YDA Governing Rules as of 12/10/2022

CHARTER, STANDING RULES, AND CALL TO CONVENTION OF THE YOUNG DEMOCRATS OF AMERICA

Adopted pursuant to the Charter of the Young Democrats of America on December 10, 2022 by the National Committee of the Young Democrats of America in Buffalo, New York

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Note: currently enacted clauses are in black in regular styling, clauses that will be enacted at the start of the 2023 National Convention are in green and underline, clauses that will be enacted at the end of the 2023 National Convention are in red and bold, clauses that will be enacted at another time are in orange and italicized.

Please click here to read the Charter, Bylaws, and Standing Rules adopted prior to December 10, 2022


Charter of the Young Democrats of America

This document defines the purposes and privileges of the Young Democrats of America as well as the written rules to formalize how decisions can be made and business conducted by The Young Democrats of America. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with any governing or special rules of order the organization may adopt.

Article I. Name

The name of this organization is the Young Democrats of America.

Article II. Mission & Vision

The mission of this organization is to engage young people across the country to train the next generation of Democratic leaders, elect Democrats, and advocate for progressive issues. The vision of this organization is to be the hub for Democratic youth engagement that cultivates the party leaders of today and tomorrow.

Article III. Members

Section 1. Definition

Any individual may be a member of this organization if they:

  1. Have not yet turned 36 years old;
  2. Identify as a member of the Democratic Party; and
  3. Are a member in good standing of their chartered unit.

Section 2. Requirements

Each chartered unit shall set rules governing membership in their unit. Each chartered unit shall create rules that do not violate any of the following requirements:

  1. A chartered unit may not deny membership on the basis of age to any individual who is at least 18 years old and has not yet turned 36 years old.
  2. No chartered unit may grant membership to any individual who has turned 41 years old, except that a chartered unit may allow an officer of that unit or of a subsidiary unit to remain a member until the officer's term expires. No individual who has turned 36 years old shall be entitled to membership in YDA or vote in its proceedings on the basis of their membership in a chartered unit.
  3. A chartered unit may not require any test for membership.
  4. A chartered unit may not deny membership on the basis of residency to any individual who:
    1. Is registered to vote within the territory of the chartered unit; or
    2. Resides within the territory of the respective chartered unit, including individuals who are ineligible to register to vote due to immigration status or other restrictions.
  5. A chartered unit may determine that a member is not in good standing if the individual:
    1. Fails to pay a membership fee or fails to receive a waiver for payment of such a fee.
    2. Has their membership revoked or suspended by their chartered unit for disciplinary reasons or other reasons not prohibited by this charter.
    3. Causes a safety concern or other issue that could affect the well-being of the chartered unit's members.
    4. Has their membership revoked or suspended by YDA and the chartered unit chooses to allow them to continue to participate in the affairs of their chartered unit.
    5. No longer meets the chartered unit's requirements for membership therein.

Section 3. Honorary Members

  1. Definition.

    An "Honorary Member" is a former member of the organization who is over 35 years old who is granted full, non-voting, floor privileges at any National Convention.

  2. Nomination.

    A member of the National Committee may nominate a member of the organization who is over 35 years old to be an Honorary Member. The nomination shall be considered at the next National Convention after the nomination is made.

Article IV. Chartered Units

Section 1. Composition

The Young Democrats of America is composed of chartered units representing all Young Democrats within their respective territories. Territories include the 50 States within the United States of America, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, and one group representing Young Democrats Abroad. There shall be only one chartered unit recognized in any territory.

Section 2. Issuance

The National Convention may issue and renew unit charters.  The National Committee may issue interim unit charters between National Conventions. A unit charter that has not been renewed by the close of a National Convention terminates at that time.

Section 3. Requirements

Each chartered unit shall submit an application to the National Convention to recharter.

Section 4. Revocation

The National Committee may, by a two-thirds vote, revoke a unit charter for inactivity, for non-compliance with this document, or for violating criminal or campaign finance law.

Article V. Regions

Section 1. Composition

There shall be four regions comprised as follows:

  1. Eastern Region.

    The Eastern Region is composed of chartered units representing Connecticut, Delaware, Young Democrats Abroad, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

  2. Southern Region.

    The Southern Region is composed of chartered units representing Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virgin Islands.

  3. Midwestern Region.

    The Midwestern Region is composed of chartered units representing Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

  4. Western Region.

    The Western Region is composed of chartered units representing Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Section 2. Sub-Regional Groups

  1. Any region, with the consent of the Regional Vice-President, may create a sub-regional group of chartered units within the region for any purpose so long as the chartered presidents of the sub-regional group agree to such.

Article VI. Elected Officers

Section 1. Named

There shall be an elected President, Executive Vice President, four Regional Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, and two representatives to the Democratic National Committee who may not be of the same gender identity.

Section 2. Duties

All elected officers shall have the following duties and responsibilities in addition to any other duty as may be assigned by the Executive Committee or the National Committee.

  1. President.

    The President shall be the principal administrative officer of the Young Democrats of America, preside over meetings of the Executive Committee and National Committee, be responsible for the organization's fundraising efforts, and except as may otherwise be provided shall appoint all administrative officers, committee officers, and special committees, subject to confirmation by the National Committee at its first meeting subsequent to the appointment.

  2. Executive Vice President.

    The Executive Vice President shall assist the President with their dutes as necessary, act as President in their absence, and be responsible for the organization's operations.

  3. Regional Vice Presidents.

    The four Regional Vice Presidents shall act as the liaison to the region from which they were elected and engage chartered units within that region. They shall coordinate Days of Action within their region and make regional appointments to committees after consulting with each chartered unit president within the region. The Regional Vice Presidents shall also assist the President as necessary, develop and administer programs both within their region and for the organization, oversee special projects, assist with the organization's fundraising, and shall appoint all regional appointments in consultation with their region's chartered unit presidents and the chair of the Diversity and Outreach committee.

  4. Secretary.

    The Secretary shall take minutes of all meetings of the Executive Committee and National Committee, publish the notes within one week of adjournment of the meeting, maintain a membership list of the National Committee and all other committees, provide the membership list to members upon request, and assist committees with facilitating remote meetings as requested by the committee chair. They shall also be responsible for maintaining non-financial records of the organization, including the minutes of all meetings of the National Committee, the Charter and the Bylaws, the Standing Rules, and the formal reports of Officers, and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Executive Committee and the National Committee.

  5. Treasurer.

    The Treasurer shall be the financial secretary and ensure compliance with all Federal Election Commission (FEC) requirements, including regular reporting as mandated by law. The Treasurer shall also be responsible for overseeing the receipt and disbursement of all funds of the organization, which shall be administered in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and deposited in a Federally Chartered Banking Institution, and keep a record of receipts and disbursements which shall be audited biannually and upon demand of the National Committee. The Treasurer shall ensure that the organization has general liability insurance and be responsible for maintaining such insurance. The Treasurer shall publish and distribute a Finance Report to the National Committee within 14 days before a meeting of the National Committee.

  6. Democratic National Committeemembers.

    The Democratic National Committeemembers shall lobby and vote on behalf of the organization at every meeting of the Democratic National Committee. They shall coordinate the participation of the organization in the Democratic National Convention and any other conferences or committees of the Democratic National Committee. They shall also provide a written report to the National Committee within 14 days of any meeting of the Democratic National Committee or Democratic National Convention.

Section 3. Gavel Order

If the President is absent from a National Committee meeting, the following shall preside over the National Committee:

  1. Executive Vice President
  2. Chair pro tempore elected by the members of the National Committee present and voting. The election of the chair pro tempore shall be conducted by the Secretary.

Section 4. Eligibility

A member shall be 33 years old or younger to be eligible to be elected to an office at the national convention. An officer shall be 35 years old or under during the officer's entire term. The member elected President and Executive Vice President shall be of a different gender identities. The members elected as the organization's Democratic National Committee representatives shall be of different gender identities from each other. Each member elected Regional Vice President shall be a member of a chartered unit in their respective region during the members entire term.

Section 5. Elections

All officers shall be elected at the National Convention. Each office shall be elected separately. All delegates may vote to elect officers, except Regional Vice Presidents. Delegates of the chartered units in their respective region may vote to elect Regional Vice Presidents.

Section 6. Term of Office

The term of each officer shall begin at the adjournment of the National Convention where the officer was elected and shall end at the adjournment of the following  National Convention.

Section 7. Vacancies

If the President resigns or otherwise vacates office the Executive Vice President shall become President. If any other officer resigns or otherwise vacates office then the President shall appoint a member who is eligible to serve under Section 3 to serve as an interim officer. The National Committee shall confirm the President's appointment of an interim Executive Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer or DNC member to serve the remainder of the term of office at the next National Committee meeting. The National Committee members from the respective region shall confirm the President's appointment of an interim Regional Vice President to serve the remainder of the term of office at the next National Committee meeting.

Section 8. Removal from Office

An officer may be referred to Judicial Council for inactivity or noncompliance with the governing documents of this organization.

Article VII. Administrative Officers

Section 1. Composition

The President shall appoint a Parliamentarian, a General Counsel, and an International Affairs Officer.

Section 2. Additional Appointments

The President may appoint other administrative officers. Job duties of any additional appointed officers shall be provided in writing to the National Committee.

Section 3. Duties

  1. Parliamentarian.

    The Parliamentarian shall provide neutral and independent guidance on parliamentary rules and procedures to the officers, members of the National Committee, and any other member of the organization.

  2. General Counsel.

    The General Counsel shall be a licensed attorney and shall provide expert and strategic legal advice to the organization.

  3. International Affairs Officer.

    The International Affairs Officer shall lead the organization's delegation to the International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY) and all other international youth political organizations that the organization may participate in. The International Affairs Officer shall declare any foreign sources of income, both at the beginning of their term and on an ongoing basis.

Section 4. Term of Office

Each appointed officer shall serve until their replacement is nominated by the President.

Article VIII. National Committee

Section 1. Authority

The National Committee is the governing body of the Young Democrats of America between National Conventions.

Section 2. Composition

The National Committee is composed of each elected Officer, the chair of each constituency caucus, the president of each chartered unit, and two National Committee representatives from each chartered unit. The president of the High School Democrats of America or their designee and the president of the College Democrats of America or their designee are ex-officio members of the National Committee. Administrative officers, committee chairs, committee vice chairs, and committee secretaries shall be ex-officio, non-voting members of the National Committee.

Section 3. Requirements

No member of the National Committee may cast more than one vote. The National Committee representatives from a chartered unit shall be of different gender identities.

Section 4. Action Outside Meetings

The National Committee may establish procedures for action outside of a meeting by a postal, electronic, or similar method of voting.

Article IX. Committees

Section 1. Executive Committee

  1. Composition.

    The Executive Committee is composed of each elected officer, the Chair of Association of Chartered Unit Presidents and the Chair of the Council of Caucus Chairs.

  2. Duties.

    The Executive Committee shall schedule National Committee meetings, distribute funds, hire staff, outside vendors, and contractors, and perform other duties essential to the day-to-day success of the Young Democrats of America.

Section 2. Rules Committee

  1. Composition.

    Each chartered unit may appoint one member of their chartered unit who is a member of the Young Democrats of America to serve on the Rules Committee.

  2. Committee Officers.

    The President shall appoint a Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary. The Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary are ex-officio members of the committee.

  3. Duties.

    The Rules Committee shall review and make recommendations on all amendments to the governing documents proposed to the National Committee.

Section 3. Resolutions Committee

  1. Composition.

    Each chartered unit may appoint one member of their chartered unit who is a member of the Young Democrats of America to serve on the Resolutions Committee.

  2. Committee Officers.

    The President shall appoint a Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary. The Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary are ex-officio members of the committee.

  3. Duties.

    The Resolutions Committee shall review and make recommendations on resolutions proposed to the National Committee.

Section 4. Meetings & Site Selection Committee

  1. Composition.

    The Meetings and Site Selection Committee is composed of its committee officers and two members of different gender identities from each region. The Chair of the Association of Chartered Unit Presidents, the Chair of the Council of Caucus Chairs, the Treasurer, and the General Counsel are ex-officio, non-voting members of the committee. The President may appoint other appointed non-voting members to the committee.

  2. Committee Officers.

    The President shall appoint a Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary. The Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary are ex-officio members of the committee.

  3. Duties.

    The Meetings & Site Selection Committee shall recommend meeting locations to the Executive Committee and the national convention location to the National Committee.

Section 5. Diversity & Outreach Committee

  1. Composition.

    The Diversity & Outreach Committee shall be composed of two members of different gender identities from each region and one delegate from each chartered caucus as appointed by each caucus chair.

  2. Officers.

    The President shall appoint a Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary. The Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary are ex-officio members of the committee.

  3. Duties.

    The Diversity & Outreach Committee shall develop biennial diversity and outreach goals for the organization, monitor the progress of the Young Democrats of America from the national level through the chartered unit level toward established diversity and outreach goals, identify talent and build a leadership pipeline in the Young Democrats of America, and perform outreach during the appointment process to help ensure diverse appointments.

Section 6. Special Committees

  1. Creation.

    The National Committee may establish a special committee to carry out any duty. However, the President may form a special committee that can meet and carry out its duties, so long as a vote on such occurs at the National Committee meeting immediately following creation of the committee.

  2. Limitation on Special Committee.

    No special committee may carry out the duties of a committee otherwise named in this document.

  3. Composition.

    Unless otherwise provided in the order establishing the committee, the President may appoint any number of members to serve on a special committee and shall designate one member to serve as chair.

  4. Dissolution.

    A special committee is dissolved once the duty the special committee was formed to accomplish has been completed.

  5. Automatic Dissolution.

    A special committee is dissolved on the first day of the national convention held after the special committee is created.

  6. Reporting.

    Each special committee shall present a report to the National Committee at each regular National Committee meeting until the special committee is dissolved.

Section 7. Term of Office

Each appointed committee officer shall serve until their replacement is nominated by the President.

Section 8. Quorum

A quorum for any committee established under this Article to meeting shall consist of at least 25% of chartered units.

Article X. Judicial Council

Section 1. Composition

The Judicial Council is composed of two members of different gender identities from each region appointed by the regional vice president. No regional appointee may be a voting member of the National Committee. The General Counsel shall serve in an advisory capacity as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Judicial Council. The Judicial Council or its Chair may invite the Parliamentarian to provide limited guidance on parliamentary procedure.

Section 2. Officers

The President shall appoint a Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary who shall be voting members of the committee, but need not be otherwise appointed as a member of the committee. The officers shall be confirmed by the National Committee.

Section 3. Training

All members of the Judicial Council shall complete the YDA Judicial Council Trauma Informed Hearings Training not later than 60 days after assuming their offices. The Judicial Council Secretary shall keep training materials up to date.

Section 4. Authority

The Judicial Council shall have jurisdiction over intraunit disputes and complaints that have exhausted all other remediating options provided for in the unit's governing documents, interunit disputes and complaints, and national level disputes and complaints, including, but not limited to hearing cases that may result in removal or expulsion of an elected officer, appointed officer, member of the National Committee, or member of any committee.

Section 5. Duties

The Judicial Council shall resolve complaints and disputes and shall pursue, when appropriate, a disciplinary recommendation to the National Committee.

Section 6. Working with Outside Vendor

All members of Judicial Council, including the appointed officers, shall work with an outside vendor to assist in developing the processes, provide coaching, and assist with how to properly handle all complaints, specifically those related to sexual misconduct and violence, domestic violence, harassment, assault, bullying, retaliation, or fiduciary misconduct. The Judicial Council Chair, in their sole discretion, may refer complaints to the outside vendor for investigation if the outside vendor believes such is appropriate and within their abilities and scope of work.

Section 7. Possible Disciplinary Actions

The Judicial Council may recommend possible disciplinary action for an individual. Possible disciplinary action includes a censure, reprimand, expulsion from a meeting, suspension, a temporary or permanent ban from organizational activities and spaces, expulsion from the Young Democrats of America, or removal from elected office, appointed office, membership on the National Committee, membership on a committee, and honorary membership.

Section 8. Removal and Bans

When a recommendation is made to remove, suspend, ban, or expel an individual, the Judicial Council is required to provide the National Committee a summary of the complaint, details of finding, and justification for the recommendation, including evidence which supports their recommendation. Any vote to remove, ban, suspend, or expel an individual requires a two-thirds vote of National Committee members present and voting.

Section 9. Revocation of Chartered Unit

In a case of egregious conduct by a Chartered Unit, the Judicial Council may recommend that the charter of that unit be revoked.

Section 10. Confidentiality

All members of the Judicial Council shall maintain the strictest level of confidentiality regarding all matters brought before the Judicial Council, any evidence presented to the Judicial Council, and any deliberations that occur within the Judicial Council body.

Section 11. Failure to Maintain Confidentiality

If any member of the Judicial Council willfully violates the confidentiality of the body, the evidence before it, and its deliberation, the Chair and Vice Chair may, in their discretion, determine whether to suspend the member or initiate removal proceedings.

Article XI. Disciplinary Procedure

Section 1. Authority

The Judicial Council shall have the authority to impose disciplinary proceedings on an elected officer, appointed officer, member of the National Committee, or member of any committee.

Section 2. Referral Process and Procedures

Any complaint shall be sent to the Judicial Council Chair and General Counsel. Any member of the National Committee, appointed officer, or member of a committee may initiate a complaint on behalf of themselves or any other member.

Section 3. Emergency Procedures

The Judicial Council shall have the authority to hold an emergency meeting and take emergency temporary disciplinary actions based on an emergency incident that takes place at an in-person National Committee meeting or at a National Convention.

Section 4. Effect of Removal, Suspension, or Ban

If a chartered unit president or constituency caucus chair is removed from a meeting, suspended, temporarily or permanently banned from organizational activities, or expelled from the organization, the next highest ranking officer of their chartered unit or caucus shall have an uninstructed proxy to represent the organization during the period of removal, suspension, or ban. If a chartered unit's national committee representative is removed, suspended, or banned the other national committee representative of their chartered unit or caucus shall have an uninstructed proxy to represent the organization during the period of suspension.

Article XII. Conflict of Interest

Any member who has a clear financial interest shall recuse themselves from any vote in which an expenditure or endorsement is voted upon in which a conflict of interest occurs. No interested member may vote or lobby on the matter or be counted in determining the existence of a quorum at the meeting at which such matter is voted upon.
Whenever a member has a financial interest or other significant interest which would unduly prejudice them in any matter before the National Convention, National Committee, any other committee, or any other YDA entity, the Executive Committee shall ensure the following:

  1. The member's financial interest is fully disclosed to the committee.
  2. Payments to the interested member shall be reasonable and may not exceed fair market value.
  3. The minutes of meetings at which a vote is taken shall record such disclosure, abstention, and rationale for approval of the matter.
  4. In cases where a member has unclear or indirect financial interest, the Executive Committee has the authority to consider and vote on recusal of the member in question

Article XIII. Caucuses

Section 1. Purpose

Members belonging to a historically disenfranchised community, a historically underrepresented community, or members who are interested in an issue or cause that holds particular relevance to the broader membership of the Young Democrats of America may form a constituency caucus to promote participation by their respective members in the affairs of the Young Democrats of America and the Democratic Party.

Section 2. Chartering

The National Committee shall, at its first meeting after a National Convention, issue and renew caucus charters upon recommendation from the National Convention, provided that the caucus complies with all rules related to chartering. A caucus charter that has not been renewed by the end of the first National Committee meeting after the National Convention terminates at that time.

Section 3. Dissolution

A constituency caucus may be referred to the Judicial Council for inactivity or non-compliance with this Charter and any established standing rules of the organization.

Article XIV. Auxiliary Bodies

Section 1. Purpose

The Young Democrats of America shall recognize such auxiliary bodies as necessary to represent the function of those officers to the national organization and its bodies.

Section 2. Named

The Association of Chartered Unit Presidents (ACUP) and The Council of Caucus Chairs (CCC) are recognized as official auxiliary bodies of the Young Democrats of America.

Section 3. Association of Chartered Unit Presidents (ACUP)

  1. Composition.

    ACUP shall be composed of each chartered unit president.

  2. Duties.

    ACUP shall establish policies and governing procedures, which may not be inconsistent with the Young Democrats of America governing documents, to accomplish the goals set by the body.

  3. Filings with the Secretary.

    A copy of all policies and governing procedures, including any amendments adopted by ACUP, shall be filed with the Secretary.

Section 4. Council of Caucus Chairs (CCC)

  1. Composition.

    CCC shall be composed of each constituency caucus chair.

  2. Duties.

    CCC shall establish policies and governing procedures, that may not be inconsistent with the Young Democrats of America governing documents, to accomplish the goals set by the body.

  3. Filings with the Secretary.

    A copy of all policies and governing procedures, including any amendments adopted by CCC, shall be filed with the Secretary.

Article XV. Meetings

Section 1. Requirements to Meet

The National Committee shall meet at least twice in the first year of the biennium and at least twice in the second year of the biennium, not including the National Convention.

Section 2. In-Person Meetings

The National Committee shall hold in-person meetings according to the following rules: 

  1. Location.

    At least one National Committee meeting shall be held in each of the four regions per biennium. If no unit within a region wishes to host a meeting then a chartered unit from any region may host a meeting.

  2. Meetings Convened.

    Meetings may be called by the President or by petition consisting of 25 members representing at least 25% of chartered units.

  3. Notice.

    The Secretary shall send notice of an in-person meeting by email to each member of the National Committee not later than 60 days before the first day of the meeting.

  4. Quorum.

    A quorum for a National Committee meeting shall consist of 25 members representing at least 25% of chartered units.

  5. Canceling.

    The National Committee may establish procedures to cancel an in-person meeting or move it to a virtual format in an emergency.

  6. Proxy Voting.

    Members of the National Committee who are not present in person may appoint a proxy subject to any other limitations listed. No member may debate or vote virtually.

Section 3. Virtual Meetings

When the National Committee votes under Section 2(e) to move an in-person meeting of the National Committee to a virtual meeting, or when it is determined that a virtual meeting of the National Committee needs to be called, the virtual meeting shall be held according to the same rules as in-person meetings in Section 2.

Article XVI. National Convention

Section 1. Time & Place

The Young Democrats of America shall assemble in National Convention in June, July, or August of each odd numbered year at a location designated by the National Committee.

Section 2. Authority

The National Convention shall be the highest authority of the Young Democrats of America, subject to the Charter and Standing Rules. The National Convention shall:

  1. Recognize the territories entitled to participate in the affairs of YDA, including its conventions, conferences, and committees.
  2. Elect officers for the following biennium.
  3. Act on other business as appropriate.

Section 3. Delegates

The National Convention shall be composed of delegates chosen through processes which encourage the full participation of all members of the unit, particularly historically underrepresented groups. The Call to Convention shall allocate delegates to the National Convention in a manner consistent with the Charter.

Section 4. Rules

The National Convention shall adopt permanent rules governing the conduct of its business at the beginning of each Convention. Until the adoption of such permanent rules, the Convention shall be governed by temporary rules set forth in the Call to Convention.

Section 5. Administrative Committees

Administrative Committees shall plan and manage the Convention. 

  1. Host Committee.
    1. Composition.

      The members of the Host Committee shall be appointed by the host chartered unit.

    2. Duties.

      The Host Committee shall:

      1. Hire and supervise staff and vendors as needed, subject to the review, supervision, and approval of the Executive Committee.
         
      2. Submit a proposed budget and fundraising plan to the Executive Committee for approval.
         
      3. Implement the fundraising plan in conjunction with the President.
         
  2. Management Committee
    1. Composition.

      The Convention Management Committee shall be composed of the following individuals, or their designees if they are running for a National Officer position or otherwise wish to designate someone to perform their duties: the President, the Chair of the Host Committee, two additional members of the Host Committee, the Chair of the Meetings & Site Selection Committee, the Convention Chair, the Convention Secretary, the chair of each Convention Committee, the Convention Parliamentarian, the Chair of the Judicial Council, and up to three additional appointees selected by the President.

    2. Duties.

      The Convention Management Committee shall:

      1. Manage and implement the National Convention, including scheduling, logistics, and other matters.
      2. Ensure compliance with the rules of the National Convention.
      3. Provide adequate administrative, legal, and clerical facilities for the delegations and committees.

Section 6. Convention Committees

The business of the National Convention shall be delegated to Convention Committees on Credentials, Rules, and Platform. Each Convention Committee shall be composed of one delegate or alternate from each chartered unit. Each Convention Committee shall have a Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary appointed by the President. The Call to Convention may provide for additional committees whose duties are not already delegated to these committees:

  1. Credentials.

    The Credentials Committee shall certify the credentials of each unit's delegation, review all applications for unit charters and caucuses, and consider nominations for honorary membership.

  2. Rules.

    The Rules Committee shall recommend permanent rules to govern the conduct of the National Convention in accordance with the Charter, and may review and recommend proposed amendments to the governing documents.

  3. Platform.

    The Platform Committee shall review and recommend to the National Convention a biennial platform, and shall review and recommend all other submitted nonbinding resolutions.

Section 7. Special Committees

Additional special committees may be formed for any purpose other than those assigned to another committee. The Call to Convention shall provide for the composition and duties of any such committees.

Section 8. Convention Officers

The President shall appoint a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Sergeant at Arms, and Parliamentarian, subject to approval by the National Committee.

Article XVII. Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with any governing or special rules of order the organization may adopt.

Article XVIII. Amendment

Section 1. Amendment by the National Committee

  1. Any member may submit and sponsor an amendment to the Charter.
  2. An amendment to the Charter shall contain a title, the names of all members who sponsor the amendment, a brief description of the amendment and why the amendment is being submitted, each section of the Charter showing how it is being amended, and each section of the Charter showing the text if the amendment was approved.
  3. An amendment to the Charter shall be submitted to the Rules Committee Chair and the Secretary of the Young Democrats of America. An amendment to the Charter shall be submitted not later than 30 days before the next National Committee meeting.
  4. The Rules Committee Chair shall notify and provide a copy of any timely submitted amendment to the members of the Rules Committee not later than seven days after the amendment submission deadline in this Section. The Secretary of the Young Democrats of America shall place a copy of any timely submitted amendment on the organization's website or online accessible file system and notify the members of the organization of the submitted amendment not later than seven days after the amendment submission deadline in this Section.
  5. The Rules Committee shall review each timely submitted amendment to the Charter. The Rules Committee may make changes to the amendment and recommend adoption of the amendment to the National Committee during its consideration. The Rules Committee shall only refer a timely submitted amendment that has been recommended for adoption by the committee to the National Committee.
  6. An amendment to the Charter presented in the Rules Committee's report to the National Committee may be adopted by two-thirds of the National Committee present and voting.

Section 2. Amendment by the National Convention

  1. Any member may submit and sponsor an amendment to the Charter.
  2. An amendment to the Charter shall contain a title, the names of all members who sponsor the amendment, a brief description of the amendment and why the amendment is being submitted, each section of the Charter showing how it is being amended, and each section of the Charter showing the text if the amendment was approved.
  3. An amendment to the Charter shall be submitted to the National Convention Rules Committee Chair and the National Convention Secretary. An amendment to the Charter shall be submitted not later than 30 days before the first day of the National Convention. All amendments tabled or otherwise pending in the Rules Committee of the National Committee not later than 30 days before the first day of the National Convention shall also be referred to the National Convention Rules Committee.
  4. The National Convention Secretary shall place a copy of any timely submitted amendment on the National Convention's website or online accessible file system and notify the members of the organization of the submitted amendment not later than seven days after the amendment submission deadline in this Section.
  5. The National Convention Rules Committee shall review  each timely submitted amendment to the Charter. The committee may make changes to the amendment and recommend adoption of the amendment to the National Convention during its consideration. The Rules Committee shall only refer a timely submitted amendment that has been recommended for adoption by the committee to the National Convention.
  6. An amendment to the Charter presented in the National Convention Rules Committee's report to the National Convention may be adopted by two-thirds of the National Convention present and voting.

Section 3. Limitations on Amendment of Regions

  1. An amendment to the Charter to move a chartered unit from one region to another must be supported by the president of the affected unit, or the majority of the delegates from the unit present and voting at the National Convention. The unit president may indicate their support at the National Committee meeting where the amendment is considered or by filing a statement of support with the YDA Secretary or Convention Secretary. This does not apply to a general revision of the region boundaries or to an amendment moving a territory with no currently chartered unit.
  2.  An amendment to the Charter may not cause a region to be discontiguous within the contiguous United States.
  3. An amendment to the limitations in this section may not take effect until the next meeting of the National Committee after it is adopted.

Article XIX. Nondiscrimination

Section 1. Nondiscrimination Policy

The Young Democrats of America and its chartered units may not establish any rule or take any action that discriminates against anyone on the basis of age (unless required by law or insurance), color, creed, disability, gender expression, gender identity, immigration status, nationality, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. This article does not prohibit affirmative action to increase participation among underrepresented or marginalized groups.

Article XX. Open Meetings Policy

Section 1. Open Meetings Policy

All meetings of the Young Democrats of America shall be open to the public excluding those portions of meetings of the National Committee concerning the disclosure of details, recommendations, or disciplinary actions in regard to complaints that are pending adjudication and ratification by the National Committee. Members of the National Committee shall be prohibited from disclosing details of executive sessions with outside parties and entities. All portions of meetings that move into executive session shall be preceded and followed by an announced five (5) minute recess. All votes that occur during meetings of the Young Democrats of America shall not be taken by secret ballot. Meetings shall be publicized on the public website of the Young Democrats of America no later than the notification date required for membership and minutes shall be taken and made accessible.

Charter Enacting Clause

The spirit of this is to ensure that no individual who currently has a position in YDA or a vote on the national committee shall lose their vote due to the implementation of this Charter.

Section 1. Immediate Effect

  1. The following articles shall go into effect immediately upon passage of the Charter subject to any exceptions provided for in Section 4 below: Article I (Name), Article II (Mission & Vision), Article III (Members), Article IV (Chartered Units), Article X (Judicial Council), Article XI (Disciplinary Procedure), Article XII (Conflict of Interest) Article XVI (National Convention), Article XVII (Parliamentary Authority), Article XVIII (Amendments), Article XIX (Nondiscrimination), and Article XX (Open Meetings Policy).

Section 2. Effective Upon Start of 2023 National Convention

  1. The following articles shall go into effect at the start of the 2023 National Convention subject to any exceptions provided for in Section 4 below: Article V (Regions), Article VI (Elected Officers), Article XIII (Caucuses), and Article XIV (Auxiliary Bodies).

Section 3. Effective Upon Adjournment of 2023 National Convention

  1. The following articles shall go into effect at the adjournment of the 2023 National Convention subject to any exceptions provided for in Section 4 below: Article VII (Administrative Officers), Article VIII (National Committee), Article IX (Committees), and Article XV (Meetings).

Section 4. Other Effective Dates, Incorporations, and Exceptions

  1. Article III, Section 3. Any individual who has the title of Young Democrat for Life shall automatically be given the title of Honorary Member immediately upon passage of the Charter.
  2. Article VI, Sections 4-5. DNC members shall be elected beginning at the 2025 National Convention.
  3. Article X, Section 1. This specific section shall take effect upon adjournment of the 2023 National Convention.
  4. Article XVI, Section 5. This specific section shall take effect upon adjournment of the 2023 National Convention.

Section 5. Conflicts in Governing Documents

  1. This document shall supersede and control over any conflicts with the charter, bylaws, and standing rules as of April 3, 2022.

Standing Rules

This document defines the administrative processes (timelines, quorum, procedures, etc.) that establish specifics for conduct for The Young Democrats of America. Anything not covered in the governing documents defaults to Robert's Rules of Order.

Member Procedures

Rule 1. Code of Conduct

The following Code of Conduct shall be observed by all members of the Young Democrats of America (YDA):

  1. Members shall observe and abide by the Charter, Standing Rules, and all other rules of the YDA.
  2. Members shall refrain from violating all applicable federal, state, and tribal laws.
  3. Members shall conduct themselves with respect towards other members while attending YDA events or acting in an official capacity as a representative of YDA.
  4. Members shall observe and abide by the rules of order and maintain decorum during meetings.
  5. Members may not provide any individual under the age of 21 with alcohol or in any other way facilitate or encourage underage drinking during YDA events.
  6. Members are prohibited from engaging in any form of harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and retaliation.
    1. Harassment is defined as any unwelcome conduct that is based on a person's sex, national origin, race, color, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, or other immutable characteristics. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
      1. unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors;
      2. other verbal or physical harassment;
      3. offensive remarks;
      4. the use of social media or mobile technology to portray another individual in a sexually explicit way; and
      5. Stalking.
    2. Sexual violence is defined to include, but is not limited to, the following:
      1. rape, sexual battery, and sexual assault;
      2. any other action which involves unconsented sexual touching, fondling, penetration, or the use of an object to touch, fondle or penetrate another individual;
      3. forcing or coercing another individual to perform nonconsensual sexual acts; and
      4. sexual acts involving anyone who is underage, unconscious, asleep, intoxicated due to alcohol, drugs, or another substance, or is otherwise incapacitated.
    3. Domestic and dating violence is defined as conduct by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim (or a person with whom the victim shares a child in common) that causes bodily injury to the victim, another person, an animal owned by the victim, or causes the victim or another person the belief that they will suffer bodily injury.
    4. Retaliation is defined as to include, but not limited to, threats, intimidation, reprisals, and adverse organizational actions against a person based on their report of harassment, sexual violence, or domestic or dating violence.
  7. Members may not discriminate against any other member on the basis of race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, sex, gender, disabilty, age, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, immigration statuts, physical appearance, military or veteran status, or status as a victim of domestic violence, assault, or stalking.
  8. Members who are in a position of managing, reporting, or using funds on behalf of YDA may not engage in fiduciary malfeasance which includes money laundering, theft of money or property, misuse of funds, or fraudulent accounting practices. 
  9. Members may not offer, accept payments of money, or other items of value in exchange for entering a particular vote.
  10. Members may not share information outside of YDA that is provided during an executive session or otherwise deemed as not for public dissemination under the Charter and Standing Rules.

Rule 2. Affirmative Action, Outreach, and Inclusion

  1. Affirmative Action.

    Affirmative Action is defined as the aggressive recruitment, selection, placement, and retention of members from historically underrepresented and excluded groups in all party affairs. Party affairs include the election of all officers, the creation of caucuses, appointing committees members, holding meetings and conventions, and the selection of staff members.

  2. Outreach and Inclusion.

    Outreach and Inclusion activities are wide-ranging, intentional, results-oriented, everyday efforts by the Young Democrats of America to engage and retain participation from historically underrepresented and excluded groups. All officers, caucuses, committees, meetings, conventions, and staff members shall engage consistently in outreach and inclusion. By engaging underrepresented groups through collaboration, flexibility, and fairness, the Young Democrats of America shall enable current and potential members to contribute to their fullest in all organizational activities. Anyone who appoints an officer, committee officer, committee member, a leader of an advocacy group, or another appointee shall attempt to engage in outreach and inclusion activities when considering who to appoint to a position.

  3. Affirmative Action, Outreach, and Inclusion Statement.

    The following Affirmative Action, Outreach, and Inclusion Statement is to be read at the beginning of all National Committee meetings, National Conventions, and all other meetings where the election or nomination of any officer or position occurs: 

    "The Young Democrats of America seeks to end discrimination and bigotry in all its forms and to inspire broad participation in the Democratic Party. As part of our commitment to outreach and inclusion, we will take affirmative steps to increase the participation of members of all underrepresented communities. When you vote today, remember this commitment includes electing members of underrepresented communities to positions within the Young Democrats of America, the Democratic Party, and in public office."

  4. Affirmative Action, Outreach, and Inclusion Reminder.

    After the Affirmative Action, Outreach, and Inclusion Statement has been read, the Affirmative Action, Outreach, and Inclusion Reminder shall be read in lieu of the full Affirmative Action, Outreach, and Inclusion Statement before voting begins in any election:

    "As you vote today, remember that the Young Democrats of America is committed to electing members of underrepresented communities to positions within the Young Democrats of America, the Democratic Party, and in public office."

Chartered Unit Procedures

Rule 3. Application for Unit Charters

  1. To receive approval by the National Convention Credentials Committee, a chartered unit application must contain the following:
    1. The name of the unit and the territory the unit is representing.
    2. The date of the most recent unit convention, a copy of the unit's governing documents, and the unit's code of conduct.
    3. A list of unit officers, including names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, dates of election, estimated dates of term expiration, and dates of birth. Unit officers serving on the National Committee must provide personal phone numbers and email addresses.
    4. A certification signed by the unit's president and by at least one of the unit's national committee representatives.
    5. A certification signed by at least one member of the Democratic National Committee representing the applying unit's territory stating that the unit is recognized, sanctioned, or authorized by the Democratic Party of that territory as that territory's official organization of Young Democrats and that the unit's officers were elected subsequent to the preceding National Convention. However, the host unit of the National Convention may schedule its unit convention within 30 days after the close of the National Convention.
  2. For units chartering at the National Convention:
    1. The Convention Credentials Committee Chair must begin accepting chartering applications at least 90 days prior to the National Convention. An application must be submitted electronically to the Convention Credentials Committee Chair. No chartering application will be accepted if submitted less than 7 days prior to the National Convention. 
    2. The Convention Credentials Committee Chair must respond to the unit within 7 days of receipt of any initial or secondary application submissions. Any subsequent submissions must be responded to within 30 days.
  3. Chartered unit applications submitted outside the National Convention must be submitted electronically to the Secretary not later than 30 days prior to the next National Committee meeting at which the application will be considered.

Elected and Administrative Officer Procedures

Rule 4. Appointments

  1. Applications for an appointed officer position must be opened within 30 days after the National Convention adjourns and must be held open for at least 30 days. The application must contain the title of the position, a description of the position and its duties, and who the officer will report to.
  2. Nominations for appointed officer positions must be announced within 90 days after the National Convention adjourns. Appointments must be confirmed by the National Committee at the first National Committee Meeting of the biennium. Each person nominated to an appointed office by the President shall serve in the position as an interim appointee until confirmed by the National Committee.

Rule 5. Leave of Absence for Elected and Appointed Officers

Any elected or appointed officer may take one leave of absence for up to 6 months. If the leave of absence extends past 6 months then the officer will be considered to have resigned. Upon receiving notice of the leave of absence, the President will make an interim appointment to fill the position until the officer returns. If the President takes a leave of absence, the Executive Vice President will serve as President until the President returns.

Rule 6. Expenditures & Financial Requests

  1. Any expenditure of less than $500 may be made at the discretion of the President.
  2. Any expenditure of $500 and over must be approved by a vote of the Executive Committee.
  3. Expenditure requests made by a member of the Young Democrats of America will be handled as follows:
    1. The Member must submit a request to the Executive Committee containing the following information:
      1. The name of the member or entity making the request.
      2. The amount that is being requested.
      3. The name of the business or entity that YDA would be making a payment to and what the funds will be used for.
      4. The total amount of funds that the member or entity has requested this biennium.
      5. The total amount of funds that the member or entity has raised for YDA this biennium.
    2. Upon receipt of an expenditure request, the Executive Committee must hold a vote within 30 days to either approve or deny the request.

Rule 7. Foreign Engagements & Travel

  1. Travel.

    A member traveling internationally as a YDA representative must provide notice to the Executive Committee and International Affairs Officer not later than 14 days before the international travel is to begin. The Executive Committee and International Affairs Officer shall have seven days from the date of receiving the notice to prohibit the member from traveling internationally as a YDA representative. The Secretary shall give notice of the Executive Committee's decision to the member not later than seven days before the international travel is to begin.

  2. Hosting.

    A member hosting an international guest as a YDA representative must provide notice to the Executive Committee and International Affairs Officer not later than 14 days before the international guest arrives in the United States. The Executive Committee and International Affairs Officer shall have seven days from the date of receiving the notice to prohibit the member from serving as a YDA representative. The Secretary shall give the Executive Committee's decision to the member not later than seven days before the international guest arrives in the United States.

National Committee Procedures

Rule 8. Proxy Voting

  1. A voting member of the National Committee may appoint a proxy to attend an in-person meeting of the National Committee in place of the voting member by filing a proxy statement with the YDA Secretary. Voting members issuing proxies shall be considered present via their proxy holder and the proxy holder shall enjoy all the rights and privileges of the voting member.
  2. A proxy statement must include the name of the voting member appointing the proxy, the name of the member of the organization being appointed to serve as the proxy, and the place of the National Committee meeting.
  3. A proxy shall only be carried by a member of the organization. A proxy shall be general, uninstructed, and transferable unless otherwise specified in the proxy statement.
  4. No member of the organization may carry more than two proxies.
  5. A proxy statement shall be accepted in a manner as established by the Secretary.

Committee Procedures

Rule 9. Committees

  1. General Provisions.

    The following rules shall apply to every committee established by the Young Democrats of America except the National Committee:

    1. Each committee, at a minimum, shall be required to meet in conjunction with every National Committee meeting.
    2. Any committee may meet up to seven days before the first general session of the National Committee meeting. The committee chair shall give, at a minimum, seven days notice to each committee member of when the committee meeting will occur.
    3. Any committee may meet in between National Committee meetings. The committee chair shall give, at a minimum, seven days notice to each committee member of when the committee meeting will occur.
    4. Each chartered unit president shall appoint a member of the chartered unit to a committee by communicating the name and contact information of the appointment to the committee chair and the YDA Secretary.
    5. The regional Vice President shall appoint a member of a chartered unit in their region to any committee required to have regional members by communicating the name and contact information of appointment to the committee chair and YDA Secretary.
    6. A member of a committee may appoint a proxy to attend a committee meeting and vote in place of the member by filing a proxy statement with the committee chair. A proxy may only be carried by a member of the committee member's chartered unit. A proxy shall be general, uninstructed, and transferable unless otherwise specified in the proxy statement. A proxy statement shall be accepted in a manner as established by the committee chair.
    7. Each committee may meet in person or virtually using audio-video technology.
  2. Rules Committee.

    The chair of the Rules Committee may decide where the language of a proposed amendment shall be placed in the governing rules of the organization and make changes to the proposed amendment for clarity that does not change the content or substance of the proposed amendment.

  3. Resolutions Committee.

    The following rules shall apply to the Resolutions Committee:

    1. Jurisdiction. The committee shall review all resolutions and motions regarding public policy, the honoring of an individual, and any other subject matter that is not within the jurisdiction of any other standing committee that is filed with the National Committee.
    2. Any resolution or motion that is referred to the committee regarding public policy shall include a plan of action for the Young Democrats of America to support the public policy.
    3. Before any motion or resolution that contains a provision requiring any officer to act filed with the National Committee and referred to the Resolutions Committee is considered, the sponsor of the motion or resolution shall inform the officer that would be required to act that the motion or resolution has been filed and provide a copy of the resolution to the officer.

Rule 10. Advocacy Group

An Advocacy Group may be established for the purpose of advocating political and public policy issues important to the Young Democrats of America or contained in the most recently adopted platform. Any Advocacy Group established shall undertake issue advocacy using an intersectional perspective.

  1. Creation.

    The National Committee may establish an Advocacy Group at any national committee meeting. To petition the National Committee to establish an Advocacy Group, a petition signed by at least 20 members of the National Committee representing at least two regions must be presented to the Secretary no later than 7 days prior to a meeting of the National Committee.

  2. Membership.

    Any member of the Young Democrats of America may join an Advocacy Group. Each constituency caucus may name a member of that caucus to serve on the Advocacy Group.

  3. Rules.

    Each Advocacy Group shall establish policies and governing procedures, which may not be inconsistent with the Young Democrats of America governing documents, to accomplish the goals set by the body. The governing procedures must include how leadership of the Advocacy Group is to be selected.

  4. Termination.

    An Advocacy Group may be terminated in the following manner:

    1. the Advocacy Group's actions or goals runs in opposition to the organization's most recently adopted platform;
    2. the Advocacy Group no longer has any members;
    3. the Advocacy Group has held no meeting within the biennium;
    4. the Advocacy Group has taken no action in issue advocacy within the biennium; or
    5. the Advocacy Group is dissolved by the National Committee.

Judicial Council Procedures

Rule 11. Judicial Council Procedures

  1. Process and Procedures for Complaints Unrelated to Article IX, Section 6
    1. Notice.

      Notice to all parties to a dispute shall be provided to the mailing address or email address provided by the chartered unit or individual to the Secretary of the Young Democrats of America. Notice shall be sent by email whenever possible.

    2. Recusal.

      Any member or appointed officer of the Judicial Council with any interest in a dispute that will directly impact their ability to be impartial or could appear, to an objective outside observer, that their impartiality may be affected in any issue before the Council shall recuse themselves from participating in the hearing and deliberations in that matter. Should a party object to a member or officer's ability to participate in a dispute, the Council shall take a vote prior to the hearing regarding whether the member or officer in question shall be permitted to participate.

    3. Timeline and Meeting Time.

      After proper notice of a matter being referred to the Judicial Council is made, the Chair shall call an initial meeting and provide notice not later than 14 days before the meeting to the members and the parties to the referred matter. For all other meetings of the Judicial Council, the Chair shall call a meeting and provide notice not later than ten days before the meeting to the members, if the meeting is a teleconference or video conference hearing, and not less than 14 days, if the meeting is an in-person meeting or hearing.

    4. Distribution of Complaint.

      The Chair shall make available to all members of the Judicial Council and all parties to the complaint a copy of the initial complaint, all responses received, any supporting documentation and additional evidence received from any party or that is a matter of public record at least one week prior to the hearing. Responses, documentation, or evidence received after the one week deadline prior to the meeting shall be presumed to be inadmissible unless a majority vote of the seated Judicial Council members vote to make such admissible.

    5. Submission Deadlines.

      After receipt of notice of a matter referred to the Judicial Council, either party may submit a response, amended complaint, amended response, or additional evidence to the Chair of the Judicial Council not later than seven days prior to the meeting called to hear the matter. Any pleadings or evidence not received within this time frame will not be part of the record and may not be used by any party during the hearing unless admitted upon motion for good cause to fairly adjudicate the issue(s) by a majority vote of the seated Judicial Council members.

    6. Dismissal Motions.

      Any member of the Judicial Council may move to dismiss the complaint for failure of the complainant to make a complaint upon which the Judicial Council can grant relief. A member shall notify the Chair, Vice Chair, or Secretary of the Judicial Council by email with a written motion to dismiss the complaint. The motion to dismiss shall be placed on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Judicial Council. If no regular meeting is scheduled, the Chair shall call a special meeting of the Judicial Council to hear the motion. A motion to dismiss the complaint must be approved by a majority vote of the seated Judicial Council members.

    7. Notification to Complainant.

      The complainant shall be notified, by email, of the pending motion to dismiss the complaint at least 10 days before the hearing. The complainant shall be given the opportunity to provide a written statement to the Judicial Council in response to the motion. The written statement shall be submitted to the Chair or Secretary not later than 48 hours before the scheduled hearing.

    8. Witness Lists.

      All parties shall submit a witness list for the meeting regarding the referred matter not less than 48 hours prior to the meeting where the witnesses will be heard, unless that Chair provides for a separate deadline. Any changes to this witness list after the 48 hour deadline shall be deemed out of order unless a majority vote of the seated Judicial Council members vote to permit the change.

    9. Notification of Hearing Length.

      All parties shall submit an estimated time frame it will take for them to present their case and the Chair shall notify the parties of any applicable time limits.

    10. Legal Counsel or Advocate.

      All parties shall have the right to be represented by legal counsel or an advocate to present witnesses and to present evidence in their own defense. The legal counsel or advocate shall submit to the Chair a notice stating which party they are assisting at least one week before the hearing.

  2. Hearings for Complaints Unrelated to Article IX, Section 6
    1. Recording of Hearings.

      All hearings and proceedings before the Judicial Council may be recorded and made available to the National Committee upon request.

    2. Questioning of Witnesses.

      Members of the Judicial Council may ask questions of any party or witness at the time that the witness is brought before the council. The Chair shall ensure that all questions asked by a member of the Judicial Council are germane to the proceedings.

    3. Opening Statement.

      Each party shall have the right to present an opening statement to the Judicial Counsel lasting not more than 10 minutes.

    4. Order of Hearing.

      After opening statements, the complainant shall present their witnesses and evidence regarding the alleged matter. After the complainant presents their case, the respondent shall present their witnesses and evidence regarding the alleged matter.

    5. Rebuttal.

      After the complainant and respondent have presented their case and supporting witnesses, the complainant will be given an opportunity to respond, followed by a response by the respondent. After this rebuttal the seated members of the Judicial Council will be allowed to ask questions of the complainant and respondent, and of their respective counsel or advocates. The complainant and respondent will be afforded an opportunity to give a closing statement.

    6. Closing Statement.

      Each party shall have not more than 10 minutes to present a closing statement.

  3. Procedures Following Hearing for Complaints Unrelated to Article IX, Section 6.

    Once all parties have presented their case, the Judicial Council will deliberate separately to review the matter and draft a report to present to the National Committee at the next National Committee meeting. The presentation of the Judicial Council report shall occur in executive session.

  4. Process and Procedures for Complaints Related to Article IX, Section 6.

    If a complaint is appropriate to send to an outside vendor per the Judicial Council Chair it shall be referred to an outside vendor.

    1. Investigation.

      The outside vendor or organization shall conduct an investigation in a professional manner based on their own guidelines and procedures.

    2. Notice to YDA.

      Upon completing an investigation, the outside vendor or organization shall provide all pertinent information and recommended disciplinary action, if any, to the Judicial Council Chair and General Counsel.

    3. National Committee Involvement.

      The Judicial Council Chair shall present to the National Committee the report of the outside vendor or organization and their recommended disciplinary action, if any. The presentation of the report shall occur in executive session.

  5. Notice of Recommended Action.

    All parties to a complaint will receive notice of the Judicial Council's ruling at the same time the report is transmitted to the National Committee.

Caucus Procedures

Rule 12. Caucus Chartering

  1. The Convention Credentials Committee Chair shall begin accepting initial caucus chartering applications at least 90 days prior to the National Convention. Applications must be submitted electronically to the Convention Credentials Committee Chair. No caucus chartering application will be accepted if submitted less than seven days prior to the National Convention.
    1. The Convention Credentials Committee Chair shall respond to the unit within seven days of receipt of any initial or secondary application submissions. Any subsequent submissions shall be responded to within 30 days.
  2. Caucus chartering applications must be signed by the chair of the caucus and contain the following:
    1. The name of the caucus.
    2. A copy of the caucus's governing documents.
    3. The number of meetings the caucus held during the last biennium.
    4. The contact information of the chair of the caucus.
  3. Caucuses shall additionally submit the following supplemental chartering information not later than seven days before to the first National Committee meeting of the biennium:
    1. A Caucus Biennium Plan to include a statement of the caucus's purpose, goals for the biennium, a budget (if any), and a strategic plan to achieve the stated goals.
    2. The signature and contact information for the current chair or presiding officer of the caucus.

Meetings Procedures

Rule 13. Site Selection for National Committee Meetings

  1. The Meetings and Site Selection Committee shall make recommendations to the Executive Committee for the location of in-person National Committee meetings.
  2. When making recommendations on where to have an in-person National Committee meeting, the Meetings and Site Selection Committee shall consider the following factors:
    1. Ensuring compliance with any Charter provisions regarding where meetings shall occur.
    2. The last time the chartered unit bidding to host a meeting hosted either a National Committee meeting or the National Convention.
    3. The costs of travel to the meeting site.
    4. The costs of lodging at the proposed hotel
    5. Diversity of the host unit. For purposes of this rule "diversity" shall be based on the composition of the Executive Board, Committee, or similar of a chartered unit and shall include consideration of different gender identities, racial identity, religious background, sexual orientation, distribution of places of residence, and other relevant information.
  3. The Executive Committee shall take the final vote and make the final decision as to the location of all National Committee meetings.
  4. When considering where to have an in-person National Committee meeting the Executive Committee shall consider all the same factors as the Meetings and Site Selection Committee. They shall give preference to the recommendation of the Meetings and Site Selection Committee.
  5. The Executive Committee shall have final say over the date and location of all in-person National Committee meetings.

Rule 14. National Committee Meetings

  1. Notice shall be given at least 60 days in advance of any in-person National Committee meeting and at least 30 days before any virtual National Committee meeting.
    1. Notice shall include, at a minimum, the dates of the meeting, location, host hotel, and request and registration fee waiver.
  2. All general sessions of the National Committee shall be livestreamed for all portions that are not in executive session or are dealing with confidential financial matters. The Executive Committee and/or the Meetings and Site Selection Committee shall make a good faith effort to livestream as many training sessions and other non-general sessions as feasible.
  3. No member may debate more than two times on a given issue or topic with debate limited to three minutes per speaker each time they speak.
  4. Officer reports shall be submitted in advance of the final general session to the National Committee in writing. Any oral reports shall be limited to two minutes.

Rule 15. Virtual Location for National Committee Meeting During Emergency

  1. In-person National Committee meetings may be moved to a virtual meeting in the following situations:
    1. The designated meeting location is currently experiencing or has recently experienced one of the following:
      1. A natural or man-made disaster.
      2. A terrorist incident or attack.
      3. A public health crisis or epidemic.
      4. Armed conflict or civil unrest; and
    2. The designated meeting location is within an area where an emergency declaration has been issued by:
      1. A mayor or municipal government.
      2. The government of a county or county-equivalent subdivision.
      3. The governor of a U.S state, commonwealth, or territory.
      4. The President of the United States of America.
      5. Federal, state, local, or territorial government agencies properly exercising their legal authority to make such emergency declarations.
    3. A YDA elected officer has died within 30 days of the scheduled start of the National Committee meeting.
  2. If the above criteria are met, an in-person meeting may be moved to a virtual meeting by either a 4/5 vote of the Executive Committee or a petition submitted to the Secretary and signed electronically or physically by 1/3 of the voting membership of the National Committee.
  3. The YDA Secretary shall give notice to the National Committee when an in-person meeting is moved to a virtual meeting. Notice shall be given to the National Committee not later than 30 days after the meeting is moved to a virtual meeting.
  4. If a meeting is moved from in-person to virtual, a good faith effort shall be made by the Meetings and Site Selection Committee and the Executive Committee to have the next in-person meeting during the same biennium to be in the same chartered unit.

Rule 16. Accessibility for Meetings

Efforts shall be made to ensure that any rooms where meetings or other events are being held are fully accessible and ADA compliant.

Rule 17. Labor for Meetings

Efforts shall be made to ensure that any vendors hired where meetings or other events are occurring shall employ union labor.

Rule 18. Electronic Voting

  1. An electronic vote may be called either by the President or by a petition which has been signed by at least 20% of the National Committee and filed with the Secretary.
  2. The following procedure shall be used once an electronic vote is called:
    1. The Secretary must send notice within seven days of receiving the call for an electronic vote. The Secretary shall include in the notice the matter to be voted on, the member who is sponsoring the matter, who calls for the electronic vote, and when the electronic vote will take place.
    2. After notice is sent by the Secretary, a seven day period must be allowed for debate. Debate must be open, unmuted, and moderated by a member of the Executive Committee.
    3. After the debate period is closed, the Secretary shall send the electronic voting form to the members of the National Committee. Voting will be open for seven days after the voting form is provided to the National Committee members.
    4. After the voting period is closed, the Secretary shall notify the National Committee of the results.

Rule 19. Content & Trigger Warnings

  1. Definition.

    Topics of discussions that require a trigger or content warning notice include the following:

    1. Violence, Sexual Violence, or Domestic and Dating Violence;
    2. Child abuse;
    3. Self-harm or Suicide;
    4. Eating disorders, body hatred, and fatphobia;
    5. Mental illness and ableism;
    6. Racism and racial slurs;
    7. Sexism and misogyny;
    8. Hateful language directed at religious groups;
    9. Transphobia and transmisogyny;
    10. Homophobia and heterosexism;
    11. Any other topics that may cause intense emotional, physiological, or psychological symptoms for individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other anxiety disorders.
  2. Use.

    If any matter or agenda item comes before the National Committee, National Convention, or any other body of YDA that discusses one or more of the topics listed in No. 1 of this Rule, the presenter shall be required to inform the body that such topic(s) will be discussed. The President and Secretary shall clearly note on the written agenda any items that they are aware may discuss a topic listed in paragraph 1 of this Rule.

  3. Procedure.

    At the time of such warning, the body shall recess for a period of 5 minutes to allow for any member to excuse themselves. Any member who chooses to excuse themselves may designate a temporary proxy to another individual by informing the Secretary of the proxy. At the conclusion of the matter or agenda item, the body shall recess for a period of 5 minutes to allow for members to return to the meeting.

Rule 20. Minors

Any person under 18 years of age shall be accompanied by either their parent/guardian or another adult that has been granted legal permission by the parent/guardian to be responsible for the person during the meeting or convention. Permission slips must be sent to the YDA Secretary and General Counsel to be valid.

National Convention Procedures

Rule 21. Site Selection for National Convention

  1. Bidding.

    The Meetings and Site Selection Committee must establish and release bid criteria and open bidding within 60 days of the committee officers confirmation by the National Committee. Bidding must be held open for 60 days. Bid criteria must include a template for submitting bids and a rubric that will be used by the Committee to evaluate bids.

  2. Site Selection Report.

    The Meetings and Site Selection Committee shall prepare and submit a written report of its findings and recommendations including a ranking of bids from most to least desirable. A copy of the report shall be distributed to the National Committee with its agenda within 30 days of the close of bidding.

  3. Failure to Select.

    Should no bids be properly submitted or deemed acceptable by the Meetings and Site Selection Committee, the committee may re-solicit bids, create an independent Convention bid, or take any other action necessary to approve a bid by August 15 of an even numbered year. Should no bid be approved by the National Committee by August 15 of an even numbered year, the President shall select a Convention site.

  4. National Committee Consideration.

    Selection of a Convention site is conducted as the filling of a blank. The three sites ranked most desirable by the Site Selection Committee are automatically nominated for consideration. Upon the closure of nominations, a 15 minute presentation may be given by each site under consideration. Debate may proceed in regular order following presentations, after which the National Committee shall vote to approve a bid. If no site gets a majority on the first ballot, the site with the fewest votes is eliminated from consideration and a runoff election shall take place between the remaining candidates. This process repeats until a site receives a majority of votes. If the final ballot is between two sites, the losing site shall be designated as the alternate site, otherwise the National Committee shall repeat this process without the winning site to determine the alternate site.

Rule 22. Virtual Location for National Convention During Emergency

  1. In-person National Convention may be moved to a virtual location in the following situations:
    1. The designated convention location is currently experiencing or has recently experienced one of the following:
      1. A natural or man-made disaster.
      2. A terrorist incident or attack.
      3. A public health crisis or epidemic.
      4. Armed conflict or civil unrest; and
    2. The designated convention location is within an area where an emergency declaration has been issued by:
      1. A mayor or municipal government.
      2. The government of a county or county-equivalent subdivision.
      3. The governor of a U.S state, commonwealth, or territory.
      4. The President of the United States of America.
      5. Federal, state, local, or territorial government agencies properly exercising their legal authority to make such emergency declarations.
  2. If the above criteria are met, an in-person convention may be moved to a virtual location by either a 4/5 vote of the Executive Committee or a petition submitted to the Secretary and signed electronically or physically by 1/3 of the voting membership of the National Committee.
  3. The YDA Secretary shall give notice to the National Committee when an in-person convention is moved to a virtual location. Notice shall be given to the National Committee not later than 30 days after the convention is moved to a virtual location.
  4. If a convention is moved from in-person to virtual, a good faith effort shall be made by the Meetings and Site Selection Committee and the Executive Committee to have the next in-person meeting during the next biennium to be in the same chartered unit.

Rule 23. Accessibility for Convention

Efforts shall be made to ensure that any rooms where meetings or other events are being held are fully accessible and ADA compliant.

Rule 24. Labor for Convention

Efforts shall be made to ensure that any vendors hired where meetings or other events are occurring shall employ union labor.

Amendment Procedures

Rule 25. Amendment Proposal Requirements

  1. Amendment by the National Committee.
    1. Any member may submit and sponsor an amendment to the Standing Rules.
    2. An amendment to the Standing Rules shall contain a title, the names of all members who sponsor the amendment, a brief description of the amendment and why the amendment is being submitted, an estimate of the time, resources, and cost to implement the amendment, who in the organization will be affected by the amendment, each section of the Standing Rules showing how it is being amended, and each section of the Standing Rules showing the text if the amendment was approved.
    3. An amendment to the Standing Rules shall be submitted to the Rules Committee Chair and the Secretary of the Young Democrats of America. An amendment to the Standing Rules shall be submitted not later than 30 days before the next National Committee meeting.
    4. The Rules Committee Chair shall notify and provide a copy of any timely submitted amendment to the members of the Rules Committee not later than seven days after the amendment submission deadline in this Section. The Secretary of the Young Democrats of America shall place a copy of any timely submitted amendment on the organization's website or online accessible file system and notify the members of the organization of the submitted amendment not later than seven days after the amendment submission deadline in this Section.
    5. The Rules Committee shall review each timely submitted amendment to the Charter. The Rules Committee may make changes to the amendment and recommend adoption of the amendment to the National Committee during its consideration. The Rules Committee shall only refer a timely submitted amendment that has been recommended for adoption by the committee to the National Committee.
    6. An amendment to the Standing Rules presented in the Rules Committee's report to the National Committee may be adopted by a majority of the National Committee present and voting.
  2. Amendment by the National Convention.
    1. Any member may submit and sponsor an amendment to the Standing Rules.
    2. An amendment to the Standing Rules shall contain a title, the names of all members who sponsor the amendment, a brief description of the amendment and why the amendment is being submitted, who in the organization will be affected by the amendment, an estimate of the time and resources to implement the amendment, each section of the Standing Rules showing how it is being amended, and each section of the Standing Rules showing the text if the amendment was approved.
    3. An amendment to the Standing Rules shall be submitted to the National Convention Rules Committee Chair and the National Convention Secretary. An amendment to the Standing Rules shall be submitted not later than 30 days before the first day of the National Convention. All amendments tabled or otherwise pending in the Rules Committee of the National Committee not later than 30 days before the first day of the National Convention shall also be referred to the National Convention Rules Committee.
    4. The National Convention Secretary shall place a copy of any timely submitted amendment on the National Convention's website or online accessible file system and notify the members of the organization of the submitted amendment not later than seven days after the amendment submission deadline in this Section.
    5. The National Convention Rules Committee shall review  each timely submitted amendment to the Charter. The committee may make changes to the amendment and recommend adoption of the amendment to the National Convention during its consideration. The Rules Committee shall only refer a timely submitted amendment that has been recommended for adoption by the committee to the National Convention.
    6. An amendment to the Standing Rules presented in the National Convention Rules Committee's report to the National Convention may be adopted by a majority of the National Convention present and voting.

Additional Procedures

Rule 26. Digital Assets

  1. The Young Democrats of America has ownership of all social media accounts, email accounts, or other digital assets created or purchased on behalf of YDA or any YDA caucus, committee, Advocacy group, or other subsidiary group.
  2. All Young Democrats of America social media accounts and the accounts of any YDA caucus, committee, Advocacy Group, or subsidiary group must follow the YDA Social Media Guidelines.
  3. Young Democrats of America email accounts will be provided and managed as follows:
    1. All members of the Executive Committee will be provided an official YDA email account.
    2. Caucus Chairs, Committee Chairs, and Appointed Officers may request official YDA email accounts. Email account requests will be granted at the discretion of the person appointed to maintain YDA technology, in consultation with the YDA Secretary.
    3. Individuals who have been provided official YDA email accounts must conduct all YDA business through their official account.
    4. The Executive Committee shall promulgate an acceptable use policy related to YDA email accounts. The policy must be distributed to all individuals who are provided an official YDA email account at the time they are granted access to the account. In the event that the policy is amended, copies of the amended policy must be provided to all YDA email account holders.
    5. The usernames for email accounts for all officers, committees, caucuses, auxiliary bodies, and other subsidiary groups shall clearly have the name of the entity within the username (e.g. [email protected]).
    6. Whenever possible, the main email account's username and, if necessary, name on the account shall be connected to a position and not the officer holder. Email aliases, which are other usernames from which the officer holder can send and receive emails, that are connected to the officer will be made for the account and the main account will be passed from one officer to their successor with aliases being changed (e.g. the main account will be [email protected] but an alias of [email protected] will be made and then passed onto that person's successor who will have the alias of [email protected].org added so all of the predecessor's emails come to the new officeholder).
    7. Additional email accounts may be created for individuals and situations not covered under this Rules if the President and Secretary deem it warranted.
    8. Any person assigned to oversee YDA technology shall work with all current email account holders with email usernames connected to their names so that the username shall be changed or migrated to be reflective of their position.
    9. Any person assigned to oversee YDA technology shall inform email account holders who have not been on the National Committee for at least one year that their accounts will be deleted two weeks after proper notification is sent.
  4. Upon an account holder vacating their account-eligible office, the person assigned to oversee YDA technology shall set a temporary password and notify the incoming account holder as soon as practicable after taking office that they are now the account holder and may access the email account. Outgoing account holders may request an extension for a defined time period from the person assigned to oversee YDA technology but shall grant the incoming account holder access to the account during the extension.
  5. Accounts are eligible for deletion if the account holder notifies the person assigned to oversee YDA technology or their designee in writing that they no longer intend to use the account, or if the account is inactive for at least six months. Prior to deletion the person assigned to oversee YDA technology shall make a good faith effort to back up all account data.

Rule 27. Roster Fair Usage Policy

The following rules shall be observed by each member of the Young Democrats of America when using the national committee roster.

  1. All emails must include the email address of the sender and an individual signer who is a member of the organization.
  2. If the signer is not a member of the National Committee then the person must have been granted permission from the YDA Secretary and agreed to the terms of the Fair Usage Policy of the YDA Official National Leadership Roster and Appointed Officers List in writing before being given access to the roster.
  3. No email shall misrepresent itself as coming from the Young Democrats of America or the YDA Executive Committee.
  4. A sender may not use the YDA logo without the express permission of the Executive Committee.
  5. A sender cannot share the list with third party candidates or entities without the expressed consent and approval of the Executive Committee.
  6. A sender should consider if the email needs to go to the entire National Committee or if it is better suited for specific individuals.

Rule 28. Employees and Contracts

Staff and contractors may be hired by the Executive Committee as necessary to fulfill functions, programs, and projects as assigned by the President and the Executive Committee. Staff and contractors must work under the supervision of the President or an officer or staff member designated by the President.

  1. The Executive Committee, in consultation with the General Counsel, shall create a written policy for engaging staff and contractors, including hiring, bidding, managing, and terminating of employees or contractors. Such policies must include provisions which provide for the fair and equal opportunity of employment, evaluation, and treatment of all employees and contractors.
  2. Paid staff members or contractors of the Young Democrats of America shall be prohibited from actively campaigning for any announced or unannounced candidate for any level of the Young Democrats organization. For the purposes of this section, "actively campaigning" shall include electioneering, fundraising, canvassing, phone-calling, or any other activity in advancement of the announced or unannounced candidate. This prohibition must be included in each staff member's or contractor's written contract.

Rule 29. Historical Documentation

The Young Democrats of America authorizes the creation of an appendix of definitions, interpretations, legislative history, and guides/sample documents to be used by the National Committee, committees, and officers that shall be maintained and updated jointly by the Secretary, Parliamentarian, and Rules Committee Chair.

Rule 30. Suspension of Rules

These Standing Rules may be suspended, as provided in Robert's Rules of Order, with the exception of the following rules, which may never be suspended:

  1. Code of Conduct
  2. Proxy Voting
  3. Expenditure and Financial Requests
  4. Judicial Council Procedures
  5. Content and Trigger Warnings
  6. Minors
  7. Amendment Proposal Requirements
  8. Fair Roster Policy
  9. Employees and Contracts
  10. Suspension of Rules

Standing Rules Enacting Clause

The spirit of this is to ensure that no individual who currently has a position in YDA or a vote on the national committee shall lose their vote due to the implementation of this Charter.

Part 1. Immediate Effect

  1. The following articles shall go into effect immediately upon passage of the Standing Rules subject to any exceptions provided for in Part 4 below: Rule 1 (Code of Conduct), Rule 2 (Affirmative Action and Outreach), Rule 5 (Leave of Absence for Elected and Appointed Officers), Rule 6 (Expenditures & Financial Requests), Rule 7 (Foreign Engagements & Travel), Rule 8 (Proxy Voting), Rule 11 (Judicial Council Procedures), Rule 13 (Site Selection for National Committee Meetings), Rule 14 (National Committee Meetings), Rule 15 (Virtual Location During Emergency), Rules 16 (Accessibility for Meetings), Rules 17 (Labor for Meetings), Rule 18 (Electronic Voting), Rule 19 (Content & Trigger Warnings), Rule 20 (Minors), Rule 22 (Virtual Location for National Convention During Emergency), Rule 23 (Accessibility for Convention), Rule 24 (Labor for Convention), Rule 25 (Amendment Proposal Requirements), Rule 26 (Digital Assets), Rule 27 (Roster Fair Usage Policy), Rule 29 (Historical Documentation), and Rule 30 (Suspension of Rules).

Part 2. Effective Upon Start of 2023 National Convention

  1. The following articles shall go into effect at the start of the 2023 National Convention subject to any exceptions provided for in Part 4 below: Rule 3 (Application for Unit Charters), Rule 9 (Committees), Rule 12 (Caucus Chartering), and Rule 14 (Site Selection for National Committee Meetings).

Rule 3. Effective Upon Adjournment of 2023 National Convention

  1. The following articles shall go into effect at the adjournment of the 2023 National Convention subject to any exceptions provided for in Part 4 below: Rule 4 (Appointments), Rule 10 (Advocacy groups), Rule 21 (Site Selection for National Convention), and Rule 28 (Employees and Contracts).

Part 4. Other Effective Dates, Incorporations, and Exceptions

  1. Rule 9, Paragraph 5. Proxy determinations shall remain within the province of the Secretary, Credential Committee Officers, and Credentials Chair until adjournment of the 2023 National Convention.
  2. Rule 10, Paragraph 1(e). Appointment procedures for committees with membership based on region shall not go into effect until adjournment of the 2023 National Convention.
  3. Rule 12. Any existing Judicial Council complaints shall follow all policies, procedures, and other rules as were in effect at the time the complaint was filed.

Part 5. Conflicts in Governing Documents

This document shall supersede and control over any conflicts with the charter, bylaws, and standing rules as of April 3, 2022.

Call to Convention

Conv Rule I. Distribution of Delegate Votes

Section 1. Apportionment.

Delegate votes shall be apportioned to chartered units in the following manner, provided that the maximum number of votes any chartered unit may cast shall be equal to half of its total membership:

  1. Population Votes.

    Using the most recent decennial United States Census, the ten most populous chartered unit territories shall receive 50 votes. The next ten most populous territories shall receive 40 votes. The next ten most populous territories shall receive 30 votes. The next ten most populous territories shall receive 20 votes. All remaining territories and Young Democrats Abroad shall receive ten votes.

  2. Participation Votes.

    A chartered unit shall receive:

    1. Five votes for each regular National Committee meeting attended by at least one National Committee member from the chartered unit since the prior National Convention, for a maximum of 20 votes.
    2. Five votes for each Democratic candidate or issue campaign the chartered unit participated in for a maximum of 20 votes.
  3. Past Charter Votes.

    A chartered unit shall receive five votes if it was chartered at or since the previous National Convention, and ten votes if it was chartered at the two previous National Conventions.

  4. Penalties.

    The Credentials Committee may deduct votes for missing or improperly submitted documents.

    1. Any failure to submit a document required to charter shall be penalized 100% of their apportioned vote.
    2. Charter applications received late shall be penalized 5% for the first 14 days, and an additional 3% for each additional day thereafter.
    3. Individual names of members with defects shall not be counted when determining the number of members in the unit.

Section 2. Allocation to Delegates

A chartered unit's vote apportionment shall be distributed equally, to the nearest hundredth, among all registered delegates within the unit. No delegate may be allocated more votes than permitted by the following mileage formula, using the distance between the convention site and their respective chartered unit's capitol or largest city, whichever is furthest.

  1. Less than 500 miles: up to three votes per delegate.
  2. 501-1000 miles: up to four votes per delegate.
  3. 1001-1500 miles: up to five votes per delegate.
  4. 1501-2500 miles: up to six votes per delegate.
  5. 2501 miles or greater, and Young Democrats Abroad: up to seven votes per delegate.

When the convention occurs at a virtual location, each delegate from all chartered units shall cast up to three votes.

Conv Rule II. Chartered Unit Delegations

Section 1. Qualifications

Any member is eligible to represent a chartered unit as a delegate or alternate to the National Convention.

Section 2. Selection

Each unit shall adopt rules to govern the process of selecting delegates and alternates, which shall encourage the full participation of all members of the unit, especially those from groups historically underrepresented in the Young Democrats of America.

Section 3. Replacement of Delegates

At any time prior to the close of registration, a delegation chair may replace a delegate with an alternate if the delegate will not be present for the remainder of the convention and the alternate fulfills the qualifications to be a delegate in accordance with the Charter and Standing Rules and their unit's delegate selection rules.

Section 4. Virtual Delegates

Upon submitting their final delegate lists, units may designate up to 25% of their delegate allotment, rounded to the nearest whole number, as virtual delegates. Virtual delegates shall have been properly selected under their unit's delegate selection rules and shall be responsible for their own internet connection, software installation, and any other measures to ensure their own individual participation. Virtual delegates may participate provided that at least one delegate from their chartered unit is present in person at the Convention. Virtual delegates shall be given access to the livestream of convention proceedings, and shall be able to vote on all matters before the Convention in accordance with these rules.

Conv Rule III. Required Documents

Section 1. Apportionment Documents

In order to receive their complete vote apportionment, chartered units shall submit the following documents to the Credentials Committee no later than the deadline to submit charter applications:

  1. All materials required to receive a charter.
  2. A list of members of the unit, including their first and last names, cities or ZIP codes, full dates of birth, and email addresses.
  3. Rules for the selection of delegates and alternates to the National Convention.
  4. Any supporting materials to receive participation votes.

Section 2. Delegate Information

  1. Delegation List.

    Each chartered unit shall file the names and contact information of each of its delegates and alternates not later than seven days prior to the first general session of the National Convention. Delegates and alternates shall be assigned votes in the order listed on the unit's delegation list or, if missing or incomplete, according to the order in which delegates registered. Amendments to this list must be submitted not later than 5 pm on the day before the election of officers takes place.

  2. Registration.

    A delegate or alternate is considered to have registered upon having signed in at the convention registration desk, presented identification, and paid their registration fee or received a fee waiver from the Credentials Committee. Fee waiver requests must be submitted in writing to the Convention Secretary by the close of registration.

  3. Proof of Residency.

    Delegates and alternates may be required to demonstrate residency by providing documentation, such as a driver's license, state-issued identification, student identification, voter registration card, or other document deemed appropriate by the Credentials Committee Chair.

Section 3. Delegation Chair

The Delegation Chair of each chartered unit shall be appointed by its President, and such appointment shall be filed with the Convention Secretary no later than seven days prior to the first general session of the National Convention. If a unit fails to file such an appointment in time, all registered delegates from the unit shall caucus to elect a Delegation Chair immediately prior to the opening general session of the Convention. No virtual delegate may act as Delegation Chair.

Conv Rule IV. Management of National Convention Operations

Section 1. Management Committee

The President shall call the initial meeting of the Convention Management Committee not less than 60 days prior to the opening general session of the National Convention. At the initial meeting, the committee shall elect a Chair. Not less than 14 days after the meeting, minutes and copies of the Rules of the National Convention as adopted by the National Committee shall be transmitted to each member of the National Committee.

Section 2. Programming

Not less than 45 days prior to the National Convention, the Convention Management Committee shall distribute to the National Committee a request for proposals for programming which shall be part of the official convention schedule but whose planning and execution shall be the responsibility of the National Committee member offering the proposal.

Section 3. Guidelines

The Host Committee and Convention Management Committee shall make every effort to exercise their authority in accordance with the following guidelines:

  1. Contractors.

    YDA shall, as a policy, seek to engage the services of unionized firms, especially those owned by minorities, women, LGBT+ persons, and people with disabilities.

  2. Convention Hall.

    The Convention Hall shall be arranged so that only delegates, alternates, and individuals authorized by the Convention Chair may be admitted to the floor. Areas for observers, including all other Convention attendees, shall be designated by the Management Committee.

  3. Delegate & Alternate Credentials.

    Each delegate and alternate shall personally collect their credentials from the Registration Desk during registration hours. No Delegate or Alternate shall collect a delegate or alternate credential until the Credentials Committee approves their unit's charter application and determines the member is eligible to serve as a delegate or alternate in accordance with the Charter and Standing Rules and their unit's delegate selection rules. A delegate or alternate shall return their credential if the Convention fails to seat the member as a delegate or alternate. Delegate and Alternate credentials shall be prominently displayed at all times during General Session and Committee Meetings.

  4. Livestream.

    The proceedings of the general session of the National Convention shall be livestreamed and made available to all members of the Young Democrats of America who request access to it. Proceedings may be delayed by the Convention Chair due to technical issues that interrupt or delay the ability to livestream proceedings.

Conv Rule V. Election of Officers

Section 1. Definitions

All times in this section are local except when a National Convention is held at a virtual location, in which case times refer to the Pacific Time Zone.

Section 2. Publicity

The YDA Secretary, under the guidance of the Convention Secretary, shall publicize information about the election, how to participate, and how to become a candidate, along with the offices up for election and their duties, these convention rules, and other applicable rules. Such publicity shall be conducted in a manner that provides underrepresented groups with full opportunity to participate.

Section 3. Ballot Access & Required Materials

The ballot shall only list candidates who:

  1. meet the eligibility requirements articulated in the Charter for the office they are a candidate for; and
  2. submit a declaration of candidacy for a specific office to the Convention Secretary not later than 10:00 AM on the day of the second general session of the National Convention.

Conv Rule VI. Committees on Rules, Platform, and Credentials

Section 1. Membership

Chartered units may only be represented on committees by their registered delegates or alternates. Committee members shall be selected in accordance with the unit's delegate selection rules. If no designated committee member or alternates from a unit are present, any registered delegate or alternate from that unit may cast its vote, except that no individual serving as Chair may cast their unit's vote while doing so.

Section 2. Quorum

Quorum for convention committees is one-third of chartered units entitled to cast a vote.

Section 3. Proxies

Committee members may not vote by proxy.

Section 4. Credentials Committee

  1. Initial Report.

    At least 30 days prior to the first General Session of the National Convention, the Chair of the Credentials Committee shall prepare and distribute to the National Committee a complete preliminary credentials report containing all units that have submitted or attempted to submit charter applications, whether the application is accepted or denied, the date of the original filing and any subsequent amendments, the status of all materials required to be apportioned votes at the National Convention, and the number of votes allocated to each unit including penalties and delegate ratios.

  2. Supporting Materials.

    The Chair of the Credentials Committee shall make all original documents submitted by chartered units available for inspection by the Credentials Committee, except that they shall provide a copy of any checks submitted by chartered units. These documents must also be present at the location of the National Convention.

  3. Final Credentials Report.

    The Credentials Committee Chair shall prepare a report following the completion of all business, but in no case later than 9:00 PM on the day before the final General Session, for submission to the National Convention, reflecting all actions taken by the Committee. This report shall be in the same form as the preliminary report and shall govern voting rights until a final version of the report is adopted by the National Convention. The report shall be made available to all delegates and distributed to the Chairs of the Rules and Platform Committees, the Chair of each unit's delegation, and all Convention officers.

Conv Rule VII. Constituency Caucuses

Section 1. Meetings

Constituency Caucuses shall meet at times designated in the convention schedule but may not conduct officer elections before 10:00 AM on the day after the opening general session of the Convention. The Convention Chair or the Chair of each respective caucus may call meetings not announced in the convention schedule by notifying the Secretary in writing. The Convention Chair shall announce the time and place of the meeting at the beginning of the subsequent general session. The meeting shall convene not less than two hours after the announcement.

Section 2. Procedure

The Chair of each respective constituency caucus, or the next highest ranking officer of the caucus present, shall preside over all caucus meetings, including the election of officers. However, no candidate for election for caucus officer shall preside over their election. In the event no officers of a caucus are present or eligible to preside, the Convention Chair shall appoint a member of the Caucus as presiding officer pro tempore.

Section 3. Applications

Charter applications shall comply with the requirements set by the Standing Rules, however if a caucus amends its rules at Convention, the new rules as amended must be submitted to the Credentials Committee Chair no later than 8:00 PM on the day before the final general session of the Convention.

Conv Rule VIII. Rules of Procedure of the National Convention

These rules shall govern the proceedings of the National Convention until and unless amended by the Convention body.

Section 1. Replacement of Convention Officer

In the event of the death, resignation, or removal of any Convention Officer less than 60 days prior to the opening session of the Convention, the President shall appoint a temporary officer. Any temporary officer shall have full rights and privileges as if they were the permanent convention officer. No individual may be appointed as a temporary Convention Officer if they have indicated they are either running for a National Officer position or have endorsed any candidate for National Officer.

If a temporary Convention Officer is appointed pursuant to this section, the first order of business and vote taken up in the first General Session of the National Convention shall be a voice vote to approve the temporary officer as a permanent convention officer for the position so appointed. The vote to approve the temporary officer as a permanent convention officer shall be non-debatable. If the voice vote fails, then any properly credentialed delegate may nominate an individual to serve as the permanent convention officer. A vote among all properly nominated individuals shall then be held using the same method as electing National Officers. No individual may be nominated or elected by the Convention if they are either running for a National Officer position or have endorsed any candidate for National Officer. Nothing in this section shall prevent any welcoming remarks, introductions, or similar prior to the voice vote on approving the temporary officer.

Section 2. Order of Business

The order of business for the National Convention shall be as provided in these rules. The Convention Chair may, at appropriate times, interrupt the order of business provided for in these rules for introductions, announcements, addresses, presentations, resolutions of tribute and appreciation, or remarks appropriate to the business of the Convention.

Credentials Committee Report
  1. Rules Committee Report
  2. Platform Committee Report
  3. Nominations for Officers.

    Ceremonial nominations for officer positions shall occur not later than the second to last General Session. Nominations shall be conducted in the reverse order of Article VI, Section 1 of the Charter. Ceremonial nominations shall not constitute time for speeches, shall not constitute a speech, and is simply placing the nomination on the floor.

  4. Voting for Officers.

    Voting for national officers shall be held during the last general session of the National Convention. Elections shall be conducted on a single ballot including all offices with at least two candidates who have properly filed. Delegates may split their votes to vote for as many or as few candidates as they wish. Offices with only one candidate shall be voted on by acclamation. No nominations may be accepted from the floor during the general session unless no candidate has properly filed for an office.

  5. Balloting & Chartered Unit Speeches.

    The convention secretary and designated assistants shall hand out paper ballots to each chartered unit delegation chair. These ballots shall include every contested national officer race relevant to that chartered unit. Chartered unit delegation chairs shall be given no fewer than twenty minutes to allow all delegates to vote before returning the paper ballots to the convention secretary and designated assistants. The convention secretary and designated assistants shall count ballots and record votes in a publicly available system that is accessible to all delegates including virtual delegates. As the counting occurs, each chartered unit shall be given no fewer than two minutes to address the audience to speak about any topic that is within decorum and does not violate anything in the YDA charter, standing rules, or adopted convention rules. Once all the chartered unit speeches are finished, the convention secretary shall announce the results in every contested election to the body.

  6. Acceptance Speeches.

    The newly elected President of the Young Democrats of America shall be entitled to a 10 minute inaugural speech after all elections have concluded.

Section 3. Powers and Duties of the Chair

The Convention Chair shall be responsible for conducting and expediting the business of the convention, for preserving order and decorum in the proceedings, and for performing any such lawful action as may be necessary and appropriate to carry out their duties, provided they do not violate any YDA governing rule. The Convention Chair shall direct the Convention Sergeant-at-Arms to compel delegates to keep order when their actions prevent the business of the convention from being achieved, particularly for the election of officers. The Convention Chair shall also direct the Convention Sergeant-at-Arms to ensure that any individual wishing to seek the floor during General Session shall be able to be recognized and unmuted accordingly. They shall also ensure that all candidates and their respective nominators are able to give a speech at the appropriate time.

Section 4. Voting

  1. Generally.

    Except as provided in this section, voting shall be conducted by voice vote or in any other manner determined by the Convention Chair or presiding officer and permitted by Roberts Rules of Order. The total votes that a unit is entitled to cast shall be equally divided among registered delegates of the unit present in person or virtually. The final votes by a chartered unit shall be cast in whole numbers rounded as closely as possible to the expressed votes of individual delegates. No delegate may cast more votes than permitted by the allocation formula. A delegate may not split their vote between two or more candidates in an election for an office.

  2. Secret Ballot.

    No secret ballots shall be permitted at any stage of the Convention or its committee proceedings.

  3. Proxy Voting

    . No delegate or alternate votes may be cast by proxy.

  4. Roll Call Votes.

    Roll call votes shall be conducted when the Convention Chair is in doubt of the outcome of a vote or upon a request from the floor supported by 25% of the registered Delegates of the Convention as determined by a show of hands. When a roll call vote is ordered, the Convention Chair shall open the roll and 10 minutes shall be provided for Delegation Chairs to collect the voting preference of each Delegate present on a tally sheet which shall be provided by the Convention Secretary for this purpose. Prior to the close of the vote, each Delegation Chair shall sign the tally sheet for their unit and submit the tally sheet to the Convention Secretary. Upon receiving each Delegation's tally sheet, the Convention Secretary shall enter the number of Delegates present and the number of votes cast, by unit, into a tally board which shall be visible to all Delegates. The tally board shall display each unit's vote as it is reported but shall not display the total of all reported unit votes until the Convention Chair announces that the vote is closed. Any Delegation that has not submitted their tally sheet to the Convention Secretary by the close of the vote shall be counted as not voting. After the vote has been closed, the Convention Chair shall ask if any votes displayed on the tally board for a unit are incorrect or should be challenged. After any corrections or challenges, the Convention Chair shall declare the vote final, announce the result, and order the final vote totals to be displayed on the tally board and recorded in the minutes. In lieu of tally sheets, the Procedures Committee may provide for an electronic voting system that otherwise satisfies the requirements of this section.

  5. Interruption of Vote.

    When a main motion has been submitted to the Convention for a vote, the vote may not be interrupted for any purpose other than a Point of Information, Point of Order, Point of Parliamentary Inquiry, Appeal, Division of the Question, Request for a Roll Call Vote, Correction of a Vote, or Challenge to a Vote.

  6. Determination of Question.

    Except as otherwise provided in these rules, all questions shall be determined by a majority vote of the delegates to the Convention.

Section 5. Interpretation of the Rules

When a parliamentary question arises and the Charter, Standing Rules, and Convention Rules of the Young Democrats of America are inapplicable to the question, the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the actions of the Convention. All questions of parliamentary procedure and interpretations of the Charter, Bylaws, and Convention Rules shall be decided by the Convention Chair on the advice of the Convention Parliamentarian.

Section 6. Motion to Suspend the Rules

These Convention Rules may be suspended, as provided in Robert's Rules of Order, with the exception of the following rules, which may never be suspended:

  1. Distribution of Delegate Votes (Convention Rule I)
  2. Chartered Unit Delegations (Convention Rule II)
  3. Required Documents (Convention Rule III)
  4. Management of National Convention Operations (Convention Rule IV)
  5. Election of Officers (Convention Rule V)
  6. Committees on Rules, Platform, and Credentials (Convention Rule VI)
  7. Constituency Caucuses (Convention Rule VII)
  8. Replacement of Convention Officer (Convention Rule VIII, Section 1)
  9. Voting for Officers (Convention Rule VIII, Section 2e.)
  10. Balloting & Chartered Unit Speeches (Convention Rule VIII, Section 2f.)
  11. Voting (Convention Rule VIII, Section 4)
  12. Motion to Suspend of Rules (Convention Rule VIII, Section 6)
  13. Amendments (Convention Rule VIII, Section 7)
  14. Debate (Convention Rule VIII, Section 9)
  15. Quorum (Convention Rule VIII, Section 10)
Section 7. Amendments

Amendments from the floor of the Convention to committee reports, minority reports, the Convention Rules, the Platform, and any resolutions shall be presented in writing to the Convention Chair accompanied by the signatures or electronic signatures of no less than 25% of registered Delegates, as determined by the Convention Secretary. No amendment shall be in order that is not germane to the subject under consideration. The Convention Chair shall allow two minutes of explanation to the author of an amendment and then allow two speakers in favor of and two speakers against the amendment to speak, for one minute each. When debate has expired, the Convention shall vote on the amendment immediately.

Section 8. Minority Reports

Minority reports of committees shall be accepted by the Committee Chair upon the filing of a written petition signed or electronically signed by 25% of the membership of the committee. A committee member participating in the drafting of a minority report must notify the Committee Chair, in writing, no less than 10 minutes after the adjournment or recess of the committee that a minority report is being drafted. The minority report shall be filed with the Committee Chair no less than 30 minutes after the adjournment or recess of the Committee. The Committee Chair shall remain present in the committee meeting room, or an alternative location announced before the adjournment or recess of the Committee, until all minority reports are filed. The Committee Chair shall be permitted to correct formatting and grammatical or typographical errors in a draft minority report with supervision by a committee member who participated in the drafting of the minority report. If the minority report is signed by the requisite number of committee members and does not contain language in violation of the Charter, Bylaws, Standing Rules, or Convention Rules, the Committee Chair shall certify that the minority report is valid. After the committee report has been read to the Convention, minority reports shall be read and voted upon in the General Session in order of submission to the Committee Chair. Minority reports approved by the Convention shall be published with the committee report.

Section 9. Debate

Debate on any question that is debatable according to Robert's Rules of Order may not exceed 10 minutes. Speaking shall be limited to one minute per speaker, per question. The time shall be equally divided between proponents and opponents of the motion being debated. The Convention Chair shall only entertain one motion to extend limits of debate per question debated by the Convention Delegates.

Section 10. Quorum

The quorum for General Session shall be one-third of registered Delegates, as determined by the most recent Credentials report, present in person.

Section 11. Proceedings

The Convention Secretary shall compile an electronic copy of the Journal of Convention Proceedings, which shall include reports from all Convention Standing Committee Chairs, the results of any votes taken, and the Convention minutes. The journal shall be electronically submitted to the President and Secretary within 30 days of the adjournment of the National Convention. Upon receipt, the Secretary shall make the journal available to the National Committee within 14 days.

Appendix

When in conflict, the governing documents supersede this document.

Glossary of Terms

Definition 1. Biennium

A two year period beginning at the adjournment of one National Convention and lasting until the adjournment of the following National Convention.

Definition 2. Bylaws

The governing rules of the Young Democrats of America

Definition 3. Call to Convention

The additional rules governing the operations and proceedings of the National Convention.

Definition 4. Caucus

Members belonging to a historically disenfranchised community, a historically underrepresented community, or members who are interested in an issue or cause that holds particular relevance to the broader membership of the Young Democrats of America may form a constituency caucus to promote participation by their respective members in the affairs of the Young Democrats of America and the Democratic Party.

Definition 5. Charter

Defines the purposes and privileges of the Young Democrats of America as well as the written rules to formalize how decisions can be made and business conducted by The Young Democrats of America.

Definition 6. Committees

A Committee serves an operational function of the organization.

Definition 7. Committee vs Constituency Caucus vs Advocacy Group

A Committee serves an operational function of the organization and has a defined membership structure. Caucuses represent members belonging to a group currently or historically underrepresented in or marginalized by the government, community, or society. Caucuses promote participation by their respective constituencies in the affairs of YDA and the Democratic Party. The Chair of each Constituency Caucus has a vote on the National Committee. Advocacy Groups advocate political and public policy issues important to the Young Democrats of America or contained in the most recently adopted platform. Anyone can be a member of a Advocacy Group.

Definition 8. Ex-Officio

A member who has their position because of the office that person holds. They have voting privileges but they do not count towards quorum.

Definition 9. Robert's Rules of Order

A manual of parliamentary procedure: the accepted rules, ethics, and customs governing meetings of an assembly or organization. Rules in the book are based on the rights of the majority, of the minority (especially a strong minority that is greater than one third), of individual members, of absentees, and of all these together.

Definition 10. Standing Rules

Defines the administrative processes (timelines, quorum, procedures, etc.) that establish specifics for conduct for The Young Democrats of America. Anything not covered in the governing documents defaults to Robert's Rules of Order.

Definition 11. Virtual Location

Any method of hosting a meeting other than in person at a single location, including videoconference, teleconference, or online conference.

Definition 12. Advocacy Group

Advocacy groups advocate political and public policy issues important to the Young Democrats of America or contained in the most recently adopted platform.

Definition 13. Young Democrats of America or YDA or organization

Refers to the Young Democrats of America as a whole.