Meeting Minutes: February 6, 2017

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Agenda

Monday Feb. 6, 2017

7 p.m.

Louise’s Trattoria

10645 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: America Arias, Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Christina Cocca, Sarah Favot, Richard Hendrickson, Elizabeth Marcellino, Irene Moore, Frank Mottek, Navid Nonahal, Richard Saxton, Alice Walton, Roberta Wax, Natalie Windsor, David Zahniser

Bluestein called the meeting to order at 7:11 p.m.

I.               Approval of minutes from Jan. 6 retreat

a.     Postponed until the March 6 meeting.

II.             President’s report

a.     Bluestein thanked the board members for their participation in the banquet.

b.     Bluestein reported that Andy Weisser, co-president of the Nonprofit Communications Media Network, reached out to Bluestein to participate in a panel in April addressing the topic of fake news.

Mottek moved to allow Bluestein to participate representing the chapter, Cocca seconded. Motion carried.

III.           Treasurer’s report

a.     Hendrickson reported the BofA balance as of Jan. 1 is $27.254.07, and as of Feb. 1 is $28,772.17.  A total of $2,613.13 is outstanding in uncashed checks and $10,519.68 in invoices are due in accounts receivable due to the banquet. The balance on the books as of Feb 1. is $36,678.90. The Morgan Stanley balance as of Feb. 1 is $71,532.52, which includes a gain of $158.38 from the previous month.

b.     Nonahal clarified the “CSUN tickets” expense in accounts receivable is from the “The Roberta Wax Endowment.” Bellman moved to amend the Treasurer’s Report to read “The Roberta Wax Endowment,” Windsor seconded. Motion carried.

c.      Walton clarified the additional Omni $1,291.76 cost was an expected cost.

d.     Bellman motioned to receive the February Treasurer’s Report, seconded by Windsor. Motion carried.

IV.            Standing Committees –

a.     Awards

i.     No report

b.     Banquet

·   Jan. 26 banquet recap

i.     Walton reported that the chapter made a $1,184 profit from the 41st Annual Distinguished Journalists Awards banquet on Jan. 26, 2017. The banquet was challenging this year for a number of reasons, including that it was held earlier in the year than usual, which meant much of the planning had to be done over the holidays when many people were unavailable. In addition, the banquet had just two table sponsors.

ii.     We had guaranteed the hotel 120 guests. The final head count was 106 attendees. Because we had already committed to spend a minimum amount on food, the dessert option was upgraded. Revenue: $10,780 in ticket sales and $1,250 in program ads. Expenses: The total cost to the Omni was $9,791, plaques $773.90 and programs $281.39. The hotel’s banquet coordinator said they will have a credit card machine for the bar next year.

iii.     Cocca reported that the chapter’s $80 Facebook boost reached 10,000 people. The boost is not believed to have resulted in any additional ticket sales.

c.      Courts

i.     No report

d.     Diversity

·   Feb. 23 event update

i.     Arias reported that she reached out to The Association, at 110 E. 6th St. in Downtown Los Angeles, to host the chapter’s diversity event. The capacity of the venue is 150 seated and about 250 including standing-room. Tickets will be free and the event will be open to the public. Reservations will be handled through Eventbrite. The Association does not charge a minimum food or beverage requirement. There is a parking garage nearby and valet parking. The overall theme of the event will be “Covering Immigration in the Trump Era.” The event will be held on a Thursday and the program will begin at 7 p.m.

Arias reported she had reached out to several potential panelists, including Sarah Parvini from the L.A. Times, Gustavo Arellano, of the OC Weekly, Bianca Graulau, a freelance TV reporter, José Luis Benavides, Ph.D., a journalism professor at CSUN. Bellman suggested Saul Gonzalez, of KCRW could be a moderator.

e.     Ethics

i.     No report

f.      FOI

·   Cal-ACCESS letter

i.     Bellman reported there’s an effort underway to clean-up the state’s online campaign finance reporting system called Cal-ACCESS operated through the California Secretary of State’s office. A bill, SB 1349 sponsored by state Sen. Bob Hertzberg and signed into law last year, requires reforms be made to the system.  SPJ-LA was asked to author a letter to Secretary of State Alex Padilla in advance of a public hearing on the reforms.  Some of the proposed reforms will update features and design of the system so that the public and journalists can more easily search information and cross-reference with the other local and county jurisdictions’ campaign finance reporting systems. In developing the recommendations to the system, 15 other states’ campaign finance systems were reviewed and a list of recommendations were made. The letter suggests some guiding principles for the reforms, rather than specific features. A draft letter was examined and discussed.

ii.     Nonahal moved to approve the letter that will be sent by Bluestein to Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Hendrickson seconded. Approved.

·  March 15 Sunshine Week speaker/mixer

iii.     Bluestein reported Zahniser suggested that because the previous week is the L.A. city primary election on March 7, the Sunshine Week event be a mixer, such as a 15-minute lightning-round with a speaker on FOI. Walton suggested the Redwood or the Pour House as a possible location. Zahniser requested that committee members email him with any suggestions.

g.     Generation J

i.     Bluestein announced that on Feb. 25 CSUN is hosting the high school journalism write-off event. No financial support was requested of SPJ-LA.

h.     Membership

-No report

i.       Nominations

-No report

j.       Scholarships

-No report

V.              Old Business

i.     None

VI.            New Business –

a.     Relevant programming in 2017

i.     Bluestein suggested something more technical as a series, such as social media. Arias suggested a one-day event or weekend. Wax suggested a nominal fee for the event makes attendees more committed to showing up.

ii.     Cocca suggested a “How to Use Social Media”-type panel. Arias suggested a “60 Hacks in 60 Minutes”-type panel, where attendees could learn several reporting tools.

iii.     Zahniser suggested an event in April on investigative journalism.

iv.     Walton suggested doing an event on media literacy.

b.     Professional Development Series Ad Hoc Committee

i.     Bluestein proposed creating the ad hoc committee to focus on training for working journalists. Hendrickson, Windsor and Arias said they would be members of the ad-hoc committee. Wax said she would join the committee, but would not chair it.

Bluestein suggested an event in May and possibly a Saturday.

Marcellino said she would see if the Crawford Family Forum at KPPC was available in May.

c.      Region 11 conference in San Diego April 28 & 29

i.     Bluestein said she will be attending, representing the chapter. She will be driving there and will be staying one night at a hotel.

VII.          Next board meeting: March 6 at Louise’s, 7 p.m.

VIII.          Adjournment

Nonahal moved to adjourn at 8:15 p.m., Cocca seconded. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Favot

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