Initiating an update of the bylaws

Sponsors: Matthew Andrews, Lois Gagnon

Vetting Committees: State Committee

Floor Manager: Matthew Andrews

Shepherd: Matthew Andrews

Summary: The purpose of this proposal is to begin a process of reviewing and updating our bylaws.

Background: Our bylaws are a great document that represent a tremendous amount of work, but they need to be reviewed and updated. The bylaws were written before most of us were members of the Green-Rainbow Party. We are in a completely new political climate. Much of the bylaws were written based on theories about how the party would grow and operate that never materialized. In some places the bylaws are overly complex, while in others they are vague. The bylaws should be a living document that reflect the current membership and the wisdom of recent experiences.

Text of Proposal: Amend bylaws 15.1 which defines how we amend bylaws at state conventions by replacing “a vote of 2/3” to “a majority vote”. Amend bylaws 15.2 which defines how state committee may amend bylaws from “by a 75% vote” to “by a 2/3 super-majority.” State Committee shall create a Bylaws Review Committee and appoint a convener or co-conveners. Full members of State Committee are encouraged to volunteer. Chapters may appoint two gender balanced representatives. The Administrative Committee may appoint up to 3 more members at any time to represent the broadest possible diversity. The Convener shall keep track of committee members and host meetings to discuss the bylaws and develop amendment proposals to be referred back to State Committee. The Bylaws Review Committee may voluntarily disband if a majority feels the work is done, or by a later vote of the State Committee.

Implementation: A few people must volunteer to be in email correspondence and occasionally meet by phone or internet conference. These volunteers must be willing and able to propose, read, and edit amendment proposals. A report with some recommendations should be presented in time for the next State Committee meeting.

Financial Implications: None

References and Attachments: None

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  • Elie Yarden
    commented 2021-01-17 16:26:54 -0500
    The bylaws of a Green State Party should reflect the political thinking and knowledge that led to the formation of such parties. In the case of the Green-Rainbow Party, formed from a merger of the Massachusetts Green Party and the Rainbow Coalition Party, the future growth of the party. The goal of such revisions should be one of securing greater cohesion and protection from hierarchical decision making, Examination of the bylaws of the Maine, Rainbow Coalition, California, New York, and also consultation provided by the Steering Committee. The comment by Richard Vaillette who has seen such attempts should not be ignored.
  • Elie Yarden
    tagged this with Good 2021-01-17 16:26:53 -0500
  • Richard Vaillette
    commented 2021-01-17 12:02:50 -0500
    In my opinion, the new emphasis on simple majority will make us much more vulernable to takeover by groups that do not share our values. As it is much of the Green Party is already under attack from groups both inside and outside the party structure.
  • David Spanagel
    commented 2021-01-15 10:50:36 -0500
    At last week’s Central Massachusetts G-R chapter meeting, specific concerns were raised about the proposed reductions in thresholds for bylaws changes. Good organizations do not need need to transform their bylaws all that frequently, and to do so should always be the result of a deliberate process that obtains wide support throughout the organization’s leadership. By all means, when the realities of practice drift far from the letter of the bylaws, it is certainly a time to engage in comprehensive review and updating of those bylaws, but please do not at the same time make bylaw revision a thing that can proceed carelessly or capriciously in future.
  • David Spanagel
    tagged this with Important 2021-01-15 10:50:34 -0500
  • Roni Beal
    commented 2021-01-12 09:31:15 -0500
    Bylaws should be reviewed every few years along with policies and procedures. I agree that a sub-committee dedicated to this mission is the way to accomplish this task. This is a methodical task and should not be done in haste.
  • Roni Beal
    tagged this with Important 2021-01-12 09:31:14 -0500
  • Matthew Andrews
    tagged this with Important 2020-12-21 23:28:39 -0500
  • Matthew Andrews
    tagged this with Good 2020-12-21 23:28:38 -0500
  • Matthew Andrews
    published this page in 2021 Winter Proposal 2020-12-21 23:28:01 -0500