Select Page

The PCDP Bylaws

By-Laws of the PIMA COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY COMMITTEE as of December 7, 2019

ARTICLE I – GENERAL

  1.  MEMBERSHIP: The membership of the Pima County Democratic Committee, sometimes referred to herein as the “County Committee,” shall consist of all Democratic Precinct Comitteepersons serving in Pima County.
  2.  PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE: The organization, procedure, powers, and conduct of the affairs of the Pima County Democratic Committee shall be regulated and governed in order of authority and precedence by:
  1.  these By- Laws, insofar as said By-Laws are not in conflict with By-Laws of the Arizona State Democratic Committee or the laws of the State of Arizona, and
  2.  the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

ARTICLE II – PURPOSE

The purpose and objectives of the Pima County Democratic Committee shall be to foster, encourage, and promote the aims and objectives of the Democratic Party, and to aid in the election of Democratic candidates for public office, particularly in Pima County.

ARTICLE III – MEETINGS, NOTICE, PROXIES

  1. MEETINGS:
    1. Biennial Organizational Meeting: Biennial organizational meetings shall be held according to Arizona state law.
    2. Regular Meetings: At least one (1) regular meeting of the County Committee shall be held each calendar year.
    3. Special Meetings: Special meetings of the County Committee may be called at any time by the County Chair or upon written request of not less than twenty percent (20%) of the membership of the County Committee.
  2. NOTICE: The Chairperson of the County Committee shall cause notice of all meetings to be made digitally available, or if not, by mail, to each member of the County Committee, not less than ten (10) days prior to the date of the meeting for which the notice is being
    given, and notice shall include the time, place, and date of the meeting. Notice of a special meeting shall in addition state the purpose for which the meeting is called.
  3. PROXIES: Precinct Committeepersons prevented from attending for any reason shall be allowed proxies. Such proxies shall be allowed at all meetings of the County Committee, subject however to the requirement that they be carried only by a qualified elector of the
    Democratic Party of the same legislative district in which the absent member resides.
  4. QUORUM: Fifteen percent (15%) of the membership of the County Committee present in person or by proxy shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting official business at any meeting of the County Committee
  5. ELECTION AND VOTING PROCEDURES: Voting procedures for meetings of the Pima County Democratic Party Committee shall be contained in a “Manual of Voting Procedures” separate from these bylaws. These procedures shall be followed at all meetings of the full Committee. The procedures may be amended by a majority of Committee members present and voting, at any meeting of the full Pima County Democratic Committee, provided the amendment does not conflict with any other provision of these bylaws.

ARTICLE IV – OFFICERS

  1. OFFICERS ENUMERATED: The Officers of the Pima County Democratic Committee shall be a Chairperson, a First Vice-Chairperson, a Second Vice-Chairperson, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, and a Treasurer, all of whom must be Precinct Committeepersons at the time of their nomination and during their terms of office. Noofficer of the Pima County Democratic Party shall serve concurrently as an officer of any political action committee.
  2. ELECTIONS:
    1. Votes necessary; run-offs; valid ballot defined. Officers shall be elected by a secret ballot at a meeting of the County Committee. In order to be elected, a candidate must receive the affirmative vote of a majority of those members casting valid ballots in person or by proxy. Where there are more than two (2) candidates for one office and one candidate does not receive a majority of valid ballots cast for that office, there shall be run-off elections until one person receives a majority. The candidate receiving the fewest number of votes each time an additional vote is necessary shall be eliminated from subsequent ballots for that office. A valid ballot is one, which is neither blank nor spoiled. Election is final upon completion.
    2. Challenging election results. There shall be a period of five (5) working days in which a County Committee Officer’s election may be challenged in writing to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall resolve the challenge at its next meeting and its determination shall be final.
  3. TERM OF OFFICE: The term of office of all Officers shall be two (2) years beginning at the adjournment of the Biennial Meeting, or in the case of an Officer elected to fill a vacancy, the unexpired term of the office; or until his/her successor is elected or appointed.
  4. VACANCIES: Whenever a vacancy in any office of the Pima County Democratic Committee exists, an election shall be held at the next County Committee meeting held after the vacancy has occurred, except in the case of a vacancy in the office of Chair, in which case an election will be held within sixty (60) days of the time the vacancy occurred. The First Vice-Chair shall temporarily fill a vacancy in the office of Chair to ensure that County Committee business is taken care of in the absence of a permanent Chair. When a vacancy in any other office occurs, the Chair, or if the Chair has vacated the office, the First Vice-Chair may appoint a person from the County Committee to fill the office on a temporary basis. A person filling an office on a temporary basis, if not chosen from among the membership of the County Executive Committee as defined in Article V, shall have no vote on the Executive Committee.
  5. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE:
    1. Cause: Any elected officer of the Pima County Democratic Committee may be subject to removal from office for cause, including but not limited to:

       

      1. Public support of an opposition party candidate in a partisan election
      2. Malfeasance in office
      3. Failure to carry out the duties of the office
    2. Procedure:
      1. Officers other than the County Chair: Any officer other than the County Chair may be removed for cause by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the current membership of the Executive Committee. The vacancy shall be filled according to Article IV, Section D of these By-Laws.
      2. Removal of the County Chair: A County Chair may be removed by calling a Special Meeting of the County Committee as outlined in Article III, Section A, Paragraph 3, “Special Meetings.” If two-thirds (2/3) of the elected and appointed Precinct Committeepersons present and voting in person or by proxy, vote in favor of a motion to remove the County Chairperson, then the Chair shall be deemed vacant and a new Chair shall be elected immediately, following the procedures outlined in Article IV, Section B of these By-Laws.
      3. Resignation & leave of absence: An Officer who resigns shall create a vacancy which shall be filled according to the procedures of Article IV, Section D. An Officer who misses two (2) consecutive Executive Committee meetings shall be deemed to have resigned unless excused by a majority vote of the Executive Committee at the meeting missed or at the next subsequent meeting. No leave of absence shall be allowed except by majority vote of the Executive Committee, and in no case may such leave of absence exceed two (2) months duration.
  6. OFFICERS, DUTIES:
    1. County Chair: The County Chair shall preside at all meetings; make appointments to committees; make temporary appointments to offices which have been vacated, in accordance with Section D above; and generally do all and everything necessary to aid in the election of Democratic candidates, and to promote successful organization and operation of the Pima County Democratic Committee. The
      County Chair shall have the authority to hire staff for the Pima County Democratic Party. Such hiring shall be with the advice and consent of the Personnel Oversight Committee described in Art. VII(B). The County Chair shall direct the County bylaws to be reviewed and revised as needed, but in no event less often than every two years.

       

    2. Vice-Chairs: The Vice-Chairs shall act in the absence or disability of the Chair to ensure that County Committee and Executive Committee business is taken care of, and shall preside at meetings at which the Chair would normally preside. Both the First and Second Vice-Chairs shall assist in fund-raising, management of headquarters, public relations, and otherwise assist the Chair as requested and deemed appropriate.

       

    3. Recording Secretary: The Recording Secretary shall keep a record, including attendance, of all meetings of the County Executive Committee and of the County Committee and shall have custody of all records that traditionally pertain to the office. The Recording Secretary shall preside at meetings of the County Committee and the County Executive Committee in the absence or disability of the County Chair and Vice-Chairs.

       

    4. Corresponding Secretary: The Corresponding Secretary shall issue notices of all meetings, shall be responsible for communications between the County Committee and Executive Committee and their correspondents; shall supervise the compilation and reproduction of special mailings to the membership and other designated parties; shall maintain a complete and current record of the membership of the
      County Committee and the Executive Committee; and shall have other such duties as shall from time to time be assigned to him or her.

       

    5. Treasurer:
      1. The Treasurer shall have general supervision over the care and custody of the funds of the organization, and shall deposit or cause funds to be deposited in the name of the organization in such bank or account as the Executive Committee may designate; shall keep full and accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements, which accounts shall be open to the inspection of any member of the County Committee upon reasonable notice.

         

      2. The Treasurer is responsible for ensuring that accurate and timely financial reporting, as mandated by state and county regulations, are made at the requisite intervals. The Treasurer shall ensure that all campaign finance reporting laws and regulations that apply to The Party are obeyed when receiving contributions and making disbursements.

         

      3. The Party may obtain and use a debit card, savings account, and checking account.

         

      4. The Treasurer shall make a complete report of the financial condition of the County Committee at its annual meeting, at all regular meetings of the Executive Committee, and at such other times as requested by the Chair. The financial records shall be subject to an internal audit at such times as the Executive Committee shall deem necessary, when a Treasurer vacates the office, but in no event less often than every two years

ARTICLE V – COUNTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

  1. MEMBERSHIP:
    1. Ex-officio members: Ex-officio members of the Executive Committee of the County Committee shall be the County Chair, First and second Vice-Chairs, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer, and those Legislative District Chairs that are completely within Pima County or the majority of whose registered voters are within Pima County
    2. Non-voting ex-officio members: The immediate past Chair of the County Committee, the State Chair and State Vice-Chairs of the Arizona Democratic Party, the National Committee people shall be non-voting members of the County Executive Committee. Non-voting members are not counted in the determination of a quorum.
    3. Elected members: Each Legislative District Committee of a district with more than fifty percent (50%) of its population within Pima County shall be entitled to elect two (2) additional representatives to the Pima County Executive Committee; any district with less than fifty percent (50%) of its population within Pima County may elect one (1) representative to the County Executive Committee. Term of office for these members shall begin at the time of their election by their respective District Committees and shall end upon the election of their successors by the District Committee(s).
    4. In order to include the voice and presence of those who have historically been underrepresented in the Party’s governance and decision-making bodies, six (6) additional members shall be appointed or elected to the Executive Committee. They shall each be entitled to one (1) vote on the Executive Committee with all rights and duties of an Executive Committee member.
      1. Three (3) of these members shall be appointed by the Chair of the Pima County Democratic Party. Term of office on the executive committee for these members shall begin upon appointment by the Chair and shall end at the time the Chair’s term ends or when the appointing Chair ceases to serve in that position – whichever occurs first.
      2. Three (3) of these members shall be elected by the county committee. They shall serve a two (2) year term of office beginning at the end of the Biennial Meeting at which they are elected, and shall be elected pursuant to the following:

         

        1. Elections to be conducted the same as all others at biennial meeting.
        2. No person who is not an elected member of the County Committee shall be elected to these seats.
        3. All persons who state such intent will be provided with three (3) minutes of floor time to make a speech to the county committee, during which they may state which underrepresented community they represent, and any other candidate statement they wish to make.
        4. The County Committee shall be the electorate for these three (3) seats. The election will occur immediately after the conclusion of the last candidate speech.
        5. A member elected to one of these seats, who fails to attend three (3) consecutive meetings of the Executive Committee, is considered to have resigned. Should a vacancy occur the Chair shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, a person to assume membership and voting on the Executive Committee until the next meeting of the Biennial County Committee, where such vacancy shall be filled by election.
        6. Should a vacancy arise because the County Committee does not elect three (3) additional representatives to the County Committee, the Chair shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, a person to assume membership and voting on the Executive Committee until the next meeting of the Biennial County Committee.
    5. Tohono O’odham Nation Pima County Precinct Committeepersons (PCs) may have representation on the Executive Committee when at least twenty-five percent (25%) of allotted Pima County PC positions in the total of precincts within the Tohono O’odham Nation are filled with elected PCs. Any Tohono O’odham tribal member who is an elected Pima County PC may be selected to serve in this position on the Executive Committee. PCs from the precincts within the Tohono O’odham Nation shall select the representative. Terms of 2 years shall begin with the term of elected PCs (October 1 of each General Election year).
    6. All voting members of the Pima County Democratic Party Executive Committee shall be Pima County Democratic Party Precinct Committeepersons.
  2. POWERS:
    1. The Executive Committee shall be the policy-making and governing body of the County Committee at all times when the County Committee is not in session. Actions and recommendations of the County Executive Committee shall be deemed to be actions and recommendations of the County Committee unless the County Committee shall specifically overrule such actions and recommendations at its next meeting. The Executive Committee may take positions on filed ballot initiatives on behalf of the County Committee provided at least seventy-five percent (75%) of persons present and voting at an Executive Committee meeting approve of such action.
    2. During any Executive Committee vote on any issue, one Executive Committee member shall only abstain or cast a vote one time.
    3. Any member of the Pima County Democratic Party may present a grievance to the Executive Committee of the Party. A brief outline of the grievance should be received by the County Chair at least three (3) days before a meeting of the Executive Committee, so that it may appear on the agenda. The Executive Committee shall be empowered to consider and act on the grievance in executive session, with no visitors present. The Chair and/or the Executive Committee may refer the grievance to a special ad hoc committee appointed for that purpose.
    4. The Executive Committee is empowered to prevent any person from attending any and all meetings or entering any and all facilities controlled by the Pima County Democratic Party, or any of its legislative district committees. Doing so shall require a vote of least seventy-five percent (75%) of voting members present at an Executive Committee meeting. Such a vote must be accompanied by a written finding that:
      1. The person at issue is not being barred from meetings or facilities due to his or her race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nation of origin, immigration status, or economic status, and
      2. The person at issue is not being barred from meetings or facilities due to his or her support for, or opposition to, a candidate in a primary or general election, or his or her support or opposition to a particular ballot measure or referendum, and
      3. The person at issue is being barred because they have physically, sexually, or verbally abused or threatened other members of the Pima County Democratic party, and
      4. The person at issue has continued to physically or verbally abuse or threaten other members of the Pima County Democratic Party, after they have been asked to stop.
  3. BUDGET:
    1. The Executive Committee shall adopt an operating budget for each calendar year by the first Monday in February. In addition it shall adopt a campaign budget prior to each general election. The Chair shall have the discretion to spend funds within the budgets in accordance with policy set by the Executive Committee.
    2. No indebtedness stemming from a major purchase of over $2000 (excluding items included in the adopted budget) shall be incurred by the Pima County Democratic Party without the approval of its Officers. No indebtedness stemming from a loan of any size shall be incurred by this Party without the approval of a majority of Executive Committee members attending and voting at a meeting at which a quorum has been attained. A loan does not include use of a debit card
    3. No major purchase or expenditure not already approved in the adopted budget shall be made without a majority vote of the officers and county chairperson. For the purpose of this provision, major purchase or expenditure is defined as an expenditure of over $5000 for an unbudgeted expenditure, or an expenditure $5000 greater than a budgeted amount. All major purchases or expenditures of $5,000 or less not already approved in the budget shall be approved by the Chair and the Treasurer.
  4. MEETINGS:
    1. Call and notice: Meetings of the County Executive Committee may be called at any time upon reasonable written or telephone notice to all members by (a) the County Chair, (b) one of the elected officers, (c) a majority of the District Chairs, or (d) a majority of the members of the Executive Committee.

       

    2. Quorum: A quorum shall consist of a majority of the current and active membership of the Executive Committee.
  5. ABSENCES:
    1. If a legislative district committee executive committee representative of the Pima County Democratic Party misses three (3) consecutive regular Executive Committee meetings, that representative shall automatically have their Executive Committee voting rights revoked. At the next Executive Committee meeting, their voting rights will be automatically vested in a new representative, chosen by their legislative district. The Chair shall notify the legislative district chair in the event voting rights are revoked pursuant to this section.

       

    2. For representatives appointed by the County Chair, vacancies will be filled the County Chair.
  6. POLITICAL ENDORSEMENTS
    1. The County Executive Committee as a body shall not endorse the candidacy of an opposition party candidate in any primary, general or special election. An opposition party candidate is defined as any candidate not registered as a Democrat.

       

    2. In any election (primary, general, special, partisan or non-partisan) with multiple Democrats running, the County Executive Committee as a body shall not selectively support or endorse the candidacy of certain Democrats. This provision does not prohibit or restrict any person from exercising their rights as a citizen privately to express their opinion.
    3. The facilities of the County Committee shall be available to all Democratic candidates on an equal basis, including the use of the Post Office Bulk Rate Permit at the candidate’s expense; however, candidates shall not use the return address of the Pima County Democratic Headquarters.
    4. Party officials elected under the Democratic banner, including Precinct Committeepersons, shall not publicly endorse candidates of an opposing party for any office in either the primary or general election. If they do so privately as an individual citizen, that is their right; although the Democratic Party does not condone such conduct. Public endorsement, however, may result in a letter from the Pima County Democratic Executive Committee, upon a majority vote of the body, requesting the resignation of the offending official.
    5. In view of the expectation of fairness and equal treatment for all Democratic candidates, officers of the Pima County Executive Committee and of Legislative Districts shall not use the titles of their Democratic Party offices in public endorsement of candidates involved in contested Democratic Primary Elections. If they make endorsements as individual citizens, that is their right.
  7. REVOCATION OF COUNTY PARTY SUPPORT: If the County Executive Committee, by a vote of seventy-five percent (75%) of members present and voting, determines a candidate no longer represents the values of the Democratic Party, all support mentioned in the previous section shall be withdrawn.

ARTICLE VI – LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT COMMITTEES

  1. MEMBERSHIP: There shall be a Legislative District Organization in each Legislative District in Pima County which shall be known as a Legislative District Committee and which shall be composed of Democratic Precinct Committeepersons within the Legislative District. Nothing in the forgoing, however, shall preclude a Legislative District Committee from forming an organization which may include, in addition to Precinct Committeepersons, other registered Democrats.
  2. PURPOSE AND FUNCTION: The purpose and objectives of Legislative District Committees shall be to elect District officers and representatives to the County Executive Committee, to nominate to the County Committee, members of its District to serve on the Democratic State Committee, and to foster, encourage, and promote the aims and objectives of the Democratic Party, and to aid in the election of Democratic candidates for public office, particularly within the respective Districts. In order to accomplish such goals, the members of the Legislative District Committees shall direct and coordinate precinct activity within the District, including but not limited to registration, canvassing, distribution of political materials, telephoning, get-out-the-vote, fund-raising, and other phases of precinct work.
  3. BIENNIAL MEETING: Each District Party Committee shall meet no earlier than the second Saturday after the General Election and no later than the first Saturday of the following December, and organize by electing from its membership a Chair, two (2) ViceChairs, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and two Representatives to the County Executive Committee. The offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be filled by the same person. The Chair of the District Committee shall be an ex-officio voting member of the County Committee in which a plurality of the District’s registered voters reside.
  4. VACANCIES: Vacancies for Precinct Committeepersons existing after the biennial election of Precinct committeepersons shall not be filled prior to the Biennial Meeting of the County Committee. After the Biennial Meeting of the County Committee, nominations to fill existing or subsequent vacancies may be made by the County Chair, the District Chair, or any interested individual or organization. Such nominations shall be forwarded to the County Chair who shall submit them to the Board of Supervisors for approval or rejection.

ARTICLE VII – COMMITTEES

  1. Committees shall be created, activated, and terminated as deemed necessary by the County Chair, with the approval of a majority of the Executive Committee voting members present. The County Chair, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, shall appoint the Chair and members of each committee, which shall serve at the will of the County Chair and the Executive Committee.
  2. Personnel Oversight: The Personnel Oversight Committee shall advise and consent to the appointment of personnel, the setting of compensation (which must be approved by the Executive Committee), and the termination of personnel by the Chair. The Committee shall monitor the activities of personnel members and may make recommendations to the Chair for any changes in the activities of personnel. The membership of this committee shall consist of the elected officers of the party as enumerated in Article IV(A).
  3. Diversity & Affirmative Action Committee: The Diversity & Affirmative Action Committee shall prepare a program and budget aimed at insuring there is no discrimination in representation in the County Committee based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, physical handicap, religion, philosophical persuasion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. This program should stress methods to bring underrepresented groups into the Party organization as Precinct Committeepersons and State Committeepersons.
    1. This committee shall set goals and timetables for achieving participatory representation of the groups; and shall make a quarterly progress report to the Executive Committee.
    2. The Diversity & Affirmative Action Committee shall consist of at least five (5) members representative of the makeup of the Democrats of the State of Arizona. The Committee members shall be appointed by the County Chair.
    3. The Chair shall call at least one (1) meeting each quarter and the Diversity & Affirmative Action Committee shall meet at least once each quarter.
    4. The latest U.S. Census or an equivalent recognized demographic study (that indicates a profile of Democratic voters) shall be used wherever possible to determine whether various groups are underrepresented.
    5. Any group, according to race, color, sex, national origin, or age that has a percentage on the County Committee less than their percentage of the State of Arizona by more than five (5) percent, shall be considered as a group that is underrepresented and shall receive the focus of attention of the Affirmative Action Committee first.
  4. Rules Committee: There shall be a Rules Committee, which shall consist of no fewer than five (5) and no more than seven (7) members.
    1. All members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Chair of the Pima County Democratic Party, who shall also appoint the Committee Chair. Additionally, the County Chair shall be an ex-officio member of the Committee. The County Chair shall have a vote only in the event of a tie among the other voting members.
    2. The term of office of these Committee members shall be concurrent with the term of the appointing County Chair.
    3. A quorum for the By-Laws Committee to take any action shall be four (4) members, which may include the County Chair.
  5. Platform Committee: The Platform Committee shall prepare a county platform no less than once every four years. The proposed Platform shall be voted on by the County Committee at an annual meeting. The committee shall consist of no fewer than eight (8) and no more than fifteen (15) members representing a cross section of public policy interests.

ARTICLE VIII – EFFECTIVE DATE AND AMENDMENTS

  1. EFFECTIVE DATE: These By-Laws shall become effective at the close of the meeting at which they are adopted by the Pima County Democratic Committee. 
  2. AMENDMENTS:
    1. These By-Laws may be amended at any meeting of the Pima County Democratic Committee by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of those members casting valid ballots in person or by proxy. The full text of the proposed amendments must be contained in the notice of the meeting at which the approval is sought. 
    2. All proposed by-laws amendments must be submitted to the Rules Committee before consideration by the full Pima County Democratic Party Committee.
    3. The Rules Committee shall take one of the three following actions in regard to the submitted amendment:
      1. Recommendation for approval by the full Committee. 
      2. Recommendation for disapproval by the full Committee.
      3. No recommendation on the proposed amendment.
    4. The Rules Committee shall take the action selected within 30 days following receipt of the proposed amendment.
    5. A proposed by-laws amendment with a recommendation for approval will be submitted to the next meeting of the full County Committee as a seconded motion.
    6. In order to obtain a recommendation for approval, a proposed amendment must receive a majority of affirmative votes from the members of the Rules Committee present and voting at the meeting at which the vote is taken.
    7. Any member of the Rules Committee may personally submit a proposed amendment receiving a disapproval recommendation or no recommendation to the full County Committee. Such submittal shall indicate the recommendation decision by the By-Laws Committee.
    8. Any member of the full County Committee also may submit an amendment personally to the full County Committee, provided it has received one of the three options for recommendation from the Rules Committee.
    9. To be considered for recommendation by the Rules Committee, a proposed amendment must be submitted in writing to the Rules Committee at least 45 days prior to the next meeting of the full County Democratic Party Committee.

Please send recommendations

for by-laws revisions to

Joel Feinman at

joel@pimadems.org.