Steering Committee Meeting

February 14, 2022

Steering Committee Meeting


Times are approximate and subject to change at the Chair’s discretion.

7:00 Call to Order

Confirm notetaker

Sign in link distributed

Review Steering Committee meeting rules

Adoption of agenda

Adoption of last meeting’s minutes 

Welcome to new SC members

7:05 Review of last week’s action items
7:10 Treasurer’s Report

Aimee to present

7:15 Southwest Regional Leadership Training – Minnie to present
7:20 PAC Compliance and Management – Anthony to present
7:35 Appointment of Tamara T as Community Aid Steward – Aimee to present
7:40 Avi Kwa Ame National Monument – Conversation with Christian Gerlach
7:45 Mutual Aid/Community Aid Update, including Compliance – Aimee & Minnie to present
7:55 Steering Committee retreat date – everyone
8:00 Portfolio update proposalAnthony to present
8:30 Schedules and coverage (March SC meetings, Feb NMO, member engagement) – Tiffany to present
8:35 Making space/time for voting, with proposal – Tiffany to present
8:45 Select General Body Meeting chair (agenda out 2/24, meeting 3/3) and Next SC Meeting Chair (2/28)
8:50 Other Actions & Proposals

Open floor

9:00 Adjourn

Meeting Minutes

Chair: Minnie

Notetaker: Mike Y.

Attendance: Minnie W, Mike Y, Anthony L, Natasha S, Angel L, Victoria F, Tiffany S, Aimee H, Paul John C, Lorenzita S

  • Called to order at 7:04
  • Anthony motions to adopt tonight’s agenda, Aimee seconds, none opposed, agenda adopted at 7:06
  • Tiffany motions to adopt last meeting’s minutes, Anthony seconds, none opposed, minutes adopted at 7:07
  • Last meeting action items
    • Mike notes Electoral Research Session should not be publicly promoted as well as Housing Justice
    • Anthony’s action item related to exec session from last meeting, will check notes to see if completed
    • All other action items complete
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Southwest Regional Training
    • Garrick and leadership requesting that LVDSA host this year’s regional training in April-May, Minnie and Aimee spoke to Amy Zackmeyer  as well
    • Opportunity to do leadership development and organizer skill development, as well as show camaraderie between chapters in the region
      • Leadership training examples: Structured organizing conversations,
    • If we host, LVDSA to:
      • Work with national DSA to identify venue
        • Union halls, community gathering places, public education venues
      • Determine who will be at this event
      • Handle social the weekend before (at a bar or gathering place)
      • Date for conference
        • 4/30-5/1 a possibility?
          • Natasha/Angel/Victoria unavailable that specific weekend
        • 4/22-4/23 also a possibility
          • Support from Mike, Angel, Natasha, Victoria for 4/22-4/23
    • 13 chapters in SW region – as the biggest chapter, LV will have opportunity to send the most
    • Anthony asks if they just need help coordinating locally
      • Minnie: they don’t know region well enough but they are experienced event planners (we are not responsible for content)
      • Anthony: create a working group so that people outside of SC can get involved and help plan
        • Minnie: within bounds of my portfolio to lead/heavily participate in this
        • Angel: how long until working group gets established and event on calendar?
          • Minnie: we can put a call out immediately, this week; we can connect this WG to Michael from DSA national
    • Natasha asks: attendance expectations?
      • Minnie: roughly 50
    • Minnie motions: Motion to host the Southwest Regional Leadership Conference in collaboration with national DSA staff and chapters, including assistance with identifying a venue, leadership participation, possible assistance with trainings and hosting a social event.
      • Natasha proposes amendment: Add text about establishing an ad-hoc working group for this?
        • Anthony motions to amend: we should add which SC member will lead this
          • Natasha volunteers to help lead this
      • Amended motion on the floor: Motion to host the Southwest Regional Leadership Conference in collaboration with national DSA staff and chapters, including assistance with identifying a venue, leadership participation, possible assistance with trainings and hosting a social event, and assisting with Solidarity Housing, and create a working group led by Natasha S. to coordinate all of the above.
        • 9 in favor, 2 absent
  • Tiffany: timeline for back to school solidarity funds  to go masks
    • Aimee: intended to go through Shaun  and his contacts, will follow up as an action item
  • PAC Compliance and Management
    • Reviewing this document 
    • Anthony: once we endorse a candidate, we have to decide how we support said candidate as an IE or coordinated campaign; also: we can consider if we should form a PAC
    • If you spend $5,000 or more in a year: you have to register as a PAC
      • If we don’t meet the definition above we don’t have to register as a PAC to do electoral work
    • PAC is not a separate entity from our chapter
    • What needs to be reported:
      • Quarterly financial reports, contributions, contribution categories
      • We have deadlines and guides on how to report
    • PAC – method of control can be determined by the SC;
      • Can determine: officers and registered agent
        • Registered agent: legally responsible person
      • “The entity can force any change of the associated entity as listed in writing”
        • I.e. method of LVDSA holding PAC accountable
    • PAC should be considered a tool that exists within our existing bylaws and structures
    • For 30 days before primary and 60 before general, name must be declared on communications (exceptions apply)
    • Minnie: important for people to understand commitment and financial obligations; not putting too much pressure on Aimee
      • Anthony: ​​and it creates new bank accounts! they should have agency over how money is spent and raised and where it is kept.
      • Anthony: we need someone to support Aimee; financial assistant written into endorsement recommendation
        • Posits that if we don’t find someone to fill those roles we shouldn’t endorse candidates
    • Anthony: next steps, we determine how to support a candidate
    • Minnie: We should determine all the above before next general body meeting agenda goes out 2/24
    • Angel: how does our reporting differ as a PAC vs not a PAC
      • Anthony: just depends on how much we spend; if we go over $5k then we have to be a PAC and reporting requirements are similar
        • Cumulative for the year
        • Not just money, includes value of items (like VAN or hubdialer if we endorse a candidate)
          • Natasha: VAN will be a couple grand minimum
            • Anthony: $2k likely
    • Minnie: based on what was discussed in recent electoral meetings, seems easy to exceed $5k threshold, campaign materials and associated expenditures often undervalued from outside looking in
    • Tiffany: if we decide on this before next meeting, we should schedule a meeting to discuss this specifically
      • Minnie this would have to be next week
    • Anthony assigned action item
  • Aimee: Appointment of Tamara T as Community Aid Steward
    • After Brendan’s resignation, Tamara makes sense to appoint
    • Motion on the floor: appoint Tamara T as Community Aid Steward; seconded by Angel
      • Anthony: will she remain HGO? What is her vision for the role?
        • Aimee: no idea in terms of wanting to remain HGO, nothing in the bylaws that says she can’t. But, know she has a good vision for what she wants to do in the community aid role. More food shares! Wants to get to know more of the newer members and get them more involved.
      • Minnie: clarifies this requires 2/3rds of SC
      • Motion has passed! Tamara T appointed as newest Community Aid Steward
        • 8 in favor, 3 absent
  • Avi Kwa Ame National Monument – Conversation with Christian Gerlach skipped
  • Minnie: Mutual Aid/Community Aid Update, including Compliance
    • We need to let people know donations are not tax deductible
      • Tiffany already added language to the website donation forms
      • Aimee to make note on Venmo donations
    • Waivers: don’t need houseless folks to sign waivers, but volunteers and organizers should. Participants in events that are new to chapter should as well.
      • Minnie: as Brandon from national clarified: we just need to keep receipts and photos of stuff like tents that we as a chapter purchase;
        • Anthony: The primary reasons for obtaining the receipt/certification is to track where your money is going to (so you can produce documentation if requested) and to certify that the money is being given to someone in need.
          • Minnie: So, need to document that $ is going to someone in need but houseless don’t need to sign forms
    • Direct aid: capacity and tax issues with giving direct aid
      • It cannot proceed 40% of primary purpose
        • Tiffany: how are we defined from that aspect?
        • Miinnie: according to IRS, promoting general welfare of people of community… when we help individual members that is considering going against the primary purpose
        • Antony: 501(c)(4) definition: According to the IRS ‘to be operated exclusively to promote social welfare, an organization must operate primarily to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community (such as by bringing about civic betterment and social improvements), etc.”
    • Minnie: no issues with what we’re currently doing from a financial standpoint
    • We have itemized list of what we’re purchasing and items received, but we should also make additional google form list to send to people to determine value of what  people are donating (“in-kind contributions”)
    • Minnie: let’s discuss suspending the internal portion of the mutual and community aid priority
      • Anthony: our avenue is to get 5% (24 people) to sign on as a chapter, then 2/3rds vote at the next GBM following this threshold
        • We either: organize to help reinvigorate, place phone calls or texts; or we organize to get people to sign on
          • Anthony: I actually prefer scrapping it, maybe we can pass a form for people to sign AT the meeting and get 24 signatures that way
        • Minnie: good time to bring up at March GBM to help revive?
      • Aimee: this is sensitive work as well; requires delicacy with mental health issues and interpersonal skills. Happy to talk to body at GBM to talk pros/cons
  • SC Retreat
    • Minnie: Can we have retreat in next couple months?
    • Support, generally, for March – this will be an all day deal
    • Minnie will do a When2Meet
    • Aimee wants to do a social SC hangout (virtual if we’re busy)
      • Seconds all day deal and meal potential; and we should offer hybrid virtual option for those who can make
    • Anthony: we should narrow down days of week – assume M-Th is out; will have to be Sat & Sun most likely; or whatever days are mostly available
      • Depends on when people work
  • Portfolio update proposal
    • Anthony: Distribution of work is uneven; also worried about silo’ing of information. Feel strongly that we need a designated chair. Turnover of 3 people is a good time to reassess.
    • Anthony runs down list of potential portfolios
      • Anthony believes one person should not be the main liaison for coalition building as currently outlined as a portfolio; we should all have our own lists
        • Tiffany: we should all be doing coalition building, agreed, but maybe as a secondary someone at least keeps track of coalition/partner relation lists – main point of contacts, etc.
          • Angel: keep running folders of coalition partners and, in there, keep events and ways to plug in to their work
      • Aimee: addressing the comment about someone in charge of storage; Concerns: How do we keep track and how do we make it secure?
        • Aimee: Have been looking at this, both central location and proper price; might be logistically challenging but have been looking into it
        • P.O. Box – horrible location but needs to be checked by one of the elected officers imo
          • Anthony: Secretary?
          • Aimee: Maybe Treasurer because we can receive checks
      • Minnie: national liaison isn’t necessarily a primary, but it is a great amount of work for me. Might not be for someone else.
      • Tiffany: advising priorities was a huge time commitment, may not necessarily be purely a secondary commitment
        • Natasha: The goal with priority liaisons should be to empower and support new leaders in the sense of the stewards, correct? So certain priorities may take more time depending on the capabilities/confidence of the stewards
        • Angel: with housing, we needed help identifying people for leadership. Designated advisors could oversee this rather than this falling on stewards.
        • Natasha: I think it’s a good idea to try to deemphasize those advisory roles by making them a secondary role. But perhaps the people who take secondary liaison priorities should think carefully on what they choose as a primary.
        • Anthony: we could be better as a chapter in terms of identifying leaders in general, and i hope the Organizer Management and Development role would emphasize list building and across all priorities be able to identify who can plug in
      • Aimee: we should revisit the costs associated with using ; we’d need someone to oversee this merch role but it would help workflow efficiency and capacity issues
      • Minnie: next steps?
        • Anthony: let’s all assess where we can plug in
        • Natasha: when do 3 new SC members have to determine portfolios?
          • Tiffany: 30 days to announce portfolios; so has to be done by next GBM
          • Minnie: determine at next SC meeting and pass by 2/3rds vote of SC
        • Minnie: how do we determine roles?
          • Anthony/Angel: table in doc is fine
          • Minnie: let’s make a deadline?
            • By Wed
      • Aimee advice for next member survey: maybe we should add something about folks who have experience with financial work to the survey “ We are always looking for comrades with financial knowledge or experience….”
        • Tiffany added “Finance/Accounting” as one of the skills on the member survey
  • Schedules and coverage (March SC meetings, Feb NMO, member engagement)
    • March SC meeting: only one scheduled for month of March on 3/14. Spring break!
    • NMO: scheduled for Feb. 24; if no one has capacity we will take off calendar
      • Minnie: within NMO channel we can organize it, prefer that we don’t cancel
        • Don’t have capacity for Member engagement meetings
      • Aimee: i can help present and participate in NMO, just not stay afterwards
        • Minnie: would put call out for people who have already done NMOs beforehand
      • Minnie will lead organization efforts for Feb. 24 NMO
  • Making space/time for voting, with proposal
    • Motion on the floor Tiffany: Motion for the SC to adopt a new method of handling votes over Slack (ie for votes that take place in between meetings).
      • 1. The motion is shared in the #steering-committee-votes channel. If someone wants to second, they react with 🥈
      • 2. Discussion can proceed in the replies and the floor is open for amendments for 24 hours.
      • 3. After 24 hours, the motion is entered in the airtable and voting opens.
      • This would ensure that all members have 24 hours to contribute their thoughts and potential amendments before we cast our votes on the final motion.
    • Natasha: what would happen if we need to turn around a vote in less than 48 hours?
      • Tiffany: don’t think we’ve had that situation arise; urgent votes are moreso referring to votes in between GBMs, moreso within 30 days rather than within 2 days
      • Natasha: cautious about time-reporting periods; don’t want us to get boxed-in. Should we build in emergency escape clause?
      • Anthony: if we have a chair, this person would have ability to determine if people have had proper amount of time for input, and also this chair could have responsibility/power reserved to move things faster than 24 hours
        • Paul John: things should be determined more collectively, think that it should be dependant on more than one person and voice
        • Tiffany: think we should value the time and even if it’s one person who hasn’t weighed in we should still wait;
        • Anthony: 24 hours for discussion, 24 hours to vote?
        • Paul John: Is that enough time for everyone?
        • Tiffany: There is no 24 hours to vote in the proposal, just giving 24 hours for discussion
        • Natasha: You just don’t want to get into a true emergency situation where 24 hour delay could be very bad. And like Tiffany said, this has never happened before, but it could
        • Minnie: Often feels that things move too fast
        • Tiffany: But if you’ve had 24 hours to discuss before the ballot opens won’t that feel different?
        • Anthony: if members aren’t ready, want to reinforce: there’s no time limit on when you can submit your vote! Just that voting has started
        • Angel: don’t think there will be a situation where we’d need less than 24 hours of discussion
        • Minnie: impulse to move too quickly should be resisted
        • Paul John: the emergency decision should not be made by one person;
        • Minnie: Chair would make decision on whether vote is needed, not making vote alone
        • Paul John: too much power residing with that person still
        • Angel: 2/3rds vote of SC to expedite?
        • Tiffany: ​​But if the chair decides a vote needs to happen sooner, the chair is essentially deciding that people with less capacity will have less chance to participate
        • Aimee: If there is an emergency vote or something pressing, we need to text each other; send a group texts alerting people to the vote
        • Natasha: I just want to say the reason why I’ve brought it up is that I’ve written organizational bylaws before, so I always look for these kinds of unintentional firewalls. If there is an emergency situation, like say that impacts safety and security of the members, you may not want to wait 24 hours, is all.
    • Minnie: do we call the question here?
    • Motion on the floor via Tiffany:
      • Motion for the SC to adopt a new method of handling votes over Slack (ie for votes that take place in between meetings).
        • The motion is shared in the #steering-committee-votes channel. If someone wants to second, they react with 🥈
        • Discussion can proceed in the replies and the floor is open for amendments for 24 hours.
        • After 24 hours, the motion is entered in the airtable and voting opens.
        • This would ensure that all members have 24 hours to contribute their thoughts and potential amendments before we cast our votes on the final motion.
      • Motion passes! 9 in favor, 2 absent
  • Select General Body Meeting chair (agenda out 2/24, meeting 3/3)
    • as a reminder, that chair would have to moderate endorsement debate, potentially
    • Angel: volunteers to chair!
      • Minnie: nominating Anthony to help Angel
  • Chair for next SC Meeting – Tiffany
  • Meeting adjourned at 9:25