National Women’s Caucus By-Laws
Adopted January 20, 2004
Amended November 6, 2005
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of this Caucus is the National Women’s Caucus of the Green Party of the United States, hereinafter NWC.
ARTICLE II. MISSION AND PURPOSE
The NWC will organize and act to advance Women’s rights and concerns within the Party and in the country at large with the ultimate goals of maximizing the Women’s vote for the Green Party, participation of Women at all levels of the Party and a voter, activist, leadership, candidate and officeholder base of Women that is reflective of the great diversity of this nation.
II.B. The purpose of the NWC is:
II.B.1. To promote the 4 Pillars of the international Green community and the Ten-Key Values of the Green Party of the United States, hereinafter GPUS.
II.B.2. To develop a strong identity, voice and presence of women in the GPUS that also reflects the diversity of the NWC and this country.
II.B.3. To promote and advance issues of interest and concern to women.
II.B.4. To facilitate communication and coordination among women and caucuses (or equivalent) with state Green Party organizations.
II.B.5. To elect a Delegate and Alternate Delegate to the GPUS National Committee.
II.B.6. To appoint up to three voting Delegates, regardless of location of residence to the GPUS Diversity Committee.
II.B.7. To organize, outreach and educate the public.
II.B.8. To organize, outreach and educate internally within the GPUS and affiliated state parties.
II.B.9. To increase the number of registered Green Party women voters.
II.B.10. To develop and promote leadership from among members for internal and external elected positions, as well as within the community and for appointed and all levels of local, state and national elected positions.
II.B.11. To promote the Green Party as a Party for women.
II.B.12. To develop, write and submit content to amend the GPUS Platform to more fully represent concerns of women. Develop, write, coordinate, submit and advocate for a separate plank for women in the GPUS Platform.
II.B.13. To develop, write and submit content to amend the GPUS Bylaws to more fully represent the rights, protection, inclusivity, empowerment and other concerns of women, including enforcement and compliance of such content.
II.B.14. To deal with internal conflict in a forthright, open and decisive manner.
II.B.15. To be inclusive and respectful of all the waves of feminism reflected by the membership of the NWC. And to strive for an overarching and consistent message for the NWC that incorporates the often disparate views of the waves.
II.B.16. To advocate for and assist with developing channels to deal with concerns regarding women within the GPUS, including grievances of the NWC and of NWC members active within the GPUS.
II.B.17. To initiate and participate in external coalition building with other women’s and related groups, including for purposes of identifying potential candidates for president, vice president and other national, state and local offices. Also, to build support for the Green Party from such groups, including voting support.
II.B.18. To address public perception and concerns regarding the Green Party for women.
II.B.19. To increase membership in the NWC.
II.B.20. To strive for a re-awakening national women’s movement that is identified with the Green Party.
II.B.21. To advocate that the NWC be the source point, to be consulted or collaborated with for all external and internal statements, resolutions, news releases, policy, research and other needs of the GPUS regarding women. And advocate inclusivity and balance of women reflective of diversity in such documents.
II.B.22. To support national candidates selected at the national Green Party Nominating Conventions.
These purposes or guiding priorities shall be amended, collected, posted and ranked in order of importance by the membership at least once a year.
The NWC may adopt Operating Rules that further define its purpose.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
III.1. The NWC is open for membership to all women who are verified by their state parties as being registered Green or a member of an affiliated state party. Members shall have full voting rights. Members in good standing shall be able to run for any office of the NWC including the Delegate and Alternate Delegate, and be eligible to be appointed Delegates to the Diversity Committee and other standing committees of the GPUS, as well as NWC committees and other NWC positions. Any member in good standing is entitled to fully participate in all aspects of the NWC in accordance with these Bylaws, without exception.
III.2. Members in good standing: Members will reflect NWC values of ecological wisdom, non-violence, respect for diversity, respect for the NWC, respect for NWC members, and personal responsibility in all NWC involvement, communications, interactions and activities. Members shallmaintain a good voting record and are urged to participate in NWC business, leadership and activities.
III.3. Removal of NWC Members/Email List Etiquette/Appeal Process for Re-Instatement: Any member who breaks confidentiality, explicit NWC rules, consistently cannot follow agreed upon processes, engages in illegal behavior or similar may be sent written notice from the co-chairs byagreement of the NWC Coordinating Committee (NWC CC), and may be removed from all NWC email lists. Review of list etiquette will be offered. If that is accepted and applied the member will be reinstated on the email lists. If it is refused, the member may be removed from the NWC and the email lists. Members who have been removed can reapply after six months with a written request that includes a statement of desire to cooperate with NWC rules and process. The application should include all verification requirements. The removal process and process for appeal and re-instatement may be further defined in the Operating Rules.
III.4. Members with Caucus grievance will follow the process set forth under Article I, Operating Rules.
III.5. The NWC shall maintain a list of all members with name, address, email, phone number, their state party membership, verification and date joined, as well as diversity category.
ARTICLE IV. COMMITTEES AND OFFICERS
IV.1. The NWC may establish such committees, working groups and other entities as are necessary to do its work. Upon establishment of these committees, working groups, and entities, the NWC shall define their membership, purpose and length of service. This information may further be defined in any Operating Rules the Caucus may adopt.
IV.2. The Voting and Elections Committee (VEC), a standing committee of the NWC staffed by volunteer members in good standing appointed by the NWC Coordinating Committee, will conduct elections. The VEC will consist of at least 2-3 members who are not running for election and may also include one or more advisors who may or may not be a NWC member but who also are not candidates. Advisors are approved by the VEC and NWC CC.
IV.3. NWC officer elections shall be held every year. Nominations will open a month after the last day of the GPUS annual national convention. Voting will be by private ballot via personal email or by postal mail. New officers will assume office the first day of the month following that in which the election results were announced. The time between the announcement of election results and new officers assuming office will be used for transition, mentoring and training of new officers, if needed.
IV.4. The NWC shall elect from among their membership in good standing two Co-Chairs, a Secretary, and a Treasurer to serve as officers of the NWC. The Co-Chairs shall be responsible for coordinating the day-to-day affairs of the NWC. The Secretary shall be responsible for managing necessary communication with the membership, all documentation and records of the NWC, including meeting minutes and votes. Minutes will be published in a timely fashion. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the fiscal management of the NWC including regular financial statements to officers and members and budget work. The duties and responsibilities of these positions may be further defined in Operating Rules adopted by the NWC.
IV.5. Co-Chairs, Delegate, Alternate Delegate, Spokespersons, Secretary and Treasurer shall make up the NWC Coordinating Committee. Officers may serve two consecutive terms. The Secretary and the Treasurer shall serve two-year terms without term limits. Term-limited officers shall become eligible to run for office again after sitting out one two-year term.
IV.6. NWC co-chairs shall each serve staggered two-year terms with the exception of the first election, of one co-chair elected for a one-year term. The Treasurer and Secretary shall each serve two-year terms.
IV.7. The NWC shall elect two spokespersons who are responsible for representing the NWC to the media, as further defined in the Operating Rules. Co-spokespersons shall serve two-year staggered terms with the exception of the first election with one serving a one-year term.
IV.8. The NWC may also appoint such other officers as is needed, and must define the duties and term of office for their positions upon their establishment.
IV.9. Election of the Co-Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, Co-Spokespersons and other officers shall be done either through Instant Runoff Voting or Preferential Voting, dependent on the number of candidates for the positions.
IV.9. The option of voting “None of the Above” shall be available for all elections. Elections will be conducted on-line or by email and may also be conducted at the annual meeting. A Ballot shall be emailed to each member of the NWC at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the election. Votes received after midnight of the Election Day shall not be counted except when an extension has been granted. Elections may be further defined in the Operating Rules.
IV.10. All possible effort will be made to elect officers reflective of the diverse members of the NWC with regard to race, color, ethnic background, sexual orientation, age diversity, campus youth, geographic, disability, economic levels and the different waves of feminism, and shall make every effort that the NWC is not dominated by officers reflecting any particular element of that diversity.
IV.11. Officers may be removed for cause by a majority vote of the membership.
IV.12. If an officer is unable to complete her term of office, NWC co-chairs shall, upon notification of a vacancy, notify the membership and VEC within two weeks. The VEC will post a call for nominations, and the elections process will proceed as described in these bylaws.
ARTICLE V. DELEGATE TO THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE GPUS
The NWC shall elect a Delegate to the National Committee (NC) of the GPUS. The Delegate shall be responsible for representing the interests, ideas, proposals, needs, actions, achievements grievances and other elements, reports and updates of the NWC. The Delegate shall also be responsible for casting votes in the National Committee and participating in National Committee business, as well as travel to the yearly conference and submitting regular reports to the NWC. Term of service shall be two years.
The NWC shall elect an Alternate Delegate to the National Committee of the GPUS in a separate election and effort shall be made to ensure that diversity of color and age is reflected in the Delegate and Alternate Delegate positions. The Alternate Delegate shall be responsible for assisting the Delegate in her duties and to serve in the Delegate’s place, including as a voting Delegate, when the Delegate is unable to perform her duties. Term of service shall be two years.
In cases of incapacity, death, resignation or other long-term inability for the Delegate to perform her duties, the Alternate Delegate shall assume the position of Delegate and serve the remainder of the elected term.
Upon vacancy of the Alternate Delegate’s position, the NWC shall elect a new Alternate Delegate, from the membership at large, to serve the remainder of the term.
The election of the Delegate and Alternate Delegate shall be by Instant Runoff Voting or Preferential Voting, dependent on the number of candidates for the position.
The option of voting “None of the Above” shall be available for all elections. Voting shall be conducted by email or online voting. A Ballot shall be emailed to each member of the NWC at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the election.
Votes received after midnight of the Election Day shall not be counted except when an extension has been granted.
Elections may be further defined in the Operating Rules.
ARTICLE VI. MEETINGS
General in-person Membership Meetings of the NWC shall be held at least once a year. Meetings of the NWC officers that can include individuals of the general membership shall be held at a minimum of once monthly. Meetings may be held in person, by telephone conference call, or by whatever other means that allows for the full participation of NWC members to make decisions, including email voting.
Meetings of the NWC may be called by a Co-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, GPUS Delegate or by a petition of 10% of the membership of the NWC.
ARTICLE VII. VOTING
A simple majority of a one-third quorum of full membership will pass general decisions and Operating Rules. Bylaws and policy statements will pass by a two-thirds majority of a one-third quorum of full membership from at least five states present, either physically at a meeting, via phone conference, on-line or email.
Proxy voting is forbidden. We must abide by the one person, one vote democratic principle in all our deliberations.
ARTICLE VIII. OPERATING RULES
The NWC may adopt such Operating Rules as is necessary to regulate its business. No Operating Rule may be adopted that counteracts any aspect of these Bylaws. In cases of ambiguity or lack of clarity, the NWC may look to the Bylaws of the GPUS for direction.
ARTICLE IX. PLATFORM
The NWC recognizes the Platform of the GPUS as the Platform of the NWC.
ARTICLE X. ANNUAL CONVENTION NWC MEETING
The NWC will hold a meeting at the annual GPUS Convention. The NWC may outreach to Green women and women’s organizations in the location of the Annual Convention to invite to this meeting. Green registration will be encouraged. An agenda including Bylaw, Platform, NWC business and Issue discussion will take place. A speaker may be scheduled. Additionally, time for getting to know members may be scheduled and encouraged, as well as a good time.
ARTICLE XI. FINANCES
The NWC will plan a budget, based on allocated funds from the GPUS. The NWC may allow for its own fundraising. The budget may be revised from time to time in response to changing financial circumstances. The NWC may not incur debt of any kind.
The Treasurer is responsible for overseeing the allocations of funds to the NWC, budget work, and making regular reports to the NWC CC and membership. All funds shall be handled according to GPUS fiscal policy. All money raised shall be sent directly to the GPUS Treasurer in a timely
manner by way of the GPUS office. All NWC fundraising efforts shall include instructions to ensure donor compliance with earmarking donations to the NWC. This includes direct mail, phone solicitations, events, tabling, printed material such as brochures and newsletter, solicitation by workshop or speeches, email list, website and any other method.
ARTICLE XII. ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS
These Bylaws shall be adopted when affirmative votes equivalent to two-thirds of the full membership of the NWC at the beginning of the voting period are collected. Voting may occur via email, online voting, or physical meeting. Each NWC member shall have one (1) vote which may only be cast once.
Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by a Co-Chair, Secretary, Delegate, ad-hoc committee, or by petition of 5% of the members of the NWC effective the date the petition is initiated. Amendments must be approved by a two-thirds majority of a one-third quorum of full membership. In addition, Bylaw changes will obtain all necessary approvals mandated by the Bylaws of the Green Party of the United States.