Lavender Caucus Bylaws


The Lavender Caucus is the Lesbian/Gay/ Bisexual/Transgender (L/G/B/T) Caucus of the Service Employees International Union.

Our purpose is to facilitate open and respectful communication between the L/G/B/T community and the labor movement, by:

A. increasing the visibility of L/B/G/T rank-and-file activists, officers and staff members in their unions and workplaces, and in work actions;
B. creating a visible SEIU presence within the L/G/B/T community;
C. educating SEIU members, staff and leadership about L/G/B/T issues;
D. educating the L/G/B/T community about labor issues and supporting workers' rights within that community;
E. networking with other labor and community groups to build a strong, visible coalition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists;
F. supporting the AFL/CIO constituency group Pride at Work (PAW), acting as a liaison between SEIU and PAW and working with other national L/G/B/T organizations;
G. organizing against all discrimination, specifically including discrimination based on sex or gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or perceived orientation and/or marital status;
H. promoting and facilitating L/G/B/T active participation and leadership through union democracy and rank-and-file development.


It is the intention of the National Lavender Caucus to reflect the diversity of SEIU in our board and officers. This will be achieved through education, outreach and recruitment.


Membership in the SEIU Lavender Caucus is open to any SEIU member who supports our purpose, and to other supportive individuals by invitation of the chairs or the National Board. Members shall pay dues of $20.00 per year.


A. National Board

A national governing board shall consist of 4 delegates from each S.E.I.U.region. Each region will determine its own process for electing delegates, but delegations must include equal numbers of male and female members. For the purpose of gender parity, a transsexual or transgendered person shall be considered as a member of the gender she or he identifies with, is living as, and uses the pronoun for at the time of the election.
All delegates must be SEIU members.
The national board shall elect from among its members an Executive Committee consisting of the following officers:
1. Two co-chairs, one female, one male, each from a different region
2. Two vice-chairs, one female, one male
3. A recording secretary and a corresponding/media relations secretary
4. A treasurer
5. A membership/outreach director. B. Duties of the Executive Committee
1. Co-Chairs: Work together to: represent the SEIU National Caucus in official capacity; coordinate and facilitate communications between different locals, geographical areas, specific projects, etc., facilitate meetings; act as chief spokes persons in dealing with the International and other organizations; put their names on documents of official business.
2. Vice chairs: In coordination with the co-chairs: represent the SEIU National Caucus in official capacity; coordinate and facilitate communications between different locals, geographical areas, specific projects, etc., facilitate meetings; act as spokes persons in dealing with the International and other organizations; put their names on documents of official business.

3. Recording Secretary: minute taker at meetings, phone conferences, etc.; responsible to ready said minutes for mailing to members, work in coordination with the corresponding secretary to facilitate bulk mailings.

4. Corresponding /Media Secretary: responsible for keeping track of membership by way of mailing/phone lists; and tracking dues paying members as well "as mailing list only"; work in coordination with the recording secretary to facilitate bulk mailings.

5. Treasurer: Maintain accounts in coordination with the International; track yearly allotment, membership dues, other receipts, donations, etc. as they are received; track and pay bills as they are due; prepare statement of accounts on a monthly and a quarterly basis, and present them at meetings when held.

6. Membership/outreach Director: Maintain SEIU National Lavender Caucus brochure; work with local, regional and International rank and file activists and staff to identify and contact SEIU L/G/B/T members; work in coordination with the recording and corresponding secretaries to send announcements and coordinate necessary bulk mailings.
These eight elected persons shall form the Executive Committee of the SEIU National Lavender Caucus. Together, they are responsible for making caucus decisions that have to be made between meetings. They set times, places, and tentative agendas for caucus meetings, and make sure notices of meetings go out to members, as well as any other mailings. They also report to member ship on any action taken between meetings, represent the caucus in dealings with the International, and to work with the international staff assigned to the caucus.

C. Elections: Elections shall be held upon the formation of the National Caucus, and thereafter at each International Convention, commencing year 2000. Elections of officers is conducted by ballot of dues-paying members of the National Lavender Caucus. Direct election of officers is a long-term goal.

D. Voting Delegate: Each local has one official delegate who is primarily responsible for communications between that local and the caucus; reports on caucus activities to the local and on lavender related developments within the local to the caucus. This person follows up on other local members who have volunteered to do caucus work and votes in one-local-one-vote situations at caucus meetings. These responsibilities may be rotated or shared (each local determines how its delegate is selected) and who decides how to cast the one vote, but it must be made clear at the beginning of each meeting and reflected in the minutes, who has the vote for each local. The voting member may must be a member of the National Lavender Caucus.

E. Caucus Meetings: National Lavender Caucus meetings will take place at each SEIU International Convention. Interim caucus meetings will be held on as needed basis, and may be held in conjunction with SEIU Regional Conference Conventions, SEIU Regional Civil and Human Rights Conferences, SEIU Regional Women's Conferences, or during Pride At Work: the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Labor Organization, or other affinity groups to which we have great alliance.

F. Executive Committee board meetings: Shall be held at least quarterly, via telephone conference, and in-person meetings at least yearly, in coordination with an SEIU Convention, Conference etc., if at all possible.

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Bob Lewis, Western Eileen Berkun, Western Tom Barbera, Eastern
Conference Conference Conference

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Marcy Johnsen, Western Paul Coke, Western Michelle Thompson,
Conference Conference Eastern Conference

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Rae Sovereign, Central Paul Pamias, Eastern Conference Conference