Google+ Board of Directors Meeting Minutes - Coffee Party USA

This blog contains the meeting minutes of the member-elected Board of Directors of the Coffee Party USA. While brief and conversational, they are intended to provide transparency and open communication with members and followers. Your comments, questions, and input are welcome and appreciated. Your posts here will be read by the Secretary, John Cashon, and communicated to the Board. Please remember the Civility Pledge when forming your thoughts: comments that do not meet our hopes for civil dialog will be deleted.

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The Coffee Party Board meeting minutes have moved to:

www.coffeepartyusa.com/bod

where they are listed by date.

 

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July 31st, 2013

NOTE:  Our Secretary, John Cashon, resigned from the Coffee Party for health reasons, and, we were slow to replace him, with Vince Lamb.  We apologize for not posting meeting minutes.  But we will have meeting summaries posted soon, and, will resume meeting minutes now that we have appointed a new Secretary.  

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CALL TO ORDER AND NOTE OF ATTENDANCE

The Maestro call was called to order by President Eric Byler at about 5pm PST. The attendance of other Directors is noted below. A quorum was present. We all took 30 seconds to check in.

P– Eric Byler, President

P– Egberto Willies, Vice President, Director for Campaigns and Actions

P– Jeanene Louden, Treasurer 

P– John Cashon, Secretary

P– Michael Charney, Director for Strategy and Organizational Design 

P– Dan Aronson, Director At Large

P– DeLann Williams, Director for Pathways to Participation

P– Cameron Kruger, Director for Development

A– Justin Brown, Director for Internet Infrastructure

MINUTES are posted – John Cashon

The minutes were approved by John, Del, Jeanene, Cameron and Michael.

BRANDING CONVERSATION - Dan Aronson

As far as branding for the Coffee Party, Dan had a document ready for all of the board to review, and Michael laid out some questions:

1)  Who are we now?
2)  What do we want to be? [time to grow up]
3)  Gap analysis
4)  What consistent messaging can we adopt gets us there?
5)  How do we get our messaging out there

      a. Board must be in lock-step
      b. consistently and constantly delivered through all media outlets 
      c. Publish Guidelines

          i. Discuss ideas, not the people espousing them
          ii. Don’t label others, self-identification only
          iii. Don’t assume you know what the other person is saying. Ask for clarification
          iv. Don’t generalize 

6)  What actions support the messaging, i.e. walking the walk

       a. Lead by example
       b. Editorial control/critique
       c. Coaching
       d. Enforcement

           i. Consistently applied
           ii. Three strikes and you’re out

Eric brought up the issue regarding editorial guidelines for our pages versus the decision to keep the status quo, and how it can affect our branding. He said the secret was getting the message out correctly and how it helps build a community by allowing everyone to be heard by giving some the ability to post to empower them, which in the long term, it will add value to our brand. Cameron added that allowing dissents to be written to allow more views to be heard.

Michael thought that the pages were encouraging liberals to beat up on conservatives and thought that a balance was needed. He thought that allowing dissents would be bipartisan but not transpartisan. Egberto added that he thought we should put out positions on political issues. Jeanene and Cameron stated they believed two sides should not be invented for every issue, and Jeanene added that a point-counterpoint system could be used, but it is the truth that is the most important thing to remember.

Jeanene continued by saying that the left was as bad as the right regarding non-civil arguments, and in the end, it hurts our brand, because we aren't creating a safe place for our members to visit. Michael added that we need to recognize and admit that many times the left on our pages beat up on the right, and because of this, we have already been branded in this way.

Egberto stated that he felt Michael's pain, but thought it was more important to have a place where all voices could be heard. Michael responded that our job as a board was to find strategies to finding more of a balance, which he believed we still have not figured out yet. Cameron was open to allowing all groups to listen, but if it was only echo-chamber points, then if will not be very effective. Dan said that it was most important being a safe place, and he thought an idea would be for Egberto and other progressives call out the left if any get out of line, while Michael could do the same for the right, in order to protect the brand. Egberto agreed.

The subject changed to how people reached our Facebook page and the reasons they had for doing so. Michael stated that some are actually taking action to get to us, and if they took the time for two extra clicks for a survey and also weren't civil when they got to the page, this doesn't mean they are trolls. 

Eric took a quick poll from all of the board to determine if their was a consensus for making plans to present ourselves as being more trans-partisan and to strive to make our pages safer to those that aren't seeking confrontation. John, Michael, Del, Jeanene and Eric were in favor, but Cameron disagreed. He thought it would be a good idea to do a video explaining our brand showing our ideas. Eric stated that he thought it was more important to be honest with these problems and it would take work to accomplish this goal, but seeking out moderate conservatives would add a balance to the Coffee Party.

Michael reflected on what would happen if we didn't have the page and what was the value that it was bringing. Del thought it was an interesting thought, but added that shutting down shouldn't be an issue saying that she thought it was more important to fixing it.

A motion was brought forward by Michael and Jeanene seconded it. The motion called for a task force, run by Dan, to create a Brand Statement and prepare it to be promoted on our sites. Eric, Jeanene, John, Del, Dan, Cameron and Michael voted yes, while Egberto abstained. Justin was absent for this vote.

ROOTSTRIKERS AND REPRESENT.US - Eric Byler

The board agreed to work with RootStrikers and Represent.US that are developing technology for 535 projects of their own, and it was agreed to not work against these organizations by creating our own technology. Jeanene brought up the idea of bartering services with these organizations. We can promote them using our Facebook pages if we could get access to their technology.

FUNDRAISING, BRANDING AND PRODUCT SALES - Cameron Kruger

Unfortunately, time ran short and Cameron was not able to give his report on an idea for getting professional social media help online. However, he did copy his outline for the board.

  • Social media Management Agency

  • Been around since 2009 - Operate out of DC and NY

    • Over 50 clients

    • Celebrities

    • Olympians

    • Pro-athletes

    • Non-profits

    • Small Business

  • What They will do

    • Initial Contest that will create a product (Coffee) That will fund us and give us national distributive exposure.

      • Create a FB APP within a current FB PAGE that is custom. It will include automatic Email capture, information about the first contest and a video about the contest.

      • Contest is going to be a coffee tasting contest to look for a coffee manufacturer for 1 year to be our Coffee Partner and provider. They will get exposure with us as well as we will get exposure with them on whatever shelves they put their products on. Basically Leveraging our brand and giving their product another channel to distribute and sell through.

      • They will be interested as we have 445K people on Facebook and this will give us not only leverage but a structured way to monetize our brand.

      • They must solicit there grinds to us by a specific date.

      • Must agree to put our logo and info of who we are on their

      • We can then branch out to other cities exposing our brand to them hosted by local chapters.

      • Votes for best coffee can be voted on through the FB Page.

      • Same can be done for any product that we license our brand too.

      • We will have our message on every product we are licenced too.

      • SHO will want to have all access to schedule times to post our media.

      • They will put together CP Statistical data to show what is working and what is not.

  • They will also help us generate all content. They will post it and encourage engagement.

  • They will get to know our organization and ensure that our community engages, donates, shares, and buys our coffee/products.

  • 1.6 Billion cups of coffee are consumed each day which is a HUGE market.

  • Talking to Ben & Jerry’s about having them make a coffee party coffee Ice Cream flavor - (Coffee, Butterfinger, Heathbar, and Caramel if I had my say.)
  • The bottom line is we need exposure, brand value building, and media exposure. If we are not wanting to try and reach out to mass media, doing this through public distribution makes a lot of sense.

SCHEDULE NEXT MEETING AND ADJOURN

The next meeting will be held August 14th, 2013 in Maestro, at 5 pm Pacific (8 pm Eastern). We all took 30 seconds to check out, and all mics were opened so we could say goodbye to one another or as we say in Kentucky, “Have a good one!”

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:

John Cashon

Secretary of the Board of Directors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 17th, 2013

CALL TO ORDER AND NOTE OF ATTENDANCE

The Maestro call was called to order by President Eric Byler at about 5pm PST. The attendance of other Directors is noted below. A quorum was present. We all took 30 seconds to check in.

P– Eric Byler, President

L– Egberto Willies, Vice President, Director for Campaigns and Actions

P– Jeanene Louden, Treasurer 

P– John Cashon, Secretary

A– Michael Charney, Director for Strategy and Organizational Design 

P– Dan Aronson, Director At Large

P– DeLann Williams, Director for Pathways to Participation

P– Cameron Kruger, Director for Development

P– Justin Brown, Director for Internet Infrastructure

MINUTES are posted – John Cashon

The minutes were approved on BigMarker; 5 yes (Jeanene, John, Del, Michael and Egberto), 0 no, 4 not voting (Eric, Justin, Dan and Cameron).

BOARD RESOLUTIONS UPDATE PROJECT - John Cashon

John will be taking actions to getting our Board Resolutions updated and will be developing a plan to discuss for the next board meeting.

VOLUNTEER LIFE CYCLE PROJECT - DeLann Williams

Del explained that the volunteer requests would be handled first come, first serve, and asked each board member to let her know if they had selected a volunteer, so that she could properly notate the volunteer assignment within NationBuilder. The notation would also eliminate calling volunteers multiple times. 

Del also asked the board to let her know when a project has been completed so that she could close the project for the volunteer in our system, and she mentioned that it would be a good idea for each board member recruit volunteers to help them with their roles.

Justin added that each board member could access the volunteer database and search on their own if they chose, and he stated he would add a link to the volunteer request form. Cameron reminded everyone that tagging each volunteer with their skills would make it a lot easier from the beginning.

COLLABORATION STATEMENT - Michael Charney / DeLann Williams

Dan asked if the statement was really needed since the information is also posted in other locations, and Del thought that the document could be setup as a working doc so that each board member could add their thoughts and ideas. She said that we could view them as guidelines, instead of an official policy, for group collaborations, which is something that we need to develop further. Jeanene proposed calling them 'Collaboration Guidelines' where all positions were subject to board approval.

FREE THE ELECTED PROMOTIONAL VIDEO STATUS - Eric Byler / Cameron Kruger

Eric thought it was important to consider what people think about the freeing the elected concept, and for the video, he thought we should have an explanation of what it means to the Coffee Party. He is creating a working doc that will include a script for everyone to review, and a section explaining the Restaurant.com cards for fundraising.

FINANCIAL - Jeanene Louden

Jeanene explained that we would no longer be able to keep Debilyn, and explained the things she does that would be difficult to stop right now: 

  • NB “quest for truth and meaning” (we don’t know what we don’t know)
  • trouble renewing on-line, changing contribution level, etc.
  • bank account management
  • pay pal management*
  • quick-books online management*
  • vendor management
  • maestro management
  • database management 

Jeanene stated that she could do most of the items but would need to get some help with her other responsibilities due to time restraints.

Jeanene reported that the biggest jump with getting members transferred from the BSD database to NationBuilder, and although many people were upset with the technical difficulties, people were coming back, slowly but surely. 

BOARD BUSINESS - Jeanene Louden

Jeanene brought up the idea of looking for a PR person to volunteer their expertise, and Dan volunteered to take on the PR function. She also asked if the board would consider having weekly meetings, until we are fully functional, but due to scheduling difficulties, the idea was tabled until another time.

535/#FREETHEELECTED - Egberto Willies

A landing page was developed for the project, and Jeanene requested that each board member to take a few minutes to review and comment. Once this process was done, Jeanene thought that a schedule for publishing was needed, and she asked if the subgroup could move forward without board approval. It was given.

EXTRA ITEMS - Open questions

Jeanene asked if the domain, Democracynow.com was needed, and Eric explained that it was being used for regional meetups, but he thought these could be rolled into NationBuilder. Jeanene stated that she would work offline with Eric to get this done.

Regarding the tools left over from the Enough is Enough campaign, Jeanene thought they would well with an August Recess project within the Free the Elected project, and she will send out a Doodle request for a meeting. Eric recommended cataloging town halls and working on ways to make the meet-ups fun, such as the coffee and pancake function they had in the past.

Cameron thought that we need to do more channeling to get other groups helping with the 'Free the Elected' campaign, and he also thought that we should reach out to some Tea Party groups for dialog, because if we could get some of the Occupy and Tea Party groups working together to get the money out of politics, the reach would be much greater. 

SCHEDULE NEXT MEETING AND ADJOURN

The next meeting will be held July 31st, 2013 in Maestro, at 5 pm Pacific (8 pm Eastern). We all took 30 seconds to check out, and all mics were opened so we could say goodbye to one another or as we say in Kentucky, “Have a good one!”

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:

John Cashon

Secretary of the Board of Directors

 

 

 

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July 10, 2013

CALL TO ORDER AND NOTE OF ATTENDANCE

The Maestro call was called to order by President Eric Byler at about 5pm PST. The attendance of other Directors is noted below. A quorum was present. We all took 30 seconds to check in.

P– Eric Byler, President

L– Egberto Willies, Vice President, Director for Campaigns and Actions

P– Jeanene Louden, Treasurer 

P– John Cashon, Secretary

P– Michael Charney, Director for Strategy and Organizational Design 

A– Dan Aronson, Director At Large

P– DeLann Williams, Director for Pathways to Participation

P– Cameron Kruger, Director for Development

L– Justin Brown, Director for Internet Infrastructure

*Due to Independence Day celebrations, the meeting scheduled on July 3rd, 2013 was postponed until July 10th.

MINUTES are posted – John Cashon

Michael asked for a vote, and Del seconded the motion, to approve the previous minutes from June 19th, 2013. Due to being out of the country, Cameron abstained and Michael, Eric, Del, Jeanene, and John voted to approve publishing the minutes with no changes, while Egberto, Justin and Dan were not available for the vote. The previous minutes were approved to publish.

FINANCIAL - Jeanene Louden

Jeanene showed the board her new Financial Cheat Sheet and explained the financial numbers for the month. She explained that the fundraising has been hugely impacted by numerous breakdowns in our ability to use NationBuilder effectively. Because Debilyn has had to work with the NB tech support on this almost on a daily basis, Jeanene put a call out to folks who know NationBuilder for help, and she asked the board if we knew of any folks from any organization that might be able to give us a few hours of support.

Due to monetary restraints, Jeanene said that Debilyn will need to reduce her hours, and that she would negotiate this in the next few days. Because Debilyn will not be as available, Jeanene stated that she will need to pick up a lot of slack, and she asked the board to work with her to help with her posting on the Join the Coffee Party Facebook Page to give her more time.

NATIONBUILDER ISSUES - Jeanene Louden 

Jeanene stated that she was still having trouble with NationBuilder regarding transferring members from the old database. She explained how the members were having to sign-up as a new member and this was causing many to question the need. Because of these roadblocks, Jeanene said that she with Justin and Debilyn have been having a lot of trouble solving the issue, which has been hurting our donations. Cameron mentioned that he has also been having trouble with NationBuilder's email, and he believes that the mail side of NationBuilder is not necessary, but he reiterated that the platform is great in other areas.

FREE THE ELECTED FUNDRAISING - Cameron Kruger

Del spoke about how PayPal has been working well for her, and Jeanene explained how it was doing a good job meeting our needs with taking donations from credit cards. Michael felt that we needed to find another person that had the skills that Debilyn possesses, and he explained that we will need more donations to achieve this. Eric stated that for that to happen, we will need to make sure that we will need to deliver to get anything back.

John questioned if we had any more information concerning grants and the 501(C)(3) status, and he said he would work with Jeanene with helping to fill out the application process for the tax exempt status.

As an action item, it was decided that Cameron and Eric will begin to work on the script for a video promo.

BIG APPLE COFFEE PARTY REQUESTS OUR SUPPORT IN EXPANDING DON'T DO KOCH - Dan Aronson

Dan had requested that the board discuss the Coffee Party requests sent from the chapter organizations, but he was unable to attend the meeting. Michael had discussed the issue with Dan and explained Dan's point of view on the matter. Eric believed that if it was important that each request would be owned by the organization, and not by the Coffee Party to remove any liability. Because Dan is in charge of Channel Partnerships, Michael believes that we should put together a Policy Statement explaining the Coffee Party's rules regarding these events and requests. It was decided that Michael and Del would create this policy statement and show the board when done.

SOCIAL MEDIA USE MANAGEMENT STATUS UPDATE - Eric Byler

Eric stated that we have dozens of Facebook pages that were created in the first year of Coffee Party, but he explained that we only maintain four pages that he knows about: 

  • Join the Coffee Party
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Enough is Enough 
  • CP National Team 

Eric added that the first three are maintained because they have the largest number of fans, and all three feed directly on to our Twitter feed, because this helps to achieve the aim of keeping our Twitter feed going throughout the day. Eric wants to do a better job of figuring out who is posting to Elizabeth Warren and Enough is Enough pages. For instance, he explained, we posted a satire piece to Enough is Enough with a status update that sounded as if they didn't know that it was actually a satire. Kind of embarrassing.

Eric stated that this is the kind of thing that the “Newsroom” group would fix, but he hasn't very much time, because of his documentary work. Eric also described our different platforms:

  • HootSuite: Currently, Eric Byler is the only person using the CP HootSuite account. HootSuite allows posts to be scheduled in the future. At one time, Eric used to schedule posts throughout the day, spending 20 minutes or so every 12 hours to populate the next 12 hours with 3 or 4 tweets per hour, with most of them being re-tweets. Because he doesn't have time to do this while in full-time film production, he described how he was using a HootSuite phone app that allows him to do a lot of re-tweeting. 
  • Scoop.it: Jeanene and Michael still use this, but Eric has stopped using it, because it takes a little extra time to prepare a Facebook post using Scoop.it. Now that Facebook also allows posts to be scheduled ahead of time, Scoop.it is less of an attraction for him, and the massive participatory content sharing that he hoped to inspire with Scoop.it never really materialized. 
  • Radio: The four shows continue to provide an outlet and an interface for our online community. The shows are maintained by their hosts and producers with skill and pride, and some of the new hosts are being trained to fill in for Dan Aronson. Michael Charney, who took time off from this for his work, is back on The Middle Ground and everyone is glad that he is back.

VOLUNTEER LIFE CYCLE PROJECT - DeLann Williams

Del discussed her new Staffing Request Google Form, and she emailed it to each board member asking that each take a look and get back with her regarding any possible changes that may be needed.

535 BETA TEST - Justin Brown

Justin explained the page that he created for the 535/ Free the Elected beta test, and he asked to board to continue to review and let him know of any changes that it may need.

TO DO/ACTION ITEMS FOR THE BOARD:

Eric Byler: Prepare video for Free The Elected.

Egberto Willies: Work with Jeanene.

Jeanene Louden: 

  • Work with Egberto.
  • Attend Monday fundraising meeting.
  • Check on Del’s membership in PayPal.

John Cashon: post the approved minutes.

Michael Charney: work on collaboration policy statement with Del.

Dan Aronson: Review and discuss Michael and Del's Policy Statement.

DeLann Williams:

  • Transfer old volunteer requests to new form.
  • Work with Michael on collaboration policy.

Cameron Kruger: Attend Monday fundraising meeting. 

Justin Brown: Attend Monday fundraising meeting.

SCHEDULE NEXT MEETING AND ADJOURN

The next meeting will be held July 31st, 2013 in Maestro, at 5 pm Pacific (8 pm Eastern). We all took 30 seconds to check out, and all mics were opened so we could say goodbye to one another or as we say in Kentucky, “Have a good one!”

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:

John Cashon

Secretary of the Board of Directors

 

 

 

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June 19, 2013

CALL TO ORDER AND NOTE OF ATTENDANCE

The Maestro call was called to order by President Eric Byler at about 5pm PST. The attendance of other Directors is noted below. A quorum was present. We all took 30 seconds to check in.

P– Eric Byler, President

A– Egberto Willies, Vice President, Director for Campaigns and Actions

P– Jeanene Louden, Treasurer 

P– John Cashon, Secretary

P– Michael Charney, Director for Strategy and Organizational Design 

P– Dan Aronson, Director At Large

P– DeLann Williams, Director for Pathways to Participation

L– Cameron Kruger, Director for Development

L– Justin Brown, Director for Internet Infrastructure

MINUTES are posted – John Cashon

Michael asked that the board decide on the minutes before posting and a vote was taken. It was a unanimous vote in favor of John sending the draft version to the board to be approved before making them public on the Coffee Party USA website.

FINANCIAL - Jeanene Louden

Jeanene went over the financials to the board and highlighted that we had a net gain since the last meeting. She also discussed a PayPal problem concerning unusual merging fees but she was able to fix the problem so that it would not be an issue in the future.

FREE THE ELECTED FUNDRAISING - Cameron Kruger 

The first promotion that went out was discussed and it was decided that it did well. Concerning the second promotion, Michael asked if there was a schedule showing when it would be released. Jeanene stated that sending the schedule out to the board would be no problem and would take care of getting the schedule sent.

STAFFING: DEBILYN STATUS & JOB DESCRIPTION

Debilyn Molineaux does contract work for Coffee Party USA on a monthly basis, and Eric wanted all the board members to learn how her different job descriptions could help each of us. Eric stated that he believes it is important that we all have a positive relationship with Debilyn, which could help each of us further our goals. Jeanene followed by stating that she would create a .doc to share with the board showing how we could set our schedule for including Debilyn to help. 

VOLUNTEER LIFE CYCLE PROJECT - DeLann Williams

Del shared her Life Cycle Stages document with the board and explained each step of the process. She asked the board to consider Liability Insurance for certain specialty volunteers.

Highlighting certain areas of the Volunteer Life Cycle Project, Del discussed sections from this list:

  • Orientation Process
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Unhappy Volunteers
  • Non-profit training
  • Other training
  • Termination & Transition Process

As far as filling volunteer requests, Del mentioned that she has not received many requests. She thought it would be a good idea to think about PR and Marketing to help fill recruitment needs. Michael pointed out that, with Nation Builder, each board member could also do research in our system to locate volunteers that would fit with the projects.

535 BETA TEST - Justin Brown

Justin began by going over what he with Jeanene and Egberto were doing concerning the 535 Beta Test. They are getting help from Marketing and PR to help get more volunteers, and Justin described how he has built out the 535 district seats.

Justin and Egberto are both using their own districts as volunteers to enter information. Also, updates are being posted and actions required for volunteer help has been sent. Justin believes that with the feedback from the pilot program, we will be able to learn a lot from it, so that we can apply for future efforts.

Jeanene said that a 'Call to Action' should be used to get engagement, and she believes that we need to be flexible to create the best page. She stated that it is urgent that we get a working package out to the public as soon as possible. Michael asked if a lite version was ready for us to be able to view, and Jeanene answered that she would create a .doc showing the preparation of the Lite Version that was in the works and that each one of us was able to join in the process.

Justin asked what Frank Kirkwood's role was concerning the Lite Version and Jeanene stated that she called and asked if he was interested in also working with that version of the 535 Project. Jeanene said that Frank was interested.

Eric brought up the need to contact specific volunteers and asked if they would be interested with helping enter information for their districts to help get the Lite Version started. If we receive good information, Eric stated that the radio shows could help promote it, along with our social media sites.

SCHEDULE NEXT MEETING AND ADJOURN

The next meeting will be held July 3rd, 2013 in Maestro, at 5 pm Pacific (8 pm Eastern). We all took 30 seconds to check out, and all mics were opened so we could say goodbye to one another or as we say in Kentucky, “Have a good one!”

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:

John Cashon

Secretary of the Board of Directors

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June 5, 2013

CALL TO ORDER AND NOTE OF ATTENDANCE

The Maestro call was called to order by President Eric Byler at about 5pm PST. The attendance of other Directors is noted below. A quorum was present. We all took 30 seconds to check in.

P– Eric Byler, President

A– Egberto Willies, Vice President, Director for Campaigns and Actions

A– Jeanene Louden, Treasurer 

P– John Cashon, Secretary

P– Michael Charney, Director for Strategy and Organizational Design 

P– Dan Aronson, Director At Large

P– DeLann Williams, Director for Pathways to Participation

A– Cameron Kruger, Director for Development

A– Justin Brown, Director for Internet Infrastructure

MINUTES are posted – John Cashon

As a point of procedure, Dan asked if the names should be added to the votes listed in the minutes during Board of Director meetings. Michael offered a motion to decide and it was seconded by John.

Motion: Should the Board of Directors keep the names on each vote public?

Vote: The vote was unanimous in favor of keeping the names on each vote public.

MEDIA AND CONTENT: PLAN OF ACTION REGARDING THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE ARTICLE CONCERNING THE COFFEE PARTY - Eric Byler

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 12.29.43 AM.png

Proof the IRS Didn't Target Just Conservatives

"Almost one third of the tax-exemption applications selected for additional scrutiny by the IRS were from groups that were not conservative."-by  JUN 5 2013, 8:30 AM ET

Section of article pertaining to the Coffee Party:

"Non-conservative advocacy groups given special scrutiny by the IRS in or after 2010 included the Coffee Party USA, the alternative to the Tea Party movement that got a bunch of press in 2010, as well as such explicitly progressive groups as the Progressive Leadership Alliance of NevadaRebuild the Dream, founded by former Obama administration official Van Jones; and Progressives United Inc., which was founded by former Wisconsin senator Russ Feingold."
The Board decided to discuss and decide if any action should be done in regards to the article, in case we were asked questions. Some of the board members wrote out responses for the minutes:
Egberto Willies' written response: “The IRS has admitted that it crossed this line.” Definitely does not belong in this Coffee Party’s statement. While some have fallen on the political sword claiming that scanning on Tea Party, 2012, and other groups were ill advised, many disagree because of the time when the screening occurred. Our statement is fine without that line as we must let the ultimate result of the investigation come forth. I think many will be surprised.

Michael Charney's written response: The IRS admitted it. The Atlantic article uses a confluence of events to make an ancillary argument, and it is not proof that there wasn't a targeted plan. It is fine if they targeted all political organizations, but they profiled a group of people, and that’s wrong.

DeLann Williams' written response: The very first link in the Atlantic article to the taxanalysts.com analysis which begins, “We know now that the IRS used "inappropriate criteria" -- names and policy views associated with conservative and Tea Party causes -- for selecting applications for tax-exempt status for extra review. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration laid out the charges in a May 14 report, and the IRS has admitted it made errors.”  I don’t know how we can derive from this that the Atlantic was arguing otherwise.  

And while we may not view the Coffee Party as being the opposite of the Tea Party today, that is the message that most people understood in the beginning.  This was the main reason why most people joined the CP in the first place.  Disgust with the TP.  So, in responding in any way to this article, we might point out that like Mark Meckler, we have moved on.
John Cashon's written response: I think it is important to get to bottom of this controversy. The article highlights one important factor: the only organizations that we know about are the ones that were accepted, while leaving out all the ones that were turned down due to the fact that the IRS couldn't name them in public. Are all of the ones that weren't accepted conservative organizations? However, one thing is for sure: a simple Google search will disclose that many of the actions taken by the organizations selected by the IRS do show they were involved in political activity not allowed under the 501(c)(4) tax exempt status.
Michael then offered a motion to decide and it was seconded by Dan:

Motion: Should the Coffee Party not make a big deal about the article and to not respond in a big way?

Vote: 

Yes, to not posting anything - Dan.
No, to post an article explaining the Coffee Party's view on the article - Eric, John and DeLann.
Abstain - Michael.

Eric decided to write the article and post it on our Coffee Party USA website the following day, and here is the link to the article: http://www.coffeepartyusa.com/irs 

FUNDRAISING/MARKETING – Cameron Kruger did not make the meeting but sent this information for the minutes:

FREE THE ELECTED report:

  • $2,000 raised to date on first email

  • 2nd email in draft form

HUMAN RELATIONS/ STAFF DEVELOPMENT - DeLann Williams

Volunteer Life Cycle Project - Del is working with an HR consultant to map this out: 

  • Process for volunteer contact, interview, and assignment.

  • Staffing request form

  • Volunteer Interview form

  • Policies and Procedures

  • ACTION:  Del will distribute a temporary staffing request ‘form’ to directors via email. Currently, Del prefers that Directors, not Work Group Chairs, forward these requests.

  • ACTION: Directors should forward staffing requests to Del via email. Next meeting agenda to include any needed follow-up discussion about staffing requests.

PRODUCT (ACTIONS) – Egberto Willies Absent

Due to the massive amount of work needed to be done for the 535 Project, Eric thought that working on a 535 Lite version would be a good idea, and it was decided that it would be brought up at the next board meeting to discuss with Egberto.

EMAIL BLASTS – The board decided to continue sending out Email Blasts for each of the Radio Shows.

BSD TO NB CONVERSION – 

2011 & 2012 complete, but 2013 hit a snag. A request was sent to NB to delete and to re-import. The BSD recurring contributions have stopped, and assistance is needed with contacting to move to NB. The board will decide at the next meeting the status of the move.

WEBPAGE TRAFFIC REPORT – Michael noticed from the analytic report from Christopher Ritter showed that web traffic to our website has been lite, and that we need to do more to bring traffic to the site. Eric mentioned that we need to add more content, and John thought that a website update was needed. Dan disagreed and thought content was more important than aesthetics for the site. Michael asked John to add it to the agenda for the next Media conference call that was scheduled and follow through with getting a plan begun to tackle the problem.

SCHEDULE NEXT MEETING AND ADJOURN

The next meeting will be held June 19th, 2013 in Maestro, at 5 pm Pacific (8 pm Eastern). We all took 30 seconds to check out, and all mics were opened so we could say goodbye to one another or as we say in Kentucky, “Have a good one!”

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:

John Cashon

Secretary of the Board of Directors

 

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May 22, 2013

CALL TO ORDER AND NOTE OF ATTENDANCE

The Maestro call was called to order by President Eric Byler at about 5pm PST. The attendance of other Directors is noted below. A quorum was present. We all took 30 seconds to check in.

P– Eric Byler, President

P– Egberto Willies, Vice President, Director for Campaigns and Actions

P– Jeanene Louden, Treasurer - (Left early)

P– John Cashon, Secretary

P– Michael Charney, Director for Strategy and Organizational Design (Left early)

P– Dan Aronson, Director At Large

P– DeLann Williams, Director for Pathways to Participation

P– Cameron Kruger, Director for Development

L– Justin Brown, Director for Internet Infrastructure

MINUTES are posted – John Cashon

John asked the board to give him any links or videos about their topics if they would like them included in the Minutes.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DECISION VOTE: An article posted by Egberto Willies was debated the previous week and the Board's Executive Committee made the decision to leave the post on the page and to post a follow up explaining the decision and asking for a dialog to begin on the topic. The vote asked the whole board if the actions by the Executive Committee were appropriate.

The Vote: 6 liked the Executive Committee's action and 2 did not. Justin arrived late to the meeting and did not vote.

MOTION: From Dan Aronson and Seconded by Michael Charney: A letter should be sent from the Board of Directors to Annabel Park concerning the creation of a new process for bringing up future objections to articles posted on the Join the Coffee Party Facebook Page. Each board member was asked to take the floor and discuss their opinion.

Annabel received emails from many people that saw the post asking her to have the post taken down, and Annabel posted her objections on the article's thread stating her disapproval.

Dan asked that a letter be crafted to Annabel 1) stating our collective disapproval of her post and 2) asking her to refrain from making any such posts in the future.

The Vote: 4 voted yes, 4 voted no and 1 abstained. The motion failed to pass and was thereby dropped from consideration.

HUMAN RELATIONS/ STAFF DEVELOPMENT -DeLann Williams

Del spoke for the need to have a volunteer contact, interview and assignment process, and she told us about her idea for a Volunteer Life Cycle Project. She wants to create a staffing request form that would be filled out and sent to her if anyone has a need for volunteers. Also, she will be creating policies and procedures and will send them to the board for review.

PRODUCT (ACTIONS) – Egberto Willies

Egberto spoke about how he is working to leverage 160+ affiliates to work with the 535 Project.

MEDIA AND CONTENT – Eric Byler

Eric has continued to create more videos for the Story of America Documentary, and he discussed his future plans for the project. He also spoke for the need for adding standards and editing guidelines, and Cameron brought up an idea for using YouTube promos and if they would be useful.

CHANNEL MARKETING – Dan Aronson

Dan had a list ready to discuss with the board:

  • Process needed for working with chapters: ie Big Apple Coffee Party request, ie ShameTheCongress request, etc.
  • What about our approaching others? Should there be a process?
  • Our need to get the Forum together.
  • Approaching others: This would be a bigger project.
  • Local Chapters - methods for reaching out.
  • On a grassroots movement call - If there are people in this group that can do introductions through networking. This would aid in reach out.

FUNDRAISING/MARKETING – Cameron Kruger

The slogan, "Go out to dinner and end the free lunch in Washington, DC" was discussed and agreed upon by the board to be used for Cameron's marketing campaign. Cameron also had a list of items prepared to discuss:

  • Restaurant.com Commercial PPT. - Old for reference purposes.
  • Tour of Little Green Light - New Email Proggy Cheaper than both BSD and NB.
  • Little Green Light Email Program for Non-Profits -Pricing. 
  • Free The Elected Email Blast Wording - The Wordsmithing.
  • Donor Page - The Free the Elected Donor Page.
  • Recruiter Page - Opens after the Donor Page is complete.
  • Talking points for Tonight.
  • Fundraising - Restaurant.com Briefing on how it will work.
  • Email Programs -Discussion (dictation) on what program I think we should use.
  • Sub-nations - Benefits to the upcoming changes in this structure and affordability.
  • Cost structures - Explanation as to how we can afford it all.
  • General Q&A on Implementation. 

Cameron thought we should send the message that we are only supporting, with the restaurant.com campaign, local businesses in different towns and cities. He mentioned that they support this and it follows our values, which would be better for the local economy.

TECHNOLOGY – Justin Brown

Justin stated that he almost had the Stakeholder and Self-Analysis questionnaires ready, and that Laura Simmons and Chod Lang were working on the responses from the surveys. Chod is also planning to have a radio show for interviews. Concerning the 535 Project, Justin is building out his own district for his mock-up testing, so that the pilot districts would have something to show.

CONSENSUS CHECK: To conclude how the board felt about creating editorial standards and teams for the different time slots for the Join the Coffee Party Facebook Page, a vote was called to find the consensus of the board for implementing the changes.

The Vote: 5 voted no to the changes and 2 voted for them. The team slots and editorial guidelines changes were dropped from consideration. Michael and Jeanene had to leave the meeting early and did not vote.

SCHEDULE NEXT MEETING AND ADJOURN

The next meeting will be held June 5th, 2013 in Maestro, at 5pm Pacific (8pm Eastern). We all took 30 seconds to check out, and all mics were opened so we could say goodbye to one another or as we say in Kentucky, “Have a good one!”

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:

John Cashon

Secretary of the Board of Directors

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May 8, 2013

CALL TO ORDER AND NOTE OF ATTENDANCE

The Big Marker call was called to order by President Eric Byler at about 5pm PST. The attendance of other Directors is noted below. A quorum was present. We all took 30 seconds to check in. 

  • P– Eric Byler, President
  • P– Egberto Willies, Vice President, Director for Campaigns and Actions
  • P– Jeanene Louden, Treasurer
  • P– John Cashon, Secretary
  • P– Michael Charney, Director for Strategy and Organizational Design
  • P– Dan Aronson, Director At Large
  • A– DeLann Williams, Director for Pathways to Participation
  • P– Cameron Kruger, Director for Development
  • P– Justin Brown, Director for Internet Infrastructure 

MINUTES are posted – John Cashon

The board went over new ideas and changes to improve the minutes, and it was decided to add some of our webpage insights numbers.

FINANCIAL REPORT – Jeanene Louden

Jeanene went over the changes that she has be making to the ledger which is a cleaner design than before and more organized, and she told the board that she may have found a good volunteer to help her with the process. She has also been working making ledger adjustments for the 501(3)c. Jeanene mentioned that we are behind the curve until the Free the Elected fundraiser begins.

MANAGING DIRECTOR'S REPORT – Jeanene Louden

Jeanene went over her new GOALS spreadsheet for showing the status and ownership of our projects. As far as our Email Blasts from NSB, Jeanene asked about the timing for getting away from them and doing only in Nation Builder, and it was determined that we are still moving data between the two systems. Jeanene talked with Eric, Egberto and Michael about a need for a volunteer to take care of sending out Email Blast for our Blogtalkradio shows.

It was also determined that we needed to changed our Facebook Membership link from BSD to Nation Builder and an action item was created for Egberto to take care of this.

PRODUCT (ACTIONS) – Egberto Willies

Egberto discussed the progress of the 535 Project, and we learned that the infrastructure and communities were still being developed in Nation Builder. Eric and Michael spoke about the need to create a secondary plan while waiting for the infrastructure development, and Egberto will be working with Michael on creating ideas. Jeanene wanted to expand on the 'Free the Elected' campaign by looking for partnerships, and she will be creating an outline for getting this moving. 

FUNDRAISING/MARKETING – Cameron Kruger

Cameron began by getting the board's opinion for making 'Free the Elected' a rally cry or new slogan, before talking about his 'Go out to Dinner' card campaign. He went over the procedures for a mass mailing and he also showed the board the Promo Guidelines in a PowerPoint file.

Cameron moved on to our need to create a Donation Page and his work on a client mail merge. Also, he reiterated our need for the Coffee Party to achieve more mass media exposure.

Cameron concluded by listing some items that could be done at this time for the 'Go out to Dinner' card campaign: 

  • Finalize the graphics to be used.
  • Look for a mail merge program.
  • Have Eric create a video-trailer for the campaign.
  • Each member on the board could donate to receive their own card.

TECHNOLOGY – Justin Brown

Justin went over his Stakeholder and Self-Analysis report and thanked Eric for his help. He explained the plans to have live conversations on radio shows and is beginning with Chod Lang. Justin asked, as an action item, for all of the board to answer the questionnaires that he sent to us.

Concerning the IT side of the 535 Campaign, Justin went over what he has been doing with the 535 technology, and he asked us to send him any ideas that we had.

CHANNEL MARKETING – Dan Aronson

Dan went over the process for getting board approval on projects from our local chapters, such as the ShameTheCongress campaign request from the Big Apple Coffee Party. Questions regarding the process for approaching others were raised and Dan informed the board of his plan to create a form in Nation Builder for sending requests to the Coffee Party. Justin is going to help Dan get this setup after he learns the fields that would be required. Once the form was done, they would be routed to Justin to move them forward.

MEDIA AND CONTENT – Eric Byler

Eric explained the problem in our Coffee Party News Scoop.it page that is not showing the individuals that are posting. He is working on getting it cleaned up so that more control of the page could be maintained. Eric described the work that he has been doing on the Story of America project and how it has been keeping him extremely busy.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT – Michael Charney

Michael described the process that he and John Cashon created for starting the Coffee Party Educators project. A Facebook Page and Group will be created, along with a Scoop.it page to highlight articles and promos. Michael also explained the progress for getting the Civics and History Minute promo segments started, and he showed the board his written proposal for the project. Everyone was asked to look over the proposal and come up with ideas if they had them.

SCHEDULE NEXT MEETING AND ADJOURN

The next meeting will be held May 22nd, 2013 in Big Marker, at 5pm Pacific (8pm Eastern). We all took 30 seconds to check out, and all mics were opened so we could say goodbye to one another or as we say in Kentucky, “Have a good one!”

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:

John Cashon

Secretary of the Board of Directors

 

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April 24, 2013

CALL TO ORDER AND NOTE OF ATTENDANCE

The Big Marker call was called to order by President Eric Byler at about 5pm PST. The attendance of other Directors is noted below. A quorum was present. We all took 30 seconds to check in.

  • P– Eric Byler, President
  • P– Egberto Willies, Vice President, Director for Campaigns and Actions
  • P– Jeanene Louden, Treasurer - (Left meeting early)
  • P– John Cashon, Secretary
  • P– Michael Charney, Director for Strategy and Organizational Design
  • P– Dan Aronson, Director At Large
  • P– DeLann Williams, Director for Pathways to Participation
  • P– Cameron Kruger, Director for Development
  • P– Justin Brown, Director for Internet Infrastructure - (Left meeting early)

MINUTES are posted – John Cashon

John discussed moving the minutes from the WordPress Blog to the Coffee Party Website, and how he was going to post a message about the move on the WordPress Blog to get the word out.

FINANCIAL REPORT – Jeanene Louden

Jeanene explained that the month has been very slow as far as donations, and she continued by saying, "My hope is that the discussions about the Un-Retreat report and the 535 campaign will result in a decision to promote our new mission statement in blogs, radio shows, membership renewals and other targeted asks. I see the 535 project as falling under the umbrella of the mission statement. “To Engage and Empower a Grassroots Movement to Free the Elected” is exciting and engaging."

IIWG UPDATE  Justin Brown

Justin broke down his report in bullet points:

BSD exit status: punch list for getting transition started.

  • profiles - do live in paypal

  • history lives in BSD and we lack a port key to transfer it

  • Debilyn, Justin, Cameron, and Jeanene should be able to report later in the week

  • goal - May 6th

Stakeholder/Self Analysis status:

  • interviewing Eric/Annabel/Mike Massey next week

  • interviewing Board Members shortly after

  • then radio show call and surveys

*Action Required from each of us: send one recommendation to Justin of who might be interviewed.

UN-RETREAT REPORT  Michael Charney

At the Un-Retreat, Michael was put in charge of our new R&D group. He has been working with John Cashon on the Civics Minutes project for having new segments created for the Blog Talk radio shows.

Michael explained that he has setup metrics to help create organizational structures, gathered all of the notes from the Un-Retreat into a document for the board to review, and he also has been working on the 535 Information Documents.

535 UDATE  Egberto Willies

Egberto went over the 535 Strategic Plan that was revised, and he discussed the Mockups/Wireframes that Justin created. After discussing the timing to start building the platform for the 535 Campaign, Egberto thought it would be best to begin promoting it to raise awareness.

DEVELOPMENT  Cameron Kruger

Cameron went over these points:

  • A 'Free the Elected' graphic needs to be made to begin promoting the idea.
  • Giving people an incentive to help.

  • Restaurant.com gift cards of $25 dollars could be given to donors.

  • Important to start trying to get the Coffee Party noticed through Mass Media.

  • Using Adwords Adsense on our website to help raise money.

After listening to Cameron's ideas, a discussion started, and Jeanene thought it would be a good idea to get sponsors for our radio shows.

NEWTOWN ACTION ALLIANCE CAMPAIGN: ShameOnCongress

Dave Ackert, founder of the Newtown Action Alliance sent us an invitation that was also sent to a list of about 250 like-minded groups, inviting us to form a coalition to rally behind their new ShameOnCongress effort and sign on as a co-sponsor. It was agreed that it would be a good idea, and Eric brought a motion to the floor for a vote and Egberto seconded it. The vote was unanimous to ally ourselves with the Shame on Congress effort.

ROOTSTRIKERS' CONFERENCE – Jeanene Louden

Jeanene went to the Rootstrikers' Conference to Restore the Republic in San Francisco. She thought it would be a good idea to continue working with groups such as this, because they are kindred spirits on a common path. Jeanene asked if Cameron could work with her with looking into this, and she is going to work with Barb Bull for drafting a blog post about her trip to the conference.

Jeanene concluded, "The one thing you should know NOW is that the conclusion of the conference was this: we do not need to be one group with one strategy; we need to be many groups, each challenging the status quo of money in politics, and supporting each other whenever it is appropriate; we all attract a different demographic, and our differences will make us collectively more powerful in our common quest. I call this “the many roads to Rome” strategy."

EMAIL BLASTS – Eric Byler

It was decided that Jeanene and Debilyn will develop blast calendar, and at least one blast per week: fundraising, newsletter, membership renewals. It was also decided that there would be no more radio blasts.

BIWEEKLY NEWSLETTER SUGGESTIONS: a breakdown – Eric Byler

  • 16 slots total
  • 2 for sister organizations

  • 4 for coffee party people
  • 1 introduce a board member

  • 1 for all radio shows
  • 1 for volunteers

SCHEDULE NEXT MEETING AND ADJOURN

The next meeting will be held May 8th, 2013, at 5pm Pacific (8pm Eastern). We all took 30 seconds to check out, and all mics were opened so we could say goodbye to one another or as we say in Kentucky, “Have a good one!”

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:

John Cashon

Secretary of the Board of Directors

 

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March 27, 2013

CALL TO ORDER AND NOTE OF ATTENDANCE

The Big Marker call was called to order by President Eric Byler at about 5pm PST. The attendance of other Directors is noted below. A quorum was present. We all took 30 seconds to check in.

  • P– Eric Byler, President
  • L– Egberto Willies, Vice President, Director for Campaigns and Actions
  • A– Jeanene Louden, Treasurer
  • P– John Cashon, Secretary
  • P– Michael Charney, Director for Strategy and Organizational Design
  • P– Dan Aronson, Director At Large
  • P– DeLann Williams, Director for Pathways to Participation
  • P– Cameron Kruger, Director for Development
  • P– Justin Brown, Director for Internet Infrastructure

MINUTES are posted. – John Cashon

We discussed moving the minutes from the WordPress Blog to the main Coffee Party Website. Justin set this up during the meeting.

FINANCIAL REPORT – Jeanene Louden Absent - Michael Charney and John Cashon Reported

BOARD UN-RETREAT UPDATE – John Cashon and Michael Charney

Michael created an Agenda for the Un-Retreat and went over a breakdown of how the days would be filled during the Retreat. Everyone thought that it would be a great idea to have Annabel Park visit one evening during the Retreat and it was discussed having an invitation sent to Annabel Park to join us for part of Un-Retreat.

535 UPDATE - Egberto Willies  

Egberto gave a brief report on the status of the 535 Campaign. Justin spoke about the need to create Sub-nations for each state within Nation Builder would be needed if one state is too large. Sub-nations help by keeping databases separate so as to create a safety net for the data being entered. By not having all of the data in one place, this would offer protections to us.

It was discussed having Frank Kirkwood, the leader of the project, visit one night during the Un-Retreat and all agreed that it would be a good idea. It was decided that Annabel and Frank would visit Friday night for a meeting.

"DON'T DO KOCH" UPDATE - Eric Byler 

Eric explained that on April 1st, flyers with Koch products listed would be given to people entering grocery stores so they could have the opportunity to choose another brand explaining that people could be civic minded by not buying their products.

PROCESS ISSUES SURROUNDING "DON'T DO KOCH" CAMPAIGN 

Questions were brought up about finding the best ways to get local ideas approved or not in a timely manner. We all agreed that it was important to consider all of the ideas coming out the local chapters.

It was decided that since Dan has a background in coordinating these ideas, and we all decided to speak more about it at the Un-Retreat.

Dan created a list to help process for vetting local actions including roles and responsibilities:

  • Bringing it to the BoD

  • Discussion methodology (forms of communication)

  • Approval process

  • Implementation

EMAIL BLAST COORDINATION - Justin Brown. Due to time restraints, this section of the meeting was brief and moved to the next board meeting.

Justin has been working with a plan to keep our fundraising and action emails from hitting the same people too much, and he thought that creating  newsletter could work much better, that would allow him to consolidate the info from many of the Email Blasts.

Eric thought that creating a page on our website would be a good idea that would give us the ability to show the invitations sent for each radio show.

IIWG TECHNICAL UPDATE – Justin Brown

Justin gave a brief update on what he has been doing, and he was very glad that he was getting help from Dan with Nation Builder. Justin has been testing emails and he wanted each of us to let him know what we think when we receive them. He has also been helping with the 535 and the 'Don't do Koch' campaigns, giving us an update to what he has been doing.

DEVELOPMENT – Cameron Kruger 

Cameron gave us a list of what he has been doing in Development.

  • Working on switching over the BSD Database to Nationbuilder

  • Working on a discussion for Adwords Adsense revenue

  • Working on a discussion about alternative revenue funding inclusive of restaurant.com type gift cards for donating

SCHEDULE NEXT MEETING AND ADJOURN

The next meeting will be held April 24th, 2013, at 5pm Pacific (8pm Eastern). We all took 30 seconds to check out, and all mics were opened so we could say goodbye to one another or as we say in Kentucky, “Have a good one!”

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:

John Cashon

Secretary of the Board of Directors

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