We had new attendees from high schools in Culver City and Moorpark participate in preliminary discussion. Said Sean from Moorpark: “Kids have to take the initiative to learn about socialism. But they’re open to it and that’s a good thing. The Socialist Party has to be there to help them make the connection – to make it clear that socialism is the best option”.
Michael Bonanno from Op-Ed News flew down from San Francisco. Michael was an attended at the SP of California’s first organizing meeting, exactly one year prior to Saturday’s meeting. New members Gregory Solomon and Richard Castaldo were also in attendance. (Richard attended the first organizing meeting as well as a member of the Peace and Freedom Party.) Cindy Henderson from Peace and Freedom also came to share information and advice about P&F ballot access.
Socialist Party Presidential candidate Stewart Alexander made the trip from Murrieta and Andre Mahmoudian from Orange County drove up to discuss a membership plan. There were also Party members from throughout L.A. County in attendance.
Stewart discussed the importance of the Alexander/Mendoza campaign in terms of the growth of socialism, the Socialist Party USA and the Socialist Party of California. The campaign presents an amazing opportunity to use available forums to spread the socialist message. A call for campaign volunteers was placed. Michael Bonanno explained Op Ed News and offered to work with the Campaign’s PR effort in his capacity at Op Ed.
Justin Simons, the Youth Action Chairman, discussed internships for the Socialist Party of California. Justin also mentioned that he has two possible speaking engagements for the Alexander/Mendoza campaign: one at the Moorpark College Civics and Multicultural Day on 4/18/12 and another at CSUN.
Andre Mahmoudian prepared packets of recruiting fliers for the youth in attendance and proposed a plan for increasing Party membership. Phase one is to target commons areas in universities close to Party members throughout the state. In addition to giving flier packets to the youth in attendance, Andre gave a packet to Stewart Alexander to take on his trip to the San Francisco NOC meeting, where he will meet with Zac Goldstein, Chair of the newly-formed Bay Area Local.
Various fundraising and community action plans were discussed, including Gregory Solomon’s mention of the door-to-door canned food for the homeless project that he and his sister frequently administer.
Cindy Henderson discussed the process through which potential delegates to the Peace and Freedom Party State Convention are elected to the Central Committee. Central Committee members act as delegates to the State Convention, which is where the Presidential candidate is elected. Frank Boeheim handed out a prepared outline of the Central Committee election process and expressed a willingness to work with the Alexander/Mendoza campaign on organizing this effort.
Lynn Lomibao gave a report on the recent Back2Back clothing drive. Party members contributed clothing to offer to MEND, a service providing non-profit in the San Fernando Valley. Back2Back will continue on an ongoing basis, establishing relationships with organizations throughout the state which will enable the Party in CA to lend a hand whenever possible.
Our State Treasurer, Michelle Borok, will be moving out of state. We will be putting out the call to Party members interested in the Treasurer position. (If you are interested, please let us know.)
We mentioned Maggie Phair’s request that climate change be addressed by the Socialist Party of California and committed to working on a statement to offer publicly on the issue in the near-future.
We discussed establishing a monthly day of action where Party members work together to hit the streets with educational and recruitment materials. The importance of hitting every corner of the state was mentioned.
We discussed the newly-formed Bay Area Local and the necessity of moving future state meetings at more central locations to accommodate growth in the northern part of CA. Everyone was pretty excited about the idea of taking road trips for future meetings. The Bay Area Local’s organizing efforts definitely provided a motivational boost to Socialist Party members in the southern half of CA.