March 15, 2012

by JKL


Our Maestro conference call meeting was called to order by President Eric Byler at 5:05 pm PST.  Other directors present included Vice President Kerry Helmer, Secretary Jeanene Louden, Treasurer Eric Whinery, Craig Dunigan, Jose Gutierrez, Frank Kirkwood Christopher Ritter (who had to leave the call after about an hour), and Egberto Willies. Staff present included Executive Director Debilyn Molineaux and Membership Director Billy Sears.

Meeting minutes to date are posted.

Treasurer Eric W informed us that our membership / fundraising goal for March was on target.

Annabel Park has asked for an early payment against the money we owe her from the Enough is Enough rally last year. After clarifying that this was an early payment, and that we would return to our debt service schedule after this exception, we agreed to make the early payment.


  • WHEREAS Coffee Party USA has an invoice outstanding with Annabel Park, and
  • WHEREAS the budget includes payment of this invoice over several months, and
  • WHEREAS the Treasurer assures the Board the cash flow will not be negatively affected by an early payment, it is
  • RESOLVED that Annabel Park receive her April payment in March

The motion was made by Egberto, seconded by Craig, and passed 7 yes, 0 no, 2 abstain (Eric B and Jeanene) and 0 not available.




  • 2nd and 4th Monday’s of the month.

Action Alert emails (Email blasts)

  • 1st and 3rd Monday’s of the month.

Suggested action alerts:

  • Online petitions
  • Legislative actions
  • Twitter petitions

Action requests from our online communities:

  • Coffee Party Feminists
  • Coffee Party Equality
  • Coffee Party Immigration

Kerry suggested we need a Facebook posting schedule also.

We felt that, rather than going out to members due for renewal and potential new members with simple membership requests, we and others are better served if we dove tail membership and donation opportunities into our news and alter activities. How, exactly, this should be done was sent back to the Development Work Group.


We made assignments for the Organizers National Team call scheduled for Sunday 3/25. Eric W will lead the call, Diane will run the board for us, and Eric B will promote the call via media.

Topics under consideration

  • Membership recruitment
  • Mission/Vision/Values/Strategy
  • Election Task Force
  • Group Sites

The Chapter Development Work Group sent forward a motion through their Board Liaison, Frank:

Chapter Development

  • WHEREAS the Coffee Party USA values all of its local organizations around the country as central to our mission and vision, and,
  • WHEREAS the Coffee Party USA wishes to empower all of its local organizations to develop and grow, and,
  • WHEREAS the Coffee Party USA recognizes that growth and stability are enhanced by predictable structure and defined planning, and,
  • WHEREAS the Coffee Party USA has developed, through the work of its Chapter Development Work Group, in coordination with legal counsel, a detailed and multi-level plan for starting, developing, and formalizing local Coffee Party affiliates, it is
  • RESOLVED that the Board of Directors recognizes and affirms the work done by the Chapter Development Work Group and summarized in the document “Coffee Party Group Organizing Blueprint” (and in the Coffee Party Provisional Affiliate Trademark Licensing Agreement linked from that document) is the guiding document for the development of “Coffee Community” groups and “Chapter Affiliates.” Further, it is
  • RESOLVED that the Chapter Development Work Group is charged with developing a permanent Coffee Party Chapter Affiliation Agreement to submit to the Board of Directors for approval within one year of the date the first affiliation agreement is approved.

The motion was made by Frank, seconded by Egberto, and passed: 7 yes, 0 no, 2 abstain (I could not tell who) and 0 not available.

Resolution Tabled:
“The President of the Board of Directors is authorized to act on behalf of the entire Board to approve affiliation agreements with local groups who have submitted the appropriate Coffee Party Affiliate Application and provided documentation that they meet the minimum requirements recommended by the Executive Director of Coffee Party USA in consultation with the Chapter Development WG Chair.”

We all wanted to express our appreciation for the hard work of the Chapter Development Work Group generally, and Diane Owens, specifically for the work on the national program just approved and for the work to prepare Austin, Texas, for affiliation. In recognition of this effort, we decided to not wait for Austin to submit the paper work we knew was ready to go, and act impulsively to give them the badge of honor of being the first official Coffee Party USA affiliate.


  • WHEREAS the Coffee Party USA Chapter in Austin, Texas, is ready to submit affiliate paperwork, and
  • WHEREAS, many Chapter members worked diligently on the Chapter Development Work Group, it is
  • RESOLVED that Austin be the first Coffee Party Provisional Affiliate under the newly adopted structure.

The motion was made by Eric B, seconded by Egberto, and passed: 9 yes, 0 no, 0 abstaining, and  0 unavailable.


We all have a great sense of urgency to finalize our work in Chicago and expand this exciting conversation to the rest of the Coffee Party community. Each of us accepted assignments to that end and reported on our progress. A summary of the reports follows in outline form.

Board Planning Meeting Outcomes – Jeanene/Debilyn
A rough draft has been started by Jeanene.

Vision Statement – Eric B, Chris, and Debilyn
“Coffee Party envisions a nation of diverse communities sharing a culture of informed public engagement that sustains a tradition where our sacred duty to vote is the currency of our democracy.”

I did a “road test” of the vision statement on my radio show today and it went well. Chris will take the lead. Eric B has been doing related writing this week.

Core Values (Jeanene, Craig, and Debilyn, and Eric B as reviewer only)
Work has begun on the core values with the Strategy, Organization, and Design Work Group: we incorporated values from the web site, the P&P work group, Annabel’s work, and added concepts from our Chicago work sessions. SOD will deliver a living draft. The Board will be the final editors.


Election Taskforce, (Frank, Egberto and Eric W)
This project combines “The List”, the Voting Rights project the Citizens Lobby initiative, and the Anti-Corruption Pledge collaboration.

National Coffee Day
A proposal to repeat this initiative from 2010 is in the works. The idea is to, once again, use the format of the “Agora” (used in Iceland to renegotiate the political system, find out what’s important, etc). We talked about using our “Citizens Intervention” name for the initiative.

Information Activists, PSA’s, Rapid Response Team (Eric B & Egberto)
PSAs: Mike P is on fire to start this, but he needs volunteers.

Egberto wants to send out Press Releases, and wants to know the process? As is typical in volunteer organizations, the guy who brings up the question gets to come back next week with the plan. @:> Nice job, Egberto!

Group Sites (Chris and Debilyn)
Testing will begin tomorrow and go through the weekend tomorrow. Group Sites are also working to add RSS feeds from Scoop-It. The team hopes the volunteer site will be ready this week also.

501c3 (Jeanene and Debilyn)
No activity yet (the current 501(c)4 filing is in a serious crunch)

Branding / Public Relations (Kerry)
The newly appointed Public Relations Committee is Mark Cotter, Chris Ritter, Frank Maurizio and Egberto Willies. Woo Hoo!

Advisory Board Contact/Clarification (Jeanene)
This has low priority on my list right now. It will be two or three weeks before I can get to this.


Move to Amend Collaboration (Egberto)
The executive committee of the National MTA Executive Committee will meet in Eugene, OR in late April. (I can’t wait to see you, EW!)

Citizens United Flash Rallies (Egberto)
The lead groups for this action, Common Cause and Free Speech for People, are stalled on this effort. As collaborators, it is not our role to act outside of their process, so it looks like this effort is on hold until they come out of deliberations. Our resources are still at their disposal.

April 17 Tax Day Coalition
(Eric B)
Our own Will Rice is the point person for the coalition. This Washington, DC action will be big. We are hosting a call later today, including MoveOn, AFL-CIO, and others, that may offer a release point for the details of the effort. We are all invited to be in DC on 4/17 to attend the event.

United Republic  — Anti-corruption pledge – Frank, point person

99% Spring – Debilyn and Billy, point people

Resolution Week – Eric Byler, point person

No Labels – No Budget, No Pay – several (Jeanene did radio show)

Unite Against the War on Women – Jeanene, point person
(We are women marches in all 50 states on April 28th and in Washington DC in September).

Americans United for Change – Craig, point person
(a campaign to expose corporations who donate secretly to PACs thru non-profits)

Americans Elect – Chris
Chris reported that Americans’ Elect won the Peoples’ Choice Award at the recent South by Southwest Conference he attended. We started to discuss this group and decided to table the discussion for later.

REMINDER – Left Forum event is this weekend in NYC


Our next meeting will be Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern. We all did a 30 second check out and said Aloha!

Respectfully Submitted,
Jeanene Kay Louden