The object of this organization shall be to achieve proportionate representation of Black Democratic public officials, elected or appointed in Arkansas; foster the election of and monitor the performance of all elected officials; disseminate information to the Black community through effective communication; assure that all governmental policies, programs, and practices are filtered through the Black perspective in order that the results of such policies and programs accrue equitably to the benefit of Black Arkansans.
The Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus is an official extension of the Democratic Party in Arkansas. It provides a vehicle, within the Democratic Party of Arkansas, to address the special needs and concerns of Black Democrats. Black Americans are a major constituency of the Democratic Party.
The goals of the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus are to:
- Unify Democrats within the party in Arkansas;
- Develop a greater voice in party policies and procedures; Provides methods of better representation of Black Democrats;
- Involve greater number of Black Arkansans in party affairs;
- Develop greater political organization and expertise;
- Broaden the base of the Democratic Party in the Black community;
- Provide leadership development and political/voter education to the membership and the community at large;
- Raise funding to support our initiatives, candidates and goals.
The Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus affirms our belief in the principles of the Democratic Party of Arkansas as they are stated in the Rules of the Democratic Party:
- That the Democratic Party with its great diversity of members, its flexibility of organization, its historic adaptability to fruitful change, and its instinctive responsiveness to human needs and aspirations, can thus provide the leadership which we must have in these challenging times. We must join together with a. renewed faith in our country, our state, and our Party to provide out people with responsive and responsible government.
- That government is of laws and not of men. We condemn any resolution of conflicts save through legal processes. The Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus stands for law and order with justice.
- That every citizen no matter what religion or race or how humble or exalted one’s origin owes the duty to participate fully at every level of government and is entitled to 811 equal voice and equal treatment at is hands; that all Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus members are bound to defend, protect, and honor our nation, our state and our Party; that when they are right, it is our privilege to sustain them; and when they err, it is our duty to correct them.
- That as Democrats, we are proud and upright citizens of the United States; that we are determined not only to serve her but also to stand shoulder to shoulder with citizens of our sister states in giving meaningful, responsible and constructive leadership such as benefits a great nation.
The organization shall be called the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus, hereafter referred to as A.D.B.C. and, upon compliance with requirements shall be an auxiliary of the Democratic Party of Arkansas.
The objective of this organization shall be to promote the election of Black Americans to all levels of offices within the Democratic Party and to public office and to relate the Black perspective to the Democratic Party of Arkansas.
Any Black American committed to the objectives of the A.D.B.C., and who declares his/her allegiance to the Democratic Party, shall be eligible for membership and shall become a member of this organization upon the completion of the membership application and payment of annual dues. Membership fees are outlined in a separate document approved by the membership. Membership fees are due on January 1st of each year.
Associate members may be of any nationality/race. Associate members shall be non-voting members.
Local county chapters of this organization may be established. A local A.D.B.C. county may become certified with 10 members whose dues have been assessed and paid. Local chapter dues are established at the chapter level. Of those dues assessed, 25% shall be submitted to the state chapter at party headquarters.
The treasurer shall notify members whose dues are delinquent for a period of two months (60 days). From date of notification, the member has thirty (30) days to remit or he/she shall forfeit their membership. Any reinstatement will be handled according to new membership rules and regulations.
Proxy votes shall be permitted at meetings of the A.D.B.C. only as follows:
a. No member shall vote the proxy of more than three (3) members;
b. No proxy shall be valid for more than one meeting;
c. Proxies shall be granted only by a dated and signed writing, filed with the Secretary before commencement of the meeting.
The elected offices of the A.D.B.C. shall be the President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer. The Parliamentarian, Historian and Chaplin shall be appointed by the President. Historian and Chaplin shall be appointed as officers by the President and shall be part of the Executive Committee. The elected and appointed officers shall perform the duties as prescribed by the bylaws. No person shall hold office if he/she is not a member.
The duties of the President shall be as follows:
a. be the Chief Executive of the organization; preside over all official meetings; act as the official representative of the organization to other groups and to the media when necessary; attend the meetings of the national, state and county Democratic Committee’s on behalf of the organization.
b. act as the Political Director of the organization by coordinating and directing the political activities of the organization.
c. with the consent of the Executive Committee, establish and appoint committees which are necessary to achieve the goals of the organization.
d. coordinate and direct the fund-raising activities of the organization.
The duties of the First Vice-President shall be as follow:
a. perform all the duties of the President in the absence of incapacity of the President until such time as he/she returns.
b. assume the duties of the President upon the President’s death, removal, or resignation for the remainder of the elected term.
c. serve as chairman of the Program and Planning Committee as assigned by the bylaws.
d. perform other duties as assigned by the President.
The duties of Second Vice President shall be as follows:
a. perform all the duties of First Vice President in the event the First Vice President is unable to perform the duties of his/her office.
b. serve as chairman of the Membership Committee as assigned by the bylaws.
c. perform other duties as assigned by the President
The duties of Secretary shall be as follows:
a. make and or ensure that all necessary preparations for meetings, (agenda, meeting notifications, response to correspondence, etc.) and record and distribute minutes of all meetings.
The duties of the Assistant Secretary shall be as follows:
a. fulfill the responsibilities of the Secretary in his/her absence
b. respond to written correspondence received by the A.D.B.C.
The duties of the Treasurer shall be as follows:
a. with the President or First Vice-President, sign all checks drawn on the organization’s accounts.
b. maintain complete records of all expenditures and receipts and deliver a financial report at each regular and special meeting of the organization and at each Executive Committee meeting.
The duties of the Parliamentarian
The Parliamentarian shall see that all meetings are conducted according to The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure and shall oversee all voting to ensure eligibility and along with one other Executive Committee Member, counts the yeas and nays for all business requiring such a vote.
The duties of the Historian
The Historian shall keep an accurate historical record of the organization, including photographs, news articles and accomplishments and shall make sure it is available for display when required.
The duties of the Chaplin
The duties of the Chaplin are often both routine and highly specialized, including tending to the religious and spiritual needs of the organization, its members and their families.
The regular meeting of the AD.B. C. shall be held on the second Saturday of each month at 11:30 a.m., unless the A.D.B.C. orders otherwise in advance.
The regular meeting in January shall be known as the annual meeting and shall be for the purpose of receiving annual reports, adoptions and budget projection.
Special meetings of the A.D.B.C. may be called by the President at his or her discretion, or upon the request of 10 percent of the members. The purpose of the meeting shall be set forth in the notice. Notice of a special meeting shall be given a minimum of five (5) calendar days in advance.
A quorum shalt be required before any vote is taken and shall exist when one twentieth (1/20) of the general membership is present at the meeting
Election, Removal, and Vacancies
Elections shall be held biennially during even-numbered years at the scheduled meeting in July. Officers shall take office upon the close of business of the meeting for which they are elected after the election, or at the Annual State Convention, whichever is earlier. The officers shall be elected to serve two (2) year terms.
A person shall be eligible to run for elected office if he has been an active paid member for ninety (90) days prior to the election. A person shall be eligible to vote if he has been an active paid member for sixty (60) days prior to the election.
A Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the Executive Committee two (2) months prior to the July meeting in even numbered years. It shall be the duty of this Committee to nominate candidates for the offices to be filled in even numbered years. Nominating Committee will informed the membership of their recommendation at least 14 calendar days prior to the meeting. Additional nominations may occur thirty (30) days prior to the election or at the July meeting.
A simple majority of the paid members present shall be require for the election of the officers. The presence of a quorum, as determined according to Article V, Section 4 shall be required before elections may be held. Once an officer resigns from holding a position, he or she is required to submit all records of the ABDC to the President or remaining officers immediately upon their resignation and or departure from the position. Additionally, when new officers are elected to position the previous officer/administration is required to submit all records of the ADBC to the incoming officer/administration immediately.
An elected officer may be removed for good cause upon a three-quarters 3/4 vote of the paid members present at the next regular scheduled meeting or a “special” called meeting. A quorum must be present, and the officer must be given an opportunity to be heard by the membership. Just cause can be defined as failure to carry out constitutional duties or failure to attend two or more meetings in a quarter.
A vacancy in an elected office shall be filled by appointment by the Executive Committee or a majority vote of the paid members present at a meeting where there is a quorum. The Executive Committee shall ask the membership for volunteers before making an appointment
The following eighteen people shall constitute the voting members of the Executive Committee: the elected and appointed officers of A.D.B.C., the immediate past president and District representatives from each congressional district. The Executive Committee shall determine the goals of and oversee the ongoing operations of the organization.
The Executive Committee shall meet prior to the regularly scheduled meeting.
The following shall be the standing committees of the A.D.B.C.:
Political and Social Action
Program and Planning
The Membership Chairman shall:
a. vigorously, tirelessly, and creatively work to expand the paid membership in the organization;
b. maintain the official membership rolls of the organization; and
c. ensure that the organization complies with the membership requirements of the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus by completing requirements of membership fees stated in Article III.
The Membership Committee shall:
a. include the local chapter Presidents, and shall be led by a Membership Director appointed by the President or Executive Committee;
b. solicit memberships and present a report at each monthly meeting of the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus and its local chapters
The Political and Social Action Chairman shall:
a. be responsible for maintaining a high profile for the organization through implementation of community activities.
b. inform formulate and recommend programs and/or action in the area of human rights, civil rights, housing, health care, the aging, education, welfare and any other area of social concern.
The Political and Social Action Chairman shall:
a. be composed of a minimum of four (4) members of each congressional district appointed by the President and/or Executive Committee.
The Finance, Program and Planning, Membership, and Political and Social Action and such other committees, standing or special, shall be appointed by the President and/or Executive Committee.
The rules contained in the modern edition of the Robert’s Rules of Orders shall govern the A.D.B.C. in all cases where they are not inconsistent with the bylaws and any special rules of order the A.D.B.C. may adopt.
Amendments and Ratification
These bylaws constitute the official rules of the A.D.B.C. These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) votes. Ratification of any amendment to the bylaws may occur at any regular/annual/special meeting of the A.D.B.C., provided that (a) the amendment has been submitted in writing to the Executive Committee at least thirty (30) days prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting, (b) the amendment has been considered by the membership at the meeting, (c) ratification of the amendment occurs sixty (60) days after the submission to the Executive Committee.