November 29, 2009
Jill Bussiere, Farheen Hakeem, Jason Nabewaniec, Mike Feinstein, Sanda Everrette
Secretary: Holly Hart
Treasurer: Jody Grage
Staff; Tamar Yager, Brent McMillan
Linda Piera-Avila (CA)
Jill Bussiere for first item. Holly facilitated the rest of the call.
Craig Thorsen was not able to be on the first part of the call, joined during budget discussion. David Strand was not able to be on the call.
I. STAFF REPORTS
a. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – Brent Was on vacation last week. Office will be back to regular schedule this coming week. Contacted by Ann Reynolds from Australian (Green) Sen Bob Brown’s office with concerns about the climate targets being discussed by various government going into the Copenhagen meeting. Feeling is that they must start looking ahead to the next meeting in Mexico.
Up to 48 elected officeholders so far this year. [NOTE: That number is now at 50. – hh, 12/2/09] 36% of Green candidates were elected. 4 new candidates announced last week.
George Martin asked to add a link to electors.us to our website. This is the site of Asa Gordon [beeps and static, unable to hear]. There were no objections.
Contacted by David Cobb, who would like to pursue talking about a campaign to legalize democracy (sic!).
Brent plans to spend a lot of time fundraising this coming week.
MIke asked about Mexico. He was there last week. He says their party is controlled form the top down, hopes we can connect with grassroots Greens.
b. FUNDRAISING MANAGER – Tamar
i. Tamar sent a report to the SC.
ii. She asked if we can do the direct mailing planned for January. If we want to go forward, we need to get on the Red Sun Press schedule, pay them. The idea is an “Obama one-year in office” report card.
Jody stated we owe Red Sun Press over $8000. If we can pay half of that, they will proceed. We are intending to pay with the new loan, if that is approved. Thinks the odds of us doing a January direct mailing are high.
Sanda asked if this was overly optimistic. Jody replied funds form the Juoni Trust would be available at the time. However, she hopes we can bring in about 3 times the usual rate. Tamar states that she isn’t sure this could be guaranteed. We are breaking even or a little better, but fundraising is still a little down, as are all donations to things like political parties.
REQUEST to go forward with January direct mailing.
AGREED, MIke and Sanda standing aside. Mike stated this should have been separately agendized, it should have been a separate item and there wasn’t enough specificity, and there should have been. Sanda is concerned about having the needed funds.
iii. Farheen asked about database transfer. Tamar replied she had been ill and not able to work on it last week. Advises using old database for a month of carry-over, when new one is fully operational.
Jody asked to change the order of the agenda and take up the budget discussion right after treasurer’s report. Jason and Holly stood aside, Farheen had a blocking objection.
VOTE on whether to change the order of the agenda, as described above:
Holly – No
Farheen – No
Jason – No
Jill – Yes
Mike – Yes
Sanda – yes
Jody – Yes
AGREED to change the order of the agenda.
II. TREASURER’S REPORT – Jody
$ 3.4k – General Account
$ 1.1k – International Committee funds in reserve (no request yet from the IC for dispersal)
$ 0.6k – IT funds in reserve
$11.3k- November income to date *(web through 28 Nov – some may be for IC or IT but I won’t know until Monday; checks through 27 Nov; Monday is the last day of November)
$38.8k- Accounts Payable to outside vendors and payroll
$32.9k- Accounts Payable to Greens including loans
$ 8.0k – 2008 National-Driven state sharing total after $8.8k forgivenesses received to date
Paid: rent, mid-month salaries, Oct phone/DSL, Oct Wired for change
Most urgent Accounts Payable:
$ 8.0k – end of month payroll
$ 0.9k – Nov health insurance for Brent and Brian
$ 0.4k – Aug/Sept Purchase Power for mailing/shipping from the office
RECOMMENDATIONS for use of the $3.5k we now have on hand:
$1.5k – Brian Bittner
$0.6k – David Doonan
$0.9k – Doug Malkan for October
$0.5k – Purchase Power
Check to Brent for office rent to hold until date due, hope we have more income to cover it.
Money coming in – web/credit card income Sunday night plus the check deposit on Monday. $11.3K so far in income this month. Jody has suggestions for bringing in funds in December.
Mike stated that he and Brent are coordinating a return visit to a potential major donor.
Sanda is looking for another person to join her in a project: for every, sustainer they will match half. Tamar offered to set up a donate page and email through DiA.
III. FINANCES, BUDGET, as needed
Mike put forth 3 proposals:
1 – Proposal to approve the budget spreadsheet; the secretary will have the webmaster post a link to it so it can be downloaded.
2 – Proposal to approve income and expense narratives, thus: after SC approves the budget spreadsheet, Mike will amend the narratives to reflect any changes. SC members would have until 6 p.m. EST on Tuesday to comment on that update. Absent any outstanding concerns that changes don’t reflect spreadsheet, this would go forward. Mike would be authorized to accept small changes for grammar or clarity.
3 – Proposal to extend the discussion period for another week, so NC has 3 weeks to discuss.
Jason said he had seen 9 email messages from Mike in the past 2 hours. Which email is Mike reading from. Jason doesn’t mind talking about what the suggested changes are, but there is no way he would vote to anything until he saw the spreadsheet and narratives and final content. Mike said we would be approving the process, SC members would have until 6 p.m. Tuesday to review the update.
Jill said she is looking at spreadsheet, but has not been able to get onto the wiki where the narratives are located.
Farheen said is traveling between Chicago and Minneapolis and hasn’t had a chance to see any of the new spreadsheets or narratives.
Holly noted that these proposals hadn’t been on the agenda and came in a couple hours before the call; she was at work most of the day and also had had little time to look at these. She suggested getting started with Jody going over the budget and most recent updates, then decide whether to discuss narratives, or go with Mike’s proposals.
Jody stated there were not many changes. She is concerned about not making progress. Asked SC to approve the spreadsheet and then have until Tuesday evening to make sure the narratives reflect the spreadsheet.
Mike stated that he and Jody had worked on this. Jason stated that given the number of messages, there must be a depth to the changes that he hasn’t seen, and he feels that this should be put off another week so all can review this. Farheen also wasn’t expecting having this much more to read and study when she left Chicago. She would prefer to meet next Sunday to vote on the spreadsheet and narrative, when there has been enough time to review, have questions, make needed changes. Jason felt this was being done backward: the SC needs to discuss plans and goals first.
Jody began with a review of the spreadsheet, starting with the Income section: Sustainer amount is raised to $78K, as it was figured that some of the SC/NC contribution will come in as sustainers. SC/NC income was lowered, accordingly. NC/SC amount, less sustainers, lowered to $15K. Proposed increase in merchandise income to $1300, half added to the cost of the merchandise.
Income: $382.2K; ANM $30 = $412.2
Electoral politics: Travel and dues now listed on separate lines
Organization and outreach: For Media Committee, added $500 for media distribution list
Governance: $30 for ANM (their own budget)
Support & Services; Accountant pay is back to $900/mo. Health insurance adjusted to $10.8K, because there will doubtless be a raise in premiums.
Misc – down to $903
$2000 for platform committee, may be mid-pterm platform, which would involve some printing.
Jason expressed a concern with the FinCom setting the budget. Jody said Fincom is left to punt because we have no strategic plan.
Jason stated it costs more to print platform summaries than we’re getting for them.
Craig feels fundraising has been hampered by lack of merchandise, would like some merchandise income re-circulated back to merchcom and would like a proposal to go forward for that. He expressed concerns about expense of ANM. Jody pointed out that this was also the money ANM takes in, not going $30K into the hole. Stemming from confusion over income and expense for ANM, it was suggested that something specific about this be included in the narrative
Jody asked with information we have, how many SC members would approve the spreadsheet.
Jill asked whether this included a particular staff position. Jody said it does not. Jody explained that we want to rehire that position, as soon as we have the funds to rehire. Mike explained the SC had agreed to eliminate this position, and that the NC would adopt an amended budget mid-year if there were funds to re-hire the position.
Further discussion about the fact that this had not been explicitly decided by the SC, and concerns that some of this has been placed in a place publicly available to people outside of the SC. It was acknowledged that an explicit decision had not been made, but Mike stated they had taken directions from other decisions made on the 11/22/09 call (special call to focus on the budget). The plan is to re-hire this position through an amended mid-year budget, if funds become available. Farheen, Jason and Holly raised concerns; Jill stated she did not believe this was fiscally responsible at this time for various reasons. Jason expressed frustration at attempts to focus on strategic goals and fundraising keep getting shut down.
Several expressed concerns that this decision had been made on a special conference call scheduled for the Personnel sub-committee, but that only two of the four members were able to call in, and that it was assumed the rest os the SC would agree, and written before the full SC had a chance to discuss it. Mike stated that policy is made by those who do the work and those who didn’t have time to review stuff can’t change the work. He asked for a vote on the options he proposed, with two changes – to make the ANM funding and expenses come out clearer, and to describe our indebtedness.
Mike asked for a vote. He suggested that the budget spreadsheet go to the voting queue, and if there is a groundswell of support for retaining the position, add the requested extra week of discussion and amend it, if needed. We have failed to get the NC a budget on time and include them in the discussion. The SC should be recalled.
VOTE on approval of budget spreadsheet
Mike – Yes
Jody – Yes
Craig – Yes
Holly – No, NC can be involved in discussion, anyway, let’s work out the bugs
Jason – No
Sanda – Yes, asking Farheen to offer her alternative budget during the discussion phase
Farheen – No
Jill – No
NOT APPROVED: 4 Yes, 4 No, budget spreadsheet does not pass.
IV. VOTING QUEUE – Holly
a. Eco-Action proposal – revision of their P&P’s to accommodate need for quick decision-making when needed Need timeline, threshold, floor manager 2 weeks discussion, 1 week vote, 50%+1 threshold, Sanda Everrett, floor manager.
b. ASC – GNC Apportionment Schedule 2 weeks, discussion, 1 week vote, Craig Thorsen floor manager
c. Tikkun Invitation Agreed to timeline of 1 week discussion, 1 week vote. Rationale for this shorter timeline is to ensure our participation would be known to the sponsors, we would be included in planning and publicity. Also, because this didn’t make it into the voting queue earlier, because the SC was dealing with the budget. Sanda is interested in working with them.
d. WI proposal – NC approval of IC delegation reps Mike stated he’d contacted them, got a response tonight and offered to follow up.
NEXT CALL: Sunday, December 6, 2009; 8:00 p.m. ET