Meeting notes for November 17, 2014

DeForest Area Progressives

Meeting notes for November 17, 2014


Next meeting: Monday, November 24, 2014, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Marcia’s house, 3953 Finch Trail in the Windsor Hill neighborhood.

The agenda for the next meeting will include, not necessarily in this order, continued discussion about projects we might like to undertake in the near future: revisit old DAP draft policies & procedures?; environmental, Enbridge pipeline, Clean Wisconsin, bird city, prairie patches, FUYRH, Token Creek Conservancy; election, ideas, area meetings; education, SPARC projects, threats to public education; a community education project; Josh Lerner’s Making Democracy Fun; other.*

There were six people at the November 17th meeting.  Congratulations, because it was COLD out.


We discussed the election some more and the fact that there are a number of area organizations hosting meetings to figure out what went wrong and what to do about it next time.


Liz reported on her attendance last Wednesday at the Dane County Zoning Committee hearing on the Enbridge oil sludge pipeline that will bisect Wisconsin and pass through a section of northeastern Dane County near Marshall.  This is the same company and system of pipelines that ruptured, spilled, and  wreaked havoc in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a couple of years ago.  The company wants to double the diameter of the existing pipes (there are four running parallel to one another) from 24 inches to 48 inches.  The last DNR assessment of the pipeline was in 2006.  The Committee wants a new DNR assessment and the company to buy insurance in case of a mishap.  An assessment is not as intense as an environmental impact statement.  The company representatives said that if there is a spill, they have forty people in Fort Atkinson ready to respond.  The company has insurance but would not disclose its contents, claiming it is proprietary information.  They said that eleven communities have already approved the changes in the pipeline without requiring further assessment, bonding,  or insurance.  The Committee postponed any action, pending further information.

Bill talked about Clean Wisconsin and provided information on resources it has available for public education.  Clean Wisconsin is an environmental watchdog.  Maybe we can do something with them in the way of a public education project. 

Marcia and Karen went to the recent “Political Cafe” in McFarland last Saturday.  There are going to be more of those get-togethers in the near future.  We should send delegations.  We should do more along these lines of attending events put on by our compadres around the area.  A notice could be sent out to our list to meet somewhere locally and then car pool to the events.  This would be fun and informative and would signal solidarity with our sisters and brothers nearby.

Marcia has been informed of a book called Making Democracy Fun by Josh Lerner (sp?).  It talks about creating games, playing the games, and analyzing the results of the games that are pertinent to things that progressives and other interested parties find useful when thinking about social issues.  An example is the game some of us have played where participants get varying amounts of food or other things of value to illustrate disparities around the world.  Marcia suggested that DAP might want to study the book and engage in the creation, playing, and analysis of games.  Maybe we could invite other groups like ours to do the same.

Bill commented on how uninformed he found people to be when he was canvassing for candidates.  He finds a shift to the right politically among younger people.  What can we do to shape progressive thinking among our constituents in Windsor, Vienna, and DeForest?  Bill asked each of us what excites us to do something.  Liz mentioned labor unfairness and Act 10.  Ginny said that union activity and standing up for the common person brought her into activism.  Marcia discussed economic inequality and oppression around the world.  Peter said simply, “Goldwater.”  (Peter is originally from South Dakota and as his claim to fame he debated Tom Brokaw in college.)  JohnSki has no claim to fame (unless you call going to the seventh grade dance with Emmylou Harris a claim to fame J ) but anyway  said he had trouble focusing on just one thing, that there is so much involving the environment, education, economic disparity, unions, and on and on.  He mentioned reading Howard Zinn’s book, A People’s History of America.  Ginny endorsed that book too.  Peter mentioned too Mike McCabe’s book, Blue Jeans in High Places. 

Bill’s point was, How do we impact the population to have a “wake up moment”?  He is no longer interested in Republicans or Democrats.  He is looking for people like Wisconsin Republican Senator Dale Schultz, who can work together to find what common ground there is.  Maybe we could use game theory to bring people together, especially those in other groups like ours like GROW in Waunakee.  We need to set up a framework to find out how to engage people and get them to focus and decide: goals, problem solving, process.  We want to turn the light bulbs on. How do we do that?

*Next meeting we will continue this discussion and try to come to some consensus on what we can do about these concerns and what projects we might construct, what actions we might undertake, to achieve these goals.

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