MINUTES – Green Party US – Steering Committee Meeting
Date: Sunday, January 28, 2024
Time: 8:00 pm ET
NOTE on Minutes: From the Bylaws: “…Minutes. SC members will have 72 hours from the time the minutes are posted to send corrections.
“Barring unforeseen circumstances, minutes will be posted to the National Committee Votes list no later than ten days after the adjournment of the meeting and to the GPUS web site no later than twenty days.”
Observers are asked to remain muted and refrain from using the chat function. If someone wishes to speak to an agenda item, please respond to email@example.com or this address, above.
- Setup and Background – 10 min.
- Facilitator: Charles Ostdiek
- Steering Committee Roll Call:
- Craig Cayetano (co-chair) – present
- Margaret Elisabeth (co-chair) – notified would be joining late; joined during the budget discussion
- Darryl! Moch (co-chair) – present
- Alfred Molison (co-chair) – present
- Joseph Naham (co-chair) – present
- Tony Ndege (co-chair) – present
- Tamar Yager (co-chair) – present
- Holly Hart (secretary) – present
- Bob Stuller (treasurer) – present
Observers: Starlene Rankin, WA; Scott Laugenour, WA; Theron Gilliland,jr., PA; Daniel, Barumbarger, WA, Maureen Doyle, MA: Alice B. Green, WA; Philena Farley, Oh, NBC
Observers (remain muted and refrain from using the chat feature):
Establish Quorum (9 current members, quorum is 5)
Approve Agenda (changes require majority, new items require ⅔)
REQUESTED ADDITIONS TO AGENDA
- Process for selecting participants or subjects//respondents to inquiries – Darryl – UNDER NEW BUSINESS; Tony opposed adding to the agenda, Tamar asked that it go last, since there has been disagreement, and abstained. Others agreed to place it under New Business.
- Comment on Canva expense; SC involvement using Streamyard – Philena Farley. Discussion on the voting queue ran longer than expected, and the meeting was adjourned before Philena had a chance to talk. Philena is asked to let the SC know the time she plans to join the next call, so that can be worked into the agenda.
- Treasurer’s Report (Bob)
Checking account 1: $10,412.62
Check account 2: $6,940.97
Savings account: $119, 849.90
A certain portion is reserved out of these funds.
Discussion of Proposed 2024 Budget
The SC has been invited to the next FinCom meeting. Darryl! advised that the SC meet and take up online, and have the proposal ready to go by the next formal meeting. Tony recommended working toward putting it out the following Monday if possible, with a 24/28 vote Thursday night to approve, then send to the voting queue on Monday for 3 weeks discussion, 1 week vote. Current plan is for FinCom to meet Wednesday night, and for those SC members who are able to attend.
III. New Business – 45 min
- UFPJ – Is GPUS still a member? Does GPUS pay dues? No and No. Tony asked that liaison for GPAX ask that they look into getting listed as founding member. Alfred and Theron Gilliland, Jr. will follow up.
- Process for SC Response to Media Releases and Inquiries for Speakers/Participants
Darryl! suggested having a rotation for two or three SC members to officially be on hand for a specific week to be ready to respond to media press releases or whatever else is needed. When the secretary sends something to the SC, respond before further communication goes out, ideally respond within 24 hours. Forwards go to SC and usually Media; at times, may involve co-chairs from another committee, but SC needs to respond.
Tony stated that this would be unnecessarily complex, better to set up a text thread to alert SC members. Darry! will work up a proposal. Joseph will send SC numbers to Media co-chairs
- Standing Business – 5 min
- Recap of Listserv Decisions (Holly) – 5 min
- Extended Green Senatorial Campaign Committee Call for Nominations for one week (online decisions). Nomination period extended through 1/28. Jessa Davis and Brian Frisbie (states not yet known) were nominated by Starlene Rankin on January 26,
Floor Manager: Joseph Naham
Ranked Choice Vote
2 weeks discussion, 1 week vote
- Reports – 30 min
- Treasurer (Bob) – done, see above
Financial Report (Tamar and Bob)
- Secretary (Holly) 5-10 min
- A. Correspondence –
2024-01-24 – Inquiry re: Kentucky
2024-01-24 – Request from Hempstead BA Productions – Green in Atlanta area for a short interview about the “ archaic nature of our two-party system, from the perspective of the most well-known 3rd party in America – The Green Party”
Media forwarded to Margaret and folks in NY a request from Emile (?) Maille of the French publication ReportTerre in Atlanta.Margaret will be speaking to him on Monday.
2024-1-22 – Request from Charles University, Prague, Students for Participation in a US 3rd party candidate event. They will be sending more details, TBA.
2024-1-23 Invitation from DC democratic Party for Green Participant in RCV Panel February 1. David Schwartzma will represent the DC Statehood Greens.
2024-1-16 – Invitation to European Green party Meeting Darryl! Moch and Margaret Elisabeth are interested in participating via videoconference. A Message from the International Committee was appended to the initial response from the GPUS Secretary.
- Progress report on updates, Google Drive Folders, directory and NC lists. Plan for webinar/meeting and/or one-on-one with committee co-chairs (open to observers from committees) regarding process for committee updates and use of Google Folders; same review of update process for delegations, with voting page tutorial. Basic info and process for updates; Google Drive use and best practice; quarterly follow-ups with committees for transfers and reports. Talked with Athena, who has been working on FAQs for each committee.
- Staff Report (Tamar, Tony)
- Liaison Reports
Craig: Media; Merchandise, Presidential Campaign Support Committee
Merchcom would like to run some activity as a fundraiser for the PNC. People love the designs from last year. Asked whether beanies might be a good item?
Alfred: Fundraising, Green Peace Action Committee – Plans to attend upcoming meetings
Joseph: EcoAction, Green Pages, International
New co-chairs for EcoActionl. IC met and discussed approval to sign on [to the South African Lawsuit] before the International Court of Justice; concern in IC of having just one active co-chair, working to get more people involved in regional subcommittees. Green Pages is not meeting. Tamar noted that it might be good if they could take on GreenLine (online news magazine). Craig recommended combining Green Pages and GreenLine, an opportunity to ring in younger writers, bloggers, media.
Tamar: Apportionment Tabulation, Credentials, Election Tabulation, Staff Supervisor, Apportionment Review Committee
No reports at this time
Margaret: Banking and Monetary Reform
BMRC is working on a “degrowth” webinar.
- Voting Queue (Holly) – 5 min
- RECEIVED for the QUEUE
- Voting Queue: Committee Leadership Resiliency, submitted by GPWA, 1-21-2024 See ADDENDUM A
FINDINGS: Tony stated that there is no definition of what “disbanded” is or how it works, needs clarification. NC should be involved in making that decision. Darryl! stated some committees have only active co-chairs; Holly stated there have been active functional committees with no co-chairs. Discussion continued on removing or consolidating some committees.
Margaret pointed out that no findings were submitted in time to be addressed at this meeting, Several SC members asked for further explanation regarding committees that do function well and have no current co-chair. Daniel Bumbarger, GPWA, who wrote the proposal, explained there were ways for the NC to address specific instances. Craig asked what timeline applied, because trying to address potential needed changes now would come at a busy time as people are focusing on presidential campaigns and other work. Tamar stated that some committees might have rules that would conflict with this policy.
Charles/Facilitator summarized: Tony’s finding is that the proposal is unclear with what it’s calling on the NC to do involving the process of “disbanding” working committees. The remedy would be to submit a process for disbanding and what this entails for the NC or any other relevant committee. If the SC agrees, the SC will work with the sponsor to come up with better language to clarify that, and must include a remedy in writing.
VOTE on Whether to Accept Findings
Margaret – No
Craig – Yes
Holly – No
Bob – Yes
Tamar – No
Alfred – No
Tony – Yes
Darryl! – Yes
Joseph – Yes
5 Yes, 4 No – findings Pass.
- IN the QUEUE
Sponsors: Steering, Accreditation Committees
Timeline: 2 weeks discussion, 1 week vote
Floor Manager: Margaret Elisabeth
Voting – None
VIII. Executive Session – none
TOTAL TIME – 2 hours
Committee Leadership Resilience Proposal
Under the authority granted to the National Committee in Section 3-1.3 of the Bylaws of the Green Party of the United States and in order to promote geographic diversity as laid out in Section 3-3.1 of the Bylaws of the Green Party of the United States the Green Party of Washington State presents the following proposal for consideration by the National Committee of the Green Party of the united States.
Green Party of Washington State Delegates
- Scott Laugenour – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Margaret Elisabeth – email@example.com
Subject and Title
The “Committee Leadership Resilience Proposal” is an amendment to Green Party of the United States Bylaws dealing with committee leadership and governance.
Type of Proposal and Expected Approval Threshold
This proposal is an Amendment to Green Party of the United States Bylaws requiring a two-thirds vote threshold as defined in Section 6-2.1(a) of the Rules and Procedures of the Green Party of the United States.
Background and Purpose
As empowered by the National Committee, standing committees play a vital role in the effective operation and governance of the Green Party of the United States. Unfortunately, these committees are often understaffed and poorly resourced. These committees are sometimes unable to regularly review and approve needed bylaw and mission statement revisions, onboard and train new members, and perform other key duties in a timely manner. Additionally, committees often fail to accomplish the goal of geographic diversity in active memberships. Committees are sometimes unable to even hold regular meetings or maintain accurate meeting minutes, membership rosters, and communication with the party.
Committee Co-Chairs are volunteer positions. They are primarily responsible for coordinating the above tasks but are often over-extended and fighting competing priorities. This makes it difficult for them to perform these duties or complete them with regularity. Additionally, committee co-chairs encounter barriers when attempting to work collaboratively with other committees. This manifests as poor coordination in efforts such as when Diversity Committee and Accreditation Committee work on caucus accreditation, or when Media Committee and Fundraising Committee attempt to coordinate messaging, as well as many other similar circumstances.
When committee co-chairs are elected to the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States, they are placed in a position where they are responsible for ensuring their own compliance with Committee Mission Statements and Rules, Policies and Procedures. See section 4.2-7(g). This creates a perceived conflict of interest. This perceived conflict is exacerbated when Steering Committee members are placed in positions where they are both requesting and approving requests for resources from the party. Finally, Steering Committee members are left in positions where they are responsible for regular reporting to themselves. This can cause the quality, accuracy, frequency, and detail of reporting from committees to suffer.
Our committees are chronically understaffed. In an effort to prop up these committees, dedicated volunteers take on ever increasing leadership roles. This well-intentioned short-term fix ends up creating long-term problems. Instead of developing and recruiting new talent to committees, co-chairs end up trapped under multiple unmanageable workloads. Additionally, co-chairs responsible for multiple committees become single points of failure. Vast amounts of vital institutional knowledge can be lost when losing a single volunteer.
In order to address these issues and ensure the future strength and resilience of the party as a whole. We the sponsors, present the following bylaw amendments.
The following additions will be made to Section 3-3 of Article III of the Bylaws of the Green Party of the United States.
3-3.1 All committees shall have two co-chairs who serve staggered two-year terms, unless otherwise specified by the National Committee in the Committee Rules. Committees are urged to provide for gender balance and geographic diversity among the co-chairs and other officers serving the Committee.
[New Subsection] 3-3.2 No individual may serve as a co-chair on more than one Committee at any given time. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, by a 2/3 vote of the National Committee for Ad-Hoc and Temporary Committees.
[New Subsection] 3-3.3 In the interest of maintaining clear communication and preventing a perceived conflict of interest; and in order to ensure the impartial and effective execution of Steering Committee Duties and Responsibilities as defined under Section 4-2.7 of the Green Party of the United States Bylaws. No member of the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States may serve as a Committee Co-Chair during their term on the Steering Committee.
[New Subsection] 3-3.4 The Treasurer of the Green Party of the United States is granted an exemption from Section 3-3.3 to serve as a Finance Committee Co-Chair as required under Green Party of the United States Fiscal Policy.
The following addition will be made to Section 3-1 of Article III of the Bylaws of the Green Party of the United States.
3-1.1 The National Committee shall establish standing committees in order to carry out its work and may create other kinds of committees according to need. The Steering Committee shall facilitate, coordinate and assist the activities of standing and ad-hoc committees as provided in 4-2.7.
3-1.2 To establish a new committee, a Mission Statement describing each committee’s general mission and duties and responsibilities must be approved by the National Committee by a two-thirds vote.
3-1.3 In conjunction with or after the establishment of a new committee, the National Committee shall approve Committee Rules, that will guide each committee’s internal operations and decision-making. Until the adoption of such Rules a Committee may meet, but may not conduct internal committee elections nor make proposals to the National Committee.
[New Section] 3-1.4 The authority granted under this section shall be considered void and the committee shall disband if it fails to elect at least one eligible Committee Co-Chair. A grace period of six months shall be granted to elect new Committee Co-Chairs, following a vacancy.
Implementation, Timeline, and Resources
Current committee co-chairs who fall under the scenarios detailed in these new sections of the Green Party of the United States Bylaws, shall be grandfathered into their positions for the remained of their terms, not to exceed two years.
Committees that currently have no elected co-chairs will immediately enter the six-month grace period upon passage of this proposal. The Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States shall, under the authority granted to them under Section 4-2.7 of the Green Party of the United States Bylaws, facilitate new co-chair elections for affected committees.
No additional resources should be required. However, this proposal will create opportunities over the next two years for standing committees, states parties, and caucuses to foster new leaders to take on these responsibilities.