Coordinating Committee minutes, December 3, 2013

Coordinating Committee members present (10): Victoria Ashley (East Bay), Cindy Asir (Silicon Valley),  Marla Bernstein (at-large), June Brashares (at-large), Maxine Daniel (at-large),  Sanda Everette (at-large), Mike Feinstein (Los Angeles), Barry Hermanson (San Francisco), Tim Laidman (at-large),  Alex Shantz (North Bay)

Coordinating Committee members not present (7): Dave Heller (at-large), Sasha Karlik (at-large), Matt Leslie (Orange/Riverside/ San Bernardino), Kate Tanaka (at-large), Michael Rubin (at-large), Cynthia Santiago (at-large), Lauren Sinott (at-large)
Invited Participants: Doug Barnett, GPCA Treasurer
Quorum: Quorum reached at 8:02 with 9/17 present:  ​Victoria Ashley (East Bay), Cindy Asir (Silicon Valley),  Marla Bernstein (at-large), June Brashares (at-large), Maxine Daniel (at-large),  Mike Feinstein (Los Angeles),  Barry Hermanson (San Francisco), Tim Laidman (at-large),  Alex Shantz (North Bay)
Owing to the time it took to reach quorum, informal discussion occured on items #6 and #8 until quorum was reached
Everette joined call at 8:11

2) Roles

Facilitator: Alex Shantz
Minutes taker: Mike Feinstein
Time keeper: Maxine Daniel
Vibes Watcher: Tim Laidman
Approved by consensus
3) Approval of Agenda 
Proposal (Feinstein): Move item #12 Treasurer's Report to be heard as item #9 
Approved by consensus
Proposal (Shantz) Approval of agenda as amended
Approved by consensus

4) Approve minutes
- Approval of minutes from November 12th CC meeting

Approved by consensus

5) Decision:  CC Retreat -  projected costs/approve budget (Everette)

Proposal (Everette): That up to $400 be alloted for food.
Proposal (Feinstein): Amendment, that $350 be alloted for food and up to $50 as necessary for travel costs for the GPCA Treasurer to attend. Accepted as friendly by the sponsor.
Proposal as amended (Everette)
Approved by consensus

6) Decision:  Establish draft agenda for CC Retreat (Feinstein)
Proposal (Feinstein): That the following items be on the CC retreat agenda
- Election of CC female co-coordinator and male and female alternate alternate co-coordinators.
- Appointment of Coordinating Committee Liaisons to Standing Committees: Platform
- Appointment of Coordinating Committee Liaison/Co-coordinators to Working Groups: Electoral Reform
- Appointments to Standing Committees: if there are applications
Reports from Liaisons to Standing Committee and Working Groups. (Perhaps have non-CC member Committee and Working Group co-coordinators participate by Skype, if available.)  Discussion of outreach for additional appointments to Standing Committees
Liaison to the SoS report (possibly by Skype)
Treasurer's report
Approval of Coordinating Committee FY 2013-2014 Work Plan and Budget Proposals
Review of Funding Approach for General Assemblies and Gatherings
Review planning for Spring Gatherings and Spring General Assembly
Review results of SGA vote on GPCA 'legislative demands' proposal, take next actions to promote party positions
Review of GPCA Two-Year Strategic Plan to be presented by CC to Spring General Assembly (reference last year
Review and amend the Personnel Policy
Proposed Amendment (Hermanson): Add a General Strategic Discussion. Accepted as friendly by sponsor.
Proposed Amendment (Brashares): Add an informal facilitated strategy discussion during Saturday evening.  Accepted as friendly by sponsor.
Proposal (Feinstein): Approve agenda as amended
Approved by consensus

7) Decision: GPCA policy 'demands' to the legislature (Shantz, Laidman,  Feinstein) 
Proposal (Shantz):  That the following draft statement be co-sponsored by the Coordinating Committee and Green Issues Working Group and sent to the Standing General Assembly (SGA) for discussion and vote; that the statement have five subject areas; that an additional 'other issues' section be considered (containing labelling of GMOs); that an ad-hoc drafting committee of June Brashares, Mike Feinstein and Alex Shantz be established to receive input from the SGA and revise the draft statement in response; and that an updated draft be presented for review by the Coordinating Committee at its January 7th meeting.  
(Note: based upon Coordinating Committee discussion, Shantz modified his original proposal (which was contained in a supplement to the original agenda) in three policy ways and one contextual way: the number of demands was reduced from six to five and labelling GMOs was placed into the 'other issues' category; policy #2 originally focused exclusively on enacting an oil severance tax and it was modified to approach tax reform more generally;  policy #5 was shifted from a specific emphasis on renewable energy, to a combination of a specific emphasis on decomissioning California's nuclear power plants and replacing them with conservation, efficiency and renewables; and it was made clear that this statement would focus first on what the Green Party wants the legislature to do with a 2/3 majority, not what the Green Party would do with 2/3, but then the statement would also speak to the Green Party's vision in each policy area.)
Green Party Policy Demands to the Legislature/Green Party Legislative Demands
The Democrats now have a super majority of 2/3 in both houses of the California state legislature. As a result, the legislature is in a position to pass many progressive reforms which require a 2/3 super majority, without fear of blockage by the Republicans. The Green Party believes this historic opportunity should be seized to address many key issues, especially the following:
1. Electoral reform
• Place an initiative on the ballot to overturn Proposition 14, The Top Two Elections System.
• Restore by legislation, the right of Californians to cast write-in votes in the general election -- and have them counted.
After these immediate actions are taken, the Green Party believes that California should move to change its electoral system to one of  multi-seat districts with proportional representation for the state legislature;  ranked-choice voting for single-seat, statewide constitutional office; and with public financing of all ballot qualified candidates, including free media time 
2.  Taxation (This policy demand has not yet been focused on reform of a specific tax or taxes. SGA members are asked to comment on how best to approach this.)
The passage of Proposition 30 was only a temporary, short term and insufficient approach to California's finances.  The state's structural budget deficit remains.
• Support immediate efforts to lower the threshold to approve new taxes from 2/3 to 55%
• Address the state's structural budget deficit and issues of fairness and equity in taxation through progressive reforms to the tax system.
Text to draw from, from GPCA statement on Prop 30 (  Greens believe in comprehensive tax reform including a progressive income tax; natural resources extraction taxes such as an oil severance tax; pollution taxes like a carbon tax; closing corporates loopholes and eliminating corporate welfare; addressing the problem in Prop 13 that commercial land is not being taxed via enacting a split roll, and more comprehensively enacting a land value tax where the socially-created value of land is retained by society; and legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana - all while cutting income taxes for the average worker and payroll taxes for small businesses, so that we reward work and a healthy environment, penalize pollution and waste, and keep the unearned profit out of speculation and monopolies.
Also the Coordinating Committee recommending considering how the establishment of a California State Bank could be included here.
3. Health Care
• Enact by statute, a system of Universal, Single Payer Health Care for California.
Democrats in the state legislature passed a "single payer-healthcare" bill on three occasions. The bills were vetoed twice by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Democrats pulled it the third time because Governor Schwarzenegger said he would veto it again. It was reintroduced in 2011 when Governor Jerry Brown took office. The democrats failed to get enough votes to pass it. With a super majority, the Democrats have even less of an excuse to not pass this.
The Green Party of California firmly supports single payer health care. A Green legislature would establish a  Single Payer Universal Health Care system.
4. Living Wage
• Support immediate efforts to raise the minimum wage
• Move swiftly to enact a living wage for California
The Green Party of California believes every person who wants to work is entitled to a job that pays a liveable wage. With reduced wages, reduced social services, and a widening gap between rich and poor, it is becoming increasingly difficult for workers to provide for themselves and their families. The minimum wage is not enough to sustain people. 
5. Energy/Climate Change/Green Jobs
• Immediate closure and decommissioning of the state's nuclear power plants at Diablo Canyon and San Onofre. (
• Replace the energy through increased conservation, efficiency and renewable sources, including by enacting a feed-in tariff and promoting distributed generation and community/public ownership.
The Earth is facing an environmental crisis. In the last decade, the Earth has experienced some of the highest average temperatures ever. The United States is responsible for emitting approximately 25% of all greenhouse gases worldwide. Something must change if we want to ensure future generations have a liveable planet.  
The Green Party of California supports using subsidies, incentives and regulations to encourage the development of renewable energies. One example is feed-in tariffs. Feed-in tariffs has been pioneered by Greens in Germany. It requires utilities that sell energy to pay three to four times more per kilowatt-hour to energy producers using sustainable energy.  This creates a market for renewable energy and leads to more investment.
The Green Party of California supports incentives that cultivate the development of renewable energies. A Green legislature would create incentives, such as feed-in tariffs, to increase renewable energy in California.   
Timeline:  SGA discussion timeline from December 5th through January 9th, and voting from January 10th through January 18th. Establish an ad-hoc drafting group to respond to input and develop revisions of the statement in response, and to present a revised draft to the CC for its January 7th meeting. 
Approved by consensus

8)  Decision: Establish Agenda for Spring Gatherings (Feinstein)
Background: The CC will be in a lead position to set the parameters for the gatherings, along with the host counties and other statewide committees and working groups.  This agenda item would be for the CC to begin that process.  
Proposal: That the gatherings include 
- Young Greens gathering, to be organized and run by Young Greens. 
- Presentations from elected Greens, to talk about their campaigns and what they have accomplished in office.
- An update on the legal situation on Proposition 14 and a workshop on its implications. 
If the courts overturn Proposition 14, have the Campaigns and Candidates Working Group to organize a forum on 2014 electoral strategy, including how we will outreach to and recruit candidates for statewide constitutional office, with the expectation of running all the way to November 2014.  If Proposition 14 is not overturned, we inform ourselves about the next legal and legislative strategies to overturn it. Then we address how to ensure that the GPCA stays on the ballot, including through increased Green voter registration and getting the state legislature to lower the voter registration threshold for party status.  As part of the post-Proposition 14 world, if Prop 14 is not overturned, the GPCA will also have to consider whether and how it will conduct its own County Council elections in 2014, since SB1272 eliminated them in gubernatorial years because there are no other partisan races in those years because of Prop 14. If Prop 14 is overturned, it would still take legislation to put back the County Council elections for 2014 and this is not certain by any means, because the County Registrars will likely oppose it.
Proposal (Brashares):  Voter registration session, including goal-settting and training; and Stein campaign school/debrief. Accepted as friendly.
Proposal (Brashares): Incorporate debriefing and 'campaign school' from the Stein for President campaign. Accepted as friendly.
Proposal (Hermanson): Ensure a general strategic discussion about major issues the party should be working on. Accepted as friendly.
Proposal (Laidman): Schedule time for committee and working group meetings. Conduct broad outreach to party membership via Nationbuilder, party website and other means to attend and participate in gatherings. Accepted as friendly.
Approved by consensus

9) Report: Treasure (Barnett) 

Barnett reported on the balance of the GPCA's bank accounts

At this point owing to time considerations, the Coordinating Committee heard a brief report from item #11 first, then returned to item #10, so that discussion on #10 could continue informally after the teleconference officially ended at 9:30

10) Decision: Carrying out tasks that were previously Marnie Glickman's responsibility (Brashares, Laidman) (20 minutes)

Brashares and Laidman presented updates on status of various tasks

11) Report: SGA Update (Feinstein, Laidman) (ten minutes)

Second phase of proposals destined for SGA will be posted to SGA within the upcoming week

12) Report: Standing committees 

Item heard informally after 9:30 for those who wanted to stay on call

13) Report: Working Groups 
Item heard informally after 9:30 for those who wanted to stay on call