By-Laws

(Download a PDF of the DTC By-laws)

Bylaws of the Framingham Democratic Town Committee- March 19, 2017

PREAMBLE

We, the duly elected members of the Framingham Democratic Town Committee
(hereinafter “the Committee”), hereby associate ourselves for the purposes of furthering
the principles of the Democratic Party, supporting only registered Democratic
Candidates in national, state, and local elections, and for all other purposes allowed
under law.

ARTICLE 1: PURPOSE

The Committee shall encourage Democratic Party voters and newly-registered
voters, through a program of education and information, to join the Democratic Party
political activities, the aim of which is to strengthen and further the cause of sound
government.

The Committee shall call on all Democratic Party voters and invite unenrolled
voters to vote in the Democratic Party primaries. 

The Committee shall support only registered Democratic candidates seeking elected
offices in partisan elections, and educate the public of, and advocate for Democratic
candidates. When two (2) or more Democratic candidates are participating in a
Democratic primary, the committee shall not endorse any candidate in such primary.
Providing there are a minimum of 18 regular members present at any regular or special
meeting, the Committee may endorse one or more Democratic candidates in a
non-partisan election up to the number of available elected positions upon a 3/4 vote of
those present and voting.

The Committee shall not endorse one Democrat vs. another Democrat; therefore, if
there are fewer positions on the ballot than there are Democratic candidates, there shall
be no endorsement of any candidate. Any such vote on the issue of endorsement
under this article shall be made by secret ballot.

The Committee shall examine and evaluate, as a public service, issues and questions that
affect our community, through equitable discussion and public debate.

ARTICLE 2: MEMBERSHIP

Section 1: General Membership
The Committee shall consist of 35 members elected at the Presidential Primary
for a period of four (4) years, pursuant to the General Laws of the Commonwealth.
Vacancies in the Committee shall be filled as set forth in the General Laws of the
Commonwealth by nomination and election by the Committee. After a Committee
member has served the Committee for twenty (20) years, they shall become Life
Members and shall have the same privileges as members but shall not be included in
the count of elected Committee members. Elected Committee members are expected
to understand that there are certain participatory obligations in the Massachusetts
State Democratic Party Charter, which should be met.

Any member who changes his or her domicile from Framingham shall cease
to be a member of the Committee.

Section 2: Associate Membership
All registered Democrats in the Town of Framingham are eligible for associate
membership on the Committee. To obtain membership, such persons must attend a
meeting of the Committee, state their wish to join, state their agreement to abide by the
by-laws, and pay such annual dues as are set forth under Article 6 of these by-laws.
Associate members whose dues are current shall be provided with notice to all
Committee meetings, be able to participate in debate and deliberations of the
Committee, and be able to serve as voting members of subcommittees.
Associate members shall not have the right of voting as members on formal
actions of the Committee.

ARTICLE 3: OFFICERS

Section 1: Officers of the Committee
The Officers of the Committee shall be Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer,
and Affirmative Action & Outreach Advisor and shall be elected in sequence at the
annual meeting for a term of two (2) years or as necessary to fill a vacancy for the
remainder of said term by signed ballot or roll call vote. A majority of the votes cast
shall be required to elect at the annual meeting, or as necessary to fill a vacancy, except
as set forth in Section 2 of this article.

Section 2: Chair
The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Committee. The Chair shall:

• Call the meeting to order at the scheduled time;
• Announce the business before the Committee in the order in which it is to be
acted upon;
• Recognize members entitled to the floor;
• State and put to vote all questions that are regularly moved;
• Assist in expediting business in every way compatible with the rights of the
members;
• Enforce on all occasions the observance of order and decorum among the
members;
• Authenticate by signature, when necessary, all acts, orders and proceedings
of the Committee.

The Chair shall conduct the meetings in general compliance with Robert’s Rules
of Order as set forth under Section 5 of Article 4. The Chair shall appoint members to
subcommittees and call special meetings as necessary.

Section 3: Vice-Chair
In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall assume the duties of the Chair.
In the event of permanent or temporary absence or resignation of the Chair, the
Vice-Chair shall act as Chair for the balance of the term. The Vice-Chair shall also serve
as the convener of the Programming Subcommittee.

Section 4: Secretary
The Secretary shall perform all the usual duties of a secretary, including but not
limited to:
• Make and file an accurate record of all official meetings of the Committee;
• Maintain an accurate list of the members;
• Provide notice of all meetings, elections, and votes to be taken;
• Prepare at the direction of the Chair the agenda of all meetings;
• File with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Secretary of the Democratic
State Committee, the Office of Campaign and Political Finance and the Town
Clerk a list of the officers and members of the Committee.

Section 5: Treasurer
The Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining an accurate accounting of all
financial transactions of the Committee. In addition, the Treasurer shall handle all petty
cash, maintain and reconcile bank account(s), and handle all correspondence of a
financial nature, including the filing of Town Committee financial reports with the Office
of Campaign and Political Finance. Expenditure of funds by the Treasurer shall only be
made by a vote of the Committee, except for regular expenses of the Committee.

Section 6: Affirmative Action & Outreach Advisor
The Affirmative Action & Outreach Advisor shall follow State Committee rules
and encourage the participation of individuals from affirmative action target groups
in the Committee.

Section 7. Executive Committee
There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of each of the 5 elected
officers as enumerated in Sections 2 through 6 of this Article.
All proceedings of the Executive Committee shall adhere to the practices and
procedures enumerated in the current Robert’s Rules of Order.
Upon the calling of an Executive Committee meeting, notice of the fact of the
meeting shall be given to the Town Committee Membership, together with the
intended items and issues to be discussed at that Executive Committee meeting.
Attendance at Executive Committee meetings is to be open to all regular members of
the Committee, however only members of the Executive Committee shall be voting
members at such Executive Committee meetings. The Executive Committee may
discuss and declare an “Executive Session,” which is not open to the public.

Section 8: Recall
Any office may be declared vacant on the vote of two-thirds of the membership
in response to written motions signed by ten members and served by hard copy or
electronically upon all members for receipt at least ten days prior to any regular or
special meeting.

ARTICLE 4: MEETINGS

Section 1: Annual Meeting
(a) The Annual Meeting of the Committee shall be held no later than the regularly scheduled
business meeting for the month of April in non-presidential election years.
(b) An Organizational Meeting for the purpose of electing officers shall be held every two years
during the Annual Meeting. In presidential election years, the Committee shall organize at the
Annual Meeting within ten days following the thirtieth day after the presidential primary election.
(c) Each April meeting of the Committee which is not an Organizational Meeting, shall be
designated as an Annual Meeting for purposes of establishing the calendar year of the
Committee, and dues for the new year shall become due at this meeting.

Section 2: Regular Meetings
There shall be no fewer than six regular meetings per year, to be held on a
monthly basis when possible.

Section 3: Attendance
Committee members shall attend at least half of the scheduled meetings. Failure
to generally adhere to this standard may result in the Committee asking for the
member’s resignation and/or not recommending that the member go forward for
reelection.

Section 4: Meeting Notification
All members and associate members shall receive written notification of
meetings, either by letter or electronic mail, seven days in advance of each regular or
annual meeting, or 48 hours in advance of a special meeting. Notice of special meetings
must contain the standard pertinent information and the purpose or purposes for
which such meeting is called.

Section 5: Proceedings
All proceedings and meetings of the Committee, or any Subcommittee, shall be
conducted under and pursuant to Robert’s Rules of Order, insofar as they are
consistent with these by-laws, except as may be otherwise voted by two-thirds of the
membership.

Section 6: Quorum
Nine members of the Committee constitute a quorum for the transaction of
business at any meeting. A majority vote by those members present and voting at any
meeting shall constitute the decision of the membership upon the matter submitted,
except as otherwise required by these by-laws.

ARTICLE 5: SUBCOMMITTEES

A subcommittee of the Committee may be created or dissolved by the chair or a
voting majority of the Committee. Subcommittee members shall be appointed by the
Chair, and may consist of both members and associate members. One subcommittee
shall be the Financial Audit Committee that shall conduct a biennial audit of the financial
affairs of the Committee following the election of the Treasurer.

ARTICLE 6: MEMBERSHIP DUES

The annual dues contribution of members and dues of associate members shall
be determined by the membership at the annual meeting. Annual dues cover
the period from May 1 to April 30. Full annual dues contributions are payable
whenever an individual becomes a new member or dues are payable upon a person
becoming an associate member. Dues may be confidentially waived by the Treasurer
and/or the Chair in the event of a financial hardship.

ARTICLE 7 : AMENDMENT OF BY-LAWS

To amend the By-Laws, one half (1/2) of the Committee must be present at a regular or special meeting of the Committee and two-thirds (2/3) of those voting at such a meeting must approve any such proposed amendment(s), provided that all members are notified by letter or electronic mail at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the meeting at which the proposed amendment(s) shall be considered. The notice shall include the wording of the proposed amendment(s) and the names of the sponsors.

ARTICLE 8 : SEVERABILITY

Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions, if any article or section of these by-laws is deemed invalid, the invalid provision shall be deemed stricken and the remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect.

Adopted by the Framingham Town Democratic Committee on March 19, 2017