November 25, 2001

SC teleconference Minutes – November 25, 2001 (draft)

Participants: Robbie Franklin, Jo Chamberlain (facilitator), Anita Rios, Ben Manski, Tom Sevigny (timer), Jack Uhrich, Doug Malkan (assistan Treasurer), John Strawn, Annie Goeke, Nathalie Paravicini (notetaker)

Initial brief discussion: To make minutes avalabla faster to the entire Coordinating Committee (CC), the Steering Committee (SC) suggested:
– posting the minutes in draft form
– attempting to post within a week of the teleconference
– requesting volunteer CC members to listen to the SC conference and take-write the minutes
This will also help develop leadership within the CC and increase participation.

Financial report & Treasurer’s position
Budget for 2002
Healthcare for Employees
Current and pending votes
CT/ME proposal
Bylaws proposal
Accreditation proposal
Committee Reports
Coordinated Campaign
Presidential Exploratory
Employee’s Handbook

1. Financial report & Treasurer’s position (Robbie Franklin)¬†

– USGP account: $6,000 and ASGP account: $550
– We paid $2100 for postage the mailing of DC fundraiser invitations, $1100 for the Nation and Progressive lists, $1000 in legal fees, $200 2refunds to Annie Goeke.
– We sent email solicitations to 10,000 emails, from which we made $3,000. This “email-out” will have a short term impact only. Total receipts this week were $4200.
– Jack requested from Robbie how many people are donating from visiting or logging into our national pages.
– Jack: will attempt to get other email lists; forgot to mention to the states to forward the solicitation to their own statewide lists; requested a donation link be added to the USGP homepage.

Treasurer’s position:
Continuation of last week’s discussion. Robbie indicated that because of the volume of work, he could not remain on the position as an unpaid volunteer, especially in light of the timeliness and importance of the position.
Option 1: Request another CC member to volunteer. WE would need to modify our bylaws.
Option 2: Add an additional staff position to do the work that Treasurers usually do not do in other organizations
– Discussion items included:
The Treasurer’s position is extremely important and requires constancy, understanding of the regulations and reliability. Because of FEC filings and other liabilities, this position needs to be relatively stable. Fairness to the position’s responsibilities and long-term needs would justify a stipend or payment. Alternatively, we could have a paid position and a Treasurer to oversee the work. Nevertheless, we would still need stability in the position of Treasurer. In NM, the position was split between a Treasurer and a book-keeper. Additionally, we need to keep in mind that if positions are only volunteer, people wh need to work will not be able to participate; we need to keep important positions open to all who can contribute, regardless of income. Finally, as the party develops, the Treasurer’s position in particular will need more and more attention and needs to be profesionalized.
Robbie sent a description of what he does, and Ben will write a job description for the position to send to the CC.
We have not budgeted a payment for the Treasurer’s position, and we need to bring this discussion to the full CC with a concrete proposal.

Problems with Payment Online:
Jack reported problems with Payment Online. Robbie indicated in the past adjustments were effected quite fastl; the delay could be caused by the holidays.

Privacy limits with donations:
– A specific donor requested whether there was a limit on contributions below which the contribution could remain anonymous.
– Every donation over $200/year needs to be fully disclosed, inclusing name and other donor information. Otherwise, only the sum of the donation needs to be disclosed. Robbie suggested keeping the donor;s information private
– We have a policy of sharing information with the state party where donors come from. Would this particular donor’s information be sent to the state party where the donor comes from?
– Every state also has different reporting procedures, for donations sent to the state party. We will check with Marnie, who might have some suggestions.
==>Robbie is to study and draft a privacy policy.

2. Budget for 2002

Dean ommitted to include his salary, so the budget for 2002 sent to the CC is actually close to $420,000.
– We need to decide how we will prioritize our money; and have an optimistic and a conservative budget. Who decides where the cuts need to be made, at the CC level?
– Jack indicated we also need to look at our revenues and do a revenue projection. We had projected $32,900 from Aug to December, and we actually raised $32,065 September to November. Furthermore, we anticipated events to contribute $12,000 and direct mail $6,000; actually we have not started events and direct mail raised $13,000. We are also starting to have sustaining supporters, and we need to develop a merchandising committee/strategy. Other entities are deriving a profit selling Green Party materials and we are not taking advantage of this.
– Ben indicated he knows a person who is ready to design and produce materials for the USGP, including prodution of a website to sell the merchandise.
– The Shadow Committee has a very large budget, because of the nature of their work (have cabinet members travel on speaking engagements, they can collect speaking fees.) This is why some SC members feel it is important to empower committees to do their own fundraising. The committees are part of the CC, just like the SC, which is a different situation than the state green parties. Nevertheless, there is concern about approaching the same donors and crossing wires. We need to be very careful. Additionally, committees must know FEC fundraising and reporting guidelines.
==> The budget will be sent back to the committees for careful review, to request input as to how to prioritize.
==> We need to review committee fundraising guidelines drafted by Dean Myerson and X?

3. Healthcare for Employees

Doug Malkan, our new Assistant Treasurer, researched and reported on healthcare plans for employees. DC law requires that we have 51% of our employees in DC to have a group. Thus we will continue covering COBRA for Jack and we will ask Dean input on an individual healthcare plan.

4. Current and pending votes 

a. ME/CT proposal on the use of force
This is only a discussion, there is no vote. There does not appear to be a consensus, the proposal will probably have to be withdrawn. We will wait for Tom to be back from the trip to Europe (part of a US delegation to visit with European greens and parliamentarians).
b. Bylaw changes
Ben indicated he did not want to contradict Tom online; but seems to be a misunderstanding. The gathering next year in Philadelphia will be a mid-term convention. There will be platform hearings, but NO platform changes. Those can only be implemented at the Presidential Nominating Convention. The next one will be in 2004. Jo will consult with Tom again.
c. Implementation of proportional representation
The proposal will include feedback before being sent to a vote. Feedback includes making sure locals are counted only once.

5. Committee Reports

a. Coordinated Campaign Committee
Ben will send the bylaw changes needed to establish the committee to the SC. The proposal will be sent to the CC once the vote on the Implementation of Proportional Representation is done.
Re. the 1st FTAA press release, some papers called and were interested, but there has been no publicatin yet; maybe after Thanksgiving. Reporters’ questions tried to go off on tangents, Ben and the committee will make sure to focus specifically on Fast Track to focus on or message.
Based on feedback from different states, in 2 weeks we will send another press release with additional candidates and states.

b. Fundraising Committee
– $5,000 matching funds were pledged by the Frumpkins; Jacks is outreaching to other states; Cobb indicated HIghtower has agreed to do a fundraiser in Texas early 2002; Jack started outreaching to the CC-him and Anita are going to split the list delegates to prioritize the states and call them
– Brief discussion that led to the decision that we can mention the DC office in our fundraising, mentioning it is subject to sufficient fundraising. Steve Schmidt had committed to raising $10,000 for the DC office.
– We are having problems with Payments Online. Jack sent strong note; we may need to explore other providers. They mention the Green Party as a reference on their homepage, which makes us wonder about thier capacity. WE will wait to see whether the delay in resolving problems may be due to the holidays.
– Dec 8 DC fundraiser: OH and PA are planning to send a “delegation.” Need to contact DC greens for accommodations.

c. Presidential Exploratory Committee
John Strawn and Jane HUnter set an initial teleconference call of interested greens for January 6. The purpose will be to review procedures, voting thresholds and mission from past committee work. They will also establish and IRC channel for online chats. They requested $ to cover calls and other expenses for this committee. The SC felt the states could cover any necessary tel. costs for the members of this committee. There was a question as to the structure of this committee; Ben’s upcoming proposal addresses issues related to the structure of this committee.

d. International Committee
– Delegation to Europe: Annie went over the trip’s agenda. She will hand-over the letter stating the position of the SC regarding the German greens recent votes on the committment of troops. Joshka Fisher challenged US greens to come closer to their position. The SC feels we should reply through the CC. This is an important issue, since history will look back at our position and actions on this issue. ==> The SC will wait for the return of Tom and Dean before taking action, but we will start right away to review the Green’s position.

e. Diversity Committee
The precursor to the Lavender Caucus indicated they have the required numbers to form a caucus with representation on the CC, and requested how best to proceed. The SC decided to refer the issue to the Accreditations Committee.

f. Media Committee
Anita will research and inquire about the news circulator; we need volunteers to compose the circulator again.

6. Employee’s Handbook

Jo sent an initial draft of the employee handbook to SC members and Carol Miller, who has experience with this sort of issue. We will then submit the manual to our current eomplyees for feedback.