Rules & Procedures of the Green Party of Los Angeles County
last amended July 2, 2016
Table of Contents
ARTICLE 1: COUNTY COUNCIL MEETINGS
ARTICLE 2: FILLING COUNTY COUNCIL VACANCIES
ARTICLE 3: ON-LINE DECISION MAKING
ARTICLE 4: COMMUNICATIONS
ARTICLE 5: DATA BASE
ARTICLE 6: FUNDRAISING
ARTICLE 7: ENDORSED CANDIDATES
APPENDIX: GPLAC eRules for participation in GPLAC emails lists and web-based discussion forums
ARTICLE 1: COUNTY COUNCIL MEETINGS
Section 1-1 Minutes
1-1.1 For all decision-making items, formal minutes shall include only a record of decisions taken, including who voted for, against, abstained or stood aside, and a record of all outstanding concerns as provided for in GPLAC Bylaws.
1-1.2 For all non-decision-making reports, formal minutes shall include a succinct written report from the presenters summarizing their presentation.
1-1.3 An audio recording shall be made of every meeting and shall be considered the property of the GPLAC. Its use shall be restricted to an internal GPLAC reference, to settle questions about the minutes or other details about the meeting. No other use is authorized. Providing for audio recordings shall be the responsibility of the Co-Coordinators and the Secretary.
1-1.4 No video taping of any individual present at a meeting is authorized without that person's consent.
Section 1-2 County Councilmember Intent
1-2.1 For the election of GPLAC officers like Co-Coordinator, Secretary and Treasurer, for GPLAC Delegates to the GPCA General Assembly and GPLAC Standing Delegates to the GPCA Standing General Assembly, and any other such election, the election shall be conducted so as disclose the intentions of the voter.
1-2.2 Where votes are cast votes by written ballot, County Councilmembers shall identify themselves on the ballot. Where votes are cast by email, County Councilmembers shall identify themselves when casting their vote. Where votes are cast on a voting page, the voting page shall be designed so as to record the identity of the voter and a record of their vote.
ARTICLE 2: FILLING COUNTY COUNCIL VACANCIES
Section 2-1 Nomination Petition Signatures
2-1.1 Nomination Petition signatures for appointment to County Council may be submitted at any time and shall be validated within seven business days of their submission to either of the GPLAC Co-coordinators. A scan may be submitted electronically, as long as a hard copy is provided within 15 days to the Co-coordinators.
2-1.2 The Co-Coordinators and the Secretary shall have the responsibility to ensure that the Green registration status of the petition signers is validated. Validation must occur within seven business days of signatures being handed in to the Co-Coordinators. Validation shall include comparing the signatures to those at the County Registrar's Office.
2-1.3 If there is a dispute over the Green registration status of petition signers, such that the required number of valid signatures is not reached, an appeal may be made by the applicant to the County Council and agendized at its next meeting. The Co-coordinators shall make a written report of their findings available for inclusion with the agenda for that item. A 3/5 vote shall be required to overturn the decision of the Co-coordinators.
Section 2-2 Start of Term
2-2.1 Any person appointed to the County Council at a face-to-face meeting, can participate in any subsequent County Council decision making, whether in person, or via teleconference, email or voting page, that takes place after that meeting has concluded.
2-2.2 Any person appointed to the County Council by virtue of an on-line vote, can participate in any subsequent County Council decision-making once they attend a face-to-face meeting, except that if no face-to-face meeting is held within 30 days of their appointment, they can participate in any subsequent County Council decision making, whether in person, or via teleconference, email or voting page. To participate in a face-to-face meeting after being appointed on-line, one must be appointed by the deadline for the release of the agenda for that meeting.
ARTICLE 3: ON-LINE DECISION MAKING
Section 3-1 Authority
3-1.1 The County Council may make decisions on-line via the process described in this Article and as otherwise provided for in GPLAC Bylaws.
3-1.2 Quorum and approval thresholds shall be the same as those defined for County Council decision making in GPLAC Bylaws Section 9-2 Quorum and Section 9-4 Consensus Seeking.
3-1.3 While the County Council retains the ability to make on-line decisions regarding anything under its jurisdiction under GPLAC and GPCA bylaws, use of on-line decision making is generally recommended for the following:
3-1.3(a) When there is a need to make a decision in between face to face meetings to meet legal and/or internal party deadlines, or to otherwise effectuate meeting GPLAC Bylaws Section 5-2 Duties of the Council in a timely manner not possible by waiting until the next face-to-face County Council meeting or County Council teleconference;;
3-1.3(b) When an item has been discussed first at a face-to-face County Council meeting or County Council teleconference;
3-1.3(c) When the date of the next County Council meeting was not set at a face-to-face County Council meeting or County Council teleconference;
3-1.3(d) For the approval of County Council meeting minutes.
3-1.4 All on-line proposals must by co-sponsored by at least two County Councilmembers at the time of their posting; must be posted in the format specified in 3-4; and must be posted to the County Council email list (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject header of the email stating "ON-LINE PROPOSAL: subject/title of the proposal", or in the case of proposals with an expedited timelines as per 3-3, "EXPEDITED ON-LINE PROPOSAL: subject/title of the proposal".
3-1.5 All on-line elections for internal party positions must by co-sponsored by at least two County Councilmembers; must be posted in the format specified in 3-5; and must be posted to the County Council email list (email@example.com) with the subject header of the email stating "ON-LINE ELECTION: election of which position".
Section 3-2 Timeline
3-2.1 All on-line proposals, except expedited proposals as per 8-4, shall have seven days for discussion and five days for voting. The seven day discussion period shall commence on the day after the initial posting of the proposal and shall conclude at midnight Pacific Time seven days later, after which the voting period shall commence immediately and conclude five days later on the 12th day at midnight Pacific Time. If a proposal is amended during the discussion period, it shall be reposted as amended before the voting period commences. The sponsors of a proposal may chose to withdraw the proposal before the discussion period concludes, but may not do so once the voting period commences. The purpose of the discussion period for proposal shall be for general discussion of the proposal, including
3-2.1(a) Hearing and responding to clarifying questions;
3-2.1(b) Hearing concerns and affirmations and hearing responding to concerns;
3-2.1(c) Considering and accepting amendments.
3-2.2 All on-line elections shall have seven days for nomination and discussion and five days for voting. The seven day nomination and discussion period shall commence on the day after the initial posting of the proposal and shall conclude at midnight Pacific Time seven days later, after which the voting period shall commence immediately and conclude five days later on the 12th day at midnight Pacific Time. Nominations may be made by any County Councilmember and do not need to be seconded. Nominations shall be considered to be accepted if they are not declined by the conclusion of the nomination and discussion period. The purpose of the nomination and discussion period shall be for
3-2.2(a) Nomination of candidates for the position in question;
3-2.2(b) The declination of nomination for the position in question by candidates nominated;
3-2.2(c) A discussion of the merits of the candidates vis-a-vis serving in the position in question;
3-2.2(d) Responses by candidates to questions and concerns.
3-2.3 All votes shall be cast on the County Council email list (firstname.lastname@example.org), except if a County Councilmember has no access to email during the voting period, they may call in their vote to one of the GPLAC Co-coordinators, in which case it is the responsibility of the Co-coordinator to make a good faith effort to post the vote to the County Council email list as soon as possible and no later than the conclusion of the voting period.
Section 3-3 Expedited Proposals
3-3.1 Proposals of a time-sensitive nature may be proposed with an expedited discussion period of less than the seven days. Expedited Proposals shall include a 'statements of findings' explaining the need for the compacted discussion schedule. When voting upon an Expedited Proposal, the County Council shall cast two votes: one regarding the statement of findings and the other on the proposal itself. The statement of findings must be approved for the proposal itself to be approved.
Section 3-4 Proposal Format
3-4.1 SUBJECT/TITLE: PROPOSAL/EXPEDITED ON-LINE PROPOSAL: Name of Proposal
3-4.2 CO-SPONSOR(S): The names of the proposal's co-sponsors. At least two County Councilmembers must co-sponsor a proposal
3-4.3 QUORUM (as per GPLAC Bylaws 9-2) AND TYPE OF PROPOSAL AND APPROVAL THRESHOLD (as per GPLAC Bylaws 9-4.2):
3-4.4 DECISION-MAKING TIMELINE (all proposals shall have seven days of discussion followed by five days voting at per 8-2.1, except in cases of Expedited Proposals and the sponsors shall list the actual calendar dates for the discussion and voting periods)
3-4.5 BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: (relationship, reasons and/or justification to the GPLAC)
3-4.6 PROPOSAL: (the text of what is proposed)
3-4.7 IMPLEMENTATION/TIMELINE/RESOURCES: (personnel, meetings, work hours, finances, period of implementation and any sunset clause if applicable)
3-4.8 REFERENCES: (Sources for readily obtainable materials to aid in the decision making process of voting members)
Section 3-5 Elections Format
3-5.1 SUBJECT/TITLE: ELECTION: What Position
3-5.2 CO-SPONSOR(S): At least two County Councilmembers must co-sponsor an on-line election
3-5.3 TYPE OF ELECTION, QUORUM (as per GPLAC Bylaws 9-2) AND VOTING PROCEDURE: (as per GPLAC Bylaws 6-1.1, 6-2.1, 6-3.1, 8-3.2, 11-4 and 12-4)
3-5.4 SPECIFIC DATES OF NOMINATION AND DISCUSSION TIMELINE (all elections shall have seven days of nomination and discussion followed by five days voting)
Section 3-6 Reporting of Results
3-6.1 It shall be the responsibility of the Secretary to post the results of on-line votes to the County Council email list within 24 hours of the conclusion of any vote and to the GPLAC web page within ten days of any vote.
ARTICLE 4: COMMUNICATIONS
Section 4-1 Notification of County Council Elections
4-1.1 In order that Green Party members in Los Angeles County be made aware of how to run for county council, a page shall be provided on the GPLAC web site that explains how to run for County Council, and each electoral cycle the County Council shall ensure that it is publicized.
4-1.2 In order that Green Party members be made aware that they can sign the nomination petitions for Green County Council candidates in their district, and to aid potential County Council candidates in connecting to Green Party members in their district, a link shall be provided from the GPLAC web site to the page on the Los Angeles County Registrar's web site that contains contact information on all candidates seeking to qualify for the ballot.
4-1.3 In order to provide information to Green voters about County Council candidates, a web page shall be provided on the GPLAC web site that lists all candidates, and provides links to each candidate's campaign web site - which could be their own web page, or their page on Smart Voter or other such non-partisan voter education services.
Section 4-2 Notification of GPLAC Elections
For the election of GPLAC officers like Co-Coordinator, Secretary and Treasurer, for GPLAC Delegates to the GPCA General Assembly and GPLAC Standing Delegates to the GPCA Standing General Assembly, and any other such election, notice shall include:
4-2.1 Posting the election as part of the agenda of any face-to-face meeting at which such an election is scheduled, including it in all publications of the agenda via email and on the GPLAC website, and sending such information via email to all Active Green locals ;
4-2.2 The opportunity to receive such information as part of email announcement options available to registered Green Party members in Los Angeles County
Section 4-3 Official Communications by GPLAC Officers
4-3.1 Official email communications on behalf of the GPLAC, either by the GPLAC Co-Coordinators or the GPLAC Secretary shall be copied to the others. Official communications by the Treasurer shall be copied to the Co-Coordinators and Secretary.
4-3.2 All such communications shall use the following email addresses in copying communications to each other: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. These email addresses shall be attached to a web-archive, which will archive GPLAC official communications.
Section 4-4 County Green General Discussion/Announcement Email List (firstname.lastname@example.org)
4-4.1 The Purpose/Charter of the email@example.com shall be to provide a place for open discussion by any LA County Green Party member about issues, strategy, trends, organizing and other activities of the Green Party in Los Angeles County.
4-4.2 Read/write participation shall be open to any Green Party member in LA County, with participation subject to the GPLAC eRules. The List Administrator(s) shall check all submission requests against the list of registered Greens in LA County. By signing up one agrees to abide by the Green eRules. Submission requests shall be processed within seven days. At a minimum, Green registration status of participants shall be checked each time the GPLAC obtains a new voter registration list.
4-4.3 GPLAC County Council members (and GPLAC state Coordinating Committee regional representatives) are encouraged to subscribe to this list, either in full or digest form.
4-4.4 Event Announcements should be limited to those related to the activities of the Green Party and/or Green Party members.
Section 4-5 County Council Business Email List (firstname.lastname@example.org)
4-5.1 The Purpose/Charter of the email@example.com shall be for the business of the County Council, only among County Council members.
4-5.2 Read/write participation shall be open to all County Council members. The List Administrator will automatically place all County Council members on the email list as full participants. In participating, all County Councilmembers agree to abide by the Green eRules.
4-5.3 Read-only status shall be open to any other Green member in LA County, available either through a web archive or as email. County Councilmembers may periodically forward emails from non-County Council members where relevant to the business at hand, but not in order to insert the non-County Council member into the debate in an ongoing manner.
Section 4-5 County Council Voting Page
4-5.1 The Purpose/Charter of the County Council Voting Page shall be for conducting and recording votes of the County Council and shall use the same design and format as the Voting Page used by the GPCA for its Standing General Assembly.
4-5.2 All County Council members retain their right to participate and vote as they would under GPCA Bylaws. Results will be available to be read by all, with a link from the GPLAC home page and County Council page.
Section 4-6 GPLAC eRules
4-6.1 Participation in GPLAC on-line forums is open to all Green Party members in Los Angeles County. It is based upon the premise that people participant in order build the Green Party and advance the Ten Key Values.
4-6.2 Green eRules are meant to help promote a productive, transparent and respectful environment for this to occur. GPLAC on-line forum participants are encouraged to state their views, inform one another, and discuss issues in depth, in a manner that enables energy to be focused on productive work. Disagreement over issues and ideas should be honored as an expected part this process, and is not to be considered a disruption or impediment. The full text for 'Expectations and Standards' and Restricting Dispuptive and/or Unethical Behavior' is contained in the appendix below.
4-7 Referrals to Active Green Locals
The GPLAC shall forward to Active Green Locals, referrals for those areas of Los Angeles County that those locals are recognized for, that come in through the County, as well as referrals that come in from the Green Party of the California and the Green Party of the United States.
ARTICLE 5: DATA BASE
Section 5-1 Authority
The GPLAC shall maintain and improve a data base of registered Green voters in Los Angeles County and may accomplish this by working with the Green Party of California to maintain the Los Angeles County portion of the GPCA's registered Green voter data base.
Section 5-2 Database Coordinator
5-2.1 There shall be a Database Coordinator that is responsible on behalf of the GPLAC for managing the Database according to the direction set by the County Council.
5-2.2 The Database Coordinator shall be responsible for maintaining the database, including cleaning and updating the email addresses, and entering information as needed that comes from web and phone referrals, the GPCA from its fundraising and volunteer records, and from any Green local or candidate that chooses to share it.
5-2.3 The Database Coordinator will provide quarterly reports to the GPLAC.
5-2.4 The Database Coordinator will not provide access to, nor share the contents of the database with any individual or organization, unless specified to do so by the County Council, and the Database Coordinator will sign a document with the County Council to this effect.
Section 5-3 Database Committee
5-3.1 There shall be a Database Committee that shall work with the Database Coordinator to help implement County Council direction regarding the Database. The Committee shall include the GPLAC co-coordinators, the Database Coordinator as well as additional members as appointed by the County Council.
5-3.2 The Database Committee shall create options for GPLAC members, so that they could receive by email, the type of information they are interested in. This could include notice of County Council elections as described in 4-1, and for internal offices as described in 4-2.
Section 5-4 Database Access
5-4.1 General Access
Access to the data base shall be at the discretion of the County Council. Individual County Councilmembers shall have no special access to the Database.
Candidates endorsed by the GPLAC County Council may have one email sent on their behalf to registered Greens in the GPLAC database - once per primary election and once per general election. The County Council shall develop a plan for how often this opportunity will be provided.
5-4.3 Green Locals
The GPLAC Co-coordinators are directed to develop a plan with Active Green locals to work cooperatively improve the data base in their area.
ARTICLE 6: FUNDRAISING
Section 6-1 Fundraising via email
The GPLAC will develop and authorize periodic fundraising appeals directly to its members via email and the fundraising link on the county's website.
Section 6-2 Donor and Volunteer Lists from the GPCA
It is the responsibility of the GPLAC co-coordinators to communicate to the GPCA that the GPLAC would like to obtain the donor and volunteers lists for Los Angeles County in the GPCA's possession.
ARTICLE 7: ENDORSED CANDIDATES
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 ofice
GPLAC eRules for participation in GPLAC emails lists and web-based discussion forums
Participation in GPLAC on-line forums is open to all Green Party members in Los Angeles County. It is based upon the premise that people participant in order build the Green Party and advance the Ten Key Values.
Green eRules are meant to help promote a productive, transparent and respectful environment for this to occur. GPLAC on-line forum participants are encouraged to state their views, inform one another, and discuss issues in depth, in a manner that enables energy to be focused on productive work. Disagreement over issues and ideas should be honored as an expected part this process, and is not to be considered a disruption or impediment
Expectations and Standards
The following expectations and standards help govern participation on GPLAC forums.
1. No anonymity. All subscribers must truthfully identify themselves at the time of subscription, and in the body of each message. At subscription time, applicants must give information sufficient to contact them in the event they lose email access.
2. Address the group. Messages must be addressed to the entire group of subscribers. Side conversations and personal interactions must be taken to one-to-one email.
3. No "personality-based" discussion. Speculation or accusations about another's motives, thought processes, or beliefs is off-charter. A focus on 'issues rather than personalities' should be the participants' guiding light. Personal attacks, verbal threats and/or harassment can be grounds for loss of subscription.
4. No misrepresentation of another's work. Participants shall not misrepresent the work of others and shall make a good faith effort to be factually correct.
5. No prejudicial, biased, or offensive language, with respect to race, gender, ethnicity, physical ability, spirituality, sexuality, or age. These are well-established principles of basic respect for each other in a healthy society.
6. No insulting, disparaging, degrading, or demeaning language or any other ad hominem attacks. It's never necessary to label others in order to discuss their ideas and activities. Chronic, hurtful sarcasm, or giving people vengeful nicknames, or any other disrespectful treatment of fellow activists, is grounds for loss of subscription. It is never necessary to compare people to historical war criminals or other reviled figures.
7. No flooding, repetition or crossposting. No double posting to other lists. A message posted to this list must have no other recipients (except the poster) in its To:, Cc:, or Bcc: lines.
8. No off-charter material. There are thousands of Internet mailing lists about issues of interest to Greens. Nobody can read them all, and each of us must be free to set our own priorities. One can repost a message from elsewhere, but must introduce it by explaining where it came from and what it's got to do with the GPLAC, even if the relevance seems obvious.
9. Accurate, substantial subject lines. The "Subject:" line must truthfully identify the topic, so that people can decide whether to read your message, before they read it. Therefore, It is seldom appropriate to name another person in a Subject line. In particular, messages with Subjects such as "Joe Green" or "Joe Green's post" are not allowed. Messages with no Subject line will be rejected.
10. Respecting subject lines/threads. When a subject line is established and a discussion occurs, that subject line should be respected and not changed. A new subject line is appropriate when the subject has changed, but not as a tool to disrespect the initial poster or postings.
11. Limit message size. When replying to a specific discussion thread, it's not necessary to quote the entire email each time. This helps servers run faster.
12. No 'cracking' (defeating the security of other peoples' computers) or forging someone else's email identity. Messages to the lists must be addressed to the announced posting address. No attempts to defeat the operation of the server software by guessing internal addresses are allowed. Messages to the lists must contain a From: address which is substantially the same as the address where the poster subscribes. False From: lines will be treated as an attempt to breach the physical security of the list server, and may violate your local "computer misuse" or "chattel trespass" laws.
13. Format of messages (25K maximum). The language of Internet email is plain text. Two alphabets are acceptable in these lists: the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) and the International Standards Organization's ISO8859-1, also known as Latin 1. (Latin 1 encoding must be correctly specified in your message header, using the Multipurpose Internet Message Extensions. Don't worry, most email software does this automatically.) No graphics, word processor documents, Microsoft Rich Text Format, or other non-text encodings are allowed, with one exception: customary cryptographic signatures or fingerprints are allowed. Keep the message size limited to 25K.
Restricting Dispuptive and/or Unethical Behavior
Behavior that truly disrupts, impedes or obstructs is not appropriate. Participants who violate these GPLAC eRules Expectations and Standards repeatedly will first:
1st infraction) Receive a private warning, wiht a reminder of the rules, from either a GPLAC Co-coordinator, the GPLAC Secretary or the Forum Moderator -- and with an explanation of the subsequent process if other violations occur. Multiple infractions within a 24 hour period will be treated as one infraction.
If the initial, private warning is not heeded, and the participant continues to violate GPLAC eRules Expectations and Standards, additional actions will be taken in this order:
2nd infraction) Receive a second, public (on forum) warning will be posted, from a GPLAC Co-coordinator, the GPLAC Secretary or the Forum Moderator. If the member continues to violate GPLAC eRules of Decorum,
3rd infraction) Receive a third, public warning (on forum) warning will be posted, by a GPLAC Co-coordinator, the GPLAC Secretary or the Forum Moderator, indicating that should there be a fourth infraction, the member will face immediate suspension;
4th infraction) Be unsubscribed from the Forum, by the Forum moderator.
The Forum Moderator shall notify the GPLAC Co-coordinators and GPLAC Secretary of the suspension and submit a report to clearly state the reasons for suspension. The unsubscribed member is entitled to a copy of this report (although the County Council always retains the right to keep certain information confidential for certain, defined legal circumstances.)
The period of suspension shall not be less than three months and may be up to one year, upon discretion of the Forum moderator.
This decision may be appealed to the County Council, with a 2/3 vote necessary to overturn or amend the decision.
As part of this process, the suspended member will be given an opportunity to submit a written response. During the period of suspension, the offending member will not be entitled to post any messages to the list, or to circumvent the suspension by submitting messages via another member's email account.
Should the County Council decide to reinstate the member's privileges, but with conditions, these shall ordinarily include the member's acknowledgement that he/she has been impeding the listserve work, and agrees to curtail the disruptive behavior, as prerequisites for reinstatement. It may also include participation in mediation.
The GPLAC Forums exist to facilitate the work of the GPLAC. Ultimately it is the County Council's responsibility to judge whether a member's behavior on the GPLAC Forums, over time, is overly disruptive. The decisions of the County Council, through its choice of Forum Moderator and through review of his/her decisions, are final.