Charter of the Young Democrats of Massachusetts
Article I: Name
The name of this organization shall be Young Democrats of Massachusetts, hereinafter YDMA. Said organization shall be organized as a corporation recognized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, and/or as a state or federal political action committee organized under independent bylaws as its activities and applicable law allows. YDMA is an independent organization of Democrats in Massachusetts under the age of 36 years. The Young Democrats of Massachusetts is the official youth wing of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and the chartered unit of the Young Democrats of America (YDA) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Article II: Object
This organization shall exist to inform young people about the ideals and institutions of our democratic system, engage them in civic life and the electoral and governmental efforts of the Democratic Party, and empower them to be leaders in our Commonwealth and nation.
This mission statement may be modified by a majority vote of the Board of Directors followed by a 2/3rds vote of approval at the next YDMA Convention.
Article III: Membership
Section 1: Basic Membership Eligibility
Any person under age 36 may be a member of YDMA provided they are registered, or pre-registered, to vote in Massachusetts
as a Democrat, are not eligible to vote in Massachusetts but have shown a commitment to the Democratic Party, are a temporary resident of Massachusetts registered (as a Democrat where possible) to vote in another state, or are not old enough to register, or pre-register, to vote but have shown a commitment to the Democratic Party.
Section 2: Voting Membership Eligibility
Any person under age 36 may be a voting member of YDMA provided they are registered, or pre-registered, to vote in Massachusetts as a Democrat, or are a legal permanent resident not eligible to vote in Massachusetts but have shown a commitment to the Democratic Party. A YDMA member may be a voting member of a chapter if they fulfill the qualifications set by that chapter charter, but shall not be a YDMA member unless they meet these qualifications. A member shall be able to vote or hold office in YDMA if they meet the qualification of this section.
Section 3: Dues
The annual membership dues shall be $25, payable at least 10 days after each YDMA Convention, and their receipt conditional of voting membership, but may never prohibit membership or participation in YDMA and the Executive Committee shall promulgate a hardship exemption process and handle consideration of waivers under this section; the Board of Directors may authorize an augmentation of the dues amount provided that it not exceed more than 30% or $5 of the amount so authorized, whichever is a greater limitation; should a chapter or caucus elect to collect dues, the first $10 of dues paid to any chapter or caucuses shall be deductible from YDMA dues owed; any contribution made to an OCPF regulated state PAC shall be counted toward dues during the term of a board. No additional cost to attend a convention shall be assigned. The Treasurer shall notify members of the dues requirement at least 10 days before a YDMA Convention, and at said Convention.
Section 4: Termination and Resignation of Membership
A member desiring to resign from the organization may do so by submitting a resignation in writing to the YDMA Secretary via email. Any voting member who ceases to meet the qualification in Section 2 of this Article shall cease to be a member upon certification by the Secretary. A member may be removed following a hearing and a 2/3rds vote of the Board of Directors, under the terms of the parliamentary authority.
Section 5: Honorary Members
Upon the signed nomination of any member of the Board of Directors, any person who is a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who have rendered notable service to the Democratic Party may be elected into honorary membership by the Board of Directors. Honorary members are granted all of the privileges granted to a member, expect to make motions, vote, or hold office.
Section 6: Affirmative Action
YDMA is committed to equality of opportunity for everyone, and is dedicated to working actively to involve people of all backgrounds in YDMA, the Democratic Party, and the political process.
Article IV: Officers
Section 1: YDMA Elected Officers
The officers of the organization shall be the President, a Vice President of Membership & Outreach, a Vice President of Political Affairs, a Vice President of Communications, a Vice President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), the Secretary, the Treasurer, and two YDA National Committee Members, who shall be of different gender identities, and a Public Policy Director. These officers shall perform the duties in prescribed Section 3 of this Article and by the parliamentary authority. No member of YDMA may hold more than one office of the Board of Directors simultaneously.
Section 2: Additional Officers
In addition to the members in Section 1 of this Article, there shall be the following additional officers of the organization: the person elected as Chair of each chartered chapter and chartered caucus established under Article XI, one of the Vice Presidents shall be chosen by vote of the Executive Committee as Executive Vice President—without vacating their elected office, and two people, who shall be of different gender identities, shall be chosen by the Board of Directors, by ballot, to serve as the organization’s representatives to the Democratic State Committee.
Section 3: Duties
a. President. The President shall be the principal administrative officer of the Young Democrats of Massachusetts, preside over meetings of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and except as may otherwise provided shall appoint select committee members and shall also appoint officers and representatives of the organization subject to the confirmation of the Executive Committee.
b. Executive Vice President. The Executive Vice President shall assist the President with their duties as necessary, act as President in their absence, and have general oversight of the organization’s operations.
c. Vice President of Membership & Outreach. The Vice President of Membership & Outreach shall work to increase YDMA active membership and reach out to new constituent groups, oversee all membership-related directives and chapter building activities and the activity of all chartered chapters.
d. Vice President of Political Affairs. The Vice President of Political Affairs shall Oversee all YDMA electoral activities including but not limited to facilitating the endorsements of candidates, providing support to Young Democrats running for public office, and maintaining relationships with elected officials of the Democratic Party.
e. Vice President of Communications. The Vice President of Communications shall serve as coordinating external facing communications, work with the Secretary to send out regular communications with the YDMA membership, maintain the YDMA press packet, and maintain the official image of YDMA through communications and branding. They are the chair of the communications committee.
f. Vice President of EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion). The Vice President of EDI shall coordinate the inclusion of vulnerable and underrepresented populations through the support and development of policy, programs, and protocols and overseeing the activity of all chartered caucuses.
g. Secretary. The Secretary shall take minutes of all meetings of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors, publish the minutes within one week of adjournment of the meeting, maintain a membership list of the Board of Directors and all other committees, provide the membership list to members upon request, and assist committees with facilitating remote meetings as requested by the committee chair. They shall also be responsible for maintaining all non-financial records of the organization, including the minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors, the Charter, the Standing Rules, and the formal reports of Officers.
h. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall manage the financial operation of the organization and ensure compliance with all Federal Election Commission (FEC) requirements, and requirements of the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF), regular reporting as mandated by law. The Treasurer shall also be responsible for overseeing the receipt and disbursement of all funds of the organization, which shall be administered in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, and keep a record of receipts and disbursements. The Treasurer shall publish and distribute a Finance Report to the National Committee within 3 days before a standing meeting of the Board of Directors.
i. Democratic State Committeemembers. The Democratic State Committeemembers shall lobby and vote on behalf of the organization at all meetings of the Democratic State Committee. They shall coordinate the participation of the organization in Democratic State Conventions and subcommittees of the Democratic State Committee. They shall also provide a written report to the Board of Directors within 14 days of any meeting of the Democratic State Committee or of a Democratic State Convention.
j. YDA National Committee Members. YDA National Committee Members shall serve as a representative to YDMA on the YDA National Committee by attending all three National YDA Committee Meetings, or appointing a proxy to serve in their place, represent YDMA on all YDA National Committee conference calls, and serve as a liaison between YDMA and YDA.
k. Chapter Chairs. Chapter Chairs shall be the principal administrative officer of the YDMA Chartered Caucus they are elected to, pursuant to meeting the requirements of YDMA and said caucus’ voting membership. They shall facilitate communication between the Board of Directors and their caucus, and serve as a member on the Board of Directors of YDMA.
l. Caucus Chairs. Caucus Chairs shall be the principal administrative officer of the YDMA Chartered regional chapters they are elected to, pursuant to meeting the requirements of YDMA and said chapters’ voting membership. They shall facilitate communication between the Board of Directors and their chapter, and serve as a member on the Board of Directors of YDMA.
If the President is absent from a Board of Directors meeting, the Executive Vice President shall preside, followed by the next member present in the order listed in this section.
Section 4: Term of Office
The members of the Executive Committee shall be elected by ballot to serve for two years, and their term of office shall commence upon the adjournment of the Membership Convention, and shall end at the adjournment of the next Membership Convention. The Public Policy Director shall serve a two year term which shall commence upon the adjournment of the Public Policy Convention and shall end at the adjournment of the next Public Policy Convention. The Chair of each chartered caucus shall serve a one year term which shall commence upon the adjournment of the YDMA Convention at which they are elected and shall end at the adjournment of the next YDMA Convention. The Chair of each chartered chapter shall serve a one year term, except if the respective chapter charter shall prescribe a two year term for which an election must be held within 30 days succeeding an even-year YDMA Convention.
Section 5: Vacancies
In the event that an officer ceases to hold their office, that vacancy shall be filled by temporary appointment of the Board of Directors until the next Annual YDMA Convention, except in the case of the vacancy of the office of YDMA President, in which case the office of President shall fall to the next officer in the following order of succession, with the ascending officer vacating their former office:
Executive Vice President
Vice President of Membership & Outreach
Vice President of Political Affairs
Vice President of Communications
Vice President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)
Should a vacancy occur for an office which would not otherwise be elected at the next annual convention, a special election for that office will take place at said convention, provided that the vacancy arises no less than 30 days prior to that convention.
Section 6: Removal from Office
A member of the Executive Committee can be removed by a majority vote of the membership of the Executive Committee, followed by a two-thirds vote of the membership of the Board of Directors, in which vote members of the Executive Committee shall not vote or count for quorum. A member of the Board of Directors, who is not a member of the Executive Committee, may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the membership of the Board of Directors. No vote on removal shall be taken sooner than 21 days after it was introduced. A member may be removed under this section for:
Violation of this Charter,
Use of the position of YDMA officer, or the YDMA name to oppose the nominees of the Democratic Party for elective office or publicly endorsed or supported any candidate whose announced intention is to oppose the nominee of the Democratic Party which nominee publicly supports the majority of the platform of the Democratic Party as adopted at the most recent state and national Democratic conventions. A member for whom a long and deeply held belief would be violated by support of the nominee shall not be removed under this section,
Failure to attend three meetings without an excused absence—an excused absence is one that
is conveyed to the President or Secretary prior to the meeting,
Nonfeasance of prescribed duties, or
Any other behavior or action unbecoming of an officer of YDMA.
Section 7: Appointed Officers
The President shall appoint the following officers subject to the confirmation of the Executive Committee: a Parliamentarian, Chief of Staff, Fundraising Director, Technical Director, and a Programming Director. Prior to the confirmation of a Charter-appointed officer or in the absence thereof, the President may designate a YDMA Member to act in each position should the need arise. YDMA shall be an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and will hire employees in accordance with the Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policy described in state law.
Section 8: Appointed Officer Duties
The Parliamentarian shall provide neutral and independent guidance on parliamentary rules and procedures to the officers, members of the Board of Directors, and any other member of the organization.
The Fundraising Director shall serve as coordinating and planning fundraising for YDMA.
The Technical Director shall serve as managing all technology, particularly software-related, aspects of YDMA including the website and email accounts.
The Programming Director shall devolep and execute events for the organization—including conventions, workshops, summits, and meet-and-greets—and such other chapter events as the President may direct.
Section 9: Other Appointed Officers
The President may appoint such other officers as they deem proper, provided the Executive Committee approves a proposal which includes the responsibilities for said office and designates the officer to whom they would report. The Board of Directors may remove an appointed officer by parliamentary motion at any time.
Each Vice President shall submit for approval by the Executive Committee a departmental structure stating the positions and obligations of members thereof; and each Vice President shall appoint members to each of those positions who shall serve at the pleasure of said Vice President, but the Executive Committee may remove a department officer by parliamentary motion at any time; upon a new department head assuming office appointed officers shall require reappointment within 30 days to continue in office.
Article V: Conventions
Section 1: Power of the Convention
A YDMA Convention shall be the highest authority of the Young Democrats of Massachusetts, subject to provisions of this Charter. It shall be empowered to select, by ballot, the elected officers of the organization, adopt and amend the organization platform, amend this Charter, and act upon such other matters of business as the Board of Directors and Executive Committee may place before it by joint resolution.
A member who wishes to submit a resolution or charter amendment for a convention shall submit the text of such proposal to the President and Secretary at least 60 days before a Convention. Such item may be placed before the convention by joint resolution, or, if after 30 days the Board has not taken any action, or has rejected the proposal, the member may place it before the convention upon certification by the Secretary of a petition signed by at least 25%, or 35 YDMA members, whichever is greater.
All matters at said convention shall be decided by a simple majority except a two-thirds majority shall be required to suspend the rules.
Section 2: Membership Convention
In every odd numbered year, on the third Saturday in March, or the succeeding Saturday, or the Saturday after that should the Board of Directors vote to postpone it, YDMA shall hold a biennial Membership Convention at which members of the Executive Committee and of Caucus Boards of Directors shall be elected. Amendments to the platform or to the Charter may be considered at this convention if referred by joint resolution of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and given at least 10 days notice. All YDMA members shall be entitled to attend such convention, and participate in the activities held therein, but only voting members shall vote on YDMA business.
Section 3: Public Policy Convention
In every even numbered year, on the third Saturday in March, or the succeeding Saturday, or the Saturday after that should the Board of Directors vote to postpone it, YDMA shall hold a biennial Public Policy Convention at which the Public Policy Director, at-large members of the Public Policy Committee, and Caucus Boards of Directors shall be elected and any amendment to the organization platform or to this Charter shall be considered. All YDMA members shall be entitled to attend such convention, and participate in the activities held therein, but only voting members shall vote on YDMA business.
Section 4: Call to Convention
The Board of Directors shall prepare and issue a Call to Convention at least 30 days prior to the date of the convention, which shall include the date and expected location of said convention as well as any anticipated items, and shall provide that any statements of candidacy submitted at least 12 days in advance will be shared with members in the final call to convention. The Secretary shall post said notice on the YDMA website and distribute the same to members via email at least 30 days prior to the date of the convention.
Ten days before a YDMA Convention, the Secretary shall give notice of the final call to convention on the YDMA website and to members via email of any items to be considered, and of any statements of candidacy submitted. This Call shall also include the texts of any documents to be considered.
Section 5: Quorum
A quorum of a YDMA convention shall consist of at least 35 YDMA members or at least 25% of voting membership. The Secretary shall maintain a list of eligible voting members, and shall transmit a copy of said list to the Board of Directors at least 10 days in advance of a YDMA Convention.
If a quorum is not achieved, the presiding officer of the convention shall be empowered to declare the convention in recess for not more than 2 hours. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter, if a quorum is not achieved after any recess the current members of the Board of Directors shall remain in office for another 30 days and shall fix a new time, date, and place for the convention to be prorogued to not more than thirty days following the original date. The Secretary shall reissue the final call to convention with the new information regarding time, date, and place no more than 10 days before the new date, but this shall not be construed to extend any deadlines provided for in the Initial Call.
Section 6: Procedural Matters
The President shall be the ex-officio Chair of the Convention, and the Secretary will be ex-officio Secretary, and the President will appoint two 2 Convention Vice Chairs, and a Sergeant at Arms, subject to approval by the Executive Committee. Minutes of the convention shall be recorded by the Secretary, and shall include the list of attendees eligible to vote, the names of those moving any motions or nominations, and the results of any vote taken. The Secretary shall distribute the minutes to the Board for their ratification at the first Board meeting following the convention. The Convention shall adopt permanent rules governing the conduct of its business at the beginning of each convention. Until the adoption of such permanent rules, the Convention shall be governed by temporary rules set forth in the Call to Convention by the Convention Rules Committee.
All YDMA Conventions shall allow for members to cast votes virtually. Members who chose virtual attendance shall be given full voting privileges in the convention, given they meet the same dues and eligibility requirements generally required for participation in the convention. The virtual platform shall be chosen by the Executive Committee at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the annual YDMA convention, and included in the call to convention.
[Rule of Construction: For the purposes of adjusting to standardized terms and alternative conventions, the 2023 Convention shall hold elections for all of the members elected at a Membership Convention for a regular term, and shall include a special election of all of the members elected at a Public Policy convention for a 1 year term until the next Public Policy Convention.]
Article VI: Board of Directors and Executive Committee
Section 1: Board Composition
The Board of Directors shall be composed of the members of the Executive Committee, the Public Policy Director, the State Committee members, and the Chairs of each Chartered Chapter and Caucus. In addition to the members of the Board, the following officers of partner organizations shall have full non-voting floor privileges at meetings: the immediate past President of YDMA or “President Emeritus,” President of College of Democrats of Massachusetts, and the Chair of the High School Democrats of Massachusetts. A quorum of the Board of Directors shall be a majority of the members duly sworn and chosen.
Section 2: Empowerment of Board
The Board of Directors shall have full power and authority to act for the organization, subject to the provisions of this Charter and any action of a convention, in all cases except where the Executive Committee shall be given exclusive or joint authority under this Charter.
Section 3: Board Meetings
The Board of Directors shall meet at least twice quarterly. Unless otherwise ordered by the Board, regular meetings shall occur on the second Monday of every other month, beginning in April, at 7pm. Special meetings may be called by the President, or by petition submitted to the President and Secretary signed by at least half of the members of the Board, provided that at least 3 days notice is provided by email or other electronic message to the members of the Board, and via publication to the YDMA website.
Section 4: Executive Committee Composition
The Executive Committee shall be composed of the President, Vice President of Membership, Vice President of Political Affairs, Vice President of Communications, Vice President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), Secretary, Treasurer, and the two YDA National Committee members. A quorum of the Executive Committee shall be a majority of the members duly sworn and chosen.
Section 5: Empowerment of Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall have full power and authority to act for the organization, subject to the provisions of this Charter and any action of a convention, in all cases except where the Board of Directors shall have taken a decision or where power is reserved by this Charter solely to the Board. The Executive Committee is charged with enforcing the Charter, executing the organization’s platform, confirming all nominations of the President where required by this Charter, and shall have general supervision of the affairs of the organization between conventions.
Section 6: Executive Committee Meetings
The Executive Committee shall meet at least twice monthly. Unless otherwise ordered by the Executive Committee, regular meetings shall occur every other Sunday of every other month, beginning on the Second week of April, at 8pm. Special meetings may be called by the President, or by petition submitted to the President and Secretary signed by at least three of the members of the Executive Committee, provided that at least 24 hours notice is provided by email or other electronic message to the members of the Board, and via publication to the YDMA website; the Executive Committee may also authorize extraordinary sessions to be called with as little as two hours notice provided that at least 3/4ths of the members duly sworn and chosen are present, which shall for that meeting constitute a quorum.
Section 7: Open Meetings
Board meetings shall be open to all YDMA members to attend, unless reasons of collective bargaining, privacy, or other considerations similar to those in the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law require either the Board of Directors or Executive Committee to hold an Executive Session, which shall be decided by non-debatable motion agreed to by a simple majority.
Section 8: Votes
No vote of the Board of Directors or Executive Committee may be by ballot or other secret method. Any member of a YDMA body may demand a record vote, which shall be conduced by either recorded electronic ballot or roll call at the direction of the presiding officer. The results of all record votes shall be posted publicly by the YDMA Secretary no later than 30 days after the approval of the minutes of the meeting at which the vote occurred.
Section 9: Conflict of Interest
No member shall vote on any item, or any procedural vote relating to an item to which they have a direct financial interest. Such an interest shall be said to exist if they are in the employ of a candidate or organization which is the subject of a vote. No member shall vote on an item which concerns an immediate family member. A member who is unsure if a conflict exists may submit their conflict to the body to decide.
Article VII: Committees
Section 1: Standing Committees
YDMA shall have several standing committees, which shall exist continuously without need for reauthorization. All members of standing committees must be voting members of the organization, except where the Board of Directors may vote to remove this disqualification for a non-voting member.
Section 2: Select Committees
YDMA may authorize select committees, which shall exist until their purpose is completed, but never longer than the term of the Executive Committee. All members of select committees must be voting members of the organization, except where the Board of Directors may vote to remove this disqualification for a non-voting member. The President shall appoint all members of select committees unless this rule is suspended by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors before their appointment.
Section 3: Political Committee
A Political Committee of 21 members shall exist, with jurisdiction to report to the Board questionnaires or endorsements for their approval. The members of this committee shall consist of: the Vice President of Political Affairs as ex-officio chair and one member selected from each chapter and caucus either by their election as a Political Director, or by their appointment by the chair of the respective chapter or caucus. At their first meeting they shall choose from among themselves a committee secretary by ballot. If a vacancy exists in any position, the Vice President of Political Affairs shall notify the chair of the respective chapter or caucus. If after 30 days no member has been elected or appointed, the Vice President may appoint any YDMA member fitting the qualifications of membership for the position to act in that position until the election or appointment of a member is made.
Section 4: Public Policy Committee
A Public Policy Committee of 9 members shall exist, with jurisdiction to report to the Board policy statements or endorsements of legislation or ballot questions for their approval. The members of this committee shall consist of: the Public Policy Director as ex-officio chair and 8 elected members elected at Public Policy Conventions. At their first meeting they shall choose from among themselves a committee secretary by ballot. If a vacancy occurs in the membership of this committee, the Public Policy Director shall appoint a YDMA member to serve until the next Public Policy Convention.
Section 5: Finance Committee
A Finance Committee of 9 members shall exist, with jurisdiction to report to the Board an annual budget or supplemental appropriation for their approval. The members of this committee shall consist of: the Treasurer as ex-officio Chair, the Fundraising Director as ex-officio Vice Chair, four members appointed by the President, and three members of the Board elected from among themselves by ballot. At their first meeting they shall choose from among themselves a committee secretary by ballot.
Section 6: Programming Committee
A Programming Committee of 9 members shall exist, with jurisdiction to propose to the Board, and with their approval or by their direction plan and execute events. The members of this committee shall consist of: the Programming Director as ex-officio Chair and eight members appointed by the President.
Section 7: Convention Committee
A Convention Committee of 7 members shall exist from time to time, with jurisdiction to plan and execute preparations for a YDMA Convention, and to create and propose rules for conventions. The members of this committee shall consist of: the Parliamentarian as ex-officio non-voting Chair, three members appointed by the President (at least two of whom shall not be Board members), and three members of the Board elected from among themselves by ballot. Such a committee shall be authorized as a select committee with a term beginning 45 days before any YDMA Convention and terminating upon the sine die adjournment thereof.
Section 8: Charter Review Committee
A Charter Review Committee shall from time to time exist, with jurisdiction to examine the operation of the Charter and make recommendations thereto. Such Committee shall consist of the YDMA Parliamentarian as non-voting Chair, the members of the YDMA Executive Committee Subcommittee on Rules—or any successor thereto, the Chair of each Chartered Chapter, and eight appointees of the President, at least four of whom shall not hold any Board of Director’s seat. Every 4 years, starting in 2026, 120 days before the Public Policy Convention, this Select Committee shall be convened. Such committee shall meet at least twice in public sessions at least 45 days before the convention to hear comment from YDMA members. At least 30 days before the YDMA Convention, the Committee shall issue any recommendations they think proper to the Board of Directors.
Section 9: Other Committees; Ex-Officio Committee Membership
Such other committees, standing or special, may be established by the Board of Directors, as it shall from time to time deem necessary to carry on the work of the organization. Their members shall be appointed by the President unless this rule is suspended by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors before their appointment. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees except for any committee tasked with oversight of the President or discipline committees.
Article VIII: Chapters
Section 1: Chapters Established
YDMA shall establish chapters representing each geographic region of Massachusetts, the territory of which shall be established or altered only by resolution of the Board of Directors, provided that the territory of any chapter shall not be altered without its consent. Any person who is a member of a chapter shall be a member of YDMA. A voting member of any chapter shall only be required to attend one prior YDMA meeting or event before becoming eligible to register as a voting YDMA member.
Section 2: Chapter Chartering and Supremacy
Each chapter shall be established by a charter adopted by its membership or prospective membership upon first organization. Under the authority of the charter adopted every chapter shall elect the following officers, in addition to any other such officers as the chapter charter shall establish: a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary, a Political Director, and a Membership Director. No provision of a chapter charter shall violate or frustrate any provision of this charter, and all chapter charters must contain all basic elements required by the parliamentary authority. Chapters must re-submit their charters to the Secretary, noting any amendments, if any, within 30 days following the YDMA Annual Convention, after which the YDMA Executive Committee shall certify their rechartering.
Section 3: Chapter Coordination
Any YDMA voting member residing within the territory of any chapter shall be a voting member of said chapter upon payment of any required dues, except where the chapter charter shall explicitly prescribe an attendance requirement not provided herein. Chartered regional chapters and caucuses shall coordinate all fundraising, media, political, policy, and membership activities with YDMA. No person shall be elected as Chair of a chapter who is not a voting member of YDMA.
YDMA Chapters shall accept any person who lives, works, or attends school within their region as a member. Members who substantially reside in but are not registered to vote in a chapter shall be allowed to vote and hold non-Chair positions within the chapter provided they are voting members of the chapter. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a chapter from being exclusive in its granting of voting membership.
Section 4: Inactive Chapters
If during any 45 day period a chapter is without a Chair for a period of more than 30 days, it shall be considered provisional and the obligation of reorganization shall fall on the Executive Committee. If a chapter shall become provisional, the President shall appoint, subject to the confirmation of the Executive Committee, a person to act as Interim Chair—who shall be qualified to serve under the Chapter Charter—but such person shall not exercise any authority not related to the reorganization of the chapter; such person shall serve in this capacity, as a full voting member of the Board of Directors until the regular expiration of the term to which they were appointed.
Article IX: Caucuses
Section 1: Caucuses Established
YDMA may establish caucuses representing identity groups in a manner similar to— although not limited by—the establishment of subcommittees of the Democratic State Committee. New YDMA Chartered Caucuses shall be created only after the submission of a charter and formal recognition by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
Section 2: Caucus Charters
Each caucus shall be established by a charter adopted by its membership, or prospective membership upon first organization. Under the authority of the charter adopted every caucus shall elected the following officers, in addition to any other such officers as the chapter charter shall establish: a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary, a Political Director, and a Membership Director. The YDMA Executive Committee shall promulgate a standard charter for caucuses stipulating required elements, if any, beyond basic elements required by the parliamentary authority.
Caucuses shall notify the YDMA Executive Committee of any charter amendments within 7 days of their adoption, which shall take effect upon their ratification by the Executive Committee or automatically after 30 days, shall the Executive Committee have taken no action. Caucuses shall remain in existence continuously without need for reauthorization, and no rechartering or notification of amendments from the previous year to the Secretary succeeding the YDMA Annual Convention shall be required.
Section 3: Caucus Coordination
Any person who is a member of a caucus shall be a member of YDMA. Caucuses shall coordinate all fundraising, media, political, policy, and membership activities with YDMA.
Section 4: Inactive Caucuses
If a caucus is without a Chair for a period of more than 45 days it shall be considered provisional and the obligation of reorganization shall fall on the Executive Committee. If a caucus shall become provisional, the President shall appoint, subject to the confirmation of the Executive Committee, a person to act as Interim Chair, but such person shall not exercise any authority not related to the reorganization of the caucus; such person shall serve in this capacity, as a full voting member of the Board of Directors until the regular expiration of the term to which they were appointed.
Article X: Endorsements
Section 1: Authorization of Endorsements
YDMA may make endorsements of a Democratic nominee, or of a presumptive Democratic nominee for partisan office in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in municipal elections YDMA shall only endorse registered Democrats. No candidate shall be eligible to receive an endorsement from YDMA in advance of a Democratic primary, except in such cases where the primary is uncontested. For the purposes of this section, an uncontested race shall exist when only one candidate is on the ballot, and no viable write-in candidate is contesting the seat, and upon the withdrawal—formally or informally—of all but one candidate. No endorsement shall be made before the filing deadline, and any legal appeals shall have been concluded as to ballot status, at which time endorsements made the previous cycle shall expire.
Section 2: Questionnaire
The YDMA Political Committee shall write and submit to the Board an endorsement questionnaire—no later than 30 days succeeding each YDMA Convention—for their approval. All candidates must complete a YDMA questionnaire to be eligible for endorsement, except that the Board of Directors may suspend this requirement upon extraordinary circumstances by a two-thirds vote. Regional Chapters may provide supplemental questions that are not subject to a vote by the Board of Directors for races within their jurisdiction. The questionnaire must be made publicly available on the YDMA website and all current social media accounts by the Board of Directors so that all candidates who would be eligible for an endorsement may apply.
Section 3: Jurisdiction
The Board of Directors shall have exclusive jurisdiction of endorsements in the following races: United States House of Representatives, United States Senate, Governor’s Council, County-level offices, and Massachusetts Constitutional offices, including Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Attorney General, Treasurer and Receiver-General, and Auditor.
All other offices not subject to the preceding paragraph shall first fall under the jurisdiction of the regional chapter wherein the constituents of the office primarily reside. In instances where more than one regional chapter may have jurisdiction, it will be the responsibility of the Executive Committee to determine which chapter or chapters have jurisdiction.
In all non-municipal races, the Board of Directors must first vote to endorse a candidate prior to regional chapters granting an endorsement of their own.
Section 4. Procedure
a. Any member of the Political Committee may propose an endorsement for a candidate subject to Section 3 paragraph 1. Following approval by a majority vote of such motion by the Political Committee, the Board of Directors shall take up consideration of the endorsement proposal, which it may accept or modify. Absent a proposal for an endorsement of a candidate subject to Section 3 by the Political Committee, the Board of Directors shall be empowered to make an endorsement in the first instance when and as it may deem necessary. In either case, a two-thirds vote in favor by the Board shall be required to approve the endorsement.
b. The Political Committee may consider proposals for endorsements for candidates subject to Section 3 paragraph 2 upon the affirmative consent of the regional chapter(s) with jurisdiction in the manner provided by a written directive by the Vice President of Political Affairs each cycle not later than 30 days after a YDMA Convention. In the event that there is not an active regional chapter which would have jurisdiction, a member of the Board of Directors may propose an endorsement to the Political Committee. Following approval by a majority vote of such motion by the Political Committee, the Board of Directors shall take up consideration of the endorsement proposal, which it may accept or modify. A two-thirds vote in favor by the Board shall be required to approve the endorsement.
Section 5: Levels of Endorsement
YDMA may grant endorsements in either form outlined below:
a. Level 1 Endorsement: The Vice President of Political Affairs will coordinate with the candidate’s campaign to supply volunteers for political activities which the campaign needs. YDMA publicizes their endorsement through social media and other platforms, providing ways to get involved in the campaign.
b. Level 2 Endorsement: YDMA publicizes their endorsement through social media and other platforms, providing ways to get involved in the campaign.
Section 6: Respecting and Respectful Disagreement
YDMA members are expected to treat dissenting opinions with respect. YDMA will not compel individuals disagreeing on endorsements to show support for any endorsement made from the organization or any chapter. YDMA will not prevent any individual from expressing their personal view on their personal social media, so long as they follow the parameters outlined below. Failure to adhere to the following parameters may result in removal from the disagreeing individuals elected or appointed post:
a. The disagreeing individual cannot prevent YDMA or any subsidiary parts of the organization from supporting the endorsement
b. The disagreeing individual cannot post their dissent on YDMA-managed social media.
c. The disagreeing individual cannot represent YDMA or make mention of YDMA while expressing opposition to the endorsement.
Article XI: Appropriations
Section 1: Authorization of Funds
Any appropriation made from funds under the control of YDMA shall not be drawn from the treasury except as authorized by the Board of Directors acting in accordance with this section, except as provided under Sections 3 and 4. Before making any appropriation the Board shall have:
a. Established a standing rule providing for the procedure of appropriations including the standards of transparency and reporting to be maintained;
b. Referred any matter seeking to make annual or supplementary appropriations to the standing committee of jurisdiction at least 7 days prior to a vote on the floor of the Board; and
c. Adopted a report of the standing committee with jurisdiction over appropriations which shall have specified an amount and purpose.
Section 2: Regulatory Compliance
The Chair and Treasurer shall be bound by the provisions of this section and shall enforce this provision at all times except where it would fall into conflict with state or federal law, or where an advisory opinion issued to any party by OCPF would indicate to the President or Treasurer that their action would violate state policy.
Section 3: Presidential Authorization of Minor Expenditures
The President may authorize an expenditure not exceeding $50, at a frequency no more than twice quarterly.
Section 4: Executive Committee Authorization of Minor Expenditures
The Executive Committee shall be empowered to expend funds subject to supplemental appropriation for expenditures of a single purpose of less than $200, at a frequency of no more than twice quarterly.
Article XII: Parliamentary Authorities
Section 1: Supremacy
This Charter shall be the supreme governing document of the organization, and any other provision or subordinate charter which contradicts it shall be null and void, and the Executive Committee shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate action.
Section 2: Parliamentary Authority Adopted
The rules contained in the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this charter, any subordinate charter, or standing or special rules with the Board of Directors or Executive Committee may establish by a 2/3rds vote.
Section 3: Interpretation of Ambiguity
Whenever upon a disagreement as to the meaning or effect of this Charter, the Executive Committee shall sit as a Commission on the Charter and shall have full power and authority to make any interpretation between reasonable variations of opinion of the interpretation.
Article XIII: Amendment
This Charter may be amended at any YDMA Convention by a two-thirds vote of the members assembled—provided there be at least 24 affirmative votes, provided the amendment was referred to said convention by a majority vote of the Board of Directors—the members of the Executive Committee not voting and nor counting for the purposes of a quorum—and Executive Committee by a joint resolution or if a petition for its inclusion is signed by at least 35 YDMA voting members or at least 25% of the number of attendees of the last convention, whichever is greater.