The Constitution of the Wisconsin Green Party Preamble
We, the active Members of the Wisconsin Green Party united for the protection of the Earth and all of her inhabitants, have come together to form a new political party based upon the principles and values of the world-wide Green movement. We subscribe to our adopted Key Values of Ecological Integrity, Global Responsibility, Participatory Democracy in Economic and Personal Life, Local and Region Autonomy, Nonviolence, Respect for Diversity, Emotional Awareness and Honesty, Human Rights and Feminism. In addition, we support the Platform adopted by the Members for future political activity. We will affiliate with other Green Parties and organizations in the United States of America and other countries as they accept and are organized around these or similar values.
Article 1. Name and Membership
Section 1. Name.
The name of the organization is the Wisconsin Green Party. The organization is founded as a not for profit, non-stock Wisconsin Corporation.
Section 2. Membership.
Membership in the Wisconsin Green Party. shall be granted to all Wisconsin residents who apply and who have paid the Membership dues as set forth in Article 2, Section 1, below.
Article 2. Membership Meetings
Section 1. Membership Dues.
Membership dues rates shall be established at least annually by the Members in a Membership meeting. Any Wisconsin resident who cannot afford the established dues for membership may be granted a waiver of payment of dues for any year by the Coordinating Council.
Section 2. Membership Participation.
All members of the organization are entitled to participate in all of the activities of the organization and to attend any meeting of the organization or its committees and councils.
Section 3. Membership Meetings.
There shall be meetings of the Members at least biannually at locations in Wisconsin to be determined by the Coordinating Council. One of the Membership meetings shall be convened in the fall of each year and shall have as part of its agenda the selection of Co-Chairs, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, Elections Treasurer and Operations Treasurer for the following year. Member meetings shall be held in different locations in Wisconsin with a view toward development of a local Green group in that location and assistance on a local issue in keeping with our Key Values. Minutes of all Membership meetings shall be kept by the recording secretary and all policy decisions and resolutions published thereafter in the organization’s newsletter.
Section 4. Notice.
Notice of the date, place, time and agenda of all Membership meetings convened by the Coordinating Council shall be provided to all members in good standing by regular mail at least twenty (20) days prior to the meeting and shall be published in the newsletter.
Section 5. Quorum.
Official business at a properly convened Membership meeting may be conducted if there are at least twenty (20) members in good standing present at the meeting.
Section 6. Proxy Voting.
There shall be no voting by proxy at any membership meeting.
Section 7. Decision Making.
Decisions made at Membership meetings shall be reached by a facilitated consensus process. Any two (2) Members in good standing may block a proposed decision, as long as they provide the reasons for their block. If more than three (3) Members in good standing stand aside from a proposed decision, it shall not pass. No reasons need be given for a stand aside position. The group will attempt in all cases to achieve consensus. In the case that consensus cannot be reached in the group, any member in good standing may request a vote. This request will automatically be honored. The group then decides with a simple majority of members present whether or not to go to an 80% majority in decision-making.
Article 3. Coordinating Council
Section 1. Coordinating Council.
The WI Green Party Coordinating Council shall consist of up to 25 members. All members must be members of the WI Green Party, and all efforts will be made to maintain gender-balanced, and ethnic-balanced representation. Five (5) members are the officers of the WI Green Party (two Co-Chairs, Elections Treasurer, Operations Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and Corresponding Secretary). The responsibilities of officers are outlined in Article 4 of the Constitution. Up to 16 members are nominated and elected from the eight WI congressional districts. Up to two members are from each of the eight congressional districts. Each member serves a 2-year term. (Members will serve 1-year and 2-year staggered terms in first year). These 8 (16 in first year) members will be nominated in their district meetings at the Fall Gathering. The election will take place at the full membership meeting. Notification will be sent out three times (in the newsletter, via email, and with Fall Gathering information) that nominations for the congressional district representation will take place at the WI Green Party Fall Gathering. If someone would like to be nominated but cannot attend the gathering, they should send a brief written statement with another member, who will speak on behalf of the member. Up to four (4) members are nominated and elected from caucuses. One each from the following caucuses: Women, Diversity, LGBT and Youth. These are 1-year terms. These 4 members will be nominated in their caucus meetings at the Fall Gathering. The election will take place at the full membership meeting.
Section 2. Duties.
The Coordinating Council is charged with implementing the will of the Membership as decided at Membership meetings and otherwise supervising business of the organization. The Council shall educate and inform the membership through publication of a newsletter, Green Wisconsin. The Coordinating Council shall select the number, location, date and time of Membership meetings each year. The Coordinating Council is empowered to speak in the name of the organization between Membership meetings on issues of public importance in accordance with the adopted Key Values and Platform. All decisions of the Council shall be made by facilitated consensus as described in Article 2, Section 7, above.
Section 3. Meetings.
The Coordinating Council shall meet at least quarterly. Meetings of the Council may be held in conjunction with Membership meetings. Minutes of all Council meetings shall be kept by the Recording Secretary and all policy and financial decisions and resolutions shall be published in the organization’s newsletter.
Section 4. Notice of Meetings.
Notice of all Coordinating Council meetings shall be published in the organization’s newsletter at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting, except in emergency situations where such notice is impossible. Notice of Council Meetings shall be made to all current members of the Council by regular mail at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting, except in emergency situations where such notice is impossible. For emergency meetings, telephone notice to all current Council Members at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the meeting shall be given.
Section 5. Quorum.
Official business at a properly convened Coordinating Council meeting may be conducted if there are at least nine (9) Council Members in good standing present at the meeting.
Section 6. Proxy Voting.
There shall be no voting by proxy at any Coordinating Council meeting.
Section 7. Finances.
The Coordinating Council shall be responsible for the finances of the organization and shall supervise the activities of both the Elections Treasurer and the Operations Treasurer. The Coordinating Council shall approve all individual expenditures over $250 in advance. The Coordinating Council shall report on the organization’s financial condition at every Membership meeting.
Section 8. Removal.
Any Member of the Coordinating Council may be removed from the Council for gross misconduct or violation of the adopted Key Values, after notice and a hearing to the member, by consensus of all current Members of the Council. In addition, any member of the Coordinating Council may be removed at a membership meeting by consensus of the Members present. Prior notice of such a proposed removal must be contained in the written notice sent out prior to the meeting where the removal is to be proposed.
Article 4. Officers
Section 1. Officers.
The Officers of the organization shall be two Co-Chairs, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, an Operations Treasurer and an Elections Treasurer. The Officers shall be Members of the Coordinating Council and of the Wisconsin Green Party All efforts shall be made to balance the Officers regionally and by gender. Officers will be responsible for granting access to specific internal documents such as membership records and databases.
Section 2. Terms of Office.
Each Co-Chair shall serve for two years with staggered terms so that there is a senior and junior Chair. All reasonable effort shall be made to rotate the Chair role throughout the membership of the organization. All other Officers shall serve one-year terms. All Officers, except for the Co-Chairs, may be reelected for successive terms.
Section 3. Duties.
1. The Co-Chairs. The Co-Chairs shall work together to coordinate the activities of the organization. The Co-Chairs are empowered to speak publicly for and in the name of the organization on issues of the day and the policies and positions of the organization between Coordinating Council meetings in accordance with our adopted Key Values and Platform. The Co-Chairs may convene Coordinating Council meetings as they deem necessary and must do so at the request of five (5) or more current Members of the Coordinating Council or ten (10) or more Members in good standing of the organization. Co-Chairs contemplating the issuance of statements or press releases not specifically covered by the Key Values or Platform should consult with a majority of the Coordinating Council prior to making any such statement. The Co-Chairs shall be reimbursed for their expenses by the Coordinating Council. 2. Recording Secretary. The Recording Secretary shall take and prepare written minutes of all Membership and Coordinating Council meetings. The Recording Secretary shall make sure that all members of the Coordinating Council receive copies of the minutes within three (3) weeks after each Council meeting. The Recording Secretary shall transmit copies of all minutes to the editor of the newsletter. The Recording Secretary shall maintain the official minutes of the organization. The Recording Secretary shall be reimbursed for any expenses by the Coordinating Council. 3. Corresponding Secretary. The Corresponding Secretary may also be the Treasurer. The Corresponding Secretary shall maintain a post office box for accepting mail for the organization at such places designated by the Coordinating Council. The Corresponding Secretary shall receive the organization’s mail and answer inquiries for information and literature. Correspondence received requesting answers to policy questions not readily answerable in accordance with the Key Values and Platform shall be referred to the Co-Chairs. The Corresponding Secretary shall maintain the current list of Members in good standing and such records as are necessary. The Corresponding Secretary shall be reimbursed for any expenses by the Coordinating Council. 4. Operations Treasurer. The Operations Treasurer shall maintain the operations bank account and operations funds of the organization in financial institutions designated by the Coordinating Council. The Operations Treasurer shall accept all funds paid to the organization and pay all debts incurred by the organization upon receipt and authorization of the Coordinating Council. The Operations Treasurer shall report on the organization’s financial condition at each Membership and Coordinating Council meeting. 5. Elections Treasurer. The Elections Treasurer shall maintain the elections funds and make disbursements from that account upon authorization of the Coordinating Council. The Elections Treasurer shall maintain the contributions database and shall file all campaign finance reports for the state party with the State Elections Board, the Federal Election Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.
Section 4. Removal.
Any Officer may be removed from the position for gross misconduct or violation of the adopted Key Values by consensus of the other Members of the Coordinating Council at a regular Coordinating Council meeting. In addition, any Officer may be removed from their position by consensus of the Membership at a Membership meeting. Prior notice of such proposed removal must be contained in the written notice sent out prior to the meeting where the removal is to be proposed.
Section 5. Vacancies.
In the event of a vacancy, an interim replacement for any Officer may be made by consensus of the Coordinating Council. Any replacement shall be confirmed at the next Membership meeting.
Article 5. Subordination to Existing Constitutions and Laws Section
The Constitution of the Wisconsin Green Party is subordinate to the Constitutions and laws of the United States of America and the State of Wisconsin.
Section 2. Election Laws.
Laws of the United States of America and the State of Wisconsin governing the conduct of elections to public office shall be part of this Constitution. The organization shall work to change any laws that restrict the full exercise of grassroots democracy.
Article 6. Platform
Section 1. Platform.
The Members shall approve the organization’s Platform at a Membership meeting.
Section 2. Candidate’s Acceptance.
The adopted Key Values and Platform are binding upon any candidate for public office who runs as a candidate of or with the endorsement of the Wisconsin Green Party. Any such candidate must also be a Member in good standing of the organization.
Section 3. Publicly Elected Officials.
Any elected official who has run for office as a candidate of or with the endorsement of the Wisconsin Green Party may be removed from Membership in the organization for votes or actions contrary to the adopted Key Values and Platform by consensus of the Members at a Membership meeting. Prior notice of such a proposed removal must be contained in the written notice sent out prior to the meeting where the removal is to be proposed.
Section 4. Endorsement.
Candidates for public office may be endorsed by the Wisconsin Green Party if the candidate has publicly stated acceptance of our adopted Key Values, Platform and other adopted policies regarding endorsement and is a Member of the organization in good standing. Any endorsement shall follow the organization’s adopted endorsement policy.
Discrimination Section 1.
Discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, ethnic identity, national origin, handicap, parenthood or color in the conduct of the affairs of the Wisconsin Green Party is prohibited.
Any Member of the Wisconsin Green Party who violates Article 7, Section 1, above, may be removed from Membership by the Membership at a Membership meeting by consensus. Prior notice of such a proposed removal must be contained in the written notice sent out prior to the meeting where the removal is to be proposed.
Section 3. Meetings.
No meetings of any body of the Wisconsin Green Party may be held in a facility which is owned or operated by a person or organization which violates Article 7, Section 1, above.
Article 8. Amendments
Section 1. Amendments.
This Constitution may be amended at any Membership meeting by consensus of the Members present.
Section 2. Notice. Notice of any proposed amendment to this Constitution must be provided in writing to the Membership in the notice of the meeting required in Article 2, Section 4, above and in the two (2) newsletters published prior to the Membership meeting where the proposal is to be made. Revised November 12, 2006, Milwaukee, WI.