CT Green Party State Central Committee Meeting December 17, 2002
The following is a report on the December 17, 2002 SCC meeting of the Connecticut Green Party, held at the First Church of Christ in Middletown.
The SCC (state central committee/state coordinating committee) normally meets the last Tuesday of the month. However, the last Tuesday of December was New Year's Eve.
(Chapter affiliations known to me are indicated. No attempt is made in this report to designate chapter representatives, although at the meeting those who were not chapter representatives were asked to so indicate.)
Charlie Pillsbury (Greater New Haven chapter);
Karin Norton (Tolland County chapter);
Brooks Kelly (Western Connecticut chapter);
Vincent Maruffi (New Haven chapter);
Cliff Glasberg (Northeast chapter);
Vic Lancia (Central Connecticut chapter);
Steve Kreviski (Central Connecticut chapter);
Gerry Martin; Peter Ellner (Greater New Haven chapter);
Penny Teal (Southeast chapter);
Kim Herkimer (Northwest chapter);
Peter Magistri (North Central Hartford County chapter);
Jeff Schaefer (North Central Hartford County chapter);
Tim McKee (lives in East Hampton);
Mary Lyons (Greater Hartford chapter);
Chris Reilly (Greater Hartford chapter);
Ed DuBrule (lives in West Hartford, attends meetings of Greater Hartford chapter);
Judy Herkimer (Northwest chapter);
Michael Westerfield (Northeast chapter);
Amy Vas Nunes (Northeast chapter);
David Adams; Cynthia Matthews;
Mike DeRosa (Greater Hartford chapter);
Barbara Barry DeRosa (Greater Hartford chapter);
Tom Sevigny (Northwest chapter);
Ana Lachelier (West Hartford chapter);
Michael Burns (part of meeting;
Tolland County chapter);
Justine McCabe (Western Connecticut chapter);
Chris Nelson (treasurer);
Ralph Ferruci (Greater New Haven chapter);
John Battista (Western Connecticut chapter);
Colin Bennett (lives in Westbrook);
Salvatore Adorno (part of meeting; Central Connecticut chapter)
Ground rules for this meeting: Charlie Pillsbury facilitated. A "talking stick" was used (only the person in possession of the talking stick can speak). The Ground Rules developed in recent Connecticut Green Party meetings were adopted for use at this meeting together with the talking stick rule for use at this meeting (by vote--all voting favored these rules, except one "no" and one abstention).
(The "no" vote may have been cast with a concern for the process by which the Ground Rules had been developed--no vote by chapters; and may have been cast with a concern for the usefulness of the Ground Rule that "We will say at least one positive thing about each other's ideas before criticizing".)
Judy Herkimer passed the talking stick--she was the "stacker" (people waiting to talk are "in the stack"). Vic Lancia was timekeeper (announced when agenda items had reached their agreed-upon time limits.)
A convention was also followed that any person who felt personally attacked could cry "Ouch". It was stated by the facilitator that a person who cried "Ouch" could choose to receive the talking stick and address the group as to his/her concerns, could choose to address the individual who had said the objectionable statement privately, or could choose to say nothing further.
The Ground Rules developed in recent Connecticut Green Party meetings (and adopted for use at this meeting) are reproduced at the end of this report (see Footnote 1).
Treasurer's report: A one-page handout was distributed to all attendees by the Connecticut Green Party treasurer, Chris Nelson. The Party has a single bank account; the current balance is just over $4000 ($4032.07). A month-by-month (January 2002 through December 2002) table of incomes and expenditures was given and shown also in bar graph form. The balances for each month were also shown.
Incomes ranged from a low of $282 (I'm omitting cents) (February) to a high of $2,838 (August). (Income for December is listed as $267 but presumably this is only through December 17, the date of our meeting.) Expenditures ranged from $125 (June) to $4,913 (May). The mailing expenses associated with the annual appeal for funds, and the subsequent inflow of monies, are an example of why these expenditures and incomes vary so much month to month. Two other big expenses were insurance ($1000 for one year) and the newspaper. It was noted that we seem to be reaching the end of the income windfall from the annual appeal.
The bank account balance ranged from $465 (July) to $5740 (January). It was noted that we are ending 2002 with a lower balance (approximately $4000 in September, October, November, and December) than we started the year 2002 (between $5000 and $6000 in January and February).
A table of chapter balances is also provided on the handout. The positive balances range from $10 (Windsor chapter) and $61 (West Hartford chapter) and $22 (Tolland chapter) to a high of $1646 (Northwest chapter). The Hartford chapter is the only chapter with a negative balance (-$1287).
Agenda-setting discussions: It was decided not to discuss "Status of Current Officers Until Elections" (add to tonight's agenda-6 votes, don't add-14 votes, abstain-3 votes). It was decided by consensus to discuss "Agenda for January Meeting (How Agenda Established)". It was decided not to discuss "SCC Approval Required Before Any Expenses in Excess of $200 Are Incurred in the Party's Name" (add-4, don't add-13, abstain-5).
It was proposed to add to the agenda forming an issues committee on Iraq, and to add to the agenda forming an issues committee on the budget cuts of the state of Connecticut. These proposed agenda items were voted on together, and it was decided not to add them to the agenda (add-3, don't add-7, abstain-8). People interested in such committees can contact Steve Krevitsky and Cliff Glasberg. Karin Norton stated that the Connecticut Green Party already has a committee dealing with Iraq (foreign issues committee) but time pressures prevented a fuller elaboration of this point.
Internal elections (election of co-chairs, secretary, treasurer, and representatives to the national Green Party): The internal elections committee reported. Committee members are Jeff Schaefer (chair), Cliff Glasberg, Ed DuBrule, Susan Ye (Northeast chapter), and Jean deSmet (Northeast chapter). The committee proposed a timeline for the elections:
**Friday December 27--deadline for the chapters to submit a list of chapter members eligible to vote in the internal election. (This deadline replaces the original December 17 deadline.)
**Get ballots to the mailing bureau by January 6; mailing bureau should mail them out by January 13.
**Candidate forum (presentations by candidates for co-chair etc., and question-and-answer-session) to take place during the period January 22 to January 31. (Candidates will also make presentations on the day of the internal election).
**Ballots must be postmarked by February 4. (Greens can vote by mail or in person at the Annual Meeting)
**Saturday February 8--Annual Meeting with the internal elections. Place to be decided (possibly the First Church of Christ in Middletown--site of tonight's meeting). Time will be 1-5pm.
Tom Sevigny (Northwest chapter) and Ed Savage (West Hartford chapter) have been doing work which will culminate in the list of Greens eligible to vote in the internal election. Tom Sevigny laid out the process: each of the twelve chapters should have received a list of chapter members and people who have expressed interest in the Green Party from Ed Savage. Chapters should inspect for duplicate names and should update addresses. The bylaws define who is eligible to vote in the internal elections, and chapters should delete names that do not meet the bylaws criteria. Chapters should add names who are not on the list received but who meet the bylaws voting criteria.
One criterion (from the bylaws) is that people who have registered with their towns as a Green (rather than a Democrat or Republican or other party) are thereby eligible to vote in the internal election. For most towns in Connecticut (all but 20 towns), such "registered Greens" have already been added to the lists distributed to the chapters (via data obtained from the Connecticut Secretary of State's office). For twenty towns in Connecticut, chapters must contact the town registrar of voters/town clerk to obtain these "registered Greens". A list of these 20 towns is appended to this report, along with suggestions as to which chapters should contact them (see Footnote 2).
Tom Sevigny stated that names deleted from the "eligible-to-vote" list will not be lost to the Connecticut Green Party.
A discussion ensued as to whether to include information, in the ballots mailing, about the Connecticut Green Party--some of the people who registered with their towns as Greens may need contact information for their local chapter. The internal elections committee will decide this question, bearing in mind postage costs/envelope weight requirements.
Another discussion ensued as to whether the ballots mailing should include a funding appeal (perhaps limited to people we've only learned of through their registering as Greens at their town hall). One attendee stated that the SCC about 3 months ago decided that the ballots mailing should not include a funds request. By vote tonight (Dec. 17) it was decided that the ballots mailing should not include a funds appeal (yes/no/abstain numbers not available, but "no" to funds appeal clearly greatly outnumbered "yes" votes).
The SCC voted to accept the proposal of the internal elections committee to hold the Annual Meeting/internal elections on February 8, 2003 (accept this date-15, no-6, abstain-1). (Those voting "no" may have felt that this date did not allow sufficient time for the chapters to complete their work on the lists of names and/or did not allow sufficient time for the ballots mailing to get to the addressees.)
Hamden chapter recognition: No representative from the potential Hamden chapter was present, and thus this agenda item was not acted on.
Date of January state meeting; location of January state meeting; facilitator for January and subsequent meetings: The January SCC meeting will be (as usual) on the last Tuesday of the month, January 28, 7-9pm. The First Church of Christ will now be charging for use of their rooms. It was decided (by consensus) to hold the January meeting in Middletown somewhere (Vic Lancia will investigate free/cheaper locations). Charlie Pillsbury was asked to facilitate the January meeting--he agreed to facilitate, and his acting as facilitator for the January meeting was accepted by consensus. Charlie did indicate, however, that he would not want to facilitate meetings beyond the January meeting.
Agenda for January meeting (how set): Concerns were expressed about the process by which agendas for state meetings are determined. One concern is that the bylaws state that "An Executive Committee of four, the Co-Chairpersons, the Treasurer, and the Secretary, shall be responsible for establishing the agenda for State Central Committee meetings....", and some have wondered whether the Connecticut Green Party now has officers since the Annual Meeting/internal elections, originally scheduled for November 2002, were not held.
[Note from Ed: the bylaws state that "An Executive Committee of Four, the Co-Chairpersons, the Treasurer, and Secretary, shall be responsible for establishing the agenda for State Central Committee Meetings, duly considering recommendations and requests by State Central Committee and chapters.... (my emphasis). When submitting proposed agenda items to me, please indicate if you are a chapter representative and if the proposed agenda item is submitted by you in your capacity as a chapter representative.]
Compensation for facilitators of November "Ground Rules determination" meeting: time did not permit discussion of this agenda item. Ed will put it on the list of proposed agenda items for the January meeting.
Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned promptly at 9:00 pm.
Next meeting: Tuesday January 28, 7-9pm, location to be determined (see text above)
[Footnote 1]: Ground Rules
1. We agree to treat each other with civility and respect.
2. We have an agreed-upon process for safely and constructively resolving conflicts between and among our members and regarding our group process.
3. We commit to openness and transparency in all proceedings.
4. Speak for and about yourself.
5. Decisions are clearly stated and communicated to our members. Such communication includes the duration and plan for implementation of any decisions.
6. We encourage each other to provide as many options and alternatives as possible before making a final decision.
7. We agree to share available airtime equitably. We will allow each person to speak, making time for all to be heard.
8. We will say at least one positive thing about each other’s ideas before criticizing.
9. We commit to a balance of process and task.
10. We welcome all viewpoints.
11. We make a clear distinction between personal anger and political outrage and apply each appropriately.
12. We commit to accepting decisions of the group, with the understanding that they will be reviewed after an agreed-upon time.
13. We commit to efficient use of each other’s time.
14. We recognize that we may need outside help at times when ground rules don’t seem to be working and support our members’ efforts to request such help.
15. We commit to being prepared for all meetings, including reading minutes, doing research, and organizing our preliminary thinking.
16. We will allow enough time and energy to resolve conflicts.
17. We recognize that every person’s experience has validity, even if different from another’s experience.
18. We commit to open discussion and disclosure of any potential conflicts of interest we may have in voting.
19. We respect each other’s right to not participate.
[Footnote 2]: the twenty towns. Chapters must contact the registrar of voters/town clerk of the following twenty towns, which are not on the Connecticut Secretary of State's computerized registered-voters system. The chapter listed in parentheses is Tom Sevigny's suggestion as to the chapter that should contact the town. (Tom did not "assign" Waterbury to any chapter; Waterbury's "assignment" to the Central Connecticut chapter below is Ed DuBrule's suggestion for future years. Ed DuBrule contacted the Waterbury registrar of voters in December 2002 and obtained the Waterbury registered Greens.)
1.Bristol, 2.East Hartford, 3.New Britain (Hartford chapter); 4.Danbury (Western chapter); 5.East Haddam, 6.Waterbury (Central Connecticut chapter); 7.Enfield (North Central chapter); 8.Fairfield, 9.Greenwich, 10.Norwalk, 11.Stamford, 12.Stratford, 13.Westport, 14.Shelton (Fairfield chapter); 15.Madison, 16.Milford, 17.North Branford, 18.Wallingford (New Haven chapter); 19.Simsbury, 20.Warren (Northwest chapter). (The following chapters, by this scheme, do not need to call any registrar of voters office: Northeast chapter, New London chapter, Southeast chapter, Tolland County chapter, and West Hartford chapter.)
[Footnote 3]: This report of the meeting was written by Ed DuBrule, unopposed candidate for secretary. If you have serious problems with the accuracy of anything written in this report, please contact me. If your e-mail or letter is entitled "I remember things happened differently" or "I remember that this also occurred" I will treat your e-mail or letter (or a summary of it) as an addendum to the meeting report. Such e-mails must be received within 6 weeks of the date of the meeting to be considered addenda.