2006 Fifth Congressional District Green Party Steering Committee Annual Report
- Becki Smith, Chair
- Jay Pond
- Dave Berger
- Eric Gilbertson, Treasurer
- Ashley James
- Neil Cunningham
- Ian Stade
- Kevin Chavis, Co-Chair
- Neil Cunningham, Co-Chair
- Ashley James
- Eric Gilbertson
- Ian Stade
- Dave Berger
This report is an attempt to describe the activities, projects, antics, and other shenanigans instigated and/or supported by the various members of this motley yet oddly cohesive working group.
Thank Yous and Recognitions
Members of the 2006 Steering Committee would like to take a moment to say THANK YOU and acknowledge the work of several people who have freely given of their time, brainpower, footwork, enthusiasm, ideas, and energy. It is the efforts of these people that have contributed to a healthy, functioning, and effective Fifth District Green Party.
Thank you to Eric Makela, who has been active a good two years of his life representing the state party (GPMN) at the Green Party of the United States... Eric has also devoted much mental RAM space developing a 5th District/Minneapolis umbrella concept. A shout out to Eric, please.
Thank you to Wyn Douglas for adding stability to the Coordinating Committee and for working on numerous state and local campaigns... not to mention his very important contributions to the database.
Thank you candidates for running... for putting your other lives on temporary hold while representing Green Party members... Farheen Hakeem, Michael Cavlan, Julie Risser, Jay Pond, Dave Berger, and Cam Gordon.
Thanks to Cam Gordon for publishing an awesome newsletter funded without using city dollars.
A Big Apple of thanks to Jonathan Fluck for his tireless work on local and state campaigns.
Thanks to Lydia Howell for serving the community by bringing so many issues and event to our attention.
Thanks and kudos to Darrell Gerber for working diligently and effectively on Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). Speaking of IRV, thanks to Lindsay Moore for being our first intern to step up on the plate and to Dakotah Rae Johnson for her fountain of enthusiasm and sincere interest in the issue of IRV. (Thanks for telling us the bus story.)
Thank you to the Ad Hoc Communications Committee for stepping up to the proverbial plate and working on the difficult to write press releases before and after the Dean Zimmermann trial.
A heartfelt Thank YOU to the many volunteers who helped coordinate festival logistics and setup tables and breakdown tents and bring boxes of food and drinks and other stuff here and there and everywhere.
Issues, Events and Campaigns
The following are listed in alphabetical order.
Anti Racist Training - 5CDGP members approved $400 for anti-racism training and discussed options for conducting the training with different groups and educators.
Art Car Parade
Big Ride for Single Payer - Minneapolis/St. Paul - Several Green candidates took a ride on the multi-seat bicycle, and made stops along the way to talk to the public about Single Payer Healthcare system. Candidates and Gree Party members who participated on the ride included Jay Pond, Michael Cavlan, Dave Berger, Julie Risser, Ian Stade, Papa John Kolstad, and many more.
Central High School Anti-Militarism - Several SC members sent a letter of support to the organizers.
Fulton Neighborhood Festival
Hopkins Raspberry Festival
Instant Runoff Voting - was approved by the voters of Minneapolis by a 2-1 margin in a November referendum. Greens have advocated for this for many years, and worked with a coalition of groups to see its passage.
Juneteenth - June 17, 2006 at Theodore Wirth Park, Golden Valley - Despite being chased out by a severe thunderstorm in the late afternoon, the 5CD Greens staffed a booth that was a focal point for Green campaigns.
Mayday Parade - May 7, 2006 at Powderhorn Park
Minnesota State Fair Booth - the 5CDGP sponsored and provided staffing for two days at the GPMN's State Fair booth.
St. Louis Park Green Party dissolved.
This was a tough period for steering committee members. There seemed to be a significant difference of opinion among the membership about the most appropriate way to deal with the sentencing of Dean Zimmermann. An ad hoc committee was formed to craft a response to the sentencing.
Immigrant Rights Press Release - May 2006
New logo - Jacob Lambert created a new 5CD logo.
Ads for Mayday Parade - The Steering Committee created an ad for the Mayday Booklet.
Karaoke night at Grumpy's: On a frigid Tuesday night in February Greens gathered at Grumpy's Downtown location to plan for the coming year and sing away their winter blues.
Helped state caucuses
Endorsements: In May, the 5th CD Greens endorsed Jay Pond for the U.S. House and Farheen Hakeem for Hennepin County Commissioner. Doug Mann's campaign for school board received 50% support, falling short of the 2/3s needed for endorsement.
Established Green Party Presence on Meetup.com
Discussed creating a Minneapolis Green Party local, didn't figure out a way to go forward with it while maintaining 5CD local as required by GPMN bylaws.
Improvements and Challenges
It was challenging, especially during the campaign season, to balance party needs and campaign needs. Steering committee members often found themselves overcommitting themselves and/over allowing volunteers to overcommit.
Despite the effort and improvements to the membership and contact database it wasn't mature enough to be useful during the 2006 campaigns.
Communication was lacking and/or nonexistent between the Green Party and other activist groups, particularly groups involved with the peace/anti-war movement. One recurring concern that some members brought up is to try and avoid scheduling membership meetings during peace protests.
Low Membership Meeting Turnout
More efforts could have been taken to increase turnout for membership meetings, such as phone calling, use of e-mail, use of Green Party weekly bulletins, or other communication methods.
Retaining Formerly Active Members and Recruiting New Members
Greater efforts could have been made to recruit members who used to be active in order to retain organizational knowledge as well as finding ways to engage new members and engage them in ways that don't scare them away or overwhelm them.