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?