Meeting Notes July 28, 2015

Minutes of 100 Grannies Meeting July 28, 2015

Barbara Schlachter to chair, Donna Rupp recording. 25 Grannies were present

UPCOMING PROJECTS AND/OR NEW BUSINESS

Johnson Co. Fair­­July 27­30 Mary Beth Versgrove
We will be manning a table along with our partners in the People’s Coalition in building B at the southend of the Fair Grounds. Workers should encourage fair­goers to pick up Grannies literature and vote using the “corn counter.” Volunteers should wear their Grannies hats and buttons. The chair, on behalf of all the Grannies, thanked Mary Beth and Ann Christenson who had been organizing the event since January.

Storytime at Iowa City Library ­­August 13­­ Donna Rupp
Becky Hall, Jan Blake and Donna Rupp will provide Preschool Storytime at the Iowa City Public Library August 13 at 10:30. The theme will be “Be an Earth Hero”. All Grannies are invited to come and be a presence that morning, wearing your hats and buttons.

Grandparents Climate Action Day­­,Washington DC, Sept. 9 and 10 – ­­Barbara Schlachter
A caravan will leave for DC September 7th and return on the 11th. At present, six Grannies are committed to going. Others are invited to join the group and should contact Barbara if interested. We hope to meet with Congressman Loebsak and others in the congressional delegation from Iowa. Barbara will reach out to Senator Grassley and Paula Sanchini will contact Joni Ernst’s office. Jim Hansen and Lynn Twist will be the keynote speakers.

People’s Climate Movement ­­October 14­­ Barbara Schlachter
A planning meeting will be held September 2 at ICPL at 7 pm for this event designated to be a“distributed day of action” for the earth. Groups around the city are asked to plan events and actions to“remember Mother Earth,” and to further the awareness and understanding of the crisis facing the earth today.A candle light vigil will be held in the evening to share “what you did today” to further this cause. Martha Schut passed around a sign­up sheet with a list of local groups who might like to participate. If those at this meeting have contacts in any of these groups, they were asked to list them along with the member’s name. Those interested in joining the planning meeting may indicate that on the paper as well.

Inventory of members’ gifts and interests and addition of several new committees – ­­Donna Rupp
A letter is being e­mailed to every Grannies member asking them to respond indicating their interests and talents so that we can better utilize the gifts that our membership offers to this organization. The letter lists the present standing committees: Ban the Bags, Education, Veggie, Democracy School and Snit’ In. It also includes proposed new committees: Communications, Legislative, Activism, Speakers Bureau, and Recruitment. The names of respondents who reply by August 15 will be entered in a raffle for a gift.

Community Rights Initiative (formerly Democracy School)­­ Dawn Jones and Deborah Dee.

The 100 Grannies organization desires to begin the process of establishing a “community bill of rights” for Johnson County in response to governments at all levels failing to do the things necessary to ensure a sustainable world. The membership present voted unanimously to endorse that action following a presentation by Dawn and Deborah that included a 12 minute video of Paul Cienfuegos explaining the problems faced by communities seeking to protect and assert themselves. Cienfuegos is a regional leader in the community rights movement. Paula handed out a fact sheet that summarized the genesis of the community rights movement. Links to more information about the movement are available on the Grannies website 100grannies.org.

Following the presentation those present were asked through a rollcall to voice those issues each felt should be addressed in a community bill of rights. The suggestions are listed here:

  • ­all children need feel safe in public spaces in Johnson County
  • ­unregulated city development as with Chauncy Tower to stop misuse use of TIF for development
  • ­sustainable buildings
  • ­local control of CAFOs
  • ­clean air and clean water
  • ­apartment complexes be included in recycling
  • ­eliminate hazardous materials being transported through the county
  • ­right to a sustainable energy future
  • ­right for native vegetation to occupy a habitat
  • ­right for a living wage
  • ­more wind energy
  • ­prohibit pesticide use in rural and urban areas
  • ­prove safety before marketing
  • ­learning about and trying to institute the community bill of rights
  • ­the right to ask questions when you don’t know what everyone else is talking about
  • ­the right to community policing that focuses on protecting the rights of all people
  • ­right for a livable wage
  • ­safe environment – clean water and air and uncontaminated soil
  • ­improve public transportation
  • ­100% recycling
  • ­­Better structure for TIF – public referendum
  • ­Need to establish that nature has rights

Several of these ideas had more than one proponent. The list will be used to inform the Community Rights Task Forces efforts in the coming months. At some point an attorney will be needed who is willing to stand up to the state illegally and challenge the states preemption laws. The Grannies present were asked if anyone was interested in heading up an effort to set up meetings with candidates at all levels. There was no volunteer.

Those Grannies who had already met with Hillary organizers reported having shared with them information about climate change. They appeared to have no understanding of the problems, which is not to say the same of their candidate. Secretary Clinton is scheduled to make a policy statement soon about the environment. It was also reported that she is intending to meet with the 100 Grannies organization in the future. Paula Sanchini has a list of questions we can use when speaking with any of the candidates.

ONGOING PROJECTS/AND OR OLD BUSINESS

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Bag Commitee–Becky Ross, Mary Kirkpatrick

  • ·       Pledge cards to be signed by fair-goers promising to eliminate the use of plastic bags were approved and it was decided 600 would be printed. They can be used for future events as well. Becky would take care of the printing. Cards would be collected and follow-up emails would be sent to check on pledgers resolve.
  • ·       Little “BYOB bag” badges would be given to those who signed the pledge cards. We will gather at Becky’s house Monday, 7/20 @10:00 to make the badges. Those coming were asked to bring scissors.
  • ·       Guidelines for 100 Grannies environmental awards were discussed. It was decided that the number of these characteristics found in a business was not as much of a factor as the level of commitment to sustainability. The criteria used may include:
  • ·       Presence of a plastic bag reduction policy, ie. there is a  charge for the plastic bag, a reward for bringing a reusable bag, or some other incentive, such as donations to a charity.
  • ·       Use of biodegradable food containers
  • ·       Sharing with their patrons their commitment to fostering sustainability.
  • ·        Use of renewable energy
  • ·       Taking significant steps to reduce practices that are environmentally detrimental
  • ·       Training and insisting that all employees support the business’s commitment to sustainability
  • It was noted that the new Lucky’s uses  a token system to make donations to one of 3 charities chosen by the shopper.
  • Mary offered copies of  letters to each of the local Hy-Vees asking them to eliminate plastic bags at check-out. They will be taken to the next general Grannies meeting for more signatures.
  • ·       We’re happy to announce that New Pioneer will be discontinuing the practice of offering single-use plastic bags at check out. At the time of the meeting, no date for this had been announced. Big congratulations to Becky R and Mary K and Blair Frank for their efforts. New Pi has asked the Bag Committee to help them get the word out about these changes. Barbara suggested we write an article for “Catalyst” and the Bag Committee with be giving New Pi their monthly environmental award.
  •  Film Series–Molly Stroh  The films will be Mondays in October at 6 pm at The Senior Center.  Publicity in the form of a flyer that can be posted will be sent out separately.

Veggie 6 Committee–Jan S
Jan described the hidden cost of hamburger, amazing many present. There is a vegan option at the Fair. It is “Dear Dumpling” just outside Building B and is said to be delicious

S’nit In—will not be held this month since so many have been involved with the fair.

It was suggested the next Snit-in be held outside New Pi next month in support of their bag ban.

BRIEF REPORTS

July 4 parade–Mary Beth Versgrove

Nine grannies marched the two miles handing out literature and wrist bands provided by our People’s Coalition partners. It was decided, since we ran out of materials before ending the march, next year we will only give wrist bands to those who have reusable bags, not plastic ones.

Mary Beth also reported the Steve Fugate  who drove the truck in the parade for the People’s Coalition fuels his vehicle with fossil-free fuel: used cooking oil. She suggested some sort of recognition should be given to highlight that fact, perhaps, magnetic signs that would announce that fact and also carry the Grannies logo. He could use them when he uses his truck in other environmental events.

Steering Committee- Barbara

We might like to have signs on our cars as we travel to Washington DC , noting that the car carries” 100 Grannies” (tight fit).

Treasury Report  Becky Ross

Bank balance in check book : $1499.54

NEXT MEETING:August 25

Next Steering Committee meeting  August 18 at the home of Donna Rupp.  Let us know if you would like to attend.

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