Title: GRP Strategic Growth Plan 2012
Sponsors: Darlene Baisley, Patrick Burke, Elie Yarden
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
To be vetted by: Membership & Diversity Committee, ComCom
At the State Committee meeting on October 22, 2011, a Strategic Planning Working Group was created to collaborate, deliberate, and generate preliminary findings. Here is a summary of what that proposal did:
1) It encouraged us to review our history, present situation, and future possibilities
2) It included drafting specific goals within specific timelines
3) It forced us to think long term and better prepare for the 2012 State House elections
4) It helped us identify tasks, roles, and clarify responsibilities
5) It identified the pieces that will help us to improve fundraising and promotion of the party
The following requests were made of those willing to join this working group:
1) Commit to giving at least five hours per week for one month.
2) Complete a preliminary finding by 11/23/11.
3) Review strategic planning materials and familiarize oneself with the subject of strategic planning.
4) Identify GRP problems, weaknesses, strengths, opportunities, and threats.
5) Suggest improvements in how we organize and communicate and move forward.
6) Propose specific goals by certain timelines in regard to volunteers activated, new voter registrations, fundraising, new chapters, recruitment of GRP candidates, communication campaigns/publicity, etc.
7) Draft Action Items that the State Committee could consider as important next steps.
8) Provide a framework for continuing and improving this process to develop a long term Strategic Plan if the working group finds merit in this exercise. If the working group finds there is not sufficient merit for continuing this process, an explanation will be forwarded addressing the reasons for that conclusion. In either event, the project members commit to completing the process to this point by 11/23/11.
9)Members of the State Committee, in supporting this proposal, agree to read and consider the preliminary finding and make an individual effort to address the contents of such a report within two weeks of it's release.
The Strategic Planning Working Group has completed the above tasks and goals. Specifically, it has generated Action Items as suggested priority next steps for the State Committee and the GRP. This current proposal for the January, 2012 StateCom meeting requests the State Committee to formally adopt the preliminary findings and suggested next steps.
It is proposed that the State Committee formally endorse the preliminary findings and Action Items presented. The Strategic Planning Findings include goals for 2012. While we may or may not achieve all of these goals, setting some goals is an important component to measuring success and achieving the purposes of the GRP. The findings provide a framework for continuing and improving this process to develop a long term Strategic Plan. Endorsement of support for the preliminary findings does not indicate complete consensus. However, this current proposal requests general support for the spirit of this document and the additional documents presented, as well as encouragement of continued deliberation and discussion regarding the current content and future additional materials. Lastly, this proposal specifically requests that the State Committee accept the Action Items below as priority next steps for the GRP.
Those Action Items are the following:
A) Adopt a Strategic Plan with specific goals that are measurable within a timeline--ONGOING
B) Prioritize data management with system and volunteers in place--COMPLETED
C) Incorporate best practices regarding internal communication in regard to: 1) online 2) meetings 3) conference calls 4) person to person--NEXT PRIORITY STEP
D) Implement self evaluation procedures wherever possible--NEXT PRIORITY STEP
E) Strengthen organizational structure that includes clear roles and responsibilities. Write a Membership Manual for volunteers, leaders, and various positions.--NEXT PRIORITY STEP
F) Begin recruiting 40 women and 40 men elected to the State Committee who serve with competence and commitment to the party and the ten key values.--ONGOING
G) Build teams, but prioritize a Communications Team that is effective, innovative, and creative, with 2/15/12 Suggested Deadline: Recruit Volunteers for Communications Team, One Volunteer Coordinator-15+ Members)
H) Develop stronger GRP candidate standards and begin strategically recruiting by mid February the best candidates possible for StateHouse elections
2/14/12 nomination papers open;
5/1/12 nomination Signatures papers due
Budget Impact: None, or positive
A list of tasks based on each Action Item will be generated and acted upon by StateCom and AdCom as well as any other pertinent committee.
Dear Members of the State Comm:
Reactions to the Strategy Proposal from Mike Heichman
I believe that the process of creating a strategic plan is an essential element if we are serious about growing our party in 2012. I want to thank the members of the Strategic Planning group for sharing with us their preliminary plan and thank Elie, Darlene and Pat for coming up with a proposal for our consideration at our upcoming State Comm meetings. (Note: While the proposal has been vetted and properly submitted on the homepage, they have neglected to send it to the State Comm-discuss list for our discussion. I hope that they will do this soon.)
I have some questions and concerns.
1. There has been very little discussion by the State Comm to the preliminary document. According to the document that the State Comm approved at our October, 2011 State Comm. meeting: â9) Members of the State Committee, in supporting this proposal, agree to read and consider the preliminary finding and make an individual effort to address the contents of such a report within two weeks of it’s release.â
Despite the fact that this preliminary proposal was sent out on 12/15 and brought to the annual convention in December, there has been very little discussion that has take place by State Comm.
Recommendation #1: The Strategy Comm should ASAP send out their preliminary findings to the State Comm again and repeat their request for discussion.
2. One of the key values of our party is decentralization. As I have written previously, ever member of the Strategy Committee is a member of the State Committee. While it is true that some (maybe all) of the members of the chapter and some are members of some of the Working Committees, there was, to the best of my knowledge, no attempt to invite anyone not part of the leadership of our state party into this process. Further, to the best of my knowledge, to the best of my knowledge, the preliminary report has not been sent out to local chapters, working committees or any other GRP e-mail list. Except for the State Comm and those who attended the annual convention, this is a top-down process, which is a violation of our value of decentralization. It is also counter productive. If we are serious about coming up with an ambitious proposal for growth, it is essential that we get buy-in from more of our members.
Recommendation #2: The preliminary findings should be sent out ASAP to the local chapters, working committees and the GRP-discuss list. There should be a request for feedback and a place to send the feedback by a certain dateâI suggest no later than 1/15.
3. I agree that having goals are important. However, the goals need to be realistic and grounded in the context of the current reality for which we live. Examples include:
a. We are a very small group of committed activists. At least 2 of our major leaders are going to be very busy running for President of the US (Jill and John). In December, we elected 2 co-chairs (who have only been on Adcom for a brief time). We have a new Membership and Diversity and ComCom Director and they need to get their committees to meet and move. We did not elect a Secretary or a Fundraising Director. (How can we expect to raise a $1 Million without a Fundraising Director and active Fundraising Comm.?)
b. We do not have a compelling political program. In 2011, we voted to establish 5 statewide initiatives. Most of them never got off the ground and the other two are dormant. At this date, we have one of our members who is running for State Rep, one running for President and at least one who will run for re-election for municipal office. Our party wants to run winnable campaigns. It is getting late to run a serious campaign.
This may seem to be negative. I donât think so. I believe that it is essential to have goals that are attainable. If not, we will be lying to ourselves, our members and future members. Growing our party out of hot air is not a strategy; it is sabotage.
4. Specific responses to the Proposal (I do not believe that it is my place to send it out to the State Comm or to the other lists.)
a. This proposal asks the State Comm. to adopt a document that I believe is unfinished. Evidence for this belief:
i. It is called âPreliminary Findingsâ.
ii. These findings have not yet adequately been vetted (See above.)
iii. Does the Strategy Comm. have a plan to compile the feedback, which will take place and come up with a âRevised Planâ? I do not see any evidence that this is the case.
Why should the State Comm approve a process that is unfinished?
b. This proposal asks State Comm to approve goals that are not listed in the proposal. While I agree with them that âsetting some goals is an important component to measuring success and achieving the purposes of the GRP.â, I believe that accepting unrealistic and unattainable goals in too short period of time would be damaging for our party.
A few examples from their preliminary findings:
a. âElect more than 50% of the State Senate and State House of Representatives by 2014.â and elect 7 State Senators and 28 State House seats this yearâ: Fantasy!
I am the Acting Co-Chair of the CDLC. As of this date, we have one known candidate for the state legislature. âElect 7 State Senators and 28 State House seats this yearâ is about as realistic as having the goal of electing Jill Stein President of the US.
Ambitious Goal: Recruit 5 of our members to run for the State Legislature in 2012. Improve our capacity to support these campaigns. Needed to implement this support: at least 4 more members join the CDLC in the next 3 months; raise $5,000 ($1,000 for each candidate); increased volunteer coordination within the districts and outside (In the last campaign, some of us traveled from around the state to work for Markâs campaign in the Berkshires.)
b. Register 150,000 members: Fantasy!
This would be a 3,000% increase in membership in one year. Sabotage!
There is a heavily publicized campaign for the US Senate (Elizabeth Warren v. Scott Brown). Because of redistricting, it looks like there will be a few interesting campaigns for Congress (with no member of our party running for Congress), and some competitive races for the state legislature (and very few GRP candidates). We need to see this larger context as a major barrier to any growth.
In my opinion, the major potential campaign that is going on right now that has the potential to recruit more members is the presidential race. There is no opposition to the President within his party. For progressives, the GRP has the potential to be seen as the alternative. I must admit that I have concerns that, despite my pleadings, that Jill will do not do much or any organizing in our state. I know that running for President is a tremendous project. However, as of this date, I am aware of no plans to begin the campaign in our state.
Ambitious Goal: Increase our membership from 5,000 to 6,000. To accomplish this, we will need: Our new Membership Director must work to create a committee and at least 10 members need to join â including at least one contact from each chapter. We will need to develop a compelling program and create literature for outreach. We need sufficient party materials (brochures and buttons) with members across the state willing to wear their buttons and work to recruit new members. If we create this infrastructure, I believe that our party will be in a much stronger position to increase our members in 2013 and beyond.
c. Raise $1 million and $100,000 for legislative campaigns: Fantasy!
I believe that Jill will raise more $ than any other Green Party candidate since Nader in 2000. Some of the reasons why this will be the case are that Jill has a Treasurer, Fundraising Team, spends a lot of her time raises funds, keeps on asking for $ from her ânetworkâ. She has a compelling message and program.
When is the last time that we had a Fundraising Director and Fundraising Committee? I donât remember; I think that it has been years. I know that we are âGreenâ, but I have some bad news, $ doesnât grow on trees. Without a Fundraising Director and Committee and with our best fundraiser running for President, we will not be able to even come up with any realistic and attainable goal.
d. 50 GRP chapters and 1 GRP chapter contact person in every municipality: Fantasy!
This would require an enormous growth of our state party. Letâs first come up with a compelling program and an active Membership and Diversity Committee.
e. Begin recruiting 40 women and 40 men elected to the State Committee who serve with competence and commitment to the party and the ten key values.âONGOING (I believe that the numbers here refer to the number running for a 4-year term. These candidates have already gotten signatures to be on the March 6 Presidential Primary Ballot. I think there is one person who has done this. I agree that we need to increase the size of the State Committee, which will be elected at regional conventions early this spring. Because of the complicated formula and the fact that the by-laws is currently inaccurate, it was impossible for me to even figure out how many State Reps we are currently entitled.
Recommendation: Update the by-laws (I know that Merelice is working on this.). Figure out how to operate the current system. Recruit as many Reps and Alternates that we can at the regional conventions. See where we are and consider coming up with a proposal for this summerâs State Comm meeting.
4. Interesting ideas that I want to hear more
a. Prioritize data management with system and volunteers in placeâCOMPLETED
b. Incorporate best practices regarding internal communication in regard to: 1) online 2) meetings 3) conference calls 4) person to person—NEXT PRIORITY STEP (Who will do this? How will this happen?)
c. Implement self evaluation procedures wherever possible—NEXT PRIORITY STEP: I am in total agreement. This is an important and achievable goal.
d. Strengthen organizational structure that includes clear roles and responsibilities. Write a Membership Manual for volunteers, leaders, and various positions.—NEXT PRIORITY STEP (Totally agree: Who will do this?)