November Coordinating Committee Meeting Proposals
November 6, 2016 – Hampton, Florida
1 – Rejuvenation of Maine WTR Resource Center: A Model Project – Year 2
2 – Thoreau Bicentennial
3 – WTR for Reducing the Military Budget?
4- $1250 To Support Increased War Tax Education & Outreach by the Peace Resource Center of San Diego
From: Ginny Schneider, Portland, Maine
Summary: The Maine War Tax Resistance Resource Center requests a final grant of $1000 ($750 less than last year and the last request) to support the rejuvenation of the center in 2017. This project can serve as a model for reviving formerly active groups and establishing new groups.
For more than 30 years, Larry Dansinger and Karen Marysdaughter coordinated Maine’s WTR Resource Center from Monroe, Maine. Larry has moved on to other endeavors and Karen works elsewhere. They would like the WTR Resource Center to continue without their day-to-day involvement.
Historically, the center has provided support for the following activities in Maine:
- Organizing an annual state gathering and workshop
- Promoting tax day events
- Encouraging Mainers to attend the annual New England WTR gathering
- Providing WTR counseling
Participation at WTR activities and events has dwindled in recent years, so an effort to rebuild the WTR network and reach out to potential new WT resisters is needed.
Ginny Schneider, a WT resister since 1985, moved to Portland, ME, about a year ago. She has been a longtime participant in WTR activism from leafleting at post offices on tax day to serving on the Administrative Committee of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC).
Work accomplished since February 2016:
√ Ginny contacted WTRs across Maine which resulted in 11 Tax Day Actions to occur including several at colleges from Portland to the northern border of Maine in Machias. As part of this effort she updated a Maine media database, issue a news release about April Actions and made follow up call.
√ She tabled and arranged for volunteers to table at the Maine Cannabis Rally and the Common Ground Fair (Her application was accepted in the first year in spite of a two or more year wait to get a table!). She also arranged for a volunteer presence at the PeaceWorks Peace Fair in Brunswick, ME.
√ She has secured part-time space for the Maine WTR Resource Center in the Portland’s public access station, CTV5. She also operates out of her apartment located just off Forest Avenue two blocks from Rt. 295 in Portland. This is a very central location in the largest population center in Maine.
√ She has established a Youth and Militarism Committee (YMC) comprised of members of Veterans for Peace and the Natural Guard. She is working with the New School in Kennebunk. Resources for Organizing Social Change, Maine Peace Jam, Seeds of Peace Camp, Peace Action Maine and three peace list serves routinely distribute information about the YMC and April War Tax Actions.
√ She has worked with NWTRCC’s web master who has created a Maine WTR Resource Center web page. She worked with CTV5, the public access station serving 70,000 households in Portland, South Portland, Peaks Island, Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, Gorham, Scarborough, Westbrook, North Yarmouth, Cumberland, Casco, Pownal, Gray, Raymond and New Gloucester, to run a PSA promoting the YMC Project.
√ She has applied for college interns at the colleges located in Portland and is awaiting responses.
√ She secured grants from three organizations and two major donors. The major donors provided matching gifts that have leveraged local matching gifts. The total raised at the writing of this proposal was $6000 with additional $2000 expected by the end of 2016. Her two 2016 major donors are one-time gifts provided to establish a donor base for the center. Ginny anticipates that the new donor base will double their giving to make up for this gap in 2017. Ginny hopes to hold a 2017 music event to make up for a decrease in NWTRCC’s support. NWTRCC gave $1750 in 2016 and, if approved, would provide $1000 in 2017. She will also seek grant funding the YMC Project.
√ She has set up a credit union account and an accounts tracking sheet, set up an email address and broadcast email capabilities, created labels for those using the postal service only, and updated and maintained the center’s contact spreadsheet.
√ Ginny’s pro bono contribution to the center includes more than 110 hours as of this writing, internet, computer and rent. Her volunteer hours included tabling all day in Portland for April Actions, tabling at a Peace Action event, travelling to and attending the Lansdowne, PA, NWTRCC gathering, and serving on the Planning Committee of the Annual New England WTR Gathering.
The proposal is to build on the 2016 work to re-establish Maine’s WTR Resource Center in Portland, Maine. The work in 2017 will continue to focus on re-engaging WT resisters and reaching out to potential new WT resisters to build participation in 2017 tax day events and 2017 statewide gathering/workshop. 2017 activities will include:
√ Tabling at two large Maine-wide festivals including the PeaceWorks Peace Fair, the Cannabis Rally and the Common Ground Fair staffed partially by Ginny (2 days) and by volunteers (7 days). This is an additional fair and another day at the Cannabis Rally than covered in 2016.
√ Encouraging participating in tax day events. The goal is to encourage tabling in 18 cities, towns and colleges throughout Maine.
√ Hold a music event in conjunction with informational workshops at a college.
√ WTR counseling.
√ Continue to convene the Maine YMC Project including monthly meetings of committee members and increase activity to at least two more schools or youth organizations.
√ Organizing transportation, lodging and food for WT resisters and potential WT resisters to attend the 2017 New England WTR gathering.
√ Maintaining the Maine WTR Resource Center webpage, expanding the Maine media contact list and increasing social media outreach.
This proposal furthers WTR work by:
- Testing a model of building the awareness and practice of WTR in a specific geographic area.
- Establishing a Maine WTR Resource Center in the largest population center in the state of Maine.
- Providing some staffing time for the center.
- An emphasis on outreach to WTRs and potential WTRs, particularly youth.
- Providing WTR visibility during tax season to make the connection between taxes and supporting the military-industrial complex, through an office presence in Portland, in the schools and at large statewide events.
- Connecting WTRs and potential WTRs with the annual New England gathering to provide education and support.
Since three sources of funding came available in February (February 1 was the start date of the new Maine WTR Resource Center) and March (NWTRCC ($750), ROSC, Maine WTR Resource Center), work has begun on:
• Planning and encouraging April tax day actions throughout the state of Maine. Since participation in these activities had dwindled to 5-6 participants annually statewide, the goal is at minimum to double this number in 2016 and increase it two and half time to 18 locations in 2017. Currently leafleting, tabling and/or penny polls are pledge to occur at 12 locations throughout Maine with a total of 22 people committed to participate and others tentatively available.
• NWTRCC has set up an “under construction” web page for the Maine WTR Resource Center.
• Basic organization set up tasks such as seeking space, setting up a credit union account and an email address, and purchasing office supplies has occurred.
• A pledge for a matching grant has been received and requests for the match have been emailed.
• A proposal to the Conscience and Military Tax Campaign has been submitted.
• Calls about additional funding have been occurred.
• The contact list has been updated by emailing all the contacts and phoning most of them. Additional organizations including many of the Quaker meetings have been added.
|Staff (2 days at festivals (10 hrs./day including travel time) plus
an avg. of 1 hr./wk. for 48 wks. for activities listed above
(total of 74 hrs./$30 hr.)
|Telephone ($20/month for 11 months starting in Feb. plus phone)||260|
|Tabling fees (3 festivals)||225|
|WTR tabling materials||250|
|Printing (pro bono from ROSC)||0|
|Travel (500 miles x 2 events, lodging (no cost due to couch surfing
or housing provided by local WTR) and food ($30/day x 2 days)
|Office rent (pro bono from Ginny Schneider (GS))||0|
|Social media expenses (e.g. web page fee, hootsuite Pro, camera)||295|
|NWTRCC affiliate fee||100|
|Postage and office supplies||200|
|Annual New England Gathering participation (pro bono GS)||0|
Additional youth and militarism funding to cover materials and training expenses from AFSC likely will total $2000-3000. Other funds beyond the budget above will be raised to augment WTR counseling, staff time, office rent, and organizing youth and militarism tables in the Maine school system.
From: David Gross, San Luis Obispo, California, and
The coordinating committee authorizes the coordinator to spend no more than $500 of NWTRCC funds to purchase custom artwork commemorating 2017 as the bicentennial of war tax resister Henry David Thoreau’s birth, suitable for use in our newsletter masthead during 2017, and for use on our website and other communications.
Additional ideas from brief correspondence Ruth/Dave: Having Thoreau-themed NWTRCC merchandise for 2017 – like a Thoreau quote on “stuff” from Cafe Press. Dave says: “That could also become good outreach/advertising stuff, say, if our outreach consultant leaves a NWTRCC/Thoreau mug behind every time he goes out visiting… it’s the gift that keeps on pushing….”
From: Bill Glassmire, Corvallis, Oregon, and Fundraising Committee and AdComm member
I propose that NWTRCC set up a committee for conversations with groups which propose reducing the US military budget, to discuss whether WTR might be used as a tool to support their advocacy. The Green Party USA and the Movement for Black Lives are calling for large reductions in the US military budget, so this would be an auspicious time for that outreach.
The charge to the committee would be to contact NWTRCC supporters, potential allies, and other stakeholders; to evaluate the pros and cons of the idea; and possibly to figure out ways in which collaboration might work.
The committee would report to the May 2017 NWTRCC gathering. If there is interest in a collaboration(s), NWTRCC could decide then whether to go forward with a project.
Title: $1250 To Support Increased War Tax Education & Outreach by the Peace Resource Center of San Diego
From: Anne Barron, San Diego, CA
Summary: The Peace Resource Center of San Diego requests $1250 to support our 2017 Militarism and Cost of War Project.
The Peace Resource Center is increasing its education and outreach about the social costs of militarism, the US budget and war tax resistance. In 2014, we hosted the NWTRCC May gathering. In 2016, the PRC participated in the Southern California Alternative Fund War Tax Redirection Celebration, hosted a war tax counselor booth at the San Diego Earth Fair, and operated a Peace Penny Poll during Peace Week events in September. The work in 2017 will focus on engaging PRC organizational partners and members in war tax redirection outreach and 2017 Tax Day events.
2017 activities will include:
- Increase awareness of war tax resistance and conscientious objection in local media, including an appearance on the progressive radio station KNSJ and commentary provided to small neighborhood newspapers and online news sources (San Diego Free Press and East County Magazine).
- Tabling and Penny Polls at popular San Diego events, including Earth Day in Balboa Park, the MLK Breakfast in January, at farmers’ markets, and during Peace Week San Diego.
- WTR counseling provided as needed during 2017 and war tax workshops in February and March.
- Increase the number and visibility of Tax Day events, through increased participation of the PRC network of peace groups.
- Create a WTR page on PRC website and social media that links people here in San Diego to what is happening around the country with respect to war tax resistance.
- Support the local Veterans For Peace project to end the Miramar Air Shows (NoMAS) by providing wrap-around workshops and forums.
The Peace Resource Center was established in 1980 to provide a clearinghouse of peace and social justice resources, issues and activities; to promote networking among peace-related organizations; to offer nonviolent alternatives in conflict resolution; and to carry on an expanding program of peace education in San Diego County. The Center provides an ongoing presence throughout San Diego County to counter and alter violent approaches to problem solving—interpersonally, nationally and internationally and works to point out the links among issues of peace, social justice and a safe, sustainable environment. The PRC is a membership-based organization whose work is guided by membership consultation. It is the local affiliate of NWTRCC. Our Board members are active in a wide number of groups, including RiseUp Industries, NAACP, Women Occupy San Diego, the Council on American-Islam Relations and local churches.
One Board member, Anne Barron, has participated in NWTRCC gatherings since 2014 and has been active in NWTRCC committees.
San Diego is both a military town and a border town. Previously predominately conservative and pro-military, the region’s demographics have gone a dramatic shift towards progressive values with many grassroots groups working towards social justice. The militarization of our schools and police is now front and center as the county struggles with officer-involved shootings and expanded police actions at our schools. This shift offers the peace movement a huge opportunity to engage more with the public, and bring out issues around war resistance and direct action.
The PRC works closely with numerous groups, including Project Youth & Non-Military Opportunities, Franciscan Peace Connection, the Alternatives to Violence Project and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). We convene community dialogues (called PRISMS) with two other organizations, where the intersections of Poverty, Race, Immigration, Sustainability, Militarization and Spirituality are explored and root causes connected.
The PRC participated in NWTRCC’s 2016 Days of War Tax Action (see attachment), distributing NWTRCC materials. conversations and collaboration around war and its costs among San Diego groups, including Activist San Diego, Veterans For Peace- San Diego Chapter, San Diegans for 9/11 Truth, and Women Occupy San Diego.
The PRC followed up on this effort with its co-sponsorship of the second annual Peace Week San Diego, collaborating closely with the Franciscan Peace Connection, Veterans For Peace, Women Occupy San Diego and Overpass Light Brigade as part of Campaign Non-Violence. The option of War Tax Resistance was illustrated through the penny poll activity during Peace Week events.
Veterans For Peace-San Diego began a 5-year project to stop the Miramar Marine Base Air Show (NoMAS), an amazing challenge of our area’s pro-military mindset. 2016 was the kick-off year, and this year’s Peace Week culminated with bannering over the highway entrance to the Marine Base. This project has already resulted in excellent press and outreach, including an online poll in the city lead newspaper. If funded, the PRC will also support the VFP NoMAS project, providing workshops and forums that examine the connections between the economic and social problems of San Diego and endless war as glorified by the Air Show. Direct action options will be an essential component of these discussions, including war tax redirection.
The Peace Resource Center operates on a shoe-string budget, depending on the donations and membership fees and an active Board working with part-time staff. The 2016 war tax effort was mainly supported through the efforts of a dedicated volunteer.
PRC will build on the 2016 work to increase public awareness of war tax and outreach in our area. The $1250 will support 60 staff hours to work on the 2017 project and associated office costs (equipment and social media maintenance). This additional staffing is essential to build upon the work begun in 2014 and last year. Staff will facilitate collaborations between peace groups on at least one direct action around Tax Day and one direct action around International Peace Day, as well as carry out the 2017 activities listed above.
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