DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for August 3, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, August 10, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.
There were five people at the August 3rd meeting.
We were reminded of the Bernie Sanders organizing meeting August 6th at the Denny’s in Monona.
Peter, Ginny, Karen, and Marcia are going with John St. to help with his Media Summit in Stevens Point Saturday, the 8th.
Who has not seen and signed the petition to End Machine Voting in Wisconsin?
Karen provided information on the hearings and informational sessions coming up on Waukesha’s efforts to tap into Great Lakes water. There will be one on August 17th at Carol University in Waukesha and another August 18th at Zilber School of Public Health in Milwaukee. We received an informational handout on it. Contact Karen if you want more information.
Karen provided an update on the Windsor incorporation issue. The town has hired a public relations consultant to promote passage of the referendum. Karen volunteered DAP to help if needed.
Karen informed us that Sun Prairie community radio is on the air! FM 103.5
Marcia continued her report on her and Karen’s attendance at Netroots Nation in Phoenix. She liked the giant room at the affair where people had tables with information and much conversation about their various organizations. It was valuable to talk one on one and to learn and to get to know people. There were many breakout sessions. Marcia was enthusiastic about social media and how it can reach out to big pools of people with information that they do not often get otherwise but are nevertheless interested in. Marcia especially featured Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
We decided to host a movie night for our August 17th meeting. The film will be “King Corn” about GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) and a whole host of issues surrounding how our food is generated. The showing will be at Marcia’s house, 3953 Finch Trail in the Windsor Hill neighborhood, beginning at about 6:00 p.m. Bring your own drinks and a snack to share if you can. Everyone is welcome!
We decided to tentatively schedule September 17th at 7:00 p.m. for our talk with Chief Bob Henze of the DeForest Police Department, if arrangements can work out for that date. JohnSki will reserve the Jefferson Square Clubhouse for that date. Further planning will take place at the next meeting. Members are encouraged to go to the police department’s web site to familiarize themselves with the department and generate questions for the chief. Please put that date on your calendars and plan to attend and join in the conversation about our communities and the policing in them.
We agreed to respond positively to Ron Biendseil’s request for support of Robert Reich’s appearance in Madison on October 24th at the downtown Madison library. We will co-sponsor the event and do what we can to publicize it and help out in any way we are needed. We will put it on our web sites, Facebook, etc., leaflets, posters, and letters to the editor, whatever is needed. JohnSki will reply to Ron B. and ask what is expected of us.
Ginny reported on the big response to the Bernie Sanders telecast and meeting at Denny’s in Monona. There were around seventy people there. It was a mixed crowd with at least ten college students, elderly on fixed incomes, middle aged, and young adults with families. Similar gatherings took place all over the area, including Windsor, Verona, Middleton, Sun Prairie, and Madison, as well as many locations throughout the state.
Marcia raised the idea of promoting bee keeping as a way to help the ecology. There is a man in Madison who will place hives in peoples’ yards and maintain them. We might see about getting him out to one of our meetings sometime.
Deforest Area Progressives
July 27, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, August 3, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.
There were seven people at the July 27th meeting.
JohnSki announced the Wisconsin Public Education Network Summer Summit, scheduled for Thursday, August 20, 2015, 12:30-5:00 p.m. at Kromrey Middle School, 7009 Donna Drive, Sun Prairie. Go to http://goo.gl/forms/zgzml4cEfI for details and registration.
A question arose about the DAP Facebook page. Anyone can go to it to visit or post a message.
JohnSki talked to DeForest Police Chief Bob Henze abut speaking and engaging in a Q&A discussion. Bob said he would be glad to do so and would prefer a whole community gathering to just a DAP meeting. The group thought late September might be a good time to hold it. Where? Library? Community Center? Jefferson Square Clubhouse? Somewhere else? Interested DAP members should go to the police department’s website (via the village website?) to read the annual report and other information. Some of the topics of interest might be community policing, the Citizens Academy, stresses on the community such as minorities and poverty, crime, gangs, drugs, safety issues.
The DAP treasury has had a little bit of deposit and a little bit of expenses lately. JohnSki will bring in the next bank statement to report in detail.
Frank expressed concern with the vast amount of development taking place in the Town of Windsor. So much of it seems to be stretching right up to the edges of streets and roadways. The excavation seems to be devastating to existing trees. It would seem desirable to require developers to maintain at least one tree in the front of each lot and one in the rear, if not more trees and vegetation. Are there landscaping requirements in town ordinances or in the zoning code? Is this a community rights issue? Should we appear at some town meetings to express our interest?
Karen reported on the Town of Windsor incorporation issue. There is a meeting tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. (Karen intends to attend) to discuss public education on the issue and another meeting on July 30th at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the referendum and town options. The latter will be the fourth in a series of four listening sessions. The wording of the referendum has not yet been composed. State legislation permitting this referendum includes language that says that all existing agreements like boundary agreements must remain in force.
JohnSt. has called Heather a couple of times to find out if DAP could join Wisconsin Public Education Network at a reduced rate less than the $100 usually charged, as DAP is too small to justify the $100 fee, even though we would like to belong and will support what WPEN does. Heather has yet to call back.
The Media summit scheduled for August 8th in Stevens Point is all set. John St. is running it. Ginny discussed refreshments arrangements. Other DAP members are engaged in this project too, helping John out.
Karen and Marcia (she’s back!) reported on their experience at Netroots Nation in Phoenix July 16-18. They passed out copies of the schedule of workshops*, which was quite impressive. Karen and Marcia have agreed to compose a strategic analysis of the conference for the Wisconsin Grassroots Network. They will be writing up their notes for the sessions they attended.
We discussed the upcoming July 29th Bernie Sanders meetings at Denny’s in Monona, the Rodeside Restaurant in Windsor-DeForest, and two other locations in Dane County. John Stanley and Roger Springman are organizing for Bernie in Wisconsin. There is heavy Facebook communication for Bernie Sanders. John St. has been very active in it. There are local meetings like this scheduled in all fifty states. A simulcast of Bernie speaking will be featured. We had a long discussion on what is effective in organizing and campaigning. Personal conversation is by far the best.
John St. said that We Are Wisconsin is organizing a giant coalition of progressive groups, unions, political parties, and other organizations. They are hoping to hold a convention soon hosted by A New People. There will be a meeting at the end of August to decide the next steps.
DAP should have another movie night soon. Karen has a bunch of movies she has been collecting. John St. said he is interested in learning more about GMO’s. Marcia recommended Naomi Klein’s book, This Changes Everything about climate change.
*Sample of titles: Love is a Revolutionary Act, Turning Young Activism into Policy, To Change Everything It Takes Everyone, Corporate Takeover Goes Local, The Ethics Studies Ban, Living in a Militarized Zone, The Progressive Grassroots Christian Movement, Creative for All: The Keys to Creating Compelling Content, Small Scale Facebook Campaigns, Facebook-Powered Growth, Guerrillarized Grassroots Advocacy, Twitter, NationBuilder
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for July 13, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, July 20, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.
Six of us met on July 13th.
We discussed several Bernie Sanders events, past and future. Karen recommended a Celtic music duo coming to the Stoughton Opera House in November: Natalie McMaster and Donald Lakee (sp).
Ginny reported on the 4th of July float in the DeForest parade. She and John St. finished the float that Friday, the 3rd, then put on the finishing touches the next day before the parade. The float – “Capturing Democracy” – was well received along the parade route. Now we need storage space if we want to save some of the makings for next year’s float, if we have one. Ginny also put in two hours volunteering to help with bingo, for which she credited DAP.
What new project(s) can DAP start in our community? One idea is to have the DeForest police chief come to speak to us. Another idea is to have Ron Wolfe from GROW in Waunakee come to speak to us about transportation and especially rail transportation. Are there any volunteer opportunities coming up in the communities? There will probably be a river clean up sponsored by the Friends of the Upper Yahara River Headwaters. There is a cleanup of the river through the Bollig property just purchased by the county.
Further discussion of the possibility of having Chief Bob Henze come to speak found interest in what kinds of crime exist in DeForest, gangs? the depth of the drug problem, and the alleged militarization of U.S. police. Should such an event be just us or for the whole community? The police department has an annual report that can be found on their website. If we open it up to the whole community, we should make it clear that this is non-partisan and non-political, so that we do not put off those who might object to the “progressive” in our name. Peter recommended former Madison police chief David Couper’s blog. GROW of Waunakee met with their chief and recommended the activity. JohnSki said he would contact Chief Henze and discuss it with him.
We discussed the Enbridge pipeline again. Peter said the new state budget makes it difficult for counties to regulate pipelines.
Peter provided a detailed report of the voter ID problem. The Madison City Clerk’s office identified 8000 people who will need ID’s to vote. Peter and others helped stuff envelopes with information to those people. Peter had previously shown us the leaflets with information on how people can get the ID they need. Peter said he had had a disappointing experience trying to register UW students. John St. said he had just the opposite experience during the Walker recall affair.
We talked about joining the Wisconsin Professional Education Network. Cost is $100. Most thought we had too small a treasury to make it worthwhile joining, as much as we want to back WPEN and what they do. Education of kids must be a high priority. John St. said he would contact Heather to see if we can belong on a lesser level than the $100 level.
Karen added $11 to our treasury from button sales she had made.
John St. briefed us on progress made toward the August 8th Media Summit he is organizing in Stevens Point. We talked about logistics. Ginny, Karen, and Peter volunteered to help John St. with the event. John St. will email a copy of the flyer to JohnSki for distribution to Progressive Partners and the DAP email list.
Both Peter and John St. have been working on the Bernie Sanders campaign. They discussed various approaches different supporters are taking. We had a lively discussion on how campaigns are run. There is a big meeting of Bernie Sanders workers July 29th at the Denny’s in Monona from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., during which Bernie himself will be broadcast to similar meetings taking place all over the country.
Karen updated us on the Town of Windsor incorporation. The state budget recently passed and signed includes the incorporation. The next step will be a referendum within the town on whether or not to pursue the incorporation as a village. Karen does not know what kind of education campaign the town will put on, but if the town officials do not do such an education campaign, she – Karen – intends to do one herself. Karen is a big backer of the town’s becoming a village and will work to see that the referendum passes. Will DeForest campaign against the referendum?
John St. mentioned the Monona Water Walk that took place Friday and Saturday. Leonardo went to hear the Bill Miller concert and said it was great, although poorly publicized and not well attended. The rest of the Water Walk was well attended though. John St. said he enjoyed and learned a lot from the other native American presentations.
John St. expressed an idea that we might want to pursue. We can set up listening sessions in parks and other public places with signs that say, “Come Speak With me.” Jeff Smith did that in Eau Claire with some success during his run for state Assembly. We would have to do some training on how to do this for those who might be interested. John thought this idea is a good alternative to the tired old door knocking and lit drops of campaigns.
This is a long report from an interesting and worthwhile meeting.
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes from June 22, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, June 29, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.
There were six people at the meeting on the 22nd.
Most of the meeting was spent in conversation with Heather Dubois Bourenane, coordinator for the Wisconsin Public Education Network (WPEN). Heather is also an active member of our sister progressive organization, SPARC of Sun Prairie. The WPEN is a statewide organization that meets once a month and through its email network. The purpose is to find some unity of message amidst the many assaults on public schools taking place right now. Powerful lobbying groups like the American Federation for Children have influenced our legislature and governor to replace public education with a patchwork of private charter schools and voucher systems. Even at the local school board level, some school boards now have members who actually oppose public schools! WPEN believes that public schools are at the heart of our communities and democracy.
The activities of WPEN are directed toward telling our legislators that their wrong policies do not reflect the will of their constituents. The right wing agenda is to redirect public school money – tax money – to pay for private school tuition, reducing the finances available to public school districts. If the state budget passes the way it is, some schools will close. Rural schools will suffer the most.
In Wisconsin, all of the schools that have applied to be voucher schools are religious schools. Eighty-six percent of kids using vouchers have been in their private school the previous year, so the claim that vouchers will enable poor children to change schools if they see fit is fiction. There are no state standards for private schools, no regulations. Private schools can discriminate against students who apply to them and “cherry-pick” the best students and not have to take special needs students or troubled students. Heather was quick to add that she is not intending to bash private schools. The point is that public money should not be going to pay for unaccountable private schools, most of which provide religious instruction along with the other subjects, to the detriment of existing public schools.
Heather suggested that those of us who do not approve of what this state biennial budget does to public education, should let our elected representatives know that if they support it we will not vote for them next election. She also asked that we “like” WPEN’s Facebook page. We shared much more during the discussion, but this is the gist of it. Thank you very much, Heather, for your expertise and your work. You can contact Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 608-572-1696.
Karen sold $25 worth of buttons for DAP at the energy fair in Custer last weekend. She said she could have done better if she had been located at a different table. The treasury reimbursed her $128 for ink cartridges. Karen has plans for more button sales in the future.
Fourth of July parade float building is progressing. The theme is “Capturing Democracy” with a butterfly motif. If you want to join in with the float project and ride or walk along during the parade, contact Ginny.
Regarding the proposed name change of DeForest Area Progressives from that to DeForest Area Action Team, Ginny said she talked to Marcia about it and Marcia asked that we wait until she gets back to decide.
Peter reported on much activity with the Dane County Democratic Party and voter registration. He has been informed that 8000 Dane County voters do not have voter ID. Peter said that Representative Ellison from Minnesota is starting a “Voters First” initiative. Peter will look into it and report back. The new Wisconsin Democratic Party chair, Martha Laning, is collecting stories about how the governor’s policies are affecting real people throughout the state.
What new project(s) does DAP want to start? Ginny would like to invite the DeForest police chief to talk to us, as she heard that Waunakee GROW had an interesting session with their chief.
John St. informed the group of a July 25th celebration being planned for Jeff Smith to present him with an award for his unselfish withdrawal from the race for DPW chair in favor of Martha Laning.
John also requested assistance with the August 8th media summit in Stevens Point that he is coordinating. If you can help John with publicity or logistics at the summit, contact him.
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for June 15, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, June 21, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.
There were eight people at the June 15th meeting.
Karen submitted $92 to the treasury from button sales and other sources.
Heather from SPARC (Sun Prairie progressive action team) will be here next meeting to talk about education.
Float building for the DeForest July 4th parade will take place at Ginny’s on Friday, June 19th at 10:00 a.m. The theme is “Capturing Democracy” with a butterfly and net motif. Thank you, Ginny and John St. for taking the lead on this. (Five of us did meet at that time and got some work done. Thanks for the pizza, Ginny.)
We had s lengthy discussion on whether or not to change the name of DeForest Area Progressives (DAP) to DeForest Area Action Team (DAAT) or something else. The issue arose out of a member’s alleging that the term “progressive” carries with it negative political baggage these days and that it might interfere with what we want to accomplish. Others disagreed. Some like being known by the term progressive. Janet noted that we are known in the election database she works with as DAAT. Some noted that we have become known as DAP among our peers and in the local community. Karen reminded us that the Boy Scouts dropped out of our recent “What’s in Your Water?” program because of the political connotations of progressive. Karen has spent some of her own money on procurement of the DAAT domain name for a website that she has already begun to establish. She thought we had already decided on the name change. JohnSki disputed that we had already decided, saying that his notes show that “no action was taken.” Someone suggested getting Marcia’s opinion, since she had founded the organization to begin with. We all agreed to continue discussion with no vote taken and no decision made on the name change yet at this time.
Karen reported that buttons sold like hotcakes at the Democratic State Convention last weekend. She is to be commended for her hard work on the button project. Thank you, Karen! She will be selling more at the Energy Fair in Custer next Friday. She has ordered a big bunch of supplies for further enterprises.
Karen and Marcia have signed up to attend the Networks Nation conference again this year in Phoenix in July. It is very expensive for them to go, so Karen has started an informal “crowd funding” project. She is accepting contributions, so get you money to her asap. Send checks made out to her or Marcia to Karen Edson, 3953 Finch Trail, DeForest, WI 53532. They have solicited groups, too, such as Wisconsin Grassroots Network and all of the groups in Progressive Partners, offering to attend whatever workshop the contributing group specifies. Then upon return, they will give presentations to the contributing group as reports on the workshop attended. In any case, Karen and Marcia will share everything they learn with as many people and groups as they can when they return. Good work, Karen and Marcia and good luck!
We had a long discussion on the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) convention attended by several of our members and associates last weekend in Milwaukee. The upset victory of Martha Laning was made possible by Jeff Smith (Eau Claire) heroically stepping down and casting his support to Laning, a relative newcomer to the party. Laning was nominated by Jeff and seconded by state Senator Kathleen Vinehout. The election of Laning might signal a shift to more influence in the state party by the progressive elements in it. The Friday caucuses were characterized by some shifty maneuvering outside the rules of the convention. The Rural Caucus was of particular interest. More than 200 people attended this year, compared to 60 last year. Our favorite son, Nate Timm, was re-elected chair of the Rural Caucus in spite of the irregularities; however, Nate’s running mates for vice chair and treasurer did not win.
Karen requested that anyone interested in the topics of clean water, Pipeline 61, or renewable energy contact her at email@example.com for new information.
JohnSki reported on his and Peter’s attendance at the Progressive Partners picnic-meeting last Sunday, the 14th , in Fitchburg. There were about 17 people in attendance from about six groups. We socialized and had some good snacks and drinks. A discussion was held on peoples’ attendance at and participation in the Dem Party of Wisconsin’s convention. Several people mentioned the irregularities in the processes, focusing on the Women’s Caucus, the LGBT Caucus, the Rural Caucus, and the Black Caucus. There was some sentiment to form a new caucus, the Progressive Caucus, in order to promote the more progressive elements of the party and its platform, which, it was noted, is quite progressive if you read it. JohnSki reported on DAP activities, followed by reports also from GROW of Waunakee, Oregon Area Progressives, Teal Team of West Madison, Middleton Action Team, and Active McFarland. JohnSki also reported on the formation of South Central Grassroots Alliance (SCGA). Other topics of discussion at this PP meeting were election integrity, voter ID and registration, the July 25th scheduled appreciation event for Jeff Smith, follow-up on what was done at the April PP meeting in Middleton, media task force of The Progressive magazine. MAT and OAP are working on getting Robert Reich to do a special progressive oriented event in downtown Madison on October 24th in conjunction with the Madison book fair. The next PP meeting will be September 13, 20125, in Mount Horeb, hosted by southwest area progressives.
Also noted is the August 8, 2015, Media Summit in Stevens Point, hosted by our own John Stanley. Various progressive publications and radio station people will meet to talk about organizing.
DeForest Area Progressives
Next meeting: Monday, June 15, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.
As you know, there were no regular meetings on June 1st and 8th. On June 1st, Bill, Frank, and JohnSki attended the annual meeting of the Friends of the Upper Yahara Headwaters. On June 8th, six of us attended the rally in Sun Prairie to protest how Wisconsin education is being treated in the Republican biennial state budget.
Next Monday, the 15th, among other things we will discuss the name change of our organization and preparations for the 4th of July in DeForest, including building the float for the parade. Hope to see you there.
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for May 18, 2015
There will be no meeting on May 25th, Memorial Day. DAP members are encouraged to attend the ceremonies at DeForest Veterans Park at 11:00 a.m. Monday, May 25th.
The meeting on June 1st will defer to the annual meeting of the Friends of the Yahara River Headwaters at 5:30 at the DeForest Area Community and Senior Center. DAP members are urged to attend and join if you are not already a member. There will be refreshments and a program with a featured speaker.
The June 15th meeting will be movie night. We will convene at 6:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, for a potluck dinner. Bring a dish to share. The movie will follow the potluck and will be “Citizens United: The Movie,” provided by Karen.
Next regular meeting: Monday, June 8, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.
Seven people attended the meeting on May 18th.
JohnSki reported on a meeting of about 45 people he attended at St. Dunstan’s church on the subject of race relations in Madison. The speaker was Brandi Grayson of Young, Gifted, and Black. We discussed the subject along with the shooting of Tony Robinson, gun violence, and other related subjects.
We discussed an article, recommended by Kathryn Scepanski, in the May 2015 issue of The Progressive magazine: “The Crucial Upper Midwest” by John Nichols about the importance of upper Midwestern progressivism to the Democratic Party in elections. Peter has raised the issue several times at past meetings about how to influence the Democratic Party of Wisconsin to follow a more progressive agenda.
Ginny asked for volunteers to help build the 4th of July float. Peter, Karen, Leonardo, Frank, and JohnSki said they would help. John St. is involved too. Others are welcome, of course. Ginny and John St. will shop for supplies. Ginny will notify all DAP members when and where to show up to do the work.
Ron Wolfe of GROW in Waunakee will be coming to a future meeting to talk about railroads.
Karen said that Marcia will not be returning until the end of July. She is busy with grandchildren in Washington state.
Karen went to Syttenda Mai in Stoughton to hear Peter sing with the men’s chorus. She was impressed.
Karen talked about the DeForest board’s resolution opposing Windsor’s incorporation as a village and its appropriation of $10,000 to hire a lobbyist to oppose it in the legislature.
In reaction to some information on the costs of government services, Peter said it is important to educate the public on the costs of prisons, schools, and other government functions.
Please review the information on upcoming meetings at the beginning of this memo and plan your attendance.
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for May 11, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, May 18, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.
There were four people at the May 11th meeting: John Stanley, John Scepanski, Karen Edson, and Ginny Brokish. We’ve got to find a way to get better attendance. Where are all our old reliables from when we’d get a dozen or even twenty people at a meeting? How can we build membership?
Karen showed us the progress she is making on the combined how to vote and how to get voter ID chart. She had the DMV forms too.
John St. talked about his attendance last Saturday at Active McFarland. He was there to invite them to join the Second Congressional District Alliance (now officially named South Central Grassroots Alliance or “the Alliance” for short). There were a number of McFarland high school students there. John said the group was generally enthusiastic and appointed Dawn Shegonee (sp?) to represent them at the SCGA steering committee meetings. They were interested in borrowing DAP’s button making machine to make buttons for Active McFarland. One of the high school students has designed a logo for t-shirts. Another student volunteered to work on the SCGA web site.
John St. is also working on getting Senator Bernie Sanders to come to Wisconsin this fall for a SCGA fundraiser. The 3rd Congressional District Alliance is also interested.
JohnSki asked for suggestions to pass along to Progressive Partners on how to use social media more effectively. Active McFarland has a Twitter handle now -- @Active McFarland. We discussed a number of suggestions. First, all individual members of Progressive Partners should have the option to be included on the email communications list, not just the single designated communicators for each member group. Too often, messages intended to be forwarded to each communicator’s individual group members are not forwarded by the designated communicator. That is where the “tree” system of PP breaks down. Every PP group should have a Twitter account like Active McFarland. Each PP group designated communicator should be informed of each group’s Twitter account name and then in turn should inform each member of their group, so that all individual members of PP can follow all the Twitter accounts. There should be training at PP to show each group how to do this. The same applies to Facebook as a resource.
The Progressive Partners summer picnic is scheduled for Sunday, June 14th, from 1:00 to 4:00 at Swan Creek Park in Fitchburg. Bring a snack to share. JohnSki said he intends to go. If anyone else is interested, contact John to share a ride.
Families Working Together is having a garage sale in DeForest this week at 409 Yahara Street on May 14, 15, and 17, according to the DeForest Times-Tribune. DAP members were referred to the article on page 7 of the Times May 7th issue for details on how to volunteer. Funds raised will help a family on the Pine Ridge Reservation refurbish their house.
John St. is playing phone tag with the DeForest Chamber of Commerce on the 4th of July parade. Karen will check on renting a truck to build our float on. The theme of the float seems to be, “I Scream for Democracy.” We will build a giant ice cream cone along the lines of “You scream I scream we all scream for ice cream/democracy” or something like that. Let Ginny or John know if you can help build the float and ride on it or walk along.
The next SCGA meeting is May 14th at 6:00 p.m. at Hody’s in Middleton. The hope is that SCGA can bolster local progressive grassroots groups. We need to organize, for instance, to continue making and locating the big red signs and their associated website. The 3rd CD group is interested and intends to hold a sign painting event this summer in Dodgeville. They need people experienced in the sign project to help. John St. said he intends t be there. Anybody else?
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for May 4, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, May 11, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.
There were five people at the May 4th meeting.
JohnSki reported that the final report has been submitted for the village of DeForest grant for “What’s in YOUR Water?” However, he submitted it too soon, as there are a few expenses still outstanding. Those expenses will have to be covered by the general DAP treasury. Sorry for jumping the gun.
There are five members on the newly formed Election Committee: Karen, Frank, Bill, Peter, and Janet. Karen volunteered to chair the committee. Although the committee will decide what it wants to do, we brainstormed a few items for the committee to consider: campaign signs, doors, voter ID, buttons, contact lists. The committee wants to make sure we organize sufficiently ahead of time to be effective when helping with campaigns and other activities such as voter registration before elections. Karen is doing a flyer to get information out to people.
Peter has been to a lot of meetings lately and had a lot of information and some opinions to share. On the upcoming Democratic state convention, he said that this is important because it is one of the few opportunities we will have to influence the party at that level. Progressives in the party must take this opportunity to exercise what influence we can at this stage. Lanning and Smith seem to be the progressives’ candidates for state chair. Peter said progressives need to take over the party. We should set up a hospitality table at the monthly county party meetings. Dems have been avoiding specific issues, and we must change the current state party attitude that candidates should not address specific issues in detail. Peter questioned why the conventions seem to be held always in the southern part of the state and why voting for state chair cannot be done other than in person at the conventions. Maybe some party rule changes are in order.
On another topic, Peter wondered if petitions are effective as a tool to influence decision making and whether or not we should encourage more petition circulation at all levels, including the national level. What are the different methods of circulating petitions? Can we get petitions out quickly via the internet? Karen pointed out that while the internet is a quick and effective way to circulate petitions, much of the state of Wisconsin outside the urban areas does not have access to sufficient bandwidth.
Not much is happening regarding our participation in the DeForest 4th of July celebration. John St. and Ginny are going to call the DeForest Chamber of Commerce to find out what is going on.
Future projects: do we need one? Ginny wondered if we might have a petition drive. There are on line tools like Credo. MoveOn.org has one. With Credo, you create a petition and they send it to their email list.
Leonardo noted that Bernie Sanders has put a new complexion on the national Democratic run for president. Sanders will force discussions of topics on the left. Maybe it will encourage the extinction of the “DINOs” – Democrats In Name Only.
We received some handouts describing the process to fulfill the new voter ID requirement in Wisconsin.
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for April 27, 2015
Next meeting: Monday, May 4, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood.
There were seven people at the April 27th meeting.
During pre-meeting discussion, John Scepanski asked if the notes he had written up for the previous meeting sounded too much like an endorsement of Joe Wineke for chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. DAP policy does not endorse candidates. Members present did not think the notes sounded like an endorsement.
There were two announcements. On April 28th there will be a free webinar at 7:00 p.m., “Progressives and Framing: Past, Present, and Future.” Registration information was provided. On May 1st, there will an open mike sponsored by the Oregon Area Progressives on The Future of the Democratic Party in Wisconsin from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Firefly Coffeehouse in Oregon.
Karen reported on last week’s meeting of the Wisconsin Grassroots Network Task Force. The primary issue was the development of regional progressive grassroots alliances in western Wisconsin. One in the southern part of Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District meets in Richland Center. Another in the northern part of that CD meets in Eau Claire. They join the still forming Second Congressional District Alliance (still seeking a permanent name) which has been meeting around the Dane County area.
There will be a meeting of the progressive media in Stevens Point later this year. Various small outlets like little newsletters and radio stations are trying to coordinate communications among themselves.
Peter reported on a gathering he attended put on by the Madison Institute, “Reflections on the Decline of Progressive Politics.” Notables on the panel included John Nichols, Ed Garvey,
Barbara Lawton, Peg Laughtenschlager, and Matt Rothschild. Peter said they all were extremely upset with the leadership of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. The party, they said, has to stand for firm positions on specific issues such as student loans and minimum wage. Peter shared a number of his own ideas on what the Dem Party needs to do and how to influence it to change.
Peter and Karen both attended the recent convention of the Second Congressional District Democrats. All of the candidates for DPW chair were there. Senator Kathleen Vinehout, a favorite of many DAP members, endorsed Martha Laning.
We discussed our participation in the annual DeForest Independence Day Parade and festivities. John St. is checking with the Chamber of Commerce. If we are going to do anything this year, we need volunteers. Only a few people did most of the work last year. Come to a meeting if you are willing to help build the float, ride on it. We still need a truck or trailer on which to build the float.
DAP needs ideas on how to recruit new members. Visibility is important. Lots of folks in the DeForest area know we’re out there. We’ve had some success with movie nights in the past. Personal contact works. Some who go door to door advertise DAP. Asking if people have voter ID is a good opener. Use of the name progressive was challenged. We should note that we are non-partisan as far as endorsing candidates goes. We might go into the high schools with information on how to register to vote or with a presentation on how government works.
We formed an elections committee. Karen, Peter, Bill, and Frank volunteered to be on it. Next meeting we will discuss what the elections committee will do: signs, lit drops, database, canvassing, what else? The point is that we want to be prepared to work on elections before the last minute rush to get things done. Janet needs to be notified of this committee.
We need a new project to work on. What might that be?