Duties of Officers

Officer Duties: Multnomah County Democratic Party

The Officers of the Multnomah County Democratic Party fulfill roles often covered by staff in larger organizations.  As a team, they form the Administration Committee, which is charged with the executive functions of the Party, including contracting, enforcing rules and bylaws, managing and supervising activities and providing for the “day-to-day operation of the Party.” Oregon law provides that officers of political parties shall be treated as officers of nonprofit corporations for liability for all matters relating to the political party. The Chair and Treasurer have additional liability under campaign finance law. This list of duties is not all-inclusive, but provides a summary of what is involved.

The Chair’s duties include: presiding at all meetings, preparing agendas, acting as the principal spokesperson (with the support of the Communications Officer), appointing committee chairs (with Executive Committee approval), and working with the Administration Committee to supervise the business of the Party. Unwritten, but a fact of the political and fundraising world, is that the Chair is the point person on major fundraising to support the Party’s work. The Chair is also an automatic delegate to the State Central Committee, which meets quarterly in various locations around the State.

The First Vice-Chair’s duties include: Working with the Chair to be prepared to perform the Chair’s duties if needed and to assume the office of Chair in case of the Chair’s absence or incapacity, and implementing regular PCP training programs. The First Vice-Chair is also an automatic delegate to the State Central Committee.

The Second Vice-Chair’s duties include: Chairing the Credentials Committee, maintaining and updating Precinct Committee Person records, and coordinating with the County Elections Division to ensure that records are up-to-date.

The Communications Officer’s duties include: Coordinating external and internal Party communications and maintaining contact databases.

The Treasurer’s duties include: Being the custodian of all funds of the Party, ensuring that all reports are filed in accordance with campaign finance law, and reporting to the Central Committee on the Party’s financial status.

The Recording Secretary’s duties include: Preparing minutes of Central Committee, presenting draft minutes for approval at the following meeting, and maintaining an archive of meeting minutes.

The Technology Officer’s duties include: Managing the Party’s electronic assets, including website, office hardware and software, and other resources as needed.

Organizational Meeting – Officers Elected

The meeting to elect Party officers and delegates to the State Central Committee and Congressional District Committees was held on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 at the Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 NE 40th Ave. 

Precinct Committee Persons elected in May, 2014 were eligible to vote for officers; all PCPs were eligible to vote for delegates to the State Central Committee and the Congressional District Committees. Descriptions of the officer positions are here: Officer Duties.

Elected at the meeting:

Chair: Lorraine Van Hoe
1st Vice Chair: Tracee Larson
2nd Vice Chair: James Freed
Treasurer: Bing Wong
Communications Officer: Susan Hagmeier
Recording Secretary: Eric Swehla
Technology Officer: Michael Schryver

January Volunteer of the Month: Muriel Wentzien

Hostess extraordinaire Muriel Wentzien was honored as our Volunteer of the Month on January 8th. 

Hospitality Chair Karen Gladyschild  explains why:

Muriel is the embodiment of Democratic values.  She is gracious, even-tempered, reliable, hard-working and always adds value to whatever she is involved in. Muriel tends to be quiet, so she can sneak up on you with her sense of humor. She will crack you up when you least expect it.

Muriel is a PCP and helps make our meetings welcoming and fun every month. She has delivered slate cards, donated to the Celsi raffle, volunteered at the Golf Tournament and attended numerous Democratic events.

In addition to her volunteer work for the Democratic Party, Muriel has been active with Habitat for Humanity. She has also worked with young children as a foster Grandma in schools and in child care settings. She is always looking for ways to improve her knowledge and skills, taking extra classes to become even better at helping the children she works with. She has also been proactive in advocating for more safety training in the settings where she works.

We are fortunate to have Muriel as a member, volunteer and friend.

Bylaws Amended December 18th

At the November meeting, members of the Administration Committee presented proposed changes to the bylaws, unanimously recommended by the Administration Committee. They were also recommended by a vote of the Executive Committee, and they were acted on at the December 18th meeting. 

Two groups of amendments were adopted, one having to do with election procedures for Party officers, and the other having to do with protecting the integrity of our data resources. A proposal to modify the qualifications for holding office as Chair or First Vice Chair was referred to the Rules Committee for further vetting. The marked up bylaws are attached, and here are the highlights:

Last summer, at the recommendation of and with the support of the Democratic Party of Oregon, the Executive Committee approved an expenditure for a facilitated examination of our leadership and processes. One of the major issues that came out of that process was that our bylaws provide for no pre-requisite qualifications for candidacy for Chair of the Party. It was pointed out by the consultants that this is unusual for organizations with a component structure such as ours.

It was proposed, for the offices of Chair and First Vice Chair only, that a minimum prior service as a District Leader or Standing Committee Chair for six months in the past five years be established as a base qualification for office. The First Vice Chair was included because a major part of that office’s charge is to be prepared to step in as Chair. The reasoning is that this isn’t a very high bar, but guarantees both that the candidates have some knowledge of the structure and operation of the Party as well as the workload of the Chair, and that the Party members have a record of performance to refer to in evaluating candidates. The point is that the better the candidates know the Party and the better the Party knows the candidates, the better the decisions we make will be, and that prior qualifications are a good idea, but the bar should not be too high. This amendment was first amended to include other categories of service as qualifications, and then referred to the Rules Committee for further consideration.

Two changes were adopted in the procedure for declaring candidacy for Party office: 1. A deadline of 7 days before the election for declarations of candidacy, and 2. A requirement that official declarations of candidacy be submitted in writing to the Second Vice Chair. This is intended to provide members sufficient time to evaluate candidates, and simplify and clarify the declaration process. In addition, we will now use signed ballots, as the DPO does, to insure that if there is a question as to the credentials of those voting, qualified ballots can be confirmed.

The second group of amendments concerns the use of our data resources. Primarily this refers to the VAN, the dual database we have via the DPO, but it also refers to other data that we compile to facilitate our operation as a Party. The goal here is to ensure that end users of these resources are obligated, in the same way the Party is, to use these resources for the purposes for which they exist, such as Party building, Party communications and supporting Democratic candidates and endorsed campaigns. By putting these provisions in the bylaws, we empower Party leadership to formalize that agreement. These amendments were adopted.

PCPs Eligible for Approval at the February 13 Central Committee Meeting

The following Multnomah County Democrats have applied and are eligible to be approved for appointment as Precinct Committee Persons at the February 13 Central Committee Meeting:

Precinct#3502 – Jeston Black
Precinct#3803 – Kelley Hartman Meck
Precinct#3803 – John Wykoff
Precinct#3807 – Jonathan David Friedman
Precinct#4102 – Tiffany Dollar
Precinct#4201 – Tony Ray Capps
Precinct#4206 – Patrick John Cook
Precinct#4208 – Minh Nguyen
Precinct#4210 – Michael Marciarille DeLong
Precinct#4211 – Ingrid Fish
Precinct#4211 – Warren G. Fish
Precinct#4501 – Barbara Christensen
Precinct#4501 – Jonathan Prine
Precinct#4502 – Erik William Bryce Peterson
Precinct#4503 – Shaanti Abbruzzese
Precinct#4503 – Elizabeth Harman
Precinct#4503 – William W. Porter III
Precinct#4504 – Renee L. Dowlin
Precinct#4504 – Daniel M. James
Precinct#4504 – Heidi Spafford 
Precinct#4504 – Walter Spafford 
Precinct#4507 – Andrew Purkey
Precinct#4507 – Georgiana C. Putnam
Precinct#4602 – Elizabeth Brenner
Precinct#4605 – Lawrence Betcher