Monday, March 21, 2005

Meeting Notes March 21

Syracuse Progressive Coalition
March 21 Meeting Notes

Monday, April 25 at 5:30 pm
CNY Labor Federation, 404 Oak St. (just south of James St.) enter in
rear of building.


Linda Hall, Andy Mager, Joan Conley, Rita Paniagua, Jed Felix, Aggie Lane, Matt Walton, Jude Nagurney Camwell, Jan Markarian, Zoeann Murphy, Kate Simmer, Giancarlo Moneti, Bob Kehoe, Carol Baum, Mark Spadafore


Andy Mager passed out brief descriptions of two other "Progressive Coalitions" the Long Island Progressive Coalition and the Colorado Progressive Coalition as examples for us to consider. (He'll send out that information as a separate email).

Matt Walton had offered to work on developing an online community calendar to replace the version currently available on the Peace Council website:

Matt asked the group what they thought their needs were for online resources.

The group agreed that the calendar should be the highest priority. Basic information describing this fledgling coalition with links to web pages of constituent groups was identified as a 2nd priority.

Jed Felix expressed a desire for the coalition to eventually use the web to offer the coalition's broad base of constituents a tool that could build consensus for participants around 'larger' issues such as instant run-off voting or reform of ballot access, and also help funnel individuals into core groups or to existing core groups around specific issues such as the death penalty.

The desire and importance of meeting in person as the coalition has been was emphasized.

The limitations of many individuals access to the web noted.

Similarly, the power of using the phone to organize was mentioned.

Sharing resources and tools of coalition members with individual constituents was proposed as a goal for the coalition.


The following possible campaigns were mentioned:

· A focus on the media. Bringing more progressive voices to Syracuse.
For example, Democracy Now!

· Holding training workshops to build organizing skills.

For the interim, the group decided to continue reinforcing the projects
that already exist.

Matt proposed focusing on community events to build ties and diversity of coalition membership. For example a barbecue, etc.


It was agreed that we should begin developing a clear statement about who we are and what we're trying to do. Matt Walton, Kate Simmer and Mark Spadafore agreed to draft a statement and send it out to the listserve for feedback prior to the next meeting.

After differences of opinion arose around the Terry Schiavo case, we were reminded of the importance of not assuming we all agreed on every issue and working together on areas of shared agreement.


Linda Hall (Syracuse/ Onondaga County Human Rights Commission) noted that she is working to get the county to talk to the Partnership for Onondaga Creek in a respectful manner.

A representative from SEIU 1199 presented information about Unseen America-a photography/storytelling project. Flyers were distributed. The culminating event will be hosted by Thinc in their downtown gallery.

Rita Paniagua of Spanish Action La Liga shared information about their upcoming Latin American Festival in Clinton Square (August 20-21) and invited groups to participate. She also noted that she is the contact person for their spanish language radio program Pa Lante and would welcome announcements for it.

Jan Markarian of CNY NOW shared that they are hosting a poetry readings April 14, at 7:00 by local women's poetry groups.

The Syracuse Greens announced that they are cosponsoring an event about the death penalty on April 13. They are also bringing Ralph Nader to town on April 15, when he'll speak at both OCC and SU.

Matt Walton (Student Environmental Action Coalition) shared several events including:

--A conferencece: State your re-action to state oppression.

--a 'heads-up about an opera that Matt wrote about Leonard Peltier

Aggie Lane from The Partnership of Onondaga Creek shared an update about their fight to stop the construction of the Midland Waste Treatment Plant. (DETAILS EXTENSIVE)

Mark Spadafore, CNY Labor Federation, shared news about the Living Wage ordinance which he expects to be passed overwhelmingly by the Syracuse Common Council later in the sring.

Also: April 7 there will be a large health care rally at the Palace Theater, 11 am to 1 pm.

Announced the availability of media training provided by Cornell on How to get your message out to the media. There is a cost to attend.

Carol Baum and Andy Mager (Syracuse Peace Council) shared an update on their activities:

-Much work underway to support a just response to the Land Rights Action filed by the Onondaga Nation. There are many ways to show support (see or contact the Peace Council.

-Organized a "Reading of the Names" of people killed in Iraq--US servicepeople and Iraqi civilians. It will be every Friday from noon to 2 pm at Columbus Circle through April 15.

Post meeting note: The Peace Council's online calendar was down for a week or so but is now up and running.

Next meeting was set for: Monday, April 25 from 5:30 to 6:30, at the CNY Labor Federation office at 404 Oak St.(just south of James St)**easiest to enter the building from the back.