Constitution and Bylaws of the
West Virginia Mountain Party
Effective June 20, 2020
ARTICLE I: NAME AND AFFILIATES
Section 1. The West Virginia Mountain Party, affiliated with Mountain Party Regional and County Committees, and with the Green Party of the United States.
Section 2. The West Virginia Mountain Party is synonymous and interchangeable with the following:
a. The West Virginia Green Party
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES
Section 1. To advance environmental, economic, social, and political justice.
Section 2. To democratize the political and economic system and to expand enfranchisement.
Section 3. To promote the platform of the Mountain Party
Section 4. To focus on the grassroots Regional Organizations and County Committees.
Section 5. To provide mutual aid and practice good works in local communities.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Open to all residents of West Virginia regardless of race, color, gender, national origin, religious background, age, disability, or sexual preference. The Party or its members shall not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religious background, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Section 2. Each Region may collectively organize in order to further goals and objectives of the region and interact with the state party organization. Each County may form an executive committee to facilitate membership and organizational growth at the local level.
Section 3. All State Executive and Regional and County Committee Officers shall be registered Mountain Party members in good standing.
Section 4. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, all registered Party members in good standing shall have the right to nominate candidates and Party Officials, to attend Party meetings and have a voice at such meetings, to vote on referenda, to stand for Party office, to freely assemble with other members, and to freely speak on any issue affecting the Party.
Section 5. It shall be the responsibility of each member to comply with the Constitution, Bylaws, and all duly established policies of the Party. Subject to the procedures of Article IX, a member may be barred from holding Party office or position, or an Officer removed or suspended for any breach of their responsibility to the Party.
Section 6. Grievances against Party Officers or Regional Representatives may be submitted anonymously to the Party Chair via email. The Party Chair will then authorize the creation of an ad hoc Conflict Resolution Committee which will carry out an investigation and mediation process. The Conflict Resolution Committee will then make a recommendation to the State Executive Committee on how to move forward. Members of the Conflict Resolution Committee shall have no direct involvement in the grievance or conflict.
Section 7. No Officer or agent of the Party shall have business or financial interests which conflict with his or her duties to the Party.
Section 8. The Convention and all regular and special meetings of the Party shall be governed by this Constitution and Bylaws and by Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised. The Party shall strive to make its decisions by consensus whenever possible.
ARTICLE IV: STANDING COMMITTEES
Section 1. There shall be maintained at all times a Constitution Committee, a Finance Committee, a Platform Committee, a Membership Committee, a Legislative Committee, and a Communications Committee. These Committees shall be open to all registered Party members in good standing subject to the endorsement of the State Executive Committee. The State Executive Committee is empowered to establish temporary (ad hoc) committees that it deems necessary for carrying out business of the Party. Administrative ad hoc committees shall have their chairs elected by the State Executive Committee. Action or Justice ad hoc committees shall have their chairs elected by the general membership of the Mountain Party.
Section 2. The Chair of each standing committee shall be elected by the members on that committee. Each standing committee shall establish its own election procedures, and method for conducting business. Whenever possible, committees should endeavor to achieve resolutions by consensus.
Section 3. The Finance Committee shall review the financial reports and annual budget, as submitted by the Party Treasurer, and make recommendations for change as necessary. The annual budget requires approval by a majority vote of the Finance Committee, and a majority vote of the State Executive Committee for passage.
Section 4. Chairs of standing committees shall forward documented reports to the State Executive Committee prior to all meetings, in order to formally be addressed.
ARTICLE V: PARTY STRUCTURE AND OFFICERS
Section 1. The biennial Party Convention shall be the Supreme Body with full and complete authority over all the affairs of the Party.
Section 2. The Executive Officers of the Party shall be the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and two (2) Executive Deputy Commissioners. Vacancies to an Executive Office, with the exception of the Party Chair, shall be filled by majority vote of the Executive Committee and appointees shall serve out the vacating officer’s remaining term.
Section 3. The State Executive Committee shall include the Executive Officers of the Party plus at least one representative democratically elected from each Regional Organization. The State Executive Committee may decide by a 2/3 vote to change the size, shape, and number of regions. Representation may take any form approved by the State Executive Committee, so long as each representative represents approximately an equal portion of the total population, as similarly practiced from the established use of State Senate Districts.
Section 4. The State Executive Committee shall meet at least once biannually. The Committee is empowered to determine the location, date, and time of each meeting, and to disburse appropriate funds necessary to conduct these meetings. All meetings shall be conducted within the borders of the State of West Virginia, unless otherwise authorized by the Party Convention. The Committee should attempt to hold required meetings at different locations throughout West Virginia. Advance notice of meetings shall be published/announced at least 30 days in advance, unless it is deemed an emergency meeting. A copy of the minutes of the meeting shall be sent to all Regional Organizations and County Committees. A quorum of the Committee shall be representatives from at least one-third of the Regional representatives, and the Chair or Vice-Chair, and at least two other Executive Officers. The State Executive Committee may conduct business by teleconference or other approved virtual means, provided minutes are taken and distributed to the entire committee; however these teleconferences do not satisfy the biannual meeting requirement, except when under a national or state emergency such as an epidemic or pandemic. The Party Convention may serve as a required biannual Committee meeting.
Section 5. The State Executive Committee shall formulate and act upon goals promoted by County Committees. The Committee shall oversee the day-to-day business of the Party and shall promulgate By-Laws deemed necessary for the functioning thereof; including the authorization to disburse funds to conduct said Party business.
Section 6. The Chair shall be the chief executive officer of the Party and shall be responsible for implementing all policies established by this Constitution, the biennial Party Convention, the State Executive Committee, the Regional Organizations, and County Committees. The Chair shall manage and supervise the affairs of the Party. The Chair shall preside at the party state conventions, and at meetings of the State Executive Committee. The Chair shall hold no other position in the party, and shall not hold political office. The Party Chair shall not be permitted to run for political office. The Chair or their designee shall serve as spokesperson for the West Virginia Mountain Party.
Section 7. The Vice-Chair shall preside at any Convention or meeting from which the Chair is absent, and shall succeed to the office of Party Chair should a vacancy occur. The Vice-Chair shall oversee Ad Hoc Committees. The Vice-Chair shall perform other duties as directed by Party Convention, and/or the State Executive Committee.
Section 8. The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping the minutes at the biennial Party Convention and all meetings of the State Executive Committee and for the maintenance and protection of all records, books, papers, and contracts, excluding financial reports of the Party. The Secretary shall perform other duties as directed by State Convention, and/or the Party Executive Committee.
Section 9. The Treasurer shall receive, hold, and keep a proper account of all monies of the Party, disburse and collect funds as authorized by proper authority, pay all legitimate Party bills, and render financial reports as required by law and the Party leadership. The Treasurer shall perform other duties as directed by Party Convention, and/or the State Executive Committee.
Section 10. The Executive Deputy Commissioners shall serve as Executive Officers on the State Executive Committee, and participate in all Committee meetings. They shall serve as at-large delegates to the biennial Party Conventions during their term(s).
ARTICLE VI: NOMINATIONS AND ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Section 1. Executive Officers of the Party shall be elected prior to the close of each biennial convention. All registered delegates to the Party Convention shall be eligible to vote for the Party Executive Officers. Ranked Choice Voting will be used to elect party officers and representatives.
Section 2. All candidates seeking Executive Office must be nominated by a credentialed Delegate, and must have accepted the nomination. Nominations must be in writing and be delivered to the Party Secretary prior to the Elections Phase of the Party Convention. Candidates must be registered Party members in good standing.
Section 3. Newly elected officers shall commence their term immediately/at the close of the Convention.
ARTICLE VII: STATE CONVENTIONS
Section 1. The Party shall meet in State Convention at least every two (2) years at a time and place to be established by the State Executive Committee.
Section 2. Only duly credentialed delegates or their alternates may conduct the business of the Convention. Any registered party member in good standing may attend the Convention and speak on any issue.
Section 3. Delegates must be registered party members in good standing.
Section 4. Each Region shall elect two delegates and one alternate to the Convention. In addition, all members of the State Executive Committee shall be credentialed as “at-large” delegates.
Section 5. Regional delegates shall be democratically elected.
Section 6. Nominations for any statewide or federal public office shall be made at the biennial party state convention, or at any special state convention. Nominations for offices not elected on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November, require a special state convention.
To select its candidates for public offices at the municipal, county, and state district levels, the Mountain Party has the option to participate in the formal state of West Virginia primary election process as outlined in the state code, provided there are multiple candidates seeking the party’s nomination for the same office. If no Mountain Party candidate files for the office or an incomplete number of Mountain Party candidates filed for each available seat of any available office during the regular primary election filing period, the party’s nominating convention may nominate candidates for the maximum number of still available seats of each available office for election in the upcoming general election.
By consent of both the State Executive Committee and the affected County Executive Committees, County or District candidates may have their nomination expedited if there is an uncontested primary. A simple majority vote from each aforementioned Executive Committee shall justify as consent.
Voters registered as having no political party affiliation (“independents”), or with “Green” or “Socialist” affiliation, may vote in a party-run Mountain Party primary election.
Credentialed delegates to the appropriate biennial convention, or to a special election nominating convention as appropriate, shall choose the party’s candidate for governor and the official Mountain Party representatives (and alternates) to the Green Party of the United States (GPUS) presidential nominating convention. The representatives to the presidential nominating convention are pledged to vote in reflection of the presidential primary held in West Virginia based on proportional allocation of delegates and are therefore bound to the preferred candidates for President and Vice-president in the first, second, and third rounds of voting. The Mountain Party may also conduct its presidential primary utilizing the formal state of West Virginia primary election process, under the authority of the State Executive Committee. The candidates for President and Vice President chosen at any GPUS nominating convention, shall also be the chosen candidates of the WV Mountain Party and placed on the WV Mountain Party general election ballot line in that election cycle.
The State Executive Committee shall create a Credentials Committee for each State Convention held during a presidential/governors election cycle. The Credentials Committee shall be composed of at least five (5) Party members in good standing, of which no more than two (2) members may be from the same Region. Prior to the start of the Convention, the CredentialsCommittee shall meet and issue a report listing the name of all eligible candidates for governor.
The Constitution Committee shall serve as the Rules Committee for every state convention. Other Committees shall be established as deemed necessary by the State Executive Committee or by the voting delegates at the State Convention.
Section 7. Following the Rules Phase of the Convention, there shall be a Candidate Phase for the purpose of selecting an individual to be the candidate for governor for the Party in the November General election. The candidate for governor shall be nominated and confirmed on the floor of the Convention by the Convention delegates.
Section 8. Resolutions and policies approved by the Convention shall form the Bylaws of the Party. All policies enacted by the State Executive Committee shall be presented to the Party Convention for approval or disapproval. Policies established by the State Executive Committee need approval by the Convention prior to becoming Bylaws of the Party.
ARTICLE VIII: FINANCES
Section 1. The fiscal year shall commence on the first day of January and expire on the last day of December.
Section 2. A dues structure will be established to assist in funding the party. Mountain Party members elected or appointed to local salaried political office shall pay the equivalent of 0.5% of their salary per year. Mountain Party members elected or appointed to statewide political offices shall pay the equivalent of 1% of their salary per year.
ARTICLE IX: VACANCIES/REMOVALS
Section 1. Vacancies. a. State Executive Committee Chairperson vacancies shall be filled by majority vote of the state Executive Committee. Such vacancies may be temporarily filled by resolution of the state Officers. Each person so appointed by Officers resolution shall be the chairperson pro tem of the office named in the resolution and shall immediately and automatically yield the office upon the filling of the office by state executive committee vote.
b. Vacancies in other Party committees can be temporarily filled by resolution of such committee until the next regular committee election.
Section 2. Removals. a. A member may be barred from holding Party office or position, or an Officer removed or suspended for any breach of their responsibility to the Party. Each committee of the Party shall have the power to take such remedial action against one of its members when it deems necessary by a vote of at least 2/3 of that body.
ARTICLE X: AMMENDMENTS
Section 1. Amendments to this document can be made at any State convention by a vote of the credentialed delegates attending.