Present: Neal, Mike (TruthMerchant or TM, Vince, Susan, Woody, Alan. Marilyn came early to deliver some home-made cookies Aubrey made for us and then left before the meeting began
Single Payer Bill: Susan reported on the legislative open session meeting concerning Single Payer health care at the Washington State capitol in Olympia. She said the turnout was quite large and estimated it to be around 200 or so. According to Susan, most who attended spoke in favor of it, and all speeches were very effective, not repetitive, from a variety of constituents. There was only one speaker against it, a small business owner.
The main problem right now is in the State Senate, which conservative opponents of Single Payer seem to dominate. There was much excellent discussion.
Tent City Tacoma: TCT activists and a startup worker-managed business wanted to rent property that the AME church owns. They had informally approached some of the people in AME about this. But AME church officials did not meet with TCT or the worker-managed business. Instead, before such a meeting could take place, AME officials turned management of the property over to a very large real-estate business, Caldwell Banker. So now the TCT activists feel they are pretty much back to square one.
Vince came up with a list of possible churches, and Woody will try to check them out as time allows. Right now, he is pretty busy doing some work for Patricia. Neal has Google Earth, and he will try to check out some of these also. Neal also has work obligations that make him somewhat short of time. There was a lot of discussion about the difficulties of finding churches who would agree with allowing a tent city on their property.
Platinum Coin: We did not vote on TM’s Platinum Coin proposal. There was some discussion about the concept.
WordPress Voting Plugin TM gave a report on the progress he’s made in developing a voting plug-in. He demonstrated a dummy page, and all were quite impressed with his progress. TM hopes to have WordPress adopt this as a plug-in that other Occupy units could use to facilitate discussion. We all felt that this plug-in, when working and in place, would greatly facilitate implementing Vince’s Networking Proposal.
Vince’s Networking Proposal: We next discussed Vince’s proposal. We did not vote on it because it had not been posted for a week by the time of the meeting.
Alan mentioned that the section of the proposal called “Initiate Networking Among Still-Active Occupy Units” was the actual proposal, and that the section called “Initial Categories and Suggested Questions” were ideas of the types of questions and categories the networked Occupy units could consider. There was much discussion about these questions and categories. Alan said he thought the questions were good as they promote questioning of the status quo, but he also felt that the Occupy movement should remain nonpartisan and not take sides in elections.
Vince emphasized the need to make sure politicians and policy makers confront these and similar questions everywhere they speak. He felt it was good to show up at candidate meetings and town-hall meetings, as well as similar events, and continually raise these kinds of questions.
TM spoke of the role of small contributions raised through social media in electoral campaigns and felt this opened up possibilities for positive change.
We also discussed how a previous attempt to unify local Occupy units had problems owing to the desire of local units wanting to have control over their organizations and worries that a self-appointed hierarchy could arise.
Respectfully submitted: Alan OldStudent