Band of Rebels Planning Meeting Notes, December 30, 2013

Present: Al Brundage, Bill McCoy, Bonita ?, Denise Young, Doug Noble, Gail Mott, Grania Marcus, Jim Bearden, Jo Cummings, Lucy ?, Peter Mott, Sally McCoy, Sylvia Gasoi, Tim Sullivan

Not present: Alex White, Pat Mannix

Note: To help us with our discussion at the next meeting, I organized the many comments/suggestions made today into five categories: General, Organizational/Administrative, Resources, Goals/Targets, Strategy/Tactics.

1. General:

  • Need to increase our numbers (Sally)
  • Make contact with organizations with similar goals in other states (Sally)
  • Jon Greenbaum, Action for a Better Community, spoke highly of Lovely Warren’s ability to accomplish things (Doug, Bill)
  • Lovely Warren hasn’t helped low-income communities and has ignored, for example, slumlords (Bonita, Lucy)
  • Invite other organizations to inform us such as SWAA (Doug), Take Back the Land (Lucy)
  • Will make Nelson Mandela quotation posters for us to use (Sally and Tim)
  • People need to take responsibility for specific tasks (Jim)
  • We need to remind ourselves that we are “doing this for our grandchildren.”
  • Need Strategic planning process to arrive at Band of Rebels focus; Denise willing to lead (Denise)

2. Organizational/Administrative:

  • Create a list with phone numbers for improved communication (Sally, Jim, Gail)
  • Band of Rebels Website, Facebook page—Jim willing to continue to maintain them (Jim)
  • If we want to expand numbers we should invite more than this small group to our meetings (Gail)
  • Have regular planning and strategy meetings (Jim)
  • Need to do updated press/media list (partially done)–focus our media efforts so that we don’t send out too many media releases and they are specifically tailored to a campaign; Grania will do (Grania)

3. Resources/Websites:

  • Chris Hedges’ comments in “The Big Ideas of 2047,” Adbusters,
  • ACCE (California)–fighting foreclosures (Grania)
  • National People’s Action (Doug)
  • Mary Anna Towler article on ACT report on Rochester poverty, City Newspaper (Doug)
  • Alliance for Global Justice (AGJ)—82 organizations working on addressing the goals developed at the “Tear Down These Walls” conference in November 2013; AGJ works on many issues of social and economic injustice; based in Tucson (Peter and Gail)

4. Goals/Targets:

  • Expand community’s knowledge/awareness of poverty; create the understanding that poverty hurts everyone (Doug)
  • Denise attended ACT press conference on poverty report; D. suggested Labor Council (Jim Bertolone) should get involved in anti-poverty work; Bryan Hetherington, Empire Justice Center, “Poverty is there because of policy”; need responses from left communities; Metro Justice is factoring the report into their thinking; Band of Rebels should, too (Denise)
  • Need to focus on housing issues in City (foreclosures, etc.)(Bonita, Lucy)
  • Importance of creating publically-owned banks; need to do research on how to do that (Jo)
  • Every parent covered by nurse-/family partnership. (Jo)
  • We should carry the banking message to other communities (Mike)
  • Most important issue is living wage jobs. (Jim)

5. Strategy/Tactics:

  • Engage diverse communities (Doug)
  • Band of Rebels has done both “measurable actions (those where success can be measured” and “witness actions (such as in front of banks),” we need to uphold the value of witness (Tim).
  • Don’t want to waste our limited personal resources on having weekly actions (Jim)
  • Provide support for other Rochester organizations and participate with them, such as Take Back the Land (Doug).
  • Need to focus on a few specific targets/campaigns per year, not weekly actions. We need to support Take Back the Land on housing issues, not take this on ourselves (Jim)
  • We should escalate our tactics.

Next meeting: Friday, January 24, 2014, 10 AM-2 PM; location to be announced; Denise will facilitate.

Please send in your responses by email to: Who is the Band of Rebels? What issues do we want to focus on? What do we want to do?

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