Bylaws of the Fuerzas Unidas Caucus
of the Democratic Party of New Mexico
ARTICLE I: NAME
The name of the organization is the Fuerzas Unidas Caucus of the Democratic Party of New Mexico (“DPNM”).
ARTICLE II: MISSION STATEMENT
Working Together to Empower Hispanos Across New Mexico
ARTICLE IIA: OUR VALUES
We work for the well-being and dignity of all people who identify themselves as Nuevomexicano, Hispanic, Latina, Latino, Latinx, Chicana, Chicano, Chicanx, Mexican American, Puerto Riqueño, Puerto Riqueña, Afro-Carribbean, South American, Central American, Indo-Hispano, whether voters or not, documented or not, incarcerated or not, individuals with and without disabilities, and regardless of gender conformity, sexual identity, or sexual orientation.
We work with communities, and we strive to empower communities to support and elect candidates who address their concerns.
We provide a place for our people to discuss issues affecting their communities and to search for resolutions.
We support our people living in the rural and underserved areas of New Mexico and their unique issues, such as voting rights, access to healthcare, access to food, education, broadband, employment, industry consequences, agriculture, and forestry.
We recognize that New Mexico has been twice colonized, twice causing the loss and decimation of the languages, belief systems and ways of life on these lands. We strive to address the losses and traumas that result from colonization.
We are united with Native American tribes and sovereign nations who are the original inhabitants of this land. In many cases, we are part of the indigenous people of the Americas.
We honor the unique cultural values that our members and communities possess.
As a caucus, we will operate in an ethical and moral fashion for all people and our lands.
We support and shall abide by the rules, goals, beliefs and values of the DPNM and the Democratic Party of the United States.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
Section A: Voting Membership Requirements
- Have a Hispanic, Latina, Latino, Latinx, Chicana, Chicano, Chicanx, Mexican American, Puerto Riqueño, Puerto Riqueña, Afro-Carribean, Central American, or South American identity.
- Believe in and pledge to carry out the Mission Statement of the Fuerzas Unidas Caucus.
- Be a member in good standing as defined in a rule set by the Executive Committee.
Section B: Non-voting Membership Requirements
- Believe in the Mission Statement of the Fuerzas Unidas Caucus.
- Be a member in good standing as defined in a rule set by the Executive Committee.
Section C: Confirmation
The Secretary of the Fuerzas Unidas Caucus shall maintain the name, voter registration address, phone number, email address or alternate notification information, and Congressional District of all members, and shall confirm membership interest and eligibility at least every three years.
Section D: Termination of Membership
Members can voluntarily resign at any time upon written notification to the Secretary.
Members can be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee for ineligibility of membership as defined by these Bylaws, interference with the achievement of the objectives of the Caucus, or malfeasance.
ARTICLE IV: LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE
Section A: Listing of the Officers
The Executive Committee of the Fuerzas Unidas Caucus consists of the following Officers: the Chair, Vice-Chair Metro, Vice-Chair Rural, Secretary, Treasurer, Northern Region Metro Representative, Northwest Region Rural Representative, Northeast Region Rural Representative, Central Region Metro Representative, Central-West Region Rural Representative, Central-East Region Rural Representative, Southern Region Metro Representative, Southwest Region Rural Representative, Southeast Region Rural Representative. All Regions are defined as shown in the attached map.
Section B: Terms and Term Limits
The Chair, Vice-Chair Rural,Treasurer and all three Metro Representatives will serve for two years and be voted upon in even-numbered years.
The Vice-Chair Metro, Secretary and all six Rural Representatives will serve for two years and be voted upon in odd-numbered years. The exception will be that the initial election of these officers will be in 2022, and they will serve for one year.
No member of the Executive Committee shall serve more than three full, consecutive terms in the same position. At least one full term away from that position is required.
Section C: Succession of Officers
Upon the resignation or termination of the Chair: 1) if the Chair is from a Metro area, then the Vice-Chair Metro will become Chair and complete the term of the Chair; 2) if the Chair is from a Rural area, then the Vice-Chair Rural will become Chair and complete the term of the Chair.
Upon the resignation or termination of any other member of the Executive Committee, the Chair may appoint a successor to complete the term of the removed member upon approval by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee.
Section D: Removal of Officers
Any officer can be removed upon a two-thirds vote of the members eligible to vote for that officer. A removal election can be initiated through a petition signed (electronically or otherwise) by half of the members eligible to vote for that officer presented to the Secretary.
Section E: Duties
The Chair shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Caucus. They shall serve as the principal spokesperson of the Caucus. The Chair may execute, on behalf of the Caucus, all instruments in writing, which may be required or authorized by the Executive Committee for the proper and necessary transaction of the business of the Caucus.
The Chair shall call and preside over meetings.
The Vice-Chairs shall assist the Chair in the Chair’s duties and take over the duties of the Chair in the Chair’s absence.
The Secretary shall prepare and submit all Reports as necessary under the Rules of the DPNM. The Secretary shall maintain and verify the membership roster. The Secretary shall be responsible for taking and maintaining the minutes and the attendance of the Executive Committee meetings and all general membership meetings. The Secretary will send notifications to the entire membership for meetings of the Executive Committee and of the caucus as a whole, The Secretary shall be responsible for notifying the membership of elections and of conducting all elections. The Secretary can delegate any of these duties to a willing Caucus member as necessary.
The Treasurer shall manage the Caucus finances including managing Caucus assets and debts, preparing the annual budget and getting it approved by the Executive Committee, and preparing quarterly financial statements.
The Regional Officers shall serve as liaisons between Caucus members in their Region and State Leadership, and between other similar organizations of their Region and the Fuerzas Unidas Caucus. They shall have responsibility for overseeing and organizing their Region’s Caucus members, including direct action, communication, outreach, education, and advocacy for issues, projects and campaigns promoted by the Caucus. In addition, they shall hold at least quarterly Fuerzas Unidas Caucus meetings in their Region and prepare a narrative of their activities and appropriate membership list for inclusion in the semi-annual reports required by the DPNM Rule on State-Level Democratic Caucuses and Affiliated Organizations.
The Regional Officers shall be responsible for assisting the Executive Committee as needed.
ARTICLE V: MEETINGS, VOTING, QUORUM
Section A: Membership Meetings
The Caucus shall hold at least two membership meetings per year. The Chair will call the meeting. The Secretary shall notify all members of membership meetings by email with notice of at least ten business days. For members who do not have email addresses, the Secretary shall provide alternate notification by the method the member identified when they joined the caucus. Voting Members can call a membership meeting with a petition by two-thirds of the number of the Voting Membership. The petition may be circulated electronically. Meetings may be conducted in person, telephonically or electronically.
Section B: Executive Committee Meetings
The Chair will initiate meetings of the Executive Committee, which shall be at least four times a year. The Secretary will notify all officers of Executive Committee meetings by email with notice of at least 14 calendar days and will apprise all membership of the meetings through the website or other electronic means with notice of at least 14 calendar days. Officers other than the Chair can call an Executive Committee meeting with a vote of two-thirds of the Executive Committee. Meetings may be conducted in person, telephonically or electronically. Executive Committee meetings shall be open to all Caucus members, except when discussing personnel or legal matters.
Section C: Voting
The Voting Members are entitled to vote for Officers, except for the interim officers who will serve the first five to seven months. Officers shall be elected by majority vote of the Voting Members who vote in the officer election held in either March, April or May of each year. Changes to the Bylaws require approval of two-thirds of the Voting Members who vote. All Regional Officers shall be elected only by Voting Members from their Region.
Voting by the Voting Membership does not require a quorum or a meeting and may be conducted electronically. Electronic elections by the Voting Membership shall be held open for 14 calendar days. Voting eligibility is restricted to Voting Members who have held Voting Membership for at least 30 days.
Section D: Executive Committee Quorum
The Quorum for Executive Committee meetings shall be eight people. Items voted on by the Executive Committee shall pass by majority vote of the voting officers.
Name of Officer Representing the Changes Approved by the Fuerzas Unidas Caucus:
Vicky Estrada-Bustillo, Chair
Christina Serna, Secretary
Date of the Vote to Approve Changes: February 16, 2023