April 3, 2011

GPUS SC Conference Call
Sunday, April 3, 2011
8:00 p.m. EST

Co-chairs: Jason Nabewaniec, Tamar Yager, Audrey Clement, Leenie Venet Halbert, Farheen Hakeem, Theresa El-Amin, David Strand
Secretary: Holly Hart
Treasurer: Jeff Turner
Staff: Brian Bittner

Observer: Budd Dickinson (WA)

Facilitator: Farheen

8:06 – 9:16 p.m.
Potential legal matter

SC APPROVED job contract and description for Fundraiser

Brian sent a report to the SC today. Registration for the national meeting this summer is now open, he hopes to see more registrations.

Brian has been in communication with new fundraiser, David Sacks, on new projects, division of labor. He hopes to have am office manager contract soon.

III. REQUEST for ENDORSEMENT from Eco-Action – Audrey
The NIRS petition is here:


SC APPROVED, Consensus

Jeff sent a preliminary report for March 31st. We have a little money in the bank, almost $8000. Some will go out for payroll, re-solicitation mailing and postage, but we will still have some funds left over. Some money is starting to come in from FundCom efforts.

a. PROPOSAL – Amendment of loan proposal – Jeff Jeff: “The Finance Committee would like to make this an authorization for only a $4,000 loan, not the $5,000 whick was originally requested and approved.

“According to our new fiscal policy the SC can approve a loan for up to 1% of our annual budget without any other approval. The Finance Committee would like it to be done this way so if it is needed it can be done much more quickly.” The FinCom hopes this is not needed, but if it is, they would like to have this done quickly.

Jason stated that he believes we have relied too heavily on loans in the past. Since fundraising is picking up, he would like to rely on funds we have available.
VOTE on amended loan proposal
Jeff – Yes
Jason – No
Farheen – Yes
Audrey – not heard, fell off the call
Theresa – Yes
David – Yes
Leenie – Yes
Holly – Yes
Tamar – Yes

SC APPROVED amended loan proposal; 7 Yes, 1 No, 1 not heard

b. Progress report/update on fundraising effort – Jeff Money is coming in from several states: Virginia, Hawai’i, Washington. Jeff credits organization by Karen Young and Bill Kreml of FundCom.

c. Direct Mail: SC sign on – Tamar
A letter has been drafted. Tamar asked for SC signatures. Several sent in suggestions. Jeff feels this needs a stronger “ask.” Tamar will send a new draft to the SC. Decided to have secretary’s signature on the letter “on behalf of GPUS SC,” to save time in getting copies of all SC members’ signatures.

Theresa reported that she felt a fundraising letter she received, which was directed internally, did not include enough information, only a return envelope. Jason said this wasn’t SC business, but a letter asking GNC delegates to participate. He asked that if Theresa has a concern about this to discuss it with him further.

VI. OFFICE LEASE, PROPOSAL and update – Brian, Audrey, Tamar, Leenie, Jeff, et al

APPROVED: SC Consensed on agreement to have Jeff move forward to negotiate a lease.

Leenie sent out information and photos of a space visited by Audrey and Brian. They had a short list of possible spaces. This one is in Tacoma area in NW D.C. The sub-committee (Leenie, Audrey, Tamar, Brian and Jeff) has consensed on recommending that we take out a lease on this location. Jeff would like to go forward with the application and communication with the landlord. Brian recommended we set up a new post office box closer to the venue, but also keep the Dupont Circle area box for awhile.

Holly asked how much would be saved per month, whether moving expenses would be worth the cost. Leenie reported utility bills are low, the building has geo-thermal heating. Savings: they will try to negotiate how much up-front rent they need to pay as deposit. Moving costs: this place has built-in work spaces and furniture, so we may reduce costs if we don’t have to take a lot with us, or re-coup money on furniture we have. She has leads on reasonable movers. Disadvantage may be that we have a one-month period where we might be paying rent at two locations.

Jeff reported they’d like a 2 year lease. Rent raise is 4%/year, normal. Rent + utilities will be about $200/mo. less than what we pay now. It’s not saving a lot, but a much nicer space, with room to grow. Other places were either much smaller or more expensive. This offers some savings and a nice place and location. Tamar noted the place has good natural lighting, on first floor, more accessible, also a “green” building and progressive neighborhood.

Brian mentioned that Maryland Greens might be interested in helping out with some projects there. Leenie reported further that this is an “Intern-friendly” area, youth hostel nearby, possibility of moving to wind power.

VII. ANM – Theresa, Tamar, Holly, whoever else has something to present

Theresa noted that we should begin “time-blocking” the NC meetings. Tamar recommended that a couple SC members work with GreenFest planners on evening events that would involve all attenders. Holly will send some past NC plenary agendas to give an idea of what business is generally included. Tamar said GreenFest planners are willing to try to work with NC planners around NC meetings, to accommodate those who want to attend workshops.

Theresa and David noted the need for addressing anti-oppression issues. Farheen is interested in presenting a workshop that she did for “Creating Change.”

Jody Grage has been in contact with David Korten about the possibility of his being a “cyber-guest.” SC expressed interest, will follow up with Jody and Annual Meeting Committee.

VIII. COMMITTEE REPORTS – SC co-chairs, as needed
Leenie – GreenPages – Leenie spoke with David Doonan and discussed reasons why this committee has been quiet. They talked about ways they might get the committee activated again, looking into a print version again, idea of merging with the Media Committee. Also interested in working with Tamar and with FundCom.

PCSC – Solicitation letters have gone out to prospective 2012 presidential candidates. So far, Kent Mesplay has responded to say he is interested in being a candidate. Stewart Alexander, Socialist Part candidate, is advertising that he will seek the Green nomination, as well. They are about a month behind where they planned to be, issues of getting their web page updated.

Eco-Action – Audrey has proposed signing on to a statement by NIRSNET (see Item III), requested by Eco-Action.

BAC – spoke with co-chair Phil Huckelberry. Upcoming call on April 11th. Member Mike DeRosa is proposing looking for lawyers to have a legal strategy toward ballot access. Committee is compiling information on state-by-state ballot access laws and processes.

Theresa ANM – now working on preparing for 2012 Presidential Convention. Interest from CA, MD, possibly GA.

AC – spoke with co-chair, Roger Snyder. There are two potential new accreditations: Latino Caucus; Kentucky Green Party. They spoke about synergy between outreach and accreditation.

Outreach – has not been functioning, co-chair has not responded. Theresa asked that he respond by the end of March, and will work on getting the committee active again.

David DAC – David has done some research on where Green votes are most plentiful in statewide races; somewhat surprising.

Diversity – he and Theresa have talked about the group’s inactivity. David is contacting people on that list to find out who is still a member, not getting much response.

IX. Personnel Committee – Jeff We need a contract for Brian, staff evaluation process, etc. Jeff suggested we ask Maya O’Connor to draft a proposal for a personnel committee and needs for the next call. SC agreed to have Jeff contact Maya.

Holly Hart
Secretary, GPUS

NEXT CALL: Sunday, April 17, 2011; 8:00 p.m.