Title: Include Locals in AdCom
Sponsors: Anthony Barrows (floor manager)
Vetting: AdCom has vetted
Background: The GRP’s day-to-day party business is overseen by the Administrative Committee (AdCom). This committee is chronically understaffed and would operate more effectively with more participants. There is also a current over-representation of AdCom members from Greater Boston. The GRP needs more people participating in this important work, and needs those people to represent the full diversity of the Commonwealth.
Summary: To ameliorate this situation, we propose that additional members be added to AdCom by requiring each officially-recognized local to supply one member to AdCom. These members will be additional to existing officers and diversity reps. Each local will also make their own decision about how to choose this member.
Financial Impact: None
Implementation: Amend the GRP bylaws as suggested below at the 2012 fall State Committee meeting. Implement this requirement immediately following the 2012 state convention. AdCom will communicate this requirement to locals as soon as it is approved. This gives locals several months to select their AdCom representative (suggested nomination deadline: by the proposal deadline for 2013 winter StateCom meeting).
Amendments to Section 9 of the GRP Bylaws:
9.2 [AMEND TO READ] The administrative committee shall consist of a female co-chair, male co-chair, treasurer, secretary, two diversity representatives, and one representative from each officially recognized local chapter (see selection process outlined in bylaw 9.21). In the event, however, that the election of officers at the state convention results in only one person (the female co-chair) representing a diversity category, additional diversity representatives shall be added as needed to ensure that a majority of AdCom members represent a diversity category.
9.18 [AMEND TO READ] The diversity representatives shall be elected by a 2/3 vote of the state committee at the first state committee meeting following the state convention. Any member of the party may be nominated by at least five other members of the party.
9.21 [ADD TO BYLAWS] The members of the Administrative Committee who are representatives of officially recognized local chapters shall be selected by whatever means each local chooses. The members chosen by the local chapters shall be confirmed at the state committee immediately subsequent to the state convention.
The thought that local chapters would not be willing to support the party infrastructure or have their members grow into leadership positions by observing and participating at a below-officer level seems unduly pessimistic. At least I hope that people are willing to learn the ropes before being pushed into positions for which they have no experience, while contributing important support to the running of the party.
Thank you for presenting a bold plan. I agree with the idea of having a larger Adcom. I like the idea that every local chapter have a member on Adcom.
However, I have major concerns with the details of your proposal.
1. I don’t think that there is a more demanding job in the state party than being on Adcom. Currently, Adcom meets on a weekly basis. Every member of Adcom, except for the Diversity Rep, also has additional responsibilities being officers. The current Diversity Rep, David Gerry, has taken on a lot of responsibilities for the state party. While having more members on Adcom should potentially lighten the work load of the current Adcom, this would REQUIRE people to be on Adcom.
2. One of the major values of our party is decentralization. Currently, there is very little that the by-laws REQUIRES from local chapters. For the most party, local chapters have local autonomy. A mandate from the State Party to the local chapters could be a dangerous precedent. (I was recently talking with a member of my chapter, who has an excellent idea for a by-law change. More about this sometime in the future. I expressed concern that the initial draft would make a requirement on local chapters.
3. Enforcement: How do you enforce such a provision? What if a local chapter refused to select someone? What if a local chapter selects someone and that person refuses? What are the consequences for refusal?
4. We are a voluntary organization? How can we require someone to serve?
1. Local chapters are encouraged to select a member to be on Adcom. (Especially if there is no one from their chapter on Adcom)
2. Adcom should meet every other week for 2-3 hours (if necessary) instead of a weekly basis. Adcom should develop ways of making decisions between meetings (email votes, delegating authority to 1 or more members in certain areas, etc.) These ideas would not necessitate by-law changes.
3. While requiring diversity, increase the size of Adcom. These members would not be required to be officers or have other party responsibilities.
Suffolk County Rep to StateCom