Illinois Green Party Bylaws
ARTICLE 1 – Name and Purpose
1-A. Name. The name of this organization shall be the Illinois Green Party (ILGP).
1-B. Purpose and Mission. The purpose of the Illinois Green Party is to advance the Ten Key Values of the Greens. The mission of the Illinois Green Party shall be to advance the green movement and Green Party in Illinois based on the Ten Key Values through political and non-political means and support formation of Green Party chapters.
1-C. The Ten Key Values. The Ten Key Values of the Illinois Green Party are: Ecological Wisdom, Social Justice, Grassroots Democracy, Nonviolence, Decentralization, Community-based Economics, Feminism, Respect for Diversity, Personal and Global Responsibility, and Future Focus.
ARTICLE 2 – Membership
2-A. Definition. The Illinois Green Party shall be composed of individual members who reside within the State of Illinois. The highest decision making body shall be the Membership of the Illinois Green Party. All formal decisions made by the Membership at a state Membership Meeting or by some other manner as authorized by these Bylaws are binding upon all committees and officers of the state party including the Coordinating Committee and the Executive Committee.
2-A-1. Application. Individuals shall apply for membership in a method determined by the Executive Committee.
2-B-1. Age. Members must be 13 years of age or older.
2-B-2. Residence. Each member must be an Illinois resident, or be registered to vote in Illinois as an American living overseas. Each member must have a primary mailing address on file.
2-B-3. Diversity. No person may be excluded from voting membership in the ILGP based on race; social or economic status; national origin; age if at least 13 years of age; sex; gender; disability; sexual orientation; religious affiliation, religious belief, or lack thereof; citizenship; or criminal record, including current incarceration.
2-C. Coordinator. Coordinator is a designation granted or renewed annually by the Executive Committee to any party member who 1) has been a member for the previous 12 months and 2) who submits a formal request for the designation to the Executive Committee.
2-C-1. Term. The designation of Coordinator is granted for the period of one year and must be renewed at the request of the member. The designation may be renewed indefinitely.
2-C-2. Duties. Coordinators shall serve as voting members of the Coordinating Committee. Coordinators shall be present for at least four meetings of the Coordinating Committee per year and may cast votes on any matter that comes before the body.
2-C-3. Removal. The designation of Coordinator may be removed if 1) after a period of one year the member has not submitted a request to for renewal to the Executive Committee; 2) the Coordinator is expelled from the Coordinating Committee by a 3/4 vote of that body; 3) the member does not participate in three consecutive regularly scheduled meetings of the Coordinating Committee; or 4) the Coordinator is otherwise dropped as a member. Any member who is removed may be reinstated by a majority vote of the Executive Committee or the Membership.
2-D. Automatic Removal. A member will automatically be removed from the membership list when 1) the party receives notice that the member is no longer a resident of Illinois, 2) the party no longer has valid contact information for the person, or 3) the member becomes an officer or candidate of another statewide established party.
2-E. Removal by Member. A member will be removed from the membership list at the member’s request.
2-F. Removal by Party. Any member can be removed from the organization by a 3/4 vote of the Coordinating Committee or a 3/4 vote of the Membership. If a member is removed by the Coordinating Committee, the member can appeal that removal to the Membership.
2-G. Reserved Powers. Only the Membership may approve changes to the content of the Bylaws or the content of the Platform.
2-H. Decision-Making. The Membership may make any decisions at a Membership Meeting, unless otherwise specified in these Bylaws. Decisions reserved for the Membership may also be made by other methods which are consistent with these Bylaws, and which have been authorized by the Membership. If decisions to amend the ILGP Bylaws or ILGP Platform are to be conducted outside of a Membership Meeting, then such proposals must include the new language and any language which would be replaced, and at least 45 days must be given after distribution for members to respond. Other aspects of the conduct of such votes must be approved by the Membership, or the Membership may delegate the approval of such processes to another body.
ARTICLE 3 – Chapters
3-A. Definition. A chapter is a group of Green Party members, affiliated by the Illinois Green Party, who form an organization to advance the purpose and mission of the Illinois Green Party. To be affiliated, a chapter must have at least three ILGP members, and submit to the Secretary an affiliation application that lists: Three ILGP members who wish to start the chapter; contact information of the a lead organizer; meeting dates, times and locations; a summary of the organization’s activities, projects and goals; and other information deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee.
3-B. Chapter Membership. Each chapter must have in its membership at least three members of the Illinois Green Party. Chapters may permit individuals to join who are not ILGP members.
3-C. Chapter Rights. Each chapter may develop its own platform and bylaws, run local electoral and issue campaigns, and choose its own officers, spokespersons, and representatives, so long as these actions are in general accordance with the Ten Key Values.
3-D. Affiliation. Chapters shall apply for affiliation to the Secretary, who will forward the application to the Executive Committee for approval. If the Executive Committee declines to approve the application, the decision can be appealed to the Membership. Affiliation lasts for a period of one year, after which time, the chapter must re-apply for affiliation.
3-E. Disaffiliation. Chapters can be disaffiliated by consensus of the Executive Committee. Disaffiliation actions can be appealed to the Coordinating Committee or Membership. Chapters that are disaffiliated may reaffiliate in the future in accordance with these bylaws.
ARTICLE 4 – Membership Meetings
4-A. Definition and Purpose. The Illinois Green Party shall have an Annual Membership Meeting every calendar year, and may have additional membership meetings in a given year. The Membership Meetings are for the purpose of conducting official business of the ILGP Membership and may also be used for other purposes including but not limited to presentations, workshops, and fundraising. Except as otherwise specified by these Bylaws, any action that can be taken by the Membership may be taken at a Membership Meeting, and all functions delegated to any party committee under these Bylaws are subject to review by the Membership at a Membership Meeting.
4-B. Meeting Notice. Notice of Membership Meetings shall be sent to all ILGP members at least 30 days in advance. Notice may be sent by email, unless a member requests that notice be sent by U.S. Mail, or the member has no working email address on record with ILGP. Meeting notices shall be posted on the ILGP website.
4-C. Approval of Meeting Dates and Location. The dates and locations of Membership Meetings may be approved by the Executive Committee, the Coordinating Committee, or the Membership.
4-D. Decision Making Process. Unless otherwise stated in these Bylaws, decisions at meetings will be made by consensus; or, if a consensus cannot be reached, or if a proposal is being sent by mail and email, a vote may be taken. In order to pass, a proposal must receive twice as many “yes” votes as “no” votes, and more “yes” votes than “no” and “abstain” votes combined.
4-E. Eligibility to Participate. Decisions at Membership Meetings will be made by members of the Illinois Green Party who have been members of the state party for at least three months prior to the Membership Meeting.
ARTICLE 5 – Coordinating Committee
5-A. Definition. The Coordinating Committee is a standing committee of the Executive Committee. The Coordinating Committee consists of all members designated as Coordinator by the Executive Committee. The primary function of the Coordinating Committee is for Coordinators and other members to regularly interface with one another and the state party for the purposes of coordination of activities. The Coordinating Committee shall also be empowered with limited responsibilities as described in these Bylaws.
5-B. Budget. In lieu of Membership approval, the Coordinating Committee shall approve an annual party budget by vote.
5-C. Other Duties. The Coordinating Committee will carry out duties as specified in or consistent with these Bylaws, or which are delegated by the Membership. If the Bylaws or actions of the Membership do not allow for the Coordinating Committee to take formal action, then such action is not permitted.
ARTICLE 6 – Executive Committee
6-A. Definitions. The Executive Committee shall consist of seven Officers: a Chairperson, four Vice-Chairpersons, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
6-B. Purpose. The Executive Committee shall be the primary body administering the day-to-day administrative functions of the Illinois Green Party. These functions shall include, but are not limited to, media coordination, candidate support, fundraising, and membership outreach and services.
6-C. Requirements. All Executive Committee members must be current members of the Illinois Green Party for at least one year prior to election or appointment to the Executive Committee.
6-D. Officer Elections. All Officer seats will be elected by the Membership to annual terms. Elections will take place at a Membership Meeting or by a manner provided for by these Bylaws between February 1 and April 30 with terms starting on the date of election.
6-E. Officer Vacancies. If a vacancy on the Executive Committee occurs, the vacancy may be filled on an interim basis by a vote of the Executive Committee, until the next Membership Meeting, or other scheduled election of officers.
6-F. Chairperson. The Chairperson shall be the primary spokesperson for the Illinois Green Party and shall be responsible for convening meetings of the Executive Committee. Wherever Illinois statute refers to the Chair, Chairman, or Chairperson of an established statewide political party, the Chairperson as defined by these Bylaws shall be considered the officer of record for the Green Party. No person shall serve as chairperson for more than two terms consecutively.
6-G. Vice-Chairpersons. The Vice Chairpersons shall be responsible for fulfilling the duties of the Chairperson as requested by or in the absence of the Chairperson.
6-H. Treasurer. The Treasurer will manage all of the financial matters of the Illinois Green Party consistent with the Fiscal Policy, including reporting on the finances of the party at Membership meetings. The Treasurer shall submit the financial records of party operations to the State of Illinois and to the Federal Elections Committee as required by law. The Treasurer shall file all documents necessary to ensure the ILGP can endorse candidates and ballot initiatives supported by the ILGP. The Treasurer shall ensure legally required records are maintained for all funds collected. The Treasurer shall disburse and manage the ILGP funds based on the direction of the Membership, Coordinating Committee, and Executive Committee. Wherever Illinois statute refers to the Treasurer of an established statewide political party, the Treasurer as defined by these Bylaws shall be considered the officer of record for the Green Party.
6-I. Secretary. The Secretary shall be responsible for all records and correspondence of the Illinois Green Party, including keeping and distributing minutes of all Membership and Executive Committee meetings; maintaining the party’s official mail, email, and phone services; and processing the applications of chapters and associated organizations. Whenever Illinois statute refers to the Secretary of an established statewide political party, the Secretary as defined by these Bylaws shall be considered the officer of record for the Green Party.
6-J. Meetings. The Executive Committee shall meet at least eleven times every calendar year. At least two of these meetings will be in person. Meetings may also be conducted by phone teleconference or other conferencing methods.
6-K. Quorum. To conduct formal business, an Executive Committee meeting must have a majority of all members present, or must have three members present, whichever is greater.
6-L. Decision Making. Unless otherwise stated in these Bylaws, provided a quorum is present, decisions will be made by consensus, or if a consensus cannot be reached, a vote may be taken. In order to pass, a proposal must receive twice as many “yes” votes as “no” votes, and more “yes” votes than “no” and “abstain” votes combined.
6-M. Recall. Any member of the Executive Committee can be removed by a 2/3 vote of the Membership. Such an action can be instigated by a vote of the Coordinating Committee, or by a proposal signed by 25 ILGP members in good standing.
6-N. Removal. Any Executive Committee member may be removed, for cause, by a 2/3 vote of the Coordinating Committee. In the event that the Coordinating Committee votes to remove an Executive Committee member, the affected member may not vote. The member involved must receive reasonable advance notice of the Coordinating Committee vote.
6-O. Accountability. All Executive Committee members must report to the Membership at Membership Meetings.
6-P. Expense Authorization. The Executive Committee shall authorize expenses which are consistent with the party’s budget and Fiscal Policy.
6-Q. Statement Authorization. The Executive Committee may authorize statements on behalf of the party, including but not limited to press releases and position papers, which are consistent with the Platform.
6-R. Membership List Management. The Executive Committee must designate protocols for the appropriate administration of the ILGP Membership List.
ARTICLE 7 – National Affiliation
7-A. Nature of Affiliation. The Illinois Green Party is and intends to remain a state party affiliate of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS), subject to the relevant affiliation terms in GPUS Bylaws and Rules.
7-B. ILGP National Delegation. The ILGP’s National Delegation shall consist of a number of delegates and an equal number of alternate delegates to the Green National Committee, as well as representatives to other GPUS standing and ad hoc committees. The number of delegates, alternate delegates, and representatives to other committees shall be set by GPUS Bylaws, Rules, Policies, and Procedures.
7-C. Green National Committee Selection. Delegates and alternate delegates to the Green National Committee (GNC) shall be elected annually, by the Membership at a Membership Meeting or otherwise, following the process for internal elections specified in these Bylaws.
7-D. Green National Committee Vacancies. If a vacancy or vacancies in the positions of delegate and/ or alternate delegate occur, the Executive Committee may fill a position on an interim basis until the next annual election.
7-E. Representatives to Other Committees. Representatives to other standing or ad hoc committees of GPUS may be appointed in the standard manner that decisions are made by the Executive Committee or Membership.
7-F. Committee Status. The ILGP National Delegation shall be considered an ILGP Standing Committee as defined elsewhere in these Bylaws, electing a Chair or Co-Chairs and following written committee procedures for its conduct.
7-G. Costs. The Illinois Green Party will defray part or all of costs for delegates to attend national meetings. An allowance for such costs shall be part of the party’s annual budget. Covered costs shall be outlined in the ILGP Fiscal Policy.
7-H. Binding Votes. The Membership may dictate to delegates, alternate delegates, and other representatives how to vote on particular matters.
7-I. Reporting. Delegation members are required to make known to the Membership and the Coordinating Committee important decision and events occurring at national meetings, and to prepare and distribute reports on all national meetings attended.
ARTICLE 8 – Standing Committees, Ad Hoc Committees, and Working Groups
8-A. Definitions. Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Committees are official committees of the Illinois Green Party, operating under a committee rules document which has been approved by the Executive Committee or Membership. Standing committees are intended to be permanent, and ad hoc committees are intended to be temporary.
8-B. Purpose. Standing and Ad Hoc Committees are intended to be primary bodies within the ILGP structure for the development of action items, including but not limited to formal proposals, press releases, and position papers.
8-C. Chairs. Except as otherwise specified in these Bylaws, or in a committee rules document, Standing and Ad Hoc Committees shall have a chair or two co-chairs. Chairs will be appointed by the Executive Committee or Membership. Chairs are responsible for reporting the activities of the committee to the Executive Committee and Membership. No one person may be a chair or co-chair of more than two Standing or Ad Hoc Committees at the same time, nor may a person be a chair or co- chair of more than one Standing or Ad Hoc Committee at the same time that he or she is a member of the Executive Committee. Committee rules documents may specify other methods for approval and removal of chairs.
8-D. Reports. Each Standing or Ad Hoc Committee will submit a report on its actions at Membership Meetings. Between Membership Meetings, the Executive Committee can require that reports be submitted.
8-E. Oversight. Primary oversight of Standing and Ad Hoc Committees is a function of the Executive Committee.
8-F. Financial Commitments. No Standing or Ad Hoc Committee shall make any financial commitment on behalf of the ILGP without the prior consent of the Executive Committee or Membership, unless financial powers have been specifically delegated to it, or unless specific arrangements have been made for the committee’s independent financial responsibility.
8-G. Committee Membership. Except as otherwise specified in these Bylaws, or in a committee rules document, membership on Standing or Ad Hoc Committees shall be open to all ILGP members. A member may be removed from a Standing or Ad Hoc Committee by action of the Executive Committee or Membership, or by a process specified in the committee’s rules document.
8-H. Working Groups. A Working Group is a semi-official body of the Illinois Green Party which can be created by an action of the Executive Committee, a Standing Committee, or an Ad Hoc Committee. Working Groups do not require full rules documents. Working Groups have no authority except those specified in their creation, and may not be given any authority specifically reserved to a higher body.
ARTICLE 9 – Application of Illinois Statutes
9-A. Freedom of Association. The Illinois Green Party maintains its right, under the 1st and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution, to freedom of association, and authorizes legal action to be taken for the purpose of defending its freedom of association upon explicit approval of the Membership or upon simultaneous explicit approval of the Executive and Coordinating Committees.
9-B. Partisan Primary Elections. The Illinois Green Party considers the semi-open primary as practiced under Illinois statute to be an infringement upon the party’s freedom of association and therefore authorizes the Coordinating Committee and Executive Committee to take steps as possible, and as those bodies deem appropriate, to implement rules to protect the party’s freedom of association with regard to primary elections.
9-C. State Central Committee. The Green Party State Central Committee, as described in the Illinois Election Code, is considered a Standing Committee of the Illinois Green Party, subject to the conditions governing Standing Committees within these Bylaws. No officer of the Green Party State Central Committee shall be considered, by virtue of such office, to be an officer of the Illinois Green Party.
9-D. Other Central Committees. Green Party Central Committees at jurisdictional levels below the entire state, as described in the Illinois Election Code, are considered to be organizationally subject to the direction of Illinois Green Party members residing in the jurisdiction.
ARTICLE 10 – ILGP Candidates for Public Office
10-A. Scope. The intent of this Article is to establish processes by which candidates may be acknowledged as candidates of the Illinois Green Party for the purpose of extending public
acknowledgement and otherwise providing resources to them. Nothing within this Article shall be interpreted as to limit the ability of a chapter to issue an endorsement on its own behalf.
10-B-1. ILGP Candidates. An individual running for public office in the State of Illinois shall be acknowledged as an ILGP candidate if the individual meets the following requirements. a) The individual is an Illinois Green Party member and is not an officer or candidate of another political party. b) The individual is either running in a non-partisan election, or running on a Green ballot line where one exists in a partisan election, or running as an independent where a Green ballot line does not exist in a partisan election. c) The individual is endorsed or recognized in a manner described in this Article.
10-B-2. Statewide Office. For the purposes of this Article, a “statewide office” is any state or federal office for which the officeholder is elected solely by eligible voters throughout the State of Illinois. As of the date of the adoption of these bylaws, these offices are the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, Comptroller, and United States Senator.
10-B-3. Legislative Office. For the purpose of this Article, a “legislative office” is any state or federal office for which the officeholder is elected solely by eligible voters within a specific electoral district in Illinois. As of the date of the adoption of these bylaws, these offices are the offices of United States Representative, Illinois State Senator, and Illinois State Representative.
10-B-4. Local Office. For the purpose of this Article, a “local office” is any elected public office within the State of Illinois that is not defined in this Article as either a statewide office or a legislative office. The offices of precinct, township, and ward committeeperson are not considered public offices.
10-B-5. Nomination, Endorsement, and Recognition. Nomination is a legal action by which a candidate is authorized to be placed on the ballot for a general election. Candidates can be nominated by primary election, by action of a central committee (commonly referred to as “slating”), or by petition. Endorsement is an action that can be taken by the ILGP, affiliated chapters, or ILGP members within a relevant electoral district to express preference for a candidate. Recognition is an action that can be taken by the ILGP, affiliated chapters, or ILGP members within a relevant electoral district to identify an ILGP candidate as defined in this Article. Recognition is a prerequisite for being included in an official ILGP roster of candidates, and for potentially receiving financial, logistical, or other types of electoral support from the ILGP. Endorsement includes recognition, but recognition does not imply endorsement.
10-B-6. Slating. “Slating” refers to a legal process by which a state-recognized body, such as a central committee, may fill a vacancy in nomination by formal action.
10-C. Recognition and Endorsement of Candidates for Statewide Office.
10-C-1. Endorsement for Nomination by New Party Petition. If the Green Party is not an “established party” under Illinois statute, then a candidate for statewide office may be endorsed by a vote as described in this Section for inclusion on a petition to form a “new party” under Illinois law.
10-C-2. Endorsement by Primary Election or Slating. Provided that a candidate meets all other conditions to be an ILGP candidate as specified in this Article, a candidate for statewide office who wins a primary election or who is slated by the Green Party State Central Committee shall be considered endorsed, unless such candidate then explicitly has the endorsement withdrawn by the process defined within this Section.
10-C-3. Primary Election Recognition. A candidate for statewide office may be recognized as an ILGP candidate. Endorsements shall not be offered by the Illinois Green Party for candidates in a primary election.
10-C-4. Recognition or Endorsement Votes.
10-C-4-a. Statement of Intent. Candidates who wish to be considered for the party’s recognition or endorsement for a statewide office must provide the ILGP Secretary with a Statement of Intent including their name, legal residence address, and office sought, as the information appears on the candidate’s official Statement of Candidacy as required by Illinois statute.
10-C-4-b. Timing. Recognition or endorsement votes shall be taken no more than nine months preceding the first legal day to petition for such offices under state statute.
10-C-4-c. Method. If feasible, recognition or endorsement decisions will be made by the Membership using the standard voting mechanism described within these Bylaws. If the Executive Committee determines that timing or other issues preclude a vote of the Membership from being taken, then the Coordinating Committee may extend recognition or endorsement to a candidate by a majority vote with open ballots.
10-C-5. Withdrawal of Recognition or Endorsement. A recognition or endorsement may be explicitly withdrawn by a majority vote of the Membership or, in the event that it is not feasible to put the vote before the Membership, by consensus of the Executive Committee.
10-D. Recognition and Endorsement of Candidates for Legislative and Local Office.
10-D-1. Primary Election Recognition. A candidate for legislative or local office may be recognized as an ILGP candidate. Endorsements shall not be offered by the ILGP for candidates in a primary election.
10-D-2. Autonomy of ILGP Member Residents. The subset of ILGP members who are residents of an electoral district have primary autonomous authority to recognize or endorse candidates for offices serving that electoral district and, as a group, may therefore make or deny an ILGP recognition or endorsement, for offices serving that electoral district. There must be at least three members participating in that decision.
10-D-3. Recognition by Executive Committee. In the absence of any action taken by residents within a relevant electoral district the ILGP Executive Committee may make recognition or endorsements for offices within such electoral district, according to its standard voting practices or may delegate recognition and endorsement decisions to chapters or the Coordinating Committee.
10-D-4. Override by Executive Committee or Membership. If the members residing within an electoral district, or any body to which endorsement and recognition authority has been delegated, have made an Illinois Green Party recognition or endorsement or have denied a sought recognition or endorsement for an office serving that electoral district,; such a decision may be overridden by a consensus decision of the Executive Committee, or by a two-thirds vote of the Membership.
10-E. President and Vice-President of the United States.
10-E-1. Compliance with Nomination. The Illinois Green Party shall take all actions necessary to comply with the results of the nomination vote held by the Green Party of the United States at its quadrennial presidential nominating convention.
10-E-2. National Convention Delegation. The nature and method of selection of the Illinois Green Party delegation to the Green Party of the United States quadrennial presidential nominating convention shall be approved by the ILGP Membership, or, if so designated by the ILGP Membership, by the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE 11 – Internal Voting Rules and Other Standing Rules
11-A. Internal Voting Rules.
11-A-1. Instant Runoff Voting. All elections called for in these bylaws for which a single seat is to be filled shall be conducted by Instant Runoff Voting. To win, a candidate must secure a majority of votes from all ballots, including exhausted ballots.
11-A-2. Single Transferable Voting. All elections called for in these bylaws for which multiple seats are to be filled shall be conducted using choice voting (also called Single Transferable Voting or STV), with a fractional fixed Droop threshold (the number of ballots divided by the sum of the number of seats to be filled and one (1/(seats+1))) and fractional transfers. British Columbia rules shall be used. A candidate must pass the Droop threshold in order to be elected.
11-A-3. Ties. If an election called for in these bylaws shall end in a tie, the tie shall be broken by chance.
11-A-4. Vacancies. If an election called for in these bylaws shall end with seats not being filled, a vacancy or vacancies will be declared.
11-A-5. Elaboration. Elaboration of rules within this Section may be included in a Code of Standing Rules.
11-A-6. Voting. Unless otherwise specified in these Bylaws, votes may be cast in a method determined by the decision-making body, and may include: online ballots, paper ballots, verbal roll-call votes, show of hands, or some other method.
11-B. Code of Standing Rules. The Executive Committee shall maintain as a supplement to these Bylaws a Code of Standing Rules. The Code of Standing Rules shall be secondary to these Bylaws as controlling rules for the Illinois Green Party. The Code of Standing Rules may include a section containing Rules of Order for the Illinois Green Party. The Code of Standing Rules shall include a Fiscal Policy.