The Michigan Democratic Party, in order to create a more open and inclusive environment for every Democrat, hereby establishes this code of conduct. This policy as established by the Executive Committee shall be subject to periodic review and amendment as it is deemed proper and necessary. Each amended version of this policy will supersede and replace all previous versions.
In recognition of the various ways in which Democrats now interact, both in person and online, this policy shall be applied to include every interaction between members and shall be equally applicable to every member of the State Central Committee and the Michigan Democratic Party.
Any form of discrimination, bullying, or harassment is prohibited and shall be subject to appropriate corrective action. Such action may include censure, suspension, or removal from office or the organization.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this policy, any unit of the Michigan Democratic Party may establish rules or policies for meetings that regulate the conduct of those members in attendance.
To aid members in their understanding of what is deemed inappropriate behavior, the following definitions are established:
Discrimination- the prejudicial treatment of an individual on the basis of their actual or perceived race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, economic status, religion, ethnic identity, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical appearance or disability.
Bullying- an action or series of actions intended to demean, intimidate, or humiliate an individual. Bullying can be verbal, physical, or social. It includes but is not limited to: name calling, threatening to cause physical or social harm, spreading rumors, embarrassing someone in public, or making any kind of unwanted physical contact.
Harassment- verbal, physical, or sexual conduct intended to threaten, terrorize, or coerce an individual. These actions may be repeated to achieve the desired effect.
Any alleged breach of this code of conduct shall be reported in writing to the Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party within 7 days of the offending incident. Any allegation made against the Chair shall be referred to the Chief Operating Officer.
Physical battery or sexual assault shall not be subject to any time limitation.1 In allegations of felony assault which include a documented complaint to proper law enforcement authorities, a member shall immediately be suspended pending the outcome of the complaint. Upon resolution of the criminal complaint, the Executive Committee shall have the authority to determine whether or not the suspension shall be maintained and what, if any, further corrective action is required.
An allegation may be presented in writing and delivered to Hart-Kennedy House (606 Townsend St., Lansing MI 48933) in person, by mail, or by email. Verbal reports, voicemails, text messages, or any other means of message delivery shall not be considered valid reporting methods. If a reporting deadline falls on the weekend or federal holiday, an individual shall have until the close of the next business day to submit their claim.
Any report of improper behavior should include as much detail as is useful. If possible, specific citations from this policy should be included to help determine the scope and focus of an investigation.
The Chair shall within 24 hours of receipt of a complaint determine whether a complaint is appropriate under Section II of this policy. Within 48 hours, if it is determined that the allegation conforms to the reporting requirements, the Chair shall appoint a three-person panel to investigate allegations, determine their validity, and to make appropriate suggestions for corrective action. Where allegations are made against the Chair, the Chief Operating Officer shall have responsibility to form a panel.
Each member of the panel shall be a member of the Michigan Democratic Party for at least 30 days prior to appointment. Care must be taken to ensure diverse and impartial representation.
The panel shall be afforded 14 days to conduct an investigation and make a determination. If an investigation deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the panel shall have until the close of the next business day to complete their investigation.
The panel shall have the authority to make use of party staff and facilities as necessary. They may meet in person or using similar teleconference equipment.
The panel shall compile a report of their findings, including recommendations for appropriate corrective actions, if any, and submit the document to the Chair or Chief Operating Officer of the Michigan Democratic Party. The panel will be required to unanimously agree on a proposed resolution of the complaint.
Any report recommending corrective action must be approved by the Executive Committee by a majority vote of those members present. Any report recommending dismissal of the complaint shall be effective upon issuance of the panel’s report.
For offenses where censure, suspension, or removal are recommended, the following guidelines are established:
Censure- a censure is any statement reprimanding or condemning an individual.
Suspension- a suspension is any period of time whereby an individual is barred from participating in party events or from serving in their elected or appointed capacity with the party. Any suspension may include a 120 day period whereby the offending member shall be immediately removed should they violate the terms of their suspension.
Removal- a removal is the permanent dismissal of an individual from their position within the party or from party membership. Any party leader or member may be removed by the Executive Committee if found in serious violation of this policy. Any individual removed from office will be prevented from holding party office for a period of not less than 3 years. Removal of any State Central Committee Officer shall remain subject to the provisions outlined in Article 8. D of the Rules of the Michigan Democratic Party.