CT Green Party State Meeting Minutes
May 29, 2001
I. A representative from Love Makes a Family, the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual coalition whose adoption rights legislation we had endorsed in February, spoke about the group’s current efforts to promote the legalization of same-sex marriages. The adoption legislation passed, unencumbered by “Defense of Marriage” amendments (which would prohibit recognition of same-sex partnerships as civil unions or marriages). It affords gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt a child, or for the unrelated partner to adopt the other’s biological child; it does not provide the same right for unmarried heterosexual couples. The spokesperson, Shawn Lange, was discharging a obligation; no new endorsement or involvement was sought.
II. Treasurer’s report
A. The report
With admirable composure, the Treasurer reported that funds for the CTGP are currently down to $360, with a $400 bill looming at the end of the month, for rent on the Hartford office. The biggest drain on funds is that office; the newsletter also costs more than previously thanks to our burgeoning membership; and we just paid $1200 for the annual renewal of our insurance policy. It was noted that we now have about $10,000 in annual expenditures, and that in the past we have raised roughly $3000-$5000 annually (with the exception of last year, when a few very generous donations were received to help with the Nader and statewide campaigns).
B. Proposed solutions
- The annual renewal letter should go out within 3 weeks, by one of three means: a group effort at the Hartford and/or New Haven headquarters, with members stuffing, addressing and stamping envelopes to be sent first class; a similar effort without the stamping, to be mailed using the New Haven chapter’s bulk mail permit; or via a company in western CT who can do all the printing, envelope stuffing, etcetera for us. The first would cost approximately $0.50 each for 2000 items, the second app. $0.40 each, and the third $0.12 each plus an initial fee of about $200. The advantage of the first method would be in expediency of mailing.
- Chapters should make every effort humanly possible (and morally palatable) to promote sustaining memberships, either through credit cards or checking accounts, so that the state will have a fixed minimum monthly income. We should have at least 30-40 of these in order to subsidize the newsletter and at least part of the Hartford rent.
- The major donors to Nader’s campaign should be contacted, and their support solicited. [The possibility of using FEC lists to obtain donor names was discussed; however, since the meeting it has been pointed out that such a practice is illegal.] The co-chairs have already volunteered to call all prospective “big donors” including all those on our mailing list who gave more than $100 last year.
- Each chapter is strongly encouraged to develop an active fundraising committee to provide for its own needs.
- Hartford candidates using the Hartford HQ’s for their campaigns should bear part of the rent burden. After the election, the decision to maintain a state HQ in Hartford should be revisited.
- The Green Times has 4 ads for its next issue, but welcomes more. Ron Cassidento, president of North American Export Co., reported having received 26 calls due to his GreenTimes ad in the most recently distributed issue.
- Mike de Rosa and at least one other person will participate in an effort to raise funds by phoning members (other than those key donors targeted by the co-chairs).
C. Action taken
1. The state will send out the renewal notice before the next state meeting, using a loan most generously offered by Chris Reilly to cover the expense of the mailing itself (approved unanimously). Last year $5000 was raised from a mailing sent to 800 members; it is hoped that at least that much can be obtained this year.
2. The Finance Committee’s recommendations, advanced at the April 2001 state meeting, were adopted by a 14-0 vote with one abstention. The state and chapters will now be responsible for their own fundraising events, but will split any funds generated by the renewal letter, individual donations, and sustaining memberships (70% to state, 30% to appropriate chapter). The state will now pay only 50% of certain expenditures (e.g., insurance, newsletter, renewal mailing, and paraphernalia) which benefit all chapters; each chapter will pay toward the remaining 50% an amount proportional to its membership, as determined by the state’s mailing list. These proportions will be adjusted at least annually, and probably more often, to reflect fluctuations in relative sizes of chapters.
I. Legislative update
Filthy Five legislation passed the House by a wide margin; the Senate vote is scheduled for Wed., 30 May. (Everyone will have called their senators by the time they read these minutes. Many thanks!) [And the bill passed in the Senate, too!]
II. Committee reports
A. Legislative: A press conference is scheduled for early June, to address the problems CT faces imminently due to energy deregulation. Representatives from PACE and CCAM will participate in a general discussion of the need to pursue public, clean energy production, and will lambaste the deregulation decision by examining the current deregulation debacle in California. This will be an excellent opportunity, not only to broaden perspective on the CA crisis, but to advance the Green Party as visionaries who could save consumers a small fortune with our sane energy policy.
B. Bylaws: Due to a quirk of the extant bylaws, each revision to the bylaws will have to be proposed by 2 chapters before being considered by the state for adoption. The bylaws committee will address this rather cumbersome eccentricity; in the meantime, the proposals already written up by the committee will be farmed out to various chapters for them to review and emend or submit as written for the state’s consideration. Northeast has submitted proposals pertaining to membership; New Haven has been asked to review proposed changes to the section on the steering committee.
III. Chapter updates
A. Northwest: Jim Kunstler’s talk in Torrington (a joint project with the Torrington Trust for Historical Preservation) was very successful; about 50 Green Times were handed out at the event, and about 100 people attended. Due to this event’s success, a series of similar talks is being considered.
B. Northeast: A press release and e-mail recruiting plea for candidates for local elections was issued. One decidedly un-Green realtor has threatened to run as a Green, but the state can withhold approval at their discretion, so HAH! (Sorry; I get really bored at about this point in the minutes-typing....) Mansfield (with a large population of UConn students) may have 2 or 3 candidates for City Council.
C. Hartford: The 19 May tag sale raised $272, which will help replenish state coffers.
Elizabeth Horton-Sheff is running for re-election, and will help pay for the Hartford office if she uses it for her campaign HQ. There may also be a Latina candidate running for city council in Hartford.
D. Southeast: Approved bylaws at most recent meeting. Are forming 2 task forces, one to discuss and provide information on energy issues, and one to track the voting records of current legislators and to publicize the same.
The New London city council race has 2 prospective candidates; a platform, field plan and budget have been drafted for the campaign.
E. New Haven: The forum series, held every other Sat. for the last several months, has been highly successful but is winding down. Most recently Paul Bass educated 50 people about corruption in New Haven’s government.
John Halle will run for Alderman (Ward 9) in a special election on 10 July. In Nov., four people will run in NH and one elsewhere for Aldermen.
New Haven has purchased buttons and bumper stickers, which they sell for $1 each; they are generously offering to sell these to other chapters at their bulk cost of $0.24 for buttons and $0.37 for stickers.
A second issue of the NH newsletter has been sent out.
There will be a wine-and-hors d’oeuvres fundraiser at the NH HQ (on Park St.), on Sat., 2 June at 6 pm. For $20 you can eat, drink and be Green! Also, a tag sale will be held on 16 June; donations will be gratefully accepted.
F. Central CT: A forum was held on 26 May. Because of dwindling participation, a questionnaire was sent to all members asking what issues should be the chapter’s focus for the next 6 months.
Two people may run for Middletown city council, and one in Meriden.
I. ASGP update: Greens have won 15 of 26 races this year, and the party is growing steadily.
II. It was suggested that elected officers make a concerted effort to attend all meetings.
IX. Next State meeting will be held at 7pm on Tues., 26 June in the Portland Library