RI Reform Party Bylaws

Adopted March 2, 1997
(Last Amended 01/04/2017)PREAMBLE

We, the members of the Reform Party, commit ourselves to the reformation of the political system. We will work to establish the Reform Party as a viable political choice. Together we will work to restore trust in government leadership by electing ethical and accountable officials dedicated to fiscal responsibility and political reform. We unite in purpose and commitment to local organization, voter education, and direct participation in the political process.

ARTICLE 1 – Membership

Rhode Island Reform Party membership is reserved to those individuals who have legally registered as Rhode Island Reform Party voters with their local boards of canvassers.

ARTICLE 2 – General Officers

A. The Rhode Island Reform Party shall have four General Officers serving the following positions:

1. State Chairman – shall serve as the chief executive officer and preside over all meetings of the Rhode Island Reform Party.2. Vice Chairman – shall serve as assistant to the State Chairman and perform whatever duties set forth by the State Chairman.

3. Secretary – shall maintain all minutes of meetings of the Rhode Island Reform Party and perform whatever other duties set forth by the State Chairman.

4. Treasurer – shall account for all monies collected and disbursed by or for the Rhode Island Reform Party and perform whatever other duties set forth by the State Chairman.

B. Each of the General Officers shall be members of the Executive Committee. The State Chairman shall be the chairman of the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE 3 – Election of Officers

A. All persons elected as General Officers must be registered Reform Party members with their local boards of canvassers.B. All elected officers shall serve for a one-year term beginning January 1st and ending December 31st.

C. No officer shall serve consecutively for more than six years.

D. Nominations for officers of the Rhode Island Reform Party shall be taken and accepted at any regular monthly meeting.

E. An officer, having been duly notified, may be removed from office for cause, including, but not limited to, the following offenses: dereliction of duty, excessive absenteeism, ethics violations, and behavior unbecoming a Reform Party Officer, by a majority vote of the Executive Committee followed by a majority vote of registered Reform Party members Prior to each vote, the accused shall have the right to refute the charges made against him.

F. In the event of a vacancy in one of the general offices, the chairman or the current presiding officer shall replace him with a candidate who must be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. This newly appointed member will serve for a period of thirty days, or until a special election is called.

ARTICLE 4 – Meetings

A. Regular meetings of the Rhode Island Reform Party will be held once a month at a place and time set forth by the Executive Committee.A quorum shall consist of ten (10) members of the Rhode Island Reform Party. A quorum must be present at any regular or special meeting or the Secretary must cancel the meeting.

B. Special meetings may be called at any time by the State Chairman or by petition of at least ten (10) members of the Rhode Island Reform Party. Fourteen calendar days’ notice is required for all special meetings.

C. Executive Committee meetings may be called occasionally at the discretion of the State Chairman.

D. An annual meeting of the Rhode Island Reform Party shall be held at a place, date and time set forth by the Executive Committee for the purpose of electing officers and for conducting any other business so designated by the Executive Committee.

E. An annual convention of the Rhode Island Reform Party shall be held at a place, date, and time set forth by the Executive Committee for the purpose of nominating and/or endorsing persons for local, state, and federal political offices, for forming and approving a political platform for the party, and for any other business so designated by the Executive Committee.

F. Special elections for the filling of vacancies in general offices can be held during any regular monthly meeting or at a special meeting. Nominations of candidates to fill any vacancy in the general offices may be made by the general membership at a regular or special meeting, and the election cannot take place at that same meeting. The special election must be held at a meeting subsequent to the meeting where nominations are taken. Fourteen calendar days’ notice is require in advance of any special election. The person elected at a special election serves the remainder of the term only.

ARTICLE 5 – Standing Committees

A. The Rhode Island Reform Party shall maintain (5) standing committees. The size and scope of each committee will be determined by the Executive Committee. Standing Committee Chairmen shall be members of the Executive Committee along with the General Officers . The Committees are as follows:

1. Fundraising Committee
2. Party Building Committee
3. Public Relations Committee
4. Political Issues Committee
5. Candidate Screening Committee

B. Committee members and chairmen will serve for a one-year term.C. The Chairman of each Standing Committee will be appointed by the Chairman of the Executive Committee with the consent of a majority of the membership in attendance at any general meeting.

D. Committee members shall be nominated and elected as required by the general membership in attendance at any regular meeting of the Rhode Island Reform Party.

E. A Standing Committee chairman may be removed by the chairman of the Executive Committee or by a majority vote of the Executive Committee itself. The Executive Committee Chairman’s decision to remove a standing committee chairman may be overridden by a 2/3 vote of the Executive Committee. In the event of removal, the Chairman of the Executive Committee will then appoint a new chairman with the consent of a majority of the membership in attendance.

F. A Standing Committee chairman may remove any individual committee member for cause, including, but not limited to, the following offenses: dereliction of duty, excessive absenteeism, ethics violations, and behavior unbecoming a committee member, with the consent of the majority of the members of his committee.

ARTICLE 6 – Fiscal Year

The Rhode Island Reform Party shall operate on the fiscal year of January 1st to December 31st of each year.

ARTICLE 7 – Coordinators

The Rhode Island Reform Party shall have the two (2) following coordinators elected by the Executive Committee to serve a one year term as liaisons for setting up meetings, exchanging information, or performing other duties as set forth by the State Chairman:

1. Congressional Coordinator – shall coordinate activities between the Rhode Island Reform Party and the offices of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation.2. Political Party Coordinator – shall coordinate activities between the Rhode Island Reform Party and any other political party or group for the purpose of exchanging ideas and information only.

ARTICLE 8 – Bylaws & Amendments

A. At any regular monthly meeting where a quorum is present, any member may propose changes to the bylaws if properly seconded and approved by the majority of the members present.B. The Bylaws Committee shall then present the proposed amendment at the next regular monthly meeting for final approval by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members present at that meeting.

ARTICLE 9 – Rules of Order

All meetings of the Rhode Island Reform Party shall be conducted under the Robert’s Rules of Order. However, when necessary, the State Chairman may waive these rules for the duration of one meeting with the consent of a majority of the members present at any General Meeting.

ARTICLE 10 – Legal

The Rhode Island Reform Party shall conduct all its business under the laws and regulations governed by the State of Rhode Island.

ARTICLE 11 – Election of National Committee Members

A: Legal.State law shall take precedence wherever there is a direct conflict between the following procedures and state regulations.

B: Eligibility.

National Committee Members must be registered Reform Party with their local boards of canvassers.

C: Nomination Process.

Candidates running for a seat on the National Committee may be nominated at any General Meeting in the same calendar year as a scheduled election of National Committee Members.

D: Election Year.

The Election of National Committee Members shall take place in odd-numbered years.

E: Term of office.

National Committee Members shall serve for a two-year term beginning January 1st following the election, and ending on December 31st of the following year.

F: Term Limits.

No National Committee Member shall serve for more than two consecutive terms.

G: Election Process.

National Committee Members shall be elected by the general membership in attendance at the Reform Party / annual state meeting. Each Reform Party member shall cast one vote for each seat allotted to Rhode Island by the Reform Party National Committee.

H: Removal of National Committee Members.

1. The Executive Committee must vote to recomend removal of a National Committee member to the general membership for just cause, at a regularly or special meeting. Cause may include, but is not limited to, the following offenses: dereliction of duty, excessive absenteeism, ethics violations, and behavior unbecoming a National Committee member. If the vote to recommend removal passes, the Secretary must prepare a written draft of the charges.2. The National Committee member who stands accused must be given a copy of the written charges 30 days in advance of any scheduled hearing.

3. At the general membership meeting where the vote is scheduled, the Secretary shall read the charges in their entirety. The National Committee member who stands accused must be allowed 20 minutes to respond to the charges.

4. After the charges have been read and the response has been made, the general membership shall vote on the question of removal of the National Committee member. Removal shall require a 2/3 vote of the members present.

I: Filling Vacancies in the National Committee.The Chairman may nominate an interim replacement, with the approval of a majority of the Executive Committee. The appointed National Committee Member shall serve for a period of thirty days, or until a special election is called under the provisions of Article 4. The procedure for the election of a replacement of a National Committee member is the same as for a general officer. The person elected at a special election serves the remainder of the National Committee member’s term.

Original By-Laws Accepted 3/2/97

Amended 8/18/97
Article 3 – Section E – Removal of Officers

Amended 9/7/97
Article 2 – Section A-2 – Executive Board
Article 5 – Section A, B, C Amended and Added D, E, F

Amended 11/9/97
Article 1 – Amended
Article 3 – Amended A, D
Article 4 – Amended A, D, E
Article 9 – Amended Rules of Order

Amended 01/04/2001
Article 1 – Amended
Article 2 – Amended A, B
Article 3 – Amended A, C, E; Added F
Article 4 – Amended A, B, F
Article 5 – Amended A, B, C, D, E, F
Article 7 – Amended
Article 9 – Amended
Article 10 – Amended
Article 11 – Amended B, C, D, E, F, G, I; Deleted and Replaced with New H