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Bylaws

MISSION AND BYLAWS OF THE CDP NATVE AMERICAN CAUCUS


MISSION STATEMENT

The Native American Caucus of the California Democratic Party seeks to raise political and civic consciousness to Native American issues while preserving the cultural heritage of the state’s minority and indigenous populations. The Caucus strives to accomplish this by increasing political participation of individuals in all activities of the Democratic Party, in particular, expanding Native American representation in voter registration, voter education legislative tracking, outreach to interested Democratic Assembly Districts, County Central Committees, Democratic Clubs, community and civic organizations.


GOALS

• Enhance political and public awareness, education, involvement and civic responsibility among Native Americans.

• Promote public awareness of the political status of tribal nations through media education.

• Promote voter registration and outreach and encourage Native Americans to exercise their rights to vote and to run for public office.

• Identify issues of concern to Native Americans and pursue solutions through the democratic process.


Article I – Policy and Goals

Section 1 – It shall be the policy of this caucus, in the execution of all endeavors, to contribute to the growth and influence of the Democratic Party, to establish and maintain an inclusive Native American Indian presence in the party and to support the party candidates for Democratic leadership throughout the state and nation.

Section 2 – We shall hold workshops and programs to educate and train interested Democrats to participate in voter training, outreach, political education, legislative tracking, research and how to participate in the Democratic Party.

Section 3 – We shall hold workshops and programs to educate interested individuals in the cultural history and current issues of concern to the California Indian Nations.

Section 4 – We shall assist Democratic legislative organizations and legislators in establishing relationships with the members and communities of the Native American Caucus.

Section 5 – We shall facilitate the organization of Democrats.

Section 6 – We shall maintain a relationship with the state Party and assist in disseminating party information to our members.


Article II – Membership

Section 1 – Membership shall include those persons who are:

A. Native Americans who are registered Democrats, or

B. Registered Democrats with an interest in developing a broader understanding of issues that affect the Native American community, inclusion in the educational process of how the political system works, exchanging cultural education, political training, voter outreach and participation of the Indian Nations in the Democratic Party and who support the mission of this caucus.

Section 2 – Only those persons who are registered Democrats shall be eligible for full membership. They will be entitled to all membership privileges upon payment of annual dues.

Section 3 – Members and non-members shall be eligible to participate in discussion, meetings and training workshops, but voting and holding office shall be restricted to members only.

Section 4 – The Native American Caucus supports non-discrimination in membership, including gender, race, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, national origin, or income level. We are inclusive.


Article III – Membership Dues

Section 1 – The amount of dues payable for membership shall be established by the Executive Board by simple majority at on officially designated and noticed executive board meeting. Notice of intent to raise dues shall be established in writing to the membership prior to the actual increase in annual dues.

Section 2 – Membership dues are $25.00 and renewed at the State Convention for the period of a full year.

Section 3 – This caucus waives any dues for economic hardship.

Section 4 – Sponsorships provide the Native American Caucus the funds to conduct meetings. The followings sponsorships for annual (1 year) membership fees are avaliable at the following rates: $5000, $1000, $500, $250, 100, $50, and $25 dollars. The regular yearly dues will remain at $15 dollars and $5 dollars for low income/students/elders.


Article IV – Executive Board

Section 1 – The officers, chairperson, 1st and 2nd vice chairperson, immediate past chairperson, and committee officers shall constitute the Executive Board. Any member of the executive board may be removed following two consecutive absences from noticed meetings or two unexcused absences during the calendar year. If an officer misses two meetings in a year, or, after notice of the charges against them and a hearing at a meeting whose notice includes the issue, has been determined to have failed to do their duty as an officer, by a 2/3 vote of the members present and voting, they will be removed and a new election shall be held at the next meeting.

Section 2 – The Executive Board shall meet no less than six times during the calendar year for the purpose of planning and directing the activities and policies for the calendar year. Joint meetings with other CDP caucuses (cauci), or their members, will occur at least once during each calendar year.

Section 3 – A simple majority of members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum. No proxies shall be allowed.

Section 4 – Special meetings of the board may be called by any of the members of the board but special meetings will not be subject to the absence or excused policy.

Section 5 – As the Executive Board is representative of the membership of the caucus, which has a right to know how its representatives have voted, no vote of the Executive Board of the Caucus may be taken by secret ballot.


Article V – Officers

Section 1 – The officers of the CDP Native American Caucus will be elected at the first state convention of the calendar year, in odd-numbered years, and shall hold office for two years with election at the state convention.

Section 2 – The offices and officers shall be: Chairperson, 1st Vice Chairperson, 2nd Vice Chairperson, Immediate Past Chairperson, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, Parliamentarian and four Executive Board Officers.

Section 3 – Duties of Officers

A. Chair: the Chair shall preside over meetings and name special project committees. The Chair is a member of all committees. Pursuant to compliance with the CDP bylaws, the Chair must be a member of the DSCC before election and will serve as the caucus Executive Board Representative.

B. Vice Chairs: the two Vice Chairs shall assist the Chair and preside over meetings in the Chair’s absence. In the absence of the 1st Vice Chairperson, the 2nd Vice Chairperson will conduct the meeting. The Vice Chairs may serve on and chair special project committees.

C. Immediate Past Chairperson: the Immediate Past Chairperson shall provide active support and continuity to the board.

D. Treasurer: Pursuant to compliance with the CDP bylaws, the Treasurer must be a member of the DSCC before election. The Treasurer shall:

1. Collect dues from the membership and turn it into the CDP office at the Convention and at E-Boards. Any monies received at other times must be deposited with the CDP Finance Committee within 15 calendar days.

2. Serve as one of the signers on checks as authorized by the Executive board.

3. This Caucus shall not raise nor disburse funds other than nominal dues and standard or routine costs of regular meetings.

4. The Treasurer of this Caucus shall submit quarterly financial reports with the Treasurer of the Democratic State Party. The Treasurer shall promptly account for all Caucus funds and prepare financial reports, as required by the Finance Committee of the CDP. The Treasurer shall present a biennial fund raising and budget proposal and shall submit it to the Finance Committee of the CDP or the State Chair for recommendation and approval.

E. Recording Secretary: the Recording Secretary shall attend and take minutes of the proceedings for all the general meetings, and regular executive board meetings.

1. Accurately maintain all membership records, e-mail addresses, and documents relating to the caucus.

2. Receive, record, and answer regular or e-mailed communications.

3. Provide notice of meetings to executive board members and the membership.

Parliamentarian: The Parliamentarian shall provide advice, instruction and correct interpretation of the Parliamentarian procedure and Roberts Rules of Order.

F. Executive Board Officers: the Executive Board Officers shall serve as committee chairs for policy, legislation, voter outreach training, education and special projects.

Section 4 – Should a member, elected as an officer of the caucus, cease to be a member for any reason such a vacancy must be filled within 60 days of the vacancy. The Executive Board shall be empowered to fill any vacancies that occur until the next caucus meeting. Members will receive notification of said vacancy with the minutes and agenda of the next noticed meeting of the caucus and those eligible for consideration will be afforded the opportunity to seek said offices.


Article VI – Meetings

Section 1 – Regular meetings of the membership will be held at the State Party Convention and at the California State Party Executive Board Meetings each calendar year.

Section 2 – Regional meetings for outreach and training will be noticed at least a week in advance by e-mail, fax and/or phone. These meetings are open to members and all interested parties.

Section 3 - E-Mail Notice

Publication of any notice provided for by these bylaws, may be given by means of e-mail provided that:

A. Members of the Committee must have consented, in writing, to receive CDP notice in that manner.

B. Members of this Committee have been advised of their obligation to inform the Secretary of any change in their e-mail address.

C. Any such notice is denominated “Official CDP Notice” in the subject line,

D. Members of the Committee are given the option, in writing, of maintaining the confidentiality of their email address, or making same public.

Section 4 – As the membership of the caucus is open and not restricted to those who represent others, pursuant to the charter of the Democratic Party of the United States, Article 9, Section 12, and California Democratic Party Bylaws, a member may call for a secret ballot on elections. It requires a simple majority to pass.

Section 5 – Public Meetings

All public meetings of the Caucus shall be open to all members of the Democratic Party and members of the Press or invited guests regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, religion, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, persons with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or economic status.


Article VII – Caucus Records and Reports

Section 1 – The Caucus shall maintain adequate and correct accounts, books and records of all caucus activities. The appropriate constitutional officer shall maintain all such books and records.

Section 2 – Such books and records shall be open to inspection by officers and members in good standing at all times for purposed approved by the Executive Board upon giving adequate and reasonable notice before said inspection.

Section 3 – There shall be a biannual report of membership and accounting given to the Executive Board and an annual report given to membership at the State Convention at the beginning of the calendar year.

Article VIII – Endorsements

Section 1 – The Caucus may not endorse candidates for public office that are not members of the Democratic Party pursuant to the bylaws of the California Democratic Party, the State Democratic Central Committee and all official units of the California Democratic Party.

Section 2 – The Caucus is prohibited from endorsing candidates for partisan or non-partisan office unless a candidate has received the official endorsement of the California Democratic Party. Furthermore, unless a candidate has received the official endorsement of the CDP, all motions of support, recommendation, or their expressions of approval, no matter how denominated, will be ruled out of order at any meeting of the Caucus.


Article IX – Amendments

Section 1 – Amendments to the bylaws may be initiated by the Executive Board or by a written petition signed by a majority of board members.

Section 2 - The amendment must be in written form before being presented to the body for a first reading. Members holding caucus member cards for the current year are eligible to vote on said amendment at the next meeting of the caucus. The amendment needs a vote of 60% of the membership in order to pass.


Article X – Procedures and Obligations

Section 1 – All proceedings not covered in this Constitution of bylaws shall be governed by the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Section 2 – The Caucus recognizes it obligations under the ‘General Provisions’ Article of the California Democratic Party bylaws.

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Adopted 13 November 2009