December 18, 2016

GPUS Steering Committee Minutes

Sunday, December 18, 2016 – 8:00 p.m. ET 

a) Facilitator: Charles Sherrouse
b) To listen: 712-451-0019, access code 926334, ref #17
c) Present: Chris Blankenhorn, Darlene Elias, Sanda Everette, Jan Martell, Andrea Merida, Darryl! Moch, Tamar Yager, Bahram Zandi. Absent: Brian Bittner (family event). Observers: Starlene Rankin, Jeff Turner.
d) Agenda revisions: Chris added Ballot Access request (2016 budget); Sanda added a report on Apportionment Tabulation Committee.


a) Fincom update – Darryl! sent an email with a plan from Fincom for temporarily covering Treasurer duties since Brian has been unable to keep to his projected schedule for budget and cash reports, which have gotten considerably behind. Brian sent an explanation to the SC of his current situation, and is communicating with Jeff and Tamar on getting things done. Jeff will make final updates to the budget draft; Darryl! will help with paying bills and staff supervision. Brian has sent paperwork for the Toebee bequest, which should come in soon, and has filed FEC reports.


a) Treasurer’s Report – Jeff sent cash report through end of October; can’t do November without access to Paypal acct, password has been changed. Budget: Jeff sent version 9. Recommended changes: putting $60K into operating reserves, according to fiscal policy requirements, raising salaries line item from $120K to $135K, and increasing cash forward amount line 143 to $175K, seeing what’s in the bank. After discussion, members agreed by consensus on each of these recommendations. Jeff said he would send version 10 in about half an hour. Tamar said she would edit line item descriptions by Monday. Jeff has drafted the narrative, but Brian can edit/finish it. Deadline for this work: before end of the week, to put the budget proposal PDF, with narrative, in the queue for posting Monday Dec. 26.

b) Fundraising Report – Tamar. Fundcom met recently and is working on direct mail for end of January, kind of an annual report, Alison Baldry will start it. Waiting to see when we can get a campaign mailing with Jill writing the letter as a transition. We have requested the campaign donor list, but don’t know when we will get it. Darryl offered to engage with the campaign on this, and members agreed. CaringCents – the campaign has used this successfully and will transition their donors to us if we decide to use it. It gives an option to round up your credit card payments for GPUS. Agreed by consensus.

c) Personnel WG Report – Darryl! requested to be included in meetings since he is not considering applying for any positions. Darlene asked how we would be updated on the interviewing process – Tamar said the working group conducts interviews and makes recommendations, but SC decides on hires. Interviews are recorded and available for listening. But process is not at that point yet – links will be sent.

In the queue:
852 Approval of Charles Ostdiek for Fincom
853 Approval of Jeff Turner for Fincom
853 CCC Election

Received for the queue:
Approval of Budd Dickinson for Fincom – No findings, Jan will be Floor Manager.


a) Statement for Consensus Building update – Jan. Last meeting we agreed on a statement on recounts that included last-minute amendments, which later proved to be problematic on closer reading. We went back and forth on this by email. At this point, should we put something out or is it no longer relevant? Andrea suggested that we had lost the leadership moment on the issue, and now we need to make a better, proactive statement. She suggested proposing the formation of a voting justice action committee. Members agreed to pull the statement. Andrea will draft a proposal before the next meeting.

b) ATC report – Sanda made a quick report that the ATC formed and is meeting, has called for states to update their numbers, and is sending data to Kendra Markle for the new database. Andrea and Darryl! said they had not seen the call, and asked for it to be sent to the SC list.

c) Request from Ballot Access Committee – Chris, BAC requesting to access its $15K 2016 budget line to apply toward a list of projects sent by email. Work on these projects would not be done in 2016, most of them speculative. Most members were unsupportive, some suggested this was a misunderstanding of how budgets work, as this budget line is not earmarked, it remains in the general fund until needed, then specific expenditures are approved. Jeff pointed out that withdrawing this amount now would completely negate all the work so far on the 2017 budget, and we would completely have to rework it. A roll-call vote was taken. Voting yes: Andrea. Voting no: Darlene, Jan, Darryl!. Abstain: Chris, Tamar, Bahram. Absent: Sanda, Brian. The request was not approved.

c) Budget discussion continued – Jeff said in producing the next version he had run into a calculation error of $10K, which affected our bottom line and caused this budget to dip into reserves. Members agreed to back out the $15K added tonight to the salaries line to put it back in positive balance. Jeff will send version 12.

Issues have been covered, so no need was seen to meet.

TOTAL TIME: 160 minutes

Jan Martell