Bylaws

ARTICLE I: NAME 

The name of the organization shall be GREEN PARTY OF TENNESSEE 

ARTICLE II: PURPOSE 

The purpose of the Green Party of Tennessee (hereinafter "Party") is to advance the 10 Key Values: Ecological Wisdom, Grassroots Democracy, Social Justice, Nonviolence, Sustainability, Personal and Global Responsibility, Respect for Diversity, Feminism, Community-based Economics, and Decentralization; and to put forward candidates for political office who support and promote these values.

ARTICLE III: MEMEBERSHIP

A. Eligibility: Membership in the Party is open to all Tennessee residents who share a commitment to the Party's Ten Key Values and have signed the 10 Key Value pledge form, or are members in good standing of a Party Local. Voting rights at statewide meetings are granted when membership criteria has been fulfilled, 

B. Expulsion 

1. Membership shall be forfeited by any member who works in opposition to explicit principles and values of the Party. Members may be expelled by a 2/3 vote at a General Membership Meeting, which is an Annual Meeting or Special Meeting as outlined in Article V. All members, including the member proposed for expulsion, must be notified at least two weeks before the meeting where the issue of expulsion shall be raised. 

2. Individual Local parties engaged in activities that are in opposition to explicit principles and values of the Party may lose their recognition by 75% vote at an Annual Meeting or a Special Meeting. All members, including the Local proposed for expulsion, must be notified at least two weeks before the meeting where the issue shall be raised. 

3. Holders of elected public office may be removed from the membership of the Party for actions that are in opposition to explicit principles and values of the Party. Holders of elected public office may only be removed from the membership of the Party by a two-thirds vote at a General Membership Meeting. All members, including the holder of elected public office proposed for removal, must be notified at least two weeks before the meeting where the issue of removal shall be raised. 

ARTICLE IV: PARTY ORGANIZATION

A. Local Party Organization 

1. The Party encourages community-based local parties to organize.

a. The Party shall recognize formation of local parties that endorse the 10 Key Values and requests Party affiliation. 

b. The Party may coordinate activities with non-affiliated local parties and shall invite non-affiliated parties to meetings of the Party. 

2. Confederations of local Party organizations are encouraged within electoral areas that are accountable to members forming them. 

B. State Party Organization 

1. State Coordinating Committee 

a. The State Coordinating Committee (SCC) shall be the administrative body of the Party, and shall exercise general oversight of the day-to-day business operations of the Party and ensure compliance with rules and regulations. The SCC shall oversee the implementation of programs and projects, which advance the goals and purposes of the Party. SCC seats shall be open to any member of the Party. Any member wishing to declare her/his candidacy for a seat on the SCC is encouraged to do so in writing prior to the meeting and submit a brief personal statement for inclusion in agenda packet. Any member can be nominated as a candidate at the meeting. Members shall be selected to represent the diversity of populations and geography in Tennessee. The SCC shall be charged with ensuring gender balance on the SCC. 

b. SCC is elected in online election within 3 weeks of Annual Meeting each year. 

1) Terms are two years. No more than two consecutive terms may be served by an individual. 

c. SCC shall be composed of: 

2 co-chairs to be elected in alternate years 

One Secretary will be elected in odd numbered years 

One representative from each affiliated Local to be confirmed in even-numbered years. 

Four at-large members are elected in odd numbered years. At-large seats are to be filled from the rural areas of the state, or to add diversity, whenever possible. 

SCC will appoint a Treasurer from the current SCC. 

2 GPUS National Committee Delegates and 2 GPUS National Committee Alternates. 1 Delegate and 1 Alternate elected in even numbered years and 1 Delegate and 1 Alternate elected in odd numbered years. 

d. SCC is responsible for maintaining a permanent Green Party presence in Tennessee. 

e. The SCC shall meet as often as necessary, at least quarterly. Meetings are encouraged to be face to face. 

f. The SCC shall determine what will constitute a quorum during their term. 

g. The SCC shall seek consensus in all decisions of an administrative nature. For endorsement of actions and political issues a 2/3 vote of quorum is required for adoption of any proposal. 

h. Annual meetings shall be organized by a local affiliated with the Party. The local shall make known its intentions of organizing an Annual Meeting by December 1st. In the event that a local does not volunteer to organize a meeting, then the Executive Committee shall be tasked with organizing the Annual meeting. 

i. The duties of the SCC shall be: 

• to carry out all responsibilities required by the TN Election Code, 

• to make public statements regarding the Party's position on issues, 

• to respond to inquiries from the media and the public, 

• to prepare for state conventions and assemblies, 

• to create standing and ad-hoc committees, 

• to keep records and minutes of SCC and general membership meetings, 

• to maintain a database of all Party members and affiliated local Party organizations, 

• to work towards the creation of a multi-candidate campaign committee 

• to prepare and present an annual budget for review before, and ratification at, the annual meeting, 

• to hire and fire state staff as necessary 

• to create and maintain a set of Operating Procedures in which among other items the duties in this clause shall be further outlined 

j. Seats on the Coordinating Committee may be vacated by written resignation. The remaining Coordinating Committee members may fill that vacancy by appointment from the membership for the remainder of the term. 

k. Members of the Coordinating Committee may be removed for cause by a majority vote at a General Membership Meeting. All members, including the Coordinating Committee member proposed for removal, must be notified at least one week before the meeting where the issue of removal will be raised. 

l. The Coordinating Committee can determine that a seat has been vacated by a member of the Coordinating Committee who has failed to be present at two or more consecutive Coordinating Committee meetings without contacting any other regularly attending Coordinating Committee member to offer a reasonable excuse for absence. The Coordinating Committee can also determine a seat to be vacated by any member who fails to be present at any Coordinating Committee meetings for a period of six months or longer. 

m. Coordinating Committee members must be notified at least seven days before meetings, either in writing or by telephone. Whenever possible, Coordinating Committee meetings shall also be announced in any state Party publications, 

n. All Coordinating Committee meetings are open to the general membership. 

2. Executive Committee 

a. Consists of the 2 co-chairs, the treasurer and the secretary. 

b. Responsible for legal and financial reporting requirements as defined by state or federal law and other responsibilities as defined by Coordinating Committee. 

c. Shall distribute a packet containing information including the by-laws and platform to each new SCC member. 

3. Working Committees/ Standing Committees 

a. Working Committees shall serve to attain and implement the Green Party's goals and purposes. Working Committees shall meet as often as necessary, and keep minutes of all meetings. 

b. A majority of the Working Committee shall constitute a quorum. 

c. Each Working committee may appoint a chair and shall prepare an annual report, including a projected work plan, to be submitted to the Coordinating Committee and to membership at the annual meeting. 

d. Working Committees must receive authorization in advance from the Coordinating Committee for any expenditure outside of approved budget. 

4. GPTN Delegates and Alternates to the National Party 

a. The Party will maintain a relationship with the national Green Party, the Green Party of the United States (GPUS), by adhering to GPUS accreditation guidelines. (These should be spelled out in the GPTN Operating Procedures) 

b. 2 Delegates and 2 Alternates will be elected to sit on the GPUS National Committee (GNC). 

c. Terms are 2 years. A limit of 3 terms may be run consecutively. 

d. Delegates are to keep the SCC apprised of any proposals before the GNC. Delegates are to elicit feedback as to how to vote on all such proposals. 

e. If a Delegate does not fulfill their obligations or resigns the Alternate will step in as the new delegate. Guidelines determining whether a delegate is fulfilling their duties or not, and the process for removal, are spelled out in the GPTN Operating Procedures. 

 

ARTICLE V: MEETINGS AND CONVENTIONS

A. Minutes. 

1. Minutes shall be taken as necessary at all Party meetings, including those of the Coordinating, Executive, and Working Committees as well as those of the general membership. 

2. Minutes shall be read, amended and approved as necessary at all Party meetings. 

B. General membership meetings. 

1. Members shall be notified of General membership meetings at least fourteen (14) days before the meeting, either by letter, telephone, e-mail, or by notice in any regular print publications of the Party. 

2. Party shall conduct an Annual Meeting every year for the purposes of executive and administrative matters, and changes to by-laws and the party Platform. Modification of this provision may be made by the Coordinating Committee. 

3. All General membership Meetings will be open. 

4. Annual Meeting: For executive and administrative matters. Changes to by-laws and GPTN Platform happen at Annual or Special Meetings. 

5. At any General Membership Meeting, two-thirds of all Party members present are required to veto a decision or direction taken by the Coordinating Committee. 

6. Special Meetings: Called as necessary. 

a. Called by a simple majority of Coordinating Committee or unanimously by Executive Committee or by 2/3 majority of local party organizations. 

C. Nominating Convention 

1. For presidential elections, a Presidential Nominating Convention shall be called at a minimum one month before the Green Party of the US Presidential nominating convention. 

2. Only candidates recognized by the Green Party of the US who are seeking the Green Party presidential nomination shall be considered. 

3. For other state-wide offices, a Nominating Convention may be called at a minimum of one month prior to any and all related State of Tennessee candidate filing deadlines. 

4. Nominating Conventions may coincide with Annual Meetings. 

 

ARTICLE VI: PROCESS AND VOTING STANDARDS

A. The Party shall use a decision-making process that combines consensus and majority-rule at its core. 

B. The Party shall seek consensus in all decisions. In the event consensus is not reached a 2/3 vote of those present is required for adoption of any proposal. 

C. Facilitators will be used at all meetings. A technique to ensure equal opportunity for all voices to be heard will be employed. 

D. Any registered Party voting member may vote at General Membership Meetings. 

 

ARTICLE VII: PLATFORM

A. The Party platform will be guided by the worldwide Green movement, the program of the Green Party of the U.S., and of Greens in other states and nations. 

B. The Party shall have a platform based on state needs and in agreement with 10 key values. 

C. Binding Platform: Platform planks are binding upon candidates for public office at the level which the planks are passed. Statewide planks shall be binding upon all Party candidates in the state of Tennessee, except in such cases where a local plank conforms to Green Principles and Values and is not in agreement with a State Party plank; the candidate in such an area shall be bound by the local plank. 

D. Plank Acceptance: A plank shall be accepted in the Platform of the Party with an affirmative vote at the Annual Meeting. 

 

ARTICLE VIII: ENDORSEMENT OF CANDIDATES FOR PUBLIC OFFICE

A. Statewide office: State Party may endorse or nominate candidates. 

B. Other offices: Local parties, confederations, and state party may endorse or nominate candidates at the most appropriate level of organization. 

C. The Party shall not endorse candidates for other than statewide office that have been refused endorsement at a more local level of organization 

D. Candidates nominated or endorsed by another political party can be nominated or endorsed by the Party if: 

1. The candidate has received a 2/3 vote by the most local unit from which the candidate resides.

2. In the case of statewide elections there must be consensus among SCC members. 

ARTICLE IX: AMENDMENTS

A. Bylaws may be amended at an Annual or Special Meeting. 

B. Bylaws may be amended by a three-fourths vote of Party members present at the Annual Meeting or Special Meeting. Written notice of proposed amendments must be given to all Party members at least 30 days before the meeting where the vote will be taken on proposed amendments. 

C. Amendments to the Bylaws shall take effect upon approval by the membership unless otherwise provided.

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