Bylaws of the
Green Party of California
Last amended 31 Oct. 2009
This document contains the rules and guidelines currently governing the Green Party of California which have been approved by the General Assembly at state plenary meetings.
These bylaws are organized around a hierarchical outline structure represented by Articles, Sections, Paragraphs, and Items as follows:
On the top of this hierarchy are several Articles, identified by sequential numbers and a large, bold, sans-serif type font (in this document by 12 pt Helvetica bold).
Each Article is subdivided into Sections, also identified by sequential numbers (of the form x-y, where x is the Article and y is the Section) and a medium, bold, serif-type font (in this document by 11 pt Times New Roman bold).
Each Section is subdivided into Paragraphs, also identified by sequential numbers (of the form x-y.z, where x-y is the Article and Section, and z is the Paragraph) and a small, non-bold, serif type font (in this document by 10 pt Times New Roman).
Paragraphs may also be further subdivided into Items, indented and identified sequentially by small letters and the same font as Paragraphs.
Items may also be further subdivided into Sub-Items, indented twice and identified sequentially by numbers and the same font as Paragraphs.
An example of this structure follows:
Article 12. This is an Article
Section 12-1. This is the first Section of Article 12
12-1.1 This is the first Paragraph of Section 12-1.
a) This is the first Item in Paragraph 12-1.1
1. This is the first Sub item of Item 12-1.1a
b) This is the second Item.
12-1.2 This is the second Paragraph of Section 12-1.
This edition of the Bylaws of the Green Party of California is current per the revision history below. Comments & suggestions may be directed to the co-coordinators of the Bylaws Committee. Contact information and the most current version of this document is available at the GPCA Bylaws Committee web site (http://cagreens.org/bylaws).
Changes adopted 2009-10-10 (General Assembly, Cotati)
· Article 2 Wording adopted
· 7-1.8 Technical change to formula
Changes adopted 2008-4-6 (General Assembly, Berkeley):
· 5-4.1 clarify wording for quorum
· 5-4.3 allow GA delegates to unregister for quorum
· 7-1.4 clarify process for replacement of CC reps
· 8-2.1 & App. B define the Campaign Support Fund Committee
· 8-2.1 & App. C establish county polling committee and process
Changes adopted 2006-6-25 (General Assembly, Ventura):
5-8.2 update standing group definition
3-1.3 added definition of membership article
Changes adopted 2005-12-11 (General Assembly, Sylmar):
5.6-2(f), 5-8.7(a) -- replace "Econet" references in bylaws with website
5-8.9(k)(7) -- effect of abstention
7-1.13 -- strategic plan
7-5 -- redefine International Protocol Committee
7-6.2, 8-3.2 -- move Liaison to SoS from Clearinghouse Committee to ERWG
Changes adopted 2005-05-21 (General Assembly, Yolo):
7-1.6 -- alternate CC reps
7-2.3(c) -- budget reserve
7-2.6 -- budget approval process
Changes adopted 2004-12-04 (General Assembly, Ventura):
7-4.2, 7-7 -- new media standing committee
Changes adopted 2004-06-05 (General Assembly, Sacramento):
11 -- new national delegation section
Changes adopted 2004-03-28 (General Assembly, San Francisco):
10, 12 -- new rules & procedures article
3-1.2, 6-2.1, 7-2 -- adopt new fiscal year
Changes adopted 2003-12-07 (General Assembly, Fullerton):
7-1.2, 7-1.4, 7-1.5, 7-1.8 -- reflect new regional apportionment
9-1 -- make endorsements an external procedure
11 -- new GPUS delegation article
Changes since 2001-07-01:
Amended paragraph 4-2.2 changed allocation method to Method of Equal Proportions and added appendix.
Changes since 2001-01-04:
Amended Article 3 -- complete rewrite including a description of state/county organization and filing of bylaws.
Amended paragraph 7-1.4 -- clarification of filing of alternative process to select regional members.
Restructuring Amendment -- deleted Section 5-8, rewrite of Article 6 and Article 7, added new Article 8.
Renumbered Articles after inserting the new Article 8 above.
Amended Section 7-1 -- changed at-large election procedures and added some 'removal for cause' language.
Changes since 2000-05-02:
Amended paragraph 7-1.6c -- replaced Hare threshold with Droop threshold.
The name of this organization is the Green Party of California (GPCA).
The Green Party of California is guided by its Platform and the "Ten Key Values" of the Green Movement: Ecological Wisdom, Grassroots Democracy, Social Justice, Nonviolence, Decentralization, Community Based Economics, Feminism, Respect for Diversity, Personal and Global Responsibility, and Sustainability.
As the political expression of California's Green movement, we provide an electoral alternative competing directly with traditionally entrenched parties and others for elected office.
We engage in the electoral process in order to incorporate our values into the policies, laws and activities of local, state and national government, and into society as a whole. We affirm these electoral activities and act on this in coalition with other likeminded organizations as part of a larger social movement for world-wide peace, democracy, justice and environmental wisdom.
The General Assembly, consisting of delegates from each active county organization recognized by the GPCA, is the primary decision-making body of the GPCA.
The fiscal year of the GPCA shall run from May through April.
Members of the GPCA are those who are legally registered to vote in California as members of the Green Party.
County organizations may extend membership to persons not eligible to register to vote in California who meet specific criteria, including affirmation of the 10 Key Values.
Only members may vote for or serve as party office-holders or General Assembly delegates, or hold outstanding concerns or vote in party decision-making.
The party office-holders of Coordinating Committee representative, Treasurer, and Liaison to the Secretary of State must be registered to vote in the Green Party.
Section 3-2. County Organizations
Green Party county organizations recognized by the General Assembly are the official organizations of the GPCA at the county level.
3-2.2 County Organization and Recognition
To be recognized by the General Assembly and to seat General Assembly delegates, a county organization must adopt organizational bylaws consistent with the ten key values, the GPCA bylaws, and California law, and must file a current copy of these bylaws with the GPCA Bylaws Committee (see also Paragraph 4-1.22 for recognition of a new county organization). These bylaws must:
a) Describe the organizational structure including the relationship between any local Green organizations and the County Council;
b) Define the membership of the organization;
c) Describe the decision-making process;
d) Describe the process for filling county council vacancies;
e) Describe the process for selecting General Assembly delegates;
f) Establish the office of treasurer.
a) When county councils elected:
At each direct primary election, members of county councils shall be elected in each county. Counties are encouraged to hold caucuses to choose a slate of gender-balanced candidates.
b) Grounds for removal:
Any member of the county council may be removed if they:
1. Register as a member of another political party, or
2. Violate the bylaws of the state plenary or county.
For the purposes of this section the registration figures used shall be those taken from the statement of voters and their political affiliations transmitted by the county clerks to the Secretary of State on the 135th day prior to the next direct primary election.
If the county has less than 150 registered Green Party voters, the number of members to be elected in that county shall be three. Otherwise, the number of members of the county council to be elected shall be the greater of:
a) The number seven, or
b) The integer nearest the resulting quotient obtained by dividing 100 times the number of Green Party registered voters in the county by the number of Green Party registered voters in the state.
Members of County Councils shall be elected from one or more multi-member districts using Choice Voting, the Single Transferable Vote (STV) form of proportional representation, using the Droop threshold (one divided by one plus the number of seats) and fractional transfers as described in the International IDEA Handbook of Electoral System Design (Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance(IDEA). First published 1997. Second edition. Stockholm, Sweden. pp.83-84). The multi-member districts shall conform to the county boundaries or the boundaries of Congressional, State Assembly, State Senate or Supervisorial districts in accordance with the countys bylaws.
Counties may choose to modify the method of selecting their county council or the size of their county council by notifying the State Coordinating Committee who shall in turn notify the Secretary of State no later than 135 days prior to the direct primary election.
The county shall have the total elected members to which it is entitled. The number to be elected for each district shall be the number for the proportion of registered Green Party voters in that district.
The Secretary of State, no later than the 125th day before the direct primary election, shall compute the number of members of county councils to be elected in each county and shall mail a certificate to that effect to the county clerk of each county, to the Green Party State Coordinating Committee and to each Green Party County Council.
The county clerk, no later than the 115th day before the direct primary election, shall compute the number of members of county councils to be elected in each election district if the election is by election district.
In each county, the name of each candidate for member of county councils shall appear on the ballot only if she or he has:
a) Filed a nomination paper pursuant to Division 6 (commencing with Section 6000) of the Elections Code, signed in the candidate's behalf by Green Party voters in the election district in which she or he is a candidate, and
b) Registered to vote in the Green Party.
A candidate may seek election only in the multi-member district in which she or he resides.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, the number of sponsors which shall be required of a person to be a candidate for member of county council shall be the lesser of:
a) 20, or
b) Not less than 2 percent of the number of voters registered as affiliated with the Green Party in the county council election district.
Notwithstanding any provision of the Elections Code, up to seven candidates for member of county council in a single election district may have their names listed on a single sponsor's certificate, and the signatures thereon shall be counted toward the sponsor requirement of each and every candidate whose name is listed on the certificate. In no case shall the number of candidates having their names on a sponsor's certificate exceed the number of members of the county council to be elected in the district.
The appearance of the names of the candidates for member of county council on the ballot shall be determined by a public drawing held at the time, place and manner prescribed for determining the order of names of county central committee members pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 10200) of Division 8 of the Elections Code.
The office of member of county council shall be placed on the direct primary ballot under the heading "Party County Council" in the place and manner designated for the office of county central committee pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 10200) of Division 8 of the Elections Code.
No write-in candidate for member of county council shall be declared elected, however, unless that candidate has received a number of first choice votes equal to or greater than 2 percent of the number of party members voting in the county council election district at the direct primary or 20 votes, whichever is less.
At the first General Assembly following the election of county councils, the General Assembly shall automatically confirm and recognize the members of the county councils certified by local county election officials.
A certificate of election shall be issued to each elected member of county councils by the officers charged with that duty of issuing certificates of election to members of county central committees under Section 6615 of the Elections Code.
The votes cast for each candidate for member of county council shall be included in the canvass and statement of results in a manner similar to the vote for each candidate for county central committee pursuant to Division 12 (commencing with Section 17000) of the Elections Code.
The final total of votes cast for each candidate for member of county council, including the name, address and ballot designation of each such candidate, and a specification as to which candidates were declared elected shall be certified to the Secretary of State forthwith upon completion of the official canvass. The county clerk shall simultaneously send one copy of this final certification to the Green Party State Coordinating Committee.
As soon as practicable after the direct primary election, the Secretary of State shall prepare a certified list by county of all elected Green Party members of county councils, including their addresses and primary election ballot designations. The Secretary of State shall send copies of the list to the registrar of voters in each county on or before the 20th day of July following the direct primary election. This list shall be maintained for public inspection by said registrars of voters until a subsequent such list is received.
The Secretary of State, no later than July 20th following the direct primary election, shall send a notice by mail to each of the elected members of county councils which shall inform that person of the following:
a) That he or she has been elected as a member of the county council.
b) The date, time, and location of the next state plenary meeting. The Secretary of State shall send with this notice a copy of the certified list of all elected members of all county councils.
In counties where the Green Party is newly organized, or in counties which have been organized, but in which no County Council candidates qualified for the primary ballot, County Council members may be approved in the following manner:
a) The county organization must hold a General Meeting open to all registered Greens in the county. The time and location of this meeting must be publicized as widely as possible at least 14 days before the meeting, and at least three people registered as Green party voters from the county must attend the meeting for the decisions of the meeting to be valid.
b) The county must have, or must adopt at this General Meeting, bylaws which establish rules as specified in section 3-2.2 of these bylaws, including rules for filling County Council vacancies;
c) The General Meeting must elect at least one member to the County Council;
d) The State Coordinating Committee regional representatives from the region in which the county is located shall make every effort to ascertain that the new County Council has been legally elected and truly represents the County organization of the Green Party in that county;
e) The State Coordinating Committee shall, at the recommendation of the Coordinating Committee regional representatives from the region in which the county is located, certify the new County Council;
f) The State Coordinating Committee must certify the new County Council unless there is clear evidence that the Council was illegally elected;
g) Any certification decision by the State Coordinating Committee may be appealed to the next meeting of the General Assembly of the California Green Party which may reverse the decision of the State Coordinating Committee.
Delegates to the General Assembly shall be chosen by the active county organizations of the Green Party of California. The process by which delegates are elected by each county organization must be defined by the bylaws of each county; and a written copy of the current method of selection must be on file with the Coordinating Committee and the Bylaws Committee. If a county organization fails to specify a delegate selection process, then the delegates of that county shall be elected by the County Council.
a) The General Assembly of the Green Party of California shall consist of at least 100 delegate seats. Each active county organization shall have at least one delegate seat.
b) No sooner than twelve weeks and no later than six weeks before the opening of each General Assembly meeting, the Liaison to the Secretary of State, or another individual designated by the Coordinating Committee, shall obtain the most recent Report of Registration from the Secretary of State, and the Coordinating Committee shall determine, based on the relevant articles of these bylaws, which county organizations are currently active.
c) Once this determination has been made, 100 delegate seats shall be allocated to the active counties using the method of equal proportions (see appendix), and the counties shall be notified of their allocation.
d) If, after the allocation of delegate seats has been made, but before the opening of the General Assembly, additional counties are found by the Coordinating Committee to be active, the newly active counties shall be allocated one delegate seat each. In this case, the General Assembly will have more than 100 delegate seats.
The General Assembly shall meet at least twice a year. Date and location for next meeting shall be determined by the close of each meeting.
a) upon call of the Coordinating Committee.
b) upon agreement of delegates at a General Assembly meeting (fallback 2/3 vote).
Establishing agenda for all regular General Assembly meetings and special meetings is the responsibility of the Coordinating Committee.
The CC has the task of collecting items, proposing an agenda and circulating a draft at least 3 weeks in advance of a meeting.
The agenda package shall include General Assembly committee draft proposals submitted by a General Assembly committee coordinator for pre-meeting consideration by the locals.
Ratification of the proposed agenda and times shall occur at the beginning of the Saturday session.
A quorum exists for the purpose of opening a General Assembly when 2/3 (rounding to the nearest whole number) of the regions containing active counties are represented.
For the purposes of this section, an active county shall be defined as fulfilling at least one of the following conditions:
a) The county has a County Council;
b) The county has sent delegates to at least two of the last three meetings;
c) The county has held a General Meeting within the last six months in which at least eight registered Greens were present, and delegates to the General Assembly were chosen. The county must notify the State Coordinating Committee that the General Meeting has taken place.
A quorum for decision making exists when 80% of registered delegates are present. However, a minimum number of delegates are required to remain registered in order to establish a valid quorum. That minimum shall be 90% of the maximum number of delegates registered
for that day.
a) Delegates shall register at the beginning of each day of a General Assembly, identifying their county. Delegates shall notify the facilitators (or other appropriate officials), and be removed from the delegate registration, if they permanently leave the General Assembly before it is adjourned.
b) Facilitators shall conduct a roll call to establish a quorum at the beginning of each plenary session.
General Assembly meetings are public and open to observers.
a) Guests and Green Party Observers shall register with the host committee/door keepers.
b) For purposes of identification by the facilitation team, delegates, Green Party observers, and guests shall wear different colored name badges.
a) Coordinating Committee shall present a team to the General Assembly for approval at the beginning of each plenary session
b) Team provides non-directive leadership, process clarity, honors agenda contract, promotes good will; a facilitator does not give personal opinions unless clearly stepping out of her/his role as a facilitator.
c) Responsibilities: must be registered Green Party voter (if eligible to vote in CA), must have a working knowledge of "formal consensus" as defined in the GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA, must be in agreement with the "key values" of the GCoC, must have a working knowledge of the GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA bylaws and guidelines, must be experienced at facilitation or have attended a workshop on same.
d) The use of gender-stacking; that is that the order of the "stack" would alternate; one woman-one man, shall be considered as first choice for use by the facilitators.
a) Coordinating Committee, facilitation team, and/or hosting committee shall provide at least one note taker for each plenary session.
b) Note takers shall compile an accurate record of the session highlighting decisions made and tasks taken on by delegates or others.
c) Note takers shall receive from committee leaders, copies of the committee proposals to be presented to the plenary. These shall be included in the record as received and as amended during the session with notation as to disposition of the proposal.
d) Minutes of every statewide meeting shall include a status report from each functioning General Assembly committee.
e) The Coordinating Committee has the responsibility to see that minutes are properly recorded and gathered together at the close of a General Assembly meeting.
f) In a timely manner, a copy of the draft minutes shall be sent to each region and posted on the GPCA website.
a) The facilitation team shall find a person to act as a public scribe for the purpose of writing on a board, or large piece of paper, those concerns or items of discussion that come out in the plenary sessions.
a) A timekeeper shall work with the facilitation team to guide the group through the agenda contract.
a) Vibes watcher(s) are presented to the General Assembly by the facilitation team before the session begins.
b) Vibes watchers are keepers of the group's cool - they pay attention to the overall mood or tone of the meeting. Only vibes watchers may interrupt the proceedings at any time to call for a time-out, break or to remind us all of our shared values and goals.
a) Coordinating Committee, facilitation team, or hosting committee shall arrange for someone to be a doorkeeper at each General Assembly session.
b) Doorkeeper(s) shall see that all persons sign-in and receive delegate or guest information packets.
c) Doorkeeper shall keep a running record of delegates in the meeting room and be prepared to provide this to the facilitation team at all times.
a) Delegates shall sign in before the first plenary session, listing their county.
b) Delegates shall be familiar with the bylaws and guidelines.
c) Delegates assume the responsibility to participate in all General Assembly sessions contracted in the agenda.
d) If a delegate must leave the meeting before the agenda has been completed, she/he shall notify the facilitation team so that they will have an option to move to critical agenda items before the departure.
Authorized delegates representing locals shall be given priority in decision-making discussions. At the discretion of the facilitation team, and time permitting, observing Green Party members and guests may participate in these discussions.
All persons intending to participate in General Assembly meetings shall first attend the meeting orientation session.
In the event that a vote is necessary to make a General Assembly decision, only authorized delegates may participate.
Decisions of the Green Party of California shall be made at General Assemblies of the Green Party of California using a consensus-seeking process as follows:
a) Consensus is sought after adequate discussion, including the repeated asking for and discussion of any unresolved concerns, within the time and content limits of the agenda.
b) Any stand-asides shall be recorded.
c) In calling for a consensus, any unresolved concerns shall be recorded, and those unresolved concerns shall signal a move to a vote.
d) Voting shall be on the basis of a two-third majority for business and procedural questions, and an 80% majority to amend, repeal, or replace bylaws and to make policy decisions.
e) If there is a question as to which voting count to use, the higher percentage shall be needed for a vote.
Items being presented before the General Assembly for a decision shall be in the form of proposals advocated by one of the General Assembly standing groups.
The Coordinating Committee shall receive for consideration those items falling into areas where committee assignment is uncertain.
The Coordinating Committee, in consultation with the agenda planners and the General Assembly committee coordinators, shall assign each committee a finite amount of time before the General Assembly in plenary session. Times shall be listed for presentation of the proposals and for discussion/approval. These times shall be reviewed and ratified as an agenda contract at the beginning of each day's meeting.
The committee coordinator, or her/his assignee, shall act as a "floor manager" for this block of time. The floor manager shall assign proposals to the appropriate presenter for submission to the General Assembly.
The committees shall use the time allotted for proposals, reports, brainstorming, workshops, etc. within the following guidelines for prioritization:
a) Proposals to advocate before the General Assembly.
1. Committee generated material.
2. Non-GPCA generated material.
b) Other material, workshops, etc.
a) The committees shall post proposals in the pre-meeting agenda package on the GPCA website.
a) General Assembly committee coordinator (presenter) gives a written copy of the proposal to the minutes takers. At the same time, copies are given to delegates or a copy is posted by the scribe.
b) The presenter provides a brief statement on the background of the proposal and how the committee has decided to bring it before the General Assembly for decision.
c) The presenter reads the proposal which includes:
1. What action is required by the Green Party of California?
2. What timetable is anticipated for completion?
3. Who will be accountable to report progress to the General Assembly?
4. What are the budgetary implications of adoption?
d) Time is given in the agenda for delegates to review the proposals from the committees.
a) The facilitation team determines if a quorum exists.
b) General Assembly committee presenter for a given proposal answers "clarifying questions" from delegates.
c) Facilitation team checks for affirmations and concerns.
1. Concerns are listed by the scribe where all can see them.
2. Facilitation team gets a feel for everyone's assessment of the proposal.
d) The group seeks to resolve those concerns deemed legitimate by incorporating them into the proposal - presenter must agree to modifications before they can be made. Note takers read back any modifications to be sure they are properly recorded.
e) The facilitation team asks if there remain any unresolved concerns.
1. If there are no remaining concerns, the proposal is adopted with the plan for implementation.
2. If concerns remain, go to the next level for resolution.
f) The facilitation team asks those holding concerns if they are willing to allow the group to adopt the proposal without their approval, having their unresolved concerns listed with the plan for implementation.
1. If those holding such concerns are agreeable, these "stand aside" concerns are recorded with the note takers and included in the minutes with the adopted proposal.
2. If the person holding a concern is unwilling to stand aside, the facilitation team moves to the next level to seek a resolution.
g) The facilitation team addresses the remaining concerns one at a time as follows:
1. The concern is restated.
2. Questions clarify the concern.
3. Discussion focuses on the single concern.
h) The facilitation team asks if all concerns are resolved.
1. If yes, the proposal is adopted; stand asides are recorded with the implementation plan.
2. If no, facilitation team asks for stand asides.
3. If concern remains and is unwilling to stand aside, go to the closing options.
i) Closing options are the prerogative of the presenter and the advocating committee. They include:
1. Return the proposal to committee for further refinement and an attempt to resolve the legitimate concerns raised.
2. Suggest the empowerment of an ad hoc group made up of representatives of the remaining concerns and advocates of the proposal to reach some fair resolution and:
i) to act on behalf of the Green Party if time is critical in the matter or
ii) to return to a subsequent plenary with a recommendation for adoption.
3. Request additional time in the plenary to reach a resolution of any remaining concerns.
4. Request that the General Assembly use the voting option.
j) Requests for additional agenda time for an item shall include a specific number of minutes and whether the time will be added to the length of the meeting or if it will come from some other item. An 80% vote of the delegates is necessary to approve the request for more time.
When the closing option of voting is selected by the presenter of the proposal, the facilitation team shall proceed in the following steps:
1. The note taker shall be asked to read the proposal as it stands.
2. The scribe shall record the vote of the delegates where all can see it by "yes", "no" and "abstain".
3. The facilitation team shall call a roll and record each delegate vote with the help of the doorkeeper.
4. 2/3 vote is necessary to approve a "business" item.
5. 80% vote is necessary to approve a "policy" item.
6. If uncertain, the 80% figure is necessary.
7. Abstentions are not counted in calculating the percentage vote. The minimum number of affirmative votes required to pass a proposal shall be the voting threshold times the decision making quorum.
8. The roll call recorded vote shall be included in the meeting minutes.
l) When time runs out....
The time keeper shall notify the facilitation team when three minutes remain in the time allotted for a proposal. At this point, the presenter shall decide on a closing option.
a) Any delegate may signal the facilitation team (by raising two hands) on a POINT OF CLARIFICATION if they do not understand the procedure or they believe a violation of these procedures has taken place. In doing so, they must identify at the outset which item in these procedures is at issue.
1. The facilitation team shall rule on the point of clarification.
b) Any delegate may signal the facilitation team on a POINT OF PROCEDURE if they have a procedural suggestion that they feel will aid or improve the facilitation of the discussion. Signal with two hands.
c) A POINT OF INFORMATION may be asked for at any time:
1. By the facilitation team when there is an item of information that is important to the discussion;
2. By a note taker when there is some item of information that is important to record.
a) The Coordinating Committee may place on the agenda a consent calendar, of proposals judged to be non-controversial. These proposals may be approved without presentations, clarifying questions, or debate.
b) Any proposals so presented must have been made available in written form to the county organizations and the delegates prior to the meeting (but in no case later than the agenda packet); and any proposal that receives any objection at the time it is presented shall be removed from the consent calendar before approval.
c) The Coordinating Committee shall assign each proposal on the consent calendar to a committee on a contingency basis. Any proposal removed from the consent calendar by objection shall be assigned to its contingent committee for consideration.
d) After consideration by the committee to which it was assigned, the proposal may then be presented to the General Assembly for approval.
a) A Committee is a standing group defined and established by these bylaws, composed of one or more persons appointed by the Coordinating Committee, to consider, investigate, or take action on certain matters considered sensitive enough to warrant special supervision as defined in its charge. A Committee is generally established to formulate the policies and execute the tasks needed to maintain and facilitate the internal functions of the GPCA.
b) A Working Group is a standing group defined and established by these bylaws, composed of one or more non-appointed persons, to consider, investigate, or take action on certain matters as defined in its charge. A Working Group is generally established to formulate and propose to the General Assembly, the GPCA's opinions, positions, and actions on political and social issues that are relevant to the Party's philosophy and political agenda.
c) A Special Group (or ad hoc group or subcommittee) is a group established by the General Assembly or a standing group to consider non-recurring business of the party or is otherwise expected to dissolve itself after completing its charge. Special groups do not have General Assembly agenda privileges (see proposal authority, 6-2.5).
d) A Caucus is a group established by GPCA members for the purpose of promoting a special interest, unique perspective, or certain consciousness. Caucuses do not have General Assembly agenda privileges (see proposal authority, 6-2.5).
Committees and Working Groups must be defined and established by these bylaws. Establishing a new Committee or Working Group or dissolving a current one requires an amendment to these bylaws.
Special groups may be established by the General Assembly or any standing group with a 2/3 vote. The statement of purpose or charge of the group and whether its membership is open or appointed must be stated at the time of formation. A special group may be dissolved with a 2/3 vote of the establishing body, but in any case, is automatically dissolved two years after its establishment or after completing its charge, whichever comes first. Expiring special groups may be reestablished at the discretion of the establishing body.
Coordinating Committee (CC) membership is defined in Section 7-1. Other Committees shall be composed of no more than eight members not including ex officio members (see ex officio members, paragraph 6-1.7). At least once a year or whenever vacancies exist, the active counties, Group coordinators, and individual CC members shall be given the opportunity to submit nominations or recommendations to the Coordinating Committee for committee membership. Eligible candidates must have attended at least two prior plenaries within the previous 24 months and demonstrate a working knowledge of the GPCA bylaws and operating procedures. Committee members shall be appointed by the Coordinating Committee and shall serve for two years or the remainder of the current term, or if appointed more than 12 months after the start of the current term, shall serve for the remainder of the current term plus two more years, unless a successor is appointed before this time. Terms begin and end at the start of the second plenary of each year and must be staggered whenever possible. Any Committee member may be recalled with a 2/3 vote of the CC.
Working Group membership shall be open to any Green Party member willing to participate. Voting privileges are reserved for those members who have attended at least two Working Group meetings within the previous 24 months.
Ex officio members are Committee or Working Group members by virtue of office as defined in these bylaws or in the group's charge. Ex officio members have all the privileges of other members, including the right to vote, but not the obligation to attend meetings regularly. Unless present, ex officio members are not counted in determining a quorum.
Each Committee and Working Group shall be assigned a Coordinating Committee (CC) member by the CC to serve as Liaison to the CC, an ex officio member of the Group. The liaison is charged with facilitating communications between the group and the CC. Liaisons appointed to Committees also serve as one of the committee coordinators (see coordinators, paragraph 6-1.9).
All Committees and Working Groups shall have two coordinators (see coordinator duties, paragraph 6-2.6). Each committee shall elect one coordinator from among its membership in addition to the CC-appointed liaison-coordinator. Each Working Group shall elect two coordinators from among its membership. Elected coordinators shall take office upon confirmation by the General Assembly and, while still eligible, shall serve for two years in staggered terms whenever possible or until a successor is elected and confirmed.
Each Committee and Working Group shall prepare a yearly work plan to be submitted to the Coordinating Committee along with any budget requests. The work plan must identify the objectives of the group for that fiscal year, any proposals it foresees bringing before the General Assembly, and a projected timeline for the groups activities. The stated objectives must be congruent with the group's charge as defined in these bylaws and the goals and strategies of the GPCA.
Each Committee and Working Group shall determine how many meetings are necessary to achieve the objectives outlined in its work plan. Each group shall also prepare and announce the proposed meeting agenda at least two weeks in advance of the meeting date.
A Committee or Working Group quorum is more than 1/2 of a group's voting membership. For Working Group meetings properly announced in the agenda distributed prior to a regular meeting of the General Assembly, a quorum is more than 1/2 of the voting membership OR one group coordinator and at least four additional voting members, whichever is fewer.
The decision-making process in Committees and Working Groups may be informal but must be consistent where feasible with the process described in Section 5-8. Proxy votes are not allowed.
All proposals to be considered by the General Assembly must first be approved and presented by a standing group established within these bylaws (see committees, article 7, and working groups, article 8). These groups shall act in the role of advocate for the proposals they present to the General Assembly. The presenter shall disclose to the General Assembly whether the group brings the proposal forward with consensus or by a vote. If by a vote, the details of the vote shall be disclosed.
The responsibilities of the Committee and Working Group coordinators shall include:
a) Preparing and announcing the proposed agenda for a group meeting;
b) Facilitating and coordinating the activities of the group;
c) Submitting group work plans and budgets to the Coordinating Committee;
d) Presenting group proposals or other official communications to the General Assembly;
e) Maintaining a physical notebook containing the groups Statement of Purpose, membership information, meeting minutes, and any other documents relevant to the work of the group;
f) Filing meeting agendas and minutes with the Coordinating Committee secretary in a timely fashion including a summary report after the conclusion of a General Assembly meeting with general contact information, active membership list, and status report;
g) Designating a temporary acting coordinator to perform the duties outlined above whenever an official coordinator is unable to perform those duties, and notifying the CC and Group membership accordingly.
Unless given special dispensation by the Coordinating Committee (CC) or the General Assembly, any CC member (or any officer appointed by the CC) who cannot fulfill their duties to the best of their abilities as described in these bylaws or operate in accordance with the 10 key values, shall resign by notifying the CC in writing. Resignation is implied whenever any of the following occur:
a) the member moves out of the region they represent, or the state, if at-large;
b) the member registers with any other political party, including decline to state;
c) the member fails to maintain an updated, accurate voter registration, unless prohibited by law;
d) the member misses three consecutive General Assembly meetings or CC regular meetings without appointing a qualified alternate.
See section 7-1.4 for related topics.
The decision to remove a CC member (or any officer appointed by the CC) must be made by the constituent body empowered to elect the member or appoint the officer:
a) The constituent body for appointees of the CC is the CC;
b) The constituent body for at-large CC members is the General Assembly;
c) The constituent body for regional CC members is the regional caucus of General Assembly delegates or an alternate body if designated according to Paragraph 7-1.5.
A CC member (or any officer appointed by the CC) may be removed from office if the member or appointee fails to resign as described in paragraph 6-3.1. The following recall procedure must be followed:
a) A written statement from three active CC members (or three General Assembly delegates from the region represented by a regional CC member) must be presented to the CC and the individual in question specifying the cause for recall at least two weeks prior to a regular meeting of the constituent body.
b) The CC may appoint a special committee to attempt mediation. In any event, if a resolution agreeable to both parties is not reached by the day of the meeting of the constituent body, the CC shall facilitate a formal recall vote.
c) If a formal recall vote is required, both parties shall be given equal time to make their case at a regular meeting of the constituent body where a quorum is present (regional caucus quorum is more than 1/2 of the total number of delegates allocated for the region). The recall proposal is a business decision requiring consensus or a 2/3 fallback vote to remove the member.
The Coordinating Committee shall be generally responsible for coordinating meetings, internal communications and other administrative tasks, including the following:
a) Establish agenda and select facilitators for general meetings.
b) Monitor and assist committee work and refer matters to committees.
c) Request and receive regular reports from committees.
d) Authorize and ratify specific expenditures
e) Authorize and carry out the decisions of the GPCA general membership and make executive decisions (but not set policy) between General Assembly meetings.
f) May make statements in the name of the party
g) Is authorized to retain legal council on behalf of the GPCA.
h) Is authorized to make decisions which legal counsel advises.
The Coordinating Committee shall be composed of up to twenty voting members, including sixteen regional representatives and up to four at-large representatives. The General Assembly shall define the regions, and determine the allocation of regional representatives. Diversity and gender balance are encouraged through the election of at-large representatives. CC representatives are not eligible for the positions of Treasurer and Liaison to the Secretary of State.
Regular meetings of the CC shall be held at least once a month, in person or by teleconference. Date and location of the next regular meeting shall be determined at the close of each meeting or, failing this, shall be determined by the CC coordinators and announced with at least 20 days notice. A special (or emergency) meeting may be called with at least one week notice by the CC coordinators or a majority of the CC. All decisions made at a special meeting shall be treated as policy decisions for voting purposes. A quorum of GPCA CC shall consist of 2/3 of the currently seated members. Proxy votes are not allowed.
At the first General Assembly meeting of each year, elections shall be conducted for CC seats whose terms are scheduled to expire within the calendar year including two at-large seats and any expiring regional seats not filled by an alternative regional process (see selection of regional members, paragraph 7-1.5). CC representatives shall serve for a nominal term of two years or until their successors are elected. In any event, at-large representatives shall vacate their seats at the end of the term unless reelected, and regional representatives shall retain their seats beyond the end of the term unless replaced or recalled.
Notwithstanding section 6-3, a region may replace its representative(s), including alternate representive(s), during the course of the term of office by conducting an election in accordance with its approved procedure. The new representative(s) shall serve the remainder of the existing term of office. The region shall notify the Coordinating Committee of any replacement conducted under this section.
Regional members shall be selected by regional caucus of delegates at General Assembly meetings, unless the active counties of a region select another process. Any such alternative process must be consistent with the ten key values, GPCA bylaws, and California law; and approved by all the County Councils of the active counties of a region; and filed with the Coordinating Committee and the Bylaws Committee. Regions with two or more seats are encouraged to strive for gender balance.
Alternate members may be elected for regional members. Alternates shall be designated for specific members and shall serve for terms concurrent with the members for whom they are serving. An alternate may participate in CC meetings, but may only vote when the regular member he/she is an alternate for is not present. If the regular member vacates his/her Coordinating Committee seat before the completion of his/her term, the alternate shall fill the vacated position for the remainder of the term for which they were elected. A region may elect multiple alternate representatives for their regional representative(s). That region shall then submit a statement to the Coordinating Committee describing the order or method by which the multiple alternates will substitute for a regional representative.
Candidates shall submit applications to the CC at least two months prior to the election of at-large CC representatives. The application shall consist of a detailed biography of the person seeking election and what they wish to accomplish as an at-large CC member. The CC shall forward, without prejudice, the applications to the active county organizations along with a full and detailed explanation of the voting procedure, including a description of the "No Other Candidate" (NOC) option and an encouragement to delegates to make their choices seriously and a reminder that delegates do not have to fill all seats unless they feel there are enough qualified candidates. The Coordinating Committee shall appoint three election officials and after the current and newly elected regional CC representatives have been announced and before the at-large CC representative election proceeds, the election officials shall present a full and detailed explanation of the voting procedure (as outlined above) to the General Assembly. The election officials shall then conduct the election as described in Paragraph 7-1.8, Choice Voting.
Each delegate shall be provided a written secret ballot containing the names of the candidates in random order. The ballot shall also include a "No Other Candidate" (NOC) option. The delegates shall vote by ranking the candidates along with the NOC option in order of preference. The ballots shall be tabulated utilizing a Choice Voting system with fractional transfers and a Droop threshold, 1/(n+1) (1/3 threshold with two open seats). No candidate shall be seated who does not cross the threshold before NOC. Choice Voting is the Single Transferable Vote (STV) form of proportional representation described in the International IDEA Handbook of Electoral System Design. (Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA). First published 1997. Second edition. Stockholm, Sweden).
For the purpose of calculations, n = open seats shall be adjusted, when necessary, so that the value of n shall not be higher than the number of candidates qualified for the ballot.
When only one seat is open and two or more candidates seek office, an Instant Runoff election shall be held. Each delegate shall be provided a written secret ballot containing the names of the candidates in random order. The ballot shall also include a "No Other Candidate" (NOC) option. The delegates shall vote by ranking the candidates along with the NOC options in order of preference. The ballots shall be tabulated using Instant Runoff Voting.
When only one candidate seeks office, an Approval Voting election shall be held. Each delegate shall be provided a written secret ballot containing the name of the candidate seeking office. The ballot shall allow the opportunity to indicate a "yes" or "no" preference on the seating of the candidate. The candidate must receive "yes" votes on at least two-thirds (2/3) of ballots cast to be seated.
The Liaison to the Secretary of State is the official contact of the GPCA with the State of California and with other organizations. The term of the Liaison shall be two years, beginning in odd‑numbered years: the Liaison shall be nominated by the Coordinating Committee, and subject to the confirmation of the first meeting of the General Assembly in odd‑numbered years. The Coordinating Committee shall immediately fill any vacancy in the office of Liaison, subject to the confirmation of the next meeting of the General Assembly.
The Treasurer of the Green Party of California shall open and maintain bank accounts, keep financial records, and produce regular financial reports for the Green Party of California. The Treasurer shall also carry out any other duties appropriate and customary to the office of Treasurer. The term of the Treasurer shall be two years, beginning in odd‑numbered years: the Treasurer shall be nominated by the Coordinating Committee, and subject to the confirmation of the first meeting of the General Assembly in odd‑numbered years. The Coordinating Committee shall immediately fill any vacancy in the office of Treasurer, subject to the confirmation of the next meeting of the General Assembly.
The CC shall establish a two-year strategic plan annually, using input from a brainstorming plenary session and draft work plans from the standing committees and working groups. The proposed plan shall be presented and affirmed at the subsequent General Assembly. The two-year strategic plan shall be reviewed and refocused by the CC and presented to the General Assembly annually. As part of the strategic plan, the CC shall develop a two-year schedule, including potential agenda items, for the General Assemblies and Gatherings, with input from each standing committee and working group work plan. The two-year schedule shall be revised annually, with General Assembly agenda and scheduling remaining flexible.
The Finance Committee is charged with overseeing the financial operations of the GPCA. This includes working with the Treasurer to:
a) Collect county dues and any other moneys owed to the GPCA;
b) Facilitate the allocation and disbursement of funds;
c) Provide quarterly financial reports to the CC;
d) Provide an annual budget report to the General Assembly;
e) Provide any official reporting required by the State of California;
f) Provide assistance for GPCA fundraising activities.
The Treasurer is an ex officio member of the Finance Committee.
a) A permanent Budget Committee shall be composed of four members: two members of the Finance Committee and two members of the Coordinating Committee. Members from the Finance Committee shall include the state treasurer and one at-large member. The state treasurer shall serve on the budget working group for the duration of his/her tenure. The at-large member shall serve for a non-repeating terms of one year. Members from the Coordinating Committee shall include the Coordinating Committee liaison to the Finance Committee and one at-large member. The liaison to the Finance Committee shall serve on the budget working group for the duration of his/her tenure. The at-large member shall serve for a non-repeating term of one year.
b) During the fourth quarter of each fiscal year, the Budget Committee shall determine the total amount of funds to be made available for next fiscal years annual budget.
c) The approved fiscal year's budget must maintain a prudent reserve (accumulated surplus plus revenue less expenditures), as established by the Finance Committee.
a) Existing state committees and working groups established by the Green Party of California shall submit the Request for Budget form to any member of the Coordinating Committee no later than the end of the third quarter of the fiscal year. Requests shall include the amount anticipated to cover annual expenses of the group for the next fiscal year.
b) State committees and working groups formed during the fiscal year shall complete and submit a request for Budget form to any member of the Coordinating Committee immediately following the first meeting of the committee or working group. Requests shall include the amount anticipated to cover expenses of the group for the remainder of the current fiscal year. If the first meeting of the group is after the end of the third quarter of the fiscal year, the group shall also submit a Request for Budget form the next fiscal year.
c) Request for Budget forms for annual budgets received by any member of the Coordinating Committee shall be forwarded to a member of the Budget Committee prior to the annual budget allocation meeting.
d) Requesting a budget for all expenditures related to statewide mailings or the hosting of statewide meetings shall be the responsibility of the Coordinating Committee.
e) Requests for out-of-budget emergency funds may be made at any time, subject to availability of funds. Refer to paragraph 7-2.10 below.
a) During the fourth quarter of each fiscal year, the Budget Committee shall conduct a meeting to allocate the annual budget to the groups from which a Request for Budget from has been received. The allocation meeting may be concurrent with the meeting to determine the total amount of funds available for the next fiscal years annual budget.
b) In no case may the total allocated to various groups exceed the total amount determined for the fiscal year budget.
a) On the first day of the first meeting of the General Assembly following the budget allocation by the Budget Committee, the General Assembly shall approve the annual budget for the next fiscal year. The first proposal shall be to consent to the entire state budget. If the proposal to approve the entire budget fails, consensus shall be attempted for those line item(s) in the budget for which there are unresolved concerns.
b) The state treasurer is empowered to disburse funds up to the limit of the approved budget for each group upon receipt of the properly completed Request for Payment forms.
a) State Committees and working groups shall submit a Request for Payment form to the state treasurer. The form must be signed by the coordinator of the working group. The Coordinating Committee shall designate an individual to sign a Request for Payment form on behalf of the Coordinating Committee.
b) Requesting expenditures related to statewide mailings or the hosting of statewide meetings shall be the responsibility of the Coordinating Committee.
c) For expenses to be reimbursed from the state treasurer, the form must be accompanied by copies of receipts for all expenses incurred. For funds requested in advance of expenditure, the form must specify the purpose of the disbursement.
a) Immediately upon receipt of a properly executed Request for Payment form, the state treasurer shall issue a check for the amount indicated to the payee designated in the form.
b) In no case may the treasurer issue funds in excess of the amount allocated to the group for the fiscal year. Funds requested in excess of the annual budget amount shall be subject to the Emergency Funding provisions; refer to paragraph 7-2.10 below.
Following each check issued on behalf of a state committee or working group, the state treasurer shall issue a brief statement to the coordinator of the group stating the amount of funds disbursed fiscal year to date and the remaining budget allocation. In the case of the Coordinating Committee, the statement shall be given to the liaison to the Finance Committee.
a) The treasurer shall report any Request for Payment which is in excess of a groups budgeted amount to the Coordinating Committee for action.
b) The Coordinating Committee may request emergency funding directly from the state treasurer for any state committee or working group.
c) In an emergency, the Coordinating Committee may consense to approve an expenditure of funds on behalf of the General Assembly. Any funds disbursed under this provision must be reported to the plenary session on the first day of the next meeting of the General Assembly.
The Bylaws Committee is charged with maintaining the GPCA Bylaws and assisting with their amendment or revision. All Bylaw amendment proposals must be reviewed by the Bylaws Committee before submission to the General Assembly.
In cases of bylaw ambiguity or procedural disagreement, the General Assembly shall decide for itself the meaning of its bylaws or the appropriate procedure to be followed. Between General Assembly meetings, the Coordinating Committee shall decide these questions subject to review at the next General Assembly meeting. The Bylaws Committee and its coordinators are charged with assisting with the interpretation of the Bylaws and the resolution of procedural questions.
The Platform Committee is charged with maintaining the Platform of the GPCA and assisting with its amendment or revision. All platform proposals must be reviewed by the Platform Committee before submission to the General Assembly.
The Platform Committee shall identify issues not in the platform, and suggest and formulate platform planks with substantial input from appropriate experts in the field. The Platform Committee shall also assist the General Assembly, the Coordinating Committee, and the Media Committee with formulating positions or statements on issues or initiatives related to official platform positions.
The International Protocol Committee (IPC) is charged with five principal functions:
a) Hosting. The IPC shall be responsible for working with international Greens to facilitate their visits, to assist with housing arrangements, communications, publicity, media contacts, and speaking events.
b) GPUS International Committee. In collaboration with other GPCA committees and working groups, the IPC shall develop draft platform planks, policy proposals, resolutions, and projects pertaining to international relations for submission to the GPUS/International Committee (GPUS/IC).
c) Proposals and Projects. In active consultation with the GPUS/IC, the IPC may also develop proposals or projects pertaining to international matters that are unique to the State of California, and that are not otherwise reserved to the GPUS/IC.
d) Alliance Building. The IPC may initiate and develop working relationships with organizations, groups and individuals pertaining to international policy and relations for the State of California, and to support IP work with the GPUS/IC.
e) Liaison with GPCA Committees and Working Groups. The IPC shall maintain timely communications with other GPCA standing groups in the development and approval of IPC drafts and actions which substantially or visibly involve the GPCA in the adoption of policies, positions, resolutions, alliances or other international initiatives.
The authority of the IPC is not intended to replace or otherwise conflict with other Green Party powers, efforts or activities in other state, national, or international committees or organizations. The IPC shall complement existing structures and activities in a manner that is supportive, collaborative, and synergistic.
a) The IPC shall act only in matters appropriate for a state-level party with relation to other individuals, groups or state-level international entities outside of California, or those appropriately deputized to California by their national bodies. All nation-to-nation, nation-to-region and nation-to-global relationships shall be managed through GPUS committees, plans and decisions.
b) The GPCA delegates to the GPUS/IC shall be the primary channel of communication, consultation, and authorization between the IPC and the GPUS/IC.
c) When issues or opportunities arise requiring action between General Assemblies, the IPC may make decisions with the concurrence of the GPUS/IC, and in consultation with GPCA standing group coordinators.
d) The IPC shall ensure that any disputes about authorized representation from Green Parties outside the United States be resolved through consultation with the GPUS/IC.
The Clearinghouse Committee is charged with maintaining an archive of all GPCA documents and data. The Clearinghouse Committee is also charged with facilitating internal and external communications and information dissemination including maintaining the GPCA website and returning communications received by phone, email, and postal mail.
A Webmaster, appointed by the committee, is an ex officio member of the Clearinghouse Committee.
The Media Standing Committee is charged with facilitating all GPCA communications with media outlets. The Media Standing Committee shall develop and distribute media releases that express appropriate GPCA positions in accordance with the GPCA platform; coordinate press conferences around significant party figures and issues; draft and distribute notifications of significant, newsworthy events relevant to party figures, platforms and growth. The Media Standing Committee serves under the direction of the General Assembly of the GPCA and the Coordinating Committee.
The Media Standing Committee assists local chapters of the GPCA to develop media resources.
The Media Standing Committee is a standing committee with up to 8 members, in accordance with bylaws 6-1.4. Co-Coordinators are selected in accordance with bylaws 6-1.9.
The Green Party of California's Press Secretary and designated Spokespeople are non-voting ex officio members of the Media Committee.
The Grassroots Organizing Working Group (GROW) is charged with facilitating voter registration activities and organizing locals. This includes working to:
a) Coordinate locals into statewide efforts to register Green Party voters, do public outreach, and increase diversity in the party;
b) Provide training for county locals in tabling and other grassroots organizing activities;
c) Develop, maintain, and provide resources for tabling efforts and organization of locals;
d) Maintain lists of registered Green Party voters.
The Campaigns & Candidates Working Group is charged with facilitating the electoral work of the party. This includes working to:
a) Educate Green Party members about GPCA electoral strategy;
b) Identify key political campaigns in which Green Party activists can play a pivotal role;
c) Identify registered Greens who would make credible candidates;
d) Promote and facilitate effective regional strategies for winning campaigns;
e) Train Green Party activists in methods of waging political campaigns;
f) Facilitate fundraising operations for GPCA-endorsed electoral campaigns. The Campaign Support Fund Committee is defined in Appendix B.
g) Maintain a County Polling Committee to establish GPCA positions opposing or supporting statewide ballot measures. The committee is defined in Appendix C.
The Electoral Reform Working Group is charged with promoting the electoral reform objectives of the party. This includes working to:
a) Educate Green Party members, the public, and the media about proportional representation (PR), instant runoff voting (IRV), and other electoral reforms as directed by the General Assembly;
b) Identify strategies for enacting these reforms including use of PR and IRV in primary and county council elections;
c) Encourage Greens to initiate and support successful campaigns for electoral reform;
d) Advise GPCA on internal party voting mechanisms and electoral policy.
The Liaison to the Secretary of State is an ex officio member of the Electoral Reform Working Group.
The Green Issues Working Group is charged with identifying and facilitating GPCA action on external Green issues not already delegated to another Committee or Working Group. This includes working to:
a) Identify, facilitate discussion, and prepare proposals on issues and events that should be addressed by the GPCA;
b) Advise the Platform Committee on the development of platform proposals on issues identified by the Working Group;
c) Promote and provide support for Green issues to candidates running for office;
d) Build coalitions with other organizations working on Green issues.
The GPCA may endorse or oppose state and federal candidates and state ballot measures appearing on the ballot during general, primary and special elections.
The General Assembly of the GPCA shall approve the manner and method by which statewide ballot measures and candidates for state or federal offices are endorsed or opposed.
The platform shall be approved at the statewide meeting by the plenary.
The state platform can be amended with the approval of the state body.
Article 10. Amendment of Bylaws, Rules or Procedures
('amendment' refers to changing the bylaws. rules or procedures in any way, including both deletions and additions)
An amendment to the bylaws, rules or procedures can be initiated in one of three ways:
a) by the Bylaws Committee, or
b) at the request of a 2/3 majority of the plenary at a General Assembly meeting, either as a result of group discussion or at the request of a delegate, or
c) by a local group sending a proposal for amendment to the Bylaws Committee or to the Coordinating Committee.
a) Any proposed amendment to the bylaws, rules or procedures except a) above shall then go to the Bylaws Committee, which shall discuss, confer with the author(s), refine if necessary, and analyze the effect on the bylaws, rules and procedures as a whole. The Bylaws Committee may recommend to the author(s) that a proposed amendment should be withdrawn, but the decision to withdraw or not is entirely the author's.
b) The Bylaws Committee shall submit a draft of the proposed amendment for the agenda packet for the next General Assembly. It is the responsibility of the Bylaws Committee to present the proposed amendment to the General Assembly for discussion and possible ratification.
Any amendment to the bylaws must be approved by at least an 80% roll call vote of the General Assembly. An amendment to the rules and procedures must be approved by at least a 2/3 roll call vote of the General Assembly.
The Green Party of California (GPCA) has affiliated with the Green Party of the United States (GPUS). No decision of the GPUS is binding on the GPCA without its consent. The GPCA selects delegates who are voting members of the Coordinating Committee (GPUS CC) of the GPUS (also known as the National Committee of the GPUS). These delegates are authorized to cast the full number of votes allocated to the GPCA to represent GPCA positions on matters before the GPUS.
Any member of the GPCA (as determined by their County) is eligible to be a delegate to the GPUS.
a) Representing GPCA to the GPUS
GPCA delegates to the GPUS shall take part in the discussion of proposals before the GPUS CC and vote on those proposals. They shall participate in monthly teleconferences and encouraged to attend delegation meetings at State General Assemblies. They are expected to attend GPUS Coordinating Council face-to-face meetings. They are encouraged to participate in GPUS committees. They are responsible to the GPCA General Assembly (GA) and the GPCA Coordinating Committee (GPCA CC). Alternate delegates are encouraged to participate in all meetings, teleconferences, and votes, and to serve on GPUS committees.
b) Serving the GPCA General Assembly
Delegates, as a group, shall serve the GPCA General Assembly. Between General Assemblies they shall report to the GPCA Coordinating Committee.
c) Deference to the General Assembly
GPUS Coordinating Committee Delegates have the authority to represent the GPCA as best they can. However, the General Assembly or GPCA CC may bind them to reflect the opinions of the GPCA GA or CC. When bound by the GPCA GA or CC, the delegation shall modify its positions appropriately to reflect the intent of the GPCA GA or CC when items are amended during the presentation and voting process.
a) Alternates and delegates
Alternates and Delegates shall be elected by the General Assembly following the same procedure used to elect At-Large GPCA Coordinating Committee members (See GPCA Bylaws Sections 7-1.7).
As delegate and alternate seats become vacant (by removals, resignations, or term limits) the General Assembly shall elect replacements at the first General Assembly following the vacancy. The existing delegation may recommend candidates to the General Assembly. Recommendations shall be made with attention to gender, ethnic, and geographic balance.
Delegates and alternates shall be elected for terms of two years, except that when a delegate is being replaced mid-term, the new delegate shall serve the remainder of the term. Delegates and alternates may serve more than one term.
Term limits shall not be enacted until GPUS Steering Committee and Finance Committee rules are changed to remove the requirement of state delegate standing for membership or until immediately after the 2006 National Convention, whichever comes first.
At that time, delegates shall be limited to three full terms, including time already served. They may be re-elected by the General Assembly after a break of one year. Former delegates may continue to serve on GPUS committees when allowed by GPUS rules. Time served in ASGP (the predecessor to GPUS) shall not count toward terms served. Service of alternate delegates shall not count toward term limits for delegates. Continuous service (as either a delegate or alternate) shall not exceed eight years, and service with less than a two-year break shall not exceed eight years total.
The GPCA CC may remove a delegate by consensus or an 80% vote. The only reasons for removal are failure to perform the duties of a delegate and malfeasance. Since delegates may ask alternates to vote for them, or a Coordinator to find an alternate to vote for them, failure to vote is not in itself failure to perform one's duty. Failing both to vote and to arrange for an alternate to vote constitutes failure to perform one's duty. When delegates habitually fail to perform their duties, the Co-coordinators of the delegation shall discuss the situation with those delegates. If the situation continues or recurs without the delegates resigning, the Co-coordinators shall cause it to be discussed in a meeting of the entire delegation, which shall decide whether to ask for resignations or to refer the matter to the GPCA CC.
The number of votes allotted to the GPCA is set by the GPUS, as are the number of delegates necessary to cast those votes. The GPCA's intent is to have one delegate per vote.
Alternates shall be elected equal in number to the number of delegates. Alternates may vote for delegates when delegates are unable to vote. Alternates vote when asked by a specific delegate or by the coordinators. Alternates always have a voice and are encouraged to join GPUS committees.
There shall be two coordinators of the delegation, with ethnic, geographic and gender balance preferred.
The coordinators shall facilitate the delegation and coordinate the delegation's activities with those of the GPCA CC.
Coordinators shall be selected by and serve at the will of the entire delegation. In the event that there is not a consensus by the delegation about who should serve, the delegates shall pick a method to choose coordinators.
Coordinators shall be elected by the delegation annually, at the first GPCA General Assembly after the annual face-to-face meeting of the GPUS CC, for a term of one year. Consecutive terms are allowed as long as delegate or alternate status is maintained.
Consensus of all participating delegates and alternates shall be used, whenever possible, to determine how the delegation's votes are to be cast, including when votes are to be split. However, when no consensus has been reached, each delegate shall be free to cast a vote as they think best represents the interests of the GPCA and the GPUS.
Votes shall be submitted to the GPUS per the rules of the GPUS.
The delegation shall meet, in person or by telephone or other means, when a meeting called by coordinators with the consent of the delegation. Whenever possible, the delegation shall meet at GPCA General Assemblies.
For any delegation meeting, including teleconferences, a quorum shall be 50% plus one of the number of delegates allocated by the GPUS.
The delegation shall create whatever policies and procedures are necessary to fulfill its responsibilities.
The GPCA delegation to the GPUS CC shall determine who are the representatives of the GPCA on GPUS committees. Any member of the GPCA in good standing is eligible to be on a GPUS committee, unless GPUS rules state otherwise.
Rules and procedures shall have the force of bylaws, except that where a rule or procedure conflicts with these bylaws, the bylaws shall take precedence. Rules and procedures may be overridden by a 2/3 vote of the General Assembly.
Rules and procedures shall be initiated by the Coordinating Committee or by any other Standing Committee or Working Group of the General Assembly ("initiating body"). A proposed rule or procedure shall be submitted by the initiating body to the Bylaws Committee and Coordinating committee for review and possible amendment using the process described in this Article.
a) The Bylaws Committee shall review the proposed rule or procedure for clarity and internal consistency, to minimize ambiguity, and for consistency with these bylaws and with existing rules and procedures.
b) The Coordinating Committee shall solicit feedback from each county organization through the regional representatives and county councils, and from affected Standing Committees and Working Groups through their co-coordinators.
c) The initiating body shall review any proposed changes for consistency with the intent of the proposed rule or procedure.
The review process shall continue until the Bylaws Committee, the Coordinating Committee, and the initiating body have each approved the final version by a 2/3 vote, or until the proposal is withdrawn by the initiating body, or is rejected by a 2/3 vote of the Coordinating Committee. If the proposed rule or procedure is approved. it shall be ratified by the General Assembly before taking effect.
Once approved, new rule or procedure shall be placed on the agenda of the next General Assembly such that agenda notification requirements can be satisfied. A limited amount of agenda time, but no less than 15 minutes, shall be allocated for each new rule or procedure. The agenda time shall be used to request clarification and to express concerns or affirmations. No amendments, excepting those for the correction of errors, shall be in order.
At the end of the time period, the General Assembly shall be polled for outstanding concerns. If 1/5 or more of the delegates present, as determined by the most recent quorum count, request that the rule or procedure be taken up by the General Assembly, the rule or procedure shall be placed on the agenda of the current (time permitting) or next General Assembly, where it shall be treated as a business item, subject to a 2/3 vote; alternatively, the initiator may choose to withdraw the rule or procedure. If the rule or procedure is not withdrawn, and polling of the General Assembly results in fewer than 1/5 of the delegates with outstanding concerns, the rule or procedure is ratified, and shall remain in effect until amended or revoked by this process.
In summary, the rule or procedure may:
a) be withdrawn by its initiator,
b) be suspended pending full consideration by the General Assembly,
c) take effect until amended or revoked.
Rules and procedures shall be amended or revoked through the same process as approval of new rules and procedures.
(referenced in bylaws, paragraph 4-2.2, delegate allocation formula)
The Method of Equal Proportions is a method adopted by the U.S. Congress to fairly allocate the House of Representatives seats among the states which is easily adapted to fairly allocate GPCA General Assembly delegate seats among the active counties.
To fairly allocate the 100 delegate seats, we must first decide on a good measure of "unfairness" and adopt an allocation method which minimizes this measure.
The Method of Equal Proportions is based on minimizing the "relative difference" between the "representation" of any two counties, where "representation" is the number you get by dividing the county's registered Greens by the number of seats allocated to the county. The seats are allocated such that transferring a seat from any county with more than one seat to any other county does not reduce the ratio of the higher representation to the lower representation.
There are two different ways to perform this method. Both are equivalent and will yield the same results. We'll call one the "ranking method" and the other the "rounding method". Computer software is available to assist with the actual calculations (see the bylaws committee coordinators).
In this method, a series of "priority values" are calculated for each county. First each county is allocated one seat then the priority values are ranked in order and the remaining seats allocated one by one to the counties from the highest priority value to the lowest until all seats are allocated.
To calculate the priority values, first a series of "multipliers" are obtained by calculating the reciprocal of the geometric mean for the integers 2 through 20.
1 / [square root of n(n-1)]
where n is an integer from 2 to 20
The priority values are obtained by multiplying the number of registered Greens in each county by these "multipliers." Each county should have now have a series of priority values which determines the order in which seats are allocated.
In this method, each county's allocation is determined by dividing the number of registered Greens in each county by a special "divisor" and rounding any fractions by using the geometric mean (rather than the usual arithmetic mean or average).
The geometric mean is calculated by obtaining the square root of the product of the two whole numbers on either side of the fractional number obtained above. If the fractional number is less than the geometric mean, round down to the nearest whole number. Otherwise, round up.
The divisor will be equal to or near the number obtained by dividing the total number of registered Greens (in active counties) by 100 (the total number of seats). This divisor is adjusted until the total number of seats allocated using this rounding method is exactly equal to 100.
[referenced in bylaws, paragraph 8-2.1 f), Duties and Authority of the Campaigns & Candidates Working Group]
Exerpt from the original proposal of April 2008:
The Campaign Financial Support Committee (CFSC) shall consist of two GPCA members from each of the GPCA Coordinating Committee (CC), Finance Committee and Campaigns and Candidates Working Group (CCWG). Each SC/WG shall use its own ordinary processes for making such appointments. A current SC/WG/GPUS Delegates Coordinator shall not be eligible to be a CFSC member. Any person who is, or who has announced an intention to be, a candidate for elected office, or anyone serving as a campaign manager, treasurer or consultant for such a candidate, is ineligible to be a CFSC member. Quorum for the CFSC shall be at least three CFSC members.
2. Term of Office.
CFSC members shall be appointed not later than the General Assembly at which the GPCA annual budget is submitted for adoption, and shall serve a one year term. CFSC members may not serve more than three consecutive terms. In the event a vacancy occurs in any CFSC position, the SC/WG that appointed the person who has resigned or become disqualified shall appoint the replacement to serve the remainder of the applicable term of appointment as soon as practicable after the vacancy occurs.
The CFSC shall have the responsibility to decide what campaign committees shall receive funds from the part of the annual GPCA budget approved for the financial support of GPCA candidates for elected office. The CFSC shall establish procedures for candidates to apply for funding, including an application form or questionnaire and application deadlines, that shall be generally communicated via GPCA email lists and publications and posted on the CCWG webpage(s). Drafts of those procedures and forms also shall be published to the CC, CCWG and County Contacts email lists for at least 15 days to allow comments before adoption.
Procedures adopted by the CFSC shall continue until modified. The CFSC shall internally establish general principles for prioritizing the distribution of limited funds in each GPCA fiscal year. Within 60 days following any election in which the CFSC designates funding for candidates, the CFSC shall provide a written report of its funding deliberations and decisions to the CC and CCWG (Co)Coordinators.
CFSC funding decisions shall be communicated directly to the GPCA Treasurer for transmittal of funds as decided by the CFSC. Any funding decision shall require agreement by a minimum of three CFSC members. The GPCA Treasurer shall promptly issue funds as designated by the CFSC except where either (a) the donation would result in the candidate's committee receiving more cumulative donations than allowed by statute or regulation or (b) where the candidate declines all or part of the donation.
The GPCA Treasurer shall promptly report either such circumstance to the CFSC which may amend its previous determinations upon receipt of such information. The CFSC may request the assistance of the CCWG or any other GPCA committee, working group or county organization in its processes for evaluating candidates' applications for GPCA financial support.
5. Funding Eligibility.
Notwithstanding any of the foregoing, to be eligible
for GPCA campaign donations:
A. Candidates for non-partisan municipal, county and special district races, California state legislature and U.S. House of Representative must obtain the endorsement of any active Green Party county organization operating within the boundaries of the district for the applicable office. Endorsements must be communicated directly to the CFSC by a County Council member of the County GP or a designated officer of an applicable GP County Local.
B. Candidates for partisan statewide constitutional offices (Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer and State Comptroller); Non-Partisan statewide constitutional offices (Superintendent of Education); State Board of Equalization and U.S. Senate must obtain GPCA endorsement by a General Assembly of Delegates or County Polling. [The text of this subsection shall automatically be amended in the event the California Secretary of State is amended to become a nonpartisan office.]
C. In special circumstances (e.g., large voting districts with multiple county organizations; special elections), the CFSC may waive the endorsement requirement on a case-by-case basis. However, in such cases, a candidate will need to demonstrate local support by endorsement of at least one active County GP, or endorsement by one or more Locals, or endorsement by the CCWG, or some other form of internal GPCA organizational endorsement, as a funding eligibility requirement.
D. Candidates for partisan office shall not receive GPCA financial support unless they are the GPCA nominee following the GPCA Primary Election.
E. Committees related to issue campaigns are not eligible for funding under these procedures.
[referenced in bylaws, paragraph 8-2.1 g), Duties and Authority
of the Campaigns & Candidates Working Group]
Exerpt from the original proposal of April 2008:
A County Polling Committee (CPC) is hereby established as part of the programs and activities responsibilities of the Campaigns and Candidates Working Group (CCWG).
The CPC will be led by two Co-Coordinators appointed by the CCWG (Co)Cordinator(s) not later than the end of the first state meeting held in odd numbered years. The GPCA Coordinating Committee (CC) Liaison to the CCWG shall promptly inform the CC Co-Coordinators of the names and contact information for those persons.
Except as otherwise provided below, the term of office for CPC Coordinators shall be two years from date of appointment. In the event of a vacancy, the CCWG (Co)Coordinator(s) shall appoint a replacement to complete the term of office. In the event the term of office of a CPC Co-Coordinator expires and there has not been a re-appointment or replacement appointed, the term of office of the current Co-Coordinators shall continue until new appointments are made or until the current Co-Coordinators resign or become disqualified (i.e., by change of residence or party affiliation).
Transition Provisions: The initial terms of office shall start upon adoption of this proposal and shall continue until 2009. Upon adoption, the CCWG (Co)Coordinator(s) shall promptly appoint the initial CPC Co-Coordinators.
The CPC shall coordinate the collection of reports describing and making recommendations concerning statewide ballot measures prior to formal polling of active GPCA county organizations (Count GPs). The CPC shall publish its report(s) as part of a County Polling process to determine if sufficient County GPs support or oppose specific ballot measures to constitute a GPCA position opposing or supporting that measure.
The CPC reports on ballot measures shall include an analysis of each proposition in relation to the GPCA Platform, resolutions and general principles. Each report shall conclude with a recommendation and the name(s) and county of each author of the report. Each County Polling report may include multiple reports on different initiatives or referendum and shall include instructions on how County GPs are to respond to the request for County Polling responses, including the time period for any County Polling on ballot measures.
The CPC will collect responses from County GPs and report those results to the CC, the CCWG and the County GPs. The CPC Co-Coordinators shall serve as the administrators and lead contacts for the CPC.
Promptly after the close of the ballot certification date and announcement by the California Secretary of State of measures certified for inclusion in the next statewide ballot, the CPC shall invite any GPCA member to participate in summarizing and evaluating ballot measures. To the extent possible, this invitation will precede the close of the certification period. The CPC Co-Coordinators shall promptly form teams from volunteers to complete the applicable reports within approximately one month following the close of the certification date.
The reports shall be communicated to County GPs via the County Contacts email list and by other additional methods as the CPC Co-Coordinators may consider appropriate. County GPs will report their respective positions on each ballot measure. A County GP may choose among the following choices for each ballot measure: "Yes" or "Support" (meaning the County GP votes that the GPCA should support the measure); "No" or "Oppose" (meaning the County GP votes that the GPCA should oppose the measure); "No Position" (meaning that the County GP votes that the GPCA should not take any position on the measure); or "Abstain" (meaning that County GP takes no position on what should be the GPCA position). Abstentions will be counted to determine quorum, but will not be counted to determine if there are sufficient votes to support, or oppose, or have no GPCA position, on a ballot measure.
County GPs shall have the same number of votes on each ballot measure as the County GP could have a total number of delegates at the first General Assembly of Delegates to be held following the start of the County Polling period. A County GP may report a distribution of votes for any ballot measure as decided by its internal processes up to the maximum number of its total delegate votes. County Polling results shall be communicated by at least one County Council member of the County GP to the CPC Co-Coordinators in writing (including email). A County GP may divide its votes as to any ballot measure by half votes.
A quorum for purposes of County Polling shall be at least one half (1/2) of the total number of active GPCA county organizations at the time of the start of the County Polling period. If quorum is not achieved from the number of reports received by the CPC Co-Coordinators for any ballot measure by the completion of the County Polling period (including extensions), no GPCA position will result from the County Polling as to that measure. A GPCA position to support, or oppose, or have no GPCA position on a ballot measure shall require a minimum of Eighty Percent (80%) of the number of votes received by the close of County Polling Period. If that threshold of votes is not received by the CPC Co-Coordinators for any ballot measure by the completion of the County Polling period (including extensions), no GPCA position will result from the County Polling as to that measure (notwithstanding achievement of quorum). If that threshold of votes is received by the CPC Co-Coordinators for any ballot measure by the completion of the County Polling period (including extensions), then that position to support, or oppose, or have no GPCA position on the ballot measure shall be the formal position of the GPCA, effective immediately.
County Polling will begin approximately one month following the close of the ballot certification date and last for a period of approximately five weeks. Promptly following the close of the Polling period, the CPC Co-Coordinators shall report the results to the CC Co-Coordinators, CCWG (Co)Coordinator(s),Media Committee (Co)Coordinator(s) and to the County Contacts email list.
In the event a quorum has not been achieved during the initial polling period, the CPC Co-Coordinators may extend the polling period for as long as an additional three weeks, or until two days before the convening of the next General Assembly of Delegates, whichever occurs first.
For purposes of example, the schedule for County Polling
in 2008 is expected to be as follows:
End of January 2008 Certification date for ballot measures on June 2008 ballot
February 2008 Collect ballot measure reports
March 2008 County Polling
April 2008 Announce County Polling results
End of June 2008 Certification date for ballot measures on November 2008 ballot
July 2008 Collect ballot measure reports
August 2008 County Polling
September 2008 Announce County Polling results
4. Plenary Agenda.
The Agenda Team shall schedule and the CPC Co-Coordinators shall report on County Polling results at the beginning of the first day of the first GPCA Assembly of Delegates (Plenary) following the close of any County Polling period, or if the Plenary begins during the County Polling period.
In the event the GPCA position as to any ballot measure has not been determined by County Polling not later than two days before the commencement of the General Assembly of Delegates immediately following the start of the County Polling period, consideration of each such ballot measure shall be presented to the Delegates for determining the GPCA position, if any, as part of the Plenary Agenda. The CPC Co-Coordinators shall promptly advise the Plenary Agenda Team concerning any such items to be presented at that Plenary.
The CPC ballot measures reports and voting instructions to County GPs shall be published in the Agenda Packet for that Plenary. The CCWG and CPC Co-Coordinators shall have joint responsibility to present those issues for support, opposition or taking no position by the General Assembly of Delegates whose decision shall establish the GPCA position as to any ballot measure position not decided by County Polling.
The provisions of this Section 4. shall apply only if the Plenary is held not less than four weeks before the election in which any applicable measure appears on the ballot.
5. Ballot Measures Polling, Only.
The procedures described above apply only regarding determining GPCA positions as to statewide ballot measures. Similar procedures may be adopted concerning candidate endorsements or other GPCA decision-making, but use of any County Polling process for those, or any other purposes, is not part of this proposal. If this proposal is adopted, it shall apply only to procedures regarding determining GPCA positions on statewide ballot measures.
6. Regional Representatives.
Regional Representatives have the responsibility to actively encourage County GP's in their geographic area of responsibility to respond to County Polling and return timely reports of votes on each ballot measure. Following County Polling, Regional Representatives shall submit a written report to the CC concerning the status of any County GP that has not filed a timely County Polling report.