Founded in 1967, the purpose of the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) is to eliminate existing racial and gender disparities and inequities for African Americans. In addition to drafting legislative proposals and policies that will improve the lives and opportunities for African Americans, the CLBC will proactively engage in activities that will guarantee equal access to governmental services, economic empowerment and educational opportunities.
Any person elected to the California State Legislature who is of African descent or whose ancestors were presumed to have been enslaved in the Western Hemisphere is eligible to become an active member.
- Ex-Officio Membership may be conferred by a majority vote of the caucus to any individual that is of African descent or whose ancestors were presumed to have been enslaved in the Western Hemisphere and is a former member of the California Legislature or any individual that currently holds, or previously held, a position as state-wide elected official.
- Ex-Officio Members shall only have an advisory vote on any matter of business before the Black Caucus
Officers of The California Legislative Black Caucus shall include: a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
- The Chair shall preside over Caucus meetings and act as the official representative and principal spokesperson of the Caucus. The Chair shall also be responsible for preparing and distributing meeting agenda no later than 3 days before a scheduled Caucus meeting.
- The Vice Chair shall assist the Chair in carrying out his/her powers and duties upon assignment. In the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair will assume the duties of the Chair and preside over Caucus meetings and act as the official representative and spokesperson of the Caucus.
- The Secretary shall be responsible for recording the minutes of all official CLBC meetings and for providing each member of the Caucus with a copy. Prior meeting minutes shall be distributed to Caucus members before the next scheduled meeting. The Secretary will also be responsible for filing and/or storing CLBC records for the purposes of archiving and preserving such records.
- The Treasurer shall be responsible for issuing checks and receipts from the account of the CLBC upon approval by a majority of the members present at a duly called meeting. He/She shall maintain all fiscal records and provide an accounting to the membership during each scheduled meeting. The Treasurer will also be responsible for filing and/or storing such records for archival purposes.
Election of Officers for CLBC shall be by a majority vote of members in good standing at a duly called meeting.
- The CLBC Chair shall appoint a Nominating Committee to nominate and administer the election of officers. All nominations should be received at a regularly scheduled meeting in advance of an election, unless a special meeting or emergency meeting is called by the Chair or by a majority of the Caucus. The Nominating Committee members shall consist of at least three Caucus members in good standing. Any members in good standing of the California Legislative Black Caucus are eligible for nomination.
- The Chair and Vice Chair of the Caucus may be a representative from either the Assembly or Senate. In the event that Caucus members are from one house, the Nominating Committee shall have the authority to nominate officers accordingly.
- The terms of CLBC Officers shall be for two years coinciding with each Legislative session. Elections shall take place in August of each even-numbered year. Newly elected officers will officially take office in December. Officers shall use the Interim Recess to develop the legislative agenda, priorities and the CLBC platform. No person shall serve beyond their two-year term as an Officer unless they receive a two-thirds vote of members in good standing at a duly called meeting.
Following a vacancy of any office, a special election shall be held immediately to fill the vacancy. This special election shall be held at a regularly scheduled meeting of the membership. Either the current Chair or a majority of the Caucus members may call a meeting to elect an officer to fill the vacancy.
A vacancy for an office exists when the officer no longer serves in the California State Legislature or the officer resigns from that position; or in the case of the Chair, when the Chair fails to call or attend three consecutive meetings of the Caucus in a year, without good cause and/or upon the approval of a majority of the Caucus.
The CLBC shall convene monthly meetings. The Chair shall select the date and meeting location in consultation with the Vice Chair. In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall preside over the meeting. For a duly called meeting to be official and official actions taken there must be a quorum of members in good standing present.
- To establish a quorum for the purpose of conducting the business of the Caucus, there must be at least one member greater than half of the entire membership of the California Legislative Black Caucus to constitute a quorum.
- A written agenda setting forth the items to be considered at a meeting shall be delivered to members three days prior to the meeting.
- A record of the proceedings of all meetings shall be maintained by the Secretary at the direction of the Chair.
- A report detailing contributions to and expenditures by the Caucus shall be prepared by the Treasurer for distribution to the Caucus at each regular meeting.
- Each meeting shall include a period for comments by members upon items not listed on the formal agenda.
Each Member has the right to cast one vote. Absentee voting of members may be allowed subject to prior notice to the membership at least three days before the actual vote is to take place. An absentee vote shall be cast in writing and limited to specific items included in the latest published agenda. No member may substitute or authorize another member or staff person to exercise their vote by proxy. All Caucus matters requiring a vote shall be passed by a majority of those present and voting unless otherwise specified by these bylaws.
SPONSORSHIPS, ENDORSEMENT AND/OR SUPPORT
Only members in good standing may make recommendations for sponsorships, co sponsorships, endorsements, support of individuals, events, activities by and/or on behalf of the CLBC. These recommendations shall be considered and approved by the members of the Caucus during a regularly scheduled meeting, unless a special meeting or emergency meeting is called by the Chair or by a majority of the Caucus.
All endorsements or sponsorships must identify the purpose, targeted event, parties responsible for management of the event, and include a detailed budget describing how the funds will be used prior to the vote for approval. Sponsorship of events must be approved by a majority vote of the Caucus.
All recommendations for the endorsement of candidates for local, state, and federal elections shall be considered and voted upon by the members of the Caucus during a regularly scheduled meeting, unless a special or emergency meeting is called by the Chair and Vice Chair or by a majority of the Caucus in good standing. A candidate endorsement must receive a two-thirds vote by the Caucus before an official endorsement is granted and shall follow a procedure to be proposed by the Chair and ratified by majority vote of the Caucus prior to endorsement.
- No CLBC Member shall perform any campaign or general fundraising on behalf or in the name of the California Legislative Black Caucus without approval of a majority of the Caucus members.
Any provision of these bylaws may be amended, added to, repealed, or suspended by a two-thirds vote of the Caucus membership at a duly called meeting.