.BYLAWS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF LEE COUNTY, FLORIDA

DEMOCRATIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (DEC)

Effective April 11, 2022

Click here for a downloadable PDF.

ARTICLE I NAME, POWERS, AND GENERAL POLICIES

SECTION 1. GOVERNANCE:

Name: The Democratic Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of Lee County, hereinafter, the “DEC”.

Definition: The DEC shall constitute the legislative body of the Democratic Party of Lee County. The DEC shall be the final authority for the conduct of the Democratic Party of Lee County in all matters except as otherwise stated in the Bylaws of the DEC, hereinafter, “these Bylaws,” or the Charter and Bylaws of the Florida Democratic Party, hereinafter, the “FDP”.

1.1 Powers:

1.1.1 Annual Budget: The DEC shall approve the annual budget.

1.1.2 Standing Rules, Protocols & Resolutions: The DEC shall approve all standing rules, policies, and resolutions on pertinent issues.

1.2 Rules of Procedure: Unless otherwise provided for in these Bylaws or in the Charter and Bylaws of the FDP, the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern.

SECTION 2. ENDORSEMENT:

2.1 Definition: In compliance with Article I, Section 3.1 of the FDP Bylaws [1], endorsement shall be defined as endorsing, certifying, screening, or recommending, in any manner, candidates in primary elections.

2.2 Party Assessment Fees: In compliance with Article I, Section 3.2 of the FDP Bylaws, if the DEC chooses to endorse a candidate, party assessment fees to which the DEC is entitled shall be retained by the FDP Executive Committee.

2.3 Campaign Support: In compliance with Article I, Section 3.3 of the FDP Bylaws, all FDP Executive Committee funds and campaign support shall be withheld from the DEC until after the second primary election if the DEC chooses to endorse a candidate.

2.4 Candidate Qualifying: In compliance with Article I, Section 3.4 of the FDP Bylaws, no endorsement of a candidate shall be made prior to the close of the period of candidate qualifying.

2.5 Requirements: In compliance with Article I, Sections 3.5.1 and 3.5.2 of the FDP Bylaws the following requirements shall be met prior to the DEC being eligible to endorse a candidate:

2.5.1 Precinct Positions: Eighty percent (80%) of all precinct committee positions shall be filled.

2.5.2 Meetings: The DEC shall have held at least four (4) meetings at which a quorum was present during the previous twelve (12) month period.

2.6 Standards: In compliance with Article I, Sections 3.6.1 and 3.6.2 of the FDP Bylaws, the following standards shall be met for DEC to endorse a candidate:

2.6.1 Membership Support: Two-thirds (2/3) of the total membership of the DEC, exclusive of its Automatic Members, shall vote in favor of endorsement of a candidate in a given race.

2.6.2 Limitations: Endorsements of candidates by the DEC shall be limited to those races in which the DEC assessment applies or to non-partisan races in which registered Democrats are running.

SECTION 3. MEMBERSHIP:

3.1 Precinct System:

3.1.1 Precinct System: Pursuant to Article V, Section 1.1.3 of the FDP Bylaws and Article III, Section 2.A. of the DEC Constitution,[1] because Lee County has fewer than two hundred (200) precincts, the Lee County DEC will operate with the Precinct System.

3.1.2 Membership: The elected membership of the DEC shall consist of one (1) man and one (1) woman from each precinct who are registered Democrats, who reside in, and are registered to vote in, and are elected from the precinct they are to represent. Should the voter registration in any precinct total more than one thousand (1,000) as of January 1 of a Presidential election year occurring after the effective date of these Bylaws, the DEC may, by amendment to these Bylaws, and upon immediate notification to the Lee County Supervisor of Elections by certified mail and upon immediate notification to the Chair of the FDP, hereinafter, the “FDP Chair,” by certified mail, elect one additional one (1) man and one (1) woman to represent all such precincts. They shall be elected by a plurality vote on the Presidential primary ballot of a Presidential election year. At any time a precinct totals more than one thousand (1,000) registered voters or when new precincts are created, additional DEC positions may be created and shall be filled in accordance with these Bylaws.

3.2 Elected Members:

3.2.1 Definition: Elected members shall be defined as those persons elected pursuant to Article I, Section 3.1. of these Bylaws and those elected by the DEC to fill vacancies in precincts. Pursuant to Article V, Section 1.1.1 of the FDP Bylaws, once a person is elected in a precinct, even if that person should move out of that precinct and be appointed at-large or to fill a vacancy in the precinct into which he or she moved, for the purpose of eligibility to seek office, such person shall be classified as an elected member for the duration of that term. If a vacancy does not exist in the precinct where the member moves, a special at-large status shall be created for that member to be counted against the total number of Appointed Members available to the DEC.

3.2.2 Election of Members: Pursuant to Article V, Section 1.1.5 of the FDP Bylaws, DEC members shall qualify and be elected to office at such times and in such manner as provided by Florida Statutes. Pursuant to Florida Statute §103.091(4), members of the DEC shall be elected at the Presidential primary election in each year a Presidential election is held.

3.2.3 Term of Office: Pursuant to Article III, Section 2.B. of the DEC Constitution, Article V, Section 1.1.6 of the FDP Bylaws and Florida Statute §103.091(4), members of the DEC shall take office on the first day of December following each Presidential general election and shall serve for a term of four (4) years.

3.3 Automatic Members: ,/p>

3.3.1 Definition:

3.3.1.1 Pursuant to Florida Statutes, §103.091(6)(a), Automatic Members shall be those persons who are Democratic members of the state Legislature who are residents of Lee County.

3.3.1.2 Pursuant to Article V, Section 1.2.1 of the FDP Bylaws and Article III, Section 4. of the DEC Constitution, Automatic Members shall be those persons who are Democratic elected officials in Lee County and presidents of duly chartered Democratic clubs and Democratic caucus chapters of the DEC who reside in Lee County. Automatic 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 DEC.

3.3.2 Attendance: Pursuant to Article V, Section 1.2.2 of the FDP Bylaws, Automatic Members shall not be required to meet attendance requirements. Automatic Members shall not be computed when determining a quorum.

3.4 Appointed Members:

3.4.1 Definition: Pursuant to Article V, Section 1.3.1 of the FDP Bylaws and Article III, Section 3. of the DEC Constitution, membership in the DEC may include up to an additional ten percent (10%) of the total elected membership to which it is entitled. Appointed members shall be appointed by the Chair of the DEC, hereinafter, the “DEC Chair”, and approved by a majority vote of the membership of the DEC present and voting. Appointed Members shall be registered Democrats residing in Lee County. Appointed Members shall serve at-large and enjoy voting and other privileges and responsibilities of membership except holding office. Appointed Members shall serve terms running from the time of appointment to the last day of the month of a Presidential election. Selection of Appointed Members shall be made in order to achieve gender, racial, ethnic, political, economic, or minority balance or other fair, equitable, and broad-based representation within the DEC.

3.4.2 Term of Office: Pursuant to Article V, Section 1.3.2 of the FDP Bylaws, the term of office for Appointed Members shall be one (1) year commencing with the date of appointment. However, the term of office of Appointed Members shall expire immediately prior to the commencement of the next organizational meeting of the DEC.

3.4.3 Attendance: Appointed Members shall be required to meet all attendance requirements and shall be computed when determining a quorum.

3.4.4 Special At-Large Status: Pursuant to Article V, Section 1.3.3 of the FDP Bylaws, at any time after the election of officers, the DEC may allow, at the request of a Democratic Party elected official from Lee County or at the state or national Democratic Party level, a Special At-Large status for the elected official who requested to have Special At-Large Status. Such positions shall not be included in the DEC Appointed Membership quota. If the elected official is an elected member of the DEC, a vacancy would be created in the precinct that he or she represents. The vacancy so created shall be filled in accordance with these Bylaws. Special At-Large Members shall not be required to meet attendance requirements. Special At-Large Members shall not be computed when determining a quorum.

3.5 Vacancies: 

3.5.1 Definition: Pursuant to Article V, Section 1.4 of the FDP Bylaws, an office shall be deemed vacant when a position is unfilled, a member accumulates three (3) unexcused absences in any one (1) calendar year, or when a member presents a written letter of resignation to an officer of the DEC. An absence is excused for reason of illness, business, out-of-town, or other reasonable excuse, with prior notification to an officer of the DEC.

3.5.2 Filling of Vacancies: Pursuant to Article V, Section 1.4 of the FDP Bylaws, vacancies on the DEC shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by action of the DEC within 60 days in accordance with Florida Statute §103.091(5) by a majority vote of those present at a meeting at which a quorum is present. Those persons appointed to fill precinct vacancies must be registered Democrats residing within the precinct that they are appointed to represent. Pursuant to Article III, Section 2.B.2. of the DEC Constitution, the Vice-Chair shall furnish the Lee County Supervisor of Elections and the FDP Chair a list of vacancies filled by election or appointment within ten (10) days.  No appointee to fill a vacancy shall be deemed a voting member of the DEC until these provisions have been complied with and until the appointee has taken the prescribed oath and the oath has been filed with the  Lee County Supervisor of Elections.

3.6 Removal from Membership: Pursuant to Article I, Section 2.1 of the FDP Bylaws, any member of the DEC or any chartered Club or Caucus of the DEC may be removed from office upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the entire membership at a regular or special meeting of the same, provided that there shall have been at least ten (10) days written notice of the purpose of said meeting. Such removal may be for cause including, but not be limited to, malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, or conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.

3.7 Suspension from Membership: Any member of the DEC or any chartered Club or Caucus of the DEC may be suspended from the membership upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the entire membership at a regular or special meeting, provided that (a) there shall have been at least ten (10) days written notice of the purpose of said meeting, and (b) the length of the suspension is specified to the membership present and voting prior to the vote.

SECTION 4. OFFICERS:

4.1 Election: Pursuant to Article V, Section 3 of the FDP Charter, the DEC, at its organizational meeting, shall elect a DEC Chair; a Vice-Chair, who shall not be the same gender as the DEC Chair, an Executive Secretary, a Recording Secretary, a Treasurer, an Assistant Treasurer, hereinafter, together, the “Officers of the DEC”, and State committeepersons, each of whom shall be elected from among the elected membership of the DEC.  Other officers may be prescribed in these Bylaws.

4.2 Term of Office: Pursuant to Article V, Section 3 of the FDP Charter, Article IV. Section 2.A. of the DEC Constitution, and Article V, Section 2.1 of the FDP Bylaws, the Officers of the DEC will be elected for a term of two (2) years from the organizational meeting at which they are elected and may succeed themselves if re-elected. The State Committeepersons will be elected for a term of four (4) years.

4.3 Limitation: Pursuant to Section 2.B. of the DEC Constitution, no person may concurrently serve in more than one DEC Officer position except temporarily because of a vacancy, resignation, or removal of an officer pending replacement by appointment or election.

4.4 Vacancies:

4.4.1 Vacancy of the DEC Chair: Pursuant to Article V, Section 2.2 of the FDP Bylaws, in the event of a vacancy in the office of the DEC Chair, a meeting shall be held within forty-five (45) days, upon written notice to members of the DEC of at least fifteen (15) days, to elect a new DEC Chair by the membership of the DEC present and voting. Notice of vacancy shall be sent by certified mail to the FDP Chair within ten (10) days of said vacancy. Vacancies on the DEC shall not be filled by action of the DEC within the period from the time the DEC Chair position is declared vacant until the election of a new DEC Chair to replace the previous DEC Chair. In the event that a vacancy is filled by a person of the same gender as the Vice-Chair, or vice versa, the requirement that they be of the opposite gender shall be waived for the unexpired term.

4.4.2 Vacancy of an Officer: Pursuant to Article IV, Section 2.B. of the DEC Constitution, in the event of a vacancy in any office other than the DEC Chair, such vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the DEC Chair and approved by a majority vote of the DEC present and voting at the next regular or special meeting of the DEC.

4.5 Leave of Absence:

4.5.1 Required Leave: Pursuant to Article V, Section 2.3 of the FDP Bylaws, any officer of the DEC seeking the Democratic nomination for public office shall take a leave of absence from the DEC office commencing at the time of opening a campaign account for said public office and extending for the duration of the campaign. If elected to such public office, the term of office of such officer shall terminate effective upon certification of such election.

4.5.2 Filling Vacancy: An office vacated due to a leave of absence shall be filled by the DEC for the interim by a plurality vote of the membership of DEC present and voting at the next meeting of the DEC. In the event that the DEC Chair is taking a leave of absence, the Vice-Chair will become interim DEC Chair and an interim Vice-Chair shall be elected by plurality vote of the membership of the DEC present and voting at the next meeting of the DEC.

4.6 Removal from Office: Pursuant to Florida Statute §104.141 and Article I, Section 2.1 of the FDP Bylaws, an officer of the DEC or any chartered Club or Caucus of the DEC may be removed from office upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the entire membership at a regular or special meeting of the same, provided that there shall have been at least ten (10) days written notice of the purpose of said meeting. Such removal may be for cause, including, but not be limited to, malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, or conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.

SECTION 5. MEETINGS:

5.1 Frequency: Pursuant to Article V, Section 4 of the FDP Charter, the DEC shall meet at least once every calendar quarter.

5.2 Quorums: Pursuant to Article 1, Section 1.3.6 of the FDP Bylaws and Article VII, Section 4 of the DEC Constitution, the quorum requirement for the DEC shall be twenty-five percent (25%) of the total membership of the DEC, excluding Automatic Members. Pursuant to Article I, Section 1.3.7 of the FDP Bylaws and Article VIII, Section 3 of the DEC Constitution, the quorum requirement for any DEC chartered Club or Caucus shall be twenty percent (20%) of the total membership of the Club or Caucus.

5.3 Failure to Call: Pursuant to Article V, Section 3.1 of the FDP Bylaws, in the event a meeting of the DEC is not called for a period of two (2) calendar quarters, the Chair of the congressional district in which DEC is primarily located, or the congressional district Vice-Chair at the direction of the congressional district Chair, shall call a meeting of the DEC for the purpose of reorganization upon written notice of a least two (2) weeks to all those on the membership list on file with the Lee County Supervisor of Elections. The FDP Chair shall be notified by certified mail.

5.4 Proxies: Pursuant to Article I, Section 1.2. of the FDP Bylaws, any member of the DEC who, for any reason, is unable to attend any meeting of the DEC may execute a written proxy. Such proxy shall be sworn to before a notary public, or, in the alternative, may be validated by two (2) registered Democrats signing as witnesses. Any proxy which is incomplete in any way shall be returned to the member issuing the proxy. The member sending the incomplete proxy shall be notified immediately by phone or email that the proxy is incomplete. The holder of such proxy shall be a qualified Democrat not a member of the DEC. No person shall be permitted to hold more than one (1) proxy.

5.4.1 Requirements: Pursuant to Article I, Section 1.2.3 of the FDP Bylaws, any elected member of the DEC may designate a registered Democrat residing in the same precinct as said elected member to exercise his or her proxy. Any Automatic Member or Appointed Member of the DEC shall designate a registered Democrat residing in Lee County to exercise his or her proxy. For a proxy to be honored by the DEC, the holder shall submit written notice to the DEC Chair prior to the meeting.

5.4.2 Clubs and Caucuses: Pursuant to Article I, Section 1.2.4 of the FDP Bylaws, proxy voting shall be prohibited for Democratic Chartered Clubs and Caucuses.

5.4.3 Proxy Form: Pursuant to Article I, Section 1.2.5 of the FDP Bylaws, proxies shall be substantially in the form as set forth herein at Attachment 1.

5.4.4 Quorum Limitation: Pursuant to Article I, Section 1.2.6 of the FDP Bylaws, proxies may not account for more than fifteen percent (15%) in computing a quorum.

5.4.5 Attendance: Pursuant to Article I, Section 1.2.7 of the FDP Bylaws, members voting by proxy shall not be considered present in the fulfillment of their attendance requirements.

5.5 Organizational Meetings: Pursuant to Article V, Section 3.2 of the FDP Bylaws, the DEC shall hold an organizational meeting, called by the DEC Chair of the preceding committee, within thirty (30) days following a Presidential election. In addition, the DEC shall hold an organizational meeting, called by the DEC Chair of the preceding DEC, within thirty (30) days following a Florida gubernatorial election.

5.5.1 Agenda: Pursuant to Article V, Section 3.2.1 of the FDP Bylaws and Article VII, Section 1.c. and D. of the DEC Constitution, the organizational meeting shall be called to order by the DEC Chair who shall chair the meeting until the election of the new DEC Chair who shall then 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 DEC Chair calls for nominations for temporary chair to conduct election of new DEC Chair

(6) Election of DEC Chair

(7) Election of State Committeepersons

(8) Election of Vice-Chair

(9) Election of Executive Secretary

(10) Election of Recording Secretary

(11) Election of Treasurer

(12) Election of Deputy Treasurer

(13) Election of any other officers

Immediately following the election of officers, the organizational meeting shall stand adjourned.  The DEC Chair may then convene a meeting to conduct any other business.

5.6 Accessibility: Pursuant to Article 1, Section 1.4 of the FDP Bylaws, all in-person meetings of the DEC and chartered Clubs and Caucuses shall be held in facilities that are accessible to persons with physical disabilities.

5.7 Electronic Meetings: Any meeting of the DEC may be held virtually by electronic means that permit each person present to hear all speakers and permit each person present to have the opportunity to be heard by all other persons present upon recognition by the chair of the meeting.

SECTION 6. VOTING:

6.1 Voting: Pursuant to Article V, Section 4 of the FDP Bylaws, voting shall be one vote for each member.

6.2 Voting by Appointed Members: Pursuant to Article V, Section 4.1 of the FDP Bylaws, the term of office for Appointed Members expires one week prior to the commencement of an organizational meeting. Therefore, Appointed Members shall not vote for officers at an organizational meeting. In the event an office becomes vacant during the term, Appointed Members shall have voting privileges.

SECTION 7. POLICY AND PROCEDURE:

7.1 Membership Lists: Pursuant to Article V, Section 5.2 of the FDP Bylaws, the names and addresses of the members of the DEC, as well as the officers of the DEC, shall be furnished to the FDP Chair immediately after an organizational meeting. Changes in membership shall be furnished in writing to the FDP Chair within ten (10) days. A complete and updated membership list shall be sent to the FDP Chair by January 31 of each year.

7.2 Records: Pursuant to Article V, Section 5.3 of the FDP Bylaws, minutes shall be kept of all meetings and shall be presented at the next meeting for approval. Copies shall be sent to the FDP Chair within twenty (20) days following such meetings.

7.3 Annual Audit: Pursuant to Article V, Section 5.4 of the FDP Bylaws, there shall be an annual audit of the financial condition of the DEC for each calendar year ending December 31, in compliance with Florida §103.121(2) and conducted by a qualified examiner who shall not be a member of the DEC. Audits shall be conducted in substantial compliance with standard accounting procedures. Copies shall be retained by the DEC Chair for the examination of any member thereof and copies shall be furnished to the Lee County Supervisor of Elections and to the FDP Chair prior to April 1 of the ensuing year.

SECTION 8. FINANCES:

8.1 Assessment Fees: Pursuant to Article V, Section 6 of the FDP Bylaws, in the event that the DEC receives Party assessment fees, the DEC shall submit a campaign plan detailing the expenditure of such fees to the FDP Chair and the Budget and Finance Committee of the FDP for approval.

8.2 Distribution of Funds: Pursuant to Article V, Section 61 of the FDP Bylaws, the distribution of DEC funds among individual members is forbidden.

SECTION 9. CHARTERED CLUBS:

9.1 Charted Democratic Clubs within Lee County

9.1.1 Jurisdiction: Pursuant to Article VI, Section 2.1 of the FDP Bylaws, the charters of Clubs within the jurisdiction of the DEC shall be entirely within Lee County. The DEC is not authorized to establish a maximum number of Clubs for Lee County.

9.1.2 Requirements for Chartering: Pursuant to Article VI, Section 2.2 of the FDP Bylaws, the DEC shall provide Clubs with copies of the standard bylaws, applications for chartering and recertification and procedural guidelines for the same, and any other forms and information necessary for establishing and operating a Club. Club bylaws shall be in compliance with these the Charter and bylaws of the FDP and Florida Statutes. The bylaws of a Club shall include the following, unless otherwise provided herein: the anti-discrimination policies of the FDP; a provision prohibiting endorsement in primary elections and prohibiting the endorsement of anyone other than the Democratic nominee in general elections; a provision requiring votes by secret ballot for officers and directors only; a provision for adding amendments to the standard bylaws; a provision prohibiting proxy voting; and a provision that the quorum of any meeting of a Club shall be ten percent (10%) or twenty percent (20%) based on the total membership of the Club. With the exception of the organizational meeting, the standard Club bylaws shall include a forty-five (45) day membership requirement prior to a member being permitted to vote or participate in any Club election for officers or board members. Prior to being chartered, prospective Clubs must submit a packet that includes a copy of the completed standard bylaws, an application for a charter, and a list of officers and members to the Certification Committee, composed of the DEC Chair and State Committee persons of the DEC. Should one (1) person hold two (2) of these offices, the Vice-Chair shall be a member of the Certification Committee. With at least two (2) of the DEC officers signing the application, a recommendation to approve or to reject the club shall be submitted to the DEC for ratification. Upon approval, the signed application for charter and the Club packet of information shall be sent by the DEC Chair to the FDP Chair and to the FDP Chair of the Committee on Clubs, Organizations, and Caucuses. The FDP Committee on Clubs, Organizations, and Caucuses shall review the packet and shall recommend approval or disapproval to the FDP Chair. Once the FDP Chair approves, the FDP Central Committee shall make the final decision. Certificates of charter for approved Clubs shall be sent to the DEC Chair for presentation to the Club.

9.1.3 Charter Recertification: Pursuant to Article VI, Section 2.3 of the FDP Bylaws, in July of every odd numbered year, Clubs shall submit an application for a Certificate of Compliance to determine their compliance with the Charter and Bylaws of the FDP, Florida Statutes, and the bylaws of the DEC. Clubs shall submit applications for recertification with a copy of their current bylaws, officers, and membership to the FDP Certification Committee. The FDP Certification Committee shall review the applications and bylaws and shall issue a Certificate of Compliance unless it is determined the Club is in violation of the Charter and Bylaws of the FDP, Florida Statutes, or the bylaws of the DEC. If it is determined a Club is in violation, it shall be so notified and shall have sixty (60) days from receipt of the notification to correct the violation(s). If the violation(s) is not corrected by the end of said period, the FDP Certification Committee may recommend the revocation of the Club’s charter to the DEC. In the event such a recommendation is made, the Club shall be so notified. Notice of revocation shall also be given to the FDP Chair and to the Chair of the FDP Committee on Clubs, Organizations, and Caucuses. Charter revocation shall result in the forfeiture of all rights and privilege of the use of the word Democrat, Democratic, or any derivative thereof.

9.1.4 Membership: Pursuant to Article VI, Section 2.4 of the FDP Bylaws, the DEC may require a Club to have a minimum number of members prior to chartering, unless otherwise provided herein.

9.1.5 Annual Party Contribution: In January of each year, each Club chartered in Lee County under the rules of the FDP shall pay an annual contribution based on membership as of December 31 of the preceding year to the DEC based on the following:

Clubs with 0 to 50 members               $ 25.00
Clubs with 51 to 100 members         $ 50.00
Clubs with 101 to 300 members       $ 75.00
Clubs with 301 to 500 members       $ 100.00
Clubs with 501 to 750 members       $ 150.00
Clubs with 751 to 1000 members     $ 250.00
Clubs with over 1000 members        $ 500.00

Any newly chartered club will pay a contribution based on the number of members at the time of chartering which is consistent with the annual party contribution fee schedule. Eighty percent (80%) of the contribution shall remain with the DEC and twenty percent (20%) shall be remitted to the FDP no later than April 1 of that year.

9.1.6 Grievances: Pursuant to Article VI, Section 2.6 of the FDP Bylaws, unless otherwise provided in these bylaws, disputes and grievances involving Clubs may be resolved by the DEC Chair and State committeepersons of the DEC. Should one (1) person hold two (2) offices, the Vice-Chair shall be involved in the resolution. Such resolution may be appealed to the DEC whose decision shall be final unless appealed to the FDP Judicial Council no later than forty-five (45) days from the date of the decision of the DEC.

9.1.7 Dissolution: Pursuant to Article VI, Section 2.7 of the FDP Bylaws, upon dissolution of a Club for any reason, the Club’s assets and funds, after all debts have been satisfied, shall become the property of the DEC.

ARTICLE II DUTIES OF OFFICERS

SECTION 1. DEC CHAIR:

1.1 General Duties: The DEC Chair shall preside over all meetings of the DEC, appoint members of any special or standing committees, serve as ex-officio member of all special and standing committees, function as the executive officer of the Democratic Party of Lee County, represent the Democratic Party of Lee County before the public, and perform all other duties attributed to the office.

1.2 Special Meetings: The DEC Chair may call special meetings of the DEC provided that the membership is notified five (5) days in advance of each special meeting.

1.3 Fiduciary Responsibilities: The DEC Chair, Vice-Chair or Treasurer shall sign all checks issued by the Treasurer.

1.4 Delegation of Record Keeping: The DEC Chair, at his or her discretion, may delegate any non-fiduciary record keeping to any member of the DEC provided that such member distributes a copy of the records to the Executive Secretary.

1.5 Urgent Decisions: The DEC Chair shall be empowered to make all policy and operational decisions, including the expenditure of funds and the establishment of DEC positions on a current issue, during periods when it is not possible or feasible to hold a meeting of the DEC or the Steering Committee.

SECTION 2. VICE-CHAIR:

2.1    Duties:

2.1.1 Should the DEC Chair not be able to perform any of the duties specified inSection 1 of this Article II, the Vice-Chair shall perform the duties of the DEC Chair in place of the DEC Chair and shall serve as acting DEC Chair in the event of a vacancy.

2.1.2 The Vice-Chair shall perform such other duties as shall be delegated to theVice-Chair by the DEC Chair.

SECTION 3. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY:

3.1 Correspondence: The Executive Secretary shall maintain and file all correspondence received by, initiated by, or responded to by the DEC.

3.2 Meeting Agendas and Notices: In coordination with the DEC Chair, the Executive Secretary shall:

3.2.1 Prepare meeting agendas.

3.2.2 Mail or email written notices and agendas of all regular and special meetingsto every DEC member ten (10) days prior to the date of the meeting.

3.2.3 With respect to special meetings, the Executive Secretary shall take theactions within forty (40) hours of receiving notice from the DEC Chair calling such meeting.

3.3 Rosters: The Executive Secretary shall furnish rosters of DEC members, DEC Officers, chairs of Committee and Caucus chairs, and DEC members to all DEC members within thirty (30) days after any Organization meeting and quarterly thereafter.

3.3 Reports: The Executive Secretary shall make all reports regarding membership to the FDP executive committee and the Lee County Supervisor of Elections as required by Florida Statute §103.091(3).

3.4 Other Duties:

3.5.1 Distribution of Minutes: The Executive Secretary shall distribute a copy of the minutes of all DEC meetings and Steering Committee minutes to the entire membership at each DEC meeting for review, correction and acceptance.

3.5.1 Bylaws: The Executive Secretary shall make available a copy of the DEC Constitution and Bylaws to each DEC member upon their election or appointment.

SECTION 4. RECORDING SECRETARY:

4.1.  Attendance at Meetings:

4.1.1 Credentials The Recording Secretary shall verify that those present and voting at all regular or special meetings are DEC members or qualified proxies for members.

4.1.2 Quorum The Recording Secretary shall verify whether a quorum has been reached at each regular or special meeting of the DEC.

4.1.3 Attendance The Recording Secretary shall keep an accurate attendance record and have it available at each meeting.

4.2 Minutes:

4.2.1 The Recording Secretary shall be responsible for the preparation and timelyreporting of all minutes of regular and special meetings of the DEC and of the Steering Committee.

4.2.2 Copies of all approved minutes shall be kept on file and available to all DECmembers and the FDP Chair upon request within twenty (20) days of a request.

SECTION 5. TREASURER:

5.1 Records: The Treasurer shall:

5.1.1 Maintain adequate records evidencing receipt and disbursement of all DECfunds received by the Treasurer in accordance with Florida Statute §103.121(2).

5.1.2 Receive and prepare for expenditure all financial obligations incurred by theDEC.

5.1.3 Keep a detailed record of all such financial transactions.

5.1.4 Report the current status of the DEC treasury at all regular meetings of theDEC as of the end of the month.

5.2 Fiduciary Duties:

5.2.1 Banking: The Treasurer shall establish and administer the account(s) of the DEC and document for audit the deposit and disbursement of funds from that account(s) as prescribed in Florida Statute §103.121(2) and in accordance with the FDP Bylaws.

5.3 Annual Budget: The Treasurer, in consultation with the DEC Chair, shall prepare a budget within sixty (60) days of January 1 of each calendar year to be presented to the membership of the DEC for review and approval.

5.4 Party Assessment Budget: The Treasurer shall prepare a budget providing for a campaign plan that details the expenditure of any Party Assessment or filing fees that are returned to the DEC by the FDP in accordance with Article V, Section 7 of the FDP Bylaws and Article I, Section 8 of these Bylaws.

5.5 Payment: Upon direction of the DEC Chair, or the Vice-Chair in the absence of the DEC Chair, the Treasurer shall execute a check from an existing account maintained by the DEC for the signature of the DEC Chair or Treasurer in payment of any properly invoiced expenditure.

SECTION 6. DEPUTY TREASURER:

6.1 It shall be the duty of the Deputy Treasurer to:

6.1.1 Assist the Treasurer with data entry, record keeping and generating reports

6.1.2 Provide monthly Treasurer’s Reports to the DEC in the absence of the Treasurer.

6.1.3 Perform such other duties as the Treasurer requests.

6.2 The Deputy Treasurer shall not have authority to sign checks or otherwise disburse funds of the DEC.

SECTION 7. STATE COMMITTEEPERSONS:

Pursuant to Article V, Section 3.1 of the FDP Charter, the duties of the State Committeepersons are to serve as liaison between: the FDP and the DEC; the DEC and the FDP Clubs; members of the FDP Executive Committee and the DEC Steering Committee; the FDP and members of the DEC Campaign Committee; and the FDP and members of the FDP and other committees designated by the DEC Charter and Bylaws.

ARTICLE III STANDING RULES, PROTOCOLS, & RESOLUTIONS

SECTION 1. GENERAL: The DEC shall establish necessary and appropriate standing rules, protocols and resolutions for the implementation of the DEC Bylaws and the application of other responsibilities of the DEC. These shall be recommended by the Steering Committee, in compliance with Article IV, Section 1.3.4 of the DEC Bylaws, and adopted, amended, or deleted by a majority vote of the membership of the DEC present and voting.

SECTION 2. DEFINITIONS:

2.1 Standing Rule: Any rule or procedure which outlines how the DEC will operate within the party.  

2.2 Protocol: Any procedure which outlines how the DEC will operate and interact outside the party.

2.3 Resolution: Any official stance on a specific issue.  

SECTION 3. RECORDS: The DEC shall maintain an accurate, complete, and permanent record of all Standing Rules, Protocols, and Resolutions passed by the DEC. The DEC shall furnish a copy of any approved Standing Rule, Policy, or Resolution to the current membership of the DEC as an addendum to the minutes.

ARTICLE IV COMMITTEES

SECTION 1. STEERING COMMITTEE

Pursuant to Article V, Section 1. of the DEC Constitution, a standing Steering Committee of the DEC that shall be the operating and managing committee of the Lee County shall be established.

1.1 Powers:

1.1.1 The Steering Committee may receive, review, and act upon all committee reports, other than the Audit Committee, resolutions, and expenditures, both budgeted and unbudgeted.

1.1.2 The Steering Committee shall administer, supervise, and control the policies and affairs of the DEC.

1.1.3 The Steering Committee shall have the authority to make decisions between meetings of the DEC that are consistent with the FDP Charter and Bylaws, the Constitution and Bylaws of the DEC, and policies set forth by the DEC.

1.2 Membership:

1.2.1 Automatic Members: Pursuant to Article V, Section 2. of the DEC Constitution, the Steering Committee shall be composed of the elected officers, chairs of each standing committee, the chair of each Club chartered under these Bylaws, the immediate past DEC Chair of the DEC if that person remains a member of the DEC and presidents of all Lee County Democratic Caucuses chartered by the FDP.

1.2.2 Appointed Members: The Steering Committee may also include up to an additional ten (10) persons appointed by the DEC Chair to achieve political, economic, minority or gender balance. Appointed Members shall serve at the pleasure of the DEC Chair, provided that (a) while a petition for meeting of the Steering Committee is pending, no appointment may be terminated by the DEC Chair until such meeting has been concluded; and (b) all appointments shall terminate upon the election of a new DEC Chair.

1.3 Meetings:

1.3.1 Call by DEC Chair: Pursuant to Article V, Section 3. of the DEC Constitution, the Steering Committee meeting shall meet at least quarterly at the call of the DEC Chair provided that written notice of no less than five (5) days has been provided to all members of the Steering Committee.

1.3.2 Call by Members: Pursuant to Article V, Section 3. of the DEC Constitution, a special meeting of the Steering Committee shall be called upon request to the Executive Secretary by two (2) or more members of the Steering Committee upon written notice of no less than five (5) days provided to all members of the Steering Committee.

1.3.3 Quorum: Pursuant to Article V, Section 4. of the DEC Constitution, A quorum shall be twenty percent (20%) of its membership, four (4) of whom shall be elected officers.

1.4 Policy and Procedure:

1.4.1 Votes: The DEC Chair, at his or her discretion, may take a vote of the Steering Committee members by certified mail, email, or telephone polling on any matter.

1.4.2 Standing Rules, Protocols & Resolutions: The Steering Committee shall formulate, as it deems appropriate, Standing Rules, Protocols, and Resolutions for consideration by the DEC membership. Upon adoption by a majority vote of the Steering Committee members present and voting, such rules and policies shall be circulated to the DEC membership and added to the agenda of the next scheduled DEC meeting that comes at least 30 days after the circulation.

SECTION 2. GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE:

A standing Grievance Committee of the DEC shall be established in accordance with the following:

2.1 Membership:

2.1.1 Membership shall consist of five (5) DEC members appointed by the DEC Chair.

2.1.2 Members of the Grievance Committee shall serve for staggered terms of three (3) years.

2.1.3. The DEC Chair shall use his or her best efforts to appoint members of the Grievance Committee of varying age, gender, and race with diverse backgrounds.

2.1.4 The Chair of the Grievance Committee, hereinafter, the “Grievance Committee Chair” shall be elected by a majority vote of the members of the Grievance Committee to serve a term of one (1) year and may be reelected.

2.2 Responsibilities:

2.2.1 The Chair of the Grievance Committee shall receive, acknowledge receipt of, refer, and archive Grievances filed by Complainants.

2.2.1 The Grievance Committee member to whom a Complaint is referred, hereinafter, the “Designated Committee Member,” shall be determined by the Chair, who may be the Chair, who shall:

2.2.1.1 Contact the person(s) who are the subject(s) of the Complaint, hereinafter, the “Respondent(s)” to notify them of the Complaint, providing a copy thereof with any redactions as determined advisable by the Designated Committee Member as in the best interests of addressing the Complaint, request their written response, and archive any written response.

2.2.1.2 With the assistance of other Grievance Committee members, conduct any necessary investigation of the Complaint.

2.2.1.3 Present findings to the Grievance Committee with a written report and, if necessary, a recommendation for action.

2.2.2 If deemed advisable, the Grievance Committee Chair may advise the Complainant and the Respondent(s) that they shall not contact each other for the duration of the investigative process.

2.2.3 The Grievance Committee shall compile a report to the Executive Committee on January 31 of each year that details:

2.2.3.1 How many Complaints were made in the prior calendar year.

2.2.3.2 What actions were taken and how many were proposed for disciplinary action.

2.2.3.3 How many disciplinary actions were taken by the DEC and the nature of such disciplinary actions.

2.2.3.4 Any recommended changes for making the reporting system and the disciplinary process more effective.

2.2.3.5 The report shall not include any personal identifying information.

2.2.4. The Grievance Committee shall cause to be published on the DEC website, and make otherwise available to volunteers and members of the Lee County Democratic Party, a template form for confidentially reporting Complaints that includes:

2.2.4.1 The Complainant’s contact information.

2.2.4.2 The Respondent(s).

2.2.4.3 A description of the incident(s) which are the subject of the Complaint, including, but not limited to, the date(s), location(s) and form of interaction(s), e.g., in person, phone, email, etc.

2.2.5 The Grievance Committee shall adopt a policy prohibiting discrimination, harassment and bullying and implementing the same, hereinafter, the “Policy”.

2.2.6 The Grievance Committee shall cause the Policy to be published on the Lee County DEC website.

2.3 Appeals to the FDP Judicial Council: Rulings by the Grievance Committee may be appealed to the FDP Judicial Council in accordance with Article II, Section 5.5 of the FDP Bylaws.  

SECTION 3. DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION COMMITTEE:

3.1 Formation: In compliance with Article V, Section 5.1.1 of the FDP Bylaws, a standing Diversity and Inclusion Committee shall be established.

3.2 Membership: Members of the Committee shall serve at the pleasure of the DEC Chair.

3.3 Duties: The Diversity and Inclusion Committee shall work in conjunction with the FDP Diversity and Inclusion Committee to further the goals and policies of the FDP.

SECTION 4. YOUNG DEMOCRATS COMMITTEE:

4.1 Formation: In compliance with Article V, Section 5.1.2 of the FDP Bylaws, a standing Young Democrats Committee shall  be established.

4.2 Membership. The Committee shall be composed of those registered Democrats of Lee County, appointed by the DEC Chair, who have exhibited an interest in cultivating young voters to share the principles of the FDP, and to stimulate the participation of young Democrats in the activities of the Party. Members of the Committee shall serve at the pleasure of the DEC Chair.

4.3 Duties: The Young Democrats Committee shall work with the Florida Young Democrats.

SECTION 5. SPECIAL or AD HOC COMMITTEES AND CAUCUSES:

Pursuant to Article VI, Section 2. of the DEC Constitution:

5.1 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 DEC Chair.

5.2 The charges, duties, and responsibilities of Special Committees, Ad Hoc Committees, or Caucuses shall be established by the DEC Chair by and with the approval of the Steering Committee and will be incorporated into Standing Rules of the DEC.

5.3 The DEC Chair shall appoint the Chair for all Standing Committees, Special or Ad-Hoc Committees or Caucuses and will serve at the pleasure of the DEC Chair.

5.4 Standing Committees, Special or Ad-Hoc Committees or Caucuses are to perform such functions as may be set forth in the DEC Constitution, these Bylaws, Standing Rules or as designated by the DEC Chair.

5.5 The DEC Chair or the Chair’s designee shall serve as ex-officio members of all Standing, Special or Ad Hoc Committees or Caucuses.

ARTICLE V EMERGENCY BUSINESS

Pursuant to Article V, Section 5. of the DEC Constitution:

SECTION 1. 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 the authority to act for the full DEC until such time as a regular meeting of the full DEC can be held.

SECTION 2. Minutes shall be kept of any emergency action taken and reported to the next regular meeting of the full DEC.

SECTION 3. If such action exceeded the scope of the authority granted under these Bylaws, ratification shall be requested.

ARTICLE VI EFFECTIVE DATE AND AMENDMENTS

SECTION 1. Effective Date: These Bylaws supersede all prior DEC Bylaws and shall become effective upon adoption by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the DEC present and voting at any regular or special meeting of the DEC provided that there shall have been at least ten (10) days written notice of the purposed bylaws meeting.

SECTION 2. Amendments: These Bylaws may be amended by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the DEC present and voting at any regular or special meeting of the DEC, provided that there shall have been at least ten (10) days written notice of the proposed amendment and meeting.

SECTION 3. Required Amendments: In the event that any provision of these Bylaws is rendered invalid or incomplete by virtue of an amendment or other change to Florida Statutes, the FDP Charter or Bylaws, or the DEC Constitution, the DEC Chair is authorized to cause the drafting of conforming amendments to these Bylaws. Such conforming amendments shall be given by the DEC Chair to the Executive Secretary of the DEC for distribution to all members of the DEC and shall become effective upon such distribution.

ECTION 4. Distribution: The Executive Secretary will provide a copy of these Bylaws and any amendments thereto to the FDP within ten (10) days of their respective effective dates.

[1] All references herein to the Lee County Constitution are to the Constitution of the DEC dated August 24, 2020, as amended May 24, 2021.