ARTICLE I. NAME AND MEMBERSHIP
This organization shall be known as the Rural Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party. Its membership shall consist of residents of rural Michigan, all of whom must also be members of the Michigan Democratic Party.
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE
The purposes of the Rural Caucus are to promote the interests and concerns of rural Michigan within the Democratic Party and to elect Democrats.
ARTICLE III. FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
Section 1. All public meetings of the Rural Caucus shall be open to attendance by all members of the Democratic Party regardless of actual or perceived race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, economic status, religion, ethnic identity, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, physical appearance or disability.
Section 2. No tests for membership in, nor any oaths of loyalty to, the Rural Caucus shall be required or used which has the effect of requiring prospective or current Rural Caucus members to acquiesce in, condone or support discrimination on the grounds of actual or perceived race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, economic status, religion, ethnic identity, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, physical appearance or disability.
Section 3. The time and place for all public meetings of the Rural Caucus shall be publicized fully and in such a manner as to assure timely notice to all interested persons. Such meetings must be held in places accessible to all Rural Caucus members and large enough to accommodate all interested persons.
Section 4. The Rural Caucus shall publicize fully and in such a manner as to assure notice to all interested parties a full description of the legal and practical procedures for selection of Rural Caucus officers and representatives. Publication of these procedures shall be done in such a fashion that all prospective and current members of the Rural Caucus will be fully and adequately informed of the pertinent procedure in time to participate in each selection procedure of the Rural Caucus.
Section 5. The Rural Caucus shall publicize fully and in such a manner as to assure notice to all interested parties a complete description of the legal and practical qualifications for all officers and representatives of the Rural Caucus. Such publication shall be done in a timely fashion so that all prospective candidates or applicants for any elected or appointed position within Rural Caucus will have full and adequate opportunity to compete for office.
Section 6. All Officers and Executive Committee members shall be elected by simple majority vote cast by the membership of the Rural Caucus. Proportionate share is expressly counter to the state goal of the Rural Caucus regarding diversity of representation for areas with population sparsity.
Section 7. All rules and bylaws of the Rural Caucus shall be consistent with the Rules of the Michigan Democratic Party and shall be available on request in writing to any member of the Rural Caucus.
Section 8. The unit rule is prohibited in the Rural Caucus.
Section 9. No rule shall be adopted at any level of the Rural Caucus which would require a person to cast a vote or be recorded a voting contrary to that person’s judgment.
Section 10. On all questions of procedure not resolved by the Rules of the Michigan Democratic Party or these Bylaws, the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used.
Section 11. Votes shall not be taken by secret ballot at any meeting of the Rural Caucus at any level.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 1. The Officers shall be a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. They shall have 2-year terms and be elected at the Annual meeting held in odd numbered years. Vacancies among the Officers shall be filled by appointment of the Chairperson until the end of the 2-year term.
Section 2. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers and 19 regionally elected members. The regionally elected members shall represent the geographical diversity of rural Michigan and therefore no more than one regional representative shall be elected from any single county. Regional representatives shall serve 2-year terms and be elected at the Annual meeting in even numbered years. Vacancies among the elected members of the Executive Committee shall be filled by appointment of the Chairperson until the end of the two-year term.
Section 3. The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings and have such other duties as are usual to the office of Chairperson, or that may be required by this organization.
Section 4. The Vice-Chairperson shall assist the Chairperson in the discharge of his/her duties, and shall temporarily assume the duties and responsibilities of the Chairperson in his/her absence.
Section 5. The Secretary of this organization shall keep an accurate record and minutes of the proceedings of all meetings. He/She shall keep and preserve all the books, documents, correspondence, records, minutes, effects, and any other property of this organization, and when a new secretary is elected the past secretary shall forthwith deliver to the newly elected secretary all the aforesaid items kept and preserved during his/her tenure of office. He/She shall see that proper notification is given of Caucus meetings.
Section 6. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the financial receipts and disbursements of this organization subject to the approval of the Executive Committee. The funds of this organization shall be deposited in banks and shall be drawn upon only by checks
signed by any two of the following officers: Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Treasurer shall make financial reports to the Executive Committee and the Caucus. When a new Treasurer is elected, the past Treasurer shall forthwith deliver to the new Treasurer the funds and all the books and records kept during his/her tenure in office.
ARTICLE V. MEETINGS
Section 1. The regular meetings of the Rural Caucus Executive Committee shall be on the date and at the location and time set forth in the meeting notice. At least five (5) days notice shall be given of the date, time and place of the meeting. Notice may be given by mail, social media, text or email. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Executive Committee.
Section 2. At least once per calendar year there shall be a full membership meeting of the Rural Caucus where the Officers and Executive Committee shall report on Caucus activities. At last five (5) days’ notice shall be given of the date, place and time of the meeting. Notice may be given by mail, social media, text or email.
Section 3. Special meetings of the Executive Committee or full membership may be called by a majority of the Executive Committee or full membership, respectively. At least five (5) days’ notice shall be given of the date, place, time and purpose of the special meeting. Notice may be given by mail, social media, text or email.
Section 4. The full Caucus shall meet in conjunction with State Conventions at the date, time and place established by the Executive Committee.
Section 5. Subject to the Rules of the Michigan Democratic Party and these Bylaws, all meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order (latest edition).
ARTICLE VI. COMMITTEES
Section 1. The Chairperson, subject to the approval of the majority of the Executive Committee, shall appoint the committees and committee chairpersons necessary for the work of the organization.
Section 2. Standing Committees shall include the following:
1. Rules and Bylaws Committee
2. Finance Committee
3. Candidate Recruitment Committee
4. Political Organizing Committee
5. Communications Committee
6. Policy and Resolutions Committee
7. Campaign Committee
These committees shall include the appropriate subcommittees. The Chairperson of the Caucus shall be an ex-officio member of all standing committees.
ARTICLE VII. ORDER OF BUSINESS
At meetings, the business of the organization shall proceed in the following order:
1. Roll call of officers
2. Minutes of the previous meeting
3. Reports of officers
b. Vice Chair
c. Treasurer (financial report)
d. Secretary (correspondence)
4. Reports of committees
5. Unfinished business
6. Postponed business
7. New business
ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Proposals for changes or amendments to these bylaws shall first be referred to the Rules and Bylaws Committee which shall report its recommendations to the next regular Caucus meeting or special meeting called for that purpose.
Section 2. These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members of Rural Caucus present at a meeting, provided that written notice setting forth the proposed amendment has been given to all Caucus members at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
Section 3. These bylaws shall be in full force and effect upon their adoption and shall supersede all bylaws, rules, motions and policies of a contrary nature with the exception the Rules of the Michigan Democratic Party.