The last several days have been a challenge for all of us who are committed to the Secular Party of America, as we grapple with the disappointing lapse in ethics of our former leaders as well as with questions about how to rebuild and move forward. The Executive Board (EB) has been working around the clock to create a strategy for meaningful change that will return the Party to the level of integrity that our members expect and deserve.
To that end, we will immediately take the following actions:
The election and ballot process originally scheduled to begin November 11, including the emergency election for a Party president, will be canceled. We cannot in good conscience follow a voting scandal with another vote; first, we must ensure that there is no possibility that what happened before can happen again and implement iron-clad procedures that guarantee transparency and security in the voting process
All email addresses on the membership roster will be verified; any member that cannot be fully validated will be purged from the rolls. This will ensure that we have a clean list of eligible voters, and eliminate the possibility of the kind of fraud that occurred over the summer.
Once the membership roster is sound and free of the justified skepticism this ordeal has instilled in our members, the Party can move forward with the election process scheduled to begin March 11, 2014.
In the months leading up to this important vote, all members will have an opportunity to amend the guiding document that is foundational to our Party's mission, the Party charter (http://secularamerica.org/charter), through our Policy Proposal Process (PPP). It will be especially critical to identify any areas of the charter that may be vague or that leave gaps in defining mission-critical processes, especially those related to governance and voting. The successful completion of such a review, conducted by following the PPP, will shore up the charter and ensure there is absolute clarity on rules and processes.
These steps are going to take time. We fully recognize the passion and earnestness of our members to the cause of the Secular Party of America, and we acknowledge that gearing back from activism to house-cleaning may feel a bit anti-climactic. However, we believe that these steps are necessary and unavoidable prerequisites to reestablishing our credibility and integrity, without which the Party will not be able to effectively pursue its mission and achieve its goals.
Please also be aware that due to constraints on his time, Ryan McCue has submitted his resignation as VP of Outreach, which has been accepted by the EB. The EB now consists of the following individuals:
Victor Henzi – Acting VP of Operations
Elizabeth Williams – Acting VP of Administration
Tracey Melody – Acting VP of PR & Marketing
Bill Hochstuhl – Deputy VP of Outreach
Anthony Intemann – Acting Secretary
Anna Marin – Acting Treasurer
Finally, questions remain regarding the name change. In the interests of fairness, the membership will have an opportunity to vote once again on the official Party name during the election commencing March 11, 2014.
The EB wishes to thank everyone who has spoken out in support of the Party over the last several days, and for the commitment that you have shown to the cause of secular government. The Party needs to draw upon the leadership of all of its committed members during this time. If we each do our part, then together we will be successful.