Meeting Minutes: July 8, 2018

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Agenda
Monday, July 9, 2018
7 p.m.
Louise’s Trattoria
10645 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Present: Elizabeth Marcellino, Roberta Wax, Joel Bellman, Sarah Favot, Natalie Windsor, Ricardo Lopez, Julia Wick, Lori Streifler, Kathryn Mora

Favot called the meeting to order at 7:15 p.m.

I. Approval of minutes from June 4 meeting. Zahniser moved to approve the minutes, Favot seconded. All voted in favor.

II. President’s report – (Favot will deliver) A P.O. box has been secured for the chapter. Bluestein will attend the convention in Baltimore. Bluestein working on a Google news tools workshop at USC in September.

III. Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson reported on the bank balance as of June 1. Zahniser moved to receive the Treasurer’s report. Natalie seconded. All voted in favor except Lopez who abstained as he was not present in June.

IV. Standing/Ad Hoc Committees –
a. Awards –Streifler did a rundown of the awards for those who were not familiar.
b. Banquet – Walton — nothing to report.
c. Courts – Marcellino had nothing to report.
d. Diversity – Lopez is now chair of the committee.
e. Ethics – Bellman had nothing to report.
f. FOI – Zahniser spoke about how there may be another amicus brief to sign onto. More information may be revealed between now and the September board meeting. Bellman reported that we still have not received the information we requested in regard to their Mnuchin visit.
g. Generation J – Nothing to report.
h. Membership – Marcellino said the membership committee had come up with two options for a tangible giveaway for new SPJ/LA members: a ceramic mug or a drink tumbler that can hold both hot and cold drinks. The mug is less expensive and the group expressed approval for the mug. The membership committee would like approval to spend $180 on coffee mugs to use as giveaways. This would cover 36 mugs.
i. Nominations – Nothing to report.
j. Regional Conference – Nothing to report.
k. Scholarships – Mora read the report. We did not extend the deadline. Richard sent multiple email blasts to professors at college journalism programs across the Southland. Four potential scholarship recipients were chosen. Much discussion was had about them. Zahniser moved to approve the committee report and have a larger discussion about scholarships in September. Wick seconded, all voted in favor.
The scholarships were awarded to:
Jason Rocklin CSUF – Greenburg (Political & Investigative);
Ethan Lauren SMC and CSULB – Farr (Future Journalists);
Natalia Vivino CSUN – Johnson (Broadcast Journalists);
Imani Stephens ASU – Innouye (Diversity).

V. Old Business
a. Patt Morrison book signing on June 13 – Bellman said it was a very nice event: 14 people attended.
b. Mega-Mixer on June 27– Favot gave a positive report and said a targeted Facebook post was also very effective. Between 120 and 150 people attended the mixer throughout the evening.
c. Video editing workshop on July 14 – According to Favot, the event sold out in three days and now has a waiting list.

VI. New Business
a. Selecting location and date for awards banquet – Walton
The banquet will be at the Omni Hotel in downtown LA on March 20.
b. Updated chapter brochure – Bray
c. Approval of chapter funds for the president to attend EIJ ‘18 – Favot moved to approve, Marcellino seconded all voted in favor.
d. Mixer with the Long Beach Post – All thought it was a great idea though some were concerned about holding an event in the dog days of August.

VII. Favot moved to adjourn at 8:37 Natalie seconded all voted in favor.

Next board meeting: Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. (the day after Labor Day) at Louise’s Trattoria
(Note: No board meeting in August.)

Meeting Minutes: June 4, 2018

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

Present Roberta Wax, Alice Walton, Stephanie Bluestein, Natalie Windsor, Frank Mottek, Joel Bellman, Sarah Favot, Elizabeth Marcellino, Kathryn Mora, Richard Saxton

Bluestein called the meeting to order at 7:14 pm.

I. Approval of minutes from May 7 meeting. Bluestein moved to approve the minutes, Walton seconded, three abstentions. Approved.
II. President’s report – Bluestein reported on the quest to obtain a mailbox. The smallest mailbox is $45 for six months. Wax moved for a vote in favor, Bellman seconded, all voted in favor.

III. Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson gave the treasurer’s report. Bellman moved to approve, Natalie Windsor seconded, all voted in favor.

IV. Standing/Ad Hoc Committees –
a. Awards – Marcellino said nothing to report
b. Banquet – Walton said nothing to report.
c. Courts – Marcellino said nothing to report.
d. Diversity – No report
e. Ethics – No report
f. FOI – Bluestein discussed amicus brief and whether we had to pay $500 to add our name. We don’t yet have a firm answer. The merits of getting involved were debated.
g. Generation J – Bluestein had nothing to report
h. Membership – Marcellino said membership was basically flat year over year. We lost about 50 members but also gained 50 members. Marcellino discussed doing more to retain members and the group discussed potential tangible membership incentives.
i. Nominations – Bray not present.
j. Regional Conference – Bluestein presented results of survey which had very helpful feedback. Bluestein asked permission to share results with LV chapter, group agreed.
k. Scholarships – Saxton said we had two applications from photojournalists.

V. Old Business
a. Patt Morrison book signing on June 13 – Bellman said we have confirmed everything for that. It will be on a Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 at The Association downtown.
b. Mega-Mixer on June 27– Saxton will get stickers for name badges and pins. LA Press Club has also signed on.

VI. New Business
a. Filling vacancies on board – Bluestein discussed a potential new board member who Zahniser had approached. Natalie Windsor motioned to appoint the new member, Wick seconded. Everyone voted in favor.
b. Event for July – Mottek will inquire about a potential speaker. Bluestein will look into a potential workshop for July.
VII. Adjournment at 8:40 p.m.

Next board meeting: Monday, July 9 at 7 p.m. at Louise’s Trattoria
(Note: No board meeting in August.)

Meeting Minutes: May 7, 2018

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

Bluestein called the meeting to order at 7:22 p.m.

Present: Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Tom Bray, Sarah Favot, Dick Hendrickson, Kathryn Mora, Richard Saxton, Lori Streifler, Alice Walton, Roberta Wax Julia Wick, Natalie Windsor and Dave Zahniser

1. Approval of minutes from the April 2 meeting: Wax moved to approve, Bellman seconded. Windsor abstained. Approved.

2. President’s report – Bluestein shared highlights from the regional director’s meeting which took place on Friday afternoon before the evening reception kicking off the regional conference. The next regional conference will be in Las Vegas in 2019 and Hawaii in 2020. The regional conference will return to Los Angeles in six years. Region 11 Director Matt Hall mentioned he is running for secretary-treasurer on the national board. The need to get an accurate count of members was raised with Hall during this meeting. Bellman politely but firmly pressed that our chapter has been frustrated for a long time. Hall said he will look into it.

3. Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson said this month’s report is rather complex. He reviewed the sponsorship money we received for the conference. Under accounts receivable, we are still waiting for banquet checks from two media companies that each purchased a table. Bluestein wrote a check for $130 to pay for the MOE lunches for the regional director and the director-at-large. Bellman made a motion to reimburse Bluestein for those lunches. Wax and Favot seconded. A vote was called. All voted in favor; Bluestein abstained. It was noted that GoDaddy, our chapter’s website host, is no longer charging us $10 a month because Marcellino paid $207.63 to GoDaddy for a long-term term contact, for which she was reimbursed. Hendrickson requested that SPJ checks no longer be sent to him in L.A. He said that Bluestein had suggested mail just be forwarded to her, so she can make deposits at her local bank branch. Bellman moved to forward mail to Stephanie. Windsor seconded and the group voted unanimously in favor. Hendrickson will continue to be the treasurer through the end of the calendar year. Discussion followed about opening a U.S. Post Office box for the chapter. Bluestein said she would look into that possibility. A few questions were raised by the independent auditors who looked at our financial records covering the fiscal year. Firstly, they wanted to know whether payments were owed to the Omni Hotel for previous banquets; Walton said she will look into it. In addition, a receipt of a check paid to Molly Malone’s for last year’s mega-mixer is missing; Bellman will follow up on it. We also need the receipt for a check sent to CSUN for high school journalism day.

4. Standing/Ad Hoc Committees
a. Awards –Streifler and Marcellino. No report
b. Banquet – Walton says the reason we haven’t received payment from two media companies is that we are not consistent with our mailing addresses on the W-9 form. One company said they sent the check to the Hall of Justice building address that’s on our MailChimp. They will cut a new check and FedEx it to Walton at her home. Walton is following up with the other company to make sure the check is sent. Walton raised the idea of getting a permanent mailbox that can be checked once a month (discussion was had about potential locations, the consensus seems to be toward choosing a USPS office near either Louise’s or in the Valley).
c. Courts – No report.
d. Diversity – No report.
e. Ethics – Bellman said there was nothing local but mentioned the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. After looking into their finances, Bellman discovered that the WHCD loses a great deal of money every year. He does not believe that there is any action we need to take.
f. FOI – A discussion occurred about an invitation to join an amicus brief for a lawsuit involving a closed session meeting of Metrolink board of directors that has been challenged as being in violation of the Brown Act. The L.A. Times is a plaintiff, among others. All parties joining the amicus brief are asked to contribute $500. Bray, who is familiar with the request, said the amicus has already been filed but they will file an addendum if we want to join. Bluestein will seek a definitive answer on whether we can join without paying the full $500. Bluestein, Bellman, Zahniser and Bray will consult on this in the next few days.
g. Generation J – Wax said that SPJ/LA chapter member Melinda Brown will be trying to revive the SPJ student chapter at USC. Saxton volunteered to assist. Wax will put Saxton in touch with Brown.
h. Membership – No report.
i. Nominations – Bluestein said she wants to have a list of possible nominees by June to vote on who we would approach. Some names were suggested for the two seats that we need to fill.
j. Regional Conference– Favot thanked Bluestein for the endless hours she put into the conference. Favot said there were no major issues the day of with the conference. Our total revenue was $20,516, some of which is still pending. Once we receive the $500 grant from SPJ national, we will have made $1,804.68. Bluestein commented that getting sponsors was more difficult than had been anticipated. In the end, it was mostly First Amendment lawyers and PR firms, in addition to NBC4, which paid for the conference lanyards. Bluestein said considering all the layoffs in Southern California journalism this year, we did very well. Bluestein brought small gifts for the regional conference committee members. Favot moved to reimburse Bluestein for the $209 she spent on a hotel room so she could be on site early Saturday morning to help set up. Hendrickson seconded. The vote was approved. Zahniser underscored the importance of making sure people know that it’s an all-volunteer effort. Favot is going to do a short write-up on the event, possibly for Quill. Wax suggested including some endorsements from panelists. Bluestein wrote a 10-question online survey that was emailed to attendees, in an effort to get their feedback. Responses will be discussed at the next meeting.
k. Scholarships – Saxton expects to send out notices next Monday, give them 30 days to respond and have a deadline of mid-June and have an early-to-mid July announce. After the release is emailed to our members, Favot will post on the chapter’s website.

5. Old Business – no items for Old Business

6. New Business
a. Patt Morrison book signing– Bellman approached Morrison about the possibility of doing a signing and discussion of her new book, “Don’t Stop the Presses! Truth, Justice, and the American Newspaper.” Bellman said Morrison is interested and he has approached The Association about dates. Bellman will keep the group apprised of updates.
b. Mega-Mixer – Saxton has been in contact with Molly Malone’s to set a date for the mega-mixer. Due to the timing of a family event, Saxton is hoping to move the mega-mixer from our usual July to Wednesday, June 27.

7. Adjournment at 8:47 p.m.

Next board meeting: Monday, June 4 at 7 p.m. at Louise’s Trattoria

Meeting Minutes: April 2, 2018

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Monday, April 2, 2018
7 p.m.
Louise’s Trattoria
10645 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Sarah Favot, Elizabeth Marcellino, Kathryn Mora, Frank Mottek, Navid Nonahal, Richard Saxton, Lori Streifler, Alice Walton, Roberta Wax, Julia Wick, David Zahniser

Bluestein called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

I. Approval of minutes from the March 5 meeting
Amend the spelling of Darren Carrol.
Wax moved to approve the amended March 5 minutes, Bellman seconded. Zahniser, Saxton and Favot abstained. Approved.

II. President’s report – Bluestein
a. Bluestein reported about our two vacancies on the board, including the additional seat that will be vacated by Hendrickson later this year. Bluestein asked board members to email suggestions to her. One goal is to achieve diversity. We will vote on the new members at the May or June meeting. Bluestein also asked board members if they are interested in being treasurer to let her know.
b. This morning a freelancer made a derogatory comment on a post on the SPJ Freelance Community’s closed Facebook page about our Region 11 Conference. Bluestein responded to the post with a graceful, but firm message.

III. Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson
Bluestein reported on behalf of Hendrickson.
Zahniser moved to receive the Treasurer’s Report as amended. Bellman seconded. Approved.

IV. Standing/Ad Hoc Committees:
a. Awards –Streifler and Marcellino
No report
b. Banquet – Walton
No report
c. Courts – Marcellino
a. Marcellino reported that civil cases from Stanley Mosk Courthouse are going to move to the federal courts building on Spring Street. One concern that has been mentioned is that access is more difficult at the federal courts building in terms of equipment. The U.S. Marshals acknowledged there could be some friction and will keep an eye on it. Marcellino will also keep an eye on it and encouraged board members to report any issues.
b. A news outlet requested space in the press room on the 9th Floor of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse and was turned down. The county didn’t want to do a sublet arrangement. It’s an issue of accommodation rather than access. The outlet is a client of the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine. Marcellino asked the board if we should get involved. Marcellino will call the law firm to offer our assistance and report back to the board with an update.
d. Diversity –
No report.
e. Ethics – Bellman
Bellman reported a follow-up about UCLA’s decision not to publish the video of the treasury secretary speaking at UCLA. Bluestein sent a letter to the university chancellor asking them to post it. Bellman filed a Public Records Act request for the correspondence between UCLA and the Treasury Department about not posting the video. The purpose was to put pressure on UCLA. A few days later, UCLA posted the video. Bellman told UCLA we’re still pursuing the PRA request regarding the emails. UCLA said they need two more weeks to get back to us. At the end of the 14-day period, they said it’ll take three months. Our main goal was to get the video published. We will wait for the response to the PRA.
f. FOI – Zahniser
No report
g. Generation J – Bluestein
No report.
h. Membership – Nonahal
Nonahal thanked Marcellino for keeping in touch with national to get a correct roster of our membership. As of March 19, we have 140 active members. In March, we sent handwritten thank you notes to five new members. We have eight new members who will get a note this week. Nonahal believes we have more than 140 members. Marcellino has been trying to create a way that people can sign up to belong to the Chapter on our website, but there are challenges because the version of WordPress and our hosting platform we have are outdated. Marcellino called GoDaddy to transfer hosting to upgraded platform. It will cost $207.63.
Mottek moved to spend $207.63 to upgrade our website. Zahniser seconded. Approved.
i. Nominations – Bray
No report.
j. Regional Conference– Hendrickson and Favot
Bluestein reported we have $10,835 from registrations and sponsorships for the Regional Conference. We received $7,800 through EventBrite registrations. We received a check from Santa Monica College for students’ registration. Sponsorships: we’ve received a commitment to pay for the lanyards from NBC4. The PR firm Olmstead Williams will sponsor the reception. Kelly Aviles and the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine have also donated. San Diego State University and CSUN have given also donated. Marcellino will reach out to foundations to ask if they will sponsor students. The total number of paid registrants is 87, including 49 students. We have about 34 panelists and speakers who are not paying the registration fee but will attend the conference. The committee will reach out to former board members and former banquet honorees to see if they will attend or if they will sponsor a student to attend the luncheon. Wax will make thank you cards to our sponsors.
k. Scholarships – Saxton
The deadline will be early June for students to respond to the scholarship application. In the next couple of weeks, the call for students to apply will be sent.

V. Old Business
Newsmageddon panel on March 15 – Zahniser
Zahniser reported the event at The Association in downtown L.A. went well and our panelists were candid and engaging. Larry Altman, formerly of Daily Breeze; Dennis Romero, formerly of the LA Weekly and Darren Carroll of the Newsguild were the panelists. Julia Wick was the moderator. We had a turnout of about 30 people.

VI. New Business
L.A. Times unionization and new ownership panel– Zahniser
The next panel will be Wednesday, April 11 at The Association in DTLA at 7 p.m. We’ll have three people who were on the Steering Committee of the Times union drive. Zahniser encouraged board members to attend.
Gabriel Khan at USC Annenberg asked if we could share a flyer about the Seldon Ring Awards. Favot will post it to our website.

Wax moved to adjourn at 8:26 p.m., Zahniser seconded. Approved.

Next board meeting: Monday, May 7 at 7 p.m. at Louise’s Trattoria

Respectfully submitted,
Sarah Favot

Meeting Minutes: March 5, 2018

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

Bluestein called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.

Present: Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Tom Bray, Roberta Wax, Frank Mottek, Richard Hendrickson, Lori Streifler, Kathryn Mora, Alice Walton, Natalie Windsor.

Guests: Monica Rodriguez, Cal State Northridge, co-president of CSUN SPJ chapter
Michaela Haas, Solutions Journalism Network

I. Approval of minutes from the Feb. 5 meeting
Wax moved to approve the minutes. Hendrickson seconded. Approved by voice vote.

II. President’s report – Bluestein
Bluestein congratulated Walton on awards dinner, regional conference website.
Encouraged board members to help promote regional conference; will send suggested wording for social media and other promotion. Has reached out to more than 40 schools.
Shared prospective board members to replace departing Sandy Mazza, Richard Hendrickson and America Arias. Bios shared for three journalists under consideration to be new board members. Bluestein urged board members to identify additional candidates, to be submitted via email and reviewed at next meeting. Bluestein will contact prospective members after additional names are received; board will vote in April.

III. Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson
Hard copy of treasurer’s reported shared; balances detailed; expenses for awards banquet detailed
Requested information check to hotel; Walton said the cost is not known yet, but will follow up.
Missing check noted at previous meeting was found.
Final deposit to Universal City Hilton, $700, sent.
Walton requested that check to Omni be deleted; will follow up with revision.
Bellman moved to approve amended report; Windsor seconded; approved on voice vote.

IV. Standing/Ad Hoc Committees
a. Awards –Streifler and Marcellino; no report
b. Banquet – Walton
Walton thanked everyone who attended, described recipients as strong. Waiting to hear from venue on final numbers, likely between 106 and 110. Ten students were in attendance. Waiting for the final bill from the Omni. Almost all payments are in; waiting on ABC and LA Times. All tickets are in. Encouraged board members to share feedback.
Wax asked what difficulties occurred. Walton said it was relatively seamless; small hiccup with the program.
Mottek congratulated Walton on the event. Was congratulated on his role as master of ceremonies. Wax said Mottek set the right, collegial tone.
c. Courts – Marcellino; no report
d. Diversity – no report
e. Ethics – Bellman;
Bellman: UCLA made a retroactive decision to not post video of appearance Steve Mnuchin at UCLA event who was heckled by members of the audience. Audio was posted but the Treasury Department withdrew its consent to post the video. Bellman said he may be forced to file Public Records Act request to get information and suggested preparing a possible statement on the incident.
Walton suggested a notice demanding UCLA post the video. The statement would be reviewed by our pro bono attorney. Bluestein suggested engaging the national ethics chair.
f. FOI – Zahniser; no report
g. Generation J – Bluestein; no report
h. Membership – Nonahal
Elizabeth: Online membership signup should be up and running by next week which adds a layer to join the local chapter when paying for national membership.
i. Nominations – Bray; no report
j. Regional Conference– Hendrickson and Favot;
NBC will pay to have its logo on event lanyard. $750 which will largely pay for lanyards. Bluestein encouraged board to please reach out to encourage
k. Scholarships – Saxton
In Saxton’s absence, Bluestein gave a report. We will promote scholarships online in mid-April and during the regional conference, with follow-ups to the early June deadline. Saxton will gather the committee in June for an early July announcement, per Tammy Audi’s advice.
Mega mixer: July 10 or 11; likely at Molly Malone’s location of last year’s event
Student guest suggested Golden Road Brewery, San Fernando

V. Old Business
Mixer on March 14 – Zahniser
SoCal Newsmageddon will be at The Association with panelists: Larry Altman, Dennis Romero and Darren Carrol with Julia Wick as moderator.

VI. New Business
a. Presentation about Solutions Journalism Network L.A. made by Michaela Haas. Board discussed possible risks/rewards of partnering with group. Board agreed to research/vet their efforts before committing. If training is scheduled in May, board members should attend to experience the program.
b. Diversity event for May – Bluestein In light of not having a Diversity committee chair at the moment, this event is available to anyone who wants to plan it. However at the moment, most of the board’s efforts are focused on the regional conference.

VII. Adjournment
Windsor moved to adjourn at 9:10 p.m.; Mazza seconded; passed on voice vote.

Next board meeting: Monday, April 2 at 7 p.m. at Louise’s Trattoria

Respectfully submitted,
Tom Bray