Recently, our state party has had to face a significant amount of upheaval that unfortunately required disciplinary measures focused on a handful of members of our state council. This turmoil has impacted our ability to even do the basic work of party building, and even support for our locals has been interrupted.
Therefore, the Green Party of Colorado (GPCO) has taken a rarely-pursued path, choosing to employ discipline to restore order to our party, where the norm for many Green parties has been to hope that “rising above” would solve internal strife. After more than six months attempting to create a space for healing, we see that “rising above” alone, does not restore order.
There are three primary reasons that these disciplinary actions were necessary.
Reason 1: Accusations of inappropriate sexual conduct.
An individual filed a formal complaint to the GPCO, directed at a former candidate for public office. The former candidate was notified by the party secretary of the complaint, and was invited to address the GPCO at our state meeting on August 12, 2017 in their defense. To date, no formal response was ever received. Our state party refuses to allow accusations of sexual predation simply go unchecked just because the accused decides to ignore the complaint or our process.
Reason 2: Bypassing the democratic authority of the GPCO.
A small group of individuals, mostly registered Greens, has been unhappy with the direction the duly elected leadership in the state party has been working. This group has created a “grievance”, which only a small fraction of one percent of the registered greens in Colorado have supported, demanding that the Green Party of the United States (GPUS) step in and remove the elected leadership of our party or disaffiliate our state party.
Reason 3: Conspiring to use a fellow Green’s background in an attempt to cause injury
One of the individuals facing a proposal conspired with another individual to spread information about a member’s 20 year-old criminal record, as a way to cause damage to his partner, a co-chair of the state party. This behavior should not be tolerated in any organization that wants to be taken seriously in the struggle against our corrupt judicial system.
Our state party is not going to let a fraction of one percent of our registered voters override the democratic process of the entire state party in order to remove our state leadership, or disaffiliate our party from the GPUS, no matter how entitled to the control of the party they think they should be. This can’t remain unchecked. Only those individuals who have knowingly taken these steps against the GPCO have faced these disciplinary proposals.
These proposals revoke the right of participation from the state party apparatus only for these individuals for at least three years, after which they are eligible to apply for reinstatement. They keep their Green voter registration, and they are free to work within their locals. Some of the individuals have been offered restorative justice, and after successful completion of the process, they will be completely reinstated. We hope that these individuals take us up on the offer to reconcile, but either way, we must move the Green Party of Colorado forward.
This isn’t the kind of work we want to do. Disciplinary action is not easy, but in this situation, it was absolutely necessary.
For more information, see:
- Disciplinary Proposal Background
- Letter to the GPUS Accreditation Committee
- Second letter to GPUS Accreditation Committee
- Video by Denver GP member, Stephen Molyneux
- Video by Mesa GP chair, Andy Hamilton
- Video by Arapahoe County GP chair, Brianna Friend
- Video by Longmont GP chair/State Treasurer, Josh James
- Video by Denver GP member, Vinnie Cervantes
- Former member confronted about spreading background