People, Planet & Peace
The Massachusetts Affiliate of the Green Party of the United States
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2017 fall meeting proposals

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Revisions to Standing Rules

TITLE: Revisions to Standing Rules

Note: The sponsor is requesting that this proposal be taken up as "New Business" rather than being part of the proposal session.  But the text is inserted here to keep open the possibility of treating it as a regular proposal.

SPONSORS: John Andrews, TBD

FLOOR MANAGER/SHEPHERD: TBD

VETTING COMMITTEES:  AdCom

SUMMARY: Certain revisions and additions are made to the Standing Rules in order to improve the functioning of State Committee.

BACKGROUND:

This proposal contains four parts, each of which makes a separate change to the Standing Rules of State Committee.  Separate "Background" sections are included for each proposal.  The sponsors intend to remove any part that does not seem to have adequate support.

TEXT OF PROPOSAL:

1.  MINUTES

The following text shall be added to section IV of the Standing Rules of State Committee:

The Secretary is expected to provide the first draft of the minutes ("notes") for a StateCom meeting no later than two weeks after the meeting.  The draft shall be posted online and its availability shall be announced on the StateCom business list.

Background of Part 1:  Decisions are often made by StateCom that require timely action.   GRP members involved with implementing the decision need to have a clear record of what was decided and who is responsible.  Not all such people are in attendance at the StateCom meeting and not everyone leaves with their own clear notes on any particular agenda item.  When minutes are late, it delays start of work on the action items.  It also creates difficulty for the co-facilitators in assembling the agenda for the next meeting (since they have to determine which agenda items were continued or tabled for the next meeting).  There have been times recently that minutes of one meeting were released only a week before the subsequent StateCom meeting.  This leaves little time to take action on decisions.

 

2 . BETTER PROCESS FOR ORDERING PROPOSALS

The Standing Rules of State Committee shall be modified as follows:

a) The current text in section IV that establishes an "expedited round" shall be deleted in its entirety.

b) The following text shall be inserted:

Approximately three days prior to the meeting,   StateCom members will be invited provide their rating of the submitted proposals on the following 1-5 numeric scale:

How important is it to take up this proposal at this meeting?

5 = Critical.  Not acceptable to delay.

4 = Important.  Clear need to consider at this meeting if possible.

3 = Desirable.  Should consider if time is available.

2 = Not important.  Little concern if delayed.

1 = Undesirable.  Proposal should not be brought to the floor at this time.

The facilitators, in consultation with AdCom, and after inspection of the results of StateCom ranking shall define the order in which submitted proposals will be considered, using descending order of their average pre-meeting ranking unless a clear reason can be given to depart from this ranking.  This order shall be announced before the meeting if possible but no later than the time the agenda is up for approval.  Approval of the agenda will constitute approval of the announced order of consideration.  However the co-facilitators can alter the approved order if events during the meeting make a change necessary.

The section on the website that asks visitors to rate proposals as "good, bad, important, easy, impractical" shall be removed since these inputs are usually ignored, they aren't modified as the proposal evolves, and they create confusion about whether usable feedback has actually been given.

Background for Part 2:  The "expedited round" concept has failed repeatedly to achieve its purpose.  The premise on which it is based is that when members declare "no concerns" prior to the meeting, the proposal can be passed quickly without discussion.  In practice, as soon as an expedited proposal is put on the floor, discussion ensues and concerns emerge.  At times, an expedited proposal has generated a long discussion and then has had to be moved to the regular round for resolution.  The expedited round process prioritizes less important proposals that no one really cares about - which is counterproductive.  We need a new process that makes sure that truly high priority proposals are taken up first when there is still time to give them proper consideration.

This proposal gives StateCom members themselves the primary role in prioritization.  However the co-facilitators can alter the ordering if there is a clear reason to depart from the pre-meeting survey order.  At the meeting, the StateCom members present can vote to alter the order if they wish, but hopefully the co-facilitators will devise an ordering that meets with approval.

 

3. CLARIFICATION OF AGENDA FORMULATION

The Standing Rules of State Committee shall be modified as follows:

a) In section IV. Agenda, the following text shall be added at the beginning of the section:

The co-facilitators for a StateCom meeting are responsible for assembling and maintaining a detailed meeting agenda that allocates time according to Party priorities and reflects previous decisions of StateCom.  The co-facilitators shall consult with AdCom regarding whether specific items shall be included on the agenda, and shall attempt to implement any specific recommendations provided by AdCom.  On the day of the meeting,  StateCom itself can vote to modify the proposed agenda before approving it.  The co-facilitators may adjust the order and time allocation of agenda items if this is necessary to accommodate developing events (such as running behind schedule, absence of a presenter, technical problems with audio-visual equipment,  etc.).

BACKGROUND FOR PART 3:  At times, there have been disagreements over whether the meeting agenda was determined by the co-facilitators or by AdCom or by requests from StateCom members.  At times the co-facilitators have been pressured by someone to include time to discuss their favorite topic and the co-facilitators have not known what priority to give to the demand for time.  Often one or both of the co-facilitators are new to the party and have trouble assessing requests.  It seems clear that StateCom should be the final authority when it comes to approving the StateCom agenda.  But prior to the meeting, the deciding guidance should come from AdCom, since AdCom consists of officers elected by the state convention and AdCom is responsible for judgment calls in-between StateCom meetings.  The co-facilitators  are responsible for the details of the schedule such as the order of items and the amount of time allocated to each item, but at the meeting they will normally seek concurrence from StateCom members when making such decisions.

 

4.  MAINTAINANCE OF ESSENTIAL LISTS

TEXT OF PART 4:

Section "III Credentialing" of the Standing Rules of State Committee shall be modified by renaming the section as "III Credentialing and Membership" and inserting text as follows:

a) The GRP Secretary is asked to maintain a roster of State Committee members that indicates their name, delegate or alternate status, region represented, attendance history, and contact information.  This roster shall be updated after each quarterly State Committee meeting and shall be made available to any member of State Committee through an online posting.

b) The GRP Secretary is asked to maintain a list of each recognized GRP local chapter, club, town committee, or ward/precinct committee.  This list shall contain the entity name, officer contact information, mailing address, geographic region of activity, and list of any PAC operated by the entity.  The list maintained by the Secretary shall be deemed by StateCom to be the official record of currently active chapters or committees.  This roster shall be updated periodically and shall be made available to any member of State Committee through an online posting.

BACKGROUND FOR PART 4:  Having current organizational lists of these types is important to the proper functioning of the party.  Furthermore, when the GRP has party status there is a legal requirements for having an official StateCom membership list.  Currently, when the need arises for such rosters we have found that they either do not exist or are outdated.  The same local goes by more than one name, which is confusing to all except a handful of insiders. This addition to the Standing Rules simply makes the expectations of the Party clear and asks the Secretary to be the keeper of the two designated lists.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:  None.

IMPLEMENTATION:  The shepherd will produce a revised copy of the Standing Rules that contains all approved revisions.

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Management of the GRP Candidate's Fund

SPONSORS: John Andrews, Charlene Dicalogero

Floor manager: John Andrews, jandrews166@gmail.com, Tel. 781-382-5658

VETTING COMMITTEES:  This proposal has been vetted by the Candidate Development and Legal Committee.

SUMMARY: This proposal establishes revised procedures for managing the GRP Candidate's Fund. The intention is to implement more practical procedures in which the essential tasks for managing the fund are clearly assigned.

BACKGROUND:

In 2009 a Candidates' Fund was established through a joint agreement between the Administrative Committee (AdCom) and the Candidate Development and Legal Committee (CDLC).  This agreement (documented in CDLC Document C008 and in a proposal passed by AdCom) established a Candidate's Fund and specified procedures by which the party would provide financial and other assistance to candidates.  Since then the people on AdCom and CDLC have changed and some of the procedures have fallen into disuse. We have also learned some things that would lead us to revise the procedures, eliminating unused provisions.  This is being submitted as a StateCom proposal because using an agreement between AdCom and CDLC does not provide stable and well-documented authority for managing the Candidate's Fund.

TEXT OF PROPOSAL:

1) The attached document C008A is hereby adopted to define the procedures by which the Green-Rainbow Party will administer a Candidate's Fund.  It replaces the former agreement embodied in document C008.

 IMPLEMENTATION:

CDLC will add this document to its document collection as document C008a.  CDLC will update its guidance to candidates to track the changes in procedures. The Treasurer will make the required revisions to the GRP bookkeeping system.

 FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

This proposal does not appropriate any funds.  AdCom will determine the amount of money, if any, to be transferred from the general state fund category into the Candidate's Fund category.  In addition, voluntary designated donations will be accepted.

 - - - - -

ATTACHMENT 1

Document C008a

Management of the GRP Candidate’s Fund

The GRP Candidate’s Fund is a special reserve fund created by bookkeeping entry within the GRP’s general fund.   Procedures for its creation and use are defined below.

1. Purpose and Scope

1.1 The GRP Candidate’s Fund is a special funding mechanism for the purpose of advancing the electoral capabilities of the Green-Rainbow Party and its candidates.  The Fund shall make disbursements to provide direct aid to individual GRP candidates, to assist slates of GRP candidates, or to strengthen the general electoral capabilities of the GRP.

1.2 The GRP Candidates Fund will be used solely for state and local races.  Hence, its funds will be held within GRP bank account established for state level purposes.  On those rare occasions in which the GRP wishes to donate to a federal level campaign, a separate process will be employed that allows AdCom to make a disbursement from the party's federal account.

2.  Money Management and Reporting

2.1 The Treasurer shall create a segregated Candidate's Fund as a clearly identified bookkeeping reserve within the overall GRP bookkeeping system.  No disbursements shall be made from this fund except through the procedures defined in this document.

2.2 The Treasurer shall enter into this fund all donations received that are accompanied by an annotation or instruction stating that the donation is intended to support the Candidate's Fund.

2.3 A designation of general funds to be deposited into the Candidate's Fund shall be part of the GRP annual budget.  The amount is to be determined through the usual budgetary process.

2.4 AdCom may, at its discretion, transfer additional money from the general state fund into the Candidate's Fund.

2.5  CDLC shall work with the Fundraising Director or AdCom to solicit individual donations that will be designated for the Candidate's Fund.  An option for making such a donation will be included, where appropriate, in general party fundraising appeals.

2.6 The Treasurer shall write checks drawn from the Candidate's Fund when authorized by CDLC and when so instructed by the CDLC co-chairs.

2.7 The Treasurer shall report the total amount in the Candidate's Fund as part of the routine Treasurer's report.  The Treasurer shall provide an update on the amount in the Candidate's Fund to the CDLC co-chairs upon request.

2.8 Funds in the Candidate's Fund that are deemed to be in excess of current and anticipated needs may be transferred to the general funds of the party upon concurrence of both CDLC and AdCom.

3.  Eligibility and Allocation of Funds Among Campaigns

3.1  A candidate is eligible to receive a donation from the Candidate's Fund if

      - They are running for a state or local office (not a federal office)

      - They are a member of the Green-Rainbow Party (by virtue of either being registered "J" or being registered "U" and paying dues to the GRP)

      - They have been endorsed by State Committee OR they have received the party nomination as result of a primary process.

3.2 CDLC shall determine the schedule for disbursements and may make donations in several increments during the campaign.  However CDLC shall generally try to expedite the award of funds since early money is most valuable to campaigns.

3.3 It is not necessary for a candidate to submit any request in order to be considered for an award of funds.  However candidates should provide CDLC with any information that is requested to help CDLC better assess the needs and capabilities of the campaign.

3.4 In determining the amount of the disbursements to a particular campaigns, CDLC shall consider total funds available and consider the relative priorities of all GRP campaigns including campaigns not yet announced. In prioritization, CDLC shall consider factors that influence the ability of a donation from the Candidate's Fund to increase the electoral capabilities of the GRP.  Among such factors are the extent to which the candidate

•  is attracting new volunteers and new donors or is enrolling new GRP voters.

•  has support of local GRP members, including the endorsement of any local chapter2

•  is strengthening the local GRP chapter (if any)

•  appears to have a long term commitment to building the GRP

•  is registered GRP and is providing visibility to the GRP as he/she campaigns.

•  can actually win the race or can win a significant percentage of the vote.

•  is likely to use the success of the current campaign to run again in the future

3.5 CDLC may also consider the extent to which the candidate's campaign is organized to make good use of donations, the size of the district within which the candidate is running, and the amount of money the candidate is raising through their own fundraising efforts.

3.6 CDLC shall coordinate with any other GRP-affiliated PACs or town/ward committees to ensure that the aggregate amount donated to any one campaign does not exceed any legal limits specified in campaign finance laws.  Currently (in 2017) the GRP is classified as a political designation (not a party) and the aggregate limit is $500.  The working assumption of the party is that any PAC created by a GRP chapter must be treated as an affiliated PAC and not as an independent PAC. CDLC shall provide the GRP Treasurer and the candidates with any information that is required for them to complete legally required finance reports.  Local GRP Chapters that create PACs shall provide CDLC with the contact information of an individual who will coordinate with CDLC in these matters. 

3.7  CDLC may decide to keep a certain amount in the Candidate's Fund in anticipation of future needs.

3.8 CDLC may make disbursements that do not go directly to candidate's campaign committee, such as disbursements for multi-candidate advertising, voter ID databases, or polling.

 4.  Miscellaneous Provisions

4.1 Both AdCom and CDLC are instructed to exercise due diligence in making sure that the operation of the Candidate's Fund is in compliance with all applicable state and federal campaign finance laws.

4.2 The procedures contained in this document may be revised upon joint concurrence of both AdCom and CDLC based on an official vote of each entity.  Any such revisions shall be reported promptly to StateCom and shall be subject to reversal or further revision by StateCom.

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