By-Laws

CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY
ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER CAUCUS
BYLAWS

Last Amended July 13, 2018

Current California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islanders Caucus Bylaws

Previous Bylaws Amended November 23, 2013

ARTICLE I. NAME AND PURPOSE

Section 1. Name

A. The name of this organization shall be the California Democratic Party (CDP) Asian Pacific Islander (API) Caucus hereinafter referred to as the “Caucus.”

B. The Caucus does not discriminate on the grounds of the race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or persons with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or economic status.

Section 2. Purpose

Consistent with the Bylaws of the California Democratic Party, the Caucus will, on behalf of the Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander origin, strive to:

A. Act as a vehicle to disseminate Democratic Party values and implement policies of the Party in the Asian Pacific Islander American communities;

B. Provide a forum to address political concerns of Asian Pacific Islander Americans;

C. Enhance visibility of Asian Pacific Islander Americans;

D. Promote participation and representation of its members in the legislative executive, judicial and political process of California;

E. Recruit, train and support candidates of Asian and Pacific Island origin to run for public office.

Section 3. Regions

A. The Southern Region shall be comprised of counties of Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Barbara and Ventura.

B. The counties in California not included in the Southern Region shall comprise the Northern Region.

Section 4. Organization

A. The Caucus recognizes obligations under CDP Bylaws Article XI. The Caucus is the official arm of the CDP representing the interests of Democrats of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) origin in the State of California. It was formed to foster participation in the policy decisions and the outreach programs of the Party in the diverse API communities. The Caucus is certified under CDP Bylaws Article XI SECTION 4.

B. Any issues not specifically covered by these bylaws shall be governed by the bylaws of the California Democratic Party. In case of conflict in the bylaws, the CDP bylaws will be the governing document.

C. The Caucus specifically recognizes its obligations to adhere to the General Provisions of the CDP Bylaws.

ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Membership Eligibility

A. Full Member – All registered Democrats who support the purpose of the Caucus are eligible for membership and full voting rights are extended to all persons who meets the voting requirements of a full member.

B. Associate Member – All persons who support the purpose of the Caucus are ineligible to register as Democrats, but have expressed an intent to register as a Democrat upon becoming eligible, are eligible for associate membership.

C. Dues – The Executive Board shall set dues and dues payment deadline yearly.

D. A waiver of membership dues will be provided based on economic hardship or objective impediment to the payment of dues in a manner that guarantees membership on an equal of nondiscriminatory basis. There is no dues waiver process – any person who self-identifies as being unable to pay dues and requests a dues waiver shall receive a dues waiver by the applicable dues deadline set by the Executive Board.

E. All members and member applicants shall be treated on an equal and nondiscriminatory basis.

F. The Fiscal Year for the Caucus begins at the end of the annual CDP Convention.

Section 2. Voting

A. All Full Members in good standing have full voting privileges. A person must be a member for at 30 days prior to Caucus election to be eligible to participate in the election of officers, including voting and running for Caucus office.

B. All Associate Members in good standing are entitled to the same voting privileges as full members with the following exceptions: Associate Members may not vote for officers in the Caucus elections occurring in Biennial State Conventions and may not run for elected offices of the Caucus.

C. Members who have paid their annual dues are in good standing.

ARTICLE III. MEETINGS

Section 1. Regular Meetings

The Caucus shall convene in regular meetings at the time and place where the meetings of the Executive Board of Democratic State Central Committee are being held and at the State Conventions.

Section 2. Special Meetings

Special meeting may be called in the following manner:

A. Upon call of the Caucus Chair;

B. Upon call of the Caucus Chair within fifteen (15) days following her/his receipt of a written request signed by 20% of the voting members of the Caucus; or

C. Upon call of the Caucus Executive Board.

Section 3. Meeting Rules And Procedures

All meetings shall be conducted in compliance with the latest version of the Robert’s Rules of Order except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws as interpreted by the Rules Chair or the Chair with the assistance of the Rules Chair.

Section 4. Notices

A. Notice of regular and special meetings of the Caucus shall be sent by the Caucus State Secretary and/or the Regional Secretaries at least ten (10) days prior to the convening of each meeting by U.S. Mail, email, and/or all available forms of communication. Timely notices shall adhere to the requirements in Article VIII of CDP Bylaws.

B. If, upon good cause, the time is shortened, notice may be given by phone, email and/or all available forms of communication including posting on the Caucus website at least three days prior to the meeting.

C. All public meetings of the Caucus are open to all registered Democrats.

D. Meetings and notices shall adhere to the CDP Rules Committee policy statement on Open Meeting Rules.

Section 5. Quorum

A. Twenty (20) percent of the paid members of the Caucus shall constitute a quorum for a general meeting at the State Convention.

B. A majority of the Executive Board members shall constitute a quorum at Executive Board meetings.

ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS

Section 1. Officers

The officers of this organization shall be a State Chair; State Treasurer; Northern Chair; Southern Chair; Northern Vice Chair; Southern Vice Chair; State Secretary; Northern Secretary; Southern Secretary; Northern Outreach Chair; Southern Outreach Chair. These officers will constitute the Executive Board.

Section 2. Statewide Officers

The statewide officers are elected by the statewide Caucus membership.

Section 3. Regional Officers

The Northern Region and Southern Region officers are elected by the Caucus membership.

Section 4. Duties and Responsibilities of Officers

A. The State Chair shall be the principal executive officer and spokesperson of the Caucus. She/he shall do everything necessary to carry into effect the purposes of this organization and serve as the CDP Executive Board representative per CDP Bylaws. He/she shall fulfill the duties required of a CDP Executive Board Representative. As such, the State Chair must be a member of the Democratic State Central Committee.

B. The Northern Chair shall be the principal executive officer and spokesperson of the Northern Region and its Executive Board. She/he will report to the State Chair. It is the intent of this Caucus to allow broad authority to the Northern Chair to carry out the goals in his/her region.

C. The Southern Chair shall be the principal executive officer and spokesperson of the Southern Region and its Executive Board. She/he will report to the State Chair. It is the intent of this Caucus to allow broad authority to the Southern Chair to carry out the goals of Caucus in his/her region.

D. The Northern Vice Chair shall do everything necessary to assist the Northern Chair in performance of her/his duties in their region.

E. The Southern Vice Chair shall do everything necessary to assist the Southern Chairperson in performance of her/his duties in their region.

F. The State Secretary shall maintain all records of the Caucus, and shall keep the most current record of the membership roster, as provided and maintained by the State Treasurer or his or her designee

G. The Northern Secretary shall assist the State Secretary in maintaining records and serving required notices for the Northern Region.

H. The Southern Secretary shall assist the State Secretary in maintaining records and required notices for the Southern Region.

I. The State Treasurer shall take custody of funds. She/he shall deposit funds in the Caucus account. She/he shall make reports at each regular meeting of the organization and receipts. She/he shall file quarterly financial reports with the California Democratic Party as required.

J. The Northern Outreach Chair shall oversee activities of the Development, Education, and Membership Committee with respect to the Northern Region.

K. The Southern Outreach Chair shall oversee activities of the Development, Education, and Membership Committee with respect to the Southern Region.

Section 5. Election of Officers

A. All elected officers shall be elected before the conclusion of the CDP State Convention in odd-numbered years.

B. A candidate for office must be a full member of the Caucus in good standing for at least 30 days prior to the election.

C. All officers shall be elected by a majority of those present and voting.

D. All members and candidates will be treated on an equal and nondiscriminatory basis for purpose of voting or seeking office in Caucus elections

E. Elections of officers according to the following procedure:

  1. Members eligible to participate in the election of officers shall be credentialed with a voting card at Caucus meeting registration at which the election is held. Registration shall begin no later than 10 minutes prior to the posted start time of the Caucus meeting according to the Caucus agenda for that meeting.  Registration shall close at the start of the election of officers.  A credential report shall be given by the Caucus State Secretary prior to the start of the election of officers.
  2. The Caucus Chair shall designate a Caucus officer or a Caucus member as presiding officer of Caucus elections, hereinafter referred to as the election presiding officer, at least 30 days prior to the election of officers. The election presiding officer may designate volunteers to assist with the election process. Neither the election presiding officer nor the volunteers may be candidates up for election of officers.
  3. The Caucus State Secretary shall transmit the most current Caucus membership list, including information on voting eligibility, at least 21 days prior to the election of officers.
  4. At the start of the election, nominations shall be taken from the floor for each office being considered for election. The election presiding officer shall ask for nomination three times for each office before closing nomination for that office. Nominations may be taken from any member of the body or from the candidate his/herself present at the meeting at which the election is held. The candidate must indicate acceptance of the nomination to be considered.
  5. The election presiding officer shall verify eligibility of each candidate at close of nominations. Eligibility is verified by consulting the most updated Caucus membership roster and, where applicable, the Democratic State Central Committee roster.
  6. Each candidate or their designated representative is allotted two minutes to speak to the voting body after the close of nominations of all offices being considered for election. After each candidate or their designated representative has been given the opportunity to speak, the election presiding officer will call for a vote.
  7. Voting shall be conducted by a show of voting cards and counted by the election presiding officer and/or the presiding election officer’s designated volunteers. The election presiding officer is responsible for keeping all voting records, including vote tallies, during the election. Such records shall be given to the Caucus State Secretary for record keeping and available for review by interested parties following the election. The record shall be retained for the duration of the Caucus term of office.
  8. Any member eligible to vote in the officer elections may request that voting be conducted by ballot. No secret ballot is allowed.
  9. Provisional voting cards (or ballots) in a color other than regular voting cards shall be issued to any person if the person reasonably believes that he/she is eligible to vote in the election of officers. The election presiding officer or designated volunteers shall maintain a list of persons who request to vote provisionally.
  10. Votes will be counted with provisional votes and without provisional votes. A list of provisional voters will be made available to the election presiding officer and the membership to ensure transparency.
  11. In the event no candidate receives the majority of the votes cast, the top two vote-getting candidates who receives the most votes shall remain for a second vote. A second vote shall be taken with the names of these top two-voting getting candidates.

E. Candidate for Chair of the Caucus must be a member of the Democratic State Central

F. Committee and a full member of the Caucus in good standing.

G. Candidates for any office are prohibited from speaking about their campaign or candidacy in their official capacity as a Caucus officer during official Caucus business, except for during the election process when called upon by the officer presiding over the election.

H. All candidates interested in seeking Caucus office may request access to the same Caucus membership list, including information on voter eligibility, from the election presiding officer, beginning 21 days prior to the election. The request shall be made in writing.

I. The Caucus Chair shall designate a Caucus Election Appeals Committee, comprised of the election presiding officer and two additional Caucus members not standing for officer elections, at least 30 days prior to the election of officers. The Caucus Election Appeals Committee, chaired by the election presiding officer, is authorized to resolve any disputes concerning election of officers.

  1. Disputes from the election shall be made during the Caucus meeting at which the election is held. The Caucus Election Appeals Committee shall consider and determine the dispute(s) within 5 days from the date of the dispute.The Caucus Election Appeals Committee may meet by telephone or other means of electronic communication for any action. The final determination shall be made in writing and shall be made available publicly.
  1. The Caucus Election Appeals Committee may work with CDP Leadership, the CDP Rules Committee, the CDP Credentials Committee, the CDP Staff to resolve disputes, as needed.

 

Section 6. Terms of Office

A. The term of office shall be two years or until a successor is elected, except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws.

Section 7. Vacant Office

A. Vacancy in any office shall be filled by special election only in cases where the unexpired term in question exceeds six months.

B. In cases where the unexpired term equals six months or less, a vacancy of the office in question shall be filled by appointment of the Chair and approved by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Board.

C. In cases where unexpired terms equal six months or less, a vacancy of an officers shall be filled by appointment of the affected Executive Board.

ARTICLE V. REMOVAL OF OFFICERS

Section 1. Removal for Cause

An officer of this organization may be removed from office for cause – that is, misconduct or neglect of duty in office.

A. At least 20 members of the Caucus must sign and submit to the Caucus State Secretary and the Chair a written Statement of Charges containing the grounds for removal.

B. The Caucus State Secretary and the Chair, upon receipt of the Statement of Charges, must send a letter to the accused officer by registered mail and email: a copy of the Statement of Charges and a letter stating that the accused officer may either resign or have a hearing by way of motion for removal at the next meeting of the Caucus;

C. If the accused officer does not resign, the Caucus State Secretary shall send a copy of the Statement of Charges to all members of the Caucus along with the notice for the next meeting of the Caucus; and

D. At said next meeting of the Caucus, the accused officer(s) shall be afforded an opportunity to respond to the charge. After such hearing, upon motion for removal made by one of the signatories to the Statement of Charges, the accused officer may be removed by two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members present and voting.

E. In the event the Chair and/or Caucus State Secretary are charged with accusations, the responsibilities of officer removal will fall on the next Executive Board Member.

ARTICLE VII. STANDING COMMITTEES

Section 1. Standing Committees

The following Standing Committees shall be established: Candidate Development; Events, Diversity & Outreach; Election Protection; Legislative Action; Rules; Resolution; Education & Membership; and Voter Registration;

Section 2. Standing Committee Chairs

The State Chair shall appoint chairs of the Standing Committee with the consent of the Executive Board.

Section 3. Standing Committee Members

Any Caucus member in good standing who wishes to serve on a Standing Committee who have not been so appointed may be appointed by the State Chair. Additionally, each elected Caucus officer may appoint one Caucus member to each Standing Committee.

Section 4. Standing Committee Responsibilities

A. Candidate Development – Assist in identifying, recruiting, and/or training potential candidates for federal, state, or local offices to build the Democratic Party and the Asian Pacific Islander community; assist in conducting trainings on Democratic Party endorsement process, including local party processes.

B. Diversity & Outreach – Work with community organizations to create community service opportunities for Caucus members; serve as liaison to Democratic Party organizations and allied organizations.

C. Election Protection – Serve as an oversight and advisory body on election integrity, voter rights, and voter protection issues in the Asian Pacific Islander community.

D. Legislative Action – Work with legislators and legislative offices to conduct research, analyses, and deliberations on legislation to create a list of recommended priority legislation for Caucus consideration; advocate on behalf of Caucus-supported legislation and CDP-endorsed legislation.

E. Rules – Serve as the authority on the bylaws and rules governing the Caucus; consider and present recommendations on bylaws amendments for consideration.

F. Resolutions – Conduct research, analyses, hearings, and deliberations on resolutions submitted to the Caucus; present recommendations on resolutions for Caucus consideration.

G. Education & Membership – Develop special programs on topical Asian Pacific Islander issues or other issues for Caucus meetings and events, such as speakers or issue presentations; work with other committees to expand membership.

H. Voter Registration – Creates and implements voter registration strategic plan; conduct voter registration at special events, including naturalization ceremonies.

Section 5. Ex-Officio Membership

The State Chair of the Caucus shall be an ex-officio member of all standing committees.

Section 6. Standing Committee Meetings

Each standing committee shall meet at the regularly scheduled Caucus meetings or at the call of their respective Chairs.

ARTICLE VIII. EXECUTIVE BOARD

There shall be a State Executive Board of this Caucus which shall have all at the powers and duties of the caucus when it is not in actual session/meeting.

Section 1. Membership

The Executive Board shall be composed of all current officers of the Caucus, the immediate past chair of the Caucus, and the chair of the standing committees. The State Chair shall be the Chair of the Executive Board.

Section 2. Meetings

The Executive Board shall convene regular meetings in person or via electronic means. In-person regular meetings shall be held alternately in region as such time and place as the State Chair may designate and/or may coincide with CDP Executive Board meetings.

Section 3. Special Meetings

Special meetings of the Executive Board may be called:

A. Upon the call of the State Chair and at such time and such place as she/he may designate; or

B. Upon call of the State Chair within 10 days following her/his receipt of written request signed by a majority of members of the Executive Board.

Section 4. Revenue

A. The Caucus shall not raise funds other than membership dues.

B. The Caucus may disburse funds only for standard or routine costs of regular meetings or Caucus administration in accordance with CDP Bylaws and CDP rules.

C. All Caucus funds shall be promptly accounted for, reflected in a quarterly financial report to the Treasurer of This Committee and processed according to rules promulgated by the CDP Finance Committee and reflected in the Caucus bylaws.

Section 5. Voting For Meetings Not Convened In-Person

The Executive Board may vote by voice vote telephonically or by electronic means for any meetings not convened in-person.

ARTICLE IX. BYLAWS AMENDMENTS

Section 1. Procedure

A. Any proposed amendment shall be presented to the Rules Committee in writing. The proposed amendment shall be presented by the Rules Committee at a subsequent Caucus meeting.

B. Notice of Bylaws amendments shall be given at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting at which the amendments will be considered.

C. An amendment shall be approved by an affirmative vote of two-thirds majority of the Caucus members present and voting.

D. Except as provided in these Bylaws, the latest version of the Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the Bylaws amendment procedure.

ARTICLE X. ENDORSEMENTS

Section 1. Endorsements

The Caucus shall follow the official CDP endorsements for federal and state public offices and propositions. The Caucus shall follow the official local County Democratic Central Committee endorsements for local public offices and local measures.

Bylaws last amended July 11, 2018
California Democratic Party Executive Board Meeting, Oakland

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