Bylaws for the Central Brooklyn Branch of New York City DSA
As amended effective April 16, 2018
NAME AND PURPOSE
The name of this organization is the Central Brooklyn Branch of New York City Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Its purpose is consistent with that of National DSA.
In order to be a voting member of Central Brooklyn DSA, one must be a dues paying member of National DSA, and either have attended at least one of the previous three branch meetings, or has contributed their labor to a DSA activity or action in the last two months. Others are welcome to attend -- see Branch Meetings.
The branch meeting is the highest decision making body of Central Brooklyn DSA.
Any decision made at this meeting will be made by majority vote. Each member gets one vote.
The branch meeting should be held each month unless a Brooklyn-wide branch meeting is organized for a given month.
There should be two distinct types of branch meetings:
A General Public Meeting oriented towards community and member outreach, education, and solidarity building.
Branch Administrative Meeting oriented towards voting for measures, officers, and other internal matters.
This distinction does not preclude matters of internal business from being conducted at General Public Meetings, but simply designates the general focus of each meeting.
Both General Public Meetings and Branch Administrative Meetings must be held at least once every four months. However, it is recommended that General Public Meetings be held every even month, alternating with Branch Administrative Meetings held every odd month.
The Organizing Committee must make every effort to take accurate sign-in data at branch meetings.
Anyone who is interested in activism who is not a member of DSA is welcome to participate in our branch meetings without voting rights as long as they are not disruptive.
With the aim of establishing the Central Brooklyn Branch as an institution in NYC for the organization of working class power within a socialist movement, the Organizing Committee will be responsible for and organize both the internal community of the Central Brooklyn Branch, and the Branch’s engagement with the wider Central Brooklyn community.
The Organizing Committee is responsible for organizing the monthly meetings, and producing a twice monthly bulletin of upcoming events and announcements for Central Brooklyn DSA members. The Organizing Committee should reflect the diversity of Brooklyn.
Each member of the Organizing Committee should take on a specific responsibility as it relates to the Branch.
It is the responsibility of the Organizing Committee to organize and maintain a budget throughout their term. On request, the OC will provide a financial report including but not limited to current balances, revenue, and expenditures.
In the case that the budget is insufficient to meet present needs of CBK Branch expenses, the OC will organize efforts within the branch to raise additional funds, and engage chapter leadership as necessary.
The Organizing Committee should create volunteer sub-committees—to assist in organization of branch operations, engage members as stakeholders of the branch, and develop them as organizers and leaders—including, but not limited to:
Community / External Outreach
The Organizing Committee must be composed of 6 members, half of whom must be women, trans, non-binary and/or people of color. Both women and people of color must be represented on the Organizing Committee.
Any Organizing Committee leadership vote not meeting this composition will be postponed until a time when the criteria can be met.
Members of the Organizing Committee should not assume any other Organizing Committee or Working Group officer positions for the entirety of the term.
Potential OC candidates are discouraged from seeking candidacy if they have more than six months left in another officer position.
Should a member of the Organizing Committee hold another officer position, they should endeavor to step down from that other position in the next officer election.
Should an office holder wish to retire before their term is over, or should they come to feel they can no longer adequately service the position, they must submit a resignation in writing to the rest of the Organizing Committee. At the next branch meeting, the Organizing Committee must announce the vacancy and a special election, to replace the resigning member for the remainder of the term, at the following branch meeting.
Any member of the Organizing Committee who misses two consecutive meetings without prior notice or an acceptable reason shall be removed from the committee and their position declared vacant.
NYC DSA Steering Committee Representative
The Steering Committee Representative is elected by the monthly meeting for a 1-year term. Their responsibility will be to represent the Brooklyn Branch on the Steering Committee of the NYC DSA Chapter.
The OC must ensure that the branch meetings are ADA accessible, and provide childcare on request. The OC must strive to provide access to ASL and other language interpretation services as needed, with sufficient advance notice.
In multimedia presentations, photographs should be described to the membership and audio/video clips should have closed captions or transcripts. If there is an amplification system, all speakers should speak through a microphone.
Meeting facilitators should instruct attendees to use snapping and ASL applause instead of clapping at all meetings.
Information about accessibility resources should be made widely available to membership through an announcement at each branch meeting, in the flyers handed out during the meeting, in the event description for the branch meetings on social media, the NYC DSA website, and branch-wide email.
If there are predetermined accessibility limitations to a branch meeting or branch action, the OC must notify membership through the event description on social media, the NYC DSA website and branch-wide email.
Because of our mission to organize the working class, meetings should be run in such a way to minimize burden on members. This should include considerations such as choosing locations near transit, providing food, offering financial assistance for public transit to and from meetings upon request, and sticking closely to published meeting times and duration.
In delegating roles for planning and facilitating meetings, one OC member must be responsible for accessibility.
The Organizing Committee must strive to provide non-digital versions of all branch materials, including voting ballots, as requested.