Affiliate Organization Policy Guide
DPWC-chartered affiliates are valuable members of the Democratic Party family. Affiliates enable the Party to reach more deeply into a variety of constituencies, issues, and geographic areas to share the Party message and platform, increase Party membership and participation, and elect Democrats to public office.
Purpose, Obligations, Limitations
The stated purpose of affiliate organizations must reflect the purpose of the National, State, and County Democratic Parties.
Affiliate organizations are partisan political organizations, extensions of the National, State, and County Democratic Parties, and must abide by all of the associated obligations, responsibilities, and limitations on activity.
Per Article VI of the Charter and Bylaws of the Democratic Party of Washoe County Charter, Affiliate organizations:
- “Are authorized by state statute, charter or custom to function continuously and to govern the affairs and make policy for their individual organizations. All such organizations shall be constituted and shall conduct business according to this charter and bylaws; the Charter and Bylaws of the Democratic Party of the United States; Charter and Bylaws of the Nevada State Democratic Party; Nevada Revised Statutes; and, applicable federal election campaign laws
- “Any organization, club, publication, or entity using the name Democrat or Democratic or implying a relationship with the Democratic Party shall be subordinate to the DPWC and affiliated with the WCCC.”
- “Are responsible to the WCCC and its Executive Board to provide regular, current information about their activities, membership plans and financial condition.”
- “The chair or designee of affiliate organizations shall attend fifty percent (50%) of the DPWC Executive Board/Advisory Council meetings.”
- “Are encouraged to publicize their upcoming activities through the DPWC and, when practical, to the community of Democrats of Washoe County.”
- “Affiliate organizations’ bylaws and changes to them must be reviewed by the DPWC Executive Board for compliance with the Charter and Bylaws of the Democratic Party of the United States, the Charter and Bylaws of the Nevada State Democratic Party and the Charter and Bylaws of the Democratic Party of Washoe County.”
Executive Board and voting members of affiliated organizations shall be registered Democrats in Washoe County. At least 75% of the affiliate’s voting membership must be composed of those who belong to the community or body of persons which the affiliate wishes to represent. Affiliate organizations may include non-voting individuals who are not registered Democrats, but shall not retain members who are registered with an opposition party.
Affiliate organizations shall afford all members of the Democratic Party full, timely and equal opportunities to participate in decisions concerning the conduct of affiliate affairs, without prejudice on the basis of sex, race, age (except where state and federal law precludes participation), color, creed, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, ethnic identity, physical disability or economic status.
No affiliate may endorse a candidate in a primary or general election for a partisan or nonpartisan office in which two or more Democrats are running.
No affiliate or board member of an affiliate may actively support an opposition party candidate in a partisan race.
No affiliate may provide elected officials of an opposition party, opposition party candidates, or representatives of them with a platform for their agenda or message; or provide what can reasonably be construed as “active support” for them.
Topics for programs/speakers at meetings of affiliated organizations should educate members and include calls to action on issues in the National, State, and County Democratic Platforms to the greatest extent possible.
Affiliates may fundraise for purposes of fulfilling their stated purpose. Fundraising activities must conform to the provisions of the Nevada Revised Statutes. Affiliates should consult with the DPWC Treasurer or Board prior to engaging in fundraising activities.
Affiliates shall provide the DPWC Treasurer quarterly reports of revenues and expenditures on a schedule determined by the DPWC Executive Board and in accordance with the reporting requirements in the Nevada Revised Statutes.
Database: VAN Votebuilder
As Washoe County and our partner organizations continue to grow, we are working to build a sustainable organization and data is a vital component of our infrastructure. In the past, when coordinated campaigns came to Washoe County, they gathered voter precinct information and developed volunteer leadership, but when these campaigns end, all this vital information disappears.
Our goal is to create a system where the Democratic Party of Washoe County and its affiliates can maintain organizational data that is relevant, complete, accurate, timely, consistent, meaningful and usable in real time. We will then be ready for every election and we won’t need to depend on outside organizations for help.
Affiliates shall be granted access to the Washoe County Democratic Party VAN and receive training on how to enter and maintain their organization’s activities, members and volunteers. All users are expected to comply with the User Agreement and respect the confidentiality of the proprietary information contained within the database.
Best Practices – Finance
In order to protect the Affiliate and the DPWC, the Executive Board strongly urges Affiliate treasurers to follow the following Best Business Practices guidelines:
Affiliate bank accounts and statements should have 1465 Terminal Way as address of record
- For continuity, thus eliminating the need for change of address with a new board
- For financial reporting
- For security and liability of individuals
Nevada State Financial Reporting
- DPWC is required by law to report because:
- We solicit and receive contributions for political purposes
- We make contributions to candidates
- We make expenditures designed to affect the outcome of a primary, general or special election or question on the ballot
- DPWC over-reports to err on the side of caution
- An Affiliate wishing to make an election-related contribution or expense should check first with the DPWC Executive Director or Treasurer in order to avoid potential state or federal election reporting considerations or conflicts.
- For transparent State reporting, a check should be written from the Affiliate to DPWC and then DPWC will write a check to the candidate or entity. The Affiliate will be acknowledged in memo accompanying the check. Donations from candidates or entity should be made to DPWC, which will in turn, write a check to the Affiliate
Internal Controls for Best Business Practices (from FEC Guidelines)
- Minimal Controls
- Open bank accounts using Affiliates name and Employer Identification Number
- Limit number of bank accounts; limit number of person authorized to sign checks; authorize checks greater than $1,000
- Limit and monitor debit and credit card use
- Review and reconcile bank statements each month
- Additional Controls (Recommended)
- Prohibit facsimile signatures or signature stamps
- Record receipts as mail is opened
- Mail checks promptly and directly to payees
- Require that checks hand-delivered by Affiliate be signed for by person receiving them
Charter Review and Renewal; Revocation
Within the first quarter following DPWC Executive Board elections (held in the second quarter of every odd year), the new Board shall review the charters and the latest reports from all affiliates for purposes of renewing the charter.
In order to renew an affiliate charter, the DPWC Executive Board must find the affiliate:
- Has held meetings at least quarterly.
- Has at least an elected Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer and keeps minutes of every meeting.
- Has submitted financial reports on the schedule determined by the DPWC Treasurer in non-election years, and the Nevada Secretary of State in election years.
- In the event an affiliate is dissolved, or a charter is not renewed, the financial assets of the affiliate will be held in trust by the DPWC Treasurer.
- Has submitted annual reports describing its activities to grow its own membership and to fulfill the Affiliate’s purpose of reaching deeply into the Affiliate’s constituency, issue, or geographic area to “share the Party message, increase Party membership, and elect Democrats to public office.”
The Executive Board may recommend that the Washoe County Democratic Central Committee (WCDCC) revoke or suspend a charter. An organization’s charter may be revoked or suspended for such offenses including, but not limited to:
- Failing to meet one or more of the requirements set by policy for charter renewal
- Active support of opposition party candidates in a partisan election
- Failure to declare affirmatively its support for the Democratic Presidential or Vice Presidential nominees.
The manner for suspending or revoking an organization’s charter shall be as follows:
(a) The DPWC Executive Board shall form a five-member Dispute Resolution Committee made up of WCDCC members, two of whom must be members of affiliates other than the affiliate with the disputed charter. The DPWC Executive Board shall submit a written explanation and reasons for the recommendation for revocation to the Committee.
(b) The Dispute Resolution committee will conduct an investigation and shall report the results of its findings to the affected organization, the Executive Board, and WCDCC within thirty days.
(c) The report of the committee shall be considered at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the WCDCC or at a special meeting called for the purpose of revoking the charter.
(d) An organization will have their charter suspended or revoked by a vote of (2/3) two-thirds of the WCDCC members present and voting while at a regular or special meeting.