GPMN Coordinating Committee October 2016 Meeting Notes

MN Green Party Coordinating Committee

(Approved) Meeting Minutes


Present: Andy Hamerlinck, Barb Huning, Johnny Akzam, Barbara Postema, Brandon Long, Kristen Olsen, Tony Korum


  1. Approve agenda: agenda approved with no changes

  2. Stein campaign update

Brandon updated the GOTV page to include:

  • Explanation of why Baraka is not listed as VP

  • Links to GOTV activity priorities, ideas and resources

  • Campaign materials contact info for regional distributors

Barb suggested adding contacts for local groups

Andy reviewed vote % targets:

Polling history in recent elections:

2000- 5.2%    Nader

2004- 0.16%  Cobb

2008- 0.18     McKinney

2012- 0.44%  Stein

1% of vote benefits: Minor Party Status for 4 yrs.

  • Public money made available to candidates

  • More leverage/clout with Secretary of State (ex: pressure to publish our caucus locations and results on SOS website)

5% of vote benefits: Major Party Status for 4 yrs.

  • Can run candidates without gathering petition signatures

  • Can hold primaries, preventing the problem of a candidate running Green with a platform that is out of alignment with Green values. Our only recourse currently is through the courts. In the past, we’ve had people running as Greens because of easy access.

  • Enough $ to hire paid organizers


  • Orientation to phone banking (online)

  • Make calls (Kristin will help people get started)

  • Pizza (Kristen will order

  • T-shirts/buttons/bumper stickers/lit availabl 

JILL VISIT 10/26/16

Arrival time uncertain. Kristen will plan media interviews or other activities for earlier in the day.

RALLY 7:00PM-? Depends on venue availability/cost

500 seat venue, ideally at U of M (Kristin & Tony to arrange)

Rochester group assigned to Peacekeeping (need task list confirmation from Kristen)

Gather contact info for attendees with sign-in

  • Volunteers with clipboards handing out tickets with sign-in info to crowd in line, turn in at entry

  • Volunteers entering data into NationBuilder at the event

Green Candidate Tables 

Local Green Chapter Outreach Tables

Lit Table for activist groups

7:00-7:30 Warm-Up Speakers: 5 min. Talks, powerful sound bites, focus on     promoting Jill, about 30min. Total

Warm-up Speakers/ who will invite. CC members will direct responses to Kristen 

  1. Ginger Jensen, 15 Now (Tony)

  2. Ken Pentel (Kristen)

  3. Mike Griffin, NOC (Brandon)

  4. Cam Gordon (Kristen)

  5. Colleen Rowley (Brandon)

  6. Lena Buggs (Andy)

  7. Johnny Howard, former Green City Council candidate (Brandon)

  8. Audrey Thayer, Native American community (Andy)

 7:30-8:30 Jill Stein

Discussion Points: 

  • Fewer speakers with longer messages highlighting issues vs More speakers with shorter “sound bite” messages focusing on promoting Jill: general consensus was to go with the latter in order to keep attention on Jill, prevent listener burnout, with plan to hold events after the election giving issues and allied organizations/causes detailed attention.

    • Warm-up speakers representing/highlighting allied organizations/causes vs Focus on Jill promotion: general consensus was to focus on Jill promotion so as to avoid distracting the audience from GOTV for Jill 

    • Discussion of importance of having strong cultural diversity in speakers to dispel the Dem “GP = Privileged White People” smear and promote GP as the party of cultural and racial diversity/grassroots democracy 

3. Down-Ballot Candidate Promotions Update

  • Mailers: adapting table flyer promoting Jill and all of the candidates, since individual candidate mailers would not be cost-effective.

    • Can use state check-off funds

    • Send to everyone in database

    • Need to update database to prevent spending time & energy fixing bad addresses after mailing

  • E-blasts by district and zip code day before election day

    • Short, simple reminder to vote with picture of candidate(s)

    • Andy, Johnny (and we hope Jim) will help cutting turf for mailers and setting these up in NationBuilder which can also be used for future e-blasts.

Discussion: Andy noted that despite existing efforts to instill accurate expectations about the kinds of support we can afford to offer to candidates, we will likely hear complaints from members and candidates that MN GP has not done more to promote down-ballot candidates. 

  • Going forward, we will brainstorm ways to be more effective in this orientation

  • Developing a MN GP Guide for Prospective Candidates

  • Send candidates to Camp Wellstone for training

4. State Fair Debrief

  • Action item: Kristen be on alert for and accept invitation from State Fair to lock in for next year’s booth in same place.

  • Successes/What to Keep Doing: 

  • Noticeable increase in public interest this year, lively conversations

  • Staggering time blocks helped prevent gaps from volunteer cancellations or late arrivals

  • Sold all of our t-shirts and buttons, disseminated most of the lit

  • Volunteers got to meet new fellow volunteers

  • Issues/Solutions & Ideas for Improvement:

    • Lots of no-shows and last-minute cancellations (mostly newbies) resulting in scrambling to cover. Solutions: start scheduling earlier

    • Need better orientation for volunteers: create video orientation- try to get Ken Pentel to role play. Include orientation to how to document sales, why no donations permitted

    • Develop sales record to document sales/revenue and use best practices for handling money (Barb will provide)

    • Find a volunteer willing to take 2 weeks off to organize and manage the event

    • Discussed pros and cons of booth location: 

      • Having a booth outside in the fairgrounds seems appealing because the major parties are out there and there’s a sense that visibility might be higher. We’d have to build our own booth (Johnny is a contractor and would help if we decided to do that one year). Same cost as being inside. 

      • We’ve had the same spot in Grandstand building for 2 decades, and the anniversary is coming up. Promoting our anniversary with a photo display of the GP booth over the years and highlight that we are well-established with a stable history. An earlier progressive 3rd party occupied the spot in the 1950’s. 

      • The location inside is a good location (intersection) and an inside location protects from the weather outside.

      • Yard rental is available for $1500, and Kristen knows an owner who rents his yard. An off-site location would offer ability to accept donations and offer bumper stickers. 


  • Keep current booth location inside for continuity and because of current advantages

  • Begin scheduling earlier and increase number of scheduling volunteers

  • Continue staggered shifts

  • Create orientation video to boost tabling skills & ensure best practices and State Fair rules are followed

  • Consider an outside booth for a high-profile candidate in the future, off-site yard site for ability to take donations and offer bumper stickers

5. Committee Reports

  • Finance: 

    • Reviewed Treasurer’s Report

    • Upcoming large-scale expenditures: GOTV ads 

    • Andy and Barb have not met to orient Barb. Barb is overextended with Rochester local organizing and has not taken action on organizing the fundraiser. Also, member discomfort with fundraising has been a deterrent to incorporating fundraising into existing events. 

    • A & B recommit to meet this week

    • Barb will meet with Rochester local, specify tasks to be delegated, seek volunteers for identified tasks, and if necessary set end dates for her service to these tasks to create time to devote to CC Finance tasks.

    • Ideas for fundraising for paid organizer include:

      • $5 sustaining donation from existing membership would render enough for paid organizer salary

      • Adding a sustaining donor invitation to all E-blasts

      • Social Media campaign

      • Include leveled thank you gifts 

    • PayPal trouble: sustaining donor complaints. Free PayPal account does not allow outside credit card payments. Could pay more to enable this function.

  • Membership:

    • Focus on Jill Events until election

    • Use Jill events to grow MNGP membership

  • Organization: 

    • Focus on new local chapter development after election day

  • Communication: 

    • Twitter 2,295

    • Facebook 2645

    • Media Hits: 

      • Brandon interview with DC-based organization

      • Standing Rock Protest-bound Winona Greens story by Winona Daily News

    • Need press release for 10/26 Jill rally

    • Next Sunflower Seed: announce new locals: Rochester and Winona 

6. Politics: 

  • Jill events & down-ballot candidate support as described in other reports

  • Statewide Election Night Event: Tin Cup in St. Paul (Lena Buggs, organizer)

  • Local Chapter Reports: 

    • CD 1 (Olmsted, Winona, Fillmore, Houston, Brown, Nicollet, LeSeur, Rice, Watonwen, Waseca, Blue Earth, Steele, Dodge, Rock, Nobles, Jackson, Martin, Faribault, Freeborn, Mower, part of Cottonwood): 

    • Rochester and Winona planning to establish local chapters after the election

    • Let’s take time at Nov. meeting to develop a plan for local chapter development facilitation.

  • CD 2 (Scott, Dakota, Goodhue, Wabasha counties): 

  • Janis Ward is listed as Itaska County Soil and Water Preservation Commissioner in CD 2, but Itaska Cty is CD 8?

  • CD 3 (Greater Hennepin, upper Scott and Carver counties)

    • Wayne Poluk, Hennepin County Commissioner candidate

    • Ianni Houmas, Ramsey County Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor listen on our website? Ramsey County is CD 4. 

  • CD 4 Ramsey county/St. Paul and suburbs: 

    • Have been meeting, 2 candidates: Lena Buggs and Ianni Houmas (but Ianni is listed as CD 3 on website

    • Lena has organized an election night party at the Tin Cup in St. Paul

  • CD 5 (Minneapolis and suburbs):

    • Sharon LeMay, Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor candidate

    • Chris Hedges from 15 Now came (to what ?)

    • Elected new people to steering committee, 7 members now

    • Started using Nation Builder

  • CD 6 (north and west metro & St. Cloud area):

    • Pride Fest in St. Cloud

    • Andy will talk with Sharon LeMay about how to connect people from widespread local areas

  • CD 7 (western MN): No report/no activity?

  • CD 8 (north eastern MN/Itaska)

    • Parades

    • Dennis Bartress District 5B- 4 Interviews

    • Mel Thorenson, Itaska County listed on website as CD 3?

7. Housekeeping/New Business:

  • Minor Party Status From (don’t forget to submit!) 

  • Develop new local chapter support plan at Nov. meeting

NEXT MEETING: November 19 10AM-1PM in Rochester

Barbara Postema will book space (try Perkins) and notify grou

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