North Carolina Chapter
Socialist Party, USA
Raleigh, NC 4/29/00
Members Present: Chris Johnson, Melvin Little, Jason Prescott, Vernon Kelley, Katherine Nicewander, John Mahoul, Jimmy Harkin, Jamie Pattengale.
Guests Present : Brian Towey, Chad Pattengale, Scott Cavanaugh, Mr. & Mrs. Prescott.
Melvin Little relayed regrets by Stacey Thedford, who was unable to attend due to activism in D.C. Vernon Kelley also expressed greetings to all on behalf of member Jennifer Lilley, who was also unable to attend.
Katherine Nicewander volunteered to take notes for the later production of the minutes. The meeting began approximately 2.25 p.m.
State Chair, Melvin Little called the meeting to Order, made opening remarks and extended greetings to all.
Each member and guest made a brief personal introduction.
Brian Towey, the Libertarianís congressional candidate, took the floor and spoke on the issue of third party ballot access in North Carolina, and the common ground shared by Socialists and Libertarians. There was also a brief Q & A session.
Vernon Kelley gave an update on the SPNC petition drive for the McReynolds/Hollis Campaign. To date there had been approximately 340 signatures obtained toward the goal of 600. Jimmy Harkin described his petition efforts and suggested that more work be done in the Chapel Hill area. Vernon mentioned that he had mailed letters and petitions to 13 members whom had not been attending meetings. At the time of the meeting, Vernon stated that he had received a response from only one member, Comrade Ernest Morgan.
Vice-Chair Jason Prescott gave an update on his first YPSL meeting. He discussed future efforts toward increasing membership and is hoping to have five active members in his Charlotte Local in the near future. Jason also mentioned that next year there would be a club on his campus which would be dedicated to all political viewpoints. Jason indicated this would perhaps be a good forum for sharing socialist ideologies.
Jimmy Harkin gave a death penalty report. Jimmy expressed his frustration in meeting with the ISO concerning the death penalty. He felt that the meetings, ostensibly called to discuss the death penalty, tended to focus on other unrelated political activity, and were, therefore, less productive. Additionally, Jimmy suggested more outreach work, including working with People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, among others, regardless of their political ideologies. Vernon Kelley suggested that he may be able to invite various representatives of such groups to speak before his sociology classes students on the death penalty issue. Vernon also indicated that he may be able to enlist the participation of politically active Onslow County community members in seeking, at the very least, a moratorium on the death penalty.
Chris Johnson reported on the status of the bank account. It was decided that we would use Cooperative Bank in Jacksonville as they have the best rates, however, we are unable to officially open the account until we receive our tax ID number from the IRS.
Vernon Kelley previously contracted for printing of the official SPNC letterhead, membership cards, and return address labels. The labels had not yet been completed by the printers at the time of the meeting. Nonetheless, the letterhead and membership cards were turned over to Chris Johnson, as secretary. Vernon had also contracted for the rewriting of the SP Spanish literature (brochure) he received from the National Office. The literature was completed and distributed at the meeting as well.
Melvin Little moved that the SPNC take a position of support for Representative Bernie Sanders of Vermont. After presenting his proposal, the SPNC voted unanimously in support of the motion, with the stipulation that minor changes to the written proposal to be made and approved at a later date.
The meeting was officially adjourned, and the May Day Cookout/Celebration was kicked off by a wonderful bagpipe performance by Jimmy Harkin. The celebration closed with the assistance of Melvin Little, who, so to speak, provided the icing on the cake (literally!). Photo to come at a later date of the enormous and delicious May Day celebration cake designed by Melvin and shared with all.