CONSTITUTION OF THE
COLORADO DEMOCRATS RURAL INITIATIVE
We being Colorado Democrats who reside in rural areas of the state, in the interest of furthering the principals of the Democratic Party, hereby claim ourselves to be the official statewide organization representing Rural Democrats in Colorado. We strive to promote and give voice to issues that are of concern to rural Coloradans within the greater framework of Democratic values including but not limited to economic wellbeing, access to quality affordable health care, quality public education, and environmental quality. We further strive to assist rural county Democratic party organizations to encourage and promote candidates and extend visibility and community outreach. For these ends and upon these principals, we, the Rural Democrats of Colorado, do hereby establish ourselves and adopt this Constitution.
Name and Affiliation
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the “Colorado Democrats Rural Initiative.”
Section 2. This organization shall, without objection, be affiliated with and become part of the National Democratic Party Rural Council and the Colorado Democratic Party.
Section 1. This organization shall, to the greatest extent legal, possible and beneficial to Rural Democrats, work in conjunction with the Colorado Democratic Party, as well as local Democratic organizations.
Section 2. This organization shall actively support to the extent legally allowed, all nominees of the local, state and national Democratic parties.
Section 3. This organization shall not support or endorse any candidate who is not the official Democratic nominee for office and shall remain neutral in Democratic primaries.
Section 4. The executive board and this organization’s members shall not endorse or oppose candidates or ballot issues when representing himself or herself as a representative of this organization, unless this organization supports those candidates or issues, as per the previous Sections of this Article.
Section 1. Voting Members shall be comprised of the elected County Democratic Party Chair or the County Democratic Party’s Appointed Representative who reside outside of “Urbanized Areas” established by the U.S. Census Bureau (Areas having a population of more than 50,000 people).
Section 2. Non-voting membership is open to any registered Democrat in Colorado. Eligible Colorado Democrats who wish to become non-voting members may be required to, at the discretion of the executive board, register for membership with the Rural Initiative and pay annual dues. Non-voting members may be active participants in the meetings, activities and committees of the Rural Initiative.
Section 1. This organization shall be governed by an executive board, comprised of the following five (5) officers elected by popular vote of the Voting Membership:
Section 2. The executive board shall meet at least three (3) times each year with qualifying meetings not occurring in the same month. In the event the executive board does not meet this obligation, the board shall be considered dissolved and a popular vote of the Voting Members shall be held to determine a new board. Meetings of the executive board and other meeting of the Rural Initiative may be held electronically to facilitate maximum participation.
Section 3. Each executive board member shall attend at least two thirds of the meetings of the executive board each year. The failure of an executive board member to meet this obligation shall serve as grounds for removal by the other members of the executive board. Advance notification of anticipated absence from a board member or excused absences shall not count against a board member for purposes of this section. An absent member may grant proxy voting power to another member in attendance.
Section 4. Serving as a member of the executive board of the initiative is contingent on maintaining eligibility as a Voting Member. Loss of eligibility due to political affiliation, residency or registration status shall serve as grounds for removal by the other members of the executive board.
Section 5. In addition to the provisions of Section 3 or 4 of this Article, an executive board member of the initiative may be removed from the board for negligence and misconduct, as determined by and with the unanimous vote of all other members of the executive board. The executive board member considered for removal shall be informed through all reasonable means of the intent to hold a vote for removal and the reasons removal is being considered no later than ten (10) days prior to the vote. The board member considered for removal shall be given an opportunity to comment prior to the vote.
Section 6. In the event of a vacancy on the executive board (whether by removal, resignation, death, membership ineligibility, or other circumstance deemed valid by the executive board), the executive board shall appoint a replacement of the executive board member from this organization’s Voting Membership by a plurality vote to fill the remainder of the former board member’s term. Appointments to fill a vacancy shall be made within thirty (30) days of the vacancy.
Section 7. The executive board shall have the power to create and dissolve special and/or temporary committees for specific purposes, defined by the executive board. These committees shall be composed of any group of two (2) or more members, appointed by the executive board.
Section 8. All expenses shall be made only to benefit this organization and shall be approved by the chair and the treasurer. Documentation of all expenses and approvals shall be kept with all formal records of this organization.
Section 9. The executive board of this organization shall have sole authority over decisions of the organization, with the exception of the dissolution of the board. All decisions, except where stated otherwise, are considered binding with a majority vote of the entire executive board.
Section 1. Elections of the executive board shall be held every odd numbered year in the month of in which the Colorado Democratic Party state reorganization assembly is held.
Section 2. The outgoing executive board shall be responsible for organizing elections, including the date, time, and location, each providing for reasonable attendance and participation of Voting Members and candidates for the executive board.
Section 3. The election shall be announced and sufficiently publicized by the outgoing executive board, including through all normal communication mediums and to all appropriate Democratic organizations, no later than twenty (20) days prior to the date of the election.
Section 4. Only eligible Voting Members of this organization may be candidates for the executive board. Candidates may declare their candidacy at any time following the previous election, but must declare their candidacy no later than twenty-four (2) hours prior to the time of the next scheduled election, in order to verify eligibility. All candidates shall be given equal opportunity to be promoted through the means of this organization. Candidates for the executive board need not be present on the date of the election to be eligible.
Section 5. The executive board shall be elected by popular vote of this organization’s Voting Members.
Section 6. Voting may be conducted in any fashion that allows for the greatest participation of the Voting Members including in-person voting on the date of the election. All voting methods shall include reasonable assurance of security to prevent fraud or vote manipulation, including a method to ensure that only votes cast by eligible Voting Members are tallied.
Section 7. Votes shall not be tallied by any candidate for the executive board, including candidates serving on the outgoing executive board. Candidates shall have the right to observe vote tallying.
Section 8. Any candidate for the executive board may, with reasonable cause, challenge the outcome of the election. In the event of such a challenge, the outgoing executive board shall compile and organize all relevant election records for review by the leadership of the Colorado Democratic Party, without the involvement of any outgoing executive members who may be candidates for the executive board. If the leadership of the Colorado Democratic Party determines that the outcome of the election was in error, the winners determined by the Colorado Democratic Party shall take office with the incoming executive board, or as soon as possible thereafter.
Section 9. The total number of valid votes cast may be made public with the election results and must be provided to members upon request.
Section 10. The executive board members shall serve a term of two (2) years and are eligible for consecutive terms as long as they meet the criteria for Voting Members. The term may be reasonable extended or shortened to accommodate the actual date of the election.
National and State Committee Representatives
Section 1. This organization will provide representation to the Democratic National Committee Rural Council as provided for within the rules of that organization and consistent with the rules of the Colorado Democratic Party to maximize effective representation, gender balance and diversity.
Section 2. This organization is attributed one (1) committee member to both the State Central and Executive Committees of the Colorado Democratic Party. The chair of the Rural Initiative shall appoint an eligible Voting Member of this organization to serve as this organization’s committee member on these committees.
Section 1. The Rural Initiative shall organize Colorado Rural County Democratic Parties into a structure of geographic regions wherein such rural counties share common interests such as agricultural endeavors, ranching, natural resources, energy, environmental, educational, health care services and economics. The counties in each region shall be sufficiently close as to facilitate meetings and shared activities. The executive board shall define such regions and appoint a regional Rural Initiative Coordinator for each region.
Section 1. The executive board shall have the authority to draft bylaws or other guiding documents beneficial to serving the purposes outlined in this Constitution.
Section 2. No bylaws or other guiding documents shall supersede anything explicit or implied in this Constitution.
Changes to Constitution
Section 1. Changes to this Constitution can be made only by a vote of the Voting Members of this organization.
Section 2. The executive board can, at any time, call for a vote of the Voting Members to approve changes to this Constitution. Such a vote must be sufficiently publicized by the executive board, including through all normal communication mediums and to all appropriate Democratic organizations, and held no sooner than ten (10) days after the date of the announcement. In-person voting is not necessary for Constitutional changes so long as other reasonable means for voting are provided.
Section 3. Any member of this organization can propose changes to this Constitution by collecting a number of valid signatures from Voting Members equal to the number of voters in the last executive board election. A vote on those proposed changes by this organization’s Voting Members shall take place at the discretion of the executive board, but no later than the next scheduled executive board election. Proposed changes and signatures can be submitted at any time, but must be submitted to the executive board no later than the (10) days prior to the next scheduled executive board election for them to be voted on in that election. Proposed changes shall be sufficiently publicized by the executive board, including through all normal communication mediums and to all appropriate Democratic organizations.
CERTIFICATION OF CONSTITUTION
The undersigned executive board members certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the Official Constitution of the Colorado Democrats Rural Initiative. This Constitution shall e considered in effect from the date signed.
Chair Date Vice Chair Date
Secretary Date Treasurer Date
Legislative Chair Date