Heart of America Chapter Bylaws

(Amended by the Green Party of Kansas City, Missouri General Membership at its monthly membership meeting held in Kansas City, MO on November 2, 2017.)

Article 1: Introduction

1.1 Name

The name of this organization shall be the Kansas City Heart of America Chapter of the Missouri Green Party. It may also be referred to as the Green Party of Kansas City Missouri or KC-HOA.

1.2 Mission, Vision, and Purpose

The Purpose of KC-HOA is established in our Articles of Association. We fulfill our purpose through electoral political activity and social activism as a working class political party organization for the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Our Chapter exists as part of a broader state, national, and global eco-socialist movement working to create a society that reflects the 10 Key Values as described in our Articles of Association. We are affiliated with the Missouri Green Party organization, Green Party US, and The Greens/Green Party USA. By returning heart to the political process, we strive to meet the challenges of social structure, human interaction, capitalism, and ecological degradation fighting for people, planet, and peace over profit.

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 Green Party of Kansas City Missouri is based in the Kansas City, Missouri Metropolitan area.

1.3 Relationship to the Statutory Committees

Missouri statutes 115.603-627 establish a series of committees that constitute the legal structure of an established state political party. This series of committees is legally distinct from the Missouri Green Party organization of which the KC-HOA is a chapter. These committees are not governed by the KC-HOA Articles of Association or Bylaws. The members of the KC-HOA will run in primary elections to serve on these legal committees. Once elected, KC-HOA members will operate these committees as described in the law, honoring the decisions and guidance of the KC-HOA and Missouri Green Party organizations, and in accordance with Green Party values.

Article 2: Membership

2.1 Membership Requirements

Any Missouri resident (documented or undocumented) who is 16 years of age or older and is in agreement with the 10 key values, strives to support and uphold the work of the Green Party of Kansas City Missouri, and is not a member of another political party or Green local chapter, may pay annual dues and thereby participate as an active member of the Green Party of Kansas City Missouri.    

2.2 Membership Dues

Annual dues shall be renewed beginning August 1 of each year and may be started at any point during the year.

Members shall determine their own level of dues based on income or ability to pay, the honor system, and state and federal law. The minimum dues required to be a KC-HOA member are $12/year, or $1/month. Subsidized dues are available to individuals who are unable to pay the full $12 dues, at the discretion of the Treasurer and according to state and federal law.

2.3 Powers of Members

Members may select and remove officers, authorize annual budget and discretionary financial expenditures or those in excess of budget, change the bylaws of the organization, and vote on matters relating to electoral candidates and endorsement of specific issues or events. Voting powers (including absentee) are exercised at the monthly General Meetings (GM), which may delegate responsibility to committees unless otherwise outlined in the bylaws. The General Meeting makes all fundamental decisions and committees have only those powers delegated to them.

2.4 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.

2.5 Resignation of Members

Members may resign in writing to any voting member of the Coordinating Committee at any time. Dues shall not be refunded upon resignation.

Article 3: Coordinating Committee

3.1 Definition

The Coordinating Committee of the Green Party of Kansas City Missouri (hereafter referred to as CC) oversees the activities of the KC-HOA and implements the policies, plans, and decisions of the General Membership consistent with the vision, mission, and purpose of the KC-HOA.

The CC coordinates the efforts of all other committees toward the shared goal and purpose of promoting Green Party values, enacting the strategic and financial determinations of the General Membership and ensuring the long-term viability of the KC-HOA.

The CC shall also be the decision-making body of the KC-HOA between GMs.

3.2 Powers, Responsibilities, and Limitations

The CC shall strive to foster an environment of respect and encourage constructive communication within the KC-HOA and in conversations with the community at large.

The CC shall make time-sensitive decisions and endorsements that must be made before the next scheduled GM, on behalf of the KC-HOA, pursuant to KC-HOA principles and membership decisions and which are consistent with the Ten Key Values. The CC shall present all such decisions and endorsements at the next GM for questions and review.

The CC is charged with reviewing a proposed annual budget by June 15 in order to get it to the membership for final approval at the July GM.

All decisions by the CC require a simple majority vote of CC members in attendance, and at least four voting members of the CC must be in attendance to constitute quorum.

CC decisions can be overruled by a 2/3 vote of members in attendance at the following GM.

3.3 Coordinating Committee Structure

The CC shall consist of seven officers with voting roles: two co-coordinators, a secretary, a treasurer, a membership officer, an elections officer, and a communications and outreach officer, as well as a local chapter representative to the state party who shall serve an advisory role to, and is not a voting member of, the CC. In addition, ad hoc committees shall designate a representative to serve an advisory, non-voting role on the CC.

Each member of the CC shall have the authority to designate an alternative representative to attend a CC meeting in their place if and when that member is absent or incapacitated. Voting CC officers representing other committees shall designate an alternative representative that is a member of the same committee. Alternative representatives of CC positions shall not be granted voting rights at CC meetings. However, they shall carry out all other duties of that position, as appropriate, at the meeting.

Article 4: Officers

4.1 Eligibility and Election of Officers

To be eligible to serve as a KC-HOA officer, one must be a registered member of the KC-HOA in good standing. It is recommended that officers have served a minimum of three months as an active KC-HOA member.

KC-HOA officers shall be elected by majority vote at the first GM of each calendar year. Interim elections may be held at any GM to fill vacant positions, who will then serve until the next regular election.

In the event that these positions become vacant between GMs, the CC has the power to appoint interim members to fill these positions, provided that a quorum still exists on the CC. Interim members will then stand for interim election at the next GM, along with any other interested members.

KC-HOA members may not occupy more than one voting position on the CC.

4.2 Positions and Duties of Officers

    1. The Co-Coordinators are the coordinators of the KC-HOA and its Coordinating Committee. The Co-Coordinators shall ensure that the duties of the CC are met. The two Co-Coordinators, at minimum, shall:
  1. Be the main interface between the KC-HOA and all other persons and organizations;
  2. Be gender-diverse (man, woman, genderqueer, etc.) if possible given the genders of those running;
  3. Train new CC members;
  4. Organize and facilitate all CC and GM meetings, or delegate this task if and when necessary;
  5. Produce and distribute meeting agendas to the membership prior to meetings;
  6. Ensure open communication, transparency, and collaboration within the KC-HOA;
  7. Mediate resolution of conflicts among members and committees;
  8. Work to grow and build the KC-HOA and ensure its long-term viability.
    1. The Secretary, at minimum, shall:
      1. Take notes and prepare minutes of all CC and GM meetings or designate another member for this task if and when the secretary is absent or incapacitated;
      2. Circulate minutes to the membership following meetings;
      3. Announce all CC meetings and GMs to the membership;
      4. Be familiar with the bylaws’ rules of governance and decision-making and strive to enforce those rules;
      5. Maintain current revisions and history files of all bylaws, resolutions, position papers, brochures, flyers, and other non-financial documents of the KC-HOA;
      6. Convey these files to the next Secretary when the position changes hands.
    2. The Treasurer is the coordinator of the Finance Committee and is this committee’s representative on the CC. The Treasurer shall ensure that the duties of the Finance Committee are met.
    3. The Membership Officer is the coordinator of the Membership Committee and is this committee’s representative on the CC. The Membership Officer shall ensure that the duties of the Membership Committee are met.
    4. The Elections Officer is the coordinator of the Elections Committee and is this committee’s representative on the CC. The Elections Officer shall ensure that the duties of the Election Committee are met.  
    5. The Communications and Outreach Officer is the coordinator of the Communications and Outreach Committee and is this committee’s representative on the CC. The Communications and Outreach Officer shall ensure that the duties of the Communications and Outreach Committee are met.  
    6. The Local Chapter Representative shall serve as the representative from the chapter to the Missouri Green Party’s State Coordinating Committee.  The Local Chapter Representative can also be any of the members of the CC, including one of the Co-Coordinators.  The representative is chosen by a majority vote at a General Meeting. The Local Chapter Representative is a non-voting member of the CC.

4.3 Removal of Officers

Officers will be considered resigned from office by giving notice in writing to other CC members; or after failing to attend three consecutive meetings; or after failing to perform clearly defined duties of their position for more than three months. At this point, the remaining CC members shall appoint an interim officer who will serve until the next GM where a new officer will be elected, unless the GM chooses to reinstate the resigned officer.

Article 5: Other Committees

5.1 Responsibilities of Committees

Committees will select a facilitator for each committee meeting and a coordinator who will be responsible for ensuring that the committee report is delivered at the GM and that a written copy is submitted to the Secretary, preferably in time to be included with the distribution of the GM agenda. Committee reports should include the phone number of the coordinator or contact person of the committee, the dates of all meetings since the last GM, the number of members in attendance, ongoing and proposed activities, and the date, time and location of all upcoming meetings.

Each committee must describe all proposed projects and programs and submit requests for funding to the GM.

5.2 Standing Committees

Standing Committees of the KC-HOA are hereby established for the purposes of distributing the essential work required to enact the goals and will of the membership as determined through the resolutions and decisions made by the membership at GMs. Standing Committees shall be represented on and be coordinated by the CC and the coordinating officer from each Standing Committee shall serve as a voting member of the CC.

 

  • Finance Committee

 

The Finance Committee, at minimum, shall:

      1. Maintain the financial records of the KC-HOA;
      2. Receive and disburse funds in accordance with the party’s bylaws and all relevant legal requirements;
      3. Keep the membership and officers informed of the party’s financial condition and affairs;
      4. Deliver an annual financial report at the December meeting and publish said report to the membership;
      5. Comply with all reporting requirements of the Federal Election Commission, the State of Missouri, and any other government entities having jurisdiction over the KC-HOA;
      6. Fully comply with all Missouri campaign finance and reporting laws.

The Treasurer is encouraged to share these duties with the other members of the Finance Committee.

  1.    Membership Committee

The Membership Committee, at minimum, shall:

  1. Maintain a database of contacts and members;
  2. Give updated documents to the Secretary quarterly;
  3. Ensure an up-to-date list of all dues-paid members is brought to every GM;
  4. Monitor and notify members of deadlines for paying dues;
  5. Identify the wards, precincts, and voting districts of members;
  6. Actively work to engage members in committee and chapter work;
  7. Identify skills, strengths, and abilities of members and make an effort to connect these members to areas of need for the KC-HOA;
  8. Welcome new members and provide them with new-member materials;
  9. Actively work to retain members of the KC-HOA.

The Membership Officer is encouraged to share these duties with a Volunteer Coordinator and the other members of the Membership Committee.

  1.    Elections Committee

The Elections Committee, at minimum, shall:

  1. Be knowledgeable about federal, state and local campaign and election laws;
  2. Recruit and train suitable candidates to run in local and statewide elections;
  3. Coordinate electoral campaigns;
  4. Identify and communicate filing deadlines;
  5. Make recommendations for funding and/or endorsements for candidates, petitions, ballot initiatives etc.;
  6. Research and solicit electoral opportunities, partnerships and coalitions.

The Elections Officer is encouraged to share these duties with the other members of the Elections Committee.

  1.    Communications and Outreach Committee

The Communications and Outreach Committee, at minimum, shall:

  1. Be knowledgeable about and publicize the values, principles, and platform of the Green Party;
  2. Solicit content for the KC-HOA social media outlets and maintain an online presence for the KC-HOA;
  3. Maintain an up-to-date database of local and state media contacts;
  4. Send out GPUS press releases to local and state media outlets;
  5. Send out press releases whenever the KC-HOA passes a resolution or joins a coalition;
  6. Send out a minimum of one relevant issue-based press release per month;
  7. Actively work to recruit new members;
  8. Raise money for the KC-HOA in an ethical manner and maintain lists of donors;
  9. Maintain a list of prospective members;
  10. Establish and maintain contacts with other groups and organizations in the community;
  11. Send out at least one monthly email updating current and prospective members on KC-HOA news;
  12. Select a Spokesperson to publicly represent Green Party positions in speeches, discussions, panels, interviews, and other engagements and educate the public about Green Party values, platform, etc., as needed.

The Communications and Outreach Officer is encouraged to share these duties with a Media Coordinator, Recruitment Coordinator, Fundraising Coordinator, Spokesperson(s), and other members of the Communications and Outreach Committee.

5.3 Creation of Committees

A GM may vote to create ad hoc committees. The GM must approve the general powers and scope of any such committees. Additional Standing Committees may be created by amending these bylaws.

5.4 Dissolution of Committees

Committees may be dissolved at any time by the vote of a GM with the exception of Standing Committees which may only be dissolved through amendment to the bylaws. 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, with amendment to the bylaws if the committee is a standing committee.

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 3⁄4 vote of a quorum. Absentee voting is permitted.