Organization

Bylaws

By-Laws of the Maine Green Independent Party

 

Adopted on June 6, 1999 at the  Green Independent Party convention in Unity, Maine, and amended at conventions on May 20, 2000 in Bangor; on May 19, 2001 in Portland; on June 23, 2002 in Brunswick; on June 7,2003 in South China;  on April 18th,2004 in Lewiston; on June 25th, 2005 in Augusta; on May 19th,2006 in Portland; on May 19th, 2007 in Bangor; on May 18th,2008 in Yarmouth; on May 3, 2009 in Augusta; on May 1, 2010 in Greene; on May 1, 2011 in Brunswick; on May 6, 2012 in Portland; on May 5, 2013 in Belfast; Jan. 10, 2015 in Augusta Aug. 22, 2015 in Augusta, May 7, 2016 in Belfast, March 12, 2017 in Augusta, May 20, 2018 in Augusta, May 19, 2019 in Augusta, June 14, 2020 by Zoom conference and May 23, 2021 by Zoom confrerence..

 

10 Key Values

 

ecological wisdom, grassroots democracy, social and economic justice, nonviolence, decentralization, community based economics, gender equity, respect for diversity, personal and social responsibility, sustainability and future focus

 

Article I. Purpose

 

The purpose of the Maine Green Independent Party is to transform public policy through the implementation of our 10 Key Values and be publicly visible as the party that stands for the common good.

The Maine Green Independent Party aims to enact laws consistent with our values, by legislating through citizen-initiated referendums, running candidates to elect lawmakers, influencing elected officials, producing activism that elevates awareness leading to policy changes, and other non-violent and legal means.

 

Article II. Members

 

Any Maine resident who is unable to register to vote and wishes to join, or voter who is enrolled in the Maine Green Independent Party (herein called “MGIP” or “the party”) is a member entitled to fully participate in all aspects of the party in accordance with these bylaws, except where prohibited by statute.

Lack of citizenship or an inability to register as a voter, whether due to age or other reasons, cannot preclude any interested person from joining the party.


The state committee secretary shall maintain an active list of voters who wish to join the party and are unable to formally enroll with the party.

 

Article III. Local and Caucus Groups

 

Members of the party meeting a minimum of four times annually shall be considered a local group of the party. The group officers may communicate local concerns, questions, proposals, etc. of the group to the state committee, as well as relay information from the state committee to the group.

 

Article III, Section A. County Committees

 

By statute, county committees shall be formed at conventions on even-numbered years from nominations made at municipal caucuses and the convention floor. The size of each county committee shall be determined by the convention unless a county committee has standing bylaws which have been submitted to the state committee, in which case the size of the county committee will be defined by its own bylaws so long as those bylaws provide for any municipal committee within the county to appoint at least one member to the county committee.

If at a convention, there are no nominees, or only one nominee to a county committee, then the state committee is authorized to appoint one or two members to that county committee at a later date, after which the members will constitute a duly formed county committee.

 

Once formed, the county committees may expand their size, fill vacancies and establish rules and bylaws as they see fit, providing that any municipal committee within the county may appoint at least one member to the county committee.

 

If it is deemed that a county committee's bylaws are constructed in such a way so that quorum may not be achieved or the county committee cannot meet or function, then any convention may intervene to reconstruct the county committee.

 

If a statute governing party county committees changes, and these bylaws are in contradiction to the statute, then the state committee shall schedule a convention to amend these bylaws to comply with the statute.

 

Article III, Section B. Municipal Committees

 

Municipal committees are formed from caucuses convened in accordance with statute, and shall be entitled to appoint at least one member to their respective county committee in accordance with state and county party rules and bylaws.

 

If a statute governing party municipal committees changes, and these bylaws are in contradiction to the statute, then the state committee shall schedule a convention to amend these bylaws to comply with the statute.

 

Article III, Section C. Access and Notice

 

Any municipal or county committee or otherwise qualifying local group may propose items to the state committee for consideration of action.

 

The state committee shall provide notice, agenda and minutes of its meetings to any municipal or county committee or other qualifying group. The state committee will keep the committees and groups informed of its actions and pose questions to them, via each group's officers or designated contacts who have email addresses.

 

Article IV. State Committee

 

The state committee is comprised of executive members, at-large members and one member from each qualifying county committee that chooses to seat a member on the state committee. An individual may hold only one of any of the county, at-large and executive seats on the state committee at any given time. The party shall aim for gender, racial, socioeconomic and geographic diversity among its leadership

 

Article IV, Section A. County Seats

 

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

 

Article IV, Section A, Part 1. Active Membership

 

State committee members holding a county seat on the state committee shall be considered active except as follows:

 

If three months have elapsed since a county committee met and that county committee has not submitted minutes of a subsequent meeting to the state committee, then that county's seat on the state committee shall be inactive until minutes of any subsequent meeting are submitted.

 

If a state committee member in a county seat is absent from a state committee meeting for three consecutive meetings, that county's seat shall be considered inactive until the member attends a meeting, or the county committee notifies the state party that another person occupies the seat and that person attends a meeting. The inactive status shall be applied at the commencement of the third consecutive meeting at which the member is not present for roll call. Inactive members will not be counted as part of the total from which quorum is determined.

 

Article IV, Section B. At-Large Seats

 

There are five at-large members of the state committee, elected at annual conventions for a term of one year. A year term is defined as the time between two consecutive annual conventions.

 

If any at-large member is absent from three consecutive meetings or five meetings in a one-year term, then the state committee shall consider whether to ask for the member's resignation, organize a special convention for their removal, or excuse the absences because of special circumstances.

 

Article IV, Section C. Executive Seats

 

The executives of the party shall consist of two co-chairs serving alternating two-year terms and a secretary and treasurer, also serving alternating two-year terms. For purposes of reporting to state and federal entities, the co-chair who is serving the second year of a term shall be considered the chair, and the co-chair who is in the first year of a term shall be considered a vice-chair; for all purposes within the party, co-chairs shall have equal authority.

 

Each year at an annual convention, members shall elect at least two executives (a co-chair and secretary or treasurer), and if necessary, an additional executive to finish a two-year term vacated by resignation, removal or death.

 

Together, these officers constitute the executive committee. The state committee may designate authority to the executive committee to act on behalf of the party; the specific authority granted must be recorded as an addendum to these by-laws titled “Executive Committee Authority.” Any decisions made by the executive committee under this authority shall be reported to the state committee.

 

If any executive is absent from three consecutive meetings or five meetings in a one-year term, then the state committee shall consider whether to ask for the executive's resignation, organize a special convention for their removal, or excuse the absences because of special circumstances.

 

Article IV, Section C, Part 1. Co-Chairs

 

The co-chairs shall represent the party's values, platform and positions to the public and media, organize and facilitate state committee meetings, and oversee and direct the state committee's fulfillment of duties.

 

The state committee may designate authority to the co-chairs to act on behalf of the party; the specific authority granted must be recorded as an addendum to these by-laws titled “Co-Chair Authority.” Any decisions by the two co-chairs must be made by consensus, and all decisions made under co-chair authority shall be reported to the state committee.

 

Article IV, Section C, Part 2. Secretary

 

The secretary shall be responsible for keeping party records and archives and advising the party on communication matters. The secretary shall record vote tallies of decisions made by the state committee and executive committee, or designate another to do so.

 

The secretary shall be responsible for maintaining records of party officers and reporting to the secretary of state when officer changes occur.

 

The secretary will keep records of the active or inactive statuses of state committee members as outlined in these bylaws, and compile and archive any minutes or bylaws of other party committees that have been submitted to the state committee in accordance with these bylaws. The secretary will work to make sure that all state party documents such as bylaws, the platform and other records are accurate and up-to-date.

 

The secretary may nominate individuals for state party offices or subcommittees relating to communication or record-keeping, including but not limited to positions related to website development, database management, media relations, correspondence, or maintenance of party records and archives.

 

Article IV, Section C, Part 3. Treasurer

 

The treasurer shall be responsible for keeping records of party finances including expenditures and revenue sources, reporting financial disclosures to state and federal entities as necessary, and advising the party on financial matters. The treasurer shall expend party finances only as authorized by the state committee or executive committee.

 

The treasurer shall ensure that expenditures are made in accordance with an approved budget, will inform the state committee when budget lines are nearing their maximum expenditure levels, and advise the state committee when it is necessary to amend the budget.

 

The treasurer may forward nominations for any state party offices or subcommittees relating to finances, including but not limited to positions related to budget development and fundraising.

 

The treasurer may nominate a financial officer for appointment by the state committee, to help the treasurer fulfill the financial requirements of these bylaws.

 

The treasurer shall oversee the development of a budget to be proposed for approval at the annual convention. The state committee may finalize the proposed budget or authorize the treasurer or a standing subcommittee to finalize the proposed budget.

 

Article IV, Section D. Duties

 

The state committee will manage all state-level party operations and facilitate the establishment and growth of local groups to oversee party operations in their jurisdictions.

 

Duties of the state committee include:

 

Assuring the party meets its statutory obligations to hold caucuses and conventions, maintain a minimum level of party enrollment, and fulfill all other statutory requirements,

 

Filing state and federal reports,

 

Organizing conventions and working to achieve goals set at conventions,

 

Recruiting candidates for state and national offices and supporting local group recruitment of candidates in county, municipal and other jurisdictions,

 

Maintaining a visible statewide presence, acting as the official voice of the party and taking timely positions on important issues,

 

Communicating and engaging with local groups about state party meetings and activities,

 

Administering state party assets including the party's website and state voter list,

 

Managing state party finances and overseeing state party fundraising efforts, and

 

Establishing offices and subcommittees to help the state committee fulfill all duties, and oversee the fulfillment of duties by the executive officers..

 

Article IV, Section E. Meetings

 

Quorum for a state committee meeting shall be either a majority of all active state committee members or a majority of the state committee members (excluding vacant seats) that comprise the executive and at-large seats.

 

The state committee shall meet at its discretion, but at a minimum of once every two months, and shall provide notice to all municipal, county and local groups of its meetings as outlined in Article III, Section C.

 

State committee meetings shall be open to party members. For phone conference meetings, party members may notify the state committee of their interest in attending and they will be provided with the phone number and access code for the conference call.

 

If the co-chairs fail to organize a state committee meeting, a majority of active state committee members may schedule a meeting as long as all active state committee members have been notified and appropriate notice has been provided to local groups as outlined in Article III, Section C.

 

Article IV, Section F. Process

 

The state committee may adopt rules and procedures to meet its obligations to the party. The state committee shall develop and adopt a decision-making process that is consensus-seeking, and make it a formal part of its proceedings. The state committee may change its process at any time but only in accordance with the process in place at that time. All rules and procedures established by the state committee must be recorded as an addendum to these by-laws titled “State Committee Rules.”

 

Article IV, Section G. Resignation, Removal and Replacement

 

Any state committee member may resign at any time by giving written notice to a party co-chair.

 

County committees are responsible for filling vacancies in their respective county seats to the state committee and for the selection and removal of those members.

 

Any at-large or executive member whose term has not expired, or who has not been removed for excessive absences as outlined in these bylaws, may be removed by a vote of two-thirds of the state committee upon recommendation from the ethics committee to remove as outlined in Article IV Section H, or by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at a party convention as outlined in Article V of these bylaws.

 

The state committee may appoint replacements for executive or at-large committee members to serve until either the term expires or a convention intervenes before the term expires, at which point the convention shall elect a replacement for the remainder of the term.

 

Article IV, Section H. Officers and Subcommittees

 

The state committee may appoint officers with specific duties to help achieve the party's goals and fulfill the state committee's duties. The state committee shall maintain job descriptions and duties of its officers in an addendum to these by-laws titled, “Officers.”

 

The state committee shall oversee the establishment and dissolution of state party subcommittees to help execute the goals of the party and duties of the state committee. The state committee shall define the purpose of each subcommittee. The state committee may also designate authority to its subcommittees to act on behalf of the party. 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 state committee holds ultimate decision-making authority over all subcommittees.

 

The state committee will establish and maintain an ethics committee that amplifies and centers the voices of marginalized communities. The ethics committee will hold state committee members to standards of conduct and accountability established by the state committee. The ethics committee may recommend actions to the state committee, including moderation, censure, suspension or removal of members in accordance with established accountability standards.

 

Article IV, Section I. GPUS national committee appointments


The state committee may appoint members to the various national committees of the
Green Party of the United States, in accordance with national requirements for
appointments.

 

Each committee appointment shall be communicated in writing by the party co-chair
or secretary to the secretary of the Green Party of the United States and relevant
national committee co-chairs.

 

Article V. Conventions

 

The party shall hold an annual convention, as specified under statute, for the purpose of:

 

Fulfilling the biennial statutory requirements for conventions (in even-numbered years) including passing a party platform, determining the size and method of election of the party's two congressional district committees and county committees, electing members to county committees that don't have standing bylaws allowing for county committee members to be directly elected by municipal caucuses, and nominating presidential electors during presidential election years.

 

Electing state committee members as outlined in these bylaws, and MGIP representatives to the Green Party of the United States, with executives being elected before at-large members (to accurately determine the total number of at-large seats available),

 

Setting the goals of the party, which shall be included as an addendum to these bylaws, titled, “Goals,”

 

Amending bylaws, and

 

Adopting an annual budget.

 

The convention will only be open to voting participation by members of the party as defined in Article II. Notice of the convention must be provided to local groups in the same manner as notice is provided for state committee meetings.

 

The Maine Green Independent Party shall determine at its annual convention in odd-numbered years which voters shall be allowed to vote in the party's annual even-numbered year primary. A simple majority of votes shall determine which voters shall be eligible to vote in the Green Independent Party primary.

 

Representatives to the International Committee of the Green Party of the United States will
be elected annually at the state party convention for one-year terms, except that the state
committee may appoint members to fill a vacancy until the next convention can elect a
replacement.

 

The state committee may establish rules for conducting the convention, which must be included as an addendum to these bylaws titled, “Convention Rules,” so long as the rules don't contradict these bylaws.

 

Article V, Section A. Special Conventions

 

The state committee may call and organize special conventions as it deems necessary to accomplish specific purposes. The business of special conventions shall be restricted to agenda items of which the state committee has notified local groups as being the purpose of the convention. A special convention may be called for the purpose of holding a recall hearing to remove members of the state committee, to address statutory obligations that were overlooked at a previous convention, or to conduct any other business which requires convention action. All rules for calling a convention and the decision-making processes used at conventions also apply to special conventions.

 

Article VI. Platform

 

The party shall adopt a platform based on the 10 Key Values that clearly defines the party's position on issues facing our society and the world. The platform will be a guide for elected officials and other party members engaged in public policy making.

 

Near the end of each year term, the state committee shall review and compile position statements it made in the prior year, and consider submitting to the convention platform positions that reflect the positions taken by the state committee.

 

Any member or local group may propose amendments to the platform or a new platform by presenting such proposal in writing to a platform and policy development subcommittee at least one month prior to a statewide convention. If there is no standing subcommittee, the member may refer the proposal in writing to the state committee.

 

Article VII. Finances

 

The Party will adopt an annual budget, including anticipated expenses and sources of revenue. The budget may be amended by the state committee in response to changing financial circumstances. The party may not incur debt of any kind. The financial officer and treasurer are responsible for overseeing the finances of the party and making regular reports to the state committee, and for submitting financial reports to the appropriate state or federal agencies, including but not limited to the Maine State Ethics Commission and the Federal Elections Commission.

 

If the state committee authorizes expenditures that are not budgeted for, then the treasurer may require the state committee to first amend the budget to reflect where the expenditure will come from before releasing funds for said expenditure.

 

Article VIII. Presidential Nomination

 

At each officially convened caucus in presidential nomination years, attendees shall be asked to conduct a vote which will be tabulated and returned to the state committee. Existing municipal committees may organize absentee voting for their caucuses which shall conclude at the adjournment of the caucus. The result of the caucus vote must include the names of all voters who cast a vote for the presidential nomination, the total of which shall equal the number of votes cast; otherwise, the state committee will make a determination on whether to include the votes.

 

These votes shall be tabulated and publicized at least 30 days prior to the state convention. Attendees of the state convention shall also vote and these votes shall be tabulated. The state committee may organize absentee voting for party members who did not vote in a caucus and don't plan to attend the convention. The apportionment of delegates to the presidential nominating convention of the Green Party of the United States shall be determined by the combined votes of officially convened caucuses and the presidential year convention.

 

The party shall place the official presidential nominee of the Green Party of the United States on the general election ballot of the State of Maine.

 

Four people, one from each congressional district and two at-large, all of whom are party members, shall be elected at a convention to be presidential electors. If a statute governing how Maine designates its presidential electors changes, and these bylaws are in contradiction with the statute, then the state committee shall schedule a convention to amend these bylaws to comply with the statute.

 

Article IX. Bylaws

 

These by-laws may only be adopted or amended by a majority of members present at a statewide convention of the party. Amendments must be submitted to a bylaws subcommittee at least one month prior to the statewide convention, and may be proposed by any member or local group of the party. If there is no standing subcommittee, the proposal may be referred in writing to the state committee.

 

Addenda:

 

Addendum 1. Executive Committee Authority

 

May amend the budget to increase expenditure lines by up to $500. (approved 4/4/15 as part of finance committee charter)

 

On behalf of the state committee, the executive committee may appoint one or two members as necessary to form county committees, as allowed for in Article III, Sectioni A. (approved 3/5/18)

 

Addendum 2. Co-Chair Authority

 

Co-chairs may appoint liaisons, representatives and spokespersons to represent the party at events and organizations. Co-chairs may issue party 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 state committee, the co-chairs must cite a party platform, position or value that is the basis of the endorsement. (approved 4/7/18)

 

Addendum 3. State Committee Rules

 

(approved 4/7/19)

 

Conduct of state committee meetings

 

The co-chairs shall facilitate meetings of the state committee or designate a facilitator.

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.

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 uses 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.

 

Online voting

 

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

With consensus of both co-chairs, an online vote may be initiated 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, a co-chair or secretary will send an email to members with a new subject title, "Quorum established to vote."

Co-chairs shall facilitate trying to resolve stated objections or amendments of the motion.

When a co-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 co-chairs at the next regular state committee meeting for inclusion in that meeting's minutes.

 

Subcommittee rules

 

The co-chairs shall be considered ex-officio members of all subcommittees of the state committee. The co-chairs, as ex-officio members, are not part of the total membership from which quorum for meetings is calculated, but may count toward quorum when attending. When leaving the position of co-chair, the person may retain their membership on any subcommittees they choose, but as a regular member, no longer ex-officio.

 

Resignations of state committee members or officers shall be considered final upon a vote by the state committee to accept the resignation or appoint a replacement for the position, whichever comes first.  (approved 3/5/21)

 

Addendum 4. Officers (job description, duties)

 

Financial Officer, Alan Brown  (approved 6/2/19)

 

The financial officer shall assist the treasurer in his or her duties, at the direction of the treasurer. The financial officer may help prepare finance reports, process contributions and payments, and organize meetings of the finance committee, as needed and requested by the treasurer. The financial officer may be a named person on the party's banking accounts. In the case of an emergency or inability of the treasurer to fulfill his or her duties, the financial officer may be considered an interim acting treasurer to fulfill all duties of the treasurer except for voting on behalf of the treasurer at state committee meetings.

 

Addendum 5. Subcommittees (purpose, membership, authority)

 

(Please click on ORGANIZATION-->STATE COMMITTEE-->SUBCOMMITTEES to view this addendum)

 

Addenda 6. Goals

 

(Please click on ABOUT-->GOALS)

 

Addenda 7. Convention Rules

 

CONVENTION RULES


1. CONVENTION OFFICERS

Convention proceedings begin by electing first a convention secretary, then a convention chairperson.

The convention secretary will record all official decisions of the convention.
The convention chairperson and two party co-chairs are convention facilitators.

The convention committee may establish other convention officer positions as it deems fit. These other officers may be appointed by the committee in advance of the convention or appointed by the facilitators at the convention.

A time keeper will keep facilitators informed of time apportionment limits. 

 

2. FACILITATION

Facilitators oversee a process aiming for consensus on all decisions of the convention. If consensus cannot be realized within reasonable time, facilitators may call for the decision to be made by majority vote.

All motions for a decision require a second, except for motions made by the facilitator 'without objection.'

A facilitator will not facilitate an election of officers when that person is a candidate for the office being elected.

Facilitators will recognize speakers as equitably as possible to allow all people who want to speak an opportunity to do so.

Facilitators may institute time limits for speaking when necessary.

 

3. ELECTIONS

Elections that are uncontested may be decided by consensus or majority vote indicated by vocal expression or show of hands.

Contested elections are determined by paper or online write-in ballot.

Elections for one position shall be determined by majority vote using ranked choice or runoff voting when necessary.

Elections with multiple candidates running for multiple seats shall be determined by ranked or runoff approval voting. Each vote for a candidate regardless of rank is an equal vote; candidates with the most total votes are elected to the number of positions open. When a tie exists for a remaining position, rank or runoff determines the winner.

A ballot-counting committee may be appointed by the convention committee or the facilitators. Any participant of the convention may observe the counting of ballots.

If a person is unable to cast their votes using an online voting program, their vote may be counted by submitting their vote to a member of the ballot counting committee, who will then inform the facilitator to add the vote(s) to the online vote total.

 

Organization of the Party

phead ourparty

 

The Maine Green Independent Party (MGIP) is a state affiliate of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS). Since gaining ballot status in 1998 (the party had formerly been named the Maine Green Party before losing ballot status in 1996), the MGIP has undergone several incarnations of organizational structure while retaining its standing as the third largest party in the state consecutively for more than 20 years.

In January, 2015, at a special convention, the party reorganized how it was structured so that local committees and groups of the party would become more interconnected with the state committee.

The MGIP depends on the success of local groups; the party has organized itself to give incentive for local groups to assemble. Local committees of the party have direct access to participation in the larger committees of jurisdiction.

The most local unit of the party is the municipal committee. These committees, by statute, are formed at a caucus of party members residing in a particular municipality, and are governed only by those members. If there is no municipal committee, any enrolled Green Independent may convene a caucus at any time, in order to form one.

The MGIP bylaws provide that every municipal committee is entitled to appoint or elect at least one person to serve on the party's county committee (possibly more, if the county committee's bylaws provide for it).

County committees are formed in accordance with statute, every two years at a party convention, elected of Green Independents that were either nominated at that year's municipal caucuses, or from the convention floor. A possible exception, allowed for in statute and party rules, is that if a county committee has its own standing bylaws, then county committee elections may be held as prescribed in their bylaws so long as any municipal committee is provided an opportunity to appoint a member. Otherwise, the state party annual convention is responsible for constructing county committees every two years.

Each county committee is also entitled to appoint at least one member to the state committee.

Other regional groups or identity groups may be formed by members as desired and are considered local groups of the party as long as they fulfill the requirements of a) meeting four times annually, and b) designating a state contact person with a valid email address through which the state committee may direct communications. All groups considered local groups of the party are notified of state committee meetings and may even forward items to be considered on the state committee's agenda.

The state committee comprises three at-large members and four executive members, all elected at party conventions, and the members appointed by any county committee that chooses to seat a member.

While the municipal and county committees, and local groups, each establish their own proceedings for reaching decisions, the state committee and party conventions aim for consensus as much as possible.

In addition to local groups of the party, there also exist subcommittees of the state committee, which  oversee certain functions of the state party that are most essential to the party's work. The state committee appoints or establishes the membership of these subcommittees as well as their purpose, scope and authority to act on behalf of the state party. The state committee may also delegate authority to various state party officers.

If a Green Independent is interested in getting involved, it is recommended that they first identify the most local unit of party organization in their area, whether that be a municipal or county committee, or a regional group. If there is none, then state party leadership should be contacted to discuss forming a new local group.

 

Contact us using the contact link to find out how you can get involved, connected and organizing!

Local Groups

Types of Local Groups

 

There are different possible 'local groups' of the Maine Green Independent Party, some with statutory roles and others recognized by the state party.

 

Municipal and county committees represent the party in their jurisdictions. They have rights outlined in statute: receive notice of elections, nominate candidates in special elections, etc.

 

Municipal committees are entitled to nominate members to serve as election clerks and receive the entire voting list of the municipality for every two years free of charge.

 

Municipal committees are legally formed when municipal Greens caucus and form a committee. Ask us to help you convene your town/city caucus!

 

County committees are elected every two (even-numbered) years at a state convention from nominations made at muncipal caucuses or the floor of the convention. In between the biennial conventions, the state committee appoints founding members of county committees not elected at that convention. Let us know if you want to be on a county committee!

 

Two district committees also exist under statute, one for each of the two U.S. Congressional Districts. Their only statutory authority is to nominate candidates for the ballot in a special election for a vacant position (due to death, resignation or removal) for U.S. Congress.

 

The state committee, elected annually at our convention, represents the Maine Green Independent Party -- sheperding the authorities and requirements applicable to a state party in Maine. This is YOUR party!  Contact us to get involved!

 

The party recognizes local group organization beyond the borders of towns and counties: Local groups organized in neighborhoods, natural regions, colleges or by identity and association are encouraged!


While these groups may not have specified authority granted to them by statute, we recognize and accept them as part of the party's structure.

 

All local groups of the party -- statutory or not -- are given privileges within the state party. All local groups should strive to meet four times annually.

 

Benefits fpr Local Groups

 

1. Notice of state committee meeting minutes and agenda.

2. Ability to place items for consideration on the state committee agenda.

3. Access to the state party's compiled list of enrolled Green Independents within their jurisdiction (if applicable).

4. Municipal committees may appoint a representative to the county committee.

5. County committees may appoint a representative to the state committee.

 

How to Form

 

if you are interested in forming or joining any local group of the party, we would love to help you! Contact us NOW!

In the Bylaws

 

Article III. Local Groups

Members of the party meeting a minimum of four times annually shall be considered a local group of the party once the group designates one person to act as a state contact person for that group. The state contact person will communicate local concerns, questions, proposals, etc. of the group to the state committee, as well as relay information from the state committee to the group. The state contact person shall be a person who has an email address that he or she regularly uses.

Article III, Section A. County Committees

By statute, county committees shall be formed at conventions on even-numbered years from nominations made at municipal caucuses and the convention floor. The size of each county committee shall be determined by the convention unless a county committee has standing bylaws which have been submitted to the state committee, in which case the size of the county committee will be defined by its own bylaws so long as those bylaws provide for any municipal committee within the county to appoint at least one member to the county committee.

If at a convention, there are no nominees, or only one nominee to a county committee, then the state committee is authorized to appoint one or two members to that county committee at a later date, after which the members will constitute a duly formed county committee.
 
Once formed, the county committees may expand their size, fill vacancies and establish rules and bylaws as they see fit, providing that any municipal committee within the county may appoint at least one member to the county committee.

If it is deemed that a county committee's bylaws are constructed in such a way so that quorum may not be achieved or the county committee cannot meet or function, then any convention may intervene to reconstruct the county committee.

 If a statute governing party county committees changes, and these bylaws are in contradiction to the statute, then the state committee shall schedule a convention to amend these bylaws to comply with the statute.

Article III, Section C. Access and Notice

 Any municipal or county committee or otherwise qualifying local group may propose items to the state committee for consideration of action.

 The state committee shall provide notice, agenda and minutes of its meetings to any municipal or county committee or other qualifying local group that has designated a state contact person. The state committee will keep the committees and groups informed of its actions and pose questions to them.

 Article IV, Section A. County Seats

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

 Article IV, Section A, Part 1. Active Membership

 State committee members holding a county seat on the state committee shall be considered active except as follows:

 If three months have elapsed since a county committee met and that county committee has not submitted minutes of a subsequent meeting to the state committee, then that county's seat on the state committee shall be inactive until minutes of any subsequent meeting are submitted.

 If a state committee member in a county seat is absent from a state committee meeting for three consecutive meetings, that county's seat shall be considered inactive until the member attends a meeting, or the county committee notifies the state party that another person occupies the seat and that person attends a meeting. The inactive status shall be applied at the commencement of the third consecutive meeting at which the member is not present for roll call. Inactive members will not be counted as part of the total from which quorum is determined.

2022 Caucuses

In 2022, from Jan. 1 to March 19, municipal caucuses will be convened around the state for the purpose of electing local leaders, supporting our candidates and organizing around issues important to the party.

 

Caucuses are the legal means in Maine by which municipal committees are formed and officers elected. County committee members may also be nominated at these municipal caucuses.

 

To increase party organization statewide, we encourage Greens to convene or attend caucuses in their towns or cities.

 

If there is not currently a party municipal committee existing in your town, any enrolled Green in the municipality may convene the caucus. Contact us if you would like to convene a caucus -- we will help you organize it!

 

Feel free to review the caucus documents provided.

 

Basic Caucus Checklist:

 

1. Set date and time; contact town clerk to reserve venue.

2. Put a flyer up in town before the caucus, provide copy to town clerk.

3. Download/Print caucus materials (agenda/data sheet) to bring to caucus.

4. Attend caucus. Record info on data sheet while proceeding through agenda.

5. Submit data sheet to state party and town clerk.

Sample Municipal Bylaws

In order to prevent the municipal committee from becoming inactive, it is best if the committee establishes a basic agreed upon set of bylaws under which to operate.
Here are sample bylaws the municipal committee may choose to pass, inserting the name of the municipality, and the first letter of the municipality for "X" in 'XGIC." Some municipalities may choose to have co-chairs or other additional officers. The following is just a sample template for caucuses to consider. If the caucus is unable to pass bylaws, the caucus may choose to table it until the next meeting.

 

Sample Municipal Committee Bylaws

 

[Name of Municipality] Green Independent Committee [XGIC] Bylaws

 

I. Purpose
The purpose of the [XGIC} is to grow the presence of the Maine Green Independent
Party in [Name of Municipality] by recruiting members and supporting enrolled Green Independent candidates.
II. Members
All enrolled Green Independents in [Name of Municipality] shall be considered members of the [XGIC].
III. Officers
The committee will elect a chairperson on even-numbered years at the municipal committee's biennial caucus, for a term of roughly two years and expiring at the end of the next biennial caucus. The committee may create and elect other officers as it sees fit, and fill vacancies created by resignation, death or change of municipality residence. Elections for all offices will be held at each biennial caucus.
IV. Meetings
The chairperson will generally organize and facilitate meetings. The committee will strive for consensus, but a majority vote may be called for by a majority of members in attendance. The [XGIC] chairperson may organize meetings to be held in a variety of formats,
including phone calls, e-mail, video chat and others, so long as the means of attending, voting and adjourning are explained.
V. Quorum
Quorum shall be at least one officer and any other member, with at least 24 hours notice of a meeting given to all committee members who attended the last meeting, or notice on a general forum previously approved by the committee as qualifying as notice (i.e. Facebook page, website, e-mail list, town calendar, etc.). Alternatively, any two committee members may constitute quorum, with public notice provided at least a week in advance in the same manner in which public notice is legally required for a caucus.
VI. Authority and Vision
The [XGIC] represents the Maine Green Independent Party on issues affecting [Name of Municipality], and will work to establish a municipal identity of the party, increase visibility and work with the party's county and state committees toward common goals.
VII. Failure to caucus.
In the event that the committee, or any resident Green Independent in [Name of Municipality] fails to convene a biennial municipal caucus by March 19 on even-numbered years, then all officer terms shall be considered expired and the municipal committee dissolved. Any resident may convene a caucus as prescribed by statute to again form the municipal committee.
VIII. Amendements
These bylaws may be amended by a majority of all members in attendance.
Bylaws established [Date of Passage]

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