Left Up To US Bylaws
Table of Contents
I. Name of Organization (pg. 1)
II. Mission Statement (pg. 1)
III. Group Member Roles (pg. 2)
IV. Full Group Meeting Guidelines, Discussion, Voting (pg. 3)
V. Leadership Elections (pg. 4)
VI. Operating Committee Guidelines (pg. 5)
VII. Fundraising Guidelines/Rules (pg. 6)
VIII. Amendment of Bylaws and Other Notes (pg. 7)
IX. Legal (pg. 7)
I. NAME OF ORGANIZATION
The name of the organization is Left Up To US.
II. Mission Statement and Guiding Principles
We are answering the call for a progressive political revolution by actively organizing to engage and educate the community, collaborating with other local activist groups, and advocating for local candidates and issues.
- Left Up To US actions must be in accordance with our Official Platform ( leftuptous.org/platform ).
- Left Up To US must operate in a manner that is democratic, inclusive, respectful, and empowering to all members.
- Democratic: Encouraging all active members to run for leadership roles, voting on every important decision, and making efforts to make sure all opinions are heard and shared.
- Inclusive: Meetings open to the public, and everyone who shows up has a voice. Encouraging members who can’t make all meetings to participate discussions and voting online.
- Respectful: Respecting all individual’s personal circumstances. Making efforts to avoid shaming folks who are less involved, even while enthusiastically encouraging engagement.
- Empowering: Our goal is to exist not just as a group to volunteer for, but as a vessel through which people can organize their own ideas into group actions that they lead.
III. Group Member Roles
- Members: Anyone who wants to be a member is a member.
- Active Members: Anyone who has attended a prior Left Up To US meeting or event, or worked on a project, in the past six months, and has indicated they want to stay involved.
- Committee Members: Anyone who wants to participate in any committee may do so.
- LUTU Leaders : LUTU Members elected to leadership roles
1.3a) Administrative Leaders: Moderators, to moderate meetings and online discussion; Treasurers, to maintain Left Up To US’s bank account, ensuring funds are only spent as directed by group decision, and to keep updated bookkeeping records; and Minutes-Takers, to take organized minutes of meetings and events, including tracking attendance, and to make minutes public.
1.3b) Committee Organizers: Each committee’s organizer is the person responsible for organizing and setting the agenda for that committee’s meetings and projects, and for facilitating committee communication in between meetings.
1.3c) Coordinators: Extra leadership roles created to oversee and coordinate necessary tasks in any area of the group’s functionality. Coordinators must allow any other active members to participate in whatever they’re overseeing.
1.3d) Operating Committee Members: Members of the LUTU Operating Committee are the elected leaders responsible for addressing time-sensitive issues in between Full Group meetings and setting meeting agendas (see section VI for more info).
IV. Full Group Meeting Guidelines, Discussion, Voting
- The Operating Committee must organize a public Full Group meeting every month .
- During each item of discussion, a Moderator scans the room for anyone raising their hand and adds them to the stack http://cultivate.coop/wiki/Taking_Stack_(Meeting_Facilitation_Technique)
- Moderators will do their best to ensure that all attendees who raise their hands to speak on a topic are able to.
- Members are strongly encouraged to stay on-topic, and save off-topic thoughts for the open forum. No one should speak out of turn unless they are directly answering a question or objecting to an aspect of a decision-making process which is currently underway.
- At all meetings, any attendee is allowed to propose a vote on any topic
- At a minimum, any Active Member in attendance must receive a vote.
- No proposal may be voted on until all attendees who want to have had a chance to voice any reasons for opposition and propose amendments.
3.2a) If a vote cannot be called after 10 minutes of discussion on a topic, moderators may defer it to a committee.
- If amendments are suggested, only the most approved version of the proposal passes.
- Any proposal voted on must receive must receive at least five “Yes” votes, and be approved of by greater than 50% of those voting to pass.
- On any proposal, members may cast a vote to “Table”. If each version of a proposal has enough “Table” votes to prevent both “Yes” and “No” votes from reaching 50%, it is tabled to a committee.
- The democratic will of the Full Group always has precedence over decisions made by leadership or in any committee.
- Any major event, project, or action, that Left Up To US will be putting its name on must have major details approved at a Full Group meeting.
- The Operating Committee may vote through simple majority to declare any issue important enough to warrant a prolonged vote of all active members.
- Voting must be open to all Active Members online for at least 5 days, and an opportunity to discuss and cast a vote at a Full Group meeting must be a part of this.
5.1a) When voting is closed, any member who hasn’t voted will not be counted towards the total number of votes cast.
- All leadership elections (with the exception of special elections) and amendments to the bylaws or operating documents are also subject to this type of vote.
V. Leadership Elections
- All active members, including incumbent leaders, are eligible to run for anything, with the exception of the person facilitating the election. All active members must be given the opportunity to vote,including those running.
- All leadership roles are up for election in January and July of every year. Terms run from February 1st to July 31st and August 1st to January 31st.
- The Democracy Coordinator is required to ensure that all active members are made aware of their eligibility to run for any leadership role at least two weeks prior to the first day of voting. All candidates must be given the opportunity to fill out identical questionnaires, with answers made available for all active members when voting.
- The Democracy Coordinator is elected in December and June of every year, with Jan-Jun and Jul-Dec terms. The person in this role cannot run for other leadership roles.
- The Operating Committee will elect someone to temporarily facilitate the process of electing just the Democracy Coordinator; this person cannot run for Democracy Coordinator.
- No member may run for more than four leadership roles at a time.
- No member can hold multiple Administrative Leader roles or multiple Committee Organizer roles simultaneously.
- Candidates are elected using approval voting, which means that people can vote for as many candidates as they approve of for each position.
- All ties are broken by a vote where people select their favorite candidate.
7.1a) In the rare event of a 3+ way tie, the second vote will be conducted with IRV.
- Moderator, Minutes-Taker, and Treasurer go to the top two vote-getters for each role.
- No candidate can get into a position with less than 50% approval for the position. If candidates who would be elected fail to meet this threshold, the nomination process for that position starts over and a new vote is conducted
- If a role hasn’t been filled by the beginning of the new leadership term, the previous holder of that role will stay in it until the election process for the role is completed.
- The rules in this section do not apply to special elections (see Section VI, Subsections 5-6), which can be conducted by the Operating Committee in accordance with Operating Committee decision-making procedures.
VI. Operating Committee Guidelines
- The Operating Committee is formed after each leadership election, to address time-sensitive topics in between meetings, set Full Group meeting agendas, and discuss/vote on topics deferred to it.
- All Left Up To US members elected to leadership roles may join the Operating Committee.
- Both Moderators, Minutes-Takers, and Treasurers, as well as the Inreach Coordinator, Event Coordinator, and Democracy Coordinator, are required to join the Operating Committee. All other elected leaders must decide whether or not to join the Operating Committee before their leadership term begins.
- Just before May 1st and November 1st, leaders in all roles for which Operating Committee membership is optional once again have the opportunity to opt in or out of the Operating Committee. Operating Committee terms are therefore three months long.
- The Operating Committee meets monthly. Minutes must be made available to all members.
- The Operating Committee makes decisions as follows:
- On all proposals/proposals+amendments, Operating Committee Members can cast a “Yes” vote, a “No” vote, or a vote to “Defer” the issue to the Full Group.
- Proposals may be discussed/voted on online and implemented between scheduled meetings. Online votes of the Operating Committee must last for at least 48 hours.
- No matter how much time has been given to vote, a proposal cannot pass the Operating Committee unless it has received “Yes” votes from one-third of Operating Committee members or five Operating Committee members, whichever is greater.
- If any elected leader resigns, has neglected the responsibilities of their particular leadership role, missed more than one consecutive Full Group meeting, broken rules in our bylaws, or conducted themselves in a manner not in line with Left Up To US’s ideals of inclusiveness, democracy, respectfulness, and empowerment, a special election will be called for the position.
- As in all Left Up To US leadership elections, the incumbent is allowed to run again.
- The Operating Committee or the Full Group may vote to temporarily create new Committees or Coordinator Roles at any time, and fill them by a special election. All new roles and committees created must be approved through the process of amending the Left Up To US operating documents, and new leaders are elected during our regular semi-annual leadership elections. If the new role or committee hasn’t been added to the operating documents by the end of the current leadership term, it is dissolved.
VII. Fundraising Guidelines/Rules
- All Left Up To US fundraising tactics will be conducted in a manner that is:
- Sensitive to people's financial situations, doing all we can to avoid shaming (even subconsciously) those without ability to donate
- Never given precedence over or the ability to inadvertently overshadow our primary goal of getting people actively involved and engaged
- Generally not aggressive, intrusive, annoying, etc.
- Placing emphasis on transparent project-specific fundraising over general fundraising
2.1 No individual or organization may attempt in any way to use past, present, or future donations to influence Left Up To US.
2.2 With the exception of in-kind donations, Left Up To US will not accept more than $1,000 per year from any individual or organization.
2.3 Left Up To US will not collect dues from its members.
2.4 No email (or any communication) sent to individuals on a Left Up To US contact list can be primarily fundraising-oriented.
2.5 No fundraising will be conducted at a Left Up To US meeting unless it is project-specific, and no more than two fundraisers can be held per year that are not project-specific.
2.6 The Left Up To US website may not contain a pop-up page soliciting donations.
VIII. Amendment of Bylaws and Operating Documents
and other notes
- The Operating Committee must discuss and vote on all bylaws amendments and other ideas for structural/operational changes proposed by any member.
- All amendments to the Bylaws or Operating Documents approved by Operating Committee must be submitted for public discussion and voting among Active Members.
- To pass the Full Group amendments require 3/4 of votes cast.
- Any clause in these bylaws can be temporarily suspended by a unanimous vote of all members present at a Full Group meeting.
- The decision-making procedures laid out in these bylaws only determine whether a proposed action will be taken on with the full organizing capacity of the group behind it and with Left Up To US’s name attached. If a proposal does not pass Left Up To US’s decision making procedures, Members are strongly encouraged to network outside of Left Up To US meetings and online forums with other Members to organize on behalf of their ideas.
- Fiscal Year. The annual accounting period of the organization shall begin on January 1 of each year, unless changed by the Board of Directors (defined as the Members of the Operating Committee).
- Checks. All checks, drafts, or other orders for the payment of money shall be signed by such Officer or Officers or such other person or persons as the Board of Directors may from time to time designate.
- Contracts. All contracts, notes or other evidences of indebtedness, and leases of space for th organization shall be signed by such person or persons as the Board of Directors may from time to time designate.
- Records. The organization shall keep records of minutes of all meetings of its board of directors and a record of all actions taken by the board of directors, and a record of all actions taken by a committee of the board of directors or a designated body on behalf of the organization. The organization shall keep copies of the following records: (1) Articles of Incorporation or restated Articles of Incorporation and all amendments to them currently in effect;(2) these Bylaws or restated bylaws and all amendments to them currently in effect; (3) minutes and records described in this section for the past 3 years; (4) and a list of the names and addresses of its current directors.