Bylaws

Bylaws of the Green Party of Seattle - Revised March 22, 2017 

ARTICLE I. NAME

1. Name 

The name of this political party shall be the Green Party of Seattle.

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE AND VALUES 

2.1. Purpose Statement

The purpose of this political party shall be to work toward a Green society through participating in the political process. Our vision is represented by the Ten Key Values of the Green Party: ∙ Grassroots Democracy∙ Social Justice and Equal Opportunity∙ Ecological Wisdom∙ NonViolence∙ Decentralization∙ Community Based Economics∙ Feminism and Gender Equity∙ Respect for Diversity∙ Personal and Global Responsibility∙ Future Focus and Sustainability

2.2. Methods

The Green Party of Seattle may use any and all methods of nonviolent social change: direct action, community organizing and education, personal empowerment, issue campaigns, ballot initiatives, and/or electoral campaigns; and their related strategies and tactics.

ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

3.1. Application for Membership

Membership in the Green Party of Seattle is open to any person, regardless of age, race, color, national origin, spiritual belief, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, or physical challenge who pays annual dues or does work in lieu of payment. A membership applicant shall sign an application form which shall state that the applicant is in general agreement with the Ten Key Values and the Bylaws of the Green Party of Seattle. Steps will be taken to protect the applicant's anonymity upon request as noted on the application form. 

3.2. Beginning of Membership

Membership shall begin three weeks after a prospective member's application form is received by the Membership Coordinator. Powers of membership shall be granted to new members following this three week period.

3.3. Powers and Duties of Members 

Members may vote on issues and serve on the Coordinating Council and committees.

3.4. Good Standing

Membership in the Green Party of Seattle is based on mutual respect. Members participate in good faith in discussion and decision making and resolve conflicts peaceably. Members shall refrain from abusive and disruptive behavior. Members who fulfill these responsibilities shall be in good standing with the Green Party of Seattle. Any member who fails to fulfill these responsibilities may be subject to suspension or removal. (See Section 4.13.)

ARTICLE IV. STRUCTURE

4.1. The General Membership Meeting 

The General Membership Meeting shall be open to all members of the Green Party of Seattle. 

4 2. Sessions of the General Membership Meeting

General Membership Meetings shall be held at least six times a year. Preliminary notice and agendas of General Membership Meetings shall be made available to those in the GPoS database at least one week in advance.  The final text of proposed bylaw amendments (see 6.2.) and notice of GPoS Coordinating Committee elections including candidate profiles shall be sent to the Secretary three weeks before a General Membership Meeting and available to those in the GPoS database at least two weeks in advance.

4.3. General Powers of the Membership

The General Membership is the ultimate decision making authority in the Green Party of Seattle. Only the General Membership can reverse or modify a previous decision made by the General Membership. The decisions of the Coordinating Council must be consistent with all decisions made by the General Membership. The General Membership may elect or recall any members of the Coordinating Council, revoke the charter of committees and working groups, amend the Bylaws as necessary, adopt a Party Platform, select Green Party candidates for public office, and endorse ballot measures and preferred candidates. The General Membership may also choose for the Green Party of Seattle to affiliate with, or to withdraw affiliation from, a larger geographical body of Greens such as the Green Party of Washington.

The Membership may also request a revision of any Coordinating Council decision by submitting a petition signed by at least five members in good standing to either the Coordinating Council or directly to any General Membership Meeting. Once a revision petition has achieved five signatures and has been submitted, it must be addressed at every subsequent Coordinating Council and General Membership meeting until it is resolved. If a petition is submitted during the course of a Coordinating Council or General Membership meeting when agenda alteration is permitted, it may be addressed at that meeting.

4.4. Coordinating Council

The Coordinating Council of the Green Party of Seattle shall be composed of members elected by the Membership. These shall include, but not be limited to, a Facilitator, Secretary, Treasurer. At least one of the three officers (Facilitator, Secretary, and Treasurer) elected must be a woman.  

Voting for these CC members will be by blind balloting, with each of the three officers being elected separately using instant runoff voting. The total number of Coordinating Council members shall not exceed seven. Voting for at-large CC members will be by blind balloting, with the officers elected from the group of candidates using instant runoff voting. 

CC members must be members in good standing of Green Party of Seattle. 

4.5. Coordinating Council Sessions

The Coordinating Council shall meet at least once a month. Any Green Party of Seattle member in good standing may propose agenda items, but only Council members may vote.

4.6. Coordinating Council Powers

The Coordinating Council shall initiate, finalize and oversee the Strategic Plan; develop and implement the annual Budget; oversee the Political Platform; develop Political Strategy; hire and supervise any employees of the Party; and charter working groups. The Coordinating Council shall facilitate work between Membership Meetings. The Coordinating Council shall make endorsements and statements only in keeping with policies set by the General Membership Meetings. If and when necessary, the Coordinating Council shall serve as the legal Board of the organization. At each General Membership Meeting the Coordinating Council shall report on its activities since the previous General Membership Meeting. Major Coordinating Council decisions may be brought to the Membership for review and revision.

4.7. Coordinating Council Terms of Service

The Coordinating Council members shall be elected for one year terms by the Membership.  They shall be limited to three consecutive terms, after which they shall be ineligible for service for a period of not less than one year.

4.8. Facilitator

The Facilitator shall facilitate or arrange for facilitation of the Coordinating Council and General Membership Meetings. The Facilitator shall also prepare the agenda for these meetings, with the assistance of the Secretary. Agenda items may also be submitted by any member in good standing. All agenda items submitted by the membership should be part of the minutes. The Facilitator shall assist with conflict resolution within the Party. 

4.9. Secretary

The Secretary shall be responsible for taking and publishing minutes of all Membership and Coordinating Council meetings, notifying the membership of upcoming meetings, and keeping and making available accurate records. The Secretary shall exercise special care to make records, announcements, and other important communication easily accessible to members without Internet access. The Secretary shall assist the Facilitator in developing the agendas for the CC and GM meetings.

4.10. Treasurer 

The Treasurer shall prepare yearly budgets and monitor ongoing expenses. The Treasurer shall keep the accounting, or arrange with a qualified professional to do so, and will report monthly to the Coordinating Council and the Membership Meeting. The Treasurer and one other specified Coordinating Council member may sign checks.

4.13. Suspension and Removal

Any member of the Coordinating Council who has not attended three consecutive CC in-person meetings and/or CC conference calls without explanation, shall be considered to have resigned.  The Coordinating Council will announce an election to fill the vacancy as specified in 4.2.

Any member of the Coordinating Council or of the Green Party of Seattle may be suspended or removed for cause by a 3/4vote of the Coordinating Council.  This decision may be overturned by a 3/4 vote of the membership as referenced in 4.3. The term of suspension or removal shall be determined by the Coordinating Council. A suspended member is not in good standing, and may not participated in consensus decision making, voting, or electronic communications. A removed member is restricted as a suspended member is, and additionally may not attend meetings, except those portions of meetings where the appeal is part of the agenda.

4.14. Appeals 

Any member who is suspended or removed from membership may appeal her/his suspension or removal. Appeals may be made to the Coordinating Council or directly to the Membership. One appeal may be submitted per term of suspension or removal.

4.16. Caucuses

A caucus of likeminded members may form at any time. A caucus shall be free to work with the CC, Working Groups, or the General Membership. A caucus should be consulted by other bodies of the organization on issues dealing with their area of interest. 

4.18. Other Functional Bodies

At least five members in good standing may establish other functional bodies or working groups on an interim basis. The Coordinating Council shall review and confirm the functional body or working group and confirm the chair of the functional body or working group. 

ARTICLE V. DECISIONS 

5.1. Methodology

Robert’s Rules of Order will be followed at General Membership Meetings (GMM’s), except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws. Decisions regarding meeting process motions will always be taken by majority vote. Otherwise, except for amendments to these Bylaws, the GMM shall seek consensus in its decision making, after hearing all views and concerns in full, subject to time constraints. Significant minority concerns shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. If it is not possible to reach consensus within a reasonable amount of time, the decision shall be taken by simple majority vote for candidate endorsements, and by 60%majority vote otherwise.

ARTICLE VI. AMENDMENTS

6.1. Procedure for Amendment

Proposed amendments to these Bylaws must be submitted to the Secretary no later than three weeks prior to the Membership Meeting at which the proposed Amendments shall be considered. In order to be considered, an Amendment must have the support of three members in good standing.

6.2. Notification 

The Secretary shall communicate to all members at least two weeks in advance of a Membership Meeting at which an amendment or amendments to these Bylaws are to be considered [a] the date of the meeting, [b] the complete text of the amendment(s) under consideration, and [c] any other information useful in considering the value of the proposed amendment(s).

6.3. Ratification

Amendments to these Bylaws may only be adopted by a two thirds majority vote of a Membership Meeting.