concerning the 2002 EXPANSION DELEGATION
of the GREEN PARTY of CALIFORNIA
to the COORDINATING COMMITTEE
April 21, 2002
To: GPCA Coordinating Committee Co-Chairs, all delegates of the Coordinating Committee of the GP-US and all members of the Accreditation Committee of the GP-US.
It has come to the attention of the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States that the failure of nine of California’s delegates to be approved by the Accreditation Committee has caused hard feelings on the part of many California Greens. It has also come to our attention that the way those delegates were selected has caused hard feelings among certain other CA greens.
The Steering Committee has discussed this matter among ourselves, with members of the California Green Party including members of its delegation to the Coordinating Committee of GP-US and members of the Accreditation Committee.
Although we have been requested to exert influence on the AC to seat the delegates, there is no consensus on the SC that we have the power to do that or that we would exercise that power if we had it. There is a consensus among SC members that the AC had a job to do in reviewing the application of the CA party and that the AC has done that job. The AC’s job is extremely important; it is not simply a rubber stamp for the actions of state parties. The SC feels that our second-guessing the AC’s work or that of any committee of the Green Party would be very detrimental to the morale of those on the committee who work so hard to do a conscientious job.
SC members sees no bad faith on the part of anyone, neither the leadership of the CA Greens nor AC members. It has been suggested that certain concerned Californians believe that nothing they can do will result in the seating of their delegates, even after the plenary in May. The SC strongly believes this to be wrong. We have received explicit assurances from members of the AC that those delegates affirmed at the plenary will be seated.
The issues raised by California’s application and its rejection by a 5-3 vote of the AC are important ones and should be addressed by the GP-US in a constructive fashion. How closely the national party should examine a state party’s process in selecting delegates to the CC is one obvious such issue. Therefore, the SC believes that the AC should review its procedures and make recommendations to change them to promote predictability in the outcome of future decisions. No state party should feel surprised or singled out by an AC decision.
The SC reached consensus that the racial and gender diversity, or lack thereof, of a state’s delegation should not be a consideration in the AC’s decision to approve or reject a state’s delegates, in the absence of a blatantly discriminatory process.
The SC therefore urges all concerned parties to be patient. The CA party plenary is only five weeks away. As always, CA is ably represented on the CC until then. For the next five weeks, the SC strongly requests that all parties refrain from ad hominem attacks or those which question the good faith of others.
The SC sees that the CA leadership attempted to fully inform CA greens that there were newly-open seats on the CC and requested volunteers to run for those seats; we see that some in CA did not receive that information despite the best efforts of the CA leadership and we see that the AC reviewed in an even-handed way all the information presented to it and decided that nine of the 13 delegates would have to be affirmed by the CA plenary in order to be seated.
The SC understands that this is a difficult situation for all concerned, but believes and urges that the best resolution is to recognize that the procedures for addressing expanded delegations have been followed to the best of everyone’s ability and that further acrimony makes the situation worse not better. In five weeks, all will be seated and we can continue with our important election-year work.
Jo Chamberlain (abstaining)