CT Green Party State Central Committee March 25, 2003 Minutes--3/25/03 SCC meeting--Wesleyan University, Fisk Hall room 312, 7-9pm
(a) Central chapter: Vincent Maruffi; Tim McKee; Steve Krevisky (part of meeting)
(b) Hartford chapter: Ed DuBrule; Mike DeRosa; Barbara Barry DeRosa; Chris Reilly; Lynah (part of meeting)
(c) New Haven chapter: Peter Ellner; Charlie Pillsbury; Bruce Crowder; David Agosta (part of meeting); Ralph Ferrucci; Jim Berger
(d) New London chapter: Chris Nelson
(e) North Central chapter: Jeff Schaefer
(f) Northeast chapter: Amy Vas Nunes; Michael Westerfield
(g) Northwest chapter: Tom Sevigny
(h) Southeast chapter: :Penny Teal
(i) Tolland chapter: Michael Burns
(j) Western chapter: Justine McCabe, John Battista; Andy Ziegler; Rachel Goodkind
Shoreline chapter (new chapter, not yet official chapter): Lindsay Mathews, Veronica Wardwell, Suzanne Davis
Walter Zielinsky (lives Stafford Springs)
No representatives were present from the Fairfield or West Hartford chapters. (29 attendees)
A stacker and a timekeeper were recruited. (A "stacker" keeps track of who is to speak next.)
2. Adopt Groundrules. The Groundrules (arrived at by Connecticut Green Party members in meetings in November 2002) were distributed to attendees (no specific vote was taken to adopt them for this meeting, however.) It was agreed by consensus that all the items on the proposed agenda (reprinted at the bottom of these minutes) would be considered, and would be allocated 5 minutes apiece.
3. Minutes of last month's SCC meeting. These minutes were distributed. There were no comments on these minutes; they were approved by consensus.
4. Treasurer's report. The balance in the Connecticut Green Party's checking account is $1,472. A sheet listing chapter balances was passed around for inspection by attendees. The treasurer's report was accepted by consensus.
5. Recognition of Hamden chapter (David Agosta). This agenda item was withdrawn at the request of David Agosta. Issues have come up which need to be explored and resolved concerning the relationship of a Hamden chapter to the New Haven chapter. Voting rights of Hamden chapter members within the New Haven chapter have been discussed. It was pointed out by attendees at tonight's SCC meeting that similar problems might exist with regard to the West Hartford and Hartford chapters, and with regard to the New London and Southeast chapters.
6. Old business.
(a) State of Connecticut budget cuts/layoffs (originally proposed for January meeting by Steve Krevisky and Northeast chapter). It was decided by consensus not to discuss this agenda item tonight. Steve Krevisky had not yet arrived when we reached this agenda item.
(c) Proposal for Media Coordinators and Media Committee. There is now a functioning Media Committee (Michael Burns, Tim McKee, and Glenn Cheaney). It has sent out three press releases in the past month and is developing contacts with the media. Proposed press releases are sent to the co-chairs for approval. Contact the committee if you have ideas for press releases.
Michael Burns distributed a pamphlet the Tolland chapter is using in anti-war work; the Northeast chapter is working on such a pamphlet. It was pointed out that there is material on www.ctgreens.org which could be used as a pamphlet. [Note from the secretary: probably the reference is to "Green Party of Connecticut Statement Opposing the US Plan to Invade Iraq (October 2002)--click on "issue positions" in upper left hand corner of home page.]
(d) Enlarging the state platform; and (e) chapter inputs/possible vote on drug policy text. Michael Burns is interested in putting more platform material on the Connecticut Green Party's website, www.ctgreens.org; his plan is to bring documents to the SCC/chapters for approval over the next few months. The first document, on drug policy reform, was to have been considered by chapters over the past month. (It is an e-mail attachment to this month's minutes.) Some chapters did discuss this document, and chapters are encouraged to discuss it further. Amy Vas Nunes and Jeff Schaefer expressed interest in working with Michael on this project.
7. Review and approve new business agenda. An attendee from the Northeast chapter wondered why two items the Northeast chapter had submitted to the secretary were not on the proposed agenda. The first submission was "Riseup listserve and Connecticut Green Party co-chair communications and questions"; it was proposed that these questions could be considered in agenda item 7a below. The second submission was "Clarification of Justine McCabe's position, and the Connecticut Green Party's position, on Palestine in general, the right of return issue, and the Connecticut Green Party's relationship with other groups involved with this issue (including Al-Awda)" It was suggested that the Outreach Committee (see 6(b) above) could address some of these questions, as could people interested in platform issues (see 6(d)/(e) above).
Bruce Crowder proposed that the SCC should consider this agenda item: "All proposals [made to the SCC] and amendments to proposals must be written and must be read clearly to the SCC before taking a vote. The written proposal will then be handed to the secretary immediately after such a vote takes place, regardless of the outcome of the vote." Several attendees agreed that this was a good idea and encouraged people and chapters to submit proposals in written form. By consensus we moved on to the new business items in the proposed agenda.
(a) Creation of an e-mail blaster. Mike DeRosa has proposed the creation of a one-way announcements-only listserve, which would serve to communicate information (such as quickly-planned demonstrations) to Connecticut Green Party members. Once set up, we could send a single invitation to join it to any e-mail addresses we had. People could submit announcements to one or more moderators, who would make a decision as to whether to send out the announcements on the listserve; the decision as to whether to send out this announcement would rest solely in the hands of the moderator(s). Chris Reilly offered to help on this project. Chris might be able to be a moderator weekdays until 4pm; other person(s) would be needed to serve as moderator(s) weekday evenings and weekends, receiving e-mails and deciding whether to pass them on to the listserve. It was pointed out that a definition of "announcement" would have to be agreed upon. One attendee objected to the violent connotations of the term "e-mail blaster", and suggested the term "announcements list". By consensus it was agreed that Mike and Chris should continue work on this project. Tom said that Bob Eaton of the Northwest chapter might be interested in being a moderator; no one objected to Chris and/or Bob Eaton being moderators.
A Northeast chapter attendee stated that of the three co-chairs, only one is now on the riseup listserve. This attendee feels that people should have a way of asking questions publicly of the co-chairs.
(b) Formation of fundraising committee/fiscal policy. Mike DeRosa proposed formation of (or reactivation of) a fundraising committee. There was consensus that this should occur. Mike volunteered to chair the committee; Charlie and Bruce Crowder (treasurer) expressed interest in helping Mike; no one objected to these proposals. Bruce is working on fiscal policy (financial planning for the Connecticut Green Party).
(c) Ethics complaint against [a member of the Connecticut Green Party]/formation of ad-hoc committee to deal with ethics violations (John Battista, Charlie Pillsbury). John Battista distributed a document to attendees at this SCC meeting. This document was written by himself, addressed to the SCC, and titled "Filed Ethics Complaint and Ethics Complaint Procedures". Excerpts from this document follow within this paragraph of these minutes: "On March 18, 2003 I submitted an ethics complaint to Ed DuBrule [secretary] for placement on the 3/25/03 agenda of the CTSCC ... Although the bylaws of the Green Party of Connecticut define "unacceptable behavior" they do not articulate a mechanism for determing "unacceptable" behavior and the consequences of such a determination. The CTSCC made such a determination last year. The ethics complaint articulates a procedure for the CTSCC to determine the appropriate process and consequences with regard to the submitted ethics complaint. It suggests that the CTSCC first determine if there is sufficient merit to the complaint .... If a decision is made to proceed with a determination, it recommends that the CTSCC establish a vote of the chapter members ... The ethics complaint was distributed by Ed DuBrule to [several people] ... I received comments from several people who felt that the ethics complaint should be dealt with by committee ... [Other people] felt that there should be a general procedure for dealing with ethics complaints before this particular ethics complaint is addressed. ... I sent the Executive Committee a suggested set of procedures for dealing with ethics complaints in general. It entails the establishment of an Ethics Committee that would investigate ethics complaints and submit their findings to the CTSCC for a final determination. It includes an appeals procedure to chapter members. These suggested procedures are attached to this memo. ..." John's document also includes a set of suggestions for CTSCC actions as a follow-up to its receipt of his document.
John proposed that the SCC should vote on establishing procedures to deal with ethics complaints. Charlie Pillsbury proposed the formation of a committee to look at the processes by which the Connecticut Green Party deals with conflicts of many kinds within the Party, including conflicts which result in the filing of an ethics complaint. It was pointed out that there are many ways to deal with conflict--mediation, arbitration, and judicial proceedings, to mention a few. Charlie pointed out that the Ground Rules (developed by Connecticut Green Party members in meetings in November 2002) includes the Tier One item "We have an agreed-upon process for safely and constructively resolving conflicts between and among our members and regarding our group process".
One attendee raised the question of whether the bylaws need to be expanded to deal with conflict resolutions issues and ethics complaints. Another Green suggested that a "conciliation committee" might be formed, which could do its work without addressing whether an ethics violation had occurred. One attendee suggested that if the SCC and/or a committee determined procedures to deal with John's ethics complaint, these procedures could later be incorporated into the bylaws. One attendee suggested that (a) Charlie could develop a detailed proposal regarding formation of a conflict resolution committee and present it to the April SCC meeting; (b) discussions within the Connecticut Green Party, including at chapter meetings, could occur on these issues over the next month.
One attendee wondered whether the formation of a committee to deal with mechanisms of resolving conflicts would mean that John's proposal (that the SCC should vote on establishing procedures to deal with ethics complaints) would be deferred until the committee had reported back to the SCC. John said that the SCC might either (a) develop procedures to deal with the specific complaint he had brought to the SCC; or (b) develop procedures to deal with complaints of ethics violations in general.
A motion was made that the SCC vote on whether the SCC should act to establish procedures to deal with ethics violations; the intent of this vote was whether the SCC should devote further time to the issue of the ethics violation filed and the process of resolving conflicts within the Party. This motion passed (yes SCC should act further--10 votes; no--4 votes; abstain--4 votes).
A motion was made, and seconded, that the SCC vote on forming a committee to deal with ethics violation issues. No vote, however, was held.
A motion was made that the SCC vote on forming a committee to to look at the processes by which the Connecticut Green Party deals with conflicts of many kinds within the Party, including conflicts which result in the filing of an ethics complaint. Specifically, this committee should propose, or discuss, multiple processes to resolve conflicts within the Connecticut Green Party, including procedures to deal with ethics complaints which have been made. This motion passed (yes form a committee--11 votes; no--4 votes; abstain--4 votes). Someone proposed that this committee should report back to the SCC within one month, and no objection was heard to this proposal.
The following five attendees joined this committee: Charlie Pillsbury, Ralph Ferrucci, Michael Westerfield, Steve Krevisky, Penny Teal. The joining of these people to this committee was accepted by consensus. Someone stated that other Greens could join this committee, and no one objected to this statement.
(d) Global Greens initiative for Uniting for Peace (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 377). By this time, 9pm had been reached and there was talk of adjourning the meeting. However, by consensus it was agreed to consider a draft of a proposal (distributed to attendees by Justine McCabe, of the International Committee of the United States Green Party), because of the need for rapid action on the proposal. (Justine withdrew her agenda item 7f(ii) "Foreign Policy Discussion Initiative", asking that it be considered at the April SCC meeting, and replaced it with this agenda item.) Justine summarized the proposal for the SCC attendees. Excerpts from the proposal are included in this paragraph of these minutes:
Proposal to the Coordinating Committee of the Green Party of the United States. Presenter: USGP International Committee.
SUBJECT: Initiation by Global Greens of [United Nations] General Assembly Resolution 377, "Uniting for Peace"
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: On Thursday, March 20, the United States initiated a preemptive military attack against Iraq ... in defiance of the United Nations Charter .... The Green Party of the United States ... now seeks the aid of the worldwide network of Green Parties, to invoke United Nations Resolution 377, "Uniting for Peace," ....
The "Uniting for Peace" mechanism in UN rules was originally proposed and sponsored by the United States in 1950, for the purpose of circumventing the veto power of permanent members of the UN Security Council should one or more of these most powerful nations prevent the UN from carrying out its mission. The provision ensures that should the Security Council fail to maintain international peace and security, the full General Assembly, representing all member nations, is empowered to call for peacekeeping troops, especially when a permanent member of the Security Council has become an aggressor.
PROPOSAL: The International Committee of the Green Party of the United States, and the state Green parties of Connecticut, Rhode Island, California, and the DC Statehood Green Party, propose the following:
That the Coordinating Committee of the USGP approve the initiation of contact with Green Party Parliamentarians, especially including those from Europe and particularly German Green Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, recent President of the UN Security Council, for the purpose of collaborating to invoke the "Uniting for Peace" Resolution through the UN, including via the following means:
a. Foreign Minister Fischer, having secured the necessary nine votes for passage, would introduce a Security Council resolution condemning the US invasion of war of Iraq as illegal and a breach of international security and peace. Presuming that this resolution draws a veto from the US or Britain, then the technical requirements for invoking the Uniting for Peace resolution will have been met; AND/OR
b. With a veto in Security Council of such a resolution, Green Party Parliamentarians could then lobby their governments to urge the President of the UN General Assembly to call an emergency meeting of the General Assembly for the purpose of invoking GA Resolution 377, Uniting for Peace, in order to condemn the war in Iraq and if necessary, to call for UN peacekeepers to be sent into Iraq to restore international peace and security. A two-thirds vote of those "present and voting" are required for passage.
c. Coordinate efforts to lobby UN member states to introduce and pass this initiative with members of Green Parties and their allies, including NGOs worldwide.
d. If the Security Council fails to consider a resolution condemning the US actions in Iraq, then Green Parliamentarians, especially including those from Europe, could lobby for the President of the General Assembly to call an emergency meeting at which a resolution condemning the US for its aggression could be considered.
e. IMMEDIATELY send a message to every Green list worldwide urging their support for the initiative by asking them to:
*Sign the online petition in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, supporting the call for the UN Emergency Session, Uniting for peace: www.ufp.ht.st
*Also urge them to go to John Leonard's site to sign the petition and for contact information to urge UN members to support Uniting for Peace at www.unitingforpeace.com
f. IMMEDIATELY urge Greens worldwide to hold press conferences to publicize and support the Uniting for Peace initiative, as well as to address the illegality of the war.
WHEREAS there are numerous reports indicating that the UN General Assembly President Jan Kavan of the Czech Republic is considering an emergency session to invoke the Uniting for Peace Resolution to condemn the US aggression against Iraq ....
By consensus the SCC approved this document.
The remaining agenda items were not discussed due to lack of time.
Proposed agenda--March 25, 2003 SCC meeting--Fisk Hall room 312, Wesleyan University, 7-9pm.
1. Introductions/identify chapter reps, recruit stacker and timekeeper
2. Adopt groundrules
3. Comments/approval of Feb. SCC minutes
4. Treasurer's report
5. Recognition of Hamden Chapter (David Agosta)
6. OLD BUSINESS
(a) State of Connecticut budget cuts/layoffs (originally proposed for January meeting by Steve Krevisky and Northeast chapter)
(b) Proposal on formation of outreach committee/formation of coalition partner procedures. (Michael Burns and others).
(c) Proposal for Media Coordinators and Media Committee (Michael Burns and others).
(d) Enlarging the state platform (on www.ctgreens.org) (Michael Burns and others)
(e) chapter inputs/possible vote on drug policy text (Feb. SCC meeting, without a quorum, requested input from chapters)
7. Review and approve new business agenda.
a. Creation of e-mail blaster (Mike Derosa & Chris Reilly)
b. Formation of fundraising committee/fiscal policy (Mike DeRosa and Bruce Crowder)
c. Ethics violation against [a member of the Green Party of Connecticut]/formation of ad-hoc committee to create ethics violation committee (john battista & Charlie Pillsbury)
d. Creation of an "Internal Issues Committee" to examine the Party's position on various issues such as "definition of membership", chapter representation to the SCC, term limits, etc., with the aim of promoting full and open discussion of each issue and consensus thereon. (Northeast chapter)
e. Proposal for SCC agenda planning (Tom Sevigny and some members of Northwest chapter)
f. US Green Party Representatives' report
(i) Discussion of national platform (Karin Norton)
(ii) Foreign Policy Discussion Initiative (Justine McCabe)---->>replaced (see minutes) by agenda item Global Greens initiative for Uniting for Peace (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 377)
(iii) Discussion of "Should the Green Party run a presidential candidate in 2004?"(Northeast chapter)
g. Committee reports (all committees, regardless of whether they've met)
h. chapter reports
Adjourn promptly at 9pm
Proposal on Enlarging State Platform/ Legislative Agenda
In the interest of building the state party’s platform and adding concrete ideas to general statements, I think that our party should work closer with allied organizations doing work that we support. Two ways I propose doing this are:
Working with them to expand our legislative agenda to include more concrete ideas than it currently has (see print out from website). When we do this, we are clarifying for potential Greens what we stand for and what actual policy changes we advocate. This adds to the appeal of the Green Party.
Notifying our members about events allied organizations are holding through our website, list-serves, newspaper, and state central meeting.
An additional benefit to doing this is that during elections, a more full legislative agenda can be a resource for people who want more information about the Green Party. Candidates did a great job of elaborating on their positions on their own campaign websites, but the state central committee hasn’t seemed to do so for the state as a whole.
In these interests, I recently spoke with representatives of the drug-policy reform group called Efficacy out of Hartford. They expressed intense interest in wanting better their relationship with the Green Party by holding educational events together, sponsoring legislation when appropriate, conducting petition drives together, appearing on public access Green Party television programs, and by offering statements that the Green Party may choose to formally add to it’s legislative agenda. Cliff Thornton, the director of Efficacy, offer the following as point we could adopt to add to our legislative agenda goals:
Shift budget priorities from spending for pursuing, prosecuting, and imprisoning drug-law offenders to spending for education, treatment, and research.
Develop and implement age-appropriate drug education programs that are grounded in research and fact and that promote dialogue without fear of censure or reprisal.
Undertake research to assess the effects of currently illegal drugs. Ensure that findings and conclusions are publicly accessible, serving as a basis for responsible decision-making by individuals and in arenas of public policy and practice.
Research the sociological factors that contribute to the likelihood of drug use becoming habitual, addictive, and destructive, such as poverty, poor mental health, sexual or other physical abuse, and lack of education or medical treatment.
Research and expand a range of management and on-demand treatment programs for drug abuse and addiction. Examples include nutritional counseling, job training, psychiatric evaluation and treatment, psychological counseling, parent training and assistance, support groups, clean needle distribution and exchange, substitution of safer drugs (e.g. methadone or marijuana), medically administered drug maintenance, disease screening, and acupuncture and other alternative and complementary treatments. Publish the results of studies of these programs.
Require health insurance providers to cover in-patient and out-patient treatment for substance abuse on the same basis as other chronic health conditions.
Make all drugs legally available with a prescription by a licensed physician, subject to professional oversight. End the practice of punishing an individual for obtaining, possessing, or using an otherwise illegal substance to treat a medical condition. End the threat to impose sanctions on physicians who treat patients with opiates for alleviation of pain.
Prohibit civil liberties violations and other intrusive law enforcement practices. Violations of the right to privacy such as urine testing should be imposed only upon employees in safety-sensitive occupations.
Establish a legal, regulated, and taxed market for marijuana. Treat marijuana as we treat alcohol.
Modify civil forfeiture laws to require conviction before seizure of assets. Prohibit the eviction of family, friends, and co-habitants or the loss of government entitlements.
Abolish mandatory minimum prison sentences for the use and distribution of currently illicit drugs. Legislation should specify only maximum prison sentences.
Remove criminal penalties for possession and use of currently illegal drugs, with drug abusers subject to arrest and imprisonment only if they commit an actual crime (e.g., assault, burglary, impaired driving, vandalism). End sentencing inequities driven by racial profiling.
Establish and make more accessible prison-based drug treatment, education, job training, and transition programs designed for inmates.
End the financing of anti-drug campaigns in Central and South America, campaigns that include the widespread spraying of herbicides, contribute to the destruction of rainforests, and are responsible for uprooting peoples from their homelands.
EfficacyP O Box 1234Hartford, CT 06143860 285 8831860 688 4677(fax)
It’s our choice to adopt these goals and move to consider Efficacy an allied organization.
Out of these concrete goals, legislation will certainly come- either from the Greens, from Efficacy, from other drug reform group, or from combinations of these working together.
I think it would add tremendously to our party for us to work on elaborating on each of the items listed in the Legislative Agenda section: adding goals, allied organizations, position papers, relevant articles, and any calls for action whether it be requests for letters, invitations to meetings/rallies, or any number of things to bring about change on these issues.