Meeting Summary - April 5th, 2017

We will have a table at the Earth Day Celebration at the East End Rec Center on April 22 from 10 am to 2 pm.  Brian will be at the table, everyone is invited to stop by.

The Spring Conference of the Green Party of the First Congressional District will be held on April 29th from Noon to 5pm at the Rochester Public Library Auditorium.  Sen. John Marty will deliver the keynote address, via Skype, on single payer universal health care.  There will be a light lunch, and you are invited to bring a dish to share if you wish.  This is a great opportunity to connect with organizations that share our values, meet Green Party members from across southern MN, and energize for the summer!

Brian mentioned the possibility of connecting members via the Slack app.  We will continue looking into this possibility and have a deeper introduction to Slack at a future meeting.

We are submitting the paperwork to the Campaign Finance Board to register as an official political unit.

We need to gather names of people who may be interested in running for office here in Winona County.  Barring resignations, there will be no local offices open until 2018, but we need to start recruiting possible candidates now.  If you know of anyone who has expressed an interest in running for office, or who you feel would be someone worth approaching, please submit names to Jean L. or Brian M.

We discussed the rummage sale fundraiser.  We would like to have the rummage sale on the weekend of May 4-7, to coincide with the 100-mile garage sale that weekend.  Liza E. has volunteered her garage on Gilmore Ave for a day or two that weekend.  Shelly will be coordinating this event.  If you have anything you wish to donate to the rummage sale or if you would like to volunteer to help, please contact Shelly V.

We discussed the need to reach out to students at the University.  Bruno mentioned the idea of a movie/panel discussion event or series starting early in the school year.  This would be an excellent opportunity to work with faculty and students and members of the community to create an event that would result in vibrant discussion and hopefully lead to action.  We brainstormed a few ideas for movies.  We will send that list in a separate email so that we can add to the list via feedback from all members and supporters. Brian and Bruno will work together to approach faculty and students about getting involved.

Brian shared some news about national and international Green candidates and events.  The Global Greens Congress met this past week in London.  Information about the Congress can be found at http://greens2017.org/

Groen Links, the Green Party of the Netherlands, made big gains in the election March 15th. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/netherlands-dutch-election-green-left-party-geert-wilders-mark-rutte-a7632451.html

Former Green Party leader Alexander van der Bellen was elected President of Austria. http://www.dw.com/en/austrias-green-backed-van-der-bellen-wins-presidential-election/a-36635159

The elections in Austria and the Netherlands are viewed as a blow to the wave of right wing populism and anti-immigrant rhetoric that has become more prominent this election cycle.

In the US, Cheri Honkala lost her bid to represent the 197th district in the Pennsylvania House race, but has initiated a trans-partisan lawsuit contesting the results due to tampering and illegal actions by the Democratic Party machine in Philadelphia.  http://www.phillyvoice.com/honkala-will-seek-void-197th-election-alleging-massive-fraud-and-misconduct/
Kenneth Mejia came up short in his campaign to represent California's 34th District in the US House of Representatives.  However, he garnered more votes than the Republican candidate and earned 4.4% of the vote in a primary featuring 20 candidates, the majority of them from the Democratic Party. https://ballotpedia.org/Kenneth_Mejia

We need members to write letters to the editor.  As they are published, they will be added to our Facebook page and website to show that we are vocal about improving our community.  We will also be featuring members who are working with endorsed and allied organizations in our community, and any members who serve on local commissions and boards.  Currently, Green Party member Gloria A. serves on the Winona Human Rights Commission.  Jean L. has applied to be appointed to the Winona Human Rights Commission.  It is so important that we all stay active and involved in our community.

We need volunteers to keep an eye on bills moving through the Minnesota Legislature so we can take action when necessary to contact our legislators.  If you are interested in researching and watching a bill or two and notifying us before major votes so we can send out a call to action, please respond to this email.  It would be best to focus on a bill or two that pertains to something you are passionate about.

Brian sent out a short survey to members and supporters and shared it on Facebook, simply to try it out and get some initial feedback on issues we can focus on that are important to the community.  Please keep sharing this survey, as we would like a picture of what a broad cross-section of the community finds important.

Brian suggested we keep thinking about initiating neighborhood meet and greets rather than door-to-door canvassing.  We can start at the East End Rec with a neighborhood meet and greet.  One of our key goals should be to engage the community at Maplewood Townhomes, as they are underrepresented and too often isolated and ostracized in our community.  Jean has a contact who we can reach out to there.
We have come a long way in a very short time and we are hopeful for the future.  That speaks volumes about the energy, hard work, and passion of our members and supporters.  There is much work left to be done, but together, we can change our world.

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