Bylaws

(Revised January 23, 2016)

ARTICLE I. NAME

Section 1.1     Name – The name of this organization shall be the Green Party of Washington State (GPWA).

ARTICLE II.  FUNCTION OF THE ORGANIZATION

Section 2.1     Function Statement – The function of this organization shall be to work towards a Green society as represented by the Ten Key Values of the Greens:

●    Ecological Wisdom
●    Social Justice
●    Nonviolence
●    Grassroots Democracy
●    Community-based Economics
●    Decentralization
●    Respect for Diversity
●    Feminism
●    Future Focus
●    Personal and Global Responsibility

Section 2.2     Methods – This organization may use any and all methods of non-violent social change: direct action, community organizing and education, personal empowerment, issue campaigns, ballot initiatives, and/or electoral campaigns; and their related strategies and tactics.

 

ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

Section 3.1   Qualifications for Membership – Membership in the Green Party of Washington State is open to residents of the State of Washington who pay dues or file a waiver due to financial hardship.. A membership applicant shall complete an application form which shall state that the applicant is in general agreement with the Ten Key Values. The membership shall become effective 30 days after the application is received by the party if the applicant is applying for the first time, or immediately if the applicant has previously been a member.

Section 3.2   Inherent Powers of Members – Decisions on endorsements, nomination or election of delegates, GPWA nominees for public office, liaisons with other organizations, and new GPWA initiatives belong to the members, although they are delegated to the State Coordinating Council (SCC) in order to facilitate a timely responses to events. 

Members may take back their right of decision through a majority vote of those voting in a referendum initiated by 10 or more members. The referendum will be conducted by mail-in ballot.

Section 3.3   Powers of Members at Conventions – Any member present at a state convention may add an item to the agenda of the State Convention.

Any member present at the state convention has a right to vote, and cannot be denied access to the business portions of the convention based on inability to pay registration or fees. 

Section 3.4   Ineligibility for Membership – Any person currently serving or seeking an elected position with another political party, including but not limited to precinct committee officer, shall not be eligible for membership. 

 

ARTICLE IV. STATE COORDINATING COUNCIL (SCC)

Section 4.1   The Function of the Coordinating Council

    A. Composition – The SCC shall be composed of seven members, five members elected proportionally using the Gregory method of single transferrable vote, plus a Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer, and an elected representative from each affiliated local.  Each newly electedSCC shall choose a chair, vice chair and secretary internally. These internal positions can be rotated at the discretion of the SCC throughout their term of service. 

    In electing the SCC, members should have as their goal the inclusion on the SCC of differences in as many areas as possible, including but not limited to race, gender, and geography. 

    A quorum shall consist of a majority of the elected members of the SCC, including members in process of removal. 

    B. State Conventions – The SCC shall plan details of state conventions, and develop the agenda. The fee schedule shall include reductions for members who have difficulty paying the full amount. State Conventions shall be held at least annually. The goal of the SCC shall be to hold conventions semi-annually but, in any case, the SCC shall not plan conventions more than 12 months apart. 

    All members shall be notified of State Conventions at least 30 days in advance by the most cost-effective means available. In the event that State Convention details are not available 30 days in advance, less notice may be given for a maximum of one convention per calendar year, but in no case shall members receive less than 14 days notice for any convention. 

    Proper notice shall consist of a message delivered to the last address given to the party by the member. Postal or email address may be used, at the discretion of the SCC. A website posting or notice in a newspaper of general circulation shall be considered a goodfaith effort  to reach those members for whom no address is available.

    C. Term of Service – Upon election the SCC shall facilitate the work of the Party until the election of their successors. The five at-large SCC members and the Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer shall be elected for one-year terms by the membership or, in the case of representatives from each affiliated local, by the local membership. 

    D. Term Limits – No member of GPWA shall serve on the SCC for more than three consecutive terms. 

    E. Legal Board – The SCC shall be the legal board of the Green Party of Washington State and must meet at least six times a year.

    F. Chair – The chair shall oversee the distribution of responsibilities of the various SCC members and working groups, and convene and conduct meetings of the SCC. The chair of the SCC shall also perform as the chair of the state convention. 

  G. Vice Chair – In the absence of the chair the vice chair will carry out the duties of the chair, and will assist as needed. 

    H. Secretary – The secretary serves as principal recorder at meetings of the SCC and state conventions and makes those minutes available to the general membership. Minutes shall be posted to the GPWA website no less than 14 days after an SCC meeting or a state convention, and shall be mailed to members on request. They are subject to approval by members at the next applicable meeting. 

    I. Treasurer – The treasurer shall carry out monetary decisions of the SCC. He or she shall be responsible for maintaining the financial records of the Party and for filing reports with state and federal offices as required by law. The treasurer shall be the banking officer for all funds at the state level, monitoring income and expenses as budgeted by the SCC. This officer shall submit monthly financial statements of receipts and expenditures to the SCC, and make these statements available at the request of any State Green Party member.  Upon the conclusion of the term of office, the treasurer shall turn over all books and financial instruments to the new treasurer within 30 days, and will include a final statement of accounts. 

    J. Deputy Treasurer – The deputy treasurer shall be responsible for assisting with all the duties of the treasurer. Upon resignation of the treasurer the deputy treasurer becomes the treasurer. The chair may appoint the deputy treasurer as interim treasurer upon the non-performance of duties by the treasurer. 

    K. Budget – It is the responsibility of the SCC to prepare an annual budget during the month of September for the next calendar year.  The budget shall be posted on the GPWA website not later than August 15 of each year.

    L. Implementation of Decisions – The SCC will determine procedures to be used in implementing decisions. No procedures will be chosen which violate the spirit or text of the bylaws. Written accounts of procedures will be kept. Modification is understood to include adding or deleting entries. Procedures shall be updated on the Green Party website within two weeks of any modification. 

    The SCC may establish other functional bodies and working groups as they consider necessary.  Proposals for new functional bodies may also be submitted to the SCC by a group of three or more GPWA members who wish to form a committee, and shall clearly define the rationale for, powers of, and accountability standards for the proposed body. 

    M.   Vacancies – Vacancies in the SCC shall be filled by appointment by the SCC. The appointed member will serve until the next convention, at which time a member will be elected according to normal election procedures. The newly elected member will serve out the time of the original councilmember. 

 

Section 4.2     Removal – Any member of the SCC may be removed by a 3/4ths vote of the membership. The vote will be initiated by a group of at least 10 members, and will be conducted by mail-in ballot. If a convention is planned for a time within two weeks of the date such a vote is determined on, the vote will take place at the convention.

Section 4.3     Conflict – Within the SCC, if two or more SCC members submit a written complaint saying another member committed an offense, the SCC may seek the paid service of a mediator, who will seek to resolve the issue according to the principles of non-violent communication.

ARTICLE V. ENDORSEMENTS, NOMINATIONS, AND DELEGATIONS

Section 5.1 Endorsements 

A. Candidate Endorsement – Only members of the Green Party of Washington State shall be eligible for endorsement to elected office in Washington State.

B. Initiative Endorsement – Initiatives shall be endorsed based on their agreement with our Ten Key Values.

C. SCC Endorsements – Where the SCC determines that the mission of another organization or proposal (bill, initiative, or referendum) is directly related to one or more of the Ten Key Values, and there is no conflict with any other key value, the SCC may act independently to endorse it. Minutes of the SCC will identify the Key Value(s) used to justify the endorsement.

If members of the SCC become aware of an opportunity for endorsement during the month before a state convention, the decision shall be made by members attending the Convention. 

Section 5.2     Nominations 

A. Nominations for President and Vice President – The nominees of the Green Party of the United States, or its successor organization, for President and Vice President of the United States, shall automatically be the nominees of the Green Party of Washington State for those offices, and shall have their names placed on the Green Party of Washington State’s ballot line. 

B. Nominations for State Public Office – The Green Party of Washington State shall hold a nominating convention in compliance with state law. The threshold for nomination is 3/4 vote of the members present at the nominating convention. Any person currently serving or seeking an elected position with another political party, including precinct committee officer, shall not be eligible for nomination. 

Section 5.3)  Delegations to Other Organizations – Delegates to other organizations, including GPUS, shall be nominated by the end of state conventions and elected proportionally using SingleTransferable Vote.  Ballots and candidate statements will be mailed to each member within one week after the convention, and returned ballots must be postmarked no later than 21 days after the close of  the convention.   

 

ARTICLE VI.  DECISIONS

The Green Party of Washington State shall seek consensus on all decisions, after hearing all views and concerns. Where consensus cannot be reached, decisions by all bodies of the Green Party of Washington State shall be approved by the affirmation of two-thirds of those voting. The sole exception to this shall be meeting process motions, which shall be approved by a simple majority.   The Secretary will record the number of yeas, nays, stand-asides, blocks and abstentions.

ARTICLE VII.  BYLAWS AMENDMENTS

Amendments to these bylaws may be adopted on a 70% vote of the members present at a state convention. Notification of proposed changes to the bylaws must be submitted to the secretary of the SCC at least 30 days prior to a state convention. Proposals shall include the exact language of the proposed change within the bylaws, and the names of three sponsors. The Secretary is then responsible for distribution of the proposed bylaws change to the members, and shall distribute them by the most cost-effective method so that all members receive them at least two weeks before the convention.

A revised copy of the bylaws shall be posted on the GPWA website within two weeks of the convention at which an amendment was passed.