The only saving grace in this whole episode in the evolution of the California Green Party is that the situation isn’t as bad as it is in the Peace & Freedom Party: The PFP is so desperate for activists that it recently elevated Steven Bruce Orcutt (aka Frank Runninghorse, his pseudo Native American wannabe alias) to Chair its Contra Costa County Central Committee and made him a member of the State Central Committee, in spite of the fact that he is a Registered Sex Offender. Lest anybody think he might be guilty of a victimless crime, read my other posts (just search on this site for the name “Runninghorse”) on the subject, because his behavior is appalling considering that PFP pretends to be a “feminist-socialist” organization.
Now, to get back to the Green Party, here are a couple of email traffic posts that are going back and forth within Green circles. Note Michael McCue’s very insightful commentary on a previous post by Michael Feinstein:
The comment thread below, where Michael Feinstein scolds his fellow Greens and Working Group Co-ordinators for not adhering to the bylaw that requires “Filing meeting agendas and minutes with the Coordinating Committee secretary in a timely fashion including a summary report after the conclusion of a General Assembly meeting with general contact information, active membership list, and status report;” etc…
…strikes me as rather righteous, considering the source, and I congratulate Feinstein for standing up for the GPCA bylaws!
And yes…instead of other uncomfortable subjects that have gone un addressed for years…Let’s all talk about what Michael Feinstein wants to talk about….following our rules and bylaws.
It “irritates” Michael that some working Group co-chairs haven’t filed their reports!
Shame on you people! Why aren’t you more like Michael Feinstein, our distinguished elder founder who follows all our Green Party bylaws and rules…shame on you all you lazy bums!
Since Feinstein has complete centralized power through his solid voting block on the GPLACC, (our County Council which has more unfilled seats than filled!)…
…and based on his righteous scolding of his fellow Greens (see below), we must assume that Feinstein follows the bylaws and rules of the County Council which he clearly leads…right?
We should not assume that at all.
The GPLACC bylaws require that a standing committee dealing with Locals Certification and development be established, be operating, and be making regular reports to the GPLACC.
This standing committee does not even exist and hasn’t existed for five years at least.
As a result…many of our locals in LA exist no longer.
Our LA locals have gone undeveloped, uncertified, and unsupported for over five years.
Not one single local has been, or is currently, certified by the GPLACC by Feinstein’s own admission.
Of the three LA locals that are now left…(there used to be over a dozen locals…)
…one has officially disaffiliated with the GPLACC and the GPCA based on their reactions to the unanswered charges of malfeasance against Michael Feinstein…
…one local is on life support…
…and one local, our last truly active local in LA County, is also considering officially disaffiliating themselves from the GPLACC and the GPCA (like the Long Beach Greens have done), and for the same reasons of hypocrisy and lack of support for the 10 Key Values and the rules and bylaws as expressed, or not expressed by Michael Feinstein and Jack Lindblad.
That’s irritating. Isn’t it?
The GPLACC bylaws also require that a standing committee known as the Tabling (Voter Registration) Committee be operating and making reports to the GPLACC on a regular basis.
This committee does not exist and has been making no reports to the GPLACC.
The GPLACC has no organized efforts to register Green Party voters.
As a result, our Green Party has been losing voters in LA County and…
…LA County has one of the worst percentages of Green Party registration of any county in the state…(less than one half of one percent!)…when we should, by rights, be one of the strongest.
We may even lose statewide ballot access because of this un addressed problem.
The GPLACC bylaws require that a standing committee known as the Bylaws Committee be operating and making reports to the GPLACC for recommended amendments to the GPLACC.
For anyone who has read them, you know that the GPLACC bylaws are so poorly written that almost every single article needs revision for clarity’s sake.
This Bylaws Committee does not exist and therefore, has been making no reports to the GPLACC.
I won’t go one because you all get the idea.
If interested, I’ll be glad to send you a more complete list of ALL THE BYLAWS THAT FEINSTEIN IGNORES ON HIS OWN COUNTY COUNCIL…(there are many more).
The GPLACC does not have regular monthly meetings, is comprised of all white members in the most diverse county in the nation, does not post their meetings or their agendas on their web site, does not post their meeting minutes, and does not stay in contact with Green Party voters or locals in LA, nor do they fund raise, nor develop candidates, nor make any effort to fill the many vacant seats on the Council.
That’s what is truly irritating.
In your service,
GPCA Voter Registration Drive
PS – We are still waiting for the Green Party to officially respond to the charges made against us by MAPA. This can’t wait any longer because silence=consent, the talent drain has been too costly, and our voter registration drive is suffering because of it. Please join the SFV Greens in demanding an official Green Party response to the charges leveled against Michael Feinsten, Jack Lindblad and the GPLACC members by MAPA. This cannot wait any longer!
Another opinion from Ross Frankel:
My recommendation is to overhaul the entire state of California Green Party. Yes, many local Green organizations have distanced themselves from the County Council system, and given that many County Councils have either disbanded or dis-affiliated with the GPCA. And it continues. SO, end the County Council arrangement state-wide and replace it with something else entirely.
Such an action will require dissolution of the existing structure and formation of a new structure. Keep in mind that the existing GPCA By-Laws require up to an 80% vote in favor of change–plus unprejudiced but favorably predisposed meeting facilitators–in order to accomplish anything substantive (reference the infamous Venice Plenary for what happens when you don’t meet those criteria…). So “mere” reform is not likely to happen. Thus, I recommend dissolving the existing entity, scrapping it, and starting completely fresh–and based on a more balanced model that specifically oversees & promotes achievement, competency.
The existing underlying structure of the CA Green Party unintentionally has created and perpetuated for a generation an adverse environment where difficult, combative, and irrational personalities drive out most of the rational and competent ones. The party is NOT structured currently to promote a driven, competent and benevolent political machine structure. And without such a structure–where there MUST BE a balance between centralized authority and decentralized empowerment–the Green Party in CA will never achieve anything other than the 1-2 percent of the vote, at best. ( If all you demand is decentralization, then go join the anarchists over at the Libertarian Party–that’s what they stand-for.) Without a structural overhaul, the GP of CA will die.
Meanwhile…Yes, at times, Michael Feinstein & JL have been a serious part of the problem. However, “they” are not the only problem! There are many, many individuals that are equally if not more heavily to blame–such as appointed or elected representatives that do not do their job, but merely sit on their green laurels and do nothing, or worse–actively impede progress. Those self-important people need to be swept from power and replaced with competent functionaries–and you may have to pay people to do the job, just like the ‘big boys’ do.
Enough of the blame-game. It isn’t going to accomplish anything positive. So move on and actually do something constructive to fix the problem. Or fold up your tents.
Ross D Frankel
no longer “Green”, but green