General Assembly Notes 6 January 2013



We had two discussions this evening: whether to set up a climate action working group, and a debrief for the Occupy Sandy concert. We decided to go ahead with a climate action working group.

12 people attended - Lynette, David Lans, Allen, Dana, Joan, Dick, Julie, Kendra, Allan, Steve, Hubert, Susan

Not able to attend: Maggie, Gina, Sarah, Ann, Barbara and Chris N.

Working group reports

Economic Justice WG: The next stage of the Washington budget battle will be over spending cuts, and it will be a tough one, peaking in mid to late February. The Budget for All agenda is right on target..Let's schedule a working group meeting to consider our next steps here. (Susan reporting)

Financial Accountability WG: Money report post OA sponsored benefit concert We had voted at our last GA to give $50 for printing costs towards the concert benefit. Our balance at that point was $182.35. Gina spent $53.64 for our concert programs, making up the $3.64 difference herself.

We had other costs as well. Nick Page's printing costs were $30; and we owed $125 for First Parish rental. $155 was taken out of our concert proceeds to pay these expenses. (The $100 fee for the First Parish attendant was paid by Oakes)

For our Occupy Arlington pizza gathering and GA following the concert, we spent $73 of the $87 donated at the last GA towards pizza. We voted unanimously to turn the remaining $14 over to our Occupy Arlington fund.

Our current Occupy Arlington balance is 146.35 (note: We collected $46.25 at our GA - giving us a grand total now of $192.60!)

Working group proposals

Dana: Proposed that we have a climate action/environment working group going; he is able to be a point person. (We talked about the fact that we did/do have an environment WG, but it hasn't met for a while and there is a need for new point people now) Dana said he thinks there is a lot of interest in this... And mentioned

  • Starting point, informing people about what is going on;
  • 350ma. Org, connecting with them;
  • Films, showing them

Discussion 1

We opened Dana's proposal up to a larger discussion. There was a great deal of interest, and the discussion was more than half an hour.

People talked about:

  • Connecting with
  • Environment and Climate Change go together..
  • Getting money out of politics goes together, too...
  • The effect of climate change is wide, jobs/community
  • A number of people said they are carefully following what is going on re climate change, both the scientific reports and the activism.
  • People are beginning to really move on this
  • 2013 a critical year; we need to avoid catastrophe.
  • Climate justice as part of our work
  • 2 things to look at - local, and beyond
  • has 4 current campaigns (at least): community divestment; No Mass Gas; TarSands Northeast; organizational structure
  • Sean Garballey, Barbara B reported by phone, had introduced a bill to ban fracking in MA. Let's get the details
  • Let's head to Portland on Jan 26th to join the rally and march against Tar Sands Northeast
  • Out West recently. Noticing the big changes over time to San Francisco Bay.
  • Interest in floodplain issues; Thinks we have reached tipping point -and not a good one
  • really good to work with what they are doing; customize it locally
  • Publicize it locally, get people there
  • We need to reduce consumerism; change in lifestyles necessary. Massive amounts of plastic in the ocean.
  • Louisiana story
  • Let connect to other groups in Arlington who are working on this environmental issues
  • Safeguard Arlington? Flooding? Windmill on Turkey Hill
  • Connect with Arlington Conservation group
  • Getting Money out of Politics! Break the power of the oil and gass industries re Tar Sands..
  • Films - Gasland, Tar Sands, sponsor Chasing Ice (Gina had mentioned)

We sent around a Climate Change/Environment Working group sign up list

Some plans/decisions:

  • A WORKING GROUP WAS SET UP WITH DANA AND LYNETTE AS POINT PEOPLE. This group should meet before the next General Assembly
  • Susan, Lynette, probably Julie, maybe others will attend the meeting on Tuesday and report back.
  • Films: Much interest in having a film series. Joan Black to follow up re spaces and equipment. She also said an important part of this was having discussion/conversation afterwards. We might event invite some special people to be there...

Julie suggested Adam Greenberry, has been part Youth Climate delegation at the international conferences.- He would be a good person to have at a film or something..To have him talk a bit. The Promised Land, a field trip? We could do outreach to high school environmental group

Discussion 2, proposed by Joan

The benefit concert for Occupy Sandy was special, we opened up many different levels. The effect of the concert on the community and for ourselves was so good... can we do something else like that?

Much agreement on what this did for all... A great way to involve the community! .. We packed the church...Many do not want to come to meetings - but they do want to be involved in actions..In the concert organizing, there were so many ways in which people could be involved.

Individual proposals

ACMI - A panel on Occupy Arlington Dick said Walter Locke wants to do a panel for Occupy Arlington, to explain what we do.. Our concert was really good for us, PR -- showing us in the most positive light. Three people said they would be glad to be on the panel - Julie, Steve and Dick. (Josh Golin was also mentioned)

Allan already planning to meet with Walter on Thursday, will get the info from Walter re the panel. What is the time frame; what do you need from us? (what do we need to know?)

ACMI information - can join ACMI and learn to use their cameras, etc.

Let Gina know about this, as head of our media/outreach group

Message Security. Requesting help from Steve.- Steve will meet with people who want to build in more protection for their messaging. Lynette and Susan, so far, to meet with Steve

Let's have Snacks and Drinks at our GA's. It makes things nicer We agreed someone would do it each time.. They would then find a person to do it/arrange it for the next time. Lynette to start off next time

Jan 26 Tar Sands Action in Portland; please put on OA website -- Susan to send to Steve