March 2018 Progressive Meeting Minutes and Tentative Schedule for April 2018 Meeting

Agenda for Monthly Progressive Business Meeting
24 Mill St., Newark, OH
Subject to Change

• Introduction (5 Mins. 7:00-7:05)
• Fair Districts = Fair Elections Update (5 Mins. 7:05-7:10)
• Summer of Labor Update (5 Mins. 7:10-7:15)
• Gazebo and Related Activism (5 Mins. 7:15-7:20)
• Working Families First (5 Mins. 7:20-7:25)
• Working America (5 Mins. 7:25-7:30)
• Open Discussion (If Desired) (90 Mins. 7:30-9:00)
• Adjourn (9:00)


Minutes for Progressive Meeting

• It was reported that there is a small amount of controversy amongst the Fair Districts Fair Elections organizers pertinent to whether or not they should continue collecting signatures up to and maybe beyond the May primary featuring the proposed ballot issue offered by state Republicans. The organization may need help with strategy as they look towards further signature collection. There is a suspicion that state Republicans are trying to sabotage the ballot measure. The low-end goal for signatures is 450,000 total.
• The Summer of Labor was discussed: one member noted that the local Department of Job and Family Services has their own event called “Summer of Labor” which features the providing of resources to people looking for work and a “suggestion box” for ideas to help get people off of assistance. Another member pointed out that they may know someone with some labor connections who might be able to help organize the “Summer of Labor”. The Working Class Discussion Series opening discussion event had been rescheduled for the 27th, but is still lacking a location. We are presently looking for a place to host such.
• A member highlighted an App called “Vote Spotter” which can be useful for identifying: each elected representative, information on debated legislation as well as the known positions of each representative, suggestions for organizing to lobby action for or against said legislation, and permits quick contact of representatives. There is also a website for the App, but it doesn’t function as well as on a smart phone. It should also be noted that push polling may plague the App.
• We discussed the current status of the Gazebo Preservation group: the organizers had been feeling discouraged due to a lack of action/success/participation. A recent ceremony for “Preservation of Heritage” which gave the Commissioners and the Mayor of Newark awards for supposedly helping to preserve local history fired up the spirit of resentment within the group as it felt like a mockery. Councilman Cost told one of the Gazebo group members that the County is responsible for spending on the Gazebo now; hinting that it is entirely out of the City’s hands.
• A member asked if we should start organizing directly against local gentrification policies – specifically to demonstrate and lobby against certain development – and to be more forceful in demanding a “seat at the table”. It was affirmed by the attending membership that doing so would be a good idea.
• In combining a discussion of Working America’s Licking County Chapter, on the upcoming canvassing campaign for Working Families First, and in kicking off the new Licking County Progressives PAC: we discussed how helping with each of these efforts can go a long way in aggressively promoting unity of the working class and in advocating for progressive candidates and policies; starting with political organizing on the issue of gentrification with the symbolism of the Gazebo.
• We noted the upcoming “March for Our Lives” event on March 24th at 2pm: this is looking for promotion of local, state, and federal action. Our goal must be to educate, be persistent, maintain civility, “make it harder to kill”, and to reassure everyone that the “NRA isn’t the majority”.
• Under open discussion: we talked about possibly forming a reading group for the book entitled “Dark Money”, we highlighted the need for an educational push to guide our fellow citizens in spotting/avoiding fake news stories (better vetting is needed), a documentary on Netflix called “Dirty Money” was noted, we also talked briefly about another interesting and enlightening book called “Democracy in Chains”. We also talked about a film showing and brief discussion at the Library – hosted by the LC/Working Families First – on April 14th at 1:30pm featuring “The Gilded Age”. An App called “Pocket” was also briefly discussed.

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