Minutes of Nov. 27 PaER Meeting

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Minutes of Politics and Electoral Reform Meeting, Nov. 27, 2011, 3 p.m., 60 Wall Street

POI : # in attendance at start of meeting = 10

Facilitation Team : Brian (facilitator), Sam (stack), Stefan (time), Scott (minutes)

(Note : we went out of order from our normal agenda this week.)

Review of last week’s meeting ( found here —  http://www.nycga.net/groups/political-and-electoral-reform/docs/minutes-of-nov-20-per-meeting )

DISCUSSION : Do PaER subgroups need the larger PaER to approve their mission statements?

  • Q: Doesn’t it  depend on whether the subgroup will present the M/S to the GA or not?
  • A: Endorsement lends legitimacy to the mission statement.
  • Conclusion : Approval from the larger group would not necessarily be required, however, if no approval, the subgroup would not be able to speak on behalf of the PaER group in any way.

POI : # in attendance at presentation of 1st proposal = 14

PROPOSAL : Viral Campaign for ConCon subgroup (AVCSG) mission statement

  • Statement (which was approved by consensus within the subgroup) read.
  • Comments/discussions focused on small language changes.
  • Anne disagrees with the efforts calling for an Article V Convention, but stated that she is willing to ‘stand-aside’ with regards to mission statement.
  • Also concerns over 1st 2 clauses : revolving around the term ‘special interests’ and what it actually means.
  • FRIENDLY AMENDMENT : “corporate & [other] special interests”
  • TABLED : AVCSG agreed to discuss proposed changes and present statement back to the group for consensus at a later meeting.

PROPOSAL FOR DISCUSSION/INFORMATION/REFLECTION : Campaign Finance & Independent Electoral Commission — Luke

  • POINT OF PROCESS: How is this a proposal?   Much of this was already addressed in the People Before Parties proposal.
  • POINT OF INFORMATION : Campaign finance was eliminate from PB4P proposal.
  • Nonetheless, we agreed to extend discussion 5 minutes as Luke is returning back to UK next week.
  • TABLED for lack of action items.   Luke agreed to stay in touch via online forum in order to help formulate ideas into action.

DISCUSSION : When do we count quorum?

  • POI from Process Subgroup : We are rewriting ‘rules of quorum’ to reflect everyone’s concerns/comments from last meeting.   Currently, the documents considers quorum to be counted at the beginning of the proposal section.
  • IDEA : Quorum should be counted at the end of meeting.
  • TABLED until process subgroup presents its next draft.

DISCUSSION : Can we approach Internet WG to request improvements in the functionality / organization of the NYCGA forum (subthreads, etc)?

  • IDEA : Add sticky thread for minutes.
  • IDEA : Discuss moderation rules at next week’s meeting, as there has yet to be group consensus on these.
  • IDEA : Let’s add another section in the agenda called DISCUSSION so that we can separate these topics from the proposals.
  • IDEA:  Let’s clarify proposal structure : WHAT?  WHY?  HOW?


VOTING EXPERIMENT (Tim reporting) : possible IPad donation, but no word yet on whether it is a legitimate offer or not.

PEOPLE BEFORE PARTIES (Tim reporting) : No action lately on doc and/or its suggestions after PaER consensus.   So, let’s bring the document to the GA (temp check : positive).    Question is when?   Tim proposed to maybe submit on this Thursday (temp check : positive but unclear whether this constituted consensus or not, as there was no requests to voice concerns).

VIRAL CON CON (AVC) (Jesse reporting) :   At our recent meeting (held directly before this one), we discussed the following:

  • Mission Statement (see above)
  • Investigate proper forum to migrate to so that we can abandon googlegroups (SUGGESTION:  themultitude.org)  (NOTE: we pity there is no subthreads in NYCGA forum, hint, hint)
  • How to gather info in one central forum — should this be outside the realm of OWS-related (e.g. John’s site) or still remain within the OWS umbrella for the time being?   (temp check = mostly positive on w/i OWS, but where?)
  • Next steps on fulfilling mission statement — education, mock conventions, etc.


PROCESS (Stefan reporting) : Still working on document and addressing all valid concerns that were communicated on paper during last meeting.     Major point of concern is how to calculate the quorum average.


Doug — Establish a Citizen Lawmaking Body (organization bottom-lining this effort is NI4D).   Doug distributed a summary of proposal on paper, encouraged everyone to read & respond.

Patrick — read a message from Visions & Goals that is being shared with the various working groups for feedback in an effort to find consensus at GA.

Sam (Opinion) — We should find a way to better communicate within our group!     Direct response/POI : We do have a subgroup devoted to process e.g. clarifying proposal structure and agenda items, so please join us if interested.

Anne — Charles Barron (NYC City Councilmember) is running for Congress!

Ben — Occupy Obama Fundraiser, Weds 11/30, meet at SW corner of Central Park at 4 p.m.  stay tuned for any changes in plan.

Doug — We are now allowed to participate in Spokes Council as a group for the time being, so let’s go participate as a group!

Jesse — Trying to coordinate between movement groups, please help in this endeavor.   What should be our next step?

Scott — Vote for Mike Check thread.   temp check = disinterested.    POI : one interesting subject raised (but needed to be investigated further) is whether an unverified write-in (such as Mic Check or other) in at least one race would make a voting machine spit out the ballot and force the entire ballot to be hand-counted.

POI : # of persons in attendance at end of meeting = 14


(note: please excuse any important omissions and feel free to add them as a comment below.    unfortunately, do not have the ability to make this doc editable.)

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