DeForest/Windsor Area Progressives
Meeting notes for September 29, 2014
Next meeting: Monday, October 6, 2014, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Ginny’s house, 3922 Partridge Road, Windsor Hill neighborhood, Windsor.
JohnSki updated everyone on the distribution of Mary Burke for Governor lawn signs as of last week’s meeting.
Janet announced that Bradley Whitford is going to be speaking at an event for Mary Burke and the democratic candidates at the Middleton office ( 6719 Frank Lloyd Wright Ave., Middleton) Friday, October 3rd. He played the character Josh Lyman in the West Wing. The event starts at 9:45 am, but the Middleton team wants people to arrive at 9:30 am.
We spent a lot of time at this meeting listening to Peg describe how she canvasses her neighborhood for progressive causes. She does not distribute literature, necessarily. She prefers to engage her neighbors in conversation about issues and subjects such as education, health care (Peg is a retired nurse), and local controversies like the proposed new gravel pit. She gets to know them on a conversational basis. She referred to a speech she had heard Michelle Obama make in Milwaukee, where Michelle noted that so many wards in Milwaukee could be turned around by just getting ten progressive voters out to vote. Peg is working on her ten in her Windsor neighborhood. She has been disconcerted to find out that many new residents do not get a welcome packet with information on where to register and where to vote. Peg refers to these conversations as “seed planting.” People are so polarized these days that a casual, conversational approach seems to work better than a lit drop, name drop approach. She told us a number of stories to exemplify her methods. So, Peg feels that if she can get ten votes for Mary Burke and our other progressive candidates, her efforts will have been worth it. Her information will be added to the “VAN” and other databases.
Karen brought up the subject of the candidate forum scheduled for October 8th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the DeForest Library, hosted and run by the DeForest Area Chamber of commerce. Ginny said she emailed The Cap Times and the Wisconsin State Journal news services. Liz said the forum will probably be taped by Wisconsin Eye and made available in that format. All DAP members and associates are urged to attend and make sure you have your questions prepared to hand in. Several DAP members want to bring information to hand out or perhaps staff a DAP informational table.
There is another candidates’ forum scheduled for October 9th at 5:00 p.m. at Edgewood College Anderson Auditorium. All state office seekers (governor, attorney general, etc.) have been invited. The NAACP will moderate.
Also on October 9th, there will be a forum at Lake Mills elementary school at 7:00 p.m. Michele Zahn is going to try to make both the forum in Lake Mills and the one at Edgewood. Whew!
AND, there is a rally to celebrate the re-opening of the Democratic office in Columbus on October 5th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on the corner of E. James and N. Water St. Candidates will speak at 2:30.
Janet said that anyone can use the Sun Prairie office of the candidates’ coordinated campaigns. It is on Main Street just east of the Kwik Trip in Sun Prairie. Janet urged DAP to make phone calls to all you can to recruit volunteers. There are 400 names in our DAP area alone who must be contacted and recontacted. We discussed, too, volunteers to provide rides to the polls on election day, getting voter ID’s for those who do not have them, early voting, and sign placement.
On the subject of the big, blue-and-white, hand painted “Mary Burke 4 Governor” signs, the ones we produced are being put up in SW Wisconsin, the Richland Center vicinity, and between here and Eau Claire. Other groups like ours met and did similar painting projects in Eau Claire, Shawano, Maple, Black River Falls, and maybe some other places we do not know about.
Karen informed us about the dangers of phosphorus laden manure originating from CAFO’s (large scale castle feeding operations). The manure digester at Waunakee keeps spilling. Other sources of phosphorus runoff that endanger our lakes include large subdivision deveopments such as the ones being proposed west of Fitchburg, also threatening wetlands. DeForest’s own Sanimax situation was brought up.
Liz asked, “What’s going on with WGN?” (Wisconsin Grassroots Network, where several DAP members are very active) Karen and others mentioned some of what is going on with WGN lately, including the monthly phone discussions among DAP-like groups all over Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District, known as the WGN CD2 Alliance.
Progressive Partners will be meeting November 8th in Oregon, hosted by the Oregon Area Progressives: 1:00 to 3:30 at the bank.
SCWMTA is hosting a fundraiser after the election on November 5th.
DeForest Area Progressives
August 11, 2014
Next meeting: Monday, August 18, 2014, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at DeForest library, main floor meeting rooms next to the newspapers
There were eight people at the August 8th meeting. John S. reported that as of the end of July 2014, the DAP treasury had $185.01.
Marcia will be gone visiting family in Washington during the end of August and beginning of September. Karen and JohnSki will chair the meetings during that time. Others are welcome to chair if they wish. Items for the agenda are welcome and should be addressed to Karen and John. A new format will be tried, beginning each meeting for about fifteen minutes with an open topic of discussion for all. Stay tuned for further information.
There was much discussion and reporting on various members’ canvassing for candidates: Mary Burke for governor, George Ferriter, Mary Arnold, Dianne Hesselbein, and Michelle Zahn for the state legislature. Marcia expounded on the options for campaigning: canvassing, phone banking both as a group and at home, letter to the editor writing, etc. Peg said she is interested in engaging her neighbors, especially on the issues of schools and town incorporation.
Liz asked what is going on with the sign project coordinated by the Wisconsin Grassroots Network (see www.WisconsinGrassroots.net). She has some signs at her house ready to go up. Ginny also has some signs and painting materials. Karen said she will take over coordination of signs as part of her responsibilities managing the “Messaging” work group for WGN. She will learn what is going on and report back to DAP.
We should all start to think about what questions we might like to ask candidates at the September (?) candidates’ forum we expect to be held at the DeForest library.
Liz said that Mary Arnold is asking for supporters to write letters to the editors of the newspapers in her district. Liz also recommended to Mary that she attend the River Fest in DeForest on September 13th. DAP members should go to River Fest to support Mary Arnold there, as well as Michelle Zahn and George Ferriter.
Carol G. Mentioned that she had gone to a web site that she thought was for Mary Burke for governor, only to find when she read the fine print that it was a fake web site. Marcia said that there are some unscrupulous web sites like that out there, and we should be careful when we go to web sites.
It was asked of members that we all think about members who have not been to a meeting for awhile and try to get them active again.
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for August 4, 2014
Next meeting: Monday, August 11, 2014, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Macchiato's, 605 S. Main Street in DeForest
There were nine people at the August 4th meeting.
We began with some free-flowing discussion on the topics of Social Security, pensions, and retirement philosophies. Peg shared information on a recent court victory for nurses’ pensions.
As co-chairs for the Mary Burke campaign in DeForest/Windsor, Janet and Marcia briefed us on upcoming events. Besides Mary Burke for Governor lit and messages, canvassers will carry with them lit, in areas where relevant, for our other candidates: George Ferriter, Dianne Hesselbein, Mary Arnold, and Michelle Zahn. The idea is an organized campaign for our slate of progressive candidates. It would be good if we could do some door knocking, lit drops, etc., each weekend between now and the November election, or if there is none in our district to help similar efforts in other districts. We could have a “corps” of canvassers dedicated to canvas, canvas, canvas and phone-bank, phone-bank, phone-bank. This Saturday’s (August 9th) canvass is scheduled: meet at Janet Mills’s house, 4054 Gray Road, Windsor (enter off Portage Road) at 9:30, 12:30, or 3:30 (your preference) to receive instructions, lit, and a walk list of Dem voters. This time around we are targeting “sporadic voters” – those who usually vote only in presidential elections. We want to get out the “sporadic” vote. Those voters have been identified from a database (the “V.A.N.” – I forgot just what V.A.N. stands for) developed specifically for this purpose. In future canvassing we will target other selected groups like this for our walk lists. Marcia and Karen will compile data from the various canvassing efforts and report to central HQ in Madison (whence come the V.A.N. and walk lists). Note too that if “doing doors” is not your thing, you might want to volunteer to do some phone bank calling either from the comfort of your home or at one or more of the scheduled group banks. Let Janet or Marcia know.
Janet said that she had contacted Assembly Rep. John Jagler (Mary Arnold’s competition) for his comments on Move-to-Amend, but Jagler had not returned her calls. This might be a good topic for letters-to-the-editor regarding his lack of interest in the issue of money in politics.
Marcia is offering one-on-one tutoring in how to “Twitter.” She and Karen learned much about the use of social media to get our messages out and multiply their effects by such means as “retweets” and Facebook “sharing.” Marcia is eager to do this and charges nothing for it.
It is fun meeting at Macchiato’s, the new wine and coffee restaurant in town. Remember, you don’t have to buy anything or you may buy a drink or a whole dinner or snack. The music last Monday was sixties and seventies R’n’R and folk/rock. See you there Monday and at the canvassing at Janet’s house Saturday! DAP rocks!
John Scepanski, unofficial DAP notetaker and reporter
DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for
July 7, 2014
Next meeting: Monday, July 14, 2014, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., at the DeForest Library, Room C (downstairs)
There were seven people at the July 7th meeting.
John Stanley told the anecdote about his presentation of the bowl to Ginny for her surgery, contributed by DAP for Ginny's exceptional service. Good luck, Ginny.
JohnSki presented $25 each to Karen and Marcia for their Netroots conference trip to Detroit, contributed by a donor toward the matching $200 (see previous notes). The donor enclosed a card that said, "Hi John and DAP, / Thanks for all the work you do in DeForest and Wisconsin. Please use the enclosed money for the challenge grant or anything else you see fit. / I wish I could be more involved with your group, but my 9 & 11 yr. old keep me busy, especially on Monday nights. / Thanks for keeping me updated on e-mail. / I know this goes back a couple years, but I was able to help clean out your 1st office on CV/Lake St and take a load to the dump. I got to meet some of you that day before heading to the Capitol. / Thanks again for your efforts and keep up the good work! / Corey King"
There are going to be four meetings at the WindsorTown Hall in the coming four weeks on each Wednesday at 5:30 to discuss the potential change of the municipal structure of the Town of Windsor. Some of us will attend with an eye to promoting a community bill of rights, as well as learning about what is going on and maybe helping to shape the discussion.
DAP participation in DeForest's big 4th of July celebration was a big success. The parade float was constructed on Nate's pickup and Nate drove. Some rode in the bed of the truck, while others walked and handed out information on voter registration. The theme - Let Freedom Ring - was carried out by ringing bells around a foil construction of a bell. Karen suggested maybe renting a truck next year, rather than sponging off Nate. John St. suggested next year we have a theme of "Democracy Float," punning on the truck float and designing a display round ice cream, "I Scream (Ice Cream) for Democracy!" Er, thanks, John. Parade participants included John St., Ginny, Jan Moore from SPARC in Sun Prairie, Marcia, Emily, Peg, Karen, and Leonardo. John St. and Ginny also helped in the Bingo games and helped the day after with cleanup in the park, as a gesture of relationship with the Chamber of Commerce. Good going, guys and dolls.
There is a possibility that we might be able to get a new office in an old paint building not being used by the Village of DeForest.
Marcia and JohnSki attended a meeting of the Friends of the Upper Yahara River Headwaters (FUYRH) on July 1st. JohnSki will be attending those monthly meetings, as he is hosting them in his condo complex clubhouse. The FUYRH was founded in 2006-7 to clean up the river where it runs through DeForest and to participate in other river improvement projects. Its mission is, "Mission: To enhance and protect the quality of the Yahara River headwaters while educating the community and providing sustainable recreational opportunities." FUYRH manages several grants such as one that reimburses riparian owners for improving the land edging up to the river. They sponsor the annual Riverfest, which is September 13th this year. They run fishing clinics for kids at the Sunfish Pond off Windsor Road: "The kids were catching fish." There will be the usual fall river cleanup (which DAP has participated in in the past). Also, a fundraising movie night and beer tent is planned for October 3 or 17 at WesternGreenPark in DeForest. There is going to be a contract project with Taylor Conservation, Inc., to review past activities of the FUYRH and develop goals and objectives for further future activity.
Karen, Marcia, and John St. attended another community rights meeting in Viroqua, accompanied by Nate Timm of Wisconsin Grassroots Network and Mary Lou Sharpee from Columbus. This meeting brought together about sixty people who had already attended some of the training put on by CELDF. They attempted to answer the questions, Where do we go from here? and How do we work with CELDF? Many jurisdictions around the country are at different stages of activity. There are different ways to get a Community Bill of Rights ordinance passed by county or municipal ordinance or petition. Rights have been whittled away over the decades by legislation and court rulings. CELDF is one of three legal teams poised to do legal work for communities who qualify. We had much discussion on this topic that I fail to report here. This will be a continuing item on DAP agendas.