Standing Rules for Philly DSA

Last amended 11/4/2021

General Meetings

Resolution and Amendment Submission

  1. All resolutions up for debate at a general meeting must be submitted to the resolutions commission of the steering committee at least 14 days prior to the meeting. The resolutions commission will make sure that the resolution is in order with Roberts Rules, the Philly DSA Bylaws, and the Philly DSA Standing Rules.
  2. Only resolutions with 5 or more co-sponsor signatures shall be considered at a General Meeting.
  3. 11 days prior to the meeting, the Resolutions Commission shall inform resolution authors if their resolution is out of order. The authors shall have 2 days to resubmit their resolutions to bring them in order. The resolutions commission will make sure that the resubmitted resolution is in order with Roberts Rules, the Philly DSA Bylaws, and the Philly DSA Standing Rules
  4. A GM packet shall be published 7 days prior to the meeting.
  5. All amendments to resolutions must be submitted to the resolutions commission of the steering committee at least 4 days prior to the meeting. The resolutions commission will make sure that the resolution is in order with Roberts Rules, the Philly DSA Bylaws, and the Philly DSA Standing Rules.
  6. The full General Meeting packet with all business planned for the memberships' consideration shall be published 48 hours prior to the meeting. 

Motivation and Debate

  1. During debate members are asked to be respectful and comradely towards each other. Please confine comments to the merits of the matter being discussed. 
  2. The chair will introduce resolutions to be debated as laid out by the order of the agenda with full title and number so that members may follow along in the packet. The chair will introduce a new resolution as a main motion and introduce an author of the resolution to talk about its content. The author will then have 3 minutes of speaking time. After this the body will move into debating the resolution.
  3. All speakers whether in debate or from the floor should state their name.
  4. In the event that there is an amendment to the resolution, immediately after the main resolution is introduced, the chair will call up an author of the amendment to speak about its content. The author will have 2 minutes to introduce their amendment. The body will then move directly into debating the amendment. After a vote is taken on the amendment, the body will move directly into debating the main motion.
  5. Any motion that requires debate will be allowed to have 3 speakers for and against. After 3 speakers for each side, the chair will ask for points or motions, at which time members can motion to extend speakers for and against (by a definite number of speakers, eg 1 more speaker for and against), can call the question, etc.
  6. If the meeting is approaching the scheduled adjournment time, the chair will ask the membership if it would like to refer agenda items to the steering committee for a vote.

Sub-Bodies of the Local - Committees, Commissions, Auxiliary Bodies

Committee Online Voting Policy

Online voting should be avoided and used only for noncontroversial matters that require a rapid response. When a decision is raised in committee for a vote online, members have at least 24 hours to respond. If during that time two or more members of the committee request via email to hold off on the vote pending further deliberation and/or online discussion, the online vote is null and void, even if a majority of the committee has already voted.

Committee Membership

  1. Committees must have at least 3 members.
  2. Committees must set standards for membership on the committee, to be approved by the Steering Committee. Criteria may include but are not limited to - committee meeting attendance, attendance at events organized by the committee, and continued active participation in the committee. These standards must be made clear and be easily accessible for committee members to review. If a member of a committee violates one of these standards, the chair of the committee must notify the Steering Committee and request member removal.
  3. Chairs may (as laid out in the bylaws and standing rules) appoint additional or replacement members to their committee on a rolling basis.
  4. Committees may create additional internal positions, including but not limited to a vice-chair or secretary, as suits their organizational needs.

Committee Reporting Requirements

  1. Meetings of temporary committees are public and should be advertised in the bulletin and on the Philly DSA website
  2. Meeting minutes of temporary committees should be submitted to the secretary of the chapter no later than 2 months after regular meetings
  3. Temporary committees must submit quarterly written reports to the secretary of the chapter

Committee Budgets

Each year and/or within three months of the committee’s establishment, the committee chair will meet with the chapter treasurer to discuss their anticipated budgetary needs. The treasurer will then deliberate with the steering committee, which will vote to determine the committee’s annual budget.

Temporary Committees

  1. The scope of temporary committees may be one of the following
    1. Organizing a campaign or tactic
    2. Carrying out a specific task within the local not yet delegated to another body, committee, or commission
    3. Studying a specific political question
    4. Issuing recommendations pertinent to a current or potential task in the local
  2. Upon proposal, temporary committee resolutions should specify who will chair the committee and any criteria for membership. The rest of the committee members will be appointed by the Steering Committee chair and vice chair of the chapter, in consultation with the chair of the temporary committee.
  3. The committee chair will be responsible for ensuring that the committee:
    1. Follows the chapters internal reporting standards
    2. Effectively carries out its activities
    3. Remains within the mandate given to it by the membership

Non-Deliberative and Auxiliary Groups

  1. Meetings of non-deliberative and auxiliary groups will be advertised if they obtain approval from the steering committee
  2. Any events organized by non-deliberative and auxiliary groups must obtain approval either from the general membership (at a general meeting) or the steering committee in order to officially be considered a Philly DSA event, entitled to using the chapter name, getting online advertising from the chapter, and getting support from chapter committees
  3. Non-deliberative and auxiliary groups cannot have social media accounts (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc) representing themselves as official bodies of Philly DSA unless they seek and obtain approval from the steering committee

Steering Committee

Ad Hoc Action Approval

  1. Requests to endorse/advertise/co-sponsor/participate in other group’s actions or events should be sent to the chair and vice chair at [email protected]
  2. Chairs should present requests to the steering committee no later than the following regular steering committee meeting. If the request must be responded to before the next regular meeting, the steering committee should make a decision via email or virtual call.
  3. Requests about ad hoc actions should be evaluated based on:
    1. The criteria laid out in resolution 11:18:05
    2. The priorities established at our local convention
    3. Philly DSA’s active campaign work
    4. Whether or not any official coalition partners are involved

Steering Committee Communications Policy

  1. Any requests to the chairs or steering committee of Philly DSA must be sent to the official chapter gmail [email protected].  A response to the email will be issued within 72 hours.
  2. Requests for agenda items: A member can request to add an item to the steering committee agenda. Such requests must be sent no less than 72 hours ahead of the steering committee meeting or they are not guaranteed consideration. A member of the steering committee must then request that the item be added to the agenda.
  3. Requests to endorse, co-sponsor, promote an outside event must be sent at least a week in advance. Requests sent in less than a week in advance may still be considered but the steering committee may not have enough time to discuss and make a decision. Upon approving Philly DSA’s participation in an outside event, the steering committee will appoint one of its members to serve as a point person to help coordinate any outreach as well as other event needs. They may also choose to appoint additional people to help from the chapter writ large.


  1. The chair of the local may appoint a coordinating committee of up to three (3) members for any platform priority


  1. A Steering Committee Member wishing to resign from the committee should notify the Secretary. The resignation will be voted on for acceptance at the next Steering Committee meeting following the notification of the Secretary.

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