Steering Committee

September 19, 2022

Steering Committee

Steering Committee Meeting

September 19, 2022 @ 7:00pm


7:00 Call to Order

Sign in link distributed

Review Steering Committee meeting rules

Adoption of agenda

Adoption of 8/29/2022 Meeting Minutes

Review of previous action items

Link to make a motion

Treasurer’s Report
Steward Reports
Portfolio Updates
Recent In-Person Events
General Body Meeting Prep
Outward Facing Communications Schedule
9:00 Adjourn


Meeting Minutes

Chair: Anthony L.

Secretary: N/A, Sarah L note taking


  1. Call to order 7:06 PM
  2. Agenda adopted with unanimous consent
  3. Minutes from SC meeting 8/29/2022 adopted with unanimous consent
  4. Action item: Anthony to update GBM script – done
  5. Action item: Ephraim graphic for Life is Shit publication – done, graphics were submitted and voted on
  6. Action item: Anthony to draft response to journalist saying we are not interested – done
  7. Treasurer’s Report – Treasurer’s Report (EZ)
    1. Currently have $8,422.50
    2. Reimbursed Shaun $319.21
    3. Donations from PayPal transferred in
    4. Life is Shit ad
    5. PayPal has mutual aid donation money
    6. Transferred out GF donations to bank account
    7. $12.43 merch
    8. Anthony and Aimee are the only signers for account until we have a new Secretary
    9. Reconciled account for August, it balanced out. Aimee will create a folder for reconciles. These show bank account matches transactions.
  8. Portfolio updates
    1. Sean Y.
      1. doing night school on Imperialism. Originally planned for August but moved to 10/5 due to conflicts
      2. Article reading group 4-5 people, invited host to join DSA
    2. Anthony L.
      1. Wrote script for last GBM
      2. Special election: reached out to nominees to inform them. One person accepted, Lorenzita S. Just received a new nomination for Jovan J., don’t know yet if they accept. Nominations will be accepted through Weds night 9/21.
      3. Held a training for stewards for on-boarding which went well
      4. Co-presented with Val T. on Deep Canvassing
    3. Sarah L.
      1. Met with Rahman F. and Justin N. at the storage unit, they installed some shelves. Planned to make an online form for inventory check in / out but there is no cell service in the unit. Working on an alternative.
        1. Aimee suggests having people send a photo of a written list of items that they are taking
      2. Needs to mail out two merch orders, has the items in her position though. Will submit for reimbursement on the postage.
      3. Would like to get a cart to transport goods at events.
      4. We’ve learned that Sarah does not get automatic notification of new merch orders, so those need to be forwarded to her from the lvdsa gmail account
        1. Aimee asked if there’s a way for Sarah to actively check the orders, Sarah said that she can check and can do this weekly
  9. Steward reports
    1. SocFem provided written report – 
    2. Mutual Aid – Justin N. – looking at funding report with Aimee
      1. Not sure if an Action Network email went out last week asking for donations. Even if so we should do it again.
      2. Preparing for SunSol
      3. Stewards were trained on sending Action Network emails
      4. Slack post for SunSol – Justin plans to post tomorrow or wednesday
      5. Holiday Solidarity!
        1. Anthony: we should do announcement at next GBM for people to get involved. Time to get planning started.
        2. Justin: will talk to Rahman and will get a meeting scheduled by GBM. Anthony will send Justin and Rahman a recap of last year’s documentation
        3. Aimee: we usually start by raising money with coalition partners. Money is drying up. Getting volunteers on the day is easy, getting money is not.
        4. Roy: should do phone banks to ask for donations, social media doesn’t work well.
  10. Portfolio reports
    1. Roy: keep sending your events to put on the calendar
    2. Shaun: successful NMO, about 12 people. Next week’s NMO is next Wednesday 9/28.
    3. Natasha: planning to make some revisions to the slides with Shaun, hopefully prior to NMO.
  11. Recent in-person events
    1. Steward training
      1. Attendance: Skyler S., Justin N., Rahman, Ephraim, Casey L., Sarah L.
      2. Docs used:
    2. Deep Canvassing training
      1. Attendance: Sarah L., Ephraim, Casey, Shaun N.
      2. Discussed how to bring people in from our base and organize them into actions and events to build capacity
    3. In-person article reading
    4. SocFem work session
      1. Kara: The SocFem event had 6 people in attendance… 5 women, 1 man, 1 person of color – we’re trying not to have a lot of people at these in-person meetings because we’re in a weird point where we don’t have a lot of work to give people at this moment. 5 DSA members, 1 non-DSA member
    5. Aimee: we should be tracking who is coming to in-person events like we do virtual.
      1. Anthony: we did track that for the trainings
    6. Aimee: want to empower abolition stewards to decide what they will focus on. Seems like there is holistic support and practical support that stewards need.
      1. Anthony: we did cover a variety of things in the training but don’t expect anyone to absorb everything in just one training.
      2. Aimee: stewards need more minds that are different for support, not just one. Abolition meeting seemed like there was a lot of uncertainty. They should know they do not have to be perfect and its okay to ask questions. They can come to us for anything! Stewards seem like they feel like they have to do something *now* but we shouldn’t be doing things just for the sake of doing something. Want to help stewards develop so they are engaging members to do the work of the priority.
      3. Roy: they need direct support as they go, not just trainings.
      4. Anthony: Casey and Ephraim stayed behind after trainings and made a plan, mapped out events once a month for the year, based on the resolution. They are really excited and want to go really fast.
      5. Roy: how did they come up with the road map?
      6. Anthony: the road map work happened the day of the training because they asked for help. They were trying to do everything all at once. We discussed outreach etc. They decided to start with a brake light clinic. They moved everything around on a whiteboard to schedule it. Their first meeting had hiccups because of lack of comfort with facilitation. Their plan was good but they did not express it to others as well. Is there frustration that I worked with the stewards in that way?
      7. Aimee: we really need our two additional SC members to help with the work. Abolition stewards should be supported by all of us. One person doing a training can’t think of anything. The frustration is that “everything is going great” – no they’re not.
      8. Anthony: agree not everything is going great. The training was good.
      9. Aimee: feeling a sense of disconnect between everyone. Feeling worried about donations not coming in, we used to get a lot of small donations and they have really dropped. Want to make sure abolition stewards have the confidence to follow through with the dates they’re available.
      10. We are off-agenda – unanimous consent to continue with this topic.
      11. Anthony: Erika B. said we should have more in-person events. Instead of just posting on slack we need to do direct relational organizing.
      12. Roy: need a major change in monthly meetings. We are not having members voting on anything meaningful. We are “vibing” not organizing, GBM has become a social space.
      13. Sean: doing more in-person events is good. The problem is they cost money and require scheduled space. If person setting up event is not the person who has the power to do the money etc., that’s a barrier to set up a meeting. Maybe doing a social instead of GBM.
      14. Roy: we could turn a GBM slot into an organizing fair. Turn people out and make sure the stewards have tangible asks for people
      15. Anthony: I have encouraged stewards to use GBM time to
      16. Sean: eventually we could do poli ed at GBM.
      17. Sarah: Maybe we need to do phonebanking, but the personal connections are helpful
      18. Aimee: Personally I do not like socials but they are important, people seem to enjoy them. I would like to see our brake light clinic be a BBQ at a park. We need some Rahima spice in here. We should do a lot more education, in-person and/or virtual. Not everyone has time to get into reading. We can use meeting time to play a short video and discuss. Want to bring back art prop. We should be doing more coalition work as a chapter not just Shaun. We also have to remember safety of ourselves and our members because things are only getting more volatile.
      19. Shaun: grievances have been draining. Convention was good, great energy. Then immediately entered a grievance situation. The SC vibe extends to the rest of the chapter. Things before with Amy V. endorsement process was also draining. 
      20. Sean: losing the housing priority was demoralizing and out of our control.
      21. Shaun: I’ve recently entered a very stressful job and I want to take accountability that I haven’t done all the work I should have. It has been very tough, I love the job. It’s a challenge in a good way but it has taken me away from DSA a little. I finally feel like I have a little more footing so I will be more active especially realizing how close we are to HolSol. Open to suggestions and critiques. Members have a different perception of the chapter than we do and may not see things as not going well. They’re always there, it’s up to us to engage them. It has been harder to get people to events, there is more for us to do but it’s not just us, perfect storm of stuff going on. To get 9 people to do free labor is a lot.
      22. Anthony: most members don’t have any clue about SC drama. They are just waiting for the right thing to get engaged with. They only feel the drama if we get burned out or don’t do extra work. I want to go hard on abolition & community safety because all events are by nature in person.
      23. Shaun: Aimee made a good point. With our priorities we are trying something new and still learning. We are not focusing on our traditional strengths including mutual aid.
      24. Aimee: a little concerned about “go hard” on abolition. Being involved is great but I think we should be mindful not to pin all our hopes on something. We should be involved in getting rid of the death penalty.
      25. Shaun: talked to NCADP. Not sure how to help because it’s in a holding pattern until leg session. Would we do ed events? Open to hearing more.
      26. Anthony: I keep hearing “we need to let them do it” but also “we need to engage.” I think we should as members be engaging directly in our priorities and campaigns.
      27. Aimee: as leaders we need to be mindful about being engaged in the right way and leaving space for others in the priority. There are orgs where we can help move them a little bit left, show them what we do well. Invite them to co-sponsor a brake light clinic. We can work with NCADP because ending death penalty is critical to abolition. Can we write letters? Can we work with Mass Lib? We could go to a park together and write letters when it’s good weather. Not getting off on the right foot as SC has affected us. We are the cogs in the wheel of this chapter.
      28. Shaun: there are growing pains throughout the organization. People don’t know that they can do things. We need to try to bring the sense back that people can do things if they like, they are hesitant now and don’t know how to do things, they wait for permission.
  12. Steward report – Ephraim, Abolition & Community Safety
    1. Ephraim did not attend the steward training, only the structured organizing conversations training. Stayed after with Casey and Anthony and went over a timeline for the priority. It was very helpful and very grounding. Casey said they really enjoyed it.
    2. Ephraim attended Life is Shit festival, will show Aimee physical copy of the zine with our ad. Aimee: could we maybe table there next year? Ephraim: not sure it’s the right vibe for tabling, we should try to get members to participate as artists.
    3. Anthony: what support do you need? Ephraim: Klaire was hoping steward trainings become more routine throughout the priority cycle not just at the beginning. I feel adequately supported by SC, but I don’t have any point of reference. I don’t feel like I’m under water.
    4. Sarah: Have we made any contact with Mass Lib or NCADP?
      1. Ephraim: No. Ephraim welcomes ideas about who to partner with.
    5. Ephraim and Casey are excited and looking forward to first brake light clinic.
      1. Roy set up event but does not have graphic. Ephraim will send it to him.
  13. General Body Meeting Agenda
    1. Roy: suggest we do not have voting items. Extend SC nominations through a week after GBM.
    2. If there are 1 or 2 candidates for SC they automatically get the positions by acclamation. We cannot have an election if we don’t have quorum.
    3. Anthony working on draft of voter guide. Other than that not sure of any voting items.
    4. Aimee: do we want to do in-person or hybrid? Do we want to change the location? Still trying to get together with Sister Prudence at the Nunnery. I am okay with the meeting being mostly something different. Open to extending SC nominations. I do think we should vote on the voter guide.
    5. Only requirement to be on SC is to be a member in good standing.
    6. Anthony: what are ways we can make the meeting more engaging?
      1. Changing day and time
      2. Poli ed with breakouts – interactive
      3. Anything to make people feel like they have contributed
    7. Change of location – SEIU hall did not have reliable wifi
    8. Aimee: we have money for event space for in-person
      1. In budget we have line items, mutual aid does not have a lot of money in their own budget but they are doing a proposal.
      2. We should spend some of our money to help us increase engagement and recruitment.
      3. Changing line items within a certain $ range need to be approved by the membership.
    9. Will continue discussion of GBM on slack
      1. Roy: In person or on zoom? I want to put on calendar. Anthony: hybrid. No address yet. Aimee: move to a different place in town? Sarah: no ideas for Henderson area. Will think about it for the future.
  14. Meeting adjourned 9:00 PM

Action Items

Item Assigned To
Ship out merch orders Sarah L.
Send Rahman & Justin Holiday Solidarity folder Anthony