Richmond County Democratic Committee (RCDC) Bylaws
View bylaws in PDF here.
1.1 Organizational Name
1.1.1 The name of this organization shall be the Richmond County Democratic Committee, hereafter referred to as “the Committee” or “RCDC.” All members, officers, and subdivisions of the Committee are subject to these Bylaws and to the Charter and Bylaws of the State Committee of the Democratic Party of Georgia, hereafter referred to as the “State Committee” or “DPG,” and the Democratic National Committee, hereafter referred to as the “DNC.”
2.1 Duties of the Committee shall be:
2.1.1 To elect State Committee members in compliance with State Committee Bylaws, Article II, Section 1.
2.1.2 To determine Party Districts and Apportionment as directed by State Committee Bylaws, Article VII, Section 1, and to file changes with the State Party Chair and the Richmond County Board of Elections, if not provided first by the State Committee
2.1.3 To promote the development of Party organizations and activities 2.1.4 To seek and encourage qualified candidates for public office
2.1.5 To support Democratic nominees
2.1.6 To perform such primary and election functions as required by law 2.1.7 To maintain appropriate records
2.1.8 To promote and add logistical support to the State Affirmative Action Program 2.1.9 To raise funds for the above purposes, and
2.1.10 To perform such other duties as may be required by the State Committee.
Membership and Party Districts
3.1 County Apportionment Plan
3.1.1 District lines shall coincide with Richmond County Commission Districts 1 through 8 with 15 members elected from each Commission District for a total elected Committee membership of 120.
There will be 3 members in reserve from each district who may be kept in reserve for filling vacancies.
3.2 Challenges to the County Apportionment Plan
3.2.1 Challenges must be made in accordance with State Committee Bylaws Article VII, Section 2.
3.3 Members Qualifications
3.3.1 All members, including Ex Officio and Emeriti, must be registered to vote in Richmond County.
3.3.2 All members of the Committee will be registered electors of the Commission District from which they are elected.
3.3.3 All new members will complete an affidavit attesting that they are Democrats and will support the Democratic Party.
3.4 Designation of Posts and Terms
3.4.1 The Committee shall designate one half of the elected Committee Posts to be elected in Gubernatorial election years and one half to be elected in Presidential election years.
3.4.2 Committee members shall take office on the first day of the first month after their election.
3.4.3 Elected Committee members shall serve 4-year terms except where terms are affected by reapportionment, in which case all terms shall be terminated.
3.5 Election Procedure
3.5.1 Post-holders will be elected by party district caucus. The time, place, and method of the caucus shall be set by the Executive Committee.
3.5.2 Voters may only elect post-holders from their own commission district.
3.6 Ex Officio Members
3.6.1 The Committee shall also include as voting members, members of the State Committee, the Democratic National Committee, and the Congressional District Chair who reside in and are registered to vote in Richmond County.
3.6.2 Additional Ex Officio Members of the Committee, if applicable, shall be the elected Democratic officials residing in Richmond County.
3.6.3 One Ex Officio member representing any affiliate recognized by the DPG with a duly recognized chapter chartered in Richmond County may also be included.
3.7 Richmond County Board of Elections Members
3.7.1 The Board of Elections requires two Democratic representatives who are appointed by the Chair with the approval of the Executive Committee. The representatives serve a four-year term and can be reappointed for a second four-year term.
3.7.2 The Chairperson’s selection shall be announced to the RCDC at the next General Meeting.
3.7.3 Members selected to serve on the Richmond County Board of Elections shall be able to meet all the commitments and requirements to serve as a representative.
3.8 Emeritus Members
3.8.1 The Executive Committee may submit names of members who have longstanding active membership to the County Committee to be elected to Emeritus status. 3.8.2 Election to Emeritus status will be by simple majority of members present at the meeting in which the names are submitted.
3.8.3 Such Emeritus members shall be full voting members but shall be exempt from dues and any other obligations of Committee membership.
3.9.1 The Executive Committee is empowered to set reasonable dues for membership. 3.9.2 Dues shall be payable in January of each year.
3.9.3 No member will be denied participation for failure to pay membership dues.
3.10 Ineligibility of Membership
3.10.1 If post-holders move out of Richmond County, their post will be considered vacant. 3.10.2 If post-holders move to another commission district, their post will be considered vacant, but they may fill a vacancy in accordance with Article X of these Bylaws. 3.10.3 If post-holders are absent, without notice, from three consecutive general body meetings, the Membership Committee will send a letter requesting an update on their continuing membership, if a response is not received by the next general body meeting, their post will be considered vacant.
3.10.4 Any move must be reported within 60 days. The Membership Committee is required to maintain a system to monitor and assure membership status.
3.11 Caucus Groups
3.11.1 There shall be caucus groups as defined and recognized by the DPG and the Richmond County Democratic Committee.
3.11.2 Members may propose the formation of a caucus to the Executive Committee for approval.
3.11.3 The RCDC shall approve the establishment of a Caucus by a majority of votes at a Regular Meeting.
3.11.4 Each Caucus shall elect a Chair, a Vice-Chair, and a Secretary by the first meeting of the County Committee after its formation. Only members of the Caucus may vote or run for a Caucus office.
3.11.5 The Caucus groups fall under the direction and leadership of an assigned Vice Chairperson.
Election of Officers and Executive Committee Duties
4.1.1 The RCDC shall elect from its membership a Chairperson, five Vice Chairpersons, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. When possible, at least one of the Vice-Chairs shall be of the opposite gender of the Chair. The person receiving the majority of votes for election to an office shall be declared elected.
4.1.2 The RCDC shall elect officers no later than December 31 of even numbered years, to take office January 1 of the following year. The new chair shall, immediately upon taking office, notify the State Committee Chair and appropriate Congressional District Chair of the election.
4.1.3 The Officers shall serve 2-year terms.
4.2.1 The Chairperson will preside at all meetings and shall have general supervision of all the affairs of the Committee. The Chairperson may call meetings of the whole Committee or any Sub-committee, when required.
4.2.2 The Chairperson will be an Ex-Officio member of all standing committees. The Chairperson will exercise all and singular duties usually expected of a chief executive officer.
4.2.3 The Chairperson may establish any other committees as deemed necessary to conduct the business of the Party.
4.2.4 The Chair will appoint an Assistant Secretary, Assistant Treasurer, Parliamentarian, Chaplain, and Sergeant at Arms to assist the Executive Committee in its duties.
4.2.5 In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson will preside at the meetings in the following order: First Vice Chairperson, Second Vice Chairperson, Third Vice Chairperson, Fourth Vice Chairperson, and Fifth Vice Chairperson.
4.3.1 First Vice-Chairperson – Acts as Chairperson of the Finance Committee and has oversight responsibilities for the Ways and Means Committee. Is responsible for making sure a liability insurance policy is current to cover all Executive Committee members, if necessary.
4.3.2 Second Vice-Chairperson – Is responsible for making sure the Affirmative Action and Membership Committees are active and for Committee Members’ training and readiness. Will keep an accurate, updated list of all members in coordination with the Membership Committee. Acts as Chairperson of the Membership Committee. Will also keep records of the expiration of terms to include when someone is filling an unexpired term.
4.3.3 Third Vice-Chairperson – Is responsible for making sure the Political Action and Publicity/Public Relations Committees are active. Is responsible for brochures, leaflets, web and social media, and serves as Editor-In-Chief for contents. Serves as the Public Relations Officer.
4.3.4 Fourth-Vice Chair and Chair for Voters Registration, Participation, and Precinct Development – Is responsible for Get-Out-The-Vote Outreach and organizing in commission districts and precincts and candidate recruitment.
4.3.5 Fifth-Vice Chair for Events and Special Projects – Is responsible for organizing events, ensuring participation at community events, the monthly Leon Meyer breakfast, and the annual Walt Williams Appreciation Breakfast.
4.4.1 The Secretary will keep the minutes of all public business meetings of the RCDC and the Executive Committee.
4.4.2 Will provide a copy of RCDC’s minutes to members at regular meetings. 4.4.3 Will attend generally to the correspondence of the Committee. 4.4.4 Will attest the signature of the Chairperson on all credentials and certificates if required.
4.4.5 Will assist the Membership Chairperson in maintaining an accurate list of all members.
4.5 Assistant Secretary
4.5.1 Will assist the Secretary in any phase of duties as requested.
4.5.2 Will preside at the meetings in the absence of the Secretary.
4.6.1 Will issue receipts for all monies collected, make deposit of the same in the bank in Richmond County, Georgia, insured by the FDIC, to the credit of the RCDC account.
4.6.2 Checks will be issued only for a receipt showing the cost and purpose of the expenditure, with the proper signatures. Under normal conditions, all expenditures will be approved by the Executive Committee through a budgetary process. All expenditures above $500 will be approved by the County Committee.
4.6.3 If funds up to $1,000.00 are needed between meetings for emergencies, expenditures may be approved by the Chairperson and the Executive Committee.
4.6.4 The Treasurer is authorized to sign all checks. If for any reason, the Treasurer is unable to perform this duty, the following persons are authorized to sign checks: Assistant Treasurer, Chairperson, and First Vice-Chairperson. All expenses over $500 will require two signatures.
4.6.5 Financial reports, including bank statements, will be prepared and distributed to all Executive Committee members at their meetings. Oral reports shall be made to the General Committee from time to time. The Treasurer will serve as a member of the Finance Committee.
4.6.6 At the end of each term of office, there will be an audit conducted by the Finance Committee and a report made to the whole Committee. All records, transfer of funds, and supplies will be done with a smooth, expedient transition.
4.7 Assistant Treasurer
4.7.1 Will assist the Treasurer in any phase of duties as requested.
4.7.2 Will preside at the meetings in the absence of the Treasurer
4.7.3 Will serve as a member of the Finance Committee.
4.8.1 Ensures that all meetings are opened with appropriate interfaith readings and/or prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag.
4.9.1 Ensures that order is maintained at all meetings in accordance with the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
4.9.2 Ensures that Bylaws, Rules of Conduct, and other policies and procedures are executed in the manner specified.
4.10 Sergeant at Arms
4.10.1 Is responsible for maintaining security and decorum at all public meetings and special events. The Sergeant at Arms will aid in the organization of special events. 4.10.2 Along with the Chairperson, provide for outside enforcement and security if necessary.
4.10.3 Along with the Parliamentarian, ensures that Bylaws, Rules of Conduct, and other policies are executed in the manner specified.
4.11 Chairperson – Emeritus
4.11.1 Requires at least 8 years of consecutive service as the Chair of the Committee. 4.11.2 Is the most recent former Chairperson of the RCDC and will have all rights as a member in good status.
4.11.3 Acts in any capacity as set forth by the Chairperson, Executive Committee, and or the RCDC Committee.
4.11.4 Represents the Committee at all capacities as set forth by the Chairperson and or the Committee.
4.11.5 Is not subject to any attendance requirements.
4.11.6 In addition to the Chairperson, may serve on any local, regional, national, and state committees as deemed required for continuation.
4.11.7 Serves on the Publicity/Public Relations Committee.
4.12 The Executive Committee
4.12.1 The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the conduct of the affairs of RCDC in accordance with the policies of the State Committee and DNC. The Executive Committee shall establish its own rules and, when convened by the Chairperson, may meet, in person, by telephone, or by written note, including email and facsimile.
4.12.2 All unelected or otherwise appointed officers or positions of the Committee and all members of subcommittees shall serve at the pleasure of the Chairperson unless otherwise provided in these Bylaws.
5.1 Poll Officers
5.1.1 In accordance with Georgia Election Code and State Committee Bylaws, Article VII, Section 7, poll officers to conduct primaries and elections shall be recommended by the Chair to the Richmond County Board of Elections. 5.2 Poll Watchers
5.2.1 In accordance with Georgia Election Code and State Committee Bylaws, Article VII, Section 7, two official poll watchers may be designated by the Chair for each precinct for each election.
Committee Functions, Records and Certification
6.1 Maintaining Records
6.1.1 The Committee shall maintain records of all financial transactions, kept on a calendar year basis, and a list of unpaid obligations. Financial records shall be audited each year with a report provided to the Committee no later than the March meeting following the end of the organization year.
6.1.2 Reports of financial status will be made at each County Committee meeting. An annual report will be submitted to the State Democratic Party as well as the State Ethics Commission when required.
6.2 Filing of Records
6.2.1 The Committee shall report directly to the State Committee Chair and shall file as required, the documentation necessary to obtain and maintain certification by the State Committee. Such filing shall be in accordance with State Committee Bylaws, Article VII, Section 7.6.
6.2.2 The list of members, officers, and current Bylaws shall be filed with the Richmond County Board of Elections by January 31 of each year or following the elections of members and/or officers. Updated lists must be filed with the Richmond County Board of Elections within sixty (60) days.
6.2.3 Three copies of the Bylaws and Officers’ names will be delivered to the Board of Elections for its stamp. One copy will remain with the Board of Elections; one copy will remain with the County party; one copy will be filed with the State Party. An electronic copy featuring the stamp of the county Board of Elections will be forwarded to the Congressional District Chair.
Meetings and Voting
7.1 Meeting Requirements
7.1.1 The Executive Committee shall meet regularly at least once each quarter to establish an agenda for the regular Committee meeting and to transact other business in the Committee’s interest.
7.1.2 Regular Meetings. The Committee shall meet regularly at least once each quarter. 7.1.3 Special meetings may be called by the Committee Chair. Where or when meetings are not held in a previously designated time and place, all members shall be provided written notice at least 10 days in advance.
7.1.4 Emergency Meetings. Emergency meetings may be called within 5 days’ notice upon approval of the Executive Committee.
7.1.5 Quorum. A quorum for conduct of Committee business shall be at least 25 percent of the post-holders, unless otherwise required in these Bylaws.
7.1.6 Voting. No person shall be entitled to more than one vote. Voting by proxy is not permitted. Secret ballot shall be permissible only when electing Committee members and State Convention Delegates in accordance with State Committee Bylaws, Article 1, Section 4.
7.1.7 All meetings shall be open to the public unless the Committee votes to go into Executive Session as provided in State Committee Bylaws, Article I, Section 4. 7.1.8 Unless otherwise provided, Robert’s Rules of Order, most recently revised, shall govern the conduct of all meetings.
8.1 Commission Districts
8.1.1 Each Commission District (1-8) shall have a Commission District Captain, who shall be appointed by the Chairperson and serve at the pleasure of the Chairperson. 8.1.2 The Commission District Captains have responsibility for execution of the grassroots efforts within their own district. Responsibilities include conducting appropriate Voter Registration, Get Out the Vote events, assisting with candidate recruitment, filling post-seats, and community education and outreach, in consultation with the assigned Field Director of the State Committee. 8.1.3 The Commission District Captains shall chair their own Commission District Committees.
8.2 Standing Committees
8.2.1 The Committee shall provide for the following standing committees: Finance, Ways and Means, Membership, Affirmative Action, Publicity/Public Relations, Political Action, District and Precinct Development, Candidate Recruitment, and Events.
188.8.131.52 The Finance Committee shall have responsibility for creating an annual budget for RCDC and overseeing finances throughout the year.
184.108.40.206 The Ways and Means Committee shall have responsibility for raising funds for each year and seeking contributions to continue the work of RCDC.
220.127.116.11 The Membership Committee shall have responsibility for keeping an accurate list of members, addressing member complaints, benevolence for members’ health and welfare, and training members.
18.104.22.168 The Affirmative Action Committee shall have responsibility for ensuring compliance with DPG Bylaw 7.8.
22.214.171.124 The Publicity/Public Relations Committee shall have responsibility for communications with the public, management of web and social media, publicity, and community education.
126.96.36.199 The Political Action Committee shall have responsibility for organizing political action in favor of Democratic policies and outreach to community organizations and constituency groups.
188.8.131.52 The District and Precinct Development Committee shall have responsibility for get out-the-vote outreach, canvassing, and organizing in commission districts and precincts.
184.108.40.206 The Candidate Recruitment Committee shall have responsibility for vetting and recruiting Democratic and Democratic-leaning candidates for public office. 220.127.116.11 The Events Committee shall have responsibility for organizing events throughout the year and ensuring Committee participation and representation at community events and festivals.
8.3 Special Committees
8.3.1 The Committee shall provide for the following special committees: Walt Williams Appreciation Breakfast, Nominating, Bylaws, and Membership Judicial Review. 18.104.22.168 The Walt Williams Appreciation Breakfast Committee shall convene in the first quarter of each year to plan and conduct the annual Walt Williams Appreciation Breakfast.
22.214.171.124 The Nominating Committee shall convene in the fourth quarter of even-numbered years and shall consist of eight district representatives elected from each of the eight commission districts who shall have responsibility for reviewing applications to become an elected officer of RCDC and making recommendations of candidates to the county committee.
126.96.36.199 The Bylaws Committee shall consist of the eight Commission District Captains and shall have responsibility for updating and revising the Bylaws of RCDC when convened by the Chair with the concurrence of the Executive Committee.
188.8.131.52 The Membership Judicial Review Committee shall consist of the eight District Captains, the Parliamentarian, and the First Vice Chair, the latter will chair the committee. The RCDC Chair or the Executive Committee will request the meeting of the committee. The committee will report to the Executive Committee. No individual under investigation shall sit on the Membership Judicial Review Committee.
8.4 Ad Hoc Committees
8.4.1 The Chair and the Executive Committee shall establish Ad-Hoc committees as needed.
State Committee Membership
9.1 State Committee Membership Requirements
9.1.1 Regular members of the State Committee shall be elected by County Committee members. The number of members to be elected to the State Committee is according to the population and based upon a formula that is determined by the State Party.
9.1.2 A person does not have to be a member of the Committee to be elected to the State Committee, but they must be registered to vote in Richmond County.
9.1.3 State Committee members will be elected at either a regular meeting or one specifically called for this purpose.
9.1.4 The RCDC shall follow the rules and procedures of the Democratic Party of Georgia for electing State Committee Members.
9.1.5 Upon election, it is the responsibility of the State Committee member to attend all called meetings of the State Committee.
9.1.6 A State Committee member can be removed by the County Committee for cause in accordance with Article XI of these Bylaws.
9.1.7 All vacancies shall be filled by special election by the county committee members.
10.1 Procedure for Filling Vacancies
10.1.1 All vacancies in Committee posts or Officers may be filled by special election by the Committee for the remaining term of office.
10.1.2 Names of prospective Committee members or Officers shall be submitted in the form of a nomination to the Secretary.
10.1.3 Officer nominations will be evaluated by a three-person nominating committee appointed by the Chair. Officer nominees will be approved by the Executive Committee and voted on by the County Committee members. Candidates may also be nominated from the floor during a special Officer election.
10.1.4 Names of post-holder nominees shall be read at one meeting at which the nominees are in attendance and voted on at the next meeting of the Committee at which the nominees are in attendance by signed ballot. The Membership Committee shall review applications to fill post-holder vacancies. Applications shall then be submitted to the Executive Committee for final review.
11.1 Procedure for Removal
11.1.1 Committee members and Officers may be removed by the Committee for cause, with reasonable notice, and with the opportunity to be heard, by a 2/3 vote of the Committee. All Committee members and Officers subject to removal from office shall receive a written notice of the alleged reasons for removal.
11.1.2 The removal procedure shall be conducted by the Membership Judicial Review Committee as established in Section 8.3 of these Bylaws. The person subject to removal shall have the right to be informed of all persons who will witness against him/her and who will testify in support of the charges, at least 10 days before a hearing on said charges before the full Committee.
11.1.3 The person subject to removal shall have the right to counsel and to present witnesses, documents and arguments. The Committee shall be afforded the same right.
11.1.4 The RCDC Executive Committee, out of necessity, can bar a member from attending any meetings or organized functions until the Membership Judicial Review Committee concludes its process.
11.1.5 The RCDC Chairperson shall have the authority to eject and bar members from any meetings or proceedings when immediate actions are warranted based on the Current Edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
12.1 Reimbursement for Regular Meetings
12.1.1 No member of the Committee shall receive compensation for or be reimbursed for expenses in attending a regular or called Committee meeting.
Candidate Endorsements, Prohibitions and Contributions
13.1 Candidate Endorsements
13.1.1 The RCDC and its members in their official capacity are explicitly prohibited from supporting a Democratic candidate who has opposition during a primary or Democratic opposition during a special election. Nor shall any Party members use their office to support an opposed primary candidate or a candidate who has Democratic opposition in a special election.
13.1.2 The Committee is explicitly prohibited from supporting a Democratic candidate who has opposition in a primary or special election, nor shall members use their office to support an opposed primary or special election candidate.
13.1.3 No member shall publicly support another candidate other than the Democratic nominee in a General election; provided, however, nothing herein shall prevent any member from making any endorsement in a non-partisan election.
13.2.1 The endorsement of, support of, or contribution to a candidate of another party or to an opponent of the Democratic nominee may result in referral to the Membership Judicial Review Committee.
13.2.2 Any RCDC contributions made to a candidate who subsequently leaves the Democratic Party will be handled in accordance with State Committee Bylaws, Article I, Section 8.
14.1 Protection of Rights of the RCDC
14.1.1 There shall be no discrimination in the conduct of Committee affairs since sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, color, disability, national origin, or age.
14.1.2 Bullying is not tolerated at any meeting, event or function sponsored by the Committee or its representatives.
14.1.3 The Committee may, by majority vote, adopt policies and procedures which serve to clarify and do not conflict with these Bylaws.
15.1 Powers of the Democratic Party of Georgia
15.1.1 Any action by the Richmond County Democratic Committee (RCDC) may be reversed by a 2/3 majority vote of the membership of the State Executive Committee, in accordance with State Committee Bylaws Article VII, Section 14., of the DPG.
15.1.2 The State Committee is required to communicate with the RCDC Executive Committee regarding matters involving veto and organizational status.
16.1 Procedures for Amending Bylaws
16.1.1 RCDC members will be allowed at least ten (days) notices of proposed changes and revisions to the Bylaws.
16.1.2 These Bylaws may be amended at any Committee meeting. Voting on proposed changes or revisions may be conducted by 2/3 majority vote of a quorum. Amendments to the Bylaws shall not require that members of the RCDC or the officers, thereof, stand for election or re-election prior to the natural expiration of their terms. In addition, no elections for newly created officers need to be held until the next natural election time.
Approved by the Richmond County Democratic Committee (RCDC) on September 19th, 2019.