Berkeley Progressive Alliance

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Monthly Archives: November 2017

General Membership meeting and bylaws adoption

Sunday, October 29, at 2:00 PM
South Berkeley Senior Center- 2939 Ellis St, Berkeley

Keynote speaker: “Trump, the Right Wing and What To do” with Dr. Lawrence Rosenthal, of UCB Center for Right-Wing Studies

Berkeley Housing Update from Mayor Jesse Arreguin, Council Member Kate Harrison, and Taylor Harvey, President of the UCB Homeless Student Association.

Vote on Bylaws (See below) and Dues: BPA members will ratify BPA bylaws in preparation for endorsements of local candidates in a BPA meeting in January. Bylaws were drafted by a committee of BPA Steering Committee members meeting over the last several months. The proposed bylaws are pasted below this note. If you have comments on the bylaws, please submit them by e-mail by Thursday October 26 to

Proposed dues for Berkeley Progressive Alliance are $25.00 per calendar year; $10.00 if low income (with bylaws stating that dues can be waived in cases of hardship). Members are encouraged to pay more and become Sustainers. If approved, higher dues would take effect in 2018. People wishing to vote at a BPA meeting in 2018 must pay 2018 dues. Comments on our proposed dues are welcome to

To vote on Oct 29th, you must be a member of BPA and have paid your dues of $10.00 for this year. If you are already a member you may pay your 2017 dues when you sign in at this meeting or you may pay in advance HERE .

Please click HERE to become a member of Berkeley Progressive Alliance
You may pay online, or mail a check to: 1300 A Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

Contact information for Berkeley Progressive Alliance
Phone: (510) 486-8010


Bylaws, adopted 10/29/17

I. Organization
BPA is an unincorporated non-profit grassroots organization that nominates and supports local candidates and approves local ballot measures. BPA members work to elect and support the mayor of Berkeley and Berkeley city council members who champion BPAs progressive agenda and who implement that agenda.

II. BPA Membership
A. Membership is open to all residents of Berkeley who agree with BPAs progressive mission and core values and who pay BPA dues.
B. Non-residents of Berkeley who work or go to school in Berkeley, who agree with the progressive mission and core values, and who pay the basic dues of the BPA may become associate members. Associate members cannot vote on the endorsement of local candidates or ballot measures.
C. Members are encouraged to participate actively in the community and the BPA organization.
D. Members are expected to be respectful of each other and generally to promote the BPA and its progressive mission in public.
E. Members may attend and vote at membership meetings, receive membership emails, join committees, and be considered for BPA leadership positions.
F. Members may have their membership terminated by the Steering Committee for cause.
G. No members shall have rights to the assets of the organization or of the BPA.

III. Membership Meetings
A. Membership meetings will be held at least 2 times a year.
B. Decisions at membership meetings will be the final auth . ority in the BPA on policy.
C The membership will elect the Steering Committee and officers of the first
membership meeting of the year. Officers serve a one year term.

IV. Dues
A. Membership dues shall be paid by members at the time of their joining BPA and their memberships are valid for that calendar year, January 1 through December 31.
B. The dues for membership in the BPA will be proposed by the Steering Committee and approved at a Membership Meeting.
C. Dues will be waived for members with extreme financial hardship
D. Given that we are a donation-based organization members are expected to contribute more than the basic dues if they are financially able.
E. Members whose dues are paid for 60 days shall be eligible:
1. to vote in membership meetings, endorsement elections, and other BPA events.
2. to hold office in BPA.
3. Current members can renew their membership at the first membership meeting of the year and vote.
F. Members may contribute financially to the BPA to support its causes above the basic dues level if possible.

V. Committees
A. Steering Committee
1. The BPA steering committee will have a chair or co-chairs, a recording secretary and treasurer, membership chair, communications chair, and a member at large. It will be responsible for planning and convening meetings, directing the actions of the organization and record keeping.
2. The Steering Committee is comprised of elected officers and chairs of BPA Action Teams. Representatives of community groups and allied organizations may participate in the steering committee and vote on steering committee decisions.
3. The Steering Committee will meet six times a year, usually in Jan March May July, September and November, and more often if needed.
4. A quorum is half the number of the Steering Committee members.
5. The Steering Committee meetings are open to all BPA members.
7. Electronic communications may be used to vote on decisions that are time sensitive
8. The Steering Committee may replace an officer, permanently or temporarily, and bring the newly appointed officer up to the membership for ratification at the next scheduled general membership meeting.
9. The Steering Committee will develop a procedure for each election period for nomination, vetting, and endorsement of candidates in the upcoming elections of public bodies.
10. If members or proxies miss 3 consecutive steering committee meetings they lose their voting privileges until replaced or reinstated. They can request reinstatement after resuming regular attendance.

B. Action Teams
1. Action Teams will be formed by the steering committee to address topics in depth for BPA consideration, to plan events and take on specific responsibilities.
2. Action Teams are open to all members of the BPA and may be open to nonmembers interested in activity around the specific topic, at the discretion of the committee.
3. Action Teams can initiate strategy and policy discussions within the BPA. Those that require a decision or endorsement by the whole BPA or effect the BPA significantly will be submitted to the Steering Committee.
4. Action Teams will work closely with elected officials in researching,mobilizing
and implementing policy.
5. Action Teams will each have a chair/co-chairs, at least 3 members, and will be responsible for convening meetings, record keeping and presenting their work to the Steering Committee for approval and action.

VI. Membership Meeting
A. General Membership meetings will be held at least 2 times per year.
B. The Steering Committee shall announce membership meetings broadly by electronic means at least three weeks in advance, giving the date, time, place, and a draft of the agenda items.
C. The membership will elect the Steering Committee and officers of the BPA at the first membership meeting of the year.
D. Decisions at membership meetings will be the final authority in the BPA on policy.

VII Officers
A. BPA officers are chair or co-chairs, a recording secretary and treasurer, membership chair, communications chair and a member at large.
B. Officers will be elected by the membership and should be members of BPA in good standing for 60 days.
C. The Chairs will moderate meetings, oversee the organization and facilitate its functioning.
D. Secretary will keep minutes of the steering committee and membership meetings and post them by email or website for all to see.
E. The treasurer will keep track of membership dues, funds donated and expended, make regular reports to the Steering Committee and the Membership Meetings, and make sure that BPA complies with election laws.

VIII. Standing Committees
A. Membership Committee
1. Help welcome new members into the BPA
2. Plan and schedule Membership meetings in consultation with the Steering Committee.
3. Initiate other membership events as appropriate.
4. Maintain membership records
B. Communications Committee
1. Edit and produce the BPA newsletter and keylist
2. Maintain and produce the BPA website
3. Maintain and expand BPA social media communication
C. Other Committees as established by the Steering Committee

IX. Voting
A. In all bodies of the BPA we strive to reach consensus and inclusion. Where
this is not possible, votes are determined by a simple majority of the ayes and nays. There is no quorum requirement for properly noticed membership meetings.
B. BPA will follow Roberts Rules of Order in the conduct of its formal business. However, the Chair may call for informal discussion when appropriate.

X. Elections for Steering Committee and Officers
A. Elections for the Steering Committee and Officers
1. Will be held yearly at the first Membership meeting of the year.
2. The Steering Committee will set the date and provide the proposed slate from the Nominations Committee with at a least 30 day notification to the membership
B. Nominations for Office
1. The Steering Committee will put out an electronic call for nominations three weeks before a BPA election.
2, Nominations will be submitted to the Steering Committee, who will then forward them to a Nominating Committee.
3. Ballots with nominations will be prepared for the membership meeting when the election is held.

XI. Endorsements

A. The membership of this club may endorse any issue, ballot measure, and candidates for any office.
B. Important criteria to be considered in any candidate endorsement will be sharing this club’s values, agreement with the club’s platform, and a commitment to an ongoing working relationship with a grassroots constituency.

XII. Amendments
A. Amendments to these Bylaws may be submitted by the Steering Committee to a membership meeting with the content provided at least 30 days in advance. Any 10 members can submit a proposed amendment to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will submit the amendment to a membership meeting with 30 days’ notice.
B. Any amendments to the submitted Bylaws amendment must be circulated no later than 15 days prior to the membership meeting. C. The Membership meeting may adopt the Bylaws amendment by majority vote.

XIII Dissolution
Upon dissolution, the Steering Committee will decide how assets will be donated to a qualified [501(c) (4) ) organization, as prescribed by California law and the Office of the Secretary of State. * * *

Respectfully submitted,
Margot Smith

Post-meeting update:
Again thanks to all for the great success of today’s meeting. About 45 people attended, as people came and went, 30 folks signed in. Bylaws and dues structure for 2018 were approved. It was noted that the numbering of sections was off, the numbering is corrected in this posting.


Signups were taken for initial Action Committees: Environment and Sustainability, Elections, Affordable Housing, The Homeless and Police Reform/Urban Shield.

A general membership meeting to elect officers and endorsements for State Assembly candidates are planned for early in 2018, with local endorsements to follow.