People, Planet & Peace
The Massachusetts Affiliate of the Green Party of the United States
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2017 summer minutes

 (Revision of 9/20/17))

 

StateCom Meeting Minutes of July 8, 2017

 

Meeting held at Lathrop Community Room, 56 Shallowbrook Lane, Northampton, MA

 

Present:

John Andrews – First Boston Metropolitan Region

Roni Beal – Central Region

Brian Cady – First Boston Metropolitan Region

Charlene DiCalogero – Central Region

Darlene Elias – Western Region

Danny Factor – Western Metropolitan Region

Dan Kontoff – First Boston Metropolitan Region

Joyce Palmer Fortune – Western Region

David Rolde – First Boston Metropolitan Region (attended afternoon session)

Daphne Stevens – Western Region

Ralph Walton - First Boston Metropolitan Region

Elie Yarden - First Boston Metropolitan Region

 

Guests:

Matt Andrews – Observer appointed to StateCom

Jennifer Homitz – Observer appointed to StateCom and Party Secretary

Juan Sanchez – GRP candidate for Holyoke City Council

Sean Connell – GRP candidate for Fall River School Committee

Justin Rocha – Campaign manager for Sean Connell campaign

Edward Stamas – Observer and GRP member, Northampton

 

Quorum:

Quorum established at 12 members

 

Co-Chair Welcome:

Matt Andrews opened the meeting and made a brief introduction welcoming StateCom members and guests to the meeting

 

Charlene DiCalogero – Timekeeper

John Andrews – Parliamentarian

Danny Factor – Stacker

Elie Yarden - Vibes watcher

Minutes:  Roni Beal

 

Nominate candidates to State Committee:

Matt Andrews

Jennifer Homitz

Both candidates were nominated to be StateCom members and were approved by consensus to be representatives of StateCom. 

Vote:

Yes – 11

No – 0

Abstain:  0

 

Approval of Meeting Agenda:

Charlene requested recruitment of an alternate to MAAPL be added to the agenda.  There are openings for two MAAPL alternates.

Agenda approved by StateCom by consensus with addition.

 

Selection of Fall 2017 StateCom Meeting:

Location:  Holyoke Rows Boathouse

Date:  October 14, 2017 Saturday – campaign for candidates

Date:  October 15, 2017, Sunday – StateCom meeting

Co-facilitators:  John Andrews and Jennifer Homitz

 

Darlene recommended contacting other state party’s to obtain a copy of their meeting models.  Elie commented that StateCom depends on strong locals for getting out the vote and growth.  Elie is willing to stay over the night before a meeting.  Danny agrees with John that StateCom support candidates, but concentrate on StateCom business.  The focus should be on getting work done, not campaigning.  Danny proposed that StateCom meet in Eastern Massachusetts.

 

Darlene noted that the overall issue is the functional way meetings are conducted.  Dan K. agrees to build chapters, provide support.  Matt suggested that StateCom meet on another day for candidate campaigning.  Brian recommended that the proposal process be presented through normal channels at the October StateCom meeting.  Jennifer agrees with Brian to present proposals at a later meeting.  John suggested collecting ideas and present to AdCom and then create a proposal.  Darlene commented that the issue is more than collecting ideas.  She added that we talk, agree, but nothing productive or constructive is accomplished.  She recommended more authority be authorized for AdCom to accomplish significant work. 

 

Charlene commented that local chapters accomplish a great deal.  Commitments will come from a proposal.  She proposed conducting the business meeting on Sunday, October 15 and everyone meet on the 14th to help with campaigns and stay over.  Time to socialize will be included for October 14. 

 

StateCom approved Charlene’s proposal to meet on October 14 to campaign and hold the business meeting on October 15 by consensus.

 

Approval of April 2, 2017 Minutes:

Charlene submitted several amendments.  Danny requested that Barbara Clancy’s status be changed from observer to Alternate StateCom member.  Danny questioned his listed district area and inquired if there are any objections in changing his district to Western Metropolitan Region.

Minutes accepted by StateCom by consensus with amendments.

 

 

Miscellaneous Appointments:

Diversity representatives:  None 

Appoint new chapter representative to AdCom:  Roni Beal (CMGR)

Appoint members to GPUS committees: None

Appoint MAAPL alternate representative: None

 

Charlene recommended appointing a MAAPL alternate from another chapter outside of CMGR.  Elie nominated Danny Factor.  Chuck Turner started MAAPL, which is a creation of GRP.  Danny responded that he can participate in telecon meetings, but not personal meetings in Boston.  Dan Kontoff volunteered to be an alternate.  Charlene noted MAAPL is challenging work and it is best to have continuity.  Ralph mentioned that he knows a possible future alternate candidate.

 

Dan Kontoff was appointed as alternate and   Charlene was appointed as representative to MAAPL by StateCom by consensus.

 

Danny questioned the one year term as chapter representative.  Elie commented that every chapter has to be represented on AdCom and to evaluate if bylaws are up to date.  Joyce commented electing a chapter representative is an opportunity not a requirement.

 

Candidates Requests for Endorsements:

Two candidates running for local office attended the StateCom meeting made presentations seeking endorsements for their individual campaigns. 

 

Juan Sanchez is running for city council in Holyoke, Ward One.

 

Juan reported that issues in Holyoke are urban renewal, local business, and home ownership.  Public safety is another issue.  The Holyoke fire department needs a new truck.  The fire department currently has only one engine and ladder truck for the entire city.  In January there was a fire where there was loss of life.  He reported that the Puerto Rican population not a priority.  There is economic development inequality. For example, a new train station was built in poor neighborhood.  Juan commented that there is a lack of city council interaction with residence of his district when they should be involved.

 

Danny praised a video of Juan challenging a councilor about the fire.  Danny asked why Juan is a member of Green-Rainbow and his view on the environment, including his view on racism that affects lower income people to exposure of toxins. 

 

Juan was a member of the Party when he was 18 years old.  He worked with Darlene.  He worked on shutting down the coal plant effort in Holyoke.  He has researched government grants to help with environmental issues in his area.  His opponent is a progressive Democrat.  His opponent is not proactive about resolving issues, even something as simple as posting a sign.  Her lack of action as a good public servant causes hardships for low income residents. 

 

Darlene reported that Juan’s opponent refused to take a stand on Lyman Terrace public housing complex or any other building issues in Holyoke.  Darlene’s only concern is Juan’s commitment to the Green-Rainbow Party.  Juan responded that he will register Green-Rainbow and promote the Party.

 

Dan K. reported that he wants to see Juan be the progressive candidate.  Dan inquired about Juan’s campaign team and asked if he has a treasurer.  Dan recommended that Juan always have someone go with him when he is campaigning and that he needs a campaign manager.  This is a time to reach out to friends to help.

 

Endorsement of Juan Sanchez:

StateCom endorsed Juan’s campaign by consensus.

 

Sean Connell is running for school committee in Fall River.

 

Sean reported that he is a Green Party member and activist, and member of the Coalition of Social Justice.  He is an International Youth Organization volunteer and helps children who drop out of school.  Sean is a teacher.  He announced that two of his students passed the GED test today.

 

Fall River has all at-large seats, no wards or townships.  Sean was inspired to run for office after the Trump election.  There are four open seats and this is good opportunity to be elected.  Sean has been active building his local chapter.  Justin Rocha is the manager of his campaign.  He wants to be the voice of school committee to fund schools.  Anti standardized testing curbs curiosity.  Kindergarten children are tested 185 hours per year.  Today’s education system not operating in the 21st century.  Sean has a Facebook site - Sean Connell for School Committee. He asks youth to get involved in his campaign.  So far, he has raised $700.  He believes the Green Party is the alternative to the two party system.  His students are his resource. 

 

Edward Stamas agreed with Sean about conditions in schools. 

Sean commented that testing is hurting children’s curiosity. 

Elie questioned how to deal with school system (superintendent and school boards).

Sean reported that Fall River hired a new superintendent who supports 1-percent above budget.  He will speak out for issues and will help the superintendent with projects that he supports.

 

Danny reported that there were three suicides in Acton/Boxboro high school, plus other mental health problems.  He asked what measures can our public school system take to help with the mental health problem?

Sean noted that he trained for mental health issues.  He said there are problems with addiction in Fall River area.  We need to implement mental health training in schools.  Sean added that referrals to professionals a priority.  At core is education and support, both which must be addressed in school system.   Sean’s campaign slogan is “Save the Future”.

 

David Rolde commented that police authority is an issue along with forced mental health treatment issue in schools. 

Sean noted that history is a key course that he teaches.  People have a right to speak.  Understanding history is priority.

Jennifer added that creative play is important for future learning, not testing.  Critical thinking should be encouraged. 

Darlene inquired about Sean’s stand on Charter schools.   Sean is supportive of Charter school concept. 

 

Endorsement of Sean Connell:

StateCom endorsed Sean’s campaign by consensus.

 

Lunch break

 

Elie left the meeting after lunch and Daphne volunteered to be Vibes watcher

 

Reports from Officers:

Co-Chair, Darlene Elias recruited Jennifer Homitz for Party Secretary.  There is a possible candidate for communications director.

 

Darlene spoke with Jill about a fundraiser to generate a few thousand dollars.  Darlene requested authority from StateCom to restructure and recruit diversity.  The Party must fundraise to hire staff.  Jill will help.  The unanswered question is when and how?  Jill is traveling and it is difficult to meet.  People are reaching out and offering to help, but the Party must have on-going communication to attract candidates.  Darlene would like Matt to develop system processes.  She recommended electing members to StateCom prior to serving as an officer.  She supports hiring a fundraiser and spending more time promoting the Party.

 

Darlene reported that Brian Crawford requested to be appointed treasurer.  Brian will sign the FEC reports after he is officially appointed treasurer.  Brian is moving in two weeks.  He recommends Berkshire bank and either use his new address for GRP mail or rent a Post Office box.

 

Darlene, Matt and Jennifer will discuss applying for a grant off-line.

 

Danny noted that the treasurer has other responsibilities.  One co-chair and treasure can make monetary decisions.  Danny inquired if Brian is registered Green-Rainbow and some other details that Danny missed at state convention in May.

David Rolde declared that he would stand aside because wanted to know more about the treasurer.  Sean commented that if Brian is willing to be treasurer, we should support him.

 

Brian works at Cigna, served as treasurer for toast masters, and he is GRP voter.  Darlene explained that Brian changed from secretary to treasurer after state convention.

 

Vote:

A motion was made to appoint Brian Crawford as Party Treasurer.

Vote:

Yes - 12

David Rolde agreed to stand aside

 

CDLC Report:

Charlene reported a successful first half of 2017.  CDLC sponsored two workshops at state convention.  CDLC is waiting for report from volunteer workshop.  See report.  Attach to minutes.

Sharon Moss of the Central Mass Green-Rainbow chapter was elected to Shrewsbury Town Council.

Non-partisan elections help the Party.

 There are 45 people on the CDLC list.

Ian Jackson is a candidate for state senate special election on July 25th.

Darlene Elias is a candidate for Ward 3 Holyoke City Council.

Thirteen Green-Rainbow members are currently serving in towns or districts.

 

Darlene reported a contested race and a large number of un-enrolled voters in Holyoke.

Elie reported that members of the Green Party are paying dues to help members who may have jobs threatened.  Register un-enrolled and paid dues people are considered chapter members. 

Juan Sanchez noted that Darlene’s challenger is a Goliath opponent.

Dan K. noted that 13 people in office will send a powerful message.

 

Charlene spoke with person at Mass Alliance who noted that most people do not hear about Party.  Political designation is posted on the website.  Charlene reported that when she campaigned, it enabled conversations when she announced she was representing the Green-Rainbow Party, not the Democratic or Republican Parties.  Five hundred dollars ($500) is budgeted for a campaign school for this upcoming fall.  CDLC is working on an email blast to recruit candidates to enable the GRP regains Party status.  See contact via GRP website:  Run for Office

 

Elie noted there are Party candidates and personality candidates.  Personality candidate violate a green environment.

 

Dan K. volunteered to be assisted fundraiser director.

 

2017 State Convention Report:

Matt advocated the state convention focus on business.

Sean prefers workshops and open and network.

Roni noted that the media did not publish an article about the convention that was submitted to the Worcester Telegraph & Gazette.

Jennifer recommended providing a social activity to draw younger population.

Darlene recommended minimal business and convention for outreach.

Matt stated that social and business do not mix.  He recommended engaging people to participate in business and politics. 

Joyce encouraged StateCom members to join 2018 convention committee.

 

Membership, Diversity & Volunteer Recruitment:

Jamie reported that she is transitioning into membership director position.  She noted that it is essential that chapters are supplied with update literature, such as the GRP Comparison Chart.  The Communication committee can take on updating literature.  The basic membership packet contains information on how new members can get involved in the Party.  Her goal is to travel to Western Massachusetts, the Cape and Islands to promote chapters.  Jamie has been in communication with North Shore local members.

 

Danny commented that he likes the proposed proactive vision and structure presented by the Membership Committee director.

 

Proposals:

 

Proposal One:  Establish New Chapter Sub-committee for Membership, Diversity and Volunteer Recruitment

Charlene - when people come to GRP without being connected with a chapter, they are not engaged in growing the Party.  (see proposal)

Sean Connell – supports the proposal.

David Rolde – Jamie did not mention possible sub-committee in her report.

Justin Rocha – supports the proposal.

Darlene Elias – supports chapter development.  Concern with proposal, people sign up for the job and nothing gets accomplished. 

Danny Factor – sentiment behind proposal is great.  If passed by consensus, he proposed that any working committee has authority to form a sub-committee.  He does not want to set a precedent for StateCom approval to form a sub-committee.

John – agrees with Danny.  It is not the proper role for StateCom to approve forming a sub-committee.  It is the Party Secretary’s responsibility to certify chapters.

Joyce – requested clarification on what StateCom needs to approve.

Charlene – StateCom can charge a committee to form a sub-committee to accomplish a task.  Jamie approves of the proposal.

Danny – amend the proposal so that StateCom fully supports Membership forming a sub-committee. 

Darlene – asked if this is another committee that is forming or an autonomous committee?

David R. – if proposal is from the Membership Committee, why is StateCom approval required?

Jennifer – inquired who is responsibility for chapter development?

Darlene – recommended writing a proposal on what chapter development means.

Charlene – Party’s are formed through small groups.  Ask each active chapter to recruit one member to form the sub-committee.

Joyce – this is a friendly amendment – the state committee fully supports the Membership, Diversity and Volunteer Recruitment Committee’s decision to form a “new chapter subcommittee” which will focus on supporting new chapters in formation to become active in their regions.  This subcommittee will work in collaboration with the Membership director and the chairs of the MDVR committee.

 

Darlene – expressed concern adding more responsibility to membership director and committee members. 

Brian – noted that forming new chapters is part of membership responsibility.

Danny – membership mission statement – they need people to populate this committee

Vote:

Yes – 14

No – 1

Abstain – 1

 

Proposal Two:  Uniting Forces to Challenge the Root Causes of the Migration Crisis and Build the Capacity for a Global Strike:

Matt – provided an overview of how this proposal came about.  There needs to be more than protests.  Use migration crisis creating a theme, immigrant community involved.  Migration crisis connects people and draws people to the Green Party.  Climate change, jobs, etc. is the theme to reach out to people to strike – a day without immigrants. 

Jen – attended climate march, indigenous people, woman’s movement – take two years to accomplish.

Sean – Inter-sectionality – be a political arm – talk with Unions.  Coalition building is necessary.  Many organizations will come together.

Daphne – Climate is the top issue.  Her concern is manpower to accomplish this mission.

David Rolde – concern war in Syria and issues in China.  Are we starting another committee?

Dan K – reach out to other coalitions, such as environmental groups, and not start our own coalition for each issue.

Edward Stamas – migrant crisis – school administration plan to enroll students from Syria.  After trump implemented ban, no more communication about foreign students.

Elie – the human species migration is in the future.  Capitalism, less need for labor, distributed globally.  Where is the labor for strike?

Darlene – the challenge for GRP are human resources to accomplish this mission.

Matt – this about building coalitions, speakers from different coalitions and work with other groups.  Outreach to natural allies.  Jill Stein is confident she can raise funds to work on this campaign. 

John – has a concern with big movement with limited resources.  Need a communications director.

Charlene – we have candidates.  Promote candidates and how we support coalitions with similar green values.  Focus on recruiting candidates from coalition groups.  These are non-profit groups and Green-Rainbow is a political party.  Focus on how it affects us as a Party.

Dan K – we should work with coalitions, bottom up.  May Day event many groups did not show up.

 

Concerns with passing proposal were noted.

Charlene – proposal should include candidates.

Danny – someone could propose an amendment.  Propose that he, Matt and Charlene work on amendment.

Joyce – implementation was sponsored by GBC

Darlene – likes the proposal – the issue is resources.  Adding candidates changes the proposal.

Jennifer – think about demand – what is going to happen going forward.

David R – not sure of direction for this proposal.

 

Amendments:

Elie – friendly amendment – participation by American Unions to see what they would support.  See what is feasible going forward.

Danny – recommended taking the proposal off the table and amending as a working group.

Joyce – GBC can move forward – taking up a cause without StateCom approval.  Delay proposal for three months.

Matt – these are statewide issues – GBC won’t be able to achieve.  Please do not include candidates.  Take a position and cast a broad net.

 

Vote:

Yes – 13

No - 0

Abstain – 3

 

Open Positions Within the GRP:

Darlene learned over the past year that StateCom responsibilities fall back to AdCom.  There have been dependable members, but we need people to make commitment to follow-through with leadership.  She recommended that Matt arrange follow-up telecon meetings to maintain motivation.  Darlene is willing to meet, but other people have to step up to the plate. 

 

Elie noted this is the moment to move forward and use teleconferences to stay in communication.  Daphne recommended holding eight meetings a year.  John stated that GRP is complex.  Need clear definition what StateCom should accomplish.  Our job is to figure what is wrong and find solutions.

 

Sean understands Darlene’s concern.  We are a volunteer based organization and meeting everyone’s demand is impossible.  Boots on the ground and get people elected.  Charlene is attending the National Convention in NJ along with Darlene.   AdCom can do a highlight of each piece at a time, such as membership, then at another meeting focus on candidates, then move onto fundraising. 

 

Darlene reported that StateCom needs to work on complete projects and dedicate time on one issue.  Danny suggested pinning down our StateCom role.  AdCom cannot address how to grow working committees and plan to help five or six committees at a time.  We need to address the possibility of StateCom hiring a strategic planner from the outside.  Jennifer added that recruiting people and action to complete projects is a priority.  Darlene recommended focusing on the team getting things done.  Matt recommended figuring out how to keep up with projects and evaluate the results at the end of the year.  Elie noted that he served on two committees that worked well - CDLC and Platform. CDLC worked well, but the Platform committee required frequent meetings to keep up.

 

Joyce suggested inter-meetings between two StateCom meetings.

  • Teleconference meeting – 1 hour
  • Agenda set by co-chairs
  • Limit agenda items in some helpful way 
  • Check in on progress, express needs to StateCom - (who will do what by when)
  • StateCom members must go through the chairs to get on the agenda

 

A suggestion was made to change one AdCom meeting to a StateCom meeting.

Set Date:  Monday, August 21 for StateCom telecon meeting at 7 pm

Danny reported that a quorum is required to move forward.

 

Remove StateCom Member:

Roni requested that StateCom officially removed Alan Alcombright from StateCom.  All attempts were made to contact Mr. Alcombright, who has not attended one meeting since a new StateCom was elected or appointed in April 2016.

StateCom approved to remove Alan from StateCom by consensus.

 

Chapter Reports:

Assabet River Valley (ARVC) – Danny reported ARVC formed Acton as a sanctuary city which will be ratified at town committee in September.  A total of three chapter members are employed in state government.  The chapter plans to run candidates municipal and state offices in 2018.  Chapter members are discussing changing their chapter name to match region.  For example, Facebook page Metro West Green-Rainbow members that would include towns such as Framingham and Natick.  Creating a social media page is the first step to attract new members.

 

Central Mass Green-Rainbow (CMGR) – Charlene reported that the average attendance at chapter meetings is eight people.  She announced new chapter officers were elected.  Chapter bylaws were updated and they will be passed onto the North Shore group as a guide for their chapter.  CMGR will be holding their Green and Rainbow awards event in the fall.  Members have been active in the gas pipeline protest in Grafton and Shrewsbury.  Members of town meetings have voted against these pipelines.  Work continues on the anti foreclosure movement. 

 

Greater Boston (GBC) – Jen reported that a speaker from India will talk about hate crimes at an upcoming meeting.  Members are involved canvassing for Ian, including door knocking.  GBC members were implemental in collecting signatures for Ian.  They are working on a statewide campaign for a state bank proposal and ranked choice voting.  Ajamu Baraka may be a possible speaker for autumn 2017.  Elie reported that Mel King made a request to address gender and racial in-balance in the chapter.  Darlene encouraged Ajamu and Mel to meet and help the chapter.  Funds will be required to bring Ajamu to Boston. 

 

Pioneer Valley – Darlene reported that the chapter is growing, but problem arose and one co-chair resigned.  The Pioneer chapter is working closing with Voters Choice.  Joyce has been very successful in collecting signatures for Voters Choice.  Darlene reported that offline personal attacks on Facebook page spilled over to the chapter.  The co-chair was generous and willing to establish chapter as a PAC group.  The chapter is challenged without an active co-chair.  Darlene reported that she spoke at United Nations as Green Party co-chair. 

 

Nominate Jennifer Homitz as Party Secretary:

A motion was made to approve Jennifer Homitz appointment as Party secretary.

StateCom approved appointment by consensus.

 

Ward 11 Boston - Ralph Walton reported there was no activity to report, for the Ward 11 Boston Green-Rainbow Committee, or The Boston Green-Rainbow City Committee.  The only exception was that Ralph received access to the spread sheet which shows request for nomination papers, number of signatures submitted and certified from the Boston Election Department.  

 

Round Robin:

Roni – good to see everyone and this would be the last time she would record minutes for a GRP meeting

Jen – productive meeting and nice to meet everyone

Dan K – pleased with progress

Elie – agreed with Dan’s comment

Danny – thanked everyone for their support this past year

David R – meeting okay

Matt – feels more grounded and motivated

John – encouraged with everyone’s willingness to work

Ralph – somewhat confused with some the discussions

Darlene – looks forward to making progress within the Party

Brian Cady – good meeting, good to see everyone

Charlene – enjoyed food and thanked co-facilitators for their efforts

Daphne – see everyone at the October meeting in Holyoke

 

Meeting adjourned at 4:10 pm

 

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