SPONSORS: Charlene DiCalogero, Co-chair GRP and State Committee member; co-sponsor, Roni Beal, State Committee member, Central Mass chapter
FLOOR MANAGER: C. DiCalogero
SHEPHERD: C. DiCalogero
SUMMARY: For at least the last 4 years in which I have been an elected member of State Committee (the last two also as party Co-chair), David Rolde has disrupted the work of the Green-Rainbow Party at the state level, and damaged the reputation of the state and national Green Party. As a member of State Committee at its meetings, at Administrative Committee meetings as a representative of the Legislative Working Committee or as a member of chapters or other committees, and through his public activities as an identifiable member of the GRP State Committee, I believe he has alienated many members and leaders of the GRP.
By his public behavior and statements, which violate a number of our 10 Key Values, while simultaneously continuing to act as a member of the State Committee, I have received evidence that he also discourages people from joining the party and potential candidates from running GRP.
Even after multiple concerns from different party leadership have been expressed directly to him, David Rolde continues, whether intentionally or not, to exhibit destructive behaviors.
1. 10 KV violations
a. Respect for Diversity
i. anti-Jewish statements against a candidate (Danny Factor, 2016, at endorsement request meeting, at which vibes watcher Greg Williams interrupted his attack and declared that David should be removed from State Com) and Jewish people in general (there is “Jewish privilege;” “Jews are not oppressed”)
ii. of 6 candidates requesting endorsement at StateCom summer 2018, questioning only the Muslim and Middle Eastern candidate on Israel-Palestine, which was racist, possibly sexist, and irrelevant. He did not ask any other candidate that question. The candidate was running for State Rep, which is not focused on international relations.
b. Nonviolence <p>
i. State Com October 2019, elimination of the military proposal: David refused to accept Charlene’s amendment to institute a nonviolent defense system because “the United States does not deserve to defend itself.” Such a position is inherently violent, racist, sexist, etc., because it exposes everyone in this country to attacks from other countries that would likely follow implementation of such a policy, with no organized means for response.
c. Grassroots Democracy
i. David consistently and publicly supports the violent dictator Bashar Al Assad of Syria, who has been responsible for numerous human rights crimes including 85,000 civilian deaths. <p>
ii. He supports authoritarian regimes in China and other countries: he opposes the Hong Kong democracy movement as “an attack on China” at the 2019 GBC meeting attended by Charlene DiCalogero and Maha Gray, co-chairs. While opposition to US foreign interventions is consistent with the GPUS platform, the promoting of governments whose behavior grossly violates the Ten Key Values is inconsistent with support for those values.<p>
iii. David denies that the Tienanmen Square massacre of Chinese students by PRC soldiers occurred (GBC meeting 2019 as above). This shows an unwillingness to stand up for the key values of grassroots democracy and nonviolence, as well as a respect for documented history.
2. Attacks on leadership, lying about people’s actions or affiliations, lying about issues under consideration for consensus by committees
a. lied about provisions of the Death with Dignity bill during the AdCom telecon of 2019 that he wanted the GRP to oppose, then during the Round Robin accused everyone else on the call of wanting to kill people. David Gerry says the bill contains none of the provisions that David claimed were in it.
b. accused Matt Andrews of being pro-war (dates and places?), CD of being a Democrat at October 2019 State Com. He has no presented no credible evidence, or evidence of any kind, for these accusations.
c. Claimed at the October 2019 State Com that Gene Sharp, a well-known theorist, researcher and trainer in nonviolent direct action, was “in the CIA.” He presented no evidence for this accusation.<p>
d. David for years was not a member of any Working Committee, as required by our bylaws. Instead, he criticizes and attacks people who are doing significant work for the party, such as an unfounded accusation against the State Convention committee of bias of favor of some presidential candidates. His accusation wasted time and energy that is needed to do the work of reconstituting the State Committee, planning Regional Conventions, supporting candidates, etc. His rallying of other disruptive GPUS candidates to the 11/7/19 State Committee telecon meeting resulted in a meeting that personally attacked the GRP appointee to the Presidential Campaign Support Committee and resulted in almost none of the intended agenda being addressed and the meeting went well over (1-2 hours over) the agreed-upon time.
Such behavior is abusive and excludes people who have neither the time nor the energy to stay on unproductive and endless phone calls.
e. general disruptiveness and behavior unbecoming a State Com member
i. screaming continuously at the female co-chair and StateCom in general during State Com call with a State Com member in July 2018, during which meeting he was the vibes watcher.
ii. In response to Charlene DiCalogero’s co-chair message, StateCom Oct 2019, of the great victory of Worcester Climate Emergency Declaration: “it’s not a great victory.” It’s unlikely he knows what’s in the declaration, or who was involved in writing it and getting it passed. The impact of such dismissive statements are to lower morale of the body, and to undermine the female co-chair’s leadership.
iii. David frequently interrupts speakers at State Com meetings, alleging “vibes,” which is often not a matter of interpersonal conflict, but his disagreement with the speaker’s political or practical perspective. It is disrespectful to State Com members and others who are trying to share their viewpoints, discourages honest discussion, and appears to be frequently directed at the women (witness attack on Priscila Espinosa, Oct 2019 State Committee).
iv. At the 2019 State Convention, when a keynote speaker was introduced, David responded with jeers and boos. This is no way to treat speakers invited as guests by the GRP, and who are traveling some distance to speak to our meetings without requiring a speaker’s fee. And it embarrasses the volunteers organizing the meeting, forcing them to apologize to the invited speaker (reported by C. Sotiropoulus, May 2019).
v. David’s interruptions are frequent, as you can see from the multiple instances cited from a single meeting. They often constitute some form of an attack, and effectively disrupt and postpone the business of StateCom and other meetings.
Response by State Committee and other bodies, and results of David Rolde’s actions David has been given numerous opportunities to redeem himself and has shown no capability to respond positively or to act collaboratively. He has caused irreparable harm by alienating active and potential members, and provided ammunition to Green Party detractors with his negative comments on social and mass media. Rather than having significantly changed or improved his behavior in response to concerns raised, he appears instead to have escalated his attacks.
TEXT OF MOTION: In accordance with GRP Bylaws, v. January 26, 2019, Section 8.6, and due to multiple and egregious violations of Sections 4.1 and 5.6 presented, we request that State Committee take the following actions:
1. If David Rolde resigns from the State Committee previous to the meeting at which this motion is considered (per phone conversation between C. DiCalogero and David Rolde, 12/9/19), as described in GRP bylaws Section 8.7, and all other state-level positions or bodies to which he may belong: that he be removed and banned from all GRP-hosted listserves, Facebook pages and other social media. David Rolde will be prohibited from participating in these positions, bodies and media now and in the future.
2. Should David refuse to resign, we ask that the State Committee remove him from State Committee, and that he be banned from GRP-hosted listserves, Facebook pages or other social media, now and in the future.
We further request that David Rolde take the following actions:
1. End his campaign to be the presidential nominee of the Green Party of the U.S., and
2. cease his baseless attacks on the GRP and the GPUS.
He is unqualified to be the GPUS nominee by experience, by knowledge, by temperament, by political outlook, and by his non-collaborative behavior toward the members of the GRP and GPUS.
He declared at the presidential candidates’ forum at the July 2019 ANM, Salem State University, Salem, MA, that, “I am running in the 2020 Green Party US presidential primaries as a protest candidate against the so-called “USA” and its phony presidential elections.”
This shows an intention to take advantage of the GPUS primary process to promote his own ideas rather than seriously seeking a position of leadership, unity, and party-building which is the Green Party’s purpose in sponsoring a presidential process. He cannot be a serious candidate for President of the United States while asserting a belief that the U.S. should not continue to exist as a nation. Such a candidacy is not supported or justified by the 10 Key Values or the GPUS platform.
1. Tech Committee members and/or Communication Committee members, or any others having the ability to remove David Rolde from the GRP website, listserves, Facebook pages, Twitter and any other social media run by the GRP, remove or block his access, as soon as possible after the State Committee decision. They shall notify the co-chairs when this is completed.
2. The Secretary of the GRP will send written notification to officers of all chapters of David Rolde's removal from the State Committee as soon as possible.
REFERENCES AND ATTACHMENTS:
GRP Bylaws, v. January 26, 2019, Section 8.6. State committee representatives may be removed with a 2/3 vote of the state committee. The individual being removed from the state committee shall not be allowed to vote.
GRP Bylaws, v. January 26, 2019, Section 4.1 “Members of the Green-Rainbow Party must adhere to the following standards: uphold the Ten Key Values and the Bylaws and Structure of the Green-Rainbow Party, be honest and forthright in all dealings, and be scrupulous in the handling of Green-Rainbow Party and/or GRP chapter funds.”
GRP Bylaws, v. January 26, 2019, Section 5.6. Participants in meetings of the Green-Rainbow Party are expected to treat each other with civility and consideration.
Human Rights Violations during the Syrian Civil War https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_violations_during_the_Syrian_Civil_War
https://www.davidrolde2020.org/about.html Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, United Nations, 2 February 2015
While I feel it necessary for the good of the party to submit this motion, I bear no personal ill will toward David. I believe as elected and appointed leaders, officers and members of the Green-Rainbow Party that State Committee members have a responsibility to ensure as much as possible the good and democratic functioning of the only U.S. party for “People, Planet and Peace.” At this critical moment in U.S. and world history, we cannot afford to allow malicious attacks on the party, whether from inside or outside our membership, whether from sincere beliefs or from ulterior motives, to cripple the ability of the party to function well and attract support.
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Dear GRP StateCom committee members.
I am sending this to StateCom committee members, not a general list so as to limit the email storm which has been inundating all. I am including a previous email which suggests a going forward process which I hope all will read and consider.
My primary point of this email is to state as clearly as possible, that proceeding with some form of political excommunication of David Rolde will likely result in an irrevocable split in the party. It is clear that he has a 50%+ support in the party within the state. In the context of this current struggle all sides have made errors. Some of those demanding inclusion have been rude, extremely disrespectful and overtly hostile in their communication. Some of those in opposition to full inclusion have been bureaucratic, possibly arbitrary, and not sufficiently communicative. Additionally, my own encounters have been addressed dismissively in a manner that limits open, constructive dialogue.
In the best interest of party unity and healing I request that this proposal not just be voted down, but preferably withdrawn by its sponsors. By taking this critical step, we can take a great leap of faith that the GRP can reach a point of maturity and strength to effectively address any internal struggles and become stronger for it and thus more effectively engage in the US political process. This is clearly our imperative.
The need for a strong, organized committed party with our 10 Key Values is critical to addressing the state, national and global crises we are facing. All parties involved and the general membership of the GRP must rise above this conflict and each take responsibility for the errors they have made and begin a dialogue that brings our party together. The climate crisis, slide towards fascism, dehumanization of migrants as well as people of color, non-Christian, increasingly expendable workers nationally and globally, perpetual war must wake us up to the real need of the GRP/GPUS to do its work of organizing for PEOPLE, PEACE and PLANET. Let’s get the job done!!!
I hope you will all take my recommendation seriously and act in the best interest of bringing this critical political party back together again.
Thank you. I hope you will also read the remainder of this email thread.
Just a couple of thoughts. Definitely a clear, well developed guideline is essential for the nominating process, either for national, state or local elections. As Maha suggests, we must all take responsibility for developing these clear guidelines going forward. This year it appears mistakes were made by all parties which I personally feel would be best corrected by submission of all names without prejudice.
Going forward it appears we are talking about two sets of criteria. 1) Objective criteria meaning quantification of signatures gathered, $ collected, numbers of donors, deadlines for accomplishments, required structures in place, forms filed. Official requests for recognition being made, etc. These are all objective, concrete and verifiable. These should be codified into our by-laws or at least a document officially approved as our GRP process.
2) The second set of criteria as I perceive the discussion, are subjective. Does the candidate support our 10 Key Values? If so, which ones? If not all, what does that really mean? How many must a candidate support to qualify as meaning “support”? Does the candidate support our party? What are the standards of measurement? Are they supportive of our policy positions? How many? Which ones? Who determines? What are our policy positions? These subjective criteria take us down a very deep rabbit hole. Such subjectivity should not be up to a small selected group of party leadership. Yes, the StateCom is to be representative of the whole, but by its very nature, and judging from our current conflict, it can not, nor should not be the determiner of these subjective opinions.
To be repetitive on my part, these “purity tests” of loyalty are best left up to the Membership through the primary process which should include all candidates who achieve the objective criteria. The party is in great danger if we promote the notion of “purity tests” conducted by a small group of party leaders. That process moves us in the wrong direction.
GRP StateCom Committee:
IN RESPONSE TO MOTION TO THE PROPOSAL TO “REMOVE STATECOM MEMBER DAVID ROLDE: URGENT ACTION TO PROTECT THE GRP AND THE GPUS” from Mike Heichman
I am a life-long member of the GRP and have known and worked with David R for a long long time. I am no longer a member of StateCom. However, I wanted to express my opinion about this proposal.
In addition to many negative things that have been said about David in this discussion and recent discussions held on other email lists, I could add my own list of charges. However, I will not. I do acknowledge that active members of our party have raised some valid accusations and David at times has behaved in ways that have been disruptive and damaging to our party.
At the same time, any “evaluation” of David’s behavior should include his many positive contributions to the party over the many years including on-going positive contributions. For example, David had been an excellent Secretary of the state party as well as an excellent Secretary of the GBC.
I could go on, but will not.
In Brian’s comments about our by-laws, he point’s out that there is a mediation process. I don’t believe that this has ever been used and am confident that this has never been used with David. There have been and are many other less extreme measures that could and can be used against David or any other member. Two example—censure or probation. There could be others
This proposal also is a violation of the autonomy of local chapters. David for example was a long-time member of the Boston Chapter, which has evolved into the Greater Boston Chapter. If I understand this proposal correctly, this proposal would prevent our current GBC Secretary to be a member of our email list. If I am correct, I strongly object. The GBC has NOT been consulted! This is a violation of the Green Party’s value that we place in Grassroots Democracy and Decentralization.
Over the years, including now, there are some members of our party who have been and are “challenging”. From time to time, I have to include myself as a member of this “club”. There have been times when I jokingly have said to myself that David and others have been sent to us to test our commitment to our “Respect for Diversity” value. I admit that David has not been a positive model for this value. David has long been intolerant and I will add abusive to those who he disagrees with. I admit that I am a member of this very large club.
One of the comment below comes from Nat Fortune, another long time and active member of our party, who wrote, “I concur with Charlene’s assessment of this situation. Allowing this type of behavior will be the demise of the party, which alas now seems imminent.” I want to emphasize the last clause of Nat’s comments.
Recently, in both the GBC and StateCom list, I have attempted to act like a peacemaker. There has been almost no positive response to my 12/23 message entitled, “DEEPLY DIVIDED PARTY LEADERS NEEDS TO MOVE FORWARD”
For the last few months, the leadership of our state party has been tearing itself apart over the question of who should and should not be placed on our MA presidential primary list. As I have written, there was a similar dispute (believe it or not even worse than today) back in the 2008 presidential election. We were a much stronger party before this dispute and we have never recovered our strength.
In this current division, there has been very little acknowledgment that the other side has a valid point. We have not been a party seeking consensus. I see little of our HEART in this dispute. Instead, we have been shooting arrows of hatred towards each other. I see BLOOD ON THE GROUND replacing OUR HEART.
David R is running for POTUS as a member of the GRP/GPUS.
The minority of StateCom has denied David (and others) a place on our ballot, and our party remains bitterly divided over this decision.
The most important reason why I oppose this proposal is that it will only increase divisions within our party. No matter what is decided, more blood will be spilled at the next StateCom meeting UNLESS this proposal is withdrawn.
I cry out in agony! Our GRP is in imminent danger of killing itself!!!
==== === ==
I ended my 12/23 message to StateCom this way:
“I propose that we establish a process ASAP that involves our membership in deciding and implementing our 2020 priorities.
A committee to support our endorsed 2020 candidates (Presidential, Congressional, Legislative, etc.)
A committee to support our efforts to approve Rank Choice Voting, which will be on the ballot in November
Support our new Legislative Committee which could write its own bills, support existing legislation and oppose existing legislation
A committee to address “Global Climate Chaos”
A committee to address “Migrant Justice” issues
Of course, other chapters and GRP members will have their own ideas.
Our state party will not survive unless we are able to move forward. We can only grow our party if we have a compelling political program."
===== === ====
Within StateCom and my chapter, there has been NO significant discussion about moving our party forward. I want our party to grow and become successful! Instead I believe that we are actively pursuing our own destruction and death.
I respectfully request that this proposal be withdrawn!
I respectfully request that we put down our swords and open our hearts.
I respectfully request that we commit ourselves instead to a process of building our party.
Love, Mike Heichman, GBC
1.a.i. David and Danny had a heart to heart meeting and Danny does not feel this way about the incident in question.
1.b.ii. Charlene is fear mongering: “Such a position is inherently violent, racist, sexist, etc., because it exposes everyone in this country to attacks…” It’s just her opinion.
1.c.i. and ii. David opposes U.S. military intervention everywhere. THAT MUST MEAN HE THINKS EVERY LEADER OF THOSE COUNTRIES IS SQUEAKY CLEAN – NOT! What would our president Jill Stein do if terrorists were killing people in the U.S.A? Would she just lie down and let them kill everyone or might there be collateral damage of some sort? NO LEADER IS PERFECT. Does the GRP support ANY Country? Switzerland? – Oh wait they make money from arms sales… gosh! Norway? They kill whales. see?
1.c.iii. Re: Tiananmen-Square-Massacre: I don’t trust official narratives either, nor Wikipedia pages where corporate media have a hand in making sure the content is skewed with a “pro-democracy/American capitalist” bias.
2.a. This is a weird one. We oppose violence, but we support euthanasia and the right to kill ourselves via suicide? Are we passionate about non-violence or what? David is… so what’s the problem?
2.b. IDK about Matt supporting war. Re Charlene is a Democrat, the Climate Strikes were a GOTV for the Democrats. If you sign up at 350.org, you are put on a Democrat mailing list. Ask John Andrews.
2.c. You don’t have to believe everything everyone says Charlene. And people may think out loud.
2.d. In 2018, he served on the Statewide Campaign Recruitment Working Group (SCRWG) and also volunteered to serve on the Convention Committee, where he was unceremoniously blocked by Convention Committee Co-chairs.
I think the 2020 presidential candidates had/have legit concerns. I agree that the meeting wasn’t handled well and that was my fault. But I still don’t know how I could have handled it better.
2.e. It’s the end of the world as we know it. Should we really be composed like nothing is wrong? I think Statecom needs some Sensitivity Training re racism, sexism, speciesism, white privilege, etc, where we learn the appropriate response for these things.
2.e.i. A Statecom member (person of color) was on trial for alleged threats of violence to a racist person he was chatting with online. What is the appropriate response? I forgive David, because he is engaged with these issues. I am shielded by white privilege so do not understand what it’s like to be confronted by racism again and again.
2.e.ii. I know that Worcester’s Climate Declaration means a lot to Charlene, and I can only imagine the amount of work that made that a reality. Other good news, Ipswich has banned plastic bags. But we’re not saved by these things. We’re still doomed. It’s ok to say that out loud.
I think this motion is hateful and insensitive. I think it’s tone-policing. This is group-think and if you don’t think and behave the way we do, then you are out. We all have different brains: we will react to the corporate news media in fun and exciting ways.
David Rolde is an asset.
I am no longer a member of the GRP State Committee and have no vote. I just have an opinion.
Charlene is an amazing member with seemingly endless energy when it comes to the party. I agree with her on most points and defer to her much of the time. Let me also say that I often disagree with David Rolde. I respect him though and believe the party is better with him than without.
David Rolde is a serious man with serious convictions that many disagree with but disagree with his approach.
He has problems with The United States of America. Should we tell him to go home or ask him why? He wishes to dissolve the United states military… and successfully passed a proposal to do so in the GRP.
He does interrupt and talk over people in meetings but definitely not more and in many cases less than several other members at the GRP. He reminds us to wait when we skip ahead of proper procedures. It sounds like a mere annoyance but those procedures were put there for reasons we deemed important and fair.
I think he should talk more about why he wears Bashar Al Assad on his shirt, not less. People get an impression he supports Assad as a dictator and worse when we only see that. The situation in Syria is not a simple one. The US has manipulated circumstances there and handled them poorly exacerbating the conditions there, but we don’t talk about that.
We talk about a man who is up to date on all the rallies regarding minorities and how poorly they are treated currently and historically like African Americans and Native Americans. Seriously, if he finds you are free on Tuesday he will tell you where to go to protest for reparations for slaves.
This action to remove David seems more like optics and the GRP should not be ashamed of him. I strongly encourage you, as a recently former member of the GRP Statecom, Adcom and Comcom, to not remove him and learn from those you disagree with. Talk to them, him and ask why he believes what he believes. Everyone has reasons for what they believe. I read the proposal to remove him. I was there for many instances listed but as I said before, many others are guilty of violations of discourse, interruptions, talking over or over-time, causing delays. I never asked for evidence of accusations but maybe I was uncomfortable hearing them at the time. Shame on me. I respect all of the party members I worked with in Massachusetts, even David and Joshua. I hope the committee reconsiders this.
All three of us support the Motion to remove StateCom member David Rolde. In addition to the evidence cited in the motion’s Text and Background sections, each of us has witnessed additional instances of David Rolde making public statements and conducting himself in ways that materially diminish and undermine the Green-Rainbow Party’s capacity to fulfill its ultimate purpose, which we understand to be the election of public servants who champion human rights and social justice, nonviolence, grassroots democracy, and ecological wisdom. These patterns of volatile behavior render David Rolde unfit to be endorsed as a Green candidate for any public office, as well as to no longer be entrusted with responsibilities as a key decision-maker for the Green-Rainbow party as a member of its State Committee. No serious organization can afford to squander its talent and resources repairing the harms caused by a provocateur who recklessly pursues his own whims, heedless of their misalignment with the group’s reputation, and careless about their negative consequences.
“4.3.The state committee shall form a mediation committee to handle charges of violation of the above membership standards. Such charges may be made by any member or members. Such charges must be forwarded to the chair of the mediation committee.The mediation committee shall appoint a three person fact-finding committee, composed of:3
●one person chosen by the mediation committee;●one person chosen by the accused;●a third person chosen by mutual agreement of the first two fact-finding members.The fact finding committee will investigate and report back to the mediation committee within 60 days regarding the extent of truth of the charges.After completing the report, the fact-finding committee will meet with the accused and the accuser to see if a mutually agreeable resolution can be found. If the situation cannot be resolved at this stage, then the dispute will be referred back to the mediation committee. If the dispute cannot be resolved there, then the mediation committee will bring the matter, including the written report of the fact-finding committee, to the next state committee meeting of the Green- Rainbow Party. The portion of the Green-Rainbow Party meeting considering the charges should be closed to observers.A two-thirds vote is required to withdraw the membership of the accused where the burden of proof is on those making the charges.However the process ends, the mediation committee must file a brief minute giving the names of the accused and the accuser, and stating what, if any, resolution was reached. In the event that the state committee has not formed a mediation committee, the co-chairs shall act as the mediation committee. "
1. Tech Committee members and/or Communication Committee members, or any others having the ability to remove David Rolde from the GRP website, listserves, Facebook pages, Twitter and any other social media run by the GRP, remove or block his access, as soon as possible after the State Committee decision. They shall notify the co-chairs when this is completed. "
Change proposed: proposal amended to state “…to remove David Rolde from the GRP website administration, Statecom listserv membership, administration of GRP Facebook pages, Twitter and any other Statecom-associated or GRP-associated spokesperson position run by the GRP,…”