Coordinating Committee Meeting Minutes - 12/8/15

Vermont Progressive Party Coco Minutes

Meeting held by conference call 12/8/2015, 6:30-8pm


Present: Mari (At-Large), Meg (Asst Treasurer), Martha (Chair), Carl (At-Large), Kelly (staff), Steph (At-Large), Emma (Chair), Mike (At-Large), Adam (At-Large)

Absent: Morgan (Vice Chair), Chris (Secretary), Corey (At-Large)


1. 2015 Reorganization Process.

Kelly reported on the 2015 reorganization process. We wanted the Re-org to energize the party’s base. Our strategy this year included sharing organizing strategies with the town and country chairs to increase our presence around the state. We hoped this would increase participation and draw in new people, but we had limited success. Majority of chairs only wanted to do minimum required to organize town/county. In 2013, we organized 57 towns. In 2015, we organized 50 towns. We organized 13 counties both in 2013 and 2015. We lost 13 towns, but picked up 6 new. We will need to focus on finding new chairs in some areas because some chairs said they will not do it again. ACTION: Need to identify new members and leaders in each town and county to revitalize the party.

Group discussion included acknowledging that using reorg as an organizing/engagement tool has been a challenge in the past. When there is no election involved, people’s activity is minimal. Martha noted we can still organize new towns/counties – it can be ongoing. Coco attempted to set up a mentoring system for Coco members to mentor chairs, but some found it ineffective. Also early communication with chairs in summer lead to a lot of duplication of packets due to summer schedules, etc. Our party members are driven by issues, not party logistical meetings. Running more candidates gets us more voter IDs for potential new party leaders as well as paying attention to Bernie supporters in our area.


2. Draft budget for FY16.

Martha presented budget process. We will review a draft and ideally adopt the FY16 budget in January.  We are basing the budget on our prior year but increasing our goals. ACTION: Martha will meet with Kelly and Emma, and then present to the Coco. It will be sent out early via email for Coco consideration.


3. Discussion of 2016 Election Cycle Poll (launched at Convention).

Emma and Kelly reviewed use of the poll to-date. It has not been shared with the media or members. Poll is still open as of meeting time. We had about 80 people participate at Convention and 20 on-line after the Convention. Discussion by group not to share it with media, but to share summary with our members. Use results for campaign purposes. Mari suggested using in future for other polls/resource. Wording matters with polls. Some felt we had a low response rate so far and that we should push poll for more participation before the holidays. Kelly noted she met with our elected Progs to develop the poll question around issues. Action: Do not share poll results with media. Share with state committee at next meeting and with our elected leaders. Also note that polls a useful engagement tool with our members during and in between meetings.


4. Discussion on whether we build a legislative agenda for 2016 and if so, what is the process?

Initial discussion on whether we develop a legislative agenda and what we do with that agenda. We are a political party, not a lobbying group or advocacy non-profit organization. How will it impact candidate recruitment and certain campaigns with Dem and Progs in same the race? Are legislators setting goals? How do we coordinate? General agreement that it would be good to focus on a couple of issues and develop something with elected officials. Issues are what draw people to engage with the Party. ACTION: We will have further discussion at January Coco meeting and involve elected people’s input.


5. VPP "vision statement" for 2016.

Item tabled for next meeting. Idea is to define who we are and what it means to be a Progressive in Vermont.


6. Discussion on VPP guidelines for use and requirements of resolutions in front of the state committee vs. platform revisions.

Item tabled for future meeting.


7. Review of 2016 meeting dates per our email discussion.

Meeting schedule will be revised again and sent out via email.

Adjourned 8:00pm.


Minutes taken by Mike Kane.