Constitution of the Denver Young Democrats
ARTICLE I – Name, Purpose, and Organization
ARTICLE II – Affiliation and Chartering Policy
ARTICLE III – Membership
ARTICLE IV – Executive Board
ARTICLE V – Activities
ARTICLE VI –Amendments to the Constitution
ARTICLE VIII – Construction
ARTICLE I – NAME, PURPOSE, AND ORGANIZATION: The name of this organization shall be the Denver Young Democrats (“DYD”). The Denver Young Democrats shall uphold, and act in a manner that is consistent with, the principles of the Democratic Party, and they shall promote an active interest in governmental affairs among the young people of Denver, encourage involvement in the political process, and promote justice and social welfare in the City and County of Denver. The affairs of DYD shall be organized and directed by the Denver Young Democrats Executive Board (“the Board”).
ARTICLE II – AFFILIATION AND CHARTERING POLICY: The Denver Young Democrats shall operate as an official affiliate of the Democratic Party of Denver (“DPOD”).
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP: Any person under the age of 36 who resides and is registered as a Democrat in the City and County of Denver is eligible to be a member of DYD. Active members must register for membership with DYD and pay annual dues, to be set at the Board’s discretion. Active members may serve on the Board, vote on DYD elections and other matters of importance as raised by the Board, and receive other benefits or privileges at the Board’s discretion. Any Democrats who are otherwise unable to join as members due to age or place of residence may join DYD as associate members by registering for membership with DYD and paying annual dues set at the Board’s discretion. Inactive members, associate members, and non-members shall not be eligible to serve on the Board or vote on DYD matters.
ARTICLE IV – EXECUTIVE BOARD
Section 1 – Powers: The Board may, by majority vote, take any action that does not violate the express terms of this Constitution.
Section 2 – Officers and Duties: The Board shall consist of seven (7) officers: President, Vice-President, Finance Coordinator, Secretary, Community Liaison, The College and High School Organizer, and Event Coordinator. The duties of those officers shall be as follows:
The President shall take general charge and supervision of DYD operations, coordinate Board meetings and preside over Board meetings and DYD events, serve as the primary public representative of DYD, appoint vacancies of other offices, and execute such other duties as are necessary and proper for the office.
The Vice President shall assist the President with his or her duties, serve as President Pro Tempore at Board meetings, conduct community outreach and coordinate with other organizations, and with the approval of the President, execute such other duties as are necessary and proper to further the goals and mission of DYD. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the President, the Vice President shall become President.
The Finance Coordinator:
The Finance Coordinator shall have general responsibility over DYD finances, shall develop and maintain a fundraising plan, work with the Board to develop fundraising events or otherwise raise funds through DYD activities, manage reimbursements, track donations and expenditures to DYD and otherwise maintain accounting with the Democratic Party of Denver. The Treasurer shall also track membership, verify membership eligibility, and execute such other duties as the Board determines are necessary and proper for the office.
The Secretary shall assist with organization of DYD operations, take minutes at DYD meetings, maintain DYD communications (i.e., by maintaining DYD’s contact lists, bysending DYD communications, and by otherwise serving DYD through active use of relevant communications media), and shall execute such other duties as the Board determines are necessary and proper for the office.
The Community Liaison:
The Community Liaison shall serve as a member of DPOD’s Executive Committee and Committee At-Large. The Liaison shall attend the meetings of those bodies, and as necessary, any and all other related meetings, as a means of representing DYD and serving as an active point of contact between DYD and DPOD. The liaison will conduct community outreach and coordinate with other organizations and political campaigns. The Liaison shall regularly report to and consult with the Board regarding issues related to DPOD, the community and political campaigns and they shall execute such other duties as the Board determines are necessary and proper for the office.
The College and High School Organizer:
The College and High School Organizer shall have general responsibility over outreach and coordination with Colleges and High Schools within Denver. They shall conduct outreach at Colleges and High Schools in representation of the Denver Young Democrats, the Democratic Party of Denver and the Colorado Democratic Party. That outreach includes but not limited to voter registrations, recruitment (to organizations listed above, but prioritizing Denver Young Democrats), and hosting other events on campuses. They shall be the point of contact between College Young Democrat chapters, High School Democrat chapters and Denver Young Democrats. They shall also be the representation of college/high school chapters at Denver Young Democrat events, board meetings, and other duties/events as the board determines are necessary and proper for the office.
The Event Coordinator shall work with the Board to plan DYD events (e.g., community service events, social events, political debates, or educational events). The Event Coordinator shall find and reserve locations for events, organize event logistics, prepare for and bring any necessary items for events, manage event promotion, work with the Finance coordinator to develop events with fundraising opportunities, and execute such other duties as the Board determines are necessary and proper for the office.
Section 3 – Executive Board Meetings: The Board shall meet on a consistent monthly basis, to commence no later than the month after each annual Board election.
Section 4 – Terms of Office, Eligibility for Office, and Elections:
Officers shall be elected to serve one-year terms by a majority vote or, when necessary, a plurality vote, of active members voting in the election.
Only active members shall be eligible to serve on the Board.
Elections for the Board shall be held every February. The outgoing Board shall ensure that the membership of DYD receives adequate notice of upcoming elections (1) for members to consider and announce their candidacies, (2) for adequate publication of the list of candidates and descriptions of their candidacies, and (3) for the DYD membership at large to be aware of and to vote in the election. At its discretion, the outgoing Board may adopt deadlines and procedures to facilitate this process. The outgoing Board shall be responsible for verifying active membership before the election and counting votes, and shall maintain clear, independently verifiable records of all matters related to the election. Under no circumstances shall any candidate have any role in counting votes or otherwise evaluating the outcome of his or her own specific election. In the event of a disputed outcome, any proper candidate for an officer position may challenge the outcome in the election for that position. In the event of such a challenge, the outgoing Board shall compile and organize its relevant election records for review by the DPOD Executive Committee, without the involvement of any outgoing or incoming DYD Board members. If the DPOD Executive Committee determines that the outcome of the election was in error, it shall determine the winner, who shall take office with the incoming Board, or as soon as possible thereafter.
Section 5 – Vacancies
In the event of a vacancy in the office of the President, the Vice President shall become President. The new President shall then nominate a replacement for Vice President to be approved by a vote of the Board.
If the office of the President becomes vacant while a vacancy exists in the office of the Vice President, the Board shall by majority vote of serving Board members appoint a new President. If a majority of the Board is unable to appoint a new President, DYD shall hold an election to select a new President for the remainder of the term by a majority vote or, when necessary, a plurality vote, of active members voting in the election.
In the event of a vacancy of any other office, the President shall appoint a replacement. All replacements shall be confirmed by a vote of the Board. Appointees to a vacancy shall be confirmed within thirty (30) days of the vacancy.
Serving Board members shall, with their consent, be eligible for appointment or election to vacancies on the Board.
Section 6 – Removal from Office:
Holding office in Denver Young Democrats is contingent on maintaining eligibility as an active member. If any officer loses that eligibility (i.e., due to change in age, political affiliation, or residency, or due to nonpayment of membership dues) and, upon reasonable notice, that officer either cannot or does not come into compliance with DYD requirements for active membership, he or she shall be removed from the Board effective as of the next monthly Board meeting.
Any officer who actively undermines DYD, violates this Constitution, repeatedly fails to attend or participate in DYD meetings or activities, repeatedly fails to execute his or her duties, or who otherwise similarly frustrates the mission of DYD may be removed by a majority vote of serving Board members.
ARTICLE V – ACTIVITIES:
DYD shall hold events frequently, in addition to conducting other activities at the Board’s discretion.
Where possible, DYD shall work to support Democratic nominees for the President of the United States, Democratic political candidates within the boundaries of Denver, and, at the Board’s discretion, Democratic political candidates in Colorado at large. At the Board’s discretion, DYD shall also work to support Democratic and progressive causes and initiatives of national, state, and local significance. DYD shall not endorse candidates in primary elections.
ARTICLE VI – AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION: The Board may, at its discretion, propose amendments to this Constitution. Any changes or amendments must be recommended by a majority vote of serving Board members, presented with adequate notice to the DYD membership, and ratified by a majority of active members voting on the issue. At its discretion, the Board may adopt deadlines and procedures to facilitate this process.
ARTICLE VII – CONSTRUCTION:
All provisions in this Constitution are to be read according to their plain meaning. Where any terms are ambiguous, they are to be construed in accordance with the rest of the document, and with the mission of Denver Young Democrats and the principles of the Democratic Party.