Citizens Resolution (Task Force)/01-21-2012 breakoutsession notes

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Breakout Meeting at Citizen’s United Summit on Saturday, January 21, 2012

 

Advisory ballot questions and local resolutions

This group is about how to pass local resolutions, or before the voters

Pam Wilmot is executive director of Common Cause

 

Attendees:

John Stewart, Boston (JP)

Ellenaore Forte, (JP)

Nancy, Malden

Sarah, Boston

Fred Rames, Occupy St Louis

Don Rames, Allston

Julie, Bridgewater

Dick, Milford

Benjamin, Medford

Jen, Somerville

Taylor, Chelsea

Lee Kettleson, Acton

Andy, Cape Ann lives in Boston

Sarah, Weston MA

Dan, Beverly

Yi, join the impact MA boston back bay

Patrick, Occupy Boston (?)

Pam, (JP)

 

7 towns on Cape Cod have passed resolutions

Amherst

12 ma municipalities

 

One of the first things you have to do:

What kind of language?

Move to Amend and Common Cause has a model

Free Speech for People has a model

Berkley language was passed around, good because it mentions corporate personhood and money is not speech

 

What are you pushing for?

It's great if there is some synergy around the language, people speaking with the same voice

 

No clearinghouse for all information - but all info between two-three websites (Free Speech for People has all of MA ones)

 

How much variance between the different resolutions?

It's a lobbying campaign, sometimes initiating by a city council member or a local activist and they might have their own ideas. It's a diverse movement.

In particular, power mapping can be very easy or it can be very hard

Like any lobbying campaign, what are your deadlines, who are your targets, what's your end game, how do you promote this issue, and it can be a really easy lift, boston will be challenging

 

The deadlines for the town meetings are really, really soon

(Feb 10 in Needham and you have to have signatures)

 

One of the reasons to do these, is that it provides an opportunity to build a large coalition in your town, to some degree if you do it too fast-- what did you really build for the future?

 

What's happened to Move to Amend is that city councilors have taken the ball and have the control of the language. That's part of the danger of moving too fast. Think of it as an organizing tool! Building a coalition gives more momentum, influence.

 

One of the initiatives that the ballot initiative piece is Common Cause's favorite

Whether the voters support amending the constitution?

First deadline: April 24th, 200 signatures for each representative district (or senate district), for each state representative district. Easier in Western Mass because each is set of towns, whereas Boston has a ton and you have to get signatures specifically from residents in each district

Statewide to get the whole state to vote on the same question

36,000 certified signatures

 

Both of these things don't get you a constitutional amendment, the goal is education

In MA, McGovern

 

A senate district needs 1,000 per district and are 4 times as large as house districts

 

Secretary of State has good how to

mass.gov/sec look in elections

 

You gotta do forums, gotta do door to door, literature, for an election campaign, you gotta have signs, a lot of steps

 

At some point, corporations will create their own efforts to defeat these.

 

Are they competing?

Different time frames

Complementing one another

A ballot initiative is the people voting, it's not the people's leaders voting

 

Community Labor United endorsed this campaign