What is a General Assembly?

A General Assembly is an all-hands, chapter-wide meeting where members can hear from all of our chapter’s working groups and committees, get updates on local actions, strikes, and elections, and participate in the chapter’s decision-making process. We typically hold four each year (sometimes referred to as “Quarterly Assemblies”), making these meetings the best time to start organizing for working-class power. Food and beverages are provided during the meeting.

Why are General Assemblies necessary?

As a member-led, democratic organization, it is important that our members actively participate in determining which issues the chapter will focus its efforts on and direct funds toward. These decisions are made at our General Assemblies. 

How does the decision-making process work?

Prior to a General Assembly, members in good standing have the ability to add resolutions to the voting agenda, as well as amendments to other members’ resolutions, per the chapter bylaws. To add items to the voting agenda, members should submit resolutions and proposals to the Leadership Council (LC) via email. 

Here are the deadlines that are prescribed by the chapter bylaws:

  • 21 days prior to the General Assembly
    Deadline for members to submit proposed bylaws amendments to the LC as a written resolution endorsed by 5 chapter members in good standing
  • 12 days prior to the General Assembly
    Deadline for members to submit to the LC requests or petitions to add proposed resolutions to the voting agenda
  • 10 days prior to the General Assembly
    Preliminary draft of voting agenda to be distributed to the membership by the LC
  • 4 days prior to the General Assembly
    Deadline for members to submit to the LC proposed amendments to any items on the voting agenda
  • 2 days prior to the General Assembly
    Final draft of voting agenda to be distributed to the membership by the LC

In order to move forward with the decision-making process, at least 5 percent of chapter members in good standing must attend the General Assembly in its entirety. During a General Assembly, members will vote to accept the voting agenda and are encouraged to participate in debates surrounding all submitted resolutions. 

After a General Assembly, all members in good standing who attended the entire meeting will be given the opportunity to vote on those resolutions. The LC will distribute online ballots via OpaVote, and the membership body will then have 48 hours to register its votes.

Absentee ballots are available to members who are involved with DSA work that conflicts with the General Assembly. To request an absentee ballot, send the LC an email.

Is there guidance for new members?

For all of the new members who want to know how to get involved in the organization, we host a new member orientation immediately prior to the General Assembly. There, you will learn about what projects the chapter is working on, and you will have an opportunity to ask questions of current members and leadership.

Where does the General Assembly meet?

These meetings are typically held both in person and on Zoom. Members who attend in person are welcome to join us for a social afterward at a nearby venue.

How do I become a member in good standing?

To be a member in good standing, you simply need to be current on membership dues. To check on the status of your membership, follow the instructions on this page.

If you are not currently or never have been a DSA member and would like to join our chapter, click here to become a DSA member.