Final Agenda for May Business Meeting

Agenda for Monthly Progressive Business Meeting

5/1/18

7-9pm

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)
  • City-Based Activism (5 Mins. 7:15-7:20)
  • Working Families First (5 Mins. 7:20-7:25)
  • Open Discussion (If Desired) (95 Mins. 7:25-9:00)
  • Adjourn (9:00)

Minutes from First Community Spring Event on March 27th, 2018

Community Spring Discussion Series: Transportation (1st Meeting)

• Discussion led by Daniel Crawford. Introduced himself with his background in local politics/activism and noted the brief history of the Licking County Progressives.
• Testimonials: Crawford discussed past history of having to walk to and from work at the age of 19 for up to 5 hours round trips (about 3 hours when on a bike) in all weather conditions when taking a taxi or carpooling proved unreliable. Also noted how he has since had to provide regular rides to family, including his ex-wife all due to a lack of public transportation despite a busy schedule. From the others in attendance, we learned stories about how one gentleman living in Newark provided another with a ride from Mt. Vernon to Hebron, another citizen reportedly had to walk 7 miles so that they could participate in mandatory AA meetings and regain custody of their children. Another reportedly had to share a vehicle with their roommate. Another apparently had to ride a bike from Granville to Columbus in order to then take a COTA bus. It was pointed out that in our recent past Newark and Licking County citizens had access to “Park and Ride” service via the COTA bus and that one also used to be able to visit numerous cities by train. An affordable service called “Go Bus” was also mentioned.
• Past Committees and Inaction: we discussed the past efforts led by the Freedom School in 2011 (which inspired an extensive study) and the Newark Think Tank on Poverty after that. In both cases, the City of Newark and other local government bodies chose not to act. Crawford shared his recent experience as a champion for Nonpartisan elections in Newark wherein he served on the Charter Review Commission in 2017 and pushed for action, managed to get consensus on the City needing to create a study group to further explore the issue, but that the City has since ignored the issue entirely. Crawford’s primary connecting concern with these examples is that the lack of public pressure on the policymakers will open the door to the City, the Transit Board, and the County ignoring the need for public transportation – despite the progress of the current “Transport Licking County” committees – much like how they did in the past and like how the City has so far continued to not act on studying nonpartisan elections. Crawford, for an example on a guide for future action, pointed out the success story (which arguably happened because of a grassroots and community-centered lobbying/activist effort) in the Newark Think Tank promoting Newark’s city government to “Ban the Box” which made it significantly easier for returning citizens to at least apply for a job with the City.
• Plan to Take Action: here we discussed a number of possibilities, including extensive community outreach, letters to the editor, contacting local government officials (preferably by phone over by email, since it is harder to ignore a phone call), social media organizing, commenting on relevant news media articles to help draw attention to the need, attending, occupying, and speaking at meetings of each relevant local governing body, and with public demonstrations.
• As an extension of the plans to take action: it was stated that we need to come up with a plan as well as wait for candidates and officeholders to propose a plan that we could then support., the current work of Transport Licking County’s committees was highlighted (including a series of public and business surveys and some research on the cost), it was said that we should find out the local work shifts which could instruct us as to when the need was greatest, expressed that we should survey other beneficiaries such as church-goers, some believe that the number one focus of transportation is a reliable route to and from work, an idea for organizing 10 citizens who need a ride to sign a petition seeking help with a reliable busing service at the same times and same location, it was suggested that we look into “Ask Kent (Mallett…the Advocate reporter)”, another participant pointed out that we can cite the examples of Medina and Mt. Vernon’s transit systems the latter of which you can call for a ride and travel anywhere within the city for a dollar, it was suggested that we organize a number of people (possibly including local politicians) to use and document their use of public transit where it exists, hosting a march or rally was suggested complete with citizens/speakers talking about transportation as well as spots for sign-ups/petitions and some musical entertainment that the organizers to learn ahead of time and partake in, it was noted that we can host a party, and it was noted that we should reach out and ask where people need to be transported and when they need that transportation.
• Next meeting is April 17th, where we will be deciding our first plan of action and delving more deeply into advanced planning.

Final Agenda for April 2018 Business Meeting

Agenda for Monthly Progressive Business Meeting

4/3/18

7-9pm

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)

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

Agenda for Monthly Progressive Business Meeting
4/3/18
7-9pm
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
3/6/18

• 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.

Final Agenda for 3/6/18 Meeting

Agenda for Monthly Progressive Business Meeting

3/6/18

7-9pm

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)
  • Working Class Discussion Series (5 Mins. 7:15-7:20)
  • Vote Spotter (5 Mins. 7:20-7:25)
  • Gazebo and Related Activism (5 Mins. 7:25-7:30)
  • Working Families First (5 Mins. 7:30-7:35)
  • Working America (5 Mins. 7:35-7:40)
  • LCP PAC (5 Mins. 7:40-7:45)
  • Action on Guns (5 Mins. 7:45-7:50)
  • Open Discussion (If Desired) (70 Mins. 7:50-9:00)
  • Adjourn (9:00)

Tentative Agenda for March Business Meeting and Minutes for February Meeting

Agenda for Monthly Progressive Business Meeting

3/6/18

7-9pm

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)
  • Working Class Discussion Series (5 Mins. 7:15-7:20)
  • Newark Poor People’s March (5 Mins. 7:20-7:25)
  • Gazebo and Related Activism (5 Mins. 7:25-7:30)
  • Working Families First (5 Mins. 7:30-7:35)
  • Working America (5 Mins. 7:35-7:40)
  • LCP PAC (5 Mins. 7:40-7:45)
  • Open Discussion (If Desired) (75 Mins. 7:45-9:00)
  • Adjourn (9:00)

 

 

Minutes for Progressive Meeting

2/6/18

 

  • We were updated on the progress of the Fair Districts Fair Elections campaign. The General Assembly was reportedly moving along a proposal that the FDFE campaign was endorsing which will – if passed via the May ballot – require a 3/5ths vote of both chambers to approve drawn congressional districts on the first try or the support of at least 2 minor party members of a bipartisan commission to approve a ten-year map or a simple majority for a 4 year map. Even with this proposal, the campaign was encouraging activists to continue collecting signatures just in case. In the discussion, it was noted that moderates of each party hate gerrymandering as well, since gerrymandered districts typically favor the base of the advantaged party.
  • We discussed the upcoming tentative calendar for the full-length Summer of Labor: kicking off possibly with a poor people’s march in March (it was suggested by another member that we reach out to Reverend William Barber, because his organization is encouraging a series of events from 40 days of lent to 40 days of civil disobedience with the poor people’s march in the middle of these actions, but the events culminate in May, not March), then we continue with a community discussion series throughout the Spring (called “Community Spring”) as a lead up to the official Summer of Labor, wherein a central theme (“Economic and Political Poverty”) will be covered through four sub-topic discussions (a. “We Need Transportation”, b. “We Need Living Wages”, c. “We Need Work Benefits”, and d. “We Need Power”). The next major event, taking in place on May 10th will commemorate the birthday of Corporate Personhood. Then, we have the official kickoff of the Summer of Labor on the first day of Summer with “Working Families Bash!”, then “Connecting Families with Opportunities”, “Restore the Dream Rally”, a July voter registration drive, a “Where’s the Dream?” Discussion panel [possibly featuring members of the teachers unions, the head of Job and Family Services, social workers, Stephanie Dodd, Guthrie, etc.], a march for Economic Fairness, another voter registration/education event, a “Fair Shake Forum”, a “Labor Day Debriefing” event, an event dubbed “Labor History Appreciation”, and finally wrapping it all up with the 2nd Annual Democracy Day complete with voter registration, education, and a call to action!
  • We discussed the current efforts by the Gazebo group to keep pressing for answers from the City of Newark and the County Commissioners. Crawford’s recent article apparently has some member riled up, the media is trying to get the Administration to come in and talk about it, and there will be a call to action at the end of March when Council hears more about the proposed blocking of the pedestrian bridge.
  • We highlighted how the spring will also feature some grassroots efforts to help build the Working Families First Initiative as an alternative source for community outreach for interested and determined public servants.
  • We had as guests the creators of “Democracy First”, a new PAC: borne out of the fact that the Ohio Democratic Party has given up on Licking County until we “lose less badly”, the goal is to facilitate a consensus and share volunteers from likeminded projects, possible candidate training, the initial goal will be to help Democrats, but will later expand to likeminded Independents, the concern is that there are too many separate causes and ineffective coordination as well as the fact that the current condition of the party sucks, the creators have experience in helping successful campaigns, the party’s “Main Street Initiative” has been decent, but it comes with strings attached and the requirement to feed information to the larger database, the new PAC wants to help generate media interest via big gatherings of the likeminded causes, and the chief rule is to ALWAYS have fun.
  • We highlighted the first meeting of Working America’s Licking County chapter (which was summarized in a previous update here), it was noted that education was one major issue that the Working America group generated a consensus on: it was noted that one problem we have is that “nothing is designed to be portable”, people still have basic needs, the lack of portability holds people back, we need to make it easier for people to take care of their basic needs, we must teach resilience (which isn’t happening in schools) with special emphasis on adaptability.
  • We discussed the recent creation of Licking County’s Our Revolution chapter by one of our members: the new PAC can meet and nominate candidates for possible endorsement by the larger Our Revolution organization.
  • There was some talk about how some in the Party are trying to undercut or delegitimize alternative options.
  • Creating a PAC for the Licking County Progressives (which was created officially today) was suggested so as to cover all bases if the intent is to influence election outcomes.

For Your Information

Recent bullet points of local information you might want to know, but may have missed:

 

  • Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Connie Pillich visited Licking County and spoke to local Democrats. As part of her commentary, she noted her support for “Medicaid for all” that citizens of Ohio should be able to buy into.
  • Newark City Councilman Jeremy Blake, whom had previously been prepping a run for State Treasurer – even visiting multiple counties in the months leading up to now – suddenly announced a bid for State Representative for Ohio’s 71st District. Note: another candidate has announced for State Treasurer.

For Your Information

Recent bullet points of local information you might want to know, but may have missed:

 

  • A representative of Working America – a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO which helps fight for the rights of working people whom aren’t lucky enough to have a union – spoke at the Democratic Club meeting and even touched based with me (Daniel Crawford) about coordinating our two groups in the near future.
  • A newly-announced candidate for Congress in the 12th District, a teacher named John Peters, also addressed the Democratic Club with a fiery speech aimed at taking the fight right to Congressman Tiberi.

“Working America” comes to Licking County

On Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 a growing working class-driven organization which serves as the community partner of the AFL-CIO launched its chapter in Licking County, Ohio. It was a fairly productive meeting featuring a number of the county’s activists. After it was all said and done, a second meeting was set to come some time later this month.

Here are a few highlights from that initial meeting:

  1. Attendees were asked to fill out a card listing the three most important issues for them. A number of participants named “addiction”, “equality”, and “justice reform” (specifically inspired by a desire to see some attention given to the very legitimate concerns of Black Lives Matter). There was general consensus that we needed to address healthcare (an argument for single-payer was made with no apparent opposition), lack of living wages, and the most unifying theme seemed to be a need for a greater emphasis on the issue of education.
  2. The hosts (one is the chief organizer from the Franklin County chapter, named Corissa, and the other was a trainee from California who happened to have an inspiring story being a DACA recipient while bravely advocating in door-to-door canvassing for the working class) introduced the group to Working America’s background, noting that much of their work is done through grassroots organizing and regular canvassing while also helping to set up actions meant to help make the voice of the working class heard.
  3. The group was fielded for ideas on some actions that we can take and/or some issues that we can focus on initially: a. right off the bat the issue of poverty emerged and a reference was made to the work of the “Newark Think Tank on Poverty”, b. we also highlighted the re-emerging debate on transportation and the role played by “Transport Licking County”, c. some extensive conversation referenced the success of the approximate 250-people turnout for the first annual Women’s March in Newark and the plans underway for the sequel in 2019, d. the dual and connected issues of Healthcare and addiction came up alongside the lack of education around it and how it is impacting even our schools, e. we covered – at length – the vital debate over homelessness and how it is directly impacted by the lack of affordable housing as well as a deficit of awareness on renter’s rights and the insufficient protections which exist for renters, f. we noted the unyielding right-wing pursuit of “Right to Work” legislation to attack unions and how we need to organize and educate against the coming onslaught, g. the thread of “JOBS JOBS JOBS” was circled back through all of the above needles with the need to underscore the poor quality and dangerous unpredictability of jobs currently available (special emphasis on Licking County’s dominance by low wages, temp services, and part-time work), h. and, finally, we repeatedly expressed the need to help the community reconnect with one another to recognize that we – as individuals – are powerless to confront these challenges, but as a unit we can achieve the change we desire.

Very much looking forward to what comes out of this and hope that the newest chapter of Working America can become a permanent partner with the Licking County Progressives, maybe as another nonpartisan (er, “trans-partisan”) subgroup.