GREATER NEW ORLEANS GREEN PARTY BYLAWS
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 Party's Constitution.
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 meeting.
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 term.
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 Bylaws.
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.
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 vacant.
Duties and Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of the Coordinating Committee are as follows:
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 newspaper.
The editor of the newspaper shall be designated by the Coordinating Committee or at any General Meeting.
History of Changes
General Meeting of Oct. 26, 2002: Motion to strike language in article VII of the Bylaws which reads, "Coordinators may not serve as party officers, chapter representatives, or coordinate more than one committee at the same time." This motion passed.
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