December 4, 2003
SC Call Notes — December 4, 2003
SC members: Ben Manski, Greg Gerritt, Jo Chamberlin, Marnie Glickman, Jake Schneider, Anita Rios
Staff: Emily Citkowski
Jeff Turner from Finance Committee
Facilitator Jo, later replaced by Ben
Note taker Greg Gerritt
AC = Accreditation Committee
BRPP = Bylaws, Rules, Policies and Procedures Committee
BC = Black Caucus
CC = Coordinating Committee
CCC = Coordinated Campaign Committee
CG SC = Campus Greens Steering Committee
DC = Diversity Committee
FC = Fundraising Committee
FEC = Federal Election Commission
GP = Green Party
GW = George Washington University
IC = International Committee
ICA = Institute for Cultural Affairs
LC = Lavender Caucus
LG = Lavender Greens
PEC = Presidential Exploratory Committee
SC = Steering Committee
[Brackets denote editor’s suggested corrections. Some punctuation corrections done with no content change. -ed.]
Agenda Review, set Facilitator, timekeeper
OLD BUSINESS AND REPORTS
Operations Director Report 10 minutes
Finances 10 minutes
Review 2004 budget proposal 20 minutes
Black Caucus staffing: unresolved issues 5 minutes
other staffing updates 3 minutes
presidential campaign update and PCSC 10 minutes
Sierra Club & Dems – possible meetings 5 minutes
Convention 5 minutes
office party 2 minutes
Kucinich letter 5 minutes
75 minutes for old business
Voting Queue 5 minutes
voting numbers are up
2 current votes Cuba and BRPP rules: extended unnecessarily
PCSC still in discussion
GEON attached (at the end)
direct mail firm/fundraising director hire (10 minutes)
Steering committee structure in general and in specific (25 minutes including the two items below)
Bacilli’s position on the SC (5 minutes)
Who has the one year SC term? (15 minutes)
South Carolina/SC responsibilities for discussing with State Parties conduct unbecoming of a delegate. 5 minutes
Accreditation proposal: see below 10 minutes (attached at the end)
Green Party Capacity reflection 10 minutes: if time, otherwise will be on the agenda for next time.
50 minutes plus 10
Check in, Agenda Review
Add 10 minute Executive Session at the end
Add time for budget, fundraising, and discussion of Director of African American Affairs contract
Operations Director Report
Sent written report, will do that regularly
Still learning data base, but got report to accountant
Concerns that not enough time for data base work and, as we are going to new system, we need to get that transition done.
Thank you letters are behind in going out.
When the new Fundraising Director comes on that will help a lot.
There is progress in reorganizing the office so that it can handle all the staff that will be coming on.
Discussion of wiring for Local Area Network. Will cost us about $1300 to $1500 to rewire the office to handle 5 computers and have them networked. Would like to at least do the wiring before more staff moves in.
SC decided that we needed a fully developed plan including options before allocating money. Emily will produce plan with hard numbers.
Buying computers for the new staff in the office. Not yet resolved.
General discussion of the growth of the office and its relation to fundraising and politics. Anita has concerns about office growth in a time of what might be a very tough year financially. Also concerns about the relationship of the DC office to the rest of what we need to do, including organizing in the field. Others share those concerns to a greater or lesser degree.
This bled into a discussion of our new approach to fundraising and concerns about how grassroots our approach is. Do we spend too much on fundraising? Do we do short term fundraising at long term cost to ourselves? Unresolved, obviously.
Budget Review for 2004
Jeff Turner started to present. The Finance committee has now released version 5 of the budget. Long process with constant revisions and calls for feedback. Committees have made proposals for their budgets, Finance Committee has worked with them, as the requests together from the committees are way over what will be available.
Discretionary budget, budget beyond office and staff and basic costs like paying the bills and keeping communications channels on line, is projected to be about $60,000 for 2004. Committee requests were at least $250,000. Big gap.
With budget documents in front of us:
Ben presented his concerns. 1. Pay range for Fundraising Director. Felt that $82K is out of line with what we can afford and what is fair given what we pay other staff. Are we getting value for our money if we pay this and how does it effect other staff to know one person is making so much more? One comment from another SC member was that this is like successful companies paying the salesmen more than the owner because they bring in the money.
Another comment that came out was that while this budget process is much better than last year’s, it is still not perfect and will continue to be improved. (which is always a request for more people to join the finance committee)
Again the SC got into a discussion of budget priorities. Anita pointed out that other than the Black Caucus tour we have no organizing in the budget.
There was a discussion about the Fundraising Director pay scale, with Marnie pointing out the belief that if we pay less we will end up hiring someone who will raise less moeny, that this is what it costs to hire an excellent experienced person. Noted that the 3 candidates still under consideration all expect a salary in this range if they are to take the job.
One issue is whether or not getting a experienced fundraiser at the 82K price will help us build a good foundation for further growth or not. Some things are just unknowable.
The budget discussion went on for quite a while and did not resolve much or get through all of the issues needed to be covered. In the interest of moving to the rest of the business on the agendam the SC agreed to schedule a special call for Dec 10 to work on finances.
Contract with African American tour Director
Contract is still not signed. Suggested edits from the Black Caucus have been slow to come in. There may be a difference of opinion between the Director (Jason Ravin) and the elected leadership of the BC about some details. One issue, that the SC insists upon, is that the Director of the tour sign a contract with the GPUS, not the BC, as the GPUS is the employer and provides the fiduciary oversight. We are confident it will all be resolved soon.
Meetings with outsiders
Nader asked us to meet with the leadership of the Democratic party, but it does not seem to be a priority for anyone, including Nader’s people, so it is very unlikely to happen. No one seemed to mind at all.
Several members of the Sierra Executive board are Greens or Green leaning so this discussion is still likely to happen, but schedulng seems to be difficult and the person charged with this from Sierra’s end has not followed up recently.
Ben reports committee has been more active. Website is about to be launched, including on-line registration form.
Decided the best course of action is a reception for the hiring of Jason Ravin for the African American outreach position with the Black media early in January and no other reception seems necessary.
SC received a letter from the Kucinich campaign after the Kucinich folks conferred with WA delegate to the GPUS, Jody Haug. SC decided that we really did not think it appropriate to respond in any way and would convey that information in a short note to Jody.
First noting that on recent votes, the vote totals have gone up which is a good sign. Two votes are just being completed. They were extended because of the holiday, but both easily met quorum and did not need to be extended. Both will pass overwhelmingly. Noted the excellent process of response by the IC to concerns about the Cuba resolution.
Proposal to create a Presidential Campaign Support Committee (PCSC) is still in the discussion phase.
Proposal to create Green Elected Officeholders Network has been sent along by the Bylaws, Rules, Policies and Procedures committee. SC had concerns as to whether or not the Accrediation Committee had looked it over. A short note will be sent to co-chairs of the AC to see if they had any outstanding concerns before it was sent to the voting page and the CC for approval.
The proposal to restructure the SC was sent by the BRPP to the SC. This is a follow-up to the discussion that took place in DC at the summer meeting. The SC requested two weeks to look it over and have a dialogue with the BRPP before this goes to the CC. A note to that effect will be sent to the BRPP.
At the request of several delegates, Marnie brought to the SC the concern that one of the co-chairs (Badilli Jones) has been very inactive on the committee and that that has had a negative effect on the functioning of the SC and the GPUS. The SC agreed that this is a concern, but felt that the SC should not take any action on this, that it is the responsibility of the CC to figure out what is appropriate.
It was noted that we do have a structural weakness in that the resources necessary for low income people to participate may be available, but somehow seem hard to access.
Greg noted that the CC seems to have a hard time self organizing, that it overly relies on the SC to set its agenda. Greg hopes the CC will develop more capacity to self organize and set its own agenda. This, and a few other issues, are clear cases of the CC waiting for the SC rather than self organizing [and] taking action on its own.
At the request of several delegates, Marnie brought to the attention of the SC that the issue of who was elected to a one year term in DC as opposed to the two 2 year terms has never been resolved. The SC agreed to compile a list of options and after reviewing the list, send it to the CC for disposition. Greg will compile an initial list and send that to the CC for additions/amendments.
Conduct unbecoming a delegate
One of the delegates from South Carolina has, on a number of occasions, used language to other members of the Green Party that is completely inappropriate, including the eff word. Greg suggested a letter to the leadership of the South Carolina GP on the issue, noting our concerns, not necessarily recommending a course of action. One problem is that none of us know how to contact the leadership of the South Carolina GP. Their website has no list of leadership or contact information. We have contact information for two delegates and one alternate, and are aware of a SCGP steering committee Yahoogroups email address, but no proper way to address them. Broadcasting to a Yahoo grooups list with no names attached seems inappropriate for such a letter. This issue has come up before, and will come up again as there are no records of the proper way to contact state parties and their leadership. The SC agreed to work to find a way to properly contact the SCGP, and then will consider sending a letter.
Based on the proposal passed recently on the accreditation of delegates to the convention, the Accreditation Committee sought SC approval to start the formation of a Credentials Committee. Greg will send a note to the AC with our go ahead to get the ball rolling. (See note below)
At 11:20 the SC discussed going into Executive Session to discuss legal matters related to a lawsuit against the Presidential Campaign Debate Commission that the Green Party is a party to. Anita did not want to participate in any Executive Session and signed off. The rest of the SC went into ES.
ES ended at 11:30 and the conference call adjourned.
Accreditation discussion item: from Ginny Case
The Credentials Committee shall consist of fifteen members elected using preference voting by the Coordinating Committee of the Green Party of the United States. Any Green who is a member of a Green Party participating in the National Convention may put their name forth to be a member of the Credentials Committee.
Delegates to the Convention and non-delegates are eligible to be members of the Credentials Committee. No more than two members of the Committee shall be from any one state. No person may serve as a member of the committee who resides in a state with partisan voter registration, unless they are registered as a Green or if that is not possible has declined to state their political affiliation. The Committee shall elect two co-chairs after it is seated. The Committee shall also elect a clerk.
The Credential Committee needs to be formed. Is it appropriate for the AC to solicit for nominations and the SC to supervise the election? We would need three weeks to accept bios. At the same time, the AC could take on the responsibility for getting the word out to all of the state parties.
Minimally edited and HTML formatted by Charlie Green