Bylaws of the Unified Libertarians of Massachusetts
(Ratified by membership at state convention in Worcester March 11, 2023)
Preamble and Name
We, libertarians of Massachusetts, as members of the Massachusetts affiliate of the national Libertarian Party, re-establish this group, formerly known as the Libertarian Association of Massachusetts, hereafter to be known as the Unified Libertarians of Massachusetts. In this document, the group will be alternately referred to as “the Party.”
We are formed to serve these ends:
- Functioning as a libertarian political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements.
- In order to work against any government or organization that initiates aggression against individual sovereignty.
- In order to work to roll back the power of government in society and in private life.
- In order to build a society strong enough that the state can be recognized as irrelevant to human flourishing.
We shall do this by publicizing the principles and goals of libertarianism, supporting candidates for public office, and taking actions that the State Convention or the State Committee deem will further the aims of liberty.
Article I: Membership
- Members are all dues-paying members residing in Massachusetts who understand the aims of the Party outlined in the Purposes section.
Article II: Organization
The party structure shall be made up of Convention/Membership, Affiliates, the Officers, and the State Committee.
Article III: State Convention
- A regular State Convention shall be held in March every calendar year, and shall be organized by the State Committee. The quorum for a regular or special Convention called with notice is 20 members. In addition, the State Committee may, by a 2/3 vote of its entire membership, call a special Convention.
- If 10% or 80 (whichever is less) of the current dues paying membership signs a petition requesting a special State Convention, and mails or presents the petition papers to the State Committee, the convention is called by the members and the State Committee is required to organize a State Convention to be held between 30 and 60 days of the date of delivery of the petition to the State Committee. In a single calendar year, a state party member may not sign more than one petition requesting a special State Convention.
a: The petition shall specify the agenda of the special State Convention, and the State Committee may, by majority vote, append items to the end of that agenda, but may not otherwise change the agenda. The petition shall be valid if signed by 10% or 80 (whichever is less) of the current dues paying membership of the party. If one or more dues paying state party members mail or present to the State Committee a written request to assemble a petition requesting a special State Convention, then, within 60 days, the State Committee must inform the dues paying members of this request, and the names and contact information for the party members who made the request. Other relevant information may also be included. State party members must be informed about the petition by placing the information via whatever forms of communication seem best to reach all members.
b: If the State Committee fails to organize a State Convention when these bylaws call for one, any member of the State Committee may undertake to do so, and it shall be a proper convention. If no members of the State Committee undertake to organize a State Convention when these bylaws call for one, any local affiliate may undertake to do so, and it shall be a proper convention; the first local affiliate to vote to organize such a convention shall be responsible for organizing the State Convention.
- At least thirty days before a State Convention is held, the State Committee shall notify all members whose dues are current, of the date, location, and time of the State Convention. This notification may be sent by whatever forms of communication seem best to reach all members.
- Persons who are members of this organization who joined the organization at least 30 days prior to the date of the State Convention are eligible to vote and participate in the business meeting at the state convention. Persons who were dues-paying members of the organization, or sustaining members of the National Libertarian Party, within the past three years, including a period at least 90 days before the day of the State Convention, but whose organization dues are not current, may join or rejoin this organization at the State Convention by paying their yearly dues. They may then vote and participate in the business meeting at the State Convention.
- The State Convention may endorse candidates for office or it may explicitly endorse running no candidate for an office. If it does so, the organization shall support endorsed candidates within the limits of State and Federal law and other demands on its resources, and shall not support any competing candidates for the same office. In the absence of a State Convention endorsement, either for a candidate or for no candidate, the State Committee may support a candidate for that office, again within the limits of law and competition for resources.
- The State Convention shall have the authority to adopt or amend a platform. If the party does not adopt a platform at its State Convention, then the State Committee shall have the authority to adopt a platform.
- Delegates to the Libertarian Party national convention shall be chosen at the State Convention held immediately prior to that national convention. To be eligible to be elected as a Massachusetts delegate to the national convention, a person must, at the time of the national convention, be:
- A legal resident of Massachusetts, and
- A member in good standing of the organization.
- The delegation nominated at the State Convention may by ¾ vote add delegates to empty seats for the national convention.
Article IV: Affiliates
- The party may recognize local organizations that vote to join as affiliates of the Unified Libertarians of Massachusetts. The party may at any convention accept a Massachusetts group as an affiliate by majority vote. The State Committee may accept a Massachusetts group as an affiliate by 2/3 vote.
- Any affiliate may withdraw from the party at any time. The party may disaffiliate any group by 2/3 vote at State Convention. The State Committee may not disaffiliate a group, though it may by 2/3 vote revoke the charter of an affiliate that is defunct or that has identified itself as uninterested in continued affiliation, after announcing the intent to revoke charter with at least two weeks’ notice.
Article V: State Committee
- The State Committee shall hold its meetings at times and places specified by the State Committee. The meetings may be held either remotely or in person. Meetings may be called by the State Committee itself, by the chairperson, or by the vice-chair, with at least thirty-six hours’ notice to members of the State Committee.
- At its regular State Convention each year, and at special State Conventions called for the purpose of holding special elections, the state convention shall hold elections, and shall elect a chairperson, a vice chair, a secretary, and a treasurer, who shall be the officers of the party, and who shall be members at-large of the State Committee. In addition, the State Convention will elect up to six additional at-large members.
- In the event of a vacancy in the officers of the party or at-large members, the State Committee shall fill the vacancy from the current membership.
- All members of the State Committee shall hold office until adjournment of the next State Convention at which their successors are chosen.
- To be elected or serve as a member or officer of the State Committee, a person must be a member of the organization residing in Massachusetts and whose dues are current. No person who is employed or contracted by the Libertarian National Committee may serve as an officer or at-large member of the State Committee.
- The State Committee and its appointed or Party-mandated committees may transact business by electronic communications, as specified by special rules of order.
- Every member of the State Committee must make available their name, their office in the organization if any, and a working way to contact them, in the organization’s newsletter and on the organization’s web site. This may be a physical mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number, or some combination of these.
- The State Committee may, by a vote of two-thirds of its entire membership expel a person from the State Committee, for cause. Any disciplinary action against any person on the State Committee must follow general principles of due process, and the person subject to the disciplinary action has the right to insist upon the hearing being held either privately or publicly. Expiration of membership in the organization is cause, but payment of membership dues to renew membership, prior to the vote, constitutes an absolute defense. Expulsion from the State Committee does not remove the person from membership in the party.
- The State Committee shall have control and management of all the affairs, properties, and funds of the Party consistent with these bylaws, except when a vote by the State Convention specifically prevents them.
Article VI: Candidates
- The responsibility for meeting the legal requirements for ballot access rests with each candidate.
- In the event State or Federal Law authorizes this organization to place candidates on the ballot, whether to replace candidates, fill vacant ballot lines, or for whatever other reason, in the absence of contrary legal specification or directive of the State Convention, the State Committee is authorized to act on behalf of the organization for this purpose.
Article VII: Parliamentary Authority
- The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Party in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws and any special rules of order the Party may adopt.
Article VIII: Amendments
- These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote, provided that a copy of the proposed amendment has been sent to members of the organization whose dues are current at least two weeks prior to the date of the State Convention at which the amendment is to be considered. This notification may be sent by whatever forms of communication seem best to reach all members.