1. Date proposed: May 1, 2011, Eric Fried, GPCO Secretary; co-sponsor Tanya Ishikawa, co chair.
2. Title: Proposal to elect a GPCO co-chair to fill vacancy until state meeting
3. Text of the actual proposal: The election will open on Monday, May 2, 2011 and close on Sunday, May 8th, 2011 at midnight. There are three candidates, Victor Forsythe, Art Goodtimes, and Ryan Jones, who have each submitted biographies/statements (below). Since there are three candidates, in an effort to choose a co-chair who represents the preference of the majority of council, the election will use instant runoff voting, specifically the sequential elimination method. Each voter will have the option to rank the candidates in preference order by assigning #1 to their first choice, #2 to their second choice, and #3 to their third choice. In the first round of voting, the #1 choices will be tallied. If any candidate has over 50% of the #1 choices, they will be declared the winner. If no one has over 50% of #1 choices, the candidate with the fewest #1 choices is eliminated, and votes for that candidate are reallocated to whichever candidate on those ballots is listed as the #2 choice (or #3 choice in the event no #2 is listed). These #2 (or #3) votes will be added to the #1 votes of the remaining candidates, and which ever candidate has the most votes in the second round will be declared the winner. Voters do not need to rank any candidates beyond #1, but in the event their candidates is eliminated in the first round, their votes would not be able to be reassigned to their second choice. Since the GPCO has no established procedure for breaking ties, at state meetings or in council votes, a virtual coin flip will be used by the council facilitator in concert with the state secretary, using http://flip-coin.com/ Votes will be tallied by the council facilitator, acting in concert with the state secretary. (since we will have a tally of all the votes, this will be a transparent process.)
4. Background: Our bylaws state:
5.8 If a Green Party of Colorado officer’s position is vacated in between official state meetings, the Council or both co-chairs in agreement may make a temporary appointment in the manner as specified in the Procedures and Guidelines until the next state meeting under consultation with each local. And our Procedures and Guidelines section 3.7 state The GPCO co-chairs, after conferring together, can make a “good until challenged appointment” of a volunteer for a vacancy to any of the following positions: coalition representative, meeting facilitator or council facilitator …or any other non-decision making position…
Since we do not have co-chairs, and this IS a decision-making position, we do not have established procedures and guidelines for how to make this “appointment.” The state officers felt the best way forward was to conduct an election to allow the council to select a co-chair to fill the vacancy until the state meeting in late June, at which point both co-chair positions will be up for their normal one-year terms (as well as all state officers including Secretary and Treasurer, which are elected to two-year terms at state meetings in odd numbered year, such as 2011).
The Green Party platform encourages the use of instant runoff voting for single-seat elections, such as an executive officer like co-chair.
5. Justification/Goals: It might have been preferable to fill the co-chair vacancy earlier, but given the internal investigation we undertook, followed by processing the recommendations of the steward who conducted the investigation, this was not possible. It would be helpful to fill the vacancy now so we have our full complement of state officers, and so the co-chair can assist with things like helping start the Mediation Council and preparing for and running the state meeting.
6. Pros: We fill our co-chair vacancy, take pressure off Tanya Ishikawa, who has been our sole co-chair for the last few months since Adam Taylor moved to Australia, and use a method designed to achieve a higher level of agreement than plurality voting.
7. Cons: None seen, unless people prefer to keep the position mandated by our bylaws unfilled.
8. Estimate of Fiscal Impact: $0
9. Alternatives to the proposal: Do not fill the position until the state meeting. Fill the position using plurality voting (no majority needed, most votes win) or using a traditional runoff method (if no one gets over %0% of the votes in round one, the top two candidates advance to a runoff election, a second vote is held, the winner becomes co-chair).
I was born in Miami Florida and I have the Birth Certificate to prove it 😉
I grew up in Ecuador South America until I was 13
I went to High School in Orange Country CA
I have been a draft dodger and anti-war activist since the 60’s
Co-founder of Rainforest Action Network and I was active in Earth First! in the 80’s and 90’s
Here in Colorado I have founded Boulder Barter and Denver Barter as well as GreenFuneralsColorado.com
I’ve been with the Green Party since1996
I was friends with Mike Feinstein in California in the early 90’s when I was also President of the Vegetarian Society Inc.
I live near downtown Denver
Statement about Co-Chair
I would like to build coalitions with other third parties and Independents for ballot access
I would like to see publicly funded elections
I would like to see Green Party members working with community groups on meetups
Potlucks and house parties
Green technology will bring back jobs to America
We can retool America for renewable clean energy
Abundance and the five day weekend. Peace and prosperity.
Recently named Poet Laureate of the Western Slope 1 and op-ed columnist for various Telluride newspapers for the past 30 years 2 , Art Goodtimes is serving his fourth term as a San Miguel County Commissioner in southwestern Colorado 3 — the only Green Party county commissioner in the inner basin West and the only partisan elected Green official in Colorado.
He is involved in a number of community collaborative processes, including the Public Land Partnership 4 and the Burn Canyon Monitoring Task Force 5 , for which he has received several national awards from the U.S. Dept. of Interior and the U.S. Forest Service. In 2010 he was named a Fellow for the Center for Collaborative Conservation at Colorado State University and is working on a Payment for Ecosystem Services Pilot Project in San Miguel County 6 .
He currently serves as chair of the National Association of Counties Gateway Communities Subcommittee 7 and Colorado Counties, Inc. representative on NACo’s Public Lands Steering Committee 8 . He was twice appointed to the BLM’s Southwestern Colorado Resource Advisory Council and has won several regional awards for his work at bridge-building among diverse constituencies.
Goodtimes switched to the Green Party in 1998 when it achieved party status in Colorado as a minor party, and founded the San Miguel Greens. He has been re-elected for three terms as a Green in San Miguel County, and has served as on-line Council founder and first facilitator as well as chair of the Accreditation Committee of the National Green party.
In terms of putting the Ten Key Values into effect locally, he is proudest of having established San Miguel County’s Environmental Health Department and adopted a High County Zone District that protects the alpine lands surrounding Telluride from future trophy home development.
1 / http://www.tellurideinside.com/2011/04/telluride-regions-art-goodtimes-named-western-slope-poet-laureate.html
2 / http://www.watchnewspapers.com/pages/news_commentary
3 / http://www.sanmiguelcounty.org/departments/commissioners/district3.html
4 / http://www.publiclandspartnership.or
5 / http://www.publiclandspartnership.org/plp/burn_canyon/burn_canyon.htm
6 / http://www.collaborativeconservation.org/2nd_ccc_fellows_cohort
7 / http://www.naco.org/about/committees/Pages/CommitteeMembers.aspx
8 / http://www.watchnewspapers.com/bookmark/22499-Making-the-Congressional-Rounds
Co-Chair Nomination Statement
I believe I’m the oldest active member of the Colorado Green Party, having formally joined in 1998, after having been in conversations with Green state leaders Tom Crumpacker and Dean Myerson for several years.
I’ve served in many roles in the party, having been state rep to the National Party, a National Party committee chair, co-convener of the 2000 National Nominating Convention, founder and first-facilitator of the on-line Council, a co-drafter of the original Procedures and Guidelines. I was founder and first facilitator of the San Miguel Greens from 1998-2011, and am currently a Rep to the on-line Council, as well as the party’s only partisan elected official.
I’ve written for the Green Pages and Green Horizon, and I’m in contact with Green leaders outside the state and with several international Greens. For the last dozen years I’ve been a strong proponent of Building the Party from the Bottom Up. And in that same time period our local has been successful in recruiting and electing several Town of Telluride officials, one Town of Norwood trustee, one Norwood School Board member (currently serving) as well as having San Miguel Greens appointed as County Planning Commission Chairs (2) and several County Open Space members.
I believe this is a critical time in the history of the state party with many new people in the group and many regional, state and national issues in play. I believe I have the experience and the capabilities to help the party grow and begin electing people to office in this state – the primary function of a political party.
I believe I’m the only candidate running that satisfies the Diversity section (3.1) of our Procedures and Guidelines: “The GPCO will strive for gender and geographic balance in all representation, recruitment and functional offices of the GPCO.” With Tanya Ishikawa, a woman from the Front Range, I will provide necessary diversity balance to GPCO as a male Green from the Western Slope.
I ask all Green Party of Colorado members for their support with my candidacy for co-chair.
Hello Green Party of Colorado Council
I am honored to have been nominated to be in the race for the temporary state co-chair position. My name is Ryan Jones but I generally go by “Jonesy”. I will answer to either name. I am 23 years old and am currently a resident of Denver. I am very proud of the fact that I have always been registered as a Green since I was first eligible to register to vote in 2005. Because I grew up in Douglas County where there is no Green Party chapter, I wasn’t able to get involved with the Green Party as early as I would have liked to. Because of this experience, I am dedicated to making the Green Party accessible to citizens throughout the state and a competitive alternative to the major political parties.
Over the past year I have been regularly attending my local Green Party meetings. I have lived in both Denver and Arapahoe County in the last 3 years so I have gotten a chance to be active with both the Denver and the Arapahoe Green Party local chapters. In addition to this, I have been active in the Young Greens Denver as a founding member.
The Young Greens Denver is a group that was started by Adam Taylor to encourage youth involvement in the Denver Green Party. The Young Greens Denver is the only Young Greens group in Colorado and our hope is that other Young Greens groups will form around the state. So far the Young Greens Denver has hosted a Buy Nothing Day event, held a cleanup at the Capitol, participated in demonstrations, tabled at events, volunteered at an urban farm, and put on an Earth Day event at the Capitol.
As co-chair, my biggest priority would be growing the party. I have several ideas in mind that I feel would be beneficial for growing the party.
• Create a System that Allows Registered Electors of the Colorado Green Party to Pay Dues
• I know that dues are a controversial subject. There are arguments against dues that follow the basis that dues are elitist. While I understand this as a concern, I feel that when done properly, dues give many more people the opportunity to be involved in an organization that they care about. I have payed my dues the the Green Party of the United States since 2005. I have done so because it allowed me to support the Green Party even when there was no local chapter where I lived. Paying my dues kept me connected to the Green Party and gave me a sense of belonging. I feel as the Colorado Green Party, we could have an even better dues system than the national party. I want to clarify that the dues option would not be required to be a registered elector of the Colorado Green Party. The dues system would be a way for people to support the state party and to show their level of commitment to the Colorado Green Party. I would want dues to be low (between $15 and $36 annually) so that it is affordable to all Colorado Greens. I see dues as providing a steady flow of funds that would result in the party being able to better serve its members. I also see dues as a way to make the party more accessible, transparent, and grassroots. An example of this would be allowing dues paying members to vote for representatives to the national party, state party co-chairs, and statewide and national Green Party candidates. Some would argue that charging a fee to vote is elitist. I would argue that the current system is elitist because it only allows those that are able to attend the state convention to vote. Taking time off of work and traveling to a distant part of the state is potentially a lot more costly than $15 dollars. I would still want the elections to be held at the state convention. I would just want to provide an additional option for those that are unable to attend the convention. It is reasons like this that I see an optional dues system as providing more opportunity and options for participation in the party.
• Create a Colorado Green Party Email Newsletter
• A news letter is a very common thing for an organization to have. A Colorado Green Party Newsletter would encourage participation by letting subscribers know that Greens all over the state are active and working hard on important issues. It would also be useful for publishing events that volunteers could participate in. The discuss lists are good tools for communicating but they have their limitations as well. The amount of emails that subscribers to the listservs receive can be overwhelming to the average person. A newsletter allows for all content to be proofread and vetted before being published. This ensures that only high quality content is reaching our supporters and prospective members.
• Provide Better Resources and Support to the Green Party Local Chapters
• The local chapters should be given the support they need to grow the Colorado Green Party. I would work to create guides that have information about running successful campaigns, campaign finance information, creating new chapters, hosting events, etc. Information would constantly be collected to create and improve these guides. In addition to guides, each local should have access to literature about the the Colorado Green Party and literature templates for their local chapter that can be printed and used at tabling events.
• Launch a Massive Campaign to Attempt to Contact Every Registered Green in Colorado
• As a volunteer with the Denver Green party, we have made attempts to contact registered Greens to inform them about meetings, events, and candidates. I was surprised by the amount of people that were completely unaware about all the great work we had been doing. We need to make sure we are doing our part to reach our own party members. Contacting every registered Green in the state will be no easy task, but I am confident that it is a necessary part of growing the party. By using software like CiviCRM, we can create a system for contacting and managing lists of registered Greens that the local chapters can use to grow both their chapter and the state party.
• Give the GPCO Council the Tools to Work More Effectively
• The Green Party of Colorado Council is a major component of the success of our party. Council members are dedicated leaders of our state party that should have the best resources available to them so they can adequately represent there local chapters. I have noticed several improvements that could be made to the GPCO Council.
I would like to see a the council use online voting software instead of email to conduct its elections. Voting by email is confusing, messy, time consuming, and prone to errors. Using software like BigPulse (http://www.bigpulse.com/) would allow the vote to run much smoother, not overfill council members’ inboxes, and free up valuable time that the Council Facilitator currently spends tallying email votes.
While I feel that the Council list system of sending out proposals over email has been effective, I also feel that it can at times get confusing and cluttered. The council should be able to handle multiple proposals at once, but this gets very difficult over email. I would investigate setting up a website that only council members have access to to supplement the current email process. This site could neatly contain proposals (even multiple versions), results of past votes, a calendar with information on voting deadlines and upcoming events, netiquette and council procedures, etc. I wouldn’t want to replace the current system that the Council uses to submit and vote on proposals, I just think it can be made better by supplementing it with information that is easier to access.