Minutes from DCPAA General Membership Meeting, November 27, 2018
Announcements (6:50 pm – 7:00 pm)
- Ask for Notetaker and Timekeeper
Notetaker – Maria
Timekeeper – David
- Welcome everyone and welcome new members
- Introduction – Overall facilitator – Caroline
What is ARC?
- Treasury Report – We collected $42. at the last meeting and no expenses came out of the treasury. We currently have $506.35 in our treasury.
- Constitution – Is finished and has been ratified by the members of the Connecting Circle. The constitution can be changed at any time by any member making a suggestion to their Connecting Circle Rep. You can find the Constitution on our website, our Facebook page, and in your email sent out Monday, 11/26.
- Change for Email Newsletter – We are cutting back on email news from once a week to once every two weeks. Sending out once a week is too much for the manpower we have. In between those two weeks, if a bit of important, rather urgent news comes through that is time-sensitive, it can be forwarded to the membership. We would also like to remind action team leaders to send info on what your team is doing to MYDCPAA@gmail.com, so we have info to share with our membership.
- Web Calendar – The DCPAA web calendar is well-maintained and frequently updated and all progressive events we are aware of are posted there.
- New Boardman Rd. Library Restrictions – The library has become stricter with what it will allow in regards to length of meetings, so we will need to reduce our meeting time to 90 minutes from now on. We also are no longer able to book meetings 2 or 3 months in advance — only one month in advance. So our Jan. meeting date is still TBD. We are hoping for Jan. 15. Stay tuned.
- No General Membership meeting in December – December is very busy for most everyone. Take time to rest and spend time with family. 2019 promises to be very active!
Presentation on Voting Patterns and the Importance of Voter Registration (7:00 pm – 7:30 pm)
Introduction – Bill
Presenter – Ann Sullivan from New York Civic Engagement Table (NYCET)
Summary of Presentation:
Voting Patterns of different groups in Dutchess County were shared. The importance of continuous efforts to register voters year round was emphasized. Though the number of voters who made it to the polls this year has risen, we need to keep up the effort to engage more people who tend to not be engaged in what is going on not only nationwide, but locally.
Action Team Meetings ( 7:30 pm – 7:50 pm)
Action Team Reports (7:50 pm – 8:00 pm)
Environment Action Team Report
The DCPAA Environment Action Team has decided to form a Mothers Out Front group in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Caroline has been in discussion with Lisa Marshall, the Community Organizer for the progressive grassroots environmental organization Mothers Out Front (a national organization — you do not have to be a mother or woman to join, but the group is women-led).
As a Mothers Out Front group, we will have many benefits and the support of a network of really engaged and competent environmentalists regionally and nationally. Our first Mothers Out Front House party will be on Thursday, December 6th at 3pm at Johanna Fallert’s house. Email Caroline at email@example.com if you are interested in attending the meeting.
David McNary also attended the Environment Action Team meeting and he told us he is trying to get some environmental activism going on around Staatsburg.
Healthcare Action Team Report
The healthcare team has accomplished a lot in past several months. They have participated in 37 events so far this year, on behalf of the NY Health Act involving public education and requesting action by the public of their elected officials.
Along with tabling at around 25 events and getting almost 500 postcards filled out supporting the New York Health Act, they have also done presentations on the NYHA. The team has formed a very strong coalition with Campaign for New York Health.
The team is currently working on gathering lawn signs from the election and converting them to signs on the NYHA.
There will be a Regional Strategy Meeting for the NY Health Act on
Sunday, December 16, 3-5 pm in New Paltz. If you are interested in attending, contact either Eve or Elizabeth for exact location or respond to this email.
There is a window of opportunity politically to approach elected officials who claimed they were in favor of healthcare reform to confirm their commitment and hold them accountable. Efforts will be made to lobby our representatives in both the NYS Senate and the Assembly.
Saving Democracy Action Team Report
We continue to attend Dutchess County Legislature meetings monthly to speak about the need for fair elections in Dutchess County and along with speaking, we hand in signatures on our petition in support of fair elections to get them on record. So far, we have handed in 353 signatures and plan to hand in more at the meeting on December 6. Come and speak about campaign finance reform at the next DC Leg meeting.
We also are planning on setting up lobby visits to our elected officials at the state level asking for their support of fair elections in New York State. If you would like to join small groups to visit Did Barrett, Jonathan Jacobsen, Kieran Lalor, Sue Serino and others, please let us know by contacting us at MYDCPAA@gmail.com.
Below find the links to a blank copy of our campaign finance reform petition and a fact sheet on why CFR is beneficial. Print out copies and gather signatures. This is an ongoing effort. When you have filled petitions with signatures, just email MYDCPAA@gmail.com to find out how to hand them in.
The DCPAA Saving Democracy Action Team is involved in three coalitions: Let NY Vote, Fair Elections NY and a very new Ranked Choice Voting group. Everyone is welcome to become involved in any or all of these efforts! See more information about each coalition below.
Let NY Vote Information
Five DCPAA members will be attending the Let NY Vote meeting in Albany on December 1. If you are interested in being involved in Let NY vote efforts, contact Bill McCabe or MYDCPAA@gmail.com.
Here is the latest from Let NY Vote:
2019 is the year when New York will finally pass voting reforms – if we stay united and strong and make the right demands!
Please joins us tomorrow, December 1, for our Statewide Grassroots Planning Meeting in Albany.
We’ve spent the last 2 years working to let New Yorkers know about our outdated and suppressive voting laws, propose changes to bring New York into the 21st century and make voting accessible and equitable for all New Yorkers. Because of our work together, media across the state have highlighted needed voting reforms nearly weekly, representatives campaigned on our platform, and the State Senate has chosen voting reforms as their number one priority in January.
Things are looking good, but we need to stand together and stand strong to make sure we take advantage of this moment, and to ensure the laws that are passed are substantive and equitable and backed by the necessary funding.
We will meet together to make a grassroots plan to make sure we use a tremendous opportunity at hand to win strong democracy reforms in New York, including early voting, automatic voter registration, codifying voting eligibility for people on parole, and other voting reform priorities.
WHAT: Let NY Vote Albany Grassroots Planning Meeting
WHEN: 11 am – 5 pm, Saturday, December 1, 2018
WHERE: First Presbyterian Church, 362 State Street, Albany, NY
Let NY Vote
ps…Can’t make it tomorrow to Albany? Join us next Sunday, December 9 in NYC. The Meetings will be almost identical; we are holding two to make these as accessible as possible to all New Yorkers.
Fair Elections NY Information
DCPAA is one of currently 115 organizations which have formed a coalition under the umbrella Fair Elections NY! This coalition is working on campaign finance reform statewide. There will be weekly phone conferences for a while and it would be appreciated if getting on the weekly calls could be a shared responsibility. If you can help, contact Maria Quackenbush or email us at MYDCPAA@gmail.com. There is also an online petition that is to be shared widely.
Here is a one page fact sheet on Fair Elections:
This update was sent from Fair Elections NY on November 30:
Fair Elections partners —
Momentum is building for making Fair Elections reform the first order of business in Albany!
Thanks to all of you, we are off to a very strong start. Our coalition now has over 115 organizations supporting the campaign from across the state, and our letter to the Governor and all Members of the Legislature calling for democracy reforms to pass early in the 2019 legislative session made headlines all week (see below!).
Legislators are meeting for their Senator and Assembly Member retreats starting on Dec. 11 where they will set their priorities for 2019. There’s no time to lose to ensure Fair Elections reforms are top of the agenda. Here’s a quick update on upcoming actions and how you can help.
Top Priority: Helping Contact Legislators Before December 11
Next week, we plan to generate as many calls as possible to legislators from their constituents urging them to make campaign finance reform, including small donor matching, and voting rights top priorities going into 2019.
We’re setting up a toll free number for you to make calls on behalf of your organization, and for use as you urge others, like your members, to make calls as constituents. Look out for that early next week!
Join Our Next Coalition Call
Let you organizer know you want to be included.
Check out our Activist Toolkit
We’re continuing to add resources to our activist toolkit, so don’t forget to check it out: https://fairelectionsny.org/activist-toolkit
Spread the News on Social Media
Follow the campaign on Twitter (@FairElectionsNY) and Facebook (facebook.com/FairElectionsNY) and engage in the conversation with #FairElections
Here are some of the headlines from this week for sharing and you can find sample social media posts here:
- Albany Times-Union: Momentum for ‘Fair Elections Act’ puts pressure on Assembly
- Utica Observer-Dispatch: Groups push state Senate to change election laws
- New York Daily News: EXCLUSIVE: Prominent unions pushing for New York State to enact public campaign financing system
- Politico’s New York Playbook: Unions push statewide public financing for campaigns
- NY1’s Capital Tonight: Push for a Publicly Funded Campaign Finance System
For more news and quotes from editorials supporting Fair Elections reforms, check out: FairElectionsNY.org/news
PS – Our partners at Make the Road held a Town Hall last night in which all 8 legislators present committed to supporting Fair Elections. Here they are holding “I commit!” signs, pictured in tweets here and here.
Rank Choice Voting Kick Off Information
This is a brand new group at the very beginning stages of development. Want to get in on the action? Contact Dave Heller or email us at MYDCPAA@gmail.com.
We just chose some potential dates/times for the RCV NY kickoff strategy meeting! Our task for the next 6 weeks is to [a] promote this meeting to 300+ known or prospective RCV supporters, [b] capture 30-40 RSVPs, and [c] get at least 20 people to attend.
Right now, please do these two actions:
 CHOOSE WHEN YOU ARE FREE IN EARLY JANUARY
Please click the link to the Doodle poll below and select the times that work for you. The meeting location will be held in Poughkeepsie.
Choose dates/times in the Doodle Poll:
 ADD YOUR INFO TO THE DOC
We have a shared GDrive folder with a Member Bios/Questions doc. Please open the doc and add your info:
We’ll get 10-20 people to fill out the Doodle poll, then we’ll finalize the date and send it far and wide, shooting for 20 people minimum to attend the first statewide meeting!
Local Efforts for Immigrants
Every Thursday we March Against the Separation of Families.
Yes, separations are still happening and children are being indefinitely detained.
The group is now meeting in Home Depot parking lot across from McDonald’s and walking along RT.9.
12:00-1:00, Every Thursday. Join us. This is an effort headed by Frank, Val and Muriel.
Economic Issues Action Team Report
The following was discussed at the Economic Issues Team Meeting:
Issue of poor people’s budget
Fundamental principles of poor people’s campaign
Research this program to see how it interfaces with Economic Issues Action Committee
Handouts to be shared at GM Meetings
Color graphics – not memos
– Ask DCPAA General Membership – paper copy or email; show on screen
– Economic Issues Action Committee members to look for other graphic charts
– Action team selects “In the last 40 years” to show in January DCPAA General Membership meeting
Local City of Poughkeepsie property issue
Abandoned property – sold?
Involvement with Hudson River Housing, Habitat for Humanity
Banks bundling property and hiding owners
Liens on property; non-payment of property taxes – municipality forecloses
Unpaid mortgage – bank forecloses & now owns property
Contact will be made to find out more.
Continuation of sharing readings on economic issues at meetings
The Income Inequality Workshop scheduled to be held in Kingston was cancelled, so team members did not attend.
Education Action Team Presentation (8:00 pm – 8:25 pm)
Introductions – Gully
Presenters – Nora Merritt and Sherry Westly from Dutchess BOCES
Details on what the upcoming referendum for expansion of the Dutchess BOCES site entails were shared. The vote is scheduled for December 11. Get out and vote on this important issue. DC BOCES has not had an upcgrade like this in 50 years!
Closure (8:28 pm) Stay tuned for the date of our next meeting.