CHARTER & BYLAWS of THE JUSTICE PARTY
WHEREAS the citizens of the United States of America find themselves in dire straits due to social, economic and environmental conditions that threaten their collective well being and,
WHEREAS the political system of the United States of America has not only failed to protect its citizens from such conditions but has, through its dysfunctional nature, also contributed to them and,
WHEREAS a group of independent minded citizens with an overarching concern for social, economic and environmental justice seeks to intervene in the 2012 election and beyond as a means to establish responsive and effective leadership and thereby avert economic and environmental catastrophe,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Justice Party is hereby formed in accordance with applicable U.S. law and the following Bylaws as a vehicle through which human beings who are both dedicated to the principles of social, economic and environmental justice and capable of providing leadership in these troubled times may fulfill their duty to humankind.
Adopted Pursuant to the Charter of the Justice Party
ARTICLE ONE - The Justice Party
The Justice Party shall:
Section 1. Nominate and assist in the election of Justice Party candidates for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States.
Section 2. Adopt and promote statements of policy.
Section 3. Assist state and local Justice Party organizations and committees in the election of their candidates and the education of their voters.
Section 4. Establish standards and rules of procedure to afford all members of the Justice Party full, timely and equal opportunities to participate in decisions concerning the selection of candidates, the formulation of policy, and the conduct of other Party affairs, without prejudice on the basis of sex, race, age (if of voting age), color, creed, national origin, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, ethnic identity or physical disability, and further, to promote fair campaign practices and the fair adjudication of disputes.
Section 5. Raise and disburse monies needed for the successful operation of the Justice Party.
Section 6. Work with Justice Party public officials at all levels to achieve the objectives of the Justice Party.
ARTICLE TWO - National Convention
The National Convention of the Justice Party shall:
Section 1. Be established as the means for The Justice Party to assemble each year.
Section 2. Serve as the highest authority of the Justice Party, subject to the provisions of this Charter.
Section 3. Once established, nominate a candidate for the office of President of the United States, nominate a candidate for the office of Vice President of the United States, adopt a platform, and act upon such other matters as it deems appropriate.
Section 4. Be composed of delegates equally divided as much as practicable between men and women. The manner in which these delegates are chosen and conduct their business shall be determined by members of the National Committee through a just, transparent and inclusive process in alignment with the Party’s core values.
ARTICLE THREE - Justice Party National Committee
The National Committee of the Justice Party shall:
Section 1. Be established initially by the National Steering Committee through a just, transparent and inclusive process in alignment with the Party’s core values and with the understanding that the National Committee shall have general responsibility for the affairs of the Justice Party between National Conventions, subject to the provisions of this Charter and to the resolutions or other actions of the National Convention. This responsibility shall include:
(a) issuing the Call to the National Convention;
(b) formulating and disseminating statements of Party policy;
(c) all other actions necessary or appropriate in order to carry out the provisions of this Charter and the objectives of the Justice Party.
Section 2. Be composed of:
(a) officers of the Justice Party: at least one Chair, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. These members shall be selected by the National Steering Committee and thereafter removed and replaced by a just, transparent and inclusive process in alignment with the Party’s core values and devised by delegates at the first National Convention.
(b) additional members, in order that every geographic region and political status that comprise these United States may be represented in a just manner. Additional members will be selected and the rules for their removal will be established by a just, transparent and inclusive process in alignment with the Party’s core values and devised by delegates at the first National Convention.
Section 3. Subsequent to its formation, meet at least twice each year. Meetings may be called by either its Chair (or Co-Chairs), by the National Steering Committee, or by written request of no fewer than one-half of the members of the National Committee.
ARTICLE FOUR - Justice Party National Steering Committee
The National Steering Committee of the Justice Party shall:
Section 1. Serve as the chief executive authority of the Party and be responsible for the conduct of its affairs subject to this Charter. Until the National Committee is created, the National Steering Committee shall operate under the provisions adopted herein; thereafter the National Steering Committee shall operate subject to guidelines promulgated by the National Committee and, eventually, under the authority of the National Convention.
(a) After the first meeting of the National Committee, National Steering Committee members shall be elected by and serve at the pleasure of the members of the Justice Party National Committee; the size, composition and term of office for the National Steering Committee shall be determined by the Justice Party National Committee either through its own deliberation or through the acceptance of recommendations of the initial National Steering Committee.
(b) Until such time as the National Committee is formed, each National Steering Committee member shall serve to the advantage of the Party’s mission and her/his fellow members. As the sole executive body of the Justice Party, the current National Steering Committee members are expected to play an active role in the Party’s business and take on duties in support of that business.
(c) Members of the National Steering Committee who miss more than three consecutive meetings without notifying the Co-Chairs can be removed from the committee by a two-thirds majority of the members participating in the following meeting.
(d) National Steering Committee members can also be removed for cause according to the following procedure:
(i) Any National Steering Committee member may put the question of a vote to remove another member on the agenda by contacting either Co-Chair.
(ii) The member nominated for removal shall be informed of her/his status at least two days prior to the meeting scheduled to address this agenda item.
(iii) After discussion, the National Steering Committee members shall vote on removal with the outcome determined by a two-thirds majority vote.
(e) Vacancies created by resignation or removal of any member of the National Steering Committee may be filled by any member of the Justice Party provided that he or she is nominated by a member of the committee in good standing and elected by a two-thirds majority of the existing members.
Section 2. Elect from among its members two Co-Chairs, a Treasurer and a Secretary.
(a) The Co-Chairs shall be responsible for handling the day-to-day affairs of the Steering Committee, including but not limited to:
(i) Calling and chairing meetings of the National Steering Committee,
(ii) Creating the agenda for National Steering Committee meetings,
(iii) Coordinating the workflow of National Steering Committee members. Prioritize tasks and shepherd projects through completion,
(iv) Political outreach,
(v) Coalition building,
(b) The Treasurer shall be responsible for
(i) managing all financial matters of the Justice Party consistent with its fiscal policy and applicable U.S. law,
(ii) presenting reports on the finances of the party at all official meetings,
(iii) submitting financial records of party operations to the Federal Elections Commission as required by law,
(iv) filing legally required records for all funds collected,
(v) disbursing and managing Party funds under the direction of the National Steering Committee and the National Committee.
(c) The Secretary shall be responsible for
(i) keeping a record of all National Steering Committee proceedings,
(ii) serving as the point of contact for the state affiliates as well as the repository of all documents related to the formation and governance of state affiliates,
(iii) serving as the repository of all membership records.
(d) During the initial period in which the steering committee is the recognized executive authority of the Justice Party,either co-chair, or the treasurer, or the secretary of the national steering committee is authorized as the official signatory for legal and finance related matters.
Section 3. Meet via teleconference at least once per month or as the Co-Chairs determine necessary and in person as many times per year as is practical. Meetings shall be called by the Co-Chairs or by request of no fewer than one-half of the National Steering Committee members. The National Steering Committee shall keep a record of its proceedings, which shall be archived by the Secretary. A quorum for such meetings is greater than one-half of the active National Steering Committee members.
Section 4. Govern the formation and development of state affiliates, serving as the adjudicating body in the event that conflicts arise within or among states, in accordance with the following provisions:
(a) No person, group or organization other than the Justice Party National Committee or Justice Party National Steering Committee may use or grant permission to use the name "Justice Party" or any confusingly similar designation.
(b) The National Steering Committee shall charter state-level affiliate parties from any qualifying organization requesting such status in each state, territory and the District of Columbia (hereinafter, “state”). Organizations that wish to become state-level affiliate parties shall apply for such status on a standard petition form as adopted by the National Steering Committee. The petition shall be signed by no fewer than ten members of the Party residing in the appropriate state. Affiliate party status shall be granted only to those organizations which adopt the Statement of Principles and file a copy of their Constitution and/or Bylaws with the National Steering Committee’s Secretary.
(c) There shall be no more than one state-level affiliate party in any one state. Each State level affiliate party shall, in accordance with its own Bylaws and these Rules, determine who shall be its delegates to all regular Conventions. A state-level affiliate party may charter local and district parties within the state, which will entitle such entities to use the name “Justice Party.”
(d) State affiliated parties may endorse candidates who are not members of the Justice Party, or who are members of another party, for public office in elections, provided that such candidates embrace the Justice Party’s Vision, Mission, and Core Values and platform (as amended from time time). The National Steering Committee shall impose additional conditions, or shall eliminate conditions, as it determines from time to time. No affiliated party shall take any action inconsistent with the Vision, Mission, Core Values, platform (as published by the National Steering Committee from time to time) or these Bylaws (as amended from time to time). Affiliated parties shall use their best efforts to resolve all disputes within and among their membership to avoid divisiveness and conflict. Disputes between Party members or groups of Party members within one state which prevent the Party from accomplishing its mission, or non-compliance with the Vision, Mission, and Core Values and platform, may serve as grounds for revocation of the affiliated party’s status as described in other provisions of these Bylaws.
(e) The autonomy of the affiliate and their local and district parties shall not be abridged by the National Committee, the National Steering Committee, or any other committee of the Party, except as provided by these rules.
(f) The National Steering Committee shall have the power to revoke the status of any affiliate party, for cause, by a vote of two-thirds of its members. After the National Committee is created, this authority will shift to the National Committee. A motion to revoke the status of an affiliate party for cause must specify the nature of the cause for revocation.
(g) The National Committee shall be responsible for drafting and putting in place a policy through which an appeal for reconsideration can be made by any state affiliate that has been subject to revocation.
Section 5. The National Steering Committee may establish (and terminate) committees from time to time. The decision making process of those committees shall be as set forth in Article 8, section 3 of these bylaws.
Section 6. Elect an Executive Committee consisting of three of its members, including its Chair or at least one of its Co-Chairs. The Executive Committee has the power to make immediate decisions on behalf of the National Steering Committee in emergency situations or when a rapid response is required, and within the bounds of decisions already made by the National Steering Committee and higher bodies. Its decisions will be reviewed and confirmed or overruled at the next National Steering Committee meeting. The membership of the Executive Committee can be changed at any meeting of the National Steering Committee.
ARTICLE FIVE - Party Conference
The Justice Party may hold a National Party Conference between National Conventions. The nature, agenda, composition, time and place of the Party Conference shall be determined by the Justice Party National Committee.
ARTICLE SIX - National Finance Organizations
Section 1. The initial Justice Party National Steering Committee may establish National Finance Organizations which shall have general responsibility for the finances of the Justice Party. These National Finance Organizations shall raise funds to support the Justice Party and shall advise and assist state Justice Parties and candidates in securing funds for their purposes and function according to provisions established by the Steering Committee.
Section 2. After it creation, the National Committee shall assume all responsibility for establishing National Finance Organizations in a just, transparent and inclusive process in alignment with the Party’s core values and devised by delegates at the first National Convention.
ARTICLE SEVEN - Full Participation
Section 1. The Justice Party shall be open to all who desire to support the Party and its principles.
Section 2. Discrimination in the conduct of Justice Party affairs on the basis of sex, race, age (if of voting age), color, creed, national origin, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, ethnic identity or physical disability is prohibited.
Section 3. Members must embrace the Justice Party Vision, Mission, and Core Values statements.Membership in the Justice Party does not require disaffiliation from other organizations.
ARTICLE EIGHT - General Provisions
Section 1. The Bylaws shall provide for regional organizations of the Party.
Section 2. At all levels, the Justice Party shall not require a delegate to a Party convention or caucus to cast a vote contrary to her/his expressed preference.
Section 3. In the absence of other provisions, Robert's Rules of Order (as most recently revised) shall govern the conduct of all Justice Party meetings.
Section 4. The membership of the Justice Party National Committee, the National Steering Committee, Justice Party State central committees, and all national official Party Conventions, committees, commissions, and like bodies shall be equally divided between men and women as much as practicable.
ARTICLE NINE - Amendments, Bylaws, and Rules
Section 1. This Charter may be amended by a vote of a three-fourths majority of all the delegates to the National Convention or by a three-fourths majority of the initial National Steering Committee.
This Charter may also be amended by a vote of three-fourths of the entire membership of the Justice Party National Committee. At least thirty days written notice shall be given of any National Committee meeting at which action will be taken pursuant to this Section, and any proposed amendment shall be given to all members of the National Committee.
Section 2. These Bylaws of the Justice Party may be amended to provide for better governance of the affairs of the Party, by a two-thirds majority vote of:
(a) the National Convention, with thirty days notice, or
(b) the Justice Party National Committee, provided that thirty days written notice of any proposed Bylaw or amendment has been given to all the members of the National Committee, or
(c) the initial National Steering Committee, provided that as much notice as feasible be given to all the members of the National Steering Committee.
Section 3. Each official body of the Justice Party created under the authority of this Charter shall adopt and conduct its affairs in accordance with written rules, which rules shall be consistent with this Charter, the Bylaws and other provisions adopted pursuant to authority of the Bylaws including resolutions or other actions of the National Convention. The initial Justice Party National Steering Committee shall maintain copies of all such rules and shall make them available upon request, until such time as a National Committee has been formed, at which point this responsibility shall pass to the National Committee.
Section 4. Each recognized state Justice Party shall adopt and conduct its affairs in accordance with written rules. Copies of such rules and of any changes or amendments thereto shall be filed with the Justice Party National Steering Committee within thirty days following adoption, until such time as a National Committee has been formed, at which point this responsibility shall pass to the National Committee.
RESOLUTION OF ADOPTION
Section 1. The Justice Party, represented by its initial National Steering Committee, does hereby adopt for its own governance and the governance of emerging state affiliates the above Charter and Bylaws this second day of May 2012.