Minutes of 8/26/03 SCC meeting--Portland Public Library, 7-9pm
1. Introductions/identify chapter reps, recruit stacker and timekeeper. (“NV” means non-voting; "V" means voting)
(1) Central Connecticut chapter: Vic Lancia(V), Vincent Maruffi (NV)
(2) Hartford chapter: Ed DuBrule (NV), Barbara Barry (V), Mike DeRosa(V), Chris Reilly(V)
(3) New Haven chapter: Bruce Crowder (V)
(4) North Central chapter: Jeff Schaefer(V)
(5) Northeast chapter: Amy Vas Nunes(V)
(6) Northwest chapter: Tom Sevigny(V), Judy Herkimer(V but not voting tonight because facilitating), Kim Herkimer(V), Tom Ethier(V)
(7) Shoreline chapter: David Adams(V), Lindsay Mathews(V)
(8) Southeast chapter: Penny Teal(V)
(9) Tolland chapter: Tim McKee(V) [status changed to "V" since last meeting per action of the chapter], Sue Chipman (V)
(10) Western chapter: Justine McCabe(V), John Battista(V); Rachel Goodkind(V)
(11) West Hartford chapter: Ed Savage(V)
Guest: Ole Hermanson, Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union Local 217 (860-478-4990--this telephone number appears on a page from a website he handed out) (See section "Immigrant Workers' Freedom Ride" near end of these minutes.)
No attendees were present from the Fairfield or New London chapters. Judy facilitated; Jeff served as timekeeper; Tom Ethier served as stacker (a “stacker” keeps track of who will speak next). The above list indicates 22 attendees, of whom 20 were voting at this meeting, plus one guest.
2. Adopt groundrules. The groundrules for meetings (developed at meetings in November 2002) were adopted to apply to this meeting by consensus.
3. Approval of tonight’s proposed agenda/additions and deletions. The proposed agenda for tonight's meeting was passed out but not discussed. This agenda had been prepared by the Executive Committee at a meeting on 8/25/03. It replaced the agenda e-mailed to listserves and chapter representatives before the meeting by the secretary. For more information on this topic, see the sentences from the minutes of the 8/25/03 Executive Committee meeting appended to these minutes (Appendix 1). Appendix 2 is the agenda passed out by the Executive Committee for use at tonight's meeting.
4. Comments/approval of July SCC minutes. The minutes (including an addendum by Karin Norton, which Ed DuBrule briefly explained and had been sent to listserves and e-mailed to Ed's list of chapter contacts) were approved by consensus.
5 Treasurer's report. The treasurer, Bruce Crowder, reported. The Party bank account holds $1300. Bruce said that "we owe ourselves $4,400", apparently referring to the chapter balances.
An effort was made during much of this meeting to follow the steps of a moderated consensus process (outlined in the proposal, appended below, to adopt a moderated consensus process for SCC meetings).
1. Official hiring of Tim McKee. The Executive Committee (co-chairs, treasurer, and secretary) reported that the only person who had sent in a resume for the fundraiser/field organizer position had been Tim McKee. The Executive Committee met with Tim and interviewed him. The Executive Committee recommends to the SCC that Tim McKee be hired.
Tim and the Executive Committee have agreed that Tim will write a proposed job description within two weeks of his hire; this job description will be reviewed (and possibly revised) by the Executive Committee. The job description will be presented to the September SCC meeting. The Executive Committee will supervise Tim; this will probably include a report submitted by Tim to all members of the Executive Committee every other week; it may include meetings with Tim; Tim could attend Executive Committee meetings.
Tim is thinking in terms of organizing one large fundraising event per month, and two smaller fundraising events per month. Tim does not anticipate spending time making phone calls to individual potential financial donors.
Amy said that she was concerned that the Party will not be doing phone calls to individual potential financial donors. She said also that our membership lists need to be cleaned up. Bruce suggested that Tim could find volunteers to do such phone calls. Mike said that we are planning to soon send out our annual fundraising appeal letter; we might then do such phoning. Mike knows of people who might be interested in working with Tim on such phoning.
The SCC by consensus hired Tim.
2. Request for appropriation of money for fundraising letter. The Executive Committee is handling the mailing of the annual fundraising letter. Tom said that the plan is to initially mail it to 1000 names (registered Greens), and to use the money received from this initial mailing to do further mailing(s). [Note from the secretary: since this meeting there may have been a change in exactly who the initial mailing will go to--the use of two chapters' names has been considered in place of registered Greens.] The initial mailing may go out September 15, and perhaps a second mailing six weeks after that. The initial mailing will cost approximately $500.
One attendee asked if some of this solicitation could be done by e-mail. Tom said that we don't know how many e-mail addresses we have, nor if the e-mail addresses we do have are current and valid. A test e-mailing could be done to see what percent wrong e-mails we have. Bruce said that US mail would probably bring a higher rate of return than e-mails--it is very easy to push the "delete" button after skimming an e-mail; however, e-mails might be good if people chose to pay online. Other attendees raised other issues. Could the mailing list be screened for those who are active in the Party? Could there be a questionnaire asking the needs and wants of the members? Could there be follow-up phone calls?
Will we be using (as in past years) American Mailing Services? Tom said that we were leaning toward doing the mailing ourselves. How many registered Greens are on our list? Tom said there are about 2000. Mike said that we usually get $3000-$8000 from our fundraising letters. One attendee stated that the text of the fundraising letters has said the same thing for years, and objected to this.
By consensus the Executive Committee was appropriated the cost of the initial mailing to 1000 names (approximately $500).
3. Moderated Consensus Process proposal. The proposal is appended. Tom presented. He reminded us that at the July SCC meeting we had decided to bring the proposal to the chapters for consideration. He said that there have been three changes to the proposal since the July meeting. In the first change,returning the proposal to chapters has been added to step 10 (closing options). The final steps thus read: "8. Test for consensus. 9. If unresolved concerns, are all willing to stand aside. 10. If not, go to closing options: (A) return proposal to committee/working group/OR CHAPTERS; or (B) request additional time; or (C) move to vote."
The second change made since the July meeting is that any unresolved concerns will be added to the minutes. (The proposal includes a section on minute-taking.) Thus the amended proposal says that the minutes of the meeting shall include "... proposals, amendments, UNRESOLVED CONCERNS, and final results of any votes taken ...."
The third change made since the July meeting is that the use of the moderated consensus process will be reviewed in one year. [Secretary's note: I am unable to find this provision in the text of the amended proposal, although this intent was stated in the introductory sentences that accompanied the proposal when it was sent to me; these introductory sentences are included below.]
Attendees then reacted to the proposal; the points they raised follow. It was asserted that the bylaws say that we have to vote on some issues; another attendee stated that consensus is, in effect, a 100% vote of approval so that use of consensus would not violate the bylaws. One attendee stated that she has concerns about whether the facilitator (in the moderated consensus process) has excessive authority to control the proceedings of the meeting.
How can a person attending a meeting raise a point of process? Tom spoke of a procedure where attendees raise two hands. Judy read from the Green Party of Santa Cruz County Rules of Procedure, 2001 (www.santacruzgreenparty.org/bylaws/Rules.of.Procedure.2001.10.pdf): "Any member of the Green Assembly, during any meeting, may signal the Facilitation Team on a point of order by raising two hands. The Facilitation Team will rule on the point of order if necessary. After being recognized, the member should state which point of order is being raised:
--1. Point of Clarification: Raised when a member does not understand the procedure.
--2. Point of Procedure: Raised when a member has a procedural suggestion to aid or improve the facilitation of the discussion, or when a member believes there has been a violation of accepted procedures.
--3. Point of Information: Raised when someone has an item of information that is important to the discussion or by an individual (such as the Notetaker) who needs to record an item of information."
If an attendee believes there's a problem with how the meeting is being conducted, should the meeting be stopped to deal with this issue? Would the facilitator always have the final say on this? Another attendee stated that in such a situation the proper procedure would be a vote by the attendees. Still another attendee reported that he has attended meetings where the facilitator makes a ruling on the point of procedure, but then attendees can raise their hands to register an objection to the ruling.
Is there anything in the proposal about meetings having vibes-watcher? Tom said that the proposal does not call for a vibes-watcher.
[At one point later much later in this meeting, when we were discussing a different topic altogether, anger erupted as one attendee continued questioning another attendee about a subject and the person being questioned stated that many of the answers to the questions were contained in a document approved by the SCC. The person being questioned left the room in anger. We did not have a vibes-watcher at tonight's meeting. One member of the Executive Committee asked that reference to these events be noted in these minutes, noting that a vibes-watcher could have intervened to prevent these events.]
Attendees continued giving further reactions to the moderated consensus proposal. The moderated consensus process, it was said, favors people who are verbally assertive. Chapters may need to select chapter representatives who are verbally assertive. The process puts people who are still trying to form an opinion on an issue at a disadvantage. Facilitators should encourage people of all personality types to speak, and be sure that many people speak.
The procedure does not require that votes be held, so that chapters can see how their chapter representatives voted.
By this time the time allocated for this agenda item had been reached. However, discussion continued. One attendee stated that discussion on this subject had been cut off quickly tonight. He said that further input from the chapters is needed. The Hartford chapter, he continued, is opposed to the current proposal and he believes that the Northeast chapter also opposes it. The Hartford chapter is putting together an alternative proposal and could probably bring it to the September SCC meeting. Could a decision on adopting the current proposal be deferred until the September SCC meeting? The current proposal, he said, creates a process which is slow and doesn't allow for full discussion.
Tom said that, at least under the modified consensus proposal, it is up to the presenters of the proposal to decide the fate of the proposal tonight. The facilitator asked if there were blocking concerns to adoption of the proposal, meaning concerns which were sufficiently deep that those persons holding them were not willing to "stand aside" (in the sense of steps 6 and 9 of the proposal). Mike DeRosa, Barbara DeRosa, Bruce Crowder, Amy Vas Nunes, and Chris Reilly said they had blocking concerns. Chris said that he, too, would like to see further input from chapters, and that he, also, was concerned about the issue of modified consensus tending to favor those who were verbally assertive.
Tom said that he would like to see the issue put to a vote. Mike said that we weren't necessarily operating under modified consensus tonight, and that other procedures could be followed to resolve this issue, such as taking a straw poll to set up a committee which would attempt to forge a resolution of this issue. Tom again requested that a vote be taken. The proposal was adopted by a 9-7-4 vote (9 in favor of adopting the moderated consensus proposal, 7 opposing adopting it, and 4 abstaining.) It was asked if an abstention was counted as a "no" vote or as a failure to vote (non-vote); the facilitator replied that an abstension counted as a non-vote.
4. Conflict resolution committees update. David Adams and Rachel Goodkind, two of the three members of the Process Committee, were present. (The third member, Lynah Linwood, was not present.) David reported that the Process Committee continues to consider one complaint. [Secretary's note: he was referring to the complaint filed by John Battista against Amy Vas Nunes.] At least one hundred pieces of correspondence (such as e-mails) have been generated so far in dealing with this complaint. The Process Committee hopes that a resolution of the complaint, following the procedures in the document previously adopted by the SCC, could be reached by next month. A three person Resolution Committee (as called for in the document adopted by the SCC) has been formed to deal with this complaint.
Amy asked who are the members of the Resolution Committee. David listed them: Kim Herkimer, Juli Mancini, and Jeff Schaefer. Amy asked what avenues are open to her if she believes that one of the members of the Resolution Committee might not be unbiased. David said that the Resolution Committee members had been selected by a democratic procedure, a procedure which was consistent with the selection process given in the document approved by the SCC--three chapters had been selected and each of those chapters had selected one representative to the Resolution Committee.
Another attendee asked if Amy would be allowed to address the conflict resolution committee(s) in person to present her side. David replied that Amy has a representative, Michael Westerfield, chosen by Amy, on the Expanded Process Committee, as the document calls for. [Secretary's note: the Expanded Process Committee for the handling of the complaint Battista-vs.-Vas Nunes consists of the three members of the Process Committee plus Michael Westerfield plus David Eliscu. David Eliscu was chosen by John Battista to serve as John's representative.] The attendee asked if Amy would be allowed to question John Battista in front of the conflict resolution committee(s), which procedure would be consistent with the US Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment and due process concepts. The attendee noted that Michael Westerfield had already brought this question to the attention of the Expanded Process Committee.
David noted that Michael Westerfield has written challenges to the way the Expanded Process Committee is carrying out its assignment. The Expanded Process Committee has consulted Charlie Pillsbury for Charlie's view of the roles of the Expanded Process Committee. [Secretary's note: Charlie Pillsbury served on the committee which drafted the conflict resolution document adopted by the SCC.] Anyone may contact David for a copy of Charlie's reply.
There was discussion of whether the issues of how the Expanded Process Committee is doing its work should be discussed tonight. The agenda item for tonight's meeting was titled "Conflict resolution committees update". The time allocated to this agenda item had already expired. One attendee suggested that a proposal needed to be drawn up with concerns about how the Expanded Process Committee was doing its work.
Discussion continued. Another attendee asked whether there was an appeal process after the Resolution Committee reached its decision.
David noted that the document adopted by the SCC calls for review of the conflict resolution process after one year, and that members of the conflict resolution committee(s) have already begun to think about its report to the SCC at that time.
5. Presidential Election Committee Proposal. John Battista presented the proposal, which is appended.
A member of the Hartford chapter stated that Hartford chapter members had wondered whether it is too soon to start dealing with the presidential race. Also they had wondered whether Greens' turning their attention to presidential election issues now would divert resources away from the campaigns of Greens running in the November elections. John said that perhaps the committee could be started after the November elections. Another attendee said that perhaps a few people could start working on the presidential election issues; these few people might be people who wouldn't choose to involve themselves in the campaigns of Connecticut candidates. Still another said that there was much work to be done in Connecticut with respect to the presidential election and that work should begin soon.
Tim noted that he is the state chair of the Draft Nader Committee of Connecticut; he asked for input from Connecticut Greens if he might appropriately serve on the proposed Presidential Election Committee. John replied that Tim could come to the first meeting of the committee and see what other people who had come to the first meeting thought.
By consensus the SCC approved the formation of the Presidential Election Committee. John Battista said that he will make arrangements for a first meeting of the committee.
1. Chapter reports.
(a) Western--booth at New Milford fair with literature/Brooks Kelly campaign; demonstration against the Israeli occupation.
(b) Northwest--Smart Growth conference October 11; possible anti-Patriot Act resolution to Torrington City Council; candidates Kim Herkimer and Ken Keskinen; at New Hartford Days in September
(c) Tolland--candidate Earl Leighton; cable access show; public forums on Green presidential candidates
(d) New Haven--involvement in Yale strike; three candidates for city council (Charlie Pillsbury; Joyce Chen; Vic Edgerton running for John Halle's seat)
(e) West Hartford--working with Coalition for Peace and Justice against Patriot Act; in autumn work on housing, universal health care, and the environment
(f) Hartford--Elizabeth Horton Sheff campaign for city council; has T-shirts and bags available to sell for a profit; will be at Wethersfield Cornfest festival; working on Patriot Act event; working on electoral issues (V.O.T.E.R.), on quality-of-the-press issues (A.R.E.N.A.) and with the alternative newspaper "The Hartford Undercurrent".
(g) Northeast-- Had Patriot Act event with CT Civil Liberties Union's Teresa Younger. Candidates Jean deSmet, Amy Vas Nunes, Michael Westerfield, and Juan Perez. (Juan Perez is a registered Green on the Working Families ballot line.)
(h) Central Connecticut--no recent meetings; some outreach work and work on Patriot Act; possible candidate for 2004.
(i) Shoreline--involvement in campaign to stop a pipeline that would run from North Haven through Branford and across Long Island Sound to Long Island. Participated in public hearing with 700 attendees where most of the speakers spoke out against the pipeline. Candidate Colin Bennet.
(j) Southeast--anti-Patriot Act work involving public meetings and town council(s). Some of this work may be included in a film now being made.
(k) North Central--possible future candidate.
2. Election Committee report and appropriation of funds for videos. The elections committee is charged with helping Connecticut Green candidates for public office. Members of the election committee are now Tom Sevigny, Ed DuBrule, David Bedell, Peter Magistri, and Karin Norton. Campaign training in Massachusetts September 20-1 co-organized by Penny Teal. Possible campaign training in Connecticut. Set up listserve for committee members and a listserve for candidates (discussion, information such as media list, union printers).
The committee would like to purchase three copies of a videotape from the national Green Party for campaign training. Each video costs perhaps $10 for a total cost of perhaps $30. By consensus this appropriation of funds was approved by the SCC.
3. Diversity Committee report. Mike DeRosa reported. The committee has met approximately five times. The committee is trying to expand the racial/ethnic/other diversity of the Connecticut Green Party. Work/interests includes pamphlet production, restoring voting rights to felons, voter registration, arranging for speakers, outreach to community groups in the North End of Hartford, concerns over possible problems with Connecticut voting rolls similar to what happened in Florida in the 2000 presidential race.
Justine spoke about the appropriateness of outreach to the Arab and Muslim-American communities. She is working on a brochure. She told of an e-mail she had received from a group from the Arab and Muslim-American communities which read "Although many of us in the peace movement are registered Democrats, we hope to galvanize citizens of [conscience] to throw their support behind the Green party."
Another attendee at tonight's meeting wondered if outreach to the Jewish community would also be appropriate. She also wondered if it is appropriate to write brochures aimed at one particular group.
4. Outreach Committee report; possibility of affiliating with War Resisters' League and Veterans for Peace. This committee includes Michael Burns and Jeff Schaefer. They have tabling kits and a button-making machine.
Amy noted that the Northeast chapter has proposed that the Connecticut Green Party affiliate with the War Resisters' League and with Veterans for Peace. Both of these groups have Connecticut chapters. The Northeast chapter worked with both of these groups in opposition to the Iraq war. Amy passed out information on both of these groups from their websites, www.warresisters.org and www.veteransforpeace.org. Brief discussion followed, in which the hope was expressed that chapters could read about these groups in the next month and the issue of affiliating with them could be considered at the October SCC meeting.
5. US Green party Representatives' report. Tom and Penny reported. There was a recent Green Party meeting in Washington DC at which the issue of the Greens' running a presidential candidate in 2004 was extensively discussed. Most Greens at the meeting favored running a Green candidate but no consensus was reached as to what person to run or as to strategy. The issue will ultimately be decided at the Green Party's national convention. Justine added that a resolution to impeach Bush had passed at this meeting in Washington DC.
Forty three states are now officially part of the national Green Party organization; there is Green activity in all the remaining 7 states and in the District of Columbia.
An African-American Outreach proposal was adopted which authorizes the Party to hire part-time staff. This work will include enlisting the participation of prominent African-American political and religious leaders, cultural figures, scholars, and writers to speak out on matters of importance to both Greens and African-Americans. The outreach campaign will especially target historically black colleges and universities. Penny said that these prominent African-Americans and Greens could speak at events and raise awareness of issues and money.
Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride Ole Hermanson (contact information at beginning of these minutes) explained the Freedom Ride and distributed a handout consisting of information from the website of the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride (www.iwfr.org). An excerpt from the homepage of this website follows.
"Legalization and A Road to Citizenship. Just as the Freedom Rides of the early 1960’s exposed the brutality of legal segregation in the South, the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride will expose the injustice of current policies toward immigrants.
"Beginning on September 20th, nearly one thousand immigrant workers and their allies will board buses in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Chicago, Houston, Miami and Boston and cross the United States over the next 12 days... [click here for more information on this]
"Immigrant workers work hard, pay taxes, and sacrifice for their families. They work as construction workers, doctors, nurses, janitors, meat packers, chefs, busboys, engineers, farm workers, and soldiers. They care for our children, tend to our elderly, pick and serve our food, build and clean our houses, and want what we all want: a fair shot at the American Dream. But our broken immigration system keeps millions of hardworking immigrants from becoming full members and enjoying equal rights in this nation of immigrants. As a result, many are subjected to exploitation, separated from loved ones, and unprotected by our laws. The road to citizenship needs a new map. The Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride intends to help draw that map
"The destination? Policies that work for immigrants and for all Americans. Policies consistent with our most noble principles and sacred values. Policies that: 1) Reward work by granting legal status to hardworking, taxpaying, law-abiding immigrant workers already established in the United States; 2) Renew our democracy by clearing the path to citizenship and full political participation for our newest Americans; 3) Restore labor protections so that all workers, including immigrant workers, have the right to fair treatment on the job 4) Reunite families in a timely fashion by streamlining our outdated immigration policies; and 5) Respect the civil rights and civil liberties of all so that immigrants are treated equally under the law, the federal government remains subject to checks and balances, and civil rights laws are meaningfully enforced.
"We draw our inspiration from the Freedom Riders of the early 1960’s. The original Freedom Riders are American heroes who demonstrated that when ordinary people show extraordinary courage, a movement for sweeping social change can be sparked. We hope to make our contribution by widening and extending the road they traveled so that it includes immigrant workers and their families in the ongoing struggle against exploitation and exclusion, and in support of liberty and justice for all.
"Join us in drawing a new map for the road to citizenship.
Support the Freedom Ride by Making a Donation Online Today!
Endorse the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride!
Ole Hermanson reported that there is a large coalition working on the Freedom Ride (labor unions, religious groups, etc.). The buses will stop at various points throughout the United States and there will be rallies in at least 75 locations. There will be 75 buses leaving Connecticut for a huge rally in New York City on October 4.
The Freedom Ride is not supporting specific legislation. Can the Connecticut Green Party endorse the Freedom Ride? Can members of the Connecticut Green Party publicize the ride and sell bus tickets to the New York City rally? Ole Hermanson has had some discussions with Jean deSmet [and with David Bedell (secretary's note)]. By consensus the SCC endorsed the Freedom Ride.
The handout that Ole Hermanson distributed had the following information: If you want to volunteer, sign up to be a Freedom Rider, or would like more information, call: For Hartford: Jeremy 860-246-2561 [phone number from website]; for Danbury: Katharine 860-246-2561; in New Haven and Fairfield counties: Steve 203-865-7315 x217; in Eastern Connecticut: Ole 860-478-4990.
6. Report from V.O.T.E.R. Mike DeRosa gave a brief report. V.O.T.E.R. combines the efforts of members of the Green Party, Libertarian Party, Reform Party, and others. A bill supported by V.O.T.E.R. concerning ballot access was gotten out of committee at the Connecticut legislature, which Mike pointed to as a significant accomplishment.
Authorization of appropriation for Nader fundraiser. Tim reported on the details of the Nader fundraiser held in Hartford August 30. The event is a fundraiser for the Connecticut Green Party. Connecticut Green Party candidates are to share the stage with Ralph Nader. An authorization to spend approximately $250-$500 (maximum of $500) for expenses associated with this fundraiser was sought. (These include up-front money required for food by the restaurant where the fundraiser will be held, City Steam in Hartford.) By consensus this appropriation was approved.
Justine announced the first meeting of the Connecticut Green Party Women's Caucus, which was held September 13.
The remainder of the agenda items were not reached due to lack of time.
Appendix 1 (with agenda item 3--agenda): sentences from the minutes of the 8/25/03 Executive Committee meeting.
At tonight's meeting, some Executive Committee members said that it would be totally inappropriate to put pending business (such as the moderated consensus proposal, which had been referred to chapters) so far down on the agenda. Other Executive Committee member(s) asked whether other old SCC business needed equally to be addressed. Member(s) of the Hartford chapter are working on an alternative proposal for decision-making at SCC meetings; one Executive Committee member wondered if the discussion of the proposal on moderated consensus might profitably be deferred to a later month in view of this fact. A revised agenda for the 8/26/03 SCC meeting was agreed upon, which put the moderated consensus proposal high on the agenda. Tom will type up this proposal and bring it to the SCC meeting.
Ed asked whether the Executive Committee had decided, at a past Executive Committee meeting, that proposals should always come at the top of the SCC agenda. Ed said that for a time he had believed that proposals must come before other SCC agenda items, but that he had re-read the rules adopted by the SCC and realized that these rules did not call for this. (These rules read: "Proposals, reports, and any old business will have priority over general discussion items and any new business".) ...
Appendix 2 (with agenda item 3--agenda): agenda used at tonight's meeting.
1. Introductions/identify chapter reps, recruit stacker and timekeeper (5 minutes)
2. Adopt groundrules (2 minutes)
3. Approval of proposed agenda/additions and deletions (5 minutes)
4. Comments/approval of July SCC minutes (5 minutes)
5. Treasurer's report (3 minutes)
1. Official hiring of Tim McKee (5 minutes)
2. Request for appropriation of money for fundraising letter (5 minutes)
3. Moderated Consensus Process proposal (10 minutes)
4. Conflict resolution committee update (5 minutes)
5. Presidential Election Committee Proposal (10 minutes)
1. Chapter reports (1 minute each/13 minutes total)
2. Election Committee report (10 minutes)
3. Diversity Committee report (5 minutes)
4. Outreach Committee report (5 minutes)
5. US Green party Rep. report (10 minutes)
6. Report from V.O.T.E.R. (3 minutes)
1. Discussion of Executive Committee meetings
1. Foreign Policy Initiative
2. Media Committee report
3. "ARENA" report
4. State Platform Expansion Committee report
5. Report from P.O.W.E.R.
6. Internal Issues Committee 7. Internal Elections Committee
Appendix 3: Moderated Consensus Process Proposal
Proposal as amended between July 2003 and August 2003 SCC meetings
Below is the proposal for a moderated consensus process. The presenters of this proposal (NW and Tolland chapters) have made some minor changes. We have added sending a proposal back to the chapters as an option, that any unresolved concerns will be added to the minutes, and that this process will be reviewed in one year.
Green Party Meeting Proposal Form
PRESENTER: Northwest and Tolland chapters
SUBJECT (10 words or less): Proposal to adopt moderated consensus process for SCC meetings and to adopt rules for minute-taking.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE (100 words or less; include relationship, reasons and/or justification to the State Central Committee): The SCC has grown to 13 chapters and is averaging over 25 people at every meeting. Our growth demands that we have an agreed upon meeting process that is democratic and seeks consensus. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, this proposal urges that the SCC adopt the moderated consensus process for our meetings. Used by the national Coordinating Committee and by every other state Green Party, Consensus decision-making is at the core of the green movements shift away from domination-based social models toward more equal, cooperation-based ways of living and working together. It is our "eleventh key value", and brings all the other green values into daily practice - it is where we begin to walk our talk. As such, a clear understanding of consensus process, and of the radically different value system which underlies it, is essential to anyone wishing participate in building a Greener future.
PROPOSAL (200 words or less):
I. CONSENSUS PROCESS
Consensus Process Step By Step
1. Present proposal
2. Clarifying questions
3. List concerns & affirmations (may include general discussion)
4. Seek to resolve concerns (including amending proposal)
5. Test for consensus
6. If concerns remain, are all willing to stand aside?
7. If not, seek to resolve individual concerns one by one (time permitting): restate, clarify, discuss
8. Test for consensus
9. If unresolved concerns, are all willing to stand aside?
10. If not, go to closing options:
A. return proposal to committee/working group or chapters; or
B. request additional time, or
C. move to vote
Presenting the Proposal
One or more presenters briefly explain the proposal to the group. Attention should be given to any aspects not covered in the written proposal, and to how the proposal furthers the interests and goals of the group. The proposal will be made available in writing to chapter representatives at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting; if possible, concerns and feedback should be communicated to the presenters prior to the meeting, so that the presenters can look for possible solutions in advance.
It is essential to consensus that everyone in the group understand the proposal in order to make an informed decision. For this reason, the facilitators will call for any 'clarifying questions' before any discussion or concerns. Generally, presenters answer questions, though anyone may offer a 'point of information'. Questions and answers should be brief and should not slide into argumentation. Some folks try to disguise concerns or opinions as clarifying questions; facilitators should ask these folks to hold their comments until later. It is important that all questions be dealt with before moving on.
Concerns & Affirmations
Facilitators next call for concerns and affirmations. A concern is any objection or reservation about the proposal as currently stated, and may be based on personal views or values. Concerns should be briefly stated (and possibly scribed where all can see); concerns should not be repeated, except to state that "I share Carol's concern". Concerns may include suggested amendments or solutions to address the concern.
Amending the proposal
Sometimes a concern can be addressed by modifying the proposal. Anyone may suggest such an amendment, usually during the 'concerns' period. The presenter(s) of the proposal may accept or reject any proposed friendly amendment. If accepted, exact wording of any amendments should be given to the notetaker, and read back before making a decision.
Testing for consensus
Once all concerns are heard and addressed, the facilitators 'test for consensus' by asking if there are any unresolved concerns. If none exist, or if they are all willing to stand aside, then consensus is achieved and the proposal is accepted.
Unresolved concerns ('blocking') & 'standing aside'
If concerns remain after group discussion and any attempts to amend proposal or otherwise address them, then these are considered 'unresolved concerns'. Those holding the concerns are asked if they are willing to 'stand aside'; that is, allow the group to move forward with the proposal, having heard and noted their concerns. Standing aside does not indicate agreement, or even a relinquishing of one's concern. It indicates that the person doing so recognizes that their concern is not so essential that passing the proposal would jeopardize the values, goals, or interests of the group.
If there remain unresolved concerns, presenters have three options:
1. Ask for more plenary time to try to resolve outstanding concerns.
2. Refer proposal to committee or working group
3. Move to a vote.
The Secretary of the Green Party of Connecticut shall take the minutes of all State Central Committee meetings. A tape recorder may be provided as a backup. The minutes of the meeting shall include the following
date, time and place of meeting
list of people attending and total number of people eligible to vote
time the meeting was called to order
approval of the previous meeting's minutes, and any amendments
summary of reports, announcements, and other information shared
proposals, amendments, unresolved concerns, and final results of any votes taken
time of adjournment
next meeting date, time and location
name of person taking the minutes.
Proposals, along with any friendly amendments shall be recorded verbatim and should be read back during the meeting to make sure they have been accurately transcribed.
Preliminary minutes of the State Central Committee meeting shall be sent to the chapter representatives within one week after the adjournment of the meeting. Copies of the preliminary minutes shall be distributed at the next meeting. Any corrections or additions should be recorded in the minutes of that meeting. The group should then approve the minutes, meaning that they agree that they are accurate and complete.
Appendix 4: Presidential Election Committee Proposal
Green Party Meeting Proposal Form
PRESENTER (committee, chapter(s) or group of individuals): John Battista, David Adams, Tom Sevigny, Penny Teal, David Bedell, Trish Dayan
SUBJECT (10 words or less): Establishment of a Connecticut Green Party 2004 Presidential Election Committee.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE (100 words or less; include relationship, reasons and/or justification to the State Central Committee): The purpose of this committee will be to educate CT Green Party Members and the CT general public about Green Party approaches to the 2004 presidential campaign, including potential candidates and the possibility of running no candidate. In addition, the committee will obtain feedback from CT Green Party members and the CT general public about the approach they want taken, including support for particular candidates, at the 2004 Presidential Nominating Convention of the Green Party to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. If appropriate, this committee would then work to support the nominee of the Green Party Nominating Convention. This committee is justified as there is no committee or group currently functioning to carry out these purposes which are of significance to the CT Green Party and its future.
PROPOSAL (200 words or less): An open 2004 CT Green Party Presidential Election Committee shall be formed. This committee shall not promote a particular approach in the 2004 election, but rather shall serve as an educational entity. The committee will solicit input from all chapters of the CTGP, a synopsis of which shall be compiled and presented at a state meeting sometime before the 2004 convention.
Each Green Party Chapter shall be encouraged to have one of its members serve on this committee. The committee shall determine for itself a Chair, Co-Chairs, or rotating Chairs as it sees fit. The committee shall determine a secretary or rotating secretary as it sees fit. The committee shall make a report to the CTSCC each month after its existence until it is disbanded by the end of 2004. Minutes shall be kept of all meetings and shall be submitted to the Secretary of the CT Green Party and the CT Green Party website to be utilized as they see fit.