Armenian political group seeks charter

The organization California Armenian-American Democrats, which includes several local members, appears close to being fully chartered by the California Democratic Party. Its bylaws would serve as a template for organizations seeking charter approval in the future, according to local officials.

The group was provisionally chartered in July and representatives went before the state party's executive board in November seeking a full charter, said Caro Avanessian, interim chairman of the group and president of the Glendale Democratic Club.

The board didn't grant the organization a full charter because board members wanted some changes to the group's bylaws.

“They want it to be perfect,” he said. “It's going to be a sample in the future.”

It would be the first statewide organization chartered by the state party, Avanessian said.

The group initially sought to become a caucus, but those groups are a part of the state party and don't have much autonomy, Avanessian said.

With a charter, the group is independent. It can raise funds and make endorsements in races and on issues where the state party hasn't endorsed.

Eric Bauman, head of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, led the meeting as vice-chairman of the California Democratic Party and chairman of the party's organizational development committee.

He said most of the significant revisions to the bylaws have been made, but the executive board wants the group to fix some grammar problems and make sure that all requirements, such as the number of days needed for meeting notices, are consistent throughout the bylaws.

Meanwhile, the organization is growing, Avanessian said, with 500 members as of Dec. 1 — the deadline to sign up in order to be a voting member and run for office during the upcoming year.

The group will return to seek a full charter in February at the Democratic convention in San Diego, Avanessian said.

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