I. Committee Structure
The Banking and Monetary Reform Committee (BMRC) is a standing committee of the GP-US and is governed by section 3 of the bylaws of the GP-US. The committee shall be made up of volunteers appointed by the various state Green parties and caucuses. Up to three members of any state party or caucus may be appointed as members of the committee. Each state party or caucus, when appointing a member to the committee, shall send a note to the Co-Chairs of the committee with a copy to the Secretary of GPUS, informing the committee of its appointment(s). Appointments shall be for a term of two years unless the state party or caucus indicates a shorter term for the appointment. The committee shall maintain an email list of members for the communication of committee business and use in formal decision making.
The officers of the committee shall consist of two Co-Chairs, a Secretary, and an Education Materials Coordinator.
The officers shall be nominated and elected by the membership of the committee for their initial term shortly after approval of these rules by the National Committee. Nominations for officers for subsequent terms shall take place at the Annual National Meeting of the GP-US. The terms of the officers shall be for two years, except that, at the first election following the first Annual National Meeting, one of the Co-Chairs shall be elected to a one-year term, in order to comply with GP-US bylaw 3-3.1. Persons are not required to be in attendance to be nominated but must affirmatively indicate that they have accepted the nomination. Voting will take place for one week following the meeting in an online election to be conducted in accordance with GP-US bylaw 3-4.1 When possible, the Co-Chairs shall be of different genders.
The Co-Chairs shall be responsible for convening meetings at the times set by the committee, keeping the committee and any sub-committees on task, maintaining a roster of approved and active members for purposes of establishing quorum, administering the listserv, contacting state parties and caucuses concerning the status of members on the committee, and serving as spokespersons for the committee, consistent with the mission and decisions of the committee as a whole. If a Co-Chair resigns or is removed, the committee shall nominate and elect a replacement to fill out the remainder of the term.
The Co-Chairs, upon being notified of a new member, shall provide the member with a copy of these Rules and request that the member be familiar with the contents before posting on the list or other online medium for written communication.
The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping and posting minutes of each meeting and providing new members with assistance in learning the committee rules. The Secretary may delegate these tasks to other committee members by agreement, as needed, provided that they inform the committee of the delegation. The Secretary may also serve as a spokesperson for the committee, consistent with the mission and decisions of the committee as a whole. If a Secretary resigns or is removed, the committee shall nominate and elect a replacement to fill out the remainder of the term.
The Education Materials Coordinator shall be responsible for assembling educational materials consisting of computer file presentations, articles, videos and audio files which should be accessible online. The coordinator will also be responsible for oversight of subcommittees working on educational materials.
III. Rights and Responsibilities of Members
A Committee Member shall be entitled to participate in the decision-making process of the Committee, including the discussion and vote on any question before the committee. However, participation in committee activities and voting is also expected of all members. A member is considered to be an active member of the Committee if the member has been taking part in discussions, decisions, voting or sub-committee work within the previous three months.
Co-Chairs shall periodically contact members by email who have not actively participated within the last 90 days, and request that they review the Rules and affirm to the Co-Chairs that they will be active and wish to remain on the committee. If no response is received from the member after 20 days, the Co-Chairs shall inform the state party or caucus that appointed the member that their representative has not been active and has not replied to a communication regarding their intent to remain on the committee. Members who have not been active within the 90 days preceding a vote shall not be included in the count for a voting quorum.
If the member responds and wishes to remain on the committee and continues to be inactive for the next 60 days, the Co-Chairs shall contact the state party or caucus that appointed them, and inform the state party or caucus that the member has not been active, and invite the state party or caucus to consider removing or replacing the member.
Members are responsible for keeping the committee informed of any changes in name or email address.
IV. Meetings and other means for transacting business*
A listserv or other means of online communication will be available where all members can share information, conduct business, and informally discuss issues. Platforms for conducting committee business may include teleconferences, video conferences, email, social media or in-person platforms. The committee will hold regular meetings at least monthly at a time and day selected by the officers to accommodate as many members as possible. Minutes of the meetings will be made available to those who are not in attendance. If possible, video conferencing or telephone recording of the meetings will also be made available.
A. Informal committee work
The committee may take on projects, designate people to work on projects, or carr
y out other informal work that facilitates the mission of the committee without formal decision making. The officers may also carry out the day-to-day committee functions required without the necessity of receiving formal approval.
B. Committee Actions requiring formal approval by membership
Actions taken by the committee that require formal approval by consensus or voting include:
• Proposals requesting endorsement of policy positions by GP-US
• Publication of information in public media or on a public website of the committee or GP-US
• Elections of officers (voting required in accordance with GP-US bylaws)
• Proposals for joining of coalitions by the committee or GP-US
• Proposals of GP-US platform amendments
• Approval of observers who are not members of a state party.
• Approval of advisers
• Other actions deemed by the officers important enough to require approval by the committee.
C. Committee Decision Procedure
Any member may submit an idea for discussion by the committee, either on the listserv or other online mode of communication, or at a regular meeting of the committee. The idea may be discussed for clarity, addition of details, or feasibility. If it is a matter that falls within the purview of a subcommittee, the subcommittee may wish to further handle the idea. It may be ultimately informally adopted at a regular meeting unless it is a matter that requires formal approval by the membership.
1. Proposals presented at regular meeting.
If a matter under discussion requires formal approval of the membership, the presenter may request that it be considered as a proposal at a regular meeting. Any immediate concerns of those attending the meeting may be handled and the proposal may be amended by the presenter. The proposal then requires the support (co-sponsorship) of two voting members either at the meeting or on the listserv before it can be considered a formal proposal open for discussion and voting. One of the Co-Chairs or other designated administrator will oversee the discussion and voting on the proposal and must post the proposal on the listserv within 24 hours, together with information regarding the timeline for discussion, and the procedure for adopting the proposal by consensus or voting, and indicate whether required support (co-sponsorship) by voting members was received at the meeting.
2 Proposals presented on the listserv
Proposals posted on the listserv must be clearly identified as PROPOSAL in the subject line with a brief yet clear title. This applies both to proposals posted after discussion at a regular meeting, as well as proposals posted directly to the listserv without discussion at a meeting.
If the presenter of the proposal believes it is sufficiently clear and detailed, the presenter may post the proposal on the listserv without discussion at a regular meeting.
3. Modified consensus procedure
After a proposal has been submitted to the listserv and support from two voting members has been received for the proposal, the proposal is considered a formal proposal, and one of the Co-Chairs or designated facilitator will provide the timeline for discussion, consensus and voting (if required) on the proposal. Observers and advisers may not participate in the discussion unless allowed by the facilitator.
A formal proposal will be available on the listserv for an initial discussion for 5 full days following the day on which it becomes a formal proposal.
4. Discussion phase
A Blocking Objection to a proposal is an objection serious enough that the member making the objection believes that it cannot be resolved through discussion, and is rarely used. During the discussion period, we try to arrive at consensus. Ideally, no member would make a Blocking Objection unless that member believes that the Proposal violates one or more Green Party principles. A Blocking Objection must relate to the proposal. If it does not the facilitator of the discussion should state that the Blocking Objection is not recognized as such.
Any member asserting a Blocking Objection should indicate that by using the specific phrase “Blocking Objection,” so there is no ambiguity. If a member has a criticism that does not rise to the level of a Blocking Objection, it is helpful to state, “This is not a Blocking Objection.” If a Blocking Objection is not resolved during a discussion period, the original presenter of the proposal may withdraw the proposal or suggest an amendment to the proposal that would remove the Blocking Objection. If the proposal as amended receives the support of the first two supporters (co-sponsors) then the discussion continues on the proposal as amended.
The presenter may be able to amend the proposal to resolve an objection during the discussion period, whether it is a Blocking Objection or a lesser concern, with agreement by the first two Supporters.
Consensus may be reached even when it is not absolutely clear that every member supports the proposal. Those who disagree, but do not have a Blocking Objection may explicitly agree to stand aside. It may be that some members who agree with the proposal or at least have no objection to it have said nothing. We do not require that every member express an opinion on every proposal. Those who state a concern should make it clear that they do not expect their concern to block passage of the proposal by consensus.
5. Approval by Consensus
If all Blocking Objections have been resolved at the end of the 5-day discussion period, and other concerns or questions have been addressed, the proposal passes by consensus, and the facilitator of the discussion will advise the members that the proposal has passed by consensus. If all matters have not been resolved at the end of the 5-day discussion period, the discussion will be extended for another 5 full days to allow time to resolve any remaining objections. If consensus is not reached after the end of the extended discussion period, a 5-day voting period will follow.
The facilitator will direct the method of voting to be used if no consensus is reached. Permitted votes on proposals are YES, NO, or ABSTAIN. A 2/3 majority of YES and NO votes is required for a proposal to pass.
Fifty percent of the full membership voting YES, NO, or ABSTAIN shall constitute a quorum for formal decision making. If a quorum is not reached, the proposal fails.
7. Emergency Decision Powers
A member may submit a proposal as an “emergency or time-sensitive matter.” If all the officers agree that the proposal is of a time-sensitive nature, then the proposal may be submitted for consensus within a 24-hour period and, if no blocking concerns are raised, may be adopted by consensus, provided that three of the four officers have specifically consented to adoption of the proposal. This provision shall only be used when extraordinary circumstances require a fast decision in order for the intent of the proposal to be fulfilled.
The Co-Chairs are responsible for making regular reports to the GP-US Steering Committee in accordance with GP-US bylaws and rules.
The committee may establish sub-committees as needed to perform specific tasks or work on designated projects. These shall be created through the informal decision-making process described in these rules. Each sub-committee should designate an individual to serve as chair, responsible for ensuring that the sub-committee stays on task and for reporting its work to the committee.
IX. Civility and Respect for Minority Viewpoints on Issues and Decisions
Committee members shall strive to respect differences of opinion, remain civil and respectful in their communications, and refrain from name-calling or labeling of other committee or party members. When a decision is made over the expressed concerns or objections of a minority of members of the committee, those members remain free to communicate their concerns to their state-party delegation or other members of the National Committee or Steering Committee of the GP-US, provided, however, that such communications should be shared or copied to the co-chairs of the committee, in the interest of transparency.
X. Posting Guidelines
Co-Chairs have the responsibility of administering any online list or other online medium for discussions using written communication. They may appoint a list administrator to assist them.
A. Signing Posts. All list posts should be signed at the bottom of every message with the first and last name of the author and state they represent.
B. Relevance. Posts unrelated to formal committee business should not be sent to the list. Messages of a personal nature are not considered relevant.
C. General Netiquette. In general, when quoting other messages, the person quoted should be properly cited, and extraneous text (including headers, footers, irrelevant messages to the section being responded to when replying to a digest, and the like) should be deleted. Non-substantive one-word replies generally should be sent off-list.
Violations of General Netiquette guidelines can result in written informal reminders from the Administrator(s). Repeated off topic posting, over-posting and other disregard for the purpose of the list can be grounds for an official warning according to enforcement rules. Over-posting generally means repeated posts that contain the same general information, or off-topic irrelevant information, and appear to be for the purpose of disruption of a discussion or generating excess posts.
D. Tone. 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 are prohibited. Attacks of a personal, ad hominem nature are prohibited.
Making false or defamatory accusations on the listserv against another list member, candidate, committee, caucus or the Green Party is prohibited. If such accusations are made unintentionally, a retraction is called for. Failure to retract such allegations can result in an action by the Administrator(s).
All listserv members are strongly encouraged to bear in mind the official nature of the list and refrain from the use of obscene or otherwise offensive language in keeping with Respect for Diversity.
E. Forwards of Private Messages. Forwarding private messages to the list, without the expressed written permission of the original author, is prohibited.
F. Forwards of Other Items. Copyrighted material (newspaper articles, website content, etc.) and other items forwarded should be accompanied by, if applicable, a source URL, the name(s) of the author(s), and the originating source (if a publication).
G. Proper Use of Messages. List members retain their personal copyright for their original messages, but through use of the listserv grant other members the right to publicly quote portions of their message in any medium, and the right to forward messages in their entirety to others so long as the author’s name and web address is cited or linked.
List members are advised that posts to the listserv are archived. The committee does not have control over who is appointed to the committee by the state parties and caucuses, and cannot guarantee privacy regarding any postings on the listserv.
XI. Enforcement of Posting Guidelines
The Administrator(s) may deny access to the listserv or other online medium of communication or remove the posting privileges of members who violate the Posting Guidelines, and will notify individuals through a private email message of the violation.
No member who is offended by a post should respond on the listserv or other online medium to any post that violates the above guidelines. The member should immediately inform the Administrator(s) of the violation. Persons who respond to the violator to scold or complain are themselves in violation of the rules.
The co-chairs are the primary officers responsible for enforcement of the guidelines and proper dissemination of information to members.
The process for dealing with violations will be as follows:
A. First Violation – Warning.
Subscribers violating the rules for the first time will generally receive a communication from the Administrator(s) about the inappropriate nature of the posting(s). The Administrator(s) will also send an email to the list indicating that the posted message is considered to be in violation of the Posting Guidelines.
B. Second Violation within a six-month period- Probation
Should a second violation occur, the subscriber will be notified and asked to review the rules, and subsequent postings will be subject to approval prior to posting for a period of time commensurate with the seriousness of the incident (one to four weeks). If deemed appropriate, the member will be asked to provide public apologies.
C. Third violation within a six-month period – Suspension of Posting Privileges
A third violation will result in suspension of posting privileges for a time commensurate with the seriousness of the incident (one to three months). At the end of the suspension period, the member must request reinstatement of posting privileges with the understanding that further violations will result in immediate suspension if the violations are made within one month of the suspension period.
D. Extreme incident
Posting of illegal material, purposeful dissemination of viruses or intentional unprovoked personal attacks or threats of violence will result in immediate suspension of posting privileges.
XII. Observers and Advisers
A. Observers may be appointed by state parties or caucuses for a 2-year term (or less if advised by the state party or caucus). Observers who are not members of any accredited state Green Party, or have not been appointed by a state party or caucus, may be appointed to a 2-year term if recommended by a committee member, and formally approved by the membership. Observers do not have voting rights. Observers may receive the emails posted on the listserv and attend meetings, but do not have rights to take part in discussions or post on the listserv.
B. State parties and caucuses may not appoint advisers to the committee without the express invitation of the committee. Advisers need not be members of a state party, and must be approved in accordance with the formal approval procedure. They may take part in discussions, but have no voting rights.
*Any references to “listserv” within the rules are intended to include any other online form of written communication that may be adopted by the committee in place of or in addition to the current listserv being used.