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 firstname.lastname@example.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.