GPUS Steering Committee Conference Call Minutes – October 13, 2013
I. CALL SETUP & BACKGROUND
a. Facilitator: Nan Garrett
b. Roll Call: Darryl Moch, Budd Dickinson, Tamar Yager, Starlene Rankin, Jeff Turner, Jesse Townley, Charles Ostdiek, Katey Culver, Karen Young
Observer: Jody Grage
c. Agenda revisions: Move Item VIII to another call – email fundraising appeal;
Item IX is a reminder and can also be postponed.
II. TREASURER’S REPORT & FINANCE ITEMS – Jeff
a. Cash report to date
$5k in bank with bills paid except those on cash payable tab, $3k last week with more coming from mailing.
b. Fundraising – David sent fundraiser report 10/11. Phonebanking effort has yielded $100 per month in new sustainer donations. SC members please comment on format of edited fundraiser report with percentage of goal as well as dollar amounts – does it give you a good understanding of financial picture. Overall the party is 34% behind 2013 revenue goals which is a projected 25% increase from 2012; we are 20% below where we should be through September even when the bequest is included. That is about $50K short. We are about 20% behind 2012 revenue.
c. Budget process – see attachment Budget Draft Version 4, for next call; see Column G for amounts David sent; see line 20 with income going down in each of the last 4 years; Column F & G shows pretty accurate fundraising costs which have also declined for the last 4 years; rows 50 – 103 – need for info; line 25 – short $29k unless we take out committee requests; Katey is working on getting up to speed to share the workload and said that it is important to set achievable goals; Karen – make decisions based on bequest as regular income; Darryl – consider needs on a larger scale, need one quarter of expenses in reserves.
d. Discussion on spending the planned giving funds – counting on $20k in January – $17 left at end of January; money not in hand; FinCom recommends paying our debts; suggestion to wait until next regular call – decision tonight premature; loaners not necessarily desire to be paid back now; discussion on line would help inform members; agree to wait until next regular call.
e. Approval for MerchCom to restock inventory – expect to make money back by Thanksgiving; t-shirts not a winter item – maybe long sleeved, need holiday goods, MerchCom survey coming out; online store needs to look better. Proposal to approve $2400 ($900 + $1500 loan from 3 MerchCom members) with items and quantities determined by MerchCom including talking to Brian – consensus.
III. VOTING QUEUE – Budd
In the queue:
726 – Assign Indiana Green Party to Inactive Status. Voting 10/14 – 20.
Received for the queue:
Platform Amendment Process and Timeline for Non-Presidential Nominating Convention Years (Platform Committee). Floor Manager Darryl, 2 weeks discussion
Approval of Audrey Clement (VA) for membership on the GPUS Finance Committee.
Floor Manager Charles, 2 weeks discussion
Expansion of GPUS Volunteer Pool (from the SPWG). See VI below. Floor Manager Darryl!
IV. Web Content Proposals
a. Add Mission Statement & Operating Procedures to SC’s Web Content Subcommittee. Remedy this oversight in order to revive this committee, membership automatically include webmaster and media director and SC people interested, seat on committee from Outreach and Strategic Plan Committees as well as DivCom and caucuses – encourage all committees and states; Section 2-4 – removal for cause and voting not as crisp as the rest. Karen will receive suggestions and send an edited version after the call for approval on next regular call.
b. Web and Database Control (SC Internal Procedure) – includes access to back end of website, more work for secretary removed from 6.1.4 – now by the SC liaison with review by SC; supervisor determines back-up staff member; review and see if does or should supercede recent CA access proposal; work toward openness rather than bottlenecks. Karen will get new version out in coming week.
V. Listserv Rules Changes.
Finished proposal will be on the next call. Katey wants feedback from the SC on whether to recommend to the sub-group that we clean up the entire Listserve section of the rules rather than just part of the Forum Managers section.
VI.Expansion of GPUS Volunteer Pool (from the SPWG) – Starlene
Tomorrow morning Karen will clean up to be clear what is being deleted – only one line in purpose – and what added. In 3.1 about no state party or inactive can be changed when Accreditation Committee has wording. Consensus to add to voting queue with those changes.
Discussion continues on line.
Sponsor SC, Floor Manager Darryl, two week discussion. In queue next Sunday if no objections.
VII. Special Project: GPUS Rebranding (see Addendum 1)
Asks SC to approve special project to authorize raising $1999 for Outreach Committee to undertake this in 2013 with $3k to be requested for 2014 budget.
Discussion about putting out call including affirmative action for RFPs to show portfolios/demo tapes stating we have $5k between now and the end of 2014 and what will $2k in 2013 accomplish. Suggestions to create fundraising app around this. Consensus to create the special project so that fundraising can begin.
VIII. Email Fundraising Appeals – Darryl! (tabled)
IX. Presidential Debrief – issuing a final report – Budd (tabled)
X. Confirmation of members for existing SC subcommittees IT Advisory Group and Web Content Subcommittee. Consensus to confirm list of members who have come forward to date. Starlene also added. More can be added later.
XI. PROPOSAL TO THE SC to approve joining the Amicus Brief in Nevada “None of these Candidates: Supreme Court Petition. (Ballot Access Committee) (see addendum 2) – Consensus to approve as submitted.
XI. Committee Liaison Reports – table to next regular meeting
XII. Next meeting – special budget call – 10/20, 8:45 pm Eastern to accommodate the IT call which will be shortened by 15 minutes.
— Budd Dickinson
Co-chairs of Strategic Planning Working Group and members of Outreach Committee: Karen Young and Starlene Rankin
SUBJECT / TITLE
Special Project: GPUS Rebranding
TYPE OF PROPOSAL
Section 9.4 Proposal; requires 2/3 majority of the Steering Committee
REQUESTED PROPOSAL DECISION-MAKING TIMELINE
Discussion from 10/3 through 10/13/13. Vote at Steering Committee meeting on 10/13/13.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Section 9-4 of the Finance Committee bylaws allows for special projects to be approved by the Steering Committee.
9-4.1 Special projects may be approved by a 2/3 vote of the NC or, for special projects under $2000, by a 2/3 vote of the SC.
9-4.2 To be approved, all special projects shall include a Statement of Purpose defining the purpose for which the special project is established and the purpose towards which donations may be made and funds spent. Special projects may be established for a period of limited duration.
9-4.3 Donations for special projects may only be made for purposes consistent with its Statement of Purpose. Use of these funds is governed by this Statement of Purpose and donor intent.
With this in mind, we are requesting that the Steering Committee approve a Special Project for $1,999 for the Outreach Committee to begin work on a rebranding project in 2013. Since the Outreach Committee did not exist in 2012, we currently have no funds budgeted for 2013.
In our Strategic Planning process, we identified a weak and negative brand as one of the key weaknesses of the Green Party. This means we aren’t generally making a clear and positive case for the party in our communications. People don’t know who we are (you mean there’s more parties besides the Republicans and Democrats?); people have mistaken ideas about who we are (the environmental party, or is it Greenpeace?); people have negative ideas about who we are (those #$% who gave us George Bush).
To remedy this key weakness, one of our key goals in the Strategic Plan is to create more positive awareness of the party. There are several objectives and action items under this goal, but one of the foundational objectives is to create stronger branding: more consistency, strong messaging and visuals, and overall professionalism in our communications.
We need to hire a graphic designer and branding expert who will: help us craft some short taglines to get our basic messages across, design a new logo, and create a visual identity to tie all our communications together (a visual identity includes the logo as well as type faces and color schemes to be used in all communications).
We could also hire this person or company to work on specific applications of the identity, such as web pages, banners, brochures, buttons, etc; or we could hire someone else for those later pieces. This second, applications, piece would have to be rolled out over time, as we get the money, and according to a priority list that will be developed.
The first part of this project, the visual identity piece, will ultimately cost $3,000 to $5,000, depending on who we hire, and how much we have them do for us. Typically a designer wants 50% up front, and 50% on delivery. So the $1,999 could serve as an initial payment.
We have researched several designers and have several we consider to be strong candidates. We have also had discussions about the key components of our messaging, the negative ideas we need to combat, the positives about the party that are most compelling, and the people that we want to target.
The Steering Committee approves a Special Project for $1,999 for the Outreach Committee.
The purpose of this Special Project is to hire a designer/branding expert to create a new visual identity for GPUS.
The Outreach Committee is committed to doing its own fundraising for this project, in addition to assisting the Fundraising Committee with its current phone banking project for general purposes. The OC has brought a list of prospects to ask for money. This has already been discussed with and agreed to by the fundraising committee.
IMPLEMENTATION / TIMELINE / RESOURCES
Upon approval, the Outreach Committee will make specific plans to join the current Fundraising phone bank project.
The Outreach Committee will send RFP’s to designers who we feel have strong expertise in branding and strong graphic design ability and can do the project within our general budget restrictions, and will make a good faith effort to include vendors from communities of color. We will aim to submit a designer recommendation to the Steering Committee, and hope to receive approval, by the end of 2013.
If we are successful in raising the funds referenced in this proposal, as well as getting a designer approved, we hope to make an initial payment and have the designer start work before the end of the year.
The Outreach Committee has asked for more money in the 2014 budget to complete the project, and will continue to fundraise for the full amount needed.
To the SC: Richard Winger reports that the intent is to print the amicus brief in 10 days, so it is necessary to consider approval before the next SC call. Tom Yager, BAC co-chair, will be contacting Nevada this afternoon so they are in the loop.
Jody Grage, BAC co-chair
PROPOSAL TO THE SC to approve joining the Amicus Brief in Nevada “None of these Candidates: Supreme Court Petition. The issues is entirely that of “standing”. There will be no financial cost to GPUS.
The Libertarian and Constitution Parties have agreed to sign an amicus curiae brief, in support of the Republican Party of Nevada’s claim that it and its voters and its candidates do have standing to challenge “none of these candidates” on the Nevada ballot. The issue in the US Supreme Court is entirely standing.
We have all suffered because some judges have a cramped view of standing for political parties and candidates to challenge unfair ballot access and other election law burdens. Examples are: (1) a US District Court in Pennsylvania has ruled that the Green Party and other parties doesn’t have standing to challenge the system by which, if our petitions are held invalid after being challenged, we must pay court costs of over $100,000; (2) a US District Court in California ruled that the Libertarian Party didn’t have standing to challenge a ban on petitioners who don’t live in the district (fortunately the 9th circuit reversed that); (3) every time a minor party or independent presidential candidate challenges the Commission on Presidential Debates the courts say we don’t have standing; (4) the US Court of Appeals in DC ruled that Ralph Nader doesn’t have standing to challenge the FEC’s failure to enforce the law that says Democrats in 2004 should have reported their expenses in keeping Nader off the ballot.
At this point, the issue in the Nevada case in the US Supreme Court is strictly about standing. If the Green Party joins the Libertarian and Constitution Parties in signing the amicus, we would only be lending our voice to the Republican argument that the courts below have been too conservative about standing. At this point the case does not concern the merits of whether “None of these candidates” should be on or off the ballot. The Republicans say voters that vote for “None of these candidates” are not being treated equally because if their choice wins, it has no teeth. We are not weighing in on that at all (although I tend to agree with it). We just want the US Supreme Court to tell the 9th circuit that they are being too stingy on standing.
So I hope the Green Party will put its name on the amicus. In a separate e-mail I will send the draft of the amicus. It is not in final form and it will be revised to delete the Independent American Party, because that is the name of the Constitution Party in Nevada so it is redundant to list them both separately.
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