Tuesday, November 30, 2004

DFA Business for Nov-Dec

Next meeting of DFA Tucson will be 12/1 at 7PM at Dem HQ at 4639 E 1st St., Tucson 85711. Please come and chime in on your plans and dreams for collective action.

Previous Meeting Summary Notes
DFA/Tucson - November 18 2004

Sonja Stupel announced that Dec. 10 in recognition of International Human Rights Day she will have a writeathon at her house. Everyone is welcome. Contact sonjastupel@aol.com for details

Becky Schulman announced that the Democratic Party will have a booth at the 4th Ave. Street Fair the weekend on Dec. 10. They will do voter registration if issues surrounding Prop. 200 requirements for registration are resolved. Volunteers are needed. Contact Becky for details SchulMB@aol.com.

Diane Call announced that Jobs with Justice will hold a Grinch Party Dec. 4 at 6:00 p.m. at Carpenter's Hall, 606 S. Plumer. This is a fundraiser and $10 donation is requested.

Democratic Party Opportunities:
Laura Burge, long-time Deaniac and now Co-Chair of the Democratic Resource and Issues Committee discussed new party activities and committees.

Deaniacs are invited to participate in working on such issues as researching voting records of city councilpeople Dunbar and Ronstadt, fighting a gay marriage ban amendment, living wage, etc.

A subgroup will concentrate on voter fraud issues.

She will be a liaison to encourage that DFA/T and the party work in cordination on common issues to avoid unnecessary duplication.

The party is forming other committees including a hiking club, a book club, Information Technology committee and many others.

More than 150 people attended a potluck the previous week where people could sign up for work. All committes are still open to anyone who wants to join. Contact Democratic headquarters.

DFA/T Organization:
Anthea Scouffas started the discussion by saying that we need to define the organization and give it some structure. We will meet twice a month for at least the next few months.

She asked people to vote on a steering committee, but the group decided to approve by acclaim 11 people who have been involved in DFA/T and are willing to work: Anthea Scouffas, Barbara Tellman, Steve Cody, Sonja Stupel, Janet Telfer, Samantha Sabo, Omid Mahdavi, Eric Fuller, Rick Graap,Judy Miller, and Jen Prileson, These people will meet ahead of time and make recommendations at the next meeting. Anthea stressed that we need to get involved in concrete action items and divided the group in subgroups to come up with a few recommended action items. The summary follows.

Brief Summary of Discussion Group Results

Voting Reform
All groups expressed concern for reform of voting systems, making every vote count, specifically,

Support groups finding out the truth about 2003 election, recounts, etc., (e.g. blackboxvoting.org)

Electoral college change, either nationally or at the state level, making vote proportional or direct vote.

Make hand recounts legal in Arizona and require that a certain %of precincts randomly chosen get hand recounts to check the computer's accuracy.

Restore voting rights of felons who have served their time.

Insist that computer programs for vote counting be available for inspection, not proprietary.

Most groups expressed interest in doing something in this category
Identify, recruit and support progressive local candidates.

Work for changes in Prop. 200, maintain Clean Elections System in Arizona, and other progressive ballot issues at state and local level.

Promote Arizona Clean Elections systems to other states.

Support city elections by ward, investigate political impacts of annexation.

Promote Dean as Dem. Party chair.

Oppose gay marriage ban or similar measures if they come up.

Several groups felt we should get active on media issues.

Lobby to get AirAmerica in Pima County

Support Media Watch program, including letting sponsors of biased news know we do will not buy their products. Efforts to promote corporate responsibility.

Develop a marketing plan and ways to convey progressive ideas.

Have training in conveying ideas effectively.

National and International Issues
There was little agreement on which of these issues to adopt, but most had interest in this level of action.

Work with local peace groups to stop war, prevent attack on Iran, reduce military spending, etc.

Work for a living wage.

Work for improved economy, balanced budget, etc.

Form progressive Service Club

Pursue Dean Corps projects

Work on comprehensive energy policy and alternate energy sources.

Fairness in Social Security and Medicare

Work on environmental issues.

Community Relations
Work towards better communications among local groups with progressive agendas (environmental, health, peace, etc.) including forming a coalition or umbrella group.

Work on neighborhood organizing.

Work on ways to reach independents since they are the majority of voters.

Work with Democratic and Green Party committees.

Internal Organizing

Develop a rapid response team

Develop speakers bureau

Have a good web site.

Get more Hispanics in the group and learn how to reach them, especially students.

Define DFA and possibly incorporate, become a PAC, or become a Democratic Club.

Keep group open to Independents and Green Party members


At 10:31 PM, Blogger Erin said...

This is wonderful. Here in Flagstaff we are discussing some of the same issues: a living wage, a big-box referendum (think Super Wal-Mart) that we may fight, working with other progressive groups, finding candidates for 2006 city and county races, plus ways to work with our local Democratic Party and the state party. The goal is to change the status quo kind of thinking in the national party, but that begins at the local level.

We aren't as large a group as the Tucson DFA, but we have formed a 527 and did some amazing stuff this year. We want to continue. I think Tucson and Flagstaff could work together for statewide initiatives. Is there a way we can keep in touch? Would anyone like to join our DFA email list and I join yours if you have one?

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Absolutely! We are building a site at www.dfatucson.com which will include workgroup software, forums, chat and such for collaboration, and we can also include each others members in our mailing lists. You can write me at mbryan@aol.com and we'll arrange everything.

At 11:00 PM, Blogger anthea said...

Fantastic, Flagstaff! Would love to work with you all. We were just discussing the need to connect with the other dfa groups in arizona. Let's keep in touch...we will continue to post our meeting notes on this website so you can keep up with what we are doing (or hope to be doing).

Is there a way for us to hear of your plans, actions, activities? Do you have a website? If so, we'd be happy to put a link to it on our site.

We'll keep you all posted.


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