Boise DSA

Democratic Socialists of America

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2020 Bylaws Resolutions
Apr 12, 2020

To be voted on at the 2020 Boise DSA Convention on April 23rd.

Table of Contents

  1. Resolution #1
  2. Resolution #2
  3. Resolution #3
  4. Resolution #4
  5. Resolution #5

Resolution #1

RESOLUTION ENDORSING THE AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS

WHEREAS, the constant push toward the emancipation of the working class will be a long and hard process. Which will require a lot of time and effort!

WHEREAS, such important hard work needs to have its wight written into the bylaws. So the organization and its leaders may be held to a strict account to continue this essential work!

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the bylaws shall be amended by replacing the words, four (4) times annually, with, once (1) per month unless an extreme circumstance makes that not possible.


Resolution #2

RESOLUTION ENDORSING THE AMENDMENT OF THE OF THE BYLAWS TO ADD THE POSITION OF EDUCATION CHAIR

WHEREAS, education is an important aspect of the socialist movement and is essential to exist outside of institutions of the bourgeoise. Which must be given its own special attention in order to fully enable the proliferation of class consciousness.

WHEREAS, with a specific position of education chair the local will be enabled to give this task its proper attention. Which will spread class consciousness, along with the immense benefit of introducing Boise DSA to new people and expand our membership.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the bylaws shall be amended by inserting as a new section between sections seven and eight of article five to read:

Section 8. Education Chair

The Education Chair will be responsible for organizing and supporting education campaigns and events including discussions, reading groups, and public events that explore the strategy, history, and theory of socialism and support our political campaigns and initiatives. The education chair will also serve as the chair of the Education working group.

The education chair shall keep records of attendance to the education events and report to the steering committee and general assembly themselves or through a designated surrogate.


Resolution #3

RESOLUTION ENDORSING THE AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS

WHEREAS, the steering committee is the regular executive body of the local chapter, and must then meet regularly to ensure the execution of its duties in an efficient manner it must be able to make quick decisions while being accountable to the general membership.

WHEREAS, it is also the committee’s duty to advise the working groups it should also have the enshrined ability to determine the progress of the working groups so it can better fulfill its duty.

WHEREAS, the steering committee is responsible for steering the organization needs the ability to have the steering actually take place and should have the ability to ensure the follow-through of its decisions.

WHEREAS, its important role of steering the organization and fulfilling the will of the general assembly should meet consistently to ensure that such an important role is fulfilled.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, article seven shall be amended to read (changes underlined):

Section 1. Composition.

The Local Chapter Steering Committee will be composed of the five (5) officers of the Local Chapter and are the sole voting members. The Participation of general members is highly encouraged.

Section 2. Duties.

The Steering Committee administers the affairs of the Local Chapter and oversees the implementation of the decisions of the Convention and General Meetings; it may also propose policy to the Convention and General Meetings. It will have the power to receive reports of any Working Group, to determine the progress of and advise thereon, to call Emergency Meetings of the Local Chapter, and to act on any matter that requires immediate and urgent action. The Steering Committee is the regular executive body of the Local Chapter, and thus subordinate to its Legislative bodies, the Convention and General Meetings.

The Local Chapter Steering Committee will be responsible for the mobilization, organization, and education of the general membership, assign membership to a working group determined by the need of the organization and availability of the member, establishing program activities for the Local Chapter, for proposing guidelines and policies that will subsequently be voted on by members in good standing of DSA, provide an update at a general meeting no less than once per month, and for acting on the organization’s behalf between Local Chapter meetings. Section 3. Meetings. The meetings of the Steering Committee shall occur no less than twice a month and will be held at the call of one (1) of the Co-Chairs at such intervals as may be determined by a prior Steering Committee Meeting or by consultation with any three (3) members of the Coordinating Committee. All members of the Steering Committee must (ordinarily) be given four (4) days oral, written, or electronic notice of regular Steering Committee Meetings; a 24-hour notice may be given under special emergency circumstances.

Members of the Coordinating Committee may call Steering Committee meetings specific to the work of their office or offices to enact the duties of their office. These are meetings to engage the work of that office in greater detail, and the agenda may not extend beyond the scope of the specific office.


Resolution #4

RESOLUTION ENDORSING THE AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS

WHEREAS, Consensus with its allowance for any one person to veto a popular initiative is inherently undemocratic and contrary to the very nature of a Democratic organization.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, Section one shall be removed from Article 13 and a new article inserted after article 12 reading:

ARTICLE XIII. Rules of Order.

Section 1. Introduction.

Remaining dedicated to a fair and expedient a simplified version of Robert’s rules of order in accordance with the national DSA’s guidelines, yet avoiding the bourgeois parliamentarianism used to undermine the organization. The rules of order shall be as follows.

In dedication to the principles of democracy and majority rule, all decisions unless otherwise stated in these bylaws are made by a majority vote of DSA Members in good standing. Non-members may be seated by the decision of the group, but may not vote or make motions.

Meetings should be efficient, lasting, in most cases, no more than two hours. The tone should be one of mutual respect. Insults, personal attacks, and willful obstruction will not be tolerated.

Members may speak only when recognized by the moderator. When speaking in the meeting, address the group as a whole. No private conversations allowed during the course of the meeting.

Section 2. Main Motions.

A Main Motion concerns business to be carried out by the group. There may be only one main motion on the floor at a given time. The motion is stated, beginning with: “I move that” The motion should be clear and concise.

If the motion is not seconded it dies.

If the motion is seconded, it is repeated by the moderator, to establish the exact wording. The maker of the motion either agrees to the wording or corrects it. The moderator instructs the secretary to record the motion and to read it back. When it has been read back, in exact wording, from the minutes, the moderator calls for discussion.

The moderator begins the discussion by asking if anyone is opposed. If not, the vote is taken. If so, discussion begins with opposition.

The discussion goes back and forth between favor and opposition until all relevant opinions have been heard. No member may speak twice on a motion until each member that wishes to speak has been heard. A possible exception to this rule would be to allow the maker of the motion to explain and clarify. Members may not repeat a point that has already been made. If someone else makes your point before you get your turn, just say, “I pass,” when called upon, or that you agree with the previous speaker’s point.

A member may offer a Friendly Amendment during the discussion. It should be stated in exact wording. The moderator asks the maker if they accept that amendment. If not, discussion continues on the original motion. If the maker accepts the amendment, it is repeated by the moderator, agreed upon, recorded and read back from the minutes. Then the discussion continues on the Amended Motion, which becomes the motion on the floor.

The maker of the motion may withdraw the motion at any time before the vote.

The vote is taken when the discussion is completed. The moderator may call for the vote (Call the Question) or a member may do so. Call the Question is a Procedural Motion (see below).

The vote is taken, counted, and recorded in the minutes. Before moving on, the motion must be implemented. Decide what is needed to carry out the motion, who is going to take responsibility, by what time, and when they will report back to the group. This should be pre-arranged when possible.

Section 3. Procedural Points and Motions.

Points of Procedure and Procedural Motions speak to the process of the meeting. They are in order at any time and must be dealt with right away, before going on with the meeting.

A Procedural Motion must be seconded and voted on by the group. This should be done quickly, so as not to distract from the main business at hand.

The moderator may make a point of procedure, or suggest (entertain) a procedural motion.

Procedural Motions are:

To Table To Refer (to a committee or wherever) To Adjourn To Recess (take a break) To Overrule the moderator To Replace the moderator To Call the Question (call for a vote) To Censure (the group tells an individual member that her behavior in the meeting is unacceptable and will not be tolerated) To Expel (must be preceded by a motion to censure, except in case of immediate danger. This motion expels the individual from the meeting, not the organization.) To Call for a Straw Poll (this is a non-binding vote, to assess the feeling of the group

Section 4. Points of Order. A point of order occurs when someone draws attention to a rules violation in a meeting.

To make a point of order The maker rises and speaks out: “Point of Procedure” (or “Point of Order”). The moderator must recognize the member immediately.

The moderator may rule on a point of procedure. The ruling of the moderator may be challenged by a member and put to a vote.

Point of Personal Privilege: It’s too hot, too stuffy, can’t hear the speaker, etc.

Point of Procedure (or Order): This is a suggestion as to how to carry out the business better. It is ruled on by the moderator. The ruling can be challenged and the point made into a motion. Don’t get too carried away here, please. Section 5. The Moderator. The moderator is elected by the group at the beginning of each meeting and has a mandate to carry out the will of the group as regards the procedure of the meeting. The moderator speaks with the authority of the group, for the group.

The moderator should get to the meeting early to prepare for the meeting, set up chairs, etc. They should make up a proposed agenda that is legible and visible to the whole room.

In the event of a tie, the moderator may cast the deciding vote. If the moderator really needs to do these things she must pass the chair on to another member for the duration of that item of business. This shouldn’t happen very often.


Resolution #5

RESOLUTION ENDORSING THE AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS

WHEREAS, the steering committee is subordinate to its Legislative bodies, the Convention and General Meetings. As such, a mechanism should be in place where the general assembly will be able to overturn an unpopular decision of the committee.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, A Section shall be inserted in article eleven which shall read:

Section 5. Overturning Steering Committee Decisions.

With the Steering Committee being subordinate to the general body of the DSA shall have the ability to have decisions challenged and overturned by a popular motion at a general meeting. Challenging and overturning a decision of the Steering Committee requires a simple majority vote.


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