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2019 ABM Final Report

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Affiliate Support Committee
Final Report - May 5, 2019
By Gregory Peele, Jr. (Chair)


The Affiliate Support Committee is a Special Committee of the LPF authorized by Motion #587 passed by the Executive Committee on September 23, 2018.

The current members of the committees are :
Gregory Peele, Jr. (Chair), Suzanne Gilmore (Secretary), Julia Hall, Philippe Cadorette, Omar Recuero (ex-officio), Brandi Hicks (ex-officio)

The duties of the committee are as follow:
A.) The committee shall report monthly to the LPF Executive Committee and submit its final report at the 2019 LPF Annual Business Meeting

B.) The committee shall have the following duties:
Assist the Secretary with reviewing new affiliation requests to verify to the LPF Executive Committee that the new affiliate meets all requirements of Florida Statute and the LPF governing documents prior to formal approval, including but not limited to credentialing officers and reviewing the proposed affiliate's governing documents for compliance
Assist the Secretary with processing annual reaffiliation requests to verify that the county affiliates meet all requirements of Florida Statute and the LPF Constitution and Bylaws prior to Secretary approval, including but not limited to credentialing officers, reviewing the affiliate annual audits, and reviewing affiliate governing documents for compliance if amended since affiliation or last reaffiliation
Advise and assist Region Representatives and county affiliates on compliance with Florida Statute and LPF Constitution and Bylaws (in coordination with the Rules Committee) and on best practices for organizing, growing, and maintaining affiliates
Maintain the County Affiliate Guide and supporting documentation describing affiliate organization and duties, legal requirements, and best practices as a resource for Region Representatives and county affiliates
Organize and conduct county affiliate training classes upon request by a county affiliate
Recommend proposals to the Rules Committee for changes to the LPF Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules regarding county affiliate requirements and procedures

The primary goal the committee set out to accomplish was to improve the training materials used to train affiliate officers, new affiliate organizational members, and LPF Region Representatives for conducting county-level operational business of the party. The existing county affiliate manual, while extremely useful, was not the easiest read and overwhelmed new affiliate officers. It also contained some out of date and inaccurate statutory information, yet lacked important guidance on operational decisions after the new affiliate was started. Along the way, we summarized important points - especially for Chairs and Treasurers - into checklists, cheat sheets, and document templates that are easy to reference during meetings, conducted a thorough review of the LPF governing documents to recommend changes to rules related to affiliates, and conducted a training class and a public affiliate support call.

The Affiliate Support Committee met monthly from September until March and then biweekly in March and April using the Free Conference Call telephone conference capability to conduct formal voted business. The committee also informally discussed business on an ongoing basis in the committee’s Discord channel. The committee consistently presented a written and verbal monthly report to the Executive Committee as required by the LPF Bylaws and authorizing motion. The committee also created a mass email campaign using the LPF Mailchimp to send updates to county affiliate officers starting in March. In addition to sending out documents approved by the committee, the committee also mass emailed reminders for statutory deadlines such as campaign finance reports and county affiliate reaffiliation paperwork.

The committee totally revamped the manual into an entirely new document (link to public website here) “Organizing and Operating a County Affiliate.” This new document was initially based on an existing document independently created by Brent DeRidder for the Libertarian Party of North Carolina. The committee conducted substantial review of DeRidder’s document to correct statutory guidance to match that of Florida, improve the document flow, and add guidance for tasks that were frequent questions from affiliates. The first draft of this new manual was approved for public release by formal vote of the committee on April 8, 2019. The draft was then submitted by mass email to county affiliate officers and by social media and Discord posts for review by the party members.

During the initial review of the existing manual, the committee determined that simplified versions of the document were necessary to guide affiliate officers on specific points of interest. To that end, the committee created a number of checklists, cheat sheets, and templates to assist affiliates:
Reaffiliation checklist for items required by the LPF for an affiliate to properly be reaffiliated each years (formally approved December 3, 2018)
Florida statutory checklist for affiliates to understand what is required of them by state law, primarily in regards to the contents of their governing documents and qualifications of their executive committee (formally approved January 14, 2019)
Affiliate Annual Audit template to guide them on what to submit to their Supervisor of Elections and to the LPF (formally approved March 29, 2019 and informally distributed prior)
Treasurer’s Cheat Sheet for contributions, expenses, and reporting (reviewed but not formally approved)
Sample Affiliate Constitution and Bylaws template that meets Reaffiliation Checklist and Florida Statutory checklist (initial incomplete draft, not formally approved)
Sample affiliate-themed tri-fold marketing brochure incorporating LPF branding (initial incomplete draft that needs layout work to be compatible with Microsoft Word and Google Docs, not formally approved)

We encourage the next Affiliate Support Committee team, if authorized to continue, to review the draft documents and consider bringing them to a state necessary for final approval.

The committee conducted an affiliate training class, primarily focused on Chair and Treasurer training, for the Libertarian Party of Columbia County on October 7, 2018. The committee also conduct a public conference call in partnership with LPF Director At-Large 1 Spenser Garber to encourage public discussion, commentary, and solicit questions and concerns from county affiliate leaders on March 27, 2019. The call was recorded to ensure those not in attendance could later listen to it.

The committee, per duties in the authorizing motion, assisted LPF Secretary Brandi Hicks with reaffiliation and credentialing. The committee worked with Secretary Hicks to develop a strategy for processing reaffiliation documentation and used the LPF mass email to remind county affiliates of the reaffiliation deadline and to provide an example template for the necessary annual audit. Committee members assisted Secretary Hicks with credentialing affiliate officer for reaffiliation and delegates for the LPF Annual Business Meeting at her direction.

The committee also conducted a thorough line-by-line review of the rules governing affiliates and reaffiliation in the LPF governing documents. The committee formally moved on April 8, 2019 to refer a motion to Rules Committee to amend the Bylaws to improve the reaffiliation process. The referred Bylaws amendment added a requirement for affiliates to submit all documentation necessary to validate their affiliation with the party - most notably, to require affiliates to notify the LPF of all changes to their own governing documents to ensure these changes did not result in conflicts with the LPF requirements. The amendment also added a process for gracefully handling incomplete submissions or mistakes in submissions with an error correction process, as opposed to the current rules which imply automatic disaffiliation if the fully correct document is not submitted by April 1 of each year. The Rules Committee considered the referred motion and adopted it with amendments to submit to the Annual Business Meeting as Motion 2019-ABM-B-1. The Affiliate Support Committee formally voted to endorse the motion as amended by Rules Committee.

The committee also formally moved on April 8, 2019 to refer a motion to Rules Committee to amend the Bylaws to fix some organizational issues regarding affiliates. The amendment identifies that several sections regarding affiliates were in the wrong article of the Bylaws - specifically Article II Membership - and moves these requirements to Article I County Affiliates. The amendment also removes an arbitrary restriction on suspending county affiliates within the first six months after the Annual Business Meeting. Suspending county affiliates is a drastic measure to only be taken in the last resort, but in the case it is necessary to do so protect the rights of LPF voters and members, the six month restriction arbitrarily delays the ability of the LPF to do so and thus disenfranchises our members. The Rules Committee considered the referred motion and adopted it with non-substantive grammatical amendments to submit to the Annual Business Meeting as Motion 2019-ABM-B-2. Given that the motion is substantively the same as referred, the Affiliate Support Committee continues to endorse the motion.

Further in regards to rules on affiliates, the committee formally moved on April 23, 2019 to the Executive Committee to amend the Standing Rules to remove the ability of a single county affiliate to call an LPF Executive Committee meeting without explicitly defined public notice. This amendment was moved based on review that this clause, though technically in order with the Constitution, was highly subject to abuse from any one affiliate without adding any substantive rights to members since nothing required Executive Committee members to actually attend the called meeting. The Standing Rules amendment was approved by the Executive Committee at their April 28, 2019 meeting.

The committee provides the full list of all reviewed governing documents sections for the next Executive Committees, Rules Committee, and Affiliate Support committee to consider further action after the Annual Business Meeting.

The committee has seen an overwhelmingly positive response to the new documentation and to the training activities we have conducted. The Affiliate Support Committee moved to refer a Bylaws amendment on March 29, 2019 to the Rules Committee that establishes the Affiliate Support Committee as a permanent standing committee with the specified duties:

“The Affiliate Support Committee shall be tasked
with developing and maintaining documentation for training county affiliates on statutory
and rules compliance in coordination with the Rules Committee, for best practices on
running and growing affiliates, and for starting new affiliates; conducting training courses
for county affiliates; soliciting and obtaining feedback from county affiliates about their
needs and about LPF performance; responding to inquiries from county affiliates in
coordination with their Region Representative; assisting the Secretary at his/her
direction with credentialing and reaffiliation procedures; and assisting Region
Representatives at their direction with organizing new county affiliates in unaffiliated
counties.”

The Rules Committee has adopted the motion referred to them to establish Affiliate Support as a standing committee with substantive amendments to submit to the Annual Business Meeting as Motion 2019-ABM-B-4. After consideration of the amended motion, the committee formally voted to encourage the full delegation to approve the proposed Bylaws amendment so that the Affiliate Support Committee can continue to provide the training, operational support, and onboarding necessary to preserve the institutional knowledge of the party and equip new leaders at both county and state level to be successful.

This concludes the Affiliate Support Committee report.

Sincerely,
Gregory Peele, Jr. - Affiliate Support Chair
Approved by Affiliate Support Committee on April 25, 2019

#1 - April 29, 2019, 01:26:09 PM