Gateway Green Alliance/Green Party of St. Louis
Approved November 12, 1990
Statement of Purpose
The Gateway Green Alliance (GGA) strives toward transforming society in ways which both empower people in our community and foster the growth of new relationships between the community and the natural world. Our long term objective is to put in place a structure for the transformation of our society now and in the future.
We can facilitate this process by incorporating the following ten key values into our daily lives and by helping to form support systems and opportunities for others to do the same by building alliances and coalitions of local groups that are in general agreement with the purpose and values of the GGA:As Greens, we understand that there is a close relationship between the environmental crisis and social problems, between the destruction of our world and political and economic systems. The major threat to life on this planet is its domination by multinational corporations and political and economic structures whose functioning requires them to place profit and short-term gain before ecological and human needs. Saving our world and improving our environment for future generations means that we must actively explain the need for replacing the system of uncontrolled and destructive growth with one which respects the beauty and diversity of life.
- Ecological Wisdom
- Grassroots Democracy
- Global Responsibility
- Post-patriarchal Values
- Community-based Economics
- Future focus/Sustainability
- Respect for Diversity
- Personal and Social Responsibility
The GGA is affiliated with the Green Committees of Correspondence and seeks to work with other Green groups. The GGA is open to cooperation and coalitions with groups whose goals and activities are consistent with Green values.
Article 1: Introduction
These by-laws are designed to help the Gateway Green Alliance (GGA) (1) accomplish its goals, (2) empower its participants, and (3) become a model for social change.
These guidelines strive to provide the structure for the GGA to have meaningful meetings which complete the tasks it has set out within the time allotted. These by-laws aim to encourage relationships which promote the sharing of responsibility and develop the capabilities of those who participate in GGA meetings and public actions.
The General Meeting (GM) makes all fundamental decisions and committees have only those powers which are delegated to them. Any disagreements concerning interpretation of these by-laws should be resolved according to the principles in the first sentence in this introduction. Due to the necessity for organizations to continually reexamine themselves, these by-laws will be evaluated one year after their approval.
Article 2: Membership
2.1 Membership requirements. Any person who is in agreement with the 10 key values covered in the Statement of Purpose may pay dues and thereby become an active member of the GGA. Supporters include all who attend GGA gatherings and agree with Green values but who have not paid dues.
2.2 Powers of members. Active members of the GGA have the power to determine all policy, call and endorse public actions, select and remove officers, and change the by-laws of the organization. This power is exercised at the monthly General Meetings (GM), which may delegate responsibility to committees. Those who may make announcements for the GGA and speak publicly on its behalf include (1) members chosen at a GM for specific tasks, (2) either Co-Coordinator, (3) an active member designated by both Co-Coordinators. It is the responsibility of any spokesperson to represent GGA decisions made at GMs.
2.3 Removal of members. An active member may be removed if (1) another active member presents written cause at a GM, and (2) active members vote for removal at that meeting, and (3) at the next GM, active members vote to uphold the removal following an oral presentation of cause and defense, neither to exceed 15 minutes.
Article 3: Committees
3.1 Creation. A GM may vote to create a committee if (a) those proposing the committee have had a planning meeting with at least three active members, and (b) the GM approves the definition of purposes and activities submitted by the proposed committee.
3.2 Responsibilies. Committees will select a facilitator for each meeting and an annual Coordinator who will be responsible for ensuring that the committee report is delivered at the GM. The committee should select a voting representative for each meeting of the Coordinating Committee (CC).
3.3 Projects, programs and expenses. Each committee must describe all planned projects and programs at the GM, which may vote not to approve them. Committee expenses up to $100 per year may be approved by the CC. Non-budgetted committee expenses exceeding $100 per year must be approved by the GM.
3.4 Continuation. Committees remain in existence as long as they carry out at least one Green activity and meet at least quarterly with at least three active members of the GGA. Less frequent meeting schedules need to be approved in advance by the GM.
Article 4: Coordinating Committee
4.1 Members. The Coordinating Committee (CC) includes two co-coordinators, two co-secretaries, the treasurer and a representative from each committee chosing to send one.
4.2 Duties. 4.2.1 The CC is responsible for coordinating the implementation of decisions made by the GM (other than decisions delegated to other committees), carrying out GGA work between GMs in ways that are consistent with its decisions, and meeting at least 14 days prior to GMs in order to
a. suggest its facilitor;
b. propose its agenda; and,
c. recommend activities and co-sponsorship of activities with other organizations.
4.2.2 At least 7 days prior to each GM, the CC will mail information to all active members which includes notes from the previous GM, the proposed facilitator and agenda for the upcoming GM, and dates and locations for all upcoming committee meetings.
4.2.3 The CC will be responsible for approving expenses up to $100 per purchase. The CC cannot approve expenses in excess of $300 per month.
4.2.4 During September and October, the CC will review the by-laws to determine what changes need to be suggested at the November GM.
Article 5: Meetings
5.1 Attendance and announcement. All meetings are open to all active members. Therefore, all meeting locations, dates, and times must be publicized at least one week before they occur.
5.2 Frequency and length. GMs and CC meetings will be held monthly. Other committees must meet at least quarterly (unless obtaining approval for less frequent meetings by the GM). Meetings may not go more than two hours beyond their scheduled beginning time (unless there is consensus for a specified extension). Facilitators should forwarn participants when 15 minutes of meeting time remains.
5.3 Special meetings. Special GMs may be called by a majority of officers or 20% of active members. The CC will be responsible for notifying members in advance of special GMs.
5.4 Quorum. All meetings must have a quorum present to make decisions. A quorum of GMs is 20% of active members. A CC quorum is a majority of the general officers. A quorum for other committees is three active members.
5.5.1 All active members may vote at GMs. At CC meetings, only general officers and committee representatives may vote (with no more than one vote per member). At other committee meetings, active members and supporters may vote.
5.5.2 Any member eligible to vote may call for a vote during the discussion of a proposal. The facilitator will ask for a simple show of hands (without debate) to determine if a majority wish to vote. Votes may have one, two or three steps (with no debate between them):
a. First, the facilitator will ask for consensus; and, if their are no objections, the vote is over;
b. Second, if consensus fails, the facilitator will ask if three-fourths agree; and, if three-fourths vote approval, the proposal passes; while, if less than half vote approval, the proposal fails;
c. If a majority but less than three-quarters favor the proposal, the facilitator will conduct a third vote, which will result in approval if a majority favor the proposal.
(The first step reminds us that we are striving towards proposals which encorporate the feelings of all members. The second step allows members to change their vote if they feel that there is insufficient support for a united action. The third step ensures democratic majority rights and prevents abuse-by-interpretation on the part of a facilitator.)
5.6 Order of issues at GMs.
a. The facilitator suggested by the CC will open the meeting and ask for approval of the notes of the previous meeting and the facilitator and agenda proposed by the CC. If there is not consensus on suggested changes, they will be made by majority vote.
b. Committee reports should include the dates of all meetings since the last GM, the number of active and supporting members who attended, ongoing and proposed activities, the date, time and location of the next meeting, and the phone number of the coordinator/contact person for the committee. A written copy of the committee report will be given to the co-secretaries. The CC report will be limited to 5 minutes and all other committee reports to 2 minutes.
c. Announcements of upcoming events by active members will precede those by supporters and all announcements will be limited to two minutes per person.
d. Unfinished topics.
e. New and/or unfinished topics.
f. Program or activity for the meeting.
g. Ten to 15 minutes will be set aside at the end of every GM for examiniation of the meeting and proposals for activities at upcoming GMs.
Article 6: Officers
6.1 Elections and terms of office.
General officers include two co-coordinators, two co-secretaries, and a treasurer. Other officers include a coordinator of each committee (except the CC). Terms of office are one year and no officer may hold another office for six months following completion of her/his term. Officers are selected by majority vote. The co-coordinators are coordinators of the CC. Other committees select their own coordinators. The June GM will select one co-coordinator, one co-secretary, and the treasurer to serve from July 1 through June 30. The December GM will select one co-coordinator and one co-secretary to serve from January 1 through December 31.
6.2 Vacancies, removal, and replacement.
If a committee coordinator misses three consecutive committee meetings, committee members should select a new coordinator. If a general officer misses three consecutive CC meetings, the other general officers should declare that position vacant at the next GM so members can elect a person to fill the remainder of the term during the following GM. If a committee votes to remove its coordinator, it will have an election for coordinator at the first committee meeting following the next GM. If the GM votes to remove a general officer, an election to fill the office will be held during the following GM.
6.3 Duties of general officers.
6.3.1. The co-coordinators will
a. Ensure that GM and CC meetings are held;
b. Alternate facilitation of CC meetings;
c. Ensure the production and mailing of a newsletter to members at least quarterly;
d. Speak and/or select designees to speak on behalf of the GGA;
e. Ensure the development and maintenance of contacts with groups which share Green values and are working on projects similar to those of the GGA.
f. In order to enhance post-patriarchal values, the senior co-coordinator will report the number of female and male officers and committee chairpersons prior to the election of officers.
6.3.2 The senior co-secretary will co-sign checks with the treasurer. Both co-secretaries will
a. Write notes of GMs which include all decisions made. The notes will also contain committee reports which include the date of the last committee meeting, the number of active and supporting members present, the location, date and time of next committee meeting,new projects proposed, and the phone number of the coordinator/contact person;
b. Ensure that notice of GMs are mailed to all members at least 7 days in advance;
c. Keep membership forms and solicit memberships at all GMs; and,
d. Coordinate correspondence with other Green groups.
6.3.3 The treasurer will
a. Bring a current list of active (dues-paid) members to every GM;
b. Receive all membership dues, donations, and other income;
c. Maintain an account of all funds;
d. Ensure that a report of receipts, expenditures & balance is delivered at each GM;
e. Mail reminders of annual dues to all members one month before they are due, the month they are due, and when they are one month tardy;
f. Deliver an annual financial report at the December meeting.
g. Propose a dues structure during the January GM.