Model Chapter Bylaws

By-Laws of the Central Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Chapter (last updated April 13, 2018)

I. Name and Definition

The Central Massachusetts Green-Rainbow (CMGR) is an affiliated regional chapter of the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts. Its purpose is to promote the Green-Rainbow Party and its political platform and Ten Key Values in all the cities and towns of Worcester County, and any other towns from which members may join.  The CMGR will seek to help its members in specific cities and towns form town or ward committees affiliated with the Green-Rainbow Party.


II. Ten Key Values

The Central Massachusetts 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

Members of the CMGR must be a registered or supporting member of the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts (GRP) as defined by the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts

  1. 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 Central Mass Greens.
  2. Members may have their membership revoked with a 2/3 vote at two consecutive
  3. A formal membership list will be maintained and updated as needed by the Secretary.
  4. All CMGR members are strongly encouraged to make an annual donation to the Green-Rainbow Party of MA, to support party candidates and issues, as well as to enable the party to reach out to all residents of MA.

IV. Meetings and Decision Making

  1. The Central Mass Greens will strive to meet monthly.
  2. Decisions shall be made using a modified-consensus method (see Section IV(I) below). 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Facilitators will be used for all meetings and will implement a technique for assuring equal opportunity for all voices to be heard.
  5. 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.
  6. Participants in Central Massachusetts 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Meeting Process

a. An agenda will be emailed and meeting notice posted on the CMGR Facebook page, 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 to members two (2) days in advance of each meeting by the Secretary may be requested by either Co-chair.
c. Each CMGR meeting will make use of a facilitation team including:
* Facilitator - 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.
* If requested by the Co-chairs: the stacker keeps a list of people who want to speak.
* CMGR officers will have the responsibility of fulfilling these roles or recruiting members to fill them at each meeting.

9. 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 chapter, 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.

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.

10. Basic Meeting Agenda

a. The CMGR 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 if there is no one new to the group present)

ii. Setting of place, date, and time for next meeting

iii. Approval and/or amendment of minutes from the last meeting

iv. Ordering of the agenda

a. If there are only a few items, the facilitator and/or CMGR co-chairs may order the agenda. Typically items will be put on the agenda in the order in which they were submitted. One to two priorities will be addressed first as main discussion items.

v. 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.

vi. Old Business - business carried over from last meeting

vii. New Business

viii. Officer Reports

ix. Announcements

x. Meeting Feedback and Adjournment

11. Election of Officers

a. If not nominated and approved by consensus, a method of Instant Run-Off voting shall be used to elect CMGR officers.

V. Elected Offices

  1. The CMGR will name, either by consensus or election, a Male/Other Gender Co-chair, a Female/Other Gender Co-chair, and a Secretary.
  2. Timing of elections and term lengths: 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.
  3. The Officers of the CMGR are empowered to make decisions regarding the administration of the chapter in areas that fall under the auspices of their duties as outlined in these by-laws. The Officers are empowered to make administrative decisions on behalf of the CMGR in accordance with these by-laws, the by-laws and platform of the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts, and the Ten Key Values.
    1. 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.
  4. Any member may nominate themselves or be nominated for these offices. A member may not be named or elected to more than one office.
  5. Any officer may be recalled with a 2/3 vote.
  6. The duties of the Co-chairs will be to:
    a. act as official spokespeople for the Central Massachusetts 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.
  7. 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. if requested by the Co-chairs, reminder phone calls two days prior to meetings, and

f. facilitate making sure that CMGR always has a Facebook group page administrator.


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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