summer 2014 minutes

Draft Minutes of StateCom Meeting, July 12, 2014


Timekeeper:  Daphne Stevens

Vibes:  Frank Jackson

Stacker:  Gus Steeves

Parliamentarians:  M.L. Merelice and David Spanagel



Quorum met with 18 attendees


Approval of Agenda:

Concerns:  John GASP change time for presentation to 30 minutes

StateCom members will gather signatures from 1 to 3 pm in Worcester at specified locations and reconvene at church at 3 pm

Joyce will redistribute agenda time before and after lunch

Elie approved reducing his breakout session to 30 minutes


Next StateCom Meeting

Next StateCom meeting scheduled for Sunday, October 5, 2015

Location:  Western Mass, Rich Purcell will arrange – location to be determined

Southeast Group offered to host January StateCom meeting – Frank Jackson volunteered to be a co-chair for January 2015 meeting

Facilitators:  Maureen Doyle and Gus Steeves for October 5th meeting


April Minutes

Concerns:  Suggest listing name of County for new alternates on minutes.  Add Robert Rosa (Bristol County) to April minutes.

Add Nomination contingent on Endorsement conditional upon getting on ballot

Change that Final vote was not consensus

Merelice was organizing signatures on taxes

Minutes approved with amendments


Co-Chair & AdCom Report

John – AdCom announced that David Spanagel is GRP Representative for GPUS

Pipeline – two additional states plan to join GASP.  Massachusetts Liaison is Jane Winn, Pittsfield, Executive of Berkshire Environmental Action and David Rohrlich is Alternate Liaison for GASP.

Municipal elections:  Congratulations to Gus Steeves, Town Council, Southbridge and Damon Jespersen, Select Board, Newbury.  Both GRP candidates won elections in their towns with majority of votes.

There is statewide support for GRP candidates.

AdCom – Monthly financial report due on the 8th for previous month

GRP is encouraged to build on successes – document on how to achieve success, rather than repeating mistakes.

AdCom minutes in arrears because of lack of quorum – minutes will be forthcoming




Treasurer Report

See attached report

Sean reported that NationalBuilder cost $60 to $90 per month.  Sean noted prices have increased and further discussion is recommended.

PayPal report has changed and Sean is now unable to physically sort categories.



Danny – Requested that Treasurer show current balances along with last year’s balances on report for comparison.

Merelice – Commented that candidate websites on NationalBuilder may be cause of higher cost – maybe campaign expense?  Sean will investigate.  Fundraiser effort compare cost of effort with contributions received. 

Legally, registration fees must be counted as donation and notify donors when they reach max $500.

John – Asked that discretion be used when reporting donor information on treasurer’s report.  Sean noted that donations are public information.  John requested that caution be used when reporting donor information in the future.  Wes stated that monthly donation data is not published on NationBuilder.


CDLC report

David Spanagel distributed a quarterly report – see attached

Frank requested that current and past candidates help 2015 candidates.

David recommended adding end date of incumbent’s term of office to determine if and when they will run for office another term.

CDLC member term average is four years.  David made a plea for a few more volunteers to help CDLC and added that average time spent is 1-1/2 hour meeting per month.

It was noted that School Committee is an elected position

List Serve was established for candidates and can deliver information to candidates.  David recommended that candidates check List Serve few times a month.

Elie commented that elected GP in minor offices is critical.

Merelice – informed StateCom that a woman in Marblehead who is a GRP member is a trustee on library in Marblehead and not listed on CDLC report.

Danny – requested that report distinguish status between elected candidates or appointed positions.  CDLC will meet with Frank and write document on elected GRP.

Elie – commented that appointed or elected GRP – good to list everyone in office

Gus – add links to GRP website where articles about candidates are located in the state.

Brian – noted there are 5,209 GRP members

Danny –stated that one request of voter report allowed by candidates listing registered GRP voters.  Ian requested a list.  Danny is in process of making request for a voter list.

Brian – informed committee that updated Comparison sheets are available now.

Merelice –requested that symbols on Comparison sheets be blue for Democrats and red for GOP.

Danny requested that 1000 copies of Comparison sheets be printed with color change for Dem & GOP.

Sean stated that budget lists $250 for literature, plus $50 = $300 available for printing Comparison sheets

Merelice commented that the Comparison sheet is Communication Committee’s responsibility and no further input is required from AdCom is required.


Reports from Candidates

Merelice reported that campaign objective is to build team spirit in party and with voters.  Campaign launch in Berkshires was a listening effort and candidates found one meaningful stop proved more successful than multiple campaign stops.  The overall working theme is asking people what are your dreams, what will it take make these dreams a reality and can you be part of the GRP team.


Danny said “the voters are most important part of the team.”  This is a listening campaign.  The candidates want State Committee’s suggestions and ideas about the potential of spending full days campaigning in the Berkshires, Central Mass, Greater Boston, the Southeast, etc. from now to end of August after petitions are turned in to state level.  The focus is on region by region or activity and entails field organization, literature, list management, messaging, etc.  Recruiting volunteers for specific tasks is essential.


Comments from StateCom:

John commented that candidates need to talk about what galvanizes their campaign. 

Danny explained that people want to explain their specific circumstances and this often dovetails with candidates’ stance if they take core beliefs and relate them to circumstances.

Mike Heichman commented that Boston Greenfest, NOFA conferences, Pride Parade, etc. are venues where Greens are well known and candidates can engage an audience    Bottom line, candidates need to raise money.

Wes commented that common talking points are important for all candidates.

Elie went on to say that the Berkshires well organized group.  He pointed out that Scott contacted local press and people to organize in Berkshire area.  Scott was the manager and he made it clear when candidates needed to move to next stop.

Gus suggested that volunteers should be recruited to hand out Comparison sheets to people at campaign stops.

John recommended media blitz at every stop such as pictures in newspaper, television coverage, and interviews.

Merelice added that social media is key – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Sean volunteered to help with social media and post articles with links for candidates.

Danny stated that what they need are subgroups to report to campaign managers.  They also need field organizers, literature, bumper stickers, fundraising, and emails sent out on a regular basis.

Merelice added that List management should continue building the campaign.

Sean will create a Twitter account for Merelice – mini blurbs that create trends that show up in people’s Twitter feeds – these messages go to young population.


Frank – Pioneer Valley campaign stop the big issue is the gas pipeline.

Gus stated that in Southbridge, key issues are youth needs, agriculture, landfill, job and health care.  He added that Romanian fest good venue.

Worcester foreclosures and store closures are a problem.  Northern Worcester County  includes towns and cities that were manufacturing areas. 

Roni suggested “Neighbors helping Neighbors” in Westminster on August 10.  This is fundraiser to help people in Westminster who are faced with tragedy and financial difficulties beyond their control.

Danny suggested the Peace Vigil in Concord as a venue.

Frank inquired about Fall River area and Cape.  Gus will contact Silent Spring at Cape, a nonprofit organization.

Sean commented that education and public transportation are ongoing problems in Fall River and since industry collapse in this area there is a need to find uses for Mills.  Recommend two days for Southeast – Attleboro and Umass Dartmouth.

Northeast is weakest area, Lawrence and Lowell.  Spanish speakers would be helpful.

Maureen stated that in Southbridge flyers should be in both English and Spanish.

Mike said that in Boston there are three Latino fests August 15 – 17.  There is a charge for a table – good location for campaign literature in Spanish.  Siggy has friend who can translate.

Merelice recommended that party brochure be translated in Portuguese, Creole, Spanish and other languages.

Frank added that there are immigration issues throughout state.

Elie will send ID card email to StateCom


Lunch and Signature Collection:

Joyce reminded everyone that apartment numbers are important, print name if signature not legible on petitions.


Break for lunch and signature collection


Two discussion/breakout sessions:



Ballot Questions – Mike Heichman

Mike presented a proposal to encourage public transportation and discourage more gas consumption.  Portion of gas tax money be dedicated to public transportation.  Frank had concern with why GP supports gas tax.  Elie opposed to taking a position on issues that are not GRP.  Danny is willing to take a position, but has no problem with not taking a position on proposed issues.  John elected to take no position.  Merelice elected to take a position because issues are political.  Sean agrees with GRP taking a position and to work with organizations with same values.  Ballot issues attract media coverage.  John made a request for volunteers to write one article each regarding GRP’s stand on  ballot question and submit to AdCom.

  • Earned sick time – employees at companies with 10 plus works should earn as many as 40 hours of paid sick time per year – Pro -  Sean will write article
  • Prohibit casino gambling – No concerns  - Wes will write article
  • Expanding the bottle bill – Pro - Frank will write article
  • Repeal of 2013 gas tax – No – Siggy will write article


Proposal – GASP – GRP Issue

John made a slide presentation about the Green Alliance to Stop the Pipelines (GASP) effort.  What is the truth about pipelines?  Six New England governors support the gas pipeline with “political spin” that project will create jobs, clean energy, and that there is a gas crisis.  Gas is being promoted as “clean burning energy”.   The entire project is a detriment to the environment.  Construction unions are backing fracking support groups.  Both federal and state politicians are influenced by pipeline money.  Proposed electrical tariff on electric bills means tax payers will be burdened with cost of fracking project.  Twenty communities oppose pipeline so far and there is strong grass roots resistance.  There is an effort in Washington DC to lift export ban to allow gas to be shipped to Europe, and to raise natural gas prices for New England tax payers.  Project favors gas producers, not consumers.  Twenty senators oppose project. 


Climate impact of gas pipeline is not abiding by Global Warming Solution Act.  There are multiple dangers associated with fracking such as, cracked pipelines catching fire, workers accidents, fire-balls incinerating neighborhoods.  Thirty-six inch (36”) highly pressurized pipes are used and homes up to 500 feet from these pipelines have been completely destroyed or seriously damaged.  Kinder Morgan proposes that 50 feet right away is safe.  Statistics show that 70 pipeline incidents occur per year; with only 45 permanent jobs generated with pipeline; and 3,000 temporary jobs.  Is there a crisis?  Energy efficiency results are in decline gas and electrical usage – wind, hydro, solar creates more jobs.  Cost of pipeline project is estimated at 4 billion dollars.  This money could best be spent on making homes and buildings energy efficient.  Fracking fields last approximately 10 years.  Money spent on fossil fuels exploration should be used on renewal energy.  2017 is approval date for pipeline.


Alliance of Green Parties in New England includes Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, plus New York and New Jersey.  Pennsylvania may join the alliance.  John will send a position statement to StateCom.

Attach copy of proposal


Approach for communities:  People should not pay for gas pipeline by the way of tax tariff on electrical bills.  Elie stated that the enemy of conservation is only way gas company can make a project pay and that is to decrease conservation land.  Bottom line, ecological waste will damage the environment.  Reduce consumption is best solution. 


StateCom endorses GASP proposal with consensus



$2,105 raised from mailer

Mailer cost $200-300 dollars

September mailer planned – include convention info with incentives.


Platform Committee

Johanna - Requested more help with issues


Pioneer Valley – Joyce - new member Bill Ashley – big help, small group but actively engaged.  Nat is Treasurer for Merelice’s campaign.


Nashua River – David - New officers elected


Assabet River – Danny - over 1500 signatures collected – get back to local issues – GRP issue as town meetings – healthy good, housing, public housing, town buy vacant condos for homeless.  Local issue is school bus depot leaking oil into aquifer.


Boston – David Gerry stepped down as officer.  Last meeting focused on supporting candidates.  Signature drive very successful – 3,000 signatures included with Assabet River.


Southeast – no meetings – used time collecting signatures.


Round Robin

Joyce – thank you for local support for breakfast and lunch.

Wes – Boston chapter – good meeting

Roni – GASP presentation highlight

Mike – pleasure working with positive team

Sheryl – good meeting

Danny – echoed Mike’s comments

John – like to see some new faces at meeting

Daphne – educational meeting

Siggy – working on petitions

David – has 37 petitions to turn in for Worcester

Carlo – democratic meeting

Johanna – great content

Elie – list of towns to notify people along pipeline

Gus – great meeting – faces new challenges as town councilor

Maureen – is ready with buckets to take leftovers home for compost

Wendy – cohesive, moving forward group

Round Robin (continued)

Merelice – thank you to everyone

Sean – thank you to Joyce & Siggy

Frank – chart 6,650 raw signatures, 7,529


Adjourned at 5:30 pm









































Attendees at July 12, 2014 StateCom Meeting



18 StateCom Members Attended

John Andrews

Roni Beal

Brian Cady

Sean Connell

Maureen Doyle

Danny Factor

Joyce Palmer Fortune

Mike Heichman

Joanna Herlihy

Frank Jackson

MD Merelice

Siggy Meilus

Wes Nickerson

David Spanagel

Gus Steeves

Daphne Stevens

Elie Yarden

Richard Vaillette


3 Observers Attended

Wendy Abeles

Cedric Flower

Carol Goegoazales


Food Provided by:

Karen Sargent

David Spanagel

Sheryl Vaillette

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