Committee Member Resources
Download the Jackson County Democratic Committee proxy form here.
Find the Minutes & Meeting Agendas from past Jackson County Democratic Committee meetings here.
Missouri Democratic Party here.
Democratic National Committee here.
View pertinent Missouri State Statutes regarding Political Party Committees, election law, and more on this page.
View the existing Jackson County Democratic Committee bylaws, revised May 2018:
BYLAWS OF THE JACKSON COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE
We, the members of The Jackson County Democratic Committee, united in common purpose, dedicated ourselves to the historic principles, which have sustained our party through the years to make it the oldest sustained political party in America.
We recognize that our members come from all economic levels of life and represent every race, religion, sex, orientation, color, national origin, and creed in Missouri. What we seek for our county and state, we hope for all people--peace, justice and individual freedom, individual respect and individual rights for each person without regard for race, religion, color, creed, national origin, orientation, or sex.
We acknowledge that as a political body which wishes to lead, we must listen to those we would lead. We recognize that at times some of our members may not agree with the total body of our party, but the respective rights of each member will always be considered prior to reaching the decisions which the majority of our party must make in order to lead our state both now and in the future.
Our purpose will be to help Democrats and all Missourians who care to join us in every geographic area of Missouri to purposely respond to the conduct of public affairs and public office in every worthy and honest way possible so that our government and society may continue to provide freedom and justice for all persons in our state under the best leadership which embodies the best of our state's heritage.
Under God and for these ends and upon these principles, we do establish and adopt these Bylaws of The Jackson County Democratic Committee.
ARTICLE I: NAME
SECTION 1.01. The name of this body shall be The Jackson County Democratic Committee.
ARTICLE II: OBJECTIVES AND PURPOSE
SECTION 2.01. The objective and purpose of the organization shall be to promote the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party through the election of duly nominated candidates. It is the further goal of the Committee to encourage the greatest number of Democrats to participate in all of the activities of the Democratic Party in Jackson County.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP AND DUES
SECTION 3.01. Residency - No person shall be elected as a member of this County Committee who is not a registered voter of the County and a resident of the Committee district from which he or she is elected for at least one year as per state statute 115.607.
SECTION 3.02. Districts - The membership of the County Committee shall consist of a man and a woman who shall be elected for each Ward in Kansas City. Any township entirely contained in Kansas City shall have no additional representation on the County Committee. The election authority for the county shall divide the most populous township outside Kansas City (Blue Township) into eight (8) sub-districts of contiguous and compact territory and as nearly equal in population as practicable. The sub- districts shall be numbered from one upward consecutively, which numbers shall, insofar as practicable, be retained upon reapportionment. Two (2) members of the County Committee, a man and a woman, shall be elected from each such sub-district. Four (4) members of the Committee; two (2) men and two (2) women, shall be elected from Brooking, Fort Osage, Van Buren and Washington Township; three (3) men and three (3) women shall be elected from Prairie and Sni-A-Bar Township.
SECTION 3.03. Dues - Each member of the County Committee shall join the State Democratic Party by paying its regular membership dues prior to the August organizational meeting of the County Committee. Each member shall maintain that membership as long as he or she remains a member of the County Committee.
SECTION 3.04. Vacancy on County Committee - If a vacancy in the County Committee occurs for any reason, including those listed in Mo. Rev. Stat. §115.617, then the vacancy shall be filled by majority vote at the next County Committee meeting. The County Committee members shall be given thirty (30) days notice of each meeting at which a vacancy shall be filled, except where a vacancy occurs when no winner is certified by the election authority. If a vacancy occurs because no winner is certified by the election authority, that vacancy will be filled at the first County Committee meeting following the election. Notice of meetings at which a vacancy will be filled shall include a reminder that all contested elections must be conducted by secret ballot. See Section 6.01.B. of these Bylaws for information regarding proxies for County Committee vacancies.
ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS - ELECTION OF, DUTIES, VACANCIES
SECTION 4.01. Election of Officers - The officers of the Jackson County Democratic Committee are the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, and Historian. At the required statutory meeting on the third Tuesday of August, immediately following the primary election, the County committee shall elect one (1) of its members as Chairperson and one (1) as Vice Chairperson, one (1) a man and one (1) a woman, and shall elect one of its members as Secretary and a treasurer, one (1) a man and one (1) a woman. A parliamentarian and historian shall also be elected from the membership. The County Committee may elect any other officers it deems necessary to properly carry out its duties.
SECTION 4.02. Duties of Officers -
A. Chairperson - The Chairperson of the County Committee shall preside at all meetings of the County Committee and with such limitations as hereafter may be prescribed, act for the County Committee when it is not in session and have the general direction and control of the campaigns and affairs of the Party in the county subject to the direction of the County Committee. The Chairperson shall distribute election credentials (Certificate of Election) to duly elected committeemen and committeewomen.
1. The Chairperson shall have authority, with majority consent of the Executive Committee, to take actions deemed necessary to administer the business operations of the County Committee, including but not limited to signing leases for office and or campaign facilities, contracting for phone, utility and other such support functions, and authorizing the normal expenditure of any County Committee funds for the benefit of the County Committee A written record of these actions shall be made and presented to the membership at the next scheduled quarterly meeting.
B. Executive Director - An Executive Director may be retained by the County Committee Chairperson with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee. The compensation, if any, for the Executive Director shall be obtained through the fundraising efforts of the Executive Director. The Executive Director shall maintain neutrality in all primary elections. The Executive Director salary and benefits will likewise be set by the Chairperson with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee.
1. The Executive Director may be removed from his/her office with the approval of 2/3rds of the Executive Committee OR 75% of the Jackson County Democratic Committee as a whole.
2. Duties of the Executive Director shall include but not be limited to: managing the daily operations of the County Committee, including voter services, candidate support, fundraising, volunteer coordination, communications, finance, administration, and office management and upkeep.
C. Vice Chairperson - The Vice Chairperson of the County Committee shall preside over the County Committee in the absence of the County Committee Chairperson and act as the County Committee Chairperson in the absence of the County Committee Chairperson.
D. Secretary - The Secretary of the County Committee shall maintain or assist in maintaining a record of the meetings of the County Committee. Minutes of the previous meeting shall be distributed prior to the next meeting. The Secretary shall attest to the signature of the County Chairperson to all calls and any other official documents being necessary by the County Committee.
1. Within thirty (30) days after the election of officers of each County Committee held in accordance with the rules of such Committee, the Secretary of such County Committee shall certify with the Chairperson of the State Committee the names of the persons elected as officers and the list of the members of the County Committee. The Secretary shall maintain a permanent record of attendance at County Committee meetings, specifying who is present in person and who is present by proxy. If a member is present by proxy, a record shall be kept of who carries the proxy.
2. The Secretary will distribute these Bylaws to every committeeman and committeewoman following his or her election to the Committee, and will collect their signatures, confirming receipt thereof. These signatures may be used to verify a proxy.
E. Treasurer - The Treasurer shall submit a detailed written report of the County Committee's finances prior to each meeting of the County Committee. The report shall include, but not be limited to the following: the balance on hand at the beginning of the period covered by the report, total receipts for the period, total disbursements for the period, and the balance on hand at the date of the report. The report shall be signed by the Treasurer and shall be distributed to all committee members prior to each meeting. The Treasurer may be required by the County Committee to give bond in such sums as may be required by said Committee.
F. Parliamentarian - The Parliamentarian shall advise the Chairperson on matters of parliamentary procedure at all meetings.
G. Historian - The Historian of the Jackson County Democratic Committee shall maintain a hard copy of all official documents and communications of the Committee.
1. The Historian shall maintain the (already researched) record of all elected Jackson County Democratic Committee members since 1903 and update such record after each primary election.
2. If requested by the Executive Board, the Historian shall use such record to determine total years of service for each member and shall issue 20-year certificates of recognition, with every five years of service thereafter to be recognized and rewarded with the same.
3. The Historian may maintain a photo journal of Jackson County Democratic Committee business and events.
4. The Historian may research Jackson County Democratic politics and report to the Committee in whatever format is deemed appropriate.
SECTION 4.03. Officer Vacancies - If any of the following events occurs to any County Committee officer, a vacancy in that office shall exist:
C. Ceases to reside in the district which he or she represents;
D. Remains convicted of a criminal offense other than a misdemeanor after his or her rights to appeal are exhausted;
E. Fails to attend at least one-half of the mandatory scheduled County Committee meetings during any calendar year (as per 5.02);
F. The Appeals Committee of the State Committee after having investigated a complaint determines an officer to have used the party name or resources in an unauthorized manner.
Except where vacancy occurs when no winner is certified by the election authority, the County Chairperson shall call a meeting of the County Committee to fill a vacancy of an officer position; notice thereof to be given within thirty (30) days after the vacancy occurs. If an officer vacancy occurs because no winner is certified by the election authority following an election, that vacancy will be filled at the first County Committee meeting following an election.
All contested elections for County Committee Officers, contested elections to fill vacancies or contested elections to nominate candidates to fill vacated county, state legislature or state senate offices shall be by secret ballot.
ARTICLE V: MEETINGS
SECTION 5.01. Reorganizing & Location of Meeting - After the primary election, the new Committee shall meet on the third Tuesday in August to perfect its organization. All meetings shall be held in the County Courthouses of Independence and Kansas City on an alternating basis. The first meeting following the August election shall be held in Independence.
SECTION 5.02. Meeting Dates - The Jackson County Democratic Committee shall meet at least once each quarter of each calendar year. For purposes of the rule regarding attendance, the first mandatory meeting shall be on the third Tuesday of August immediately following the primary, as required by Mo Rev. Stat. § 115.615; the second mandatory meeting shall be held during the fourth quarter of the calendar year (October to December); the third mandatory meeting shall he held during the first quarter of the next calendar year (January to March); and the fourth mandatory meeting shall be held during the second quarter of the next calendar year (April to June). At each August meeting the Committee shall schedule its mandatory meetings for the next two quarters. However, the Chair shall have the latitude to change the date and location of the 4th mandatory meeting.
SECTION 5.03. Special Meetings - A special meeting can be called by the Chairperson or a member of the Executive Committee with majority approval of the Executive Committee.
A. The Secretary will be required to send out a notice of a special meeting to all members no less than 7 calendar days prior to the meeting.
B. Notice of any special meeting where business will include filling a vacancy will remind members that all contested elections must be conducted by secret ballot.
SECTION 5.04. Elected Official Attendance - In the event that an elected official is scheduled to be in actual attendance of an out-of-session committee hearing, general session, special session or veto session related to their official capacity as an elected official, their absence from a meeting of the County Committee shall be deemed excused.
SECTION 5.05. Meeting Agenda - The Chairperson shall provide a written agenda for each meeting. The order of business to be followed at regular meetings shall be as follows:
Meeting called to order;
Chairperson reviews Bylaws regarding filling vacancies if same appears on the agenda.
Executive Committee report;
Executive Director’s report;
Standing committee reports;
Special committee reports;
SECTION 5.06. Meeting Governance - "Robert's Rules of Order," as most recently revised, shall govern meetings of the County Committee in all cases where they are applicable and are not inconsistent with these bylaws. Robert’s Rules of Order draw a distinction between bylaws and parliamentary rules. Robert’s Rules of Order do not provide for “suspending the bylaws” in whole or in part, under any circumstances. Bylaws function as the constitution for this committee and, like a constitution, bylaws may be revised (see section IX) but they may not be suspended.
ARTICLE VI: PROXIES & QUORUM
SECTION 6.01. Proxies - Any member of the County Committee may give his or her signed proxy to any other member of the Committee. If the signature of the committee member is not currently on file with the Secretary, then the proxy must be notarized. No member shall be allowed to vote more than (2) proxies and each proxy must specify the name of the member entitled to vote the proxy.
A. Whenever the County Committee acts as a nominating committee to select candidates for county offices or committees, a member must be present in person to vote.
B. Whenever the County Committee acts to fill the vacancy of one of its committee members on the County Committee, members holding a proxy are not all allowed to utilize that proxy’s vote in that selection process. Proxy votes are not allowed, and all members must be present in person to vote. This is consistent with state party bylaws
SECTION 6.02. Quorum - A quorum for The Jackson County Committee meetings shall be a majority of the members elected thereto including proxies, provided, however, that whenever the County Committee acts as a nominating committee to select candidates for county offices or committees, a majority of the members of the County Committee much be present.
ARTICLE VII: COMMITTEE MEMBER POWERS, RESPONSIBILITIES, & CENSURE
SECTION 7.01. Committee Member Responsibilities - The committeemen and committeewomen of this County have the responsibility of:
A. Information Sharing - Building a strong Democratic Party organization within this area: They are obligated to represent the views of Democrats to the County Committee. They may organize ward or township clubs and those committee members should keep Democrats informed of political activities.
B. Meeting Attendance - Attending meetings and serving on special committees of the Jackson County Committee: Each elected member of the County Committee must attend mandatory meetings. Elected members are also expected to serve on special committees.
C. Holding Meetings - Holding and presiding at official Democratic activities such as delegate selection meetings: County committeemen and committeewomen are responsible for holding ward and township 18 caucus meetings for the selection of state and national delegates for party conventions in Presidential election years. Some County Committee people also serve as delegates.
D. Candidate Assistance - Seeking out qualified candidates for public office and supporting Democratic candidates: County Committeemen and committeewomen assist party candidates with their campaigns by placing yard signs, hosting fundraisers, walking door to door within their respective wards, sub-districts and townships with and for candidates, as well as endorsing candidates on the radio and in newspapers.
E. Constituency - Assisting constituents in dealing with government at all levels: County committeemen and committeewomen act as a direct link for constituents to government offices and elected officials.
F. Neighbors - Attending neighborhood community meetings: County committeemen and committeewomen attend neighborhood community meetings within their respective wards, sub-districts and townships to communicate with those in the community who have concerns. Greeting newcomers to the area: If at all feasible, County committeemen and committeewomen should greet those who are new to the area.
G. Voting Issues - Promoting Voter Education, Registration & Participation programs: County committeemen and committeewomen are the most valuable contacts for those who need information concerning voting. They conduct voter registration drives, voter education programs and get-out-the-vote rallies.
H. Elections - Participating in the election process: County committeemen and committeewomen participate in the election process by identifying people within the community to serve as Democratic election judges and clerks, passing out literature, acting as poll watchers and challengers, along with several other Election Day tasks.
SECTION 7.02. Committee Member Powers - The committeemen and committeewomen of this County have the power to:
A. Filling Vacancies - Fill vacancies in the Democratic ticket for countywide offices pursuant to statutory provisions.
Nominate candidates to fill vacated county, state legislature and state senate offices: One of the main responsibilities of county committeemen and committeewomen is to nominate party candidates when an elective office is vacated prior to the term of office ending. A special meeting of committee people within the district where the office was vacated is called to nominate a new party candidate for special election or appointment to this vacated office. Any contested election must be conducted by secret ballot.
B. Other Committees - Elect fellow committee members to serve as officers on county, state, and congressional committees: Shortly after being elected, each party committee meets to elect officers for the county committee as well as for state legislative, state senate, and U.S. Congressional committees. These officers are responsible for conducting the business of their designated committee.
C. Other Nominations - Nominate candidates for appointment to other county, state and congressional committees: Members of the Jackson County Committee are often required to nominate candidates for appointment to other committees such as county, state and congressional redistricting committees and state party committees.
D. Salary - County committeemen and committeewomen receive no salary. They are elected volunteers who care about their community.
SECTION 7.03. Censuring -
A. The County Committee shall have the power to censure any member who shall be guilty of willful neglect of any duty imposed upon him or her or who actively supports the election campaign of any candidate other than a Democrat in an election during his or her term of office. The following procedures will be followed in connection with a motion for censure:
B. Any member of the County Committee may file a written motion for censure of any other member of the County Committee. The facts, which are alleged to justify censure, must be stated with particularity and shall be sworn to as true and signed by the complaining member.
C. Upon receiving a motion for censure, the Chairperson shall satisfy himself or herself that the motion complies with Section 7.03A . If further detail is needed, the Chairperson shall explain to the complaining member the amount of detail required. Once the motion is in proper form, the Chairperson shall appoint a Hearing Committee of five members of the County Committee drawn from wards and townships geographically dispersed across the county. The Chairperson shall appoint one member of the committee as its Chairperson. Next, the Chairperson shall mail by certified mail a copy of the motion to the target of the complaint (hereafter called "the respondent")
D. Within fifteen (15) days of its appointment the Chairperson of the Hearing Committee shall contact the complaining member and the respondent and schedule a mutually convenient date for a hearing. No later than five days before that hearing, the respondent may file a written response to the motion. At the hearing, the complaining member shall appear and present evidence of the charges, which he or she believes support censure and the respondent may appear and shall be entitled to present evidence in response to the motion. Both members may be represented by counsel at their own expense.
E. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Committee shall meet in closed session to discuss the charges and vote on whether to recommend to the County Committee that the member be censured. If the Committee votes to recommend censure, then the Committee shall also state in writing its factual findings concerning the alleged conduct of the respondent. After the vote, the Chairperson of the Hearing Committee shall state its conclusion to the complaining member and the respondent
F. The Hearing Committee shall prepare a written recommendation to the County Committee to be delivered at the next mandatory meeting of the County Committee. At that meeting, after appropriate discussion, the County Committee shall vote on whether to censure the respondent. Censure shall require a majority vote of those present and voting at the meeting.
SECTION 7.04. Other Responsibilities -
A. The Executive Director, in consultation with and approval by the Executive Board, will prepare a ballot for use in every general election as needed or requested by a particular Democratic candidate.
B. Expenditures in excess of $1,000 must be approved by the County Committee. Any expenditure or campaign contribution in excess of $5,000 shall be voted on by secret ballot.
C. There shall be no compensation paid to any member of the Jackson County Democratic Committee for any work done on behalf of the Committee, but all reasonable expenses shall be reimbursed. Expenses in excess of $200 must receive prior approval of a majority of the Executive Committee in writing. Normal day- to-day expenditures of $200 or less must be approved verbally by the Chairperson. Receipts shall be turned in to the Treasurer.
D. The Treasurer shall be required to set up all checking accounts into which are deposited County Committee funds so that any instrument drawn on these accounts shall require the signature of the Treasurer of the County Committee. The Executive Director shall reconcile all the checking accounts monthly and all bank statements shall be sent to the Executive Director.
E. Any notice requirement provided pursuant to these Bylaws shall be fulfilled by mailing notice to the address of record as indicated at the time of filing for office with the County Clerk, or subsequent change of address provided by a committee member in writing to the Secretary, who shall maintain a permanent official address list. The act of mailing such notice first class, with an address correction request, shall be deemed adequate
ARTICLE VIII: COMMITTEES
SECTION 8.01. The County Chairperson shall appoint the chairperson and members of all committees other than the Audit Committee.
SECTION 8.02. The Audit Committee shall be composed of three (3) members, elected by the County Committee at the August organizational meeting. Its duties shall be to audit annually the financial accounts and balances of the County Committee. One of those three (3) members shall be designated to chair the committee by the County Committee.
SECTION 8.03. At least biennially, the Bylaws Committee shall review the structure and procedures of this organization and recommend any additions or changes to the County Committee deemed necessary or desirable for the efficient operation of the Democratic Party in Jackson County.
SECTION 8.04. The Legislative Affairs Committee shall study, coordinate, and maintain liaison with the State Committee and the Democratic leadership and Democratic members of the Missouri General Assembly on any legislation deemed desirable by the Committee.
SECTION 8.05. The fundraising Committee shall prepare a budget for the County Committee, which shall include at minimum sufficient funds to prepare a county-wide ballot prior to each general election and shall also be responsible for the County Committee's fundraising efforts.
SECTION 8.06. The County Chairperson is authorized to activate or establish other committees as the Chairperson deems necessary.
SECTION 8.07. There shall be a report from all standing committees at each regular meeting of the County Committee.
SECTION 8.08. The TRUMAN DAYS Committee shall be a Standing Committee. Its duties and function shall be to continue the "Truman Days" major fundraising event of the County Committee, which has continued annually since 1988.
ARTICLE IX: BYLAW REVISIONS
SECTION 9.01. Bylaws changes will be submitted in writing with a written membership call and voted on at that meeting. A majority vote of those present and voting is required to enact any change.
SECTION 9.02. These bylaws and any subsequent revisions shall be effective upon approval by the State Chairperson; provided, however, that if the State Chairperson fails to approve or disapprove the proposed rules or amendments within sixty (60) days after the date on which they are received for consideration, the rules or revisions shall automatically become effective.