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Proposal Details

Proposal ID28
Proposal Bylaws amendment: Errata in Articles 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 13
PresenterCoordinating Committee
Floor ManagerMike Feinstein
Discussion05/06/2013 - 06/16/2013
Voting06/17/2013 - 06/25/2013
Presens Quorum13 0.5001
Consens Quorum36 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes


During December 2012 through March 2013, the Standing General Assembly (SGA) considered and approved amendments to nine articles of the GPCA bylaws. However, upon examination of the proposals passed, six errors were discovered of definition and omission in Articles 6, 7, 8, 10 and 13. This is not to be unexpected in a bylaws revision as vast as just undertaken. This proposal seeks to remedy those errors and to include an additional minor amendment to Article 6, sought by the Green Party of Alameda County, which was offered during the last round of voting, but only the period for amendments had closed and thus too late to be accepted at that time.

As this voting page software is not designed to shows colors, nor strikeout text or underlining, all of which could be used to show the recommended changes, instead an explanation for each change is provided below, then a reference to a link to a .pdf which shows the changes in color and with strikeout text and underlining.


1) Sub-section 7-6.1(b) of the GPCA Bylaws specifies which Voter Registration count by the state of California is used to determine how many Standing General Assembly Delegates each county is entitled to, and it references the state's "annual February voter registration count". While in past years, the state of California did have an annual February county, at present the state conducts a February count in odd-numbered years, but a January count in even-numbered years. This proposal would amend the dates in 7-6.1(b) to reflect these dates and would adopt the terminology used by the state of California to describe them.

To address this, the recommended amendment can be found here: http://www.cagreens.org/plenary/bylaws-errata.pdf

2) Proposal #17 (http://files.cagreens.org/vote/propdetail?pid=17) contained an unintentional omission, that possibly occurred as a 'cut and paste' error, that unintentionally eliminated a criteria for quorum of Working Group meetings.

In each set of previous GPCA Bylaws previous dating back to April 2001 (http://www.cagreens.org/bylaws/downloads/bylaws-2001-04.pdf) (when the Bylaws were revised after a two-year state restructuring process that led to the current definition of Committees and Working Group), the definition for quorum for meetings of Working Groups included

  "A Committee or Working Group quorum is more than 1/2 of a group's voting membership. For Working Group meetings properly announced in the agenda distributed prior to a regular meeting of the General Assembly, a quorum is more than 1/2 of the voting membership OR one group coordinator and at least four additional voting members, whichever is fewer."

The Bylaws revision passed in Proposal #17 inadvertently left off the "OR one group coordinator and at least four additional voting members, whichever is fewer" part. This is problematic because many working groups would not be able to reach quorum on their monthly teleconferences. Why? Because sometimes large numbers of people attend the face-to-face meetings of a working group at a General Assembly, and are counted as working group members, but then never participate in the working group's monthly teleconferences.

To address this, the recommended amendment can be found here: http://www.cagreens.org/plenary/bylaws-errata.pdf

3) Upon reflection, it appears the deadline for applications by candidates for the Coordinating Committee and GPUS Delegation was set too early in Proposal #22 (http://files.cagreens.org/vote/propdetail?pid=22). In the previous version of the GPCA Bylaws, the submission deadline was 60 days before the General Assembly at which the election for Coordinating Committee and GPUS Delegation would be held.

But now, the election is going to be held before the Standing General Assembly, which has a six week discussion period beginning on the first Monday of May, followed by a one week vote. So in copying the 60-day deadline into Proposal #22 and inserting it before the beginning of the discussion period (placing it annually on the first Monday of March), the net effect is a change from the previous 60-day deadline before the election, to 102 days before its beginning and 109 days before its conclusion.

There is no good reason for this extra time and it arguably makes it more difficult to be a candidate for these positions. To address this, this proposal would change the submission deadline to the last Monday of April from the first Monday in March. That would bring the deadline to within 49 days of the beginning of the vote and 56 days before its conclusion, thus potentially making it easier for candidates to apply. From an administrative standpoint, it would still provide one week for the posting all of the candidates information on the GPCA web page and voting page, before the beginning of the discussion period that would being following Monday.

To address this, the recommended amendment can be found here: http://www.cagreens.org/plenary/bylaws-errata.pdf

4) Proposal #22 (http://files.cagreens.org/vote/propdetail?pid=22) established that the Coordinating Committee is elected by the Standing General Assembly, once a year to staggered two-year terms. It did not however, specify any process to fill mid-term vacancies.

In the previous version of the GPCA Bylaws, there was such a process, and it was not the intent of the Bylaws Committee that initially sponsored Proposal #22, to preclude the GPCA from doing so in the future. Rather, it was an error of omission not to specify such a process going forward.

Under the previous Bylaws, at-large Coordinating Committee members were elected at the General Assembly and where a vacancy occurred, it could be filled at the next General Assembly, to serve for the remainder of the term. Since under Proposal #22, Coordinating Committee elections are now conducted by the Standing General Assembly, this proposal seeks to provide a process for the Standing General Assembly to fill such vacancies.

The recommended process to fill vacancies would mirror that for the regular annual Coordinating Committee elections in Proposal #22 , except that in contrast to the six week discussion period for annually electing six female and six male Coordinating Committee members, a discussion period of four weeks is recommended, because in most cases only a single seat will be filled at a time and this would make it easier to fill a vacancy in a more timely manner, while still providing a significant discussion period. The recommended process would also only be used to fill a seat if at least three months would be remaining on the vacated term, giving the newly elected member the opportunity to participate in at least three regular monthly Coordinating Committee meetings, otherwise it is not deemed warranted l to go through this process for someone who would arguably only serve for two meetings or less.

To address this, the recommended amendment can be found here: http://www.cagreens.org/plenary/bylaws-errata.pdf

5) Proposal #21 (http://files.cagreens.org/vote/propdetail?pid=21) established the decision-making quorum for the Standing General Assembly. In so doing, it sought to have a quorum of a majority of both active party County Organizations and a majority of Standing General Assembly delegates.

In the language to accomplish this for Standing General Assembly delegates, Proposal #22 operated incorrectly on the assumption that all active County Organizations would appoint all of the delegates they were allocated. But in practice, many active County Organizations did not appoint all of their delegates and in some counties, didn't appoint any.

This resulted in a situation where instead of requiring a majority of actual voters - i.e. the ones appointed as delegates by their counties - the new language required a majority of all delegates who could be theoretically appointed by their counties. In practice this required a quorum of between 75% and 80% of the actual delegates, which was not what was intended and could mean that a small minority of delegates could prevent a proposal from passing simply by not voting. Furthermore such an approach to quorum would be inconsistent with how quorum is applied to the General Assembly. There only delegates actually present are counted, not how many could have been sent from each county (or region).

To address this, the recommended amendment can be found here: http://www.cagreens.org/plenary/bylaws-errata.pdf

6) Proposal #20 (http://files.cagreens.org/vote/propresult?pid=20) established that in addition to the GPCA's long time overt practice that amendments to the GPCA Bylaws could be proposed by the Bylaws Committee, Coordinating Committee and county parties, that amendments to the specific section of the party's governing documents that affects a Committee or Working Group could be proposed by that Committee or Working Group. However since then, it has been raised whether this mention of Committees and Working Groups also includes the GPUS Delegation. Although past practice has been to treat the Delegation like a Committee in some instances, this proposal would make it explicit that the Delegation could offer bylaws amendments for the parts of the bylaws that affect it. Thus in the revised text, "or the GPUS Delegation" would be added to the existing language in 13-2 of the GPCA Bylaws.

To address this, the recommended amendment can be found here: http://www.cagreens.org/plenary/bylaws-errata.pdf

7) Greens from the Alameda County Council had the concern that a County Council would consider Removal for Cause petition without otherwise attempting to resolve the conflict first. Although the language approved in Proposal #23 did not intend to exclude any attempts at mediation, this proposal would make it clear that such attempts are desired before any actions towards a Removal for Cause are undertaken.

To address this, the recommended amendment can be found here: http://www.cagreens.org/plenary/bylaws-errata.pdf


That the Standing General Assembly approve the amendments to GPCA Bylaws as per above and shown in green and red and with strikeout text and underlines at this reference link http://www.cagreens.org/plenary/bylaws-errata.pdf, so that the sections below would read as follows:

6-5.1 County Council members elected in the direct primary election may be removed from office only by a 2/3 vote of the General Assembly in response to a Removal for Cause petition from the County Council in question. Before a Removal for Caucus petition is considered, mediation is encouraged to address outstanding issues and concerns.

7-6.1(b) Each active County Organization is entitled to as many Standing Delegates as it is entitled to General Assembly delegates under 7-1.2. The number of Standing Delegates per active County Organization shall be based upon the state of California's 154 Day Report of Registration in even-numbered years and its Odd-Numbered Year Report in odd-numbered years, and be calculated by the Coordinating Committee and published to the active County Organizations by the end of March, which shall form the basis for the number of delegates chosen by each active County Organization for the ensuing Fiscal Year.

7-6.4 Quorum - A quorum has been reached when the number of votes cast is equal to a majority of delegate seats appointed under 7-1.2, together with a majority of all active County Organizations having cast at least one vote. In such cases, abstentions count as a vote cast.

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

8-4.5. Upon a mid-term vacancy occurring on the Coordinating Committee (but not a vacancy occurring as a result of any seats not being filled during an annual regular election), the Coordinating Committee shall publish a Notice of Vacancy and Call for Candidate Submissions to the active County Organizations, for candidates seeking to fill the remainder of the vacated term. The Notice shall contain the timing of the submission, discussion and election process, and the time remaining in the term for which a vacancy has occurred. The Notice shall be published within two days of the vacancy occurring. The submission deadline shall be 21 days from the publishing of the Notice. The discussion period shall begin on the first monday after the close of the submission period. No vacancy shall be noticed to be filled if from the resultant timeline above, the seat would be filled after the first Monday of the April before the end of the vacated term. Not withstanding the above, for 2013 only, there shall be a separate, one-time election for male and for female seats, combining unfilled two-year seats in the election, and the remainder of one-year seats not previously scheduled for election until 2014, where the top vote getter(s) will fill the two-year seats and the others will fill the one-year seats

9-2 Each committee shall have two co-coordinators. Elected coordinators shall take office upon confirmation by the General Assembly and shall serve for two years in staggered terms. Co-coordinators shall be responsible for preparing and announcing the draft agenda for committee meetings, to submit annual work plans and budgets on behalf of the committee and otherwise represent the committee in official communications with other committees, working groups and the General Assembly.

10-3.2 The decision-making process for committees shall follow that described for the General Assembly in 7-5.5. Quorum is a majority of the committee's voting membership, or one group coordinator and at least four additional voting members, whichever is fewer."

13-2.1 The governing documents may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the General Assembly. An amendment may be initiated by the Bylaws Committee, Coordinating Committee or an active County Organization; or by a Committee, Working Group or the GPUS Delegation, but only to that specific section of the governing documents that govern them.





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