Scroll down to review or submit proposals for the July 2013 Summer State Committee Meeting.
Please use the following format (you can cut and paste):
Proposal Header and Preamble
- proposal title: short version
- proposal sponsor
- proposer serves as floor manager
- all proposals require a co-sponsor
- click on Will Co-Sponsor button to co-sponsor
- contact info for floor manager
- committees from which you are requesting review and feedback
- explanatory background
- proposal summary
- financial impact
- implementation: who will do what, when, where and how?
Title: A Bold Action Program for the GRP in 2014
“The Green Party is not the alternative. It is the imperative.” – Rosa Clemente, Green Party Candidate for Vice-President, 2008
Sponsors: Mike Heichman, Suffolk County Rep. (manager), Brian Cady, Suffolk County Rep, and Frank Jackson, GRP Secretary
Contact Info of Manager: [email protected] 617-265-8143
Committee(s) Vetting: CDLC and Membership
Background: There is so much that is happening in our planet, country and Commonwealth that is calling out to us for our attention! Our party is capable of bold action. Years ago, for 3 consecutive years. we, took the lead in organizing a statewide march to abolish poverty. Our members have run together for statewide office in 2002, 2006, and 2010. Last year, one of our members, Jill Stein, won the Green Party’s nomination and ran a spirited campaign for President.
Recently, we went through a strategic process. There was strong support to improve the operations of our state party. However, there were very few proposals and all had weak support for plans that called on our state party to take bold action.
Why should our members continue to be a part of our party? Why should new people join? If we want our party to grow, we must come up with a bold and realistic plan of action.
Rationale: Generally in Massachusetts, on odd years there are municipal elections and in even years, like 2014, there are state legislative, congressional and statewide races. At this stage in our party’s development, the most important are municipal and State House of Representative (about 40,000 residents/district) contests.
The Green-Rainbow Party is strong in patches, while our organization in most of the state is minimal. In 2014, we can take advantage of our patches of strength by running in selected State Rep. races, which are the low-hanging fruit with which we can build strength. Electoral races, which are much larger, like state senate districts and statewide races provide little opportunities for victory or getting a respectable percentage of the vote. However, as has happened in the past, these larger races do have the potential of reaching a much larger percentage of the public and have recruited new members.
At the July StateCom Meeting, we will call on our membership at our annual convention in November to make important decisions about the political work of our state party for 2014. Specifically, ...
1. The major electoral focus for our state party since 2010 has been to encourage and support our members to run for elected office, at State House of Representatives and Local levels. The annual convention will be asked to re-confirm this as a major priority for our state party in 2014 and 2015. The implementation of this project will continue to be the top priority of the CDLC.
2. The annual convention will be asked to approve a proposal to establish an Exploratory Committee to recruit a diverse slate of candidates for the 2014 statewide elections. The Committee will attempt to recruit members of our party to run together as a slate for the offices of US Senate, Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, Secretary of the Commonwealth and Treasurer. (Note: We will need 10,000 valid signatures-signed by any registered voter-to get our entire slate on the ballot.) A committee will be established at the convention, which will report to the CDLC, StateCom and Adcom. This Committee will deliver a report to the January 2014 State Comm.
Each potential candidate will be told that the major priority of the state party is to encourage and support our members to run for the State House of Representatives. At this time, we have no idea how many of our members will be interested in joining the slate and no idea which offices they will be most interested in running. We believe that the best strategy for now is to be open.
3. The January 2014 State Comm. will be authorized to call a Special Nominating Convention in early March, 2014. (Note: By this time, we will have a much better idea of how many of our members are interested in running for both the State House of Representatives and for statewide office.)
4. The annual convention will decide to take on at least one (and not more than three) major statewide issues campaign in 2014. Each campaign must demonstrate strong support from the convention and there must be sufficient volunteers to establish an organizing committee for each issue that we vote to make a statewide priority.
Budget Impact: Unclear
1. The Convention Planning Committee will integrate these decisions into the call for the 2014 Convention. Members of the StateCom, other organs of our state party and our local chapters will be called on to help organize a big turnout for this year’s annual convention. Having important things to decide will give our members important reasons to join us.
2. CDLC will continue to make the races for the State House of Representatives in 2014 and municipal elections in 2015 its top priority.
3. An Exploration Committee will be established at the convention to recruit a diverse slate of candidates for the 2014 statewide elections. This Committee will report to the CDLC, StateCom and Adcom.
4. An organizing committee will be established at the convention for each issue deemed worthy of a major effort by our state party.
5. Local Chapters will be asked to support all of the above campaigns.
6. To the extent that it will make sense for their campaigns, we will ask all 2014 GRP candidates to support the issue priorities of the state party.
Title: Endorsement of Carbon Tax Initiative
Sponsor: Dru Tarr
Contact info: [email protected] or 978-325-1427
Platform Committee and possibly Communications Committee
Summary: Committee for a Green Economy has been formed to propagate a ballot initiative to enact a revenue-neutral carbon tax for the state of Massachusetts. This initiative would enact a tax at first point-of-sale on carbon that would gradually increase to a set level over a number of years. Revenues from this tax would be earmarked for research and development, infrastructure improvement, and to offset state income and sales tax reductions.
Carbon taxes are widely supported by economists and economic modeling as a simple, bureaucracy-light way of stemming the emission of a crucial greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. This is an existing, independent movement that party support and party members could have an immediate effect. I urge the State Committee to endorse this initiative and encourage party members to aid in education and passage of this critical first step in stemming climate change.
Financial impact: None immediate. Minimal to moderate if State Committee decides to prioritize this issue as actionable.
Implementation: Press release required. Locals review the initiative and see if they are willing to make material support of this a primary effort in their activities.
Title: Preparing to Invite New Members into our party: July 2013 GRP StateCom, Membership Breakout Agenda Item
Shepard: Brian Cady [email protected], Co-sponsor: Michael Heichman
To be vetted by Membership, Adcom
Background: We've as a group advocated members recruit new members more than once, but have most of us done this? Why not? What happens when we do reach out? What works well? What are we likely to have to deal with?
Perhaps we're a little uneasy as individuals with the task we've set before us as a group. Let's familiarize ourselves with it through watching, then doing, role-plays with each other, to become more comfortable and familiar with the whole concept of inviting our friends, family and acquaintances to the GRP, and to improve our skill.
1) Introduction to prospective member outreach.
2) Demonstration of role-playing with easy, then resistant prospects
3) Break up into pairs/threesomes to roleplay approaching new prospects
4) Group discussion of new member invitations
I'll introduce this. - 4 minutes
Two of us will act out, first, approaching an easy prospect, then a 'difficult' one. – 7 minutes
Then we'll break into pairs or threesomes to role-play ourselves. – 10 minutes
The we'll re-convene and share lessons learned, and thoughts on next steps. – 7 minutes
I hope to have and use rough drafts of the new literature within the role-playing.
Budgetary Impact: none.
Time: 30 minutes
Implementation: To occur within the Membership break-out group of the GRP StateComm meeting on July 13th.
Brian Cady will reach out to an unspecified volunteer, who will act as though the GRP is new and interesting to them. Then we'll repeat while the volunteer acts uninterested and surly, for laughs.
Then we'll break op into pairs or threesomes to roleplay, hopefully with the new comparison literature in hand.
Then we'll reconvene briefly to share lessons and plan further.
Co-Sponsors and Floor Managers
David Gerry (Suffolk)
Scott Laugenour (Berkshire Hampshire Franklin and Hampden)
[email protected] / 413 241 7327
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Title: Bylaws Revision of Chapters
Sponsors: Danny Factor and Elie Yarden
Proposal Shepherd:Frank Jackson (Party Secretary)
Contact info of Shepherd: [email protected] 339-707-5212 Committee's Vetting: Administrative and Membership
Background: In the fall of last year came the wish to form a student chapter, however the process for doing so was unclear. Chapters across the state are now defunct, such as the “Boston Chapter”, “Mystic River Valley Local” and “Amherst Chapter”, all of which are now represented by another local. However the current bylaws do not outline appropriate process for dealing with defunct chapters. As well, there are valid concerns that Political Action Committees formed by locals may be seen as “Coordinating PACs” with the State Party. Lastly, some members found the terms club awkward to use.
Summary: The proposal makes the following changes to our process:
All groups currently known as Locals will be known as Green-Rainbow Party Chapter
There would be 3 types of Party Chapter: School, Regional, and Local. Each serving a different
Party Chapters may overlap, as schools will be within Locals, and Locals within Regional
Chapters when seeking certification must provide contacts, minutes of the founding meeting,
and by-laws to the Secretary
AdCom certifies the chapters
Chapters must report to at least one statecom meeting, inform the secretary of changes in
officers/liason/bylaws and consult with the party treasurer dispensing funds for political use
(this is to ensure we are in accordance with election law)
All chapters will have only one vote. This encourages the forming of more chapters.
The Administrative Committee can recommend to StateCom to decertify a chapter if it has
failed to meet the requirements outlined above Financial Impact: None
Implementation: The bylaws must be updated, and both the membership and administrative committees must be aware of the changes.
All mentions of “Local”, “Local Chapter”, or their plural form, in the By-Laws, will be replaced by the term “Party Chapter”
Section 7 of the current Party By-Laws are hereby deleted and replaced by the following: 7 Green-Rainbow Party Chapters
7.1 A Green-Rainbow Party Chapter is a group affiliated with and certified by the Green-Rainbow Party. As long as the Green-Rainbow Party Chapter abides by the Massachusetts and Federal elections laws, and does not undermine the purpose of the Green-Rainbow Party as stated in Section 3 of the Green-Rainbow Party By-Laws, the Green-Rainbow Party cannot interfere with the Chapter's internal
affairs or decision-making process.
7.2 a Definitions
• “Green-Rainbow Party Chapter” This is the umbrella term for all chapters which consist of 3 or
more Green-rainbow members meeting regularly and affiliated with the Green-rainbow Party
• “Student Chapters” are operated by Green-Rainbow students within specific student bodies.
• “Regional Chapters” are operated by Green-Rainbow members that have some affiliation with a
group of contiguous communities that share regional concerns.
• “Local Chapter” are operated by Green-Rainbow members in a city, town, or neighborhood.
7.2 b Regional and Local Chapters may choose to operate as either a Political Action Committee, or Town, City, or Ward Committee as defined by Massachusetts General Law
7.2 c Regional, School, and Local Chapters may exist in overlapping geographical regions
7.3 Any Green-Rainbow party members can seek certification as a Party Chapter from the Green-Rainbow Party by submitting to the Party Secretary:
Minutes of the founding meeting.
Contact information of any officers and liaisons.
Party Chapter structure or By-Laws.
The Party Secretary shall submit to the Administrative Committee for approval the request for certification
7.4 Each Party Chapter must:
Report their activities at at-least one regular State Committee Meeting per year.
Notify the Party Secretary of any changes in officers, liaisons, By-Laws or structure.
Consult with the Party Treasurer when dispensing funds for political work.
Continue to have at least 3 members meet regularly.
7.5 Each Green-Rainbow Party Chapter will have one vote when voting on matters such as Article 6.6
(calling a state convention), Article 8.8 (overriding a state committee by-law change or decision), or Article 8.9 (calling a state committee meeting). It is recommended a Party Chapter abstain if its vote does not reflect a consensus or two-thirds vote of its members.
7.7 The Administrative Committee may recommend after reasonable efforts have been made to resolve the issue that the State Committee decertify a Green-Rainbow Party Chapter for failing to meet the requirements defined in Section 7.4, or failing to abide by Section 7.1.
7.8 In the event of a recommendation by the Administrative Committee to decertify a Green-Rainbow Party Chapter, the State Committee may disaffiliate a Green-Rainbow Party Chapter by first voting to post a public notice to members giving the reasons for disaffiliation, and include a statement by the affected Party Chapter unless the Party Chapter chooses not, or cannot, provide such a statement. At the next State Committee meeting, the State Committee shall vote on whether to disaffiliate the local. If a vote to disaffiliate passes, the Green-Rainbow Party Chapter will be disaffiliated from the Green-Rainbow Party, and will no longer be considered in the Green-Rainbow Party decision-making process, or allowed to represent themselves as part of the Green-Rainbow Party structure.