Southern Maine DSA Bylaws
Article I. Name
The name of the Chapter shall be the Southern Maine Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
Article II. Object
The object of the Chapter is to facilitate the transition of Society to a democratic socialist one in which the means and resources of production are democratically and socially controlled to provide a fair political and economic system in which the class system is abolished to allow all people to thrive.
Article III. Members
Section 1. Membership. Members of the Chapter will be those individuals whose dues to the national DSA are paid in full and who reside or work in Maine’s First Congressional District. DSA Members who work or reside in Maine’s Second Congressional District shall also be members of the Chapter if no DSA Chapter is chartered for which they can become a member.
Section 2. Removal of Members.
- Members may be removed for cause.
- Removals shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Chapter.
- Removal votes shall be held at a membership meeting called for that purpose.
- Written notice shall be sent thirty (30) days prior to a removal vote.
- Removed members may appeal to the National Political Committee of the DSA.
Section 3. Resignation of Members. Members may resign at any time.
Section 4. Reinstatement of Members. Removed or Resigned Members may be reinstated by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Chapter.
Section 5. Dues. The Chapter may set voluntary dues.
Section 6. Code of Conduct. The Chapter shall adopt a public Code of Conduct (The Code) by majority vote. The Code shall define a standard of behavior and a grievance process. The Code may be amended by a majority vote of the Chapter.
Article IV. Officers & Steering Committee
Section 1. Membership.
- The Steering Committee shall consist of Officers, Committee Chairs, and Branch Chairs.
- Officers shall consist of two (2) Co-Chairs, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and At-Large Members.
- The Chapter shall set the number of At-Large Members at least two (2) months before elections.
- Voting on Steering Committee business shall be restricted to Officers.
Section 2. Duties and Powers of the Steering Committee.
- The Steering Committee shall supervise Chapter affairs between membership meetings.
- The Steering Committee shall create the agendas for membership meetings.
- The Steering Committee shall fix the time and location of membership meetings.
- The Steering Committee may change the date of membership meetings as needed.
- The Steering Committee may approve expenditures by a majority vote of Officers.
- The Steering Committee may make recommendations to the Chapter.
- The Steering Committee shall perform other duties as specified in these Bylaws.
Section 3. Duties and Powers of the Co-Chairs.
- The Co-Chairs shall be the Chapter’s general steering officers and spokespersons.
- The Co-Chairs shall lead all Chapter and Steering Committee meetings.
- The Co-Chairs shall be members of all non-disciplinary committees.
- The Co-Chairs may sign checks and drafts on behalf of the Chapter.
Section 4. Duties and Powers of the Secretary.
- The Secretary shall be the Chapter’s recording officer.
- The Secretary shall record minutes of all Chapter and Steering Committee meetings. The secretary may appoint a member to record minutes in their place.
- The Secretary shall keep the Chapter’s non-financial records.
- The Secretary shall be a member of any established communications committee.
- The Secretary shall perform other duties as assigned by the Co-Chairs.
Section 5. Duties and Powers of the Treasurer.
- The Treasurer shall keep the Chapter’s financial records.
- The Treasurer shall make financial reports at all Chapter and Steering Committee meetings.
- The Treasurer may sign checks and drafts on behalf of the Chapter.
- The Treasurer shall perform other duties as assigned by the Co-Chairs.
Section 6. Resignation, Removal and Filling of Vacancies.
- Members may resign by written notice. Resignation will be instant unless the notice sets some other date.
- Members may be removed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Chapter. The Chapter must be sent notice of a removal vote at least thirty days in advance.
- Vacancies shall be filled at the next membership meeting for which at least seven (7) days notice can be given.
Section 7. Meetings.
- The Steering Committee shall meet at least once a month.
- Additional Steering Committee meetings may be called by the Co-Chairs.
- Additional Steering Committee meetings shall be called by petition of at least three (3) Officers.
- Members shall receive three (3) days notice of all Steering Committee meetings.
- Meetings and votes of the Steering Committee may be held remotely.
Section 8. Quorum. A quorum shall consist of four (4) Officers.
Article V. Nominations & Elections
Section 1. Applicability. This article applies to all elections for Officers, delegates to conventions, and any other election where there is at least a one (1) month notice.
Section 2. Nominations.
- Eligibility shall be limited to members.
- Nominations may be made by any member.
- Members may nominate themselves.
- Members may be nominated for multiple offices.
- Nominations shall close at least ten (10) days prior to election.
Section 3. Elections.
- Elections shall be by majority vote unless some other method is approved by members.
- Contested Elections shall be determined by ballot.
- Uncontested Elections shall be determined by hand vote to seat all candidates at once.
Section 4. Terms of Office.
- Members may only hold one office at a time.
- Members shall assume office immediately upon election.
- Officers shall serve until the next annual membership meeting.
- There is no limit on the number of terms a member may serve in any elected position.
Section 5. Representation.
- The Chapter shall strive for equity on gender, race, ethnicity and sexual preference.
- Officers shall consist of at least one-third (1/3) non-cisgender-men.
- Co-Chairs shall be different genders.
Article VI. Membership Meetings
Section 1. Regular Membership Meetings. The regular membership meetings of the Chapter shall be held on the second Monday of each month. The Chapter may vote to change this date. Written notice of a change of date shall be sent to the Chapter at least seven (7) days in advance.
Section 2. Annual Membership Meeting. The regular membership meeting held in January shall be known as the Annual Meeting. The business of the Annual Meeting must include election of Officers and reports from the Steering Committee, Standing Committees, and Branches.
Section 3. Special Membership Meetings. Special membership meetings shall be called either by the Steering Committee or by petition of at least ten (10) members. Notice of a special meeting shall include the specific items of business to be considered. Only items stated in the notice may be considered.
Section 4. Notice of Membership Meetings. Members shall be sent written notice at least seven (7) days before all meetings.
Section 5. Accessibility & Remote Participation.
- All Membership and Steering Committee meetings shall, when possible, be held in places that conform to the Americans with Disability Act priority 1 standards for accessibility.
- The Chapter may provide for remote participation in meetings. Participants shall be able to communicate in real time. Remote participation shall count as presence at a meeting.
Section 6. Quorum. A quorum shall consist of seven (7) members.
Article VII. Committees
Section 1. Definition. Committees are subgroups of the Chapter focused on an interest, issue, or work site. Ad Hoc Committees exist only for the duration of a measurable task. Standing Committees have no definite end.
Section 2. Motions to Form.
- Committees may be formed by motion at any membership meeting.
- Motions shall define a mission statement.
- Motions shall define one (1) convener and at least two (2) other members.
- The convener shall lead members until a chair is elected.
Section 3. Standing Committee Chairs.
- Standing Committees must elect a chair within ninety (90) days of formation.
- Chairs may resign at any time.
- Chairs may be removed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of committee members.
Section 4. Meetings.
- Committees shall meet at least once per quarter.
- Meetings shall be confirmed by minutes or quarterly reports.
Section 5. Dissolution.
- Committees may be dissolved if they fail to meet the requirements of this Article.
- Committees may be dissolved at any time by a majority vote.
Article VIII. Branches
Section 1. Definition. A branch is a regional subgroup of the Chapter.
Section 2. Chartering.
- Branches may be chartered by a petition.
- Petitions must define the region of the Branch.
- Petitions must be signed by five (5) members from the defined region.
- Petitions shall be approved by majority vote at a membership meeting.
Article IX. Parliamentary Authority
The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Chapter where these Bylaws or any standing rules of the Chapter do not apply.
Article X. Restrictions
Section 1. Nonprofit Status. The Chapter shall not engage in any activity prohibited by the IRS guidelines for 501(c)(4) organizations or similar rules established by the state of Maine.
Section 2. DSA National. The Chapter shall not engage in any activity prohibited by resolutions adopted by DSA’s National Convention or DSA’s National Political Committee.
Article XI. Amendments
Members may submit amendments to these Bylaws in writing at any membership meeting. Amendments require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Chapter at either the next membership meeting or at a meeting defined by the submitting members.