BY-LAWS - Orange County Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida
ARTICLE I - Name and Address
The name of this organization shall be the Orange County Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida (the "Chapter"). Physical address of the Chapter shall be 2918 Carroll Place, Orlando, FL 32804 and the mailing address of the Chapter shall be P.O. Box 1648, Orlando, FL 32802-1648. The Chapter exists as a subordinate group within the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida (the “Caucus”).
ARTICLE II – Purpose
The purpose of this organization shall be to support candidates, lawmakers, legislation and issues which serve to preserve and protect all the State of Florida's natural resources, including its atmosphere, ocean and gulf coasts, aquifers, waterways, wetlands, publicly owned wild lands, parks and wildlife.
ARTICLE III – Membership
Any Democrat registered to vote in the State of Florida supportive of the objectives of the Caucus, who wishes to participate actively in the Chapter, who pays dues as specified by the Board, whose membership application is recommended by the Membership Committee and subsequently approved by the Board shall be a Member.
B. Residency Requirements
No county residency restriction may be placed upon membership for the privileges of membership in the Chapter.
C. Requirements for Voting in Chapter Elections
A Member shall be current for at least 45 days prior to being permitted to vote or participating in the Chapter elections for Officers and Directors.
D. Membership Termination
The Board of Directors of the Chapter or the Caucus retains the right to terminate the membership of any Member whose actions, at the discretion of the Board, are judged inconsistent with the purposes and policies of the Caucus.
E. Loyalty Oath
Officers and Directors must execute and submit the Loyalty Oath in the form included in the By-Laws of the Florida Democratic Party.
ARTICLE IV – Board of Directors
A. Number of Directors and Selection Method
The Board of Directors (the “Board”) shall consist of the elected Officers and up to three (3) elected Directors selected by the Members.
B. Election Date
Election of Directors shall be held at annual meeting of the Members each year, and as needed to fill vacancies (Article VI). 2
C. Duties of the Board of Directors
The Board shall be responsible for planning and implementing programs, priorities, and political action. Each Director shall serve on at least one (1) standing committee.
Meetings of the Board shall be held during the 10 days prior to a scheduled meeting of the Chapter, or at the request of the Chair, or at the request of three Directors, or at regular intervals. Votes of the Board at its Meetings shall be officially recognized by the Caucus only if a quorum of 50% plus one (1) of the Board Members are present for the vote. A simple majority vote of all Board Members present shall decide all questions.
Any Director absent from two (2) meetings of the Board in any calendar year may be removed by vote of the Board.
F. Other Actions
The Chair may act on behalf of the Board between meetings if advance notice of the action is sent to Directors via electronic mail and a statement of approval is submitted via electronic mail by each Director, thereby constituting unanimous consent.
ARTICLE V – Officers
A. Chapter Officers
The Officers of this Chapter shall be as follows: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer and, such other officers as deemed necessary by the Chair or the Board. Officers shall perform the duties prescribed within these By-Laws and serve at the pleasure of the Chair and Board.
All terms of office shall be for two (2) years. Elections shall occur in odd numbered years and be held in conjunction with the annual meeting.
The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Chapter and Board, be an ex officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee; appoint all the Standing and Special Committees and their Chairs; represent the Chapter at state functions; give guidance to committee Chairs; and perform all duties pertaining to the office of the Chair.
D. Vice Chair
The Vice Chair shall be an ex officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee; and in the event of the absence or inability of the Chair to exercise the duties of that office, become acting Chair of the Chapter with all the rights, privileges and powers as if duly elected Chair.
The Secretary shall: keep an accurate record of all meetings of the Chapter and Board; shall maintain a current list of Members with addresses, phone numbers and email addresses; shall have a copy of the Chapter By-Laws with any amendments properly recorded; shall post all reports required by the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) to the appropriate offices.
The Treasurer shall: receive and disburse monies of the Chapter and shall be responsible for such monies of the 3 Chapter; keep an accurate record of receipts and expenditures; present a statement of all income and all expenditures at each meeting occurring since the previous meeting of the Chapter and at other times when requested by the Chair or Board; and pay out funds only as authorized by the Board.
G. Additional Officers
The Chair may create additional positions and responsibilities as needed from time to time, with majority approval of the Board.
H. Combined Positions
At its discretion the Board may elect to combine the offices of Secretary and Treasurer into one position.
ARTICLE VI – Vacancies
Vacancies occurring on the Board or among Officers of the Chapter shall be filled by a qualified Member in good standing at the request of the Chair and a majority vote in the affirmative by the remaining Directors. Such Officers and Directors elected by the Directors shall hold office until the next meeting of the Board following the annual meeting.
ARTICLE VII – Dues
A. Dues and Collections
The Board shall establish membership dues for the fiscal year. Membership dues shall be payable at the beginning of each fiscal year.
B. Waivers of Dues
Membership dues may be waived for any Member due to hardship or extenuating circumstances, as determined by the Board.
C. Purpose of Dues
Dues shall be used to cover the cost of communications with Members, to support the administrative responsibilities of the Officers and the Board, to provide funds for the activities, programs, and priorities of the Chapter, and for such other purposes as may be determined from time to time by the Officers and Board.
D. Payment and Grace
Period Dues shall be payable annually. Renewing Members are required to pay annual dues on or before January 31. An automatic grace period of one (1) months shall be granted to each Member and may be extended by resolution of the Board at its discretion.
ARTICLE VIII - Member Meetings
A. Regular and Annual Meetings
The Chapter may hold regularly scheduled meetings of its Members, but shall hold a minimum of one annual meeting of the Members each year, ideally during the first half of the calendar at a time, date, and location selected by the Board.
B. Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Members may be called at any time by the Chair or by a simple majority of the Board. Prior to any Special Meeting, a two weeks prior notice must be provided by email to all Members, and in such a manner as to assure notice to all interested Democrats in time to have adequate opportunity to participate.
A quorum shall consist of 20% plus one (1) of the Members in good standing as determined by the Chapter Secretary and confirmed by the Chapter President. A simple majority vote of all Members present shall decide all questions.
ARTICLE IX - Standing Committees
Standing Committees shall be as follows:
A. Political Planning and Action
The purpose of this Committee shall be to conduct research concerning issues and candidates for office; to recommend positions on issues and candidates to the Board; to provide assistance and education on effective political action; and to recruit, train and support qualified candidates who adhere to the mission statement of the Chapter. Further, this Committee shall research and coordinate the establishment of appropriate entities for the contribution of funds to political candidates.
The purpose of this Committee is to maintain accurate membership records including a current membership roster for use by the Chapter and Caucus. When appropriate, the Membership Chair will make recommendations on the waiving of any Member's dues to the Board for approval. Further, this Committee shall recommend to the Board, and implement, methods of recruitment of new members and retention of prior members for the purpose of increasing the total membership of the Chapter.
F. Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers of the Chapter, Directors, and chairs of Standing or Special Committees. Its purpose shall be to monitor and direct the ongoing activities of the Chapter; and to recommend new initiatives, organization methods and new activities to the Board; and to recommend an annual budget for the ensuing fiscal year to the Board no later than December 1st. This Committee is fully authorized to make non-policy decisions for the Chapter, and, in an emergency, is further authorized to make such policy- level decisions for the Chapter as the officers deem necessary under the circumstances.
ARTICLE X - Special Committees
Special Committees shall be the following or such other committees as may be designated by the Chair or Board:
A. Nominating Committee
This Committee shall consist of not more than five (5) members, three (3) of whom shall be nominated from the general membership. All members shall be elected by the Directors. It shall elect its own Chair. This Committee shall nominate one or more members to run for each Director's position as specified in these By-Laws. These nominations shall be submitted to the membership at the time of notice of the annual meeting. However, notwithstanding the above or any other provisions of these By-Laws, the general membership shall have the power to elect Directors at the annual meeting as presented by members other than the Nominating Committee.
B. By-Laws Committee
The purpose of this Committee shall be to recommend and draft proposed amendments to the By-Laws of the Chapter; and further, to recommend and draft rules and regulations of the Chapter to be utilized in addition to the By-Laws, as deemed appropriate by the Board.
C. Endorsements Committee
This Committee shall consist of not less than three (3) nor more than seven (7) members as nominated by the Chair and confirmed by the Board. The purpose of the Committee shall be to implement endorsement programs and policies as proposed and approved by the Board. The Committee shall be formed on an as-needed basis prior to elections and primaries.
ARTICLE XI - Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Chapter shall be January 1st to December 31st .
ARTICLE XII - Amendment of By-Laws
ARTICLE XIII – Chapter Mandate
State chapters exist to identify and elect local and regional Democratic candidates to public office who will enact and support environmental policy objectives consistent with those of the Chapter.
The Chapter should provide networking and social connection opportunities between local political and environmental activists with an eye toward working together in support of environmentally effective policies. The Chapter will identify local and regional environmental issues of concern. The Chapter will raise funds to support activities to educate candidates and voters on environmental issues. The Chapter will work to elect local, state and federal Democratic candidates who support the goals of the Caucus.
C. Finances, Dues and Fund Raising
The Chapter will collect dues set for Members by the Board plus those amounts required to be paid to the Caucus. The Chapter shall manage these funds using accounts authorized by the Board. Authorized managers and signatories of these accounts shall be the Treasurer, President and any other Officers designated by the Board.
D. Status Reports to the State
The Chapter Chair or designee will provide periodic status reports upon request of the Caucus President, and an annual report on past and future programs and goals for the coming year by March 1 of each calendar year. Such reports shall be copied to the Board.
E. Chapter Membership
The Chapter may recruit new Members. The Chapter Treasurer or designate will provide the required dues and information to the Caucus Treasurer each month or sooner. Active Members are entitled to vote in local Chapter elections as set forth in the Chapter voting rules.
F. Active Member Voting
A Chapter Member shall be Active for at least 45 days prior to being permitted to vote or participating in the Chapter elections for officers and board members. Active classification consists of the Member having paid their initial year’s dues at least 45 days prior and having their current year’s Member application approved by the Board.
G. Chapter By-Laws
Should any conflict exist between Caucus By-Laws and Chapter By-Laws, State Caucus By-Laws shall supersede Chapter By-Laws.
ARTICLE XIV – Anti-discrimination Provision
The Chapter hereby adopts and shall enforce the following anti-discrimination provisions:
1. No Democratic Loyalty Oath should be used which has the effect of requiring members of the Democratic Party to condone or support discrimination on the grounds of race, color, creed, sex, age, religion, economical status, ethnic identity, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
2. The time and place for all public meetings of Democratic Party caucuses should be publicized fully in such a manner as to assure timely notice to all interested persons, and should be open to all members of the Democratic Party regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age, religion, economical status, ethnic identity, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.3. In order to fully and adequately inform prospective and current members of a full description of the legal, practical and pertinent procedures for selection of all Democratic caucus representatives and officers, the caucus should publicize fully, and in such a manner, as to assure notice to all interested Democrats in time to have adequate opportunity to participate.
ARTICLE XV – Parliamentary Authority
The most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Chapter in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these By-Laws and the rules of the FDP and National Democratic Party.
ARTICLE XVI – Certification and Dissolution
A. Charter Recertification
In July of each odd numbered year the Chapter shall apply to the Certification Committee of the State Caucus and to the State Party for a Certificate of Compliance. Failure to do so shall result in the forfeiture of all rights and privileges of the use of the word Democrat, Democratic, or derivative thereof.
In the event this Chapter wishes to dissolve, a resolution stating the date of dissolution and the reasons for it shall be adopted by a majority vote of the Chapter after being submitted in writing at the previous meeting. When the Chapter disbands for any reason, the Chapter assets and funds, after all debts are satisfied, shall become the property of the Florida Democratic Party.
Approved by Board on March 31, 2021 and amended on April 2, 2021 by unanimous consent.