Elections Working Group, 2010



Elections Working Group, GPUS Annual National Meeting, Sat. 6-26-10

Matt DeHughes (MI) facilitated; Ian K. Samways (PA) took notes.

We relayed some individual stories/idiosyncracies encountered in individual states to get a flavor for what we were dealing with nationwide; MI, DC, NY and ME came up as examples.

Brent McMillan drew a good conceptual map of the “layers” (or concentric “rings”) of participation in the GP nationwide: at the “core” are individuals who work on committees, caucuses and in other intensive capacities and carry out a good portion of the work of the GP at different levels; in a first surronding “ring” are registered or otherwise identified Greens who constitute about 500K ppl nationwide; in a second surrounding “ring” are ppl who have voted Green at one point or another, which could well number in the millions in some given years. Another outer layer or “ring” was suggested, ppl who are Greens but “don’t yet know it”. The question came up of how we might be able to reach this huge potential base of support for the GP at all levels with the resources we have available; obviously it gets more difficult the further away you get from the “core”, but perhaps therein lie the very people (e.g., those who “need to be convinced”) who we want and need to reach.

One problem cited was the dearth of local chapters (and heaven forbid ward or precint committees) compared to the big parties; it’s really very widely scattered over the map and not at all concentrated in most places. The USSF came up as a good example of outreach challenges; how can we more successfully tap into large-attendance events like that, where a goodly number of ppl are likely to be sympathetic to our message ? What opportunities like that do we continue to overlook and/or miss?

There was some discussion about the history of the Coordinated Campaign Committee (CCC) and its eventual demise. This turned out to be a major focus of our discussion, but other potential areas of focus rose to the top as well.

Broad agreement/consensus was reached on several goals which we found most reasonable and warranted for the GPUS to pursue in the nearer term (I believe the idea was 2 years in this case):

1. Review, rekindle and reestablish the CCC as soon as possible. We believed this to be by far the most important goal as it has the potential to impact directly a number of different areas of electoral strategy (including some of the othersmentioned below). Two major components of this goal were identified as follows:

(a) We intend to set up a formal working group which will review the CCC’s history and potential future, focusing particularly on what a renewed/reinvigorated charge/mission of the CCC should be. The working group’sfindings will be aimed at crafting a formal proposal for consideration by GPUS-NC for fully reestablishing the CCC. (The sponsor[s] of such a proposal might be drawn from the states or from SC). We already started a signup sheet for interested prospective members of the working group, which will initially be convened by Jason Nabewaniec.

(b) Thinking ahead, we believe that the reconstituted CCC should take great care to prioritize where money for campaigns will go, particularly, how it will be distributed among different contests based on the perceived relative importance of the contests.

2. Work to increase Green voter registration nationwide within two years to a new peak of about 500K voters.

3. Whether via the new CCC or some other means, encourage and support State Parties to develop revamped/reinvigorated new media resources for attracting voters and enhancing outreach in the individual states; this could include developing templates to make available to states. Ideally, work with all 50 states and get even basic new media templates set up in every state as soon as possible.

4. Develop and encourage resources and mechanismsfor candidate education from the GPUS level. This can include, but of course need not be limited to, training resources (materials, “gurus”/personnel, etc.) for candidates, campaign managers, Greens working door-to-door, or anyone involved in any aspect of a campaign.

5. Identify potential new Green voters or volunteers to bring into our fold as quickly as possible, to build up a stronger foundation of “human capital” for GPUS as soon as possible. See Brent’s “concentric ring” diagram, above. Review/assimilate best practices for this type of recruitment; visit the possibility of focusing particularly on a younger demographic, e.g., high school and/or college students, who could be encouraged to do community work or internships on our behalf.
Colia Clark (NY, Black Caucus)
Chris Henry (OR)
Tim McKee (CT)
Mike deRosa (CT)
John Rensenbrink (ME)
Jason Nabewaniec (NY)
Brent McMillan (DC)
Jack Ailey (IL)
A.J. Segneri (IL)
Alberto Boccanerga (IL)
Paloma Andrade (IL)
Mat de Heus (MI)
Morgan Moss, Jr (LA)
Elli Boal (MI)
Ian Samways (PA)
Jim Lendall (ARK)
Jan MArtell (NC)
Lynne Lambert Schmitt (IL)
Michael Smith (IL)
Linda Manning-Myatt (MI)
Julie Jacobson (HI)
Caig Thorsen (CA)