QUESTION ABOUT MEMBERSHIP COUNT FOR ASSOCIATES

The proposed new rules for clubs’ Associate members of Central Committee (hope I have got that right), refer to a count of the number of members used to determine the number of Associates allocated to that club. Clubs distinguish between “members” and “members in good standing”, the difference often being whether they have paid dues or not. My question is whether the count referred to above is of any and all members simply “registered” with a club, or whether for the purposes of the count of members for allocation of Associates they must be “members in good standing”.

My understanding is the members must be in “good standing” as defined in the club’s bylaws. A definition of good standing is required by the CDP, and each club chartered with the SDCDP confirms that there is such a definition in their bylaws. Typically it states that the member is a registered Democrat, or intends to register when eligible, and dues are paid up to date.

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I suggest some thought be given to different provisions for new clubs such as ours. John, you know the background that led us to adopt a policy of proving to people who registered as members that we were offering them something worth paying dues for. But that meant we held off on accepting dues until this month. Brand new clubs may find themselves in difficulty from the get go if they must have at least twenty members who have paid dues in order to get chartered, as, without chartering they cannot open a bank account in most places, perhaps all; we certainly found that all the banks we went to insisted we were chartered first.

The county party doesn’t require that clubs charge dues, though – it’s only if your own bylaws say that having paid dues is a requirement for being in “good standing”. For instance, UCSD College Democrats (who are chartered with the county party) don’t charge dues, so having paid dues isn’t part of the definition in their bylaws of what constitutes being a member in “good standing”. So as long as your bylaws don’t say that, then they don’t need to pay dues.

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I question whether this idea that members must be in good standing is a requirement. I re-read the manual and there’s nothing there saying a new club must have members “in good standing” in order to submit a register of members for chartering, nor that, if dues are required, they must have been paid. If the interpretation that the members must be in good standing is applied it seems it might be something of a change and differentially affect clubs - e.g. some may have bylaws referring to good standing and dues payments, while others do not. Anyway, can this issue be discussed by those considering the new rules, as, for us, at this time, which it is makes a significant difference.

Hi Jonathan, I think @codivierra has addressed this point. If your club bylaws define a Member in Good Standing as having to pay dues, then that’s what they must have done to be considered on the roster of the club. This is normal for membership organizations.

There may be grey areas, such as a renewing member, as to when a membership is considered as having lapsed. This can be particularly important around endorsements. Many clubs again will have a provision in their rules as to when a member is removed from the roster. If a member removes within the specified window then their membership may be continued, otherwise they are treated as a new member, which may require a waiting period before they can vote on endorsements.

Clubs may also give their E-Board some leeway on dues enforcement when first forming, some clubs have different provisions for the first 90 days of operation after chartering to allow for some of the issues you’re referring to.

I think Good Standing is well understood for the purposes of submitting rosters to both the CDP and SDCDP, so I don’t think there’s any real issue around this.

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