Bylaws Committee Minutes
14th August, 1999, GPCA General Assembly in Santa Barbara, CA (posted on 10/31/99).
Attending were Warner Bloomberg (observer), Charles Douglas, Mike Feinstein, Greg Jan, Caleb Kleppner (observer), Ricardo Newbery, Gloria Purcell, Lynne Serpe, and Tammy Tatum. Charles Douglas facilitated and took notes.
Working Group Status:
There was some discussion about the current status of this working group. Some members expressed the concern that the WG did not appear to be functioning correctly or to have a properly approved Coordinator. Some expressed the concern that the previous coordinator, Michael Monnet, might not wish to or might not be able to continue this duty. It was generally understood that a new coordinator would need to be elected and that this coordinator would try to connect with Monnet. No other action taken.
[Note: Monnet has since communicated that the group may have misunderstood the current situation. Monnet was appointed before the GA-affirmation amendment was made to the GPCA Bylaws and his current term is not scheduled to expire until December.]
A wide ranging discussion ensued over what the GPCA's delegate allocation process is for delegates to the General Assembly. It was suggested that the current process created a situation where counties with 1%-5% of Green registrants received more delegates then a county with just over 5%. Newbery discussed how the delegate calculation should occur as outlined in the Bylaws and demonstrated that this kind of unfair result could not occur. Newbery also indicated that a delegate distribution similar to the official result could be obtained if the percentages were improperly rounded up during the calculation. It was unclear to the group who had done the most recent calculation, and whose responsibility it really was. It was mentioned that this calculation should be done with the most recent numbers possible, which come out from the Secretary of State's office twice a year. Some members felt that the BLWG Coordinator(s) should be calculating delegate allocation in the future.
[Note: Monnet has since communicated that he performed the last delegate calculation and he is of the opinion that it was performed correctly. Newbery still maintains otherwise. It is apparent that this issue will have to be resolved before the next plenary.]
A point was raised concerning dues and delegate empowerment. Specifically, a proposal was made that by the second meeting of delinquency in county dues, that county should not be able to vote. No consensus was reached on this item.
Dissemination of Bylaws:
Points were raised that the current GPCA Bylaws are not in a fully updated form, and that they are not well distributed at all. Charles Douglas volunteered to ensure that paper copies of the GPCA Bylaws would be available at the next plenary session in January, and Ricardo Newbery volunteered to 'code' the GPCA Bylaws for an on-line version. Michael Monnot will be contacted to get the most updated version of the GPCA Bylaws.
Choice Voting for County Council Elections:
The BLWG consensed its support for the final version of the Choice Voting for County Council Elections Proposal on Sunday's General Assembly Agenda. Charles Douglas was assigned to carry forward the group's support.
A short history of where the GPCA's 80% threshold came from was given, how it stemmed from 'movement locals' back in 1992 when the party had just achieved ballot status. The question was raised, "is a consensual process based on a tight-knit group appropriate for a state political organization with ever-changing delegates?" Members of the group felt that the state needed to bring around agenda processes, to evaluate the effectiveness of our consensus process, that consensus is a Green priority and that it must be inclusive, and that the GPCA does or could have problems with the 'tyranny of the minority' blocking proposals and that the state party as a whole needs to have this discussion.
Members of the group suggested/supported an idea of having a plenary discussion of the threshold, followed later by a Choice Vote on different threshold options, including 80%, 75%, 66.66%, 60% and 50%+1. It was suggested that different thresholds could be used for different issues and different kinds of votes. The BLWG consensed its support to endorse a January General Assembly discussion on the plenary floor of the GPCA voting threshold.
A bylaws change regarding the empowerment of Green Youth in a Youth Organizing Standing Committee (Working Group) was discussed. Concerns were raised that 'affinity groups' should not have the power of working groups, along with affirmations that a platform for this sort of activity is needed in the GPCA, and that Youth organizing is a vastly undermet need currently. No consensus was reached either in support or opposition regarding this proposal.
Election of Coordinator(s):
The BLWG consensed its support for Ricardo Newbery as BLWG Coordinator for a nine month term. A female, northerly co-coordinator is desired.
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Last update: Sun, Oct 31, 1999