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CTJustice

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Recently, the party expanded the National Steering Committee (NSC) with some new members. Based on the workload that the members were carrying and the need for a wider range of political experience, I think it was a good move. However, I found myself questioning the manner of how the NSC expanded. I’m not aware that we have any bylaws at this point. What was the criteria and procedure if I might ask? Was the additions simply based on one or two NSC member’s recommendation? I think this approach goes counter to what the Justice Party stands for. As we go forward, our message to America will be that we are a different type of political party, that we are open and transparent and believe in justice at all levels in our society. The process of NSC expansion however seems typical of the politics of the Democrat and Republican parties. As we lay down our party foundation with values, mission, and platform, shouldn’t we lay down the manner which we will govern within our party? (i.e. we call for open and fair elections, yet we don’t follow this principle internally.)

My concern about the expansion was realized when a newly added NSC member become extremely disruptive causing some embarrassment to our young party. The time and effort required to remove the individual was wasteful and set back other projects the NSC is working on. I fear that the fallout from this event may lead to some issues in the future.

Overall, I think many of the members of the NSC are doing their best, especially as they are volunteers and need to balance their daily lives with party demands. My request is simply that we become a more open and transparent party. In doing so, we will attract new members who crave that from a political party. It will also remove the possibility of an event like the above from occurring again. Furthermore, becoming transparent and open will allow the rank and file members the opportunity to view the progress of the party; a key element to retaining our members.

I propose the following (Hopefully some members with actual political experience can offer some tweaks):

·         Post the minutes from the NSC meetings on the forum. I saw meeting notes from the past but nothing new.

·         Assign a group to create our official bylaws so that adding and removing NSC/members will be clear.

·         Until the bylaws are created, any addition to the NSC must be petitioned by 10 members of the party that have been registered for at least 2 months. Hopefully, that will keep someone stepping into the crucial NSC simply based on one person’s judgment of qualifications.

·         Until the bylaws are created, when new sub- committees are set up, post to the forum about their creation. Allow members to join these sub-committees with the recommendation of at least 5 members of the party that have been registered for at least 1 month. Post the names of all sub-committee members to the forum.

 

Thanks,

Carlos
Connecticut Justice Party

 

 

 

benbshaw

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Reply with quote  #2 

Carlos is absolutely correct. Transparency is a fundamental principle that we need to adhere to, especically in the conduct of party business when the party leadershp makes decisions.

Here is a excerpt from a letter I sent to the Natrional Steering Committee on 2/25/2012. In this letter, I laid out some suggestions which still largely have not been acted on. I corrected some typos in the original version of my letter.

Quote:

To: National Steering Committee for the National Justice Party
From: Ben Shaw,

Subject Suggestions for Improving the Organization, Transparency, and the Success of the Steering Committees' Efforts:

Please take my suggestions as my attempt to further the success of the Justice Party and the election of Rocky Anderson as President of the United States.. My suggestions are not intended as a criticism of the Steering Committee or of any of its members.

Organization:

1. Expand the Steering Committee and put the state coordinators on the steering committee

2. Create an executive function to carry out wishes of the steering committee

3. Executive Committee should have its own Website on http://www.justicpartyusa.org with a way to contact the executive committee.

Transparency:

1.  Follow Occupy's lead and televise all deliberations or have a public conference call where interested Justice Party members can listen in on steering committee meetings.

2. Post the minutes of every meeting online.

3. Every subcommittee should give a weekly update by email Newsletter and on the Website to all persons signed up on http://www.justicepartyusa.org

Existing subcommittees:

A. ballot access & development of State Parties

B. political outreach & coalition building

C. Media & communication

D. Justice Radio

E. Issue Development, issues like clean technology and other issues can be subsumed here with new subcommittees created as necessary

F. Campus activity & Inter-faith outreach. I would divide this into two subcommittees

G. Regional Ballot Access Coordinators

H. Occupy liaison

5. First Nations People coordinator

F. Presidential campaign relations

G. State Party relations (New)

3. Every meeting should have actions items addressed towards achieving the items listed under results.

4. The Budget, donors, and the expenditures should also be disclosed on the Justice Party Website

5. The Justice Party steering committee should be releasing its own press releases touting our progress and challenges that remain.

Results:

1. Currently, the Steering committee is following the identify politics path exclusively. There needs to be a traditional political party path as well. This path which I am following in Texas, which is also mandated by state law, is a State Chair with State Executive Committee, County Chair and County Executive Committee in each County, and precinct chairs in every precinct. The entire model can be found in the state bylaws i wrote at http://justicepartyoftexas.org/gpage3.html
The identity politics path has proven to be a failure for the Democratic party. It is useful for communicating and seeking support from various groups, but for not sustained political action. The entire political system is set up along State, County, City, etc. lines,. All political offices are elected by some jurisdictional boundary. And, it is a very familiar construct for the voters.


The committee structure of the National Steering Committee has changed since the time I wrote my letter last February. But, the current committee structure is not well publicized and the selection process for picking members of the committees is also as little known as the process for picking new members of the National Steering Committee, which Carlos has correctly pointed out must be made more transparent.

Thanks,

Ben Shaw, State Treasurer, Justice Party of Texas


No Difference

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos
My concern about the expansion was realized when a newly added NSC member become extremely disruptive causing some embarrassment to our young party. The time and effort required to remove the individual was wasteful and set back other projects the NSC is working on. I fear that the fallout from this event may lead to some issues in the future.


What rules or by-laws was this person breaking?  This information has not made its way public, and perhaps that is for the best.  But I think an explanation of exactly why this person was selected, and exactly why this person was ejected, would help illuminate what this Party considers "disruptive."  

Pariahs and heros are not born.  No mother ever gave birth to either, and to suggest it is highly insulting to the mother.  Society determines who will become a hero or a pariah.  Society is the only institution that can create and apply these labels.

__________________
Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
Mcamelyne

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Reply with quote  #4 
Here was the motion:

As per Article 4, section 1 in the bylaws, I make a motion that we remove .... from the National Steering Committee (NSC) because of his poor choice of language in his communications, the resulting disunity that he has created, and the need to set a standard of behavior that members of the NS must adhere to in the future.

We have a different standard of communication expected by the party leadership than the membership in general.  We would prefer that our membership avoid cyber-bullying, unsubstantiated disparagement, and efforts to divide the membership.  I hope all of us can communicate like adults and avoid becoming a party of trolls.
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