The following amendments are numbered and presented in the order in which they were submitted. They will be debated and voted on in this same order.

Amendment #1

Each recognized affiliate regardless of size will have only one vote on the Representative Council.

rationale:

1.  Motivation – to promote/assure parity in decision making regardless of affiliate size.

2.  Concerns – lack of parity, fear of dominance.

3.  Remedy – one vote per affiliate on the RC.

representative: Aileen L'Etoile

supporters: Aileen L'Etoile, Garret Whitney, Peter Corbett, Olga Kahn, Andrea Burns

NOTE FROM ELECTIONS COMMITTEE: AMENDMENT #1 IS VIRTUALLY IDENTICAL WITH THE FORMER #16, COPIED BELOW. THE TWO WILL BE MERGED INTO A SINGLE AMENDMENT.

This amendment would eliminate the current system of giving two RC seats to affiliates that are above the 50th percentile in terms of size, and replace it with a system of granting one seat to each affiliate.  

rationale: The current system of allocating more seats based on size is problematic because:

1) the RC will already be large, and granting multiple seats to some affiliates will increase its size by 33%, which is not sustainable in the long term;

2) we do not have a universally recognized method of measuring affiliate size;

3) It is unnecessary. Members of large affiliates can participate in ORMA governance in other ways such as general assemblies, membership votes, and committee service.

This amendment remedies this problem by (1) reducing the size of the RC, and (2) eliminating the need to re-assess affiliate size every year, while still allowing multiple avenues for participation in ORMA.

representative: Matthew Miller

supporters: Victoria Dzindzichashvili, Matthew Miller, Rand Wilson, Penelope Jennewein, Jon Leonard

Amendment #2

Among the next generation of Our Revolution supporters will be college students, faculty and staffs whose educational experience has opened their eyes to the need for the social, economic and political changes represented by Our Revolution. We propose constituting as a standing committee a Campus Organizing Committee with the goal of establishing campus clubs or chapters among students, workers, faculty, administrators, and other members of Mass campus-based communities. Such clubs can often tap valuable campus resources of space, publicity, student access, and budgets. This will also aid recruiting knowledgeable students and faculty who can promote, support and further develop OR platform planks.

Defending Public Higher Education:  Key in this effort is the recognition that our system of higher education is in a state of slow-moving crisis. Decades of the fiction that it is possible to “do more with less” have supported steadily deepening cuts in funding for higher education. State governments increasingly retrench what was not very long ago considered a vital public good and pass costs on to students and their families in the form of escalating tuition and fees and to faculty and staff in the form of income stagnation and speed-up. Private institutions are feeling the squeeze as well, with similar cuts in faculty, research support, and increased tuition.

rationale: a. Tens of thousands of young people develop their political awareness and knowledge in College. Higher education campuses are distributed throughout Massachusetts, and also attract young people from elsewhere in the nation. OR’s campaign for tuition free public college and university degrees provides a rallying point for the struggles that have emerged around financing higher education, and will continue to grow, on campuses. Clubs on campuses can be focal points of these struggles.

b. Though many ORMA members are students, faculty, staff or alums at two or four-year institutions, the mobilization of the 2016 election pulled them into their communities to focus on elections. As a result hardly any continuing campus-based clubs or chapters were formed to educate others on their campuses to OR issues, or take advantage of the educational environment opportunities to promote OR platform issues

c. A Campus Organizing committee could begin identifying ORMA members on campuses, getting them in touch with each other, and promoting formation of clubs or chapters on campuses. Such clubs would often be resources for the local surrounding community.

representative: Jonathan King

supporters: Jonathan King, Mike Connolly, Kathy Watkins, Robert Pollin, Peter Corbett

Amendment #3

This amendment is designed to ensure that ORMA proceeds with a formal evaluation process to assess whether the current chosen Representative Council Organizational Model is serving the ongoing identified needs of the organization.  

A 9 member assessment committee will be selected to commence an evaluation process which will include interviews with Representative Council members, Affiliate Leaders, Coordinating Committee Members, and reps. of allied organizations followed by a report which will include identified problems and recommendations for remedy.

Activation Date:  The creation of this committee will occur within one month of the occurrence of either of the following two milestones:    1) when the Representative Council Membership reaches 85 Members, or 2) 1 year from the date of this Ratification Conference (Nov. 12, 2018), whichever comes first.

 

Committee Makeup:  3 proponents of the Rep. Council Model, 3 Proponents of the Regional Model, and 3 agreed on by the aforementioned 6 committee members to be both ‘model neutral’ and to have ORMA’s best interests/vision at heart.

Responsibilities of Committee: This committee will submit a report no later than 60 days after this committee’s first meeting and will include recommendations for structure modification (if any) derived from synthesis of feedback which, if significantly adds to or departs from current organizational structure would be the basis for an Organizational Modification proposal to be presented to the ORMA membership for a vote.    Additionally, recognizing that this committee may not be unanimous in interpreting findings of its investigation, significant proposals for changes to ORMA structure can brought to the GA by either of the following two avenues … (1) a 5 person majority of this committee,  or (2) a 4 person minimum minority of this committee + ⅔ vote of the Rep. Council.  

rationale:   This amendment recognizes that since the “Representative Council Organization Model” does not include a built in process for evaluating itself as to whether it is optimally serving ORMA’s overall mission,   this amendment adds a required assessment process to occur at a future specified date.  

Since some of the concerns expressed about the selected model were based on the prediction that the Rep. Council could become so large that its ability to function effectively could be compromised, this amendment requires that ORMA takes on the responsibility to evaluate itself as to whether or not those predictions have come about at such time that those limitations may have begun to be directly experienced by the membership & leadership.  

 

This proposed amendment also includes an avenue for addressing the results of this assessment by (1) requiring submission of a report with recommendations and (2) requiring ORMA’s leadership (Rep. Council) to submit potential changes to ORMA’s structure as recommended by this committee,  for a vote by the overall ORMA membership should significant proposals be made by this committee.  

representative: Peter Corbett

supporters: Garret Whitney, Freeman Stein, Michael Gilbreath, Peter Corbett, Bruce Taub

Amendment #4

An appropriate allocation of time will be designated in the agenda of each meeting of the Representative Council (RC) for the following purpose:

·      to create a regional cohesiveness and an understanding of the needs challenges of affiliates/members in the same geographical area

·      to provide support to areas of the region that have limited members,  affiliates, and/or caucuses

·      to bring regional needs/challenges to the attention of the RC for the purpose of directing the CC and appropriate Standing Committees to consider actions that would address these regional needs/challenges

rationale: This amendment is motivated by the desire to respond to the concerns of the large minority of TT members who favored the Regional model and by the desire to build a regional component into the structure of Representative Council meetings.  As acknowledged by some, if not all, who developed the adopted structure, there is value in providing an opportunity for affiliates and members generally to meet with others residing in the same region.

 

While the value of regional meetings is recognized and could be initiated by members or representatives of the newly adopted structure, there is nothing in place at the outset that would establish the legitimacy and advisability of regional collaboration.

 

This amendment adds a responsibility to the Representative Council Members Responsibilities outlined in the Revised Representative Council Model proposal.  Specifically, it would add language in a subtopic of item a. vi. (Attending a quarterly meeting held in varying  locations around the state) stipulating that consideration of regional concerns be allocated a designated time of each Representational Council meeting.

representative: Freeman Stein

supporters: Freeman Stein, Garret Whitney, Michael Gilbreath, Matthew Miller, Peter Corbett

Amendment #5

This Amendment requires that no region of Massachusetts (defined as the areas encompassed by the 8 Governor’s Council regions) have less than 3 representatives on the ORMA Representative Council (RC). ORMA membership in any region that has fewer than 3 representatives on the RC will be allowed to add as many representatives necessary to give them a minimum of 3 representatives on the Council.   It would work as follows:

1) RC representatives are elected according to the process defined by the current model.

2) If there are not three elected representatives to the RC from any of the 8 Governor’s Council district, a special election will be held to allow any ORMA member from that district to run for the 1-3 open seats.

3) The special election will be an “at-large” election, in which all ORMA members from that district can vote.

rationale: This Amendment addresses the concern that the current Representative Council Model of ORMA creates an inherent imbalance of regional representation on the RC by virtue of the fact that certain areas of the state will likely have disproportionate success in establishing affiliates from which to send representatives.  This will result in certain areas of the state having greater voting weight on the council than other areas of the state.   This could result in various inherent bias such as ‘first-on-board’, ‘population density’, or ‘activist communities’ bias on the RC.   This amendment reduces the effect of this potential disproportionate representation by establishing a minimum allowed for any one region thereby giving even those regions without much affiliate development as yet, a ‘foot in the door’.

representative: Victoria Dzindzichashvili

supporters: Peter Corbett, Matthew Miller, Victoria Dzindzichashvili, Steve Garone, Freeman Stein

Amendment #6

This Amendment would change the current language in the Representative Model description which says “all decisions by the RC will require a 60% majority” or that decision will then be submitted to the full organization membership for a vote, to language which distinguishes between decisions involving political activity and organizational commitments from ongoing administrative decisions.  The 60% majority requirement would only hold for those decisions involving political activity and commitments, as defined below … political activity and commitments. Administrative decisions would require only a simple majority.  

The difference between these types of decisions would be as follows:

Decisions involving political activity or commitments:  Those decisions involving political direction and commitment of the organization. Decisions such as committing the ORMA’s resources to a particular stance on an issue or establishing formal alliances with other organizations.  Note:  Formal statewide office endorsements of candidates and ballot initiatives will be handled as a separate process.  

Administrative Decisions: Operational/functioning type decisions which are oriented toward supporting already established organizational directives.   Administrative decisions such as making purchasing decisions, approving a communications plan or funding request, whether to set up an issue exploratory committee, who to invite to speak at a conference, issuance of press statements, etc…

The co-chairs of the Coordinating Committee will determine which category a particular category might fall into, using the above distinguishing characteristics as a guideline.  A simple majority vote of the RC can overturn this determination, if disputed.  

rationale: This amendment is intended to protect ORMA’s decision making process from getting excessively bogged down in unnecessary appeals to the membership on decisions that are inconsequential to the organization’s direction.  It makes a distinction between the more important political direction type decisions as those most important to attain full membership ‘buy in’ and requiring those to be the ones requiring stronger approval measures before moving forward.  

Conversely, this measure frees up ORMA’s leadership to more easily move forward on administrative & operational decisions based on the majority concurrence of elected leaders allowing us to have a greater degree of efficiency in achieving ORMA’s goals as defined by our overall directives and mission.  

representative: Victoria Dzindzichashvili

supporters: Peter Corbett, Michael Gilbreath, Freeman Stein, Garret Whitney, Victoria Dzindzichashvili

Amendment #7

This Amendment would add an ORMA Standing Committee to the Representative Council whose sole purpose would be to foster and develop connections, and coordinate work, with other organizations whose mission and activity is aligned with our own.  

Over time this committee would explore options and create a plan for formally including the voice, participation, and mission of other like minded organizations.  Such collaborative relationships with our allies might entail participation on an ally organization advisory council, formal participation and/or votes on the RC, sharing membership lists, etc… All options will be explored by this committee and recommendations will be made to the RC by report submitted by February 15th, 2018.

This committee will include up to 9 ORMA members.  Other members of ally organizations may be added to this committee as consultants to this process.

rationale: ORMA can only reach maximum effectiveness when we fully incorporate the thinking and and strategies of allied organizations into our own. This amendment is designed to begin the critical process of developing formal connections and relationships with other already established political organizations with whom we’d like to collaborate our work and potentially pool resources.  

This Committee would provide a structure and point of accountability for: developing effective strategies that will allow ORMA to efficiently support the work of others that is already focused on priorities we might adopt; discussing and developing ways to bring multiple organizations with multiple allied purposes together to maximize the synergy of joint action on interrelated goals and issues.

Finally this committee, in conjunction with the work of the Inclusivity Committee, provides an organizational “home” for ensuring that we not only seek the involvement of individuals from diverse and underrepresented populations, but that we also seek this same diversity in our organizational relationships.

representative: Michael Gilbreath

supporters: Michael Gilbreath, Victoria Dzindzichashvili, Freeman Stein, Garret Whitney, Peter Corbett

Amendment #8

This amendment would grant RC/CC chairs/co-chairs the authority to speak in an official capacity on behalf of ORMA (e.g. to press or to contacts in political offices), or to designate this authority. The co-chairs are responsible for designating primary responsibility to one person (either a co-chair or their designee), and establishing who the contact person should be in that person's absence. Under no circumstances should a chair/co-chair/designee speak in contradiction to what the members, the RC, or the CC have decided on a matter.

rationale: It is important to have clear lines of communication with regard to who can speak on behalf of our organization. Communication that is incorrect, unclear, or in contradiction to what the RC/CC/members have decided, is not in the best interest of ORMA. This amendment would give this authority to those who have been trusted by the organization to serve in an elected leadership capacity, both within their affiliate and within the RC/CC.

representative: Victoria Dzindzichashvili

supporters: Victoria Dzindzichashvili, Matthew Miller, Penelope Jennewein, Steve Garone, Peter Corbett

Amendment #9

This amendment would require election of committee chairs (or approval of their appointments if there is only one volunteer for chair) to be voted on by the representative council. Candidates for committee chair must already be members of the respective committee.

rationale: This amendment would ensure that those in positions of authority (in this case, committee chairs) are democratically elected, and that their appointment has broad buy-in among the Representative Council and not just the members of the committee, which is a much smaller group. The work of committees impacts the entire organization, and requiring RC-wide election/approval of committee chairs would ensure accountability to the whole RC, which is in the best interest of ORMA.

representative: Matthew Miller

supporters: Peter Corbett, Victoria Dzindzichashvili, Matthew Miller, Penelope Jennewein, Steve Garone

Amendment #10

This amendment would eliminate the system of “virtual affiliates” which were proposed in the Representative Council model as a way to accommodate members who are unable to meet due to geography or physical disability. Instead, ORMA would establish a statewide disability caucus, and evaluate requests to establish non-traditional affiliates on a case-by-case basis, as overseen by the Representative Council.

rationale: This amendment allows ORMA to be inclusive with respect to geography and physical disability in a simpler and more manageable way, while still maintaining a focus on organizing in physical space whenever possible. Virtual affiliates are problematic because (1) they take focus away from on-ground organizing by creating the potential for virtual groups to be created where physical ones should exist; (2) they compound the risk of the RC growing too large; and (3) we already have precedent for addressing issues related to disability and geography.

representative: Matthew Miller

supporters: Matthew Miller, Victoria Dzindzichashvili, Garret Whitney, Penelope Jennewein, Jon Leonard

Amendment #11

This amendment would grant authority to chairs/co-chairs of the Representative Council (RC), Coordinating Committee (CC), and working committees to initiate binding votes on matters being discussed by those bodies. The chair would have the authority to determine when such a vote is necessary (within the constraints of the organization’s by-laws) and facilitate the voting process.

rationale: Chairs/co-chairs are tasked with coordinating the work of various bodies, and must be given the authority necessary to accomplish their jobs. Explicitly granting this authority to chairs/co-chairs, within the constraints of the organization’s by-laws, will help us avoid disputes around who has the authority to take action to move a process forward, and avoid situations where we have to “vote on whether we can vote.”

representative: Victoria Dzindzichashvili

supporters: Victoria Dzindzichashvili, Steve Garone, Peter Corbett, Matthew Miller, Penelope Jennewein

Amendment #12

In the event that Our Revolution Massachusetts (ORMA) hires a staff organizer, the hiring process and authority to make a hiring decision should rest with the coordinating committee (CC).

rationale: Currently it is unclear who would hire an organizer if Our Revolution (national) funds this position. A hiring process involving 40-50 people would not be manageable. Those 40-50 people elect the 7-member CC, and that CC should be able to hire an excellent organizer for ORMA.

representative: Rand Wilson

supporters: Rand Wilson, Peter Corbett, Victoria Dzindzichashvili, Matthew Miller, Steve Garone

Amendment #13

In the current Representative Council model, members of the Coordinating Committee serve “staggered terms” in which elections for 1-year terms occur every 6 months for half of each body. This amendment would eliminate “staggered terms” for the Coordinating Committee only and replace them with a system in which representatives are elected at the same time each year by the RC.

rationale: The current “staggered terms” model means that membership of the CC, and their working relationships, will reset every 6 months. This makes it difficult for members of governing bodies to build trust and operate effectively.  It also means that new members must be oriented/updated twice as often, which creates unnecessary extra work and will hold up the progress of committees.  This amendment does NOT change the staggered terms for RC reps or eliminate those in any way.  So RC reps will still have 2 year terms, staggered by 1 year which WILL ensure the benefits intended from staggered terms happen within the Representative Council.  However, we want the Coordinating Committee to be able to operate for a full year without requiring reset.  CC continues to be term limited, but this simplifies and streamlines our overall ORMA elections calendar.

representative: Matthew Miller

supporters: Matthew Miller, Victoria Dzindzichashvili, Michael Gilbreath, Penelope Jennewein, Jon Leonard

Amendment #14

This amendment would require affiliates to prove that their delegates to the Representative Council were democratically elected, and that good faith efforts were made to engage affiliate members in the election process. Any member elected to the RC must be able to prove they were democratically elected by their affiliate or caucus.  By 2/3 vote, the RC may remove a member who has been found not to be democratically elected by their organization.

rationale: This amendment is motivated by the need for RC representatives to be democratically elected, and for affiliates to be held accountable for meeting this standard. This amendment addresses concerns regarding (1) variation in election processes among affiliates, and (2) the need for transparency across the statewide organization. The proposed remedy is an amendment that leaves conducting elections as the prerogative of the affiliate, but provides a measure of accountability that those processes are democratic and efforts are made to the membership.

representative: Matthew Miller

supporters: Rand Wilson, Matthew Miller, Penelope Jennewein, Victoria Dzindzichashvili, Jon Leonard

Amendment #15

This amendment would give elected committee chairs the authority to decide whether or not to allow ORMA members to join their committee if those individuals are not already members of the Representative Council. Any member of ORMA may request to join a committee, but non-RC members will be accepted at the discretion of the committee chair.

rationale: This amendment is motivated by the need to give committee chairs the authority to manage their committees if they are to succeed in their role. One of the most important decisions a committee chair can make is whether or not to accept new members. This amendment addresses concerns of (1) instability in committees through constant changes in their composition, and (2) giving committee chairs responsibility to coordinate without the necessary authority to do so. This amendment remedies these concerns by allowing committee chairs to approve requests by non-RC members to join committees.

representative: Matthew Miller

supporters: Matthew Miller, Jon Leonard, Penelope Jennewein, Victoria Dzindzichashvili, Rand Wilson

Amendment #16

This amendment would allow all ORMA members, affiliated or unaffiliated, to run for an at-large seat on the Representative Council. All members will be eligible to run for at-large seats, and all members will be eligible to vote in at-large elections.

rationale: This amendment is motivated by the need to allow full participation in at-large elections to the Representative Council. This amendment addresses concerns that (1) an ORMA member may be affiliated but still most qualified to represent the interests of the entire state, and (2) our most engaged members are often affiliated. This amendment remedies these concerns by allowing all members to participate in at-large elections.

representative: Victoria Dzindzichashvili

supporters: Matthew Miller, Chris Addis, Rand Wilson, Victoria Dzindzichashvili, Penelope Jennewein