Approved Minutes of the GPCT APRIL 30, 2016 ANNUAL MEETING.
Attendees: Greater Fairfield: Hector Lopez, David Michel, Jenny Li, Cora Santaguida, Ed Heflin, Kevin Schack, Rolf Maurer GPCT co-chairperson. Greater Hartford: Mary Lawrence, David Ionno, Brian Gay, Barbara Barry, GPCT secretary; S. Michael DeRosa, GPCT co-chairperson, Christopher Reilly, GPCT treasurer, William Glickman, Jeff Russell, Martha Kelly. Greater Norwich: James Stuller, Uncasville. City of New London: Ronna Stuller, Jesse Good, Mirna Martinez, Tim Hanser. Waterford: Baird Welch-Collins, Emily Garfinkel, Margaret Welch, Billy Collins, Lauren Shaw. At Large: Allan Brison; Christopher Taylor; William Sullivan; Stacy Annuzzi; Jim Brasile; Amy Vas Nunes; Vic Lancia; Rene Gagnon; John Magnesi; Susan Ye; Nicholas Payne; Scott Deshefy.
NOON: Facilitator: SMD. Statements from the candidates for the five GPCT Executive Committee positions: 3 for co-chairpersons: Barbara Barry, Mike DeRosa, Emily Garfinkel, Rolf Maurer, Baird Welch-Collins. Position of treasurer: Christopher Reilly. Position of secretary: David Bedell and Ronna Stuller. Three candidates for the three positions to be GPCT representatives to the GPUS (Green Party of the USA): Mike DeRosa, Joshua Steele Kelly and Mary Lawrence. Attendees had questions for those attending candidates. David Michel showed a video of him interviewing David Bedell, who was unable to attend this portion of the meeting due to work. Joshua Steele Kelly was absent without representation. http://ctgreenparty.org/candidates-menu.html
1:45PM: Facilitator: Barbara Barry. Lunch break and DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF BALLOTS.
2PM: GPCT 2015-2016 legislative proposals by Barbara Barry, Rolf Maurer, S. Michael DeRosa, spoke about GPCT members interactions with CT legislators and Deputy Majority Leader, Susan Johnson, Willimantic. Some proposals were perceived as “complicated” or “not doable” e.g. drones, farm-to-table movement, conversion of military businesses to renewable energy businesses, student/parent mental health rights and ballot access. Proposals have seemingly been impacted by legislators preoccupation budget problems with the unresolved, ongoing state government multi-billion dollar debt.
2:15PM: Barbara Barry spoke about the three vetted candidates for the GPUS 2016 presidential nomination. They are: Jill Stein, MD and GP and international activist. 2012 GPUS presidential candidate, founded and promotes the Green Shadow Cabinet. William “Bill” Kreml, PhD., author and progressive activist. And Elijah D. Manley a 16 ½ year old male from FL. GPUS presidential candidate vetting process does not seem to address the U.S. Constitutional age requirement for a presidential candidates. Attendees voted for the GPUS 2016 presidential candidates: Jill Stein: 24; WK: 1 and EDM: 2.
2:30PM: Statements from a GPCT endorsed candidate for the November 8, 2016 election: Ed Heflin, PhD for CT State Senate, District 36. He ran in 2014 and stated he learned a lot. 2016 campaign to focus on how a CT Public Bank can improve the 4E’s: education, energy, economy and environment. http://ctgreenparty.org/candidates-menu/40-candidate-pages/841-heflin-senate2016.html
2:50PM: Workshop Session A. Breakout options were:
- How to petition: Mike DeRosa and Cora Santaguida: any CT registered voter may sign. A signature is an act in support of democracy and not a vote for the GPCT; urge clear penmanship; signee must use legal name i.e. used to register to vote; be mindful of need for authentication as described on the back of the petition form. After getting signature suggest some GPCT issue you suspect signee may be interested in. Be respectful, approachable and considerate.
- Connecticut Public Banking with Ed Heflin. The current bank that the State of CT uses (BOA) charges fees that leave CT. But a CT Public Bank would have100% of the money would stay in CT. A CT Public Bank would collect money from taxes, fees, fines, etc. for possible use for student loans and small business loans at rates typically 2-3% below commercial bank rates. This would also decrease the costs of lending. As an ex-Wall St Financial Engineer and 2010 Co-Founder in the State of Connecticut for the Public Banking Institute, that could save our state from the fiscal calamity cliff which we are heading towards since before the 2008 financial crisis. Current CT State debt through 2017 is approximately $5billion. The BND i.e. the Public Bank of North Dakota has been essentially profitable ever since its establishment in 1919 i.e. through the Great Depression, WWII, the Great Recession and the 2008 subprime crisis. Public banking is used by 3.5billion people in the world. Public banking supplements commercial banks.
- Gun Management vs. 2nd Amendment Rights: Lauren Shaw: general run down about CT gun permits; penalties for violations, and some common misconceptions about CT legislation and current status of legislation.. E.g. House Bill 5054, victims of domestic abuse, and the confiscation of guns from a person under a temporary restraining order. Discussed the case against Remington, and possible ramifications on the huge CT gun industry.
3:30PM: Workshop Session B. Breakout options were:
- How to become a Justice of the Peace: Ronna Stuller and David Bedell. JOP is for a specific town e.g. town JOP resides in. No seal like notary. Duties: perform civil unions; administer oaths, etc. CT applications to be JOP effective 1-1-17: August 1, 2016 through November 1, 2016.
- Being Responsive To A Cause and Change Within Your Local Environment: David Michel. Spoke and showed videos about his 1-2 year efforts to clean up debris and snow from the Stamford shoreline marshes and estuaries. He organized citizens to remove debris when the CT DEEP would not. He interacted with Stamford, CT state officials e.g. DEEP in efforts to get the DEEP to activate the CT laws and regulations under their jurisdiction…with some success. The effort continues.
- Youth Outreach Strategies: Baird Welch-Collins: increased use of social media is a top priority; having active, professional facebook pages, twitter feeds, etc.; outreach to civics classes and school events; creating events that are appealing to young people; going to the public rather than trying to attract the public to you; taking advantage of the Sanders Movement's enthusiasm among young voters to build a progressive third party.
3:45PM: Facilitator: Rolf Maurer. Group discussion regarding GPCT Future Focuses for 2016-2017: TH: concentrate on the currently endorsed GPCT candidates; work more on inter-chapter support for local-level candidates, rather than pursuing state or higher level positions. DM: do not run candidates for state and federal offices. LS: you will get public funding if you get 20% of the vote and SMD clarified the CT Campaign Finance rules. They are: 3rd party candidates must raise $5000 in amounts that do not exceed the maximal individual donations of $100. And must acquire valid petition signatures equal to 20% of the number of people who voted in the district election, which the candidate is running in…in order to get a full grant of the money allotted to 3rd party candidates. Full grant campaign funds for Democrats and Republicans are easier to acquire. MK: get on local boards and commissions.
Relevant and Compatible Organizational Liaisons: EG: outreach to feminist/women’s rights advocacy groups. HL and RM: connect with key organizations addressing the economic crisis in Puerto Rico. ML: Healthy City initiative with Farm to Table; Grow Windham, Grow New London, Grow Hartford, Grow New Haven. CS: CT Legal Rights for people with psychological problems. BB: BackLivesMatter, Bike Walk CT, fightforfamilies.org, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ); #JusticeReformNOW.
Possible Speakers and Events: SD: more effort at finding high-profile speakers reflecting various facets of the Green Party values, such as acclaimed naturalist Edmund O. Wilson. RM: co-founder of the American Iranian Friendship Committee, Ellie Ommani, to speak to Greens and the public regarding the relations of the two countries.
CTGP Proposals/ Model Legislation: No current proposals were dropped. MM: oppose high testing supported by the AFT union. RM: emphasized addressing possible in-state armed drone deployment with the simultaneous threat to privacy and safety posed by commercial drone delivery fleets (Amazon and Google) and the convergence of new option-limiting mental health- and youth incarceration reforms coming from Big Pharma-tied non-profits and Hartford.
Other: HL: need for the CTGP to take a formal position on the cause of Puerto Rican self-determination.
4:15PM: Announcement of GPCT Internal Elections results: GPCT: co-chairpersons: Barbara Barry, S. Michael DeRosa and Emily Garfinkel. Treasurer: Christopher Reilly. Secretary: David Bedell.
Three GPCT representatives to the GPUS National Committee: S. Michael DeRosa, Joshua Steele Kelly and Mary Lawrence.
NOTE: GPCT representatives to the GPUS Standing Committees will be elected at the first SCC meeting after this annual meeting. Information about the GPUS standing National Committee: http://www.gp.org/for-members/committees-of-the-green-party.