Green-Rainbow Party Fall, 2015 State Committee Meeting
October 17, 2015, Holyoke Rows, Holyoke Massachusetts
Attendance: Present were Ian Jackson, David Gerry,Joanna Herlihy,Merelice, Dan Kontoff,
Danny Factor, Joyce Palmer Fortune, Wes Nickerson, David Spanagel,Daphne
Stevens, Elie Yarden, Brian Cady, Rick Purcell, Roni Beal, Mike Heichman, Darlene
Elias, John Andrews, Angel Ayala and Jed Stamos, a total of 17 Members, 0
Alternates, and 2 Observers.
facilitators: joyce and Wes
Both observers, Angel Ayala and Jed Stamos became State Com members during
this meeting, making a final attendance total of 19 State Com Representatives and
0 Alternates present.
The State Com Representatives that were absent were Maureen Doyle, Siggy
Meilus, Kati Betrovsky and Plinio DeGoes. The alternates who were absent were
Nat Fortune and Gus Steeves.
The meeting commenced at 9:06 a.m.
Determination of Quorum
Danny F. (Party Secretary) determined that State Com has 21 members and 2 Alternates, and that the quorum is 11. Quorum was met with 17 members present.
Choosing of Timekeeper, Vibes, Stacker and Parliamentarian
David S. was chosen as Timekeeper
Daphne S. was chosen as Vibes
Brian C. was chosen as Stacker
Merelice was chosen as Parliamentarian
New State Com Members
Angel Ayala and Jed Stamos were voted in as new State Committee members by a vote of 16-0-1 with David G. abstaining. The vote took place after the responsibilities of State Committee members were explained. Before the vote, each State Committee Candidate had an opportunity to state that they can make this commitment. With this vote the total membership of State Com increased to 23 members and 2 alternates. Quorum increased to 12. This quorum continued to be met with 19 State Com members present.
Proposed Changes to Agenda
Danny proposed changing the order of the Ballot Question item and the Legislative Committee item but Merelice and Mike H. thought it should remain as is. Danny withdrew his suggestion. Elie asked that a matter regarding GPUS delegates be added. Danny asked that a report from Elected Officials be heard. The changes to the agenda were agreed to by consensus.
Date for January State Com Meeting
it was decided by consensus that the Winter, 2016 State Committee meeting will take place on Saturday, January 9th (snow date January 23rd) in Worcester. David S. will inquire about use of the Unitarian Church, Ian J. and Joyce F. volunteered to be facilitators.
The minutes for both the summer, 2015 and the August 9, 2015 State Com teleconference were accepted by consensus.
Diversity Rep & Chapter Reps to AdCom.
There were no candidates put forward for Diversity Rep. or Chapter Rep.
Danny F. raised the issue of whether Kati Betrovsky should be dismissed as Diversity Rep. from AdCom because she had missed most AdCom teleconferences. There was a brief discussion about the role of the diversity representatives. Merelice stated that according to the bylaws, Kati B. automatically loses her seat on AdCom after she has missed three meetings in a row, hence no action needs to be taken.
Appointment Members to GPUS Committee
David Gerry was appointed by consensus to the GPUS Bylaws, Rules, Policies & Procedures Committee.
Elie Yarden was reappointed by consensus to the GPUS Platform Committee
State Com Listserve Administrator
It was agreed by consensus that AdCom can within its responsibilities chose a listserve administrator, provided that the administrator is a member of State Com.
The co-chairs did not have a report. As a result, AdCom's report consisted of a Secretary and Treasurer’s report.
Danny F. gave a Secretary’s report stating that most of his responsibilities have consisted of communicating with the Secretary of State’s Office about procedures and deadlines regarding the 2016 Primary and General Election. He has also fielded phone calls and emails to the party, referring members to the appropriate party individuals. He has delegated the responsibility of note-taking at AdCom meetings to Roni B. who he thanked.
Ian J. submitted the following Treasurer’s Report, which is as of 10/12/2015:.
Federal Starting Balance 1/1/2015 2948.14
Fund Raising PayPal Fees $94.20
Nation Builder $800
Bank Fee $18.00
State Committee $45.00
Federal Ending Balance 10/05/2015 967.87
State Starting Balance 1/1/2015 $772.34
Bank Fees $40.50
Office Paper $150.54
Fund Raising 3.15
State Ending Balance 10/12/2015 $2743.58
Ian J. commented that it would be advisable to ask people to donate while informing them about our primary, targeting people who have voted in our primary. Dan K. stated that we should remind people that there is not a risk of losing Massachusetts. Brian C. stated that the crowdfunding fundraiser raised $220.00 for Sean Connell, $210.00 for Plinio DeGoes and a similar amount for Darlene Elias. As it cost $1,200.00, it was not successful. John A. stated that Jill Stein recently raised $14,000.00 from Massachusetts residents online with fundraising email, using a Facebook meme and encouraged the GRP to be the same. Danny F. brought up that we need to populate our dormant Fundraising and Finance Committee.
David G. reminded us that we have new districts, and we have to think about organizing these conventions. Merelice stated the importance of GRP members running for State Committee in the March primary. David S. stated that he and Charlene DiCalogari are quite hopeful that they will get enough signatures to be on the ballot. Danny F. was also hopeful about obtaining the signatures to run for State Committee.
Merelice stated that the new GRP districts should be as close as possible to Senatorial districts. Joyce F. reminded State Com members that the districts had been voted on, and that the borders are similar, except there were some changes made where the shapes of the districts were irregular. Merelice said that these irregularities could have been included in our districts. Merelice wants to create a printed list where a GRP member could tell which of our districts corresponds to their State Senatorial district.
It was decided that there would be five regional conventions:
1. West- Angel A., Joyce F., Darlene E. and Rick Purcell would coordinate.
2. Central- Roni B. and Charlene DiCalogari will coordinate
3. Metro West & Northeast Danny F., Barbara Clancy and Andy Friedman will coordinate. They will also check with Dru Tarr.
4. Metro South. Jed S. will coordinate and touch base with Siggy Meilus and Sean Connell.
5. First and 2nd Boston—Brian C. and Merelice will coordinate.
Merelice describes these changes to our bylaws as addressing “no-brainer” changes, many of which we are already doing now. For example, the convention does not in reality create its own agenda. The proposal addresses how we act if the primary date changes. It allows us to remove someone from the State Committee who leaves the state. It changes what qualifies as an emergency, and allows reinstatement a member if they miss three meetings and then attend the next meeting. David S. asked to amend the proposal by adding language making it clear that State Com members can be reinstated at the “fourth meeting. “ Wes N. asked to amend the proposal to replace “2008” with “in any year.” Part 5.3 was deleted because we already have a voting fallback process. The proposal was adopted by consensus with the amendments proposed by David S. and Wes N. .
Canvassing for Darlene Elias for City Council Campaign
Darlene E. prepared the State Committee for canvassing on behalf of her candidacy, speaking about how her message was one of being accessible to the people, transparent, honest, servicing the people and also “pushing our values.” Most State Com Members then proceeded to canvass in Holyoke.
Presidential Campaign Working Group ECWG
David S. stated that the PCWG is in the process of vetting presidential candidates for the purposes of which Green Party candidates will take part in the March 1, 2016 GRP Primary. Depending on how you count them, there are between 8 and 12 names, and maybe more. PCWG will have final recommended list by early December. Determining what is a serious candidate includes verifying that they have filed with the FEC, and that they have obtained the number of signatures to be registered with the GPUS. Danny F. stated that the Secretary of State Elections Division has given him a template of a letter which is to be used to inform the Elections Division of the names of the candidates by December 31, 2015. David S. stated that PCWG will provide a list of recommended candidates for AdCom to approve by December 10th. Mike H. states that it is important to strictly follow the rules as far as determining who is a serious candidate.
Danny described how GRP passed a proposal to have a legislative committee, but despite attempts, the party has not formed the committee. State Com members contributed ideas to grow the party and take stances on current issues.
Jed S. suggested an outdoor park event with families, music, activities and media coverage. Also focus on ballot initiatives are the pulse of politics. Most important is education. Black Lives Matter is the name of a movement but we may want to call it police accountability. Get money out of politics. Co-op power.
Angel A. suggested educational videos be put on our website about legislative process.
Wes N. said that this should be done at the committee level by the Legislative and Platform Committees.
Merelice gave MAAPL as an example of a group that has filed and advocated for multiple pieces of legislation to keep people in their homes. Merelice said that we can seriously make a difference, but she cannot be the sole liaison. We need a group following this. Also City Life is involved in eviction blockades. The issue can appeal to both activism and legislation. If we want people to support us, we need to support them. We have limited people power, but we could help collect signatures for a ballot question after we see what is on the ballot.
Rick P.—We should advocate for a $15 minimum wage, legalization of marijuana, 100% renewable energy and cooperatives.
Elie Y.—We should advocate for a $15 minimum wage, but not incrementally, but rather, now.
Danny F.—We should advocate to end poverty, 100% Green, safe, Renewable energy by 2030,
We should call for racial justice reform and to get the money out of politics.
Darlene E.—We are putting the cart before the horse. We are spread out thin. Focus needs to be on recruiting from the local level. Agrees with Jed about having an event. Have a common day that Greens get together to work on local issue. Training about the legislative process is important. We need to focus on issues. Black Lives Matter is about fighting systemic issues. We need to focus on police brutality, affordable housing, and fair taxes.
Mike H.—Likes different people on different issues. He will work on Public Education
John A.— Supports focusing on student debt and defending Public Schools. Thinks we have good issues but could use a women’s strategy. Would like us to advocate for something controversial.
adcom will follow up on this matter. (add chart or Ian's notes or both)
Ballot Question Proposal
Mike H. introduced the proposal which seeks the GRP to take stances on 2016 Ballot Questions. Dan K. stated that the GRP should vote on Ballot Questions where other groups have asked the GRP to take a stance. Jed thought that this was a great proposal. Darlene E. stated that she applauded Mike because we need to take a stand. Joyce suggested that we focus on the time constraints since it might not be possible in the time allotted to talk about specific ballot questions.
After further discussion, including mention that Bill Ashley and Jed S. are interested in re-starting the now dormant GRP Platform Committee, Mike H. withdrew the proposal. Instead, it was agreed to by consensus that the Platform Committee would be charged by State Com to evaluate the 2016 Ballot Questions and to make recommendations as far as what stances the GRP should take, in time for the January, 2016 State Com meeting.
The Membership Committee attempted a crowdfunding campaign, printed more flyers, and created a Spanish language flyer. Inventories are generally good except for Spanish language flyers.
CDLC had a subcommittee revise a candidate recruitment manual.
Communications did not give a report.
Convention Committee continues to look for locations in Boston for the convention. Mike is concerned about accessibility to T. Dan K said it has underground parking. Dan K. thinks we
should consider Old South Church. Merelice suggested the Lewis Center. Ian expressed concerns about the cost of a Boston convention. Joyce says we have to try once. Joyce F., Dan K. and Danny F. thought we need to be open to earlier dates. SEIU and Roxbury Tenants of Harvard were also suggested as locations. We decided that there would be a fallback plan using David S.’s church in Worcester.
Fundraising did not give a report due to the fact that the committee is inactive, Chris Dreher having resigned. There was agreement that a fundraiser should be mailed out at the beginning of 2016.
In regard to the Platform Committee, Mike H. will assist Jed S. and Bill Ashley.
In regard to GPUS committees, it was reported that there is now a Latin Caucus. The move to Nation Builder has created problems with communications for the GPUS. The GPUS Platform committee is in relatively good shape and is asking for the responsibility of writing part of the GPUS platform. Elie Y. expressed concern about members of our delegation being absent. It was agreed that he will discuss the matter with AdCom.
Chapter and Elected Official Reports
Nashua River Chapter continues to have higher attendance. They had 17 people attend their awards dinner and attendance at the last few meetings have ranged from 6 to 10.
Pioneer Valley Chapter members continue to work on the Darlene Elias Campaign.
Greater Boston Chapter is trying to create visibility for candidate Plinio DeGoes. He is struggling with running a campaign, holding down a job and being a new dad. There is an eco-crisis group that has formed about saving greenspace in the Mystic Valley watershed. Merelice, as elected Town Meeting member in Brookline is active, sponsoring a warrant article to have town employees reflect the diversity of the people that we serve. She feels that this can be done in more towns.
Assabet River Valley Chapter remains stable and is looking forward to having an Acton Town Committee and the possibility of Danny F. running for State Rep in 2016. They were active opposing the establishment of an asphalt plant in Westford. Tar Larner, elected GRP member to the Concord has requested that Concord make a special application to house a Middle Eastern refugee.
The South Coast Chapter in-formation had no representatives from the chapter attending. Sean Connell is running for School Committee. Jed S. in Taunton will try to form a ward committee and network with Southcoast and CDLC.
Round Robin Evaluation/Adjournment
The Round robin evaluation of the meeting elicited positive reviews with no concerns stated.
The meeting adjourned at 5:03 p.m..