February 28, 2016

GPUS Steering Committee Minutes
Sunday, February 28, 2016 – 8:00 p.m. ET

a) Facilitator: Darryl Moch
b) To listen: 605-475-3299, code 332690, ref #154
c) Present: Audrey Clement, Sanda Everette, Jan Martell, Andrea Merida, Charles Ostdiek, Jeff Turner (joined late, left early), Tamar Yager, Bahram Zandi. Observer: Starlene Rankin
d) Agenda revisions: Audrey asked to add under Old Business a report on becoming signatory to GPUS account at Signal Credit Union; Andrea asked to add under New Business a breakdown of employee payroll, and to take a few minutes at the start of the meeting to remember some Greens; Tamar asked to introduce under Old Business a proposal about paying writers to write fundraising appeals, for online vote.

Andrea asked members to keep in their thoughts a victim of a shooting in Colorado, Martin Wirth, a GP member who had run for state office who was facing foreclosure and died in confrontation with the police; and Tom Allen in Los Angeles who was wounded at the KKK rally protest and is doing okay. She suggested that the Secretary should send a note in each case.


a) Update on Credentials Committee – Sanda said she had been added to the CredCom email list, and nominations were being taken for chair and recorder.

b) Proposal: empowering the SC liaison overseeing the office to make decisions about expenditures for day-to-day operation – Andrea sent her proposal by email (see addendum 1 below), hoped to vote on it tonight. Discussion centered around concern that it was unclear in the proposal what policies or rules would be changed, and if it affected the Fiscal Policy. Also that members had not had time to think about it, as it was just posted today. Jeff advised referring it to FinCom, and to delay a vote to have some time to accept friendly amendments. A vote was taken on referring the proposal to FinCom -voting yes: Audrey, Sanda, Jan, Jeff, Bahram; voting no: Andrea, Tamar; abstain: Charles. The proposal is referred to FinCom. Andrea said she withdraws the proposal. Jeff said that it is still referred to FinCom according to the decision.

c) Report on adding Audrey as signatory to the GPUS account – Audrey met with the credit union rep who had received our official letter changing signatories. They need the letter to be signed by Jeff who as Treasurer is the other signer. Jeff said he had an updated copy of the letter and the signature card and was ready to send it back to Audrey, so she can complete the paperwork on her next visit to the CU.

d) For decision – putting up Tamar’s proposal (see addendum 2 below) to pay writers for writing fundraising appeals for an online 48-hr. vote, according to our rules. Audrey objected that this proposal was not posted until a few hours before the meeting, so going straight to a vote online would not leave time for discussion. Sanda pointed out that with no discussion phase the proposal could not be amended to address concerns about its content. Tamar said that the SC had already discussed this issue earlier and had asked for more detail – this proposal answers those concerns. Charles noted that two days would leave some time to discuss online. A vote was taken to approve putting the proposal up for a 48-hr online vote – Voting yes: Jan, Andrea, Tamar, Bahram; voting no: Audrey, Sanda, Charles. Absent: Jeff. Approved.


a) Treasurer’s Report – Jeff made his report very quickly before he had to leave the call. He sent a cash-balance report, there’s about $10K in the account, about $6K after payroll and rent, about $2-3K left over. Fundraising is bringing in a steady flow.

b) Fundraising Report – Tamar. Mailing went out on Friday, 4 days early, will send PDF soon; working on updating January records, then Feb. with new tracking codes and new custom fields to run figures according to budget categories. This will make budgeting much easier. Donations are down this month because of no active direct mail and only one e-blast instead of 3 or 4. We have received a good number of donations from the website though. Audrey said she had been making calls, and wondered why other SC members were not also doing this. There are 2012 donors that need to be called and a new list from GPNY. Tamar said that even though everyone might not be good at fundraising calls, thank-you calls are easy, and boost donations.


In the queue:
a) 810 – SC Vacancy Election
b) 811 – Establish Animal Rights Committee
c) 812 – ARC Committee Rules

Received for the queue:

a) For discussion: Oklahoma Green Party endorsement of Sanders – Andrea gave the background of the story – OK Greens have prohibitive ballot access bar, and young energetic members hoped to coalition with other groups by endorsing Sanders in the primary. Blowback in social media has since died down and there have been no real repercussions outside the party. OK has backed off on the endorsement and clarified their independence. Media committee advises not making a statement on this or doing anything about it.


TOTAL TIME: 60 minutes

Jan Martell

ADDENDUM 1: Proposal Regarding Office Procedures

Addition to the Rules, Policies and Procedures of the Steering Committee of the GPUS
Section 4: Supervision of GPUS Office
The role of the supervisor of the GPUS office is to set priorities for workflow of any office staff, to ensure timely response to inquiries generated via email or in-person visits to the office and to ensure the accurate and timely processing of financial-related operations. Further, the supervisor’s goal is to ensure that employees of GPUS are meeting party goals in a way that respects employee contributions to the organization.
The supervisor will:
⦁ Set the frequency for cash and check deposits
⦁ Set the frequency for visits to the post office
⦁ Process time sheets and employee benefit and payment paperwork, as well as interface directly with payroll services.
⦁ Schedule office hours for employees, Direct the workflow of the office, including when data entry or reconciliations are to occur.
⦁ Monitor and administer use of a debit card for office expenses
⦁ Sign contracts for cost-effective and/or upgrades to utilities and services to improve efficiency of office operation, including telephones, internet, postage, etc.
The supervisor is authorized to expend up to $500 a year for office expenses, including transportation assistance for office employees, small gifts of flowers or similar items. For items beyond $500 per year, the normal approvals set forth by the fiscal policy will take effect.
Steering committee members and other staff will route work requests of office staff through the supervisor. Any disputes in work priority will be taken up via the Steering Committee’s 48-hour online vote process, the decision of which will be immediately effective at the conclusion of the vote.
The supervisor will provide an update of office operations at every Steering Committee meeting.


Proposal: Secure freelance writers for eblasts for 3 or 4 eblasts per month until we hire someone permanently. Currently we have two people that can help us with this on a contract basis. Alexandra Thebert will do the fundraising writing and Brian Bittner will do the content writing. Others may be hired if either or both are not available. An example of schedule for the next several months is below. Dates and costs are approximate. For example, Bernie may concede to Hillary and we would likely do something on that right away. Some months we will have 4 eblasts.

March 14: Greenline or other content-driven or merchandise eblast
Brian Bittner – (estimated 4 hours) cap at 5 hours 5 hours x $25 hour = $125

March 23: Fundraising Eblast and possible follow-up reminder
Ali Thebert – (estimated 4 hours) cap at 6 hours 6 hours x $40 hour = $240

April 1: First Friday Fundraising eblast and possible follow-up reminder
Ali Thebert – (estimated 4 hours) cap at 6 hours 6 hours x $40 hour = $240

April 13: Greenline or other content-driven or merchandise eblast
Brian Bittner – (estimated 4 hours) cap at 5 hours 5 hours x $25 hour = $125

April 22: Fundraising Eblast and possible follow-up reminder (Earth Day)
Ali Thebert – (estimated 4 hours) cap at 6 hours 6 hours x $40 hour = $240

Background: In December, Lea Pierce, our fundraising writer left the organization. Also, in December Brian Bittner left. Lea had been doing the fundraising writing among other things. Brian had been doing the content-driven eblasts. The 2016 approved budget includes $1625 monthly plus taxes for the part-time fundraiser who was doing most of the writing. The amounts above are significantly lower than the budgeted salary and we don’t have to pay taxes since they are contractors working on a job-by-job basis. Below are samples of Alexandra’s from her initial application with us. She applied for the fundraising position last year but could not devote the hours needed for the position. We (Jeff, Tamar, Karen) were very impressed with her skills. I have also attached the fundraising letter she just completed for us. Additionally, she has experience in using Nationbuilder.

From Alexandra’s cover letter:
Below is a Google Doc to a few writing samples to give you a sense of my flexibility. The first several are ghostwritten blurbs I did for the Stein Campaign, which, while a bit older, are most closely tied to this position methinks. When ghostwriting, I always sought to match the voice of the listed author while using clear fundraising formats. At the end of this doc is an op-ed I wrote about mining work that was published in a Detroit-based magazine. Here’s the link: