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Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance » Bylaws


Mormon Environmental Stewardship (MES)


Current edition as of July 30, 2013

1.0)  Statement of Leadership Philosophy

Though it may eventually incorporate as a 501-C-3 or 501-C-4, and/or even as a for-profit corporation, Mormon Environmental Stewardship is and should continue to function more like a “movement” than a “corporation”.    With respect to organizational structure and function it will be more like the U.S. Civil Rights,  “Occupy” or “Arab Spring” movements, than like a for-profit or non-profit corporation.

“Movements” are the sum total, the gestalt, of the random (or coordinated) spontaneous individual creativity and initiative of dozens to thousands of voluntary movement participants.   In “movements”, the participants act entirely of their free will and there is no requirement that all participants act in unison.   Indeed, movements thrive upon diversity, debate, and competition in an open marketplace for ideas.

In this spirit, MESA emphasizes the value of openness and diversity.   It is characterized by intuitive sponteneity, allows freedom to innovate, and is highly democratic.  It empowers individuals by cultivating and nurturing individual as well as collaborative initiative.

Any collaborative venture, including a political “movement”, will require some form of leadership in consensus building, policy making, and logistical decision-making.   Our philosophy is to keep “leadership” democratic and decentralized,  but we recognize only a few people within our movement will have the time, energy and commitment to handle the management of resources and decision-making with respect to governance and policy.   Governance should be minimalist, leaving maximum freedom for innovation by movement participants–but should be sufficient to competently manage such tasks as setting up web sites and communications systems,  management of funding , accounting, and staff, and any other logistics necessary to the fulfillment of MESA goals and objectives.

2.0)  MESA membership

2.1)  Membership definition/requirements

MESA members are persons currently enrolled as members of the LDS church who have registered as members of the MESA web site by giving themselves a user I.D. and password using a web form which identifies current LDS church membership as a criteria for MESA membership, and which requires applicants to identify the stake, ward, and city in which they are enrolled.

2.2.)   Role of MESA Members

MESA members may participate in discussion, make motions or offer resolutions in regular membership meetings (or at the discretion of the MESA co-chairs, by email or online poll), vote on motions or resolutions in regular membership meetings (or online membership polls), may propose new MESA initiatives or MESA endorsement of policy positions.

2.3.)  Membership Meetings

All MESA members may attend regular monthly membership meetings either in person or by electronic means (yet to be determined).  Membership meetings shall be chaired by a MESA Executive Leadership Committee (ELC) co-chair or designee, who shall prepare and distribute by email (and on the MESA Facebook and web pages) meeting agendas at least one week in advance of the next membership meeting.  Meetings may from time to time be cancelled by the ELC co-chair or designee at his or her discretion.  Any member may submit a request for a meeting agenda item to the person designated by the ELC as  responsible for meeting agenda preparation;  preparation and ordering of meeting agendas will be at the discretion of the co-chair or designee.  Meetings shall follow Robert’s Rules of order.  Meeting minutes shall be prepared for review and approval by the ELC, by a person designated for that purpose at the beginning of each meeting.  Minutes for all meetings shall be visible on the MESA web site, and via links posted on the MESA Facebook page.

3.0)  Executive Leadership Committee (ELC)

3.1)  Duties and responsibilities

The primary responsibilities of the ELC are administrative and managerial and include administration of:  finances;  administrative recordkeeping, preparation of budgets, fundraising, bookkeeping and tax accounting,  recruiting and managing staff, maintenance of membership database and meeting records (etc.), scheduling and preparation for leadership and membership meetings, including preparation of meeting agendas, storage and distribution of meeting agendas and minutes;  announcements,  notifications, membership record-keeping;  drafting and amendment of bylaws; legal issues, communications to members; maintenance of MESA Facebook and web pages and all other MESA communications;  identification of media spokespersons for various issues and maintenance of a list of identified media spokespersons;  schedule and facilitate both leadership and membership meetings, and any other administrative/management duties and responsibilities.

3.2)  ELC membership criteria and appointment process.

ELC members must be currently enrolled LDS church members and should preferably be members in good standing.   To qualify for service on the ELC a candidate must first attend 3 consecutive ELC meetings and then must be nominated to serve by a current member of the ELC and elected by simple majority vote of all ELC members (as defined in section ???), in [a regular membership meeting].

3.3)  ELC size and quorum requirement.

The ELC shall consist of not more than nine members;  3 ELC members present in person or by teleconference or video conference shall constitute a quorum.

3.4.  Initial composition:   Ty Markham, Charles Nuckolls, Soren Simonsen, Mark Thomas, Bart Tippetts, Kent Udell.

3.5.)  ELC officers.    Initial officers of the ELC are co-chairs Ty Markham and Charles Nuckolls.

3.6)  Term limits:   Service on the ELC is for a term of 3 years, renewable for one term by vote of the full MESA membership in a regular membership meeting.

3.7.)  Leadership Committee Meetings

Regular monthly leadership meetings shall generally be held in the same place, day of month and time, with an agenda for the meeting to be prepared by an ELC co-chair or designee and published on the Facebook page and/or a MES web site at least one week before the meeting.    Meetings may be cancelled at the discretion of the co-chairs.  Meetings will be conducted by ELC co-chair or designee, using procedures outlined in Robert’s Rules of order.   Decisions of the ELC shall be by motion and vote of those present in person or by teleconference or video conference at ELC meetings.  At the discretion of the co-chairs, decisions may also be taken by means of email or other electronic means.

4.0.)  Advisory Committee (AC)

4.1)  Role of Advisory Committee

Advisory Committee members participate in leadership and membership meetings, to provide ideas and advice to the MESA leadership and membership.  For either leadership or membership meetings they may offer agenda items, participate in discussion, and may offer resolutions or motions, but may not second motions and may not vote on them.  They may make nominations for additions to the Advisory Committee but may not vote on them.

4.2)  Criteria for service on Advisory Committee

Advisory committee members are persons with experience or expertise which is useful to any activity of the MESA leadership or membership;  they may be LDS church members or non-members.

4.3.)  Means of appointment.

AC members may be nominated by any MESA member or AC member.   They are appointed by a simple majority vote in ELC meetings, and confirmed “by affirmation” in a subsequent meeting of the General Membership.

4.3)  Term of service

Same as for ELC members (3 year term renewable for 1 term.)

5.0.)  Bylaws adoption and amendment

Procedural bylaws will be established, and may be revised, by 3/4 majority vote of the full ELC in regular leadership meetings or when appropriate, by electronic means.

9.)  Adoption of policy positions or endorsements by MESA;  statements of conscience by individuals

9.1)  Process for formal adoption of policy positions or MESA endorsements

Adoption of formal policy positions, or formal endorsements by MESA, shall require either a majority vote of the membership during a regular membership meeting (including those attending by electronic means) or, at the discretion of ELC co-chairs, by email or online polling.

9.2)  Expressions of conscience by individual MESA members

Mesa members can identify themselves as such and make public statements representing their personal views, but cannot speak for MESA unless MESA membership as a whole has voted as described in section 9.1  above, to formally endorse a position.

10.)  Official spokespersons for MESA

A designated member of the ELC shall maintain a list of spokespersons on different issues and direct the press to those spokespersons.  The list of identified spokespersons for different issues of importance to MESA shall be published on the MESA web site.
11.)  Internal and external communications

By vote of the movement leadership in its leadership meetings, one or more of the following communications modalities may be used either by leaders or participants, as deemed appropriate:

a.)  Facebook page

Will remain open to posting by any member of the movement or the public;a place for individual expression of belief and theory;moderated to remove any material that is obviously offensive or abusive, per Facebook and MESA guidelines

b.)  Public MES web site

This web site should have “membership” capabilities allowing any individual to become a MESA “member” by registering with a user I.D. and password, and providing their email address so they can be notified via email of MES meetings, events and activities, including opinion surveys and votes by web survey instrument.Content posted by MESA members on the MESA web site shall be moderated by a designated ELC member (or MESA staff) to remove any material that is obviously offensive or abusive, per Facebook and MESA guidelines;rights to post content shall be controlled by the web master and may be removed if guidelines are violated.

This web site should provide a high-quality “blogging” environment where ELC and AC members can post articles and comments, can view and reply to the comments of other web site members.Non-MESA members may also comment in a blogging format, subject to compliance with web site protocols and guidelines.

c.)  Private MES leadership web site

This web page will be open by invitation only, to MESA leadership (ELC and AC only), for private discussion of strategy, tactics, and administrative affairs.This web site should provide a high-quality “blogging” environment where ELC and AC members can post articles and comments, can view and reply to the comments of other web site members.