SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Monday, April 2, 2018
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
b. Banquet – Walton
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 –
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
g. Generation J – Bluestein
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
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