Bylaws of the Green Party of Delaware County, PA
The names of this organization shall be: Green Party of Delaware County PA, Delaware County Green Party of PA, and informally Delco Greens of PA. The Delaware County Green Party of PA is both a political party and a grassroots political activist organization.
II. PURPOSE AND VALUES
The Green Party of Delaware County PA holds the following Ten Key Values as our purpose for organization and action. Click here to read our 10 Key Values.
Our Ten Key Values will be clarified and promoted through discussions and educational activities, research, information sharing, and group projects. The Delaware County Green Party of PA is a member of the Green Party of Pennsylvania and will work with the Green Party of the United States and other local and state Green parties as often as we can to broaden the adoption and expression of the Ten Key Values of the Green Party.
As we embrace our responsibility to our community and our world we hope to create an organization that will lead in making Delaware County a model of a just and sustainable society, and we the members of the Delaware County Green Party of PA establish these bylaws to govern the operations and functions of this party so that we may be a more effective, cohesive and friendly group.
IV. Rights and Responsibilities of Membership
A. All residents of Delaware County who are registered as Green Party voters and agree to abide by the bylaws of the Delco Greens of PA and agree in principle with the Ten Key Values are considered members of the Green Party of Delaware County PA. Under special circumstances (having no county party where you live or another important reason) registered Greens who live in other PA counties can become members of the Delaware County Green Party of PA. Registered Greens are encouraged to fill out and submit a Delco Greens of PA membership form.
B. Only members may vote at Delco Greens of PA meetings, serve on committees/groups or hold elected positions in the Delco Greens of PA.
C. A member becomes eligible to vote or hold elected office within the party once the member attends his/her 3rd monthly membership meeting in a 12 month period.
D. At General Monthly Meetings unless ½ or more of the members present disagree, non-members are welcome to participate in discussions.
E. A complete list of the members of the Delco Greens of PA shall be kept and maintained by the Secretary.
F. Members get to authorize and control the actions of the officers and committees through their votes.
G. 1. Members approve and amend the charter, bylaws and political platform of the Green Party of Delaware County PA. 2. After participating in discussions on issues the members present at the General Monthly Meetings will through consensus or voting decide which actions to take now or in the future to achieve the outcomes or goals they want regarding those issues.
H. Members can elect and/or remove officers and committee chairs.
I. Members will receive an annual financial report covering January through December of the current year and showing the income, expenses, and balance sheet of the organization. This report shall be prepared by the Treasurer and made available to the membership at the December General Monthly Meeting or via email by request of a member. At this same meeting or via email, upon request, the proposed budget for next year will be distributed.
J. 1. No individual member or members shall issue verbal statements or written statements, or take action(s) on behalf of the Delco Greens of PA that have not received prior approval through a favorable decision reached at a General Monthly Meeting or by the majority of the steering committee. 2. The spokesperson(s) for all public announcements about the group and its business shall be the Chairperson or other persons designated by the steering committee or the membership at a General Monthly Meeting.
K. The following statements are aspirations to guide the personal conduct of members. 1. When talking to members and others be honest and respectful of their human rights & dignity. 2. Try to awaken the creative capacities for peace, goodness and problem solving that live within each person. 3. Do not denigrate the hope that people have but encourage people to be hopeful because of the good works being done by others and ourselves. 4. Coexist with diversity and appreciate and promote the ways diversity enriches our societies. 5. Make or use the paths/methods of forgiveness and reconciliation.
V. Conflict Resolution
A. Any member can be removed from or denied entry into a Delco Greens of PA meeting or denied knowledge of the group’s activities or access to its records if a 2/3 majority vote during a General Monthly Meeting for his/her removal from the group based on verifiable evidence of the following type of harmful behavior: a member who is continuously disruptive at meetings, physically or verbally abusive to other members or publicly takes actions to undermine or violate any of the Ten Key Values.
B. Except in cases of physical abuse at least 3 methods or attempts at reconciliation should be explored before the removal process is begun against any member.
C. Any member who has been barred from meetings and activities of the Delco Greens of PA by a vote as described above shall have the right to request re-entry into the group after six months.
D. To gain reentry to the group the registered Green must explain at a General Monthly Meeting how he or she thinks differently and how she or he will act differently.
E. At this General Monthly Meeting if 2/3 of the membership agrees this person who was removed has changed sufficiently to now be an asset to the group and votes for the person’s reinstatement as a full member then that person shall have all the rights and responsibilities as any other member. If the person is not restored to full membership status then he/she must await the passing of another 6 month period before seeking reentry.
VI. General Monthly MeetingsA. The General Monthly Meeting which is the opportunity for all registered Greens in Delaware County to meet and act through the Delco Greens of PA shall be the highest governing body of the Delaware County Green Party of PA.
B. The General Monthly Meeting will usually occur on the 1st Wednesday of each month for at least 10 months of every year.
C. An annual General Monthly Meeting for conducting business and electing officers will be held in January of each year.
D. Between regularly scheduled monthly meetings the members may agree to hold special meetings to complete one or more tasks that have been agreed upon at a General Monthly Meeting.
E. As the main deliberative body of the Delco Greens of PA, the General Monthly Meeting shall have the following functions:
1. Define general goals, policies, bylaws and priorities of the Delco Greens of PA;
2. Make endorsements of candidates and ballot measures;
3. Make recommendations and proposals and provide direction to the Steering Committee and any other committees or groups that have been formed;
4. Review and approve the decisions and actions of all committees, Working Groups, and Neighborhood Groups;
5. Establish and dissolve any committees, Working Groups, and/or Neighborhood Groups;
6. Issue public statements in the name of the Delco Greens of PA and approve or retract statements made by any other Delco Greens of PA body or by any individual claiming to be a representative of the Delco Greens of PA;
7. Nominate, elect, and recall members of the Steering Committee;
8. Elect delegates to the Green Party of Pennsylvania;
9. Discuss, deliberate and make decisions on any fundamental issues of policy, strategy, or structure that face the Delco Greens of PA;
10. Delegate decisions or problems which fall under the specific purpose of a committee or group to that committee/group first to discuss and create a plan of action or applicable solutions within a specified timeframe.
F. The quorum necessary to conduct business shall be at least 3 members including 2 officers.
G. General Monthly Meeting dates and locations for the next one to three monthly meetings will be decided at the previous General Monthly Meeting by consensus or the approval vote of 2/3 of the members present.
VII. General Criteria for Committees, Neighborhood Groups & Working GroupsA. A consensus or 2/3 majority at a General Monthly Meeting is needed to approve the establishment or dissolution of any committee, working group or neighborhood group. Approval can be granted as long as the following guidelines are met:
1. There shall be a minimum of three members proposing creation of any group or committee on which they agree to serve.
2. These same members shall present a proposal to a General Monthly Meeting which defines their mission or purpose, their responsibilities and expected activities or events to achieve their goals.
3. The actions and goals of the committee or group must reflect Green values and be in accord with the goals and purposes of the Delco Greens of PA.
4. The group or committee shall not significantly overlap the functions of a viable group or committee.
B. Once approved groups or committees remain in existence as long as they meet the following criteria:
1. Maintain a membership of at least three members.
2. Regularly participate in General Monthly Meetings.
3. Adhere to the bylaws and charter of the Green Party of Delaware County PA.
4. They are making progress on fulfilling their goals.
C. If a group or committee fails to adhere to the above cited criterion “B. 3” it faces immediate dissolution and if it is unable to adhere to any of the other criteria after 2 months the group or committee faces dissolution by the membership at a General Monthly Meeting.
D. Each group or committee shall select its own chair whose length of term shall be determined by the group or committee and shall follow the bylaws with respect to voting.
E. Any public programs or projects planned by any group or committee must be communicated to the General Monthly Meeting and must gain their approval.
F. Any fundraising or request for funds to carry out the activities of the group or committee must be approved in advance of those activities by the members at a General Monthly Meeting.
G. Working Groups are associations of members of the Delco Greens of PA organized to carry out work on a particular issue of interest.
H. Each committee or group is responsible for making an annual report to the General Monthly Meeting, as well as any other reports that are requested by either the General Monthly Meeting or the Steering Committee.
I. The Steering Committee will be responsible for keeping track of which groups or committees are active and which are not.
J. No committees or groups may make any financial commitments or statements on behalf of the Delco Greens of PA unless previously authorized to do so by the membership at a General Monthly Meeting or the Steering Committee.
K. Neighborhood Groups are composed of members of the Delco Greens of PA who are focused on addressing issues and solving problems of a specific municipality within Delaware County, PA.
VIII. Steering CommitteeA. During the January General Monthly Meeting the membership of the Delaware County Green Party of PA shall elect, from amongst its members, a Steering Committee of at least five people to carry out the will and effectuate the decisions of the membership and be responsible for the general administration of the Delco Greens of PA.
B. The Green Party of Delaware County PA will have a Steering Committee that consists of a Treasurer, Secretary, and a Chairperson, who will serve one-year terms beginning February 1st and ending January 31st. These three officers along with two delegates or alternate delegates and two committee/group chairs (if available) will all serve for the same one year terms on the steering committee.
C. Any or all of the officers may be removed by the same process applied to members as detailed in part A of Section V. An officer may resign at any time by giving written notice to any other officer and specifying the effective date of resignation.
D. If the Steering Committee is permanently missing one of its delegates or officers a new person will be elected as a replacement by a vote of the membership at the next General Monthly Meeting for the unexpired portion of the person’s term. In the interim the other members of the Steering Committee shall ensure that the duties of the absent person are carried out.
E. The duties and powers of the Steering Committee shall be as follows:
1. Assist the chairperson in setting the agenda for the General Monthly Meeting.
2. To monitor all financial activities of the Delco Greens of PA.
3a. To be ultimately responsible for seeing that all financial and legal responsibilities of the Delco Greens of PA are met. 3b. Any fine(s) imposed on the Treasurer will be evenly split among the members of the Steering Committee and paid by the entire Steering Committee.
4. To notify all members and interested parties of all General Monthly Meetings and all other events sponsored by the Delco Greens of PA two weeks or more before their occurrence.
5. To ask for and receive reports and recommendations from any standing committees and groups.
6. To make recommendations to all committees/groups and coordinate the efforts of all groups and committees.
7. The Steering Committee may make such decisions as are normally reserved to a General Monthly Meeting but which, owing to the need for a timely decision, cannot be delayed until the next scheduled General Monthly Meeting. Such decisions shall be subject to revision, rejection, or retraction by a vote or by consensus of the next General Monthly Meeting.
8. To issue statements for or to authorize individuals, other than the Chair, to speak for the Delco Greens of PA, within the general parameters as defined by these bylaws, the state and national Green Party policies and platforms, and recognized Green Party values.
9. To make any other decisions which, within reason and without abusing either the spirit or letter of these bylaws, can help to carry out the will of the General Monthly Meeting or the Delco Greens of PA’s committees and groups, subject to the approval of the membership at the next General Monthly Meeting.
10. To enter into contracts on behalf of the Delco Greens of PA. The Chair and the Treasurer, the Chair and the Secretary, or the Treasurer and the Secretary have signatory power, but they may not sign any document on behalf of the Delco Greens of PA without the approval of the Steering Committee by consensus or 2/3 of the vote.
11. The Steering Committee is not allowed to authorize any contract or closely related group of contracts committing the Delco Greens of PA to an expenditure greater than 1/4 the value of the treasury without the prior approval of the membership at a General Monthly Meeting.
12. The Steering Committee shall make a good faith effort to publicize to the membership the time and location of any irregularly scheduled General Monthly Meetings.
13. The Secretary or another Steering Committee member will make notes on any important decisions made by the Steering Committee between General Monthly Meetings and email them to the Delco Greens of PA’s membership before the next General Monthly Meeting.
14. The Chair or another member of the Steering Committee shall facilitate all General Monthly Meetings.
F. Duties of the Chairperson
The Chairperson, subject to the direction and control of the members, shall:
1. Establish the agenda and chair General Monthly Meetings.
2. Serve as a spokesperson for the Delaware County Green Party of PA.
3. Along with the Treasurer or Secretary, approve and sign financial reports.
4. Be responsible for the management of the Steering Committee
G. Duties of the Secretary
1. To record notes or minutes of each General Monthly Meeting and to get the names and contact information of all those who attend these meetings.
2. Within two weeks after each General Monthly Meeting make the minutes for it available to all members of the Delco Greens of PA.
3. To maintain the non-financial records of the Delco Greens of PA in an orderly and secure fashion.
4. To maintain complete and accurate information regarding the names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and other vital information about the membership of the Delco Greens of PA.
5. Make sure the attendance and membership records are available during General Monthly Meetings and other times of reasonable request.
H. Duties of the Treasurer
1. The Treasurer of the Steering Committee shall be responsible for accurate financial recordkeeping and the daily management of the finances of the Delco Greens of PA and shall be the Chair of any Finance Committee.
2. The Treasurer and the Steering Committee shall lead the fundraising efforts of the Delco Greens of PA along with important contributions from other members.
3. The Delco Greens of PA will have a donation box or jar available at every one of its meetings or events and make at least one statement encouraging people to donate into it any amount of money from pennies to ten dollars. For any amount over ten dollars that is given the treasurer must take down the giver’s name and address. The Treasurer and/or other Steering Committee members must keep a record of the total amount of donations received during each meeting or event and deposit all funds within 4 days to the party’s checking account.
4. The Treasurer is responsible for seeing to it that the day-to-day bills of the Delco Greens of PA and any other duly budgeted and authorized expenses of the Delco Greens of PA are paid. The Treasurer is also responsible for the timely reporting of all campaign-related financial activities to the Delaware County Bureau of Elections and the PA Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local regulations. The Treasurer must maintain familiarity with such guidelines and regulations and ensure that the Delco Greens of PA is in compliance with campaign finance laws.
5. Copies of financial reports that were recently prepared and submitted to the state or county election bureaus will be distributed to members at the next General Monthly Meeting or sent to a member via email upon request.
6. The Treasurer may, with the consent of the Steering Committee, appoint one or more Assistant Treasurers to help the Treasurer carry out his or her duties.
7. All revenue and expenses of the Delco Greens of PA are to be deposited to and withdrawn from a single bank account or group of linked accounts. The Treasurer, and at least one other officer of the Steering Committee, must be co-signers on the accounts.
8. Besides the annual financial report prepared for December’s General Monthly Meeting a financial report should be distributed at the General Monthly Meetings of March, June and September.
9. No transaction may be made with the Delco Greens of PA’s funds without proper documentation. All revenue, including cash donations, is to be deposited in one of the Delco Greens of PA’s bank accounts. No transactions may be made with undeposited funds; all expenses should be paid from one of the Delco Greens of PA’s bank accounts. However, the Treasurer may keep a reserve of petty cash no greater than $50. Small expenses and reimbursements may be paid out of petty cash provided that all transactions are recorded.
10. All checks for amounts greater than $250 shall require the signatures of two Steering Committee officers.
11. For unavoidable cash payouts of greater than $50, which have been approved by members at a General Monthly Meeting or by the Steering Committee, a member of the Steering Committee will be given the cash from one of the Delco Greens of PA’s bank accounts in order to pay the expense.
12. Any individual who spends his or her personal funds on an expense for the Delco Greens of PA must have had that expense pre-approved by the Steering Committee or the membership at a General Monthly Meeting to receive reimbursement.
13. All potential fundraising projects must be evaluated and approved by the Steering Committee or the membership at a General Monthly Meeting based on whether the people conducting the project have the needed technical expertise and financial and logistical feasibility is outlined, including the startup costs and expected profits. Details on each fundraising project must be reported monthly to the Steering Committee and at the General Monthly Meeting and include details on revenue and expenses.
14. Fundraising projects that are losing money may be terminated by the Steering Committee or the membership at a General Monthly Meeting.
IX. Duties of Delegates, Alternate Delegates, & Other Committee/Group Chairs serving on the Steering Committee1. To attend and participate in most Steering Committee activities and General Monthly Meetings.
2. To support the completion of tasks by the Steering Committee.
3. To become fully knowledgeable about all the Steering Committee offices in order to perform in any of these offices if called upon.
4. The delegates and alternate delegates (as needed) will attend the quarterly GPPA state delegates’ meetings to be better informed about and contribute to state level Green Party activities and that of other county Green Parties; to vote for state party officers and on issues handled by the state party in the best interests of the Delco Greens of PA and Green Party values.
X. ConsensusA. By default, all bodies of the Delco Greens of PA shall seek consensus in all decision-making.
B. Any item or resolution presented to a body of the Delco Greens of PA which has not chosen another process as provided for under these bylaws must be passed through the following formal process of consensus.
C. Within the judgment of the facilitator and the limits of the agenda, any item presented to the meeting will be given adequate time for discussion and consideration.
D. When satisfied that the proposal is sufficiently understood by the membership, the facilitator will ask for, and recognize members to present, concerns. Each concern may be addressed by further discussion and proposals to amend the item.
E. When, in the judgment of the facilitator, concerns have been addressed as well as possible, the facilitator shall call for consensus by asking for unresolved concerns.
F. If there are no unresolved concerns, then the proposal has passed.
G. If unresolved concerns remain, then the facilitator shall ask if the member presenting the concern will stand aside. If the member is willing, then the proposal has passed; and the concern will be recorded verbatim in the record of the Meeting.
H. If, however, the member is unwilling to stand aside, then the Meeting shall proceed to vote on the proposal. The total number of votes for and against the proposal, and the number of abstentions, shall be recorded in the notes of the Meeting.
I. A 2/3 majority is required for the proposal to pass.
J. If the number of members abstaining from a vote is more than 33% of the number of members voting yes and no, then the proposal has not passed.
K. At the request of any two members, the vote shall be taken by secret ballot.
XI. Election of Steering Committee Officers, State Delegates & their Alternates
A. Candidates for these positions may make brief speeches on their qualifications for and the reasons they desire the position for which they are running to the members at the December General Monthly Meeting at which they were nominated or at the January General Monthly Meeting before the elections begin.
B. All members not at the December General Monthly Meeting will be notified via email of any nominations at least two weeks before the January General Monthly Meeting.
C. Election of all Steering Committee positions shall happen at the January General Monthly Meeting through voting in a secret ballot unless there is unanimous agreement for a voice vote or consensus.
D. The positions of Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer are to be elected first.
1. If only two people are running for one office each voter selects one candidate for each office. Each election that has a majority winner is over and the candidate who received the majority of the votes is elected.
2. If there is a tie in an election both candidates can serve.
3. If three or more people are running for the same position then Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) can be used to select the winner:
First, every vote counts for its first choice. If a candidate has more than half of the vote based on first-choices, that candidate wins. If no candidate has more than half of those votes, then the candidate with the fewest first choices is eliminated. The voters who selected the defeated candidate as a first choice will then have their votes added to the totals of their 2nd choice. This process continues until a candidate has more than half of the active votes or only two candidates remain. The candidate with a majority of 1st and 2nd choice votes among the active candidates is declared the winner.
E. Procedure for electing State Delegates
1. The Delco Greens of PA has positions for 4 delegates and 3 alternate delegates to the GPPA state delegates committee. Using RCV the 4 people who get the most 1st and 2nd choice votes will be the delegates and the next three highest vote getters will be the alternates. The two people with the largest number of 1st and 2nd choice votes from the 4 delegates will also serve on the Steering Committee.
2. State Delegates shall serve one year terms.
3. If a delegate resigns or is removed and there is no alternate delegate to take his or her place, nominations for a replacement shall be made at the next General Monthly Meeting and an election held at the following General Monthly Meeting. The Steering Committee may temporarily fill any vacancies by appointing individuals to be alternate delegates.
4. If, at the GPPA state delegates meeting, an insufficient number of delegates are present, then the delegates of the Delco Greens of PA that are present may choose alternates from any members of the Green Party of Delaware County PA who are present.
XII. Nomination of Candidates for Public Office
A. The provisions of this section apply to any candidate seeking to run as a “Green” for public office in Delaware County, or any subdivision thereof. This section shall apply so long as the Green Party remains an officially recognized “Minor Party” in Pennsylvania. Should the Green Party lose its minor party status, or acquire major party status, these bylaws shall be amended accordingly.
B. Each person who is legally determined to be a resident of Delaware County and who seeks a governmental or schoolboard office in any municipality of Delaware County can apply to the Green Party of Delaware County PA for an endorsement of his or her candidacy if he or she is a registered Green Party voter.
C. 1. Each potential candidate must fulfill the steps we have in place to be considered for endorsement such as completing a paper or online version of the Green Party’s Candidate Questionnaire; giving a verbal presentation before a General Monthly Meeting of the Delco Greens of PA on any additional reasons why she/he is running, what he/she hopes to accomplish, and why she or he wants or is deserving of the Delco Greens of PA’s endorsement.
2. For the verbal presentation the candidate will be allotted 45 minutes and 25 minutes of that time will be reserved for questions and answers between the candidate and the members and guests at the meeting.
D. Members of the Delaware County Green Party of PA will be notified by the Steering Committee at least 4 weeks in advance of any candidate presentations occurring at an upcoming General Monthly Meeting.
E. If two or more registered Greens want to run as candidates for the same office and want to gain the Delco Greens of PA’s endorsement they shall apply for it in the same way as stated above.
F. After all the candidates have been heard from, a vote on which candidates to endorse will be taken at the same General Monthly Meeting the candidates spoke at or the next meeting if time has run out.
G. Following the endorsement the Delco Greens of PA will work with each candidate to organize a petition drive to place the endorsed candidate’s name on the ballot as a Green.
H. The endorsed candidate shall take the lead in establishing his or her Campaign Committee which shall be responsible for managing all campaign related activities and ensuring that all such activities are in compliance with local, state, and federal election laws.
I. All Greens within and outside the county will be encouraged to give whatever help they can to the candidate’s campaign which the candidate’s campaign committee will coordinate. The candidate will be encouraged to utilize any help and advice offered by the GPPA’s Green Wave Committee.
J. If an endorsed Green who was running for public office in Delaware County dies or must quit her/his campaign due to a serious illness or other reason and the election laws permit the Delco Greens of PA to submit a replacement for the elected office we will try to do so. The membership of the Delco Greens of PA will be alerted so that at the next General Monthly Meeting nominations for a candidate can be assessed and a vote made on whom to endorse.
Amendments to these bylaws must be passed by two consecutive General Monthly Meetings with consensus or the voting approval of 2/3 of the members that are present.