Bylaws Interpretation Regarding A Standing Green Assembly (2012)

Approved by the GPCA Coordinating Committee, June 4th, 2012; and amended to add purpose #3 on January 7th, 2013

Whereas there has been broad interest within the GPCA in establishing a Standing General Assembly since at least 2004-2007, when a CC-appointed sub-committee was tasked with researching how to bring one to the GPCA (; and
Whereas there was strong support for a Standing General Assembly during the December 2011 General Assembly strategy session discussion in Los Angeles; and 
Whereas the strategy session is designated by GPCA bylaws to provide input into a two-year party work plan for the CC to present at the subsequent General Assembly; and 
Whereas the GPCA Bylaws Committee subsequently began work on an SGA right at that meeting and thereafter; and 
Whereas the GPCA Bylaws Committee determined that a revision of the GPCA Bylaws to incorporate a Standing General Assembly would be best accomplished as part of an overall reordering and simplification of the existing bylaws text that reformatted, renumbered, and edited for brevity, clarity, consistency and better organization, without changing any meaning; and
Whereas the GPCA Bylaws Committee additionally determined that to ensure a smoothly functioning SGA, other amendments to the text should be made to resolve ambiguities and disputed points in related processes that would affect the SGA, including how delegates would be chosen, which counties are active, which committees and working groups can bring proposals to the SGA and upon what areas, and when and how Coordinating Committee elections are held; and
Whereas the Agenda Team, Coordinating Committee and General Assembly all agreed upon dedicating less than two hours to the SGA proposal on Sunday morning, May 13; and
Whereas it was clear from discussion from delegates during that agenda item that they wanted to see an SGA; and
Whereas the GPCA’s consensus-seeking process was followed, where clarifying questions were taken and outstanding concerns expressed on the text, and amendments proposed to address the outstanding concerns; and
Whereas many delegates did not express concerns with specific parts of the SGA proposal, but instead requested breaking up the proposal into a series of votes on various parts of the proposal; and
Whereas for the purposes of responding to this outstanding concern, the presenters separated the part of the proposal about Coordinating Committee elections from those parts relating to an SGA;
Whereas by the end of the time allowed, there was not a decision to approve bylaws language to establish an SGA; and
Whereas the General Assembly approved of a two year work plan calendar on May 12th, which was based a Standing Green Assembly being in place and in use over next two years, starting on July 1; with the calendar's approval contingent upon an SGA being approved by the General Assembly; and
Whereas there will not be a General Assembly before the November General Election and therefore the GPCA must use its County Polling process to take its positions on the between seven and nine measures that will be on the November ballot; and
Whereas the work plan calendar is based upon the SGA scheduled County Polling to take place via the SGA this fall; and
Whereas the GPCA did not reach quorum in County Polling held this spring, with the email County Polling model used; and
Whereas the GPCA Campaigns and Candidates Working Group is of the opinion that the existing County Polling process in the Bylaws appendix can be interpreted to allow for the use of the same voting page technology such as that specified in the SGA proposal; and
Whereas for the purposes of maximizing its stances on the ballot measures, its in the strategic interest of the GPCA to establish its positions by Labor Day, when the fall campaign official begins; and therefore such County Polling should begin its discussion process by approximately the same time as advocated in the SGA proposal – July 1st – in order to provide for sufficient discussion and voting before Labor Day;
Therefore it is in the interest of the CC to authorize its IT sub-committee to prepare the web-paged voting capability to effectuate such a County Polling process in the time period recommended by July 1st if feasible; and
Whereas the CC is tasked with calling a General Assembly under GPCA Bylaws, when the General Assembly has not done so itself; and
Whereas the San Francisco General Assembly in May did not set a date or location for the next General Assembly; and
Whereas no county party has come forward with a proposal to host the next General Assembly; and
Whereas under GPCA Bylaws the CC is authorized to “make decisions (but not set policy) between General Assembly meetings; and
Whereas given the broad support for the SGA concept at the May General Assembly suggests that the topic continues to need to be heard; and
Whereas to address the SGA proposal in its multiple parts in the manner requested by some delegates would require a large part of the weekend of the next General Assembly, if the SGA is agendized for it; and
Whereas attendance at recent General Assembly has been only between the high 30s to high 40s in delegates, with many parts of the state unrepresented because of the time and cost involved with travel; and 
Whereas a General Assembly that is mostly about bylaws is likely to draw an even smaller number of delegates than the low turnout of recent years, depreciating the democratic decision-making base of any decisions taken; and
Whereas at the same time it was clear that for the just concluded General Assembly, many delegates came without having either read the material closely and/or didn't know or understand the existing GPCA bylaws, suggesting that the face-to-face process may not be the best for intricate, extensive bylaw revision work; and
Whereas establishing a SGA would address many issues for the party, including allowing it to make decisions in between general assemblies, to involve more counties in the process, to provide more time for delegates to review proposed material, and to take care of various administrative decision-making via the SGA to free up face-to-face meetings for more direct political work; and
Whereas GPCA Bylaws around bylaws interpretations state that the CC  "shall decide these questions subject to review at the next General Assembly”;
Therefore the CC interprets the existing bylaws that allow it to set the next GA, to set the next GA as an SGA, based upon the SGA proposal of May 13, for the following purposes:
1)    Conducting County Polling; and
2)    Voting upon the individual sections of the SGA proposal, to address the outstanding concerns from the San Francisco General Assembly (and in the process allow the SGA to conduct its review of the CC’s interpretation).
3)    Establish a set of Green Party Policy Demands to the California State Legislature/Green Party Legislative Agenda