DeForest Area Progressives meeting notes for November 30, 2015

DeForest Area Progressives (DAP)

Meeting notes for November 30, 2015


There were five people at the meeting.  Announcements included


  • December 6th Organizing Wisconsin for Bernie Sanders convention at UW Stevens Point campus at the Dreyfus Center, 1015 Reserve St., in the Alumni Rm., 3rd floor; organized by DAP’s own John Stanley
  • December 7th DAP meeting will feature Dane County Judges Rhonda Lanford and Ellen Berz speaking to us on the ins and outs of the judicial system in Dane County. 
  • The Dane County Democratic Party will be holding its annual holiday party Sunday at the Cardinal Bar in downtown Madison.  Karen will be attending her first DCDP Board meeting prior to the party.


Karen passed around a calendar of progressive events coming up in the Madison area.


JohnSki reported that as of the end of October, we had $708.75 in the DAP treasury, which is kept as a checking account at DMB Community Bank.  Access to the account is through John Scepanski or Marcia Riquelme, who set it up when DAP first started.  Over half of what is currently in the account was produced by Karen Edson and associates by making and selling buttons.  Thank you Karen and associates.


We discussed candidates coming up for election April 5, 2016, for local offices, county offices, and Wisconsin Supreme Court.


Karen advocated an annual plan for DAP to include such events as the December hunger drive.  We should participate and initiate events in the public eye to promote our progressive values.  Perhaps we can franchise the idea of an annual plan out to other progressive groups like ours.  We might use publicity like videos, news media, work with other groups, and have gatherings at the library to discuss issues with other groups.  Further discussion on Karen’s idea will ensue at future meetings.  Is this an idea we like?  An annual plan might include election campaigning, civic projects like voter registration, candidates’ forums, problem-solving coordination, education on the principles of George Lakoff, use of social media, community movies and subject discussions, hone our lists of principles and values.


We decided by consensus to make a contribution of $20 from the DAP treasury to Arboretum Cohousing.  Karen sent this note with the check:

This is a small token of our thanks for your … assistance during the past year with button making and related tasks for our group! We really appreciate fellow Progressives’ cooperation and are delighted to be able to offer some small assistance to your continuing efforts in this area.


One of our members brought up the subject of a DeForest Times-Tribune newspaper article that he thought inaccurately described something that happened recently in the DeForest Area School District (DASD).  The article reported that new teachers in the DASD are happy with the way things are going, based on a survey that new teachers filled out on which their signatures were required.  What new teacher is going to report any unhappiness if they have to sign the report?  The informal “word on the street” among new teachers is that they are not completely happy with the way things are.  Should DAP write a letter to the editor about this issue?  It was noted that enrollments in schools of education around the country are down due to disillusionment with the education profession and how teachers and others are being treated by elected administrations, Wisconsin included.


We should be careful when we ask speakers to come to our meetings.  Get the group’s permission first, if you want to schedule someone to speak.  We need rules on how to bring things up at meetings, how to propose projects, how to behave at meetings.  Someone is going to look into the possibility of hosting meetings and events at meeting rooms at the new Norske Nook restaurant.  It was suggested that we consider meeting every other week, instead of every week.  Some members have reservations about every other week not being frequently enough to keep up energy.  Others think we burn out with meetings that are too frequent.  Consensus was that we should try every other week and see how it turns out.


We decided by consensus to spend $167.75 from our treasury to buy a cut-out machine to facilitate button-making.  Cutting out by hand gets counterproductive when there are large orders. 


Karen also brought up a project of distributing “bankster” cards.  She will purchase a sample set for DAP perusal.  Subjects include, for example, Goldman Sachs, Corporate Personhood, Health Care, The Military Industrial Complex, etc., etc., you get the idea.  The cards are for handing out on the street at events, in order to draw attention to issues.  Karen, you come up with so many ideas!  Thank you.


We adjourned the regular meeting and proceeded into a political discussion concerning campaigns for Bernie Sanders and others.

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