Vermont Progressive Party's blog

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.

Sen. Pollina Pushes for a More Progressive Tax Structure

Sen. Anthony Pollina (Washington Co - P/D) is pushing this legislative session to better and more equitably fund Vermont's education system. Pollina's bill (S.175) seeks to fund state education based on income rather than property taxes, placing more of the burden on those who can afford it rather than continuing to squeeze Vermont's working- and middle-class, who typically pay a higher percentage of their income in property taxes than do wealthy Vermonters. 

Families earning up to $100,000 annually pay about 3% of their income in property taxes. Meanwhile, he said those with incomes of $300,000 and $500,000 pay less than 2% and 1% (respectively). Those earning more than $1 million a year pay less than 0.5% of their income.


“It’s just not fair," Pollina said. "If we have a law that says it’s fair for middle class homeowners to pay 3% of their income to fund local schools, it’s only fair to have others do the same.”

If S.175 passes, Vermonters who earn more than $90,000 annually would complete an income adjustment form and either pay based on the value of their homestead, or the same tax percentage that lower-income families have to pay (whichever is greater). 


Not only would this bill raise some much-needed state revenue, it would also lower the statewide property tax rate. Pollina says the bill will mean that a few people (those who can most afford it) will pay more, but the majority of Vermonters will end up paying less. "The bottom line is that is restores fairness and can give middle-income families some much-needed relief."


2015 State Convention - Minutes

Vermont Progressive Party State Convention 11/7/2015


Meeting was held at the State Capitol Cafeteria, Montpelier  VT between 1:10 and 4:15 PM.

1)      Emma Mulvaney-Stanak called meeting to order at 1:10 PM.



Current Treasurer Martha Abbott set a fundraising goal of 25 new or increased monthly donations by the end of the meeting. 



Moved to the election of Coordinating Committee officers and at large members. Executive Director Kelly Mangan opened the floor to nominations: Morgan Daybell nominated Emma Mulvaney-Stanak for chair, accepted; Barry Kade nominated Morgan Daybell for vice-chair, accepted; Morgan Daybell nominated Chris Brimmer for secretary, accepted; Megan Polyte nominated Martha Abbott for treasurer, accepted; Emily Krawsnow nominated Megan Polyte for assistant treasurer, accepted; Shelia Manchester Coniff nominated Adam Norton for at large seat, accepted; Morgan Daybell nominated the rest of the at large slate (Corey Decker, Mari Cordes, Carl Davis, Stephanie Thompson); accepted. Martha Abbott nominated Michael Kane for at large seat, accepted; Morgan nominated Robert Millar, accepted.

Morgan moved slate of officers for voice vote from floor, officer slate approved by acclamation. Paper balloting conducted for at large positions.



John Howe moved to approve the Labor Resolution, second by Sheila Manchester Coniff. Sheila moved to amend the resolution with the addition of language healthcare based on Medicare for All, race and gender clause, establish a system for a basic income by 2022, public and private sector privacy rights and opposition to TPP. Barry Kade motion to strike the language "by 2022", second by Caryn Connolly, Nate Brimmer moved to amend by striking the COLA language, motion to call the question of the amendments to the amendments by Emily Krasnow and seconded by Jeremy Hansen, motion to call the question carries by voice majority. Vote by hands on the Amendment 40 for and 19 against, motion to amend carries. Barry Kade moved to amend by striking the language capping executive pay to 4 times lowest paid worker, John Lowery seconded, vote by hands 25 for the amendment to the amendment, 30 against. The question of the amendments as amended called by Robin Chesnut-Tangerman, seconded by Jeremy Hansen, motion carries by voice. John Howe moves to amend by striking language as voted, second by Don Schram, Martha Abbott called the question, motion to amend the amendment carries  by voice vote. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman called the question on adoption of the amended resolution, carries by voice vote. Resolution passes. 


        5)   Kelly Mangan introduced the panel for the Labor/Union discussion: Leslie Matthews (VSEA), Michelle Salvador (VSEA), Ben Johnson (AFT, AFL-CIO) and Jeff Fannon (NEA).


        6)  Results of the CoCo election: Mari Cordes, Corey Decker, Carl Davis, Adam Norton and Stephanie Thompson elected on first ballot.

Rob Millar and Michael Kane tied. Run-off vote held & Michael Kane elected to remaining at-large seat.

         7)  James Haslam (Rights & Democracy) and Selene Coburn (Progressive City Councilor from Burlington) presented on the KKK fliering incident that happened in Burlington a few weeks ago, and the initial reluctance of local police to  act on this (as well as other recent, less-publicized acts of hate which have occured in town), pointing to the lack of priority of this issue for state and local government. Selene expressed dismay that it took the invention of an elected official to get some action on the incident. Both passed around a sign-up sheet for various anti-racism and justice-system-reform groups they are coordinating with, and asked meeting participants to please sign up if they're willing to be a part of addressing isssues like this in the future. 

         8) Survey on 2016 Party Electoral and Legislative priorities circulated and collected. Floor discussion held on "spoiler issue," and running candidates for governor & lt. governor.


Meeting concluded at 4:15 PM.


Respectfully submitted by Chris Brimmer, state party secretary

Oct. 2015 Coordinating Committee Meeting - Minutes

Vermont Progressive Party Coordinating Committee Meeting 10/10/2015


Meeting was held at VSEA offices in Montpelier between 10:08 AM and 12:53 PM.

Present: Chair Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, Vice-Chair Morgan Daybell, Treasurer Martha Abbot, state Secretary Chris Brimmer, at large Corey Decker, Caryn Connolly, Carl Davis. Guests Adia Hoge, James Haslam, Steve Hingtgen.


1) Martha made a motion to adopt proposed changes to Executive Director job description, second by Morgan. Motion approved by acclamation.


2) Martha gave a Treasurer's report. We are improving over previous years. Fund raising was detailed, outreach to labor in the state has met with some success. Discussion on how to make the CoCo a more effective fundraising body. 

CoCo should design some signature events and members should leverage their own networks, put together regional events, etc. 


3) Rights and Democracy members Steve Hingtgen and James Haslam made a presentation to the CoCo. RAD says it has moved from organizing to legislative advocacy and are looking for synergies with other actors. RAD invites VPP to support RAD's platform/agenda. No electoral strategy yet. Decisions on candidate recruitment, training and support not made yet, nor any judgements on the top of the ticket. Conferences and workshops envisioned for candidate recruitment and for candidates to speak to the RAD agenda. 


CoCo discussion of RAD ask. Martha moved to put the RAD endorsement  on the State Committee meeting 2016, second by Corey and approved by acclamation.


5) Alliance for Democracy, represented by Robin Lloyd, is asking VPP support for a resolution concerning TPP. Discussion on TPP impact on drug pricing, bypassing of national and state court systems and local government and the very anti-democratic provisions of the TPP. Motion by Martha forward the proposal through a lawyer for the Burlington Town Committee, seconded by Caryn and approved by acclamation. 


6) Convention Planning

- Discussion of the election process for the CoCo.

- Town meeting day resolutions.

- Skill building sessions'

- Need a dynamic speaker(s).

- Theme? Single payer, labor legislative priorities?


7) Legal discussion prompted by FOIA requests made of some electeds earlier this summer. Tabled pending legal opinion.   


8) Update on public finance/Corren lawsuit


9) Morgan moved to adjourn the meeting, second by Caryn and approved by acclamation at 12:53



Respectfully submitted by Chris Brimmer, state party secretary



Morgan Daybell

Nov. 10, 2015

MONTPELIER – The Vermont Progressive Party used its annual state convention on Saturday to reiterate its commitment to organized labor, to elect a new leadership committee, and to poll members on a variety of issues that will have an impact on Vermont's political climate in the coming year. 

Representatives from the Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA), the Vermont National Education Association (VT-NEA), and United Professions-Vermont AFT (UP-VAFT) spoke as part of a panel to address the political priorities of these major unions in 2016.


The Party's newly-formed Labor Caucus also passed a resolution on the convention floor which adds to Progressives' ambitious goals for a stronger middle class. The resolution included a committment to livable wages, paid sick leave, paid family leave, single-payer healthcare, and education as a right for all Vermonters. 


Executive Director Kelly Mangan says it's not a new direction for the Party, but rather a "doubling down" on the issues that matter most to working families. "A lot of people in our state are sick to death of corporate interests and the rich getting a 'pass' while working folks shoulder the burdens of high taxes and cuts to vital services, programs, and jobs," she said. "Progressives are about finding solutions that raise up the working- and middle-class in our state, and that's what we'll continue to fight for in 2016."


Convention members also elected the following leaders to the Progressive Party's State Coordinating Committee for the next two years:

  • Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, Chair (Burlington) 
  • Morgan Daybell, Vice Chair (Montgomery) 
  • Chris Brimmer, Secretary (South Ryegate) 
  • Martha Abbott, Treasurer (Underhill) 
  • Meg Polyte, Asst. Treasurer (Burlington) 
  • Mari Cordes (Lincoln)
  • Corey Decker (Fletcher)
  • Adam Norton (Montpelier)
  • Carl Davis (Troy)
  • Stephanie Thompson (Springfield)
  • Michael Kane (Vergennes)

Progressive Party Annual Convention - Nov. 7th at Statehouse

Join us for the Progressive Party's annual convention on Saturday, Nov. 7th from 1pm-4pm in at the Vermont Statehouse. Agenda and details below. Contact Party Director Kelly Mangan at kelly[at] with questions. 


Sat, Nov. 7th @ Vermont Statehouse (2nd floor cafeteria) 
11-12:30 = Women's Caucus & Labor Caucus

1pm-1:20pm - Election of VPP Coordinating Committee

1:20pm-1:50pm - Introduction & Vote on Labor Resolution (click here for draft)

1:50pm-2:50pm - Panel to Discuss Labor Priorities for 2016 Session


3pm-3:15pm - Member Poll on 2016 Elections & Addressing the Spoiler Argument
3:15pm-4pm - Skill-Building Sessions for Progressive Activists (Pick one):
  • Public Speaking: Learning how to improve your public communication and polish your Progressive message-crafting (good for Party leaders, activists & potential candidates).
  • Community Outreach: Learning how to build a stronger grassroots Progressive movement in your town/county. 
Syndicate content