Electoral Politics Task Force Meeting 2/26/17

Attendees (10) with Town and Political Role: Dave Cohen, Greenfield, FCCPR CC; David Greenberg, Colrain, FCCPR CC; Maryelen Calderwood, Greenfield,  School Committee; Marty Schotz, Cummington; Stan Bernstein, Greenfield; Laurence Kaplan, Leverett; Rochelle Nahmias, Goshen; Dan Trenholm, Gill; Bram Moreinis, Greenfield; Peter Corbett, Shutesbury, OR Delegate.

A. Supporting Local Progressive Campaigns

  1. Decided: We will educate candidates for local offices (school committee, town council) about competencies (to be effective in office) and platform issues (to align their votes with ours). Topics:
    a) The Unjust MA tax structure (FCCPR Forum, March 20, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Greenfield Library)
    b)Basics of Town Finances:  What people need to know in order to run for office. [unscheduled]
    c)Job Creation: alternatives to luring business relocation with tax breaks. [unscheduled]
    What Kinds of Schools do We Want:  platform for school committee candidates. [unscheduled]
  2. Decided: We will schedule a Democratic platform review in early April, to see where we align/differ.

B. Increasing Civic Engagement Through Education and Advocacy

  1. Rank Choice voting proposal (Peter)
    a) What is it? No minority-elected candidates; no more spoilers. Minority positions matter more.
    b)Where do we go with it?  Referendum on 2018 ballot. Should FCCPR Endorse? Should we push for Dem Party Platform? Who sponsors – Mike Connolly? Local trials for town council voting?
  2. Richmond Progressive Alliance via Steve Early (David) – Everyone should read and emulate.

C. Outreach to Regional and Upstream Affinity Groups

  1. Our Affiliates: Our Revolution (National = OR; Massachusetts = ORMA):
    a) ORMA: FCCPR is an official regional member. There is a very active Slack channel.  Ask Bram to invite you if you want to track what they’re talking about.
    b) OR Two Categories:  Affiliates (named groups) and Allies (supporting initiatives when fit).  Reps from single-issue organizations will also be in this network coalition to be more effective together. Will FCCPR be an official affiliate at the OR platform convention?
  2. Provisional Affiliates: Town Democratic Committees (see next page)
    a) Decided: We want to support Local Caucus Planning to get ourselves as delegates. Greenfield will have a planning meeting on March 5th, 10pm, Bram’s place; we’ll also meet there at 9:00am on the 11th before we go over to the caucus on Elm Terrace.

b) Clarification: FCCPR is not an affiliate of the Democratic Party – we’ll work with them, but remember many of us are independents, and many of them are corporatists.

c) Recommendation: While we may expect that many local Democrats are Clintonites, we should not signal opposition in our interpersonal communication.  We want to make friends with local Democrats, help them organize even if we disagree. Over time, see what builds/doesn’t.

D. Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 22, 7 p.m. at Temple Israel.  Starter Agenda Here.

Contact with Questions: Bram Moreinis, bram@greenfielddigital.com, 413-829-0355