New Orleans DSA
Chapter Convention Amendments & Resolutions
Bylaws Amendment: Streamline & Clarify Chapter Endorsement Process
Submitted by: Trey D
Whereas, the existing Bylaws provide for a quorum requirement of forty percent of the membership plus one member to hold any vote on Chapter electoral endorsements; and
Whereas, the aforementioned quorum requirement has proven increasingly onerous to meet as the Chapter has grown in membership; and
Whereas, the quorum requirement of forty percent is arbitrary, and in practice acts as an undemocratic brake on the collective will of the membership by reducing the crucial political question of endorsement to a logistical question of simple turnout; and
Whereas, the existing Bylaws do not specify whether members in arrears of dues shall be counted when calculating quorum, leading to uncertainty in implementation;
Therefore be it resolved that
New Orleans DSA amend Article 2, Section 8 of its Bylaws as follows:
Unless specified otherwise in these bylaws, a quorum of ten percent of the membership shall be required for valid meetings of the Convention, Special Meeting, or General Meeting. A quorum of forty percent of the membership plus one member shall be required for Electoral Endorsement votes.
Unless specified otherwise in these bylaws, a quorum of ten percent of the membership in good standing shall be required for valid meetings of the Convention, Special Meeting, or General Meeting. A quorum of twenty-five percent of the membership in good standing plus one member shall be required for Electoral Endorsement votes.
Bylaws Amendment: Nationally Endorsed Campaigns
Submitted by: Michael E
Whereas, Democratic Socialists of America is a multi-tendency organization made up of hundreds of chapters building a movement for socialism across the United States;
Whereas, DSA has a strategic interest in running nationally endorsed and coordinated campaigns that are made stronger through the participation of chapters in regions across the country;
Whereas, DSA seeks to grow into a mass organization able to build and effectively wield power, as well as further develop internal processes for decision-making that allow every member in the organization to have a voice, and nationally coordinating campaigns improves DSA’s capacity to do so;
Whereas, DSA New Orleans currently disallows members from campaigning for nationally endorsed candidates or ballot initiatives that have not been endorsed at the chapter level;
Be it resolved that
DSA New Orleans amend Article 2, Section 7 of its Bylaws as follows:
Unless otherwise authorized, members or committees of New Orleans DSA are forbidden from campaigning as representatives of DSA for candidates or ballot measures that the Local has not officially endorsed.
. . . members or committees of New Orleans DSA are forbidden from campaigning as representatives of DSA for candidates or ballot measures that have not been officially endorsed by the Local, a Regional Organization to which the Local belongs, or National DSA.
Resolution to Establish Credentials Officer & Alternate Position
Submitted by: Mark D
Whereas, the provisioning & custodianship of user accounts for computer systems (Credentials) and personally identifiable member information (Lists) is necessary for the continuity of operations of the New Orleans DSA (The Chapter), and
Whereas, responsibility for & control of Credentials & Lists should not be concentrated within a single committee of The Chapter, and
Whereas, processes governing use & transfer of Credentials & Lists should be documented, and
Whereas, members of The Chapter responsible for defining & ensuring adherence to these processes should be explicitly enumerated, and
Whereas, the Technical Committee (TC) of The Chapter functions as a venue for ad-hoc projects & tasks related to core operations of The Chapter, having no self-defined political character & representing no coherent constituency of the general membership of The Chapter, and
Whereas, work on DSA’s national technical projects is conducted in a working group,
Resolved that TC be devolved into a Technical Working Group (Tech WG)
Resolved that the Local Council (LC) of The Chapter create the positions of Credentials Officer and Credentials Officer Alternate (Alternate)
Resolved that the LC appoint by unanimous decision a non-voting Credentials Officer & Alternate, the latter being the LC Membership Chair.
Resolved that the Credentials Officer & Alternate be responsible for provisioning & maintaining Credentials & Lists at the Direction of the LC.
Resolved that Credentials Officer & Alternate, with input from Tech WG & Membership Chair, develop & propose procedural recommendations (Recommendations) for approval by LC governing how members of The Chapter & the LC are to request Credentials & Lists (Requests), and which members of the LC are able to authorize which kinds of Requests.
Resolved that Credentials Officer & Alternate will regularly audit use of existing credentials & lists used within bodies of the Chapter, including the LC, Chapter committees, Chapter working groups and officially recognized caucuses of the Chapter, and report to the LC where usage does not conform to Recommendations.
Resolved that the Credentials Officer & Alternate, with input from Tech WG, develop recommendations concerning user role policies, where supported, for approval by LC.
Resolved that Credentials Officer & Alternate maintain an audit log of Requests, viewable by any member of LC.
Resolved that the Credentials Officer will train Alternate in use of systems used to store Credentials & Lists.
Resolved that Credentials Officer & Alternate will retain redundant copies of primary credentials necessary to perform all duties listed above.
Resolution to Create Chapter Conduct Working Group
Submitted by: New Orleans DSA Socialist Feminist Caucus
Whereas, the chapter’s current Harassment and Grievance Policy is taken directly from national and has not been tailored to our chapter needs,
Whereas, flaws in the Harassment and Grievance Policy have been exposed by incidents in other chapters such as Los Angeles DSA,
Whereas, without clear processes for handling harassment, we are not well prepared to intervene on behalf of harmed parties,
Whereas, usage of a reactive Harassment and Grievance Policy is a last resort which cannot and should not replace other ways of holistically cultivating healthy chapter culture,
Let it be resolved that we create a Chapter Conduct Working Group tasked with researching models that build and maintain healthy organizing spaces; developing processes which prioritize transparency, transformation, and a culture of collective participation in upholding our community agreements rather than punishment and exclusion; and proposing policies to the General Membership for approval,
Let it be further resolved that these proposals may include but are not limited to amending or rewriting our Harassment and Grievance Policy; designating additional training for canvassers, mobilizers, and leadership; and developing a proactive Code of Conduct to center respect, mutual accountability, restorative justice, and affirmative consent within our chapter’s organizing spaces.
Resolution to Endorse Marguerite Green for Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry
Submitted by: Marguerite G.
Whereas, Louisiana is at the forefront of the climate crisis, and our coasts, food security, and
land are at risk of being lost to the crisis.
Whereas, Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry is charged to oversee these
areas of state policy in Louisiana.
Whereas, to confront this crisis, these aspects of our state policy should be run for the benefit of
all people. And to do that the Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry should focus
the office’s power and resources on removing structural barriers to small and mid-sized farmers
of food, the encouragement and material support of cooperative development for farmers with a
focus on farmers of color. The office should additionally focus on carbon sequestration among
the agriculture and forestry industries as well as using the full strength of the position to hold oil
and gas companies responsible for the irreversible damage they have done to our communities.
Be it resolved that, New Orleans DSA endorses the campaign of Marguerite Green for
Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, and that members of the local may volunteer and
advocate for her campaign by phone banking, canvassing, participating in state-wide networking
to expand support and helping to fulfill the requirements of a state-wide nominating petition.
Resolution to Create a Growth & Diversity Working Group
Submitted by: Jordan F
Whereas, New Orleans DSA seeks to build working class power in New Orleans.
Whereas, the working class of New Orleans is majority black and brown and our membership fails to reflect this.
Whereas, our chapter structure is currently such that most meetings and committees are structured around a specific set of issue areas and those meetings are often located in one neighborhood.
Whereas, this structure contributes to the difficulty of New Orleans DSA to organize neighbors around concrete material demands that might be outside of these issue areas.
Let it be resolved that New Orleans DSA approves the creation of a Growth & Diversity Working Group (G&D).
Let it be further resolved that G&D will be tasked with setting strategies and policies for attracting members, and increasing our diversity with regards to race, sexual orientation, education level, industry, and age.
In an initial effort to do this G&D will be charged to map our membership and neighborhoods with a focus on identifying working class institutions. G&D will be charged to create policy, accountability and support mechanisms, and leadership structures for the creation of block teams (BTs). These policies and accountability mechanisms are to be approved by Local Council (LC) and made available to, and ratified by, the General Membership (GM).
Let it be further resolved that the creation of BTs be explicitly focused on recruiting, retaining, and developing leaders from working class black and brown communities and neighborhoods currently under represented in our membership and leadership.
Let it be further resolved The G&D will at minimum be composed of Membership Chair and two other members of LC. All DSA New Orleans members in good standing are invited to join as full members of the G&D .
Health Care Priority Resolution
Submitted by: Frances G., Ryan S., Allison T., and Laura W.
Whereas, implementing a ‘Medicare for All’ single-payer health care system would be a profound
first step towards achieving health justice, and
Whereas, the DSA New Orleans Health Care Committee has developed and implemented a
robust, ongoing campaign to win Medicare for All that is in cooperation with the national DSA’s
Whereas, our bimonthly Health Fairs + Medical Debt Clinics have been successful at both
creating organizing opportunities and building relationships with our neighborhoods and
communities, and could be even more impactful if they were expanded and held more often,
Whereas, the Health Care Committee has planned additional projects in order to diversify its
tactics and desires to pick up the pace of its work, and
Whereas, the committee has developed a strategy to restructure itself with new roles to undertake these campaigns in a consistent and timely manner, and will train multiple members for a variety of tasks so that our success is not dependent on the commitment of just a few individuals, and
Whereas, this restructuring will provide opportunities for existing committee members to step up and become leaders and for general members to participate more often in health care work that is suited to their skillset, interest, and availability, and
Whereas, the new structure of the committee will not be successful without additional resources,
consistent funding, or member engagement, therefore
Be it resolved that New Orleans DSA enthusiastically affirms that winning Medicare for All and achieving health justice are a priority of our chapter.
Let it be further resolved that DSA New Orleans approves that the Health Care Committee is
allowed to be reimbursed up to $150 each month for their continuing work, and that
reimbursements will be overseen and approved by the Health Care Committee at their monthly
meetings, and that the recording of this approval in the committee minutes will be sufficient
evidence that the chapter treasurer will be obliged to disburse these funds upon request.
Such expenditures may include, but are not limited to:
– Food and beverages for Health Fairs and other events
– Health Fair, Canvassing, and Tabling supplies that are unique to the work of the Health
Care Committee (e.g. reproductive health supplies, harm reduction supplies)
– Supplies necessary for carrying out therapeutic work for the benefit of our general
– Costs associated with holding health-related workshops and trainings (i.e. overdose
prevention trainings, Street Medic trainings, etc)
Let it be further resolved that the Health Care Committee acknowledges that it is one
component of the wider chapter program, and that the success of one committee should benefit
other committees and campaigns. To the best of its ability, the committee will participate in and
motivate support for any fundraisers mounted by the chapter to draw revenue to the general
fund in order to expand everyone’s work.
Labor Priority Resolution
Submitted by: Labor Standing Committee
Whereas, labor is a core defining experience among the whole working class;
Whereas, the New Orleans Democratic Socialists of America is a working class institution, and its Labor Standing Committee has a mission to organize workplaces and raise class consciousness;
Whereas, workplace organizing is essential in the struggle for working class power, and healthcare, education and hospitality are key strategic organizing areas in the Greater New Orleans region;
Whereas, all working class issues are labor issues;
Be it resolved that
DSA New Orleans make Labor a major priority in its program;
Develop an outreach plan to grow the Labor Standing Committee, identify and train emerging leaders, and intentionally recruit women workers, immigrants, and black and brown workers;
Develop a strategic plan to identify “hot shops” ready to organize in education, healthcare and the hospitality industry, and recruit members from these sectors;
Establish a workplace organizing curriculum, host regular labor organizing workshops and train a cadre of DSA labor organizers to advise workers seeking to organize on the job;
Use DSA and labor contacts to build an organizing network of education workers in the Greater New Orleans Area including but not limited to Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Tammany Parish, and St. Bernard Parish;
Engage in a campaign with teachers unions and community groups to fight for the needs of children and workers in the public education system;
Work with other committees, caucuses, and working groups to develop support for their issues from a labor perspective.