Bylaws of the 35th Legislative District – adopted 2/23/2019


The 35th Legislative District Democrats, in order to support the principles and ideals of the Democratic Party, establish an open forum of respectful debate, encourage informed citizen participation in the political process, and to elect Democrats to public office. These bylaws are established under the Charter and Bylaws of the Democratic Party of the State of Washington.

The current Washington State Democrats’ Platform shall serve as the Platform for the 35th Dems.

VALUES OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY:  Affordable Health Care + Social Security + Living-Wage Work +

Free Public Education + Environmental Sustainability + Economic & Social Justice +

Getting Corporate Money Out of Politics + Full Equality + A Fair Criminal Justice System +

Corporate Tax Reform + Accountable Gun Ownership + A Woman’s Right to Choose +

Separation of Church & State


The name of this organization shall be the 35th Legislative District Democrats, hereafter referred to as the 35th Dems.


The 35th Dems is an organization of inclusion, encouraging the fullest participation of all Democrats, regardless of status. (Status is used in this document as defined in the Washington State Democrats’ Delegate Selection Plan, to include “race, sex, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status, or disability.”)



The Precinct Committee Officers (elected or appointed) of precincts within the 35th LD.

The officers of the 35th Dems.

Dues-paying members who are current in their annual dues.

Further, all publicly elected Democratic officials residing in one of the counties of the 35th LD shall be honorary, non-voting members of the 35th Dems, with floor privileges.


The Executive Board shall consist of the elected officers and appointed officers listed in these Bylaws.  Additionally, there will be one member from each of the Democratic Central Committees of those counties with one or more precincts in the 35th LD. The county’s representative member may be its Chair or its Chair’s designee.

The Executive Board shall meet at the call of the Chair. All members of the Executive Board must be notified at least seven days in advance of a regular Executive Board meeting. A quorum shall consist of five members of the Executive Board, of which three must be elected 35th Dem officers.

The function of the Executive Board shall be to:

Perform such specific functions and duties as are authorized or required by these bylaws or by the 35th Dems.

Make recommendation for the amount of annual dues.

Make recommendations to the 35th Dems upon matters of concern to the members.

Conduct any necessary, timely business of the 35th Dems during intervals between regular meetings.



  1. CHAIR – Who shall:

Serve as the chief administrative officer. The Chair or designee is the spokesperson for the 35th Dems to county central committees, the press, and the state committee of our Party. Chair shall endeavor to keep communication lines open between the 35th Dems and other Democratic organizations.

Preside over all meetings of the 35th Dems and the Executive Board.

Provide for the call and proposed agenda for all meetings of the 35th Dems and its Executive Board, including the call and proposed agenda for the re-organizational meeting following the General Election in even-numbered years.

Appoint all committee members and serve as ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee.

Appoint a Parliamentarian and a Sergeant-at-Arms. The presiding officer may not serve in either capacity.

Sign checks on the treasury when the Treasurer is not available.

Provide for the call and proposed agenda for caucuses and other conventions, as necessary.

Shall apply the State Party code of conduct, including, in part: Diversity is our strength. We are welcoming, friendly, inclusive, patient and non-judgmental. Our meetings and events are to be harassment-free, with attendees avoiding disruptive behavior. A person who violates the spirit of this code will be asked to leave the meeting or event.

  • VICE CHAIR – Who shall:

In the event of inability or absence of the Chair, Vice Chair shall assume the duties of the Chair until the Chair can resume duties in accordance to these bylaws.

Assist the Chair in the duties outlined in these bylaws.

In the event of a vacancy of the office of Chair, the Vice-Chair will assume all duties of the Chair until such time that the vacancy is filled.

The Chair and Vice Chair shall be of opposite genders.

  • SECRETARY – Who shall:

Chair the Communications Committee.

Notify all members of quarterly 35th Dem meetings, giving at least two weeks’ notice.

Keep minutes of all 35th Dem and Executive Board meetings. Quarterly meeting draft minutes shall be made available to members two weeks before the following membership meeting.

Maintain up-to-date contact lists of all Precinct Committee Officers and of all members.

Maintain copies of the 35th Dem Bylaws, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee (WSDCC) Charter & Bylaws and copies of relevant portions of the Revised Code of Washington (RCWs). The current WSDCC Platform, which is also considered the 35th Dem Platform.

Keep an attendance list of all 35th Dem and Executive Board meetings and events.

Keep and maintain copies of the formal reports generated by the officers and committees of the 35th Dems.

  • TREASURER – Who shall:

Receive all monies of the 35th Dems, issuing receipts for all monies received.

Pay out funds by checks signed by the Treasurer and keep accurate records.

Keep all records and submit all reports required for compliance with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Serve as chair of the Treasury Committee.

Serve as chair of the Budget Committee. With the Committee, prepare a two-year proposed budget for adoption by the 35th Dems.

Provide at each meeting, and at the request of the Executive Board or Chair of the 35th Dems, an accurate financial report.

Provide the books for and cooperate fully with audits.

Provide the Secretary with an up-to-date list of paid members.

  • STATE COMMITTEE MEMBERS (of which there shall be two, of differing genders) – Who shall:

Be voting members of and represent the 35th Dems at all meetings of the WSDCC.

Act as liaison officers between the WSDCC and the 35th Dems.

Attend all meetings of the WSDCC and report on those proceedings to the 35th Dems at regular quarterly meetings.

See to it that their proxy is sent with another member of the 35th Dems, who is of their same gender, to any WSCDCC meeting they are unable to attend. Failure to attend any two consecutive meetings of the WSDCC in person or by proxy is grounds for removal from office.


Must be registered voters in the 35th LD.

Must be members of the 35th Dems.

Potential Conflict of Interest: Any declared candidate for partisan office, with the exception of PCO, who is a member of the 35th Dem Executive Board, must refrain from voting on endorsements or candidate contributions in that specific office.  Their 35th Dem office shall be considered vacant following certification of the Washington State Primary Election.


Elected officers of the 35th Dems shall be elected for a two-year term. Terms begin upon their election at the biennial re-organizational meeting. Their terms expire at the next biennial re-organizational meeting with either their re-election or the election of their successors. The following exceptions apply:

Resignation or death of officer.

Removal from office by elected PCOs.

An officer elected to fill a vacancy between re-organizational meetings shall serve until the following re-organizational meeting.


Election shall occur at each biennial re-organizational meeting, between Dec. 1 and Dec. 18 of even years.

If there is more than one candidate for an office, election for that office shall be conducted by secret ballot. Ballots need not be signed.

A majority vote is required for election.

Only Elected PCOs within the 35th LD are eligible to vote in the election of officers.


Any officer or member of the Executive Board may resign from office by submitting a written resignation to the Executive Board.

Any officer or member of the Executive Board may be removed from office for failure to discharge the duties of the office to the satisfaction of the membership, provided:

The charges for removal are in writing and signed by at least five elected PCOs within the 35th LD.

The officer so charged and 35th Dem members receive written notice of the charges at least seven days before the special called meeting of the 35th Dems at which the charges are to be addressed.

The officer charged has the opportunity to address the membership.

Two-thirds of the Elected PCOs present and voting must vote in favor of removal from office.


In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Chair, a new Chair shall be elected by the Elected PCOs, and those PCOs appointed after the re-organizational meeting, at a regular or special meeting within sixty days of the vacancy being announced or declared. A minimum of two weeks’ notice of the meeting to members is required.

In the event of a vacancy in an office other than Chair, a temporary officer will be appointed within two weeks by the Chair, followed by an election to be held at the next regular meeting of the 35th Dems. Both elected PCOs and those appointed after the re-organizational meeting may vote.



Preserve order at meetings as the Chair may direct.


Maintain a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, latest edition, as well as a copy of these Bylaws.

Advise the Chair on matters of parliamentary procedure and the contents of the bylaws.


Appointed officers shall serve terms concurrent with the Chair who appointed them or until such time as the appointing Chair discharges them from their duties. Appointed officers serve at the pleasure of the Chair and may be dismissed by the Chair.


Perform other duties as assigned by the Chair.

Provide a copy of reports to the Secretary at each meeting.

Transfer all documents and records of the office to their successor.



PCOs are either duly elected PCOs or duly appointed PCOs (appointed by their county central committee chair) who reside in the precinct they serve. Appointed PCOs hold all the rights and responsibilities of the office of Precinct Committee Officer, but only elected PCOs may vote for the election of officers in the biennial reorganization or removal of officers of the 35th Dems.

Precinct Caretakers are not PCOs but are appointed to act in their capacity for a precinct without a PCO. Precinct Caretakers are non-residents of the precinct they care for and hold many of the rights and responsibilities of the office of Precinct Committee Officer with the following exceptions:

They may not vote on appointments to fill vacancies in elective partisan office or on matters clearly set forth in Washington State law that are restricted to resident elected or appointed PCOs of their precinct.

They may not vote on the officers of the 35th Dems.

They may be replaced or reassigned to another precinct by their county chair if a resident PCO is appointed to or elected in the precinct.


PCOs shall:

Stay informed of the current issues and the Democratic platforms.

Canvass their precincts for the purpose of identifying Democratic voters, registering new voters, and raising funds.

Get out the Democratic vote prior to and through Election Day.

Aid and support Democratic principles and candidates.

Recommend Democrats to serve as election observers.

See that their precinct caucuses are conducted in accordance with pertinent rules.

Attend meetings of the 35th Dems and their county central committee.


The PCO Handbook from the Washington State Democrats; A map of their precinct; A copy of these By-laws; The current WSDCC Platform (which also serves as the 35th Dem platform); Training; Access to the voter database.


The Chair has the authority to appoint committees and committee chairs, with the exception of the Nominating Committee, whose members shall be nominated and elected at a meeting of the 35th Dems. Diversity in committee membership for each committee should reflect differences in status and of county of residence where practicable. Committees may be established as needed and remain in existence until their objectives have been met.

The 35th Dem Committees may include Audit, Budget, Bylaws, Campaign, Communications, Fundraising, Legislative, Nominating, Program/Forum, Treasury, as defined:

  1. AUDIT COMMITTEE: The Treasurer’s books shall be audited at least annually in November by a committee of three or more with the cooperation of the Treasurer, who shall not be a member of the Audit Committee. This audit should include a review of income, expenditures and reports to the Public Disclosure Commission, as well as backup documentation for same.
  2. BUDGET COMMITTEE: This Committee, chaired by the Treasurer, shall propose a two-year budget for the organization.
  3. BYLAWS COMMITTEE: The bylaws may be reviewed as needed by a committee who shall bring recommendations to the members.
  4.  CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE: This Committee shall recruit Democratic candidates to run for offices of State Senator and State Representative in the 35th Legislative District; provide information to all candidates who are Democrats and share our values, about the following: issues of the 35th District, calendars, our membership and other helpful information throughout the District; provide training and mentorship to potential candidates, especially for 35th Legislative positions. The Committee shall establish and maintain a database of elected positions throughout the 35th LD with the goal of filling future vacancies from a pool of Democratic candidates. Working with county central committees, the campaign committee may recruit, assist and train PCOs. Neither candidates for elective partisan office, with the exception of PCO, nor paid campaign workers may serve on the Campaign Committee.
  5.  COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE: This committee, chaired by the Secretary, shall have oversight of newsletters, website, press releases and electronic communications, such as email, Mailchimp, Facebook, and any other publicity deemed necessary.
  6. FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE: This committee shall plan and conduct fund-raising events and recommend cost for attendance. Traditional fundraisers have included a champagne brunch, picnic, auctions, dinners, etc.
  7. LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: The committee shall track state legislation and keep members informed in a timely fashion of pending legislation and other issues relevant to the 35th LD. This committee may not lobby on behalf of the 35th Dems.
  8. NOMINATING COMMITTEE: This committee will make recommendation of qualified candidates for officers to the membership in advance of its biennial reorganization meeting. All nominees must have agreed to be considered for such service. There may be more than one candidate per office. Executive Board members may not constitute a quorum of this committee.
  9. PROGRAM/FORUM COMMITTEE: Shall recommend speakers for meetings and fundraising events and shall organize issue forums.
  10. TREASURY COMMITTEE: This committee, chaired by the Treasurer, plus at least 2 Deputy Treasurers, shall collect funds and donor information at events; oversee financial activities and legal reports to the State Public Disclosure Commission in order to keep the organization in compliance with State Laws and PDC rules. Committee members will work out a process for sharing the work of handling the finances and how and when to share information with one another. A Deputy Treasurer may substitute for the Treasurer in his/her absence.



The regular meetings of the 35th Dems shall be held at least quarterly, and within one of the counties of the 35th LD, with meeting dates selected at the discretion of the Chair. Two weeks’ notice must go to all members in advance of a meeting. A single annual notification violates the spirit of this policy.


A special meeting may be called at any time by the Chair, or in the Chair’s absence or incapacity, by the Vice-Chair, or by any other officer in the absence or incapacity of the Chair and Vice-Chair. A special meeting may be called by request of one-third of the membership. Members must be notified at least seven days in advance of a special meeting.


The re-organization meeting, including election of officers and adoption of bylaws, will take place between December 1 and 18 in even numbered years.

PCOs who were elected that year must be notified at least two weeks in advance of the re-organizational meeting, with the date set by the Executive Board.

Only elected PCOs may vote for officers in the re-organization.

The re-organization meeting shall be convened by one of the officers present, in the following order: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer. The convening officer shall preside for the purpose of the election of a Chair pro tem. The Chair pro tem shall preside for the purpose of election of officers. Thereafter, the newly-elected Chair shall preside.

If there are two or more candidates for one office, the election shall be conducted by secret ballot. Ballots need not be signed when voting for officers. Officers will assume their positions immediately following the election.

The first order of business following the election of officers shall be the adoption of bylaws. The 35th Dems shall operate under the old bylaws until new bylaws are adopted.


Each member shall have one vote, unless a weighted vote is called for a specific reason as required and defined by the Washington State Democratic Central Committee.

Proxy and absentee voting are prohibited.

The members present shall constitute a quorum for a regular quarterly meeting, provided two weeks’ notice has been made.


In all matters not expressly covered by these Bylaws, the WSDCC Charter and Bylaws, or by the Revised Code of Washington, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, latest edition, shall govern all 35th Dem meetings and all meetings of the Executive Board.



Obligations for administrative expenses may be incurred by the 35th Dems within the limits of the budget and the funds available for payment.


The Audit Committee shall audit the Treasurer’s records annually in November. The results of each audit shall be reported to the 35th Dems, including at the biennial re-organizational meeting prior to passing along the financial records to the new Treasurer or Chair.


The 35th Dems may take action with respect to the endorsement of, approval of, or opposition to candidates seeking elected office, as outlined below and also to ballot measures. These actions may take place with or without a request from the candidate. Only 35th LD resident members may vote on any of these actions.

“Endorsement” of a candidate with possible financial support of the 35th Dems requires two-thirds (2/3)  of those present and voting. Endorsements are constrained to one candidate for the same office in a primary or general election.

“Approval” of a candidate requires a simple majority of those present and voting. Approvals may be granted to more than one candidate for the same office in a primary election.

“Opposition” to a candidate requires two-thirds of those present and voting.

Neither the candidate nor any paid Campaign workers shall be eligible to vote to endorse, approve, or oppose any candidate in that office due to conflict of interest.

No action equates to no official support for or opposition to a candidate or ballot issue by the 35th Dems.

All candidates seeking endorsement shall present to the Chair of the 35th Dems a completed application form provided by the Chair.

The Chair shall make the candidates’ applications available to the entire Executive Board, who shall serve as the Screening Committee and shall rule on each candidate’s eligibility by a simple majority of those present and voting.

Eligibility shall be on the basis of:

Good citizenship

Qualifications for the position sought

Past and present political affiliation

Length of service to the 35th Dems

Candidate’s commitment to the race

Incumbent or non-incumbent status

The Executive Board may work with the Campaign Committee to develop criteria to determine the above eligibility.

From the list of candidates, the Executive Board shall recommend candidates to the membership for Endorsement, Approval or Opposition.

Endorsements, Approvals, and Oppositions may be withdrawn from candidates by the 35th Dems with the same voting requirements that it took to endorse, approve, or oppose them, respectively.

All 35th Dem Endorsements, Approvals, and Oppositions shall terminate at the end of the election cycle for which they were granted (Primary or General).

Endorsed candidates may receive campaign funds as available, recommended by the Executive Board and approved by the membership, with priority for 35th LD candidates.

Approved candidates may receive non-financial aid.


When a vacancy occurs in a public office and it is the responsibility of the Democratic PCOs of the 35th LD to present recommendations for appointment as provided by law, the following shall apply:

All candidates for election or appointment shall present to the Chair of the 35th Dems a completed application form provided by the Chair.

The Chair shall make the candidates’ applications available to the entire Executive Board, who shall serve as the Screening Committee and shall rule on each candidate’s eligibility by a simple majority of those present and voting.

Eligibility shall be the same criteria as for candidates for election from the 35th LD.

From the list of eligible candidates for vacancy in elective Democratic office, the Executive Board shall recommend for final consideration of the Democrat PCOs of the 35th LD no less than three candidates.

From the list of eligible candidates provided by the Executive Board, the Democratic PCOs of the 35th LD shall vote to recommend to the appropriate authority the names of the top three candidates.


These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting by two-thirds of the members present, provided that notice of such proposed action was given at least two weeks in advance. A copy of the proposed amendment shall be available with the meeting notice.