Minutes from the 5th Annual GPOK State Convention

Green Party of Oklahoma 5th Annual State Convention and meeting of the GPOK Cooperative Council

August 19, 2006 in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Members participating: Rachel Jackson (Rural Oklahoma), James M. Branum (Okla. County), Doug Vincent (Okla. County), Ben Alpers (Cleveland County), Cynthia Wilson (Okla. County), Huti Reynolds (Green Country), Jean McMahon (Green Country), Joni LeViness (Green Country)

Guests present: Paul Tay & ??? (Libertarian guy’s name?)

1. The meeting was called to order by GPOK facilitator Rachel.

2. Introductions of participants and guests

3. Setting of the Agenda

4. In lieu of minutes, the press release (attached below) dated June 2005 was adopted as the official record of the 4th annual GPOK State convention.

5. The minutes of the September 24, 2005 meeting of the GPOK Cooperative Council were approved by the body.

6. Treasurer’s report by Doug was given.

7. Reports were given by the delegates of National Party committees

A. Joni – reported on her work on GPAX and the GPUS National Committee

B. Jean – reported on her work on the Annual National meeting in Tucson and for the GPUS EcoAction Committee

C. Ben – reported on his work on the Delegate Apportionment Committee.

D. Huti – reported on the Annual National meeting in Tucson and on his work on the GPUS National Committee.

E. James – reported on the GPUS National Committee and his fervent desire to be set free from having to bear the incessant absurd bickering of said committee

8. A decision was made to endorse James as an Independent candidate for Oklahoma State House District #99, and to issue a press release announcing this endorsement.

9. A proposal by James entitled “The GPOK Legislative Agenda on Bicycling & Mass Transit” was approved by consensus with some amendment (the final version is attached below). Discussion was also held regarding (1) the addition of an introduction paragraph, (2) the drafting of a press release to announce the agenda, and (3) the distribution of a candidate questionnaire regarding the issues of the agenda. Consensus was reached that these items would be referred to the Cooperative Council for further discussion and action.

10. The proposals brought by Jean from the GPUS Eco-action committee were discussed and consensus was reached that the proposals would be referred to the Cooperative Council for further discussion and action.

11. A proposal by James that the GPUS would endorse the IWW/NLG boycott of Starbucks and call for public protests of Starbucks was approved by consensus. The body referred the drafting of a press release regarding this action to the Cooperative Council.

12. The body agreed by consensus to reimburse Huti and Jean $150 towards their travel costs to the GPUS Annual national meeting in Tucson. Huti and Jean then refused this reimbursement and asked that the $150 be considered a donation to the GPOK.

13. Discussion of Finances – Rachel proposed that the GPOK consider using part of its funds to initiate a grassroots advertising campaign (including advertising on pedicabs in Oklahoma City and the purchase of magnetic car signs). Rachel also proposed the GPOK split its current inventory of t-shirts and bumper stickers three ways, between (1) the Oklahoma County local chapter, (2) the Green Country local chapter, and (3) inventory remaining to be used for future organizing efforts in other chapters. The body agreed by consensus to refer the advertising campaign to the Cooperative Council for further action and discussion, and further agreed to split its inventory of t-shirts and stickers after the meeting.

13. Rachel proposed that the GPOK engage in a grassroots voter registration drive that would focus on reaching out to underrepresented people (i.e. womens’ shelters, homeless shelters, community centers, etc.). The body agreed by consensus to engage in this work.

14. Discussion was made regarding the state membership database, but no action was taken. James reported that he would seek to find assistance with this work, or find someone else to administer the database.

15. Discussion was made regarding media relations. The body agreed by consensus to reaffirm its commitment to having many diverse voices representing the party.

16. A report was made by James regarding ballot access reform efforts, including the distribution of the OBAR information packet to candidates and to the possibility of a ballot access lawsuit.

17. The body agreed by consensus to elect the following members to the GPUS National Committee, to serve at the pleasure of the Cooperative Council…

Delegates – Joni & Huti
Alternate-Delegates – Rachel & Jean

The meeting was adjourned.

Attached Items:

1. Record (in lieu of minutes) for the 4th Annual GPOK State Convention

JUNE 2005 ANNOUNCEMENT – OKLAHOMA GREENS HOLD STATE CONVENTION, ADOPT NEW BYLAWS AND ELECT NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES

The Green Party of Oklahoma held its 4th annual state convention this past weekend at the campgrounds of the historic Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur, OK. Convention attendees enjoyed the cool spring waters and natural setting of the park over the weekend, but held its business meeting on the afternoon of Saturday, June 25th.

During the business session of the convention, the party had three agenda items: (1) a proposal to rewrite the state party bylaws, (2) an election of new state representatives to the GP national committee, and (3) a discussion of the upcoming GPUS national meeting in Tulsa.

BYLAWS REVISION

The membership at convention ratified a a new set of bylaws for the organization that seeks to move the party away from a hierarchical model to one that is cooperative and open in nature. This end is sought by the means of abolishing the state executive committee and replacing it with a Cooperative Council that is composed of both voting representatives from each of the local chapters, as well as non-voting council seats which are open to any GPOK member who wishes to so serve.

The new bylaws also abolished the position of co-chairs of the party, with some of the former functions of the chairs to be fulfilled by a council facilitator who will not serve an executive function but rather with moderate the dialogue of the council. (The newly enacted bylaws will be posted soon at http://www.okgreens.org)

Upon further discussion the decision was made to amend the draft bylaws to provide for a transitional period in which the current Executive Committee will continue to function until the new Cooperative Council begins to function.

NATIONAL REPRESENTATION

The convention elected Joni LeViness of Tulsa and Huti Reynolds of Porum to serve as delegates to the National Committee, while James M. Branum of Oklahoma City was elected as an alternate delegate. One alternate delegate spot was left to be filled at a later time.

DISCUSSION OF THE UPCOMING GPUS NATIONAL MEETING IN TULSA

The GPOK closed its business session by discussing what role the state party can have in the Tulsa meeting. Ideas discussed included ideas for fundraising at convention, our state party’s role in the program for Friday night, and the possibilities for state party members to volunteer at the national meeting.

Secretary’s note: I also have pasted in below the minutes of our last Cooperative Council meeting. (These minutes have not been approved so it would be appropriate for us to vote to approve them for the sake of clarity.):

2. Minutes of the 1st GPOK Cooperative Council Meeting, Sept. 24th, 2005

Voting council members present: James Branum and Doug Vincent (Oklahoma County voting representatives), Joni LeViness (Green Country Voting Representative), Rachel Jackson (Rural Greens voting representative)

Non-voting council members present: Randy Smith, Lynne Vincent

Guests present: Jamie, Mara

The meeting was called to order at around 5 p.m. at the home of Doug & Lynne Vincent in Oklahoma City.

1. The body chose by consent to appoint Rachel to facilitate and James to take minutes for this meeting until a facilitator and a secretary are elected. The body then briefly discussed the dynamics of the change to the Cooperative Council meeting structure, and the disbanding of the GPOK Executive Committee.

2. The body elected by consensus the following members to GPOK service positions:

Facilitator – Rachel Jackson
Secretary, legal representative, webservant – James Branum
Treasurer – Doug Vincent
Email list moderators – Huti & Joni were chosen to assist James in this role should they accept it.

3. Treasurer’s Report
Doug reported that we had $954.50 in the bank before tonight’s t-shirt purchases.

4. Discussion of Classen High School Greens. – The group agreed that we should invite the Classen High Young Green Party chapter to join the GPOK (and send representatives to the Cooperative Council). Rachel agreed the group on our behalf.

5. The group agreed by consensus that Rachel should pursue petitioning possibilities through National Voters League or other means.

6. Report on National Committee from Joni – The group by consesnsus accepted Joni’s recommendation that Oklahoma should support the measure backed by Tom & Kristin of the national committee to seek a compromise position to work towards peace and harmony with regards to the resolution of the controversay regarding the composition of the membership of the GPUS National Steering committee.

7. Report by Rachel on the questionable editing of the heart of her report that was written for Green Pages.- The body agreed by consensus to back her in seeking a better resolution of this situation.

Adjourned at about 6:30 p.m.

3. The GPOK Legislative Agenda on Bicycling & Mass Transit

Immediate Goals of the Agenda

1. City buses – City buses in the OKC & Tulsa metro areas are ineffective due to the limited number of routes and hours of operation. This should change. We believe that all city buses should run until at least 10 p.m. and that a limited number of buses should run 24 hours per day/7 days a week. These 24/7 buses should travel between a set of well-lit and safe Transportational Hubs that are positioned so that any destination in the metropolitan area is no more than 3 miles away.
2. Non-participating communities – We call for all municipalities in the OKC & Tulsa metropolitan areas to fully participate in the metropolitan mass transit systems so that there are no holes in the transit systems.
3. Off-street Bicycle trails – We call for the completion of all planned bicycle trails in Oklahoma City (see http://www.okc.gov/trails) and Tulsa.
4. On street Bicycle trails – We call for the marking of numbered bicycle routes in all neighborhoods of OKC and Tulsa. We also call for the creation of Bicycle route maps in OKC, Tulsa, and eventually all Oklahoma cities and towns.
5. Traffic laws – We call for the vigorous enforcement of HB 2926 that requires that cars give bicyclists a minimum of 3 feet of clearance when passing. We also call for an educational campaign to ensure that all Oklahoma motorists know that this new law. We also call for a change in the traffic code to allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs.
6. Intercity Mass Transit – We support the continued funding of Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer and propose that it be expanded ASAP to Tulsa and Wichita, KS.
7. Pedicabs – We support the use of human-powered transportation options in OKC & Tulsa, and support the lifting of the licensing fees for pedicab owners and drivers.
8. Sidewalks – We call for all Oklahoma municipalities to require the building of sidewalks for all new developments. We also call for municipalities to increase the building of sidewalks in existing developments.
9. Street design – We oppose building developments that do not provide through artery streets for bicyclists to travel through. We also oppose the creation of gated communities.
10. We oppose the I-40 Crosstown project and the planned demolition of the OKC Union Station Railyard.
11. We support tax credits and other incentives for commuters who walk, bike or take mass transit to work.
12. We stridently support the rights of bicyclists and pedestrians to use all public roads.

Long-term Goals

1. We believe that within the next 10 years, a minimum of 50% of all transportation funds should be allocated for mass transit and bicycling.
2. We believe that within the next 10 years, all proposed highway and bridge projects be required to show how bicyclists and pedestrians can safely travel on the proposed project.
3. We believe that within the next 10 years, there should be an effective 24/7 light rail system in OKC & Tulsa that connects with effective inter-city transit options. And we believe that these rail systems should allow bicycles to be carried on the trains to allow for effective intermodal transportation.
4. We believe that within the next 10 years, there should be an effective rural inter-community mass transit system in all areas of Oklahoma.
5. We believe that within the next 10 years, there should be a growing statewide network of connecting multi-use trails across the state.
6. We believe that within the next 10 years, that at least 10% of Oklahomans should be using bicycles for their basic transportational needs.

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