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State Meeting

Leesburg, Virginia
December 7, 2002

I. Quorum Established

Quorum was maintained throughout the meeting.

The meeting participants were:

Mason Payne - Richmond Greens, GPVA Co-Chair
Jim Lowenstern - NOVA Greens
Daya Bill - Central Virginia Greens
Charles Murn - Central Virginia Greens
Roger Clarke - Central Virginia Greens
Susan Dridi - ArlingtonCourthouse Greens
Kirit Mookerjee - Arlington Courthouse Greens, GPVA Treasurer
Tom Yager - Arlington Courthouse Greens
Jim Polk - Greens at Large
Judith H'Ohrmaycht - Greens at Large
Ronald Holder - NOVA Greens
Joseph Oddo - Greens at Large
Ann Robinson - Loudoun Greens
Dave Gaines - Loudoun Greens
Christopher Fink - Fredericksburg Greens
Carey Campbell - Greens at Large

II. Introduction

Selections for:

Facilitator - Mason Payne
Note-Takers - Jim Lowenstern, Carey Campbell
Time-Keeper - Carey Campbell
Vibes-Watcher - David Gaines

III. Local Reports

Arlington Courthouse Greens Report
Submitted by Susan Dridi

The Arlington Courthouse Greens, along with Greens from Alexandria, held "In the Darkness of the Hour - a Workshop and Call to Action" in late September. Representatives from the Center for Voting and Democracy, the Northern Virginia Jobs with Justice Coalition, Transfair USA and the WPFW (Pacifica) Local Advisory Board each gave a presentation on the topics of Electoral Reform, Economic Justice, and Independent Media and then engaged in discussion with the participants. Several members of the ACG were interviewed on WPFW.

The economic justice presentation blossomed into a living wage campaign, which is in the planning stages.

ACG, along with NOVA, is working with the Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth, to propose a solution to the region's transportation and pollution problems. ACG is in the preliminary planning stages of a series of "Town Hall" meetings on the issue.

Our goal is to increase name recognition for the Green Party, to build trust with local progressive organizations, and to eventually cultivate candidates from members or partners who have experience with and understanding of local issues.

ACG recently developed a relationship with a local reporter for the Arlington Connection. A recent article featured the third party perspective on the 2002 elections.

As always, we are trying to build our membership, and to add to our organizing tools.

Fredericksburg Green Party Report
Submitted by Chris Fink

After a string of setbacks and wounds to our reputation, all officer positions within the Fredericksburg Green Party have been recalled. Officer positions will eventually be reinstated after we have ratified a set of by-laws. We will NOT be attempting any more public events for a while. We will still meet at our regular time and place (1st and 3rd Sundays of every month in meeting room #2 of the downtown F'burg library), but we will be taking a vastly different tack. It has become clear that we are attempting to grow too rapidly, via public events which we haven't the resources to adequately pull off. We are supposed to give the community a voice in local politics, but we haven't been learning how local politics works, and we haven't been coordinating effectively with the community. The new strategy is therefore geared toward slow, steady progress, by recruitment on a one-to-one basis, ACTIVE involvement in community matters, and identification of well- defined, specific, and attainable goals which we address one at a time. The outline is as follows (we will be working on all of these simultaneously):

a) VOLUNTEERISM : We have a database of 75 local social service organizations. This has been posted via the email listserves, and all FGP members are encouraged to choose one of them to personally volunteer their time for, and a minimum of five for which they will simply act as contacts and keep track of their upcoming activities. The direct volunteerism will show our dedication to the community, and the information we receive from the other organizations will provide the membership as a whole a calendar of events, at which we can either show up as a group, do some tabling, or volunteer our efforts. The website calendar has been expanded for this purpose.

b) INTERNAL AFFAIRS : There is still some unfinished business in this area, namely a set of BY-LAWS, a strategy to ensure a steady FUNDING scheme, and our PLATFORM. A sample set of bylaws has been distributed to our members, and we are in the process of adapting it to our needs via consensus. We have a dues/worktime scheme on the table for further discussion, and our platform is in progress as well. We have selected 10 general platform topics, and at each meeting since the new strategy has been adopted we have been diligent about addressing one of these topics. The topic for each meeting is posted in advance, and the membership encouraged to present a list of specific items to be added. Each item is considered individually, and every member has veto power. Additional items under a topic will be addressed as amendments after all topics have been considered.

c) POLITICAL PRESENCE : All FGP members are encouraged to attend the regular meetings of their local (city or county) government, take notes on the issues, learn about the process and the players, and report to the group any items which may form the basis for group action. We are also putting together one-page outlines for each governmental body, describing its hierarchy, meeting times, main departments, and how proposals are submitted. This will come in handy when our platform is complete, as we will be able to fight for the inclusion of particular platform items into public policy.

Loudoun Green Report
Presented by Ann Robinson

Ann Robinson is director of Soil and Water Board, Loudoun Greens are writing and getting published letters to the editors , working with elected officials on smart growth issues are participating in events that give prizes to students , such as the Loudoun Social Studies Fair for High School Students. the local sends out email requesting funds for cash stipend for various community events and have participated in several similar event (environmental and science fairs) and are participating in said events with other community organizations.

Richmond Greens Report
Presented by Mason Payne

Richmond has cosponsored Candidate Forums with the Sierra Club and Mason Payne was interviewed by a Richmond Radio Station WCLM and the Richmond Greens participate in a coalition that preserved some open space near the Oregon Hill neighborhood near the river.

NOVA Greens Report
Presented by Jim Lowenstern

NOVA had member of Alexandria sublocal work on a city committee on the Eisenhower Extension form 495 to Duke St . Committee recommended not to build, city staff and elected officials appear to want to build much to the community's dismay, Nova local has had two meetings on Polclad issues with Paul Hughes of the Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth See http://www.poclad.org/ for more background information.

Central Virginia Greens Report
Presented by Charles Murn

Charlottesville has changed bylaws and committee structure in order to get new members, have suggested for Charlottesville City Council to use IRV for electing officials

Discussion on Locals Reports:

Dave Gaines mentioned that Mark Plotkin, political expert at WTOP radio, indicated that the Green Party is fastest growing Politcal Party in the nation.

Mason Payne noted Virginia's Green Party is the fastest Growing Green Party in the nation with now 1100 members.

IV. Treasurer's Report & Finance Committee Report

Submitted by Kirit Mookerjee

Treasury--total balance after deposit of recent generous contributions will be $884.41.

Finance--All locals are urged to nominate their representative to the Finance committee (and they will be signed up by the webmaster to the list-serv).

After completing a cost estimate, the committee is going forward with the process of sending a partial fundraising letter. Members will participate in the letter drafting and decision on which members other than Rockbridge to target. Total cost for 250 would be approximately $265.00.

Most importantly, the Finance committee would like to brainstorm ideas for fundraising events for early next year. In order to fund the GPVA for 2003, we need to formulate a strategy to be implemented by June.

Discussion on Finance Committee:

Sending out Fundraising letter to state in segments was supposed to done from the last quarterly meeting, before this meeting.

Joe Oddo and Ann Robinson suggested that the newspaper take advertising from Green Businesses. No action taken on above,

V. Web Committee Report

Submitted by Susan Dridi

Please update me if your local contact person changes or gets a new e- mail address, so that I can change the corresponding forwarding e-mail address. Notifications of new members are sent to the local contact's forwarding address, so accurate e-mail addresses are important for party building.

All of our official listservs, including those for our committees, are now using our internal web-based Mailman listservs, with the vagreenparty.org extension. Roger has agreed to take down the SRC Yahoo Group. We now have 90 people on the announcements list, mainly new members. Please encourage members of your local to join this or our other lists. Traffic is not high and messages can be read either on the web or via e-mail. The more participation, the better.

If you have an account with the Green Internet Society, I can set up a listserv for your local. Contact me for details. NOVA and Arlington are using this service.

If your e-mail account is full, messages from the listservs may bounce. If this happens frequently, your listserv subscription may be placed in "no mail" mode. If you're not getting messages, go to the list archives, found at: http://lists.vagreenparty.org/mailman/listinfo/

People who sign up for committees need the permission of either their Local or the committee to join the listserv. The administrator for the committee lists needs that information before approving subscriptions. I can set things up so that committee chairs administer their lists, which includes approving memberships and posts from non-list members. I will need to be kept in the loop about who the committee chairs are.

GPUS Representatives Report

Submitted by Susan Dridi

There have been no votes since Tom and I were elected. This was due to so many GPUS delegates being involved in campaigns during the 2002 elections.

There will be an upcoming vote on formally joining the United for Peace campaign. For information about this organization, see: http://www.unitedforpeace.org/.

There will also be an upcoming vote on the GPUS budget.

Please join the very low traffic gpva-ext listserv to weigh in any of the issues up for a vote.

The GPUS currently has one accredited caucus. Others are being organized. Accredited caucuses may send one voting delegate to the GPUS National Coordinating Committee, which is the decision making body of the GPUS and on which state delegates serve. The purpose of the caucuses is to increase participation by underrepresented groups. To become an official caucus, 100 state party members from 15 states must join the caucus, which then goes through an accreditation process.

The Lavender Green Caucus represents gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans- gendered (GLBT) members of the Green Party and is the only accredited caucus to date. See http://www.lavendergreens.org for more info.

African-American members are invited to join the GPUS Black Caucus. The mission of the GPUS Black Caucus is to maximize the participation of men and women of African- American decent in the political and policy process of the GPUS. To join the Black Caucus, contact JasonRavin@aol.com.

Women members are invited to help organize a GPUS Women's Caucus. To join the listserv, go to: http://lists.gp-us.org/mailman/listinfo/womens-caucus If you have trouble subscribing, please contact Starlene Rankin at: starlene@greens.org.

Anita Rios - rhannon@toast.net - is the contact for the Latino Caucus. She could use some help in organizing this caucus.

I don't forward GPUS press releases to the listserv, as we have linked to them from the vagreenparty.org site. Likewise for articles found on the Greens in the Media site. The Green Party news circulator can be found on the GPUS website as well. We have a link to the GPUS site - there's a lot of good material there - please have a look.

The winter issue of the Green Pages is now available. Bundles of 100 issues cost $25. If you would like to place an order, contact the GPUS Office Manager at office.mgr@verizon.net, and copy your order to Dean Myerson at political.coor@verizon.net.

Discussion on the GPUS Report:

Daya indicated that the GPUS is forming a Youth Caucus.
There was a question on the status of the Campus Greens. The GPUS has a statement on this subject on its website. No more information is available at this time, but it will be looked into.

VI. Joe Oddo for House of Delegates

Joe Oddo introduced himself to the group. He is running as an Independent for House of Delegates district 40, which is a special election due to James O'Brien's being elected on Nov. 5 to the State Senate. Joe did not request a nomination or endorsement, but came to inform us of his campaign and to ask for the help of Greens in his district.

VII. Approval of Minutes

Approval of minutes from 6/9/02 and 9/14/02 was postponed.

Lunch

VIII. Press Secretary's Report

Submitted by Chris Fink

Since the last meeting, we have been able to produce and distribute two releases regarding our party's stance on issues of importance to Virginians.This may or may not be a good start, but we have the potential to do more, pending the body's willingness to direct effort in the following areas:

1. The releases mentioned above have been possible only because the interim committee has served as the de-facto adjudicator of what "our party's stance" is on the issues of the day. This is a proper and important power of the interim committee, to be sure, as we cannot convene a state meeting for everyday-to-day issue. However, the interests of the body would be served better if those issues which we could foreseeably expect to require our decision be, in fact, foreseen. (The recent ballot initiatives come to mind as prime examples). We look forward to the completion of the SRC's task list so that the duties of issues research and advocacy may be clearly defined, and these results routed properly through the platform and interim committees. In addition, all party members not currently part of the interim committee should be encouraged to join, and all current members encouraged to be on top of the game so that issues can be identified and dispensed with in a timely manner.

2. As Press Secretary, I am responsible for the timely compilation, editing, and distribution to the press of party news and positions, and for those tasks I am adequately supplied. However, this does not make me a reporter. The frequency and detail with which I can issue our statements depends in large part upon the material I have before me, and those members with intimate knowledge of particular issues are best equipped to gather the appropriate data and take the first step. It would be helpful, therefore, for all press release proposals to be accompanied by initial drafts, or at very least some minimum amount of information with which such a release could be assembled.

Through the unstoppable Susan Dridi, it has come to my attention that the GPUS has begun a campaign to better coordinate state and national media committees, and I look forward to cooperating with them in the future once their plan is finalized and budgeted.

IX. Newspaper Report

Presented by Chris Fink

The newspaper is currently at 8 or 10 pages. We may need 1 or 2 more articles. The big hold up is funding for printing and distribution of a quarterly newspaper. Please send in articles to Chris.

X. Discussion on what GPVA Can Do to Help Locals and Members

Daya: Follow state legislators on website, get an intern, sell T shirts from website, use Paypal or other credit card system for donations to website.

Roger: Get more sophisticated on election geography, more coalition building, working with established groups. Greens are electoral and Grassroots.

Tom: Fundraising on regular basis, membership outreach, start new locals.

Ann: Form coalitions. support other groups, follow through, tangible things done that are followed through build nice relationships locally.

Mason: Local contacts put on event for fun, not a boring meeting, people like speakers meetings.

Chris: Locals starter Guide emailed to new locals or on website

Charles: Voters list, find out where Greens live, speaker List.

Kirit: Go to events that already exist and table there.

Jim Lowenstern: Wants a printed membership list frequently, for better outreach

XI. Organizatioal Support for the Key Tasks of the GPVA

A document prepared by the SRC was presented. The GPVA needs to fill in the blanks. More discussion is required, to see which committees or persons should be responsible for the key tasks identified. See: http://pk.greens.org/~sdridi/org.html

XII. GPUS Fundraising Committee

Jim Polk was elected by consensus to be the GPVA representative on the GPUS Fundraising Committee.

XIII. Political Committee

We voted to start a Political Committee, which Jim Polk will form, as he has experience in the matter.

Charles and Roger had concerns on how the PC will be governed. Jim Polk stated that it will be controlled by GPVA. Charles indicated we need to revise By Laws and a committee will start this long process.

XIV. Proposal to Raise Campaign Contribution Ceiling to $1000

Our platform currently limits Green candidates to a maximum individual contribution of $100. A proposal was made to raise this contribution limit to $1000. Since our bylaws specify that the platform be altered by a ballot of all the members of the GPVA, the following proposal was adopted:

The Platform Committee will conduct a ballot of the GPVA membership, via the internet for those members with access, and via the U.S. mail for those members without internet access. This will take place by January 27, 2003. The results will be presented at the 1st quarterly business meeting of the GPVA.

XV. Steering Committee Proposal

The following proposal passed by consensus, with one member, Jim Lowenstern, standing aside.

Article XXIII. Steering Committee

A. Definition

The GPVA shall have a Steering Committee, accountable to the GPVA and responsible for long-range planning.

B. Composition

1. Each member of the Steering Committee must be a member of the GPVA.
2. The Steering Committee shall choose a Chair from among its members.
3. The GPVA Co-Chairs shall be members of the Steering Committee.
4. Each Local may appoint one member to the Steering Committee.
5. Other GPVA members may join the Steering Committee.
6. Each member of the Steering Committee shall serve a one year term.

C. Responsibilities

1. The Steering Committee shall meet at least quarterly.
2. The Steering Committee shall formulate strategies for achieving GPVA's growth and success, and guide and inform short-term and mid-term planning.
3. The Steering Committee shall seek to build coalitions with other groups.
4. The Steering Committee shall seek to mentor and develop GPVA members as future leaders.
5. The Steering Committee shall engage in outreach to potential GPVA members and in the development and retention of current members.
6. The Steering Committee shall prepare an annual plan to be presented by the Chair of the Steering Committee to the GPVA.
7. The Steering Committee shall report its activities at each quarterly business meeting.
8. The Steering Committee shall secure the approval of the GPVA in all broad matters involving policy.

XVI. Schedule Next Meeting

It was agreed that the 1st quarterly business meeting of the GPVA for 2003 will be held in Virginia Beach, on March 8, 2003.

XVII. Closing Circle

Each participant gave a closing thought on the day's proceedings, including praise for a good job facilitating by Mason

The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 PM.



Minutes GPVA

 


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