MISSOURI GREEN PARTY
BY-LAWS (as amended August 13, 2017)
ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of this political party is the Missouri Green Party (MOGP).
ARTICLE II – PURPOSES
The purposes of the Missouri Green Party are to educate the general public concerning environmental issues confronting the United States and to promote understanding of the following ten key values:
Respect for diversity
Personal and global responsibility, and
A. The specific purposes and 10 Key Values of the Missouri Green Party are established in our Articles of Incorporation. To fulfill these purposes, the MOGP organization concentrates on activism. It participates in elections in order to mobilize voters to become agents of political change. The MOGP organization has dual affiliations with both national Green Parties (Greens/GPUSA & GPUS), connecting MOGP members in solidarity with members of other state and local Green Party organizations around the country.
B. Missouri statutes 115.603-627 establish a series of committees that constitute the legal structure of an established political party. This series of committees is legally distinct from the MOGP organization and is not governed by the MOGP organization’s Articles of Incorporation or bylaws. The members of the MOGP organization run in primary elections to serve on these committees. Once elected, MOGP members operate these committees as described by law and in accordance with Green Party values, honoring the decisions and guidance of the MOGP organization. The Missouri Green Party will help support and elect the GPUS Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
A. Classes of membership
There are two classes of state party membership: Individual membership and Chapter membership.
- Individual membership shall be open to all persons who reside in the State of Missouri and who agree with the general principles of the Missouri Green Party as outlined in Article II. Individual membership can be obtained by applying directly to the MOGP and does not include membership within a local chapter.
- Chapter membership is obtained by applying to an official local chapter of the Missouri Green Party through the process described by the chapter’s bylaws. Chapters have the right to refuse membership to applicants for cause. Membership in a chapter gives one state party membership as well.
B. Local Chapters
A local chapter is formed by five or more Individual members in good standing with the Missouri Green Party who create chapter-organizing documents, apply to, and are recognized by the MOGP as an official local chapter. Missouri Green Party members can belong to only one chapter at a time. Chapters are to select one of their members as a Chapter Representative to serve as a member of the MOGP State Coordinating Committee.
C. Member Rights and Responsibilities for both Individual and Chapter members
Membership allows participation and voting in MOGP meetings.
Members must stay current on their dues to enjoy the rights of membership.
Members must uphold the 10 Key Values of the Green Party in their political work.
Members may not be members of any other political party with ballot access.
ARTICLE IV – FEES, DUES AND REVENUE SHARING
A. Individual membership dues.
Individual members shall be required to pay dues of $20 to the state party at the beginning of the MOGP fiscal year.
B. Chapter membership dues sharing
Chapters have the right to determine their own dues amounts and dues structures.
Chapters have the right to keep dues paid for Chapter memberships, except for $5 membership, which chapter treasurers must send to the MOGP Treasurer each chapter’s fiscal year.
C. The Missouri Green Party will participate in the integrated dues structure of the Greens/Green Party USA.
ARTICLE V – MEETINGS OF THE MEMBERSHIP
A. MOGP meetings constitute its fundamental decision-making body. There shall be not less than one MOGP meeting in every calendar year. Members in attendance are responsible for decisions, such as program/platform additions or changes, political actions, approval of the budget, setting dues, advising on selections of state political party committee persons when there are vacancies, advising on selection of candidates or elected officials when there are vacancies, electing officers, approving minutes, and endorsing candidates.
Election of party officers shall be made at the Annual Convention. Vacancies may be filled at other MOGP meetings or temporarily filled by other CC members between MOGP conventions.
B. Minutes shall be recorded by the Secretary or a designee. The minutes shall be disseminated to the membership within a month.
ARTICLE VI – DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
A. All MOGP meetings must have a quorum present to make decisions. A quorum in an MOGP convention means that at least one member from a majority of chapters is present in person. A quorum for other MOGP meetings means that at least a majority of chapters is present either in person or electronically. If a quorum is not reached in two consecutive meetings, meetings henceforth will define a quorum as having one member (present either in person or electronically) from at least one third of the chapters.
B. The MOGP will strive to reach consensus of members in attendance for all of its decisions. If this fails, any decision will be taken to a vote requiring a majority of members in attendance at an MOGP meeting to decide, unless a higher percentage of the vote is required by another portion of these bylaws.
ARTICLE VII – COORDINATING COMMITTEE
A. In filing registration reports with the Secretary of State, the officers of the Party shall be listed as the officers of the nonprofit corporation, and the remainder of the Coordinating Committee shall constitute the Board of Directors.
B. The Coordinating Committee consists of Local Chapter Representatives and the officers of the Missouri Green Party organization.
C. A Chapter Representative is a member of the chapter, which selects that member to serve on the Coordinating Committee. Each chapter shall select one Chapter Representative. The Chapter Representative will communicate and represent the chapter’s concerns, need for assistance and decisions to the Coordinating Committee and will report back to his/her local chapter at the next local meeting. The Chapter Representative shall notify his or her local chapter of the Coordinating Committee’s meetings and its proposed agenda four weeks prior, to ensure that local chapters have the opportunity to develop positions regarding agenda items. The Coordinating Committee will facilitate statewide discussions on concerns, proposals, and decisions from individual chapters and recommend such items be on the agenda for the next statewide meeting.
D. To be eligible to serve on the Coordinating Committee, one must be a member of the Missouri Green Party organization in good standing. Officers’ terms are one year from the date of the Annual Convention.
E. Chapter Representatives are chosen as described in Section C of this Article and replaced by a vote of their chapter. MOGP officers are elected at the Annual Convention. Officer vacancies may be filled at other MOGP meetings or temporarily filled by other a vote of the State Coordinating Committee between MOGP meetings. The Coordinating Committee may establish a Nominating Committee to receive and track nominations, verify eligibility, and recruit members willing to be nominated as officers. MOGP officers can be removed by a two-thirds vote at any MOGP meeting. The officer subject to removal shall be given an opportunity to be heard before the entire MOGP meeting prior to any vote of removal.
The duties of the Coordinating Committee are as follows:
- Provide continuity of organizational operations between statewide meetings.
- Propose budgets to be adopted or modified at the Annual Convention and approve emergency expenditures.
- Disseminate information to members of their respective local chapters and constituencies.
- Make emergency decisions subject to review at the next MOGP meeting.
- Establish a regular State Coordinating Committee meeting schedule and ensure state party meetings of the membership occur on a regularly scheduled basis.
- Review applications for new local chapters and recommend approval or rejection to the next MOGP meeting.
- Enter the organization into legal contracts necessary for conducting organizational operations.
- Perform any duties imposed on them by law, by the Articles of Incorporation, and by these bylaws.
F. The Coordinating Committee is empowered to delegate certain duties.
Except as otherwise provided in these bylaws, the Coordinating Committee has the power to appoint and remove, employ and discharge, and determine the duties and fix any compensation of all volunteers and employees of the MOGP organization. This section does not apply to groups of volunteers or employees defined as Task Groups in Article IX. These Coordinating Committee decisions are subject to review, explanation, and amendment by the membership at MOGP meetings.
Title to all of the MOGP’s property, assets, and accounts are to be held in the name of the organization. No director, manager, employee, or volunteer may claim any interest in the property, assets, and/or accounts of the organization. The Coordinating Committee may designate its members and/or other agents, such as employees or volunteers, to sign documents necessary to purchase, lease, transfer, or encumber real or personal property on behalf of the organization.
H. The Coordinating Committee is empowered to dissolve the Missouri Green Party organization when the following conditions are met:
- Three-fourths of the membership at two consecutive MOGP meetings vote to dissolve the organization. OR
- Every chapter holds a meeting, and three-fourths of the members present at each meeting vote to dissolve the organization.
I. Coordinating Committee decision-making process.
- All Coordinating Committee meetings must have a quorum present to make decisions. A quorum in a Coordinating Committee meeting means a simple majority of the committee members are present.
- The decision-making process will be the same as for MOGP meetings.
J. Coordinating Committee conflicts of interest
- Any member of the Coordinating Committee who has a financial, personal, or official interest in, or conflict (or appearance of a conflict) with any matter pending before the Coordinating Committee, of such nature that it prevents or may prevent that member from acting on the matter in an impartial manner, must disclose it and offer to the Coordinating Committee to voluntarily excuse him/herself. The member with the conflict must physically withdraw from the discussion and refrain from discussing or voting on said item.
- The mere existence of a personal relationship between a Coordinating Committee member and/or a party member with a matter before the Coordinating Committee is not a conflict of interest. However, if a party to the decision becomes concerned about the personal relationship’s effect on the decision, that party can request the Coordinating Committee to excuse the Coordinating Committee member in potential conflict from the decision. These decisions are subject to explanation, review, and amendment at MOGP meetings.
ARTICLE VIII – OFFICERS
A. CHAIRPERSON. The Chairperson will have the following duties:
- Recommend a facilitator for MOGP meetings and propose an agenda for Coordinating Committee meetings with input from the Coordinating Committee.
- Between MOGP meetings, maintain communication with other Coordinating Committee members by phone, email, or in person. This communication includes calling Coordinating Committee meetings, which may also be called by one-third of its members.
- Chair an Organizing Committee, which will (a) prepare draft agendas for MOGP meetings, (b) propose needed Task Groups, and (c) help Task Groups coordinate their work.
- Have concurrent authority with the Treasurer (as the Deputy Treasurer) to make deposits to and sign on party checking accounts, and to sign and file the party’s campaign finance disclosure report.
B. TREASURER. The Treasurer shall perform the following duties:
- Receive and deposit all receipts belonging to the party, expend party funds, and report such receipts and disbursements to the Coordinating Committee and at MOGP meetings at least quarterly.
- Interpret, prepare, and file campaign finance reports and be responsible for keeping the party apprised of all campaign finance laws and any other applicable laws.
- Maintain books and records according to generally accepted accounting practices.
- Maintain a list of dues-paid members from information provided by Chapter Treasurers, bring the list to MOGP meetings, and send members renewal notices.
- Chair a Finance Committee, which develops ideas for raising money for the MOGP and assists the treasurer in her/his duties.
- Create a proposed annual budget with input from the Coordinating Committee that will be voted on at the Annual Convention.
C. SECRETARY. The Secretary shall perform the following duties:
- Notify all officers, Chapter Representatives, and members who are not in chapters concerning MOGP meetings and send them the agenda proposed by the Organizing Committee at least one month in advance of the meeting.
- Maintain minutes of MOGP meetings and distribute them to all officers, Chapter Representatives, and members.
- Maintain minutes of Coordinating Committee meetings and conference calls and distribute them to all officers, Local Chapter Representatives, and members.
- Maintain the records of the Missouri Green Party, functioning as the party archivist.
- Chair a Correspondence Committee, which assists in archiving records and performing other duties.
D. OUTREACH COORDINATOR. The Outreach Coordinator shall perform the following duties:
- Organize local area meetings to discuss formation of chapters.
- Devise a budget for the Outreach Coordinator’s annual expenses and present it to the Coordinating Committee for inclusion in the annual budget of the party.
- Coordinate party-building and coalition activities.
- Chair an Outreach Committee, which shall report to the Coordinating Committee and MOGP meetings concerning environmental and social justice groups that are potential allies of the MOGP, make recommendations for joint undertakings with these groups, suggest groups that could be invited to make presentations at MOGP meetings, and seek opportunities for MOGP representatives to address other groups.
ARTICLE IX – TASK GROUPS
Task groups will form as needed to perform specific functions within the party. Task groups will be authorized at MOGP meetings to carry out tasks agreed to at the meeting. Task groups may be authorized by the Coordinating Committee on an interim basis until the next MOGP meeting, at which time they may be validated. All task groups expire at the conclusion of the Annual Convention unless revalidated at such meeting.
ARTICLE X – FISCAL POLICY
A. The MOGP’s fiscal year shall be the calendar year.
B. MOGP’s accounting is accrual-based accounting.
C. MOGP’s financial reports will be published to the membership annually and available during the year upon request of the membership.
ARTICLE XI – EXPULSION OF PARTY MEMBERS—AND/OR CHAPTERS
A. Expulsion of members
- Expulsion of members is extremely discouraged.
- Expulsion may only occur as follows: Any member may be accused of gross misconduct. Three-fourths of the members present at a MOGP meeting must vote to find that member guilty of gross misconduct. The finding must be confirmed by another three-fourths vote of the members present at the subsequent meeting.
- The member subject to expulsion shall be given an opportunity to be heard before the entire MOGP meeting prior to any vote of expulsion.
- Chapters may expel members according to their bylaws. Expelled chapter members may apply to the MOGP for Individual membership provided they include a written notice and explanation of the expulsion. The Coordinating Committee may make this decision, subject to review and appeal at an MOGP meeting.
- Committee members described in Article 2 Section B may be expelled from the MOGP organization as described in this section. However, they may only be removed from their committees by their fellow committee members as described in state law.
B. Expulsion of Chapters
- Expulsion of chapters is extremely discouraged. If a situation occurs, the process will be determined by the next MOGP meeting.
- Members of an expelled chapter may apply to the MOGP for Individual membership, but the MOGP has the right to refuse these membership applications. The Coordinating Committee may make this decision, subject to review and appeal at an MOGP meeting.
ARTICLE XII – DELEGATES TO NATIONAL CONVENTIONS
In times when the party is not recognized by the state of Missouri as an official party with state-wide ballot access, delegates to National Conventions shall be chosen by consensus, and if no consensus can be reached, then by a majority vote of the MOGP meeting. Otherwise, National Convention delegates shall be chosen at a State Convention of the MOGP members called by the state committee of the Missouri Green Party, and the methods by which those delegates are chosen at the convention shall be determined by the state committee, according to Missouri law.
ARTICLE XIII – NOMINATING CANDIDATES FOR PUBLIC OFFICE
During such time as the party is an “established political party” within the meaning of Section 115.317 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, its candidates for public office shall be nominated by public election pursuant to the procedures set forth in Missouri law.
MOGP-designated candidates shall be members of the MOGP.
MOGP Committee Treasurers shall refund any filing fees to all candidates endorsed by their committees, but shall not refund filing fees or donate any funds to any candidate not so endorsed.
If there is an unexpected vacancy for a primary or general election ballot, it will be the duty of a MOGP party committee for that district to serve as the Nominating Committee as spelled out in state law. Prior to choosing a candidate, the nominating committee shall have a face-to-face meeting at a central location publicized at least two weeks in advance, or a conference call publicized at least one week in advance, to all members of the MOGP and chapters, all or part of which are included within the committee’s district, who shall have an opportunity to discuss the potential candidate[s], and the Nominating Committee shall take their views into account.
At all other times, candidates for public office shall be nominated at an MOGP meeting or at a convention specially called for the purpose, following the rules for an MOGP meeting. Any party member may nominate a candidate in person or in writing or by electronic mail received by the Secretary. Candidates shall be chosen by a majority vote of members voting or, if there are more than two nominees for an office, by instant runoff voting.
ARTICLE XIV – ELECTED OFFICIALS
All members of the MOGP running for and being elected to office (including committee people), must agree to be accountable to the membership, abide by the collective decisions of the organization, and promote Green values and the local, state, and national platforms. Breaking this agreement can result in expulsion from the organization as laid out in Article XI and a party-supported primary challenge.
ARTICLE XV – INDEMNIFICATION
The Coordinating Committee shall be indemnified and held harmless for all liability they may incur as a result of their involvement in the Coordinating Committee except for intentional tortious or fraudulent conduct. Employees, agents, independent contractors or volunteers shall be indemnified and held harmless for any liability they incur as a result of their involvement in the MOGP, except for intentional tortious or fraudulent conduct.
ARTICLE XVI – AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS
These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority at a MOGP meeting. Each chapter must be notified by their Chapter Representative to the Coordinating Committee and notice with the language of the proposed amendments must be emailed or sent by postage mail to every member of the party at least one month in advance of the vote.
ARTICLE XVII – CONSTRUCTION AND TERMS
If there are any conflicts between these bylaws and Article of Incorporation, the Articles will govern.
The bylaws are construed, interpreted, and enforced in accordance to Missouri law.
If any section of these bylaws are held unenforceable and invalid, the remaining portions are unaffected.
[The foregoing bylaws were adopted at the meeting held on May 7, 2000 and amended on June 11, 2000 and April 1, 2001 at the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 763 Union Hall, 2111 Burlington Ave, Columbia, Missouri, and January 6, 2002 at Room 110, Memorial Union, University of Missouri (Columbia) and March 16, 2016 and May 18, 2016 at the Community Arts and Movement Project, 3026 Cherokee, St. Louis, and August 12 and 13, 2017 at the Activity and Recreating Center (ARC), 1701 W. Ash, Columbia, Missouri.]