CONSTITUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Purposes and Powers
The Democratic Party of New Jersey is empowered to:
1. Endorse the principles of the Democratic National Party as contained in the charter and rules of the Democratic National Committee of the United States, subject to the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the State of New Jersey.
2. Nominate candidates for election under the laws of the State of New Jersey, abiding by the rules of the National Democratic Party for the nomination of candidates for national office and shall work towards the election of those candidates.
3. Adopt and promote statements of policy both within and without the legislative process.
4. Raise and disburse money.
5. Manage the affairs of the Democratic Party in the State of New Jersey in cooperation with the national, county and municipal Democratic organizations.
Democratic Party Organization
The Democratic Party in New Jersey shall be governed by the Democratic State Committee in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws.
Party Standing Committees
1. The Executive Committee shall assist the Party Chairperson in administering the affairs of the Democratic Party
2. The Finance Committee shall be responsible soliciting contributions and promoting fundraising activities for and in the best interests of the Democratic Party.
3. The Coordinated Campaign Committee shall coordinate Democratic campaign efforts; voter registration, research, and such other functions as may promote the best interests of the Democratic Party.
4. The Council of County Chairpersons shall serve as an advisory council to the State Committee and to the State Party Chairperson
5. The Affirmative Action Committee shall establish and implement a statewide program of affirmative action to encourage greater participation in all party affairs.
Platforms and Policies
1. The Democratic Party is responsible for general Party Policy and organization. The Party is empowered, within the terms of Title 19, to determine Party Platforms to be enacted at the conventions as called for under Title 19; to define issues; issue instructions to party workers; and participate in candidate selection.
2. In addition to meetings convened by the Democratic Party, periodic public hearings may be sponsored by the Party in different parts of the State in order to obtain expressions of public opinion on current issues. These expressions of public attitudes are to be compiled and directed to appropriate Party committees for consideration at the convention of the Party.
1. To assure the fair selection of candidates for public offices throughout the state, to assure proper consideration being given to national party platforms and policies and, in order to carry out the state’s policies of the State and National Parties, the Democratic State Committee shall take such actions as it deems appropriate and necessary within the limits of the law and Charter of the Democratic Party of the United States.
2. Equal opportunity shall be given to all qualified people regardless of race, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, economic status, or any other attribute irrelevant to the right to individual freedom, to participate in all activities carried on by the Democratic Party in New Jersey, including participation as candidates for elective office on all levels.
3. The Democratic Party in New Jersey shall take all affirmative actions necessary to insure that all qualified persons are given the equal opportunity for participation, as discussed in paragraph 2 above. These affirmative actions shall include full implementation of the following six recommendations of the Special Equal Rights Committee chaired by Governor Richard J. Hughes:
A) All public meetings at all levels of the Democratic Party will be open to all members of the Democratic Party regardless of race, sex, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, ethnic identity, economic status, or philosophical persuasion.
B) No test for membership in, nor any oaths of loyalty to, the Democratic Party be required or used which has the effect of requiring prospective or current members of the Democratic Party to acquiesce in, condone or support discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, ethnic identity or economic status.
C) The time and place for all public meetings of the Democratic Party on all levels will be publicized fully and in such manner as to assure timely notice to all interested persons.
D) The Democratic Party, on all levels, will support the broadest possible registration without discrimination on grounds of race, sex, age, color, creed, national origin, ethnic identity, or economic status.
E) The Democratic Party will publicize fully and in such a manner as to assure notice to all interested parties a full description of the legal and practical procedures for selection of Democratic Party Officers and representatives on all levels. Publication of these procedures will be done in such a fashion that all prospective and current members of each State Democratic Party will be fully and adequately informed of the pertinent procedures in time to participate in each selection procedure at all levels of the Democratic Party Organization. The Democratic Party will publicize fully and in such a manner to assure notice to all interested parties, a complete description of the legal and practical qualifications of all officers and representatives of the State Democratic Party. Such publication will be done in a timely fashion so that all prospective candidates or applicants for any elected or appointed position within each State Democratic Party will have full and adequate opportunity to compete for office.
F) No Democratic Party Officer or candidate for party or public office, whether national, state, county or municipal, shall publicly support, endorse or assist any duly nominated candidate of another political party who is in opposition to any duly nominated Democratic Candidate while that person holds the position bestowed by the Democratic Party. In the event any such Democratic Party person shall automatically be removed from the position held within the Democratic Party. In the event such person has been placed on the ballot as the nominee for a public elective office, all Democratic support and sponsorship shall be withdrawn immediately.
Last Amended January 9, 2014 (East Brunswick, New Jersey)
Party Standing Committees
1. The standing committees of the Democratic Party shall be the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee, the Coordinated Campaign Committee, the Affirmative Action Committee, and the Council of County Chairpersons.
2. The Executive Committee shall consist of the following members: the elected offices of Party Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer of the Democratic Party of the State of New Jersey and the Executive Director of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.
3. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the execution of the policy of the State Committee, with relation to the political organization and management of the Democratic Party with the State. Members of the Executive Committee shall serve for the duration of the terms they were elected to with the exception of the Executive Director of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee who shall serve at the pleasure of the Party Chairperson.
4. The Finance Committee shall be responsible for promoting the fundraising activities of the Democratic Party. The Party Chairperson shall be empowered to appoint members to the Finance Committee and to designate a Chair to preside over the committee. Members of the Finance Committee shall serve at the pleasure of the Party Chairperson. The Party Treasurer shall be a member of the Finance Committee.
5. The Coordinated Campaign Committee shall consist of the Party Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Party Executive Director who shall be responsible for the formal establishment of coordinated campaign operations for the annual general election cycle.
6. The Council of County Chairpersons shall consist of all Democratic County Chairpersons, as elected at the organizational meetings of the County Committees. The Party Chairperson shall meet with the Council of County Chairpersons no less than twice a year.
7. The Affirmative Action Committee shall establish and implement a statewide program of affirmative action to encourage greater participation in all party affairs.
8. The Party Chairperson may establish such other Special Working Committees and advisory councils as he or she may, from time to time, deem to be in the best interests of the Democratic Party. Except as otherwise set forth in these By-Laws, the Chairpersons and members of all Standing and Working Committees and advisory councils shall be designated by the Party Chairperson and shall serve at the pleasure of the Party Chairperson.
1. Regular meetings of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee or any Party Standing or Working Committee may be called at any time by the Party Chairperson, or the Executive Director of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee through the Party Chairman. The Party Chairperson or Executive Director of the Democratic State Committee, through the Party Chairman, shall provide notice of the time, place and date of the meeting, directions to the meeting location, a draft agenda and a scope of notice if items on the agenda are to be voted upon. Notice of the meeting shall be given to committee members in good
standing by U.S. Mail, electronic mail, facsimile, or telephone upon seven (7) days notice. In an emergency situation, notice may be given strictly by electronic mail and telephone with five (5) days notice. All committee meetings shall be considered convened upon the presence of at least a majority of the membership being present. Proxy voting is permitted.
2. Special meetings of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee or any Party Standing or Working Committee may be called at any time by the Party Chairperson or respective Committee Chairperson upon forty-eight (48) hours notice. Such notice maybe by mail, facsimile, e-mail or telephone. All committee meetings shall be considered convened upon the presence of at least a majority of the membership being present. Proxy voting is permitted.
3. A quorum of the voting members of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee and for all Democratic Party Standing and Working Committees shall consist of a majority of the membership.
4. Any and all voting members of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee and Party Standing or Working Committees upon having received; either electronic or written notice of a scheduled meeting or voting session as well as an official proxy ballot for the upcoming session, are authorized to complete said proxy and return it on one of the following methods:
• Completed with the signature of an NJDSC member, Member of the NJDSD Executive Board or Appointed NJDSC Officer who wishes to transfer their vote and with the signature of another member who will carry their vote. The proxy may be returned, competed via facsimile at (609) 396-4778 or by U.S. Mail at NJDSC, Attn: Proxy Ballot, 196 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608 The proxy will have to be notarized prior to its delivery.
• In person, carried by another member to the voting session, signed by member who wishes to vote by proxy. At the meeting, it can be signed in the
presence of a notary prior to the beginning of the meeting by another NJDSC Member, NJDSC Executive Board Member or NJDSC Appointed Party Officer.
• Proxy Ballots filled out incompletely will be given every effort to be returned to the proxy voter for correction prior to the voting session. Ballots
incorrectly marked that arrive via U.S. Mail on the day of the voting session, via facsimile following 5:00 p.m. on the day of the voting session or by carrier in person on the day of the voting session will not be accepted. The proxy voter will be marked as absent from the meeting and their vote will not be counted. A negligibly marked ballot will have no negative bearing on any member who transferred it to the meeting.
• Any member of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee elected on the ballot (N.J.S.A. 19:5-4) by the residents of his or her home county and who is absent for three (3) consecutive voting sessions of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee shall have their position as a voting member terminated immediately.
• Said terminated member shall receive notice via certified mail from the Party Chairperson regarding his or her termination under the By-Laws of the Democratic Party of the State of New Jersey. The terminated member’s County Chairman will receive notice within 48 hours as well.
• Said terminated member shall have the right to seek election to their former seat at the time of the next reorganization of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. The filling of any and all vacancies created through termination shall remain as provided for in Title19 of the Revised Statutes of the State of New Jersey, unless and until these By- Laws are amended to provide for a different method of selection.
The Democratic Party shall have a full-time, paid Executive Director. The Executive Director shall have responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the Democratic Party and such other duties as the Party Chairperson and the Executive Committee may, from time to time designate.
Consultants and Other Employees
The Party Chairperson shall have the authority to designate consultants to assist the Party and such other employees as may be needed for the effective operation of the Party.
The Party Chairperson shall designate a general counsel, a special counsel, and a corporate counsel to represent the legal interests of the New Jersey Democratic Party, Inc.
County and Local Party Organizations and Relations
1. The State Committee, Party Officers, and all Party Committees shall cooperate fully with all county and municipal Party organizations. All activities carried on by any of the Party officials which have a direct effect in a particular local area shall be done with the full knowledge and cooperation of county and local Party officials.
2. The Party Officers and Party Committees shall fully cooperate with all county and local Party Officials upon request to assist in such matters as the settlement of Party disputes, assist coordination of fundraising activities, public information, and other such matters as shall affect the relationship between the State, county and local organizations.
3. Each local Party will have the responsibility for encouraging the participation of the citizens of its municipality in the Democratic Party. The local residents should be encouraged to participate with the knowledge that with increased experience and training they can become eligible for higher Party Office.
Election of Municipal Committee Members, County Committee Members, and State Committee Members
1. The election of Municipal Committee Members, County Committee Members, and State Committee Members shall remain as currently provided for in Title 19 of the Revised Statutes of the State of New Jersey unless and until these By-Laws are amended to provide for a different method of selection.
2. The selection of Municipal Chairpersons and County Chairpersons shall remain as currently provided for in Title 19 of the Revised Statutes of the State of New Jersey unless and until these By-Laws are amended to provide for a different method of selection.
3. Any and all elected voting members of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee must legally reside in the State of New Jersey for at least ten (10) months out of the year, barring extraordinary circumstances. Any and all elected voting members of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee must be able to provide proof of valid voter registration and party affiliation registration in the State of New Jersey.
4. The New Jersey Democratic State Committee shall be made up of 98 total votes that are apportioned among the counties based on total population of each county. The voting body of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee shall be made up of members with whole votes and members with half votes.
Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
1. In accordance with the principles of the Democratic Party, and inconformity with the principles of the Democratic Party of the United States, equal opportunity shall be given to all qualified persons without regard to race, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, economic status, or any other attribute irrelevant to the right to individual freedom and to participate in all activities carried on by the Democratic Party, including participation as candidates for elective office on all levels.
2. The Trustees of the Democratic Party of the State of New Jersey, under the direction of the Party Chairperson, shall administer such affirmative action plans as may be adopted in accordance with the law and the directives of the Democratic National Committee in order to insure the fullest participation by all Democrats and the greatest possible representation of all Democratic constituent groups, with particular concern for traditionally under-represented groups.
These By-Laws may be amended by a majority of the members of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.
Robert’s Rules of Order
Any matters regarding the conduct of affairs of any meeting of the Democratic Party or of the State Committee not governed by the By-Laws or by rules especially adopted or by the laws of the State of New Jersey shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order. A copy is available from the Parliamentarian for viewing before and after the meeting and copies of any rule cited during a meeting will be made available on request to any member.
These By-Laws supersede any and all other previous By-Laws of the Democratic Party of the State of New Jersey and shall take effect immediately upon their adoption.
Democratic National Committee Members
1. The method for electing Democratic National Committee members for the state of New Jersey shall be as follows: the Chair of the NJDSC will submit a list of names to fill all the available seats to the members of the Democratic State Committee, who will then vote to ratify the list of names submitted by the Chair. The list of names submitted by the Chair must meet all the requirements as laid out in the By-Laws of the Democratic National Committee.
2. Vacancies that arise in New Jersey’s DNC membership during any term will be filled by the Chair of the NJDSC through direct appointment of a replacement member, which shall be done at an open public meeting of the NJDSC.
ADOPTED: January 9, 2014
Voting Session of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, East Brunswick Hilton
Hotel, East Brunswick, New Jersey