Draft Bylaw Changes FAQ

Click here for a PDF of the Draft Bylaw Changes.

Click here for a PDF of the Bylaw FAQ Page.

The questions this document answers about each topic:

• What is addressed?

• How is this addressed?

• Why is this important?

Proposed Bylaw Changes: Important Topics

1. Separate Statement of Principles (Article I, Section 3)

What Is Addressed

• The Progressive Caucus’ (“the Caucus”) Statement of Principles is critical

• The bylaws committee wanted to protect the Caucus’ core values while

How This Is Addressed

• The provided language keeps the core values protected within our

for defining our values. The bylaws committee observed a distinction

drawn between core values and separate issue-based principals.

allowing for future changes to meet changing priorities.

bylaws while proposing that a separate list of Principles be edited and

published on the Caucus website as the need arises.

Why This Is Important

• Currently, the Caucus has a complete list of Principles within our bylaws.

• Having a living list of Principles will also make it easier for the

This is important for protecting our values. However, there is a wide

array of issues that the caucus membership holds dear. Some of the listed

priorities have shifted over time, while emerging issues are entirely

omitted. The bylaws committee wants to make it easier for the

Membership to keep this list up to data from year to year without needing

to undergo tedious bylaw changes to do so.

Membership to be involved with Caucus visioning and strategy.

2. Dues Structure and Benefits (Article II, Section D)

What Is Addressed

• The bylaws don’t currently require a change in dues to be Noticed to the

• The labels for the current dues structure cloud the relationship between

• The current mechanism for approving financial hardship waivers does

• Dues paid before the deadline, don’t currently have an official benefit. The

membership or specify reasons why dues might change.

the rate and the benefit.

not meet with caucus values.

Board has attributed them to Membership on an ad-hoc basis, and this

has not been codified.

• Dues cover a length of time. The current language does not clearly define

How This Is Addressed

• The proposed language requires changes in dues to be Noticed to the

• The proposed language simplifies the labels in the dues structure. The

• The proposed language removes the need for the Chair to approve

that period of time.

• The proposed language clarifies that dues paid before the deadline can be

• The proposed language clarifies when dues expire. We set a simple

Membership.

bylaws committee replaced the current labels to prioritize the

relationship between cost and member benefit/benefit to the Caucus.

financial hardship waivers. A Member should not have to prove their

financial hardship to take part in the Caucus. Furthermore, in practice,

waivers have usually been provided liberally without formal approval.

applied to the current term. Language was also added to allow for

multiple years of Membership to be paid in advance.

demarcation line to avoid ambiguity over when dues could or should be

applied.

Why This Is Important

• Clarifying the dues structure is important for new or returning members.

• Clarifying when dues are applied to the current term, and when they

Prospective members should, at a glance, be able to understand what rate

they need to pay and when as well as why they are paying it.

expire, is important for financial accountability.

3. Clarification of Officer Duties (Article II, Section B)

What Is Addressed

• The current Officer section lists responsibilities in block paragraphs. This

• The current language does not explain how the Secretary is supposed to

• No Officer, in the current language, is responsible for maintaining a list of

• No Officer, in the current language, is responsible for official Caucus

How This Is Addressed

• The proposed language changes the format to detail each responsibility

• The proposed language provides a mechanism for the Secretary to certify

makes the material harder to read.

maintain the current Membership list.

Caucus accounts, passwords, and other related information.

communication through Social Media.

separately.

the Membership list.

• The proposed language puts the Secretary in charge of maintaining a list

of Caucus account information. The proposed language also requires that

the Secretary share this list with the Chair and the Communications

Officer. The goal is to establish a redundant chain of information, so

accounts do not get lost and no single Officer has sole custody and control

of the data.

charge of official Caucus Social Media.

• The proposed language places the Communications and Media Officer in

Why This Is Important

• Changing the format of the Officer section is important for reader

• The Caucus Membership list is important for ensuring that the Caucus is

• The Caucus has several communication-related accounts. By establishing

• Social media is an increasingly important form of communication.

accessibility. Current or prospective members should be able to

understand the responsibilities of the Officers at a glance. Furthermore, a

clear understanding of Officer authority improves the Membership’s

ability to check inappropriate actions.

more fully engaged. By adding a certification mechanism, the Secretary

can ensure that the Membership is accounted for throughout the year.

a protocol for storing account information, the Caucus can avoid losing

information, or being locked out through accident or neglect.

Accordingly, responsibility for this communication should be clearly

expressed.

4. Lists, Logins, and Passwords (Article IV, Section F)

What Is Addressed

• The Caucus’ bylaws do not have a section addressing account information

How This Is Addressed

• The proposed language adds a section explaining how Caucus account

and file maintenance.

information and files are to be stored. This section also states which

Officers are to have access.

Why This Is Important

• File and account storage should be maintained in a uniform process in

order to avoid the loss of information over multiple Executive Boards.

5. Clearly defined requirements for Executive Board Meetings, Conference Calls,

and Related Documentation (Article IV, Section A.2)

What Is Addressed

• The Caucus’ bylaws do not include procedural requirements for Executive

How This Is Addressed

• The proposed language places Executive Board meetings and conferences

Board meetings and conference calls. As a result, there is little governing

structure and rules on how these proceedings take place.

calls under similar procedural requirements as a general Membership

meeting.

Why This Is Important

• Procedures are used to ensure that meetings are run efficiently, while

• The Executive Board carries out a great deal of Caucus business over

• Having a clear set of procedures will also increase the ability for Officers

6. Establishing Ad-Hoc an Standing Committees (Article IV, Section E)

What Is Addressed

• The Caucus’ bylaws do not currently have a mechanism for establishing

How This Is Addressed

• The provided language allows for the creation and disbanding of both

holding all parties to account.

conference calls. These calls should be under the same scrutiny as other

in person meetings.

and Members to hold each other accountable.

Ad-hoc or Standing Committees.

standing and ad-hoc committees. The provided process is meant to allow

both the Executive Board and the general Membership to develop and

create committees.

Why This Is Important

• Committees could allow the Caucus to organize concurrently around

• Committees provide a vehicle for greater Membership participation and

several issues.

agency.

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