Green Party of Connecticut Bylaws
Adopted by the State Central Committee - January, 1999
(amended 2000, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2013)
[Previous 2008 version archived here.]
The purpose of the subject Bylaws to be established for the Green Party of Connecticut is to identify and define the organization's subordinate elements and officials, to state the responsibilities and rights of each and indicate their interrelationships, and to specify basic organizational procedures.
Procedures for submittal of recommendations for amendment of the Bylaws are included in the following Bylaws proposal.
A. Organizational Structure
The Green Party of Connecticut comprises individual members, Chapters, the State Central Committee, Executive Committee, and such committees as the State Central Committee may establish.
Officials shall include three Party Co-Chairpersons, a Treasurer, and a Secretary. The nature, responsibilities, and rights of each are as follows:
I. Membership Classes:
1. Individual Membership [Modified by statewide vote in 2001; amended again in December 2008. Previous version archived here.]:
If the Green Party has minor party status in a town, then: A person enrolled on their town voter list as a Green Party member is a member of the Green Party for all purposes.
If the Green Party does not have minor party status in a town, then a person may become a member of the Green Party under the following conditions:
- The person must be an unaffiliated voter and must not have been registered with any other party affiliation during the past ninety (90) days.
- The person shall fill out and sign a CT Voter Registration Form declaring enrollment in the Green Party and submit this to an officer of the local or state Green Party.
- Upon submission of such declaration, the person's membership in the Green Party will be effective after ten business days.
A person not yet old enough to vote under state law may become a member of the Green Party under the following conditions:
- The person will turn 18 and be eligible to vote before the next General Election Day.
- The person has applied to vote by filling out and signing a Voter Registration Form with declaration of enrollment in the Green Party and submitted this to their town hall or to an officer of the local or state Green Party.
- If the voter registration form is submitted to a local or state Green Party officer, membership in the Green Party will be effective after ten business days.
Party members shall receive announcements of State Party general meetings, and shall be entitled to vote when attending State Party general meetings. CTGP town committees may disallow members after questioning or vetting.
2. Regional Chapter Membership Any group of five or more individual members, resident in a cohesive geographical or political area, may form a Regional chapter provided that the group appoints an official who will inform the Green Party of Connecticut on a continuing basis of Chapter membership, meeting place and schedule, minutes of meetings and other significant Chapter activities, and shall in a timely manner transmit to the Chapter members significant communications from the State Party and shall commit to compliance with all other requirements established by the Green Party of Connecticut for the conduct of Chapters. The chapter shall also provide regular representation at Party Conventions and State Central Committee Meetings, and timely response (positive or negative) to Party requests for action and information.
3. At Large Chapter Membership Any group of five or more individual members residing beyond reasonable reach of any established Regional chapter may form a General Chapter, provided that it meets the requirements stipulated for a Regional chapter, and establishes and maintains a full communication capability among members and with the Green Party of Connecticut.
II. Party Structure and Functions:
1. State Central Committee: The State Central Committee shall be composed of Party officers and Chapter representatives. Committee Chairpersons shall participate in an advisory capacity. Each Chapter shall have one representative for each five members. The State Central Committee shall be responsible for formulation of Statements of Purpose and Principles and basic plans for organization, programs, financing, and strategy.
The State Central Committee shall be responsible acting on petitions for formation and acceptance of new Chapters and for determining and directing all action required for implementation of established Purposes and Plans. In so doing, the State Central Committee may establish subordinate committees, expend Party funds, take or direct all action required for the execution of established Purposes and plans, and coordinate all joint Chapter activities.
So far as possible, the State Central Committee shall delegate detail discussion and action to appropriate Committees, limiting its personnel time and resources to question of basic policy and plans.
The State Central Committee shall maintain Minutes of all its meetings, stating the subject of all significant matters discussed, program action status, basic reasons for decisions, votes on any motion, and the causes of any significant dissent. Copies of such Minutes shall be forwarded to each Chapter within two weeks of each meeting.
Attendance by at least one representative of two thirds or more of all Chapters shall be required for formal consideration of any significant motion or proposal, and a majority vote of the representatives present shall be required for approval. [Changed from “three quarters or more of all Chapters” by bylaws revision process culminating in an SCC vote at the June 2004 SCC meeting]
a) Party Co-Chairpersons Party Co-Chairpersons (one female, one male) shall conduct meetings of the Executive Committee, shall conduct or appoint a facilitator for State Central Committee and Executive Committee meetings, and shall in person or through a designee approved by the State Central Committee represent the Green Party of Connecticut at meetings or in discussions with individuals and groups outside the Green Party of Connecticut.
b) Treasurer The Treasurer shall receive all dues, contributions, and other income; shall establish a bank account into which all receipts shall be promptly deposited; shall promptly make payment for all duly authorized obligations, and shall establish a procedure for such authorization; may recommend to the State Central Committee investment of any funds that exceed short-term commitments and requirements; and maintain financial records in accordance with sound accounting practice and publish monthly and statements of initial and final assets, income, and expenditures.
c) Secretary The Secretary shall take minutes as required by the State Central Committee, establish a record of all individual members, and of Chapter Correspondents and members. She/he shall maintain a record of all correspondence and information transmitted through any printed or printable medium to or from the Green Party of Connecticut, including material between Chapters or Chapters and Party, shall forward outgoing material to its addressee and incoming or internal material to the appropriate action party or group, and shall establish, maintain, and periodically publish a list of information and data that may be of value to members and groups within the Green Party of Connecticut. Filing or storage of material shall be the responsibility of the originator or action recipient.
e) Chairpersons, General Chairpersons shall be responsible for the fulfillment of the task(s) for which the committee is established. They shall plan and schedule meetings, moderate or appoint suitable moderators, assure the maintenance of proper minutes, recruit qualified committee members, and submit status and progress reports to the State Central Committee as required by the State Central Committee and shall inform and advise the State Central Committee regarding subjects for which their Committee is responsible.
f) Election/Appointment of OfficialsIn the initial organization of the Green Party of Connecticut under the Bylaws enacted by the State Central Committee, the Co-Chairpersons shall be elected by a majority vote of the State Central Committee, and shall hold office for one year or until the following State Party convention, whichever occurs first. At and following that Convention, Party Co-Chairpersons shall be elected by an absolute majority vote of the members, as established if necessary by successive preferential voting. Other offices shall be filled by volunteers approved by the State Central Committee, and/or by appointment of individuals proposed by responsible members and approved by the State Central Committee. All offices shall be for a term of one year from the time of election or appointment.
g) Executive Committee An Executive Committee of five, the Co-Chairpersons, the Treasurer, and the Secretary, shall be responsible for establishing the agenda for State Central Committee Meetings, duly considering recommendations and requests by State Central Committee and chapters, and for informing State Central Committee members and Chapters of the agenda a week in advance of each meeting. It shall monitor the activities of Party committees and Chapters, assuring a full understanding of Party standards and objectives; and shall recommend to the State Central Committee any non-routine action that the State Central Committee should consider.
III. Bylaws - Amendments and Revisions
Any Chapter may, provided two thirds of its full membership concur, propose to the State Central Committee amendments or changes to the Green Party of Connecticut Bylaws. The State Central Committee shall refer the proposal to all active Chapters for review and recommendations. Each Chapter may, by a two thirds majority of its full membership, recommend rejection, State Central Committee approval, or submittal of the proposal to the next following Party Convention for consideration of the full membership. If two thirds of the Chapters recommend approval, the State Central Committee may enact the change or refer it for Convention action. If Convention action is called for, members in good standing but unable to attend the Convention shall each be entitled to vote by absentee ballot.
IV Ethical Standards All members shall comport themselves in ways that reflect the Green Party of Connecticut's Purpose and Principles at all times, and shall make particular note of actions such as the following unacceptable modes of conduct:
1. Making commitments or position statements that conflict with Party or Chapter policies, principles, or ethical codes. 2. The advocacy or practice of racial, sexual, ethnic, or religious discrimination 3. Betrayal of trust in matters affecting Party or Public welfare. 4. Indulgence in or use of any form of violence. 5. Irresponsible advocacy such as that based upon misrepresentation or gross ignorance of pertinent facts.
V. Political Candidacy
Basic requirements for nomination or endorsement of any person for candidacy to public office by the Green Party of Connecticut or any element of the Green Party of Connecticut are that the candidate:
a. is a member of a Local or Regional Green Chapter or an At Large member.
b. is registered to vote (enrolled), or has officially applied to be registered, as a Green Party member in his/her town of residence.
c. is committed to the 10 Key Values.
2. Nomination Authority
a. Town and City
Sole responsibility of the Green Town Committee in towns with such Town Committees. In towns lacking a Green Town Committee, sole responsibility belongs to the Chapters, provided that the Chapter has at least one member in the town or city in question.
TOWN COMMITTEES: The establishment of Town Committees and procedures for admitting members to Town Committees shall be the responsibility of the enrolled Green Party members in each Town. The composition of the Town Committees shall be such as to represent, as far as possible, all elements within the Green Party in the area covered by the Committee. Initially, when such a Committee has been established within a Town, all enrolled Green Party members in that Town will be de facto members of the Town Committee.
b. State Legislature. Responsibility as in section a., save that if a legislative district includes parts within the jurisdiction of two or more Town Committees or Chapters, those groups must agree upon any action taken.
c. Statewide offices. The joint responsibility of the State Party and the Chapters.
d. Federal Offices. Joint responsibility of the State Party and the Chapters except in the case of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, where the authority for such nominations shall be vested in the Chapter(s) in whose area(s) the Congressional District falls.
For offices where the nomination authority is jointly vested in the State Party and the Chapters, the following procedure will apply.
The Council shall establish an Endorsement Review Committee for reporting on candidate nominations and endorsements. Any proposal for the nomination or endorsement of a candidate for an office that falls under the joint authority of the State Party and the Chapters shall be submitted to the council and shall include the following:
a) Name of Candidate b) office candidate is seeking c) Pertinent background information d) Candidate stand on issues
The Council shall transmit the proposal to the Review Committee for preparation of a report and shall direct the Council Representatives to inform their chapters of the proposal and to provide their Chapter with the name and phone number of a Review Committee contact person.
At least two weeks prior to voting on the proposed nomination, all Green Party members eligible to vote for the office in question, will be notified by the Review Committee through their Council Representatives of a time and place where the proposed candidate will be present and prepared to answer all questions regarding his/her view on pertinent issues.
Subsequent to the above, the Review Committee will submit their report on the candidates to the Council and to the Chapters. The Council shall place the nomination or endorsement proposal on the Agenda of the next regular meeting following the report of the Review Committee and, at that meeting, vote on the proposal, approval requiring a two thirds majority of the Representatives present.
For offices which fall within the jurisdiction of a single Town Committee or Chapter, or two or more Town Committees or Chapters acting jointly, the following procedure will apply.
1. All persons wishing to run for office on the Green Party ticket should submit their name and the position sought to their Town Committee, or Local or Regional Chapter by the deadline established for such submissions. Nominations may also be made by persons other than those seeking to be candidates.
2. All members of the Local or Regional Chapter, At Large Members and Registered Green Voters shall have the opportunity to question the candidate and determine her/his views on pertinent issues at a time and place determined by the body with nominating authority.
3. All candidates will be chosen by consensus, or, if consensus fails, by 2/3 majority vote of the membership voting by secret ballot. In the case of no clear majority, Instant Runoff voting will be used to select a candidate. "None of the Above" will always be included as a ballot choice in the candidate selection process.
Candidates will be chosen during the course of a regularly scheduled Chapter meeting or during a Special Meeting called for that purpose, provided that all members eligible to participate in the selection process have been notified of the meeting and its purpose at least 14 days prior to the meeting date.
Note 1. When endorsement by the Green Party of Connecticut Nominating Committee is to be required, the Committee shall inform the candidate and all Chapters of its pending review of the request for endorsement at least two weeks before such review is initiated, and shall schedule its review at a time that will permit all validly interested parties to contribute to the review.