Bylaws of the Green Party of Colorado
The name of this Political Organization is The Green Party of Colorado.
II. Purpose and Values
2.1 The purpose of this organization is to work towards a “Green” society as represented by the 10 Key Values of The Green Party of the United States.
The aforementioned values are as follows:
Respect for Diversity
Personal and Global Responsibility
2.2 This political organization may use any and all nonviolent methods to affect social change, including, but not restricted to: ballot initiatives, electoral campaigns, community organizing, and educational forums.
2.3 The Green Party of Colorado (GPCO) is the affiliate of the Green Party of the United States for the State of Colorado.
2.4 In keeping with the Green Party’s third pillar of Social Justice, the Green Party of Colorado declares itself to be an anti-oppression party, actively dedicated to the work of ending capitalism and dismantling white supremacy and heteropatriarchy. As such, expressions of sexism, racism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and other oppressive behaviors are not in keeping with the values of the Green Party of Colorado.
2.4.1 Further, the Green Party of Colorado explicitly rejects the false ideas of reverse racism, misandry, etc., because we understand the role of white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, etc. in the oppression of our comrades of all colors, genders, and sexual orientations. While it is possible for prejudice against white people, against men, against cisgender people, against straight people (or any other privileged group) to exist, this prejudice is not oppression because there are no institutional power structures designed to disenfranchise these privileged groups.
2.4.2 State officers will conduct themselves in public statements, public appearances and other situations acting in the capacity as representatives of the GPCO, in a manner in keeping with the aforementioned values of anti-oppression. Representatives of the Green Party of Colorado shall make every effort to respect and amplify the voices of marginalized people.
2.4.3 Informed and inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King’s words in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, in which he decries “the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice,” state officers are charged with the responsibility of wading through the difficult discussions when oppression arises or to ask for help from outside allied organizations if they do not possess the skills.
2.4.4 Leadership of local chapters should also adhere to these values, and they should do everything within their capacity to help develop the consciousness of their membership, so as to create a welcoming, safe space in which to build collective power, with women, people of color, people with disabilities and the entire spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ community and the homeless.
2.4.5 As a corollary to oppression under capitalism is the oppression felt by the white working class members of our community, who are often used as bludgeons by the ruling class against women, people of color, people with disabilities, etc. It is the mission of the Green Party of Colorado to create opportunities for solidarity so that mutual understanding and shared collective power can be built.
2.4.6 The Green Party recognizes this nation’s actual history, not its idealized history, a history of empire building, capitalism, white supremacy, and genocide. The Green Party must lead in the understanding of this history, and the current reality that is this history’s result.
3.1 A Green Local or Outreach Caucus must agree to:
- Accept the Ten Key Values and to manage the chapter in accordance with those values.
- Abide by the bylaws of the Green Party of Colorado.
- Openly support only the national candidates selected by Green convention, state level candidates nominated at a Green Party of Colorado nominating convention, and local candidates selected with the criteria specified in sections 4.5.4 and 4.5.5 of these bylaws.
- Make a good faith effort, where reasonable, to increase the number of Green voter registrations within the boundaries of their chapter or outreach constituency.
- Make a good faith effort to recruit and run state and local candidates.
- Make a good faith effort to increase the number of qualified voting members within their chapter or outreach constituency.
- Make a good faith effort to fundraise for the operation of their chapter or caucus and to assist in the operation of the Green Party of Colorado. A dues-paying structure is highly encouraged, to at least partially fund operations.
- Demonstrate evidence of commitment to, and good faith efforts to achieve membership from among the wide spectrum of gender identities and gender expression in party leadership and representation.
- Demonstrate evidence of good faith efforts to empower individuals and groups from oppressed communities, through, for example, leadership responsibilities and alliances with community-based organizations, and endorsements of issues and policies.
Chapter and caucus officers and council representatives must not have been registered as a member of a political party other than the Green Party of Colorado for at least ninety days before nomination and must maintain registration as a Green Party of Colorado voter throughout the duration of the officer’s/representative’s term.
A Green local or outreach caucus must present its proposed bylaws for approval, and be approved by 60% of the voting Greens at a state party meeting, or by the state council.
3.1.1 A Green local or outreach caucus shall be placed in Inactive Status if it fails to send any representatives to a state meeting or if it fails to have representatives vote for three or more consecutive votes on the council, or if it no longer has any active members on the council. Council members will be considered inactive if they do not vote on three consecutive votes. It is the responsibility of every local or caucus to monitor the votes of their delegates, and they are encouraged to appoint alternates in the event a delegate cannot vote. They can be reactivated by notifying the Council Facilitator that they wish to be reactivated and by voting on the next Council vote. Council representatives cannot be reactivated in an Inactive or defunct local or caucus. For absence at a state meeting, the local or caucus will be notified by the Secretary within one week of the meeting. Once placed in Inactive Status, a local or caucus will not be counted in the quorum for votes and its representatives will not be allowed to vote. For missing votes on the Council, the local or caucus will be notified by the Council Facilitator when it no longer has any representatives on the Council.
126.96.36.199 A Green local can be removed from the Green Party of Colorado for any cause by a vote of at least 75% of the voting Greens at a state party meeting, or by consensus of the Council, not counting the local being removed. Outreach caucuses are a permanent fixture of the Green Party of Colorado, and therefore they cannot be removed. However, their members or leadership may be subject to disciplinary actions such as censure or removal of leadership by the state council as a result of documented violations of the 10 Key Values or these bylaws.
188.8.131.52 A Green local or caucus can be reinstated to Active Status by submitting a written request (email is acceptable) for reinstatement to the Council or to a state meeting, listing its new active members for the Council and being approved by at least a 60% vote of the voting Greens at a state meeting, or by at least a 60% vote of the Council.
184.108.40.206 If a Green local has been in Inactive Status for more than six months, it will be considered to be defunct and will be removed entirely as a Green local. To be reinstated, the local will have to go through the same procedures as a new local. This does not apply to outreach caucuses.
3.2 Membership in the Green Party of Colorado is open to anyone regardless of sexual orientation, race, national origin, religion, etc. A member shall subscribe to the Ten Key Values and be registered with the state of Colorado as affiliated with the Green Party of Colorado and maintain that registration. Members of a Green local may vote on state issues at general state meetings and may serve on the Council.
3.2.1 If there is no local in a county, an individual may maintain an independent membership with the Green Party of Colorado by registering in the county of residence as affiliated with the Green Party of Colorado, by subscribing to the 10 Key Values and these bylaws and upon approval of 60% of the voting Greens (at least three fourths of all locals represented) at a state party meeting.
3.3 The right of participation of an individual in the Green Party of Colorado can be revoked by a Green local using its own criteria or by a 75% vote of the members of the state council or state party meeting. Revocation of the rights of participation must be based on failure of the individual to adhere to the purpose and methods of the Green Party of Colorado.
3.3.1 The Green Party of Colorado affirms the following rights of due process for individuals facing any disciplinary action:
- The individual must be informed of the potential revocation of their rights of participation at least three weeks (21 days) prior to the vote
- The individual will have a chance to speak in their defense at the meeting when the vote is held, either via a written statement or a telephone or web conference with a quorum of state council members.
- The individual may call witnesses to support their case, and the state council may ask questions of the witness.
- The individual will receive a written report with the decision with reasons for the decision and the length of time the disciplinary action will be in effect.
- Rights of participation will not be automatically reinstated, and a member whose rights of participation have been revoked must file a formal appeal with the Secretary. Rights of participation can be reinstated by an affirmative vote of 75 percent of the state council or by 75 percent of the voting members present at a state meeting.
3.3.2 The state party shall not override any disciplinary action imposed by a Green local. Disciplinary actions imposed by a Green local will be binding for the state party and will extend to state party events, spaces and internet/social media portals.
3.4. Endorsements and Sign-ons on public issues:
3.4.1 Any proposal for endorsement or sign-on from a Chapter, a Chapter representative, a Committee co-chair, or Officer of the GPCO will be considered by the Council.
3.4.2. Any endorsement or sign-on requiring the commitment of GPCO resources (money, people, time, etc.) must clearly state the requirements and where the resource will come from.
4.1 State meetings will be held yearly or more frequently at a location agreed upon by the members at the previous meeting, or by a special call of the Council at its discretion. Nominating conventions and meetings to elect state officers must be announced by the Secretary in a newspaper of statewide circulation 15 days before the meeting. State meetings are those where party business is conducted. The state nominating convention is held in even number years — every two years for the purpose of nominating candidates for public office in Colorado; and every four years for conducting the presidential preference process and selecting delegates to the Green Party of the United States national convention.
4.1.1. In order for official decisions to be made at a state meeting, a quorum of at least 60% of local chapters must be represented, with a minimum number of voting participants (registered in the Green Party of Colorado not less than 180 days) equal to twice the number of local chapters represented. Exceptions apply to persons who have: become eligible to vote via new citizenship; or have been released from parole and have been re-granted their right to vote; or have recently reached voting age and have subsequently registered with the Green Party within the 180 day window.
For example, at a minimum, if there are 10 official Green Party chapters in Colorado, 6 chapters must be present at the state meeting, totaling 12 individuals.
4.2 The Green Party of Colorado Council (referred to as “Council” elsewhere in these bylaws).
4.2.1. The Council is composed of up to four representatives from each local and outreach caucus in Colorado, elected by the members of their respective locals or caucuses in any manner they chose at a regular meeting of that local or caucus for terms as long as the local or caucus approves, as well as the two state co-chairs, all other state party officers, and the representatives and alternates to the Green Party of the United States. Locals and caucuses will also define their own recall or removal process. Council representatives must have email access and agree to read and respond to Council emails at least once within any seven-day period. The Council may also be referred to as the Steering Committee or Central Committee of the Green Party of Colorado for compliance with state law. If an individual is already a delegate from a local or outreach caucus, they cannot serve as a delegate for another local or caucus at the same time (one person, one vote).
4.2.2. The Council will meet and make decisions between state meetings by means determined by council.
4.2.3. The Council sets the agenda for the state meetings, decides on issues needing expedient attention between state meetings, handles administrative tasks, and acts as representative to the press on state issues, as well as representing the Green Party of Colorado to groups interested in establishing locals where none exist. The Council can make appropriations from the GPCO bank account of $200 per item or less by a 60% vote of the Council, in consultation with the Treasurer to insure availability of funds. Expenditures above $200 per item require consensus of the Council or a 60% vote at a state meeting.
4.2.4. All decisions of the Council are subject to review at the next state meeting and may be overturned by a 60% vote.
220.127.116.11 The Council can modify these bylaws between state meetings when required to meet new state legal requirements in a timely fashion. These modifications will be reviewed and approved at the next state meeting after any such changes.
4.3 All decisions concerning policy, finance, and objectives shall require consensus or a vote of at least 60% of the membership present at a state meeting and/or the Council. The Green Party of Colorado may adopt a party Platform by consensus or a vote of at least 60% of the membership present at a state meeting. To endorse or oppose a ballot initiative or referendum, or to take a stance on a public issue, shall require consensus or a vote of at least 60% of the membership present at a state meeting and/or the Council. Party officers and national representatives shall be chosen by consensus or a vote of at least 60% of members present at the annual meeting.
4.4 The Green Party of Colorado, as a minor political party, will nominate candidates at a nominating convention, held at least 65 days before the primary in even numbered years in a location accessible to the public.
4.4.1 All registered Greens in attendance at a state convention are eligible to vote at that convention.
4.4.2 The membership of GPCO local chapters will be responsible for selecting candidates for local political office and will be responsible for forwarding those nominations for ratification to the state nominating convention. Candidates chosen by Green locals must be ratified at a state party convention to ensure they meet legal requirements.
4.4.3 Any person seeking nomination by the Green Party of Colorado as a candidate for a state or national office must be endorsed by the local chapter in their county of residence or as otherwise provided in 4.4.5. If there is no local chapter in their county of residence and they are an independent member of the Green Party of Colorado, then they must be endorsed by at least one local chapter in the district that they would represent in the legislature or in the state as a whole for a state office. If no such authorization is given, then no Green Party of Colorado candidate will run in that jurisdiction.
4.4.4 A candidate for nomination to a statewide office must be endorsed by the local chapter in which they reside, or receive the endorsement of at least three other local groups from around the state.
4.5 Candidates must meet the following criteria:
4.5.1. Candidates shall embrace the 10 Key Values and shall use these values as a basis for their political decision making.
4.5.2. The candidate must maintain active membership in a local chapter of the Green Party of Colorado or if no local chapter exists in the county, they must be an independent member of the Green Party of Colorado, as defined in section 3.2.1. Candidates seeking the nomination of the Green Party of Colorado for any office shall announce their candidacy by notifying either a state co-chair (for federal or state office) or the chair/co-chair of their local Green group (for county or local office) no later than forty-five days before the nominating convention. Greens not affiliated with local chapters shall notify the state co-chairs no later than forty-five days before the convention. This provision will not supersede any local Green group requirements that are more stringent. They must maintain contact with the Green Party of Colorado.
4.5.3. Potential candidates not a member of a GPCO local chapter, or who are candidates for statewide or national office, must have formal approval either by consensus or by 30% of the delegates present at a state nominating convention of the Green Party of Colorado in even numbered years. If two or more candidates obtain 30% or more of the votes cast, the candidates shall submit to a primary, as provided for by state law.
4.5.4 Candidates for partisan political office must not have been registered as a member of a political party other than the Green Party of Colorado for at least thirty days before nomination.
4.5.5 In order to be eligible for nomination, a candidate for partisan political office must be a registered elector of the Green Party of Colorado at least thirty days prior to the date of nomination.
4.5.6. In considering candidacies for Governor and Lt. Governor of Colorado, candidates will run as a pair to avoid having only one candidate nominated when two are required.
4.5.7. After a nominating convention, a Green Party of Colorado state co-chair will be responsible for notifying the proper election officer of the nominations as required by state law. The candidates then must send acceptance of the nominations to the proper election official within the time frame specified by state law.
4.5.8. A Green Party of Colorado candidate shall not be a registered member of any other political party or political organization.
4.5.9 If a Colorado Green Party nomination is vacated, or there is any vacancy in an elected office, the state party officers shall constitute the Vacancy Committee to make appointments as stipulated under state law.
4.6.1 A GPCO committee may be created or dissolved by a 60% vote of the Council or state meeting.
4.6.2. GPCO Committees shall have two co-chairs who shall be registered Greens, and at least two of whose members are active members of local GPCO chapters. Co-chairs call meetings and set rules for participation at their discretion. Committees report to and are responsible to the Council and GPCO state meetings.
5.1 In order to serve the growth of the GPCO and to communicate our message, platform and values to the public, the GPCO will elect two state co-chairs to two year terms. Every effort shall be made to reach gender and geographic diversity.
5.2.1. If one co-chair is unable to perform her/his duties or is absent at a meeting, the other co-chair will assume all duties. If both co-chairs are present they will alternate assuming the duties of the Chair.
5.2.2. To facilitate state meetings and the state Council, or choose a representative to do so.
5.2.3. To be spokespersons for the state party to the press and other organizations. Such spokespersons can also be chosen by a majority vote at state meetings or by the state council.
5.2.4. To assist the growth of the state party by overseeing outreach efforts to parts of the state where we are not organized, and by assisting the nearest affiliated local chapter in doing so.
5.2.5. The state council may choose to delegate its authority to the co-chairs when it believes that time will not be adequate to make decisions. This authority of delegation only includes those actions the Council is authorized to take. It does not include those decision reserved for state party meetings.
5.2.6 Co-chairs will monitor that official filings required to be made by the secretary and treasurer occur in a timely manner.
5.3 Representatives to the Green Party of the United States
5.3.1 The GPCO will choose representatives to the national Green Party for indefinite terms, not to exceed two years. Every effort shall be made to include diversity at all levels, including but not limited to, gender, ethnic, racial and geographic. At the first meeting after two years as representative, there must be a vote for that position. Representatives may seek further terms. If a vacancy occurs, the Council may choose replacements – temporary (for the purpose of attending meetings) or permanent (to complete the remaining term) – as necessary. Permanent representatives chosen by the Council will be ratified at the following state meeting.
5.3.2 These representatives, whose number is determined by the bylaws and rules of the national Green Party, will represent the GPCO in all votes. Votes by these representatives can be determined by a decision of the state council, or by the representatives themselves. If the representatives deem that the vote is clearly within the scope of the Ten Key Values and the platform of the GPCO, and would likely result in a consensus of the Council, they may vote without consulting the Council, but are required to announce this vote to the Council by email within three days, and must include the text of the proposal and any such supporting material as was provided with the original proposal. Such votes should occur, where feasible, more than three days prior to the end of the voting period in case the Council decides that it wishes to reverse the decision of the representatives. Such a decision of reversal can be communicated to the Secretary of the national Green Party either directly by the Council, or through the representatives. Representatives should also announce all votes to the statewide list-serve at least quarterly, and Council members should summarize such votes at meetings of affiliated locals.
5.3.3 In the case of national meetings, representatives shall send the agenda and related materials to the State Council as soon as it is available, and from there to all local chapters. Via the Council, the representatives will be informed of any direction regarding scheduled votes. But the default condition will be that representatives will be free to apply the values and platform of the GPCO at the meeting as they see fit, based on the discussion of proposals and any amendments that may occur.
5.3.4 Representatives to national meetings shall make a good-faith effort to travel to national meetings of the Green Party. Should their schedule or financial status conflict with this, they must communicate this to the State Council to see if the problem can be remedied, either with financial support, or by choosing a temporary representative who can travel to the meeting. The GPCO shall make every effort to ensure that representation of the GPCO is not determined by financial resources, or lack thereof.
The Secretary shall fulfill the role of secretary under state law and shall be responsible for handling candidate nominations as required by state law; keeping accurate minutes of state meetings and nominating conventions; updating the bylaws and procedures and guidelines and filing bylaw changes with the Secretary of State, as required by state law; and announcing in a newspaper of general statewide circulation, as required by state law, nominating conventions and state meetings to elect officers.
The Treasurer is responsible for filings and financial reporting as required by state law, disburse funds as directed by the Council, and present a balance report at each state meeting.
5.6 The membership of the Green Party of Colorado may create any office as needed. A vote of three fourths majority of members present at a state meeting must approve any new officership.
5.7 Officers shall be chosen in odd numbered years to serve two year terms in office.
5.8 If a Green Party of Colorado officer’s position is vacated in between official state meetings, the Council or both co-chairs in agreement may make a temporary appointment in the manner as specified in the Procedures and Guidelines until the next state meeting under consultation with each local.
5.9 If any officer or national representative is found to be in contempt of the goals of the Green Party of Colorado, recall proceedings shall be invoked. A three fourths majority of voting members present at a state meeting and/or the Council is required to achieve the recall of an officer.
6.1 These bylaws may be amended on a three-fifths vote by members present at a state meeting or by the state council. A written copy of adopted bylaws (with any current amendments) will be maintained by the Secretary.
Current bylaws revised 8/12/17
Current GPCO Bylaws, revised August 29, 2015
GPCO Bylaws, revised March 31, 2012
GPCO Bylaws, revised June 2011
GPCO Bylaws, revised 2010
GPCO Bylaws, revised 2009
GPCO Bylaws, revised 2007
Current bylaws revised 8/12/17
Current GPCO Bylaws, revised August 29, 2015
GPCO Bylaws, revised March 31, 2012
GPCO Bylaws, revised June 2011
GPCO Bylaws, revised 2010
GPCO Bylaws, revised 2009
GPCO Bylaws, revised 2007