Your Representative Hard at Work

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From Alicia on the LNC List:

We hit a milestone this week, as someone posted their 1000th email of this LNC term to the LNC-Business list. (cue balloons & confetti)

With 3554 emails sent by 28 senders so far this term, as of a few minutes ago, the top ten email posters are:

Harlos – 1015
Starchild – 295
Katz – 256
Mattson – 243
Moellman – 224
Demarest – 201
Hayes – 198
Goldstein – 188
Benedict – 136
Bilyeu – 132

The average person has sent 127 emails.

The bottom 20 posters have sent a combined 934 emails.

Amended Resolution Passes on Cuban Prisoners

Flag of Cuba
Flag of Cuba
After the first failure, an Amended Motion on the Cuban Prisoners was preferred:

Co-Sponsors: Bilyeu, Harlos, Demarest, Marsh

Motion:

The Libertarian National Committee strongly opposes the unjust arrest and detention of peaceful individuals. The arrests on February 2, 2017, and subsequent detention of libertarian activists, Ubaldo Herrera Hernandez and Manuel Velazquez, in Cuba illustrate the threats to freedom we all face around the world.

The Libertarian Party calls on the Cuban government to immediately release details of the above-mentioned arrests and detentions, including the specific charges being levied against the individuals in question. In the absence of such information, we call for the release of these prisoners.

Libertarian activism worldwide must not be deterred by the attempts of authoritarian leaders, totalitarian governments, and dictatorial regimes to silence the voice of freedom. We condemn any acts of official oppression, and uphold the promotion of limited government and free markets in any country. Furthermore, we call on the U.S. Department of State to publicly denounce violations of the right to free speech, the right to peaceably assemble, and the right to due process abroad.

This Motion passed on March 21, 2017 as follows:

Voting “aye”: Bilyeu, Demarest, Goldstein, Harlos, Katz, Lark, Marsh, McKnight, Moellman, Redpath, Sarwark, Starchild, Vohra

Voting “nay”: (none)

With a final vote tally of 13-0, the motion PASSES.

Applications Being Accepted for National Platform and Bylaws Committees…

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his is a copy of the email you likely received from the National Party (read through the end for my thoughts):

The Libertarian National Committee (LNC) is seeking applicants to serve on the Platform Committee and on the Bylaws and Rules Committee for the July 1-3, 2018 Libertarian Party National Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. The LNC expects to make the appointments during its April 15-16, 2017 meeting so as to give the committees plenty of time to complete their tasks before the convention.

The LNC appoints all 10 of the Bylaws and Rules Committee members, and 5 of the 20 Platform Committee members. The committees propose changes to the party’s bylaws/rules or platform, respectively, and convention delegates vote on whether to approve those proposals.

Both committees typically have in-person meetings at least once, several months in advance of the national convention, and then a final meeting on the day before the national convention begins.

Committee members will be expected to invest an appreciable amount of their time into doing their jobs. Any travel costs incurred will be at personal expense.

It is often helpful when applicants draft and submit sample platform/bylaw proposals with their applications.

If you are willing to serve in these LNC-appointed positions, apply by completing this webform no later than April 5, 2017.

==========================================

Joshua Katz made an excellent post about what he would look for in a Platform or Bylaws Committee application, and I don’t wish to reinvent the wheel when he expressed nearly exactly how I fee with one addition below:

In response to the posts about applying for committees: thank you for applying. Last term, I received a lot of emails, mostly around the time applications were due (and quite a few after that) asking what the committees do, and what makes a good application. The short answer to the second is that I don’t know, we each have our own way of screening them, but I’m happy to say what I look for – and I know several other LNC members look for very similar things. I figured I’d get ahead of the questions and put up a post about that. I also got emails supporting various people for the committee, as has been discussed here. I can tell you that such emails matter to me primarily when I know the person they come from, I believe that person can judge the qualities below, and they tell me what they think about these qualities. A generic “Vote for X” from a person I’ve never heard of doesn’t register all that much with me.

1. I want to know that you’ll do the work. This is, by far, the most important item. You have to determine how you can demonstrate this (not just say it). The majority of the work isn’t sexy. A lot of it is working on proposals you might not agree with – helping to wordsmith them for passage, and working to amend them to make them more acceptable to you. Grammar and “working right” are highly important, but not all that interesting to most people. There’s a lot of collaboration via email in addition to the meetings. The committees strive to have everyone participating: every term, though, there are members who do nothing but show up to vote.

2. Figure out why you want to be on the committee, and show it throughout your application. I’m less interested in a one-line statement somewhere that says why you want to be on the committee, and more interested in what leaps off the page at me. Spend some time thinking about this, and whatever the answer is, own it. Maybe you just want to be more involved with the national party – that’s fine. I can’t promise I’ll vote for you, but I can promise that the best way to get my vote is to own that, not to try and convince me that you love bylaws when you a) haven’t submitted a proposal, b) have no experience with bylaws, c) don’t seem clear on what bylaws are. If I don’t believe the things you say, I’m not likely to vote for you.

3. Include a proposal. While it’s optional, it shows that you are actually interested in doing the work. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something you “own” and will introduce in committee; you could choose something just to show your skill in drafting. You’re not committed to using what you include. Think it through carefully, and include a well-written rationale. A good portion of the work is writing rationales – including for proposals the committee has accepted, even if you oppose them.

4. Proofread your application. The majority of the committee work is double and triple checking proposals for consistency, workability, and grammar. If I find jarring typos in the application, I find it less persuasive.

5. Don’t just include your standard resume. A quick list of relevant things you’ve done is more effective.

6. Feel free to include items from other groups to establish your interest and experience, as well as relevant portions of your work and education.

7. Know what the committee does, and demonstrate it.

I would add that since the Secretary decided not to include information that multiple LNC members would have liked to have have (a brief summary of the applicant’s understanding of Libertarian principles), I will make an attempt to contact via telephone some applicants that I might not know enough of through personal knowledge or the application or have a clarifying question. I didn’t need to have to spend this additional time if the request of some of us were honoured, but so be it, and I will share my findings with any other LNC members if they wish. Any applicant may call me as well if they wish. 561.523.2250 or write at Caryn.Ann.Harlos@LP.org

Email Ballot 2017-05: Cuban Arrest v2

Flag of Cuba
Flag of Cuba
After the failure of a prior resolution, a revised Motion was proffered and co-sponsored as follows:

We have an electronic mail ballot.

Votes are due to the LNC-Business list by March 19, 2017 at 11:59:59pm Pacific time.

Co-Sponsors: Bilyeu, Harlos, Demarest, Marsh

Motion:

The Libertarian National Committee strongly opposes the unjust arrest and detention of peaceful individuals. The arrests on February 2, 2017, and subsequent detention of libertarian activists, Ubaldo Herrera Hernandez and Manuel Velazquez, in Cuba illustrate the threats to freedom we all face around the world.

The Libertarian Party calls on the Cuban government to immediately release details of the above-mentioned arrests and detentions, including the specific charges being levied against the individuals in question. In the absence of such information, we call for the release of these prisoners.

Libertarian activism worldwide must not be deterred by the attempts of authoritarian leaders, totalitarian governments, and dictatorial regimes to silence the voice of freedom. We condemn any acts of official oppression, and uphold the promotion of limited government and free markets in any country. Furthermore, we call on the U.S. Department of State to publicly denounce violations of the right to free speech, the right to peaceably assemble, and the right to due process abroad.

I voted YES.

Failed Motion: Email Ballot 2017-04: Cannabis Resolution

unknownThis motion was heard:

Co-Sponsors: Harlos, Demarest, Starchild, Redpath

Motion:

WHEREAS the current federal classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule 1 drug having no medicinal value is an inaccurate classification at odds with the findings of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine and those of many other researchers; and

WHEREAS this dishonest classification is an impediment both to useful academic research, and to realizing the economic benefits that legalization offers; and

WHEREAS cannabis is a drug with few harmful effects and zero documented fatalities which is even safer when not forced into the black market, where labeling, testing, and quality control are less prevalent; and

WHEREAS drug prohibition in the United States has been an unmitigated failure, with a third of Americans self-reporting having used cannabis despite strict penalties against its sale, manufacture and use, and over $1 trillion of taxpayer money in a futile effort to enforce drug laws, including those pertaining to cannabis; and

WHEREAS the black markets created by these unconstitutional statutes have led to increased violence both in the United States and in other countries such as Mexico where cannabis and other drugs are produced for the U.S. market; and

WHEREAS millions and millions of peaceful Americans have been arrested, imprisoned, fined, or otherwise needlessly criminalized and stigmatized, potentially for life, because of their use of cannabis, and the 2 million Drug War prisoners currently behind bars in the United States have given this country the highest documented incarceration rate of any nation on Earth, accounting for a reported 25% the world’s prisoners; and

WHEREAS drug prohibition has been the major driver of the practice of asset forfeiture, in which over $13 billion has been seized by law enforcement across the country, often from people who have not been convicted of, or sometimes even charged with, any crime; and

WHEREAS this gross violation of legal due process, has incentivized the arbitrary and often discriminatory arrest of U.S. residents in what has come to be known as “policing for profit” ; and

WHEREAS unconstitutional statutes attempting to control what people choose to put into their own bodies constitute a vast and dangerous government intervention into people’s personal lives violating the cherished American values of individual freedom and choice; and

WHEREAS polls now show that most Americans support legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational use, and voters in multiple states have voted accordingly;

NOW THEREFORE be it resolved that the Libertarian National Committee supports the immediate full legalization and federal de-scheduling of cannabis and industrial hemp products, as a much-needed first step toward ending the destructive “War on Drugs” entirely, in accord with the Libertarian Party’s platform.

I conducted a member poll with well over 90% support and a super-majority feeling it was not a waste of the LNC’s time to make such public policy stands. Enough members voted no as they felt our position was clear (and for other reasons). You can read the discussion here, and I highly encourage you to do so. I had the overwhelming support of Region 1 members and am proud to have brought this motion at the request of the Alaska affiliate.

Here are the results:


Voting has ended for the email ballot shown below.

Voting “aye”: Demarest, Harlos, Lark, Marsh, McKnight, Redpath, Starchild, Vohra

Voting “nay”: Bittner, Hayes, Katz, Mattson, Starr

Express abstention: Goldstein, Hagan

With a final vote tally of 8-5, the motion fails to achieve the 3/4 vote required to adopt a public policy resolution with previous notice (see LP Bylaws Article 7.11).

February Membership Report Released

membshipreport-smallThe February Membership Report has been released, and a copy can be found here. I have started to compile a running chart of how our Region’s BSM numbers are growing.

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This report has some interesting charts as usual.

Active Donors are leveling (as expected):

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New Donors are dropping:

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Lapsed donors are increasing (not good – this is a KEY metric):

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But renewing donors back down:

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I have asked for the region 1 member list in order to follow up on our lapsed members as several region 1 states lost BSM members.