CT Green Party State Meeting Minutes
AUG 28, 2001
I. Chapter reports
A. Central CT: Vic Lancia requested that as many Greens as possible attend an organizing meeting in New Haven on 2 Sept., to plan for a trip to Washington, D.C. to protest at the 29 Sept. meeting of the IMF/World Bank. The Greens have stated their opposition to the FTAA and IMF policies are decidedly un-Green; thus support for this rally should be strong.
C. Western: The first of what will hopefully become a series of monthly educational forums will be held in October; featured speaker will be author and development expert Jim Kunstler.
D. Hartford: Four representatives of the Hartford chapter have been attending meetings of a coalition opposing the National Missile Defense (NMD) system (aka Star Wars). A strong Green presence at the 13 Oct. NMD protest in Bushnell Park is requested. Elizabeth Horton-Sheffís re-election campaign is going well; the hope is to obtain 4000 votes, although there are now 5 candidates running for 3 seats (including one Democrat who has started his own party despite holding offices within the Democratic Party--!?!)
Two fundraisers are in the works: ìLetís Learn Salsaî and a pro-am basketball game. On 15 Sept. in Bushnell Park a Youth Awareness Team Summit will be held, to attract the attention of young people, especially people of color.
E. Southeast: Four candidates are running for office in the SE district: 2 for New London city council, one for selectman in Sprague, and one for East Lyme town council. The New London group should have an office presently; they are working on outreach to college students and are canvassing.
F. Northwest: Tyson Slocum will be speaking on energy deregulation and alternative energy at 7:30 p.m. on 2 Oct., at Trinity Church in Torrington. Future monthly forums are planned, the next probably focussing on the death penalty. The group is also trying to preventthe building of a new courthouse in an open space area, rather than in downtown Torrington. A modestly infamous Simsbury resident wants to run for state representative next year; he will be meeting with local Greens this fall to discuss his candidacy.
II. Northeast/communications discussion
The Northeast Chapterís report centered on anger within the chapter at what they perceive as a lack of information from the State Central Committee and from the representatives to the former ASGP (now the GP of the US, or USGP for short). CT Green Party (CTGP) representatives to the ASGP meeting in CA in July were required to vote on, among other things, a system of proportional representation for the USGP. This system was described in a listserver posting app. 10 days prior to the ASGP meeting, when it became available to the ASGP rep's. Only one CTGP member gave input as to how the rep's should vote. The NE chapter members felt that this posting was inadequate or were unaware of its existence, and that the rep's should not have voted without their input. There was considerable disagreement as to whether the listserve posting was made prior to the meeting or not; records show that it was, and that one responsewas received. One NE member was angry about the merger of the ASGP with the GPUSA having been approved in CA without his consent; this, however, had been discussed at previous state meeting and was actually approved in Georgia in Dec., not in CA in July. NE drafted a resolution calling for more accountability from the USGP rep's, but it was difficult to read and incomplete and so was left mostly unread. The chapter would like to have a written definition of the responsibilities and function of the USGP rep's, and stressed that even if the exact wording of any resolutions or issues which might be voted upon at upcoming USGP meetings is unknown, the issue should be presented in paraphrase to the rest of the CTGP before the rep's attend the meeting. It was tentatively agreed that we would return to the practice of posting most USGP information on the listserve, a practice which was previously abandoned because of the inconvenient volume of postings. Further complaints were registered regarding the lack of prior information about the topics to be discussed at the recent USGP steering committee meeting in CT, and about the failure of the state to inform the Hartford chapter of its intent to use the state office in Hartford for the USGP meeting (resulting in the office not having been cleaned by the Hartford chapter before that meeting. It happened that a member of the Hartford chapter had, in fact, been notified.) The first complaint was with reference to a discussion of whether or not the USGP will have a national office in Washington, DC, as has been mentioned at previous state meetings. Mike de Rosa stated that such an office should, in his opinion, entail minimal expense, since at this point a simple toll-free number would suffice. Tom Sevigny, the only USGP rep present at the state meeting, agreed to be as prompt as possible in providing USGP information to the CTGP. He will post the minutes from the USGP steering committee meeting. A brief discussion of the formation of a communications network was begun, since not all chapter rep's are transmitting the same information to their chapters. The network, via e-mail, would allow the steering committee to emphasize that which they felt each chapter should discuss, and would allow chapter repís to confer with one another. It was also proposed that some system of verbal highlighting be used at state meetings so that each chapter rep would leave with the same sense of priorities. Finally, the NE chapter will be hosting a forum on prison reform, along the lines of the recent reform talks in Middletown.
III. Financial report: We currently have $1900 in loans and $3000 in chapter set-asides, with only $3200 in the checking account.
IV. Finance committee report
At the last state meeting (7 Aug. 2001), the finance committee suggested that the CTGP adopt 3 projects around which solicitations for donations would revolve. They asked that each chapter discuss the subject, and come to this meeting with project proposals (see 7 Aug. minutes for a complete discussion of the proposal and of our projected financial situation). The projects would also be used as a way of defining our goals, and of directing or unifying the various chapters. Many chapters had not yet come up with proposals; discussion was tabled till next month. Among the projects recommended at this meeting were the newsletter (or information dissemination in general), the Green Energy Policy being refined from a previous draft, and our campaigns for various candidates. It was suggested that we be more specific; e.g., ìwe are running X candidates this year and want to be able to run Y candidates next yearî with Y being greater than X, of course. Fundraising, it was advised, should concentrate on phone banking and in-person solicitations. Brian Love, who is starting a new chapter in Norwich and hopes to start a group of high school Greens, offered to donate all the funds that group raises to the CTGP. Some chapter repís requested more time to discuss the issue. A finance committee member reminded the group that we are nearing rent payment date and that time is of the essence, as the CTGP is technically $1700 in debt.
V. Fundraising committee report
The fundraising committee, after only one meeting, provided a set of fundraising goals including revenue of $6000 in advertisements for the GreenTimes; $2400 from a direct mailing; $1000 from a special appeal (a second direct mailing); $1200 from 4 house parties; $6000 from phone banking; $6000 from large events (speakers, concerts and an awards dinner); $2500 from 10 key donors; $1600 from small events (tag sales and lectures); and $3000 from CTGP paraphernalia.
This would provide a grand total of $29,000 in revenue for one yearís efforts, which would amply cover our current expenditures. A synopsis of the highlights of a fundraising workshop presented by Marnie Glickman, a Green from Portland, OR, included the following points: ~we should send out at least 4 mailings per year for the sole purpose of soliciting funds; ~a phone request should always include (verbatim, except for the X) the question, "Would you be willing to give $X to the CTGP today?" ~the 'circles of donors' include personal friends and acquaintances, people who give because they support us ideologically, people who have axes to grind, and those who hope to gain something (the "quid pro quo" group).
VI. Middletown parade
The Middletown Tercentennial Parade will be [was] held on Sun., 2 Sept. Greens will have a banner and space reserved among the marchers. A request was made for people to participate.
VII. Bylaws committee report
The next bylaws revision proposed by this committee will be that officers of the CTGP be elected to serve 3-year terms, and that officers and USGP repís be subjected to one of the following: ~a 6-year lifetime term limit; ~a 6-consecutive-years term limit; or ~no term limits. It was pointed out that the previous bylaws change was not made in accordance with the existing bylaws; discussion was saved for the next meeting.
VIII. Annual meeting
The Central chapter has reserved, for use on 17 Nov. from noon till 9 p.m., the First Church of Christ in Middletown. A suggestion was made to postpone the annual meeting until more bylaws changes could be introduced.
IX. Rally to Stop Israeli Occupation Request
Justine McCabe asked the CTGP to consider endorsement of the 23 Sept. rally in New York City to end Israeli occupation of Palestinian homelands, by an eyewitess to rampant human rights violations in the region. She would like to see the national party take a stand on the issue as well. Chapters will discuss the issue and report back next month.
X. Ken Cornet asked the CTGP to formally endorse Free Speech Radio, in an effort to curb Pacifica Radio's information-impeding rampage. (For example, Pacifica pulled one reporter's press pass for the [Democratic Convention], lest she hand it to Ralph Nader to allow him to speak.) Chapters should discuss this for next time.
XI. The next state meeting will be held at 6:30 on Tuesday, 25 September, at Fisk Hall in the Wesleyan Campus (note change of location!)
In attendance: Karin Lee Norton, Laura Cordes (SE), Peter Magistri (Hartford), Diane McKenna (Fairfield), Brian Love, Tom Ethier (NW), Penny Teal, Vittorio Lancia (CC), Tony Santini (NH), Anna Salo, Susan Ye, Amy vas Nunes (NE), Vincent Maruffi (CC), Steve Krevisky (CC), Tom Sevigny (NW), Chris Reilly (Hartford), Ken Cornet, Justine McCabe (WCT), Mike de Rosa (Hartford), Barbara de Rosa (Hartford), Brooks [ ].
Fundraising by phone, Green Times ads or articles:
Send corrections to Penny.
Fairfield: Paul Bassler at 203-846-2909