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 - Membership & Chapters
Section 1. Composition.
NYSYD shall be composed of all duly chartered Young Democrats chapters in New York State and the regular members in good standing thereof.
Section 2. Regular Membership.
Regular members must reside in the county in which they are a member, be at least sixteen (16) and under thirty-six (36) years of age, and must be one of the following:
- A registered or pre-registered Democrat in the county in which they are a member. Registered Democrats in counties with no chartered chapter may join a neighboring county chapter.
- A college student registered as a Democrat in New York State whose primary residence or college residence is in the county in which they are a member.
- An individual who is ineligible to vote and/or register as a Democrat, who has submitted any of the following forms of identification to the Convention Credentials Committee: a driver’s license or other form of identification, a piece of mail delivered to their address, or another form of documentation deemed proper by the Convention Credentials Committee.
Section 3. Chapter Membership.
Chapters may promulgate and enforce their own requirements for membership within their chapter, provided that such requirements do not deny membership to anyone eligible for regular membership in their chapter pursuant to this article. No chapter may grant membership to any individual who has reached the age of 40 years old.
Section 4. Honorary Membership.
All enrolled Democrats over the maximum age for regular membership shall be eligible for honorary membership. Honorary members may only speak on the floor of a meeting or convention with unanimous consent and enjoy no other privileges of membership.
Section 5. Chapters & Chartering.
Chapters are organized by county except when permitted to form a joint chapter as provided for in this article. Charters are issued at the state convention and may be issued between conventions if necessary by majority vote of the Executive Committee. Once issued, charters are valid until the following state convention unless revoked earlier by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee. A prospective chapter is eligible to receive a charter upon submitting the following materials:
- A list of at least ten (10) active regular members, along with their email addresses and any information necessary to verify their eligibility.
- A list of its current officers, their email addresses, and phone numbers.
- Its governing documents, including a Code of Ethics, which must comply with any requirements set forth by this organization’s governing documents.
- A letter of approval from its respective County Chair or highest ranking officer (hereinafter referred to as the “County Chair”).
- If a charter application is submitted to the County Chair at least 30 days prior to the Convention Credentials Committee’s filing deadline and the County Chair fails to transmit their approval, the NYSYD Executive Committee may waive this requirement by majority vote.
- A $65 charter fee and state membership dues at a rate of $0.50 per regular member.
- Charter applications submitted for consideration by the Executive Committee are exempt from this requirement if submitted less than six months before the next Convention.
- Certification by the chapter President and Secretary that the foregoing materials are authentic and accurate.
Section 5.1. Joint Chapters.
If, during the regular rechartering process, a prospective chapter satisfies all chartering criteria except for the minimum membership requirement, those members may join with other chapters or prospective chapters to form a joint chapter provided that it meets the following criteria:
- No county in the joint chapter had a population of over 200,000 residents in the last census OR had more than 50,000 registered Democrats in the latest report from the State Board of Elections.
- Each county in the joint chapter is contiguous to at least one other county in the joint chapter.
- No more than one county in the joint chapter has more than 15 regular members.
- The joint chapter’s constitution provides for each participating county to be represented on its executive board.
Section 5.2. Multiple Chapter Applications.
In the event that two or more sets of chartering materials are received from the same county, and one originates from an existing county chapter, the materials submitted by the existing chapter shall have precedence over all others provided that all such materials required to charter have been received and properly filed, except that if the existing chapter has failed to submit a certification from the county chair, the Executive Committee may waive the requirement as provided for in this article. However, the Convention Credentials Committee may accept the application of another prospective chapter if the chapter has properly filed all required materials, including certification by the county chair, and if the Executive Committee has, by two-thirds vote, approved its application prior to convention.
Section 6. Dues.
Should a 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 6.1. Local Dues.
Each chapter may set the amount of local dues for its organization.
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 the first or second quarters of the calendar year 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 regular members in good standing of the Chapter they represent, and their chapters shall certify them as such.
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 or counties 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 for statewide elections.
In the case of the elections of Regional Vice Presidents, no chapter may be permitted to cast more than 40% of the total votes allotted to the chapters encompassing the region 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 their 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 - [Removed]
[Removed by action of the New York State Young Democrats]
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, Southern Tier 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.
Regular members who are registered Democrats and will not reach the age of 36 on or before May 31 of the year of the next convention shall be eligible for elected state office.
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 President.
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 next two officers in the gavel order shall, respectively, serve as Interim Acting President and Interim Acting Executive Vice President. A Special Election to fill both the offices of President and Executive Vice President 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 other than that of a caucus chair, the vacancy shall be filled by an 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 6.5. Vacancies of Caucus Chairs.
In the event that the position of a caucus chair is vacant, the vacancy shall be filled in accordance with that caucus’ bylaws. If the caucus’ bylaws are silent in the case of a vacancy, the President shall, within thirty (30) days, call for a Special Election to elect a new chair for that caucus.
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.
Section 9. Leave of Absence.
Section 9.1. Leaves of Absence by the President.
In the event that the President is under general anesthesia, the President shall present a signed letter to the Secretary granting all executive powers to the Executive Vice President until the President has recovered and presents the Secretary with another signed letter with their intent to resume their duties.
Section 9.2. Voluntary Leaves of Absence.
In the event that an officer needs to take a leave of absence for any reason, that officer shall present a signed letter to the President declaring such said leave of absence. Said leave shall run until said officer presents the President with another signed letter with their intent to resume their duties. Should the President be the officer in question, such letters shall be presented to the Secretary.
Section 9.3. Emergency Involuntary Leaves of Absence.
Should an officer be medically unable to perform their duties and medically unable to submit a letter declaring a leave of absence, the Executive Committee may, by three-fourths vote, place the officer on a leave of absence. Such leave of absence may be removed by three-fourths vote of the Executive Committee or by majority vote if the officer submits a letter requesting reinstatement.
Section 9.4. Acting Officers.
During any leave of absence there shall be an acting officer appointed with all the rights and responsibilities that the officer on leave had. Acting officers shall be appointed in the manner prescribed for vacancies in Section 6.1 and Section 6.4 of this Article, except that acting caucus chairs shall be appointed in accordance with the vacancy rules of the respective caucus, or if silent, the vice chair shall serve as acting chair.
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 may serve in said capacity regardless of age.
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, if ineligible for regular membership, 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. YDA Meeting Fundraising.
Fifty percent (50%) of any funds raised specifically for travel or lodging purposes by any member of the State Executive Committee shall 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 $200 per individual expense. The Executive Vice President and Treasurer must approve any Presidential spending beyond $200 and under $500 per individual expense. The board, by majority rules, must approve any presidential spending after $500 per individual expense.
Article VII - Caucuses
Section 1. Named Caucuses.
Named Caucuses: Asian-American & Pacific Islander (AAPI); Black; College; Disability Issues; High School; Hispanic/Latine; Jewish; Labor; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer+ (LGBTQ+); Rural; 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. 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. This clause shall not extend to the College or High School caucuses.
Section 4.1. 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 regular members of the New York State Young Democrats. 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 the 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 two years between conventions by all caucuses:
- Maintaining a membership of at least 20 individuals;
- Holding at least three events, either 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; or action-based events, where there is support for a campaign or candidate, 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, it shall be designated a “task-force” until the next convention and its chair shall not have voting power within the State Executive Committee. On a case-by-case basis, following the biennial State Convention, the State Executive Committee may by a two-thirds (2/3) vote to re-designate a task force as a caucus with full voting power.
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 Legal Director shall preside over the trial or, in the case the Legal Director is impeached or the Legal Director is unavailable, a non-voting state committee member appointed by the President and approved by a majority vote consisting of all the State Executive Committee shall preside. 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 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 at 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 or four-fifths (4/5ths) votes of the State Executive Committee in two consecutive regularly scheduled State Executive Committee meetings, where notice of the proposed amendment was provided with the meeting agenda.
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 two-thirds (2/3) 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. Platform 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 Platform 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 Platform 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. All attendees of NYSYD events will also be expected to abide by the requirements of this article.
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. Sexual Harassment and Bullying.
The New York State Young Democrats, as an organization, is committed to creating a safe environment ensuring dignity, decency, and respect for all members. Under no circumstances are sexual harassment or bullying of members to be tolerated by or among NYSYD members.
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex. Sexual harassment can occur between any individuals, regardless of their sex, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, or position in the organization.
Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of an individual or group of individuals including, but not limited to threatening, humiliating, intimidating, or exclusionary behaviors and physical or verbal abuses.
Section 4. 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 5. 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 6. Standing.
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 regular 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 regular 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 Council 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.
Article XVII. Endorsements.
Section 1. General Races.
The New York State Young Democrats shall endorse in general elections for a candidate that applies for an endorsement, and is the designated candidate on the Democratic Party line by a simple majority by the State Executive Committee.
Section 2. Primary Contests.
The New York State Young Democrats shall only endorse in a primary election when the candidate is of young democrat age, an established member of a chartered chapter, has written support from their chapter’s president and receives a four-fifths vote of all eligible voting members of the State Executive Committee.
Section 3. Judicial.
The New York State Young Democrats shall endorse in general judicial elections by a simple majority vote of the State Executive Committee.
Section 4. Party Elections.
The New York State Young Democrats may offer support in the form of an endorsement to any established young democrat who is running for a position in any county party, New York State Democratic Committee (NYSDC), the Young Democrats of America (YDA) or the Democratic National Committee (DNC) elections by two-thirds vote of all eligible voting members of the State Executive Committee.
Article XVIII. Platform and Resolutions Committee.
Section 1. Membership.
The Platform and Resolutions Committee shall consist of a representative chosen by each of the Regional Vice Presidents and three at-large appointees, one of which will be Chair, that are chosen by the President, upon the advice and consent of the State Executive Committee and shall only be constituted while the State Convention or any Convention Committees are not conducting business. Should there be any vacant regional appointees due to a vacancy for the respective Regional Vice President, the Executive Vice President shall appoint a regular member from that region to serve on the Platform and Resolutions Committee. All members appointed in the biennium preceding a State Convention shall be permitted to continue to serve for up to sixty (60) days following a State Convention until they are reappointed or a successor is appointed, whichever comes first.
Section 2. Ex-Officio Members.
All regular members may serve as members of the Platform and Resolutions Committee in an ex-officio, non-voting capacity. This section shall not be construed to count towards quorum or the number of members as described in Section 1 of this article.
Section 3. Duties.
The Platform and Resolutions Committee shall have the power to draft and propose resolutions of policy that do not fall into the purview of any other committee or body within NYSYD. Furthermore, the Platform and Resolutions Committee shall have the power to propose changes to the platform, as adopted at the preceding State Convention. Nothing in this section may be construed to preclude the State Executive Committee to draft, modify, and/or adopt resolutions by themselves or by any ad-hoc committee constituted by the State Executive Committee.
Section 4. Adoption of Resolutions.
Any voting member(s) of the State Executive Committee chapter presidents, and/or member(s) of the Platform and Resolutions Committee may propose resolutions of policy that will be, in coordination with the drafter(s), reviewed and revised, if necessary. All resolutions that are approved by the Platform and Resolutions Committee shall be presented to the State Executive Committee for adoption by a simple majority at the next meeting of the State Executive Committee.
Section 5. Changes to Platform.
Any voting member(s) of the State Executive Committee chapter presidents, and/or member(s) of the Platform and Resolutions Committee may propose changes to the NYSYD Platform, as passed at the preceding State Convention, in coordination with the drafter(s), reviewed and revised, if necessary. All platform amendments that are approved by the Platform and Resolutions Committee shall be presented to the State as the Committee for adoption by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote at the next meeting of the State Executive Committee.
Article XIX: Alumni Advisory Council.
Section 1. Purpose and Membership.
The Alumni Advisory Council shall be constituted to provide counsel, guidance, and advice to the New York State Young Democrats. The Alumni Advisory Council shall be composed of six (6) members, all of whom shall be over the age of thirty-six (36). Members will be chosen by the President. All such members shall be subject to confirmation by the State Executive Committee.
Section 2. Terms of Service.
The Alumni Advisory Council shall serve two (2) year terms and shall be appointed or reappointed in the second half of the calendar year in even-numbered years. Council members are required to donate a minimum of two-thousand dollars ($2,000) per term to the New York State Young Democrats.
Section 3. Meetings.
The Alumni Advisory Council shall meet no less than four (4) times per year with the President, and any other officer(s) the President deems necessary.
No member of the Alumni Advisory Council shall be entitled to attend any meeting of the State Executive Committee, NYSYD committee, Judicial Council, or any other related body without consent from the President or committee or council Chair. A member of the Alumni Advisory Council may only attend a meeting of a caucus upon invitation by the chair of the respective caucus. No attendance prohibition of a member of the Alumni Advisory Council shall be extended to any chapter.
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
Section 1. Binding Resolutions.
All binding resolutions offered to any State Convention of the New York State Young Democrats must be presented in writing to the Rules Committee and approved by said committee before presentation to a State Convention for adoption. All binding resolutions presented outside of State Convention must be presented in writing by a voting member of the State Executive Committee to the Secretary at least two (2) weeks prior to a regularly scheduled meeting of the State Executive Committee.
Section 2. Non-Binding Resolutions.
All other resolutions, if presented at a State Convention, must be presented in writing to the Convention Platform Committee and approved by said committee before presentation to a State Convention or State Executive Committee for adoption. All resolutions presented outside of a State Convention must follow the procedures as described in Article XVIII, Section 4 of the NYSYD Constitution.
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, Southern Tier, 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, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Scholarie, and Washington Counties.
Section 3.2. Central Vice President.
The Central Vice President shall cover Cayuga, Jefferson, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Oswego, Seneca, 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, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester Counties.
Section 3.5. Northern Vice President.
The Northern Vice President shall cover Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, St. Lawrence, and Warren Counties.
Section 3.6. Southern Tier Region Vice President.
The Southern Tier Vice President shall cover Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties.
Section 3.7. Western Region Vice President.
The Western Region Vice President shall cover Alleghany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties.
Section 3.8. 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. Any change in Chapter leadership shall be reported to the Secretary to update before the next State Executive Board meeting. All meeting minutes shall be available and provided to any chapter member upon request.
Section 5. Treasurer.
The Treasurer shall receive and disburse all funds of the organization. They 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 Judicial Council 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 Judicial Council 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 Council shall default to the Women’s Caucus chair.
The Judicial Council shall consist of one (1) member appointed by each Regional Vice-President. Each Regional Vice-President is responsible for appointing a member to the Judicial Council 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 Judicial Council 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 Judicial Council shall convene in person and/or electronically within fifteen (15) business days to begin deliberations. The Council 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 Judicial Council.
Should the complaint at issue be found to have merit the Judicial Council 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) regular members as selected by the 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 or their designee (who need not be an attorney admitted to practice law), 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) regular members.
Section 5.1 Selection.
The Committee shall be made up of the following appointments: two (2) members 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 regular 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: 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 IX: 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 X: Committee Appointees
Section 1. Judicial Council
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 Council.