DWD Bylaws – Amended January 2024

The following bylaws were approved by the members in November 2004; amended November 2011; amended June 2015; amended April 2022; amended January 2024 (Download a PDF version)

The name of this organization shall be the Democratic Women of the Desert. The Democratic Women of the Desert (“DWD”) is a chartered Democratic Club recognized by the Riverside County Democratic Party (“RCDP”) and the California Democratic Party (“CDP”).

Democratic Women of the Desert is dedicated to promoting social, economic, and political policies that reflect the priorities of women. We do this by educating members on women’s issues; increasing members’ political awareness; increasing political participation of women on local, national, and
international levels; actively recruiting women of all ages and those supportive of DWD’s mission to become DWD members; and by raising campaign contributions for candidates who support DWD’s mission.

Section I. Member
Each member is a registered Democrat or is a person devoted to the principles of the Democratic Party but is ineligible to register to vote at this time. Any such ineligible person has expressed the intent to register as a Democrat immediately upon becoming eligible. Such persons have an option to participate
as Associate Member, definition found in Section 2. Item 5, and have the opportunity to participate as a Regular Member with full voting rights once impediment has been removed.

1. Members in good standing are defined as eligible to vote by having paid dues or following a three month waiting period. Members who renew are eligible to vote following payment of dues. Prospective members must affirmatively apply for membership in a manner which the member at a minimum, is identified by name and address. A Regular Member is one who subscribes to the DWD Mission Statement in Article II, and pays membership dues, unless dues have been waived for economic hardship.All regular members of DWD shall be registered Democrats in the State of California. A member shall be considered in good standing if their dues are current. Voting rights are conferred upon Members who are in good standing for three months, subject to compliance with the other provisions of these bylaws.
2. All DWD members, including members of the Board, shall be subject to the rules, regulations, and jurisdiction of the RCDP as set forth in its Bylaws and in the standing orders of the RCDP.
3. Nondiscrimination. The organization does not require or use any test of membership or oath of loyalty which has the effect of requiring prospective or current members to acquiesce in, condone or support discrimination on the grounds of race, color, creed, national origin, physical ability, sex, age, religion, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, or economic status.

Section II. Categories of Membership
1. Individual Membership. An Individual Member is open to any person meeting the eligibility requirements of Article III Section One.
2. Young Democrat Membership. Young Democrats, individuals under the age 30, shall be eligible for Regular Membership at a reduced fee set by the Board.
3. Family Membership. Any two or more individuals in the same household who qualify shall be eligible for Regular Membership at a reduced fee set by the Board.
4. Lifetime Membership. An individual shall be eligible for a Lifetime Membership for a fee set by the Board.
5. Associate Membership. An Associate Membership is available to those interested in joining DWD who are not able to meet the membership criteria defined in Article III, Section I a. above (e.g., part-time residents, out-of-state members). Such a person shall be a member of the group Associate Members and shall have all the privileges of membership except the right to vote, hold office, or be a Representative to the California Democratic Party (CDP) Pre-Endorsing Conference.
6. Honorary Membership. Any registered Democrat who has given outstanding and noteworthy service to the community or the Democratic Party may be elected unanimously by the Board to become an Honorary Member of DWD. Honorary Members shall have right of voice, but no other privilege except the exemption of paying dues.

Section III. Privileges of Membership
All members in good standing shall have the following membership privileges based upon their membership classification:
1. To attend meetings and functions of DWD and to exercise the rights and privileges granted to members by these bylaws or otherwise fixed by the membership and the Board.
2. Those members in good standing for three months or more shall have the additional membership privileges based upon their membership classification:

(a) To vote on all matters submitted to the vote of the DWD membership.
(b) To serve on the Board as an Officer if all qualifications for office are met.

Section IV. Removal from DWD Membership
A member who is not or ceases to be registered as a Democrat shall be removed from Regular Membership of DWD.
1. A member may be removed for such reasons as: the member has given active and public support to one or more candidates of an opposing political party in a partisan election; has publicly advocated that the electorate should not vote for the nominee of the Democratic Party for any partisan office; has publicly given support or avowed a preference for a candidate of another party; has seriously interfered with the operations of DWD or the Party; has refused to comply with the rules and procedures (including these bylaws) of DWD; has interfered with the ability of other members to participate in activities of DWD, including by threatening members with retaliatory action; or generally engages in conduct unbecoming a member of the Democratic Party. DWD utilizes and enforces a “Code of Conduct” that is available on the DWD website.
2. Removal of a member shall be subject to the following procedure:

(a) A voting member may move that any other member of DWD be removed for reasons set forth in this Section. The motion shall state in detail by written account the act(s) or omission(s) that warrants the removal of the member who is the subject of the motion. The written account shall be read aloud at the time the motion is made.
(b) The motion to remove the member is automatically postponed until the next regular meeting of DWD and shall automatically be taken up for action as an item of old or unfinished business.
(c) Notification to the cited member shall be made within seven days by mail and email. The notice shall advise the cited member of the names of the members who made and seconded the motion, the language of the motion; the date, time, location, and the amount of the allotted time for both sides to respond to the challenge.
(d) In all removal situations, the burden of introducing evidence justifying removal shall be upon the person or persons urging the removal, who shall be required to prove the case for removal by clear and convincing evidence. Immediately thereafter, a vote shall be taken on the motion to remove the charged member from DWD. A two- thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members present, and voting shall be required to pass such a motion.
(e) Removed member seeking to rejoin club may petition for readmission to club after the first-year anniversary date of removal by contacting club president. Petition for admission is subject to simple majority board approval.

Section V. Annual Dues
Annual dues are determined by the Board and approved by the membership. They are payable upon joining DWD. Membership renewal is based upon the anniversary date (month and day) of joining the club.

Section I. Officers
The Officers of DWD constitute the Executive Board and are elected to a two-year term by the membership. It shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and Corresponding Secretary. The President and Vice President shall hold office from January Annual
Meeting of the even years, concurrent with the Chairs. The Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer shall hold office from January Annual Meeting of the odd years or until the successor is elected.
1. The Election of the Officers

(a) Candidates for DWD Officers to be elected bi-annually shall be recommended by an Ad Hoc Nominating Committee appointed by the President. The Nominating Committee shall consist of a minimum of three (3) members who are not Officers.
(b) The Nominating Committee shall recommend one candidate for each elective office and give a report of the slate of candidates to the membership preceding the election meeting. Nominations may be made from the floor, with the consent of the nominee, at the regular annual meeting in January, before voting takes place. A member-in-good-standing for three months or more may offer themselves for self-nomination. Election is confirmed by simple majority of members in good standing, as defined in Article 3, Section 1.,votingand present or by acclamation.

The Executive Board Members and the Committee Chairs constitute the DWD Board. The Board shall have no fewer than three (3).
1. The immediate Past-President shall automatically be entitled to be a member of the Board with the same voting rights as other Board members unless the Past-President has resigned.
2. The President shall appoint the chairs of standing and ad hoc committees, with the advice and consent of the board.

Standing and Ad Hoc committees may be added to or deleted by the President with the advice and consent of the Board. The standing committees are membership, fundraising, program, communications, scholarship, and political action. Ad hoc committee chairs may be added or deleted as board members by the President with the advice and consent of the Board (e.g., endorsement, nomination).

1. President. As Chief Executive Officer, the President presides over all meetings of DWD, the Board and the Executive Board; provides leadership and has in-depth knowledge of DWD’s Mission and its governing documents; appoints committee chairs pursuant to Article IV Section II. Letter b. and establishes Special or Ad Hoc committees. President is an ex-officio member of all Committees of DWD.
2. Vice President. Works closely with the President and understands the responsibilities of the President; fulfills other responsibilities and carries out special assignments as assigned by the President; and in the President’s absence performs the President’s responsibilities. The Vice President assumes the office of President if the President cannot serve out a term.
3. Recording Secretary. Records and transcribes all Board Minutes and ensures Minutes are distributed to Board members within a week after each meeting; and manages and maintains all official records and Board Minutes, ensuring their accuracy and safety. Fulfills other duties as assigned by the President.
4. Corresponding Secretary. Shall be responsible to correspond to entities outside the club for the business of the club as directed by the President or the Board. Fulfills other duties as assigned by the President.
5. Treasurer. Manages the financial matters of DWD, including maintaining all financial records, filing required documents and reports relating to DWD’s activities. Working with the President, the Treasurer ensures that appropriate financial reports are made available to the Board on a timely basis; regularly reports to the Board on key financial events, trends, and fiscal health; and ensures sound management and maximization of cash and investments. Fulfills other duties as assigned by the President.
6. Chair, Membership. Appoints a Membership Committee; is responsible for growing the membership of DWD and manages membership retention efforts; and maintains current membership records. Fulfills other duties as assigned by the President.
7. Chair, Political Action. Appoints Political Action Committee. Advises the Board of political action needed to promote Democratic women candidates and issues that impact women, consistent with DWD’s Mission Statement. Fulfills other duties as assigned by the President.
8. Chair, Programs. Appoints Program Committee to provide educational and political programs for the membership; and arranges and manages regular membership meetings. Fulfills other responsibilities as assigned by the President.
9. Chair, Communications. Appoints a Communications Committee; establishes and maintains  cooperative relationships with representatives of community, political, media, and public interest groups; coordinates communications with members; and oversees club’s social media program.
Fulfills other duties as assigned by the President.
10. Chair, Fundraising. Appoints a Fundraising Committee; raises funds for the use of DWD. Fulfills other duties as assigned by the President.
11. Chair, Scholarships. Appoints a committee to read, score and participate in the decision-making process of the scholarship recipients. Serves as liaison to schools and institutions. Fulfills other duties as assigned by the President.
12. Chair, Endorsement. Appoints an ad hoc committee to issue and receive candidates’ questionnaires and to prepare candidates for the endorsement process. Fulfills other duties as assigned by the President.
13. Chair, Public Relations. Appoints an ad hoc committee and shall be responsible shall be responsible to develop a public relations strategy to positively represent DWD to the public. Fulfills other duties as assigned by the President.

1. The office of any Officer or Chair shall be vacated:

(a) In the event of death.
(b) If the officeholder or chair submits a resignation, in writing, to the Recording Secretary or the President of DWD.
(c) If the Board by a simple majority vote declares the office vacated after the officeholder or chair fails to be a member of DWD in good standing or has violated the terms of DWD membership (see Article III, Section I.) at any time during the officeholder or chair’s term of office.
(d) If the Board by simple majority declares the office vacated after a Board Member fails to attend three (3) regularly scheduled or properly noticed Board meetings in any given calendar year. Notice of the proposed removal must be given to the officeholder or chair at least by at least seven days in advance of the meeting at which the removal will be voted upon. Board member shall be given an allotted amount of time to reconcile or respond to challenge at meeting scheduled for removal vote. The results of such a vote shall be communicated in writing to the individual concerned. It is the duty of all Board Members to attend all meetings of DWD and any Standing Committees to which they are appointed, and to assure that their attendance at all such meeting is recorded.
(e) If the officeholder or chair is removed from office by motion duly adopted by two-thirds (2/3) of those voting members present and voting at a duly called regular meeting of DWD.

2. The Board may appoint a successor to fill the remainder of any unexpired term of a vacated office. Such appointment shall remain in effect until a replacement can be duly elected by the procedure set forth in Article IV.,Section V., Item 3.
3. The presiding officer may announce a vacated office at a regular meeting and call immediately for nomination(s) and election of a qualified member to fill that vacancy. The election to fill that vacancy shall be announced to the membership to be held at the next regular meeting, by simple majority vote of the qualified members present and voting, or by acclamation.
4. Any officer may be removed from office for failure to abide by the Code of Conduct available on the DWD website.

Section VI. Nominations and Elections to CDP Endorsing Conference
1. Selection of Representatives to the CDP Pre-Endorsing Conference: The “Pre-endorsing Conferences” are a public meeting of the Democratic Party and shall be open to all Democrats. These conferences provide for Democratic Clubs to participate in casting their vote in the endorsement process through the process described herein.

(a) Club representatives shall be allocated as follows: one representative, resident in the Assembly District(s) and duly registered as a member of the Democratic Party of California, for each 20 members in good standing registered to vote in the Assembly District(s) who were listed on the roster submitted to the appropriate Regional Director of the CDP no later than July 1 of the year immediately prior to the endorsing process.
(b) For purposes of this Section:

(1) Only members in good standing as of the deadline shall be included on the roster.
(2) “Members in Good Standing” shall mean a member whose dues are current or have been waived due to economic hardship and has been a member for at least three months.
(3) The status of such members may be certified by the Club’s President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary or Treasurer.
(4) The Club’s representatives to any pre-endorsing conference shall be from the roster described above and the overall list of representatives to all conferences shall be equally apportioned between women and other than women, to the extent possible.

(c) Said representatives shall be selected by majority vote of a Selection Committee comprised of the President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer, a quorum being present. The Selection Committee shall not select one of its own members unless it first determines that no other viable option is available. If such determination is made, they shall inform the membership of their decision, and the reasons therefor, at the next General Membership meeting.
(d) No later than date requested by the appropriate Regional Director of each odd number year, this Club shall inform its membership, of the process for selection as a Representative to the CDP Pre-Endorsing Conference, via both WEB Posting on its site and email or other member-chosen option for notification.
(e) In order for a member’s name to be submitted as one of this Club’s representatives to the CDP Pre-Endorsing Conferences, the member must submit a signed written declaration of intent to the Selection Committee declaring their intent to support this Club’s endorsed candidates at the Pre-Endorsing Conferences by voting for them at the Pre-endorsing Conferences.

Section I. Executive Board 

1. Special or emergency Executive Board meetings may be called by the President if the need arises in the intervals between monthly Board meetings. Such meetings shall be held at such times and places and in such manner as the President shall determine.
2. Any person holding more than one position on the Executive Board shall not have more than one (1) vote.
3. Any votes taken on issues by the Executive Board between regularly scheduled Board meetings must be ratified by at next regular Board meeting.

Section II. Board
1. A minimum of six (6) Board meetings will be held each year, at such times as decided by a majority vote of the Board, and at such places as the President shall determine. The meeting shall be properly noticed seven days prior, and when held, are generally scheduled the second Sunday
of any given month.
2. The Board may hold special or emergency meetings, as called by the President, whenever the need arises.
3. The President may call the Board into session prior to any regular meeting to confer on any issues that will be brought before the membership for a vote.
4. The members of the Board be contacted by the President either by telephone, email, or text.
5. In an emergency, or situation requiring immediate action, the President may call for a vote or Board action to be taken by phone, email, or text poll.
6. Any votes taken on issues by the Board between regularly scheduled Board meetings must be ratified at the next regular Board meeting.
7. Any person holding more than one position on the Board shall not have more than one (1) vote on the Board.

Section III. General Membership Meetings

Meetings. Meetings are scheduled the third Thursday of the month. Meeting day may be re-scheduled with proper notification. A minimum of six (6) meetings will be held each year, inclusive of an Annual Meeting held in January. DWD has an open meeting policy to all registered Democrats.

Section IV. Meeting Notices

1. Seven (7) days notice by email constitutes proper notice for all general and endorsement meetings.
Members wishing to opt out of email and receive notices by other means shall notify the Corresponding Secretary as to what methodology they prefer. Publication of any DWD notice via email will be considered valid if: (a) the sender and receiver have consented, in writing, to sending and receiving notice in this manner, (b) The notice was sent to or from the email address specified when giving consent, or the most recent email address specified on a subsequent notice of change of address by the sender or the receiver, (c) the obligation to inform and performing of any change in email address has been specified in writing, and (d) there is an opportunity to opt out of such consent at an appropriate time.
2. Said notices will specify the time, place, date, and time of the meeting and describe any proposed resolutions, endorsements, recommendations, elections, filling of a vacancy in any office, and proposed amendments to the Bylaws (agenda) to be considered at the meeting and may also be found on club website.RCDP Chair, and AD Chair of in which a majority of organizations’ members reside shall receive notification of club events and meetings.

Section V. Parliamentary Authority

Robert’s Rules of Order, Latest Revision, will govern the parliamentary rules for all matters not provided by these By-laws.

Section I: Endorsement of Candidates
DWD will not endorse or support any candidate who is not a registered Democrat for a partisan or non- partisan office. For partisan or non-partisan offices, DWD may endorse candidates solely as DWD’s own; if these DWD endorsements are different than those of RCDP or CDP, they are to be clearly stated as such. These endorsements shall be recommended to RCDP as candidates for RCDP or CDP endorsement.
1. DWD will notify candidates of the DWD endorsement process utilizing website and other social media. Candidates seeking DWD endorsement shall comply with the following procedure:

(a) Inform any member of the Executive Board in writing by email of her/his request for the club’s endorsement. Upon notification of the request, Endorsement Chair will forward Candidate Endorsement Questionnaire to the candidate. Candidate will forward completed questionnaire along with resume and other materials candidate considers relevant to her/his qualifications to Endorsement Chair. The Board and the Endorsement Committee, may, at it’s discretion, interview candidates and/or invite the candidate to give a speech to the membership. This may be in the form of a candidate forum.
(b) No candidate may be present during debate on their specific endorsement or recommendation.
(c) Voting may be done by voice vote, by show of hands, electronic poll, or by secure online venue.
(d) No vote on endorsement shall be by secret ballot.

2. The Board shall recommend candidates for endorsement or no endorsement to the membership by 60% Board vote. Endorsement vote at 60% of qualified and present voting membership shall take place no later than two months prior to election. Only as many candidates as there are
vacant seats can be endorsed.
3. If a majority of Board members find that an earlier endorsement would be in the Club’s best interest, a candidate may be considered for early endorsement. The Board may initiate the endorsement proceedings once the filing period begins. If no endorsement is made by the RCDP or the CDP, or a neutral position is taken, then DWD’s endorsement of a candidate of its choosing for that office stands.
4. Once the RCDP/ CDP endorsements are made in partisan races, those endorsed candidates become DWD’s endorsed candidates. In non-partisan races, DWD’s endorsement stands as such and shall be clearly stated in all materials. Non-Democrats shall not be rated in any race or be provided any financial support.

Section II: Endorsement of State Ballot Propositions
1. DWD shall support the recommendation made by the RCDP and/or the CDP regarding state ballot propositions.
2. Until a decision is reached to support, not support, or to remain neutral on a state ballot proposition by the RCDP and/or the CDP, DWD will not take a position.
3. If no decision is made to support or not support a given state proposition by the RCDP and/or the CDP, and a neutral position is taken, DWD may take a position on that state proposition.

Section III. Limitation of Guest Speakers
Since DWD may endorse only Democratic candidates, candidates from other political parties will not be permitted to be guest speakers at any meetings of the DWD during the period that these candidates are running for office.

These Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the members present and voting at a regular meeting of DWD, provided that copies of the proposed amendment(s) have been delivered to the members of DWD. Notice of the meeting at which the amendment(s) will be voted upon, shall occur no less than seven (7) days before the meeting.

Section I. Conformance
In the event of any conflict between these Bylaws and those of the RCDP Committee, the CDP, or the Democratic National Committee, those of the higher governing body shall prevail; provided, however, that any such conflicts shall be brought to the attention of the President of DWD and provided that
sufficient time, defined in agreement with DWD, is given to DWD to cure the Bylaws conflict to complete the rechartering process.

Section II. Gaps in Coverage
Should a matter arise that is not covered by these Bylaws but that is covered by any applicable bylaw of the RCDP, the CDP, or the Democratic National Committee, those of the higher governing body shall prevail. In the absence of any specific applicable Bylaws, Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised.

CODE OF CONDUCT (Download a PDF version)

Expected Behavior
Democratic Women of the Desert (DWD) is committed to providing a welcoming, respectful, friendly, safe, supportive, and harassment-free environment for members, employees, and all others associated with DWD. DWD expects all leaders, members, employees, and others associated with DWD to act professionally, respecting the personal rights and dignities of all individuals involved with the Party to create a productive, inclusive environment for all. All individuals should feel welcome and safe within DWD, regardless of their sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, religion, creed, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, body size, domestic violence victim status, or any other legally protected classifications. DWD’s behavior standards are not limited to DWD membership meetings, Regional meetings, Assembly District meetings, or DWD events. Harassment will not be tolerated at any and all events sponsored by or affiliated with the DWD, as well as in DWD-related calls, texts, emails, and social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Unacceptable Behavior
The DWD will not tolerate prohibited harassment based on any of the protected categories listed above. Prohibited harassment can be verbal (such as slurs, jokes, insults, epithets, gestures, or teasing based on the protected categories listed above), visual (such as the posting or distribution of offensive posters, symbols, cartoons, drawings, computer displays, or emails based on the protected categories listed above), or physical (such as physically threatening another person, blocking someone’s way, touching private parts, making physical contact in an unwelcome manner, etc.). DWD will not tolerate sexual harassment, that is, harassment based on sex or inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature, which includes harassment based on sex
(including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity, or gender-expression. Prohibited sexual harassment may include all of the actions described above as harassment, as well as other unwelcome sex-based conduct, such as unwelcome or unsolicited sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, conversations regarding sexual activities, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexually harassing conduct need not be motivated by sexual desire and it may include situations that began as reciprocal relationships, but that later cease to be reciprocal. DWD prohibits quid pro quo sexual harassment, such as when submission to sexual conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term
or condition of an individual’s membership in the Party, appointment to committee, leadership, or other roles within DWD; or submission to or rejection of sexual conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting that individual. The DWD prohibits the creation of a hostile environment based on sex or any the other protected categories listed above, that is, conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile or otherwise offensive environment. A hostile environment can be created by unwelcome sexual advances, flirtation, teasing, sexually suggestive or obscene letters, invitations, notes, emails, voicemails or gifts; sex, gender or sexual orientation- related comments, slurs, jokes, remarks or epithets; leering, obscene or vulgar gestures or making sexual gestures; displaying or distributing sexually suggestive or derogatory objects, pictures, cartoons, or posters, or any such items; impeding or blocking movement, unwelcome touching or assaulting others; any abusive yelling or screaming, other verbal threats, or disrespectful language (in any form) directed at a person; any unwelcome sexual advances as well as reprisals or threats after a negative response to sexual advances; and conduct or
comments consistently targeted at one gender, even if the content is not sexual. The examples above are just that—examples. In general, any conduct listed above or that is based on the protected classifications listed above that could interfere with an individual’s participation in DWD or could create an offensive environment will be considered harassment in violation of this code of conduct. This is the case even if the offending individual did not mean to be offensive.

Retaliation is Prohibited
DWD takes very seriously its responsibility to provide all members with a welcoming, respectful, and safe environment and urges any member who feels that they have been subjected to conduct in violation of this Code or who otherwise feel unsafe due to violative conduct, or a  hostile environment as described herein to report the discrimination and/or harassment (of themselves or observed to others) as soon as possible. Retaliation for reporting harassment or discrimination or participating in an investigation to harassment or discrimination is prohibited.
Retaliation may include, but is not limited to, exclusion from meetings or committees, ostracism, or other conduct that may limit engagement with DWD, or that would be reasonably likely to deter a reasonable DWD member from reporting harassment or participating in a harassment investigation.
Adopted January 2024

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