People, Planet & Peace
The Massachusetts Affiliate of the Green Party of the United States
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Piloting New Proposal Vetting and Ranking Procedures

Co-Sponsors and Floor Managers

David Gerry (Suffolk)

Scott Laugenour (Berkshire Hampshire Franklin and Hampden)

scott@scottlaugenour.org / 413 241 7327

 

Purpose:

The purpose of this proposal is to set up mechanisms which make better use of the two or three week period prior to a state committee meeting, as it relates to State Committee proposals. It also adds clarity regarding co-sponsorship deadlines.

 

Summary:

State Committee will conduct a trial run of a new procedure at the next meeting where more than one proposal is submitted. This proposal outlines the new procedure, which the facilitators of the meeting will follow.

Following the trial run, State Committee will decide upon rejecting, amending, or adopting the new process.

This proposal is not a by-laws change. The components of the GRP's consensus form of decision-making remain as-is. It also does not alter the practice for handling urgent business.

Background:

There is presently no clarity on when proposals that are posted on the web page must meet co-sponsorship requirements (e.g. number of co-sponsors and credential of co-sponsors). Agendas are difficult to create in advance because facilitators are unsure which proposals will met co-sponsorship requirements, which proposals are going to be considered in a standard round and which ones will be considered in an expedited round. Too much time is spent at State Committee meetings doing the actual ranking of proposals.

Details:
Presented as a timeline and steps in the process for meeting facilitators.

TWO WEEKS FOLLOWING PREVIOUS STATE COMMITTEE MEETING

1. Announcement / Web Enabling

The facilitators of the State Committee meeting shall announce the meeting on the [Statecom] list and will have created the web page where proposals can be posted within two weeks following the previous State Committee meeting. The facilitators will also establish the specific deadlines (date/time) for the following steps in the proposal process.


FOUR WEEKS PRIOR TO STATE COMMITTEE MEETING

2. Submission of Proposals

Proposals will be fully-co-sponsored (by at least two current State Committee representatives). Proposals will be posted using the template provided on the web page no later than four weeks prior to the State Committee meeting. The co-sponsors will send a notice to [Statecom] providing the title of the proposal and a link to the specific proposal. Proposals that are not co-sponsored or that are posted late will not be included in the regular agenda.


3. Comments / Vetting / Discussion

Up to 72 hours prior to the State Committee meeting individual GRP members, working committees, chapters, and fellow State Committee members will use the web page to comment upon, suggest amendments, report on any working committee vetting on a proposal. Comments, vetting, and discussion should not be conducted on the [Statecom] list, although the [Statecom] list should be used to share links to significant comments, amendments, and announcements made on the web page.


72 HOURS PRIOR TO THE STATE COMMITTEE MEETING

4. Amendments:

Between 72 hours and 48 hours prior to the State Committee meeting co-sponsors of a proposal may decide to amend or withdraw their proposals based on the vetting and discussion that has taken place. If amended, the co-sponsors will make the amendments in the text of the proposal and will re-send a link to [Statecom] along with an executive summary of the amendments that were made. If the proposal is withdrawn that information will also be sent to the [Statecom] list and the proposal will be deleted from the web page.  Co-sponsors may choose to withdraw a proposal at any time prior to a call for consensus on it.


48 HOURS PRIOR TO THE STATE COMMITTEE MEETING

5. Conducting a Ranking: 48 hours prior to the start of the State Committee meeting the facilitators will send an e-mail to the [Statecom] list attaching a ranking sheet for State Committee Representatives to return back via e-mail to the facilitators at least 12 hours prior to the start of the State Committee meeting. The ranking sheet will contain the title of the proposal, a link to the text, and ranking instructions.

6. Expressing Concerns:

There exists on every proposal page on the web site the ability for State Committee representatives and alternates to express concerns. Concerns about a proposal will be expressed online by any State Committee member during the vetting process up to 12 hours prior to the start of the State Committee meeting. These concerns will be addressed at the State Committee meeting following the usual process. New concerns that are made at the meeting will only be considered if they follow a material amending of the proposal.

12 HOURS PRIOR TO THE STATE COMMITTEE MEETING

7. Agenda Creation

The meeting facilitators will tabulate the ranking and expressing of concerns to determine how the proposals will be placed on the agenda.

DAY OF THE STATE COMMITTEE MEETING

By the time the State Committee meeting is called to order the ranking and the registering of concerns related to the proposals will have already taken place. Unlike the current state, the agenda will not include time for ranking and expressing concerns. The agenda that is presented for approval will already include the timing and ordering of the proposals, to include which proposals will follow an expedited round and which will follow a standard round. The results of the ranking andexpressing of concerns will be shared.

FINANCIAL IMPACT

No material financial impact.  There will be some cost savings that result from not having to make paper copies of the ranking ballot for distribution at the meeting.

IMPLEMENTATION

The meeting facilitators will implement this proposal in accordance with the details and timeframe identified in the details section.  All State Committee representatives who wish to vet, comment upon, and raise concerns about a proposal will follow the new process.

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Showing 7 reactions


commented 2013-07-12 19:25:13 -0400 · Flag
I love this idea. We would need to make sure that the deadlines work for members who only have computer access when at work or when at their public library, but adopting this idea would be much more respectful of members time and of those who take the time to draft proposals!
commented 2013-07-12 07:46:22 -0400 · Flag
Based on John Andrews and David Gerry’s comments, David and I made several minor changes to the proposal related to when the proposals page is set up (within two weeks after the previous state committee meeting rather than 4 weeks prior to the meeting), and the deadline for submitting co-sponsored proposals (4 weeks rather than 3 weeks prior to the meeting). These are now reflected in the body of the proposal.
followed this page 2013-06-28 15:44:23 -0400
commented 2013-06-28 11:34:46 -0400 · Flag
• Committee vetting requires several weeks advance notice, as much as
a month for committees that meet monthly. Sponsors should be
encouraged to post their first draft 30 days in advance if possible.

It is probably a good idea shift the deadline from 3 weeks to
4. The proposal submission page should also be setup within 2
weeks of the previous StateCom meeting.

Committees should not be required to vet proposals that do not have
the required sponsorship.

Committees are not required to vet proposals that haven’t met the
required prerequisites nor does this proposal change that.

Sponsors should indicate which committees they think should vet the
proposal. Any committee can decide to vet any proposal, using their
own judgment. Failure to complete the vetting does not prevent the
proposal from being considered.

This is already the procedure and this proposal doesn’t change
it.

• Things can get very rushed in the last 72 hours, and if people are
working or traveling, tight deadlines can get missed. Why don’t we
give an extra few days? Can we start the ranking 5 days before the
meeting?

I believe that 1 day (maybe 2?) for sponsers to finalize their
proposal and 2 days for ranking is a sufficient length of
time without cutting into the vetting discussion period.

The StateCom discussion list may be used for discussing any StateCom
business, including proposals. The intention is that the website be
used for the routine feedback and expressing of concerns. But if
someone feels that a more interactive discussion of the entire
StateCom is required on a proposal of major significance, they can use
the discussion list.

Use of a proposals web page is being encouraged over mailing
list. The page will act as a central repository for a
proposals text, sponsorship, amendments and concerns. Any
member of the GRP can participate in keeping with our
principle of transparency and give sponsors and StateCom
representatives a better sense of the needs and wants of the
party membership.

Withdrawal should be permitted at any time. Notice of withdrawal
should be sent to the StateCom business list as soon as it is decided.
Proposals that are withdrawn shall be dropped from any subsequent
consideration, such as committee vetting or ranking.

Propoasls may be amended or withdrawn at any time during the
discussion period. The time between the end of the discussion
period and before the ranking is to allow sponsors to finalize
the wording of a proposal based on the discussion, amendments
and concerns expressed or withdraw the proposal before ranking
begins. This proposal states that a notice should be sent to
the StateCom mailing list when there are changes to the text
or is withdrawn.

• Note that regions with a full slate of alternates may have
disproportionate influence upon the ranking. And the ranking could be
determined by people who will not be eligible to vote on the
proposals. Perhaps the ranking should be done only by delegates.

This is a good point. Perhaps this proposal should be changed
to address this. Facilitators are given a roster of StateCom
representatives and alternates they can use when the rankings
are returned.

In my experience, many concerns that are important and valid, occur to
people only after discussion on the proposal has begun. Sometimes the
write-up of the proposal is just not so complete and obvious that a
concern materializes. Or someone misunderstands the submitted text (“I
didn’t think it meant that!”). So I don’t think we should require that
all concerns be submitted in advance, although we should encourage
advance posting. What seems important is whether anyone wishes to
propose a revision to the proposal to address a concern that they
have.

This is a major item that this proposal addresses. Using the
web we hope to encourage StateCom and GRP members to comment
and express concerns on an open forum and sponsors can change
or amend the proposal based on the discussion before the
ranking and meeting. After the finalization period if a
StateCom representative feels that a concern hasn’t been
address they have up to 12 hours before the meeting to file a
concern. One of the responsibilities of a StateCom
representative is to keep up to date with the discussions and
ask questions during the appropriate time.

• It would be good to have a digital copy of the current proposal and
any proposed amendments on a computer and, if possible, projected for
all to read. In addition to providing clarity, this has the advantage
that we don’t have to scramble after the meeting to assemble a copy of
the proposal with all the amendments.

This proposal hopes to address that by confining the proposal
text, changes, concerns amendments and discussion to a
proposal’s web page.

• The expedited round should probably be eliminated. Proposals should
be taken up in order of ranking. We have often just wasted time on
expedited proposals that didn’t pass by consensus, which resulted in
insufficient time for really important proposals. Let’s just take
things up in order of importance.

This proposal is not intended to change the process during a
meeting but to shift some of the time consuming aspects to be
completed before the meeting.

• Proposals that are clearly incomplete to the point of being
impossible to assess should not be included in the ranking. [In the
past, we have had someone attempt to insert a placeholder proposal
with only vague wording.]

Does not the ranking process deal with this?
commented 2013-06-22 17:30:35 -0400 · Flag
I think something like this is well worth trying. Thanks to Scott and David for putting it together. My suggestions follow.

• Committee vetting requires several weeks advance notice, as much as a month for committees that meet monthly. Sponsors should be encouraged to post their first draft 30 days in advance if possible. Committees should not be required to vet proposals that do not have the required sponsorship. The three week deadline is necessary for proper consideration by StateCom members independently of vetting. Sponsors should indicate which committees they think should vet the proposal. Any committee can decide to vet any proposal, using their own judgment. Failure to complete the vetting does not prevent the proposal from being considered.

• Things can get very rushed in the last 72 hours, and if people are working or traveling, tight deadlines can get missed. Why don’t we give an extra few days? Can we start the ranking 5 days before the meeting?

• (Paragraph 3) The StateCom discussion list may be used for discussing any StateCom business, including proposals. The intention is that the website be used for the routine feedback and expressing of concerns. But if someone feels that a more interactive discussion of the entire StateCom is required on a proposal of major significance, they can use the discussion list.

• (Paragraph 4) Withdrawal should be permitted at any time. Notice of withdrawal should be sent to the StateCom business list as soon as it is decided. Proposals that are withdrawn shall be dropped from any subsequent consideration, such as committee vetting or ranking.

• Note that regions with a full slate of alternates may have disproportionate influence upon the ranking. And the ranking could be determined by people who will not be eligible to vote on the proposals. Perhaps the ranking should be done only by delegates.

• (Paragraph 6) In my experience, many concerns that are important and valid, occur to people only after discussion on the proposal has begun. Sometimes the write-up of the proposal is just not so complete and obvious that a concern materializes. Or someone misunderstands the submitted text (“I didn’t think it meant that!”). So I don’t think we should require that all concerns be submitted in advance, although we should encourage advance posting. What seems important is whether anyone wishes to propose a revision to the proposal to address a concern that they have.

• It would be good to have a digital copy of the current proposal and any proposed amendments on a computer and, if possible, projected for all to read. In addition to providing clarity, this has the advantage that we don’t have to scramble after the meeting to assemble a copy of the proposal with all the amendments.

• The expedited round should probably be eliminated. Proposals should be taken up in order of ranking. We have often just wasted time on expedited proposals that didn’t pass by consensus, which resulted in insufficient time for really important proposals. Let’s just take things up in order of importance.

• Proposals that are clearly incomplete to the point of being impossible to assess should not be included in the ranking. [In the past, we have had someone attempt to insert a placeholder proposal with only vague wording.]
followed this page 2013-06-12 20:25:28 -0400
published this page in 2013 Summer Statecom Proposals 2013-06-12 19:02:45 -0400