GPVA BUSINESS MEETING MINUTES
23 JULY 2017 & 6 AUG 2017
18 MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:
(An asterisk * denotes a local representative.)
- Arlington: John Reeder*, Kirit Mukherjee (treasurer)
- At-Large: none
- Blue Ridge: Charlie Jordan*
- Central Virginia: Kimberly Lowe*
- Fairfax: Casey White*
- Fredericksburg: Chris Fink* (webmaster)
- Hampton Roads: Bryce Davis*
- Loudoun: Maria Bergheim*
- Lynchburg: Marcus Sutphin*, Sid Smith (co-chair)
- New River Valley: Steven Gillespie*
- Piedmont: Elizabeth Melson*, Tim Cotton (press secretary)
- Richmond: Scott Burger*, Jonathan Newby
- Shenandoah: Tom Yager*, Tamar Yager (co-chair)
- South Fork: Andrew Franke*
Meeting convened at 3:05 pm using FreeConferenceCall.com and recorded. Sid Smith chosen facilitator, Marcus Sutphin time keeper, Kirit Mukherjee vibes watcher.
(0:06) The agenda was approved with the addition of consideration of Tamar Yager for reappointment to the GPUS Finance Committee and consideration of Sid Smith for appointment to the GPUS Platform Committee, and with a discussion of online group decision-making software Loomio might have to offer to us.
On request of Charlie Jordan (0:08) reading of the minutes was deferred to our next meeting.
The officers and most local reps submitted written reports, and these are appended below. The following additional comments were offered:
- Sid noted that he still has many copies of Green Pages and would be happy to send them to locals for distribution to their members.
Webmaster: Chris Fink invited all locals to send him all their data, including contact info, email addresses in particular, and local geographic boundaries. He can also publicize any upcoming local meetings. He also emphasized that IT members can log-in to the new Drupal site to work on needed tasks.
Arlington: Has endorsed a candidate for Arlington County Board of Supervisors, and invites Greens in the area to help with tabling. The AGP is also working with the Sierra Club and others on improving building energy standards, and want to get an advocacy campaign going to get the state board to enact a tougher standard. The board is appointed by the governor with a member from each congressional district.
CVG: Having trouble getting people to come to meetings. Tamar suggested calling it a “meet-up” rather than a meeting, and have people meet at a restaurant. Kimberly said transportation was an issue for some people. Tom said working on a local campaign, such as Marcus Sutphin's, can help get people active.
Fairfax: Casey White said the local has been somewhat dormant recently. They met earlier today, and will be updating their bylaws soon.
Fredericksburg: They have mostly been working on the Anderson for Delegate campaign, including a big event yesterday.
Hampton Roads: They are having a campaign kick-off event for Jeff Staples on August 18th. Also working on issues like solar farms and the pipeline.
New River Valley: They have been networking about the KKK rallies in Charlottesville about appropriate responses, and also about the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Some members got some direct-action training. Casey suggested those attending counter rallies should get proper training, and suggested contacting an organization called Redneck Revolt.
Piedmont: They are working with FairVote on Ranked Choice Voting on raising awareness in Virginia about the issue. They've had a few conference calls and many email discussions. The Ranked Choice Voting bill will be reintroduced in the next legislative session. They are also working on the Will King campaign. Elizabeth also talked about her work raising awareness about hemp farming.
Richmond: Will be meeting on the 24th. Working on the Montigue Magruder campaign. They will consider endorsing a program called Put Schools First, which will be pushing for modernization of the city's public school buildings using a petition campaign for a ballot issue to redress the issue in the budget.
Shenandoah: Helping with Will King's campaign, with an event next weekend and a table at the county fair.
CAMPAIGN UPDATES (0:47)
Sid reported that all five of our nominated House of Delegates candidates have made ballot access.
Tim Cotton reported that King's campaign is drawing voters from both the left and the right; the right with issues like hemp and veterans' issues, and the left with progressive issues. They are knocking doors (1200 doors so far) and doing literature drops. They are doing a candidates' forum and making good use of social media. The incumbent has never campaigned, but he has started to do so in response to the King campaign. They've raised $40,000, and want to hit $70,000 by election day. Tim believes they've got a good shot at hitting a plurality on election day.
Marcus Sutphin reported that his campaign is working on raising money. The race in his district has become a four-way race, and this may help his chances. They have speaking events and tabling events coming up. The website is up and they are working on literature. It is hard to work out the best way to reach voters in a district that is almost entirely rural.
Chris Fink reported that the Anderson campaign is doing well, but needs volunteers. He has a schedule of upcoming campaign events that is now published on the GPVA website. (Chris encouraged all candidates to send their campaign and event schedules to him for publication on the website.)
Bryce Davis reported that Jeff Staples campaign is getting a lot of contributions and is partnering with progressive groups in the area to get additional help.
Scott Burger reported that Montigue Magruder is campaigning hard.
(0:59) The proposal to change the name of the Interim Committee to the Leadership Council was introduced. Discussion ensued. (1:07) Charlie Jordan objected to the word “Leadership,” on the grounds that Greens shouldn't use a “leader/follower” model of organization. The merits of the term were discussed. Sid called for consensus, and Charlie registered a blocking concern. The proposal was passed on a roll-call vote. Voting yes were the co-chairs, the press secretary, the treasurer, and all locals except Blue Ridge which voted no, and Fredericksburg and Richmond which abstained.
(Andrew Franke then had to leave, and gave his proxy to Tim Cotton for the purpose of voting on the bylaw proposals, saying that it was the consensus of the South Fork Greens that he do so. Charlie objected. Discussion ensued. ( 1:24) It was agreed that such situations should be addressed in the bylaws. A vote was then taken whether to allow Tim to give Andrew's vote for South Fork Greens. A vote was taken to determine whether this would be allowed. The treasurer, BRG, Lynchburg, Richmond, and Shenandoah abstained, and there weren't any “no” votes, so it was agreed to record Andrew's votes as provided by Tim.)
(1:37) The proposal to create a GPVA party of General Secretary was taken up. After some members expressed concern that the job description had too many duties for one person, it was agreed to change the language regarding production of a party newsletter to state that the Secretary would “coordinate” the production of the newsletter, rather than being responsible for producing it themselves. The proposal was then adopted as amended by consensus, with Charlie Jordan standing aside.
(2:01) The proposal to delete the words “final form” from bylaws Para. 12.1 was taken up. Charlie Jordan objected that this would open the door to changing proposals without any constraints on content that might be added to a bylaw proposal, making it possible for major changes to be sprung on the membership. Sid replied that in parliamentary procedure amendments that do not preserve the intent and substance of the proposal would be out of order. Charlie replied that our procedure was Consensus Practice, not Robert's Rules. After further discussion several members called for a vote on the proposal. A vote was taken, and the proposal passed with the Treasurer and Blue Ridge voting no, and all others voting yes except Richmond and Arlington, whose members had left the meeting.
(2:23) The proposal to adopt a procedure to determine when a pending decision is major or minor under our bylaws was taken up. After some discussion Charlie Jordan blocked consensus, and the proposal then passed on a roll-call vote with all voting yes except Blue Ridge, which voted no, and Richmond and Arlington who had left the meeting.
(2:34) Discussion of our committee structure was then taken up. It was proposed that we create an ad hoc committee to gather the opinions and concerns of the membership and then promulgate a comprehensive proposal regarding our standing committees for consideration at a future business meeting. After discussion it was agreed that such a proposal would be discussed when the meeting reconvened on August 6th.
The meeting was suspended at 6pm, and reconvened at 2pm on August 6th, with Sid Smith and Tamar Yager (co-chairs), Tim Cotton (press secretary), Kirit Mukherjee (treasurer), Chris Fink (webmaster), Charlie Jordan (Blue Ridge), Sean Immanian (Fredericksburg), Bryce Davis (Hampton Roads), Maria Bergheim (Loudoun), Marcus Sutphin (Lynchburg), Steve Gillespie (New River Valley), Elizabeth Melson (Piedmont), Andrew Franke (South Fork), and Ryan Wesdock.
(0:02) The members agreed by consensus to appoint Tamar to the national media committee, and Sid to the national platform committee.
(0:06) Discussion returned to our standing committee structure. Based on the discussion the previous two weeks, and some discussion on the listserves in the interim, Sid outlined a proposal to appoint an ad hoc committee to gather information from the membership and then formulate a proposal. After further discussion it was agreed that the committee would have five members, and that in addition the state officers would serve as observers and advisers to the committee. Nominations will be taken until Friday the 11th for people to serve on the committee, and that an approval vote for the membership would be taken for the next three days, ending at midnight on Tuesday, August 15th. The committee would convene by email and select its own chair and procedures. It was agreed that the committee will have five weeks to gather information, formulate a draft proposal, and promulgate it to the membership. The final proposal would then be scheduled on the agenda of a business meeting by the co-chairs. This plan was agreed with consensus, with Charlie Jordan standing aside.
(0:53) Discussion of a Political Response Team was taken up. After some enthusiastic discussion, it was agreed that the co-chairs would develop a proposal for our next business meeting to establish a Political Response Team to include the press secretary, a legislative coordinator, an campaign coordinator, and a political liaison from each local.
(1:06) Discussion of a Party Summit was taken up. Time introduced the idea, commenting that the party could use more focus and a clearer message. Sid suggested having the summit as our fall general meeting. Lengthy discussion ensued about what the protocol would be, and what kinds of statements we would be trying to develop. Consensus began to build around having the Leadership Council talk to their locals and then hammer out an agenda for the summit. It should include a vision or mission statement supplemented by clear statements on broad policy goals. It was agreed that the co-chairs would schedule the summit for a weekend in mid-September. Charlie Jordan registered a concern that he wasn't sure what the outcome would be, and that it might not be very accessible to the hearing impaired, and stood aside from consensus.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:02.
B. Sidney Smith