Heart of America Chapter Bylaws

(as adopted 8/30/16)

Statement of Purpose:

The KC Heart of America Chapter of the Missouri Green Party (KC-HOA) recognizes the imperative of returning “heart” to the political process, locally, nationally and internationally.  We affirm our intention to promote “heart” within the political process – that is, to promote courage and integrity as well as the compassionate justice that will allow the human family to work together in inclusive community.

 

By returning heart to the political process, we strive to meet challenges of social structure and human interaction (from local concerns to international levels)– as well as the imminent challenge of the preservation of the planet — with peace, integrity, and social justice.

 

We intend to facilitate this process as expressed through ten key values defined by the Green Party of the US:

 

  1. Grassroots Democracy— All human beings must be allowed a say in decisions that affect their lives; no one should be subject to the will of another. We work to improve public participation in every aspect of government and seek to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We also work to create new types of political organizations that expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in decision-making.
  2. Ecological Wisdom — Human societies must function with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society that utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture that replenishes the soil, move to an energy-efficient economy, and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.
  3. Social Justice and Equal Opportunity – – As a matter of right, all persons must have the opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, any discrimination by race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, religion, or physical or mental ability that denies fair treatment and equal justice under the law.
  4. Nonviolence — It is essential that we develop effective alternatives to society’s current patterns of violence. We will work to demilitarize and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naive about the intentions of other governments. We recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in danger. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace.
  5. Decentralization — Centralization of wealth and power contributes to social and economic injustice, environmental destruction, and militarization. We seek a restructuring of social, political and economic institutions away from a system controlled by and mostly benefiting the powerful few, to a democratic, less bureaucratic system. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all.
  6. Community Based Economics — We support redesigning our work structures to encourage employee ownership and workplace democracy. We support developing new economic activities and institutions that allow us to use technology in ways that are humane, freeing, ecological, and responsive and accountable to communities. We support establishing a form of basic economic security open to all. We call for moving beyond the narrow “job ethic” to new definitions of “work,” “jobs” and “income” in a cooperative and democratic economy. We support restructuring our patterns of income distribution to reflect the wealth created by those outside the formal monetary economy – those who take responsibility for parenting, housekeeping, home gardens, community volunteer work, and the like. We support restricting the size and concentrated power of corporations without discouraging superior efficiency or technological innovation.
  7. Feminism and Gender Equity — We have inherited a social system based on male domination of politics and economics. We call for the replacement of the cultural ethics of domination and control with cooperative ways of interacting that respect differences of opinion and gender. Human values such as gender equity, interpersonal responsibility, and honesty must be developed with moral conscience. We recognize that the processes for determining our decisions and actions are just as important as achieving the outcomes we want.
  8. Respect for Diversity — We believe it is important to value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity, and to promote the development of respectful relationships across the human spectrum. We believe that the many diverse elements of society should be reflected in our organizations and decision-making bodies, and we support the leadership of people who have been traditionally closed out of leadership roles. We encourage respect for all life forms, and increased attention to the preservation of biodiversity.
  9. Personal, Social and Global Responsibility — We encourage individuals to act to improve their personal well being and, at the same time, to enhance ecological balance and social harmony. We seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet.
  10. Future Focus and Sustainability –Our actions and policies should be motivated by long-term goals. We seek to protect valuable natural resources, safely disposing of or “unmaking” all waste we create, while developing a sustainable economics that does not depend on continual expansion for survival. We must counterbalance the drive for short-term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations who will inherit the results of our actions. We must make the quality of all lives, rather than open-ended economic growth, the focus of future thinking and policy.

Objectives reflecting these ten key values– as well as other issues of integrity, peace and social justice as they may arise — may include educational and social activism as well as other such activities.  These include, but are not limited to electoral political action, as we take actions necessary and proper to accomplish these objectives within our local, state, national and international community.

The KC Heart of America Chapter of the Missouri Green Party is based in the Kansas City, Missouri Metropolitan area.  The KC-HOA is affiliated with the Missouri Green Party, Green Party US and Greens/Green Party USA.

We gratefully acknowledge the influence of the bylaws of the Green Party of St. Louis and of the Missouri Green Party upon this document.

Article 1: Introduction

These bylaws are designed to help the KC Heart of America Chapter of the Missouri Green Party accomplish its goals, empower its participants, and become a model for social change. These bylaws aim to promote the sharing of responsibility and develop the capabilities of those who participate in KC-HOA meetings and public actions.

The General Meeting (GM) makes all fundamental decisions and committees have only those powers delegated to them.

Article 2: Membership

2.1 Membership requirements. Any Missouri resident who is in agreement with the 10 key values covered in the Statement of Purpose, strives to support and uphold the work of the KC-HOA Chapter and is not a member of another Green local, may pay annual dues of $20 and thereby participate as an active member of the KC-HOA Chapter.    Annual dues shall begin at the August general meeting.

Subsidized dues are available individuals who are unable to pay the full $20 dues, at the discretion of the Treasurer, and according to state law.

2.2 Powers of members. Non-member participants present may suggest and endorse public actions and participate in such actions.

Members may select and remove officers, authorize financial expenditures, change the by-laws of the organization and vote on matters relating to electoral candidates.

Voting powers are exercised at the monthly General Meetings (GM), which may delegate responsibility to committees.

2.3 Removal of members. Expulsion of members is extremely discouraged, however in cases of gross misconduct, an active member may be removed if:

  1. Another active member presents written cause at a GM, and
  2. Active members vote for removal at that meeting, and
  3. At the next GM, active members vote to uphold the removal following an oral presentation of cause and defense, neither to exceed 15 minutes.

2.4 Resignation of members.  Members may resign by submitting a letter to the co-coordinators.  Dues shall not be refunded.

Article 3:  Officers – The Coordinating Committee  — Duties, Responsibility to Inform about Meetings  

3.1 Members. The Coordinating Committee (CC) shall consist of the following five Officers: two co-Coordinators, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and an Outreach Coordinator.

3.2 Elections and terms of office. General officers include two co-Coordinators, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and an Outreach Coordinator. Terms of office are one year. Officers are selected by majority vote. Regardless of when an officer is elected to a position, elections for every General Office shall be held at the first GM of each calendar year.

3.3 Between GMs, the CC shall make decisions and endorsements on behalf of the KC-HOA which are consistent with its principles and membership decisions. The CC shall present all such decisions and endorsements to the next GM for review.

3.4  At least 7 days prior to each GM, the CC shall mail, e-mail, or otherwise publicly post on a website or listserv maintained by the KC-HOA, the time and location of the upcoming GM to all active members. This notification should include notes from the previous GM, the proposed facilitator and agenda for the upcoming GM, and the dates and locations for all upcoming committee meetings.

Article 4:  Specific Duties of Officers

            4.1. The co-Coordinators shall:

  1. Ensure that there is a location for every GM.
  2. Speak and/or select designees to speak on behalf of the KC-HOA;
  3. Ensure the development and maintenance of contacts with groups that share Green values and are working on projects similar to those of the KC-HOA.
  4. Supervise the activities of all committees.

4.2 The Secretary shall:

  1. Record minutes of GMs, which include all decisions made. The minutes will also contain committee reports submitted (see section 7.7b),
  2. Ensure that notice of GMs is given (see section 3.4)
  3. Keep membership forms and solicit memberships at all GMs and,
  4. Coordinate correspondence with other Green groups.

4.3 The Treasurer shall:

  1. Ensure that a current list of all active (dues-paid) members is brought to every GM,
  2. Receive all membership dues, donations, and other income,
  3. Maintain an account of all funds,
  4. Ensure that a report of receipts, expenditures & balance is delivered at each GM,
  5. Mail (or email) reminders of annual dues to all members,
  6. Prepare a financial report at the end of each fiscal quarter to be submitted to the CC and published to the membership (see section 3.4)
  7. Deliver an annual financial report at the December meeting and publish said report to the membership (see  section 3.4), and
  8. Propose a dues structure during the January GM.

 

 

4.4 The Outreach Coordinator will,

  1. Actively recruit new members, striving to maintain gender and  ethnic diversity
  2. Coordinate the group’s online presence, and ensure the production and mailing of a newsletter to members as needed.
  3. Establish and maintain contacts with other groups and organization in the community,
  4. Seek out suitable candidates to run in local elections.

4.5 Local Chapter Representative.

The local chapter representative serves as the representative from the chapter to the State Coordinating Committee.  The local chapter representative  can be any of the members, including the co-coordinators.  The representative is chosen by a majority vote at a general meeting.

4.6  Spokespersons.

In addition to the regular officers, spokespersons can be appointed to speak for the chapter.

It is the responsibility of any spokesperson to represent KC-HOA decisions made at GMs. Those who may make announcements for the KC-HOA and speak publicly on its behalf include:

  1. Members chosen at a GM for specific tasks,
  2. Either Co-Coordinator,
  3. Any active member designated by both Co-Coordinators

Article 5: Vacancies, Removal of Officers

5.1  Vacancies. If a general officer misses three consecutive GMs, without notice, the other general officers should declare that position vacant at the next GM so members can elect a person to fill the remainder of the term during the following GM. The former officer may be re-elected by the GM.

5.2  Removal. The GM may vote to remove any officer or spokesperson for any reason.

5.3 Replacement. When a general office is vacated, or a general officer removed, an election to fill the office will be held during the following GM.

5.4  Interim Officers. In the event where a general officer vacates, resigns, or is removed from office, the GM may elect an interim officer to fill the office until a regular election can be held at the next GM.

Article 6: Other Committees

6.1 Creation. A GM may vote to create committees. The GM must approve the powers, scope and membership of any such committee.

6.2 Responsibilities. Committees will select a facilitator for each committee meeting and an annual Coordinator who will be responsible for ensuring that the committee report is delivered at the GM.

The coordinator of each active committee or his/her designee shall provide the Secretary with the time and location of all upcoming meetings at least 10 days prior to the General Meeting. (see section 3.4)

Active committees also shall provide a report at each GM.  The reports should include the dates of all meetings since the last GM, the number of active members who in attendance, ongoing and proposed activities, the date, time and location of the next meeting, and the phone number of the coordinator/contact person for the committee.  (see section 7.7b)

6.3 Projects, programs and expenses. Each committee must describe all proposed projects and programs at the GM. Committee and submit requests for funding to voting members at the GM.

6.4 Dissolution. Committees may be dissolved at any time by the vote of a GM. A committee may be temporarily suspended by the CC. Any such temporary suspension must be either revoked or made permanent by the membership at the next GM.

Article 7: General Meetings

7.1 Attendance and announcement. All GMs shall be open to all members. Therefore, all meeting locations, dates, and times shall be publicized at least one week before they occur.

7.2 Publication. Publication of meetings may be done by mail, electronic mail, and/or by posting the information on a listserv or website maintained by the KC-HOA for that purpose. The CC shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the maximum possible number of members is given timely notice.

7.3 Frequency and length. GMs and shall be held monthly.

7.4 Special meetings. Special GMs may be called by a majority of officers or 20% of active members. The CC will be responsible for notifying members in advance of special GMs.

7.5 Quorum. All GMs must have a quorum present to make decisions. A quorum in a GM is 20% of all members, or ten (10) members present, whichever is less. A CC quorum is a majority of the general officers. A quorum for other committees is three active members.

7.6 Voting.

7.6.1 Any member may call for a vote during the discussion of a proposal. The facilitator will determine if a majority of members present wish to vote. Votes may have one or two steps (with no debate between them):

  1. First, the facilitator will ask for consensus; and, if there are no objections, the vote is over;
  2. If there is no consensus, then the vote shall be determined by a simple majority of those members voting.

7.6.2 Only members may vote to select and remove officers, to authorize financial expenditures, to change the by-laws of the organization and on matters relating to electoral candidates within the district

7.6.3 For purposes of determining a majority, abstentions will not count as votes, but will be recorded in the minutes.

7.6.4 During the establishment phase of this organization, all    expenditures must be approved at the general monthly          meeting.

7.7 Order of issues at GMs.

  1. The facilitator suggested by the CC will open the meeting and ask for approval of the notes of the previous meeting and the facilitator and agenda proposed by the CC. If there is not consensus on suggested changes, they will be made by majority vote.
  2. Committee reports should include the dates of all meetings since the last GM, the number of active members who were in attendance, ongoing and proposed activities, the date, time and location of the next meeting, and the phone number of the coordinator/contact person for the committee. A written copy of the committee report will be given to the Secretary. The CC report will be limited to 5 minutes and all other committee reports to 2 minutes.
  3. Announcements of upcoming events by active members will precede those by guests and all announcements will be limited to two minutes per person.
  4. Unfinished business.
  5. New and/or unfinished business.

7.8  Regular meeting schedule. Except when change is necessary due to conflict with established holidays or other reason deemed appropriate by the CC,

  1. The GM will be held on the first Thursday of every month.
  2. Unless otherwise specified in writing by the CC, all such meetings shall start at 8:00 p.m. and be held at such location announced by the CC (see section 3.4).

8.1  Amending bylaws.  Proposed bylaws changes must be announced in the meeting agenda.  Bylaws can be amended by a ¾ vote of a quorum.  Absentee voting is permitted.