Grievance Process Advocate

The grievance process advocate(s) (GPA) is/are elected by the general membership at the annual Member Convention. Prospective GPAs can nominate themselves or be nominated by another member, in advance of a general meeting or from the floor. Until it is filled by election, the steering committee will appoint an interim GPA. The GPA is responsible for supporting the initial needs of the grievance process if/when it is voted in by the general membership. The GPA cannot hold any additional elected roles in the chapter. Responsibilities include the following:

  • 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. Track training completed and maintain up-to-date lists of volunteers qualified by training requirement completion to participate in the grievance committee.
  • Support individual growth of grievance committee members who seek to build skills in transformative justice.
  • Maintain a database of resources in re: transformative/restorative justice for ongoing training of grievance committee and other DSA members/leaders/branches.
  • Provide written/oral updates to TCDSA general membership via e-mail and general membership meetings.
  • Maintain communications with DSA national as needed.
  • Report to the TCDSA steering committee as needed.
  • Represent TCDSA grievance committee at the national convention.
  • Plan and coordinate grievance process evaluation on an annual basis.
  • Coalition build with other organizations to continue to learn, grow, and support the local and global community invested in replacing carceral practices with transformative justice.
  • Work to develop relationships with transformative justice practitioners available to facilitate transformative practices for members who file grievances.
  • Support the development of a culture of transformative justice in TCDSA.

The GPA is not responsible for making decisions about grievances. The grievance process is designed to be collective, and it is vital that the grievance committee maintain this non-hierarchical structure.

The responsibilities outlined above need not be carried out ONLY by the GPA, and there may be more than one person elected as GPA at any given time. It is desirable that all grievance committee members also be strong advocates for the grievance process within and outside of TCDSA. However, 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.

The GPA position should be up for evaluation annually from the grievance committee to determine its necessity/value. When the GPA position is no longer necessary as a formal role, then the grievance committee may vote to dissolve it.

The GPA can be recalled either a) through the standard recall process outlined in the Grievance Process, or b) if a simple majority of the grievance committee votes to recall the GPA.