Philly Socialists is a political organization dedicated to building a more just, democratic, and sustainable future.
The purpose of this policy is to protect the members of Philly Socialists from unwanted sexual advances, harassment, contact, and violence. In order to ensure our members' trust and sense of safety, Philly Socialists does not tolerate any form of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Violence as defined in this policy.
Philly Socialists seeks to create a culture that models the just and equal future we hope to build, and, in doing so, discourages sexual violence/abuse. In addition to promoting safety for everyone, the intent of this policy is to create an accountable and respectful environment where people have the opportunity to learn to be be allies of those who suffer violence, abuse and discrimination of a sexual naturevalues and skills which are so lacking in both mainstream and radical left cultures of today.
The definition of Sexual Violence includes the illegal activities of rape, incest, child sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and voyeurism, and are under no circumstances tolerated.
Additionally, Philly Socialists does not tolerate Sexual Harassment because it is a form of sex discrimination. The definition of Sexual Harassment expands beyond illegal activities relating to sex. Sexual harassment includes unwanted physical, verbal, or written advances, sexual threats, insinuation of sexual acts, and any unwelcome behaviors which cause a victim to feel uncomfortable, intimidated, unsafe, voiceless, or helpless. Please bear in mind that Sexual Harassment can be explicit or implicit.
This policy applies to all Philly Socialists members and anyone attending Philly Socialists’ events, including nonmembers. This policy does not replace police or legal intervention.
The following activities are inappropriate and constitute as (but are not limited to) sexual harassment regardless of whether or not they are illegal:
Women are often on the receiving end of unwanted contact and members should not further this issue. Members should act to maximize the agency and empowerment of regularly minimized groups.
Unacceptable behaviors should be called out. Silence is complicitness.
Efforts must be made to decenter men/maleness/masculinity from the culture of the group.
Philly Socialists will respond to all accusations and complaints within one week of being notified.
When in doubt, the account of the accuser will be believed over the account of the accused.
In the case of sexual violence:
In the case of sexual harassment:
Bullying is not tolerated in Philly Socialists, and is a behavior that is a serious threat to democracy. Those who bully other Philly Socialists members or participants, and do not cease the behavior once asked, may be temporarily or permanently expelled from the organization.
The purpose of this policy is to protect the members of Philly Socialists from intimidation, harassment, trolling, threats, aggression and physical harm.
The intent of this policy is to create an environment where all Philly Socialists members and participants can express opinions, make decisions, and do work in the organization without fear of malicious treatment.
Moreover, this policy protects Philly Socialists as an organization where collective and individual actions are made through a democratic decision-making process based on our shared values, not through coercion.
The Constitution currently reads, under section J (“Sanctions and Appeals”), subsection 3 (“Sanctions against individuals function in the following ways”):
Bullying is generally defined as systematic, annoying, and continued actions which include threats and demands; creating a hostile situation by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct; in order to intimidate someone and establish dominance.
There are three types of bullying: verbal, social, and physical.
Verbal bullying includes (but is not limited to):
Social bullying includes (but is not limited to):
Physical bullying includes (but is not limited to):
In addition to these examples, bullying is also considered conduct that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to the organization's legitimate activities.
Bullying should not be taken to mean:
However, private expressions of any of the above toward individuals may constitute bullying when the individual in question feels the expressions are unwelcome, hostile, and/or excessive. If any individual feels they are being contacted in a repeated, hectoring, or intimidating manner, they are strongly encouraged to initiate a rectification process in the manner outlined in the "Procedures" section.
This policy applies to all Philly Socialists members and anyone attending Philly Socialists’ events, including nonmembers.
Individuals who feel bullied can put forward a formal request to tell the individual to stop correspondence with them via email or in person, or request an intervention by the Arbiter.
Ideally, this request should be given via email, text, or Facebook since it leaves an electronic trail. The language could be along the lines of "I am requesting you no longer speak to me privately outside of meetings, and I will not reply to further correspondence."
If the bully continues to pester the target they should notify the Arbiter(s) of their choice.
The Arbiter(s) will offer the bully anti-bullying materials and training opportunities.
Together, the Arbiter(s) and target of the bullying will determine subsequent actions, based on the severity of the issue and the wishes of the target.
Potential actions include:
At the target’s request, the Arbiter(s) will take all steps necessary to protect the identity of the target as much as possible.
The Arbiter will let the Central Committee and Branch leaders know that there was an accusation against the bully and the course of action that the target decided upon.
The Central Committee may issue a public announcement disassociating the organization with the bully, and explaining why; this would both warn other activists as well as inform members and nonmembers that this individual is a bully.
The Arbiters will also strive to provide trainings on bullying behavior, empathy, etc. for the membership at large.
Some branches ask potential members to fill out a short survey in order to become a branch member. If your branch participates in this process please fill out this Branch Survey and email it to the head of your branch.
This branch is founded on a commitment to feminism, diversity, equality, and safety for all members. Due to the predominance of white, straight, cismen in activist and socialist spaces, the focus of this branch is to empower and promote women, POC, and queer members and leaders. Philly Socialists is a political organization dedicated to doing political projects. Thus, the main goals of this branch are to: effectively run a political project, to recruit a diverse membership, and to create a safe space for women and traditionally underrepresented minorities on the Left.
To that end, the structure of the branch is as follows (unless voted on by a majority of membership to be changed):
Prospective members must complete a branch survey form and be voted in by 2/3 of voting members. Members can be recalled by a majority vote at any time.
Membership in the branch is separate from membership in Philly Socialists at large. If not admitted into the branch (due to the quota being met or unaligned goals), prospective members are welcome to become an at-large member of Philly Socialists, or pursue membership in a local or university branch.
Members who are accepted into the branch must begin paying dues (if they are not already doing so) to complete membership process.
Only non cis-men (self-identified) can vote on accepting or recalling members. All dues-paying members of the branch can vote on all other branch matters that require a vote.
No more than 1/3 of the total branch membership will consist of self-identified cis-, straight, white men.
When the quota has been satisfied, interested members will be placed on a waiting list. Once there are open spots in the branch, members will be accepted from the waiting list in the order in which they were originally added.
The main goal of the branch is to engage in project work. All members must support the branch project, whether by involvement in project or taking on other supporting tasks such as making calls, planning meetings or socials, flyering for events, tabling, etc. On a monthly basis, this could include any of the following: 2 project volunteer hours, 5 phone calls, 1 flyering run, planning 1 social event, attending 1 tabling event, etc. This requirement is flexible and takes into account other responsibilities/commitments of our members.
All members will abide by existing Philly Socialists’ policies, including the Sexual Harassment Policy and Anti-Bullying Policy.
A branch email list will be established for communications about logistics and practical planning only. It will not serve as a space for political discussion or debate. Members will have access to the existing Theory and Strategy/Policy/Projects email lists and may pursue discussions there.
The branch will have an informational meeting no more than once per month unless there is a specific reason for an extra meeting. Projects may require their own meetings, to be called at the discretion of the project leader/members. Branch meetings will not serve as political education events, though those may be planned to take place on a separate date, at the discretion of the branch.
A facilitator may manage conversation/discussing during branch meetings, with consideration to those who do not usually speak, and may ask others to keep their comments brief. Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, or otherwise hateful language will not be tolerated and will be called out.