Just recently a new Town Chair wrote, “Just stepped into this position and don’t know anything about the second Monday meetings. Where and what time are they? ” The response covered a bit more than that, and we thought it might be good to have this available to anyone new to the Windsor County Democrats!
Welcome to the Windsor County Democrats! Here are some practical things to know.
- The Windsor County Democratic Committee is made up of every town in Windsor (plus 2 or 3 just over the line) that Organizes – which means some number of Democrats meet up and elect a Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary.
- Once a set of Officers exist for a town, they as well as other attendees will vote for a specific number of Delegates (and Alternates for those Delegates if they cannot attend).
- The number of delegates is set by the State Democratic Party based on things like recent vote totals.
- For larger towns the Officers are often not the Delegates, but for smaller towns often the Officers end up also being the Delegates or Alternates.
- Every 2nd Monday we have (or should have) a full meeting of the Windsor County Dems (aka Windsor County Democratic Committee).
- The concept is that Delegates attend, and if they can’t they notify an Alternate.
- Any of the Officers can attend as well, but only Delegates/Alternates can vote – if there is something that needs to be voted on.
- If your town has Delegates but no Alternates selected you can ask to be elected an Alternate so that you will be able to vote when Delegates are not able to attend.
- Any Dems can attend for education, volunteering, dedication to Democratic Party principles, etc.
- On occasion the WCD needs to vote on things, and it is Delegates/Alternates that get to vote, and each town, as mentioned, has a specific number of Delegates from 2 to 5 or so. The number of times a meaningful vote comes up is relatively low, but it does happen.
- If your position is Chair (or Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary) your focus should be on building your Town strengths as a Democratic Party stronghold –
- adding members,
- planning actions,
- GOTV efforts,
- Showing a film or having a discussion on an issue etc.
- And developing strong communications with the other Town Chairs, and the Windsor County Executive Committee for several reasons
- Scheduling meetings on the 2nd Monday that are vital and valuable
- letting other towns know what is working, or not
- sharing successes
- updating VAN (updating our voter registration town-by-town)
- expanding our Windsor County Dems email list
- Every Town is at a different place — some are very strong and large, like Springfield, and others are in a building process. We’re all here to help each other get stronger!
- The 19 (currently – a few more to add!) towns in turn elect a County-wide Executive Committee – Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer (2) and Secretary. And they also elect Delegates and Alternates to meet every other month with the State-wide Democratic Party.
So in a sense Democrats in Windsor County towns become part of a group (that they “organized”) which feeds a County-wide group that then feeds a State-wide Group and – yes, you guessed correctly – the State of VT Democratic Party meets up with the other 49 States and some number of territories on a regular basis. This is the classic definition of a grass roots political movement. Thank you for joining and contributing.
A truly democratic political party is greater than the sum of all our hopes, dreams, and ideas. We have some work to do!
WINDSOR COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE BY-LAWS
1. NAME AND PURPOSE: The name of this organization is the Windsor County Democratic Committee, herein known as the “WCDC” or the “County Committee.” The purpose of the WCDC is to support the Vermont State Democratic Committee (“State Committee”), promote the interests, ideals, and principles of Vermont Democrats, assist in the operation of the Vermont Democratic Party (“Party”) pursuant to 17 VSA §2310, support the election of Democratic candidates, support the process for the adoption of a party platform, and coordinate, encourage, and assist in the organization of Democratic town committees throughout Windsor County. Discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, economic status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnic identity, disability, national origin, or color in the conduct of WCDC affairs is prohibited by Democratic Party principle and policy and by Vermont statute.
2. MEMBERSHIP: Pursuant to 17 VSA §§2305 and 2308, the WCDC is composed of the delegates elected by each organized town Democratic committee after official biennial reorganization, according to state committee allocation. These towns may elect as many alternate delegates as allocated delegates. Delegates to the WCDC shall be voters of the town. They shall serve during the following two years or until their successors are elected or appointed.
WCDC may remove any member, Officer, State Committee Representative or Exececutive Committee member for cause by 2/3 vote of all members present and voting, at any regular or special meeting, provided that a statement of the reason(s) and listing of the name(s) of the member(s) requesting the removal shall have been mailed by certified mail to the accused and relayed to all other members via normally used means.
Delegates are expected to be active members. They are the communication link to and from the Town Committees.
3. ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING: Pursuant to 17 VSA §2309, the Chair shall
suggest set a date, not more than 30 days after the date of the party’s town caucuses, for the organizational meeting of the county committee. Once the date is determined, the Chair shall notify delegates-elect by mail or by email of set the date, time and place of the meeting and shall notify all delegates-elect by email or mail not less than 10 days prior to the meeting.
4. ELECTION OF OFFICERS: Officers and State Committee Representatives and Alternates need not be members of the WCDC at the time of their election, but become members upon their election and consent to serve.
At the official biennial reorganization meeting of the WCDC, the delegates shall elect the following for the ensuing two years:
- Vice Chair
- Assistant Treasurer
4a. ELECTION OF STATE COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVES: At the official biennial reorganization meeting of the WCDC, the delegates shall elect the following for the ensuing two years:
- State Committee Representative
- State Committee Representative
- Alternate State Committee Representative Number One
- Alternate State Committee Representative Number Two
- Alternate State Committee Representative Number Three
Including the Chair, who by state party bylaws is automatically a representative, no more than two of the three Representatives shall be of the same gender.
Alternates can be any gender. State Committee Representatives need not be delegates to the WCDC.
5. MEETINGS: The Executive Committee shall set a schedule of regular meeting dates for the WCDC at or after the reorganization meeting and all members shall be notified by email or mail of the schedule within a month of that meeting. Special meetings may be called by 20% of the membership signing a request to the County Chair who is obligated to facilitate notification to all members by email or mail at least 10 days prior to the date set for the special meeting by the petitioners.
6. VOTING: All matters shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the members present and voting. No member may be bound by his or her town committee to vote for or against any measure or candidate. No votes by proxy shall be allowed. All contested elections and nominations shall be conducted by secret ballot
7. WARNINGS: Notice by email or mail must be sent no less than seven (7) days prior to a meeting if any of the following actions will be taken: to spend unbudgeted expenses over $500, to pass resolutions, to allocate contributions to candidates, or to amend the bylaws.
8. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: The Executive Committee shall consist of the following members:
- Officers of the WCDC
- State Committee Representatives
- The immediate past Chair of the WCDC
- Anyone elected to serve by the Executive Committee
Duties and responsibilities: The Chair shall notify all members of the Executive Committee within five days of a meeting or conference call and include the agenda. The Executive Committee shall have the power to act for the WCDC when necessity demands and time does not permit calling a meeting of the WCDC, provided that the actions of the Executive Committee are submitted to the WCDC for ratification or rejection at its next meeting. Minutes of Executive Committee meetings shall be kept and made available by request to the WCDC.
The Executive Committee will formulate an annual Action Plan and a budget to bring to the members.
The Executive Committee will consider all resolutions presented to the WCDC and take action in keeping with Section 17 of these Bylaws. For voting purposes: A quorum for in person or conference call meetings of the Executive Committee shall consist of at least one half of the Executive Committee. Some issues may also be resolved by email with a quorum unless a member requests a meeting or conference call.
9. The County Committee Chair (“Chair”): The Chair shall be the general executive officer of the Committee. The duties of the Chair are as follows:
1. To preside at all WCDC meetings and set the agenda for the same;
2. To assist the State Committee in ensuring that the biennial and quadrennial state conventions are held in accordance with the legal requirements of the state;
3. To ensure that any reports required by state and federal law are filed within the specified time;
4. To ensure the maintenance of a list of the names and postal mailing addresses of the members of all town committees making up the Democratic Party in the County, including officers, and to pass this list to the successor in office, who shall preserve this list and add to or subtract names as needed to keep the list current;
5. To appoint members of subcommittees of the WCDC;
6. To give timely notice to all Democratic town chairs of the dates of the biennial
re-organizational meetings and of their statutory and other requirements; and
7. To perform such other duties as are required by law (See Title 17 Vermont Statutes Annotated, Chapter 45).
10. VICE CHAIR: The Vice Chair shall be vested with all the powers and shall perform all the duties of the Chair in the absence or disability of the Chair. The Vice Chair shall perform such other duties as assigned by the Chair, with input from the WCDC.
may from time to time assign.
11. SECRETARY: The Secretary shall be the official recording officer of the WCDC and shall ensure that a complete and accurate record of the County Committee and Executive Committee meetings is kept. The minutes shall be available for examination or copying by any member of the WCDC upon request seven working days following the date of any meeting, and shall be available on the Windsor County Dems Calendar/Announcement. The Secretary shall perform such other duties as assigned by the Chair, with input from the WCDC
. may from time to time assign.
12. TREASURER AND ASSISTANT TREASURER: The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer of the WCDC and shall have the following duties;
1. Be responsible for the custody and supervision of all its funds;
2. Cause all debts and obligations of the WCDC to be paid;
Prepare Propose a budget to the Executive Committee based on the annual action plan;
4. Provide the WCDC an annual statement of the financial position of the committee at the beginning of the calendar year;
5. Provide the WCDC
a quarterly financial information at least quarterly report.
An Assistant Treasurer shall be elected to assist the Treasurer in the performance of his or her duties, and serve as interim Treasurer if the Treasurer is unable to perform the duties of the office.
13. FISCAL YEAR: The fiscal year shall run from January 1 to December 31.
14. RESIGNATIONS: Any WCDC member, officer, or State Committee Representative may resign at any time. Such resignation shall be made to the Town Committee and shall also notify the County Chair.
15. VACANCIES: Any vacancies among the officers or State Committee Representatives of the WCDC or members of the Executive Committee shall be on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the WCDC. Any vacancy in the elected membership of the WCDC shall be filled by the town in which the vacancy occurs by vote of the appropriate town committee. Persons selected shall serve for the balance of the unexpired term of the vacancy.
16. SUB-COMMITTEES: Sub-committees shall be appointed by the County Chair as needed. Sub-committee members may be either WCDC members or non-members.
The Chair may form a nominating committee of a minimum of three members and a maximum of seven members. The committee will meet at least two weeks prior to the organizational meeting and will prepare a slate of Officers State Committee Representatives. When would this happen? Does that need to be included?
17. RESOLUTIONS: Resolutions must be submitted to the Executive Committee and it is the responsibility of the Executive Committee to determine whether or not to forward the resolution to the WCDC membership. If so, the resolution must be sent to all WCDC members by email or mail at least seven days in advance of a vote on the resolution. The WCDC will not entertain resolutions on pending legislation in Vermont.
18. AMENDMENTS: Bylaws may be amended by simple majority vote of those present and voting at any duly warned meeting of the WCDC.
19. PRIMARY CHALLENGES: All Democratic candidates will have the same right to access the resources of the WCDC. The WCDC shall not endorse individual candidates. Officers and state Committee Representatives shall not officially endorse candidates.
20. PERPETUITY AND APPLICATION OF BYLAWS
1. The term of existence of these bylaws as currently constituted, and as hereafter from time to time amended by the WCDC or changed by operation of law, shall be perpetual and shall remain in effect for succeeding County Committees.
2. The procedures, including voting prescriptions, set forth in these Bylaws shall apply to the conduct of any sub-committee created by this Committee or by state law.
This revised version adopted on November 20, 2015
This amended version was adopted on _________________
This amended version was adopted on October 21, 2019