People, Planet & Peace
The Massachusetts Affiliate of the Green Party of the United States
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Winter 2016 Meeting Minutes (rev. Mar 28, 2016)

Present Delegates: Ian Jackson (co-facilitator), Joyce Palmer Fortune (co-facilitator), David
Gerry,Joanna Herlihy, Merelice, Danny Factor, Daphne Stevens, Brian Cady,
Roni Beal, Jed Stamos, Charlene DiCalogero (became a delegate at this
meeting), Maureen Doyle and John Andrews

Guests: Bennett Childs (Town of Hanson) Jay Williams (Town of Rockland)

The meeting commenced at 9:06 a.m.

Determination of Quorum
Danny (Party Secretary) determined that State Com has 21 members and 2 Alternates, and that the quorum is 11. Quorum was met with 11 members present.

Choosing of Timekeeper, Vibes, Stacker and Parliamentarian
Roni was chosen as Timekeeper
Jed was chosen as Vibes
Daphne was chosen as Stacker
Merelice was chosen as Parliamentarian
Danny as Party secretary assumed duties as Secretary

New State Com Members
Charlene DiCalogero was voted in as new State Committee delegate by a vote of 10-0-1.

Charlene stated that she has been a long time GRP member. Charlene is co-chair of Nashua River Chapter and Co- Chair of the GRP Candidate Development and Legal Committee (CDLC).

Proposed Changes to Agenda
David proposed adding an item about the GPUS. Danny proposed that there be a report time scheduled for GRP elected officials report. These additions were agreed to by consensus.

Date for April State Com Meeting
It was decided by consensus that the Spring, 2016 State Committee meeting will take place on Saturday, April 2nd in Eastern Massachusetts, and the GBC Boston Chapter will help with this event. Danny and Charlene were chosen as co-facilitators.

Minutes
The minutes for the August 9, 2015 State Com teleconference were accepted by consensus.

As to the minutes for the Fall meeting of the State Committee, Merelice suggested not including a listing of absent members in the minutes, and adding that Danny was the note taker. The minutes were approved by consensus with these changes.

Diversity Representatives and Chapter Reps to AdCom and GPUS Committee Members.
There were no candidates put forward for Diversity Rep. Chapter Rep. to Adcom, or for GPUS Committee members. David stated that only two representatives and two alternates are participating as GPUS National Committee representatives.

AdCom Report
David reported that AdCom voted for the GRP to endorse two events, the Nov 21st Massachusetts Peace Action Event and the Northeast Climate event. In addition AdCom endorsed the idea of the GRP signing on to an Amicus Brief in which the New Hampshire Libertarian Party is suing the State of New Hampshire in Federal Court because it claims that the New Hampshire ballot access rules are unfair. AdCom members have been trying to fill in for the vacant Communications, Fundraising and Tech Committees. Adcom is trying to keep in touch with GRP chapters but have had limitations communicating with the Pioneer Valley and Berkshire chapters. AdCom will be looking for delegates to the Presidential Nominating Convention and presidential electors. Our Party Secretary has presented the Elections Division with the list of presidential candidates to be in the March 1st GRP Primary ballot. AdCom members attended the drawing which determined the ballot order. Daphne is the new State Com listserve administrator.

Treasurer Report
Ian submitted the following Treasurer’s report:

Federal Account
State Account
Combined Federal and State Accounts

Federal Account

Description Credit Debt
Federal Starting Balance 1/1/2015 2948.14  
Donations $2,384.05  
     
Expenses    
Fund Raising PayPal Fees   $96.11
Bank Fee   $25.50
Events   $490.00
Postage   $220.06
Candidate Contributions    
Legal    
Refunded Contributions    
Office Supplies    
Nation Builder   $1,199.00
Internet   $429.76
Participation – Meetings    
Convention – Food   $224.73
Convention – Rent    
Convention – Speaker   $103.27
Convention – Supplies    
State Committee – Food    
State Committee – Rent   $45.00
Printing $993.44 1786.57
     
Federal Ending Balance 12/31/2015 $1,705.63  

State Account

Description Credit Debit
State Starting Balance 1/1/2015 $772.34  
Donations $6,014.69  
     
Expenses    
Fund Raising   $59.64
Bank Fees   $48.00
Events   $25.00
Postage   $54.75
Candidate Contributions   $2,100.00
Legal   $250.00
Refund   $30.00
Office Supplies   $21.24
Nation Builder    
Internet    
Participation – Meetings   $128.88
Convention – Food   $285.00
Convention – Rent   $250.00
Events   $25.00
Convention – Supplies   $129.47
State Com – Food   $281.00
State Com – Rent   $395.00
Printing   $993.44
State Ending Balance 12/31/2015 $1,710.61  

Combined Federal and State Funds and Budget

Description Credit Debit Percentage   2016 Budget
Starting Balance 1/1/2015 $3,720.48        
Donations $8,398.74        
           
Expenses          
Fund Raising   $155.75 1.79%   200
Bank Fees   $73.50 0.84%   70
Events   $515.00 5.92%   500
Postage   $274.81 5.92%   300
Candidate Contributions   $2,100.00 24.13%   1200
Legal   $250.00 2.87%   0
Refunded Contributions   $30.00 0.34%   0
Office Supplies   $21.24 0.24%   50
Nation Builder   $1,199.00 13.78%   972
Internet   $429.76 4.94%   500
Participation – Meetings   $128.88 1.48%   500
Convention – Food   $509.73 5.86%   600
Convention – Rent   $250.00 2.87%   250
Convention – Speaker   $128.27 1.47%   500
Convention – Supplies   $129.47 1.49%   200
State Com – Food   $281.00 3.23%   300
State Com – Rent   $440.00 5.06%   500
Printing   $1,786.57 20.53%   500
Ads         500
Material (Bumper stickers, T-shirts, Poster, Buttons, etc.)         500
    $8,702.98     8142
Ending Balance 12/31/2015 $3,416.24        
           
Prepaid 2016 Rent 215        

Ian stated that the biggest expenses in the budget are what we spend on Nation Builder and our Candidates Fund. Much of the money was allocated from the state fund, since most of our candidates are statewide candidates.

Merelice stated that she would like to see a breakdown of the money spent and raised on our fundraiser and our convention. Joanna stated that she can help with the fundraiser mailing. We discussed the importance of having a Fundraising and Finance committee.


Candidate Development and Legal Committee (CDLC)
There are two new co-chairs, Nat Fortune and Charlene. There are 67 candidates either elected or considering future run. There will be GRP Members running for state rep. CDLC would like feedback about the Candidate Recruitment Manual. At our Convention Jonathan Martin and Charlene will lead a workshop on using the candidate recruitment manual to recruit more candidates. 

Communications Committee
AdCom members have been filling in for the Communications Committee. The Communications Committee has not been meeting and the Communications Director, Kati Betrovski has reasons. Ian has been filling in as temporary webmaster, and Danny has been making occasional posts to the GRP Facebook page.

Convention Committee
The Convention Committee consists of Dave Spanagel, Carol Sotiropoulos, Joyce and Roni. The convention will take place on May 21, 2016 in Worcester and the committee has also found a good possible facility for a possible Boston convention in 2017. Possible themes for the 2016 are: GRP Rising or Go Green. The committee is focused on getting good speakers for the convention. They are looking into having two speakers and 4-6 workshops. The committee is looking into possible presentations about Animal Rights, Black Lives Matter, and the Kinder Morgan Pipeline. The committee plans to keep fees the same at $25, $40 for those who want to sustain others and lower fees for those of limited income. Free childcare will be offered. There will be time for presidential candidates or their representatives to speak. There may not be enough people to conduct a silent auction. Brian stated that he may be able to supply a list of volunteers to the committee.

Fundraising and Finance Committee
Right now no committee exists. Discussion regarding the budget and the possibility of hiring a fundraiser was tabled, to be discussed when we discuss the budget under a separate heading.

Membership, Diversity and Volunteer Recruitment Committee.
Brian apologized that he doesn’t have membership numbers or t-shirt inventory. He has begun advertising on volunteer website for volunteers, and interns. He is looking for people to guide interns and orient volunteers. The goal would be that these volunteers could help populate our dormant working committees.

Platform Committee
Danny handed out the Platform Committee report which explained that the Platform Committee has conducted some research on the ballot questions but does not support making recommendations to StateCom about the ballot questions until at least April, since the list of ballot questions which will appear on the ballot have not been finalized by the Commonwealth. Danny and Jed initiated discussion about the possibility of the GRP coming up with our own ballot questions in the future. Joanna wants to express skepticism about large groups such as Raise Up that use middle class focus groups to make determinations, as opposed to listening to the community at large.

Presidential Campaign Working Group (PCWG)
All deadlines have been met, and our candidates are on the ballot.  PCWG is recruiting delegates for the Presidential Nominating Convention in Houston. There was discussion about having financial assistance for those who need help to get to Houston.

GPUS National Committee Representatives
The National Committee has appointed new members to a number of committees including Maureen at the Campaign Coordinating Committee (CCC). The Credentials Committee will evaluate our delegates.  The 2016 budget has been approved. The Apportionment Committee was finally appointed, one year overdue. There is a proposal to form Animal Rights Committee. There was discussion within the National Committee about the GPUS logo. 

There were no reports from the Legislative, Action and Tech committees which are inactive.

Regional Conventions.
Joyce explained that purpose of our Regional Conventions is to elect state com representatives.

The Central Region has chosen a theme, “Stand up for the 99%. Go Green in 2016”, and they have organized into teams for the purpose of organizing their convention. Both the Central Region and Boston region are discussing how best to contact their membership.  Joyce states that the Western Region will have a convention but expects it to be “the bare minimum”.  Danny stated that the Assabet River Valley Chapter is in discussion with the Reading Town Committee about having the Metrowest/Northeast convention in Lowell. Regarding the South/Southeast Convention, Jed has sent out some letters to people in his town for response and has received one or two responses. Merelice suggested the possibility of traveling convention where the same program could take place at multiple conventions. Charlene talked about the possibility of having our own elected officials speak at our regional conventions.

There was discussion of sending out a post card to all GRP registered voters to let them know about primary and regional conventions. There was also discussion about requesting that the Secretary of State send out a card to all individuals registered GRP. David G. thinks that social media will also not yield a high response. John thinks that Facebook is cost effective because you can target posts to certain regions: $75 can reach 7500 people. Straw polls were taken 7-4-in favor of using Facebook to promote our Regional Conventions and 10-0- in favor of requesting that the Secretary of State notify our membership in regard to our primary.  Danny, as Party Secretary, will make that request. 

Budget
Danny suggested that we increase participation fund from $500 to $1000 and raised the question of whether we want to hire an individual to do outreach or fundraising. John said that it might be valuable to have tiered budget where a second tiered budget represents more aspirational goals. Brian stated that hiring a fundraiser on commission is frowned upon and Maureen stated that it could be antithetical to our 10 key values. John agreed, but stated that a salaried fundraiser could still have goals that when met are rewarded with a bonus. Merelice moved that the Participation Fund be increased from $500.00 to $1,000.00. Danny seconded and this was agreed by consensus.

Reading Town Committee
Danny confirmed that he has received the required paperwork to certify the existence if the Reading Town Committee. He has been in touch with Andy Friedmann of the Committee and has confirmed that the committee has met a number of times. They would like to find GRP candidates to run for office. The Reading Town Committee was recognized by consensus.

Chapter Reports
The Assabet River Valley Chapter meets twice per month, once in person at the Acton Memorial Library and once by phone. Meetings have had attendance of between 4 and 7 people. The chapter continues to be active voicing concerns about unregulated growth in our region, poverty and homelessness and is assisting Danny in his planned run for State Representative.  Danny sits on the Acton Commission on Disabilities and Tar is an elected member of the Concord Housing Authority.

 As far as can be determined, there has not been organization of GRP South Coast members since Sean Connell’s campaign for office. Jed stated that he will try to grow this area.

The Greater Boston Chapter GBC meets once per month. The GBC was active in the fall with Plinio DeGoes’ campaign.  There were plans for a “Save The Forest” campaign.  Some GBC members were involved in particular projects, such as working on establishing a public bank, and in Brookline, working on race issues, affordable housing and greensave issues. Joanna mentioned involvement in the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL). There was a nice holiday party.

The Nashua River Chapter meets monthly and has an average attendance of 9.5 members with 12 active members. Bryan Moss is elected as a Town meeting member in Shrewsbury, Gus Steeves is on the Southbridge board of Selectmen (where he is advocating for cleaning up the dump) and David Spanagel continues as Town Moderator of Lancaster.  Chapter members play an overwhelmingly large role on our Convention Committee, The chapter has continued its practice of giving out the Green Awards & Rainbow Awards to community members. They are working with MAAPL.  

Joyce stated that the Pioneer Valley Chapter was quite active supporting candidate Darlene Elias for Holyoke City Council, but has not been very active since then.

AdCom has made attempts to contact individuals who made up the former Berkshires Chapter, but there has been no response.

Amicus Brief in Ballot Access Lawsuit
Danny described the circumstances regarding the Amicus Brief that the GRP has been asked to sign. The new ballot access restrictions in New Hampshire are severely restrictive. It used to be that a party had around 18 months to gather what is usually around 40,000 signatures to get on the ballot. The new law changes this period to around three months, much of it during the harsh winter. The NH Libertarian Party has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court’s First Circuit (which includes Massachusetts) challenging this law. The Amicus brief is likely to be signed by most small political parties in New England including the Maine Green Independent Party. Consensus was reached that this is a good idea to sign onto the brief, publicize the GRP’s involvement and have the final decision to sign the brief made by AdCom, after their review of the brief 

MAAPL.
Merelice described how the vast majority of foreclosures were done illegally, and how the new law severely curtails the amount of time that a homeowner has to challenge a foreclosure. She urged GRP members to be involved in the effort to get signatures to overturn this law.

Intervenor Status on Pipeline.
Ian described how FERC allows entities to intervene in regard to approval of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline.  Reasons to intervene can include living near the pipeline or that you might be taxed. There was consensus that the GRP should file to intervene and publicize this. Jed will scribe the first draft and send it to AdCom by January 11th and AdCom will draft the final product and file it by January 15th

Ideas to promote primary

It was discussed that if finances are available, all GRP members should receive notice of the regional convention and primary. It was also agreed that there should be press releases, email blasts and a Facebook boost Charlene volunteered to come up with a few memes for an email blast. 

GRP Ballot Access in New England
John stated that right now the Green Party does not have ballot access in Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut.  Nationwide, the GPUS expects to get ballot access in 44 or 45 states. John is asking for support in gathering signatures, either for Jill Stein or for the Green Party, depending on what the best strategy is to get the Green Party on the ballot in November for the particular state. The next day in which there will be an organized effort to collect signatures in New England will be February 9th in New Hampshire.

Round Robin.
The Round robin evaluation of the meeting elicited positive reviews with no concerns stated.

 

The meeting adjourned at 5:03 p.m.

alternates

I can't verify if Merelice said it, but I am sure that alternates do not have absences counted against them for the purpose of remaining on statecom as an alternate.

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Re: attendance list

Did Merelice say absent alternates do not get reported as absent in minutes? Also, I seem to recall Kati and maybe others were dropped as having been absent for 3 meetings in a row. 

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After noon items

Do we have any information about the following items:

3:10 Discussion of MAAPL petition to recall the very bad law the legislature just passed!   MAAPL is looking for conservative commitments of signatures to be gathered in Jan/Feb.  Earliest deadline is Feb 23 (signatures in to town clerks) but it might be extended.  (15 minutes)

3:25 Discussion and consensus item on becoming an intervenor on the pipeline.  (or not).   (15 min)

3:40 Brainstorming about how to get presidential candidate info out to party members.  (20 min)

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Budget Discussion

As I recall, we decided to increase the donation target by an additional 500 to allow for a 1000 in the participation fund.

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