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Proposal Details

Proposal ID1112
ProposalUpdated Forum Manager Protocol
PresenterSteering Committee
Floor ManagerChris Stella
PhaseClosed
Discussion09/19/2022 - 10/02/2022
Voting10/03/2022 - 10/09/2022
ResultAdopted
Presens Quorum32 0.6666
Consens Quorum46 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes

Background

Due to various violations of our present Bylaws, it has become necessary to update our Forum Manager protocols to immediately address Section D in our Bylaws:

"D. Tone. Insults, name-calling, sexist/sexual, racist, homophobic, or otherwise demeaning or degrading comments will not be tolerated. (Personal, one-on-one arguments are inappropriate and should be taken off list for one-on-one communication.) Hateful, abusive, and threatening language is prohibited. Attacks of a personal, ad hominem nature are prohibited. Making false and defamatory accusations on the listserve against another list member, a Green delegate, candidate, committee, caucus or the Green Party, that can be clearly and objectively disproved, is prohibited. If such accusations are made unintentionally, a retraction is called for. Failure to retract such allegations can result in an action by the Forum Managers"

Proposal

Amend Section IV of the GPUS Rules and Procedures to read as follows:

IV. Forum Managers and Enforcement

The goal of the Forum Manager is to work with and educate on constructive, neutral, and effective ways to communicate. They are the designated administrators responsible for enforcing agreed-upon communication protocols. Every attempt shall be made by the Forum Managers to address complaints sent to the Forum Manager email [forummanagers@gp.org] as well as publicly made on the National Committee

There is a very clear distinction between free speech and bullying; between disagreeing with someone's positions and interjecting anger and divisive language in a comment.
 
Delegatesí obligations are to:

- Represent their caucus, state, territory, or district
- Inform state constituencies of GPUS proposals, votes, actions, and other matters
- Vote on proposals
- Further the work of the GPUS by serving on committees, or help provide a replacement volunteer from your state party or caucus.

Eligibility
The Steering Committee shall nominate five (5) individuals, subject to National Committee approval, to serve coincident two-year terms as Forum Managers. They must not all be of the same gender and have gender balance of females, non-binary, and males.

Forum Managers may be sitting NC delegates, alternates or others as recommended by their State or Caucus.

All nominees must be either recommended or approved by their state or caucus. It is recommended that Forum Managers have dispute resolution training.

Vacancy
In the event of a Forum Manager resignation or inactivity, the SC shall nominate a replacement to fill the role of Forum Manager, to be approved by the NC. After two months of inactivity, the Steering Committee will send a reminder to the inactive Forum Manager to determine the vacancy.

Reporting
The Forum Managers shall announce forum protocol, how complaints may be submitted to forummanagers@gp.org, and provide Forum Reports to the NC on a monthly basis on the last week of the month. Forum Reports shall include the number of complaints received directly and on the forum, number of warnings issued and why, number of moderations and why, and number of recommendations for removal and actual removals.

Appeals
Offending member's state party or caucus may initiate an appeal on the list. If five (5) National Committee Delegates or Alternate Delegates from differing states and caucuses (caucus member may not be from a state which already participated) concur to the appeal, the offending member's moderation or removal shall be erased from their record and reinstated to full Forum activity. Once a second removal notice is accrued, the appeal process is void.

Recall Forum Managers
As in GPUS Bylaws section 6-4.3, a proposal to recall a Forum Manager shall be considered submitted when it is posted to the National Committees Forum and copied to/tagged the Secretary. The Secretary shall confirm receipt within 48 hours to the National Committee Forum.

Issuing Notices
At least two Forum Managers must be in agreement prior to a warning and three are required for moderation and removal recommendation to the National Committee. If one Forum Manager objects to a warning, the decision must be overturned by three Forum Managers.

Addressing Concerns
Complaints are not necessary if a Forum Manager sees a violation that is explicitly listed in our Bylaws.

Forum Managers will notify the National Committee on the National Committee Forum of an offender that has been flagged for a warning (beginning of the process) and at the stage of removal (last step in the process) for National Committee discussion and reversal of the decision if five (5) state party or caucus delegates (caucus member may not be from a state that has already participated) issue objections within 48 hours of the notice. Monthly reports at the end of each month will be suffice for tracking purposes.

In the case of a state party or caucus contesting moderation or removal of their delegates, five (5) delegates from varying state parties or caucuses (caucus member may not be from a state that has already participated) must concur with the reversal within 48 hours of the posted appeal. In such a scenario, Forum Managers shall remove the action from the offender's record or initiate a 48 hour discussion and 48 hour vote on the recommended action allowing the entire National Committee to each have a voice in the process of their National Committee.

While complaints are not necessary, members are encouraged to file a complaint with Forum Managers at [forummanagers@gp.org] including a copy of the offending email and any direct emails the offender may have sent to the member. Members may also reply to the offending message by clearly stating "Attention Forum Managers" and/or tagging the Forum Managers, must cite the reason for the complaint, and cc: [forummanagers@gp.org].

Violations
IMMEDIATE MODERATION
Delegates will immediately be moderated for sexist/sexual, racist, homophobic comments upon receiving five (five) notices from National Committee Delegates or Alternates from varying state parties or caucuses (caucus member may not be from a state that has already participated) and must cite the inappropriate comment. The notice shall state, "Delegate (Smith) has used sexist/racist/homophobic language. I ask they be put on immediate moderation." Their state party or caucus will be notified with a copy of the offending email(s) to determine their future status on the National Committee.

FIRST OFFENSE (Warning)
Forum Managers shall send a warning of protocol compliance on the National Committee list for transparency reasons to offending members. National Committee Delegates may support or object to the notice. If five National Committee Delegates from varying state parties or caucuses decide the notice was unjust within 48 hours of posting the recommendation, Forum Managers shall clear the action from the offender's record or initiate a 48 hour discussion and 48 hour vote on the recommended action.

SECOND OFFENSE (Moderation)
If an offending member violates a second time, the offending member will be notified on the National Committee list and placed on moderation for one month. Offending member's state party or caucus may initiate an appeal on the list. If five (5) National Committee Delegates or Alternate Delegates from differing states and caucuses (caucus member may not be from a state which already participated) concur to the appeal, the offending member's moderation shall be erased from their record and reinstated to full Forum activity.

THIRD OFFENSE (Recommendation of Removal)
If an offending member violates a third time, the offending member will be notified that a recommendation for removal will be sent to the state party or caucus represented by the Delegate or Alternate Delegate. Offending member's state party or caucus may initiate an appeal on the list. If five (5) National Committee Delegates or Alternate Delegates from differing states and caucuses (caucus member may not be from a state which already voted) concur to the appeal within 48 hours, Forum Managers shall initiate a 48 hour discussion and 48 hour vote to appeal the removal.

Observers
Observers shall be allowed to comment on the National Affairs list but shall be permanently on moderation on the Votes List to adhere to the Observer status.

Resources

This proposal would modify the existing GPUS Rules and Procedures, ARTICLE IX: GPUS NATIONAL COMMITTEE LISTSERVE PROTOCOLS AND POLICIES.

The changes proposed are expected to enter effect immediately upon approval by the National Committee. Steering Committee is directed to immediately begin searching for additional nominees as necessary to meet the new size of the Forum Manager team.

References

The current protocol text is part of the GPUS Rules and Procedures and available at: Current wording: https://gpus.org/national-committee/gpus-national-committee-listserv-protocols-and-policies-definitions/

A Google doc showing the exact edits for comparison with the original text is available at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10pJNX2tb0Ce1C5dlz26XZ7SHCexb3HM3EA_V0jMN6Eo/edit?usp=sharing

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