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You have a Voice!

Together, we can not only reenergize TCBD, but transform it into an effective tool for voicing the concerns, needs and expectations of the African-American community. We will engage our youth and we will facilitate values based change in Texas and across this great nation.

-Daniel Davis Clayton, President

Your Voice Equals Power

Texas Coalition of Black Democrats
CONSTITUTION & BY-LAWS

ARTICLE I - Name of Organization
The name of the organization shall be the “COALITION OF BLACK DEMOCRATS OF THE STATE OF TEXAS” or simply the “TEXAS COALITION OF BLACK DEMOCRATS” or just “TCBD”.

ARTICLE II - Purpose
The purpose of this organization shall be:
(a) to stimulate in Black Americans an active interest in governmental affairs;
(b) to facilitate the participation of Black Americans in the Democratic Party;
(c) to perpetuate the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party;
(d) to attract new members to the Coalition of Black Democrats;
(e) to help acquaint voters and potential voters with the issues and candidates;
(f) to promote by our efforts the highest degree of governmental response to public need;
(g) to promote and facilitate economic development as it impacts and interfaces with political participation in the Black American communities of this state.

ARTICLE III - Policy

SECTION 1.  This organization shall not endorse or support the candidacy of any person for public office prior to nomination in the Texas Democratic Primary.  The Coalition of Black Democrats shall not in any manner give its influence as an organization to the cause of any candidate or faction of the party, other than in an election campaign.  The State TCBD retains the option of conducting an election “Straw Poll” to gage the bearing of the General Body.  While candidates can communicate the “Straw Poll” results, those results should not be misconstrued as an endorsement of the full body of the TCBD.
SECTION 2. This organization shall actively support and by appropriate means the nominees of the Democratic Party in National, State, and Local elections. It shall endeavor to maintain permanent contact with voters throughout the area and shall function continuously in order that it may contribute to the growth and influence of the Coalition of Black Democrats.
SECTION 3. This organization shall be responsible and committed to affirmative action goals within the Democratic Party.
SECTION 4. In those elections involving multi-county jurisdiction, such as congressional races, state school board races, and state court of appeals races, the organization shall issue such endorsements as shall be represented by the vote of the body.

ARTICLE IV - Membership

SECTION 1. Any person who is a Democrat is eligible for membership.
SECTION 2. There shall be four (4) classes of memberships. (All membership classes are permitted to attend all meetings of the Coalition.)
(a) Regular memberships are open to Black Democrats eighteen (18) years or older.
(b) Associate memberships are open to non-Black Democrats eighteen (18) years or older.
(c) Youth memberships are open to any Democrat under eighteen (18) or a full-time student.
(d) Sustaining memberships are open to Black Democrats eighteen (18) years or older.
SECTION 3. Admission is on receipt of dues or as otherwise provided.
(a) All state dues shall be payable by the local chapter no later than the first quarterly meeting of each calendar year.
(b) Local membership dues are due and payable January 1 of each calendar year.
SECTION 4. Members may be suspended for cause and in cases of exceptional gravity, may by three-fourths vote of the membership be expelled. Any member so expelled shall have the right to appeal to the members in good standing, call for a special meeting, by written notice, to hear such appeal, whose action determined by a majority vote thereof, shall be final.
SECTION 5.    The executive committee shall have the sole power to create such additional chapters as it may deem desirable with the approval of the body.
(a)  Upon written submission to the executive committee at a regularly scheduled meeting or specially called meeting, a list of ten (10) proposed members, proposed officers, and tender of dues and constitution and by three-fourths vote of the executive committee, additional chapter shall be approved.
(b)  No chapter shall bear a deceptively similar name.
 (c) There shall be no more than one chapter per county, except in such case as the population of a county shall exceed two million and be composed of two or more senatorial districts for the following counties:  Bowie, Collin, Dallas, Falls, Galveston, Harris, Jefferson, McLennan, Montgomery, Navarro, Orange, Rains, Tom Green and Travis Counties.  The aforementioned county chapters will be grandfathered in and can opt out of this category.  The local minutes must  be presented verifying the opt out measure was read three times at three separate meetings and passed with a three-fourth vote of members present at each reading and local members were notified by U.S. Mail, at least 30 days before each meeting.  If so, they will be governed under (d) of this section.
(d)  New chapters may be organized by geographical area, be that of a city, county, multi-county or any area approved by the body. 
1.  No two adult chapters may co-exist in one geographical area. 
2.  Youth chapters, which are based on school home, shall exist in the same jurisdiction of an adult chapter.
3.  Any conflicts of jurisdiction between two chapters or a chapter and a proposed chapter will be resolved
by recommendation of the Membership Committee and 2/3 (two-third) approval of the general body. 
4.  Appeals for new chapters where a county chapter pre-exists must be accompanied with a brief, outlining
the necessity of and benefit in establishing the new chapter as well as comply with Article IV, Section 5a.  Pre existing chapters must be notified and provided with a copy of the appeal by the state within 15 days.  Upon receipt of appeal, the existing chapter has the right to submit a brief to the state within 30 days either in support of the appeal or in opposition of the appeal with compelling argument.
(e)  All new TCBD Chapters will be referred to as the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats – “Area” Chapter. Example: Texas Coalition of Black Democrats – Hunt County Chapter with the exception of reestablishing dormant chapters.
(f)  All participating members of chapters with TCBD affiliation must pay both local and state dues.
(g) The executive board of the TCBD has expressed power to waive the 10 member requirement to chapters that have demonstrated viability with less than 10 members.

SECTION 6. Eligibility for Participation:
(a) Any person under 18 years of age.
(b) Any person 18 years of age or older until the date of their first Democratic Primary.
(c) Any qualified voter 18 years of age or older who participates in the county of residence and who votes consistently in the Democratic Primary, whether early or in person, shall be eligible to serve as a member of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats.

ARTICLE V - Officers

SECTION 1. The officers of the organization shall consist of a Chair, Vice-Chair for Program, Vice-Chair for Membership, Vice-Chair for Finance, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, Sergeant-At-Arms, Chaplin, Youth Coordinator, and Standing Committee Chairs for Publicity, Rules, Budget, and Youth Advisor.
SECTION 2. To be eligible to hold office, a person must have been a member of the Coalition for at least twenty-four (24) calendar months and have attended at least fifty per cent (50%) of the regularly scheduled meetings during the same period of time, or be a member of any chapter’s executive board for at least twelve (12) calendar months and have attended at least fifty percent (50%) of the regularly scheduled meetings during the same period of time.  The Youth Advisor must have been a member of the Coalition for at least twelve (12) calendar months.  At the point the officer falls below the 50% requirement, that officer shall be dismissed of their duties unless there is a personal illness, family illness, or during bereavement of a family member.
SECTION 3. The duties of the officers shall be:
(a) The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the organization and appoint committees as needed to fulfill the purpose of the organization;
(b) The Vice-Chair for Program shall assist the Chair in the preparation of all meeting and special events;
(c) The Vice-Chair for Membership shall be responsible for maintaining an accurate list of members as well as conducting systematic campaigns for increasing the number of members;
(d) The Vice-Chair for Finance shall act in the capacity of a fund raiser and shall have direct responsibility for the sustaining membership program;
(e) The Recording Secretary shall keep minutes of the organization. At the termination of office, the Secretary shall release to the successor all records;
(f) The Corresponding Secretary shall conduct all general correspondence of the organization. At the termination of office, the Secretary shall release to the successor all records;
(g) The Treasurer shall be the custodian of all organization funds and shall disburse them at the direction of the officers. All checks shall be signed by the Treasurer and Chair. The Treasurer shall keep an accurate, itemized account of all receipts and disbursements and present a report at each regular meeting. At termination of the office, the Treasurer shall prepare an audit for the organization. The Treasurer shall collect dues and keep the Vice-Chair for Membership and the Vice-Chair for Finance informed of the current roster of active members;
(h) The Publicity Chair shall be responsible for coordinating all publicity for the organization;
(i) The Rules Chair shall be the originating committee for all amendments, deletions and editions to the constitution and by-laws, and to write the rules for meeting;
(j) The Budget and Finance Committee shall devise ways and means of financing, sustaining, and promoting the organization.
(k) The Youth Advisor will serve as a liaison to the TCBD Executive Board for requested action regarding the legislative and political concerns of the youth chapters. The Youth Advisor will assist the Youth Coordinator in creating new youth chapters and developing programs for youth chapters under the state’s jurisdiction and approval of the body.
SECTION 4. All officers with exception of Youth Advisor shall be elected for two (2) year terms by a majority of the members present and voting and shall hold office until the election of their successor. The Youth Advisor shall be a youth member, elected for a one (1) year term by a majority of the youth members present and voting at a statewide TCBD meeting or TCBD Youth Convention and shall hold office until the election of their successor.
SECTION 5. All order of succession shall be:
(a) Vice-Chair for Program
(b) Vice-Chair for Membership
(c) Vice-Chair for Finance
(d) Recording Secretary
(e) Corresponding Secretary
(f) Treasurer
(g) Publicity Committee Chair
(h) Rules Committee Chair
(i) Budget and Finance Committee Chair
(j) Parliamentarian
(k) Youth Coordinator
(l) Sergeant-At-Arms
(m) Chaplin
SECTION 6. Officer Vacancies. When a vacancy occurs in any of these offices, a majority of the members of the TCBD shall elect a successor. Members shall receive written notice issued by the State Chair, or, if that office be vacant, by the Vice President of Programs, at least one month prior to the meeting at which an election will be held. Any member of the TCBD, in good standing, may nominate a candidate for the vacant office. When an interim vacancy in the office of the State President is filled by the TCBD, the term of office for the interim President shall be for the duration of the unexpired term. Vacancies to the Executive Board may be filled by appointment by the State Chair until a successor is elected.

ARTICLE VI - Meetings

SECTION 1. There shall be held at least four (4) regularly scheduled meetings of the of the Coalition each calendar year with the time, date, and place set at a preceding meeting.
SECTION 2. Special meetings may be called by one or more of the elected officers at a time, place, and in a manner to be decided upon by the organization in its by-laws.

ARTICLE VII - Dues

SECTION 1. A membership fee shall be charged as set by the executive committee and approval by the body.
SECTION 2. Additional contributions may be requested as the membership deems necessary for the efficient operation of the organization.

ARTICLE VIII - Voting

SECTION 1. All decisions to be made by the general membership of the organization shall be by majority vote of the membership present and voting except in those instances otherwise provided for by the Constitution and By-Laws.
SECTION 2. Only regular members who are current in their dues and in good standing for thirty (30) days prior to an election shall be eligible to vote.
SECTION 3. The Executive Committee shall include the officers, chapter presidents, and three members from each senatorial district not otherwise represented by a chapter to be designated by majority vote of the Executive Committee and approved by the body.

ARTICLE IX - Amendments
Provisions of this constitution may be amended in the following manner:
Any member desiring to so amend must propose the amendment or amendments at regular meeting called for that purpose. The membership of the organization shall be notified of the proposed amendment or amendments and or the date of the meeting to be held at which the proposed ratification of the said amendment will be acted upon. Ratification will require affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the membership present and voting. There shall be three readings of proposed amendment or amendments at regular meetings of which membership is notified before the ratification vote.

ARTICLE X - By-Laws
The organization may adopt such by-laws as from time to time it shall deem necessary. By-laws shall be adopted when approved by majority vote of the membership who are current in their dues, or whatever validation necessary, and in good standing present at a regular meeting, or at a special meeting called by written notice stating the purpose for which the special meeting is called.

ARTICLE XI
Local TCBD Chapters may, by majority vote, adopt continuing rules for the conduct of its business, so long as they are not prohibited by law or are not inconsistent with these TCBD Rules. Such rules shall be filed with the State TCBD Chair.

STANDING RULES

DATABASE RULES
1. Only chapters in compliance with the TCBD Constitution and By-Laws and with approved membership rolls will have access to data on current and potential members in their geographical area.
2. Database users must be recommended by the State President or the Local Chapter Executive Board or serve as the Membership Chair for a local chapter or the state, be authorized by the Executive Board and sign User’s Agreement before access is granted.
3. All chapters, including the state, must update the database with names of active members (within 30 days of paying membership dues) or prospect members and their most current contact information. Failure to do so will result in loss of access.
4. Database information cannot be used for any other purpose other than official TCBD political and organizational communications. Reported abuse will be investigated and may result in organizational or legal remedy as recommended by the executive board or provided by law. TCBD Database data is also restricted to helping organize, inform and recruit Democratic TCBD chapter members or potential members and may not be used to support Republican, or Independent candidates in partisan elections or non-partisan elections.
5. Database information and files may not be transferred to others. Database Users may not sell, share, distribute, print lists or labels or in any other way provide data to other TCBD chapters, candidates, party affiliates, business or consulting entities, non-profit entities or any other entity or person not authorized by the TCBD Executive Board. Database information is property of the TCBD, not the User, and may not be contributed or maintained outside of the database (currently NGP On-Line) without the TCBD’s consent except for the State President and Membership Chair. To do so may create campaign finance problems for all involved.
6. Chapter access to data will be augmented as necessary when/if new chapters are approved.
7. No more than two members of any one chapter will be granted database access.

COMMUNICATION RULES
Communications to members, prospect members, democratic party officials, elected officials and otherwise are required to include the full name of the entity producing the communication, be that by electronic communication, sound recording, print or otherwise.

MEMBERSHIP
1. Adult membership dues will be $30 for all chapters which will cover both the state and local dues.
2. The state and local will split the dues amount equally (50% and 50%).
3. Sustaining Memberships ($100) will be split $85 to the state and $15 to the local chapter.

MATERIAL OWNERSHIP
All items purchased with or reimbursed with TCBD funds are and remain the property of the TCBD. Computers, software and other material items will remain in the custody of the current State President to be transferred within thirty (30) days upon exit of office.

CHAPTERS IN GOOD STANDING
All chapter members must be in compliance with the rules, constitution and by-laws of the State TCBD to remain in good standing and retain individual and chapter voting privileges.

YOUTH MEMBERSHIP
Youth chapter members are eligible between the ages of 14 and 25 years.

REIMBURSEMENTS
All reimbursements must be made in the same calendar year of the expenditure and with a receipt. Operational expenses (office supplies, stamps, etc) may be purchased without approval if under $100 and all expenses over $100 must have prior approval by the Executive Board.

QUARTERLY MEETING FINANCIAL RESPONSIBLITIES
After expenses, the registration dues shall be split among the Local (40%) and State (60%) Chapters.

CONFERENCE CALLS
1. Nine (9) members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.
2. Recording Secretary or designee will take minutes.
3. The method of voting will be roll call voice vote with simple majority (50% +1) required to pass any motion, recommendation or proposal.

TCBD STATE POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (TCBD PAC)
The TCBD will file a Treasurer (which will be whosoever currently serves as the TCBD’s Treasurer), maintain a state PAC and file timely reports with the Texas Ethics Commission.  The TCBD/PAC Treasurer will stay abreast of changes in state ethics legislation, advisory opinions and will train their successor to use PAC reporting software and serve as an advisor regarding reporting laws as needed.  The P.A.C. is to be filed as TCBD PAC.

This revised edition of the constitution and by-laws was adopted
 in Austin, Texas on February 6, 2010.

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