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DRAFT Agenda, GPLAC County Council meeting, September 10, 2017

Green Party of Los Angeles County • County Council Meeting Agenda
Sunday, September 10, 2017 • 4344 Russell Ave., Los Angeles
Noon: Pot luck vegetarian picnic
1pm to 4pm: Meeting

Co-Facilitators: Annie Goeke 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 (ten minutes)
Presenter: Facilitators
• 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.

Background: All items on the agenda except #7, #11, #12 and #14 will submitted by the three-week submission deadline. Additional items require 2/3 to add. #7 Decision: Endorsement of Statewide Ballot Measure to Repeal Top Two Primary, and authorization for mass emailing to LA County Greens to get involved in the signature-gathering effort.  #11: Discussion: Amendment to GPLAC Rules and Procedures to provide a process to acquire Green registration lists for the purposes of applying for GPLAC County Council vacancies. #12: Decision: GPLAC Statement About DACA. #14 Discussion: GPLAC Representation to GPCA Ventura County General Assembly (November 11-12) and GPCA 2017-201

Proposal (Feinstein): Add late items #7 and #11

Proposal (Dueñas): Add late item #12

Proposal (Dueñas, Feinstein): Add late item #14

3) Decision: Election of GPLAC Co-coordinators (fifteen minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Rai in role as co-coordinator

Background: GPLAC Bylaws 6-1.1 provide for one-year terms for GPLAC Co-Coordinators ( "The Council shall elect two Co-Coordinators, one male and one female. Within each four-year County Council term, there shall be four consecutive one year Co-Coordinator terms. The first one year term shall commence with the first meeting of the newly elected County Council and the last one shall end when the subsequent County Council holds it first meeting. The voting procedure shall be by Instant Run-Off (IRV), using a simple majority threshold, and including the No Other Candidate option, as referenced in the GPCA Bylaws (Section 7).”

The terms of GPLAC co-coordinators Marla Bernstein and Ajay Rai commenced in July 2016 and were to run for one year, but no election for new terms was on the July 2017 County Council agenda.  The terms of whomever is elected at this meeting will run through July 2018.

Election: Male and Female co-coordinator positions

4) Report: Treasurer’s report (five minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Doug Barnett, GPLAC Treasurer

5) Decision: Approval of minutes from May 4 and June 4, 2017 meetings (five minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Feinstein

Proposal: Approve minutes as submitted

Proposal: Approve minutes as submitted

6) Decision: Endorsement of Angelica Dueñas for Congressional District 29 (fifteen minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Rai in role as co-coordinator

Background: GPLAC Bylaws 5-2.9 Elected and Appointed Office  state that among the responsibilities of the County Council are to

5-2.9(a) Develop an overall Green electoral strategy for Los Angeles County.
5-2.9(b) Develop Green Party members as candidates for partisan and non partisan elective and appointive office.
5-2.9(c) 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

Green Party member Angelica Duenas is running for Congressional District 29 in the NE San Fernando Valley  Endorsement requires a 2/3 vote with at least 3/5 of County Councilmembers voting.

GPLAC Rules and Procedures Article 7: Endorsed Candidates states:

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;
- is in compliance with all applicable laws regarding being a candidate for public office

GPLAC Rules and Procedures 5-4.3 Use in Support of Endosed Candidates state:

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 have a minimum of at least one additional email sent on their behalf 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.

Proposal: Endorsement of Angelica Dueñas for Congressional District 29

7) Decision: Endorsement of Statewide Ballot Measure to Repeal Top Two Primary, and authorization for mass emailing to LA County Greens to get involved in the signature-gathering effort (fifteen minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Feinstein

Background:  The Green Party of California (GPCA) has long supported repeal of the Top Two primary system, ever since it was passed as Proposition 14 in the June 2010 primary  This system has virtually eliminated Greens (and other small party candidates) from the November general election ballot for state and federal office, and has made it extremely difficult for Greens and other such candidates to even qualify for the June primary election ballot. As of the release of this agenda, a statewide initiative to repeal Top Two has been submitted to the Califoria Attorney General's office, for official Title and Summary, with the signature gathering expected to start in late October/early November.

Although the GPCA has long supported repeal of Top Two, it is not clear when the GPCA will take up a formal position upon this specific ballot measure. It may not happen until well into the signature-gathering period to qualify the measure, possibly too late for Greens to get involved to ensure the measure qualifies for the ballot. For this reason, this item is brought before the GPLAC now.

Proposal: That the GPLAC endorse the Initiative to Repeal the Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act and that it authorize two email blasts in support of the measure, first to LA County Greens in the GPCA data base, forwarding them information now on how to get involved once the measure is assigned Official Title and Summary by the Attorney General's office and the measure is ready to hit the street for signatures; and then a follow-up email to get involved, sent right before the signature-gathering period is set to begin, which is expected to be late October/early November.

8) Decision: Set meeting dates and locations for County Council meetings (fifteen minutes)
Sponsor/Presenters: Bernstein, Rai

Background: The current GPLAC County Council discussed and agreed upon holding meetings approximately every six weeks, with occasional teleconferences in place of face-to-face meetings.

Current GPLAC schedule has a meeting scheduled for Sunday, October 22 in the Antelope Valley, however its not clear that the local Greens are ready to host it, and with other Greens hoping to join the County Council, it might make sense to have that meeting more centrally located.   Six weeks after that is December 3.  Six weeks after that is Sunday, January 14.  However there is a bill (AB 469 that is working its way through the state legislature that would change the starting date for gathering signatures-in-lieu of filing fees by about three weeks.  For the 2018 primary election cycle, that would be starting on December 7.  Therefore this agenda item proposes that the December meeting be held after that date, so that it can be used to gather signatures for Dueñas's candidacy to qualify for the ballot via the signatures-in-lieu route.

Proposal: That the October 22 meeting be held somewhere within the center of Los Angeles County, that December meeting be held on Saturday, December 16, that it be followed by a holiday party in which Greens from across the county are invited and that it be held in Congressional District 29 at a venue located by Angelica Dueñas and reported to the County Council, and that $75 be alloted for the meeting for either facility rental and/or vegetarian refreshements; and that the January meeting be held on Sunday, January 14, at a location to be determined by the County Council.

9) Report: Green involvement in LA Harbor Peace Week 2017 (ten minutes)
Presenter: Bruhnke

Background: The GPLAC previously endorsed LA Harbor Peace Week 2017  Bruhnke will report, also see her video here

10) Discussion: Update on GPLAC’s proposed GPCA Bylaws amendment "Elections Eligibility/Timing for Coordinating Committee and GPUS Delegation" and dynamics within GPCA Bylaws Committee (ten minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Feinstein

Background: In July via on-line vote, after the GPLAC did not have quorum at its July 16 meeting, the County Council approved a GPCA bylaws amendment "Bylaws Amendment - Elections Eligibility/Timing for Coordinating Committee and GPUS Delegation" to be submitted to the next GPCA Standing General Assembly (SGA).  That proposal was since co-sponsored by the Green Party of Contra Costa County.

Under GPCA Bylaws 13-2, County Green Parties may sponsor amendments to the GPCA Bylaws.  Before they are forwarded to the General Assembly or the Standing General Assembly, each proposed amendment must be submitted to the Bylaws Committee, for its review and recommendations to the sponsors, including to promote consistency in numbering, format, terminology and meaning with existing documents, and to minimize ambiguity and to promote clarify.

The GPLAC's proposal was forwarded to the GPCA Bylaws Committee email list on August 17 and heard on the agenda of the Bylaws Committee August 20 monthly teleconference.  Thus far no feedback has been received. This item gives the County Council a chance to ask questions about the process and plan for the SGA.

11) Discussion: Amendment to GPLAC Rules and Procedures to provide a process to acquire Green registration lists for the purposes of applying for GPLAC County Council vacancies (twenty minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Feinstein

Background: Discussion has recently regarding issues around gathering the nomination signatures from registered Greens necessary to be eligible to be appointed to vacant County Council seats. 

During the primary election process in presidential years, when Green County Council seats are elected in on the ballot in elections conducted by the county registrar, Greens seeking election to the GPLAC County Council may legally purchase the list of registered Greens in the State Senate district in which they are seeking County Council appointment

In discussion with the Los Angeles County Registrar's office, language along the following lines would be acceptable to their office to allow such lists to be purchased; while at the same time preserving the GPLAC's impartiality in terms of making the data available to individual Greens, and requiring the individual purchasing the list to sign the document at the Registrar's office, creating a public record of their committment to follow the legal uses of the information obtained.

The following letter template is being circulated for a GPLAC on-line vote to be approved and added to the GPLAC Rules and Procdures, and is placed before the County Council for discussion before the on-line vote will be held.

Subject: Green Party County Council vacancy and eligibility for Green registration list
To: Los Angeles County Registar of Voters
From: Green Party of Los Angeles County

Dear Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters

Under Green Party of Los Angeles County (GPLAC) Bylaws, the GPLAC County Council may fill County Council vacancies by appointment. To qualify for appointment, one must gather the same number of nomination signatures from registered Greens in the State Senate district, as would have been needed to qualify for the primary election ballot in presidential years, when the County Council is regularly elected.

In those regular elections, interested Green Party members may legally purchase the list of registered Greens in their State Senate District, in order to solicit nomination signatures.  In so doing, they also sign a form committing to follow all applicable laws governing the use of such lists.

The GPLAC supports a parallel process for Greens seeking appointment to County Council vacancies; where the GPLAC receives such a request from the interested member, their Green Party registration is verified and the GPLAC send notice to the County Registar. This is such notice.

In this notice, the GPLAC states that the following individual __________ of the following address ________ in Los Angeles County, has indicated their intent in writing to the GPLAC to seek nomination signatures to qualify for appointment to the GPLAC County Council; and that they understand that they will be legally constrained by state law on how they can use the list.

This person's Green Party registration was verified at the time of receipt of their interest. If they are still registered Green at the time of their application to the County Registrar's Office, they shall be considered to have met the eligiblity threshold to purchase a list from the County Registrar (similar to the process available during the regular ballot qualification period for the regular County Council elections every four years in the presidential primary).


GPLAC Co-Coordinators

12) Decision: GPLAC Statement About DACA (fifteen minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Dueñas

Proposal: Text to be provided during meeting by Dueñas

13) Discussion: GPLAC Bylaws regarding recognizing Green locals (fifteen minutes)
Sponsors/Presenters: Dueñas, Feinstein

Background:  GPLAC Bylaws Section 12-1 Recognition states that in order to be recognized as an Active Green Local by the County Council a local must submit 12-1.1 Its bylaws, membership requirements, decision-making process and mission statement.  However there is no bylaws template, the lack of which appears to have held up some locals going through the recogntion process.  This agenda item is an opportunity to discuss a bylaws template to help faciliate this process.

14) Discussion: GPLAC Representation to GPCA Ventura County General Assembly (November 11-12) and GPCA 2017-2018 (ten minutes)
Sponsors/Presenters: Dueñas, Feinstein

Background: Some LA County Greens have asked how delegates are chosen to the in-person GPCA General Assemblies  and the on-line Standing General Assemblies. GPLAC Bylaws Section 11-4 Appointment of Delegates ( describe how GPLAC Delegates to General Assemblies and Standing General Assemblies are chosen:

11-4.1 The County Council shall select delegates by the Ranked Choice voting form of proportional representation, using the Droop threshold, and including the No Other Candidate option, as referenced in the GPCA Bylaws (Section 7). County Council members shall take into consideration issues of diversity and representation when ranking their choices.

11-4.2 If not all delegate seats are filled, additional delegates may be added later at General Assembly itself, upon a 3/5 vote of the delegates present.

Delegates to General Assemblies are chosen on a General Assembly-by-General Assembly basis.  In other words, one is only chosen for that General Assembly itself, not for any longer term of time.  This is because each meeting is held in a different place at a different time, and therefore its not known who can attend which meeting in advance. 

The terms for Delegates to the Standing General Assembly are defined in GPCA Bylaws 7-6.1 Standing Delegates and Alternates (

7-6.1(a) Delegates to the Standing Green Assembly shall be called Standing Delegates, shall be appointed by active County Organizations and shall serve for one year terms, with no term limits. Terms shall run concurrent with the GPCA's Fiscal Year.

This is beause the voting occurs on-line and there are no logistical limits to attend as would be with a physical, in-person meeting.

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