Southern Maine DSA Bylaws
The name of this Chapter shall be the Southern Maine Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), hereinafter referred to as the Chapter.
Object & Restrictions
Section 1. Object.
It is the object of the Chapter 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 all classes of Society may thrive.
Section 2. Restrictions.
- The Chapter shall not engage in any activity prohibited by the IRS guidelines established for 501(c)(4) organizations or similar rules established by the state of Maine.
- The Chapter shall not engage in any activity prohibited by resolutions adopted by DSA’s National Convention or DSA’s National Political Committee.
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.
Any member may be removed for cause by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Chapter at a membership meeting called for that purpose, by written notice sent thirty (30) days prior to said membership meeting. A removed member may appeal to the National Political Committee of the DSA.
Section 3. Relinquishment of Membership.
Any person eligible for membership may relinquish membership voluntarily.
Section 4. Reinstatement of Membership.
Any person who has been removed as a member or who has relinquished membership may be reinstated by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Chapter at a meeting.
Section 5. Dues.
The Chapter may establish a pledge system of voluntary donations.
Section 6. Code of Conduct.
The Chapter will establish, by vote of a Membership Meeting, a Code of Conduct (The Code) that outlines the boundaries of acceptable behavior by members of the Chapter and creates a procedure for enforcement of The Code. The Code shall be made available to all members of the Chapter. Changes to The Code must be approved at a Membership Meeting.
Section 1. Officers.
- The officers of the Chapter shall consist of two (2) Co-Chairs, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
- Each officer shall perform the duties prescribed in these Bylaws and by the Parliamentary Authority adopted by the Chapter.
Section 2. Duties of the Co-Chairs.
- The Co-Chairs shall serve as the general steering officers and spokespersons of the Chapter.
- The Co-Chairs shall preside over all meetings of the Chapter and its Steering Committee.
- The Co-Chairs shall be ex-officio members of all committees except any nominating or disciplinary committees.
Section 3. Duties of the Secretary.
- The Secretary shall be the recording officer of the Chapter and its Steering Committee and shall be the custodian of all records not assigned to other officers.
- The Secretary shall be the in charge of any communications committee established by the Chapter.
- The Secretary shall perform such other duties as assigned by the Co-Chairs.
Section 4. Duties of the Treasurer.
- The Treasurer shall be the custodian of the Chapter’s financial records.
- The Treasurer shall make financial reports at each regular membership and Steering Committee meeting.
- The Treasurer shall have authority to sign checks and drafts on behalf of the Chapter for the disbursement of funds for duly authorized purposes.
- The Treasurer shall perform such other duties as assigned by the Co-Chairs.
Section 5. Resignation, Removal and Filling of Vacancies.
- Any officer may resign by submitting a written notice of resignation to the Chapter. Such resignation to take effect immediately unless there is a date of resignation specified in the notice.
- Any officer may be removed for cause by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Chapter, provided that written notice that removal of the identified officer will be addressed. Notice of the meeting must be provided to membership thirty (30) days in advance.
- Any officer vacancies shall be filled at the next regular meeting of the Chapter for which at least seven (7) days notice can be given.
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, except for the election of the Nominating Committee.
Section 2. Nominating Committee.
- A Nominating Committee of three (3) members may be elected by ballot at the regular membership meeting immediately prior to the regular membership meeting at which an election shall take place.
- A Nominating Committee may nominate at least one (1) candidate for each position and the names of those nominees shall be part of the notice for the next regular membership meeting.
- The committee shall choose its own chairperson.
- Additional nominations shall be accepted from the membership.
Section 3. Election by Ballot.
Contested elections shall be by ballot and election shall be by majority vote, unless some other method of election is approved by the membership.
Section 4. Terms of Office.
- Officers shall assume office immediately upon election and serve until the next annual membership meeting.
- There is no limitation on the number of terms a member may serve in any elected position.
Section 5. Representation.
- The Chapter shall strive at all times for gender equity as well as proportional representation in regards to race, ethnicity and sexual orientation
- The officers shall consist of no less than one (1) person of a different gender than at least one (1) other officer.
- At-large members shall consist of no less than one (1) person of a different gender than at least one other at-large member.
Section 1. Regular Membership Meetings.
The regular membership meetings of the Chapter shall be held on the second Monday of each month, unless some other day is chosen by vote of the Chapter and written notice is given to membership at least 7 days in advance.
Section 2. Annual Membership Meeting.
The regular membership meeting held in January shall be known as the Annual Meeting for the purpose of the election of officers, receiving reports of officers, the Steering Committee, committees, and branches, and for any other business which may properly come before the meeting.
Section 3. Special Membership Meetings.
Special membership meetings may be called by the Steering Committee, or shall be called upon petition of at least ten (10) members. Notice of a special meeting shall include the specific items of business to be considered and only those items stated in the notice may be considered.
Section 4. Notice of Meetings.
Written notice for all membership meetings shall be sent to the membership at least seven (7) days before the meeting.
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 participation in meetings by means of conference telephone or other means of remote participation, by which all persons participating in the meeting are able to hear and communicate with each other at the same time. Such participation shall constitute presence in person at such meeting.
Section 6. Quorum.
The quorum for all membership meetings shall be seven (7) members.
Section 1. Duties and Power.
- The Steering Committee shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Chapter between its membership meetings.
- The Steering Committee shall have the power to approve the disbursement of funds by a majority of the full membership in such cases where such expenditures are deemed necessary but have not previously been approved at a membership meeting, and shall report all such disbursements to the next regular membership meeting.
- The Steering Committee shall fix the hour and place of meetings.
- The Steering Committee may make recommendations to the Chapter.
- The Steering Committee may empower another officer, other than the Treasurer, to sign checks and drafts on behalf of the Chapter.
- The Steering Committee shall perform such other duties as specified in these Bylaws.
Section 2. Membership.
- The regular membership of the Steering Committee shall consist of the Officers and a number of at-large members to be determined by the membership at least two (2) months prior to the election. All Steering Committee members shall be elected at the same time and in the same manner.
- The chairpersons of standing committees and branches shall be non-voting ex-officio members of the Steering Committee.
Section 3. Meetings.
- The Steering Committee shall meet at least once a month between regular membership meetings
- Special meetings of the Steering Committee may be called by the Co-Chairs, or shall be called upon petition of any three (3) members of the Steering Committee.
- Members shall receive three (3) day notice of all Steering Committee meetings.
- Meetings and votes of the Steering Committee may be done by phone conference.
Section 4. Quorum.
A quorum shall consist of four (4) voting members of the Steering Committee.
The Chapter may establish such committees, standing or special (ad-hoc), as it shall from time to time deem necessary to carry on its work.
Membership in all committees is open to all, members and non-members of the Chapter alike, unless otherwise specified in the Bylaws or in the resolution establishing the committee.
Section 1. Definition.
A branch is a subgroup of the Chapter. Branches may be defined by geography, work site, constituency, or area of political work.
Section 2. Chartering.
Branches may be chartered at a regular membership meeting by acceptance of a petition signed by five (5) members of the Chapter.
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Chapter in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws and any special rules of order the Chapter may adopt.
These Bylaws may be amended at any regular membership meeting of the Chapter by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, provided that the amendment had been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting.