GPUS Rules and Procedures Article I Accreditation
SUBJECT/TITLE: Amendment to Article I Accreditation, GPUS Rules & Procedures
TYPE OF PROPOSAL/EXPECTED APPROVAL THRESHOLD: 2/3 approval threshold
BACKGROUND: This proposal is to update GPUS procedures regarding accreditation of state parties and caucuses, specifically Article I Accreditation of the GPUS Rules and Procedures (http://gpus.org/national-committee/rules-and-procedures-of-the-green-party-of-the-united-states/#01).
Currently, much of the existing text in Article I is copied verbatim from the 1998 Accreditation procedures of the pre-GPUS Association of State Green Parties (https://web.archive.org/web/20101102223431/http://www.gp.org//minutes/santafe.shtml), the text of which was grafted into the first set of GPUS Rules and Procedures in July 2001 (http://web.archive.org/web/20011103114948/http://www.greenpartyus.org/documents/rules.html). In July 2003, that Accreditation text was amended (https://web.archive.org/web/20140823080918/http://www.gp.org/minutes/gpusminutes072003.shtml) to include an expanded section on caucuses (https://web.archive.org/web/20140913042517/http://www.gp.org/information). In July 2011 Proposal #599 (http://gp.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=599) also amended Article VIII National Committee Size and Apportionment (http://gpus.org/national-committee/rules-and-procedures-of-the-green-party-of-the-united-states/#08), such that (in 8-1.2) that "All accredited caucuses that have 100 registered members as per Article I Apportionment are considered active for the purposes of this Article and are entitled to one delegate."
This new proposal would do the following:
- Eliminate the extensive duplication in the sections on state Green Party and caucus accreditation, while still providing clearly differentiated text where necessary for each; and revise the numeration and format to be more consistent with the rest of the party's governing documents, while still shortening the overall Article I text from 2,418 words to 1,565 (counts include numbers used in formatting);
- To ensure that in states where a state Green Party may not achieve ballot status, that the party is still seeking the maximum legal recognition under the applicable circumstances, this proposals adds to the eligibility criteria for state Green Parties, that in addition to attempting to achieve ballot status (where reasonable), a state party must file paperwork with the state government to be recognized as an official political party or political organization, where available.
- Clarify that if the Diversity Committee is inactive at the time of an accreditation application by a caucus, that the application may nevertheless proceed through the accreditation process through review and recommendation by the Accreditation Committee - effectively waiving Diversity Committee review if the committee is inactive. This addresses the existing dilemma where an applicant caucus may otherwise comply with the accreditation criteria, but not be considered by the National Committee because the Diversity Committee doesn't provide its own review;
- Amends the "Temporary Inactive Status" Section of Article I, such that it no longer stipulates that non-attendance at two consecutive Annual National Meetings as a criteria for being declared 'temporarily inactive.' This is to reflect the fact that for many years, few if any business decisions are now made at the GPUS's Annual National Meetings. Instead, almost all decision-making takes place via the GPUS Voting page. This is also to reflect that the financial duress involved in attending annual national meetings shouldn't prevent a state party or caucus from being deemed active, if it is otherwise participating in GPUS decision-making via the GPUS Voting Page. In place of voting at the Annual National Meetings, voting on the National Committee Votes list has been inserted in its place.
- Amends the "Temporary Inactive Status" Section of Article I to create an objective standard, such that if an accredited state party or caucus does not participate in GPUS decision-making via the Voting Page for six months, they are automatically considered inactive for the purpose of calculating National Committee quorum. Under the current Accreditation rules, even when there is objective evidence of inactivity, a formal and lengthy process is still required to address National Committee quorum, requiring a Accreditation Committee proposal and then a National Committee vote to declare that such non-voting has occurred, rending what should be a simple and objective quorum calculation, to be dependent upon an untimely and uncertain discretionary process.
- Amends the "Temporary Inactive Status" Section of Article I to clarify that a temporarily inactive state party or caucus may regain their active status within six months, simply by voting again on the National Committee. Current rules provide no clarity on how active status is regained.
- Amends the "Disaffiliation" Section of Article I and renames it "Termination of Accreditation", such that if an accredited state party or caucus does not participate in GPUS decision-making via the Voting Page for twelve months after they are declared inactive, that their accreditation is considered automatically terminated. The reason for this is the same as above, to make this a simple objective situation, rather than require an untimely and uncertain discretionary process, just to establish something that is already objectively a statement of fact by simply looking at the GPUS Voting Page.
- Amends the renamed "Termination of Accreditation" Section to make it clear that grounds for a affiliation termination proposal are either for (a) non-compliance with the accreditation eligibility criteria, or (b) substantial non-compliance with GPUS Bylaws, Rules and Procedures, Fiscal Policy and/or Rules of the Presidential Nominating Convention; and clarifies that the affected state or caucus shall be given the opportunity for a written response before such a proposal goes to the National Committee, an opportunity which is not explicit in the current Accreditation rules.
Finally in September 2011, Proposal #619 (http://gp.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=619) - a proposal to substantially lower the caucus accreditation threshold - was initially considered and then ultimately withdrawn by its sponsors. To attempt to one of the goals of #619, this proposal would provide a new, lower membership threshold for a caucus to be initially recognized. At the lower threshold level, the newly recognized caucus would (a) have fundraising ability under the Fiscal Policy, (b) would be listed as an accredited caucus on the GPUS web page (both tools to help the caucus build its membership) and (c) would be granted non-voting delegate status on the National Committee (similar to what exists for the Green Officeholders Network) in the interim, until it reaches the full membership threshold. Once it reaches that threshold, the caucus would be granted full National Committee voting status and proposal-making status, as exists under current rules.
Part I: That the existing Article I Accreditation of the GPUS Rules and Procedures be replaced with the following text:
ARTICLE 1. ACCREDITATION
Section 1.1 Accreditation
Accreditation is the act by which the Green Party of the United States (GPUS) finds that an applicant state Green Party or Caucus has met the requirements set forth in this Article to be considered an accredited state Green Party or Caucus of the GPUS, for the purposes set forth in GPUS Bylaws, Rules and Procedures, Fiscal Policy and Presidential Convention Rules.
Section 1.2 Accreditation Committee
Serve as the interface in the accreditation process between applicant state Green Parties and caucuses, and the National Committee.
1-2.2 Duties and Responsibilities
1-2.2(a) Assist applicant state Green Parties and caucuses to understand the GPUS mission, values, platform, goals and plans; as well as the accreditation criteria applicants must satisfy, and the GPUS resources available to assist them in doing so.
1-2.2(b) Prepare and distribute accreditation application materials, and assist in the process of ensuring that applicant state Green Parties and caucuses submit information required under this Article.
1-2.2(c) Receive and review accreditation applications from applicant state Green Parties and caucuses; evaluate whether applicant state Green Parties and caucuses meet the accreditation criteria; and make fair, thorough, prompt, objective and factually-based recommendations to the National Committee.
1-2.2(d) Receive complaints and accreditation termination requests against member state Green Parties and caucuses. Based upon the accreditation requirements in this Article, evaluate whether subject state Green Party or caucuses meet the accreditation criteria; and make fair, thorough, prompt, objective and factually-based recommendations to the National Committee.
1-2.2(e) Welcome accredited state Green Parties and caucuses and their designated representatives, and facilitate their integration into the GPUS.
Section 1-3: Accreditation Criteria for State Parties and Caucuses
To be eligible for accreditation, a state Green Party or Caucus must apply to the GPUS for accreditation according to the process described in Section 1.6, and:
1-3.1 Accept as its guiding principles the Ten Key Values of the GPUS (grassroots democracy, social justice and equal opportunity, non-violence, decentralization, community based economics, feminism and gender equity, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, and future focus and sustainability), and/or the Four Pillars of the international Green Party movement (ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, non-violence) and/or a similar version of either/both.
1-3.2 Be organized and run in accordance with these principles and values;
1-3.3 Have a demonstrated history of networking with groups and organizations based in the Ten Key Values;
1-3.4 Agree to support national candidates nominated by the GPUS Presidential Nomination Convention.
Section 1-4: Accreditation Criteria Specific to State Parties
1-4.1 Maintain an open and transparent statewide organization, open to and reflective of a statewide membership, including by electing party leadership and representatives through proportional representation and ranked choice voting.
1-4.2 Have a demonstrated, ongoing commitment to achieving gender balance in party leadership and representation;
1-4.3 Make a good faith effort, where reasonable, to achieve ballot status; and otherwise file paperwork with the state government to be recognized as an official political party or organization where available.
1-4.4 Make a good faith effort to run candidates on local, state and Federal levels;
1-4.5 Have a demonstrated, ongoing commitment to empowering individuals and groups from disenfranchised communities, through party leadership responsibilities, identity caucuses, alliances with community-based organizations, and endorsements of and support for related issues and policies.
Section 1-5: Accreditation Criteria Specific to Caucuses
1-5.1 Maintain an open and transparent caucus organization, open to and reflective of its membership, including by electing party leadership and representatives through proportional representation and ranked choice voting.
1-5.2 Have held at least one meeting and continue to hold such meetings not less than annually.
1-5.3 Have either
1-5.3(a) At least 100 members in at least 15 of all GPUS-affiliated states, after which if the caucus is accredited by the National Committee, the caucus would be entitled to voting delegate representation on the National Committee under 8-1.2, proposal-making status under 6-1.2 and fundraising authority under the GPUS Fiscal Policy; or
1-5.3(b) At least 50 members in at least 12 GPUS-affiliated states, after which if the caucus is accredited by the National Committee, the caucus would be entitled to non-voting representation on the National Committee under 8-1.2, and fundraising authority under the GPUS Fiscal Policy; and
1-5.3(c) Provide the name, address, other contact information and state party membership of each caucus member as part of the application process described Section 1.6, and forwarded thereafter as required for apportionment under 8-2.2(c).
Section 1-6 Accreditation Process
1-6.1 Applications shall include a formal letter of application in the name of the state party or caucus which seeks accreditation, which notes the date and setting of the formal decision to pursue accreditation; bylaws; platform (if applicable); a list of current officers; and any additional documentation that may support the application.
1-6.2 Applications shall be delivered to the GPUS Secretary, who shall notify the National Committee that the application has been received, and shall forward the application to all members of the Accreditation Committee for review; and in the case of the caucuses, shall also forward the application to all members of the Diversity Committee. The Accreditation Committee and the Diversity Committee may request additional documentation as necessary, in order to determine whether the applicant party has satisfied the accreditation criteria.
1-6.3 The Accreditation Committee (and the Diversity Committee where applicable under 1-6.1) shall makes its report and recommendations to the National Committee, by forwarding it to the Steering Committee as per Section 6-1, within 60 days of receiving the application, except in extraordinary circumstances. The report shall include findings for compliance or non-compliance with each accreditation criteria in Section 1-3 and Section 1-4 for state parties and Section 1-3 and Section 1-5 for caucuses, and shall recommend for or against approval of the application based upon this compliance and the committee's overall review.
1-6.4 Should the Accreditation Committee and/or the Diversity Committee recommend against approval, the applicant party or caucus shall be notified and given the opportunity to provide a written response for inclusion with the proposal as a reference when sent to the National Committee.
1-6.5 Should the Diversity Committee be inactive at the time of an application submitted by a caucus, the application may otherwise proceed to the review and recommendation process by the Accreditation Committee described in this Section.
Section 1-7 Temporary Inactive Status
1-7.1 Any accredited state Green Party or caucus with National Committee voting status that has not cast National Committee votes for a period of six months (unless no votes were held during this period), shall be considered inactive for the purposes of quorum for National Committee votes, but shall otherwise retain GPUS accreditation. It shall be the responsibility of the Accreditation Committee to report when such non-voting has occurred to the Steering Committee and the National Committee.
1.7-2 Any accredited state Green party or caucus that has been determined to be inactive under 1-7.1, may regain active status within six months by casting National Committee votes.
Section 1-8 Termination of Accreditation
1-8.1 Any accredited state Green Party or caucus that has not cast National Committee votes for a period of twelve months after becoming inactive under 1-7.1, shall be automatically considered to have had their accreditation terminated (unless no votes were held during this period). It shall be the responsibility of the Accreditation Committee to report when such non-voting has occurred to the Steering Committee and the National Committee. However termination is not contingent upon such reporting.
1-8.2 A separate proposal may be sponsored by the Accreditation Committee, or by an accredited state Green Party or caucus, to temporarily suspend or terminate accreditation for non-compliance with the accreditation eligibility criteria for (a) state parties in Section 1-3 and Section 1-4, (b) for caucuses in Section 1-3 and Section 1-5 , or (c) both, for substantial non-compliance with GPUS Bylaws, Rules and Procedures, Fiscal Policy and/or Rules of the Presidential Nominating Convention. Such proposals shall be submitted to the Steering Committee as per Section 6-1. Upon receipt, the GPUS Secretary shall forward the proposal to the affected state Green Party or caucus, as well as to all members of the Accreditation Committee. Where applicable in the case of caucuses, the GPUS Secretary shall also forward the proposal to the Diversity Committee; where a substantial non-compliance with GPUS governing rules is alleged, to the Bylaws, Rules, Policies and Procedures Committee; and where a substantial non-compliance GPUS Fiscal Policy is alleged, to the Finance Committee. Each of these committees may request additional documentation as necessary, to evaluate compliance.
1-8.3 Within 30 days of receiving the proposal from the GPUS Secretary, the affected state Green Party or caucus and the Accreditation Committee, the Diversity Committee (where applicable in the case of caucuses) and/or the Bylaws Committee and/or the Finance Committee (where applicable as per 1-8.2), may make its report and recommendations to the National Committee, after which the proposal shall be forwarded to the National Committee, accompanied by these reports.
Part II: That the existing 8-1.2 of Article VIII National Committee Size and Delegate Allocation of the GPUS Rules and Procedures be amended to add "and accredited caucuses that have between 50 and 99 registered members as per Article I Apportionment" as follows:
8-1.2 All active, accredited state parties as defined in Article I Apportionment are entitled to a minimum of two delegates. All accredited caucuses that have 100 registered members as per Article I Apportionment are considered active for the purposes of this Article and are entitled to one delegate. All recognized networks, and all accredited caucuses that have between 50 and 99 registered members as per Article I Apportionment, are entitled to one non-voting delegate, which shall not be included in the calculation of the 150 +/- 2 delegates as established in 8-1.1. State parties, caucuses, and networks may voluntarily choose to have fewer delegates than those allotted to them.
Part III: That the existing 6-2.1(e) of Article VI Types of Proposals and their Approval Threshold (Consens Quorum) be amended to include "and Termination of Accreditation" as follows:
6-2.1(e) Accreditation and Termination of Accreditation of State Parties, Caucuses, and Networks
RESOURCES: Bylaw change would become effective upon passage.
REFERENCES: Past proposals related to the Accreditation process are summarized in the Background section above