Constitution and Bylaws


We, the members of Progressive Dane, join together to form an independent political party in Dane County with a major focus on local issues. We pledge to work to improve the quality of life in Dane County for all people, particularly those marginalized by economic and social discrimination. We will work to improve our local government by making it open, easier to understand, and accessible for all citizens of Dane County. We are working to achieve positive policy change by electing accountable progressive officials and mobilizing citizen action. (Adopted 7/14/93; Amended 11/20/02; Amended 7/25/07)

Section 1. Decision Making of the General Body

  1. Only members in good standing of the organization may vote on matters of business before Progressive Dane. A `member in good standing' is a member who has paid her or his full dues within the last 15 months, has met or exceeded low income or student membership dues through sustainership within the last 15 months, or has kept up to date on the $0 Volunteer Membership. (Adopted 7/14/93; Amended 11/20/02, 7/23/03, and 6/26/13)
  2. All decisions of Progressive Dane will require a simple majority for adoption except for the following, where a 2/3 vote will be required: (Adopted 7/14/93; Amended 5/28/03)
    1. Extraordinary expenditures (Amounts exceeding $250.00 that were not approved in the annual budget). (Adopted 7/14/93; Amended 2/28/96 and 11/20/02)
    2. Endorsement of candidates by Progressive Dane in electoral campaigns. (Adopted 7/14/93; Amended 5/28/03)
    3. Amendment of Progressive Dane's Bylaws. (Adopted 7/14/93; Amended 5/28/03 and 7/23/03)
  3. A quorum for general meetings of Progressive Dane will be twenty (20) members. No official business shall be conducted without a quorum. The quorum requirement will not apply unless a member asks that a quorum be present for a given piece of business. (Adopted 8/25/93; Amended 5/24/00 and 11/20/02)
  4. The order of precedence for rules and procedures governing the operation of Progressive Dane shall be:
    1. The Bylaws.
    2. Special rules adopted by Progressive Dane for its own governance.
    3. `Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised.' (Adopted 6/25/03)

Section 2. The Steering Committee-Role and Functions

  1. The Steering Committee of Progressive Dane will consist of no more than ten (10) members selected by the general body. (Adopted 7/14/93; Amended 3/27/96))
    1. The Steering Committee will strive for gender balance. If the size of the Steering Committee is ten (10) then those five (5) women with the largest number of votes will be elected. The other five (5) top-getters, regardless of gender, will be seated on the Steering Committee. (Adopted 7/14/93; Amended 3/27/96)
    2. If the Size of the Steering Committee is less than ten (10), the first women up to half the size of the committee will be automatically elected. The remaining top vote-getters will fill the committee to the size which has been selected. (Adopted 3/27/96)
  2. A term on the Steering Committee will be one (1) year. Elections will take place annually in October. (Adopted 7/14/93; Amended 11/20/02)
    1. Nominations of candidates for election to the Steering Committee will take place at a general meeting no less than one (1) month prior to the elections. (Adopted 7/14/93)
    2. Election to the Steering Committee will take place by secret ballot. Completed ballots selecting fewer than five (5) and or more than ten (10) candidates will be disqualified. (Adopted 7/14/93)
  3. Quorum on the Steering Committee will be six (6). (Adopted 7/14/93)
  4. The Steering Committee will meet prior to any general meeting in order to:
    1. Plan meeting agendas. (Adopted, 7/14/93)
    2. Issue notice of meetings with agenda to Progressive Dane members at least seven days prior to the scheduled meeting. (Adopted 7/14/93; Amended 11/20/02)
    3. Propose an annual budget to the General Membership and approve extraordinary expenditures that are not otherwise authorized in the annual budget as approved by the General Membership. The Steering Committee shall submit an amended budget if any line item exceeds the approved amount by 10% or more. (Adopted 11/20/02)
  5. The Steering Committee will select and oversee a treasurer or co-treasurers from among the general body. (Adopted 7/14/93; Amended 11/20/02)
    1. The treasurer or co-treasurers must pay the staff person and remit associated payroll taxes, assist in development and revisions of the annual budget and keep clear records of the organizations funds, finances and transactions. The treasurer's records will be open and available to any member of the organization on request. (Adopted 7/14/93; Amended 11/20/02)
    2. The treasurer will present reports, in writing, at least quarterly to the Steering Committee and General Membership. (Adopted 7/14/93; Amended 11/20/02)
  6. The Steering Committee will select, from among its number, a Recording Secretary or co-secretaries to keep an accurate record of proceedings of all meetings of the Steering Committee and General Membership. (Adopted 8/25/93; Amended 11/20/02)
  7. The Steering Committee will be the public voice and the source of all official statements representing the positions of the organization. The Steering Committee will have the authority to respond to immediate situations and the make decisions concerning issues which demand immediate attention prior to or before a general meeting can be called. (Adopted 7/14/93)
    1. Two co-chairs, including at least one woman, selected by the Steering Committee every six months will be the spokespersons for the organization, unless the Steering Committee designates another member to be spokesperson. (Adopted 11/20/02)
    2. The Steering Committee can delegate responses on certain issues to other committees. (Adopted 7/14/93)
  8. The Steering Committee will conduct its business in an open and democratic manner. (Adopted, 7/14/93)
    1. Meetings of the Steering Committee will be open to all members in good standing. (Adopted, 7/14/93)
    2. Votes within the steering committee will follow the same rules as the general body. (Adopted, 7/14/93)
  9. The Steering Committee has power to call elections by the General Membership to fill vacancies on the Steering Committee until the next regular election. If less than four months remain until the next regular elections, the Steering Committee ,may appoint a member to fill the vacancy until the next regular election. (Adopted 2/28/96; Amended 11/20/02)
  10. The Steering Committee or a sub-committee thereof may: (a) hire staff and determine compensation, subject to the approval of the General Membership; (b) develop a job description for the staff person(s); and, (c) oversee and evaluate the work of the staff person(s). (Adopted 11/20/02)

Section 3. General Committees and Task Forces (Adopted 8/25/93; Amended 11/20/02)

  1. The members of Progressive Dane can form various General Committees and Task Forces to mobilize electoral and non-electoral campaigns, conduct public outreach and education, develop programs, improve internal organization, recruit new members, etc.
    1. Committee and Task Force missions, goals and objectives shall be proposed in writing and approved by the general membership.
    2. While maintaining communication with the Steering Committee, General Committees and Task Forces shall be allowed the authority and discretion to implement approved missions and projects.
    3. The Steering Committee may recommend to the General Membership that a General Committee or Task Force be disbanded if it has ceased to function. (Adopted 2/26/03)
  2. General Committee and Task Forces, permanent or ad hoc, will present reports of their activities and address questions at least annually at the General Membership meetings.
  3. General Committees and Task Forces shall have a liaison on the Steering Committee. If a General Committee or Task Force does not contain a member of the Steering Committee, then the Steering Committee will appoint one of its members to be a liaison to the General Committee or Task Force.
  4. General Committees and Task Forces will make decisions by a simple majority vote except when the elections committee is voting on endorsements of candidates or referenda where a 2/3 vote will be requires. (Amended 2/26/03 and 5/28/03)
  5. General Committees and Task Forces will elect a chairperson or co-chairs from among their members annually and notify the Steering Committee of their selection. (Adopted 11/20/02)

Section 4. Amendments to the Bylaws of Progressive Dane (Adopted 2/28/96; Amended 11/20/02, 2/26/03, 5/28/03 and 7/23/03)

  1. Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed by any member, in writing, by submitting them first to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee shall recommend adoption, rejections, or adoption with amendments to the General Membership within 90 days of submission. (Amended 7/23/03)
  2. The notice of the General Membership Meeting at which the amendment(s) will be voted on must include the text of the amendment(s) as proposed by the member, together with any changes recommended by the Steering Committee.
  3. The General Membership Meeting at which amendments are considered may not coincide with elections held under Section 2.
  4. Adoption and ratification of amendments requires a 2/3 vote at the meeting. (Adopted 2/28/96; Amended 5/28/03 and 6/25/03)
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