Leadership Membership Obligations

Proposed by: Jon Danforth-Appell, Arman Cole, Mason Mineo

ARTICLE III. Membership

Section 1. Membership

[...]Non-members may participate in Local work and attend Local meetings, but may not run or vote in Local elections, Local Subgroup elections, or the Annual Convention.

ARTICLE VII. Local Officer Elections

Section 3. Recalls

Nonfeasance shall be defined as an ongoing or repeated failure to execute Officer duties and maintain regular contact with other Local Officers, without making arrangements to be replaced or voluntarily stepping down from the position, or failure to maintain membership.

ARTICLE IV. Local Meetings

Section 7. Local Subgroup Officer Elections

All Local Subgroup Officers shall be elected by the membership of the Local Subgroup and serve for a term of one year. During local subgroup officer elections, subgroups shall facilitate election and ensure candidates and voting members are in good standing. The quorum for a Local Subgroup election shall be 25 Group Members. Voting periods must be at least one (1) week, and no longer than three (3) weeks.


Given DSA-LA’s rapid expansion, the line between member and non-member has not always been clear, and understandably so, as it has been only recently that the chapter has made a concerted effort to retain and expand membership through membership drives and the mobilizers. As we move forward it is important then to emphasize the distinct role members have to play in the organization, something already enshrined in the DSA-LA bylaws. This amendment then seeks to strengthen language that currently exists within the current DSA-LA bylaws, namely:

  • ARTICLE II. Mission ​— “Within our ranks, we aim to exist along organizational lines developed and led by members”
  • ARTICLE III. Membership — Section 1. Membership​ — “At the local level, it will be the responsibility of members to approve policies and guidelines for the operation of the Local, vote on matters requiring input from the full membership, contribute to Local Subgroups, and participate in elections for the Steering Committee, and Local Subgroups of which they are members

As we work to clarify the roles of members and non-members in our work, it is important that those who have taken elected positions not just be members but commit themselves to maintaining membership and to the organization during their terms. This amendment seeks to empower committees to develop their own internal processes to that end. It does not mandate how those processes will be carried out per each committee and does not prohibit non-members from voting in committee matters not relating to elections. Lastly, expanding the definition of nonfeasance asks steering and committee leaders to not just maintain their good standing as members but to also publicly commit to the organization and its principles as a member led organization.

Strengthening language clarifying the roles of members and non-members aligns with the following DSA Los Angeles organizational priorities:

  • Build organizational structures that can support and manage anticipated growth of the chapter.
    Commit to accountability and transparency for leadership in DSA-LA.