The Libertarian Party of San Francisco meets for official business on the second Saturday of each month, from 3 to 5 p.m. Most of these meetings are held at the San Francisco Main Library at 100 Larkin, just outside the Civic Center BART/Muni station on Market Street. We announce the location of each meeting on the front page of our website and on our Announcements (you can subscribe to our Announcements List by clicking the link on the front page).
A social hour follows from 5 to 6 p.m. at a local establishment (arrive before 5 to walk there with us). Visitors are welcome to call or drop in and join us for the business meeting and/or the social hour.
Libertarian Party of San Francisco
Minutes of the monthly meeting held December 13, 2014 at the San Francisco Main Library
Members Present: Marcy Berry (Vice-Chair), Aubrey Freedman (Chair), Jawj Greenwald, Leslie Mangus (Treasurer), Starchild
Visitor: Michael Burns
There was a post-election lull in our level of activism last month. Aubrey and Marcy overcame their social inhibitions to attend (LPSF long-time friend) Sarosh Kumana's Annual Holiday Party and mingle with some local politicos, and were surprised how much they enjoyed it. Les and Aubrey attended another enjoyable annual event, the JSA Convention, a Santa Clara gathering for high school students interested in politics and debate. Marcy wrote lots for the LPSF website.
(for more detailed and timely notice of events, see “Bay Area Events” section of the website, www.lpsf.org)
The Golden Gate Liberty Revolution's monthly meetup will be held 7-9 pm Monday December 15 at the Moksha Life Center, 405 Sansome St
Free Exchange meets 7-12 at Jim Elwood's home in Parkmerced on the 1st Saturday of each month (next date: Jan 3)
The LPSF annual election of officers will be held at the Saturday January 10 LPSF meeting in the 4th floor conference room of the Main Library.
OFFICERS' AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
Treasurer’s Report Les Mangus reported that, as of November 30, we had $2963.13 in the bank
Website Report. Marcy Berry continues to write at least one website article a week and encourages others to contribute. The site now has pictures. There was a surge of traffic in the lead-up to the November elections, with over 14000 visits to the site in October and over 13000 in November. The site is gaining popularity. Since it doesn't cost even one postage stamp to promote the LPSF on its website, it clearly provides a good return on investment.
Membership Committee. Aubrey Freedman reports no change in membership numbers this month, and succeeded in getting the state party to update its records of current paid-up members. He sent out an email newsletter to members and supporters in lieu of mailing individual letters, and will try to do so monthly in future to reach as many of SF's 2700 registered Libertarians as possible.
Donations/Government Filing Requirements. We discussed the level of donations and membership dues we receive and decided it was close to $2000 a year (so are expenses to cover activism and operations). We discussed the donation button on the LPSF Meetup Group website. Group Organizer Starchild would need to add the button.
Les Magnus raised an issue related to our campaign account. This was set up to comply with campaign laws to allow us to solicit and spend $1000 and over on candidate and ballot measure campaigns. However, we never raised or spent anything approaching $1000 specifically earmarked for campaigning, so we recently authorized him to close the campaign account. Since then, Les and Aubrey have sought clarification from the state agency that enforces laws about political parties as to whether the threshold of $1000 that obligates a political party to file reports of contributions includes various non-campaign donations (e.g. dues, payments for general operating expenses) that would push us over the threshold. Aubrey circulated an email response suggesting that ALL payments and contributions to a political party count (even though such laws may seldom be enforced). So after discussion, we voted (4 to 1) to comply. Aubrey, with Les' help, will look into what is required to register as a “campaign committee” and make required filings thereafter.
Tax Day Event.
We have a date (April 5th) and a venue (one of the Main Library meeting rooms) for our 2015 tax day event. But as of yet no speaker or topic. Suggestions were solicited and briefly discussed.
Libertarian Party of San Francisco Agenda: Saturday, January 10, 2015
Meeting Location: San Francisco Main Library – 4th Floor Conference Room
Welcome – Introductions 3:05-3:25
Activist Reports – Past & Future 3:26-3:45
Election of Officers 4:01-4:15
Membership Report 4:16-4:20
Website Report 4:21-4:25
Treasurer’s Report 4:26-4:30
Pride 2015 4:31-4:40
Tax Day 2015 4:41-5:00
Libertarian Party of San Francisco Agenda: Saturday, December 13, 2014
Meeting Location: San Francisco Main Library – 4th Floor Conference Room
Welcome – Introductions 3:05-3:15
Activist Reports – Past & Future 3:16-3:30
Donations/Governmental Filing Requirements 3:46-4:05
Membership Report 4:06-4:15
Website Report 4:16-4:25
Treasurer’s Report 4:26-4:30
Tax Day 2015 4:31-5:00
Libertarian Party of San Francisco Minutes of Meeting of November 8, 2014
Members present: Aubrey Freedman (Chair), Marcy Berry (Vice Chair), Les Mangus (Treasurer), Starchild (Outreach Director). Guests: Jing Li and Kent Polkinghorne
Welcome and Introductions: Our guests shared interesting stories about themselves. Jing, a school teacher by profession, is currently writing a memoir and has just started a website to teach kids math. She is also trying to learn about different political groups in San Francisco. Kent describes himself as an “anarcho capitalist,” who is looking into different liberty-leaning groups.
Activist Reports: As is traditional, those present told what they have done for liberty during the past month. Highlights were: Aubrey and Marcy helped with the War & Law League’s event opposing unconstitutional wars featuring Dennis Kucinich. Les wrote letters to the editor and had one published. Starchild appeared as a panelist at the Commonwealth Club’s discussion on San Francisco’s Proposition E (soda tax).
Membership Report: Aubrey indicated that in spite of his mailings, membership remains static at a low 18 annual memberships and 22 life members.
Website Report: Marcy reported that the elections material had been moved out of the main page and new articles are being posted. She will remove the campaign account material also. Marcy also reported that the website is getting too big for its hosting program, and she will remove some old articles. Starchild indicated that the Internet Archives keeps snapshots of websites, and LPSF should try to have more snapshots archived.
Treasurer’s Report: Les reported $2,962.73 in LPSF’s operating account. The campaign account was closed, as decided during the October LPSF meeting. Les noted that the LPSF spent much less than the threshold of $999.99 in the 2014 elections, and therefore no reports or special bank account is needed.
JSA Convention, Santa Clara Marriott, November 15, 2:30-4:35 pm.
Golden Gate Liberty Revolution Monthly Meeting, Moksha Life Center, 405 Sansome St, November 17, 7:00-9:00 pm.
Free Exchange, Jim Elwood’s in Parkmerced, December 6, 7:00 pm – midnight
War & Law League’s Kucinich event: Consensus was that guest speaker Dennis Kucinich strayed from the event’s subject of opposition to unconstitutional wars, allowing the meeting to drift too far into general progressive issues.
Ideas for increasing membership: Projected membership income is not sufficient to maintain the LPSF. Aubrey reported he abandoned sending mass letters, since they produced no results, and he will try newsletters next. Aubrey will look into ways and rules of sending out news emails to registered libertarian voters. Other suggestions were to align with other liberty-leaning groups, specifically student groups, and to find ways to make the LPSF more visible.
Aubrey reviewed the results of the elections. He noted that Flash Gordon, candidate for BART Board and a Libertarian, received over 4,000 votes, even though he had no website and did not campaign. Overall voting was low, 41.79% of San Francisco voters and 33% statewide. John Dennis, congressional candidate running against Nancy Pelosi, received 17% of the votes, 2% over 2012.
Aubrey reported that he contacted Tyler Hovian, who at one time expressed interest in running for office. Tyler indicated that he would consider running for BART Board in 2016.
Marcy reported the results of the LPSF Facebook ad. Budget was $100, which purchased 85 clicks to the LPSF website and a reach of 7,021 people. For comparison: LPSF’s 2013 Facebook ad cost $429, purchased 572 clicks, and reached 187,592 people. Clicks per people reached: 2014 was 1.211%, 2013 was 0.305%. Marcy recommended continuing to include Facebook in LPSF’s ad budget, given its affordability and reach. Other venues, including newspapers and websites targeted towards liberty-leaning audiences should also be considered.
New Business: Tax Day
Aubrey Freedman reported that he made reservations at the San Francisco Main Library’s Hispanic Room B for April 5, 2015, 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Starchild revisited his suggestion that LPSF hold the event outdoors where passersby could participate or pick up literature. Marcy asked for a formal vote whether the event should take place in the Hispanic Room or outdoors. Since Aubrey and Marcy voted for the indoor option, plans will proceed as such. There was no commitment made for an event outdoors in 2016.
Aubrey asked for suggestions for subject and guests. Marcy suggested a panel discussion on how taxing and regulating marijuana is counterproductive as an effort to end the drug war. Kent, related his experience in Brazil with the annual no tax on gasoline day, supported by the Von Mises Institute, intended to point out the high cost of gasoline caused by tax.
Libertarian Party of San Francisco
Minutes for Monthly Meeting at the San Francisco Public Library on Saturday, October 11, 2014
Attendees: Dan Bablinsky (guest), Phil Berg, Marcy Berry (Vice Chair), Aubrey Freedman (Chair), Jawj Greenwald, Les Mangus (Treasurer), and Starchild.
Activist Reports: Marcy presented the Libertarian arguments against Props B (transportation funding), C (Children’s Fund), and G (real estate additional tax) at a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters, which will be televised. Les continued to write letters to the editor, and he did get called back on one letter he wrote, but none got published. Jawj wrote a letter to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors regarding a problem she had with an animal control officer who way overstepped her legal authority and requested that the animal control department come under the control of the SF Police Department so that actions by the animal control officers could be subject to oversight and accountability by a civilian complaint board. Starchild participated in the Urban Shield protest in Oakland against the show for militarized police and helped to draft the letter to Congresswoman Barbara Lee (Mayor Quan announced that the Marriott will not be sponsoring the event next year). He also spoke at the Junior League forum presenting the Libertarian arguments against Props J (minimum wage) and K (affordable housing) and attended our first Bay Area Liberty Summit, a good beginning for local LP chapters to start collaborating. Aubrey attended the African American Democratic Club endorsement meeting with Marcy and he presented the Libertarian arguments against Props J and K and for Prop L (restore transportation balance), and Marcy presented against Props C, E (sugary beverage tax), and G.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014-7:00 PM-“Unfair: Exposing the IRS”-documentary at Century Cinema in Daly City.
Monday, October 20, 2014-7:00-9:00 PM-Golden Gate Liberty Revolution-Monthly Meeting-Moksha Life Center-405 Sansome Street.
Thursday, October 23, 2014-6:30-9:30 PM-Candidate Meet & Greet sponsored by the League of Women Voters-1395 Van Ness.
Thursday, October 30, 2014-noon-“To Tax or Not to Tax”-panel discussion on Prop E (soda tax)-Commonwealth Club-595 Market Street.
Saturday, November 1, 2014-7:00-11:00 PM-Free Exchange-Jim Elwood’s in Parkmerced.
Starchild mentioned “Free Talk Live” from New Hampshire as a good source of information (213-493-0309).
Phil brought up the issue of civil liberties and the Ebola health crisis and suggested the LPSF contact the Board of Supervisors to ensure that martial law is not declared here in SF like in Connecticut. He noted there is a danger that those who might be infected would be driven into hiding if too heavy a hand of government comes down in hysteria.
Gun Show Tabling Report: Aubrey reported a reasonably successful coalition tabling with the GGLR and the John Birch Society at the Cow Palace in mid-September. $13 in donations was collected and 3 liberty-leaning folks left their contact information.
Dennis Kucinich Speaking Event: The LPSF is part of a coalition sponsoring Kucinich’s visit to drum up support for “an urgent meeting of peace-makers.” The event is primarily the work of WALL (War and Law League) and will be held on Sunday, October 19 at 3:00 PM at the Women’s Building at 3543 18th Street. Aubrey requested extra help to set up the chairs before the event.
Membership Report: Aubrey reported no change in membership. The current figures are 17 regular + 22 life members for a total of 39. He reported dismal results from his last membership drive and he might resort to knocking on registered Libertarians’ doors to obtain new paid memberships.
Website Report: Marcy has set up a Facebook ad that will run from October 15 until November 4 based on the number of clicks to our website so folks can read our recommendations for the upcoming election. She also wrote a new article regarding the explosion of non-teaching staff in government schools and how that relates to Prop C (Children’s Fund).
Treasurer’s & Campaign Committee Reports: The amounts in the coffers were not available, so Les provided approximate estimates of $3,000 for the regular checking account and $150 for the Campaign Committee checking account. Since donations for the upcoming election were very low this time around, as Marcy had suggested earlier, Aubrey requested that we close the campaign committee at this point in time to eliminate the monthly bank charges and the need for filing periodic reports with the government, as well as the annual filing fee. There was no disagreement, so Les will close the campaign committee account and file a final closing report. Whatever is left in the campaign account can be used by Marcy to purchase additional clicks for the Facebook ad for this election.
November Election Campaign: Aubrey reported the LPSF has been invited to 5 different forums to present our side on the various ballot measures, and LPSF members spoke at each one: League of Women Voters—Marcy spoke on Props B, C, and G; Log Cabin Republicans—Marcy spoke on G and Starchild on C and J; Junior League—Francoise was supposed to speak on E, but due to miscommunication, the speaker against E ended up being from another group, while Starchild spoke on J and K; and African American Democratic Club—Marcy spoke on C, E, and G and Aubrey spoke on J, K, and L. Commonwealth Club—Starchild to present against E. As mentioned above, Marcy ran a Facebook ad directing inquiries to our website regarding the election. Aubrey did a postcard mailing with our ballot measure recommendations. He switched to a black and white printing this time to mail out more postcards with the smaller budget. The postcard didn’t look too bad, but it came back smudged and smeared, so some people recommended using the non-glossy print next time. Aubrey worked the listing from the Department of Elections to come up with a list of high propensity Libertarian voters for the postcard mailing; he noted that only 20% of registered Libertarians voted in the June primary, and if you go back to previous elections looking for consistent voters, the percentage of Libertarians that voted gets even lower.
Closing Topic: Starchild brought up his idea of having a satiric “dedication ceremony of Lake Nuru” at Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro to make fun of the Department of Public Works that has created a mosquito pond during the current improvement project. There wasn’t much interest in taking this idea any further.