Board Meeting Minutes Coffee Party USA


Month: January, 2015

January 7, 2015

by JKL


  • P – Debilyn Molineaux (President, IIWG, Volunteers, SAI, Channels)
  • P – Jeanene Louden (Treasurer, Legal/Accounting, Acting Campaigns and Actions, Acting Fundraising)
  • P – Vince Lamb (Secretary and Board Development)
  • P – Egberto Willies (Newsroom)
  • P – Billy Sears, (Community Actions and Engagement)
  • P – Tim Danahey (Public and Member Relations)


Debilyn called the meeting to order at 6:06 PM Pacific.  Debilyn and Jeanene took notes for minutes (Vince has no computer tonight). Debilyn and Jeanene shared operation of the Maestro control board. Jeanene led the Board in check-ins.

Secretary’s Report

Minutes – Vince is moving so the December 30, 2014 minutes are not yet ready.

Bylaws review – Debilyn led us through the changes to the Bylaws proposed by the Board Development Workgroup. The recommendations:

  • Change the terms of office from two to three years, beginning with 2015 elections (provides more continuity for the organization). This has been under discussion since 2012.
  • Require members be in good standing by March 31st and still in good standing at the time of the election in order to vote (allowing for  informed voters).
  • Move details of running the election from the Bylaws to a policy document reviewed annually by the Board Development Workgroup and approved by the Board of Directors (allows for more reasonable and flexible deadlines, set by the volunteers doing the work)
  • Removes the titles of Workgroups from the Bylaws, (establishing flexibility to shift responsibilities within the Board of Directors as needed to fulfill the Coffee Party mission).
  • Requires that Work Group Chairs and Elections Committee members be members in good standing.
  • Adds the requirement for candidates to sign:
    • 1) the Civility Pledge,
    • 2) the Non Disclosure Agreement, and
    • 3) the Mediation Agreement.

A motion was made to approve the Bylaws as amended. The vote was tabled for one meeting pending review by legal counsel. Directors should be prepared to revisit this motion at that time.

The procedures to comply with the proposed bylaws changes are drafted and shared for review and comment now. Directors should be prepared to vote on these procedures as soon as the legal review of the changes is complete.

Treasurer’s Report – Jeanene

The 990 (the tax return for private non profits) has been filed. YEAH. The draft financials (Profit/Loss and Balance Sheet) for the first and second quarters of this fiscal year should be available within the week. The report of the internal audit will be ready in March.

President’s Report

Our numbers of volunteers continue to grow. Directors were requested to contact our volunteer coordinator if workgroups identify new needs. Two requests were made at the meeting:

  • for volunteers specifically interested in data base management; and
  • for a Twitter Team to support the Newsroom.

Project Updates

January Engagement

  • Participation is very good to date for this month’s Book ClubUnstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State by Ralph Nader. The book club broadcast will air live on Coffee Talk Radio Monday, January 26th, at 8:30 PM Eastern / 5:30 PM Pacific.
  • Our petition to support a Constitutional Amendment to Reverse Citizens United has been launched. Our goal is 5,000 signatures. The campaign goal for all organizations collaborating on the petition drive is 5 Million signatures.
  • Coffee Party is a convener for a rally across the street from the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC on January 21, 2015, the 5th anniversary of the Citizens United decision. We agreed to take T-shirts and bumper stickers to give away to Coffee Party attendees. Debilyn is looking in to the possibility of using Coffee Party volunteers for phone banking about event in DC
  • The Coffee Party 5th Birthday is January 26, 2015. Billy presented a birthday fundraising idea: Give $5 in honor of 5 years of Coffee Party OR give $10 in support of 5 more years.

February Engagement

  • Membership Drive
  • Valentine’s Day – Love Your Country, Join the Coffee Party!
  • Recruit Elections Committee members
  • A Monthly Event – something about civility, practice and training?

Farther out: the various workgroups are looking at:

  • Bill Club (like Book Club, but “meeting” to discuss upcoming legislation and whether/how Coffee Party should participate;
  • Community Support: for groups that want to meet and act in their communities; and,

Executive Session

The Board went into Executive Session. The Board came out of Executive Session not having made any motions.


The next meeting is scheduled for January 21, 2015 at 9pm Eastern / 6pm Pacific. Jeanene led us through check-outs.

Respectfully Submitted, 

Jeanene Louden

Treasurer of the Board of Directors

Approved: January 26, 2015


December 30, 2014

by JKL

  • P – Debilyn Molineaux (President, IIWG, Volunteers, SAI, Channels)
  • P – Jeanene Louden (Treasurer, Legal/Accounting, Acting Campaigns and Actions)
  • P – Vince Lamb (Secretary and Board Development)
  • P – Egberto Willies (Newsroom)
  • L – Billy Sears, (Community Actions and Engagement)
  • A – Tim Danahey (Public and Member Relations)


Debilyn called the meeting to order at 6:04 Pacific. Jeanene ran the Maestro board and led us through check-ins.

President’s Report – Debilyn

A Complaint has been filed against us in Washington DC. Our D&O insurance has appointed legal counsel to represent us.

Secretary’s Report – Vince


The December 10th minutes were  approved at meeting time. The December 17 minutes  are awaiting approval. Jeanene has posted all approved minutes to date.  BIG THANK YOU!

Board Development

A volunteer from the Newsroom Workgroup has asked for an application to be a candidate for  one of the vacant seats on the Board.

The Elections Task Force had its first call on December 21st. Debilyn will head up the upcoming elections because Vince is running for office. The elections timeline is being expanded  from the dates approved in 2014 for the 2015 elections.

A final recommendation for Bylaws amendments should be available from for Board review / comment / and approval next week.


Community Actions & Engagement (combined WG of Campaigns & Actions plus Community Outreach and Engagement)

Book Club – Billy

  • So far 87 people have RSVPed for the January 26th event, half from Facebook and half from the email blast. Jeanene asked about the timing of FB posts about Book Club. Billy said he is now coordinating with the Newsroom Workgroup to spread the message over time slots and on the half hour rather than on the hour. Tim has agreed to do a Cook Club commercial.
  • AR Billy – Send Tim Book Club info for commercial.

Newsroom – Egberto

Our engagement numbers are down but still good. The holiday lull, less frequent posts and perhaps fewer people on FB? The team is still addressing the need for more original content.

Public and Member Relations Egberto for Tim, not present due to weather challenges.

Newsletter deadlines are on the 10th and 25th of every month. (Today is the 30th!) We reviewed the list of articles submitted. Those who had not yet submitted were asked to get items in ASAP. Egberto asked that items be submitted to him and to Tim simultaneously.

Internet Infrastructure – Debilyn

The draft website was discussed and a link for preview was provided. Debilyn asked for additional help with both migration of current content and creation of more original content.

AR-Debilyn to recruit volunteers to assist with database cleanup.


The next meeting is scheduled for January 7, 2015 at 9PM Eastern / 6PM Pacific. Jeanene led us through check outs.

Respectfully submitted:

Jeanene Louden

Approved: 1/25/15

December 24, 2014

by JKL

No meeting was held this Christmas Eve.

December 17, 2014

by JKL

P – Debilyn Molineaux (President, IIWG, Volunteers, SAI, Channels)

P – Jeanene Louden (Treasurer, Legal/Accounting, Acting Campaigns and Actions)

P – Vince Lamb (Secretary and Board Development)

P – Egberto Willies (Newsroom)

P – Billy Sears, (Community Actions and Engagement)

P – Tim Danahey (Public and Member Relations)


Debilyn called the meeting to order at 9:01 PM EDT. Billy ran the Maestro board and led us through check-ins.


Vince reported that the minutes for November 12, 2014, November 19, 2014, and December 3, 2014 have been approved.  The minutes for December 10, 2014 will be late.  Debilyn reported that the last minutes were posted to the WordPress blog on September 17, 2014 and minutes approved since then need to be posted. Jeanene accepted the job.


Debilyn reviewed the Work Group calls that have been scheduled.  The first Bylaws revision call has taken place.  The Elections team call is scheduled for Sunday 12/21 4 PM ET/1 PM PT.  A Channels call is requested for 12/20 at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT.  The Fundraising call was postponed to Monday, 1/5/15 at 4 PM ET/1 PM PT.  The Campaigns/Free the Elected call is scheduled for Friday 12/19 at Noon ET/9 AM PT. Work Plans are to be completed by 12/22.

Community Actions & Engagement (combined WG of Campaigns & Actions plus Outreach & Engagement)

Billy reported on the Coffee Party Book Club.  The book this month is “Unstoppable” by Ralph Nader. He shared a blog entry about the book and a link to the Amazon e-store to purchase book.  Both Kindle and hardcover editions are available.  He’s requesting collaboration on an email blast to the Coffee Party database.  There is already a rough draft of an email text put together that can be reframed.  He would like to discuss appropriate ways to publicize activities in a way that doesn’t “step on toes.”  A discussion ensued about the use of social media, radio spots and interviews, the Coffee Party Newsletter, and board members personal networks to promote the Book Club.

He’s also created a new Facebook page, “Coffee Party Monthly Events Work Group”.  He and the Board need to identify Coffee Party organizers and potential organizers.  He discussed how to do so, including email blasts and board members as organizers.  This is a conversation Billy needs to have with Egberto.  Calls are Sundays at 7 p.m. ET.

AR: Billy – Send Tim Book Club info for commercial.


Egberto reported that Newsroom is still clicking on all cylinders. And, he is trying to get folks to write more original work.  The Page is up to 529,234 likes with 5457 new likes during the past seven days.  However, reach is down to 6.8 million.  Egberto suspects an algorithm change on Facebook is responsible (again). He has two more conservative bloggers with whom he is proposing participation. The next call is Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET

Public and Member Relations

Tim reported on his idea for Coffee Party Awards, which would recognize excellence in activism as well as service to the Coffee Party.  He also reported on the Newsletter, resulting in a discussion of the possible regular features, including a Board member column, a calendar that includes Coffee Party events, a Calendar of Opportunity, Standard things in newsletter such as a privacy policy, Rules of Engagement, Invitations, membership, and volunteering.  Deadlines for the Newsletter are on the 10th and 25th of each month.

AR: Billy/Vince to write up the Coffee Party timeline and send to Tim.

Internet Infrastructure

Debilyn reported that she had a very productive call with NationBuilder.  She also reported that a volunteer created a document with current website content.  The volunteer pages are being revised and community pages are being written.  There will also be a database clean up. She will recruit volunteers to assist with some of this.

Board Development

Vince and Debilyn reported that the Elections team call is scheduled for Sunday 12/21 at 1 p.m. ET. The Bylaws Review team call took place Wednesday before the meeting.

Strategy and Implementation

Debilyn still needs to schedule work group call times for Outreach and Internet Infrastructure. SI Work Group calls are scheduled for Tuesdays at 7 p.m. ET

Channels (changing to Partnership Development)

Jeanene reported on a call with Breaking News Network. She also reported that Public Citizen has asked Coffee Party to be a convening organization for a Citizens United Anniversary rally in front of the United States Chamber of Commerce in DC.

MOTION: That Coffee Party officially accept the invitation to be  a convener of the rally in front of the Chamber of Commerce for the anniversary of Citizens United on January 21, 2015.  Jeanene moved and Egberto seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.


Jeanene reported that the Work Group calls  will begin on January 5th.  Calls are Mondays 7 p.m. ET


Debilyn reported on the progress to automate volunteer system.  The procedure currently is as follows:

  • Leader (Director and/or Work Group Chair) will be copied in on email to volunteer to join the calls.
  • Leader will welcome new volunteers when they join the calls, arrange access to Work Group Facebook Page, share agenda link, and redirect volunteer to Leah for training in Google Docs and Maestro if needed.
  • Leader will also keep Volunteer Coordinator (VC) advised if there are problems with a volunteer where VC needs to help out.
  • If volunteer resigns, VC does exit interview, Leader and VC remove former volunteer from documents and Facebook pages.

Executive Session

The board entered executive session.  The board exited executive session having taken no action.


The next Board meeting will be Tuesday 12/30 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Billy led us through checked outs. The meeting was adjourned at 10:16 PM ET.

Respectfully Submitted,

Vince Lamb

Coffee Party USA Board Secretary

Approved: January 7, 2015