Black Caucus


Article I – Name

Section 1 – The name of the organization is the Oregon Democratic Black Caucus, herein referred to as the Black Caucus.

Article II – Purpose

Section 1 – The purpose of the Black Caucus through its members and activities is to: represent the political interests and views of black democrats in the state of Oregon: provide opportunities for blacks to seek political appointments or elected office. Create leadership training for blacks of all ages and serve as a forum to educate elected officials and the general public on matters affecting blacks in the state of Oregon. 

Section 2 – The Black Caucus will support only Democratic elected officials and Democratic nominees in partisan races. The Black Caucus will abide by Article XV (Special Caucuses) of the Democratic Party of Oregon By-Laws and any additional policies as established by the DPO Executive Committee.

Article III – Offices

Section 1 – The principal office of the Black Caucus shall be the city or county address of the chair. 

Section 2 – The black caucus may have as many branch offices throughout the state as the State Executive Committee may determine.

Article IV – State Executive Committee

Section 1 – The governing body of the Black Caucus shall be the State Executive Committee here after referred to as the Executive Committee, which derives its authority and responsibilities from the membership of the caucus. 

Section 2 – The committee shall have authority to transact business on behalf of the Black Caucus between statewide meetings. 

Section 3 – The committee may appoint standing and special committees and may delegate powers to said committees, with full power to act with advice and consent from the general membership and/or Executive Committee.

Section 4 – The State Executive Committee shall be comprised of the following duly elected positions:

a. Chair;
b. Vice-chair;
c. Treasurer;
d. Correspondence Secretary;
e. Recording Secretary;
f. A representative from each central committee of the state, elected by that body with written confirmation to the Black Caucus.

Section 5 – The Chair, Vice-chair, Treasurer, and the Secretaries shall be elected by the general membership at the biannual organizational meeting. Each state central committee shall designate its representative.

Section 6 – The Executive Committee shall establish duties and responsibilities of standing and special committees not defined in these bylaws.

Section 7 – The Executive Committee shall hold meetings quarterly. Committee meetings may be called by the Chair or by any three members by giving notice to all members of the Committee.

Section 8 – An emergency meeting may be called by telephone, or electronic mail.

Section 9 – All Committee meeting notices shall be emailed, and post marked at least two weeks prior to a meeting.

Article V – Qualification for Office

Section 1 – All members in good standing who are active Precinct Committee Persons (PCP’s) in their respective county democratic Central Committees shall qualify for nomination and election to office in the Black Caucus (Note: The active precinct person requirement may be waived on the initial election of officers for members who agree to fulfill the requirement by making application to their county’s organization within 30 days).

Article VI – Term of Office

Section 1 – The term of office for the Executive Committee shall not exceed four two-year terms. The term of office shall begin in January following the reorganization meeting.

Article VII – Authority and Duties of the Executive Committee

Section 1 – The Chair shall:

a. be the Black Caucus’ Chief Executive Officer;
be the Black Caucus’ spoke-person;
c. preside at all regular Committee meetings;
d. be responsible for preparing the agenda of all regular Committee meetings; and
e. Appoint standing and special committee with advice of the executive committee.

Section 2 – The Vice-Chair shall:

a. be the Black Caucus’ Chief Operating Officer;
preside over meeting in the absence of the chair, if chair is incapacitated, assume the duties of the chair;
c. Perform other duties as directed by the Executive Committee or the chair.

Section 3 – The Treasurer shall:

a. maintain the Black Caucus financial account with the Democratic Party of Oregon and at local bank or credit union;
receive and deposit all Black Caucus funds into said account(s);
c. disburse funds of the organization in accordance with guidelines established or directed by the Executive Committee;
d. submit written financial reports to the Executive Committee
e. submit written financial reports at each regular membership meeting and at such other times that the Executive Committee directs;
f. comply with local, state, and federal statutory requirements;
g. maintain all active financial records of the Black Caucus,
h. prepare and submit all financial records for audit prior to relinquishing the Office of the Treasurer, and at such other times as determined by the membership;
i. assist the Executive Committee, by completing all financial reporting required by law; and
j. In the absence of the chair and vice-chair, preside at regular meetings.

Section 4 – The Correspondence Secretary shall:

a) be the official custodian of all historical records, files, books, and correspondence of the Black Caucus;
maintain a current list of officers, committee members, including their duties and
responsibilities, and the current address and phone numbers of all members;
conduct correspondence as directed by the Executive Committee or Chair;
In the absence of the chair, and vice-chair, act as spokesperson of the Executive Committee.

Section 5 – The Recording Secretary shall:

a) assist the Correspondence Secretary, as necessary; record and transcribe the minutes of meetings;
prepare minutes for reproduction and presentation at the next regular meeting; Track and report approved resolutions.

Article VIII – Membership and Voting Privilege

Section 1 – There shall be two types of membership in the Black Caucus, full and associate. Full membership will be granted to a registered Democrat who has submitted an application with a copy of a current voter registration card or registration verified by the appropriate county elections office registry. 

Section 2 – All remaining Democrats shall be eligible to participate in most Black Caucus activities and are entitled to associate membership. 

Section 3 – Full members will be entitled to participate in the selection of Black Caucus officers, serve in those positions, to vote on program and budget matters and to participate in all Black Caucus events.

Article IX – Membership Meetings

Section 1 – There shall be at least quarterly, and an annual general membership meeting or convention.

Section 2 – The Platform and Legislative Convention: The general membership shall assemble in even numbered years to establish the Black Caucus legislative agenda and to review and revise its platform. 

Section 3 – The Reorganization Convention: The general membership shall assemble in even numbered years to select its leadership. These conventions may be scheduled no earlier than 30 days, nor later than 60 days, following the general election.

Section 4 – Executive Committee Meetings: The Executive Committee shall schedule a minimum of four meetings per year. A meeting of the Executive Committee shall be scheduled during the annual convention and at least three other meetings scheduled during the year.

Section 5 – Standing and special committees meetings shall be held at a time and location of each committee’s choosing. Each committee shall set its own agenda. Meetings shall be for members to express views and adopt resolutions. Voting may be by secret ballots. There shall be no proxy votes.

Article X – Nominations, Elections, and Vacancies

Section 1 – The nomination and election of the Executive Committee shall take place at the reorganization meeting. 

Section 2 – A nomination and election committee shall be appointed by the Executive Committee to identify candidates for office. The names of the candidates submitted at the time of the Reorganization convention meeting shall be submitted to the Caucus members for a vote. Associate members may participate as members of the nomination and elections committee, but are not entitled to cast a vote. 

Section 3 – Voting shall be by members in good standing and present at the meeting. Elections shall be by majority vote. In the event that no candidate receives a majority vote or there is a tie, a runoff of the top two candidates shall be immediately conducted. Section 4 – In the event of a vacancy of the chair, the vice chair shall move up.  All other Executive Committee vacancies shall be filled by vote of the membership at the next scheduled meeting.

Article XI – Quorum

Section 1 – A two-thirds majority of assembled convention delegates shall constitute a quorum at each convention. 

Section 2 – The quorum at Executive Committee meetings shall be a majority of members of the Executive Committee. 

Section 3 – A quorum must be present throughout the meeting to transact the business of the Black Caucus. 

Section 4 – In the absence of a quorum, there shall be no business transacted, except for reports and concluding business previously approved.

Article XII – Chapters

Section 1 – If it is the will of the members of the Black Caucus to establish chapters throughout the state, petition for a chapter must be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval. 

Section 2 – No chapter of the Black Caucus shall be established without Executive Committee written consent.  

Article XIII – Recall

Section 1 – Elected Officers may be removed from office by Two-Thirds vote at a regular scheduled Executive meeting. 

Section 2 – Chapter representatives may be denied voting privileges pending recall by their organization. 

Section 3 – Executive Committee members, including chapter representatives, who are absent from three regular scheduled meetings during the year shall be automatically removed from office (representation), unless the member can show just cause.

Article XIV – Amendments

Section 1 – Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed by the Caucus Executive Committee, the bylaws committee, or a member.

Section 2 – All proposed amendments shall be sent to the secretary at least (30) days prior to the Executive Committee Meeting.

Section 3 – All approved amendments shall be sent by the Secretary or Bylaws Committee in writing to every member at least (10) days before they are to be voted upon.

Section 4 – These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the full members present and voting at the Caucus meeting. 

Article XV – Rules of Order

Section 1 – The rules of order for the Black Caucus shall be by unanimous consent except for the use of parliamentary procedure when debate is needed. In such a case, the Black Caucus shall operate by Roberts Rules of Order; as most recently amended.

Article XVI – Enacted

Section 1 – These Bylaws are enacted and approved by the general membership on the X day of X 2012.