Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Notes from P4C leadership meeting 2.23

Our third steering group meeting, Mon. Feb. 23rd, was attended by four P4C members: Sarah Gibson, Linda Sexauer, Mavis Anderson, and Connie Madden. Sarah's husband, Rich, popped in for a brief period and contributed, as well. The meeting was very productive, likely in part due to its smaller attendance, which we totally attributed to the meeting time. Our previous two meetings were attended by roughly 25 and 12, respectively.

One of the reasons for posting this account is to provide all of our members the opportunity to join with others in our group in these endeavors. Be the change our community, our nation, and the world needs right now!

A huge thanks to Sarah for creating our meeting agenda! Way to go, Gibby!!!

What we discussed:
Funding -
We have decided to become a nonprofit organization. By doing so, we will be able to better fund our web site, our events, and any general expenses that come up such as flyers, copies, and postage. Rich Gibson-Lopez will oversee the 501C3 process. Linda Sexauer has a Nolo Press CDRom to loan to Rich that will hopefully expedite this process.

Web site -
Our petaluma4change.org web site is under construction. Sara B. is off to a great start with it. We anticipate that it will replace our temporary blog at blogspot.com within a month or so. We are deciding now how many years in advance we will pay to have this site.

Mission statement -
We decided that it's essential for a core group of us to make this a high priority and to schedule a meeting where we will sit down and work hard on this until it is complete. Because of our decision to set up P4C as a 501C3, our mission statement and declaration of goals must be hammered down. I will be sending out word of this meeting to our core group soon.

Guidelines for adopting issues -
We decided that this will become clear when we hammer down our mission statement and declaration of goals. This specifically pertains to how we decide our role in issues and how we make public statements.

Recruitment -
Lots of ideas, many will be put into action soon, many are already in action.
  • Social events
  • Phone bank for local membership recruitment
  • Facebook
  • Aqus

P4C Board positions -
Identifying needed positions & setting guidelines for nominations/voting is postponed until our March leadership meeting.

Issues-specific sub-groups within P4C -
Many other community organizations all up and down California that came out of the Obama campaign and that are now working together to achieve the exact same things we are achieving and attempting to achieve have set up issues-specific committees, usu. headed up by one/more individuals with an interest in that issue. We want/need to do this. Issues include things like health care, education, local poverty, civil rights, local government, the list is endless and totally depends on who steps forward with what level of willingness/eagerness to get the ball rolling on their pet issue.

Our ears are open to any of our members who would like to discuss this item further, or to begin a process of setting up an issue-specific group.

Upcoming dates -
  • Wed. Mar. 18th ... next steering group meeting. 7-9pm. Host: Connie Madden. 215 Water St.
  • Sat. Mar. 21st ... Local Petaluma Day of Service. Patterned after the recent highly successful National Day of Service in Jan. Renamed by Sarah Gibson as Petaluma Spring Cleaning Day.
  • Sun. Mar. 22nd-Sat. Mar. 28th ... six phone banks to recruit new P4C members, as well as to activate more fully our existing base. Info forthcoming.
  • Apr. ... monthly steering group meeting hosted by Janice Kearns. Info TBA.
  • May ... P4C social event. Initial organizing by Connie Madden. Downtown location. Open to public.

Organizing for America (OFA) -
We discussed the likelihood that the first, next ask of us by the Obama team may very well be to phone bank in an effort to build a national campaign to support passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). This bill is one of the cornerstones of the Obama/Biden platform, to bring labor back into the national discussions that determine wage rates, employer-provided benefits, which jobs are outsourced overseas, worker safety, employment discrimination, just to name a few policy areas that concern/affect all of us.

We make this prediction based on recent job postings all across the country by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to staff up the ground effort to work in legislative battleground states for this purpose. Those of you who have traveled recently to a battleground state, such as Nevada, may have noticed that the anti-EFCA effort is well-organized and functioning effectively in the media, promoting false perceptions among targeted demographics that the EFCA will erode individual rights and turn America into a communist nation. You simply can't make this stuff up! Just for kicks, read this HuffPo piece with Gingrich saying, "This bill is a mortal threat to American freedom and we will never forgive somebody who votes for cloture or for passage."

Now is a great time for all of us to take the initiative to become better-informed about this piece of legislation.

Feb. 23rd Petaluma City Council meeting -
Sarah Gibson agreed to attend this meeting with two purposes: (1) To publicly announce our upcoming Petaluma Spring Cleaning Day/Local Day of Service, and (2) To listen to and report back on the water resources report.

About P4C member Connie Madden -
Connie is very involved in Sonoma County GoLocal Cooperative www.golocal.coop. Contact Connie to learn more or to become active in our local-area efforts to "build a durable local economy and take steps to reclaim our local economic power."

Our current economic situation provides a perfect time to join this effort, on whatever level suits your life. With businesses going under, how they are replaced, whether they be with entities like WalMart or with entities that chart a course back to building local economic power, will be our local legacy to future generations of Petalumans.

Contact info:
707.781.9311 (c) 364.7627

Endnote: We threw this summary together in about 30 minutes, so judge its transcription accordingly, por favor! Suggestions on improving this communication? Send 'em in!

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