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.

Section 5. 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.

ARITICLE X – PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES

The Kansas Green Party may hold a vote among its members to determine how to proportionally allocate its delegates to the Presidential Nominating Convention among presidential candidates. 

Section 1. Notice:

The date of the Kansas Green Party’s presidential primary or the time period in which votes will be accepted shall be announced by the Kansas Green Party Council no later than February 1st of the year in which the general election is to be held. Such announcement shall be made by an email to members of the Kansas Green Party. Additionally, the Kansas Green Party Council shall make some form of public notice of the primary. Such public notice may consist of an email to non-members, a social media post, an ad in a Kansas newspaper, notification to the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States or other relevant committee, or a message to any candidates for the Green Party presidential nomination of whom the Kansas Green Party is aware. If the Kansas Green Party Council chooses to notify candidates as part of an effort to raise public awareness of the upcoming primary, the Council must make a good faith effort to identify all candidates seeking the Green Party nomination.

 All interested persons, whether or not they are members of the Green Party, are hereby on notice that if an announcement of a Kansas Green Party presidential primary does not occur in compliance with this section, the Kansas Green Party is prohibited from holding a presidential primary for that election year and thus shall not submit any delegates representing the party to the Presidential Nominating Convention (PNC) unless said delegates are designated as uncommitted.

Section 2. Voting Procedure:

The Kansas Green Party Council has the authority and discretion to determine the procedure for voting or to delegate that authority to another committee. The voting procedure shall put a minimal burden on voters while also ensuring their anonymity and a reliable final result. Such procedure must be finalized before the primary is officially announced.

Section 3. Time Period for Voting

The date of the primary or the first day in which votes may be cast must take place at least five weeks after the primary is announced, but no later than April 15th of the general election year. If the Kansas Green Party Council adopts a procedure which allows remote voting by mail, email, or third-party software, participants shall be given at least one week to cast their votes.

Section 4. Transparency and Recounts:

All ballots shall be kept and stored in a reliable location until after the election as the final official record of the vote. The results of the election shall be finalized and made public no later than ten days after voting has concluded. Each candidate whose name appeared on the primary ballot shall be given access to copies of all ballots that were received, as well as any other information used to count the ballots. 

Each candidate whose name appeared on the primary ballot shall also have the privilege to request one recount of the ballots if he or she can point to a possible discrepancy in the administration of the election. Each candidate may exercise this privilege on their own behalf or on the behalf of a write-in candidate who received at least one vote. A recount request shall not be accepted later than ten days after election results are finalized and made public. There will only be one recount. All candidates or their representatives to the election shall be invited to take part in this recount.

Section 5. Eligibility of Candidates:

Any natural person who meets the minimum qualifications to serve as president and has filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission may submit a letter by mail or email requesting to be included in the primary. The letter must briefly explain why the prospective candidate is a good national representative of the party. It must be sent to the Kansas Green Party at least two weeks before the date of the primary or two weeks before the first day of the voting period. In addition to the letter, any candidate wishing to participate must also submit a $5 filing fee. 

In addition to the eligible candidates, voters shall also have the option to write in the name of a candidate who did not appear on the ballot or choose “none of the above.” 

Section 6. Eligibility of Voters:

All voters participating in the presidential primary must be registered voters in Kansas. If the Kansas Green Party is a recognized political party in Kansas at the time of the primary, a voter must be registered as a Green in order to participate. If the Kansas Green Party is not a recognized party at the time of the primary, a voter must not be affiliated with another political party and must otherwise be a member of the Kansas Green Party in order to participate.

Section 7. Impartiality:

The Kansas Green Party Council shall strive to treat all candidates fairly and equally. To the best of the Council’s ability, required notifications to all candidates must be given at approximately the same time to allow each candidate a similar period of time to respond. 

Members of the Kansas Green Party Council and other members of the Kansas Green Party taking part in the formulation of the voting procedure or the administration of the election are permitted to volunteer with the campaign of their favored candidate. However, no such member is permitted to allow any favoritism to interfere with their duty to impartially administer the election. Any party member who is employed with a campaign shall recuse themselves from any participation beyond casting a vote in the election. If any member’s bias appears to have an effect on the integrity of the election, the Kansas Green Party Council may vote by a simple majority to determine bias and compel the recusal of the biased member or take other necessary remedial action.

Section 8. Selection of Delegates to the PNC:

The Kansas Green Party Council has the authority and discretion to determine the procedure for the selection of Delegates to the PNC. Such procedure must be finalized before the date of the primary or the first day in which votes may be cast.

END NOTES

The first nine articles of these revised bylaws were drafted by a meeting of the Kansas Green Party regional leaders on May 19, 2001 in Salina, Kansas, circulated and discussed by Kansas Green Party members during the summer of 2001 and adopted by members at the statewide meeting in September of 2001.

The original drafters of the revisions of Articles 1-9 were:

Will Baldridge (Wichita)

Jim Carpenter (Lawrence)

Shar Gonzalez (Hutchinson)

Matt Gregg (Newton/Lawrence)

Sarah Hoskinson (Lawrence)

Paul Krumm (Kanopolis)

Richard Morantz (Baldwin City)

Dennis Perrin (Hutchinson)

Chris Picone (Salina/Smolan)

Brigitte Roussel (Wichita)

John Tveite (Manhattan)

Rhoda Vanderhart (Overland Park)

Article X of these bylaws was drafted and revised in the Summer and Fall of 2020. The article was adopted by the Kansas Green Party at its Annual Convention which took place via video conference on January 16, 2021.

The original drafters of Article X were:

Nick Blessing (Lawrence)

Paul Krumm (Kanopolis)

Teresa Wilke (Lawrence)

Kent Rowe (Wichita)

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