Record of Decisions, May 12 General Assembly of the Green Party of California

Saturday, May 12

Morning session
Faciliation: Richard Gomez, Peggy Koteen
Quorum: 39 delegates and 'x' regions present, quorum reached (seven regions needed for quorum)

Agenda approval 

Proposal: Approve agenda as proposed by Coordinating Committee on May 12, amended by adding five minute report on Proposition 14 by Michael Rubin and Mike Feinstein before the announcements at 5:50.   
Outstanding, unresolved concern (Jared Laiti). Sponsor (Coordinating Committee) chose to move to a vote
YES (29): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38
NO (4): 18, 28, 33, 34
ABSTAIN (5): 6, 13, 30, 31, 40
Agenda approved 29-4-5 (87.9%)

Consent calendar

Proposal:  Add already approved GPCA Endorsement Procedures to GPCA Rules and Procedures (Campaigns & Candidates Working Group)
Outstanding, unresolved concern (Jan Arnold). By GPCA bylaws, item automatically pulled in the presence of outstanding concerns, to return to General Assembly on Sunday morning.

Confirmation:  Doug Barnett, Nominee for GPCA Treasurer

Approved by Consensus

Confirmation:  Jeanne Rosenmeier, Nominee for GPCA Assistant Treasurer

Approved by Consensus

Election: On-site voting for GPUS Delegation delegates and alternates (candidate applications here)

All candidates elected - Delegates:  June BrasharesSusan ChuncoJared LaitiGreg Jan, David CurtisJosefina Aranda Alternates: Sasha Karlik, Mike Malinin  

Note: By an error discovered days after the voting was complete, more candidates were listed as delegates than there were open delegate seats. However, there were several seats open for alternates. So the Coordinating Committee made a bylaws interpreration that given these circumstances, the lowest vote getter for the delegate seats, who did have enough votes to be elected, would be considered elected as an alternate. That individual was Sasha Karlik and the Coordinating Committee approved this interpreration at its July 2nd meeting.

Decision: Whether to affirm all at-large candidates on-site instead of conducing email election; candidates make statements (candidate applications here)

Amendment (Laiti): That it be done on site by paper ballot.  Outstanding concern, stand aside (Bloomberg): Existing process that has the decision resting in the counties is preferable.
Approved by consensus
Candidates Marla Bernstein, June Brashares, Maxine Daniel, David Heller, Tim Laidman and Michael Rubin, made presentations
All candidates elected: Two year seats -  Marla BernsteinJune BrasharesMaxine DanielSasha KarlikMichael RubinTim LaidmanKate TanakaOne year seats (filling vacancies) - Dave HellerCynthia Santiago

Quorum - afternoon session

Faciliation  - Greg Jan, Laura Wells

Proposal (Finance Committee): Change GPCA Fiscal Year

That the General Assembly approve the following text:

The General Assembly of Delegates  designates the GPCA Fiscal Year as beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30.  To the extent applicable, the period of May 1, 2012, to June 30, 2012, is designated as a transition period from the previously designated Fiscal Year (May 1 to April 30), and the GPCA Budget adopted for the first use of the new Fiscal Year (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013) shall include that transition period.

As part of implementation of this decision, the current schedule for the budget process shall be continued. Specifically, the Coordinators of the Standing Committees, Working Groups and the GPUS Delegation shall submit their respective annual work plans and budget proposals to the Finance Committee by January 31 of each year; the Budget Committee, Finance Committee and Coordinating Committee shall complete their review and modifications of the budget proposals in February and March, and a comprehensive Draft Budget shall be published not later than 60 days before the the next General Assembly of Delegates (Budget Plenary).
Upon adoption of this proposal, the Bylaws Committee is directed to review the current published version of the GPCA Bylaws and to submit technical amendments to the Bylaws necessary to conform them to this proposal and the Fiscal Policy adopted in December 2011 for review and approval by the next General Assembly of Delegates. 

Amendment (Feinstein) accepted by Finance Committee: that in the third paragraph, instead of instructing the Bylaws Committee to come back with implementing language, approve the following language now: Amend the GPCA Fiscal Policy Section 5-1 Fiscal Year "The Fiscal Year shall run from May 1 to April 30" to "The Fiscal Year shall run from July 1 to June 30."

Approved by consensus

Proposal: Budget FY2012-2013 (Budget Committee)

- Amendment (Budget Committee): Agree up to a $10,000 deficit as part of proposed budget  
Outstanding, unresolved concerns (Tian Harter, Bob Marsh).  Sponsor (Budget Committee) chose to go to a vote.
YES (27): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9. 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40
NO (3): 25, 28, 41
ABSTAIN (9): 6, 14, 19, 21, 24, 31, 33, 34, 39
Amendment approved 27-3-9 (90%)
- Process proposal (Feinstein): Continue time on the budget approval up 4:30pm and then adjust agenda at that point.
Approved by consensus
- Amendment (Budget Committee): Eliminate the GROW staff position ($7,000) subject to evaluation at the next General Assembly, 
In the face of outstanding, unresolved concerns, amendment withdrawn and replaced by the following proposal
- Amendment (Budget Committee): All staff positions recommended in the budget are for seven months only in FY2012-2013
- Amendment (Sanda Everette, accepted by Budget Committee) as follows: "It is the intention of the GPCA to fund these positions for the entire FY2012-2013, but for now, all staff positions recommended in the budget are for seven months only in FY2012-2013"
- Amendment (Mike Feinstein, accepted by Budget Committee) as follows "It is the intention of the GPCA to fund these positions for the entire FY2012-2013, but for now, all staff positions recommended in the budget are for seven months only in FY2012-2013. The Finance Committee may recommend an extension via a Standing General Assembly during Fiscal Year based upon unanticipated income. The FY2012-2013 budget shall be reviewed at the next General Assembly."  
Outstanding concerns, stand aside (Mike Feinstein) - don't support not committing to full funding Fundraiser; (Bob Marsh - entire process of making proposed changes one-by-one and prefers a different process)
Outstanding, unresolved concerns (Marnie Glickman). Sponsor (Budget Committee) chose to go to a vote.
YES (25): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 16, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 32, 35, 36, 38, 40
NO (6): 15, 28, 33, 34, 39, 41
ABSTAIN (6): 10, 14, 17, 19, 25, 37
Amendment approved 25-6-6  (80.6%)
Proposal: Approve GPCA FY2012-2013 Budget as amended above (including add-backs that are not in the minutes yet, will get from Budget Committee), for a deficit of $9,797
Outstanding concerns, stand aside (Gerry Gras): need spreadsheet next time; (Eric Brooks) - only cutting staff, everyone needs to pinch pennies, need speadsheet; 
Outstanding, unresolved concerns: (Marnie Glickman)
YES (25): 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 32, 36, 37, 38, 40
NO (5): 28, 33, 34, 39, 41
ABSTAIN (8):5, 8, 14, 15, 17, 19, 25, 31
Proposal passed 25-5-8 (83.3%)

Proposal: Strategic Plan Calendar (amended to agree to amend later if SGA doesn't pass)

Outstanding unresolved concerns (Michael Rubin)
YES (23): 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 37, 41
NO (8): 6, 9, 13, 28, 31, 32, 33, 34
ABSTAIN (7):5, 7, 10, 36, 38. 39, 40
Proposal: Approved 23-8-7 (74.2%)

Proposal: Amend GPCA Elections Code (Coordinating Committee)

Approved by consensus.

Sunday May 13

Faciliation - Sanda Everette, Alex Shantz

Quorum: 35 delegates and 'x' regions present, quorum reached (seven regions needed for quorum)

Agenda approval

Amendment (Michael Rubin), accepted by Coordinating Committee: Add debriefing on Saturday night's Green presidential forum

Amendment (Laura Wells), accepted by Coordinating Committee: Add ninety seconds before lunch to hear Mothers Day message.

Approved by consensus.

Consent Calendar
Proposal:  Add already approved GPCA Endorsement Procedures to GPCA Rules and Procedures (Campaigns & Candidates Working Group)
Outstanding, unresolved concern (Jan Arnold). Proposal fails by presence of outstanding concern.

Proposal:  Bylaws Amendment - Standing Green Assembly, other modifications (Bylaws Committee)

- Amendment (Bylaws Committee): Direct Coordinating Committee and GROW to explore ways to ensure that active County Organizations are kept up-to-date about state party  business of the state party

- Amendment (Barry Hermanson), accepted by Bylaws Committee:  Require a teleconference option during the SGA discussion period 

- Amendment (Drew Johnson), accepted by Bylaws Committee. Direct IT Committee to explore the use of web-based discussion forums as part of the SGA discussion infrastructure.
- Amendment (Jared Lait), accepted by Bylaws Committee. Keep at three, the number required in 6-6.1(a), to attend a county general meeting, to chose new county councilmembers, when none had been elected in the last direct primary.
- Amendment (Bylaws Committee): That the following sentence at the end of 6-6.1(a) go into effect after September 15, 2012: "In active counties, the number shall be equal to that would be necessary to sign nomination signatures to appear on the County Council ballot in that county."
- Amendment (Jared Lait), accepted by Bylaws Committee. Don't add "GPUS Delegation" to "Only registered Green Party members may serve as members of ...." in Article 3.
- Amendment (Bill Albertson), accepted by Bylaws Committee: Add this language, clarifying the implementation of Article 8 Coordinating Committeee: "But in approving these changes, there would be a one year transition period where the existing regionally elected Coordinating Committee members as of May 2012 would retain their seats for approximately one more year, through the spring of 2013 Coordinating Committee elections, after which their terms would end when the newly elected Coordinating Committee members are elected."
- Amendment (Bill Albertson), accepted by Bylaws Committee: Add language to clarify that the GPCA would use a modified version of the voting page software used by the GPUS (
- Amendment (Greg Jan), accepted by Bylaws Committee: clarify in 7-1.2(b) that the text should end with "times 100" in order to equal a whole number, rather than a percentage.
- Amendment (Greg Jan), accepted by Bylaws Committee: add 'qualified' to 7-6.2(a) as follows: "7-6.2(a) Endorsement/opposition of qualifed statewide ballot measures"
- Amendment (Greg Jan), accepted by Bylaws Committee: correct various typos in 9-9, 9-10.1, 9-11.1(a), 9-11.2, 9-13.2, 10-6.1
- Amendement (Shane Que Hee): That the existing language for the Platform Committee shall remain in effect.
- Amendment (Bylaws Committee): Separate 8-2.1 for separate vote from the rest of the amended, proposed text. (This amendment was made in response to the same concern heard from many delegates that the Coordinating Committee structure be decided separately from the SGA.)
- Amendment (Bylaws Committee): If 8-2.1 is passed, which establishes Coordinating Committee at-large elections for 24 members, 12 men and 12 women, that a separate later vote be taken on establishing term limits for these seats. (This amendment was made in response to a concern from Warner Bloomberg, who wanted term limits to be part of the main proposal itself).
YES: 13
NO: 15
Proposal does not pass 13-15-6 (46.4%)

Proposal:  Platform Amendment - Energy (Platform Committee)

That the General Assembly approve the following text (approved by consensus):

Conservation, efficiency, research and development, and renewable energy sources are essential elements of our proposed energy policy

We need to develop strategies that recognize that fossil fuels are formed in geological time and cannot be replaced in the short term and they are being depleted rapidly (except coal). Moreover, our current dependence on fossil fuels (especially coal) is creating unacceptable environmental damage, including climate change that will bring great hardship to many humans and non-human life.
Conserving energy will reduce the need for fossil fuels (and dangerous nuclear energy).  We can also lessen our dependence upon energy sources by driving more fuel efficient cars and by simplifying our lifestyles to include things such as living closer to our work and eating lower on the food chain.
U.S. dependence on imported oil contributes to our military involvement in other parts of the world. Elimination or reduction of this dependence would eliminate or diminish the reason, or the excuse, for such military involvement. Decentralizing energy production is important to improve security from attack and also for less dependence on large facilities feeding into massive grids that are easily disrupted.
Proposed state and national energy policies would loosen environmental protections. Clean air, clean water, endangered species, and the Alaska Wildlife Refuge are all threatened. Many local communities, often poor and minority, are being threatened by mining activities, waste storage, waste incineration, dirty production facilities and other assaults.
Nuclear Power is being promoted as a solution to global warming but it leaves long-lived and dangerous wastes in its wake.
Streamlining of permits in response to the 2000-2001 energy "crisis" changed the process for siting power plants. It sidestepped previous environmental legislation and the process by which residents participated in the decision making. Also it led to an increase in the number of fossil fuel peaker plants which are used when demand for power is the highest. They are less efficient than new full-size natural gas plants and they emit much more pollution per unit of energy produced.
Global Climate Change
In the last decade, the Earth has experienced some of the highest average temperatures ever. The United States is responsible for emitting approximately 25% of all greenhouse gases worldwide. Energy generation, including transportation uses, account for most of this. It is vital to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as rapidly as possible, while also using permaculture agriculture techniques for soil carbon sequestration, to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, and then reduce CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere from their current 392 parts per million (ppm) down to a more sustainable 350 ppm or lower.(See Protection of Atmosphere  plank)
Regulation vs. Deregulation vs. Public Power
California's failed attempt to deregulate energy utilities indicated the dangers of investing our energy future in the hands of an energy market committed only to maximizing profits. Deregulation has failed to produce the promised rate reduction for residents, but rather has caused our bills to soar.
Deregulation gave the three privately held California utilities a cash windfall that allowed their holding companies to control the allegedly competitive market. They invested in energy plants in the U.S. and worldwide, and own billions of dollars in assets not touchable by the state to rectify the outstanding utility debts. Under deregulation, many of the state's utility generation facilities were sold to out-of-state companies who then sold that power on the open free market at exorbitant profits.
A growing pool of experience shows that Municipal Utilities Districts and other public power agencies run more efficiently and provide better customer service than Investor Owned Utilities.
California's deregulation law provided a small fund to promote renewable sources, low income assistance, and energy efficiency. The rejected alternative for renewable sources, which was pushed by environmentalists, would have required all electricity generators to produce 10% of their energy from renewable sources. This left a voluntary effort by independent power suppliers to market "green power" to customers. The effort resulted in very little new renewable power sources. Eventually, a target of one third by 2020 was set.
Approximately 25% of all energy use in California is expended on the supply and movement of water and facility maintenance and operations.
The Green Party of California proposes:       
Phase out fossil fuels as an energy source to the extent possible and convert to renewable sources. Require all electricity sellers to replace  at least  50% of their energy use with clean renewable sources by 2020, and  a long-term objective of 100% clean renewable sources by 2035
Use subsidies, incentives and regulations to encourage the development of such renewable techniques as passive solar for heating and cooling buildings; solar water heating; solar electricity; non-polluting culturally-sensitive geothermal, wave/tidal, wind, and small scale hydroelectric energies; and reinstate the "direct access" option for residential consumers so that they can get power from companies using renewable sources.
Aggressively implement subsidized energy efficiency installation for lighting, home and office appliances, industrial motors, and gas boilers; and increase rebate and replacement programs.
Require energy efficiency, and solar power with appropriate optimization measures such as orientation, massing, shading, and use of green materials in building codes.  Prohibit homeowner associations and condo associations from  restricting member owners from installing solar equipment on their commonly held rooftops and from hanging out laundry.
Support a massive project of energy conservation. We must make up for years of under-funding of energy conservation. We need more efficient appliance purchase rebates, small business conservation loans and grants, training and small business development for energy service providers, energy conservation innovation and curriculum in public school science courses on how renewable energy sources work.
Include information in utility bills about where to obtain energy saving products to establish better communication with people and especially those sociologically disadvantaged to assure people’s rights relative to energy distribution 
Restructure electricity rates so that residents are not paying more than big business. Require large users who have not done all they can to reduce energy use to pay more for electricity. Develop a tiered residential pricing system that takes into account family size.
Make our supply of energy more secure and affordable through localized, decentralized energy production with a strong component of municipal ownership to provide nonprofit competition to private providers.
Require utilities to pay  the highest spot price of the day for renewable electricity input by retail consumers via feed-in tariffs (the selling of the excess power to the grid by private generators) to encourage building of alternative energy sources such as local, renewable distributed generation (localized, diverse and integrated renewables, efficiency, demand response and storage) and Community Choice Aggregation projects.
Use "time-of-use" pricing as much as possible and install time-of-day meters for large users.
Create an incentive program to encourage conservation by landlords and tenants.
Cities or utilities should have a contact designated to educate energy wasters--someone that people would be able to call when they see careless energy wasting, like parking lot lights left on all day at a big box store.
Stop subsidies for the research and development of nuclear power. Shut down/ decommission  existing nuclear power plants (San Onofre and Diablo Canyon in California) and replace them with renewable sources. Repeal the federal Price-Anderson Act, which limits the financial liability of the nuclear industry in case of accidents. Insurance companies will not cover nuclear power plants, so this liability is a subsidy to the nuclear power industry now borne by taxpayers.
Repeal the "permit streamlining process" for siting power plants. Use solar to meet peak demand.
Reduce methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases by rapidly phasing out confined animal feeding operations, by encouraging a reduction in worldwide meat consumption, and by transitioning to a plant-based agricultural system.
Employ union labor in green energy projects.
To better distribute renewable sources, there should be more emphasis on individual solar power from photovoltaic panels installed on every roof possible and subsidized by the government with increased buy-down rates and low-interest loans to those who need them.
Make our supply of energy more secure through decentralized energy production, including new technologies such as  small wind, combined heat and power retrofitting, water and air pumped storage, hydrogen cell storage,  and less dependence on outside sources of energy. We should seek more energy independence within California borders, and strive to establish local and regional virtual (combined) power plants in order to achieve fully localized diversified energy security with no need for long range energy imports.
Prohibit sale of power generating and distribution assets to out-of-state power companies who would not be subject to California Public Utilities Commission oversight and control.
When Green Power marketers reenter the market here they should provide new renewables and avoid top-down, anti-democratic, funder-led objectives.
Replace aging, inefficient and polluting plants. Utilities must pay for the costs of disposing of their wastes and any costs of cleaning up their pollution
Municipal utilities should address water and electricity issues together. Both should be declared a public resource to remove their commercialization. Government at all levels must focus on increasing efficiency and conservation.