Petition Process for Debate Amendment


This amendment to the National DSA constitution creates a mechanism wherein 20% of locals or 8% of members can petition the NPC to take up an important issue and debate it out in the open, with reports back to the membership. This will give the membership of the organization a much greater say in the running of the national organization between biannual conventions, while increasing transparency and helping keep the NPC accountable to members and locals. The process of petitioning and publicly debating issues across locals and amongst national leaders will foster a culture of internal organizing and transparency, while encouraging members to be more engaged and national leaders to be more inclusive with important decision-making processes. Finally, such a culture of open and inclusive debate and deliberation will contribute to the education of members in DSA concerning politics and strategy, so they know why we are taking this or that course of action, and are equipped to independently strategize for, critique and carry out national and local political activities.

Current Language:

Bylaws, Article X:

Section 2. The agendas for the NPC meetings will be proposed by the SC. These shall include, on a regular basis, discussion and supervision of staff, finances, publications, education, general political direction and coalition work.

Language to Be Added by This Amendment:

Section 3. Pressing issues may be placed on an agenda for an NPC meeting by a petition of 20% of locals or 8% of members. The SC shall publish the language of a petition at the time that it is successfully submitted and call for comments from the general membership. After the meeting the NPC or a committee thereof shall publish a report, separate from the normal minutes, detailing the debate surrounding the petitioned issue and any decisions that were made to address it.