Libertarian Party of West Michigan

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Bylaws of the Libertarian Party of West Michigan (Approved May 9, 2017)

Article 1 - Name

The name of this organization shall be the "Libertarian Party of West Michigan," hereinafter referred to as the "LPWM."


Article 2 - Purpose

The purpose of the LPWM is to give voice to the Preamble and Statement of Principles of the national Libertarian Party Platform (see Appendix), in Kent County and in adjacent counties that have no active Libertarian Party organization, by nominating and supporting candidates for political office, initiating and/or supporting ballot proposals, lobbying elected officials, and engaging in educational and other informational activities to promote the libertarian perspective.


Article 3 - Members

Section 1

Anyone residing in Kent County or in any adjacent county that has no active Libertarian Party organization and has been included within the region comprising the LPWM by action of the Libertarian Party of Michigan ("LPM") shall be eligible for membership in the LPWM.

Section 2

A member shall be in good standing whose dues are current and who has affirmed the following statement: "I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals."

Section 3

Membership dues shall be determined by the LPWM membership at a convention.


Article 4 - Legal Organization

Section 1

The LPWM shall be organized under the IRS Code as a Section 527 political organization.

Section 2

The LPWM shall be organized under Michigan election law as a Political Party Committee.


Article 5 - Oversight Committee and Executive Committee

Section 1

The delegates to the biennial fall convention shall convene at the call of the LPWM chair following the November election to select a number of persons equal to the number of county offices and state legislative offices whose districts are wholly or partially within the region comprising the LPWM for which candidates were nominated at the last 2 preceding fall primary elections, who, together with the persons most recently nominated by the party for each of those offices shall constitute the "Oversight Committee" of the LPWM. When a new nomination is made for an office, the nominee for which is entitled to serve as a member of the Oversight Committee, the new nominee shall replace the former nominee as a member of the Oversight Committee. If a vacancy occurs in the position of delegate-appointed member of the Oversight Committee, the remaining delegate-appointed members shall fill the vacancy. The minimum number of members on the Oversight Committee is 5. If the formula in this section results in less than five members, the delegates will select a number of additional members until 5 members are on the Oversight Committee. Only voting members of the LPWM shall be eligible for election by the delegates to the Oversight Committee.

Section 1.1

If the LPM is then required to nominate candidates in a party primary, then immediately following the selection of the members of the Oversight Committee, including the filling of vacancies, the secretary of the LPWM shall certify the names and addresses of the persons chosen to the county clerk so the county clerk can immediately notify each person chosen, as provided by law.

Section 1.2

Following the convening of the biennial fall convention and no later than December 31 of that year, the Oversight Committee, acting without the officers of the LPWM who are not otherwise members of the Oversight Committee, shall meet and select a temporary chairperson and temporary secretary. The temporary officers shall serve only during the selection of the officers of the Oversight Committee who shall also serve as the officers of the LPWM for the 2 years commencing on January 1 next. The officers shall be a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, a secretary, a treasurer and a board advisor, who shall comprise the "Executive Committee". Candidates for legislative offices consisting of districts partly outside the LPWM region may give a written proxy to other members of the Oversight Committee. A quorum of the Oversight Committee shall consist of the presence of at least 40% of its sitting members in person, or by proxy.

Section 2

A quorum of the Executive Committee shall consist of the presence of at least the Chair or the Vice Chair, and a majority of the remaining Executive Committee members. A majority vote of the Executive Committee members present at an Executive Committee meeting shall prevail except as otherwise provided in these bylaws.

Section 3

The Executive Committee shall have general supervision of the affairs of the LPWM between Oversight Committee meetings and LPWM conventions. The Executive Committee shall be subject to the orders of the Oversight Committee and general membership, and none of its acts shall conflict with action taken by the Oversight Committee and general membership.

Section 4

No member may serve as more than one officer on the Executive Committee at the same time. A member may serve as an officer and/or as a chair of one or more standing committees, but she or he shall be limited to only one vote on the Executive Committee.

Section 5.1

If any Executive Committee member shall be absent from three consecutive Committee meetings, she or he shall be notified by either the chair or vice-chair that her or his position is in danger of being declared vacant. If the member is so notified and is subsequently absent from a fourth consecutive meeting, her or his position may be declared vacant as a majority vote of the Executive Committee may determine.

Section 5.2

A two-thirds vote of the Oversight Committee may remove a member from any LPWM office or standing committee chair position for a violation of these bylaws.

Section 6

The Oversight Committee and Executive Committee shall each meet on such dates as each shall set. The dates, times, and places of the Oversight Committee and Executive Committee meetings shall be emailed to the committee members and published on the LPWM web site and Facebook page, except to such committee members who request to be notified through a different medium. Such notice shall be posted no less than 48 hours prior to the time of the meeting. An Oversight Committee meeting may be called by three members of the Oversight Committee and an Executive Committee meeting may be called by two members of the Executive Committee.  A member of a com­mittee may participate in a meeting by means of a conference telephone or similar communi­ca­tions equipment by means of which all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other.

Section 7

All Oversight Committee and Executive Committee meetings may be attended by any LPWM member, and all substantive decisions made by the Oversight Committee and Executive Committee shall be reported on the LPWM web site and Facebook page.

Section 8

All information gathered and maintained by the LPWM shall be accessible to any member of any Libertarian Party organization, except for LPWM membership information which shall be accessible only to the Executive Committee members and shall be provided to others only by approval of the Executive Committee.

 

Article 6 - Officers

Section 1

LPWM officers shall be a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Board Advisor. Only voting members of the LPWM shall be eligible for election as LPWM officers.

Section 1.1

The Oversight Committee shall elect an LPWM member to fill any LPWM office which becomes vacant, except that of the Chair which shall be filled by the Vice Chair. The Chair may appoint any current LPWM member to fill the vacant position, until the Oversight Committee takes action to fill the position or approve the Chair's selection.

Section 2

The Chair shall be the chief executive officer of the LPWM; shall preside at all Oversight Committee and Executive Committee meetings, and LPWM conventions; shall speak for and manage the affairs of the LPWM in the absence of contrary directives by the Oversight Committee, the Executive Committee or the LPWM general membership in convention; and appoint members of standing committees (but all appointments must be approved by the Executive Committee); and shall be a member ex officio of all standing and project committees.

Section 3

The Vice Chair shall assist the Chair and shall assume the duties of the Chair upon the absence, disability, or resignation of the Chair.

Section 4

The Secretary shall be the recording officer of the Oversight Committee and Executive Committee, the general membership meetings, and the LPWM conventions; shall be responsible for the membership rolls of the LPWM; shall be responsible for mailing LPWM Introductory Packets to interested individuals who request information about the Libertarian Party, and shall maintain archival information of the LPWM. The Secretary is authorized to delegate these powers to a duly authorized committee.

Section 5

The Treasurer shall receive, record, and disburse all LPWM funds. Disbursements shall be at the direction of the Executive Committee.

Section 5.1

The Treasurer may, with the approval of the Executive Committee, appoint or hire person to serve as Assistant Treasurer and/or Designated Recordkeeper to fulfill those obligations of a treasurer or and/or designated record keeper under Federal and/or Michigan campaign finance law. The Oversight Committee shall fix the compensation, if any, of any person appointed or hired as Assistant Treasurer or Designated Recordkeeper. Any Assistant Treasurer and Designated Recordkeeper has no vote on any Committee unless she or he is also an officer or standing committee chair.

Section 6

If the current Chair chooses not to seek another term as Chair or any other LPWM office, she or he may remain on the Executive Committee in the position of Board Advisor, with the approval of the Oversight Committee. If the current chair is not to be Board Advisor, the position may be filled by the Oversight Committee with any officer not seeking another term or position, in the order the offices appear in these bylaws. If no member qualifies, the Oversight Committee may, at its discretion, retain the current Board Advisor, or leave the position unfilled.

Section 7

Only the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and any Assistant Treasurer approved by the Executive Committee shall be authorized to sign checks for the LPWM.

 

Article 7 - Standing Committees

Section 1

Members of a standing committee may be appointed by the Executive Committee, by a standing committee chair, or by the LPWM Chair. All appointments must be approved by the Executive Committee. Appointments shall be made only at a Convention or at a meeting of the Executive Committee.  Only voting members of the LPWM shall be eligible for appointment as members of a standing committee. The Executive Committee may fix a maximum size to any standing committee. All appointments expire at the establishment of the next Executive Committee.

Section 2

All standing committee chairs shall be ex officio members of the Executive Committee, and shall report at meetings of the Executive Committee.

Section 3

Each standing committee may have only one member, that member being the chair of the standing committee. Each standing committee may elect other officers, and shall set its own rules.  A member of a standing com­mittee may participate in a meeting by means of a conference telephone or similar communi­ca­tions equipment by means of which all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other.

Section 4

A standing committee with no members shall be declared suspended, and the Executive Committee may assign part or all of its areas of activity to other committees. The Executive Committee may assign additional areas of activity to any committee. Such assignments shall exist until the establishment of the next Executive Committee, and must be renewed at that time or shall expire.

Section 5

The standing committees of the LPWM shall be: Membership, Outreach, and Campaign Coordination.

Section 5.1

The Membership Committee shall conduct appropriate activities and events, and coordinate volunteers to increase the membership of the LPWM.  The Membership Committee shall maintain the entire mailing list of the LPWM, updating membership information from the Secretary and inquirer information, and shall print labels for mailings.

Section 5.2

The Outreach Committee shall maintain the LPWM website, LPWM Facebook page, other LPWM social media accounts and a media contact list; have press releases copied and mailed; and shall follow up with media contacts after press release mailings.  Its activities may include publishing a newsletter, maintaining a speakers bureau and conducting discussion groups.  The Outreach Committee shall conduct appropriate activities and events to inform the public of Libertarian positions and philosophy. The committee shall maintain the LPWM supplies of literature and other materials used for outreach; manage the operation of informational tables at colleges and other events of its choosing; organize and conduct protests; and coordinate the solicitation and use of volunteers in its efforts.

Section 5.3

The Campaign Coordination Committee shall assist LP candidates in the LPWM region with information about filing requirements and conducting campaigns.

Section 6

The establishing of these standing committees is not meant to preclude or discourage other LPWM members from leading their own projects in these areas of political activity. The establishing of these standing committees is intended to focus the efforts of the LPWM in a formal way, and to develop and maintain information, documentation, and experience that is useful to the LPWM membership at large for increasing the membership and political influence of the LPWM.

 

Article 8 - Project Committees

Section 1

Project committees to pursue the completion of discrete projects may be formed by (1) authorization of the LPWM through formal resolution at a convention, (2) by the decision of the Executive Committee, or (3) by the LPWM Chair, with the approval of the Executive Committee. The duties of the project committee shall be defined at the time of formation.

Section 2

Appointment of project committee chairs and members shall follow the same rules as stated for standing committees.

 

Article 9 - Conventions

Section 1

The LPWM shall hold a convention in every even-numbered year following the November general election and before December 31 ("biennial fall convention"). The LPWM shall also hold a convention for the election of delegates to a state convention:

a.       For the nomination of candidates for state office in even numbered years not less than 8 days after the August primaries, and not less than 7 days before said state convention.

b.      In odd numbered years for the election of delegates to a state convention for the selection of the officers of the LPM not less than 7 days before said state convention.

c.       For the selection of national convention delegates not less than 7 days before said state convention.

Section 2

The LPWM shall hold a special convention upon the decision of the Oversight Committee specifying the reason for the special convention.

Section 3

The LPWM membership and any other persons entitled to appear and vote shall be notified of the scheduled date of any convention in even numbered years not less than 30 days before the convention, and of any convention in odd numbered years not less than 15 days before the convention.

Section 4

All members of the LPWM who attend and register at a LPWM convention or meeting shall be eligible to vote at the convention or meeting, except that a person who has never been a member of the LPWM, the Libertarian Party of Michigan, or the national Libertarian Party must have become a member of the LPWM at least 90 days prior to a convention or meeting before being allowed to vote at that convention or meeting.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, for so long as the LPM qualifies to elect precinct delegates at primary elections to county party conventions under state law, the LPWM shall also accept precinct delegates so selected as delegates to LPWM conventions, and shall accept the LPM candidates for county offices and state legislative offices whose districts are wholly or partially within the region comprising the LPWM who were nominated at the last 2 preceding fall primary elections, even though such precinct delegates and nominees may not have qualified as LPWM members as provided in the preceding sentence.

Section 4.1

If the LPM is then required to nominate candidates in a party primary, then on or before April 1 in even numbered years, the chair of the LPWM shall forward by mail or otherwise deliver to the board of election commissioners in each county in the LPWM region a certificate showing the number of delegates to the LPWM convention to which each precinct of the county is entitled.

Section 5

Each convention of the LPWM shall be a combined convention for all counties and districts within the LPWM region and held in a single place, and at the option of the Executive Committee, and/or via a synchronous electronic meeting in which attendees may participate by means of a conference telephone, video conferencing or similar communications equipment by means of which all persons participating in the convention can hear one other.  State convention delegates and alternates selected by the LPWM will be apportioned to the individual counties (but not the individual districts or other political subdivisions) comprising the LPWM region according to the number of votes cast within the county for the Party's most recent candidate for secretary of state, but elected by the majority vote of all present at the convention. Following the initial vote to select such delegates, a second majority vote will be held to fill any vacancies in the delegate or alternate list, from LPM members residing anywhere in the region comprising the LPWM, or anywhere in Michigan, without regard to whether they reside in the individual counties to which such delegates were originally apportioned.

Section 6

A quorum for all conventions after May 9, 2017, shall be 15 LPWM members.


Article 10 - LPWM Nominations and Elections

Section 1

The LPWM shall not fund or advocate the election of a candidate of any other political party.

Section 2

"None Of The Above" shall automatically be an option for nomination to any LPWM office and for nomination to any political office not selected in a primary.

Section 3

The number of delegates and alternates to a state convention to which the LPWM is entitled shall be chosen by convention. The chairperson and secretary of the convention shall certify to the LPM the names and addresses of the delegates and alternates elected, and, when certified, those delegates shall become the delegates from the LPWM to the state convention.

Section 4

A majority shall rule at any convention or meeting except as otherwise indicated in these bylaws.

Section 5

The Executive Committee shall have supervision and management of all conventions and

meetings.

Section 6

Nomination of candidates for public office shall be made in accordance with state law, via primary, district caucus or state convention as necessary. Candidates for public office nominated by caucus or convention shall be nominated by majority vote.

 

Article 11 - Legal and Parliamentary Authority

Section 1

The LPWM, in the exercise of its constitutional rights of association and speech, as affirmed by the US Supreme Court ruling in Eu, et al., vs. San Francisco Democratic Committee, State Central Committee of the Libertarian Party of California, et al., reserves the right to accept or decline the application of Michigan statutory provisions, which appear to govern its affairs. The incorporation of statutory provisions in these bylaws is voluntary and is subject to the foregoing reservation.  Any violations of statutory provisions by these bylaws are deliberate and will take precedence over such statutory provisions.

Section 2

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the LPWM, the Oversight Committee and the Executive Committee in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws and any special rules of order the LPWM, the Oversight Committee or the Executive Committee may adopt.

 

Article 12 - Dissolution

If the LPWM is terminated or dissolved, its remaining assets, if any, shall, as determined by the Executive Committee, be conveyed or distributed to, and only to, one of or any combination of the following organizations: Libertarian Party organizations in the state of Michigan, the national Libertarian Party, or libertarian-oriented organizations anywhere in the United States which are categorized as tax-exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

 

Article 13 - Amendment of Bylaws

These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote at any annual or special LPWM Convention.  Amendments to these Bylaws will take effect immediately upon enactment, unless expressly provided to the contrary.

 

Article 14 - Provisos Relating to Transition

Section 1

The amendments to Articles 5 and 6, and Article 9, Section 2, of these Bylaws establishing and granting powers to an Oversight Committee enacted on May 9, 2017, shall apply commencing with the biennial fall convention of the LPWM called following the 2018 November general election. 

Section 2

The LPWM officers elected at the LPWM convention on May 9, 2017, shall serve through December 31, 2018, subject to the applicable provisions of these Bylaws.

 

Appendix

(from the Libertarian Party Platform)

As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives, and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others. We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized. Consequently, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power. In the following pages we have set forth our basic principles and enumerated various policy stands derived from those principles. These specific policies are not our goal, however. Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands.

 

Statement of Principles

We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual. We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.

We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life - accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action ? accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property ? accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass,

fraud, and misrepresentation.

Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.

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