People, Planet & Peace
The Massachusetts Affiliate of the Green Party of the United States

Model Chapter Bylaws

By-Laws of the Nashua River Green-Rainbow Local (last updated May 19, 2007)


I. Name and Definition
         The Nashua River Green-Rainbow (NRGR) is an affiliated local club of the Green-
Rainbow Party of Massachusetts whose purpose is to promote the Green-Rainbow Party and its
political platform and Ten Key Values in the cities and towns of Fitchburg, Leominster, Clinton, Lunenburg, Ayer, Westminster, Lancaster, and any other towns from which members
may join. The NRGR will seek to help its members in specific cities and towns form town or
city specific locals which may become town or city MGRP town or city committees.

II. Ten Key Values
         The Nashua River Green-Rainbow will act in accordance with, and promote in our
communities, the Ten Key Values of the Green Party USA and the Green-Rainbow Party of
Massachusetts:
         *  Ecological Wisdom
         *  Social Justice
         *  Grassroots Democracy
         *  Non-violence
         *  Decentralization
         *  Community-based Economics
         *  Feminism
         *  Respect for Diversity
         *  Personal and Global Responsibility
         *  Future Focus / Sustainability

III. Membership
        A. Members of the NRGR must:
                  a. be a registered or supporting member of the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow
                      Party (MGRP) as defined by the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts, and
                  b. pay dues of $5 per year, with a waiver available via a request to the Treasurer.
        B. Nashua River Green-Rainbow dues will be collected annually each spring.
        C. People not satisfying the above criteria may be nominated for membership by
            consensus at one meeting and elected to membership by consensus at the following
             meeting of the Nashua River Greens.
        D. Members may have their membership revoked with a 2/3 vote at two consecutive
             meetings.
        E. A formal membership list will be maintained and updated monthly by the Secretary.

IV. Meetings and Decision Making
        A. The Nashua River Greens will strive to meet monthly.
        B. Decision shall be made using a modified-consensus method. Elections of officers, if
             not achieved by consensus will by made through basic Instant-Run Off Voting.
             Unless specified elsewhere in these by-laws, any change will require approval of
             2/3 of votes cast (abstentions do not count as votes). Only members may block
             consensus and vote.
By-Laws of the Nashua River Green-Rainbow Local
                pg. 2

IV. Meetings and Decision Making (continued)
        C. Quorum will be 1/2 the average number of members attending the three previous
             meetings. A quorum of members is needed at a meeting in order to amend by-laws,
             approve proposals, make endorsements and name or elect officers.
        D. Facilitators will be used for all meetings and will implement a technique for assuring
             equal opportunity for all voices to be heard.
        E. Minutes must be recorded at all meetings and will be made available to all members
             and to the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts no later than two weeks after the
             date of the meeting. At the beginning of each meeting, the minutes from the
             previous meeting will be amended as necessary and approved.
        F. Participants in Nashua River Green-Rainbow meetings are expected to treat each other
             with civility and consideration. Persons who violate this standard may be asked to
             remain silent or leave the meeting with a 2/3 vote.
       G. All meetings will be open to the public and may only be closed to non-members with
             a 2/3 vote in personal or criminal matters or if required by law.
       H. Meeting Process
               a. An agenda will be emailed and posted on a NRGR web site, once one is
                    created, at least one (1) week in advance. New agenda items will not be
                    added on unless they are of a time-sensitive nature.
               b. Follow up reminder phone calls two (2) days in advance of each meeting by
                    the Secretary.
               c. Each NRGR meeting will make use of a facilitation team including:
                        * Chairperson - Will run the meeting, acting as moderator and general
                            facilitator, including maintaining a healthy meeting atmosphere.
                      * The timekeeper will notify when time is up on an agenda item or a
                            speaker, time limits to be set at each meeting.
                      * The note-taker will record all decisions for the group.
                      * The stacker keeps a list of people who want to speak.
                      * NRGR officers will have the responsibility of fulfilling these roles or
                             recruiting members to fill them at each meeting.
       I. Modified Consensus Seeking Process:
               a. For group decisions on specific proposals, courses of actions, endorsements,
                   amendments to these by-laws and other decisions that do not elect officers for
                   the local, the following method of modified consensus will be used:
                         i. Sponsor of an agenda item will present it to the group.
                        ii. Facilitator will then ask for clarifying questions. NO DISCUSSION,
                              just questions that need answering so that what is being proposed is
                              clear and understood.
                       iii. Facilitator, with group approval, sets a time limit for general
                              discussion.
                       iv. DISCUSSION - At the end of the discussion, the facilitator will call
                              for consensus. If there are no blocking concerns, consensus has been
                              reached and item is passed/approved/endorsed.
                        v. If there are blocking concerns, then they should be stated and stacked.
 By-Laws of the Nashua River Green-Rainbow Local
                pg. 3

IV. Meetings and Decision Making (continued)
                      vi. Facilitator then asks the sponsor to address these concerns in turn.
                      vii. If these concerns are met, or the sponsor modifies to fit, then
                              consensus is reached and the item is passed/approved/endorsed.
                     viii. If there are still blocking concerns, then the proposal is re-stated and
                              steps 7-8 are repeated until all concerns are addressed.
                       ix. Facilitator asks if members with concerns will step aside and if the
                              member with a concern steps down then consensus is reached and
                              the item is passed/approved/endorsed.
                        x. If the member with a blocking concern will not step down, then a vote
                              will be taken. A 2/3 majority of members present need to vote for
                              an item in order to pass/approve/endorse.
                      xi. Any member can ask the facilitator to call for consensus during any
                              step in this process.
                     xii. Any member with a proposal before the membership should not
                              facilitate that meeting or should step down as facilitator while the
                              item is up for consideration.
      J. Basic Meeting Agenda
             a. The NRGR will follow the same basic agenda for its meetings unless a meeting
                   is called for a specific purpose or the agenda model is set aside by the
                   quorum present by modified consensus process.
             b. Meeting Agenda
                         i. Introductions (may be waived by facilitator is there is no one new to
                              the group present)
                        ii. Approval and/or amendment of minutes from the last meeting
                       iii. Report from Co-Chairs, Treasurer, Secretary, and Web Master
                       iv. Ordering of the agenda
                        v. If there are only a few items, the facilitator and/or NRGR co-chairs
                              may order the agenda. Typically items will be put on the agenda in
                              the order in which they were submitted.
                       vi. If it seems an item may require a great deal of time or there are too
                              many items on the agenda, members present will rank agenda items
                              in order of preference for discussion by having all members
                              present rank each item.
                      vii. Old Business - business left to carry over from last meeting
                     viii. New Business
                       ix. Setting of place, date, and time for next meeting
                        x. Choosing Facilitation team for next meeting
                       xi. Announcements
      K. Instant Run-Off Voting
             a. If not nominated and approved by consensus, a method of Instant Run-Off
                  voting shall be used to elect NRGR officers.

V. Elected Offices
      A. The NRGR will either name by consensus or elect a male co-chair, a female co-chair,
By-Laws of the Nashua River Green-Rainbow Local
             pg. 4

V. Elected Offices (continued)

a treasurer, and a secretary.

Elections will take place at the first meeting after the adoption of these by-laws and then once a year in the anniversary month (i.e. March) of that first election. The length of the term will be one year, and the term will begin at the conclusion of the meeting at which the elections are held. In the event of a vacancy, elections will be held at the next meeting. If one of the co -chairs is not elected, either from a lack of candidates or the candidates not receiving enough of the vote, then another co-chair election will be held and will be open to both male and female candidates.
The Officers of the NRGR are empowered to make decisions regarding the administration of the club in areas that fall under the auspices of their duties as outlined in these bylaws. The Officers are empowered to make administrative decisions on behalf of the NRGR in accordance with these by-laws, the by-laws and platform of the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts, and the Ten Key Values.
The Officers shall consult the membership as broadly as possible via email, phone, and personal contact when making these decisions. Exempted from these administrative decision making powers are decisions on major proposals, major endorsements and major restructuring of the group's organization.

B. Any member may nominate themselves or be nominated for these offices. A member
may not be named or elected to more than one office.

C. Any officer may be recalled with a 2/3 vote.    

D. The duties of the co-chairs will be to:
             a. act as official spokes people for the Nashua River Green-Rainbow,
             b. be responsible for setting the agenda for all meetings,
             c. inform the members of Green-Rainbow activities outside of the local area,
             d. be responsible for all correspondence, and
             e. Facilitate or recruit members to serve as facilitators at each meeting.

E. The duties of the treasurer will be to:
             a. collect dues,
             b. submit an annual financial report at the January meeting including a
                  recommendation for dues,
             c. record all financial transactions, and
             d. file financial and tax reports as required by law.

F. The duties of the secretary will be to:
                a. ensure that minutes are kept at all meetings,
                b. distribute minutes to members within two weeks of the meeting,
                c. be responsible for the maintenance of the email list,
                d. keep a record of membership,
                e. reminder phone calls two days prior to meetings, and

f. facilitate making sure that NRGR always has a web master.

 

VI. Amending the By-Laws

A. These by-laws may be amended through modified consensus with a 2/3 majority vote fall back. Amendments to these by-laws shall be inserted into the text.

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