DEC Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF THE
DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF LEE COUNTY FLORIDA

PREAMBLE

Realizing the deep obligation incumbent upon us as members of the
DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF LEE COUNTY who were elected as our
Party representatives, and believing wholeheartedly and sincerely in
the principles of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY, so long the champion to,
and benefactor of, all the people, we pledge ourselves to stand for all
that is good and sincere in better government, and to devote our time
and energy to developing strong leadership and furthering the growth
of beneficial DEMOCRATIC policies, the principle one being
maintaining the highest degree of popular control within the
DEMOCRATIC PARTY and in all branches of government. For these
purposes, we associate ourselves together to carry on the continuing
organization of the Executive committee of the DEMOCRATIC
PARTY OF LEE COUNTY

ARTICLE I : NAME AND POWERS

Section 1. AUTHORITY:

This Constitution is established under the authority of Florida Statute
103.121(1)(a)1 and the Charter and Bylaws of the Florida Democratic
Party, as amended.

Section 2. NAME:
The organization representing all registered DEMOCRATS in Lee
County shall be known as the DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF LEE
COUNTY. The name of the governing body of the DEMOCRATIC
PARTY OF LEE COUNTY is the Executive Committee or
DEMOCRATIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, hereinafter referred to as
the “DEC.”

Section 3. POWERS:
The DEC shall have all those powers granted to it by Florida Statutes
or the Constitution and Bylaws of the FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY and shall be invested with supervisory power and jurisdiction
over and set policy for all DEMOCRATIC PARTY matters in each and
every congressional district, municipality, or subdivision thereof in Lee
County and shall prescribe, impose and enforce sanctions for
violations thereof through a process which assures a fair hearing.

ARTICLE II:  OBJECT

The object of this organization shall be:
A. To promote the understanding of the principles of the
DEMOCRATIC PARTY among citizens of Lee County;
B. To stimulate among DEMOCRATS an active interest and
participation in the policies and organization of the
DEMOCRATIC PARTY;
C. To promote among DEMOCRATIC office-holders of Lee
County, an awareness of their special relationship to the
DEMOCRATIC voters and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF LEE
COUNTY;
D. To support and assist DEMOCRATIC office-holders of Lee
County in the fulfillment of their duties;
E. To assist in and support the election of DEMOCRATIC PARTY
nominees, to recruit and assist qualified DEMOCRATS to
become candidates for public office, and to encourage
leadership in DEMOCRATS who become nominees,
candidates, and office-holders in Lee County under the
auspices of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY;
F. To do all these things which by law or custom and practice are
both necessary and proper functions of an organized political
party.
ARTICLE III:  MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP:
The DEC shall be composed of the following categories of
membership:

A. ELECTED (Precinct Committeeman and Committeewoman)
B. APPOINTED OR AT-LARGE
C. AUTOMATIC
D. HONORARY
E. EMERITUS

Section 2. ELECTED MEMBERS:
A. Definition: Elected members shall be defined as those persons
elected pursuant to the Precinct System and those elected by
the county DEC to fill vacancies in precincts. Such members
shall qualify and be elected to office at such time and such
manner as provided by Florida Statutes.

B. Precinct System: In a county consisting of fewer than two
hundred (200) precincts, the elected membership of the DEC
shall consist of a man and a woman from each precinct who are
registered DEMOCRATS, and who reside in, are registered to
vote in, and are elected from the precinct they are to represent.
Should the voter registration of any precinct total more than one
thousand (1,000) as of January 1 of a year in which qualifying
for election to the DEC occurs, the DEC may, by amendment to
its Bylaws, and upon immediate notification to the Supervisor of
Election of Lee County by certified mail, and upon immediate
notification to the State Chair by certified mail, elect an
additional one (1) man and one (1) woman to represent all such
precincts. They shall be elected by a plurality vote on the first
primary ballot of each Presidential election year. At any time a
precinct totals one thousand (1,000) registered voters or when
new precincts are created, additional DEC positions may be
created. Such positions shall be filled by the DEC according to
its procedures for filling vacancies.

C.  TERMS OF OFFICE AND ELIGIBILITY TO VOTE:

1. Members elected and eligible under the Precinct system
shall take office on the first day of the month following the
Presidential Election and shall serve for a term of four years.

2. Members elected by the DEC to fill a Precinct
Committeeman or Precinct committeewoman vacancy shall
serve for the balance of the unexpired term of that office.
The Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Lee County shall
furnish the Supervisor of Elections, Lee County and to the
Chair of the Florida Democratic Party Executive Committee
a list of the vacancies filled by election or appointment within
ten (10) days. No such appointee to fill a vacancy shall be
deemed a voting member of the Democratic Party of Lee
County Executive Committee until these provisions have
been complied with and until the appointee has taken the
oath as prescribed herein and said oath has been filed with
the Supervisor of Elections, Lee County.

3. Only those members elected under the precinct system
are eligible to vote at the organizational meeting.

Section 3. APPOINTED OR AT-LARGE MEMBERS

A.   Definition: The Chair of the DEC may appoint “At-Large”
members, subject to the approval of the DEC (by a majority vote
of the members present and voting). The number of “At Large”
appointments which may be made may not exceed ten percent
(10%) of the total “Elected” membership to which Lee County is
entitled under Florida Statute and the FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC
PARTY Bylaws.

B.  “At-Large” members shall serve terms running from the time of
appointment to the last day of the month of the presidential
election.
C.  Such appointed “At-Large” members shall be registered
DEMOCRATS residing in Lee County and shall serve at-large
and enjoy such voting and other privileges of membership on
the DEC as if elected from precincts under procedures
applicable to “Elected” members. The selection of “At-Large”
members should be made in such a manner as to achieve
gender, racial, ethnic, economic, minority or other fair, equitable
and broad-based representation within the DEC. Procedures for approving “At-Large” appointments shall be set forth in the
bylaws of the DEC.

Section 4. AUTOMATIC MEMBERS

A.  Definition: Automatic members shall be defined as those who
are members by virtue of Florida Statutes or those who are
members by virtue of county DEC bylaw provision naming
county DEMOCRATIC elected officials, presidents of duly
chartered DEMOCRATIC Clubs, or presidents of chartered local
DEMOCRATIC caucus chapters who reside in Lee County.
Such members shall serve for the duration of their term of office.
Automatic members shall enjoy voting privileges, however, they
shall not serve as officers of the county DEC.

B.   Attendance: Automatic members shall not be required to meet
attendance requirements. Automatic members shall not be
computed when determining a quorum.

Section 5. HONORARY MEMBERS

A.  Definition: The DEC may have ‘Honorary” members who shall

exercise all powers of membership except the right to vote. The

Honoree may be recommended by any officer or Steering
committee member and must be approved by two-thirds (2/3) of
the members of the DEC present and voting.

B.  Criteria for selecting “Honorary” members shall be established
by the bylaws of the DEC.

C. Attendance: Honorary members shall not be required to meet
attendance requirements. Honorary members shall not be
computed when determining a quorum.

Section 6. SPECIAL MEMBERSHIP – “EMERITUS”

A.  Definition: Loyal DEMOCRATS with a history of distinguished
service, to the DEC, but who may be unable to participate in
DEC meetings and/or activities on a regular basis, shall be
eligible for “Emeritus” status. The “Emeritus” member shall have
no voting privileges. The Steering Committee shall recommend the “Emeritus” status of a member to the DEC membership. The
“Emeritus” status must be approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the
members of the DEC present and voting.

B. Criteria for selecting “Emeritus” members shall be established
by the bylaws of the DEC.

C.  Attendance: Emeritus members shall not be required to meet
attendance requirements. Emeritus members shall not be
computed when determining a quorum.

Section 7. ASSOCIATE MEMBERS

Associate members are those registered Democrats residing in Lee
County who wish to make a contribution to the party but have fewer
responsibilities than elected or appointed members. Prospective
Associates must attend at least one DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF LEE
COUNTY meeting, be introduced, and must have expressed their
intent by filing an application for Associate Status with the
Membership Committee at least 14 days prior to the DEMOCRATIC
PARTY OF LEE COUNTY meeting at which their application is to be
acted upon. Prospective Associates must be appointed by the Chair.
Associates do not have to take a loyalty oath, do not have attendance
requirements, and cannot vote, but may participate in debate at
DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF LEE COUNTY meetings. The term of an
Associate is from time of appointment until commencement of the
DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF LEE COUNTY Executive Committee
Organizational Meeting.

Section 8. QUALIFICATIONS

Every person seeking any membership provided for in this
Constitution or in the Bylaws adopted hereunder shall be an actively
enrolled Democrat in Lee County and must meet the tests of
membership in accordance with Article I., Section 6. of the Charter
and Article V. and Article VI., as amended, of the Bylaws of the Florida
Democratic Party.

ARTICLE IV:  OFFICERS

Section 1. OFFICERS:

The DEC shall elect the following officers: a County Chair and a Vice
Chair of the opposite sex, an Executive secretary, a Recording
Secretary, a Treasurer, a State Committeeman and a State
Committeewoman.

Section 2. TERMS OF OFFICE

A.  Officers shall serve a term of two years from the regularly
scheduled “Organizational” meeting at which they are elected
and may succeed themselves if re-elected. The State
Committeeman and State Committeewoman shall serve a term
of four years.
B.  Except as indicated below, no person may concurrently serve
in more than one DEC officer position except temporarily
because of a vacancy on resignation or removal of an officer
and pending replacement by appointment for election. The
County Chair may appoint temporary replacement officers,
subject to subsequent confirmation or elections by the full DEC
at the next regular or special meeting.

Section 3. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE:

A.  A DEC officer or member may be removed from their position in
accordance with Florida State Statute 103.141, as amended,
and FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY Constitution and Bylaws.
B.  The State Committeeman or State Committeewoman may be
removed from his or her position in accordance with Florida
State Statute 103.151, as amended, and FLORIDA
DEMOCRATIC PARTY Constitution and Bylaws.

ARTICLE V:  STEERING COMMITTEE

Section 1. CREATION AND AUTHORITY:

There shall be a Steering Committee that shall be the operating and
managing committee of the DEC. The Steering Committee may
receive, review and act upon all committee reports (except the Audit
Committee), resolutions and expenditures (both budgeted and non-budgeted). The Steering Committee shall administer, supervise, and
control the policies and affairs of the DEC. It shall have the authority to
make decisions between meetings of the DEC that are consistent with
the Charter and Bylaws of the FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY, the
Constitution and Bylaws of the DEC and policies set forth by the DEC.

Section 2. MEMBERSHIP:

The members of the Steering Committee shall include the elected
officers, Chairs of each Standing Committee,
president of each DEMOCRATIC club chartered under the by laws of
the DEC, immediate past Chair of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF LEE
COUNTY if that person remains a member of the DEC, president of
the DEMOCRATIC Women’s Club, president of the Young
DEMOCRATS Club and the presidents of Lee County chapters of
caucuses chartered by the FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

Section 3. OFFICERS:

Officers of the DEC shall serve as the officers of the Steering
Committee.

Section 4. MEETINGS:

The Steering Committee shall meet at least quarterly on at the call of
the chair. Upon request to the Executive Secretary by two or more
members of the Steering committee, a special meeting shall be called
upon reasonable notice.

Section 5. QUORUM:

A quorum for the Steering committee shall be thirty percent (30%) of
its membership, four of whom shall be elected officers.

Section 6. EMERGENCY BUSINESS;

In the event of emergency business of the DEC, the majority of the
elected officers of the DEC, on behalf of the Steering Committee, shall
have authority to act for the full DEC until such time as a regular
meeting of the full DEC can be held. Minutes shall be kept of any
emergency action taken and reported to the next regular meeting of
the DEC. If such action exceeded the scope of the authority granted under the Bylaws, ratification shall be requested.

ARTICLE VI:  COMMITTEES

Section 1. STANDING COMMITTEES:

The DEC shall be served by the Standing Committees as established
in the Bylaws.

Section 2. SPECIAL OR AD HOC COMMITTEES AND
CAUCUSES:

The DEC shall be served by such Special Committees and Ad Hoc
Committees or Caucuses as may be established in Standing Rules or
by the County Chair.

Section 3. COMMITTEE CHARGES:

The charges, duties and responsibilities of each Standing Committee
shall be set forth in the Bylaws of the DEC. Charges, duties and
responsibilities of Special Committees or Ad Hoc Committees or
Caucuses shall be established by the County Chair by and with the
approval of the Steering committee and will be incorporated into
Standing Rules of the DEC.

Section 4. APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE CHAIRS:

The County chair shall appoint the Chair for all Standing committees,
Special or Ad-Hoc committees, or Caucuses to perform such functions
as may be set forth in the Constitution, bylaws, Standing Rules or as
designated by the County Chair, which Chairs will serve at the
pleasure of the County Chair of the DEC. The County Chair or the
County Chair’s designee shall serve as ex-officio members of all
Standing, Special or Ad Hoc Committees or Caucuses.

ARTICLE VII:  MEETINGS

Section 1. ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING

A.  SCHEDULING: The DEC shall within fifteen (15) days after
December 1st following their election as Precinct
Committeemen and Precinct Committeewomen, as authorized
by the Florida Statutes, at the call of the County Chair or Vice chair in the absence of the County Chair, meet at the County
Seat and organize by electing from among the members, a
County Chair and Vice Chair of the opposite sex, and Executive
Secretary, a Recording Secretary, a Treasurer, a State
Committeeman and a State Committeewoman. Nominations for
all officers shall be from the floor. All the officers shall be
elected by a majority vote of the members and proxies present.

B.  VOTING FOR OFFICERS: The voting for officers shall be
in accordance with Florida Democratic Party Rules. Each
candidate shall be asked to name one teller for the counting of
votes. The tellers shall count the votes in the presence of the
full committee. The voting shall proceed until one candidate
shall have received a majority of the votes cast. In the event no
person receives a majority on the first ballot, the candidate
receiving the fewest number of votes shall be eliminated and
the balloting shall proceed. On each subsequent ballot, the
candidate with the least votes shall be eliminated until one
candidate receives a majority of votes.

C.  ORDER OF BUSINESS: The Organizational Meeting shall
be called to order by the previous County Chair who shall
assume the Chair. The order of business shall be as follows:
1. Invocation
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Roll Call
4. Credentials Report and eligibility of current elected
members
5. Previous County Chair calls for nominations for temporary
chair to conduct election of County Chair.
6. Election of County Chair
7. Election of State Committeewoman
8. Election of State Committeeman
9. Election of vice Chair
10. Election of Executive Secretary
11. Election of Recording Secretary
12. Election of Treasurer

13. Immediately following the election of officers the
Organizational Meeting shall stand adjourned.

D.  At the conclusion of the organizational Meeting the County
Chair may convene a meeting to conduct any other business.

Section 2. REGULAR BUSINESS MEETING

The County Chair shall call at least one meeting of the full DEC each
quarter starting in January of each year and as many additional
meetings as may be set forth in the Bylaws or at the call of the Chair,
after giving members of the Committee at lest ten (10) days written
notice prior to the date of the called meeting, outlining the purpose of
said meeting. In the event the Chair of the committee fails or refuses
to call a meeting of this Committee upon request of several members
of this committee, then upon written, signed petition of one-third (1/3)
of the entire membership of the Committee, so attesting by the
secretary of this Committee, and duly presented to the Vice Chair of
the committee, the Vice Chair shall call a meeting of the committee
and shall give members of the Committee at least ten (10) days
written notice thereof and outlining the purpose of the meeting.

Section 3. PARTICIPATION

All meetings at all levels of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY shall be open
to the members of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY regardless of race,
color, creed, religion, sex or gender, age, language, national or ethnic
origin, sexual orientation, sexual identity, handicap, disability, physical
ability, or other characteristic irrelevant to ability.

Section 4. QUORUM

A number equal to forty (40) percent of the members of the DEC shall
constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, provided the
entire membership has received written notice of said meeting ten (10)
days prior to said meeting. For the purposes of determining a quorum,
membership shall be limited to only elected and appointed or at-large
members.

ARTICLE VIII:  CLUBS, ORGANIZATIONS AND CAUCUSES In accordance with the Charter or Bylaws of the Florida Democratic Party:

Section 1. Clubs, Organizations and Caucuses using the name
Democrat, etc.

Charters of clubs, organizations, and/or caucuses using the name
Democrat, Democratic, or derivative thereof, other than those
chartered by the Democratic National Committee, shall be approved
by the Florida Democratic Party Central Committee which shall retain
continuing jurisdiction. Clubs shall be directly accountable to the
Democratic Executive Committee in the county of charter. Local
caucus chapters shall be directly accountable to the State Caucus
under which they were chartered. Violation of the Charter or Bylaws of
the Florida Democratic Party or Party policy by a club, organization, or
caucus shall be grounds for revocation of its charter. The State Chair,
with the approval of the Florida Democratic Party Central Committee,
shall set procedures and guidelines for granting charters to clubs,
organizations, and caucuses desiring to use the name Democrat,
Democratic, or derivative thereof. Membership therein is limited to
Democrats registered to vote in Florida.

Section 2. Proxy Voting

Proxy voting shall be prohibited for Democratic clubs, organizations,
and caucuses.

Section 3. Quorum

Twenty percent (20%) of the total membership for clubs and caucuses
with membership of 999 or less. Ten percent (10%) of the total
membership for clubs and caucuses with membership of 1000 or
more.

Section 4. Committee on Clubs, Organizations, and Caucuses
Duties:

The duties of the FDP Committee on Clubs, Organizations,
and Caucuses shall be to review and grant or deny charter
applications from clubs, organizations, and caucuses, and to prescribe
procedure for same, unless otherwise provided in the Charter and
Bylaws of the Florida Democratic Party, as amended. Appeals:
Unless otherwise provided in the Charter or Bylaws of the Florida
Democratic Party, the Florida Democratic Party Committee on Clubs,
Organizations, and Caucuses shall hear all appeals regarding clubs,
organizations, or caucuses. Said appeal shall be heard only if the State Chair and the Chair of the Committee on Clubs, Organizations,
and Caucuses agree that such an appeal is in order. All decisions by
this committee shall be final.

Section 5. Chartering, Organization, Re-certification, etc.

The chartering of clubs, organizations and caucuses shall be as set
forth in Article VI, Charter and Article VI, Bylaws of the Florida
Democratic Party

Section 6.  Clubs and Caucuses

All clubs chartered within Lee County are encouraged
to coordinate all fundraising activities with the Finance and
Fundraising Committee to seek to avoid scheduling conflicts.

ARTICLE IX:  COUNTY CONVENTION

A Democratic County Convention may be called by the Democratic
Party of Lee County Executive Committee. The convention shall be
open to all Democrats in Lee County.

ARTICLE X:  PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order
newly Revised shall govern the DEC in all cases to which they are
applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this Constitution,
Bylaws, Standing Rules, or special rules of order the DEC may adopt.

ARTICLE XI:  AMENDMENTS

This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the
DEC membership present, provided that the Executive Secretary
gives the full membership at least ten (10) days written notice of the
proposed changes. For the purposes of amending the constitution,
membership shall be limited to only elected and appointed at-large members.

ARTICLE XII:  EFFECTIVE DATE

Upon adoption, this amended Constitution shall become part of the
permanent records of the DEC and shall be made available to the
membership for all meetings of the DEC, and shall be effective as of
the Meeting to be held on the 9th day of April 2003.

ARTICLE XIII:  SEVERABILITY

If any Article, Section, or Subsection of this amended Constitution is
found to be invalid for any reason, such finding or ruling shall not
invalidate or put in jeopardy either the complete Constitution or any
other Article, Section or Subsection of this amended Constitution.

ARTICLE XIV:  ADOPTION OF AMENDED CONSTITIUTION

After proper notice being provided and with a quorum present, the
above Amended Constitution was approved by the required
percentage of the membership of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF LEE
COUNTY Executive Committee (DEC) on the 9th day of April, 2003.