Should this county be declared inactive?
Consider the state bylaws:
From Bylaw 9: County Organizations, Section 6: "The Executive Committee may declare a county organization to be inactive if it fails to hold elections in accordance with this section."
”A county organization is deemed as having selected its officers only if an election notice has been mailed to its members at least thirty days but no more than sixty days in advance of that election. The election notice shall also be sent to and received by the Party Secretary at least thirty days in advance of the election. Such notice shall specify the reason for the meeting and a time and place reasonably accessible to its membership.”
The above is
an annual notice sent by the county to the state party Secretary.
In case you missed it, the actual notice language appears near the bottom, in the third of three sections.
the notice to the state secretary enough to satisfy Bylaw 9, Section 6?
Or do we need to know it was mailed to the members?
See California LP Bylaw 5: Membership for more information on:
· Who may become a member
· How to be a member
· Why, when, how, and by whom, membership can be terminated or reinstated.
The members of a County Central Committee are the State Central Committee members (as specified in Bylaw 5), who chose to join with this county central committee, and they are listed on the membership list provided by the Party under Bylaw 6.
Only the member is given the authority to choose which county central committee to join (Bylaw 5).
A year earlier, the approximate number of members according to the membership list was 50.
From the Minutes attached for 10-25-22 a business meeting held to set the date, time, place:
Who are the members notified in this group e-mail? How many are there?
We don't know who was in the group, but here is a clue from the August meeting minutes attached to the notice:
What is a "current, active member in good standing"? How are they different from a "member"?
some members report they were not notified of the above 2023 annual meeting,
1. the previous chair who stepped down at the annual meeting a year earlier
2. a bylaws committee member who ran for chair in 2022 and lost
3. the bylaws committee chair/2022 candidate for vice-chair
4. a member who ran for secretary and lost 2022
5. several other members that have confirmed this, including a Life Member
These members were members during 2022, except one who left the Party altogether and changed her voter registration, before coming back.
As of February 2023, the county ExCom has not contacted any of them regarding any meetings or activities; evidently, they are not on the Google Groups list used for the annual meeting notice, but appear to be on the state membership list.
website continued to list a monthly business meeting, date, time, and place.
Some of these members continued to meet accordingly.
These members thought no meetings were being held, because none of them were getting any notices.
They thought no activities were taking place.
Was the Chair too busy with other things, like the state conventions?
One of them sent the Chair an e-mail asking if any meetings were being held. Crickets.
The newly elected chair, after adjournment of the 2022 annual meeting, shouted his "official notice" of the February 2022 business meeting at the departing members, and stated it would be in 30 days "for the purpose of adopting" his version of the bylaws.
See Page 3 of the February 28, 2022 Meeting Minutes, in which the Chair "reminded (member) that verbal notice had been given at the Annual Meeting, which took place exactly 30 days from the time of the current Business Meeting. He also made mention that several reminders via email had been sent before, and since then." (Never to be repeated.) The Member wasn’t asking about the 30 days, but about whether all the members had been notified by his “official notice”.
Witnesses contend it wasn't loud enough to be heard by all the Members, especially those living on the fringes of the county.
Does the mishandling of notices for the 2022 annual meeting and of the business meeting "to adopt" the Chair's draft of the bylaws, instead of to consider of the bylaws committee's draft, mean the new bylaws are not valid?
Even if the county bylaws as now posted on the state website are not valid, however, all three (four if you count the bylaws committee proposal) versions require that notices are to be given to the members, with no exceptions for those members who only show up in election years, or have scheduling conflicts, only want to support the organization financially, or who otherwise don't attend the meetings.
Do members have the privilege of notices? Must they remain within earshot of the Chair?
Back to the main question: was the notice in compliance with state bylaw 9, Section 6: " A county organization is deemed as having selected its officers only if an election notice has been mailed to its members... "
In order to determine whether no meetings have been held, or if they'd been "ghosted" or defrauded of their privileges, one Member decided to request the State Secretary for a copy (shown above).
It and the attachments revealed that no meetings were held in quarter 2 (violating the newly adopted bylaws), and the next meeting wasn't until August. All the minutes of the three meetings were not approved until November in the attached Email Motions file.
If members are entitled to attend or vote in a meeting, shouldn't they be able to challenge, approve the meeting minutes, and/or adopt the meeting minutes? The Motion only involved the four officers.
No communication was made to inform the approximately 50 members in the membership list as of January 2022, that a new Google Group was being created and that, in order to be invited to meetings, such as the annual meeting, they would have to join a Google Group.
The above from the minutes supplied to the state secretary 8-15-22 meeting.
How many members does the county really have?
See Bylaw 6: Membership Lists for more information on the Management/availability of the list of members to county organizations for purposes of notification of elections.
[Note: Is the only way to remove a name from the list, to first remove the member from membership per Bylaw 5, and then reflect their removal from membership by updating the membership list (this task is assigned to the state secretary in state Bylaw 6)?]
Is any authority given to any county member or officer to determine a member is not a member, if they are on the membership list, already?
Is any individual authorized to remove a member from the membership list while they are still a member?
Why is notifying members of an election important?
"A County Central Committee membership confers voting privileges for that member in that county."
[See Bylaw 9: County Organizations, Section 2.]
How important is it for county central committees to comply?
"The Executive Committee may declare a county organization to be inactive if it fails to hold elections in accordance with [Bylaw 9: County Organizations, Section 6]."
See Bylaw 9: County Organizations: Section 6, in full:
“A county organization is deemed as having selected its officers only if an election notice has been mailed to its members at least thirty days but no more than sixty days in advance of that election. The election notice shall also be sent to and received by the Party Secretary at least thirty days in advance of the election. Such notice shall specify the reason for the meeting and a time and place reasonably accessible to its membership. An election shall be held every year. The results of the election shall be reported to the Party Secretary within fifteen days after the election. Any member of that County Central Committee may challenge the legality of an election by bringing the issue before the Judicial Committee. The Executive Committee may declare a county organization to be inactive if it fails to hold elections in accordance with this section.”
Although not relevant to the issue of notices and membership, this is an example of the kind of bylaws that were supplied by the new Chair to replace the old ones:
Article VII: Meetings
Section I: Annual Meeting.
Section II: Business Meetings.
Section III: Executive Committee Meetings.
Section IV: Transaction of Business Outside of Meetings.
Section V: Quorum. A majority of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for any aforementioned meeting or transaction of business.
Do you know anyone who thinks it only requires a majority of the Executive Committee to elect their successors? (Besides the author.)
(“What if they held an election and we weren’t invited?”: http://www.ccclp.org/Summary.htm)