Revised February, 2019
BYLAWS OF THE LOWELL DEMOCRATIC CITY COMMITTEE
The name of this organization is the Lowell Democratic City Committee
This committee is organized and constituted under authority of and in accordance with the provisions of the General Laws of the Commonwealth and shall have as its purpose the following: to foster and advance the ideals and aims of the Democratic Party; to work in cooperation with the Democratic State and National Committees of the Party; to work and organize for the success of the Democratic candidates of the District, County, State and Nation; to do all things necessary and incidental to the building and strengthening of the Democratic Party in Massachusetts and in Lowell.
Section I. The Lowell Democratic City Committee shall consist of all members of the Democratic Ward Committees. The Democratic Ward Committees shall each consist of the following members with full voting privileges, and subject to other provisions for maintaining membership:
- Up to 21 registered Democrats residing in the Ward who are elected on the Presidential primary ballot
- Registered Democrats residing in the Ward who are elected by the Ward Committee to fill vacancies that may occur in the 21-member slate
- Registered Democrats in the Ward who have served at least 20 years on the City Committee
- Members of the Democratic State Committee who reside in the Ward
- Any elected official residing in the Ward who holds office by virtue of being the most recent Democratic nominee for that office.
Section II. Each Ward Committee, following the election of its members, shall meet and choose a Chairperson, a Secretary, a Treasurer; each ward may also choose a Vice-Chairperson (not of the same gender as Chairperson), an Affirmative ActionOfficer, and such officers as it may decide to elect. At such meeting, a Ward Committee may add to its members provided it does not exceed a total of 21 members.
Section III. Ward Committees may elect associate members who shall not be eligible to vote or hold office in the Ward or City Committee, but shall in order of tenure have right of first refusal to be elected to full membership in the event of a vacancy. The names of members to be elected to full or associate positions shall be listed in the notice for the appropriate meeting.
Section IV. Any duly elected full or associate member of the Ward Committee who changes residence from the Ward in which he/she was elected during the said four years shall cease to be a member at the end of the calendar year during which said residence is changed. Any duly elected member who moves out of the city shall immediately cease to be a member.
Section V. A vacancy in the membership of any Ward Committee shall be filled by a vote of a majority of duly elected members of such Committee present and voting. Said vacancies shall be filled within one month from the time the vacancy occurs, or no later than the next regular meeting.
Section VI. In the event there are no duly elected members of a particular Ward Committee under the provisions of Article III, Section I, the City Committee Executive Committee shall supervise a Ward Committee election from among those Democrats in that Ward that have expressed interest, at the first opportunity. Public notice of this election shall be given at least two weeks prior to such action; public notice shall be by email notice to the entire list maintained by the City Committee and any social media sites maintained by the City Committee.
- Members shall attend all regular meetings, when notified. Members who are absent from four successive regular meetings may be dropped from the current notification list.
- All members duly elected or appointed, of the City Committee shall aid in the work of the Democratic Party in the City of Lowell.
Section VIII. No statement of policy, written or oral, shall be issued in the name of the Democratic City Committee unless and until it is sanctioned by the Committee as a whole as expressed at a duly called meeting and upon a vote by a majority of the members present and voting.
Section IX. Members and officers pledge themselves to perform diligently and honorably their duties or resign. Members of the City Committee may be removed by procedures guaranteeing adequate notice and due process and by a two-thirds vote of the membership present and voting of the City Committee for:
- failure to attend at least half of the regularly scheduled committee meetings during any calendar year;
- public support for or financial contribution to an opponent of a nominee of the Democratic Party, which nominee supports publicly the platform of the Democratic Party as adopted at the most recent state and national Democratic conventions;
- unauthorized use of the Party name or resources;
- conviction after appeals are exhausted of a criminal offense other than a misdemeanor;
- conduct unbecoming a member or prejudicial to the aims or reputation of the City Committee.
A member must be given a chance to resign before notice of the hearing on the question of removal is given to the membership.
A member removed under this section shall have 30 days to appeal to the State Party Judicial Council, and the vacancy may not be filled in such case until the final decision of the Executive Committee is made.
Section X. Notice of the number of members by Ward of the Lowell Democratic City Committee to be elected in Lowell, Massachusetts, shall be given for the Committee by its Secretary to the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the City Clerk of Lowell and also to the Chairperson of the Democratic State Committee on or before the date decreed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, usually during the first week of August of the year before the election of such Democratic City Committee.
Section XI. All members of the City Committee shall be requested to make a voluntary donation in lieu of annual dues at or before the regular meeting each April. Said monies will be used to further the purposes of the City Committee.
Section I. The officers of the organization shall consist of: a Chairperson—or if deemed advisable two co-chairpersons—and a Vice Chairperson (not both or all of the same gender), a Treasurer, a Secretary, Affirmative ActionOfficer(s) and other appropriate officers from among the members. These officers shall be elected by a majority of those present and voting at the organizational meetings of the City Committee, to be held between the 31st and 40th days after the Presidential Primary election, and at the April meeting in years in which Massachusetts constitutional officers are elected, and shall serve a term of two years.
Section II. The Secretary of the City Committee and each Ward Committee must file lists of officers and members, with their addresses. Additionally, in order to qualify for office, the treasurer of each committee is required to file a signed acceptance of the office of treasurer with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF). To meet all of the above filing requirements, a reporting form, available from OCPF, must be filed with OCPF, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Democratic State Committee, and the Clerk of the City of Lowell.
Section III. There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of the Chairperson of each Ward Committee, the officers of the City Committee, the members of the State Committee residing in the district and Chairpersons of all Standing Committees. The Chairperson of the City Committee shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and the Secretary of the City Committee shall act as the Secretary of the Executive Committee.
Section IV. In the event of the death, resignation, or permanent relocation from the City of Lowell of any of the officers named in Article IV, Section I, their places shall be declared vacant and be filled at the next regular meeting of the City Committee by a majority of those present and voting. A statement of such changes shall be sent immediately, by the Secretary of the Committee, to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, to the Secretary of the Democratic State Committee, and to the Clerk of the City of Lowell.
ARTICLE V—DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section I. The Chairperson shall be the chief executive officer of the Committee and shall preside at all meetings. He/she shall appoint all members of standing and special committees, except as otherwise voted by the Committee and provided for in these Bylaws. He/she shall be an ex officio member and shall designate the active chairperson of all such committees.
Section II. The Executive Committee, as described in Article IV, Section III, shall be empowered to expend up to $150.00, in addition to normal operating expenses, for the benefit of the City Committee. All other expenditures must be approved by a majority of voting members attending a duly called meeting of the City Committee. The signature of the Chairperson and the Treasurer shall be required on all checks in excess of$150.
Section III. The Secretary shall keep an official record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Committee. He/she shall also, within ten (10) days after the organizational meeting of the City Committee, file with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Clerk of the City of Lowell, the Chair of the Democratic State Committee and the Office of Campaign and Political Finance a list of the officers and members of such Committee, and shall immediately file with the same officials a statement of the changes in the organization or membership of the City Committee thereafter. The Secretary shall maintain a list of all current members with their contact information. This list shall be used to distribute minutes, contact members about upcoming events and meetings, and for other Committee business. If someone wants to use the list for non-committee business, they may submit a request with the information to the Secretary and the Officers shall determine whether or not it is appropriate; the secretary will then share the information or state reason why not to requester. The Secretary shall perform all such other duties as may be assigned by the Chairperson, by the Committee or by provisions of these Bylaws.
Section IV. The Treasurer shall collect, receive, and deposit, in the name of the Lowell Democratic City Committee, all funds belonging to said committee. The Treasurer shall disburse the funds of this organization so deposited only upon approval by a majority of members present and voting, except as provided for in Article V, Section II. The Treasurer shall render a full and detailed statement of the finances of this organization at each regular meeting. The Treasurer shall render a similar statement at other times as the Chairperson or the Committee may direct. The signature of the Treasurer will be required on all checks.
Section V. The Affirmative Action Officer(s) shall advocate for diversity and inclusion within the committee and work with the Outreach committee to invite members of Lowell’s minority and LGBTQ+ communities to join the committee.
Section VI. In the absence of the Chairperson from any meeting of this organization, the Vice-Chairperson shall preside.
Section VII. Any person nominated for any office in this organization must be present at the time he/she is nominated, or present a letter of his/her intent to the Chairperson, in order to accept such nomination.
ARTICLE VI—CHANGES IN THE BYLAWS
Section I. These Bylaws may be amended or repealed at any regularly called meeting of the City Committee, provided such proposed change is in writing and is signed by the elected members proposing it and is in the hands of the Chairperson before notice is given of the next meeting at which such proposals are to be acted upon. Proposed changes shall be sent to all members with the notice of the next meeting, at least 14 days in advance.
Section II. Such proposed changes in the Bylaws shall be referred forthwith by the Chairperson of the City Committee to the Bylaws Committee, which shall make a report with its recommendations at the same meeting, if possible, but no later than the following meeting. If the Bylaws Committee reports favorably on the proposed amendment, the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present and voting shall be sufficient to adopt the amendment. If the Bylaws Committee reports unfavorably on the proposed amendment, the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting shall be required to adopt the amendment, the objections of the Bylaws Committee to the contrary notwithstanding.
Section III. Unless and until repealed by the elected members, these Bylaws shall continue in effect from year to year, and no formal motion shall be necessary at any meeting of the City Committee in order that they continue in force.
Section I. The following are standing committees of the Lowell Democratic City Committee: Bylaws, Executive, Outreach, Fundraising and Social,and Public Policy. Special committees shall be formed and selected by the Chairperson at the request of the membership.
Section II. All standing committees shall submit a report at every regular meeting of the Committee or any such other time as the Chairperson or the Committee may direct.
Section III. At any meeting of the Committee, the Committee may, by two-thirds vote of members present and voting, for just cause, remove any member from any committee. Any proposed removal must be given in the notice of the meeting at which it will be presented.
ARTICLE VIII—MEETINGS AND ORDER OF BUSINESS
Section I. The City Committee shall meet at least once each quarter, in February, April, September, and November, at the call of the Chairperson. Additional meetings may be called at the discretion of the Chairperson. Notice of all regular meetings shall be given to all members of the committee by email or telephone at least fourteen (14) days in advance of any such meeting, except as otherwise provided for in these Bylaws. Included in meeting notice shall be proposed changes to the Bylaws, plan for election of officers, requests for expenditures above the norm, or any other significant order of business to be conducted at such meeting.
Section II. Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson upon signed petition of twenty (20) voting members of the Lowell Democratic City Committee, such petition to state the purpose of the special meeting. The Secretary of the City Committee shall notify all Committee members at least seven (7) days in advance of any special meeting date and announce its purpose. Attendance of members from at least six (6) Wards of the Committee shall constitute a quorum at any special meeting.
Section III. Ward meetings may be called by the Chairperson of the Ward as necessary, but will usually coincide with City Committee meetings. Attendance by five members or a majority of members, whichever is lesser, shall constitute a quorum at any Ward meeting.
Section IV. At every meeting of this organization, the Secretary shall note and record in a permanent record the presence of each member. Late arriving members, so requesting, may have their presence recorded.
Section V. The following shall be the Order of Business for every meeting of this organization:
- Calling of the meeting to order.
- Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
- Approval the minutes of the previous meeting.
- Reading of the Communications.
- Officers’ reports.
- Reports of Committees.
- Unfinished business.
- New business.
- Appointment of committees.
- Good of the Committee.
Section VI. Order of business may be suspended or adjusted to take up matters of importance upon a vote of two-thirds of those present and voting, except as otherwise provided for in these Bylaws.
ARTICLE IX—PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURES
On all points of procedure not covered by these Bylaws, the most recent revision of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern.
The Lowell Democratic City Committee as a body shall not endorse any candidate in any contested Democratic Primary election.