2017, May 13 - Rockfish

agenda  |  minutes

AGENDA

NOTE: This is the agenda of the business meeting, which will take place in the morning. In the afternoon we will hold a meeting of the general membership, with presentations on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and on gerrymandering in Virginia. Details on the general meeting will follow soon.

LOCATION: (HYBRID in-person/remote-join) Rockfish Community Center, George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, 190 Rockfish School Ln, Afton, VA 22920. For those wishing to attend remotely, we will be using an online video conferencing service with full two-way audio and video. Information on how to join the meeting remotely will be provided before the meeting. You will need access to broadband internet, a computer, speakers or headphones/earbuds, and a microphone to participate remotely.

TIME: 9am to 12pm. (The general meeting will start at 1pm, and food will be provided on the premises.)

(For purposes of calculating quorum, the locals represented at at least one of the previous two meetings were Arlington, Blue Ridge, Central Virginia, Fredericksburg, Hampton Roads, New River Valley, Piedmont, Shenandoah, South Fork, and At Large.)

INTRODUCTION (10 mins)

Choose facilitator, note-taker, time-keeper, vibes-watcher.
Ratify agenda.
Approve minutes of last meeting.

OFFICIAL REPORTS (3 mins each -- total 30 mins)

(Detailed reports should be submitted in writing to the business listserve, and highlights only briefly summarized at the meeting.)

Co-Chair's report.
Treasurer's report.
Webmaster's report.
GPUS delegates and committee members' reports.
Local reports.

OLD BUSINESS

Review/Confirmation of IC decisions since the January meeting. (10 min)
Correction of language to the bylaws, Para. 14.1.3, to reflect our actual election schedule.
Affiliation of Lynchburg Local
Review of website progress (10 min)
Review of current campaigns (10 min)

NEW BUSINESS

Confirmation of Audrey Clement for GPUS Eco-action Committee (5 min)
BYLAWS (45 min)
Name change for Interim Committee
General Secretary
Adjustment to Para 12.1

COMMITTEES (30 min)

Review and discussion of proposals for our committee structure and duties

OTHER (20 min)

Review of internal complaints procedure
Discussion of delegate apportionment proposal from Ryan Wesdock et al.

ADJOURN

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TEXT OF BYLAW PROPOSALS

PROPOSAL: Rename the Interim Committee to the "Leadership Council"

Rationale: With the recent changes in our bylaws to voting rights and procedures on major decisions, the representatives of locals are the principles responsible for major decisions whether at in-person meetings, teleconference meetings, or when convened through the IC list-serve. This new designation is more consistent with the changes already adopted. In addition, this language clarifies the nature and purpose of the group as the primary governing and decision making body of the party, as, in fact, it has generally been in practice.

Current vs. proposed language: Throughout the bylaws, replace each instance of the words "Interim Committee" with the words "Leadership Council."

Edit Para 10.1.1 to read: "Each Local, through an inclusive democratic process, shall designate a Local Representative to serve as its member of the Leadership Council and as its principal point of contact with the state party."

Edit Para 10.2.1.2 to read: "The Leadership Council member or certified alternate from each of 50% or more of the affiliated locals."

Edit Para 10.3.1 to read: "Major decisions shall be made by consensus of those GPVA members present or, if consensus cannot be achieved, by a vote of three-fifths of the members of the Leadership Council present, unless the Bylaws specify a different approval threshold for the decision at hand, and provided quorum has been established. Alternate local representatives may vote on behalf of their local's Leadership Council member provided the alternate is certified in writing to the Co-Chairs by their local's Leadership Council member prior to the start of the meeting. Officers may not designate alternates, and no person present shall have more than one vote. At-large members present at state meetings may vote in accordance with Para. 7.4.2, and are treated as a single member pro tem of the Leadership Council while the meeting is in session."

Edit Para 17.1 to read: "The GPVA shall have a Leadership Council, accountable to the GPVA and responsible for GPVA major decisions in accordance with Para. 10.3."

Edit Para 17.2 to read:

17.2 Composition

17.2.1 The members of the Leadership Council shall be the Co-Chairs, the Press Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Local Representative of each affiliated local.

17.2.2 The Leadership Council shall be convened by one of the Co-Chairs any time there is business that, in the opinion of both Co-Chairs, requires its attention in accordance with Para 17.3, or upon request by at least 50% of Local Representatives. Meetings that are not in-person or teleconference meetings scheduled in accordance with Para's 10.6 and 10.7 shall be called "interim meetings." Interim meetings shall be conducted using a designated email list-serve.

17.2.3 If the Co-Chairs fail to convene an interim meeting of the Leadership Council within three days of a request by 50% or more of Local Representatives, the requesting Local Representatives may, by consensus, designate any member of the Leadership Council as the convener pro tem, to serve for the duration of the requested meeting.

17.2.5 All procedures of the Leadership Council, including transcripts of list-serve emails, shall be open and available to any member of the GPVA. Interim meetings of the Leadership Council shall be announced to the general membership at the time they are convened, including the reason, the business to be conducted, and the decisions to be made. Input from all GPVA members to interim meetings shall be encouraged. Local Representatives are responsible for the timely reporting to the Leadership Council of the input of their local's members, and the Co-Chairs are responsible for conveying the input of at-large members, or of any member who brings input to their attention.

Edit 17.4 to read:

17.4 Decision Making

17.4.1 Quorum for interim meetings of the Leadership Council shall be established in accordance with Para 10.2.

17.4.2 The Leadership Council shall strive for consensus in all of its decisions. When consensus cannot be achieved, decisions shall be made in accordance with Para's 10.3 and 10.4.

17.4.3 Interim meetings of the Leadership Council will be facilitated by the convener. A period of not less than 5 full days, excluding Sundays and public holidays, shall be permitted for discussion of any major decision, and a voting period of not less than 72 hours, excluding Sundays and public holidays, shall be designated for any major decision.

17.4.5 All decisions of the Leadership Council not taken at a meeting of the GPVA that has been scheduled in accordance with Para's 10.6 and 10.7 must be confirmed and may be subject to revision at the next regularly-scheduled meeting.

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PROPOSAL: Create an office of GPVA Secretary

Rationale: There are many clerical duties essential to the success of any large organization. These include the maintenance and publication of agendas, minutes, and reports; the upkeep of membership lists with all their attendant data, such as the (shifting) electoral districts in which members reside; the creation and updating of an historical record of the organization, including written accounts and timelines, photographs, videos, news clippings, press-releases, and so on. Without a secretary, many of these duties in the GPVA have fallen to the webmaster in our bylaws, and those activities about which the bylaws are silent have been been accomplished haphazardly or not at all. Moreover, the responsibilities of the webmaster already include a full suite of non-secretarial duties. Clearly, designating and filling an office to perform clerical duties is long overdue.

Current vs. proposed language:

Edit Para 14.1.1 to read: "The Green Party of Virginia shall establish the following positions ("Officers"): two equal positions of Chair, not both of which shall be filled by male or female at the same time, unless there are insufficient candidates; a Treasurer; a Press Secretary; a General Secretary ("Secretary-Archivist"); and a Webmaster."

Edit Para 14.1.3.2 to read: "In even-numbered years elections shall be held for one Co-Chair, the Press Secretary, and the General Secretary. In odd-numbered years elections shall be held for one Co-Chair, the Treasurer, and the Webmaster."

Renumber 14.2.4 to 14.2.5 (amended below), and insert a new 14.2.4 as follows:

14.2.4 The duties of the General Secretary shall be as follows:

14.2.4.1 Manage the production and online publication of official internal party documents with the use of consistent and professional styles and links. These documents include but are not limited to:

Agendas and minutes of all regular and interim meetings, including the members of the Leadership Council present, the substance of any discussions, the nature of any decisions made, and any elections held and their results;

The party bylaws, including the current and previous iterations with a timeline record of all changes;

The party platform, highlighting recent updates;

The rules and procedures governing standing committees;

Dated reports from officers, committees, and locals;

14.2.4.2 Maintain a current database of all current and past members and officers, including:

The name, phone number, email address, physical address, electoral districts, and GPVA Local affiliation; the date of membership; volunteer and/or donation status; and contact preferences of each registered member of the GPVA;

The roster of past and current officers with their date of election and term of office, and appropriate contact information.

A list of affiliated locals and their past and current Local Representatives, with appropriate geographical and contact information.

A list of GPVA committees, including a membership list, the past and present conveners with appropriate contact information, and with links to their rules, minutes, and reports.

The roster of current GPVA members on GPUS committees, with their date of election/appointment and term of service.

14.2.4.3 Conduct votes and elections by the Leadership Council at regular and interim meetings, in accordance with procedures designated by our bylaws, and announce and record the results.

14.2.4.4 Produce a GPVA newsletter (electronic or print as appropriate) at least annually but as often as practical for distribution to the general membership, summarizing all GPVA activity and highlighting news of interest to members.

14.2.4.5 Maintain a party history, including the dates of general meetings and their activities, participation in public events, media clippings about the party or its members, and other data of historical interest. The data archive should include records in any appropriate format, including text, photographs, recordings, and so on.

Amend the current 14.2.4, renumbered to 14.2.5, as follows:

14.2.5 The duties of the Webmaster shall be as follows:

14.2.5.1 Develop and maintain the GPVA website and other internet services, and manage all associated information technology infrastructure, including:

domain names, IP addresses, and ICANN records;

server purchasing/leasing and maintenance;

software acquisition, installation, and updating;

database integration and maintenance;

appropriate user roles and permissions for other GPVA members;

and information security including strong passwords, strong encryption where warranted, and redundant and ongoing data backups.

14.2.5.2 Optimize our website and other internet services in accordance with current technology and best practices, and advise the membership regarding changes in technology that impact the party's effectiveness or online reach.

14.2.5.3 Facilitate the posting and updating of documents and other data by the General Secretary and other designated officers and representatives of the GPVA.

14.2.5.2 Serve as convener of the Information Technology Committee.

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PROPOSAL: Delete the words "in final form" from Para 12.1 regarding the publication of proposed bylaw amendments prior to meetings at which they will be considered.

Current language: 12.1 Proposals in final form for Amendments to these By-laws must be published to the GPVA membership 31 days prior to the next state meeting.

Proposed language: 12.1 Proposals for Amendments to these By-laws must be published to the GPVA membership 31 days prior to the next state meeting.

Rationale: The language of this bylaw has always been interpreted to mean that any bylaw proposal must be published 31 days in advance of any state meeting at which it will be considered or voted upon. It has not been interpreted to mean that a proposal cannot be amended at the meeting--or that if it is a vote on it cannot then be taken.

For example, at the May 2015 meeting a bylaw proposal made by Audrey Clement was discussed, a friendly amendment offered and accepted, and the proposal--as amended--was adopted by a majority vote. Again, at the October 2016 meeting, a bylaw proposal by Tamar Yager was taken under consideration, a friendly amendment to the language was offered and accepted, and the proposal as amended was adopted on a majority vote. A like procedure has been followed throughout the party's history.

Recently, however, two members have raised an objection to the adoption of a bylaw amendment at the January 2017 meeting, on the basis that it was altered at the meeting from the original proposed language, and therefore failed the "final form 31 days prior" regulation. The reading of Para. 12.1 on which this objection was based is inconsistent with the way it has been applied previously, it is additionally inconsistent with common parliamentary procedure, and it would have the effect of seriously inhibiting the conduct of the party's business. Proposals, even those requiring only trivial alterations affecting grammar, style, or clarity, would either have to be adopted without editing or amendment, or amended but then tabled for an indeterminate period until the subsequent state meeting. Such a procedural quagmire would hobble the conduct of party business unnecessarily.

In the manner in which the paragraph has been interpreted up to now, the words "in final form" are not essential to an understanding of its meaning, and their elision will prevent any further confusion.

 

MINUTES

Locals in attendance (Local Representatives): New River Valley Greens (Steve Gillespie), Lynchburg (Marcus Sutphin), Richmond (Montigue Magruder), Blue Ridge (Charlie Jordan), Fredericksburg (Sean Immanian), Hampton Roads (Bryce Davis), Fairfax (Casey White), Piedmont (Will King [standing in for Elizabeth Melson]), Central Virginia (Kimberly Arbowe – Online), Loudon (Maria Bergheim), Arlington (John Reeder – online), South Fork (Andrew Frankie), Shenandoah (Lucas Keckley).

Hearing on Charges Against Audrey Clement

Charges having been made against Fairfax Local member Audrey Clement by the Piedmont Green Party, and those charges having been agreed to by a majority of locals and the co-chairs, in accordance with GPVA Bylaws Para. 7.3 a hearing was scheduled at the start of the meeting. Co-chair Sid Smith circulated a proposed procedure prior to the meeting, and this procedure was agreed to by majority voice vote at the beginning of the meeting. The Charges and the Procedures are appended to these minutes.

The procedure having been followed, a voice vote was held on whether to impose sanctions on Audrey. Voting yes: Sid Smith (co-chair), Tamar Yager (co-chair), Tim Cotton (press secretary), John Reeder (Arlington), Kimberly Lowe (Central Virginia), Bryce Davis (Hampton Roads), Marcus Sutphin (Lynchburg), Steve Gillespie (New River Valley), Will King (Piedmont), Lucas Keckley (Shenandoah), and Andrew Franke (South Fork). Voting no: Kirit Mukherjee (treasurer), Chris Fink (webmaster), Charlie Jordan (Blue Ridge), Casey White (Fairfax), Sean Immanian (Fredericksburg), and Maria Bergheim (Loudoun). The vote being 11:6:0, having failed to reach the 2/3rds threshold, sanctions were not imposed on Audrey Clement.

Introduction

Sid Smith facilitator, Ryan Wesdock note taker, Sean Immanian vibes watcher, Montigue Magruder time keeper.
Agenda ratified. Minutes of last meeting confirmed, though NRV Greens add that their local report should be added to the minutes.

Official Reports

Tim Cotton discussed creation of “media force” consisting of one member of each local

Old Business

Interim Committee Decisions:

Endorsed correction of office election dates
Affiliation of Lynchburg local

Review of Website Progress:

Website (Nationbuilder – www.VAGreenParty.com) is in progress. ETA in a couple weeks at worst (Drupal site ETA in next two months). Webmaster Chris Fink added the report of the IT Committee to the minutes (Appendix A). Still to do: Website will have links to Facebook, Reddit, etc. Improved facilitation for internal party business (strategic goals, etc.). Will establish a wiki page for Drupal website. Will incorporate new member rolls. The Drupal site will contain a forum.

Review of Current Campaigns:

Jeff Staples (77th) – Absent, update given by Bryce. Created a website. Gathering ballot signatures

Will King (18th) – Raised $16,000 for the campaign against Republican candidate (and Democrat Michael Jackson). Will start canvassing next month. Close to major newspaper endorsements. Call for volunteers to push them over the edge.

Gerald Anderson(88th) – Absent, update given by Sean. Moving forward, meeting resistance from “Dem Enter” sheepherders and Republicans.

New Business

New Campaigns:

Montigue Magruder (69th) – Focusing on gerrymandering (nonpartisan) and helping people know that they have a voice in the House of Delegates. Increased transportation funding, better worker rights, higher minimum wage, etc. Running into issues with Richmond registrar's office. Nominated by the GPVA by consensus.

Marcus Sutphin (59th) – Founding member of Lynchburg local. Running on living wage tuned to local circumstances (cost of living adjustment), environmental justice, and single-payer healthcare. Nominated by the GPVA by consensus.

Nomination of Audrey Clement for GPUS Eco-Action Committee:

Audrey asks for re-nomination to the committee. Audrey is re-appointed by consensus.

Andrew also asks to join the committee. Andrew is appointed by consensus.

Agenda Items Deferred:

The remainder of the agenda has been deferred to the Interim Committee for consideration and deliberation with the stipulation that such consideration involves the input of local representatives and any decisions of the IC are approved at the next meeting.

Business meeting adjourned at 1pm.

 


APPENDIX

Charges Against Audrey Clement by Piedmont Green Party

In response to GPVA member Audrey Clements’ latest efforts to subvert the Green Party and its values,
we respectfully request review and action, under Paragraph 7.3 of our by-laws, for violating membership

standards as described in Paragraph 7.2.2.4, which reads, “Members of the GPVA are proscribed from
…acting to subvert the Green Party or its values…”

Referring specifically to the damaging letter to the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club which required
action on our co-chair’s part, Ms. Clements’ latest actions and those in the past have demonstrated a
disdain for the party, its values and its leadership.

To name but a few of such activities we cite official GPVA list servs where she recently referred to the
Green party message as “sh#t”, that should not be spread around anymore. A perusal of these list servs
will also demonstrate argumentative, disrespectful, and aggressive attacks to no positive end.
She has publicly expressed displeasure with the GP nominee for President in 2016.

Although we welcome, and value, dissenting opinions, her aggressive and disrespectful attitudes on
emails and at meetings have not been productive and have made recruiting and membership retention
extremely difficult while making participation in state party actiities next to impossible on the part of
local members.

Unfortunately her actions, and results thereof, have proven detrimental to the progress of the Green
Party of Virginia and its locals, collectively. Her local has already taken similar action in the past.
Therefore, after conversations with local members, on behalf of the Piedmont Green Party, I respectfully

request GPVA Co-Chairs Tamar Yager and B. Sidney Smith take action pursuant to Section 7.3 of the
GPVA By-Laws.

Submitted via email by Elizabeth Melson, May 8th 2017, to the co-chairs.

Procedure for Hearing on Charges Against Audrey Clement

(Sent to the voting members via email the day before the meeting.)

Dear Voting Members,

Our meeting tomorrow will begin at 9 am sharp. If you are joining in person, please plan your drive-times accordingly to arrive by 8:45. Because our first item of business will be to consider the charges against Audrey Clement, it is especially important that members make every effort to be punctual.

The bylaw that governs our procedures in cases like this is Para. 7.3:

    7.3 Membership Review Process
    7.3.1 GPVA may reprimand, bar from meetings, suspend, expel or otherwise sanction members who behave in a manner inconsistent with its membership standards as defined in 7.2 above.
    7.3.2 Charges of violation of the above membership standards may be made by any member or members.
    7.3.3 Such charges must be forwarded in writing to one of the Co-Chairs of the GPVA who will confer together. If either or both Co-Chairs believe that the charges are warranted, or if half the affiliated locals agree with the charges, then the matter shall be placed on the agenda of the next scheduled GPVA meeting.
    7.3.4 All members charged with violations of membership standards shall have the right to rebut the charges.
    7.3.5 The burden of proof shall be on those making the charges. After hearing testimony from the accusers and the accused, including the presentation of evidence and/or witnesses by both sides, the membership shall vote to impose sanctions on the accused by a two-thirds vote.
    7.3.6 Members who have been sanctioned by the party may have their rights restored if:
    7.3.6.1 the sanctions imposed by a Local are revoked by the Local, or
    7.3.6.2 the sanctions imposed by GPVA are revoked by GPVA, or
    7.3.6.3 the sanctions expire, or
    7.3.6.4 the GPVA Interim Committee votes to lift the sanctions.

While the general procedure is well-defined, the details of how to conduct the meeting and (especially) the voting are not spelled-out. Tamar and I have conferred closely on how to ensure that the exact procedures we use are in complete accordance with what is specified by the bylaws. Accordingly, we have determined to use the procedure outlined below at our meeting tomorrow. Please review it and let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We will ask for consensus on these procedures when we begin at 9am.

1. Tamar and I, as co-chairs, will preside during the consideration of the charges and the subsequent voting.

2. We will require that Audrey, if she attends, sit on the opposite side of the assembly from the members of the charging local.
3. When the meeting is called to order, all business, including selection of facilitator etc. and amendments to and approval of the agenda, will be deferred until after the disposition of the this matter.
4. A representative of the Piedmont Green Party will present the charges against Audrey, and any evidence that is to be considered. Witnesses may be called, but only by prior agreement of the witness. Audrey, if present, will be given the opportunity to cross-examine any witnesses.
5. Audrey, if she joins in-person or remotely, will then present her defense, and any evidence she wishes to be considered. Audrey may call and question witnesses, but only by prior agreement of the witness, unless the witness is one who has already testified on behalf of the accusers. The Piedmont Green Party's representative my cross-examine any witnesses.
6. Audrey, if present, will then be asked to vacate the room while the charges are considered. At this time, each voting member may make a short statement if she/he so chooses. The order of statements will be locals first, in alphabetical order, then the Press Secretary, Treasurer, and Webmaster, and finally the co-chairs. There will be no stack, and no rebuttals or discussion.
7. Following statements, an open roll call vote will be taken on the question, do the charges warrant the imposition of sanctions on Audrey Clement? It will require a 2/3ds majority to pass. PLEASE NOTE: This vote is NOT on what kind of sanctions to impose, but only on whether sanctions of some kind are to be imposed.
8. If, and only if, the vote to impose sanctions passes, the voting members will then cast secret ballots in an instant run-off vote on sanctions. The voting options will include:
1) Formal reprimand.
2) Barring from meetings and list-serves.
3) Suspension of membership in the GPVA for 12 months.
4) Expulsion.
Additional "candidates" for sanctions may be added to this list. Voting members may move to add a sanction, and if it is seconded then it may be added on a simple majority approval of the voting members.
The vote will take place on opavote.com at the following link:
https://www.opavote.com/vote/5235033958776832
Each voting member will be given an 8-letter code that allows them to cast a single, secret, ranked-choice ballot, and they may do so on their own computers/devices or on ones provided by fellow members. Remotely joining members will have the code emailed to them at this time. The choices are made on the webpage by dragging the options into the order of preference, and then clicking the submit button. When all voting members who wish to vote have cast their vote, the vote will be tallied and the results announced. Audrey will then be informed of the outcome.
9. Upon completion of this procedure, the meeting will return to the published agenda.

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