Minutes for the March 14, 2009 LPSF Meeting
Members present: Rob Power (Chair) presiding, Francoise Fielding (Secretary) recording, Marcy Berry, Richard Winger, Jawj Greenwald, Ron Getty, Phil Berg
- Treasurer: Marcy Berry reported that at the last meeting she collected $35 for pizza and gave Rob Power $40. Rob said we spent more than that but refused reimbursement. We have $53.64 in petty cash and $2,561.35 in the bank.
- Secretary: Francoise Fielding had nothing to report.
The Minutes of the Meeting of February 14, 2009 were approved.
- Vice-Chair: Ron Getty was absent.
- Chair: Rob reported that
* He went to Richard Winger's home for a presentation by the group
"Free and Equal" on ballot accessibility, more specifically on
the "top two" proposition that will be on the ballot next year.
* He was supposed to put up a poll on the location for future LPSF
meetings, but he had problems with the polling software
so we will make the decision at this meeting. He recommends
we use the conference room at his apartment complex
for the April meeting and we can make a final decision for the next year
at the meeting itself.
. * He couldn't find where IRS customer service table will be on April 15th.
He suggests we stick with the Montgomery Street Subway Station.
- Outreach and Newsletter
The online newsletter is now the stuff we have posted to the website.
Ron has redone member form. The extra $30 a member can choose to pay will go for a subscription to California Freedom.
- Bylaws: Nothing to report.
- Website and Database: Rob had trouble with the polling software.
- Membership and Fundraising:
Marcy suggested that she just continue doing the Membership function,
rather than transferring the responsibility to the Secretary. She will write thank
you notes when she sends any checks received to the LPCA. No inquiries re
membership have been received from the LPCA or the National Party in a long
Re Fundraising: Membership and Fundraising were combined when Mike Denny was doing them. We can join them or separate them. The question is what are we asking for money for.
Rob asked f we wanted to raise money for anti-"top two" candidates could we hold fundraiser. Richard Winger says there would be no problem. The problem would be fundraising for candidates. Marcy suggests issue-based fundraising.
The person interested in the issue would spear-head the fund-raising and turn the
money over to Marcy (as Treasurer).
- Initiatives: Ron Getty reports that the Board of Supervisors has not decided whether to put an initiative on new taxes on the ballot. If they do there will be a Special Election in July or August. They have the enabling legislation but calling the election depends on whether or not they reach agreements with the unions.
- Campaigns: Nothing to report
- Social networking: Rob looked up 12seconds.tv. It is like a bumper sticker that shows your face and says something like "I support marriage equality".
Rob will set up a Facebook group. There was a discussion of whether people want to go there because to look anything up you have to be a member and some of us are reluctant to join There are sites .
where you don't have to be a member, but Facebook is a phenomenon and to reach young people you have to have a presence there.
- Outreach and Voter Registration: Rob asked if anyone had found any replacement opportunities for outreach at the Naturalization Ceremonies that used to take place in San Francisco.
Marcy suggested the Anarchists Book Fair. It is too late for this year (because it is taking place today and tomorrow) though anyone who wants to go can. The next time, perhaps we can actually participate. We'll have to find out if they charge and how much.
Ron suggested joining and taking over the Taxpayers Union. There is no membership fee. The website is sftaxpayersunion.com. We tried to join online at the meeting but the membership form didn't work. The suggestion is to contact them (see website) and find out how to join.
- Tax Day: The question is do we want to show up with our signs like we used to. The Ron Paul Group is doing nothing. Neither is the Tax Resisters League. Marcy suggests we look childish showing up with signs because especially when the economy is bad people are tired of silly stuff. She suggests that we make it educational and have a table with information and signs about who we are.
Jawj likes the million dollar bills.
The decision was to do something at the Montgomery Street Station. We need to put this on the Activists list because those who come to meetings are not a large enough group. Rob will get a permit that allows us to set up a table. Marcy will ask the Ron Paul group to join us and Rob will leave message with Executive Committee of the Republican Party.
- Future meeting location. We will use the conference room in Rob's apartment complex. The only negative is that it is a controlled access building. To get around that, people should come to 170 Hawthorne Alley. Hawthorne Alley is between Folsom and Harrison and #170 is between 2nd and 3rd street. Rob will put a note on the door with his cellphone # and will open it.
Once the meeting starts latecomers can knock on the window to the left of the door and someone will let them in.
We will try this for the April meeting and see how that works. We can make a decision at the meeting about what we want to do in the future. Food at the April meeting will be a potluck affair.
- Top two primary: Richard Winger explained that under this system all candidates for a seat go against each other in a single primary and the top two vote-getters go against each other in the general election. That means that two Democrats or two Republicans or two independents or any combination of parties could go against each other in the general election. The way it works is you end up with no third parties in the election. In Washington State the system was tested in the last election and for the first time since Washington became a state in 1889 there were no third party candidates except where there was an incumbent. California voters rejected Propostion 62 which tried to put "top two" in place in 2004. The only reason it is coming up again is that to resolve the recent budget stalemate Senate Democrats agreed to meet the key demands of GOP Sen. Abel Maldonado in exchange for his vote to support $14 billion in temporary tax increases. The deal pushed the budget plan over the two-thirds threshold it needed to pass.
The first issue we need to be concerned about is whether the major parties will work against this. We need intelligence. Jack Dean? Eric Garris knows Shawn Steel. Matt Gonzalez was supposed to beat the meeting at Richard Winger's house. He might be willing to help.
Proposed actions: Join Free and Equal, spread the word among people who are interested in these topics, write to newspapers. We are anxious to do activism and Richard will let us know if there is anything else we can do.
Richard will write an article for the website. Rob will do an excerpt and if you are interested you can click on "read more".
- LGBT Planning for Pride: We will do a booth for 2 days. The question is whether we want to be in the parade.
If we do our own structure, the cost is $257 plus $50 for insurance. This will all be done through Outright Libertarians but Rob wants us to know he will pass the hat. Kurt from the East Bay Libertarians has a good tent which he is generally willing to lend us.
- No in-meeting activism planned.
Sign-up for San Francisco Taxpayers Union on our own.
Ron Getty had suggested sending out postcards. He said the Executive Committee got the membership list. The LPCA shows that we have 350 members listed in San Francisco. There are probably only 50 we can be sure of (dues-paying). The National LP shows us as having 1,800 members. Ron can get postcards if he knows how many to get. The problem is we didn't decide how to weed names out to arrive at the people we would send cards to. Marcy knows how to print return address labels. Ron knows s/o who can format address labels on Excel. He can check if that person has time. We would also need to decide on the content.
Rob Power Francoise Fielding