Movement for a People’s Democracy (MPD) Constitution
Article I: Purpose
The Movement for People’s Democracy (MPD) is a national organization which seeks to combat imperialism, fascism, and capitalism while promoting democracy and workers’ rights through organizing protests, demonstrations, events, and engaging in electoral politics, where appropriate.
The MPD is committed to building a true democracy and building a society where domestic policies are not only sound, but just, and where the world at large is treated with respect and dignity.
Rationale and Program
We focus on four areas:
·Ending American Imperialism: Re-directing the Defense Budget to provide domestic products and services, to bringing soldiers home from foreign campaigns, cessation of preditory lending from the International Monetory Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, and supporting reparations for nations victimized by the United States, such as trade blockades against other nations.
·Ensuring Equality and Justice for all: Ensuring the right to organize in one’s workplace, supporting unions, the right to housing, and a living wage. Re-affirming American traditions in combatting fascism and all intolerance both domestically and internationally. To replace the Prisons for Profit industrial complex with a rehabilitive system, and to end the ‘war on drugs’, replacing it with a progressive rehabilitation program which decriminalizes drug use, offers clinics and counseling, and is financed by re-directing Defense Department funding to rehabilitive programs. Participating in international events such as volunteering to observe elections, to promote common goals, and to support common issues.
·Responding to Climate Change: Begin consulting with, and co-operating with, international bodies concerned about Climate Change, and participating in the international conversation of safeguarding and managing natural resources. To advocate a new mode of production which puts people before profits, eliminates over- production, reduces natural resource waste, and helps conserve fossil fuel. To promote and initiate any actions focused on clean air and clean water for all people.
Assisting Local Communities: Creating local MPD Chapters to survey the needs of local areas, providing mutual aid to the homeless and local communities in need, provide and support groups and individuals who are benefiting the community, lead educational classes, host community building events, and create a safe environment for everyone.
Article II: Membership
We actively seek diversity within the membership and within the governing body (including age, race, economic status, ancestry, national origin, and sexual orientation). We support gender identity and we welcome people of all faiths.
Membership in the MPD shall be open to those who subscribe to our mission; having qualified in one of the membership classes described below.
a) Individual Members: Individual Members of the MPD shall consist of those persons who are interested in supporting the mission and objectives of the MPD.
b) Affiliate Members: Affiliate Members of the MPD shall consist of nonprofit corporations, foundations, associations and trusts who subscribe and support at least one of our missions. MPD organizational membership is open to all united front organizations, seeking to build a return to democracy in our country. This list includes, but is not limited to, labor organizations such as Labor United in Class Struggle, peace organizations such as United for Peace and Justice, anti-repression and anti-racist organizations such as Black Lives Matter, Anti-racist Action, economic fairness organizations such as Citizens for Tax Justice, constitutional rights organizations such as Public Citizen and Global Trade Watch, environmental organizations such as Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club.
c) Currently there are no required dues or subscriptions. However, Donations are welcome and encouraged.
Article III: General Membership Meetings
An annual meeting of the MPD membership shall be held in January or February to encourage support, involvement, and input into the programs and activities of the MPD. At this annual meeting, elections will be held.
Currently, the Board of Directors meets once a month for two months. For the third month, an educational webinar is presented for all membership and guests.
Article IV: Task Forces and Standing Committees
The MPD shall form task forces and standing committees from the membership, as necessary, to carry out the programs and projects of the MPD. The Board of Directors will appoint a committee Chairperson to oversee the committee’s mission and organize programs. The Chairperson of a committee is responsible to the Board and will deliver reports at Board meetings.
Article V: Board of Directors
The governing body of the MPD is the Board of Directors. It shall consist of at least seven, but not more than 15 members, including officers. The Board is authorized to make decisions on all business and policy matters of the MPD.
Section 1: Elections
Board members are elected for renewable terms of one year by the membership at the annual meeting. Candidates for Board positions are required to be current members of the MPD prior to their election or appointment and in good standing. Candidates interested in joining the Board should contact a sitting Board member to request consideration. Nominations may also be made from the floor at the annual meeting. Positions vacated between annual meetings may be filled by the Board for the remainder of the year.
Section 2: Duties and Expectations
The Board approves policies, procedures, and plans for the organization; accepts proposals from the membership; brings in new members; and raises funds. Board members are also expected to participate in MPD activities such as attending general, committee, and board meetings; volunteer staffing; fundraisers and events; project management; and publicizing MPD activities. The Board’s overall responsibility is to help committees and task forces reach their goals and keep the MPD “on track” by dealing with the administrative needs of the organization.
Section 3: Meetings
Sub Section 1: Board Meetings
The Board will meet a minimum of six times a year, and additional meetings may be called with Board approval. A simple majority of the number of elected Board members shall constitute a quorum. Board members are expected to attend at least half of the Board meetings during the year and miss no more than two consecutive meetings unless approved by the Chair or Officers.
Sub Section 2: Chapter Meetings
Chapters are expected to hold monthly meetings to be attended by their executive committee, (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Press Secretary and Educational Director), and general body. Additionally, the executive committee will meet separately monthly to establish the Agenda for the following general meeting. In both meetings a simple majority shall constitute a quorum.
Section 4: Officers
The MPD Chapters will elect from its members the following officers for renewable terms of one year. These officers will make up their Executive Committee. The Board shall elect the following positions for their Executive committee as well.
Chair: The Chair acts as spokesperson for the organization, schedules meetings, prepares agendas and materials for board and general meetings, and presides over those meetings. The Chair notifies members about meetings and distributes those agendas and related materials. The Chair also represents the chapter at the MPD Board Meetings.
Vice-Chair: The vice-chair acts as chair in the absence of the chair. The vice-chair also works closely with the chair and is expected to fill the role of chair when that position becomes vacant. They are also tasked with reviewing finances and communicating with the Board on budgetary issues.
Secretary: The secretary takes minutes at meetings, distributes them to executive committee members within 30 days, keeps a file of minutes for membership review, and presents for approval the minutes of the last general meeting at the next, and revises them as directed. The secretary also keeps an updated list of the membership. And is charged with ensuring regular attendance of members.
Press Secretary: The Press Secretary is responsible for the submission of one article per month to the MPD Newsletter. This can be achieved individually or by delegation to a working group. Additionally, they are tasked with management of social media accounts and vetting of posts. Finally, the Press Secretary will also be responsible for the drafting of public chapter statements and announcements.
Educational Director: The Educational Director is tasked with presenting, for a minimum of ten minutes and a maximum of thirty, an educational briefing. This briefing must be approved by the Executive Committee with the setting of the agenda. A minimum time of five minutes to a max of fifteen will be given to Q&A. Briefings should focus on: History, Organizing, Political Economy, or Current Affairs. Regarding the National Educational Director, it is their responsibility to conduct the Educational Webinar and to approve chapter educational briefings.
Article VI: Decision Making
The Board, chapters, committees and full membership shall strive for consensus in all decision making. If no consensus is reached after reasonable debate (as defined by the group), any participant with voting rights can propose that sufficient debate has been heard and call for a vote to go out of consensus. A three-quarters majority must approve the motion to go out of consensus. Then the issue under debate may be decided by a two-thirds majority.
Section 1: Emergency Decisions
An Executive Committee of the Board consisting of the officers may make decisions on emergency issues that must be acted on before the next general meeting or Board meeting. In this situation, the Chair would be allowed to make a statement approved by the Executive Committee. A special meeting can also be called by a majority of the Board – either by phone, e-mail, or in person.
Section 2: Removal for Cause
Each member of the Board of Directors can be removed for cause, up to and including, excessive absence without explanation, refusal to carry out organizational responsibilities, theft of MPD resources, money, or property, ideological differences with policies agreed upon by the majority of the organization, double dealing, working as an agent of the police, or strikebreaking. It is understood that officers of MPD are held to a higher standard of discipline than the membership because of the trust that has been vested in them by MPD.
Section 3: Order of Succession
In case of the Removal of the Coordinator from office, or of their Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of said Office, the Chair shall be replaced by the Vice-Chair. The Vice-Chair shall be replaced by the Secretary, and in the case of an absence of the Secretary, Press Secretary, or Educational Director the Chair and Vice-Chair shall fulfil their duties until a replacement has been elected.
Article VII: Activities and Funds
The Executive Committee will vote to approve expenditures. An individual Officer may unilaterally approve expenses under a predetermined limit as defined by the board. The Board as a whole must approve any expenses creating a major change in the budget. The financial records of the organization are public information and shall be made available to the membership, Board members and the public.
Article VIII: Political Activities
The four platforms of the MPD would be the basis for engaging in electoral politics. In conjunction with other organizations, MPD will hold its elected officials accountable to ensure transparency and to demand fiduciary duty only to the people and not to special interests. Groups involved in the popular front efforts to restore democracy in the United States may affiliate with MPD to further their own objectives that align with our missions.
Article IX: Dissolution of the MPD
The Movement for People’s Democracy shall use its funds only to accomplish the purposes specified by these by- laws and no part of the funds shall be distributed to members of the MPD. On dissolution of the organization, any funds remaining shall be distributed to one or more regularly organized and qualified charitable, educational, scientific, or philanthropic organizations selected by the Board.
Article X: Amendments to the By-laws
These by-laws may be amended by the Board of Directors of the MPD, and subject to two-thirds