September Chicago DSA Executive Committee Meeting
September 8, 2018
Crossroads Conference Room
Approved October 13, 2018
Chairing: Lucie M and Leonard P
Minutes: Joe A
Committee Members in Attendance:
Joe A, Will B, Melinda B, Ramsin C, Waleeta C, Zoe C, Spencer C, Sierra C, Ed C, Sean D, Sean E, Anna F, Zev F, Tina G, JP K, Ryan L, Lucie M, Heather M, Robin P, Leonard P, Anthony Q, Zach S, Simon S, John T, Rachel Z
Committee Members Absent with Notice:
Lillian O, Isa J
The regular monthly meeting of the Executive Committee(EC) of Chicago Democratic Socialists of America(CDSA) was called to order at 12:07PM September 8, 2018 by Lucie. The agenda was reviewed, moved to be adopted, seconded and then approved unanimously by committee members present.
After a review of last meeting’s minutes, Lucie moved to adopt them. The motion was seconded and passed (22 Ayes; 0 Nays; 1 Abstention: Simon; Note: Melinda and Ryan hadn’t arrived at the meeting yet).
The new officers and branch representatives were introduced to the full Executive Committee. The committee then reviewed feminist process.
Joe provided a report as secretary. He had created the consent agenda for the upcoming general meeting up to the last Executive Committee meeting and it was available for EC members to review. There had been two elections since the last meeting, one for the new EC officers and the other for the North Side Steering Committee. He suggested his next steps were to try to draft a general data policy which could be used as interim until one produced by a broader group could be drafted. Then he presented the officer election process proposal from Internal Elections. After some discussion, Leonard moved that the proposal be adopted as written. This was seconded and then passed (21 Ayes; 1 Nay: JP; 2 Abstentions: Waleeta, Zoe; Note: Ryan hadn’t arrived at the meeting yet)
Zach provided an update of the Communications Standing Committee. The standing committee had elections at their August meeting. Amy G was elected as the other co-chair; Andrew A as Social Media Lead; Charles A as Midwest Socialist Newsletter Lead; Sarah H as Midwest Socialist Podcast Lead; Sean D as AgitProp Team Lead. Next steps for the standing committee would be building a press list and creating more general guidelines for posting to social media.
Ed provided an update and breakdown of the chapter budget. The chapter was in good financial shape in comparison to its yearly forecasted budget. Expense in August were low and in line with expectations. T-shirt sales have given us a lot of cash on hand, but a large portion of that would be cut in a check to the shirt manufacturer. The monthly dues share with National had also helped. Kevin R and Ed would put together a proposal for the next Debs dinner to be brought before the EC hopefully by next EC meeting. Also, the bank being used by the chapter was bought by another organization that wasn’t necessarily aligned with values of the chapter. The goal was to have a new bank to start 2019 and if people have thoughts on good options to inform Ed.
Lucie reported on current planning for the October chapter meeting. Setting a location was the next large question and she requested a group of volunteers to participate and work in the logistics and planning committee. This included Ramsin, Waleeta, Leonard, Will, and Joe.
Lucie spoke on the No Fracking Coalition as Virginia was unable to attend due to car trouble. Food and Water Watch has left the coalition due to changes in the circumstances of the coalition. The EC would reach out to and request an update from the Environmental Justice Working Group to determine how the chapter should proceed.
Leonard presented on the status of the Northwest Side Exploratory Committee. The committee hadn’t formed yet as a result of the lack of a member of the North Side Steering Committee to participate. Ramsin moved to refer this to the North Side Steering Committee as a subcommittee of the EC. This was seconded and passed (23 Ayes; 0 Nays; 2 Abstentions: Sierra and Rachel).
Steve W presented on the status of electoral endorsements. The electoral working group had interviewed 10 candidates with probably at least 2 more, then a series of votes would take place at the next electoral working group meeting on who to endorse. Then the results would be brought to the EC to recommend any other candidates they voted to. The full list of recommended endorsements would then be brought before a vote of the general membership at the October meeting. Internal Elections would be discussing how to conduct this general membership vote at their next meeting. After the chapter had endorsed, next steps were uncertain.
Will B reported from the mobilizers that the last new member orientation had over 100 people present. The next one would be September 22. Will moved that the mobilizing committee be constituted of him as the North Side Representative, Sierra C as the South Side representative, a West Cook Representative to be determined, Lillian O, Heather M, and Zev F. This motion was seconded and approved unanimously by Executive Committee members present.
Melinda B and Marianela D presented on a set of criteria for the EC to use when evaluating what campaigns to form project committees around. There was discussion about whether this should be adopted by EC or brought to be adopted by membership as well as ensuring that members be educated on these criteria regardless of the process to approval. Anthony moved that in Goal 1, Section B, that Item 3 reading “It should center working class voices in a meaningful way” be struck, that a new Item 1 in that section read “It should center and be led by those directly impacted by the issue”, and that the current Item 1 and Item 2 in that section become Item 2 and Item 3 respectively. This motion was seconded and the proposal as amended with the understanding that the political education section at the next general chapter meeting would explain this campaign criteria was passed unanimously by Executive Committee members present.
Robin P presented on the Lift the Ban Campaign highlighting the chapter’s involvement up until that point and the chapter’s position in coalition leadership. She moved that the Executive Committee devote time on the agenda at the next general chapter meeting to discuss and vote on a proposal to form a project committee for CDSA’s involvement in Lift the Ban. This motion was seconded and passed unanimously by Executive Committee members present (Note:Will B had at this point left for the duration of the meeting, and Anthony Q was out of the room for this one vote).
Simon and Ramsin presented on the development of a three year plan to set general objectives for the chapter that could act as a guide for the organization. They presented an initial plan that they had drafted which could act as a template for a final draft. The creation of this final draft and how it would be adopted by the chapter had not been decided. Sean D moved that an ad hoc committee be formed with Ramsin and Simon as chairs, with members of the Communications, Political Education and Policy, and Mobilizer Committees participating as well as any other members of the Executive Committee interested. The purpose of the committee would be to oversee the development of a process for the creation and adoption of a strategic plan for the chapter. This motion was seconded and passed (23 Ayes; 0 Nays; 1 Abstention: Sierra).
Sean E presented on a proposal to have the chapter support the DegrowUS gathering happening September 28-30. The expectation of support would at max be helping to find places to sleep for 5-8 people, 3-5 volunteers for the event, and possibly provide an opportunity to table. This motion was seconded and passed unanimously by Executive Committee members present.
Bilgesu and Mike presented on a Community Councils Working Group proposal. The first portion of which would to be to develop a heat map of membership density the second of which was to have the Executive Committee support the development of community councils by reaching out to members. The first proposal to create a heat map was seconded and failed (0 Ayes, 22 Nays, 2 Abstentions: Heather and John). The second proposal to have the EC support the development of community councils was seconded and failed (0 Ayes, 20 Nays, 4 Abstentions: Heather, Sean E, Zoe, and John)
Lucie presented on an interest to pursue organizing some kind of meet up or convention with the other DSA chapters in Illinois. This was the result of meeting members of other Illinois chapters at the Leadership Convention in St. Louis. Lucie moved a resolution be adopted to pursue a statewide convention/meeting. This was seconded and passed unanimously by Executive Committee members present.
Anthony suggested that the next Executive Committee meeting should be moved to a different time to allow for members to participate in canvassing. Joe agreed to send a poll to the EC membership to determine a better time to meet.
Ramsin pointed out that standing committees should develop the habit of reporting back to the Executive Committee and general membership.
Leonard moved to have the meeting adjourn at 2:33PM. This was seconded and passed unanimously by Executive Committee members present.