Youth Commission Bylaws

Bylaws of the Durham Youth Commission
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Contents
   I. Preamble
   II. Authorization
   III. Conduct of Business
   IV. Name
   V. Commission Seal
   VI. Purpose
   VII. Goals
   VIII. Duties and Responsibilities
   IX. Membership
   X. Officers
   XI. Meetings & Procedures
   XII. Attendance
   XIII. Committees & Boards
   XIV. Annual Report
   XV. Transfer from Current Term to New Term
   XVI. Youth Commission Coordinator Role
   XVII. Amendments
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Article I. Preamble
Section 1: We, the youth of the city of Durham , in conjunction with the Durham City Council, to construct a more formal venue to voice our concerns, create the Durham Youth Commission. As a representative body of Durham youth, the Commission aims to provide an opportunity for youth to have a formal role in local decision-making while assisting and advising the Durham City Council in addressing youth issues.

Article II. Authorization
Section 1: This commission of the City of Durham shall be under the jurisdiction of the Durham City Council.

Article III. Conduct of Business
Section 1: The Commission shall adopt bylaws for the orderly conduct of its business.

Article IV. Name
Section 1: The name of this commission shall be the Durham Youth Commission; hereinafter referred to as the Durham Youth Commission (or the DYC or the Commission) located at 101 City Hall Plaza, Durham , North Carolina, 27701.

Article V. Commission Seal
Section 1: The seal and logo of the Durham Youth Commission shall be as shown above.

Article VI. Purpose
Section 1: The purpose of the commission is to actively involve youth in policy issues affecting them, broaden the scope of youth leadership in city affairs, promote experiential learning of the functions of government, develop healthy citizenry habits for the future of the community, and promote public awareness of the strengths and abilities of youth. The commission shall provide an opportunity for the youth of Durham to acquire a greater knowledge of and appreciation for our political system through active participation within it. The commission shall collect all information relevant to advising and assisting the Durham City council on the effects of legislative and educational policies, needs, assessments, priorities, programs, and budgets concerning the children and youth of Durham . The Durham City Council shall refer any youth and children issues to DYC for comment and recommendation. The Commission shall have 12 days to respond. This referral requirement shall not apply to any matter where immediate action by the Durham City Council is necessary to protect the public interest.

Article VII. Goals
The goals of the Durham Youth Commission shall be to:
Section 1: Promote civic mindedness and participation in the city among youth as well as to give them an invested interest in city affairs;
Section 2: Help the city be more aware of youth issues;
Section 3: Give future leaders real world experience to help them in life;
Section 4: Help ensure that governmental policies meet the needs of young people;
Section 5: Provide leadership in research and analysis on youth issues;
Section 6: Provide a powerful youth voice in the city of Durham;
Section 7: Facilitate communication between young people and the government;
Section 8: Design and manage services and programs to maximize young people's participation in the Durham community;
Section 9: Ensure and encourage the active participation of youth in all spheres of society and in decision-making processes at the local level;
Section 10: Promote education, training in democratic processes and the spirit of citizenship and civic responsibility of young men and women with an aim of strengthening and facilitating their commitment to, participation in and full integration into society.

Article VIII. Duties and Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of the Durham Youth Commission shall be to:
Section 1: Act as an advisory board to the Durham City Council.
Section 2: Develop and make recommendations on programs which promote collaboration between public and private organizations in delivery of services that foster positive development of Durham 's youth.
Section 3: Facilitate improved coordination and cooperation among youth-serving agencies and local government agencies.
Section 4: Identify and make recommendations on conditions which hinder or prevent Durham 's youth from becoming healthy, productive members of the community.
Section 5: Communicate accurate and timely information concerning issues facing Durham 's youth and coordinate community-wide responses to those issues.
Section 6: Address and take recommendations concerning the implementation of the Violence Prevention Plan.
Section 7: Identify the concerns and needs of the children and youth of Durham . Examine existing social, economic, educational, and recreational programs for children and youth.
Section 8: Develop and propose plans that support or improve such programs, and make recommendations to the Durham City Council.
Section 9: Identify the unmet needs of Durham 's children and youth through personal contact with these young people, school officials, church leaders, and others.
Section 10: Hold public forums in which both youth and adults are encouraged to participate.
Section 11: Elicit the interest, support, and mutual cooperation of private groups and citywide organizations that initiate and sponsor recommendations addressing the social, economic, educational, and recreational needs of children and youth in Durham .
Section 12: Advise the Durham City Council about how such recommendations could be coordinated in the communities and/or schools to eliminate duplication in cost and effort.
Section 13: Advise about available sources of governmental and private funding for youth programs.
Section 14: Submit recommendations to the Durham City Council about juvenile crime prevention, job opportunities for youth, recreational activities for teenagers, opportunities for effective participation by youth in the governmental process, and changes in city regulations that are necessary to improve the social, economic, educational, and recreational advantages for children and youth.
Section 15: Respond to requests for comment and recommendation on matters referred to the Commission by officers, departments, agencies, boards, commissions and advisory committees of the City of Durham.
Section 16 : Perform other related functions assigned by the Durham City Council.

Article IX. Membership
Section 1: The Commission shall consist of thirty (30) voting members, each of whom shall be between the ages of 11 and 18 years old at the time of appointment.
Section 2: The Durham City Council shall appoint the thirty (30) members to the DYC based on applications filed during a set filing period.
Section 3: The Durham City Council shall appoint thirty (30) youth applicants that reside within Durham and/or attend a school within Durham County. The Durham city Council shall ensure racial, socioeconomic, cultural and educational diversity in their appointments.
Section 4: Resignation
   Section 4.1: A member who wishes to resign from the Commission shall be required to submit a resignation to his/her appointing authority. The Commission requires that the resigning member then submit a copy of this letter to the Operations Officer.
Section 5: Vacancies
   Section 5.1: In the event of a vacancy on the Commission, the Operations Officer shall inform the appointing authority that the Commission would like to review applications and make recommendations to the authority without opening another application filing period. Applications on current file will be the only applicants included in this process.

Article X. Offices
Section 1: The elected officers of the Durham Youth Commission shall consist of a Chairperson, Secretary, Government Affairs Officer, Operations Officer, Community Affairs Officer, and Media and Public Relations Officer.
Section 2: Terms and Vacancies
   Section 2.1: Any commissioner may hold the position of Chairperson, Secretary, Governmental Affairs Officer, Operations Officer, Community Affairs Officer, and Media and Public Relations Officer following elections. The Secretary shall not be elected but appointed by the Chairperson.
   Section 2.2: The elected officers shall serve one (1) year terms, following the calendar terms of the full Commission.
   Section 2.3: No Commissioner shall run for more than one officer position at the same time.
   Section 2.4: No officer shall hold more than one officer's position at the same time.
   Section 2.5: No officer shall hold the same position for more than two (2) consecutive terms.
   Section 2.6: Any officer can be removed from office by a two-thirds (2/3) vote be full Commission for any reasons deemed necessary by the Commission
   Section 2.7: Vacancies shall be filed for the remainder of the unexpired term in a manner similar to that which the member was initially elected.
   Section 2.8: A members may nominate himself/herself for an office or have someone else nominate them, providing the person accepts the nomination. Elections will happen in writing and results will be announced to the public. If there are than two (2) candidates, and neither receives more than fifty percent (50%) of the votes, a run-off will be held. The person with the majority vote in the run-off shall be elected to the offices.
Section 3: Duties of Officers
   Section 3.1: The Chairperson
      Section 3.1.1: Facilitate Commission and Executive Committee meetings;
      Section 3.1.2: Motivate and encourage active participation by all Commissioners at meetings and in projects;
      Section 3.1.3: Uphold and enforce the bylaws;
      Section 3.1.4: Meet with the director weekly to check in and discuss Commission business;
      Section 3.1.5: Be responsible in assigning tasks under the jurisdiction of other officers.
(Recommended Skills: Public speaking skills, leadership skills, group facilitation skills able to ensure participation of members at meetings and in projects, motivational, inclusive, prefer flexible schedule with free hours during the day.)
   Section 3.2: The Government Affairs Officer:
      Section 3.2.1: Serve as the point person on receiving, monitoring, and reporting pending legislation to the Commission
      Section 3.2.1: Ensure that Commissioners build relationships with the Durham City Council by meeting about upcoming legislation
      Section 3.2.3: Check to make sure Commissioners are meeting with appointing authorities regarding pending legislations.
      Section 3.2.4: Solicit interest and participation of Commissioners in writing and get support for legislation.
      Section 3.2.5: Advise committees on drafting legislation before it goes before a governing body.
(Recommended Skills: Interest in legislature and policy, leadership skills, public speaking skills, organizational skills, facilitation skills, quick learner, able to teach and engage as many Youth Commissioners as possible.)
   Section 3.3 The Operations Officer:
      Section 3.3.1: Facilitate Commission and Executive Committee meetings in the absence of the Chairperson
      Section 3.3.2: Ensure committees and liaisons are fulfilling their duties and responsibilities.
      Section 3.3.3: Mediate all internal conflicts unless they involve the Operations Officer, in which case, the Chairperson will mediate any grievances.
      Section 3.3.4: Monitors attendance and report delinquent Commissioners to the Executive Committee
      Section 3.3.5: Coordinate recommendations of a Youth Commission candidate to appointing authority in the event of a vacancy.
      Section 3.3.6: Oversee all administrative functions on behalf of the Commission.
      Section 3.3.7: Coordinate social training events with the assistance of staff.
(Recommended Sills: Organizational skills, ability to work well with people and encourage/urge them, facilitation/conflict mediation skills, ability to relate well to different kinds of people.)
   Section 3.4: The Community Affairs Officer:
       Section 3.4.1: Co-coordinate (with the Media and Public Relations Officer) media, public relations, outreach and educational material on behalf of the Commission.
      Section 3.4.2: Work with staff to develop an annual outreach plan for the Commission.
      Section 3.4.3: Coordinate community meetings and commission presentations at schools, agencies, and events.
      Section 3.4.5: Work with the Government Affairs Officer to coordinate Commissioner testimony at legislative hearings.
(Recommended Skills: Organizational skills, strong people and communications skills, outgoing, dependable, public speaking skills, ability to relate to different groups of people, strong familiarity with Durham )
   Section 3.5: The Media and Public Relations Officer:
      Section 3.5.1: Co-coordinate (with community Affairs Officer) media, public relations, outreach and educational material on behalf of the Commission.
      Section 3.5.2: Coordinate the Commission's newsletter.
      Section 3.5.3: Work with staff, develop media strategy for the Commission, which may include press releases, press kits for the media and public and maintain a web page.
      Section 3.5.4: Coordinate the production of the Annual Report.
(Recommended Skills: Organizational skills, writing skills, public speaking skills, experience with media or willingness to learn, dependable)
Section 4: Terms and Vacancies
   Section 4.1: The elected officials shall serve one-year terms, following the calendar terms of the full Commission.
   Section 4.2: No Commissioner shall run for more than one officer position at the same time.
   Section 4.3: No officer shall hold more than one officer's position at the same time.
   Section 4.4: No officer shall hold the same position for more than two (2) consecutive terms.
   Section 4.5: Any officer can be removed from office by a two-thirds (2/3) vote by the full Commission for any reason deemed necessary by the Commission that is not discriminatory or bias.
   Section 4.6: Vacancies shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in a manner similar to that which the member was initially elected.
   Section 4.7: A member may nominate himself/herself for an officer or have someone else nominate them, provided the person accepts the nomination. Elections will happen in writing and results will be announced to the public. If there are more than two candidates, and neither receives more than fifty percent (50%) of the votes, a run-off will be held. The person with the majority vote in the run-off shall be elected to the office.

Article XI. Meetings and Procedures
Section 1: All meetings of the commission shall be open to the public and shall conform to the North Carolina Open Meetings Law, B.S. Chapter 143, Article 33C.
Section 2: Special Meetings
   Section 2.1: The Chairperson or a majority of the Commission has the power to call a special meeting of the Commission. In addition, the Executive Committee shall also have the power to call a special meeting of the Commission, if a minimum of three Executive committee members vote to do so. For a special meeting, an agenda and 72 hours notice to the public must be provided. Sixteen (16) members of the Commission must be present in order to conduct business.
Section 3: Quorum and Voting Procedure
Section 3.1: The Presence of a majority of the members (sixteen (16) Commissioners) shall constitute a quorum for all purposes.
Section 3.2: The affirmative vote of a majority of the members (sixteen (16) votes) shall be required for the approval of any matter.
Section 4: Setting the Agenda
   Section 4.1: The Chairperson and members of the Executive Committee can place new items on the agenda for the next Commission meeting in between commission meetings. Any Commission member is free to propose agenda items.
Section 5: Public Comments
   Section 5.1: The Commission and all committees and boards of the Commission shall hold meetings open to the public in full compliance with these bylaws. The Commission encourages the participation of interested persons. The Chairperson may limit time permitted for public comment consistent with these bylaws. Each person wishing to speak on an item before the Commission at a regular or special meeting shall be permitted to be heard once for up to three (3) minutes.

Article XII. Attendance
Section 1: Automatic Resignation of Members
   Section 1.2: members shall not abuse the attendance policy. Absences or tardiness may result in automatic resignation from the Commission as described in this attendance policy.

Article XIII. Committees and Boards
Section 1: Executive Committee
   Section 1.1: The Executive committee shall be composed of the Commission officers, meet twice a month and provide the internal oversight of the full Commission. All meetings are open to any Commissioner and to the public.
   Section 1.2: The Executive Committee responsibilities are to:
      Section 1.2.1: Create, determine size, and select members of committees as required, and remove members if necessary. Each committee must meet the same public notice requirements.
      Section 1.2.2: Call special meetings on behalf of the Commission. The Executive Committee must have a minimum of three votes in order to do so.
      Section 1.2.3: Advise the Commission during emergency or extenuating circumstances on actions to take. In the event that the Commission doe3s not have a regularly scheduled meeting in time to advise the Durham City council on legislation, the Executive Committee may state the position it will recommend to the full Commission. The legislation shall then be placed on the next Commission meeting's agenda to permit the Commission to determine its position.
      Section 1.2.4: Investigate all improper behavior or bylaw infractions by Commissioners and make recommendations for action to the full Commission.
      Section 1.2.5: Monitor commission attendance, make recommendations regarding authorizing absences, and review and make recommendations to the full Commission regarding any member's request for leave of absence.
      Section 1.2.6: Review the commission budget.
      Section 1.2.7: discuss and finalize Commission agendas.
      Section 1.2.8: Individual members of the Executive committee are required to submit a detailed written annual report to the new officers of the new term.
      Section 1.2.9: Make recommendations on applicants to the Commission in occurrence of a vacancy and in absence of the Operations Officer. The commission will then present such recommendations to the full Commission for approval.
Section 2: Jurisdiction of the Executive Committee
   Section 2.1: Only the Executive Committee members are allowed to vote on Executive Committee business. Decisions of the Executive Committee require a minimum of three (3) votes.
   Section 2.2: Any unsolvable concerns of the Executive Committee shall be cast to the full Commission for resolution.
   Section 2.3: The full Commission has the power to override or vet any decision made by the Executive Commission with a majority vote.
Section 3: Youth Advisory Board
   Section 3.1: The Youth Advisory Board shall be comprised of 15 youth that sought appointments to the Commission but did not get appointed. Those youth would be chosen by the full Commission.
   Section 3.2: The Youth Advisory Board responsibilities are:
      Section 3.2.1: To attend monthly Commission meetings
      Section 3.2.2: To participate with Commission members in the planning, organizing, coordinating and carrying out of various activities.
      Section 3.2.3: To research information needed by the full Commission on various topics, matters, and issues.
      Section 3.2.4: To provide information about different activities within their respective schools and communities.
      Section 3.2.5: To assist the Commission with community projects.
      Section 3.2.6: To serve as liaisons to the Citizens Advisory Committee, the County Appearance Committee, the Durham Area Transit Authority, the Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission, the Durham Housing Authority, the Durham Planning commission, the Human Relations Commission and the Workforce Development Board.

Article XIV. Annual Report
Section 1: The Youth Commission shall prepare and submit to the Durham City Council a work plan by the beginning of July of each fiscal year with the assistance of the Youth Commission coordinator. The work plan shall provide a comprehensive listing of all work objectives for the upcoming fiscal year and all anticipated youth development activities, initiates and projects to be carried out during the upcoming fiscal year.

Article XV: Transfer from Current to New Term
Section 1: At the first meeting of the new term, if the Chairperson has been appointed to the Commission, he/she shall preside of the Commission and explain that new officers will be elected at the second meeting.
Section 2: If the current Chairperson has been replace, the Operations Officers shall calendar for consideration at the next meeting a vote on an interim Chair. The interim Chair shall preside until a Chair and other officers are elected at the second meeting of the new term.
Section 3: All members who are not replaced by their appointing authorities may continue to serve until they are replaced.
Section 4: The Commission shall provide a full report to the new appointed members of the Commission.

Article XVI. Youth Commission Coordinator Role
Section 1: The Youth Commission Coordinator responsibilities are to facilitate the day-to-day operations of the Commission and the management, development, and representation of the Youth Commission's mission goals and actions.
Section 2: The Youth Commission Coordinator shall adhere to the duties and responsibilities as stated in the Interlocal Cooperation Agreement in the City of Durham .
Section 3: The Youth Commission Coordinator shall work:
   Section 3.1: To ensure active youth participation in Durham city government as well as educational policies and programs;
   Section 3.2: To develop the leadership skills of young people;
   Section 3.3: To build a stronger young movement through collaborating with community members and organizations;
   Section 3.4: To create a safe space in which supportive, honest, and respectful relationships amongst Commissioners and Staff thrive;
   Section 3.5: To share insight, history, and vision in order to provide the best possible Commissioner experience in the present and in the future.

Article XVII. Amendments:
Section 1: The bylaws of this Commission may be created, repealed, amended or reworded with a majority vote of the full Commission. Changes made to the bylaws must be placed on the agenda before the next full Commission meeting for approval.
Section 2: A record of all changes of any kind of the bylaws must be documented. The exact change must be recorded and have the Chairperson's, Vice Chairperson's and Operations Officer's signatures, the date, and must be properly filed. In addition, a current copy of the bylaws, with the most recent amendments reflected, must be maintained by commission staff.