Article I: Name
Section 1: Name
The name of this organization shall be North Carolina Piedmont DSA (“NCPDSA,” “North
Carolina Piedmont Democratic Socialists of America,” or “the Corporation”), a North Carolina Nonprofit Corporation.
Section 2: Territory
NCPDSA shall conduct activities in the Piedmont region of North Carolina within the territory defined by the charter granted by the national Democratic Socialists of America to NC Piedmont DSA.
Section 3: Branches
For purposes of facilitating ongoing activity and member involvement, NCPDSA may establish branches in municipalities with substantial concentrations of NCPDSA members. NCPDSA has recognized branches in the following municipalities:
- Chapel Hill-Carborro
Additional branches may be established in other municipalities by a majority vote of the
NCPDSA membership at a General Meeting, Regular Meeting, or Special Meeting called for that purpose.
Article II: Purpose
The purpose of NCPDSA shall be to organize the activities of the members of the Democratic Socialists of America in central North Carolina, as well as those of any DSA members from regions of North Carolina without a local who wish to participate in NCPDSA activities. Its activities shall include education and advocacy.
We share a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality, and non-oppressive relationships.
Article III: Membership
Section 1: Definition
The membership of NCPDSA consists of all persons who are
- 1. Members in good standing of the Democratic Socialists of America who reside in the Piedmont region of North Carolina as defined in the charter granted by the national Democratic Socialists of America to NC Piedmont DSA, and
- In good standing with NCPDSA under the terms and provisions of these Bylaws.
Section 2: Rights and Privileges
All members in good standing of the Democratic Socialists of America in the Piedmont region defined in Article III, Section 1 shall have a vote on the election of NCPDSA delegates to national DSA bodies, NCPDSA officers, and questions raised to NCPDSA, and they may stand for NCPDSA office.
Section 3: Optional Local Dues
NCPDSA has established a voluntary dues by a vote of the membership of NCPDSA.
Dues would be utilized to pay for administrative costs associated with meetings and
political education events.
If a member wishes to pay, a self-determined financial ability sliding scale of $5-$50
annually is suggested.
Section 4: Removal of Members
If a member is found to be overtly hostile to the purpose of NCPDSA as defined in Article II; if they are found to be consistently engaging in undemocratic, disruptive, or abusive behavior or harassing other NCPDSA members; if they are found to be under the discipline of any self-defined democratic centralist organization: NCPDSA may vote to expel them from NCPDSA.
In order for such a finding to be made, any NCPDSA member must formally prefer written charges against the member in question to the Steering Committee of NCPDSA, 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 Steering Committee meeting. An expelled full member may appeal to the National Political Committee of DSA.
Article IV: Local Meetings
Section 1: General Meeting
NCPDSA will hold a minimum of one General Meeting annually. All members of NCPDSA will receive six weeks’ notice of the General Meeting by email, telephone, or 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, on alternating years, 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 NCPDSA.
Section 2: Regular Meetings
NCPDSA shall hold Regular Meetings at least six times annually, the time and place of which shall be set in a schedule created and digitally distributed by the Steering Committee no later than a month after the General Meeting.
Regular Meetings will set NCPDSA 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 NCPDSA.
Section 3: Quorum
Ten percent (10%) of members in good standing of NCPDSA, but not less than 6 people,
constitutes a quorum and is required for the transaction of business at a NCPDSA General Meeting, Regular Meeting, or in an online vote as described in Article IV, Section 5.
Section 4: Robert's Rules
The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern NCPDSA meetings in cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these by-laws.
All meetings with ten (10) or more participants must submit to Robert’s Rules. Meetings with nine (9) or fewer participants have the option of instead following consensus decision-making process, but Robert’s Rules must be followed if any member requests that the meeting do so.
Decisions made at meetings that follow these procedural requirements, and any subsequent online voting as described in Article IV, Section 5, are considered valid and binding upon NCPDSA.
Section 5: Voting
Voting during any meeting shall be conducted in a manner consistent with Article IV, Section 4.
The Steering Committee may find a need to hold a vote online. Should this need arise, the vote shall only occur if the following criteria are met: the voting must be done on a platform where an officer’s vote can be tied to them, whether by username, voice confirmation, or video chat; the Secretary must keep a record of the vote, including the platform used; and the vote must be witnessed by 2/3 of the Steering Committee.
If the need arises for the entire Chapter membership to vote, the Steering Committee will determine a secure method for the voting. Whatever method is used must be presented to the General Membership at least ten (10) days prior to voting, which will occur over a two (2) day window.
Article V: Local Officers: Powers and Duties
Section 1: Definition
The Co-Chairs, Secretary, and Treasurer will be the corporate officers of NCPDSA.
Along with these corporate officers, there will be a Fundraising Chair, a Political Education Director, and one or more Community Engagement Leads.
The Co-Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, Fundraising Chair, Political Education Director, and
Community Engagement Leads will be the members of the Steering Committee and in that capacity will serve as the Directors of the Corporation, as further specified in Article VI.
Section 2: Term of Office
The Co-Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, Fundraising Chair, Political Education Director, and
Community Engagement Leads shall be elected to two-year terms which are staggered
according to odd and even years beginning in the year 2016.
One Co-Chair, the Secretary, and the Fundraising Chair will be elected in odd numbered years.
The other Co-Chair, the Treasurer, and the Political Education Director shall be elected in even numbered years.
The term of office runs from March 1 through February 28. No term limits are imposed.
Section 3: Co-Chairs
The Co-Chairs are the managing officers of NCPDSA. As provided in the Articles of
Incorporation, each Co-Chair is deemed to be President of the Corporation for legal purposes.
Their responsibilities include:
- Presiding over Regular, General, and Steering Committee meetings, and exercising the powers and duties of the presiding officers as specified in Robert’s Rules of Order. They may appoint another member to carry out these functions in their place.
- Serving as the official public spokespersons for NCPDSA.
- Initiating such actions and policies as the membership may direct in accordance with these Bylaws.
No more than one of the Co-Chairs shall identify as a cisgender male.
Section 4: Secretary
The Secretary is the custodian of records for NCPDSA. Their responsibilities include:
- Maintaining a roster of current members in good standing;
- Taking minutes of the General Meetings, Regular Meetings, and Steering Committee meetings;
- Ensuring that adequate notice is given to the membership prior to General Meetings and Regular Meetings.
- Maintaining supervision over all the records (including membership lists, meeting minutes) and corporate seal of NCPDSA minutes, resolutions, reports, other official records, and seal, and transferring these to their successor upon the completion of their term.
Section 5: Treasurer
The Treasurer is the chief financial officer for NCPDSA. Their responsibilities include:
- Maintaining the funds and financial records of NCPDSA.
- Collecting all funds paid or donated to NCPDSA and depositing them in a bank account under the name of the corporation.
- Preparing and presenting financial statements to the Steering Committee for review at least quarterly or as otherwise requested by the Steering Committee;
- Preparing and presenting an annual financial report and fiscal-year budget to the membership for review and approval at the General Meeting.
In cooperation with the Secretary, the Treasurer will be responsible for ensuring that
membership dues are paid up-to-date.
Section 6: Political Education Director
The Political Education Director is responsible for the educational work of NCPDSA. Their responsibilities include:
- Organizing internal educational activities to develop NCPDSA members as political organizers, activists, and theorists;
- Organizing external educational activities to raise political consciousness and understanding of democratic socialism in the NC Piedmont region.
- Organizing workshops, study and discussion groups, forums, and other educational activities in the name of NCPDSA.
Section 7: Fundraising Chair
The Fundraising Chair promotes the financial development and growth of NCPDSA through community-focused activities and fundraisers, in order to support ongoing projects of NCPDSA.
At a minimum, they will be responsible for organizing at least one (1) large annual fundraiser.
Section 8: Community Engagement Leads
The Community Engagement Leads facilitate the activity of NCPDSA within the branches established under Article I, Section 3. Their responsibilities include:
- Serving as the primary point of contact for current, new, or interested DSA members residing in their branch;
- Developing relationships with other community residents and organizations;
- Holding regular branch meetings, social events, and other activity;
- Keeping branch members apprised, and soliciting member feedback, about NCPDSA activities and business;
- Reporting on branch activity at Steering Committee meetings, General Meetings, Regular Meetings, and Special Meetings.
There will be one Community Engagement Lead for each established branch. Unlike the other officers and directors, who are elected by a vote of the whole NCPDSA membership, each Community Engagement Lead will be elected by a vote of those NCPDSA members residing within geographic area for the branch.
Article VI: Steering Committee
Section 1: Composition
The Steering Committee is composed of the officers of NCPDSA as defined in Article V above.
Section 2: Function, Powers, and Duties
The Steering Committee is the corporate Board or Directors and managerial body of NCPDSA.
The Steering Committee administers the affairs of NCPDSA and oversees the implementation of the decisions of the General Meeting and Regular Meetings.
In addition to its members’ individual duties as officers and directors, 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 NCPDSA.
The Steering Committee can delegate ongoing responsibilities to Standing Committees formed by NCPDSA according to the procedures in Article VIII.
All actions taken by the Steering Committee are subject to ratification or amendment by the membership at the next membership 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.
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. All actions taken by the Steering Committee are subject to ratification or amendment by the membership at the next membership meeting or the next General Meeting.
Section 5: Minutes
Minutes of all Steering 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, Regular Meeting, or General Meeting of NCPDSA.
Section 6: Vacancies
Any officer may be removed by the Steering Committee for violation of the articles or by-laws of NCPDSA or for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of NCPDSA. Should any member of the Steering Committee miss three or more consecutive 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.
If a Co-Chair seat is declared vacant, the next Steering Committee officer listed in Article V, Section 1 shall assume the duties of the vacant seat. If this would cause both Co-Chair seats to be occupied in a manner inconsistent with Article V, Section 3, that officer is passed over for the next Steering Committee officer. This officer will serve as Interim Co-Chair until a special election is called. Immediately upon such time that a new Co-Chair is elected, the Interim Co-Chair shall return to their prior Steering Committee seat. The new Co-Chair and former Interim Co-Chair shall stand for election consistent with Article V, Section 2.
Article VII: Nominations and Recalls
Section 1: Nominations Process
Nominations for NCPDSA 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 NCPDSA 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 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
NCPDSA 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 quorum at a Regular Meeting of NCPDSA or through the Steering Committee.
Section 2: Standing Committees
NCPDSA will have Standing Committees, which will perform designated tasks on an ongoing basis and will exist indefinitely long. Standing Committees may be established and dissolved through a quorum at a Regular Meeting of NCPDSA or through 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 NCPDSA informed on the activities of the committee.
Article IX: Statements
Section 1: At-Large Statements
Any public statement, release, or quote attributable to the NC Piedmont 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 NC Piedmont 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 NCPDSA 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: Amendments
Section 1: Notice of Proposed Amendments
Any member wishing to amend these must submit such draft amendments to the NCPDSA Steering Committee twenty-one (21) 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 fourteen (14) days in advance of the meeting, which will serve to notify the membership that by-laws amendments have been submitted for consideration.
Section 2: Vote
These by-laws 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
NCPDSA members must be notified within twenty-one (21) days of any changes to these by-laws. This may be done by emailing of meeting minutes or by emailing of revised by-laws, or by contacting members by other means as requested.