Meeting Notes 6 June 2016

Date: 6 June 2016 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Location: Queen Street Commons Cafe

Participants

Julia Gogoleva, Sam Nabi, Laurel Russwurm, Yanna Green, Teresa Cornwel, Stacey Danckert, James Danckert, Matt Piggott, Michele Braniff, Bob Jonkman

Meeting Notes

EDA/CA Updates

  • Waterloo:
    • “Visions for Fall”
    • Hold an Event; a series on Electoral Reform?
    • Barbecue at the end of August
    • Stacey Danckert, Richard Walsh and Julia Gogoleva to reach out to Green Party members, to get them more involved, come to events, volunteer, donate money.
    • Bring people closer by talking to them
  • Kitchener–Conestoga:
    • CA and EDA have been elected; Kitchener–Conestoga will continue with the new electoral boundaries. (Kitchener South–Hespeler will form a new CA)

Learning Community

  • Resume in the Fall
  • Last session was on Basic Income (Guaranteed Livable Income); the third session for “Action Plan” did not take place. Talked about policy development (on GLI). Silicon Valley is concerned about putting people out of work; use Basic Income to offset financial losses. Silicon Valley has a pilot project with 100 families.
  • Looking for a new way to run Learning Community series — each session has had new people, so there’s no continuity between the three sessions (asking questions, providing answers, action plan)

Summer Festival Information Booths

  • WR Greens should have our own event (Electoral Reform?) for the public to attend.

Electoral Reform

  • The NDP is planning “Proportional Representation in the Back Yard”, meant to bring together all the different organizations working on Electoral Reform: Fair Vote, Leadnow, Bob Jonkman was extended an invitation for the Green Party, Liberals have been/will be invited. This is intended to be as non-partisan as possible. Catherine Fife has confirmed her attendance, but her office has withdrawn from organizing; it may become a Fair Vote/Leadnow event.
  • Fair Vote is not interested in a referendum. It isn’t possible under current election law anyway — referenda can only be called for constitutional matters; selecting an electoral system is not a constitutional matter. The Referendum Act would need to be updated first.
    • Bob Jonkman believes this is not our only chance to get Proportional Representation. From Paul Nijjar’s presentation in October 2015, other jurisdictions that have undergone Electoral Reform have had their systems altered after the initial decisions were made. Even if PR is not implemented this time, once change has been made it is easier to accomplish further change. http://pnijjar.freeshell.org/2015/prtalk-av/
    • Fair Vote’s goal is Proportional Representation (not a specific voting system)
  • What are the Green Party’s goals for this Electoral Reform?
  • Action plan: Call MPs, arrange meetings with MPs. Get our membership to make rotating calls — some call one week, others call the next, still more call the week after. Repeat as necessary.
  • Letters to MPs get sorted by topic, counted (for statistics?)
  • We need to mobilize our membership for the MP’s Town Hall meetings.
  • Minister Monsef will be visiting electoral districts; her office has guides for making submissions
  • There are many sources for consultation (Sam Nabi has details)
  • We (Green Party) don’t want a referendum.
  • We need to e-mail the Green Party members, and get CAs and EDAs to make phone calls.
  • Postcards and letters about Electoral Reform are forwarded to the Electoral Reform committee by MP office staff; the MP may never see them.
  • We’ve had meeting(s) with the Hon. Bardish Chagger; she is expected to vote according to Liberal party lines, even though she may be well-informed on Electoral Reform.
  • What is the makeup of the Electoral Reform committee? See http://www.parl.gc.ca/Committees/en/ERRE
  • Committee deadlines: Last meeting 7 October 2016 (for request to appear before the Committee or to submit a brief); Committee presents their report to Parliament on 1 December 2016
  • ER Committee chair Francis Scarpaleggia’s speech stated “seat distribution should better reflect party’s vote share” — this is Fair Vote language, but people are choosing their words very carefully.
  • Phone Blitz:
    • Use e-mail. Get the National Office to send e-mail to membership.
    • We’ve been using MailChimp for e-mailing membership. Problems with coordinating with National Office (multiple e-mails (e-mail fatigue), unsubscribing from one list doesn’t unsubscribe from the other)
    • WR Greens e-mails should not make donation requests (prevents donation fatigue)
    • There are new rules for donations: a certain percentage of donations are retained by the EDA.
    • There are different rules during an election than now. Matthew Piggott has details.
    • Sam Nabi will draft an e-mail to mobilize the phone blitz.
    • Use social media: hashtags #ERRE and #ProportionalPlease on Twitter.

Communications

  • We have the wrgreens.ca domain name
  • We need a mailing list for executive@wrgreens.ca for all CA and EDA executive members (and all those at the WR Greens meetings). Bob Jonkman will set this up.
  • Bob Jonkman will try to recover the @WRGreens Twitter account
  • We need to build/keep up the lists of Green supporters on GVote
    • Matt Piggott has eight datapoints of info on voters; there was discussion on implementing this kind of fine-grained stats collection in GVote
    • Sam Nabi and Bob Jonkman will talk tech: How to provide a response link in e-mail messages to membership
    • Stacey Danckert will see if she has sufficient access to GVote to send e-mail to all ridings in Waterloo Region. If so, we don’t need to send through the National Office.
  • Everyone should write an article for the WR GReens blog http://wrgreens.ca/
    • Mike Schreiner reads it, so should you.
  • Mike Schreiner was impressed with the Kitchener Centre movie night

Events

  • Hold an Electoral Reform event in July? September at the latest.
  • “March of the Disenfranchised”
    • seeking the participation of all minorities
  • “Proportional Pizza”
    • Teresa Cornwel has access to a cob oven near Mill St. and Stirling St.
    • Have the March of the Disenfranchised end at the Proportional Pizza oven?
    • Julia Gogoleva will organize a planning meeting
  • 15 September every year is the International Day of Democracy; the week from 10 – 18 September is Democracy Week.
    • Holding the March of the Disenfranchised during Democracy Week will leverage media attention
  • Bob Bratina (Liberal MP Hamilton East–Stoney Creek) has held the first Town Hall Meeting. People from outside of the riding attended (Fair Vote Waterloo and Peel)
    • We need to have our letter ready before Waterloo Region MPs announce their meetings so we can encourage people to attend
  • Nonviolence Festival is this weekend; Matt Piggott and Bob Jonkman will coordinate to get the Info Booth materials there

Ontario riding boundary changes

  • CAs must be signed over by 1 November 2016
  • Kitchener–Conestoga will continue in that riding, has already been in contact with Amy Watson
  • Kitchener South–Hespeler is yet to be done
  • Cambridge: Temara Brown is on it?

Meetings

  • GPO meets WR Greens on 20 July 2016 at 7:00pm, location to be determined.
    • Amy Watson and Becky Smit to meet with CAs from Waterloo Region
    • There is some concern that not all people at this meeting received the e-mail about this.

Kitchener Centre popularity

  • Everybody’s moving to Kitchener Centre, or planning to. What will this mean for candidate nominations?


Next meeting of the WR Greens on Sunday, 21 August 2016; location to be determined.

Meeting notes taken by Bob Jonkman.

All WR Greens meeting minutes