Constitution GREEN PARTY of FLORIDA

 

Introduction

The defining authority for the Green Party of Florida is its membership, organized into democratically run affiliates, which operate via a democratic representative structure:  the GPFL Coordinating Council (CC).  Some affiliates may also be constituted as County Executive Committees (CEC), but that designation is a legal distinction having to do with meeting certain requirements of Statutes of the State of Florida.  Within the GPFL itself, there is no distinction between County and non-County Affiliates as regards their representation, responsibilities or powers.

Operating under the authority of the CC are the GPFL Board of Trustees (the “Board”) and the GPFL State Executive Committee (the GPFL “SEC”).  Both the Board and the SEC include the GPFL’s statewide elected officers.  The Board has the additional option of adding a limited number of at-large Board members, either by election at the GPFL State Annual Membership Meeting (AMM) or by co-optation by the Board itself between AMM meetings.

The duties of the Board are primarily advisory and administrative, but can carry out other leadership functions at the direction or behest or discretion of the CC.

The sole purpose of the SEC is to provide the legal interface between the GPFL as a whole and the State of Florida Board of Elections, to maintain the GPFL’s status as a minor party with ballot access.

The basic structure of the GPFL is, in descending order:

State Executive Committee (“SEC”)
State Executive Board (the (“Board”)
State Coordinating Council (“CC”)
Affiliates
Active Membership

ARTICLE I:  NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Green Party of Florida (hereinafter, the Party).

ARTICLE II:  PURPOSE

A. Overall, the purpose of the party is to provide and promote a politics independent of corporate and other large financial interests, a politics of, for and by the people, placing their/our interests and those of our planet, and of our peaceful co-existence and mutually flourishing survival, as pre-emninent objectives.

B. Ten Key Values of the GPFL:

1. Social justice
2. Ecological wisdom
3. Grassroots democracy
4. Nonviolence
5. Decentralization
6. Community-based economics
7. Gender equality
8. Respect for diversity
9. Personal and global responsibility
10. Future focus/Sustainability

Further explanation of the Ten Keys can be found in the introduction to the Party Platform, and in Party literature. The first four above are the four pillars of the Greens Ten Key Values:

C. Specific objectives shall be derived in principle from the Ten Key Values and reflected as specific policy objectives within the Platform of the Party, and expressed in public position statements catalogued by the Party, and available on the Party website.

Functional objectives within the Party shall be to:

1. Foster the creation and development of a Green Party in each county of Florida, which may consist of a number of Affiliates, while continuing to support those already existing.
2. Serve as a network facilitator between the County Green Parties and recognized Affiliates.
3 Facilitate electoral politics, campaigns and office holding statewide and among all the Affiliates in the State of Florida.
4. Serve as the official state Party in association with the duly constituted Green Party of the United States, which is recognized and registered with the federal election authorities (FEC) and its member State Green Parties.
5. Collaborate with non-affiliated local, regional, state, national and global Green associations, societies or groups to promote the Ten Key Values.

ARTICLE III:  MEMBERSHIP

A. The Party enthusiastically welcomes all people from every race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social and economic status, religious and spiritual tradition, and having whatever particular abilities and disabilities.

B. Membership in the Party is open to those who support the Ten Key Values of the Green Party. Members may not be registered to vote with any other political party in the State of Florida.

C. Each elector has a fundamental right to fully and meaningfully participate in the business and affairs of the Party without any monetary encumbrance.

D. All electors, or their delegates, are eligible to vote at the Annual Membership Meeting of the Party.

E. Additional membership requirements, as well as procedures for registration, deactivation or revocation of membership, shall be specified in the Party’s Bylaws.

ARTICLE IV:  OFFICERS

A. The officers of the GPFL State Executive Committee shall consist of a Chair, a Vice Chair, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.

B. All members of the Party shall be eligible to hold office.

C. With the exception of the Co-Chairs who are elected to staggered 2-year terms, all other elected officers, and roles such as Spokespersons, National Delegates, and Board members serve 1 year terms.

D. The officers shall be elected by a majority of the SEC at the Annual Membership Meeting (AMM) held during May or June of each year.

E. Any vacancy occurring in any office by death, resignation or otherwise may be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by the CC at any regular or special meeting.

ARTICLE V: PARTY STRUCTURE, DECISION MAKING, AND MEMBER PARTICIPATION

A. The Party is comprised of the members and statewide affiliates and local chapters, acting through a state assembly of delegates called the Coordinating Council, or CC, which is considered the decision making body of the Party.

The decision making process of the CC is to strive for consensus, or otherwise a super majority of delegates, the details of which are specified in Article X of the Party’s Bylaws, in addition to other procedural details such as requirements for time limits and quorum.

Membership participation within the Party has several foci. Members may focus on local issues by participating with local chapters of the Party, in accordance with local chapter bylaws. Participation on statewide issues may be done directly or indirectly. Indirectly, members may express themselves through their local delegates to the CC. Members may also directly participate in committees or working groups designated by the CC, or by becoming an officer or board member of the Party, in accordance with the Party Bylaws.

B. The Annual Membership Meeting of the voting membership shall be called by the CC and held at least once per year. Notice shall be given to members a minimum of thirty (30) days in advance as to time, date, and place of all meetings by timely publishing notice on the Party’s public and functioning website. All members may attend the Annual State Meeting and vote in the Party elections and decisions of that meeting.

C. The general membership may meet at such other times and places as may be determined by the CC.

D. Regular meetings of members are also provided for by county parties and local chapters, which shall give notice to members as to time, date, and place of all of their meetings; timely publish notice on its public and functioning website as to the time, date, and place of all their meetings. Decision making follows consensus seeking, and participation is welcomed and promoted.

E. Party affairs are also conducted regularly and continuously using various methods, including electronic media such as email, conference calling, or web conferencing. Decision making outside physical meetings follows the same consensus seeking process as prescribed in the Bylaws and described above.

F. Regular physical meetings shall be called by the CC, at least once per year, such as the Annual Membership Meeting, which includes a meeting of the CC and a meeting of the individual membership registered with the Party, and timely published on the Party’s public and functioning website as to the time, date, and place of the meeting.

G. The Board of Trustees (hereinafter, the Board) serves as an advisory-working committee for the Party. The Board consists of two co-equal co-chairs (one of each gender), a treasurer, a secretary and general Board members. The Board assists and helps guide the Party in strategic planning, party building, leading state-wide initiatives, and other such projects as are necessary or directed by the CC. The Board receives its direction and mandate for action directly from the CC and is responsible directly to the CC. The Board shall also function as the State Executive Committee, in all legal matters. Board members are elected by a majority of the CC and the general membership at the Annual Membership Meeting.

H. The State Executive Committee (hereinafter, the SEC) functions under the direction of the CC. The membership of the SEC is composed of the members of the State Coordinating Council, general Board members, and Board officers. The Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of the SEC shall be elected by a majority of the SEC at the Annual Membership Meeting, and the SEC officers shall also serve as the co-chairs, secretary and treasurer, respectively of the Board. The foundational authority of the SEC comes from the CC, which is in turn empowered by the represented Affiliates. Among the SEC’s duties (as more fully outlined in the Bylaws) are: to certify party nominations approved by the CC (including, but not limited to, delegates to the national convention), to oversee the conduct of campaigns for party nominees, to oversee the raising and expenditure of party funds and, to certify candidates for presidential elections, as approved and authorized by the CC.

ARTICLE VI: AMENDMENTS

A. Proposals for changes to this Constitution may be put forth by the CC, a state bylaws committee, County Affiliatesor individual general members.

B. This Constitution may be altered, repealed, or amended by consensus, or failing that, by a 2/3 vote of the CC delegates.

C. The delegates of the CC have a positive and affirmative obligation to provide appropriate notice (as provided in the Bylaws) to their Affiliates and Active Members of a proposed change or amendment to this Constitution. The delegates should then obtain clear direction from their Affiliates and Active Members, and should vote according to such direction.

ARTICLE VII: DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES

A. Freedom of Information:
Meetings and records of finances, membership, and minutes of the Party shall be open to inspection by any member of the Party. Any Party meeting may be closed to non-members on a majority vote.

B. Immediate Recall
The recall of any Party officer, coordinator or representative may be proposed at any general meeting of the CC, whether physical or electronic. If the motion to consider the recall passes, a vote on whether or not to effect the recall will be taken at the next general meeting.

C. Imperative Mandate
Official representatives and delegates of the Party may express personal opinions, but must act and vote within the guidelines established by the Party.

D. Affirmative Action:
The Party is committed to encouraging participation by all residents of the state of Florida, but in particular, members of those groups which tend to be underrepresented in the dominant political and economic system: women, racial and ethnic minorities, the poor, and minorities of sexual orientation.

E. Ends and Means:
The Party shall employ a diverse array of nonviolent means in pursuing Green social change, such as rallies, demonstrations, boycotts, citizens’ initiatives, civil disobedience, direction action, the building of alternative institutions, and electoral politics. We believe that the means we use must reflect the values of compassion, cooperation, justice, respect and nonviolence that we seek to embody in the future Green society.