Minutes of 10/10/04 Executive Committee meeting (2-6:15 pm, Hartford office)
Attending: all three co-chairs (see item 1) (Elizabeth Horton Sheff, Elizabeth Brancato, Mike DeRosa); treasurer Bob Eaton; secretary Ed DuBrule. Chris Reilly and Barbara Barry DeRosa observed parts of the meeting.
1. Resignation of Elizabeth Horton Sheff. Elizabeth Horton Sheff distributed a letter of resignation from the Connecticut Green Party, addressed to each of the members of the Executive Committee and dated 10/10/04. After discussion, the remaining members of the Executive Committee decided that her letter should be published to the News listserve and also be included in these minutes. It reads as follows.
"I begin this letter with an expression of thanks to the Connecticut Green Party (CTGP) for its support.
"Many years back, when I was in search of a political home, the CTGP presented so many possibilities. The Ten Key Green Values reflected my own principles. The people with whom I worked were committed, like myself, to nurturing a grassroots movement with aim to shape a new, just peace reality in our nation and around our world.
"Yet, while I remain appreciative of our past relationship, today I find that we stand at a crossroad in our partnership.
"Over the past few years our respective pursuit of justice has diverged in many critical ways. Upon much reflection and prayer, I have come to realize that responsibilities to those who elected or call upon me, and my fundamental convictions must take priority. Therefore, it is with heavy heart that I tender my resignation to the CTGP, effective immediately. In keeping with my support for third-party politics, I will be changing my party status to unaffiliated within the coming week.
"Please know that I remain open to working with the CTGP on an issue-by-issue basis, and that I wish both you and the Green Party well.
The Executive Committee noted that there are at least three responses to dealing with the co-chair vacancy: continue with two co-chairs until the next internal elections; hold some kind of election; or install as co-chair the next highest vote-getter in last year's internal elections. We'll ask chapter representatives to the SCC, via a post to the News listserve, that they discuss this issue with their chapters and come prepared to discuss it at the October SCC meeting. Ed will see if the bylaws address this issue, and include this information in the post.
2. Re-filing of paperwork for Ralph Ferrucci. Ralph was nominated to run for the Third Congressional District seat; he later withdrew his candidacy, but was renominated. We will re-file the necessary paperwork with the Connecticut Secretary of State's office.
3. Fundraising letter. We plan to send out a fundraising letter using the list of registered Greens (2000-2500 names), perhaps with some added names, such as a list of donors received from the national party. At the last Executive Committee meeting we agreed on the wording of the fundraising letter and the wording remains satisfactory. The back of the letter will contain a donation coupon and information on the results of our candidates on November 2. We plan to use American Mailing Services, a mailing bureau used by the Party previously. They will check our list for duplicate names. They will also compare our addresses with a US Postal Service list of valid existing street addresses; we will ask if the rejected addresses from this comparison can be provided to us. We will not use the "return address requested" service of the US Postal Service, so that we will not have to pay the Postal Service a fee for each non-current address. We will submit a proposal to the October SCC meeting to authorize expenditure of funds for this mailing (approximately $1000 for postage, envelopes and letter, and services of the mailing bureau).
We will ask chapters, via a post on the News listserve, if they can review the list of registered Greens and submit address updates, and also names of additional Greens that should receive the letter. We will ask that chapters complete this work by November 5. We target November 10 as the mailing date.
4. Audit. Audrey Cole of the Northwest chapter and of the Women's Caucus has offered to audit Connecticut Green Party books. The resulting information will be useful in coming up with a Connecticut Green Party budget proposal. Mike wondered if it would be appropriate that we request a letter from Audrey in which she states exactly which records she wishes to examine, which past treasurers (if any) she wishes to speak to, and when she will have completed her work. Bob said he thought Audrey had spoken of needing two months.
5. Reimbursing Chris Reilly. Chris has presented the Executive Committee with a list of expenses for which he has not been reimbursed. These expenses included rent payments for the Hartford office and other expenses. At the August and September SCC meetings some discussion of this matter occurred. A proposal from the Women's Caucus was discussed briefly at the September SCC meeting and discussion of it will continue at the October SCC meeting. This proposal in part says "We propose that the SCC request [former treasurer] Bruce Crowder and Chris Reilly appear before the SCC at the next meeting in order to explain the history of the current GPC debt related to the Hartford office."
Today we decided that we will ask that Chris answer questions from SCC members about this matter at the October SCC meeting, in hopes of resolving this matter quickly. This will occur in the "guest slot" of the SCC meeting, which is early in the agenda. We will ask chapter reps, via a post to the News listserve, to come to the October SCC meeting prepared to ask Chris questions that their chapters have. We will e-mail Bruce and ask if he, too, can come to the October SCC meeting. We will write a proposal for the October SCC meeting that proposes immediate SCC approval of reimbursement of Chris for money he spent on postage, envelopes, printing, and domain name registration, even if the SCC cannot immediately resolve the question of reimbursement of Chris for rent payments.
6. SCC agenda (see also item 5 above). We prepared an agenda for the October SCC meeting. Tim McKee will facilitate. We will ask Judy Herkimer (who had offered to facilitate the October SCC meeting) if she can facilitate the November SCC meeting. This agenda will be published, as usual, to the News listserve a week before the SCC meeting.
7. Applicant for fundraiser position. The advertisement for a commissioned fundraiser is still on the CTGP website. We received an e-mail expressing interest in the position from a high school student. We wonder if our need is for a person with extensive experience in fundraising. We will contact the student and ask him to call Mike.
8. Offering list of registered Greens to a union. Jean deSmet of the Northeast chapter had wondered if the voter registration list we obtained from the Secretary of State's office could be offered to her union. Perhaps her union could reimburse us for the list. Ed put this idea on our agenda for today's meeting, wrongly, as "idea of giving list of registered Greens to her union" (rather than the entire voter registration list). Ed had expressed concerns about the appropriateness of the CTGP distributing lists to many organizations. However, he noted that Jean has done extensive and valuable work for the CTGP. We agreed to offer Jean the list of registered Greens for possible use by her union, and that we would not ask for reimbursement.