City committee by-laws

Below you will find the current version of the by-laws of the Medford Democratic City Committee, as approved by the membership.



Town, Ward and other Democratic Committees may adopt By-laws and other rules of procedure (“By-laws”), in accordance with National Rules, the Charter and the State By-laws. In the absence of the adoption of such By-laws, said committee(s) will be governed by model By-laws, if any, recommended by the By-laws sub-committee in consultation with the Field Services subcommittee, and as adopted by the State Committee.

Prefix: Definitions

The following definitions apply to terms used throughout the By-Laws:

Accessible is defined as referring to those conditions that assure openness and provide an equal opportunity for participation, including handicapped accessible locations, convenience and public identification among others.

Agenda is defined as an outline of topics to be considered and actions to be taken by the Party, such as meeting, programs, rules, etc.

Caucus is a gathering of enrolled Democrats called by a town, ward, city or State Committee.

Conference is a regional gathering of Democrats called by a group of town, ward, city committees or the State Committee.

Disability/Handicapped with respect to an individual, means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment.

Low and Moderate Income as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Meeting is a gathering of full and associate members of a Democratic committee, or sub-unit thereof, at any level.

Minorities, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and Cape Verdeans as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Senior Citizens those persons 65 years of age or over.

Youth individuals 18 through 35 years of age.

Article I: Name

This organization shall be known as the Medford Democratic City Committee (“City Committee”) or the Medford Democratic Party (“Democratic Party”), and is authorized to do business under other names as the Chairperson, with the advice of the Executive Committee and notice to the State Committee, may designate. Such names shall be properly filed in accordance with law, including so-called “DBA” designations to fulfill postal permit requirements.

Article II

Section 1: Membership

Members of the Medford Democratic City and Ward Committee must be enrolled Democrats in
Medford consisting of:

a) elected members of the Ward Committee from each ward of the city.

All members shall have the right to vote on any matter before the City Committee. Each member shall have one vote, even if he or she holds membership under more than one office of the City and Ward Committee.

Section 2: Election of Senatorial District City and Ward Committee Members

There shall be thirty-five (35) members of each Democratic Ward Committee.

The terms of members so selected shall begin the day following their election and end four years later on the day of the election to select their successors.

All members of the City and Ward Committee shall have full and equal voting privileges.

Section 3: Removal of City Committee Members

Members and officers pledge themselves by accepting office to perform diligently and honorably their duties or resign. Members of the City Committee, except for ex-officio members, may be removed, or censured, by procedures guaranteeing adequate notice and due process and by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting at duly noticed meeting of the City Committee for:

a. failure to fulfill their role and discharge their responsibilities as stated in Article III of these By-laws;

b. failure to attend at least half of the regularly scheduled committee meetings during any calendar year unless excused by the City Chair or Ward Chair; records of attendance of members shall be made public on an annual basis;

c. public support for or financial contribution to an opponent of a nominee of the Democratic Party which nominee publicly supports a majority of the platform of the Democratic Party as adopted at the most recent state and national Democratic conventions. Public support includes yard signs, bumper stickers or radio, TV or newspaper ads. A member for whom a long and deeply held belief would be violated by support of the nominee shall not be removed under this section. A member for whom the candidate is a relative of the nominee shall not be removed.

d. unauthorized use of the party name or resources;

e. candidates and their staff cannot be removed from the Democratic Party when campaigning for office under this section. The City Committee cannot impede on the strategies of a Democratic candidate.

A member must be given an opportunity to resign before notice of the hearing on the question of removal is given to the membership of the committee.

A member removed under this section shall have 30 days to appeal to the City Committee.

Removal procedures may only be initiated by a written complaint submitted directly to the Chairperson. Any such written complaint shall state that it is being submitted to initiate removal proceedings against a member and shall include a precise statement of reasons detaining the basis for the member’s removal. The Chairperson shall promptly set up a Rules Committee and submit the written complaint to the Rules Committee. The Rules Committee shall promptly convene and establish rules for removal proceedings, which guarantee adequate notice and due process and which shall conclude on the complaint being presented to the membership for a vote as provided herein.

The written complaint seeking removal may also suggest alternate sanctions other than removal. Upon presentation of the complaint to the membership, the membership may take action other than removal against a member whether or not the written complaint suggested alternate sanctions. The optional alternate sanctions may include, but shall not be limited to, loss of status at City Committee functions or events, including attendance at the city committee meeting, or loss of voting privileges at City Committee meetings.

Article III: Role and Responsibility of the City Committee

Section 1: The City Committee

The City and Ward Committee shall have general responsibility for the affairs of the Medford Democratic Party, subject to the authority of the Charter, between State Conventions, subject to the provisions of this Charter and to resolutions or other actions of a State Convention. This responsibility shall include:

a) maintaining regular communication with and providing training, information and other services to the ward and city committees members;

a) coordinating and conducting the Party’s campaigns;

b) formulating and disseminating statements of Party policy;

c) raising and disbursing monies needed for the successful operation of the City and Ward Committee; and

The City and Ward Committee shall publicly support the Party’s nominees and shall not publicly support any opponent. The City Committee shall take all other actions necessary or appropriate to carry out the provisions of the By-Laws. The City Committee shall maintain appropriate records, and a file of By-laws of ward and city committees, which shall be available for public

No party resources shall be used to support a Democratic nominee who publicly supports the opponent of another Democratic nominee.

Section 2: The Members

It is the responsibility of the members of the City and Ward Committee to:

a) actively participate in the business of the City and Ward Committees, including attendance to at least two meetings;

b) maintain regular communication and consultation with ward committees, and keep those committees informed of party affairs;

c) publicly support party nominees. It is the duty of each member to support Democratic Candidates.

d) Ward chairs may appoint members to vacant positions in their respective wards with the cooperation of the City Committee Chairs.

Article IV: Officers

The City Committee shall elect from among its members 2 chairpersons, one of each sex; a treasurer; a secretary and other appropriate officers. All officers must be members of the City Committee.

The members of the City committee elected after the presidential primaries shall, within ten days after the thirtieth day next following their election, meet and organize for the purpose of choosing a chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, treasurer, and such other officers, as they may decide to elect. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, a chairman shall serve in their respective position until their successor has been chosen; provided, however, that in the event that a city committee requires that its chairman be a member and any such elected chairman ceases to be a member, the committee shall choose a temporary chairman who shall serve until a permanent is chosen. The City committee may, at any time after its organization, add to its membership.

A Ward Chair may at any time add to its membership, not to exceed their full membership quota with approval of the City Committee. Each Ward Chair is responsible to try and keep a balance of men and women membership in accordance with the principle of the Democratic Party.

The secretary of the City committee shall file with the Secretary of state, and send to each city and ward committee, within ten days after such permanent organization, a list of the members of the city committee and of its officers, and, within ten days after each addition to its membership made subsequently to its permanent organization, a list of the members so added.

An officer shall hold office until a new City Committee under paragraph (b) chooses a successor, or until a vacancy occurs under Article II.

Article V: Duties of Officers

a. Chairpersons

(i) The chairpersons shall be the chief executive officers of the City Committee, presiding at its meetings, speaking for it and directing its organization and activities. The chairpersons shall name persons to sub-committees provided for in the By-laws, and with the approval of the City Committee may create special subcommittees and appoint members thereto. The chairpersons shall be an ex-officio, voting member of all subcommittees.

(ii) The chairpersons shall be the only person empowered to incur liabilities binding on the City Committee.

b. Vice-chairpersons

Vice-chairpersons designated by the chairpersons shall assume the powers and duties of the chairpersons in the temporary absence or incapacity of the chairpersons, and shall have such other responsibilities as are conferred by the City Committee or the chairperson until their chairperson returns to his or her duties.

c. Secretary

(i) The secretary shall keep a record of all proceedings of the City Committee, cause to be sent out notices of meetings and perform all other duties appropriate and consistent with the office. The secretary may delegate ministerial duties to clerks or assistants. The Secretary will work closely with one of the two chairpersons to insure notices to the membership.

(ii) In case of the necessary absence of the secretary through illness, otherwise, the chairperson shall designate a member to serve as secretary until the secretary returns to his or her duties.

d. Treasurer

(i) The treasurer shall be bonded and shall be responsible for the custody of all monies belonging to the Democratic City Committee. The Treasurer shall open an account in a bank and execute a signature card in the name of the City Committee and deposit all money and checks received in that bank.

(ii) The treasurer’s report shall be read at each meeting and a copy submitted to each member.

(iii) The treasurer shall sign checks for all expenditures of money for authorized and proper purposes. All disbursements shall be made by check. The treasurer is also responsible for the handling and reporting of political contributions and expenditures as provided in the State and Federal Election Laws.

(iv) The treasurer shall deliver to his or her successor all money and property of the City Committee within fifteen days after the successor takes office, at which time the certified public accountant chosen by the chairperson shall make a review of the accounts, a copy of which shall be sent to each member.

(v) In case of the necessary absence of the treasurer through illness or otherwise, the chairperson shall designate a member to serve as treasurer until the treasurer returns to his or her duties.

(vi) The treasurer may delegate temporarily any and all duties to a deputy treasurer.

Removal of Officers

(i) Officers of the City Committee may be removed with adequate notice and due process for failing to perform the duties of the office by a two-thirds vote of the City Committee present and voting at a duly noticed meeting.

Article VI: Meetings of the City and Ward Committee

a. The City Committee shall meet at least six times each year, at least once each quarter, at the call of the Chairperson. The Ward Committees shall meet at least four times each year, at least once each quarter, at the call of the Ward Chairperson.

b. Special Meetings: the Chairperson or Secretary shall call Special meetings of the City Committee upon receipt of a signed petition from no fewer than 25 members of the City Committee. The petition shall briefly set forth the agenda for such special meeting and identify (name, phone number and address) a contact person for any item related to the petition. The Chairperson, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee (See Article VII), may add items to the agenda for a special meeting, provided that any such additional items shall follow the agenda items specified in the petition.

The Chairperson or Secretary shall notify the contact person by telephone and in writing within 5 business days of the receipt of the petition of any disqualifying infirmities in any petition received by the City Committee, provided that if no contact person is identified that any person who signed the petition shall be notified. If there is no such notice of any disqualifying infirmities, then the petition shall be deemed to be a qualifying petition.

A special meeting shall be held not sooner than 30 days nor later than 45 days after the receipt of a qualifying petition and the notice for the special meeting shall be mailed by the City Committee to all members no later than 5 business days after receipt of a qualifying petition. A special meeting shall not be called prior to 60 days of a General Election without the consent of the Executive Committee. The notice shall include the agenda identified in the petition, the members who signed the petition and any agenda items added as provided for herein.

c. A vote at any meeting shall be taken by hand vote. If one quarter of the members present so request, a vote shall be taken by roll call and recorded by the secretary. There can be a secret ballot only if one half (1/2) of the members present requests that vote.


a) A City Committee quorum shall consist of a majority of the Executive Committee members (See Article VII). A majority of the Executive Committee will consist of one officer of the City Committee; three Ward Chairs, plus a general member.

b) A Ward Committee quorum shall consist of ___________ members of the Ward Committee.

Article VII: Executive Committee

The City Committee shall have an Executive Committee, which shall consist of all Chairpersons of Ward Committees, all officers of the City Committee, and such other people as the Chairperson may select. The Executive Committee shall meet not less than once each three months to develop the agenda for the general membership meeting and develop local party strategy. (See Article IX)

A quorum shall represent a majority of members present. If two seats are held, then those members can only vote once.

Article VIII: Vacancies

a. A vacancy occurs in an office of or the membership of the City Committee, whenever
the holder of the position:

(i) dies or becomes permanently unable to serve;

(ii) resigns in a written communication received by the City Committee. The
resignation need not be formally accepted, except as required by below:

(iii) ceases to be a resident of Massachusetts;

(iv) ceases to be an enrolled Democratic voter; or

(v) is removed as provided for herein.

Except in the case of death, resignation or removal, the vacancy must be declared by vote of a majority of the members present and voting at a meeting.

b. Although a resignation may have an effective date subsequent to the formal announcements of that vacancy at a City Committee meeting, a vacancy for purposes of these By-laws shall be created as of the date of the formal announcement at the City Committee meeting; provided, however, that the City Committee must vote to accept any resignation with an effective date subsequent to the date of the meeting at which the vacancy is formally announced.

c. In the case of a vacancy in the office of Chairperson, the general membership may elect a new Chairperson unless there is a Vice-chairperson senior in years of service on the City Committee shall undertake all the duties described herein for the Chairperson; provided, however, if the Chairperson’s vacancy is created by resignation, then that resignation may have an effective date subsequent to the formal announcement of that vacancy and, in that case, the Chairperson may undertake to discharge the duties herein conferred upon him or her, provided that the resignation with the subsequent effective date has been accepted by vote of the City Committee as provided for herein.

Article IX: Subcommittees

The City Committee shall have the following Subcommittees: Executive Committee, Affirmative Action Outreach, By-laws, and Issues Committee. The Chairperson shall appoint Chairs and members of the Subcommittees at the first meeting in the odd years for a two-year term or until their successors are qualified provided that all members of the City Committee shall be given the greatest opportunity to serve on the Sub-Committee(s) of their choice.

The Chairpersons of each Subcommittee shall send notices of all Subcommittee meetings to Committee members.

Article X: Relationship to State Convention

The Chairperson shall appoint a Platform and/or Political Agenda Committee and a Chairperson(s) for said Committee whenever the Charter shall require it.

Article XII: Town and Ward Committees

a. Town, Ward and other Democratic Committees may adopt By-laws and other rules of procedure (“By-laws”), in accordance with the City Committee, the Charter and these By-laws In the absence of the adoption of such By-laws, said committee(s) will be governed by model By-laws, if any, recommended by the By-laws sub-committee in consultation with the Field Services subcommittee, and as adopted by the State Committee.

b. Town, Ward and City Committees may assess dues providing that the amount of dues has been adopted by a two-thirds vote and that no elected member shall be required to pay dues in order to vote or otherwise participate in committee business.

c. The Ward and City Committee may raise money on behalf of the City Committee or Ward Committee. The Ward Committee may raise money on behalf of the City Committee or Ward Committee.

Article XIII: Parliamentary Authority

Meetings of the City Committee shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, as most recently revised, except to the extent that these By-laws provide otherwise.

Article XIV: Amendments

These By-laws shall continue in effect from year to year without express renewal, unless amended according to the following procedure:

a. The proposed amendment must be made in writing and signed by a member. The proposal must be submitted at a meeting to the chairperson, who shall read it aloud to the members present and refer it to the By-laws Subcommittee

b. The By-laws Subcommittee shall consider the proposal at a meeting before the next City Committee meeting. The committee shall report in writing on the proposal. A copy of the Subcommittee report and of the proposed amendment shall be sent to all City Committee members at least 30 days prior to the vote thereon.

c. The proposed amendment is adopted if it then receives a majority vote of the members present and voting at a meeting.

Standing Rules

A quorum of a Subcommittee shall be at least 3 members of the Subcommittee unless the membership is less than 3, than a quorum will consist of 2 members.

Emergency voting by mail or electronic device shall be permitted if authorized by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting on the Committee or any Subcommittee desiring to use it.

The time of City Committee meetings shall be in all notices.

The City committee shall employ a union fundraising organization or in the absence of a union Organization, that the City committee at least employs a company that employs a living wage.

The order of business at meetings shall be as follows:

a. calling members to order;

b. presentation of the minutes of the prior meeting, which shall detail all resolutions, by-law amendments, appointments, votes, other official actions and shall refer generally to items discussed;

c. report of the treasurer;

d. reports of other officers and of committees or subcommittees;

e. reading of communications;

f. unfinished business;

g. new business;

h. comment period;

i. adjournment.

The order of business may be waived by a majority vote of the members present and voting.

These by-laws supercede any and all other by-laws of the City Committee once voted upon by the membership.