People, Planet & Peace
The Massachusetts Affiliate of the Green Party of the United States
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Redefine regional convention districts

Sponsors: Merelice, Norfolk County, and TBD

Floor Manager: merelice@gmail.com

Vetting: Administrative Committee has vetted

Background:
Regional Conventions are currently organized by county and are the source of most StateCom reps. For some counties, attendance is poor to non-existent, and the conventions sometimes provide little excitement or party momentum. Most counties exist only on paper and have no electoral, legislative, or fiscal responsibilities for statecom reps to monitor as a team.

Regional conventions are one of three ways that GRP members can be elected to the State Committee, and this particular method was developed to provide proportional representation of GRP members on the State Committee.

This proposal was originally brought to StateCom in 2009 but postponed until after the 2010 census. It changes the basis of regional elections from counties to

1 - U.S. Congressional Representative districts, OR

2 - State Senatorial Districts.

In either case, GRP members could work together to have possible influence on their common Congressional  Representative or State Senator, providing some electoral glue which does not exist in counties.

With U.S. Congressional districts, this change would maintain the approximate number of regions now defined by counties while giving GRP members the opportunity to work together to monitor and respond to the actions of their Rep. However, recent redistricting has made congressional districts in western Mass. geographically too vast to provide much cohesion among statecom reps and their local chapters.

With State Senate districts, this change would mirror how StateCom delegates are elected every four years as part of the presidential primary election. But with 40 senatorial districts, it would be impractical to implement proportional representation unless several districts were combined.

Changing the basis of defining the regions is a bylaw change and requires 2/3rds approval.

Text :
The bylaws of the Green-Rainbow Party will be changed to redefine the regions which are the basis of regional conventions. Instead of being based on counties, the regions will be based on [language to be made final when StateCom decides whether the basis is U.S. Congressional Representative Districts or State Senatorial districts].

Financial impact: no immediate impact

Implementation: If the change is to U.S. Congressional Districts, it can be immediately incorporated into the bylaws for the next round of elections. If the change is to State Senatorial districts, a request will go to CDLC to make recommendations -- with input from local chapters and GRP members -- regarding the best combination of districts to make the number of districts be around 12 rather than 40.

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commented 2012-06-12 10:44:49 -0400 · Flag
Regarding Mike’s thoughtful analysis: Many of his suggestions might be worth considering but are beyond the scope of this proposal, would also require broader changes in the bylaws, and, at the moment, might be somewhat pie-in-the-sky.

Meanwhile, specific to this proposal, these facts should be considered:

1) The current bylaws, if completely fulfilled, could potentially produce a State Committee with 160 members: 80 elected on presidential primary day and an equal number elected at regional conventions.

2) If state senatorial districts become the basis for regional conventions and each district is given equal representation, that would undo the whole purpose of regional conventions — which is to supplement the presidential primary elections with proportional representation.

3) For that reason, the proposal states that if StateCom decides to base regional elections on state senatorial districts (the preference of the two co-sponsors), the number should be reduced from 40 to 12-15 by combining senatorial districts. CDLC with counsel from local chapters would be asked to recommend rational combinations.
commented 2012-06-12 10:08:24 -0400 · Flag
2 Questions in Electing the members of the StateCom:

1. What is the best way to elect the leadership of the state party?

2. What values are important to us in selecting the leaders of our party?

A. We want leaders who will do the work of the state party, which include:

1. Participates in the work of the StateCom-attends meetings, participates in some of the discussions, etc.
2. Being a member of Adcom
3. An active member of at least 1 Working Committee
4. An active member of a local chapter
5. Participates in the work of the GPUS

B. Diversity: We especially want to encourage and support the leadership of people of color, women, GLBTG, handicapped, low-income and youth.

C. Open: We want to encourage all of our members to be leaders in our party.

Responding to Nat and Merelice’s ideas:

1. The current structure is not working. The fact that Nat Fortune is an Alternate is outrageous. The fact that Brian Cady-a new member from Boston who has become an active member of our local chapter and an active member of the Membership and Platform Committees-is an Alternate, while some Representatives remain uninvolved, is unjust and dysfunctional. I agree that changing the structure is a good idea.

2. I like the idea of a structure that represents a meaningful electoral district. Congressional or State Senatorial makes much more sense than Counties.

3. The problem with State Senate is that you start with a structure that potentially has at least 40 members (1 from each district) or 80 members (2 from each district which would be 1 male and 1 female). I’m concerned that this structure would not be helpful in accomplishing my 3 objectives above.

4. Given my 3 values above, Congressional makes more sense to me.

Counter Proposal: A State Committee that is Representative (active members of the local chapters), will do the work of the State and National Party, encourages diversity and encourages all of our members to become becoming leaders in our party

1. We will have a StateCom that will have a maximum of 100 members. Increasing the number above 100 would require a 75% vote of the StateCom.

2. StateCom will be a continuous body.
3. Local Chapters will elect as many members as they wish to the State Comm. The only requirement is that every member agrees to be an active member of the local chapter and agrees to be an active member of the State (Adcom, Working Comm.) or National Party.

a. Local Chapters are encouraged to elect a diverse membership to the StateCom.
b. Each member will serve a 1-year term. At the end of their term, they will be eligible for re-election.
c. Local Chapters can recall their Representatives any time they wish.

4. Members of Adcom (Co-Chairs, Treasurer, Secretary, and Diversity Reps) are members of the StateCom. Adcom members are encouraged, but not required, to be members of local chapters. As long as they remain on Adcom, they will remain on StateCom.

5. Committee Directors and Committee Co-Chairs are members of the StateCom. They are encouraged, but not required, to be members of local chapters. As long as they remain in their positions, they will remain on StateCom.

6. Members of the StateCom who represent local chapters, are members of Adcom, and are Committee Directors and Committee Co-Chairs will elect other GRP members to be on the StateCom.

a. They must agree to be active members of the State and/or National Party.
b. Encouraging diversity is an important consideration.
c. They will serve a 1-year term and will be eligible for re-election.

Mike Heichman, Suffolk County

commented 2012-06-10 13:58:54 -0400 · Flag
I will co-sponsor, butI believe the regions represented by appointed representatives (and those elected at regional convention) should match the regions represented by those elected in party presidential primaries. That means state senate districts, not US Congressional districts. This change would also help strengthen our electoral focus, and help lay the groundwork for candidates seeking MA legislative office.
followed this page 2012-06-10 13:58:51 -0400
tagged this with Will co-sponsor 2012-06-10 13:49:08 -0400
published this page in 2012_summer_meeting_proposals 2012-06-09 23:43:43 -0400