Green Party of Los Angeles County - County Council Meeting Agenda
Sunday, October 2, 2016
Belvedere Regional Community Park
4914 E. Cesar Chavez Avenue, Los Angeles
2pm: vegetarian potluck/social
2:30pm - 6pm: Meeting (dress for the weather, we'll be outside)
Co-Facilitators: Marla Bernstein and Ajay Rai
Minutes: Mike Feinstein
Time Keeper: Linda Piera Avila
Vibes Watcher: Cordula Ohman
1. Welcome and Introductions - All attendees (ten minutes)
2. Opportunity to amend agenda and/or add emergency items (five minutes)
• Relevant By-Law 9-5.5 Once distributed, the Agenda may not be changed until the meeting. The time and order of already agendized items may be amended by a 3/5 vote. New agenda items may be added by a 2/3 vote.
3. Report: Treasurer’s report (five minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Doug Barnett, GPLAC Treasurer
Background: New PayPal donation page discussed at last meeting has been established by Doug Barnett
4. Action: Approval of Minutes of October 2, 2016 County Council meeting (Feinstein) (five minutes)
Background: Draft minutes were submitted to the GPLAC County Council email list on October 4. No changes or amendments were suggested.
5. Action: Set Future Meeting Locations (ten minutes)
Sponsors/Presenters: Bernstein, Rai
Background: At its July 10, 2016 meeting, the County Council approved the following schedule for the remainder of 2016: Sunday, July 10; Sunday, August 21; Sunday, October 2; Sunday, November 13; Sunday, December 18 (teleconference).
This item is to schedule the first meetings in 2017. Based upon the discussion at the October 2 meeting, scheduling meetings early 2017 should be with an eye towards supporting endorsed Green candidates running in the March 2017 Los Angeles City Council elections. Two Greens are likely running in seats (CD 3 and 7) in the San Fernando Valley and one (CD 15) in the Harbor/South Bay.
Proposal: Schedule the first two meetings in 2017.
6. Report: Update on GPLAC opposition to Final EIR for warehouse project at 4051 S. Alameda in Los Angeles on the former South Central Farm land (five minutes)
7. Presentation: Greens holding elected office (ten minutes)
Background: At least three Greens holding elected office will expected to be present at the next County Council meeting - Jessica Ceballos, Highland Park Neighborhood Council; Caney Arnold, Harbor City Neighborhood Council; and Jose Lara, Governing Board Member, El Rancho Unified School District, Pico Rivera. Lara and Arnold are considered for 2017 endorsement later on the agenda, so will be heard from then. This item will hear from Ceballos.
8. Action: Endorsement for Governing Board Member, El Rancho Unified School District, Pico Rivera (ten minutes)
Background: GPLAC Bylaws 5-2.9(c) state that the County Council may "Endorse Green Party members who are candidates for public office and make a statement of support for candidates for public office who are not Green Party members". County party endorsement is also required under GPCA bylaws, to qualify to receive state party campaign fund support http://www.cagreens.org/committees/campaign-support, and is a major consideration for GPUS campaign fund support.
GPLAC Rules and Procedures Article 7 state "Any endorsed candidate shall be expected to campaign in a manner that - accurately represents the decisions of the Green Party of Los Angeles County, the Green Party of California and the Green Party of the United States, including endorsement of other candidates; - generally supports the principles and policies of the Green Party of California platform and any additional issue and policy positions taken by the Green Party of Los Angeles; and where there is a disagreement between the positions of the endorsed candidate and those of the Green Party of California and/or the Green Party of Los Angeles County, be willing to state how this is so and why; - does not misrepresent the candidate's own record nor that of others and makes a good faith effort to be factually correct; - does not use prejudicial, biased, or offensive language, images or graphics with respect to race, gender, ethnicity, physical ability, spirituality, sexuality, or age; and - is in compliance with all applicable laws regarding being a candidate for public office.
Green Party members Jose Lara will be taking out nominating petitions for re-election as Governing Board Member, El Rancho Unified School District, Pico Rivera once the filing period officially opens in mid July 2017; and has asked to be considered for GPLAC endorsement. While it has not generally been the GPLAC practice to endorse candidates before they qualify for the ballot, in this case we have a strong Green incumbent who is already in office, who has already begun to fundraise and seek endorsements, and who has a record that we already know. In particular has done leading work on promoting ethnic studies in California, and in 2015 received National Education Association’s Social Justice Activist of the Year.
Proposal for endorsement: That the GPLAC endorse Green incumbent Jose Lara for Governing Board Member, El Rancho Unified School District, Pico Rivera.
9. Action: Taking GPLAC positions on March 2017 ballot measures in the City of Los Angeles (twenty-five minutes)
Background: GPLAC Bylaws 5-2.10 Ballot Measures state that the County Council may "Endorse or oppose ballot measures appearing on the ballot in Los Angeles County” and Bylaw 9-4.2(h) states that votes that require 3/5 for approval including "endorsing or opposing ballot measures.
This agenda item gives the Green Party the opportunity to discuss and take positions on ballot measures on the March 2017 primary election ballot in the City of Los Angeles. It is also scheduled before the discucsion of specific City Council candidates, so that attendees can hear from the candidates on those issues before considering endorsement.
For Decision: Los Angeles Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act / Cannabis Activity Permits and Regulation initiative (ten minutes)
Proposal for endorsement: That the GPLAC endorse the Los Angeles Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act
For Discussion: Neighborhood Integrity Initiative (fifteen minutes)
10: Action: Adopt the position that size of Los Angeles City Council should be substantially increased (fifteen minutes)
Background: In the late 1990s, two Los Angeles Charter Review Commissions recommended increases in the size of the City Council. Measure 3 would have increased the Council to 21 members (favored by the appointed Commission), but lost 62.9% to 37.1% when it was put to a June 1999 public vote. Measure 4 would have increased the Council to 25 members (favored by the elected Commission), but it lost 63.8% to 36.2% in that same election.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in gaining public approval is countering the argument that a larger City Council simply means ‘more of the same kind of politics and politicians’. Done properly, better per capita representation should mean better representation of voters in the City of Los Angeles. Times have also changed in the City of Los Angeles since that June 1999 vote, which did approve a charter amendment (Measure 5) that included establishing Neighborhood Councils. People now have had more than a decade of experience with these Neighborhood Councils. By involving more people on the local level in the governing of the city, the appreciation and appetite for more and better voice and representation has probably increased.
Proposal: That the GPLAC adopt the following resolution, and send it to all of the Neighborhood Councils in Los Angeles and to the Los Angeles City Council members
Resolution regarding increasing the size of the Los Angeles City Council:
Whereas the City of Los Angeles is 502.7 square miles; and
Whereas the City of Los Angeles has the lowest per capita representation in the U.S. (266,000:1), resulting from having only 15 City Councilmembers for a city of approximatley 4 million people; and
Whereas the current size of 15 Councilmembers was set in 1925, when the population of Los Angeles was only one million, one quarter of what it is now; and
Whereas New York City has 51 Councilmembers, with a ratio of 160,000:1; and Chicago has 50, with a ratio of 54,000; and
Whereas in California’s next five most populous cities after Los Angeles, the ratio is approximately: San Diego 150,000:1; San Jose 100,000:1; San Francisco 75,000:1; Fresno 70,000:1; Sacramento 60,000:1; and
Whereas no other state in the U.S. (other than CA) even has State Assembly districts as populous as are the City of Los Angeles City Council districts; and whereas only the states of Florida, New York and Texas have State Assembly districts even half that populous; and
Whereas increasing the number of City Councilmembers would improve LA’s per capita representation and make it easier for City Council elections and local government to reflect the city’s great diversity; and
Whereas a per capita representation similar to San Jose’s (which has half of LA’s population density) would mean a 40-member City Council for LA, while a per capita representation comparable to San Francisco (which has one and a half times LA’s population density) would mean 53 members;
Therefore the Green Party of Los Angeles County supports a substantial increase in the size of the Los Angeles City Council, with study and consideration of per capita ratios of representation comparable to San Jose and San Francisco, leading to a City Council of up to potentially up to a similar size as Chicago and New York, and with study and consideration of both multi-seat and single-seat districts with ranked choice voting
11: Action: Adopt the position that the members of the Los Angeles City, School District and Community College should be elected by ranked choice voting (fifteen minutes)
Backkground: Los Angeles elects its local elected officials via a primary election and a general election run-off, if no candidate receives a majority in the primay. This makes Los Angeles elections more expensive and increases negative campaigning and limits voter choice. The elections are more expensive, because with the need for run-offs, the city must often conduct two elections instead of one. This places an extra burden upon the taxpayer and diverts funds from other critical needs. Having two elections also makes it more expensive for candidates to run, which means the influence of money in politics increases. LA's system also results in more negative campaigning because when there are only two choices, as in the run-offs, its easier to defeat your opponent by knocking them down, because voters have no where else to go.
In place of such two-round run-off elections, the GPCA state platform recommends a switch to single-round ranked choice voting here www.cagreens.org/platform/electoral-reform and explains ranked choice voting in more depth here www.cagreens.org/platform/proportional-representation. Ranked choice voting can be applied with either single-seat elections, where single-seat districts are in use, or in multi-seat elections, where candidates are elected from multi-seat districts.
Proposal: That the GPLAC adopt the following resolution, and send it to all of the Neighborhood Councils in Los Angeles and to the elected officials of City, School District and Community College District:
Resolution that Los Angeles City, School District and Community College elections should be elected by ranked choice voting
Whereas by moving to ranked choice voting (RCV) for Los Angeles City elections in place of two-round run-off elections, $5 to $9 million dollars would be saved in each election cycle for Los Angeles City Council, Mayor, Controller, City Attorney, School Board and Community College Board
Whereas having to contest only one election instead of two would decrease the amount of money candidates for those offices have to raise; and
Whereas as a result of holding only one election instead of two, the City's fund for public financing of campaigns would have to pay for only one election, not two; and
Whereas under elections by ranked choice voting, candidates may need the second or third rankings from the supporters of other candidates to reach a majority under RCV, and therefore have an incentive to speak to the issues, build coalitions and find common ground; and
Whereas having only one election doesn’t require people to have to vote twice to be heard; and
Whereas under ranked choice voting, voters have enhanced abilities to express their preferences, and are not hindered by the less-of-evil disincentives inherent in the existing voting system; and
Whereas under ranked choice voting, voters preferences are more clearly expressed and therefore more clear public policy signals are sent to the eventual winners;
Therefore the Green Party of Los Angeles County supports the use of ranked choice voting to elect the members of the Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles Mayor, Controller, City Attorney, School Board and Community College Board
12. Discussion: Endorsement for City Council, Districts 3, 7 and 15. Preparation for 2017 Los Angeles City Elections (forty-five minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Mike Feinstein
Background: GPLAC Bylaws 5-2.9(c) state that the County Council may "Endorse Green Party members who are candidates for public office and make a statement of support for candidates for public office who are not Green Party members". County party endorsement is also required under GPCA bylaws, to qualify to receive state party campaign fund support, and is a major consideration for GPUS campaign fund support.
GPLAC Rules and Procedures Article 7 state "Any endorsed candidate shall be expected to campaign in a manner that - accurately represents the decisions of the Green Party of Los Angeles County, the Green Party of California and the Green Party of the United States, including endorsement of other candidates; - generally supports the principles and policies of the Green Party of California platform and any additional issue and policy positions taken by the Green Party of Los Angeles; and where there is a disagreement between the positions of the endorsed candidate and those of the Green Party of California and/or the Green Party of Los Angeles County, be willing to state how this is so and why; - does not misrepresent the candidate's own record nor that of others and makes a good faith effort to be factually correct; - does not use prejudicial, biased, or offensive language, images or graphics with respect to race, gender, ethnicity, physical ability, spirituality, sexuality, or age; and - is in compliance with all applicable laws regarding being a candidate for public ofice
The City of Los Angeles will hold its Primary Nominating Election Tuesday, March 7, 2017, and its General Municipal Election Tuesday, May 16, 2017 http://clerk.lacity.org/Elections/index.htm. The following three Green Party members will be taking out nominating petitions for Los Angeles City Council once the filing period officially opens in early November, and have asked to be considered for GPLAC endorsement. The candidates have been sent the candidate questionnaire that the GPCA sends to candidates seeking GPCA financial support, to provide them basic questions to answer about their campaign http://www.cagreens.org/committees/campaign-support/questionnaire.
Los Angeles City Council, District 3: Angel Rolland
Los Angeles City Council, District 7: Martha "Marlin" Medrano
Los Angeles City Council, District 15: Caney Arnold
Proposal for endorsement: That the GPLAC endorse Angel Rolland, Los Angeles City Council, District 3
Proposal for endorsement: That the GPLAC endorse Martha "Marlin" Medrano, Los Angeles City Council, District 7
Proposal for endorsement: That the GPLAC endorse Caney Arnold, Los Angeles City Council, District 15
13. Action: Voter Registration list sharing with candidates (five minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Ajay Rai
Background: Under California state law, ballot-qualified political parties are entitled to one free voter registration list before the primary election and one before the general election - and the party can choose the date of the list. This year the GPLAC has requested the latest list available right before the election - the 19 day close of registration list. That list will have all registered voters in Los Angeles County. The GPLAC will receive a disk with this information sometime in November 2016.
Proposal: That (1) the GPLAC donate to each endorsed candidate for Los Angeles City Council, the list of all registered voters the GPLAC receives for that City Council district
14. Action: Amend Section 5-4 Database Access in GPLAC Rules and Procedures (ten minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Ajay Rai
Background: The current Article 5 Database Access section of the GPLAC was written before the GPCA had access to Nationbuilder and its eblast capability. This proposal would update that language in supporting endorsed Green candidates, and also draws language from the GPCA's IT Protocol regarding legal use of said data http://www.cagreens.org/it-protocol#data-base-access; with new text in green and old
deleted text in red with strikeout lines .
Proposal: That Section 5-4 Database Access of the GPLAC Rules and Procedures be amended as follows:
5-4.1 General Access
Access to a the data base shall be at the discretion of the County Council and in keeping with the GPCA's IT Protocol . Individual County Councilmembers shall have no special access to the data base, other than that provided for in these Rules and Procedures.
5-4.2 General Use
Voter registration information in the Contact Data Base shall not be used for any personal, private, or commercial purpose (as per the California Elections Code http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=elec&group=02001-0...), including, but not limited to:
5-4.2(a) The harassment of any voter or voter's household.
5-4.2(b) The advertising, solicitation, sale, or marketing of products or services to any voter or voter's household.
5-4.2(c) Reproduction in print, broadcast visual or audio, or display on the Internet
5-4.2(d) No one convicted under the Megan's list law may have access to the data base
5-4.2(e) Anyone with access to the data base, and anyone to whom data base content is exported, shall be governed by these rules, and shall make such a declaration in writing to the County Council.
5-4.3 Use in Support of Endosed Candidates
Candidates endorsed by the GPLAC County Council shall have an email announcing their endorsement sent by the GPLAC to all registered Greens in their district for whom the GPLAC has email addresses. Endorsed candidates shall
may have a minimum of at least one additional email sent on their behalf to registered Greens in the GPLAC database in both the primary election and the general election (where there are both). The County Council shall retain the option to send to send additional emails at its discretion. - once per primary election and once per general election. The County Council shall develop a plan for how often this opportunity will be provided.
15. Action: Authorize email outreach to support re-formation of Long Beach Greens, South Bay/Harbor Greens (ten minutes)
Sponsors: Arnold, Bruhnke, Gaskins, Kermani
Background: Green local groups have historically existed in Long Beach and in the South Bay/Harbor area; but in recent years have gone dormant. This proposal would authorize the GPLAC co-coordinators to work with Green county councilmembers in those areas to establish a meeting date and location, to which the GPLAC would send an email blast to all registered Greens in the area, with the intent of formenting the re-formation of Greens locals in Long Beach and the South Bay/Harbor areas.
Proposal: Authorize the GPLAC co-coordinators to work with Green county councilmembers in those areas to establish a meeting date and location, to which the GPLAC would send an email blast to all registered Greens in the area, with the intent of formenting the re-formation of Greens locals in Long Beach and the South Bay/Harbor areas.
16. Discussion: Debriefing on Stein campaign in LA County (thirty minutes)
Presenters: Duenas, Gonzalez, Gaskins
Background: Angelica Duenas (Los Angeles) and possibly Kendra Gonzalez (Ventura) were both Stein campaign staff and will present on their organzing efforts and experiences, leading into a general discusion of the Stein campaign's organizing and impact in Southern California and California as a whole.