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State Meeting

Pocahontas State Park, Virginia
June 9, 2002

Participants

I. Preliminary Business

Quorum Established
Introductions
Facilitator - Jana Cutlip
Alternate Facilitator - Eric Sheffield
Vibes Watcher - Don Durham
Notetaker - Susan Dridi
Timekeeper - Charlotte Fritts
Ballot Counters - Don Durham, Mark Geduldig-Yatrofsky, Chris Fink

The following changes were made to the agenda, which was then approved:

Order of nominations for officers was changed to: Co-Chairs, Press Secretary, Treasurer.
The group agreed to work through lunch.
A proposal was made for local, officer and committee reports be submitted in writing to the notetaker within 48 hours of the meeting. This proposal was accepted by consensus.

II. Locals' Reports

Rockbridge Greens - Eric Sheffield

The Rockbridge Greens continue to meet quarterly for business. The next meeting is July 15, 7pm at the Rockbridge Regional Library.

After discussing possible responses to the events of 9/11, several Rockbridge Greens formed the Committee For Mid-East Understanding. The group has sponsored a series of educational forums including speakers on the history and current situation of the area, international law, and a video/discussion of the role of the CIA since WW II.

Rockbridge Green, Kathy O'Hara, has started the area's first Community Supported Agriculture program at her Second Nature farm. Kathy made a presentation at our last business meeting and received advice on marketing and permission to do a mailing to our members. The program has been a big success with Kathy cutting off applications after signing up 35 subscribers for the weekly vegetables.

Several Greens are still quite active on the board of Hull's Angels which runs America's only community-owned, non-profit drive-in theatre. In their second season the Angels completed purchase of the business last year and did about $150,000 in business and $20,000 fundraising.

The Rockbridge Greens recently applied for and received affiliation with the Big Island Federal Credit Union. Rockbridge Greens will now be eligible to become members of the credit union, which recently opened a branch in Buena Vista.

Rockbridge Green, Phil Welch, has resigned from his elected position on the Natural Bridge Soil and Water Conservation District Board. Rockbridge Green, Eric Sheffield, has been appointed to the Rockbridge County Public Service Authority Board.

Tidewater Greens - Mark Geduldig-Yatrofsky

The Tidewater Greens have three initiatives underway or in the works:

Underway:

1) working in coalition with anti-tax and environmental groups to defeat the Hampton Roads transportation referendum in November; and

2) working to ensure that the residents of a low-income, privately-owned housing project in Portsmouth receive relocation assistance and do not get pushed into homelessness (some 400 families received 30-day eviction notices at the end of May)

In the works:

1) an initiative in partnership with other interested groups to create a waterway-to-waterway bicycle route from downtown Norfolk to Ocean View.

Arlington Courthouse Greens - Susan Dridi & Kirit Mookerjee

The Arlington Courthouse Greens have been busy doing outreach to new and existing members. ACG has also been working on building partnerships with area progressive organizations. Work continued on the "In the Darkness of the Hour" seminars. Other projects were considered.

Fredericksburg Greens - Chris Fink

The Fredericksburg Greens, our newest Local, has planned a Community Fair. Local activists have been invited to set up tables at the event, which will take place in a local park.

Central Virginia Greens - Daya Bill & Jana Cutlip

The Central Virginia Greens have been involved in outreach and are currently engaged in building the Local into a stronger organization.

At Large Greens

Winchester - Charlotte Fritts

Engaged in contacting area Greens to form a new Local. Met with Ann Robinson to assist in her campaign.

Valley Greens - Nikitah Imani

Involved in alternative media. Many positive things related to Green issues are happening.

III. Co-Chairs' Report

Jana Cutlip & Tom Yager

We need more education on the issues.

Some highlights from the last quarter:

Tom Yager and Kirit Mookerjee appeared on a cable access show in Reston, VA.
A new Local is forming in Abingdon.
Most of the minutes from previous meetings, which had been previously unavailable, have been approved and published.

IV. Treasurer's Report

Kirit Mookerjee

The GPVA account balance is $234.89.
Most of the expenses have been due to the newspaper.
Importance of fundraising was stressed.

Charlie Jordan would like to see a profit and loss statement and a balance sheet in writing.

V. Finance Committee Report

Don Durham

A fundraising letter to follow the newsletter has been sent to the Co-Chairs for editing. The letter is scheduled to be sent out in the next week.
We need to quantify the needs of the GPVA in order to set fundraising goals.
Fundraising questions can be addressed to the Committee Chair, whose address is on the website.
Current Finance Committee members: Jana Cutlip, Don Durham, Kirit Mookerjee, Jim Polk, Jeremy Good.
Locals are encouraged to appoint representatives to the Finance Committee.
Finance Committee members are encouraged to donate to the GPVA.

VI. Press Secretary's Report

Roger Clarke

Tabled due to the absence of the Press Secretary.

VII. Web Committee Report

Susan Dridi

It's urgent that people with vagreenparty.org forwarding e-mail addresses keep the webmaster informed of any e-mail address changes. Likewise, if the Locals change their contact information, the webmaster needs to be informed.

We have switched our listserv software from Majordomo to Mailman. This is a huge improvement. Members have a choice of reading GPVA mail on a website or in their in-box. Archives of all message are kept.

New listsevs have been created for the Finance Committee, the Candidate Exploration Committee and the Platform Committee. Web pages, with contact information, have been created for all GPVA committees.

The GPVA membership database has been cleaned up via National Change of Address processing. Cleanup and verification of membership continues. All Local contacts are requested to let me know which counties they serve, so that the Locals can invite area "At Large" members to join them.

The website exists as a communication resource for GPVA members, and as such, suggestions are always welcome. Just send a message to webmaster@vagreenparty.org.

VIII. GPUS Representatives's Report

Jana Cutlip & Don Durham

The Green Party of the United States will hold its midterm convention July 17 - July 20, 2002 in Philadelphia, PA. The decision making meeting will be held on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, workshops on candidate preparation, fundraising and other topics will be held. Anyone can observe on Friday. Everyone is encouraged to attend the events on Saturday and Sunday. See the GPUS website.

We need to find a way to get GPUS info to the Locals.

How can Green in Virginia join GPUS committees? There is a list of GPUS committees on the GPUS website. There are no quotas for members by state. GPVA must affirm committee members from Virginia via our own process. We don't have a specific process for affirming members. Committee members are not representatives of their state, they are merely affirmed by the state. The GPVA can mandate that members we affirm act as we see fit. If you are interested in joining a GPUS committee, please see the GPUS website, read the committee regulations and contact the Chair of the committee you would like to join.

IX. Campus Greens' Report

Charlotte Fritts & Jana Cutlip

We may be able to get a representative from the Campus Greens to attend our next meeting.
Jana has bundles of Campus Greens newspapers.

X. GPVA Officer Nominations

Treasurer - Kirit Mookerjee, Charlie Jordan
Press Secretary - Scott Burger, Chris Fink, Mason Payne
Female Co-Chair - Jana Cutlip
Male Co-Chair - Mason Payne, Tom Yager

XI. Approve Minutes from 3/23/02 Meeting

There was concern about item 14 of the minutes. This item will be marked, "approval pending".Charlie Jordan and other concerned persons will work out the new language. With that revision, the minutes were approved.

XII. Location of Next Meeting

The Fredericksburg Greens will host the next Quarterly Business Meeting, scheduled for September 14, 2002. An announcement about the location will be made within two weeks.

XIII. Election of GPVA Officers

Elections were held by secret ballot, using instant runoff voting, with none of the above (NOTA) as an option. Elections for each office were held individually, with the results being announced before voting on the next office. For each office, a majority was acheived on the first ballot. The three ballot counters verified each other's work.

Male CoChair:
Mason Payne was elected with 8 votes. Tom Yager had 4 votes, Nikitah Imani had 1 write in vote and there was 1 NOTA vote.

Female CoChair:
Jana Cutlip was elected with 9 votes. Daya Bill had 1 write in vote, Dana Woods had 1 write in vote. There was 1 NOTA vote and 2 ballots were blank.

Treasurer:
Kirit Mookerjee was elected with 12 votes. Jim Polk had two write in votes.

Press Secretary:
Chris Fink was elected with 11 votes. Scott Burger had 2 votes and Alex Cutlip had 1 write in vote.

XIV. Local Representation By-Law Change

The following proposal was presented by Eric Sheffield of the Rockbridge Greens:

Add the following sections to Article IV. of the GPVA bylaws:

IV. LOCALS OF THE GREEN PARTY OF VIRGINIA (GREEN LOCALS)

G. Each affiliated Green Local (including the At-Large Local), through an inclusive democratic process, shall elect or appoint two representatives (Local Representatives), and any number of alternates, to the GPVA. An affirmation of such election/appointment signed by three members of the Local, shall be required for the Local Representatives to be recognized by the GPVA.

H. In order to ensure gender balance at its meetings and to encourage the development of leaders of both sexes, the GPVA will only recognize two acting representatives of a Local if the delegation is gender balanced. Otherwise, only one representative will be recognized.

Amend sections A and B of Article VI. of the GPVA Bylaws: (Changes are in bold text.)

VI. MEETINGS AND DECISION MAKING

A. Decisions shall be by consensus of those Local Representatives [delete-GPVA members] and GPVA Officers present. For major decisions, there must be a quorum which consists of at least one of the Chairs or the Treasurer, and at least one Local Representative [delete-member] each of 50% or more of the affiliated locals. Locals which have no representative present and have not sent representatives to either of the two preceding business meetings of the GPVA will not be counted for purposes of the 50% quorum requirement. If consensus cannot be achieved, a vote of three-quarters or more shall affirm a decision. Minor decisions (Article VII.B.) shall require a simple majority for affirmation.

B. Consensus and voting are recorded according to the wishes of Local Representatives [delete-GPVA members] and GPVA Officers attending a GPVA meeting. Decisions of Green locals will be considered in the process but do not directly affect consensus or voting.

Add the following sections to Article VI. of the GPVA Bylaws:

F. Direct participation in decision making at GPVA meetings shall be limited to Local Representatives, acting alternates and GPVA Officers. Other GPVA members as well as the public are encouraged to attend GPVA meetings and members are encouraged to consult with their local representatives both before and during the meetings.

An open comment period will be scheduled for each meeting, at which time any GPVA member or member of the public (time permitting) may address the meeting. Observers may be given further opportunity to comment or ask questions at times that the local representatives deem appropriate.

G. The agenda and any proposals to be presented at a GPVA meeting, should be distributed to the Local Contacts at least 31 days prior to the meeting. Items which have not been distributed 31 days prior to the meeting, may be placed on the agenda by consensus or a vote of three-quarters or more. Items added in this way which regard Bylaw amendments are subject to the requirements for Bylaw amendments in Article XVI and will be placed on the agenda for discussion only.

Summary of Eric's introductory remarks:
Much discussion by GPVA members, via listservs, e-mail and in Local meetings, has resulted in the current version of this proposal. Other proposals may be added in the future dealing with proportional representation of Locals, the composition of a nomination convention and allowing some decision making meetings to be open to all.

Discussion:

Nikitah Imani - The proposal does not allow unrepresented people to vote. Why limit direct participation and decision making, as opposed to voting. Not opposed to voting being limited to representatives, but participation in discussions should not be limited. It's a mistake to confuse experience with incumbancy. Consider the use of executive sessions for purely administrative decisions. Likes the agenda being published in advance.

Kirit Mookerjee - How will this proposal improve attendance at state meetings?

Daya Bill - Doesn't like the provision that only representatives can comment on decisions at hand. Also notes that some states don't allow "At Large" Locals. The GPVA has a process in its bylaws to deal with disruptive members, if that is one of the motivations for this proposal.

Tom Yager - Has been working on trying to get "At Large" members into new or existing Locals.

Mark Geduldig-Yatrofsky - We should have participating members and deciding members. If we use consensus, then all can participate, otherwise, only representatives can vote. Expressed concern about the definition of a GPVA member and a need for showing ID.

Don Durham - The existence of the "At Large" Local is a huge disincentive for the formation of new Locals.

Chris Fink - We should make it more difficult to amend the bylaws. Suggested changing article IV. G to "up to two representatives."

Charlie Jordan - Suggested refering the proposal to the SRC. The current proposal does not promote diversity.

Jana Cutlip - Has Rockbridge done research on other state's processes and were there any models like this. How do we handle "At Large" members?

Alex Cutlip - Recommends term limits and mandatory training for representatives.

Kirit Mookerjee - All members attending a state meeting may participate in consensus process. Only representative can vote, if consensus cannot be acheived. All can participate in discussion.

Susan Dridi - If the proposal has been created to solve time limitations, it should be noted that time limits are built into our agenda. Time limits are also part of consensus process.

Jeremy - proposed the following amendment:

1. Every other quarterly state business meeting shall be open to the full participation of all Green Party members.

2. Candidate nominations and endorsements, elections of officers and bylaw changes can only be approved at meetings which are open to all Green Party of Virginia members.

3. The two open meetings ought to be 1) The annual retreat (which will allow a consensus training workshop to precede the meeting) and 2) a yearly convention or primary in which GPVA candidates and officers are chosen.

Eric's Responses to the Above Concerns:

Not sure how to organize "At Large" members - it should be up to them.
Regarding people not being able to participate - it's also the case that people who can't attend a meeting are not able to take part in the decision making. With this proposal, these people can participate via their representatives.
Regarind the disruption of meetings - while we do have a By-Law that deals with this issue, it's not easy to enforce the removal of members from a meeting. This has happened in the past.
Rockbridge discussed allowing consensus by all and found it less desirable than the current proposal. Rockbridge is not entirely opposed to using consensus by all.
We need to be concerned about infiltration by other Parties - the example of Washington State comes to mind.
Term limits and mandatory training for representatives is a good idea, which could be added.

A straw poll of the Local Representation, the proposal for consensus by all, with voting done by local representatives (with the elimination of item VI. F) and the proposal from Jeremy Good was taken. The straw poll consisted of three separate votes, with each proposal judged solely on its own merits and not in competition with the other two proposals.

Results:

1. Rockbridge Proposal, as stated above: 3 in favor, 8 opposed, 3 stand asides.
2. All may participate in consensus, only local reps may vote: 10 in favor, 3 opposed, 2 stand asides.
3. Jeremy Good's proposal: 4 in favor, 6 opposed, 5 stand asides.

The question was called on the proposal to amend the Rockbridge Proposal to allow all to participate in consensus and discussion, with only Local Representatives allowed to vote.

The following concerns were unresolved:

1. The three proposals need to be unified.
2. Term limits and training needed to be addressed.
3. The Candidate Exploration Committee is responsible for Nominating Conventions, allowing for a potential conflict.

The proposal was sent to the SRC to reconcile the amendments.

XV. Candidate Nominations - S. Ann Robinson

Jeremy Good read a he personally sent to S. Ann Robinson. Materials on Ann's candidacy and positions were distributed. Ann was not present at the meeting, as her petition drive was still ongoing. As she could not be present, she did not want to ask for the GPVA nomination.

A proposal was made to nominate S. Ann Robinson as the GPVA candidate for U.S. Congress in the 10th District, subject to her acceptance. Charlie Jordan had questions about the technicalities of this nomination. Don Durham pointed out that those questions were beyond the scope of this meeting.

The proposal was accepted. Pending Ann's approval, the Chair of the GPVA Central Committee will be instructed to notify the SBE of the GPVA nomination of S. Ann Robinson for U.S. Congress in the 10th District.

XVI. Agenda Revisions Due to Time Constraints

A motion to table the agenda item on the platform committee and send it to the SRC was made and approved.
A motion to table the newspaper agenda item and send it to the IC was made and approved.

XVII. Candidate Nominations - Gail Crook

Gail Crook gave a brief presentation on the issues she is running on, followed by a question and answer period. Materials on her campaign were distributed.

The group wished her well but declined to nominate Gail as the Green candidate for Senate.

XVIII. Candidate Nominations - Jeremy Good

Jeremy Good previously announced his withdrawal from the race for U.S. Senate.
Charlie Jordan nominated Jeremy Good for U.S. Senate.
Jeremy declined the nomination.

XIX. Candidate Nominations - D.C. Amarasinghe

Jeremy Good nominated D.C. Amarasinghe for U.S. Congress, 2nd District. Dr. Amarasinghe was not present, but was contact by cell phone. D.C. indicated his willingness to be considered by the GPVA for nomination and also answered some questions. Materials on D.C. Amarasinghe's candidacy were distributed.

Questions were raised about why D.C. wasn't present at this meeting, and whether D.C. had been nominated by his Local.

Nikatah Imani reminded us that the GPVA had nominated him before, and that his platform was available for us.

Mark Geduldig-Yatrofsky's concerns relative to the nomination of D. C. Amarasinghe for House of Representatives in the Second District are:

1) he did not share his plans with his local colleagues until June 5, when he wrote the following message:

    Hi Friends:

    I am going to run for the US Congress in the 2nd district as an Independent, and I would like your support.The 2nd district includes all of Virginia Beach and eastern half of Norfolk east of Military highway also the area North of Little creek rd. and Terminal blvd.

    On Friday the 7th at 7:30 AM I will be on WNIS AM 790 with Tony Mcriney making my announcement as a candidate for the House of Representatives 2nd district. I will be running as an Independent. Call me if ou have questions.

    D.C.Amarasinghe,M.D.

Please note that he twice described his candidacy as "Independent" rather than Green.

2) He apparently did not start the signature gathering until very late in the process, indicating a lack of preparation for what needs to be a well thought out effort.

3) In the mobile telephone conversation I had with him during the GPVA meeting on Sunday, he told me that he had sought, and failed to receive, the Democratic Party nomination before he turned to us. I am uncomfortable with our support being an afterthought.

A vote was called.

A proposal was passed to nominate D.C. Amarasinghe for U.S. Congress, 2nd District, subject to his submitting sufficient signatures to get on the ballot. The Chair of the GPVA Central Committee will be instructed to notify the SBE.

XX. By-Law Change - Delete References to Levies on Locals

The following proposal was presented to ensure that the GPVA was complying with laws regarding finances.

Delete Article XI from the Bylaws of the GPVA.

XI. DUES AND EXPENSES

A. The GPVA will collect dues from members of the Greens of Virginia at-large local plus a levy on each Green Local.

B. A levy shall be assessed to each Green Local to cover approved expenses. The levy shall be based on the number of members in each local, and be paid in two installments each year. The suggested levy will be set annually by the GPVA. Members of Green Locals may pay their dues to GPVA and request that any or all amounts over the levy amount be returned to the local.

C. Reimbursement of expenses related to quarterly GPVA meetings, including meals, lodging, printing and room rental, will be the responsibility of the sponsoring local.

D. Additional fund-raising by the Green Party of Virginia may take place and be used for such purposes as assisting Green candidates for office.

Delete the following phrase from Article IV. F - dealing with the disaffiliation of Locals:

", nor expected to pay state dues levies"

Eric Sheffield was concerned about where the GPVA was going to get money for GPVA operating expenses.
It was pointed out that the Finance Committee is responsible for fundraising.
Charlie Jordan believes that levies are good, and is not convinced that the system of levies is illegal.

Lacking consensus, a vote was called.

In Favor - 9, Opposed - 3, Abstentions - 1

The proposal was passed.

XXI. 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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