BYLAWS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE CAUCUS
OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF NEW MEXICO
ARTICLE I: NAME
The name of the organization is the Environmental Justice Caucus of the Democratic Party of New Mexico (also “Environmental Justice Caucus” or “Caucus” and “DPNM”).
ARTICLE II: MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the Environmental Justice Caucus of the DPNM is to elevate the voices of all people regardless of race, color, gender, national origin, class, immigration status, disability, and sexuality so that environmental laws, regulations and policies respect all communities. The caucus aims to mitigate the disproportionate harm of climate change and pollution on disenfranchised communities through reducing emissions, securing clean air and water, protecting natural lands and wildlife, and opposing colonization. Actions undertaken by the caucus will include educating the public, initiating policies, promoting legislation, and supporting candidates in New Mexico that promote green values and the principles of environmental justice.
We support and shall abide by the rules, goals, beliefs, and values of the DPNM, the Democratic Party of the United States, and the Democratic National Committee.
ARTICLE III: CONTACT INFORMATION
Communication with the Environmental Justice Caucus may be done via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the United States Postal Service by mailing to 6407 Arno Street NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107.
ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP
Section A: Requirements of Members
Membership is open to all registered Democrats in the State of New Mexico who embrace the Mission Statement of the Environmental Justice Caucus. Members in good standing are those who have complied with the membership application and renewal processes described in Section B.
Section B: Application and Renewal Processes for Members
A registered Democrat contacting the Caucus to become a member will receive a Participant Application Form via email or mail. Upon submitting it, membership in the Caucus begins. This form requires a candidate to agree to support the mission of the Caucus. The form also requires that a member provide their email address, voter registration address, congressional district, and phone number. It is the duty of each member to notify the Caucus of any changes in this information. In addition, each member must submit a membership renewal form between January 1 and January 20 of each year to remain in good standing.
Section C: Confirmation
The Secretary of the Environmental Justice Caucus shall maintain a membership roster including the name, voter registration address, phone number, email address, and Congressional District of all members and shall twice a year report the roster of membership to the DPNM.
Section D: Termination
Members can voluntarily resign at any time upon written notification to the Caucus via email or mail.
Members can be removed for ineligibility of membership as defined by these Bylaws, interference with the achievement of the objectives of the Environmental Justice Caucus or other malfeasance all as determined by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee. A member shall be given 30 days’ notice via the email and mail addresses the member has provided to the Caucus prior to a vote by the Executive Committee regarding the proposed termination. Such notice shall inform the member of the basis for the Executive Committee’s decision to vote on the termination, and the member shall have the opportunity to give written notice of the member’s defenses. The member facing termination shall also be able to address the Executive Committee prior to its termination vote. A member shall be terminated by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee.
Any terminated member who opposes the decision of the Executive Committee to terminate the membership shall have the right to request the Caucus to present the issue of his or her termination to the entire membership for a vote within 30 days of the Executive Committee’s decision to terminate. Should a majority of the members who vote regarding the termination be opposed to it, the terminated member shall be immediately reinstated.
ARTICLE V: LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE
Section A: Listing of the Officers
The Executive Committee of the Environmental Justice Caucus includes the Chair, the Vice-Chair, a Chair from each State Congressional District, the Secretary, the Treasurer and two At-Large Officers (designated as At-Large Officer “A” and At-Large Officer “B,”) all of whom shall be elected by the membership at large.
There shall also be two appointed Executive Committee members: a Political Director and an Administrative Director. These shall be appointed by the Chair of the Environmental Justice Caucus in the month of his/her/their election and be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Officers.
The Chair, Vice Chair, Congressional District Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, At-Large Officer “A” and At-Large Officer “B” shall each have a vote on the Executive Committee. The Political Director and the Administrative Director shall be members ex officio of the Executive Committee and shall, therefore, not participate in Executive Committee votes.
The officers of the Executive Committee shall be elected or appointed and serve in their respective offices according to Section B below.
Section B: Terms
The Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, At-Large Officer “A”, the Political Director, and the Administrative Director shall serve for two-year terms, except in their initial term prior to the SCC’s approval of the caucus. and be voted upon or appointed in even-numbered years. The number of officers that will be elected or appointed in even-numbered years will be six.
The Vice-Chair, Chairs from the State Congressional Districts and At-Large Officer “B” shall serve two-year terms and be voted upon in odd-numbered years. The number of officers that will be elected in odd-numbered years will be five.
In order to run for office on the Executive Committee, a person shall be a member in good standing for a minimum of 6 months (180 days) prior to the first day of the election. The only exception to this requirement is that, for the initial election of Officers prior to SCC approval of the Caucus, any person on the Caucus membership roster as of the day before the first election is eligible to run.
Any member may self-nominate to run in an election for one position only and may do so until thirty (30) days prior to the date the election is to begin. The only exception to this requirement is that for the initial election of Officers prior to SCC approval of the Caucus, any person on the Caucus membership roster may self-nominate up to the day prior to the election.
Section C: Succession of Officers
Upon the resignation or termination of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall become Chair and complete the term of the Chair.
Upon the resignation or termination of any other officer of the Executive Committee, the Chair may appoint a successor to complete the term of the resigned or terminated officer upon approval of the Executive Committee by a two-thirds vote.
Section D: Removal of Officers
A removal election can be initiated through a petition signed in person or via email by half of the members eligible to vote for that officer. The petition must state the reason(s) for the request for a removal election. The petition must be presented to the Secretary via email or mail. An election to remove the officer specifying the reason(s) given for the removal must be called by the Chair within 30 days of the receipt of the petition by the Secretary. Any officer can be removed upon a two-thirds vote of the members in good standing who vote in said election.
Section E: Duties
The Chair of the Environmental Justice Caucus shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Caucus and shall serve as the principal spokesperson of the Caucus. The Chair may execute, on behalf of the Caucus, all instruments in writing, which may be required or authorized by the Executive Committee for the proper and necessary transaction of the business of the Caucus. The Chair shall be a signer on the checking account or other financial instruments. The Chair shall call and preside over meetings of the Executive Committee. In the event that no one runs in a particular election for a position on the Executive Council, the Chair may appoint a member to fill that position with a 2/3 approval vote of the Executive Committee.
The Vice-Chair shall assist the Chair in the Chair’s duties and shall take over the duties of the Chair in the Chair’s absence.
The Secretary shall prepare and submit all reports as necessary under the Rules of the DPNM and as detailed in Article VII in these Bylaws. The Secretary shall maintain and verify the membership roster. The Secretary shall be responsible for taking and maintaining the minutes of and the attendance at the Executive Committee meetings and all general membership meetings. The Secretary shall send notifications to the entire membership of the meetings of the Executive Committee and meetings of the Environmental Justice Caucus as a whole. The Secretary shall be responsible for notifying the membership of elections and conducting all elections. As deemed necessary, the Secretary may delegate any of the Secretary’s duties to a Caucus member in good standing. The Secretary shall be responsible for proper implementation of all duties of the Secretary.
The Treasurer shall manage the finances of the Environmental Justice Caucus, including managing the Caucus’ assets and debts, submitting annual budgets to the Executive Committee for approval, and preparing quarterly financial statements. The Treasurer is responsible for filing all required New Mexico Secretary of State reports and any other financial reports as required by law or the state party. The Treasurer shall obtain the approval of the Chair prior to allocating Caucus funds.
Congressional District Chairs
The Congressional District Chairs shall serve as liaisons between Environmental Justice Caucus members in their respective Districts and the State leadership, and between other organizations in their Districts and the Environmental Justice Caucus.
They shall have responsibility for overseeing and organizing their District’s Caucus members, including direct action, communication, outreach, education, and advocacy for issues, projects and campaigns promoted by the Caucus. In addition, they shall hold Environmental Justice Caucus meetings in their Districts at least quarterly and prepare narratives of their activities for inclusion in the semi-annual reports required by the DPNM Rule on State-level Democratic Caucuses and Affiliated Organizations.
The At-Large officers “A” and “B” shall be responsible for assisting the Executive Committee as needed. Candidates from areas of the state where the Environmental Justice Caucus may not otherwise have representation on the Executive Committee will be encouraged to run for the At-Large Officer “A” and At-Large Officer “B” seats.
The Political Director shall oversee certain Environmental Justice Caucus activities such as endorsements, lobbying, resolutions, voter registration, and other activities delegated by the Chair or the Executive Committee.
The Administrative Director shall oversee organizational matters of the Environmental Justice Caucus not already assigned to another officer, such as communication, events, and volunteers.
Article VI: MEETINGS, VOTING, QUORUM
Section A: Membership Meetings
The Environmental Justice Caucus shall hold at least two membership meetings per year. The Chair shall call the meetings. With notice of at least ten business days, the Secretary shall notify all members of membership meetings by email. For members who do not have email addresses, the Secretary shall provide alternative notification as specified by the member to the Caucus.
Members can call a membership meeting with a petition by two-thirds of the membership. The petition may be circulated electronically to members with email and by alternate communication provided by members without email. Meetings may be conducted in person, by telephone conference call, or by video conference.
Section B: Executive Committee Meetings
The Chair shall initiate meetings of the Executive Committee, which shall be held at least four times a year. The Secretary shall notify all officers of Executive Committee meetings by email or by phone to officers without email with notice of at least 7 calendar days and shall also apprise all membership of the meetings through the Caucus website or via email or phone with notice of at least seven calendar days. Other officers can call an Executive Committee meeting with a vote of one-third of the Executive Committee. Meetings may be conducted in person, by telephone conference call, or by video conference. Executive Committee meetings shall be open to all Caucus members, except when discussing legal matters.
Section C: Voting
All members in good standing are entitled to vote for Officers. Officers shall be elected by a majority of votes cast, with voting in September or October of each year. All members in good standing are entitled to vote to amend these Bylaws. Amending the Bylaws shall be by two-thirds of the votes cast. Congressional District Chairs shall be elected only by members in good standing from their District.
Voting by the full membership does not require a quorum, or a meeting, and may be conducted electronically. Electronic elections by the full membership in good standing shall be held open for 14 calendar days. After SCC approval of this caucus, voting eligibility is restricted to members who have been members in good standing for at least 30 day prior to the first day of the election.
The first election of Officers shall be conducted on two consecutive days prior to SCC approval of this Caucus, and all those on the Caucus membership roster on the first day of the election shall be eligible to vote.
Section D: Executive Committee Quorum
Quorum of the Executive Committee shall consist of a majority of Committee members.
Article VII: REPORTING PROCESS; SECRETARY OF CAUCUS SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE
The Secretary of the Environmental Justice Caucus shall file a written report with the Secretary of the DPNM at least twice a year on or before January 31 and July 31. These twice-yearly reports shall list the members of the caucus and their addressses and shall confirm the Caucus’ active status by reciting its activities in the preceding six months which were in fulfillment of the Caucus’ Mission Statement.
Article VIII: CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENT
Section A: Candidates to Which Endorsements Will Apply
This rule applies to endorsements by the Environmental Justice Caucus in local, state, federal, and intra-party elections. The primary criteria for an endorsement will be demonstration by the candidate of advancing causes embodied in the Mission Statement of the Environmental Justice Caucus. The Caucus may engage in the endorsement process, or not, in any particular race. The Caucus will endorse only one candidate per position.
Section B: Endorsement Process Transparency, Evenhandedness, and Democratic Involvement of All Members
The input of the entire caucus membership will be built into the candidate endorsement process. Candidates will be treated as equally as possible under the endorsement process. The Caucus may choose to have candidates respond to questionnaires, make presentations at forums and/or be interviewed. Candidate responses to questionnaires will be made available to members. Members will be invited to interviews and forums whenever possible, and any recordings will be made available to members. The Environmental Justice Caucus reserves the right not to publish candidate responses that are bigoted or racist, make personal attacks, or are otherwise offensive. Full responses from candidates will be made available to members upon request. Caucus members will be given two-weeks’ notice prior to the vote to endorse a candidate and be given access to all materials provided by the candidates. Caucus members will vote to determine final endorsement decisions, considering responses to questionnaires, presentations at forums, interview responses, member feedback and other relevant sources. A candidate shall be declared endorsed if a majority of the members in good standing vote in the affirmative on the endorsement. The Caucus may revoke an endorsement if a majority of the members in good standing vote for the revocation. The Caucus will include the following language in any published endorsement: “This endorsement is made by the Environmental Justice Caucus of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, which is solely responsible for this endorsement.”