2024-04-15 WCU Steering Committee Meeting

NOTICE: Steering Committee was unable to reach quorum. The rescheduled meeting will be announced as soon as they have those details.

We weren’t able to figure out a good time to meet during the weekend. We’ll post a date when we figure one out.

The Steering Committee will be 2024-04-26T07:00:00Z 6PM-7PM.

@WCU_Steering In accordance with our Bylaws, please post the recording of this meeting, so that members can review and provide comment on it.

Only Roby and I were able to attend the Steering Committee meeting. But Chris and Reilly signed off on it afterwards. I recorded both of them a video going over the meeting notes.

2024-04-26 Steering Committee Meeting

I know @chima and @Robert_H were trying to create some uniformity in the Bylaws for describing vote thresholds, but for this proposed bylaw change (and some of the others), it is not purely grammatical. It alters the threshold. It goes from “Censure or expulsion must be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the membership at a General Meeting” (which I interpret as the equivalent of saying that two-thirds approval of the members present is required–meaning abstention are counted the same as NO votes) and it lowers the requirement to “Censure or expulsion must be ratified by a two-thirds vote” (which is the same as saying that simply two thirds of the votes cast is required–meaning abstentions are not counted). That’s a big difference.

Think of it this way…

Say we have a total of 8 members in attendance at a General Meeting. If all you need is two-thirds of the votes cast for a motion to expel to be approved, you can have a scenario in which 5 people abstain, 2 people vote in favor of expulsion & 1 person votes against expulsion and that motion would still carry, even though the YES votes constitute only a tiny fraction.

But, if what you need is two-thirds of the membership at a General Meeting (a.k.a. two-thirds of the members present), then in a situation where the attendance count is the same as the one above, you would need to convince 6 people (*two-thirds of 8 is 5.3 which is rounded up to 6 because we can’t have a fraction of a person) in order to approve a motion to expel.

I think expelling someone is a pretty serious action, and the organization should have a pretty high bar for it.

NOTE: According to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief, “In the usual situation, where the rules require either a ‘majority vote’ or a ‘two-thirds vote,’ abstentions have absolutely no effect on the outcome of the vote since what is required is either a majority or two thirds of the votes cast. On the other hand, if the rules explicitly require a majority or two thirds of the members present, or a majority or two thirds of the entire membership, an abstention will have the same effect as a ‘no’ vote.

Caption: This is a screenshot of the agenda notes from the 2024-04-26 Steering Committee Meeting


TRANSCRIPT

HARPREET (54:17): And then “…or a delegation…” was like if we were gonna send a team, like if the side-quest was to send a delegation somewhere to go do something. So “or” made sense but we said “and” in one spot. So is it grammar to say “or” here or do we need to like… because we have not been doing “and.”


The Dems Denouncing Josh Harder side-quest was supposed to include Steering and a delegation. But membership wasn’t given the opportunity to put forward delegates, so it ended up being just Steering. And, in hindsight, I think there were issues in doing it that way. If we had included more voices from the General Membership in the form of a delegation, maybe the strategy and response to Jerry McNerney’s statement would have been different. Because as we heard at the 2024-05-02 General Meeting, it wasn’t the direction that I think a lot of members would’ve went with.

Also, I attended every bylaw review meeting. We didn’t discuss delegations. If we had, I don’t think there would have been views that differed so greatly from each other, about the term (and how a delegation should be formed), during forum deliberations on the side-quest proposal for Dems Denouncing Josh Harder.

And I wouldn’t consider this just a minor grammatical change either. The Steering Committee, Membership Committee, and a delegation working together to accomplish these activities is very different than only selecting one of them.

I would like to point out that the original Working Class Unity Bylaws did not include this sentence: “If approved, the Steering Committee, Membership Committee, or a delegation will be in charge of accomplishing the action.” That was introduced as part of a bylaw change that was approved by membership at the 2024-02-01 General Meeting. But it failed to account for existing language that said, “These activities will include the three essential functions of administrative work, outreach work, and political education work, to be accomplished by the Steering Committee, Membership Committee, and a delegation.” So, now we have one part of the Bylaws at odds with another.

We could just as easily change the OR to AND under ARTICLE VIII, SECTION 2.

Caption: This is a screenshot of the agenda notes from the 2024-04-26 Steering Committee Meeting


Caption: This is a screenshot of the original Working Class Unity Bylaws which stipulates that non-campaign activities (which we now refer to as side-quests) are “to be accomplished by the Steering Committee, Membership Committee, and a delegation.”

Caption: This is a screenshot of the bylaw change approved by membership at the 2024-02-01 General Meeting.
image