Bylaws, Policies, Rules and Procedures

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Bylaws

(Revised May 21, 2023)

ARTICLE I. NAME

Section 1.1     Name – The name of this organization as a political party 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 and Racial Justice
●    Nonviolence
●    Grassroots Democracy
●    Community-based Economics
●    Decentralization
●    Respect for Diversity
●    Feminism and Gender Equity
●    Future Focus
●    Personal and Global Responsibility

Section 2.2     Methods – This organization may use any and all methods of nonviolent 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 within the borders of the State of Washington who pay dues. Membership dues shall be determined on a progressive scale, based on individuals’ income using the honor system. If an individual is undergoing financial hardship their dues may be as low as $0. 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 Coordinating Council (CC) in order to facilitate a timely response 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. COORDINATING COUNCIL (CC)

Section 4.1     The Function of the Coordinating Council

A. Composition – The CC shall be composed of seven members, five at-large members plus a Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer, and an elected representative from each affiliated local. Each newly elected CC shall choose a chair, vice chair, and secretary internally. These internal positions can be rotated at the discretion of the CC throughout their term of service.

CC nominations close at the end of the spring convention. The five at-large members will be elected proportionally using the Gregory method of single transferable vote (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_transferable_vote). Ballots and candidate statements will be emailed (or postal mailed to members without email addresses) within one week after the convention and returned ballots must be sent no later than 21 days after the close of the convention.

In electing the CC, members should have as their goal the inclusion on the CC 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 CC, including members in the process of removal.

B. State Conventions – The CC 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 CC shall be to hold conventions semi-annually but, in any case, the CC 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 CC. A website posting or notice in a newspaper of general circulation shall be considered a good-faith effort to reach those members for whom no address is available.

C. Term of Service – Upon election, the CC shall facilitate the work of the Party until the election of their successors. The five at-large CC members and the Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer shall be elected for one two (2) year term by the membership or, in the case of representatives from each affiliated local, by the local membership.

D. Term Limits – Members of the CC except the Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer may serve no more than two consecutive terms.

E. Legal Board – The CC 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 convene and conduct meetings of the CC and serve 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 CC 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 each CC meeting or 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 CC. They 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 CC. This officer shall submit monthly financial statements of receipts and expenditures to the CC 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. National and Alternate Delegate – Eligibility to serve as National Delegate or Alternate Delegate is reserved for GPWA members who can demonstrate active involvement with the Green Party for at least one year. National and Alternate Delegates shall report activity on the National Green Party Votes List to the CC including all pending votes which may be voted upon by our Delegates to the National Committee. The Alternate Delegate will assist the National Delegate(s) in fulfilling their duties if they are incapacitated. Delegates must report to the CC during our monthly meetings either in person, by video chat, by email, or by proxy at least once every 3 months. Failure of an NC delegate to report for 4 months will constitute a resignation from that position, which will be filled as stated in 4.1.N.

L. Budget – It is the responsibility of the CC to prepare an annual budget to be posted in the Members section of the GPWA website.

M. Implementation of Decisions – The CC 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 CC may establish other functional bodies and working groups as they consider necessary. Proposals for new functional bodies may also be submitted to the CC 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.

N. Vacancies – Vacancies in the CC shall be filled by appointment by the CC. 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 council member.

O. Resignations – An at-large member, the Treasurer, or the Deputy Treasurer will be deemed to have resigned when without explanation or prior notice, they miss meetings for two months, are unavailable by email for one month, or do not return phone calls within one month. If one of these conditions occurs, a vacancy on the CC will be announced.

Section 4.2     Removal – Any member of the CC 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 CC, if two or more CC members submit a written complaint saying another member committed an offense, the CC 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. CC Endorsements – Where the CC 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 CC may act independently to endorse it. Minutes of the CC will identify the Key Value(s) used to justify the endorsement.

If members of the CC 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 Single Transferable Vote. Ballots and candidate statements will be sent to each member within one week after the convention, and returned ballots must be emailed or 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 CC 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.

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Process for awarding GPUS Presidential Nominating Convention delegates

Each GPUS-recognized presidential candidate or their representative is invited to speak at the Green Party of Washington Spring Gathering (State Party Convention) in the presidential election year.

Ballots will be sent to each member within one week after the Convention, and returned ballots must be emailed or postmarked no later than 21 days after the close of the convention. Candidates will be awarded Presidential Nominating Convention delegates proportionally using the Gregory method of single transferable vote (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_transferable_vote).

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Policies, Rules and Procedures

CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY

(Approved by the GPWA Coordinating Council – February 20, 2022)

The purpose of this Policy is to protect the interests of the Green Party of Washington State by: (i) preventing the personal interest of Council Members, Officers, Employees, or Independent Contractors from interfering with the performance of their duties to the Green Party of Washington State and (ii) avoiding any inappropriate personal financial, professional, or political gain on the part of such persons at the expense of the Party. This Policy is intended to supplement but not replace any applicable federal or state laws governing conflicts of interest.  

DEFINITIONS 

Party” means the Green Party of Washington State. 

Council” means the Coordinating Council of the Green Party of Washington State. 

Conflict of Interest” or “Conflict” means a conflict of interest, or the appearance thereof, between the private interests and official responsibilities of a Council Member/Officer, Employee, or Independent Contractor. A conflict of interest shall be presumed when a Covered Person could expect financial gain or  

“Covered Person” means a Council Member Officer, Employee, or Independent Contractor for the Party.

“Employee” means any individual who may be employed on a full or part-time basis by the Party.

“Independent Contractor” means an individual employed by the Party who provides services to the Party on a compensated basis.

“Council Member/Officer” means any individual who is elected or appointed to a position on the Coordinating Council for any length of time.      

GENERAL POLICY

 The Party and its Council are committed to honesty, integrity, and fairness in the conduct of their activities. Inevitably, the interests of Covered Persons may involve them in other organizations or activities that may intersect with the affairs of the Party, and their participation in such activities must not impair the fairness or integrity of Party actions or decision-making.    

 That a proposed transaction or arrangement involves an actual or potential Conflict of Interest does not necessarily mean it is illegal or prohibited, it merely requires that the following Practices and Procedures be followed.  Any actual or potential Conflict of Interest must be disclosed pursuant to such Practices and Procedures and any Covered Person must abstain from participating in any decision-making with respect to any matter in which their personal interests and those of the Party may be in conflict. 

No Covered Person shall derive any personal profit or gain, directly or indirectly, because of their service to, or relationship with, the Party, unless the transaction is specifically approved by the Council following disclosure as provided under the Practices and Procedures set forth below.  No Covered Person shall conduct private business with, or provide personal services to, the Party unless such business or service is conducted in an open and objective manner to ensure proper review and authorization, equal competitive opportunity, and equal access to information.

PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES

1.     Notice of Policy and Annual Statements Covered Person shall agree to this Conflict of Interest Disclosure upon commencement of such person’s term of office, employment, or financial relationship with the Party. Failure to agree does not negate one’s responsibilities under this policy.

 2.     Current Disclosure Each Covered Person is under an obligation to inform the Council of any potential Conflict of Interest or bias for or against a particular action or policy, prior to or at the time that any such action or policy is under consideration by the Council. Any such potential Conflict of Interest on the part of any Covered Person and all material facts relating thereto shall be disclosed to the Council, and made a matter of record as soon as the issue in question is raised and a potential conflict is known. 

3.     Council Action Following disclosure of a potential Conflict of Interest, the Council shall determine whether a conflict of interest exists and, if so, the Council shall seek consensus, or vote as necessary, to authorize or reject any action deemed necessary to address the conflict and protect the Party’s best interests. Any effort to reach consensus or vote shall exclude any Council Member who is possibly at conflict, even if the remaining pool of Council Members is less than quorum. 

4.     Recusal  A Covered Person who is found to have or discloses a conflict shall not participate in any Council discussion, in which the subject is an action which invoices such conflict except to provide information and answer questions, unless objected to by any present Council Member. Upon request by any present Council Member, any conflicted Covered Person may be asked to leave the meeting during the consensus process or vote. In any event, such an affected individual shall abstain from the consensus process and from voting on the matter. All such events shall be recorded in the meeting notes. 

5.     General Practice In any situation not specifically covered by the previous paragraphs, Covered Persons shall consider carefully any potential conflict between their personal interests and those of the Party and shall refrain from actions that might be perceived as an actual or potential Conflict of Interest pending approval by the Council or its Members. 

6.     Involvement with Other Entities These policies and practices are not intended to discourage Covered Persons from serving with or otherwise being involved in volunteer activities with a wide spectrum of efforts and organizations.

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MEMBER COMMUNICATIONS POLICY

(Approved by the GPWA Coordinating Council – February 20, 2022)

Pursuant to the Green Party Washington State’s (GPWA) Ten Key Values, and its Bylaws, the GPWA Coordinating Council adopts the following rules and procedures for member communications. 

Communications Rules

In all communications, interpersonal, correspondence, email, digital, and social media, and in representing the GPWA in any forum, members must conduct themselves in accordance with the Ten Key Values, specifically Respect for Diversity, Gender Equity, Social and Racial Justice, Non-Violence, and Personal and Global responsibility. The GPWA is committed to a culture of non-violence, diversity, inclusion, and we take personal responsibility in upholding our values.

By extension as a member of Green Party US, GPWA members adhere to “The Four Pillars” of the Green Party US, specifically regarding communication — the two pillars for Social and Racial Justice and Non-Violence.  

Social and Racial Justice Opportunity must be extended to everyone. We must 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.

Nonviolence Peace can only be achieved through peaceful means. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and we will work for lasting personal, community, and global peace.

Communications Decorum

In accordance with the parameters noted above, members are expected to comport themselves, accordingly in all communications including in-person, email, digital and social media platforms.

Email Listserv(s) Conduct:

1)   Address the group. Messages must be addressed to the entire group of subscribers. Side conversations must be taken to one-to-one email.

2)   No flooding, repetition, or cross-posting. GPWA business is for our mailing lists only. Members must not forward or copy (cc) messages to outside parties.

3)   No off-charter material. You can re-post a message from elsewhere, but you must introduce it by explaining its origin and its relevance to the mission and work of GPWA.

4)   No abuse of any kind contrary to the communications parameters enumerated above.

5)   Members must follow these rules in their exchanges in all email, including local, state, and national Green Party lists.

Grounds for Moderation/Removal
The following are grounds for moderation or removal from the server.

1)   Harassment and/or defamation. Under no circumstance are personal attacks acceptable. That includes no disparaging, degrading, or demeaning language including attacking the person with insults, racist, classist, or sexist remarks, name-calling, psychoanalyzing, etc.

2)   No “personality” discussion. Speculation or accusation about another’s motives, thought processes, or beliefs is prohibited. You may explain your own actions but proposing theories about others’ thinking or ascribing motives is unacceptable.

Removal from GPWA Listservs / Platform(s) – Appeal Process for Reinstatement

The first violation will proffer a warning with a reminder of the rules. A second offense will prompt Coordinating Council discussion and possible further action such as list moderation. Any member who consistently disregards the rules may receive written notice by agreement of the GPWA Coordinating Council and may be removed from all GPWA email and platform lists.

Violation and Reinstatement Process

1)   Moderation: A review of the list rules will be provided to the member. If the member agrees to honor the rules, the member will be reinstated to the lists. If compliance is refused, the member may be removed from the GPWA membership and the lists.

2)   Members who have been removed can reapply after six months with a written request that includes a statement of desire to honor the GPWA rules and process. The removal process and process for appeal and reinstatement may be further defined in the Policies and Procedures.

3)   Any GPWA member who feels list guidelines are being violated may make a motion to place someone on moderation. A motion by any member seconded by two members other than officers will be cause for review by the Coordinating Council. Any moderation or removal from a list will apply to all GPWA email lists and platforms.

4)   Emergency moderation: individuals may be placed on moderation, pending action by the membership and/or officers, for viruses, spam, email loop problems (or to use the emergency entire-list moderation function if something is malfunctioning or if the platform has been hacked), or for extremely serious infractions like a death or violence threat.