CT Green Party State Central Committee
May 27, 2003
Minutes of May 27, 2003 SCC meeting--Portland Public Library, 7-9pm
1. Introductions/identify chapter reps, recruit stacker and timekeeper. (“NV” means non-voting--at one point early in the meeting nonvoting attendees were asked to identify themselves; some people came in later and were not given the opportunity to so identify themselves)
(1) Central Connecticut chapter: Vic Lancia, Michael O'Connor
(2) Hartford chapter: Ed DuBrule (NV); Mike DeRosa; Barbara Barry DeRosa; Tim McKee (NV) (now lives in Hartford chapter area), Rob Pandolfo
(3) New Haven chapter: Peter Ellner, David Eliscu (NV), Ralph Ferrucci, Alexis (NV)
(4) North Central chapter: Jeff Schaefer
(5) Northeast chapter: Amy Vas Nunes
(6) Northwest chapter: Tom Sevigny, Judy Herkimer, Kim Herkimer
(7) Shoreline chapter: David Adams
(8) Southeast chapter: Penny Teal
(9) Tolland chapter: Michael Burns; Karin Norton
(10) Western chapter: Justine McCabe, John Battista; Andy Ziegler; Rachel Goodkind
(11) West Hartford: Ed Savage
No attendees were present from the Fairfield or New London chapters. Tim facilitated; Jeff served as timekeeper; Judy served as stacker (a “stacker” keep track of who will speak next).
2. Adopt groundrules. The groundrules for meetings (developed at meetings in November 2002) were adopted to apply to this meeting by consensus.
3. Comments/approval of April SCC minutes. The minutes were approved by consensus. One attendee noted that one vote during the April SCC meeting had a large number of abstentions and wondered if the SCC should adopt a procedure to deal with such a situation in the future.
4. Treasurer's report. The treasurer was not present.
5. OLD BUSINESS
(a) Reports from committees/committees-in-formation (regardless of whether they've met)
(1) media committee Michael Burns reported that two new press releases are in the works.
(2) “Hartford Courant” media committee (“ARENA”) Mike DeRosa noted that this committee is composed of Greens and others. It continues work against inaccurate and biased reporting.
(i) SCC vote to approve outreach committee's concepts of what being an allied organization means and how organizations become allied organizations. (For further details on this agenda item see the proposed agenda appended to these minutes). No discussion on this point was held; no vote on this point occurred.
(ii) Approval of becoming allied organizations with a list of organizations. At the April 2003 SCC meeting, a list of twelve organizations had been passed out, with contact information and statement of purpose for each organization from their websites. These twelve organizations had been proposed as ones that the the Connecticut Green Party should ally itself with. These twelve organizations are listed below. [Note: websites for these organizations are listed in the proposed agenda appended to these minutes; these include some websites added since last month. See also the April SCC meeting minutes for some phone numbers.]
(1) Toxics Action Network
(2) Al-Awda (Palestinian Right of Return Coalition)
(3) Connecticut Coalition for Universal Healthcare
(4) Connecticut Civil Liberties Union
(5) Democracy Works
(6) National Organization for Women, CT Chapter
(7) Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty
(8) CT Against Gun Violence/Connecticut Collaborative for Education Against Gun Violence
(9) People's Action for Clean Energy
(10) Connecticut Bicycle Coaltion
(11) CT Coalition for Environmental Justice
(12) Love Makes a Family
Two attendees suggested that the Connecticut Citizens' Awareness Network (CAN) and the Connecticut Citizens' Action Group (CCAG) should be considered in the future (not at this meeting) as potential allied organizations.
It was proposed that all twelve organizations be voted by the SCC as allied organizations. One attended objected to allying ourselves with Al-Awda (Palestinian Right of Return Coalition). This attendee stated that she had been on the Al-Awda listserve in the past and had read e-mails which she believed were anti-semitic. Another representative also opposed affiliation with Al-Awda--the Right of Return issues are difficult ones.
Justine stated that she has worked with Al-Awda and has not found it to be an anti-semitic organization. She stated that the listserve is well moderated and does not contain anti-semitic e-mails. She stated that the Al-Awda website contains Jewish organizations that support Al-Awda. She noted that the Connecticut SCC had voted to endorse a Palestinian Right of Return Rally.
[Note from the secretary: this vote is in the minutes of the SCC meeting for February 13, 2001--the rally took place in New York City (and in other cities around the world) on April 7, 2001. The relevant paragraph of these minutes and related information is reproduced in an ethics complaint filed by John Battista against a member of the Connecticut Green Party; this ethics complaint was sent to me on 3/18/03. Material in the ethics complaint also documents that the Association of State Green Parties endorsed this rally; a media advisory stating this was published 4/6/01. See also www.gpus.org/position/palestinian_rally.html on the national website. An e-mail from Justine McCabe sent 2/11/01, reproduced in the ethics complaint, states further that “This upcoming event [the April 7, 2001 Right of Return Rally] will be a repeat of a march and rally held in DC in September, at which over 4000 people attended. CT Greens endorsed that event.“]
Another attendee referred to the Connecticut Green Party as having twice voted in support of Al-Awda's work and/or the Right of Return concept, and still another attendee noted the national Green Party's support of Al-Awda's work and/or the Right of Return concept.
Another attendee noted that people who have joined the Green Party recently may not know much about Al-Awda and the Right to Return concept; time may be needed for learning of these matters. One or two people asked whether the Connecticut Green Party had voted to endorse a rally sponsored (or co-sponsored) by Al-Awda or had voted to support the organization Al-Awda.
It was suggested that the SCC should decide on affiliating with all the organizations on the list with the exception of Al-Awda. By consensus it was agreed that the Connecticut Green Party considers the following 11 organizations to be affiliated organizations: Toxics Action Network; Connecticut Coalition for Universal Healthcare; Connecticut Civil Liberties Union; Democracy Works; National Organization for Women, Connecticut Chapter; Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty; CT Against Gun Violence/Connecticut Collaborative for Education Against Gun Violence; People's Action for Clean Energy; Connecticut Bicycle Coalition; CT Coalition for Environmental Justice; Love Makes a Family.
Two attendees suggested that people with knowledge of Al-Awda (both those who support the Connecticut Green Party's affiliation with Al-Awda and those who oppose such affiliation) write information and communicate it to the chapters. It was also suggested that people could study the Al-Awda website (www.al-awda.org).
It was proposed that chapter representatives should bring the issue of affiliation with Al-Awda to the chapters, with the goal of the SCC voting on this issue at a future SCC meeting. A vote was held on this proposal. The vote was: yes (bring the question to the chapters)--9; no--10; abstain--1; however, while the secretary was announcing the count of the vote one representative announced that he wished to change from not voting (abstaining) to voting yes, which would make the vote: yes (bring the question to the chapters)--10; no--10; abstain--0. One attendee wondered if it was legitimate for a representative to change his vote in this manner. The issue of the final vote count was not resolved at this meeting.
A representative of the New Haven chapter stated that he will (or would) not feel good about bringing the issue to the New Haven chapter for a vote because Israel/Palestine issues had caused great dissention in the New Haven chapter recently.
Another representative asked whether, if the national Green Party had supported the Right of Return as a Ten Key Values issue, how could Connecticut come out as not supporting the Right of Return.
(iii) coalition work with Connecticut Fund for the Environment (their proposals for preserving public reservoirs) At the April SCC meeting, some attendees received a handout from Ana Lachelier explaining the Connecticut Fund for the Environment's work with the Connecticut legislature to preserve public reservoirs. The Fund is working as part of the Endangered Lands Coalition. Some Greens may also have received e-mails explaining this work.
Ed Savage proposed that the Connecticut Green Party join the Endangered Lands Coalition and thereby work on legislation in the Connecticut legislature. (Ed noted that he was not proposing that the Fund be considered as an allied organization with the Connecticut Green Party.) Extracts from the agenda item proposal form submitted by Ed Savage follow:
Join a list of liberal organizations seeking legislation to recoup the public’s investment in state-enabled takeover of land through eminent domain when utility companies merge or are taken over by international conglomerates.
Water and electric companies own an estimated 120,000 acres of irreplaceable open space in Connecticut. These lands - that safeguard our lakes, rivers and streams, and help to purify our drinking water - are increasingly threatened by sale and development. At a time of heightened concerns about drought and security, and increasing concerns about the loss of local control over this vital resource, protecting the lands that protect our water supply is all the more critical.
This Legislation Will:
1. Ensure that when multinational companies continue to acquire water rights in our state, the lands surrounding and protecting this water are permanently protected by requiring conservation easements to be placed on all Class I and Class II lands at the time of acquisition or merger.
The growing trend of mergers and acquisitions means that we have lost local control over our water future and vast forests to companies who see water as a prime global commodity rather than a regional or state asset. One out of every five towns in Connecticut now have their water company forest lands and drinking water controlled at headquarters located a continent away.
2. Protect Connecticut’s existing reservoirs by repairing the loophole in Connecticut’s present statutes that allows reservoirs to be abandoned and the surrounding forests sold.
No new surface water reservoirs have been created in Connecticut in the past 40 years and yet, just in the past decade or so, 18 reservoirs have been abandoned, allowing both the reservoir and surrounding forest land to be sold. Yet our future depends on clean and safe drinking water. Even if water companies no longer want or require existing reservoirs, the statutes must guarantee that this precious natural resource, and the forests that purify this water, are protected for future generations.
3. Create an incentive through the ratemaking process that will encourage water utilities to conserve and protect “surplus” open space lands that are not directly needed to protect our water supply – an estimated 23,000 acres statewide. This land can be sold at any time. It represents a total land area approaching the holdings of all land trusts in Connecticut combined. This forest land protects clean streams and contains some of the most important open space in Connecticut.
By consensus, the SCC agreed that the Connecticut Green Party is part of the Endangered Lands Coalition; that is, the SCC agreed that it supports the legislative efforts of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment (in the Endangered Lands Coalition) in the area of preserving reservoir lands.
(4) state platform expansion committee: Michael Burns and Peter Ellner reported. The committee includes Michael, Peter, Jeff, and Amy and would welcome new members. At last month's SCC meeting, a draft of an outline for the Connecticut Green Party's platform was passed out by the committee. The committee invites any Green to submit a draft document on any issue for the platform; this would eventually result in consideration of platform language by the SCC.
(5) fundraising committee: Mike DeRosa reported. Seed money has been received for T-shirt production; a T-shirt making party at the Hartford office will be held soon (watch announcements listserve for time/place). Profits on T-shirt sales can be given to your chapter. The committee is also considering selling buttons and other items, and bringing in speakers.
(6) V.O.T.E.R. Mike DeRosa reported that legislators are now trying to kill legislation (HR 6087) that would make it easier for “minor parties” to get ballot access. Details are at www.voterct.org (note error on website--2% is the actual figure pertaining to votes for governor, not 1%). Greens should contact legislators, especially DeFronzo, O'Rourke, and Maura Lyons. The committee is also trying to work with Ralph Nader and the media on this issue, and with a lawyer concerning a possible lawsuit.
(7) P.O.W.E.R. Mike DeRosa reported that a recent vote in the Connecticut legislature means that electric rates will be going up. The Clean Energy Fund is going to be cut.
(8) internal issues committee This committee is to to examine the Connecticut Green Party's position on various issues (such as "definition of membership", chapter representation to the SCC, and term limits), with the aim of promoting full and open discussion of each issue and consensus thereon. (See minutes of April 2003 SCC meeting). Amy reported that the committee has not yet had its first meeting.
(9) Process Committee David Adams is a member of the Process Committee formed during the April 2003 SCC meeting as part of the mechanism for resolving conflicts within the Connecticut Green Party. One of the functions of the Process Committee is to receive submissions of ethics complaints (or other reports of conflicts within the Party). David reported that the Process Committee is drafting a complaint form for such submissions; he brought copies of a draft of the complaint form and asked that attendees at tonight's meeting make comments on it tonight. The Process Committee is thinking that submission(s) already made to the Process Committee should be required to be re-submitted on a form similar to the one he brought to tonight's meeting.
One attendee wondered why the committee did not want the draft-stage form taken to the chapters for discussion.
A document titled “Resolution Process, as approved” was attached/appended to the minutes of the April 2003 SCC meeting. It contains the text of the conflict resolution process that the April SCC meeting approved. This document states: “The Resolution Process begins with a written complaint submitted to the Process Committee. Complaints are limited to conduct that took place within 6 months of the complaint’s submission date or conduct that took place earlier, but was only just discovered within 6 months of the complaint’s submission date.” These sentences were read at tonight's meeting and discussed. One attendee wondered if a 6-month limit was realistic in view of the relatively slow speed at which the Connecticut Green Party accomplishes things. Another attendee wondered if the 6-month limit would prevent the Process Committee from acting on the complaint(s) that have been filed in the past couple of months. Also, would the adoption of a new complaint-filing form have any impact on the ability to act on complaint(s) that have been filed in the past couple of months?
(10) Internal elections committee. Ed DuBrule, who had been a member of the internal elections committee, reported that the committee has not met since the internal elections and can perhaps be considered to have ended its life as a committee. Ed still has the bad-addresses ballot envelopes (returned by the post office) and has done some work toward getting the information on the bad addresses back to the chapters so that they can correct their membership lists. Ed noted that he has had possible offer(s) of a donated computer, which could be put in the Hartford office; volunteers might then work on the bad-address ballots. He asked for comments on this plan; no one objected to this idea during the meeting. Ed Savage offered to help with the bad-address ballots using his home computer.
Karin wondered if computers Greens no longer wanted could be put to good use, perhaps within the Party (Greens who can't afford a computer) or within the community.
(b) US Green Party Representatives' report. Tom reported that a national meeting of the Party will take place in Washington, DC July 19-21--details on reserving hotel rooms (etc.) can be found on the national website. These days will include session(s) on should the Greens run a presidential candidate (although no official decision will come out of the July meeting).
Penny reported that the national Green Party's accreditation committee wants new members. (These members would need approval by the SCC.) The coordinated campaign committee will have elections for the coordinated campaign committee in July; Penny now serves on this committee, and would like to continue to serve.
Amy noted that the Northeast chapter wished that the US Green Party Representatives could present a list of national committees that Connecticut people could join (committees with openings). Someone indicated that there are two types of national committees, open committees and closed committees. Someone noted that there is a list of national committees on the national website; someone else wondered, however, if the website held information about committees with openings. Tom said he believed that, except for the closed committees, every committee has openings for Connecticut people.
One attendee wondered if both Tom and Penny were going to be able to attend the national meeting(s) as Green Party representatives. Ed DuBrule stated that that Paul Rene (elected the alternate US Green Party representative in last February's internal elections) has left Connecticut. One attendee wondered if the Connecticut Green Party should choose another alternate.
(c) Uniting for Peace Initiative: Justine passed out the “Petition for an Emergency United Nations Resolution on Iraq”. It is similar to the document she passed out at the April SCC meeting. It speaks of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 377 (V), Uniting for Peace, which would cause an emergency meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to be held. This meeting could mandate the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force in Iraq, the coordination by the United Nations of the response to the humanitarian disaster in Iraq, the withdrawal of United States forces from Iraq, etc. (See the minutes of the April SCC meeting for a brief summary). Justine asked that people go to the website www.uniting-for-peace.net to sign the petition as individuals, and that people share the petition with other organizations to get further organizational endorsements. 150 organizations, such as Greenpeace, have already endorsed the petition.
By this time the library was about to close, so the meeting was adjourned.
Justine announced that a proposal for the formation of a women's caucus will be sent out on listserves--please comment on it.
[In the proposed agenda below, item 5(f) Speakers/Events Committee was dealt with above under 5(a)(3) Outreach Committee.]
Proposed agenda--May 27, 2003 SCC meeting
1. (2 minutes) Introductions/identify chapter reps, recruit stacker and timekeeper.
2. (2 minutes) Adopt groundrules.
3. (2 minutes) Comments/approval of April SCC minutes.
4. (2 minutes) Treasurer's report.
5. OLD BUSINESS
(a) Reports from committees/committee-in-formation (regardless of whether they've met)
(1) (5 minutes) media (Michael Burns)
(2) (2 minutes) report from Lynah L./Mike DeRosa on “Hartford Courant” media committee (“ARENA”)
(3) (10 minutes) outreach
(i) SCC vote to approve outreach committee's concepts of what being an allied organization means and how organizations become allied organizations
The committee handed out two documents at the April SCC meeting. They give the committee's proposals on defining allied organizations of the Connecticut Green Party. Excerpts from these handouts follow:
--“Designating a group as a formal Allied Organization must be approved by a majority of the voting reps of the State Central Committee.
--“What does it mean to be an Allied Organization?
**1 minute report on their activities ... required at every monthly SCC meeting
**Permission from majority of co-chairs needed for state sponsorship of their event when requested.
**Outreach Committee will contact this org to see if they want to be regularly notified of CT GP events.
**Allied orgs are invited to table at state GP events and speakers
**Contact information listed on our website.“
(ii) (10 minutes) Approval of becoming allied organizations with these organizations (NOTE: some new websites have been added)
(1) Toxics Action Network (www.toxicsaction.org)
(2) Al-Awda (Palestinian Right of Return Coalition) (www.al-awda.org)
(3) Connecticut Coalition for Universal Healthcare (http://cthealth.server101.com)
(4) Connecticut Civil Liberties Union (www.cclu.org)
(5) Democracy Works (www.democracyworksct.org)
(6) National Organization for Women, CT Chapter (www.now.org; www.ct-now.org)
(8) CT Against Gun Violence/Connecticut Collaborative for Education Against Gun Violence (www.cceagv.org)
(9) People's Action for Clean Energy (www.pace-cleanenergy.org)
(iii) (5 minutes) coalition work with Connecticut Fund for the Environment (their proposals for preserving public reservoirs) (Ed Savage)
(4) (5 minutes) state platform expansion/drug policy document (Michael Burns)
(5) (2 minutes) fundraising--including T-shirt (etc.) sales (Mike DeRosa)
(6) (2 minutes) V.O.T.E.R.
(7) (2 minutes) P.O.W.E.R.
(8) (2 minutes) internal issues committee
(9) (4 minutes) conflict resolution/Process Committee
(10) (2 minutes) internal elections committee--bad address ballots
(11) (2 minutes) “should Green Party run a presidential candidate in 2004?”--forum to be organized by Michael Westerfield and Tim McKee?
(b) (5 minutes) US Green Party Representatives' report
(c) (5 minutes) Uniting for Peace Initiative
(d) (10 minutes) Inclusiveness (outreach to non-Caucasians and addressing the issues of non-Caucasians)
(e) (2 minutes) Discussion of Executive Committee Meetings (Northeast chapter)
(f) (5 minutes) Speakers/events Committee (Andy Ziegler/Michael Burns)--have speakers every other month to raise money and Connecticut Green Party visibility.
(g) (3 minutes) Communication within the Connecticut Green Party (Michael Burns/Ed DuBrule) (See "announcement" at the end of this proposed agenda about the clipboard)
(h) (5 minutes) Foreign Policy Discussion Initiative (Justine McCabe, International Committee member)
(i) (5 minutes) Getting the national and Connecticut Green Parties to focus on issues such as health care, unemployment, etc. (rather than dealing with internal conflicts) (Ana Lachelier)
(j) (5 minutes) Chapter reports
(k) (5 minutes) Brief announcements
6. NEW BUSINESS--no new business was proposed for this month's meeting.
Adjourn promptly at 9pm.
NOTE: A CLIPBOARD (OR YELLOW PAD) WILL BE PASSED AROUND DURING THIS SCC MEETING. INFORMATION YOU CHOOSE TO WRITE ON THE CLIPBOARD (YOUR NAME, E-MAIL AND/OR PHONE NUMBER AND/OR STREET ADDRESS) WILL BE TYPED UP AND DISTRIBUTED TO ALL ATTENDEES AT THE JUNE SCC MEETING. WE HOPE TO HAVE SUCH A CLIPBOARD AT EVERY FUTURE SCC MEETING. NOTE THAT INFORMATION PUT ON THIS CLIPBOARD MAY END UP BEING DISTRIBUTED WIDELY WITHIN THE GREEN PARTY AND PERHAPS EVEN BEYOND (SEE AGENDA ITEM 7d ABOVE). [Note from the secretary: this clipboard was not passed around at the May 2003 SCC meeting.]