General Membership Meeting Agenda and Amendments

Table of Contents

Meeting Agenda

1:00–1:15

Settle in/welcome

1:15–1:20

Approve agenda

1:20–1:35

Chapter updates

  • Internal organizing committee
  • External organizing committee
  • Treasurer
  • Dues drive

1:35–2:00

Proposal to adopt campaign to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act: Keith Brower Brown

2:00–4:00

Bylaws revision and amendments

  • Revision motivation and Q&A: Megan Svoboda
  • Consent calendar
  • Communications secretary: Joey Kellner
  • Amendment to require diversity in leadership: Dominic Dagradi
  • Proxy voting and remote access: Noah Kirshbaum-Ray
  • Rules of the chapter: Sergio Guadarrama, Kate McDonnell
  • Timeline for branch creation: Michael Kaufman
  • Chapter and branch structure: Rosa Astra

These amendments are presumed to be non-controversial and will be voted on without debate. Any member present at the meeting can ask for an item from the consent calendar to be removed from it and debated and voted on separately.

Amendment to Preamble

Noah Kirshbaum-Ray

Relevant Article Text Proposed Change New Proposed Article Text
(with changes in bold)

Preamble

In all of our work together as East Bay DSA, in every organizing structure, elected position, meeting, campaign, and committee, we are tasked with seeking always to empower new leaders and lift their voices, to govern and lead with a deep commitment to democracy, transparency, and accountability, and to resist reaffirming the hegemonic structures of capitalism aligned against people of color, women, and LGBTQIA people inside and outside of the Chapter.

Add "people with disabilities"

Preamble

In all of our work together as East Bay DSA, in every organizing structure, elected position, meeting, campaign, and committee, we are tasked with seeking always to empower new leaders and lift their voices, to govern and lead with a deep commitment to democracy, transparency, and accountability, and to resist reaffirming the hegemonic structures of capitalism aligned against people of color, women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA people inside and outside of the Chapter.

Amendment to Article VI

Beki Johnson

Motivation: This amendment changes the definition of a quorum to 10% of members or 90 members total, whichever is less. As EBDSA grows, getting 10% of members in a single location will be increasingly difficult. This establishes a minimum floor to the number of members required to make things happen that require quorum. Also, this easy to understand amendment of will help everyone understand what the minimum requirement is when trying to organize.

Relevant Article Text Proposed Change New Proposed Article Text
(with changes in bold)

Article VI. Meetings.

Section 6. Quorum.
Ten percent of the members of the Chapter shall constitute a quorum

REPLACE Section 6: Ten percent of the members or 90 members of the Chapter shall constitute a quorum.

Article VI. Meetings.

Section 6. Quorum.
Ten percent of the members or 90 members of the Chapter shall constitute a quorum.

Amendments for Debate

Communications Secretary

Amendment to Article III

Joey Kellner

Motivation: This amendment replaces one of the six members-at-large with a dedicated Communications Secretary, as distinct from the (herein renamed) Recording Secretary. This idea has been debated at length inside and outside the LC, and several leaders and members alike felt that it should, because of this lengthy debate, be left to the membership to decide. I personally believe that official communications are a distinct and very time-consuming function, and of great political significance and power. They reflect the ultimate outcome of all of our democratic deliberation, and particularly in times of debate and disagreement, have the potential to strongly influence members and impact our public image. We should have a clear and accountable leadership structure for such decisions, and candidates who run with specific, carefully-considered and public views on how EBDSA's newsletter and website should function in the organization. I believe that this clarity, compared with our current structure, should relieve pressure on leadership and promote harmony in the org.

Relevant Article Text Proposed Change New Proposed Article Text
(with changes in bold)

Article III. Officers.

Section 1. Officers and Duties.

The officers of the Chapter shall be two Co-Chairs, One Vice Chair, one Secretary,
one Treasurer, and six At-
Large Officers.

In introduction, insert "Recording" before "secretary;" insert "Communications secretary" next in the sequence; and change "six" to "five" at-large members.

Article III. Officers.

Section 1. Officers and Duties.

The officers of the Chapter shall be two Co-Chairs, One Vice Chair, one Recording Secretary, one Communications Secretary, one Treasurer, and five At-Large Officers.

Article III. Officers.

iii.
The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping minutes and records of all Chapter and Steering Committee meetings.

In subsection iii, add "Recording" before secretary.

Article III. Officers.

iii.
The Recording Secretary shall be responsible for keeping minutes and records of all Chapter and Steering Committee meetings.

Article III. Officers.

iii.
The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping minutes and records of all Chapter and Steering Committee meetings.

Insert a new subsection under iii — now iv — that reads "The Communications Secretary shall be responsible for the member newsletter and website, though each of these functions may be substantially delegated to or shared with designated committees."

Article III. Officers.

iv.
The Communications Secretary shall be responsible for the member newsletter and website, though each of these functions may be substantially delegated to or shared with designated committees.

Article III. Officers.

v.
There shall be six at-large representatives who will comprise the remaining membership of the Steering Committee.

In subsection VI, formerly subsection V, replace "six" with "five" at-large members.

Article III. Officers.

v.
There shall be five at-large representatives who will comprise the remaining membership of the Steering Committee.

Amendment to require diversity in leadership

Amendment to Article III

Dominic Dagradi

Motivation: To build an organization that adequately represents the diverse working class of Oakland, we must make an active effort to better reflect our surrounding community. By encouraging diversity in our leadership body, we can hope to be better positioned to learn from and address the needs of communities currently underserved by EBDSA.

Relevant article text Proposed change New proposed article text (with changes in bold)

Article III. Officers

Insert the following text to Article III, creating a new Section 3.

Section 3. Diversity.

At least two-fifths (2/5) of the Chapter's officers must not identify as cis-men; and at least two-fifths (2/5) must be people of color. If the elected officers of the Chapter do not meet these requirements, the membership must nominate additional at-large representatives to the Steering Committee to fulfill these requirements, who may be confirmed by a majority vote of the membership at the next regular or special meeting.

Article III. Officers.

Section 3. Diversity.

At least two-fifths (2/5) of the Chapter's officers must not identify as cis-men; and at least two-fifths (2/5) must be people of color. If the elected officers of the Chapter do not meet these requirements, the membership must nominate additional at-large representatives to the Steering Committee to fulfill these requirements, who may be confirmed by a majority vote of the membership at the next regular or special meeting.

Proxy voting and remote access

Amendment to Article VI

Noah Kirshbaum-Ray

Motivation: To make a better world possible, Ableism must be combated and dismantled and our movement cannot leave our disabled comrades behind. Our Chapter must work to do better on this issue. We look to allow members to vote by proxy and allow attendance and participation in meetings remotely. The Chapter shall make a determination about the specifics of non-reasonable accommodation proxy voting and about remote access and participation. The national Disability Working Group has been consulted on these provisions; they recommend them informally. Formal accessibility recommendations, that may address these issues, are forthcoming in the DWG's Accessibility Guide.

Relevant article text Proposed change New proposed article text (with changes in bold)

Article VI. Meetings.

Add text to create a new Section 7: Proxy Voting and Remote Access

Article VI. Meetings.

Section 7: Proxy Voting and Remote Access

The Chapter will make necessary efforts in order to ensure accessibility for all members, with special care taken to provide for the needs of disabled members. To this end, these Bylaws shall not be interpreted to prohibit the ability of members to vote by proxy, or limit the type of meetings where proxies would be allowed. The Chapter will allow members to request a reasonable accommodation in order to vote by proxy. The Chapter may limit proxy voting in non-reasonable accommodation circumstances. In addition, these Bylaws shall not be interpreted to prohibit the ability of members to remotely access and participate in general membership meetings.

Rules of the Chapter

Amendment to Articles VI, VII, and X

Sergio Guadarrama, Kate McDonnell

Motivation: The proposed bylaws are more than 1,000 words shorter than the current ones, but introduce a 700+ page book of extra rules and content from the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised. At 700+ pages, Robert's Rules is far too formal, rigid and complex to be practical for everyday use. Those who dive into the tome rarely understand it. Certainly no one but a professional parliamentarian can be expected to master it.

The latest edition of Democracy 2.0 Rules of Order contains only 37 pages. It is pragmatic and simple. It keeps what works and throws out the rest. It's the accessible, user-friendly rules of order system that anyone can navigate and empower our members to have an active participation in our meetings. Additionally, they are online freely available for everyone to download https://goo.gl/MkWkLV, which is a easy to read and searchable pdf. For more details see http://solonacademy.com/democracy20/

We shouldn't assume that Robert's Rules are good or useful for our Chapter without good understanding of them, and just using them because many organizations (like the Democratic Party or the Republican Party) do shouldn't be a good enough reason for a our Chapter to use them.

Amending the ByLaws should follow the same simple requirements and allow the Chapter to adapt its ByLaws as needed.

"The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house." Audre Lorde

Relevant article text Proposed change New proposed article text (with changes in bold)

Article VI. Meetings.

Section 5. Rules.

All rules covering the conduct of Chapter meetings that are not detailed in Robert's

Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall be set by the Steering Committee or a committee it appoints for that purpose.

Article VI - Meetings:

We shall delete "Section 5. Rules" in its entirety.

Article VI. Meetings.

[Section 5 is deleted]

Article VII. Parliamentary Authority.

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Chapter in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order which the Chapter may adopt.

We shall replace Article VII in its entirety:

Article VII. Rules of the Local Chapter.

All meetings of East Bay DSA shall be conducted according to the latest edition of the Democracy 2.0 Rules of Order for Everyday

Democrats (the Rules of Order), except in specific cases where the Rules of Order are inconsistent with and thereby superseded by

these Bylaws, the Bylaws of the National DSA, or any special rules of order which the Chapter may adopt.

Article VII. Rules of the Local Chapter.

All meetings of East Bay DSA shall be conducted according to the latest edition of the Democracy 2.0 Rules of Order for Everyday Democrats (the Rules of Order), except in specific cases where the Rules of Order are inconsistent with and thereby superseded by

these Bylaws, the Bylaws of the National DSA, or any special rules of order which the Chapter may adopt.

Article VIII. Amendments.

These bylaws shall be amended at any regular meeting of the Chapter by a two-thirds vote, provided that they are agendized on no less than two general or special meetings and that notice to the membership of the amendment has been given fourteen days in advance.

We shall add replace the following provision from Article VIII as follows:

Replace
These bylaws shall be amended at any regular meeting of the Chapter by a two thirds vote, provided that they are agendized on no less than two general or special meetings and that notice to the membership of the amendment has been given fourteen days in advance.

With
These bylaws shall be amended at any regular meeting of the Chapter by a majority vote, provided that they are agendized on no less than one general or special meeting and that notice to the membership of the amendment has been given fourteen days in advance.

Article VIII. Amendments.

These bylaws shall be amended at any regular meeting of the Chapter by a majority vote, provided that they are agendized on no less than one general or special meeting and that notice to the membership of the amendment has been given fourteen days in advance.

Timeline for branch creation

Amendment to Article X

Michael Kaufman

Motivation: Although our old bylaws said that it was the intent of the Chapter to define and create a system of branches this has not been accomplished in the past year. The current article, that I propose to amend, repeats this intent with no time limit. I propose that a time limit be added to this article, such that Chapter will have branches established within a specified period. I propose one year. I also propose that such Branches represent their membership on the Steering Committee based on each Branch's member size.

Relevant article text Proposed change New proposed article text

Article X. Branches.

It is the intent of the Chapter to create categories of Branches that may enhance the democratic functioning of the Chapter. Such Branches, when established, shall have representation on the Steering Committee. Implementing such a system will require that these Bylaws be amended.

Replace Article X with text below; add new Article XI text below.

Article X. Branches.

It is the intent of the Chapter to create categories of Branches that may enhance the democratic functioning of the Chapter. Such a Branch system, to be established no later than February 2019, shall include proportional representation based on each Branch's membership size, on the Steering Committee. Implementing such a system will require that these Bylaws be amended.

Chapter and branch structure

Amendment to Article X, creation of Article XI

Rosa Astra

Motivation: This amendment creates a structure of democratic branches as the basic organizational unit of the chapter, and lays out a plan for transitioning to this structure guided by a committee the chapter will elect to manage the process.

The purpose of this structure is to create branches that meet regularly and are designed to maximize participation while minimizing the meeting planning overhead on chapter leadership. Ideally we will eventually have enough branches that every member can attend meetings and do work in their neighborhood, with branches small enough to allow everyone to contribute their ideas and energy and get to know their comrades in their branch. Branches won't just be the basic democratic unit of the chapter, they'll be the basic functional unit as well - branches will put the chapter's programs into action in their neighborhoods and be the face of DSA to their neighbors.

Along with the branches themselves, this will create a Local Committee as the highest body of the chapter below the general membership. The Local Committee will be composed of representatives elected directly by the branches. A major task of the local committee will be to consider any political or organizational resolutions passed by the branches; thus there is a clear path for the direct input of members at branch meetings to translate democratically into chapter-wide resolutions.

Relevant article text Proposed change New proposed article text

Article X. Branches.

It is the intent of the Chapter to create categories of Branches that may enhance the democratic functioning of the Chapter. Such Branches, when established, shall have

representation on the Steering Committee. Implementing such a system will require that these Bylaws be amended.

Replace Article X with text below; add new Article XI text below.

[See text below]

ARTICLE X. CHAPTER AND BRANCH STRUCTURE

This section will only take effect after the Branches Committee report and implementation of Branches (Article XII). When this section takes effect, it will override any other definition of the Chapter's Steering Committee.

Section 1. Local Committee.

  1. DUTIES AND POWERS OF THE LOCAL COMMITTEE. The Local Committee shall operate as the governing board of the Chapter and shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Chapter between regular meetings, set the time and place of the regular meetings, and make recommendations to the Chapter. The Local Committee is tasked with implementing priorities adopted at the last annual convention and exercises the powers of the convention when the convention is not in session. The Local Committee may include in its meeting agendas any political or organizational resolutions passed by Branches.
  2. COMPOSITION AND MEETINGS. All members of the Local Committee will be elected delegates from Branches, following a ratio to be determined by the Branches Committee based on membership and participation. The Branches Committee shall recommend a nomination and election procedure for delegates. The vote of a Local Committee member shall not be bound by a resolution of their Branch. The Local Committee shall meet a minimum of 6 times per year. The Local Committee may elect a convener to convene more frequent meetings.
  3. RECALL. A Local Committee member may be recalled by a simple majority vote by the Branch membership.
  4. REPLACEMENT. In the case of a vacancy the Local Committee may appoint a member of the Branch in good standing as an alternate with a non-binding consultative vote. The Branch membership must vote whether to endorse the appointee at the next Branch meeting. The appointee shall be a full member of the Steering Committee following a vote in favor of endorsement.

Section 2. Steering Committee.

  1. DUTIES AND POWERS OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE. The Steering Committee shall be a sub-committee of the Local Committee. The Steering Committee runs the organization on the day-to-day basis between meetings of the Local Committee. The Steering Committee may not pass resolutions.
  2. COMPOSITION. The Steering Committee shall be elected by and from within the Local Committee. Steering Committee members are elected at-large. Roles shall be defined by resolution of Steering Committee.
  3. TERM LIMITS. No member shall be eligible to serve more than three consecutive terms on the Steering Committee.
  4. RECALL AND REPLACEMENT. A Steering Committee member may be recalled by a simple majority vote of the Local Committee.
  5. REPLACEMENT. In the case of a vacancy the Steering Committee may appoint a member from the Local Committee as an alternate with a non-binding consultative vote. The Local Committee must vote whether to endorse the appointee at the next Local Committee meeting. The appointee shall be a full member of the Steering Committee following a vote in favor of endorsement.

ARTICLE XI. BRANCHES.

This section will only take effect after the Branches Committee report and implementation of Branches [3]. When this sections takes effect, it will override any other definition of the Chapter's structure or Steering Committee.

Section 1. Formation.

East Bay DSA's initial set of Branches shall be determined by the Branches Committee. The Branches Committee shall recommend a provisional procedure to form a new branch. Afterward, Branches may only be recognized by the Local Committee or Steering Committee.

Section 2. Composition and Meetings.

Branches shall constitute the basic unit of the Local's political education and intervention. Branches shall not have their own bylaws. A Branch must include a minimum number of members as determined by the Local Committee after an initial number has been determined by the Branch Committee [3]. Branches may be formed on the basis of geography, workplace, educational institution, meeting day or any combination thereof, in order to maximize participation. At-large Chapter membership may only be granted by the Local Committee. Branches shall meet regularly and and shall strive to make provisions to allow for maximum attendance, including accessibility, childcare needs, etc.

Section 3. Officers.

Branch roles must include a Secretary. All other Branch roles shall be elected and shall be determined by vote of the membership of the Branch. Branch officers shall be subject to recall by a simple majority decision of the Branch.

Section 4. Quorum.

The Branches Committee shall recommend a provisional quorum for Branches. The Local Committee vote to approve or change this quorum no later than 6 months after the formation of Branches.

Article XII. TRANSITION TO CHAPTER AND BRANCH STRUCTURE.

During the Chapter's annual convention immediately following the adoption of these bylaws, the a Branches Committee shall be elected to research Branches. The Branches Committee will report back with implementation recommendations. Following the Branches Committee report, East Bay DSA will have 1 year to implement Branches following the Branches Committee's recommendations. At minimum, the Branches Committee's recommendations will include:

  • East Bay DSA's preliminary set of Branches.
  • A procedure by which new Branches may form.
  • Ratio of Branch members to elected Local Committee delegates.
  • Nomination and election procedure for how Branches elect delegates to the Local Committee.
  • Organizational structure of each Branch, including membership, quorum for Branches, and a provisional Secretary for each Branch to call the first meeting and election. Branches will elect a Secretary to serve until the Chapter's next annual convention, subject to simple majority recall by the membership of the Branch.
  • Any necessary changes to the structure or function of the investigative and judiciary bodies of the Chapter.
  • Any ambiguity arising from Sections 1. CHAPTER AND BRANCH STRUCTURE and 2. BRANCHES.
  • Any necessary amendments to these bylaws, which must be approved by Chapter membership.

No more than 6 months after adopting the Branches Committee's recommendations, Chapter membership will vote to accept or alter the Branches Committee's recommendations and provisional Branch structure. The Branches Committee will disband following successful implementation of Branches.