Coordinating Committee minutes, September 10, 2012

Coordinating Committee members  present (13):  Victoria Ashley (East Bay),  Marla Bernstein (at-large), Warner Bloomberg (Silicon Valley), June Brashares (at-large), Maxine Daniel (at-large); Sanda Everette (at-large), Mike Feinstein (Los Angeles),  Barry Hermanson (San Francisco), Sasha Karlik (at-large), Tim Laidman (at-large),  Cynthia Santiago (at-large), Alex Shantz (North Bay), Lauren Sinott (at-large), 

Coordinating Committee members not present (5)Dave Heller (at-large),  Matt Leslie (Orange/Riverside/San Bernardino), Stevie Luther (at-large), Michael Rubin (at-large),  Kate Tanaka (at-large)
Quorum: Quorum reached at 7:37 with 11/18 present:  Victoria Ashley (East Bay),  Marla Bernstein (at-large), Warner Bloomberg (Silicon Valley), Maxine Daniel (at-large); Sanda Everette (at-large), Mike Feinstein (Los Angeles),  Barry Hermanson (San Francisco), Sasha Karlik (at-large), Tim Laidman (at-large),  Cynthia Santiago (at-large), Alex Shantz (North Bay)
Quorum is 10 CC Members out of 18, quorum reached
Facilitator: Alex Shantz
Minutes taker: Mike Feinstein
Time keeper: Maxine Daniel
Vibes Watcher: Tim Laidman

3) Approval of Agenda 

Proposal (Feinstein): Add: Approval of minutes from 8/27 CC meeting (;  Move:  #7 Decision: Bylaws Interpretation Regarding Final Election of More CC members from a single county than permitted by prior GPCA Bylaws (Feinstein) (ten minutes)  to #13 after Stein campaign update; Eliminate duplicate Stein campaign item
Approved by Consensus to add to draft agenda
Proposal (Shantz): Approve overall agenda
Approved by Consensus with one stand aside (Bloomberg) concerned that there is no monthly treasurers report and no reports from standing committees

4) Approve minutes 
- Approval of minutes from 8/6 CC meeting
Approved by Consensus
- Approval of minutes from 8/27 CC meeting
Lauren Sinottt joined call at 7:43
Approved by Consensus

Brashares joined call at 7:48

5)  Decision: Certification of County Councils: Shasta County (Hermanson) 
Bylaws from Shasta County not yet provided. Therefore no decision taken

6) Decision: Carrying out tasks that were previously Marnie Glickman's responsibility (Brashares, Laidman) 
Everette will continue thanking large donors; Feinstein will follow up with a prospective large donor in Southern California and will address issues raised with donate page on the GPCA's website. Lengthly discussion ensued about the functions of Nationbuilder and the need to identify more people to operate it, and a job description for at least one of these persons
Procedural Proposal (Shantz): add five minutes for continued disscussion.
Approved by Consensus

7) Decision: GPCA Background statements for statewide initiatives (Feinstein)

Proposal: That the CC adopted the draft statements on Prop 32 and 40 as is; adopt the statement on 34 provisionally, with the understanding that it will go further edits; and assign creation of the remaining eight statements to the Media Committee. Statements attached at end of agenda.
Approved by Consensus

8) Decision: Bylaws Interpretation Regarding Platform Approval at San Francisco General Assembly (Feinstein)

Proposal (Feinstein): That the CC approve the following findings, that would provide a justification for approving the platform plank as submitted by Shane Que Hee, Platform Committee Co-Coordinator.
Whereas the draft agenda submitted to the San Francisco General Assembly by the Coordinating Committee had a discussion item scheduled on Sunday afternoon, May 13, for two platform planks submitted late by the Platform Committee; and
Whereas the during the San Francisco General Assembly agenda approval process, the Platform Committee co-coordinator requested that the discussion item be changed to a decision-item; and
Whereas the agenda approval process took over 1/2 hour and contained discussion at-length about how items other than the platform would be handled, such that the request about the platform agenda item was not returned to before a final agenda was approved by the General Assembly ; and
Whereas on Sunday afternoon, May 13 the Platform committee made a presentation on the Energy plank with the impression that the agenda had been amended to make it a decision-making item, and in that moment, no one was entirely sure whether the approved agenda was or was not amended to make the Energy plank a decision-making item, but some of those present thought that it had, so the group went ahead with the assent of the co-faciliators and all delegates present; and 
Whereas the amendments to the Energy plank were relatively minor and all were approved by consensus; 
Therefore the Coordinating Committee declares that upon this one time basis, the amendment to the Energy plank will be considered made by the General Assembly
Approved by Consensus

9) Appointment to Clearinghouse Committee
During discussion on item #11, the Coordinating Committee realized it had forgotten to include the Appointment to Clearinghouse Committee item in response to Starlene Rankin's application, which was submitted on time and therefore should have been included in the agenda.
Proposal (Everette): Add this item to the agenda.
Approved by Consensus
Appointment of Starlene Rankin to Clearinghouse Committee
Approved by Consensus

10) Decision: Status of GPCA PO Box (Laidman)

Proposal (Laidman): That the GPCA make the San Francisco PO Box the party's official address for the purposes of FEC and FPPC filings; that the Coordinating Committee direct the Treasurer to make such amendments to the party's filings to designate these addresses; that the Coordinating Committee direct the Treasurer to contact the FEC and FPPC and inquire whether any mailings had gone to the old Sacramento address after the forwarding order expired; and that the Coordinating Committee inform the Clearinghouse Committee that it is the sentiment of the Coordinating Committee that the Clearinghouse Committee not do a Request for Proposals (RFP) and instead move promptly to establish a clearinghouse in Sacramento, and in the process, establish a new PO Box there that the clearinghouse would use.
Procedural Proposal (Shantz): Add five minutes for further discussion
Approved by Consensus
Vote on proposal by Laidman:
Approved by Consensus

11) Decision: Procedures for GPCA email lists (Everette)

Proposal (Laidman): That the CC adopt the following text to govern procedures for GPCA listserves for Standing Committees: "The Listserves for Committees are reserved for Committee work, therefore the members of the Committee and Ex-Officio members are on the list. Any others working on projects or consulting with the committee or serving as advisors may be added by the Committee.  Coordinating Committee members who may want to be on the list may do so by request.
Approved by Consensus

12) Report: Jill Stein California college campus tour (Shantz)

Updated text of confirmed dates will be provided by Wednesday, September 12 and these draft minutes will be revised to reflect that


13) Decision: Bylaws Interpretation Regarding Final Election of More CC members from a single county than permitted by prior GPCA Bylaws (Feinstein) 

Proposal (Feinstein): That the Coordinating Committee approve the following Bylaws Interpretation
Whereas at the GPCA's San Francisco General Assembly, delegates elected seven members to two year at-large seats, and two members to one year at-large seats (; and
Whereas among them were three members of Alameda County, making a cumulative total of four at-large members from Alameda County, one more than allowed by GPCA Bylaws; and
Whereas this possibility was not discussed when the seat was advertised, more when people applied for the seat, nor when the agenda was put together, nor when the GA voted to conduct an on-site election instead of a post-GA email election, nor when the results were announced; and
Whereas there is no clear process approved by the party to decide who how the  three-per county limit is applied; and
Whereas it would not be possible to use the approach of only declaring the first elected from Alameda County up to the limit of three, because there were candidates elected from Alameda County for both the two and one-year seats,  and therefore who then gets dropped, the last person elected to a one-year seat, or the last person elected to a two-year seat; and
Whereas there were the same number of candidates as there were seats to be elected, the election of Greens from Alameda County did not result in any other candidate being elected; and
Whereas the bylaws interpretation made by the Coordinating Committee on June 4th does not include a per-county limit, because its not possible to implement in combination with gender balance requirements included as part of the process; and
Whereas the one-year seat filled by an Alameda County Green will end in May 2013, less than one year from now; and
Whereas by that time, the GPCA will have had the opportunity to review the issue of limits-per-county and amend its bylaws accordingly;
Therefore the GPCA finds that the results of the San Francisco General Assembly Coordinating Committee elections shall be considered valid and in force for the terms elected.
Approved by Consensus, with one stand aside (Bloomberg): Doesn't believe its appropriate for the Coordinating Committee to condone a bylaws/procedural violation as a matter of general policy

14) Report:  Review of finances of GPCA Presidential Forum (Brashares, Hermanson) 

Hermanson reported that theater rental for the Presidential Forum was $1,700. Brashares reported previously that the amount that was donated online for tickets before the Forum was: $1,010 [$85 from GA registrations (17 @ $5 from the online GA registrations) and $925 from donations related just to the Forum]
Hermanson reported by General Assembly costs were $1,100 for food. Hermanson will make a donation of $1,100 to the GPCA. 

Attachment from item #7

Prop 32 is a frontal assault on the ability of unions to participate in the political process, to the advantage of corporations, disguised as campaign finance reform. The Green Party unconditionally opposes it.
Prop 32 is a remake of so-called "paycheck protection" measures rejected by voters in 1998 and 2005. Those propositions were clear attacks on labor's political fundraising. Prop 32 tries to be clever, purporting to restrict corporate money as well,  by prohibiting corporations and unions from making deductions from paychecks to finance their political activity. 
But corporations don't take deductions from paychecks for political expenditures. Instead, they take directly from their corporate funds, and this measure proposes nothing to stop that. 
By contrast, payroll-deducted contributions are unions' primary means of raising money from their members, which they can then use for political expenditures. For this reason, Prop 32's effect would be to greatly weaken the political voice of unions in favor of the political voice of corporations.
Prop 32 would also bar direct contributions to officeholders and candidates by corporations and unions (assuming labor could raise enough money if Prop 32 passed.) While this may seem evenhanded, the effect would be unequal in practice, because big money players spend far more on initiatives and independent campaigns than on direct candidate donations. 
The Green Party supports the goal of a politics based upon issues and voters' preferences, not special interest money - whatever the source.
The Green Party's alternative is the public financing of elections, combined with fair ballot access laws, free radio and television time on the public airwaves, and inclusion in all debates for all ballot-qualified candidates and parties. 
The Green Party's alternative also involves bringing down the cost of campaigning by changing from our single-seat, winner-take-all state legislative districts, which require a great deal of money to win a majority of the vote one at a time, to a system of proportional representation from multi-seat districts, where less than a majority can win representation according to its numbers.
Prop 32 by contrast would only make the existing big money corrupting system worse, by giving significant new, undue advantages to one set of interest groups over another - corporations over organized labor. 
Corporations already have undue influence in our society because they have been given  constitutional rights that were intended solely for human beings, through  Supreme Court created corporate personhood, which the Green Party rejects and supports a constitutional amendment to overturn. Prop 32 would greatly accelerate this imbalance and further endanger our democracy. It must be rejected.
For these reasons, the Green Party recommends a 'no' vote on Prop 32
The Green Party has unconditionally opposed capital punishment since the party started. Non-violence is one of our key values, and opposition to the death penalty is a key part of our state and national platform, and the Global Greens charter. 
Making matters worse, in practice the death penalty is applied disproportionately in a racially biased manner, and to the least advantaged and most vulnerable in society, meaning this is a profound civil rights issue as well. This bias extends not only to the race and economic class of the defendants singled out for death sentences, but also to the race and economic class of the victim. 
Therefore the Green Party believes that the death penalty should be eliminated immediately and unconditionally, and endorses Prop 34 to help bring this about.
We nonetheless voice the concern that by automatically converting existing death sentences to life imprisonment without parole, Prop 34 would de facto eliminate funding for appeals, which are provided today for those sentenced to death. While we recognize that most appeals of a death sentence would not have a better result than life without parole, we remain concerned about the eliminated appeals funding, and believe that this should be addressed.
At the same time, the Green Party believes we must take advantage of this historic opportunity to end the abhorrent practice of state-sanctioned murder in our state -- and in our collective names.  There is no place for this kind of practice in society.
Prop 34's passage will ensure that innocent people are no longer executed in California.  It will also be a major step toward creating a more just and humane society,  where we see and value the humanity in each of us.
The Green Party endorses Prop 40, that would preserve the State Senate Districts drawn up by the 2011 Citizens Redistricting Commission.
We do so not because these new districts have some particular magic about them. Rather, it is because there is no legal reason to send them to the courts. The process for drawing up these new districts (that was established by the voters in November 2008 when they approved of Prop 11) was followed and the new boundaries are what the Citizens Redistricting Commission came up. End of story.
However in endorsing Prop 40, it is important to note that the Green Party  originally opposed Proposition 11 when it was on the ballot in 2008.
The biggest concern of the party at the time, was that the real problem with representation is not how districts are drawn, but the use of single-member, winner-take-all legislative districts in the first place. The Green Party had the concern then -- and still has it now -- that 'reforms' that would only tinker with the present system would be distractions to real reform. Instead of redistricting, the Green Party supports multi-member districts with proportional representation.
The same mindset that thought that thought that redistricitng would be a meaningful improvement, also led to the narrow passage of Prop 14 in June 2010, the Top Two primary, which was a major step backward for our democracy. Prop 14 limits voter choice and political voice, while increasing the costs of elections.  It also has the long term potential of eliminating all but the Democratic and Republican parties from the ballot entirely within the state.
But that's what we get when we fail to take the bold steps needed to abandon our broken system of single-member, legislative districts in favor of a democracy that our state deserves, with proportional representation that would give all voters the best chance to elect someone who represents their views, and would give a seat at the table to all voices in our society.