Green Party of Connecticut
State Central Committee Meeting
March 18, 2020 • Zoom virtual meeting

Minutes, approved on April 21, 2020

In attendance: Hartford County: Peter Goselin (facilitator), Chris Reilly, Martha Kelly (arrived 7:20), Michelle Bicking (arrived 8:20); Fairfield County: not represented; New London: Ronna Stuller (recorder) Bob Stuller, Wasaka (Mark Roberts); Shoreline: Tania Abbatello, Owen Charles, Keith Foster (arrived 7:20); Windham: Doug Lary; General chapter: Eugene Woloszyn. Guest: Alex Herpst.

Start time 6:55pm.

1. Minutes

a. Minutes of the February 25 SCC meeting: Wasaka moved to approve, 2nd by Bob; passed 8–0 with 1 abstention (Eugene).

b. The minutes of the March EC meeting: Bob moved to accept for the record, 2nd by Wasaka; discussion included clarification about contentious interactions on GPUS social media, and ways that the CT Greens can focus our energy more positively by organizing locally and developing regional collaborations with other Green Party groups in New England. Passed by consensus.

2. Treasurer’s report: Starting balance $707.11. One expense $6.79 (last Telrite payment); ending balance $700.22. Online contributions by active members are encouraged to support party activities. Wasaka moved to accept for the record, 2nd by Ronna; passed by consensus.

3. Old Business

a. 2020 general elections

(1) We discussed the potential impact of a post-primary #DemExit on Green Party organizing in Connecticut and our search for candidates. It was agreed that GPCT should actively welcome those who feel disenfranchised by the major parties and offer opportunities to get involved.

(2) The Green Party national nominating convention, originally scheduled for July 9-12 in Detroit, will be deferred until late July and likely held as a virtual, rather than in-person, event. More information will be available as the details are worked out.

b. Annual meeting and GPCT voting

(1) Notes from the 3/1 planning committee meeting were shared. Although we have booked the Portland Senior Center for May 9, we may have to shift to a virtual meeting. This will make it even more important for candidates to create video statements, and the SCC will provide assistance.

(2) The candidates who have declared interest in running for internal offices are: Peter, Michelle, Owen, and Tim for co-chair; Ronna for secretary; Bob for treasurer; and Tim, Owen, Cora, and Keith for national committee rep (and it is possible that David Younng would like to continue in that role). Eugene suggested – and others agreed - that, if there are no contested races (if one co-chair candidate drops out), we could forgo the cost of mailing ballots and use our funds more productively for party building and outreach. Although online voting is inappropriate for our ranked elections, Ronna will research whether any options exist that are suitable for Presidential preference voting.

(3) Doug has received additional data from David Bedell that will allow him to match a high percent of Green Party voters with email addresses we have on record. This information will help us reach members more effectively through social media and e-blasts, and reduce our need for paper mailings. It was suggested that we host a webinar about the Green Party and how to organize locally; the program that Mirna and other NL Greens presented at last year’s Annual National Meeting could be adapted for such a use.

(4) The Annual Meeting planning committee will need to meet again soon to develop alternative plans for our meeting as well as this year’s mailing and voting; Eugene and Tania asked to be added to the committee and will be included in future communications.

c. Green Party press releases and position statements: Ronna reported that Scott Deshefy, who writes a weekly column for The Norwich Bulletin, is willing to be part of an effort to prepare statements on current issues; we will continue to discuss the best process for preparing timely responses and making Green Party perspectives available to a wider audience.

d. We shared some ideas for issues to advocate for at the state legislature this year: RCV and other voting rights, ending prison gerrymandering, affordable housing support, pushing back against ICE.

4. New Business

a. Fundraising: Social distancing has limited fundraising options, but we can include an appeal for funds in our other communications; because the SEEC does not allow recurring donations, it was suggested that Green Party members be encouraged to commit to regular giving on an 6- or 12-month cycle. Contributions can be made online through Anedot, or checks can be mailed to our PO box. It was also suggested that we start work on a 2020-21 budget shortly after the Annual Meeting, to clarify our priorities and values and let donors know how their contributions are being utilized.

5. GPUS reports

a. National Committee: Owen reported that the National Committee has been contentious of late. Tim McKee has been sharing information about recent votes on platform items – several related to banking reforms - to the Forum listserv.

b. Committee reports: Eugene reported on Peace Action Committee’s development of educational materials – including Peace Teachings, a Peace Quiz, and a Peace Pledge - and on the Banking and Monetary Reform Committee’s activities.

6. Other updates and events

a. The Howie Hawkins meet-and-greet, scheduled for March 29, has been postponed and will likely be held as a virtual meeting. Keith will provide updates as they are available.

b. Eugene recommended the film “American Factory” which can be viewed on Netflix.

Bob moved to adjourn, 2nd by Doug; adjourned at 8:55pm.