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Bylaws of the Kansas Green Party

PURPOSE

The Kansas Green Party is established to enable the building of the Green movement through direct action, education, and electoral/legislative action. These bylaws provide the structure for organizing the Kansas Green Party in a manner consistent with green values as defined in the platform of the Green Party of the United States and to establish the relationship between the many segments that make up the whole of the Kansas Green Party. Authority and responsibility are given to various segments of the organization, but the ultimate power lies with the members of the Kansas Green Party and local chapters.

ARTICLE I – MEMBERS

Until such time as the Kansas Green Party achieves official recognition by the Secretary of State, any natural person who joins the Kansas Green Party is considered a member of the Kansas Green Party. At such time as the Kansas Green Party is recognized by the Kansas Secretary of State, party members will be restricted to natural persons registered as Greens. Any member is entitled to fully participate in all aspects of the Kansas Green Party in accordance with these bylaws without exception.

ARTICLE II – LOCAL AND REGIONAL CHAPTERS

The Kansas Green Party encourages the establishment of local and regional chapters to promote the growth of the Kansas Green Party and facilitate communication from the grassroots to other segments of the organization. To assist with communication, each chapter shall select a facilitator and notify the Kansas Green Party Council of that designation and changes if they occur. The chapters shall be open to all members of the Kansas Green Party who reside in that community or region. This section leaves open the decisions on structure and function of the local chapters to be determined by the people who organize them.

Each local and regional chapter shall select one delegate to the Kansas Green Party Council in accordance with Article V. Chapters should make their best efforts to have at least one meeting each year.

ARTICLE III – KANSAS GREEN PARTY COUNCIL

(a) The Kansas Green Party Council is established for the purpose of coordinating the efforts of the Kansas Green Party. The Kansas Green Party Council is accountable to and gets its authority from the members of the Kansas Green Party. Meetings of the Kansas Green Party Council are open to all members of the Kansas Green Party, final decisions rest with the delegates. Notice of meetings shall be sent in advance to all members of the Kansas Green Party Council and chapters facilitators and will be posted to the Kansas Green Party listserv. Facilitators will be responsible for notifying members who don’t have access to email. The Kansas Green Party Council serves the following functions:

  1. The official voice of the Kansas Green Party and may designate spokespeople.
  2. Sets operating policy for the Kansas Green Party.
  3. Establishes and oversees committees of the Kansas Green Party.
  4. Hires the staff of the Kansas Green Party.
  5. Oversees administration of the Kansas Green Party.
  6. Elects replacement officers in accordance with Article VI, Sec. 4.
  7. Calls the annual state meeting.
  8. Facilitates the electoral efforts of the Kansas Green Party.
  9. Adopts an annual budget and oversees fundraising.

b. The Kansas Green Party Council is comprised of a delegate representing each (active) chapter, and the Kansas Green Party’s current co-chairs, secretary, and treasurer

c. The Kansas Green Party Council has the authority to adopt rules in order to carry out its functions. The Kansas Green Party Council shall conduct its process and policies in accordance with the ten key values as defined in the platform of the Green Party of the United States. The Kansas Green Party shall adopt a process for decision making that seeks consensus. The Kansas Green Party Council’s process for decision making shall be chosen each year at the first meeting of the Kansas Green Party Council following the annual Kansas Green Party meeting, by whatever decision-making process is in place at that time. Changes to the decision-making process may be made by the Kansas Green Party Council at any time they are necessary, but only according to the process existing at that time.

This article lays out the broad authorities and structure for the Kansas Green Party Council. It leaves the details of procedures up to the people who actually constitute the Kansas Green Party Council allowing the ability to tailor the process to fit the dynamics of the group.

ARTICLE IV – KANSAS GREEN PARTY COUNCIL DELEGATES

Each chapter shall be represented by one delegate to the Kansas Green Party Council. Each chapter is free to set terms of office for its own delegate; the selection process for these positions shall be open to all Kansas Green Party members in that community or region. Each chapter shall provide the Kansas Green Party Council with the name and contact information of its delegate and inform the Kansas Green Party council when changes occur.

This article establishes the requirement that the delegates are chosen in an open process by the members of the chapters. It does not prescribe the selection process or the number of alternates a chapter may select.

ARTICLE V – OFFICERS

Section 1. Co-Chairs:

There shall be two gender-balanced co-chairs of the Kansas Green Party. The co-chairs shall be responsible for developing meeting agendas for the Kansas Green Party Council, finding meeting facilitators, following up on committees, overseeing staff and assisting local chapter efforts. These co-chairs are authorized to spend money on behalf of the Kansas Green Party within limits set by the Kansas Green Party Council. The two co-chairs may serve as delegates to the Green Party National Committee. If a co-chair is unable to attend duties as delegate the Green Party National Committee, the Council may appoint a delegate from the general membership, if the Secretary and Treasurer are also not able to fulfill delegate duties. In selecting co-chairs for the Kansas Green Party Council, members shall strive to promote diversity.

Section 2. Secretary:

The Secretary shall be responsible for the minute taking at the state-wide meeting and meetings of the Kansas Green Party Council, and preparing those minutes for distribution to all members of the Kansas Green Party Council and any member of the Kansas Green Party who requests them. The secretary shall be responsible for receiving and archiving the minutes of all committee meetings. The secretary shall also be responsible for sending notification of Council meetings to council members, chapter facilitators, and for posting such notices to the listserv. The secretary shall serve as an alternate delegate to the Green Party National Committee.

Section 3. Treasurer:

The Treasurer shall keep detailed records of all financial transactions, maintain membership lists, receive donations, appoint an auditor when necessary, make annual financial reports at state and council meetings, and provide absentee ballots to those who request them during a vote for state officers. The treasurer shall serve as an alternate delegate to the Green Party National Committee.

Section 4. Qualifications:

Any person who is a member of the Kansas Green Party may run for any of the officer positions. A person may not hold two officer positions at the same time.

Officer Elections:

All officers shall be elected for a term of one year by a majority of the members voting at the annual statewide convention. Candidates for co-chair may run as a ticket. Candidates are expected to announce their candidacy four weeks in advance of the convention. All members may request an absentee ballot from the treasurer in advance of the convention for the purpose of voting for officers. Absentee ballots must be received no later than the day of the convention before the vote is taken. In the event that a council officer position becomes vacant before completion of the term, the Kansas Green Party Council shall elect a replacement to serve the remainder of the outgoing officer’s term. Members of the Kansas Green Party Council and district chapter facilitators shall be notified of a vacancy and new election date two weeks prior to said election. The Kansas Green Party Council shall select replacement officers in accordance with their current decision-making process.

Section 6. Removal:

Any officer may be removed from office by a three fourths vote of the Kansas Green Party Council. Notice of a vote for removal, signed by at least five members of the Kansas Green Party, must be sent to Kansas Green Party Council members and chapter facilitators at least two weeks in advance of such a vote.

This article lays out the broad role and authority of the four officer positions, qualifications and process for elections and removal. It does not set detailed limits on power or authority, giving the Kansas Green Party Council flexibility to deal with diverse or unexpected situations,. By electing officers in this fashion and then allowing for more detailed authority and responsibility to be set by the Kansas Green Party Council, we make them accountable to the entire membership of the Kansas Green Party and the Kansas Green Party Council.

ARTICLE VI – STATE CONVENTION

The Kansas Green Party shall hold at least one state-wide convention each year for the purpose of building its organization in accordance with the ten key values as defined in the platform of the Green Party of the United States. The agenda of the meeting may include, but not be limited to the following:

  1. Adoption or amendment of the Kansas Green Party Bylaws.
  2. Adoption or amendment of the Kansas Green Party Platform.
  3. Election of Kansas Green Party officers.
  4. Setting an annual action agenda for the Kansas Green Party.

The first item to be considered for action by the voting body of the meeting shall be rules for a decision making a process that seeks consensus. The process in place from the previous convention shall be in effect until a new process is adopted. This process will include a mechanism for all members of the Kansas Green Party to fully participate in the decision making, including voting in person or by absentee ballot.

This article gives broad structure and purpose to the annual state-wide convention. It establishes four clear objectives for the meeting but does not require that each one is accomplished or that others be excluded. Rules for decision making shall be adopted at each state-wide convention rather than writing them into the Bylaws.

ARTICLE VII – PARTY PLATFORM

Using the platform of the Green Party of the United States as a guide, the Kansas Green Party shall adopt a platform that clearly defines the Party’s position on issues facing our state. The platform is a guide for elected officials and other members of the Kansas Green Party engaging in public policymaking.

ARTICLE VIII – FINANCES

The Kansas Green Party may not incur debt for any reason. The Kansas Green Party Council is responsible for assuring that the Kansas Green Party does not incur debt. The Kansas Green Party Council shall adopt an annual budget to coincide with the fiscal year of the Kansas Green Party. The Treasurer shall report the financial status of the Kansas Green Party at all annual state-wide meetings.

ARTICLE IX – ADOPTION OF BYLAWS

These bylaws or amendments thereto may only be adopted at a state-wide meeting by a vote of three-fourths of members of the Kansas Green Party who are present, and after consensus is sought. Amendments should be submitted in writing at least two weeks in advance of the state-wide meeting and may be proposed by any chapter, the Kansas Green Party Council, or any working groups or committees of the Kansas Green Party.