Amendment: GPUS Rules and Procedures, Article IX National Committee Listserv Protocols and Policies
SPONSOR: Green Party of California
CONTACT: Sanda Everette
SUBJECT/TITLE: Amendment: GPUS Rules and Procedures, Article IX National Committee Email Lists
TYPE OF PROPOSAL, EXPECTED APPROVAL THRESHOLD: Rules and Procedures Amendment, 2/3
REQUESTED PROPOSAL DECISION-MAKING TIMELINE: Four weeks discussion
BACKGROUND: The National Committee (NC) has twice passed resolutions that established listserves for NC use, and the protocols and policies that govern them -- in October 2001 http://www.gp.org/committees/nc/votes/listserver_guidelines.htm and November 2005 http://green.gpus.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=186.
This proposal would update those protocols and policies to more directly reflect the names of each list - the Votes list and the Affairs list.
Section 9-2 would more specifically focus the Votes List on decision-making before the National Committee (NC) and reports and announcements to the NC mandated in our party governing rules documents. The goal would be to provide a clear and distinct place where NC decision-making and mandated reports and announcements can be discussed, separate from general discussion of other GPUS affairs, thereby enable delegates to more efficiently address their primary responsibility as NC members - NC decision-making and review of mandated reports and announcements. Under this approach, when delegates read the Votes List, they'll know posts there will relate specifically to their decision-making and review responsibilities. They won't have to sort through other postings on a variety of other topics. Simultaneously, this would make it easier for the Forum Moderators to keep postings on topic, because the topic is more clear. By making the Delegates job easier, it may also make it easier to recruit members to the NC.
The definition of Affairs List in Section 9-3 would retain the general green issues/green movement-related focus of the existing Affairs list, but would also become a clearly designated place for more general discussion about GPUS affairs, sharing of experiences between state parties and on news and other issues directly related to Green Party organizing.
The existing Posting Guidelines in the current Article IX are retained in the proposed Section 9-4, with one addition (9-4.4) about encouraging list members to state their clarifying questions and concerns and to bring forward relevant information during the discussion period for National Committee decision-making. Then a new list Etiquette section is added in 9-5, that focuses on policies and not ad hominem arguments.
In Section 9-6, the proposal also establishes explicit, transparent procedures for the Forum Managers. In Section 9-7 the proposal establishes clear enforcement procedures, with advisories and notices of violations for non-compliance; posting moderation or read-only status for multiple violators; and checks and balances in the process.
The proposal chooses 'read-only' status for long-term, multi-violators who have already been placed upon moderation, rather than complete suspension from the lists, because is it not in the interest of the GPUS for NC delegates and alternates to be uninformed when voting on decisions before NC. Suspension would mean that 'suspended' delegates and alternates who were no longer allowed to read the discussion on the NC list would still be voting, but from a less informed perspective, which is not in the interest of the GPUS.
This proposal also retains the web-based Forum established in Proposal #744 (http://gp.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=744), as an additional, optional place for NC members (and others) to post and discuss items that would otherwise be appropriate for the Affairs list — promoting the Forum's organic growth, with a review in 2017 and recommendations for next steps.
This proposal further performs the administrative task of re-formatting Article IX to be consistent with the Article/Section/sub-section format that has been the party's practice in its governing rules documents since 2007. In so doing, duplicative language has been eliminated. Finally this proposal implements the National Committee’s 2004 directive to write networks into the party rules http://gp.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=78).
Below is an explanation of some of the finer, small points in this proposal
• In 9-1.4(c), “Co-chairs of GPUS standing or ad hoc committees” is added to those who may participate in the NC email lists. This is meant to address an existing conflict where the existing language about participation refers to "Liaisons appointed by a committee", but does not specify automatic participation for co-chairs; yet some while committee co-chairs have asked to be on the Votes list without ever being specifically appointed by their committee as a Liaison to the NC. This proposal simplifies this issue by making it by definition, that committee co-chairs can join the NC lists.
• In 9-1.2 and 9-1.3, it is clarified that these are Advisors and Observers to the National Committee, approved by the Steering Committee or National Committee - and not the Advisors and Observers appointed to the GPUS’s Standing Committees by the state parties and caucuses.
• In 9-7.3 and 9-7.4, when Forum Mangers send Compliance Advisories and Notice of Violations to individuals, they also send a copy to the state or caucus they represent, reflecting an approach in these rules that both the individual and the body they represent should be informed and involved in this process.
• Also in 9-7.3 and 9-7.4 that Compliance Advisories and Notice of Violations must quote the post(s) of concern and the relevant posting guidelines and/or etiquette; and suggest ways of compliance. This is meant to ensure transparency and accountability, and mitigate concerns about subjectivity in the enforcement process.
• In 9-7.5, the right of appeal is established for both the individual and the body they represent. For the body, this makes sense because the right of representation derives from it. But in the case of the individual, many states use proportional representation to choose their delegates and as a result, some elected delegates may not have support of a majority of their delegation. This right of appeal by individuals ensures that minority representation within a state is not disadvantaged by this process.
PROPOSAL: Part 1. Resolved, that the existing ARTICLE IX GPUS NATIONAL COMMITTEE LISTSERV PROTOCOLS AND POLICIES of the Party's Rules and Procedures be amended as follows:
Article IX. NATIONAL COMMITTEE EMAIL LISTS
Section 9-1 Email Lists
9-1.1 The National Committee establishes the email lists contained in this Article for the purposes described herein. Subscription to any of these lists automatically implies acceptance of the Posting Guidelines, Etiquette and procedures described in this Article.
9-1.2 A sponsoring state party or caucus may propose to appoint Advisors to these lists, subject to National Committee approval by a simple majority vote. Upon a proposal by the Steering Committee, state party or caucus, the National Committee may remove any Advisor by a simple majority vote. Advisors must be Green Party members.
9-1.3 A sponsoring state party or caucus may appoint Observers to these lists and announce them to the National Committee. Upon a proposal by the Steering Committee, a state party or caucus, the National Committee may also remove any Observer by a simple majority vote. Advisors must be Green Party members.
9-1.4 List membership is limited to:
9-1.4(a) Delegates and alternates to the National Committee;
9-1.4(b) Steering Committee members;
9-1.4(c) Co-chairs of GPUS standing or ad hoc committees, or in lieu of either/both of the Co-chairs, up to two Liaisons appointed by the committee (in addition to those otherwise subscribed under 9-1.2);
9-1.4(d) Paid staff of GPUS (as determined by the Steering Committee);
9-1.4(e) Voting page and list administrators;
9-1.4(f) Advisors (as defined in 9-1.2), and;
9-1.4(g) Observers (as defined in 9-1.3).
9-1.5 The membership list of all GPUS email lists shall be available for review by all subscribers, including those lists established for GPUS standing and ad-hoc committees. Anonymous subscriptions are not permitted.
9-2 Votes List
9-2.1 The purpose of the Votes List is to facilitate communication for the purposes of National Committee decision-making.
9-2.2 Posting to the Votes List shall be limited to messages relating to
9-2.2(a) decision-making items before the National Committee as provided for in GPUS Bylaws, Rules and Procedures, Fiscal Policy and Convention Rules, including proposals, elections, recalls, approvals and confirmations; and
9-2.2(b) reports and announcements to the National Committee established in GPUS Bylaws, Rules and Procedures, Fiscal Policy and Convention Rules, and Committee Mission Statements.
9-2.3 Delegates and alternates are considered the primary persons to post to the Votes List. Posting privileges are limited to Delegates, Alternates, Steering Committee members, committee co-chairs and liaisons, and paid staff; except that Advisors, and voting page and list administrators may post in relation to their area of focus only. Observers are not permitted to post and shall be subscribed as read-only.
9-3 Affairs List
9-3.1 The purpose of the Affairs List is to facilitate communication for the purpose of management and coordination of the business of the GPUS, and to promote the growth and development of the GPUS.
9-3.2 Posting to the Affairs List shall be limited to messages not otherwise specified for the Votes list in 9-2.2, relating to
9-3.2(a) the general management, operation and affairs of the GPUS, including finances, platform, presidential convention and nominee, coordinated national actions, media, international representation, party rules, and Federal Election Commission filings; and
9-3.2(b) issues directly relating to Green Party organizing and development; and
9-3.2(c) issues directly relating to Green Party vision, strategy, tactics, focus, direction and messaging; and
9-3.2(d) sharing of party-building information and experiences between state parties, caucuses and Green Party members; and
9-3.2(e) issues facing the green movement; and
9-3.2(f) issues Greens find particularly relevant and important for other Greens to examine and understand.
Section 9-4 Posting Guidelines
9-4.1 Posting privileges shall be available to all subscribers, according to the conditions described in this Article. Posts must be in keeping with the purpose of each list.
9-4.2 All posts shall be signed at the bottom of every message with the first and last name of the author, and their position as per list membership, including their originating state party, caucus, or committee where applicable.
9-4.3 Subject lines should accurately describe or reference the topic of the post. When quoting other messages, the person quoted should be properly cited, and extraneous text (including headers, footers, irrelevant text to the section being responded to) should be deleted. Short, non-substantive replies and one-on-one discussion belong off-list.
9-4.4 National Committee Delegates and Alternates shall make a good faith effort to state their clarifying questions and concerns, and to bring forward relevant information, during the discussion period for National Committee decision-making.
9-4.5 Forwarding private messages without the expressed written permission of the author is prohibited.
9-4.6 Copyrighted material (newspaper articles, website content, etc.) and other items forwarded should be accompanied by, where applicable, a source URL, the name(s) of the author(s), and the originating source (if a publication).
9-4.7 List members retain their personal copyright for their original messages, but through use of these lists 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.
Section 9-5 Posting Etiquette
9-5.1 Participation in these lists is premised upon building the GPUS and advancing the Ten Key Values.
9-5.2 Participants are encouraged to state their views, inform one another and discuss issues in a respectful manner that enables productive work. Good faith disagreement shall be honored as an expected part this process, and not considered a disruption or impediment. At the same time, participants are expected to seek and build upon commonalities.
9-5.3 Participants shall make a good faith effort to be factually correct and shall not misrepresent the work of others.
9-5.4 Discussion shall focus on policies and issues.
9-5.5 Ad Hominem arguments are inappropriate, including:
9-5.5(a) speculations and accusations about others' motives, character, thought processes, or beliefs;
9-5.5(b) prejudicial, biased, or offensive language that labels another in regard to race, age, gender, ethnicity, physical ability, spirituality, or sexual and/or gender orientation;
9-5.5(c) insulting, disparaging, degrading, demeaning or hurtfully sarcastic language toward another, including comparisons to reviled figures.
Section 9-6. Forum Managers
9-6.1 The Steering Committee shall nominate three individuals (not all of the same gender), subject to National Committee simple majority approval, to serve coincident two-year terms as Forum Managers; and two individuals (one male, one female) as Alternate Forum Managers. Terms shall run from May 1 to April 30 in odd-numbered years.
9-6.2 All nominees must be Green Party members and be recommended to the Steering Committee by their state party or caucus to be eligible. It is recommended but not required that Forum Managers have training and/or experience in meeting facilitation and/or dispute resolution. A call for Forum Manager applicants shall be sent to the Votes List by the Secretary, within the first 15 days of each odd-numbered year.
9-6.3 In the event of that a nominee for Forum Manager or Alternate seat is not filled by approval vote, the Steering Committee shall re-nominate to fill the seat, subject to a simple majority approval by National Committee.
9-6.4 In the event of a Forum Manager mid-term vacancy, the Alternate of that gender shall fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term; and the Steering Committee shall re-nominate to fill the Alternate position.
9-6.5 Forum Managers may be recalled by the National Committee by the same process for recalls described for the Steering Committee in GPUS Bylaws Article VI.
9-6.6 The threshold for Forum Manager decision-making shall be 2/3 for Compliance Advisories, Notices of Violations, Moderation of Posts, and Read-Only Status as described in this Article. Quorum for all decisions shall be two.
Section 9-7 Compliance and Enforcement
9-7.1 Forum Managers shall carry out their responsibilities in an informative, pro-active manner to promote general compliance with the posting guidelines and etiquette; and shall post periodic reminders of these to each list, citing the relevant text.
9-7.2 Forum Managers shall pro-actively take special notice of, document and respond to examples of egregious and/or multiple violations of the Posting Guidelines and Etiquette.
9-7.3 Other list members may file complaints about non-compliance privately in writing directly to the Forum Managers, but shall not post them to the lists established in this Article. Complaints shall quote the post(s) of concern and the relevant Posting Guideline(s) and/or Etiquette.
9-7.4 In response to examples of egregious and/or multiple violations of the Posting guidelines and Etiquette, based upon their own initiative or in response to complaints filed by list members, Forum Managers may send Compliance Advisories to individuals, with a copy to the state, caucus or network they represent. Forum Managers shall respond to complaints in a uniform fashion. Such advisories shall quote the post(s) of concern and the relevant Posting Guidelines and/or Etiquette; and suggest ways of compliance. Compliance Advisories shall also cite the steps described in this Article if non-compliance continues.
9-7.5 If two Compliance Advisories are issued within 120 days, upon further non-compliance within the next 120 days, the Forum Managers may send a Notice of Violation to the individual, with a copy to the state, caucus or network they represent, quoting the post(s) of concern and the relevant Posting Guideline(s) and/or Etiquette being violated. Concurrently, the Forum Managers may place the participant upon moderation for up to forty-five days.
9-7.6 The state party, caucus or network represented by the participant shall be notified immediately of the participant's moderation status, and may appeal it in writing to the Steering Committee, as may the participant, during which time the participate will remain on moderation. Requests for appeal must be submitted to the Steering Committee according to the same timeline as for proposals under GPUS Rules and Procedures Article VI. Upon a timely submission of the appeal, the Steering Committee shall consider the appeal at its next regularly scheduled meeting, and may overturn the decision of the Forum Managers by a two-thirds vote. This appeals process applies to all determinations of moderation status, as well as to determinations of read-only status.
9-7.7 Under moderation, the Forum Managers shall review all submissions from the participant and may withhold any post(s) they find are not in compliance with the Posting Guidelines and Etiquette. The Forum Managers shall cite the relevant text in the Posting Guidelines and Etiquette to the participant, explaining any posts moderated. Such review shall be done in a prompt manner to ensure that compliant posts are not detained unreasonably.
9-7.8 After the maximum of forty-five day period of moderation, there shall be a probation period of 90 days, during which upon issuance of an additional Notice of Violation, the Forum Managers may place the participant under moderation again for up to 90 days.
9-7.9 After the maximum of ninety day period of moderation, there shall be a probation period of 180 days, during which upon issuance of an additional Notice of Violation, the Forum Managers may place the participant under read-only status for up to 90 days.
9-7.10 Forum Managers shall maintain an electronic archive of all complaints filed, all advisories and notices of violations sent and all subsequent communications with the recipient. The Forum Managers shall post quarterly reports to the Votes List detailing their activities, and include the number of advisories, notices of violations and the number and names of those placed upon moderation and/or read-only status.
Part 2 The Steering Committee Rules, Policies and Procedures are hereby amended to include the following Article VI:
"ARTICLE VI Steering Appointment and Removal of Advisors and Observers to the National Committee
6-1 Advisors to the National Committee email lists may be appointed by the Steering Committee and announced to the National Committee. Such advisors are Green Party members and professionals in their field serving the GPUS in their professional capacity. The Steering Committee may remove Advisors so appointed.
6-2 Observers to the National Committee email lists may be appointed by the Steering Committee and announced to the National Committee. Such observers are Green Party members. The Steering Committee may remove Observers so appointed.
Part 3 The GPUS webmaster is directed to establish an email list for use by the Forum Managers and Forum Manager alternates in which all correspondence under 9-7.10 is to be copied for the purposes of providing a permanent and accessible electronic archive.
Part 4 The National Committee affirms the continued use of the Forum established in Proposal #744 (http://gp.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=744) as an option for topics appropriate to the Affairs list under Section 9-3 above.
Part 5 The Steering Committee is directed to work with the GPUS web master and the IT Advisory Group to explore options for a system where the party's email lists and a web-based forum could mirror each others content, so that party members could access the same content via different technologies.
Part 6 The Steering Committee is directed to conduct a performance review in early 2017 of the period from the passage of this proposal to that point, and produce a report in the spring of 2017 to the National Committee. The report will include review of the compliance / enforcement procedures and the definitions of each list, and the use of the Forum, and will be accompanied by proposals as necessary for National Committee consideration.
Proposal #186: Proposed Listserv Protocol for Delegates Discussion and Votes Lists – Amended http://green.gpus.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=186
Proposal: List-Server Guidelines http://www.gp.org/committees/nc/votes/listserver_guidelines.htm
Existing ARTICLE IX: GPUS NATIONAL COMMITTEE LISTSERVE PROTOCOLS AND POLICIES http://www.gp.org/rules-and-procedures-of-the-green-party-of-the-united-states#09
To establish a clear record on how 9-2.2 "reports to the National Committee established in GPUS Bylaws, Rules and Procedures, Fiscal Policy and Convention Rules" should be interpreted, the following would be understood as reports that would be appropriate for the Votes List at the time of the consideration of this proposal.
ARTICLE IV. THE STEERING COMMITTEE
Section 4-2 Duties and Responsibilities
4-2.7 Facilitate, coordinate and assist the activities of Standing and Ad Hoc Committees of the GPUS, including but not necessarily limited to:
4-2.7(d) Eliciting and receiving written reports from committees for distribution to the National Committee;
4-2.8 Publish a list of potential proposals to the National Committee on a semi-annual basis, including any required by the Bylaws, Rules and Procedures, Fiscal Policy, Presidential Convention Rules, and/or by resolution of the National Committee, together with the schedule of internal elections and other mandated decisions
4-2.9 Gather information, report emerging problems and opportunities to the National Committee, and make recommendations and proposals to the National Committee based on those reports.
ARTICLE VI STEERING COMMITTEE ELECTIONS
Section 6.1. Nomination
6-1.2 Nominations may be made by any National Committee member or alternate, including the candidate. Nominations shall be considered made when posted to the National Committees Votes List. Nominations shall be considered accepted when posted as such to the National Committees Votes List by the candidate. Self-nominations shall be considered accepted when made.
RULES AND PROCEDURES http://www.gp.org/rules-and-procedures-of-the-green-party-of-the-united-states
ARTICLE I: ACCREDITATION
IV. Accreditation Process.
5. Report to Coordinating Committee. The committee shall makes it report to the NC, except in extraordinary situations, within 60 days of receiving the application. The report may be presented either to a meeting of the NC, or via e-mail, whichever can be done most promptly. The report to the NC should explain the committee's findings for each of the eight affiliation criteria, and recommend for or against approval of the application.
ARTICLE III: STEERING COMMITTEE PROCEDURES
Section 3-1 In-Person Meeting and Conference Calls
3-1.3 Agendas for Steering Committee meetings and conference calls shall be published in advance to the National Committee and shall otherwise be established as described in the Steering Committee Rules, Policies and Procedures.
3-1.4 Minutes of Steering Committee meetings and conference calls shall consist of the date, time, location (where applicable) and attendance, agenda items heard, decisions-taken (including who voted for, against or stood aside) and the text of all proposals.
Section 3-2 Executive Session
3-2.3 Minutes of the Executive Session shall include the time of entering and exiting Executive Session, those present and a general summary of topics discussed, without including specific information precluded under 3-2.1. Decisions made in Executive Session shall be reported in the Steering Committee minutes, subject to any legal limitations on disclosure.
Section 3-3 Subcommittees
3-3.1 The Steering Committee may create subcommittees of the Steering Committee at its discretion, so long as they are consistent with GPUS Bylaws and Rules and Procedures and the Steering Committee Rules, Policies and Procedures. The Steering Committee shall report their creation to the National Committee Votes List and maintain a current roster of sub-committees and their members for inspection by the National Committee.
Section 3-4 Internal Procedures
3-4.1 The Steering Committee may approve internal procedures at its discretion, so long as they are consistent with GPUS Bylaws and Rules and Procedures and the Steering Committee Rules, Policies and Procedures, including but not limited to meeting schedules, facilitation selection and guidelines, on-line voting procedures, staff and contractor relations, legal matters, web site oversight and guidelines for Committee Liaisons. The Steering Committee shall report creation of such internal procedures to the National Committee Votes List and publish them on the Steering Committee web page.the National Committee.
ARTICLE VII: PREFERENCE VOTING RULES FOR STEERING COMMITTEE ELECTIONS: .
C. CERTIFICATION OF ELECTION RESULTS
1. Tabulation & Report
Immediately upon the close of the polls the Election Tabulation Committee shall tabulate the ballots pursuant to these rules. Immediately following the tabulation of such ballots, the Election Tabulation Committee shall file its written report on the election with the National Committee. The report shall declare which candidates were elected to which seats and for what terms for each election they are charged with tabulating, and a narrative description of the tabulation detailing how surpluses were redistributed, how candidates were identified for elimination at the end of each round, how ties were resolved and other factors that weighed in the final determination of the winning candidates. The Election Tabulation Committee shall publish as an appendix to their Report the details of each ballot received sufficient to permit an independent tabulation. The report shall further evaluate the extent to which these rules anticipated the demands of the election and gave adequate guidance to the Election Tabulation Committee on the conduct of its responsibilities.
ARTICLE VIII. NATIONAL COMMITTEE SIZE AND DELEGATE APPORTIONMENT
Section 8-2. Apportionment Tabulation Committee
8-2.2(c) Solicit accredited caucuses to verify that they still meet the Accreditation guidelines at the time of reapportionment; i.e. having 100 registered members per Article I Apportionment. A report of membership from the Co-Chairs of the caucus, forwarded to the Chair of the Apportionment Tabulation Committee and copied to the National Committee Votes List, shall be considered verification. Such information shall be included in the background to the proposal to the National Committee as described in 8-2.1(c).
8-2.2(d) Apply the Delegate Apportionment Formula to the data, perform the apportionment calculations and report the results in the form of a proposal to the National Committee.
FISCAL POLICY http://www.gp.org/fiscal-policy
ARTICLE II TREASURER
Section 2-1 Duties and Responsibilities
2-1.2 Prepare and present Monthly and Annual Reports to the NC as provided for in Article XIII. Prepare and present periodic financial reports for the SC, Finance, and Fundraising Committees.
ARTICLE III FINANCE COMMITTEE
Section 3-2 Duties and Responsibilities
3-2.10 Report on related issues of concern to the SC and/or NC.
ARTICLE VI BUDGETING
Section 6-5 Interim Budget
6-5.1 Until an Annual Budget is approved, the following interim budget rules will apply:
6-5.1(a) Funds may be spent only for expenses as provided for in Section 8-2, as well as communications (postage, post office box, phone and website). Expenses associated with Annual Meetings and/or the Presidential Nominating Conventions may exceed funds in their restricted account only after approval by the SC. In such cases the NC must be notified of the proposal to exceed the restricted amount at least six days in advance of the SC meeting at which time the proposal will be considered, or if considered by the SC in an on-line vote, at the same time the SC receives the proposal.
6-5.1(b) Expenditures must be approved by the SC and reported to the NC monthly. Other than those specifically listed in 6-5-1(a), expenditures are not allowed without advance approval by the NC.
ARTICLE IX FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Section 9-5 Borrowing from Restricted Funds
9-5.4 All transfers from the Reserve Accounts must be reported to the NC prior to their final execution and must include the source, amount and purpose, and in the case of Restricted Funds, a plan and time line for repayment.
PRESIDENTIAL CONVENTION RULES http://www.gp.org/convention-rules
ARTICLE II. CONVENTION OF DELEGATES
Section 2-5 States Without A Green Party
2-5.5 Such a call shall be sent to the Secretary of the Green Party of the United States, so that the Secretary may publish the call to the National Committee.
Section 2-9 Compliance With These Rules
2-9.3 The Credentials Committee shall have the discretion to consider such applications, and shall report to the National Committee each action by the Credentials Committee to receive, hold a hearing on, schedule debate on or consider the disposition of each such application.