Bylaws of the U.S. Peace Council
The United States Peace Council (USPC) is an independent, not-for profit, multiracial, multinational, anti-racist and anti-imperialist organization. The USPC is a member of the World Peace Council (WPC).
The USPC firmly believes that the issue of peace cannot be separated from the question of social justice. Where there is no justice, there can be no peace.
The USPC recognizes, as fundamental to its principles, that the struggle for world peace and disarmament around the world is one with the efforts of labor and the community for a better life for all working people in the United States.
The USPC considers workers who organize for jobs, security and a livable wage, and community activists who advocate for improvements in housing, education, health care and the environment, regardless of their political or philosophical worldviews, as its allies; it believes that such concerns are inextricably linked to the issues of world peace and disarmament.
The USPC is dedicated to the imperative of unity of all forces working for social justice, peace and disarmament, both in the United States and abroad.
International solidarity and support for the people’s struggles for national liberation, social justice and democratic rights around the world are integral to the ideals of the U.S. Peace Council. We see no separation in the struggle for peace and disarmament, and the support for people’s struggles for national independence, social justice and democratic rights in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
The USPC is a mass organization, not a political party, of the working people, national and ethnic minorities, women and the youth. As such, the USPC fights for the unity of all these social groups and forces in their struggle for their right to civil liberties, political freedoms and against dictatorship, oppression, exploitation and discrimination.
Our organization is based upon this understanding. We are open to all who wish to engage in the struggle for peace and justice in the United States and around the world.
ARTICLE I: Name and Affiliation
The name of the organization is the United States Peace Council (USPC). The USPC is a national peace organization in the United States and a member of the World Peace Council (WPC).
ARTICLE II: Organization
The organization of the U.S. Peace Council consists of the General Assembly, the Executive Board, the Advisory Board, local Chapters, and individual members.
ARTICLE III: Membership
There shall be three types of membership: individual membership, chapter membership, and affiliate membership of other organizations.
Section I. Individual Membership
1. Eligibility: Individual Membership in the U.S. Peace Council shall be open to any person agreeing with the principles outlined in the Preamble of the USPC Bylaws, and who submits an application for membership to the national office of the U.S. Peace Council. Individual members shall be affiliated with Peace Council chapters where such chapters exist in their areas.
2. Members in Good Standing: A member in good standing is any individual who has paid dues to the national organization within the previous 12 months and who has neither resigned her/his membership nor been expelled for cause. A member in good standing shall have all the rights of membership, including prior notice of all Chapter meetings and the General Assembly meeting of members, the right to attend, to speak and to vote at Chapter meetings, and the right to run for local or national office if he/she meets the qualifications established by the Chapter or National Organization respectively. Each such member shall be entitled to receive all periodicals and publications of the Peace Council.
3. Lapsed Members: A lapsed member is one whose annual dues payment has lapsed more than 3 months. Lapsed members shall have the rights of members in good standing except that lapsed members shall not be eligible to vote at Chapter meetings or to run for local or national office.
4. Dues: Individual membership dues shall be payable to the U.S. Peace Council national office annually. Annual dues shall be payable by all members at the beginning of each calendar year or upon joining the U.S. Peace Council. Unless otherwise decided by the Executive Board, the annual individual membership dues shall be $25.00.
Section II. Chapter Membership
1. Certification of Chapters: Five (5) or more members in good standing in a geographic area may petition the Executive Board for certification as a Chapter. If the geographic area includes any area previously assigned to a different Chapter, that Chapter shall be notified of the petition for certification and shall have a reasonable opportunity to challenge the petition before it is accepted.
2. Rights of Chapters: Each certified Chapter:
a) Shall have one (1) representative on the Advisory Board of the U.S. Peace Council. Chapter representatives to the Advisory Board shall be selected by the Chapter, in a manner prescribed by the Executive Board.
b) Shall be represented by voting delegates at the U.S. Peace Council General Assembly. The number of voting Chapter delegates to the General Assembly shall be determined by a formula established by the Executive Board based on the proportional size of the number of Chapter members in good standing. In no case shall any formula be established which results in a Chapter being unrepresented at the General Assembly.
3. Responsibilities of Chapters to Members: A Chapter is required to give prior notice to all members in good standing of regular Chapter meetings, and of the election procedure and schedule for any local office. A Chapter may not deny a member in good standing the right to attend, to speak, or to vote at regular Chapter meetings.
4. Responsibilities of Chapters to the National Organization: All chapters of the U.S. Peace Council shall be responsible for adhering to and executing the general policies and programs of the Peace Council as such policies and programs are determined and designated by the General Assembly at any of its meetings, or by the Executive Board of the Peace Council. Each certified Chapter shall be responsible for giving regular reports about its meetings and activities to the Executive Board and shall help raise funds needed for the regular operation of the national organization of the U.S. Peace Council. No chapter shall make public statements or take public positions on behalf of the U.S. Peace Council unless directed by the Executive Board.
5. Membership Dues and Fees: All individual membership dues collected by chapters are payable in full to the U.S. Peace Council’s national organization. A Chapter may establish additional voluntary fees or subscription costs, but a failure to pay these fees shall not constitute grounds to prevent a member in good standing from exercising any of the rights of membership specified in these Bylaws.
6. Chapter Affiliation Dues: Unless otherwise decided by the Executive Board, each certified Chapter shall be responsible for the payment of $100 as its annual Chapter Affiliation Dues to help finance the national operation of the U.S. Peace Council.
7. Decertification of Chapters: A Chapter, once certified, shall remain certified unless the number of its members in good standing falls below five (5) for a period of twelve (12) months, or it fails to hold at least four (4) regular Chapter meetings within a twelve (12) month period, or is in violation of the principles and rules outlined in the Preamble and the body of these Bylaws. In the case of these conditions, the Executive Board may decertify the Chapter.
Section III. Non-Chapter Organizational Affiliate Membership
1. Organizational Affiliation: Any national or local organization, whose activities include efforts for peace and liberation, shall be eligible to affiliate as an organization with the U.S. Peace Council. An organization desiring to affiliate shall submit its written application to the national office of the U.S. Peace Council, which shall examine said application with a view to determining whether the applicant organization meets the criteria for membership.
2. Affiliate Membership Dues: Unless otherwise decided by the Executive Board, annual Affiliate Membership dues for non-chapter organizations shall be no less than $25.00 for local organizations and no less than $50.00 for national organizations. Affiliate Membership shall be renewable subject to the payment of annual dues at the beginning of each calendar year.
3. Affiliate Membership Rights: Each national organization affiliated with the Peace Council shall have the right to send two (2) non-voting delegates to any General Assembly meeting of the Peace Council. Each local organization which is affiliated with the Peace Council shall have the right to send one (1) non-voting delegate to any General Assembly meeting of the U.S. Peace Council.
ARTICLE IV: General Assembly
1. Powers: The General Assembly of the U.S. Peace Council is the hightest decision-making body of the organization. The General Assembly is empowered to set the general policies of the U.S. Peace Council; elect the members of the Executive Board; amend the the Bylaws; and make any other decision pertaining to the functioning of the organization.
2. General Assembly Meeting: There shall he a biennial Assembly Meeting of the membership. At such meeting the membership shall: a) Elect the officers; b) Elect remaining members of the Executive Board; c) Hear the report of the Executive Board and of the standing committees; d) Amend the Bylaws if special notice is given; e) Attend to such other business as may come before the meeting. The date, place and agenda of the Assembly Meeting shall he determined by the Executive Board in consultation with U.S. Peace Council chapters.
3. Quorum: Except as otherwise provided by law, the presence at the General Assembly of a majority of the delegates entitled to vote shall constitute a quorum. When a quorum is present at such a meeting, a majority of votes cast shall he necessary and sufficient for the election to any office or for the decision of any question brought before the meeting except as otherwise provided by these Bylaws or by other law. In the absence of a quorum, or when a quorum is present, any meeting may he adjourned by a majority of the votes cast upon the question, without notice to any absent member. At any reconvened meeting at which quorum is present, any business may be transacted which might have been transacted at the meeting as originally called.
4. Proxies: Proxy voting shall not be permitted at General Assembly meetings.
5. Special Consultative Meeting of Members: A special consultative meeting of members may be called at any time by the Executive Board, stating the time, place and purpose of the meeting. Notice of the time, place and purposes of any consultative meeting of the members shall be set or given by the Executive Board to all members. It shall be deemed sufficient to send notices by mail at least one month before such meeting.
6. Action without Meeting: Decision to take any action by the members of the U.S. Peace Council may be taken without a meeting upon the request of the Executive Board. In such circumstances, written consent of members shall be treated for all purposes as a vote at a meeting.
ARTICLE V: Executive Board
1. Powers: The Executive Board shall have control over the management of the business of the U.S. Peace Council between General Assembly meetings. The Executive Board shall determine, and periodically review and revise the policies, which shall guide the affairs and work of the Council. Further, it shall obtain finances, determine financial plans or budgets and shall annually authorize and receive a financial audit of the U.S. Peace Council’s operations, assets and liabilities. The Executive Beard will take no action that is clearly inconsistent with the principles and goals of the U.S. Peace Council.
2. Members: Executive Board members shall consist of persons elected at the biennial General Assembly meeting.
3. Election of Executive Board: The Executive Board members shall be elected by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members entitled to vote and present at the General Assembly meeting. Such vote shall be by ballot.
4. Number of Board Members: Not less than five (5), no more than (9) persons shall be elected to the Executive Board by ballot at the biennial General Assembly meeting. The number of Executive Board members elected at such meetings shall be fixed at each General Assembly, within the limits prescribed by these Bylaws by vote at the meeting when elected.
5. Qualification: Nominees for membership on the Executive Board must be individual members with at least two (2) years of membership in good standing. Individuals nominated by the Executive Board shall be exempt from the two-year membership requirement.
6. Term of Office: Each Executive Board member, whether elected at biennial General Assembly meeting or by the Executive Board to fill a vacancy or otherwise, or whether delegated by a chapter, shall continue in office until the next biennial General Assembly meeting.
7. Resignation: Any Executive Board member may resign at any time by delivering a written resignation to the U.S Peace Council President or other officers of the Executive Board. Such resignation shall take effect at the time designated in said notice, or if no time is specified, then upon its acceptance by the Executive Board.
8. Vacancies: Whenever the number of Executive Board members shall for any reason be less than the authorized number, the vacancy may he filled by the Executive Board by a vote of the majority of the entire Board for a term expiring at the next biennial General Assembly meeting of the members.
9. Regular Meetings: Regular meetings of the Executive Board may be held at such places and at such times as the Board may from time to time determine provided that reasonable notice of such determination and of any changes therein is given to each member of the Board then in office.
10. Special Meetings: Special Meetings of the Executive Board may be held at any time and at any place when called by the President, Vice president, Executive Director, or any two other officers of the Board. Reasonable notice thereof must be given to each Executive Board member by the President or the officers calling the meeting.
11. Quorum: At any meeting of the Executive Board, a quorum for the election of officers or consideration of any question shall consist of a majority of the Board members then in office, but any meeting may be adjourned by a majority of votes cast upon the question whether or not a quorum is present, and the meeting may he held as adjourned without further notice.
12. Voting: When a quorum is present at any meeting, the votes of a majority of the Executive Board members present and voting shall he requisite and sufficient for the election of officers, and a majority of the Executive Board members present and voting shall decide any question brought before such meeting except in any case where a larger vote is required by these Bylaws.
13. Organization: At each meeting of the Executive Board, the President, or in the case of his/her absence, the Vice President, or in the case of their absence, the Executive Director shall act as chairperson thereof. A recorder, whom the chairperson of the meeting shall appoint as secretary of the meeting, shall act as such.
ARTICLE VI: Officers
1. Titles and Qualifications: The officers of the U.S. Peace Council shall include the President, the Vice President, Executive Director, Communications Director, and such other different officers as the Executive Board may in its discretion decide upon. Each officer shall be a member of the Executive Board. Subject to these Bylaws, each officer shall have, in addition to the duties and powers herein set forth, such duties and powers as the Executive Board shall from time to time designate.
2. Election and Term of Office: President and Vice President of the U.S. Peace Council shall be elected biennially at the General Assembly meeting (except when the General Assembly designates the newly elected Executive Board to elect these officers), and shall hold office until the close of the election of officers at the General Assembly meeting next held after his or her election, or until death, resignation or removal. All other officers of the Executive Board shall be appointed by the Board from among its members.
3. President: The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Council. The President shall be the official spokesperson for the U.S. Peace Council, and make public pronouncements on behalf of the Peace Council and consistent with its goals and objectives.
4. Vice President: In the Absence of the President, Vice President shall perform all the duties of the President of the U.S. Peace Council. The Vice President is also the Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Peace Council.
Subject to the direction and under the supervision of the Executive Board, the Vice President shall have general charge of the financial concerns of the U.S. Peace Council, and the care and custody of the funds and valuable papers of the Council, if any, and shall have power to endorse for deposit or collection all notes, checks, drafts and other obligations for the payment of money payable to the U.S. Peace council or its order, and to accept drafts on behalf of the Council. He/She shall keep, or cause to be kept accurate books of account, which shall be the property of the U.S. Peace Council; shall at all reasonable times exhibit such books of account to the Executive Board or any individual member thereof, and render periodic statements of account to the Executive Board and the General Assembly.
5. Executive Director: The Executive Director of the U.S. Peace Council shall be appointed by the Executive Board. Subject to the direction and under the supervision of the Executive Board, the Executive Director shall be the chief administrative/organizational officer of the U.S. Peace Council, empowered to implement policy set by the U.S. Peace Council and the Executive Board. The Executive Officer shall be responsible for managing the internal organizational affairs of the U.S. Peace Council, and acting as the contact between individual members, local chapters and the national organization.
6. Communications Director: The Communications Director shall be appointed by the Executive Board from among the Board members and shall be responsible for the publication of U.S. Peace Council’s publications, including the U.S. Peace Messenger and the Council’s web site.
7. Collective Responsibility: Officers of the U.S. Peace Council are individually and collectively responsible for proper implementation of the decisions and activities of the Executive Board.
8. Resignation: Any officer may resign at any time by delivering a written resignation to the Executive Director or other officer. Such resignation shall take effect at the time designated in said notice, or if no time is specified, then upon its acceptance by the Board.
9. Vacancies: Any vacancy in an office may he filled for the unexpired portion of the term by the Executive Board.
ARTICLE VII: Advisory Board
1. Powers: The Advisory Board serves as a consultative body to the Executive Board of the U.S. Peace Council. The Advisory Board provides consultations to the Executive Board on matters relating to policy and/or on any other issue pertaining to the activites of the U.S. Peace Council.
2. Membership: Membership of the Advisory Board consists of one (1) representative from each certified Chapter of the U.S. Peace Council as well as other individuals from within or outside of the U.S. Peace Council invited by the Executive Board to join the Advisory Board.
3. Meetings: The meetings of the Advisory Board shall be held upon the request of the Executive Board at least once every three (3) months, or at any time that the Executive Board deems it necessary to consult with the Advisory Board. Notice of the time, place and purposes of any meeting of the Advisory Board shall given by the Executive Board to all Advisory Board members. It shall be deemed sufficient to send notices by mail at least one month before such meeting.
ARTICLE VIII: Deposits, Checks, Loans, Contracts, etc.
1. Deposits of Funds: All funds of the U.S. Peace Council not otherwise employed shall be deposited in such banks, trust companies, or other depositories as the Executive Board from time to time may determine.
2. Checks, etc.: All checks, drafts, endorsements, notes and evidence of indebtedness of the U.S. Peace Council, the principal amount of which is not in excess of $1,000, shall be signed by the Vice President; those the principal amount of which are in excess of $1,000 shall be signed by both the President and the Vice President. Endorsements for deposits to the credit of the U.S. Peace Council shall be made in such a manner as the Executive Board may determine.
3. Loans: No loans or advances shall be contracted on behalf of the U.S. Peace Council, and no note or other evidence of indebtedness shall be issued in its name, unless and except as authorized by the officers of the Executive Board.
4. Contracts: The Executive Director, subject to the approval of the Executive Board, may enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name and on behalf of the Executive Board and the U.S. Peace Council. The Executive Board may authorize any officer or officers or agent or agents to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name and on behalf of the Peace Council, and such authorization may be general or confined to specific instances.
ARTICLE IX: Purchase, Sale, Mortgage or Lease of Real Property
1. Required Vote: No purchase, sale, mortgage or lease of real property shall be made by the U.S. Peace Council except upon the affirmative vote of at least two‑thirds (2/3) of the number of Executive Board members then in office.
ARTICLE X: Seal
The Executive Board shall provide a seal, which shall bear the name U.S. Peace Council.
ARTICLE XI: Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Peace Council shall be the calendar year.
ARTICLE XII: Amendment of the Bylaws
These Bylaws may be amended at any time by the General Assembly or the vote of 2/3 majority of the Executive Board, given at a meeting the notice or waiver of notice of which shall have specified the proposed amendment. In the event of such amendment, written notice thereof must be provided to the members of the U.S. Peace Council.