By-Laws of the Cumberland County Greens

Adopted June 16th, 2022

Article 1. Name

The name shall be, “Cumberland County Committee of the Maine Green Independent Party” (according to statue, herein called “the county committee”, “the committee”). We are informally known as “Cumberland County Greens” or “CCG”.

Article 2. Purpose

The purpose of the committee is:

  • To elect Green candidates to public office and to expand the Green electorate in Cumberland County
  • To promote the 10 key values and principles of the Maine Green Independent Party in Cumberland County and the state of Maine
  • Promote diversity and anti-oppression in our work

Article 3. Membership

All members of the committee, including executive committee members, must be residents of Cumberland County, Maine (herein called “the county”) and be members of the Maine Green Independent Party (herein called “MGIP” or “the party”) as defined by MGIP bylaws.

There shall be no limit on the number of members on the committee. New members may be added to the committee at the biennial state convention, consistent with MGIP bylaws, or by consensus or majority vote of the committee itself at any meeting convened with proper notice as defined under these bylaws.

By their own processes, municipal committees operating in the county may elect one party member to serve on the county committee, herein referred to as holding a “municipal seat”. The municipal committee must provide to the county committee documentation verifying the election or appointment of a person to the municipal seat, either in minutes of a municipal committee meeting at which the county committee member was elected, or by written notice from an officer of the municipal committee that includes a citation of municipal committee minutes, bylaws, or rules that authorize the county committee member to be appointed by other means.

Article 4. Executive Officers

The executive committee shall consist of a Chair and a Secretary. The county committee may elect a Treasurer if the need to manage funds arises. Members of the executive committee shall be members of the county committee. Candidates for executive committee offices will be self-nominated or nominated by another member, then elected by consensus or majority vote of the county committee. Election of executive committee members may be held at a meeting convened with proper notice as defined by these bylaws.

  • Chair: The Chair shall act as the general executive officer of the county committee and shall preside at and moderate all meetings. They shall be an ex-officio member of all subcommittees.
  • Secretary: The Secretary shall be the recording officer of the county committee and shall keep a complete and accurate record of the committee meetings. They shall provide copies of this record to the Chair. The Secretary shall also maintain a record of the county committee membership, including changes made by new appointments, resignation, or removal. The list of members shall be communicated by the secretary to the MGIP.
  • Treasurer: The Treasurer shall keep an account of all receipts and expenditures, and shall deposit all money in the name of the county committee in a recognized bank or trust company. They shall render to the Chair and the county committee a full report of all transactions as Treasurer of the financial condition of the county committee at such time as requested by the Chair.

Following nominations, candidates for executive offices shall be allowed time to address voting members of the committee. The facilitator of the election should allow time for discussion and questions for the candidates, as needed.

In the case of a vacancy in the office of Treasurer, the Chair and Secretary may in joint assume the responsibilities of the Treasurer until one is elected. [2022-09-19]

The committee may designate authority to the Chair to act on behalf of the committee. The specific authority granted must be recorded as an addendum to these by-laws titled “Chair Authority.” All decisions by the Chair shall be reported to the committee. [2023-07-13]

Article 5. Tenure

Executive officers (Chair, Secretary, Treasurer) and members shall serve for a two-year term ending at the date of the next biennial MGIP convention. Election of executive officers shall occur at the biennial MGIP convention or the first meeting of the committee following the biennial MGIP convention in which the county committee was formed. In the case of resignation or removal, an executive officer may be elected to serve the remainder of the vacated term by consensus or majority vote of the committee at a meeting convened with proper notice as defined by these bylaws.

Members serving in municipal seats shall serve a two-year term from the date of appointment to the date of the next biennial municipal caucus held by the appointing municipal committee. The tenure of a member serving in a municipal seat shall terminate if the municipal committee that appointed the seat fails to call a biennial municipal caucus as defined in the State of Maine Election laws or fails to meet a minimum of four times annually.

Article 6. Non-executive Officers

The committee may appoint non-executive officers with specific duties to help achieve the committee’s goals and fulfill the committee’s duties. The county committee shall maintain job descriptions and duties of its non-executive officers in an addendum to these by-laws titled, “Non-executive Officers.” Non-executive officers are not members of the executive committee.

Article 7. Observers

Individuals attending meetings who are not committee members are considered observers and not entitled to vote. Observers may be recognized to speak at meetings at the discretion of the chair or a designated meeting facilitator.

Article 8. Subcommittees

The committee shall oversee the establishment and dissolution of subcommittees to help execute the goals and duties of the committee. The committee shall define the purpose of each subcommittee. The committee may also designate authority to its subcommittees to act on behalf of the committee. All subcommittees, including their purpose, membership and the authority granted to them, shall be recorded as an addendum to these by-laws titled, “Subcommittees.” The committee holds ultimate decision-making authority over all subcommittees.

Article 9. Resignation

Any committee member may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Chair. Resignations of executive officers shall be considered final upon a vote by the county committee to accept the resignation or appoint a replacement for the position, whichever comes first.

Article 10. Removal

A member of the county committee (including executive officers) may be removed at a meeting called expressly for that purpose. Notice must be given to all members of the committee at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting. Removal shall require the approval of two-thirds (2/3) of the committee members present and voting.

By their own processes, municipal committees operating in the county may remove committee members serving in municipal seats that represent the respective municipal committee. The municipal committee must provide to the county committee documentation verifying the removal of a person serving in a municipal seat, either in minutes of a municipal committee meeting at which the county committee member was removed, or by written notice from an officer of the municipal committee that includes a citation of municipal committee minutes, bylaws, or rules that authorize the county committee member to be removed by other means.

Article 11. Meetings

The committee shall meet at its discretion, but at a minimum of four times annually, and shall provide notice to all Cumberland County municipal groups of its meetings.

Meetings of the committee may be called at any time by the Chair, and shall be called by the Chair upon the written request of two-thirds (2/3) of the active committee members. If the Chair fails to call a meeting within ten (10) days of receipt of such request, then a meeting may be called by written notice of any two-thirds (2/3) of active committee members. Except in an emergency, committee members shall be given five (5) days notice and a written agenda prior to the holding of the meeting whenever possible. Notice of the date, time, and location of the meeting may be given by mail, email, personal, or telephone contact.

For the purpose of calculating two-thirds (2/3) active committee members, any member who has not attended the last three meetings shall not be considered active.

In the case of a meeting called for the replacement or removal of the Chair, the meeting shall be called by and presided over by the Secretary.

Committee meetings shall be open to enrolled members of the party who reside in Cumberland County, Maine. The committee may also invite individuals to attend meetings by consensus or majority vote.

Article 12. Quorum

In the case that there are three or more active members, no less than three (3) members present shall constitute a quorum for transaction of business. In the case that there are fewer than three active members, no less than two (2) members present shall constitute a quorum for transaction of business. A majority vote shall be construed as a simple majority of the quorum. A two-thirds (2/3) vote shall be construed as two-thirds of the quorum rounded to the nearest integer.

Article 13. Process

The committee may adopt rules and procedures to facilitate meetings and decision making and may change its process at any time in accordance with the process in place at that time. All rules and procedures established by the committee must be recorded as an addendum to these by-laws titled “Committee Rules.”

Article 14. Contraction and Payment of Bills

No bills shall be contracted by any officer or member of this committee unless authorized by a vote of the said committee either general or specific. All bills shall be itemized or accompanied by a statement that will reasonably show exactly what they are designed to cover.

Article 15. Amendments

These bylaws, once adopted, may be altered or amended only by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present and voting at a committee meeting called for that specific purpose with seven (7) days notice, which shall include the exact wording of the proposed amendment.

Addendum: Committee Rules

Adopted June 16th, 2022
Amended July 29th, 2022
Amended November 10th, 2022

Article 1. Rules

Community agreements shall be read before each meeting:

  1. Speak with honesty, listen with humility.
  2. We acknowledge that oppressions exist and that not all voices carry equal weight. We strive within our space to correct that.
  3. We acknowledge that inherent bias exists in each of us and may give and receive acknowledgement of that without offense.
  4. We value relationship building over being “right.”
  5. Assume good intentions but recognize that impact is greater than intent.
  6. One Person at a time. Progressive Stack.
  7. Be fully present and listen.
  8. Build up, do not break down.
  9. We invest in each other’s growth.
  10. If you speak a lot, listen more! And if you are shy, speak up!
  11. Use correct pronouns.
  12. We don’t condone personal attacks, bullying, insults, or intimidation.

The Chair shall facilitate meetings of the committee or designate a facilitator.

For each motion, report, or agenda item, facilitators will keep a “stack” of participants wishing to speak in order. Participants who have not yet spoken are given priority to speak ahead of members who are on stack for a repeat turn; members who have had fewer turns speaking are given priority ahead of members who have had more turns.

Meeting participants must be recognized by a facilitator to speak, except that they may briefly request to be put on a stack for a turn to speak, or to request making a “point of information” out of order that must be very brief. Points of information should be factual points to clarify a subject and with the intention of reducing subsequent unnecessary discussion resulting from misinformation, not a statement of opinion, which should instead be reserved for a turn to speak on the stack.

Facilitators recognize and confirm requests to be placed on the stack. Facilitators will decide when to recognize and allow point of information statements.

Facilitators may interrupt speakers to require that a speaker remain on topic, to acknowledge a request to be on stack, or for other procedural purposes. Participants accept that interruption by facilitators is necessary to keep the meeting moving, and should pause to let the facilitator speak when interrupted.

Speakers recognized by a facilitator are considered to “have the floor” until they return the floor to a facilitator, or until a facilitator interrupts them. After a facilitator interrupts a speaker for procedural reasons, they will return the floor to that speaker.

Participants should not interrupt other speaking members except to make stack or point of information requests through the facilitators. Participants should refrain from making continued responses to speakers’ statements and should reserve their responses for their next turn on the stack. Participants should refrain from excessive use of points of information that disrupt a speaker’s turn on the floor.

Speakers must remain on topic to the motion, report, or agenda item under discussion.

When speakers have the floor, they may request permission from the facilitator to address a question to another person without losing their time to speak. If the facilitator determines that the question can be quickly and briefly answered, the facilitator will address the question to the other member for an answer and then return the floor to the original speaker.

Participants should indicate to the facilitator when they are done speaking their turn.

Facilitators may adjust the order of agenda items as needed.

If necessary to keep the meeting moving, facilitators may impose time limits on participants’ turns to speak. When time limits are in effect, members may yield their time to another participant.

All motions require a second.

The committee shall strive for consensus in its decisions. If consensus is apparent, the facilitators may close discussion and call the question by asking if there is an objection. If no objection is stated, consensus is achieved.

Members objecting must state what conditions, if any, would result in them removing their objection.

Objecting members may “stand aside,” in which case their objection may be noted in the minutes, but the motion is still approved by consensus.

If objections cannot be resolved, or members objecting do not wish to stand aside, the committee may decide the motion by majority vote.

Observers who disrupt the order of meetings in contravention of facilitator warnings may be barred from attending meetings for a period of time by majority vote of the committee.

Observers who have been banned from MGIP meetings or forums may not attend meetings of the committee for the duration of that ban. [2022-07-29]

Article 2. Online voting

There are three steps to conducting online votes of the committee: Call for Quorum, Quorum Established, and Call for Vote.

The chair may initiate an online vote by emailing committee members with a subject title “Call for quorum to vote,” requesting members to check in to the meeting, and stating the motion that will be up for a vote.

After members have replied confirming their attendance and a quorum of all committee members is established, the chair or secretary will send an email to members with a new subject title, “Quorum established to vote.”

The chair shall facilitate trying to resolve stated objections or amendments of the motion.

When the chair determines that enough discussion on the motion has transpired to call the vote, an email will be sent with a subject title “Call for a vote,” requesting a vote and stating the final motion to be voted on.

Any decisions made by email must be reported by the chair at the next regular committee meeting for inclusion in that meeting’s minutes.

Members may relay attendance for quorum, objections, amendments, and votes via phone in the case that they are unable to participate via email. In such cases, the chair or the chair’s designee shall facilitate communication via phone. [2022-11-10]

Addendum: Land Acknowledgement

Adopted June 16th, 2022

We acknowledge that we are gathered on the ancestral homelands of the Indigenous Peoples in our respective communities. We honor the original ancestors of these homelands and offer respect to the diverse Indigenous communities who make their homes there today, and in the future.

Addendum: Chair Authority

Adopted July 13th, 2023

The Chair may issue committee endorsements of organizations, campaigns, events, actions and legislation, so long as the endorsement is consistent with the party’s values and positions. When reporting the endorsement to the committee, the chair must cite a party platform, position or value that is the basis of the endorsement.