Opinions expressed by content contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Libertarian Party of Delaware.
Official LPD releases will be denoted as such.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

2021 Q2 AoA Committee Report (3/17/2021)

The State AoA Committee does not meet on a regular schedule, but instead responds to suggestions from the membership. In the lead up to the 2021 State Convention, a number of proposals have come through and are presented here as "notification" under the requirements of the AoA for moving amendment proposals through either the State Board or the convention. Several of the proposals below are recommended to the State Board for action, either at their 2021 Q2 meeting or ad hoc between the end of the notification period and just after the convention, while three in particular were considered for the convention so the whole party may weigh in on their merits but have been tabled for now so that the AoA Committee can reevaluate some aspects of them. Please contact any member of the AoA Committee with any questions about the following proposals.

  1. Quarterly Party Status Reports - State Board
  2. State Board Ad Hoc Transparency - State Board
  3. Regular State Board Meeting Transparency - State Board
  4. Allow Odd Year Nominations - State Board
  5. Triggering Ad Hoc State Board Meetings - State Board - Ad Hoc
  6. Increase State Board Quorum - State Board - Ad Hoc
  7. Break Out Affiliate Rules - State Board - Ad Hoc
  8. Move Proxy Requirements - State Board - Ad Hoc
  9. Create Sub-Headers for Leadership and Organization - State Board - Ad Hoc
  10. Remove Extraneous Language Regarding Membership Exceptions - State Board - Ad Hoc
  11. Clarify Delegate Selection Process - State Board - Ad Hoc
  12. Email Notice Insufficient - State Board - Ad Hoc
  13. Executive Committee Vacancies - State Board - Ad Hoc
  14. Counties Fill Their Own Vacancies - State Board - Ad Hoc
  15. Correct Usage of “comprised” to “composed” - State Board - Ad Hoc
  16. Codify Committee Process - Convention
  17. Adjust Membership Requirements - Convention
  18. County Representation Changes - Convention
    1. Minority Report
  19. Remove All Membership Exceptions - Convention/Ad Hoc

State Board - 4
Ad Hoc - 11/12
Convention - 3/4



1. Quarterly Party Status Reports

The party should keep its membership apprised of the current state of affairs within the party. The duties of the State Board should include publishing at least quarterly reports on the financial and membership status of the party, as well as motions passed by the State Board, at a minimum.
- Recommend to State Board - Unanimous

Amend Article V, appending item 11:

  1. Publish at least quarterly reports showing:
    1. motions passed by the State Board,
    2. total monthly income and expenses,
    3. total cash on hand and any breakdowns of funds designated for a specific purpose,
    4. total registered members in each county and statewide as related to ballot access requirements, and
    5. total active and lifetime sustaining national members as related to national convention delegate allocations.


2. State Board Ad Hoc Transparency

Concerns have been raised regarding the transparency of ad hoc state board meetings. In order to address these concerns consistent with both the way the LNC conducts business and with the technological capabilities of the party, ad hoc meetings should take place on Discord with a report of any motions or votes recorded in a public email list.
- Recommend to State Board - Unanimous

Use Discord for state board ad-hoc actions. Amend Article IV, Paragraph 3 to read:

Meetings of the State Board shall be held quarterly. In addition, ad hoc meetings may be convened to address matters that, in the opinion of the Chairman, are too urgent to delay until the next quarterly meeting. Said ad hoc meetings shall take place on a publicly viewable internet forum established by the State Board for that purpose, and all motions and votes for said ad hoc meetings must be reported on a publicly shared email thread showing how each member voted if a physical meeting is not practical.

Instead of:

Meetings of the State Board shall be held quarterly. In addition, ad hoc meetings may be convened to address matters that, in the opinion of the Chairman, are too urgent to delay until the next quarterly meeting. Said ad hoc meetings may be conducted via email or social media platforms for convenience if a physical meeting is not practical.


3. Regular State Board Meeting Transparency

Consistent with the requirements in proposal #2 to facilitate transparency and accountability for State Board votes, in person votes should be done by roll call and a report of the vote should be published. Regular State Board meetings should also be broadcast electronically to allow remote attendance.
- Recommend to State Board - Unanimous

Amend Article IV, paragraph 3 to read:

Meetings of the State Board shall be held quarterly and broadcast electronically to allow remote attendance. In addition, ad hoc meetings may be convened to address matters that, in the opinion of the Chairman, are too urgent to delay until the next quarterly meeting. Said ad hoc meetings may be conducted via email or social media platforms for convenience if a physical meeting is not practical.

Instead of:

Meetings of the State Board shall be held quarterly. In addition, ad hoc meetings may be convened to address matters that, in the opinion of the Chairman, are too urgent to delay until the next quarterly meeting. Said ad hoc meetings may be conducted via email or social media platforms for convenience if a physical meeting is not practical.

Also append to Article IV, paragraph 4 to read:

A quorum shall consist of 40% of appointed members or their proxies. Unless stated otherwise a simple majority of members voting will be required to pass measures before the State Board. All votes conducted at regular meetings shall be by roll call and a report shall be published to a public email list.


4. Allow Odd Year Nominations

The current AoA restrict candidate nominations to even years, immediately preceding the general elections those candidates will be contesting. There is no statutory requirement that nominating conventions take place during the year of the general election and the possibility of nominating candidates earlier would give the party and those candidates the opportunity to begin their campaigns to a wider audience sooner knowing their nomination from the LPD is secure. Odd year conventions can still choose not to do this, but as we are immediately preceding such an odd year convention it is desirable for the convention to open with knowledge of whether this action will be permitted or not.
- Recommend to State Board - Unanimous

Amend Article V, Section 6.b to read:

Nominate candidates,

Instead of:

Nominate candidates (even years),


5. Triggering Ad Hoc State Board Meetings

Although our usual practice is that any State Board member can make a motion and de facto trigger an ad hoc meeting, the AoA technically leave convening an ad hoc meeting to the discretion of the chair. There has also been some confusion about how to determine if adequate time has been left for debate and subsidiary motions in an ad hoc setting. Any two members making and seconding a motion should be sufficient to call an ad hoc meeting, and it should be considered to have started once a quorum is “present”, meaning they have in some way acknowledged the pending motion. Under RONR, the chair has discretion to close debate and move to a vote once members stop debating, but a vote cannot happen without a quorum. These two rules together find a middle ground between leaving a completed debate open forever waiting for members that aren’t paying attention to the meeting and rushing to a vote before a sufficient number of members have had an opportunity to debate or offer subsidiary motions.
- Recommend to State Board - Ad Hoc - Unanimous

Amend Article IV, Paragraph 3 to read:

Meetings of the State Board shall be held quarterly. In addition, ad hoc meetings may be convened upon the motion and second of any main motion by two members of the Board and the successful completion of a quorum call. Said ad hoc meetings may be conducted via email or social media platforms for convenience.

Instead of:

Meetings of the State Board shall be held quarterly. In addition, ad hoc meetings may be convened to address matters that, in the opinion of the Chairman, are too urgent to delay until the next quarterly meeting. Said ad hoc meetings may be conducted via email or social media platforms for convenience if a physical meeting is not practical.


6. Increase State Board Quorum

Normal practice for deliberative bodies is for a majority to constitute a quorum. The State Board of the LPD has been an exception to this for over 11 years, but no one can remember why. With the quarterly scheduling of regular board meetings and the availability of ad hoc meetings, we have not had a problem reaching the higher quorum requirement in some time.
- Recommend to State Board - Ad Hoc - Unanimous

Amend Article IV, Paragraph 4 to read:

A quorum shall consist of a simple majority of Board members or their proxies.

Instead of:

A quorum shall consist of 40% of appointed members or their proxies.


7. Break Out Affiliate Rules

For the sake of clarity and ease of reading, provisions that govern the rights and limitations of county affiliates should be broken out of an article that is otherwise concerned with the operations of the State Board.
- Recommend to State Board - Ad Hoc - Unanimous

Break out the final paragraph of Article IV into Article V: County Affiliates and renumber subsequent Articles.



8. Move Proxy Requirements

The rest of this article deals with the normal conduct of the State Board. Provisions regarding proxies are out of place coming this close to the top.
- Recommend to State Board - Ad Hoc - Unanimous

Move Paragraph 2 of Article IV down two paragraphs such that it appears below the fourth paragraph regarding quorum requirements.



9. Create Sub-Headers for Leadership and Organization

This article is a wall of text and breaking it out into sections with headers will make it easier to read and reference.
- Recommend to State Board - Ad Hoc - Unanimous

Create headers for each paragraph in Article IV for sections as follows:

  1. Composition of the State Board
  2. Proxies
  3. Meetings
  4. Quorum
  5. County Affiliates


10. Remove Extraneous Language Regarding Membership Exceptions

This revision of the AoA was adopted in convention in 2018. It was desirable not to disqualify anyone from participation based on requirements that were not in effect at the time of their adoption so anyone registered at all prior to the 2018 convention was automatically grandfathered in regardless of the duration of their registration. This is no longer needed.
- Recommend to State Board - Ad Hoc - Unanimous

Amend Article VI to remove the first exception to membership requirements, renumber, remove the ‘s’ in “exceptions” at the end of the first paragraph for internal consistency:

Any person who is currently registered to vote in Delaware as a Libertarian and agrees to abide by the terms of these articles is a member of the LPD. For any member to exercise voting privileges in any official forum (i.e. State Board meetings or State Conventions), that member must have been registered as a Libertarian for at least 60 days prior to that voting forum with the following exceptions:
  1. Individuals who are currently registered with another political party in Delaware for the purpose of competing for office in that party's primary or general election may retain voting privileges with a vote of 3/4 of members present at a meeting of the State Board.

Removing:

  1. Individuals who register to vote in Delaware as Libertarians any time prior to these Articles of Association taking effect may vote at the 2018 LPD Convention even if they have not been registered the otherwise required 60 days.


11. Clarify Delegate Selection Process

This phrasing is a little confusing and suggests that the slates selected by members at the state conventions are relevant beyond expressing their preferences for an ideal slate. It has ever been thus, though delegate elections have rarely been contested, that the individual candidates that ultimately receive the support of the highest number of members are selected as delegates. There should be no expectation that any slate will be kept intact.
- Recommend to State Board - Ad Hoc - Unanimous

Amend the second paragraph of Article VIII to clarify:

Delegates to the national convention shall be elected by each member writing their slate of desired delegates on a secret ballot and with the individual delegates receiving the most votes being selected. Uncontested delegate elections need not be conducted by secret ballot.


12. Email Notice Insufficient

The FB group has over 600 members and is “public” such that even members without a FB account can read it. The FB page has over 1300 followers and is similarly public to non FB users. The website is also publicly accessible. By contrast, we only have email addresses on file and registered for the state mailing list for about 20 people, some of whom may not even be qualified members anymore. Emailing proposals for AoA or bylaws amendments should not be considered adequate notice. In the event the amendment below regarding Standing Committees, including the AoA Committee, is adopted, the AoA Committee is obliged to publish reports regarding any amendment proposals it receives both to the State Board and to the FB page as well as publication by email for anyone who doesn’t check those locations, which should serve as adequate public notice to active members interested in AoA content.
- Recommend to State Board - Ad Hoc - Unanimous

Remove item 4 under Article IX:

4. E-mail or other electronic communication delivered to all eligible voting members for whom we have contact information.


13. Executive Committee Vacancies

The State Chair should not have the unilateral authority to fill vacancies of 30% of the State Board without the consent of the remainder. It is easy enough to round up a quorum for an ad hoc meeting to get Board consent for any replacements between conventions.
- Recommend to State Board - Ad Hoc - Unanimous

Insert into By-Law 1 to read:

The Chair shall have the power to fill vacancies on the Executive Committee by appointment with the consent of a majority of the State Board. Such appointments shall last until the next election of party officers.


14. Counties Fill Their Own Vacancies

It is clear from the current AoA and By-Laws that vacancies in the Executive Committee are filled by the chair, or under an amendment proposed herein by the chair and the rest of the State Board, but no provisions currently explain the process for filling vacancies in the county representative positions. By practice, counties have filled these vacancies “equitably” as required, but the first paragraph in Article IV suggests if not demands that representatives should only be elected in odd years for two year terms. This amendment would clarify that vacancies can and should be filled by the county affiliates, but only to complete the existing terms.
- Recommend to State Board - Ad Hoc - Unanimous

Append to Article IV, Paragraph 1 to read:

The leadership of the LPD shall consist of a State Board to include an Executive Committee comprised of a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer; and two further members from each of the three counties. The county representatives may be selected based on rules and procedures established by the individual counties, and their election may take place either at a county meeting or at a caucus of the members from the individual counties at the State Convention. All members shall be elected in odd numbered years for a two year term. Any vacancies may be filled by the county affiliate to complete the existing term.


15. Correct Usage of “comprised” to “composed”

It is not technically correct usage of the word “comprised” to describe the component elements of any whole. “Composed” is the correct word in this context, whereas “comprised” would be used when listing the elements first, such as “A, B, and C comprises D”. “Composed” should be used in this Article to say “D is composed of A, B, and C.”
- Recommend State Board - Ad Hoc - Unanimous

Amend Article IV, Paragraph 1 to read:

The leadership of the LPD shall consist of a State Board to include an Executive Committee composed of a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer; and two further members from each of the three counties. The county representatives may be selected based on rules and procedures established by the individual counties, and their election may take place either at a county meeting or at a caucus of the members from the individual counties at the State Convention. All members shall be elected in odd numbered years for a two year term.

Instead of:

The leadership of the LPD shall consist of a State Board to include an Executive Committee comprised of a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer; and two further members from each of the three counties. The county representatives may be selected based on rules and procedures established by the individual counties, and their election may take place either at a county meeting or at a caucus of the members from the individual counties at the State Convention. All members shall be elected in odd numbered years for a two year term.


16. Codify Committee Process

The State Board has established a number of committees to aid in the fulfillment of its duties. These committees are not well known within the party and the State Board’s authority to delegate to committees that have no mechanism of accountability to the greater membership is murky. These committees and the authority to create them should be clarified, with temporary committees not included in the AoA automatically ending after two years unless their usefulness has been ratified by a full convention by amending the AoA.
- Recommend to Convention - Tabled to split into separate proposals.

Codify current practices and committees. Amend Article V, appending a new paragraph at the end:

The State Board shall form such committees and hire contract staff or volunteers to assist in the performance of its duties as it sees fit. No committee or other individual shall enter into agreements or expend funds for any purpose without the permission of the State Board and no contractual obligations except those to the LPD relating to confidentiality and non-disclosure shall extend for more than two years.

Further create a new Article VI and renumber subsequent Articles:

Article VI: Committees

Any member of any committee that is selected for membership by the State Board shall be selected at the first quarterly meeting following an odd year convention. All Committees shall select their own chair within one month of the State Board finalizing their membership unless the State Board chooses by majority vote to select one for them. The chair of a Committee shall be responsible for providing a quarterly report on the Committee’s activities to the State Board. Any Committee member eligible for committee membership by virtue of holding a title in the state party or a county affiliate may designate a member of the LPD to exercise their membership on their behalf and at their discretion. No member of any Committee may cast more than one vote on any matter before their committee by virtue of holding two positions granting eligibility for membership on that committee. All Committees shall conduct their business in a publicly viewable internet forum and provide reports on all votes for publication to a public email list.

  1. Technology, Social Media, and Marketing Committee

    A Technology, Social Media, and Marketing Committee shall be composed of the three affiliate county chairs, the secretary, an at large member of the LPD selected by the State Board, and a webmaster hired on contract with the State Board. The webmaster shall be responsible for maintaining the passwords and administrative accounts of all State Party internet resources and shall be responsible for updating any permissions as needed to comply with State Board policies following any change in leadership.

    The Technology, Social Media, and Marketing Committee shall receive a monthly budget determined by the State Board as well as any donations designated by the donors for their use. This budget shall be managed by the Treasurer at the direction of the Committee. The Committee shall be responsible for developing and implementing:

    • Rules of conduct for LPD social media communities
    • Branding and advertising of the LPD internet presence
    • Marketing strategies and training for candidates and county affiliates
    • Technological solutions for achieving party goals as set forth by the Board
    • Storage of CRM type data related to the party’s activities

    The Committee shall provide a quarterly report to the State Board detailing any funds expended as well as the current reach and engagement insights for any social media or other internet communities under their purview to the extent they are made readily available by the platform.

  2. Articles of Association Committee

    This Committee shall be composed of the three affiliate county chairs, the secretary, and an at large member selected by the State Board. They shall generate and evaluate any proposed changes to the Articles of Association whether originated from the Committee members themselves or presented to them by LPD members in forums designated for that purpose by the State Board. All proposals shall then be distributed consistent with notification requirements as well as emailed to members with known contact information within one month along with any recommendations of the Committee pertaining to the proposals. Any minority reports shall automatically be heard when the amendment is considered.

  3. Convention Committee

    The Convention Committee shall be formed before the end of the Q1 meeting each year with members selected by the State Board and augmented with additional volunteers as the Committee and the Board deem appropriate. The Committee shall be responsible for planning the annual convention, presenting a budget recommendation to the State Board for approval, and performing all duties required to conduct the annual convention.

  4. Ad Hoc Committees

    The State Board may create ad hoc committees for any purpose it deems necessary. No ad hoc committee shall continue for more than two years without being presented to an annual convention for ratification by delegates for conversion to a Standing Committee through an amendment to these AoA. Any funds dedicated to an ad hoc committee that is not ratified by the convention shall be returned to the general fund.



17. Adjust Membership Requirements

In 2018 when these articles were rewritten, the ability to secure LPD membership through sustaining membership in the national party alone was removed as part of a deliberate effort to put some distance between the state and national parties and as a deterrent against efforts by registered members of other Delaware political parties to take over the LPD. Not only is this distance no longer consistent with the sentiment of many members, and the requirement to abide by the AoA a more effective deterrent against takeover efforts, the removal of the ability to be considered a member without being registered unnecessarily constrains the freedom of action of Delaware Libertarians to promote the party’s values more widely under state ballot access laws. By requiring National LP membership, this will encourage members to join National and therefore potentially increase the number of delegates we get to National Conventions. As long as we retain our ballot access, registration is not strictly necessary whereas money always is. Unlike many other state affiliates, the LPD has not recently required any dues for membership, but allowing individuals to make donations in lieu of registration as long as our ballot access is secure could help us to raise more money while also freeing them to promote Libertarian values in other parties. The National Party has also recently implemented a partnership program allowing for a single point-of-sale collection of dues for the national party and for a state affiliate, so this change would enable us to take advantage of that program such that the national party could solicit donations on our behalf. This change renders the 3/4 vote exception to the registration requirement unnecessary.
- Recommend to Convention - Tabled

Amend Article VI such that the first paragraph reads:

Any person who is currently registered to vote in Delaware as a Libertarian, is a sustaining member of the National LP, and agrees to abide by the terms of these articles is a member of the LPD. As long as the Commissioner of Elections monthly report regarding Registered Voter Totals by Political Party shows at least twice as many registered Libertarians as are required to retain ballot access, registration as a Libertarian shall not be necessary for sustaining National LP members who have made sufficient donations to the LPD to be accepted as members of the LPD. The State Board shall determine what is “sufficient”, but no more than $100 annually shall be required to meet this criteria. For any member to exercise voting privileges in any official forum (i.e. State Board meetings or State Conventions), that member must have been qualified as a member for at least 60 days prior to that voting forum with the following exception:

Instead of:

Any person who is currently registered to vote in Delaware as a Libertarian and agrees to abide by the terms of these articles is a member of the LPD. For any member to exercise voting privileges in any official forum (i.e. State Board meetings or State Conventions), that member must have been registered as a Libertarian for at least 60 days prior to that voting forum with the following exceptions:

And remove the second exception to the membership requirements:

Individuals who are currently registered with another political party in Delaware for the purpose of competing for office in that party's primary or general election may retain voting privileges with a vote of 3/4 of members present at a meeting of the State Board.


18. County Representation Changes

It has been suggested that rather than the number of county representatives to the state board holding constant across all three county affiliates at two, there should be some variation based on the number of members in each affiliate. There has been some disagreement regarding the precise nature of the formula used to determine the number of representatives and what incentives that formula should or will promote. Both proposals require at least two representatives for a level of redundancy should one representative be absent. Proposal (1) advances the proposition that the county representatives to the State Board should be representative of the counties based on the share of state party members in each county affiliate. The proposal (2) adds an incentive based on the proportional share of each individual county’s population that has registered Libertarian as a measure of market penetration. Proposal (1) also makes the determinations based on AoA membership criteria at the time of the convention while proposal (2) relies on COE reports of registration totals from January immediately preceding the odd year convention. Both proposals are included for the convention to make a determination as to the proper course of action, though both proposals result in the same number of representatives based on 2021 numbers.
- Recommend to Convention - Tabled to do math.

(1) Amend Article IV, Paragraph One to read:

The leadership of the LPD shall consist of a State Board to include an Executive Committee comprised of a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer; and further members from each of the three counties. The county representatives may be selected based on rules and procedures established by the individual counties, and their election may take place either at a county meeting or at a caucus of the members from the individual counties at the State Convention. All members shall be elected in odd numbered years for a two year term.

[X]. County Representation The number of representatives from each county shall be determined based on the eligibility requirements to vote at the odd year state convention. For every 20% or fraction thereof of total state party members, each County shall select one representative. Each County shall also select one additional representative regardless of membership. Under no circumstances shall any one county have more representatives than the other two counties combined.

Instead of:

The leadership of the LPD shall consist of a State Board to include an Executive Committee comprised of a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer; and two further members from each of the three counties. The county representatives may be selected based on rules and procedures established by the individual counties, and their election may take place either at a county meeting or at a caucus of the members from the individual counties at the State Convention. All members shall be elected in odd numbered years for a two year term.

(2) Alternatively, amend to read:

The leadership of the LPD shall consist of a State Board to include an Executive Committee comprised of a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer; and further members from each of the three counties. The county representatives may be selected based on rules and procedures established by the individual counties, and their election may take place either at a county meeting or at a caucus of the members from the individual counties at the State Convention. All members shall be elected in odd numbered years for a two year term.

[X]. County Representation The number of representatives from each county shall be determined based on published CoE registration data from the report released in January the year of an odd year convention, immediately prior to the election of the State Board. For every 20% or fraction thereof of total registered Libertarians in the State, each County shall select one representative. An additional representative shall be awarded to Counties with the portion of registered voters in the county registered Libertarian higher than the statewide average. Under no circumstances shall any one county have less than two representatives, or more representatives than the other two counties combined.



19. Remove All Membership Exceptions

If both of the exceptions to membership requirements are removed, the language regarding exceptions is no longer appropriate.
- Recommend to Convention/Handle Ad Hoc After Convention - Tabled pending #17

In the event both of the last two amendments are adopted, remove the language regarding exceptions entirely from Article VI:

Any person who is currently registered to vote in Delaware as a Libertarian, is a sustaining member of the National LP, and agrees to abide by the terms of these articles is a member of the LPD. As long as the Commissioner of Elections monthly report regarding Registered Voter Totals by Political Party shows at least twice as many registered Libertarians as are required to retain ballot access, registration as a Libertarian shall not be necessary for sustaining National LP members who have made sufficient donations to the LPD to be accepted as members of the LPD. The State Board shall determine what is “sufficient”, but no more than $100 annually shall be required to meet this criteria. For any member to exercise voting privileges in any official forum (i.e. State Board meetings or State Conventions), that member must have been qualified as a member for at least 60 days prior to that voting forum. with the following exception:

No comments:

Post a Comment