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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  • Charlene DiCalogero
    commented 2019-07-08 14:52:23 -0400
    The Central Mass chapter supported this proposal by consensus.
  • Charlene DiCalogero
    tagged this with Good 2019-07-08 14:52:22 -0400
  • Joshua Gerloff
    commented 2019-07-08 00:13:40 -0400
    From Sharron Tetrault: UNFORTUNATELY THESE THINGS ARE NECESSARY AND SUPPORT WORKING TOGETHER EFFECTIVELYTHUMBS UP.
  • Eileen Wheeler Sheehan
    commented 2019-07-07 17:56:55 -0400
    Good idea. Could be a lot simpler. Having so many administrative steps is a recipe for misunderstanding and distraction from the real work of the party.
  • Eileen Wheeler Sheehan
    tagged this with Good 2019-07-07 17:56:54 -0400
  • David Rolde
    commented 2019-07-01 18:00:20 -0400
    I think it is a mean-spirited proposal to try to exclude people from meetings and email discussions based on political disagreements under a pretext of supposedly being about bad behavior. GRP Committee meetings are supposed to be open per our bylaws: “All Green-Rainbow Party meetings are open and may only be closed to non-members on 75% vote in personnel or criminal matters or if required by law.” . The committee email lists should be open as well especially for State Committee members who are supposed to be jointly overseeing all aspects of the party.
  • David Rolde
    tagged this with Bad 2019-07-01 18:00:18 -0400
  • Maha Gray
    commented 2019-06-28 01:45:56 -0400
    Makes perfectly good sense to me.
  • Maha Gray
    tagged this with Good 2019-06-28 01:45:55 -0400
  • Jordan Stewart
    commented 2019-06-27 20:47:36 -0400
    Am fully in favor.
  • Jordan Stewart
    tagged this with Easy 2019-06-27 20:47:36 -0400
  • Jordan Stewart
    tagged this with Good 2019-06-27 20:47:35 -0400
  • Charlene DiCalogero
    published this page in 2019 Summer Statecom Proposals 2019-06-16 23:22:30 -0400