The LPRI State Convention was held on May 14th, 2011. Congratulations to the Executive Committee:

Chairman: Brian Stack
Vice-Chair: Deb Schusterman
Treasurer: Tony Jones
Secretary: Beth Richardson
At-Large Member: Gary Whitney

Minutes for the convention can be found below:
Warwick Public Library
600 Sandy Lane
 Warwick, RI

Attending LPRI Members:
 Christian Chirino, Chair
 Brian Stack, Vice Chair
 Tony Jones, Treasurer
 Beth Richardson, Secretary
 Gary Whitney, Member-at-large

Deb Schusterman
Vic ArnoldSteve Rabson
 Mike Rollins
 Duane Horton
 Pete Rose
Guests:
 Dan Karlan, Regional Representative to LP National
 Zoe Pierson
 Chris Pierson
1.  Call to Order–  Christian Chirino welcomed people and called the meeting to order.
2.  Summary of Minutes—  Beth Richardson gave a summary of minutes from the ExCom meetings from the re-organizational meeting in October 2010 until the present time.

3. Treasurer’s Report—  Tony Jones explained how he finally was able to obtain an ETN (Electronic Taxpayer Number) by going in person to the RI IRS office.  He filed with the RI Secretary of State’s office for LPRI to be a domestic, non-profit organization.  With $140. in donations he opened an online bank account with debit card access at Bank of America.  The Treasurer will receive bank statements and pass them on to the Secretary for filing.  Any LPRI officer can use the debit card.  Donations to LPRI can be made by check or online at the lpri.us website.  Donations made online at the website are subject to a 5% surcharge levied by the online processing company. 

Tony Jones also commented on efforts he has made to further public exposure to LPRI.  The Facebook page is very popular and lpri.us gets an average of 50 hits per day and when there is media coverage of a topic of interest to libertarians, the number of hits per day can rise to 60 to 100 hits per day.  Tony’s friend, Jim Vickers, editor of Motif Magazine donates space for an LPRI ad when he can.  Various press releases and libertarian-friendly articles have appeared in the Brown Banner, Valley Breeze, East Greenwich Pendulum, among other news venues.

4.  By-laws Committee—  Gary Whitney, Pete Rose and Mike Rollins comprise the by-laws committee.  The main change in the By-laws document adopted by the October 2010 LPRI Convention was the change in Article II: Membership.  Under the by-laws proposed at the 5/14/11 convention, a person could be a member of LPRI by being a paid member of the National LP party or by joining LPRI and paying a membership fee.  That is, one need not be a member of the National Party to be a member of LPRI.  The other changes to the by-laws were grammatical and changes to better organize the document.  The proposed changes to the by-laws passes by a vote of 9 in favor, 1 abstain.

5.  Petition to National Committee for Chartering State-level Affiliates–  Chris Chirino explained that LPRI should petition the National LP to re-charter the RI Libertarian Party, as LPRI’s charter with the National LP had lapsed.  The form for this was presented and, after the election of the new ExCom, was signed by the new  Ex Com and would be submitted to National LP.

6.  Election of LPRI State Party Officers (ExCom)— 

            Chair:  Brian Stack and Chris Chirino ran. 

                        Votes-  3 votes for Chris, 6 votes for Brian, 1 none-of-the above vote

                        Brian Stack is the new Chair.

            Vice Chair:  Deb Schusterman and Tony Jones ran.

                        Votes-  7 votes for Deb, 2 votes for Tony, 1 abstain.

                        Deb Schusterman is the new Vice Chair.

            Secretary:  Beth Richardson ran unapposed.

                        Votes-  10 votes for Beth.

                        Beth Richardson was re-elected as Secretary.

            Treasurer:  Tony Jones ran unapposed.

                        Votes-  9 votes for Tony, 1 abstain.

                        Tony Jones was re-elected as Treasurer.

            At-large Member:  Duane Horton and Gary Whitney ran.

                        Votes-  1 vote for Duane, 7 votes for Gary, 2 abstain.

                        Gary Whitney was re-elected as At-large Member.

7.  Candidate Endorsement–  It was decided that this is a moot point for this years as there is no election happening in RI with someone running as Libertarian or unaffiliated.

8.  National Convention Delegates–  With 33 active members, LPRI would  qualify for three to five delegates at the National convention.  Mike Rollins was elected an official LPRI delegate for the 2012 National LP convention by unanimous vote.  By having at least one delegate elected to represent LPRI at the National convention,  LPRI will be able to add more at the next LPRI convention. 

9.  Open Forum— 

            Duane Horton raised the possibility of changing LPRI’s name to make it more appealing to other, similarly inclined groups such as the Tea Party.  He suggested as a possible new name “RI Libertarian Tea Party”.    Duane stated that he would be willing to serve on a name change committee. 

            Deb Schusterman urged LPRI to use the Cox/PBS studios to make free short videos that would publicize LPRI and which could be aired on PBS TV.

            Chris Chirino was concerned about building LPRI membership.  He suggested calling or writing to lapsed LPRI members to see if  they would consider re-joining LPRI. He also suggested contacting current LPRI members, by phone or letter, to ask them about running for office.  He emphasized the importance of hard work to recruit members and people to run for office, particularly the importance of going door-to-door.

            Beth Richardson encouraged LPRI members to be outspoken advocates for the libertarian position within their towns and communities.

            Tony Jones spoke in favor of the creation of an Election Coordinator position, or possibly an Election Committee, whose job it would be to further LPRI’s presence in elections.  He noted that there are people within the party  with many pertinent talents (website development, public relations skills, etc) whose skills could be tapped to further this end. 

            Duane Horton offered his skills as a proof-reader for documents produced by LPRI.

            Vic Arnold stated that he has written several opinion pieces which have been published by local newspapers.  He urged members to do the same, thus further publicizing the libertarian viewpoint, with or without specifically mentioning the term “libertarian”.   Tony Jones mentioned that he has available the contact information for editors of newspapers within RI.

            Mike Rollins urged members to socialize as libertarians, thus building ties of friendship and good will in addition to political affiliation.  He said that he has come to realize the value that such social interaction  has in political party building. 

Gary Whitney stated his belief the importance of engaging in political activism in furthering LPRI’s impact on elections. 

            Dan Karlan re-iterated Mike Rollins’ statement about the importance of face-to-face gathering in fostering party cohesiveness.

10.  Adjournment–  Chris Chirino thanked everybody for coming and adjourned the convention.

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