NWTR Coordinating Committee Meeting Minutes
November 6, 2016 • Hampton, Florida
Present: Ruth Benn (Coordinator, Brooklyn, NY), Coleman Smith (AdComm, Asheville, NC), Robert Randall (Brunswick, GA), Bill Glassmire (AdComm, Corvallis, OR), Ed Kale (LaPointe, Wisconsin), Peter Smith (Michiana War Tax Refusers, South Bend, IN), Clare Hanrahan (Asheville, NC), Erica Weiland (Social Media Coordinator, Seattle, WA), Cathy Deppe (AdComm, Los Angeles, CA), Jim Stockwell (Micaville, NC), Daniel Woodham (Liberty, NC), Chrissy Kirchhoefer (Florissant, MO), Sam Koplinka-Loehr (Field Organizer, Philadelphia, PA), Martina and John X Linnehan
Online: Rick Bickhart (Treasurer, Ridgeway, CO), David Gross (San Luis Obispo, CA), Anne Barron (San Diego Peace Resource Center, CA), Susan Miller (Hesston, KA)
Regrets: Rick Bickhart, Kima Garrison, Bill Ramsey, Carol Coney
1. Consultant Reports
Ruth – Questions about the hiring; how many applicants? 30 + 6 interviews. Will we be able to keep in touch with any of them? Yes – Anne wanted to connect with Nora in SF; a couple others responded to the rejection letter with “keep me on your list” interest. Robert asked if the fund appeal color insert was special printer deal? It was done at a cheap online printer.
Erica – Bill asks about time on podcasts & Erica notes how video and podcast such things take lots of time, just so people know that it doesn’t just appear. Coleman and others appreciated the Social media workshop on Saturday. Daniel asked what platform is most used? Erica spends most time on Twitter and Facebook and less on the others. And answering other questions, Erica says photos do not get a lot of likes or shares, but a few have done well. Still working on a winning graphic etc. Erica will follow up on the online advertising to drive more people to our website and other resources; we can afford the online ads more than print media. With Sam on Facebook there is more sharing. A future education session might be how people interact most effectively with Erica & social media accounts. Erica says write for the blog – 300 words or longer about wtr. Send to her. Coleman and Clare’s Powerpoint/militarization of the South will go online, and they will help circulate it and pull out pieces for certain things, etc. They’d like to know how to use it as a tool?
Sam – Adds that they did the fund appeal, newsletter article, blog piece and will be doing affiliate calls and also hoping to bring in more dues. Coleman asks what hurdles you will be up against or problems your foresee? Sam – the biggest barrier is people being spread out since previous organizing has been in one place; so how to have people in different places take on local campaigns and be supported by a national organizer. Clare is wondering about the Southern HR meeting and his travel funding? Ruth – hopefully trips can be grouped. Not to fly here and there for one thing but to have a series., but to stay in touch about that meeting. Asked about the Nov. 19 webinar, Sam says put the link in your browser and add the meeting ID. Use audio on computer or call in and have the audio on your phone or call like a conference call. There will be a Powerpoint plus little images of who else is on. It is easy! This webinar is just for WTRs and to meet Sam and talk about what they need and are doing. Brainstorm about what would be useful. Sam expects to do a mix of in person vs. online/phone, but probably more phone/online, plus a mix of reactive and proactive work. Clare appreciates Sam being here and the way we summarize things and interacts in meeting.
2. Follow up on May Meeting Items
Advertising Campaign: $1,500 approved in May. Erica got behind on this but some research has been done and expects to follow through with primarily online ad.. National Catholic Reporter was best so might do that one again. Twitter, Facebook, google search ads. With intersectional work, does BLM or other similar have pubs – not much. Targeted advertising to those groups online are probably best. Could we integrate advertising local/regional events with this? Mostly we do sharing of events on Facebook, but maybe could we do advertising that might help boost events for people? Would have to think about it; if listed on our site then we can link thru ads to drive people to our website. Friends Journal and others have been used and investigated and might do again but they have a small list.
Campaign Nonviolence – We said we’d promote and we did online and in newsletter. Anne Barron and PRC San Diego did a penny poll. No other reports
Comic Book – Comments on the story board (plus the ones on Loomio): If there’s an image of President – make it a woman or otherwise. Right now it’s left vague on purpose.
Robert – likes it. Commend committee for not covering everything in 4 pages. If it turns out to be a nice addition, we could do the same and hit on other types of war we’re paying for. Keep it simple.
Daniel – looking at the loomio comments, maybe bring in WTR sooner? Ohters say it seems like it comes up enough with Haig quote early on, etc.
Do we have a good cartoonist? No one is selected as yet, possibilities in mind. Budget is a restriction. Still open to suggestions for volunteers.
Coleman – the last panel, add more people sitting around with bubbles, add other types of bubble for other actions? Maybe not all WTR? Others think that might be too much.
Any mention of redirection? Yes on page 3.
As we look for an illustrator – try to stay away from the “left style, countercultural” art to something with broader appeal.
Ruth presented the current year finances first on the sheet. Generally we are doing ok. As usual we underspent. Expect that postage will go up, and we are overbudget on travel and CC meetings but have to expect that bringing together 16-20 people can be costly and we haven’t had a strong local group in some places to bring in local people have have more people from whom to fundraise.
New Budget – Ruth points out that many didn’t understand that the $17, 456 on the grants line is not guaranteed. This budget is like have a $17,456 deficit. So we will have to ramp up fundraising in the next year.
Proposals 1 & 4 – Funding for Maine and San Diego
Coleman presented the Administrative Committee’s concerns about this, in part because of our uncertain budget for 2017 and in part because NWTRCC has not been a funder in the past and AdComm felt the need for a policy before we deal with these requests or others that might come in. In addition there was discomfort with being asked to pay for staffing.
AdComm is not recommending to pass these two proposals at this meeting. AdComm recommends developing a policy to be decided at the May meeting to clarify how do decide about such requests when we have money. AdComm notes that for Maine and San Diego there is $2,000 in the budget for support other than staffing, such as supplies, materials, travel.
Ruth had sent an email to Anne and Ginny after the AdComm meeting and read their responses: Anne said, “that sounds right for a larger CC discussion & strategy planning.” Ginny said: “After developing local funding this year and next, I think we will be in a better position in 2018. I do not think I can do it without an early infusion of support, however. My hope for 2017 is that I can raise the full goal that I had for 2016 plus some to kickstart 2017. A gift from NWTRCC is the kickstart needed for 2017. I have grant requests in to three other sources and have other deadlines in 2017 but nothing assured for January 1 yet.”Ginny had actually included the wrong budget in her proposal, so she sent the updated budget and said “My goal was to try to raise $10,000 to cover all the WTR organizing that I am doing this year. Since that was not going to happen, I scaled back to $8000, a goal I might make by the end of the year. $6900 is what I had raised or thought I could raise back when I wrote the proposal.”
Robert thinks we could act on these proposals at this time but sees there will be no consensus.
Rick – online – NWTRCC does not offer grants; that’s not our mission or ability.
Clare – might have been ok if these proposals had asked support other than staff, but the staff issue is the one that is a problem.
There is $2,000 in the budget to help support local organizing, but if we grant the $2000 to these 2 groups there would be nothing for anyone else. We are going to do more fundraising to meet the budget as it.
Robert says we are choosing not to support these groups but clearly there will not be concensus.
Peter feels we need a policy about granting money to groups before we go further with this.
Test for consensus on both Proposals #1 (Maine request) and #4 (San Diego request) indicated a few in favor, a few stand asides, and several who indicated block.
Test for consensus on the AdComm’s recommendation to develop a proposal showed general agreement with three stand asides.
Proposal #2 – Thoreau bicentennial
The proposal asked for $500, but the AdComm recommends supporting the proposal but reducing that amount to no more than $200 for custom art for the web and newsletter banner.
Daniel suggests $250 as someone who wants to support the arts.
Sam – we talked about doing an art contest as an idea.
Free art is fine too.
Testing consensus on Proposal:
Consensus proposal to highlight the Thoreau bicentennial during the year, but not necessarily the $500. Two stand asides.
We proceeded to a straw poll on the amount of money to allocate, and “not more than $200” receiving overwhelming support.
Proposal #3 –
Bill Glassmire had written the proposal to form a committee to reach out to other groups like Black Lives Matter and talk about how we can cut the military budget. Bill is on the AdComm, and during discussion at that meeting it made sense to combine this with Sam’s interest in having an outreach committee, since some of what Sam will be doing is outreach to other groups.
Bill proposal mentions the Green Party, but there is concern about working with a political organization and not wanting to go that direction.
Test for consensus on the amended proposal to establish an outreach committee that will work within what Bill was outlining as far as reducing the military budget, identifying allies and integrating Sam’s need for a committee and support. Agreed.
Volunteers: Sam, Chrissy, Bill, Cathy, Clare (thinking about it), Ed K, Daniel, (ask Anne B). Sam will convene that committee
Code Pink Iraq War Tribunal. The Tribunal is the first Thursday-Friday in December, 2016. One day on the lies, one day on the costs of the Iraq War. The goal is to increase pressure in the lead up to the first days of the new president for accountability and healing regarding the historical and ongoing trauma of the years of war.
There are a number of roles available for WTR to plug in. We can be a coalition organizer, a witness, and an endorser. The request is to be all of the following, with NWTRCC taking on all of the above.
Sam Koplinka-Loehr has offered to travel to DC to be part of the tribunal. A number of other people have expressed interest in being part of it as well.
Clare: Would be powerful for a number of WTRs to join as witnesses online to testify on the costs/lies of the Iraq War.
Coleman: What does the organizer role actually mean?
Erica: It does not mean volunteering to make the event happen. We would, as a coalition organizer, would promote the tribunal within our network. Social Media, blog, and perhaps an interview or two with WTRs regarding the war and spreading the word in our network.
Coleman: How do they expect to use this going forward? Would be nice to know for how long and how this would be used.
Sam: Perhaps some of my time, as well as Erica’s time, would go towards this.
Chrissy: Sounds like our time would go towards this, and the proposal is for our energy and resources to go to support along with being a witness
Any of us within this network of WTRs can engage through Erica.
Test for Consensus. All thumbs up. Endorsement passed.
6. Budget Approval Discussion
Robert: The obvious question is if we don’t get the money from Craigslist… how are we going to get the money?
Ruth: This past year a lot of extra time was spent on hiring of organizer. This coming year it is time to do a lot of fundraising. We are hoping the field organizing will be an attractive piece of our work for funders. By January we will hopefully get a sense of how serious our budget deficit ($17,000+) will be, following our year end appeal wraps up. We also re-evaluate in May. If we don’t have money, we need to change things.
Peter: Nothing is guaranteed. Why don’t we budget in the possibility of getting the money, perhaps from craigslist?
Ruth: I think you have to trust us and we count on you to help. We hope you will come through for us. Churches, local groups, special donors. Do you know somebody who has money and who is very sympathetic to WTR? Put us in touch.
Bill: We need a concrete effort going forward to make sure this is a network effort to raise funds
Test for consensus. Thumbs up with 2 stand asides.
The group reviewed the objectives and accomplishments from 2016 and went over AdComm proposals for the new objectives and added/changed some.
2017 – Add c – outreach committee
2017 – add the note to circulate the link for the google doc list of upcoming conferences, etc
2017 – integrate Thoreau bicentennial through year
- Network – much of this will be things that Sam does/helps with
2017 – add phrase about asking groups what they need. Ruth & Sam update endorser info
- Literature – Print Resources
2016 – Sam and Ruth also started updating the “what if” flyer
2017 – Yes do the hobby lobby legal brief
Add g: translate materials into Spanish; have Spanish speaking counselors
2017 – Thoreau & coordinated redirection
- Digital Resources
2017 – everyone join our Social Media
- Counseling & Legal Info
2017 – St. Louis training hopefully @ May meeting
2017 – super high priority
D, grants; e – grants for St. Louis training
Consensus on 2017 Objectives as amended
8. Ad Comm nominees
At this meeting we begin the process of nominations for the AdComm to be decided next May. Ruth will circulate online and advertise in the newsletter. We need to fill 2 alternate seats and 1 full member, because Sam was on AdComm til he got the job.Daniel nominates self for AdComm.
9. Location for Future Meetings
Chrissy invites us to St. Louis – will try to add training.
Clare suggests we come back to the south and check out the facilities in Selma; Judy Cumbee Collins is there. David Waters and Ruth will look into it.
Texas – no invites; no one wants to host us. Ditto for Northwest, where we’ve been working on a host but so far no one can do it, Portland to Seattle.
This is another area where Sam’s outreach should help.
Great to be here, Great o meet everyone. Thanks for welcoming space
Good weekend, thanks for joining us.
Likes to be in this kind of space, more relaxing and be together. Food was wonderful and kitchen set up. Collectively being in the same area is good. Anotehr layer of restfulness in the midst of our work & why are we doing our work anyway but to take care of the earth.
Thanks Garrett. There’s, humanity here you don’t always find in some of the other groups.
Not much to add; nice ot have new thinking and new energy; like where we’re at right now
Thanks all for being here as support; will be interesting without any money for a while and going after Wisconsin. Support and comradeship – thank you
Great to see all and hear Rick. Meeting well organized and things went well in terms of timing etc. This place is good. Stayed with cousin in Gainesville but it’s been easy to go back and forth.
Great to be here, share comments about being all together. Would do so n seattle but it’s outside her capacity to organize that; only active person on that in Seattle. Great discussions this weekend and exciting times ahead for people with critique of the world and militarism.
Glad to share the wonderful experience she had in Germany. Missed the direct action component when we are able to do it; should have had an update on the penalty fund. More music.
Like having rural setting, more cohesive and together – food space people. Connections with Al and Wendy and Jackie and the others who did come from the area. Celo folks like to hear what’s going on.
Giving of time is in apples, sweet potatoes, peppers, etc. Opportunity to camp in November and outside showers etc. Needs to think about Garrett’s triangular thinking. Does think it’s great when we’re in a city/campus where others can join us more easily, but this kind of more “retreat” weekend gives us a chance to do our work more.
“What you said” – hasn’t been to a meeting in a long time so great to see everyone.
Online people – sorry not to be there, see you in May, chiming in on applause
Great welcoming to this group and grateful to history and living history having been doing this in isolation. Staying concrete with objectives going forward makes it clearer to take back to my group and strengthen connections going forward. I’ve collected some ideas for the St. Louis gathering.
♥ Thanks to Garrett, John X, Martina, and everyone at the
Sustainable Living Center for your hospitality!
It was a great location for our gathering.♥