10.14.11 Evening Meeting Minutes

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OWS Trade Justice Working Group
Evening Conference Call

In Attendance:

Jake Zychick, Reform Party of NJ (Rothman Constituent)
Adam Weissman, Global Justice for Animals for Animals and the Environment (Maloney and Rothman Constituent)
Ruth Santana, Global Justice for Animals for Animals and the Environment (Maloney constituent)
Sher Baur, Westchester County, NY (Lowey constituent)
Taffy Williams, NY Whale and Dolphin Action League (Lowey constituent)
Gloria Bryan, Long Island Animal Advocates (McCarthy constituent)
Sukjong Hong, Nodutol for Korean Community Development (Towns constituent)

Facilitator: Adam

Sukjong reviewed morning call notes.

Adam opened the floor for questions and comments.

Gloria: Mainstream media?

Adam: Even progressive media?

Taffy: Use Occupy Wall Street.

Adam: OWS not responsive so far.

Sher: Difficult to find voting records.

Gloria – Mccarthy
Sher and Taffy -Lowey
Ruth – Maloney
Jake – Roth
Sukjong – Towns (members in Clarke, Rothman)

1) Media —

NY1 – English
AP – no reporter
Daily News – story wiped
Democracy Now —
Asia Pacific Forum –
Haitian Community Radio –
WBAI Evening News @ 6 on Thursday w/ Andrea Sears

Short-Term Media
– Place Op-Eds – Occupy Wall Street demands — Public Citizen got story in HuffPo, but would be good to go beyond that.

– Progressive media

– Indypendent – Adam
– Occupied Wall Street Journal – Adam
– Village Voice – Adam

– Local media.

– Gloria – local environmental columnist (send enviro-district)
Adam – make it local by tying in local jobs –>
Gloria: will look into local media.

Taffy – also needs to get out —
will look into Westchester newspapers.

Jake — will look into Bergen Country papers
NY1 will cover Bergen County
News 12 –
Jake will draft op-ed and Adam will get job numbers
Will write Korea piece for other people’s op-eds

Ruth — collect neighborhood papers in Maloney’s district
Adam will write op-ed for Maloney

Sher- can collect Westchester –
Adam will write and Sher and Taffy will co-sign (or sign individually).

– College Radio – Rutgers paper, students can get in the papers. College newspapers and editors. 1 out of 20.
– Jake can check into student media in Monmouth U and Rutgers U.

– Newsday — Gary Ackerman — Queens Courier —
Sevan — Ask about neighborhood papers. – Adam

– WBAI – Building Bridges, First Voices Indigenous Radio, EcoLogic.

– Adam

– Colorlines — Michelle Chen, Colorlines.

– Statement from TradeJustice.
Adam will check with others on TJ Statement.

Drafting statement?

Sukjong agrees. Sher Agrees.

Youtube videos – 1 minute videos.
Separate politicians targeted videos.
Adam will ask Alex.
Ruth will ask her Peruvian TV friend.
Adam has friend — will look into.

Nodutol will do media work on people they worked on.
Rangel, Rothman, Ackerman, Towns, and Clarke.
Occupy Seoul solidarity message.


2) Elected Officials —

Letter – Thank – you’s. Let them know we are willing to thank them publicly for voting the right way. Focus on negatives for people who voted yes on any.
Sher – Thank you notes. (Barbara Bush did it).
Jake – Reform Party – Jake – can pass out info at National Convention — reformpartynj@gmail.com
Ruth – Letters are a good idea.
Adam – Will have to run by orgs who have signed letters with us.

Demonstrations, Other Actions
Adam: Do we want to discuss with such a small group?
Sher: No. Doesn’t make sense with small group.
Ruth: Address when more people are involved in the conference.

3) Public Education — Wall St.
Demand repeal of FTAs and WTO pullout as Occupy Wall Street demand.
2PM – Occupy Wall Street Demands Working Group – 2PM – Adam will go.
Other educational items tabled until we have a larger group.

4) Evaluation – evaluate our efforts — what we did well, what we could have done better, what we can do better in the future and in our current work.

Adam : Meeting?
Ruth : In writing?
Sher: Survey Form
Ruth: People may be more comfortable expressing how they feel in writing and aftewards we will have a discussion.
Adam: Who would write the evaluation form?
Ruth: Should be written by someone who has been more involved and knows more about the issue and can come up with questions that are more relevant and useful. Sukjong? Maybe a number of people can write questions and then one person can decide which ones are most useful to group feedback.
Adam: Sounds like something we’d need to propose to the larger group, since the people on the call wouldn’t be the ones writing it. Does that sound right? Not totally sure people will be willing to fill in a form, but has no objection to asking people and seeing what they think of the idea.
5) Future FTAs

Adam: Does anyone have questions or comments?

Ruth: No.

Sher: Still trying to digest this one, but that is just her own personal feeling.

Adam: In doing accountability work on these FTAs, important to point out that if we don’t hold politicians accountable, they will vote for the next FTA.

Sher: Still have a lot to learn about these FTAs, public education. Might be interesting to have running news headlines on each FTA as they are used. If people start studying this very quickly, just see what the new issues are that come up little by little, one can become more passionate about it depending on what their issues are. Break it down into six or seven issues per agreement and becomes a bunch of mush. People might become passionate about one of the issues in the agreement and become interested in the next agreement. Not everyone thinks very globally and in a huge stoke. We do but most people don’t. How do you grab the great majority of people. Occupy Wall Street got a lot of attention because of the trade unions and that was a very specific issue. Break it down somehow.

Adam: Broader idea or specific implementation strategy.

Sher: When talking even to political people, talking about free trade issue is very difficult. Need to find an in. Takes forever for people to understand the impacts. People will run to Target — not like a college situation. Her own son came back from Laos and saw villages being moved and replaced by a Chinese lumber mill. Kids are doing something on a global level — studying abroad, working for all of these non-profits or schools, farms. Will still come home and run to Target.

Adam: There are disconnects. Practical follow-up steps.

Sher: Get a statement from all of the peoeple who voted no to find out why they voted no.

Adam: Good to know what influenced their decisions, but wary to promote positive votes of people who voted wrong on any FTA. Should break everyone into two categories — people who voted No on all FTAs and people who voted yes on one or more.

Sher: How many voted against all three?

Adam: Check TradeWatch.org

Sher: Ask the ones who voted no on one why they voted no on that one. The more you listen, the more you will learn on their view. Surprised

by how many people voted no. People don’t know a lot of politicians disagree.

Adam: Labor exerted pressure on them to vote no.

Sher: Find out why labor pressure worked, what unions?

Adam: Why focus on ones who voted on just one?

Sher: Dialogue. Find out why they thought one was worth voting against and not others.

Adam: Dialogue with politicians? Public?

Sher: Example: Healthcare. People care about that but not global issues. The more info the better. If you give more info more people will have more issues to choose from.

Adam: Combine with letter thanking them or scolding them? Ask why they voted how they voted?

Sher: Better to get people to talk by making them feel good about themselves. Get info about how they feel good about something and undersatnd their view to be compassionate or sympathetic. Her own way to deal with things so that is why she is coming from this angle.

Adam: I’m more inclined to say that they’ve defined themselves as enemies at this point by voting for these FTAs rather than looking for them to attach positives to their decision. Maybe we can write a critical letter to the ones who voted yes on any but then ask for an explanation of why they voted the way they did on the trade agreements, plus having a constituent write a more neutral letter asking the same thing. Can you draft template, Sher?

Sher: Yes. Wants to focus on why they voted yes.

Adam: Can you extend to why they voted yes AND no?

Sher: Yes.

Adam: Can you finish by Monday?

Sher: Wednesday.

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