Bylaws and Standing Rules
Of the Washington State Progressive Caucus
Last modified by membership on July 18, 2021
Article I – Name
The name of this organization shall be the Washington State Progressive Caucus (WSPC).
Article II – Purpose and Objective
We believe that the power to govern resides with the people as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Therefore, we pledge to encourage greater participation by the residents of Washington State in the political process. We further pledge to educate the residents of this State about progressive positions on issues that are vital to the people, and to promote unity within the Washington State Democratic Party.
Article III – Membership and Dues
Section 1: Membership Types
- An individual who resides primarily in Washington State and is committed to promoting progressive ideals of the Democratic Party in their community, region, Washington State, our nation and our planet and also promotes such change is eligible for;
- General Membership if they are at least eighteen years old, or;
- Associate Membership if they are at least fourteen years old, having a voice and vote in all matters reserved for members except executive board elections.
Section 2: Membership Term
The term of membership shall be twelve (12) months extending from the quarterly meeting each January through the next January quarterly meeting, regardless of which month during that calendar year the individual paid his/her membership dues.
Section 3: Membership Dues
- General membership dues may be set by the membership at the reorganization meeting. Individuals that become general members during the year shall pay annual prorated dues beginning with the quarter in which they become members through the end of the membership year.
- Individuals experiencing economic hardship shall pay dues in an amount they are able to afford.
- Associate members shall not pay any monetary dues but will staff a caucus sponsored event (voter registration, rally, meeting, etc.) prior to joining.
Section 4: Membership Meetings
- Membership meetings where official business will take place shall be held frequently, in-person, at locations around Washington State, often with remote electronic participation available, as solely online meetings and also in conjunction with each Washington State Democratic Central Committee meeting. A quorum shall consist of no less than ten (10) percent of currently eligible voting members. All members shall be notified by email or telephone at least ten (10) days prior to the scheduled meeting.
- Other meetings and presentations, in-person or by electronic means via telephone or online, where official business will not take place, may be called by the chair or by request of any five members.
Section 5: Voting
a. Member In Good Standing: A member who paid dues for the current cycle at least 30 days prior to voting, or a lapsed member who pays dues or is granted a dues reduction or waiver no more than 90 days after the end of the prior dues cycle.
b. Proxy: One member in good standing voting on behalf of another member in good standing.
c. Remote Access: Credentialed attendance at an official membership meeting using, among, but not exclusively, Skype, Zoom, FaceBook Live, GoToMeeting, Maestro Conference or Periscope.
- Only current members in good standing of the Caucus shall be entitled to cast a vote, in person or via remote access when available and arranged by the Executive Board, or present a proxy from another member at membership meetings.
- Voting by proxy shall only be allowed for votes cast on specifically referenced agenda items excluding reorganizations and election of officers.
- Only one proxy shall be allowed to be carried by any member.
- A proxy is valid and will be acknowledged when the member giving that proxy notifies the proxy holder, the Secretary, and Membership At-Large board member, and the proxy holder responds to confirm, by email or text message at least fifteen minutes prior to a scheduled meeting’s beginning.
- An individual requesting remote access to a meeting where it is offered will request it by responding to a registration link submitted in a Call To Meeting at least one hour prior to the scheduled meeting’s beginning.
- Except where specified in Robert’s Rules or in a Standing Rule, which would supersede, any matters that are submitted for a vote shall be decided by a majority vote, which is 50% plus one of all members present during the meeting unless otherwise specified.
Article IV – Officers
Section 1: Members shall elect:
a Chair, a Western Washington Vice-Chair, an Eastern Washington Vice-Chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer and four (4) at-large Executive Board Members. This group shall comprise the WSPC Executive Board.
Section 2: Elections of Officers and Term of Office
- All reasonable efforts shall be taken to ensure that no more than five (5) board members shall be of the same gender. Diversity and statewide representation shall also be goals.
- Nominations and election of Officers and Executive Board Members shall be at the Reorganizational Meeting of the Washington State Democratic Party Central Committee. Those elected shall serve for two (2) consecutive years. Elections shall be by secret ballot. Terms shall begin at the end of the meeting at which they are elected.
- No member of the Executive Board shall hold more than one office at a time.
- The Chair may make an interim appointment to fill a vacancy on the Executive Board, or may call for an election at the next meeting to be conducted at the following meeting.
- The Executive Board may vote in executive session, in person or in closed online discussion, to make an interim appointment to fill a vacancy of the position of Chair, or may call for an election at the next meeting to be conducted at the following meeting. An interim appointment of Chair, if made, must only last until the next scheduled meeting of the membership.
Section 3: Duties of Officers and the Executive Board
- The Chair shall convene and conduct all meetings of the WSPC.
- The Chair is charged with the responsibility of implementing all policies of the organization. The Chair is responsible for directing the organization in a manner consistent with the purpose of the WSPC as set forth in these By-Laws.
- The Chair shall draft and present the agenda for each Membership meeting to the Executive Board for approval no less than 14 days prior to the meeting.
- Ad hoc and special committees may be appointed by the Chair with the approval of a majority of the Executive Board. The Chair shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
- The Chair may appoint a Parliamentarian, Sergeant-at-Arms or other officials as deemed necessary at meetings.
- The Chair shall be the authorized spokesperson for the WSPC and may compose and/or authorize press releases.
- The Chair shall authorize and approve expenditures within the approved budget limits for purposes consistent with the responsibilities of the Chair.
- Vice Chairs
- The ranking Vice Chair shall be the Vice Chair of the region in which the meeting is being held.
- In the absence of the Chair, the ranking Vice Chair shall assume all duties, responsibilities, and authority of the Chair.
- The Vice Chairs shall perform any and all duties in furtherance of the purpose of this Caucus as directed by the Chair.
- The Secretary shall take notes at meetings and shall provide written minutes for corrections and/or additions by fourteen (14) days after the meeting at which they were taken. After all corrections/changes are made, they will be presented for final approval at the next regularly scheduled membership meeting.
- The Secretary shall keep and maintain all records, including correspondence, reports, press releases and publications. These records will be made available to the membership upon request.
- The Treasurer is responsible for managing WSPC funds.
- The Treasurer shall prepare a quarterly Financial Report on all finances of the WSPC to be presented to the Membership at the regularly scheduled meetings.
- The Treasurer shall receive funds and disburse properly authorized expenditures for the organization as required.
- The Treasurer shall prepare and file all Public Disclosure Commission Reports and other financial reports, as required by law.
Section 4: Officer Absenteeism
1. A WSPC Officer or Executive Member may be removed from Office for missing three consecutive Membership meetings.
Article V – Standing Committees
Section 1: In General
The provisions of Article III of these Bylaws shall apply to standing committees and their members as well, except that no standing committee shall be required to have an annual meeting and meetings may be called with less notice than 10 days. Each standing committee shall formulate a clear strategic focus and plan for action that shall be approved by the Board. Standing committee members must be members of the organization in good standing. The Chair shall serve as an ex-officio member of all standing committees Board committees shall have and exercise the authority of the Board in the management of the standing committee, subject to such limitations as may be prescribed by the Board and by applicable law, except that no standing committee shall have the authority to (a) amend or repeal these Bylaws, (b) elect or remove any Member, Officer or Director, (c) adopt a plan of merger, (d) authorize the voluntary dissolution of the standing committee or revoke proceedings therefore, (e) authorize the sale, lease or exchange of all or substantially all the property and assets of the organization not in the ordinary course of business, (f) make purchases or payments without prior authorization of the Chair, or (g) amend, alter or repeal any resolution of the Board or the General Membership. Standing committees shall exist until terminated by a vote of the General Membership. The Chair shall appoint the chairperson (“Chair”) of each standing committee. Each Chair of a standing committee shall serve for a term of one (1) year or until the date of each January’s General Meeting, whichever comes first. Committee members shall be appointed by the Executive Board. Successive terms of service as Chair or member of a standing committee are permitted.
Section 2: Established Standing Committees
1. As of the date of these Bylaws, the General Membership have authorized the following standing committees:
(a) Public Relations & Social Media
Within guidelines approved by the board, the committee will moderate our online presence (Facebook, Twitter, Google Groups) and issue press releases authorized by the board. Lead by the At-Large board member for Public Relations and Social Media
Design and update our website, manage password authorization, set up and manage Zoom and other online presences. Led by the At-Large board member for IT & Tech
(c) Membership & Outreach
Working with the At-Large board member for Membership & Outreach, the committee will increase our engagement with allied groups and seek to increase and diversify our membership.
(d) Fundraising & Events
Led by the At-Large board member for Fundraising & Events. This committee will produce events (in-person or online) that educate, inspire and motivate, including, but not limited to, voter education, direct actions, GOTV, candidate and issues forums
(e) Advocacy Committee.
The committee shall devise a progressive rating system for Democratic legislators in the State Legislature. This rating system will be based entirely on the Platform of the Washington State Democrats as of the most recent convention of the Washington State Democrats and will adjust in the future to reflect further changes to the platform as they happen. The members of the Standing Committee on Advocacy will determine a set of progressive priorities such as: environmental issues; women’s issues; LGBTQI issues; tribal issues; labor issues; education issues, racial, housing, disability issues, criminal justice, healthcare, and social justice issues and so on. Each of the issues will be rated separately, and additionally all will be rated as a collective. Findings, discoveries and reports of the Standing Committee on Advocacy will deliver their findings to the Board and not release them to anyone, personally or via the Press or Social Media. The Board will determine what will be disseminated, giving full credit to the work of the Standing Committee on Advocacy.
Article VI – Amendments to the By-Laws
Section 1: Amendments, Changes and Conflicts
- Amendments to the By-Laws require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of members at the meeting.
- Proposed changes to the By-Laws must be presented to the membership at a meeting where a quorum is present, as specified in Article III, Section 4. They will be on the agenda for discussion and voting at the following membership meeting where a quorum is present, occurring no sooner than twenty-five (25) days after the presentation.
- Article V, Section 1, paragraph 2, may be suspended, per Robert’s Rules of Order, if four or more members of the executive board calls for a meeting, in-person or online, and two-third’s (⅔) of voting members concur either in writing, sent from the address of record, or via email, from the email address of record, providing that, per Article III, notice is provided to all members via telephone or email at least 10 days in advance.
- The By-Laws shall not conflict with the Washington State Democratic Party Charter, Platform, or Bylaws.
- WSPC will abide by all Rules for Constituency Caucuses as passed by the State Committee in 2020.
Article VII – Parliamentary Authority
Section 1: Roberts Rules of Order shall govern the meetings of the WSPC in all cases applicable and where they are not in conflict with the rules of this organization, in which case, the rules of this organization shall apply.
– End of Bylaws –
Standing Rules of the Washington State Progressive Caucus
Article I – Endorsement Policy
[Standing Rules Article I was adopted by the members of WSPC at a duly called meeting on July 11, 2015 in Mercer Island. Amended June 13, 2016 in Sammamish.]
Section 1 – Campaigns:
- With the exception of U.S. Presidential races, the Washington State Progressive Caucus only endorses those campaigns that have requested endorsement and completed our questionnaire.
- To be considered for an endorsement, a candidate (with the exception of U.S. Presidential races) must complete the WSPC Questionnaire and submit it to our secretary at least 10 days prior to the meeting at which the endorsement will be voted on by the membership.
- The candidate (or a designated representative of a campaign) must speak to the WSPC membership in person at least once after declaring their candidacy. If the candidate or representative cannot arrange to speak to the Caucus for any reason, this requirement may be waived if at least two members present and voting have interviewed the candidate in person or by phone or attended a public forum where the candidate has spoken since the candidate declared their intention to run for the office for which they are seeking the endorsement of the Caucus.
Section 2 – Eligible voters
- Only voting members of WSPC (dues paid for the current year) may vote on an endorsement.
Section 3 – Voting
- To receive endorsement a candidate must receive 60% of the votes of credentialed members of the WSPC present and voting.
- Endorsements may only be rescinded by a 2/3 vote.
Article II – Waiver of dues
Section 1 – Definitions
- Per Article III, Section III of this organization’s Bylaws, “Individuals experiencing economic hardship shall pay dues in an amount they are able to afford.”
- Membership committee. In keeping with Bylaws Article V, Section 2, paragraph C, a membership committee shall exist with the Membership & Outreach At-Large executive board member as the chair of that committee. The committee shall also include the Treasurer and any bona fide members of the caucus approved by the Membership & Outreach Chair.
Section 2 – Procedures
- Anyone requesting a reduced or waived dues payment will email the caucus at firstname.lastname@example.org and write either Dues Waiver Request or Dues Reduction Request in the subject line.
- The Membership committee will discuss and reply to the requestor within three calendar days or within four days if the requestor is a new prospective member.
- In the case of a new prospective requestor, the organization Chair will be included in the committee’s research and deliberation and exercise a vote in the matter.