By Laws

Submitted by admin on Wed, 01/30/2008 - 20:06.

PROPOSED REVISED ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AND BYLAWS OF THE INDEPENDENT PROGRESSIVE POLITICS NETWORK

1) PURPOSES: The organization, structure, and operation of IPPN seeks to fulfill the following purposes:

  • to foster functional democracy throughout IPPN, its processes, procedures, and activities;
  • to provide effective accountability of those entrusted with IPPN leadership;
  • to be broadly representative of local, state, and national independent parties and party-supporting organizations, major progressive movements, and constituent groupings, including labor, women, people of color, small farmers, people with disabilities, youth, gays and lesbians, environmentalists, seniors, tenants, and homeless people;
  • to act in solidarity with similar local and global movements for justice;
  • to ensure significant leadership and involvement of people of color, women, youth, and workers in IPPN; and,
  • to improve communication among party organizations, and to help coalesce independent political parties and party-supporting movements and initiatives.

It is not the aim of IPPN to become a political party, but to help solidify the popular alliance that is fundamental to the evolution or consolidation of a new progressive, independent party, or an alliance of such parties, all toward the ultimate goal of developing, in the national arena, the capacity to contest seriously for progressive political power.

2) NATIONAL SUMMITS/CONFERENCES:

  • AUTHORITY: The National Summit is the highest decision-making body of IPPN. Summits take place at intervals of one to two years, and are called by the previous Summit, or in its absence, by the National Steering Committee. Summits elect the National Steering Committee, and establish general direction and major programmatic focus for IPPN activity.
  • OPENNESS: National Summits are open to all local, state, regional and national parties, organizations, and individuals that are in general agreement with the Mission and Principles of Unity of IPPN.
  • DECISION-MAKING: Except as stated otherwise in these bylaws, decisions at National Summits shall be by consensus; or, if there is substantial disagreement (10% or more in disagreement), by majority vote after full discussion seeking to resolve key concerns of those opposed.
  • VOTING: The right to vote at a National Summit is available to all members of the outgoing National Steering Committee, representatives of member parties, representatives of member organizations and supporting-member organizations, and
  • individual members of IPPN. Parties, organizations, and individuals that join IPPN at a National Summit may have voting rights at that Summit in accordance with voting formulas described in applicable sections of these bylaws.

3) NATIONAL STEERING COMMITTEE:


  • ELECTION: The National Steering Committee shall be elected at the National Summit through a process of direct election with conscious inclusion for diversity. At least 40% of the members of the National Steering Committee shall be people of color; and at least 50% of the members shall be women. To the extent possible, different regions of the country and key constituencies should be represented. At least 12 and up to 25 people will be elected at the National Summit utilizing a form of proportional representation to insure equitable participation of women and people of color, as mandated. At least 20% of the S.C. shall be representatives from IPPN member organizations. Good faith efforts should be made to ensure geographical, cultural, gender, age and political affiliation balance on the S.C.
  • NOMINATIONS: The outgoing National Steering Committee will establish a nominating committee to propose a slate of potential new members for presentation to the National Summit. Nominations can also be made from the floor. Upon its election and to ensure diversity, the new National Steering Committee is authorized to add, by majority vote, up to five additional members to the Committee.
  • AUTHORITY: The National Steering Committee shall elect from among its members a National Executive Committee. The National Steering Committee is authorized to act on behalf of IPPN between National Summits; may elect co-chairpersons of the National Steering Committee from among its members; may elect other national officers determined to be needed, may elect a treasurer from its ranks who shall oversee the maintenance of the financial records of IPPN; this includes oversight of accounting systems and financial records in the office and periodically reporting on budget and cash flow performance to the Steering Committee; may establish IPPN subcommittees and task forces it deems necessary; and shall establish annually a budget for IPPN. Between Summits, the National Steering Committee, by majority vote, may fill NSC vacancies in the individual and non-electoral organization categories.
  • PARTY REPRESENTATION: Member organizations that are independent political parties, or qualified electoral organizations, have automatic representation on the National Steering Committee, and are entitled to designate, in writing, one (1) representative to the National Steering Committee. Representatives of member parties shall be designated, replaced, or removed at the discretion of the member party. Party representatives on the National Steering Committee have the same voting rights, prerogatives, and responsibilities as elected members of the N.S.C.
  • RESPONSIBILITY OF MEMBERS: A National Steering Committee member must commit to frequent communication with the National Executive Committee and national staff; be an active member of at least one IPPN task force; assist fundraising efforts for IPPN; and make good-faith attempts to attend all meetings of the National Steering Committee.
  • MEETINGS: The National Steering Committee shall meet between National Summits as it deems necessary, but not less than once every six months.
  • DECISION-MAKING: Decisions at National Steering Committee meetings shall be by consensus where possible; or, if there are significant differences, by majority vote after full discussion. Major actions of the National Steering Committee shall be reported for information purposes to the next National Summit.
  • QUORUM: At least one-third (1/3) of National Steering Committee members must be in attendance in order for new business to be conducted.

4) NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:


  • ELECTION: Following each National Summit, a National Executive Committee (N.E.C.) of no more than six members, shall be elected by the National Steering Committee from among the N.S.C.'s members. A least four members of the Committee shall be elected either at the Summit, or within six (6) months following the National Summit. When fully constituted, the National Executive Committee shall consist of at least 50% women and at least 40% people of color.
  • AUTHORITY: The National Executive Committee is responsible for oversight of national staff, IPPN task forces and committees and, collectively, for close communication with the National Coordinator. The National Executive Committee shall support, evaluate, and oversee the work of the National Coordinator; shall determine and act on additions or other changes in personnel as the N.E.C. deems necessary; and shall monitor IPPN's annual budget. Actions taken by the National Executive Committee shall be reported to the next meeting of the National Steering Committee for its confirmation.
  • MEETINGS: The National Executive Committee shall meet via telephonic or electronic conference at least once a month.
  • TERM OF THE COMMITTEE: The term of National Executive Committee members will extend until the following National Summit adjourns.

5) NATIONAL STAFF:


  • NATIONAL COORDINATOR: A National Coordinator for IPPN shall be hired by the National Steering Committee, on recommendation of the National Executive Committee. The National Coordinator serves at the discretion of the N.E.C., with right of referral to the National Steering Committee.
  • DUTIES: The National Coordinator is responsible for day-to-day administration of IPPN's budget, offices, assets, and resources; and for coordination and implementation of actions determined by the National Summit, National Steering Committee, and National Executive Committee. The National Coordinator shall carry out the policies, and programs of IPPN, including procuring, coordinating, and supervising the work of other authorized IPPN staff. The National Coordinator will coordinate and communicate with IPPN task forces and committees, and shall be lead coordinator in providing arrangements for National Summits, and for meetings of the National Steering Committee and National Executive Committee. The National Coordinator shall be a voting member of the National Steering Committee and National Executive Committee (ex-officio of quorum), and otherwise shall have status as an individual member of IPPN.
  • CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: The IPPN National Staff (National Coordinator, Treasurer, Administrative Assistant, etc.) shall not engage in activities that promote a conflict of interest, including, but not limited to, individual campaigns for political office. Staff members of IPPN who wish to run for political office or manage an individual campaign for office will first inform the Executive Committee of their intentions and projected campaign announcement at least one month in advance of such an announcement. For the duration of such an individual election campaign the staff member will be on unpaid leave and shall have no greater and no less access to IPPN's distribution media than any other candidate. AT the conclusion of the campaign the staff member may return to the position or, if elected, the staff member will go on extended leave for the duration of the term of office.

6) TASK FORCES:


  • FORMATION & DUTIES: Task forces are specially charged working committees that carry out specified needs related to IPPN's mission and its enacted policies and programs. Task forces can only be established by a National Summit or by the National Steering Committee. Task forces report regularly on their activity to the National Executive and Steering Committees, or through coordination with the National Coordinator.
  • MEMBERSHIP: Each member of the National Steering Committee must be an active member of at least one task force. Individual IPPN members and representatives of member parties and member organizations are eligible to serve on IPPN task forces. Member parties and member organizations are encouraged to recruit others of their members as active participants of IPPN task forces.

7) POLITICAL PARTY MEMBERS:


  • ELIGIBILITY: Any local, state, regional or national independent, progressive electoral party that holds ballot status, is in process of obtaining, or is organized for the specific purpose of securing ballot status, and which is in general agreement with the IPPN Mission Statement and Principles of Unity; pays annual dues; agrees to distribute IPPN's publication, Independent Politics News; and which designates one or more of its members to at least one IPPN task force, shall be a member party of IPPN.
  • DUES & REPRESENTATION: Annual dues for political party members will be determined on the basis of the party's membership. That determination can be made by the party that wishes to join, using either their "active" or "enrolled" membership. If they wish to use "active" members, parties that have up to 25 active members will pay $25 annual dues and are entitled to one vote at National Summits; 26 to 50 active members will pay $50 annual dues and are entitled to two votes at National Summits; 51 to 100 active members wil pay $100 annual dues and are entitled to three votes at National Summits; over 100 active members will pay $200 annual dues and are entitled to four votes at National Summits. If they wish to use "enrolled" members, parties that have up to 200 enrolled members will pay $25 annual dues and are entitled to one vote at National Summits; 201-500 enrolled members will pay $50 annual dues and are entitled to two votes at National Summits; 501-1000 members will pay $100 annual dues and are entitled to three votes at National Summits; over 1000 members will pay $200 annual dues and are entitled to four votes at National Summits.
  • MEMBER PREROGATIVES: Member party representative(s) may participate with its allotted vote at National Summits. Parties that are members, and their representative(s), will receive regular notification about IPPN's work and development; will receive Independent Politics News, working papers, and other IPPN documents; can participate in IPPN discussions about strategy, program, and general direction; can designate one (1) member representative to the National Steering Committee; and are encouraged to provide regular input and assistance to the National Staff and National Executive Committee toward advancing IPPN's goals.

8) MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS (NON-ELECTORAL):


  • ELIGIBILITY: Any local, state, regional, or national progressive mass or issue organization, which is in general agreement with the IPPN Mission Statement and Principles of Unity; pays annual dues; agrees to distribute IPPN's publication, Independent Politics News; and which designates one or more of its members to at least one IPPN task force shall be a member organization of IPPN. Member organizations do not have automatic representation on the National Steering Committee, however, an organization's representative may be elected to the N.S.C. as an individual member (not as an organizational representative), and shall have the same voting rights, prerogatives and responsibilities as other elected members of the National Steering Committee.
  • DUES & REPRESENTATION: Annual dues for political party members will be determined on the basis of the party's membership. That determination can be made by the party that wishes to join, using either their "active" or "enrolled" membership. If they wish to use "active" members, parties that have up to 25 active members will pay $25 annual dues and are entitled to one vote at National Summits; 26 to 50 active members will pay $50 annual dues and are entitled to two votes at National Summits; 51 to 100 active members wil pay $100 annual dues and are entitled to three votes at National Summits; over 100 active members will pay $200 annual dues and are entitled to four votes at National Summits. If they wish to use "enrolled" members, parties that have up to 200 enrolled members will pay $25 annual dues and are entitled to one vote at National Summits; 201-500 enrolled members will pay $50 annual dues and are entitled to two votes at National Summits; 501-1000 members will pay $100 annual dues and are entitled to three votes at National Summits; over 1000 members will pay $200 annual dues and are entitled to four votes at National Summits.
  • PREROGATIVES: A member organization's representative may attend and participate as a voting member at National Summits of IPPN. Each member organization, and its representative, will receive regular notification about IPPN's work and development; will receive Independent Politics News, working papers, and other IPPN documents; can participate in IPPN discussions; and are encouraged to provide regular input and assistance to advance IPPN's goals.

9) INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS:


  • ELIGIBILITY: Individual (basic) membership in IPPN is open to any individual (basic members) who agrees with the IPPN Mission Statement and Principles of Unity, and who pays annual dues of $30/general, $15/low-income. Annual dues for principal financial supporter members (sustaining members) is $100 or more. Individuals who wish to be non-members, but who desire to receive IPPN's publication, Independent Politics News, (subscribers) pay an annual subscription fee of $10.
  • MEMBER PREROGATIVES: Individual members who are either financial sustainers (contribute regularly) or who are active in an IPPN task force or active in some other way may attend and participate as voting members at National Summits. Individual members will receive notification about IPPN's work and development, Independent Politics News, working papers, and other IPPN documents. Individual members are eligible for nomination and election to the National Steering Committee; are urged to participate with one or more task forces; are encouraged to distribute Independent Politics News, to participate in IPPN's programs and activities and to join one of IPPN's member organizations, if not already actively involved in similar organizations that support independent progressive political development.

10) SUPPORTING ORGANIZATIONS:

  • ELIGIBILITY: An organizations that, for various reasons, cannot be an active IPPN member organization, but is in general agreement with, and support of the IPPN Mission Statement and Principles of Unity, and that makes a voluntary monetary contribution of $25 or more can become a supporting organization of IPPN.
  • PREROGATIVES: A supporting organization may designate one (1) representative to attend and participate as a voting member at National Summits of IPPN. Other members may attend as non-voting observers. Each supporting organization will receive periodic notification about IPPN's work and development; will receive Independent Politics News, working papers, and other IPPN documents, and are encouraged to publicize and help advance IPPN and its work as much as possible. Representatives of supporting organizations will have the same vote as an active or sustaining individual IPPN member at National Summits.

11) AMENDMENT OF THESE BYLAWS:

These bylaws may be amended only at a National Summit, and only by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the qualified members and representatives in attendance. Proposed modifications to the bylaws can be presented by the National Steering Committee; or proposed modifications can be made from the floor of a National Summit by any member or representative, provided the proposed modification is supported by the signatures of at least 10 qualified members or representatives in attendance at the time of the presentation.