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State Meeting

Fredericksburg, Virginia
September 14, 2002

Participants:

Arlington Courthouse Greens: Susan Dridi, Kirit Mookerjee, Tom Yager
Blue Ridge Greens: Cindy Bowles, Charlie Jordan
Central Virginia Greens: Roger Clarke, Jana Cutlip
Fredericksburg Greens: Scott Brooks, Chris Fink, Joanne Moore, Harry Nielsen, Ann Tipton
Loudoun Greens: David Gaines
NOVA Greens: Jim Lowenstern
Richmond Greens: Scott Burger, Mason Payne
Rockbridge Greens: Katherine Lueptow, Eric Sheffield
At-Large Greens: Roger Hopper

I. Call to Order

Facilitated by state co-chair Jana Cutlip.
Selected Chris Fink as timekeeper and Tom Yager as note taker.

II. Agenda

The group accepted the agenda with the following modifications:
  • The discussion of the Winchester Greens’ affiliation was postponed until the next meeting and was replaced with the discussion of the nomination of Harry Nielsen for the 1st Congressional District.
  • The nomination of Harry Nielsen was moved from 3:45 PM to 1:00 PM.
  • The report on the Campus Greens was postponed until the next meeting.
  • The discussion of the minutes from the GPVA meeting on June 9th, 2002 was postponed until the next meeting.

III. Local Reports

Arlington Courthouse Greens
  • Sponsoring In the Darkness of the Hour, which is a peace and justice workshop dealing with the death penalty, economic justice, electoral reform, and access to the media.
  • Working on outreach to other groups.
Blue Ridge Greens

We have recently been the focus of a lively dialogue among area mountain bikers regarding the Green Party position on recreational use of wildlands and mountain biking in particular. Various opinions/positions/prejudices towards and about the Green Party and what our position on this issue might be have been posted on a local mountain biking bulletin board after one of our members who is a biker posted a simple announcement of the Blue Ridge Greens meeting. This resulted in one of their group who is not a Green member attending our last meeting and offering to work with us on drafting a position statement on the issue.

The bottom line is that there were a lot of bicyclists who assumed that they knew who the Greens were and what they stood for, based on limited or erroneous information. They assumed Greens would automatically side with environmentalists who mountain bikers find themselves in adversarial positions with regarding recreational use of forest and other wildlands. Recreational cyclists, both on- and off-road, are a significantly large group of constituents in the Roanoke Valley and they feel that local government has shown little respect for their interests.

The Blue Ridge Greens are also working with Quakers and Unitarians opposed to military action in Iraq. They participated in a dialogue among people who disagree about the war.

Central Virginia Greens

  • Attended a peace rally in Charlottesville.
  • Started a new website, passed bylaws, and elected new officers.
Fredericksburg Greens

In late June of this year, the Ferdericksburg local organized a successful Community Organizations Festival, to give local civic-minded groups a chance to present their causes to the public. In the process, we made some good contacts and learned not only about the issues which drive each group individually, but about the concerns (dearth of public funding, lack of volunteerism, etc.) which are problematic for all. We hope to make this a yearly event.

Loudoun Greens

  • Came close to getting Ann Robinson on the ballot for the 10th Congressional District.
  • The ballot drive caused the Democratic Party to nominate a young, progressive candidate in the 10th District, which they had previously not planned to contest.
  • Will have first fall meeting.
  • Sponsoring environmental essay contest in local public schools.
  • Have good relationships with local schools and organizations.
NOVA Greens
  • Had a picnic at Potomac Overlook Park; sponsored solar power project.
  • Alexandria sublocal involved in Arlington Courthouse Greens’ workshop.
Richmond Greens
  • Living wage is gaining political clout
  • Working on noise pollution
  • Need to work for funding for environmental issues.
  • State needs to encourage localities to decrease water use.
  • Co-sponsored candidate forum with Libertarian Party and Virginia Center for Public Press.
  • Planning fundraiser on Election night.
  • Had summit with Libertarians. Greens tend to be in city and Libertarians in the suburbs.
Rockbridge Greens
  • Highly visible; recently held festival.
  • Generated one-fourth of local signatures urging U.S. not to go to war with Iraq.
  • Held event in Buena Vista about war with Iraq; thanked Sen. Warner for holding hearings.
  • Both candidates in special election for 24th District of State Senate agreed to speak with Greens.
  • Rockbridge Greens sit on five county boards; one is elected.
  • All five seats on County Board of Supervisors open.

IV. Co-chairs’ Report

  • Discussed Presidential Exploration Committee Survey.
  • The GPVA is the fastest growing state Green Party.

V. Treasurer’s Report/Finance Committee Report

The balance in the GPVA Operating Fund as of September 10, 2002 is $484.41. Recent transactions include deposit of donations of $155.00 including $95.00 cash from last state meeting. Recent expenditures include $33.52 for printing of labels for next mailing to members (likely to be fundraising letter).

Priority is to elect a new Chairman of the Finance Committee and finalize the language of the fundraising letter especially reference to dues (given GPUS advice not to make mandatory). Second, Finance Committee should decide on joint fundraisers with participating locals to split proceeds to state/local treasuries. Third, in conjunction with the Structural Reform Committee, Treasurer will undertake a report on the legal requirements of setting up a political action committee to support GPVA candidates for office.

Nikitah Imani and Jeremy Good have asked to be on the Finance Committee; locals need to appoint members. A listserv has been set up for all committee members.

VI. Discussion of Fundraising Letter

  • Discussed the possibility of joint fundraising letter with GPUS, as well as the GPVA doing its own letter.
  • Jeremy Good agreed to pay for return stamps.
  • Eric Sheffield: The Rockbridge Greens will give $100 to support the newspaper; they did not want to participate in the fundraising letter.
  • Jana Cutlip: Asked for submission of Rockbridge Greens’ minutes about decision to not participate.
  • Jim Lowenstern: Withdrew proposal for joint fundraising letter with GPUS.
  • Susan Dridi: Proposed that the GPVA send its own letter to part of the mailing list excluding the members of the Rockbridge Greens; the details of the letter would be determined by the Finance Committee.
  • Jim Lowenstern: Seconded Susan’s proposal.
  • Roger Clarke: Concerned that the Rockbridge Greens were receiving special treatment; the proposal as it stood called into question the relationship between the state and the locals. Felt that concerns were sufficient to block consensus.
  • Vote to override block passed, with 16 votes in favor and 1 against.
  • Roger Clarke: Not enough time was given to deal with the blocking concern.

VII. Press Secretary’s Report

  • Press release for D.C. Amerasinghe, Green Candidate for 2nd Congressional District, has been put out.
  • Articles and press releases are on the GPVA website.
  • Complied databases from previous press secretaries and asked for information about local events.
  • Getting Green Party of the United States (GPUS) press releases; need to find out if they are going to GPVA press secretary’s database.
  • Submitted article to Green Pages, which is a GPUS publication.
Roger Clarke of the Central Virginia Greens proposed a press release about the Mattaponi opposing the construction of a dam. The proposal was accepted by consensus.

Discussion of press release process:

  • Susan Dridi: How does the press release process work?
  • David Gaines: Would the press secretary ask for Interim Committee approval?
  • Jim Lowenstern: The press secretary has been autonomous.
  • Scott Burger: Is there a "Green Clippings" list similar to what Libertarians do?

VIII. Web Committee Report

  • If locals change local contact information, they must let Susan Dridi know as soon as possible; this is important for party building.
  • Susan wants to put a field in the GPVA new member application for volunteer activities.
  • Susan has converted the listservs to Mailman- they can be read on the Web instead of getting them on e-mail. She plans to convert the Structural Reform Committee listserv soon.
  • Many locals are on the Green Internet Society. Contact Susan for more information; locals need to be sure that they want the service before requesting it.
  • 64 people are on the gpva-announce list and about 25 on the gpva-business list.
Other projects are listed below; help and input are always needed:
  • Database cleanup; establishing which locals are in which counties.
  • Expanding committee pages; starting issue advocacy and outreach pages.
  • Electoral archives.
  • Electronic donations.
  • Privacy policy; need to contact a lawyer.
  • How to start a local.
  • On-line surveys.
  • Supply of technical people to help with campaigns.
  • Translation to Spanish.

IX. GPUS Representatives Report

  • The GPUS was working on its platform; it is holding off on this until dealing with other issues such as the peace tax.
  • Mason attended the GPUS convention in Philadelphia.

X. Nomination of Harry Nielsen for 1st Congressional District

Harry Nielsen argued that Gov. Warner’s decision to not oppose four Republican members of Congress in 2002 undermined the principles of democracy. Planned to make public financing for Congressional and state elections his most important issue.

Harry Nielsen was nominated by consensus.

XI. Discussion of Newspaper

The group discussed the importance of getting the newspaper out again.
  • Kirit Mookerjee: The GPVA should establish a formal committee to deal with the newspaper; it’s acceptable to empower Chris for now.
  • Scott Burger, Roger Clarke, Jana Cutlip, David Gaines, and Mason Payne agreed to serve on the committee.
  • Chris Fink was accepted as editor by consensus.

XII. Reorganization of Bylaws

Susan Dridi: Proposed that the bylaws be reorganized to groups like items together and to remove redundancy; content remains unchanged.
  • The new version is available at http://www.vagreenparty.org/bylaws.html
  • The old version is available at http://www.vagreenparty.org/bylaws-old.html
  • Mason Payne: Commended Susan on her work.
  • Jana: Proposed that GPVA endorse the bylaws changes; every local would go over the new and old versions of the bylaws before the next state meeting. If 25% of the locals do not oppose the changes by then, the revised bylaws will stand.
  • Proposal accepted by consensus with David Gaines standing aside.

XIII. Local Representation Proposal

Completely new sections of the bylaws are capitalized; revisions of existing sections are not.
    The text of the proposed Article IV.G:

    "G. EACH LOCAL, THROUGH AN INCLUSIVE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS, SHALL ELECT OR APPOINT UP TO TWO REPRESENTATIVES (LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES), AND ANY NUMBER OF ALTERNATES, TO THE GPVA IN ADVANCE OF THE MEETING. AN AFFIRMATION OF SUCH ELECTION/APPOINTMENT SIGNED BY THREE MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL SHALL BE REQUIRED AT EACH MEETING FOR THE LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES TO BE RECOGNIZED BY THE GPVA."

    The text of the proposed Article IV.H:

    "H. THE GPVA STRONGLY ENCOURAGES ITS LOCALS TO PROMOTE GENDER BALANCE AND DIVERSITY IN THE SELECTION OF ITS LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES."

    The previous text of Article VI:

    "A. Decisions shall be by consensus of those GPVA members 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 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 GPVA members attending a GPVA meeting. Decisions of Green locals will be considered in the process but do not directly affect consensus or voting.

    C. Participants in meetings of the GPVA are expected to treat each other with gentleness and consideration. Persons who violate this standard may be asked to remain silent and/or leave the meeting.

    D. The Chairs of the GPVA (Article VIII.) may call an unscheduled meeting of the GPVA with the concurrence of ten other GPVA members. A good-faith effort must be made to publicize this meeting to all GPVA members.

    E. A future meeting date or continuance of a meeting may be set at any meeting of the GPVA, and will be publicized to the contact person for each local."

    The proposed new text of Article VI:

    "A. 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 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.

    B. Decisions shall be by consensus of those GPVA members present, unless it is determined that consensus cannot be achieved. If consensus cannot be achieved, a vote of three-quarters or more of local representatives and GPVA officers shall affirm a decision.

    C. Minor decisions (Article VII.B.) shall require a simple majority by the local representatives and officers for affirmation.

    D. Participants in meetings of the GPVA are expected to treat each other with gentleness and consideration. Persons who violate this standard may be asked to remain silent and/or leave the meeting.

    E. The Chairs of the GPVA (Article VIII.) may call an unscheduled meeting of the GPVA with the concurrence of ten other GPVA members. A good-faith effort must be made to publicize this meeting to all GPVA members.

    F. A future meeting date or continuance of a meeting may be set at any meeting of the GPVA, and will be publicized to the contact person for each local."

    G. THE AGENDA AND ANY PROPOSALS TO BE PRESENTED AT A GPVA MEETING MUST 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 MAJORITY VOTE. AGENDA 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."

Local representation proposal failed with 5 votes in favor, 6 opposed, and 6 abstaining.

XIII. Deletion of References to Technology in Bylaws

Deletion of references to specific forms of technology in bylaws adopted by consensus with Charlie Jordan standing aside. Articles affected were IV.F, X.D, XVI.C.3, XVII.A, XVII.F, and XIX.A.3.

XIV. Platform Committee Proposal

Ad hoc platform committee created with 14 votes in favor, 1 opposed


Minutes GPVA

 


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Latest Update: June 16 , 2010