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

Winter 2015 minutes

Uncorrected Minutes of Statecom Meeting of January 10, 2015



The January 10, 2015 State Committee took place at the Community Economic Development Center, 1285 Acushnet Avenue, New Bedford, MA.


Call to Order:

The Secretary called the meeting to order.

Parliamentarian: David Spanagel

Stacker: Gus Steeves

Timekeeper: Daphne Stevens

Vibes: Mike Heichman



18 members attended the StateCom meeting.

Quorum was met.


Attendance – 18 Members

John Andrews

Roni Beal

Brian Cady

Sean Connell

Maureen Doyle

Danny Factor

Joyce Palmer Fortune

David Gerry

Mie Heichman

Joanna Herlihy

Frank Jackson


Siggy Meilus

Wes Nickerson

Rick Purcell

David Spanagel

Gus Steeves

Daphne Stevens



Ian Jackson


Approval of Agenda:

Agenda approved


Selection of Next Co-Facilitators and StateCom Meeting:

Next statement meeting: Sunday, April 12, 2015

Co-facilitators: Danny Factor and Daphne Stevens

Location: Tent City, Boston





Elect Diversity Members to Adcom:

Current representatives are David Gerry and Dru Tarr. Dru is back in school and busy with academics. Merelice recommended selecting a woman outside the Boston area as representative. Sonya Bykofsky in the Berkshires was mentioned as possible Diversity Representative. David Gerry nominated Maureen Doyle. Maureen declined because of responsibility as Chair of CDLC. David Gerry was reelected as Diversity Representative to AdCom. A decision was made to elect another representative next spring at StateCom meeting.


Vote on David Gerry’s Reelection to AdCom

17: Yes

0: Oppose

0: Abstain


Approval of October 5, 2014 StateCom Minutes:

Minutes were accepted as written.

Mike suggested that AdCom advise Statecom of follow-up items from minutes.

Roni will send a separate list of action items to StateCom.


Co-Chair and AdCom Reports:

There was a discussion about recommending Bill Ashley (Springfield) to GPUS. Bill is registered Green Rainbow. StateCom approved recommending Bill Ashley as a representative to GPUS.


Elect chapter reps to AdCom:

Danny Factor and Barbara Clancy AdCom memberships renewed.


Frank talked about growing GRP and the power to activate enthusiasm to vote green. Every chapter should vote for an Adcom representative. Merelice commented that GRP has a great deal of work regarding transfer of files and learning curve from past AdCom administrations. She noted that banking transition requires immediate attention.


Treasurer report:

Ian reported Spending is under Federal control and that GRP needs more green voters to grow funds.


CDLC Report – David Spanagel

David distributed a report listing Green incumbents in office and candidates considering a run for office. Maureen Doyle, Jonathan Martin and David Spanagel are only members of CDLC. Maureen will be Co-chair this year and this is the first time there has been a female co-chair. CDLC meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month.


Gus suggested contacting potential candidates to help mentor and talk about their experiences running for office. Wes requested bios of incumbents for the website. Merelice recommended transferring files of past campaigns and speeches to CDLC to help future candidates. Danny requested that a message go on StateCom list to adopt a candidate.


Membership: – David Spanagel

Brian Cady, former Chair of Membership is now the Secretary of Membership which is very helpful for David. Membership is made up of five or six people and they need more members to fulfill goals for the year. Membership holds a 1 ½ hour meeting once a month. David reported that Mike Heichman and Elie Yarden very helpful members. David reported that Membership is ready to support campus chapters, but because of limited resources, they cannot choose campuses to start chapters. They can only support chapters that are either starting to form or are already in place on a college campus.




Growing the Green Rainbow Party – Wes Nickerson

Proposal focuses on growing party. Wes noted that in 2016 GRP will likely lose party status because of presidential election. Membership is working with Wes on a proposal to recruit more members. Frank commented that GRP needs to show accomplishments to attract new people. Membership Committee vetted the proposal. David Spanagel invited other StateCom members to participate in Membership teleconference meetings.



Yes: 17

Opposed: 0

Abstain: 0


Proposal passed.


Rapid Response Protocol – Daphne Stevens

This proposal addresses improving GRP visibility and relevance concerning current events by exercising discretion. The main purpose is to become leaner and meaner and ready for expediting endorsements, participating and promoting important, urgent events as they arise.


Article 9.10 amendment – inserted into proposal

Joanna commented on punctuality delegation. Gus recommended that AdCom be responsible for approval and ratification, especially when funds are involved. John recommended that Co-chairs report to AdCom regarding expenditures. Merelice noted that AdCom must notify members in advance of changes in bylaws. Comments were made to correct punctuation and grammatical errors in the proposal.

(See written changes from co-chairs).


Recommended amendment changes:

Under “Duties of the co-chairs shall be to:

Change item 6: Add the word “expediting” before “endorsing, participating in, and promote important, urgent events…

Change item 7 to: Delegate responsibilities as necessary for the sake of punctuality.

Under “The full text of Article 9.10 as amended would read:

Add to last sentence after “co-chairs and treasurer agree, provided such expenditures are ratified at next AdCom meeting.”



Yes: 18

Opposed: 0

Abstain: 1 Sean newly arrived at meeting





Third amendment – ratifying


Yes: 17

Opposed: 0

Abstain: 2 – David Gerry and Sean Connell


Vote on bylaw changes – 9.10

Amendment as proposed


Yes: 16

Opposed: 0

Abstain: 1


Amendment 9:11


Yes: 16

Opposed: 0

Abstain: 1


AdCom Chapter Alternates - David Gerry

This proposal will change the current text of section 9.21 of the bylaws to allow flexibility for chapter members to vote at an AdCom meeting if a regular member is unable to vote. The proposal allows AdCom to actively seek an alternate.

David Spanagel asked that the word “presents” be changed to “presence”.

A few spelling corrections were made to the proposal.


Bylaw change:


Yes: 17

Opposed: 0

Abstain: 0


Formation of an Action Committee – Frank Jackson

An Action Committee will work specifically to achieve goals of the Party.


Merelice voiced concern that proposal should reflect more Community Uplift Initiative (CUI). Intent is implied in proposal, but it does not identify particular communities which need more specificity. Frank responded, that he wanted the proposal to be broad, but is willing to focus on CUI. David Spanagel, expressed concern about limited amount of people available to serve on another GRP committee. Mike stated that GRP needs to stand for something to attract people to the Party. The deadline to file legislation is Jan 16 and there needs to be legislation for validity. Sean likes the broad view because it allows people to choose to serve on committees they like. Merelice noted that the proposal should attract new people and not burden current members. Build on momentum of campaign energy with people who care about the same issues. Filing CUI legislation to obtain state funds and selecting a community where people participate in the process of passing legislation are important. Wes wanted to know if a committee could be created including non-GRP members. David Spanagel suggested giving the proposal a focus to abolish poverty. John recommended a good structure for launching a campaign and the Action Committee could help with this function. John proposed changing Committee to Group. Merelice stated that working groups generally have one task, whereas a committee has multiple tasks. No committee focused on climate change. External Action Committees could address climate change and become part of the Action Committee.

Mike commented that if the proposal passes, StateCom should recruit members today. Greater Boston chapter meeting takes place on Monday and this proposal will be presented at the meeting. Mike hopes to recruit people to get involved. Danny likes the name Action Working Committee. Merelice suggested that local chapters could work on some issues in proposal. Danny does not see the proposal as umbrella for all goals. John recommended that StateCom be practical about what issues are worked on. There was further discussion and editing suggestions.


The following changes were made to the proposal:

First paragraph: An implementation Working Committee will be formed with the purpose to strategize, and organize to achieve defined goals in different campaigns. The existing “abolish poverty”, are “External Relations” Committee.


Limitations: Actions the working Action Committee is involved in will be in accordance with the members understanding of the 10 key values.


Structure: The Action Working Committee will address holistically interconnected issue such as abolishing poverty, environmental justice and the Party Community Uplift Initiative. Membership to the Action Working Committee will be open to any Green-Rainbow Party member interested in implementing elements of the Green-Rainbow platform or agenda in communities in Massachusetts. Non-voting participants (non-GRP members) will be invited and welcomed. An effort will be made to populate this committee with people not currently active in the Party. The Action Working Committee is empowered to form subcommittees as necessary for the purposes of implementing parts of the Party platform.


Lunch Break: 12:15 pm


Meeting reconvened at 1:10 pm


First change, Action Working Committee

Proposed amendment subsume abolished poverty and external relations committee


16: Yes

0: Oppose

1: Abstain

Second amendment: “The existing abolished environmental justice and the Party’s CUI”


16: Yes

0: Oppose

1: Abstain


Third amendment: Non-voting participants welcome

John has a concern – be explicit re non-GRP members cannot vote

16: Yes

0: Oppose

1: Abstain


David Gerry voiced concern about Proposal as an entity because this is a State committee project. David stands aside on vote. Danny stated that Statecom will provide guidance to Action Working Committee.


Proposal passed.


Legislative Working Committee Proposal – Merelice

This proposal is to identify issue in which the Party may develop legislation such as Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL); an avenue for members who prefer not to attend meetings can participate and get the Party name in the forefront.


Mike commented that this proposal could be an excellent vehicle to involve members in small ways in the Party. Frank added that committee communication can use email rather than meetings. Sean approves of proposal as written. Merelice commented that this committee would benefit from Platform expertise. This is an opportunity to attract people who want to help, i.e., mailing projects, but not be involved in committee meetings. Danny recommends interaction with AdCom and Platform committees. The overall sentiment expressed was that a Legislative Working Committee is a good way to involve non-GRP volunteers. John commented that other groups that GRP may want to include, and that have helped pass legislation, may possibly cause issue, especially if running a candidate opposing another group. Mike has an issue with GRP working with Democrats. Merelice, clarified that StateCom is voting on proposal text only and that StateCom has power to delegate tasks to non-GRP.


Vote on amendment:

16: Yes

1: Abstain

0: No


Accept proposal

No concerns – proposal passed


Let’s Ensure that All GRP Activities are Inclusive and Accessible to People with

Disabilities - Danny


All GRP entities shall thoroughly consider maximum access for people with disabilities. Currently nothing is in writing to consider about planning an event.


Merelice stated that it is GRP policy to hold meetings in wheelchair accessible facilities. Maureen commented that it would be helpful to know what the need is from person requesting accommodation need. David Gerry stated that proposal is too broad and it is impossible to cover every disability need. Danny stated that he prefers to have something in place assuming someone will have a need. Frank suggested that GRP obtain software that will accommodate if the need arises and that an email communication be sent regarding disability accessibility when planning a function.


Straw vote: 15

Wes – Amend proposal

Rick Purcell – Supports the proposal.


Wes – would like to see a meeting event statement include accessible statement on whether a building is accessible for any disability. First, a request will be sent to chapters to look at state policy. Second, there are ways state party can support chapters providing accommodations with disability accessibility. Third, require chapters to announce whether the chapter can make accommodation when planning an event.


A vote was taken after each proposal edit.


Merelice delete “all possible” and replace with “possible”


17: Yes

0: Oppose

0: Abstain


Add “meeting event announcements shall ask for accommodations requests”


17: Yes

0: Oppose

0: Abstain


There were some concerns about the proposal as a whole.

David Gerry elected to stand aside.


Budget Discussion – Ian

Ian explained spending priorities between tiers 1, 2 and 3 and budget highlights of tier 1 and 2.


  • The 2015 budget is divided into 3 tiers.

  • The Administer salary is split between tier 1 and 2, including a raise.

  • Ian added Facebook and Boston Pride expense as separate event expenses.

  • Membership includes tabling, outreach and other modes of attracting new members.

  • CDLC requested funds for supplies and materials.

  • Ian added $100 for training treasurer.


There followed a discussion about the 2015 budget:

  • Danny asked Sean the amount of funds in 2014. Sean estimated between $3,000 to 5,000.

  • Danny commented that Ian’s budget doubles or triples funds in budget.

  • David Spanagel stated that CDLC did not request funds and that Candidate School was self-funded. David S. commented that Line item E2 can be removed and that 2014 should show Actual expense.

  • Frank commented that Facebook advertising was good through campaign. One problem was exposure to “fake” people, such as “fake likes” from India. Frank recommends removing this line item.

  • Further comments were made regarding need to follow up calls on fundraising via administrator support.

  • Gus stated that advertising on some level is advisable. Gus noted that Boston Pride Parade has priority when Green Party should be statewide. He advised spending smaller amounts of money statewide rather than large amount of money in one location.

  • Sean commented that Facebook attracts young people and is critical for GRP growth.

  • Merelice stated that Boston Pride was isolated because deadline is coming up in early February and level of participation in this event needs to be determined. Merelice recommends that the Party purchase a computer as well as Facebook ads.

  • A comment was made that Membership will benefit statewide from chapters tabling support.

  • Joyce inquired if spending is contingent on fundraising? How are decisions made regarding how money is spent operationally?

  • Ian replied that bylaws state that the treasurer will create a budget and spending is contingent on funds raised.

  • Danny commented that GRP administration item is $3,000 and Membership is $2,000 which makes tier 1 the most realistic budget.

  • Sean added that target fundraisers are most successful and he thinks raising $13,000 is possible.

  • Danny supports taking half of the funds from tier 1 and adding those funds to tier 2 and move $3,000.

  • Mike had a concern about constrained budget.

  • John supports Danny’s view on budget to reduce tier 1 budget.

  • Merelice stated that tier 1 is basic expense to operate Party.

  • Frank asked StateCom members to donate $15 per month via NationBuilder or by check. He encourages chapter members to donate $5 per month.

  • Sean plans to send fundraiser mailer in April.

  • Danny suggested that Ian revise the budget per suggestions from StateCom.

  • John stated that Budget is an AdCom document.


Summer State Convention in Boston:

A discussion took place regarding upcoming Summer State Convention in Boston area. Joyce stated that is imperative that Greater Boston group find a venue in Boston for the convention. Roni announced that she notified Co-chairs and Nashua River chapter that she will not be coordinating summer convention. Merelice and Mel King are working on venue. Issue some Boston venues is limited parking. Bunker Hill or Roxbury Community Colleges are two possible options. Roxbury Community College appears to be best location, based on cost and location. Boston Chapter will coordinate summer convention. Danny, advocates holding convention while students in school. Great Boston Chapter meeting Tuesday evening and will discuss convention plans. Mike has concerns about workload for Boston Chapter. Frank recommends convention be held in March or late September or early October to attract Harvard, BU students. It was noted that a large population of students are enrolled in Roxbury Com College during summer.


Merelice stated that new Co-chairs will be required by July 1, 2015. Merelice suggested holding the convention in the spring to promote campaign support, including increased attendance. Democrats and GOP Co-chairs are elected by State Committees which eliminates issue of voting chairs at State Convention. Mike noted that CDLC provide calendar to StateCom prior to convention. Many legal docs required in late 2015. Joyce recapped discussion stating that first step is locating a venue and setting State Convention date for late May/June convention with help from Boston Chapter. The Convention Committee will take care of convention documents, emails, etc. The Greater Boston chapter will set the date for State Convention. (Side note: possible dates for convention are May 30or June 20).


Regional Conventions Maps: - Joyce


Joyce presented a short slide presentation showing regional conventions to elect StateCom representatives. Proposed map for adoption is based on an 8 regions map. District boarders were adjusted to make geographic sense. Further work to be done is number of GRP voters by town. There is a minimum of 2 seats per region, one female and one male. Joyce will send an alphabetical listing by town via email to StateCom.



  • Rick - inquired how county lines in Western part of state were determined. Joyce replied that lines were based on counties.

  • Merelice – map does not represent state senatorial districts and she proposes further discussion at April meeting. She also wants to know districts of candidates running in race.

  • David asked how StateCom will be elected. Merelice replied by using both regional and district maps.

  • Wes questioned how Districts 5 and 6 were determined. Joyce replied that these districts have double population.

  • Merelice had some issue with Metro North and South. She suggested dividing 5 & 6 and change from Metro to Greater Boston.

  • Gus inquired about Route 2 corridor orientation regarding Royalton. Joyce replied that this area was difficult to define.


Map is part of bylaw change.


16: Yes

0: Opposed

0: Abstain


Working Committee Reports

Communications – Wes, solicited help with links. . Wes met with Dru regarding communications transition. He needs further help with Facebook and website, photography, Twitter posting, and phone calls.


Convention Committee

Roni willing to mentor coordinator of spring 2015 convention.



Sean planning a mailer for spring. He requested help.

Frank commented that Co-chairs have recommendations for fundraising.



No report



GPUS contacted Maureen about a facilitator.


Pioneer Valley

No meeting



9 people attended December2014 meeting.




Assabet River Valley

Chapter is focusing on racial justice issues and participated in rallies. They are working on a Homelessness proposal including Tar Larner, who serves on Concord Housing Authority.


Greater Boston

Mike reported there is no formal leadership for Greater Boston chapter. The next meeting will be held Tuesday and they will plan agenda for the year. Merelice reported that some new people attend meetings. Meetings are open to all.



The mayor was recalled in Fall River and that replacement mayor not a big improvement. The chapter plans to meet soon. Sean plans to run for school committee in November 2015. He also applied for Peace Corp. Average age of Southeast chapter is 21.


Wes, encouraged chapters to check website for chapter updates.


Elected Official Report:

  • Gus reported that Southbridge has issues about landfill coming up in a few months. A Charlton resident is opposing construction of a mixed recreational facility with motorcycle arena.

  • Merelice reported that at last Brookline town meeting opposed Kinder Morgan pipeline. Green caucus is holding a meeting tomorrow. There are race relation issues in Brookline and they are working on a Rainbow Coalition in town. Merelice is looking for support with Green caucus and race relations.

  • David Spanagel reported that two Lancaster Board of Selectmen dismissed the town administrator with no just cause. David wrote a letter to the editor of local newspaper about unfair treatment. There was a recall election and both select people were replaced. As town moderator, David was able to promote Green values. David may run for selectmen if the opportunity arises.

  • Joyce is working on no-pipeline opposition.


Round Robin:

Frank – sign up for monthly donations to GRP

Gus – N/A

Merelice – good vibes at meeting and we passed record number of proposals

Maureen – great meeting

Daphne – ditto

David G. – N/A

Siggy – hoped everyone had a good time in New Bedford

Sean – proud of StateCom members

Ian – donate to Green-Rainbow

Rick – state needs new high speed railroad

Danny – thank you to all

Wes – send information for website

David S. – join working committees

Roni – n/a

John – good meeting

Joyce – thanked Siggy for arrangements at the community development center


Meeting adjourned at 4:37 pm





















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Showing 2 reactions

commented 2015-04-10 19:36:38 -0400 · Flag
Correction to offer to CDLC report – John Andrews was and is still an active member of CDLC, too.
commented 2015-03-29 11:59:08 -0400 · Flag
In my first quick look at the minutes, I have one question. In the attendance, who is “Mie” Heichman? A significant question-can the GRP survive having another member almost the same as me?

Mike Heichman, Suffolk County Rep