Democratic Socialists of America Fort Collins

Bylaws

Article I: Membership Procedure

Section 1: Members

Members are defined as those present at any meeting. Members will be recorded as present in the minutes.

Section 2: Voting Members

Voting Members are defined as Members who have attended three General Meetings and taken part in two DSA events. A Voting Member List will be kept on the Google Drive account.

Section 3: Conflict Resolution

Any conflict between DSAFC members that affects the viability or effectiveness of our group, and cannot be resolved in good faith efforts, will be subject to mediation. A neutral member of DSAFC, not involved in the conflict, and agreed upon by all parties involved, will first meet with each party separately. The mediator will then lead a conversation between the parties. Agreed upon resolutions will prioritize effective communication between involved parties. Personal reconciliation should not be a priority for mediation.

Should the initial mediation fail to produce an effective working relationship between parties, any Voting Member may request group mediation to resolve the conflict, which will take place at the following General Meeting. The conflict will be described by the mediator, focusing on barriers to working relationships. Group members may then discuss solutions, which should focus on developing a professional, working relationship between those involved.

Section 4: Expulsion

Any Member deemed unfit for membership by the group can be expelled from DSAFC. Any Member may bring a complaint against any other Member. The complaint will be brought before a General Meeting in written form, discussed with all involved parties present, and voted on. The expulsion proposal will pass with a 75% vote and take effect immediately. Expulsion will require the expelled member to return any unused committee funds and outstanding receipts or records within 10 days.

Article II: Voting Procedure

Section 1: Introducing a Vote

Any Voting Member may introduce a resolution for vote at the following General Meeting. The member introducing the resolution must submit the proposal in writing (on Slack) according to the Vote Template no later than five days before the following General Meeting. The Vote Template (available on Google Drive) includes a description of the vote and an argument presented in favor of the vote.

Section 2: Choosing a Vote Type

All votes will be Hand-Count by default. Any Voting Member may request a Secret Ballot vote on the day of introduction, or the day of the vote. Requests for a Secret Ballot vote are automatically honored. Voting Members may abstain from any vote, even if abstention results in loss of quorum. Additionally, each Voting Member may defer any vote for one week, three times maximum, contingent upon immediate rationalizing.

Section 3: Hand-Count Vote

For Hand-Count votes, the Facilitator, or individual who proposed the vote, will name and explain the proposed vote. The Secretary will record the result of the vote and the date. Record of the result, but not the vote itself, will be anonymous.

Section 4: Secret Ballot Vote

If a Secret Vote is called, the Facilitator, or individual who proposed the vote, will name and explain the proposed vote, and remove their hat. Voting Members will write their vote on a scrap of paper and place it in the hat. The Secretary will collect the votes and record the result and the date. Record of the result, and the vote itself, will be anonymous.

Section 5: Resolution Passage

Resolutions pass with a 67% vote. Special votes (enumerated in Article I, Section 3 (Expulsion), Article VI, Section 1 (Dissolution), and Article VII, Section 1 (Amending Bylaws)) pass with a 75% vote.

Article III: General Meetings

Section 1: Location

As much as is possible, the location of General Meetings should match the location provided on any publicly distributed materials. Location of General Meetings should be made publicly available.

Section 2: Procedures

Any business can be discussed at General Meetings. The format of General Meetings is a facilitated discussion following an agenda with a secretary recording the minutes. Set protocols will be followed. A real-time electronic copy of all notes will be kept on Google Drive. Paper copies of any notes or records will be made available for auditing purposes.

Article IV: Endorsement and Support of Outside Candidates or Groups

Section 1: Endorsement

Upon officially endorsing a candidate or ballot initiative, the DSAFC agrees to publicly announce the endorsement. An endorsement does not mean the DSAFC considers the candidate infallible and beyond criticism. An endorsement may be rescinded by vote.

Section 2: Pledge of Support

Upon officially endorsing a candidate or ballot initiative, DSAFC may elect to provide material support to the campaign. An official pledge of support triggers a meeting of the Elections Committee who shall set the strategic plan of action to effectively elect the candidate or pass the initiative. This agenda may include (but is not limited to) canvassing, voter registration, and other actions. A pledge of support does not mean DSAFC considers the candidate infallible and beyond criticism. A pledge of support may be rescinded by vote.

Article V: Committee Procedures

Section 1: Chairperson

The Chairperson of a Committee is responsible for the Committee’s funds and activities. Any spending from a DSAFC account or collecting of funds will be recorded by the Chairperson, and all Committee activities will be documented.

Section 2: Second

The Second of a Committee is responsible for membership lists and is considered to be Vice-Chair. A list of Committee members and obtained contact information will be recorded by the Second.

Section 3: Eligible Committee Activities

All Committee activities are eligible for a General Meeting vote.

Section 4: Committee Funds (Opening)

Any funds required by Committees must be requested from the group in writing, detailing the amount required and purpose. If the money is only needed as a loan the Committee will provide a timeframe for reimbursing the general fund. Request for funds will pass with a 67% vote. All spending and income must be recorded and reported back to the General Meeting. Any records or receipts should be turned over to the Treasurer.

Section 5: Committee Funds (Closing)

If the Committee accrues a financial loss, Committee members must make a good faith effort to cover the loss. Written documentation of how the loss came about will be required. Any extra money will return to the initial account. Any donated money will be turned over to the DSA General Fund.

Article VI: Dissolution of DSAFC

Section 1: Dissolution Vote

A dissolution vote can be called by any Voting Member at any General Meeting. The votes must be called and passed twice with a 75% vote. The vote takes effect two weeks from passing. Within those two weeks, a vote to overturn can be called and must pass with 67% of the vote.

Section 2: Debts

Before donation, any money controlled by DSAFC will be used to settle outstanding debts owed to any Members.

Article VII: Amendments

Section 1: Amending Bylaws

Proposals to amend this document may be presented by any Voting Member at any General Meeting. Proposed amendments will be announced one week before voting, and . will pass with a 75% vote.