Constitution

Constitution of Red Rose Socialists

Membership

1. Members and prospective members are expected to adhere to all organizing documents.

2. Members are expected to pay dues and otherwise contribute to the financial health of the organization.

3. Dues are set at $60 yearly. This amount can be paid at any time during the year. If dues prove to be a financial burden, a member must contribute a minimum of $1 monthly.

4. Members are expected further the goals of the organization. Red Rose Socialists is a fighting organization, therefore all members are expected to take an active role.

5. Members may join and retain membership rights in other political organizations, provided that the organization in question does not fundamentally contradict the values of Red Rose Socialists.

Internal Democracy

1. Members in good standing are allowed to vote on collective decisions.

2. Any member in good standing can be elected to a leadership position.

3. Any elected leadership position is subject to instant recall by petition of 1/3 of the membership. The required votes needed for recall is subject to change by vote of the members.

4. Any member may demand a recount, request a re-vote if pertinent information was not brought forth at the time of the vote, challenge a vote as unconstitutional, call for the recall, impeachment, or expulsion of any officer or member, or demand an audit of the treasury.

5. Decision making is the responsibility of all members. At this time, a quorum is not necessary for general decision making, however, a quorum may be decided on at a later time. All day-to-day and tactical decisions will be decided by a simple majority following the principle One Person One Vote. Changes to Organizational documents such as the Constitution, Points of Unity, etc., require a ¾ majority vote and at least 2/3 members in good standing to be present.

Administration

1. Minutes must be kept for all meetings and distributed to all members no later than 2 full days after the meeting.

2. Two members in good standing will be responsible for the treasury. As stated above, an audit of the treasury may be demanded by any member, whereupon the organization’s financial resources must be presented at the following meeting. If the demand for an audit is made prior to a meeting, the treasurers must present the financial resources at the meeting immediately following the demand.

3. One member will be responsible for organizing the agenda for each meeting. Any member may suggest a topic for discussion at any time.

4. Red Rose Socialist is currently adhering to the Sexual Harassment and Anti-Bullying policies put forth by Philly Socialists until new policies are written for and by Red Rose Socialists. These policies are found in the Addendum.  Where the term “Central Committee” appears in the addendum, it shall refer to the full membership of Red Rose Socialists.

5. Ad Hoc arbitration committees will be formed on the occasion that arbitration is needed. All discussions held with arbiters off the record will remain confidential.

Sanctions

1. Recall: Recall is a means to remove an elected officer from their position. Recall simply means a vote is taken to ascertain whether another person should remain in the position in question. If a recall is successful, a new election will be held for the position.

2. Expulsion: Expulsion means the person is kicked out of the organization. An expulsion can only be decided by a vote of the full organization. This is only done if someone has undertaken a serious breach of organizations values, including but not limited to:

1. Taking bribes or corruption
2. Financial chicanery for personal gain
3. Engaging in espionage
4. Practicing harassment or bullying

3. Serious breach of organizational values is not meant to include the following:

1. Publicly or privately expressing disagreement or dissatisfaction with
the organization, organizational direction, or leadership of RRS.
2. Advocating a given political line, tactic, policy, or strategy.

 

ADDENDUM

SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY

(Adopted by Philly Socialists June 14, 2015)

PURPOSE
The purpose of this policy is to protect the members of Philly Socialists from unwanted sexual advances, harassment, contact, and violence. In order to ensure our members’ trust and sense of safety, Philly Socialists does not tolerate any form of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Violence as defined in this policy.
Philly Socialists seeks to create a culture that models the just and equal future we hope to build, and, in doing so, discourages sexual violence/abuse. In addition to promoting safety for everyone, the intent of this policy is to create an accountable and respectful environment where people have the opportunity to learn to be be allies of those who suffer violence, abuse and discrimination of a sexual nature¬¬values and skills which are so lacking in both mainstream and radical left cultures of today.

DEFINITIONS
The definition of Sexual Violence includes the illegal activities of rape, incest, child sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and voyeurism, and are under no circumstances tolerated.

Additionally, Philly Socialists does not tolerate Sexual Harassment because it is a form of sex discrimination. The definition of Sexual Harassment expands beyond illegal activities relating to sex. Sexual harassment includes unwanted physical, verbal, or written advances, sexual threats, insinuation of sexual acts, and any unwelcome behaviors which cause a victim to feel uncomfortable, intimidated, unsafe, voiceless, or helpless. Please bear in mind that Sexual Harassment can be explicit or implicit.

STATISTICS
• 1 in 3 American women will be sexually abused during their lifetime. (WOAR)
• 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18. (WOAR)
• 1 in 8 lesbian women and nearly 1 in 2 bisexual women experience rape in the their lifetime. (NCLR)
• 4 in 10 gay men and nearly 1 in 2 bisexual men have experienced sexual violence. (NCLR)
• 64% of people who identify as transgender have experienced sexual assault. (NCLR)
• Approximately 80% of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. (RAINN)

TENETS
• Sexual violence is never the fault of the victim/survivor.
• Being an ally is central to being a socialist.

SCOPE
This policy applies to all Philly Socialists members and anyone attending Philly Socialists’ events, including non¬members. This policy does not replace police or legal intervention.

ACCOUNTABILITY
• It is the responsibility of all members to act with compassion towards their comrades.
• It is the responsibility of all members to protect their comrades, intervene when necessary (and safe), and to report troubling behavior immediately after witnessing it, ideally, or at very least in a timely manner after the behavior has been observed.
• It is the responsibility of the leadership of Philly Socialists to take action when issues arise. This includes the Central Committee, branch leaders, project leaders, and arbiters.
• Philly Socialists will not protect offenders from appropriate actions/expulsion.
• Claiming to have no negative intent does not alleviate an individual from an accusation.
• Accused persons do not have the right to apologize privately or publicly. It is up to the accuser if and when they want to receive an apology. It is up to the Arbiter (in communication with the accuser) if and when the accused will be given a platform to publicly apologize.

INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIORS
The following activities are inappropriate and constitute as (but are not limited to) sexual harassment regardless of whether or not they are illegal:
• Sexual “joking” and “teasing”
• Use of sexually suggestive language or word choice
• Unwanted sexual flirtations or advances
• Sexual propositions (verbal or written)
• Repeated requests for (denied) dates
• Verbal or written comments about an individual’s body, sexuality, appearance, or sexual-orientation
• Using sexually degrading words to describe someone
• Unwanted discussion or questioning about sexual desires, fantasies, experience
• Unwanted sharing of sexually explicit or suggestive objects, cartoons, photos, etc.
• Any physical contact which the receiver considers to be unwelcome, including hugs,pats, pinches, brushing up against someone, etc.
• Unwanted nonverbal communications, such as gawking, whistling, catcalling, etc.
• Inappropriate sexual or degrading gestures
• Inappropriate innuendos
• Unwanted electronic contact¬ social media, text messages, etc.
• Any sexual contact without consent (drunk/otherwise incapacitated persons cannot consent to sex)
• Coercive sex
• Drugging/pushing alcohol or drugs with the intent to have sex
• Pushing physical boundaries/physical intimidation; this includes groping, violating someone’s personal space intentionally, and other forms of non-consensual physical contact

CULTURE
Women are often on the receiving end of unwanted contact and members should not further this issue. Members should act to maximize the agency and empowerment of regularly minimized groups.

Unacceptable behaviors should be called out. Silence is complicity.

Efforts must be made to de-center men/maleness/masculinity from the culture of the group.

PROCEDURE
Philly Socialists will respond to all accusations and complaints within one week of being notified. When in doubt, the account of the accuser will be believed over the account of the accused.

In the case of sexual violence:
• If a sexual assault/rape is reported to anyone within the organization, the confidante should, notify the Arbiter(s) of their choice.
• Together, the Arbiter(s) and accuser will determine subsequent actions, based on the wishes of the accuser.
• Potential actions include: going to the police; the accused being thenceforth not invited or welcomed to future events, meeting, and gatherings (but not explicitly warned about their behavior); the accused being expelled from Philly Socialists.
• The Arbiter will take all steps necessary to protect the identity of the accuser.
• Once an accuser comes forward, doing nothing is not an option, as the accused could harm other members in the future.
• The Arbiter will let the Central Committee and Branch leaders know that there was an accusation against the accused and the course of action that the accuser decided upon.
• The accuser will let the Arbiter know if they want the Central Committee and/or Branch

Leaders to know any details of the accusation.
• The Central Committee may issue a public announcement disassociating the organization with the accused individual, and explaining why; this would both warn other activists as well as inform members and non¬members that this individual is not allowed in movement spaces.

In the case of sexual harassment:
• If unwanted attention/personal contact is reported to anyone within the organization, the confidante should, notify the Arbiter(s) of their choice.
• Together, the Arbiter(s) and accuser will determine subsequent actions, based on the severity of the issue and the wishes of the accuser.
• Potential actions include: the accused being given a warning and notified that continued inappropriate behavior will result in expulsion from the group; the accused being thenceforth not invited or welcomed to future events, meeting, and gatherings (but not explicitly warned about their behavior); the accused being expelled from Philly Socialists.
• The Arbiter will take all steps necessary to protect the identity of the accuser.
• Once an accuser comes forward, doing nothing is not an option, as the accused could harm other members in the future.
• The Arbiter will let the Central Committee and Branch leaders know that there was an accusation against the accused and the course of action that the accuser decided upon.
• The accuser will let the Arbiter know if they want the Central Committee and/or Branch Leaders to know any details of the accusation.
• The Central Committee may issue a public announcement disassociating the organization with the accused individual, and explaining why; this would both warn other activists as well as inform members and non¬members that this individual is not allowed in movement spaces.

FURTHER STEPS
• An anonymous tip line will be added to the Philly Socialists website so inappropriate behavior can be reported without fear of retribution.
• An allyship training will be offered before the end of 2015; all leaders (project, branch, Central Committee) and arbiters are required to attend, and it is suggested that all members attend.
• A guide of supportive resources will be created.
• At every meeting involving new members, there will be a short explanation of Philly Socialists policy and expectations for all members; this will include an explanation of the safe spaces we are creating, what that entails, a brief list of obvious unacceptable behaviors, the existence of our policy, and who to turn to when someone exhibits inappropriate behaviors.
• Three (3) arbiters will be elected to handle increased duties due to this policy, and to mitigate burnout.

 

ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

(Adopted by Philly Socialists February 13, 2016)

SUMMARY
Bullying is not tolerated in Philly Socialists, and is a behavior that is a serious threat to democracy. Those who bully other Philly Socialists members or participants, and do not cease the behavior once asked, may be temporarily or permanently expelled from the organization.

PURPOSE
The purpose of this policy is to protect the members of Philly Socialists from intimidation, harassment, trolling, threats, aggression and physical harm.

The intent of this policy is to create an environment where all Philly Socialists members and participants can express opinions, make decisions, and do work in the organization without fear of malicious treatment.

Moreover, this policy protects Philly Socialists as an organization where collective and individual actions are made through a democratic decision-making process based on our shared values, not through coercion.

DEFINITIONS & EXAMPLES
Bullying is generally defined as systematic, annoying, and continued actions which include threats and demands; creating a hostile situation by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct; in order to intimidate someone and establish dominance.

There are three types of bullying: verbal, social, and physical.

Verbal bullying includes (but is not limited to):
• abusive teasing
• verbal intimidation
• trolling: unwarranted, excessive, and hostile private communication in person or via electronic communications
• threatening, and yelling at comrades in meetings or outside of them
• consistent ignoring or interrupting of a comrade who is trying to speak
• personal attacks, such as: put-downs, inappropriate references to individual’s personal background, insulting an individual’s intelligence, or ad hominem criticisms which attack the person rather than engage with an argument, etc.
Social bullying includes (but is not limited to):
• spreading lies and/or malicious remors about other members
• work interference (sabotage) which prevents work from getting done
• intentional public humiliation
• stalking
Physical bullying includes (but is not limited to):
• intentionally causing any physical harm
• threatening to cause physical harm
• spitting
• damaging someone’s personal property
• invasion of someone’s personal space

In addition to these examples, bullying is also considered conduct that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to the organization’s legitimate activities.

Bullying should not be taken to mean:

1. Publicly or privately expressing disagreement or dissatisfaction with the organization, organizational direction, membership, or leadership. Examples might include: Complaining about something related to the group with other members or individuals outside the group, criticizing the leadership in public forums at a group meeting or over social media or email, venting to friends about an individual one disagrees with, recommending a change of policy to address perceived organizational problems real or perceived, etc.

2. Publicly or privately advocating for or expressing disagreement with any given political line, tactic, policy, or strategy. Examples might include: Criticizing decisions taken by the group at a meeting or on social media, advocating for and attempting to persuade others to adopt a policy or strategy even if it is unpopular, speaking out and/or voting for or against a policy, etc.

However, private expressions of any of the above toward individuals may constitute bullying when the individual in question feels the expressions are unwelcome, hostile, and/or excessive. If any individual feels they are being contacted in a repeated, hectoring, or intimidating manner, they are strongly encouraged to initiate a rectification process in the manner outlined in the “Procedures” section.

STATISTICS
• 27% of American adults have experienced workplace bullying.
• 60% of workplace bullying targets in the U.S. are women.
• 33% of Hispanic individuals, 33% of Black individuals, and 33% of Asian individuals in the U.S. have been bullied in the workplace, compared to 24% of White individuals.
(Source: Workplace Bullying Institute, 2014)

SCOPE
This policy applies to all Philly Socialists members and anyone attending Philly Socialists’ events, including non¬members.

PROCEDURE
Individuals who feel bullied can put forward a formal request to tell the individual to stop correspondence with them via email or in person, or request an intervention by the Arbiter.

Ideally, this request should be given via email, text, or Facebook since it leaves an electronic trail. The language could be along the lines of “I am requesting you no longer speak to me privately outside of meetings, and I will not reply to further correspondence.”

If the bully continues to pester the target they should notify the Arbiter(s) of their choice.
The Arbiter(s) will offer the bully anti-bullying materials and training opportunities.
Together, the Arbiter(s) and target of the bullying will determine subsequent actions, based on the severity of the issue and the wishes of the target.

Potential actions include:
• Giving the bully a warning and notification that continued inappropriate behavior will result in expulsion from the group
• Temporary or permanent ban from Philly Socialists Facebook discussion group and listserves
• Temporary ban from Philly Socialists meetings and events
• The bully being thenceforth not invited or welcomed to future events, meeting, and gatherings (but not explicitly warned about their behavior)
• Expelling the bully from Philly Socialists.

At the target’s request, the Arbiter(s) will take all steps necessary to protect the identity of the target as much as possible.

The Arbiter will let the Central Committee and Branch leaders know that there was an accusation against the bully and the course of action that the target decided upon.

The Central Committee may issue a public announcement disassociating the organization with the bully, and explaining why; this would both warn other activists as well as inform members and non¬members that this individual is a bully.

The Arbiters will also strive to provide trainings on bullying behavior, empathy, etc. for the membership at large.