Bylaws of  the Green Party of the United States

Table Of Contents

Article I. Purpose
Article II. Membership and The National Committee
1. Definitions
2. National Committee
3. Sustaining Membership
Article III. Committees
Article IV. The Steering Committee
Section 4-1 Mission and Authority

Section 4-2 Duties and Responsibilities
Section 4-3 Membership
Section 4-4 Term of Office
Section 4-5 Duties and Responsibilities of the Co-Chairs, Secretary and Treasurer
Article V. Voting Rules
Article VI. Steering Committee Elections
Section 6.1 Nomination
Section 6-2 Discussion and Vote
Section 6-3 Vacancy
Section 6-4 Recall
Article VII. Ethical Standards
Article VIII. (reserved)
Article IX. Platform

ARTICLE I. PURPOSE

1. Assist in the development of State Green Parties
2. Create a legally structured national Green Party Federation


ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP AND THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE

1. Definitions

The term "state" as used in these bylaws shall refer to any state, commonwealth, district or territory entitled to voting representation or non-voting delegate status in the United States House of Representatives.

The term "underrepresented group" as used in these bylaws shall refer to any grouping of Greens, not explicitly ideological in nature, that has historically failed to attain adequate access to power in society at-large and/or within the Green movement, as determined by the National Committee.

2. National Committee

The National Committee of the Green Party of the United States shall consist of the representatives of state parties and accredited caucuses of underrepresented groups.

The National Committee shall be the final decision-making body of the Green Party of the United States.

The National Committee shall approve a democratic deliberative Platform process that encourages and facilitates discussion and debate among Greens at all levels, leading to voting in each even numbered year to consider amendments to revise the Platform.

The presidential nominating convention of the Green Party is the delegated decision-making body responsible for nominating the national Green Party's presidential and vice presidential candidates and approving the Green Party's national platform in those years in which it convenes"

Meeting of the National Committee and the nominating convention may be attended by Greens who are not voting representatives or delegates.

A delegate to the National Committee may cast an additional vote at a National Conference in place of an absent delegate, as long as the total number of votes cast for that state does not exceed its total allowed votes on the National Committee, or twice the number of voting delegates in attendance.

The apportionment to the various state parties and caucuses of delegates to the National Committee shall be determined by rules established by the National Committee and incorporated into a Rules document separate from these Bylaws.

3. Sustaining Membership

Individuals may become sustaining members of the Green Party of the United States by paying dues set by the National Committee on a sliding scale based on ability to pay. Members of state parties shall be actively encouraged to become sustaining members of the Green Party of the United States. Sustaining members shall receive the Association's publications and other benefits as determined by the National Committee.


ARTICLE III. COMMITTEES

Section 3-1 Authority

3-1.1 The National Committee shall establish standing committees in order to carry out its work and may create other kinds of committees according to need. The Steering Committee shall facilitate, coordinate and assist the activities of standing and ad-hoc committees as provided in 4-2.7.

3-1.2 To establish a new committee, a Mission Statement describing each committee's general mission and duties and responsibilities must be approved by the National Committee by a two-thirds vote.

3-1.3 In conjunction with or after the establishment of a new committee, the National Committee shall approve Committee Rules, that will guide each committee's internal operations and decision-making. Until the adoption of such Rules a Committee may meet, but may not conduct internal committee elections nor make proposals to the National Committee.

Section 3-2 Membership

3-2.1 A Committee Member shall be entitled to participate in the decision making process of the Committee, including the discussion and vote on any question before the committee.

3-2.2 Each committee may have up to three members from each state Green Party and caucus, unless otherwise specified by the National Committee in a committee's Committee Rules. To be considered active for the purposes of submitting proposals to the National Committee, a committee must have members from at least five states.

3-2.3 The National Committee may establish recommended membership criteria and experience for any committee.

3-2.4 Any member of an accredited state Green Party or caucus may be appointed by that state party or caucus to serve on a committee, whether they are a National Committee member or not. National Committee members are strongly encouraged to seek appointment to serve on at least one GPUS committee.

3-2.5 No person may serve as a committee member as defined in 3-2.1 on behalf of a state party and a caucus simultaneously.

3-2.6 All committee members must be appointed according to written, democratically derived state party or caucus rules that provide for a fair, open and transparent appointment process.

3-2.7 Each committee appointment shall be communicated in writing, addressed to the Secretary of the party and to Co-Chairs of the relevant committee, either (a) by the Co-Chair or (b) such other officer of the National Committee delegation or governing committee of the party or caucus as may be responsible for that task, consistent with the rules of such Party or Caucus.

3-2.8 The length of term of committee membership shall be two years, effective once an appointment is reported to and acknowledged by the GPUS Secretary, with a grace period of two months. To serve an additional term, a committee member must be re-appointed according to the process in 3-2.6.

3-2.9 State parties and caucuses may establish term limits for their own appointments.

3-2.10 A state party or caucus may recall or remove a member, or otherwise terminate a committee appointment, if done according to democratically derived state party or caucus rules that provide for fair, open and transparent process.

Section 3-3 Co-Chairs

3-3.1 All committees shall have two co-chairs who serve staggered two-year terms, unless otherwise specified by the National Committee in the Committee Rules. Committees are urged to provide for gender balance and geographic diversity among the co-chairs and other officers serving the Committee.

Section 3-4 Internal Elections

3-4.1 All committees shall conduct internal elections by Instant Run-Off Voting and Ranked Choice Voting consistent with Article 7 of the GPUS Rules and Procedures, related to Preference Voting Rules for Steering Committee Elections.

Section 3-5 Advisors and Observers

3-5.1 Committees shall have the discretion to name advisors and observers, according to the process described in their Committee Rules, after thirty days notice to the Party with jurisdiction over the proposed Advisor's state of residence. Any member of an accredited state party may serve as a committee advisor or observer. Committee members shall consider objections made by the State Party to the appointment of such advisors and observers. Committees may also consider appointing individuals as advisors and observers from states in which there is not an accredited state party.

3-5.2 Advisers shall enjoy limited participation in committee deliberations as determined by the Committee Rules and/or as part of the conditions of their appointment. Observers may observe committee deliberations on its listserves, teleconferences and in-person meetings, but not participate in committee discussions unless requested by the committee.

3-5.3 The term of advisors and observers may be either one or two years at the discretion of the committee and there are no term limits. Terms are effective once an appointment is reported to the GPUS Secretary.

Section 3-6 Duties and Responsibilities

Each committee shall have the duty and responsibility to

3-6.1 Carry out its mission, duties and responsibilities as described in its Mission Statement and follow the procedures described in its Committee Rules.

3-6.2 Report to the National Committee at the Annual National Meeting, either orally, in writing or both, and at any other intervals as requested by the National Committee.

3-6.3 Participate in the periodic review of its Committee Rules, as conducted by the Committee on Bylaws, Rules, Policies and Procedures.

3-6.4 Propose such amendments to its Committee Rules for approval by the National Committee as are necessary to fulfill its mission, duties and responsibilities.

3-6.5 Provide new committee members with training and orientation in its Committee Rules.

Section 3-7 Committee Rules

The Committee Rules adopted by the National Committee for each Committee shall establish and codify:

3-7.1 Procedures for internal decision-making, including the consideration of proposals, appointments, nominations and elections, by conference calls, email, web pages and/or in-person meetings;

3-7.2 The responsibilities of each Committee officer;

3-7.3 The process for establishing sub-committees, as necessary to the fulfillment of the Committee's mission;

3-7.4 Guidelines for member participation, with an emphasis on promoting participation in committee work and decision-making and protecting the ability of a Committee to raise quorum for the conduct of Committee business;

3-7.5 Procedures by which minority opinions on committee business that relate to the workings of the GPUS may be conveyed to the National Committee.

Section 3-8 Special Rules of a Committee

3-8.1 Each Committee shall have the discretion to adopt such special rules as it deems advisable to govern the conduct of internal Committee business, including for the appointment of advisors and observers, which are not inconsistent with the Rules of the Committee or the Bylaws or Rules and Procedures of the GPUS; and must report all such adopted special rules to the Steering Committee and National Committee upon passage




ARTICLE IV. THE STEERING COMMITTEE

Section 4-1 Mission and Authority

The Steering Committee shall serve as an administrative committee on behalf of the GPUS to carry out the duties and responsibilities described in this Article.

Section 4-2 Duties and Responsibilities

4-2.1 Oversee the primary day-to-day business and operations of the GPUS.

4-2.2 Oversee paid personnel, including staff and contractors.

4-2.3 Oversee office and clearinghouse operations and publications.

4-2.4 Administer GPUS fundraising and expenditures, and review recommendations by the Treasurer and Finance Committee on financial matters.

4-2.5 Administer other aspects of the day-to-day business and operations of the GPUS as necessary, subject to any limitations in the party's governing documents and/or responsibilities that are within the jurisdiction of other committees as defined in their in their Mission Statements.

4-2.6 Administer proposals submitted for National Committee consideration according to the process described in the Article VI of the GPUS Rules and Procedures.

4-2.7 Facilitate, coordinate and assist the activities of Standing and Ad Hoc Committees of the GPUS, including but not necessarily limited to:

4-2.7(a) Supporting committees to enable quality, accurate and effective committee work;

4-2.7(b) Maintaining regular communications with committee co-chairs and when applicable, other committee designees;

4-2.7(c) Tracking and participating in day-to-day committee activities via listserves and meetings;

4-2.7(d) Eliciting and receiving written reports from committees for distribution to the National Committee;

4-2.7(e) Making task assignments to committees that are in keeping with their Mission Statements;

4-2.7(f) Facilitating communication between Standing and Ad Hoc Committees, Caucuses, the Steering Committee and the National Committee;

4-2.7(g) Assuring compliance with committee Mission Statements and Rules, Policies and Procedures.

4-2.8 Publish a list of potential proposals to the National Committee on a semi-annual basis, including any required by the Bylaws, Rules and Procedures, Fiscal Policy, Presidential Convention Rules, and/or by resolution of the National Committee, together with the schedule of internal elections and other mandated decisions

4-2.9 Gather information, report emerging problems and opportunities to the National Committee, and make recommendations and proposals to the National Committee based on those reports.

4-2.10 Carry out directives from the National Committee that do not conflict with this Article or are otherwise consistent with the party's governing documents.

4-2.11 Approve statements and issue endorsements consistent with the GPUS Platform, according to the process defined in the GPUS Rules and Procedures, Article IV.

4-2.12 Solicit legal advice as necessary on behalf of GPUS.

4-2.13 Propose amendments to the GPUS governing documents and to the Steering Committee Rules, Policies and Procedures to facilitate the Mission, Duties and Responsibilities of the Steering Committee as defined in this Article.

Section 4-3 Membership

4-3.1 The Steering Committee shall be composed of seven Co-chairs, a Secretary, and a Treasurer; and be elected by the National Committee as defined in Article VI.

4-3.2 To be eligible to be elected Co-chair, one must be a current member of the National Committee at the time of nomination and election. Once elected, National Committee membership is no longer a condition of serving until the end of the term. However, all Co-chairs must be subscribed to the National Committee Votes List while serving on the Steering Committee.

4-3.3 To be eligible to be elected Secretary or Treasurer, one must be a member of a member state party, but do not have to be a member of the National Committee. However if elected, the Secretary and Treasurer must be subscribed to the National Committee Votes List while serving on the Steering Committee.

4-3.4 Steering Committee members are expected to be familiar with the party's governing documents, budgets, National Committee decisions and GPUS committee structure; and to commit the time necessary to reasonably perform their duties and responsibilities as defined in this Article.

Section 4-4 Term of Office

4-4.1 Co-Chairs

4-4.1(a) The term of office is two years, with a limit of two consecutive terms. For the purposes of defining terms of office, years are defined as the period between regular elections as described in Article VI. Four Co-chairs shall be elected in odd-numbered years and three in even-numbered years.

4-4.1(b) After two consecutive terms, and after at least one additional year, a candidate may serve two consecutive terms. For the purposes of calculating consecutive terms, if in being elected to fill a vacancy under 6-3, a person has served for less than one year, it shall not count as a term under this Section. If they have served for one year or more, it shall count as a term.

4-4.2 Secretary and Treasurer

4-4.2(a) The term of office is two years, with no term limits. For the purposes of defining terms of office, years are defined as the period between regular elections as described in Article VI. The Secretary shall be elected in odd-numbered years and the Treasurer elected in even-numbered years.

Section 4-5 Duties and Responsibilities of the Co-Chairs, Secretary and Treasurer

4-5.1 The Co-Chairs, Secretary and Treasurer shall collectively have the duties as described in Section 4-1. Individually the duties and responsibilities of the Co-Chairs, Secretary and Treasurer shall be established in the Rules and Procedures.


ARTICLE V. VOTING RULES

The National Committee shall strive for consensus in decision making. If consensus is not possible, decision shall be passed by majority vote with the required presens quorum and the required consens quorum.

Presens quorum: In order for a decision to pass, at least one delegate from each of two-thirds of the states must be present.

A delegate is "present" when:

  • (physical meeting:) he or she is physically at the location (in the room) where the vote is taken at the time the vote is taken; or
  • (phone or web conference:) he or she is connected live to all other participants at the time the vote is taken; or
  • (email voting:) he or she submits to the floor manger within the voting period a vote or an abstention.

Consens quorum: In order for a decision on rules, by-laws, and platform issues  to pass, a two-thirds (2/3) majority of all votes cast is required. For all other decision, a simple majority (more than 50%) of all votes cast  is required. A majority can be reached in a run-off vote or by the use of  instant-run-off procedures. 

Abstentions are not "votes" for purpose of this sections; therefore an  abstention shall count towards the presens quorum, but shall be disregarded  for purposes of the consens quorum.

For proposals that provide options other than "yes" and "no," all delegates  shall be given the additional option of casting a vote for "none of the  above." "None of the above" cast by a delegate shall be a "vote" for purposes  of this section


ARTICLE VI STEERING COMMITTEE ELECTIONS

Section 6.1. Nomination

6-1.1 Between seventy-five and eighty days before the Annual National Meeting, the Secretary shall publish a call for nominations for Steering Committee members to the National Committees Votes List. The call shall contain the job description for each position, as is described in the the GPUS Rules and Procedures, and a copy of this Article.

6-1.2 Nominations may be made by any National Committee member or alternate, including the candidate. Nominations shall be considered made when posted to the National Committees Votes List. Nominations shall be considered accepted when posted as such to the National Committees Votes List by the candidate. Self-nominations shall be considered accepted when made.

6-1.3 The deadline for nominations shall be 28 days before the Annual National Meeting.

6-1.4 If no Annual National Meeting is held, the Secretary shall publish the call for nominations on the third Monday of May and the deadline for nominations shall be at the conclusion of Sunday six weeks later.

6-1.5 Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit a candidate statement to the National Committees Votes List, no later than the commencement of the discussion period. The statement should address performance of the position sought, as its duties and responsibilities are defined in the GPUS Rules and Procedures, and contain a biography of relevant experiences. Candidates are encouraged to submit video material in support of their candidacy.

Section 6-2 Discussion and Vote

6-2.1 Discussion shall commence 21 days before the Annual National Meeting. Voting shall commence on the Saturday the week before the Annual National Meeting and conclude on the Saturday of the Annual National Meeting, at 5pm in the time zone in which the meeting is held.

6-2.2 Co-chairs shall be elected in a single Ranked Choice Voting election according to the process described in the GPUS Rules and Procedures, Article VII. Co-chairs shall appear on the GPUS voting page affiliated with the state party or caucus through which they became a National Committee member.

6-2.3 The Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected in separate elections using Instant Run-Off Voting, according to the process described in the GPUS Rules and Procedures, Article VII. The Secretary and Treasurer may appear on the ballot either affiliated with any affiliated state party or caucus of which they are a member.

6-2.4 Votes for Co-chair, Secretary and Treasurer shall be cast on the GPUS voting page, but made public only upon the conclusion of the voting period.

6-2.5 The terms of the newly elected Co-chairs and Secretary shall commence upon the conclusion of the Annual National Meeting.

6-2.6 The term of the newly elected Treasurer shall commence on the first of the month that occurs at least four weeks after the conclusion of the Annual National Meeting. During this time the outgoing Treasurer would be accountable to the party as before, but would spend approximately one month working with the newly elected Treasurer to understand the party's finances so that person would be prepared to directly oversee them upon assuming office.

Section 6-3 Vacancy

6-3.1 A vacancy shall exist when a seat was not filled in an election; when a member has submitted a written statement of resignation to the National Committees Votes List; is recalled, is no longer a Green Party member or dies or becomes incapacitated to act.

6-3.2 Any vacancy that occurs within thirty days after a regular election for Co-chair, Treasurer or Secretary, shall be filled by recounting the ballots from the election which elected that member, except that the vacating member's name shall be deleted from all ballots. The first candidate accruing sufficient votes to surpass the winning threshold in the recount, that was not elected to office in the original count, shall fill the vacancy. If more than one vacancy occurs at the same time, this process shall continue until all vacant seats are filled. If such a recount fails to resolve a vacancy, the Steering Committee shall conduct a special election to fill the seat until the next regularly scheduled election for that position.

6-3.3 If a vacancy occurs after thirty days after a regular election for Co-chair, Treasurer or Secretary, the Steering Committee shall conduct a special election to fill the seat for the remainder of the term until the next regularly scheduled election for that position.

6-3.4 If a special election is necessary to fill a vacancy, the Steering Committee shall call for an online election, with a nomination period of three weeks to commence on the next regular starting date as defined in Article VI of the GPUS Rules and Procedures, followed by a two-week discussion period and a one-week vote.

Section 6-4 Recall

6-4.1 Any proposal to recall a Steering Committee member must be co-sponsored by a number of delegates equal to at least one-fifth of the National Committee, coming from at least one-fifth of the total number of state Green Parties and caucuses represented on the National Committee. Only one Steering Committee member can be proposed to be recalled with each proposal.

6-4.2 Any proposal to recall a Steering Committee member must state the specific grievance(s) upon which the recall proposal is based, and relate them to the relevant duties and responsibilities of the position as defined in the GPUS Bylaws and the Rules and Procedures.

6-4.3 A recall proposal shall be considered submitted when it is posted to the National Committees Votes List and copied to the Secretary. The Secretary shall confirm within 48 hours of its receipt whether the requisite conditions specified in 6-4.1 and 6-4.2 have been met and shall report this to the National Committee Votes List. If the position proposed for recall is the Secretary, co-sponsors shall forward their proposal to the Co-Chairs and the Co-Chairs shall confirm the conditions instead. If the Secretary or Co-Chairs respectively, find that the conditions have not been met, they must approve findings that state how the conditions have not been met as part of their report to the National Committee Votes List.

6-4.4 All recall proposals shall be allotted three weeks for discussion and one week for voting. Discussion shall begin on the next regular starting date as defined in Article VI of the GPUS Rules and Procedures, after it has been confirmed that the proposal has requisite support. The vote shall be conducted online, even if an Annual National Meeting falls within the specified window. Quorum shall be two-thirds of member state Green Parties and caucuses, and the threshold for recall shall be two-thirds of those casting yes or no votes.

6-4.5 If the National Committee does not approve a recall proposal, no individual who brought the proposal forward may co-sponsor a new one against the same Steering Committee member until at least 90 days after the completion of the aforementioned vote.


ARTICLE VII. ETHICAL STANDARDS

The Green Party accepts that it cannot order the internal politics of its member states. Even so, the Green Party does have a vested interest in ensuring that the internal politics of the Green Parties of the member states meet the highest ethical standards and adhere to Green Values. The Green Party therefore urges member states to:

1. In theory and practice commit to having a membership and leadership reflective of the diversity of the human population within their own states.

2. Commit to opposing racism, sexism, ageism, classism, discrimination against the differently-abled, and other forms of prejudice within the State Green Party and in the larger society.

The Green Party recognizes that winner-take-all/first-past-the-post electoral practices serve to maintain an outdated power structure and prevent members of minority groups from having an adequate impact on policy decisions or serving in leadership position.

Therefore the Green Party urges member states to:

1. Use proportional representation, as organizational capability develops, to elect their internal leadership and their delegates to the Green Party and/or Green conventions.

The Green Party recognizes that there are a multiplicity of proportional representation voting systems. As long as the form employed is fair, honest, and does honor the principles that encourage the participation that hold minority viewpoints, are members of minority groups, or are from the various geographic regions of the state, the Green Party shall not discriminate against any of the forms chosen by state parties when examining the applications for membership of newly-joining states or in its dealings with the current membership.


ARTICLE VIII. (reserved)


ARTICLE IX. PLATFORM

9-1 Purpose and Authority

9-1.1 The GPUS Platform represents policies upon which most Greens would agree and serves as a basis for Green Presidential and Congressional campaigns. The Platform may only be amended as provided by this Article.

9-1.2 In even-numbered years in which there is a GPUS Presidential Nominating Convention, the Convention shall be the decision-making body responsible for amending the platform. The process shall be as established in the Rules of the Presidential Nominating Convention.

9-1.3 In even numbered years in which there is no Presidential Nominating Convention, the National Committee shall be the decision-making body responsible for amending the platform. The process shall be as established in the GPUS Rules and Procedures.

9-1.4 Amendments to the Platform may be submitted for consideration by any accredited state party or caucus, or any committee whose Mission Statement authorizes it.


Updates:

Originally Approved January 29, 2002
Updated: April 19, 2004

Article VI updated January 05, 2005
Updated text with CC to NC and GPUS conversions September 3, 2005

Article V updated May 08, 2006
Updated: INSERT DATE HERE

Article II updated July 15, 2005
proposal #158
Restoration of Proxy Voting at National Meetings

Article II update April 15, 2007
proposal #272
Allocation of Delegates to the Green National Committee amended August 12, 2007, w/ proposal #303
Amendment to Article II of proposal #272

Article VI updated June 18, 2006
proposal #222
Resolution to Amend the Rules and Procedures on Steering Committee Elections Policy

Article VI updated April 2, 2006
proposal #216
Steering Committee Recall


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