2019 Summer Statecom Proposals

Please enter proposals for 2019 Summer Statecom meeting below.

Key Dates

  • June 16 Proposals Deadline (four weeks before meeting).
  • July 10  09:00 AM: Comments and Vetting close 
  • July 11  09:00 AM: Amendments Due
  • July 12 09:00 PM: Rankings Close

Please enter, below, your proposals, including

Proposal Header and Preamble

  • proposal title: short version
  • proposal sponsor/shepherd
    • proposer serves as floor manager and shepherd
    • all proposals require a co-sponsor
    • click on Will Co-Sponsor button to co-sponsor
  • contact info for floor manager
  • committees from which you are requesting review and feedback
  • explanatory background 
  • proposal summary
  • financial impact
  • implementation: who will do what, when, where and how?

Proposal Header and Preamble:

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

VIOLENCE TO ANIMALS MUST END NOW: AMEND GRP AGENDA AND ISSUE PRESS RELEASE STATING THAT THE GRP ENDORSES AND SEEKS TO PROMOTE VEGANISM

Short Title: Violence To Animals Must End Now

Floor manager / Shepard: Joshua Gerloff, joshuagerloff [dot] gmail [dot] com

Co-sponsor: Danny Factor

Committees from which you are requesting review and feedback: Adcom, Platform, Chapters.

Explanatory Background and Proposal Summary:

What does this proposal call for?
This proposal calls for the GRP to do three things: 1) Amend our Party Agenda to say that the GRP opposes violence to all animals, and endorses and calls for the promotion of veganism 2) Issue a press release stating the same. 3) Cease spending any GRP funds on products derived from animals.

Why is this proposal consistent with our 10 Key Values and the GPUS Platform?
The GRP values nonviolence. Veganism means nonviolence to all sentient beings. Violence to animals for food, clothing, entertainment or any other purpose is immoral, unnecessary, and incredibly destructive. By endorsing and promoting veganism, the GRP will fully embrace nonviolence and extend that concern to every animal species.

GPUS Platform Part III K,  entitled “Ethical Treatment of Animals” states at the outset that Cruelty to animals is repugnant and criminal. The mark of a humane and civilized society lies in how we treat the least protected among us. To extend rights to other sentient, living beings is our responsibility and a mark of our place among all of creation. We call for an intelligent, compassionate approach to the treatment of animals. We reject the belief that our species is the center of creation, and that other life forms exist only for our use and enjoyment. Our species does not have the right to exploit and inflict violence on other creatures simply because we have the desire and power to do so. Our ethic upholds not only the value of biological diversity and the integrity and continuity of species, but also the value of individual lives and the interest of individual animals.” Our GPUS Platform then goes on to call for the end to a number of violent acts on animals, including but not limited to animal experimentation, animal testing and animal classroom demonstrations. As an affiliate of the GPUS, the GRP is grounded by the same principles: that animals are sentient beings and have rights, violence to animals is  repugnant and cruel, and our species has no right to inflict this harm purely for our pleasure when alternatives exist. We feel then, especially at a time when consumption of animals is linked to the cataclysm of climate change, that it is time that a state affiliate of the Green Party specifies more explicitly and consistently that the only way to end violence toward animals is to endorse and promote veganism. With recognition of the need for animal rights/veganism growing around the world, and within our party (for example the establishment of the GP Animal Rights Committee in 2016), and the history of our party taking bold no-nonsense, zero-tolerance action when it comes to violence, we believe that only veganism is the consistent position of a Green who truly supports nonviolence and sustainability.

How would this proposal make the GRP more consistent in its advocacy of nonviolence and sustainability?

Right now, the Green-Rainbow Party is committed to nonviolence, but fails to condemn violence to animals. The GRP supports the idea of healthy ecosystems and biodiversity, so in an abstract sense, animals matter in that they comprise part of nature.

But our GRP Party Agenda says nothing about individual animal’s lives. Sentience is the only criteria necessary to possess moral value. If the GRP abides by what we know science tells us, there is no difference between the pain that one sentient animal feels over another. If animals matter at all, whether it be humans or other animals, then you don’t eat, wear, or be entertained by them. The purchase of animal products for food, clothing, adornment, or entertainment including pets financially and morally supports these forms of exploitation.

Further, the consumption of animal products is violence to our own bodies. It is well known that eating animals or their products is harmful to our health. How harmful? The average 10-year old child raised on the Standard American Diet has fatty streaks in their arteries! Furthermore, there is *no* component of animal flesh or product that humans require for survival. To eat animals when there is no compelling requirement to do so is wrong.

The demand for meat is violence to our Earth. The main reason for Amazon rainforest destruction is animal agriculture. If we care about biodiversity, we must condemn animal agriculture and all animal exploitation. Veganism is about the most important personal action one can take to halt climate change. Because of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal agriculture, veganism is by far the largest personal step that a person can do on their own to halt climate change. Studies have shown that embracing veganism curbs more greenhouse gasses than installing solar panels on one’s home, buying an electric car or any other conceivable personal act.

Proposal Wording:

The GRP will take the following actions:

1) By August 1, 2019 the GRP Party Agenda on our website will be amended from:

Preamble

To counter the exploitation of people and the planet, the GRP seeks to strengthen and revitalize our communities so every person can be a creative contributor, have a decent life, and be free from fear, discrimination, and hopelessness. To that end, we seek to reclaim and rework the economic and political activities of our Commonwealth.

Part  1 - Healthy Communities 

Healthy communities are places where people thrive and find meaning in their lives. Communities where all find a place and a livelihood are more stable and better able to deal with physical and social crises and disasters. Growing income inequality and the continuing transfer of wealth from the less to the more affluent undermine our society and the shared understandings on which it is based. We propose measures to strengthen the vitality of Massachusetts communities, funded with savings from superseded programs and shifts in sources of local and state revenue.

Basic Needs: To enable all to participate in their communities, we will prioritize measures to meet basic needs, adding community based programs to the standard safety net. We will act to facilitate local food production and make healthful, affordable food available in all communities, assure adequate and affordable housing for all, and provide universal health care. We will fund services which strengthen communities, including, but not limited to, early childhood education, day care, after-school and outreach programs, adult education, special needs and arts programs.

Part 2 - Sustainable Economies

Common Good: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was formed to work for the common good. To protect the commons, including land, water, air, and ecosystems, in the face of catastrophic threats posed by accelerating climate change, the Commonwealth must aggressively promote the transition to local, sustainable economies. Such economies are based on energy conservation and efficiency, distributed clean energy production, local organic agriculture, and public transportation with safe walking and bike paths between transportation hubs. Towards this end, we must generously fund environmental research, programs, and education, as well as regional planning and public transportation. The highest standards for environmental and public health protection must be applied to new and old technologies. Reducing use of energy from fossil fuels and developing alternative energy sources need persistent attention and funding.


To (Changes are in bold italics):

Preamble

To counter the exploitation of people, animals and the planet, the GRP seeks to strengthen and revitalize our communities so every person can be a creative contributor, have a decent life, and be free from fear, discrimination, and hopelessness. To that end, we seek to reclaim and rework the economic and political activities of our Commonwealth.

Part  1 - Healthy Communities
Healthy communities are places where people thrive, find meaning in their lives, live in harmony with nature, and respect all sentient beings. Communities where all find a place and a livelihood are more stable and better able to deal with physical and social crises and disasters. Growing income inequality and the continuing transfer of wealth from the less to the more affluent undermine our society and the shared understandings on which it is based. We propose measures to strengthen the vitality of Massachusetts communities, funded with savings from superseded programs and shifts in sources of local and state revenue.

Basic Needs: To enable all to participate in their communities, we will prioritize measures to meet basic needs, adding community based programs to the standard safety net. We will act to facilitate local veganic food production and make healthful, affordable whole food plant-based living available in all communities, assure adequate and affordable housing for all, and provide universal health care. We will fund services which strengthen communities, including, but not limited to, early childhood education, day care, after-school and outreach programs, adult education, special needs and arts programs. Because it is a basic need for all sentient living beings to be free from violence, we oppose violence to all animals, and endorse and call for the promotion of veganism.

Nurturing Connections to Nonhumans: Humans share this planet with a rich diversity of species. We recognize that communities that value the principles of peace and nonviolence cannot exploit humans and non-humans. By promoting veganism we halt animal agriculture’s destruction of ecosystems and habitat that wildlife require to thrive; we also halt the unnecessary exploitation of domesticated animals.

Part 2 - Sustainable Economies

Common Good: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was formed to work for the common good. To protect the commons, including land, water, air, and ecosystems, in the face of catastrophic threats posed by accelerating climate change, the Commonwealth must aggressively promote the transition to local, sustainable economies. Such economies are based on energy conservation and efficiency, distributed clean energy production, local vegan organic agriculture, and public transportation with safe walking and bike paths between transportation hubs. Towards this end, we must generously fund environmental research, programs, and education, as well as regional planning and public transportation.  The highest standards for environmental and public health protection must be applied to new and old technologies. Reducing use of energy from fossil fuels and developing alternative energy sources need persistent attention and funding. Given that animal agriculture is the primary driving force behind climate change, we must provide economic incentives for vegan organic farming and provide nutrition educational resources on whole food plant-based eating. By promoting a whole food plant-based diet we directly promote public health by reversing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and greatly reduce risks for cancer.

2) By January 1, 2020 the GRP will issue a press release (sent by email to the GRP Press List, ‘supporters’ email list and ,’members’ email list) announcing the above amending of our Party Agenda, explaining the reasons that we have enacted a policy to oppose violence to all animals, and endorse and call for the promotion of veganism.

3) The GRP shall not purchase products (e.g. food or clothing materials) that are derived from animals.

Financial Impact: It is expected that donations to the GRP will increase, in particular from the many people who support nonviolence, animal rights and veganism and also those who find that the GRP now has more credibility due to the GRP’s more consistent stance.

Implementation:

1. Comm Comm shall be charged with the clerical responsibility to ensure that the wording of the Party Agenda on the GRP Website is changed, pursuant to the amendment that State Com has authorized by adopting this proposal.

2. The Treasurer shall be charged with ensuring that party funds are not spent on animal products.

Official response from submitted

Hello!

  Thank you for your interest in my proposal "Violence To Animals Must End Now".

  There are responses to comments made here with many informative links, so I hope you will check back and watch the discussion.

  This link is shows how Green House Gas emissions from animal agriculture are at and likely above 51%. http://www.climatehealers.org/webinar

  This link discusses the assault cholesterol is on our health starting from a young age. http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/should-all-children-have-their-cholesterol-checked/

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Joshua Gerloff

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GRP Will oppose legalized euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide

Short name: oppose legalized euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide

Sponsor: David Rolde,

seeking co-sponsors

Seeking review and feedback from Plaftorm Committee (if it is reconvened), Legislative Committee, Membership Committee (because this relates to issues of disabled people and other diverse populations), GRP local chapters, Adcom, Statecom members

Summary:

This proposal is for the GRP to oppose the legalization of euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide. Medical professionals should not be killing people or prescribing death.

Background:

Euthanasia and/or doctor-assisted suicide has been legalized in several countries in Europe (e.g. The Netherlands and Belgium), in several U.S. states (e.g., Oregon, Washington and California) and in Canada. This has resulted in patients being encouraged to kill themselves or be euthanized by healthcare workers and insurance companies.

In Oregon and California, cancer patients have received letters from their insurance companies not only denying coverage for treatments prescribed by their doctors, but also specifically informing them that assisted death would be covered. Even without legalized assisted suicide, disabled people seeking healthcare often have to deal with healthcare workers who say that they would’t want to live with that disability (e.g., quadriplegia). With legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide, healthcare professionals sometimes actually recommend and offer assisted death to disabled and elderly people who present with even minor and treatable health conditions, and in some cases people have been euthanized against their will. In the Netherlands and Belgium the situation has progressed to the point that euthanasia is sometimes being prescribed for young people for post-traumatic stress and depression.

In the U.S. we do not have good health care available to everyone. We need to provide universal free good healthcare, not provide assisted suicide and euthanasia. I n 2012 Massachusetts voters defeated a statewide ballot question that would have legalized doctor-assisted suicide. The ballot question was defeated by voters in municipalities with a high proportion of low-income and non-white people. National disability rights groups such as ADAPT and The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund oppose legalizing assisted suicide. Single-issue orgs in opposition to assisted suicide include the national group Not Dead Yet and the Massachusetts-based group Second Thoughts which are both led by disability rights activists. Despite the defeat of the ballot question in Massachusetts in 2012, there is a new bill before the Massachusetts state legislature every year to try to legalize assisted suicide. Disability rights activists and other progressive activists have to testify against the bill every year. This year assisted suicide was legalized in New Jersey and in Maine last week.

This year for the first time the majority of legislators on the statehouse committee vetting the assisted suicide bill are proponents of the bill. We really need the Green-Rainbow Party to be active in the opposition in order to defeat the bill this year. The American Medical Association is still opposed to assisted suicide. Doctors and other healthcare workers are supposed to help people live not kill people. Euthanasia and assisted suicide violate the hippocratic oath.

Assisted suicide and euthanasia are a murderous policy against disabled people, elderly people (There is a high rate of elder abuse in Massachusetts), poor people and people of colonized and oppressed nationalities (non-white people). Their lives are not valued. We must value their lives and provide them with good health care, housing, help to take care of themselves and everything they need to live comfortably and happily.

Proposal text:

1.The Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts will take a position in opposition to legalized doctor-assisted suicide and euthanasia. 2. GRP will add this position to our Party Agenda and/or to future platform documents

2. GRP will oppose bills at the Massachusetts statehouse that would legalize doctor-assisted suicide and/or euthanasia this year (2019) and in future years.

3. GRP will submit a proposal this year (2019) to amend the GPUS Platform to oppose doctor-assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Implementation: reconvened Platform Committee, Legislative Committee, GRP rep(s) to GPUS Platform Committee, Adcom

Financial Impact:

possibility of contributing up to a few hundred dollars towards written material and forums in opposition to assisted suicide to be co-sponsored by GRP and other orgs working to oppose legalization of assisted suicide in Massachusetts. But we could implement the proposal without this spending.

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Process to Join Working Committees; When Working Committees May Accept, Decline or Remove Members

Sponsor: Charlene DiCalogero

Co-sponsor: Roni Beal

Shepherd: Charlene DiCalogero

Committees Requested to Review:

All Working Committees: CDLC, Communication, Convention Planning, Finance and Fundraising, Legislative, Membership and Diversity, Tech

Text of Proposal

Procedures for a New Member to Join a Working Committee

1. A member wishing to join a Working Committee, Task Group, AdHoc or other working team (referred to as “the Working Committee” below) shall make their request in writing to the Committee co-chairs, who will bring the request to the next Committee meeting.

2. The Working Committee will respond in a timely manner to the member’s request and let them know the date and time of the upcoming Committee meeting at which the request will be considered.

3. The Working Committee will use the consensus process to decide whether the member shall be accepted. If those with concerns will not stand aside, the decision to decline acceptance of a new committee member shall be put to a vote by the current committee members, and decided by a simple majority vote.

4. The co-chairs or secretary shall notify the member of the committee’s decision in a timely manner.

5. If the Working Committee has declined the new member’s request, Committee co-chairs will give a written statement to the requesting member, as well as to the State Committee, giving the reason(s) for the Committee’s decline of their request to join the committee.

Principles

6. A state-level Working Committee (including AdHoc and Task Groups) shall have the right to accept or decline to accept a new member for the following reasons:

a. The Working Committee is fully staffed (in most cases 7 or more active Committee members);

b. The member requesting to join the Committee has been witnessed by party members at a meeting, online or elsewhere to have verbally or physically harassed, threatened or attacked party officers, candidates or other members in meetings, online or in public forums, or in other ways attempted to disrupt the business of the party.

Procedures for a Member to be Removed from a Working Committee

1. The Working Committee member shall be notified at a meeting, or by phone or email that they are likely to be removed for non-attendance at multiple meetings (3 in a row or half of all meetings in a 6 month period), non-completion of tasks, and/or disruptive behavior. If a member responds promptly and can provide acceptable reasons for past non-attendance and task non-completion, the co-chairs may decide at their discretion to hold off on removing the member.

2. If the member continues the problematic behavior, the co-chairs shall give written notification to the member that they are being removed from the Committee effective as of the date of the communication, giving the reason(s), and shall send a copy to State Committee and party officers.

3. The Working Committee shall document, as well as they can, dates, times, and places when disruptive behavior occurred, a brief description of the disruptive behavior, and those who claim to have witnessed the behavior.

4. The member can request to be reinstated if they can assure the co-chairs and the Working Committee members that their circumstances have changed such that they are now able to regularly attend and/or carry out tasks. The Co-chairs have discretion in deciding whether to reinstate a member.

5. If a reinstated member again fails in the basic obligations of attendance and task completion, the member can be removed and banned from that committee for an extended period.

Background

Working Committees, Task Groups and similar bodies are critical to the carrying out of duties and decisions of the State Committee and its designated officers and directors. This policy attempts to support the committees in accepting or declining new members, and removing non-contributing or disruptive members, in order to enhance the Green-Rainbow Party’s effectiveness in carrying out its political goals.

Party members and Working Committees need a clear process for making or responding to requests to join a committee, and if necessary, to decline to accept a new member to a committee; or if a Committee member is not fulfilling their responsibilities to attend and participate cooperatively in meetings and carry out tasks, the process for a Committee to remove non-contributing or disruptive members.

It sometimes happens that a Working Committee wishes to decline a member wishing to join its committee. Two main reasons are:

1) It already has sufficient members to do the work of the committee;

2) One or more members have previous experience with the person requesting to join the Committee that includes a history of being disruptive to the functioning of the party. Such a history may include, though is not necessarily limited to, the following behaviors:

a. bringing up personal grievances in party committee meetings

b. intentionally posting false information about a member, candidate, or committee, or party policy or position on a Green-Rainbow email list or social media

c. repeatedly shouting over other members who have the floor in a meeting

d. name calling

e. verbally attacking other members based on race, religion, age, gender, or other characteristics

f. sexual harassment or assault

g. physical intimidation or overt violence, or

h. otherwise making it extremely difficult for the rest of the members of the Committee to carry out their work, above and beyond principled disagreement.

As many people are aware, numerous progressive organizations in the U.S. have historically been targeted for disruption by governmental, corporate and other groups, as well as individuals. The likelihood is that this continues in the present. Another cause for disruptive behavior may individuals whose behavior is motivated by attempts to inappropriately meet personal needs for attention, power, or other goals.

We want to be as welcoming as possible to all party members wishing to be active on Working Committees. We understand there are times when people have principled and legitimate political disagreements and concerns. This policy is in no way intended to curtail a respectful discussion of legitimate concerns, whose ultimate goal is to make the party more responsive, democratic and just.

A number of party leaders and members have concluded through experience that this policy is necessary for us to be responsible to our membership as a whole by enabling committees to run so they can focus on the urgent political work at hand, and not be distracted by individuals who, intentionally or unintentionally, prevent critical work from being done in a timely way.

When possible, those individuals may be offered opportunities to contribute to the work of the party in ways that are acceptable to both the individual and the party.

Financial Implications: None

Implementation

The shepherd will send an email copy of the policy to the Secretary. The Secretary will forward the policy to 1) all Working Committees and Task Groups via email lists, and 2) all chapters. The Secretary will also file a copy of the policy with a packet of other key information that is provided to new Working Committees, Task Groups, and chapters.

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