OF THE NEVADA STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY
THE NATIVE AMERICAN CAUCUS
AS ADOPTED, SEPTEMBER 28, 2019
ARTICLE I – NAME, MISSION, AND PURPOSE
Section 1 – The name of this Caucus shall be the Native American Caucus of the Nevada State Democratic Party; hereafter referred to as NAC or Native Caucus and shall be referred to hereafter in this document as the Caucus. The Caucus shall operate in conformity with the Charter and Rules governing the Nevada Democratic Party.
Section 2 – The mission of this Caucus shall be to promote the involvement of American Indians in the political process and the activities of the Democratic Party at the Local, State, and National level. The Caucus shall advocate for public policies which promote the needs of Tribal Communities and the State at large. The Caucus recognizes the need for inclusive representation throughout the Democratic Party and seeks to advance political participation among American Indians throughout the State. The purpose of this organization shall be to advance the highest principles of the Democratic Party, as outlined in the state platform of the Nevada Democratic Party, to foster and maintain truly democratic procedures in the Democratic Party, to support Democratic candidates of integrity, ability, and conviction for public office and party positions, and to arouse and encourage active participation by all Democrats in the conduct of their party and their community.
Section 3 – The purpose of the Caucus will seek to accomplish its mission in the following manner:
· By promoting the involvement of American Indians in the political process and the activities of the Democratic Party at the Local, State and National level
· By forming coalitions and identifying pertinent issues that are relevant for Tribal Communities and the State at large
· By supporting the inclusion of American Indians in leadership of the Democratic Party at the National, State, and Local levels
· By developing a State-wide message that speaks to the needs and concerns of American Indians within the Democratic Party and the state at large
· By holding the Democratic Party, and Public Officials, accountable to the diverse needs of American Indian communities
ARTICLE II – STRUCTURE, MEETINGS, AND THE STATE CONVENTION
Section 1 – The Executive Committee shall serve as the governing body of the Caucus between NSDP State Conventions as outlined in Article IV.
Section 2 – The full voting Membership of the Caucus shall serve as the governing body of the Caucus at the Annual Meeting of the Caucus and at the NSDP State Convention.
Section 3 – Membership of the Caucus shall meet at least once per three calendar months to be set by the Caucus Executive Committee.
Section 4 – An Annual Meeting of the full Membership of the Caucus shall meet in odd numbered years at a date to be determined by the Caucus Executive Committee.
A. Ten percent of the total number of recognized voting Members of the Caucus shall constitute quorum for the purpose of voting.
B. Non-voting Caucus Members shall not count against quorum.
Section 5 – The full Membership of the Caucus shall convene at each State Democratic Convention to carry out the business of the Caucus:
A. For the election of Officers
B. The amending of Caucus Bylaws
C. The consideration of Caucus Resolutions, and
D. Platform positions.
1. Ten percent of the total number of recognized voting Members of the Caucus shall constitute quorum for the purpose of voting.
2. Non-voting Caucus Members shall not count against quorum.
ARTICLE III – POLICY AND GOALS
Section 1 – It shall be the policy of this Caucus, in the execution of all endeavors, to contribute to the growth and influence of the Democratic Party, to establish and maintain an inclusive Native American Indian presence in the party and to support the party candidates for Democratic leadership throughout the State and Nation.
Section 2 – We shall hold workshops and programs to educate and train interested Democrats to participate in voter training, outreach, political education, legislative tracking, research and how to participate in the Democratic Party.
Section 3 – We shall hold workshops and programs to educate interested individuals in the cultural history and current issues of concern to the Nevada Indian Nations.
Section 4 – We shall assist Democratic legislative organizations and legislators in establishing relationships with the Members and communities of the Native American Caucus.
Section 5 – We shall facilitate the organization of Democrats.
Section 6 – We shall maintain a relationship with the State Party and assist in disseminating party information to our Members.
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP
Section I – Membership shall include those persons who are:
A. Native American Indians who are registered Democrats, or
B. Registered Democrats, and those ineligible to register as Democrats, but who have expressed an intent to register as a Democrat upon becoming eligible, with an interest in developing a broader understanding of issues that affect Tribal communities, inclusion in the educational process of how the political system works, exchanging cultural education, political training, voter outreach and participation of the Indian Nations in the Democratic Party and who support the mission of this Caucus.
Section 2 – Only those individuals specified in Article II, Section I – A and B shall be eligible for full Membership. They will be entitled to all Membership privileges upon payment of annual dues.
Section 3 – Members and non-Members shall be eligible to participate in discussion, meetings and training workshops, but voting, and holding office, shall be restricted to Members only.
Section 4 – Any individual, regardless of race, creed, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, socio-economic status or national origin, or any other protected class, who professes and demonstrates allegiance to the philosophic principles and goals of the Democratic Party, and who is not registered or affiliated with any political party other than the Democratic Party, may be eligible to become either a voting or non-voting Member of the Caucus.
ARTICLE V – MEMBERSHIP DUES AND SPONSORSHIPS
Section 1 – The dollar amount of dues payable, for Membership, shall be established by the Executive Board by simple majority, at an officially designated (and noticed) Executive Board meeting.
Section 2 – Notice of intent to raise dues, shall be established in writing to the Membership, prior to the actual increase in annual dues.
Section 3 – This Caucus may waive any dues for economic hardship.
Section 4 – Dues are renewed at the State Convention, for the period of one year:
A. Annual Membership dues are $15.00
B. For Low Income / Students / Elders; Membership dues are $5.00
Section 5 – Sponsorships provide the Native American Caucus the funds to conduct meetings. The following sponsorships for annual Memberships, are available at the following rates: $10,000., $5,000., $1,000., $500., $250., $100., $50., $25.,
ARTICLE VI – EXECUTIVE BOARD
Section 1 – The elected Officers of this organization shall constitute the Executive Board:
2. Vice Chair
5. Committee Officer (Parliamentarian)
6. Committee Officer
7. Committee Officer
Any Member of the Executive board may be removed following two consecutive absences from noticed meetings or two unexcused absences during the calendar year. If an Officer misses two meetings in a year, or, after notice of the charges against them and a hearing at a meeting whose notice includes the issue, has been determined to have failed their duty as an Officer, by a 2/3 vote of the Members present and voting, they will be removed, and a new election shall be held at the next meeting.
Section 2 – The Executive Board shall meet no less than four times during the calendar year for the purpose of planning and directing the activities and policies for the calendar year. Joint meetings with other NSDP Caucuses, or their Members, will occur at least once during each calendar year.
Section 3 – A simple majority of Members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum. No proxies shall be allowed.
Section 4 – Special meetings of the board may be called by any of the Members of the board, but special meetings will not be subject to the absence or excused policy.
Section 5 – As the Executive Board is representative of the Membership of the Caucus, which has a right to know how its representatives have voted, no vote of the Executive Board of the Caucus may be taken by secret ballot.
ARTICLE VII – OFFICER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Section 1 – The Officers of the Native American Caucus, of the Nevada State Democratic Party, will be elected at the first State convention of the calendar year, in odd-numbered years, and shall hold office for two years with election at the State convention.
Section 2 – Caucus Officers shall work to increase the visibility and efficacy of the Native American Caucus, by regularly attending Caucus meetings and events and giving significant aid to Democratic campaigns and candidates. No individual may be elected to nor serve in more than one elective Caucus office concurrently. The duties, powers, and responsibilities of each office shall be as follows:
A. Chair: The Chair shall preside over all Caucus Membership meetings and serve as the official liaison to the Nevada Democratic Party. The Chair shall coordinate the activities of the Caucus and shall have the authority to call meetings when necessary. The Chair shall have the authority to create committees and appoint Members to those Committees. The Chair should have the power to appoint Caucus Committees Chairs of the Caucus and to fill vacancies when necessary. Pursuant to compliance with the NSDP Bylaws, the Chair must be a Member of the SCC before election and will serve as the Caucus Executive Board Representative.
B. Vice Chair: The Vice Chair shall serve as Chair in the event of absence of the Chair. Should a vacancy occur in the Chair, the Vice Chair shall automatically become Chair until the next voting convention. The Vice Chair may serve on and chair special project committees and shall be responsible for all administrative committees.
C. Secretary: The Secretary shall be responsible for official communication to the Native American Caucus General Membership and Executive Committee at the direction of the Chair. The Secretary shall be solely responsible for direct correspondence on behalf of the Caucus, keeper of the official Caucus Membership rolls, responsibility for holding current additions of the Caucus By-Laws [with the Caucus Parliamentarian], conduct Caucus mailings, phone calls, and email communication. The Secretary shall be responsible for taking minutes at all meetings, official conference calls, and hold the official Membership roll of the Statewide Native American Caucus of the Nevada Democratic Party.
D. Treasurer: Pursuant to compliance with the NSDP Bylaws, the Treasurer must be a Member of the SCC before election. The Treasurer shall:
· The Treasurer shall collect dues from the Membership.
· The Treasurer shall serve as one of the signers on checks as authorized by the Executive Board.
· The Treasurer shall maintain the financial records of the Caucus.
· The Treasurer shall keep a written report of all receipts and disbursements and submit a detailed report to the Executive Committee and the general Membership at the regular meetings of the Caucus.
· The Treasurer of this Caucus shall submit quarterly financial reports with the Treasurer of the Nevada State Democratic Party.
· The Treasurer shall promptly account for all Caucus funds and prepare financial reports, as required by the NSDP Finance Committee of the NSDP.
E. Parliamentarian: The Parliamentarian shall provide advice, instruction and correct interpretation of the Parliamentarian procedure and Roberts Rules of Order.
F. Committee Officers: The Committee Officers shall serve as committee chairs for Policy, Legislation, Finance, Communications, Outreach, Campaign, Education and Training, Platform, and Special Projects, as applicable.
Section 3 – Should a Member, elected as an Officer of the Caucus, cease to be a Member a for any reason; such vacancy must be filled within 60 days of the vacancy.
Section 4 – The Executive Board shall be empowered to fill any vacancies that occur until the next Caucus meeting.
Section 5 – Members will receive notification of said vacancy with the minutes and agenda of the next notice meeting of the Caucus.
Section 6 – All those eligible for consideration, will be afforded the opportunity to seek said offices.
ARTICLE VIII – COMMITTEES
Section 1 – The Permanent Standing Committees of this Caucus shall be: Finance, Communications, Platform, Campaign, and Outreach.
Section 2 – Every committee will have a Chair appointed by the Caucus Chair, who, unless already on the Executive Committee, will serve as a non-voting Member and will be required to file a report each regular meeting of the Executive Committee.
Section 3 – Each committee shall consist of at least four Members and no more than seven Members. The Chair of each committee shall appoint the Membership of their respective committees.
Section 4 – The Permanent Standing Committees, description and purpose, shall be as follows:
A. The Finance Committee: The Finance Committee shall work to develop sources of revenue for the Caucus, in addition to advising the Treasurer on fiscal issues. This Committee, on a bi-annual basis, will draft a Finance Plan to be submitted to the Executive Committee.
B. The Communications Committee: The Communications Committee shall be responsible for working to disseminate our message to the press and public. The Committee shall develop methods of publicizing the various activities of the Caucus through the use of print, electronic and other cost-effective media. The Committee will aid the Caucus in attracting press to events and activities of the Caucus and will be responsible for the Caucus listserv, website, discussion boards, newsletters, and social media.
C. The Platform Committee: The Platform Committee shall monitor issues of importance to the Caucus and disseminate position papers regarding said issues of particular interest to Native American Caucus throughout the Democratic Party. This Committee shall take an advocacy role in organizing and tracking legislation and news articles and seek to create partnerships with community-based organizations that are in step with our beliefs. This Committee shall draft resolutions to be adopted by the Caucus and to be presented to the State Democratic Convention regarding said issues of particular interest to people of color throughout the State. This Committee shall also decipher and address issues that affect communities of color within the Nevada State Democratic Party platform on a bi-annual basis and create a compiled report on positions taken by this Caucus on State, Regional, and National issues.
D. The Campaign Committee: The Campaign Committee shall focus on creating an annual base vote operation campaign plan that targets Tribal Communities Statewide. This Committee will compile the statistical data to determine minority voter turnout in key areas across the State and watch voting trends in those communities. This Committee will also work on identifying Local, Statewide, Congressional and Senate minority candidates across the State, and provide them support by way of a minority voter-base campaign invasion or allocating monies toward base voter operations in certain areas.
E. The Outreach Committee: The Outreach Committee shall coordinate the outreach activities of the Membership and assist in candidate recruitment and development of American Indian leaders, to participate at all levels, of the Democratic Party.
ARTICLE IX – MEETINGS
Section 1 – Regular meetings of the Membership will be held at the State Party Convention and at the Nevada Statewide Executive Board Meetings each calendar year.
Section 2 – Regional meetings for outreach and training will be noticed at least 10 days in advance prior to the date of the event by e-mail, fax and/or phone. These meetings are open to Members and all interested parties.
Section 3 – Publication of any notice provided for by these Bylaws, may be given by means of e-mail provided that:
· Members of the Committee must have consented, in writing, to receive NSDP notice in that manner.
· Members of this Committee have been advised of their obligation to inform the Secretary of any change in their e-mail address.
· Any such notice is denominated “Official NSDP Notice” in the subject line.
· Members of the Committee are given the option, in writing, of maintaining the confidentiality of their email address, or making same public.
Section 4 – All public meetings of the Caucus shall be open to all Members of the Democratic Party and Members of the Press, or invited guests, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, religion, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, persons with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or economic status.
ARTICLE X – CAUCUS RECORDS AND REPORTS
Section 1 – The Caucus shall maintain adequate and correct accounts, books and records of all Caucus activities. The appropriate Officer shall maintain all such books and records.
Section 2 – Such books and records shall be open to inspection by Officers and Members in good standing at all times for purposed approved by the Executive Board; upon giving adequate and reasonable notice, before said inspection.
Section 3 – There shall be a biannual report of Membership and accounting given to the Executive Board and an annual report given to Membership at the State Convention at the beginning of the calendar year.
ARTICLE XI – ENDORSEMENTS
Section 1 – The Caucus may not endorse candidates for public office that are not Members of the Democratic Party pursuant to the Bylaws of the Nevada Democratic Party, the State Democratic Central Committee and all official units of the Nevada Democratic Party.
Section 2 – The Caucus is prohibited from endorsing candidates for partisan or nonpartisan office unless a candidate has received the official endorsement of the Nevada Democratic Party. Furthermore, unless a candidate has received the official endorsement of the Nevada Democratic Part, all motions of support, recommendation, or their expressions of approval, no matter how denominated, will be ruled out of order at any meeting of the Caucus.
ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENTS
Section 1 – Amendments to the Bylaws may be initiated by the Executive Board
Section 2 – The Bylaws may also be amended by a 2/3 majority vote at the meeting of the Caucus at the Nevada Democratic State Convention. The Amendment must be in written form before being presented to the body for a first reading. Members holding Caucus Member cards for the current year are eligible to vote on said amendment at the next meeting of the Caucus. The proposed amendment needs a vote of 60% of the Membership in order to pass.
ARTICLE XIII – PROCEDURES AND OBLIGATIONS
Section 1 – All proceedings not covered in this Constitution of Bylaws shall be governed by the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. The most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern all deliberations not herein contained by the appropriate authority of the Caucus.
Last Amended, September 28, 2019