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Members, Chapters, National


The New Party is run by dues-paying members, who are organized into chapters. The national organization provides support for chapter growth and coordination. Every member gets one vote.


From 1992 through early 1997, the New Party grew to 10,000 members. Growth has been accelerating-membership doubled each of the last two years-and we hope to be at 20,000 by the end of 1997.

Of the current membership, approximately 4,000 are organized into local chapters now active in ten states and the District of Columbia. The balance of members are "at large," in varying stages of progress toward chapter formation and state structures. Including at-large membership, we now have some contact in almost all states.

Membership is approximately 50 percent women, 35 percent people of color-and predominantly poor, working or middle class. Most people who are helping to build the New Party are known only in their communities, but you may have heard of a few of them (such as Noam Chomsky, Barbara Dudley, Barbara Ehrenreich, Jim Hightower, Manning Marable, Juliet Schor, Frances Fox-Piven, Cornel West). What they all share is the conviction that we need the New Party to restore power to the American people, to build a fair economy and a real democracy.


Chapters are formed at the initiative of local residents who apply to the New Party for an organizing "mandate," or franchise, within their territory (most chapters are organized on a county basis). Chapter membership must be representative of the community and have some institutional support. Award of this franchise gives the local chapter access to national resources for candidate training, program, fundraising, and other assistance in organizational development. So long as they are democratically structured and promote no program inconsistent with the national organization's principles, local chapters are free to work on the issues of their choice. We are building from the grassroots, with sensitivity to variation in local conditions.


National policy for the New Party is set by the Interim Executive Council (IEC)-"interim" until our founding convention. The IEC consists of two delegates, elected by membership, from each state where there is significant organizing activity. With 10 such sites, there are now 20 members of the IEC (without any quotas, consistently half women and 40 percent of color). IEC members select their own chair. The IEC meets in person twice a year-in spring and fall-and through teleconference on a monthly basis.

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© 1997 The New Party