February 24, 2013
GPUS Steering Comm Conference Call Minutes, February 24,2013
I. CALL SETUP & BACKGROUND
a. Facilitator – Jody Grage
b. Roll Call – Budd Dickinson, Susan Chunco, Jeff Turner, Steve Welzer, Darryl! Moch, Charles Ostdiek, AJ Segneri
Absent – Farheen Hakeem, Karen Young
c. Agenda revisions – Consensus to add endorsement of TTP event in Florida for AJ to end of agenda
II. TREASURER’S REPORT & FINANCE ITEMS – Jeff
a. Cash report to date – revised statement sent, $727 in general account plus $971 web deposit account; not yet enough to pay accounts payable including rent $1250, but income by end of week should cover it; then payroll due.
b. FunCom – talk about sending another eblast – Stein blast raised about $2000; next mailing out early this week if final draft done – returns mid March. Thank you calls to donors – Steve made some last week; Susan will make calls when gets info from David Sacks.
III. VOTING QUEUE – Budd 10 minutes
In the queue:
Approve the 2013 Annual National Meeting in Iowa City, Iowa July 25-28.
Voting 2/25 – 3/3
Received for the queue: None
IV. Candidate and Officeholder Database Budd –
Brian working on this with David Doonan, Holly, and Darryl; Brian has password and has started work, Brent has sent everything he has, people are responding to requests for information, will be on web, etc.
V. Committee Listserves – progress toward transfer to Pair
Jeff has no update; David Doonan is working to find non-pair administrators; list of all listservs not on pair needed – Jeff and Budd will try to locate.
VI. Update on concerns presented to SC and recommendations for a volunteer manual – Farheen and Darryl have made no progress lately.
VII. LIAISON REPORTS
Darryl – Diversity – new listserv will be on Pair when possible. Old Yahoo list continues to send out notices of monthly meeting that aren’t happening; working to find list owner to stop them. Old list needs cleaning up before meeting of currently active can happen.
Darryl – CCC – doing fine though some people haven’t continued involvement on calls. Monthly webinars, though February postponed due to difficulty of finding speakers. Campaign school at ANM plus train the trainer campaign school in the fall. Not much contact with Stein campaign school effort.
Darryl – no current activity with BRPP or DRC. Green Pages issue coming soon.
AJ – Officeholders Network – will be getting list updated; working with younger office holders to increase activity.
Steve – Platform now has updated webpage
Steve – BAC – in touch with Utah re: reviving state party and getting on the ballot.
Karen – written report on Strategic Planning WG.
“We are working on the surveys and focus groups. Survey to be finalized by March 6. We are compiling a list of ways to get the surveys out/people to contact and will try to involve the whole committee and advisors in outreach for to survey takers. Mission/vision statements to be finalized by mid March.”
VIII. Proposal on Trans Pacific Partnership. (See below)
GPFL proposal to sign on to/endorse anti-TTP March 9th event in Tampa – 3/3 deadline to sign on. CONSENSUS to endorse. Secretary will send info to Scott for press release.
IX. NEXT MEETING – 3/10
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: James Howe <firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2013 20:29:29 -0500 (EST)
Subject: [gpf-council] Proposal on Trans Pacific Partnership
The Anti TPP coalition has set March 9 for a statewide action in Tampa. It will start in Ebor city at the Roosevelt at 1:00 pm. The Venue has a capacity of 170. A march will follow.
A webinar produced by Communications Workers of America and The Sierra Club provides an overview: http://www.cwa-union.org/video/entry/webinar_the_tpp_and_the_ra ce_to_the_bottom#.URHNVh37Jc2
I Propose that the Green Party of Florida:
1. Add its name to the below signers on the below letter to congress.
2. Forward to Green Party US and request out National Party also sign the letter.
3. Provide a speaker for the state wide action planned for Tampa on march 9 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Our speaker should focus primarily on the environmental problems with the TPP as Labor will be well represented.
4. Request a speaker from the Green Party U.S.
5. Forward me any contact info for spokes eople for the Libertarian Party that would be willing to speak against the TPP.
Find below an introductory letter, a list of other organizations that have endorsed the letter to Congress, and the letter to Congress.
I’m writing to ask that your organization please add its name to the letter to Congress below urging a change in direction in the nation’s trade policy and replacement of the outdated “Fast Track” trade policymaking process.
With negotiations on the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement racing towards conclusion this year, a new trade agreement with Europe under consideration and the Chamber of Commerce pushing for a new grant of Fast Track “trade promotion authority” to rush these pacts through Congress, it is critical that we speak out now and let our Congressional leaders know our expectations. Signing the letter below will help accomplish that, at a critical point in the trade policy debate.
The deadline for the letter is Sunday, March 3 — just a day before the next TPP round begins in Singapore. To add your group, please fill out the short web form at: http://tinyurl.com/tradeletter
The letter was initiated by Citizens Trade Campaign, a national coalition of labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, human rights and other organizations working together to create trade policy that contributes to a more just and sustainable global economy. If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:info%40citizenstrade.org>.
Citizens Trade Campaign
(202) 494-8826 <tel:%28202%29%20494-8826>
Here is a list of signers so far
Citizens Trade Campaign
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Communications Workers of America
PA Fair Trade Coaltion
National Farmers Union
United Steelworkers Union Local 1688
U.S.W. L.U. 2599-06
Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)
Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH)
Family Farm Defenders
Witness for Peace
FACE Faith Action for Community Equity
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Witness for Peace- Upper Midwest
American Medical Student Association
Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA)
Maquiladora health & Safety Support Network
Brooklyn For Peace
Coalitions of Mutual Endeavor
Just Foreign Policy
It’s Our Economy
DC Time Bank
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
St Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America
Central Florida Central Labor Council AFL-CIO
Organizational Sign-On Letter on Trade Policy
Please add your organization’s name by Sunday, March 3 at:
Email email@example.com <mailto:info%40citizenstrade.org> with any questions.
Dear Member of Congress:
As U.S. trade negotiators seek to conclude a standard-setting new trade and investment pact for the Asia-Pacific region by this October and consider launching another with the European Union, we write on behalf of our combined XX million members and supporters to share our expectations regarding commercial agreements in the 21st Century and the congressional oversight role needed to transform past U.S. trade policy into a tool that helps build a more just and sustainable global economy.
We find it troubling that, even as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement enters its 16th major round of negotiations this March in Singapore, U.S. negotiators still refuse to inform the American public what they have been proposing in our names. Shielding not only proposals, but agreed-upon texts from public view until after negotiations have concluded and the pact is finalized is not consistent with democratic principles. In this regard, the TPP appears to be even less transparent than some past trade negotiations. For example, in 2001, the United States joined with 33 other countries in releasing draft text of the Free Trade Area of the Americans, and draft texts within the World Trade Organization are frequently made available.
Issues that must be addressed so that a TPP, a European Union-U.S. Agreement or any other U.S. trade pact actually improves the quality of life for Americans and people throughout the world include:
. Prioritization of human and labor rights. Too many existing trade policies go to great lengths to protect the rights of investors, while ignoring or glossing over issues of forced labor, child labor, sweatshop working conditions, political violence, environmental degradation, violations of indigenous peoples’ sovereignty and government suppression of such basic freedoms as speech, assembly, movement and the rights to form independent trade unions and bargain collectively. Human and labor rights must be front-and-center in any trade agreement if it is to help reverse the global race to the bottom in working conditions and environmental practices.
. Respect for local development goals and the procurement policies that deliver on them. Trade agreements should not impede governments from spending taxpayer funds in ways that prioritize local development, environmental or social goals. The procurement provisions of trade pacts must maintain existing “Buy American” preferences, as well as prevailing wage requirements, green preferences, sweat-free preferences, human rights preferences and policies designed to address long-standing inequalities.
. No elevation of corporations to equal terms with governments. Trade agreements should not grant individual corporations and investors special powers to privately enforce agreement terms by challenging laws, regulations and court decisions through tribunals that circumvent domestic judicial systems. The “investor-state” tribunal system that allows panels of three private sector lawyers to order unlimited taxpayer compensation for foreign firms who claim that a country’s laws undermine their expected future profits must be eliminated. International investment rules must also be revised to more narrowly define terms including “investment,” “expropriation” and “minimum standard of treatment” in order to safeguard the ability of governments to regulate in the public interest.
. Protect food sovereignty. Trade agreements should respect governments’ ability to implement programs that ensure farmers and other food workers receive fair compensation and that consumers have access to safe and affordable foods. Likewise, nations must be able to protect themselves from dumping and other unfair trade practices that force farmers off their land.
. Access to affordable medicine. Maintaining access to affordable, generic medications is critical to reducing health care costs in the United States and to saving lives throughout the world. Trade agreements are an inappropriate vehicle for extending the length of drug patents, and U.S. policies should explicitly uphold the standards set forth in the Doha Declaration on access to medicine.
. Safeguards against currency manipulation. Trade agreements should include measures that allow the United States and other governments to take measures to counteract trade-distorting currency manipulation. Agreements should also include strong rule of origin provisions to ensure that the benefits of the agreement go to those countries that agree to meet its rules.
. Space for robust financial regulations and public services. Trade pacts should set floors, not ceilings, when it comes to the regulation of banks, insurance companies, hedge funds and other financial service providers. Trade agreements’ services provisions should contain clear and specific language stating that nothing in the agreement should be interpreted as requiring deregulation or privatization of any private or public service.
. Improved consumer and environmental standards. Likewise, trade agreements should set floors, rather than ceilings, when it comes to environmental, food and product safety and consumer right-to-know measures. We believe a much greater degree of public and congressional oversight is needed if the TPP and other pacts are to achieve these high standards. Before granting the Obama administration any special trade policymaking authority, please request that it make the draft TPP texts public.
Instead of delegating Congress’ exclusive constitutional authority to “regulate commerce with foreign nations” to the executive branch through the reinstatement of outdated and extreme procedures like Fast Track “Trade Promotion Authority,”we urge you to support a new American trade agreement negotiation and approval process that:
. Requires that Office of the U.S. Trade Representative consult with all interested stakeholders, participate in hearings with all committees of jurisdiction over matters affected by trade agreements and provide a thorough and public assessment of what specific job creation and export expansion opportunities each prospective trade partner would provide and how a proposed agreement would impact human and labor rights, the environment, food sovereignty, access to medicine, currency manipulation and balance of trade among the countries involved — beginning this expanded engagement process with the TPP as soon as possible;
. Sets up an objective process to verify that negotiating objectives set by Congress are actually achieved in the final agreement; and
. Includes a process by which a majority of the Congress must vote to certify that a proposed agreement is in the public interest and that Congress’ negotiating objectives have been met before the executive branch can sign the agreement and bind the United States to its terms. Only through this type of robust oversight and public participation can we forge a new national and global consensus on trade policy that works for all. Sincerely