34th District Democrats Bylaws

    (Download the 2022 Adopted Bylaws – Clean)

    2022 Bylaws of the 34th District Democrats

    (As amended by the Executive Board on March 16, 2022, and adopted at the May 11, 2022 membership meeting of the 34th District Democrats.)


    The 34th District Democrats are committed to increasing political participation and civic engagement, educating voters, and advancing the Democratic values of our members and voters. 

    Article I: Policy

    Section 1. This organization shall be known as the 34th District Democrats.

    Section 2. In January of every odd-numbered year, this organization shall reorganize pursuant to the bylaws of the King County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC) and the Democratic Party of the State of Washington.

    Section 3. These bylaws are superseded by the bylaws of the entities listed in Section 2.

    Section 4. The governing principle of this organization which shall guide our policies and actions is to promote the ideas of the local members and voters of the Democratic Party, especially via the election of Democratic candidates who support these concepts, and/or the platforms of the county, state, and national Democratic Party. 

    Section 5. This organization shall support nominees of our party who qualify under the guidelines of these bylaws, and who merit it by their records and reputations. This organization may also endorse primary candidates.

    Article II: Membership and Voting

    Section 1. All 34th District Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) are voting members of this organization.

    Section 2. The election of PCOs is governed by the laws of Washington State and King County Elections. The appointment of PCOs is administered by the King County Democrats Central Committee.

    Section 3. Other residents of the 34th District are qualified to become voting members, provided that they:

    1. are legal residents of the 34th District;
    2. will publicly and truthfully declare themselves to be Democrats; and
    3. officially join the organization by submitting a membership form and pay any required dues.
      1.  Dues shall be paid annually and set by the Executive Board and ratified by a majority vote of the membership.
      2. Inability to pay dues shall not be a bar to membership in this organization.

    Section 4. “Member” means and includes any individual who:

    1. resides within the 34th Legislative District; 
    2. declares themselves to be a Democrat; and 
    3. has voluntarily submitted a membership form with or without dues, or is a PCO. 

    Section 5. “Non-Voting Member” means any individual who 

    1. declares themselves to be a Democrat; 
    2. has paid applicable dues but does not reside within the 34th Legislative District. 

    Section 6. Non-voting Members may participate in Meetings and other 34th District Democrats events but do not have the right to vote on any matter. Non-voting Members may speak at meetings, after being recognized, but may not make a motion.

    Section 7. Voting on matters brought before the organization, unless otherwise specified in the bylaws (e.g. endorsements, resolutions), will be by voice vote, show of credentials, online ballot with required authentication, or written ballot, at the discretion of the Chair. Any member may, after a voice vote, demand a vote by show of credentials.

    1. Proxy votes or absentee ballots are not acceptable for conducting any business of this organization.

    Section 8. The membership year shall be from January 1 through December 31.

    Section 9. Members shall not use any title of office or identify themselves as representing the 34th District Democrats unless authorized by the Membership or the Executive Board. 

    Section 10. The Members approved the adoption of the 34th District Democrats Code of Conduct on October 14, 2020.  The current Code of Conduct document is made available for public viewing at https://34dems.org/34th-ld-code-of-conduct/.

    Article III: Precinct Committee Officers

    Section 1. “Elected PCO” means an individual who is elected to the office of Precinct Committee Officer pursuant to RCW 29A.80.041. 

    Section 2. “Appointed PCO” means an individual who is appointed to the office of Precinct Committee Officer pursuant to RCW 29A.28.071. Except as may be otherwise provided in these bylaws, Appointed PCOs have the same rights and responsibilities as Elected PCOs, and the term PCO refers to both. 

    Section 3. The County Chair shall appoint Appointed PCOs as provided by state law and the bylaws of the KCDCC. 

    Section 4. The Chair shall recommend individuals to the County Chair for appointment as Appointed PCO for vacant precincts. The Chair shall not recommend any individual for appointment unless that individual has been approved by a majority of the PCOs present and voting at a meeting, not counting abstentions. The name of any such individuals must be published at least ten (10) days before the meeting at which approval is sought. The Chair shall submit approved recommendations to the County Chair within fifteen (15) days of approval. 

    Section 5. No PCOs may be recommended to the County Chair or appointed between the certification of the general election in even-numbered years and the reorganization meeting following the general election. 

    Section 6. The term of an Elected PCO begins December 1st of the year they are elected and ends December 1st of the next even-numbered year. The term of an Appointed PCO begins when the County Chair signs the appointment and ends December 1st of the next even-numbered year. 

    Section 7. “Precinct Coordinator” means an individual who performs some of the functions of a PCO, such as “get out the vote” activities, in a precinct:

    1. that does not have an Elected PCO or an Appointed PCO; and 
    2. in which the individual does not reside. 

    The Chair shall appoint Precinct Coordinators, subject to approval by the Membership. An individual ceases to be a Precinct Coordinator upon the election of an Elected PCO or the appointment of an Appointed PCO for that precinct but may be reassigned to another precinct that has no PCO. All Precinct Coordinator appointments end December 1st of even-numbered years. 

    Section 8. A precinct is deemed vacant if the PCO:

    1. dies; 
    2. resigns from office; 
    3. ceases to be a registered voter; or 
    4. ceases to reside in the precinct from which the PCO was elected or appointed. The Chair shall notify the membership of any vacancies that occur.

    Section 9. Precinct Committee Officer vacancies may be filled via a majority vote of eligible PCOs present and voting. Twenty (20) PCOs or twenty (20) percent of eligible PCOs, whichever is fewer, shall constitute a quorum sufficient to approve new PCOs.

    Section 10. Use of the District PCO and Membership Lists. The 34th District Democrats organization respects the privacy of its membership. There are, however, uses of membership information that further the goals of the membership and the organization. To this end, the following policies shall guide the release of membership information:

    1. A PCO list, which contains information that is public record, shall be available upon request to a District PCO without charge.
    2. PCO list, which contains information that is public record, shall be available upon request to an endorsed candidate or endorsed issue campaign without charge.
    3. A District member list, which is a list of PCOs and individuals who have paid dues to the organization, shall be available to an endorsed candidate or campaign.
    4. The executive board, by a two-thirds vote, may release the member list to 34th District legislators or other elected officials known to be Democrats.
    5. A list of PCOs and members who are eligible voters shall be available to any member running for a position on the Board, or any member seeking appointment to the Legislature.
    6. Added by Amendment at the May 13, 2009 District Meeting: “To foster community and enhance grassroots political organizing, all members are entitled to and will have access to the membership list for non-commercial use upon a two-thirds vote by the Board.”

    The basic member information available on the list will be the name, precinct represented if a PCO, address, phone, and email address if available.

    Article IV: Meetings

    Section 1. Membership meetings shall be held each month on a set day established by the Executive Board.

    Section 2. A meeting shall be duly authorized when notice has been provided to the members of the date, time, location, and purpose of the meeting at least 10 days in advance. The notice must be provided by electronic mail or another method of communication used by the organization including but not limited to the monthly newsletter, website, or calendar.

    Section 3. A quorum shall consist of 20 voting members, or 20 percent of the voting membership, whichever is less.

    Section 4. Executive Board meetings shall be held each month, and the membership shall be notified of the date, time, and location. A quorum shall consist of five Executive Board members, and a special Executive Board meeting may be called by a majority of Board members. Only Executive Board members are eligible to vote at Executive Board Meetings.

    Section 5. A special membership meeting may be called for a specific purpose(s) by written request of 25 voting members, or a majority of the Executive Board. Special meetings are subject to these bylaws.

    Section 6. All meetings of this organization shall be open to the membership.

    Section 7. All vote tallies shall be based on voting members physically present and voting on the action, motion, endorsement, resolution, or question presented to the membership for a vote.

    Article V: Remote Participation

    Section 1. The Executive Board may propose Standing Rules for Remote Participation, regulating the use of teleconferencing, video conferencing, and communications technology for the purpose of enabling remote participation at 34th District Democrats events. 

    Section 2. Standing Rules for Remote Participation shall define the conditions under which a remote participant not physically present at the meeting shall be considered “present” for the purposes of determining a quorum. 

    Section 3. Standing Rules for Remote Participation may permit remote participation experiences that are limited or enable a reduced participatory experience with respect to that available to members physically present at the event. Remote participation systems permitted under Standing Rules for Remote Participation shall inform users of any limitations, shortcomings, or substantial differences in experience prior to their use of the system. 

    Section 4. Standing Rules for Remote Participation shall be adopted upon a majority vote of members present and voting. 

    Article VI: Executive Board

    Section 1. The Executive Board (“Board”) shall consist of the elected officers, the elected state and county delegates, the elected county alternate delegates, the appointed Parliamentarian, and the appointed Standing Committee Chairs.

    Section 2. The elected officers shall be elected at the biennial reorganization meeting in January by a majority of the eligible voters present and voting. Only PCOs are eligible to vote for Chair, Vice Chairs, delegates, and alternates. All voting members may cast votes for Treasurer and Secretary. All elections shall be conducted for one office at a time.

    Section 3. Delegates and alternates shall be elected in accordance with the state and county bylaws, including the designated divisions by gender.

    Section 4. The Parliamentarian shall be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Chair.

    Section 5. Members of the Board shall serve beginning with their election or appointment and until the biennial reorganization meeting, resignation, or removal from office.

    Section 6. Officers elected at reorganization time may be removed from office for just cause, provided that:

    1. The Chair receives and validates a written petition signed by 20 PCOs that lists specific charges and asks for removal;
    2. The membership is given 30 days notice in writing of the pending vote; and
    3. that a Majority of the PCOs present (elected and appointed) approve the removal. The Officer so removed shall be notified by mail of this action if the person is not present for the vote results.

    Section 7. Standing Committee Chairs or Membership Policy Caucus Leads may be removed by the Chair but that removal has to be confirmed by a majority of the membership at the next meeting.

    Section 8. Removal of District Chair: The legislative district Chair may be removed only by the majority vote of the elected Precinct Committee Officers in the Chair’s district (as per RCW 29A.80.061).

    Section 9. Should any board member miss 3 or more consecutive board or membership meetings, the Chair may deem the office ‘vacant’ given that the board member is notified in writing. Such a vacancy would be filled by manner of Article VII. 

    Section 10. The Board may propose and/or recommend an annual budget, policies, resolutions, and endorsements to the membership.

    Section 11. The Board is authorized to conduct business either at its regular monthly meeting or via electronic means, e.g. Zoom, Slack, or other digital communications tool, or electronic mail, at the discretion of the Chair. The Secretary shall archive copies of decisions made by electronic mail, for example, by including the text of such messages in the minutes of monthly Board meetings or other appropriate means.

    Article VII: Executive Board Election, Terms, and Vacancies

    Section 1. Only elected PCOs may vote on the election of Chair, Vice Chairs, State Committee Members, KCDCC Representatives, and KCDCC Alternates. 

    Section 2. All members may vote on the election or appointment of any Executive Board Member not specified in Section 1. 

    Section 3. All elections shall be conducted for one office at a time.

    Section 4. Officers shall be elected by a majority of eligible voters present and voting, not counting abstentions. If no individual receives a majority in a round of voting, the individual receiving the fewest votes shall be eliminated from consideration in the next round of voting. In case of a tie for fewest votes, there shall be a run-off among those with the lowest vote total, eliminating the candidate receiving the lowest total in the runoff. Voting continues until an individual is elected. In the case of contested elections, voting is conducted by signed ballot but subject to remote participation practices as outlined in the standing rules. 

    Section 5. Elections and appointment votes for Executive Board positions shall be held at the Reorganization Meeting or at a Regular Meeting as necessary to fill a vacancy. When a vote is to be held at a Regular Meeting, notice must be published at least ten (10) days before the meeting. 

    Section 6. Each Officer shall serve until the earliest of 

    1. the next Reorganization Meeting,
    2. the Officer’s resignation, or
    3. the Officer’s removal from office. 

    Section 7. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Chair, the First Vice Chair shall act as interim Chair. If the First Vice Chair position is also vacant, the Second Vice Chair shall act as interim Chair. If the Second Vice Chair position is also vacant, the Officers shall elect by majority vote a current Officer to act as interim Chair. The interim Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair until the election of a new Chair. Election of a new Chair shall take place at a regular meeting no more than 45 days after the resignation of the Chair. If a vacancy occurs after September 1 of an even-numbered year, the Vice Chair may act as interim Chair until the reorganization meeting.

    1. Following a vacancy in an Officer position, the Chair shall arrange for the position to be filled by election or approval vote conducted pursuant to this article.

    Article VIII: Officers

    Section 1. The Chair:

    1. Leads the Board, presides over all meetings, is the chief executive officer of the organization, is the spokesperson for the organization, is an ex-officio member of all committees, may appoint ad hoc committees and their chairs, delegates to other organizations deemed appropriate, and any other duties as implied by the title;
    2. Represents the district as a member of the KCDCC executive board; and
    3. The Chair of the organization shall appoint Standing Committee Chairs and Membership Policy Caucus Leads, which shall be confirmed by a majority vote of the members.
    4. Is authorized to declare vacant an office where the holder has failed to attend three consecutive membership and/or executive board meetings, provided that said board member has been notified in writing of the holder’s removal; and may accept a board member’s resignation.

    Section 2. The First Vice Chair: 

    Succeeds the Chair in the event of the Chair’s resignation or removal from office until a special election is held. The vacant office shall be filled as set forth herein at the next regular meeting following written notice to the membership. The acting Chair is eligible to be elected Chair at that time; and Presides over all meetings at the direction of, or absence by, the Chair; acts as a spokesperson for the organization at the direction of the Chair; provides any administrative duties as deemed appropriate by the Chair; serves as an alternate delegate for the Chair on the KCDCC Executive Board; and any other duties as implied by this title.

    Section 3. The Second Vice Chair becomes the First Vice Chair in the event the First Vice Chair becomes the Chair;  performs any administrative duties deemed appropriate by the Chair, and any other duties as implied by this title.

    Section 4. The Secretary is responsible for the minutes, any administrative duty deemed appropriate by the Chair, and any other duties implied by this title.

    Section 5. The Treasurer is the chief financial officer of the organization and shall receive and disburse all funds of the organization, shall maintain proper financial records, including the filing of PDC reports, submitting a financial report each month for distribution to the membership, and submitting an annual financial report in a timely fashion, for distribution to the membership.

    1. The organization may hire a paid Deputy Treasurer to handle PDC reporting duties. This contractor will act in partnership with the Treasurer and Chair. 

    Article IX: Committees

    Section 1. The standing committees and membership policy caucuses shall be specified in the Standing Rules of the Board.

    Article X: Endorsements

    Section 1. This organization may choose to endorse a Democratic candidate for any public office. This organization may endorse candidates of judicial races. This organization may also endorse ballot measures or referenda or initiatives or signature campaigns.

    Section 2. The organization has adopted an addendum to the Bylaws, titled “Bylaws Addendum I: Endorsements”, which provides all relevant details regarding the process of endorsement.

    Article XI: Resolutions

    Section 1. Resolutions for consideration by the 34th District Democrats must be submitted by email or in writing to the Executive Board member responsible for resolutions as designated by the Chair. Resolutions must be sponsored by a voting member of the organization. Resolutions will be brought before the membership at the meeting deemed appropriate by the Chair. The Board will first consider the Resolution prior to bringing it to the membership. The Board may then:

    1. Recommend consideration of the resolution, inclusive of any changes desired by the Board, to membership;
    2. Recommend approval to membership, inclusive of any changes desired by the Board;
    3. Recommend disapproval of the resolution;
    4. Refer the resolution back to its maker; or
    5. Choose no action on the proposed resolution.

    Section 2. For adoption, proposed resolutions must be properly submitted and receive a simple majority vote (50% plus one) of the members present and voting.

    Section 3. If a resolution involves an issue or activity of a Membership Policy Caucus or Standing Committee, the Board, or the Chair, may forward the resolution to the Committee for comment and/or clarification prior to the 34th District meeting at which it will be considered. The Chair may also create an ad hoc committee to research, comment, or clarify the resolution.

    Section 4. Resolutions shall be published or summarized for the membership at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting at which they will be considered.

    Section 5. With the exception of a proposed Censure Resolution as defined in Section 6 below, the requirement in Section 1 for written submission of a proposed resolution to the Board may be suspended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the membership present and voting at any regular meeting. All such proposed resolutions must be submitted to the Chair in writing with the name of the proponent on the proposed resolution. Resolutions adopted in accordance with this section must be published or summarized in the next newsletter or on the website.

    Section 6. Censure shall be defined to be an official public statement by the organization disapproving the conduct of a member, officer of the organization, Party official, elected official, or candidate seeking Democratic endorsement or public office. Censure shall be by resolution and shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present and voting for passage. Separate written notice shall be given to any person subject to censure at least 10 days prior to the meeting at which the censure will be considered and that person shall be given an equal opportunity to respond to the membership. Prior to the meeting at which the censure will be considered, the Board may investigate the facts of the case and may make a recommendation to the members on whether to approve or reject the censure.

    Section 7. Prior to the members voting on a proposed resolution, the Chair will first recognize the proponent of the proposed resolution. Speakers will alternate con and pro thereafter, with the maximum time allotted to each speaker to not exceed two minutes. The maximum number of speaker slots will be a total of four (2 pro and 2 con).

    Section 8. The voting process is at the discretion of the Chair. Voting shall be in accordance with remote participation as outlined in the organization’s Standing Rules. 

    Article XII:  Declarations Regarding Legislative Bills

    Section 1. A caucus may approve a Declaration of Support for, or a Declaration of Opposition to, a bill introduced before a city council within King County, the King County Council, the Washington State Legislature, or the US Congress.

    1. A simple majority vote of the caucus will be needed for approval. In caucuses of less than three people, a majority vote of the Executive Board would be required.

    Section 2. Declaration of support or opposition must be in keeping with membership-adopted resolutions and/or current platform. If a declaration meets these criteria, it may be deemed as supported by the 34th District Democrats. 

    Section 3. Declarations taken by a caucus must be published within ten (10) days of initial caucus action. If a declaration meets these criteria, it may be deemed as supported by the 34th District Democrats. 

    Article XIII: Budget and Expenditures

    Section 1. The Board shall submit a budget to the membership for adoption and set the proposed agenda for meetings.

    Section 2. This Organization shall maintain one non-tax-exempt bank account which shall comply with the PDC reporting requirements.

    Section 3. All income shall be deposited into the non-tax-exempt account.

    Section 4. Expenses of the Organization: All expenses for normal operations, party-building, get-out-the-vote activities, and direct campaign contributions may be paid from the non-tax-exempt account.

    1. Candidate or ballot issue contributions, including the specific dollar amount, must be approved by a majority of Organization members.
    2. Organization endorsement of a candidate or issue shall be a prerequisite for contributions.

    Article XIV: Amendments to the Bylaws

    Section 1. These bylaws may be amended at any membership meeting by a two-thirds vote of elected and appointed PCOs, but not including precinct coordinators. Notice of the proposed amendment shall be provided in accordance with Article III, Section 2.

    Article XV: Parliamentary Authority

    Section 1. Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern this organization, except where otherwise provided.

    Bylaws were amended by the Executive Board on March 16, 2022, and adopted at the May 11, 2022 membership meeting of the 34th District Democrats.