2019 United Democratic Women of Maryland, 

United Democratic Women of Maryland
Constitution and By-laws







This organization shall be known as "The United Democratic Women of Maryland, Inc." (Hereinafter known as "UDW-MD”)




Its purposes shall be (1) to encourage women to make use of their privilege to vote; (2) to disseminate the principles of Democracy; (3) to support the nominees of the Maryland Democratic Party in partisan elections for the success of Democratic ideals; (4) to encourage and train Democratic women to run for and hold elective public offices; and (5) to provide a voice for women to the Maryland Democratic Party.




Section 1. Women who are registered Democrats in the State of Maryland may become members of UDW-MD. Prospective members must complete and return a membership application along with the payment of dues to the Treasurer. After verification of the applicant’s status as a registered Democrat, the Treasurer will present the member’s name to the Executive Board and the Regional Chairpersons.


Section 2. The UDW-MD will hold Quarterly Meetings in the months of January, April, July and September.


Section 3. Members shall be sent notice of all meetings.


Section 4. Registration is required of attendees at each Quarterly Meeting.




Section 1. The UDW-MD shall hold a Convention in odd-numbered years in October or November for the election of officers, given reports, and any business to further the interest of the organization.


Section 2. To be entitled to be a Voting Member to the Convention, a member must be admitted to membership on or before the Third Quarterly Meeting (July) of the year in which the Convention is held; must pay her dues in full and must meet all attendance requirements. To be entitled to be a Voting Member to the Convention, a member must attend at least two Quarterly Meetings within the two-year election cycle. All Past Presidents shall be entitled to vote at the Convention. Proxy votes will not be allowed.


Section 3. All Voting Members shall receive Convention credentials. Registration shall be required on each day of the Convention. All Voting Members must wear authorized tags. No duplicate credentials will be issued by the Credentials Committee at the Convention. Registration will close at 12 noon on the morning of the election.




Section 1.  The Officers, together with the Regional Chairpersons, one each from Central Maryland (Baltimore City, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, and Howard Counties), Eastern Shore (Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties), Southern Maryland (Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties), and Western Maryland (Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery and Washington Counties) and Chairpersons of all Standing Committees, as well as Past Presidents, shall constitute the Board of Directors.


     A.  EXECUTIVE BOARD. The Officers shall be President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Credentialing Secretary, Treasurer, and Sergeant-at-Arms, all of whom shall be elected.  In addition, the four Regional Chairpersons, elected by Region, shall be considered Officers of the UDW-MD.  These officers shall constitute the Executive Board.


     B. The Officers (other than Regional Chairpersons) shall be elected for a term of two years at the Convention. Election shall be by ballot with names of candidates presented by the Nominating Committee. Space shall be provided on the ballot for write-in candidates for each office.


     C.  During Convention years, a caucus, for the purpose of electing a Regional Chairperson, shall be held in each of the four Regions. This meeting shall be called by the presiding Regional Chairperson in or by the month of October. The name of the chairperson elected at this meeting shall be presented to the Nominating Committee for certification prior to the first day of September in that election year.


     D. The Officers elected at the Convention and the Regional Chairpersons elected by caucus shall be installed at the Convention Banquet, assuming their duties at that time.


     E.   In addition to these Officers, there shall be the following Standing Committee Chairpersons: Advisory, Audit, Budget, Constitution and By-Laws, Convention, Memorial, Legislative, Membership, Nominating, and Sunshine. With the exception of Advisory, these chairpersons and a Parliamentarian shall be appointed by the President.

      Each Regional Chairperson and each Committee Chairperson has the responsibility to provide a written report for Planning Meetings, Quarterly Meetings, and Conventions.


    F.  The President, with the approval of the Executive Board, shall fill any vacancy which may occur between elections and may appoint such temporary committees as she deems necessary.


     G.  The Executive Board shall meet quarterly with the general membership (Quarterly Meetings) in the months of January, April, July, and September. The Executive Board shall meet for a Planning Meeting prior to the January meeting of each year. It shall be empowered, by a two-thirds vote of those present, to suspend or change dates of Quarterly Meetings, if necessary.





All monies received by the Treasurer must be deposited by the Treasurer in a bank in the State of Maryland within seven days after the receipt of such monies. Disbursements of all funds must be voted on by the Executive Board. The organization shall purchase business insurance



Amendments to this Constitution may be made at any Convention, provided that such amendments shall have been presented in writing to the UDW-MD at the Third Quarterly Meeting (July) at which time the proposed amendments shall be sent presented to every member eligible to vote at the convention prior to at the Fourth Quarterly Meeting (September).  For adoption, an amendment must receive the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all Voting Members credentialed and voting.



Amended 7-22-17 (JJO)







Annual dues shall be $20.00 per person for all members. Members joining after June 30 in a given year will pay $10 for the remainder of the initial year and $20.00 annual dues thereafter. Dues shall be due and payable to the Financial Secretary in January of each year. Any member whose dues are in arrears for a period of one year shall be removed from the membership list and shall not be sent notice of meetings. Membership fees for Young Democrats under the age of 29 shall be $10 yearly.




Seven members shall constitute a quorum at an Executive Board meeting. The presence of a majority of credentialed Voting Members shall be required for a quorum at the Convention, when in session.





Section 1. Duties of Officers


A. PRESIDENT: She shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Board, Board of Directors and general membership, and shall direct all affairs of the organization. At the beginning of her term, she shall appoint, the chairs and members of Standing Committees. She may call a special meeting of the Executive Board, if necessary. She shall submit plans for activities of the organization to the Executive Board before proceeding with arrangements. She may attend all committee meetings in an ex-officio capacity, with the exception of the Nominating Committee.


To foster attendance at Quarterly Meetings, she, or her designee, shall send reminders, at least one month in advance, containing details for reservations, site, speaker, and such other news, information and announcements as are helpful for the good of the organization. She shall hold the seat assigned to UDW-MD on the Executive Committee of the Maryland Democratic Party (MDP) and report to the MDP on the activities of the UDW-MD as well as provide information to the MDP about issues of importance to UDW-MD members. She shall send a designee when she cannot attend so that the organization is represented at these gatherings.


In Convention years, she, with the Convention Committee, shall provide specific information at the Third Quarterly Meeting (July) for reservations, voting credentials, general order of business and other information for the efficient conduct of the Convention.


B.  VICE-PRESIDENTS: The Vice-Presidents, in their order, shall act in the absence of the President and shall serve when she is unable to serve. In the case of the resignation or death of the President, the First Vice-President shall assume the presidency for the remainder of the unexpired term. The Second Vice-President shall then become the First Vice-President. The vacancy thus created shall be filled by the Executive Board.


C.  RECORDING SECRETARY: The Recording Secretary shall make and keep a record of the minutes of the meetings of the Executive Board, general meetings, and Convention sessions. These are the formal history of the organization. The Recording Secretary will send a copy of the draft minutes to the President and First Vice-President for review. Draft minutes will be labeled as such. A copy of the draft or final minutes shall be made accessible to the officers and members of the Executive Board upon request, and to no one else. Neither the draft nor final minutes shall be disseminated outside of the organization. At the close of her term, the Recording Secretary shall turn over all minutes and records to her successor within 30 days. 


D.  CREDENTIALING SECRETARY:  She shall sign in all members for each quarterly meeting and the annual meeting as well as develop qualifying members that meet the criteria described in the bylaws for the annual meeting.


E.  TREASURER: The Treasurer shall receive applications and present same to the Executive Board.  The Treasurer shall be the custodian of all monies of the organization and shall keep an accurate record of all receipts and disbursements.  She shall deposit all monies within seven (7) days of receipt in a band in the State of Maryland.  The President and Treasurer will have the authority to sign checks. At each Quarterly Meeting she shall give a report of all monies deposited and expended to the Executive Board who should vote to file same for audit-available for questions by the general membership.  She shall be an ex-officio member of the Budget Committee.   


F.  SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: She shall, with discretion, see that peace and order are maintained at all times. In doing so, she shall carry out the instructions of the President. She shall monitor that guests not be present at Executive Board meetings.


G.  REGIONAL CHAIRPERSON: It is her responsibility to organize arrangements for Quarterly Meetings held in her Region, securing the site and arrangements for an Executive Board meeting, as necessary, scheduling a speaker, and ordering a luncheon with enough advanced time to coordinate the mailing of the meeting notice with the President. She shall prepare and submit reports of meetings and activities of the UDW-MD to local media, local democratic organizations, and local democratic elected officials when such meetings or activities are held in her Region.


For all Quarterly Meetings, she is responsible for an accurate count of luncheon reservations and payment of cash checks for the members of the Region who will attend. She is responsible for the promotion of UDW-MD and membership activities in her Region.  She shall obtain from the Treasurer a list of members whose dues are in arrears.


Section 2.  Duties of Committees


 Advisory: This committee, composed of Past Presidents of the UDW-MD, shall offer advice and counsel to the organization. The immediate Past President shall serve as Chairperson. The current President and First and Second Vice-Presidents shall serve as ex-officio members.

A. Audit: Each year, as of December 31, an auditor shall be appointed by the President, shall audit the books of the Treasurer and the Financial Secretary and present a report in writing at the January Quarterly Meeting.


B.  Budget: In Convention years, at the Fourth Quarterly Meeting (September), the Chairperson of this committee shall present a budget for two years, and both additions and deletions may be proposed. A final vote on the budget shall be held at the Convention.


C.  Constitution and Bylaws: As needed, the President shall appoint this committee to present proposed amendments to the Constitution and/or Bylaws in accordance with Article VII of the Constitution and Article VI of the Bylaws.


D.  Convention: This committee plans and coordinates all aspects of the Convention with the President, who is responsible for appointing an Arrangements chair to secure an appropriate site, room rates, meetings and activity venues so that attendance is enhanced and the business is enacted.


     1. The Banquet Chairperson shall make arrangements for this event which includes a dinner, Installation of Officers, a prominent keynote speaker, and other appropriate celebrations.


     2. The Credentials Chairperson shall prepare a list of official Voting Members. At registration appropriate badges will be provided to credentialed Voting Members, as well as Guests to wear during Convention sessions. The number of official Voting Members will be reported to the Presiding Officer prior to voting. During the two-year election cycle, members must have attended at least two Quarterly Meetings (January, April, July, September) by evidence from the sign-in sheets provided for each meeting by the Registration Committee. Attendance at special events or other meetings shall not qualify as attendance for the purpose of credentials.


     3. The Memorial Chairperson shall receive and record the names of members deceased since the previous Convention, and prepare an appropriate memorial service to recognize their passing.


     4. A Printed-Program Chair shall be appointed by the President early in the Convention year to prepare a booklet of the Convention schedule of activities for attendees at the Convention.


E.  Legislative: This committee shall keep informed of state and national legislation approved for tracking by the Executive Board and the general membership. They may prepare to appear before appropriate governing bodies, with emphasis on the Maryland General Assembly (January to April), on behalf of UDW-MD to support or oppose legislation in which the Executive Board and the general membership have voted interest.


F.  Nominating Committee: The committee shall submit a written report of nominees to the Executive Board and the general membership at the Fourth Quarterly Meeting (September), the First Vice-President shall be offered the nomination for President. In the event that this offer is not accepted, the committee shall name another nominee. Letters of candidacy from aspirants (for one elected office only) must be submitted to the chairperson of this committee by June 1 of the Convention year. Letters of recommendation may be submitted for candidates other than President. These letters are not binding on the committee, and must be received by June 1.


G.  Parliamentarian: The Parliamentarian shall rule on all points of parliamentary procedure (from knowledge of Roberts Rules of Order and the Constitution and Bylaws of UDW-MD) when requested by the President. If she is unable to attend a Convention, the President will name a substitute.


H. Sunshine: This Chair shall send appropriate cards to sick or bereaved officers, members, and friends of UDW-MD in the spirit of friendship and consolation.




The Constitution and Bylaws of UDW-MD shall be included in the printed Directory.




Robert's Rules of Order shall govern in all cases where it is not inconsistent with the Constitution or Bylaws and in accordance with State law and Regulation.



Amendments to the Bylaws may be made in the same manner as amendments to the Constitution as provided in Article VII of the Constitution.



Amended June 22, 2017 (JJO)