GPUS-SC Conference Call
April 5, 2009
8:00 p.m. ET
Co-chairs: Budd Dickinson, Jill Bussiere, Sanda Everette, Phil Huckelberry, Craig Thorsen, Jason Nabewaniec
Secretary: Holly Hart
Treasurer: Jody Grage
Staff: Brent McMillan, Tamar Yager
Cliff Thornton was not able to be on tonight’s call.
Guest: Jeff Turner (HI), MerchCom; Hillary Kane (PA), AnmCom; Andy Finko (IL), Legal Advisor
Observer: Kai Schwandes (NC)
AC = Accreditation Committee
ANM, ANMC = Annual National Meeting Committee
BAWG = Ballot Access Working Group
BRPP = Bylaws, Rules, Policies and Procedures Committee
BC = Black Caucus
CC = Coordinating Committee
CCC = Coordinated Campaign Committee
CG SC = Campus Greens Steering Committee
ComCom = Communications Committee
DC = Diversity Committee
DIA = Democracy in Action internet service
DRC = Dispute Resolution Committee
FC = Fundraising Committee
FEC = Federal Election Commission
GP = Green Party
IC = International Committee
LC = Lavender Caucus
NPWG = Nominating Process Working Group
NWC = National Women’s Caucus
PEC = Presidential Exploratory Committee
PCSC = Presidential Campaign Support Committee
SC = Steering Committee
SPWG = Strategic Plan Working Group
[Brackets denote editor’s suggested corrections. Some punctuation corrections done with no content change. -ed.]
I. VOTING QUEUE
1 – GPCO proposal or online SC elections
This is an amended proposal of the one that’s about to fail. Request is to send this one out the day after this call, due to the need to have a decision soon. SC felt 2 weeks was better than 1 for discussion, as this would give time for review and possible feedback, in case there are questions or amendments needed. There may need to be something to address what should happen in the event there is no meeting, or we go meeting to every other year, etc. This may be addressed in this proposal or another.
2 weeks discussion, 1 week vote
Floor manager: Craig Thorsen
2 – BRPP proposal on BRPP P&P’s
This was re-sent yesterday and most of the SC has not had time to look at it. Discussion on whether to take this up online this week, or on the next regular SC call. Craig raised a blocking concern, stating he felt this would be an unnecessary delay, especially since the SC had tasked BRPP with this proposal, and that the SC had been inconsistent in the timing of sending proposals to the voting queue. Others disagreed, and felt that, since this is the normal routine for handling proposals, the SC should take it up on the next call, but commit to reviewing and making sure any questions were resolved by that time, with the goal to be able to approve it for the voting queue, to go out the day after that call (not the Monday the week after) 2 weeks discusson, 1 week vote.
Discussion on threshold BRPP co-chair, Audrey Clement, has sent a spreadsheet showing that most P&P votes were set at a 50% threshold, although the practice has more recently developed toward setting thresholds for 2/3 for this type of vote. SC will review and determine threshold.
3 -Eco-Action/ Indiana – asking for SC to approve a sign-on for Eco-Action on behalf of GPUS. Question of whether this is more a state-level issue and whether Indiana GP has approved. SC agreed to take this up online this week.
II. STAFF REPORTS
a. Executive Director – Brent
Brent reviewed draft of brochure on planned giving on FinCom and FundCom call.
Fundraising – 3 contributions this week = $10,400. Brent sent 50 personalized prospect letters this week, hopes to do the same again this week.
Received a draft of the lease for the potential new office space, and sent it to DC attorney John Gloster. Brent wants to have an attorney review this before making any recommendations.
Tamar is working to identify an appropriate person from Salsa to look into the possibility of transferring our database there. He plans to take a webinar this week to learn more about Salsa’s reporting capabilities with Salsa.
The Pakistani Green Party speaker will be in DC in the near future. Brent spoke with Scott McLarty about arranging for a 4-hour period at national office for him to be available for phone calls or visits by the media.
Elections database: added 4 candidates this week, from ME and VA. Currently at 106 candidates. Tuesday, 2 Greens won office. There are 30 campaigns coming up April 7th in IL and WI.
Next Thursday, Brent will deliver his (6th) annual talk to the GWU M.A. political management program.
International Seeds Days endorsement. Brent has asked Dave Doonan to put a link and notice on our website. He also recommended a link in their media release to another organization as an example. The sponsoring organization has sent suggested material for press release.
II. TREASURER’S REPORT
Jody sent out two financial status reports for March and April (through Friday). $20.8K income for March. At the end of the month, we had $1.9 K in general account, but only because we hadn’t paid some bills. $29.6 in accounts payable, included February and March bills, including rent.
Earmarked funds = $26.4K ($19.6 in state sharing, $6.8K other) through the end of February.
The recent $10,000 contribution must be considered part of March income, not something to get us through April. Another $3K in April income has come from other programs. Jody paid Brent’s salary for end of March, rent for March/April, health insurance for Mar/Apr, utilities, postage, DiA website, accountant for February, Empower for last week in January, $500 to Palmer Hilton.
$4.1K is in general account, but accounts payable is now up to $48.7K, $8.9K pressing ($7.2K back pay to Empower, deposit for new office space and salaries).
Jody stated that we are going to be in the same position in April that we were in March. She wants to start the discussion now as to what we’re going to do in the event we do not have enough $ to meet payroll and pay our most urgent bills.
III. MERCHANDISE, tabled from last call
Jeff Turner from MerchCom called in. He presented a background on the Merchandise program. Its mission is to help spread awareness of the Green Party, help people “be seen being Green,” and to raise some funds for the GPUS. MerchCom forwarded several documents to the SC. Their spreadsheet indicates they have made a small profit and gain more new donors than any other program. They would like to do a better job of cost-accounting (recommended for other areas as well). Efficiency has improved.
Merchandise program has brought in $54,588.64 net since program started in 2001; $16,952.73 in 2008.
Phil asked about the McKinney campaign merchandise that went through the GPUS Merchandise program. Jeff stated they ordered cautiously, sold out and re-ordered, but were careful not to have anything left over by election time. Cynthia McKinney reported 15,000 items sold.
Jody asked how much we had in inventory. Jeff estimated about $6000 worth of merchandise.
Jeff stated that the Merchandise Program is a program that is beneficial for outreach and raises money. The committee has been frustrated because they feel they can’t get anything done. Since 2004, when GPUS quit doing direct mail prospect mailings, we have not made an investment in seeking out new donors. GPUS has spent money without making an investment in having a good program to be recruiting new donors. We are spending down our inventory, at some point will have nothing to sell and no income.
Jeff explained the MerchCom proposal for an Open to Buy formula, for relaying percentage of profits back into program to invest in more inventory. 15% of profits to GPUS, 85% back to MerchCom for inventory, including new items to sell out, subject to treasurer’s recommendation as to whether funds are available. Jody recommended that FinCom make that recommendation. Jody and Budd stated FinCom had not seen this and wanted FinCom to review. Jody and Phil asked for more specific plan. Jeff explained it was already in the formula, a year to date calculation on how much has been sold, bought. Jason stated FinCom has had the plan about a year and not done anything with it.
PROPOSAL to approve this plan tonight; MerchCom will get back to SC with the numbers requested by Phil and Jody; and provide language for GPUS fiscal policy.
Sanda – Yes
Phil – No
Jill – Yes
Jason – Yes
Budd – Abstain
Craig – Yes
Jody – No
Holly – Yes
Hillary Kane, AnmCom co-chair, reported that AnmCom has not heard back form the meeting venue. If they do not hear back by Tuesday, they may recommend the meeting be called off. The Black Caucus is planning a face to face meeting, is aware of the predicament and has offered that GPUS graft onto their meeting. It’s not known if that would work. Given financial constraints and concern about people trying to make plans on shorter notice, it may be better not to try to pull it off.
We should hear more from the AnmCom on Wednesday.
V. Legal advisor Andy Finko called in to talk about questions Phil relayed from SC.
Andy has sent the SC a memo with preliminary information.
Jason asked if email listservs considered a workplace? Andy said he will research this.
Andy asked for copies of staff contracts. Jody will send copies.
VIII. MORE on FINANCES
Tamar has sent ideas on the Green Card program in response to questions about the program. Her suggestion is to phase out the program over time and offer the card to anyone who is a certain level of donor. She also presented ideas on using member “testimonials” on our website to encourage more sustainers. SC was favorable to these ideas, and agreed she should continue to proceed as needed.
IX. FORUM MANAGER Update
There are now at least 3 individuals who have offered to serve as Forum Managers. As the time was getting late, Holly agreed to forward the names, along with any new additions, to the SC for review and approval, with the idea of sending the list to the NC for an approval vote, as soon as possible.
There was general interest in more discussion about finances, but because of the time, it was agreed to hold an extra call on the subject next Sunday.
NEXT CALL (Extra Call on Finances): Sunday, April 12, 2009; 8:00 p.m. EDT
NEXT Regularly Scheduled CALL : Sunday, April 19, 2009; 8:00 PM EDT