DRAFT – Uncorrected Minutes - Thank you RONI!!
Green-Rainbow State Committee Minutes
April 6, 2014
Tent City, Boston, MA
[Note: Discussions are summarized, and statements attributed to individuals are not necessarily verbatim unless enclosed in quotes “like this”. Extended discussions appear in attachments at the end of the report of the meeting.]
STATECOM MEMBERS & OBSERVERS ATTENDING
See cover page for list of attendees
CREDENTIALING AND QUORUM
Meeting called to order at 9:45 am. 17 delegates were credentialed and quorum was confirmed.
Co-facilitators – Scott Laugenour and David Gerry
Minutes - Roni Beal
Parliamentarian – John Andrews
Stacker – Joyce Fortune
Timekeeper – Sean Connell
Vibes watcher – Mike Heichman
The agenda was modified and approved.
Moved Planet Conversion after Committee Reports
NEW APPOINTMENTS TO STATE COMMITTEE
No new appointments
SEATING OF ALTERNATES
Nomination for Robert Rosa as Alternate seated as representative for this meeting by consensus (Bristol County).
FACILITATORS FOR NEXT STATE MEETING
Joyce Fortune and Sean Connell will serve as co-facilitators for summer StateCom meeting. Dates proposed for Summer 2014 meeting are July 12 or 19th in Worcester County at the First Unitarian Church. Contact David Spanagel about church availability.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Minutes of the January 11, 2014 meeting were approved by consensus with following changes: Adding “establishment of new state regions” and eliminating section about Boston Chapter meeting in member’s homes during the year.
A request was made to list alternates and guests separately from StateCom members on StateCom attendance list.
APPROVE MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MARCH 2, 2014 TELECONFERENCE MEETING
March 2 minutes approved by consensus as written.
ELECTION OF ADCOM OFFICERS
REPORT FROM ADCOM/CO-CHAIRS
John Andrews reported that Slate campaigns and three state candidates are main focus. Other important key objectives are growing the party and preparedness for addressing current issues. He summarized that measurements of progress are based on:
- Number of donors
- Number of volunteers for committees
- Number of GRP candidates running for office
- Losing momentum
- Lack of publicity in media about the party
Emphasis is on coordination of all committees, publicity about local party activities and posting events on website. StateCom members are urged to enroll in monthly donor program to help cash flow. Minimum donation is $5.00 per month. There was a recommendation to register GRP voters and to create a status report of chapters.
Sean distributed Treasurer report to members (see attachment – Treasure report). Sean recommends paying expenses half and half from state and federal funds. Assistant Administrator’s W2 form has been filed. Compared to last year, Sean is satisfied with results. Main concerns are:
- Funding for campaigns
- Assistant Administrator’s pay
This year’s total funds equal to last year’s balance. There was discussion concerning one reimbursement. Frank will make follow-up phone calls to donors, following March fundraising letter. Budget may require revision based on income.
Inquiries were made concerning:
- How administrator assistant’s time is divided between party responsibilities versus candidate work
- Evaluating the cost of candidate meetings compared to funds raised
- Providing a comparison report of this year and last year’s Treasurer’s report including reserve funds
Chapters may request donor reports that include names, location and telephone numbers. Recommendation is to donate to individual candidates. Sean encouraged members to use PayPal for donations. Current status of candidate fund is $50 and Participation fund is $100. Candidate fund and decision on how to spend funds are managed by CDLC. Participation fund is spent by AdCom.
ADOPTION OF GRP FUNDRAISING POLICY
Sponsors: John Andrews and Frank Jackson
John Andrews introduced a proposal about what differentiates GRP from other political parties, a standard to optimize what works for candidates (see attached copy of proposal). Proposal addresses lobbyist, super PAC and corporate donations.
Concerns were raised about accepting donations from non-profits vs. for profit corporations and wealthy individual contributions compared to donors with limited funds.
There was further discussion about the definition of lobbyist and whether there is a difference between a good lobbyist and bad lobbyist. It was noted that some organizations are open for interpretation and scrutiny. Other concerns were raised with restrictions regarding lobbyist because it limits GRP member’s ability to donate to campaigns. A comment was made about a need to encourage corporations to support human rights.
Proposal was adopted by consensus. Everyone was present.
NOMINATION OF J.P. LOWENTHAL, CONGRESS, 7TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Jason Lowenthal submitted application to be GRP candidate. CDLC reviewed the application. Jason presented his platform, which are the Green New Deal and hot spots around the world. Scott Laugenour opened the floor to question Jason about his candidacy.
Question & Answer Session:
Gus Steeves - asked Jason for background experience and what led him to run for political office.
Jason - currently serves on Randolph Conservation Commission. He has not served in elected office.
Danny Factor - inquired about donation compliance.
Jason - would adopt GRP Fundraising Proposal. He does not have a bank account yet.
Danny - asked about proactive issues on federal level.
Jason - replied that he would work on elimination of pharmaceutical ads that comprise a substantial portion of health care budget. He is an advocate against foreclosures and promotes Green New Deal.
Scott Laugenour – why did Jason pick Congressional office?
Jason – replied that it is a winnable position and a good opportunity to promote Green-Rainbow.
Joyce Fortune – inquired if Jason is familiar with Move to Amend.
Jason – recently learned about Move to Amend.
Boston Chapter had not nominated Jason prior to StateCom meeting. Main concern was StateCom supporting Jason’s nomination before local chapter. A concern was raised about Jason’s reliability as GRP candidate. A recent GRP endorsed candidate, departed from Boston and the state soon after election ended last year. Jason responded that he has no plans to leave area, but hopes if does move it will to Washington DC.
Scott called for consensus:
Votes were as follows:
Nomination contingent on local party endorsement
YES: Scott Laugenour, Merelice, Brian Cady, Wes Nickerson, Joyce Fortune, Dick Vaillette, Mike Heichman, Gus Steeves, Maureen Doyle
NO: David Rolde, Sean Connell, David Gerry
ABSTAIN: Roni Beal, John Andrews, Andrew Tarr, Jason Lowenthal, Joanna Herlihy, Danny Factor, Siggy Meilus
Amendment Passed 2/3 vote
Nominations of conditions on the ballot
YES: Scott Laugenour
NO: Merelice, Andrew Tarr, John Andrews, Danny Factor, Brian Cady, Wes Nickerson, Joyce Fortune, Sean Connell, David Rolde, Mike Heichman, Dick Vaillette, Gus Steeves, Maureen Doyle, Roni Beal
Call for consensus for concerns with nomination:
A potential concern, will GRP be promoted on website and other media.
Jason confirmed that GRP will be front and center of his campaign.
Endorsement Passed by consensus.
GRP REGIONAL MAPS UPDATE/DISCUSSION
Merelice updated StateCom about regional maps. Twenty communities are divided and twelve communities were brought back together by region. The eight district map is a concern because Western Mass area is so large. Five district map is less of an issue because it addresses Western Mass vast area. One member suggested that Boston be addressed separately because it has so many districts. There was no further discussion about map revisions because five district map had passed as the GRP regional map.
MEMBERSHIP BROCHURE UPDATE/DISCUSSION
Dru distributed copies of old and updated versions of membership brochure for comments.
- More information about what GRP stands for on updated flyer
- Print two brochures: one brochure that addresses values in detail and a second brochure that is more general, but addresses basic concerns of many people.
- Brochure is another reason for fundraising.
- Brochure should focus on talking points, not the minutia of everything GRP stands for.
SLATE UPDATE (CANDIDATES/SIGGY MEILUS/MIKE HEICHMAN)
Three candidates made stump speeches and opened the floor for comments.
Ian Jackson – State Treasurer
Danny Factor – Secretary of Commonwealth
Merelice – State Auditor
Suggestions were made and candidates thanked StateCom members for constructive comments.
Siggy Meilus reported on signature gathering status. GRP must collect 5,000 signatures for candidates to be on the ballot. There are 6,800 pledged signatures. Boston Chapter is well organized, but point people are needed for Worcester County and Berkshires for petition drop sites. Maureen Doyle and Gus Steeves offered to be point contact for South Worcester County. People gathering signatures are asked to report signature count to Siggy. Top signature collector, so far, is Tar Larner of Assabet River Valley Chapter.
Candidates requested help with campaigns via Tweeter messages; Facebook; Instagrams; writing press releases; volunteer coordination, in particular, Central and Western sections of Massachusetts. The three state candidates will launch their campaigns on Earth Day, April 22. They will travel from Tent City, Boston to Worcester and onto Holyoke. StateCom members asked to visit candidate Facebook sites multiple times and click “Like”.
Opportunities to gather signatures are:
- Gay Pride Parade in Boston on June 22
- Fourth of July fireworks celebration at Umass-Amherst and Worcester
- Concerts, parades, and local festivals
STATECOM MEETING VENUES
REPORTS FROM WORKING COMMITTEES (EAWC, DCLC, COMCOM/PLATFORM, MEMBERSHIP, CONVENTION
EAWC – Covered earlier.
DCLC – Distribution of report on candidate list. Tar Larner won vote for Concord Housing Board. Danny suggested creating annual report from all GRP elected officials. Invite incumbents to State Convention.
Communications Committee/Platform - Dru talked about candidate publicity.
Membership – Brian does not have J voter list. Siggy created GRP a supply of GRP buttons without “Join the Party”. Scott suggested members obtain voter list from town hall for major cities. Scott volunteered to get Pittsfield voter J list.
SET DATE ANNUAL STATE CONVENTION
2014 State Convention committee was appointed. Roni Beal, Joyce Palmer Fortune, Frank Jackson and Dick Vaillette will begin planning process for next convention.
A discussion took place regarding time of year to hold convention. If the convention is held in Worcester, potential dates for convention are November 8, 15, or 22 at the First Unitarian Church. There was a great of interest in holding the convention in Boston, near public transportation and to attract more attendees. Potential timeframe for a Boston venue would be spring of 2015, thereby extending officer’s terms to 1 ½ years.
CHAPTER REPORTS (WELCOME ASSABET RIVER VALLEY CHAPTER)
Locals reports: Assabet River Valley – Local group has been meeting for over a year and is now an official chapter. Tar Larner is advisor to the board. Chapter is working on petitions for town. Chapter has five core members.
Locals reports: Greater Boston – Twenty plus people focus on eradication of property and signature gathering. Merelice and other members taking a stand on signature gathering on tax day.
Locals report: Bristol County – Focusing on petitions and jobs/energy. They will turn in application to be official chapter next week. Sean announced he will run for city council next year in Fall River.
Locals reports: Nashua River – Three state candidates attended March NRGR meeting. Candidates and chapter members attended David Cobb’s presentation, Move to Amend at the Fitchburg Public Library.
Locals reports:Pioneer Valley – no action during winter months.
Locals reports: Berkshires – Scott reported that Danny Factor visited for a gathering in the Berkshires and there was a good turnout of participants. Town meeting was held about “No Frack Gas”. Town meeting is a good venue for candidates.
CLIMATE CONVERGENCE – WES NICKERSON
Wes attended Climate Convergence conference that included Green Party and Socialist organizations. The topic was climate over profit and focused on climate change. Jill Stein was featured speaker. Groups will participate in May Day and Monsanto marches. Green National Party endorsed Climate Convergence efforts. Mike Heichman made a motion for StateCom to endorse Wes Nickerson as GRP Climate Convergence representative.
Endorsement Approved by consensus.
Frank promoted monthly donations by StateCom members as best method of supporting GRP.
GRP MEETING CALENDAR – JOHN ANDREWS
An on-line calendar will be made available so that committees and chapters can list times and date of meetings to alleviate future meeting conflicts.
Siggy expressed disappointment that no time was allowed for signature gathering in Boston.
Thank you all around to candidates and facilitators for great meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:01 pm
Spring 2014 StateCom Meeting
April 6, 2014
STATECOM MEMBERS ATTENDING
Lee Scott Laugenour
Joyce Palmer Fortune