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Proposal Details

Proposal ID22
ProposalBylaws amendment: Article 8 Coordinating Committee
PresenterCoordinating Committee
Floor ManagerMike Feinstein
PhaseClosed
Discussion01/29/2013 - 03/11/2013
Voting03/12/2013 - 03/22/2013
ResultAdopted
Presens Quorum13 0.5001
Consens Quorum40 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes

Background

This text takes the current "Section 7-1. Coordinating Committee", and does the following

Updates the list of the Coordinating Committee's duties and responsibilities to include all those currently mentioned in the bylaws in others places, to create a single place where all of this information can be found, as the existing list is substantially incomplete.

Establishes that all Coordinating Committee seats in the future would be elected by the Standing Green Assembly as thus: "The Coordinating Committee shall be composed of up to 24 voting members, with 12 men and 12 women. Six men and six women shall be elected each year to serve staggered, two year terms."

This recommendation comes as a result of the party's three year experiment with increased seats elected at-large, that was approved at the October 2009 Cotati General Assembly and implemented since the spring of 2010. This May 2012 report by the Coordinating Committee to the General Assembly (http://www.cagreens.org/ga/2012-05/report-cc-at-large-elections) summarizes the positive experiences the party has experienced with increased at-large elections:

- with more CC members, there is a broader decision-making base and more members available to do CC work than in previous years

- the number of women and young people on the CC has increased

- the number of new participants on the CC has increased (i.e. those who had never previously been a member)

- the CC has appointed a Liaison to all GPCA standing committees and working groups, where previously not all of those positions had been filled

- the CC has appointed more members to GPCA standing committees and in the process has re-activated two committees (Bylaws and Clearinghouse) that had been inactive for years

The report also summarizes problems that still persist with the regionally-elected seats - low participation, lack of diversity, many vacancies, disputes over beginning/end dates of regional terms, challenges to results of regional elections.

By conducting the Coordinating Committee elections via the SGA instead of at face-to-face General Assemblies, the GPCA would ensure that all active counties can participate in selecting Coordinating Committee members, not just those counties that would be able to attend a particular General Assembly, depending upon date, location and cost.

In approving this change to fully at-large elections elected by the SGA, to reflect the staggered term nature of the Coordinating Committee, there would both be 12 Coordinating Committee members elected by the SGA this spring (six men and six women) and there would be a one year transition period where the existing six regionally elected Coordinating Committee members whose terms run through 2014 (three men, three women) would retain their seats for approximately one more year, through the spring of 2014 Coordinating Committee elections, after which their terms would end concurrent with the election of twelve new Coordinating Committee members (six men and six women) to new two-year terms at that time. That would mean that for 2013-2014, the maximum number of Coordinating Committee members would be 18 (twelve elected to two year terms in May/June 2013 plus the six carry-overs) and then 24 in 2014-2015 after a full new 12 would be elected to two year terms in May/June 2014.

If this bylaw change does not pass, there is a 'poison pill' in the existing bylaws that would eliminate the at-large elections experiment and send the party back to where it was in October 2009, with 16/20 seats were elected on a regional basis, with only four seats elected at-large, two each year. That was a process that the October 2009 General Assembly agreed by consensus to abandon. (see resources section below for excerpt of poison pill language and references sections below for poison pill language embedded in text of existing bylaws)

Changes the approval threshold for proposals at a special Coordinating Committee meeting from 4/5 to 2/3, but requires that quorum be 2/3 instead of a simple majority, which is currently the case in the bylaws.

Revises the existing recall section of the bylaws that applies to Coordinating Committee members, to reflect that since all Coordinating Committee members would be elected by the Standing Green Assembly, recall would also occur by the Standing Green Assembly.

Proposal

Proposal: That the following text be approved

Article 8. Coordinating Committee

Section 8-1 Duties and Authority

The Coordinating Committee shall authorize and carry out decisions of the General Assembly and make executive decisions, but not set policy between General Assembly meetings, and shall be generally responsible for coordinating General Assemblies and other statewide meetings, internal communications and other Party administrative tasks as defined in these Bylaws, including to

8-1.1 Establish draft agendas and select facilitators for General Assembly meetings.

8-1.2 Forward proposals to the Standing Green Assembly.

8-1.3 Certify County Council members (as described in 6-6) in counties in which no County Council candidates qualified for the ballot in the preceding direct primary election, or in counties in which all members of the County Council have resigned and/or become disqualified from holding office.

8-1.4 Determine active County Organizations (as described in 5-1)

8-1.5 Appoint members to the Committees of the General Assembly (as described in Article 9)

8-1.6 Appoint a Coordinating Committee Liaison to Committees and Working Groups, who is charged with facilitating communications between that Committee or Working Group and the Coordinating Committee and in the case of certain committees as specified in Article 9, to serve as one of its two Co-Coordinators.

8-1.7 Request and receive reports from Committees and Working Groups, refer matters to them, and monitor and assist their work.

8-1.8 Authorize and ratify specific expenditures.

8-1.9 Make statements in the name of the Party.

8-1.10 Retain legal counsel on behalf of the GPCA and make decisions based upon that counsel consistent with the Coordinating Committee's duties under the other provisions of these bylaws.

8-1.11 Propose a Strategic Plan to the General Assembly (as defined in 11-2).

8-1.12 Establish Sub-Committees of the Coordinating Committee as necessary to accomplish these and other tasks of the Coordinating Committee as defined in these Bylaws.

8-1.13 Establish Internal Procedures of the Coordinating Committee as necessary, that are not in conflict with these Bylaws, to facilitate these tasks.

8.2 Membership

8-2.1 The Coordinating Committee shall be composed of up to 24 voting members, with 12 men and 12 women. Six men and six women shall be elected each year to serve staggered, two year terms.

8-2.2 If a Coordinating Committee member misses three consecutive regular monthly meetings, the individual shall lose their seat and a vacancy shall occur.

8.3 Meetings

8-3.1 Regular Coordinating Committee meetings shall be held at least once a month. On an annual basis, the Coordinating Committee shall establish a regular monthly meeting date, with exceptions to that date made for national holidays, elections or other special circumstances. During the course of the year, the Coordinating Committee may amend this schedule, as long as the date and time are set at least 20 days in advance; and additional regular meetings in a given month may be scheduled with at least 20 days notice by a majority vote of the Coordinating Committee, or by a determination of the Coordinating Committee Co-coordinators. A quorum for all regular Coordinating Committee meetings shall be a majority of the currently seated members.

8-3.2 Special/emergency Coordinating Committee meetings may be scheduled for items of a particularly urgent and/or unexpected nature, with at least seven days notice by the Co-Coordinators or a majority vote of the committee. A quorum for all special/emergency Coordinating Committee meetings shall be 2/3 of the currently seated members.

8.4 Elections

8-4.1 Elections shall be conducted each year by the Standing Green Assembly using Ranked Choice Voting with a No Other Candidate option, with the six week discussion period beginning on the first Monday of May and the one week voting period commencing immediately thereafter.

8-4.2 Candidates must submit an application to the Coordinating Committee by the first Monday of March to be eligible. Applications must include a biography and what they wish to accomplish on the Coordinating Committee.

8-4.3 The election as it is posted to the Standing Green Assembly shall include:

8-4.3(a) Each candidate's application;

8-4.3(b) A full and detailed explanation of Ranked Choice Voting, an explanation of the No Other Candidate option, and an encouragement that delegates make their choices seriously and a reminder that they do not have to fill all seats unless they feel there are enough qualified candidates.

8-4.4 Candidates shall be given time to present themselves and respond to questions on a Standing General Assembly teleconference during the Standing General Assembly discussion period in 7-6.3. Where General Assemblies or Gatherings occur after the close of the submission date in 8-4.2, and before the close of the voting period in 7-6.3, candidates shall be given time to present themselves to any General Assembly or Gathering occurring this period.

8.5 Recall

8-5.1 Any person elected to the Coordinating Committee may be removed from office by the General Assembly upon a 2/3 vote in response to a Recall Petition.

8-5.2 A Recall Petition must contain the written basis for removal, be approved by County Councils representing 35% of the total number of General Assembly delegate seats, and must be received by the Coordinating Committee before it can be forwarded to the General Assembly for a vote. The written basis for recall must be based upon substantial malperformance of the duties of the Coordinating Committee as defined in these Bylaws.

8-5.3 Upon receipt of such Recall petition, the Coordinating Committee shall schedule a vote of the General Assembly. If an in-person General Assembly is scheduled to occur within 60 days of the receipt of the petition, the Coordinating Committee shall place the vote on the draft agenda and any agenda approved by the General Assembly must include the vote. If an in-person General Assembly is not scheduled to occur within 60 days of the receipt of the petition, the Coordinating Committee shall submit the petition to the Standing Green Assembly at the next regular starting date. The individual subject to a Recall Petition shall have the right to submit a written response to the petition for inclusion with the agenda item, when the agenda item is released.

Resources

Report to General Assembly on At-Large CC Elections, May 2012
http://www.cagreens.org/ga/2012-05/report-cc-at-large-elections

"Poison Pill Language in Existing Bylaws" in 7-1.5 and 7-1.7

7-1.5 Selection of Regional Members

Unless otherwise amended, this bylaw shall expire 90 days before the 2013 General Assembly at which the annual budget will be approved and be replaced by the text of 7-1.5 Selection of Regional Members in place at the October 2009 Cotati General Assembly.

7-1.7 Selection of At-Large Members

Unless otherwise amended, this bylaw shall expire 90 days before the 2013 General Assembly at which the annual budget will be approved and be replaced by the text of 7-1.7 Selection of At-Large Members in place at the October 2009 Cotati General Assembly.

References

Reference: Text from existing GPCA bylaws

7-1.1 Duties and Authority

The Coordinating Committee shall be generally responsible for coordinating meetings, internal communications and other administrative tasks, including the following:

a) Establish agenda and select facilitators for general meetings.

b) Monitor and assist committee work and refer matters to committees.

c) Request and receive regular reports from committees.

d) Authorize and ratify specific expenditures

e) Authorize and carry out the decisions of the GPCA general membership and make executive decisions (but not set policy) between General Assembly meetings.

f) May make statements in the name of the party

g) Is authorized to retain legal council on behalf of the GPCA.

h) Is authorized to make decisions which legal counsel advises.

7-1.2 Membership

The Coordinating Committee shall be composed of up to 26 voting members, including 14 elected at-large and 12 regionally. The General Assembly shall define the regions and determine the allocation of regional representatives. Diversity and gender balance are encouraged through the election of at-large representatives. A maximum of three at-large members may be elected from any given county, in addition to from their regionally-elected seat. Coordinating Committee members are not eligible for the positions of Treasurer and Liaison to the Secretary of State.

Unless otherwise amended, this bylaw shall expire 90 days before the 2013 General Assembly at which the annual budget will be approved and be replaced by the text of 7-1.2 Membership in place at the October 2009 Cotati General Assembly.

7-1.3. Meetings

Regular Coordinating Committee meetings shall be held at least once a month, in person or by teleconference. The Coordinating Committee may establish a regular monthly meeting date. Otherwise, date and location of the next regular meeting shall be determined at the close of each meeting or, failing this, be determined by the committee co-coordinators and announced with at least 20 days notice. A special (or emergency) meeting may be called with at least one week notice by the co-coordinators or a majority of the committee. All proposals considered at a special meeting shall have an 80% approval threshold for voting purposes. A quorum for all Coordinating Committee meetings shall be 50% + 1 of the currently seated members. Proxy votes are not allowed.

Unless otherwise amended, this bylaw shall expire 90 days before the 2013 General Assembly at which the annual budget will be approved and be replaced by the text of 7-1.3 Meetings in place at the October 2009 Cotati General Assembly.

7-1.4 Elections and Term of Office

All Coordinating Committee seats shall be for two-year terms, with half of the at-large seats elected each year. The Coordinating Committee shall appoint three election officials to conduct the annual at-large election via an online process using the STV system described in Section 7-1.8. The election shall commence one week after the conclusion General Assembly at which the annual budget will be approved and shall remain open for 30 days. Any county with computer or Internet access problems will be provided an alternative method for submitting their vote. Quorum for the online vote shall be 50% + 1 of active counties, as determined for the preceding General Assembly. Regional seats may be elected at the first General Assembly meeting of each year for any expiring regional seats not filled by an alternative regional process (see selection of regional members, paragraph 7-1.5). The CC must report to the counties and GA if more than half of the CC seats are empty.

Unless otherwise amended, this bylaw shall expire 90 days before the 2013 General Assembly at which the annual budget will be approved and be replaced by the text of 7-1.4 CC Elections and Term of Office in place at the October 2009 Cotati General Assembly.

7-1.5 Selection of Regional Members

Regional members shall be selected by regional caucus of delegates at General Assembly meetings, unless the active counties of a region select another process. Any such alternative process must be consistent with the ten key values, GPCA bylaws, and California law; and approved by all the County Councils of the active counties of a region; and filed with the Coordinating Committee and the Bylaws Committee. Regions with two seats are encouraged to strive for gender balance.

Notwithstanding Section 6-3, a region may replace its representative(s), including alternate representative(s), during the course of the term of office by conducting an election in accordance with its approved procedure. The new representative(s) shall serve the remainder of the existing term of office. The region shall notify the Coordinating Committee of any replacement conducted under this section.

Unless otherwise amended, this bylaw shall expire 90 days before the 2013 General Assembly at which the annual budget will be approved and be replaced by the text of 7-1.5 Selection of Regional Members in place at the October 2009 Cotati General Assembly.

7-1.6 Alternate Members

Alternate members may be elected for regional members. Alternates shall be designated for specific members and shall serve for terms concurrent with the members for whom they are serving. An alternate may participate in CC meetings, but may only vote when the regular member he/she is an alternate for is not present. If the regular member vacates his/her Coordinating Committee seat before the completion of his/her term, the alternate shall fill the vacated position for the remainder of the term for which they were elected. A region may elect multiple alternate representatives for their regional representative(s). That region shall then submit a statement to the Coordinating Committee describing the order or method by which the multiple alternates will substitute for a regional representative.

7-1.7 Selection of At-Large Members

To be eligible, candidates for at-large seats must submit an application to the Coordinating Committee at least 60 days prior to the first day of the General Assembly at which the GPCA's annual budget is approved. Applications must include a biography and what they wish to accomplish as on the Coordinating Committee. The application shall be published on the GPCA's web site and the URL included in the agenda packet. The web site and agenda packet shall also include a full and detailed explanation of the voting procedure, including a description of the "No Other Candidate" (NOC) option and an encouragement to delegates to make their choices seriously and a reminder that delegates do not have to fill all seats unless they feel there are enough qualified candidates. At the General Assembly, the Election Committee shall present a full and detailed explanation of the voting procedure to the General Assembly and at-large candidates will be given an opportunity to present themselves and receive and respond to questions.

Unless otherwise amended, this bylaw shall expire 90 days before the 2013 General Assembly at which the annual budget will be approved and be replaced by the text of 7-1.7 Selection of At-Large Members in place at the October 2009 Cotati General Assembly.


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