NPC Transparency & Fairness
Build endorses Constitution/Bylaws Change #8: NPC Transparency & Fairness
Constitutional/Bylaw Change #8
Affected Items & Short Rationale
This proposal fixes certain flaws in the structure of and bans certain bad practices engaged in by the current National Political Committee.
Why Is Build Endorsing C/B #8?
Confirms that the Steering Committee is a subordinate body of the NPC.
Creates an appeals process by which decisions of the SC may immediately be appealed to the full NPC.
Ensures that all meetings of the NPC and SC shall be open to all membership, unless the body votes to go into executive (closed) session.
Previously, the SC had misinterpreted the Constitution to close its meetings, arguing that only “in person” meetings had to be open to members.
This allowed for many decisions to be made in secret, unknown to the membership until minutes were released many weeks later.
Reforms the process and standards for closed executive sessions.
Currently, these can only be held for “personnel and related financial matters,” but this restriction is widely ignored, likely because interpreted literally it is too narrow.
Under the proposal, executive session would also be appropriate to discuss additional matters, including sensitive political matters. However, the process for entering executive session would become more restrictive, requiring a motion and roll call vote by no less than a 75% supermajority.
Finally, the meeting minutes must summarize the subject of any closed session so that membership can see what its general purpose was.
Requires that all NPC elections take place by a single transferable vote method, banning the use of inferior “preferential” methods such as the Borda method used at the 2017 convention.
This effect would take place immediately and be used at the 2019 convention if this proposal passes.
Steering Committee members would be the top five vote-getters at convention, not elected by the incoming NPC.
Creates a recall procedure for NPC members if a majority of chapters petition for removal.
Currently, NPC members can only be removed by a 2/3 vote of the NPC. This proposal would create a “safety valve” to allow removal in extremely serious cases where most chapters support removal but the NPC itself fails to act.
Frequently Asked Questions
Concern: Why do we need an appeals process? Won’t these new requirements mean that the Steering Committee can’t do its job?
Answer: The Steering Committee is not intended to be the real power of the National Organization. Unfortunately, because the NPC only meets quarterly, the Steering Committee currently makes most of the real decisions of the organization, and it does so with almost no visibility into its actions. This proposal leaves the SC’s power as it was originally intended, increases transparency, and creates a process by which the NPC can rein in an out-of-control SC.
Concern: I’m worried about allowing executive session for political issues. Isn’t that part of the problem with lack of transparency?
Answer: Closed session does have a purpose, but it has been abused by the current NPC. We’ve broadened the kinds of appropriate topics for closed session, while making it harder to enter it (requiring at minimum a 75% vote). Currently, the NPC often enters executive session without voting, so no one NPC member is held accountable. This amendment requires a roll call vote, so we can see exactly who wants to keep things secret on controversial topics. It also requires a summary of the topic discussed to be listed on the minutes, so we have a general idea of what is being discussed.
Concern: How would the NPC recall provision work?
Answer: It requires a majority of chapters to petition for a recall, so it would only be used in extremely serious situations where the NPC had failed to remove a member who clearly needed to go. The precise mechanics would be left up to the National Organization to implement, so as not to be overly prescriptive.