The name of this Political Organization is: Best Democracy.
II. Purpose and Values
2.1 The purpose of this organization is to advocate for, and engage in social action implementing Just and Fair Democracy in the United States, and assist in the development of Just and Fair Democracies worldwide. Just and Fair Democracies are inclusive, promote social and economic opportunities, and equality for everyone. Just and Fair Democracies are governed using fair, accurate Proportional Representation with no distortions in representation or vote counting. Just and Fair Democracies facilitate access to citizens ballot initiatives. Just and Fair Democracies are managed by transparent, well vetted, honest, accountable elected officials, guided by principles of Good Governance. Just and Fair Democracies provide equal access to public health care and quality education, plan for environmental sustainability and create safe, healthy, peaceful communities in which to raise our families.
2.2 This political organization may use any and all nonviolent methods to affect social change, including, but not restricted to: education through all venues of media, ballot initiatives, electoral campaigns, community organizing, forums, direct and indirect lobbying of candidates and office holders, research and publication of issues and remedies pertaining to, but not limited to Good Governance.
2.3 Distribution of Assets
Should Best Democracy dissolve, any remaining assets (less debts) owned by Best Democracy shall be distributed to the Brennan Center for Justice.
3.1 Best Democracy membership has no geographical, sexual orientation, racial, ethnic, ideological, religious or cultural limitations. Anyone from anywhere can join.
3.2 Best Democracy members agree to:
a) Abide by the bylaws of Best Democracy.
b) Pay a minimum annual dues of $10 USD/year or any other amount decreed by the Board of Best Democracy as a minimum annual membership fee.
c) Dues paying members can vote on issues and resolutions put before the membership by the Board of Best Democracy (henceforth the “Board”) and for officers of the Board.
4.1 Chapters: Local “Action” Chapters.
a) Best Democracy will initiate and assist in the formation of local Chapters meant to implement the goals of Best Democracy.
b) If there is no local Chapter in a county, state, province or country, an individual member may initiate a local Chapter. The Board will provide guidance to individuals interested in forming local Chapters.
c) Chapter officers and representatives must be certified by the Board.
d) Local Chapter Best Democracy groups must present their proposed bylaws for approval, and be approved by 60% of the voting Board members to be certified as a Chapter. Submitted bylaws must conform to local Chapter government bylaw and incorporation regulations and a copy must be submitted to the Board, in English.
e) Chapters shall be named for their geographical region followed by “Best Democracy”. For instance, “Colorado Best Democracy”.
4.2 Chapters and Board Representation
a) Chapters are each allocated a minimum of one Board member. At the discretion of the Board, more than one member can represent a Chapter.
b) A Best Democracy Chapter shall be placed in Inactive Status if it fails to send any representatives to the annual Board Meeting or if it fails to have representatives vote for three or more consecutive votes on the Board, or if it no longer has any active members on the Board.
c) Chapter Board members will be considered inactive if they do not vote on three consecutive votes. They will be notified of their status by the Board Secretary within 72 hours upon missing the third vote. Board members can be reactivated by notifying the Board Secretary that they wish to be reactivated and by voting on the next Board vote. Board representatives cannot be reactivated in an Inactive or defunct local Chapter.
d) After the third consecutive absence at a Board meeting, the local Chapter will be notified by the Secretary within one week of the meeting. Once placed in Inactive Status, a Chapter will not be counted in the quorum for votes and its representatives will not be allowed to vote at Board meetings.
4.3. Chapter Removal
a) A local Chapter may be removed from Best Democracy for any cause by a vote of at least 60% of the voting Board members, not counting the local Chapter’s vote being removed.
b) A local Chapter can be reinstated to Active Status by submitting a written request (email is acceptable) for reinstatement to the Board listing its new active members implemented by at least a 60% favorable vote of the Board.
c) If a Best Democracy local Chapter has been in Inactive Status for more than six months, it will be considered defunct and will be removed entirely as a Best Democracy local Chapter. To be reinstated, the local Chapter will use the same procedures as a new local Chapter.
4.4 Member’s Right of Participation
• The right of participation of an individual Best Democracy member can be revoked by a Best Democracy local Chapter using its own criteria or by a 75% vote of the members at a Best Democracy Board meeting.
• Revocation of the rights of participation must be based on failure of the individual to adhere to the purpose and methods of Best Democracy.
• Any individual must be informed of the potential revocation of their rights of participation at least three weeks prior to the vote and have a chance to speak in his or her defense at the meeting when the vote is held.
d) All dues paying members of Best Democracy in attendance at a national or chapter meeting are eligible to vote at that meeting.
4.5 Endorsements and Sign-ons on public issues:
a) Any proposal for endorsement or sign-on from a Chapter, a Chapter representative, a Committee co-chair, or Officer of the Board will be considered by the individual Chapter.
b) The Board reserves the Right of reversing Chapter endorsements by a 60% Board vote in favor of reversal.
c) Any endorsement or sign-on requiring the commitment of Best Democracy resources (money, people, time, etc.) must clearly state the requirements and where the resource will come from.
5.1 Board meetings will be held yearly or more frequently at a location agreed upon by the Board members at the previous meeting, or by special call of the Board at its discretion. Board meetings will be announced at least seven days in advance through the www.bestdemocracy.org web site and whatever other venues such as USPS, email, and/or social media as the Board sees fit.
5.2 Nominations to the Board
a) Nominations to the Board and meetings to elect officers must be announced by the Secretary of the Board through the www.bestdemocracy.org web site and whatever other venues such as USPS, email, and/or social media as the Board sees fit, 15 days before the meeting.
b) Board nominations and the election of officers will be considered every year at the Annual Board Meeting, to be held in the month of September or at the discretion of the Board.
c) Board members may nominate new board members.
d) Board Members are approved by a 50% vote by current Board Members and/or a 50% vote by the membership.
In order for official decisions to be made at any and all Board meetings, a quorum of at least 50% of Board Members must be represented.
5.4 The Best Democracy Board (referred to as “Board” elsewhere in these bylaws).
• The Board is composed of up to three representatives from each local Chapter, elected by the members of their respective local, elected using Single Transferable Vote with Droop counting. Local Chapters will define their own recall or removal process. Board representatives must have email access and agree to read and respond to Board emails at least once within any ten-day period. The Board may also be referred to as the Steering Committee or Central Committee of Best Democracy.
• The Board will meet and make decisions by means determined by Board.
• The Board Chairman sets the agenda for meetings.
• The Board can modify these bylaws between Board meetings when required to meet new state legal requirements in a timely fashion. These modifications will be reviewed and approved at the next Board meeting after any such changes.
• All decisions concerning policy, finance, and objectives shall require 50% Board approval and/or a vote of at least 50% of the membership present at an annual meeting. To endorse or oppose a ballot initiative or referendum, or to take a stance on a public issue, shall require a vote of at least 50% of the membership present at a members meeting, 50% of an online poll, and/or 50% of the Board.
• Best Democracy officers and representatives shall be chosen by a 50% approval vote by the Board or at least 50% of members present at the annual meeting.
5.5 The Best Democracy Executive Director
• The Executive Director shall have a Board seat, but cannot vote on personnel questions related to herself or himself.
• The Executive Director decides on issues needing expedient attention between Board meetings, handles administrative tasks, and acts as representative to the press on issues, as well as representing Best Democracy to groups interested in establishing local Chapters where none exist.
• The Executive Director can make appropriations from the Best Democracy bank account of $200 per item or less, in consultation with the Treasurer to insure availability of funds. Expenditures above $200 per item require 50% approval of the Board.
• All decisions by the Executive Director are subject to review at the next Board meeting and may be overturned by a 60% vote.
• All other duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director will be defined by a written job description, which the Executive Director will agree upon acceptance of the position.
Any organization or individual candidate seeking the endorsement of Best Democracy, shall be vetted on the Facebook Group Page and any other Best Democracy venue, by the Best Democracy members, and voted on by a membership link on the bestdemocracy.org website.
• The candidate must maintain active membership in a local Chapter of Best Democracy or if no local Chapter exists nearby, they must be an independent member of Best Democracy, as defined in section 3.2.
• Candidates seeking the endorsement of Best Democracy for any office shall announce their candidacy on the Best Democracy Facebook page with a link to their website.
• Best Democracy committees may be created or dissolved by a 50% vote of the Board.
• The scope and responsibilities of each committee will be defined by the Executive Director.
• Best Democracy Committees shall have at least two members active in Best Democracy Chapters. Committee chairs call meetings and set rules for participation at their discretion. Committees report to and are responsible to the Board of Best Democracy.
• In order to manage and grow Best Democracy and to communicate our message, platform and values to the public, Best Democracy will elect officers to two year terms. Every effort shall be made to reach gender and geographic diversity.
• The duties and responsibilities of Officers shall be defined by the Board. The Board shall always have at a minimum, 4 members: the Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Treasurer and a Secretary.
• The Chair of the Board shall administer meetings.
• The Executive Director shall monitor that official filings required to be made by the secretary and treasurer occur in a timely manner.
• The Secretary shall fulfill the role of secretary under state law and shall be responsible for handling filing documents as required by state law; keeping accurate minutes of Board meetings and nominating conventions; updating the bylaws and procedures and guidelines and filing bylaw changes with the Secretary of State, as required by state law.
• The Treasurer is responsible for filings and financial reporting as required by state law, disburse funds as directed by the Board, and present a balance report at each annual meeting.
• The Board of Best Democracy may create any office as needed. A vote of 50% of Board members present at a meeting may approve any new officership.
• Officers shall be chosen in odd numbered years to serve two year terms in office.
• If a Best Democracy officer’s position is vacated in between Board meetings, the Board Chairman in agreement with the Executive Director may make a temporary appointment in the manner as specified in the Procedures and Guidelines until the next Board meeting.
• If any officer or representative of Best Democracy is found to be in contempt of the goals of Best Democracy, recall proceedings shall be invoked. A 60% plurality of voting members present at the next Board meeting is required to achieve the recall of an officer.
Every effort shall be made to include diversity at all levels of hiring, including but not limited to, gender, ethnic, racial and geographic. Hiring and best labor practices will be established and managed by the Executive Director.
6.1 These bylaws may be amended on a three-fifths vote by members present at the annual meeting or by the Best Democracy Board. A written copy of adopted bylaws (with any current amendments) will be maintained by the Secretary and published on the bestdemocracy.org web site. Current amended copies will be filed with the Colorado Secretary of State.
4396 Snowberry Ct.
Boulder, CO 80304
V1. 20 Aug 2020
Board of Directors
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Best Democracy Bylaws