October 16, 2007

Report on the Oct. 14 NAWC Meeting

NAWC meeting notes
October 14, 2007

Present: David Moulton, Ozone, Adam Ritscher, Mike Rogge, Peter Krause, Hal Bertilson, Joel Kilgour, Gary Sorensen, Scott Cameron, Suzanne Griffith, Ron Miller

At the September 30 meeting, we agreed to a two-meeting/month schedule, in part so we have more time to talk about issues of group process, coalition-building and strategy. Joel K identified a few issues that have been raised, but not fully addressed, at past meetings:
1- Decision-making. Separate proposals have moved that we use only consensus, or limit votes to one per member organization.
2- Becoming more welcoming to new activists.
3- Structure. Do we want to move forward as a coalition of many groups or function instead an autonomous committee?
4- Strategy. What's the best use of our Coalition's energy? Can we identify some concrete, achievable political goals?
5- Equal distribution of responsibility. A small group of NAWC members have shouldered most of the work for the last few events. How can we empower other people to take a more active role?

We spent twenty minutes discussing coalition-building and decision making.
We agreed to stick with our current decision-making process, for now (strive for consensus, but fall back on supermajority (2/3) vote if needed. Anyone who attends a meeting has equal voice and vote). There was also a general sense that NAWC should continue as a coalition, but that we need to actively recruit greater participation from our member organizations, and bring in new organizations. Peter K and Joel K are appointed to review the discussion, gather input from people who have been but are not currently involved in NAWC, and come to the next meeting with concrete proposals for coalition-building and improving group process. Anyone with ideas or interest in serving on this committee should contact Joel (jrkilgour(at)yahoo.com).

NAWC will organize a picket and forum on the third Friday of every month, in conjunction with the Iraq Mobilization. Each month will target a different constituency - and neighborhood - with the goal of building our activist base. The October 19 theme is "Support the Troops, Bring them Home." We'll host a picket from noon to one at Memorial Park in Duluth (Grand and Central Aves). Everyone is invited and encouraged to bring a sign on the theme. A veterans panel will take place that evening at 7pm at Chester Creek Cafe. Peter K will invite mothers of soldiers to emcee the panel. We're still looking for younger veterans to participate.

The Hayward bus has been canceled. Twin Ports bus departs 5am from UW-Superior, returns early Sunday morning. The cost is $50 per person, but we'll make an effort to accomodate anyone who can't pay the full amount. To reserve a seat, contact Carl Sack (northlandiguana(at)gmail.com) ASAP. We've raised $1,000 toward cost, but are about $1,000 shy. We agreed to borrow the remainder from the NAWC general fund, if needed. Donations are encouraged: Northland Anti-War Coalition, P.O. Box 16853, Duluth, MN 55816.
Ozone will advertise the bus at UMD. Suzanne and Hal will advertise at UWS.

Adam mailed a letter to faith groups in the area, introducing NAWC and asking for contacts with social concerns committees. He proposed that our 3rd Friday event in November focus on faith communities, with possible themes of the SOA/military violence in Latin America, or religion and war. The proposal was accepted, to be discussed in detail at the next meeting.

Adam also updated and alphabetized the NAWC mailing list. If you haven't received mailings and would like to, please send him your address (adamritscher(at)gmail.com).

Ozone is still working on it and would like other people to help with administration and posting.

Scott Cameron was contacted by the News-Tribune about a story on disenfranchised veterans. Contact Scott if you have leads.

Hal Bertilson (hbertils(at)uwsuper.edu), is looking for social justice projects for his students to get involved in. Contact him with ideas.

October 28, 2pm, Chester Creek Cafe

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