Sorry I can't make Sunday's meeting, but I plan to present a draft of
bylaws in absentia. I have attached this draft as PDF for easy
printing. I'm also pasting the text below.
I did not write it all by myself. It has been in the works, along with
our constitution, for about a year and a half. Many people have
contributed to it and almost every bit of feedback has been incorporated
into the present document in some way.
This is not a rough draft. It's not perfect either. I believe it is,
at least, ready for consideration by the Party.
I will leave copies at the office for distribution at Sunday's meeting.
At the July general meeting, I think we should discuss the draft and
vote on whether to make it official, perhaps with specific revisions.
It might be a good idea to vote on each section independently.
Keep in mind that changing the bylaws is not hard, so if there are
mistakes and bad ideas here, we aren't locked into them.
I. ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT
As mandated in the Constitution, these Bylaws provide the governing
rules of our organization, covering topics such as membership, meetings,
officers and committees. The Constitution is the foundational document;
these Bylaws merely spell out the details. If there is ever a conflict
between the two, the Constitution is more authoritative. Rules for
changing the Bylaws are found in the Constitution. These Bylaws should
be changed as needed to fit the evolving needs of the Party.
Prospective members must submit a membership registration form to the
Membership Coordinator. Membership begins when the applicant's name is
entered into the Party's membership rolls. Membership lasts for one
year. After one year, membership must be renewed or the member's name
will be removed from the Party's membership rolls.
Membership dues of $25 shall be collected annually. The Party may waive
or reduce the membership fee for any prospective member who is unable to
pay the full amount, at the discretion of the Membership Coordinator.
A proposal to revoke membership for any individual must be read at two
consecutive General Meetings. At the second meeting, a vote must be
taken on the matter. Revoked members will be removed from the
membership rolls. Reinstatement of a revoked membership shall be
subject to a vote at a General Meeting.
III. GENERAL MEETINGS
Note: Certain decisions may be made at General Meetings only. See the
Time and Place
The Constitution requires a standing time and place for General
Meetings, which shall be 11am on the fourth Saturday of every month at
the Party's office.
In urgent situations, the Party Organizer may call a General Meeting at
another time and/or place provided the meeting is announced (via the
Party's e-mail list) at least one week in advance.
General Meetings shall be facilitated by Party members (on a voluntary,
rotating basis) or by the Party's Organizer. The facilitator should be
familiar with the Party's Constitution and these Bylaws. The
facilitator is responsible for checking quorum (see below), calling the
meeting to order, moving through the agenda, recognizing motions,
moderating discussion, observing time limits, taking votes and generally
working to make the meeting both fair and pleasant for everyone. The
Party's Secretary may not facilitate because it interferes with taking
minutes. Facilitators must strive to be impartial, limiting their own
input on the matters under discussion and ensuring that everyone present
has a chance to speak. Therefore, a Party member who has a lot to say
about a specific item on the agenda should probably not facilitate that
Agendas shall be prepared in advance by the Party Secretary. Any Party
member may add items to the agenda at the beginning of a meeting. After
items have been added to the agenda, time limits for discussion should
be agreed upon. Adding items to the agenda after this point shall be
subject to a vote.
Every agenda shall include the following sections:
Note that any agenda item under the heading of old or new business
should have a specific proposal attached.
General Meetings may not be called to order unless a quorum is present
and must be adjourned if a quorum is not maintained.
Quorum members shall be defined as Party members who have attended at
least one previous General Meeting in the past calendar year, as
recorded by the Membership Coordinator. Quorum shall consist of at
least 10% of the Party's quorum members.
Any Party member may suggest a proposal under old or new business.
(Indeed, every item under old or new business should have a specific
proposal attached.) If the proposal is seconded by another Party
member, the matter shall be opened for discussion. During discussion,
any Party member may propose that the matter be brought to a vote. If
there is no objection, a vote should be taken at this time. If there is
an objection, a vote should be taken on whether to continue discussion
or to bring the matter to a vote.
Complex proposals, such as an amendments to these Bylaws, should be
submitted in writing.
The Party shall elect officers to handle administrative and
representative functions for the Party. All officers must be active
Party members and may not hold more than one office at the same time.
All offices may be held for no longer than one year. No Party member
may hold the same office for more than two consecutive terms. All
officers shall be required to sit on the Coordinating Committee.
Nominating and Electing Officers
If any office is vacant at the time of a General Meeting, nominations
must be taken. If one or more members are nominated for any office, an
election must be held at the next general meeting. All elections must
include a binding "none of the above" option.
The Secretary shall be responsible for conducting general correspondence
on behalf of the Party, preparing agendas for General Meetings and
Coordinating Committee meetings, taking minutes of General Meetings and
Coordinating Committee meetings, publishing these minutes via the
Party's e-mail list and website. Minutes must include a list of members
in attendance, a list of proposals made, and tallies on any votes taken.
The Secretary shall check the Party's Post Office box and e-mail
account at least once per week and distribute incoming mail to the
appropriate Party officers.
The Treasurer shall be responsible for the Party's financial affairs and
shall submit a report at each General Meeting. The Treasurer shall be
empowered to disburse Party funds at his or her discretion.
Expenditures must be itemized in the Treasurer's report. The Treasurer
should take pains to anticipate financial problems and alert the Party
to them in a timely fashion. The Treasurer shall work with the
Fundraiser to develop financial goals for the Party. The Treasurer
shall conduct pledge drives to encourage members to contribute to the
Party above and beyond membership dues.
The Membership Coordinator shall be responsible for maintaining the
Party's membership rolls, collecting membership dues, setting membership
goals, conducting membership drives at least once per year, designing
membership forms that comply with the Party's Constitution and these
Bylaws, and keeping records of chapter affiliation (if any) and
attendance for General Meetings (based on the minutes). The Membership
Coordinator shall facilitate the Party's communications with its membership.
The Party shall elect two Speakers, one male and one female, who shall
be responsible for understanding the Party's positions and articulating
these positions to the public in a thoughtful and sensitive manner. The
Speakers shall be empowered to speak on the Party's behalf at speaking
engagements, in media appearances, in e-mail or Web postings, via press
releases, or through any other form of speech in the broad sense of the
The Fundraiser shall be responsible for coordinating fundraising events
and shall work closely with the Treasurer to develop financial goals for
the Party and strategies for accomplishing these goals.
The Office Manager shall be responsible for overseeing the physical
facility of the Party's office, organizing that facility so that it may
be useful to the Party's evolving needs, and staffing the office with
volunteers. The office staff shall serve as labor for contacting
members and for covering functions of unfilled offices whenever possible.
State Party Representative
The State Party Representative provides an interface between the Greater
New Orleans Green Party to the Louisiana Green Party, facilitating
communication between the two organizations. The Representative shall
be empowered to speak and vote on behalf of the local group at state
meetings. The State Party Representative should have access to reliable
transportation and be prepared to travel to meetings in different parts
of the state.
The Elections Coordinator shall be responsible for informing the Party
about upcoming elections, including qualifying requirements and
deadlines, as well as meeting with potential candidates and assessing
their potential for working with the Party.
The Outreach Coordinator shall be responsible for building bridges
between the Party and other community organizations that share our
values. The Outreach Coordinator shall maintain a listing of such
organizations and insofar as possible stay abreast of these
organizations' current goals, struggles, activities and campaigns. The
Outreach Coordinator shall promote active involvement in these
organizations by Party members and, when appropriate, inform these
organizations of the Party's activities
The Tabling Coordinator shall be responsible for identifying events with
tabling opportunities. The Tabling Coordinator shall work to ensure
that the Party has tables at as many such events as possible. The
Tabling Coordinator shall stock the table with appropriate literature
and staff the table with informed volunteers. The tabling coordinator
should have reliable transportation for hauling actual tables around town.
The Education Coordinator shall be responsible for coordinating
educational events which reflect the Party's values. Such events may
include study groups, workshops, seminars, films, videos, performances
and presentations of all sorts.
The Organizer shall serve as the Party's chief executive officer and as
the chair of the Coordinating Committee. The Organizer shall coordinate
the day-to-day administrative work of the Party and facilitate
communication within the Party. The Organizer shall perform tasks as
directed by the Membership and the Coordinating Committee.
The Organizer shall be responsible for staying informed of the
activities of the Party's various officers, working groups, chapters and
committees and maintain a familiarity with the Party's Constitution and
V. WORKING GROUPS
Party members are encouraged to associate freely and work together to
accomplish their goals. Such working groups may function autonomously
and need only seek approval from the Party (at a General Meeting or
through the Coordinating Committee) if they wish to use the Party's
resources or make public representations in the Party's name.
Chapters may be established through these Bylaws to serve specific
communities, which may be based on affinity or geography. Any group of
three or more Party members may propose a chapter at a General Meeting
in the form of a written amendment to these Bylaws. See the Party's
Constitution for rules on modifying these Bylaws.
All chapters must maintain a membership of at least three Party members.
All chapters must designate a representative, who shall be required to
sit on the Party's Coordinating Committee. Chapter coordinators may not
serve as Party officers or committee chairs or represent more than one
chapter at the same time.
Committees may be established through these Bylaws for specific tasks
and with specific powers. Any Party member may propose a committee at a
General Meeting in the form of a written amendment to these Bylaws. See
the Party's Constitution for rules on modifying these Bylaws.
All committee members must be Party members. All committees must have a
designated chair, who shall be required to sit on the Coordinating
Committee. The Coordinating Committee shall be chaired by the Party
Organizer. Coordinators may not serve as Party officers, chapter
representatives or coordinate more than one committee at the same time.
The Party shall establish a Coordinating Committee to make decisions on
behalf of the Party between general meetings and to make educated
recommendations to the membership.
The Coordinating Committee shall consist of all Party officers,
committee chairs and chapter representatives.
If, and only if, all offices required by these Bylaws are filled, any
number of at-large representatives may be elected from the Party
membership to sit on the Coordinating Committee. If any of the offices
required by these Bylaws become vacant and no candidates are nominated
at the next General Meeting, the at-large representatives must nominate
themselves for these offices or step down from the Coordinating Committee.
The Coordinating Committee shall establish a regular time and place for
meetings, not less than once a month, which shall be at 11am on the
first Saturday of every month at the Party's office. Meetings shall be
open to all members of the Party, who are entitled to voice but not vote.
In urgent situations, the Party's Organizer may call a meeting of the
Coordinating Committee at another time and/or place provided the meeting
is announced (via the Party's e-mail list) at least two days in advance.
Coordinating Committee meetings may not be called to order unless a
quorum is present and must be adjourned if a quorum is not maintained.
Quorum shall be defined as at least half of the membership of the
committee. If the Coordinating Committee does not achieve quorum for
three regular Coordinating Committee meetings in a row, the Coordinating
Committee shall be dissolved and all Party offices shall be considered
Duties and Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of the Coordinating Committee are as
authorize use of the Party's name
make decisions on behalf of the Party between General Meetings or when,
due to urgency, lack of available human resources, or other time or
resource constraints it is unfeasible to meet in a General Meeting
make educated, researched, thoughtful recommendations to the membership
at General Meetings regarding official Party matters
Note: See the Party's Constitution for a list of decisions which may
only be made at General Meetings.
The Party shall publish a quarterly newspaper titled The Crescent City
Green Quarterly to promote the Party's values and news of Party
activities in the community.
All dues-paying members shall receive a subscription to the Party's
The editor of the newspaper shall be designated by the Coordinating
Committee or at any General Meeting.