Steering Committee Minutes 12/19/2006


Steering Committee Minutes 12/19/06, 2pm I. End of year financial report -Patrice circulated an end-of-year financial statement to the starring committee -We’re in good shape- Total income: $409,108.84 -Patrice will move the "Reserve fund" from under "Expenses" and create an "Other expenses" category -Patrice, Bonnie, and Barb met with FCG’s accountant, Mark Friedman, to help establish a system for accounting -Patrice is just starting to work on the 2007 budget II. Nominations committee report -Done with nominating process -David Sobel sent out a call for nominations a few weeks ago (Dec.4), identified a few candidates -Have a slate of 15 members -Newly nominated members: Alex Fidis (fills the environmentalist slot), Leslie Harris (CDT), Nick Schwellenbach (POGO), Zephyr Teachout (Sunlight Foundation) -David will present the slate to coalition partners, designated opt-out by acclamation -Gary commended the nominating committee for great work -Staggered terms- open for discussion. David and Gary will come up with staggered terms for current steering committee members (divided into classes). Members could still serve multiple terms. New members will serve 3 year terms. -David will send out the note to partners in a few days [UPDATE- Slate went out to partners on 12/20/06] -Gary and Patrice gave background on the new nominees- OMBW knows Alex Fidis well (PIRG will be doing open government work in the future), Zephyr has been working on Congressional Transparency, very interested in the openness caucus -Zephyr’s nomination will not affect OTGs ability to get money from Sunlight in the future III. Update on pending projects A. Primer -David Banisar is working through it -Conrad suggested "serializing" the primer- Would use "Government Secrecy: Decisions Without Democracy" as the main title. Subsequent publications would break out issues -Conrad thinks funders might be interested in this project -Steering Committee expressed support of the idea B. Flash video -Setback, due to Matt W.’s personal circumstances -A small working group had a conference call with Matt flesh out some ideas -New time frame will be to release for Sunshine Week -Want to get people engaged at the end of the flash- will be working on ideas to do so -Gary suggested working with Google to get them to advertise OTG around Sunshine Week C. Sunshine Week event -Planning is moving ahead -Developing two panel discussion around health, safety and secrecy- dialogue with conversation style -Making a poster for sites with catchphrase, "Secrecy can make you sick" -Getting speakers- looking into Ira Flatow for moderator -Patrice and Emily met with Press Club and producer last week- will receive cost estimate today or tomorrow [UPDATE- cost estimate received 12/20/06- $22,825] -Will distribute the League of Women Voters Sunshine Resource Guide to sites. May update if needed D. Forum -Planning has stalled -Have had trouble creating the "10 Things You Know that Ain’t So" doc -Gary suggested developing themes to focus on and choosing myths from those (e.g., old info is automatically released) -Focusing on national security issues. If you have ideas, email Patrice E. Center for Terrorism Law Study at St. Mary’s -Patrice forwarded a note from SPJ FOI chair Joel Campbell, inviting people to participate in the study -They will be holding a conference in 2007 in Washington, DC- Patrice will attend -RCFP has entered into an agreement with Prof. Addicott (leading the study) along with NFOIC. They will meet with Addicott -Currently they are working out the program and what the study will look like with Addicott. It will focus on state level -OMBW would like to be involved -Please forward people you’d like to invite the conference to Lucy -Thanks to Lucy for organizing this F. Coalition Partner Survey -13 responses so far, 50 views -Open till the first Friday in January G. Patrice Review -Patrice will have an informal 6 month review with the executive committee at the beginning on the year IV. Plans for face-to-face meeting -Patrice sent around a draft agenda for the Jan 17th face to face meeting -Need to add a discussion of the scope and magnitude of the secrecy problem -Add discussion of what OTG should be doing -Meeting should consist of: What is the role of OTG? And What are the top priorities for 2007? -Patrice will schedule an informal meeting with the new SC members before the face to face so that they will be caught up -OTG will have a bigger face to face meeting with partner organizations later in the year -Patrice will recirculate a draft agenda V. Sunlight Foundation letter -Sunlight Foundation asked us to sign a letter on Congressional transparency to Pelosi and Reid -Agreed not to sign the Sunlight version of the letter VI. Web site reorganization plan -Patrice circulated a new layout for the left hand bar on the OTG site -If anyone knows good graphic designers, let Patrice know

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