Appeal for Intervention in the Conduct of
the GPCO Steering Committee
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Please note that this is a very large file and depending on your Internet connection, can take up to a minute to load, please be patient. Click on the links below to read the documents in pdf format. The appeal is separated into three parts: The Complaint (filed June 14, 2017); The original evidence file (thru about May 31, 2017); The Supplemental Evidence file 01 (thru about May 13, 2017).
Complaint to the GPUS (Download)
Original evidence file (Download)
Supplemental Evidence file 01 (Download)
The Appeal to the GPUS (Green Party of the US) asks for an investigation into the violations of Colorado Green Party (GPCO) bylaws and rules and procedures, of the Green Party 10 key values, and of common decency by Andrea Merida, Dave Bell, and Jason Justice. The requested investigation is currently in progress.
Violations subsequent to the Complaint Submittal
Violations of Procedures and Guidelines, and Other Departures from Normal Procedure
February – July 2017
Ms. Merida stifled discussion of proposals on the forum, insisting that representatives vote yes or no. This is a violation of Procedures and Guidelines 3.5.4.
Ms. Merida refused to allow certain proposals sponsored by at six individuals at large to be added to the agenda of the state meeting. This is a violation of Procedures and Guidelines 3.2.5.
Ms. Merida added or allowed someone else to add two alternate delegate positions on the election ballot without announcing them to the membership in advance, and put or allowed someone else to put her name as a candidate for these unannounced positions. Only two candidates, Ms. Merida and Karyna Lemus, ran for these two positions, ensuring that both of them would be elected. Restore Green Values would have nominated candidates for these openings if the openings had been announced.
Violations of State By-laws
September 2015 – August 2017
Ms. Merida’s appointed term as national delegate ended in August 2015 and she was not elected to be an alternate national delegate. She is listed on the national web site as a retired delegate. Nevertheless, Ms. Merida was listed on the party’s web site as an alternate delegate and she voted 59 times in place of elected national delegate Larry Dunn over the course of 24 months while she held the office of co-chair. She did not announce her votes to the Council within three days of the vote so that the Council could reverse her votes, she did not announce her votes to the statewide forum, and she did not inform the Council of the agenda for the national meeting. This is a violation of By-law 5.3.1, By-law 5.3.2, By-law 5.3.3, and By-law 5.8.
2016 – June 2017
Ms. Merida, in her capacity as Council Facilitator, failed to notify the Jefferson County chapter and the Platte Valley chapter that some of their representatives had missed three “votes” in the council. (Note that the referenced “votes” were in the agreement-seeking and proposal drafting sections of the forum and therefore not subject to the 3 vote rule – a fact simply ignored by Andrea when pointed out to her). She waited until all representatives had “missed” at least three votes, and then declared the chapters inactive. This is a violation of By-law 3.1.1. An argument can be made that the meaning of “vote” in the By-laws refers to formal votes, which occur rarely, and not to informal votes cast during agreement-seeking where most of the Council business is conducted. Ms. Merida’s decision to declare the chapters inactive was based on missing votes in the agreement-seeking process, not in the formal voting process. Whether or not “vote” refers to formal votes, Ms. Merida was remiss in failing to notify Council members that they had not participated in actions that she interpreted to be votes.
December 2016 – April 2017
Ms. Merida and Mr. Bell set the date and location of the 2017 annual meeting without discussion by the Council. This is a violation of By-law 4.1. Attempts at Council discussion were discouraged by Ms. Merida’s pre-emptive announcements (in December 2016 and February 2017) that the meeting would occur in August 2017. When Harry Hempy attempted to put up a proposal for an earlier date and a Western Slope location, Ms. Merida delayed and obstructed it by, among other stratagems, inventing requirements for the submission of proposals and refusing to post the proposal until these requirements were met. When Ms. Merida and Mr. Bell put up their own proposal on the “agreement-seeking” board, having chosen an August date in the Denver metro area, discussion was not allowed.
January 22-24, 2017
Ms. Merida and Mr. Bell advocated violence on Facebook posts, a violation of the Key Value rejecting violence. This is a violation of By-law 3.2.
February 2017 – August 2017
Ms. Merida ignored the Procedures and Guidelines developed by the Council for conducting business between state meetings. This is a violation of By-law 4.2.2. Procedures that she ignored include 3.5.3 regarding proposals brought to the Council between state meetings and 3.5.4 regarding the Council process for discussion, consensus, and voting.
June – July 2017
Ms. Merida made no effort to choose temporary representatives who could travel to the national meeting, although both elected representatives (Bob Kinsey and Larry Dunn) decided not to attend in 2017. This is a violation of By-law 5.3.4.
Ms. Merida declared that Judy Harrington was banned from participation in statewide Green Party events without a vote at an annual meeting and without a declaration by her local chapter that she was banned from statewide events. This is a violation of By-law 3.3. The vote of the local chapter was to ban Ms. Harrington from participation in her local chapter, the Poudre Valley Greens. Statewide activities were not mentioned. Ms. Merida’s decision to extend the ban to include statewide activities is not supported in the By-laws. Ms. Merida tacitly recognized this when she later proposed a By-law change that would automatically extend local bans to include statewide events.
Ms. Merida allowed the banning of Harry Hempy by a vote of the Council. This is a violation of By-law 3.3. The By-laws allow banning by local chapters and by the participants at a state meeting. Banning by the Council is not a valid exercise of Council powers. The proposal to ban Mr. Hempy included a statement that the By-laws were being suspended to allow the action. This in itself is a violation of the By-laws in that the By-laws do not contain a clause allowing suspension of the By-laws. The Procedures and Guidelines contain a clause (3.5.4) allowing for suspension of the process described in that clause, but this does not apply to the By-laws or to the procedure for banning members.
Ms. Merida/Sean Friend did not allow the assembled state membership an opportunity to overturn Council actions during the previous year. This is a violation of By-law 4.2.4. At the state annual meeting, the agenda item for reviewing and potentially overturning the measures passed by the Council was skipped despite a protest from Harry Hempy.
Revocation of Rights to Participate in the GPCO
See Timeline page
The GPCO revoked rights to several Colorado Green Party members to participate in the GPCO. Their reason was that each of these people was an original signer of the “Restore Green Values” grievance submitted to the GPUS Accreditation Committee on June 14, 2017. Here is the reasoning of the GPCO for the expulsions: “On behalf of the “grievants,” Kevin Alumbaugh has articulated that “The CRGV has been in communication with the GPUS Accreditation Committee (AC) since June 13th of this year in regards to one of the only remedies available to us-decertification and rebuilding of the Green Party of Colorado,” in an email to the Accred Com on 10/24/17. Section 2.3 of the Bylaws states, “The Green Party of Colorado (GPCO) is the affiliate of the Green Party of the United States for the State of Colorado.” Therefore, because the stated purpose of the “grievance” is to de-affiliate GPCO from the GPUS, Lupo’s participation in, and promotion of, the grievance is a demonstration of his failure to adhere to the purpose and methods of the GPCO”. (Note that de-affiliation is NOT the purpose of the grievance filed by RGV. It may end up being the only last recourse should Andrea fail to cooperate with the recommendations of the AC.)
These expulsions are a violation of the process set up by the GPUS to settle grievances within state parties. Expelling members for using a GPUS process is a violation of the democratic principles of the GPUS.
Andrea usurped position of national delegate
Andrea took over voting as national delegate as soon as she was elected co-chair. The first vote after her election was in September 2015. Larry Dunn voted only once during the next two years, and it was very near the end of his term.
Andrea let the defunct Poudre Valley chapter come in without a vote. Delegates don’t have access to post in the agreement-seeking folder until their election is communicated to the GPCO so an administrator can adjust their privileges. Yet there is KC, able to post his announcement of the renewed active status of Poudre Valley without a vote on the matter being held. Andrea must have changed his permissions and must have decided that a vote on re-entry was not necessary.
Andrea Merida invented erroneous requirements for the submission of the proposal by Greater Boulder to reinstate Jeffco.
Andrea Merida, acting as state council facilitator, failed to inform Jeffco of missing 3 votes as required by the bylaws at the time.
Current Status of GPUS AC Investigation
The GPCO Steering Committee (Ms Merida, et el) have not complied with any of the initial recommendations of the AC. See the Timeline July 14, 2017.