Bylaws of the Silicon Valley Young Democrats of California

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    1. Section 1 Name

i.    The name of this organization shall be the Silicon Valley Young Democrats (hereinafter, “SVYD”).

  1. Section 2 Affiliation

i.    SVYD will be chartered with, and affiliated with the California Young Democrats (CYD), California Democratic Council, Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee, California Democratic Party, and through the California Young Democrats affiliated with Young Democrats of America.


    1. Section 1: Membership Types:

i.    SVYD shall have two types of membership: (1) Active Members; and (2) Associate Members.

  1. Active Member Identification Guidelines: Membership shall be open to persons who are at least 14 years old and not more than 35 years old who reside or work in the Silicon Valley, and are registered with the Democratic Party, or if not eligible to vote, have pledged support to the Democratic Party. The term of Membership runs from the beginning of first General Membership Meeting in the calendar year through the end of the day immediately preceding the first General Membership Meeting the following calendar year. An Active Member shall be identified as members who have paid annual dues, and have attended at least two SVYD Membership Meetings and/or SVYD Events in one calendar year.
  2. Associate Member Identification Guidelines: An Associate Member shall be identified as those whom do not qualify as members, but live within California, are registered to vote, and have paid Associate Member dues. Associate Members do not have voting privileges.
  3. Section 2: Dues

i.    SVYD shall have three types of dues: (1) Active Member; (2) Student/Low Income Active Member; (3) Associate Membership. Dues may be collected at any time and shall remain in effect for the duration of the calendar year paid.  Dues shall not be pro-rated.

  1.  Active Members shall pay annual dues of $20.00.
  2. The dues may be reduced by the President or Treasurer to $10.00 for students and any others of limited financial means and will be considered Active Members.
  3. Associate Member dues are $100.00 annually.
  4. Section 3: Active Membership Privileges

i.    All Active Members are entitled to the following, without limitation:

  1. One vote on any issue being voted upon at any meeting of the membership. Active Members shall have the power to vote upon all matters of general interest to SVYD. Notably, Active Members are prohibited from voting by proxy at any meeting or in any election and only Active Members present at a meeting are entitled to vote.
  2. Eligibility to participate on any committee. Committees and subcommittees organized by officers may be composed solely of eligible individuals chosen by the organizing officer. Likewise, committees may also be open to all eligible members.
  3. Attendance at all meetings of the Membership and other activities. However, attendance at some activities may be contingent upon financial contributions, admission fees or space limitations.


    1. Section 1: Executive Board

i.    The Executive Board shall be comprised of the SVYD Officers, each Officer having one vote on each issue before the Executive Board.

ii.    The Executive Board shall not have the sole power to establish agenda or discussion items for SVYD meetings.  That power is shared with the Active Members.

  1. Section 2: Officers

i.    The Officers shall be a President, Membership Director, Treasurer, Secretary, and Political Director. This order shall also serve as SVYD officers’ order of succession.

ii.    All Officers shall be Active Members of SVYD.

  1. Section 3: Officer Duties and Powers

i.    The SVYD Officers shall have the following duties and powers. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Bylaws, the Executive Board retains the power to override any act or function of any Officer by a simple majority. The following are required duties of all Officers:

  1. All officers shall represent the collective interests and integrity of the General Membership.
  2. All officers must read and be familiar with the SVYD bylaws.
  3. All officers must be familiar with Roberts’ Rules of Orders.
  4. All officers must upon election, immediately take an FPPC training course at the earliest available time.
  5. All officers are responsible for transference of duties and training of their successors.
  6. If there is a Political Action Committee (PAC), all officers are responsible for ensuring the timely filing of a Form 410, notifying the FPPC of a change of leadership and responsibility.
  7. The Executive Board by majority vote may alter, limit, or override any decision of any officer.

ii.    President: The President shall be the chief executive officer of the SVYD, and shall preside over all SVYD meetings, unless otherwise provided. The President shall represent SVYD at California Young Democrat Conventions and Executive Board Meetings. The President shall have the following duties and powers:

  1. Establish Executive Orders consistent with the Bylaws;
  2. Establish the agenda for each SVYD meeting with the Executive Board;
  3. The President shall preside over all meetings;
  4. Attend all events sponsored by the Silicon Valley Young Democrats or ensure that the Executive Board is represented by another Officer;
  5. Attend all the Northern California Regional Meetings of CYD or ensure that the Executive Board is represented by another Officer;
  6. Serve as delegation chair to the CYD state convention or ensure that the Executive Board is represented by another Officer;
  7. Appoint chairpersons of all standing committees, as needed;
  8. Be an ex-officio member of all SVYD standing committees;
  9. Remove anyone from any appointed position with majority support of the Executive Board;
  10. Strive to keep the SVYD Bylaws consistent with SVYD aims and policies.
  11. Act as the SVYD media spokesperson.

iii.    Membership Director (MD): The MD shall have the following duties and powers:

  1. Actively preside over SVYD membership and recruitment.
  2. At the discretion of the President and Executive Board, the MD shall chair the Membership Committee.
  3. Act as President Pro-Tempore in the absence of the President, automatically assuming all powers, duties, and responsibilities of the President. If there is a vacancy in the office of President, the MD shall automatically vacate the office of MD and fill the office of President, assuming all powers, duties and responsibilities associated with that position until an election can be held at earliest possible meeting. For the purposes of Executive Board and General Meetings, if acting as President Pro-Tempore, they will still only have one vote.
  4. Record meeting attendance
  5. Develop and keep a current membership list;
    1. The list may not be shared outside of the Executive Board and chartered organizations
    2. Maintain and update SVYD mailing lists;
    3. Verifies membership prior to elections and all votes, assisted by the Secretary.
    4. Assist the President; and
    5. For the purposes of organization chartering and affiliation, confirmation of membership list must be completed prior to chartering processes each year.

iv.    Treasurer: The Treasurer shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Maintain a copy of each check issued from the SVYD account, keeping records accurate for 4 year intervals;
  2. Present financial statements to the Executive Board and General Membership at each regularly scheduled meeting;
  3. Must be present at any General Membership or Executive Board Meeting when an expenditure vote is made and must certify in advance SVYD’s financial ability to make any expenditure, or if unable to be present, must give that certification to another officer;
  4. Handle disbursements, receipts, banking relationships, legal financial statements including those required by law, tax responsibilities, and in general, any and all bookkeeping responsibilities;
  5. Be the primary signer of financial accounts, forms, checks, and payments;
  6. At the discretion of the President and Executive Board, the Treasurer shall chair the Finance Committee.

v.    Secretary: The Secretary shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Record and distribute SVYD meeting documents;
  2. Appoint a parliamentarian to give advice to the organization on procedures and bylaw interpretations;
  3. Record meeting minutes;
  4. Assist with collection of documents and electronic media for website and Social Media;
  5. Serve as SVYD Historian, maintaining SVYD photos and archives;
  6. Assist the President and MD with promotional club and event tasks;
  7. Responsible to update and maintain the archive of all online passwords for Executive Board for SVYD communications account; and
  8. At the discretion of the President and Executive Board, the Secretary shall chair the Communications Committee.

vi.    Political Director: The Political Director shall have the following duties and powers:

  1. Develop and organize political trainings, forums, political education, and other political activities;
  2. Communicate relevant political information to the Executive Board and General Membership in a timely manner;
  3. Provide notice of SVYD endorsement opportunities to candidates for office; and
  4. At the discretion of the President and Executive Board, the Political Director shall chair the Endorsement and Resolution Committees.
  5. See Article VII for additional duties.
  6. Section 4: Officer Election & Term of Office

i.    Elections of Officers will be held at the June General Membership Meeting of each year.

ii.    The order of elections of Officers will be as follows: President, Membership Director, Treasurer, Secretary and Political Director.

iii.    Newly created positions begin at the SVYD calendar year, where they will be elected with the rest of the Executive Board Officers.

iv.    The term of office for each Officer shall be one SVYD calendar year and shall expire the day before the General Membership Meeting following the election. This will allow for an overlap of Executive Boards during the Executive Board Meeting preceding the Officer Elections.

v.    Nominations will be accepted at the May and June General Membership Meetings.

  1. Section 5: Vacancy, Interim, Resignation & Removal

i.    Vacancy in any of the offices may result in an interim position that shall be appointed by a majority vote of the Executive Board. An interim officer shall serve until the next General Membership Meeting.

ii.    Any officer may submit a resignation to the Executive Board, who will then inform the General Membership. The resignation is effective immediately or as specified by the Executive Board.

iii.    At these conditions, any Officer shall be removed and the Officer’s removal will be final, without exception:

  1. Upon the conclusion of two unexcused absences from a General Membership Meeting or Executive Board Meeting.
  2. Should the officer not fulfill their duties as listed in the bylaws
  3. Upon an officer resignation, the General Membership shall be notified of the vacancy, giving them at least a 21-day notice before the next General Membership Meeting at which nominations are opened and an election held to fill the seat. If the next General Membership Meeting falls within less than 21 days, the election will occur at the following General Membership Meeting.

iv.    Any Officer shall be removed from office under the following procedures:

  1. Executive Board Removal: Except as otherwise provided, the Executive Board may remove a sitting Officer upon 14 days written notice to the subject Officer of the time and place of the removal vote and a written statement of the grounds for removal. A majority vote of the Executive Board is required to place the vote on the agenda. A simple majority open vote of the Executive Board is required to remove the subject Officer. The subject Officer must be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard at the meeting prior to the removal vote.
  2. Officer Removal by Membership: Except as otherwise provided, the Active Members may remove a sitting Officer by submitting a written petition for removal identifying the subject officer, the grounds for removal, and the signatures of 20% of the Active Membership. Upon receipt of the removal petition, the President shall send 14 days written notice to the subject Officer including the time and place of the removal vote and a written statement of the grounds for removal. The President shall place the removal vote on the next available General Membership Meeting agenda. A simple majority vote of the Active Members present and voting is required to remove the subject Officer. The subject Officer must be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard before the removal vote.


    1. Section 1: Committee Existence

i.    Except as otherwise provided in the Bylaws, the President or the Executive Board can form, abolish, regulate, or modify committees at any time for any reason they deem necessary or proper. The Executive Board by majority vote may alter, limit, or override any decision of any Committee in this regard.

ii.    The President shall appoint committee chairs subject to approval of the Executive Board.  And, the committee chairs may appoint committee members to the committee they chair.

  1. Section 2: Standing Committees

i.    Standing committees are Endorsement, Resolution, Finance, Membership, and Communications.

  1. Section 3: Subcommittees

i.    Subcommittees are categorized under a designated standing committee.

ii.    Subcommittees may be created at any time with a motion by an Active Member.  The motion must be approved by the majority of the General Membership during a General Membership Meeting.

iii.    A subcommittee must be reapproved by the majority of the General Membership each year.

iv.    Subcommittee chairs shall be appointed by the Officer that oversees the standing committee that the subcommittee is designated under.

v.    An active subcommittee must be chaired by a member in good standing.

vi.    The subcommittee chair must report on the subcommittee at each General Membership Meeting.

vii.    Subcommittee members may be appointed by the subcommittee chair.


  2. Section 1: Parliamentary Procedure

i.    The parliamentary authority of SVYD shall be standard code of parliamentary procedure outlined by Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.

  1. Section 2: Regular Membership Meetings

i.    The SVYD shall have no less than 10 General Membership Meetings during the course of one calendar year. General Membership Meetings require a seven day notice on the SVYD website or other official SVYD correspondence.

  1. Section 3: Special Membership Meetings

i.    Special Membership Meetings may be called with a four day notice to the General Membership by the President or two other Officers. Membership shall be contacted via email or written correspondence.

  1. Section 4: Regular Executive Board Meetings

i.    If Regular Executive Board Meetings are established, they shall be held with a seven day notice to the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall be contacted via email or written correspondence.

  1. Section 5: Special Executive Board Meetings

i.    Special Executive Board Meetings may be called upon a four day notice to each member of the Executive Board by the Chair or two other members of the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall be contacted via email or written correspondence.


  2. Section 1: Quorum

i.    The Executive Board may not act without a quorum consisting of a majority of Officers.

ii.    The Active Members may not act without a quorum consisting of 10 Active Members. If SVYD has fewer than 18 Active Members on the roster, a quorum shall be a majority of the Active Members.

  1. Section 2: Expenditures

i.    No Member or Officer may represent him/herself as an agent of the Organization to commit or spend funds unless so authorized by the Executive Board.

ii.     Each request for over $100 of SVYD funds shall be made by notifying the SVYD President or Treasurer of the request no less than seven days before voting on the request, when the Executive Board shall place it on the General Membership Meeting agenda. SVYD shall not consider requests for funds on shorter notice.

iii.    SVYD cannot make any political contributions of any amount to any candidate or political committee unless a PAC is established and in full compliance with FPPC regulations. Contributions to nonprofit organizations may only be made with a majority vote when there is a quorum during a regularly scheduled General Membership Meeting.

iv.    The Executive Board has the authority to commit or spend funds up to $100 without approval from the General Membership. All funds must be spent on behalf of the SVYD General Membership.

v.    Reimbursements under $100 may be approved by the Executive Board. Any larger reimbursement amount shall follow (ii).

  1. Section 3: Convention Delegates

i.    Should SVYD be eligible to have more than one voting delegate, the President shall appoint the additional delegates who shall be eligible to represent SVYD upon approval of a majority of the Executive Board.

  1. Section 4: Communications

i.    Email is the primary method of communication for SVYD.

  1. Section 5: Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee Representatives

i.    To the extent SVYD is permitted to have a representative and alternate to sit on the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee, the SVYD representative shall be the President and two alternates shall be appointed by the President.

ii.    The representative and two alternates shall serve at the will of SVYD.

  1. Section 6 SVYD Sponsorships

i.    Only Active Members may be eligible for SVYD Sponsorships to events or trips.


  2. Section 1: Definition

i.    Endorsements by SVYD includes, but is not limited to:

  1. The association of the SVYD’s name and logo;
  2. Any approved use of SVYD’s funds, if there is a PAC in good standing with FPPC regulations;
  3. The forwarding of candidate communications at the discretion of the Executive Board to the General Membership;
  4. SVYD Members’ time in recruiting volunteers for precinct walking, phone banking, or campaign office volunteering.
  5. An Executive Board Member or General Member, in acting for and on behalf of SVYD, may not use their title or affiliation to SVYD to endorse any candidate or issue if SVYD has not endorsed that candidate or issue position.

ii.    The Endorsement Committee:

  1. Endorsement committee members are established by the Political Director through a sign up process at a General Membership Meeting
  2. The Political Director may limit the size of the committee or remove members with the approval of the Executive Board
  3. Any individual who is a paid campaigner must recuse themselves from the race they are working on
  4. Prior to the endorsement process, any member of the Endorsement Committee must disclose any professional or personal conflict of interest with the candidate and may be removed from the process by the Political Director. This includes members of the Executive Board.
  5. Should the Political Director have a conflict of interest regarding any candidate, the President will direct the Executive Board on how the endorsement process for the race will move forward.
    Section 2: Procedures

i.    Only Active Members may recommend the endorsements of candidates or issues to the Endorsement Committee for consideration.

The following passage has been amended on . (View Amendment)

ii.    SVYD may endorse a current member of SVYD and CYD or a past member of SVYD or CYD as a favored candidate at any time after the candidate has formally filed his or her candidacy with two thirds majority vote of the General Membership. The General Membership may at any time refer these candidates to the regular endorsement process.

iii.    Contested/Uncontested Races and Issues

  1. Any Active Member may request that the Executive Board commence endorsement proceedings for a candidate or issue;
  2. The Executive Board shall schedule statewide constitutional, legislative, and CYD endorsement voting for the General Membership Meeting occurring at least one month prior to the CYD State Convention endorsements.  If a special election is scheduled, the same rules will apply, with the endorsement vote of the General Membership occurring no later than the regularly scheduled General Membership Meeting immediately prior to Election Day.
  3. The Political Director shall make reasonable efforts to give all Democrats, seeking office in an election for which the SVYD endorsement is sought, written notice of SVYD’s procedures for endorsements within seven days after the filing deadline.
  4. Notifications of endorsement votes within General Membership Meetings shall be made as outlined in Article 5.
  5. Blank questionnaire forms shall be made available to the General Membership and candidate within seven days of the filing deadline for their respective race.
  6. The completed candidate questionnaires shall be made available digitally to Active Members at least 48 hours prior to the General Membership Meeting in which an endorsement vote is scheduled. Hard copies will be available at the meeting.
  7. Candidate interviews may be conducted by the Endorsement Committee for any race at the discretion of the Endorsement Committee.
  8. Candidate interviews shall be scheduled following the receipt of completed questionnaires and prior to the Endorsement Committee in which the committee will vote on a recommendation for the race in question.
  9. The Endorsement Committee shall convene prior to any General Membership Meeting for which endorsement votes shall occur, to make recommendations on the races in question. Two-thirds majority vote of the Endorsement Committee is required to present an endorsement recommendation to the General Membership.
  10. The endorsement portion of any General Membership Meeting must begin with a review of the endorsement process as outlined in the SVYD Bylaws and parliamentary procedure as stated by Robert’s Rules of Order presented by the Political Director for the General Membership.
  11. After hearing the recommendation(s) from the Endorsement Committee on the races in question, any Active Member may make a motion for endorsement, dual endorsement, or “no endorsement.”  Any race considered by the Endorsement Committee is not required to be moved on by the General Membership.
  12. Any general membership endorsement vote must receive a 60% majority to be adopted.
  13. In the case of Primary and General Elections, the endorsement made in the Primary Election shall be carried over to the General Election.
  14. At the request of any Active Member, a SVYD endorsement may be removed with a “motion to reconsider” or “motion to rescind,” both requiring a two-thirds vote of the General Membership.
  15. Section 3: Use of SVYD Assets by Endorsed Candidates or Issues

i.    The following shall require a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board at an Executive Board Meeting at which a quorum is present:

  1. approval of the use of SVYD’s funds exceeding $100 (if there is a functioning PAC in good standing);
  2. Use of stationery, mailing lists/labels, phone lists through SVYD;
  3. The association of SVYD’s name, logo, or its members’ time in recruiting volunteers for precinct walking, and fundraising.
  4. SVYD to cover the costs of producing mailing lists and stationery as requested by the candidates or position committees (only if there is a functioning PAC in good standing)
  5. No funds shall be dispensed to any candidates and/or campaigns not endorsed by SVYD.

Section 4 has been added/amended to the bylaws on June 15,2015. (View Amendment)

  2. Section 1: These Bylaws may be amended by a two thirds vote of the Active Membership present and voting at a meeting only upon two weeks written notice to the Active Members of language of the proposed Bylaw change as well as the time and place of the amendment vote.


  2. Section 1: In all matters not contained in these Bylaws, authority rests in Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.

The Bylaws Amendments, APPROVED, on this 18th day of November, 2013, at the General Membership Meeting of the Silicon Valley Young Democrats.


Joshua Barousse, Chair

SVYD President


Amanda Montez, Member

SVYD Treasuer


Emily Ann Ramos, Member

SVYD Secretary


Erica M. Schaefer, Member

SVYD Bylaws Committee


Alex Wara, Member

SVYD Bylaws Committee


Nick Draper, Member

SVYD Bylaws Committee