Coordinating Committee minutes, December 7, 2016

Coordinating Committee members present (10): Victoria Ashley, Marla Bernstein, Jose Trinidad Castaneda, Maxine Daniel, Mike Feinstein, Michael Goldbeck, Tim Laidman, Jessica Montiel, Alex Shantz, Rich Zitola*
Coordinating Committee members not-present (3): Sandra Everette, Sasha Karlik, Jesse Moorman
Observers (Greens) (1): Rich Zitola*
Quorum: Quorum reached at 7:40 with seven (7) present: Victoria Ashley, Marla Bernstein, Jose Trinidad Castaneda, Maxine Daniel, Michael Goldbeck,Tim Laidman, Alex Shantz
*Note: Zitola was returned to the Coordinating Committee through a bylaws interpretation during the middle of the teleconference, but was not counted towards quorum as he was not a member under later in the call

Feinstein originally present on call at 7:30, but fell off the call as a result of technical difficulties, then returned to call at 8:24 was on and off the call at different intervals for the rest of the call
Montiel joined the call at 9:11

2) Roles

Facilitator:  Shantz
Minutes taker: Feinstein started, Castaneda picked up when Feinstein dropped off call, Feinstein concluded when returned to call
Time keeper: Daniel
Vibes Watcher: Laidman

3) Approval of Agenda

Proposal (Feinstein): Add Decision: Setting of date of January Coordinating Committee annual retreat at #9 on agenda
Proposal (Laidman): Add Decision: Establishment of Inter-Committee Task Force as #10  on agenda
Proposal (Shantz): Add Discussion: Introductions from new Coordinating Committee members

Approved by consensus (7:45)

Proposal (Shantz): Approve agenda as amended

Approved by consensus (7:45)

4) Decision: Approval of minutes from November 2015 Coordinating Committee meeting

Approved by Consensus (7:48)

5) Decision: Approve Letter to County Registrars (Shantz, Feinstein)

Proposal (Shantz): That the Coordinating Committee approve the following letter to be sent to the California Secretary of State and the County Registrars

To: California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, California County Registrars

From: Green Party of California State Coordinating Committee

Date: December 8, 2015

Dear Secretary of State Alex Padilla and California County Registrars

We are writing to inform you that under California Elections Code § 7770, it is the intent of the Green Party of California (GPCA) to exercise the public ballot election option, conducted by the County Registrars, for the Green Party’s County Council (aka Central Committee) elections in all of California’s 58 counties in 2016.

7770.  The state party chairperson, no later than the 135th day before the presidential primary election, shall notify the Secretary of State whether or not a county central committee election will be held. In the event that a county central committee election is not held, a county central committee will be convened pursuant to rules adopted by the party.

We are also writing to inform you that the number of seats and their specific allocations (whether at-large or by legislative district as provided by § 7911) will remain the same in every county as was the case for the 2012 County Council elections.

7911. Members of county councils shall be elected from one or more multi-member districts. Multimember districts shall conform to the county boundaries or recognized jurisdictional boundaries of Congressional, State Assembly, State Senate, or Supervisorial districts within that county, in accordance with state Green Party bylaws and county Green Party bylaws.

We also note that in 2012 and in 2014, we have experienced County Registrars not only contacting our county parties to ask them whether they seek to retain the public ballot election option, but in some cases using language implying more of an 'opt-in' option for our party to continue to retain the public ballot election option, rather than the 'opt-out' language suggested by the former Secretary of State's Office in CCROV #15161

As a party that believes in grassroots democracy as one of its Ten Key Values, the Green Party  is uncomfortable with this subtle difference in language, as it could be understood as an attempt to influence our party to abandon a practice that we've never indicated that we have any interest in changing.

Furthermore we have received communications from at least one County Registrar who was planning to seek authority from his County Supervisors to actually charge political parties for exercising the public ballot election option. Although that County Registrar eventually declined to pursue that effort (after receiving feedback from the ballot qualified parties in that county, as well as from the County Supervisors there), we also feel compelled to comment upon this trend.

The GPCA fully understands that county government is not always sufficiently funded, and that elections officials in many counties feel the resultant strain. For this reason, the Green Party has long advocated public policies to reform our tax system and build a more sustainable economy, so that all needed public services are sufficiently funded.

One place however, that we do not agree should be underfunded is our democracy.

We understand that as a result of 2010’s Proposition 14 (the Top Two Elections Law), that the economics of paying for the extra cost of printing separate ballot pamphlets in non-presidential election years (only to provide information on central committee elections) was seen as disproportionately expensive, and led to the 2012 passage of SB1272 (Kehoe), which eliminated Central Committee elections in non-presidential years, leading to de facto four-year Central Committee terms. We hope that it stops there.

The GPCA believes it is unequivocally in the public interest that the elections of the leadership of ballot qualified poiltical parties are conducted in the transparent, regulated and accountable and professional manner that County Registrar’s offices provide. We therefore would be strongly concerned with any lobbying efforts by County Registrars individually and/or through the California State Association of Counties, to effectuate any further changes in California State Law to remove this responsibility from county government. Instead the Green Party would be happy to join any County Registrars in publicly advocating for sufficient funding for these and other county public services.

Thank you for consideration of these issues and for your ensuring that the public ballot election option for Green Party County Council elections is available in all of California’s 58 counties in 2016.


Sanda Everette, Alex Shantz
Co-coordinators, Coordinating Committee
Green Party of CaliforniaCC: California State Assembly and State Senate Elections Committees

Approved by Consensus (7:58)

6) Decision: Bylaws Interpretation Regarding Coordinating Committee attendance requirements and Extraordinary Circumstances (Coordinating Committee) (ten minutes)

Proposal (Laidman): That the Coordinating Committee approve the following bylaws interpretation and submit it for approval to the San Diego General Assembly in January 2016

Whereas GPCA bylaws provide that "If a Coordinating Committee member misses three consecutive regular monthly meetings, the individual shall lose their seat and a vacancy shall occur" (; and

Whereas for many years GPCA bylaws also had text that allowed the Coordinating Committee to waive this requirement by giving special dispensation: "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: (d)  the member misses three consecutive General Assembly meetings or CC regular meetings without appointing a qualified alternate: (


Whereas this text was removed in March 2013, because it allowed the Coordinating Committee to decide for itself whether to apply such a waiver on its own members, creating the potential for a conflict of interest for the Coordinating Committee to decide who among it should remain a member and who not; and

Whereas instead of the Coordinating Committee decided exclusively for itself whether to apply such a waiver, the option of a bylaws interpretation by the Coordinating Committee subject to a 2/3 confirmation by the General Assembly exists (, and

Whereas during the summer and fall of 2015 a Coordinating Committee member missed three consecutive meetings as a result of the psychological trauma of young teenage neighbor being murdered by another young teenage neighbor of that Coordinating Committee members; and

Whereas after a period of grieving over several months, that Coordinating Committee member has indicated his interest in returning to active Green Party work, including on the Coordinating Committee;Therefore the Coordinating Committee finds that in this case of extraordinary circumstances, the Coordinating Committee member in question, Rich Zitola of Santa Cruz, shall be waived of the attendance requirement under GPCA Bylaws 8-2.2 Membership and shall be considered a current Coordinating Committee member.

In the face of outstanding concerns (Daniel), the proposal went to a vote:

Yes (6): Victoria Ashley, Marla Bernstein, Jose Trinidad Castaneda, Michael Goldbeck, Tim Laidman, Alex Shantz
No (1): Maxine Daniel
Abstain (0): none

Approved 6-1-0 (8:10)

7) Decision: Approval of updated San Diego General Assembly agenda and update upon logistics

Proposal: That the Coordinating Committee approve of the following agenda

Saturday, January 23

 8:00am Breakfast, registration

 9:00am Opening, welcome from San Diego Greens, new delegate orientation, quorum count, announcement of Standing Committee vacancies

 9:30am Proposal: Approval of General Assembly Agenda

 9:45am Proposal: Appointment of Ruscal Cayangyang for GPCA Assistant Treasurer (Coordinating Committee; nominee makes statement)

10:00am ​Proposal: Approval of Coordinating Committee Bylaws Interpretation Regarding Coordinating Committee attendance requirements and Extraordinary Circumstances (Coordinating Committee)

10:15am Report: Changes to draft GPCA Elections Code passed by state legislature (Coordinating Committee)

10:30am Presentation: Update on Legal Cases against Proposition 14/SB6 (Campaigns and Candidates Working Group, Coordinating Committee)  

10:50am Report: Status of 2016 County Council filings (Coordinating Committee)

11:05am Report: GPCA Proposal to host the GPUS 2017 Annual National Meeting (Coordinating Committee)

11:30am Decision: Mid-Year Budget Review and Hiring (Finance Committee, GROW)

12:00am Announcement of Standing Committee vacancies

12:05pm Lunch, Womens Caucus meeting during lunch

 1:00pm Breakout sessions for committees and working groups (CCWG, Platform, Finance/Fundraising, GROW)

 2:15pm Discussion: GPCA 2016 Election Strategy - US Senate race (Campaigns and Candidates Working Group)

 3:00pm Green Party 2016 Presidential Candidate Forum (Campaigns and Candidates Working Group)

 6:00pm Dinner Reception with Presidential Candidates

 7:30pm Evening Program with Elected Greens from across CA and success stories from San Diego Greens

 4:55pm Announcements

Sunday, January 24

 8:00am Breakfast, registration

 9:00am Breakout sessions for committees and working groups (CCWG, Green Issues, Media, IT)

10:30pm Quorum count

10:35am Confirmation: Standing Committee and Working Group Co-Coordinators

10:40am Discussion: Who the GPCA should recommend for its 2016 presidential primary ballot (Campaigns and Candidates Working Group, GPUS Delegation)

11:10am ​Discussion: 2016-2018 Work Plan/Strategic Plan visioning session, according to GPCA bylaws Article 11 (Coordinating Committee)

11:40pm Proposal: Approval Next General Assembly Meeting Date and Place (Coordinating Committee)

11:55pm Discussion: Statewide Ballot Measures on the June 2016 primary ballot (Campaigns and Candidates Working Group, GPUS Delegation)

12:15pm Lunch, GPUS Delegation meeting, Latinx Caucus meeting during lunch

 1:15pm Breakout sessions for committees and working groups (Bylaws, Finance/GROW/Clearinghouse joint session)

 2:45pm Confirmation: Standing Committee and Working Group Co-Coordinators  (for any committees or working groups not confirmed in morning session)

 3:00pm Closing session

Approved by consensus (8:24)

 8) Discussion: Planning for Presidential Candidate Forum at San Diego General Assembly (State Meeting Committee) (fifteen minutes)

Feinstein reported that an invitation has been sent to Green officeholders across the state to participate by being present to ask questions from their areas of governing expertise, and that a proposal would be brought to the Coordinating Committee's January teleconference with a timeline for the event.

Discussion followed about media promotion and livestreaming logistics for the event.

 9) Add Decision: Setting of date of January Coordinating Committee annual retreat (Feinstein)

Proposal (Feinstein) - That the Retreat be held over two days, Sunday, January 24 after the General Assembly and during the day on Monday, January 25

Approved by Consensus (8:47)

10) Proposal: Establishment of Inter-Committee Infrastructure Task Force  (Laidman) 

Proposal (Laidman): That the Coordinating Committee establish a task force consisting of representatives from the following committees: CC, IT, Clearinghouse, Finance, Fundraising and Volunteer Coordination, to work on a coherent, well organized and maintained structure in NationBuilder, our Drupal website and our email lists.

Approved by Consensus (9:11)

11) Discussion: Introductions from new Coordinating Committee members

Castaneda, Goldbeck and Montiel introduced themselves

item concluded at 9:19

12) Report: Treasurer (Barnett)

No report made

13) Report: Committees

A) Bylaws (Ashley) - Nothing to Report
B) Clearinghouse (Feinstein) - Nothing to Report
C) Finance (Laidman) - Completed printing of the Fundraising letter, mailing to 2500 people
D) Fundraising Committee - Building an active committee
E) Media (Feinstein) - Nothing to Report
F) Platform (Feinstein) - three platform items just approved by the SGA
G) Information Technology Committee (Laidman) - Next meeting December 14
H) Campaign Fund Support Committee (Feinstein) - Reported the Shamako Noble had submitted request for funding for his GPCA endorsed U.S. Senate campaign
I) Personnel Committee - Nothing to Report
J) State Meeting Planning Committee/Agenda Team - already reported during earlier agenda item

Reports concluded 9:29

13) Report: Working Groups

A) Campaigns and Candidates (Moorman) - Kent Mesplay sent in his application today to be considered for GPCA recommendation to the CA Secretary of State. Online vote anticipated soon.
B) Electoral Reform (Jean) - nothing to report
C) Green Issues
D) GROW (Goldbeck): Goldbeck interested in becoming Coordinating Committee liaison role
E) Grassroots Organizing (Shantz)

Meeting Adjourns: 9:36PM