CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF THE MARYLAND GREEN PARTY
Adopted unanimously at the Maryland Green Party Gathering and Assembly August 13, 2000, at Lake Elkhorn Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, by the individuals designated in the partyforming petition as the initial governing body (the “Committee of 25”) and ratified unanimously by the Coordinating Council and by the whole Assembly. Green Party Co-Chair Bob S. Auerbach, who is designated the State chairman of the Green Party in the party-forming petition, convened the meeting and presided as president pro tem of the meeting of the Committee of 25 until party officers were elected. Amended at the MGP State Assembly held at Towson University, May 12-13, 2001. Amended at the MGP State Assembly held at HCLS Elkridge Branch, June 30, 2018. Amended after the Nov. 2021 emergency assembly on 12/11/2021: 5.2 removed and replaced by 5.2 - 5.2.11. Amended via online vote of Coordinating Council January 21, 2021. Amended at the MGP State Assembly held online on 06/12/2022: 5.1, 5.3, 7.2, 9.1, 9.3, 10.6, 10.8, 14.6; deleted 13 references to the bylaws as “interim”. Formally declared “permanent,” not “interim, by vote of the membership June 12, 2022. Amended at the online MGP State Assembly 6/25/2023: Articles 3, 5.3 to 5.10, 7, and 8.
ARTICLE 1 NAME
1.1 The name of this organization is the Maryland Green Party (hereinafter referred to as “MGP”).
ARTICLE 2 PURPOSE
2.1 The MGP is an association of Maryland residents, and a statewide confederation of Local Green organizations, working to promote peace, environmental values, social justice, and democracy.
2.2 To further these aims, the MGP intends (1) to seek and maintain political party status under Maryland law and to run Green Party candidates for political office; (2) to work in solidarity with groups and individuals sharing the same aims as the MGP; and (3) to assist the development of, and communication and coordination among, Local Green organizations (hereinafter “Locals”).
2.3 The MGP adopts the following Green Ten Key Values (hereinafter “Green Values”), which are: Ecological Wisdom, Social Justice, Grassroots Democracy, Nonviolence, Decentralization, Community Economics, Respect for Diversity, Feminism, Personal and Global Responsibility, and Future Focus / Sustainability.
ARTICLE 3 MEMBERSHIP
3.1 Eligibility for Participation: The primary means of determining membership in the Maryland Green Party is voter affiliation. At times when the Maryland Green Party is recognized as a party by the Maryland State Board of Elections, all registered voters affiliated with the Green Party are members.
When the Maryland Green Party is not recognized as a political party by the Maryland State Board of Elections registered voters who are affiliated as “Others-Green” are members.
Maryland residents over 16 years of age who are disenfranchised from voting due to age, incarceration, or immigration status may become members of the MGP by submitting an official attestation that they are a Maryland resident unable to register to vote who wants to be a member of the Maryland Green Party.
3.2 Rights of Members: Members of the Maryland Green Party are entitled to each of the following without restriction, unless explicitly prohibited by law or these bylaws.
- Seek nomination for elected office as Green Party candidate
- Run for an elected position on the MGP-CC
- Run for elected position as a delegate to the GPUS National Committee or Presidential Nominating Convention
- Seek appointment to GPUS or MGP committees
- Vote in any party run primary
- Vote in any internal leadership election
- Vote on bylaws or platform proposals
- Propose bylaw or platform amendments
- Sign a petition calling for an emergency assembly
- Any other powers granted in these bylaws.
These rights shall not curtail the powers granted to the MGP-CC in Article 5 of these bylaws to create rules of order and process for the MGP-CC and its committees, GPUS representatives, meetings, online forums, or hosted activities.
3.3 Individual Freedom: Under no circumstances shall the MGP require of its membership any adherence to any creed or dogma, nor shall the MGP seek to impose any orthodoxy or ideology as a condition of membership. In keeping with the Green Values of decentralized decisionmaking, autonomy, protection of minority points of view, and respect for diversity, the MGP is committed to freedom of conscience, intellectual freedom, freedom of expression, and freedom of association. The MGP shall not require as a condition of membership the taking of any oath, nor shall it require the recital of any pledge of allegiance or credo, or any public or private profession of loyalty.
3.4 Local Autonomy: Any criteria for participation in the decisionmaking processes of the MGP shall not limit the rights of local chapters to define their membership criteria or decision making process.
ARTICLE 4 LOCALS, COUNTIES, AND REGIONAL CONFEDERATIONS
4.1 Locals: The Local is the basic decisionmaking and organizing entity of the MGP.
4.2(a) Organizing New Locals: The MGP, with the participation of established Locals, shall make efforts to organize Greens unrepresented by any Local, by facilitating communication and coordination of organizing efforts.
4.2(b) Application for Recognition as Local: An organization of members of the MGP shall, upon application to the MGP, be recognized by the MGP and all other Locals as an autonomous Local if that organization (a) has at least three (3) recognized members of the MGP; (b) holds or intends to hold regular meetings that are open to all MGP members and interested persons; and (c) does not represent a region or membership greater than could reasonably attend and voice opinions at those meetings.
4.3 Local Charters: Each Local may, from time to time, draft and ratify a charter, statement of purpose, or bylaws expressing the character and enduring issues of that Local, and how those issues relate to the Green Values and the aims of the MGP.
4.4 Duties of Locals: While having complete autonomy within Article 3 and within Section 4.1 of these Bylaws with regard to its own organization, structure, policies, and decisions, each Local shall keep and maintain complete and accurate membership rolls and shall regularly provide that information to the MGP Membership Committee; shall keep minutes for all meetings; shall from time to time appoint delegates and representatives to MGP committees, conventions, and assemblies; and, for purposes of elections, and in order to comply with applicable and valid election laws, shall coordinate all election related activities with the Electoral Committee of the MGP.
4.5 Confederations within a County: For purposes of election law, in counties where two or more Locals exist, these Locals may form a confederation to coordinate electoral activity within that county in consultation with the Electoral Committee of the MGP. It is up to those Locals to determine the structure of the confederations, except that any such structure should not be inconsistent with valid election law.
4.6 Other Confederations: Where bio-regional issues or electoral districts include more than one county, the Locals and / or county confederations that comprise the area should form a confederation to coordinate activities relevant to that issue or electoral district. The formation of any electoral district confederations should involve consultation with the Electoral Committee of the MGP. It is up to those Locals and/or county confederations to determine the structure of such a confederation except that any such structure should not be inconsistent with valid election law.
4.7 Designation of County-Level Committees: For purposes of Maryland election law, in counties where only one Local exists, that Local may be designated the County Central Committee (or whatever county level governing body may be called for by election law). In counties with more than one Local, the governing body of the county confederation described in Section 4.4 may be designated the County Central Committee (or whatever county level governing body may be called for by election law).
ARTICLE 5 RULES OF ORDER AND PROCESS
5.1 Maryland Green Party Process Manual; Consensus-Seeking
(a) Maryland Green Party Process Manual. The Maryland Green Party shall maintain an updated MGP-CC process manual, available on the Party Website, that details rules and processes for MGP-CC business. New additions to this process manual must be approved by ⅔ of the MGP-CC.
(b) Consensus-Seeking; In all proceedings, assemblies, committees, and other meetings, except where mandated otherwise by these Bylaws or by valid election law, the MGP-CC shall seek to arrive at decisions by consensus. If consensus cannot be reached after 7 days of discussion, a vote shall be called for. Except where specifically provided otherwise in these Bylaws, the decision of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of yes and no votes on substantive issues and a 50%+1 majority of yes and no votes on process issues shall prevail.
5.2 Voting Methods: The selection of MGP officers, GPUS delegates, and GPUS Alternates and Presidential Nominating Committee Delegates shall be as specified below. Guiding Green principles and values are for voting methods that promote the fullest possible representation and inclusivity, such as multi-member seats, proportionality, and single transferable vote (STV), and for voting methods that avoid factionalism and domination.
5.2.1 Single-Member Seats. Ranked choice elections will be calculated using instant runoff voting (IRV) for single-seat elections with a Droop quota (ballots/(seats+1))+1. A candidate must pass the Droop quota in order to be elected.
5.2.2 Multi-Member Seats. Ranked choice elections will be calculated using Scottish Method single transferable vote (STV) using the Droop quota as a static threshold for multiple-seat elections. All candidates must pass the static threshold in order to be elected.
5.2.3 Unfilled Seats. If a seat remains unfilled after the election, nominations shall immediately re-open for that position and remain open for 30 days. None of the candidates previously listed on the ballot shall be eligible to be nominated. A new election shall take place, following all the rules outlined in Article 5 of the MGP bylaws.
5.2.4 Membership Notification. The CC shall ensure that the membership is notified of nominations, candidates, and elections.
- All registered greens and all green party locals must be notified of calls for nominations and elections.
- The MGP shall provide a forum for candidates to present their positions to the membership.
- The internal elections committee shall determine the timing and method of the communication with members, as well as the forum for candidates.
5.2.5 Electronic Balloting. Secure electronic systems must be used. Paper ballots shall be made available to those requesting them.
5.2.6 Elections. Elections will be open for at least three weeks, must offer online or mail-in ballots, and may offer in-person balloting. No one should be required to go to any place or space in order to vote.
5.2.7 Ad-Hoc Elections Committee
An ad-hoc internal elections committee will be responsible for recommending to the coordinating committee a set of procedures. The coordinating council must approve these election procedures at least 60 days in advance of any assembly, and these procedures must be posted prominently at least 50 days before any election.
The procedures the committee has authority over include times, dates, software method of requesting the ballot, ballot wording, and ballot design.
Any one seeking an office should be recused from the committee.
5.2.8 Party Affiliation: In order to vote in MGP elections, voters must affiliate with the Green Party.
5.2.9 In the presence of a Green Party ballot line, voters must register to vote as a Green Party member.
5.2.10 In the absence of a Green Party ballot line, voters must register as “Other: Green Party” or “Unaffiliated.”
5.2.11 Individuals who are unable to register to vote due to legal status may sign an internal MGP document that expresses their intention to be counted as MGP decision-making members. This includes persons who are not U.S. citizens, persons who are incarcerated, and persons under 18 years of age. Members must be at least 16 years old.
5.3 Right to Dissent: MGP officers, committee members, and representatives are accountable to the principles and policies established by the membership. However, the MGP affirms the right of its members to public and private dissent. Any member may disagree with and work against MGP policy as long as the member is not acting as a representative or delegate of the MGP or portraying the member’s position as MGP policy.
5.4 Code of Conduct-Scope: MGP CC officers, delegates, and committee members, participants on the MGP listserv, and GPUS committee members shall have a “code of conduct” to ensure that people conduct themselves in an honest and ethical way in order to foster the Green values of collaboration, comradeship, and cooperation. This Code of Conduct is not applicable retroactively but will take effect as of its passage by members.
5.5 Conflict Resolution Group: Upon passage of this bylaw, a standing Conflict Resolution Group shall be established by the CC. It should have the following guidelines:
- The Conflict Resolution Group (CRG) will develop a process for accepting and responding to written complaints regarding behaviors outlined in 5.7.
- If a complaint is made against a member of the CRG, or if the member of the CRG has another conflict such as a campaign relationship or previous CRG action, that member will recuse them/her/himself from the CRG for that specific incident; if the complaint is made against a member of the CC, that member will recuse them/her/himself from any CC involvement regarding that specific incident.
- Anonymous and/or unnamed sources will not be considered.
- The person being challenged will be given the opportunity by the CRG to respond to those complaints to the CRG (not to the complainant directly).
- Any recommendation by the CRG to the CC must be agreed upon by 2/3 of the CC eligible to hear the question.
- Recommendations will be communicated verbally and in writing to the complainant and to the person being challenged.
5.6 Remedies: Our values emphasize consensus and repair over punishment. The CRG shall establish a gradation of remedies up to and including removal from the MGP-CC and suspension or prohibition from participating in MGP-CC meetings and Online Forums.
However, if not egregious behavior, the CRG has wide latitude to use conflict resolution and peace building methods. These methods include but are not limited to discussion/intervention by individual members of the CRG, behavior guidelines, mediation, and other opportunities.
5.7 Code of Conduct: The following behaviors shall be grounds for action under this code upon receipt of an appropriate complaint as outlined in section 5.5 :
- Betrayal of confidences entrusted in accordance with Bylaws, policies, rules, or agreed procedures
- Offering or accepting bribes, whether monetary or for other consideration
- Theft, larceny, extortion, blackmail, fraud, forgery, perjury, embezzlement
- Misrepresentation of one’s official capacity within the party to vendors, regulatory agencies, or other entities doing business with the party.
- Unauthorized access or use of party data or online resources.
- Acting or conspiring to subvert the procedures of any committee or the conduct of any internal election or candidate nomination process
- Violation of the Bylaws of the MGP
- Misrepresentation of one's own or another's political commitments;
- infiltration on behalf of any outside interest;
- Maintenance of a conflict of interest without full disclosure.
- Violence and threats of violence
- Unwelcome sexual attention
- Racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, antisemitic, homophobic, transphobic, etc. language, insults and/or name-calling
- Sharing sexually explicit or violent material via MGP communication forums
- Doxing (defined as searching for and publishing private or identifying information about a particular individual on the Internet, typically with malicious intent).
- Making false and defamatory accusations.
5.8 Online Forum for Discussion and Decision Making: The MGP-CC shall maintain an online forum for official discussion and decision making. These forums are distinct from tools used to facilitate membership voting.
The purpose of this forum is to facilitate communications for the purpose of decision-making and management of the affairs of the MGP-CC. List content should be limited to messages relating to proposals, formal MGP-CC business, committee reports, and related formal matters. MGP-CC members should be the primary people to post to the list..The forum manager will have leeway to allow others to participate on the list as needed, in a moderated fashion.
5.9 Forum Manager: A forum manager or managers should be appointed annually by the MGP-CC. They are the designated administrators responsible for enforcing agreed-upon communication protocols. They will present quarterly reports of any moderation activity and they will maintain and update rules for forum moderation. Forum moderation rules are subject to MGP-CC approval.
5.10 Meeting, Event and Activity Rules of Order: The MGP-CC shall ensure that meetings, events, and other official activities of the party are productive and related to the business of the party. They should respect the right to dissent but should also respect the rules related to these bylaws.
In general the MGP-CC has wide latitude to ensure orderly and welcoming meetings and events. Any behavior prohibited in Section 5 of these bylaws is grounds for moderation or removal at the discretion of the MGP-CC and its officers.
ARTICLE 6 ASSEMBLIES
6.1 Local Primacy: Locals are the primary decisionmaking and organizational fora for Greens in Maryland. However, decisions on matters within the scope of the MGP shall be made at meetings of the MGP membership, which are generically referred to as Assemblies.
6.2 Annual Meeting: The MGP shall hold an MGP Assembly at least once a year, in May or June. Public notice of Assemblies and other meetings, including the notification of all Locals, shall be made at least 45 days in advance of any meeting, with the exception of MGP Meetings called before November 15, 2000, which shall require 14 days notice. All proposed Bylaws changes and major policy proposals shall be made available to all members and distributed to all Locals at least 30 days prior to any MGP Assembly, excepting those called before November 15, 2000, where 14 days shall suffice. Proposed agenda items, Bylaws changes, and policy proposals should be communicated to the current state Co-Chairs 35 days prior to any MGP Assembly, excepting those called before November 15, 2000, where 17 days shall suffice.
6.3 Special Assemblies: An exception to the notice requirements of Section 6.2 of these Bylaws shall be made for Special MGP Assemblies necessary to gain or maintain political party status or ballot access under Maryland election law. The MGP in such cases will use best efforts to notify all persons as early as possible, and business will be limited to matters relating to gaining or maintaining political party status or ballot access under Maryland election law. All decisions made at these MGP Assemblies shall be subject to review at the next MGP Assembly.
6.4 Emergency Assemblies: Emergency MGP Assemblies may be called by three (3) Locals or by the petition of 25 members. Requests for such meetings shall be made to the Co-Chairs, who shall instruct the Membership Committee to send out notice of the meeting within 10 days, with the meeting to be convened within 70 days of receiving a valid request.
6.5 Dispute Resolution: The Coordinating Council shall, with the advice and consent of the Locals, draft and apply procedures, consistent with the Rules of Order in Article 5, for dispute resolution at MGP Assemblies. Those procedures shall include processes for immediately examining and resolving disputes, for referring certain credentialing disputes to the otherwise credentialed membership, and for appealing any decisions and evaluating the procedures after the Assembly.
ARTICLE 7 COORDINATING COUNCIL
7.1 Powers and Duties: The Coordinating Council shall implement the policies established by MGP Assemblies, and shall conduct all MGP business between MGP Assemblies subject to the review of the membership at the next MGP Assembly.
7.2 Composition of Coordinating Council: The MGP is an association of Maryland residents, and a statewide confederation of county Green locals. As such, the Coordinating Council shall consist of the officers of the MGP and four (4) at-large delegates nominated and elected from the membership of the MGP, and up to one (1) delegate appointed from each active county-level Green central committee as recognized by the State Board of Elections. At-large delegates will be nominated and elected annually at the same time as the MGP officers. A member may not serve in more than one officer position and may not have more than one vote on the Coordinating Council. No more than one at-large delegate may be from the same geographic jurisdiction (county or Baltimore City).
7.3 Vacancies: In the event an officer resigns or is otherwise unable to fulfill the duties of office between MGP Assemblies, the Coordinating Council shall have the power to appoint a replacement until the next MGP Assembly, at which time a new officer shall be selected to fill the remaining portion of that term. In the event a delegate from a Local resigns or is otherwise unable to serve on the Coordinating Council, the Local shall appoint a replacement.
7.4 Meetings: The Coordinating Council shall meet at least once a month during the party-forming petition drive, and shall otherwise meet at least four (4) times a year. The Co-Chairs may call an emergency Coordinating Council meeting by giving all Coordinating Council members 7 days' notice.
7.5 Attendance at Meetings: It is the declared policy of the MGP that regular attendance at meetings of the Coordinating Council by members of the Coordinating Council is vital to the success of the MGP. Two consecutive absences of a delegate or officer, unless such absences are authorized by the person (Co-Chair, Convenor, or Facilitator) presiding at the meeting from which the delegate or officer is absent, shall be construed as a resignation unless the Coordinating Council determines otherwise.
7.6 Quorum: A majority of members of the Coordinating Council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
7.7 Meeting Transparency: All meetings should be open to all members to observe. All meetings shall strive to include a live stream and be recorded. Recordings and minutes should be available to all members, and published in an easily accessible part of the website.
Members shall be notified of all meetings one week in advance. Meeting notifications shall be published on a publicly accessible page on the website. Notifications should include an agenda, the full text of any proposals up for consideration, and a means to remotely observe the meeting.
Under section 5 of these bylaws, the MGP- CC shall have the right to restrict participation in a meeting but shall not have the right to prevent members from receiving notifications, viewing recordings, or accessing minutes.
7.8 Open Meetings: The Maryland Green Party has a strong commitment to openness and transparency in the conduct of its business. The MGP-CC may go into Executive Session only under very specific circumstances. Executive Session is appropriate only for
- personnel matters relating to paid staff;
- sensitive legal and financial matters in which the Party itself is involved in actual or likely legal proceedings;
- sensitive conversations concerning potential electoral candidates or elected officials; and
- dealing with the proprietary information of vendors and contractors.
No other circumstances are appropriate for the Executive Session.
It shall take a ⅔ vote by MGP-CC members taking part in the meeting in order to enter the Executive Session. Any MGP-CC member who believes that Executive Session is the inappropriate response to the business at hand may prevent the body from entering Executive Session. Entering Executive Session is conditional, and any time any member of the MGP-CC believes that the discussion is entering areas that are inappropriate for Executive Session, they may withdraw consent for Executive Session and the meeting returns to an open meeting. Topics for which Executive Session is denied or permission is withdrawn shall either no longer be topics of discussion or the MGP-CC may choose by a majority vote to discuss them in open session. When the MGP-CC does enter Executive Session, it shall note both the time of entering and exiting ES and provide a general summary of topics discussed, noting that the summary shall in no way reveal the private business of the people or vendors involved.
ARTICLE 8 OFFICERS
8.1 Officers: The officers of the MGP shall include two Co-Chairs, a Treasurer, a Recording Secretary, and two (2) non-voting officers: Parliamentarian and Listserv Moderator.
8.2 Appointment of Non Voting Officers: The Coordinating Council shall appoint non-voting officers at the September meeting of the MGP-CC. Non-voting officers may serve one year terms. Non-voting officers are not subject to the term limits set in section 8.9 of these bylaws.
8.3 Co-Chairs: Two Co-Chairs shall be selected annually. The Co-Chairs shall share responsibility for facilitating all MGP Assemblies and Coordinating Council meetings. The Co-Chairs shall also be the main public spokespersons for the MGP, or, in consultation with the Press and Publicity Committee, may delegate the task of public spokesperson. The CoChairs shall serve for a maximum of two (2) consecutive annual terms, and may not serve again for two (2) years. An exception can be made by a majority vote at the MGP Assembly to waive the term limit for one year for the purpose of maintaining continuity in the Chair listed on the Petition to Form a New Party for the purpose of gaining ballot status. Because the MGP strongly supports diversity and affirmative action, the MGP intends that at least one of the Co-Chair positions should be held by a woman or member of a minority group. In the event neither of the Co-Chairs can attend a meeting, a temporary facilitator can be selected at that meeting to conduct the proceedings of that meeting.
8.4 Treasurer: A Treasurer shall be selected annually. The Treasurer shall maintain the financial books of the MGP, work with the finance committee to develop a budget, file all necessary election reports and forms to comply with federal and state election laws in a timely manner, maintain all bank and financial accounts for the organization, and make a public accounting of the finances of the organization at each Coordinating Council Meeting and Assembly. The Treasurer shall be the legal treasurer on file with the State Board of Elections. The Treasurer may serve a maximum of five (5) consecutive terms.
8.5 Recording Secretary: A Recording Secretary shall be selected annually. The Recording Secretary shall take, publish, and maintain the minutes of all MGP Assemblies and Coordinating Committee meetings. Within 10 days of any meeting, the Recording Secretary shall make the minutes of that meeting available to any member who requests it, and shall send the minutes to the Co-Chairs and the Coordinating Council. In the event that the Recording Secretary is unable to attend a meeting, a temporary replacement shall be selected at that meeting to record the minutes of that meeting.
8.6 Parliamentarian: The Parliamentarian will work to ensure compliance with these Bylaws and with the rules of order and process adopted by the Coordinating Council. When there are disputes among members of the Coordinating Council about rules and process, the Parliamentarian shall issue a decision.
The Parliamentarian should also manage the party decision-making process, including working with members to submit and format proposals, to configure the proposal for discussion and voting, and announce the results.
The Parliamentarian should work with the Rules and Bylaws Committee to revise and refine the rules and process detailed in section 5 of these Bylaws.
8.7 Listserv Moderator: The Listserv Moderator will work to educate on and maintain constructive, neutral, and effective ways to communicate. The listserv moderator is the designated administrator responsible for enforcing agreed-upon communication protocols in meetings or on the Coordinating Council, or other MGP controlled listserv.
8.8 Incompatible Offices: No elected official may serve as an officer of the MGP, without express approval by the Coordinating Council.
8.9 Rotation, Term Limits: No person shall serve as a voting officer of the MGP for more than three (3) consecutive years, with the exception of the Treasurer, who may serve as Treasurer for no more than five (5) consecutive years.
ARTICLE 9 STANDING COMMITTEES
9.1 The Maryland Green Party shall have Standing Committees designated in this Article. Each committee shall be convened by an MGP officer named in the committee description. Committees shall have one representative from each Local that chooses to elect such a representative. Each delegate shall serve on at least one committee.
9.2 Standing Committees
a. Finance Committee: The Finance committee shall be convened by the Treasurer. The Finance Committee shall be responsible for helping the Treasurer set and implement financial policies, develop a budget, comply with federal and state campaign finance and election law, and help the Treasurer with other matters pertaining to the finances of the organization.
b. Membership Committee: The Membership Committee shall be responsible for the maintenance of the MGP member contact information and with organizing and implementing efforts to recruit and retain members, to increase Green voter registration, and to orient new members.
c. Bylaws Review and Rules Committee: The Bylaws Review and Rules Committee shall include both co-chairs and shall be convened by the recording secretary. It shall review all process disputes for the purpose of making proposals to amend the Bylaws if deemed necessary. The Committee may draft proposals for amendments to the rules of order for MGP decisionmaking forums as permitted under the Bylaws. The Committee shall also conduct annual Bylaws reviews for the purpose of considering improvements to the Bylaws and making proposals to amend the Bylaws for the purpose of complying with changes in the election laws. The Committee shall review all amendment proposals and develop alternative proposals as it deems necessary and facilitate the communication of all proposed amendments or alternatives, along with rationales for each proposal, to members of the MGP for consideration in advance of MGP Assemblies.
9.3. Seasonal Committees
a. Electoral Committee: The Electoral Committee shall coordinate MGP electoral activity, including the recruitment of candidates; assisting candidates with the MGP nomination process; shall gather, calendar, and process other information about upcoming election contests; shall support MGP electoral campaigns; and shall keep the MGP informed of and in compliance with election laws.
Composition: The Electoral Committee shall be chaired by one of the MGP Co-chairs and shall consist of at least 3 members, but no more than 7 members. No more than ⅔ of the committee shall be a member of the same MGP local. Any individual who has filed a Declaration of Intent with the Maryland State Board of Elections shall not be eligible to serve on the Electoral Committee in the same year for which they have filed.
Meetings: The electoral committee shall commence no later than October 31st of the year prior to either a statewide or presidential election year and should meet at least monthly. The committee will conclude its work with a report to the Coordinating Council no later than January 31st of the year following a presidential or statewide election.
b. Ballot Access Committee: The Ballot Access Committee shall coordinate all MGP ballot access activity, including developing a budget for its activities, communicating with the Maryland Board of Elections regarding petition design, coordinating petition gathering by MGP members, communicating ballot access activity and petitioning updates to the MGP CC, and coordinating with any contractors that might be hired to assist with petition gathering.
Composition: The Ballot Access Committee shall be chaired by the MGP Co-chair who is not the Electoral Committee chair and shall consist of at least 3 members, but no more than 7 members.
Meetings: The Ballot Access Committee shall commence in January of the year prior to the expiration of the Maryland Green Party ballot access. During the first 12 months, the committee must meet at least quarterly; after that, the committee should meet at least monthly. The committee shall conclude its activities a month after the Maryland State Board of Elections renders its decision regarding the status of the submitted petitions by submitting a report to the MGP Coordinating Council.
ARTICLE 10 ELECTIONS AND CANDIDATES FOR PUBLIC OFFICE
10.1 Committee of Twenty-Five and other Committees: The MGP anticipates that its decentralized internal structure will not always coincide with the traditional hierarchical structures evidenced by other political parties and organizations. For purposes of satisfying local, state, or federal law, the MGP may, at its discretion, create committees and/or organizations to meet any necessary legal 9 requirements for ballot access, elections, fundraising, voter registration, etc. These committees and / or organizations will always remain subject to Articles 2, 5, and 6, but may be allowed limited autonomy as specified by the MGP. The Committee of 25 (also sometimes known as the “Committee of 26”) is such a committee created to satisfy state law, and, although it has responsibility for the party-forming petition, it has delegated its powers, duties, and routine functions to the Coordinating Council.
10.2 Political Party Status and Ballot Access: The MGP shall seek to gain and maintain political party status and ballot access under state law. This will include, but is not limited to, running candidates for local, regional, state, and federal offices in order to gain and retain ballot access. Although the MGP Bylaws contain provisions to comply with election laws for these purposes, the MGP expressly reserves the right to adopt measures, and to exercise legal action, to challenge ballot access burdens or other election laws the MGP determines to be unduly restrictive or otherwise not in accordance with democratic principles.
10.3 Green Party Candidates: The MGP reserves the power, in consultation with the Locals, to withhold the designation Green from, and to reject, any candidate the MGP deems inappropriate, wishing to run as, or claiming to be, a Green Party candidate in Maryland. The MGP will only endorse or nominate registered Green candidates. Alternatively, candidates barred from registering Green are eligible for an endorsement or nomination if they are designated Green by the MGP.
10.4 Qualifications of Candidates: Individuals seeking to run as candidates of the MGP must support Green Values, and for all offices other than the President and Vice-President of the United States, must be members of the MGP.
(1) Statewide Office: To be considered for candidacy as the Green Party candidate for any statewide office, a person must be nominated by a Local or by at least three MGP members, who shall offer a statement of the candidate’s name, address, and qualifications for the office, to the Electoral Committee.
(2) President and Vice-President: Candidates for President and Vice President shall be chosen at a Green Party National Nominating Convention, although the MGP reserves the right not to run the candidates selected at such conventions. The MGP at the MGP Assembly immediately prior to a presidential national nominating convention shall 10 hold a Convention and decide by preference vote the presidential nominee for the purpose of instructing delegates to that national nominating convention how to vote on behalf of the MGP. Delegate allotment shall be determined according to Article 5, Section 2 of these Bylaws.
10.6 Primary Process: Candidates for Statewide office, or the United States Congress (House of Representatives and Senate) shall be nominated via a primary in which all registered Greens in the jurisdiction are eligible to vote by preference vote. The primary should occur during the three weeks following the deadline for filing a Declaration of Intent in the year in which a General Election will occur. The primary will follow the voting rules laid out in section 5.2.
If the Primary occurs at a time when the party does not have ballot access, then all persons recognized as members of the Maryland Green Party in that area are eligible to participate.
The Electoral Committee is responsible for preparing specific timetables and procedures for the primary. Those processes must be approved by the MGP-CC no later than January of the year of the Primary.
10.7 Local and Regional Candidates: Candidates for municipal, county, or district offices shall seek endorsement from the Local or confederation of Locals that comprise the candidate’s district, in accordance with Article 3 and Sections 4.5 and 4.6.
Locals should have a fair and transparent local candidate endorsement process. Endorsements must occur after the deadline for candidates to file a declaration of intent and be open to any registered Green seeking the nomination.
All local endorsement processes should be published on the state party website and on local party websites (if applicable) at least one year in advance of the filing deadline.
ARTICLE 11 AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
11.1 It shall be the policy of the MGP that the membership of the Maryland Green Party, as well as delegates to the Coordinating Council or to MGP Assemblies, MGP Officers, members of standing committees, candidates, and delegations to Green confederations above the state level, reflect as closely as possible the general population of Maryland with regard to race, gender, and ethnicity. The Outreach Subcommittee shall submit monthly reports detailing and evaluating its outreach and recruitment efforts to implement this policy, as provided in Section 9.3(2).
ARTICLE 12 PLATFORM
12.1 The MGP may from time to time adopt a platform reflecting the statement of purpose and Green Values of the MGP as they apply to political, social, and economic conditions in Maryland. The MGP platform may also address political, social, and economic issues outside Maryland.
12.2 The MGP Platform may only be adopted or amended by a 2/3 majority of all members present at an MGP Assembly.
12.3 The MGP Platform shall be non-binding on the Locals; the MGP encourages Locals to take the initiative on enacting and implementing policy provisions.
ARTICLE 13 MARYLAND STATE ELECTION LAWS AND OTHER BUSINESS
13.1 The provisions of Section 13.2 shall apply only to the extent necessary to satisfy Maryland state election law, or otherwise in order to further the aims of the MGP.
13.2 For the purpose of Maryland election laws: (1) The Coordinating Council established by these Bylaws is deemed to be the “Central Committee,” or other State governing body required by state law. (2) These Bylaws are deemed the “Constitution and Bylaws” of the MGP. (3) The Coordinating Council shall designate one Co-Chair as the Chair of the MGP and/or as the Chair of the Committee of 25.
13.3 For the purposes of conducting other business, the Coordinating Council is authorized to designate one Co-Chair as the “Chair and President,” may designate the other Co-Chair as “Vice-Chair and Vice President” of the MGP, and may designate the Recording Secretary as the “Secretary.”
13.4 These designations shall in no way alter the powers or duties of these officers pursuant to these Bylaws, nor shall they be construed as making one Co-Chair superior to the other.
ARTICLE 14 ADOPTION OF BYLAWS AND AMENDMENT
14.1 Who May Propose Amendments: Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by any member or any Local.
14.2 General Amendment Rule: Amendments may be ratified by a 2/3 majority of voting members and take effect immediately upon adjournment at the Assembly at which they are adopted, unless the amendment specifically provides otherwise.
14.3 Bylaws Amendment Process: The Bylaws Review and Rules committee shall maintain a policy and process document explaining the bylaw amendment process, available on the Maryland Green Party website.