December 17, 2011

Notes from the December 17, 2011 Occupy Duluth General Assembly
Attendance: 21 people (including a woman from Occupy Port Wing – yay!)
Facilitator: Joel K
Note Taker: Adam R
1. Relationship With the Labor Movement: At our last General Assembly we wrote a brief statement saying that we hope that we can continue to work with the Duluth labor movement on issues where we have agreement, despite their statement disassociating themselves from us due to our disagreement over the Polymet mine.  The Labor World newspaper has been sent out statement, but the next issue doesn’t come out until Jan. 11.
2. Occupy UMD: A successful event was held at the Univ. of MN-Duluth this past Thursday.  Several speakers from Occupy Duluth spoke to an audience of a few dozen people.  A lot of folks filtered through the event, which was held at the Kirby Student Lounge, during the course of the evening.  Kudos to Occupy UMD!
3. County Board Meeting in Ely: The St. Louis County Board is considering passing a resolution in support of non-ferrous mining.  We had a lot of people at a public hearing at the County Courthouse in Duluth this past Tuesday.  This NEXT Tuesday there is going to be another hearing in Ely.  The hearing starts at 9:30am and will run most of the day.  A couple of car caravans will be going to this from Duluth.  One is headed up at Anna C. and will be leaving Duluth between 6 and 6:30am. You can contact her at annagcook [at] gmail.com, but please do so at least 36 hours before the event.  Another one is being organized by Jesse P and Vern S.  You can contact Vern at (218) 591-5722 or Jesse at jp0260245 [at] gmail.com.  It was also suggested that folks bring some signs, so that if there are any breaks during the hearing a picket can be held outside the Courthouse.
4. Duluth Planning Commission: The Duluth Planning Commission is considering some re-zoning proposals for downtown Duluth.  There is some friction between some of the business interests and community activists over maintaining both a working and a living environment downtown.  There is going to be a Planning Commission meeting in January to discuss the matter.  For more info, or to get involved, contact Henry B at (218) 213-1256.
5. Home Foreclosures: The Foreclosure Working Group, which has renamed itself “Project Save Our Homes”, outlined its updated plan for how to hopefully save the homes of two women in the Twin Ports facing foreclosure.  One of the women, “AnnaJoe”, is facing a sheriff’s sale on Jan. 19.  Starting immediately we will be launching a petition drive to save her home.  Between now and Jan. 5 we plan on collecting as many signatures as possible, and then send them, along with a letter from our attorney, to the holder of her mortgage.  There is some hope that the holder of her mortgage may be amenable to re-negotiating the terms of her mortgage, so we’re hoping with a show of community support, we can make that a reality.  Folks interested in petitioning in her neighborhood should gather at 1pm on Sunday (Dec. 18) at the bike shop at the corner of 7th Ave. E. & 8th St.  If you want a petition emailed to you to circulate, email Donna H at howard.donna.e [at] gmail.com.
The group is also planning on holding a broadly endorsed community teach-in on foreclosures tentatively scheduled for Feb. 2 that will be titled “SAVE OUR HOMES: Stopping Foreclosures in the Northland”.  It’ll consist of a panel of people facing foreclosure, as well as legal and activist voices.  A working group is working on nailing down the details.  To help with getting endorsement, lining up speakers, logistics, publicity, etc. contact Adam R at wainosunrise [at] yahoo.com
The next meeting of Project Save Our Homes will be on Jan. 5 at 7pm at the UCC Peace Church.
6. Internet & Facebook:  It was reported that Occupy Duluth’s facebook pages keep getting hacked into, and the content on them erased.  After a wide ranging discussion on what to do about this it was decided to create two facebook groups – one that only a select few administrators can post notices to, and another that would be a private discussion group that only people known to the group could join.  It was also decided to encourage Dennis L to develop a proposal for a new website.  In the meantime, folks are urged to look for announcements on the Occupy Twin Ports facebook fan page and the www.occupyduluth.org website.
7. Camp Phone: The group voted to give Jesse P. $50 to cover another month for the group’s camp phone.
8. Homeless Survey: Loaves & Fishes and CHUM are planning on doing a teach-in in the first week of January, after which they want teams to go out and try to locate homeless people who are sleeping outside.  The goal is to get a sense of how many people are sleeping outside this winter, and to try to help them.  More info will be announced on this project in the future.  For more info contact Joel K at duluthcatholicworker [at] gmail.com
9. Next Meeting: Our next General Assembly will be on Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 7pm at the Duluth City Hall (with a back-up location being the skywalk where it meets the DECC if the City Hall proves unavailable).  Folks are urged to come up with ideas for future meeting venues to be discussed at this next meeting.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
-Occupy Duluth’s petty cash has been transferred from Drake to Scot B.
-Tyler N announced that he will be looking at some possible office space for the group on Monday, and will have more to report at the next meeting.
-Jesse P announced that the “storage space” is on the verge of being ready to be opened up.  Contact him if you can help fix it up and get it ready.
– Jennifer C announced her wish to jump start doing food service again, and to perhaps set up a food truck or cart that could be used to provide free food to folks in the community.  She’d like there to be a team to work on this; if you’re interested you can contact her at JLC3892 [at] gmail.com.
-Justin A announced that there will be an animal rights group starting up at UMD next semester.  He also asked for and received reimbursement for printing costs associated with last week’s Occupy UMD event.

2 thoughts on “December 17, 2011”

  1. 3 Jan 2012
    GA notes: Tuesday 2 Jan 2012, 7 pm, Hell’s Cargo skywalk.
    Quick summary:
    The usual meeting rules were suspended.
    Agenda:
    Cleanup storage space;
    Esko Klobuchar action on Friday;
    return tents to labor; summary of current status and plans.
    Announcements:
    Come get your momdad stuff.
    Electrician needed.
    Write a description of your vision for storage space, and bring it to the next GA.
    Cleaning party at Storage space Thursday afternoon.
    Actions:
    Kathy will return Steve O’Neil the tents donated by Central Labor Party.
    Allan announced an action by Food and Water Watch for Friday morning in Esko. Our support for the action will be discussed Thursday afternoon at the storage space.

    Meeting started at about 7:15 pm.

    Kathy suggested that with the small group present we suspend the usual rules. Happy.

    Nadia called for an agenda. Jesse wanted to discuss the ongoing cleanup at the storage space, and the Klobuchar event that is coming up in Esko on this Friday, 6th January 2012. Kathy wanted to talk about returning the tents to the Central Labor Body. Jay C. wants a situation report on Occupy Duluth current status and plans.

    Lara said the storage space is coming together slowly. Right now we need people to come get their property that was confiscated by DPD at Momdad camp. The storage space should be limited to necessities until we can deep clean. Immediate need is for an electrician to deal with getting electricity turned on. Tyler said Eric has heavy extension cords. Tyler said he would call Eric about rewiring. Alan said he will contact an electrician he knows. Jesse asked for occupiers to come up with a written description of what their vision is for the storage space. There will be a cleaning party at the storage space Thursday afternoon. The topic is moved forward to next meeting agenda.

    Kathy volunteered to return the tents to Central Labor Body. Happy.

    Alan talked about the Esko event for this coming Friday. It will be held from 8 am to 9 am, organized by Minnesota Farmer’s Union. Alan said Food and Water Watch is already planning an action. We are welcome to make a showing but should be careful about interfering with the other group’s action. Further discussion moved forward to the Thursday storage cleanup.

    Tyler talked about the office space in West Duluth. Tyler said it would be a good site from which to do issue based advocacy by phone tree.

    There was a discussion about Zoning and Henry Banks’ effort to get a change to allow residential rentals on second floor spaces downtown, which is currently limited to third floor and above. Jesse asked if Henry would be interested to do a teach-in for downtown folks. This topic was moved to the next meeting agenda.

    The next meeting was set for Retro Mall next Tuesday at 2 pm.

    There was a discussion of the difficulties using the current webpage. Bearded Richard said he has not been able to get minutes posted. Tyler suggested Phil be instructed to add Bearded Richard to the administrator list. Bearded Richard said he would be willing to be admin if the group wants it. Happy.

    Meeting adjourned at about 8:45 pm.

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