June 26, 2011
GPUS SC Conference Call
Sunday, June 26, 2001
8:00 p.m. EDT; call started about a half hour late
Co-chairs: Audrey Clement, Leenie Venet Halbert, Tamar Yager; Theresa El-Amin came on about 40 minutes into the call ; David Strand came on about an hour into the call
Secretary: Holly Hart
Treasurer: Jeff Turner
Staff: Brian Bittner
Jason Nabewaniec and Farheen Hakeem were not able to be on the call.
Guests: Justine McCabe, International Committee co-chair
Jesse Townley, record label manager, employee of Jello Biafra
The SC agreed to add more time and include guests for Item VI.
[NOTE: After the call, it became clear that not all had agreed to include this item with the same understanding as to the process by which is was presented to the SC, or the degree of support needed to place the item on the agenda. Requests were made by 4 members of the SC to strike the minutes for this item. 2 were in favor of posting the minutes, 3 did not respond. At this time these minutes are being posted, the sense of the SC is still not clear. MInutes have been reduced, with the intention of providing a summary of the discussion. For the complete discussion, listen to the conference call recording at : 641-715-3470, call code 332590# It’s call no. 37 – hh, 7/14/11]
I. STAFF REPORT
Office Manager – Brian
Brian reported the current registration for the Annual National Meeting to the chair of the ANM Committee. As of that report, there were 41 registrations (33 delegates, 7 guests, and 1 presenter). Since that report, one more presenter and two more guests have registered.
He transmitted a breakdown of the ANM income to the Treasurer.
He sent the Fundraiser a list of donors to 2010 Green candidates to whom he sent prospect letters earlier this year; he also sent a copy of additional names that have yet to be prospected, an outline for researching more prospects, and a copy of the letter that was sent.
He transmitted the latest donation information and an update on the results of the R-11-04 direct mail to the Fundraiser (results to date: $19,525.78 on initial investment of $6,914.18, we have to get to $20,742 [$1,217 more] for a 3:1 return)
Brian recently spoke with Ron Borden, a computer consultant was referred by Jeff, about our existing computer infrastructure and potential future needs for our office hardware.
He has also been working with Hungerford Printers in Washington DC to get quotes for producing an updated platform summary.
Joe Jerzak, the national political director for the National Nurses Union, is looking to communicate with the Green Party of the United States on coordinating efforts. Brian told him he would work with the Steering Committee to find a contact for Joe to work with.
Leenie is interested in serving as the contact, and the SC agreed. Later, Theresa expressed interest, having had some interaction with that organization at one time. Leenie agreed, and the SC APPROVED Theresa as liaison. with NNU.
Tamar added a fundraising update from a report from David Wilcox: All database records should be moved to SALSA by the end of the week. David has been able to do this without spending New Signature money. There will be a mailing to donors from Jill Stein’s campaign to go out in the next couple of weeks. She is signing the letter. We will have the next resolicitation letter after the ANM.
II. TREASURER’S REPORT – Jeff
a. Jeff sent a cash report covering up to today, 6/26. We are expecting deposits next week of $1500 from our old office deposit refund, and a nearly $1100 transfer from paypal for ANM moneys already collected. Another $1000 or more will come in via various means. That will leave us with a month end general fund bank balance of approximately $19000 at the end of June. The only other June expense not listed on the reports is David Doonan’s month end billing.
This represents a slippage of a thousand or two in our month end balance from May 31st. David has been working on the database migration and has not done much phone banking for two or three weeks. And the flow of money from the April solicitation mailing has slowed considerably. A small mailing is planned for early July. A larger mailing is planned for immediately after the ANM.
REQUESTS for Funds
a. There may be some requests for Merchandise purchases. Tamar suggested up to $1500.
**SC APPROVED up to $1500 for Merchandise purchases.
b; Funding for one print run of Green Pages – Leenie
Approved budget line is $3000.
Request is for $1200 for 10,000 copies of 12 pages, b/w/g, including 4-page insert.
Preferably completed before the ANM and shipped either to DC or directly to Alfred
c. REQUEST for re-imbursement for NWC domain name renewal
IV. Liaison to Personnel Committee/Advisory Group
Audrey expressed interest in being the SC member serving on this committee.
**SC AGREED that Audrey will serve as SC liaison with this committee
VI. VOTING QUEUE – Holly
Proposals submitted for the Voting Queue
1) Proposal for Delegate Apportionment; MGIP;
request 2 weeks discussion, 1 week vote; ranked choice vote
Floor manager: Leenie
Audrey pointed out that the language in the proposal needs to be corrected: there is an error in stating that the result would need 2/3 to pass, because that is not a likely result for a ranked choice vote; it’s not clear whether the Maine proposal is being voted on separately; the use of NOTA is also confusing.
**SC agreed with Audrey’s “findings.” Audrey will contact Maine and work to clarify these issues. They have already indicated they are expecting to tweak the proposal.
2) GPUS Bylaws Amendment: Steering Committee; GPoWS; 6/20/11
request 2 weeks discussion, 1 week vote; 2/3 threshold
Floor Manager: Tamar
Sponsors requested this be expedited to go out tomorrow, June 27, in case a third week of discussion is needed.
Jeff said this version is not what he’d seen earlier, and noted that this would mean 10 individuals voting on the budget, which could lead to a tie vote. He feels this is not well thought out. He agreed not to block sending the proposal to the voting queue.
**SC agreed this should go to the voting queue on the regular schedule, with Jeff standing aside. This will go to the voting queue on July 4.
VI. REQUEST for letter to Jello Biafra
Guests: Justine McCabe, International Committee co-chair
Jesse Townley, GPCA delegate and record label manager, employee of Jello
The co-chairs of the International Committee brought a request from some members that GPUS contact Jello Biafra regarding a planned performance in Israel. They forwarded a draft letter asking Jello Biafra to cancel an upcoming performance in Israel, in accordiance with GPUS’ policy suporting the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions academic and cultural boycott. Because the performance is coming up soon, the SC was asked to come to a decision via rapid response. IC co-chair Justine McCabe went over the content of the letter, which has been sent to the SC.
SUMMARY of DISCUSSION [This attempts to provide a summary of each participant’s basic points, not necessarily in the order they fell during the discussion. For the complete record, the call recording is available – see above for the number and access code. – hh]
Jesse Townley, manager for Biafra’s record label:
Jello is aware of and in agreement with 95% of the BDS principles, and has met with strong advocates of the BDS movement in San Francisco. His band is planning to go to Tel Aviv, and trying to get a performance in Ramallah and/or to some place in the West Bank.
A lot of the rhetoric directed at Jello and his band are attacks and remind him of the type of language used by AIPAC. He has no doubt Biafra will be talking about his experience in Tel Aviv and the West Bank. personally, he would not choose for his band to go to Israel, would respect BDS.
What is the best way to approach Jello in this kind of issue, think about issues of alienation of people who are public and publicly tied to the Green Party.
He suggests that Biafra could talk with the IC and other Greens, and plan to organize events with BDS supporters and people representing these issues in several cities.
Feels the letter is best something we try to do in a dialogue with Biafra, rather than posting it, putting it up on our website.
First, she is disturbed that GPUS’ own hands aren’t clean in this regard and we need to clean up our own house.
Second, PCSC co-chairs and a former co-chair have expressed concerns about this letter, because they are about to send a print version of an email letter inviting Jello Biafra to consider running for our Presidential nomination.
Third, we have had very little time to deal with this, to consider the ways in which various responses would play out and their ramifications. Are we looking at the integrity of the party? Doesn’t feel it’s within our authority to single out any registered member.
Later, in reference to an article in the Jewish Chronicle (online news site), she pointed out that Biafra is mentioned as an unsuccessful Green candidate for President in 2000; she clarified that at the time GPUS did not exist, it was its predecessor organization, ASGP, for whichg Biafra was one of the Presidential candidates seeking the nomination.
This is not just an internal issue, we have seen this is something the CA Greens are concerned about. Justine says we took a lot of consideration it adopting this policy, but we have never consider applying it.
Supports the BDS campaign. During the South African apartheid era, when a number of entertainers considered taking a gig in South Africa, they received a message to that effect. To make a boycott effective, people who believe in the message need to support it.
The SC is being asked to respond, does not need permission from any committee.
Disturbed about mis-characterizations, including in a forward of the draft to the PCSC, and lack of clarity, The request was for a respectful direct call or personal letter, no request or discussion to post on the web or publicize.
This is a fairly routine type of action, we are being asked to respond. Jello may not change his mind, we may disagree.
Clarified the issue of GPUS’ dirty house: yesterday, we learned that Sun Trust bank, in which we our funds are located, invests in Israel Bonds. The SC was completely unaware of this, and will work to find another bank.
Questions whether this is a routine matter, as we have not censured anyone regarding BDS. In order to enforce BDS, we are suppressing dialogue.
In agreement mostly with Leenie and Audrey. We cannot personally censure someone. She is in favor of promoting dialogue that is not in writing. A letter will go out on listservs, not easy to be private.
Concerned that our own PCSC sent him a letter asking him to consider a nomination; we are acting in conflict with another committee.
Clarifies that this is not a censure, that is really exaggerating. The point is not to condemn Jello, but to make our policy clear and inform him. If Jello decides to perform regardless of the letter, she would like it to go to the groups that had requested our support.
While Jello may be considering his level of support for BDS, the GPUS went through several years of review to decide whether to support this. The basis of BDS is that, after International Criminal Court rulings, resolutions, 40 years’ attempts, Israel has continued to act in defiance of international law, with our government’s help. Urges the SC to stand up for the position we took several years to consider and adopt. If Jello is distressed with a letter, that is a small loss compared with the opposition of many other potential Green voters.
In regard to Jesse’s and Audrey’s point is that dialogue is good, we can do this.
Shocked to learn about the bank, but that is a separate issue. We can have a public campaign about how we divested.
Adding to the concerns about our bank, we should do a thorough review. She has been looking at other areas of our operations, including use of credit cards, Paypal, Visa, etc.
Has not been happy with SunTrust for other reasons. He will start to do some research for a new bank. Regaarding communicating with Biafra, having a dialogue is fine, but not calling out in public.
Looks like we are concerned that he is going to Israel and engaging in significant economic activity. It’s difficult that this not bring any response. We have the possibility of making a private appeal and let that be known; a different decision is to send the letter to the organizations that requested it.
Leenie asked whether we would call him and discuss this, not send a letter. Theresa and others were calling the question for a vote on the letter.
VOTE on whether to send letter to Jello Biafra. The SC would tell organizations that contacted us that we appealed to him and whether or not he responsed, but not make the letter public.
Theresa – Yes
Jeff – Yes
Audrey – No
Tamar – No
David – Yes, to sending the letter privately
Leenie – No
Holly – Yes
**SC APPROVED sending the letter; 4 Yes, 3 No
***SEE ABOVE, note at the top of the minutes regarding later questions about the degree of support this had in being acted upon.
VII. COMMITTEE LIAISON REPORTS
Theresa: she and Howard Hawkins (NY) are working to re-convene a labor group, facilitate relationships with labor organizations. Theresa was at the Kent State Emergency Labor conference.
Leenie: PCSC has worked on a questionnaire for state parties, and updated their website for candidates. They have also worked on a strategic planning initiative which will be part of the ANM Saturday afternoon session. The committee just completed voting on the latest round of names of individuals getting letters from the GPUS.
BAC is planning a call and will work on the Saturday ANM strategic planning afternoon session with PCSC.
Green Pages are working hard on getting a new issue out for the ANM.
Merchcomm is in the stages of reforming, gained significant headway in reestablishing a vendor relationship and will be working on getting new merchandise.
Media Committee has been active putting out press releases and had a conference call last week related to ANM planning.
Other items tabled. Jeff states we should be making strategic planning a priority, stop being reactive, be pro-active.
TABLED – VIII. Review and Discussion of ANM draft plenary agenda – Jeff, Holly , et al
TABLED – X. Strategic Planning – Discussion – as needed
See item above?
NEXT CALL: Sunday, July 12, 2011; 8:00 p.m. EDT
SC Online Vote to Approve Personnel Subcommittee
Voting Yes were Audrey, Leenie, Farheen, Tamar, Holly, Jason, Jeff
SPONSOR: Audrey Clement
SUBJECT/TITLE: Proposal to Create a Personnel Subcommittee
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:
Insofar as the Steering Committee has reached consensus on the need to establish a subcommittee staffed with outside experts to advise it on personnel matters, the Steering Committee proposes to create a Personnel Advisory Group with the following structure and function.
The GPUS Steering Committee hereby establishes a subcommittee referred to as the Personnel Advisory Group to advise it on matters pertaining to personnel administration. The Personnel Advisory Group shall consist of:
1-1.1 one Steering Committee member to be elected by the Steering Committee from among those committee members who do not supervise GPUS staff, to serve as liaison to the group;
1-1.2 one or more non-Steering Committee advisers with expertise in personnel matters to be appointed by the Steering Committee and serve at its pleasure.
The duties of the Personnel Advisory Group include but are not limited to:
2-1.1 keeping the GPUS Personnel Manual up to date;
2-1.2 drafting employment contracts;
2-1.3 assisting with the preparation of job descriptions;
2-1.4 providing assistance to GPUS staff in addressing employment-related problems and concerns;
2-1.5 issuing personnel related recommendations and proposals for Steering Committee approval.
The Personnel Advisory Group’s role is advisory only and its recommendations are not legally binding on either the Steering Committee or the GPUS National Committee.
Minutes of GPUS Steering Committee Meeting, May 15, 2011, http://www.gp.org/committees/steering/minutes-display.php?ID=75