ARTICLE I: The Reform Party of Virginia, Our Organization’s Purpose, and Alignment With The National Reform Party
Section 1: The Reform Party of Virginia
The name of this political party shall be Reform Party of Virginia, also known as Virginia Reformers and RPVA.
Section 2: The Purpose of the Reform Party of Virginia
The purpose of this party shall be to nominate and support independent candidates for public office who are members of the Reform Party of Virginia or who align their campaign to our organization’s principles and declare themselves to be members of the Reform Party of Virginia.
The goal of Reform Party candidates shall be to create, advocate and support policies that advance the best interests of their constituents, reflect the values and positions of the Reform Party of Virginia, and represent solutions not based on ideology, but rather on an unbiased and careful reflection of all sides of an issue.
Section 3: Cooperation with the Reform Party’s National Committee
The Reform Party of Virginia pledges full cooperation with all rules and requirements promulgated in connection with any Call to the Reform Party National Convention or Reform Party National Committee.
Section 4: Cooperation with other State Reform Party Organizations
The Reform Party of Virginia pledges to cooperate with other state Reform Party chapters and organizations to the extent allowed by law, the RPVA’s Bylaws, and what is in the best interests of the RPVA.
ARTICLE II: Membership And Participation
Section 1: Membership In the Reform Party of Virginia
All citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia who believe in the principles of the Reform Party of Virginia are hereby declared to be a member of the Reform Party of Virginia.
Section 2: Participation In the Reform Party of Virginia
Every person who participates as a voter in a Reform Party primary, convention or caucus must be qualified to vote in the next ensuing general election or special election. No person shall participate in a Reform Party primary, convention or caucus who intends to support a candidate opposed to any Reform Party nominee in that general or special election.
ARTICLE III. Reform Party of Virginia State Committee
Section I: Purpose of Reform Party of Virginia State Committee
There shall be a Reform Party State Committee (herein the RPVASC) whose purpose shall be to:
- Develop and approve all RPVA operations
- Set and approve membership dues to fund the RPVA
- Create and manage a separate political action committee that is recognized under state law for the purpose of raising money for the RPVA
- Approve an operating budget that is submitted by the Treasurer
- Develop and approve a strategic marketing and communications plan
- Assign members to participate in the Reform Party’s National Committee, Convention and other national party activities
- Organize and manage a state convention
- Promote Reform Party candidates running for office
- Other duties not yet defined that relate to the daily and long-term operations of the RPVA
Section 2: Membership
The following people will be voting members in the RPVASC:
- the RPVA chairman;
- the RPVA vice-chairman;
- the RPVA treasurer;
- one member from each congressional district as either elected or appointed by an approved Congressional District Committee, or in case there is no such chapter, by the RPVA chairman;
- any Reform Party members elected to the following state government offices: Governor, Lt Governor and Attorney General;
- any Reform Party members elected to the United States Senate from Virginia;
- any Reform Party members elected to the United States Congress from Virginia; and
- the Director of Virginia Reformers Outreach;
Section 3: State Committee Arbitrator
The RPVASC will have an additional member from one of Virginia’s southern-most rural congressional districts that will be known as the State Committee Arbitrator. Currently, these districts are Congressional District 9, Congressional District 5 and Congressional District 4. This additional member will be elected or appointed, and must reside in the congressional district they represent, and that district must be one of the three mentioned above. If possible, the election or assignment of this additional member will rotate between one of these three districts every year. This additional member will be able to participate in every meeting, but will only be eligible to break ties on RPVASC votes. Election or appointment will be conducted by an approved Congressional District Committee, or in case there is no such chapter, by the RPVA chairman.
Section 4: Terms For RPVASC
The term for all RPVASC members is 2 years, except the State Committee Arbitrator, whose term is only 1 year. No member is allowed to serve more than 2 consecutive terms, or three terms in total.
Section 5: Election To RPVASC
All original members to the RPVASC will be appointed by the RPVA chairman. Elections for the RPVASC will be held in the summer during odd-numbered years. The first election will take place in the summer of 2017. The executive officers, the chairman, vice-chairman and treasurer, will be elected that year by all members of approved congressional district chapters during an open election. Voting will last 30 days and be conducted online and by paper ballot. Each Congressional District Committee also will select its one member to participate on the RPVASC. The State Committee Arbitrator election process will be determined at the RPVA State Convention in the summer of 2016.
Section 6: Rules Governing Election to RPVASC
The voting process and counting of votes for the election to the RPVASC will need to be established and managed by neutral office-holder. During the state convention in 2016, RPVA members will devise an RPVA Elections Commission that will oversee Reform Party elections, provide rules and guidance to all party members, and generally manage all state, congressional district, county and local elections of Reform Party members.
Section 7: Vacancies
The RPVASC shall fill any vacancy in the offices identified for terms that will only last until the next upcoming election. The RPVA chairman, in the event of a vacancy in the position of any RPVA executive officer, may appoint an “acting” officer to serve until the vacancy is filled by the full RPVASC or at the annual state election. Should any officer be temporarily unable to fulfill his or her duties due to extended illness or absence, the RPVA chairman may appoint a “temporary acting” officer to serve until such time (not to exceed 180 days) as the officer is able to resume his or her duties. Should the position of RPVA chairman become vacant, or should the RPVA chairman have an extended absence, the vice-chairman shall serve as temporary chair pending the election of a new RPVA chairman by the RPVASC.
Section 8: RPVASC Meetings
The RPVASC shall meet as needed, but no fewer than 6 times in one year.
RPVASC meetings may be called as follows:
- By the RPVA chairman; or
- By written call for a meeting signed by any three (3) Congressional District Committee chairs provided the signed call for a meeting is submitted to the entire RPVASC at least fourteen (14) days before the proposed meeting date, and that date does not conflict with any known Federal holidays; or
- By a vote of the RPVASC at a properly convened meeting.
The RPVA chairman and the RPVASC may issue calls for meetings without notice in order to tackle emergencies or matters deemed critical to the operations of the RPVA.
Section 9: Quorum for RPVASC Meetings
Thirty five percent (35%) of the current membership of the RPVASC shall constitute a quorum.
Section 10: Removal from the RPVASC
The RPVASC shall be able to remove from office and membership any member, except the RPVA chairman, who shall miss three (3) consecutive meetings without cause, or who shall be guilty of willful neglect of any duty imposed upon such member, or who has publicly damaged the reputation of the RPVA through their conduct. Such action shall be taken only on the recommendation of the RPVASC during a properly noticed meeting. All members who are subject to a vote of removal must be provided written notice at least thirty (30) days prior to a meeting, and be given an opportunity to discuss the situation with the RPVASC to correct any problems. The RPVASC can remove any member from office by a majority vote.
Only the RPVA chairman is exempt from removal by the RPVASC. In order to remove the RPVA chairman from his/her role, the RPVASC must call a special state meeting for a presentation on removal. All members of the RPVASC will be eligible to speak, and the RPVA chairman will be able to defend all accusations. After completion of this presentation, which is not to last more than 1 day, all RPVA congressional district members will vote on whether or not to remove the RPVA chairman. A simple majority vote is required.
ARTICLE IV: Amendments to ByLaws
Section 1: These ByLaws may be amended by a majority of the RPVASC at any time until December 31, 2016, or during a meeting of the RPVA State Committee.
Following December 31, 2016, all proposed changes or amendments to the RPVA’s ByLaws must be properly noticed to the RPVASC members and congressional district chapters. Such notice needs to include the date for discussion of the amendment, as well as the language of the amendment. Both must be distributed to all aforementioned members at least fourteen (14) days before the vote on the amendment.
ARTICLE V: Congressional District Committees and Other Chapters
Section 1: Congressional District Committees
Each Congressional District will form committees that will serve as RPVA branches for constituent services, campaigns and other activities.
To become a recognized and official Congressional District Committee within the RPVA, the Committee must form an organization and submit a request to the RPVASC for approval. An interview will be part of the approval process. RPVASC approval is determined by a simple majority vote.
Once recognized, Congressional District Committees will be eligible to elect or appoint a member for the RPVASC. Once appointed, a Committee member will be subject to all RPVASC rules.
Congressional District Committees are only required to hold one (1) election or appointment cycle for their organization’s officers and for a member to the RPVASC.
All Congressional District Committee meetings are to be published fourteen (14) days in advance of the meeting date and shared with the RPVA, and all meetings should be open to the public. If there is need for an emergency meeting, and the fourteen (14) day advance notice mandate cannot be met, the Congressional District Committee must submit a request for approval from the RPVA chairman. If the RPVA chairman does not respond to this request within 24 hours, the request will be considered granted. Congressional District Committee meetings that are to include financial information may be closed to the public or they may be held separately from the main meeting to exclude people who are not part of the Committee’s governing body.
Each Congressional District Committee is responsible for its own budget and operations, but must report to the RPVASC on the state of their organization at least once every three (3) months. Their report must include the latest financial reporting, as well as details on field activities, membership, member issues, campaign issues and other topics the Committee believes are relevant and important for RPVASC to know.
Each Congressional District Committee shall have entire charge and full control of all matters relating to nominations for the United States Congress. Any Primary Elections will be mainly managed by the RPVA Elections Commission, but run with direction by the Congressional District Committee.
Section 2: Other RPVA Chapters
People may form chapters and groups that connect to the RPVA, such as College Reformers, Hispanic Reformers, Business Owners for Reform, etc.
To become a recognized and official chapter or group within the RPVA, the chapter or group must form an organization and submit a request to the RPVASC for approval. An interview will be part of the approval process.
Once recognized, the chapter or group will be invited to have non-voting members attend RPVASC meetings and take part in other RPVA activities.
ARTICLE VI: Nomination of Candidates for Office and the Holding of Primaries
Section 1: Nomination of Candidates for Office
At the time of writing these ByLaws, the Reform Party of Virginia is not recognized as a political party by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Congressional District Committees will establish a process for nomination of candidates for the United States Congress.
All other candidates requesting to run for local, county, state or Federal office as Reform Party of Virginia candidates, must submit a written request to the RPVASC and be interviewed. The RPVASC will make a final determination on its endorsement, or create a preliminary primary structure for candidates to follow.
Section 2: Holding of Primaries
If necessary, all primaries should be held in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The RPVASC reserves the right to amend the primary process at any time between now and the founding of a RPVA Election Commission. Once the Election Commission has been established, it will outline and recommend the process for primaries and RPVA elections.
ARTICLE VII: Delegates To Reform Party National Convention
Section 1: Delegates to the Reform Party National Convention
The RPVA will send delegates to the Reform Party National Convention in accordance with the rules established by the Reform Party National Committee and any convention authority. The RPVASC will make a determination on which RPVA members attend the National Convention.
ARTICLE VIII: RPVA State Convention
Section 1: RPVA State Convention
The RPVA State Convention will take place each year for the purpose of finalizing the nominations of candidates for office, selecting delegates to the Reform Party National Convention (if during a Presidential election), and other business requiring the entire state party such as amending the RPVA platform.
Delegates at the RPVA state convention shall consist of all members of the RPVASC, all local, county and state elected officials, delegations from the various Congressional District Committees, and other distinguished invitees as approved by the RPVASC.
During Presidential years, the Convention shall nominate Presidential Electors and alternate Electors for each U.S. Congressional District. Only delegates who reside in each U.S. Congressional District may vote for their respective Presidential Elector and alternate Elector, except that in the event delegates from each Congressional District are not present, the full strength of the Presidential Electors may be elected by the convention at large.
ARTICLE IX: Communication on the State of the RPVA
Section 1: Communication on the State of the RPVA
It shall be the responsibility of the RPVA chairman to regularly communicate with RPVA members on the state of the Party.
These ByLaws have been seen and approved by the Reform Party of Virginia on December 18, 2015.