GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
PHILADELPHIA CONVENTION, JULY 18-21, 2002
"Those who reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigue of supporting it"
from the Welcome Address to Philadelphia by Ben Manski for the Steering Committee.
Present were over 85 delegates from 39 states, over 20 candidates and officeholders, 6 foreign visitors, committee representatives, rank-and-file and friends of the Green Party Steering Committee members were: Ben Manski (WI). Anita Rios (OH), Jo Chamberlain (CA), Tom Sevigny (CT), Robbie Franklin (TX-Treasurer), Nathalie Paravicini (TX-Secretary)
The Steering Committee would like to express our gratitude to the many persons who have assisted with preparations for and logistics during the convention. Special mention go to: Convention organizers: Dean Myerson and Starlene Ranking, facilitator: Ben Waxman from the AFSC, stenographer: Terri Maurer-Carter, Rally organizer: Guy Anthony, intern Kim Paris, and student volunteers Paul Proces and Mike Hengels from Wisconsin, webpage administrator and the staff at the convention hotel, particularly the staff at the meetings and banquets departments.
BUSINESS CONDUCTED ON THURSDAY
Presentation and Vote to accredit new states and sit Florida expanded delegation (Tony Affigne, RI):
New states were: Alaska, Nebraska, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington
54 yes, 15 no, 9 abstentions
Accreditations Committee report (David Pollard-TX, Peggy Smith-CA):
- Evaluated 5 affiliation applications (listed above) and 8 delegation expansions (CA, TX, NY, IL, MI, FL, PA, OH). The CA delegate expansion raised issues as to the precise role and relationship of committees vs states vs the national committee. These were evaluated and reported on by the Ad-Hoc committee created for that purpose (see below)
- Various other states have indicated their intention to affiliate
- Issues the Accreditations Committee has raised internally
Can we have multiple parties in one state? (NY and MO were/are specific cases)
When is an application ready for evaluation (60 days starts when the AC chair receives all the necessary documentation to start processing)
Do representatives on committees represent their own party of the entire GPUS
Need to further define internal rules, SC directives vs CC directives
The difference between a consensus-building process vs a consensus-seeking process
Discussion and Vote on caucus accreditation procedures (David Pollard, Peggy Smith):
- The ::Draft AC Caucus Process:: procedures supplied were drawn from the materials sent to the Lavender caucus.
The CC decided the proposal was not properly drafted as rules and procedures (eg the list of states would have to change) and included inconsistencies (materials requested to be sent to the AC chair, and also to the GPUS secretary, causing confusion).
- The CC resolved the procedures suggested were fundamentally correct but needed redrafting before the CC could vote on them. The vote will be carried out online.
Discussion and Vote to accredit the Lavender Caucus and sit its delegate (David Pollard, Peggy Smith):
- The Lavender Caucus complied with all the directives given by the AC, except there were questions as to the precise procedures to elect its leadership. Because of delays experienced in receiving accreditation requirements, the good faith effort of the caucus, and in the traditional spirit of inclusiveness, the CC resolved to accredit the Lavender Caucus and provisionally sit its delegate. The caucus has 6 months to provide precise rules to select its leadership and representation. The current delegate would then be permanently seated by the CC online.
63 yes, 5 no, 11 abstentions
Draft highlights of the ::Steering Committee Report 2001-02:: (Ben Manski, WI):
- Hired staff (Political Coordinator, Fundraising Director, Office Manager and Book-keeper) and established the DC office
- Helped organize presence at various national events (A20 for Peace)
- Assisted with the task of a number of committees
- Developed and revised budgets, actively fundraising
- Key task of facilitating and managing votes
Draft highlights of the ::Staff/office Report 2001-02:: (Dean Myerson, DC):
- Set up proper accounting and reporting system for income, including interfacing with FEC reporting software
- Visited and assisted with the formal establishment of at least 10 states
- Identified and established DC office, staff recruitment and hiring staff with SC
- Oversaw Midterm convention organizing
- Started building contacts and relationships with national media
- Assists SC and some other committees with administrative work
Highlights of the Field Organizing Report 2001-02 (Dean Myerson, DC):
- Dean Myerson visited the following states since summer of 2001:
AK, DE, FL, ID, IL, IA, ME, MD, NY, NC, SC, UT, VA, WA. Of these, AK, NC and WA have since affiliated.
- SC directors and staff have visited IN, LA, SC, NE and other states and represented the GPUS in a number of events, including the national convention of the LWV
- Assistance has been provided over the phone to a variety of campaigns across the country.
Draft highlights of the ::Budget-accounting and Fundraising Report 2001-02:: (Jo Chamberlain-CA, Robbie Franklin-TX and Jack Uhrich-SC):
- Budget for 2002 is XX with a monthly run rate of
- Started with a bank account of 3 figures and are now at $40,000 with reserve fully funded
- Developed payment and disbursement system from scratch, as well as system to keep track of donations and produce the necessary FEC reports, transitioned from ASGP to GPUS bank accounts
- Raising an average of XX/month; raised XX in 2002
- Implemented mix of monthly mail solicitations, fundraising events (XX) and direct phone solicitation
- Launched 1000 for 1000 campaign, inspired by Florida's input (Julia Aires)
Highlights of the ::Media Report 2001-02:: (Scott McLarty, DC):
- Issuing an average of one press release a week, especially during the series of crisis since September 11, 2001
- Organized 4 press conferences for the convention: 1) on the convention itself, 2) Congressional candidates; 3) gubernatorial candidates; 4) international visitors
- Issuing regular media circulator (every week or two)
::Green Internet Society Report:: (Cameron Spitzer, CA):
- The GIS is the non-profit organization hosting the Green Party's various servers, webpages, listservers, and email accounts for locals, states and the national.
- ::Cameron Spitzer:: has provided invaluable support to the Green Party (standing ovation)
- The SC encourages others interested in assisting with various maintenance tasks (and learning a lot in the process) to contact Cameron.
- We also encourage greens to get an account with GIS and to donate (you will be able to retain your email address even if you change internet account provider; suggested donations are very small, we rely on numbers) Visit www.greens.org/about/policy.html
Discussion and Vote on the ::State Party Dues Proposal:: (Thomas McGuire, ID)
While states are free to require dues as a condition of membership, the purpose of the proposal is to embody provisions for low-income members. At issue was also the role of the national dictating what state parties could do, whether the Boston Agreement to unify the Green Party would be violated and equalizing requirements for states who had been affiliated at the beginning of the GPUS. The proposal was approved with a friendly amendment. 66 yes, 8 no, 10 abstentions
Discussion and Vote on ::IPPN Affiliation Proposal:: (Ben Manski-WI, Ted Glick-NJ):
- A strong discussion was had as to the purpose of affiliating as the national body of a political party to another organization. IPPN was also presented as a special case because of the nature of its work, its composition and individual involvement with the Green Party. IPPN would not speak on behalf of GPUS, and all member organizations have strong decision making powers as to the work publicized or produced by IPPN.
- The CC requested to further define mutual responsibilities of IPPN and the GPUS, and regular reporting of its liaison. The proposal was amended to affiliate with IPPN for one year.
- The CC approved the amended proposal and selected XX as its liaison.
67 yes, 6 no, 11 abstentions
Steering Committee nominations
- Nominations on Thursday: Barbara Payne, Tom Sevigny, Badili Jones, Anita Rios as co-chairs, Jake Schneider as Treasurer. Brief presentation and Q&A for each candidate.
- Voting took place on Friday using ::Single-Trasferable-Vote::. - Robbie Franklin addressed the CC to give an overview of the momentous changes that took place during his tenure. Thank you Robbie for the work done setting-up all the FEC reporting, payments and other procedures. We also acknolwedge the assistance of Dean Myerson, Doug Malkan and many others.
Coordinated Campaign Committee ::(CCC) Election Rules:: and vote (Juscha Robinson, MI):
- The CCC is a closed committee of 11 people. Election rules were strongy discussed as they involved a complex voting system that embodies the election of at least 5 women.
The proposal was approved: 64 yes, 6 no, 13 abstentions
- The CCC then proceeded to request official election of its membership. All except one nomination were current members (who had been approved by their state as a prerequisite). There was a lot of discussion as to how to proceed, since rules voted on did not permit nominations from the floor. The SC discussed the issue and on Friday July 19 proposed 3 possible ::CCC scenarios:: (see Friday summary). - Voting took place on Friday July 19.
::International Committee Report:: (Anne Goeke-PA, John Rensenbrink-ME):
- Starting at the Santa Barbara meeting, the IC redefined its goals, which include: 1) Foster collaboration and exchange with Green Parties around the world; 2) Network with organizations and movements working for global justice and peace; 3) Develop and advise the GPUS on foreign policy; and 4) Coordinate GPUS representation to the federation of Green parties of the Americas, Global Green Network and international meetings and events; 5) Inform US greens about international issues and 6) Welcome and facilitate meetings for foreign greens to the US.
- Since September 11, the committee has worked on overdrive, as the events last year have caused a lot of tensions on the issue of self-defense and pacifism.
- Committee members represented the party at various meetings in Senegal (African Greens), Budapest (European Greens in Parliament); Porto Alegre (World Social Forum) and other countries.
- The IC invited convention participants to attend a series of roundtables organized with a number of foreign greens present at the convention.
- Most importantly, the IC presented the Global Greens document that will be presented at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johanesburg. The document was drafted by the Global Greens Coordination/Network. The CC requested that issues of militarization and its costs be specifically mentioned in the document.
BUSINESS CONDUCTED ON FRIDAY:
Discussion and vote to join the ::Peace Week-end Proposal:: (Medea Benjamin, CA):
- We need everyone's help and participation to organize peace events in our community THE WEEK-END PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 11, 2002; in order to set the tone for the commemoration of the victims of the September 11 attacks, bombings of Afghanistan and other innocent civilian victims. Organizations involved include September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Global Exchange, and the War Resistors League. For further information please visit www.unitedforpeace.org.
- Approved by unanimous consensus.
Report on the Green Party's ::Commitment to America:::
More than 30 Green Party Congressional Candidates have inspired themselves on Newt Gingrich's-led "Contract with America", to draft a common view of their commitment to the people. The statement covers: 1) The Green Commitment; 2) Security through peace and Justice, 3) Health coverage for all; 4) Restoration of democracy; 5) Energy interdependence; 6) Corporate reform; 7) Fair trade, fair labor; 8) Preventive social spending and policies; 9) Preventive foreign spending and policies; and 10) Survival of the planet.
::Ad-Hoc Committee Report:: (Marc Reichardt, MI):
- The Ad-Hoc committee was reconstituted to examine the tensions that arose from the accreditation of the California expanded delegation. The committee remarked that it has not received much cooperation from different parties involved (AC majority report, AC minority report, CA delegation and SC). Nevertheless, it has become clear that various factors contributed to the situation. The Committee proposed:
1) Redefinition of the GPUS Standing Committee structure, with clear rules of operation
2) The power of certain committees (particularly enforcement committees) be outlined in the party's bylaws or rules
3) When difficult issues arise, communications should include other means besides email. Any unsettled disputes should be submitted to the CC for inquiry and resolution
4) The CC task the bylaws committee with reviewing the procedures of the Accreditations Committee
- The CC suggested Ad-Hoc committee members join or work in conjunction with the Bylaws committee to implement the suggestions outlined above.
::Presidential Exploratory Committee Report:: (Jane Hunter-NJ, John Strawn-CA):
The PEC developed produced an important report recounting:
1) The formal restructuring of the PEC in GA, Dec 2000; 2) Its past history (for 2000 elections); 3) Mission statement; 4) Committee tasks; 5) Scope limitations; 6) Current membership; 7) Proposed process and timeline.
IMPORTANT: The PEC sent a questionnaire to the different state parties requesting input from state parties to the PEC. THE QUESTIONNAIRE MUST BE SENT NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 22, 2002. Please read the report.
::Green Pages Report:: (Anita Rios-OH, Mick Feinstein-CA):
- Green Pages is the national paper used by many emerging states and for fundraising purposes. Its main purpose has been to present election results and related information. Its cost is largely paid by subscriptions from the various states.
- It has remained faithful to its original guidelines and procedures but the needs of the party have superceded the paper's current resources.
- Mike Feinstein expressed in strong terms his dissatisfaction with what he called interference from the Steering Committee and staff. The editorial board recognized Mr. Feinstein's past contributions and key role in the paper and presented current procedures and objectives. The editorial board is now very small.
- The editorial board met over the week-end to develop guidelines and deadlines for Green Pages for both the upcoming and future issues.
- The editorial board encourages participation in the development of Green Pages. For further information, please contact Ken Sain at [email protected].com or Stacy Malkan at [email protected]
Communications Committee report - Unveiling of Web-based Voting Pages (Nathalie Paravicini, TX):
- The Communications Committee presented its work (development and implementation of listserver guidelines, draft intro packet for new delegates) and future projects (new delegate introduction, multi-media communications structure between locals, states and national to prepare for 2004, organization of gpus.org website)
- Most importantly, the ComCom unveiled its proposed voting pages to be implemented shortly after Philadelphia. The committee calls for greens with technical skills to participate.
CCC membership votes on procedure and membership
All except one nomination were current members (who had been approved by their state as a prerequisite). There was a lot of discussion as to how to proceed, since rules voted on did not permit nominations from the floor. The SC discussed the issue and on Friday July 19 proposed 3 possible ::CCC scenarios::. a) no further nominations; b) Suspension of rules, nominations and voting at this CC meeting and c) Suspend process and proceed to extended nominations/elections online.
- Because there is no other minority represented on the CCC except for women, and because the CC wanted to nominate additional members, the CC decided to suspend Rule II of the previously approved proposal, allow for nominations from the floor without formal state approval, and election of CCC members at the meeting. Members so elected would require state approval after the convention. 52 yes, 24 no, 2 abstentions
- Elected were: Juscha Robinson (MI), Susan King (CA), Joe P. Buchanan (RI), Ben Manski (WI), Marnie Glickman (OR), Dan Johnson-Weinberger (IL), Dan Kinney (PA) Masada Disenhouse (NY), Logan Martinez (OH), Penny Teal (CT), Alan Kobrin (FL).
Vote and announcement of results for SC co-chairs and Treasurer
- The vote to selec SC directors was ::single-transferable-vote::. Elected were Badili Jones (GA), Barbara Payne (OR) and Anita Rios (OH). as per the bylaws, Tom Sevigny is the alternate director on the SC. - CC appreciation and acknowledgement of parting officers Tom Sevigny (CT, co-chair since 1996) and Robbie Franklin (TX).
::Platform Committee Report:: (Holly Hart, IA):
- The committee redesigned its webpage (www.gp.org) and updated the list of state representatives to the committee and its listserver; summarized recommendations from the CC in Santa Barbara to develop a summary platform and how that summary was developed and voted on by the CC.
- Most importantly, the Platcom presented a platform submissions timeline for platform adoption in 2004; guidelines for committee organization and decision-making; and a Platcom "Work-space" which includes a bulletin board and online submissions form.
- The Platcom held hearings on both Saturday to receive the widest possible input on the different elements introduced, as well, as issues that needed further development on the national platform.
Discussion and vote to support and join the ::One Million Postcards Campaign:: for the modernization of immigration laws (Nathalie Paravicini, TX):
- The proposal calls for greens to collect signatures to call for a modernization of immigration laws. The postcards will be hand delivered to Washington DC before the elections. The campaign is being carried out by a broad coalition of organizations working with the Latino and immigrant communities.
- For the Green party this was presented as a unique vehicle to start developing relationships with the local Latino and immigrant rights organizations across the country. Local contacts and the way to receive postcards will be sent to delegates and locals.
- CC approved by unanimous consent and cards signed on the spot.
Initial presentations for 2003 CC Gathering and 2004 Convention:
Milwaukee and Madison brief presentations to host the 2004 convention.
Texas brief presentation to host the CC Gathering in 2003.
The process to present proposals and deadlines will be sent online.
Discussion and decision on the ::DC Statehood proposal:: (Jennefer Ellingston, DC):
- Citizens of the District of Columbia do not have representation like the rest of us. The proposal calls for all parties to link to the DC Statehood website and to circulate the petition to make the District of Columbia a state with full democratic rights.
- The CC agrees with the petition in principle and in spirit, nevertheless the petition contains a number of confusing paragraphs (for example mentioning residents of the capital, as opposed to citizens). Therefore, the CC requested a redrafting of the proposal and a vote online.
Discussion of the ::Proposal on the ICC Treaty Ratification:: (Beth Moore Haines, CA):
- California introduced a proposal calling for the establishment f the International Criminal Court (ICC) and call upon the Congress and the American people to support ratification.
- In the week leading up to the convention, congress passed a law creating a loophole for Americans overseas, and since the convention, for the use of any means to retrieve American nationals held in a foreign country for crimes against humanity.
- California requested to withdraw the resolution in order to update it, and then to vote for the new resolution online.
::Freedom-Peace Tax Fund Proposal:: (John St.Denis, TX):
The proposal calls for endorsement of the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act. This act has been introduced many times in congress and calls for people with religious, moral or ethical beliefs against participation in was through taxation to have an alternative manner to pay their taxes, similar to the spirit of the Selective Service Act.
- There were some questions. The proposal will be introduced again online in order to allow for the clarifications requested.
::Voting Rights Amendment Proposal:: and ::Green Democracy Campaign Proposal:: (Marc Loveless, MI):
The first proposal calls for the GPUS to adopt and endorse a Voting Rights Amendment to be included in the US Constitution. The Second proposal calls for the organization of an event titled "Peoples March for Democracy and Freedom" in DC in 2003.
There were some concerns as to specific language and resources needed for the proposals. Anita Rios from OH and Nathalie Paravicini from TX offered to assist in clarifying the proposals and developing a framework for their implementation.
IL withdrew its proposal pending update and submittal online.
Closing remarks and feedback from the floor and the facilitators