Minutes of November 30, 2004 SCC meeting--7:10-9:10pm, Fisk Hall, Wesleyan University
1. Central Connecticut chapter: Vic Lancia
2. Hartford chapter: Ed DuBrule (NV), Mike DeRosa, Tom Sanders
3. New Haven chapter: Ralph Ferrucci, Calvin Nicholson, Ann Pollack (NV)
4. New London chapter: Andy Derr
5. Northeast chapter: Jean deSmet
6. Northwest chapter: Elizabeth Brancato (voting for Women's Caucus only), Judy Herkimer, Kim Herkimer, John Badeen (NV), Tom Sevigny (facilitator)
7. Shoreline chapter: David Adams, Lindsay Mathews
8. Tolland chapter: Karin Norton
9. Western chapter: Justine McCabe
Eli Cipher, Courtney Weber--these two attendees are interested in reactivating the Southeast chapter.
A. PRELIMINARIES. The groundrules were adopted by consensus. Tonight's agenda was accepted by consensus with the addition of a report on internal elections (added after report from VOTER). The September and October SCC minutes were approved by consensus.
B. Treasurer's report (read by Ed). "Over the last month we had receipts of $215. $195 of that was from monthly contributions. Our total expenses were $996.
- $448 of our expenses was postage for the fundraising mailing that should be going this week.
- $330 was for the office in Hartford.
- $104 for an insurance rider.
- $74 to reimburse Chris Reilly
- $35 for credit card processing
- $1 for our toll free number
"Currently we have a balance of $537.
"We are up to 20 in the 100 for 100 program. and we will be receiving some money soon from the fundraising mailing.
"As always please consider being involved in the Fundraising and Budget Committees.
"CT Green Party Treasurer"
Attendees wondered what event the $104 insurance rider was for. Ed said he would ask Bob about this. Andy asked if the secretary could pass out the treasurer's report to all SCC attendees at each SCC meeting. Ed said he would do this in the future.
C. DATES OF NEXT TWO SCC MEETINGS: there was consensus that, because of the holidays, the next SCC meeting will not be held the last Tuesday of December, but instead will be held Tuesday January 4. The location is to be determined. The usual last-Tuesday-of-the-month January SCC meeting (January 25) will also be held.
D. OLD BUSINESS AND PROPOSALS
1. Bylaws segment "4-1 Chapters" (Appendix 1). Referred to chapters by September SCC meeting (a step in the bylaws revision process). As a member of the BRPP committee, Andy fielded questions about the proposal. The language of the proposal has not been changed since it was considered at the November SCC meeting. Jean pointed out that section 4-1-A defines a "local chapter". She said that the current bylaws define two kinds of chapters (regional chapters and at-large chapters) and asked whether 4-1-A's definition was meant to replace the bylaws' regional chapters, or to define a new kind of chapter. Andy agreed that proposed bylaws changes should be presented together with a description of current bylaws language, if any, that the proposed language would replace.
Karin said that the current bylaws are vague, or confusing, on the issue of where chapter members may live. If a Colchester resident wanted to attend Tolland chapter meetings, is that OK? If a person living in Manchester (which is part of Hartford County) wanted to attend Tolland chapter meetings, is that OK? Jean said that the Northeast chapter has its own definition of a "Northeast chapter member", for internal chapter purposes. David said that we should avoid making rules unless there's a good reason; there may be no reason to make rules defining chapter members; the more rules, the more problems arise.
SCC DECISION: because of the need to define what language in the current bylaws is being replaced, segment 4-1 will not be considered further tonight.
2. Bylaws segment "4-2 State Central Committee" (Appendix 2). Referred to chapters by September SCC meeting (a step in the bylaws revision process). It was recognized that the language being replaced in the current bylaws by segment 4-2 will need to be defined. Nonetheless, comments were taken on section 4-2. David pointed out that section 4-2-G defines procedures by which chapters select their SCC representatives; he said that there wasn't a need to make a rule on this. Karin said that questions have arisen about who the voting representatives are, and it would be good for the bylaws to say that chapters elect them. Jean said that the Northeast chapter elects its SCC representatives quarterly, and would object to having to follow section 4-2-G, which mandates annual elections.
Jean pointed out that section 4-2-E mandates use of the modified consensus process at SCC meetings, with use of a simple majority vote if consensus can't be reached. She said she doesn't like the modified consensus process and questioned whether this mandate should be in the bylaws.
Jean asked how the sentence in 4-2-E "Changes to the bylaws need a 66% majority for passage" was related to the current bylaws procedures for changing the bylaws. Andy said that this sentence was not meant to replace the current bylaws' procedures; rather, this sentence was meant to point out that bylaws changes are an exception to the use of simple majority voting (if consensus cannot be reached) at SCC meetings.
SCC DECISION: because of the need to define what language in the current bylaws is being replaced, segment 4-2 will not be considered further tonight.
3. Proposal on endorsing "A Cultural Evening for Palestine" (Women's Caucus) (Appendix 3). Justine presented the proposal, and said that events such as this one can increase multiculturalism in the CTGP.
SCC DECISION: the proposal was passed by consensus.
1a. Chapter reports.
**Tolland chapter--chapter's webmaster now dividing his time between Tolland chapter and another organization; discussion of forming a chapter centered around Manchester.
**Shoreline--1,069 votes for Colin Bennett ("good campaign, good candidate")
**Northwest--Sevigny campaign got 2400 votes (1000 more than last run); endorsed by Courant. Will be planning Bill Davis' campaign for Congress. Kim Herkimer, already on Parks and Recreation board, is interested in being appointed to an inland wetlands board.
**New London--has television show; Greens from all over the state (including Ralph Ferrucci) have appeared on it. Trying to re-start Southeast chapter. Seeking candidates for city council and board of education races.
**New Haven--Ferrucci, Chen, and Nicholson campaigns. Ferrucci got 3% of vote, Nicholson 8%. Ferrucci got much media coverage and was in several debates. The Ferrucci campaign is $1500 in debt.
**Hartford--DeRosa campaign got 11.5% of the vote. Had event with George Michael Evica (who investigates who killed John F. Kennedy). Planning more movies.
**Central Connecticut--little activity
**Northeast--anti-war work; "November 3 Coalition"--how to deal with Bush administration.
**Western--involvement with filing ethics complaint against town government member(s); joined homeless shelter coalition.
1b. Presentation by Ralph Ferrucci and Calvin Nicholson. Ralph and Calvin distributed a handout, titled "Proposal for the Project for a Green American Connecticut" (Appendix 4). They said that the CTGP must go on the offensive and attack Democrats' and Republicans' positions. Specifically, we could run a candidate against Lieberman. Many non-Greens oppose Lieberman; these people could be brought into the CTGP. We should start raising money for this work; we should set up the New Elections Committee and the New Fundraising Committee described in the handout.
CT is a "blue" state (voted for Kerry) but has three Republican Congresspersons, plus Senator Lieberman (a Democrat whose positions appear to be those of a Republican).
We could run a complete slate of candidates for statewide and federal offices (non-presidential). These candidates must present a unified message. 7,500 signatures are needed to run a candidate against Lieberman; these same signatures would qualify the whole slate (other Congresspersons and governor).
The Elections Committee would find candidates. Peace groups, Muslims, African-Americans, and so on all oppose Lieberman. Lieberman is leading the charge against affirmative action.
The Elections Committee would have at most 25 members (large enough to encompass diverse opinions but small enough to reach consensus). Selecting preliminary statewide candidates via an Elections Committee would be a departure from the way the CTGP has selected statewide candidates until now (via chapters). Democrats and Republicans select their statewide candidates via such a committee; they begin work on campaigns two years in advance.
Our strategy has been to seek Greens who wish to run for statewide office (whichever office that be). Our strategy should, instead, be deciding which Democrats and Republicans should be opposed by a Green and seeking Greens who wish to run for those offices. For example, what Green will run against Lieberman? Our strategy should include deciding what statewide officeholders labor unions would like to see replaced; Greens would thereby gain labor support. The Elections committee would target races for party growth--for example, the Lieberman/Green race.
The Elections Committee will decide on primary and campaign guidelines, which will exceed state and federal standards--the major parties will attack us if we don't select candidates strictly according to CT election laws (such as filing paperwork with the Secretary of State's office).
The Elections Committee would decide on any proposed state level referendums (for example, legalizing medicinal uses of marijuana). Even if the referendum result were nonbinding, we could get the CTGP associated with an issue.
Elections Committee members could not belong to any other committee--the goal is to have these people focused on elections. Similarly, Fundraising Committee members could not belong to any other committee. The Fundraising Committee will receive stipend of the funds raised, that is, a percentage of the funds raised (for motivation).
The handout gives a proposed timeline. Thus in the period 1/15/05 - 11/15/05 (corrected dates) the focus would be on deciding a statewide platform and referendums for 2006. All Green candidates would emphasize the same issues (for example, better schools).
In "Phase One" there would be a one-month period (May 1, 2006 - June 1,2006) in which ballot access (collecting signatures) would be the focus. Perhaps each chapter would be responsible for "x" number of signatures. The period May 1, 2006 - October 15, 2006 would be focused on voter registration. A voter registration campaign would be a way of growing the CTGP. Democrats and Republicans don't focus on voter registration. We could reach out to groups including young people and people who have left prison. The period May 1, 2006 - August 30, 2006 would be focused on community forums (in collaboration with local Greens' efforts). Note that the three time periods described in Phase One are overlapping.
Phase Two includes op-ed pieces and phone banking. Hundreds of op-ed pieces could be written annually by Greens. August 1, 2006 - November 1, 2006 would be a period in which to focus on writing op-ed pieces. Our platform could be publicized through these pieces, and Lieberman and other candidates could be challenged to participate in debates.
Discussion of Ralph's and Calvin's ideas began. Mike expressed support for their work. David Adams pointed out that a later agenda item for tonight's meeting is "planning/strategizing session for the state party in January". Ralph said that he'd be interested in coming to such a session. David said that many Greens may not agree with all the details of the plan, and that there should be dialogue within the CTGP. The end result might be a modified plan. Ralph said that chapters should discuss this plan, add ideas, and ultimately vote on the plan. Calvin said that he would be willing to put the plan onto listserves for comments/suggested revisions.
Justine pointed out that the SCC had approved an Action Plan which contains directives or suggestions on committee functioning; Calvin/Ralph's plan may have ideas (such as "members cannot belong to any other committee", perhaps) which may be in conflict with the Action Plan. Lindsay said that we need to study how Carl Rove works (apparently meaning that we Greens need to learn how the Democrats and Republicans plan campaign strategies). John said that we need to have a unified direction for the CTGP; Rove shaped the Republicans into one cohesive, unified unit.
2. Executive Committee.
**Asks for comments on idea of not replacing co-chair Elizabeth Horton Sheff (internal elections should occur in the spring). No attendee objected to this idea. Ralph suggested that a rule be added to the bylaws that in this situation the next co-chair runner-up in the internal elections would be appointed co-chair.
**Asks for volunteers for legislative committee/taskforce (this committee is in the Action Plan and a listserve for it exists). Mike gave examples of the possible work of this committee: health care (single-payer) (more work to continue that done previously by Greens such as John Battista and Justine McCabe); support legislation of environmental groups; speak at the capitol and to legislators as if we had won November elections (we did get votes and we do have a constituency) (this could lead to press coverage).
**Asks for volunteers for internal elections committee. Elizabeth has contacted some Greens involved in past internal elections committees; Jean has expressed interest; if interested in serving please contact Elizabeth. Jean said that last year internal elections and the annual meeting were held on March 13; she asked tonight's attendees if a similar date would be good this year; no objections were expressed. Jean said that further thought must be given to the question of the US Green Party representative alternate position--should the third-highest vote getter for this position in the internal elections become the alternate (as was done last year), or should people run for the alternate position?
Karin said that our bylaws' definition of member, and the concept of mailing a ballot to all the members, causes a great deal of financial expense during the internal elections. Jean said that when chapters submit their lists to the internal elections committee, they need to be sure to eliminate people who do not fit the bylaws definition of member--doing this would cut back our costs. Jean asked that chapters start updating their lists for submission to the internal elections committee.
**Submitted a large (2,000-plus names) fundraising mailing to American Mailing Services, using the list of registered Greens.
**Wonders if the annual meeting would be an appropriate time to have yes/no vote(s) on bylaws issues.
3. Budget Committee. Judy reported that Audrey Cole had told her that she would be contacting Chris Reilly and Bob Eaton to set up a meeting regarding auditing the CTGP books.
4. Office Committee. Ed said that Lynah will be arranging a meeting of this committee.
5. Conflict resolution committees. David Adams said that Charlie Pillsbury and David Eliscu have been doing conflict resolution work for the national party.
6. Women's Caucus. Will be meeting soon; invites new members; has listserve. National party's Women's Caucus is now accredited.
7. Report from US Green Party representatives. Tom said that:
**The national Party ran a full-page ad in the New York Times in most areas of the US. The national Party has been getting more than the usual number of "hits" to its website since the November elections. (When Tom gets a Connecticut name from national, he sends this person a newcomer's packet giving chapter contacts, etc.)
**Cobb, the Libertarian candidate for president, and Nader are involved in forcing recounts of the presidential ballots in Ohio and other states. This is getting the Green Party name into the news (CNN etc.)
**In response to a question from Mike, Tom said that discussions are going on within the national party on the questions of closing the national office (for financial reasons) and renewing (or not renewing) the contract of the national fundraising director. Sustainers give the national party $10,000 per month. Could money be better spent on projects?
8. VOTER (Mike). VOTER will be meeting December 1. Connecticut will be buying electronic voting machines; VOTER will be working to ensure they will provide a paper trail of votes cast. VOTER will also work on issues such as minority party ballot access.
1. Planning/strategizing session for the state party in January. (Agenda item from Tom Sevigny, Andy Derr, Lindsay Mathews, Bob Eaton, Colin Bennett, and Kaye Ward.) Due to the lateness of the hour, only minimal discussion of this agenda item was done, during the presentation by Ralph and Calvin.
Appendix 1 Proposed bylaws changes from BRPP committee (bylaws, rules, policies and procedures) [Submitted by New London chapter per e-mail of 9/13/04 from Andy.]
4-1-A. A local chapter shall consist of Green Party members from towns and municipalities within a contiguous geographic region. No chapter shall be larger than a County and none smaller than a single town with the exception of Campus Green organizations.
4-1-B. A local chapter may petition for affiliation with the State Central Committee upon having at least three meetings with five or more Green Party members in attendance at each of the three meetings.
4-1-C. A chapter may be declared inactive by a majority vote of the State Central Committee (SCC) if it has not met within the past three months. A chapter will automatically be declared inactive if it has not sent chapter representatives to the State Central Committee meeting for three months in a row. Inactive status will begin as of the third meeting.
4-1-D. The State Central Committee may vote to revoke a chapter's affiliation with the CTGP if that chapter has not met within the past 6 months.
4-1-E. An inactive chapter will be declared active again if it hold two consecutive monthly meetings monthly meetings with at least five members present and sends representatives to two successive state meetings.
4-1-F. Chapters that have had their affiliation revoked must re-petition the State Central Committee for affiliation once the requirements detailed in 4.1.B are met.
Appendix 2 Proposed bylaws changes from BRPP Committee (bylaws, rules, policies and procedures). [From e-mail received from Tom 7/26/04; revised per 9/13/04 e-mail from Andy.]
4-2 STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE
4-2-A. The State Central Committee (SCC) shall be the final decision making body of the Green Party of Connecticut, and shall consist of democratically elected representatives from each affiliated local chapter.
4-2-B. Local chapters of the CTGP shall be represented at State Central Committee meetings accordingly : Each chapter is entitled to two voting representatives, and is also entitled to an additional representative for each 100 registered Greens residing in the chapter. Voter lists from an appropriate authority (either a town clerk or the Secretary of State) will be the final source in determining the count of a chapter's membership. If these are not obtainable the chapter shall be entitled to two voting representatives.
4-2-C. Caucuses for under-represented groups shall be entitled to one voting representative on the State Central Committee. Under-represented groups are defined as any grouping of Greens that has historically failed to gain adequate access to power in society at-large (i.e., women, African-Americans, youth, etc.). Caucuses shall be established by the State Central Committee. An individual attending an SCC meeting may cast multiple votes--one vote as a chapter representative and one as a caucus representative.
4-2-D. Representatives to the State Central Committee are responsible for disseminating information to their respective local chapters. They are also responsible for following the mandates of the local chapters they represent.
4-2-E. The modified consensus process will be used at State Central Committee meetings. In the event consensus cannot be reached, a vote will be taken with a simple majority being needed for passage of the proposal. Changes to the bylaws need a 66% majority for passage.
4-2-F. Quorum shall be required for votes taken at the State Central Committee meeting. Quorum shall be defined as representation (by at least one voting representative) of at least two-thirds of all active CTGP chapters, excepting Campus Green chapters and inactive chapters.
4-2-G. Chapters shall elect their representatives to the SCC once a year. Representatives shall be eligible for re-election.
Appendix 3 Proposal on endorsing "A Cultural Evening for Palestine"
Green Party Meeting Proposal Form
PRESENTER (committee, chapter(s) or group of individuals): Green Party of CT Women’s Caucus
SUBJECT (10 words or less): Endorsing Al-Awda-CT sponsored event, “A Cultural Evening for Palestine,” to benefit the Al-Rowwad Children’s Theater, December 4, First United Methodist Church, Middletown.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE (100 words or less; include relationship, reasons and/or justification to the State Central Committee):
In June, 2003, the SCC of the Green Party of CT voted to make the CT chapter of Al-Awda—the Palestine Right of Return Coalition—an allied organization. This designation includes supporting its activities/goals, which are consonant with our values and CTGP and USGP platform positions endorsing the legal and human right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
[This position was endorsed by CTGP on 2 occasions, October, 2000 and March, 2001. See USGP Platform on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: http://www.gp.org/platform/2004/democracy.html#310677;
For the entire USGP Platform: http://www.gp.org/platform/2004/index.html]
Palestinian civil society and economy are currently in ruins, as Israel’s violent and illegal occupation continues into its 38th year. This event will be supporting Palestinian arts, an essential part of any peaceful society. Specifically, this event will benefit a US tour of the Al-Rowwad Children's Theater, whose members are residents of the Aida Refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. The Theater’s aims include " Distract[ing] children from the heavy atmosphere of war and violence surrounding them and engage them in peaceful activities. (See http://www.artistsnetwork.org/news13/news614.html).
After a dinner prepared by Oliva Cafe, there will be a showing of feature film Rana's Wedding, the 2003 recipient of Human Rights Watch International Film Festival's Nestor Almendros Prize.
Al-Awda-CT, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, presents:
Dinner & A Movie: A CULTURAL EVENING FOR PALESTINE
[photo] Members of Al Rowwad Children’s Theater from Aida Refugee Camp
Please join us for an evening of Palestinian culture!
Saturday, December 4 at 6 p.m.
First United Methodist Church
24 Old Church Street, Middletown, CT
Tickets: $20 per person; $10 students and children under 12
· Middle Eastern food prepared by New York Times’ five-star chef/owner of Oliva Café, New Preston
· A screening of the award-winning Palestinian film Rana’s Wedding
· Doorprizes, silent auction of Palestinian arts, crafts, and olive oil
All proceeds will benefit the U.S. 2005 summer tour of Al Rowwad Children’s Theater from Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem.
Reservations and tickets are available by calling 860-536-4640, 860-824-7636, or by sending a check to Palestine Right to Return Coalition, P.O. Box 1172, Orange, CT 06477-7172.
Seating is limited! Please reserve early!
Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, is a registered charitable and educational nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, go to www.al-awda.org.
Appendix 4. Handout "Proposal for the Project for a Green American Connecticut".
Authored by Calvin L. Nicholson and Ralph A. Ferrucci; 11/29/04
Proposed Two Year Campaign Strategy for the 2006 State and Federal Elections
Introduction: To better prepare for the 2006 election and subsequent state and federal elections, the following proposal is presented to organize a two-year effort to prepare for statewide and federal elections. The following proposal consists of three main components:
**An Election Committee who oversee the initial selection of candidates and propose the campaign and nomination guidelines for all candidates.
**A Fundraising Committee who will be solely focused on raising capital for the State Party.
**A Two-Year Guideline for preparing and executing a successful Green Party slate for the 2006 elections.
[I.] New Election Committee
A. Focus on Statewide and Federal Offices (non-Presidential)
B. Composition and Size
1) No greater than 25
2) Chairman and Structure
i. 5-7 Greens (1 chair)
ii. 7-15 Greens (2 co-chairs)
iii. 15+ Greens (3 co-chairs)
3) Chairpersons voted annually by committee
C. Committee will decide Preliminary Slate of state and federal candidates for the nominees
D. Decide on Primary and Campaign Guidelines, which will exceed state and federal standards.
E. Decide on any proposed state level referendums.
F. Members cannot belong to any other committee.
G. Decide target races for party growth.
[II.] New Fundraising Committee
A. No more than five Greens, one chairperson.
B. Cannot belong to any other committee within the State Party.
C. Will submit monthly reports to the State Party.
D. Decide Fundraising strategies beyond phone banking and street canvassing. All strategies approved by the State Party.
E. Will receive stipend of the funds raised.
[III.] Proposed timeline (January 2, 2005 - November 1, 2006)
A. 1/15/05 - 11/15/05: Decide statewide platform and referendums for 2006.
B. 1/15/05 - 3/15/06: Potential candidates selected for state and federal races.
C. Last Saturday of April 2006: State Party Convention.
D. 5/1/06 - 10/31/06: Main Campaign Thrust
1. Phase One:
i. Ballot Access--May 1, 2006 - June 1, 2006
ii. Voter Registration--May 1, 2006 - October 15, 2006
iii. Community Forums (correlate with local Greens) -- May 1, 2006-August 30, 2006
2. Phase Two:
i. Op-ed pieces (in conjunction with media committee) -- August 1, 2006-November 1, 2006
ii. Phone banking -- October 1, 2006-November 1, 2006
E. Election Day -- November 6, 2006
Addenda are published to the News listserve and are considered part of the minutes. They are brought to the following month's SCC meeting (for distribution at the time the minutes are approved/disapproved); they are posted to the CT Green Party website as part of the minutes.