Meeting of 12 May, 2018

Libertarian Party of San Francisco
Monthly Meeting - 12 May 2018
Location: Phil Berg’s home - 1390 Market Street, #2910 (Fox Plaza apartments), San Francisco

Agenda

  1. Introductions (3:00 - 3:15)
  2. Reports (3:15 - 3:45)
    1. Chair’s Report
    2. Vice Chair’s Report
    3. Treasurer’s Report
    4. Secretary’s Report
    5. Newsletter Report
    6. Outreach Report
  3. Unfinished Business
    1. Tax Day Panel Discussion (3:45 - 4:00)
  4. New Business
    1. Pride planning (4:00 - 4:15)
  5. Activist Reports and Upcoming (4:15 - 4:30)

Upcoming Events

8 May (Tuesday) Lawrence McQuillan - California's Public Pension Crisis and Why It Matters to You
Silicon Valley Liberty Forum, 432 Stierlin Road, Mountain View 7:00pm - 9:00pm
http://www.theconservativeforum.com/speakers/lawrence-mcquillan-californias-public-pension-crisis-and-why-it-matters-to-you

12 May (Saturday) Berryessa Art and Wine Festival
Santa Clara LP will have a booth
Berryessa Community Center / Penitencia Creek Park, San Jose
https://www.scclp.org/2018berryessa

19 May (Saturday) Mises Institute Seminar on the Future of Money
Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 10:00am - 1:00pm
https://mises.org/events/san-francisco-seminar-future-money

22 May (Tuesday) Going Public: Is Scaling Innovation in Government Really Achievable?
Hosted by the Lincoln Network
AirBnB HQ, 888 Brannan St, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
http://joinlincoln.org/events/2018/scaling-government-innovation

Minutes for May 12, 2018 Meeting of the Libertarian Party of San Francisco taken by Aubrey Freedman.
Location: Phil Berg’s home - 1390 Market Street, #2910 (Fox Plaza apartments), San Francisco

Attendees:  Nick Smith (Chair), Rebecca Lau (Vice Chair), Jawj Greenwald (Treasurer), Aubrey Freedman (Secretary), Phil Berg, Michael Denny, Francoise Fielding, Jeronimo (guest), Ali Sarsak (guest), Starchild, and Bogdan Zavgalov (guest).

Introductions:  Bogdan hails from Russia and talked about an active Libertarian Party of Russia, though not officially recognized.  He said nobody trusts the government in Russia.  There was a protest recently against government control of the internet by a coalition of groups, and 12,000 people attended the rally.  Ali served in the US Army as an infantryman in Iraq.  He also served as a recruiter for the armed services and often discouraged young men from enlisting by telling them about the hardship of being in the military.  He was introduced to libertarianism by Dr. Ron Paul.  He is currently running for State Senator against two-time incumbent Bob Wieckowski in the 10th District, which covers a swath of the East Bay stretching from Santa Clara to Castro Valley.

Chair’s Report:  Nick reported the expected bad news that the Top Two signature drive ended poorly with only 118 signatures from San Francisco County.  The initiative did not qualify for the November ballot, but Tom Palzer (the organizer) said he may file again to repeal the Top Two in 2020.  Nick said the campaign was poorly organized and without funding to get paid circulators.  Nick attended the state convention 2 weeks ago, but since several of us were there too, he saw no reason to give a report on it.  He mentioned the national convention is coming up in early July in New Orleans.  Nick got the disc from the Department of Elections of all the registered voters in The City and used it to gleam the names of all the currently registered Libertarians (about 2,800).  He designed a postcard with our ballot measure recommendations on 9 local measures and 1 regional measure and just mailed it off a few days ago to 2,678 registered Libertarians using Click2Mail.  He was only going to send it to 2,500 voters, but for the small amount of extra cost involved, it wasn’t worth it to try and filter it down to 2,500, so he sent it to everyone, excluding the core activists and duplicate addresses.  The cost was $1,065.96.  There is another gun show at the Cow Palace next month, and it would have been good for the LPSF to have a table there again, but the date conflicts with our monthly meeting, so it’s not going to happen this time.  Nick also reported that folks can now sign up for the Yahoo groups Discuss List and Announce List from our website.  He also has signs for the Tim Ferreira for Lieutenant Governor campaign if anyone wants them.

Vice Chair’s Report:  Rebecca was elected At Large member of the LPCA Executive Committee at the state convention 2 weeks ago.  She will have to miss the next meeting because she has to attend the LPCA Excomm meeting in Stockton.  She is attending a liberty conference in Austin next week on the futuristic use of technology.  Report on Tax Day panel discussion later in the meeting.

Treasurer’s Report:  Jawj reported that we have $5,167.51 in the credit union and $1,706.71 in PayPal for a total of $6,874.22.  Committed funds are $1,065.96 for the postcard mailing (less $20.00 from the Zoltan event last month) and $160.00 for the Pride booth for an adjusted cash balance of $5,668.26.

Secretary’s Report:  Aubrey reported that membership is up by one member from last month with 21 lifetime members and 27 regular, currently paid-up members, for a total of 48.  Two new members suddenly appeared on the Neon state membership listing, and one member who goes back and forth between California and New York dropped off.  He again noted that the party is offering two-year memberships now, and more members are choosing that option.  There was a commotion at the state convention about discontinuing the additional tier options for membership, and that passed and then was amended to allow the two-year memberships to continue.

Newsletter Report:  Aubrey reported that the May newsletter was just finished and includes two articles he wrote and the one that Nick wrote regarding the Wildstar and Zoltan endorsements by the LPCA.  It will be sent out from the website with Mailchimp.  Last month it went out to about 365 subscribers, but Nick is going to include many of the email addresses from the Department of Elections listing, and Rebecca picked up about 20 new email addresses from the Zoltan event, so it should go out to at least 500 people this time.  Nick said we will still be paying no charge since Mailchimp allows for free up to 2,000 subscribers.  Starchild is going to write another article for this newsletter and website, and the newsletter will be going out this coming Friday.
  
Outreach Report: 
Starchild has been busy working on the Wildstar and No on E (flavored tobacco ban) campaigns.  He did an interview with KPOO radio regarding propositions A, C, and G (the LPSF is the official opponent in the Voters Handbook).  He also argued against Prop E at a League of Women voters-sponsored debate with Lawrence Chung arguing for the ban of flavored cigarettes.  It was taped and is up on YouTube, but so far there have only been 16 views.  He also went to a Green Party meeting and was surprised to find Angela Alioto in attendance.  Apparently she’s trying to make friends with the Greens, but also cozying up to Republicans—she wants to weaken San Francisco’s Sanctuary City Policy, which she is credited with writing, by making more migrants vulnerable to deportation if arrested, including for victimless “crimes.”  He will be speaking at the Roads to Freedom “unconvention” happening in Omaha, Nebraska, May 24-27 this month, which features Dr. Ron Paul as the headliner and lots of other terrific speakers (for info and tickets visit OmahaUnconvention.com).

Tax Day Panel Discussion:  Rebecca has taken over the planning of this event, which has now been finalized.  It will be held on Thursday, June 21 at the Mechanic’s Institute Meeting Room at 57 Post Street near the Montgomery Street station from 5:30-8:30 PM.  The panelists will be Vicki Alger from the Independent Institute; Carol Kocivar, a past President of the California State PTA; and Michael Strong who founded the Academy of Thought and Industry.  Rebecca was a teacher in the past, and she felt an actual teacher was critical for this school choice panel, so that’s why she invited Michael Strong.  She invited her friend Allen Saakyan to be the moderator, and he leans libertarian-ish, she believes.  He has done a lot of interviewing and posts his interviews on YouTube and has agreed to tape our panel discussion professionally for free.  His company is Simulation and has 1,700 subscribers right now.  Rebecca needs questions for the panel to be submitted to Allen and she requested volunteers for check-in and clean-up.   (Aubrey volunteered.)  It will be a sliding scale event charging from zero to $10 for donations, and Rebecca reported that 7 tickets have been sold and $45 collected towards the $300 venue cost.  Promotion has started, and we will try to get an education reporter there and also homeschooling groups.  Aubrey met Carol before, and he is sure that she will bring some of her PTA parent colleagues.  Jawj mentioned that she has a membership with the Mechanic’s Institute, so we may be able to take advantage of her discount when we pay for the use of the meeting room.

Pride 2018:  Aubrey reported that almost everything has been arranged for our booth at the Pride Fair next month June 23-24.  For the first time we will be there under our own name, not Outright Libertarians.  He had to register for Pride as a new organization, and it pained him to have to choose the category “Social Club” because none of the other categories fit our organization, and we are not a Non-Profit.  Starchild had a conversation with Mike Shipley about the court case about the baker refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple, and he said Mike is with us in opposing the government forcing a private business to serve a client it chooses not to serve, but Outright prefers not to highlight that case and make it seem like Outright is siding with bigots, and that’s why it has remained silent on the issue.  He said anyone can call Mike to discuss it and gave us Mike’s phone numbers.  Aubrey reported that the booth has been paid for at $160 (we did not get the $20 discount that we got as a local non-profit under Outright’s name), but on the other hand he has communicated with Jill Pyeatt who handles the LPCA’s insurance, and it looks likely that we can use LPCA’s insurance policy as an affiliate and then we don’t have to get our own separate insurance policy for $65, so the net savings will be $45 this year.  We have plenty of literature and enough of the pink brochures (written by our own Michael Acree) to carry us through another Pride celebration.  We need volunteers for staffing the booth, and Jawj volunteered for 3 hours during the busiest hours on Sunday, the day of the parade.  Nick inquired if we need a new banner, but we just got a new one a few years ago, and it’s in good condition, though it’s in Outright’s name, not ours.  Aubrey mentioned a button-making party before Pride as a possible activity (he still has the button-making machine), as we did that a few years ago, and it was fun, and we did get some buttons made for Pride.  We definitely want buttons with liberty messages on them, not just happy faces and non-political messages. 

Activist Reports:  Aubrey presented against Prop A (revenue bonds) at the general meeting of the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods.  He was prepared to also cover Prop F (city-funded legal defense for tenants), but Charley from the SF Apartment Association presented against that one.  Aubrey also spoke against several measures for the Log Cabin Republicans, but he didn’t need to do much work since those in attendance were pretty much opposed to most of the measures anyway.  He could have used Starchild’s help with Prop H and was not well prepared for that one as they had only mentioned props A, C, and G in the invitation to present.  Nick passed out brochures on Tax Day at the BART station at Powell with Oleg from LPSM.  They did get a fair number of thumbs up, but he said maybe we can be more effective next year on Tax Day with earlier planning.  Jawj worked the JSA Convention in Burlingame with Lawrence Samuels from Monterey County.  She reported that the kids were sweet, clean, and fresh-faced, and there was more than enough help at the LP table, and had she known that there was already enough help, she would have attended another liberty event that day.  She reported that there were no other political parties attending the JSA convention, only tabling on particular issues, and the LP table had the most visitors.  Mike Denny reported that he and Starchild attended a candidate forum for mayor today hosted by a schooling group at a church in the Bayview, but it was horribly disorganized and started more than 90 minutes late, and they didn’t even introduce some of the candidates who attended.  Starchild said the parents were more interested in complaining than looking for non-governmental solutions to the problem of inferior government schools.  Starchild was contacted by Laura Waxmann, an Examiner reporter, during the state convention, regarding the LPSF’s arguments against Prop G (parcel tax for government teachers), and both he and Aubrey spoke to Laura on the phone listing all the reasons the tax was a bad idea, and Laura reported some of our remarks in her article and did so accurately, which unfortunately was still biased in favor of the tax.  Starchild was an on-air caller to local NPR station KALW twice, once on “City Visions” regarding agricultural issues and salinization to challenge the usual climate change rhetoric, and once on “Philosophy Talk” to challenge their biased definition of capitalism.  Starchild was interviewed by Adam Kokesh (running for President in 2020 under the LP banner) regarding national LP party issues like the Arvin Vohra censure controversy and noted that Nickolas Wildstar, one of the Libertarian candidates for Governor, was recently acquitted in his trial for resisting arrest while being racially profiled.  Finally, Starchild wrote an Op-Ed against Prop E in a futuristic vein complete with forcing everybody to have chips installed and Department of Health checkpoints.

Prop E (Ban on Flavored Cigarettes):  Starchild has been working with the No on E campaign for months, and the campaign offered to help pay for a mailing to all registered Libertarians in The City, with an emphasis on the E issue.  There was some discussion if this was worthwhile since the postcard with our local ballot measure recommendations just got mailed to all the registered Libertarians in The City.  There was also some objection to have a mailing from us saying paid by RJ Reynolds since it would look like we are opposing E for monetary reasons and could be bought off (we oppose the ban for philosophical reasons).  In the end, Starchild got Ignacio from the campaign on the phone and explained the situation to him, and Ignacio agreed that it didn’t make sense to do another mailing from us, regardless of who paid for it.  But he was gracious and thanked us for our opposition to the ban and mentioned that he’s looking for someone associated with law enforcement who might lend his name to a quote against E on TV.

Endorsement of Ali Sarsak for District 10 State Senator:  A few questions were posed to Ali to “vet” him for our endorsement.  He was asked if he had any major disagreements with the Libertarian Party’s platform, and he answered that he does not agree with the open borders policy (one reason noted that if too many people come to the US, how will that help the situation in their home countries?).  Starchild also asked him if he would distinguish between his view and the party’s stance on this issue during his campaign; he said he didn’t want to be cornered into a position on any issue.  The vote was 3 in favor of endorsement and 2 opposed.  Nick checked the by-laws, and the majority meets the requirements.  Ali was endorsed by the LPSF.

Parting Points:  Starchild mentioned that for future elections, and particularly the November election coming up later this year, he would like the LPSF to host candidate forums and invite candidates so the LPSF can evaluate candidates running for office and perform a public service by advising the public of any candidates that are liberty-leaning or at least less “bad” than other candidates.  Rebecca noted that she is planning a convention for San Francisco County for all the L/libertarians here.  She was thinking about having it in the Latino/Hispanic Room in the Main Library in January, but the room is already pegged for another group.

Announcements:
May 19 (Saturday) Mises Institute Seminar on the Future of Money
8:30 AM – noon – J.W. Marriott Union Square at 515 Mason Street
https://mises.org/events/san-francisco-seminar-future-money

May 22 (Tuesday) Going Public:  Is Scaling Innovation in Government Really Achievable?
Hosted by the Lincoln Network
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM - AirBnB HQ at 888 Brannan Street
http://joinlincoln.org/events/2018/scaling-government-innovation

June 21 (Thursday) LPSF 5th Annual Panel Discussion:  School Choice
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM - Mechanic’s Institute Library – 4th Floor Meeting Room at 57 Post Street
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/libertarian-party-of-san-francisco-panel-on...