CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF THE GREEN PARTY OF OHIO
as required by the State of Ohio - ORC 3517.02
[Article I - Name and Purpose]
[Article II - Membership and Party Organizations]
[Article III – Decision-Making Bodies, Executive Committee, Functionaries, and
[Article IV - Required Meetings]
[Article V – Transparency and Internal Democracy]
[Article VI - Meeting Process, Agreement-Seeking, and Decision-Making Guidelines]
We the people, in order to form a political party committed to Ecological
Wisdom, Social Justice, Nonviolence and Democracy, and according to the laws and
customs of the State of Ohio, do hereby set forth the Constitution and Bylaws of
the Green Party of Ohio. The organization created by the adoption of this
document replaces any previous formation calling itself the Green Party of Ohio.
The Green Party of Ohio is a political party that is democratically structured.
We seek to comply with state laws and organize along the lines of existing
political jurisdictions within the state of Ohio.
The purpose of this document is threefold:
1. To accurately describe the form of our political party in a way that
facilitates its development, organization and sustenance.
2. To satisfy the requirements of the Ohio Revised Code regarding political
parties existing in the State of Ohio.
3. To grant specific and limited authority to the various parts of the Green
Party of Ohio.
Article I - NAME AND PURPOSE
A. The name of this political party is the Green Party of Ohio (herein after
B. Mission Statement:
The GPOHIO exists in order to focus the political power of the people to:
- preserve and restore viable ecosystems,
- establish social justice and equity,
- foster participatory democracy,
- promote and practice nonviolence as a means of conflict resolution, and
- ensure the rights of a community-based economic system for all people.
C. Key Values
The GPOHIO, like other Green Parties, is based on values. These values are:
Ecological Wisdom, Social Justice, Nonviolence, Grassroots Democracy, Community
Based Economics, Respect for Diversity, Decentralism, Personal and Global
Responsibility, Feminism and Future Focus.
Article II - MEMBERSHIP AND PARTY ORGANIZATIONS
A. Membership in the GPOHIO shall include:
1. Qualified electors who vote in the primary elections of the GPOHIO.
2. Qualified electors who have signed a Declaration of Candidacy petition for a
Green Party candidate.
3. Political candidates who run as candidates of the Green Party, whether
or not these candidates are endorsed by the GPOHIO or its parts.
B. Green Party Organizations aligned with the GPOHIO shall include:
1. State (defined according to Ohio State Board of Education
District boundaries) and county committees elected by direct vote of party
members in even-numbered year primary elections which have agreed to be
organized according to these bylaws and the constitution of the GPOHIO.
2. Central committees and their members, specific issue committees and task
forces which are created by and accountable to the GPOHIO Convention and State and/or
County Central Committees. Only affiliated members of the GPOHIO as defined
in Article II, Section A shall be eligible to serve on State and County Central Committees.
C. All PACs, Candidate Committees, etc., are considered separate from and
unaffiliated with the GPOHIO.
Article III – DECISION-MAKING BODIES, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, FUNCTIONARIES, AND
A. Decision-Making Bodies
1. The highest decision-making body of the GPOHIO is the part of the Ohio
electorate that votes in the Green Party primary.
2. The Convention, consisting of affiliated members of the GPOHIO pursuant to
current Ohio law, is empowered to set broad goals, objectives and policies,
ratify the platform, elect representatives and delegates, endorse candidates in the
name of the GPOHIO, adopt and modify this Constitution and Bylaws, and allow for
review of the performance of the State and County Central Committees.
3. Central Committees of Minor Political Parties in Ohio
a. State and County Central Committee members shall be elected at
primaries in even-numbered years according to the Green Party of Ohio
Statewide Organizational Plan ratified this date, January 23, 2010 and
contained within Appendix I of this Constitution and Bylaws.
b. The State Central Committee reserves the right to prepare the platform
ratification process and candidate endorsement and presidential elector
selection process and selection process for national Green Party delegates to be
used at the State Convention, and to interpret, strategize and implement plans
for achieving the goals, objectives and policies set by the State Convention.
This includes the raising and expending of funds towards these ends in the name
of the GPOHIO; the endorsement of activities by, and the participation in
coalitions by the Green Party of Ohio; the continued formation, development,
and sustenance of the Green Party of Ohio; the cultivation and nomination of
future and present candidates for office, including the endorsement of these
candidates in the name of the State Central Committee; the appointment of
non-voting special advisors or observers; the upholding of and the implementation
of the Constitution and Bylaws of the GPOHIO, including making recommendations to
the Convention for their improvement; and the representation and advocacy of the
GPOHIO in all of its affairs. Endorsements of State and Federal candidates shall
be made by the GPOHIO State Central Committee or Convention.
Additionally, the State Central Committee shall be responsible for the advancement
of Green values, recruitment of new party members, empowerment of the membership,
and the establishment of subcommittees and issue committees as agreed to by its
members. The State Central Committee may choose to delegate tasks for which it
is responsible to subcommittees as necessary, however, ultimate responsibility
for carrying out these tasks is nontransferable and remains the State Central
Committee's. Members of the State Central Committee shall not be personally
liable for monetary damages for any action taken, or any failure to take any
action, to the fullest extent permitted by law. The GPOHIO shall indemnify any
member of the State Central Committee to the fullest extent of the law.
c. Officials to be chosen by the State Central Committee: Co-Chairpersons,
Secretary, and Treasurer.
B. Executive Committee
1. The Co-Chairpersons are responsible for arranging the bringing together of
participants, possible agenda items, miscellaneous details of a meeting, and
the other functionaries, especially a facilitator.
2. The GPOHIO Secretary is responsible for maintaining the current mailing lists
of all Green Party County Central Committees and their members, State Central
Committee members, etc. The lists of State Central Committee members, Party
Officials, and Green Party County Central Committees must be maintained on
the Internet Web page and must be made available to members upon request.
3. The Treasurer is legally responsible for keeping detailed records of
everything received or given, providing reports to the Convention and State Central
Committee and filing campaign finance reports as required by state law. The
State Central Committee shall indemnify the Treasurer to the fullest extent
of the law. (There may be treasurers of Green Party County Central Committees who
are responsible for the record keeping and reporting activities of that
1. The Facilitator/Co-Facilitator conducts the process of the meeting at the
discretion of the meeting participants. Their primary task is the orchestration
of the flow of input into the meeting. The facilitator is never the presenter of
an agenda item. Their role is (literally) to make it easier for the group to
express its ideas and identify agreement on issues. Tasks include:
a. calling the group back to the agenda,
b. keeping member comments short and to the point,
c. restating comments for clarity as needed,
d. applying various processes and rules when appropriate, and
e. being attentive to the needs and input of the timekeepers, minute takers,
process observers, starting and stopping the meeting on time, and generally
keeping things moving along at a timely pace.
Facilitators must remain nonpartisan and objective. If they perceive a conflict
of interest or become emotionally charged by a particularly intense exchange or
agenda item, they should allow a co-facilitator or other acceptable meeting
participant to facilitate the meeting. The facilitator may be removed from the
position at any time by the agreement of the meeting participants.
2. The Recording Secretary is responsible for assuring the recording the
proceedings of the meeting, noting all decisions as separate "minutes," and for
producing a written copy of the minutes and a summary of the content of major
discussions for distribution to the group:
a. at the time of a decision by the group, the Recording Secretary should read
out loud a written copy of the tentative agreement;
b. a copy of the list of attendees, minutes and summary of each Convention
and State Central Committee Meeting shall be mailed to each member of
the State Central Committee and to each Green Party County Central
Committee and this record shall be posted on the Internet Web site;
c. costs incurred and environmental impact shall be minimized by using
electronic communication where possible, a hard copy shall be maintained
by the Secretary and provided at cost to any member upon request; and
d. a proposal that is submitted to the group should be written in its final form
including amendments, clarifications and refinements, and given to the
Secretary for inclusion in the minutes. This guarantees that all agreed upon
items get included and frees the minute taker for other duties.
3. Other offices as determined, including but not limited to Corresponding
Secretary, Press and Media Secretary, Membership Chairperson, Auditor,
Parliamentarian, Issue Campaign Chairpersons, etc.)
D. Recall of the Members of State and County Central Committees including
Executive Committee Members
1. Individual members of the State Central Committee may be recalled by the
other members of the State Central Committee or by the Convention. Individual
members of County Central Committees may be recalled by the other members of the
County Central Committee, by the State Central Committee, or by the Convention.
Members of the committee must be available during the required meeting agenda
time allotted for review of their activities and for questions from the
participants, or face recall or probation.
2. 75% of the participants voting for recall removes the committee member from
3. 66-2/3% of participants voting for recall places the committee member on
probation until the next required meeting. No State Central Committee member
while on probation may be an official of the GPOHIO.
Article IV - REQUIRED MEETINGS
A. This Constitution and Bylaws will go into effect upon ratification at the
January 23,2010 Green Party of Ohio Convention.
B. Biannual Convention - the GPOHIO shall meet once every two years in order to
nominate or endorse candidates, ratify platform positions, initiate projects and
issue campaigns, modify the Constitution and Bylaws, review the performance of
the State Central Committee, etc.
1. At the convention immediately prior to the gubernatorial election the meeting
shall include the ratification of a state platform, the ratification of platform
proposals to a national convention and the endorsement of candidates for
Governor, Lt. Governor and other statewide offices as necessary.
2. At the convention immediately prior to the presidential election the meeting
shall include the ratification of platform proposals to a national convention,
the endorsement of presidential and vice presidential candidates and others as
necessary, and the selection of presidential electors and delegates to the
national convention of the Green Party.
C. Central Committee Meetings - ORC 3517.03, 5317.14, 3517.05, 3517.06 (Also see
1. At the first meeting of the State and County Central Committees as required
by the Green Party of Ohio Statewide Organizational Plan contained in Appendix
I, each committee shall proceed to organize by the selection of such officials
as these rules provide.
2. A majority of the members of a State or County Central Committee shall
constitute a quorum and shall have the authority to conduct the business of the
Committee, unless otherwise provided herein or by law.
3. In case of vacancies due to death, resignation, failure to elect, or removal
from the county or district from which a State or County Central Committee member
was elected, the State or County Central Committee shall
fill the vacancy for the unexpired term by a majority vote of the committee.
The Green Party County Central Committee(s) existing within the jurisdiction in
which a vacancy occurs may choose to appoint State Central Committee members to be
accepted by the State Central Committee by majority vote.
4. All changes in the membership of State or County Central Committees shall be
promptly reported to the Local County Board of Elections and the Secretary of
State. These lists will be open for inspection at all times when the offices
where they are filed are open. (See ORC 3517.06)
Article V - TRANSPARENCY AND INTERNAL DEMOCRACY
A. All required meetings and records of required meetings, decisions, and
finances of the GPOHIO and Green Party County Central Committees shall be open
to the members of the GPOHIO, the media and the general public.
B. Participation in task force and project meetings may be limited to the active
members of those groups only to the extent required to protect the strategic
interests of the GPOHIO.
C. Notices of all meetings of the GPOHIO and the State and County Central
Committees must be posted publicly on the Internet Web site at least one week in
1. Written notice of all meetings must be given by the Chairperson to each of
the affiliated Green Party County Central Committees and to each of the
State or County Central Committee members and members-elect at least
five days prior to the meeting by e-mail or, if necessary, US Mail.
2. These notices must include the date, time and place of the meeting.
3. At such time as the GPOHIO is recognized as a major political party, notice
must be posted in the office of the Secretary of State or County Board of
Elections, as the case may be.
Article VI - MEETING PROCESS, AGREEMENT-SEEKING, AND DECISION-MAKING GUIDELINES
A. Process - "Agreement-seeking with a fallback vote" decision-making process
shall be used by all parts of the GPOHIO - see the process manual for a more
B. Order of Business
1. Seating and Introductions - Everyone should position themselves wherever they
feel most comfortable in a circle (the preferred configuration for effective
communication) and introduce themselves, stating their names, the group they
belong to, and other relevant information such as their status at the meeting,
i.e., delegate, representative, observer, etc.
2. Agenda Review - a tentative agenda should be assembled by the Chairperson
including each item's title, the presenter's name, type of item (report,
decision, brainstorm, etc.) and the item's time limit. In addition, there might
be more than one facilitator during the meeting which should be listed alongside
the items, and an indication of the priority of items or their numerical order.
At the beginning of each meeting, the agenda may be reviewed by the meeting
participants and altered. However, acceptance of the agenda implies a commitment
to follow it.
3. Agenda Items:
a. Reports - The Chairperson(s), Secretary and Treasurer must submit written
reports at each State Central Committee meeting. Persons representing
the GPOHIO at any meeting or convention must submit written reports to
the Secretary including the votes cast on behalf of the GPOHIO.
b. Proposals - In order to be considered at the Convention a proposal must be
sponsored by the State Central Committee, a member of the GPOHIO State
Central Committee’s Executive Committee, or a County Central Committee.
c. Constitutional Amendments and Changes to the Bylaws - Constitutional
amendments and changes to the bylaws may only be made by an
agreement or 66-2/3% vote of the Convention or a mail referendum of the
delegates responding from affiliated Green Party County Central
Committees. Proposed amendments and changes must be
circulated to all registered Green Party County Central Committees at
least six weeks in advance of the regularly scheduled meeting of the
Convention or referendum response deadline.
d. Review of State Central Committee activities – Agenda time may be
allotted for accountability of the members of the State Central Committee.
4. Allowable interruptions during the course of a discussion:
a. If a participant has information unknown to the rest of the group that is
immediately relevant and necessary to what a speaker is saying, that
participant should interrupt by saying "POINT OF INFORMATION." The
facilitator should then allow that participant to briefly and concisely
present their strictly informational, non-opinionated input. Following the
interruption, the regular sequence of discussion is resumed.
b. If a participant is unclear about what has been said or what is going on and
interrupts with "POINT OF CLARITY," the facilitator may suspend discussion
briefly to respond to that participant's question. If the facilitator is
unable to clear up the confusion, another participant may be recognized to briefly
offer the necessary information. This allows the participant seeking clarity
to be brought up to speed so their input can be included in the ongoing
discussion. Once the issue is resolved, or reasonable effort has been
expended trying to do so, the facilitator should direct the group back to
the regular sequence of discussion.
c. The call for "POINT OF PROCESS" should come from any participant who
sees a problem developing due to the process breakdown. Once recognized
by the facilitator, the participant should briefly indicate what "point of
process" is involved (such as an impending time limit, straying from the
topic, dealing with a non-agenda item, etc.) and offer a proposed solution.
d. Recall - A proposal may be made from the floor to recall a Central
Committee member. This motion takes precedence over any other agenda
item and upon the motion being made, the group does not seek agreement
on this decision but moves directly to a vote to defer the decision or to
vote on the question.
5. "Calling The Question" may occur when the facilitator or any participant of
the meeting feels that discussion is complete and no new input is forthcoming,
s/he may say "call the question." If it is a simple and clear proposal or
decision, the facilitator may briefly restate it, check to see if there is
general agreement on calling the question, and ask "Is there any call for
clarification?" If there is no call for clarification, the facilitator will ask
"Is there any call for concern?" If there are neither further questions or
concerns, the facilitator may ask the group to indicate their agreement.
6. Proposals may come complete from a single author, group, committee, or may be
formed through discussion and brainstorming during the meeting. In general,
detailed or complicated proposals should be in writing and circulated prior to
the meeting. During discussion of a particular item, a "sense of the meeting"
often emerges that can be put into words. When a participant feels that it would
be helpful, s/he should state their understanding of the "sense of the meeting"
as a proposal. A presenter should have the proposal written out for clarity.
7. Seeking Agreement - Participants should clearly indicate their position
either with body language or vocally so that the facilitator has no difficulty
determining the sense of the meeting.
a. Call For Clarification - The facilitator or minute taker will state the
proposal and ask if there is any call for clarification. Questions about the proposal
are answered during this part of the process, concerns are saved for later
discussion. Once the group is satisfied that the proposal is clearly
understood, the facilitator will ask if there is any call for concern.
b. Call For Concerns - The facilitator or minute taker will restate the proposal
and ask if there is any call for concern regarding the proposal. A concern
is a statement of how the proposal as stated might conflict with the group's
stated purpose and shared values. The facilitator will recognize those who
have concerns, distill their concerns into short phrases and a
co-facilitator or scribe may list them on a blackboard or easel. Listing concerns in
this manner helps the group focus on the concern, not the presenter or the
person raising the concern. Concerns should be impersonal. After all the
concerns have been listed, the facilitator will deal with each in turn to
resolve the concerns through group discussion and friendly amendments.
c. Indicating Agreement - If there are no questions or concerns, a test for
agreement is made where the facilitator may ask for an action by the
group to indicate their AGREEMENT. The facilitator should then move the
group on to the next item. If there are further questions and concerns,
discussion should continue, or if time has run out, the group should move
on to the next item or contract for more time. In more complicated
decisions and for issues which may require exact understanding of the
proposal, the Secretary or minute taker should be prepared to read the
proposal to the group prior to testing for agreement.
d. Group Resolution - Concerns are resolved as the proposal is explained or
changed to address them. To make agreement more easily attainable, it
may be possible for a participant having difficulty accepting a proposal to
offer a "friendly amendment" that expands somewhat on the original idea
or changes it to a minor degree in a manner that satisfactorily addresses
their concerns without altering the "sense of the meeting" on the issue. If
accepted by the presenter and the group, the friendly amendment should
be worded into the proposal being discussed. If, after further discussion,
the proposal seems satisfactory, it should be carefully restated and the
facilitator should call the question. The accepted proposal with
amendments should be written down by the Secretary and confirmed by
the presenter in its final form for inclusion in the minutes.
e. Standing Aside - If, after reasonable discussion and exploration, the group
cannot resolve the concerns through friendly amendments, the facilitator
should try to determine the depth of the concerns. The facilitator will ask
if those with concerns will "stand aside" to allow the group to reach
"agreement." The individuals who "stand aside" from the decision may be
noted in the minutes with their reasons recorded. Many decisions can be
made in this way without resorting to voting and without harmful
consequences to the group. However, if a large percentage of the group is
"standing aside," the rest of the group should weigh the consequences of
making the decision without the support and inclusion of those who are
f. Withdrawal of the Proposal - If those with concerns are not willing to stand
aside from the decision, the facilitator will ask the presenter if s/he will
withdraw the proposal or the part of the proposal which is causing concern
so that agreement may be reached. If not, the proposal can be delegated
to a committee of resolution.
g. A Committee of Resolution may be formed which includes skilled
representatives of all sides of the issue who are acceptable to all members
of the larger group. They may meet during a break or temporarily
withdraw from the larger group, which should then occupy itself with some
other relatively minor issue, and attempt to come to agreement. The
resolution this committee develops may then be carried back to the larger
group and introduced for discussion and approval. It may be necessary to
reconvene the smaller group for further attempts at achieving a workable
solution before agreement can be reached.
8. The fallback vote to defer decision/vote - If the committee of resolution of
the group absolutely cannot reach agreement, and it is determined that a
decision must be made at the particular meeting, the facilitator will call for
the group (voting members only) to vote on whether or not to defer the issue. If
the vote to defer passes by 50% + 1, then a decision on the item is postponed
for consideration at a future meeting. If the vote to defer does not pass, the
facilitator then calls for a vote on the proposal. If the search for agreement
through this process is unsuccessful, a group decision may be made by taking a
vote on the issue. If the voting members or delegates vote to accept or reject
the particular proposal (66-2/3% on substantive issues and changes to the
Constitution and Bylaws, 50% +1 on procedural issues) the decision becomes
binding and is entered into the minutes with a record of votes for and against,
including abstentions. This means of decision-making should be used only as a
last resort and it can be perceived as an abandonment of the principles of the
consensus model of decision-making. Sometimes, with pressure of time and a sense
of urgency, the group may vote on much of its agenda.
9. Evaluation - If the process is to improve, there must be an opportunity to
review what went on and why, and a time to suggest ways to make it work better
next time. For a large group the scribe can make a list on a blackboard or a
large sheet of newsprint that the whole group can see. Headings should be placed
at the top: a "-" on the left side, and a "+" on the right side. In
brainstorming fashion and without argumentation or discussion, the group should
create a list of all the things that did not work well under the "-" and of all
the things that did go well under "+". After listing, the group should briefly
discuss how to improve those items listed under "-" and, where necessary, ways
of maintaining the items. Suggestions and listings should be included in the
Agreed To January 23,2010.
Green Party of Ohio Statewide Organizational Plan
The Green Party of Ohio, being recognized as a minor political party in the
State of Ohio will at its first opportunity elect state central committee
members and county central committee members through election in the Ohio
Primary Election to be conducted on May 4, 2010.
Election of State Central Committee Members
The candidates will be elected within and represent the districts currently
drawn along the boundaries of Ohio’s 11 (eleven) State Board of Education
At the primary election to be held May 4, 2010 candidates will be found
qualified if they:
1) Are qualified electors properly residing within the district they seek to
2) Submit a valid declaration of candidacy and petition for candidate to the
Board of Elections in the most populous county or part-county within the
district by 4pm February 18, 2010.
Recognizing that candidates of newly formed political parties may seek election
as a member of a newly formed political party regardless of prior party affiliation, all
candidacies for these elected positions in this election will be considered
valid for this purpose.
Election of state central committee members at future primary elections in even
numbered years, will require candidates to be affiliated members of the Green Party of Ohio pursuant to current Ohio law and in full compliance with Ohio requirements for
candidates for this party office.
It is the intent of this plan to elect four state central committee members from
each district, including at least one man and at least one woman. If sufficient
numbers of potential candidates reflecting required gender equity do not file
declarations of candidacy and petitions for candidates then that gender specific
seat shall be held unfilled.
The elected term of state central committee members shall commence six days
after certification of election by the Board of Elections in the most populous
county of the district and expire two years later or six days after
certification of the next primary election held in even-numbered years,
whichever is longer. Vacancies may be filled by a majority vote of state
central committee members, as provided in Article IV, Section C.2 of the Green
Party of Ohio’s bylaws and in accordance with current Ohio law.
Upon election and certification by the Boards of Elections in the most populous
county in each district, the newly elected state central committee will in not
less than 10 days nor in not more than 15 days meet and elect two chairpersons,
one man and one woman, a secretary and a treasurer. The party officers will
serve at the pleasure of the state central committee. Within 30 days of the
election, the party’s secretary will file the names and addresses of the state
central committee and party officers with the Secretary of State.
Election of County Central Committee Members
Furthermore, this plan provides for the creation of county central committees,
requiring committee persons to also be elected to those positions at the primary
election in even-numbered years.
The candidates will be elected within and represent the county in which they
seek election at the primary election to be held May 4, 2010. Candidates will be
found qualified if they:
1) Are qualified electors properly residing within the county they seek to
2) Submit a valid declaration of candidacy (no petition) to the County Board of
Elections by 4pm, February 18, 2010.
Recognizing that candidates of newly formed political parties may seek election
as a member of a newly formed political party regardless of prior party
affiliation, all candidacies for these elected party positions in this election
will be considered valid for this purpose.
Election of county central committee members at future primary elections in even
numbered years will require candidates to be affiliated members of the Green
Party of Ohio pursuant to current Ohio law and in full compliance with Ohio
requirements for candidates for this party office.
It is the intent of this plan to elect seven county committee members per
county, including at least one man and at least one woman. If sufficient numbers
of potential candidates reflecting required gender equity do not file
declarations of candidacy then that gender specific seat shall be held unfilled.
Election of county central committee members shall be conducted in each county in
The elected term of county committee members shall commence six days after
certification of election by the Board of Elections and expire two years later
or six days after certification of the next primary election held in
even-numbered years, whichever is longer. Vacancies may be filled by a majority
vote of county central committee members, as provided in Article IV, Section C.2
of the Green Party of Ohio’s bylaws and in accordance with current Ohio law.
Upon election and certification by the Board of Elections the newly elected
county committee will in not less than 10 days nor in not more than 15 days meet
and elect two chairpersons, one man and one woman, a secretary and a treasurer.
Within 30 days of the election, the county committee secretary will file the
names and addresses of the members of the county central committee and committee
officers with their County Board of Elections.
Adopted January 23, 2010
On behalf of the Green Party of Ohio
Co-chairperson January 23, 2010
Co-chairperson January 23, 2010
secretary January 23, 2010