ROCLA Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

April 23, 2014, 5:30 PM, Downtown United Presbyterian Church

Present:  Bob and Marilyn Kaiser, Peter and Gail Mott, Arnie Matlin, Grania Marcus, Gloria Osborne, Callie Rabe

Old Business:

  1. Paola Betchart presentation on Ecuador May 7, 7 PM:
  2. She will have a power point and possibly a short video.
  3. Content: She will provide background information about the political changes in the constitution concerning natural resources and current challenges of the current government and the struggles of indigenous peoples for the protections of their territories and their self-determination.
  4. Paola will provide Grania with information to do publicity. Grania will send out event information and media release (Gail, can you check with DUPC to make sure we have the room and setup?)

II. Gail Walker presentation on Cuba Caravan June 4, 2014, 7 PM

  1. Gail M. will get more details from Vic
  2. Grania will do article and announcement

III. May Newsletter Schedule

            May 10: all articles, photos, etc. are due to me.

            May 15: all articles, photos and copy to Jim Anderson. 

            May 20: Final newsletter print to Metro Justice

            May 27: Mailing party

IV. Proposed May newsletter articles

  1. Article about Cuba Caravan front page–who is doing this?
  2. Article about Venezuela by Chuck K. or Lisa or we can use the report Lisa sent to us March 15 with link to Don Kovalik article (Gail/Peter will ask if they have an article and get permission)
  3. Urgent action about the House and Senate bills on Venezuela. (Grania will write)
  4. Notice about June program: Gail Walker, Cuba Caravan (Grania will get details from Gail M.)
  5. Spotlight on Vic (Gail will interview Vic)
  6. Spotlight on one of our beneficiaries–LASC? (Peter will write)
  7. Article on dairy farmworkers NYS tour to push for better working conditions in NYS (Grania will ask Carly Fox to write and provide information about any legislation we can support.)
  8. Update on the El Salvador elections (Mauricio; Peter will ask)
  9. Announcement about June 7 planning/strategy meeting and invite ideas/participation (Grania)
  10. Reminders about receiving the newsletter electronically; how to get on the ROCLA listserv (Arnie will send to Grania)
  11. Thank you to additional ROCLA beneficiaries–Peter sent Grania a list
  12. Article on Rice & Beans and upcoming programs (Bob K. will send to Grania) and thank you to participants (Bob/Arnie, can you send Grania the amounts earned so we can include them in the thank you?)
  13. Thank you for membership contributions (Bob/Marilyn, can you give me the number of contributors and total received?)

V. Todd Miller: ROCLA agreed to co-sponsor Todd’s book tour in Rochester the first week in October; presentation moved to first week in Nov. His new book is Border Patrol Nation: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Homeland Security/

VI. Callie’s letter

Callie explained that she appreciates what ROCLA does and felt she was a “perfect fit” for ROCLA, but pulled away because she didn’t feel a part of us. She got the message that she wasn’t a viable member of the group.  Decision-making seemed to be an “in” thing; and when she was asked to do something and did it she found that someone else already had done it so she felt she was not trusted. She talked about new ways to do things and the importance of “letting people in.” She emphasized that there was nothing personal in this – simply her observations about how we operate as a whole.

After a helpful discussion we asked Callie if she would reconsider being on the Steering committee and accepted her gracious offer to participate again.

Both Callie and Gloria (who agreed with much of what Callie said) told us that today decisions are made by consensus rather than by voting and that there is a process to make sure everyone’s voice is heard. We decided to discuss this further when Marilyn and Vic can be with us. But today we decided by consensus with no objections.

Callie is very much interested in participating in the Pastors for Peace Caravan. It was suggested that Vic, Ream and Callie sit down together and come up with a task list to send to the Steering Committee for the May 7 meeting. Callie will call Vic to talk about this.

New Business:

I. Cuba Caravan:

Phone numbers for proposed Cuba Caravan team:

Vic – (585) 271-8723

Callie  –  (585) 582-1322

Ream – (585) 309-3440

  1. Cuba Caravan will take place July 7 and will return to the previous model of sending a truck/bus.
  2. Arnie will buy medicine if that’s what is needed.
  3. Gail will talk with Vic to find out more details about the 2014 Cuba Caravan and how he would like to participate.
  4. The proposed Cuba Caravan team, Vic, Ream Kidane and Callie, will help develop a task list for the next ROCLA meeting.

II. Discussion of ROCLA’s Future:

  1. Need a more considered kind of meeting time for everyone to present ideas and brainstorm
  2. Possibility of Saturday breakfast meeting from 9-12 at the Motts – either June 7 or 14.
  3. Consider who we want to be, where we’re going and how to involve new/more people.
  4. We probably will need two meetings –one for an open discussion and brainstorming, and the second for decision-making.
  5. Grania will ask Denise Young to be facilitator for the first meeting. If she cannot do it, Arnie suggested Phil Schaefer. $100 honorarium.
  6. Arnie suggested opening the meeting(s) to the entire ROCLA e-list. Agreed. This will be done after the May meeting and in the May newsletter. Anyone interested will reply to Bob.

Next Meeting: May 7, 2014, 5 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Grania Marcus and Gail Mott







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