August 24, 2014

GPUS Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

Sunday, August 24, 2014


a) Facilitator – Kate Culver
b) Start recording of call
c) Roll Call – Starlene Rankin, Budd Dickinson, Charles Ostdiek, Jeff Turner, Audrey Clement, Tamar Yager, Darryl! Moch. Brian Bittner, staff
Absent: Jesse Townley, Karen Young.

d) Agenda revisions – Holiday Meeting Schedule


a) Moving the office – Brian briefed us on the situation. See previous minutes. Then he gave us the pros and cons. Budd asked that he also send this in writing. See Addendum below. Subcommittee of Daryl!, Audrey, Tamar and Brian will make a recommendation before the next meeting as to whether we should continue to pursue the move.

b) Review of Brainstorming from meeting at ANM – This will take more than the 10 minutes allotted. Budd volunteered to break it up into specific topics so that it can be further discussed on the next call.


a) Treasurer’s Report – We have $7350 in the general accounts. The reserve account has been restored to it’s full balance of requirements as of July 31^st in the amount of $18,546.

Most ANM expenses have been paid, but we have not received a bill from Macalester College, so that is an unknown amount due on accounts payable. We are not in a position to make any discretionary expenditures until we pay Macalester.

b) Fundraising Report- Another mailing is going out soon. Returns should start coming in mid-Sept. Fundraising at the ANM was about $5000.

In the queue: None

Received for the Queue:

Approval of ETC report (from Election Tabulation Committee) – This will go to the queue on the regular schedule. floor manager – Tamar

PROPOSAL TO AMEND ANNUAL NATIONAL MEETING COMMITTEE RULES (From ANMC for SC sponsorship) -This was discussed extensively online. The original proposal was for the ANMC to make the site decision.

Charles proposed finding that this be expedited so it can be part of the planning for next year, for which deadlines are coming up shortly. This was approved by consensus.

e) Liaison Reports Discussion: Budd asked about Platcom and BRPP. Platcom is supposed to be incorporating planks approved last month. Darryl! said he would followup with Hugh Esco on the BRPP leadership need.

Starlene talked about the rebranding rollout on social media.

Tamar – ANMC report – We are still seeking applicants for 2015. We have two applicants for the 2016 meeting so far.

IV. New Business

a) Holiday Schedule – Discussed the upcoming Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day holiday. We decided to not change our meeting that weekend.

V. Executive Session – personnel – Staff health insurance rates are being increased. We decided to switch to a $500 deductible plan, to be confirmed after the numbers are checked by Jeff.

Budd Dickinson


Here are some pros of the office move:

-We have been offered us two adjacent private offices for $450/month each. This is a savings of over $500/month.

-Rent includes all utilities including high-speed internet access. (Update: Dan confirmed that the service is Comcast, with a 50mbps download speed. This is about twice the speed of our current service.)

-Amenities include a sitting area, common kitchen, conference room (seats 10), copier and printer. (Update: there are two conference rooms, two common kitchens, and two printers, one on each floor. We would have access to use them all, and they don’t appear to be in use very frequently.)

-For any future staff who drive to work (and for me on the rare occasions when I drive) more parking is available.

-Additional pro I would like to add after further reflection: after talking to Dan, it seems like there is more turnover in the Orchard Avenue building, and thus more frequent openings and shifting of current tenants. This gives us the opportunity to scale our footprint up or down as we might need to. If we make a breakthrough in 2016 and require more space, we could eventually take over an entire floor of the building. If we should need to downsize to only one office, $450 is the lowest possible rent we’ll find in the DC area and it would be easier to scale down if we are already established in the building.

-Additional pro: Dan is willing to paint and lay new carpet in anticipation of our arrival.

There are some cons:

-While the work space is adequate there is less storage space available. At our current staff level, one office could be used for work space and one for storage. If and when our staff level increases storage space could become an issue.

-The Orchard Ave building is farther from public transportation. The Landis building is about three blocks from the Takoma metro stop – the Orchard Ave building is about a mile from one of two nearby metro stops. There are buses that run from each stop to very nearby the Orchard Ave building.

-The Orchard Ave office in is Maryland. Some tax forms, insurance, and other documentation may need to be updated. We would also no longer be able to claim a physical DC address, although we can keep the DC post office box. (Update: For security reasons, I would actually request that the party not list the office address publicly.)