The Locals Liaison1 (LL) is the official source for all information regarding GP-MI Local Groups, (locals). Any statements about GP-MI Local Groups are unofficial unless they come from the Locals Liaison and are published to our website. Instructions for using the web site as a Locals Liaison can be found by taking this link: GP-MI Website - Locals Liaison.
It is important to note that although the Locals Liaison and the Web Steward can insert and update GP-MI local group information, they should refrain from doing so if possible. Typically, locals will insert and update their own information from the website after clicking the splash page sidebar button for 'Local Groups'. Once local group information has been submitted, that group's Contact Person will be able to update the information when necessary. Expecting a GP-MI officer to make data changes on behalf of our locals is to accept the risk that errors will be made. Officers may want to help members with data entry, but this practice conditions them to rely on a central authority rather than to accept responsibility.
The MM has three primary responsibilities:
1. Providing local groups with helpful suggestions and information about GP-MI protocols.
2. Improving and maintaining the integrity and accessibility of GP-MI local group data
3. Responding to members and other officers regarding the status of the local groups.
Note that increasing the number of local groups is not an explicit objective for the LL.
New and prospective local groups will need information, but even more importantly, they need to feel welcome. The Locals Liaison should respond as quickly as possible to emails from local groups. If questions cannot be answered immediately, an acknowledgement should be sent saying that they are being investigated. It may be wise to copy to other officers or informed members.
Prospective local groups may wish to register from the website, (most convenient) or by submitting a paper form. That form is available for download from the GP-MI website, but the LL may find it necessary to print or attach it to an email.
Two other documents are currently available for download from the website. They are templates for a local group to use when crafting their bylaws and meeting agenda.
The LL has uploaded these files to the website and made them available to all GP-MI members by following the steps listed in the GP-MI Website - Officer section of the Handbook. Members will find the files under the Documents tab, 'from the Locals Liaison', as shown below:
The LL may add to this list of documents as needed.
The LL should routinely communicate with all local groups just to keep a channel open. Topics of discussion may include fundraising, candidate selection and support, proposed speaker or action events, and more. Attending local group meetings is encouraged where that is feasible.
LOCAL GROUP DATA INTEGRITY
The LL should routinely monitor local group data and take note of changes. Rumored changes should be verified by consulting the website and with the group itself. The LL should reach out to groups that seem stagnant. It is possible that the group membership or structure has changed but the website data has not been updated.
Note: the LL should not alter a local group's data at the direction of anyone other than the exiting local's Contact Person. If that is not possible, others in the local group should be consulted before a change is made. When a local's Contact Person changes, the incumbent Contact Person should make the change on the website. Note that the website does not (yet) tracks changes to local's data.
RESPONDING TO MEMBERS AND OFFICERS REGARDING LOCAL GROUP STATUS
Members who are new to the GP-MI often ask is there are local groups in their area. If the new member lives in a county that is scoped by one or more local group, those local contact persons receive automatic email notifications when the member joins. The LL also receives an automatic email in every case. The LL should send a welcoming email to the new member with information about area local groups, and on how to start a new local.
All email from the LL should be sent via the official GP-MI account: firstname.lastname@example.org, in accordance with the resolution at the February 24, 2018 SMM in Grand Rapids, and for many practical reasons.
Finally, the LL is expected to present status updates on the list of local groups prior to each SMM. This Locals Liaison Report is part of the SMM 'Packet' that goes out to the members 30 days before each meeting. If data updates are not available for certain locals, that should be stated in the report.
1 MI-GP Bylaws Article V, Locals Liaison definition.
2 The Membership Manager maintains the official GP-MI membership list, which includes members who have unsubscribed from our notifications list.
3 MI-GP Bylaws Article V, Section 4: Treasurer definition.