The bylaws of DSA-LA were ratified by the chapter on November 2, 2017, and amended at the Annual Convention on October 19, 2019.
BYLAWS OF THE LOS ANGELES LOCAL OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS OF AMERICA
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of the Local shall be DSA-LA (Democratic Socialists of America – Los Angeles).
ARTICLE II. MISSION
As a national organization, the Democratic Socialists of America is poised to be a significant mass organization in the resurgence of a popular socialist movement in the United States. As one of the largest Locals in the organization, DSA-LA has the responsibility to clearly define our own mission statement and priorities, and articulate how those support the advancement of a democratic socialist political agenda at the local, state, national, and international level.
We are committed to envisioning and working towards a transformative politics that shifts power from capital to people. In all of our work, we aim to strike an intentional balance between challenging and resisting the systemic oppression of capitalism, sexism, racism, heteropatriarchy and xenophobia, and imagining radical alternatives for a new social, economic, and political reality. We will organize with ambitious and emancipatory ends in mind, such as raising the collective consciousness of all people’s struggles and normalizing guaranteed rights that have been denatured under capitalism, while seeking concrete material wins and outcomes at every opportunity. We are an organization of the people, fighting without compromise for equality of outcome over equality of opportunity.
Within our ranks, we aim to exist along organizational lines developed and led by members, not an order imposed on members from above. DSA-LA should always be a deeply participatory organization whose processes and protocols reflects its values – democratic, transparent, and engaged in ongoing struggle against oppressive and unequal power structures.
- Our approach to organizing reflects our understanding of capitalism, which is a complex artificially-imposed system that evolves dynamically in response to challenges.
- Our work needs to accommodate a variety of viewpoints, avoid exclusivity around tactics, and prioritize productive debate over the pursuit of unanimous consensus.
- Our identity as a multi-tendency organization is an asset and something that we embrace to its full advantage, and we are committed to intentionally incorporating minority viewpoints and diverse political perspectives into all of our work rather than striving to mandate agreement among all our members.
We recognize that the Left in the United States has been historically weakened and fractured, and the Left in Los Angeles is no exception. Indeed, Los Angeles has been developed by capitalist structures along deep regional, racial, and class stratifications that offer significant unique challenges to building strong Left unity, and it must be our goal to challenge and transcend these divisions. Rebuilding and manifesting a strong socialist presence and power in Los Angeles and beyond will require looking at the Left as a complex ecosystem, and defining our role within it accordingly. DSA-LA aims to be an influential participant of that ecosystem by acting as a true resource and defining our power in service, not in governance or authority over other organizations in the Left in Los Angeles. Our goals encompass our participation in rebuilding a strong Left for everyone, not just members of our organization, and we do not wish to become a totalizing force or offer a singular solution to organizing on the Left. Instead, we aspire to build strength through solidarity, and offer a challenging alternative to capitalism for everyone.
This approach also applies within our own organization. We are conscious that our role as a large Local within a growing organization is not to enforce our political vision onto the rest of DSA, but to coordinate efforts in a productive and comradely way. We believe that our Local has a great deal to offer DSA National and other DSA Locals, and similarly that they have much to offer us. We further recognize that our mission statement and priorities must be reevaluated in response to changing political realities.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1. MEMBERSHIP
Members of the Los Angeles Local, DSA-LA will be those individuals whose dues to national DSA are paid in full, who reside and/or work in parts of the Los Angeles County area allocated to the Los Angeles Local by the DSA National organization. At the local level, it will be the responsibility of members to approve policies and guidelines for the operation of the Local, vote on matters requiring input from the full membership, contribute to Branches and Local Subgroups, and participate in elections for the Steering Committee, Branch officers, and Local Subgroups of which they are members. Member responsibilities to National are electing delegates to the national convention, voting on matters related to national policy, and making recommendations on issues and other matters to the National Political Committee of DSA. Non-members may participate in Local work and attend Local meetings, but may not run or vote in Local officer elections, Branch officer elections, Local Subgroup officer elections, or the Annual Convention. Members of Branches will be those individuals whose dues to national DSA are paid in full and reside within the prescribed boundaries of their Branch.
Members of Local Subgroups will be those individuals whose dues to the national DSA are paid in full and are active participants in the Local Subgroup.
SECTION 2. REMOVAL OF MEMBERS
If a member is found to be in significant violation of the Local’s misconduct policy, the Investigative Commission responsible for fact-finding and harm assessment may recommend expulsion for certain offenses (see Misconduct Policy Section E). Expulsion must be ratified by a two-thirds supermajority vote of the Steering Committee. Such a vote may also be called if a member is found to be in substantial disagreement with the principles or policies of the organization, if they engage in entryist behavior, or if they are acting under the discipline of any self-defined democratic-centralist organization. An expelled member may make an appeal at the National level to the appropriate officer.
SECTION 3. DUES
The Local may establish a Local pledge system of voluntary donations for its members.
ARTICLE IV. LOCAL MEETINGS
SECTION 1. ANNUAL CONVENTION
The Local will hold an Annual Convention each year. The Annual Convention is the highest legislative body of the Local. The Annual Convention votes on modifications to the Local Mission Statement and Organizational Priorities, Chapter Resolutions, and any other relevant business. Requirements for amending the bylaws are outlined in Article XIV, requirements for modifying the Local Mission Statement and Organization Priorities are outlined in Article VI. Section 1, and requirements for Chapter Resolutions are outlined in this Article.
Chapter Resolutions are time-bound, large-scale structural and/or campaign-based initiatives that require major Local resources. Chapter Resolutions must adhere to these Bylaws and shall be undertaken over the course of the year following their adoption by the Annual Convention. Chapter Resolutions can be proposed for consideration by submitting a formal proposal to the Steering Committee at least two (2) months in advance of the Annual Convention. The Steering Committee will make these proposals available for members to review at least one (1) month in advance of the Annual Convention and provide time on the Annual Convention agenda to discuss and vote on proposed Chapter Resolutions. Steering will put out a call for proposals at least four (4) months in advance of the Annual Convention.
A proposed Chapter Resolution must receive a two-thirds supermajority of votes at the Annual Convention in order to be adopted. Up to 3 Chapter Resolutions will be adopted at the Annual Convention. Fewer Chapter Resolutions may be adopted, but in the occasion that more than 3 proposed Chapter Resolutions receive a two-thirds supermajority vote, there will be a second round of runoff voting to determine the top three Chapter Resolutions. In the event of a runoff vote, each member will vote for up to three of the Chapter Resolutions which have been approved by a two-thirds supermajority—the three Chapter Resolutions which receive the most votes will then be adopted.
Remote votes and proxy votes shall be facilitated and counted as possible. A financial report will also be presented to the membership at the Annual Convention.
SECTION 2. LOCAL MEETINGS
The Local will hold a single Local-wide meeting at least three times annually. Any resolution or proposal properly qualified by member signatures brought to the Steering Committee ten (10) days prior to a Local Meeting shall be published and agendized for a vote. Local Meetings will be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, Simplified and Applied, amended to allow for remote or proxy voting and progressive stack. Chapter Resolutions may not be submitted for consideration at Local Meetings. The time and place of Local-wide meetings shall be announced by the Steering Committee at least two (2) weeks prior to the meeting and distributed to all Members in Good Standing.
SECTION 3. BRANCH MEETINGS
The Local will hold Branch Meetings at least three times annually, unless Local business requires additional meeting times. Unless otherwise determined by the Steering Committee, Local Meetings shall run concurrently within all Branches. The times, dates and sites of Branch Meetings shall be set in a schedule published and distributed by the Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee will set the agenda for Branch Meetings in consultation with Branch Coordinators, with time reserved for Branch business to be determined by Branch Coordinators. Nothing in these bylaws shall preclude Branch Coordinators from convening Branch Meetings more frequently than called for in the schedule of Local Meetings. All Branch meetings shall be open to all Chapter members.
SECTION 4. EMERGENCY MEETINGS
The Steering Committee may call an Emergency Meeting of the Local on five days notice when an urgent and important matter requires deliberation.
SECTION 5. QUORUM
A quorum of 10% of Local members, in person or by proxy, or 100 members present in person whichever is lower, must be present in order to conduct business. If applicable, absentee ballots or votes cast electronically shall count towards attaining quorum of the business which it pertains to.
Quorum for the Annual Convention or for meetings to amend these bylaws will be members comprising 10% of the membership, in person or by proxy, or 150 members, whichever is lower.
ARTICLE V. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
SECTION 1. LOCAL SUBGROUPS
The Local shall be comprised of multiple forms of subsidiary groups, referred to collectively in this document as Local Subgroups:
Branches, Internal Resource Committees, Issue-based Committees, and Campaign-based Working Groups.
All Local Subgroups are required to have a platform and mission statement, developed by the committee in accordance with Local policy and ratified by a Local-wide vote (see Article V, Section 7), and at least two officers elected by the committee (see Article V, Section 8). At least one of those officers must be designated as Chair, whose primary responsibilities will be facilitating committee strategization and progress towards the chapter goals that the Subgroup is democratically charged with by the Local membership and the Steering Committee. Another must be designated as Coordinator, whose primary responsibilities will be coordinating and communicating with other Local Subgroups to collaborate and producing reports on Subgroup work for the Local membership and the Steering Committee.
All Local Subgroups are required to maintain a publicly-available rules of order — where a “rules of order” is defined to include any set of explicit, formally codified, suspendable, and democratically amendable decision-making procedures—which they shall be required to use for facilitating their meetings. The default set of rules for each Subgroup shall be “Rusty’s Rules of Order, amended for DSA-LA Local Subgroups.”
To maintain active Local Subgroup designation, Subgroups must:
- Have at least one member responsible for onboarding new members, engaging in member retention efforts, and ensuring that Subgroup work include efforts to grow the membership of the Local.
- Have at least one member working with the Communications Director to ensure that Local communications accurately reflect and amplify Committee work.
- Produce a report, at least quarterly, sent to the Steering Committee and available digitally to all members, regarding progress in ongoing campaigns or projects charged to the Subgroup.
- Produce an annual report to be submitted to each Local Convention for membership approval.
- Maintain and make available to Local leadership records of key debates and decisions, including coalition partnerships.
SECTION 2. BRANCHES
A Branch is geographically defined subdivision of the chapter, not to overlap with another Branch. All members of the chapter shall belong to one and only one Branch. The primary purpose of Branches shall be to advance the goals of the chapter, increase member participation and recruitment, and improve accessibility to DSA-LA’s work. Branch Meetings shall be the primary regular membership meetings open to all members of the chapter.
All Branches shall be required to have at least two officers named Coordinators (see Article V, Section 8), elected by members of the Branch. Those officers shall be responsible for ensuring that Branch meetings occur, facilitating relationship-building among Branch members, initiating geography-focused recruitment, facilitating Branch meetings, and determining the content of the Branch business portion of the agenda. Branch officers will also work in consultation with the Steering Committee to appoint additional positions as needed.
To maintain active Branch designation, Branches must hold Branch meetings in accordance with the Chapter Meeting schedule.
The Steering Committee shall encourage the development of member-led initiatives to organize new branches. 50 DSA-LA members in good standing may petition the Steering Committee to form a Branch. The 50 petitioners may not include elected leadership of other Branches, and must all reside in the proposed boundaries of the Branch. One member may not be signatory to more than one proposed Branch petition simultaneously.
The Steering Committee will then consider the petition to form a new Branch. If the Steering Committee approves the proposal, it will go to a vote of the membership with the Steering Committee’s support. If the Steering Committee rejects the proposal, 50 petitioners within the proposed boundaries must be joined by 50 petitioners outside of the proposed boundaries to petition for a vote of the whole DSA-LA membership on the question. All petitioners must be members in good standing.
Each chapter-wide vote on proposed Branch formation must be preceded by dedicated time at the Chapter Meeting, with time reserved for debate for and against the proposal. The vote passes by a simple majority, provided that at least ten percent of Chapter members participate in the vote, otherwise it fails.
SECTION 3. INTERNAL RESOURCE COMMITTEES
Internal Resource Committees shall be Local Subgroups organized around a particular expertise, trade, set of Local goals, or area of knowledge or study and shall exist to provide resources in their areas of expertise to the Local at large. The primary activities of an Internal Resource Committee shall be internally focused: providing resources, tools, and training materials to the members of the local as well as assistance and expertise to campaigns, projects, and events initiated by or in conjunction with Issue-based Committees and Campaign-Based Working Groups.
SECTION 4. ISSUE-BASED COMMITTEES
Issue-based Committees will be established to maintain ongoing Local engagement and education around a core political issue by organizing discrete campaigns, events, and projects related to that issue. Issue-based Committees, as well as Campaign Working Groups, are the primary political units of the Local and they are to set specific political stances for the Local by undertaking initiatives in accordance with their platforms and mission statements.
SECTION 5. CAMPAIGN-BASED WORKING GROUPS
Campaign-based Working Groups will be established to organize around a single campaign and/or goal, with a defined strategy, purpose, and endpoint, and whose work does not fall squarely under the purview of any single Issue-based Committee. Such Working Groups will build external partnerships and emphasize coordination and engagement with Issue-based and Internal Resource Committees, as appropriate.
SECTION 6. CAUCUSES
Caucuses will be established to organize independently around shared interests and identities. Caucuses are not considered Local Subgroups. Their activities can be far more varied than Committees and Working Groups, and may take on a number of different projects or functions in relation to Local, committee, and working group goals, including but not limited to promoting certain policies or actions, planning independent events, and challenging existing Local policies.
Caucuses are required to identify a point person for the rest of the Local, who will serve as the main contact for other Groups and the Steering Committee.
Caucuses are not eligible to receive Local resources, including funding or ongoing access to posting on Local public-facing communications channels. They also cannot propose a Local-wide endorsement as a group, and would instead need to partner with an Internal Resource Committee, Issue-based Committee, or Campaign-based Working Group or submit the proposal as individual members (as outlined in Article VI, Section 3).
SECTION 7. GROUP PLATFORMS
Platforms should be comprised of a mission statement, outlining the group’s overall purpose and key stances, and a set of concrete goals and priorities. The mission statement should articulate a ‘big picture’ vision of what success would look like for the group, and should represent the group’s values and broad purpose. They should also include mention of the populations with whom the group will be working in solidarity with. Goals and priorities should be concrete and actionable, e.g., undertaking specific campaigns or projects, achieving a specific outcome, or developing a specific short-term process that helps achieve other longer-term goals.
Platforms ultimately guide the direction and political will of the group. They must be developed democratically and ratified within the group before being put up for an up-or-down Local-wide vote, requiring a simple majority to pass initially and a two-thirds supermajority to pass on subsequent votes (refer to Article VI, Section 2). Once they are ratified by the Local, platforms serve as a key reference point and tool in the decision-making process.
SECTION 8. LOCAL SUBGROUP OFFICER ELECTIONS
All Local Subgroup Officers shall be elected by the membership of the Local Subgroup every January and serve for a term of one year. All Local Subgroup Officer elections shall be conducted by the Nominations Committee outlined in Article VII. Section 1. The Nominations Committee is responsible for facilitating synchronized elections for every Local Subgroup and ensuring candidates and voting members are in good standing. The quorum for a Local Subgroup election shall be 25 Group Members. Voting periods must be at least one (1) week, and no longer than three (3) weeks.
In the event of a vacancy, whether due to recall or resignation, the empty seat shall be filled by the following procedure:
(a) If the vacancy occurs within the first six (6) months of the term, the seat will be filled by a member in good standing according to the results of the previous election, with votes for the recalled officer being transferred according to the regular voting process.
(b) If the vacancy occurs after the first six (6) months of the term, or if there are no eligible candidates that ran during the previous election for the vacant seat, the Local Steering Committee will appoint a replacement member in good standing for the remainder of the term.
SECTION 9. LOCAL SUBGROUP OFFICER RECALLS
Any Local Subgroup Officer may be recalled by the Local Subgroup the Officer represents. A recall vote may be triggered by petition signed by a number of members equal to or greater than 80% of the total number of votes cast during the previous election. Once triggered, the Steering Committee shall facilitate a forum on the recall, followed by a vote by the members of the Local Subgroup, where a supermajority of two-thirds of voters shall be required to recall the officer.
Additionally, any Local Subgroup Officer may be recalled according to the process outlined in Article VII, Section 3.
Additionally, in the case of malfeasance or nonfeasance (as defined in Article VII, Section 3), the Steering Committee may call a vote to remove a Local Subgroup Officer, with a two-thirds majority vote of the Steering Committee required to execute the removal. The rationale and result of any such vote called must be published to the membership.
SECTION 10. DISSOLUTION OF LOCAL SUBGROUPS
Any Internal Resource Committees, Issue-Based Committees, Campaign Working Groups, or Caucus shall have the right to dissolve itself, for any reason, with a two-thirds majority vote of Local Subgroup members. Quorum for such a vote shall be 25 Group Members.
In the case that an Internal Resource Committee, Issue-Based Committee, Campaign Working Group, or Caucus is deliberately and grossly acting in contradiction to the collectively determined Local Mission and Organizational Priorities or their own ratified platform, or consistently fails to perform basic Local Subgroup duties, the Steering Committee may vote to dissolve a Local Subgroup, with a two-thirds majority vote of the Steering Committee required to execute the dissolution. The rationale and result of any such vote called must be published to the membership.
Steering Committee is the only body empowered to dissolve a Branch, and shall only do so in cases of nonfeasance, with a two-thirds majority vote of the Steering Committee. Nonfeasance of a Branch shall be defined as repeated failure of a Branch to convene a reasonable number of members at Branch Meetings.
ARTICLE VI. LOCAL DECISION-MAKING
SECTION 1. LOCAL MISSION AND ORGANIZATIONAL PRIORITIES
Decision-making at the membership, Local Subgroup, and Steering Committee levels shall be guided by a democratically determined Local Mission and an accompanying set of Organizational Priorities. These documents will be available to members at all times.
The Local Mission and Organizational Priorities should be revisited at the Annual Convention, and can be amended by submitting a formal proposal, endorsed by at least 25 members, to the Steering Committee at least two (2) months in advance of the Annual Convention. The Steering Committee will make these proposals available for members to review at least one (1) month in advance of the Annual Convention and provide time on the Annual Convention agenda to discuss and vote on proposed updates to the Local Mission and Priorities. Steering will put out a call for proposals at least four (4) months in advance of the Annual Convention. If any proposal to update the Local Mission or Priorities receives a two-thirds supermajority of votes at the Annual Convention, the Steering Committee will update the document accordingly.
All proposals and decisions made by the Steering Committee shall be guided by the Local’s Mission and Organizational Priorities.
SECTION 2. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMITTEES, WORKING GROUPS, RESOURCE COMMITTEES, AND THE STEERING COMMITTEE
The decision-making process outlined in this section and in the Appendix applies to both internal and external initiatives undertaken by the Local, including Local Subgroup formation, Local policy revisions, and Local Subgroup platform amendments. It is guided by both the platforms and the Local Mission and Organizational Priorities and it prioritizes transparency and coordinated autonomy at the Local Subgroup level—where the Local’s work is primarily undertaken. The Steering Committee is empowered to undertake initiatives and actions that clearly align with the Local’s Mission and Organizational Priorities, as well as duties explicitly outlined in this document.
All projects or endorsements proposed by Local Subgroups which require Local resources, represent the Local publicly, or have political goals must be submitted to the Steering Committee. After each proposal is submitted, within 1 week, the Steering Committee is responsible for assessing 1) whether or not the proposal is aligned with existing political positions or organizational values democratically approved by the Local, 2) whether the proposal explicitly outlines which Subgroup(s) – new or pre-existing – or member(s) within the Local shall be responsible for carrying out the project and making implementation decisions, and 3) whether or not the proposal uses a relatively low level of Local resources outside of the Local Subgroup (including funds, time, political capital, and people power). If the Steering Committee determines, by a two-thirds supermajority vote, that the proposal is aligned with relevant, existing platform(s) and uses a low level of resources, no further Local-wide vote is required, and the proposal is approved. Approved proposals will be published and communicated to the membership on an ongoing basis—this requirement extends to initiatives and actions undertaken by the Steering Committee.
If the Steering Committee does not approve the proposal by a two-thirds supermajority vote, they shall agendize the proposal for the next Local or relevant Branch meeting for a membership vote, as appropriate.
During such votes, a simple majority of voters is required. For any proposal that would be up for a vote, time for the proposal at a relevant Local or Branch Meeting must be reserved for debate for and against the proposal.
SECTION 3. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MEMBERSHIP
Outside of Local Subgroups, members may organize proposals, and support for said proposals outside of the realm of Local Subgroups.
The Steering Committee will accept and consider proposals endorsed by 25 members and guide the proposals through the same decision-making process outlined above, and in the Appendix.
ARTICLE VII. LOCAL OFFICER ELECTIONS
SECTION 1. NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE
A three-person Nominations Committee shall be established at least one month prior to every Local Officer election by vote of the Local membership. The Nominations Committee shall conduct the Local Officer election. It shall solicit and receive nominations for the positions to be elected. The Nominations Committee shall also conduct the Local Subgroup Officer elections in January, as detailed in Article V. Section 7. An on boarding and training meeting between incoming and outgoing Local Subgroup Officers shall be held, no longer than 3 weeks after the closing of Local Subgroup Officer elections, during which Local Subgroup Officers shall be trained in organizational practices and tools such as relevant Subgroup listservs, NationBuilder, et al.
SECTION 2. ELECTIONS
Election for Local and Branch Officers shall be held with voting closing at least two weeks prior to the end of the previous Officers’ terms, in order to allow a two-week transition period. Elections shall be run by secret ballot. If a position is uncontested, the nominee will be declared elected by acclamation.
The term of office for any Local and Branch Officer shall be one year commencing the first week of January each year, with elections closing at the beginning of the third week of December.
SECTION 3. RECALLS
As officers of the Local exist to serve the Local, any elected officer may also be recalled by the Local. A recall vote may be triggered by petition signed by a number of members equal to or greater than two-thirds of the total number of votes cast during the previous election, or by fifty percent of Local membership, whichever number is lower. Once triggered, a Nominations Committee shall be established in accordance with Section 1 to hold a forum on the recall, followed by a Local-wide election, where a supermajority of two-thirds of voters shall be required to recall the officer.
Additionally, in the case of malfeasance or nonfeasance, the Steering Committee may call a vote to remove an officer, with a two-thirds majority vote of the Steering Committee required to execute the removal. Local Officers may not vote in the matter of their own recall. The rationale and result of any such vote called must be published to the membership. Malfeasance shall be defined as intentional misuse of Local resources, abuse of Local Officer powers, or deliberate misrepresentation of the positions of the Local.
Additionally, if a Local Officer is found to be in significant violation of the Local’s Misconduct Policy, the Investigative Commission responsible for fact-finding and harm assessment may recommend removal from Local office and such violations shall be considered malfeasance. Nonfeasance shall be defined as an ongoing or repeated failure to execute Officer duties and maintain regular contact with other Local Officers, without making arrangements to be replaced or voluntarily stepping down from the position, or failure to maintain membership. A local officer who is no longer a member in good standing shall be privately notified and given at least two (2) weeks to renew membership prior to a recall or removal vote.
SECTION 4. VACANCIES
In the event of a vacancy, whether due to recall or resignation, the empty seat shall be filled by the following procedure:
(a) If the vacancy occurs within the first six (6) months of the term, the seat will be filled by a member in good standing according to the results of the previous election, with votes for the recalled officer being transferred according to the regular voting process.
(b) If the vacancy occurs after the first six (6) months of the term, or if there are no candidates that ran during the previous election for the vacant seat, the Local Steering Committee will appoint a replacement member in good standing for the remainder of the term.
ARTICLE VIII: LOCAL OFFICERS
SECTION 1. OFFICERS, ELECTIONS, AND TERMS
The Local shall annually elect a Recording Secretary, Communications Director, Treasurer, YDSA Coordinator, and six (6) at-large members of the Steering Committee.
SECTION 2. RECORDING SECRETARY
The Recording Secretary will be responsible for:
- a) the taking of minutes of all Steering Committee meetings, and shall have custody of these minutes, and resolutions, reports and other official records of the Local.
- b) ensuring that key decisions and meeting minutes are available to members of the Local.
- c) maintaining detailed and accurate membership records in coordination with the Membership Committee, as well as Local bylaws and official Local organizational policies.
- d) coordinating with Local Subgroups to receive records of key debates and decisions
- e) transferring all records to their successor at the end of their term.
SECTION 3. COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
The Communications Director will be responsible for
(a) Coordinating public-facing statements from the Local, including but not limited to the DSA-LA website, social media, and blog.
(b) Coordinating regular internal email newsletters and announcements.
(c) Coordinating a Communications Committee that includes representatives from each Local Subgroup in the Local, to ensure that both external and internal communications accurately represent work done across all of the Local’s groups.
SECTION 4. TREASURER
The Treasurer will be responsible for the funds and financial records of the Local. All funds collected by the Local will be turned over to the Treasurer, who shall deposit them in a bank account under the name of the Local. In cooperation with the Communications Secretary, the Treasurer will be responsible for ensuring that membership dues are paid up-to-date. The Treasurer will prepare the annual Local budget, and deliver the Local financial report to the Annual Convention of the Local, as well as periodic progress reports as requested by the Steering Committee of the Local.
SECTION 5. AT-LARGE OFFICERS
At-large officers of the Local serve as members of the Steering Committee and are responsible for ensuring all Steering Committee work is executed in accordance with the Local’s Mission and Organizational Priorities.
SECTION 6. YDSA COORDINATOR
The YDSA Coordinator shall be responsible for maintaining a network of coordinators and representatives from YDSA Locals across Los Angeles, as well as extending that network to include nearby regional DSA and YDSA Locals. They shall be responsible for ensuring that YDSA Locals have abundant avenues to work in solidarity with the Local’s work, as well as to request resources and support from the Local for YDSA Local-led campaigns and initiatives.
SECTION 7. ADDITIONAL DUTIES
The Local Steering Committee may assign additional temporary duties to an officer or member in good standing of the Local, so long as such assignments do not conflict with the designation of responsibilities outlined in these Bylaws.
ARTICLE IX. STEERING COMMITTEE
SECTION 1. COMPOSITION AND PURPOSE
The Steering Committee shall be comprised of the Communication Director, the Treasurer, the Recording Secretary, and the six elected at-large Officers of the Local. The Steering Committee is the highest elected body. It shall administer the affairs and oversee the implementation of the decisions of the DSA-LA membership, ensuring that the Local’s work is done in alignment with the Local Mission and Organizational Priorities and the Local Bylaws. It may propose policies and activities to the membership; receives reports from committees and Branches; advises committees and Branches on policy issues; calls emergency meetings of the membership; and acts on any matter requiring immediate attention by DSA-LA. When relevant, actions of the Steering Committee shall be guided or superseded by resolutions passed or decisions made by the membership, which shall always be the supreme political body of the Local, at member meetings or Local Conventions.
SECTION 2. DUTIES
The Steering Committee’s duties shall include:
(a) Facilitating and planning meetings of the Local at least six times annually, including the Annual Convention, with Branch Coordinators as appropriate, and acting on behalf of the organization between meetings.
(b) Accepting proposals and facilitating votes for updates to the Local Mission Statement, Organizational Priorities, and Bylaws.
(c) Ensuring that the Communications Coordinator, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer have sufficient resources and help to perform their duties, including empowering and overseeing fundraising and communications committees.
(d) Evaluating proposals and analyses in accordance with Article VI.
(e) Overseeing Local communication and coordination with other DSA Locals and responsibilities to DSA National
(f) Facilitating coordination between Local Subgroups and ensuring that all projects are executed in keeping with the Local-wide Mission Statement and Organizational Priorities and with decisions made by the membership.
(g) Drafting and executing Local administrative policy in accordance with the Local Organizational Priorities to ensure the smooth working of the Local
(h) Requesting and receiving regular reports from all Local Subgroup Coordinators
(i) Advising Local Subgroups on policy issues and proposing activities to the general membership
(j) Publishing an annual report describing the projects, finances, accomplishments, and setbacks of the previous year and setting forth the plans and goals for the Local in the coming year.
(k) Calling emergency meetings of the membership as needed, in accordance with Article IV, Section 3.
SECTION 3. MEETINGS & DECISIONS
The Steering Committee shall meet at least twice per month. A quorum of at least six members shall be required to make decisions. In all Steering Committee votes, a majority or supermajority, as appropriate, shall be of the voting-eligible Steering body and not counted of voting members.
ARTICLE X. INTER-SUBGROUP OFFICER FORUM
SECTION 1. COMPOSITION AND PURPOSE.
The Inter-Subgroup Officer Forum shall be comprised of the various elected officers from each Subgroup (excluding caucuses) or appointed representatives. The purpose of the Inter-Subgroup Officer Forum is to facilitate continuous communications and cooperation amongst the Subgroups of the Chapter.
SECTION 2. DUTIES.
Members of the Inter-Subgroup Officer Forum shall convene with the Steering Committee on a quarterly basis. At least one officer from each Subgroup should attend. If none of a Subgroup’s elected officers are able to attend the Inter-Subgroup Officer Forum, the elected officers from that Subgroup must select at least one alternate representative and no more than two. The Steering Committee will set the agenda for the Inter-Subgroup Officer Forum.
Outside of quarterly meetings, the Inter-Subgroup Officer Forum shall be responsible for sharing and accumulating amongst its members records of key Subgroup decisions and meetings, proposals made to the Steering Committee to initiate new projects, progress on existing or ongoing projects, and upcoming scheduled events, meetings, or actions.
ARTICLE XI. GRIEVANCES, MISCONDUCT, AND POLICY ENFORCEMENT
The Local shall abide by the DSA-LA Misconduct Policy when responding to allegations of member misconduct. As appropriate, policies and resources from the National organization will be implemented as they become available, in accordance with the DSA-LA Misconduct Policy.
ARTICLE XII. DELEGATES TO NATIONAL, REGIONAL, AND STATE BODIES
Delegates and alternates representing the Local to the National Convention and any other meeting of DSA bodies in which decisions binding on the Local are to be made will be elected by the full membership of the Local.
Delegates shall seek input and guidance, facilitated by the Steering Committee as necessary, from the Local membership body regarding the topics of debate at the convention.
ARTICLE XIII. PROHIBITED ACTIVITY
The Los Angeles Local shall not engage in activity prohibited by IRS guidelines or similar rules established by the State of California. Nor shall the Local engage in any activity prohibited by resolutions adopted by DSA’s National Convention or DSA’s National Political Committee.
ARTICLE XIV. AMENDMENTS
Proposed amendments to these Bylaws must be made by written resolution, endorsed by 25 members of Local members, and submitted to the Steering Committee at least two (2) months in advance of a Local Meeting or the Annual Convention. The Steering Committee will make these proposed amendments available for members to review at least one (1) months in advance of the Local Meeting or Annual Convention and provide time on the Local Meeting or Annual Convention agenda to discuss and vote on them. If any proposed amendment receives a two-thirds supermajority of votes, the Steering Committee will update the bylaws accordingly.
ARTICLE XV. RULES OF THE LOCAL
SECTION 1. RULES
Meetings shall be conducted in such a manner as to encourage member participation and deliberation. Contributions and perspectives from members of historically marginalized groups shall be represented and actively encouraged throughout.
The Rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, Simplified shall be used for meetings where amendments to these Bylaws are to be considered.
SECTION 2. ACTION OUT OF ORDER
Any action taken by an officer or member of the Local in contravention of these Bylaws is null and void.