March 25, 2008

Approved minutes of the 3-25-08 SCC meeting of CTGP at Portland’s Senior Center, Quorum was met.

7 Waverly Avenue, Portland, CT 06480 Phone: 860-342-6760 Time: 7:000PM

Attendees by Chapter:
Central: Vic Lancia;
Fairfield: Richard Duffee;
Greater Hartford: Barbara Barry, Secretary of CTGP; S. Michael DeRosa,
Co-chairperson of CTGP; Steve Fournier; Christopher Reilly, Treasurer of CTGP;
New Haven: Jerry Martin;
New London: Laura Cordes;
Tolland: Tim McKee.
Absent: Co-chairperson: Cliff Thornton.
No observers.
Facilitator: Tim McKee.
Timekeeper: Vic Lancia.

A. Preliminaries:

1. Introductions of voting /non-voting attendees; chapters; quorum was met; timekeeper; ground rules.

2. Approval of tonight’s proposed agenda, no deletions; addition: handout /comment by Jerry Martin of the Procedures and Process Committee.

3. Review and approval of minutes of 2-26-08 SCC meeting by consensus.

4. Review and acceptance of minutes from the 3-19-08 EC meeting by consensus.

5. Treasurer’s report from Christopher Reilly: balance of $2561.34.

B. Any proposals/referendums by chapters, committee:

A) .Policies and Proposals Committee proposals about Chapters:

1. Approved by consensus: Establishment of Chapters: Any group of five (5) or more individual, who reside in a cohesive geographic or a political area, may apply to form a regional chapter. Upon holding a minimum of one (1) monthly meeting over 3 consecutive months with at least (five) 5 people in attendance, an application can be made for Chapter status. Minutes of all meetings and attendance must be submitted with the application. A representative of the Chapter must attend at least one (1) meeting of the SCC prior to being granted chapter status. Written by-laws and other documentation should be submitted with the chapter application.

2. Approval by consensus: Criteria for chapter membership in the Green Party of Connecticut:

Acceptance of the Ten Key Values as guiding principles. Chapters shall be organized and run in accordance with those values and utilization of GP of CT policies and procedures. A chapter is based on a town-wide or area-wide organization and is open to and reflective of their defined geographic membership. A chapter agrees to recognize national and state candidates selected by GPUS and GP of CT conventions. The chapter makes good faith effort to: 1) run state and local candidates; 2) present written bylaws and other documentation with that application;

3) state an intention to network with other organizations which support one or more of GP Ten Key Values or legislation, goals or concepts. The chapter attests to commitment to and good faith efforts to achieve gender balance in party leadership and representation. A chapter will identify and allay with other organizations, caucuses or individual(s,) who promote GP Values, concepts, goals and legislation.

3. Approval by consensus: Chapter Responsibilities: Chapter membership meetings must be held at least every two (2) months within a rolling twelve (12) month period in order to maintain active chapter status within the GP of CT. The chapter must select representative(s) to attend each SCC meeting. This representative(s) would be responsible for all communication between the chapter and the SCC . A copy of all chapter minutes and attendance records must be sent to the SCC or Secretary of the GP of CT, within one (1) week of their acceptance by the chapter membership. Unapproved minutes may be submitted if approved minutes are not available. The chapter must reply, in a timely manner, to all requests from the SCC. The chapter must maintain a membership list of all registered Green Party voters or members within their borders, including updated town voter lists when available. The chapter is entitled to 30% of all CP of CT contributors residing in the chapter’s affiliated geographic area.

4. Approved by consensus: Active Status: any chapter that is not represented at three (3) consecutive SCC will be placed in an inactive status and will lose its voting rights until reactivation. A chapter may have its SCC voting rights reactivated after it is represented at three (3) consecutive SCC meetings. Any chapter that does not hold a chapter meeting at least every two (2) months in a rolling twelve (12) month period, may be considered in an inactive status. The SCC has the right to contact chapter members. Any funds expended by the SCC to

reactivate the chapter will be charged against the chapters reserved funds.

5. Approved by consensus: Chapter Dissolution: The SCC can revoke the chapter status of any chapter that fails to hold chapter meetings for a period of one (1) year. Any treasury funds held for the chapter’s use can then be used for general expenses of the party.

C. Reports:

1. Update from the Internal Elections Committee: a) finalization of all candidates for GP of CT officers: co-chairpersons: S. Michael DeRosa, Phoebe Godfrey, Steve Fournier; Treasurer: Christopher Reilly; Secretary: Barbara Barry, For GPUS Representatives: Charlie Pillsbury, Richard Duffee, Tim McKee, S. Michael DeRosa and Steve Fournier. The order of candidates’ placement on the ballot was determined by pulling names out of a hat at this meeting. The names of GP presidential candidates will also be on the ballot Christopher Reilly will submit the approximately 1740 names of people to receive mailed ballots to the printer/distributor. The Presidential candidate ballot is to include an option for “write in” and an option for “uncommitted”.

Consensus: ballots are to be mailed to the P.O. Box 231214, in Hartford, CT; ballots must be received by the Wednesday prior to 4-26-08; a legal notice must be posted 5 calendar days prior to the 4-26-08 in an appropriate newspaper per state regulations. The Hartford Courant was chosen as it is a state-wide newspaper. Chris Reilly

will do this.

2. 4-26-08 GP of CT Convention Committee: Barbara Barry who will develop a proposed agenda. As of this date, the Secretary, B. Barry, has not received any response from the Presidential Candidates or their representatives, despite multiple efforts to invite them to speak at the Convention. Jerry Martin to arrange lunch. Requested price will be $15 which will go to CTGP. Place of the Convention: New Haven Central Labor Council, 267 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT

3. Steve Founier is the Endorsed 1st Congressional District candidate. He is petitioning and organizing his campaign against Representative John Larson.

4. GPUS reports from: Tim McKee: GPUS still working on organizing the 7-10-08 Convention. National Committee Member, S. Michael DeRosa: Arizona got on the ballot by their petition drive. They received $3000 from the GPUS and returned it all back to the GPUS because they received sufficient donations that they did not need it.

The overall GPUS budget for helping states who need to petition: $10,000. However, it is unclear under what criteria it may be used by these petitioning states.

5. Political issues the GP of CT has addressed with legislators during the 2008 Legislative Session: Fight the Hike bills are still in committees.

6. CT Green Times: SMD: more copies will be available at the 4-26-08 CTGP Convention.

7.. Summer Intern for GP of CT: will not be available as the student did not receive one of the limited grants..

8. ACLU lawsuit: SMD: the summary judgment will be written over the next few months by the judge.

9. Chapter reports: need a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District line.

10. Jerry Martin, of the Procedure and Process Committee, respectfully submitted his personal report about the SCC actions regarding proposals from the Policies and Procedures Committee: “The Procedure/Process Committee was appointed at the May meeting of the SCC and submitted its first draft of the Procedure Manual at the June 26, 2007 meeting of the SCC. The SCC allocated various amounts of time at 5 of its meetings until it has, at this time, adopted 31% of the draft proposal.

The Committee has attempted to save time by submitting the draft proposals to the members of the SCC in advance, requesting their suggestions for the final draft. In this way, it was hoped that consensus could be reached prior to the SCC meeting for everything except the most problematic points. I thought that in that way the SCC’s time could be reserved for resolving the few points where consensus could not be reached beforehand. Although some members of the SCC participated, some members insisted on saving their changes for the SCC meetings and as a result, the process was much slower than anticipated. Based on a few statements,

I grew to believe that some members thought that it was improper to work on the proposal outside of the meeting, out of the view of the full membership.

A factor that came up several times during the course of the SCC’s work was the fact that while the draft procedures were written to enable the implementation of the by-laws, we did not have a copy of the current by laws to work from. The Committee was told that by-laws posted on the website were not a true copy but a later version with changes that had never been adopted. To this point, a search has not turned up the real by-laws. The Committee has continued to use the unapproved version and recommends that the SCC adopt the version on hand and asks the By-laws Committee to review them for possible change in the future.

One observation, as someone who had never worked with the SCC on an ongoing project like this one, I see the culture of the SCC as a very different one from any similar boards that I have worked with. Most boards are leas by their chairs. The Chair monitors the activities of the board’s committees between board meetings and makes sure that the board’s goals and timetables are met. During debate, the Chair makes process suggestions that move the agenda along and makes sure that all the agenda items are handles in the allotted time. At the SCC, the debate is not controlled in any way except by the clock. It is a meeting of equals with individual interests. The members inform each other on what they have been doing the preceding weeks. Issues are brought forward and where action is needed, a consensus is sought through unregulated debate. Decisions are made be majority vote not real consensus.

I was surprised at how comfortable the members are with seeking ad-hoc solutions rather than using an established procedure. For example, over the course of this year, the problem of having a very loose definition of membership in the by-laws came up on several occasions. Despite my urging to charge the existing By-laws

Committee to come up with a solution in time for adoption at the Annual Meeting, nothing was done until last month. At that time, a new ad-hoc committee was formed to draft a new membership by-law for the meeting.

As someone who is used to working within a defined structure, with written procedures to guide my activities, I found this very disconcerting.

Taking all of the above into consideration and acknowledging that the majority of the SCC is comfortable with the small “d” democratic process of the SCC, I recommend that the SCC not waste any more time completing the procedure manual. At some point in the future, when the Party has grown larger and when new members with more disparate views must be accommodated by the SCC, a procedure manual will become a necessity. But at this time, the members a(re) comfortable with things as they are so why spend time developing procedures that they will not use.”

11. Date for next SCC meeting to be either 4-29-08 or 5-27-08. Date, place and time of next EC meeting in

4-08: to be determined.

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