October 30, 2001

State Central Committee Meeting Minutes Oct 30, 2001

Attending (voting representatives listed by chapter):
Jean de Smet (NE),
Tom Ethier (NW),
Jesse Karlsberg, Mark Lunt, Leigh Nowicki, Sara Brandspigel, Barbara Barry, John Battista (Western),
James Blake, Vincent Maruffi (Central),
Ana Lachelier, Peter Magistri (Hartford),
Vittorio Lancia (Central),
Barbara Kern (Western),
Jason Turner, Mike de Rosa (Hartford),
Jim Wellington (Fairfield),
Jim Briggs, Laura Cordes (SE),
Brian Love, Chris Reilly, Karin Lee Norton, Tom Sevigny (NW),
David Eliscu, Albert J. Marceau, Steve Krevisky (Central),
Penny Teal.

Opening statement by Vic Lancia, relating his experience with the Hartford Police Department. There was a peace demonstration on Thursday, 25 Oct. in Hartford. Vic had been marching along with about 200 others, from Bushnell Park toward the state capitol building, when the group was ordered off the street by police in riot gear. When ordered to disperse from the sidewalk, Vic told a police officer that the people present had a right to be there...and was knocked to the ground by a nightstick. Once on the ground, he was hit, kicked and pepper-sprayed (despite his pleas that he has asthma and pepper spray could kill him). Fortunately his asthma medication prevailed, but he suffered a head wound and at least one broken rib. He said of his time in prison that he and the 17 other arrested demonstraters were aware of support from friends on the outside (mostly through the grapevine), that fellow inmates were supportive, and that he wouldnt trade places with the other poor souls in prison for anything, given their isolation and hopelessness. He effusively thanked fellow Greens for their outpouring of support.

Financial report

We now have $2700 but still owe $1000 on a private loan. A phone deposit for the Hartford office could amount to $450, now that our campaign phone status has expired. The phone was shut off twice recently, in the midst of the Elizabeth Horton-Sheff campaign, due to bureaucratic bungling by the phone company. Various Greens reported having been granted reprieves on phone deposits (by using a guarantor - Jason) or having received better rates for a business line than Hartford is currently getting (Laura and ?). The credit card monthly donor program is underway, and Greens can expect to see deductions on their next statements.

New Business

I. Communications

A. To improve the communication of important news from the state to chapters, a new system is being organized as a reinforcement to the current one of having representatives from the state meeting relate news to chapters. The new method, an email network, will be used primarily to reiterate any important items from the state meeting to one or more representatives from each chapter. Most chapters have designated someone to be their representative; NE and SE will do so soon.

B. Although the CTGP officers were recently criticized on the listserver for not having produced minutes from their meetings, according to the bylaws responsibility rests with the State Central Committee in requiring minutes. (As an aside, she suggested that the bylaws should be tightened up to specify for which meetings the SCC could require minutes to be taken.) The topic had never yet been discussed at a state meeting, nor was there a precedent for taking minutes, from previous groups of officers. Penny noted that, officers meetings being highly redundant with SCC meetings, minutes were an inefficient use of the secretarys time. Also, concerns had been voiced about the officers meetings being antidemocratic, and minutes would not necessarily allay those concerns. As a (hopefully) more remedial solution, Penny proposed having the chapters rotate through sending one person to officers meetings, to observe and possibly take minutes. Thus each chapter would have to send someone roughly once a year, if campus groups are included and the Norwich, Tolland and Stonington chapters gain recognition. This would make more transparent the workings of the steering committee, would distribute the workload among several members, and would possibly even encourage more people to run for office in the future by familiarizing them with the officers roles in the party.

The proposal was passed by vote (no one opposed, one abstention).

II. Listserver guidelines

Listserver guidelines had been drawn up in rough form, to address the loss of listserver participants in recent months and because of a request for them from the NE chapter. It was moved to table the discussion of these till next month, so that more revision and discussion could take place first via the internet. The motion passed 8-3-0 (one voting rep had not yet arrived). Penny thanked those who had sent her morale-boosting messages following her recent announcement that she might not run for secretary, her (perhaps poorly communicated) intent being to encourage everyone to do so whenever they thought any fellow Green might need some comfort or morale-boosting.

III. Annual meeting

The Annual State Meeting agenda has been prepared and the mailing for the election sent to the printing/mailing company. CTGP members should be receiving their mail-in ballots presently. The meeting will be held at the First Church of Christ at 190 Court Street in Middletown, on Saturday, 17 November from 1-5pm, with time afterward for socializing. The candidates are: Tom Sevigny, Karin Norton, Brian Love, David Eliscu, Amy vas Nunes and Justine McCabe for Cochair; Chris Nelson for Treasurer; Amy vas Nunes, John Battista, Tom Sevigny and Karin Norton for Representative to the USGP; Penny Teal for Secretary.

Tony Affigne of the RI Greens will be speaking on organizing in communities of color. He is a dynamic and knowledgeable speaker. This meeting would be a good time to discuss CTGP goals for 2002. Toward that end, Vince suggested making a commitment to run as many candidates as possible next year, to increase our political involvement and visibility. Many people are interested in running a gubernatorial candidate next year, although no names were mentioned. John strongly recommended honoring all this years candidates publicly in some meaningful way; e.g., a plaque could be presented. Someone suggested giving a tree or other green plant, for the symbolism.

IV. Media committee

The media committee sent out a press release the day before the state meeting in response to the police brutality in Hartford. The committee still needs people with fax machines to get involved (contact Penny at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Brian Love kindly volunteered to help out. Laura suggested doing a press release on this falls candidates for local offices, which had been planned until Vic stepped in the way of a big stick in Hartford. Much as we appreciate our candidates, Vic being beaten up takes precedence! [The PR on candidates was sent out the day after the state meeting.]

Green Times articles are needed again; send them to Mike de Rosa (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 860-524-9448 or 860-956-8170). The GT currently has about $500 worth of advertising lined up, but welcomes far more (again, contact Mike if you have any leads). Jean asked for a written document to show to prospective advertisers; this will be put on the listserver. Jason mentioned that the establishment of a network of green companies would facilitate the ad-soliciting process. Chris warned that we must be careful of whom our ads are from; as a political party lacking 501C-3 status, we can only accept checks from individuals (human beings), so businesses with sole proprietorship are our best option. Ads are contributions to the party, not campaign contributions. Chris has been lax in enforcing this in the past, but now that he is leaving the position of treasurer he felt morally obligated to apprise us of this requirement. The current treasurer is legally liable for any infractions or improprieties within the last 5 years, regardless of his/her tenure as treasurer. This raised the subject of our obtaining 501C-3 status, for which all the paperwork has been done already by Dave Falvey. The SCC had, in the past, opted to wait on applying because they felt the GP wasnt ready for the added bureaucratic entanglement.

Mike moved to allocate up to (but hopefully less than, depending on ad revenues) $1800 for the GT. In an aside, Karin pointed out to Jason that there are people within the USGP who have discussed the green company network concept, and said shed help him to contact them. Mikes motion passed 11-1-1, and it was agreed that the party should take action on obtaining 501C-3 status.

V. Fundraising

A. The fundraising committee, reported Laura, its chair, is set up to begin phoning anyone on our mailing list who hasnt contributed to the CTGP yet this year. They have 2 volunteers, but could use many more (contact Laura at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Mike de Rosa- see above). Before the election phoning is best done from peoples homes; after 7 Nov. the Hartford office can be used as well (provided the phones hooked up). The committee recommends, and intends to do, 3 fundraising mailings per year. Coordinators are needed for other fundraising projects such as lectures and concerts, tag sales, GT ad soliciting, and more. The next committee meeting will be on Wed., 14 Nov. at 6:30 pm at the Hartford office.

Brian suggested that it would be appropriate to pass a hat around at this point in the meeting.

B. Ralph Nader has offered to do a fundraiser for the CTGP on Thanksgiving weekend, most likely in New Haven. This has been noted in the mailing, although the exact date is yet uncertain. We will probably ask for $25/person.

C. Jason recommended that Greens go to the Democracy Rising (the new Nader organization) website and type in Hartford as a future DR rally site. There have been rallies already (e.g., in Madison Square Garden), and one is planned for 10 Nov. in Boston, with Howard Zinn among the speakers. The Boston rally was only committed to 2 weeks ago, so we need to have speakers and entertainers lined up in case Nader agrees to doing one in Hartford. Fortunately, Jason has already spoken with many good prospects, including Elizabeth Horton-Sheff and others from a recent teach-in. (To help with this project, contact Jason at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..) Money from the Democracy Rising rally itself would go elsewhere, but the GP could have a booth there, and it would present a great opportunity for meeting other progressives and recruiting Greens. Brian knows someone at a CT Islamic center who might be able to recruit Edward Said to speak. He (Brian) had a permit for a rally recently in Norwich, but it was cancelled when the town learned of its anti-war content.

New Business

I. Campus Greens

The inclusion of Campus Greens representatives as voting reps at SCC meetings, either by individual chapters or with a fixed number of CG reps independent of the number of organized campuses, was discussed. Although the Campus Greens organization is distinct from the USGP, there was broad support for CT chapters being granted voting status within the CTGPs SCC, with the same rules of proportionality (of reps to members) applying as to all regional chapters. There are currently 3 CT CG chapters (Wesleyan, Trinity and Norwich). We might have to make exceptions on meeting regularity for campus groups, given the summer academic recess. The motion to accept the CGs as chapters with voting rights was passed 13-0.

II. National report

John presented a draft he had written of a proposed policy statement, to be presented to the GPUS for discussion and revisions after being signed onto by 2 or 3 other states, if approved by the SCC. The statement addresses, eponymously (how many chances does one get in life to use the word eponymously?), the appropriate use of force. This draft would represent the USGPs first attempt to define a foreign policy; it was motivated by the terrorist hijackings of 11 Sept., by which the GP was caught entirely off guard. A lively discussion ensued, similar to last months; Ill use the same format in presenting the commentary.

~ Steve urged that we not vote, though the GP needs to establish such positions, until we have time to review this document.

~Tom E. suggested that a party policy statement refer to the general case rather than the specific one of 11 Septs tragedies (which he suggested discussing in a separate document).

~Brian suggested a more sweeping statement, including mention of the anti-terrorism bill and its possible perversion into a justification of violence against, e.g., anti-war protestors.

~John replied that we could separate internal security and national into 2 statements, but urged that we vote now on his draft because of how rapidly the international situation is changing.

~Ana suggested voting now and holding a special meeting to discuss revisions.

~Vic voiced support for getting the ball rolling by voting for this draft to be submitted.

~John suggested including a preamble clarifying our intent of bringing the issue of foreign policy to the table, with the expectation that many revisions might be made on this draft.

~David stated that it is important for us, as a party, to maintain our position outside the box, offering a clear alternative to the other 2 parties. He found the title problematic, as it appears to put us in a reactionary and mainstreamed position with its connotations.

~Karin also disliked the title, and said we need to debate the proposal first, CTGP policy being to take important issues back to the chapters prior to voting at SCC meetings. She asked if it were possible to present the draft to the USGP without saying it was endorsed by the CTGP.

~John proferred that it would not be endorsed per se, but would be presented for discussion.

~Jim Briggs warned that the document would be gone through with a fine-toothed comb by those hoping to find ways of discrediting the Greens, and should therefore be very carefully examined by us in the first place, although from a preliminary examination it looked beautiful.

~Jean stated that she couldnt vote to endorse it before discussing it with her chapter.

~Jason suggested a discussion via the listserver.

~Brian worried that the title panders to our retaliatory culture and predilection for violent language. ~Penny suggested allowing for a week or two of discussion over the internet, then an internet vote, as a compromise.

~Jean and Steve repeated the concern that we cant vote on what we havent had time to discuss, and shouldnt abandon process.

~John offered to withdraw the draft and allow a listserver discussion to take place.

~Mike wanted the USs lack of goals in the war to be addressed, and to discuss an exit strategy. He asked why we need a statement on this highly contentious issue.

~John responded that the German Greens have asked us for our official policy to help in formulating their own; that weve been accused already of ducking the issue; and that he hasnt even been able to write about the issue to the Washington Post, which ridiculed the USGPs media release about the 11 Sept. events, because we lack an official policy.

~Ana again importuned us to approve the document now, so that it could be debated at the national level.

~Karin asked if the draft couldnt be put forth to the USGP by a committee rather than by CT.

~David questioned the need to cater to the German Greens, and the need to have a statement at all. He preferred that we take a positive approach, not a defensive one, and that we adhere to process. He argued that by being defensive we were falling into a trap to define ourselves in others terms. At this point a vote was taken, with 10 in favor of and 3 opposed to endorsement.

III. Anti-war protest in Hartford

Ana and her dog, Vic and Peter attended the anti-war protest in Hartford last Thursday, at which Vic and 17 others were arrested for Inciting a Riot, Interfering With Police, Disorderly Conduct and Breach of Peace (Vic was charged with the first three). The protestors had gathered at Bushnell Park, where there were speakers and a street theater performance. When they began marching toward the capitol there were a few police officers on bicycles and 1 or 2 police cars. The police did nothing until more than a dozen (12-15 at least) squad cars had converged on the 200 or so marchers; the police were all from Hartford, and all in riot gear. Peter thought the police had intentionally waited for a sufficient police contingent to assemble, to confront the marchers with extreme force. The marchers were ordered to the sidewalk, and most complied; when on the sidewalk they were further ordered to disperse entirely, although the civil disobedience and resistance had been abandoned by that time.

Vic repeated that morale in prison was high, but the experience was nonetheless traumatic. His arraignment date is set for 21 Nov. at 9am in the Hartford Courthouse at 110 Lafayette St.; he is unsure of whether or not it would be advantageous to have many of us show up for it. He said he feels strong despite the injuries he incurred, because of the support he received from fellow Greens. He reminded us that an injury to one is an injury to all, and that having shared the pain had lessened pain for him personally.

Ana said the violence had been entirely uncalled for. She and Peter attended a Peace and Justice Coalition meeting after the arrests, and she reported that contributions for legal defense for the arrestees can be sent to

Free Speech Legal Defense Fund
13 Fairview Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810

Money is needed to cover lawyers fees, fines, and bail. A fundraiser for this cause is planned for 7 Nov.; any extra money raised will be used for a standing fund for future need. Tom Sevigny expressed our need to have another demonstration, soon, with far more than 200 people participating. He said the high bails and excessive force were clearly meant to stifle dissent. Pre-emptive arrests of convention protestors last year resulted in bails of $500,000, but they were challenged and eventually dismissed as unreasonable.

Karin told Vic he could try talking to Jerry Leaphart, a lawyer who attended last months SCC meeting. She asked Vic if hed like us to be present at his arraignment; he responded affirmatively. The arraignment will involve Vics pleading guilty or not, and probably plea bargaining by lawyers. Mike exhorted all Greens to call their representatives about this issue, which he emphasized is political (an arbitrary and capricious use of force intended to suppress political, constitutionally protected dissent). He already spoke with Edith Sprague, and her pathetic advice to him was not to demonstrate. He urged those not already committed to another campaign to help to re-elect Elizabeth Horton-Sheff, so that the investigation she has begun in response to the police abuses in Hartford will go forward.

Karin proposed thanking Elizabeth formally on CTGP letterhead; this was universally supported. Steve wanted the anti-terrorism bill to appear on next months agenda, as we need to formalize a response to that. Barbara suggested wrapping several issues into the next demonstration, including a Thanksgiving celebration of freedom. She asked if we could get Nader to speak on the subject. David requested that we formalize Karins suggestion about the thank-you to Elizabeth, and the group consented unanimously to doing so. After thanking Vic, Jean asked why Naders views on the war hadnt gotten into the press. She said response to weekly peace vigils in the NE region were worsening. In closing, Vic urged that the primary focus of a demonstration should remain the wrongness of killing innocent people in Afghanistan.

IV. Next regular meeting

The SCC decided that a regular SCC meeting is needed next month in addition to the Annual Meeting on the 17th. Hence, there will be a state meeting on Tuesday, 27 November, at 7 pm at Fisk Hall, Wesleyan University, Middletown. Anyone trying to pass off Thanksgiving leftovers onto other Greens will be ejected from the meeting.

V. Announcements

Please turn out on election day to help with a Green campaign! Also, Hartford welcomes volunteers this and next weekend (as do all campaigns). Anyone willing to work in Hartford is encouraged to be there at least for the second half of the day.

Thats all. Respectfully yours,
Penny

[P.S.~ Thanks to all for agreeing to take on the extra burden of sending a representative to officers meetings. I didnt mention it at the meeting, having whined enough already, but last month I spent more than 40 hours just on updating the mailing list, so being relieved of taking minutes twice a month was like being offered a vacation, or at least a weekend retreat!

Committee Contacts:
Fundraising:
Laura Cordes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
860-701-0483
Fundraising by phone, Green Times ads or articles:
Mike de Rosa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 860-956-8170
Finance committee:
Tom Sevigny at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 860-693-8344
Elections committee:
Tom Ethier at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Chris Nelson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 860-701-0483
Communications committee:
Karin Norton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 860-429-1976
Bylaws committee:
Amy vas Nunes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Penny Teal at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 860-536-4980
Chapter Contacts:
Send corrections to Penny.
Hartford: Mike de Rosa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 860-956-8170
Central: Vic DeLancia at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Fairfield: Paul Bassler at 203-846-2909
NE: Jean de Smet at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 860-456-2188
Max and Chris at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 860-456-1804
New Haven: Pete Ellner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 203-397-8261
Tony Santini at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
NW: Tom Sevigny at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 860-693-8344
Tom Ethier at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
SE: Penny Teal at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 860-536-4980

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