New Progressive Alliance Charter and By-Laws
Article One: Preamble
We the People of the New Progressive Alliance will better the world through our goals for peace, people and the planet set forth in the Unified Platform (UP). This Charter contains our by-laws and explains our decision-making process and structure.
Article Two: Name
The name of our organization is the New Progressive Alliance (NPA).
Article Three: Applicable Laws and Legal Status
The New Progressive Alliance is incorporated under the laws of the State of North Carolina and operates under the laws of the United States of America. It has been designated a 501c4 educational organization by the IRS.
Under the terms of our 501c4 non-profit status, NPA cannot write press releases, letters to the editor, or similar such activities on behalf of particular candidates because as a educational nonprofit it could be construed as providing material/financial support to a particular candidacy and undermine our nonprofit status. As an educational 501c4, we also cannot by law coordinate with or directly help any campaign, only make our members aware of our evaluations and endorsements and encourage them to get involved if they choose. We remain focused on educating the public about Progressivism, candidates' adherence to its tenets, and inspiring a new Progressive Era in the United States.
Article Four: Sphere of Activities
Though membership is open to members from any country, most of our membership and activities are in the United States. We endorse candidates for local, state and federal office who formally support our ten-point Platform for peace, people, and the planet. We by ourselves and in concert with other organizations also try to influence U.S. federal and state legislation, regulations, and rules in accordance with the Unified Platform through Public Comments to agencies in the United States and Canada. For details of our activities see all our Annual Reports starting in 2010 and all our Public Comments in full here.
Article Five: Location and Duration
The mailing address and Registered Office of the NPA is at 400 High Street, Oriental, NC 28571. The NPA is set up for unlimited duration.
Article Six: Aims, Visions, and Missions
Our vision is for peace, people, and the planet. Supporting that vision is the Unified Platform (UP).
Article Seven: Membership
The heart of the NPA is its volunteer membership. The volunteers are the ones who do the work to carry out the Platform goals to support peace, people, and the planet.
Article Eight: Qualification
To qualify for membership, one must be an adult human being. Associations may be Allies, but they cannot be members. We limit membership to adults so they are fully accountable. We do not allow corporations as members because there is a long and extensive history of regulatory and organizational capture where corporations control the people that are charged to control the corporations.
Article Nine: Admission
The requirement for admission is either to pay an annual amount suggested by the NPA, or agree to volunteer. One must also fill out an electronic application form on our website. We invite membership on our website, on our Facebook Page, and when we solicit actions to support our Platform.
Article Ten: Responsibility
Every member has an expectation and responsibility to support the Unified Platform and to cooperate with other members.
Article Eleven: Consensus Building
Membership may alter, amend, or replace the Platform or Charter in whole or in part, endorse candidates; suspend, replace, or remove any Staff Member, Board Director, or the NPA Facilitator; and vote for or against various activities the NPA engages in. Because of the wide geographic distribution of our membership, the NPA Board or its authorized representative will coordinate electronically with and take votes from the membership. A majority vote of the voting members will prevail.
Article Twelve: Resignation of Member or Organization
Any member may resign from membership and any organization may resign from being an NPA Ally at any time by emailing the NPA Facilitator or the NPA Headquarters or by sending a letter to the NPA mailing address listed in Article Five. The NPA Facilitator will insure that the members name or organization is removed from the membership roster.
Article Thirteen: Expulsion or Suspension of Member or Organization
A member or organization may be suspended or expelled at the discretion of the NPA Facilitator if that member or organization in the judgment of the NPA Facilitator is uncooperative with fellow members, carries out actions or endorsements which contradict the UP, or show a potential conflict of interest. The NPA Facilitator will insure that the members name or organization is removed from the membership roster. An appeal may be made to the Board of Directors where a majority vote of the voting members will prevail.
Article Fourteen: Organizational Structure
The day-to-day work is done by the NPA Facilitator with the backing and advice of the Board of Directors. A vote by the membership can be called for whenever the judgment of an NPA Facilitator is that it would benefit the organization. A majority vote of the voting members will prevail.
The NPA Facilitator may only be appointed by a majority vote of the voting membership. The NPA Facilitator may only be relieved by resignation or a majority vote of the voting membership.
The Board of Directors is described in Section V. Board of Directors, Articles Nineteen through Thirty.
The below listed staff members shall always be on the Board of Directors. In addition the below listed staff members and their respective committees have the following responsibilities.
• Administrative Officer: Administrative tasks include everything from personally getting back to new members and donors to thank them for their support (and to recruit them as volunteers), to ensuring new members receive their membership premium items, to stuffing envelopes, to coordinating travel. In short: Administration is everything else, but maybe the biggest thing in terms of keeping things running smoothly.
• Promotion Officer: The Promotion Officer coordinates writers to write communicate through posts, letters to the editor, and blogs about the NPA or issues raised with the Unified Platform. The Promotion Officer will reach the various constituencies of the coalition we are trying to build such as disaffected Democrats, Independents, rank-and-file workers, Greens, Socialists, Libertarians, non-voters, and even old fashioned traditional conservatives.
• Organizational Outreach Officer: The Organizational Outreach Officer researches, vets, and contacts other Progressive organizations for possible involvement and affiliation with the NPA.
• Unified Platform Officer: The Unified Platform is the core of our beliefs and goals. Should the need arise to modify, change, or revise it then a staff member will be appointed to coordinate the effort.
IV. General Assembly
Article Fifteen: Procedures
Because of the wide geographic distribution of our membership, a General Assembly is not usually called for or needed. Any member may participate and may vote by proxy by notifying the NPA Facilitator through the mailing address in Article Five or by email. The proceedings will be reported on the NPA website and listed in the Annual Report.
Article Sixteen: Scope
Members of the General Assembly may perform any action of the general membership as specified in Article Eleven. Every member has an expectation and responsibility to act as specified in Article Ten.
Article Seventeen: Decision Making
Any member may present a proposal for discussion or voting. Should a General Assembly be called for, the NPA Facilitator shall designate a place to hold the General Assembly and a person to conduct the proceedings. There shall be time set aside for discussions of various topics, a time to make speeches, and a time to vote. Robert's Rules of Order apply.
Article Eighteen: Quorum
The minimum quorum to call for a General Assembly is 50 percent of the membership.
The minimum quorum for proceedings to take place is 30 percent of the membership.
The minimum quorum for decisions to be made is 20 percent of the membership.
V. Board of Directors
Article Nineteen: Composition
The number of members on the Board of Directors will vary according to need and qualifications. The NPA Facilitator will always be leader of the Board of Directors. The five officers listed in Article Fourteen shall always be on the Board of Directors. Other members may be added if in the judgment of an NPA Facilitator they add value to the New Progressive Alliance.
Article Twenty: Eligibility
The NPA Facilitator is responsible for vetting and determining eligibility to be on the Board of Directors beyond those five officers listed in Article Fourteen. The sole criterion will be the ability or potential to advance the UP. The NPA Facilitator may appoint or ask for help from any person or organization to do this.
Article 21: Selection and Appointment
The NPA Facilitator will select each member of the Board of Directors who will start service immediately upon appointment.
Article 22: Term of Office
The term of office of each member shall be indefinite. Each member may serve until they resign, are suspended, or are removed.
Article 23: Vacancies
The NPA Facilitator will appoint in his or her judgment as needed replacements for vacancies.
Article 24: Duties and Functions of the Board
The day to day work is done by the NPA Facilitator with the backing of the Board of Directors. A vote by the membership can be called for whenever the judgment of the NPA Facilitator is that it would benefit the organization.
Article 25: Decision Making
Decisions become effective with a majority of those voting.
Article 26: Press Statements
Press statements to various media will be made through or with the concurrence of the Promotion Officer described in Article Fourteen.
Article 27: Meetings
The annual meeting of NPA's Board of Directors will occur on the second Monday of June. Meetings will be conducted electronically (email, conference call, video conference, etc.). The usual method is to focus on one issue at a time with voting occurring after discussion. A majority of those voting constitutes approval of the business at hand.
Article 28: Quorum
Meetings will be held electronically. Forty percent of the Board of Directors or convening by the NPA Facilitator constitutes a quorum for holding a meeting. Minimum for decisions to be made is as described in Article 27.
Article 29: Resignation
Any Board of Directors member may resign at any time by emailing the NPA Facilitator or the NPA Headquarters or by sending a letter to the NPA mailing address listed in Article Five. The NPA Facilitator will insure that the members name is removed from the roster.
Article 30: Removal
A member of the Board of Directors may be suspended or expelled at the discretion of the NPA Facilitator if that member or organization in the judgment of the NPA Facilitator is uncooperative with fellow members, carries out actions or endorsements which contradict the UP, or show a potential conflict of interest. The NPA Facilitator will insure that the name is removed from the roster. An appeal may be made to the NPA membership once electronically where a majority vote of the voting members will prevail.
Article 31: Audit
Any member of the Board of Directors may request an audit by requesting a bank statement or statements at any time. If all of our assets and liabilities are described in the bank statement then that shall be sufficient for the audit. If the NPA has assets or liabilities outside the bank statement then those assets and liabilities shall be described and listed. The NPA Facilitator shall furnish the bank statement and - if necessary - details of any assets and liabilities not found in the bank statement(s). Email, other electronic communication, or regular mail shall be sufficient.
Article 32: Sources and Uses
We are determined to stay away from the corporate influence that comes with owning property, having large debt encumbrances, and having paid employees. We have observed that all too often the organizational price of being dependent on corporate largess is the loss of independence. "Corporate Capture" is where organizations become dependent on the largess and gifts of corporations and refrain from criticizing those corporations they are dependent on. Because of a long history of undue corporate influence, corporate contributions will not be accepted. We therefor encourage a simple asset/ debit ratio that could be fully expressed in a bank statement. It is important to focus on the goals of the Unified Progressive Platform (See Article One) rather than asset acquisition and maintenance. To do this we must keep NPA resource needs minimal. Voluntary contributions and membership dues have traditionally been enough for us to meet our objectives.
Article 33: Fund Raising
Because of our observation of the corrupting influence of corporations and other organizations and the resultant philosophy described in Article 32, corporate contributions will not be accepted. By controlling expenditures as described in Article 32, limiting fund raising to membership dues and voluntary contributions has been sufficient for the New Progressive Alliance since our founding in 2010.
VIII. Other Clauses
Article 34: Liability
There will be no automatic liability for the New Progressive Alliance. The NPA Facilitator may incur routine expenses involved in the carrying out of the NPA’s business and mission as specified in the Uniform Progressive Platform described in Article One. The NPA Facilitator shall keep in mind the underlying philosophy specified in Article 32.
Article 35: Fiscal Year
The fiscal year will be the calendar year.
Article 36: Applicable law and Court
The New Progressive Alliance has been granted 501(c)(4) status as an educational organization with the Internal Revenue Service.
Current Organization Information
Name: New Progressive Alliance, Inc.
Address: 400 High Street
Oriental, NC 28571
Contact: Anthony Noel
Custodian: Anthony Noel
Article 37: Dissolution
Dissolution of the New Progressive Alliance will happen only with the concurrence of the NPA Facilitator and at least half the voting membership. An opportunity will be given to carry the organization on with some of the members. The NPA Facilitator is responsible for seeing Article 37 is carried out.
Article 38: Liquidation Profit
Any monies accrued in the liquidation of the New Progressive Alliance shall first go to pay all debts of the organization. Any excess monies remaining after paying the legitimate debt of the organization shall go to the American Civil Liberties Union, a non-partisan 501c4 organization.
IX. About the By-Laws
Article 39: Coming Into Force
The NPA Charter and By-Laws as well as any changes, modifications, revocations, or admendments to the Charter and By-Laws shall come into force immediately upon being promulgated on the NPA website.
Article 40: Validity of By-Laws
The Charter and By-Laws shall remain in force until changed by the membership in accordance with Article 4 or until the New Progressive Alliance is dissolved according to Article 37.
Article 41: Additions, Modifications, Revocations, and Amendments to Articles
Additions, modifications, revocations, and amendments shall be approved only with a majority of the voting membership and become effective immediately upon being promulgated on the NPA website.