Electoral Politics Working Group Charter

Article I: Name

  1. The Electoral Politics Working Group, hereafter EPWG,
  2. which would report to the Madison Area Democratic Socialists of America (MADSA) chapter.

Article II: Scope

  1. The EPWG will fulfill the following objectives:
    1. Understand the terrain of political and electoral power at the city, county, state, and federal level in Wisconsin,
    2. Develop a policy platform that confronts salient obstacles to working class power and provides clear material benefits to working class people,
    3. Support and propel openly socialist candidates into public office through sustainable, issue-focused, movement politics,
    4. Build the organizational capacity, leadership ability, and membership engagement of MADSA.
  2. Using these initial strategies:
    1. Mapping local power structures to identify specific issues and elections where DSA’s resources can most effectively impact and alter power arrangements in favor of working people,
    2. Building chapter expertise in local government function and socialist policy,
    3. Establishing criteria and processes for identification and endorsement of political candidates by the MADSA chapter,
    4. Developing independent electoral organization — including field/canvassing operation, campaign leadership, and voter data  specific to MADSA and MADSA- endorsed candidates,
    5. Establishing political coalitions with other allied organizations;
  3. To last until the above objectives are met.

Article III: Membership and Leadership

  1. Participation is open to all MADSA members.
  2. EPWG will be governed by the bylaws of MADSA, which describe in detail the operation and leadership selection of Working Groups.
  3. Members of MADSA who have filed their candidacy for elected public office shall be excluded from certain EPWG activities.
    1. Any member of MADSA who has filed their candidacy for elected public office or is a campaign affiliate may not participate in the candidate interview and research process conducted by the EPWG. 
      1. Participation is here defined as meetings, email exchanges, ad hoc discussions, and other activities as needed.

Article IV: Electoral Endorsements

  1. In order for an electoral candidate to receive a MADSA endorsement, they must secure a majority “aye” vote by members at a General Meeting (GM) at which quorum is met.
  2. EPWG will conduct a process to interview and research candidates who are seeking this endorsement. EPWG will produce endorsement recommendations for MADSA membership as a product of the following interview and research process:
    1. Candidates seeking an EPWG endorsement recommendation of their campaign must be interviewed by a panel of MADSA members. The interview panel will be organized by EPWG. 
    2. Notes from the interview will be used during discussions by EPWG, which shall vote to approve a candidate recommendation for MADSA membership by a majority vote.
    3. In order to finalize a recommendation from EWPG after the vote, the candidate must then agree to one of the following:
      1. Attend a GM and address questions from members.
      2. Make a recording addressing questions from members. This recording may be presented during a GM.
    4. These recommendations will be presented during a GM prior to the general election for a candidate’s office.
  3. Candidates who are members of MADSA in good standing may receive a MADSA endorsement through one of two processes:
    1. They may participate in the candidate interview process conducted by EPWG described in §IV.2.
    2. They may bypass the interview process and directly introduce a motion during a GM to endorse their candidacy for office.

Article V: Finances

  1. No special allotment of funds other than for meeting space and incidental expenses such as printing are anticipated.