At its September 22, 2015 monthly meeting, the Uptown Democratic Club voted nearly unanimously (one “no” vote) to hold an endorsement meeting for State Senate District 39 at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting of October 27, 2015 7 PM.
Senate District 39 is currently represented by Democrat Marty Block. Assemblywoman Toni Atkins has indicated that she is also running for the seat.
The vote constitutes notice as per the requirements in the club’s bylaws, excerpted here:
ARTICLE IX Endorsements
Section 9.01 Limitations. The Club may endorse in partisan and non-partisan elections, and may endorse or oppose initiatives, referendums and other plebiscites provided that notice of possible endorsements is given the members at least two (2) weeks prior to the meeting at which the possible endorsements are to take place.
(IX.1) C. In addition to the notification requirement of at least two (2) weeks prior to the endorsement, notification shall be made either at a previous meeting of the general membership or by mail. Members who have opted-in to email only notification as per Section 5.03, Notice of Meetings, may be notified by email.
There is no better notice than the club voting to hold the endorsement meeting at the following meeting. This is significant because at the August meeting, Senator Block spoke to the club and asked for the club’s endorsement. Club President Howard Singer responded that the club would take that up the next month, intending that statement as notice, but several members complained of not hearing the statement and thus the notice.
The motion that was passed is to hold an endorsement meeting for State Senate District 39 on October 27. This is significant, because the club president initially misquoted the motion as including the phrase “by secret ballot” and was quickly corrected by the maker of the motion as not including that phrase. The club’s bylaws already and currently mandate a secret ballot for endorsement votes, so the phrase “by secret ballot” included in the language of the motion would have been redundant.
By chance the club is working separately and independently on a bylaws update to include language for Friendly Incumbent Endorsements which do not require a secret ballot. This is arcane, but if by chance, the club passes this bylaws amendment before the SD39 endorsement vote, the club could conceivably hold a “Friendly Incumbent Endorsement” which can be passed by voice vote or a show of hands, rather than being required to use a secret ballot as mandated under current bylaws.
The La Jolla Democratic Club is also considering a Friendly Incumbent Endorsements bylaw amendment. Due to the volume of endorsements and the time crunches involved in trying to pass many endorsements between the filing period and the primary, our sister club, San Diego Democrats for Equality, and our county committee, the San Diego County Democratic Party, frequently employ “Friendly Incumbent Endorsements” to expedite the endorsements work load.