The Lamorinda Democratic Club’s membership will be asked at the May 14 meeting to approve new Club By-Laws as recommended by the Board of Directors. (Click here to read the proposed By-Laws.) There were several factors that led to the Board’s decision to replace the By-Laws adopted in 2008.

First, in the nearly seven years since the Club’s last By-Laws revision, the Board found several provisions that needed to be made more explicit for the sake of clarity and efficient Club operations. For example, stating correctly that the Club is chartered by the Democratic Party of Contra Costa County and not affiliated with that organization, removing the office of Corresponding Secretary, and reducing the quorum requirement for Board meetings from 7 to 5 (or a majority of Board members, whichever is less).

Second, because of changes in the California Democratic Party’s By-Laws, the Club needed to conform to new rules for the party’s pre-endorsement conferences to be held in January 2016. In order for the Club to have voting representatives at the pre-endorsement conferences for State Legislative and Congressional races (1 vote for every 20 members in good standing in an Assembly District), the Club needed to define member in good standing and a process for selecting pre-endorsement conference voting representatives. The proposed revised By-Laws would allow a person to become a member in good standing 21 days after the payment of Club dues.

Third, a Lamorinda resident pointed out just a few hours before the Club’s April meeting that we had not updated the By-Laws to permit an endorsement under the state’s new top two candidate open primary structure when the top two candidates are Democrats. After a review of the situation, the Board agreed. President Katie Ricklefs explained this at the Club’s April meeting and committed the Board of Directors to offering a remedy for the Club membership’s consideration at the May 14 meeting. The proposed By-Laws would permit the Club to make an endorsement in these situations.