October 10, 2010
GPUS SC Conference Call
Sunday, October 10 2010
8:00 p.m ET
Jason Nabewaniec, Mike Feinstein; Theresa El-Amin was on the call for the first two items; Julie Jacobson, David Strand and Craig Thorsen arrived later on the call.
Secretary: Holly Hart
Treasurer: Jeff Turner
Staff: Brian Bittner
Farheen Hakeem was unable to be on the call, due to a campaign schedule conflict.
The ad hoc subcommittee on staff/budget held a conference call Saturday (10/09) to further discuss staffing and personnel issues, in order to include these in the upcoming budget. The call included Jeff Turner, Jason Nabewaniec and Holly Hart; and, we called Maya O’Connor and Nan Garrett, both of who have some experience in personnel, as advisors.
I. Jeff has asked to make a decision on moving our fundraising/’finances database to DiA/Sals and abandon CivicCRM. Jeff contacted several Greens with database expertise and they unanimously recommended we move to this. There are other better programs, but they cost a lot, and this is something that should work well for us. CivicCRM has a steep learning curve, recently the Toronto Greens dropped the program. Julie and Farheen cannot be on the call right now, but both expressed strong support for this proposal.
PROPOSAL, Jeff: The Fundraising Committe and Staffare directed to see that the donor database records are transfered from the Civic/CRM platform to the DIA/Salsa platform as soon as possible, and that the Salsa databaseis maintained and kept current with all new donors.
II. PROPOSAL, Mike: to dedicate some of the incoming loan funds toward addressing the database issues before the end of 2010.
Background: We are all aware of how the data base problem holds up much of our fundraising. We have $1700 in the budget for IT, even though we don’t have the cash in the account for it owing to cash flow and the need to pay our fixed costs.
The party is currently seeking loans to pay Red Sun Press and the FEC fine, but after that, some loan money could go towards paying any needed costs to resolve the data base issues.
http://gp.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=431 – is the proposal that authorized FinCom to raise up to $30,000 in loans.
Proposal: That the SC establish a priority for dedicating some of the incoming loan funds towards addressing the data base issues before the end of 2010.
Mike – Yes
Craig – Yes
Jeff- Yes, otherwise we are hamstringing ourselves
Julie – Yes
David – Yes
Jason – No
Holly – Yes, agree with Jeff’s belief that #431 allows for items critical for fundraising.
APPROVED, 6 Yes, 1 No
Discussion of the above proposal:
Jeff stated there are restricted funds not in included in the account # ($1790, restricted IT funds), money that has already been collected.
Jason pointed out he had raised the funds on that line, for specific purposes, for new hardware and software for the national office. As it is written, if we were able to update the computers and software in the office, the next priority would be towards the database and towards a server. These items were in the draft budget, but the SC had removed it from the final budget fore this year. There is an “IT Development” item for $5000, which is separate from those restricted funds, and that was to be used on the database.
MIke stated that there was the feeling this would take ca. 60 hours of work = $2000 to have someone make the data transfer. There exact amount would be approved later.
Jason and Jeff stated that the loan funds were for specific uses. The loan proposal includes support for fundraising activities. Jeff believes it covers SC decisions on fundraising support, and that the database is critical to fundraising, and the Fin and FundCom shad supported this proposal. Jason believes the wording would not support using funds for this purpose. Mike believes the language does offer needed flexibility. Jeff stated we must move the database fast, it’s crippled our fundraising efforts. Jason stated that the requests for IT funding came in order of what was most needed – hardware and software was needed first; it is a matter of donor intent. Jason believes the SC can raise the money now for what we need for the database. Jeff stated he could see this in the budget, we do just need to raise the money.
Brian stated he believes the office will be in need of more/new computers if staff expands; and even if staff does not expand, we need an upgrade. He brings in his own laptop. Internet is working well. No need for additional printers, but our current t printer is getting old, will last maybe a couple more years. Brian estimated up to $600 for a workstation, and for the coming year, possibly one or two new stations.
III. GENERAL DISCUSSION on staff, fundraising. general belief is that we must prioritize hiring a fundraiser, whether a person or fundraising firm; discussion of training Greens in each state to take on some of the fundraising effort. Mike had written up a fundraiser description. Ad hoc staff committee will take this up this coming week along with other job descriptions.
IV. PROPOSAL, Mike: Bylaws amendment, MISSION STATEMENT
Mike sent the statement to the SC this afternoon. The original idea was to have the SC address this online. MIke asked for consideration tonight, to go to the voting queue tomorrow. APPENDIX A
SC APPROVED, Holly standing aside.
Proposal will be posted to the voting queue to go out Monday, October 11th
NEXT CALL: Sunday, October 19, 2010; 8:00 p.m. ET
A. BYLAWS AMENDMENT: GPUS MISSION STATEMENT
Decision Item for Steering Committee Conference Call 10/10/10
Title: Bylaws Amendment: GPUS Mission
Sponsors/Presenters: Mike Feinstein, Craig Thorsen
Proposal: That the Steering Committee approve the following proposal for submission to the National Committee
SPONSOR(S): Steering Committee
SUBJECT/TITLE: Bylaws Amendment: GPUS Mission
TYPE OF PROPOSAL, EXPECTED APPROVAL THRESHOLD: Bylaws Amendment, 2/3
REQUESTED PROPOSAL DECISION-MAKING TIMELINE: Four week discussion, beginning October 11, 2010
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The current Purpose Article of the GPUS Bylaws is 14 years old and does not accurately describe or reflect current GPUS practice. The existing GPUS Purpose text is actually the same text as that approved as part of the founding bylaws of the Association of State Green Parties (ASGP) in November 1996:
ARTICLE I. PURPOSE
1. Assist in the development of State Green Parties
2. Create a legally structured national Green Party Federation
To bring existing GPUS Bylaws into congruence with present GPUS practice, and to provide for a more specific Mission Statement in the GPUS Bylaws, this proposal would update Article I in the following ways:
– Instead of a GPUS Purpose, create a separate general Mission Statement and more specific set of Primary Functions
– Within the Primary Functions, change language from the existing Purpose from talking about creating a legally structured national Green Party Federation (which made sense in the ASGP days before there was a national party), to maintaining the legally structured national Green Party Federation, including its FEC National Committee status (which was achieved in November 2001);
– Within the Primary Functions, change language from the existing Purpose from talking about supporting only the development of state Green Parties, to include supporting the development of caucuses, as caucuses have been accredited and play an important role in the GPUS, and clarify that such support includes supporting electoral politics; and add to that the related functions of facilitating the sharing of skills and information among state Green Parties and providing a national source of information about Green parties, candidates, officeholders, policies
– Within the Primary Functions, include three existing national practices that are clearly the province of a national party rather any specific state party: conducting a presidential nomination process, conducting relations with Green Parties internationally and approving a national platform.
Finally address lacking procedural clarity in the Bylaws regarding the hierarchy of the party’s governing documents (i.e. the Bylaws are the highest document, followed by the Rules and Procedures), as well as clarity about when to use abbreviations for ‘Green Party of the United States’ in the party’s governing documents.
PROPOSAL: That the existing ARTICLE I. PURPOSE of the GPUS Bylaws be replaced with the following text
ARTICLE I. NAME, MISSION, FUNCTION AND APPLICABILITY
Section 1-1 Name and Structure
1-1.1 The name of this organization is the Green Party of the United States (GPUS).
1-1.2 The GPUS is a legally structured national Green Party federation of state Green parties.
Section 1-2 Mission
The Green Party of the United States works to transform government, public policy and society around values of ecological wisdom, social justice, grassoots democracy and non-violence, in concert with state Green Parties and kindred social movements, by participating in the electoral system by running and electing Green Party members to public office.
Section 1.3 Primary Functions
1-3.1 Maintain a legally structured national Green Party federation of state Green Parties, with National Committee status recognition by the Federal Elections Commission.
1-3.2 Support the development of accredited state parties and their electoral work; support the development of accredited caucuses; facilitate the sharing of skills and information among state Green Parties; and provide a national source of information about Green parties, candidates, officeholders, policies.
1-3.3 Conduct a national Presidential nomination process.
1-3.4 Conduct relations with Green Parties internationally.
1-3.5 Approve a national Party platform.
Section 1.4 Applicability
1-4.1 The Bylaws shall be the highest governing document of the GPUS. They shall describe the Party’s basic structure, jurisdiction of power and the duties and responsibilities of its constituent parts. The Party’s other governing documents shall implement the structure described in the Bylaws. Where there is an ambiguity between the jurisdiction of the Bylaws and the Party’s other governing documents, the Bylaws shall take precedence.
1-4.2 The other governing documents of the Party shall be the Rules and Procedures, the Fiscal Policy and the Rules of the Presidential Nominating Convention. Each shall describe the Party’s processes for that area of scope. Where there is an ambiguity between the jurisdiction of the Rules and Procedures and the Fiscal Policy, the Rules and Procedures shall take precedence.
1-4.3 The governing documents may only be amended by a 2/3 vote of the National Committee. State parties and caucuses may propose amendments to the governing documents, as may committees who have such specific authorization in their Mission Statements.
1-4.4 The name ‘Green Party of the United States’ shall be spelled out the first time it is used in each of the party’s governing documents and thereafter be referred to as GPUS or the Party.
IMPLEMENTATION/TIMELINE/RESOURCES: Bylaw change would become effective upon passage.
GPUS Bylaws, ARTICLE I. PURPOSE http://www.gp.org/documents/bylaws.shtml#article1
Original Bylaws of the Association of State Green Parties http://greenpages.wordpress.com/2008/10/26/the-association-of-state-green-parties