September 27, 2009

GPUS SC Conference Call
Sunday, September 27, 2009
8:00 p.m. EDT

MIke Feinstein, Jason Nabewaniec, Jill Bussiere, Jason Nabewaniec, Craig Thorsen, Farheen Hakeem, David Strand

Holly Hart

Jody Grage

Tamar Yager, Brent McMillan

Sanda is away and not able to call in.

Julia Willebrand (GPoNYS, and member of the International Committee); Justine McCabe (Co-chair, International Committee)

Facilitator: Charlie Pillsbury; Jody took over facilitation at Item IV, as Charlie had to leave the call.

Agenda was slightly re-ordered to accommodate guests a couple requests for dispensing with some items. After some discussion, Mike asked that the SC agree to extend the discussion period for the SC-sponsored voting queue proposal #415 for two more weeks, for time to give consideration to an amendment he had proposed. SC agreed.

a. Executive Director – Brent
Held a staff meeting on Friday. Discussed conflicts occurring with CivicCRM vs. DiA software; included more in report to the SC.

AnmCom has concerns about communications between GP of MIchigan and Social Forum and ANM Social Forum is very informal, and there are concerns about following through on expectations, agreements, etc. Staff would like a memorandum of understanding with Social Forum about expectations and what agreements are being made.

Need for means of getting information to state parties, state party leadership; would like to place on a future agenda.

Finance Committee will hold a call on Wednesday, staff will be sending budget narrative to FinCom. GPNJ forgave its state sharing. Brent attended meeting of FEC, advisory request on GP-ILL didn’t come up, Brent will track and attend next monthly meeting.

Merchandise for the Black Caucus for event with Congressional Black Caucus. Marian Douglas-Ungaro put the purchase on her debit card. A couple other donations were made toward covering that cost.

Wednesday morning talk with Progressives and national debt, Paul Krugman will be there.

b. Fundraising Manager – Tamar
Tamar sent a report and spreadsheets to the SC.

$21.5k – Income to date; $22.4k – Accounts paid to date
$2.6k – General Account balance; $0.2k – loan balance
$36.0k – Accounts Payable + $22.0k loans
$19.4k – ND state sharing owed; $7.1k – Caucus/Committee earmarked funds owed

Would like to use $2k of loan funds from Jody and Budd Dickinson to help pay staff salaries. Mike and Craig objected to a request coming on the call without prior notice. Jody stated it wasn’t always possible to tell what funds would be available until the weekend. Holly noted that, with an ongoing lack of funds, it wasn’t unusual and we should expect to consider decisions of this type. David concurred.

Charlie suggested this be moved to an online decision. Mike explained that the SC could take an on-line vote on Monday and still meet the payment deadlines that Jody recommended, but in this way it would be a transparent, agendized vote [with a one day notice – hh]. Jody pointed out that, in order for the funds to be available by Tuesday, they have to call them in tomorrow. Craig expressed the concern that the NC’s authorization for the loan did not specify that it could be used in this way. Craig stated that it was three days before the need of the pay period, and agreed this should be addressed online. Mike stated that Jody and Budd could make the loan, but the party could decide online how to use the funds. Jody replied that she and Budd are only willing to make the loan if it’s to pay salaries.

Mike explained that the SC could take an on-line vote on Monday and still meet the payment deadlines that Jody recommended, but in this way it would be a transparent, agendized vote [with a one day notice – hh].

Charlie – will the SC authorize funds donated by Budd and Jody to pay salaries. Mike stated he is not willing to vote on principle on items that are not agendized to show they are decision-making items. Mike explained that the SC would vote to approve use of funds, and Sc could address online to authorize the payment. Jody, Farheen and Jill disagreed and asked to move to a vote on allocating the funds now. MIke expressed strong concerns that we are all busy and wasn’t given the information to be prepared for this meeting.

Charlie called for a vote on whether to vote on the call or do a straw vote tomorrow online.
Mike – No
Jody – Yes
Farheen – Yes
Jason – Yes
Jill – Yes
David – Yes
Craig – No
Holly – Yes

APPROVED. Group now moved to a vote on whether to approve loan to pay staff salaries
Mike – Not willing to vote on an item that has not been properly agendized.
Jody – Yes
Farheen – Yes
Jason – Abstain
Jill – Yes
David – Yes
Craig – Abstain
Holly – Yes

Review of current proposals in progress

Mike asked to extend the time for this item to 35 minutes, and for discussion of findings on a proposal from Wisconsin; and to discuss an amendment to #415. It was agreed to take up the proposed amendment to #415 online, as it was just submitted a couple hours before the call.

Holly noted that concerns Mike had raised about a proposal from Wisconsin in regard to the International Committee are typical of issues raised in the past and can be easily clarified. Mike objected to having someone else present his report. Mike stated that it is common practice for the person who makes a proposal in advance to be the one speaking first and presenting the proposal, and not having others who have responses speaking before the item is presented, and therefore he objected to the manner in which the faciliator allowed this item to be conducted. Holly explained she was only talking about how these types of things have been handled. Jason noted he was not clear on what Mike had concerns about, but if it had to do with committee rules trumping the bylaws and needing to be clearer, it should be sent back. Craig asked that the SC draft a letter to Wisconsin and itemize clearly what the concerns are. He offered to assist with the draft. Mike summarized 3 changes:

– need to clarify whether delegation of authority to committee concurs with mission statement or rules, policies and procedures;
– poorly written sentence that suggests that rather than this being mission statement or P&Ps, they would declare they had international authority;
– reference to timeline for approving international reps according go existing procedures; Mike asked to clarity which existing procedures, if any.

Holly proposed that we contact WI and ask for clarification, with the idea that if WI gets back the SC will review online(72 hours) whether to send this to the next voting queue. Farheen also asked that the request be made more understandable. Mike felt that 72 hours for an online review and decision would be tough, and might not be done in time for the coming Monday, anyway; in which case it would go out the Monday after that. Jill stated that we are being unduly concerned about the rapidity with which GPWI will get back to us. It was agreed that the questions Mike raised would be forwarded to WI with the request they get back to the SC; SC would review online with the goal of approving this for the voting queue on the next call.

VIII. FPVA Representatives – Jill
JIll had sent a proposal for the SC regarding approval of GPUS reps to the FPVA meeting. GPUS bylaws assign this task to the SC, but this has not been the practice. Online feedback showed asked for SC views on affirming nominees made by IC or select from among the IC.

Mike sent a proposal this afternoon. He noted that there is uncertainty because SC has not dealt with this before; concern about whether there will be money for delegates to attend the meeting, funds for travel and lodging, and about the position of potential FPVA delegates and issues that may arise at the meeting. He stated that there are a lot of issues that affect national party and Global Greens. Mike proposed this be taken up on the next call and that the SC make a decision then, and that holding off on the decision for two weeks would give time to see if funds coudl be rasied for potential delegates; some can pay their own way. He stated that two of the nominees had not been invited to the call [actually, none of them were – hh]

There is also a question of whether the SC should be making this decision on this one-time basis, or for a two-year term.

Jill asked for a vote on the proposal she put forward. Jason stated he is willing to vote on IC’s nominees; Farheen agreed. Craig stated this is a very complicated issue, there are many things involved; we haven’t had a discussion on the qualifications of the individuals involved. Julia has been there a long time, a lot of experience; on the other hand, finances will be difficult and Sanda is available and willing to go; rejects notion that only the IC has knowledge of foreign affairs. We are shooting from the hip and voting blind. SC hasn’t been informed enough, yet. Jill explained that Sanda did not self-nominate; there was no nomination; Marian Douglas-Ungaro was nominated but withdrew. David said his concern about waiting is that, logistically, if the money is able to be raised sooner than that, that would be cheaper to get the ticket; people need to make arrangements for that kind of trip. Waiting for just two weeks before someone has to go out of the country. Holly and Jody agreed; Holly pointed out that we have two clear nominees and it’s unlikely there will be any further substantial development, two nominees are qualified.

Discussion on whether Mike could make more comments on Jill’s proposal.
VOTE on whether to move to a Vote Immediately:
Farheen – Y
Jody – Y
Craig – N
Mike – want to be clear that by not allowing him to speak on the item, we are inviting a #266 challenge to this decision, when we could have given him his 2 minutes to present his comments [No]
Jason – Y
Holly – Y
Jill – No, would hear Mike
David – No, would like to hear Mike’s two minutes

Mike stated the IC doesn’t have approved rules; they “pushed out” Marian, there are two other nominees. Even if you believe the IC has a legitimate decision-making process, and even though Marian was “pushed out,” they haven’t had a decision. Only 10 people out of 40 have responded to emails, 6 yes, 4 no.

Jill noted that her proposal asks the SC to vote on two nominees (per GPUS bylaws), not that the IC voted or approved anyone. Mike stated that what Jill said was incorrect, that her proposal specifically said that the SC would approve who the IC nominated, and Jill read the langauge of her proposal which stated just that: “That the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States vote on the candidates nominated by the International Committee of the Green Party of the United States to be delegates to the FPVA (Federación de Partidos Verdes de las Americas).” It was pointed out that that was irrelevant, the point was that it was the SC making the decision, whetehr or not the SC chose to take into consideration the IC’s recommendations.

Jason asked to hear from Julia and Justine.

Proposal – for SC to vote on whether to affirm candidates put forth by IC
– Julia Willebrand and Michael Canney.
Farheen – Yes
Jody- Yes
Craig- No
Mike – want to be clear that by not allowing him to speak on the item, we are inviting a #266 challenge to this decision, when we could have given him his 2 minutes to present his comments [No]
Jason – Yes
Jill – No, would hear Mike
Holly – Yes
David – No, would like to hear Mike’s two minutes

APPROVED to vote on this tonight

Vote to hear from Julia Willebrand (IC) and Justine McCabe (IC co-chair),
2 minutes apiece:
Farheen – Yes
Jody- Yes
Craig- Yes
Mike – No, because no other members of the IC were invited
Jill – Yes
Jason – Yes
Holly – Yes
David – Yes
APPROVED, but Julia’s phone was cut off. Justine reported that IC is working by old P&P’s. Weren’t even certain that FPVA meeting would be this fall. IC did have more responses to request, but for two candidates.

IC assumes appointment would be just for this meeting. Justine pointed out that IC members have background on foriegn policy, also awareness of how members interact and behave with each other.

Vote to approve Julia Willebrand and Michael Canney as GPUS reps to FPVA meeting, delegates until subsequent procedure was put into place to replace them, no more than a two-year period.

Farheen – Yes
Jody – Yes
Craig – No
Mike – No
Jill – Yes
Jason – Yes
Holly – Yes
David – Yes

APPROVED, adopted Jill’s proposal. (See *A, below)

Charlie left the call; Jody took over facilitation

IV. ETC report/SC elections – update
a. A proposal to certify the SC election will be posted to the voting queue tonight, to go out tomorrow morning.

b. Jill asked for consideration of what can be done to improve the process for future elections (voting page program upgrade; timeline)
– May decide to take action on a suggestion or find someone to do a program upgrade.

Options are, if selection is not certified, to do the vote over with the “open” ballot; another option is to add an update to the voting page software to accommodate a “closed” vote that would be released at the end. Farheen and Jill noted the need to send a message to the SC. General agreement was that, if the certification vote does not pass, the election would be done over with an “open” ballot.

Craig stated that he has already hired someone to do a voting page update, and to create a voting page for the SC. He is donating the funds to pay for this. Holly noted, for the record, that this had not gone through the SC, that these decisions had not gone through the SC, and had someone else done this, there would have been an uproar.

V. Apportionment Standing Committee – Craig
Craig informed the Steering Committee that the Apportionment Standing Committee was drafting language for a proposal to update the dates used in the Apportionment process, and that the Steering Committee would not need to do the proposal themselves.

VI. Facilitators for SC calls – Craig
Several individuals were contacted, but have not responded, yet. Charlie is not able to continue facilitating. Craig asked for names of possible facilitators we can contact. Farheen suggested Marian Douglas-Ungaro and Theresa El-Amin. Farheen will contact Marian and Craig with contact Theresa.

VII. IT subcom of SC – Mike
Mike drew up a proposal for an IT subcommittee of the SC. (*B, below) Proposal included staff, secretary, and a list of possible group members, and is open to SC members, as interested; Craig, Sanda and Mike are interested.
AGREED, by consensus

SC co-chairs reviewed list of committee and continued to choose which they wanted in their portfolios.

IX. SC Responses to NC – Jill
ADD: Craig – SC Transparency
Items seemed related: the need for SC to respond to NC comments, questions, concerns; question of how to draw up a response, etc. Members discussed routine for drafting messages, having more written directions, clearer agendas, more knowledge of SC work, observing calls.

NEXT CALL: Sunday, October 11, 2009; 8:00 p.m. ET

Holly Hart
Secretary, GPUS

In past years GPUS delegates have been selected by the International Committee of the Green Party of the United States (IC). However, during 2009, the following rule was found in the GPUS Rules and Procedures. Article 1, Number 3 states that “Organizational effectiveness requires that the Steering Committee…Represent or assign representatives in relations with third parties in the U.S. and internationally.”[1]


That the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States vote on the candidates nominated by the International Committee of the Green Party of the United States to be delegates to the FPVA (Federación de Partidos Verdes de las Americas) .

The nominees are Michael Canney and Julia Willabrand. Both have accepted their nomination, provided biographies, and are willing to go to Chile for the FPVA meeting, October 27th – 28th, 2009.

The term of office for these delegates shall in no case be no more than two years, and shall be replaced by subsequent procedures relating to the selection of GPUS delegates to international Green Party bodies when they are passed by the National Commitee.

Resources required from the GPUS: none. Funds are being raised by the candidates and by the International Committee to cover delegates’ travel expenses. Funds will be paid directly from the donors to the delegates.

**B. Subject: Establishing an IT Advisory Group sub-committee of the SC
Sponsor: Mike Feinstein


Executive Summary: This proposal does two things. First it proposes a Mission Statement and Operating Procedures for a new sub-committee of the Steering Comittee, to be called the Information Technology Advisory Group. Second it appoints members to that Advisory Group.


Background: The SC has previously established SC sub-committees to address internal administrative functions of the party (Legal, Personnel). Although the party’s IT needs are great, at present there is no sub-committee established to address them.

The party does contract with an independent contractor to be webmaster (David Doonan). But in general the amount of current party resources and expertise committed to IT is small by comparison to the need, and IT issues affect both GPUS staff and committees.

GPUS Bylaws and Rules and Procedures are silent on who is responsible for addressing the party’s IT needs, and since the disbanding in 2007 of the previously inactive Communications Committee, there are no committees established by the National Committee specifically dedicated to this.

However the SC’s Rules, Policies & Procedures (P&Ps) do specifiy certain IT-related responsibilities for the Secretary:

5) Assist with website as needed, as part of web content and design team
6) Assist communication with listserv administrator and web page managers
7) Oversee updating of archives by webmaster

But this is the extent of everything written down in the party’s governing documents regarding IT.

Finally within #6 above is mention of a ‘web content and design team.’ As recently reported to the SC during orientations for the newly elected SC members, this team has been in operation with a current membership of the Secretary, Staff (Political Director, Office Manager, Fundraiser) and any other SC member who is interested (currently Sanda E., Jason N. and Mike F.). However, this team’s scope is limited to web content and design and does not address larger IT.

As there is no NC-established committee to address IT issues, as IT issues affect both staff and committees and the SC has a supervisoral role with staff and a supportive role with committees, IT issues fall to the SC by default and inference. Therefore to provide the SC and the GPUS as a whole with greater resources to address the party’s IT needs, the following is proposed.


Proposal: That the SC

A) establish an IT Advisory Group sub-committee with the following Mission and Operating Procedures; and

B) appoint the following individuals named below as members of the Advisory Group.

Information Technology Advisory Group (IT)

I. Mission

1-1 Serve as a resource for advice on Party hardware and software needs to GPUS staff and committees

1-2 Serve as a resource for advice on Party IT innovations and strategies to GPUS staff and committees

II. Membership

2-1 Members shall automatically include the Secretary, GPUS Staff (Political Director, Office Manager, Fundraiser), GPUS webmaster and any other Steering Committee members who wish to join.

2-2 The Steering Committee shall also appoint additional members. Appointed members shall include those with expertise in areas within the scope of the Advisory Group Mission.

The intent behind appointments is to provide a continuity of input, advice and expertise from Advisory Group members. At the same time, as the Advisory Group is a sub-committee of the Steering Committee, appointments shall occur on at least on an annual basis after the new Steering Committee members are elected, so that each year the newly elected Steering Committee members may be part of the appointment process.

2-3 Each time an appointment is made to the Advisory Group and/or each time this Mission Statement and Operating Procedures are amended, it shall be included in the minutes of the Steering Committee and reported to the National Committee along with those minutes.

2-4 Where an Advisory Group member’s participation is not in keeping with the Mission of the Advisory Group, the Steering Committee reserves the right to remove an Advisory Group member for cause. If a vote of removal for cause is taken,it shall be included in the minutes of the Steering Committee and reported to the National Committee along with those minutes.

III. Operating Procedures

3-1 The Advisory Group shall have an email list, with archive, that shall be open to all Advisory Group members.

3-2 The Advisory Group shall have as a goal the holding at least two teleconferences annually, and to also convene any other teleconferences of individual group members as needed.

IV. Areas of Focus

The Advisory Group shall specifically address issues of

4-1 Hardware and Software, including database management

4-2 Website (

4-3 Committee Operations (National Committee, other GPUS Committees), including voting pages, listserves, list maintainance and membership tracking

V. Advisory Nature

5-1 The Advisory Group shall serve only in an advisory capacity to GPUS staff and committees.

5-2 The existence of the Advisory Group does not imply or assert any decision-making powers on behalf of Group.


With this proposal, the following would be members under 2-1

Holly Hart, Secretary
Brent McMillan, Political Director
Brian Bittner, Office Manager
Tamar Yeager, Fundraiser
David Doonan, Webmaster
and any SC members who want to volunteer
SC members who volunteered: Sanda E., Mike F., Craig T.

Others placed forward under this proposal for a vote under 2-2 are

Sudan Dridi, VA
GPUS Green Code Weavers

Hugh Esco, GA
current BRPP co-chair
member, web team, Global Greens

Phil Huckelberry, IL
former GPUS Co-chair

Jane Hunter, NJ
former NC Delegate, GPNJ

Steve Kramer, MD
former GPUS Co-chair

Thomas Leavitt, CA
member, IT Group, Green Party of California

Dean Myerson, WA
former GPUS Political Director
member, web team, Global Greens

Cameron Spitzer, CA
hosts Greens world-wide on his servers
member, IT Group, Green Party of California
member, web team, Global Greens