Reduce Proposal Requirements

Lead Contact: Tal Levy

ARTICLE VI. LOCAL DECISION-MAKING

Section 2. Roles and Responsibilities of the Committees, Working Groups, Resource Committees, and the Steering Committee

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If the Steering Committee determines that the proposal is not aligned with an existing platform, or that it requires a significant amount of Local resources, the Steering Committee will require that members submit a detailed analysis that explains why and how the proposal aligns with the Local Mission and Organizational Priorities. This analysis should adhere to the guidelines laid out in the Local’s Framework for Endorsement Proposal and Analysis, and have been approved by the group’s members.

After submission of the analysis, the Steering Committee will assess the analysis to determine whether or not the proposal is aligned with the Local Mission and Organizational Priorities within 2 weeks. If they determine that it is (by a simple majority), the proposal will be put to a Local­-wide vote, and further guided through the decision-­making process—which may include addition to Local platforms or Local Subgroup formation as appropriate—as outlined in the Appendix. If the Steering Committee decides that the proposal does not align with the Local Mission and Organizational Priorities, they mayshall decline to put it to a Local­-wide vote in its current form. The Steering Committee may also recommend revisions, and then put the revised, re­submitted proposal and analysis to a Local­-wide vote. Additionally, if a proposal would create a new Local Subgroup, the Steering Committee may require that the makers of the proposal collect 25 member signatures to bring it to a vote. During such a votes, a simple majority with a quorum of ten percent of Local members is required. Any such Steering Committee decisions may be overridden as in Article VI, Section 3. For any proposal that would be up for a Local­-wide vote, any time for the proposal at a Local General Meeting must have time reserved for debate for and against the proposal.

Section 3. Roles and Responsibilities of the Membership

Although the decision­-making process features an emphasis on the Local Subgroups, members may organize proposals, and support for said proposals outside of the realm of Local Subgroups.

The Steering Committee will accept and consider proposals endorsed by 1025 members and guide the proposals through the same decision-­making process outlined above, and in the Appendix.

Additionally, if the Steering Committee determines that a proposal and analysis submitted by a group of 1025 members or a Local Subgroup does not align with the Local Mission and Organizational Priorities or requires the establishment of a new Local Subgroup, and declines to put it to a Local­-wide vote, members that support the proposal can gather a total of 2550 members in support of the original initiative, and bring the analysis to a Local­-wide vote with the Steering Committee’s support. A quorum of ten­-percent of Local members is required for such a vote, with a simple majority required to approve the initiative.

Explanation

DSA­LA has had very, very few member­-led resolutions or proposals since the adoption of the bylaws. When they’ve happened, they’ve almost exclusively come in the form of new campaigns or project proposals, as these are more likely to motivate members to do the significant work of organizing 25 signatures, which is quite significant. While DSA­LA should be cautious to launch new committees, we should create a culture where political resolutions and administrative decisions are debated and voted on by the entire local, and empowering members to bring these decisions to the chapter. By lowering, but not eliminating, the threshold to bring resolutions to a chapter wide vote, this amendment encourages more chapter engagement, discussion, and democracy while still requiring member-­to-member organizing to bring such a vote.

As written, the establishment of new Local Subgroups would still require a higher signature count to ensure there’s sufficient interest, but smaller decisions about political positions and even basic administration of the chapter will be debated and accessible to all members, not just those with the know-­how to negotiate our intricate Subgroup structure. The author is also considering floor amendments that simplify the language to make the proposal process more clear and accessible to members, particularly for proposals that do not establish new Local Subgroups.

ORGANIZATIONAL PRIORITIES THAT SUPPORT THIS AMENDMENT PROPOSAL

  • Build organizational structures that can support and manage anticipated growth of the chapter.
  • Maintain transparent decision­-making processes which allows all members to democratically shape and engage in chapter decisions, avoiding top-heavy hierarchies and “gatekeeping”.
  • Maintain workflow systems that support and empower all members to take on significant responsibility for ongoing cross­-chapter communication and collaboration.
  • Develop internal capacity to recruit, engage and retain our members across the racial and socioeconomic divisions of Los Angeles, and connect members to each other regionally, while also challenging instead of reifying those divisions.

Click here to view signatories