Present: David Smith, John White (facilitator), Eric Sheffield, Brandon Smith,
David Laibstain, Mark Yatrofsky, Tim Morton, Kathy Fox, Steven Krichbaum,
Ron Kahlow, Howard Greenebaum (guest), Jim Lowenstern, Linda Martin,
Muriel Grim (facilitator), Sherry Stanley (note taker), Peter Robinson,
1. We opened the meeting at 11:00 by finalizing the agenda.
2. Treasurer's report: The GOV has a current balance of $332.46,
of which $445 is earmarked for the write-in lawsuit appeal. The
annual membership fundraising letter will be going out within the
next two weeks.
3. Website report: Eric reported that the problems we had anticipated
have been smoothed out. We are continuing to get memberships via
our web site; we have had 5,000 visits since September. We plan
to get our data base on the web site with restricted access so the
locals can get to it.
4. Write-in appeal: We have received $400 in contributions to allow
us to go ahead with the appeal and have asked our attorney to do
so; at this point the process moves slowly. If Senate Bill 667,
which provides for casting write-in votes for President and vice-president,
passes, the appeal will be irrelevant. Chances of passing look good
at this time.
5. Press team report: Peter reported that the press team had no
particular accomplishments at this time. Peter said he is setting
up a fax network and we should be able to use that soon. Sherry
suggested that we look at what individual members are doing and
publicize this with their blessing and our name included.
6. Minutes: Excluding those people attending their first meeting,
everyone had received and read the minutes. There were no corrections.
7. Membership list proposal: Harmony Periman, from Oct. meeting,
proposed the GOV members list be sent out to each local twice yearly.
This list will not be given out to other organizations, but each
local will have access to it for the various public functions. This
list will include all e-mail addresses. Mark suggested we have an
opt-out for members so individuals could ask that their phone numbers
and addresses be deleted. Sherry said the wording of the proposal
could mean Green candidates for public office could be barred from
using the list. Eric said there should be restrictions on the use
of the list but we must be careful that we do not restrict all use
of it. Brandon asked that we postpone this proposal to the next
meeting. We did so.
8. GOV internet forum: Harmony Periman, from Oct. meeting, proposed
that the GOV create a forum similar to the GPUSA forum. Any member
of the GOV shall have the authority to post on it. Peter said he
would be willing to get this done. Eric pointed out that if this
would require funding, we need to know how much ahead of time. We
accepted this proposal.
9. Introductions and local reports: We went around the room with
each member or guest introducing himself or herself and, when possible,
speaking for a local.
Charlottesville Greens: Brandon said the Charlottesville Greens
formed for the principal reasons of city council elections, lobbying,
and grass roots action.
Tidewater Greens: Mark said the TG have grown since the Nader campaign.
They have started a discussion group in collaboration with other
organizations centered around Howard Zinn's A History of the People
of the United States.
Blue Mountain Greens: Peter reported that this is essentially a
dormant local. He has checked out the idea for an on-going discussion
group that could meet once a month at the Prism Coffee House in
Northern Virginia Greens: Muriel reported that NOVA Greens are still
trying to find themselves. Member Mike Looney will run for the House
of Delegates; they will work on his campaign. They are trying to
get a half-hour public access TV show to introduce Greens and show
Green-type films. They are concentrating on attending other meetings
and gatherings, such as the Virginians Against Handgun Violence,
as Greens and have not decided whether they should continue to meet
on a regular basis.
New River Valley Greens: No members attended the meeting, and we
had received no report from them.
Rockbridge Greens: Eric, Sherry, and Kathy reported that we also
continue to struggle. We have just elected a new steering committee
and at our last meeting stuffed and addressed fundraiser letters
for the GOV. We are putting together a directory of locally owned
businesses and have made the decision to create an electronic version
only at this time, with plans to get it in print some time in the
future. We have lots of active members, including Elise Sheffield,
who edits the newsletter, and Nell Bolen, who maintains our web
10. Recognition of Charlottesville Greens: Brandon asked to represent
the Charlottesville Greens. Peter responded that in order to do
so, Brandon would have to resign from the Blue Mountain Greens because
our by-laws prohibit dual membership. Charlottesville Greens have
not been officially recognized because they have not met by-law
requirements. Heather Gaye had said she would try to attend this
meeting as a representative but was unable to do so. Mark maintained
there is a credentials problem here. Brandon spoke against the by-laws
and asked that this be moved to the spring meeting. We agreed to
urge Charlottesville to request recognition as an affiliated local
at the spring meeting.
11. Feminism: The GOV hereby affirms the key value Feminism. This
proposal came from Sheila Lamb, who was unable to attend. Sherry
read Sheila's message affirming the key value of Feminism. Eric
clarified that the GOV had not suggested a change but Sheila was
responding to continued discussions she had seen on the Greens'
internet forum. Linda said these continued discussions are divisive.
Brandon called for a vote. The proposal was accepted.
12. GOV PAC proposal: Harmony Periman, from the Oct. meeting, proposed
the GOV affirms that the GPVA is a PAC (political action committee)
and will have status as such at all meetings (no different than
any other committee of the GOV). This proposal to separate the GOV
and the GPVA met widespread opposition but led to a discussion about
the formation of PAC's in general. Peter suggested that this push
to separate the political from the movement is something we see
in many places right now, but that he opposes. Tim and Mark agreed
to form a PAC investigation committee to serve our purposes, and
the proposal was not accepted.
13. Proposing agenda items proposal: Harmony Periman, from the Oct.
meeting, proposed that each member of the GOV will limit the number
of agenda items per person per meeting to three. This proposal was
rejected with the accompanying suggestion that we encourage members
who have serious proposals to show up at the meetings to present
14. House and senate bills report: Sherry reported on bills before
the General Assembly that could influence our political future.
The first was SB 667, allowing for write-in on presidential ballots.
The second was HB 2003, which would reduce the number of signatures
required on statewide candidate ballots from approximately 16,000
to 3,200 and the number for congressional candidates from 1500 to
300. This bill also reduces the strict requirements for the circulator
of the petition. The last was HB 2010, which would reduce the party-status
requirement of votes received from ten to three percent.
David also mentioned the two anti-gay marriage bills, the parents'
right amendment bill, and the 21-day law, which states that no new
evidence can be brought forth for an appeal after 21 days after
the trial. Muriel added the earned-income tax bill. We discussed
methods of stating our support of bills, and Mark said we should
use the 1-800-889-0229 number between seven in the morning and seven
in the evening. He said these calls do get to their desti^nations.
15. 1997 House of Delegates elections: Eric said 100 House of Delegates
seats will be available this year. One hundred twenty-five signatures
are re^quired to get on the ballot. Mark suggested recruiting early,
establishing a committee to work on paper work, etc., maybe a workshop
for candidates, and even fundraising to lift that burden so the
candidates would be free to speak to the issues. Eric, Sherry, Linda,
and David agreed to form such a committee. Ron volunteered to coordinate
16. Executive races: Mark proposed that we field a slate of candidates
for the upcoming state executive race, at least for Governor and
Lt. Governor. He continued that if we can find a Green attorney
willing to work long hours for no pay, then we can also field an
Attorney-General hopeful. Charlie Jordan had sent a similar proposal
with emphasis on Lt. Gov. Mark said that if we do not do this, we
should have a shadow candidacy slate, candidates that could be written
in but have not met the requirements of ballot status. He said these
candidates could draw some interest to particular issues. We brought
to discussion the signature gathering, resource, and fatigue issues.
Peter said he would support the slate if we have even one volunteer.
Mark said he would offer himself as Lt. Gov. if a strong woman would
run for governor. We decided to continue this discussion at the
spring meeting and review what has happened by that time.
17. Student campaign proposal: (Appendix A) David made this proposal
based on the fact that he is finding Green potential all over the
state, especially with strong membership in other organizations
such as PETA and Amnesty International in Virginia. We agreed that
the potential is there, and we have not tapped into it. Eric suggested
changing one clerk to two (appendix reflects this change). David
asked for funds to support printing costs to start; Linda requested
the SGVA to bring a funding proposal to the next meeting. The proposal
was adopted by consensus. We recognized David Laibstain and Mia
Terry as the temporary representatives of the SGVA and urged the
SGVA to select its own representatives as soon as possible
18. Green t-shirts: Ron has designed and should soon have available
t-shirts for all ASGP members and all state parties too.
19. GOV flyers: Sherry said that we had been discussing the idea
of designing flyers to leave at various places or distribute to
let people meet the GOV. Peter, Kathy, and Sherry agreed to begin
the design on this.
20. Dam resolution: (Appendix B) Tidewater Greens Jack Balkwill
and Tyla Matteson are working hard on opposing the construction
of the proposed King William reservoir. We adopted by consensus
the Tidewater resolution by changing TG to GOV (appendix reflects
21. Future meetings: We left it open to switch the summer and spring
meetings, with a possibility that the summer gathering will be in
northern Virginia. The spring meeting is set for April 19.
22. Platform meeting: We agreed to form a special platform committee
to work on the revision ideas we have received. We will get the
revision to the locals and then to the spring meeting and finally
post it on the website. Sherry, Peter, Kathy, Eli Fishpaw, Muriel,
Stephen Jones, and Eric volunteered to be on this committee.
23. Interim committee: The interim committee has been running on
a trial basis, in accordance with the by-laws demand for a second
ratification of amendments. Eric proposed that we make this committee
permanent. Brandon abstained; all others approved. Tidewater Greens
said their representative to this committee will be on a rotating
basis, and the SGVA asked to be a part of the interim committee.
24. Proposed budget: (Appendix C) The budget proposed by the treasurer
was approved with some math corrections.
25. Proposal to increase levy: Eric proposed that the GOV/GPVA shall
increase the levy on locals from the current $2.00 per year to $3.00
per member (address) per year. We accepted the proposal.
26. NOVA TV : Muriel explained that the Northern Virginia Greens
had planned for quite a while to get half-hour spots on public access
TV to run Green films with intros and outros to advertise Greens.
Jim Lowenstern is working on this. They would need to purchase some
films so they are inviting locals to join them in this. Jim and
Muriel agreed to write an article for the newsletter asking people
to join this effort.
27. Brain trust: This idea came from NOVA Greens and centered around
creating a center of information that candidates could use to inform
them about issues. SGVA will work on this. Stephen Jones cautioned
that we should not have a group of specialists because we all are
specialists coming from our communities. Stephen said he would work
on a proposal for the spring meeting.
28. Alternative voting processes: Muriel said she wanted to focus
her attention and energy on alternative voting processes such as
NOTA, write-ins, and proportional representation. Mark mentioned
that write-ins and NOTA carry weight because candidates must have
a majority of the vote cast. There was discussion about whether
NOTA hurts third parties.
29. National affiliation: Jim and Sherry gave reports on the Middleburg
meeting that focused on forming the Association of State Green Parties,
a confederation designed to assist new and already existing state
parties in the areas of creating by-laws, advertising, legal advice
and research, graphics, etc.
Peter explained his proposal for unity(Appendix D) saying the current
GPUSA wants to be the national Green party and predicting that ASGP
will want the same. He said the Unity people say there are not enough
Greens to populate two Green parties. Peter maintained that it is
important we not separate movement and politics, as he interprets
the formation of ASGP. He gave a history of the Greens nationally.
We read the several proposals by Eric (Appendix E), Muriel (Appendix
F)and discussed the intricacies of this situation. We affirmed our
commitment to retaining autonomy regardless of national affiliation.
We called for a vote on all proposals. Sherry's proposal (Appendix
G) calling for affiliation with ASGP was the only one to carry the
required three-quarters vote.
Eric asked us if we would then reconsider the unity proposals. We
did and agreed to adopt A Statement of Belief by the Greens for
Unity and a Proposal for a Unity Convention.
Finally we nominated Jim Lowenstern and Linda Martin as delegates
to the next meeting of the ASGP in Portland, Oregon.
We closed at 5:40 P.M.
From: David Laibstain
Proposal for a Student Organizing Campaign
Whereas it is of the gravest importance that the Green Party of
Virginia recruit new members among the students of this state, and
Whereas other organizations within "the movement" have had immense
success recruiting among an increasingly liberal student pool, and
Whereas The GPVA has not to this point inspired an overwhelming
amount of support from students, therefore be it
Resolved that the GPVA formally begin a campaign to recruit and
involve students as active and vital members of the GPVA, according
to the following methods and goals.
1. The GPVA should start an organization called "Student Greens
of Virginia" (SGVA).
2. The SGVA would provide information and organizational materials
to all interested students, encouraging them to open chapters (which,
once chartered would act as fully recognized local groups) at their
schools or becoming part of the SGVA network. (Similar to the GOV
3. Members of the SGVA and school chapters would act as members
of a fully recognized student caucus within the GPVA.
4. The SGVA would be clerked by two co-clerks, to be selected by
the SGVA, and assisted by regional contacts.
5. The SGVA should have at least a hundred members by the end of
the 1998 school year, and at least three local groups.
6. The SGVA should have had at least three full caucus meetings
by this date.
7. The SGVA should have a firmly established network of regional
contacts who regularly attend, support, and report on the activities
in their region.
8. The SGVA should have participated in or planned at least one
lobby day, and been involved in at least ten other legislative efforts.
9. The SGVA should have a student contact working with every GPVA
member running for public office in order to coordinate student
efforts in campaigning.
"Resolution to Stop the King William Reservoir:
Whereas the construction of the 2,200-acre reservoir in King William
County will inundate 924 acres of valuable wetlands, and
Whereas the flooding of this area will submerge over 100 native
American archeological sites, dating back 8000 years, and
Whereas some of these sites are burial grounds of ancestors of the
Mattaponi and other middle Peninsula Indians, which in their belief
are sacred grounds and should not be removed, and
Whereas up to 75 million gallons of water will be pumped daily from
the Mattaponi River, and
Whereas the salinity of the tidal Mattaponi River will be changed,
harming the flora and fauna living in and along the river, which
include nests of the endangered bald eagle, and
Whereas the spawning grounds for the shad and other fish will be
altered, compromising the livelihoods of those who depend upon this
fishery, and specifically the Mattaponi Indians who have lived along
the river for hundreds of years, and
Whereas the need for diversion of water to the lower Virginia Peninsula
has not been established and present-day conservation measures are
not being executed, and
Whereas this project is contrary to most of the ten key values of
the Green Party,
Be it resolved that the Green Party of Virginia is opposed to the
construction of the proposed King William Reservoir.
From: Eric Sheffield, treasurer GPVA
January, 15, 1997
PROPOSED 1997 BUDGET OF GOV/GPVA
Dues and Donations 2635
GPUSA Dues 100
Bulk Permit 85
Platform Revision 150
GPUSA Dues 100
Meeting Preparation 200
Proposal 1 from Peter Robinson for GOV Meeting on Jan. 18
That the Greens of Virginia/Green Party of Virginia endorse the
two Unity proposals and simultaneously join the Association of State
(See appendices 1 & 2 for Unity proposals)
Proposal 2 from Peter Robinson for GOV Meeting on Jan. 18
That the GOV/GPVA not send delegates to the next meeting of the
ASGP to be held in Oregon but instead 1) send a statement of intent
to be read at the meeting, and 2) host a regional gathering for
all of the surrounding states on April 25-27, specifically inviting
the states of North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland,
the District of Columbia, Delaware, and New Jersey.
This regional gathering would be for the purpose of exchanging information
and experience among these states. The cost would be approximately
$15 per person per night.
A Statement of Belief by the Greens for Unity
The undersigned Greens affirm the crucial importance of unity as
the Green Movement/Party enters a new millennium in human history.
We believe that Green Politics incorporates a unique approach to
political, economic, and social transformation which includes such
elements as issue education, movement activism, community organizing,
and electoral politics.
We believe that where Greens decide individually to focus on one
of these areas, they should unite their efforts with Greens of other
persuasions in Green locals and Green state parties.
While both The Greens/Green Party USA and the Association of State
Green Parties have inspired the allegiance of many old and new Greens,
we believe that, at this time, neither entity satisfies present
needs for an inclusive, democratic, united national Greens organization.
We hope to see a unifying national Green organization which supports
the full range of Green activity, and which welcomes all Greens
in the USA who are committed to the Ten Key Values.
The social and ecological crises of our times demand that we combine
all of our Green energies in creative ways. Our children, born and
unborn, demand that we reduce internal strife in order to focus
our attention on these looming problems.
Please join with us in a journey to discover and apply the power
of the ten key values to restructure and reharmonize our world.
PROPOSAL FOR A UNITY CONVENTION
It is vital that a national Green Party be formed which acts as
a supportive network for the full range of Green activity.
Currently two entities claim this role: the Greens/Green Party USA
and the Association of State Green Parties. While both groups have
inspired the allegiance of many old and new Greens, we do not recognize
that either organization satisfies present needs for an inclusive,
democratic, united national Green Party.
The GPUSA and the ASGP are in direct competition for the legal status
of Green Party National Committee. This is an unacceptable situation
which can't help but have a negative effect on Greens at all levels
Therefor we support holding a non-partisan, consensus-based Unity\
Convention in 1997 to work towards the formation of a national Party.
We would like this convention to be as inclusive as possible, involving
in its planning and facilitation people from all Greens organizations,
including GPUSA, ASGP, the state Green Parties, activist locals,
caucuses, affinity groups, and unaffiliated individuals who identify
themselves as Greens.
From: Eric Sheffield
January 15, 1997
In the spirit of Green Unity I would like to put forward the following
proposal for consideration at the Jan. 18, 1997 meeting of the Greens
The Greens of Virginia/Green Party of Virginia, upon adoption of
this proposal, shall become affiliated with both the Greens/Green
Party USA and the Association of State Green Parties.
It is our intention to work for the melding of these two organizations
within the next two years. We will work toward the goal of a single
Green national organization which embraces and supports all Greens
in the United States, and all of the multitude of strategies which
they are employing to bring about a Greener planet.
If the goal of a single national organization proves unattainable,
we will work for an agreement between the two organizations for
a non-competitive division of constituencies and responsibilities.
The Greens of Virginia/Green Party of Virginia, acknowledging the
priority of local and state work over national organizing; and acknowledging
the poor history of benefits vs. costs as related to national organizing;
adopt the following:
The GOV/GPVA will disassociate itself from the G/GPUSA, ASGP, Unity
Movement, and any other attempt at national organizing, for a period
of one year from the adoption of this proposal. During that year
we will not discuss issues related to national organizing at our
In accordance with the Key Value of Decentralization, the Greens
of Virginia/Green Party of Virginia exists independent of control
by any national organization of which it is a member and has the
right to assent national Green organization. Decisions regarding
national issues will not change the status or affiliation of the
Greens of Virginia/Green Party of Virginia with the national organizations.
From: "Sherry A. Stanley"
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 97
The Greens of Virginia/Green Party of Virginia, upon adoption of
this proposal, shall become affiliated with the newly formed Association
of State Green Parties.
We recognize that the states are autonomous entities that will work
in cooperation with but independently from other states and that
the Association is not the national Green Party.
To participate in the building of the ASGP, including the proposed
agenda of forming by-laws and developing a communication network,
we will nominate two delegates to attend their next meeting on April
4 to 6 in Portland, Oregon.