Steering Committee Elections!

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It’s that time of year again, comrades: the September convention is just under a month away (September 21st!), and that means it’s time to start considering whether you are the right person to run for leadership as co-chair, grievance process advocate(s), political education coordinator, recording secretary, treasurer, or technology coordinator.

Don’t forget that in addition to the duties described below, per our recently-adopted Grievance Process, every person holding a leadership position must complete a grievance and conflict related training.

Submit nominations here, and read on for descriptions of the open Steering Committee positions (written by the folks currently serving in these roles). Please send in your nomination before September 18th so we can make sure your candidacy statement will be included in the meeting packet and voting ballots.

This page will be updated as the descriptions are received and expanded, so stay tuned!

Co-chair

What does the co chair do?

  • Point person between the chapter and National staff (field organizers, support staff, etc)
  • Chairs the Steering Committee
    • Selecting date and location
    • Creating agenda
    • Leading and facilitating the meeting
    • Reviewing minutes and decisions of the past meeting
    • Calls extra meetings if needed more than once a month
  • Chairs the General Membership meetings
    • Conducts RONR when needed
    • Helps to craft the agenda, usually with input from across the chapter
    • Is up front moving the agenda along
    • Greets and socializes with new members, introduces themselves
  • One of only 2 people empowered to speak on behalf of the chapter to the media, per bylaws
  • Helps with social media
  • Fields Contact Form Submissions from the website
    • Usually these are asking how to join or checking membership status
  • Keeps in contact with core organizers of chapters through one-on-ones, phone calls, etc
  • Administrator of Slack
  • Pulls membership lists from National
  • Understands the constitution and bylaws well; understands national office well; has contacts in other chapters
  • Contact for statewide organizing efforts
  • Able to connect organizers to r&f members [e.g. I’m interested in housing justice, who can I talk to?]
  • Has access to the office- helps with printing & swag as needed
  • Attends events to see what is happening in the chapter

What type of person should consider running?

  • Someone who can practice democratic leadership- has their own visions and is unafraid to voice them and also be challenged on them
  • Comfortable with conflict and able to create a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere
  • Comfortable with saying ‘I don’t know’
  • Someone who can be charismatic and active when they don’t have the energy or capacity
  • Not a perfectionist. Comfortable with uncertainty
  • Organized
  • Is an organizer- can bring people into DSA
  • Has an answer to the following questions:
    • What is Twin Cities DSA?
    • How do I get involved?
    • What is the chapter working on?
  • Multitasker
  • Good at Twitter and Facebook

Time investment?

  • Anywhere from 5 to 15 hours a week, depending on your own capacity and what is needed by the steering committee and your other co-chair.

– Nic R.

Grievance process advocate(s)

What do the grievance process advocates do?

  • The GPA is responsible for supporting the initial needs of the grievance process when voted in by the general membership. The GPA cannot hold any additional elected roles in the chapter.  The GPA will advocate for the successful implementation of the grievance process as written and voted on by the chapter; coordinate trainings for grievance committee volunteers and TCDSA officers/leaders; and track training completed and maintain up-to-date lists of volunteers qualified by training requirement completion to participate in the grievance committee. The GPA will provide guidance, support, facilitation, and coordination necessary to initiate the grievance process until/unless the grievance committee finds the GPA’s role unnecessary. For a complete description of responsibilities, please go to https://twincitiesdsa.org/grievance-process-advocate/

– Steering Committee & Grievance Process Committee

Political education coordinator

What does the political education coordinator do?

  • The role of Political Education Coordinator requires that a person help generate and organize regular events that help further the analysis and skills of members of the Twin Cities DSA chapter and anyone of the local community also interested in socialism and socialist organizing. Additionally, as a listed member of the Steering Committee the PolEd coordinator must be available to engage with the Steering Committee on a regular basis including SC meetings, online discussions and online votes.
  • The specifics of how to coordinate political education are not spelled out, however examples in the recent past include:
    • Introductory courses like “Socialism 101”
    • Skills building courses like “Roberts Rules Primer” or “Meeting Facilitation”
    • Book groups
    • Discussions with branches and working groups to appraise their educational needs and offer direct assistance and guidance
    • Helping promote educational events being hosted by specific Branches and Working Groups

What type of person should consider running?

  • forthcoming

Time investment?

  • forthcoming

– Anders B.

Recording secretary

What does the recording secretary do?

  • Duties of the RecSec include: attending Steering Committee and General Meetings on a regular basis, being able to listen and take notes on a computer, clean up documents and keep files organized in Google Drive, work with the Ops Committee and SC to provide meeting minutes or answer questions about meetings that may arise, be available for members who have questions about the meetings, and contribute thoughtful responses in SC meetings.

What type of person should consider running?

  • The Recording Secretary position is a great position for those who want to start taking on a leadership position in DSA. This position is great for someone who wants to learn more about our chapter and start getting involved in a more meaningful, productive way. This is also a great position for someone who is responsible, timely, and practices active listening and W.A.I.T. (Why Am I Talking?). This position also should ideally never have someone from a systemically marginalized background in it two terms in a row.

Time investment?

  • forthcoming

– Lauren N.

Note: At the request of the Operations & Steering Committees, the Recording Secretary role may be expanded in the coming months to include participation in the newly-created Communications Committee as its Steering Committee representative. If you’re interested in getting involved in the Comms Committee, find us on slack and watch the calendar for upcoming meetings.

Treasurer

What does the treasurer do?

  • Treasurer responsibilities: The Treasurer is responsible for tying out chapter finances and providing a report on them at least quarterly, with additional reports for specific fundraising or general meetings as necessary. They will chair a budget/fundraising meeting quarterly after each of those reports to discuss and direct the future of the chapter’s finances. The treasurer is also responsible for filing federal taxes and for ensuring reporting compliance on the federal, state and municipal level for any political campaigns the chapter is involved in.
  • Finally, the treasurer is responsible for documenting and approving expenses, and disbursing reimbursements them to the member who incurred them.

What type of person should consider running?

  • Anyone who likes numbers and bean counting. if you’re acutely aware of the fact that Excel is a much better program than Word, RUN!

Time investment?

  • 2-5 hours/week (+chaired meetings and tie outs that will take maybe 10 hours every 3 months)

– Rob T.

Technology Coordinator

What does the tech coordinator do?

  • The TCDSA Technology Coordinator is responsible for maintaining the chapter’s website, databases, email addresses, and other infrastructure. They are also responsible for implementing chapter social media and member data policies. The tech coordinator typically works closely with the operations committee. Some of the day to day tasks include making updates to the website as requested and sending email password resets. Longer term tasks include researching new software and tools that the chapter could adopt.

What type of person should consider running?

  • The tech coordinator should ideally have the following skills:
    • Strong security and privacy best practices knowledge
    • Development operations knowledge
    • Knowledge of how to operate a virtual private server (VPS)
    • Web domain configuration knowledge, including DNS
    • Familiarity with WordPress, including plugins and themes
    • Basic knowledge of databases such as MySQL
    • JavaScript, HTML, and CSS coding skills

Time investment?

  • The tech coordinator should expect to spend 2 to 8 hours per week on work directly related to the position responsibilities, depending on the week-to-week needs of the chapter.

– Eugene B.

Ready to run? Click here to nominate yourself or a comrade.

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