Washington-Baltimore News Guild
Executive Council Meeting Minutes
Date of Meeting: January 13, 2021
Present: Elise Bryant, Hau Chu, Steve Cook, Ben Cooper, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Ed Fortney,
Jazmin Gargoum, Joel Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Mark Gruenberg, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Freddy Kunkle, Marissa Lang, Tamara McCalla, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Lilly Reed, Jeremy Sprinkle, Emily Woodall
Excused: Peter Brusoe
Unexcused: Carl Charles, Lillyanne Daigle, Lydia Ealey, Chris Garlock, Rhea Martin, Michelle Wang,
Caitlin Wilson, Joe Yerardi, Karma Zurkhang,
Staff & Guests: Cet Parks, Paul Reilly, Selene San Felice, Danielle Ohl
Meeting called to order at 7:06 PM
EC Minutes – Dec. 9, 2020 – Elise Bryant motioned to approve, seconded by Sam Nelson.
Motion Passed with notation to add Tom Jackman to attendance roll call.
EC Minutes Nov. 30, 2020 – Bill O’Meara motioned to approve, seconded by Don Griesheimer.
Motion Passed with notation to list unexcused absences moving forward.
Board Poll – December 14, 2020 (Dream Defenders) – Don Griesheimer motioned to approve,
seconded by Sam Nelson. Motion Passed.
II. Membership Report
December 9, 2020 – January 13, 2021 – Don Griesheimer motioned to approve, seconded by Bill
O’Meara. Motion Passes. There was additional discussion on a decline in membership numbers
and Executive Director Cet Parks recommends adoption and to investigate and report back.
III. Executive Director’s Report & Staff
Alliance of Healthcare Unions – The unit requests EC approval of contract. Mark Gruenberg
motioned to approve and seconded by Don Griesheimer. Motion Passed.
SEIU 500 – Requests discretionary authority to arbitrate unfair labor practice regarding working
conditions against unit chair and three members/organizers (Katie Brown, Justin Raponski, Chris
Cado). Ed Fortney motioned to approve, seconded by Mark Gruenberg. Motion Passed.
ANA – Request council approval for one year contract extension. Don Griesheimer motioned to
approve, seconded by Bill O’Meara. Motion Passed.
FPSU – Requests approval of one year contract. Bill O’Meara motioned to approve, seconded by
Mark Pattison. Motion Passed.
Democratic Socialist of America Staff Union – Request approval of bargaining team, Amy
Zakmeyer, Michael Grachowski and Paul Reilly. Sam Nelson motioned to approve, seconded by
Mark Gruenberg. Motion Passed.
Lambda Legal – Request discretionary authority to arbitrate downgrading of unit chair. Elise
Bryant motioned to approve, seconded by Mark Gruenberg. Motion Passed.
IV. New Business
Danielle Ohl and Selene San Felice presented background on opportunity regarding the no
charge donation of office space in Annapolis for Capital Gazette reporters/journalists to have a
place to work from during the pandemic, and while they are on assignment. Office space is
being donated by Rick Baldwin, a Baltimore lawyer and reader of newspaper. There was further
discussion regarding reporter’s needs, infrastructure costs and lease requirements.
Elise Bryant requests discretionary authority to proceed with a lease agreement which would be
finalized/approved through a board poll vote. The motion was seconded by Marissa Lang. The
October 2020 Financials
Cet Parks reviewed October financial statement. Don Griesheimer motioned to approve and
seconded by Bill O’ Meara. Motion Passed.
November 2020 Financials
Cet Parks reviewed November financial report. After reviewing Elise Bryant motioned to
approve and seconded by Bill O’ Meara. Motion Passed.
Bob Paul Invoices (November 2020 and December 2020)
No action needed.
VI. Old Business
Strategic Planning Committee
Justin Moyer provided an update on committee meetings. The committee is in final stages of
preparing recommendations for review by Cet Parks. The plan was to be presented at the
January 13, 2021 EC meeting, however Justin Moyer motioned to request an extension to
present to EC at the February 2021 meeting. Motion was seconded by Elise Bryant. Motion
2021 Membership and EC Meeting Dates
Membership meeting dates previously set at last meeting conflicted with the revised bylaws
requirements for meeting dates. GMM dates for March 24, June 16, and the next EC meetings for February 17, March 24, and June 16. Mark Pattison motioned to approve dates, seconded
by Tom Jackman. Motion Passed.
Meeting dates will be sent out to members via email and mail (post card)
ERC Report on the Election
Report was not available and will move to next EC meeting in February.
Committee Members/Rick Ehrmann Retirement Celebration
EC authorized establishing a committee at last EC meeting. Peter Brusoe agreed to take names
of persons who want to be on the committee but not take lead. Rick Ehrmann requested an
appreciation plaque (Cet Parks and Paul Reilly).
Front Page & Guild Service Awards
Katie Mettler provided an update in Peter Brusoe’s absence.
VII. Good & Welfare
Don Griesheimer speaks to recent bylaws changes where we no longer have representatives
from units but now have at-large designations and raised awareness about processes needed for
members to contact all EC 21 members.
Katie Mettler/Fatima Hussein addressed Don Griesheimer concern that incoming officers will
prioritize an improved communications strategy and assign board members (caucuses) to
various units/unit chairs to promote communications.
Mark Gruenberg bids farewell as board member.
Bill O’Meara bids farewell as a board member.
Elise Bryant – AFL-CIO MLK Conference this coming weekend and invite on Elise Bryant Annual MLK Program.
VIII. Personnel Caucus
New Hire Status Update
Cet Parks updates on new hire process. Interviewed 18 candidates over past 7 weeks and has
narrowed search down to two candidates and expect to have a decision within the week.
Cet Parks Contract Renewal
President Steve Cook asks for approval of Cet Parks contract. Jeremy Sprinkle motions to
approve, seconded by Mark Pattison. Jeremy Sprinkle noted a typo on page 3 of contract
(pension/17.5% to 18%). Joel Gratz speaks to forward planning, work plan for a year and annual
evaluation and feedback process for management and staff. After additional discussion, a vote
was taken to approve the contract renewal. Motion Passed.
Mark Gruenberg motioned to adjourn, seconded by Ed Fortney. Meeting adjourned at 9:03 PM