Occupy Amherst GA minutes: June 27, 2012
Nancy facilitating; Deborah took minutes
Decisions / Timely announcements:
- Next GA meeting will be August 8. No meetings in July. Jean will faciitate on 8/8.
- Decided not to move ahead with an outdoor action on Aug. 25. (Discussed alternatives – see notes below.)
- There will be a Kitty report first Wed. of each month.
- Ask your representative ASAP to support the statewide Foreclosure Prevention bill that includes mandatory mediation.
- The Education wg of Racism in Amherst Schools will show a video on Monday, July 9 at 6pm: “Precious Knowledge” – about the Arizona Chicano Studies program. Location TBA.
Grace Ross / Foreclosures:
- Waiting on disc of info from Grace. Then discuss possible formation of foreclosure support group.
- Bonnie’s campaign not getting enough press coverage, esp. since Democratic elected officials, etc. teamed up behind their own candidate. Letters to the Editor would be helpful – including kudos for Bonnie’s work on the Valor Act protecting people serving in the military from being foreclosed on.
- Discussed publicizing recent MA supreme court ruling that banks now need to produce the promissory note for a mortgage loan when asked. Otherwise, they can’t foreclose. People can send a certified letter asking for the note, and the bank has 10 days to produce it.
Petitions for 28th Amendment Ballot Question:
- July 3 is deadline for the petitions. Need 1200 certified signatures in each district. Only have 1000 in Rosenberg’s district, which is one of the highest number. Common Cause sending 5 interns for a few days for a final push.
- Organizers not aware that MA legislature would be considering Rosenberg’s bill to support the 28th amendment as early as June. Ballot question still useful going forward to show support.
- Website 2012ballot.org got hacked a week ago – Roger able to reconstruct it quickly. Was this a politically motivated hack?
Racism in Amherst Schools:
- Two working groups up and running: Education and Rapid Response Team.
- RRT is meeting with Superintendent Geryk next week to discuss how complaints are handled, and criminalizing language being used against kids of color.
- Presentation by Quabbin group made to ARHS about TAB – Training Active Bystanders – an anti-bullying program.
- Future plans include possible outreach barbeque in South Amherst; an arts-oriented event to reach out to high school kids.
- Meeting held with David and Judy Cohen -retired UE organizers – and OA folks. Cohens had helpful suggestions about next steps, organizing rights, and how to focus the issues.
Juneteenth Celebration report:
- Good event previous weekend in Springfield with about 300 people: music including local hip-hop bands, speakers, food. A number of Amherst folks there. OA contributed $50 for event.
- About Justice for Charles: the conviction was vacated, but the indictment is still in place. Waiting to hear from DA if he’ll throw the case out or set a new date. Bail hearing is Monday (7/2).
- Currently has no money. Nancy passed the envelope to collect more. Reminder that GA agreed to replenish the kitty when it falls below $50.
- Proposal still pending about whether to buy a membership in Amherst Community Television.
- Decided to postpone event from late summer to fall.
- Need to be more purposeful about why we’re having event, how we will engage new people.
- Discussed possible focus on student outreach, perhaps connecting with Amherst Schools arts-related event.
- How to increase media coverage in general for Occupy? Need for a PR wg, not just one person to do publicity for an event.
- Discussed civil disobedience training for more of us. Actions can get very tame and “orchestrated.”