Winter StateCom – February 5th 2022, 12p – 3p
Members Present: John Andrews, Roni Beal, Brian Cady, Sean Connell, Jonathan Cook, Charlene DiCalgero, Maureen Doyle, Danny Factor, Lois Gagnon, Tom Gyrbowski, Jaime Guerin, Elizabeth Humphrey, David Keil, Daniel Kontoff, Jaime McLaughlin, Carole Olyer, Eileen Sheehan, Mike Vaglica, Richard Villette, Elie Yarden
Appointed at this meeting: Zach Kontra
Observers Present: Francis Jeffers, David Rolde, Jed Stamas, Rick Purcell, David Gerry, Jean, Tara
come to order (10-15 min)
Facilitators: Dan Kontoff and Carole
Note Taker - Sean
Vibes - Jamie G
Time Keeper - Dick V
Stacker - David S.
Parliamentarian - Danny F
Attendance - Sean
-seat alternates: all seated
-of recent StateCom Minutes (5 min) – Tabled until we find the notes
-this meeting's agenda (5 min) – Multiple stack
-Maureen- opposed to agenda because opposed to GBC decert
-Eileen- We are discussing the GBC in two separate agenda items, it makes sense to combine
-Jaime M- this is hastily put together proposal/non-proposal. Serious diversity issue.
-David K- Same concerns as Eileen
-Elie Y- was present at the founding of GBC from 2012, needs to be approached from a different point of view that is what is the best for the GBC
Vote Taken: 16Y – 3N – 2A
3) Sean’s Listserv/Statecom Member announcement (10 min) – announced that lists are being updated and people will be contacted to ensure membership is verified
4). GBC De-certification by way of bylaw 7.6- (35 min)
à AdCom state reasons for de-certification (5 min)
-Lois discussed and read issues that have been posted, large part of the issue is the GBC holding extremely opposing views with respect to the COVID pandemic than what the GRP and GPUS have
-Rick we are worried that the current GBC doesn’t work. We are following procedure. We strive to be inclusive but we need the Greater Boston Chapter can rebuild and help the state party grow.
à GBC state reasons against de-certification (5 min) - Stack 20 minutes
-Jamie M: Has been in the party since founding. Wants the party to be a safe place for women and people of color. Lack of diversity means the decert of Boston will make the party inclusive. Is worried that email lists are toxic, but a lot of things are being done outside the party. Sees this as a diversity issue, not just a COVID issue
-Big Mike Vaglica: We have quite a bit of diversity. Believes we have had plenty of time to discuss this. More discussion will just likely just confuse things. If decert happens today, it’ll allow the GBC a clean state and to be reborn within the party anew. Confident that we still have a bright future
-David Kiel: Nothing will be settled after this meeting. This action seems to be out of order and needs to be defeated. The chapter does need cautioning. Its not an offense to let chapter members use email list. Mentioned that John doesn’t think the chapter has had issues with COVID.
-Eileen Sheehan: We have to be one party and one voice. Who’s going to want to run with us if we are always bickering? We need to create a more solid platform that every chapter has to adhere to. National has adapted a clear platform. We can’t go off in all directions. If GBC does what they may after we adapt policy, then they will resign.
-John Andrews: We really need to step up and decide. GBC has experienced a takeover with people who are hostile to the GRP, by single issue zealots. But what is happening to GBC is damaging the party and hurting state party morale.
-Dan Kontoff: GBC has done little work of the GRP, no political group meetings, no candidates. Its now a one focus chapter around anti covid. As part of the GBC, concerned that we are not reaching out to the community on anything other than anti covid things. The dysfunction is too high. We need a healthy chapter because the GBC just doesn’t have connection to the GRP anymore.
-Elie Yarden: Offered to speak to AdCom. There are errors of scapegoating happening right now. Got notice of a meeting and a total distortion about that meeting. There is too much lying happening. Elie nominated David Rolde for secretary, which Elie doesn’t believe is a position of leadership; he was nominated because he apparently takes good minutes. There should be multiple chapters within Boston.
-Charlene DeCalgero: GBC for years has been violating our ten key values including nonviolence and respect for diversity. Meeting in 2019 was not diverse. GBC members have been promoting Oathkeepers and Proud Boys ideas by casually making child abuse claims. Our bylaws say if the chapter is anti GRP policy they should be decertified
-Zachary Kontra: SE Chapter met about this. Is very concerned with how personal this became. Understands that emotions are high but knows the party will be fractured without healing. SE Mass has decided to vote NO at this time. Believes that the GBC should be given more time
-Jamie McLaughlin: Apologizes about hostility around white supremacy. Is just really concerned about diversity and wants the party to be a safe place for everybody. GBC is not just David Rolde. Ebony Barkley as new co-chair brings a lot of diversity and skills to the chapter. The new leadership deserves consideration.
-Danny Factor: Understands that decert will need 2/3 vote. There’s a saying that goes if we stand for everything, then we stand for nothing. We do not promote things that are opposite of official position. The GPUS supports mandates to support public health. The GBC has at large been promoting and supporting people who are diametrically opposed to GPUS/GRP positions on public health. New leadership is not aligned with the party; it’s not just David Rolde
-Jamie Guerin: As long as I’ve been in the party, there have been issues with the GBC. Has served in many ways. People who I have referred to GBC have left. Organizations have asked what our relationship is to Rolde and GBC because they are notoriously problematic. Read a statement from GBC members who are calling for action on vaccines and anti covid measures.
-Brian Cady: We’re facing a public health emergency and we have an obligation to get people good information and to separate ourselves from those putting out misinformation. There is much confusion about covid but there have been no statements by GBC officers
-Carole Olyer: Observed the last meeting of GBC. I observed the facilitator (GBC new co-chair) ignore the bylaws. There is worrisome.
-Maureen Doyle: Disaffiliating GBC goes against the GRP because the GRP should not interfere in chapter issues. The complaints about resources being used is weak because what resources?
Big Mike à Point of Order: Are observers allowed to speak here?
Dan Factor (Parliamentarian): No, as StateCom members go first and took the time
-Vote Taken: 15 Y 5 N 1 A
David Gerry: What does tech committee now have to do? Will need guidance about what to do around listservs, nationbuilder pages, etc
Dan Factor (Parliamentarian): Would be permissible for listservs to be taken offline as a default and can be revisited by AdCom.
This answered questions by both David Gerry and Elie Yarden
Elizabeth Humphrey: Mentioned that we can work with new forming chapter through AdCom
5) Brief reports from Committees / Working Committees (25 min) - Volunteers can sign up after speeches
-John A (CDLC & 2022 Working Group): Five active people attending every month, committee elected Yasmine and David S as co-chairs, also a few inactive members. Started work to develop an action plan for CDLC. Trying to revive candidate list around people who are running, have run, or have been elected. All suggestions for more candidates should go to Yasmine or David S February 22nd for next meeting.
-Eileen Sheehan (ComCom): Five people have been meeting regularly. Working on March Newsletter. Happy for contributors, but definitely need some more. More good stuff, versus some of the issues. Working on website and looking forward to ideas there. Zach Kontra has activated twitter and getting more regular posts to Facebook. Looking to rebuild media program and expand audience.
-Roni Beal (Convention Com): Am suggesting that the next convention again be virtual. The UU Church in Worcester is not taking requests for in person. Looking for September date. Will be sending out a doodle for date that will likely be sent out next week; usually a Saturday 3-4 hours. Is looking for a co-chair around helping with communications for this. Can send an email to Roni is you are willing to help with 2022 convention.
-Lois (AdCom): Looking to update listservs and Brian Cady is now helping moderate. Looking to get directors into the fold for AdCom meetings. YOLO Conflict Resolution workshops are scheduled for February 14th and March 14th. Will send out PowerPoint about topics YOLO intends to cover. Certified SE Region Chapter at last meeting. Recruiting candidates should be #1 priority
-Brian Cady (AdCom/Tech Com/Fundraising): We are not incorporated. We realized this because we sought to get non-profit mailer rate. This is ongoing; Danny Factor is helping with legal advice. Three member tech committee has been meeting monthly. Working on cleaning up web issues. All reports have been filed for finances. Plan to send out fundraiser mailer in process.
Membership Committee absent
6) Chapter Reports (15 min)
-Jaime Guerin (Western Mass Region): Have been working with police and prison abolitionists. Manny Pintado spoke at recent meeting to oppose over surveillance. Working with ARISE, working in coalition, to be in solidarity with them. Collecting donations for homelessness. Scouting candidates, building relationships with potential candidates. Tom has been working with their own servers. Carole doing coffee hours with other groups to recruit from.
-Roni Beal (Central Mass): Since November, CMGRP has met 3 times on zoom with about 7-8 members at each meeting. David S and Yasmine have become co-chairs of CDLC. Have compiled an annual chapter report of all activities to be emailed to Sean as Secretary
-Zach Kontra (SE Region): Recently certified. Promoting our chapter with social media, working in tandem with ComCom to get the word out. Looking to continue to build presence while absorbing SouthCoast Chapter.
-Danny Factor: Assabet River Valley is still on hiatus.
7) Appointment to National Eco Action Committee, Frank Jeffers (15 Mins): Worried about Howie Hawkins pushing nuclear plans. Term is expiring and would like to be re-appointed
Danny Factor: We could revive the platform committee which works on substantive research for us to then take positions on. If you (Frank) is anti-nuclear power and support bold action on climate change, then you’d have my vote
Frank: We need to reign in runaway capitalism because its directly connected to climate change.
Brian Cady: We are called on to make a vote on whether or not Frank continues to serve on Eco Agenda.
Elie Yarden: Current agenda needs to be updated and revised. Whatever we intend on doing needs to be done sooner than later. Is willing to serve on platform committee again.
Maureen: Strongly endorses Frank as she has worked with him on Eco Committee
Danny Factor: Worried about Frank’s position on bio fuels
Dick V: Has similar concerns to Danny F about biofuels
John Andrews: Is worried that Frank may be a contrarian instead of helpful. Is also worried about how much Frank is opposed to Howie Hawkins.
Jaime McLaughlin: Wanted to encourage people to take committee positions and make sure the national party is a safe place
Frank Jeffers: Howie Hawkins is not the pope; every right to question them when they are wrong. We need to update the platform. Saying opposed to everything there is a gross oversimplification. Thought I have more time to present ideas. This goes into buildings and bridges too.
8) Round Robin (20 min)
*Danny Factor and Eileen Sheehan to facilitate Spring Meeting
Carole Olyer: Thankful for positions of roles. Happy winter was solved with one meeting! LOL
Roni Beal: 2022 Convention is a great place to talk about climate change because it is literally threatening all life on earth
Lois Gagnon: Thanks everyone. We did a difficult thing with the decertification of Boston. Hopes to come together to start a new vital chapter in Boston. We have a lot of work to do but we are in a good position to get busy!
Danny Factor: Would people prefer to have some dates thrown out now instead of doing doodle poll? (No Concerns). Sunday April 3rd 12-3 for Spring meeting.
Elizabeth H: Thank everyone who helped this meeting go smoothly. Thank you all for being here and apologizes for bad internet
David Kiel: I’d like to appreciate what Danny said about the healing that will be necessary. Fear we are sleepwalking to nowhere.
Frank Jeffers: Wants to congratulate us on the GBC issues because we needed to clarify that. Worried that people have a lot of misinformation about biofuels as evidenced by him being voted down on the eco action committee.
John Andrews: Appreciates our ability to get thru tough decisions. Wants to emphasize the fact that we need candidates. Every chapter sending some candidates to field for CDLC will help
Maureen Doyle: Worried that we rushed thru some important things and wants the rights of nature proposal to be on spring agenda
Jaime Guerin: Happy that we got through meeting and didn’t have to call vibes. Is proud of Western MASS work on candidates and challenges us all to get more candidates and collect those signatures.
Elie Yarden: Please shut down the two lists: the business list and discuss list for GBC or work will not have been down. Preserve what is on there as a record as it is a failed experiment.
Eileen: Thank you all for hanging in. Believes we can improve this party and this StateCom with some more clarity around standing rules and bylaws. This way we can build a party with one voice.
Jaime McLaughlin: GBC will move on without the listservs. Concerned about diversity and hopes we work hard to address this with candidate recruitment. Only one vote determined the outcome so it was a close vote.
David Rolde: Think it went well enough. Doesn’t want to come to these meetings but does because they are about him. Still going to do GBC work.
Daniel Kontoff: Rolde cannot use the name Green Rainbow Party name anymore. It’s a trade mark of our party and it cannot be used by GBC in any way.
Sean Connell: Didn’t get to speak much today because I really wanted to listen. Call was cut before I could do my round robin. But I did get to listen. And I read dozens of emails about the Boston issue. I think we absolutely made the right move to decert Boston. I am happy that people are finally recognizing we are a political party and not a free for all of every idea. We need to stick to our values and we must value public health over personal inconvenience. Also. Secretary is position of leadership just FYI