Libertarian Party of San Francisco
Agenda – July 11, 2009
|Call to Order
|Welcome and Introductions
|New Agenda Items / Adoption of Agenda
|In-Meeting Activism (postcards, phone calls, letter-writing, etc.)
|Adjourn Meeting / Begin Social
Minutes of the LPSF Meeting of July 11th, 2009
Members Present: Rob Power (Chair) presiding, Francoise Fielding (Secretary) recording, Michael Edelstein, Marcy Berry, Jawj Greenwald, Les Mangus, Ron Getty, Richard Winger, Phil Berg
Non-members: Mitch Edwards who lives in Rob Power's building popped in for a few minutes.
- Treasurer: Marcy Berry issued a check to Rob Power for $47.07 for postcards to lapsed members leaving a balance in our checking account of $2,616.31. We also have $60.64 in petty cash for a total of $2,676.95.
Francoise Fielding reported that she had been to the ACLU social on June 18th but that she hadn't really been able to talk to anyone at any length.
The Minutes of the Meeting of June 13th, 2009 were approved.
- Vice Chair: Ron Getty had nothing to report as Vice-Chair.
Rob Power worked hard to organize Pride. He was at the booth both days and thought things had gone really well: we got a lot of contacts. We should continue doing this every year.
As far as the parade was concerned, our contingent got the best placement we have ever gotten: number 70 vs.number 174 last year. Rob says that we benefited from a strategy to get small community groups up front. However only 4 people showed up to march with us. We can't have this again. The Pink Pistols who had marched with us had their own contingent this year and the people from the East Bay who had said they would join us did not show. It takes a lot of outreach to get people to join us in marching.
Rob has announced that he will not be not running for Chair of LPSF or Outright Libertarians next year. We need to find a new chair who has time to devote to the job.
A postcard announcing today's meeting went out to 150 people on Monday and arrived on Wednesday (Rob sent one to himself). No one from that mailing showed up at this meeting.
- Outreach and Newsletter: Starchild was not present so there was no Outreach report. Rob says that a newsletter no longer goes out. What goes on postcards is our URL (www.lpsf.com). Rob intends to post Michael Denny's article to the San Francisco Business Times on the website.
Rob thinks that posting articles on the website is the most cost effective way of doing things.
- Bylaws: Rob has still not received the county template from Beau Cain.
- Website and Database: No one has heard from Bryce Bigwood in a long time.
- Membership and Fundraising: Marcy Berry reported she has not received any requests for packets.
Re the Outreach letter we sent last month: The addresses must have been good because we haven't received any returned letters. It is possible they may take longer to come back.
As an aside Rob mentioned that Mike Denny has been spending $60 a month for our phone line. Rob wants to see if we can't get something cheaper. With Gizmo 5 you can't get a transfer of your number. It may be possible with Vonage.
- Initiatives: Ron Getty mentioned that at this time as far as San Francisco goes there is no confirmation of which initiatives will be on the November ballot.
The Supervisors still have the ability to put initiatives on the ballot at the last minute. The only requirement is that they have to have a public discussion 60 or 90 days prior but they can vote to submit at the last minute. Ron has not seen anything go through the Mayor's office that could be a possible initiative.
Jawj Greenwald suggested that arguments re potential initiatives could be prepared in advance.
There was a discussion about the possibility of modifying the law on submission of initiatives to prevent the Supervisors from submitting initiatives at the last minute. This would require 12,000 signatures if the modification is considered a policy statement and 50,000 signatures if it is considered a charter initiative.
Jawj has joined SPUR. She said they were behind the last initiative that tried to reform the law on initiatives and would probably spearhead an initiative to change the present law.
- Campaigns: We don't have anyone running.
- Social Networking: Jeremy Linden was not present. Rob Power said he (Rob) doesn't have the time the deal with this.
Michael Edelstein said we got a call from a Brandon Price at California State-Stanislaus. He is a libertarian who is starting a television show called Unconventional Wisdom. He would like us to send someone down there to be interviewed. The timing is at our discretion because he can tape the interview and play it later. The question is whether to refer this to the Central Valley (Fresno) Libertarian Chapter. Michael will email Rob the phone number and information.
Surveillance Brochure: Rob said he hated to discuss this without Starchild being present.
The main thrust of the discussion was that we are confusing the symptom and the problem. We are missing the point when we say cameras are bad. If you are not robbing someone on the sidewalk, why should you care that there is a camera recording your behavior? If the only laws we had on the books were for the protection of life, liberty and property then there would be no problem with having a camera. Ron Getty said the police used a camera to catch someone recently so many people will say the cameras are a positive.
Jawj said Tiburon has recently enacted a law that allows pictures to be taken of all license plates on cars that drive through Tiburon. The job may be outsourced to a private company, but it is still a government initiative.
The difficulty is the Patriot Act and its Amendments. ATT complied so now the government has made it so you will no longer get sued if you comply with their request and turn over information. What needs to happen is to get the law changed so companies don't have to comply. The burden should be on government.
It was suggested that this brochure is more of an ISIL thing than an activist thing.
We should save our money for activist issues.
A motion was made and carried (7 to 1) that we should tell Starchild that he is welcome to post the Surveillance Article on the website under his own name (this does not apply to postings in general).
- Aids Walk SF July 19th. This event is sponsored by Outright Libertarians and takes place a week from tomorrow. The beneficiary is the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. With the unrestricted funds raised by AIDS Walk San Francisco, the Foundation is able to provide direct services to thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS and focus intensive prevention programs to those most at risk of contracting the disease. They also provide free HIV testing. Rob Power and his friend Michelle are team members. They need more people and help with fundraising. Rob will send an email to the Activist and Announce lists about how to join or donate.
- Spay neuter bill. SB 250 provides that no person may own, keep, or harbor an unaltered dog except as specified. It would make it unlawful for any person who owns, keeps, or harbors any unspayed or unaltered cat 6 months of age or older to allow or permit that cat to remain outdoors. It would require an owner or "custodian" of an unaltered cat to have the animal spayed or neutered, or provide a certificate of sterility. A resolution was proposed and carried unanimously to the effect that the LPSF opposes SB 250 and any other mandatory spay neuter law.
- Top Two Primary. This is a system under which Candidates seeking nomination to office have their names placed on a single ballot with their self-declared party preference. Voters may select a single candidate of their choice for each position and the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.
Richard Winger says this is mistakenly called the "open primary system"
A CA Supreme Court decision has already said that this is not an open primary. We discussed the possibility of sending the Secretary of State (Deborah Bowen) a note about the Supreme Court decision so that that wording could not be used on the ballot. Ron Getty says Jerry Brown's office has to approve the wording.
The question was raised of whether there is a write your representative campaign. Rob Power knows someone who is involved with a company which does this.
Richard says the main thing is to influence journalists. Richard needs to provide us with the name of journalists and their email addresses so we can write to them. Christina Tobin of Free and Equal is coming to SF on Monday and Richard will speak to her.
- Activism Planning for Next Month's in-Meeting Activism. If Richard brings us a list of reporters with their street addresses we could do a pre-drafted letter and sign it with multiple signatures. We could also do letters to editorial pages. The LPCA has list of email addresses of journalists but maybe not street addresses. Richard will contact Dan Minkoff, the Media Relations Chair of the Libertarian Party of California and will let us know ahead of time how many letters we need.
The Meeting adjourned at 4:40 pm.