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Minutes of the Washington State Progressive Caucus

Friday, April 1, 2005, 4:00-6:00 PM

Pasco, WA

The meeting was called to order by Larry Kalb. Jessica Beckett served as Parliamentarian. The secretary was unable to be present, and Martha Koester volunteered to take notes.

The agenda was approved. The minutes of the meeting of January 29, 2005 were read and approved. Rules for bylaws adoption were approved.

BylawsEdit

The bylaws were read section by section, and modifications were approved by majority vote.

Article I, Section 1. Purpose

The following sentence of this section was modified from “adhering to those concepts as expressed in the county, state, and our Caucus Platform’’ was changed to “adhering to those concepts as expressed in the party and Caucus Platforms.’’ The article was adopted with this modification.

Article II: Organizational Structure

Section 1. Membership

It was proposed that the categories ‘ethnicity’ be added to the sentence “regardless of race, gender, disability, economic status, age or sexual preference,” and that ‘preference’ be changed to ‘orientation.’ This was pre-empted by a resolution that all of the categories be omitted, which passed. ‘Registered voters’ was changed to ‘residents’ on the grounds that legal residents who were not citizens often contributed extensively to the party in many ways, and that we would not wish to exclude felons who lacked restored rights or those who were not yet old enough to vote.

It was proposed that (e) “Membership fees shall be reduced or waived in circumstances of economic difficulty as determined on a case-by-case basis by the Treasurer” be changed to “Membership fees shall be set at $1.00 in circumstances of economic difficulty or disability.” Section 1 was adopted as amended.

Section 2. Removal of Members and Section 3. Local Caucuses were adopted as is.

Section 4. Progressive Delegation

It was proposed that “(b) Any duly elected member of the Washington State Democratic Central Committee who qualifies for membership according to Article 2, Section 1 shall be a member of the Progressive Delegation if they so choose” be amended to add “until replaced by a certified and elected representative from their own local caucus.” After much discussion, it was proposed that since the role of and membership in the Progressive Delegation was unclear, Section 4 should be referred back to the bylaws committee. This proposal was passed.

Section 5. Executive Board

It was proposed that item “(b) Only five members of this board shall be of one gender” be changed to “All reasonable efforts shall be made to have the executive board maintain a 5/4 gender balance,” on the grounds that the caucus was not yet large enough to make this easy to do. The proposal passed.

It was further proposed that when the status of the Progressive Delegation was made clear, that references to it in Section 5 and all other sections be updated accordingly.

It was proposed that the duties of the Secretary item (4) should be amended to read “Prepare official correspondence of the WSPC-DCC, to be approved by the chair.” (Italicized phrase added.)

It was proposed that “by law” be added to the duties of the Treasurer item (6), which now reads “Prepare and fill out all Public Disclosure Commission Reports as required by law.”

Section 5 was then approved as amended.

Section 6. Committees

The last sentence for (a) the Finance Committee, “The Committee has the authority to audit the Treasurer’s accounts and will then be required to create an audit report” was struck out on the grounds that an audit committee should be separate from the Finance Committee. An audit committee would then be one of the committees to be appointed by the chair on an as-needed basis.

Section 7. Removal of Committee Chairs and Section 3. Indemnification were adopted as is.

Article III: Quorum

Ten percent (10%) of the current members of the caucus shall constitute a quorum. The last sentence “The quorum shall be established at the beginning of the meeting and once established shall be assumed until the meeting is adjourned” was struck out on the grounds that until the organization grows, we could be in the position of having major policy decisions made by two or three people. This issue can be revisited with growth and change in the organization. The article was approved as amended.

Article IV: Removal of Officers

Section 1. Absenteeism and Section 2. Grounds for Recall were adopted as is. A proposal to add “or a quorum of either” to Section 2 part (b) “Making public endorsements in the WSPC’s name without prior approval of the Progressive Delegation or Executive Board” was voted down.

Section 3. Procedures for Recall was adopted conditionally, with the Bylaws Committee instructed to come up with language specifying what happens if the recall involves an Executive Board member.

Article V: Operating Policies

Section 1. Disbursements was adopted as is.

Section 2. Signature Authority for Disbursements was adopted with the suggestion that the Bylaws Committee review it to address possible logistical problems. A motion that only the Treasurer’s signature be necessary for checks was voted down.

Article VI: Amendments and Suspension of the Bylaws and Article VII: Parliamentary Authority were adopted as is. (Note: Numbering of articles had two IV designations; this was corrected in the above transcription.)

Old BusinessEdit

TreasurerEdit

Election of Treasurer. Justin Tuttle was nominated and approved by acclimation. He works with cancer patients, was in the Eastern Washington University Young Democrats, and has had experience working as a campaign treasurer. He said that he was up to speed on the requirements of disclosure laws.

Eastern Washington Vice-ChairEdit

Election of Eastern Washington Vice-Chair. Sandra Gourley (spelling of last name?) is willing to do this. She was not able to be present, but Bob Parizan (spelling of last name?) of Benton County spoke for her. She has been active in the Dean campaign and in DFA, and has worked for progressive values for a long time. She was approved by acclamation.

At Large MembersEdit

Election of four at-large Executive Board members. There were seven nominations.

Buddy Georgia of Walla Walla. He is a Vietnam veteran, has been active in the Democratic Party since 1972, and is PCO of College Place.

Chad Lupkes of Seattle. He has been active in the party since 2003 after getting involved in the Dean campaign. He maintains websites for DFA and other progressive groups and is interested in technical infrastructure.

Chad Shue of Everett. He has voted Democratic for a long time, but did nothing but vote until 2003, when he got involved in the Dean campaign. He is a PCO in the 38th LD.

Alex West of Seattle. As a student, was involved in sweatshop issues and proposing legislation for dealing with this problem.

Jessica Beckett of Seattle. She was a Kucinich delegate to the national convention, and has worked in the Democratic Party as a liaison to progressives. She has put in a great deal of work on the bylaws of the Progressive Caucus.

Bob Parizan of Richland. He worked in the Dean campaign coordinating MeetUps, and is concerned about the weakness of the Democratic Party in getting its message out.

Martha Koester of Seattle. She has been previously politically active mainly on issues (most recently universal health care and black box voting), and was a Green until the last election cycle, when she joined the Democrats and became a PCO in order to work with the Kucinich campaign. Observing that the Greens didn’t have any PCOs, she decided to work as a progressive within the Democratic Party.

It was moved that, in the interests of working toward gender parity, that the two women candidates be seated on the board. This motion carried. Written balloting was done to select the other two board members. This resulted in two people getting the same number of votes, and a third one vote shy of that number. The question of whether to take the top two vote-getters as board members or to have a revote among the top three was put to the membership without revealing who the three people were. It was voted to accept the top two as members. These were Chad Lupkes and Alex West.

Request for CD coordinators. Debbie Schmail agreed to do the 6th CD, Judith Shattuck the 1st CD and Aaron Case the 4th CD. Getting more coordinators was tabled. The meeting was over the time limit, and more time was agreed to.

ResolutionsEdit

Three resolutions were approved for submission to the state committee meeting on the next day. These were

  • Call for Action Opposing the Draft, Exploring National Service, and Developing a Department of Peace
  • Call for the Withdrawal of the United States Military from Iraq
  • Call for Urging Congressional Opposition to Further “Off-Budget” Funding for Military Spending in Iraq.

Adjournment

It was moved, seconded and approved that the meeting be adjourned.

Submitted on April 5, 2005 by Martha Koester

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