Article X.  Advisory Council

Section 1:

A) Advisory Council

1. The Advisory Council of the National Atheist Party is an informal, volunteer group of professionals and intellectuals from all fields, who will advise the Executive Board on all policies, issues, programs, staff, budget and mission priorities. Upon request of the Executive Board the Advisory Council will also discuss issues regarding procedures, matters at hand, course of action or other issues as decided by them. The Advisory Council does not have the authority to vote on executive matters pertaining to the National Atheist Party but will potentially have to vote on matters in the meetings in order to reach a consensus. A presence of 2/3 of Advisory Council members is sufficient to vote on those matters. The Advisory Council will conduct itself in accordance with the National Atheist Party Charter. Meetings will be held as needed online or in a location defined in advance.

2. Members are selected by the Executive board for a period of 4 years and may act as a pool of experienced leaders to serve as members of the Executive Board. Such members are not compensated and new reserve members will be added by a 2/3 majority vote of the Council. Council members will serve staggered four-year terms and may remove themselves from the Council at any time with thirty days notice, but are highly encouraged to finish their appointed term. Reserve members will fill open positions to maintain the minimum quorum of seven.

3. The Advisory Council shall consist of political, legal, academic, scientific and technological, historical, theological, demographical and statistical, anthropological, psychological, environmental, energy and foreign policy professionals. Specialty fields shall qualify, but do not exclude any other field of expertise, as medical, environmental, law enforcement, tax/not for profit, IT, media, human resource professionals and any other specialty professionals, as are deemed necessary. All advisors are required to have a minimum of a Master’s Degree or ten years work experience in their respective career field and also required to develop their specific role as each position mandates. Advisors are expected to be assertive, innovative, develop a team of professionals and be hands on at all times.

4. It is the responsibility of the National Atheist Party’s Administration to create and maintain a political community by building a common identity and sense of community, foster economic and social development and securing democracy, human rights and civil liberties for ALL legal citizens.

Advisor Role Descriptions

Secretary – Primary responsibility will be to conduct the Advisory Council meetings, takes notes and keeps the meeting on task. Take, type and post minutes of meetings to Executive Board and forward minutes to all necessary departments. Ensure that any official correspondence, reports and documents needing to be kept are forwarded to the person responsible for keeping central documentation. Organize and coordinate all meetings – weekly and emergency sessions. Take on any other responsibilities as delegated by the President or the Executive Board.

VP of Administration : Oversees all functions of the Advisory Council and meetings.

Education Advisor: The Education Advisor will provide the AC with education information, interpretation, and opinion needed to define Party policy as articulated in the Education Policy Committee. The EA will guide the committee to provide information to the membership on aspects of current and proposed policies active in the political dialogue of the nation. The EA will have proper degrees, certifications, and experience in the field of education and be entrusted with forming a committee composed of a diverse field of education professionals.

Science & Technology Advisor: The Advisor is the main source of scientific and technological information, interpretation, and opinion to the Executive Board. It is the duty of the Science & Technology Advisor to develop, organize, and maintain various resources to facilitate responses to queries from the Executive Board as well as to create reforms on political issues which have a scientific component. The Science Advisor will be aided by the Science Advisory Committee; a group of 5-7 scientists who’s combined knowledge base encompass all areas of science. The Science Advisor will be responsible for staffing the SAC and guiding all efforts necessary to define party policy and create reforms. Additionally, the SA will develop programs to promote science education and provide the membership with current information on scientific knowledge and advancements.

Theology Advisor: Shall develop and reform policies that relate to religion and government for the purpose of reinforcing the division of church and state. This position would work to identify issues and inform on positions pertinent to the goals of the party. This position would also include working with other required participants in reforming the tax code and their not-for-profit status, specifically the mega churches status and parachurch ministries that operate like a business.

Secularism is the belief that the government should be a secular institution; that is, have no state religion, have no legislation that outlaws or favors one religion over another, and have no religiously motivated regulations on the eligibility of the nation’s politicians. A secular state has no power over the nation’s churches and the nation’s churches have no political powers over the members of the government. The Theology Advisor position’s main purpose is to build up this wall of separation between church and state.

Political Advisor: Shall inform the Executive Board and all related divisions in political matters, including advising and assisting in political campaigns and virtually all of their activities from research to field strategy. This advisor will conduct candidate research, voter research, and opposition research, watches the political market and advises the EB, as to what moves should be made. It is the job of the political advisor to pay attention to who the EB’s allies and enemies are in the local, state, and national political arenas.

Example: If a company deals with a union, it is the job of the political advisor to pay attention to the issues between the union and the company. He or she will advise the company as to what issues should be pursued, and which ones should be ignored for the time being.

Psychology/Social Advisor: A person with specialized knowledge in a relative science with academic training and experience dedicated to the relationship between psychology and political science, with a focus on the role of human thought, emotion, and behavior in politics and analyzes political science as related to entities such as voters, lawmakers, local and national governments and administrations, international organizations, political parties, and associations. The adviser also researches knowledge from the scientific communities that studies human behavior in relation to positions relating to the NAP charter and its current positions. Information is gathered and presented to the organization to reflect the current understanding of human cognition and behavior to best benefit society. While the grammar of “political psychology” tends to stress psychology as the central field, the discipline could also be accurately labeled “the psychology of politics,” so as to more evenly recognize the interdisciplinary nature of the field.

Anthropology/Social Advisor: The Anthropology Advisor will serve on the Advisory Council and help to create reforms, advise upon policy, and suggest budgets specific to the fields of anthropology and sociology. The expertise, direction and insight shared are valuable in moving forward with the structure of the National Atheist Party.

In the United States, contemporary anthropology is typically divided into four sub-fields: cultural anthropology also known as socio-cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and physical (or biological) anthropology. The NAP is mainly concerned with socio-cultural anthropology in relation to policy and strategy direction.

Demographic/Statistical Advisor: Is the statistical study of human population. It can be a very general science that can be applied to any kind of dynamic human population, that is, one that changes over time or space (see population dynamics). It encompasses the study of the size, structure and distribution of these populations, and spatial and/or temporal changes in them in response to birth, migration, aging and death.

Demographic analysis can be applied to whole societies or to groups defined by criteria such as education, nationality, religion and ethnicity. Institutionally, demography is usually considered a field of sociology, though there are a number of independent demography departments.The broader field of social demography population studies also analyzes the relationships between economic, social, cultural and biological processes influencing a population. The term demographics, refers to characteristics of a population.

Foreign Relations Advisor: A country’s foreign policy, also called foreign, or International, relations consists, primarily, of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within the International System arena. From the concept of Realism, or rational choice, the approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries. In recent times, due to the deepening level of globalization and transnational activities, the states will also have to interact with non-state actors. These include IGOs, NGOs, MNCs, as well as private foundations and individuals. The aforementioned interaction is evaluated and monitored in attempts to maximize benefits of multilateral international cooperation. Since the national interests are paramount, foreign policies are designed by the government through high-level decision-making processes. Additionally, increased interaction among non-state actors and various IGOs have created arenas where foreign relations exist outside of the governmental system.  National interest accomplishments can occur as a result of peaceful cooperation with other nations, or through exploitation. Usually, creating foreign policy is the job of the head of government and the foreign minister (or equivalent). In some countries the legislature also has considerable oversight. However, in the United States, the executive branch has a wide range of options available for foreign policy implementation.

Historical Advisor: One of two basic functions of the Historical Advisor and the History Committee can be likened to that of a fact checker. It will be the role of the Historical Committee to review communications, particularly those directed toward the general public. The purpose of this will be to ensure that communications to the public contain factual historical information, and that any historical claims made in communications are claims that are legitimately defensible based on evidence and the most recent academic historical scholarship. In so doing, the Historical Committee will help the NAP ensure that historical information is accurately portrayed in the presentation of constitutional issues, the history of American secular ideals, religious history in America, etc; the Historical Committee will be helping the NAP to avoid embarrassment by being prepared with historical evidence to combat accusations of “historical revisionism.”

The other basic function of the Historical Advisor and the Historical Committee is one of education. The culture wars in this nation have led to a variety of historical misconceptions among both conservatives and liberals, among both the religious right and staunch supporters of strict separation of church and state. It is the role of the Historical Committee to produce educational materials that seek rectify this misconceptions, to more objectively educate the American public about the founding of our nation, the religious beliefs of the founding fathers, the history of separation of church and state, and other issues of importance Issues of national importance. In short, it is a primary goal of the Historical Committee to bring an end to the culture wars that have plagued U.S. society through the production of materials for the general public that investigate American history from an objective point of view, rather than one shaded by political battles. These documents will be published on the NAP website where they will be available to read to the general public, and the History Committee will promote the documents through various social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter.

Issues of interest to the Historical Committee may include, but are not limited to the Enlightenment and the increasingly secular ideals prevalent among the Founding Fathers, the writing and ratification of the U.S. Constitution, the history of Constitutional interpretation particularly with regards to the first amendment and separation of church and state, the history of the role and place of religion in colonial and American history, the repression and the achievements of atheists, secularists, and humanists in American history, and the complex history of the American culture war between those who support and those who oppose the separation of church and state.

Legal Advisor: Shall advise all members of the AC and the EB of all legal actions that need to be taken in the pursuit of policy development and all politics at hand and will also create a team specific to the political needs of this Party. This person (s) will possess the necessary credentials qualifying them to work as a lawyer. Basic application of skills involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, and to perform required legal services.

Environmental Advisor: Establish reforms concerning policies that relate to the development of an alternative energy infrastructure that encompasses research and development, job creation and mandatory deployment of green alternatives. These policies would affect those research firms and scientists that are developing real-world strategies for the reduction or elimination of the release of greenhouse gasses, in order to combat global climate change. Support policies that reduce pollution to air, water and land. Create penalties for violators.

Develop budgets for research firms and scientists to build strategies for the reduction or elimination of the release of greenhouse gasses and incorporate green solutions in the manufacture of everyday products.  Restrictions would be instituted for industries whose practices pollute or harm the environment.

Establish reforms concerning policies that relate to the development of green chemistry solutions to replace the topic substances that are polluting our environment. Develop budgets for research into this area. Another major area of concern is the clean-up of toxins and pollutants that have already penetrated our land, air and water.

Energy Advisor: Shall create reforms and a budget concerning policies that relate to relieving our dependence upon fossil fuels and unsustainable sources of energy. Sustainable energy solutions include but are not limited to solar photovoltaic, wind, tidal, geothermal, small-scale hydroelectric and concentrated solar thermal. Sustainable energy solutions must be researched and brought to the fore to combat our dependence upon oil, coal, natural gas and other unsustainable sources. Other as-yet-undiscovered solutions must be sought and implemented. The NAP supports tax incentives and federal grants as a measure to encourage this research and development.  The Energy Advisor will be required to have a thorough understanding of energy principles and a knowledge of the United States energy industry.  The Advisor’s background should include an advanced degree in physics, chemistry or engineering, with an emphasis on energy conversion and/or energy technology, and experience in the utility, regulatory and/or oil and gas sectors of the US economy.

Economy Advisor: An economist is a professional in the social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and write about economic policy. Within this field there are many sub-fields, ranging from the broad philosophical theories to the focused study of minutiae within specific markets, macroeconomic analysis, micro-economic analysis or financial statement analysis, involving analytical methods and tools such as econometrics, statistics, economics computational models, financial economics, mathematical finance and mathematical economics.

  Section 2:
Meetings, Procedures and Agenda

A) Conduction of Advisory Council Meetings

1. Meeting of the National Atheist Party shall be conducted and scheduled by the Deputy Administrative VP. The Advisory Council Secretary coordinates the meeting location and meeting time giving 48 hours advance notice provided to all members. The Secretary will be responsible for taking meeting minutes and posting them.

2. The order of business to be followed at a regular meeting is as follows:

a. Roll call of Members

c. Discussion and/or Approval of previous week’s minutes

d. Deputy VP2 Reports

e. Advisors reports

f. Further Business

g. Adjournment

B) Procedures

1. The Deputy VP of Administration will follow the agenda and start with calling the meeting to order.

2. The Deputy VP of Administration will proceed with Roll Call.

3. The Deputy VP of Administration will address the first issue stated on the agenda. No meeting will be conducted without an agenda.

4. The Deputy VP of Administration will open floor for discussion, if applicable, to all members of the Advisory Council.

5. The Deputy VP of Administration will call for motion to close discussion once each member has concluded discussion. An Advisory Council member will respond with an ‘I Second that motion.’ All other Advisory Council members will respond with aye or nay. No exceptions. If the motion to discuss has been officially closed and a member wishes to discuss the issue further, the member must make a motion to reopen discussion. There MUST be a 2nd to reopen discussion. If there is a 2nd, the discussion will continue. Once this discussion is closed, no member can move to open the discussion a 3rd time. (ALSO – Any member may motion to close discussion with a 2/3 majority vote.) If the consensus is a 2/3 majority, then the discussion will be officially closed for this meeting and the Secretary will call the next item on the agenda. The issue may be raised again at the next meeting, under new business, with a new motion to discuss the issue with the approval of a 2/3 consensus of the members.

C) Agenda

1. Secretary will create the agenda and post this at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. It shall reflect all the Advisory Council members.

2. Any Advisory Council member may add an item on the agenda up until 1 hour prior to the scheduled meeting.

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