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

april 2013 minutes

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DRAFT 5/4/13  - Unapproved

(APPROVAL OF THESE MINUTES WAS TABLED AT THE JULY 13 STATE COMMITTEE MEETING AND IS PLACED ON THE AGENDA FOR THE OCTOBER 20 STAE COMMITTEE MEETING)

 

Minutes - GRP State Committee Meeting

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tent City, 130 Dartmouth Street, Boston

 

Minutes were taken by John Andrews.  Send corrections to jandrews166@gmail.com or post comments below.

 

Members present:  John Andrews, Roni Beal, Brian Cady, Maureen Doyle, Danny Factor, David Gerry, Mike Heichman, Scott Laugenour, Merelice, Wes Nickerson, David Rolde, Gus Steeves, Dru Tarr, Ralph Walton, Greg Williams, Dick Vaillette, Ralph Walton, Tim Wright, Elie Yarden

Among other attendees were:  Nick Dahlberg, Jamie McLaughlin, Siggy Meilus, Francisco White

 

PRELIMINARY BUSINESS - PART 1

 

Facilitators called for order at 9:45 am.

 

Welcome message was provided by Greg Williams, Co-chair, Greater Boston Chapter.

 

Attendees were introduced.

 

Wes Nickerson led attendees in a song.

 

It was determined that 12 members were present which was short of quorum.  

 

ADDRESS BY FRANCISCO WHITE

 

Francisco White, candidate for Boston City Council, addressed the meeting.  Francisco stated that he decided to join the party after listening to videos of Jill Stein during last year's presidential campaign.   He wrote to the Party and received a warm welcome that encouraged him to get more involved.  He registered as GRP and decided to run for an at-large seat on the Boston City Council.  Francisco was endorsed by the Greater Boston Chapter.  He is seeking volunteers to help collect 1500 signatures to get on the ballot.  April 30 is the day of the senatorial primary and a big push for signatures will occur then.  Nick Dahlberg is the campaign's volunteer coordinator. Francisco is accepting donations of up to $250 per person.  People are encouraged to visit Francisco's campaign website (http://franciscolwhite.com/) , make a donation, and volunteer.

 

PRELIMINARY BUSINESS - PART 2

 

14 members were determined to be present which was determined to meet quorum requirements. (Note: Additional members arrived later.)

 

Roles and responsibilities were assigned as follows:   Facilitators:  Roni Beal and David Gerry; Notes taker- John Andrews;  Time keeper - Tim Wright; Stacker - Wes Nickerson; Parliamentarian:  Mike Heichman then Merelice;  Vibes watcher - Scott Laugenour.

 

Greg Williams was appointed as alternate StateCom representative from Suffolk County.

 

Agenda was revised to move break-out meetings to end.

 

Minutes of the January 19 Winter StateCom meeting were adopted by consensus.

 

By consensus it was decided that the next StateCom meeting will be on July 13 in the Worcester area.  Dru Tarr volunteered and was appointed to serve as male co-facilitator.  Later, Maureen Doyle volunteered and was appointed to serve as female co-facilitator, with Gus Steeves assisting. 

 

RANKING OF PROPOSALS

 

It was determined that a proposal submitted by Peter White did not have the required sponsorship and therefore could not be considered.  Because only two proposals remained, StateCom agreed by consensus to skip the ranking process and agree to consider both proposals in a single round, taking up the bylaws proposal first.  The vote on this measure was 13 aye, 1 nay,  0 abstain.

 

REPORT ON HIRING

John Andrews reported on the hiring process for the GRP Administrator.  A Search Committee was appointed by AdCom consisting of the two co-chairs, the Secretary, and the Treasurer.   A job description was written.  Six applications were received and reviewed.  Four applicants were interviewed by telephone.  The position was offered to Sigute "Siggy" Meilus who accepted.   Siggy was introduced to AdCom and said a few words.   As requested, John will send a copy of the employment contract to StateCom.

 

LIST OF CHAPTERS

The Secretary has been attempting to assemble a current list of all local chapters that have been certified and to determine whether they are active at the current time.   Mike Heichman noted that Membership has a list of chapters that they consider to be active or in process of forming, however this list was not complete, so it will be merged into the Secretary's list.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

Brief reports were made as follows:

Communications Committee - Wes Nickerson: Press releases have been sent out.  Media database needs to be improved.

Membership Committee - Mike Heichman: Brian Cady is pursuing acquisition of updated state voter records. [See written report in Attachment 1]

Convention Committee - Richard Vaillette: Date for convention is November 9.  Committee will become more active in next few months.

Technical Committee - David Gerry: Nationbuilder databases being worked on.

Candidate Development and Legal Committee - Scott Laugenour: Scott presented the tally of GRP candidates as determined by CDLC.   There are 24 candidates being followed (some  unlikely candidates were pruned since last meeting).  There are 6 active members on CDLC.  A liaison is appointed for each person on the candidate list.   Two GRP candidates were elected to Amherst town meeting, Marcus Chiaretto and Patrick Sadion.  Level 2 status has been conferred on Francisco White and we have received an application for endorsement that will be brought to the next StateCom meeting.  Merelice is running uncontested for Brookline town meeting - election is April 30.

AdCom - John Andrews:  AdCom has focused on hiring,  credit card transition, press releases, preparing for StateCom meeting,  and responding to FEC inquiries.

Platform - Brian Cady and Danny Factor:   Platform is examining the Patrick budgets.  Looking at process for amending the platform.  Platform seeks inputs from the party regarding topics that Platform should be addressing.  Elie urged people to participate in discussions on platform issues.

 

LUNCH

Meeting went into recess for lunch from 12:00pm to 1:15pm.

 

CHAPTER REPORTS

 

Assabet River - Danny Factor:  Assabet River Chapter is in process of forming.  Discussing bans of bottled water in local towns.  Have monthly business meetings and separate "action meeting".

Greater Boston Chapter - Greg Williams:  Have separate business and action meetings.  Looked at Boston jobs policy, land use, and green politics.  Participation is growing.  GBC endorsed Francisco White for Boston City Council and Merelice for Brookline Town Meeting.  Also endorsed Seamus Whelan who is a Socialist Alternative candidate for City Council at large.   The chapter's main priority right now is to support Francisco White's campaign. [See written report in Attachment 2]

Nashua River Greens - Dick Vaillette:  Monthly meetings with 6-8 people.  Will be giving out awards to honor activists.  David Spanagel  is running unopposed for town moderator.

Quinebaug Valley Greens - Gus Steeves:  In process of organizing.  Supporting one candidate.  Trying to recruit members.  Supporting a buy local campaign and reforming farming (chicken) bylaws. 

Berkshires - Scott Laugenour and Tim Wright:  No meetings held recently.  People are still communicating.  Local media is covering GRP.  The Lennox town committee is operating in the area.  They sponsor a Green Drinks meeting monthly.  The town committee is supporting a "Repair Cafe" which is a "fix it free" event.

No one was present to report on any other chapters.

 

URGENT BUSINESS

 

The following people were confirmed by consensus as Administrative Committee members from their respective chapters:  Brian Cady from Greater Boston  Chaper and Owen Broadhurst from Pioneer Valley Chapter.

 

David Rolde asked if StateCom wanted to nominate Francisco White at this meeting.  David said that the policy of deferring endorsements until after ballot closes does not apply to municipal elections since candidates do not run under a party designation.   Scott agreed that the deferment policy can be ignored if State Committee wishes.  A discussion ensued on whether the agenda should be modified to consider an endorsement vote at this time.  John proposed that the question be addressed in two steps: First, determine if an endorsement should be considered at this meeting.  Then, if the answer was "yes", vote on the endorsement.

 

Motion:  To take up the endorsement of Francisco White at this meeting.  This was an agenda question requiring a majority vote.

Vote: 12 aye, 3 nays, 1 abstention

The motion was passed.

 

Motion: StateCom endorses Francisco White for Boston City Council .  An initial vote was 8 aye, 6 nay, 1 abstain.  Because of lack of clarity regarding the nature of the vote, a second vote was taken.

Vote: 10 aye 7 nay, 0 abstain.

Because a 2/3 majority is required for endorsement, the measure failed.

It was noted that a majority of StateCom supported the endorsement, and some members who voted "nay" said that they actually supported Francisco and would switch their vote to "aye" if Francisco gets on the ballot and the endorsement motion is reintroduced after the last day for submitting nomination signatures.

 

PROPOSAL: BYLAW CHANGES REGARDING CHAPTERS/CAUCUSES

 

John described the proposal to revise Section 7 of the bylaws.  This proposal was introduced at the last StateCom meeting and was withdrawn to allow more time for comments.  John said that a few additional comments had been received, and the proposal had been slightly modified.  John noted that the current bylaws are incomplete, contradictory, and make it very difficult to keep track of how many chapters the party has and which are active.  The bylaws allow a confusing mix of legal forms to declare themselves to be chapters, without any required coordination with the state party or other chapters.  There is no process for deliberation on chapter boundaries or resolution of questions or conflicts between different entities.   There is no way to deactivate chapters that are no longer active.

 

A number of suggestions and concerns were expressed by Merelice.    Merelice noted that the guide to establishing local chapters must be revised if the bylaws were changed (John agreed, noting that the guide could be much clearer with the new bylaws.).  Merelice suggested that caucuses be placed in a separate section in the bylaws.  (John agreed that this could be done but suggested simply striking mention of caucuses from current section 7. ) Merelice said we might want to create "umbrella chapters".  (John said that nothing in the revision prevented this, but currently there is no provision for the Party to consider and approve an umbrella chapter concept.) . 

 

David Rolde was concerned with the way in which the bylaws defines chapter members as GRP members within the local's boundaries.  He stated that members should just be determined by who comes to meetings.  [Note: Both current and proposed bylaws consider GRP members living within chapter boundaries to be members of the local chapter.]

 

Gus Steeves wanted to see more about how to properly define a "geopolitical region" for a local.  [Note: Neither  current or proposed bylaws has explicit guidance regarding how to draw chapter boundaries.]

 

Elie Yarden said that the idea of geopolitically defined locals is ecologically unsound.  He also cited an ideological objection to the idea of caucuses.

 

The facilitators called for consensus and determined that concerns existed.

 

An attempt to solicit amendments to address concerns failed, with a general discussion ensuing of ideas for changes, some of which were fundamental changes to the current chapter structure that went far beyond the revisions in the proposal under discussion.

 

Noting that the discussion was not converging,  Danny Factor proposed that StateCom table the discussion and appoint a working group to rework the proposal and bring a modified proposal to the next StateCom meeting.  The following persons were designated members of the working group: Danny Factor, , David Gerry, Merelice, Greg William, DruTarr, and Elie Yarden.  This motion was adopted by consensus.

 

PROPOSAL:  ENDORSEMENT/NOMINATION PROCESS

 

Given the lack of time and the fact that a discussion of the endorsement process had already occurred,  the facilitator's asked the floor manager for this proposal, Mike Heichman, if he would be willing to see this proposal be set aside so that the action item proposal item could be addressed.  Mike said he would accept this suggestion.

 

NEAR TERM ACTION PROPOSALS

 

The discussion of near-term action proposals was approved by the Winter StateCom meeting when it approved a proposal by Mike Heichman.   John Andrews worked with Mike to follow through on the proposal.  John explained that a form for submitting near-term action proposals was written and distributed.  A total of 12 proposals were submitted and compiled into a single file that was distributed to StateCom.  An assessment ballot was developed that allows StateCom members to express their opinions on the value of the proposals and their readiness for implementation. 

 

Each StateCom member was given an assessment ballot.  The author(s) of each proposal was then given 2 minutes to describe the proposal, followed by two minutes for comments or questions.   Then StateCom members completed their ballots and turned them in.  John will compile the ballots in the next week and send a report to StateCom.  It is expected that working committees will take note of proposals that are highly regarded by StateCom and consider whether they can pursue them within their charter and scope.  Some proposals may become the basis for formal proposals submitted for StateCom approval at the next meeting.   It is anticipated that at the next meeting there will be a discussion of the results of this exercise and whether it should be repeated in some form.

 

Due to lack of time the break-out meetings for working groups were not held.

 

Meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:00 pm.

 

= = = = =

ATTACHMENT 1

Membership, Diversity & Volunteer Recruitment Comm.

Draft Report to 4/21/13 StateCom Meeting

 

The Committee has a regular phone conference on the first Tuesday of the month from 7-9 PM. Please join us.

 

Every Meeting we...

 

1.Hear reports from local chapters (We request that every local chapter send us at least one member.)

2.Hear reports/requests from Adcom and Working Committees

3.Attempt to keep track of our membership materials (T-Shirts, buttons, and brochures) and make recommendations to Adcom for more materials.

 

 

I. 2/05 Meeting-8 present

 

A.             Working with GRP Secretary, Frank Jackson, we are compiling a list of all local chapters. Beginning list: (Note to StateCom: Let us know if there are any that we need to add.)

 

a.                               Greater Boston Chapter

b.                               Berkshires

c.                                Nashua River

d.                               Pioneer Valley

e.                               Assabet River Valley

f.                                Maureen Doyle and Gus Stevens are organizing in South Worcester County.

 

A.             Approved a letter to Adcom requesting $250 to support local organizing activities by local chapters.

 

II. 3/04 Meeting-5 present

 

A.             Adcom requests assistance in creating new regions for the election of future StateCom members from state senatorial districts. We will ask for feedback from local chapters. (Note: We will work with CDLC and come up with a proposal for the Fall StateCom meeting.)

B.             Discussed a proposal from Mike Heichman for the 4/21 StateCom meeting to work together with ComCom and Platform Comm on a “Comparison Leaflet” (comparing how the Democrats, Republicans, and GRP) stand on important statewide issues. Favorable comments for this proposal

 

III. 4/02 Meeting-11 present

 

A.             Authorized $40 to the PV Chapter for literature for outreach events

B.             4 guests made a presentation for the strategic discussion by StateCom on 4/21: for the party to create Flags for outreach events. Favorable comments for this proposal

C.            Sent Adcom a proposal to order more GRP materials

 

= = = = =

ATTACHMENT 2

 

GREATER BOSTON CHAPTER OF THE GRP

Report to StateCom

 

Mike Heichman, GBC Secretary

4/21/13

 

4.Action Meeting on 2/12-16 present-Topic: The Boston Jobs Policy and its Implementation-No followup on this issue

 

B.  Business Meeting on 2/26-10 present

 

g.  Initial discussion of the 2013 goals for our chapter (have not followed up on this discussion)

h.  Chapter endorsed Francisco White’s Campaign for Boston City Council At Large and requested support from the state party. (Note: Most of the core members of Francisco’s campaign committee are members of our chapter and others have made important contributions to his campaign.)

i.    Chapter endorsed Merelice’s Campaign for Re-Election to the Brookline Town Committee.

j.    Elected Brian Cady to represent our chapter at Adcom meetings

 

III. Action Meeting on 3/12-13 present

 

B.  Seamus Whelan, member of Socialist Alternative, made a brief presentation and asked for the endorsement of our chapter for his candidacy for Boston City Council At Large

C.Terra Friedrichs made a presentation, “How Land Use Law Relates to Social Injustice”.

D.Elie Yarden made a presentation on “Green Politics”.

 

IV. Business Meeting on 3/26

 

D.  GBC endorsed Seamus Whelan’s Campaign for Boston City Council At Large. The chapter made it clear that its initial priority was to focus on getting Francisco on the ballot. (Note: The relationship between the 2 candidates and the 2 organizations-GRP and Socialist Alternative-has not yet been defined.)

 

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commented 2014-01-11 07:43:21 -0500 · Flag
These minutes were amended at the October 2013 State Committee meeting. The amendments have not as of this date been incorporated into this document.
commented 2013-10-19 18:54:44 -0400 · Flag
re: Ranking of Proposals
The minutes are incorrect and contradictory when they read that the motion to dispense with a consensus was arrived at by the taking of a vote. Votes are only taken when there is no consensus and those with concerns do not stand aside. The minutes should read instead:

“The motion to dispense with ranking went to a vote when David Rolde expressed concerns and would not stand aside. The resulting vote was 13-1-0 [we are omitting in the minutes how each representative voted], so the motion passed.”
commented 2013-10-19 17:33:58 -0400 · Flag
In the eyes of the Commonwealth, Scott is the only “elected” member of the State Committee. All the rest of us are “appointed.” (I am responding to Scott’s proposed correction that Greg was elected, not appointed. Actually, he was appointed, so the minutes are correct.)
commented 2013-07-31 19:35:52 -0400 · Flag
Here are three of corrections that I wish to be recorded in the minutes:

1. re: Preliminary Business, Part II. Greg Williams was ELECTED not APPOINTED to serve as Suffolk County alternate representative.

2. Re: Ranking of Proposals. A concern was expressed by David Rolde (Suffolk). The 13-1-0 vote was taken because David did not stand aside to allow consensus, which triggered the vote. I believe that minutes should record such votes as a roll-call so that GRP members who are interested in knowing how their representatives vote can find out simply by looking at the minutes.

3. Re: Urgent business/Francisco White. Replace with this text:
David Rolde asked that the endorsement of Francisco White be taken up as urgent business. The facilitators used a straw poll to help them decide whether this should be taken up as an added agenda item. They decided to put David’s proposal before State Committee as urgent business. Scott Laugenour (Berkshire Hampshire Franklin and Hampden) expressed concerns about the proposal – citing the current policy of State Committee not to make endorsements or nominations prior to the filing dead and citing Francisco White’s own application for the endorsement to be considered in July. Scott would not stand aside, which triggered a vote which resulted in a 10-7-0 vote [the minutes should reflect how each voting representative voted]. The yes votes did not reach the 2/3 majority needed, so the motion failed.