ACC Minority Criteria

concerning the 2002 EXPANSION DELEGATION

SC Clarification As Requested
Regarding Criteria Employed in AC’s California Decision
prepared by Art Goodtimes, AC chair


As chair it is my understanding that the AC is directly responsible to the CC and is tasked with reporting directly to the CC. However, it appears that the SC may direct the AC in its tasks and coordinate the AC’s work. Thus, I believe the AC looks for direction from both the SC and the CC in its operation.

from the bylaws:


The Green Party may form committees to further its work. The committees serve at the discretion of the Coordinating Committee and shall report regularly to the Coordinating Committee. The Steering Committee shall coordinate the work of the committees and task them with various duties when appropriate. Unless otherwise decided by the Coordinating Committee, each member state of the Association may have up to three (3) representatives on each committee. Voting on committees will be one vote per each member state represented. A member state may exercise its right to participate on a committee at any time. Committee participation need not be limited to those members of a state party who are representatives of that state on the Coordinating Committee nor to representatives of member states.


There were several allegations that the AC did not have the authority to examine the internal workings of a state party in its review. As co-chair, I disagree.
As an arm of the national party, I think it was appropriate for the AC to review and express satisfaction or concerns about a party’s upholding of the ethical workings article of the national’s bylaws, and particularly, in this case, regarding the delegate selection process for expansion delegates and the diversity or lack of it in the interim delegation.
However, in my judgment, the expression of those concerns regarding diversity ought not be used to block a state’s application, as that would be tantamount to “ordering the internal politics” of a member state. Nevertheless, I believe it was appropriate to seek further clarification from a member state that its own internal bylaws were followed — that is, that the expansion delegate selection process was conducted in an ethical manner consistent with its own state rules.

from the bylaws:


The Green Party accepts that it cannot order the internal politics of its member states. Even so, the Green Party does have a vested interest in ensuring that the internal politics of the Green Parties of the member states meet the highest ethical standards and adhere to Green Values. The Green Party therefore urges member states to:
In theory and practice commit to having a membership and leadership reflective of the diversity of the human population within their own states.
Commit to opposing racism, sexism, ageism, classism, discrimination against the differently-abled, and other forms of prejudice within the State Green Party and in the larger society.

The Green Party recognizes that winner-take-all/first-past-the-post electoral practices serve to maintain an outdated power structure and prevent members of minority groups from having an adequate impact on policy decisions or serving in leadership position. Therefore the Green Party urges member states to:
Use proportional representation, as organizational capability develops, to elect their internal leadership and their delegates to the Green Party and/or Green conventions.
The Green Party recognizes that there are a multiplicity of proportional representation voting systems. As long as the form employed is fair, honest, and does honor the principles that encourage the participation that hold minority viewpoints, are members of minority groups, or are from the various geographic regions of the state, the Green Party shall not discriminate against any of the forms chosen by state parties when examining the applications for membership of newly-joining states or in its dealings with the current membership.


Again, speaking to the AC’s authority and manner of operation in the expansion delegate accreditation process, I look to the national’s rules & procedures for guidance, particularly in the area of expecting member states to fulfill the criteria first sent them by the AC in its original expansion delegate process letter. I also took this direction to include assisting applicants in the process and deliberating speedily before making a report to the CC.

[NB: I know Dean Myerson has suggested that it is the AC that decides the issue of expansion delegates for members’ states. My reading of the rules & procedures leads me to disagree. In Section 1.I of 2. Accreditation, I only see language suggesting that the AC recommends to the CC. Of course, it could be interpreted that the accreditation process only applies to affiliation, but since the language speaks to the accreditation process, not the affiliation process, I would stand by my interpretation, until directed differently.]

from rules & procedures:

I. Introduction – Goals of the Accreditation Process
1. To assure that applicants understand: a) the Green Party of the United States, its goals, values and plans, b) the criteria we expect them to fulfill, c) the resources available from the Green Party of the United States to assist them in party-building in order to fulfill the criteria
2. To assist applicants in the application process. 3. To speedily deliberate and make recommendation to the CC.


There have been several challenges to the AC’s ability to request additional information and/or clarification in its review.
While it appears that this section, 1.IV.1. was originally written for the affiliation process, it speaks specifically to the Accreditation Process and seems applicable to any accreditation review process of the AC in authorizing their requesting additional paperwork and assurances — i.e., information and clarifications.
Herein lies my belief in the authority for AC’s request for clarification that the state’s bylaws were indeed followed in the delegate selection process and the AC’s further request for minutes of the Santa Cruz meeting, where the change in California’s delegate selection process from its first application in January to its revised application in February was decided. Ultimately, California complied with both requests, which is why I then called for a vote on the application.

from rules & procedures:

IV. Accreditation Process.
1. Application to the Green Party of the United States
Applications should be delivered to the secretary of the Green Party of the United States, who will notify the CC that the application has been received, then forward the application to all members of the accreditation committee for review. The accreditation committee may request additional paperwork, e.g. by-laws, platform, etc. and assurances, in order to determine that the applicant party satisfies the criteria listed above.


In chairing the review process, I’ve relied upon Section1.IV.2 for direction, believing it to apply to all our accreditation reviews, not just affiliation reviews.

from rules & procedures:

2. Accreditation Committee Review Process should be speedy and non-bureaucratic. If we are to err, it should be on the side of permissiveness. Applicant should experience us as a welcoming committee and their advocate to the CC.


California was frustrated by some delays in the AC review process, and citations were made of the 60-day timeclock from Section 1.IV.5 below.
However, it is my interpretation that until an application is complete, it has not been “received” by the committee. In no application for affiliation nor expansion delegates has the AC exceeded the60-day deadline as long as I’ve been chair. California’s original application was incomplete when first submitted, until all the expansion delegate criteria was met, and was not complete in my eyes until late February. That application was approved in March. California’s revised application was not complete until late in March, and was acted upon in just over a week.

[NB: If this section applies to expansion delegate reviews, which I have no trouble agreeing to, then again it strengthens the argument that the AC makes its report and recommends to the CC, but is not the decision maker on expansion delegate accreditation.]

from rules & procedures:

5. Report to Coordinating Committee. The committee shall makes it report to the CC, except in extraordinary situations, within 60 days of receiving the application. The report may be presented either to a meeting of the CC, or via e-mail, whichever can be done most promptly.


Further authority for the AC’s level of review of California’s second expansion delegate application resided in various informal complaints registered with various members of the AC by members of California’s state party. Section 1.V.2, in outlining the AC’s role as investigator of complaints under its responsibility for revocation of affiliation, seems to authorize AC investigations into a state party’s internal operations, although the CC has not as yet formulated rules for such investigations nor subsequent hearings.

from rules & procedures:

2. A grievance lodged against an accredited state (party) by an individual or group should be investigated by the committee as in the appeals process above. A hearing should be held at the next general meeting. The CC should formulate rules for conducting such hearings.


As to the specific criteria sent expansion delegate states, here is the letter that Tony Affigne, former AC chair, sent to California, and upon which the AC based our review.

Notice that under Requirements 4 below, a request is made to have delegates elected by clusters of locals. This criteria is one of the reasons our review included scrutiny of the delegate selection process.

Notice that under Requirements 5 below, a certification letter must be received by the AC before a report is made to the CC and an expansion delegation seated. This is the authority for my not deeming an application complete until this certification letter is received by me.

Notice that under Certification Letter b below, names of delegates and complete contact information is required. This was the authority under which I deemed the original California incomplete until complete and accurate contact information was received in February.

Notice that under Certification Letter d below, a brief description of the delegate selection process is required. Thus the implied authority for further inquiries into this process based on concerns expressed by individual committee members.

Notice that under Report Contents Introduction below, the AC is given “overall responsibility for developing procedures for implementing the Santa Barbara plan.” That blanket authority certainly would seem to justify all the AC’s actions to date on the California applications. The AC is also mandated to err on the side of permissiveness, and that direction is specifically applied to the expansion delegate process. Notice that under Report Contents 1, deadlines were set by the CC in Santa Barbara for applications (and amended later), but those deadlines have not in practice been followed, nor has the AC insisted that they be followed. Had the AC done that, neither of California’s applications would have been accepted, as neither were complete until after the amended Feb. deadline.

Notice that under Report Contents 5. below, the CC retains authority to decide should there be a dispute or accreditation challenge to a state’s expansion delegation. This would again reinforce my interpretation that the CC is the deciding authority and the AC only a recommending authority.

Notice that under Report Contents 7 below, while recognizing the fundamental principles of state party autonomy, the AC report put state parties on notice that the criteria cited had to be met for the AC to accredit and report to the CC. I believe the AC has acted within its charter throughout this process, regardless if there is some disagreement about the outcome.

Tony’s letter sent 12.28.01:

Dear John and Jo,

As you know, the Green Party of the United States has approved changes to its rules, giving larger states additional delegate seats on the national Coordinating Committee. These rules, implementing the Santa Barbara plan for proportional representation, were approved by the national Coordinating Committee on December 7, 2001.

Accordingly, on January 1, 2002 California will be entitled to a maximum of:

Thirteen (13) delegates to the Coordinating Committee

This rule change comes after more than two years of planning, and represents an important reapportionment of voting strength within the national party, giving larger states significantly more votes than in the past. Thus, we hope you will read these brief instructions carefully. The full implementation report, as approved by the CC, is appended. Please read it, as it includes additional instructions, and should answer any questions you may have.

FORMAL NOTICE. A formal notification of your party’s new maximum delegation size is being mailed to the address of record for your state party. Given the short time to implementation, however, we do hope you will help move the process along quickly, by immediately conferring with your party’s leadership, to ensure that your party qualifies for any additional delegates to which you are entitled.

REQUIREMENTS. Please note the following requirements:

1. Each affiliated state party is entitled to a minimum of two delegates, with larger delegations from larger states — at a ratio of one delegate seat for each four (4) qualifying congressional districts.

2. Only congressional districts with at least one local Green Party organization will count toward your state party’s allocation of national delegate seats. Your state party is expected to honestly assess the extent of local Green party activity within your various congressional districts.

3. Valid national criteria for verifying bona fide local Green Party activity include the following:

a) within the relevant congressional district, at least one local Green Party organization, as defined by the state party, has been active during the preceding 12 months b) local organizations are recognized by the state party, and show at the very least those organizational features required by the state party including, for example, local group bylaws and platform documents, consistent with the 10 Key Values c) qualifying local organizations may be organized according to official or electoral subdivisions (county, municipality, electoral district, etc.) while others may be organized along natural or regional lines, as deemed appropriate by the state party.

4. You are requested, wherever possible, to have your delegates elected by clusters of locals.

5. As soon as your party’s certification letter has been received by the Accreditation Committee, and reported to the Coordinating Committee, your additional delegates will be empowered to debate and vote on any matter before the Coordinating Committee; thus it is in your best interest to appoint and certify your delegates as quickly as possible.

CERTIFICATION LETTER. Based on these rule changes, your state party is hereby requested to submit written notification to the Accreditation Committee (at the address listed below), indicating the following:

a. The number of delegates to which you are entitled, based on the extent of local activity in your state’s congressional districts;

b. The names and complete contact information for any additional delegates your state has selected;

c. A signed certification that you have followed the rules for allocating delegates;

d. A brief description of how your delegates were selected(statewide vote, election by clusters of locals, etc.)

Your party’s letter should be mailed to the following address:

Art Goodtimes
Accreditation Chair, Green Party of the United States
Box 160
Norwood, CO 81423

You may also begin the process with an e-mail copy of your letter, sent to

Art Goodtimes <>

…but for legal purposes a signed letter must be received from your party’s authorized statewide leadership — your party’s chair, co-chair or secretary.

NATIONAL POLITICAL PARTY. As a recognized national political party in the United States, the Green Party has taken on additional obligations, even as we now enjoy much greater public visibility and influence. While the detailed requirements of our expanded CC representation may seem a bit tedious, please keep in mind that we must meet minimum legal standards, if we are to avoid the internal confusion and vulnerability experienced by, for example, the Reform Party. Your patience, and your attention to some measure of legalistic trivia, will go a long way toward ensuring that we can go about our political business with a minimum of legal wrangling. We anticipate a smooth transition to this more representative national committee, and we know we can count on your cooperation and enthusiasm.

With best wishes,

Tony Affigne

Green Party of Rhode Island
Accreditation Chair (term expires 12/31/01), Green Party of the United States