2007 GPUS Annual National Meeting – Friday Afternoon
July 13, 2007, Friday afternoon – 1:00 pm – 5:15 pm
Facilitators for the 2007 GPUS Annual National Meeting: Drew Johnson (CA), Lynne Serpe (NY), Kat Swift (TX), Dave Bosserman (DC), Olivia Caldaval (DC), Jane Hunter (NJ), George Martin (WI), Julia Willebrand (NY), Matt Abel (MI), Alison Duncan (NY)
Thanks to Ruth Weill (AnmCom chair), Dave Kurzweg (Meeting Coodinator) Jennaro Pullano (Green candidate for Mayor of Reading, PA), Bob Small, Jess (intern), Matt (music), Hillary Aisenstein, Randi Peters, Isabelle Buonocore, Emily Citkowski, Bren McMillan
The opening plenary began “promptly” at
1:14 pm – WELCOME by Ruth Weill, AnmCom Chair
Facilitators: Jane Hunter (NJ), Matt Abel (MI)
Jane Hunter gave an overview of the consensus process.
32, then 33 states/caucuses out of 47. Quorum was met, allowing business to proceed.
Applause for the newly affiliated Montana Green Party and visitors (soon to me members) from the Mountain Party of West Virginia.
AZ – 2 delegates
ARK – 1 delegate, 1 proxy
CA – 16 d, 16 p
CO – 1d
CT – 4d, 1p
DC – 2d
DE – 1 d (soon amended to 1d, 1p when one delegate was unable to make it)
FLA – 4d
GA – 2d
HI – 2d
IL – 7d, 4p
IN – 1d, 1p
IA – 2d
Lavender Caucus – 1d
ME – 4d, 4p
MD – 2d
MA – 3d (soon added another delegate; consulting with members about proxies and
who will be attending)
MI – 6d
MO – 2d
MN – 1d
MT – 1d
NJ – 3d
NY – 9d
NC – 2d
OK – (delegate arrived after the plenary began – 1d, 1p)
OH – 3d
PA – 6d
RI – 2d
TN – 2d
TX – 3d
UT – 2d
VA – 2d
WA – 2d
WI – 4d, 2p
National Women’s Caucus – 1d
1:30 pm – GREETINGS from International Representatives were presented to enthusiastic applause
JUAN BEHREND, Secretary General of the European Green Party greeted the opening plenary and spoke about the make-up and progress of the European Green Party. This organization includes 35 Green parties and some other parties; has around 40 members in the European parliament; ca. 200-250 national elected MP’s; several thousands of local elected officials, including vice-mayors of Helsinki, Dublin, and a number of other major cities; ministers in 5 governments, including the Czech Republic, Ireland, Finland, Italy.
“We are the the backbones of our Green Parties at the European [Parliament] level.”
The EGP is trying to function as a federal party. They have built working groups on economics, immigration and foreign policy. They hold two council meetings a year; and every 2 1/2 years, Congresses with about 400 delegates. They are trying for the second time (the first European party to do this) to run a common election line for 2009. About 80% of Europe’s Green Parties are in favor of developing the European Union; UK’s and Sweden’s Green Parties are not happy about it. Although the policy is not enough, the EGP is happy about the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020. EGP supports us [GPUS] in difficult situation with our administration and media.
MARCO ANTONIO MROZ, Partido Verde do Brasil and Co-chair of Federation of GP’s of Americas (along with Julia Willebrand ([NY]). Brazil Greens in office include 56 mayors, hundreds of state deputies, other elected officials.
JANET EATON, Green Party of Canada, Critic for International Trade. Greetings from the Green Party of Canada and [GPCan leader] Elizabeth May. [standing ovation] They are confident they will have some people in parliament after the next election.
The GPUS International Committee will present and international panel tonight (7/13/07). Janet Eaton to talk on the Security and Prosperity Partnership/Norrth American Union (son of NAFTA), which promises to be a major wedge issue in Canada in their next elections.
JAY ROBINSON, Communications Coordinator, and MARK ???, Green Party of Aotearoa (New Zealand). “Thanks for making us feel welcome. Greetings to Lynne Serpe [who directed a campaign in NZ a few years ago)]” Their national elections committee is gearing up for a big election in 2008. They have had 6 MP’s in office for 12 years. Global warming is drawing attention and support for them. Greens offer sanity and reason in a climate of fear and misinformation. “Thousands of ex-pats are cheering you [GPUS] on.”
Matt Abel asked for consensus to move an agenda item scheduled for Saturday to the top of today’s Agenda.
APPROVED, consensus. There will be a call for consensus on approving Mountain Party of West Virginia as an affiliated state party.
Mike Feinstein (del-CA) – Notice of Global Green Meeting in Brazil, now moved from Kenya –
Kimberly Wilder (NY) entered the plenary room, announced that someone had called the police on a local Green, and asked who is the acountable authority here.
Mike Feinstein (del-CA) – to Brazil next year.
Glen Hopkins obs-(CA) – Report on Impeachment Parties. He encouraged more to take this up.
John Miglietta (del-TN) – Tennessee campaign school is coming up in August.
?? – Camp Casey in Kennebunkport, Maine, also coming up in August. Check out www.kportprotest.org for details.
??, (IL) – Call for an informal meeting of Youth Caucus.
2:00 pm – BUSINESS
Accreditation Committee co-chairs, Brent White & Maria Kuriloff, and Jesse Johnson, chair of Mountain Party of West Virginia, called for a consensus to affiliate the Mountain party of WVA to the GPUS. Johnson offered greetings from West Virginia and the Mountain Party. “We live green, and we bleed green when they blow the tops off of our mountains.” They voted last week to affiliate with the GPUS and offer their ballot line to the Green Party presidential nominee.
The Accreditation Committee has reviewed their application and recommends to approval.
APPROVED, consensus, applause and cheers
WELCOME TO the Mountain Part of West Virginia!
George Martin (WI and Co-chair of United for Peace and Justice) led the chant – “No More War!” and offered some motivational remarks: Four years ago, the GPUS unanimously consensed to bring the troops home and impeach Bush & Cheney. We are the party of peace! We say NO to the Bush Agenda, NO to War, Hate Lies and Greed; END this Occupation and Bring Our Troops Home NOW!! Four years ago, we were a focus group- now we are a majority sentiment in this country. We are a movement, but we’re not there yet. We have to bring change to end the war in Iraq. When you talk about injustice, you have to talk about Palestine. For too long, people have not had the courage to speak up. The historic first demonstration in DC was led by Greens; we need to carry that banner. We are very proud of Wisconsin Green Party and International Committee for their national and international support for divestment against the Israeli occupation. 41 communities in Wisconsin voted on their “Troops Home” resolution in WI last year. We challenge Greens to go back to your communities, work on a non-partisan basis – this is local democracy – for ballot referendum initiatives to Bring the Troops Home, Impeach Bush & Cheney and Call for an Investigation into 9-11. UFPJ mobilized the largest demonstration ever at the Republican National Convention in NYC in ’04. They are looking toward the RNC in Minneapolis next year. Call for demonstrations – We need more [to go to jail]. UFPJ is supporting a number of campaigns, Declaration of Peace (call for non-vioknet civil disobedience organized by the faith community); Iraq moratorium – a call for strikes, teach-ins, whatever is good in community, the 3rd Friday of every month, starting in Sept. to October 27th, a national day of regional actions, Urge people to participate locally, show we are Greens.
2:10 pm – REPORTS
Steering Committee Co-chairs Katey Culver (TN) and Jim Coplen (IN) gave the report for the SC.
Katey – There was a lot of work this year. It is difficult working with no budget and debt, but we have done some things to bring us back to financial stability. Personnel – our main staff have been on salary cuts for about a half year. We want to end that next month. They have done an exemplary job. The need contracts.
Staff are Brent McMillan, political director and fundraising director, & Emily Citkowski, operations director and online fundraising director.
We are getting a new office. It will mean less cost for same amount fo space, near where the national office is currently located.
Welcome, both Montana and West Virginia to the GPUS.
Jim – electoral portfolio (Coordinated Campaign, Ballot Access and Presidential Campaign Support Committees) are all working – and will be working more in the coming year!
Secretary’s report: Holly Hart (IA) (this was included in the delegate packet and will be posted online)
Treasurer’s report: Jody Grage (WA) (this was included in the delegate packet and will be posted online)
2:25 pm – GNC Co-chair/Secretary Candidate Nominations and Speeches
FOUR CO-CHAIR seats: the nominees were: Jason Nabewaniec (NY, nominated by Jacqui Deveneau, ME), Tamar Yager (VA, nominated by Jill Bussiere, WI)), Linda Manning-Myatt (MI) (nominated by Holly Hart, SC/IA), Phil Huckelberry (IL, nominated by Julia Aires, FLA)), Roger Snyder (NY, nominated by Cat Woods, CA), Budd Dickinson (CA, self nominated), Elie Yarden (MA, nominated by Gray Newmna, NC); Bill Oldfather spoke for Kristen Olson (MN, nominated by Cat Woods, CA), who was not present; he stated that she is a delegate and eligible to run.
Jason Nabewaniec, Tamar Yager, Linda Manning-Myatt, Phil Huckelberry, Roger Snyder, Budd Dickinson and Elie Yarden have accepted their nominations.
There were no nominations from the floor.
SECRETARY: Holly Hart (IA, nominated by Jacqui Deveneau, ME). Holly Hart has accepted the nomination.
Nominations from the floor: Marakay Rodgers (PA, nominated by Howard Hawkins, NY); Tony Gronowiezc (NY; announcement of an upcoming floor nomination had been made by John Murphy [PA] to the GNC email list; nominated by Howard Hawkins, NY; Ian Wilder (NY, nominated by ?)
After candidate speeches, there was a request to open the floor for nominations for secretary again. John Murphy (PA) was nominated by Bpb Small (PA).
3:00 pm – Platform Report/ Announcement of Platform Hearings on Saturday
Howard Switzer (TN), co-chair: the report is in the delegate folder with the link and format for submissions.
3:05 pm – Committee Reports
Most or all of these were included in the delegates’ folder, and will be posted online with the rest of the 20007 national meeting reports and information.
Green Peace Action (GPAX) – Aimee Smith (MI), co-chair: their mission is to advance the Green Party’s work involving impeachment; divestment and boycotts or Israel; they are re-vamping their committee policies and procedures; GPAX has two working groups – Proposal #190; Africa. She made an appeal for each state and caucus to make sure they have up to three members and as many observers as they would like join GPAX. She informed delegates about an upcoming vote on their P&Ps and mission statement, and asked delegates for their support.
Bylaws, Rules, Policies and Procedures (BRPP) – Hugh Esco, co-chair: BRPP is holding hearings tomorrow to gather input for the 2008 nominating convention floor process.
Forum Managers – Deanna Taylor (UT): Proposal #186 established basic listserv nettiquette and Forum Managers to help oversee it. From January 1 – June 30th, Forum Managers recieved 10 complaints: 3 dropped, 5 closed with no action, 2 stand-alone informal advisories, 3 formal warnings, 1 put on moderation. The group established several policies not provided for: protection from inappropriate distribution of personal information; posting for a moderated delegate. There is a question of whether the FM ‘s are considered a court of last resort. There is a distinction between what is appropriate for vote and dx list: Err on side of caution!
Merchandise (MerchCom) – Jon Olsen (ME): a review of new Green Party merchandise – check it out at the table just outside the plenary room.
International (IC) – Justine McCabe, co-chair (CT): 47 Greens from states on committee. They will host an International Forum focusing on energy, featuring guests form Europe, South America, New Zealand and Canada.
Accreditation (AC) – Brent White, co-chair (WA). Two more state parties have recently affiliated with the GPUS (Montana and West Virginia). They are looking to organize parties in North and South Dakota, New Hampshire and Kentucky.
Dispute Resolution (DRC) – Charlie Pillsbury, co-chair (CT), Alison Duncan, co-chair (NY): service committee, help brokering mediation and arbitration for disputes; creating healthier Green organizations. Plan to work on addressing split parties (committees, etc); mediation;
Green Pages – David McCorquodale (DE), chair, presented an overview of the paper and information on where and how to order.
Outreach – Becky Weber, co-chair (DC), Alan Kobrin, co-chair (FLA) gave a brief overview of the committee’s work. They said they wanted to give a clear response to recent online questions about a proposal: There Is No More Animal Mascot.
3:30 pm – SC candidate speeches
4:00 pm – Committee Reports – Presidential Campaign Support Committee (PCSC)
Cat Woods, co-chair (CA) addressed transparency in communications w/ potential presidential candidates.
Greg Gerritt, co-chair (RI) exhorted delegates to take up the load, do the work.
Know how your state party will choose and instruct delegates to the nat’l convention; PCSC will help, working on templates to help with that process.
Adopt rules for process before selecting delegation.
Decide who, among candidates, is worth inviting to your state.
Decide on contact person(s) in your state for candidates.
Michael Rubin (CA) found the report unsatisfacto. He said that some in party leadership have been having conversations with high profile potential candidates such as Nader & McKinney.
Cat Woods stated that GPCA planned to ask for time to discuss 2008 presidential strategy on Saturday.
4:10 pm Committee Reports
Media – Scott McLarty, coordinator, gave a review of the report in the delegate packet. Special recognition (including a certificate and a gift certificate to Borders) was presented to Ann Link (NY) for setting up the speakers’ bureau. The Media Committee hopes to increase expertise, women & people of color. “If we don’t exist publicly, we don’t exist at all.”
4:15 pm Political Director, Brent McMillan
An extensive report was included in the delegate packet.
Brent was asked by the Steering Committee to address the GNC on preparing for steps to take going into 2008. IMportant areas are:
1 – Climate change, energy, environment are the big issues. Some have seen Brent’s reports from Austrian and German Greens. The US is having a major impact on the rest of the world; around the world, Greens are saying they want us to “show up” in 2008.
2 – Economics – black/brown coalition, social and economic justice, Katrina victims and re-building. Reconstruction of cities (Detroit & New Orleans have a chance to become Green cities)
3 – Election Reform: spoiler will be an issue again in 2008, need to educate and recruit candidates. What would a GP look like in 2008 that is serious: more time for platform and nominating process, scale back other competing interests. Need to allow nominee to fundraise at the convention (we ask them to spend to get the nomination the walk away with nothing; from 527 to raise funds for whoever gets the nomination, say, $10,000). Ballot access needs – need a legal defense fund for our ballot lines. At least $10,000 for this.
4:25 pm Operations Director, Emily Citkowski
GPUS will have a new office space, as of July 16th. It’s near the current location, and is less cost for the same space. $2300 to $1500 per month.
The office is moving their database to free source software.
4:30 pm – 2008 Convention Bid Presentations (CA & IL)
Site bids will be coming up online, with a vote by the GNC to determine which city will host the 2008 presidential nominating convention.
Illinois/Chicago – Presenter, Patrick Kelly
Possibility of Blackstone Hotel as the site. Chicago has an interesting progressive history, is a major transportation center so would be less costly in terms of travel. Illinois Greens and the Whitney campaign did an excellent work on media outreach during the 2006 Whitney campaign for governor.
California/Oakland-Berkely – Presenters, Greg Jan, Leslie Bonnet, John Martin. Berkeley is a progressive area with a progressive history, strong GLBTIQ constituency, a strong Green presence and Greens in public office. Possible concert by Holly Near, possibly Joan Baez. Beautiful weather. There has been no national convention in CA since 2001, time to distribute wealth and travel, time to have it on the west coast. Details and prices on websites. Facilities similar to Milwaukee convention center; commit to 250 rooms, they can also provide less expensive off-site housing. There are 12,000 Greens in the county, so they can also provide home stays. Easy access to transportion to airports. Close to Berkely high school, theatre. Can bring in outside caterers (est. savings over $20,000 on food alone). Would also save on hotels.
4:55 pm -State and Caucus Reports
Douglas Reber, Texas -Held a campaign workshop w/ Jon Eder (highest elected Green in US); Alfred Mollison ran for city counicl in Houston; two other council races, including a 33% vote for Kat Swift against Mary Alice Cisneros in San Antonio. Common Ground collective is working on ballot acecss reform with other parties. “10 for 10k” ballot access drive (see delegate folders for more information). Impeachment forum in Dallas.
??, Maine – Issue is universal health care, working to get on the ballot. maine has a number of elected Greens, a number of elected school board members across the state. Hope to field many candidates for legislature, as well as US Senate.
Karen Jennings, Steve Kramer, Maryland – ran record # of candidates for state office in 2006, including their 1st candidate for governor and first African-American. Kevin Zeese, running for US senate, was their first Green to be in a 3-way debate. Several Greens were elected to city councils. They have ballot access for the next 4 years. just opened up an office in Blatimore. They are at the forefront of a lot of legislative efforts, in the middle of an Ernron style takover of energy.
Jim Lendall, Arkansas – ballot laccess lawsuit won last year: reduced # of required signatures, but also reduced the amount of time to collect them: 10,00 signatures in 60 days. 1 candidate is running now for US senate (Rebecca Kennedy), looking for more.
Hillary Aisenstein, Pennsylvania – hosted 2007 national meeting. Jennaro Pullano is running for mayor of Reading; other candidates for a number of other offices at local and county commissioner level.
Drew Spencer, Arizona – since last year, AZ has doubled the number of active county chapters. Two mayoral candidates in Tucson and PHoenix. Currently in a large, tough ballot access drive, need volunteers and financial help.
Gregt Gerrit, Rhode Island – recruiting candidates for 2008, hoping for 5-7 local candidates. Planning public round-table on “What is Security?”
Ann Wilcox, DC Statehood Greens: they have ca. 5,000 registered party members, are in good financial shape. Last falll, ran a full slate of candiadtes, maintained ballot line. 6 neighborhood commissioners elected locally. Rene Bowser campaign went well. Important issues are affordable housing, healthcare. In their last General Assembly, they passe a resolution calling for the Green Party to lead a strong presidential campaign in 2008 w/ national black-brown coalition. Believe future of progressive politics lies with such a coalition.
Tom Yager, Virginia – Josh Rubner was elected to the county board on the issue of affordable housing; he’ is running again, looking for support..
ANNOUNCEMENT that the Silent Auction will be Saturday at SPAC (Soveriegn Performing Arts Center). Forms will be available.
5:15 pm – Adjourn