Charlotte Metro DSA Bylaws
Approved June 17, 2017; Approved by NPC September 14th, 2018
Article I: Name
Section 1: Name
The name of this organization shall be “Charlotte Metro Democratic Socialists of America”, an unincorporated association, hereafter referred to as “The Local”, “Charlotte Metro DSA”, or “CLTDSA”.
Section 2: Territory
The Local shall conduct activities in the Charlotte metropolitan region of North Carolina and South Carolina within the territory defined by the charter granted by the national Democratic Socialists of America to Charlotte Metro DSA.
Article II: Purpose
The purpose of The Local shall be to organize the activities of the members of the Democratic Socialists of America in the Charlotte Metropolitan area, as well as those of any DSA members from regions of North Carolina and South Carolina without a local who wish to participate in Charlotte Metro DSA activities. Its activities shall include education and advocacy.
The Charlotte Metro DSA seeks to facilitate the transition to a truly democratic and socialist society, one in which the means/resources of production are democratically and socially controlled.
We share a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, LGBTQ+ rights, feminism, racial equality, universal human rights, and non-oppressive relationships.
We are socialists because we are developing a concrete strategy for achieving that vision. In the present, we are building a visible socialist presence within the broad democratic Left. In the long run, we hope to build a majority movement capable of making democratic socialism a reality in the United States.
Article III: Membership
Section 1: Definition
A. Members of Charlotte Metro DSA are those individuals in good standing of Democratic Socialists of America who reside in the Charlotte Metropolitan region of North Carolina and South Carolina as defined by the charter granted by the national Democratic Socialists of America to Charlotte Metro DSA. Individuals may not be members of The Local without being members of national DSA.
Section 2: Rights and Privileges
All members in good standing of Democratic Socialists of America in the Charlotte Metropolitan region defined in Article III, Section 1, shall have a vote on the election of Charlotte Metro DSA delegates to national DSA bodies, Charlotte Metro DSA officers, and questions raised to The Local, and they may stand for Charlotte Metro DSA office.
Section 3: Voluntary Donations
A. By a vote of its memberships Charlotte Metro DSA has established a system of voluntary donations. Donations are used to assist low-income members with national dues membership and pay for administrative costs associated with meetings and political education events.
B. The payment of a donation may not be a requirement for voting or for holding office.
C. The schedule for the collection of such donations will be set by the Steering Committee. Collection and accounting of donations shall be the primary responsibility of the Treasurer.
D. Members may indicate they require assistance with paying national dues and will work with The Local co-chairs and secretary to obtain this assistance.
Section 4: Removal of Members
If a member is found to be overtly hostile to the purpose of The Local as defined in Article II; if they are found to be consistently engaging in undemocratic, disruptive, or abusive behavior or harassing other Charlotte Metro DSA members; or if they are found to be under the discipline of any democratic centralist organization: The Local may vote to expel them from Charlotte Metro DSA.
In order for such a finding to be made, any Charlotte Metro DSA member must formally prefer written charges against the member in question to the Steering Committee of Charlotte Metro DSA, which shall set the date of a Steering Committee meeting for deliberations on the charges. The member in question must receive a copy of the written charges and notice of the meeting a minimum of two weeks before that meeting takes place. Expulsion of a member requires a two-thirds vote of the membership. An expelled full member may appeal to the National Political Committee of DSA.
Article IV: Local Meetings
Section 1: General Meeting
The Local will hold a minimum of one General Meeting annually. All members of The Local will receive six weeks’ notice of the General Meeting by email, telephone, or, in cases where an email address has not been provided, by post and will receive a copy of the agenda not less than two weeks in advance of the General Meeting. The General Meeting may adopt an annual budget and elect officers. The Steering Committee shall set the agenda for Regular Meetings, with input provided by any members who wish to do so.
In general, the General Meeting is the highest legislative body of The Local.
The minutes of the General Meeting shall be made available to the members by the Secretary within seven (7) days of the Meeting.
Section 2: Regular Meetings
The Local shall hold Regular Meetings at least six times annually, the time and place of which shall be set by the Steering Committee. Advanced notice of a Regular Meeting must be given at least twenty-one (21) days before the planned date.
Regular Meetings will set Charlotte Metro DSA policy and work priorities within the guidelines set by the General Meeting and will include political education sessions. The Steering Committee shall set the agenda for Regular Meetings.
In general, the Regular Meeting is the operating legislative body of The Local.
The minutes of the Regular Meeting shall be made available to the members by the Secretary within seven (7) days of the Meeting.
Section 3: Quorum
Ten percent (10%) of members in good standing of The Local, but not less than 6 people, constitutes a quorum and is required for the transaction of business at a Charlotte Metro DSA General Meeting or Regular Meeting.
Section 4: Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised
The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern Charlotte Metro DSA meetings in cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws. All meetings with ten (10) or more participants must submit to Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised. Meetings with nine (9) or fewer participants have the option of instead following consensus decision-making process, but Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised must be followed if any member requests that the meeting do so. Decisions made at meetings that follow these procedural requirements are considered valid and binding upon The Local.
Article V: Local Officers: Powers and Duties
Section 1: Definition
The officers of Charlotte Metro DSA shall be the two Co-Chairs, the Secretary, and the Treasurer.
Section 2: Term of Office
Officers shall be elected to two-year terms which are staggered according to odd and even years beginning in the year 2017.
One Co-Chair and the Secretary shall be elected in odd numbered years. The other Co-Chair and the Treasurer shall be elected in even numbered years.
The term of office runs from the General Meeting held on first Sunday in September following Labor Day to the next General Meeting held on the first Sunday after Labor Day the following year. No term limits are imposed.
Section 3: Co-Chairs
The Co-Chairs shall be the managing officers of Charlotte Metro DSA. They shall preside over Regular, General, and Steering Committee meetings, or appoint substitutes, and shall assume the powers and duties of the presiding officers as specified in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised. The Co-Chairs shall be the official public spokespersons for Charlotte Metro DSA and shall initiate such actions and policies as the membership may demand. The Chair who has one year remaining on their term shall be designated the Senior Chair. The Senior Chair shall cast the tie-breaking vote in cases of a tie within the Steering Committee.
Section 4: Secretary
The Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining a roster of current members in good standing; for the taking of minutes of the General Meetings, Regular Meetings, and Steering Committee meetings; and maintaining supervision over these minutes, resolutions, reports, other official records, and seal. Official records shall include meeting minutes and member lists. The Secretary is responsible for ensuring that adequate notice is given to the membership prior to General Meetings and Regular Meetings. They shall transfer official records in good condition to their successor.
Section 5: Treasurer
The Treasurer is responsible for maintaining the funds and financial records of Charlotte Metro DSA. All funds collected shall be turned over to the Treasurer, who shall deposit them in a bank account under the name of Charlotte Metro Democratic Socialists of America. The Treasurer prepares an annual fiscal-year budget for approval by the Membership Convention and delivers the annual financial report to the General Meeting. The Treasurer prepares and submits financial statements to the Steering Committee for their review at least quarterly.
In cooperation with the Secretary, the Treasurer will be responsible for ensuring that any voluntary donations are paid up-to-date.
Article VI: Steering Committee
Section 1: Composition
The Steering Committee is composed of the officers of Charlotte Metro DSA as defined in Article V above and the Chairs of Standing Committees. The members of the Steering Committee shall not all self-identify as the same gender.
Section 2: Function, Powers, and Duties
The Steering Committee is the managerial body of Charlotte Metro DSA. The Steering Committee administers the affairs of Charlotte Metro DSA and oversees the implementation of the decisions of the General Meeting and Regular Meetings.
In addition to its members’ duties as officers, the Steering Committee corporately exercises the following functions, powers, and duties: it proposes policies and activities to the membership; receives reports from committees; advises committees on policy issues; assigns temporary duties to Steering Committee members or ad hoc committees; calls emergency meetings of the membership; and acts on any matter requiring immediate attention by Charlotte Metro DSA.
All actions taken by the Steering Committee are subject to ratification or amendment by the membership at the next Regular Meeting or the next General Meeting.
Section 3: Meetings
Meetings of the Steering Committee will take place as needed, in addition to Regular Meetings and the annual General Meeting. Meetings of the Steering Committee will be called by consensus of the Steering Committee, and announced to the membership one week in advanced.
Section 4: Quorum
A simple majority of the members of the Steering Committee constitutes a quorum and is required for the transaction of business by the Steering Committee. .
Section 5: Minutes
Minutes of all Steering Committee Meetings, Standing Committee Meetings, Regular Meetings, and the General Meeting are emailed automatically to all members of the Steering Committee. Copies of meeting minutes are available to any member upon request and are available for inspection at any regularly scheduled Steering Committee Meeting, Standing Committee Meeting, Regular Meeting, or General Meeting of Charlotte Metro DSA.
Section 6: Vacancies
Any member of the Steering Committee may be removed by the Steering Committee for violation of the articles or bylaws of The Local or for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of Charlotte Metro DSA. Should any member of the Steering Committee miss three or more consecutive Steering Committee meetings, the Steering Committee may declare that position vacant. It must notify said member of its intention to vacate their position prior to the meeting at which such action will be voted on. In the event of a vacancy, the vacancy shall be filled by a special election; alternatively, an acting successor may be appointed by the Co-Chairs until a new officer is elected at the next regularly scheduled Regular Meeting or a Regular Meeting specially called for that purpose.
Article VII: Nominations and Recalls
Section 1. Nominations Committee.
A three (3)-person Nominations Committee will be established at least one (1) month prior to every election by vote of a Regular Meeting. It will solicit and receive nominations for the positions to be elected.
Section 2: Nominations Process
Nominations for Charlotte Metro DSA officers shall be opened 10 days before and closed at the annual General Meeting. The call for nominations shall be announced to full members of Charlotte Metro DSA in advance of the General Meeting, and nominees will be encouraged to provide a brief statement of their qualifications before the meeting. Nominations may be made by any member in good standing.
Nominations for delegates to the National Convention shall be opened at least 10 days prior to the next Regular Meeting following announcement of location/dates by National. Nominations may be made by any member in good standing.
Section 2: Uncontested Positions
If a position is uncontested, the nominee will be declared elected by acclamation. Nominees are free to decline nominations.
Article VIII: Committees
Section 1: Ad Hoc Committees
The Local will have Ad Hoc Committees, which will perform a specific task or accomplish a specific objective and will exist for a limited and explicit duration. Ad Hoc Committees may be established and dissolved through a simple majority at a Regular Meeting of The Local or through the Steering Committee. Ad Hoc Committees shall keep minutes of their meetings and submit a copy of each to the Secretary. The structure, duration, and mission of each Ad Hoc Committee shall be designated when established.
Section 2: Standing Committees
The Local will have Standing Committees, which will perform designated tasks on an ongoing basis and will exist for an indefinite period. Standing Committees may be established through a simple majority vote at a Regular or General Meeting of The Local or through the Steering Committee. Standing Committees may be dissolved through a simple majority vote at a Regular or General Meeting. The structure and mission of each Standing Committee shall be designated when established and may be modified by a majority vote with a simple majority vote within each Committee.
Standing Committees shall keep minutes of their meetings and submit a copy of each to the Secretary.
At its first meeting, each Standing Committee shall elect, through majority vote of Committee members, a Chair to lead the Committee and serve on the Steering Committee.
Section 3: Committee Responsibilities
Chairs of Ad Hoc Committees and Standing Committees will keep the Steering Committee and the Regular Meetings of The Local informed on the activities of the committee.
Article IX: Statements
Section 1: At-Large Statements
Any public statement, release, or quote attributable to the Charlotte Metro DSA as a single entity must be proposed and approved in a Meeting at which there is a quorum. Such At-Large Statements may only be rescinded by proposal and vote in a Meeting at which there is a quorum.
Section 2: Steering Committee Statements
Any public statement, release, or quote attributable to the Charlotte Metro DSA Steering Committee as an entity must be proposed and approved in a Steering Committee Meeting at which there is a quorum. Such Steering Committee Statements are subject to ratification or amendment by the membership at the next membership meeting or the next General Meeting, as stated in Article VI, Section 2.
Section 3: Officer Statements
Any public statement, release, or quote attributable to an individual officer of the Charlotte Metro DSA speaking as such must be made attributable also to their office title. Such Officer Statements may be subject to ratification or amendment by the membership at the next membership meeting or the next General Meeting, as stated in Article VI, Section 2.
Article X: Prohibited Activity
The Local shall not engage in activity prohibited by the IRS guidelines established for 501(c)(4) organizations or similar rules established by the state of North Carolina. Nor will The Local engage in any activity prohibited by resolutions adopted by DSA’s National Convention or DSA’s National Political Committee.
Article XI: Amendments
Section 1: Notice of Proposed Amendments
Any member wishing to amend these Bylaws must submit such draft amendments to the Charlotte Metro DSA Steering Committee at least fourteen (14) days in advance of a regularly scheduled Regular Meeting or General Meeting. The Steering Committee or an ad-hoc body appointed by the Steering Committee shall review any such amendments and ensure that the discussion and vote upon such amendments are listed on the agenda of the Regular Meeting or General Meeting. The agenda is provided to the membership seven (7) days in advance of the meeting, which will serve to notify the membership that Bylaws amendments have been submitted for consideration.
Section 2: Vote
These Bylaws may be amended, repealed, or altered in whole or in part by a simple majority vote of any General Meeting or Regular Meeting at which there is a quorum.
Section 3: Notification of Changes in Bylaws
Charlotte Metro DSA members must be notified within seven (7) days of any changes to these Bylaws. This may be done by emailing of meeting minutes or by emailing of revised Bylaws, or by contacting members by other means as requested.
ARTICLE XII: Distribution of assets.
Upon dissolution of the organization, any residual assets shall become property of the national organization of Democratic Socialists of America.