The Constitution of the
Green Party of Waterford, Connecticut
Unanimously Adopted July 26, 2014
A. We, the concerned citizens of Waterford, Connecticut, establish this organization, designated as the Green Party of Waterford, Connecticut, in order to set forth principles and values that will ensure all human beings the right to life, liberty, justice, equality, and wilderness, and other animals the natural rights with which they are born. We are aware that ecological responsibility in our specific region is of utmost importance and that we must protect our fragile coastal environments to ensure continued economic, social, and environmental prosperity. We aim to uphold democracy through the decentralization of the political process and eliminate private interests from all levels of government. We mutually declare our support for this Constitution under the condition that it reflects the pressing needs and requirements of modern society.
1. The Green Party of Waterford, Connecticut shall hereafter also be known as “the Party”.
2. The Green Party of Connecticut shall hereafter also be known as “the State Party”.
3. The Green Party of the United States shall hereafter also be known as “the National Party”.
II. Our Ten Key Values
A. Endorsements and actions of the Party shall comply with the Ten Key Values listed below and the four pillars of the Green International Movement.
1. Grassroots Democracy: Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect his or her life and should not be subject to the will of another without proper representation. Therefore, we will work to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We will also work to create new types of political organizations that expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process.
2. Social Justice and Equal Opportunity: All persons should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We must consciously confront in ourselves and in our organizations and society at large barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, and ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.
3. Ecological Wisdom: Human societies must operate with the understanding that they are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society that utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture that replenishes the soil, move to an energy efficient economy, and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.
4. Non-Violence: It is essential that we develop effective alternatives to society's current patterns of violence. We will work to demilitarize and eliminate weapons of mass destruction without being naive about the intentions of other governments. We recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community, and global peace.
5. Decentralization: Centralization of wealth and power contributes to social and economic injustice, environmental destruction, and militarization. Therefore, we support a restructuring of social, political, and economic institutions away from a system that is controlled by and mostly benefits the powerful few, to a more democratic system. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while ensuring that civil rights are protected for all citizens.
6. Community Based Economics and Economic Justice: We will redesign our work structures to encourage employee ownership and workplace democracy; develop new economic activities and institutions that will allow us people to use our new technologies in ways that are humane, freeing, ecologically accountable, and responsive to communities; establish basic economic security, open to all; restructure our patterns of income distribution to reflect the wealth created by those outside the formal monetary economy: those who take responsibility for parenting, housekeeping, home gardens, community volunteer work, etc.; and restrict the size and concentrated power of corporations without discouraging superior efficiency or technological innovation.
7. Feminism and Gender Equity: We have inherited a social system based on the male domination of politics and economics. We call for the replacement of the cultural ethics of domination and control with more cooperative ways of interacting that respect differences of opinion and gender. Human values such as equity between the sexes, interpersonal responsibility, and honesty must be developed with moral conscience. We should remember that the process that determines our decisions and actions is just as important as achieving the outcome we want.
8. Respect for Diversity: We believe it is important to value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious, and spiritual diversity, and to promote the development of respectful relationships across these lines. We believe that the many diverse elements of society should be reflected in our organizations and decision-making bodies, and we support the leadership of people who have been traditionally closed out of leadership roles. We acknowledge, encourage, and enforce respect for other life forms than our own and the preservation of biodiversity.
9. Personal and Global Responsibility: We encourage individuals to act to improve their personal well-being and, at the same time, to enhance ecological balance and social harmony. We seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet.
10. Future Focus And Sustainability: Our actions and policies should be motivated by long-term goals. We seek to protect valuable natural resources, safely disposing of or "unmaking" all waste we create, while developing sustainable economics that do not depend on continual expansion for survival. We must counterbalance the drive for short-term profits by ensuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations who will inherit the results of our actions. We wish to make the quality of life, rather than open-ended economic growth, the focus of future thinking.
III. Mission Statement
A. The Green Party of Waterford, Connecticut shall follow the ideals of grassroots democracy, social justice and equal opportunity, ecological wisdom, non-violence, decentralization, community-based economics and economic justice, feminism and gender equity, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, and future focus and sustainability while striving to improve the local and global community for the benefit of the people.
A. The Green Party of Waterford, Connecticut is affiliated with the Green Party of the United States and is an official chapter of the Green Party of Connecticut.
B. No amendment need be passed in order to edit article IV of this document. Instead, a regular motion shall be able to change the affiliations of the Party.
A. Members of the Party must be residents of towns in Connecticut that have approved this Constitution and approve being a part of the Party.
B. Towns in Connecticut may not approve of this Constitution and approve being a part of the Party if they are already represented by another local State Party chapter.
C. Individuals must complete and sign a designated membership form that states that the signatory is a registered Green Party member and is complying with all other membership requirement outlined in this Constitution.
1. Two elected officials of the Party must sign the form in order for the individual to vote at meetings.
2. Two members of the Party executive committee must review the forms within a two-week period following the receipt of a completed membership form and sign the form if the information listed is true.
3. The Party logo must appear on all official forms, applications, and documents that the Party produces.
D. Membership in the Party is open to all meeting the above criteria, irrespective of race, creed, color, sex, class, age, nation of origin, gender identity or expression, disability, marital status, religion, military status, sexual orientation, and other potential discriminatory factors.
E. If an individual actively works to undermine the proceedings of the Party, at an official meeting, members of the Party may, with the exception of the individual in question, bar that individual from any number of future meetings, committee sessions, and discussions by unanimously agreeing to do so.
F. Individuals who have been previously barred from meetings, committee sessions, and discussions should have the opportunity to be unbarred if they agree to cease and desist the undesired actions.
G. Citizens of Waterford, CT of any age may be present at all Party meetings and may voice their opinions on various subjects at these meetings.
A. Meetings shall be held at least once a month, totaling in a minimum of 12 meetings per calendar year.
1. Members of the Party shall follow the traditional Robert’s Rules of order at all official meetings.
2. A quorum of at least five members of the Party, including at least one officer and one non-officer, must be present in order for a quorum to exist.
B. All decisions that do not have extremely limited time restrictions shall be made collectively at the monthly meetings with input from each member of the Party.
1. Any member of the Party may motion to vote on a proposal.
a. These proposals can be about anything pertaining to the focus and values of the Party.
b. When a proposal is being voted on, all members of the Party are permitted to vote once.
c. This vote can either be “Yea,” in agreement with the proposal, “Nay,” in disagreement with the proposal, or an abstention from voting for or against the proposal.
d. Members must be at least 17 years of age in order to vote.
2. If a member of the Party is not present when a vote is occurring, he or she will be marked down as abstaining from voting.
3. Abstentions shall not be taken into consideration when calculating the majority of the vote.
4. A proposal must receive 2/3 of the vote or more in order to pass.
5. Any single member of the Party has the right to ask for an open debate of at most twenty minutes to occur before the proposal is voted on.
C. Committees, small groups focused on a specific issue or topic, comprised of at least 3 individuals, may be formed by members of the party at an official meeting.
1. Committees must produce a mission statement and present and have it approve at the monthly meeting following their creation.
2. Committees may meet as often as necessary in order to accomplish their mission.
3. Committees should give reports no less than every three monthly meetings.
4. A committee shall be formed each year, designated as the Platform Committee, that shall be tasked with writing a comprehensive platform that outlines the feelings, beliefs, ideology, and positions of the Party.
VII. Party Officials
A. The Party shall hold officer elections during the November monthly meeting each year.
1. The Borda Count method of voting shall be used at all elections for official positions.
a. Each ballot shall have “No Confidence” as an valid voting option.
b. Candidates receiving fewer points than “No Confidence” shall be removed from the election process.
c. In the event that all candidates received fewer points than “No Confidence”, the election shall be re-done in a timely manner with other individuals having the opportunity to become candidates for the position.
2. Members must be 18 years of age at the time that they would take office in order to serve as party officials.
3. Only members of the Party shall be allowed to vote in the elections, and each member shall only be able to vote once per election.
4. Members shall be able to vote up to a week in advance online and shall be able to vote in-person at the November monthly meeting.
5. Newly-elected officials will take office on January 1st of the year following the most recent election.
6. Terms of all elected positions are one year in length.
7. Officers may serve an indefinite number of terms so long as they meet the necessary requirements to hold office.
8. Elected positions include three Co-Chairpeople, one Treasurer, one Deputy Treasurer, one Head of Media Relations, one Head of Public Relations, one Secretary, and Delegates to the State Party.
a. Co-Chairpeople are the primary officers of the Party. Responsibilities include but are not limited to spokespersons of the Party, planning meetings, conducting internal elections, maintaining membership lists, monitoring the performance of other officers, etc.
b. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the fiscal management of the Party. The treasurer must provide a general financial report to the Party at each monthly meeting and make available a financial statement to the Party members no less than annually.
c. The Deputy Treasurer shall assist the treasurer in all of their duties and shall serve as the Treasurer in the event that the Treasurer becomes incapacitated or is otherwise unavailable.
d. The Head of Public Relations shall be responsible for keeping the public informed about Green Party events, actions, ideas, and motives through the use of social media and other advertising.
e. The Head of Media Relations shall be responsible for keeping the media informed about Green Party events, actions, ideas, and motives.
f. The Secretary is responsible for keeping and maintaining meeting minutes. Additional archival and record keeping tasks may be the responsibility of the secretary.
g. Delegates to the State Central Committee shall attend all Connecticut State Central Committee meetings when the opportunity arises and shall accurately convey the opinions and feelings of the Party to the State Central Committee.
i. A maximum of one Delegate shall be elected to the State Central Committee for each five registered Green Party members residing in the Town of Waterford and other towns incorporated into the Party.
9. Members of the Executive Committee must include the Co-Chairpeople, Treasurer, Deputy Treasurer, Head of Public Relations, Head of Media Relations, and the Secretary.
10. In the event that all Co-Chairpeople are absent from a meeting, the Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer shall take over the role of Co-Chairpeople for the duration of that meeting.
11. In the event that all the Co-Chairpeople, the Treasurer, and the Deputy Treasurer are absent from a meeting, the Head of Public Relations and the Head of Media Relations shall take over the role of Co-Chairpeople for the duration of that meeting.
12. In the event that a party official resigns from their position before their term is up, a new individual shall be elected to that position at the next monthly meeting.
a. An individual elected to a position mid-term shall serve only until the end of the current term, unless re-elected in November.
13. A ⅔ majority vote of the Executive Committee can occur in order to begin the process to remove a Party Official from office.
a. Immediately following the vote of no confidence from the Executive Committee, the Party Official in question shall be informed of the vote and shall be asked to make an official written statement expressing their opinion on the vote.
i. This written statement shall be publically shared at least one week before a final vote regarding their removal from office occurs, in order that all members of the Party may read and understand their position.
b. A ⅔ majority vote of all members of the organization shall occur at the next monthly meeting to confirm or deny the vote of no confidence expressed by the Executive Committee.
VIII. Town Committee
A. The purpose of the town committee is to recruit and nominate candidates for municipal office.
B. The town committee shall consist of between nine (9) and thirteen (13) regular members and one alternate member, which shall consist of:
1. The members of the Party executive committee (three (3) Co-Chairpeople, Treasurer, Deputy Treasurer, Head of Public Relations, Head of Media Relations, and the Secretary), as defined in Article VII, Section 9 of this document, four (4) of which shall represent each municipal voting district in town;
2. if each municipal voting district is not represented by the executive committee members, a representative from each absent district shall be elected;
3. one (1) at-large member; and
4. one (1) alternate member.
C. The party officers, the at-large member, and the alternate shall be chosen by all party members following the internal election rules outlined in Article VII of this document.
D. Any additional district representatives shall be chosen by voting members residing in the district which that representative seeks to represent, and shall be elected at the November Party meeting, during the Party internal elections.
1. Each district representative must reside within the district he or she seeks to represent.
2. Quorum for the election of district representatives shall constitute fifty percent of the voting members of that district.
E. All committee members shall be elected to one-year terms.
IX. Local, State, and National Elections
A. The Party reserves the right to endorse any candidate of its choosing, regardless of that candidate’s official political affiliation.
B. Candidates should not be endorsed if they do not respect, value, or believe in the Ten Key Values outlined in Article II or the four pillars of the Green International Movement.
C. The Party reserves the right to hold an official nominating convention for positions that are within the territory it represents.
D. An Elections Committee shall form each year that accepts applications of individuals wishing to run for a town or state position for which residents in the area represented by the Party may vote.
1. This committee shall thoroughly interview each individual candidate to ensure that the individual is fit to be a Green Party-affiliated candidate.
2. After the initial interview, the committee shall report their formulated opinion of the candidate at the next monthly meeting where members shall then have the opportunity to ask questions of the potential candidates before voting to officially endorse them.
3. A ⅔ majority vote is required to officially endorse a candidate.
X. Creating Amendments
A. Amendments to this constitution, like any other proposal, may presented by any member of the Party.
B. An amendment will only be enacted if it passes a Consensus vote, as outlined in the National Party bylaws.
C. Amendments that are added to this Constitution shall be permanently listed in Article XI of the document, in the order that they were adopted.
A. To the extent possible under law, the Green Party of Waterford, Connecticut dedicates all copyright and related and neighboring rights to this document to the public domain worldwide.
B. All expenditures by the Waterford Green Party must have the approval of at least three executive officers, one of which must be the Treasurer or the Deputy Treasurer.
1. Receipts must be given to the Treasurer for reimbursement within 90 days following an approved expenditure made on behalf of the Waterford Green Party.
2. No reimbursement shall be distributed from the Waterford Green Party without proper documentation of the transaction.
3. Each approved expenditure shall be reimbursed independently of each other.