Approved minutes of the April 27, 2013 Green Party of Connecticut Annual Meeting

Location: Portland Senior Center, 7 Waverly Avenue, Portland, CT   06480

11am to Noon: set up: tables, literature, fundraising items, food was setup to share.

Noon to 12:15pm: a) brief introduction from the facilitator: John Lancz. b) self-introductions by the GPCT attendees:  Barbara Barry, secretary of GPCT; Paul Bassler; David Bedell, GPCT treasurer; Allan Brison; GPCT co-chairperson; S. Michael DeRosa, GPCT co-chairperson;  G. Scott Deshefy; Rene Gagnon; Ben Holden; David Ionno; Martha Kelly; John Lancz, facilitator; Jeffry Larson; Claire Lary, Douglas Lary; Hector Lopez; Rolf Maurer; Timothy McKee; Nicholas Payne; Cora Santaguida; Ronna Schuller, GPCT co-chairperson; Edward Schwing; Susan Steiner; Linda Thompson; Amy Vas Nunes; Brandon Veilleux;  John Went, Matthew Went.   

c) proposed agenda approved by the majority of attendees with the addition of a resolution to the agenda by Linda Thompson regarding Lynne Steward.

12:15PM to 12:45PM : statements from the Executive Committee(EC) about the GPCT’s activities this past year included: SMD: David Bedell and SMD have provided voter affidavits and official paperwork to the CT State Elections Enforcement Committee (FEEC) regarding voter and GPCT beliefs that some of the write-in votes for our 11-6-12 Presidential candidate, Jill Stein, were not counted by appropriate town officials.  BAB: one of our GPCT members won a FEEC ruling that his 2008 vote for our GPUS presidential candidate was not counted at the time.  This ruling occurred about 18 months after the 2008 election. SMD: we had 24 candidates on the 11-6-12 ballot who raised GPCT concerns about issues. SMD: interacted with CT representatives: Ed Vargas and Tim Bowles regarding legislative bill to lower the number of valid petition signatures needed for non-dominant party candidates to get on the ballot. However, this bill did not get our to the GAE (Government Elections Committee). Tim Bowles also is willing to call a forum about concerns. AB: declined to address group. 

DB : discussed his work as treasurer and actions regarding getting voter affidavits to the FEEC. BAB: worked to provide through accurate minutes of meetings for transparency; worked to promote and acquire petitions for our GPUS presidential candidate for the 11-6-12 election; worked to promote chapter growth and development . 

RS : in efforts to get on the ballot, party affiliation may not count. May need to consider cross-endorsement.  Feedback from non-EC attendees: GSD: increase communication with political editors of newspapers and on-line publications; support efforts to eliminate political party labels so the media will have to focus on political issues, concerns, solutions ES: read note of thanks and summary of her campaign from our 11-6-12 candidate, Melissa Schlag. AVN: GPCT candidates running on multiple party lines confuse the voters which appears to be in conflict with the intent of multiple party endorsement. 

12:45PM to 1:05PM: a) one minute statements from the candidates for the CTGP EC: three co-chairpersons positions: SMD: appreciate trust the GPCT has placed in me; have set up the GPCT forum for speakers to come to GPCT fundraisers and educate SCC attendees; seeking future candidates for the 11-5-13 elections; I’m here to stay to need to address our concerns.LT: will be an honor to service; have 50 years of activity both nationally, in multiple states and locally in anti-war, community, civil-rights, reproductive rights, and         

interested in conflict resolution in order to move forward with our agenda; multiple prominent progressives are speaking out about President Obama’s lack of commitment about his own campaign promises.RM: need to improve our clarity of our positions so we can address national, state and local concerns such as the Boston bombings, energy security, environment, , food integrity, labor, economic and health care issues. Need public control of the political process.  AB: involved in GPCT since 2000; have been a civil rights activist and jailed in 1960’s in other states. My priority for the GPCT is to run candidates for local office who can win; chapter development.

b) Only one candidate for treasurer i.e. CR: I have been involved in the GPCT since the beginning; have helped campaign treasurers over the years. Recently worked to get the GPCT recognized as a political party by the Federal Elections Committee (FEC) which allows us to for the first time to directly raise for our federal candidates.

c) Two candidates for the one position for secretary: BAB: is current secretary and have been for several years; GPCT member since 1998; believe the GPCT represents natural, universal desires and concerns about universal issues; we need to balance local, regional and state-wide interactions as each enhances the skills and responsibilities to the other. The State party provides broader name recognition and ability to address issues.  I saw this as a young teen in NY when my natural blonde hair turned red overnight.  My local family physician immediately suspected that a new Laundromat about 1000 feet had chemically polluted our home private water pump. He suspected that my hair color would revert to blonde only the planned county water system was hooked up to our home.  This did occur. But this very individual, local environmental problem could not have been resolved without the county’s efforts to get a uniform water source. And it could not have been done without state government regulations, interactions and money.  This is an example of the interactive efforts by local, regional and state-wide to address problems. We nationally we have major donors to the dominant political parties getting their concerns addressed e.g. Koch brothers are promoting the Keystone XL pipeline to local towns, states and the federal governments.  Note: Koch brothers own the only U. S. refinery along the Keystone pipeline route.  As a registered nurse for the past 50 years, I have had to honor my responsibility to many complex issues: my responsibilities to my patients, professional standards, my employer, legal and regulatory oversights. I will continue to bring these skills to the secretarial position.  Any group of people will have various viewpoints. That is okay. We just need to work together to achieve a collective common goal.  RS: I believe in Green Values. I was one of the people who tried to pick up the pieces to get Jill Stein, on the 11-6-12 ballot.  If 100 people had collected 100 signatures, a piece over four months, we could have done it. If we had had a better communication network (with our CT Jill Stein campaign coordinator, Jason Ortiz), we could have done it. Being secretary is all about communicating. Communicating with the GPUS and chapters. If 100 people had collected 100 signatures, a piece over four months, we could have done it. No reason why we cannot be progressive and competent. I helped to put together the ballot. I think I will be good at it.   

d) Need five representatives to the GPUS: SMD: I tried represent the GPCT on votes, stay in touch with as many national and with the GPUS toand kept you abreast with national activities; raised $5000 for our GPCT campaign for Jill Stein via my work in the  GPUS Ballot Access Committee.  I have tried to keep the GPUS democratic i.e. all points of view can be expressed but ultimately have to come to solution. The biggest problem is that fighting is about lesser concerns rather than the major concern.    LT: I know people all over the country due to my work over 50 years.  We need a sense of mission. We are taking on the most powerful and richest government in the history of the world.  We have to take ourselves seriously. There is no one else to take on these issues. That is a big responsibility but I believe we can do that. I am currently taking on a panel about environmental illness i.e. from Hurricane Sandy, the gulf oil spill, (Hurricane) Katrina, the World Trade Center, food safety. I am a victim of environmental illness and have worked on environmental panels for the past three years. I feel we can use Jill Stein’s (medical) expertise (as a physician) more.   TMcK: I started the Rhode Island Green Party in 1992 and came over here a few years later.  We a lot of good people working despite not having that much money. On the national committee, there are a lot of issues regarding how each state gets organized, how many delegates will they have.  I plan on going to the July GPUS Annual Meeting in Iowa. We need people to rotate to the meetings so they can see how it works.  You have to be a diplomat and deal with a lot of egos. I try to keep people mailing list updated about the latest topics and get feedback.

1:05PM to 1:45PM:  a) Known candidates for the GPCT representatives to the GPUS as of March 18, 2013 are: Linda Thompson, S. Michael DeRosa, Timothy McKee. Attendee’s questions of the candidates for the five positions as CTGP representatives to the GPUS:  RS to SMD: is the Winchester Restaurant going to be open for a 6-2-13 Jill Stein fundraiser? SMD: a GPCT member who is a partner of the restaurant told me three days ago that they are still in busy and will be. SMD will seek other venues if this restaurant goes out of business before 6-2-13. GPCT members may use Skye to view Jill Stein’s speech in three days. SMD is seeking volunteers to help put Skye on Facebook, YouTube and Skye. LT: invite other people to GPCT events and how to raise money from these events.

b) the GPCT has been allotted by the GPUS to have maximum of three (3) GPCT members to each GPUS national committee for a one year period of time stating at the time of their election today.  The GPCT members who volunteered for the GPUS National Committees were:       

Accreditation (AC):  reviews any state chapter which petitions to join the GPUS; reviews criteria for state delegates to GPUS annual meetings and conventions:  No one.                                                         

Annual National Meeting (ANMC ): working on the July 25, 2013 to the July 28, 2013 GPUS Annual meeting in Iowa City, Iowa:   Timothy McKee  and John Went. 

Ballot Access: discussions of efforts to help the state Green Parties gain ballot access:  S. Michael DeRosa and Edward Schwing.

Black Caucus: Cora Santaguida.  

Bylaws, Rules, Polices Procedure (BRPP): bylawsfor the GPUS officers / national committees: Amy Vas Nunes.

Coordination Campaign (CCC):  distribution of GPUS money to Green Party public office candidates:  No one.

Dispute Resolution (DRC):   mediation of any disputes within the GPUS organization: Cora Santaquida.

Diversity (DC):  strategies and actions to urge/maximize diversity within the GPUS: Linda Thompson.                Eco Action (EA): develop ecological strategies for the GPUS:  No one.

Finance  (FinCom): review and determine how to spend the money of the GPUS organization: No one.

Fundraising (FC):  raises money for the GPUS operations:  No one.

Green Party of the US internet news:  acquire and write articles for the GPUS website: No one.

International Committee (IC):  develops/promotes GPUS positions regarding world issues: Hector Lopez, Justine McCabe and S. Michael DeRosa.                                                                                                 

Latino Caucus:  Hector Lopez

Merchandizing Committee (MERCH):  determines and acquires items for the GPUS.  Rolf Maurer and Hector Lopez.

Media Committee (MC):  writes GPUS press releases: No one. 

Outreach (OC):  interacts with other groups who may have similar interests of the GPUS:  Linda Thompson.

Peace (GPAX):  discusses/develops strategies of how the GPUS may promote peace throughout the world: S. Michael DeRosa and Hector Lopez.

Platform (PC):  promotes GPUS positions/issues which are consistent with Green Party 10 Key Values: Justine McCabe and Amy Vas Nunes.  

Presidential Campaign Support Committee (PCSC):   strategies to support any GPUS presidential candidates: Timothy McKee. 

Women’s Caucus:  Martha Kelly.

1:45Pm to 2PM:  a) Christopher Reilly brought the unopened mailed ballots that were received at the Green Party of Connecticut post office box through Friday, April 26, 2013. This was the deadline date for submission of mailed ballots. The GPCT Internal Election Committee Members were present and received hand delivered ballots in sealed envelopes from some attendees today.  The GPCT Internal Elections Committee Members cannot be anyone who is an opposed candidate for any office that is being determined today. The committee included: Christopher Reilly as chairperson, David Ionno and G. Scott Deshefy.

b) GPCT members who volunteered to be on a committee for GPCT fundraising and panel discussions: G. Scott Deshefy, Linda Thompson and S. Michael DeRosa.

c) GSD : we are all a committee and once the State Committee decides to support a candidate or national committee we are all in this together. People perceive that the Democrats as the only game in town.  BAB: we need the state party to validate the local, regional, state and federal candidates. It is easy for people to dismiss a local political party as not being important or able to address broad issues. We need to make our best efforts to support a GPUS candidate, because that candidate enhances our stature and we enhance that candidate’s status. CS: the more we get our name out, make outreach, introduce yourself to others, and engage is what we can do.  LT: we need to table and pass out literature and engage people and other organizations. The state and local members/organizations need each other.  SMD: the 2005 CT State Campaign Finance Law enables the finances of the candidates of the dominant political parties.

1:55PM: LT read a statement about Lynne Stewart which passed as a resolution of support by majority vote of attendees. The statement was an update from Mya Shone and Ralph Schoenman, co-coordinators with Ralph Poynter of the International Petition campaign to save the life of Lynne Stewart. The statement was:

As the campaign builds, Lynne Stewart’s condition has taken a concerning turn for the worse. Her white blood cell count has dropped sharply. Lynne is in isolation currently and will be sent to a Fort Worth hospital for tests. This news has lent a dramatic urgency to The International Petition Campaign to Save the Life of Lynne Stewart, even as it has crossed a new threshold: Over 10,000 people have signed the petition as signatories pour in daily from across the world. Noted associate of President Kwame Nkrumah, Ambassador Kojo Amoo-Gottfried, Ghana’s former ambassador to China, Vietnam, Cuba and Nicaragua, has called upon all who fought for self-determination and
freedom to raise their voices now for “our dear sister in struggle, Lynne Stewart, even as she has fought for us over a lifetime.” The Socialist Forum of Ghana has launched a national campaign to save the life of Lynne Stewart. We must intensify our efforts in this battle for her freedom and her life. Ed Asner, Richard Falk, Daniel Ellsberg, Cornel West, David Ray, Griffin, Bonnie Kerness, Zachary Sklar, Alice Walker, Katha Pollitt, Michael Ratner, Sara Kuntsler, Heidi Boghosian, Wallace Shawn, San Francisco Supervisor John Avelos, Peter Kinoy, Peter Dale Scott, Wilhemina Levy, Cynthia McKinney, Pam Africa, and Louis Wolf are among current signers. We urge all to contact five people and ask each of them to contact five more, allowing each of us, thereby, in five stages to reach five thousand people

2:PM to 3:30PM:  See Addendum I which contains the proposed changes and/or updates to the GPCT bylaws.  Summary: the proposed changes and/or updates to the GPCT Bylaws Committee were discussed by attendees as facilitated by David Bedell. Overall, attendees verbalized appreciation for this discussion which helped to clarified what was being proposed to some attendees.  However, attendees advised the following by consensus:

  1. a)Change the wording in the bylaws from “the party” to “the Green Party of Connecticut” and send this recommendation back to the next SCC attendees for consideration and voting.
  2. b)Change section:  II, 2. g) Executive Committee: from “an executive committee of four” to “an executive committee of five”. And to send this recommendation back to the next SCC attendees for consideration and voting. Reason: this would correct an oversight in the bylaws to reflect the correct current composition of the executive committee of five people which is currently composed of three co-chairperson, one treasurer and one secretary.
  3. c)Some attendees raised concerns that the current bylaws indicate that in order to change bylaws, “members in good standing but unable to attend the Convention shall each be entitled to vote by absentee ballots.”  However, the 4-27-13 proposed bylaw changes were not sent out to the members in good standing who were not able to attend this 4-27-13 “convention”. Thus, GPCT members who were unable to attend today’s annual meeting were not afforded the opportunity to vote on the proposed bylaws as absentee voters. Other attendees noted that historically, no bylaws were ever sent to GPCT members in good standing so they could vote as absentee voters on
  4. d)Consensus was that the attendees wish to have the absentee voter issue clarified, so the attendees referred the 4-27-13 proposed bylaws back to the Bylaws Committee for clarification and for review by the bylaws committee and the State Central Committee (SCC) regarding further action. 

3:40PM:   G. Scott Deshefy of the GPCT Internal Elections committeeannounced the results of voting as follows: Co-chairperson: S. Michael DeRosa, Allan Brison and Linda Thompson; Barbara A. Barry for secretary; Christopher Reilly was unopposed for Treasurer. Christopher Reilly addressed the five rounds of Instant Run-off voting.

3:45PM: John Lancz thanked the attendees for participating and closed the meeting.

Submitted byBarbara Barry, secretary of the Green Party of Connecticut