#1: Amendment to Constitution/Bylaws Changes #1 – Strike Regional Requirements for National Conventions
Authors: Renée P. (East Bay), Allie L. (East Bay), & Sam L. (New York City)
We agree with the spirit of the initial amendment: striking the current rigid requirement–that the national convention rotate to different regions each time–makes sense. Where we differ is the imposition of a new set of requirements that will result in even less flexibility: the convention will take place in Chicago every year if this amendment passes, barring major changes in the distribution of the United States population that seem unlikely. It may very well be that the convention should be held in Chicago every other August; it may also be that circumstances arise that mean that the criteria specified in the original amendment no longer make sense. Rather than locking ourselves into any specific criteria for a convention location, this amendment would allow the NPC to choose the convention location that makes sense each time.
Article VI. National Conventions […] Section 5. National Conventions
shall be held in different areas and regions of the country each time. in a location decided on by the NPC at least a year in advance of the convention. , based on finding a location that can best meet the following criteria: (1) Minimizing the number of delegates who must travel to the location of the convention and maximizing the number of delegates who can offer solidarity housing. (2) Minimizing the average distance and travel costs traveled by all delegates living 50 miles or more away from the convention location. (3) Minimizing the lodging costs for delegates, while continuing our practice of only patronizing union-staffed hotels or convention sites
Authors: Tal L. (Los Angeles), Frances G. (New Orleans)
The National Organizing Committee amendments proposed originally get a lot right. They create a large “legislative” governing body that can serve as a regular intermediary between more local and regional chapters in DSA and the national organizing. This amendment is offered by DSA members who believe that the NOC as written is likely the ideal future organizational and governing structure for DSA.
However, it suffers in that the structure it offers is premature: it creates a body made up of state or regional representatives, when DSA is not yet organized along state and regional lines. If implemented prematurely, it would expose several key weaknesses:
- By defining regions to elect NOC representatives in the absence of state or regional organizations, it would elect representatives who are responsible for representing a diverse group of otherwise-unconnected chapters, which may not organize together and would accordingly have trouble expressing their collective goals to their representatives.
- It presumes the existence of a layer of DSA leaders able to effectively represent the interests of many diverse chapters across a region, without giving them a body to organize within that region and build a broad base of support first.
This amendment would maintain the NOC as the organizational structure that DSA should build into, while not granting the NOC any non-advisory powers until DSA has reached a level of organizational complexity to support it, modeled by having a supermajority of DSA members and chapters represented by state or regional organizations, and having the non-advisory NOC only made up of such representatives.
National Organizing Committee
The National Organizing Committee shall be composed of representatives proportionally allocated based on state and regional organizations formed pursuant to article IV, sections 3 and 4 and approved by the NPC; and all members of the NPC including any youth section representatives. The National Organizing Committee shall only hold advisory power if fewer than 80% of DSA members and two-thirds of DSA Chapters are represented by existing state or regional organizations. While in an advisory state, the NPC shall establish boundaries for chapters not represented by state or regional organizations for representation on the advisory NOC prior to each convention.
For chapters and at-large members that are not within such a state or regional organization, the NPC shall establish boundaries for representation on the NOC prior to each national convention. The NOC shall meet at least four times per year.
Authors: David D. (New York City)
We agree with the necessity of a new intermediate organizing body for DSA, but disagree that this body should have the power to amend the organization’s bylaws.
Article IX. . . .National Organizing Committee
Section 3. The NOC shall have the power to
enact and revise bylaws between conventions recommend revisions to the bylaws and have them considered at the next national convention by a ⅔ vote.