GREEN PARTY OF PHILADELPHIA, Minutes from Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Dream House Asian Bistro, 6127 Ridge Avenue (at Green Lane), Roxborough, Philadelphia
Attendance: Alex Gillett, Bernadette Cronin-Geller, Glenn Davis, Julian Robinson, Beverly Rolfsmeyer, Hillary Kane, Chris Robinson, Ernest Schulte, Lawrence Geller, John Winfelter, and Eric Hamell
Minutes were taken by Hillary in the absence of an elected Recording Secretary.
May 30, GPPA State Meeting in Swarthmore, 11 AM-3 PM
May 30, Horsham Demonstration against Drone Command Center
June 10, City Committee meeting/Phone Banking, 7 PM at Liberty Choice
June 24, GPOP meeting, location TBA [THIS DATE WAS CHANGED, SEE #8 BELOW]
June 25-28, US Social Forum
Hillary selling tickets to USSF through GPOP at only $20. Buy tickets through Hillary, not the USSF Philly site. Proposing two workshops: one on ballot access (with Jay Sweeney, Carl Romanelli, and possibly Alex Gillett and Paul Rossi), and another on May Day as a National Holiday (Vivek Ananthan).
May 26, Bernadette, Lawrence and Eric protested at the federal building yesterday against drone strikes. Philadelphia-Area Anti-Drone Network.
Alex raised concerns about the anti-drone demonstrations (at Horsham) because they appear to be directed to the “proletariat,” the actual workers and staffers of the facility who would need to make great personal risks to challenge the program, rather than the government & leadership that put the policies in place.
See attendance list above
3) Discussion of Primary Election Results
Alex noted that the turnout was low – only 30%. This is a big opening for us — voter dissatisfaction is high.
Chris felt that this was because no one is talking about their issues. If Greens were running, we would presumably be talking about the issues people care about.
Lawrence mentioned that we need to work to mobilize the 1900 or so registered Greens that have already indicated some support for us. We need to ask those 1900 registrants to take 50 brochures a piece and hand them out in their own neighborhood.
Eric is supposed to be putting a list together of registered Greens with phone numbers. We can’t afford to do a snail mailing. This was decided on at the last City Committee meeting. The goal is to do some phone banking on June 10th in lieu of the City Committee meeting.
Hillary mentioned the new GPUS brochure that has a space for a local chapter’s information. It also happens to have Hillary on it! Can we raise $ to get some of these new brochures produced?
Next week, Chris will get the list of Greens who voted in the Primary.
Hillary will also update the Philly Election Results spreadsheet which tracks votes for Green candidates for the entire city by division.
Glenn wants us to focus more on younger voters “millennials.” Focus on #BlackLivesMatter as a local movement. We need more Greens to come out to participate.
Alex thinks we need to simply go to our own neighbors and talk with them about joining the Green Party, how to register, etc. He wants to focus on voter registration.
Beverly, picking up on the movement thread, asked how we could be more involved and more visible at events and demonstrations.
Hillary noted that one additional thing we need to do is use social media. She has been tweeting when she can from the GPPA account — such as at one of the #BlackLivesMatters events and when she and Chris gathered signatures at Mt. Airy Day.
4) Discussion of new Press Release
Chris proposed a press release if no one got a majority, but Kenney did. So this idea is no longer useful. Alternative plan is to issue a release that makes a set of recommendations for the next mayor and try to get the two major party candidates to agree to those points or at least to debate them. The meeting accepted this plan, and Chris will ask everyone for their ideas.
Alex wants us to be more political. We have been too passive. A candidate for mayor (Anthony Hardy Williams) paid a $30,000 fine to the Board of Ethics for campaign finance violations. Another candidate paid $6-8,000. Alex’s PAC has gone to Harrisburg and looked at the signatures of incumbent candidates and at least 10% are bad. Until we threaten the incumbents with defeat from signature challenges, our proposed legislation to change the ballot access rules will not have a chance. Alex thinks we could bring this to the media — not do an actual challenge ourselves.
Discussion about getting out of our individual bubbles — some want to do anti-drone protests, some want to work on ballot access challenges, some want to do door-to-door outreach — but no one activity is unifying the party and people are often not interested in working on what they perceive to be “other people’s” stuff.
Lawrence: We have a malaise in GPOP right now — we need to make a plan, stick to it, and push ourselves to hold ourselves accountable to the decisions we made at previous meetings. We need to roll up our sleeves and do work.
5) Latest news from Kristin’s campaign
Kristin not present but her campaign seems to be ramping up post-primary. She reached out to Hillary to join her campaign committee. She seems to be doing stuff. Chris will email her to send a report to GPOP News. Alex said her campaign was a bit in limbo until the primary. Helen Gym’s victory has prompted Kristin to re-focus her campaign and message.
John mentioned the real estate tax for businesses and large corporations (Comcast, Stadium, Universities). Tons of money for the stadiums only goes to a small section of South Philly.
Bernadette suggested charter school oversight as an issue for Kristin.
6) Latest news from Glenn’s campaign
Glenn said his campaign is going well. He’s running a “grass roots” campaign and focusing more on getting people involved rather than raising money. He has some support from Stephanie Singer’s office since she was kicked off the ballot. Goal is to beat the Republican who, in 2011, won with only 15% of the vote. Glenn believes that he will be challenged by the Republicans since we’re a bigger threat to them in this election. We need to each talk to all of our Democratic friends and explain that they can and should split their vote and this will actually help knock off the Republican, not “spoil” a Democrat.
Raising money by door knocking. Doing it while petitioning.
Next campaign meeting Sunday, May 31st at Hillary’s house at 2:30 PM. 5031 Catharine Street.
7) Report from GPOP Treasurer
Hillary passed out the analysis of income and expenditures. Our income is roughly evenly split between one-time donors, monthly sustainers, and “pass the hat.” Hillary noted that the monthly sustainer program brings in ~$80 a month and comes from only 5 people. We could easily increase our income substantially by recruiting more sustainers.
Green Night Out has been revived at the Sang Kee Peking Duck House, www.sangkeechinatown.com, 238 North Ninth Street, Chinatown, on Saturday, June 27th.
Next GPOP General Membership Meeting
GPOP usually holds its General Membership Meeting on the fourth Wednesday of each month (with the exception of August and December). Unfortunately, the fourth Wednesday of July will conflict with travel plans for members who will attend the National Convention of the Green Party of the U.S. in Saint Louis, MO, http://www.gp.org/current-news/1367-the-green-party-will-hold-its-2015-annual-national-meeting-in-st-louis-missouri-july-23-26. Therefore, the membership agreed to hold its next General Membership meeting on Wednesday, July 29. Please bring your nomination petitions to this meeting. Mady Cantor will notarize them for free.