Johnson County Green Party Business Meeting Minutes
March 12th, 2003
7:30-9:00 p.m.
Iowa City Public Library, Room B

Attendance: Peter Harty, Holly Hart, Barbara Hackmann, Bob Watson (guest), Michael Henkelman, Jennie Hanson, Florence Boos, Joannes Pool

Facilitator: Florence Boos

Fun Activities: Barbara Hackmann reported sending her new voter registration card back "corrected" with the letter "N" changed to "G." Mike Henkelman also sent his card back, thinking it was in error. Good reason to pass our ballot access legislation . . . .

1 - Guest Bob Watson of Decorah visited. Watson ran for the U.S. Senate as an Independent candidate in 2002, and is already in the race against Charles Grassley for 2004. His platform is very good, well thought out, and would be a good "green" platfrom. He would like any support he could get from us, but is not interested in running on behalf of any party, in part because he feels the media will not give fair coverage.

After he left, there was some discussion. Possible suggestions were that Greens could decide not to run in a race against a progressive candidate -- there are plenty of other opportunities and races; anyone interested in supporting him can be directed to his website; we could offer a Green Party endorsement as a way of saying we agree with his platform (if this turns out to be the case).

2 - Florence and Barbara Hackmann passed around news clippings and articles; Florence printed more copies of handouts listing government officials and legislative contacts, and press contact information.

3 - Florence gave a brief summary and review of our past month's activities -- a "bumper" month, as she put it! JCGP has been represented at several events: by speakers at the worldwide February 15th anti-war rally, a panel on current issues given at the IMU on February 25th, participants on UITV's "Iowa's Voice" panel talk show, and a panel on "Anti-War Resistence" at March 5th Campaign Against War University of Iowa teach-in. We have also worked on behalf of ballot access and other legislative bills, and Linn County Greens oversaw organizing a meeting with one of Sen. Grassley's aids. Outreach has also involved several letters to editors and an op-ed or two.

Florence asks for those who have written letters, op-eds, talks, etc, to submit them to be posted on our web archives.

4 - Update on SF42 (ballot access legislation). This is maybe alive, maybe not. It will not make the funnel, but has been passed along to Sen. Neal Shuerer, of Amana. He has told us that the senate's prioirity is an elections bill dealing mainly with the primary, but it's posible an amendment could be worked in involving the contents of SF42. Keep your fingers crossed. [Update, from phone calls by Libertarian liaiason and Green Party members is that Senator Schuerer is sincere; however, the particular bill may be doomed anyway; but things are still up in the air, so lobbying is still requested.

5 - Proposal to review an Agriculture Plank for approval in Johnson County, to be submitted to the state party with the proposal that it be approved and submitted for the national Green platform in 2004. In order to give people time to read the document, it was first suggested to vote on this at the next meeting, but this needs to be submitted sooner, if possible. Therefore, those at the meeting either took copies or will check it out via e-mail (sent on the listserve 3/15).

According to Johnson County Green Party rules, members who were present at one of the past two meetings are the ones who need to vote on this, but anyone interested is welcome to offer feedback.

Holly - Motion, for the above process; Joannes, second; PASSED (unanimous)

6 - Possible Iowa Green Party bylaw amendment to clarify voting procedures for altering the by-laws. The new members didn't know enough about it, and older members thought it wasn't worth the time, so the issue was dropped.

7 - Plans for upcoming events:

There are rallies and/or vigils downtown this weekend, both March 15th and 16th.

There is a possible trip for a Des Moines rally on April 5th. Four members expressed interest in attending, and others who are interested can contact Florence; more details forthcoming.
It was suggested that we do something for Earth Day, with a theme pointing to the environmental destruction cased by war, the link between the war and oil, etc.

Holly and Joannes will help look into this; Holly will write to contacts of other peace and activist groups to find out if anything else is already planned, so we can avoid scheduling conflicts and invite other groups to join in.

Discussion of another panel, this time on issues that people aren't noticing, "While You Weren't Looking" (Patriot Act, potential erosion of Roe v. Wade, biotech, health care, etc.)

8 - Florence asked about the possibility of having signs made for rallies with the theme of "Greens Against the War." The suggestion was made to call Jim Walters and see if he is interested in sign-making; Peter Harty is wiling to lend tools.

9 - Mike Henkel proposed the Johnson County Green Party look into the Adopt-A-Highway program, as a way of getting our name more widely known. He will look into what is involved.

10 - There was a question about amount of traffic on the announcement list. Holly will put out a reminder that it's only for announcements and important items; for news, there are many other options.

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, April 9th, 2003, 7:30 p. m. Bill's Small Mall