Our Governing Document
YPDA - Hawaii Bylaws (current, October 2017).
ARTICLE I. NAME.
The name of this organization is Young Progressives Demanding Action - Hawai‘i, hereafter referred to as “YPDA - Hawai‘i” or “the organization.”
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE.
The members of YPDA - Hawai‘i are dedicated to working for economic, social and environmental justice both within and outside of the established political system of Hawai‘i.
YPDA - Hawai‘i is nonpartisan and committed to working with progressive elected officials and progressive community leaders regardless of party affiliation.
The members of YPDA - Hawai‘i are committed to the following: encouraging other progressives to get involved in the political process and training them to become effective operatives within the federal, state and county political systems; encouraging current elected officials to adopt more progressive positions and policies, and working with elected officials to pass progressive legislation; working to help elect progressive candidates to office; defending progressive laws currently on the books; and encouraging the local, state and federal executive to appoint progressive officials to serve the people.
YPDA - Hawai‘i will also support various like-minded progressive community groups in their efforts.
We believe society is strengthened when its political, economic and social systems serve the interests of the people by supporting sustainable economic policies, sustainable agricultural and energy policies, social equality for all people, the right to public education, the right to universal healthcare, the right to a clean environment, the right to a livable wage, the rights of workers to organize, the rights of indigenous people to self-determination, open and democratic elections, and a U.S. foreign policy that conforms to international law and that seeks peace and justice for all people of the Earth.
We believe corporations and those with concentrated wealth have too much control and we are committed to organizing the working class to reduce the dominance of these forces within Hawai‘i and the United States, as well as around the world.
ARTICLE III. AFFILIATIONS.
We are formally affiliated with the national Young Progressives Demanding Action organization.
ARTICLE IV. MEMBERSHIP.
The general membership of YPDA - Hawai‘i shall consist of residents, students and temporary workers living within the entity commonly known as the State of Hawai‘i. No proof of address shall be required, however, as we are committed to including the houseless, undocumented immigrants, and other members of the community with no formal residency who are, nonetheless, committed to improving our communities and society. General members shall participate in all aspects of the organization other than formal voting, which shall be reserved for voting members.
Voting members of YPDA - Hawai‘i are members who have either paid dues as established by the membership, or who contribute volunteer hours to YPDA - Hawai‘i activities. Membership dues and volunteer requirements will be set by the Board and dues shall be collected in October of each year. Members joining later in the year may pay on a prorated basis for the remainder of the year. Voting members shall vote on important organization-wide decisions such as formal candidate endorsements, bylaw amendments and Board elections.
ARTICLE V. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE.
The members of the Board shall be elected by voting members of the general membership from a pool of candidates and shall include the nine (9) members of the executive committee (determined internally) as well as eleven (11) at-large members, preferably one each from the primary higher education campuses in the state: UH Manoa, UH Hilo, UH West Oahu, Kauai CC, Maui CC, Leeward CC, Windward CC, Honolulu CC, Kapiolani CC, Chaminade University and Hawaii Pacific University for a total of 20. The Board shall elect, from among its membership, one member to act as Chairperson of the Board. The Chairperson shall be separate and distinct from the Co-Chairs of the ExCom. The Board shall meet no less than four (4) times a year, with phone-in software as necessary.
The Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee (ExCom) shall consist of nine (9) members: two (2) Co-Chairs, two (2) Secretaries, two (2) Treasurers, and three (3) Action Committee Chairs each heading one of the Economic, Social and Environmental Justice Action Committees. The members of the ExCom are Officers and shall be elected by the Board. The Executive committee shall meet no less than twelve (12) times a year, with phone-in software as necessary.
The Action Committees.
The chairs of the Economic, Social and Environmental Justice Action Committees shall build their committees from among the general membership based upon interest and skill sets exhibited by the general members. No elections are required for the members of these committees other than the chairs.
The Board, including officers, will serve one-year terms. Regular elections will be held in December/January, exact date to be determined by the Board.
The general membership must be notified of upcoming Board elections no less than thirty (30) days prior to the election date. Candidates to the Board must officially nominate themselves no less than fourteen (14) days prior and the membership must be notified of the candidates at that time.
In the event of a vacancy on the Board, the Board may call a special election at any time with a simple majority vote.
In the event of a Board special election, the general membership must be notified by email no less thirty (30) days prior to the election and candidates for the vacancy officially nominate themselves no less than fourteen (14) days prior to the election so that voting members may have the opportunity to make informed decisions.
Standing Committees, or task forces, may be established as needed by the board and may include, but are not limited to:
Membership and Outreach
Education and Events
Communication and Public Relations
Standing Committee structure shall mimic the structure of the Action committees, but with a Board-appointed chair, with participants chosen by the chair from among the general membership.
Standing Committee appointments shall extend as prescribed by the Board, or until the next Board election, whichever occurs first.
The duties of each position shall be upheld by the member elected or appointed to the position by either general membership or the Board. Failure to uphold the duties as prescribed by the bylaws shall constitute grounds for removal from position by a 3/5 vote of the Board.
The Co-Chairs shall be responsible for leading Board meetings and general membership meetings and creating and disseminating coherent and effective meeting agendas no less than three (3) days ahead of a meeting to the general membership or Board via email.
Shall be responsible for appointing designated spokesperson(s) from among the general membership to communicate to the public and to media outlets based on circumstances.
Shall be responsible for maintaining a bank account and credit card in the organization's name, signing and endorsing organization checks for reimbursement and authorizing the Treasurers to do the same.
Shall be responsible for ensuring the solvency of the organization both in terms of financial capacity and membership capacity.
Shall be responsible for holding Action Committee Chairs accountable for fulfilling their duties as committee chairs.
Shall be responsible for holding Secretaries and Treasurers accountable for fulfilling their duties as officers.
Shall be responsible for leading by example, modeling the way, (the other three as well)
Shall be responsible for being good stewards and ambassadors of the organization and cultivating positive relationships with like-minded progressive organizations, elected officials and community leaders and organizers.
Shall be responsible for communicating with YPDA national and effectively dovetailing our efforts with those of the national organization.
The Secretaries shall be responsible for recording coherent and effective meeting minutes and disseminating them no less than (3) days after a meeting to either the general membership or Board.
Shall be responsible for managing and moderating the organization's social media accounts, for updating the website calendar in a timely manner, for becoming proficient in Mailchimp or similar newsletter software and using this software to build newsletters to the general membership on a regular basis as determined by the ExCom.
Shall be responsible for drafting organization-wide memos, official positions, letters to Congress, and other official organizational documents as directed by Co-Chairs with approval from the majority of the ExCom as necessary.
Shall be responsible for managing and updating the organization's mailing list.
The Treasurers shall be responsible for keeping accurate records of the organization's expenditures and income.
Shall be responsible for drafting an annual budget for the organization.
Shall be responsible for maintaining the organization's bank account and credit card as authorized by the Co-Chairs.
Shall be responsible for ensuring members are reimbursed in a timely fashion.
Shall be responsible for ensuring that fundraising meets organizational goals.
Action Committee Chairs
The Action Committee Chairs shall be responsible for setting action priorities within the designated purview of their committees as outlined by the Board.
Shall be responsible for building a team of members dedicated to advancing those action priorities via a wide array of vehicles including, but not limited to, legislation at the state and local level.
Shall be responsible for being a champion for his or her designated action area (Economic, Social, Environmental Justice).
Shall be responsible for becoming competent on policy related to his or her action area and educating other members about relevant policy.
Shall be responsible for working with other like-minded progressive organizations that specialize in the same action area.
Shall be responsible for submitted committee reports to the Board at regularly scheduled Board meetings. These reports should be made available to general membership no less than fourteen (14) days after Board meetings.
Chairperson of the Board.
The Chairperson shall be responsible for convening Board meetings.
Shall be responsible for determining the best dates, times and locations for Board meetings dependent upon the ability of other Board members to attend.
Shall be responsible for conducting the board meeting according to Roberts Rules of Order and, as such, must be familiar with them.
Board Members shall be responsible for outlining the purviews of the three Action committees.
Shall be responsible for setting priorities for the organization's growth, solvency and policy priorities, with the understanding that the Action Committee chairs shall have discretion on how best to execute those priorities.
Shall be responsible for electing the members of the ExCom.
Shall be responsible for removing members of the ExCom and/or Board who are not fulfilling their duties.
Shall be responsible for acting as good steward and ambassadors of the organization within their communities.
Shall be responsible for attending regular Board meetings and General meetings, or phoning in when necessary and applicable.
Shall be responsible for ensuring the solvency of the organization's finances and membership by actively participating in recruitment and fundraising for the organization.
Shall be responsible for holding special elections when needed.
Shall be responsible for creating Standing Committees and Task Forces as needed.
Shall be responsible for determining courses of action the organization should take in advancing the causes of progressivism.
Shall be responsible for determining suitable candidates to office the organization may endorse by simple majority vote of the voting membership.
The Spokesperson(s) shall be responsible for interacting with the public and the media based on circumstances as appointed by the Co-Chairs.
Shall be responsible for following the directive of the Board, as executed by the Co-Chairs, in communicating to the public and the media.
Shall be responsible for acting as good steward and ambassadors of the organization within their communities.
ARTICLE VI. ELECTIONS.
Elections for the Board will be conducted at the annual December/January General meeting.
Nominations for the ExCom shall be received and announced at the December/January General meeting. Nominations will be published to all members before the first of the month following the Board elections.
Elections for the ExCom will be conducted by the Board before the first of the month following the Board elections.
Nominees may run for multiple positions on the ExCom, but may only hold one position at a time, unless otherwise authorized by the Board as needed.
Voting by eligible general members (voting members/dues-paying members) will be conducted by written ballot. Eligible members unable to attend the meeting may send or email written ballots, which must be received in time for inclusion in tallying of votes at the December meeting.
Election to the Board shall be decided by a simple majority of voting members.
Election to the ExCom shall be decided by a simple majority of Board members.
ARTICLE VII. OFFICER REMOVAL AND VACANCIES
Should an officer of the ExCom resign, or an ExCom position becomes vacant, the remaining ExCom members shall provide a list of potential replacement nominees to the Board. The vacancy will be filled by a majority vote of the Board. The replacement officer will serve until the next annual election.
Should a Board member resign, or a Board position becomes vacant, the remaining Board members may hold a special election to fill the position by simple majority vote. The Board must provide the general membership notification by email no less thirty (30) days prior to the election and candidates for the vacancy must officially nominate themselves and the Secretaries must make this information available to the general membership no less than fourteen (14) days prior to the election so that voting members may have the opportunity to make informed decisions.
A members of the ExCom or Board may be removed for failing to uphold his or her duties as outlined in Article V, Section 4, by a 3/5 majority vote of the Board members. A complaint must be received in writing by the Board, at which time a Review Committee will be appointed by the Board to review the complaint. The Review Committee will have thirty (30) days, from the date it is created, to present the Board with its final report, after which time a vote may be held, or the complaint may be dismissed by 3/5 vote.
ARTICLE VIII. MEETINGS.
General membership meetings will be held monthly or as needed. Notices of meetings will be sent to the general membership no less than ten (10) days prior to the next meeting. Decisions on issues brought before the general membership will be decided by consensus or a simple majority vote of eligible members present.
A quorum shall consist of a simple majority—half plus (+) one (1)—of Board members or ExCom members.
Ex Committee meetings will be conducted as needed, but not less than once a month, and shall be convened by the Co-Chairs.
Board meetings will be conducted as needed, but not less than once per quarter, and shall be convened by the Chairperson of the Board.
Committee meetings will be convened by Committee Chairs as needed.
ARTICLE IX. ENDORSEMENTS
When it is applicable, YPDA - Hawai‘i shall follow the endorsement guidelines laid out by the national Young Progressive Demanding Action.
In races in which there are three or more candidates, YPDA - Hawai‘i will use Instant Runoff Voting when conducting its endorsement vote. The option to not endorse shall be made apparent to members. (Rank Choice)
In all endorsement votes conducted by YPDA - Hawai‘i, the support of sixty (60) percent of the voting membership shall be required for the endorsement of a candidate by the organization.
ARTICLE X. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
The bylaws may be amended by the eligible General Membership with the agreement of 3/5 of the votes cast.
Members shall be able to cast their votes either by email or by online ballot when applicable.
Email votes must be received before the vote is taken in person on the day of the meeting for which the vote has been scheduled. Members who cast more than one vote will have their vote voided.
Online ballots must be received by the designated cut-off time as applicable or they will be voided.
To be allowed to participate in any vote, one must be an eligible (dues-paying) member at least two weeks prior to the vote.
Proposed changes to the bylaws shall be provided to the general membership no less than fourteen (14) days prior to a meeting held for that purpose.
YPDA - Hawai‘i shall actively work to recruit members from across the state and encourage the formation of localized YPDA - Hawai‘i organizing teams in their communities.
YPDA - Hawai‘i organizing teams shall be empowered to take action within their area of operation, provided this action does not violate YPDA - Hawai‘i bylaws, is legal (except in extreme instances where civil disobedience may be required) and does no harm to the public.
In the event that a YPDA - Hawai‘i organizing team determines that civil disobedience is necessary, the team must seek approval from the Board before taking action. The Board must approve the action by 3/5 vote.
YPDA - Hawai‘i shall have an official organization spokesperson(s). This spokesperson(s) shall be appointed by the two Co-Chairs and may be dismissed by simple majority vote of the Board. All members must direct public and media inquiries on designated subjects to the designated spokesperson(s).
Any procedure which is not prescribed in or governed by these Bylaws, shall be governed by the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order.