Local Convention & Chapter Officer Elections Coming Soon

It is almost time for New Orleans DSA’s annual Convention, our largest meeting each year. Due to social distancing measures related to the pandemic, we will be holding this important gathering online through Zoom. Though it will not be the same as convening in person, we are doing our best to replicate all aspects of the Convention and provide all of our members the resources they need to participate.

Save the Dates
We will hold Convention in two parts:

Saturday, June 27th, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. CST
State of the Chapter presentation
Annual Treasurer’s Report
Candidate Statements + Voting

Saturday, July 25th, 2 p.m. CST
Discuss and vote on proposed Bylaw Amendments and Political Resolutions

These members have accepted their nominations to run for officers of the Local Council. (Read descriptions of each position here).

At-Large Members:  Nadia J. & Andrew S.
Co-Chair: Alec D., Frances G. & Benjamin H.
Membership Chair: Sean D. & Amanda S.
Secretary: Lori DG. & Zack D.
Treasurer: James P.
Treasurer Trustee: Alli DJ. & Bill M.

How to Vote
We will be using the online voting platform Opavote [read our guide]. You do not have to register an account to use this platform, but you must be a member in good standing with National DSA in order to vote. That means that you are up to date with your national dues. 

If you are not a member, why not take this opportunity to officially join DSA and have a say in our election? 

This year, we will hold an open voting period that begins on June 27th and runs to 5 p.m. on Friday, July 3rd in order to accept ballots by mail. This is the first year we are offering mail-in ballots as an option. We will mail election packets with candidate information and the ballots to all members.

If you do not need or want a mail-in ballot, please fill out this quick form. You can also update your mailing address through this form. Opting-opt will allow us to reduce the number of packets we need to print and mail, so please consider this!

Hear from the Candidates
The candidates are allowed to campaign any way they choose, but our chapter is providing a few opportunities for them to introduce themselves and present their platform. Written candidate statements will be posted on the chapter website, emailed to members, and included in the mailed election packet. We are also holding a Candidate Forum in a Q&A panel style the week before the election (time and date TBD). 

If you have a question for the candidates, you can submit it here or email hello@dsaneworleans.org.

Open Call for Bylaw Amendments & Political Resolutions 
Finally, we are accepting proposals for bylaw amendments and political resolutions to consider and vote on during the July 25th portion of Convention. Bylaw amendments add, remove, or alter the text of our chapter’s bylaws. Political resolutions are the same type of document we typically vote on during General Meetings. We will provide more information about this process in the coming weeks, but you can read about how to write a resolution here.

Amendments and resolutions must be submitted to hello@dsaneworleans.org by members in good standing by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 12th.

If you have any questions, please email us!

Thanks & Solidarity,

The 2020 Election Committee
New Orleans Democratic Socialists of America

Nominations for 2020 Local Officers’ Election is Open!

Each year our local chapter holds a convention for the purpose of electing new officers to the Local Council and debating proposed amendments to our chapter bylaws and political resolutions that can shape the direction of our chapter. Due to the public health crisis of COVID-19 and social distancing measures, our chapter must find ways to do both important elements of the Convention in virtual spaces. 

The Local Council has created our first ever Election Committee to undertake the work of planning an election that is fair, transparent, and accessible despite the fact that we cannot meeting together in a physical space. The Election Committee is currently meeting weekly on Tuesdays at 5pm, and anyone who is interested in contributing is welcome to join. You can join the #election-committee-2020 channel on Slack to participate or register for the Zoom call here.

While we are still researching voting platforms as well as how to collect votes from members with little or no internet access, the Election Committee is pleased to announce that the nomination period is now open!

New Orleans DSA will have elections at the end of June. These positions are a chance for members to take a more direct role in guiding our chapter. It’s an opportunity for our chapter to develop new leaders and get fresh perspectives on our work. It’s also a chance for members to gain experience as leaders in a democratic organization of more than 250 people. 

Candidates must be nominated by another member to run and must be a member in good standing, which means that you are currently paying dues to DSA National. No one may nominate themselves. To nominate a member, email hello@dsaneworleans.org with the subject line Officer Nomination or let a current chapter officer know your nomination(s). There’s no limit on how many people you can nominate. The nomination period is for the next two weeks, ending May 30th. The Election Committee will reach out to each nominee to confirm their acceptance and give them information on what will be expected of them as a candidate. 

Read this document for a full description of the role of each officer (hat tip to Noah T. for writing this up!).

Special Meeting Announcement

Our chapter will be holding a Special Meeting on Saturday, May 30th (instead of our Weekly Update call) to vote on proposed amendments to the bylaws. According to our bylaws, amendments can only be debated and voted on during Special Meetings. We need to have a quorum of 10% of our membership in attendance, so please mark this on your calendar!

This is not a substitute for the Convention. Another special meeting will take place in conjunction with the election this summer, and we will be providing information on how to write, submit, and debate any proposed resolutions or amendments well ahead of time. At this month’s meeting, we will be debating just a handful of amendments to the bylaws to potentially add new positions to the Local Council and a clause that allows our chapter to reformat or reschedule the Convention under extreme circumstances (like the one we are in now). The full text of these amendments will be emailed and posted to the website as soon as possible so that members can review them.

We will also be giving a general overview of the election process and schedule as well as information on Robert’s Rules of Order, which we use for debate.