The Green Party of Virginia

State Meeting

Norfolk
May 22, 2010

Participants:

Audrey Clement, Tamar Yager and Tom Yager (Arlington), Mike Shushan (Hampton Roads), Andrew Ragland (Richmond), Sheri Bailey (Hampton Roads), Charlie Jordan (Blue Ridge—afternoon session only).

A quorum consisting of at least half of the five locals participating in the two most recent business meetings (Arlington, Blue Ridge, Fredericksburg, NoVA and Hampton Roads on 11/14/09 and Arlington, Blue Ridge, Fredericksburg and Hampton Roads on 2/28/10) having been established, the meeting was called to order.

Agenda

The previously published meeting agenda was amended and agreed to by consensus as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Selection of facilitator, vibes watcher, timekeeper, note taker
  • Approval of agenda
  • Bylaw change: Consolidation of sections on GPVA officers
  • Treasurer's report and fundraising discussion
  • Local Reports
  • Co-chairs report
  • Press Secretary's report
  • GPUS representatives report
  • Discussion of petition drives in Arkansas and other states
  • Endorsement of “Anti-Racism Work in the Age of Obama”
  • Bylaw change: Switch from four meetings per year to annual convention
  • Discussion of local organizing
  • Other business

Mike Shushan agreed to serve as facilitator, Tom Yager as timekeeper, and Audrey Clement as note taker. She adapted the minutes from extensive notes taken by Andrew Ragland.

Bylaw Change: Consolidation of Sections on GPVA Officers.

It was agreed by consensus to consolidate sections of GPVA Bylaws pertaining to the election and duties of officers summarized as follows: In section XVI.G.5, drop “quarterly”. Reword Section XV to cover all officers, dropping XVI.B, XVI.C, XVI.D, XVI.E, and XVII.B, XVII.C, XVII.D, XVII.E as redundant, renumbering subsequent sections as appropriate. Change “The Officers” in XV.B and XV.C to “Each Officer.” Change “the officers” to “an officer” in XV.D and XV.E for clarity and grammatical correctness. The text of the amended Bylaws is contained in a separate attachment included herein by reference.

It was agreed to do local reports while waiting for the Treasurer to dial into the meeting.

Local and Officer Reports

Arlington: Tamar reported that two candidates have qualified for the ballot, one for county board and the other for school board. Both have been endorsed by the Arlington Green Party. The Arlington Green Party has endorsed a petition drive conducted by the Committee for a Better Arlington to change the county form of government to a district system. As a result of lobbying by the leadership of the Arlington local, a congressional earmark has been obtained to operate a year round homeless shelter, but Arlington County Board has not agreed to it.

NoVA: Tom reported that the local is being revived. Three meetings thus far. The local has discussed plans for uranium mining in southern Virginia, ordinances adopted elsewhere to deny corporate personhood, the Fairfax County budget, sprawl and alternative energy.

Treasurer's Report: Kirit reported a balance of $1141.75. No significant donations recorded since last meeting. Paypal is problematic due to their taking a cut, but any credit card processor will do so. John Reeder is trying to get Bernie Sanders to speak at an event. Further details of report in e-mail to follow Auction proposed as a fundraiser. Subscription donation program should be implemented, to have regular donations coming in, and that could be publicized. Finance Committee needs more involvement from membership to proceed with fundraising proposals. Events should be in a central location to minimize travel. Proposed to piggyback a meeting on the event.

Richmond: Andrew reported that the local consists of Scott Burger and himself. He is trying to mobilize support for Scott's run for office. Andrew will compose an e-mail describing his conversation with Anne Sterling from the League of Women Voters and send it to Tamar for relay to the national level. Anne's contact information handed off to Audrey and Tamar.

Hampton Roads: Mike and Sheri are trying to identify a candidate to run against incumbent Congressman Nye, especially on health care issue. Working on identifying candidates for school board race and city council in Williamsburg. Mayor is stepping down in Williamsburg, which creates opportunity. Juneteenth event is taking up a lot of time and energy. Sheri brought flyers for that. Issues include offshore drilling. Sierra Club will have a demonstration in VA Beach soon against that. Fort Monroe retiring next year, may go over to developers. Historic site in African American history, as slaves that made it to Fort Monroe were declared contraband of war and thus freed by the general in command. Ties into the civil rights movement, historical preservation, etc. Petition drive could be organized to bring in the Federal parks department, as there are Civil War era historic structures remaining on the site. Pressure could be brought to bear on McDonnell to save Fort Monroe as validation of his apology for leaving out slavery in his pronouncement on the Civil War. Local has not yet adopted new bylaws or structure, still in progress. Mike is going overseas for a year, August to August, due to his wife taking a postdoc position in the Persian Gulf.

Co-Chairs: Audrey is fighting a pro se court case to halt the widening of I-66 in Arlington. The Democrats and the Sierra Club oppose the widening, but did not support the case. The district court dismissed the case on April 30th. Richmond has let the contract, despite the case being on appeal. The USDOJ Environmental division represented VDOT in the case. Audrey expects to lose the appeal but nevertheless believes she has a strong case. Tom Yager agreed to work with Audrey to write a press release on the appeal. Tamar Yager will contact Josh to obtain the distribution list.

Tom reported that the Dulles Toll Road Authority proposed to shift the money that was being used for the Fairfax County connector buses to the toll road. The buses were to be defunded. A coalition involving NoVA Greens lobbied and testified to keep the buses and get the county to fund them. The county budget came out three weeks ago, and the money for the bus is in it. Tom was one of the Greens who testified at the county board meeting. Tom attended the George Washington National Forest meeting. Many groups attended. Broad support for keeping petroleum development out of the forest, and keeping the area rural. Tom submitted a report to the Forest Service that included substantial text from the Sierra Club. Preservation of Shenandoah Mountain was also included. One area is protected as a wilderness area, but another is hemlock trees, which are threatened by an invasive species of aphid and may become extinct in Virginia. Pines at Clingman's Dome are also being lost to an insect pest. Need to do research on what species preys on the insects, and see if that species can be encouraged.

Fredericksburg: Chris Fink submitted a written report that was read aloud. “While we still maintain a P.O. Box, a Treasurer, a Representative to the IC, a federal EIN number, a bank account, a website, a set of published bylaws, and a commitment to the Ten Key Values, we continue to suffer from the general political apathy endemic to the area (at least on the progressive side of the spectrum). We are not densely populated enough to enjoy the effectiveness of a variety of promotional outlets (media choices, flyers/posters, and word-of-mouth), yet not sparsely populated enough to have what we DO manage to accomplish get any real notice. We are also finding it difficult to identify issues of local interest that aren't also statewide issues. We intend to make a serious assessment of the situation and arrive at a plan of action to address these difficulties.”

GPUS Representatives' Report

The Annual National Meeting (ANM), which is being held in conjunction with the U.S. Social Forum, is in Detroit June 24th-27th. Sheri is unable to go as an alternate, and Kirit probably can’t go. It was agreed to ask Chris to attend in his place. If he can’t go, then Andrew will be asked to attend.

Arkansas Petition Drive

Audrey is flying to Arkansas to assist in petition drive to get the party on the state ballot. She will rendezvous with Craig Thorsen. The Yagers have donated the airline ticket for Audrey's trip. Mark Swaney and Mark Jenkins of the Arkansas GP are leading the effort.

Endorsement of Anti-Racism Work in Age of Obama

Tamar reported that Southern Anti-Racism Network (SARN) has a program that does community organizing in the historically black colleges and universities and would like the Green Party to become involved. There's no money involved, as the students raise their own funds as needed. This movement is to be proposed at the National meeting of the Greens. The National Committee will probably endorse the proposal, but the more states that support it the better.

Bylaw Change: Switch From Four Meetings Per Year To Annual Convention

Tom Yager proposes to have the GPVA meeting in late May, so that decisions can be made in time to meet filing deadlines with the state. At this meeting, there would be election of officers, bylaw changes, candidate approvals, and the like, and potentially workshops. Ideally, the location would be relatively central geographically. It was proposed to remove the minimum number from the current bylaws, rather than specifying one annual meeting, so that meetings can be held as needed. Tamar proposed changing quorum requirements for Interim Committee sessions to address the fact that some local representatives who have not attended meetings in five years are still entitled to vote. Tom will put together a formal proposal and take it to the Structural Reform Committee.

Other Business

Andrew Ragland was elected GPVA Webmaster and Newsletter Editor by consensus.

Sheri Bailey was elected GPVA Press Secretary by consensus.

It was agreed by consensus to place a half page ad in the Juneteenth Festival souvenir book for $50. Sheri will provide content to Andrew for layout.

Adjournment

Co-chairs agreed to choose the next meeting date and location. The meeting then adjourned.

Submitted by Audrey Clement, Note-Taker
Green Party of Virginia



Minutes GPVA


The Green Party of Virginia
Latest Update: June 4, 2010