San Francisco's Democratic Party is governed by bylaws, policies and procedures, and state laws that provide for the orderly operation of the county party central committees throughout California.
- San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee By-Laws (Interim version; adopted: January 23, 2013)
The current bylaws were adopted on January 23, 2013, but a few issues revising the previous bylaws were identified to be further considered and later decided by a future vote of the SFDCCC membership. Issues still to be decided in the current version of the SFDCCC's bylaws include the following:
Noticing requirement for agendas. The proposed change regarding noticing requirement for agendas would:
- Reduce the noticing requirement for agendas to be posted to 72-hours from the existing 10-days, and
- Remove an existing provision allowing for a 2/3 vote of the SFDCCC to place un-noticed items on the agenda.
a. The agenda for all regular meetings shall be determined by the Chairperson of the SFDCCC or his/her designee if the Chair is unavailable. The agenda shall, at a minimum, list the date, time, and location of the meeting, as well as any business to be voted upon. The agenda shall be sent to each member of the SFDCCC at that member’s address as set forth in his or her Declaration of Candidacy unless another such address is specified by a member in writing to the Secretary. The agenda shall be placed in the mail to each member no less than ten (10) days prior to the scheduled meeting. Unless otherwise specified in these By-Laws, any item of business before the SFDCCC shall be passed by a majority of the members present and voting.
In the event that an agenda is not timely sent, it must be approved by no less than a majority of the members present and voting at the scheduled meeting. Any items of the agenda not approved by a majority of the members present and voting shall not be discussed and will be deemed to have never been before the SFDCCC.
b. If the Chair is unwilling to place an item on the agenda, a voting member of the SFDCCC may send written notice of such business to every member of the SFDCCC by placing said notice in the mail to each member of the SFDCCC no fewer than ten (10) days prior to the regularly scheduled meeting. At said meeting, a vote by no less than a majority of the members voting and present will place the item on the agenda. Failure to receive a majority of the votes of the members present and voting will result in the matter being deemed to have never been before the SFDCCC and said matter shall neither be voted upon nor discussed. Failure to provide ten (10) days written notice to all of the members of the SFDCCC shall also result in the matter being deemed to have never been before the SFDCCC and said matter shall neither be voted upon nor discussed.
c. Only business that has been specifically listed in the properly noticed AGENDA will be deemed to be before the SFDCCC (except as specified in Article IV, Section 4(b) above).
If the need for an item of business arises after the deadline for noticing a meeting of the SFDCCC, and real harm would occur if said item was not voted on at that meeting, a detailed, written explanation of the business including the specific language to be voted upon shall be provided to each member no later than the start of the actual meeting. Said item may be voted on if no less than two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting vote to place the matter on the agenda.
b. Except as provided for in Subsection 3(c) of this Article, the agenda for all regular meetings, and the notice and agenda for all special meetings, shall be provided at least 72 hours in advance by email to each member of the SFDCCC; by email to designated contacts of all chartered Democratic clubs in San Francisco; and by email to all members of the public and media outlets having requested in writing such agendas and notices. At least 72 hours before a regular meeting, agendas and notices shall also be posted on the SFDCCC’s web site at http://www.sfdemocrats.org; at the San Francisco Main Library, Government Information Center; and at the offices of the San Francisco Democratic Party. Notices shall also be mailed at least 72 hours in advance to persons having requested delivery via U.S. Postal Service.
c. A voting member of the SFDCCC may request an item be placed on the agenda, subject to consent of the Chairperson, by providing written notice at least 96 hours prior to a regular or special meeting. A voting member of the SFDCCC may, under the “new business” portion of a regular or special meeting, place an item on the agenda for the immediate following meeting subject to approval by a vote of no less than a majority of those members present and voting. The SFDCCC may discuss and/or take action only on those items that are on the agenda.
Audio or video recordings of meetings. The proposed change requires more information and discussion about equipment requirements and budgetary restraints.
Section 12. RECORDING MEETINGS
The SFDCCC shall cause to be created an audio or video recording of its regular and special meetings, and shall make copies of such recordings available to members of the public on request. Members of the public and news media may audio-record, video-record and broadcast so long as the activity does not constitute a disruption of the SFDCCC’s proceeding.
Chartered club endorsements of non-Democrats. Though the SFDCCC voted down a proposal that would have prohibited chartered Democratic organizations from endorsing non-Democrats in non-partisan races (by replacing the words “partisan office” with “any office” in Article IX, Section 2) the issue may be revisited in the form of a requirement or recommendation to provide public notice when a non-Democrat is endorsed in a non-partisan race.
Section 2. NON-ENDORSEMENT OF NON-DEMOCRATS
Chartered Democratic organizations shall not politically affiliate with any other political party, nor endorse, nor otherwise publicly support by fundraising or publicity, candidates for partisan office who are not members of the Democratic Party, provided that a Chartered Democratic organization may endorse a non-Democrat for a “top two” race in the event no Democrat qualifies for the General Election ballot.
Other changes may be considered as well.
Policies and Procedures, and Provisions of California Law
- San Francisco Democratic Party Policy and Procedure Manual (Amended: September 27, 2006)
- California Elections Code; Political Party Organization and Central Committee Elections; Democratic Party; County Central Committee