bylaws - SF bay Area

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ARTICLE 1: NAME

The name of the network is Direct Action Everywhere (DxE). The name of the chapter is DxE SF Bay Area.

ARTICLE 2: PURPOSES

The purpose of the network is to serve as a grassroots network and coordination structure for global animal rights activism. We operate pursuant to DxE’s principles and values. The DxE SF Bay Area chapter organizes activities within San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and the surrounding areas. These Bylaws aim to (1) reduce conflict between and within operational teams, by creating a coherent decision-making and staffing process; (2) allow us to move forward even in the face of disagreement, by providing democratic legitimacy to decisions and leadership; (3) promote accountability in our commitments to ourselves and organizational partners by empowering the leadership team to align our work with our roadmap and annual strategic plan; and (4) provide for transparency and checks and balances by which leadership can be selected, recalled, and decisions revisited. 

ARTICLE 3: MEMBERSHIP and Voting

DxE SF Bay Area shall have three classes of members: Action Team members, Organizers and Senior Organizers. The standards for Action Team members, Organizers, and Senior Organizers are here (LINK). All classes of member have the right to attend annual and monthly chapter meetings. Organizers and Senior Organizers additionally have the right to vote in elections, on the governance structure, and on strategic plan(s) for the chapter.

All Action Team members and Organizers are eligible to vote on community decisions (votes that affect the social fabric of the community as a whole, e.g. what sorts of community events we should be running, whether alcohol should be served at DxE events, aesthetics of the animal rights center, etc.). 

All proposed votes require at least 1 week notice from the SF Bay Core to all relevant voting parties, with the exception of votes on leadership and the strategic plan which require 30 days notice. Voting will occur via secret ballot unless otherwise indicated.

ARTICLE 4: Committees and WORKING GROUPS

Section 1 - Committees

The Lead Organizer, subject to the advice and consent of the SF Bay Core and broader group of Organizers, suggests and has final say over the composition of five Committees (Communications, Community, Development, Direct Action, and Finance). Committees are focused on DxE’s core functions, are expressly tasked with pushing forward on DxE’s annual strategy and its 40 year roadmap, and are empowered to make decisions on resources. Committee members will be appointed based on expertise, culture fit, and team effectiveness, and team size will generally be limited to 7, unless exceptional circumstances justify a larger team. 

Section 2 - Working Groups

The Lead Organizer, subject to the advice and consent of the SF Bay Core and broader group of Organizers, has final say over the composition of official Working Groups. Working Groups will determine their own processes and meeting schedules, and will coordinate with other Working Groups via a designated Committee. Where there is no request for funds/resources or conflict between Working Groups or conflict with the chapter strategy, Working Groups can continue to work autonomously. Working Groups can choose to remain unofficial and therefore completely independent if they do not seek DxE resources and mailing lists. The DxE SF Bay Area chapter will work with unofficial Working Groups on the basis of free association. Conflicts between Working Groups will be resolved by the Lead Organizer in consultation with the relevant Committees.

Section 3 - Membership Standards

The Lead Organizer, SF Bay Core, Committee and/or Working Group point person are able to impose reasonable requirements for training, agreements and work standards for Senior Organizers, Organizers, Action Team members, Committee members and official Working Group members. 

Section 4 - Resources

Requests for resources must be directed to the Lead Organizer or relevant Committee. The Lead Organizer, subject to the advice and consent of the SF Bay Core and broader group of Organizers, shall have final say over allocation of resources.

Section 5 - Chapter Meeting

The SF Bay Core will meet with all members on a monthly basis to update them on progress, obtain feedback, and answer questions about the most recent month’s projects. 

Section 6 - Removal of Working Groups

An official Working Group will be dissolved or become unofficial if the group fails to meet the relevant standards, violates DxE’s principles and values, or for any other good faith reason (e.g. redundancy, conflict with other Working Groups) set out by the Lead Organizer or relevant Committee lead.

Section 7 - Removal of Working Group Members

Members of official Working Groups may be removed due to violations of DxE’s principles and values, failure to meet relevant standards, or any other good faith reason (e.g. redundancy, conflict with other Working Groups) set out by the Lead Organizer, relevant Committee lead, or relevant Working Group point person.

Section 8 - List of Working Groups

The SF Bay Core shall keep a list of official Working Groups, Action Team members, Organizers and Senior Organizers.

ARTICLE 5: SF BAY CORE and Lead Organizer

Section 1 - Nomination

Any Organizer who has been involved in the chapter for at least 1 consecutive year and has been an Organizer for at least 6 consecutive months (allowing for exceptions, e.g. medical issues, approved by the SF Bay Core) at the time of election can nominate themselves or be nominated for membership in the SF Bay Core or for Lead Organizer. 

Section 2 - Election

Organizers will elect a Lead Organizer and 4 additional members to constitute the SF Bay Core pursuant to procedures in Article 3.

Section 3 - Responsibilities

The Lead Organizer (with the advice and consent of the SF Bay Core, pursuant to the recall process in Article 7) is tasked with making decisions on and executing the previously-approved DxE annual strategy and budget, proposing agendas for chapter and SF Bay Core meetings, staffing/removing people from Committees, Working Groups, and projects (including the DxE website, DxE Facebook page, DxE email lists, Facebook groups, and any other resources operated by the DxE SF Bay Area chapter, including any resources operated by the DxE SF Bay Area chapter by virtue of its role on the Global Steering Committee), ensuring compliance with these Bylaws, and fulfilling DxE principles and values such as emergent leadership and inclusivity. 

Section 4 - Removal

Any member of the SF Bay Core or the Lead Organizer may be removed pursuant to the procedures in Article 7.

ARTICLE 6: ANNUAL MEETING

A meeting of all Organizers and Senior Organizers of the DxE SF Bay Area chapter shall occur with 30 days notice at which the SF Bay Core shall propose a strategic plan for the following year. The strategic plan shall be adopted at the end of meeting by majority vote of current Organizers and Senior Organizers. If a majority threshold is not secured, the SF Bay Core shall make necessary modifications and announce a new meeting (with at least two weeks’ notice) within 30 days. 

ARTICLE 7: ADOPTION, MODIFICATION, AMENDMENTS, OR REPEAL OF BYLAWS, DECISIONS, LEADERSHIP OR STRATEGIC PLAN

These Bylaws may be adopted by majority vote of Organizers and Senior Organizers. Changes to the DxE SF Bay Area Governance and Bylaws can be made by the SF Bay Core so long as 1 week notice is given to all current Organizers and Senior Organizers. If 25% of current Organizers (rounding up for any fractions) request a vote on the proposed changes, a vote will occur according to DxE SF Bay Area Voting Procedures. If no vote is requested, or a sufficient petition cannot be obtained, the changes will be enacted.

Members have power over, not just the elected SF Bay Core and/or Lead Organizer, but also specific decisions where a sufficient threshold of members would like to take action. The Lead Organizer commits to seeking others’ perspectives among the relevant body of people in staffing and financial decisions before making any unilateral decisions. Anyone can propose an agenda item on the chapter meeting agenda, though it need not be accepted by the SF Bay Core. Any group constituting at least 25% of current Organizers (rounding up for any fractions) can, by written request to the SF Bay Core at least two weeks prior to a chapter meeting, (1) add an agenda item on the chapter meeting agenda; (2) propose a referendum on decision made by the SF Bay Core or Lead Organizer; or (3) call for a vote to recall a member of the SF Bay Core or the Lead Organizer. The SF Bay Core also may remove one of its own members (including the Lead Organizer) by majority vote, or ask for a referendum on any decision (including a decision made by the Lead Organizer) by a majority vote. If a member of the SF Bay Core is removed or a position is vacated, the remaining members of the SF Bay Core shall look to the Contingency Plan, as updated from time to time by the SF Bay Core, to fill the role. If the Lead Organizer is removed, the remaining members of the SF Bay Core shall select by majority vote a new Lead Organizer. If a majority cannot be determined, then the Lead Organizer shall be the member of the SF Bay Core who received the most votes in the most recent election.

Voting on referendums or recalls will proceed pursuant to the voting procedures previously approved. Day to day decisions on implementation of network strategy and budget will be made by Committees, subject to the Lead Organizer’s right to staff and allocate resources to each Committee.

ARTICLE 8: RECORDS AND TRANSPARENCY

Chapter and SF Bay Core meetings are, by default, open to the public, with special closed sessions (dealing with confidential matters) held separately. Advanced request is required. Anyone interested in visiting the SF Bay Core meetings should email sfbay@directactioneverywhere.com with the request.

The Lead Organizer will hold regular (at least monthly) open discussions with updates on progress on strategic roadmap and opportunity for all community members to ask questions or comment on network matters - these will most often take place on Friday evenings.

ARTICLE 9: DURATION

These Bylaws will be in effect until December 31 2019. They must be reaffirmed on or before this date by a vote of current Organizers and Senior Organizers. New leadership elections will occur around August 2019. Changes may be made according to procedures listed in Article 7.