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Bylaws

Bylaws of the Texas Democratic Women of the Harris County Metro Area

ARTICLE I - NAME AND PRINCIPAL OFFICE

Sec. 1 -  The organization shall be known as the Texas Democratic Women of Harris County Metro Area.

Sec. 2 -  The abbreviated name, TDWHarris, shall be used for convenience and shall be used for purposes such as email or other similar communication purposes.

Sec. 3 -  The principal office of TDWHarris shall be in Houston, Texas or at such other place as determined by the Executive Board.

ARTICLE II - EMBLEM

TDWHarris shall adopt the emblem of the State Texas Democratic Women (TDW), which shall be in the form of the state of Texas with the initials TDW inscribed inside the state figure.  From time to time, “Harris County” or “Harris County Chapter” may be used with the emblem.

ARTICLE III - PURPOSES

TDWHarris’ primary purpose and mission is to help elect greater numbers of progressive women to public office. Also, TDWHarris will promote the increased political activity and influence of Democratic women in Texas politics and government.  Additionally, TDWHarris will serve as a communication network to promote the involvement of Democratic women in the political process and to provide and distribute information relating to subjects that may affect and be of interest to the women of Harris County.  All activities and initiative undertaken by TDWHarris must be aligned with and designed to further these purposes.

ARTICLE IV - POLICIES

Sec. 1 -  TDWHarris will not endorse candidates in primary elections.

Sec. 2 -  TDWHarris may affiliate with Democratic organization(s) with Executive Board approval.

Sec. 3 -  TDWHarris will provide training and other support for Democratic women working in party organizations, campaigns, and/or seeking party or public office.

Sec. 4 -  TDWHarris will work to promote increased representation of women in party organizations, government institutions, and various public entities.

Sec. 5 -  TDWHarris will promote legislative, executive, and judicial policies that enhance equitable representation of women in party organizations and government affairs.

Sec. 6 -  TDWHarris will endeavor to educate and publish information to the members of TDWHarris on issues that affect women.

Sec. 7. - TDWHarris will not take an official position on any particular issue other than those issues which are consistent with the purposes stated in Article III.

Sec. 8 -  TDWHarris will focus its time, efforts, and finances on the purposes stated in Article III.

ARTICLE V - MEMBERSHIP

Sec. 1 -  Any Democrat who supports Article III-Purposes of TDWHarris’s Bylaws is eligible to join TDWHarris.

Sec. 2 -  A TDWHarris member shall be an individual whose dues are current and who has completed an application form provided by TDWHarris.

ARTICLE VI - DUES

Sec. 1 -  Membership dues are payable at the beginning of the calendar year (January 1st).  Renewing members must pay dues each year to be considered a member in good standing for that year.  Dues paid during any time during a calendar year will permit a member to vote on chapter matters from the date the dues were received the TDWHarris Treasurer until the end of that calendar year.

Sec. 2 -  Basic annual dues shall be $20 and are due at the beginning of the calendar year (January lst).  Members may choose to pay dues in higher amounts to attain higher levels of membership as indicated on the membership application form.

Sec. 3 -  TDWHarris shall collect membership dues in accordance with these Bylaws and also in accordance with the Bylaws and policies set forth by TDW.  TDWHarris retains $10 from any dues paid by a chapter member, and the remainder will be forwarded to the State TDW Treasurer. That amount shall be sent to TDW as reasonably soon after they are collected along with the member’s name, mailing and email addresses, phone number, fax number, and level of membership, as applicable.

ARTICLE VII - OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE BOARD

Sec. 1 -  The officers shall be the (1) President, (2) President-Elect, (3) Vice-President, (4) Secretary, (5) Treasurer, (6), (7), (8) three (3) Members at Large, and (9) the Immediate Past President.  The President shall select a (10) Parliamentarian and (11) Executive Advisor.

Sec. 2 -  A term of office shall be for one year or until his or her successor is elected.

Sec. 3 -  Terms of office begins the day after the election.

Sec. 4 -  Officers may not serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office.

Sec. 5 -  The TDWHarris Executive Board shall consist of the eleven (11) persons listed in Section 1 above: President, President-Elect, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, three (3) Members at Large, Immediate Past President, Parliamentarian, and Executive Advisor.

Sec. 6 -  Should a member of the Executive Board, identified in Section 5 above, fail to attend a board meeting for three (3) consecutive months, that member shall be automatically dismissed from the board by operation of these Bylaws.  The word “attend” includes calling in to participate in a board meeting.  This dismissal shall be carried out without regard for the reason(s) of the member’s absence.  If that member is either President, President-Elect, Vice-President, Secretary, or Treasurer, the remaining board members shall immediately select a replacement at the 4th monthly meeting [after the three (3) meetings missed by the member] by motion and majority vote.  The dismissal and replacement, including the members’ names, shall be announced to the membership at the regular meeting following the selection of the new board member.

ARTICLE VIII - NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS

Sec. 1 -  The nine (9) officers, except the incoming President, shall be elected at the Annual Meeting, which is the first meeting of the year.

Sec. 2 -  Only members who are in good standing shall be permitted to vote and be eligible for office.

Sec. 3 -  A member must have served for at least one term on the TDWHarris Executive Board to be eligible to run for President-Elect.

Sec. 4 -  The election of TDWHarris officers is conducted by the Chair of the Nominating Committee, who shall be the current President-Elect.

Sec. 5 -  At least sixty (60) days prior to the Annual Meeting any member who desires to run for an office in TDWHarris shall submit his/her name and resume to the President-Elect in writing, and all names submitted shall be placed before the body in an election to be held at the Annual Meeting.  In the event that no person submits his/her name for an office, the nominating committee shall nominate a person for that position, after obtaining the person’s permission, and submit his/her name to the membership at the election.  At the time of the election of officers, nominations may be made from the floor provided the candidate gives his/her consent.

Sec. 6 -  There shall be no proxy voting for any candidate(s).

Sec. 7 -  A person who fills an unexpired term greater than six (6) months shall be considered to have served a full term of office in determining eligibility for re-election.

Sec. 8 -  In an election with two (2) candidates on the ballot, the candidate with the simple majority shall be elected.  In an election with three (3) or more candidates, the candidate with fifty-one percent (51%) of the votes shall be elected.  If none of the candidates receives fifty-one percent (51%) of the vote, an immediate runoff election shall be held between the two candidates, who receive the most votes.

Sec. 9 -  Vacancies in offices and Executive Board positions shall be filled for the remainder of the term by the Executive Board at the next Executive Board meeting.

Sec. 10 - The nominating committee shall meet at least 14 days prior to the election and select suggested candidates for officers to present to the general membership.  At the meeting of the nominating committee, the then President-Elect shall preside as Chair at the nominating committee meeting and also at the election at the membership meeting.

Sec. 11 -  The suggested officers shall be presented to the membership for vote in the following order: Three (3) Members at Large, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President, and, last, President-Elect.  The President-Elect from the preceding year shall then take charge as the new President.  The new President shall select the Executive Advisor and Parliamentarian, to be announced at the annual meeting after the election is completed.

 ARTICLE IX - DUTIES OF OFFICERS

Sec. 1 -  The President shall:

  1. preside at all membership meetings and meetings of the Executive Board;
  2. represent TDWHarris publicly or designate an alternate;
  3. appoint committee chairs, if the committee fails to select a chair;
  4. appoint special committees and non-voting officers as needed with approval of the Executive Board;
  5. serve as ex officio member on all committees, except the Nominating Committee, provided, however, that the President may choose to serve on the Nominating Committee as a regular committee member;
  6. set meeting dates and prepare the agenda for each;
  7. hire employees with approval of Executive Board and supervise employees;
  8. appoint the Executive Advisor and Parliamentarian; and
  9. such other duties applicable to the office as contained in these bylaws, or as prescribed by the parliamentary authority adopted in these bylaws.

Sec. 2 - The President-Elect shall:

  1. serve as the chair of the Fundraising Committee and be in charge of any event that is designed to raise funds for TDWHarris;
  2. assist the President as needed;
  3. work closely with the President during the year to learn the duties and be prepared to take charge as President at the beginning of the following term;
  4. serve as a representative of TDWHarris at the State TDW Convention;
  5. chair the Nomination Committee.

Sec. 3 -  The Vice President shall:

  1. preside at meetings when the President is absent;
  2. perform duties assigned by the President;
  3. serve as the Chair of the Communications Committee;
  4. approve any member who disseminates public communications for TDWHarris, especially online communications; and
  5. and perform such other duties applicable to the office as contained in these bylaws or as prescribed by the parliamentary authority adopted in these bylaws;

Sec. 4 -  The Secretary shall:

  1. prepare accurate and thorough minutes of all Executive Board, general, membership and special meetings;
  2. correctly record each motion made at any meeting, with the name of the person making the motion, the name of person seconding the motion, and the results of the motion, but none of the discussion;
  3. maintain custody of the records and all papers of the organization until the expiration of her term of office and deliver those records to the successor Secretary;
  4. distribute copies of minutes via email to members before each monthly meeting and to the members of the Executive Board before each of its meetings;
  5. read aloud the minutes from any prior meeting and record any revision;
  6. maintain an accurate roster of all dues-paid members (by name, address, phone number, and email address); and
  7. serve as an ex-officio member on the Communications Committee.

Sec. 5 -  The Treasurer shall:

  1. serve as custodian of all funds in all TDWHarris bank accounts;
  2. be an authorized signatory on all TDWHarris bank accounts;
  3. secure a second signature of either the President or Vice-President on all checks over $300.00;
  4. pay bills and makes other disbursements as directed by the Executive Board or President;
  5. report the financial status of all accounts of the organization at each Executive Board and membership meeting, including the names and amounts of vendors/service providers who were paid with a short description of each expense, and the amounts and general sources of revenue collected;
  6. send dues owed to State TDW to the Treasurer of the State TDW in a timely manner as required by the charter;
  7. coordinate with the Chair of the Membership Committee to assure that the roster of names, addresses, telephone numbers, and emails addresses of active members of TDWHarris are accurate and current;
  8. forward the current and accurate roster to the Secretary to be maintained in the chapter’s official records; and
  9. forward the current roster to the members of the Executive Board as requested.

Sec. 6 -   Each of the three (3) Members at Large shall:

  1. act as resources on the general state of affairs and activities of TDWHarris and political activities that affect women;
  2. work on the annual fundraiser, “Women Making History” Awards Luncheon under the direction of the President-Elect and the Executive Advisor;
  3. offer input and advice as needed; and
  4. serve as an ex officio member of at least one standing committee.

Sec. 7 -  The Parliamentarian shall:

  1. act as resource and authority on procedural matters, including the implementation of Roberts Rules of Order for meetings;
  2. have a copy of Roberts Rules of Order at meetings to consult when questions arise; and
  3. serve as Sergeant at Arms and enforce Roberts Rules of Order at meetings.

Sec.8 -  The Executive Advisor shall:

  1. attend all Executive Board meetings and offer guidance and suggestions on pending issues;
  2. offer examples from experience, based on other similar situations;
  3. assist the President-Elect in an advisory capacity to handle the annual fundrasier event, “Women Making History” Awards Luncheon;
  4. help guide and assist the Executive Board members in discussions and decisions.

Sec. 9 -  The Immediate Past President shall

  1. attend all Executive Board meetings and comment as needed on issues carried over from her term as President;
  2. serve, if she desires, on any committee in an ex officio capacity; and
  3. offer advice on current issues based on her previous experience.

Sec. 10 - The Executive Board Members shall:

  1. serve on the Executive Board;
  2. attend all Executive Board meetings,
  3. listen attentively while another member speaks,
  4. participate in discussions in a professional and productive manner,
  5. respect parliamentary procedures,
  6. vote via email only on emergency matters or issues that require action before the next board meeting, and
  7. carry out such other duties applicable to the office as contained in these bylaws, or as prescribed by the parliamentary authority adopted in these bylaws.

Sec. 11 -   At the end of a term of office, all officers shall deliver all TDWHarris records to their successor within 30 days.

ARTICLE X - GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS

Sec. 1 -  The TDWHarris membership meetings shall be held on the fourth Monday of each month.

Sec. 2 -  The location of the general membership meeting shall be decided by the Executive Board.

 ARTICLE XI - EXECUTIVE BOARD

Sec. 1 -  The Executive Board shall be composed of the nine (9) Officers, the Parliamentarian, and the Executive Advisor, as provided in Article VII, Section 5 above.

Sec. 2 - The Chairs of each standing committee shall attend each meeting of the Executive Board, and each chair shall make a report of the activities of her committee.  However, committee chairs shall not be members of the Executive Board, nor may committee chairs enter into discussion, other than explaining matters and answering questions regarding her committee, and may not vote on any motion.  The committee chairs shall attend Executive Board meetings only to provide information as needed by the Executive Board.

Sec. 2 -  The Executive Board shall set policy for TDWHarris, determine its programs, activities, and events, and take all actions authorized or required by these bylaws.

Sec. 3 -  The President shall preside at the Executive Board meetings.

Sec. 4 -  No Executive Board member shall have more than one (1) vote and no voting by proxy shall be allowed.

Sec. 5 -  The President may not vote on any motion except to break a tie vote.

Sec. 6 -  A quorum shall consist of at least six (6) of the eleven (11) total members of the Executive Board.  An Executive Board member may participate during the Executive Board meeting by telephone.  Such Executive Board member participating by telephone shall be included in determining the existence of a quorum.  If there is no quorum, the meeting shall be promptly adjourned, and the President immediately shall call each absent Board member to ascertain any problem or illness.

Sec. 7 -  The President shall provide the Executive Board members with a proposed agenda before the day of the Executive Board meeting, although at the end of the meeting any Executive Board member may raise any issue of concern or interest to TDWHarris.

Sec. 8 -  The Executive Board shall meet each month at a meeting separate from the membership meeting, preferably two weeks before the monthly membership meeting.

 ARTICLE XII - COMMITTEES

Sec. 1 -  The Standing Committees for TDWHarris shall be:

  • Membership
  • Under 40,
  • Communications,
  • Get-Out-the-Vote
  • Legislative,
  • Program,
  • Outside Events,
  • Fundraising,
  • Refreshments, and
  • Nominating.

Sec. 2 -  The functions of the Standing Committees shall be to plan and to recommend to the Executive Board policies and programs within their areas of responsibility.  Also, the committees shall carry out their assigned functions.  A description of the duties and functions of each committee is attached hereto as Appendix A and is incorporated herein verbatim as a part of these Bylaws.

Sec. 3 -  The specific duties and functions of each committee shall be kept in writing by the President and by the Recording Secretary among the official papers of TDWHarris.

Sec. 4 -  The specific duties and functions of each committee may be amended by the Executive Board from time to time, as necessary, by motion and vote.  Any Board member proposing an amendment to the committee descriptions shall provide copies of the proposed revisions to all board members at least one month in advance.  No proxies shall be permitted in voting upon this particular matter of revising duties and functions of any committee.

Sec. 5 -  The Committee Chairs shall be either appointed by the President or chosen by a majority vote of committee members.  Any TDWHarris member in good standing may serve on one or more committees.

Sec. 6 -  Each committee shall consist of a Chair and two (2) or more members.  The term of each committee shall begin February 1 and end on January 31 of each year.  Committee members shall serve one-year term and may re-join any committee on which he/she previously served. There is no restriction on how many terms a chair or member may serve on one particular committee, including continuous service.

Sec. 7 -  Other committees, standing or special shall be created by the Executive Board as deemed necessary to carry on the work of TDWHarris.

Sec. 8  Duties of Committee Chairs include:

  1. Recruiting members for her committee;
  2. Scheduling committee meetings, apart from TDWHarris meetings;
  3. Leading the committee in planning its projects for the year;
  4. Presenting proposals to the Executive Board for approval before proceeding with any projects;
  5. Leading and participating in the execution of projects planned and approved;
  6. Reporting to the membership monthly regarding the status of her committee’s activities;
  7. Maintaining records of her committee’s activities to be turned over to her successor.

 ARTICLE XIII - FINANCES

Sec. 1 -  The fiscal year shall begin January 1st of each calendar year.

Sec. 2 -  A summary of the financial status of TDWHarris shall be presented by the Treasurer to the membership at each monthly meeting, as provided in Article IX, Section 5(e) above.

Sec. 3 -  While all but $10 of the dues paid by each member shall be forwarded to the State TDW, the funds raised by the TDWHarris Fundraising Committee shall be retained by TDWHarris for use according to the recommendations of the Executive Board and approval by the membership, as appropriate.

 ARTICLE XIV - PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (“Roberts Rules”), shall govern TDWHarris in all meetings of any type by the TDWHarris chapter, its Executive Board, and its committees, to the extent that Roberts Rules are not inconsistent with these Bylaws and any special rules of order that TDWHarris may adopt.

 ARTICLE XV - DISSOLUTION

Should TDWHarris be dissolved by appropriate action of its membership, all remaining funds and other assets on the date of dissolution shall be given to the State Texas Democratic Women organization.

 ARTICLE XVI - AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS

Sec. 1 -  The Bylaws of TDWHarris may be amended at any time by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of members present at a regular membership meeting.  Written notice of a proposed Bylaw change, with the precise language of the suggested amendment, shall be sent to the membership via email at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting at which the amendment is voted upon.  Also, the proposed amendment shall be distributed to the members before the meeting begins.  Strict parliamentary procedure shall be followed in the voting on any amendment to the Bylaws.

Sec. 2 -  The procedure to present an amendment of these Bylaws to the membership may be a proposed amendment by either:

  1. the Executive Board,
  2. a Bylaws committee composed of at least five (5) chapter members in good standing appointed by the President, or
  3. by a written petition signed by ten (10) eligible members in good standing.

Sec. 3 -  Proposed Bylaws amendments must be received by the Executive Board at least sixty (60) days in advance of the membership meeting at which the amendment will be presented for vote.

Sec. 4 -  The Executive Board shall be responsible for reporting the effect of any proposed Bylaw change to the membership.

ARTICLE XVII – ADVISORY BOARD

Sec. 1-   There shall be an Advisory Board comprised of the past presidents of TDWHarris.

Sec. 2 - The Advisory Board members may attend any Executive Board meeting and, after being recognized by the President, may comment on any issue before the Board.  However, Advisory Board members’ comments are suggestive only and will be meant to offer advice to the current Board based on the member’s past experience.

Sec. 3 - Advisory Board members may not vote on any motion before the Board.