North Coast People’s Alliance Bylaws

North Coast People’s Alliance



Adopted 3/28/2017


1.     Mission

North Coast People's Alliance is a hub of organizing activity for Northern California. We advocate for economic, environmental, and social justice, with a particular focus on local progressive electoral issues. We are not aligned with any political party; rather, we seek common ground on issues that transcend partisan politics.

2.     Inclusion, affirmative action, and new leadership development

The NCPA seeks to build power for all people. We recognize that the economic system, historical inequalities, unequal educational opportunities, and differences in physical abilities have created a non-level field. In all of our activities, internal and external, we make a priority of the needs and leadership development of those who are disadvantaged by the system, including people of color, lower income people, women, LGBTQ, disabled, young people and seniors. We seek to encourage all Humboldt County residents to be actively involved in governmental decision making processes.

3.     Status

The North Coast People’s Alliance (NCPA) is an unincorporated not-for-profit association registered in the State of California and Humboldt County.

4.     Membership

a.      Upon satisfying the following requirements, individuals become eligible to apply for Voting Membership with the NCPA:

  • Residence in Humboldt County,
  • Agreement with the mission and core values of NCPA,
  • Agreement to abide by NCPA’s code of conduct,
  • Attendance/participation at three Membership Meetings or Action Team meetings,
  • 10 or more hours of volunteering on NCPA projects,
  • Sponsorship by two active members of NCPA’s Voting Membership,
  • Submission of an application, and
  • Payment of the basic dues of the NCPA

b.   Members are encouraged to participate actively in the community and the organization.

c.   Members are encouraged to bring ideas and issues to Action Teams and to the Steering Committee.

d.   Members may have their membership terminated by the Steering Committee for cause.

e.   No members shall have rights to the assets of the organization. Upon dissolution all assets will be donated to a qualified [501(c) (3)] organization.

f.    Dues

  • The annual sliding scale of dues for membership in the NCPA will be proposed by the Steering Committee and approved at a Membership Meeting.
  • A lapse in dues automatically terminates voting membership status.
  • Given that NCPA is a donation-based organization, members are encouraged to contribute financially to the NCPA above the basic dues level if possible.

5.     Membership Meeting

a.      Membership meetings will be held at least four times per year.

b.     Decisions by voting members at membership meetings shall be the final authority in the NCPA. Non-voting members may have a voice but no vote.

c.      Notice of Membership meetings will be given at least 15 days before the meeting.

d.     Voting members may submit suggested agenda items up to 10 days before each Membership meeting.

e.      The full agenda will be prepared by the Steering Committee and circulated at least seven days before the meeting.

f.      The membership will elect four Steering Committee members at the January or February membership meeting in years ending with even numbers, and three Steering Committee members in years ending with odd numbers.

6.     Voting

In all bodies of the NCPA we strive to reach consensus, meaning that participants understand the process and will support the decision. When this is not possible, decisions are determined by a simple majority vote among the voting members present, except as specified for bylaw amendments, removal of steering committee members before their terms end, and endorsements of electoral ballot issues and candidates for public bodies. There is no quorum requirement for properly noticed membership meetings.

7.     Action Teams

a.      Action Teams will be the basic unit of research and action around specific topics.

b.     Action Teams are open to all members of the NCPA.

c.      Action Teams are encouraged to invite non-NCPA members whenever appropriate for activity around the specific topic. 

d.     Action Teams will initiate both strategy and policy discussions within the NCPA. Those that require a decision by the whole NCPA or affect the NCPA significantly will be submitted to the Steering Committee for presentation to the membership.

e.      Action Teams will each have a chair/co-chairs, and will be responsible for convening meetings, record keeping and representing the Action Team to the Steering Committee.

f.      Action Teams will proactively nurture and develop leadership skills among their members.

8.     Steering Committee

a.      The Steering Committee will consist of seven people elected to two-year terms. The Steering Committee members will include four officers and three at large members.

b.     The Steering Committee will make decisions of the NCPA between membership meetings, with careful consideration of membership input.

c.      The minimum responsibilities of a Steering Committee member are to attend Committee Meetings and regularly participate in Committee email discussions and votes. 

d.     The Steering Committee will meet at least monthly.

e.      The Steering Committee will submit what it believes to be the most important policy issues before the NCPA to the membership meeting and organize the discussion ensuring that all views are presented.

f.      Action Teams will be established formally by the Steering Committee as the need and desire arises. Members of the NCPA are encouraged to propose new Action Teams as issues come up. The Steering Committee may appoint an initial convener of the Action Team, who will serve until such time as the Action Team selects a replacement. The Steering Committee may disband an Action Team.

g.     The Steering Committee may add to itself members with voice but no vote from Action Teams or committees, to assure that there is good participation and communication.

h.     The Steering Committee will receive regular reports and proposals from the Action Teams and will submit issues and opportunities to the Teams for consideration, recommendations, and action.

i.       The Steering Committee will regularly review the actions of the officers and may approve, modify, or revoke those actions.

j.       The Steering Committee will select officers (chair, vice chair, treasurer, and secretary) annually from among its membership.

k.     Steering Committee members will make decisions at Committee meetings; email may be used for non-controversial decisions that are time sensitive.

l.       The Steering Committee, in cooperation with any relevant Action Teams, will develop a procedure for each election period for nomination, vetting, and endorsement of candidates and ballot issues in the upcoming elections of public bodies. Whatever procedure is used, final decisions on endorsements will require a two-thirds vote of those present at a membership meeting.

9.     Officers

a.      Chair. The chair may act for the NCPA between Steering Committee meetings in cases when time does not permit email polling of the Committee or a Committee meeting. When possible these discussions should be in consultation with relevant Action Teams or Standing Committees.

b.     Vice-Chair

c.      Treasurer

d.     Secretary

10.  Committees

Standing and ad hoc committees will be as established as needed by the Steering Committee.

11.  Elections for Steering Committee

a.      Elections for the Steering Committee will be yearly at the Membership meeting in January or February. Four Steering Committee members will be elected in years ending with even numbers, and three Steering Committee members in years ending with odd numbers.

b.     Election Procedure

  • A Nominating Committee will collect names of those interested in serving on the Steering Committee, assemble candidate statements and ensure that the list of candidates and their statements is distributed at least 15 days before the election.
  • The Steering Committee will establish other rules as necessary for the conduct of the election. 

c.      Should a steering committee member be unable to fulfil his/her term, and there are less than six months left in his/her term, a replacement will be appointed by the remaining steering committee members. If there are more than six months left in his/her term, an announcement of the open position will be made to the voting membership by email, and nominations and a special election will be held.

d.     If voting members wish to remove a steering committee member, this proposal must be supported in writing by a minimum of 10 voting members. The proposed removal shall be submitted to the Steering Committee, which will bring that proposal to a membership meeting with 30 days’ notice. Removal of a steering committee member requires a vote of two-thirds of voting members present at the membership meeting.

12.  Amendments

a.      Proposed 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.

b.     Proposed amendments generated by voting membership must be supported in writing by a minimum of 10 voting members. The proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Steering Committee, which will bring that proposal to a membership meeting with 30 days’ notice.

c.      Adoption of the Bylaws amendment requires a vote of two-thirds of voting members present at the membership meeting.