National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee

Minutes
Coordinating Committee Meeting
Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012 • Colorado Springs, CO

Present: Carlos Steward (AdComm, Asheville, NC), Jim Stockwell (Asheville, NC), Rick Bickhart (Treasurer, AdComm), Peter Sprunger-Froese (Colorado Springs), Titus Preachey (Mennonite Central Committee Peace Program, PA), Mary Sprunger-Froese (Colorado Springs), Susan Miller (Heartland Peace Tax Fund, Newton, KS), Gary Erb (Boulder War Tax Information Project, CO), Ken Freeland (Houston, TX), Naomi Paz Greenberg (Queens, NY), Kima Garrison (AdComm, Portland Cty of WTRs, OR), Robert Randall (Brunswick, GA), Jason Rawn (AdComm, Maine), Daniel Woodham (Greensburg, NC), Ruth Benn (NWTRCC Coordinator, Brooklyn, NY), Elizabeth Boardman (AdComm Alternate, Davis, CA), Joffre, Andy McKenna (Austin COs to Military Taxation), (Virginia & Donna & Bill Sulzman & Bill and Genie Durland from COS were in and out)

I. Consultant Report — written

30th Anniversary — Ruth mentioned that we might just continue with the 30th anniversary masthead and logo for the next few months. Any ideas for articles or special notice, please contact the NWTRCC office. Joffre doesn't like the slogan "taxes for peace" that is used in the anniversary logo. "Taxes are collected for the same reason as war." This will probably not be changed, but his concern is duly noted.

AdComm needs to set up a review process for Consultant to present at next meeting.

II. International — Conference and CPTI

The international conference will be held for the first time in Latin America — everyone welcome to Bogota in February 2013. Registration information can be obtained from the NWTRCC office or online NWTRCC is a Sponsor and our logo is used in the publicity. David Gross from California was chosen as our representative at the last meeting. He will also be a presenter at the conference. Dave interested to know of any messages he should take or points he should make; mostly it seemed we want him to bring back all the info he can from what's happening in Colombia and Latin America. We will hope to get him to our next meeting for an in-person report, but he will also write for the newsletter, and he blogs regularly. Naomi is working on the conference and notes that it will be videotaped and the sessions will be conducted in English & Spanish. We will send some of our Spanish literature.

Conscience and Peace Tax International (CPTI)
Naomi is on the CPTI Board. After some months of back and forth, NTWRCC has been accepted for membership.
Concensus to accept our membership into CPTI and adjust the budget for a membership fee. Joffre is opposed to the UN, and since CPTI does much work in the U.N. he notes his objection, though not blocking.

Naomi reports that CPTI is going to move to England from Belgium, but for some it's moving to quickly. Naomi and a few board members are asking that amendments be placed on the February meeting agenda that have to do with membership fee, electronic voting, etc. She asks NWTRCC, as a member org, whether we would officially join other groups in requesting that these items be placed on the CPTI meeting agenda in Colombia. CPTI meets at the conference but it is not the conference.
This decision got mixed up with whether Dave Gross, who is our rep to the conference, should also be our rep to the CPTI meeting since we are now a member organization. Because NWTRCC is a coalition, we also need to get info out to our groups before decisions are made on endorsing things. All of this is coming rather fast on our acceptance as a member group and many hesitated to decide on anything.

Consensus on a proposal that we should ask Dave to be our representative at the CPTI meeting. He can vote as long as we can get info out to our network for feedback before he goes to the meeting.

III. Administrative Committee Nominations

We need nominations for 2 alternates to be chosen at the May 2013 meeting. Notices will be placed on our website and in the newsletter and network mailings. Terms are 3 years, with the first as an alternate.
Current members — Jason Rawn and Kima Garrison rotate off the AdComm after the May meeting; Rick Bickhart (CO) and Carlos Steward (NC) are full members; Elizabeth Boardman (CA) and Rob Stenger (ME) become full members.
Nominated at this meeting: Donna Johnson (CO), Andy McKenna (TX), Katherine Fisher (MA). Send more to Ruth at the NWTRCC office.

IV. Social Media

Carlos presented the process for hiring Jason Duffield from South Carolina to be our Social Media consultant. Since the hiring, he's had about 6 weeks to get things started and set up new accounts on Facebook (a fan page), Pinterest, and Twitter. Carlos took some time to explain these and was able to project the pages with his handy overhead projector. Pinterest is very visual, especially for sharing photos, following each other, and spreading a message visually. There are links to the NWTRCC homepage. We need to put these links out to our whole list and get more of our own activists to be active on these pages in order to build a following. We already had accounts on YouTube and Vimeo but Jason will help make them more active.

Q & A -

* What is the step to get to our website — everything is linked to NWTRCC website

* One thing to start a page and another thing to keep it up and maintain it — we need our members to do it; we need volunteers; not a coordinator job;

* The question before us is whether to have Jason continue — rate as consultant is $19/hr, same rate that Ruth gets

* Jim — encourages support of this; more young people will be influenced to join us by finding out about us or get more involved with WTR as part of their lives;

* In next newsletter, invite people to join or look at these pages

* How do people get photos & videos to the sites? — send to Carlos (purplecoca@aol.com) or Ruth, who will pass it on

* Does Jason know enough to post things?? Who monitors what's posted? How are things taken off? Ruth is an admin on the accounts and has been looking at things, but will try to find a way to monitor more closely. Volunteers welcome to help keep track.

Proposal to continue this position and see where it goes — to get NWTRCC better known and finding the younger generation. At this point Jason will continue, but the position is not tied to an individual.

Consensus - YES for this year — deal with the budget later in agenda

V. Endorsement

The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation asked us to become a member organization and the letter was circulated.

Questions about the money and their dues, which range from $100 - $1000 based on the size of the organization. Could we afford to pay anything?
Should NTWRCC becoming a member of a one-issue organization?
NWTRCC is a coalition itself and concerns about joining a coalition. We heard from a few people in our network: Larry Rosenwald favored endorsement given that U.S. tax dollars support the occupation; Mary Loehr thought we should not endorse not out of disagreement with the campaign but more a question of context — what other groups does NWTRCC endorse.
AdComm had brought out similar questions about money, and Ruth was concerned that being the contact to the Campaign not fall on her, that someone else volunteer to receive the mailings and keep up with the info.

Proposal to endorse: no consensus. We will not endorse, for practical not political reasons, but Jason will see if New England WTR wants to join and then have them keep NWTRCC informed of the Campaign's activities. Jason will check with them.

VI. Change the Newsletter Masthead - Proposal and Samples

AdComm recommended that we take more comments at this meeting and Rick Bickhart, newsletter designer, can go back to the drawing boards. AdComm and the comments that came in before the meeting showed no concensus on either the title or the look.

Some comments included:
• Some like big word Refusing
• Likes #6 and #G
• Doesn't like "More Than A Paycheck" so fine if that title goes.
• Doesn't like big black blocky; mostly doesn't like that they are missing the positive side; if he had to change he would go with "you get what you pay for"
• Doesn't like black boldface; likes the font of "More Than a Paycheck"; too much block print compressed hurts her eyes; not crazy about the "Refuse" stretched out; would like to play with it; likes Refusing better than refuse because of confusion with refuse — as in trash.
• The idea is to catch the attention of people who are not part of us; SOAW tabling — seeing it from far away for tabling — block letters stand out
• Prefers a title with something positive - Refusing Payment for War To Pay for Peace
• Need a catchy quick short slogans — "Time" or "Nuclear Resister"; logo with a catch phrase, simpler and catchier; "refusal" doesn't connect with him; we are NWTRCC — Resistance; like a change but not sure what
• Open this up to more feedback; maybe on social media?
• Doesn't like refuse/refusing — prefers Redirection or MTAP strikes him as where it belongs
• Likes "You Get What You Pay For"

Comments from network members not able to come to COS:
• prefer current masthead to these options; like "more than a paycheck"
• don't like to say "war tax resistance movement" as it isolates us; we are part of peace movement
• no peace signs or white type; likes 1 and A; could live with 3,5,6, B; nix all others
• not attached to "More than a Paycheck"; prefer "Refusing" to "Refuse"; most samples look too big, take up too much space & cut away text space; don't need peace sign; loves our old logo

Rick took the notes and ideas. Everyone loved the Sept/Oct anniversary issue with the ads. We take ads in all our issues now.

VII. Objectives - written

Comments by category to the proposed objectives. The final version is posted.
Outreach
Adding "circuit riders" to B on the proposed side
Thoreau kit — Joffre remembered it being overpriced; on the internet for free now, still $30 in print version
Boycott cards — Eliz does not find them useful; others seem to; we used them all up
Meetings
B — added "events"
D — investigate options for virtual meetings (skype, etc)
Newsletter
Add e) continue masthead process
Network
g) Revitalize and sustain local groups — Identify one local group that is struggling and commit ourselves to concentrate some effort into keeping it alive (Portland, Austin)
Literature — Print Resources
Business as the next legal sheet
Daniel committed to continue on the relationships practical.
Media
Do additional media work on whatever pops up that we cannot foresee at this point.
YES Magazine, Sojourners, Z
Eliz — doing more in Quaker media; wants to do Sojourners also
Digital Resources
e) Create and post short videos/PSAs for use in social media (use interns)
b) Maintain AND PROMOTE listserve - Ken Freeland would like to Trainee with Ed. Ruth will connect them.
Counseling & Legal Information
Yes to counselor training Asheville
Fundraising
e) Use online fundraising methods such as Kickstarter and Indigogo for projects
f) The Logo on tee shirt — big — sell it make it available on social media
Support
Peter reports that Penalty Fund has not done anything despite out efforts. Shirley was asked to be a board member, so she is going to contact them with an urgent appeal to do something ASAP
What about the feelings of the people who need this fund??? What are the alternatives to this?
Robert recommends that if something does not happen quickly that we make a proposal to the next meeting to start a new fund; Ruth — you don't need to make a proposal, you just need to start the fund and affiliate with NWTRCC. Ruth has names

Consensus on Objectives as amended.

VII. Finances

Where we are at: 1 question about the balance sheet — re: video line — the bank holds sub accounts and that could be turned into some other special fund.

VIII. Fundraising

Rick reported on the committee's monthly phone calls. Suggestion to put our logo on tee shirt. We are bad at sales but could post on Café Press where they are printed by order and you don't have to stock them.

Committee volunteers: Jason (would be on calls) and Carlos (for kickstarter, etc)

IX. New Budget - written

No questions
Add $25 to Last expense line — Misc/Memberships for CPTI memberships. Drop the Office supplies $25.

Concensus on new budget as amended

X. Next meetings

Carlos gave a promo for the May meeting in Asheville. We will meet in the Mechanics Building at the same time there will be a show of Iranian Art — Dr. Hamid Dabashi may be able to give a presentation on Iran. It will be great. Come and stay! Mark your calendar for May 3-5, 2013. There will also be a live feed for people who cannot come, donated by someone in Asheville. Fly into Charlotte or Greenville, SC — if we can coordinate travel and rent a van to get folks to Asheville that will be cheaper than flying into Asheville. Trains and buses are closer.

Future meetings — AdComm had some discussion about the expense of getting to Colorado Springs and then Asheville next. Travel is getting expensive, so we need to consider that as we plan future meetings. We will also investigate virtual meetings. Ad Comm suggested virtual meetings especially for AC meetings.

Presentation on the different places — New Orleans, Cleveland, Voluntown
David Waters in Birmingham, AL, made contact with Bill Quigley in New Orleans, who gave us some ideas of places to meet and stay.
Maria Smith and Charlie Hurst would be happy to have us come back to Cleveland, which had a really good meeting/sleeping space and is relatively inexpensive to get to.
Jason reported his conversation with Joanne Sheehan at the New England WTR gathering, inviting us to come to Voluntown again. The Committee for Nonviolent Action community site from decades back is now a conference/retreat site. Near Providence, RI. NWTRCC has met there in the past.

Priorities: we've talked about meeting in New Orleans, so try that first for November 2013. As a tourist destination it should not be the most expensive location. Time to go to New England again, so check into costs at Voluntown.

XI. Evaluation

• Liked being on street corner; surprised at all the beeps; first strike was excellent; looks forward to seeing poele in Asheville.

• Been on the street in Portland, but amazed at the response here at all the positive honking to the banners; great food and local food that we got.

• Fantastic job that COS group did not just in hosting and participation in entire weekend. We don't have to have a WTR group in a place to be well hosted, we just have to have good people be simpatico.

• inspiring workshops especially because of the people in the workshops; felt the discussion stayed to the point and we didn't ramble a lot; felt that the work I'm doing as a WTR has merit

• my first meeting, blown away at how organized NWTRCC is; COS an amazing experience

• sorry to be so late; the weather caused such a delay; knew there would be a great program

• humbled and grateful;

• great shot in the arm for all of us here in COS; we've had very hostile experiences here — even being hit; the number of people at the Friday bannering changed the response we got; don't usually get that positive response; loved creating the arc (WTR timeline with our bodies) — brought younger people in and was touched by what they experienced. They couldn't believe this was across the country because they don't get is just form the local group; it was a tremendous service to have you come here

• really glad that I finally decide to come; reconnected with Peter and Mary from the past; ditto to everything said

• glad to have finally had the discussion he's been wanting to have since the mid 1980s and will be an article about it in the newsletter (on debt and the budget pie)

• terrific meeting and lots of fun and very inspiring and to see people we haven't seen for a long time;

• wish I could say I heart Colorado (as a state) — impressed with local peace movement here and supporting what's going on locally. The way the workshops were set up and lack of follow up to the second session — nothing came back to plenary. Wanted to report back from the workshops. He missed that. High point was First Strike skit. It was outstanding and over the top!

• loved the skit; really appreciated the overall positive and supportive atmosphere in this organization, that so many people came out west to our region.

• appreciated hearing the NY accents; so stimulating to have the historical thread. Agrees with criticisms like the no report back one but in the long haul everything this group has done has been so efficient. We improve upon it when we get criticism. It's like a family for us.

• first ever gathering of WTRs. Noticed right off there wasn't anything anyone felt they had to hide. Openly speaking and being safe. Courtesy and decency in interacting with each other. No aggressive domination. We carried the ball collectively. Twinkles for Ruth.

• Riding up with Ken and the trip meeting Marty and Janie on the road was a highlight. Being at NWTRCC again was great. Great local hospitality. Has felt underground with his WTR, so now is thinking about how to pick that up again. Not having local support is a bummer. Will try to get himself out of TX more. Having counseling time built in — WTR 102 — should be on agenda.

• amazed how much he learned in and outside the workshops. Holocaust denier challenged his view; someone else challenged him about use of nukes and towers; David Gross and Gary Erb are pushing us to "refusing the system" — more than war tax resisters. Being on the campus and with peace studies; could add in conspiracy studies as part of their program. The skit was great.

• came to learn a lot and did. Agrees with everything; even conspiracy about 9-11.

• being in this militarized city — the more we can be here the better. As we are on campus get more students here — making a sexier program that is easier for them to connect and be with us.

• great hospitality. Small group was special. We could have reported back. Today's meeting was really good. He heard the end of the AdComm meeting and wondered if it would come together, and it did!

•- Always good to have people here and meet new people and remember we're not alone. We became one of the 1% here with the coffee service donated from a college professor and all. Fancy!

• thanks to Carlos and the new technology and all the volunteers who helped.

Yay Colorado Springs activists and great hosts!


Notes from workshops and other sessions

30th Anniversary Party program

Photos