2021 Chicago DSA Convention

Saturday, June 26th, 2021 11:30am to 3:00pm


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Gathering as a membership, CDSA’s highest decision-making body, we will be engaging in important debate and votes about our policies and priorities. We will also vote on the consent agenda, at which time the General Membership may take any action (ratify, amend, repeal) regarding votes taken by the Executive Committee since the General Chapter Meeting (GCM) in April. These can be found in the #ec-votes channel on the CDSA Slack.

The agenda is below and includes the final Towards a Socialist Chicago (TaSC) priorities document as well as the implementation plan from the Transparency and Accountability Ad Hoc Committee. We invite you to stay up to date on TaSC key information by reviewing the TaSC toolkit here.

Registration & Zoom Information

In order to receive the Zoom link to the meeting, you must register for the meeting on Action Network before 11:59pm on June 25th 2021. Please note that this meeting will require a password that you will be sent upon registration.

In order to receive the link to participate in the votes, you must be a member in good standing. If you are not, sign up here. If you are unsure about your membership status, please contact Liz Kantor at [email protected].

To conduct chapter business, our bylaws require that there is a quorum of at least 10% of our members in attendance.


These timelines are based on those laid out in the CDSA Chapter ByLaws and the Pre-Convention Rules and Procedures.

June 16th Convention Agenda Released
June 23rd 11:59pm Amendments to ALL Convention Proposals Due
June 25th 12:00pm Amendments posted
June 26th 11:30am Virtual Sign In & Tech Support
June 26th 12:00pm Chapter Convention Begins

Pre-Convention Technology Rules and Procedures

These rules and procedures were adopted at our June 12th EC meeting.

Agenda Accomodations for Virtual Sign in & Tech Support

The meeting will begin at 11:30am with 30 min for virtual sign in and tech support for members logging into the voting tool. However, in order to account for additional sign in time that may be needed due to members signing in right at noon, and time needed to reach quorum for voting, the first item on the agenda will be the political education portion of the meeting.

Action Network Meeting Registration

Attendees must register on Action Network form to attend the meeting. Only confirmed members will receive the link to participate in the votes. If a member is not in good standing, they need to update their membership prior to the meeting in order to vote and count toward quorum, though non-members can observe.

Proposal Question & Answer Procedure

Since most questions are disallowed by Robert’s Rules during the meeting itself, members will be able to submit questions for bylaws amendment and proposal authors in advance of the meeting, using the same timeline as the Amendment Procedure.

Questions must be submitted using this form by end of day Wednesday June 23rd, and will be sent to the appropriate proposal author(s) by email. Responses from authors will be compiled and circulated to the membership within 24 hours of the chapter meeting. If for any reason the author is unable to respond to question(s) within the specified timeframe, they may choose to address those questions in their motivation for their proposal during the meeting.

Zoom Meeting – All registrants

This Zoom meeting will require a password. You will be sent the password upon registering in the action network and again upon registering with the Zoom link. Zoom Features Chat is disabled Microphones muted Closed Captioning is available Translation line available if any members indicate such need in their registration

Voting tool - Members in good standing only

See tutorial here. At the beginning of the meeting, members will receive a link to log into that will be used for motions, debate, and votes during business-related portions of the meeting.

We will use this tool for the following:

  1. Uploading all the motions in the agenda ahead of time
  2. Adding motions/questions that we need to add throughout the meeting
  3. Stack
    a. Pro
    b. Against
    c. Call the Question
    d. Second
    e. Point of Order
    f. Point of Information
    g. Other (This is being added specifically for our mtg)

All motions and amendments will be uploaded ahead of time into the voting tool. Any substantive motions made throughout the meeting will be added in real time.

Amendment Procedure and Timeline

Due to this meeting being virtual, and due to the size of the meeting, members must submit amendments to the business-related items on the agenda prior to the meeting. Amendments to all proposals on the agenda will be due by end of day Wednesday June 23rd. Amendments will be posted on the agenda within 24 hours of the chapter mtg. Amendments must be substantive. Stylistic amendments and amendments to whereas clauses or proposal rationale will be deprioritized for the sake of time.

Members can submit amendments using this form.

No more than two amendments will be considered per proposal, except in the case of the Towards a Socialist Chicago Proposal, which may receive more if time allows. If there are more than two amendments per proposal, then the chairs (or their designees) will attempt to consolidate those amendments into 3 or less.

Convention Special Meeting Rules (not yet adopted)

These rules must be voted on and adopted at the top of the meeting. Adopting these rules helps keep the meeting efficient while also allowing for as much debate as possible on our business items.

  1. Any item stripped from the consent agenda shall receive ten minutes for debate with any member being limited to one minute to speak from the floor.
  2. Amendments to the proposals from the floor will not be accepted.
  3. Each proposal will be motivated by one speaker who will have 4 minutes to motivate their proposal.
  4. All speakers during debate will have 2 min to speak.
  5. When votes are called, they will be open on the voting tool for 60 seconds.


11:30am to 3:00pm

Meeting Chairs - Melinda Bunnage, Robin Peterson, Chapter Co-Chairs
Minutes - Will Bloom, Chapter Secretary
Parliamentarian - Keefer Dunn

I. Virtual Sign in and Tech Support (30 min)
II. Welcome (5 min)
   A. Feminist Process & Zoom Etiquette
III. Presentation from National Palestine/BDS Working Group - (15 min)
IV. Announcements (10 min)
   A. Announce Results of Officer Elections
   B. Electoral Working Subcommittees
V. Approve Meeting Agenda & Special Meeting Rules (10 min)
VI. Consent Agenda (10 min)
   A. See Understanding the Consent Agenda below for an explanation of what this is.
VII. Treasurer’s Update & Budget Approval (10 min)
VIII. Break (5 min)
IX. TASC (30 min)
   A. Amendment 1 - Stephen Thompson
   B. Amendment 2 - Kelly Mulligan
X. TAP Committee Recommendations (20 min)
XI. Break (5 min)
XII. Bylaws Amendments (60 min)
   A. Amendment to Create a Standing Secretariat (20 min)
   B. Amendment to Reform the Executive Committee (20 min)
      1. Amendment 1 - Issac Silver
      2. Amendment 2 - Dann McKeegan & Dimitri McDonald
   C. Amendment to Update Membership Mtg Criteria (20 min)
XIII. Adjourn Meeting

Feminist Process

  1. Respect the discussion and the facilitators
  2. Share the air and encourage others
  3. Consider your social position
  4. Make “I” statements
  5. Do not assign motives

Zoom Etiquette
Turn your video on if you can but please turn it off if you have to step away

Understanding the Consent Agenda

The general membership is the largest and most powerful governing body in our chapter. Therefore the general membership has the right to review all the votes taken by the EC since our last general membership meeting. The general membership must either vote to approve the entire consent agenda, or they can motion and vote to strip an item from the consent agenda to be debated and either approved or revoked. Our special rules that we will vote on will allow ten minutes for debate for an item stripped from the consent agenda.

What you need to know about Robert’s Rules

We use Robert’s Rules of Order to conduct all our business meetings. It is important for all members of CDSA to familiarize ourselves with Robert’s Rules to make sure the meetings run smoothly. It’s also important for members to be aware of what rights they have in a meeting. Robert’s Rules are intended to make debate more transparent and accessible. If you’re not sure what is going on or don’t know how to do something procedural, get on stack with a “point of information.” The chair will recognize you and answer your question before continuing with debate.

Here are some resources to review to brush up on essential robert’s rules motions:
Cheat Sheet
Robert’s Rules of Order: The Basics
Voting Card for General Body Meetings

Further Information

Other questions about the convention?
Reach out with questions at [email protected].