By-Laws of the West Side Democrats of Bernalillo County

Amended March 4, 2019


The name of this organization is West Side Democrats of Bernalillo County, herein referred to as WSD.


Section 1. Objectives

  1. To identify, engage, and involve Democrats of Albuquerque’s West Side; to inform them, educate them, and encourage them to support issues and activities important to the Democratic Party and the West Side Community;
  2. To support the Democratic Party and work for the election of its candidates;
  3. To encourage WSD members to become involved in the political process at local, state and national levels;
  4. To ensure there are Democratic candidates for all open seats on the West Side and to fully vet potential candidates to ensure their competence and readiness for public office;
  5. To increase the communication between the WSD, campaigns, and Democratic and other groups in order to maximize effectiveness.

Section 2. Prohibitions

  1. WSD will not:
    1. Endorse candidates during contested Primary Elections involving two or more Democratic candidates;
    2. Stage candidate debates during Primary Elections;
    3. Permit the use of its name or logo in any advertisement or written materials without prior consent of the members;
    4. Support candidates of an opposing party.
  2. Officers may not use their offices or titles to advance the cause of any individual candidate in Primary Elections.


Section 1. Membership

  1. Voting membership in WSD is open to all Democrats who are registered in Bernalillo County
    1. Voting members are eligible to vote during business meetings.
    2. Voting members are to be counted when determining a quorum.
  2. Associate membership in WSD is open to all Democrats who are registered outside of Bernalillo County.
    1. Associate members may not vote.
    2. Associate members are not to be counted when determining a quorum.

Section 2. Members in Good Standing
A member in good standing (hereafter referred to as a member) is one who has paid the membership dues for the current calendar year, conducts herself or himself in accordance with the By-Laws of WSD, and follows the WSD Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics.

In order to successfully implement WSD objectives:

  1. WSD shall encourage the use of the varied talents of the members, be open and receptive to creative new ideas and problem solving, and respect the opinions of all participants.
  2. Collaboration, dialogue, and cooperation will be core principles in achieving the goals of the membership.
  3. As detailed in Appendix A (Parliamentary Procedure for Meetings), each issue will be thoroughly discussed before a decision is reached. A majority vote of the quorum present necessary to implement the idea.
  4. All members take full responsibility for their personal involvement and respect the opinions of others.
  5. All members must demonstrate a willingness to work toward a particular goal while being open to new ideas and fostering creativity.
  6. Respectful debate and dialogue will be encouraged, keeping in mind the core principles listed in the WSD Code of Ethics.

Members shall:

  1. Put loyalty to the highest moral principles and to Country above loyalty to government, persons, or party;
  2. Uphold the Constitution, laws, and legal regulations of the United States and of all governments therein and never be a party to their evasion;
  3. Never discriminate unfairly by dispensing special favors or privileges to anyone, whether for or without remuneration, and never accept favors or benefits for himself/herself or her/his family under circumstances which might be construed by reasonable persons as influencing the performance of her/his membership duties;
  4. Never use any information coming to her/him confidentially in the performance of membership duties as a means for making private profit;
  5. Expose corruption wherever discovered.


Section 1. General Meetings

  1. Meetings will be held monthly on a date to be determined by a vote of the members.
  2. The location of scheduled meetings shall be determined by the Chair or the officer who will conduct the meeting.
  3. A sample agenda for meetings is shown below.

Section 2. Special Meetings
Special meetings may be called by the Chair or by a quorum of the members.

Section 3. Quorum

  1. The presence of the greater of 10 voting members or 20% of all voting members, including officers, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business at any meeting of WSD.
  2. The presence or absence of a quorum at meetings shall be announced by the Chair after consulting with the Secretary or Treasurer.

Section 4. Notification
At least one week prior to the scheduled meeting, all members will be informed in writing of its date, time, place and purpose.

Section 5. Voting
Each voting member shall have one vote on each issue voted on at any meeting. He or she must be present at the meeting as proxies will not be accepted.

Section 6. Order of Business
The suggested Order of Business (Agenda) for all WSD meetings shall be:

  1. Call to order
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Introduction of Guests and Speakers
  4. Determination of a quorum
  5. Adoption of the agenda
  6. Minutes of the previous meeting
  7. Treasurer’s report
  8. Chair’s report
  9. Standing committee reports
  10. Special committee reports
  11. Unfinished business
  12. New business
  13. Announcements
  14. Adjournment

 Section 7. Minutes

  1. Minutes of the meetings shall be taken by the Secretary and shall include a minimum of:
    1. Date, time, and location of meeting;
    2. A list of voting members who are present;
    3. Committee reports;
    4. Motions, seconds, and results of votes;
    5. Verbatim statements at the direction of the Chair or by a vote of members present;
    6. Time of adjournment.
  2. Minutes of a general meeting shall be submitted to the Chair within fifteen (15. days and disseminated to the membership at his/her direction.


Procedures of WSD shall be governed by Appendix A (Parliamentary Procedure for Meetings) except where inconsistent with the By-Laws.


Section 1. Financial Responsibilities

  1. WSD assumes responsibility for all funds it collects or disburses.
  2. WSD will pay for the cost of producing and distributing any official communications.

Section 2. Fiscal Year
WSD’s fiscal year shall be from January 1 through December 31.

Section 3. Accounts of Deposit and Disbursement of Funds

  1. The Treasurer, Chair, and Vice-Chair shall be signatories on any and all deposit accounts.
  2. One authorized signature is required on any checks or documents of withdrawal.


Section 1. Elected Officers
WSD elected officers are:
    1. Chair
    2. Vice-Chair
    3. Secretary
    4. Treasurer

    The Chair may appoint a Parliamentarian/Sergeant at Arms.

Section 2. Term of Office

  1. Elections shall be held every 2 years at the September meeting or, if there is no meeting in September, the first meeting thereafter. Notification of elections will be given at least thirty (30) days prior to elections.
  2. Officers of WSD shall serve for a term of two (2 years. An officer can only be elected to the same position for two (2) consecutive terms.
  3. Officers shall assume office immediately following their election or appointment.

Section 3. Eligibility

  1. Only voting members in good standing shall be eligible to nominate and vote for officers or hold an office.
  2. To hold office, a nominee must have attended at least two (2) of the four (4) meetings prior to the one in which officers are elected.

Section 4. Removal from Office

  1. Any officer may be removed from office for any of the following reasons:
    1. Missing three (3) consecutive meetings;
    2. Missing five (5) meetings within a twelve (12) month period;
    3. Failing to perform the duties specified in the By-Laws;
    4. Violating the provisions of either the Code of Conduct or the Code of Ethics.
  2. The process for removing an officer from office may be initiated by any voting member in good standing
  3. After being properly moved, seconded, and discussed, a vote in favor of removal by two-thirds (2/3) of the quorum present shall result in the office being declared vacant.

Section 5. Vacancies
If an office is vacated for any reason, the members will elect a replacement. An election to fill a vacant office shall be held at the next feasible meeting, allowing for a thirty (30) day notice of such election.


Section 1. General Responsibilities of Officers
Each officer shall:

  1. Maintain records in a permanent binder during his/her term in office;
  2. Transfer all records pertinent to WSD to their successors immediately upon the successor’s election or appointment;
  3. Submit a written report at each general meeting and file it with the Secretary;
  4. Perform such duties as are delegated or assigned by the Chair;
  5. Duties specified in this Article shall conform to the By-Laws of WSD.

Section 2. Chair
The Chair shall:

  1. Preside at all meetings of WSD;
  2. Review and sign all official documents of WSD;
  3. Appoint committee chairs for all committees;
  4. Be a signatory on all WSD bank accounts;
  5. Act as custodian of all records;
  6. Act as ex-officio member of all committees;
  7. Supervise the operation and activities of WSD.

Section 3. Vice-Chair
The Vice-Chair shall:

  1. Be a signatory on all WSD bank accounts;
  2. Conduct meetings when the Chair is absent;
  3. Assist the Chair as necessary.

Section 4. Secretary
The Secretary shall:

  1. Keep minutes of WSD general meetings and present current minutes at the following meeting;
  2. Receive and maintain reports of the Officers and Committees;
  3. Maintain a current membership list as provided by the Treasurer;
  4. Maintain a current list of member contact information;
  5. Review and sign appropriate official documents of WSD.
  6. Use the Secretary’s Functions document as a guide for performing these duties.

Section 5. Treasurer
The Treasurer shall:

  1. Maintain the care and custody of WSD funds;
  2. Regularly deposit revenue in the name of WSD in a bank approved by the membership;
  3. Sign checks and disburse funds for payment of WSD expenses with approval of the President;
  4. Maintain detailed records of receipts and disbursements and coordinate with other signatories on the checking account;
  5. Submit a written financial report at scheduled meetings or at the signed written request of a quorum of the membership;
  6. Maintain and submit on a timely basis a list of voting members and associate members in good standing to the Chair and the Secretary;
  7. File for and maintain local, state, and federal tax ID numbers as required;
  8. Submit financial reports as required to the appropriate local, state and federal agencies.
  9. Use the Treasurer’s Functions document as a guide for performing these duties.

Section 6. Parliamentarian/Sergeant at Arms
If appointed by the Chair, the Parliamentarian/Sergeant at Arms shall:

  1. Guide WSD in parliamentary procedure and render opinions to all parliamentary questions posed by the presiding officer;
  2. Maintain order, decorum based on the WSD Code of Conduct;
  3. Remove any person/persons causing conflict or acting disorderly during meetings.


Section 1. WSD Standing Committees

  1. By-Laws
  2. Finance
  3. Communications and Membership
  4. Programs and Issues
  5. Events

Section 2. WSD Special Committees

  1. Special committees shall be appointed at the discretion of the Chair or at the written request of a quorum of the membership.
  2. The mandate and duration of each special committee shall be defined by the Chair or by the membership quorum requesting the establishment of the committee with the approval of the Chair.
  3. An audit committee shall be appointed at least one (1) month before the end of the Treasurer’s term or within one month of an unscheduled vacancy. It shall audit WSD’s books, records, and financial statements. The committee may request the Treasurer to assist in the audit.

Section 3. WSD Committee Chairs

  1. Committee chairs shall appoint three (3) to five (5) members in good standing with approval of the Chair.
  2. Committee Chairs shall submit a written committee report at the request of the Chair or a quorum of the membership.

Section 4. Committee Duties

  1. The By-Laws Committee shall review and recommend to the membership suggested revisions to WSD By-Laws.
  2. The Finance Committee shall recommend plans, programs and projects for raising revenue to the Chair and assist in the implementation of such activities.
  3. The Communications and Membership Committee shall be responsible for:
    1. Publicizing meetings, programs and activities of WSD with the approval of the Chair;
    2. Encouraging fellow Democrats to become active, voting members of WSD.
  4. The Programs and Issues Committee shall:
    1. Recommend programs and projects for the year to the Chair and assist in the implementation and direction of such activities;
    2. Present to the Chair and members events in the community which provide an opportunity for WSD to be involved;
    3. Attend to and oversee the social obligations of WSD;
    4. Research and report on issues and legislative matters of interest to WSD.
  5. The Events Committee shall:
    1. Plan events to engage Westside residents in Democratic party activity.
    2. Create opportunities for Westside Democrats to network and learn how they can support Westside Democratic candidates and promote growth of the Party structure in their precincts and wards.


The By-Laws of WSD may be amended by a majority vote of members in attendance at any General or Special Meeting, provided members receive written notification thirty (30) days prior to said meeting.


Upon dissolution of WSD, all assets after payment of costs and expenses shall be transferred to the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

Appendix A
Parliamentary Procedure for Meetings

 Motion: To introduce a new piece of business or propose a decision or action, a motion must be made by a group member (“I move that…. ..”) A second motion must then also be made (raise your hand and say, “I second it.”) After limited discussion the group then votes on the motion. A majority vote is required for the motion to pass (or quorum as specified in your bylaws.)

  1. Postpone Indefinitely: This tactic is used to kill a motion. When passed, the motion cannot be reintroduced at that meeting. It may be brought up again at a later date. This is made as a motion (“I move to postpone indefinitely…”). A second is required. A majority vote is required to postpone the motion under consideration.
  2. Amend: This is the process used to change a motion under consideration. Perhaps you like the idea proposed but not exactly as offered. Raise your hand and make the following motion: “I move to amend the motion on the floor.” This also requires a second. After the motion to amend is seconded, a majority vote is needed to decide whether the amendment is accepted. Then a vote is taken on the amended motion. In some organizations, a “friendly amendment” is made. If the person who made the original motion agrees with the suggested changes, the amended motion may be voted on without a separate vote to approve the amendment.
  3. Commit: This is used to place a motion in committee. It requires a second. A majority vote must rule to carry it. At the next meeting the committee is required to prepare a report on the motion committed. If an appropriate committee exists, the motion goes to that committee. If not, a new committee is established.
  4. To end a debate immediately, the question is called (say “I call the question”) and needs a second. A vote is held immediately (no further discussion is allowed). A two-thirds vote is required for passage. If it is passed, the motion on the floor is voted on immediately.
  5. To table a discussion is to lay aside the business at hand in such a manner that it will be considered later in the meeting or at another time (“I move to table this discussion until the next meeting. In the meantime, we will get more information so we can better discuss the issue.”) A second is needed and a majority vote is required to table the item being discussed.
  6. A motion is made to end the meeting. A second motion is required. A majority vote is then required for the meeting to be adjourned (ended).

Note: If more than one motion is proposed, the most recent takes precedence over the ones preceding it. For example, if #6, a motion to table the discussion, is proposed, it must be voted on before #3, a motion to amend, can be decided.

In a smaller meeting, like a committee or board meeting, often only four motions are used:

  • To introduce (motion)
  • To change a motion (amend)
  • To adopt (accept a report without discussion)
  • To adjourn (end the meeting)

Secretary’s Functions

  1. Take minutes of WSD monthly meetings
    1. Record attendance
      1. Determine if a quorum of voting members is present
      2. Separate from the minutes, maintain a paper record of those attending each meeting
    2. Make a first draft of the minutes within 5 days after the meeting
    3. Make a final draft of the minutes within 15 days after the meeting
    4. Print (PC) or export (Mac) the final draft of the minutes to a PDF file
    5. Drag and drop the PDF file to ABQ-West Side Dems/Comm-Tech/PDFs/Minutes & Agendas
  2. Record attendance and payments
    1. Monitor both your personal and WSD email accounts for payment information
    2. Update the Attendance spreadsheet in ABQ-West Side Dems/Atendance & Contact Lists
    3. Ensure that the Attendance spreadsheet is up-to-date by 5 days prior to the monthly meeting
  3. Maintain the WSD Facebook page
    1. Add administrators as needed
    2. Welcome new members
    3. Post content as appropriate

Treasurer’s Functions

  1. Be a signatory to the bank account
    1. Set up a personal user id and password for the bank account
    2. Maintain control of blank checks
    3. Download a PDF of the bank statement when available
      1. US Eagle produces bank statements on the last day of the month
      2. Drag and drop the PDF to ABQ-West Side Dems/Comm-Tech/PDFs/Bank Statements
    4. Collect dues and contributions
      1. At meetings
        1. Designate a person to be stationed at the door to collect and record payments, and make change
        2. Collect payments
  • Record the payments 1
  1. Provide the Secretary with a copy of the list of payments within 5 days after a WSD monthly meeting
  2. Email thank you notes to those paying dues and making contributions
  3. Deposit payments within 5 days after the WSD monthly meeting
  1. From Paypal
    1. Monitor the WSD email account
    2. Forward PayPal payment notices to the Secretary as they arrive
  • Email thank you notes to those paying dues and making contributions
  1. Transfer the PayPal balance to the checking account at least one week prior to newsletter publication 1
    1. Review the calendar in ABQ-West Side Dems/Meetings/Calendars
  2. Download the PayPal statement when it becomes available
  3. Drag and drop the PDF to ABQ-West Side Dems/Comm-Tech/PDFs/Bank Statements
  1. Maintain financial records
    1. Present the Treasurer’s Report at monthly meetings
    2. Enter all receipts and disbursements in the Bank Reconciliationspreadsheet in ABQ-West Side Dems/Finance/Bank Statements
    3. Reconcile the bank and PayPal accounts to the Bank Reconciliationspreadsheet
    4. Maintain an organized file of receipts, check stubs, and other documents.

1 All receipts and disbursements must be recorded in the Bank Reconciliation spreadsheet.