January 19, 2012

by JKL

Call To Order and Note of Attendance
Our Maestro conference call meeting was called to order by facilitating director Kerry Helmer at 5:06 pm PST.  Other directors present included Jeanene Louden, Eric Whinery, Egberto Willies, Frank Kirkwood, and Christopher Ritter.  Director Eric Byler was a little late to the call (trying to catch a cab!) but present and led the call when he had cell reception.  Craig Dunnigan and Jose Guiterrez missed the call.  Staff present were Executive Director Debilyn Molineaux and Membership Director Billy Sears. We did a 30 second check in.

Meeting Minutes
Comments were given on the voice and structure of the draft minutes prepared for the January 12 meeting. Secretary Jeanene Louden will now take every one’s input under advisement and develop the template for these and future minutes for distribution and posting to the web.

Financial Report
Treasurer Eric Whinery presented google documents for cash flow through the end of January and budget covering the six month period ending June 30th. It includes $1000 for our 990, the non-profit tax return. We have already met our expenses for the month, but our staff levels are greatly reduced and not sustainable. If fundraising continues at the current rate, the state of emergency we inherited may be subsiding. A great deal is riding on our current and upcoming membership drive. We will stay on top of this at every meeting.

Relationship With Management Team
A motion was made and eventually tabled to invite the management team to board of director calls. Several board members volunteered to attend the next management team call instead. The issue is not whether others are welcome, it is whether it would serve the intended purpose to make these calls bigger. Should guests be advisers, listeners, or participants? A better form of team building is sought.

Relationship With Move to Amend
Last week, at the encouragement of the Advocacy, Action, and Messaging Work Group, we agreed to collaborate with Move To Amend in the OCCUPY THE COURTS action. Today we discussed the invitation to become a part of the Executive Board of the Coalition. While the ethics of the effort are clearly in alignment, we are unclear if there are other, unknown liabilities. We agreed that we can undo any relationship if we found we had unknowingly accepted responsibilities we were unwilling to execute. Egberto, as the board liaison and chair of the Advocacy, Action, and Messaging Work Group (Campaign and Actions Work Group), will be our liaison to Move to Amend.

Resolution 008
Accept the Invitation to Join the Move to Amend Executive Board
The Advocacy, Action, and Messaging Work Group recommend to the Board of Directors:
WHEREAS Coffee Party USA is a trans-partisan organization, and
WHEREAS Move To Amend is a non-partisan coalition, and
WHEREAS Coffee Party USA and Move To Amend both share the goal of reversing Citizens United decision, be it
RESOLVED that we establish:

  • a strategic relationship that includes cross-linking our websites, releasing a press release announcing our partnership,
  • accept membership to their executive board,
  • and cooperate on projects of mutual interest.

Moved by Jeanene, seconded by Eric W and passed with 6 yes, 0 no, 1 abstention and 2 not present.

Coffee Party Table at Left Forum
In a continuation of the conversation that began last week, the pros and cons of setting the precedent of giving money to local affiliates, as well as the risk of being inappropriately labeled was discussed at length. Budget considerations also came in to play. The discussion was tabled until next meeting.

Vice President
We have not made progress toward candidates for VP. Last week those interested could have contacted Debilyn. This week Eric B will send email invitations to serve to all eligible directors. We will discuss this again next week.

Work Group Restructure Presentation
There has been a major volunteer and staff effort to improve the organization and structure of the Work Groups,  Committees, and Teams, and staff as they relate to the Board and the Membership. We decided to accept a generous offer made by Leah Spitzer and Ray Hudkins offered to spend 45 minutes at our next meeting explaining the inner workings of this well oiled, predominantly volunteer, machine.

Member / Support Site
We were approached for approval to launch this site, but there were both editorial and conceptual concerns. The premise is to move certain components of what is now in the Coffee Party web site proper out of a techy domain and into wordpress where mere mortals can manipulate it. The product appearance is lovely. However, the details of the conversation were limited by the facts that Chris, our major connectivity and human interface expert, had had oral surgery only hours before and asked that we delay the complete discussion until he could participate fully.

Memberships are going well this month, and the Founding Members Renewal Campaign is about to begin. Billy Sears, Membership Director, showed us the fundraising history since 2/2010, and it is clear that membership is our bread and butter. We learned that the Development, Fundraising, and Revenue Work Group fund raising campaign schedule is off track, in part because of the board’s own outreach initiatives and in part because some of us had no idea there was a schedule in which we played a part. Again, the need for a balance between tending to our mission and tending to raising money is apparent. Membership is our money source, and relationship is our membership source. Timely and appropriate attention to our mission is our relationship source. We will discuss this further, no doubt.

Board Planning Meeting
The staff is hoping a director will step up to champion the meting. Right now, because of where we all are located across the country, Chicago looks like the most economical meeting place. The idea is to get a large rental home for a long weekend and stay in for most meals, spending the greatest amount of time together, and saving lots of money.

Suspend the Remainder of the Agenda

Schedule Next Meeting and Adjourn
The next Maestro call will be held Thursday, January 26, 2012, at 5:00 PM PST
We checked out at 7:10 PST.

Respectfully Submitted,
Jeanene Louden