Libertarian Party of San Francisco
Agenda – September 12, 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 September 12th, 2009
Members Present: Rob Power (Chair) presiding, Francoise Fielding (Secretary) recording, Michael Edelstein, Ron Getty, Richard Winger, Marcy Berry, Leslie Mangus,
Phaedra Fisher, Mike Denny, Starchild, Charles Olson (thinks he is but not sure).
Non-members: John Dennis, Lisa Rossetti.
- Treasurer: Marcy Berry reported that we started with a balance of $2,577.26. We got a check for $60 from the LPCA for memberships we generated, Angela Keaton made a donation to the LPSF of $25 and Marcy re-deposited $40 from the petty cash fund that she had withdrawn in January to pay for pizza. Marcy made out a check to Rob Power in the amount of $86.67 for lapsed member postcards and another in the amount of $124.73 for our new voice mail service. We have a balance of $2,490.46 in our bank account. This is approximately $90 less than we had last year at this time. We also have $20.64 in petty cash.
Rob Power reported that after the last meeting John Bryner had given us $25 for LPSF membership.
- Secretary: Francoise Fielding reported that she had emailed Beau Cain on August 11th after the last meeting to ask for county model By-Laws so that we could conform our By-Laws to the LPCA By-Laws and had not received the courtesy of a response. Rob Power has asked Beau Cain for the model By-Laws repeatedly and has also received no response. This stone-walling may have something to do with the fact that Rob and Francoise went up against Kevin Takenaga at the LPCA Convention. It was decided to let it go since we can use the LPCA By-Laws to model ours on.
The Minutes of the Meeting of August 8th were approved.
- Vice Chair: Ron Getty had nothing to report as Vice-Chair.
- Chair: Rob Power reported that the LPCA's model By-Laws model the State Party's By-Laws in that they posit a once a year meeting that elects an Executive Committee that handles all business. That is not helpful to us since we meet every month and each LPSF member has a vote. Rob and Jawj (and anyone else who wants to help) will have to draft our By-Laws from scratch.
Rob also said he sent postcards to lapsed members mentioning that we would be voting on the November 3rd Ballot Initiatives and inviting them to the Constitution Day party at Rob's house next Thursday (September 17). The postcards went out to 261 people.
We got the latest roster from Beau Cain: The LPSF has 60 current and paid-up members.
- Outreach and Newsletter: Starchild was not here. Rob Power reported on our new phone system. Mike Denny has been paying for our voice mail for years and Michael Edelstein has been calling and retrieving the messages. Mike D. is switching his office telephone to VOIP. We have signed up with Ring Central. We can keep our current telephone number. We get five lines and our calls can be answered on Rob's (or s/o else's) mobile or home phone, or even on a PC. The cost is $124.67 a year which is less than ¼ the cost of what Mike Denny was subsidizing. Rob would appreciate the help of anyone who would like to help him configure the system.
- Bylaws: See above.
- Website and Database: Rob Power says that people like interactivity on a website. The choice is polling or comments. Comments can get nasty, so polling is easier. Rob recommends that anyone who is interested in seeing how polling can work go to the Outright Libertarians' website.
Rob also reported that we have received the county database from Beau Cain. About 25 people from the database were not on lpsf-announce. They have been added to the list
- Membership and Fundraising: Nothing to report.
- Initiatives: See below.
- Campaigns: The only person who might be considering running for anything is Phil Berg (for Nancy Pelosi's seat). He did not attend the meeting.
- Social Networking: Rob Power is still looking for s/o to take over. Rob can't handle it. He would especially love s/o who can tweet.
Michael Edelstein announced that there will be a rally and demonstration at noon this coming Tuesday to audit the Federal Reserve. The marchers will gather at Civic Center Park (Grove and Polk) and march to Nancy Pelosi's office to deliver petitions.
- Top Two Primary: In June 2010 the voters will be voting for a system in 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. When this system was used In Washington, it wiped out all the minor parties. Richard Winger says the bad news is that polls show that 70 percent of people would vote for this system. The good news is that in August 2009 a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the system may be unconstitutional.
Richard reported that the letter we sent out last month is starting to work. Instead of calling this type of primary an "open primary", journalists are starting to refer to it as a "top two primary".
The Republicans have decided to eliminate Independents from their Primary. This may be good for us since people may get mad at them.
Rob Power mentioned that he wants to get back to an email newsletter. It would be a compilation of articles on our website.
- Initiatives for November Ballot: At the last meeting we did a straw poll. This time is the final vote for our recommendations.
- Proposition A- Charter Amendment: Budget Process. This requires the City to be more fiscally responsible by making it plan ahead. It would have to adopt two year budgets and adopt a five year financial plan. Furthermore the City Controller would have to specify that funds are available to make payments. The initiative would also save money by removing the requirement that public notices be published in newspapers. Instead they would be posted in City Hall and on the Board of Supervisors' website. The vote was: 7 yes, 1 no recommendation.
- Proposition B- Charter Amendment: Board of Supervisors Aides. This initiative would allow the Supervisors to add more aides to the two they are already allowed. The vote was: 8 no.
- Proposition C- Ordinance-Candlestick Park Naming Rights. This initiative allows a naming rights sale by the 49ers to any company even if it is not one of the five named in the original contract as long as the City's anticipated revenue equals or exceeds $3 million. The vote was: 7 yes, 1 no recommendation.
- Proposition D- Ordinance: Mid-Market Special Sign District.
This initiative amends an ordinance adopted by voters in 2002, prohibiting new general advertising signs anywhere in the City and the SF Municipal Code prohibiting signs anywhere on Market Street between the Embarcadero and Octavia St. It creates a special sign district on and near Market Street between 5th and 7th Streets to allow new general advertising signs in that district. Advertisers have to be pre-approved. A city-owned committee would get 20% of the revenue from properties used for the arts and 40% of the revenue from properties used for other purposes. The money goes to various uses including youth cultural and arts education and a ticket booth at Hallidie Plaza for sales to art and cultural events. Basically, they are creating a slush fund. The vote was: 1 yes, 8 no.
- Proposition E- Ordinance: Advertisements on City Property.
This will freeze advertising on City property at the levels they are at now.
Muni will take the biggest hit. The vote was: 2 yes, 6 no, 1 no recommendation.
- John Dennis-Congressional Run. John says he got re-interested in politics when he got involved with the 2008 Ron Paul campaign. John had worked for Ron Paul in 1988. He says the difference this time is that, because Ron Paul is now a Republican, he got a chance to participate in the national discussion. John wants to grow the Liberty wing of the Republican Party. He is the head of the Campaign for Liberty San Francisco, founder of the San Francisco chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus, an alternate on the San Francisco Republican Central Committee and a member of the board of the Republican Liberty Caucus California.
John grew up in Jersey City where he lived in a housing project. His Father was a longshoreman and his mother was a city hall administrator. He graduated from Fordham University where he met James Sadowsky SJ, a rare Jesuit Libertarian.
After college, John co-founded Humanscale, a private ergonomics and office
seating manufacturer. He has also worked for technology start-ups. He is currently the owner of Foundation Real Estate, LLC.
While John is pro-liberty, some of his take on issues differs from Libertarian positions. For example, he thinks that we need to review each military base outside the US and justify how it helps our national interest, while Libertarians just think we need to close all US military bases in foreign countries. John wants to end birthright citizenship, Libertarians don't. John believes that the states formed the Union and their rights are protected in the Constitution. Libertarians believe that states don't have rights, people do.
Rob Power reminded everyone that Libertarians only endorse Libertarian candidates and only recommend candidates from other parties if no Libertarian is running. He also told John that a Libertarian recommendation might work against him. Nevertheless, John would like our support and our recommendation.
He is working on setting up debates with his Republican primary opponent: Dana Walsh.
- Decision on December meeting. Rob will be at the National Libertarian Party's platform meeting on the second Saturday in December; so he will not only be unavailable to chair the December meeting but will also not be able to provide us with the conference room. It was therefore unanimously decided to move the December meeting from December 12th to December 5th.
Rob also said that he and Kai will likely be moving after June so we should start looking for an alternative place to meet.
- Starchild reported that the Seasteading Institute is holding an Ephermerisle Festival October 2-4, 2009 Sacramento River Delta, California. It will be kind of Burning Man Festival type thing. Michael Edelstein said that the Institute also has a Conference Monday, September 28th through Wednesday, September 30th at Cathedral Hill Hotel, 1101 Van Ness Ave San Francisco, CA 94109.
- Rob Power said the Pacific Research Institute will be holding a 30th Anniversary Gala at the Ritz Carlton on Friday October 16th. The speaker will be Steve Forbes and the honorees are Linda Law and Tad Taube.
- The group thanked Ron Getty for all his work in the November 3rd election Ballot Initiatives.