Proposal on Proportional Representation 2002


Tony Affigne, Green Party of Rhode Island (Chair)
Al Brooks, Green Party of Arkansas
Tom Fusco, Maine Independent Green Party
Art Goodtimes, Green Party of Colorado
Thomas McGuire, Idaho Greens
Sharane Palley, Green Party of California
David Pollard, Green Party of Texas
Ron Stanchfield, Green Party of New York State


Appendix A: Implementation Timetable
Appendix B: Transition Committee Report – as amended and approved
Appendix C: State CDs, Population, And CC Delegations


At its meeting in Santa Barbara, California (July 28-29, 2001) the Green Party of the United States adopted a system of “bounded proportionality,” for electing delegates from member state Green parties to its national Coordinating Committee. The “Santa Barbara Plan” expands the national coordinating committee from sixty-six, to just over one hundred members. Under the plan, eleven of our currently-affiliated state parties would qualify for expanded delegations of from 3 to 13 representatives.

The plan also ties a party’s full qualification for additional votes, through approximate proportionality, to the presence of Green Party activity at the local level. To be counted toward the state party’s full complement of seats on the Coordinating Committee, Green Party activity at the local level must satisfy minimum criteria, and state parties themselves are responsible for validating such local activity.

After Santa Barbara, the Steering Committee assigned overall responsibility, for developing procedures implementing the Santa Barbara Plan, to the Accreditation Committee. We have received input from former members of the Transition Committee, and have approved this report using their insights, and our own discussion.

The Accreditation Committee’s mandate, dating to April 1998, asks us to “welcome” state parties to the national party, and to serve whenever possible as their advocates to the Coordinating Committee. We were told to use procedures that are both speedy and non-bureaucratic. “If we are to err,” our mandate declares, “it should be on the side of permissiveness.” We have brought the same spirit to this new task.
The Green Party of the United States is still growing, as new state parties from the remaining eighteen states, and in time from the four insular territories, join our national federation. At the state level our parties continue to build, extending into previously un-organized areas, while becoming more professional and more representative of their states’ peoples.

The procedures we recommend to you below, therefore, are intended to meet national standards established in Santa Barbara, while recognizing that our party organizations themselves are very diverse, are dealing with a wide range of legal and political conditions, face different geographical constraints, and have very different organizational histories. We have also preserved, as much as possible, our fundamental organizing principle which dates to 1996: that our national party is, first and foremost, a voluntary federation of autonomous and independent state-level Green Party organizations.

Approval of procedures; request for appointments

Following the Santa Barbara meeting where the new rules were adopted, the Steering Committee assigned development of an appropriate implementation plan to the Accreditation Committee.
The Steering Committee also set a January 1, 2002 deadline for implementing new delegate allocations.
The Accreditation Committee recommends approval of this report, with its proposed timetable, guidelines, and dispute resolution procedure. Upon approval, affected state parties (see next section) will be requested to appoint additional delegates.

RESOLVED, That immediately upon approval of these procedures, the Accreditation Committee shall write to each potentially qualifying party, requesting appointment by January 1, 2002,according to these rules, of an authorized number of delegates, not to exceed the number of delegates specified in Section 3, below.

Bounded proportionality; clustering; expiration of provisions

Rules for allocating seats give each affiliated state party 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.
State parties are requested, wherever possible, to have the state’s delegates elected by clusters of locals.
For two years, state parties may send smaller-than-authorized delegations to national meetings, and each delegate in attendance may cast no more than two of that state’s authorized votes.
Two sunset provisions were made part of the Santa Barbara plan. First, the overall proportionality provisions will be reviewed after the first national meeting at which they are in effect. The weighted voting provision for delegates to national meetings will automatically expire after the November 2004 election, unless renewed.

RESOLVED, That the request to qualifying states, asking them to select expanded Coordinating Committee delegations, will further ask that whenever possible, these delegates be elected by clusters of local groups, as defined by the state party in question; and that the qualifying party will be asked to submit written notification to the Accreditation Committee, giving the number and names of delegates who are selected, certifying compliance with the criteria in Section 7, below, and indicating the method of delegate selection.


Twice-yearly appointments; same procedure as for initial appointments on January 1, 2002
We expect qualifying parties to reach their full allocated delegation size over time, as local Green Party activity spreads into every congressional district.

The procedure we propose for expanding delegations, as local activity emerges in additional congressional districts, is the same as for the initial process on January 1, 2002, but will be conducted twice per year. Each January 1 and July 1 any qualifying party may submit the name(s) of additional delegates whose seats have been earned through the expansion of local group activity.

RESOLVED, that any state party in which local group activity has emerged in additional congressional districts, sufficient to qualify for an expanded delegation, may fill those newly qualified seats on January 1 and July 1 of each year; and that written notification shall be submitted to the Accreditation Committee by those dates, giving the names of delegates who are selected, certifying continued compliance with criteria in Section 7, and indicating the method of delegate selection; and that delegates appointed on or after July 1, 2002 will enjoy voting privileges as soon as their appointments have been received by the Accreditation Committee and reported to the Coordinating Committee.


Eleven among affiliated state parties; one additional among unaffiliated states
Of the thirty-three parties currently affiliated with the Green Party of the United States, eleven are in states with sufficiently large general populations that they could qualify for additional seats on the Coordinating Committee. These qualifying parties represent Greens in the following states: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. (North Carolina would be in this group).

RESOLVED, That expanded Coordinating Committee delegations for qualifying state parties be authorized, not to exceed the following delegation sizes:

California (13)
Florida (6)
Georgia (3)
llinois (5)
Michigan (4)
New Jersey (3)
New York (7)
Ohio (4)
Pennsylvania (5)
Texas (8)
Virginia (3)
*North Carolina (3)
*North Carolina does not currently have an affiliated state Green party.

State responsibility; national guidelines

Our new rules specify that only congressional districts with at least one local Green Party organization will count toward the state party’s allocation of national delegate seats. State parties are responsible for keeping track of their own local groups, for the determination of delegate allocations.

RESOLVED, That state parties, when requested to select their authorized Coordinating Committee delegations, will in good faith, according to recommended guidelines (see Section 6,below) honestly assess the extent of local Green party activity within their states’ various congressional districts; and that in the event of any dispute regarding the allowable size of any state party’s delegation, the Coordinating Committee retains final authority and jurisdiction, according to its own dispute resolution procedures (see Section 6, below).


Validation inquiries are authorized by Coordinating Committee, upon request of a state party; no conflict of interest voting; two-thirds vote required
Should there ever be concerns about the number of seats being claimed by one of the larger states, or doubts about the actual extent of local activity, we will need some kind of dispute resolution process. In keeping with existing accreditation guidelines governing disaffiliation of state parties, we propose the following process for resolving delegate allocation disputes:

RESOLVED, That inquiries regarding validation of local group activity, for the purpose of determining any state party’s delegate totals, may be authorized by vote of the Coordinating Committee, upon formal request by a member party; and that such inquiries shall request the state party to provide a list of qualifying congressional districts and the names of active local groups; and that no state party’s delegation shall cast any votes relative to any such request for confirmation of its validation report; and that any Coordinating Committee vote, procedural or substantive, regarding challenges to a party’s authorized delegation, will require a two-thirds vote.


The plan approved in Santa Barbara gives state parties responsibility for determining and validating the activity of their local Green Party groups. At the same time, however, our rules set three criteria for local activity: state party recognition, bylaws, and the ten key values. The fundamental principles of state party autonomy on the one hand, and consistent national guidelines on the other, are difficult to implement simultaneously. To do so, the Transition Committee, and the Accreditation Committee, have considered many possible standards. The Accreditation Committee has agreed on the following, to be provided to qualifying state parties, for their use in the self-assessment of local activity within congressional districts:

RESOLVED, That the following are considered valid national criteria for verifying bona fide local Green Party activity; and that barring a formal inquiry and ruling by the national Coordinating Committee, state party validation of these criteria shall be considered final, for purposes of CC delegate allocations:

  • 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, and only congressional districts with such local activity may be counted toward the state party’s eligibility for additional CC delegates
  • 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
  • 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.


    • Fall, 2001 – Coordinating Committee review and approval of allocation rules


    • January 1, 2002 – Appointment of expanded delegations from California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia (for all CC business prior to the next subsequent national meeting).


    • Summer, 2002 – National meeting, Green Party of the United States (expanded delegations in effect, with weighted voting); review of apportionment rules to be conducted after this meeting.


  • November 2, 2004 – Expiration of weighted voting for delegations to national Coordinating Committee meetings (sunset clause).

Appendix B: TRANSITION COMMITTEE REPORT – as amended and approved    Back

Approved by the CC in Santa Barbara, setting ground rules for delegate allocations in a new, more proportionally representative CC/national committee (from the minutes of July 29, 2001):

Each member state party shall have one vote on the Coordinating Committee for every four Congressional Districts or major fraction thereof into which the state is divided. Regardless, each state party shall have at least two votes. State parties shall make a good faith effort, where reasonable, to have delegates to the Coordinating Committee elected by clusters of local Green groups.

For the purpose of tallying its number of delegates to the Green National Committee a state party may include only Congressional Districts in which there is an organized Green Party Local.

Criteria for an organized Green Party Local shall consist of:
– Recognition by the member state Green Party
– Bylaws and/or a constitution
– Adoption of the 10 Key Values and a mission statement and/or platform that demonstrates this commitment.

The member state Green Party shall be responsible for maintaining a current record and validation of active local affiliates, to be provided to the GP-US on request for credentialling purposes.

*No delegate to the Coordinating Committee may cast more than two of that state’s votes. (This clause will be eliminated after the 2004 general election, reverting back to one vote per delegate, if no further action is taken).

This rule will go into effect January, 2002.
This entire section of the bylaws will be reviewed after the next meeting of the Coordinating Committee.



Using the new congressional delegation sizes, and Census 2000 data, here are the maximum CC delegate allocations, for our current and prospective state parties, using the 4:1 ratio approved in Santa Barbara. “CD” is the 2002 congressional delegation; “POP” is state population in millions (Census 2000); “CC” is the corresponding state delegation to the Coordinating Committee.

State Party Affiliates  CD POP CC
Arizona Green Party 8 5.13 2
Green Party of Arkansas 4 2.67 2
Green Party of California 53 33.87 13
Green Party of Colorado 7 4.30 2
Green Party of Connecticut 5 3.40 2
Green Party of Delaware 1 0.78 2
DC Statehood Green Party 1 0.57 2
Green Party of Florida 25 15.98 6
Georgia Green Party 13 8.19 3
Hawai’i Green Party 2 1.21 2
Idaho Greens 2 1.29 2
Illinois Green Party 19 12.42 5
Iowa Green Party 5 2.93 2
Kansas Green Party 4 2.69 2
Maine Green Party 2 1.27 2
Maryland Green Party 8 5.29 2
Massachusetts Green Party 10 6.35 2
Green Party of Michigan 15 9.94 4
Green Party of Minnesota 8 4.92 2
Nevada Green Party 3 1.99 2
Green Party of New Jersey 13 8.41 3
New Mexico Green Party 3 1.82 2
Green Party of New York State 29 18.98 7
Green Party of Ohio 18 11.35 4
Pacific Green Party of Oregon 5 3.42 2
Pennsylvania Green Party 19 12.28 5
Green Party of Rhode Island 2 1.05 2
Green Party of Tennessee 9 5.69 2
Green Party of Texas 32 20.85 8
Green Party of Utah 3 2.23 2
Green Party of Virginia 11 7.08 3
Wisconsin Green Party 8 5.36 2
Wyoming Green Party 1 0.49 2
TOTAL 348 224.20 105

Unaffiliated states    Back

State Party Affiliates CD POP CC
Alabama 7 4.45 2
Alaska 1 0.63 2
Indiana 9 6.08 2
Kentucky 6 4.04 2
Louisiana 7 4.47 2
Missouri 9 5.59 2
Montana 1 0.90 2
Nebraska 3 1.71 2
New Hampshire 2 .23 2
North Carolina 13 8.05 3
North Dakota 1 0.64 2
Oklahoma 5 3.45 2
South Carolina 6 4.01 2
South Dakota 1 0.75 2
Vermont 1 0.61 2
Washington 9 5.89 2
West Virginia 3 1.81 2
TOTAL 84 54.31 35

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