TITLE: Revisions to Standing Rules
Note: The sponsor is requesting that this proposal be taken up as "New Business" rather than being part of the proposal session. But the text is inserted here to keep open the possibility of treating it as a regular proposal.
SPONSORS: John Andrews, TBD
FLOOR MANAGER/SHEPHERD: TBD
VETTING COMMITTEES: AdCom
SUMMARY: Certain revisions and additions are made to the Standing Rules in order to improve the functioning of State Committee.
This proposal contains four parts, each of which makes a separate change to the Standing Rules of State Committee. Separate "Background" sections are included for each proposal. The sponsors intend to remove any part that does not seem to have adequate support.
TEXT OF PROPOSAL:
The following text shall be added to section IV of the Standing Rules of State Committee:
The Secretary is expected to provide the first draft of the minutes ("notes") for a StateCom meeting no later than two weeks after the meeting. The draft shall be posted online and its availability shall be announced on the StateCom business list.
Background of Part 1: Decisions are often made by StateCom that require timely action. GRP members involved with implementing the decision need to have a clear record of what was decided and who is responsible. Not all such people are in attendance at the StateCom meeting and not everyone leaves with their own clear notes on any particular agenda item. When minutes are late, it delays start of work on the action items. It also creates difficulty for the co-facilitators in assembling the agenda for the next meeting (since they have to determine which agenda items were continued or tabled for the next meeting). There have been times recently that minutes of one meeting were released only a week before the subsequent StateCom meeting. This leaves little time to take action on decisions.
2 . BETTER PROCESS FOR ORDERING PROPOSALS
The Standing Rules of State Committee shall be modified as follows:
a) The current text in section IV that establishes an "expedited round" shall be deleted in its entirety.
b) The following text shall be inserted:
Approximately three days prior to the meeting, StateCom members will be invited provide their rating of the submitted proposals on the following 1-5 numeric scale:
How important is it to take up this proposal at this meeting?
5 = Critical. Not acceptable to delay.
4 = Important. Clear need to consider at this meeting if possible.
3 = Desirable. Should consider if time is available.
2 = Not important. Little concern if delayed.
1 = Undesirable. Proposal should not be brought to the floor at this time.
The facilitators, in consultation with AdCom, and after inspection of the results of StateCom ranking shall define the order in which submitted proposals will be considered, using descending order of their average pre-meeting ranking unless a clear reason can be given to depart from this ranking. This order shall be announced before the meeting if possible but no later than the time the agenda is up for approval. Approval of the agenda will constitute approval of the announced order of consideration. However the co-facilitators can alter the approved order if events during the meeting make a change necessary.
The section on the website that asks visitors to rate proposals as "good, bad, important, easy, impractical" shall be removed since these inputs are usually ignored, they aren't modified as the proposal evolves, and they create confusion about whether usable feedback has actually been given.
Background for Part 2: The "expedited round" concept has failed repeatedly to achieve its purpose. The premise on which it is based is that when members declare "no concerns" prior to the meeting, the proposal can be passed quickly without discussion. In practice, as soon as an expedited proposal is put on the floor, discussion ensues and concerns emerge. At times, an expedited proposal has generated a long discussion and then has had to be moved to the regular round for resolution. The expedited round process prioritizes less important proposals that no one really cares about - which is counterproductive. We need a new process that makes sure that truly high priority proposals are taken up first when there is still time to give them proper consideration.
This proposal gives StateCom members themselves the primary role in prioritization. However the co-facilitators can alter the ordering if there is a clear reason to depart from the pre-meeting survey order. At the meeting, the StateCom members present can vote to alter the order if they wish, but hopefully the co-facilitators will devise an ordering that meets with approval.
3. CLARIFICATION OF AGENDA FORMULATION
The Standing Rules of State Committee shall be modified as follows:
a) In section IV. Agenda, the following text shall be added at the beginning of the section:
The co-facilitators for a StateCom meeting are responsible for assembling and maintaining a detailed meeting agenda that allocates time according to Party priorities and reflects previous decisions of StateCom. The co-facilitators shall consult with AdCom regarding whether specific items shall be included on the agenda, and shall attempt to implement any specific recommendations provided by AdCom. On the day of the meeting, StateCom itself can vote to modify the proposed agenda before approving it. The co-facilitators may adjust the order and time allocation of agenda items if this is necessary to accommodate developing events (such as running behind schedule, absence of a presenter, technical problems with audio-visual equipment, etc.).
BACKGROUND FOR PART 3: At times, there have been disagreements over whether the meeting agenda was determined by the co-facilitators or by AdCom or by requests from StateCom members. At times the co-facilitators have been pressured by someone to include time to discuss their favorite topic and the co-facilitators have not known what priority to give to the demand for time. Often one or both of the co-facilitators are new to the party and have trouble assessing requests. It seems clear that StateCom should be the final authority when it comes to approving the StateCom agenda. But prior to the meeting, the deciding guidance should come from AdCom, since AdCom consists of officers elected by the state convention and AdCom is responsible for judgment calls in-between StateCom meetings. The co-facilitators are responsible for the details of the schedule such as the order of items and the amount of time allocated to each item, but at the meeting they will normally seek concurrence from StateCom members when making such decisions.
4. MAINTAINANCE OF ESSENTIAL LISTS
TEXT OF PART 4:
Section "III Credentialing" of the Standing Rules of State Committee shall be modified by renaming the section as "III Credentialing and Membership" and inserting text as follows:
a) The GRP Secretary is asked to maintain a roster of State Committee members that indicates their name, delegate or alternate status, region represented, attendance history, and contact information. This roster shall be updated after each quarterly State Committee meeting and shall be made available to any member of State Committee through an online posting.
b) The GRP Secretary is asked to maintain a list of each recognized GRP local chapter, club, town committee, or ward/precinct committee. This list shall contain the entity name, officer contact information, mailing address, geographic region of activity, and list of any PAC operated by the entity. The list maintained by the Secretary shall be deemed by StateCom to be the official record of currently active chapters or committees. This roster shall be updated periodically and shall be made available to any member of State Committee through an online posting.
BACKGROUND FOR PART 4: Having current organizational lists of these types is important to the proper functioning of the party. Furthermore, when the GRP has party status there is a legal requirements for having an official StateCom membership list. Currently, when the need arises for such rosters we have found that they either do not exist or are outdated. The same local goes by more than one name, which is confusing to all except a handful of insiders. This addition to the Standing Rules simply makes the expectations of the Party clear and asks the Secretary to be the keeper of the two designated lists.
FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
IMPLEMENTATION: The shepherd will produce a revised copy of the Standing Rules that contains all approved revisions.