DSA-North Texas Bylaws

ARTICLE I. NAME:

The name of the local shall be the Democratic Socialists of America – North Texas (DSA-North Texas).

ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP:

Section 1. Membership Members of the DSA-North Texas Local will be those individuals whose dues to national DSA are paid in full and who reside and/or work in the North Texas area. lt will be the responsibility of members to approve policies and guidelines for the operation of the DSA-North Texas, to elect delegates to the national convention, to vote on matters related to national policy, and to make recommendations on issues and other matters to the National Political Committee of DSA. Section 2. Dues The Local chapters may establish a Local pledge system of voluntary donations for its members.

ARTICLE III. LOCAL MEETINGS:

Section 1. General Meetings The DSA-North Texas will hold monthly meetings every month if at all possible.

ARTICLE IV. LOCAL OFFICERS – POWERS AND DUTIES:

Section 1. Officers and Terms The officers of the DSA-North Texas Local will be three (3) co-chairs, one (1) secretary, and one (1) treasurer elected every November. Section 2. The Co-Chairs 1. The Co-chairs will be the executive officers of DSA-North Texas, and shall serve as a committee to perform the actions of the office of president pursuant to Texas Business Organizations Code 22.231(b). . They will preside over DSA-North Texas meetings. The Chairs will be the official public spokesperson for DSA-North Texas and will initiate such actions and policies as the DSA-North Texas general welfare may demand. 2. The Co-Chairs will be responsible for coordinating the day-to-day operations and political work of the Local’s committees. 3. The Co-Chairs will be responsible for answering all correspondence and queries of the Local and for maintaining an up-to-date membership list of the Local. The Co-chairs will ensure effective communication with the national DSA. 4. The Co-Chairs will be responsible for raising funds or authorizing members or committees to raise funds to advance the mission of DSA-North Texas. The Co-chairs may establish a bank account to hold the funds of DSA-North Texas. The Co-chairs will be the only authorized signers on that bank account, and must report all funds raised and spent to the treasurer for record keeping. The co-chairs may spend the funds of DSA-North Texas only to advance the mission of DSA-North Texas and DSA. Section 3 – The Secretary The secretary will have the powers and duties given to a secretary of a non-profit corporation under Chapter 22 of the Texas Business Organizations Code. This includes keeping minutes of general meetings, records of votes by co-chairs or members Section 4 The Treasurer The treasurer will have the powers and duties given to a treasurer of a non-profit corporation under Chapter 22 of the Texas Business Organizations Code. This includes keeping current and accurate financial records, preparing annual reports and making all tax filings required by law. In the event of a Co-chair making a monetary ask as the Lead of a Committee, Working Group, Caucus, or other or asking for a monetary reimbursement then the Treasurer will replace the Co-chair for the purpose of voting on this monetary ask.

ARTICLE V. COMMITTEES:

Section 1. Duration The Local will have Committees when needed. The Committees will have co-chairs appointed by the Chapter Co-Chairs and then approved or replaced by committee members.

ARTICLE VI. WORKING GROUPS:

Section 1. Definition The Local will have Working Groups when needed, organized by the membership to improve our collective functioning as DSA-North Texas in particular areas of work or campaigns. Working Groups are expected to meet regularly throughout the year, whether as a part of general membership meetings or in separate Working Group meetings, and remain open to the participation of all members of DSA-North Texas. Section 2. Recognition In order to receive the consultative rights described below (Section 4), a Working Group must be formally “Recognized” through petition submitted to the elected Co-Chairs, containing signatures numbering five percent (5%) of the membership of DSA-North Texas. All signatories must be current members of the Local, with dues paid to the national organization. Upon verification of signatories by the Co-Chairs, the Working Group will be formally recognized at the next general membership. Recognition will last two years, and fifteen (15) signatures will be required to renew Recognition of Working Groups upon expiration. Section 3. Working Group Leads Working Groups that are Recognized through the petition process (Section 2) will be appointed one (1) Lead/Liaison by the DSA-North Texas Local Co-Chairs. In the event that the geographical boundaries of the Recognized Working Group extend beyond those of the DSA-North Texas Local jurisdiction, the appointees will be designated as “Liaisons.” Local Co-Chairs reserve the right to replace Leads/Liaisons or to replenish those positions in the event of resignation(s) throughout the duration of the term of Recognition. Working Group Lead/Liaisons will be determined through majority Co-Chair vote and must be accepted by the appointed Lead/Liaison. Section 4. Consultative Rights Working Groups that achieve Recognized status within the Local will have the right to a consultative voice and vote at all meetings of the elected leadership, through their respective Leads/Liaisons. Leads/Liaisons shall be invited to all Local leadership meetings; if the appointed Lead/Liaison cannot attend the Local leadership meeting, that Lead/Liaison can appoint an alternate to attend the meeting by e-mailing the Co-Chairs in advance; Leads/Liaisons shall have a recorded voice and vote in all Local leadership meetings; the votes of Leads/Liaisons will remain consultative, and not binding on the decision reached by the majority of elected Co-Chairs. Recognized Working Group Leads/Liaisons will not have rights to attend meetings declared as “Executive Session” by the Local Co-Chairs. Section 5. Working Group Voting Voting on items must be announced at the meeting prior and listed in agenda or description for the next meeting wherever notice for Working Group meetings are typically posted. The following meeting must be scheduled and announced at the same meeting the vote is announced. Eligible Voting Members are determined by having attended at least two of any of the past three meetings for that Working Group, the voting meeting included in the count of three meetings.

ARTICLE VII. DELEGATES TO NATIONAL, REGIONAL, AND STATE CONVENTIONS:

Section 1. Convention Local delegates and alternates to the National Conventions will be elected by full members of the local chapters of DSA. Elections for the National Convention delegation shall be held on the schedule announce by the National organization.

ARTICLE VIII. PROHIBITED ACTIVITY:

The DSA-North Texas shall not engage in any activity prohibited by resolutions and adopted by DSA’s National Convention or DSA’s National Political Committee.

ARTICLE IX. NOMINATIONS:

Section 1. Nominations Committee A three-person Nominations Committee shall be established at least one month prior to every election by vote at a Regular Meeting. It shall solicit and receive nominations for the positions to be elected. Section 2. Nominations Process Nominations for Co-Chairs and delegates to the National Convention shall be opened one month in advance of the election. Nominations can be taken up to the election including the election meeting.  All members attending the November meeting will have only one vote for each Co-Chair position. There shall be no proxy votes or bullet votes permitted.

ARTICLE X.  AMENDMENTS:

Proposed amendments to these Bylaws must be made by written resolution, endorsed by five members of DSA-North Texas and submitted to the Co-Chairs a month in advance of a regular meeting. Members will receive notice of any proposed changes.

ARTICLE XI. RULES OF THE LOCAL:

Section 1. Rules DSA will run on majority rule and with an opportunity for minority opinions to be heard. Members in good standing who attend a meeting can vote. There shall be no proxy votes or bullet votes permitted. The Democratic Socialists of America North Texas (DSA-NTX) is dedicated to providing an inclusive, welcoming, and harassment-free experience for everyone. This Code of Conduct outlines our expectations for all those who participate in our community, as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior. We invite everyone to help us create safe and positive experiences for everyone. Section 2 Code of Conduct Expected Behavior We will be sensitive to others with whom we are sharing the same space. In concrete terms, this includes speaking less if we find ourselves talking too much at the expense of other, unheard voices. We will not disrupt meetings or interrupt people when they are speaking. We expect those in positions of leadership to proactively promote marginalized voices, and to make the space more accommodating. We are committed to actively dismantling the social structures of domination and oppression. We should not engage in behavior or speech—even ironically—that reinforces systems of oppression based on gender or gender expression, sexual orientation, body size and physical appearance, disability, race, ethnicity, caste, color, religion, national origin, class, age, or profession. Avoid making assumptions; if you are unaware of what pronouns to use for someone, just ask! We will accommodate people from various backgrounds. When choosing your mode of communication or the venue for an event, take time to imagine how people of varying physical ability might interact with it, such as with technological familiarity and the technical capacity of those who wish to participate. Make sure people understand the terminology you are using, and if you don’t understand, ask questions! We are an educational space where it is safe to ask basic questions about topics we take up. If a conversation is being facilitated by a sign language interpreter or translator, maintain focus on the individual, not their interpreter. Invite families to events and encourage the attendance of children. Have plans to provide child care at events if the parents wish or if a child is having trouble staying engaged. Overall, exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions. If you disagree, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation, and attempt collaboration before conflict. Unacceptable Behavior Unacceptable behaviors include: intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, intentional misgendering, derogatory or demeaning speech or actions by any participant in our community online, at all related events and in one-on-one communications carried out in the context of community business. Community event venues may be shared with members of the public; please be respectful to all patrons of these locations. We will not yell at people or cause distress in others in our methods of communication. No one is entitled to a response, especially if they disagree. Do not troll, name call, or participate in personal attacks. Do not bring illicit materials to any DSA event. Do not use our spaces to promote your external agenda without asking. We will not initiate unwanted physical contact. This includes touching people like giving hugs, without explicit permission. There should be no harmful or prejudicial verbal or written comments related to gender, sexual orientation, physical appearance, body size, technical choices, lack of technical knowledge, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion (or lack thereof), age and other personal conditions and choices. Overall, if someone asks you to stop a certain behavior, cease immediately. Harassment is prohibited and includes conduct which is verbal, written, physical, or via electronic communication, that has the intent or effect, because of its severity and/or persistence, to be intimidating, hostile, or offensive. Harassment may include, but is not limited to:
  1. Violence, or threats, calls to, or incitement thereof
  2. Repeated unsolicited and/or unwanted advances, propositions, attention, or physical contact, sexual or otherwise
  3. Stalking
  4. Imagery, language, or other behavior that is intended to be disturbing or provocative without contributing to discussion
  5. Hate speech
  6. Intentional misgendering or use of former or rejected names
  7. Photographing or recording video for purposes of harassment
  8. Publication or transmission of personal, private communications
  9. microaggressions, i.e. small, subtle, often subconscious actions that marginalize people from oppressed groups
We recognise that other verbal and physical conduct not listed above constitutes harassment when:
  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a member’s continued affiliation with DSA
  2. Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for organizational decisions affecting such individual
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile environment interfering with an individual’s capacity to organize within DSA
We encourage members to make an effort to intervene if you witness any of the above behavior at DSA-sponsored events, if you feel safe and comfortable doing so, and in a way that respects the agency/autonomy of those who have been affected. Please report such behavior to the Harassment and Grievance Officers if you wish to make a formal concern. Their contact is hgo@dsantx.org What happens in case of violations of our Code of Conduct? Members and guests asked to stop any hateful or disrespectful behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a person insists in such behavior, the steering committee may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning or removing them from the event, communication channels, etc. If you are being treated disrespectfully or harassed, notice that someone else is being treated disrespectfully or harassed, or have any other concerns, please point out the problem to the steering committee or to a harassment grievance officer. Scope This code of conduct applies to all DSA-NTX activities, including mailing lists, social media, Slack, as well as all physical meetings. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the steering committee. Why a code of conduct? We would prefer to live in a society where we do not need Codes of Conduct. However, Codes of Conduct are essential to establish spaces that are different from – and more inclusive than – general society. If you don’t set up your own rules, you implicitly endorse those prevalent in society – including the unwritten ones – many of which we recognize as unfair to many people. When privileges are not explicitly addressed by the ethos of a space, the burden of education will often be placed upon the people who are living the oppressions. Moreover, since we still perform – consciously or unconsciously – behaviours that have oppressive potential (i.e. patriarchal, racist, sexist, capitalist, (neo)colonialist, etc.), it is essential to reflect on our privileges and on the ways in which they have an impact on our lives and the lives of others. A code of conduct can help do just that: to bring awareness, consciousness, reflexivity and ultimately change. Community Agreements Progressive Stack: Progressive Stack is a form of facilitation meant to uplift marginalized voices and allow for a diverse range of viewpoints. The stack taker keeps a list of those people who wish to speak, calling on them in turn. If someone wishes to speak, they indicate so to the stack taker, who may shift the order to prioritize voices from marginalized groups or those who have yet to speak. Mutual Respect Mutual respect invites us to see each other from a wider perspective, even when someone says something we disagree with or that offends us. We all come from different backgrounds which inform our mannerisms and communication. Honor the space with constructive questioning and dialogue that progresses the conversation. Assume good faith in each other. One person speaks at a time. If you are challenging someone’s ideas or behavior, do it respectfully, and if you are being challenged, receive it respectfully. Why Am I Talking? When in discussion, please ask yourself “Why am I talking?” We have a limited amount of time for discussion and often limited time to accomplish the tasks before us. When you speak, after you make your point, let others speak. Please respect others by recognizing how often, much, and loudly you’re speaking and whether or not you’re dominating the conversation. Make space for others to voice their opinions and viewpoints. If the facilitator of the meeting asks you to wrap up, recognize that you should make space for others. Consider whether what you want to say has already been said, whether what you want to say is on topic, and if there’s a better time and place to say it. Consider using alternative methods for showing your approval of other comments or speakers (nodding your head, snapping your fingers, giving a thumbs up, etc.). This especially applies to participants from privileged backgrounds. On the other hand, if you don’t often speak up, try to make an attempt to participate. In many respects the discussion would greatly benefit from your point of view. Use “I” Statements Speak from your perspective, rather than assuming those of other people. Your experiences are valuable but the conclusions drawn from them or even the experiences themselves are not necessarily universal. We don’t want to assume that everyone agrees with everything we are saying. Listen Actively Genuinely pay attention to what others say. Actively listen to others. If it is necessary to clarify someone’s point, repeat what you heard them say and summarize. Oops, Ouch Acknowledge when you make a mistake. Remember, mistakes will be made — nobody is perfect. Recognize opportunities to forgive others for their mistakes. Jargon Giraffe If someone is using terminology you do not know, hold up your hand in the shape of a giraffe head to indicate to the speaker that they need to further explain a concept or term that they used.

ARTICLE XII. JURISDICTION:

The DSA-North Texas Local shall encompass all areas assigned to the Local by the National Leadership of the DSA.