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State Meeting

Jefferson-Madison Public Library
Blacksburg, Virginia
March 23, 2002

Participants:

Arlington Courthouse Greens: Tom Yager (GPVA Co-Clerk), Kirit Mookerjee, Susan Dridi
Blue Ridge Greens: Cindy Bowles, Charlie Jordan
Central Virginia Greens: Jana Cutlip (GPVA Co-Clerk), Daya Bill
New River Valley Greens: Steve Gillespie, Don Mackler, Danielle LoGuidice, Don Langhrer, Allison Berg
NOVA Greens: Jim Lowenstern, Jeremy Good
Richmond Greens: Don Durham, Mason Payne
At Large Greens: Bob McGhee

I. Introduction

A. Quorum Established. Quorum was maintained throughout the meeting, though several members left early or arrived late.

B. The group selected by consensus Jana Cutlip and Tom Yager as joint facilitators, Danielle LoGuidice as vibeswatcher, Don Durham as timekeeper, Susan Dridi and Daya Bill as notetakers.

C. Agenda ratified by consensus.

II. Announcement

The Mary Washington College Greens is now a defunct local.

III. Local Reports

New River Valley Greens - Presented by Danielle LoGuidice:

Two candidates are running for local office. The NRV Local has organized itself into two parts, a student local which will work with the Campus Greens of Virginia Tech, and an off-campus local. NRV is hosting Vandana Shiva at Virginia Tech on April 29, 2002 (more information could be obtained by contacting sdaniels@vt.edu). Sue Daniels is starting a reading group - open to anyone. The NRV Greens are working on an Earth Day event with the Campus Greens. NRV is also involved in actions against the Virginia Tech power plant, whose unregulated emissions are a major source of pollution.

NOVA Greens - Presented by Jim Lowenstern:

The NOVA Greens are involved in the April 20, 2002 protests in Washington, DC. NOVA has formed a political subgroup to discuss running candidates in Northern Virginia. The Arlington Courthouse Greens, Loudoun Greens and the Alexandria Greens (a sub-local of the NOVA Greens) are all invited to participate. The next meeting of the political group will take place on April 6, 2002, from 1-3 p.m. The Alexandria Greens were involved in area Martin Luther King Day events. The NOVA Greens have also been taking on an issue involving development over a stream bed that was not marked on the map.

Richmond Greens - Presented by Don Durham and Mason Payne:

The Richmond Greens have added a regular meeting for candidate forums, to decide which candidates to endorse in non-partisan city government elections. RCG are involved in a "Multicultural Fair" on the VCU campus. RCG is also working with the "Who Runs Richmond" coalition, in the hope of cultivating Green candidates.

Arlington Courthouse Greens - Presented by Kirit Mookerjee:

The Arlington Courthouse Greens are continuing work on the "In the Darkness of the Hour" workshop, which they are sponsoring. Other progressive organizations have been invited to give presentations at this workshop. In particular, ACG is working on the issue of how individuals can oppose the Death Penalty at the local level.

Central Virginia Greens - Presented by Jana Cutlip:

The Central Virginia Greens had a presentation on anti-globalization at their last meeting. The next meeting will include a presentation by the Center for Peace and Justice. CVG is also working with Charlottesville Clean Water to address the problem of fluoride, a class 1 contaminant, in the water. To that end, CVG is working on a petition to get fluoride out of the water supply. Some members of the CVG are also working to develop a new organization to campaign for the abolishment of corporate personhood.

Blue Ridge Greens - Presented by Cindy Bowles:

The Blue Ridge Greens is working on building up its membership, through coalitions with local environmental groups. BRG will be involved in local Earth Day events. BRG has taken on a project involving urban gardening in area housing projects and in city parks.

At Large Greens:

Bob McGhee is starting a Local in the Lynchburg area.

IV. Local Candidate Presentation - Allison Berg for Blacksburg Town Council

Allison is a student of Virginia Tech, as well as prominent human rights activist who has a long involvement with Amnesty International. She is also running as a concerned resident of Blacksburg.

Allison is running on the issues of traffic, public transportation, sprawl, recycling, pollution and fair housing. As Allison points out, students make up at least half of the local population, but are not represented in the local government. One of her goals is to have a student representative council meet regularly with the town council, so that the town may harness the power of the students for the good of the community. The campaign is involved in registering students to vote.

Allison affirmed that she is not involved with any other party. As such, a motion was made for the GPVA to endorse her candidacy. The motion was accepted by consensus.

V. Co-Clerks Report - Presented by Tom Yager and Jana Cutlip:

Charlotte Fritts wants to start a Local in the Winchester area. She will be provided with contact information.

The Rappahannock Source Greens may be revived.

Tom Yager has been sending the names of "At Large" members in the confines of a Local to the Local Contacts, so that they may invite them to join their Local. This effort is still in progress.

Tom proposed setting up the meeting dates for the next five state quarterly business meetings. He suggested the dates of September 2, November 23, March 8, and June 6-8. Discussion on this item was postponed until the end of the meeting.

Tom announced that he would be running again for the position of male Co-Clerk at the June quarterly business meeting. He stated that he does not want to run opposed, and asked others to think about running for the position.

The GPVA has reserved meeting and cabin space at Pocahontas State Park for the June quarterly business meeting and retreat. Bunks are available for $15 per night. Members are encouraged to reserve a bunk early.

Howie Hawkins and Dean Myerson have both confirmed that they will give presentations/workshops during the retreat. "Witness for a Sustainable Economy," the Sierra Club, and the Virginia Organizing Commission were mentioned as groups who may be interested in participating in the retreat. Diversity training was proposed as a workshop idea. The widening of Interstate 81, rail and clean money in campaigns were suggested as topics for discussion at the retreat.

VI. Treasurer's Report - Presented by Jana Cutlip, Tom Yager and Kirit Mookerjee:

  • Thom Farrell has resigned as Treasurer.
  • Kirit Mookerjee has agreed to act as Treasurer until a new Treasurer can be elected.
  • All Locals have cashed their checks from the GPVA - there are no longer any co-mingled funds.
  • The current treasury balance is $1000.00.
  • The major expense of the GPVA has been the publication of the newsletter. The distribution of the newsletter, which is about to happen, will be another major expense.

VII. Press Secretary's Report:

  • The report was tabled as the Press Secretary, Roger Clarke, was not present.
  • It was noted that the Press Secretary has elsewhere expressed his willingness to work with Locals or GPVA members on press releases. In addition to GPVA press releases, it was also suggested that the press secretary forward selected GPUS press releases to Virginia media contacts.
  • It was agreed that we need press releases on this meeting, and on the candidates the GPVA has endorsed at this meeting.
  • There was also a brief discussion about ensuring that the state mailing list encompasses all of the locals' mailing lists. It was suggested that a copy of the state mailing list be sent to each local and that locals forward any updated lists to Susan Dridi.

VIII. Web/Information Technology Committee Report - Presented by Susan Dridi:

  • It's imperative that people with forwarding e-mail addresses (something@vagreenparty.org) keep the webmaster updated if their e-mail addresses change.
  • It's equally important that the webmaster be informed when Locals change their contact information, so that the state website can be updated with the most current information.
  • Low cost, high quality web hosting for GPVA Locals is available under the GPVA web pages directory, with the Green Internet Society. If your Local is interested, contact Susan Dridi, who will help facilitate setup with the Green Internet Society. A reliable, active webmaster who can be contacted in case of emergency is a must.
  • A message will be sent to all members of the GPVA, inviting them to join our new listservs and requesting them to verify or update their membership information.
  • There are a lot of upcoming IT projects. The web committee can use people who are interested in doing analysis of these projects. Technical expertise is not required, but a willingness to work is. Suggestions for the site are always welcome.
  • Please check the website for updates on announcements of business meetings, including agendas and the text of proposals, press releases, etc.

IX. GPUS Representatives Report - Presented by Don Durham, Mason Payne and Jana Cutlip:

The GPVA has two male co-representatives to the GPUS, Don Durham and Mason Payne, with only one voting on any given question. This system ensures that the GPVA will have its vote counted, if one or the other representative is not available.

Kathy Orion was the female representative to the GPUS. When Jana Cutlip, the alternate female representative, learned that Kathy had stopped fulfilling this role, she began voting as the female representative.

The most controversial question debated by the GPUS Coordinating Committee was the GPUS statement on the use of force. A response to this was necessary, in light of September 11, as GPUS spokespersons were continually asked for a response, given the Green stance of non-violence. Don Durham clarified that the statement was issued in response to the very narrow question, "given that the GPUS is an organization espousing non-violence, and that peace has broken down, what is the GPUS position on September 11?"

Most of the other proposals have been procedural, affecting the workings of the GPUS Coordinating Committee.

The GPVA should give the GPUS representatives better instructions and guidance on how to vote and make decisions. E-mails from the Coordinating Committee that reflect the tone of the discussion are forwarded to the gpva-ext@vagreenparty.org listserv, for comment by the members. Suggested changes in proposal language are sent by the representatives to the Coordinating Committee, other comments are not forwarded, but are used in decision making.

It's very important that GPVA members direct their comments to the GPVA GPUS representatives. Comments should NOT be sent directly to people on the Coordinating Committee.

The issue of the number of representatives the GPVA may send to the GPUS was raised. The GPVA may have up to three delegates to the GPUS, based on a formula involving affiliated Locals and Congressional Districts. Representatives may also become regional, based on clusters of Locals, instead of being statewide. It was decided that the question of how the GPVA makes decisions should be resolved before this question is addressed.

The next meeting of the GPUS is July 18-21 in Philadelphia, and the summer meeting will be held in Maine. Currently, GPUS representatives are responsible for paying for their own transportation, meals and lodgings for GPUS meetings; the GPVA does not pay for these expenses.

X. Approve Minutes

Several small corrections were made to the November 2000 minutes. The amended minutes were approved by consensus.

The December 2001 minutes were approved by consensus, with Jana Cutlip standing aside.

XI. Local Candidate Presentation - Don Langrehr for Mayor of Blacksburg

Don reminded the group that we must focus, as a group, on "why we are doing this." In the last Blacksburg mayoral race, only 411 people voted. Don quoted Ralph Nader, saying, "Run locally, to have a chance of winning."

Don is running on the issues of the Virginia Tech smokestack as a public health problem, and sprawl. A homeowner in Blacksburg, Don is aware of the problems of the local residents, and is campaigning on local issues.

Don believes that Green candidates must relate to their local constituency in practical terms. He recommends that other Green candidates run on two or three local issues, and hammer them home, without getting stuck on foreign policy or other non-local issues. We need to go on the offensive, bring a positive attitude to campaigning and focus on areas where we can win. The number one goal of Greens considering a run for office is to get on the ballot; once that has been accomplished, Greens who prefer activity over planning will lend support. Don also quoted from "Rules for Radicals" - "real radicals get a haircut." and cited the book as an excellent guidebook. He also suggested that we read the article in "The Nation" about the Green Party, from which he quoted several words of advice from Ralph Nader.

A motion was made for the GPVA to endorse his candidacy. The motion was accepted by consensus.

XII. Elect New Treasurer

A proposal to table this item until the June meeting was approved by consensus.

XIII. Elect New Female GPUS Representative

A proposal was made to keep Jana Cutlip in the role of female GPUS representative, to elect Daya Bill as alternate female GPUS representative, and to hold new elections in August. The proposal was approved by consensus.

XIV. Bylaw Amendment - Change Co-Clerk Title to Co-Chair

Consensus was blocked by Charlie Jordan who expressed concern about the accuracy of the new title. The motion was approved with 13 voting in favor of the change, two opposed and one abstention.

XV. Bylaw Amendment - Changes to Bylaws Ratification Procedures

Drop requirement to approve and ratify bylaw changes at two consecutive state meetings. Require advance notification of bylaw changes.

Article XVI. Amendments To The By-Laws - Currently States:

Amendments to these bylaws shall be made by consensus of those GPVA members present at any regular meeting, with a quorum that consists of at least one of the clerks or the Treasurer, and at least one member from each of 50% or more of affiliated locals.

If consensus cannot be achieved, a vote of three quarters or more shall affirm a decision. The amendments may be reviewed by Green Locals and will stand unless opposed by 25%of affiliated Green Locals before the next meeting of the GPVA which occurs 31 or more days after receipt of the minutes concerning the decision. In addition, amendments to these bylaws must be ratified at the next quarterly meeting of the GPVA to remain in effect.

Article XVI Amendments To The By-Laws - Proposal:

Proposals in final form for Amendments to these By-laws must be published to GPVA membership 31 days prior to the next state meeting. Bylaw amendments shall be made by consensus of those GPVA members present at any regular meeting, with a quorum that consists of at least one of the Clerks or the Treasurer, and at least one member from each of 50% or more of the affiliated locals.

If consensus cannot be achieved, a vote of three quarters or more shall affirm a decision. The amendments may be reviewed by Green Locals and will stand unless opposed by 25% or more of affiliated Green Locals before the next meeting of the GPVA which occurs 31 or more days after receipt of the minutes concerning the decision.

Consensus on this proposal was not attainable. The proposal passed, with 12 voting in favor of the proposal, two opposed and two abstentions.

XVI. Bylaw Amendment - Interim Committee Quorum

Proposal to bring the Interim Committee into compliance with standards for major decisions of the GPVA.

Article XVIII C Currently States:

One of the co-clerks shall be designated as the convener of the interim committee. This position may be alternated, as the co-clerks choose, upon notification of the other committee members. The convener shall facilitate discussions and certify and record any decisions as well as make reports to the meeting of the GPVA.

Proposed Addition to this Paragraph:

A quorum of the Interim Committee for conducting business shall be the same as that required for GPVA major decisions (see article VI.A).

This proposal passed by consensus.

XVII. Ratify Bylaw Change to XVIII A - Interim Committee

This item was withdrawn by consensus and not ratified. The bylaw will revert to its previous language.

At the December 15, 2001 business meeting, Article XVIII A of the bylaws was changed to:

A. The GPVA shall have an Interim Committee consisting of the co-clerks, treasurer, press secretary, and one representative from each affiliated local that wishes to be represented. Should any of the members of the Interim Committee resign or fail to participate, remaining members of the Interim Committee shall be enabled to act. The convener of the Interim Committee (See Item C) shall make reasonable efforts to contact Interim Committee members by e-mail and telephone prior to establishment of a working Interim Committee quorum. It is highly encouraged that all members of the Interim Committee have daily access to email, as this is currently the most cost-efficient, accurate, and democratic medium of communication available, and will be the main avenue of communication and decision-making.

The previous text of Article XVIII A was:

A. The GPVA shall have an Interim Committee consisting of the co-clerks, treasurer, press secretary, and one representative from each affiliated local that wishes to be represented. It is highly encouraged that all members of the Interim Committee have daily access to email as this is currently the most cost-efficient, accurate, and democratic medium of communication available and will be the main avenue of communication and decision-making.

XVIII. Ratify Bylaw Change to XVIII D - Interim Committee

This was enacted to bring the Interim Committee into compliance with standards for major decisions of the GPVA.

At the December 15, 2001 business meeting, Article XVIII D of the bylaws was changed to:

D. The Interim Committee shall strive for consensus in all of its decisions. If consensus is not achievable, then approval by 75% of Interim Committee members shall affirm a decision.

The previous text of Article XVIII D was:

D. The Interim Committee shall strive for consensus in all of its decisions. If consensus is not achievable then approval by all members of the committee minus one shall affirm a decision.

Charlie Jordan had a blocking concern that the bylaw change would change the nature of the Interim Committee from a rubber stamp group to a deliberative body.

The bylaw change was ratified by a vote of 15 in favor of the ratification, one opposed, and no abstentions.

XIX. Finance Committee Proposal

This is a bylaw addition. It will be placed after the Interim Committee bylaws, and before the Platform Revision bylaws. The Platform Revision bylaws will be renumbered as article XX.

Article XIX. Finance Committee

A. Definition

The GPVA shall have a Finance Committee, accountable to the GPVA and responsible for the overall planning and supervision of the financial affairs of the GPVA.

B. Composition

1. Each member of the Finance Committee must be a member of the GPVA.
2. The Finance Committee shall choose a Chairperson from among its members. The Chairperson shall be approved by the Interim Committee.
3. The GPVA Treasurer shall be a member of the Finance Committee.
4. The Interim Committee shall appoint one of its members, in addition to the Treasurer, to the Finance Committee.
5. Each Local may appoint one member to the Finance Committee.
6. Other members with financial expertise may join the Finance Committee by consensus or 75% vote of the Finance Committee members.
7. Each member of the Finance Committee shall serve a one year term.

C. Responsibilities

1. The Finance Committee shall meet at least quarterly.
2. The Finance Committee shall plan, organize and supervise the raising of funds for the Party.
3. The Finance Committee shall coordinate fundraising efforts with the Locals.
4. The Finance Committee shall prepare an annual budget to be presented by the Treasurer to the GPVA.
5. The Finance Committee shall report its activities at each GPVA quarterly business meeting.

To provide additional accountability to the body of the GPVA, the following bylaw should be changed:

Article IX. C. The duties of the Treasurer shall be as follows:

5. Prepare a yearly budget if requested by the GPVA.

Item 5 should be revised to:

5. Present the annual budget, as prepared by the Finance Committee, for approval by the GPVA at the appropriate state quarterly business meeting.

The above proposals were approved by consensus, with Charlie Jordan standing aside.

XX. Candidate Exploration Committee Proposal

The following proposal was presented as the basis for a working committee, with language to be added to the bylaws at a later date. The committee was approved by consensus.

A. Definition

The GPVA shall have a Candidate Exploration Committee, accountable to the GPVA and responsible for the encouragement of candidates for office from among all segments of the party. The Candidate Exploration Committee is not a selection committee. Candidates will receive the nomination or the endorsement of the GPVA as specified in the GPVA bylaws in adherence with the Code of Virginia.

B. Composition

1. Each member of the Candidate Exploration Committee must be a member of the GPVA.
2. The Candidate Exploration Committee shall choose a Chairperson from among its members. The Chairperson shall be approved by the Interim Committee.
3. Each Local may appoint one member to the Candidate Exploration Committee.
4. Other members will be accepted by consensus or 75% vote of the Committee.
5. Each member of the Candidate Exploration Committee shall serve a one year term.

C. Responsibilities

1. The Candidate Exploration Committee shall meet at least quarterly.
2. The Candidate Exploration Committee shall actively seek out and encourage potentially qualified candidates for all public offices.
3. The Candidate Exploration Committee shall communicate with locals of the GPVA, subject to the consent of the candidates, when potential local candidates are found.
4. The Candidate Exploration Committee shall communicate with the GPVA Co-Chairs and the Interim Committee, subject to the consent of the candidates, when potential statewide candidates are found.
5. The Candidate Exploration Committee shall acquaint all potential candidates with the requirements and duties of the office (both those requirements of the Green Party and the position the person is seeking to run for).
6. The Candidate Exploration Committee shall develop a state party plan to assist locals with organizing methods for recruiting and selecting candidates (i.e. primaries, mass meetings, conventions, and party canvasses).
7. The Candidate Exploration Committee shall develop and implement a strategy for assisting Green Party candidates who are running for office. This strategy shall include such issues as where to direct resources during election cycles (e.g. assisting a limited number of candidates to maximize the potential for victory or encouraging as many candidates as possible to run).
8. The Candidate Exploration Committee shall develop and offer Candidate Training Seminars. These seminars shall educate candidates in:

a. the basic requirements needed to run for a given office.
b. how to run an effective campaign.
c. Green Party rules governing their election.
d. Commonwealth of Virginia or federal requirements governing their election.

9. The Candidate Exploration Committee shall report its activities at each GPVA quarterly business meeting.

XXI. Newspaper

  • Bundles of the latest GPVA newspaper were distributed to members to take back to their Locals.
  • Help is needed in sending out the current newspaper - folding and attaching mailing labels.
  • Articles are needed for the next issue, which is due out on June 1, 2002. The submission deadline is May 1.
  • The group agreed that it would like pictures and a cartoon to appear in later editions along with a state calendar.
  • There is a Yahoo Group - gpvanews@yahoogroups.com for people interested in working on the newspaper.
  • A suggestion was made that the GPVA should put together a staff to work on the newspaper.
  • A call for volunteers for the newspaper is being put out to the Interim Committee.

XXII. Announcement of Proposal Regarding Representation at GPVA Business Meetings

  • The item was tabled, as the latest version of the proposal had not been received.
  • Support was expressed for the idea of representation at GPVA meetings, but the specifics of the proposal would need to be scrutinized and discussed.
  • A request was made for Eric Sheffield to post the proposal to the gpva-business list and the gov list.

XXIII. Platform Committee Proposal

Jeremy Good presented a proposal to form a Platform Committee. The group felt that there was not enough time to read the proposal for the first time and to give the specifics of the proposal ample consideration.

It was decided by consensus that informal discussion of a platform committee will take place via a new listserv. The listserv will be announced once it has been created.

It was decided by consensus that the platform committee will be discussed informally at the June retreat in Pocahontas State Park.

XXIV. Set Meeting Date for Third Quarterly Business Meeting of 2002

  • September 14, 2002 was selected as the date of the third quarterly business meeting of 2002.
  • A host location for the meeting is needed.
  • A call for a host will be sent to the Interim Committee.

XXV. Adjournment

Each participant in the meeting was given a moment to make a comment on the day. The meeting was adjourned.


Minutes GPVA

 


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