December 4, 2016

GPUS Steering Committee Minutes

Sunday, December 4, 2016 – 8:00 p.m. ET 

a) Facilitator: Sid Smith
b) To listen: 712-451-0019, access code 926334, ref #16
c) Present: Brian Bittner, Chris Blankenhorn, Darlene Elias, Sanda Everette, Jan Martell, Andrea Merida, Darryl! Moch, Tamar Yager, Bahram Zandi. Observing: David Gerry, Paul Pipkin, Starlene Rankin, David Cobb, Jill Stein
d) Agenda revisions: none


a) Q&A with Jill Stein and David Cobb on recount initiative – Darryl!. David gave a brief summary of the successful actions in Ohio in 2004, which sent 2 elections administrators to jail and contributed to party growth and visibility. Jill covered her history of dedication to electoral integrity, and said she made the decision to undertake this, David was initially ambivalent. After hearing reservations from others she decided not to go the big dollar route, small donations only – about 150K donors whose names she does not want to know, prefers they remain anonymous. These states were chosen because they were close races with anomalies. Most red flags found in states going to Trump. Other states considered, looking for red flags, more can be done later, overriding deadlines, if these challenges have findings. Tamar asked why recount wasn’t pursued in 2012 – Jill: zero interest from the election integrity movement. She thinks 2016 Democrat primary results should have been challenged, not a 1-party issue, hundreds of thousands of uncounted votes in CA. She sees major benefits to the GP from 1) exposing the system, also a racial justice issue, 2) media opportunity – after the 2nd debate her campaign had a media white-out, but now making headlines, prime opportunity to talk about issues, RCV and spoilers, open debates, real solutions. Sanda asked about conference the campaign is planning around election integrity in February, might conflict with dates for SC retreat. Jill said the recount was pushing that back, currently pursuing 9 court cases, so won’t be before March. She invited GP leaders to collaborate on this, issues to include voter ID, disenfranchisement, ending debate commission, etc. She promised to keep the SC updated going forward.

b) Legal advice and insurance discussion – Andrea voiced concern that SC members have no insurance and asked Brian to look into it – far right parties may bring legal action against individual Greens, can’t afford to defend ourselves. Darryl! said he could help with this, has a possible contact. Brian paid our general liability policy recently and can go back to the same agent for a quote on directors and officers insurance. Cost would not be high enough to require a budget amendment, so members agreed by consensus to the purchase. Tamar will work with Andrea separately offline on the legal advice question.

c) Proposal for decision: Statement for Consensus Building – Andrea. Darryl! sent some edit suggestions to the email list before the meeting. Members agreed by consensus to accept this edit as a final version. This will be published to the NC list, and posted on website in a way not to be misunderstood as a press release, published to social media.


a) Treasurer’s Report – Brian will have new budget draft and introduction ready by Tuesday. He will send out a cash report next day or so. Good news – GPUS has been granted a bequest of $27,780 by Kenneth Tobey of WI. So our planned giving program is working. Darryl! – we should look into making a statement honoring this donor. Brian will check if it is okay to use his name. Sanda and Bahram asked about reimbursement checks that haven’t arrived. Sanda said dues can now be sent directly to FPVA.

b) Fundraising Report – Tamar. First Friday e-blast to sustainers has brought in $500; Standing Rock message brought in $6K; starting to talk about next letter. New committee member Alison Baldry is working well, good at polishing writing. Next e-blast will challenge current sustainers to raise their donations.

c) Personnel WG Report – Tamar. Will be interviewing for organizer positions next week. Darryl! said he can return to an active role in the group. Tamar has been taking lead, though Jeff had said he would do it. Darryl! wants to reopen discussion about benefits, which we currently do not offer, only generous time off. Seems against our platform. Tamar said it’s not in the ad, applicants are informed by email. We could say more clearly that no benefits offered now, but may be added in future.

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

Received for the queue:

a) Budget proposal status report – Brian covered this under the Treasurer’s report. Budget approval should be completed on or around turn of the year.

b) Appointment of Apportionment Tabulation Committee – Sanda. 5 volunteers, 3 experienced: Sanda, Peggy Koteen, Mike Feinstein, Holly Hart, and Leenie Halbert. Sanda will not be chair, but will be a member, not liaison. Appointments were approved by consensus.

c) SC retreat update – Tamar sent a spreadsheet comparing two retreat centers – Avila in Durham NC, and Pendle Hill in Philadelphia PA. Costs are similar. Menu looks way better at Pendle Hill, they strive for green and local. Philadelphia is more convenient for travel, and not so isolated. Members agreed on Feb. 17th–20th, and selected Pendle Hill, by consensus. We will want a good facilitator, George Friday was mentioned, Hillary Kane, also Darryl! has a contact – discussion to continue online.


TOTAL TIME: 122 minutes

Jan Martell