Tenant Organizing Working Group Charter

Rechartered: 2022-03-27

Article I: Name

The name of this group shall be the Tenant Organizing Working Group (hereafter TOWG).

Article II: Scope

  1. The purpose of TOWG shall be to fulfill the following objectives:
    1. Seek to fully understand the economic and political situation of tenants in Madison
    2. Contribute to the development of local tenant organizing projects, including Madison Tenant Power (hereafter MTP)
    3. Facilitate the distribution of rights information and tenant resources to tenants
    4. Ground the struggle for tenant rights in a fundamentally socialist analysis, emphasizing at all times the irreconcilability of tenant and landlord interests and the paramount necessity of building tenant, and working class, power
  2. Using the following strategies
    1. Thorough investigation into the conditions of Madison tenants, including independent investigations and contact with groups already involved in tenant struggles
    2. Analysis of the successes and failures of the historical Madison Tenants Union and similar contemporary projects in other cities
    3. Organization of neighborhood, block or building associations which can then be combined into a city-wide tenant union

Article III: Relationship to Madison Tenant Power

Madison Tenant Power (MTP) was launched in spring 2019 as an outgrowth of TOWG, with aims of building a city-wide tenant union organization open to all tenants irrespective of MADSA membership. As such MTP is, or aims to be, autonomous, and simultaneously many people active in MTP over time have also been MADSA members. As a MADSA working group, TOWG does not generally have meetings separate from MTP meetings, although it may as the need arises; and TOWG will be responsible for MADSA-specific matters that arise in the course of MTP work.

Article IV: Membership, Meetings, and Voting

  1. Membership in TOWG is open to all MADSA members in good standing. All MADSA members who have attended at least one TOWG or MTP activity in the last 6 months are voting members.
  2. Any membership-related issues are to be brought to the MADSA Executive Committee. As a body of MADSA, TOWG is subject to the Harassment-Grievance process.
  3. TOWG will strive to have biweekly meetings, including MTP meetings. Meetings may also be called on an as-needed basis by either the co-chairs or any member, with at least 1 weeks’ advance notice to the membership. TOWG may not prevent a DSA member from attending working group meetings.
  4. TOWG will make decisions in a democratic manner, voting on what actions they take. Any member may call for a vote on any decision. A simple majority will suffice for any decision.

Article V: Leadership

  1. TOWG shall elect two co-chairs from its membership. The co-chairs shall be responsible for coordinating the work of the group and communicating with the MADSA Executive Committee.
  2. At least one co-chair should be a non-cis male, if feasible, but the group will not require non-cis male comrades to be in this position if they do not want to.
  3. Co-chair elections shall be held annually, ideally after the adoption or extension of the TOWG charter. Voting in co-chair elections shall be open to all TOWG voting members, as established in Article IV.
  4. Co-chairs are limited to two consecutive one-year terms, but may run for as many terms total as they like.
  5. If there is a co-chair vacancy before the end of a term, an election will be held to fill that vacancy for the remainder of the term.
  6. Recall of co-chairs shall be conducted through the MADSA Executive Committee.

Article VI: Finances

  1. TOWG requests a budget of $600 for the year: $400 to contribute to web hosting services for MTP; and $200 for printing, postage, or other purposes as we deem appropriate.
  2. TOWG finances are to be handled through MADSA’s Treasurer and should not be independently managed. Any funds raised by TOWG shall be submitted to MADSA’s Treasurer; funds submitted are not for MADSA general purposes and are to be added to TOWG’s ledger. MADSA’s Treasurer must disburse allocated funds as directed by TOWG.

Article VII: Terms of Charter

  1. Effective until the 2023 MADSA Convention Meeting.
  2. TOWG will be governed in accordance with the bylaws of MADSA, which describe in full the mechanisms of working group operation and leadership selection.