Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Party's Committees

What I plan to do in this post is supply you with information about each of the party's committees. I will cover their status, that is, are they an ad-hoc but authorized committee, a properly constituted permanent committee, or a committee of dubious birth of either variety? What are their goals and responsibilities? Do they have working Policies and Procedures, and if not, why not? How many members does each have? Are they reaching their goals? Is the committee needed and effective?

I'll link all over the place of course, but much of this is just my opinion. Look the stuff over yourself and see if you don't agree with my perceptions. All the committee reviews are waiting behind the "Read more!" link...

First up is the Delegate Allocation Committee. The listed co-chairs are Cat Woods of CA and Greg Gerrit of RI. The page lists no members, and indeed, Garrett has reported to the Green National Committee that the entire committee membership, including co-chairs, has resigned. The committee is an ad-hoc committee, not a permanent committee. The proposal that grew from their efforts, Proposal 256 , was unable to secure the 2/3 majority it needed to pass. The report to the GNC from the DAC is right here The members of the DAC were elected in accordance with Proposal 208 The results are right here. The committee itself was properly constituted following the adoption of Proposal 175 The results of that vote is right here A proposal to clarify terminology and mission of the DAC was presented by the Green Party of Florida, but for some reason nothing else happened there. Here's a a link to the proposal The PDF with results of their questionnaire are available here and the PDF of the actual DAC Proposal is hiding behind this link. The committee does not seem to have any Policies and Procedures in place. The committee page says
Committee Mission

The Delegate Apportionment Committee is elected to devise a new apportionment formula for state party delegates to the GPUS national committee and the Green party national presidential nominating convention. It will cease to operate when it has finished its work.
but some members of the GNC want to re-constitute the DAC with new elections and give them six more months to develop a new delegate allocation proposal. I don't know for certain, but I believe the proposal voted on did not address the allocation of delegates to the next nominating convention. The work this committee is charged with doing must be done. We will need not only to address the question of delegate allocation to the GNC, but also to the annual national meeting and nominating conventions. This work should be done by a standing committee, perhaps the By-laws, Rules, Policies and Procedure committee or, in the question of the annual meetings and nominating conventions, the Credentials Committee. Fewer committees accomplishing more tasks is the route we should be on.

That is the report on but one committee, and as you can see, it takes some time to run all this stuff down, but I believe the national party needs to shake hard like a wet dog and shake off the old people and ways of thinking and acting which have led to unhappy outcomes of late for the party. We have a glorious future if old fuddy duddies like me will just get out of the way and let a new wind lift our sails. Check back later for more on the rest of the committees.

The second committee I will cover is the Presidential Campaign Support Committee Chaired by Phil Huckleberry of IL, the PCSC lists no members They list a state questionnaire at the site, and the Policies and Procedures of the committee make up the bulk of the text at the site, but I am not sure, for the page labeled Documents and Procedures" is as blank as the list of committee members.

The PCSC's Mission and Objectives were passed by the GNC in adopting Proposal 215 The committee was properly constituted by the adoption of Proposal 63 That proposal was adopted in 2003.

I am not convinced that this committee serves a vital function.

The Platform Committee is chaired by Howard Switzer of TN and Jenefer Ellingston of of DC. The 2000 and 2004 platforms are at the committee's site, as are their Policies and Procedures, one of few who have them posted to their page. They also link to a page with a variety of reports on their work over the years.

Proposal 196 updated the rules of the committee when it was passed about a year ago I can find no record of the committee being properly constituted. The online record only goes back to October 28th of 2001.

While I am not interested in spending my time on platform issues, I understand that it's vital stuff for some. Based on that, and the fact that the committee appears to function, the committee is OK by me. I do think they should publish a list of all members, but apparently no committees do that, not even the Green National Committee, the Grand Pooh-Bah of Committees.

Now comes the Peace Action Committee Chaired by Ann Wilcox of DC and Aimee Smith of MI, the committee maintains two listserves, which you must be approved for by your state party. One, the Organizing List, is for committee work, and the other is for for discussions. The Peace Action Committee, unique amongst committees as far as I know, is allowed to raise their own donations Their website contains a number of a number of fliers and photos as well as organizing tools and a petition to Impeach Bush

The committee site has no Policies and Procedures in place. The Peace Action Committee was illegitimately created by passage of Proposal 238 I say illegitimate because the Peace Action Committee proposed it's own creation in direct contradiction to USGP rules which demand that all proposals must come from a state, caucus or standing committee.

I see the Peace Action Committee as an Uber-Committee with special rights not allowed other committees, like the right to raise funds separately from the rest of the party. Allowing the committee to endorse peace actions without the GNC approving has left us with a Peace Action committee endorsement of an event no Green was allowed to address and that the national party had not endorsed. This committee is unneeded as a committee within the party structure and should be reconstituted as "Greens for Peace" or even GPAX, but as a separate unit, just as GDI or Green Institute are.

The Outreach Committee is chaired by Becky Weber of DC and Richard Scott of AZ. Their site, still being created, includes several banner ads for Green blogs like mine, and a couple of PDF files for fliers, including one in Spanish, which you can download and print off at home. the committee does have a set of Policies and Procedures on the site, and the committee was properly constituted following the adoption of Proposal 248 The vote wasn't even close

While I am inclined to have both the Merchandise and Outreach Committees as sub-committees of Fundraising, I know that outreach is vital no matter how it happens. We must grow, and soon.

Speaking of merchandising, that committee webpage lists LaVerne Butler of DC and Jon Olsen of ME as chairs. The committee site includes the online application to use the Green Party Logo, a stupid idea if there ever was one, and information on bulk pricing. Surprisingly, there are no links to the adverts for the merchandise, like coffee, CDs or apparel. That said, the info is at the site, and the committee's page does have the committee's by-laws and their committee minutes No Policies and Procedures as such, but pretty close.

The Merchandise Committee was properly constituted as a result of the passage of Proposal 241 which passed almost unanimously, 66 to 0 with 2 abstentions. As with Outreach, I'd prefer a tighter committee structure, with Merchandise as a sub-committee of fundraising, but I am thrilled that merchandise is available from the national party. This should be a primary source of income for the party in my mind.

Well, my mind is a bit frazzled at the moment. Here is a list of committees yet to be covered.

Media Committee
International Committee
Green Pages Board
Dispute Resolution
Coordinated Campaign Committee
By-laws, Rules, Policies and Procedures
Ballot Access
Annual National Meeting Committee
Steering Committee
and of course, the Green National Committee As you can see, finishing this out will take some time, but if it helps us get a grasp on what is working and what is not, it's well worth the time.
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