The Pacific Green Party Fall Convention took place in beautiful Astoria for the first time in memory. It was held on Sunday, September 17th, at Clatsop Community College in a room offering a stunning view of the Columbia River.
Astoria has a contingent of very active Greens who have run for office, served on the State Coordinating Committee, and engaged in local politics, among their other activities. The Astoria Greens were pleased to host the other members from around the state.
Much of the morning session was taken up with minor adjustments to the PGP Bylaws to make them clearer or more amenable to changing conditions. This was a project initiated by SCC member Alan Zundel earlier this year and is now largely complete.
In the afternoon the attendees turned to more challenging topics, such as vetting candidates for nominations to public offices, whether we should drop the “supporting member” category, setting up an advance registration system for conventions, and more effective use of social media.
Attendees agreed on the need for better vetting of candidates in advance of nominating conventions. Our current questionnaire for candidates is not always used; it needs to be updated and potential candidates should be aware of it. A motion to have the SCC give a report on each candidate at the nominating convention was passed, and another motion to create a candidate recruitment and vetting committee to assist the SCC was also passed.
(A Facebook group has now been set up for discussions about recruiting and vetting candidates. All members are welcome to participate.)
Alan explained the background for reexamining the supporting member category and the need to verify whether people who come to state conventions are supporting members. After a long discussion the general sense of the group was to keep the supporting member category and improve our methods of tracking who is a supporting member. Many expressed concerns about an advance registration system for conventions, and it was agreed that more work should be done on the idea before making a decision to institute this.
Dan Pulju of the Eugene chapter, who has been highly involved in our social media presence, briefed the members on the topic and recommended use of Facebook groups as the primary method for online discussions. He also stressed our need for content for our website, Twitter account, and YouTube page.
In other business, Marvin Sannes made a good impression in discussing his bid to be nominated again to U.S. House District 5. And a quorum requirement for conventions of at least 7 supporting members including one from each of 3 different local chapters was established.
The attendees ratified the plan to hold the January convention in Portland on the weekend of the Martin Luther King holiday. SCC members Melissa Wright and Nathalie Paravicini are laying plans for a two-day convention with training sessions on subjects like running for office and using social media. We will also elect some new members to the SCC at that time. The following convention, which would be our nominating convention, was tentatively scheduled for Eugene in June.