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State Meeting

Jefferson-Madison Regional Library

201 E. Market Street,  Charlottesville , VA

April 27,  2013

Minutes of GPVA Business Meeting on April 27, 2013

Present were: Audrey Clement, Kirit Mookerjee, John Reeder,Tamar and Tom Yager (Arlington), Sid Smith and Jerry Tenney (At-Large), Charlie Jordan (Blue Ridge), Jeff Staples and Mike Shushan [via Skype] (Hampton Roads), Joe Galdo (NoVA), Scott Burger (Richmond). Also in attendance were: Wythe Holt, a Green Party supporter from Newport News, and Dargan Cogeshall, who heads the Virginia Rivers Defense Fund [for part of the meeting].

1. Introduction.
Quorum consisting of at least half or three (3) of the six locals participating in the two most recent business meetings--Arlington, Blue Ridge, Fredericksburg, Hampton Roads, Loudoun, and NoVA on 1/5/13, and Arlington, Blue Ridge and Loudoun on 9/8/12--having been met, the meeting was called to order.

2. Choose timekeeper, vibes watcher, facilitator, note taker.
John was appointed facilitator for all portions of the meeting except consideration of proposed Bylaw amendments, which he authored. Kirit agreed to serve as facilitator for consideration of those. Tom served as timekeeper, Sid as vibes watcher, and Audrey as note taker.

3. Ratify agenda.

The co-chairs' agenda was agreed to by consensus as follows:

   1. Introduction and welcome by co-chairs (5 minutes)
   2. Choose facilitator, note taker, timekeeper, vibes watcher
   3. Ratify agenda (5 minutes)
   4. Old business: Approve minutes of last meeting (5 minutes)
   5. Co-Chairs report (5 minutes)
   6. Treasurer report (5 minutes)
   7. Press Secretary report (5 minutes)
   8. Webmaster report (5 minutes)
   9. GPUS representatives report (5 minutes)
  10. Local reports (30 minutes)

Refreshment break (20 minutes)

  11. How to run local candidates (15 minutes)
  12. How to organize a "lunch and learn" meeting (15 minutes)
  13. GPVA issue advocacy (15 minutes)
  14. Purging GPVA membership list (15 minutes)
  15. Proposed amendments to GPVA Bylaws as indicated in Addendum A below (30 minutes)
  16. Closing circle

4. Approve minutes of last meeting..
The minutes of the 1/5/13 meeting were approved by consensus with one stand aside.

5. Co-Chairs report..

Audrey and John reported on several outreach efforts made to state party members including a couple of professional email blasts and a post card mailing.

6. Treasurer's report.
Kirit reported that there is $1,149 in GPVA regular account at Carter Bank and Trust located in Staunton, Va. He also reported that a new, permanent bank account has been opened with Signal Federal Credit Union as a conduit for funds for GPVA federal candidates. Audrey explained that the Signal account was opened, because FEC requires the segregation of funds for federal candidates from that of state and local candidates.

7. Press secretary's report..
Since the press secretary was absent from the meeting, the report was tabled.

8. Webmaster report..

Since the webmaster was absent from the meeting, the report was tabled and it was agreed to defer discussion of a new GPVA website to new business.

9. GPUS representatives report..

Tamar reported that GPUS has received more than 1,000 responses to a strategic planning survey; that Kentucky has been affiliated as a state party; and that the 2013 GPUS Annual National Meeting will be held in Iowa City, IA from July 25 through 28.

As Chair of the GPUS Ballot Access Committee (BAC), Tom reported that the Greens were on the ballot in 37 states in 2012, and that the party is planning to get 45-47 ballot lines in 2016. Audrey reported as a member of BAC that she petitioned in Phoenix, AZ the first weekend of April, garnering 280 signatures in two days.

10. Local reports..

NoVA. Joe reported that he is still working on a scrubbed down list of NoVA members, and that he recently participated in voter registration training in Fairfax County.

Arlington. Audrey reported on the progress of a local housing authority referendum petition drive in Arlington. She has collected more than 1,600 of about 3,000 signatures to get the question of whether to create a housing authority in Arlington County on the ballot in November.

As a member of Arlington's Landlord Tenant Commission, Kirit reported that the Latino community is concerned about being gentrified out of the county.

CVG. Sid reported that he plans to undertake an effort to reorganize the Central Virginia Greens (CVG) in the near future.

Hampton Roads. Mike pointed out the need to break up the Hampton Roads local into more manageable local organizing areas.

Mike and Jeff participated at a recent protest at a National Governor's Association meeting. Jeff said the Greens picked up a few new members at a Tax Day protest. He is hosting an Occupy Portsmouth event on May 1, 6 p.m. at the commuter parking lot in Old Town Portsmouth.

Blue Ridge. Charlie reported on a protest against Monsanto to be held in Roanoke on May 25 as part of the nationwide Millions Against Monsanto protest, www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/action.cfm. Jerry reported that there will be a Monsanto protest the same day,11-6, at the Virginia Beach Ocean Front Boardwalk.

Richmond. Scott discussed his efforts to lobby Richmond City Council to lower its water rates, which are the highest in the nation. As a result, the Mayor will reduce water rates temporarily, but they will go back up. According to Scott the reason for Richmond's exorbitant water rates is an arrangement by which the water utility makes an annual payment in lieu of taxes to Richmond City's general tax fund. Scott also credits his lobbying with the establishment of a Department of Sustainability. He reports that there is a lot of generic Green organizing in progress at VCU and that the focus is on lobbying Tim Kaine to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline. Mark Warner supports the pipeline. Scott indicated that he thought about running for City Council in 2012, but that he ended up supporting a challenger to get the incumbent out.

11. How to run local candidates..

Joe and Audrey detailed their outreach efforts in recent campaigns for Congress in CD 11 and Arlington County Board respectively. Both mentioned problems getting media attention in non-competitive districts. In CD 11 the problem is acute, because the district was deliberately gerrymandered in 2010 to keep it non-competitive. Joe said that although the challenge is daunting, that should not prevent locals from running candidates, because you have to start somewhere, and you will pick up support as you go.

John said that running local candidates takes money, staff and time and recommended candidates train at Camp Wellstone http://www.wellstone.org/programs/camp-wellstone. He also stressed that Green Party candidates have developed credibility in Arlington County because they study the issues, unlike the IG whose candidates are embarrassingly weak on most issues.


12. How to organize a "lunch and learn" meeting..
Due to time constraints, the issue was tabled.


13. GPVA issue advocacy..
John asked whether Greens are interested in promoting issue advocacy and pointed to a SALT (Social Action Linking Together) event that he recently attended. Scott recommended at least three issue oriented party press releases and protest actions per year. Jerry reported that he had attended a Virginia People's Assembly organized by Phil Wilayto.


14. Purging GPVA membership list..
Due to time constraints, the issue was tabled.


15. Proposed amendments to GPVA Bylaws..
A motion to refer the proposal to withhold publication of GPVA minutes from the website to an ad hoc committee was adopted on a vote of 4-2-4. It was agreed that those who supported the motion comprise the commitee. They are Audrey Clement, Joe Galdo, Charlie Jordan and Sid Smith.

A motion to refer the proposal to require dues for GPVA members to a committee consisting of Sid Smith, Tamar Yager and Kirit Mookerjee (ex officio as Treasurer), was adopted by consensus with one stand aside.


16. Website development..
A motion to defer discussion of a new website to the next meeting was adopted by consensus. In the meantime Sid and Tamar offered to conduct a survey of the membership on the design of the website.

17. Closing circle..

The next GPVA business meeting was tentatively set for September 21, 2013 somewhere in the Hampton Roads area. .

 

Audrey Clement, Note Taker

* * *

 

**************************************************
**************************************************
ADDENDUM A
Proposed Bylaw Amendments
*************************************************
**************************************************
Amend GPVA Bylaws, 14. Officers, 14.2 Duties, Section 14.2.1.5 which reads:
 
"14.2.1.5 Record the minutes of GPVA business meetings and distribute at least one copy to each local within two weeks of the meeting."
 
to read:
 
"14.2.1.5 Record the minutes of GPVA meetings and present at the subsequent meeting for approval. No minutes shall be posted on the GPVA website for general public access nor shared electronically with non-active members."
 
Amend GPVA Bylaws, 7. Membership, 7.1 Eligibility to add a new section 7.1.4 as follows:
 
"7.1.4 Active membership shall be renewed annually beginning January 1 of each year, with the payment of annual dues. The dues are: $25 per year; and for students, senior citizens and low income individuals: $10. In case of economic hardship the Treasurer is authorized to waive dues upon receipt of a request from a member to do so. Members must be current on their dues to actively participate and vote on matters before the party."
 
REFERENCES:
GPVA Bylaws
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Minutes GPVA

 




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Latest Update:  May 9, 2013