Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Bylaws of the GPNJ - Black Caucus

Bylaws of GPNJ - Black Caucus
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Bylaws of GPNJ - Black Caucus
Section 1 -- Mission Statement
Section 2 -- Definitions
Section 3 -- Members
3.1 -- Criteria
3.2 -- Rights
3.3 -- Responsibilities

Section 4 -- Executive Committee
4.1 -- Composition
4.2 -- Co-Chairpersons
4.3 -- Caucus Liaison
4.4 -- Authority
4.5 -- Governance
Section 5 -- Voting Procedures
Section 6 -- Candidates for Public Office
Section 7 -- February Meeting
Section 8 -- Parliamentary Authority
Section 9 -- Amendments
Section 1 -- Mission Statement
 The mission of the Green Party of New Jersey - Black Caucus (GPNJ-BC) is to represent African and African-American voices within the Green Party of New Jersey.  
 We shall work to promote issues of interest to the African and African-American community to GPNJ, and ensure that GPNJ conducts and implements programs that are specified in its platform and/or practice that address the needs and disparities of the African and African-American communities.  
 We shall work to facilitate communication and coordination amongst African and African-American individuals within the committees and other caucuses of GPNJ, and maximize the participation of Human Beings of African and African-American descent in the political, policy making, and party building activities of GPNJ.  
 We shall work to increase the participation and election victories of African and African-American supporters of the GPNJ Platform, and utilize said individuals between or post election cycle(s).
 Through GPNJ-BC, we shall bridge Green values with Black struggles, as we work to strengthen our communities.
Section 2 -- Definitions
"Annual Caucus Report" means a report put together by the Executive Committee highlighting the achievements of the Caucus over the previous year, the problems faced by the Caucus, and the goals of the future.
"Amendment" means a permanent change to these Bylaws, as described in Section 8.
"Auxiliary Membership" means a non-Caucus Party Member who enjoys all the privileges of association and participation in the Caucus, but is not eligible to vote or hold any formal Caucus positions. Auxiliary Members, however, may serve the Caucus in ad hoc positions at the discretion of the Caucus Executive Committee.
"Caucus Member" means an individual who has joined GPNJ-BC, as described in Section 3.
"Complaint" means a formal written objection, concern, or protest filed by a Member, described in Section 3.2.
"Executive Committee" means the decision-making body described in Section 4.
"Green Council" means the decision-making and advisory body of the Green Party of New Jersey.
"Meeting" means any gathering where there is quorum and Caucus business is to be discussed.
"Membership List" means the official list of Caucus Members and contact information, maintained by the Co-Chairpersons.
"Officer" means a member of the Executive Committee.
"Party Member" means an individual who has joined the Green Party of New Jersey, as described in their Bylaws.
"Rule" means a formal issuance on substantive or procedural matters that is consistent with and subordinate to these Bylaws.                                                                                                        
Section 3 -- Members
Section 3.1 -- Criteria
 Membership is open to registered Greens who identify as Black, African, or African-American.  Membership is secured by sending name, address, and email to the Caucus Liaison, who will confirm that applicants are registered Greens.
Section 3.2 -- Rights

Caucus Members in good standing may
  1. vote, at all monthly meetings, on proposals, decisions, and amendments;
  2. vote, in Executive Committee elections at the February monthly meeting;
  3. object formally to any decision, action or policy of the Caucus or of a Caucus Member by filing a Complaint with the Executive Committee.
Section 3.3 -- Responsibilities
Members shall:
  1. participate respectfully in all proceedings;
  2. fulfill obligations undertaken, unless excused; and
  3. abide by the letter and spirit of these Bylaws and any duly adopted Rules.        
Section 3.4 -- Active and Inactive Caucus Members
An active Caucus Member is defined as someone who has:
  1. attended 3 of the past 6 monthly meetings since becoming a Caucus Member and;
  2. voted in 3 of the past 6 GPNJ-BC proposals since becoming a Caucus Member.
New Caucus Members are assumed active until 6 monthly meetings, or 6 proposals have occurred; whichever is sooner.  An inactive Caucus Member may participate fully in GPNJ-BC activities, but their absence will not count against quorum when counting votes.  An inactive Caucus Member may regain active status by fulfilling the requirements for active Caucus Members.  The Executive Committee will collectively keep track of active and inactive statuses of Caucus Members.
Section 4 -- Executive Committee
Section 4.1 -- Composition
(a) The following persons shall constitute the Executive Committee: two co- Chairpersons, and a Caucus Liaison.  The “Officers” of the Caucus.
(b) Requirements for the Executive Committee:
  1. must be Party Members in good standing;
  2. must be an active Caucus Member.  When an Executive Committee member becomes inactive, the remaining members of the Executive Committee will vote on whether to remove the inactive Executive Committee member.
(c) Officers are elected at the February monthly meetings, and serve for terms of one (1) year beginning on March 1 and ending on the last day of February the following year.
4.2 -- Co-Chairpersons
The Co-Chairpersons of GPNJ-BC shall:
  1. preside at meetings of GPNJ-BC;
  2. maintain all records of the Caucus, including but not limited to these Bylaws and Amendments hereto, all meeting records, and the Membership List;
  3. issue a call for a special meeting of the Executive Committee, Special Committee, or general GPNJ-BC membership;
  4. and perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Party and/or Caucus.
Section 4.3 -- Caucus Liaison
The Black Caucus Liaison shall:
  1. represent GPNJ-BC as a non-voting observer at weekly Green Council meetings;
  2. recruit potential Caucus Members from the Party Membership;
  3. serve, at the pleasure of GPNJ-BC, as a full Green Council member should such a position arise.  (If such a position arises, the Caucus Liaison cannot hold another position on the Green Council.)
Section 4.4 -- Authority
Within the limitations established by these Bylaws, the Executive Committee shall have the authority to:
  1. make proposals to Caucus Members and oversee the voting process of proposals;
  2. delegate specific tasks and decision-making authority not established by these Bylaws;
  3. appoint Special Committees;
  4. and expel or discipline any Member for good cause, pursuant to Rules and subject to the review of the other Members.
  5. grant Auxiliary Membership, subject to confirmation by two-thirds (⅔) majority vote of the Caucus Membership, to non-Caucus GPNJ members who have demonstrated a clear alignment with the philosophies and efforts of the Caucus in such a manner that a formal partnership would result in a measurable positive impact in the advancement of the Caucus mission and objectives.

Section 5 -- Voting Procedures
  1. Any reference to voting in this document shall be construed to refer both to voting in person at a meeting or electronically during the gaps between meetings.
  2. Any Caucus Member in good standing may make a motion to adopt a proposal.  Once a motion to adopt a proposal is made and seconded, voting shall begin, except in the case that both Co-Chairpersons decide, on feedback from the Caucus Membership, that the motion to vote was premature.  In this case, a call to question must be affirmed by a three-fourths (¾) majority.
  3. Once a proposal is made pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, each member has 48 hours to cast a ballot either yes, no, or in abstention.  Failure to vote will be recorded.  A proposal cannot be passed until the 48 hours have passed, to give ample time for all members to participate in the voting process.  An exception is made on time-sensitive matters, in which case, any Executive Committee member may call to have an immediate tally.  In immediate tally may only be granted by unanimous vote of the Executive Committee.  Failure to vote by absent members will not be recorded.
  4. Proposals must receive a two-thirds (⅔) majority vote in order to be adopted, and one-half (½) of the active Caucus Membership shall constitute a quorum.
  5. An absolute majority must be received by voters for Executive Committee elections, which shall be conducted through a Ranked Choice Voter ballot.  One-half (½) of active Caucus Members shall constitute a quorum for Executive Committee elections.
Section 6 -- Candidates for Public Office
 The Caucus reserves the right to inform the Party of their position on all candidates within GPNJ jurisdiction.  Caucus Members will vote to decide whether a prospective candidate will have the support of GPNJ-BC.  The Caucus Liaison will then report to the Green Council the recommendation of GPNJ-BC for the potential candidate.
Section 7 -- February Meeting
 In honor of Black History Month, the February monthly meeting of GPNJ-BC shall serve as an informal convention.  Caucus business to be conducted in February shall be all of, but not limited to, the following:
  1. Election of Caucus Officers;
  2. Amendment proposals; and
  3. Discussion of Annual Caucus Report.
Section 8 -- Parliamentary Authority
 The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order Revised shall govern the Party in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws or with any special rules of order duly adopted by the Party.
Section 9 -- Amendments
 An Amendment to these Bylaws may be adopted upon a two-thirds (⅔) majority vote at any monthly GPNJ-BC meetings.  Members must be given at least 30 days to discuss proposed Amendments, by indicating the language to be amended and describing the nature and intent of the proposed change.  Three-fourths (¾) of active Caucus Members shall constitute a quorum when proposing Amendments.  Once an Amendment is passed, the Caucus Liaison will submit proposed Amendment to the Green Council for approval.  The Green Council must approve Amendments before they are ratified by GPNJ-BC.                                                                                

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