Solidarity Lowell Bylaws

AS RATIFIED BY MEMBERS in November 2018. Solidarity Lowell is the Lowell, MA, chapter of Progressive Massachusetts

I. Membership

  1. Solidarity Lowell (“SL”), a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts, is a membership organization. Individuals supporting our goals become a member by attending meetings, signing up for our mailing list, or following us on Facebook, and can vote on minor decisions (which events to table at, meeting dates, etc). Members who have attended three or more meetings are considered in good standing and can also vote on major decisions, which are:
  • spending money over $100*
  • by-laws
  • officers
  • amendments
  • local/issues endorsements.

Members lose the right to vote if they miss seven or more meetings in a year (except under extenuating circumstances). Members-paying dues to Progressive Massachusetts (PM) gain additional privileges, viewable here:

  1. Meetings of members (General Meetings) are held on the 4th Sunday of the month (with the exception of holiday weekends when a (minor decision) vote will taken to decide the meeting date).
  2. All General Meetings will be announced publicly and will be open to all, though voting on major decisions will be limited to voting members.
  3. Members are expected to behave at our meetings, on our social media, and at events where they are representing SL according to the by-laws, mission statement, and social media rules (viewable in the Documents section of the Facebook Group), otherwise action will be taken up to and including being asked to leave the group.
  4. No member should act as a spokesperson for SL publicly or on social media without the consent of the Coordinating Committee.

II. Chapter-Statewide Relationship/Membership

  1. SL, as an affiliate of PM, receives benefits, including but not limited to  guidance on grassroots organizing, legislative and issues work, materials and resources, connection and coordination with other affiliates, and information and updates on statewide issues and elections.
  2. SL also has responsibilities as an affiliate, including, but not limited to maintaining regular communication with the PM staff and the PM Board and relevant committees, serving on PM’s Boards and Committees, supporting PM-wide organization efforts, distributing PM materials as requested, and participating in statewide conferences and meetings.

III. Decision-Making

  1. All members in good standing (those members who have attended three or more meetings) are SL’s decision-making body regarding all major administrative policies and procedures, program activities, endorsements, and co-sponsorship requests. The members will receive requests for input and decisions by email on an as-needed basis.
  2. Major decisions require a vote of 60% of all members in good standing. A quorum is at least ½ Coordinating Committee plus at least 10 members in good standing. Voting may be conducted in person at General Meetings or through an online ballot.
  3. Minor decisions will be voted on at General Meetings and through online ballots.

IV. Leadership Nomination and Selection

  1. SL members in good standing will nominate and elect a Coordinating Committee of not fewer than 8 and not more than 10 members in good standing. Nominating and voting can take place at the yearly SLCC Election Meeting, taking place in April. A quorum for Coordinating Committee meetings will be at least 50% plus 1 of its members.
  2. If the Coordinating Committee drops below 8 members before March, the Coordinating Committee can vote to ask someone to join until the SLCC Election Meeting in April. Appointed SLCC members are automatically up for election in April.
  3. Coordinating Committee members are invited to a two-year term or until they resign (either in person at a meeting or in the official Coordinating Committee Facebook Messenger conversation), or until they are voted out. At least ⅔ of the Coordinating Committee can agree to vote a Coordinating Committee member out. Terms will be staggered with 50% of the committee up for reelection in any given year. There are no term limits.
  4. Coordinating Committee Meetings:

4.1 The Coordinating Committee will meet twice monthly. Decisions of the Coordinating Committee will be made by a vote of 50%+1 for motion to pass. A quorum of ⅔ of the Coordinating Committee must be present to hold a meeting.

4.2 Action by Consent. Any action by the Coordinating Committee may be taken without a meeting if consent is given by ⅔ of the Coordinating Committee online (by email or in the official Coordinating Committee Facebook Messenger chat). Such consent shall be treated for all purposes as a vote at a meeting.

  1. The responsibilities of the Coordinating Committee include:

5.1. Record the minutes of the Coordinating Committee meetings and distribute them in a timely fashion to the Coordinating Committee members.

5.2. Communicate on a regular basis with the SL membership through use of, and maintenance of, an email list and at monthly general meetings.

5.3. Maintain an up-to-date list of chapter members including name, address, phone number and email address as well as date of membership and meetings attended.

5.4. Prepare the agendas for the General Meetings, record the minutes of the meetings, and distribute the minutes to all members.

5.5. Conduct any voting at General Meetings

5.6. Develop and maintain the appropriate social media avenues as needed.

5.7. Recommend, implement ,and evaluate program activities, including but not limited to public forums, debates, and legislative and electoral campaigns.

5.8. Encourage SL members to join PM or SL committees needed to carry out the responsibilities and/or the program activities of the organization.

5.9 Organize tabling and the promotion of the group at local events.

  1. The nominating and voting process for election of the Coordinating Committee is as follows:

6.1. Members may make nominations from the floor at the April meeting. Individuals who are nominated must accept or decline the nomination, or, if not in attendance, otherwise have signified their response to such a nomination.

6.2. The members will vote by secret ballot or online. The top vote-getters equalling the number of open seats will be elected.

  1. Solidarity Lowell Leaders are members identified by the Coordinating Committee as those committed to the group and who have agreed to lead a subcommittee or organize a regular task/activity.

V. Committees

  1. A Committee is a subgroup of SL members working on a specific task or goal.
  2. Any action or event that is entirely internal to a committee can be voted on by that committee without input from other voting members, but all new initiatives must also pass a vote of the Coordinating Committee and for major initiatives pass a vote of the SL membership.

VI. Amendments

The structure and procedures of operation as laid out here can be amended at the yearly By-Laws Meeting in March. In order to amend any part of this structure and procedure, notice must be given to all members in good standing at least 1 week prior to the By-Laws Meeting of the intent to amend. That notice must contain the specific provision to be amended, the rationale for the amendment, and what shall replace it. If the notice provision is not complied with, the amendment shall not be acted upon.