recommend non-substantive amendments to this Constitution relating only to spelling, grammar, or section titles. Such amendments to this Constitution shall only be adopted upon a four-fifths (4/5ths) vote of the State Executive Committee.
Section 2. Bylaws.
Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the State Convention assembled or by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the State Executive Committee.
Section 2.1. Executive Amendments.
Bylaw amendments passed by a vote of the State Executive Committee shall be presented during the general assembly of the convention most immediately following their passage.
ARTICLE XI - PRONOUNS
All pronouns or any variation thereof shall be deemed to be masculine, feminine, neuter, singular or plural as the identity of the person or persons may require.
ARTICLE XII - ADOPTION
This Constitution shall take effect upon its adoption.
Article XIII: Dissolution
In the event of the dissolution of the New York State Young Democrats, after all obligations have been met, all funds in the treasury and other assets shall be delivered to the New York State General Fund and all records shall be delivered to Young Democrats of America. Upon rechartering, the Young Democrats of America shall return all records to the reconstituted New York State Young Democrats.
Article XIV. Policy Committee.
The New York State Young Democrats shall have a policy platform that is updated and codified at the Convention detailing the policy positions of the organization, most specifically those that are different from the Democratic National Committee and New York State Democratic Committee Party Platforms.
Section 1. Adoption.
All policy changes or positions shall be submitted to the Policy Committee in the same processes that are set for the Credentials and Rules Committees. The policy platform shall be comprised of the organization's stances on any and every issue mentioned in the DNC and State Party Platforms. All policies must be voted on and pass both the policy committee by a majority and the floor of convention by a two-thirds vote.
Article XV. Code of Ethics.
Section 1. Applicable Parties.
All elected and appointed officials of New York State Young Democrats (“NYSYD Officials”) are, at all times, representative of the New York State Democratic Party and of their local County Democratic Parties, and must conduct themselves in such a manner to reflect positively on both. Failure to adhere to this code may result in removal from their elected or appointed post .
Section 2. Non-Discrimination.
The New York State Young Democrats, as an organization, is dedicated to equality for all. Under no circumstances are racism, misogyny, or discrimination of any kind to be tolerated by or among NYSYD Officials. NYSYD Officials are to be constant in their conduct to promote equality among race, gender, and sexuality. The New York State Young Democrats and its Chartered Chapters, shall not discriminate on the grounds of race, religion, national origin, citizenship status, economic status, prior incarceration, disability, sex, gender identity and/or expression, or sexual orientation.
Section 3. Honesty.
The New York State Young Democrats can only function where there is truthfulness among members. NYSYD Officials will maintain standards of full disclosure and honesty among each other as relates to the issues and business of the New York State Young Democrats.
Section 4. Underage Drinking.
The New York State Young Democrats does not condone underage drinking or any age-inappropriate actions. When organizing events, all elected and appointed officials of the New York State Young Democrats must be mindful of participants’ ages and take steps to adhere to applicable local laws.
Section 5. Local Rule.
All Chartered Chapters must adopt its own Code of Ethics and must submit them to the Convention Credentials Committee when re-chartering.
Any member of the State Executive Committee, or any Chapter President, or any person eligible to vote at the State Convention, may lodge a formal complaint against an officer or chapter outside of their own by submitting a complaint in writing to the Chair of the Judicial Council.
Article XVI. Judicial Council.
Section 1. Council Leadership.
The Legal Director shall serve as the de facto Chair of the Judicial Council. The Vice-Chair of the Judicial Council shall be the Women’s Caucus Chair. In the case of a vacancy in the Women’s Caucus Chair or the Women’s Caucus Chair does not wish to be or is unable to be Vice-Chair of the Judicial Council, the Vice-Chair shall be a member of the State Executive Committee of a different gender identity of the Legal Director, as selected by the Executive Vice President.
Section 2. Membership.
Each Regional Vice-President shall be responsible for appointing a member other than themselves to the Judicial Council within the first thirty (30) days after taking office. The term of Judicial Council representatives shall last from their appointment until the following New York State Young Democrats Convention. Should the Regional Vice-President fail to appoint a member from their respective region within thirty (30) days or, in the case of a vacancy of the Regional Vice-President, the appointment shall be made by the President.
Section 3. Recusal.
In cases wherein the Chair, the Vice Chair, or any regional member is involved with a complaint received by the council, is unavailable to carry out their function, or a conflict of interest would exist, those persons involved shall be expected to recuse themselves from all matters relating to the complaint. If the persons involved fails to recuse themselves, the Judicial Council shall be empowered to force recusal of the person by a majority vote. In the cases of vacancies due to recusal by a regional member, the respective Regional Vice-President shall serve in their place. In the case of a vacancy of the Chair due to recusal, the Vice-Chair shall serve as Acting Chair. In the case of a vacancy of the Vice Chair due to recusal, the regional members shall select an Acting Vice-Chair among themselves.
Section 4. Voting.
The Chair, Vice-Chair, and regional members of the Judicial Council shall each have one (1) vote on all matters, which must pass by a simple majority. Vacancies due to recusal shall not be counted for when voting nor for a quorum.
Section 5. Duties.
Upon receipt of a formal complaint, the Judicial Council shall convene in person and/or electronically within fifteen (15) business days to begin deliberations. The Panel may meet in the absence of a complaint to review procedures, suggest changes to the bylaws governing dispute resolution, render reactive or proactive advisory opinions, or any other matters it deems pertinent.
Section 6. Powers.
Should the complaint at issue be found to have merit, the Judicial Council shall be empowered to recommend to the State Executive Committee punishments including, but not limited to, a written warning; formal censure; forfeiture of membership dues; Chartered Chapter decertification; removal from office as a member of the State Executive Committee, caucus officer, Chartered Chapter officer; and/or membership from the New York State Young Democrats and all affiliated organizations. All punishments proposed by the Judicial Council, except for those relating to a person’s removal or chapter decertification, shall be subject to ratification by a simple majority of the State Executive Committee. Punishments relating to removal of a person or a Chartered Chapter’s decertification by the Judicial Council shall only be enacted by a two-thirds vote of the State Executive Committee; should the person be an ex-officio member of the State Executive Committee due to a position enumerated in Article VI, Section 4 of this Constitution or Chair of the College Caucus, the recommendation of removal from office shall be transmitted to the accused’s affiliated organization.
Section 7. Internal Rules.
The Judicial Council shall be empowered to adopt its own rules and procedures other than those aforementioned without ratification by the State Executive Committee.
BYLAWS OF THE NEW YORK STATE YOUNG DEMOCRATS
ARTICLE I – GOVERNING
Section 1. Governing Rules Generally.
The Constitution or Bylaws shall govern the proceedings of all meetings of the New York State Young Democrats. Where silent, the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern.
Section 2. Governing Rules for Convention.
The rules set forth in the Call to Convention shall be followed as long as they do not conflict or contradict with any part of these Bylaws or the Constitution. Where silent, the Convention shall follow provisions of Section 1 of this article.
ARTICLE II - RESOLUTIONS
All resolutions offered to any State Convention or meeting of the New York State Young Democrats must be presented in writing to the Credentials Committee and approved by said committee before presentation to a State Convention or State Executive Committee for adoption.
ARTICLE III - OFFICERS AND DUTIES
Section 1. President.
The President shall direct the officers of the organization as its administrative officer. The President shall Chair the State Executive Committee and shall be an ex-officio member of all other committees.
Section 2. Executive Vice President.
The Executive Vice President shall assist the President in the performance of the duties outlined in Section 1 and in the absence of the President shall serve in their stead.
Section 3. Regional Vice Presidents.
Presidents. The Capital, Central, Downstate, Hudson Valley, Northern, and Western Vice Presidents shall stimulate recruitment and activity within their respective region.
Section 3.1. Capital Region Vice President.
The Capital Region Vice President shall cover Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster, and Washington Counties.
Section 3.2. Central Vice President.
The Central Vice President shall cover Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Schuyler, Seneca, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, and Yates Counties.
Section 3.3. Downstate Vice President.
The Downstate Vice President shall cover New York, Kings, Queens, Richmond, Bronx, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties.
Section 3.4. Hudson Valley Vice President.
The Hudson Valley Vice President shall cover Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester Counties.
Section 3.5. Northern Vice President.
The Northern Vice President shall cover Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Warren Counties.
Section 3.6. Western Region Vice President.
The Western Region Vice President shall cover Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Steuben, and Wyoming Counties.
Section 3.7. Voting for Regional Vice Presidents.
All Chartered Chapters may cast votes in elections for officers, except that in the election of Regional Vice Presidents. In the case of the election of Regional Vice Presidents, only Chartered Chapters within the region that the Vice President covers may vote.
Section 4. Secretary.
The Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the organization, a roll of its members and a copy of the formal reports of its officers.
Section 5. Treasurer.
The Treasurer shall receive and disburse all funds of the organization. He shall keep records of all receipts and disbursements which may be audited biennially upon demand of the State Executive Committee.
Section 6. National Committee Members.
The National Committee Members shall represent the interests of the New York State Young Democrats at all meetings and conventions of the Young Democrats of America. The President shall serve as Chairperson of all delegations to such meetings.
Section 7. Legal Director.
The Legal Director shall serve the New York State Young Democrats as parliamentarian for State Executive Committee meetings and internal investigator.
Section 7.1. Admission to Practice.
The Legal Director must be an attorney licensed to practice in the State of New York.
Section 7.2. Internal Investigation Upon Request.
Upon request of at least a simple majority of the voting State Executive Committee, and shall give a mandatory report before the entire State Executive Committee of the results of an internal investigation at the next meeting of the State Executive Committee following such a request.
Section 7.3. Complaints.
Any member of the State Executive Committee, or any Chapter President, or any person eligible to vote at the State Convention, may lodge a formal complaint by submitting a complaint in writing by electronic mail or first-class, certified mail sent with a return receipt. The Judiciary Panel shall hear formal complaints between NYSYD members of separate chapters. Disputes between members of the same chapter shall be resolved by that chapter according to their disciplinary procedures.
The Legal Director shall oversee the Judiciary Panel in its duties addressing formal complaints appropriately lodged. In instances where the Legal Director is involved with the complaint, is unavailable to carry out this function, or a reasonable conflict of interest would exist should the Director carry out this function, oversight of the panel shall default to the Women’s Caucus chair.
The Judiciary Panel shall consist of one (1) member appointed by each Regional Vice-President. Each Regional Vice-President is responsible for appointing a member to the Judiciary Panel within the first thirty (30) days after taking office, unless the appointment is already filled upon the Regional Vice-President taking office. The term of Judiciary Panel representatives shall last from their appointment until the following NYSYD Convention. Should the Regional Vice-President fail to appoint a member from their respective region within thirty (30) days or, in the case of a vacancy of the Regional Vice-President, the appointment shall be done by the Executive Vice President. Where the regional representative is involved with the complaint, is unavailable to carry out their function, or a reasonable conflict of interest would exist should the representative carry out their function, the respective Regional Vice-President shall serve in their place.
Upon receipt of a formal complaint, the Judiciary Panel shall convene in person and/or electronically within fifteen (15) business days to begin deliberations. The Panel may meet quarterly in the absence of a complaint to review procedures and suggest changes to the bylaws governing NYSYD dispute resolution. The Legal Director, or Women’s Caucus chair where applicable, shall vote only when necessary to break a tie of the Judiciary Panel.
Should the complaint at issue be found to have merit the Judiciary Panel may recommend punishments to the Executive Committee including, but not limited to: written warning, formal censure, removal from the office where applicable, or removal from membership with forfeiture of membership dues.
Section 7.4. New York Democratic Lawyers Council.
The Legal Director or their designee shall serve as liaison to the New York Democratic Lawyers Council.
Section 8. Prohibition Against Involvement in Primaries.
Any officer or member of this organization may advance the cause of any individual primary candidate, so long as they do not use their official designation or the official stationery or emblem of the state organization. County chapters, and individual members thereof, may advance the cause of any individual primary candidate, without restriction from the New York State Young Democrats.
Section 9. Local Rule.
Each Chartered Chapter shall elect or appoint such officers as provided in its own Constitution and Bylaws.
Section 10. Local Chapters.
The county officers shall create, encourage and direct the growth and operation of Young Democratic Chapters in their county.
ARTICLE IV - CARDS
The New York State Young Democrats and any Chartered Chapter shall be authorized to issue membership cards for that particular organization.
ARTICLE V - CONVENTION
Section 1. Call to Convention.
The Call to Convention shall be issued by the President no less than three (3) months prior to the called date of the Convention. The Call to Convention shall include procedures for the submission of Constitutional amendments and nominations for candidacy for State Executive Committee positions. All aspects of the Call to Convention shall be subject to a majority vote of the State Executive Committee.
Section 2. Election Proceedings.
Procedures for nominating officers shall be determined by the State Executive Committee as outlined in the Call to Convention.
Section 3. Credentials Committee.
The Credentials Committee of the State Convention shall be made up of no more than ten (10) members of the New York State Young Democrats as selected by the NYSYD State Executive Committee.
Section 3.1. Selection.
The Committee shall be appointed by the President and approved by a majority vote of the NYSYD Executive Committee.
Section 3.2. Function.
The Committee shall accept delegate lists from all chapters, check the eligibility of delegates, and approve or disapprove their status as delegates. The Committee shall present their pre-convention report no less than 14 days before the convention is called to order.
Section 3.3. Protections for Members Below Age of Majority.
The Credentials Chair shall black out any address, phone number and full last name when creating and sharing each chapter’s roster for any member under the age of 18-years-old. When proofing, the first name and the last name’s first initial will be shown.
Section 4. Rules Committee
Section 4.1. Selection.
The Rules Committee of the State Convention shall be made up of no more than ten (10) members of the New York State Young Democrats as selected by the NYSYD State Executive Committee.
Section 4.2. Chairperson.
The Committee shall be chaired by the Legal Director, who shall serve as an ex-officio non-voting member of the committee, except the Chair shall break any ties that may occur.
Section 4.3. Function.
The Committee shall propose any and all standing rules for the convention, affirm or reject any Constitutional amendments or resolutions proposed by any delegate, and recommend any other parliamentary action for the convention prior to the Call to Order.
Section 4.4. Constitutional Amendments.
Any proposed Constitutional amendment shall come to the floor of the convention by a majority affirmation of the Rules Committee and the Executive Committee. Any amendment rejected by the Rules Committee that has passed the Executive Committee shall be brought to the floor notwithstanding the committee's rejection only by a vote of 2/3rds of the delegates. Motions to bring rejected constitutional amendments to the floor shall only be in order during and immediately following the presentation of the Rules Committee report.
Section 5. Program Committee.
The Program Committee shall be made up of no more than ten (10) members of NYSYD for which the Program Committee has been formed.
Section 5.1 Selection.
The Committee shall be made up of the following appointments: two (2) member appointed by the President, one (1) delegate appointed by the Treasurer, one (1) member appointed by the Chair of the Council of Presidents, and one (1) member for every twenty (20) delegates per region, to be appointed by the respective Regional Vice-President.
Section 5.2. Chairperson.
The Committee shall be chaired by a member appointed by the President. The Chair may take all steps necessary to plan the logistics of the conference prior to the convening of the Program Committee but shall not determine the agenda of the convention without a vote of the committee.
Section 5.3. Function.
The committee shall propose the agenda of the convention business meeting, the caucus and programmatic sessions of any non-business sections of the convention, and any other proceedings or special events.
Section 6. Convening.
The business meeting of the convention shall be convened by the Chair of the Convention and shall immediately proceed after the Call to Order for the approval of the reports of the Credentials Committee, the Program Committee, and the Rules Committee in that order. All further business shall be determined by the approval of the report of the Program Committee.
ARTICLE VI - EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING NOTICE
Section 1. Email Notice.
Notice by electronic mail shall be provided by midnight seven (7) calendar days before all State Executive Committee meetings. If seven (7) days notice is not provided, the meeting shall not be an official meeting.
Section 2. Regularly Scheduled Meetings.
If the Executive Committee agrees to hold meetings on a regularly scheduled basis, there is no requirement for notice.
ARTICLE VII – PROXY VOTING
Section 1. Form of Proxy.
A proxy must be in writing or provided verbally during the meeting of the committee for which it is intended.
Section 2. Qualification to Hold.
A proxy may only be held by a member of the applicable committee.
Section 3. Attendance Requirement.
Proxy votes may only be cast if the member the proxy belongs to has attended one of the two previous meetings without using a proxy.
Section 4. Limitation on Number Held.
Committee members may only hold two (2) proxies.
Section 5. Restriction on Transfer.
A member holding one or more proxies may not transfer the proxies to any other member.
Section 6. Multiple Assignment.
A proxy may be assigned to one or more other members of a committee with or without specific instructions.
Section 6.1. Ranking.
If assigned to more than one member of the committee, the members must be ranked in a hierarchical order.
Section 6.2. Highest Rank Shall Hold.
Only the highest ranking committee member listed who is present at the committee meeting shall hold that proxy.
Section 6.3. Restriction Against A Proxy Holding A Proxy.
A Proxy shall not pass to a committee member who is only present by virtue of a proxy.
Article VIII: Financial Sub-Accounts
Section 1. Restrictions.
No caucus or region may open or use any bank account separate from the one used by the New York State Young Democrats.
Section 2. Usage.
Any funds raised for the sole purpose of usage by a caucus or region will be designated as such by the Treasurer and shall not be allocated for usage in the general operating account. Disbursement of the funds raised shall be made with the approval of the responsible caucus chair or region vice president, President, and Treasurer and with the consultation of the Legal Director.
Article IX: Resignations
Members of the State Executive Committee wishing to resign must submit their resignations, in writing, to the President, Executive Vice President, Secretary, and any other members of the State Executive Committee whom the resigning officer deems pertinent. In the event of the resignation of the President, Executive Vice President or Secretary, such communication shall be sent to the Treasurer in lieu of the resigning officer.
Article X: Accessibility
Section 1. Event Locations.
When choosing locations for hosting events, the New York State Young Democrats and its affiliates will give preferential treatment to facilities which are accessible to persons with disabilities as defined by the American with Disabilities Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG).
Section 2. Communications.
All communications distributed by the New York State Young Democrats shall only use means and media that are accessible as defined by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Article XI: Committee Appointees
Section 1. Judicial Panel
No Regional Vice President may appoint the President, Executive Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, two National Committee Members, Council of Presidents Chair, or any caucus chair to the Judicial Panel.