Steering Committee Meeting: Mar. 18, 2018

East Bay DSA Steering Committee Meeting, March 18, 2018

March 18, 2018

3–5:30 p.m.

Introduction and Opening Statements

The meeting began at 3 p.m. Molly Armstrong chaired the meeting. Jeff Lee took the minutes in the absence of the secretary. Present at the meeting were Molly Armstrong, Ari Marcantonio, Robbie Nelson, Meagan Day, Jeremy Gong, Hannah Klein, Jamie Gardner, Frances Reade, Zach McDonald, and Jeff Lee.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved by unanimous vote.

Approval of Minutes

The Steering Committee deferred approval of the February 25 bylaws meeting minutes by email vote because they had not yet received the notes. The committee unanimously approved the February 18 Steering Committee meeting with addenda.


Representatives of the finance and data teams and the external organizing, internal organizing, and convention committees all provided reports. (Zach reported on behalf of Sean for the data team.)

New Business

Resolution to Endorse the April 15 Anti-War Mobilizations

Text of the measure.

Robbie N. motivated the following measure.

Resolution to Endorse the April 15th Anti-War Mobilizations
Whereas the Military Industrial Complex threatens the standard of living of the U.S. working class and the peace of the world, and
Whereas the United States is currently waging war in eight countries that we know of: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Niger, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, and
Whereas the United States has bases in 128 other countries around the world, and
Whereas the Pentagon budget is bigger than the next ten nations' military budgets combined, and
Whereas the current plans to "modernize" nuclear weapons make them much easier and more likely to be used, and
Whereas the threat of nuclear war on the Korean peninsula is frighteningly growing, and
Whereas there is the development of a renewed peace movement involving activists and leaders from all of the following organizations:
– 350 Bay Area;
– AFT 2121 SF Labor Council;
– Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases;
– Comité VIDA immigrant rights organization;
– Grassroots Coalition for Immigrant and Civil Rights;
– Haiti Emergency Relief Fund;
– ILWU Local 10;
– International Federation of Professional and Technical Employees (IFPTE);
– International Women's Strike;
– Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute;
– Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center;
– Our Place in the World: A Journal of Ecosocialism;
– Pacifica Radio;
– Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County;
– Peace and Freedom Party;
– Peninsula Peace and Justice Center;
– San Francisco Bay View, a National Black Newspaper;
– San Francisco Green Party;
– San Francisco Living Wage Coalition;
– San Francisco– San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1493;
– SEIU Local 2015 SF Labor Council;
– SF Bay Area Chapter National Lawyers Guild;
– SF Labor Council;
– Single Payer Now;
– Trabajo Cultural CAMINANTE;
– Tri-Valley CAREs;
– United Educators of San Francisco;
– Veterans for Peace East Bay Chapter 162;
– Women's International League for Peace & Freedom;
Whereas the demonstrations planned for the Bay Area and nationwide on April 15th are uniting around the following points of unity:
– Ending U.S. overt and covert wars, drone wars, sanction/embargo wars, and death squad assassination wars;
– Closing all U.S. bases on foreign soil and dismantling all nuclear weapons;
– Bringing all U.S. troops home now. Fighting for self-determination and against military intervention. Fighting to remove U.S. hands from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Fighting to end military aid to apartheid Israel and urging self-determination for Palestine. The U.S. cannot be the cop of the world;
– Urging trillions of dollars for human needs, for jobs and social services, quality debt-free education and single payer health care;
– Fighting against anti-union legislation and for $15 and a Union Now;
– Defending the environment against life-threatening fossil fuel-induced global warming;
– Fighting for a rapid transition to a 100 percent clean, sustainable energy system and retraining and jobs at union wages for all displaced energy workers;
– Fighting against white supremacy and policies and actions against Muslims, immigrants, people of color, and indigenous peoples and emphasizing that no human being is illegal. No to deportations;
– Fighting against police brutality and murder and ending racist mass incarceration and fighting for the Black Lives Matter agenda;
– Fighting for DACA and TPS (Temporary Protective Status) and a just and early path to citizenship;
– Saying no to Trump's immigrant and refugee ban and no to his racist wall;
– Saying no to sexism, sexual violence and harassment;
– Saying yes to equal work and pay regardless of gender and to supporting women's reproductive rights;
Therefore be it resolved that EB DSA will endorse the April 15th anti-war mobilizations. We will also appoint Michael Kaufman as a liaison to attend any coalition planning meetings and make regular report-backs to the Steering Committee/Local Council, particularly if the coalition makes any major logistical or political decisions.

The measure passed by a vote of 10 in favor and 0 opposed.

Resolution to Name Jamie G. to Represent East Bay DSA on Nat Bates for Mayor Panel

Text of the measure.

This measure was motivated by Zach M.

Naming Jamie G to Represent EBDSA on ‘Nat Bates for Mayor' Panel
WHEREAS East Bay DSA has voted to endorse and support Jovanka Beckles for state assembly and Gayle McLaughlin for Lt. Governor.
WHEREAS "Nat Bates for Mayor," a documentary covering the 2014 battle between the Richmond Progressive Alliance and candidates aligned with Chevron will be playing at the New Parkway theater on March 27, 2018, followed by special panel discussion featuring Jovanka Beckles and Andrés Soto.
WHEREAS the filmmakers have invited East Bay DSA to provide a speaker to join the panel.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the East Bay DSA Local Council names Jamie G to represent the chapter on this panel.

The measure passed by a vote of 10 in favor and 0 opposed.

Resolution to Name Appointed External Organizers

Text of the measure.

The following measure was motivated by Zach M.

Naming Kara M, Charlie H and Brent J Appointed External Organizers
Whereas Kara M is a neighborhood single-payer canvassing leader in North Oakland and has contributed a valuable insights towards the advancement of EBDSA, including facilitation training and diversity strategies.
Whereas Charlie H has shown great dedication to the project of socialism and is a key contributor to several recent and current organizing efforts.
Whereas Brent J has demonstrated exceptional insight into our data and logistics operations, and has handled the increasingly important project of mapping and turf-cutting in the East Bay for a number of months.
Therefore be it resolved that the EBDSA Local Council will appoint Kara M, Charlie H and Brent J as Appointed External Organizers.

The measure passed with a vote of 10 in favor and 0 opposed.

Resolution to Form Subcommittees Within the External and Internal Organizing Committees

The following measure was motivated by Jeremy G.

Resolution to form Subcommittees within the External and Internal Organizing Committees
v1.3 Friday March 16 2018
Draft by Jeremy G, Hannah K, Megan S, Zach M, Mary Virginia W
For March 2018 LC Meeting
Whereas EBDSA adopted new bylaws at our February 25th, 2018 meeting that contain new provisions on committees. The newly adopted bylaws do not prescribe any specific standing committees, and instead allow for the formation of committees by the membership or by the Steering Committee.
Whereas organizers in the EOC and IOC have learned a lot about how best to structure from the last year of organizing under the current structure and bylaws.
Whereas since EBDSA has been growing the number of activities we undertake, as well as adopting now three external campaigns, there has been a lack of clarity about which organizers are in charge of which projects, as well as a difficulty getting new activists plugged into organizing activities.
Whereas after the Local Convention in April, a new Steering Committee will be elected and they will decide on further changes to the structure, practices, and composition of committees.
(I) Therefore be it resolved that the External Organizing Committee (EOC), led by Zach McDonald, Jamie Gardner, and Ari Marcantonio shall continue to meet and oversee business related to our campaigns and other external political work. After the new Steering Committee takes office one month after the Local Convention (which will be held April 28th), the new Steering Committee shall work with External Organizers to evaluate and, if necessary, reform the committee(s) carrying out external political activity.
(II) Therefore be it resolved that three Campaign Subcommittees shall be formed to report both to the EOC and the Steering Committee (SC, formerly called Local Council), one for each of our ongoing campaigns, as well as a subcommittee on labor. These shall be:
  1. Healthcare Campaign Subcommittee
  2. Purpose: To organize EBDSA's healthcare-related activism, namely our Medicare for All campaign, to manage relationships with coalition partners and allies in the campaign, and to develop organizers.
  3. Co-Chairs: Abigail and Matt S
  4. Housing Campaign Subcommittee
  5. Purpose: To organize EBDSA's campaign to Repeal Costa-Hawkins, educate members on socialist housing perspectives, and develop organizers.
  6. Co-Chairs: Meagan G and Valeria S
  7. The Electoral Campaign Subcommittee
  8. Purpose: To organize EBDSA's electoral activism on behalf of candidates endorsed by the chapter, develop skilled and knowledgeable electoral activists, and to educate the membership on electoral politics and socialist perspectives thereof.
  9. Co-Chairs: Zach M and Jamie G
(III) Therefore be it resolved that the Internal Organizing Committee (IOC), led by Ahmed Kanna, Hannah Klein, and Robbie Nelson shall continue to meet and oversee business related to our member-facing projects. After the new Steering Committee takes office one month after the Local Convention (which will be held April 28th), the new Steering Committee shall work with Internal Organizers to evaluate and, if necessary, reform the committee(s) carrying out internal organizational activity.
(IV) Therefore be it resolved that three subcommittees shall be formed to report both to the IOC and the Steering Committee (SC, formerly called Local Council):
  1. The Political Education Subcommittee
  2. Purpose: To educate EBDSA members through Socialist School and public lectures on socialist theory, history, and methodology so that they may better understand our current context and the tasks ahead of us and become public tribunes for socialism.
  3. Co-Chairs: Dan D. and Ahmed K.
  4. The Meetings Subcommittee
  5. Purpose: To plan and execute meetings of the whole chapter, and prepare the membership to participate in them.
  6. Co-Chairs: Robbie N and TBD
  7. The Member Engagement Subcommittee
  8. Purpose: To encourage EBDSA members to sustain active participation in the organization, and give them the resources to do so through our mobilizer network, new member onboarding materials and processes, and membership retention and recruitment efforts.
  9. Co-Chairs: Hannah K. and Coleman L
(V) Therefore be it resolved that current projects of the IOC and EOC that fall outside of these subcommittees continue to be housed within their respective committees. Those executing such projects will continue to report to that committee's leadership.
(VI) Therefore be it resolved that the chairs of each committee or subcommittee will be responsible for making sure their respective committee or subcommittee is carrying out effective communications and data practices.
(VII) Therefore be it resolved that any future appointments of subcommittee co-chairs for the above committees will be made by a vote of the Steering Committee.

The measure passed by a unanimous vote of the Steering Committee.


The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.


Addendum 1

On March 19, 2018, Molly Armstrong put the following proposal to the Steering Committee for an email vote. The measure passed with nine in favor and none opposed.

The EBDSA SC endorses the Friends of Oakland Public Bank forum on student debt April 9, 2018. This endorsement includes announcing it on our social media platforms and in the newsletter.

Addendum 2

On March 23, 2018, co-chair Molly Armstrong put the following proposal to a vote of the LC. The proposal was originally motivated by Robbie N. The proposal passed with nine in favor, one abstaining, and none opposed.

Proposal to Move the Convention Date, motivated by Robbie.
Whereas, there will be a large event with Jovanka Beckles, featuring Nina Turner and a speaker from EBDSA, on April 28th, a date which currently conflicts with the EBDSA Convention
Whereas, the membership voted to endorse Beckles with significant resources
Whereas, we do not want to force our members to choose between two major EBDSA-related events in one day
Whereas, the California Nurses Association has confirmed that we can hold the Convention at their office on the new proposed date (Sunday, April 29th)
Therefore be it resolved, that the EBDSA Convention will be moved from Saturday, April 28th to Sunday, April 29th.
Therefore be it further resolved, that no other dates, timelines, or processes associated with the Convention will be changed or affected by this change of date.

Addendum 3

On March 23, 2018, co-chair Molly Armstrong motivated the following proposal and put it to an email vote of the EBDSA Steering Committee. The proposal passed with nine in favor and none opposed.

Proposed budget for monthly Office Hours and Leadership Check In Meetings
Motivated by Molly A
Whereas the Local Council has begun hosting monthly Office Hours to meet and discuss current organization issues with other members.
Whereas the Chairs have been organizing monthly check in meetings for appointed and elected members.
Whereas we have been able to consistently rent space at Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library at an affordable rate for such meetings.
Therefore be it resolved $150 monthly will be allocated to renting space for these two recurring meetings (2 x 2hr meetings; $25/hr + $25 cleaning fee).

Addendum 4

On March 23, 2018, co-chair Molly Armstrong put forward the following proposal for a vote by the Steering Committee. The proposal was motivated initially by the treasurer Jeff Lee. The measure was approved by a vote of nine in favor and none opposed.

Establishment of electoral committee legal entity
Motivator: Jeff Lee
  • On 2017.10.29, the EBDSA membership voted to support the electoral campaigns of both Jovanka Beckles and Gayle McLaughlin.
  • On 2018.2.25, the EBDSA membership voted to initiate a campaign to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act.
  • Campaigns in support of candidates and ballot measures are regulated by various governmental bodies. The most important of these in California is the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). The FPPC, like other such organizations, place strict rules on organizations participating in electoral campaigns, such as registration and reporting requirements, limits on coordination and expenditure, and the like.
  • Numerous advisors, including the Alliance for Justice and Simon Russell of the DSA National Electoral Committee, have advised EBDSA to establish a separate legal entity, known formally as a "committee", through which all electoral-related financial activity will be conducted. Such a committee requires its own EIN, FPPC ID number, and bank account.
  • The main advantage of having a separate entity is clarity in electoral spending, and to protect the sponsoring organization (EBDSA) in case the committee incurs a regulatory audit.
  • The disadvantages of having a separate entity are an additional layer of organizational complexity, and an inability to share financial resources between the sponsoring organization and the committee.
  • EBDSA will sponsor the creation of East Bay Democratic Socialists of America Electoral Committee (the "EC"), a new state-level FPPC general purpose committee that will execute any electoral work specified by EBDSA membership votes, in the 2018 election season and potentially beyond.
  • Formal establishment tasks will include:
  • Acquiring a new EIN. The responsible party for the EIN will be Jeff Lee.
  • Submitting Form 410 to the California Secretary of State to create a new general purpose committee. For the purposes of this paperwork, the principal officers of the EC will be Zach McDonald and Mary Virginia Watson, and the treasurer will be Jeff Lee.
  • Creating a new bank account at Beneficial State Bank. The initial signers for this bank account will be the officers of the EC: Zach McDonald, Mary Virginia Watson, and Jeff Lee.
  • The EIN responsible party, the leadership of the EC, and the signers for the EC's bank account will all be re-evaluated and revised by the 2018-2019 Steering Committee within 60 days of the April convention.
  • The EC will conduct only the campaigns decided by the EBDSA membership, and its structure and membership will be determined by the EBDSA Steering Committee.
  • Upon the establishment of the EC, the EC will assume all financial and logistical responsibility for EBDSA's electoral work, and will take any necessary steps to ensure legally-required separation of activity and expenditures. This includes but is not limited to:
  • In its capacity as a 501(c)(4) corporation, EBDSA itself will make neither electoral expenditures nor collect funds for electoral expenditures. This includes funding for planning meetings, events, and canvasses. Instead, the EC will assume financial responsibility for these activities and expenditures.
  • The EC will establish separate fundraising streams, including a new online recurring donation system and donation boxes designated for electoral spending.
  • The EC will establish a thorough system of recording all expenditures, cash donations, and in-kind donations like food, gas, and printing, for the purposes of accurate, good faith reporting to the appropriate regulatory bodies.