Green Party of Maricopa County Bylaws – Revised 3/28/17
The Green Party of Maricopa County (GPMC) chapter of the Arizona Green Party is a political organization created to represent all voters in Maricopa County who have designated "Green Party" as their party preference on their voter registration. To help establish our county as a society that values every human being, and promote nonviolence, environmental, racial and social justice, participatory grassroots democracy, gender equality, LGBT/Q rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, immigrant and migrant rights, embrace personal and global responsibility and to place people peace and our planet over profits. To support these values and goals, we hereby establish these bylaws.
Article I. Name and Mission
The name of this organization is the Green Party of Maricopa County, hereinafter referred to as GPMC.
The mission of the GPMC is to promote and foster the values of the Green Party. To further this mission, the GPMC:
- Works to increase the number of people registered as Greens in Maricopa County.
- Recruits, trains, and promotes registered Greens as candidates for elected office.
- Supports Green candidates and their campaigns, and assist them while they hold office.
- Work for and promotes accurate, transparent, and fair elections.
- Raise funds to support the above activities and to advance the mission.
- Work to Get Out the Vote.
We are also committed to environmentalism, non-violence, social, racial and immigrant/migrant justice and grassroots organizing. We seek to renew democracy without the support of corporate donors.
Article II. Membership
Green Party of Maricopa County - Throughout these bylaws, Maricopa County voters who have designated "Green Party" as their party preference on their voter registration and are currently residents of Maricopa County, constitute and are collectively referred to as the Green Party of Maricopa County (GPMC).
- Only properly registered members of the GPMC - who have been registered for at least the preceding sixty days may seek or hold office in the GPMC or vote in any GPMC election. No properly registered member shall be prohibited from attending any GPMC sponsored meeting except as outlined in these bylaws.
- County Committee - The membership of the GPMC County Committee shall be composed of all members residing in Maricopa County. The County Committee shall elect seven officers: Chairperson, Two Vice-Chairpersons, Secretary, Treasurer and for a minimum of two and a maximum of four at large members.
- County Steering Committee - All officers of the County Committee shall be elected pursuant to these bylaws. These officers comprise the County Steering Committee.
- Countywide Action Groups - Committees who work on behalf of the County Committee. Examples of County Action Groups (CAG) include fundraising, party building and communications.
- Regional or Shared Interest Club (R-SIC) - Clubs are smaller units of the GPMC and may be created for contiguous geographic regions of Maricopa County (primarily a city or community), or a group of adjacent cities. They are created to work on local issues or can be created based upon a shared interest (e.g. GP trade unionists, GP environmentalists, GP election integrity, Etc.). Based upon a member’s request, a regional or shared interest club may be formed to effectuate GPMC’s goals and activities within a local area or a shared interest.
- The membership of a GPMC regional - or shared interest club shall consist of the GPMC members that reside within the geographic area the club encompasses or maintain a shared interest. The members of the Regional or Shared-interest Club shall elect at least two officers: Club Chairperson and Club Vice-Chairperson. All officers of the Club shall be elected pursuant to these bylaws. Each Regional Club shall send at least one representative to County Committee meetings
Article III. Organization and Governance
GPMC operates within the laws of the United States and the State of Arizona.
- County Committee – All decisions regarding substantive actions and business of the GPMC shall be taken by the County Committee. The County Committee is governed by officers who are elected by the County Committee. These officers constitute the Steering Committee.
- Steering Committee - The duties of the Steering Committee shall include but not be limited to the following.
- Supporting the pursuit of continuing countywide ballot status.
- Recruiting Greens wishing to seek elective office.
- Registering voters as members of the Arizona Green Party.
- Educating the electorate on the virtues of Green principles.
- Regional or Shared-Interest Clubs - All decisions regarding substantive actions and business of each GPMC Regional Club shall be reported to and reviewed monthly by the County Committee. If the County Committee does not meet monthly, the Steering Committee of the County Committee will review R-SIC work. Decisions and actions that do not further the goals of the GPMC shall be immediately nullified.
- Countywide Action Groups (CAG) - Representatives from any countywide committee shall bring proposals developed by the committee back to the County Committee for discussion. Final decision on all proposals initially created by a Countywide Committee shall be made by the County Committee.
- Terms of Office - The term for all Party officers shall be two years. Elections for County Committee officers shall be held no later than the second Saturday in January of the year following a general election. Elections for Regional Club officers shall be held in January of the second year following a general election.
- Resignation - A Party Officer may resign at any time.
- Vacancies - A vacancy shall exist in the office when the officer or precinct committeeperson moves from Maricopa County or changes their political party. A vacancy created in this manner shall be treated as a resignation. GPMC offices that become vacant by resignation or removal may be filled by the County Chairperson temporarily until the County Committee can conduct a new election.
Article IV. GPMC Officers
- GPMC Officers - Throughout these bylaws, officers of County Committees, Regional clubs, Shared Interest Clubs and County Action Groups are collectively referred to as GPMC officers.
- GPMC Officers shall attend all County Committee meetings for the majority of the scheduled meeting. Any GPMC Officer who is absent from two consecutive County Committee meetings, or three consecutive steering committee meetings shall be considered as having resigned. Exceptions may be made if a just cause for absence is submitted to the Chairperson prior to the meeting.
- Regional or Shared Interest Club officers shall attend all meetings of the Club in their entirety. Any Club officer who is absent from three consecutive Club meetings shall be considered as having resigned.
- County Committee - Officers are automatically representatives to the Arizona Green Party and as such shall ensure that the issues, concerns, and opinions of the GPMC are represented to, considered, and respected by the Arizona Green Party. GPMC officers shall not represent other organizations while carrying out their capacity as a GPMC officer.
- Chairperson - The chairperson will lead the county on behalf of the Green Party and its candidates. The chair shall direct the affairs of the GPMC as its administrative officer.
- The Chairperson shall collaborate with the other County Committee officers, the Regional or Shared Interest Club officers, and Countywide Action Groups in coordinating countywide GPMC activities and is responsible for the following:
- Notify each County Committee member - of the time, date, and place of all County Committee meetings at least ten days prior to the date of the meeting. Notification of the annual, organizational meeting to be held no later than the second Saturday in January of the year following a general election will be by Email. Notification of all other meetings shall be by at least two of the following methods: telephone, text, email and social media (e.g. GPMC Facebook page and group).
- Provide day to day leadership - for the GPMC and may act as the spokesperson of the County Committee and the GPMC and may set the agenda at County Committee meetings.
- Assist in the organization - Maintain and support of Green Party structure: e.g. Regional and Shared Interest Clubs, CAG, etc.
- File an Amended Statement of Organization - with the Maricopa County Division of Elections whenever a Chairperson or Treasurer is replaced.
- Assist in the organization - and support of running candidates across and throughout Maricopa County.
- Vice Chairpersons - The Vice Chairs shall assist the Chair in the performance of their duties, act as Chair in their absence and perform such other duties as may be assigned by the County Chairperson.
- The minimum duties of the two Vice Chairpersons shall be:
- a) Maintain technology solutions for the GPMC and Green candidates that run within Maricopa County. This position regularly updates the GPMC website and all pages therein.
- b) Become familiar with all financial matters regarding the GPMC, and assist the Treasurer in the filing of all reports and forms required by county and state law. The Vice Chairperson supports timely payment of GPMC expenses when the treasurer is not available and helps lead fundraising activities.
- c) Represents the GPMC in Election Integrity and Voter Justice meetings, coalitions and county activities.
- Treasurer - The treasurer shall receive all monies of the County Committee, giving receipts where necessary, and shall deposit them in such banks as shall be designated by the Steering Committee. The treasurer shall disburse the funds of the County Committee in the amounts and manner approved by the County Committee and/or Steering Committee and shall keep a record of all receipts and disbursements for the purposes of filing a monthly written report of these transactions to the County Committee. The treasurer shall register the district as a continuing political organization and prepare and submit the required financial reports to the Secretary of State. No treasurer shall permit an unlawful political contribution.
- Secretary - The minimum duties of the Secretary include:
- Keep in an organized, secure and auditable manner the minutes compiled by the note-takers of all GPMC committees and to forward copies to all MCGP Officers within thirty days of meetings.
- To inform all GPMC Committee members - of a change or vacancy in the Steering Committee within ten days of the change or vacancy.
- Maintain - all GPMC and County Committee records.
- Obtain - an updated list of GPMC members from the Maricopa County Recorder’s office at least thirty days prior to any primary or general election.
- At Large Members of the Steering Committee - The minimum duties of At-Large members are to be determined by the Steering Committee at the first meeting following the elections.
- Election of GPMC Officers.
The following procedure shall be used to elect a Chairperson, Vice-Chairpersons, Treasurer and Secretary.
A person may self-nominate at least one month in advance by notifying the Chairperson of the GPMC of their intention to run. In addition, any County Committee member may nominate a candidate to run for any of these positions thirty days prior to the election or at the meeting when elections are held. All candidates must accept their nomination.
Candidates shall campaign amongst Green Party members 30 days in advance of the election meeting re: their qualifications and why they want to be elected for office.
All nominations must be seconded by at least one member of the County Committee on the day the elections are held.
When a nomination has been made and seconded, the facilitator shall open the floor to further nominations.
Any candidate or their designee may make a statement of up to five minutes long about the candidate’s qualifications for office. Any other member may make a statement of up to two minutes on issues relating specifically to the qualifications of any candidates running for office.
Candidates shall have the opportunity to answer all questions asked by members.
Discussion ends when there are no more questions or discussion regarding the candidates.
The voting for each office shall be by secret ballot if there is more than one candidate per office. If there is only one candidate for an office, roll call may be used unless one-half the members present indicate a preference for secret balloting. Candidates with the majority of votes for a particular office become the new officers.
- In the event, there is a tie, a runoff will be held between the candidates who tied. Members will be allotted time to caucus and for discussion before the runoff election is held.
If a person loses their election and there are other vacancies available, they may be nominated at the election meeting for an open vacancy position. After their nomination is seconded, the candidate must accept the nomination and explain why they believe they are qualified for the position. Elections will then proceed as above.
- No GPMC Officer may hold more than one elected office on the County Committee (limitations on Office). Exceptions will be made on a case by case basis; for example, if there are no qualified people available to fill a position and a vacancy exists.
Article V. Meetings
Open Meeting Policy - GPMC meetings are open to the public and subject to the following rules:
Only GPMC members may vote at all meetings they attend (e.g. clubs, county action groups and county committees). Non-members may participate in meetings but not vote. Members may decide by consensus to expel an attendee from the meeting if that person is causing a disturbance.
- Meetings shall be held regularly, but no less than quarterly, at a time, date and place chosen by the Steering Committee.
- All meetings shall be open to the public
- All meetings shall use consensus decision making procedures described in these bylaws.
- All meetings shall be announced to the GPMC membership as described in these bylaws (see Article IV)
- A quorum is met when a majority of the steering committee members are present.
The recommended order of business for all County Committee meetings shall be:
- Call to order.
- Declaration of quorum for the committee.
- Review and approve minutes from last meeting and the main agenda.
- Agenda may include but is not limited to: new business, updates from Green Party activists, guest. speakers, educational topics,
Green party business, candidate updates and voter registration efforts.
- Officer reports - brief reports not to exceed three minutes in length (e.g. put in officers duty treasurers report and report of minutes from previous meeting).
- Elections to fill vacant positions.
- Announcements, other business and open floor to GPMC membership.
- Reminder members about the next regular meeting.
Regional and Shared Interest Clubs (R-SIC)
- Each club is strongly encouraged to hold one meeting each month at a time, date, and place chosen by the members.
- There is no quorum requirement for meetings of Regional or shared interest clubs.
County Action Groups (CAG)
- Meetings shall be held once per month at a time, date, and place chosen by the members.
- There is no quorum requirement for County Action Groups
Special meetings may be called at any time by a written request with a minimum of 20 signatures of the county committee members.
Such meetings shall be held at a time, date and place most likely to achieve highest attendance. Meetings may also be held by webcast/video chat.
- The call for a Special Meeting must state the purpose of the meeting and no other business shall be conducted. The order of business at a Special Meeting shall be:
- Call to order.
- Proof of proper call and proper notice of the meeting.
- Declaration of quorum for the committee.
- Call to the audience.
- Business as slated in the call.
Notice of Meetings
Notification of the County Committee organizational meeting will be made no later than the second Saturday in January of the year following a general election by the Chairperson via email. Notification shall be not less than ten days prior to the date of the meeting.
Notice of Special Meetings shall include the reason for calling the meeting.
No GPMC members shall be allowed proxies.
A majority of Steering Committee members present at a committee meeting constitutes a quorum. If a quorum fails to attend, a simple majority of those present may adjourn the meeting after posting a prominent written notice at the meeting place.
Article VI. Decision Making Procedures
Unless otherwise indicated, all substantive decisions concerning actions of the committee in question shall follow the consensus procedure described in these bylaws. All procedural matters related to the implementation of the consensus procedure shall be decided by a majority vote.
The GPMC will seek to make Arizona statutes pertaining to how political parties function, more democratic. The GPMC shall seek consensus whenever possible in its own decision making processes and respect the input and concerns of all GPMC.
Consensus and decision making is a participatory process for groups to generate widespread agreement in a way that respects the contributions of all participants. The
facilitator's job is to support everyone. She encourages full participation, promotes mutual understanding, fosters inclusive solutions, and cultivates shared responsibility amongst the members.
- Statement of agenda item.
- Clarification of the issue or proposal.
- Discussion of the issue or proposal.
- Modification or withdrawal of the proposal.
- Test for consensus.
- Restate proposal if needed.
- Call for concerns.
- Call for objections within consensus, reservations, standing aside.
- Call for blocks.
- Attempt to incorporate objections from blocks.
- Consensus reached.
- If consensus cannot be achieved, ask for a procedural vote to choose one of the following:
- Add more time to discussion.
- Send the issue to committee.
- Table the issue.
- Majority vote on the issue: 60% in favor and the proposal passes
All members are expected to remain invested in the success of the meeting, its outcomes and participate in a respectful and supportive manner.
Suggested roles for meetings include but are not limited to:
- Facilitator to support the chairperson as requested.
- Greeter/Sign in sheets.
- Stacker/group dynamics watcher.
- Note-taker in addition to the Secretary (complete minutes within ten days of the meeting).
Article VII. Adoption and Amendment of Bylaws
Amendment of Bylaws
Any GPMC member may propose amendments to the bylaws. Any proposed change must be presented in writing accompanied by a statement explaining the purpose to be achieved and reasons supporting the change.
Proposed changed should be sent to [email protected] or mailed to:
Green Party of Maricopa County
428 E. Thunderbird Suite 522
Phoenix, Arizona 85022
- Amendments in writing must be received by the Secretary (Chairperson or Vice chairperson) at least thirty (30) days prior to its consideration at the meeting. The proponent of the amendment shall gather signatures of twenty other GPMC members who support the proposal.
- The Secretary shall verify that the signatures are validly registered GPMC members.
- The Steering Committee is responsible for confirming that the proposed bylaw change follows Arizona Revised Statutes.
- If the twenty signatures are validated, and the proposal is found to follow Arizona Revised Statutes, the County Chairperson is then responsible for informing GPMC members of the contents of the proposal. Copies of the proposal shall be distributed to all County Committee members at least seven days before the next scheduled County Committee meeting. Notification of all other meetings shall be by at least two of the following methods: telephone, text, email and social media (e.g. GPMC Facebook page and group).
- At the next scheduled County Committee meeting at which there is a quorum, the County Committee shall take the following action about the proposed amendment(s).
- The proposal shall be an agenda item.
- There shall be sufficient copies to distribute to members present (paper or e-copies).
- Following a discussion of the proposed amendment, the County Committee members present shall decide via the consensus procedure whether to approve the proposal. The County Committee may correct technical, non-substantive errors in the proposal if such errors are preventing its approval.
- These bylaws may be amended by a vote of not less than 60% of the members of the County Committee present, at a regular or specially called meeting of the County Committee.
- If the proposal is approved, the secretary shall promptly inform the proponent of the decision in writing.
- No proposal to amend or terminate these bylaws shall be considered by the County Committee unless it has been submitted in compliance with the provision of this Section.
- If the County Committee approves the proposal, the amendment shall take force immediately and shall supersede any conflicting language in the existing bylaws.
- The Secretary shall incorporate the new bylaws into the body of the existing bylaws and ensure the amended bylaws are posted on the GPMC website.
Article VIII – Removal from Office
Removal of GPMC Officers
Any GPMC Officer selected in lieu of Arizona state law may be removed from office by members of the county committee or another County Committee officer using the following process:
Cause for removal is defined as noncompliance with the duties of the office as stated in GPMC bylaws, personal misconduct or malfeasance and/or noncompliance with Arizona statutes by the person whose removal is being sought.
- The proponent of removal shall gather the signatures of twenty (20) other GPMC members who support the removal from office. The signatures and the reasons for removal from office shall be forwarded to the Secretary.
- If the Secretary is the subject of the proposed removal from office, then the signatures and reasons for removal document shall be forwarded to one of the two Vice Chairpersons.
- The Secretary or Vice Chairperson shall verify that the twenty signatures are valid registered GPMC members.
- If the Secretary or Vice Chairperson can verify twenty signatures, the person whose removal is being sought will be informed in writing, by both registered mail and email, by the Secretary or Vice Chairperson. The subject of the proposed removal will at this time relinquish all of their responsibilities and access to Green Party tools (e.g. accounts, websites, etc.) pending the outcome of the removal process.
- The County Chairperson shall, within five (5) days of the receipt of the request, poll the County Steering Committee to determine whether the allegations in the petition would qualify as cause for removal (if true).
- If the County Chairperson’s removal is being sought, the poll of the Steering Committee will be conducted by one of the Vice Chairpersons.
- If a majority of the Steering Committee agrees that the charges, are substantiated, and would qualify as cause for removal, the GPMC Chair (or duly appointed representative) will ask the officer to resign. If the office agrees to resign voluntarily, the GPMC Chair (or duly appointed representative) will announce the removal at the next County Committee meeting.
- The County Committee will then follow the replacement of a vacancy procedure as outlined in these bylaws.
- If the officer does not resign voluntarily, the GPMC Chair (or duly appointed representative) will notify the officer that a County Committee Meeting will be scheduled to seek their removal from office.
If a county committee meeting is already scheduled within 14 days, the proposed removal from office action will be the first order of business of that meeting. If not, a special meeting must be convened within 14 days of the officer receiving notice of the proposed removal from office. In the case of a special meeting, the officer facing removal from office, may request that the meeting be held on a specific date within the 14-day period to facilitate their attendance. If the officer facing removal from office refuses to participate in the meeting, the removal from office process will proceed without him or her.
- Copies of the removal from office petition shall be distributed to all County Committee members at least seven days prior to the meeting at which the removal from office proceedings will take place. Notification of all other meetings shall be by at least two of the following methods: telephone, text, email and social media (e.g. GPMC Facebook page and group).
- The County Committee shall undertake the following regarding the proposed removal from office at its next meeting at which there is a quorum.
- The Chairperson reads the original reasons for removal document. If the Chairperson is the subject of proposed removal, one of the two Vice Chairpersons will read the original proposed removal from office document. The members shall hear evidence from any GPMC members who have information relevant to the proposed removal.
- The subject of the proposed removal will have an opportunity to respond to all evidence presented and present any evidence of his or her own. If the officer facing removal from office does not attend the removal from office meeting, the removal from office will continue without them.
- All discussions will take place in the presence of the officer facing removal.
- Following discussion, the County Committee shall decide by secret ballot whether to remove the impeached officer.
- A 60% majority is required to remove the officer.
- If the removed officer is not present, the Secretary shall inform the removed officer in writing of the outcome.
These procedures are entirely separate and independent from the procedures for removing a GPMC Officer from office for failure to perform duties described elsewhere in these bylaws.
These bylaws cover the operation and organization of the Green Party of Maricopa Party (GPMC) a party organization established pursuant to Ariz. Rev. Stat. Title 16, Sections 16-821 – 828; such sections shall be considered Appendix I of these bylaws.
GREEN PARTY OF MARICOPA COUNTY REVISED BYLAWS 3/28/17