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.