August 26, 2012
GPUS Steering Committee Conference Call Minutes – August 26, 2012
I. CALL SETUP & BACKGROUND
a. Facilitator – David Doonan
b. Roll Call – Budd Dickinson, Jeff Turner, AJ Segneri, Farheen Hakeem, Darryl Moch!, Charles Ostdiek, Karen Young, Steve Welzer, Susan Chunco
Observers – Bruce Hinkforth, Jody Grage
d. Agenda revisions – Jeff – Media item only under Treasurer’s report.
II. STAFF REPORTS
a. Office Manager – Brian Bittner – report received
b. Fundraiser – David Sacks – report not received
III. TREASURER’S REPORT & FINANCE ITEMS – Jeff
a. Cash report to date
Financial report sent; amendment since U of Baltimore final bill not received, about $3500 still owing; Stein campaign paying about $3k after matching funds received; office credit card change almost completed.
b. Discussion/approval of expenditure for Fall Issue of Green Pages – last issue has almost paid for itself; asking for $1200 for 5000 copies of a 12-page issue; $3k in 2012 budget under income and expenses for printed literature; income line item; fundraising letter going out soon; discussion of purpose of Green Pages, insert possibility of insert but only if updated, and of larger print run; Karen reminded SC members to write Green Pages about themselves and their hopes for the SC.
Approved $1200 for 5000 run by consensus; insert later only if updated.
c. Proposal: Establish a Media Office in Sacramento, California, managed by Starlene Rankin – Fiscal Policy 6-2.5: extra expenses that can be approved by SC. The request is for approximately $350 per month for Media Committee work. Starlene has taken over facebook and twitter from Brian. (Starlene was paid $300 for several years as Media Assistant and that was dropped during crunch in 2008.)
Proposal changed to: Utility payments not to exceed $1200 for 2012 with further payment considered in 2013 budget. Approved by consensus.
IV. VOTING QUEUE
In the queue: None
Received for the queue:
ENDORSEMENT AND PROMOTION OF THE GREEN NEW DEAL from Wisconsin GP (see below). Floor manager: Budd. 2-week discussion.
V. Regional GPUS Offices – AJ Segneri
NJ and IL have state offices that could be used by GPUS, discussion of need for consideration during strategic planning sessions; David Doonan will compile list of state party offices; may have budget ramifications.
VI. LIAISON ASSIGNMENTS/REPORTS
Darryl – CCC/HS/SN – webinar series on campaigning begins 9/4;
Diversity Committee – a couple people may be interested in joining.
AJ – Officers Network – asking for current list officers, setting up discussion board.
Susan – FinCom covered by Jeff; FunCom discussing donor recognition premiums; no concrete action of major donors; resolicitation behind schedule because of signator change to Leland Pen rather than Stein campaign.
Karen – wants info on Merch (contact Linda Manning-Myatt), Accreditation (contact co-chair Roger Snyder NY), and Outreach (Alan Kobrin FL was chair)
Charles – reviewing liaison procedures and thinking about strategy before contacting.
Jeff -Add Personnel Advisory Working Group to list.
VII. STRATEGIC PLANNING – Karen
Karen – develop a framework for getting strategic planning process going; what learned from process in 2004; suggested changes in 2004 strategic plan.
Budd – history – Greens for Democracy and Independence – Camejo/Cobb controversy – big reason final strategic planning product wasn’t approved.
AJ – open dialogue was good, that what to do with it afterwards was unknown wasn’t good.
Karen – GDI conflict took up a lot of space, lots of negative energy; need deadlines and how to get from A to B to C.
Jeff – need for short-term things while we’re working on the long term.
Karen – 3 phases – info gathering/survey; planning phase – analyze info & develop plan and then vote up or down; implementation phase – need buy-in – can’t dictate to state parties but only make recommendations and encourage – focus on what GNC and staff can do – with minimal amount of money; check in with ME and MD proposal; how to make up committee – important decision.
AJ – rep from each committee and 1 or 2 from SC.
Karen – people should really want to engage with the process, not all committees may have someone who does; put forth slate of people with proposal? will need to recruit from state leadership, staff, committees; need diversity; begin after election – 2 months each part of process.
Darryl – SC take on initial process, agenda, timing, outcomes expected, etc.; survey out early in 2013; operational by end of 2013 for 2014; including fundraising to get more people to ANM.
Karen – need more discussion and revisit on next call.
Jeff – need short-run emergency decisions related to budget work, need outreach to new people.
VIII. Platform Error and Appeal for Correction and Change – Darryl
Requests that the SC acknowledge receipt and state that we are investigating the concerns. Darryl will draft response and send to SC; request input from several committees involved.
IX. PERSONNEL MANUAL – Karen
Scheduled call had technical problems, rescheduling for this week.
X. PROPOSAL TO UPDATE/REBUILD GPUS WEBSITE (See below)
Online vote ended Friday, 8/17; Results: Yes from Darryl, Budd, Steve, Jeff, Charles, and AJ; no from Karen. Proposal passed.
Next call : September 9
TITLE: RESOLUTION OF ENDORSEMENT AND PROMOTION OF THE GREEN NEW DEAL
TYPE OF PROPOSAL: RESOLUTION
EXPECTED APPROVAL THRESHHOLD: A MAJORITY OF ALL ‘YES’ AND ‘NO’ VOTES CAST
REQUESTED PROPOSAL DECISION-MAKING TIMELINE: TIMELINE A – TWO WEEKS OF
DISCUSSION, FOLLOWED BY ONE-WEEK VOTE.
At the Green Party of the United States Presidential Nominating Convention in Baltimore July 14th, 2012, Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala became our Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees receiving the votes of two-thirds of the delegates present. A primary focus of the Stein/Honkala campaign has been to aid and motivate Greens across the country to reinvigorate their state parties and achieve or retain ballot status with very positive results.
The center piece of the Stein/Honkala campaign is the Green New Deal. “The Green New Deal is an emergency four part program of specific solutions for moving America quickly out of crisis into the secure green future. ” It complements and expands on the policies and programs of the GPUS Platform. However, many of the policies contained in the Green New Deal are not specifically listed in our Platform.
The Stein/Honkala campaign has received the endorsement of two-thirds of the Greens in the United States and it is fitting that the GPUS should officially embrace, endorse and promote their program, the Green New Deal, as well.
The Green Party of the Untied States endorses the policies and programs of the Green New Deal.
The Green Party of the Untied States furthermore will promote these policies and programs by:
1.) creating a web page on our website (gpus.org) containing the Green New Deal summary as currently listed on the Stein/Honkala Campaign website at
2.) creating a PDF summary of the Green New Deal to be available for down load through our website (gpus.org)
3.) promote the Green New Deal through the Green Pages, press releases and statements to the media
4.) work with the Stein/Honkala Campaign to provide other materials and merchandise relating to the Green New Deal directly through our office in Washington, DC.
5.) Provide the necessary funding to accomplish the goals above
The GPUS Treasurer is authorized to approve expenditures of up to $1000 from the General Operating Account to implement the goals of this proposal.
Bruce Hinkforth (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PROPOSAL TO UPDATE/REBUILD GPUS WEBSITE
The time has come for a redesign for our web site. While the current design is clean and simple, the vast majority of the pages remain at a fixed narrow width that was acceptable a decade ago. We need to take advantage of the larger monitors that are now commonplace as well as make the site mobile friendly.
The most common complaint that I get is the difficulty in finding specific information. Improved navigation along with a powerful search function will address that issue.
The current public pages are a mixture of three or more types of web programming. While everything works, it’s a mish-mash of standards that’s just waiting to break as browsers continue to evolve.
Using an open source platform will insure that maintaining and updating the site will be a simple task for whomever follows me.
Using an open source platform will make it much easier for committees to maintain the content of their committee pages, while maintaining the visual design.
As browsers continue to evolve, the languages they use add new capabilities and deprecated older tags. Using an open source platform and installing regular updates will insure that gp.org will always meet the current web standards.
Using an open-source platform will insure that the site remains social media friendly and give us the future opportunity to broadcast text messages to smart phones.
I propose that a redesign be built using Joomla, which is an open source content management system. With almost 10,000 extensions, there is virtually nothing that can’t be handled. One specific extension, Admin Tools Professional, provides a wide range of security tools, including protection against hackers.
There are three main open source content management systems (CMS); WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. Four years ago when I decided to stop creating my own custom CMS applications and go open source, I chose Joomla for the following reasons. A users group located nearby offers monthly meetings as well as a yearly day long seminar that brings in speakers from around country and the user group and its companion discussion list have many of the key developers of the software as members.
While WordPress is the best know of the three CMS systems, it began as a platform for bloggers and only recently morphed into a CMS. User friendly, WordPress lacks the capability of a dedicated CMS.
Drupal is the main competitor for Joomla and seems to be the system of choice for hard-core programmers. If there was a local Drupal users group when I made my decision, I’m not sure which direction I would have gone. The attendees and presenters at the Joomla conferences are overwhelmingly women; I have no idea of the composition of the Drupal community.
Project tasks and timelines
It will take between 1 and 3 days to come up with a new visual design for the site and the associated work for testing it out. Because of the tight deadline of the November elections, emphasis would be given to completing the following sections:
Home Page: http://www.gp.org/index.php
Campaign News: http://gp.org/2012/campaign-news.html
Assuming I get the clearance to begin by mid August, the goal would be to have these sections complete by Labor Day.
The goal by October 1st is to have the Organizing Library, Elections, Committees and Caucuses rolled over. As the Committee sections are completed, a custom PDF tutorial on how to maintain their section will be sent to each committee that desires it.
The target date for the rest of the site is completion by March 1st.
As an example of the size of this task, there are 1,400 individual Press Releases, along with another 541 Press Releases residing in the current database that need integration.
The project scope will also include organizing the site in a more logical fashion. For example, there are convention pages located in the documents folder; in three folders in the root of the web directory, and in the ANM committee folder
During the conversion, the entire site as is would remain online, with older sections retired as they’re updated. Total time estimated to complete the project is approximately 300 or more hours.
The total cost for this project is $5,000. It’s critical that a down payment of $2,500 is made, with the rest due after the new budget goes into effect in 2013.