People, Planet & Peace
The Massachusetts Affiliate of the Green Party of the United States
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Winter 2015 Proposals

Enter your proposals for consideration at the 2015 Winter meeting below.  Proposals need to be posted here 3 weeks prior to the meeting date, so the deadline is midnight on the evening of Dec 19, 2014.  

Title: Let's Ensure that All GRP Activities are Inclusive and Accesible To People With Disabilities

 



SHEPARD/FLOOR MANAGER/SPONSOR: Assabet River Valley Chapter

CO-SPONSORS: Danny Factor (Middlesex), Frank Jackson (Middlesex)

VETTING COMMITTEES:  This proposal has been vetted by the Membership,Diversity and Volunteer Recruitment Committee.
                                        This proposal has been vetted by Ad Com.

EXPLANATORY BACKGROUND:

This proposal calls for the Green-Rainbow Party to take steps to ensure that wherever and whenever possible, all GRP activities are inclusive and accessible to people with mental and physical disabilities.

Mindful that:

  • Our 10 key values state that "every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect his or her life" and  "we must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, as to barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and heterosexism, ageism and disability,"
     
  • Both the GRUS Platform and GRP Party Agenda speak of the importance of equal rights and access for people with disabilities...

inclusion and access for people with disabilities should include wherever and whenever possible the ability to fully participate in all Green-Rainbow Party activities, whether it be traveling or attending to a chapter meeting, attending and participating in our statewide convention, participating in teleconferences, and participating in events such as protests, marches and parades.

Such inclusion and access is necessary if we truly believe that every single person deserves dignity, respect and love. In addition, the credibility of our party is at stake. We are supposed to be a party of actions, not just words. Positive change comes when people together practice what they preach and are a model for others. The GRP can do more to provide access and inclusion to people with disabilities who want to be active party members-- and it should. 

SUMMARY:  It is to be a priority that all GRP entities (defined as including but not limited to Party Chapters, Committees, Conventions and Events) thoroughly consider all possible tangible actions to provide maximum access and inclusion possible for people with disabilities, including but not limited to issues of transportation, physical access, hearing and visual loss, mental disabilities, and respect for the right of people to be as independent as they would like. The list of possible accommodations in the proposal is not an exhaustive list. The GRP Participation Fund’s role will be expanded to include providing funds for access to people with disabilities. The Membership, Diversity, Volunteer and Recruitment Committee (MDVRC) may be consulted if assistance is required in making a decision about accommodating people with disabilities.  AdCom, State Com and the MDVRC may choose to follow up on how our entities are performing in regard to accommodating and including people with disabilities.

 

TEXT OF PROPOSAL:

It is to be a priority that all GRP entities (defined as including but not limited to Party Chapters, Committees, Conventions and Events) thoroughly consider all possible tangible actions to provide maximum access and inclusion possible for people with disabilities.

Examples of steps that GRP entities should thoroughly consider taking are:

(This is not an exhaustive list.)

1) Paying for or providing transportation to and from events for individuals who would otherwise be prevented from attending an event

2) Paying for vehicles to allow individuals with disabilities to participate in marches and parades.

3) Having all GRP events in spaces that are fully accessible to people with physical disabilities including parking, entry/egress, restrooms and where applicable eating facilities, stages and podiums.

4) Providing accommodations to people with visual or hearing disabilities such as  CART (Communication Access Real Time Translation), voice to text software, sign language interpretation, and braille/large type, where these individuals would otherwise not be able to access the content of our activities and materials.  

5) Accommodating to dietary conditions, food allergies, and environmental and chemical sensitivity.

6) Demonstrating sensitivity to individuals who have mental disabilities including but not limited to developmental disabilities, mental illness and cognitive and emotional disabilities.   

7) Demonstrating sensitivity to the struggles of people with disabilities and their right to conduct ones activities in as independent a way as one would like.

8) The appointment of an individual in the entity to be a lookout for matters pertaining to any person with disabilities.

The GRP Participation Fund’s role will be expanded to include providing funds for access to people with disabilities.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT: Will depend, as each entity has the authority to make its own decision, however the financial impact could be substantial.

 IMPLEMENTATION:  To be implemented by each entity. The Membership, Diversity, Volunteer and Recruitment Committee (MDVRC) may be consulted if assistance is required in making a decision about accommodating people with disabilities.  AdCom, State Com and the MDVRC may choose to follow up on how our entities are performing in regard to accommodating and including people with disabilities.

 

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Title: Legislation Working Committee

Shepherd: M K Merelice, Norfolk County Representative

Co-Sponsor(s): Frank Jackson

Vetting Committees: Platform, AdCom, CDLC (?)

Background: Over the years, the GRP has worked on state legislative bills and warrant articles, with varying degrees of success. Sometimes the effort has been frustrating and has discouraged further involvement. However, the party’s advocacy has also helped legislation pass (e.g. MAAPL bills related to the foreclosure crisis).

As an official political party that hopes to engage directly in state government, there are particular issues that rise to the top of party interest. This proposal is to identify up to a half dozen such issues in which the party might help develop legislation or, minimally, follow legislation and communicate progress and any timely need for lobbying to GRP members.

 Proposal Text: The GRP hereby establishes a Legislation Working Committee. The responsibility of members of the committee will be to select up to a half-dozen issues that require state legislation to address. 

     Once the issues are defined (within the scope of the GRP’s volunteer resources), a volunteer will track the progress of relevant legislation from filing to enacting, keeping GRP members informed and activated. Communications will also be posted on social media.

Implementation: Issues to be considered could include the Community Uplift Initiative introduced by the 2014 statewide candidates and endorsed by the GRP, the continuing foreclosure problem being addressed by the GRP-founded Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL), Instant Runoff (ranked) Voting (IRV), Single-Payer Health Care (Medicare for all), eliminating the Supreme Court decision about corporate personhood and money as free speech, and establishing a State Bank (a goal raised during the campaign for State Treasurer and about to be worked on by party members). If helpful, this committee could work under the auspices of the Platform Committee.

Financial impact: None identified.

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Growing the Green-Rainbow Party

Title: Growing the Green-Rainbow Party 

Proposal Shepherd: Wes Nickerson, Middlesex

Co-Sponsors: Roni Beal

Vetting Committees: Adcom, Membership, Diversity, and Volunteer Recruitment

Revised: January 6, 2015

 

Background: The Green-Rainbow Party is once again in danger of losing its newly re-won official party status in the Presidential election year of 2016. This on-again, off-again cycle interferes with the progress of the GRP in achieving its goals. There are two ways of maintaining party status.

1. Achieve more than 3% of the vote in any one statewide race, including the presidential race.

2. Enroll at least 1% of voters as members of the Green-Rainbow Party, by election day of 2016. (This was done successfully in Maine, using Robo-calling.)

Considerations:

1. Given that the only statewide office being voted on in 2016 is the presidential race, and that no Green Party presidential candidate has received more than 3% in any Massachusetts election since Ralph Nader received over 6% in 2000, it is unlikely for the Green Party candidate to receive over 3% in 2016, which would be a five-fold increase over the previous presidential election. 

2. Given that there are about 5,000 people enrolled in the Green-Rainbow Party now and that enrolling 1% of voters would mean enrolling an additional 45000, that would be a tenfold increase, which is also unlikely for the Green-Rainbow Party to achieve.

Nevertheless, increasing the membership in the Party would help to bring the GRP closer to both of these goals, and having clear, ambitious goals is inspiring.

 

Proposal Text: The Membership, Diversity, and Volunteer Recruitment Committee will develop and implement a GRP Growth Plan to achieve stability, sustainability, and long-term Official Party status. 

Implementation: The Membership, Diversity, and Volunteer Recruitment Committee (MDVRC) will create and present a GRP Growth Plan to Statecom at its Spring 2015 meeting for approval. Once approved, MDVRC will implement and monitor the plan it develops and provide progress reports at Statecom quarterly meetings.

Budget Impact: Budget impact depends upon specific projects and growth methods undertaken.

 

 

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Rapid Response Protocol

Title: Rapid Response Protocol

Proposal Shepherd: Daphne Stevens, Worcester

Co-Sponsors: Wes Nickerson, Elie Yarden, Danny Factor

Vetting Committees: Adcom

Revised: January 7, 2015

 

Background: In the fast-paced news cycle of contemporary politics, events and issues change rapidly. In order for the Green-Rainbow Party to improve its visibility and relevance, it needs to respond rapidly to current events. The Green-Rainbow Party many times misses out on opportunities to endorse and participate in events such as marches, rallies, conferences, and festivals, because of a slow decision-making process, that often involves going through one or more committees, that only meet once every two weeks or even less often. This proposal would empower the Co-Chairs of the Party, at their discretion, to take action if needed between meetings of Adcom or other committees, if an event is in keeping with GRP values and previous GRP participation or endorsement of similar events. This proposal would also require both co-chairs as well as the treasurer to all three agree before any money is spent which is not budgeted or approved by the rest of Adcom, in order to safeguard Party funds from unsound spending.

Proposal Text: Amend the GRP Bylaws by adding the following two sentences to Article 9.11 under Duties of the co-chairs shall be to: 

- Exercise discretion in endorsing, participating in, and promote important, urgent events, such as marches, rallies, conferences, and festivals, in the name of the Green-Rainbow Party, in keeping with GRP values, and previous GRP endorsed events. 

- Delegate responsibilities as necessary for punctuality sake. 

The full text of Article 9.11 as amended would read:

Duties of the co-chairs shall be to:

  • Act as official spokes people for the Green-Rainbow Party;
  • Set the agenda for administrative committee meetings;
  • Arrange for the facilitation of ll state conventions, state committee and administrative committee meetings;
  • Notify other administrative committee members and directors of meetings;
  • Ensure that other administrative committee members and directors ar performing their duties.
  • Exercise discretion in endorsing, participating in, and promote important, urgent events, in the name of the Green-Rainbow Party, such as marches, rallies, conferences, and festivals, in keeping with GRP values, and previous GRP endorsed events.
  • Delegate responsibilities as necessary for punctuality sake.

Amend Article 9.10 by replacing the words, "if two of the three agree" with the words, "if the co-chairs and treasurer agree" 

The full text of Article 9.10 as amended would read:

"All administrative committee members shall be able to oversee the work of all Green-Rainbow Party staff. The co-chairs and treasurer may authorize financial expenditure that are not in the budget and have not been approved by the rest of the administrative committee if the co-chairs and treasurer agree."

Implementation: N/A

Budget Impact: No cost to modify the Bylaws themselves. There is an unknown potential cost of participation in more events. Any potential cost is covered by Article 9.10.

 

 

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2015 Budget

Shepherd/Floor Manager/Sponsor: Ian Jackson Treasurer

Co-Sponsor: N/A

Actual numbers are available, but I can not post to state com.
Changes:
  1. Set a side for an adjustment for the administrator. 
  2. Set side an amount for a car in Boston Pride and booth. We may not have candidates to chip in.
  3. Funds to buy signatures to insure that we have at least two elected members of state com.
  4. New Locals will need to raise their own funds.
  5. Suggested that we consider having a scholarship to an external campaign school
  6. State House News clearly sorely needed.
  7. In Solidarity of American Postal Workers Union, office supplies will not be purchased from staples.
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Adcom Chapter Alternates

Title: AdCom Chapter Alternates

Shepherd/Floor Manager/Sponsor: Administrative Committee
Co-Sponsor: N/A

Vetting Committees: N/A

Explanatory Background:
With the addition of voting representatives of local chapters to the
Administrative Committee allowing direct access between the
committee and local members the Administrative Committee has been
able to quickly respond to local situations and increased its
abilities to carry out the deecisions of the State Committee.

Despite the committee's flexibility there are times when members are
unable to attend a meeting. This can prevent quorum from being
achieved or the representative whose presents is required for a
matter that is being addressed is unable to attend.

Some representatives have asked for an alternate to be in attendance
when they are unavailable in order to ensure that the chapter is
kept up to date and fully involved.

Summary:
This proposal will change the current text of section 9.21 of the
by-laws regarding chapter representatives to the Administrative
Committee to include and define the role of chapter alternates.

Current Text:
9.21 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.

Proposed Text:
9.21 Officially recognized chapters of the Green-Rainbow Party may
select a representative and an alternate to serve on the
Administrative Committee. The representative and alternate are
selected by whatever means the chapter chooses. The chapter shall
notify the party secretary and the State Committee of their
selection. After notification representatives and alternates shall
be confirmed at the next State Committee meeting and may be seated
on the Administrative Committee prior to confirmation by a two
thirds vote of the Administrative Committee subject to confirmation.
Representatives are able to participate in Administrative Committee
discussions and vote on decisions. Alternates can participate in
discussions but are only elegible to vote in the absence of their
chapter's representative.

Financial Impact: N/A

Implementation:
Upon the passage of this proposal chapters may immediately begin
the selection of an alternate to the Administrative Committee.

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Formation of an Action Working Group

 

Proposal Title:Formation of an Action Working Committee

Proposal Shepherd: Frank Jackson Middlesex

Co-Sponsors: Daphne Stevens, Mike Heichman, Elie Yarden, Danny Factor

 

Background: Unlike “Traditional” political parties, the Green-Rainbow Party can be organized as both a political movement which elects candidates and a social movement which uses different forms of organizing to establish a more just society. We have a well developed GPUS platform, Green Rainbow Party Agenda, several thousands of members across the state, elected officials in several towns, and candidates in several races each election cycle, features of a “traditional” political party.

 

Green-Rainbow Party members have often undertook and joined campaigns to better lives in the Commonwealth, be it launching solar farms in our local communities, protecting them from hydro-fracking, or launching a group to prevent predatory lending. We have had elected officials involved in preventing tuition hikes at our universities, and members lobbying to ensure this was not limited only to our “flagship” campuses, but also involved protections for our community colleges.

 

Different strategies have been used for these successes, such as electing officials, holding meetings with a lot of visibility, making coalitions with other organizations. There have been discussions between members of the party to implement warrant articles in various towns, support statewide legislation which would further the party agenda for a just future, but no group whose goal is specifically to work towards this.

 

Proposal:

 

An Implementation Working Committee will be formed with the purpose to strategize, and organize to achieve defined goals in different campaigns.

 

Limitations: Actions the working group is involved in will be in accordance with the members understanding of the 10 key values.

 

Role and Actions: The Working Committee will coordinate with the appropriate chapters, elected officials, candidates, and committees to achieve progress on different issues in the Green-Rainbow Party platform and agenda. This can be, but isn't limited to, implementing legislation, warrant articles, holding public meetings, taking direct actions. 

 

Structure: The working committee will begin by forming subcomittees to address hollistically interconnected issues such as abolishing poverty, and an environmental justice. Membership to the working group will be open to any Green-Rainbow party member interested in implementing elements of the Green-Rainbow platform or agenda in communities in Massachusetts. The working group is empowered to form subcommittees as necessary for the purposes of implementing parts of the party platform.

 

Responsibilities and Reports:The working group will send a report to the state committee email list which will include the list of campaigns the working group is involved in, and the list of Green-Rainbow Party members involved in each campaign.

 Financial Impact: Unclear.

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