Meeting Minutes: Jan. 26, 2019

SPJ/LA Board of Directors retreat meeting minutes
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019
At a board member’s home

Meeting called to order at 10:02 a.m.

Members present:
Tom Bray, Ashanti Hopkins , Kathryn Mora, Julia Wick, Frank Mottek, Richard Saxton, Alice Walton, Elizabeth Marcellino, Linda Bowen, Joel Bellman, Lori Streifler, David Zahniser, Roberta Wax, Stephanie Bluestein, Natalie Windsor, Jason Lewis

I. Approval of minutes from Dec. 3, 2018 Motion passed. 1 against.

Introduction of new board members. Carolina Garcia and Jason Lewis
Introduction of associate board members. Nathan Solis and Penny Arévalo

II. President’s report
Las Vegas will host the Region 11 conference on March 29-31.

III. Elected and associated board members assignments- Bluestein
March 20 networking/social event. At the Omni Hotel.

IV. 2019 SPJ/LA committee assignments- Bluestein
Assignment sheet was passed around.

V. Treasurer’s Report- Marcellino
Marcellino read the treasurer’s report and reported on the bank balance as of Jan.1.

Motion to receive the treasurer’s report by Joel Bellman, second by Natalie Windsor. Motion passes.

VI. Discussion about Distinguished Journalist Awards
Five awards given out. Radio, TV, digital, print large, print small.
Discussion on re-evaluating the terms. Print and digital have a lot of cross over.
Awards committee will hold a meeting to discuss this topic more in depth.

VII. Discussion about scholarships
● Report on 2018 Holiday Party on Dec. 5 – Mottek and Nonahal
● Bluestein said that the quartet was amazing and totally made the party. The party was on the same night as the AAJA mixer, which may have hurt some attendance. Bellman suggested reaching out to other journalism groups in the future to make sure we are not on the same night. Nonahal said that we had 32 people attend in total.
● The meeting adjourned for lunch at 11:55 a.m.
● The meeting restarted at 12:45 p.m.
● Calendar: Bluestein led a discussion of the calendar. She suggested that Sunshine Week would be a good time to plan an FOI event.
● Brainstorm programming ideas – All . Wick suggested panels on cannabis, homelessness and L.A. as a food scene. Bray added gentrification and NIMBYs vs. YIMBYs. Bray also suggested a workshop on fair use. Mottek suggested tours of the Los Angeles Times or potentially partnering with Spectrum. Blaize-Hopkins raised some options for Generation J, including something that would be a half panel, half speed dating-style meet and greet on the changing nature of the industry. Blaize-Hopkins also suggested VR and AR for storytelling as a Saturday workshop. Blaize-Hopkins also suggested creating more of a communication line between not just SPJ campus chapters but also campus newsrooms. Blaize-Hopkins also suggested using this as a way to sponsor newsroom tours, bringing students as potential interns. In doing this, we could position ourselves as bridge between students and newsrooms. Blaize-Hopkins also suggested better collaboration with other journalism affinity groups on attendance (half the work, double the attendance). Zahniser emailed in suggesting a reporting in Mexico panel. Bluestein suggested a moratorium on book signing events. Saxton suggested a panel on covering entertainment. Solis suggested a panel on covering racism and the age of Trump. Mottek suggested something on covering Silicon Beach. Windsor suggested a panel on responses to covering traumatic situations. Bray suggested a panel on covering the Catholic church in Southern California. Arevalo suggested something on the online bullying of journalists. Ashanti suggested holding events at the SMC theater. Other potential venues were discussed.
● We broke up into small groups for ten minutes to discuss committees and then reconvened at 2:12 p.m. as a large group.
● Bluestein reported on the PIO panel. Bluestein attended as well as Marcellino and Mora. Attendance was only five, but beyond that, it was a really strong panel.
● Banquet update – Walton said that the banquet will be on March 20. Walton seconded Bluestein’s earlier comment encouraging everyone to attend. Walton said that we have already sold three tables, including tables to the L.A. Times, SCNG and the family of the radio honoree.
● Run Gomez sponsorship – Bluestein updated the group on the potential sponsorship opportunity. Wick moved to approve, Windsor seconded. All voted in favor.
● Next board meeting: Monday, Feb. 11 at Louise’s, 7 p.m.
● Adjournment in memory of KTLA News Anchor Chris Burrous. Windsor moved to adjourn, Walton seconded. Meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.

Meeting Minutes: Dec. 3, 2018

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Agenda
Monday, Dec. 3, 2018
7 p.m.
Louise’s Trattoria
10645 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: Tom Bray, Natalie Windsor, Stephanie Bluestein, Elizabeth Marcellino, Roberta Wax, Navid Nonahal, Lori Streifler, Kathryn Mora, Richard Saxton, Frank Mottek, Julia Wick, Sarah Favot, Kathryn Mora, David Zahniser

I. Approval of minutes from Nov. 5 meeting: Wax moved to approve the minutes, Favot seconded. Nonahal, Bellman abstained; all others voted in favor.

II. President’s report – Bluestein delivered the President’s report.

III. Treasurer’s report – Marcellino reported on the bank balance as of Nov. 1. Bluestein suggested that at the retreat we decide how to distribute the scholarship in honor of former board member Dick Hendrickson.
IV. Standing Committees – a. Awards –No update.
b. Banquet – Walton was not present.
c. Courts – Marcellino said that nothing was new on courts.
d. Diversity – Lopez no longer on the board.
e. Ethics – Bellman said that they were still having trouble with UCLA about public records request. We can either do nothing and wait or try and be proactive and potentially write to the UC Board of Regents. Bellman will draft the letter and bring it to the board for approval.
f. FOI – Zahniser had no update.
g. Generation J – Blaize-Hopkins was not present.
h. Membership – Nonahal said that it has been a challenge to come up with an active list of L.A. members.
i. Nominations – Bray said that we have seven positions that will be up for election this year, five of which are currently filled by incumbents.
j. Scholarships – Saxton

V. Old Business
a. Gender Gap Panel on Nov. 13 – Bluestein said that attendance was sparse and no USC students attended despite there being a USC faculty member on the panel. Bluestein said that in the future if we hold a panel at an academic institution we should make sure they help with attendance.
b. Holiday Party– Mottek said that we will likely have the restaurant to ourselves and he also put it up on LinkedIn and Facebook today. The event is also on Twitter. Larry King may attend.
c. Bellman moved that the chapter cover the cost of dinner for the band, Wick seconded, all voted in favor.
d. CA//MEDIA//JOBS newsletter fund-raising effort – Bluestein spoke with Luis Gomez and they came up with $50 as a sponsor of the week.

VI. New Business
a. GoDaddy renewal – Marcellino

VII. Adjournment
VIII. Zahniser motioned to adjourn, Windsor seconded, meeting adjourned at 9:31 p.m.

Next meeting: Retreat on Saturday, Jan. 26 at a board member’s home

Meeting Minutes: November 5, 2018

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Monday, Nov. 5, 2018
7 p.m.
Louise’s Trattoria
10645 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: David Zahniser, Stephanie Bluestein, Sarah Favot, Roberta Wax, Frank Mottek, Alice Walton, Julia Wick, Lori Streifler, Kathryn Mora, Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, Richard Saxton

Bluestein called the meeting to order at 7:16 pm.

I. Approval of minutes from Oct. 1 meeting. Zahniser moved to approve minutes. Favot seconded. Bluestein, Walton, Streifler, Blaize-Hopkins abstained from the approval of minutes because they were not present. All others voted in favor.

II. President’s report –Bluestein said that she wrote a letter on behalf of the local chapter addressed to the task force that is considering changes in sponsorship. This task force is supposed to bring something to the national SPJ board by December 1. A dinner will be held on Thursday 11/8 at Taix with Carol Hendrickson, the widow of Dick Hendrickson, our board member and treasurer who died in July. There were some issues with the delivery of checks from the 2017 scholarships. The group is tentatively planning on January 26, 2019 for next year’s retreat.

III. Treasurer’s report – Marcellino reported on the bank balance as of Nov. 1. We are using our PayPal account and bank account to accept donations for the Hendrickson scholarship. There are about $300 in fees through the PayPal donations. Zahniser made a motion to cover the PayPal fees. Walton moved to second. All voted in favor. Marcellino also circulated an amended Oct. 1 report because of a check that came through the day before the Oct. meeting and was therefore not included in the report. Marcellino also detailed some things about the Morgan Stanley account. Zahniser made a motion to approve the document requested by Marcellino in order to have two people have access to the Morgan Stanley account. Wick seconded. Marcellino abstained. All others voted in favor. Saxton moved to receive the treasurer’s report, Favot seconded. All voted in favor.

IV. Standing/Ad Hoc Committees
a. Awards –Streifler said that the committee will be meeting on November 16 to come up with a slate to vote on.
b. Banquet – Walton had no update.
c. Courts – Marcellino provided an update about the OC courts transparency issue.
d. Diversity – Lopez was not present.
e. Ethics – Bellman not present.
f. FOI – Zahniser had no update.
g. Generation J – Blaize-Hopkins is planning a social media mobile journalism panel in the spring.
h. Membership – Marcellino showed a sample mug and the group felt that it did, in fact, meet the requirements of a theoretical SPJ/LA mug. Marcellino is happy to store the mugs at her house.
i. Nominations – Bray was not present. He asked Bluestein to share that he is gathering candidates for the board and asked the board to share information on anyone he or she thinks is a good candidate. The election will be in December sometime.
j. Scholarships – Saxton had nothing to report.

V. Old Business
a. 180/360 VR workshop on Oct. 30 – Blaize-Hopkins said that the workshop was very interesting. There were about 15 people there.
b. Gender Gap Panel on Nov. 13 – Lopez

VI. New Business
a. Dick Hendrickson Memorial Scholarship Fund – Bluestein and Saxton
b. Board election in December – Bray
c. Holiday Party– Mottek said that the holiday party will be on Wednesday, December 5. Xian, the Chinese place in Beverly Hills that was previously under consideration, will not be big enough. The party will therefore be held at El Floridita, “ a nice little Cuban restaurant in a strip plaza.” There is parking there. Armando Jr., who runs the restaurant, is a great guy and Mottek has known Armando Jr. since Armando Jr.’s father, Armando Sr., ran the place. Journalist Jennifer York can do music for the party. Mottek made a motion to hire Jennifer York for the holiday party for $300. Mora seconded. All voted in favor.
d. Favot plans for a PIO panel on January 22 at the Association. Elena Stern from LA Public Works and Nicole Nishida from the Sheriff’s Department are confirmed.

VII. Adjournment
Marcellino moved to adjourn at 9:04 pm. Wax seconded, all others voted in favor.

Next meeting: 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, 2018 at Louise’s Trattoria

Meeting Minutes: October 1, 2018

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Agenda
Monday, October 1, 2018
7 p.m.
Louise’s Trattoria
10645 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: Dave Zahniser, Roberta Wax, Frank Mottek, Kathryn Mora, Elizabeth Marcellino, Richard Saxton, Sarah Favot, Lori Streifler, Ricardo Lopez, Julia Wick.

Favot called the meeting to order at 7:22.

I. Approval of minutes from Sept. 4 meeting. Saxton moved to approve. Zahniser seconded the motion, Wax abstained.

II. President’s report – Favot read a report from Bluestein, including a summary of the conference. Wax spoke about how proud she was of Bluestein’s work at the conference and said that Navid Nonahal used her acceptance of award to give a beautiful eulogy for Dick Hendrickson, our board member and treasurer who died in July.

III. Treasurer’s report – Marcellino read the treasurer’s report and reported on the bank balances. The only substantial expenses over the last month were paying for our scholarships and putting a deposit on the Omni Hotel for the 2019 banquet. We currently have about 850 dollars (including a pledge) for the Hendrickson scholarships. Zahniser moved to receive the treasurer’s report. Wax seconded. All approved.

IV. Standing/Ad Hoc Committees –
a. Awards –Streifler gave a short report and said that the release calling for nominations will go out on Oct. 3.
b. Banquet – No report.
c. Courts – Streifler raised an issue that has been happening at the OC courts and others discussed looking into it to see if other reporters had faced similar issues.
d. Diversity – Lopez is working on finalizing a date for the November event at USC. The date and place will hopefully be finalized by the end of the week. Panel will be on pay disparities that have led to some of the union efforts. Wick will make a flyer for the event when the date is finalized.
e. Ethics – No report.
f. FOI – No report.
g. Generation J – No report.
h. Membership – No report.
i. Nominations – Favot said that Bray had said that he had some ideas.
j. Scholarships – No report.

V. Old Business
a. Susan Zakin Book Signing – Favot said that the crowd was relatively small.
b. Long Beach Post mixer – Walton was not at the meeting but had reported that it was well attended. About 30 people showed up and about half were Long Beach Post employees. Walton thought that the event succeeded because it had a built-in audience and was a timely topic.

VI. New Business
a. Possible Grading the Media event – Bluestein was not present
b. Holiday Party– Mottek has tentatively selected Xian Chinese restaurant on Canon. It is “an upscale Shanghai grill.” Mottek said that he is concerned about the size of the space but that, pricewise, it is “very attractive.” The other option is El Floridita in Hollywood, which serves Cuban food. Mottek is still waiting on a price for that venue. The actual Shanghai Grill, home to last year’s Christmas party, has unfortunately closed.

VII. Adjournment
Zahniser moved to adjourn at 8:23. Lopez seconded. Approved.

Next meeting: 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 at Louise’s Trattoria

Meeting Minutes: September 4, 2018

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
7 p.m.
Louise’s Trattoria
10645 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: Joel Bellman, Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, Stephanie Bluestein, Sarah Favot, Ricardo Lopez, Kathryn Mora, Frank Mottek, Navid Nonahal, Richard Saxton, Roberta Wax, Alice Walton

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

I. Approval of minutes from July 9 meeting
Bellman moved, Wax seconded. Bluestein, Saxton, Nonahal, Mottek abstained. Approved.

II. President’s report – Bluestein
Bluestein introduced visiting guest Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, a full-time professor at Santa Monica College, who is interested in joining the board. The board introduced themselves.
Bluestein reported there were 20 people at the video-editing workshop on July 19 at CSUN conducted by former board member Mike Fleeman. We received a total of $100 from 10 attendees who were non-members.
In November, we’d like to honor Dick Hendrickson, our board member and treasurer who died in July, and have dinner with his wife, Carol. His memorial is Saturday, Oct. 13 in Cleveland.

III. Treasurer’s report – No report.
Bluestein reported she and Nonahal will be going to Bank of America on Thursday to make changes to the bank account now that Hendrickson is no longer with us.
Carol Hendrickson, Dick’s wife, would like to create a SPJ/LA scholarship in her late husband’s honor. We will be accepting donations from board members and the public. Some board members and people in the community have already donated.

IV. Standing/Ad Hoc Committees
a. Awards –Streifler and Marcellino
No report
b. Banquet – Walton
The banquet will be March 20, 2019. We’ve paid the deposit for the Omni. Walton is looking for ideas for speakers.
c. Courts – Marcellino
No report.
d. Diversity – Lopez
Lopez had two panel ideas. One of the ideas is a panel on pay disparities for women and minorities in newsrooms, as various studies have been released about the issue.
The other panel idea could be the challenges of covering the migrant children who have been separated from their parents at the US/Mexico border.
The board was interested in the panel on pay disparities in newsrooms. Lopez will reach out to potential panelists and plan to schedule the event in early November, possibly on Nov. 14 at USC.
e. Ethics – Bellman
Bellman gave an update on our Public Records Act request to UCLA for emails about Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s visit. Bellman received another correspondence last week from UCLA which they stated they’ll respond to our request in November. The university has delayed for more than 8 months to respond to a simple, narrow request about a specific event.
Bellman would like to go public about the feet dragging from UCLA regarding our Public Records Act request.
Walton suggested posting a news release on our website and social media channels expressing our frustration with the delay from UCLA. We then could ask other journalism organizations to sign on to our cause.
Bellman and Bluestein will draft a statement.
f. FOI – Zahniser
No report
g. Generation J – Bluestein
No report
h. Membership – Nonahal
Nonahal reported she received information from National about our membership. She will share the information with the board.
i. Nominations – Bray
Bluestein said Bray had reached out to someone who is not available to consider being on the board until June 2019. She encouraged board members to send Bray suggestions.
j. Scholarships – Saxton
Saxton reported that Hendrickson sent checks to the scholarship recipients.
Hendrickson had requested that we consider doubling our scholarship amounts. We will consider it for next year.

V. Old Business

VI. New Business
a. Resolution in honor of Dick Hendrickson – Nonahal
Nonahal would like to submit a resolution in Hendrickson’s memory to SPJ National’s Resolution Committee. She distributed the resolution to board members. If approved, the resolution will be voted on during the EIJ National Convention later this month. Nonahal will also reach out to the Cleveland Chapter to see if they would like to sign on.
Nonahal will also speak about Hendrickson during her remarks at the convention when she receives the Howard S. Durbin Outstanding Pro Member Award. Hendrickson, along with Wax, nominated Nonahal for the award. Nonahal asked board members to send her suggestions for her remarks.
Nonahal moved, Wax seconded to submit the resolution to SPJ’s Resolution Committee in memory of Hendrickson. Approved.
b. Appointment of interim treasurer – Bluestein
Marcellino has offered to be our interim treasurer.
Nonahal moved, Favot seconded to appoint Marcellino as our interim treasurer. Approved.
c. Vote to remove past treasurer from bank account – Bluestein
Nonahal and Bluestein will go to Bank of America on Thursday morning to remove Hendrickson’s name from our account. For now, Nonahal and Bluestein will remain on the account. A letter has been drafted that Bluestein, Bellman and Favot will sign making this request to the bank.
Bellman moved, Lopez seconded to submit the letter to the Bank of America. Approved.
d. SPJ sponsorships at EIJ national convention – Bluestein
Nonahal and Bluestein, as delegates, want to know how the Chapter feels for any motion that might be submitted to the convention floor.
Board members expressed their concern about Koch Industries, one of the sponsors at the national convention, given the attacks that the organization has made against a New Yorker journalist.
Bellman said national’s Ethics Committee chair told him the donation was not signed off on by the committee.
Some board members said they would like national to return the donation, however it will likely be too late as the convention is in three weeks. Bellman cited Koch’s attack on Jane Mayer, a journalist SPJ should be defending, as a reason SPJ should return the donation.
Saxton noted the Koch’s generous donations to numerous journalism organizations and cancer research and questioned the evidence and any proof that the Kochs “attacked” New Yorker writer and Dark Money author Jane Mayer. Saxton said the donation should be accepted and that SPJ donation protocol should be reviewed.
Bluestein agreed national’s 2003 policy should be updated, specifically regarding the provisions that a SPJ staff member can approve donations (we believe sponsorships should be voted on by a committee) and who SPJ will not accept donations from, which reads domestic and foreign governments and political organizations. (We believe donations from organizations that attack journalists and our mission should not be accepted).
Nonahal will check with national to see when the deadline is to submit a resolution.
Bluestein will check in with the Chicago and Florida chapters to see if they are submitting a resolution.
The direction of the board is to express that we would like to see the policy updated and we were outraged to see that the donation was not vetted through a committee.
e. Endorsements for national elections– Bluestein
Matt Hall, our Region 11 director, is running to be SPJ Executive Committee’s treasurer-secretary and has asked that we endorse his candidacy.
Wax said we’ve never endorsed a candidate. Board members felt that we couldn’t speak for our entire Chapter and declined to approve an endorsement.
f. High School Journalism Workshop contribution (Oct. 20 event) – Bluestein
The high school journalism workshop at CSUN has requested a donation. The event is a chance for high school journalists to compete in news, feature, sports, opinion contests. The money is used for breakfast and lunch for the students. We have donated $500 in the past.
Mottek moved to donate to $1,000 to the High School Journalism Workshop, Bellman seconded.
Bellman moved to amend the motion to donate $750 to the High School Journalism Workshop, Lopez seconded.
The amended motion was approved.
g. College grad request–financial assistance for EIJ ’18 – Bluestein
A CSUN graduate student has asked financial assistance to attend the national convention. She has made several efforts to raise funds.
Board members said they weren’t inclined to give a donation for a student to attend the conference without opening up the opportunity to other students and were wary of the precedent it would set. Bluestein will tell the student the board declined to give her a donation and will encourage the student to apply for a scholarship.
h. Possible Grading the Media event – Bluestein
Bluestein received an inquiry about holding a “grading the media” event. We’ll discuss this next month.
i. Walton requested $250 to buy appetizers at the Long Beach Post event on Thursday
Wax moved to authorize Walton to spend a maximum of $300 for appetizers at the Long Beach Post event, Mottek seconded. Approved.
j. Mottek reported that the Shanghai Grill where we hold our annual Christmas party has closed. He will find a new location. We have scheduled the party for Dec. 5.

VII. Adjournment
Bluestein moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:25 p.m. in memory of Sue Manning, a local AP editor, who died on July 16; L.A. Times food critic Jonathan Gold, who died on July 22; and our own beloved board member Richard Hendrickson who died on July 29, Bellman seconded. Approved.

Next meeting: 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, 2018 at Louise’s Trattoria