est. March 2018

We’re working hard every day to bring about progressive change for everyone in our beautiful coastal community. Since the disappointing results of the 2016 election, our mission is ever-more clear. We’re focusing on face-to-face interactions that unite us, instead of the fake news that divides us. As responsible citizens we’re educating ourselves about the issues that impact our lives, our freedoms, our environment, our health, and our livelihoods; so we may fulfill the responsibilities inherent to self-governance, in the oldest and greatest democracy this world has ever seen. We’re here to demonstrate the power of grass-roots organizations  of young Democrats is capable of accomplishing.

2021 Executive Board

Christian Alonso – President
Christian is a native Nevadan who came to the Central Coast in 2010 and never left!  They are an elected member of the SB County Democratic Central Committee and work as a research analyst at a technology company.  As SBYD president, Christian leads the Executive Board and represents the club at all county political events.  Christian lives in downtown Santa Barbara with their loving partner and a 100-lb Rottweiler named Zuko.

Carlos López – Vice President
Carlos has been working to organize voter registration drives and community organizing efforts since 2014. He currently works as an organizer for UAW 5810 and serves as the chair for the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District. The work of getting people actively involved campaigns and organizing is critical, especially in an election year. His biggest goal this year is to increase our involvement in the Santa Barbara Democratic Party’s canvassing efforts to ensure that quality progressive Democrats are elected to the Santa Barbara City Council and beyond.

Meghan Robles – Social Director
Meghan is a Santa Barbara native dedicated to strengthening the engagement of young people in her community.  She is an expert on Santa Barbara County and brings a local perspective to our leadership team.  As Social Director, Meghan organizes SBYD social events and fundraisers.

Daniel Bernal-Otero – Treasurer
Daniel is originally from a small Caribbean island called San Andres which belongs to the Colombian territory. In 2010 his family relocated to San Francisco and since 2012 he calls Santa Barbara his permanent home. He attended UCSB where he obtained a major in Political Science with an emphasis in american politics and a minor in Portuguese. He has worked in both the private and public sector, and currently works as a program coordinator for a Department of State designated J-1 Visa sponsor. Daniel is committed to advocating for locally tailored legislation that will address racial and social inequality which specially prevents young people of color from pursuing higher education. As treasurer, he is in charge of coordinating all financial activities as well as providing financial advice. He is excited to bring his experience in event planning, budget management and cross cultural sensitivity to the organization.

Ian Baucke – Advocacy and Policy Director
Ian is a lifelong Santa Barbarian and a current graduate student of Poltical Management at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. As Advocacy and Policy Director, Ian is committed to engaging Santa Barbara’s young people with their local government, the progressive movement, and the democratic process. Ian leads our efforts to develop and communicate SBYD’s policy priorities and organizes young Democrats to advocate for progressive change, connecting young voters to their lawmakers to ensure Santa Barbara remains a great home for the next generation.

Savannah Bowling – Field Director
Savannah is a local to 805 and moved here to attend SBCC in 2015.  As the SBYD Field Director, she is committed to creating an inclusive community in Santa Barbara and educate its residents on current events and upcoming elections. Using the over 3 years of experience she has working in Tech, she strives to innovate our methods of communication and engagement with local residents to ensure they are as informed as possible on changes that may affect them.

Merushka Bisetty – Membership & Outreach Director
Merushka has embraced Santa Barbara as her adoptive home since 2003 after immigrating to the central coast from South Africa with her parents and younger brother. She is a psychologist with expertise in clinical and forensic psychology and was recognized by Antioch University Santa Barbara for the Excellence in Social Justice Award for her contributions in local and larger restorative justice systems, for providing effective clinical services benefiting the welfare of marginalized populations, and for developing and implementing equitable psychosocial programs for children and families. Merushka serves as the SBYD Membership and Outreach Director. Her role is to warmly welcome and engage with new members and to provide progressive leadership and advocacy for Young Dems and fellow Santa Barbarians.



Santa Barbara Young Democrats


The name of this organization will be the Santa Barbara Young Democrats (hereafter “the Club”). The Club will be chartered with the Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committee (“SBCDCC”).


Section 2.1 Goals

Our goal is to promote the Democratic Party and its ideas, ideals, and candidates in Santa Barbara County. We pursue this goal through active outreach toward registered and potential Democrats, initiatives to increase Democratic voter participation, and development of a permanent and active network of well-trained Democratic volunteers. The Club is committed to expanding opportunities for democratic
political action and providing a grass-roots channel for the participation of like-minded people.

Section 2.2 Function and Purpose

The Club shall participate countywide in the Democratic Party, cooperate and communicate with other Democratic Clubs, Committees and Associations, assist Democratic functions in Santa Barbara County, and perform such other activities as the membership may decide.

Section 2.3 Endorsements

The Club will adopt the endorsements of the Santa Barbara Democratic Party unless the club has already taken a position on candidates, ballot measures, or any other voter issue. The Club may circulate and promote the positions and endorsements of the SBCDCC when it chooses.

Section 2.4 Governing Rules

All activities of the Club shall be in conformance with Federal and State law, any provisions of the bylaws or rules of the California Democratic Party applicable to the Club, bylaws of the SBCDCC, and these Bylaws.


Section 3.1 Eligibility for Membership

Members in Good Standing must be Democrats, and registered with the Santa Barbara County Registrar of Voters if able to vote, and under the age of 36; or if under the age of eighteen or otherwise ineligible to vote shall declare their intention to so register when allowed. Members shall be considered in good standing upon their second meeting if their annual dues are current or have been waived/reduced in recognition of financial status. Membership Eligibility Rules does not apply for March 19th 2018 meeting.

Section 3.2 Required Information

Members shall provide the Steering Committee with current mailing addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses (if available).

Section 3.3 Dues

Dues are recommended to be be paid annually by Members of the Club. The Club shall establish the time and manner by which these dues shall be paid. The Executive Board of the Club reserves the right to make all final determinations of membership status and privileges.

Section 3.4 Termination

Membership shall be terminated upon tender of resignation or by the Executive Board’s declaration that a person’s membership is terminated in accordance with law or these Bylaws. Any member may have his or her membership terminated for failure to uphold the responsibilities of his or her membership, as outlined in this Article, or for conduct inconsistent with the interests of the Democratic Party as provided in Election Code Section 7215. Upon notification that a member of the Club has acted in a manner contrary to the above-referenced Election Code section, the Executive Board shall send written notice of provisional removal to the affected member at the member’s address shown on the records of the Club. The member shall have an opportunity to show cause why his or her membership should not be terminated. Within fifteen (15) days after the giving of notice, the member may request a meeting of the Executive Board for a hearing. To terminate membership, a three-fourths (3/4) majority of the Executive Board must approve the action.

Section 3.5 Membership Database

The club shall keep in written and electronic form a membership list containing the name, address, phone number, email address, expected graduation year, and record of attendance of each member. Email addresses shall be used to compile an electronic mailing list that shall be maintained by the Vice President or whomever they appoint with the approval of the Executive Board. The club shall also keep an ongoing recruitment “sign-up” list for those who have shown interest in the club. Release and usage of both the membership and recruitment lists is subject to the discretion of the Executive Board.


Section 4.1 Executive Board

The organization will have an executive board of six (6) elective officers. The officers will be: President, Vice President, Advocacy and Policy Director, Field Director, Social Director, and Treasurer. No one person may simultaneously hold more than one of these offices. The Executive Board shall administer the affairs of the Club in accordance with the policies established by the Club and these Bylaws. The Executive Board may form any committees it deems necessary.

Section 4.2 Executive Board Meetings

The Executive Board will meet once per month prior to the monthly General Meeting. All acts of the Executive Board require a majority vote of the members present.

Section 4.3 Steering Committee

The Steering Committee will consist of the officers and members appointed by the Executive Board to provide guidance in the execution of the Club’s commitments and activities. It is the primary decision-making body of the Club.


Section 5.1 President

The President will be the chief executive officer for the Club. The President will preside over all
meetings of the Club, Executive Board and the Steering Committee; shall be an ex-officio
member of all committees; shall appoint all standing and special committees and their
chairpersons; shall represent the Club at County and State functions; may remove anyone from any appointed position with the approval of the Executive Board; shall give guidance to the committee chairs in their work and shall perform all duties pertaining to the office of President.

Section 5.2 Vice President

The Vice President shall record the minutes of all general membership, Executive Board, and Steering Committee meetings, supply copies of those minutes to the Steering Committee and maintain records of those minutes. The Vice President shall assist with correspondence as requested by the Executive Board or Steering Committee. The Vice President shall render all possible assistance to the President in matters pertaining to the Club, and shall assume the duties of the President in his/her absence at meetings and public functions requiring Club participation.

Section 5.3 Advocacy and Policy Director

The Organizing Vice President shall be responsible for mobilizing Young Democrats to take action on local, state, and federal issues relevant to them. They shall organize protests and actions, organize club members to attend local meetings to speak up for young people, and research issues coming up for the club to be aware of. The Organizing Vice President shall also be responsible for composing the club’s position as letters to relevant parties on issues once the general membership has voted on a stance.

Section 5.4 Field Director

The Field Director shall be responsible for coordinating the club’s electoral activities. They shall organize SBYD members to ensure the endorsed candidates of the club and the SB Democratic Party attain victory and coordinate with local campaigns to do so.

Section 5.5 Social Director

The Social Director shall be responsible for all social events, outreach, and social media of the club. They shall be responsible for recruiting new members, retaining current members, and ensuring both members and those outside the club are aware of the club’s functions and activities. In conjunction with treasurer and appropriate ad hoc committee(s) shall organize fundraising events to raise any necessary funds. In conjunction with the Treasurer and appropriate steering committee(s) shall organize fundraising events to raise necessary funds.

Section 5.6 Treasurer

The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer of the organization. He/she shall receive all monies of the Club, shall maintain accurate records of receipts and expenditures; shall coordinate all financial activities, including any tax responsibilities with the Internal Revenue Service or reporting to state and federal election boards; shall advise the Club President and Executive Board of the financial condition of the Club; shall write checks and make deposits as directed by the Executive Board. In conjunction with the social director and appropriate steering committee(s) shall organize fundraising events to raise necessary funds.

Section 5.7 Terms of Office

Terms for elected officers shall terminate and commence at the Executive Board Meeting following the election. Terms for appointed officers shall begin immediately upon acceptance of the post and shall expire at the time of the next election.

Section 5.8 Resignations and Removal

If an Officer no longer feels that he/she is able to fulfill the duties of the position, then
they must submit to the Executive Board one week notification of resignation at the next Executive Board Meeting. Cause for removal shall be defined as malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance of assigned duties, attendance issues, or other grounds found by two-thirds of the other Executive Board Members to constitute a good and sufficient cause. To begin the process of removal, any
Officer may accuse another Officer with grounds for their removal during a meeting of the Executive Board. One half of the Executive Board must vote to charge the Officer. The Officer in question must be given 48 hours’ notice of their charges. The Officer in question must be offered an opportunity at that meeting to defend themselves.

Section 5.9 Vacancies

A vacancy shall be declared when a member of the Executive Board resigns, is removed from office, misses three or more consecutive Executive Board meetings without an approved excuse (as defined by the Executive Board), or becomes incapacitated. In case of a vacancy, the Executive Board can appoint a Member in Good Standing to the vacant position as they see fit or a current officer may assume the responsibilities of the vacant position. An appointment shall be made at an Executive Board meeting. If the vacancy is that of the President, a special election will be held two weeks after the vacancy has been announced to the Membership. The Vice President will govern the club and Executive Board until a new President is elected.

Section 5.10 Order of Succession

In situations requiring the hierarchical assignment of Executive Board Members, the order of precedence shall be as follows:
1. President
2. Vice President
3. Advocacy and Policy Director
4. Field Director
5. Social Director
6. Treasurer

If the President is absent or otherwise unable to discharge the assigned duties in accordance with Article IV, Section I, then the order of succession shall follow the order above beginning with the Vice President.


Section 5.1 Elections for the Executive Board:

1. Elections shall be held at a meeting of Members in Good Standing during the March meeting.

2. The club membership must be notified of elections both by announcements at meetings and in emails to the membership at least two weeks before the election meeting.

3. Only those who are Members in Good Standing are eligible to vote and run for office in the election.

4. Candidates may declare their intent to run until the election for that position takes place (i.e. the beginning of speeches for that position).

5. The President shall chair the election meeting. If the President is absent or is running for office in the election, the chair shall follow the order of succession until an officer that is present and not running for any office is found. If all officers are running, a Member in Good standing who is not running for office may chair the election with the approval of ⅔ of the membership present at the meeting.

6. The elections for officers shall be held in the order of succession.

7. Each candidate shall be given five minutes to speak, followed by five additional minutes for questions and answers.

8. The Chair of the elections meeting shall count the votes in view of the present membership in the room in which the elections are taking place immediately after the vote is held. Candidates in the election shall be allowed to view and inspect all ballots in their election for at least a week after the election.

9. A line for a write-in vote must be included on every ballot for each position.

10. In a race with three or more candidates, if no candidate receives a majority, a runoff shall be held between the two candidates who received the most votes. The Members in Good Standing who are present at the election meeting may vote to allow each candidate either additional time to speak or answer questions, for additional discussion regarding the candidates, or for any other course of action that the Members in Good Standing shall deem appropriate.

11. In the case of a tie, a runoff shall be held between the two candidates. The Members in Good Standing who are present at the election meeting may vote to allow each candidate either additional time to speak or answer questions, for additional discussion regarding the candidates, or for any other course of action that the Members in Good Standing who are present shall deem appropriate. This process shall be repeated until a winner is chosen.

12. Only Candidate Statements, which have been properly and timely submitted to the Executive Board, may be distributed during the election meeting by Executive Board Members.

13. Candidates may not influence voters by giving them any kind of gift, monetary or otherwise, or promise of future Executive Board position or other form of influence, in return for votes or assistance.

14. If any Member in Good Standing believes a violation of these bylaws has occurred, the member may submit a request for a formal inquiry to the Vice President. If the Executive Board determines that there has been a violation of these bylaws, they shall determine an appropriate remedy, including but not limited to calling another election.

Section 6.2 Vacancy

On the occurrence of any vacancy in any office, the President shall appoint an interim officer to fill the office until the next Annual General Meeting, at which time an election will be held to fill out the remainder of the vacated office if necessary. If a vacancy occurs in the office of President, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 6.3 Selection of Representatives to California Democratic Party (CDP)

Pre-Endorsement Conferences
Potential representatives to the CDP Pre-endorsement conferences must comply with all
specifications set forth by the state party for chartered clubs/organizations for participation in the pre-endorsement process. Said representatives shall be selected from the Club’s roster of Members in Good Standing by majority vote of the Steering Committee.


Section 7.1 Regular Meetings

The Club will meet once a month.

Section 7.2 Special Meetings

If the President chooses, a meeting may be called with at least five (5) days’ notice by a majority of the Executive Board. Only business specified in the notice of the special meeting shall be transacted.

Section 7.3 Quorum

A quorum of ten percent (10%) of Members in good standing or at least 5 members in good standing shall be required at every General Body meeting.

Section 7.4 Participation

Except as otherwise noted in these bylaws, rules for participation, motions, voting, and adjournment for General Body meetings will be governed by the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.


Section 8.1 Overview

The Santa Barbara Young Democrats may endorse:

1. Democratic Party candidates in voter-nominated or other political offices.

2. Primary candidates that are registered Democrats.

3. Any legislative bill, initiative, ballot proposition or measure, advisory petition, or political action or campaign.

4. Qualifying candidates for any office within the Democratic Party structure, including but not limited to the California Young Democrats and the California College Democrats.

Section 8.2 Endorsement Procedure

1. The President shall preside over the endorsement process unless the President is seeking endorsement or otherwise unavailable, in which case the presiding Officer shall be the first Officer in the order of succession not seeking endorsement.

2. The presiding officer shall make a good-faith effort to give relevant candidates and campaigns an opportunity to speak at the endorsement meeting. All candidates and campaigns shall be given an equal opportunity to participate. The voting process shall be determined in advance by the Executive Board. The endorsement threshold will be 60% of present voting members.

3. Should any new information not available during the process be made available that reveals any endorsed candidate or measure to be in violation of club beliefs or policies an endorsement can be revoked by a 2/3 vote of general membership.


These Bylaws may be amended by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Members present at any regularly scheduled general meeting, provided: a) that a quorum of members is present at the meeting; and b) that written notice of the text of the amendment has been sent to each member at least ten (10) days before the meeting.