Constitution of the New Jersey Young Democrats
Article I – About the Organization
This organization shall be known as the New Jersey Young Democrats.
The purpose of the organization shall be to advance the highest principles of the Democratic Party, to foster and maintain truly democratic procedures in the Democratic Party, to support Democratic candidates of integrity, ability, and conviction for public office and party positions, and to arouse and animate participation by all Democrats in the conduct of their Party. This organization shall be composed of the regular members in good standing of each duly Chartered Chapter of Young Democrats in the State of New Jersey as hereinafter designated. Such Chapters shall be organized as provided in the following sections of this Article. Any registered Democrat under the age of 36, shall be eligible to be a regular member of any duly chartered chapter of the New Jersey Young Democrats. Anyone under the age of 18 who identifies themselves as Democrats should be eligible as a regular member, as well as any resident of New Jersey who may not be deemed a citizen of the United States but identifies themselves as a Democrat. Except as required pursuant to this Section, all other membership requirements of each duly chartered chapter shall be determined and enforced by individual chapters pursuant to its governing documents. If a member holds an elected position but reaches the age threshold they shall be permitted, unless otherwise noted in the bylaws of an individual chapter, to retain that office for a period no more than six months following their 36th birthday.
This constitution shall serve as the only governing document for the New Jersey Young Democrats.
Article II – County Chapters
This organization shall be composed of duly chartered clubs of Young Democrats in the State of New Jersey as hereinafter designated. Such clubs shall be organized as provided in the following sections of this Article.
The organization shall be organized by county chapters. County chapters may, by choice, combine to form multi-county chapters. The merging of multiple county chapters does not impede an individual county chapter’s voting rights for NJYD elections pursuant to Article VIII, Section 4.
County chapters shall include high school, college, and local.
Each county chapter is subject to the continuing approval of the County Chair of the Regular County Democratic Committee within which the chapter is organized and to the approval of the Executive Board of the New Jersey Young Democrats as granted in Article II, Section 4. The NJYD Executive Board shall have the authority to establish Young Democrats chapters and a County charter shall be granted upon the completion of requirements listed in Article II, Section 4. No charter shall be granted unless the chapter has met the requirements of membership as hereinafter provided.
A County Charter must meet the following requirements in order to be considered a member of the New Jersey Young Democrats: Approval by their Democratic County Chairperson; an approved copy of the proposed County Chapter constitution and bylaws modeled after the official NJYD/YDA Constitution, or if a constitution and bylaws are not adopted, be granted a waiver by the President of the New Jersey Young Democrats; a list of duly elected positions to include at least a President and Vice President; and a membership list.
County chapters must adhere to the guidelines to remaining a chapter pursuant to Article II, Section 4 at all times. If a county chapter becomes noncompliant, the NJYD Executive Board may take action, by a majority vote, to revoke the charter. The County Chapter shall be permitted one written appeal to the Executive Board within 30 days of notification of revocation of the County Chapter’s charter. The New Jersey Young Democrats Executive Board must consider the appeal no more than 10 days after receipt of the request for appeal. The appeal process is to include a meeting of the noncompliant chapter’s president, as well as a majority of the New Jersey Young Democrats Executive Board. Members of the noncompliant chapter’s Executive Board may attend the meeting.
Article III – Establishment of an Executive Board
The New Jersey Young Democrats shall elect an Executive Board at a bi-annual statewide meeting, held in odd-number years. The statewide meeting must take place prior to the Young Democrats of America National Convention held in the same year.
The following officers shall be elected and serve for a term of two years: President, Executive Vice President, Vice President (North), Vice President (Central), Vice President (South), National Committeeman, National Committeewoman, Secretary, and Treasurer.
The President and Executive Vice President shall be of the opposite gender.
The President shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Executive Board, the following positions: Executive Director; Parliamentarian; and Counsel; as well as Chairpersons of Special Committees or any other positions that the President deems necessary to carry out the programs of the New Jersey Young Democrats.
Caucus Chairs described in Article V, Section 1 shall serve as members of the Executive Board.
The following committees shall act as standing committees if constituted: Chapter Development; Community Service; Outreach; Policy; and Finance.
The Chairs of the Caucuses referred to in Article V shall serve as members of the Executive Board of the New Jersey Young Democrats. Any member of the New Jersey Young Democrats who is an elected National Officer of the Young Democrats of America shall sit ex-officio on the Executive Board of the New Jersey Young Democrats.
Article IV - Responsibilities of the Executive Board
The President shall direct the officers of the organization as its administrative officer. The President shall chair the Executive Board and shall be an ex-officio member of all other committees. The President, or the President’s officially designated representative, shall serve as Chair of all delegations to all meetings, conventions, conferences of the Young Democrats of America. The President shall serve as a member of the Young Democrats of America National Committee.
The Executive Vice President shall assist the President in the performance of the duties outlined in Article IV, Section 1 and in the absence of the President, shall serve in their stead.
The three regional Vice Presidents (North, Central, and South) shall be responsible for chartering new county and local organizations and conducting an annual regional meeting to coordinate efforts between counties located within said region. The regional Vice Presidents must reside within their respective regions, pursuant to Article IV, Section 3.1.
The regions shall be organized in the following manner:
North: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, and Warren Counties
Central: Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, and Union Counties
South: Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, and Salem Counties.
The National Committeeman and National Committeewoman shall represent the interests of the New Jersey Young Democrats at all meetings, conventions, conferences of the Young Democrats of America. They shall serve as members of the Young Democrats of America National Committee.
The Treasurer shall receive and disburse funds of the organization. He/she shall keep records or all receipts and disbursements, which may be audited biennially upon request of the New Jersey Young Democrats Executive Board. The Treasurer shall be required to file all financial documents to the appropriate agency. He/she shall serve as Chair of the New Jersey Young Democrats Finance Committee, unless a Finance Director is appointed.
The Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the organization, a roster of its members, resolutions of the organization, and a copy of the formal reports of its officers.
In the case of a vacancy during the term of an Executive Board member, the President shall appoint, and with the simple majority vote of the Executive Board, the appointee shall complete the unexpired term. In the case of a vacancy in the office of President, the Executive Vice President shall serve as President until a meeting of the Executive Board, at which time the Executive Board shall elect a new president by a simple majority vote to complete the unexpired term. The Executive Board must hold a meeting with 60 days of the President’s vacancy.
Elected and appointed officers of the New Jersey Young Democrats may be impeached by a simple majority at any regular or special meeting of the Executive Board. Upon passage, a resolution of impeachment must be forwarded to the accused within ten days.
The hearing of an impeached elected or appointed officer must take place not less than 10 days but not more than 20 days following passage of said impeachment resolution. The hearing, convened by the Executive Board, shall be chaired the by President or, in the case of the President’s impeachment, by the Executive Vice President. The impeached officer shall have the right to present witnesses in their defense, cross-examine witnesses for the prosecution, and to be represented by counsel.
The Executive Board shall, by a two-thirds vote, expel impeached elected and appointed officers found guilty as charged.
Other provisions of this constitution notwithstanding, any member of the Executive Board who shall be absent from or not represented by proxy at three consecutive meetings of the Executive Board, without proper notification to the President and/or the Secretary, shall have their office declared vacant at the first subsequent Executive Board meeting. The said Executive Board member shall receive notice of the Board’s intent to declare their position vacant no less than three days prior to the date of that intended action. By a vote a 2/3 of Executive Board members in attendance, the Board may waive the declaration of vacancy upon personal appeal by the member in question at the next meeting.
Article V – Caucuses
There shall be nine caucuses of the New Jersey Young Democrats: College, Black, Latino, Disabilities, High School, Jewish, Labor, LGBT, Veteran/Military, and Women.
Members of each caucus shall elect a Chair and Vice Chair at the bi-annual convention of the New Jersey Young Democrats, as mentioned in Article III, Section 1.
If a Chair and Vice Chair of a caucus are not elected at the convention of the New Jersey Young Democrats, as mentioned in Article III, Section 1, the President shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Executive Board, a Caucus Chair to carry out the programs of the New Jersey Young Democrats until the caucus elects its officers.
The Chairs of the said Caucuses shall serve as members of the Executive Board of the New Jersey Young Democrats.
Article VII – Endorsed Candidates
The New Jersey Young Democrats shall support the duly nominated candidates and the platform of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. The New Jersey Young Democrats shall not endorse or support candidates engaged in a primary election.
Article VIII – Meetings
The Executive Board shall convene in person or by conference call at least four times a year at the discretion of the President or upon petition of three-quarters of the membership.
A statewide meeting must be held bi-annually at the call of the President at a time and place agreed upon by the Executive Board each odd-numbered year, at any time before the National Convention of the Young Democrats of America, at which time Executive Board elections shall be held. Should the President fail to issue a call to convention before the National Convention of the Young Democrats of America, a call shall be issued by a simple majority vote of the Executive Board.
Notice of a state convention must be published online no less than fourteen days prior to the convention.
Each recognized County Chapter pursuant to Article II shall have three votes at the statewide elections meeting of the New Jersey Young Democrats.
Special convention rules may be adopted by a simple majority vote of the attendees establishing rules for voting.
Article X – Amendments
This constitution shall be amended by a two-thirds vote of the New Jersey Young Democrats of the Executive Board.
Bylaws may be implemented by a majority vote of the State Convention assembled or also by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board.
Article XIII – Enactment
This constitution shall take effect following the July 5th, 2017 Executive Board Meeting of the New Jersey Young Democrats.