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DRAFT Agenda, GPLAC County Council meeting, June 28, 2020

DRAFT Green Party of Los Angeles County, County Council Meeting Agenda, Sunday, June 28, 2020
Teleconference information shared via County Council email list
Check in/socializing: 1:30pm to 2pm
Business meeting: 2pm to 5pm

Facilitators: Timeka Drew, Ajay Rai
Minutes: Mike Feinstein
Time Keeper:  Linda Piera-Avila
Vibes Watcher: Cordula Ohman

1. Welcome and Introductions - All attendees (ten minutes)
Very brief introductions, including role w/GPLAC County Council or otherwise with Green Party, or as outside observer

2. Reviewing our process (two minutes)

Presenter: Facilitators
• Relevant Bylaw: Section 9.3 Participation
9.3.1 Open Meetings: With the consent of the Council, all members of the Green Party of Los Angeles County may participate in the 'Consensus-seeking Process' but only Council members may hold any 'unresolved concerns' and participate in any vote, should one become necessary.
9.3.2 County Council members shall receive priority in discussions, to ensure that they have time to a) seek clarifications. b) express their concerns and affirmations, and c) take a vote, if necessary. At the discretion of the facilitation

3. Decision: Opportunity to amend agenda and/or add emergency items (ten minutes)
Presenter: Facilitators

• Relevant By-Law
The agenda may be amended by a 3/5 vote of County Councilmember present. Emergency and/or late items may be added to the agenda by a 2/3 vote of County Councilmembers (in the interest of time, suggested amendments and their rationale should be offered on-line before the meeting)

Proposal (Feinstein): Approve the addition of the items marked with an asterik * below as late items, 2/3 vote required.

4. Decision: Appointment of County Councilmember to fill vacant seat in State Senate District 25: Diane Little (fifteen minutes)

Background: Article IX of GPLAC Bylaws provides for the County Council to make appointments to fill vacancies on the County Council  GPLAC Bylaws 9-3 provides that for a given period of time, fewer nomination signatures are required to be appointed, if the applicant is able to receive a super-majority of the vote, compared to the regular simple majority:

      9-3.1 Any person seeking to be appointed to fill a County Council vacancy must be registered Green within the District they wish to represent, and must gather as many signatures of registered Greens in the district on a nomination petition as defined in 8.4, as would be normally required by the County Registrar to appear on the ballot in that district. After which they must receive a majority vote of the County Council to be appointed.

     (The following sentence shall be in the bylaws through August 2020 and then shall be removed) Additionally on a one time basis, for the period of April through August 2020, an applicant who has attended at last one County Council meeting in the last six months, may gather five signatures of registered Greens in the district on a nomination petition as defined in 8.4. After which they must receive an 80% vote of the County Council to be appointed.

Diana Little submitted five signatures of registered Greens from State Senate District 25 on June 6th.  They were confirmed as registed Greens by GPLAC Secretary Mike Feinstein.  Because the office of the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters is closed to the public because of COVID-19, it was not possible to go in person to verify the signatures, as is standard practice under GPLAC Rules and Procedures. However the County Council provided the option for this to be waived:

       9-3.6 Owing to the COVID-19 health crisis, the limitations caused by the closing to the public of the Los Angeles County Registar of Voter's office and the limitations upon in-person signature gathering by the stay-at-home orders in Los Angeles County, the County Council may by a 3/5 vote, amend the procedures herein on a temporary basis during the time of the stay-at-home order in Los Angeles County for submission and validation of nomination petition signatures.

There are five total seats and five vacant County Council seats in District 25

Proposal: That the in-person validation of nomination petition signatures for Diana Little be waived until such time as in-person validation is possible again at the office of the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters.

Appointment:  Diana Little for County Council, State Senate District 25

     9-4.1 The County Council will vote upon each vacancy separately using ranked-choice voting. County Council members may cast votes for qualified nominees and may exercise the 'No Other Candidate' (NOC) option. In the event of a tie, a new election may be held.

5. Report: Treasurer’s report (five minutes)
Presenter: Doug Barnett, GPLAC Treasurer 2014-2020

6. Decision: Food Security in LA County during COVID-19/Report from Healthy LA Coalition (ten minutes)
Sponsor/Presenter: Drew

Background:  The GPLAC approved a committment to (1) utilizing outdoor space on public library and public parks properties in Los Angeles County for growing and distributing food, and organize and alliance-building around this issue and (2) to join the Healthy LA Coalition. This agenda item provides for a report back from Timeka Drew, who the Council selected to represent the GPLAC in these matters.

7. Discussion: Ongoing GPLAC reponse to Black Lives Matter LA, Peoples Budget for LA (fifteen minutes)*
Sponsor/Presenter:  Feinstein

8: Discussion: Report on status of GPLAC Green voter registration data base and outreach  (ten minutes)
Sponsors/Presenters: Rai, Feinstein

Background: Update on integration of new data in the GPLAC Green voter registration data base and outreach conducted/planned based upon earlier Couhnty Counci approval to publicize the opportunity to apply to join the County Council.

9: Discussion: Report from GPCA General Assembly and Standing General Assembly (ten minutes)
Sponsor: Drew, Rai

Background: This agenda item is an opportunity to report on the June 13-14 virtual General Assembly agenda and the accompanying Standing General Assembly (SGA).  Please review these agenda items from the SGA

Election: Coordinating Committee, 12 seats, July 2020 - June 2022

Election: GPUS Delegation, 8 Delegates, July 2020 - June 2022

Election: GPUS Alternate Delegation, 9 Alternate Delegates, July 2020 - June 2022

Amendment, Fiscal Policy: Timing of Fiscal Year

Request for an audit report as required in the approval of the 2018-19 Budget

10: Decision: Rescheduling Choosing Delegates for 2020-2021 GPCA Standing General Assembly (ten minutes)*
Sponsor/Presenters: Drew, Rai

Background: GPLAC Bylaws 12-4.2 state:  "Delegates to the GPCA Standing General Assembly shall be chosen on an annual basis, in the month before the beginning of each term.  The County Council shall select delegates by ranked choice voting, using the Droop threshold, and including a No Other Candidate option. Voting shall occur on the GPLAC Voting Page. Where there are vacancies, County Council may conduct additional elections to fill them."

The GPCA is supposed to send a notice no later than a month before the beginning of each term, reminding county Green Parties to choose their SGA delegates.  This has not happened this year.  Furthermore, it is not clear when the first SGA of the 2020-21 SGA year will occur.  It is supposed to occur in order for the GPCA to take positions on the November 2020 ballot measures, but it is not clear that the working group responsible for bringing forward such proposals, will perform that task.

At the same time, the GPLAC County Council choses the SGA delegates, and it is expected that more Greens would join the County Council, expanding the decision-making base.  Furthermore there has not been general outreach on the GPLAC Forum email list to advise Greens that they can self-nominate for SGA delegate seats.

Proposal: That the GPLAC postpone choosing SGA delegates for the 2020-2021 SGA term until ____.

11. Decision:  Add GPLAC Meeting for July 19 or 26 (ten minutes)*
Sponsor/Presenters: Drew, Rai

Proposal (Feinstein): That the GPLAC add a county council meeting on either Sunday, July 19 or Sunday, July 26.

12 . Decision: GPLAC position on SB 62 (fifteen minutes)*
Sponsor: Feinstein
Presenters: Little, Cortes-Barragan

Background: According to many local activists, SB 625 ( is a power grab set to privatize water and enrich the the rich. The Central Basin is and has been a democratically elected board to protect the water and the peoples interest. It serves a 227 square mile area between Lakewood and East LA.  According to these activists, the goal of SB 625 is to eliminate elected officials and replace them with governmental appointees. There are three such appointees already at the behest of Assembly member Garcia. Their conflicts of interest are apparent, these UN-democratically installed members are already working toward the privatization of this massive community's right to life.  

According to Martha Comacho Rodriguez, Central Basin Municipal Water District Director Div.1, the CBMWD has exemplary record, including the following:

  1. CENTRAL BASIN RELEASED ITS COMPREHENSIVE ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT (CAFR) an independent auditor, issued an unmodified (“clean”) opinion with no findings on the District’s financial statements.
  2. Central Basin earned the Transparency Certificate of Excellence by the Special District Leadership Foundation.
  3. Clean & Affordable Water: Central Basin MWD’s Water Quality and Supply Remain Unaffected by The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19).
  4. Central Basin Achieves Recognition for Excellence in Financial Reporting.
  5. Central Basin Residents and Businesses Receive Over $9.2 Million in Conservation Rebates.

According to Rodriguez, rate hikes as much as 500% over the present rate could result; and the "Central Basin is a community of 2 million people who are 70% Latino, 54% are disadvantaged communities."  She argues part of this community can afford the massive rate hikes that SB 625 will allow ? 

In a letter from Sherry Lear, Organizer at 350 South Bay Los Angeles, she states, "I was recently alerted to the GUT and AMEND done to SB625 by my personal State Senator Steve Bradford which would put the Central Basin Municipal Water District into receivership, dissolve the Board of Directors and cancel the upcoming November elections.

As our communities continue to deal with the COVID19 pandemic and now face civil unrest, this is NOT the time for our legislature to take drastic action without meaningful public dialogue and input or to disenfranchise voters who will be affected by this “emergency” legislation. 350SBLA is deeply concerned over what appears to be a draconian action which will undermine the democratic process and quite possibly lead to privatization of the water district against the wishes of the community.

This bill has raised concerns among community members, activists who have been working to improve the services of the CBMWD, environmental groups who focus on water issues, environmental justice groups and others.

350 South Bay Los Angeles opposes SB625 and requests that the Assembly take a serious pause before moving forward with this legislation."

Finally according to the Bill's analysis (

Arguments in Support: The City of Downey argues that, "Over the course of the last four months, the CBMWD has consistently failed to hold a meeting. As a result, an ever increasing number of vital issues requiring action by CBMWD's Board of Directors have not been addressed exposing CBMWD to additional legal and financial challenges. This unprecedented and unsustainable dysfunction will undoubtedly result in higher water rates imposed on those with the least ability to pay, and will jeopardize access to safe imported water vital to Southern California. SB 625 will resolve the CBMWD's failure in meeting its obligations and responsibilities by temporarily putting WRD in charge of CBMWD's day-to-day operations. Moreover, this bill would require the LAFCO to conduct a MSR of CBMWD and to seek ideas through a public process for governance of CBMWD and report results of those activities to the Legislature." 

Arguments in Opposition: Art Chacon, CBMWD Director, argues that, "Senate Bill 625 is an attempt to privatize a public water agency and deny the public their right to elect their representatives. Central Basin is not in financial dire straits nor fiscally unstable. The issue with Central Basin is a local political battle between private water companies and Central Basin. This bill lacks transparency and smacks of a blatant power grab by special interests. Central Basin is currently in litigation which will address the very issues in SB 625. The author of this bill never reached out to CBMWD nor communicated any concern of Central Basin's operations. SB 625 should not be voted out of committee and let Central Basin handle its own political battles."

Proposal: That the GPLAC oppose SB 625 and send a statement to the appropriate committees in the state legislature

13. Decision Planning Fall Endorsements - candidates and ballot measures (fifteen minutes)*
Sponsor/Presenters: Feinstein

Background: What timing should the GPLAC plan for in making endorsements for candidates and ballot measures for November 2020 ballot.

Proposal: That the GPLAC conduct its endorsement process by the following timeline

14. Proposal: Approval letter to GPCA Coordinating Commitee regarding GPCA voting page (ten minutes)*
Sponsor/Presenter: Rai, Feinstein

Background:  The GPCA has abandoned the functional Standing General Assembly voting page and is using an inferior OPA Voting system.  This leads to less transparency, concentration of information in hands of SGA Admins, and is harder to use to vote, resutling in de facto voter supression. 

Proposal: Authorize the GPLAC Co-coordinators to send an email to the GPCA state Coordinating Committee asking the GPCA to return to the functional Standing General Assembly voting page.

15. Discussion: Hearing from those seeking future appointment to County Council to fill unfilled seats from March primary election (fifteen minutes)*

Background: The County Council has approved outreach to registered Greens to let them known of the duties and responsibilities of the County Council, and to attend a county council meeting to present their interest in apply to the new County Council, and in that process satisfy the attendance requirement of at least one meeting in the last six months. Names of who have contacted the GPLAC to indicate their interest will be posted here as they indicate interest.

16. Report: Top Two lawsuit - closed session, County Councilmembers only (ten minutes)

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