Our Constitution

SLOW FOOD MOTHER CITY CONSTITUTION

Preamble

Recognizing that the enjoyment of wholesome food is essential to the pursuit of happiness, Slow Food Mother City is an organization dedicated to stewardship of the land and ecologically sound food production; to the revival of the kitchen and the table as centres of pleasure, culture, and community; to the invigoration and proliferation of regional, seasonal culinary traditions; to the creation of a collaborative, ecologically-oriented, and virtuous globalization; and to living a slower and more harmonious rhythm of life.

Article 1: Name and Logo

1.1 The organization shall be called Slow Food Mother City.

1.2 Slow Food Mother City will use the name and logo of Slow Food in accordance with the Slow Food name and logo agreement.

Article 2: Purpose

2.1 Slow Food Mother City is a convivium, or local chapter, of the international Slow Food movement. A convivium is a tool for implementing the Slow Food mission on a local level and therefore the grassroots expression of the movement.

2.2 Slow Food Mother City seeks, promotes and protects good, clean and fair food, defined as food that is delicious, natural and part of our cultural heritage; grown sustainably, in an environmentally responsible manner; produced by farmers and artisans who have food sovereignty (they are free to choose how, when, where and what food they produce), and are properly remunerated and respected for their work.

2.3 Slow Food Mother City acts as a resource and a voice for citizens of Cape Town who embrace this ethos.

2.4 Slow Food Mother City engages the food producer communities in the greater Cape Town area, in order to protect and celebrate the food traditions of Cape Town.

2.5 Slow Food Mother City will aim to decentralize the activities of the convivium, by empowering members to mobilize on Slow Food issues and create their own interest groups and organize casual gatherings

2.6 Slow Food Mother City will work with other local convivia to promote the Slow Food ethos in South Africa, and to pool resources, ideas and networks on a national level.

2.7 Slow Food Mother City aims to attract new members, especially from demographics that have not been tapped locally, such as young families and students. To this end, the convivium will strive to offer affordable and accessible events.

2.8 Slow Food Mother City aims to create a vibrant, active and appealing image, and will actively market and publicise its events, ethos and membership.

Article 3: Membership

3.1 Membership of Slow Food Mother City is open to everyone.

3.2 Membership is official once individuals have signed up or been assigned to the convivium and have remained current with their annual dues payment.

3.3 Membership is terminated once a member has requested to be removed from the convivium membership.

3.4 Membership may also be terminated at the discretion of the steering committee, on the basis of anti-social behaviour, misuse of Slow Food Mother City name, membership or events for personal financial gain, or disputes between members that cannot be arbitrated.

3.4 Every member is entitled to vote at elections, in person or by proxy.

Article 4: Meetings

4.1 Slow Food Mother City will hold one regularly scheduled general meeting every year, the Annual General Meeting (AGM). At this meeting the steering committee members are elected, and will serve as an update and feedback meeting for the membership. Financial budgets and an annual report will also be given.

4.2.1 The steering committee of Slow Food Mother City will meet every month, or more frequently if necessary.

4.2.2  Steering committee meetings and the minutes of those meetings are open to all members of the convivium upon request.

Article 5: Internal Structure

5.1 The steering committee will guide the general direction of Slow Food Mother City, ensuring the projects and activities of Slow Food Mother City are consistent with the ideas and values of the Slow Food movement.

5.2 The steering committee is composed of between 5 and 8 members, elected at the AGM. All members of the steering committee must be elected or re-elected at the AGM. Permanent posts on the steering committee must include: a leader, secretary, membership officer, web master and treasurer. Members can combine posts if necessary.

5.2 The roles and responsibilities of the members of the steering committee are laid out in a separate document, which will be revised after every AGM, and at any other time that the membership of the steering committee changes.

5.3 Slow Food Mother City may wish to form sub-committees to deal with specific projects, activities, or events. These committees may wish to informally elect a committee leader as the primary contact for and coordinator of the project, activity, or event.

5.4 Members of the steering committee may be expelled from the committee when decided unanimously by the other members of the steering committee, by anonymous vote. Reasons for expulsion may include irreconcilable disagreement with another committee member, dereliction of duty, antisocial behaviour, or absence from four or more committee meetings in one year (extraordinary circumstances notwithstanding).

5.5 Funds saved from dues, fundraising and events in the Slow Food Mother City bank account can only be used to further the interests of the convivium, and the Slow Food movement.

5.6 The steering committee has the authority to allocate and manage Slow Food Mother City funds.

5.7 Expenditures and other financial decisions must be authorized by a simple majority of steering committee members.

5.8 Records of the Slow Food Mother City finances are available to all convivium members upon request.

Article 6: Elections

6.1 The election of the steering committee will take place annually, at the Annual General Meeting. This meeting must take place by 1st December.

6.2 The steering committee appoints an elections officer to oversee the annual elections. The elections officer may not run for a position in the election. The elections officer oversees election proceedings, ensuring fairness of process and outcome, answers questions about the election, and collects and counts the ballots.

6.3 To qualify as candidates for election to the steering committee, individuals must be Slow Food Mother City members of good standing (registered and dues paid), and must be active members of the convivium for the six months preceding the date of the election, and have attended at least three events in this time.

6.4 Current members of the steering committee will automatically be nominated, unless they express a desire not to stand for re-election.

6.5 The existing committee has the right to unanimously veto any candidates for election to the committee.

6.6 Candidates for steering committee positions must submit their nominations via email one week before the AGM. The committee will circulate the personal statements of each candidate in an email sent to all members before the AGM.

6.7 Voting quorum is one third of all members. Members not present may send a ballot with another member with their vote and signature.

6.8 Voting is done by secret ballot.

6.9 The eight people with highest votes become the committee.

6.10 If new steering committee members are elected to office, there will be a handover meeting with incumbent and new steering committee members, to facilitate a smooth transition.

6.11 The leader is elected by the steering committee at the first meeting after the AGM.

6.12 Up to two committee members may be co-opted onto the committee between AGMs, to to fulfill new positions. Additional members can be co-opted to replace committee members who resign or are removed.

Article 7: Amendments

7.1  Any member may submit a proposal for the amendment of this constitution.

7.2  This submission must occur in writing, and be supported by five other members.

7.3  The amendment will be taken to a vote at the following AGM.

7.4  The amendment must receive the support of three quarters of those members present.

Article 8: Ratification

8.1  Before ratifying this constitution, Slow Food Mother City must send a draft to its membership for comments.

8.2 A general meeting should be called to discuss the content and wording of the constitution.

8.3 Either at the discussion meeting, if there is little debate, or at a subsequent AGM a vote should be held to ratify the constitution.

8.4 Three quarters of those members present must support the constitution for it to be ratified and come into effect.

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