August 9, 2015 teleconference meeting of Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party State Committee:
Attendees: David Gerry, David Spanagel, Brian Cady, Danny Factor, Maureen Doyle, Merelice, Daphne Stevens, Wes Nickerson, Roni Beal, Ian Jackson, Joanna Herlihy, Elie Yarden, Dan Kontoff, Sean Connell, Gus Steeves [more than the 12 required for a quorum]
Maureen Doyle called the meeting to order 7:35pm.
- Discussion and vote on Sean Connell’s request for GRP endorsement of his Fall River School Committee campaign
- Sean introduced himself and his campaign.
- Gus S asked why Sean decided to run for school committee. Works with kids in after school program. Wants to bring his youth.
- David S asked about nominating papers status. Sean submitted his signatures. About 75 were validated (50 needed). 9 candidates are on the ballot, so all will go to the November election. No preliminary.
- Merelice asked how many incumbents? All 6 current office-holders are running for re-election. There are 3 challengers, including Sean.
- Dan K asked how the campaign team looks. Has a manager, plus Siggy M. as his treasurer, 8-10 other volunteers.
- Danny F asked Mike H’s question about party building without Sean being registered J. Sean’s sense of the local political climate involves rampant antipathy to the party system in general. We (Green-Rainbows) are a values movement, and that is what he is running to represent.
- Elie and Dan K engaged on both sides, respectively, with Sean’s reasoning.
- Ian J: Why seek the party’s endorsement? Sean’s views are Green-Rainbow views, not ashamed of that.
- David G asked what Sean meant on his form by referring to having been “unenrolled” involuntarily as a Green-Rainbow voter.
- Merelice asked if the GRP endorsement will be listed on his literature? Yes. Will Sean have time and energy to actively campaign? Yes – that is why Sean stepped back from other party responsibilities.
- Dan K spoke in favor of revolutionary ideas and positive candidates in the GRP [urged that we vote yes to endorse Sean].
- Gus S asked about Sean’s experience in local government in Fall River? Internship with Coalition for Social Justice, involvement as a community activist, the Fall River mayoral recall.
- Danny F noted that the same issue [the candidate being an unenrolled voter] did not evidently block endorsement on July 19 of Darlene Elias, and he hoped we would not be consistent in our demands on candidates. Then Danny asked about Sean’s feelings about all the detailed educational issues platform positions that the GPUS and GRP have articulated? Sean wildly and wholeheartedly supports all the specific positions Danny listed. Sean added that he is particularly focused on teaching critical thinking and citizen engagement; he embraces positive value of diversity; but is opposed to privatization/corporatization, the erosion of arts education, and the widespread practice of high-stakes testing.
- Daphne S asked how he will spend his time as a school committee while he also works at a new job. Sean will continue to curtail other commitments.
- Maureen D asked about Common Core standards. Sean explained the rational impetus for those standards, and the sloppy implementation which has been punitive and damaging.
- Gus S: School choice? Curriculum for climate change? Sean has concerns about voucher approach. Does see some good examples of charter schools, but wants to ensure access to universal public education.
- Wes N asked about Sean’s past difficulties as GRP Treasurer with some of the Federal elections paperwork requirements. Sean shared his views about how campaign financing laws should be an issue for our party to challenge, but assured us that he is on top of his own campaign finance filings.
Roll call votes on the endorsement
David Gerry abstain
David Spanagel yes
Brian Cady yes
Danny Factor yes
Maureen Doyle yes
Daphne Stevens yes
Wes Nickerson yes
Roni Beal yes
Ian Jackson abstain
Joanna Herlihy yes
Elie Yarden yes
Dan Kontoff yes
Sean Connell yes
Gus Steeves yes
Request to endorse was thus approved by a vote of 13 in favor, 2 abstaining (more than 2/3rds of the delegates present).
The meeting was adjourned at 8:25pm.
Minutes submitted respectfully by David Spanagel