Johnson County Green Party Business Meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 11th, 2002
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Iowa City Public Library, Room C

In attendance: Florence Boos, Holly Hart, Matt Blizek, Robert Marseille (new member), Megan Woodland, Joannes Pool, David Reed

Facilitator: Florence Boos

1) Minutes from November 13/02 meeting distributed by Florence. Joannes moved to approve; Matt seconded. Approved by consensus.

2) Holly reported on the state Iowa Green Party gathering in Iowa City on November 23. A separate summary will be posted.

3) Holly reported on the Jail Town Meeting held at the IMU on Monday, 12/09. The general feeling throughout the county is that, even if the jail does need to be upgraded or a new one built, residents strongly want to see alternative forms of correction used for non-violent offenses. Possibilites include a detoxification center; rates of student arrests brought into line with the rest of the country; more discretion on whether to arrest for smaller offenses like public intoxication or possession of small amounts of marijuana; more support for much needed mental health services; and public service and restitution as an alternative to incarceration. Residents want the community to have a say and be heard.

4) Instant Runoff Voting - Joannes has begun research into what it would take to have IRV adopted for use in Iowa City. The city charter is up for review this coming year. Municipalities have the option of adopting something like IRV (state law allows "home rule"), but not counties: this would have to come down from the state level. Joannes recommended the website, which contains a lot of good information, brochures and advice.
A first step is to find out what system we use now, and whether Johnson County's voting equipment can be upgraded to accomodate IRV. If not, we could aim to include in the charter a statement that the county will adopt IRV at such time as the voting equipment is upgraded.

5) Florence prepared a schedule covering the next few months of 2003 for use as a guideline. At the November meeting, members discussed having panels during the coming year. Florence suggested, since we don't have a lot of cash at the moment, that we use our own members. The first panel is scheduled for January 29 somewhere on campus (probably the Iowa Memorial Union). Eventually, panels may
Labor (Jim Walters)
Education/tuition (Matt Blizek, possibly Florence Boos)
Instant Runoff Voting (Joannes Pool)
Middle East - Iraq and Israel/Palestine (Holly Hart)
Women's Reproductive Rights (Megan Woodland)
other panelists on energy and health care

Joannes noted that Clyde Cleveland (Libertarian Party of Iowa candidate for Governor) and members of the Libertarian Party of Iowa are presenting seminars around the state, and charge $35 to attend--why shouldn't Greens also offer panels, but free ones?

Megan is involved with an organization designed to increase awareness/lobbying on behalf of women's reproductive rights. She will be attending a meeting in Washington, D. C. in January.

6) Materials and Literature

Holly reported that buttons had been ordered some time ago, and we should be getting them shortly.

Joannes is interested in designing updated IAGP and JCGP brochures. Florence has compiled a good list of policies that Greens support. There was discussion on whether there should be a half-page (one page folded over, 4 sides) pamphelt or a tri-fold. Discussion: trifolds are easier to mail and more likely to be picked up from a table; the larger pamphlet offers more space for more information. Other discussion of design and content followed. Robert Marseille advised that we should be careful to use language that would be understood by the average reader, and test the pamphlet on sample populations. Megan and Florence pointed out that policy issues can and should be presented as women's issues. Florence and Joannes will work on coming up with both content and design to have ready within the next couple of months.

Florence would also like to post a history of the JCGP and IAGP on the JCGP webpage, and is soliciting input from those who have been around the
area involved with the JC/IAGP for awhile. (See, under history, and send in any suggestions.)

Florence would also like us to prepare position papers and statements on issues of concern. David suggested the erosion of civil liberties is an important and timely issue. Florence asked if David would write an op-ed. Other upcoming op-eds might include immigration (Holly) and tuition (Matt).

7) Concern about reaching members not on e-mail, or with sometimes defective e-mail. Holly will phone members who have recently been active, and mail hard copies of meeting minutes, etc.

Next JCGP meeting, January 15th , 2003
Panel, January 29, 2003 - Florence will be moderator; Campus Greens will reserve a room in the IMU

December 15th, 2002
Holly Hart
Secretary, Johnson County Green Party