Bylaws of the Green Party of Sacramento County (2012-07-21)

SCGP Bylaws

July 21, 2012

CONTENTS

ARTICLE I. NAME
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE-County Greens & Council
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
ARTICLE IV. COUNTY COUNCIL-Membership/ alternates/ resign/ recall
ARTICLE V. GENERAL MEETINGS-Council/ general membership/ decision-making
ARTICLE VI. PROCESS OF DECISION-MAKING
ARTICLE VII. DELEGATE SELECTION TO GPCA ASSEMBLY
ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENTS

ARTICLE I. NAME

The name of this organization is the Sacramento County Green Party (County Greens). The administrative body of the County Greens is the Sacramento County Green Party Council (County Council).

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE

Section 1. The County Greens

1.01 The purpose of the County Greens is to further the following ten key values through political and social action:

  1. ecological wisdom
  2. grassroots democracy
  3. social justice
  4. nonviolence
  5. decentralization
  6. community-based economics
  7. feminism
  8. respect for diversity
  9. personal & global responsibility
  10. future focus

1.02 These bylaws govern the organization, operation, and function of the Sacramento County Green Party and the Sacramento County Green Party Council.

Section 2. The County Council

2.01 The County Council will administer the County Greens according to these bylaws. In the event of an omission or ambiguity in these bylaws, the County Greens will look to the bylaws of the Green Party of California for guidance.

2.02 The County Council is accountable to the membership of the County Greens and must enact all decisions reached in accordance with these bylaws.

ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

Members are: all persons residing in Sacramento County with a current and valid registration in the Green Party of California and those persons who would independently choose to register Green if they were legally able to do so.

ARTICLE IV. COUNTY COUNCIL

Section 1. Mission and Purpose

1.01 The County Council will serve as the elected representative body of the County Greens. The County Council's mission is to contribute to the ongoing empowerment of the members of the County Greens so that they may continue their work. The County Council will serve to promote the ten key values in all its actions and statements.

1.02 The County Council shall fill the role served by the County Central Committees pursuant to Division 7 of the California Election Code.

Section 2. Membership

2.01 The County Council will be comprised of five voting members elected in a county-wide, at-large district during the direct primary election held by the State of California in even years.

2.02 The County Greens may choose to modify the method of selection or size of The County Council by modifying these bylaws. The County Council will notify the Green Party of California Coordinating Committee of such changes no later than 150 days before the direct primary election. The County Greens wish to use Instant Run-off Voting as the means of selecting its County Council and will work to make this possible in primary elections.

2.03 County Council members will serve from when the County Council convenes its first meeting after a State primary election until the next primary election for a two year term.

2.04 A County Council member may appoint an alternate in her/his absence. Alternates shall have full consensus and voting rights only with the written authorization of their appointing Council member. Such authorization may be provided upon the absentee's return. An alternate member shall be subject to the rules of The County Council and may vote only while the elected member is absent.

2.05 A Council member automatically resigns if s/he:

  1. moves out of Sacramento County;
  2. is no longer a registered Green; or
  3. misses three consecutive Council meetings, without appointing an alternate.

2.06 If a vacancy occurs on the County Council, or the entire Council is vacant, a General Meeting, or any three Sacramento County Green Party members, may call an election, following which the County Council, if one is seated, or those members in attendance at the General Meeting or otherwise calling the election will notify the general membership (those members who expressed an interest or those who can reasonably be notified within the Sacramento County Green Party’s budget) of the date, time, and place of the election.

a. Elections will be carried out in the following manner:

   1. On or before the day of election, members of the Sacramento County Green Party may be nominated as candidates for County Council.  Self-nominations are allowed.  If nominated by another member, the nomination must be accepted by the candidate.  An alias email address will be set up for the purpose of receiving nominations made in advance of the election meeting.

   2. All candidates will have the option to and are encouraged to submit a statement of their qualifications and goals as a member of the County Council.  Candidates are encouraged to attend the election meeting and respond to any questions about their candidacy.

   3. Following discussion with the present candidates, the election process will proceed as follows:

      A. If there are fewer candidates than seats on the Council or an equal number of candidates and seats, the candidates may be elected by consensus of all members present.  If this occurs, the names of the consenting members will be recorded in the minutes.

      B. If there are more candidates than seats on the council or if consensus is not reached (any member holds an unresolved concern on which they are unwilling to stand aside), the election will be carried out by secret ballot using the STV method, tabulated at the meeting with the software at http://sourceforge.net/projects/stv/ , using the 'British Columbia' method option.

      C. While the balloting is anonymous, efforts will be made to ensure that ballots are only accepted from Sacramento County Green Party members.  These shall include, at minimum, a written record of the names of the persons submitting ballots in the meeting minutes.

      D. All members present may observe the tabulation of the ballots.  Once results are tabulated, they will be presented to the meeting for approval.  The only grounds for not approving the results shall be evidence of incorrect tabulation.

b. If the election was held to fill vacancies on a seated Council, the County Council will notify the Green Party of California Coordinating Committee and County Election officials of the appointment within five days.  If the election was held to held to seat members on an entirely vacant Council, the Green Party of California Coordinating Committee will be notified of the election results within five days, so that it may take action as required by Green Party of California bylaws.

2.07 A sitting council member can be recalled if:

  1. three members of the County Greens present a written statement to The County Council member specifying why they would like the County Council member recalled. The statement must be presented at a Council or General meeting;
  2. The County Council shall allot equal times for the two positions at the next general meeting. If that meeting results in a consensus (minus the member being recalled) or in an 80% fall-back vote at a following General meeting (at least seven days apart) in favor of recall, The County Council member is removed from office.
     

Section 3. Duties and Powers

3.01 The duties and powers of The County Council are:

  1. to propose the agenda and Facilitators for General Meetings;
  2. to make sure that minutes of General Meetings are kept, and that the records of the County Greens are maintained;
  3. to set dates for General Meeting sessions, and to inform the membership of those dates;
  4. to make recommendations and proposals to General Meetings;
  5. to make every reasonable effort to carry out faithfully the decisions of General Meetings;
  6. to make decisions that advance the work of the County Greens, but which are also accountable to the County Greens at General Meetings;
  7. to set up new Working Groups, and dissolve Working Groups that are not meeting or functioning;
  8. to ask for and to receive reports and recommendations from Working Groups;
  9. to coordinate the efforts of the various Working Groups;
  10. to act as a conduit for information between Working Groups, and to make recommendations to Working Groups, as necessary;
  11. to carry out any necessary action which does not fall within the duties of any particular Working Group;
  12. to develop strategy and implement policy for the County Greens;
  13. to be ultimately responsible for seeing that the legal and fiscal responsibilities of the County Greens are met;
  14. to raise funds and make expenditures as necessary; two Council members' or the Council's designates' signatures are required for any expenditure over $150.00;
  15. to retain and direct legal counsel;
  16. to speak for, or to authorize individuals to speak for the County Greens, within the general parameters of established County Green policy, the State Platform, or recognized green values;
  17. to carry out any duties required of it by the Green Party of California;
  18. to make any decisions which, within reason and without abusing either the spirit or letter of these bylaws, help to carry out the powers and duties of The County Council, any Working Group, or the General Meeting, as stated here and elsewhere in these bylaws.

3.02 The County Council shall use the consensus process for decision making. The County Council may, however, establish its own rules of procedure subject to these by laws (such as creation of officers, agenda, etc.). All Council meetings shall be open to any member of the County Greens, who may participate in discussion and the consensus process, but only members of The County Council may vote, unless The County Council chooses otherwise.

3.03 A quorum of The County Council shall be 2/3 of the current members of The County Council, rounded down to the nearest whole number.

3.04 The County Council may delegate any of its duties and powers to committees. These committees may contain non-council members who are County Green members, but they shall remain responsible to the County Council.

Section 4 Meetings

4.01 The County Council shall hold regular monthly meetings (except July and August), as announced at general membership meetings, and additional meetings whenever necessary.

4.02 Council meetings shall be open to observation and participation of all County Green members, except that only Council members shall have full consensus and voting powers. The County Council may impose reasonable time limits.

ARTICLE V. GENERAL MEETINGS

Section 1. Duties and Powers

1.01 The General Meeting of the County Greens may override or veto any decision of the County Council.

1.02 The County Council shall schedule two general meetings per year. The County Council may call additional meetings whenever necessary, as long as reasonable notice is given to all current County Green members who have attended at least one general meeting, with priority given to more recent meetings.

1.03 General Meetings shall be open to the public, and participation of all Green registrants shall be encouraged, except that only County Green members shall have full consensus and voting powers. The County Council shall maintain a sign-up list for meeting attendance.

1.04 At the beginning of each meeting, The General Meeting shall approve of a Facilitator, Note-taker/Scribe, and Time-Keeper. The County Council is encouraged to rotate these roles among the general membership.

1.05 All County Green members shall have power to participate in decision-making at general meetings.

ARTICLE VI. PROCESS FOR DECISION-MAKING

  1. Decision-making shall be by consensus, as reached within an established time frame. Time frames may be amended as necessary.
  2. The following procedures shall be used to achieve consensus:
    1. Presenter(s) explain(s) the proposal;
    2. Facilitator calls for clarifying questions; presenter(s) respond(s);
    3. Facilitator calls for concerns (listed by the Scribe) and friendly amendments; presenter(s) may accept or reject amendments;
    4. Facilitator calls for unresolved concerns. If none, consensus is achieved;
    5. If there are unresolved concern(s), facilitator asks if they will stand aside; if so, the Scribe records the concern, and consensus is achieved.
  3. If consensus cannot be reached within the established/amended time frame, decisions may be made by vote:
    1. an 80% vote decides policy issues;
    2. a 2/3 vote decides general business;
    3. if it is unclear whether an issue is one of policy or business,the 80% rule shall apply.

ARTICLE VII. DELEGATE SELECTION TO GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA (GPCA) GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Section 1. Team Delegation

The County Greens at a County Council meeting or at a General meeting if timely shall send a team of County Green members (delegates) to statewide meetings of the GPOC. These delegates shall be elected by plurality. Before each meeting, The County Council shall provide the GPOC Coordinating Committee and the state Hosting Committee with the names of team members representing the County Greens' delegate votes. If a vote needs to be taken at the statewide meeting, the team will caucus to decide how to use the allotted votes and will vote accordingly.

Section 2. Orientation

The County Council shall make sure that all delegate team members receive an orientation regarding GPOC meetings, structure, process and bylaws. Attendance at an orientation is a prerequisite to membership on the delegate team.

ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS

These bylaws may be amended through the following process:

  1. proposals for amendment must be addressed at a general membership meeting;
  2. using the County Green decision-making process, the members will determine whether the amendment is necessary, and, if possible, the general approach to be taken;
  3. if amendment is necessary, a Bylaws Working Group shall draft a proposed amendment, following the general approach determined at the membership meeting;
  4. the proposed amendment or the originally worded amendment may be adopted at the following General meeting, either by consensus or, if necessary, a 3/4 majority vote.

 

THE END