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Minutes, GPLAC County Council meeting, March 12, 2017

Green Party of Los Angeles County - County Council Meeting Draft Minutes
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Mercado La Paloma •  http://www.mercadolapaloma.com
3655 South Grand Ave.
12:30pm to 3:30pm:  Meeting


County Councilmembers (11): Doug Barnett, Marla Bernstein, Tom Bibiyan, Rachel Brunhke, Mike Feinstein, Helen Gaskins, Ava Kermani, Cris Gutierrez, Cordula Ohman, Linda Piera-Avila, Julia Russell

County Councilmembers not present (5): Daniel Alvarado, Justine Berne Akley, Annie Goeke, Ajay Rai, Adia Williams

County Councilmembers alternates (1): Tyler Morrison (for Daniel Alvarado)

Other Greens in attendance (5): Angelica Dueñas, Matthew Wheeler, Michael Gascon, Aria Pakatchi, Angel Rolland

Other Greens in attendance (3): Wade Alexander, Marge Buckley, Melissa Guevara

Co-Facilitators: Helen Gaskins
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)
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.

Items #4 through #13 all submitted late and all require 2/3 to be added to agenda.

Proposal (Feinstein): Approve agenda as submitteed with late items

Approved by Consensus

Proposal (Bruhnke): Add: Endorsement of April 29 climate change march in Wilmington as new item #6

Approved by Consensus


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

Barnett reported on the current balance and that a PO Box payment is due in a week


4. Action: Approval of Minutes of January 29, 2017 County Council meeting  (five minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Feinstein

Proposal (Feinstein): Approve minutes as presented

http://losangeles.cagreens.org/county-council/minutes/2017-01-29

Approved by Consensus


5. Discussion: Update on GPLAC opposition to Final EIR for warehouse project at 4051 S. Alameda in Los Angeles on the former South Central Farm land and discussion of next steps (fifteen minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Piera-Avila

Piera-Avila presented an update on the recent approval by the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee of the Final EIR.  The approval will be appealed to the full City Council. The GPLAC took this position in July 2016 on the Final EIR losangeles.cagreens.org/documents/2016-07-14/GPLAC-EIR-comments-4051-Alameda after previously supporting preservation of the South Central Farm back in 2006. Efforts continue to persuade the owner to sell the land so that it can be converted back into an urban farm and food hub.


6. Decision: Endorsement of April 29 Peoples Climate March in Wilmington

https://www.risestronger.org/events/people-s-climate-march-los-angeles

https://www.facebook.com/events/202856203521435/

Proposal (Bruhnke): Endorse April 29 Peoples Climate March in Wilmington

Amendment (Gutierrez) accepted by Bruhnke: Endorse South Bay Clean Power community choice aggregation as local stategy to address climate change right in South Bay

https://southbaycleanpower.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/southbaycleanpower

Amendment (Feinstein) accepted by Bruhnke: That Bruhnke represent the GPLAC in the coalition organizing the march

Proposal as amended (Bruhnke)

Approved by Consensus


7. Decision: Bylaw Change regarding signature threshold to consideration of appointment to County Council vacancy (twenty minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Feinstein

Proposal: Amend existing language

Section 8-3 Nominations

8-3.1 Nominees must be registered Greens within the District they wish to represent, and must also gather as many signatures of registered Greens in the district on a petition as defined in 8.4, as would be normally required by the County Registrar to appear on the ballot in that district, for the purposes of being elected to the Los Angeles County Green Party County Council.

to

Section 8-3 Nominations

8-3.1 Nominees must be registered Greens within the District they wish to represent, and must also gather as many signatures of registered Greens in the district on a petition as defined in 8.4, as would be normally required by the County Registrar to appear on the ballot in that district, for the purposes of being elected to the Los Angeles County Green Party County Council; or for the County Council meetings of March 12, April 23 and June 4, may gather five signatures of registered Greens in the district on a petition as defined in 8.4 and to be appointed, would need 80% approval from the County Council

Approved by Consensus


8. Decision: Appointment to County Council vacancy - Angelica Duenas, Tyler Morrison

Appointments made contingent upon post-meeting validation of the signatures

Angelica Dueñas - Appointed by Consensus

Tyler Morrison - Appointed by Consensus


9. Decision: Appointment of Angelica Duenas to Standing General Assembly

Angelica Dueñas - Appointed by Consensus


10. Discussion: Greens in Los Angeles County March 7 elections and next steps (sixty minutes)

Green Party members who ran as City Council candidates in March 7 elections presented on their campaigns - Jessica Salans (Los Angeles, District 13) and Tyler Morrison (South Gate).


11. Decision: Setting Next Two Meeting Dates and Locations (fifteen minutes)
Sponsors/Presenters: Bernstein, Rai

Proposal (Feinstein): That the next two GPLAC meetings be at 4pm on Sunday, April 23 and Sunday, June 4.  That the April 23 meeting be a teleconference and that Tom Bibiyan will find an LA County number for the teleconference to minimize call-in costs, and that the June 4 meeting held at the former Eco-Home site, 4344 Russell Ave.

Appointed by Consensus


12: Decision: Call for President to Release Tax Returns, Congress to Explore President’s Conflicts of Interest (fifteen minutes)
Sponsors/Presenters: Feinstein, Piera-Avila

Proposal: That the GPLAC approve the following resolution

Whereas the Constitution of the United States grants vast powers to the President of the United States (https://www.senate.gov/civics/constitution_item/constitution.htm#a2); and

Whereas these powers are granted in the name of the people and in the public trust; and

Whereas a democracy is effective only if the people have faith in those who govern; and

Whereas a conflict of interest is something that creates an incentive to put one's own interests before the interests of the people one serves; and

Whereas to avoid corruption, conflicts of interest, and to preserve the president's independence in the exercise of those powers, the Constitution’s domestic emoluments clause prohibits presidents from enriching themselves from the public treasury beyond the president's specific salary and benefits; and

Whereas to avoid corruption, conflicts of interest, and to preserve the president's independence in the exercise of those powers, the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause prohibits presidents from accepting foreign gifts or emoluments without congressional consent; and

Whereas emoluments include profits received in a business relationship and are not limited to monetary payments, but also include economically valuable favorable regulatory actions; and

Whereas before assuming office, President-elect Donald Trump claimed a vast domestic and international network of businesses and investments; and

Whereas profiting from these investments by virtue of decisions he might make as President would be a violation of the emoluments clauses; and

Whereas in December 2016, the Director of the United States Office of Government Ethics recommended to then President-elect Trump that the only way that Mr. Trump could  satisfy the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution would be complete to completely divest his business assets and place them into a blind trust (https://oge.gov/web/OGE.nsf/All%20Documents/169B877EB78DA99F852580C10058...$FILE/ELPB%20Email%20wTrump%20November%208-December%2022%202016.pdf ) ; and

Whereas the President-election declined to do so, and instead indicated control would be transferred to his children; and

Whereas the Director of the United States Office of Government Ethics concluded that "Transferring operational control of a company to one's children would not constitute the establishment of a qualified blind trust, nor would it eliminate conflicts of interest" (http://www.npr.org/2016/12/13/505476925/government-ethics-office-says-tr... ); and

Whereas every major Presidential candidate since Richard Nixon (with the exception of President Gerald Ford who released a summary of his tax data), has released his or her tax returns for public review – until Donald Trump (http://www.taxhistory.org/www/website.nsf/Web/PresidentialTaxReturns); and

Whereas none of the potential conflicts of interest arising from President Trump's domestic and international investments can be verified until and unless there is financial disclosure from President Trump, and

Whereas ensuring that the emoluments clause is being followed is a non-partisan act based in the language of the Constitution of the United States and in the roots of our democracy, and is not meant to show favoritism nor bias nor advantage towards any political candidate or party; and

Whereas the non-partisan the Congressional Research Service has concluded that impeachable conduct does not appear to be limited to criminal behavior, and that historically Congress has identified at least three general types of conduct that constitute grounds for impeachment: (1) improperly exceeding or abusing the powers of the office; (2) behavior incompatible with the function and purpose of the office; and (3) misusing the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain (https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44260.pdf) -- all of which could be said to follow from willful and ongoing violation of the emoluments clauses; and

Whereas the oath of office taken by members of the U.S. House of Representatives “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States ....and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter..." (http://history.house.gov/Institution/Origins-Development/Oath-of-Office/); and

Whereas the House Judiciary Committee passed three Articles of Impeachment in 1974 with bi-partisan support against then President Nixon;

Therefore in an attempt to determine whether the emoluments clauses of the Constitution of the United States have been violated by President Trump, and whether by extension President Trump should be impeached

- The Green Party of the United States calls upon President Trump to immediately release his tax returns for the last twenty years; and

-  If President Trump does not release his tax returns for the last twenty years, that pursuant to Section 6103(f)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code, the Green Party of the United States calls upon the Ways and Means Committee to immediately submit a written request to the Secretary of the Treasury for copies of the President’s federal tax returns; and

- Upon receipt of said tax returns, the Green Party of the United States calls upon the Ways and Means Committee to then submit the President’s federal tax returns to the House of Representatives, thereby making them available to the public; and for the House of Representatives to begin an investigation to determine whether the emoluments clauses have been violated, including subpoenaing all necessary records and placing people under oath ; and

- If President Trump does not release his tax returns pursuant to Section 6103(f)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code, that the House Judiciary Committee investigate whether he is in Contempt of Congress, which itself is an impeachable offense.

REFERENCES:

https://impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org/case-for-impeachment/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvvlmXBlces
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44260.pdf
https://oge.gov/web/oge.nsf/All%20Documents/6E08189CF6AF742B852580A50079...$FILE/Remarks%20of%20W%20M%20Shaub%20Jr%20(1).pdf
https://www.scribd.com/document/339231543/Brady-Tax-Return-Letter-020117


13. Discussion: Status of Green locals and relationship to County Council

Discusion focused on important of connecting interested people through the county websites to local organizing


14. Discussion: Use of GPLAC social media

Discussed focused on focusing GPLAC FB group focused on LA County issues, and on adding additional admins to GPLAC FB group


 

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