Article I — NAME AND ORGANIZATION
Section 1 – Name: The name of the organization is Shut Down Indian Point Now, hereinafter referred to as SDIPN.
Section 2 – Organization: SDIPN is a not-for-profit, unincorporated association and, through our fiscal sponsor, the equivalent of a 501c3. The activities of SDIPN shall be conducted primarily in New York City.
Article II — VISION, MISSION, VALUES
Section 1 – Vision: SDIPN is a grassroots organization working for closure of Indian Point and an end to the use of nuclear power in the US and worldwide, with a commitment to work for a 100% fossil free and nuclear free NYC by or before 2030, relying on green, sustainable sources including solar, wind, tidal, wave, geothermal and efficiency.
Section 2 – Mission: In order to put our vision into action , SDIPN shall:
- cultivate an active membership
- network with and coordinate activities with other like-minded organizations and affinity groups
- organize meetings, workshops, tutorials, forums and events to educate and inform the public
- participate in direct, non-violent actions which promulgate the SDIPN Points of Unity as set forth in Article II, Section 3.
Section 3 -Values: To pursue it’s mission effectively, SDIPN operates under the following guidelines:
- SDIPN Points of Unity:
- Nuclear power cannot be considered a transitional bridge to renewables.
- In light of the nuclear disasters which have occurred at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, nuclear power facilities must be seen as ticking time bombs that pose a threat to the health and safety of all living things not only to the immediate environs near the facilities but to the entire planet.
- Calls for divestment must include divestment from fossil fuels and from nuclear power.
- While our immediate goal is the closure and decommissioning of the remaining two reactors at Indian Point, we support and encourage those groups and organizations locally and worldwide that are also working toward the end of closing current nuclear facilities and preventing the construction of new facilities.
- Nuclear facilities must be understood and seen in the context of the overall nuclear industry which includes commercial and private reactors, nuclear weapons, depleted uranium, uranium mining, disposal of nuclear waste and byproducts, including medical waste, food irradiation, and the exploitation of workers in the nuclear industry, particularly indigenous peoples, whose lands and families have been disproportionately and adversely affected and compromised.
- Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing:
- Be Inclusive — If we hope to achieve just societies that include all people in decision-making and assure that all people have an equitable share of the wealth and the work of this world, then we must work to build that kind of inclusiveness into our own movement in order to develop alternative policies and institutions to the treaties policies under neoliberalism. This requires more than tokenism, it cannot be achieved without diversity at the planning table, in staffing, and in coordination. It may delay achievement of other important goals, it will require discussion, hard work, patience, and advance planning. It may involve conflict, but through this conflict, we can learn better ways of working together. It’s about building alternative institutions, movement building, and not compromising out in order to be accepted into the anti-globalization club.
- Emphasis on Bottom-Up Organizing — To succeed, it is important to reach out into new constituencies, and to reach within all levels of leadership and membership base of the organizations that are already involved in our networks. We must be continually building and strengthening a base which provides our credibility, our strategies, mobilizations, leadership development, and the energy for the work we must do daily.
- Let People Speak for Themselves — We must be sure that relevant voices of people directly affected are heard. Ways must be provided for spokespersons to represent and be responsible to the affected constituencies. It is important for organizations to clarify their roles, and who they represent, and to assure accountability within our structures.
- Work Together In Solidarity and Mutuality — Groups working on similar issues with compatible visions should consciously act in solidarity, mutuality and support each other’s work. In the long run, a more significant step is to incorporate the goals and values of other groups with your own work, in order to build strong relationships. For instance, in the long run, it is more important that labor unions and community economic development projects include the issue of environmental sustainability in their own strategies, rather than just lending support to the environmental organizations. So communications, strategies and resource sharing is critical, to help us see our connections and build on these.
- Build Just Relationships Among Ourselves — We need to treat each other with justice and respect, both on an individual and an organizational level, in this country and across borders. Defining and developing “just relationships” will be a process that won’t happen overnight. It must include clarity about decision-making, sharing strategies, and resource distribution. There are clearly many skills necessary to succeed, and we need to determine the ways for those with different skills to coordinate and be accountable to one another.
- Commitment to Self-Transformation — As we change societies, we must change from operating on the mode of individualism to community-centeredness. We must “walk our talk.” We must be the values that we say we’re struggling for and we must be justice, be peace, be community.
Article III — NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY
Section 1 – Non-discrimination policy: SDIPN is committed to non-discrimination in all decisions involving membership and coalitions including (but not limited to) age, national origin, ethnicity, physical appearance, gender identity or expression, sexual identity or orientation, religion or non-religion, medical condition, health or mental disability, immigration status, economic class, educational background, marital status, status as a veteran, or status as a formerly convicted or formerly incarcerated individual.
Article IV — MEMBERSHIP
Section 1 – Eligibility: Individuals who agree with SDIPN’s Points of Unity as set forth in Article II, Section 3, and have attended at least 2 meetings or sponsored events, the first of which was attended within the six months prior to attendance at the second meeting or event, as set forth in Article V, Sections 1 and 2, shall be notified of their eligibility to become voting members of SDIPN. Henceforth, membership is maintained by attending at least 2 meetings or sponsored events in the current calendar year. Prior to the October General Meeting, those members who have not yet fulfilled the membership requirements for that year will be notified by the Chair of the Membership Committee to that affect and given the opportunity to bring their membership up to date.
Section 2 – Rights of members: The membership of SDIPN shall be apprised of all activities, decisions and information regarding the functioning of SDIPN. Members are encouraged to attend all general meetings, participate in all events and activities, join committees, and offer comments, suggestions, and ideas regarding all aspects of the functioning of SDIPN. Members may vote at meetings; block consensus at meetings; run for SDIPN offices; vote to recall SDIPN officers; vote to amend bylaws.
Section 3 – Representatives: Members of SDIPN who are also members of, or are regular attendees at meetings of, allied groups may volunteer to serve as official representatives of SDIPN to those groups in the following roles:
- Observer: an Observer will attend meetings and report back to the SC; an Observer is not authorized to make binding decisions on behalf of SDIPN.
- Delegate: a Delegate will attend meetings and report back to the SC, and have the authority to make decisions on behalf of SDIPN.
- Liaison: a Liaison will attend meetings and report back to the SC but has a closer working relationship with the allied group and may even be a member of the allied group. The Liaison may assist in coordinating activities between the two groups.
The SC will determine what groups are considered allies, and will maintain a list of those groups. Representatives will submit their reports to the SC.
Section 4 – Removal: A member of SDIPN may be removed from membership for disloyalty, repeated disruption, or failure to abide by SDIPN Points of Unity as set forth in Article II, Section 3. A reasonable attempt shall be made, through agreed upon means, to resolve conflicts before removal is deemed necessary. These means may include, but are not limited to, the processes of Nonviolent Communication, Conflict Resolution, or mediation sessions. Removal shall be by a majority vote of the membership in favor.
Article V — MEETINGS AND EVENTS
Section 1- General meetings: There shall be a minimum of three meetings per year, scheduled as follows:
- the last week of February, designated as the Annual Business Meeting
- the last week of May / first week of June.
- the last week of October.
Section 2 – Sponsored Events: Sponsored events including fundraisers, forums, tutorials or other gatherings may be suggested by any member through a proposal to the SC, which will then be forwarded to the appropriate committee for consideration. The proposal may be placed on the agenda and voted upon at one of the scheduled SDIPN meetings, or by an on line vote by the membership. A list of attendance, and a summary report of each sponsored event shall be kept.
Section 3 – Notice of meetings: Members shall be notified of meetings by e-mail message, social media posting, or phone message at a time no later than one week before the scheduled meeting date.
Section 4 – Decision-making: The process of decision-making at general meetings shall be conducted according to the process of Formal Consensus. If consensus cannot be achieved, a vote shall be taken by the members utilizing the most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. Decisions which do not amend the bylaws shall require a majority vote in favor. Motions which amend the bylaws shall require a 2/3 vote in favor. Decision-making may also be conducted as set forth above by on-line discussion and voting, with the exceptions that election of officers, recall of officers, removal of members, and decisions that amend the bylaws shall be conducted at general meetings.
Section 5 – Quorum: Quorum for all decisions shall consist of not less than 40% of members.
Article VI — OFFICERS AND DUTIES
Section 1- Officers and duties: There shall be a minimum of four officers of SDIPN consisting of a Chair, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary and Treasurer. The duties of officers are as follows:
- Chair: presides over the meetings, proposes the agenda, coordinates activities and events, and is an ex officio member of the various committees.
- Recording Secretary: responsible for the minutes of meetings, serves as the custodian of records, and reports to the membership on the actions and decisions of the Steering Committee.
- Corresponding Secretary: assists the chair with publicity, public relations, and other correspondence, and serves as a second custodian of records.
- Treasurer: responsible for all finances of the group’s activities and maintaining financial records. The treasurer, along with the chair, shall be the signatories on all accounts and financial instruments. Additional signatories may be chosen from active membership as is deemed necessary. The Treasurer is an ex officio member of the finance committee.
Section 2 – Steering committee: The officers of SDIPN, with the addition of the Chairs of the various committees, shall comprise a Steering Committee, hereafter referred to as the SC. The SC shall be responsible for conducting SDIPN business between scheduled meetings. The secretary shall make a report of SC actions to the membership at each general meeting.
Section 3 – Elections: Officers shall be active members as set forth in Article IV, Section 1, and [shall be] elected by the membership for a term of one year an Annual Meeting to be held at the end of February of each year. Officers are limited to three consecutive terms. In the event that no new candidate steps forward for any one of the offices, the current office holder may continue in that position as an acting officer, as if a vacancy occurred, in which case the provisions of Article VI, Section 4 shall be followed, or until such time as a candidate steps forward and a special election held.
Section 4 – Vacancies: Vacancies shall be filled as follows:
- Chair: The Recording Secretary shall assume the office of acting chair. The Corresponding Secretary shall assume the responsibilities of the Recording Secretary.
- Recording or Corresponding Secretary: The remaining Secretary shall assume the responsibilities of both offices.
- Treasurer: The Corresponding Secretary shall assume the office of Secretary-Treasurer.
Acting officers shall serve until the February Annual Meeting of the next calendar year, at which time they may run for office in elections as set forth in Article VI, Section 2.
Section 5 – Resignation and termination: An officer of SDIPN shall be considered terminated upon receipt by one of the remaining officers of written notification in person, by postal mailing or by verified e-mail message of that officer’s resignation. Officers may be terminated by recall, upon evidence of malfeasance or incompetence, by a simple majority vote of the membership.
Article VII — COMMITTEES
Section 1 – Committee formation: Ad hoc and other committees may be formed as deemed necessary by the membership. Proposals to form committees may be placed on the agenda and voted upon at any scheduled SDIPN meeting.
Section 2 – Committee structure: Committee members must be members of SDIPN as defined in Article IV, Section 1. Committee officers shall be determined and voted upon by the members of said committee, with the provision that, at minimum, a chair shall be chosen. Thereafter, said committees shall organize as they so determine, with the provision that they abide by the SDIPN Points of Unity as set forth in Article I, Section 3. If a forming committee with three or more members has not convened to elect committee officers, a Chair shall be elected from the members of said committee by the SDIPN membership at a general meeting. Any SDIPN member may attend the meetings of, or ask to be subscribed to the email group of any committee as a non-voting observer.
Section 3 – Steering committee: The officers of SDIPN, with the addition of the Chairs of the various committees, shall comprise a Steering Committee, hereafter referred to as the SC. The SC shall be responsible for conducting SDIPN business between scheduled meetings. The SC shall authorize (with ratification by the membership) all expenditures above $100. The SC Recording Secretary shall make a report of SC actions and decisions to the membership at each general meeting.
Section 4 – Standing committees: The following standing committees shall be established:
- Action: organizes direct actions, rallies and other public events
- Education/Research/Facts: develops fact sheets, papers, educational materials, and ensures information provided by SDIPN is accurate and up-to-date
- Finance: oversees expenditures and is responsible for creating an annual budget that is submitted to our fiscal sponsor
- Graphic Arts / Design: designs graphics and artwork for flyers, literature, signs, banners, social media, etc. with an eye toward maintaining a consistent look and feel.
- Legislative: reviews pending legislation, develops proposals and resolutions, and maintains working relationships with legislators
- Media: drafts press releases, statements and other correspondence on the behalf of SDIPN, and maintains working relationships with the press and other media.
- Membership: responsible for maintaining a membership database and administering the various SDIPN email groups
- Outreach: establishes connections with organizations, individuals and other affinity groups.
- Social Media/Website: responsible for maintaining and updating the SDIPN website, and various social media accounts
Section 5 – Committee membership: Membership in Standing Committees is open to all SDIPN members. Members may serve on more than one committee. Committees members shall be SDIPN members as set forth in Article IV, Section 1. In the circumstance of a committee having less than three members, those members shall be considered the acting committee Co-chairs until such time as more members join, at which time the requirements for committee formation, as set forth in Article VII, Section 1, take effect.
Article VIII — SPEAKERS BUREAU & SPOKESPERSONS
Section 1 – Speakers Bureau: A Speakers Bureau will be established consisting of volunteers from the membership, and experts who have worked with, and agree to represent, SDIPN. The bureau will provide speakers by invitation from schools, community organizations, and other groups who are interested in learning about the mission of SDIPN. Contact information will be provided on the SDIPN website, literature, and by other means and methods as necessary.
Section 2 – Spokesperson(s): A spokesperson shall be a point person for whom media outlets may contact for statements or comments on issues pertaining to Indian Point and / or nuclear power, and to speak on behalf of SDIPN at press conferences and other media events, and at rallies, demonstrations and other venues to which SDIPN has been invited to speak.
Section 3 – Qualifications: Speakers Bureau volunteers, and SDIPN Spokespersons shall have experience in public speaking, and a firm grasp of the issues, and information on various aspects of nuclear power in general, Indian Point specifically, and the work of SDIPN.
Article IX — AMENDMENTS
Section 1 – Amendments: In the event that an amendment or revision to these existing bylaws is determined to be necessary, the process shall be undertaken by an ad hoc committee constituted for that purpose. The committee will meet as necessary, and submit regular updates to the SC to the completion of the changes. The committee may, at it’s discretion, choose to hold back certain items if additional work on them is deemed necessary, those items to be submitted for approval and inclusion in the bylaws at a subsequent meeting. Amended bylaws shall be submitted to the SC for approval. Upon SC approval, the amended bylaws shall be forwarded to the membership for consideration prior to the next scheduled meeting, at which time and place, a vote to ratify will be called. A vote of 2/3 of the membership in favor shall be required for ratification. In the event that the amended bylaws are not ratified, reason shall be given to the bylaws committee by the membership, and the process resumed. The current bylaws will remain in effect until the amendment process is again completed.
These bylaws were approved at a meeting of the membership of SDIPN by consensus on February 27, 2016