Last week, in anticipation of the Annual State Meeting of the Green Party of Texas, I expressed my trepidations about what might happen. The outcomes I dreaded did not come to pass. Unfortunately, some other stuff did, and I did not come away from the meeting in a sunnier frame of mind, despite the plentiful sunshine we experienced in Corpus Christi.
LiveStreaming Your Dirty Laundry
Let's get this part out of the way right here and now. The main reason for my troubled state is that all is not hearts & flowers within my state party. As I mentioned last week, we have rifts, some of them deep, concerning strategy and tactics, and even concerning the purposes of the Green Movement and what constitutes Grassroots Democracy. We also have some troublesome members, some of whom stir up shit because they have passionate beliefs about the Party's direction, some of whom stir up shit just because they can. I will not point out any of them by name, but you may soon be able to watch video of our proceedings and decide for yourself. The event was LiveStreamed for the benefit of those who couldn't attend.
In a separate post, I'll dish on Corpus Christi, or at least the parts of it we saw. For now, let it suffice to say that, in comparison to some other state meetings we've had, we were kind of roughing it.
SEC and NC Election Results
There are certainly some positive developments worth reporting, including the new lineup of the State Executive Committee. Except where otherwise noted, these were contested races—i.e., more than one person raised a hand and said, "Gee, I don't have a lot of time to devote to it, I guess I can do that if nobody else is willing."
New co-chair Gaige is also fairly new to the party. He and his wife Nancy Gaige connected with GPTX just within the last two years. Since joining, he has applied his IT experience to the party's conversion of its out-of-date websites onto the Nationbuilder platform, as well as the less IT-intensive management of Slack channels for internal communications. He conducted a one-hour Tech Tools workshop, covering use of both Nationbuilder and Slack.
The delegates also elected a slate of nine delegates to the GPUS National Committee, a mixture of familiar and new faces: Valerie Alessi, Alison Bittick, Adrian Boutereira, Travis Christal, Wesson Gaige, Herb Gonzales, katija gruene, Laura Palmer, and Janis Richards. Yes, we do allow members to serve on both the SEC and the NC: Sometimes it's a good idea to know first-hand what's happening in both bodies.
More Positive Notes
There was plenty of additional good news to report:
"Bylaws" Remains One of My Least Favorite Words
Various individuals, county organizations, and the SEC submitted nearly a dozen proposals to amend the GPTX bylaws. Our state's election code requires that any changes made to bylaws must occur during odd-numbered years, when there are no statewide elections. There were also proposals to amend the state and national platforms (one each) and some resolutions, which did not get the time needed for full discussion because the bylaw amendments ate up so much time.
Just typing the word "bylaws" requires me to fend off nausea and fatigue. But we spent a total of about four hours discussing these amendments, debating them, and getting multiple shades of pissy about them.
In particular, the amendments addressed the following issues:
Youth Rights Added to the Platform
The Green Party of Texas has never had an age minimum for membership. If you know enough about the Ten Key Values, you can work with us and have a voice at our meetings. The GPTX Platform for 2018 will call for more youth empowerment, including lowering the voting age and age of consent to 16, allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to run for school boards (the current minimum age is 18 in Texas), and more rights for those 16 and up to work late without being subjected to punitive curfew laws. On the criminal justice front, the Platform now calls for an end to the school-to-prison pipeline, zero-tolerance policies, and keeping youthful offenders behind bars well into adulthood.
We went well past our allotted time for delegate business on Sunday, and I needed to eat lunch ASAP, so I did not stay until the end. I sneaked out of the meeting room and walked to the only eatery within walking distance. Afterward, I helped with clean-up and accompanied a large group of SEC and NC members, new and old, to lunch at a seafood joint called The Astor. It's on Leopard Street near the Selena Museum. But this is venturing too far into my next post, the one in which I kvetch about Corpus Christ. So I'll stop here.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
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