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I. Name
II. Purpose
III. Membership
IV. Structure & Meetings
V. Amendments




Harris County Green Party Bylaws
(This is an old version; they are being revised, 2016)

I. Name
The name of this organization is the Harris County Green Party.

II. Purpose

The purpose of the Harris County Green Party is to promote the Ten Key Values of the Green Party movement through participation in electoral politics, general education, and direct citizen action.

III. Membership
Membership is open to any individual who is in general agreement with the following Ten Key Values:

Ecological Wisdom:
We recognize that the Earth sustains all life processes. Green ecology moves beyond environmentalism by understanding the common roots of the abuse of nature, the abuse of animals, and the abuse of people. Whatever we do to the web of life, we do to ourselves.

Grassroots Democracy:
We believe in direct participation by all people in the environmental, political, and economic decisions that affect their lives.

We reject violence as a way of settling disputes -- it is shortsighted, morally wrong, and ultimately self-defeating. We work to create a world in which war is obsolete.

Social Justice:
We want to replace the worldwide system of poverty and injustice with a world free of all oppression based on class, sex, race, citizenship, age, religion or sexual orientation.

Power and responsibility must be restored to local communities within a framework of ecologically sound and socially just lifestyles.

Respect for Diversity:
We honor the biological diversity of the Earth and the cultural, racial, sexual, and spiritual diversity of its people. We aim to reclaim this country's finest ideals: popular democracy, the dignity of the individual, and justice for all.

Community-Based Economics:
We seek a new economics based on the natural limits of the Earth that will meet the basic needs of everyone on the planet under democratic, localized community control.

The Green movement is profoundly inspired by feminist values. The ethics of cooperation and understanding must replace the values of domination and control over others.

Personal and Global Responsibility:
We are committed to global sustainability and international justice. We strive to create personal lifestyles based on sufficiency and living lightly.

Future Focus:
We seek a society in which the interests of the seventh generation yet to come are considered equal to the interests of the present generation.

IV. Structure and Meetings

A. All decision-making power rests in the membership, which shall meet at least quarterly in a General Membership Meeting. As its last order of business, attendees at each General Membership Meeting shall elect a Facilitator for the next General Membership Meeting, who will guide discussion to complete the agenda and goals of the next meeting. The Facilitator elected shall be considered a full member of the Steering Committee until the next General Membership Meeting.

The Harris County Green Party will strive to achieve consensus on all decisions.

If consensus is not immediately reached, there will be an opportunity for all views to be fully expressed and explored.

If consensus is still not achieved, those in dissent can stand aside and allow the group to proceed, and the essence of that dissent will be duly noted.

If those in dissent believe the issue at hand is so fundamental that they are unwilling to stand aside, the issue will be tabled until the next General Membership Meeting. However, if 2/3 of those present believe an immediate decision is critical, the issue will not be tabled until the next meeting. Instead, a democratic vote will take place at that General Membership Meeting.

If 2/3 of those present do not believe an immediate decision is critical, at the next General Membership Meeting there will be another discussion of the issue in an attempt to arrive at consensus.

If consensus is not achieved, the group will resort to a democratic non-secret vote. Only those in attendance may vote. It will require a vote of 2/3 of those voting to act on any proposal.

Any member is invited to participate in all discussion, but only those who have attended at least two prior meetings are entitled to vote.

B. The Steering Committee shall be elected at the second General Membership Meeting of the year and shall have responsibility to manage and conduct the day-to-day business and operations of the Party.

C. The Steering Committee shall be composed of two co-chairs (gender balance is strongly encouraged), a Treasurer, Secretary, and four at-large members. These positions shall be filled using preference voting. Attempts shall be made to ensure that the Steering Committee reflects the diversity of the population of Harris County. The Steering Committee shall be considered the officers of the Party as that term is defined in the Texas Election Code.

D. Members of the Steering Committee shall serve terms of two years, commencing the day after their election. The terms of the co-chairs and at-large members shall be staggered.

E. Any office holder who is non participating, without the approval of the steering committee, shall be deemed, at the recommendation of the steering committee, and with the approval of the membership at the General Meeting, to have resigned without prejudice. (Added by vote at General Membership meeting, March 2015.)

F. The Steering Committee is empowered to act on behalf of the organization between General Membership Meetings. This includes the expenditure of funds. However, the Steering Committee is not empowered to place the Harris County Green Party in debt or to act contrary to any express decisions or policies of the General Membership. The Steering Committee shall act only when a majority of Steering Committee members is present.

The Steering Committee shall make all decisions according to the procedure for decisions of the General Membership, as described in IV(A) above.

G. The Steering Committee shall meet monthly, and additionally when called by either of the co-chairs, as necessary. The Steering Committee shall set the agenda for each General Membership Meeting. Steering Committee meetings shall be publicized, and every Party member is invited and encouraged to attend as a non-voting participant.

H. The work of the Harris County Green Party shall be performed by working groups. Working groups are created by the General Membership or the Steering Committee to carry out the goals of the Harris County Green Party and must abide by the Harris County Green Party bylaws. Working groups are encouraged to establish a mission statement and goals, to revise these goals quarterly, and to send representatives to brief the Steering Committee at their monthly meetings. Each member of the Harris County Green Party is encouraged and expected to participate with at least one working group. The meetings of each working group are open to any general member, and each working group shall choose its own coordinator.

V. Amendments
These bylaws may be amended by a 3/4 vote of those in attendance at any general membership meeting.

LINK to By-laws file (RTF)

Previous By-Laws

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