BGP SC Makes Endorsements for 2023 MGP Bylaws Amendments

The Maryland Green Party Annual Assembly will be held June 25th. Prior to that there is a three week voting period for officers and bylaw amendments. Anyone whose voter affiliation is “Others-Green” is eligible to vote in the election. 

You can register for the online assembly by using this link.

Ballots must be requested by submitting our Ballot Request form, available on our website. When making your request, please provide your full name, your ZIP code, and your date of birth. The state party needs this information to confirm your party affiliation with the Maryland State Board of Elections. Ballots submitted without a request will be rejected.

The Steering Committee of the Baltimore City Green Party (BGP SC) makes the following recommendations for the 2023 Maryland Green Party bylaws amendments proposals:

Proposal 1: Add At-Large Delegates to the CC

The BGP SC SUPPORTS this amendment. This change would democratize the Coordinating Council (CC) of the Maryland Green Party (MGP) by removing local delegates who are appointed or otherwise named to the MGP CC and adding delegates who are elected at-large from the membership of the state party. This amendment maintains local chapter representation by granting an additional MGP CC delegate to county-level chapters that have a registered Central Committee. As one of two county-level chapters in Maryland with a registered Central Committee, the BGP SC believes this status is an important organizing benchmark and we encourage efforts to increase the number of county-level Green chapters with such a status. 

Proposal 2: Define Membership and Participation Rights

The BGP SC SUPPORTS this amendment. This change would emphasize the importance of voter affiliation in determining who is eligible to participate as a member of the MGP. This change would also codify party members' rights and responsibilities, which for many years have not been definitively stated in the party's bylaws.   

Proposal 3: Change the MGP Officers 

The BGP SC SUPPORTS this amendment. This change would remove one voting officer of the MGP and assign the responsibilities of that officer elsewhere. It also adds two important non-voting officers: 

  • A Parliamentarian.
  • A Forum Manager.

The BGP SC believes that these additional officers are important to remedy procedural and organizational issues that have limited the MGP CC's ability to do business effectively for several years. 

Proposal 4: Set Requirements for MGP CC Meetings

The BGP SC SUPPORTS this amendment. This change would make MGP rules consistent with best practices for holding online meetings. These changes would also increase transparency and accessibility. 

Proposal 5: Replace the Code of Conduct

Two competing amendments would update the MGP Code of Conduct, established in 2017. One proposal is sponsored by BGP SC Member Dana Polson and was written in collaboration with other BGP SC members. 

The other proposal is sponsored by Nancy Wallace and does not address key issues raised by several BGP SC members during the drafting process. As such, the BGP SC SUPPORTS Proposal 5A (Polson) and OPPOSES Proposal 5B (Wallace).  

5A. (Dana Polson proposal) Create a new code of conduct, a conflict resolution group, and a policy for online forum moderation

The BGP SC SUPPORTS this amendment. This proposal creates a limited, common-sense set of expectations for and prohibition on behaviors of certain individuals. It clearly identifies a reasonable set of individuals to which the Code would apply. It specifically describes what is and isn't permitted under the Code. It establishes a reasonable enforcement mechanism.  

5B. (Nancy Wallace proposal) Create a new code of conduct, a conflict resolution group, and public/social media guidelines

The BGP SC OPPOSES this amendment. There are several major issues that make this proposal unfavorable, unworkable, and unenforceable. This proposal contains lengthy explanatory material that is aspirational yet vague, and does not specify what is and isn't permitted under the Code. This proposal would violate the guarantee to dissent in the current bylaws, eliminating members' "freedom of speech" to oppose Green Party policy, should they have legitimate political and philosophical concerns. 

This proposal grossly overreaches in its scope, attempting to regulate almost any statement a party member may make in any forum, public or private. This proposal's enforcement mechanism is overly complex and essentially unworkable, calling for a committee of party members to convene separately to investigate every reported violation within days, regardless of the ongoing workload and priorities of the party. It contains no provisions for ensuring that the committee required to investigate infractions is neutral, and gives no opportunity for the accused individual to dispute any conflicts of interest among the investigation committee. 

Finally, this proposal would specifically allow behavior from before the creation of this Code to be used as "evidence" to decide future matters, making it impossible for some individuals to ever "clear their record", thus keeping that person open to future judgement based on past behavior. 

The BGP SC urges you to vote FOR Proposal 5A (Polson) and AGAINST Proposal 5B (Wallace). 

No matter how you chose to vote, request your ballot here and participate. Thank you!