Charter of GBYD

Article 1: Organizational Structure and Statement of Purpose

Section 1-1: Organization and Definitions

The name of this organization shall be Greater Boston Chapter (hereafter referred to as “GBYD”) of Young Democrats of Massachusetts (hereafter referred to as “YDMA”), and it shall be an independent organization of Democrats in the Greater Boston area, as defined in the organization’s bylaws, under the age of 36 years. Any person who has reached the age of 36 may be elected to honorary membership in this organization upon nomination by and majority vote of the Board.

Prior to nomination and election to honorary membership, candidates shall have demonstrated a commitment to the highest ideals of the Democratic Party and shall have performed extraordinary service to the Greater Boston Young Democrats. Honorary members shall be accorded full, non-voting, floor privileges at any meeting of Greater Boston Young Democrats and shall not be an officer in any role or capacity.

Section 1-2: Statement of Purpose

GBYD shall serve the Greater Boston area by:

  1. Connecting Democrats under the age of 36 to networking, volunteer, electoral, and educational opportunities throughout Greater Boston;
  2. Fostering civic engagement and encouraging young people to become involved in the democratic process;
  3. Increasing awareness of and participation in the Democratic party by presenting the ideas and beliefs of the party in an open and public manner;
  4. Developing youth leadership through training and workshops;
  5. Stimulating dialogue on important issues facing Greater Boston, Massachusetts and the nation;
  6. Supporting the electoral efforts of Democrats, particularly those who are young and those who share the values, beliefs and priorities of GBYD;
  7. Advocating for legislation and ballot initiatives which align with the core values of GBYD, and;
  8. Operating in a manner that promotes inclusion, fair treatment and respect for all humans and seeks to unite people across any and all divides.

Section 1-3: Organizational Structure

GBYD shall consist of a Board of Directors, appointed committees/caucuses, and a general chapter membership. 

Article 2: Membership

Section 2-1: Eligibility

All persons under the age of 36 years are eligible to be members of GBYD if they: 

  1. Live, work, or attend school in the Greater Boston area;
  2. Identify with the principles of the Democratic Party;
  3. Pledge to support Democratic candidates. All Chapter members who are so eligible must be registered to vote within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  4. These conditions should not exclude permanent residents who are not eligible to register to vote within the United States and temporary residents who choose to remain registered in another state.
  5. No person who is a voting member of a regional chapter affiliated with YDMA outside of the Greater Boston area in Massachusetts may be a voting member of GBYD. Any member of GBYD is also a member of YDMA. 

Section 2-2: Termination of Membership/Ineligibility

Members who temporarily leave the Boston area for military service, education, political activity, or other endeavors of limited duration, may choose to remain members of GBYD, so long as they continue to be registered in the Democratic Party, where possible.

Section 2-3: Dues

Membership dues may be solicited, with the following conditions and restrictions: 1) any such requirement must be included as part of the bylaws of GBYD; and 2) Ensure that non-paying members have access to events and can contribute to organizational goals and objectives.

Section 2-4: Voting Members

Voting Members shall be those members who have attended at least two meetings or other official Chapter events in the previous calendar year, and meet the requirements of membership.  This clause shall not limit the ability to vote or seek office in the Chapter’s first official member convention, but will be in full effect and force thereafter.

Article 3: Officers of GBYD

Section 3-1: Eligibility

Any person serving on the Board of Directors of GYBD must fit the qualifications of a voting member, plan to reside, work, or attend school in the Greater Boston Area through the length of their term, and must pay membership dues to the organization.

Section 3-2: Board of Directors

Membership on the Board of Directors shall consist of the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Communications Director, Political Director, Secretary, Outreach Director, Policy Director, Fundraising Coordinator, and the prior GBYD Chair as an Ex-Officio. The prior chair will not be required or counted to establish a quorum and will not have voting rights. No person may simultaneously hold more than one of these offices. No more than 3 members of the GBYD Board of Directors may be members of the YDMA Board of Directors and the Chair and Vice-Chair may not be such members by virtue of any other position. 

Section 3-3: Elections

Officers shall be elected annually by the membership at a determined time each year.

Officers shall be elected by majority vote through secret ballot. If a majority is not achieved on the first ballot, the candidate with the least number of votes shall be dropped from the balloting, and another round of ballots shall be cast until one person receives a majority of the vote.

Section 3-4: Duties and Responsibilities

The Board of Directors shall meet monthly to discuss any business pending before GBYD.  All officers shall participate in chapter events and are encouraged to participate in events sponsored by the state board.  The board may also choose a certain number of members to form committees as needed to better carry out the business of GBYD.

The Chair shall

  1. Preside at all Board meetings, general meetings, conventions, and events sponsored by GBYD.
  2. Set the time, place, and agenda for such meetings, in consultation with the rest of the Board.
  3. Act as the official spokesperson of the Chapter.
  4. Lead the Chapter at least once a year in setting an annual agenda for the organization during a convention to be held after GBYD elections.
  5. Oversee the overall functions and operations of GBYD.
  6. Serve as GBYD’s representative on the YDMA Board or appoint a proxy

The Vice-Chair shall

  1. Assist and support the Chair in all tasks and preside as Chair in their absence
  2. Fill the remainder of the Chair’s term in the case of a vacancy
  3. Set and coordinate GBYD elections to fill the vacancy of Vice Chair in the case of the Chair’s vacancy and thus the Vice Chair becoming the new Chair.

The Treasurer shall

  1. Maintain GBYD finances.
  2. Act as a liaison between GBYD and the YDMA Treasurer on all financial matters.
  3. Participate in an OCPF training within 60 days of GBYD election.
  4. Comply with all state campaign political finance laws and guidelines.
  5. Collect dues in the event they are solicited.
  6. Ensure financial transparency to the GBYD membership.
  7. Coordinate GBYD fundraising efforts.
  8. Build relationships with other fundraising bodies associated with the Democratic Party.
  9. If the role Fundraising Coordinator is not filled, The Treasurer shall assume the combined roles as Finance Director.

The Communications Director shall

  1. Maintain the GBYD website, Facebook group, Twitter, Linkedin, and any other associated websites or other social networking presence.
  2. Conduct media relations through a regularly updated press list and maintain said list.
  3. Work with the Chair and the GBYD Board to handle all correspondence on behalf of GBYD
  4. Work with Caucuses and Board to promote awareness on GBYD actions and activities.

The Political Director shall

  1. Serve as the organizer and coordinator of membership involvement in endorsed campaigns.
  2. Serve as primary point of contact with ongoing local, regional, and national campaigns on behalf of GBYD and the GBYD Board.
  3. Proactively create and maintain relationships with local, regional, and national campaigns as and initiate and/or schedule actionable electoral opportunities where applicable as agreed upon by the Board.
  4. Oversees the endorsement process should the Chapter choose to do so, consistent with the GBYD By-Laws.
  5. Scout positions where promoting a Young Democrat is a realistic option to fill for an elected position.

The Secretary Shall

  1. Contact, or assist the Board in contacting, GBYD members concerning upcoming meetings, conventions, and other events
  2. Distribute an agenda and minutes before all meetings of the Board of membership meetings
  3. Maintain public schedule on all available GBYD/YDMA outlets of upcoming and planned events and coordinate with Communications Director to publicize as such.

The Outreach Director Shall

  1. Maintain clear and accurate records of membership and attendance, and ensure those individuals who are eligible to vote are accounted for.
  2. Devise a work plan to meet recruitment benchmarks to be presented to the Board of Directors.
  3. Plan and organize community outreach efforts.
  4. Set goals with the Board for outreach.
  5. Coordinate with communications director to ensure visibility in the community.
  6. Ensure diversity of outreach efforts to impact the community in a variety of areas that align with GBYD goals.

 The Policy Director shall

  1. Update committees and Board on relevant state and federal docket legislation 
  2. Maintain active relationship with state reps, senators and federal representatives
  3. Work with committees and reps to draft and endorse legislation that support the democratic party platform
  4. Follow legislation through its life cycle until it is adopted or fails to accrue votes necessary to pass.
  5. Work with local State Reps and Senators to promote and add language to legislation deemed necessary by the board to achieve goals set by GBYD.
  6. Participate in the YDMA Public Policy Committee meetings and activities when relevant to the Greater Boston area.

The Fundraising Coordinator shall

  1. Coordinate and organize all fundraising events.
  2. Work with the Board to set fundraising goals for the organization.
  3. Work closely with the Treasurer to ensure consistent communication throughout the organization and to ensure accurate financial records.
  4. If the role of Treasurer is not filled, The Fundraising Coordinator shall assume the combined roles as Finance Director.

Section 3-5: Vacancy

In the event that the position of Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Communications Director, Political Director, Fundraising Coordinator, Policy Director or Outreach Director is vacated, the Chair shall work with the Vice Chair to appoint an interim member who meets all prerequisites. The interim Board member(s) will run for election during annual elections. 

In the event that both the Chair and Vice-Chair are concurrently vacant a special election to fill such vacancies will be called by the President of YDMA in no fewer than 7 days but no more than 14 days following the notice to the President of YDMA of such vacancies.

If the Chair and/or Vice Chair fails to make an appointment within 30 days of the vacancy, any member of the GBYD Board of Directors shall be entitled to call a special election within 15 days to do so. Should no member of the GBYD Board of Directors call for such an election within 45 days of vacancy, the Chair of YDMA, with the consent of the YDMA Vice Chairs of Programming and Policy and Administration and Finance and the YDMA Director of Membership shall be entitled to call a special election and communicate it to all GBYD members no later than 30 days before the election. The President of YDMA is entitled to call a special election if the Chair fails to meet the election timeline requirements.

Section 3-6: Board Member Absence Policy

A Board Member should not miss more than 3 scheduled Board meetings in a fiscal year. If a Board Member misses a 4th scheduled Board Meeting, a vote shall be called by any current Board Member to verify the accuracy of the absences. The vote must pass with ⅔ majority. Any Board Member may call a vote of reinstatement at that same meeting due to extenuating circumstances. That vote must be unanimous to pass. If a Board Member is removed by this process and not reinstated, they must run for the seat at the next scheduled election.

Article 4: Activities:

Section 4-1: Chapter Meetings

Chapter meetings shall occur once per month, on a consistent day as often as possible. Chapter meetings shall be public events, open to all current, former and prospective members of GBYD. 

Section 4-2: Member Convention

Membership Conventions shall be held periodically and announced by the Chair no less than 30 days before the date of convening, unless such a convention shall be ordered by the Board with a set agenda, in which case 14 days notice shall be sufficient. These meetings shall be the time at which charter amendments, bylaw amendments, elections, endorsements, resolutions, and dues are voted upon as well as any other business that may properly come before GBYD.  Such anticipated action shall be included in the notice for the meeting.  All of the foregoing actions shall require a simple majority of members present and voting for passage.  The board may, prior to the meeting, invite candidates, public officials, or other relevant guests to address the membership as part of the meeting agenda. 

​​The Board shall appoint, in advance of each convention, five persons, including a chair, to serve as a Convention Rules Committee, to submit rules for the approval of the convention at the commencement of the session. In the absence of such an appointment, the first order of business at any convention shall be to select members for such a committee.

Section 4-3: Board Meetings

The GBYD Board of Directors shall meet on a monthly basis to be agreed upon by the directors and publicized to the membership. Board meetings shall be open to all GBYD members, unless reasons of collective bargaining, privacy, or other considerations similar to those in the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law require the Board of Directors to vote to hold an Executive Session. All votes of the Board of Directors shall be recorded; no secret ballots shall be permitted except when electing a new position to the Board as mentioned in Section 3-3.

Section 4-4: Endorsements

GBYD is authorized to endorse candidates for State Representative or State Senator in the General Court of Massachusetts, or Municipal office in the Greater Boston area, provided that no endorsement shall have been advanced at the state level in a given race. An endorsement shall authorize GBYD to campaign on behalf of the endorsed candidate. 

  1. The Chapter’s representative to the YDMA Political Committee shall inform and seek the input of the YDMA Political Director regarding GBYD’s intention to endorse, in advance of making an endorsement, and report the results to the Board before bringing the matter to a Membership Convention vote.
  2. In the event the Board decides to proceed with endorsement proceedings, a Membership Convention shall be announced pursuant to Section 4-2.
  3. Endorsements granted by GBYD will be one of the two following types: Level 1 and Level 2.
    1. Level 1 Endorsement: The Political Director will coordinate with the candidate’s campaign to supply volunteers for political activities which the campaign needs. GBYD publicizes their endorsement and provides ways to get involved in the campaign.
    2. Level 2 Endorsement: GBYD publicizes their endorsement through social media and other platforms, providing ways to get involved in the campaign.
  4. Notice of endorsements shall be transmitted to the state board.
  5. In a contested primary or preliminary race should the state board elect to endorse a different candidate in a race in which GBYD has already endorsed, the state endorsement shall supersede and nullify GBYD endorsement. 

Section 4-5: Policy Statements

Policy statements on timely matters may be adopted by a simple majority vote of the GBYD’s Board of Directors and should be presented to the YDMA board.

Article 5: Quorum

Section 5-1: Quorum

For the Purpose of Holding Board Meetings under the charter, if a notification of at least fourteen days has been given for holding a Board Meeting, no quorum attendance roll call shall be required for the purpose of holding the meeting and performing the active functions and duties of GBYD.

Article 6: Bylaws

Section 6-1: Purpose and Scope

GBYD’s bylaws shall serve to supplement this Charter, but shall in no way contradict its substance or intent. The bylaws are intended to address issues of process not stated in this Charter, but may not address policy questions.

Section 6-2: Passage and Amendment

Amendments to GBYD ‘s bylaws may be made by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors or by simple majority vote at a convention of GBYD members.

Article 7: Promulgation and Amendment

This charter, and any subsequent amendments hereto, shall take effect upon the ratification of those members eligible and present to vote at a convention called for that purpose.  An affirmative vote of 2/3 of the members present and voting shall be required both for original ratification and to amend this charter.  

A copy of the charter as ratified shall be transmitted to the Secretary of YDMA.

At any convention of the general chapter membership, provided that 30 days notice has been given, amendments to these bylaws may be proposed, debated, and acted upon. Such amendment shall specify which portion of these bylaws it is amending or whether it is completely new in subject matter.  The amendment shall also state when it shall go into effect.  Each time the bylaws are amended, a copy of the revised bylaws as ratified shall be transmitted to the Secretary of YDMA.

As amended at 2 September 2021 GBYD Convention.