The Green Party of Virginia
Harrisonburg Public Library
AttendeesSharon Williams / Co-Clerk / NOVA Greens
Jim Lowenstern/ Co-Clerk / NOVA Greens
Bruce Pushing / Valley Greens (arrived late)
Joseph Auth / New River Valley Greens
Roger Hopper / NOVA Greens
Roger Clarke / Charlottesville Greens (arrived late)
Jana Cutlip / Charlottesville Greens (arrived late)
Introductions/ Icebreaker (15 minutes)We went around the room and asked each other what we expected from the meeting, how would we contribute and how we were going to achieve our goals for the meeting.
Discussion of Consensus/ Decision-making processJim facilitated the meeting with Sharon Williams and Joseph Auth taking the minutes. As we only had two locals (New River Valley) and NOVA Greens in attendance we felt that we did not constitute a quorum as outlined in the bylaws for the Greens of Virginia. Bruce Pushing of the Valley Greens told us that he came to the meeting simply to give a report on Sherry’s campaign and then he would leave soon after.
Review of minutes from the last meetingJim didn’t bring minutes from the last meeting. They had been posted on the web several times and were corrected for mistakes and omissions in them.
Approval of the AgendaWe approved by consensus the agenda as set by Sharon on the Internet one and one half weeks prior to the meeting.
Locals ReportsValley Greens: Bruce Pushing came to the meeting with Sherry’s fliers and to report on the status of her campaign. She is doing very well and gathering momentum as Election Day is approaching. She is running against one Republican incumbent in her race. This is Sherry’s second campaign and she received 16% of the vote two years ago. The Waynesboro Newspaper will do a feature article on her campaign as she has gotten strong support from the newspapers in Bridgewater and Waynesboro. Her strongest support comes from the union and she has a volunteer from a local union working on her campaign nearly full time. Sherry and Reber were endorsed by the Sierra Club.
Jim made a proposal to look into writing a press release on the Sierra Club endorsement and sending it throughout the state.
Sherry is mainly campaigning door to door and her TV and radio ads will emphasize her grassroots campaign.
There was discussion about the doing a press release and it was asked by Roger Hopper from the NOVA Greens how did the Sierra Club come to a decision on their endorsement of Sherry and Reber?
Motion: Roger will send an article to Jim and Sharon detailing the Sierra Club endorsement of Reber and Sherry. Sharon and Jim will write up a press release to be approved by Sherry and Reber.
Joseph Auth wanted to know "If Sherry wins, will we get Ballot status. Jim stated that we wouldn’t get on the ballot. He explained that the GOV would need a statewide candidate to run and receive 10% of the vote. He suggested we could do this with an attorney general candidate who ran on an anti-death penalty and legalization of marijuana platform.
Roger Hopper gave the report for the NOVA Greens. They have formed an ad-hoc group called Chart (Citizens helping achieve Traffic Reduction). The NOVA Greens/Chart tabled at an event organized by the Coalition for Smarter Growth. A survey written by Muriel Grim was passed out and it asked citizens to think about ways they could reduce their car usage by 25%. People were happy to fill out the survey and the NOVA Greens got a good response and got some press coverage on the local cable access station that was filming at the event.
Joseph Auth asked about the Fairfax Greens. Jim told him that they are not meeting now and that their organizer is working overtime at his government position.
New River Valley Greens Local Report Joseph Auth made the report on the New River Valley Greens. Joseph is working with the SEAC chapter at Virginia Tech. He now has 70 people on his LISTSERV for the New River Valley Greens. He wants ideas for organizing students on campus and came to the meeting specifically to talk about the Presidential Petition Drive. He has found that many students are asking not about the local races but about the national race. He will be tabling at the University’s Honors Association Day.
Co-Clerk’s ReportJim spoke about various resources he had on the Green Party that attendees could borrow from him. He spoke about the work of Richard Grossman of PROCLAD and the seminar he participated in last summer on the history of corporate charters in the United States.
Roger Clark came to the meeting at this point and the group allowed him to give a report on the status of the Charlottesville Local. Sharon gave up her time until after Roger gave his report.
Local Reports (continued)Central Virginia Greens: Roger told us that the local is in the process of reorganizing itself. Diana Abbott, Aaron Feldman, and Roger are trying to reenergize the local. They will be focusing on two issues - Affirmative Action at UVA and the Virginia House Bill 2083. First, Roger explained the situation that is outlined in the article in the latest edition of our state newsletter. The Board of Visitors is working to gut the successful Affirmative action program that began at UVA in 1970. This legislation would end the right of students to vote in the localities where they are receiving their education.
Co-Clerk Report (continued)Sharon brought some information about Kathie Lee Gifford and the issue of sweatshop labor. She passed out some information so that people could write letters to Wal-Mart and Kathie Lee Gifford.
Cutlip and Auth MotionsJana Cutlip arrived at the meeting. Jana introduced herself and we started to talk about the national issues concerning ASGP and GPUSA. Jana Cutlip and Joseph Auth introduced two motions at this point in the meeting.
Motion: Jana Cutlip proposed that we exchange the word "sexual preference" for "sexual orientation" as this was recommended by the Queer Caucus of GPUSA meeting.
Motion: Joseph Auth recommended that we change the wording of the Decentralization value as it is written in the newsletter. It was agreed that Jana and Joseph Auth would rework the bullet point under the decentralization value. "We call for local decision making so individuals and communities may act in their own best interests. Social and economic injustices are caused by concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few.
Winter RetreatJim thought that the idea of a retreat was voted down at the last meeting. We discussed instead when the next state meeting is scheduled. It was determined that the next meeting is February 5th, 6th, and 12th or 13th.
Motion : Send to Interim Committee dates of February 5th, 6th, and 12th or 13th for the approval of the future meeting date.
Roger Clarke from the Charlottesville local arrived late with the latest edition of the State Newsletter so that they could be distributed to the various persons at the meeting.
We now have three locals at the meeting - NOVA Greens, Charlottesville, and New River Valley Greens.
Roger Clarke told the group that Aaron Feldman wants to host future state meetings of the Greens of Virginia.
Non-Profit 501 (c3) statusSharon briefly explained that the Greens of Virginia have been trying to get non-profit status for a number of years now.
Motion: Sharon nominated Patrick Quinn to be on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Green Party Fund. Also, I would like to nominate Aaron Feldman as another possible candidate for the Board of Directors. The Interim committee can vote on Aaron and Patrick’s nomination during the period between state meetings.
Sharon briefly explained that Patrick Quinn has been a NOVA Green for one year. He is currently involved in two projects : The IRV Education Project which he and Muriel Grim conceived and are currently in the process of implementing. Also, he is working with Sharon Williams on the Ten Key Values Awards Night which would honor area activists who consistently live the values the Green Party stands for.
Jim spoke about how the Greens of Virginia could raise money for the 501(c3) via Ron Kahlow’s website by sponsoring speakers in Virginia at various events.
State Web SiteWe discussed current status of Greens of Virginia Website and the proposal made by Muriel Grim of the NOVA Greens. Jim spoke about the fact that the NOVA Greens really don’t have input into the state website. Also, that the link to the NOVA Greens website was terminated for a time. Sherry has worked hard to update the website with the help of one of her students. Jim felt that we shouldn’t pay anyone to update the website.
Joseph Auth and Sharon Williams felt that there should be committee to oversee the current website. He stated that changes should be emailed to the interim committee and then brought back to the locals. He felt that forming another committee would create too much confusion.
The group worked on the following motion for about 20 minutes so that the motion would be properly placed into the minutes.
Motion: The Interim Committee will be empowered to determine the content of the website. Changes to the website must be made to the Webmaster through the Co-Clerks with prior IC approval.
Motion: That Paul Grim become the new Greens of Virginia webmaster.
Presidential Ballot Access Drive DiscussionJoseph and Jim will get information from the Board of Elections on the legal issues and the petitioning for party status.
Roger Clarke felt that we should center our strategy around the colleges and universities. We need to find contacts at schools around the state. The questions that need to be answered are these: Can we get criteria for the signatures that are necessary? What is the throwaway rate on signatures? What is our timeline? It was agreed that the timeline would be from now until August of next year and we would need 600 signatures per week in order to get Nader on the ballot.
Motion: Joseph, Roger, Jim, Sharon and Jana will act as a Presidential Signature gathering committee to get the criteria for signature collectors and to determine and implement a signature gathering strategy.
The Green Party of Virginia
Latest Update: June 24, 2010