Socialist Action Constitution

Article I: Name

The name of the organization shall be Socialist Action (hereinafter referred to as “the Party”).

 

Article II: Purpose

The purpose of the Party shall be to educate and organize the working class for the abolition of capitalism and the establishment of a workers’ government to achieve socialism.

 

Article III: Membership

Section 1. Every person who accepts the program of the Party and agrees to submit to its discipline and engage actively in its work shall be eligible for membership.

Section 2. Every member of the Party must belong to a duly constituted branch in the territory where that member resides, or at that member’s place of work, if such branch exists.  In territories where no branch exists, applicants shall apply to the Political Committee for member-at-large status.

Section 3. Action by the Party branch on applications for membership takes place in the absence of the applicant.

Section 4. Five or more members-at-large residing in the same locality may be constituted as a branch by the Political Committee.

Section 5. A member desiring to leave one locality for another must apply to that members’ branch for permission.  A letter of transfer must be sent to the branch of the locality to which the members moves.  If no branch exists in the new locality, the member shall become a member-at-large.

Section 6. The National Committee is empowered to accept groups or organizations eligible under Section 1 of this Article, as members en bloc, and assign them to the proper branches.

 

Article IV: Units of Organization

Section 1. The basic unit of the party shall be the branch formed on a territorial or occupational basis.  A branch shall consist of not less than five nor more than 50 members.  When a branch achieves a membership of 50, it shall be subdivided into two branches.  Exceptions can be made only by permission of the National Committee.

Section 2. Wherever two branches exist in the same locality, a Local Executive Committee shall be formed by elections of a joint membership meeting.  Where three or more branches exist in the same locality, a Local Executive Committee shall be elected at a delegated City Convention.

Section 3. In such cases as may be decided by the National Committee, State or District Executive Committees, elected by State or District membership meetings or by State or District Conventions, shall be formed.

 

Article V: Administration

Section 1. The highest governing body of the Party is the National Convention.  Its decisions shall be binding upon the entire membership.

Section 2. Between National Conventions, the authority of the Convention, subject to the decisions of the Convention itself, is vested in the National Committee elected by the Convention.

Section 3. The National Committee shall be comprised as follows:

Paragraph 1. There shall be 17 regular members elected by the National Convention.

Paragraph 2. The National Convention shall also elect five alternates, to fill vacancies in the National Committee in the order determined by the Convention.

Paragraph 3. Election of members and alternates to the National Committee and to the Control Commission shall take place by secret ballot.

Paragraph 4. Members of the National Committee may be dropped from the Committee and/or the Party only by the vote of the National Convention.  Members of the National Committee may, however, for cause be suspended from membership and barred from all rights as members by vote of two-thirds of the membership of the National Committee.  This suspension shall be referred to the National Convention for a final decision.

Section 4. The National Committee directs all the world of the party, decides all questions of policy in accord with the decisions of the Convention, appoints subordinate officers and subcommittees, including the Political Committee, and, in general, constitutes the functioning authority of the Party between Conventions.

Section 5. The local governing body of the Party shall be the Local Executive Committee or, where only one branch exists, the Branch Executive Committee.

Section 6. The Local Executive Committee shall be subordinate to the delegated City Convention, or where there are two branches, to the joint membership meeting.  The Local organizer and all other Local officers shall be designated by the Local Executive Committee and shall be subordinate to the Local Executive Committee.  It shall be the duty of the Local Executive Committee to direct the activities of the Local, and to act with full power for the Local between City Conventions, or joint membership meetings, subject to its decisions.  A City Convention or joint membership meeting shall be held at least once a year.  Special conventions may be called by the Local Executive Committee or on demand of the branches representing one-third of the Local membership.

Section 7. The Branch Executive Committee shall be elected by the membership of the branch, and shall be subordinate to the branch membership.  The branch organizer and all other branch officers shall be designated by the Branch Executive Committee, subject to approval of the branch, and shall be subordinate to the Branch Executive Committee.  It shall be the duty of the Branch Executive Committee to direct the activities of the branch and to act with full powers for the branch in between branch meetings.

Section 8.  State or District Executive Committees may be constituted in a manner to be determined by the National Committee.  The relations of such State or District Executive Committees to the Locals and branches within the state or district shall be determined by special by-laws to be approved by the membership of the state or district, subject to final approval by the National Committee.

 

Article VI: Control Commission

Section 1. A Control Commission of three members shall be elected as follows: the Convention shall elect two members by secret ballot and the third member, who shall be a member of the National Committee, shall be designated by the National Committee.  The Control Commission shall have the full authority to investigate any individual or circumstance which it may deem necessary, and shall have power to delegate any of its authority to representatives.

Section 2. The Control Commission, on completion of its investigation in each case, shall present its findings and recommendations to the Political Committee for action.  Action shall be taken by the Political Committee, or by the National Committee in those cases referred to it by the Political Committee.

Section 3. In those cases where the Control Commission finds it necessary to intervene, its authority shall supersede any local investigation or trial.

Section 4. It shall be obligatory on every member of the party to furnish the Control Commission or its authorized representatives with any information they may require.

 

Article VII: Initiation Fees and Dues

Section 1. Upon acceptance into provisional membership, each new member shall pay an initiation fee of Five Dollars ($5.00).  The entire initiation fee shall be paid to the National Office.

Section 2. Each member shall pay monthly dues of Ten Dollars ($10.00).  In addition, all members are expected to make regular voluntary contribution according to their means.

Section 3. Where branches are joined in Local, State or District Committees, seventy-five percent (75%) of the dues shall go to the National Office.  The remaining twenty-five percent (25%) shall go to the Local, State or District Committee.  Where Local, State or District Committees do not exist, dues shall go in full to the National Office.  Members-at-large shall pay their dues directly to the National Office.

Section 4. Members who are three months in arrears in payment of dues shall cease to be members in good standing and shall be notified by the Branch Executive Committee.  Members six months in arrears shall be stricken from the rolls of the Party.

 

Article VIII: Discipline

Section 1. All decisions of the governing bodies of the Party are binding upon the members and subordinate bodies of the Party.

Section 2. Any member or organ violating the decisions of a higher organ of the Party shall be subject to disciplinary actions, up to expulsion by the body having jurisdiction.

Section 3. Charges against any member shall be made in writing and the accused member shall be furnished with a copy in advance of the trial.  Charges shall be filed and heard in the branch to which the member belongs, or in a higher body which may decide to act directly in the case.  Charges filed before the branch shall be considered by the Branch Executive Committee (or a subcommittee elected by it) at a meeting to which the accused member is summoned.  The Branch Executive Committee shall submit a recommendation to be acted upon by the membership of the branch.  Charges considered by higher bodies, however, shall be acted upon by said bodies.

Section 4. Actions by any unit or organ in disciplinary cases deemed improper by a higher unit may be charged by direct intervention of a higher body.

Section 5. Any member subjected to disciplinary action has the right to appeal to the next higher body, up to and including the National Convention.  Pending action on appeal, the decision of the Party body having jurisdiction remains in full force and effect.

Section 6. Persons who have been expelled or who have resigned from the Party may not be readmitted to the party without the approval of the National Committee.

Section 7. Questions decided by the Party Convention may be subjects of new discussion only when such discussion is formally authorized by the National Committee or in the established pre-convention discussion period.

Section 8. Political collaboration with nonmembers of the Party must be formally authorized by the Party committee having jurisdiction.

 

Article IX: Qualification for Election

Section 1. Except in case of newly organized branches, members of the Local and Branch Executive Committee must have been members of the Party for at least three months, and members of the District Committees must have been members for at least six months.

Section 2. Members of the National Committee must be members of the Party for at least one year.

 

Article X: National Conventions

Section 1. National conventions of the Party shall be held at least once every two years.  Special conventions may be called by the National Committee or on the demand of branches representing one-third of the membership.

Section 2. The Call for the Convention, together with an agenda an the proposals of the National Committee, shall be issued at least ninety days (90) days before the date of the Convention for discussion in the local organizations and in the official publications.  An internal bulletin shall be issued during the Convention discussion period.  The Political Committee may set a deadline for the acceptance of pre-convention discussion articles for the bulletin.

Section 3. Representation at the convention shall be proportionately based upon the branch membership in good standing as specified in the Convention Call.  The National Committee shall levy a compulsory assessment to finance the National Convention, from which totally unemployed members may be exempted.  Branches organized after the Convention Call shall have fraternal representation.

Section 4. Members and alternates of the National Committee, if not regular delegates, shall be fraternal delegates to the Convention.

Section 5. The National Committee shall appoint an auditing committee to make periodical audits of the financial accounts of the National Office and national party departments and institutions, and report on same to the National Committee.  Branch, Local and District Committees shall appoint auditing committees to make periodic audits of the financial accounts of the corresponding Party units and of Party departments and institutions responsible to said unit.

 

Article XI: Amendments

Amendments to this Constitution shall be made by majority vote of the National Convention.

 

Article XII: Press

All organs of the Party are subject to and under the direction of the Party and National Committee.