SC Call Notes — April 15, 2004
SC members: Jake Schneider, Ben Manski, Jo Chamberlain, Greg Gerritt, later joined by Marnie Glickman, Alan Kobrin
Staff: Emily Citkowski
Jo and Ben to Facilitate
Jake Time keep
AFT = American Federation of Teachers
AC = Accreditation Committee
ANM, ANMC = Annual National Meeting Committee
BRPP = Bylaws, Rules, Policies and Procedures Committee
BC = Black Caucus
CC = Coordinating Committee
CCC = Coordinated Campaign Committee
CG SC = Campus Greens Steering Committee
DC = Diversity Committee
FC = Fundraising Committee
FEC = Federal Election Commission
GP = Green Party
GW = George Washington University
IC = International Committee
ICA = Institute for Cultural Affairs
LC = Lavender Caucus
LG = Lavender Greens
PEC = Presidential Exploratory Committee
PCSC = Presidential Campaign Support Committee
SC = Steering Committee
[Brackets denote editor’s suggested corrections. Some punctuation corrections done with no content change. -ed.]
OLD BUSINESS AND REPORTS
Office Report 5 minutes
Ben’s Report on trip to DC 10 minutes
Convention 10 minutes
Finances usual reports plus 20 minutes
Black Caucus 5 minutes
Voting queue (see below) 20 minutes
Routing of calls by staff 5 minutes
Green pages 5 minutes
Marnie’s schedule 5 minutes
There were a few more things on the agenda that were added after the agenda went out.
Emily: Asked us to look at written report that was sent out prior to the meeting.
Staff asked seriously about logistics for convention, need to start planning. So SC needed to decide. Discussion by SC around timing. Ben, serving as liaison to convention committee wants the SC to arrive 2 days before the meetings begin, which means arriving Monday morning. Might be necessary for some to come Sunday Night due to connections. Looking at first two days doing free or very low cost housing in Milwaukee, then all staff and SC at the convention hotel. All normal staff costs absorbed by the party, SC subsidy based on each member’s travel budget availability. For SC numbers need to be broken out.
SC would have its reconvening meeting with the new SC on Sunday evening as there are those who will have to leave Sunday. We shall try to give sufficient notice of this post convention short new SC meeting to all candidates for SC so they can consider it in their travel plans.
Therefore Staff should assume the same schedule and accommodations. Jake, Adam Benedetto, and Emily will coordinate. Emily will coordinate making sure there is phone, email coverage for the office while she is in Milwaukee.
This will return to the agenda each time until all finalized.
Trip to DC
Ben: The SC had attempted to schedule a retreat believing that the SC should see the staff in the office at least once this year. The costs and logistics made this impossible so Ben decided to go to DC and went with the blessings of the SC and representing us.
Ben will post a report to the CC soon, but generally reports that things are well. There are positives and negatives to having the staff operate with less day to day interactions with the SC, but that things are coming together well. One concern is the interaction between party members and staff as too many party members are yelling at the staff. The SC is clear that they would much prefer that instead of yelling at the staff that they communicate with SC and Committee people overseeing the staff about their concerns. Staff is not to be yelled at. Period.
Ben then noted that he would like a 10 to 20 minutes Executive Session to specifically discuss his comments on staff at the end of the meeting.
Ben: The ANMC is having conference calls weekly. Things are moving into high gear as the time gets close. Emily will report registration numbers right off when she gets back to the office.
Adam and the committee are working on panels, Speakers, registrations, meetings. Agreed that we should notify committees that they need to get in touch with the ANMC about scheduling in person meetings during the time we are in Milwaukee.
PCSC is working hard, 3 hr conference call this week. 2 major issues, pulling in different directions, so have to look for ways to break out decisions that are controversial items. Key controversies include 1. Should no nominee be persistent or subject to eliminations. 2. Must a candidate agree in writing to accept the nomination if they win in order to be eligible for votes? PCSC will provide amendments before the discussion period ends.
Ben also expressed concerns about who is on the Coo list, especially those who are not delegates, committee chairs and others with specific reasons to be on the list and noted there are recent examples of inappropriate posting and list membership. Some other members agreed. Greg was much less concerned. The SC asked that Greg contact the Communications Committee for further clarification, and more enforcement of the rules we have passed. Greg will send a note to the Communications Committee asking for assistance in dealing with this issue and report back.
Midwest Center contract
Was supposed to be in hand, but hand not yet been sent. Negotiations have gone well and contract is looking good, pending final version being received from the center. When it is received Ben will ask the SC to approve on line.
Note on registrations is that approximately $18,000 has been received, it is budgeted at $50,000. Entire budget for convention is set for $90,000. If $90,000 is taken in the convention will produce a surplus. There are concerns about some of the convention costs and we are still looking for ways to reduce costs.
Jo noted that the GPCA enacted a rule that if anyone receives a subsidy from the state party for their convention costs, then they must stay in the convention hotel. She hoped other states would take similar actions.
Finances, fundraising, budget
Jake: Deposit on 4/16/04 $1567.
Noted that if all convention funds we have received were in a separate account then there would be cash assets of approximately $42,000 once we paid the immediate regular bills. The fundraising committee has been working with a direct mail firm trying to work out a contract and full arrangements for the contractor to take over our direct mail system. When this was being done in house full scale it was costing about $32,000 a month. If we go with the contractor (Whitney, Garcia) it would cost $40,000 a month. In theory this would raise revenue by more than $8000 a month, meaning that it would be profitable, but there are no guarantees. Jake has concerns and wants clear discussion as to whether essentially cleaning out the treasury to get the direct mail system up and running with the contractor is worth it, considering the risks.
This also must be taken into account as we look at budget adjustments that will be presented to the CC this spring. Committees have been asked to send in updated budgets by April 21. (There was no report on how that was going.)
Ben noted real concerns with the direct mail program. Jo noted as that this costs just slightly more than doing direct mail in house doing it through a contractor should give better results.
Kara was not hired to do direct mail as it was expected that it would be contracted out, but is doing quite a bit of direct mail currently. This may or may not work out well, but it does not follow what is currently the approved plan. Actually a great deal of what Kara is doing, what she is being asked to do, is not in the plan.
Others brought concerns as well. Contributions are down about 50%, which is not a huge shock considering the political climate. Role of direct mail in growing the party, and how that is effected by doing it through top notch contractors or in house.
Jake brought us back to the question of should we sign a contract with Whitney Garcia despite not really having the money to do it, or needing $40,000 to get the program started.
Questions: What is our business plan, what goals do we have that we are expected to meet with the program? What are the growth goals for the party? Is the goal only to be described by cash flow per month? No, need more than that, though that should be there. How do we describe our product, Green politics, so that people want to support it with their money and time? And even if we knew these answers, could we afford to do it?
Ben question. Can we afford it. answers 1. We have to 2 Afford what?
Need more information about how the budget is being adjusted, then how do we make the numbers work?
Does the GPUS fund the Black Caucus outreach tour of America? Even if the numbers do not add up? CC approved a plan, but what to do if the plan is unworkable and does not add up? Issues about how to modify it to changed circumstances and financial projections. How is this effected by divisions in the Black Caucus. Are problems internal to the BC of any relevance? Clearly it was not dependent upon final accreditation of BC, and no one believes that accreditation was a blocking concern, or even a real concern. One of the key problems is that the original writers of the proposal within the Black Caucus are no longer in a majority in the Black Caucus though George Martin is still co chair. The SC will continue to discuss and work on this.
One suggestion is a much more open dialogue between the Black Caucus and the CC so that everything can be out in the open. The CC needs to reinvigorate its participation in this discussion.
Discussed the 3 resolutions in process. Voting continues on Voting Audit Trail resolution. Discussion continues on proposal to fund travel to the convention for a number of Greens as proposed by the Diversity committee and on the floor rules for the convention. Amendments are being worked on for both resolutions.
Agreed to send to voting page for 3 weeks of discussion followed by a vote [on] a resolution on proxies at the convention and a resolution on the fiscal policy. (Resolutions have been sent to the vote list already as it takes several days to amend approve these minutes within the SC before they are sent along. ) Marnie Glickman will be the floor manager for the fiscal policy resolution. Alan Kobrin will be the floor manager for the resolution on Proxies.
It was reported that a proposal for actions around the Democratic and Republican conventions will be forwarded soon by several state parties.
Routing of calls by staff
This issue has come up several times recently.
Greg will ask Emily to draft a one page set of guidelines about how to rout calls. SC will review.
Should we print more? Greg will discuss this further with Emily ( By this time Emily had left the call).
Marnie reported that on May 24 she starts preparing for the bar exam and will be unable to fulfill all of her obligations as an SC member in the month before the term ends. Wondered about the best approach to making sure that there was sufficient people power in the SC with her unavailable. Should she resign, just take a low key approach, seek the CC finding a replacement for her? Most SC members did not believe she should resign and felt we would just try to cope for the month until the meeting as there was no proper procedure in place for replacing her for that month. Marnie favors getting the CC to replace her.
Greg noted that an official call for nominations to SC should go out 2 months before the CC meeting and that we are almost there. Procedure is call for nominations, accept nominations for one month and ask all candidates to provide bios at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting. Greg will send a note to the CC formally announcing this.
At 11:31 PM SC began a discussion as to whether or not to go into Executive Session to discuss specific comments about the staff. Marnie noted that if we were going to discuss her interactions with staff that she wanted it to be on the record. All of the SC except Marnie believed it was appropriate to enter ES. Jo noted that rules say the SC must have unanimous consent to enter ES. Marnie did not wish to block consensus, but would not participate in ES so she signed off of the call. SC entered ES at 11:35 PM EDT. Remained in ES until 12:01 AM EDT.
Following leaving ES Ben remembered that we may not have been clear enough in noting our endorsement of Women’s April 25 March. Unanimously voiced our approval in case our endorsement was unclear from previous actions.
Minimally edited and HTML formatted by Charlie Green