Brazos Progressives Constitution
Article I: Name and Purpose
Section A: Name
The name of this organization shall be the Brazos Progressives.
Section B: Purpose
Brazos Progressives is a coalition of individuals, groups, and businesses working together to build progressive community in the Brazos Valley.
Brazos Progressives empowers community through networking, encouragement of grassroots involvement, resource acquisition, and promotion of activities.
Members meet periodically to work toward the following goals:
To facilitate coordinated activities of our member organizations.
To create an environment that supports alternative art forms.
To promote social, cultural and political grassroots involvement in our community.
To support and expand existing platforms for progressive voices.
To create connection and interchange between groups and individuals seeking spiritual enlightenment.
To support and promote the local and regional economy.
To build awareness and support for all forms of diversity in order to create a community that welcomes all.
To support actions that seek to promote social and economic justice and environmental stewardship.
Article II: Membership Options
Section A: Eligibility
Membership in Brazos Progressives shall be open to all individuals, groups, and businesses in the Brazos Valley interested in helping to support and fulfill the goals and purpose of the Brazos Progressives. The Brazos Progressives is open to all who are interested in building a progressive community in the Brazos Valley, regardless of age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender, gender identity, or ability.
Section B: Membership Classifications
There are three membership categories in the Brazos Progressives: individual, group, and business. While many of our member groups have much in common, we maintain the unique characteristics and causes of our individual, group, and business members.
1) Individual Members: The Brazos Progressives rely on the support and participation of individual members interested in working to build a cohesive progressive movement in the Brazos Valley. There are two categories of individual membership: dues-paid and non-voting.
a. Individual Dues-Paid Members shall be defined as those individuals who have paid dues for the current term, as set forth below. Dues-paid members shall have the right to vote. In order to run for office, individuals must be dues-paid.
b. Individual Non-Voting Members are those persons who have not paid dues for the current term. Individual non-voting members are welcome at all organization meetings and events and can serve on committees, but may not hold offices in the organization, chair committees, or vote.
2) Group Members: Local progressive groups are essential to the mission of the Brazos Progressives. Group members shall be defined as those dues-paid groups in the Brazos Valley who exhibit an active commitment to the goals and mission of the Brazos Progressives. Group membership facilitates networking with other progressive groups in order to build and sustain a cohesive progressive movement in the Brazos Valley. The benefits of group membership include possible expansion of each group’s membership base, the potential for sharing resources, and the potential growth in each group’s knowledge of our community’s history and experience with progressive groups and goals. In elections and other voting situations, each member group may exercise the power to vote.
3) Business Members: Businesses that share values and objectives in common with the Brazos Progressives are encouraged to join. The benefits of business membership include the potential to build a base of progressive customers and the opportunity to network and share ideas with like-minded individuals, businesses, and groups. In elections and other voting situations, each business member may exercise the power to vote.
Section C: Removal of Members
Individual, group, and business members may be removed from the Brazos Progressives and lose all privileges and rights associated with membership if 4/5 of the dues-paid members vote to void the membership.
Article III: Organization and Leadership
Section A: Officers
Officers shall be elected by a simple majority of those dues-paid members present at the May meeting. Officers may serve two consecutive one-year terms. The Steering Committee is comprised of elected officers and the current past-president (see Article III, Section B).
1) Elected Positions
The Chair shall work with other Steering Committee members to schedule meetings and set agendas. The Chair shall preside over all meetings. The Chair shall have the authority to appoint additional committee chairs and committee members as necessary and appropriate to carry out the mission and activities of the Brazos Progressives.
The Vice-Chair shall assist the Chair and serve in place of the Chair if absent. The Vice-Chair shall assist the Chair and other Steering Committee members in scheduling meetings.
The Treasurer shall be responsible for the receipt and disbursal of all funds collected or spent on behalf of the Brazos Progressives. The Treasurer additionally shall be responsible for completing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990-T and shall be responsible for ensuring that the Brazos Progressives satisfies all its obligations as a non-private Not-For-Profit organization (IRS Code 501(c)(3)). When necessary, the Treasurer will handle correspondence with the IRS, including filing the form 990-T if requested or required to do so as outlined in letter 947.
The Secretary shall take notes of all meetings and be responsible for distributing them to the members. The Secretary also shall maintain and manage the calendar to ensure that groups have their events posted on the Brazos Progressives Web site calendar.
e. Communications Coordinator
The Communications Coordinator and a committee of individual volunteers and/or individuals appointed by the Communications Coordinator will maintain and coordinate the Brazos Progressives Web site and listserv. All policies regarding the monitoring of listserv communications are to be proposed by the Communications Coordinator and approved by the Steering Committee. Additionally, the Communications Coordinator shall be responsible for publicizing and promoting the Brazos Progressives.
f. Membership Coordinator
The Membership Coordinator shall enhance the awareness of Brazos Valley residents about the Brazos Progressives and its mission. The Membership Coordinator works to inform progressive groups and individuals about the Brazos Progressives and build the membership base.
g. Events Coordinator
The Events Coordinator shall work with groups, committees, and subcommittees to plan events.
2) Removal from Office
In the event of misappropriation of funds or failure to perform officer duties as set forth in the Constitution, elected officers may be removed from office by a 2/3 majority of voting members present at the regular meeting where removal from office is being voted upon. Notice of officer removal must be announced in the agenda of the meeting according to the agenda guidelines governing regular meetings. If an officer is removed from office, the Steering Committee shall appoint an officer to serve until an election for the position can be held at a Regular meeting.
3) Term Vacancies
If an elected officer leaves, or is removed from their position, during the term year, then the Chair shall appoint an interim replacement until the next regularly scheduled meeting at which time the vacancy may be filled by election of the general membership. If the Chair relinquishes their position, then the Vice-Chair shall perform the duties of Chair until a replacement is elected as stated above. If an appointed officer shall relinquish his or her position, the Chair, with the approval of a majority of the Steering Committee, shall appoint a replacement to fulfill the term.
Section B: Committees
1) Steering Committee
The Steering Committee shall consist of the seven elected positions. The previous term's Chair may serve on the Steering Committee as “Past Chair” in an ex officio (non-voting) capacity. The chairs of all standing and ad hoc committees who are not elected officers shall also be ex officio (non-voting) members.
2) Additional Committees
The Chair and/or membership may appoint temporary or ad hoc committees for specific purposes with the approval of the Steering Committee.
Article IV: Meetings
Section A: Regular Meetings
The Chair and Vice-Chair will schedule at least one regular meeting every other month. Voting business shall be restricted to items present on an agenda, which will be made available to the membership prior to the regular meeting. In matters of discussion related to organization business, the Chair will moderate the discussion. The Chair may also choose to postpone discussion of an issue until the next Regular or Special meeting, where the issue must be readdressed immediately after any officer announcements. Roberts Rules of Order shall be used as procedure for any event not addressed by the Constitution.
Section B: Steering Committee Meetings
The Steering Committee shall schedule at least one Steering Committee meeting every other month (during the months when a regular meeting is not scheduled). Steering Committee meetings shall be publicized to the general membership (individual, group, and business members), and the meetings are open to all members of Brazos Progressives. In order to conduct business, at least four members of the Steering Committee must be present at the meeting.
Section C: Other Committee Meetings
The committee chair shall determine the procedures, policy, medium, schedule, reporting, duration, and organization for their committee. They will confirm their decisions about these issues with the Steering Committee prior to the formation of the committee and will conduct business according to the final approval of Steering Committee until the committee is dissolved. At the end of the committee's preset duration, the committee chair can appeal to the Steering Committee for an extension on the committee's existence.
Section D: Special Meetings
The Chair may call special meetings to conduct Brazos Progressives business as long as members are notified 7 days in advance of the meeting. Special meetings will be conducted under the same guidelines governing regular meetings.
Article V: Dissolution of the Brazos Progressives
The dissolution of the Brazos Progressives may take place after a postal ballot of all dues-paid members if there is a 4/5 majority of those voting in favor of such a dissolution. Dues-paid members shall be given a minimum of 28 days in which to register their vote in any such ballot.
Dissolution of the Brazos Progressives shall be automatic if it is not possible to elect at least two officers to the Steering Committee at a general meeting.
If the Brazos Progressives is dissolved, the remaining money (if there is any) shall be divided equally among the dues-paid group members.
Article VI: By-laws
The Brazos Progressives will conduct business according to the by-laws of the organization. By-laws shall define procedural issues and shall be adopted and revised according to the needs of the Brazos Progressives. By-laws shall be voted on by dues-paid members and shall be adopted if 2/3 of those individual members voting on the issue vote in favor of their adoption
Article VII: Amendment and Ratification of the Constitution
Section A: Amendment
This Constitution may be amended by 2/3 of the voting membership present at any official regular meeting of the Brazos Progressives, provided no less than two weeks' written notice has been provided to all Brazos Progressives members informing them of the changes being proposed and of their general scope.
The individual(s) proposing such changes shall be responsible for notifying the Chair at least one regular meeting in advance in order to coordinate the notification of membership. Changes outside the general scope announced cannot be considered at such a meeting, but can of course be proposed for consideration at a future meeting provided that the same requirements for prior written notification are met.
Section B: Ratification
This Constitution shall become the official governing document of the Brazos Progressives upon review and consent of 4/5 of the dues-paid group members at the time of ratification.
Ratified on 17 August 2004
Amended on 28 June 2005