Board Meeting Minutes

Davis Democrat Club Meeting April 13, 2004

This meeting was held at the home of Betty Weir.
Present (14 members total) were:
President: Tony Gruska,
Vice President: Absent
Treasurer: Betty Weir
Recording Secretary: G Richard Yamagata
Past President: Stephen Souza, not able to make meetings at this time
Newsletter Editor: Anais Vayssieres
Board members: Mary Lou Hernandez, Susan Peter-Thompson, Bob Bockwinkel, and Mike Syvanen.

Guests: Andrea Jones, Lyle Smith; please note the Campus Democrats were missing from this meeting.

Tony called the meeting to order at 7:09 PM.

The minutes from the March Meeting were moved forward for a vote by Bob Bockwinkel and were seconded by Betty Weir, provided two changes be made: 1) Don Saylor’s name be added to the list of electeds discussed in having the club congratulate for being elected (even though Don Saylor had no advocate present at the meeting); and 2) added that Susan Peter-Thompson is still an active member of the board of directors that will be attending meetings as her busy schedule allows. The motion carried unanimously.

Tony Gruska once again commented about the Woodland Democrat Club. No Action was required nor taken on this subject. It was once again suggested that we invite members of the Woodland club to our board meetings. It was also suggested that we inform the Woodland club that we are willing to help the club in whatever way that we can.

There were no requests to change the meeting agenda. At this time, Lyle Smith was introduced as a guest. Andrea Jones was also introduced at this time.

It was announced that $7,268.65 was in the club’s checking account. We have a total of $12,127.85, the balance of which is in certificates of deposit (CDs).

It was again commented that this is not enough money to keep a campaign headquarters open. The club had over $15,000 the last time it opened the headquarters. Ideas were once again discussed on how to raising funds and to get more people to pay their dues into the club. This line of discussion led to a Tony introducing a flyer for a meeting later this month (April) of a new political group. It was discussed that this group could help put together the down payment and deposit for the campaign headquarters. The CDs do not mature in time to become available for the club to use to pay first and last month’s rent and the deposit.

Tony introduced the flyer for “Beat Bush 2004” and explained the history of this group. Andrea Jones then explained further how this group was formed at the last Yolo County Central Committee meeting. She went on to explain how we need to bring in the Greens and disillusioned Republicans into the upcoming presidential campaign and Beat Bush 2004 is a way to do this. This mobilization would be launched at this April meeting and they hope to have funds to place in a new bank account to conform with the new Federal election laws. This is a way that the campaign headquarters could be opened in August, before the CDs come due.

Andrea Jones was asking that the club donate $1000 to this new political action committee in Yolo County. This would be seed money and the club would get the money back when the campaign headquarters opened for it would be used in getting the campaign headquarters opened in August. Bob Bockwinkel favored this idea because within the core group of this organization, there were 3 families that had club board members: Robin and Stephen Souza, Tony and Rhonda Gruska, and Bob and Marie Bockwinkel.

Immediately, there were objections to this idea. One question was how would the money donated be specifically tagged when donated? What would be the specific purpose of the $1000 donated to Beat Bush 2004?

The idea was again explained that the money would be donated to Beat Bush 2004, not to the Democrat Club, the party or to John Kerry’s campaign fund. This is because there are Greens and Republicans that could donate money to this PAC that would not give money to the Democrat Party or the Kerry campaign. This idea was met with resistance because, the question arose, how would people get recognition for their donation if they donated money to this PAC. The other problem arose from the inconsistency that the stated goal of the group, according to Kevin Wolf, was to raise $100,000 to send to the Kerry Campaign. Yet, this PAC was formed not to support Kerry, but to Beat Bush in 2004.

At this point in time it was argued that the $1000 donation was needed to seed the group, to encourage 10 to 20 donors to donate $1000.

It was stated that the Champagne Brunch had a Kerry campaign represented, lined up to speak at this event. The representative lives and works in Sacramento. This person is the recognized campaign contact. As such it was suggested that we ask him how best to get donations into 2004 Campaign. Outlined ideas were: they can do it through the Democrat Club; they can do it through Beat Bush 2004; or they can contact this person direct and donate the money directly to Kerry.

Bob at this time stated that there would be no problem in giving money to the club in that the club would be working to effectively spend any donations given to it or the Beat Bush 2004. There will be phone banks that will be specifically paid for by Beat Bush 2004 at the Democrat headquarters in Davis. The club also will actively organize volunteers to travel to Nevada to try to get those 5 or 6 or 15 electoral votes. Bob stated that the club should be in charge of facilitating the thank you letters and the list of donors that give to this campaign. Bob went on to say that the club needs to develop a list of $1000 donors. The Democrat Club’s $1000 donation to Beat Bush 2004 would go a long way in encouraging donations to this group.

The whole point of this new group is to comply with Federal election campaign laws. Bob stated that there should be no problem for the club is this group and will be using the money to locally fund the headquarters. The club will in any event have to pay for the rent on the campaign headquarters.

Susan Peter-Thompson then asked how specifically is the club going to support and help Lois Wolk, Mike Machado, Barbara Boxer and Mike Thompson. The answer to her question was that Beat Bush 2004 will raise the money to open the headquarters and to staff it with volunteers and provide the phone banking in the headquarters and to organize volunteers campaign workers in Nevada. This group is a way to organize people and to motivate people and all efforts will be unified under the umbrella – Beat Bush 2004.

The motion was made by Adrienne that the club support the group by donating $100.

Mike Syvanen made the motion that the Davis Democrat Club would support and donate resources to Bush 2004, but was not going to donate $1000. This was later refined to state that the Davis Democrat Club endorses Beat Bush 2004, but is not going to financially support the group with a donation. Betty Weir seconded this motion. There was not enough votes present to carry this motion.

In summary, it was pointed out that the group did not have officers, the group did not have a treasurer to take the money from the club, that the group was only a steering committee and was yet to have its first meeting. Also, there was the fact that this group was suppose to bring in elements that support the Beat Bush idea and yet could not or would not embrace the Democrat party or Kerry. There is a major problem in this if the group is slated to raise money and send it to the Kerry campaign.

Mike Syvanen pointed out that the polls show that Kerry will win California and there should be no problem for us to raise the funds necessary for our present needs. It was pointed out that part of the money will be used to fund the campaign workers in Nevada. But Mike then pointed out that it was stated that all the money raised locally was suppose to be spent locally. It was also stated that the club money should not be involved in that out of state organization of volunteers. Andrea Jones stated that phase would not be done until well later in the election cycle. She once again stated how this group was needed to bring in the Greens and disillusioned Republicans and the independents to donate money.

At this point in time Bob Bockwinkel withdrew his support for the motion to donate $1000 from the club to Beat Bush 2004.

The motion was made by Betty Weir that the Davis Democrat Club supports and endorses Beat Bush 2004. This motion was seconded by Adrienne and passed 7 to 1.

Tony Gruska called the group to order to discuss the Champagne Brunch. The event will be on June 6 at the Cook’s home. The list of speakers has yet to be finalized, but the Kerry representative from Sacramento has been lined up to speak. The invitations need to be printed out and Tony will contact Stephen Souza to get the template.

Bob Bockwinkel will pick up the champagne and the champagne glasses from Valley Winery. Scott Lay will serve the champagne. Julia committed to bringing fruit and cheese. Mike Syvanen committed to bringing a roast beef.

The Brunch will be from 11:30AM to 2PM. Speakers will begin at 12:30 PM. The cost will be $15/person and $30/couple and $5 for students.

No representative from the campus Democrats was present at this meeting, therefore no report was given for the second month in a row.

Bob Bockwinkel spoke on behalf of his daughter, representing the Davis High School Democrat club.

It was announced that on June 27th, Mike Thompson was going to have a fundraiser at the River Cats game. Mike Syvanen made the mostion that the club endorse and support this event. The motion was seconded by Adrienne. The motion carried 8 to 0.

Adrienne stated that this fundraiser would run in the newsletter and she had an article concerning Bush’s economic advisor. At this point in time, it was asked, should the club include the treasurer’s report in the newsletter. It was stated that the treasurer’s report needed to stated in context – how much money it takes to open a campaign headquarters and keep the doors open. Betty said that she could attempt to do this.

Susan said that she would write an article and submit it, based upon a suggestion by Bob Bockwinkel.

It was stated that elected Democrat office holders would be contacted and invited to submit material for the next newsletter. The date of the next Beat Bush 2004! Event would be stated and an article about the group would be submitted to the newsletter.

The 5th and L Street location is still vacant. It was stated that first and last month’s rent and the deposit will cost $6000. This does not include opening of the phone bank. At this point in time, Susan suggested that we use cell phones to help off set the cost of the phone banks, because of unused minutes that some people have on their phones. Adrienne mildly stated her objection to this. There was no motion made to follow up on this suggestion.

It was once again stated that a letter needs to be written asking for donations to open the campaign headquarters. Adrienne volunteered to write such a letter. Tony will edit the letter and his name will appear on the letter. Tony will also help Betty with the addressing of the letters (labels) and in the mailing of the letters.

The Beat Bush 2004 organizing meeting was brought up again. All present at the board meeting were invited to attend the specifics were in the flyer passed out at the meeting and had been posted at the web site (on homepage in April, now modified to advertise the May meeting).

This topic was started by Tony Gruska, who announced that he had read the by-laws. The by-laws state that the club will publicize the elections and that candidates for the offices will be announced 30 days before the election.

The motion was made that the by-laws be amended to read – candidates will be nominated 30 days before the election. This motion was not seconded.

Andrea as part of the discussion stated that under the current by-laws, the club could be taken over by Greens or even by Republicans that attend the meeting, pay their dues, then elect their chosen candidates from the floor. Bob Bockwinkel stated that people need to pay their dues and he felt that these people would be unwilling to spend the money to do this. There was mumbling that the student dues are too low and they are allowed to vote. There was once again discussion as to who would check the credentials of people if the club started enforcing changes to the by-laws (political party registration, student status, etc.).

In interest of moving the meeting along, Bob Bockwinkel made the motion that those people interested in changing the by-laws commit to meeting and writing changes to the by-laws and presenting them to board. Any change must pass with 75% of the board vote. Mike Syvanen and Betty Weir said that they would serve on this committee. Mike Syvanen seconded the motion. The motion carried 8 to 0. It was stated that the changes in the by-laws would be announced to the club membership in the next issue of the newsletter, following the adoption of the changes.

Adrienne announced that the local chapter of Move-On.Org was going to have a bake sale in Central Park, during the upcoming Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning. This was sent to Adrienne with a request for help. Mike Syvanen made the mostion that we endorse and help this fundraising effort. Bob Bockwinkel seconded the motion and it passed 8 to 0. Phone numbers were given to and passed out by Tony to facilitate logistical support for the Move-On bake sale booth. Susan has the club canopy and Stephen has the club table.

At this point in time, Tony moved to adjourn the meeting and the motion was seconded. The motion under discussion made it possible for guest, Lyle Smith, to introduce himself and tell all present his experience and his volunteer work for the Democratic Party. His long list included working for the 21st Century Democrats in Colorado Springs and in Louisiana. He is a person interested in working with the club during this Fall election cycle.

Bob made a new motion for adjournment, which was seconded by Mike Syvanen. The meeting adjourned at 8:58PM.

These minutes are respectfully submitted by:

      G Richard Yamagata

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G.Richard Yamagata. Last updated: April, 2004

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