MISSION STATEMENT: The GPUS Accreditations Committee (AC) is chartered to review requests by forming state parties and caucuses for accreditation by the GPUS, as well as complaints against state parties and caucuses which are based upon the accreditation requirements of the GPUS.
1. Committee Structure
The Accreditation Committee (AC) is a standing committee of the GPUS and is governed by the Bylaws of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS). The committee shall be made up of up to three members from the various state Green parties and accredited caucuses. The AC shall maintain an email listserv for the communication of committee business and to use in formal decision making. All business of the AC will be conducted in a transparent manner and documented as specified within these Policies and Procedures.
The co-chairs shall be elected by the membership of the committee to two year staggered terms when a vacancy occurs. Elections shall be conducted online using Ranked Voting. When possible the co-chairs shall be of different genders and from different states. Co-chairs shall be limited to three consecutive terms and may not stand for re-election for at least one year after the completion of a full the third term. The job of the co-chairs is to facilitate the work of the AC and its sub groups, as well as to mitigate issues related to interactions between committee members. Co-chairs should also conduct a biennial review of accreditation standards and bylaws to determine whether changes should be recommended to the National Committee.
A co-chair may be recalled for cause by a 2/3s of the entire committee’s active membership. Cause for recall includes, but isn’t limited to:
–Unauthorized expansion of authority.
–Failure to bring proposals to the floor/Attempts to stop proposals from being brought to the floor.
–Failure to respond to disciplinary complaints against AC members (see 9: Standards of Membership for further guidance.) If a motion for recall is made and seconded a vote will be held within 30 days to determine if 2/3s of the committee favors recalling the co-chair. If a co-chair is recalled a vote will be held to fill the vacancy following the process in these Policies and Procedures.
Co-chairs of the committee may not assume the task of listserv management. The committee will elect two members for its management.
Every member of the committee has the right to post proposals for action on the AC listserv. A co-chair shall call for consensus after the proposal has been seconded by another member of the committee. Following a period of seven days, if no consensus is achieved, the committee shall be empowered to vote, and the following threshold for passage shall apply:
- For recommendations to approve new states or caucuses, simple majority (50% of active members +1)
- For recommendations to de-accredit states or caucuses, 75 percent
- For acceptance of grievances, 2/3s
- For recalls of officers or listserv team members, 2/3s
- For recommended amendment of committee policies and procedures, 66 percent
- All other business, simple majority
Each member of the committee is entitled to cast a vote unless there is a conflict of interest (i.e. member of a state party or caucus which is a party to the issue being voted on, or any other direct conflict of interest). Such members shall be required to be recused from the vote. All decisions and recommendations of the AC that must be forwarded within a specific period of time to the GPUS National Committee for formal adoption will include a narrative of the vote results and will conform to GPUS Rules and Procedures regarding proposals for the National Committee .
Minority reports shall be submitted with decisions and recommendations of the AC when requested by committee members that represent the minority position to the vote. Other AC members or NC members may request a minority report.
In the event that co-chairs fail to conduct the business of the committee, members shall be empowered to move decisions toward consensus, or when consensus fails, to conduct a vote. Such actions will be monitored by the Steering Committee liaison to ensure compliance with committee rules and GPUS governing documents.
4. AC subcommittees
The AC has only one ongoing subcommittee. It is comprised of 2 elected listserv managers who are responsible to enroll and delete members from the AC listserv, and perform other required ongoing maintenance.
Other AC subcommittees are formed based on need. When a new subcommittee is required nominations are called by the AC co-chairs. There is a minimum of 3 members in a subcommittee with 1 person assigned as the recorder/reporter. The listserv managers will make a rules & procedures template available, and will make a listserv address for communications and archival purposes. Reporting to the AC is required monthly or upon request by members. When the AC and/or the subcommittee determines the subcommittee is no longer needed the subcommittee is disbanded, and the listserv address and archives are saved until needed again. Archives are available to members upon request.
5. Quorums and Active Members
One half of the active membership shall constitute a quorum for formal decision making.
An active member of the Accreditation Committee shall be defined as a duly-selected member by their state or caucus. Members who have not been active within the last three months preceding a proposal for action, i.e. taking part in discussion, decisions, or subgroup work within that period, will not be considered active members for quorum purposes. The co-chairs shall be responsible for keeping a roster of active members via a “quorum call” posted to the AC listserv every quarter, and members are responsible for responding to such notices.
Active Members of the Accreditation Committee are those who have been duly selected by their state party or their GPUS caucus by their state or caucus; and have been active within the last three months preceding a proposal for action, i.e. taking part in discussion, decisions, or subgroup work within that period. Those who have not met these Active Membership requirements cannot be considered Active Members for quorum purposes. Every quarter, the co-chairs shall send out a “quorum call” to the active membership, and are required to keep a roster of Active Members, which shall be posted to the AC listserv every quarter. Active Members are responsible for responding to such notices within two weeks.
In the event that an Active Member fails to respond to a quorum call within that quarter:
After the first such incident, the co-chair(s) shall send a notice shall be sent to the member in question. Response to such notice will re-establish that members Active Membership status.
Upon a second consecutive incident, the member will be sent a warning that failure to respond to that warning will lead to that member being put on “membership probation.”
Upon a third consecutive incident, a “final warning” will be sent to that member. Failure to respond to that additional quorum call will lead to the termination of that person’s membership on the AC, unless they can give a satisfactory explanation of their inability to fulfill membership requirements.
6. New Members
New members are assigned to the Accreditation Committee by their accredited state or caucus process. The state/caucus chair or secretary will e-mail the AC at (e-mail address) with the person’s name, e-mail address, confirmation that the appointment was made in accordance with their state’s Bylaws, and length of service. There is no limit by the AC on how long a member may serve but the person must be reauthorized by their state/caucus chair/secretary every two years.
Listserv managers will send an orientation packet to new members by e-mail and will remain available to answer questions regarding committee process.
7. Teleconferences and In-Person Meetings
From time to time, co-chairs may call for a telephone or web conference meeting to clarify issues in the committee, but no proposals will be adopted or decisions made without a quorum of members present and all active members will have the option of casting a vote online. A notice of no less than five days will be posted on the AC listserv. Telephone or web conferences shall be recorded, and the recording will be posted on the AC website, regardless of whether quorum has been established. In the event that an in-person meeting is possible, such as at the Annual National Meeting, written minutes must be taken by one of the co-chairs, and the same procedures for decision making or posting of minutes will apply. All committee business must be conducted on the listserv or in an official shared file storage or website space or online discussion forum, accessible to all committee members.
The AC shall make regular reports, at least twice annually, to the GPUS National Committee on its work. The co-chairs shall lead that process. Subcommittees will make regular reports to the committee at large at least monthly using the AC listserv.
9. Standards of Membership
In keeping with the Key Value of Diversity, members shall work to improve their understanding of systems of oppression and will govern their interactions with fellow committee members with a sense of decorum and mutual respect, as well as apply that understanding to reviewing state or caucus approvals or de-accreditation proposals or grievances.
Principled discussions and debate are fundamental to a functioning, consensus-seeking and democratic environment, and members are encouraged to understand the difference between robust discussions and personal attacks.
Members will be held to standards of non-violent communications in their interactions with other members of the committee.
The following infractions will be grounds for referrals to the state party or caucus for corrective action or other remedies, including cancellation of membership of the individual in the committee:
- Failure to follow established committee processes
- Violation of non-violent communication principles (see attached document re:NVC standards for guidance)
- Demonstrated misrepresentation of decisions and communications
- Oppressive speech or actions, including, per the GPUS Bylaws, Insults, name-calling, sexist/sexual, racist, homophobic, or otherwise demeaning or degrading comments will not be tolerated. (Personal, one-on-one arguments are inappropriate and should be taken off list for one-on-one communication.) Hateful, abusive, and threatening language; Attacks of a personal, ad hominem nature; Making false and defamatory accusations on the listserv against another AC member.
- Falsification of committee consensus results or votes
- Misrepresentation of committee appointment or eligibility
Upon the first instance of the infraction, the co-chairs will send notice to the member, to be posted to the AC listserv or other committee communication medium available to all members. The co-chairs will also send notice to the state party or caucus.
Upon the second instance of the infraction, the member’s posts to the AC communication medium will be held for moderation.
Upon the third infraction, the member may be suspended from the committee communications and consensus/votes.
Upon the fourth infraction, the committee may seek consensus/vote to revoke the membership of the individual in question. Upon passage, the state party or caucus will be requested to appoint another member to fill the vacancy.
In the instance of discord between individuals of the committee, the co-chairs may refer the members to the Dispute Resolution Committee. The posture of the co-chairs will be justice-seeking and not simply to silence.
AC members may make a formal complaint regarding the interactions with other members that fall within the infractions above. Co-chairs shall respond to a complaint with a specified course of action signed by at least five members of the committee.
10. Complaint Process
A. Greens who wish to lodge a complaint or grievance against an affiliated Green Party in the state in which they reside or a caucus with which they identify must first exhaust the complaint or decision-making process(es) of that state’s Green Party or caucus. Only those complaints that potentially constitute a state party’s or caucus’ violations of the terms of accreditation with GPUS will be entertained for action by the AC; for all others, the AC will suggest to the grievant(s) the use of the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC). If it can be demonstrated that the complainant’s state party or caucus has not addressed the grievance in a timely way, the AC, at its discretion, can decide to hear the grievance after giving the state party or caucus notice. Complaints must be submitted on the AC complaint form and co-signed by three Greens with standing (as defined by the state or caucus) before being reviewed by the committee. Green Party or caucus members with a grievance are required to complete and submit the AC complaint form to their state party or caucus and copy the AC. After 30 days, the AC will inquire to see that the state party or caucus has initiated their process for review of complaints. If no action has been taken, the AC will remind the state party or caucus that action must be taken within the next 30 days. State parties or caucuses who have entered into the “grievance” process in good faith but needs more time to address the complaint must ask the AC for an extension in writing. After two weeks of receiving the complaint, the AC will assign a point person to guide the complainant through the process.
B. Accredited State Parties or Caucuses, who wish to lodge a complaint or grievance against another accredited state party or caucus must submit their complaints on the AC complaint form. The complaint must be filed by the Executive Committee or membership of the state party or caucus in accordance with that state party’s or caucus’ bylaws. A state party or caucus with a grievance is required to complete and submit the AC complaint form to the other state party or caucus and copy the AC. After 30 days, the AC will inquire of the state party or caucus to see if the grievance has been resolved. State parties or caucuses who have entered into a “grievance” process in good faith but need more time to address the complaint must ask the AC for an extension in writing. After two weeks of receiving the complaint, the AC will assign a point person to guide the complainant through the process.
This replaces the previous P&P’s