Bylaws of the North Carolina Green Party

Revision K, amended December 17, 2016

 

I. Name

 

The name of this organization shall be the North Carolina Green Party. It may also be referred to as the NCGP.

 

II. Mission, Vision, and Purpose

 

a. The North Carolina Green Party is a political party in support of a national and global

movement of values that include Ecological Wisdom, Grassroots Democracy, Social

Justice, and Nonviolence. The North Carolina Green Party is an affiliate state of the

Green Party of the United States (GPUS).

 

b. The North Carolina Green Party will work to facilitate communication and support

between local Green chapters, will work to support and grow the party at the local level,

will work to gain statewide ballot access and support statewide candidates, will elect

delegates to national committees of the Green Party of the United States, will support

statewide grassroots efforts for peace, social justice, democracy, and ecological wisdom,

and will work to communicate Green ideas and values with its members and with the

public.

 

III. Membership

 

a. The North Carolina Green Party is an individual membership organization, open to all North Carolina residents who subscribe to the following Ten Key Values of the Greens:

 

  • Ecological Wisdom

  • Grassroots Democracy

  • Social Justice

  • Nonviolence

  • Decentralization

  • Community-based Economics

  • Feminism

  • Respect for Diversity

  • Personal and Global Responsibility

  • Future Focus / Sustainability

 

b. Any North Carolina resident may become a member of the party, except as specifically stated in the party's bylaws.

 

c. Dues: Membership in the NCGP requires yearly or monthly payment of dues, as well as keeping the party’s membership chair informed of your current mailing address. All members shall pay dues that they can reasonably afford.

 

i. All NCGP members shall pay at least $12 per year ($1/month) in dues.

 

ii. If a member belongs to a local chapter or caucus that also requires dues, the member must still pay a minimum of $12 per year ($1/month) in dues to the NCGP.

 

iii. Any changes to dues shall be determined by a vote of the membership at statewide meetings of the NCGP but can be set by the Coordinating Committee, subject to approval by the membership at statewide meetings. Dues requirements will be displayed on the party’s website, www.ncgreenparty.org.

 

d. The NCGP will direct new members to local chapters in their area when available.

 

e. All registered members are encouraged to become active members by attending meetings, joining committees, working toward party growth, and taking on administrative duties at the local, state, and national levels. Members must join the current NCGP Actions online group to receive timely notifications of party business and to participate in decision-making. Members unable to attend meetings or without an Internet connection should notify the Coordinating Committee of their interest in participating so accommodation can be arranged.

 

f. In the presence of a Green Party ballot line, membership in the NCGP requires that one must register to vote as a Green Party member, in addition to other membership criteria in Section III of these bylaws.

 

g. In the absence of a Green Party ballot line, membership in the NCGP requires the one must register as “Other: Green Party” or “Unaffiliated,” in addition to other membership criteria in Section III of these bylaws.

 

h. NCGP is affiliated with the Green Party of the United States, which is an association of state Green Parties. Individual membership does not exist at the national level—membership resides with the state parties.

 

i. Procedure for suspension and expulsion of a member

 

i. The North Carolina Green Party shall be an inclusive body, which respects its members' right to disagree with each other. It is vital that members not be suspended or expelled merely over personal conflicts or antagonisms, lifestyle choices, or differences of opinion.

 

ii. North Carolina Green Party members may only be expelled at a statewide gathering/convention. However, the Coordinating Committee may suspend a member upon vote of a 2/3 majority of the Committee, if and only if the Committee is convinced that 1) the member has engaged in activities that expose the party to duly warranted prosecution or 2) the member is working for an openly racist or physically hostile organization or one that persecutes persons or groups for their political beliefs or activities or 3) the member is deemed to pose a threat to the safety and personal security of the party or its members or 4) the member has taken action that the Coordinating Committee deems is egregiously contrary to the NCGP’s principles or is egregiously harmful to its reputation.

 

iii. Any verbal attack of a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, ageist, sexist, genderist, classist, or personally derogatory nature by one member against another, either on the various NC Green Party listservs or in the context of any NCGP meeting, will be cause for the NCGP CC to suspend the perpetrator of such attack from the moderated groups or from NCGP meetings (except for the provision in the following paragraphs, whereby a suspended member may attend any meeting at which his/her final expulsion from the NCGP would be brought to a vote) until such time as the offending member has resolved the issue either to the satisfaction of the offended member or to the satisfaction of the NCGP CC.

 

iv. Upon making any such decision to suspend a member, the Coordinating Committee must notify the suspended member of the action and the reason for it, by registered mail, within 10 days, and must notify the general membership by mail or e-mail within 10 days. The Committee shall either recommend expulsion of the suspended member at the next gathering, meeting, or convention with a suitable quorum, or reinstate the member by that time. A suspended member recommended for expulsion shall have full opportunity to make his/her case to the membership, and the decision shall be treated in accordance with Section II of the bylaws. A suspended member who does not show up to defend him/herself shall be deemed to be accepting the action of the party without contest.

 

v. Suspended members may not vote or attend NCGP functions, except as required to defend themselves as described above, in which case the suspended member may attend and speak, and may vote only on the question of his own and others' expulsions. Suspension or expulsion shall not be deemed cause for any refund of dues or contributions.

 

IV. Statewide Gatherings / Conventions

 

a. The North Carolina Green Party shall have at least one statewide gathering/convention per year.

 

b. The Coordinating Committee of the North Carolina Green Party shall be the body charged with organizing the statewide gatherings/conventions.

 

c. All members of the North Carolina Green Party must be sent notification of the date and location of the statewide gathering no less than twenty-one days prior to the event.

 

d. While statewide gatherings are open to all Greens, only members in good standing are entitled to vote.

 

e. Elections for the NCGP Coordinating Committee, delegates to the GPUS National Committee, and other relevant statewide business shall take place at statewide gatherings/conventions.

 

V. Decision-Making Process / Consensus

 

a. For decisions involving a “yes” or “no” vote, the North Carolina Green Party shall attempt to reach consensus before moving to other modes of decision-making. Consensus for purposes of this organization is defined as approval by "aye" vote of not less than 80% of eligible persons, with a maximum of 20% abstentions and no "nay" votes. After a minimum of ten minutes of effort to reach consensus, and upon a motion to proceed without consensus and upon a second of  that motion, the proposal under consideration may be decided by a simple majority vote. The presiding officer shall have the power to break a tie vote.

 

b. The votes of delegates to the GPUS Presidential Nominating Convention shall be assigned proportionately based on a poll of all NCGP members, who will be asked to vote for a single presidential candidate.

 

c. Voting shall not be compulsory

 

d Quorum requirements

For decisions involving expenditure of funds above spending limits as stated in the yearly budget as approved by the general membership at the annual gathering, meeting, or convention; expulsion of members; election of officers; or revision of bylaws, any meeting or convention must have a registered attendance of at least 10% of the total active statewide membership, and at least 2/3 of all registered attendees at the event must be present when the decision is made. If quorum is not met at a statewide meeting, decisions on proposals requiring quorum shall take place by poll posted to the current NCGP Actions online group by the NCGP Coordinating Committee. Discussion periods and amount of time allowed for voting shall be determined by the NCGP CC.

 

VI. Political Independence from Corporate Parties

 

a. The NCGP shall be politically and economically independent of the big banks and corporations and their political representatives in the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and similarly corporate parties.

 

b. In the presence of a Green Party ballot line, NCGP-designated candidates and candidates designated by local chapters shall be registered members of the NCGP (or shall be the GPUS presidential nominees) unless otherwise provided for in this section. In the absence of a Green Party ballot line, the NCGP shall encourage registered NCGP members to run as independent or nonpartisan candidates.

 

c. The NCGP and its local chapters may nominate, designate, endorse, and/or authorize a candidate for independent or nonpartisan election who exhibits ample (per the body’s determination) Green values and who has chosen to remain registered in no party.

 

d. The NCGP and its local chapters shall not nominate, designate, endorse, and/or authorize the candidates of the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, or similarly corporate parties. Further, the NCGP and its local chapters shall not nominate, designate, endorse, and/or authorize candidates who are registered to vote with the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, or similarly corporate parties.

 

e. The NCGP and its local chapters may nominate, designate, endorse, and/or authorize candidates of other political parties or independent bodies that share Green Party principles and goals and that are politically and financially independent of the big banks and corporations and their political representatives in the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and similarly corporate parties.

 

f. Members of the NCGP shall not run for office on the ballot lines of the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, or similarly corporate parties, including primary ballot lines. Members who do shall have their membership in the NCGP revoked.



VII. North Carolina Green Party Coordinating Committee

 

a. The Coordinating Committee of the North Carolina Green Party (hereafter referred to

as NCGP CC), shall be the decision-making body of the North Carolina Green Party in

between statewide gatherings/conventions. To be eligible to serve on the NCGP CC, one must be a registered member of the North Carolina Green Party. Further, to be eligible to serve on the NCGP CC, one must be registered to vote as a Green, or in the event that state law prohibits Green voter registration, must be registered as an unaffiliated voter. Persons registered to vote with the Democratic, Republican, or Libertarian parties are not eligible to serve on the NCGP CC.

 

b. The voting members of the NCGP CC shall consist of six at-large elected officers:

two gender-balanced co-chairs, a vice-chair, a treasurer, a secretary, and a membership officer. Each accredited local chapter and identity caucus of the North Carolina Green Party is entitled to up to two voting delegates on the NCGP CC.

 

c. The NCGP CC shall also have an assistant treasurer and assistant secretary who will

take over the functions of the elected secretary and treasurer in the event that they can no

longer perform those duties. These are nonvoting members of the Coordinating

Committee except when they are attending meetings in the place of the treasurer or

secretary.

 

d. The NCGP CC is charged with ratifying a yearly fiscal budget by January 31 of that budget year. The NCGP fiscal year begins January 1 and ends December 31.

 

e. The NCGP CC shall make every practical effort to communicate with and serve the

will of the general membership, consistent with the Ten Key Values.

 

f. NCGP CC decisions can be overruled by a 2/3 vote of membership at the following statewide meeting or convention.

 

g. The NCGP CC may create ad hoc committees to address specific issues, tasks, or

concerns, as the need may arise.

 

h. All decisions by the NCGP CC require a simple majority vote of CC members in attendance, and at least three at-large voting members of the NCGP CC must be in attendance.

 

VIII. Officers of the North Carolina Green Party Coordinating Committee

 

NCGP officers are elected by the general membership at any duly convened statewide gathering/convention. In the event that these positions are vacant between gatherings, the NCGP CC has the power to appoint interim officers to fill these positions. Interim officers must then be elected by the general membership at the following statewide gathering/convention. Ideally each of these offices should be filled by different NCGP members; however, we recognize that may not always be possible. While the NCGP will strive to fill these offices with unique members, members are not prohibited from serving multiple offices simultaneously. However, the treasurer and assistant treasurer must be two distinct individuals, as must the secretary and the assistant secretary.

 

a. The Co-chairs of the North Carolina Green Party shall be gender-balanced and shall be the main interface between the North Carolina Green Party and all other persons and organizations; shall train new NCGP CC members; shall organize meetings of the NCGP CC; shall be sensitive to the needs of all NCGP members; shall work to grow and build the NCGP and ensure its long-term viability; shall work on issues of statewide ballot access; shall oversee the accreditation process for Green local chapters and identity caucuses. The co-chairs shall be voting members of the NCGP CC.

 

b. The Vice-chair shall fulfill the duties of the chairs or secretary in their absence and shall act as the political and legislative affairs coordinator for the NCGP. The vice-chair shall be a voting member of the NCGP CC.

 

c. The Treasurer shall maintain the financial records of the party; shall receive and disburse funds in accordance with the party's bylaws and all relevant legal requirements; shall keep the membership and other officers informed of the party's financial condition and affairs; and shall comply with all reporting requirements of the Federal Election Commission, the State of North Carolina, and any other government entities having jurisdiction over the NCGP. The treasurer shall be a voting member of the NCGP CC.

 

d. The Assistant Treasurer shall assist the treasurer as the treasurer may require, and shall serve in the treasurer's place if the treasurer is absent or is incapacitated.

 

e. The Secretary shall take notes and prepare minutes of meetings, and circulate minutes to the membership following meetings; shall be familiar with the bylaws’ rules of governance and decision-making and strive to enforce those rules; shall keep lists of past and current NCGP members; shall maintain current revisions and history files of all bylaws, resolutions, position papers, brochures, flyers, and other nonfinancial documents of the party; and shall convey these files to the next Secretary when the position changes hands; and shall announce all NCGP CC meetings and statewide gatherings/conventions to the membership. The secretary shall be a voting member of the NCGP CC.

 

f. The Assistant Secretary shall assist the secretary as the secretary may require, and shall serve in the secretary's place if the secretary is absent or is incapacitated.

 

g. The Membership Officer shall maintain a database of contacts and members; shall give updated documents to the secretary quarterly; shall keep an updated list of dues-paid members; and shall work independently with local chapters and caucuses to increase the membership of the NCGP. The membership officer shall be a voting member of the NCGP CC.

 

h. The Fundraising Officer shall maintain lists of donors and give quarterly updated documents to the treasurer; shall raise money for the NCGP in an ethical manner; must fully comply with all North Carolina campaign finance and reporting laws.

 

i. The Newsletter Editor shall be responsible for composition, production, and distribution a NCGP newsletter no less than twice per year.

 

j. The Website Manager shall solicit content for the NCGP website and update it at least monthly, shall maintain comprehensive online archives.

 

k. The Media Officers shall keep an up-to-date database of state and local media contacts; shall send out GPUS press releases to state and local media outlets; shall send a press release whenever the NCGP passes a resolution or joins a coalition; shall send a minimum of one relevant issue-based press release per month; and shall identify and work with a Green media contact in each NCGP local chapter and caucus.

 

l. The Local Growth Chair shall help newly forming locals with accreditation, shall provide support and mentoring for new locals.

 

m. The party Spokesperson shall represent the NCGP in speeches, discussions, panels, interviews, and other engagements, as coordinated by the NCGP CC. The spokesperson shall present Green positions and also educate about Green values, ideology, and so forth as needed. The spokesperson shall also coordinate a Green Speakers Bureau  and shall be the contact person for entities requesting Green speakers or representatives, shall maintain a current list of NCGP members who can speak and otherwise represent the party on various topics, and shall attempt to match speaking requests with NCGP speakers when the party spokesperson is not able to for any reason or when a different speaker is desired.

 

n. The Delegates to the GPUS National Committee shall be nonvoting associate members of the NCGP CC.

 

o. All officers shall be chosen at the annual gathering, meeting, or convention of the NCGP in odd-numbered years, if a quorum is achieved,and shall serve until the annual convention or gathering in the following odd-numbered year. (See Section V.c., “Quorum Requirements.”) Method of choosing officers shall be in keeping with general decision-making procedure as specified in the party's bylaws.

 

p. NCGP CC at-large officers will be considered resigned from office by giving notice to other CC members of their resignation or after their failing to attend three consecutive CC 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 state-wide gathering where a new officer will be elected, unless the gathering chooses to reinstate the resigned officer, at his/her request.

 

IX. Accreditation of NCGP Local Chapters and Identity Caucuses

 

a. The definition of a Green local chapter is a green-identifying organization whose boundaries are defined by a specific geographic location

 

b. Conditions of accreditation for NCGP local chapters

 

i. Shall hold at least two publicly announced meetings in a 6-month period

 

ii. Shall commit to supporting and upholding Green principles

 

iii. Shall adopt bylaws that define membership, principles of governance, and its decision-making process

 

iv. Shall have at least five members as defined by its bylaws

 

v. Shall, if the local chapter wishes to become a legal political committee in the eyes of the state,

1. have a treasurer who is familiar with North Carolina laws and filing requirements

for political parties. It is recommended that the treasurer attend one of the free training

sessions provided by the North Carolina Board of Elections and

2. complete all paperwork with the state of North Carolina to become an official

political committee of the North Carolina Green Party.

 

vi. Is not required to register as a legal political committee in the eyes of the state if the chapter opts to not collect any monies and to instead have its activities directly funded by the state party.

 

c. The definition of an identity caucus is an organization of self-identified individuals

who share common experiences or characteristics. The purpose of identity caucuses is to

give representation to groups who have been historically underrepresented, marginalized,

and oppressed in order that individuals can better work together across the state to

support struggles against injustice and the institutional privilege that exists in our society.

 

d. Conditions of accreditation of NCGP identity caucuses

 

i. Shall have membership from at least 50% of accredited locals

 

ii. Shall commit to supporting and upholding Green principles

 

iii. Shall adopt bylaws that define membership, principles of governance, and its decision-making process

 

iv. Shall have at least five members as defined by its bylaws

 

v. Shall, if the caucus wishes to become a legal political committee in the eyes of the state,

1. have a treasurer who is familiar with North Carolina laws and filing requirements for political parties. It is recommended that the treasurer attend one of the free training sessions provided by the North Carolina Board of Elections and

2. complete all paperwork with the state of North Carolina to become an official political committee of the North Carolina Green Party.

 

vi. Is not required to register as a legal political committee in the eyes of the state if the caucus opts to not collect any monies and to instead have its activities directly funded by the state party.

 

X. Delegates to the Green Party of the United States Presidential Nominating Convention

 

NCGP delegates to the Green Party of the United States (GPUS) Presidential Nominating Convention (PNC) shall be elected by a membership vote at an NCGP statewide convention in the spring or summer preceding the general election for president of the United States.

 

a. Delegates to the GPUS PNC must be members of the NCGP.

 

b. In the presence of a Green Party ballot line, delegates to the PNC must be registered to vote as Green in the state of North Carolina.

 

c. In the absence of a Green Party ballot line, delegates to the PNC must be registered to vote as Unaffiliated or as Other – Green in the state of North Carolina.

 

d. During the first round of voting at the PNC, delegates are bound to cast votes for a presidential candidate according to the results of the NCGP’s presidential preference convention. During any subsequent round of voting at the PNC, delegates may vote as they wish.

 

XI. Ratification and revision of bylaws

 

a. Initial ratification

The attendees admitted to the first party gathering shall have the power to vote on ratification of the first three sections of these bylaws. This decision shall be made in accordance with procedures outlined in Section II.

 

b. Revision

 

i. Additions or changes to the bylaws shall be incorporated into the body of the Bylaws document, not added as a list of amendments at the end.

 

ii. Additions or changes to the bylaws may only be made at a meeting or convention of the general membership, where a quorum for this purpose is present. However, small edits to correct misspelling, punctuation, capitalization, and other non-content issues may be made by the co-chairs, vice chair, or secretary at approval at an NCGP CC meeting.

 

iii. All proposed bylaw amendments must be submitted in writing to the secretary at least fourteen days in advance of any statewide gathering/convention.

 

iv. Ratification of changes shall be in accordance with decision-making procedures outlined in Section II.

 

v. The bylaws shall carry a revision level designation and date, positioned in the header, which shall appear on pages. The revision level shall be part of the bylaws document's title for filing purposes. Unratified proposed versions of the bylaws shall carry numeric revision levels, starting at 0, or no revision level at all. Portions of the bylaws with proposed revisions may be written up for purposes of discussion by any member, with no need for revision designation or control. Ratified and released versions of the bylaws document shall carry alphabetical revision levels, starting at A.

 

vi. The Secretary shall incorporate into the bylaws document all ratified revisions at the conclusion of any meeting or convention where revisions have been ratified. The secretary shall roll the revision level one increment, re-file the document with the new revision level, and send copies of the new revision to all members. The secretary shall maintain a history file of all past revisions, and shall convey this file to the new secretary when the position changes hands.

 

XII. Dissolution

 

In the event of the dissolution of this organization, all assets shall be disbursed to another Green organization, to be determined by majority vote of the NCGP CC members who were elected at the last duly convened statewide gathering/convention.

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