As 2014 was coming to a close, Jeremy Griffin, an outspoken opponent of the fight for a $15 minimum wage – an issue that Jeff and I were spearheading in St Pete and strongly encouraging other Locals to embrace and endorse — joined the CC as a delegate from Tampa. He was pushing a fundraising proposal that would involve getting every local to work primarily on crowdsourcing with a goal of $10,000 for the GPFL to spend on a Senate race. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to this proposal. It struck me as DOA and wouldn’t have the votes to pass. I was well aware that the GPFL didn’t have the kind of apparatus in place, or even the volunteer labor power, to raise that much money, or to run a statewide senatorial campaign. I also thought that the party would have to explore more closely what it would be looking for in a Senate candidate before it could go ahead and raise the money for a slot on the ballot.
Unlike me, Jeff took Griffin’s fundraising plan very seriously and studied it carefully. He also joined a Fundraising Committee that Griffin was leading. But the more Jeff got to know Griffin’s slick salesman approach to fundraising, the more critical of it he became. However, he took the Griffin plan and developed an adaptation that would have worked at the local level in accord with our actual capacity.
Jeff’s sharp and substantive critique of Griffin’s fundraising scheme infuriated Griffin, who sent to the CC no less than 22 unhinged and threatening emails attacking Jeff. Jeff spoke with leading members of the CC and was told in no uncertain terms that he (meaning Jeff) should have NO RESPONSE to Griffin and that they would “take care of it.” But in spite of these promises, they did nothing, sending Griffin the message that his profane and violent outburst was acceptable.
At the next CC meeting on January 26, 2015, Jeff and I demanded that they deal with the elephant in the room — we were being threatened by a violent member of the CC and nobody seemed to care. The only CC member to step up to the plate for us was Orange County delegate Jim Howe. He was absolutely incredulous that the rest of the CC refused to make any kind of statement against Griffin’s violent diatribe.
Following this meeting, both Jeff and I needed to seriously ponder whether or not we could continue to go on in such a brazenly hostile and frightening work environment. I was frankly too traumatized to make any immediate decisions. But Jeff did make a decision — he transcribed the recording of that CC meeting and made it public. He printed the article under the title “This Is What Fascism Feels Like,” done without my knowledge or encouragement,
Jennifer Sullivan took it as ammunition for the purge she had been seeking for over two years (this will be covered more in my Answer to the evidence against me). The article Jeff wrote understandably caused panic and I believe that Jennifer and her associates – including then Co-chair Josh Pritchett — exploited that panic to push the CC into an action that its own Bylaws did not allow to assure that this unfortunate situation would result in a full purge of both me and Jeff.
Within 24 hours Jeff was purged; and within 48 hours they had purged me as well. They also deactivated our local.
I’ve noticed that the CC rep from the Palm County local has repeatedly referred to our RECALL and has requested that the rest of the CC start using that language as well. This is because he knows that there is indeed a mechanism for recall and casting that language over these proceedings gives them an air of legitimacy. But there’s a problem — perhaps we could have been recalled (removed from the CC) but we were NOT recalled. We were “suspended from the GPFL” for LIFE and the existing St. Pete local were immediately disaffiliated.
Let me clarify because this is at the heart of what this case is about and why it should be important to everyone who claims to represent Green Values — THE BYLAWS OF THE GPFL DID NOT ALLOW FOR THIS! IT ONLY ALLOWED FOR RECALL AND THEY REFUSED TO USE THAT MECHANISM BECAUSE IT DID NOT ALLOW THEM TO GO AS FAR AS THEY WANTED TO GO!
My purge was handled as follows. The same day the CC meeting to purge me was conducted, I received an email that was forwarded to me by Cathy Gilbert on behalf of Kat Duerr, who was at that time the GPFL’s spokesperson: “Rose, will you take down the article … and issue an apology, being that your husband was suspended for failure to do so?- If yes, we have achieved some sort results [sic] and can possibly move forward.- If no, well, then its another vote on suspension.” (I couldn’t attend that meeting on such short notice.) I asked for a list of charges against me and adequate time to respond, I was afforded neither of those things.
In a court of law, spouses are exempt from testifying against each other. But I was not only told that I had to remove my husband’s article (which I made clear I was incapable of doing), but I was also expected to APOLOGIZE on his behalf! Where does the Key Value of Feminism fit into this? How can this be justified — either legally or morally?
I also must note that Ms. Duerr was NOT authorized to serve as a CC delegate by the Orange County Local. Her vote was included in defiance of the GPFL’s own Bylaws to create the illusion of consensus. Jim Howe was at the time the delegate from Orange County and he made abundantly clear that he did not approve of any aspect of the CC’s handling of this matter. In fact, he resigned in disgust over the whole sordid affair.
The process I was subjected to in the decision to ban me from participating in any aspect of the building of the GPFL (not merely the CC, as is being suggested in the wording of Victor and Jennifer’s “proposal” to lift the ban) was not in accordance with the GPFL’s Bylaws. There was no attempt to speak with me and made a demand of me that I made clear was one I was in no position to carry out. The way this was carried out was to directly punish me for the actions of my husband without any due process or dispute resolution offered before carrying it out. It’s a violation of everything that the Green Party stands for – especially its Key Values of GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY and FEMINISM.
This undemocratic ban hinders my ability to function as a Green Party leader. The Pinellas County Local is a recognized affiliate of the GPFL. I’m its co-chair and often function as its public face. Last week I spoke before 60 people on the steps of St. Petersburg’s City Hall in support of Jesse Nevel and Akile Cainion’s historic campaigns that center on the issue of Reparations for the Black community. Nobody can argue that each individual Local is somehow so separate from the State organization that playing this role doesn’t defy the demand that I’m never to speak for the GPFL again.
No, when I’m up there, I’m serving as a face of the GREEN PARTY – not just in Florida, but in the whole United States. And I think it’s fair to say that at this particular moment, I’m acting as the most prominent face of the GPFL because of my local’s role in these campaigns that are attracting not only national, but international attention as well.
Therefore, this banning ended the day I was accepted as an Active Member of the Pinellas County Green Party and signed the founding papers as its female co-chair. This weak attempt to reassert it now, while simultaneously trying to cover over what was actually passed by the CC to begin with in order to give it an air of legitimacy is a betrayal of everything this party is supposed to be about.
As Uhuru’s chosen official speaker for the Greens and in every other capacity that I’ve represented the Green Party I’ve done so with honor and respect for Green Values.
Now it’s the CC’s turn to show some honor and lift this ban against us.
See further: Jeremy e-mails threatening Jeff.
Demand that I take down article along with my response.
Feb 4, 2015
Thank you Rose.
I believe the motion that is being put is essentially,
Hide message history
Being that we still have the attack piece up there -… the next questions are
– Rose, will you take down the article … and issue an apology, being that your husband was suspended for failure to do so?
– If yes, we have achieved some sort results and can possibly move forward.
– If no, well, then its another vote on suspension.
If the other delegate from St Pete refuses to remove it, they need to be suspended and a statement that the St Pete local is currently inactive and its views do not represent the GPFL would be in order.
At 3:19 PM -0500 2/3/15, ‘trixi54’ trixi54@… [gpf-council] wrote:
There’s only one administrator and owner for the St. Pete Greens website and that’s Jeff Roby.
I’m sending a link to an article I wrote for the website almost a month ago that clearly demonstrates that it was posted by Jeff since I’m not personally authorized to do so. In order to spare you the trouble of clicking the link, below is a copy of the notation at the bottom that states it was posted by Jeff.
Link to article written by me (which is noted after the title where it says “Submitted by Rose Roby”) and posted to the website by Jeff:
Should the CC choose to sanction me during the meeting tonight, I request a full list of the charges against me and how they were determined. I would also request time for an adequate response.
Chair, St. Pete Greens