BYLAWS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE GREEN PARTY OF MINNESOTA
Adopted September 2001, Amended June 8, 2008; June 22, 2013; June 24, 2017; June 29, 2019.
Article I. Purpose
The purpose of these bylaws shall be to further the implementation of provisions of the Constitution of the Green Party of Minnesota by expanding, clarifying, and specifying details where those provisions are narrow, undefined, or general, as authorized within Constitutional provision or necessary for their implementation.
Article II. Subordination
These bylaws are subordinate to the Constitution of the Green Party of Minnesota.
1. Nothing herein shall be interpreted to amend, counter, or replace any provision of the Constitution.
2. No bylaw shall be adopted to address any matter which is not addressed by the Constitution, except as specifically authorized by the Constitution, or where that matter pertains to a particular provision of the Constitution, and must be addressed to allow proper implementation of that provision.
Article III. Platform
1. The Coordinating Committee shall develop a process for accepting planks in the Platform of the Green Party of Minnesota that encourages the participation of all members, allows all voices to be heard, and honors the will of the majority.
2. Planks shall be adopted or removed at the biennial convention in accordance with Article VIII of the constitution, requiring a two thirds vote (2/3) vote if a vote is necessary.
3. Proposed planks shall be published in a manner accessible to the membership at least thirty (30) days before the Biennial Convention at which they are to be considered.
Article IV. Forfeiture of Membership
1. Forfeiture of membership in the Green Party of Minnesota, for actions in opposition to explicit principles and values of the Green Party, may be decided by a two thirds (2/3) vote at an Annual Meeting, Special Meeting, Biennial Convention or Statewide Membership Meeting.
2. Holders of elected public office may be removed from the Membership of the Green Party, for actions in opposition to explicit principles and values of the Green Party, by a two thirds (2/3) vote at an Annual Meeting, Special Meeting, Biennial Convention or Statewide Membership Meeting.
3. Holders of elected office within the Green Party of Minnesota may be removed from office for cause by a simple majority vote at an Annual Meeting, Special Meeting, Biennial Convention or yearly Statewide Membership Meeting. However, CC members representing a congressional district can only be removed from their office at their respective congressional district meeting.
4. All members, (including the member whose membership is to be forfeited or holder of office within the Green Party of Minnesota, whose office is to be forfeited), must be notified at least seven (7) days before the meeting at which such forfeiture will be considered. For purposes of this section, twenty (20) members shall constitute a quorum.
Article V. Meetings
A. Minutes shall be taken as necessary at all Green Party meetings, and shall subsequently be distributed to all committee members as is conveniently possible.
B. Minutes shall be read, amended and approved as necessary at all Green Party meetings.
2. Coordinating Committee Meetings
A. The Coordinating Committee shall meet as often as necessary and at least quarterly.
B. Coordinating Committee members must be notified at least seven days before meetings, either in writing or by telephone.
C. Whenever possible, the Coordinating Committee shall hold meetings at a regular time and place, which is maximally accessible to all members of the Green Party.
D. All CC meetings are open.
E. When necessary, the CC may make decisions without the seven day meeting notice by obtaining a majority vote of a quorum.
F. The CC shall publish its meeting agenda online at least one week before its meeting. CC meeting notes must be posted online within two weeks of the meeting. They should be specified "approved" or "draft" depending on their status.
3. Membership Meetings
A. All Statewide Membership Meetings are open to the public.
B. General Membership Meetings must be announced to members at least fourteen (14) days before the meeting. Such notice may be by surface mail, telephone, electronic communication, print media, or other means deemed appropriate and effective.
C. To vote, a member must be registered and in good standing for at least sixty (60) days before an Annual Meeting, Special Meeting, Biennial Convention or Statewide Membership Meeting. Members registered less than sixty (60) days and are at least 14 years of age before a meeting and who register as members at that meeting, may vote if vouched for by a member who is qualified to vote, each of whom can vouch for no more than one person. The Coordinating Committee or its delegate(s) shall maintain the list of registered members of the Green Party of Minnesota. At all such meetings, final arbitration of membership status shall be the responsibility of the Coordinating Committee.
Article VI. Local Party Organizations
1. Organizational Units
A. Local party units provide the primary arena for grassroots participation in the Green Party of Minnesota.
a. To engage in local electoral politics, education, activism, and other activities that further the Green vision.
b. To foster grassroots participation in the Green Party of Minnesota.
c. To endorse candidates for office within their community.
d. Congressional District units
a) To make endorsements in congressional races.
b) To elect congressional district representatives to the CC.
c) To foster regional networking, cooperation, and outreach among Greens and Green Party locals.
a. Written by-laws that guarantee democratic decision-making. (GPMN recommends consensus decision-making process.)
b. Elected officers.
c. A minimum of one meeting per quarter. Minutes and records of attendance must be kept.
d. Mechanisms to elect a GPMN CC representataive and to endorse US Congressional candidates.
e. The CC will assign a mentor to any newly forming CD unit for the first year, to assist in meeting the requirements for CD unit formation.
3. Recognition: The CC shall grant recognition to a local party unit upon CC approval of its bylaws and receipt of minutes of its first meeting.
[Revision of Article VI at the June 29, 2019, annual meeting reached this point. The remainder of Article VI will seem disjointed because there was not time at that meeting to make decisions on eliminating repetitive language and reformulating the sections. This will be remedied at the next membership meeting where bylaw revisions can be considered.]
2. Congressional Party Units
1. To make endorsements in congressional races
2. To elect congressional district representatives to the state coordinating committee
3. To foster regional networking, cooperation, and outreach among Greens and Green Party locals
1. Written bylaws that insure:
2. democratic decision-making (GPMN recommends consensus decision-making process).
3. fair geographic representation in decision-making to all Green Party of Minnesota members within the congressional district.
4. mechanisms to elect a Green Party of Minnesota State Coordinating Committee representative and to endorse U.S. congressional candidates.
5. a minimum of one meeting annually.
2. Elected officers.
3. Geographic scope that is defined by the congressional district boundaries.
The state coordinating committee shall grant recognition to a congressional district unit upon notification of its formation.
3. Local and Congressional Party Unit Registration with the State of Minnesota Registration
A. It is recommended that local and congressional district units who have chosen to organize along recognized political boundaries register with the state of Minnesota.
B. Recognized locals and congressional districts who choose to raise and/or spend money must comply with all MN statutes regarding political parties.
4. Issues-Based Caucuses
An issues-based caucus is defined as a group of Green Party members who are organized around a specific set of issues, and whose mission statement is aligned with the principles and values of the Party.
A. Accreditation Requirements
- A minimum of 8 members of the Green Party of Minnesota; geographical diversity is encouraged.
- Bylaws, which must include a mission statement and a democratic decision-making process.
- One meeting of at least five caucus members each year.
- An elected contact person to be listed on mngreens.org.
- Attendance by a representative of the caucus at a minimum of two GPMN Coordinating Committee meetings per year.
B. Accreditation of Statewide Caucuses
1. The CC has authority over the statewide caucus accreditation process.
2. A two-thirds vote of the CC is required to block, or remove, the accreditation of any caucus that meets the criteria.
C. Benefits to Caucuses
- Caucuses shall be listed on the GPMN website and allowed the same communications resources as local party units.
- Caucuses shall be offered table space at all GPMN Membership Meetings.
- Caucus-sponsored events shall be promoted by GPMN.
- Caucuses shall have access to GPMN membership data for the purposes of further organizing; the scope of this access is to be determined cooperatively by the caucus and the CC.
Article VII. Proportional Representation
Elections for at-large coordinating committee positions shall use Instant Runoff Voting if there are more candidates than open seats. At each round, ties shall be broken by lot. If there are equal or fewer candidates than seats, the membership shall vote yes or no for each candidate and that candidate shall be elected if he or she receives at least 2/3 yes votes.
Article VIII. Decision Making
1. The right to participate in the decision making process shall be extended to all members as described in Article V, 3 of these Bylaws.
2. Unless otherwise specified in the Constitution or in these Bylaws, all decisions shall be made by a majority vote.
3. Two-thirds of all Green Party members are required to veto a decision or direction taken by the Coordinating Committee. The vote must occur at a Statewide Membership Meeting.
Article IX. Party Organization and Officers
1. Coordinating Committee
The Coordinating Committee shall be the governing body of the Green Party, and shall exercise a general oversight function. The Coordinating Committee shall oversee the implementation of programs, campaigns and projects, which advance the goals, and purposes of the Green Party.
A. Any member of the Green Party of Minnesota shall be eligible to serve on the Coordinating Committee. Members shall be selected to represent the diversity of populations in Minnesota as much as possible.
B. Coordinating Committee members shall not be members of any other political party.
C. Four (4) members of the Coordinating Committee shall constitute a quorum at any duly called meeting.
D. The Coordinating Committee has the authority to hire, supervise, and terminate staff for the Green Party of Minnesota as necessary.
E. Coordinating Committee members shall not use their title or Green Party funds to endorse a candidate for office other than one endorsed by the Green Party.
F. Vacating a Coordinating Committee Seat
1. Seats may be vacated by written resignation
2. A Coordinating Committee representative forfeits their seat, if they have not been present at three (3) consecutive Coordinating Committee meetings, and have not made contact with any other regularly attending Coordinating Committee member to offer an excused absence.
3. A Coordinating Committee representative forfeits their seat, if they have not been present at six (6) consecutive Coordinating Committee meetings.
4. A geographic representative may be removed for cause by their respective congressional district.
5. Working Committees
A. The Coordinating Committee may establish working groups and committees as necessary.
B. Each working group or committee may appoint a chair and shall submit an annual report, including a projected work plan, to the Coordinating Committee and to the membership at the Annual Meeting.
C. Working groups and committees must receive authorization in advance from the Coordinating Committee for any expenditure of Green Party funds.
D. A majority of a working group or committee shall be considered a quorum.
6. GPUS Delegates
A. If there is an affiliation agreement between the GPMN and the Green Party of the United States (GPUS), the GPMN shall make a good-faith effort to provide delegates and alternates to the Green National Committee, and any national conventions, and do so in a quantity as determined by the governing documents of the GPUS.
B. Qualification for delegates and alternates to the Green National Committee shall be the same as that of members of the Coordinating Committee.
C. The GPMN shall make a good-faith effort to send its delegates, or other official GPMN representatives, to annual and other special meetings of the Green National Committee, and it shall make a good-faith effort to cover any reasonable costs associated with these meetings such as travel, lodging, meals, and registration fees.
D. The GPMN's delegates to the Green National Committee, either as individuals or as a committee, shall regularly consult with, and provide regular reports to, the Coordinating Committee.
E. The GPMN's representatives to the Green National Committee, and any other GPUS working groups, shall make a good-faith effort to represent the will of the membership of the GPMN in an ethical and professional manner. The members of the GPMN shall have the authority to direct such representatives via action at a membership meeting.
F. The Coordinating Committee shall provide oversight of the GPMN's representatives to the Green National Committee and any other GPUS working groups, including the authority to direct such representatives in the absence of a membership directive.
G. Delegate/alternate teams to the Green National Committee shall be elected at GPMN membership meetings for two year staggered terms. Delegates or alternates may be removed by the CC for cause. The CC shall appoint an interim delegate or alternate to serve until the next GPMN membership meeting, at which time the membership shall choose a delegate or alternate to complete the unexpired term.
Article X. Candidate Endorsement
Candidates shall be endorsed at the endorsing convention using rules drafted by the Coordinating Committee and approved by the membership at the convention.
Article XI. Fiscal Policy
A. The Coordinating Committee shall not make expenditures that exceed income by more than ten (10) percent during any single year, without specific approval to do so by the membership at an Annual Meeting or Special Meeting, except to meet legal obligations of the Green Party or in an emergency. Any debt or deficit carried at the end of the year that was not approved by the membership must be satisfied in the following year, so that total unapproved debt never exceeds the current year's income by more than ten (10) percent.
B. A year shall be designated as the calendar year, unless the Green Party has implemented a fiscal year for its budgeting.
Article XII. Amendments
1. These Bylaws may only be amended at an Annual Meeting, Special meeting or Biennial Convention. Amendments shall be passed in accordance with Article VIII of the constitution, requiring a two thirds (2/3) vote if a vote is necessary.
2. Written notice of proposed amendments must be given to all registered Green Party members, where possible, at least thirty (30) days before the meeting at which they are to be adopted.
3. Amendments to the Bylaws shall take effect upon approval by the membership unless otherwise provided