For starters, just show up.
The NHSC does not collect dues from its members. We do not require a prospective member to score above a certain level on a 50-question ideology quiz. (The only ideological requirement we can feasibly be said to hold is a commitment to the utter destruction of capitalism and not merely its reform.) We do not need you to sign over legal parental rights to your firstborn child or favorite pet. We’re not asking for a whole lot, actually. As has been mentioned elsewhere, this is a multi-tendency Coalition based in work and action. Want to do work and take action toward the end goal of successful working class struggle and abolition of capitalism? Great. Our meetings, both standard and virtual, are scheduled publicly. Show up.
So what’s a member, then?
In the NH Socialist Coalition, a member is an organizer with the right to vote and the right to initiate Minor Initiatives. Those without the right to vote are still welcome at meetings – and that includes the right to participate in discussion, ask as many questions as is necessary, and raise any objection within reason – and absolutely encouraged to participate in any NHSC initiative, major or minor.
What’s the trick to being allowed to vote?
Show up. Seriously. Our flexible, participation-based model extends to voting membership itself. Here’s how it works:
Anyone who attends three (3) consecutive activities (which must include at least one (1) meeting) or five (5) nonconsecutive activities (which must include at least one (1) meeting) within a four-month period has earned the right to vote. As a formality, the qualification of a new member shall be presented to the full membership at the very next meeting, to ensure none move to veto the new membership, in which case arguments will be heard and a roll call vote conducted to determine if the required 3/4 majority can be attained.
For those who qualify for Virtual Meeting attendance some or all of the time, we have a slightly modified membership schedule:
Anyone who attends four (4) consecutive Virtual Meetings and during that same period of time attended two (2) in-person activities or five (5) non-consecutive Virtual Meetings plus three (3) in-person activities during a four-month period has earned the right to vote. The same formal process to confirm that no objections to this prospective membership exists will be conducted here.
Are exceptions granted for special circumstances?
Sure. Though no specific cases have yet been identified, it is entirely possible that an individual may be considered to have earned voting membership despite a technical failure to meet the established criteria. Such an exception can be approved with a two-thirds majority of voting members.
Is this a blood in, blood out kind of thing?
Not really – although perhaps that’s a model we should consider in the future. If at any point you wish to formally resign, you may do so freely. You will immediately lose voting privileges but will still be welcome at NHSC meetings and events, and, in the event that you change your mind, you may regain your voting status at any time by meeting the new member criteria.
Total inactivity for a period of four (4) months will result in automatic loss of voting status. Attendance at just one single event, activity, or meeting during that time period is sufficient for the retention of voting rights, but if one demonstrates oneself to be following merely the law’s letter by showing up only just barely often enough to retain rights, it is possible that one’s membership status may be brought up for review. An expulsion vote (requiring a three-fourths majority) may be conducted on the grounds that one’s violation of the law’s spirit indicates a misguided commitment to formal membership as an end unto itself, instead of a commitment based in solidarity, struggle, and action. And we are, if it is not yet clear, an action-based Coalition.
Should a member be experiencing a personal hardship, illness, crisis, etc. that keeps that member from participation for an extended period of time, a hardship exemption shall be granted upon reasonable request, no vote required.