Bylaws for the Progressive Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party
ARTICLE l. NAME AND MEMBERSHIP
This organization shall be known as the Progressive Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party. Its membership shall consist of progressive leaders, activists, and progressive members within the Michigan Democratic Party, issue groups, labor organizations and other groups and individuals who want to move the Democratic Party in a progressive direction. We are dedicated to advancing progressive legislation at all levels of government and supporting progressive Democratic candidates in Michigan.
All Progressive Caucus members must sign and date an official written or electronic Progressive Caucus membership form in order to join and vote in a Progressive Caucus meeting. Any member of the Michigan Democratic Party with voting rights and joins the Progressive Caucus may participate and vote at Progressive Caucus general meetings. Membership applications for the Progressive Caucus and the Michigan Democratic Party will be available at Progressive Caucus activities and on the Progressive Caucus website.
The Progressive Caucus shall be a non-profit organization and upon its dissolution, all assets and real or personal property of the Progressive Caucus and its committees and work groups shall revert to the benefit of the Michigan Democratic Party. No part of the income or assets of the Progressive Caucus shall transfer to any of its members or non-members, except for the reimbursement of actual expenses or reasonable compensation for services as approved by at least two of the Officers or 10 of the Executive Committee members pursuant to Article IV, Section 7.
ARTICLE lI. PURPOSE
The purposes of the Progressive Caucus are to promote the values of the Progressive Caucus and progressive activities within the Democratic Party, and progressive candidates at all levels of government; and to recruit, train, support and elect Progressive Democrats. The Progressive Caucus shall promote a progressive ideology, defined within the Progressive Caucus Platform.
ARTICLE lII. FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
Section 1. In order to promote transparency and participation, general meetings of the Progressive Caucus shall be open to any members of the public regardless of actual or perceived race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, economic status, religion, ethnic identity, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, physical appearance or disability.
Section 2. No tests for membership in, nor any oaths of loyalty to, the Progressive Caucus shall be required or used, which has the effect of requiring prospective or current Progressive Caucus members to acquiesce in, condone or support discrimination on the grounds of actual or perceived race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, economic status, religion, ethnic identity, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, physical appearance or disability.
Section 3. The time and place for all general membership meetings of the Progressive Caucus shall be announced in such manner as to assure timely notice to all interested persons. Such meetings must be accessible to all Progressive Caucus members and large enough to accommodate all interested persons.
Section 4. The Progressive Caucus shall announce in such a manner as to assure notice to all interested parties a full description of the legal and practical procedures and qualifications for selection of Progressive Caucus officers, representatives, and Executive Committee members. Announcement of these procedures shall be done in such a fashion that all prospective and current members of the Progressive Caucus will be fully and adequately informed of the pertinent procedures in time to participate in each selection procedure of the Progressive Caucus and so that all prospective candidates or applicants for any elected or appointed position within the Progressive Caucus will have a full and adequate opportunity to compete for office.
Section 5. Proportional voting shall be used in the election of the Officers and Executive Committee of the Progressive Caucus.
Section 6. All rules and bylaws of the Progressive Caucus shall be consistent with the Rules of the Michigan Democratic Party and shall be available on request electronically or in writing to any member of the Progressive Caucus.
Section 7. No rule shall be adopted at any level of the Progressive Caucus which would require a person to cast a vote or be recorded as voting contrary to that person’s judgment.
Section 8. On all questions of procedure not resolved by the Rules of the Michigan Democratic Party or these Bylaws, the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used.
Section 9. Votes shall not be taken by secret ballot at any meeting of the Progressive Caucus at any level. Voter intimidation or coercion will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 1. The Officers shall be a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson of the different gender of the Chairperson, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. They shall have two-year terms and each will be elected by a majority vote at a full membership meeting of the Progressive Caucus at the Michigan Democratic Party’s Spring Convention in odd years.
Section 2. The Executive Committee shall consist of the 4 Officers, Chapter Chairs, and the two Congressional Coordinators of differing genders for each of the congressional districts, and the chairs of our Committees as approved by the Executive Committee. The congressional districts present at the Spring State Convention Progressive Caucus meeting shall elect their Coordinators of differing genders by majority vote for each Coordinator. For districts without representation at the Spring Convention, party officers and Regional Coordinators will help convene a special election within their district as soon as possible.
Section 3. Vacancies among the Officers and the Executive Committee shall be appointed temporarily by a vote of the Officers, and elected by majority vote at the next statewide meeting of the Caucus members or in the congressional district with the vacancy. Caucus members statewide are welcome to attend Executive Committee meetings, but cannot vote unless the Executive Committee opens the meeting for members to vote.
Section 4. The Chairperson shall preside at all Executive Committee meetings and Conventions, and have such other duties as are usual to the office of Chairperson, or that may be required by this organization. The Chairperson in cooperation with the Vice Chairperson and the Treasurer will create and present an annual budget to the Executive Committee for approval, including fundraising plans, goals and expenditure purposes, and expected amounts. Brief quarterly budget updates will be created and presented to the Executive Committee.
Section 5. The Vice-Chairperson shall assist the Chairperson in the discharge of his/her duties, and shall temporarily assume the duties and responsibilities of the Chairperson in his/her absence.
Section 6. The Secretary of this organization shall keep an accurate record and minutes of the proceedings of all meetings. The Secretary shall keep and preserve all the books, documents, correspondence, records, minutes, effects, and any other property of this organization. When a new secretary is elected the past secretary shall deliver all the aforesaid items kept and preserved during his/her tenure to the newly elected secretary within 30 days of the election. The Secretary shall see that proper notification is given of Caucus meetings.
Section 7. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the financial receipts and disbursements of this organization subject to the approval of the Executive Committee. The funds of this organization shall be deposited in credit unions and/or banks, and shall be drawn upon only by checks signed by any two of the following officers: Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or Secretary. The Treasurer shall make a full annual and brief quarterly financial reports to the Executive Committee and the Caucus. When a new Treasurer is elected, the past Treasurer shall deliver the funds, all the books, and records to the new Treasurer.
Section 8. In-person, phone or virtual meetings of the Officers and of the Executive Committee shall be held when major activities of the Progressive Caucus at the State Level are proposed, discussed and decisions made in the name of the Progressive Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party. Major activities include:
- expenditures over $250
- endorsements by the Progressive Caucus for Democratic candidates for partisan and nonpartisan positions, including suggestions from local Progressive Caucus chapters,
- negotiations and agreements for the Progressive Caucus to formally work with other Democratic Party caucuses or other progressive groups on Democratic Party candidate campaigns, petition drives and other political efforts, and
- other activities that would involve large amounts of time, energy and funding by our Caucus members and supporters.
Such major activity decisions by the Officers are considered as recommendations to the Executive Committee for its discussion, amendment and approval or disapproval at its next mid-year, quarterly or monthly meeting.
Section 9. The Chairperson may appoint a Parliamentarian and a Sergeant At Arms to discharge the duties of those positions.
ARTICLE V. MEETINGS of the Executive Committee and Statewide Meetings
Section 1. The regular meetings of the Progressive Caucus Executive Committee shall be on the date and at the location and time set forth in the meeting notice. The Executive Committee shall meet quarterly by conference call and/or in person with at least one meeting called in person every year. At least 10 (ten) days notice shall be given of the date, time, and place of the meeting. Notice may be given by mail, email, phone, text message, and/or Facebook. A quorum shall consist of 30% of the Executive Committee members.
Section 2. At least once per calendar year, there shall be a full membership meeting of the Progressive Caucus where the Officers and Executive Committee shall report on Caucus activities. At least 45 (forty-five), 30 (thirty), 15 (fifteen) and 5 (five) days notice shall be given of the date, place, time, and purpose of the meeting. Notice may be given by mail, email, phone, text message and/or Facebook.
Section 3. Special meetings of the Executive Committee or full membership may be called by a majority of the Executive Committee or full membership, respectively. At least five (5) days notice shall be given of the date, place, time, and purpose of the special meeting. Notice may be given by mail, email, phone, text message and/or Facebook.
Section 4. The full Caucus shall meet in conjunction with County, Congressional District, State Central Committee, and State Conventions at the date, time and place established by the Executive Committee when called by the majority of Officers or majority of the Executive Committee. Progressive Caucus committees and/or chapters that are active at the congressional district, county, or local levels also can meet at the date, time and place of their choosing so long as proper advanced notice is provided to their members and the public.
Section 5. Subject to the Rules of the Michigan Democratic Party and these Bylaws, all meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order (latest edition).
ARTICLE VI. COMMITTEES
Section 1. The Chairperson, in cooperation with the Officers and subject to the approval of the majority of the Executive Committee, shall appoint the committees and committee chairpersons as necessary for the work of the organization.
Section 2. Standing Committees shall include the following:
- Political Organizing Committee
- Finance Committee
- Candidate Recruitment Committee
- Campaign and Petition Drive Committee
- Communications Committee
- Policy and Resolutions Committee
- Rules and Bylaws Committee
- Regional & Local Committees
These committees shall include the appropriate subcommittees and workgroups. The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Caucus shall be ex-officio members of all standing committees.
ARTICLE VlI. ORDER OF BUSINESS for EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE and STATEWIDE MEETINGS
- Roll Call of Officers and Executive Committee Members
- Approval of Proposed Agenda
- Approval of Previous Minutes
- Reports of Officers
- Treasurer (financial report)
- Secretary (correspondence)
- Old Business
- New Business
- Set Date and Time of Next Meetings.
- Comments for Good and Welfare
ARTICLE VIIl. CHAPTER CHARTERING PROCESS
Section 1. To be chartered as a chapter of the Progressive Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party you must adhere to the following steps:
- Have a meeting(s) with at least ten people in attendance;
- Elect officers for the chapter, including two Co-Chairs of different genders, and an officer-at-large, and where necessary, Treasurer. Elections must be announced at a meeting prior and must be communicated to the statewide Progressive Caucus and progressives in the community through the statewide caucus and/or a mailing list of Progressive Caucus members. Election results must be communicated to the chair and/or secretary of the statewide Progressive Caucus;
- By forming in a region or area that lacks a chartered chapter of the Progressive Caucus, this means you cannot form a chapter of the Progressive Caucus where one already exists;
- Follow the mission and vision of the Progressive Caucus of Michigan;
- Submit the names and contact information of the two Co-Chairs, and officers-at-large of the chapter to the Secretary of the Progressive Caucus;
- Submit membership information and meeting minutes to the statewide Progressive Caucus every quarter (January, April, July, October);
- Submit the chapters proposed Bylaws to the Secretary of the Progressive Caucus following their ratification by the chapter.
Section 2. To ratify a chapter of the Progressive Caucus of Michigan, a majority vote of the Executive Committee of the Progressive Caucus of Michigan is needed at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Executive Committee. The Committee must vote on the ratification of a chapter no later than one month following the receipt of the necessary materials for ratification from the proposed chapter.
- If a chapter is not ratified and chartered, a notification must be sent to one of the proposed chairs of the caucus to inform them of the reasons they were not chartered. They may appeal this decision at the next general meeting of the Progressive Caucus of Michigan during a convention. Notification must be sent to the Chair of the Progressive Caucus at least 30 days before the date of the convention so that the appeal may be added to the agenda. The general membership of the Progressive Caucus may vote to charter a chapter and overrule the decision of the Executive Committee by majority vote.
Section 3. Once ratified as a chapter, a chair of the chapter shall join the Executive Committee as a member.
Section 4. Charter may be removed if a chapter does not follow the bylaws of the Progressive Caucus of the MDP and the Michigan Democratic Party bylaws, or if a chapter falls below the minimum membership number of ten members, or by a two-thirds majority vote of the whole membership of the Progressive Caucus of the MDP at a statewide convention.
Section 5. The Mid-Michigan Progressive Caucus, Congressional District 12 Progressive Caucus, and Kent County Progressive Caucus shall be grandfathered in as chartered chapters by the ratification of this amendment to the Bylaws.
ARTICLE IX. AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Proposals for changes or amendments to these bylaws shall first be referred to the Rules and Bylaws Committee, which shall report its recommendations to the next regular Caucus meeting or special meeting called for that purpose.
Section 2. These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Progressive Caucus present at a meeting, provided that notice setting forth the proposed amendment(s) has been sent by mail, email, and/or Facebook to all Caucus members at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
Section 3. These bylaws shall be in full effect upon their adoption and shall supersede all bylaws, rules, motions, and policies of a contrary nature with the exception of the Rules of the Michigan Democratic Party.
Section 4. These bylaws were approved by the statewide meeting of the Progressive Caucus on April 15, 2018.