Mary Beth’s June 3, 2015 phone call to Stacey at Dem Sch Nat’l office

June 3, 2015          Phone call to Stacey Schmader, Administrative Director and National Democracy School Director (717) 498-0054; co-founder of Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) with Thomas Linzey.


  • Only one format now available for “live” Democracy School is one and one-half days: Friday evening 6:30-9:30 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Cost would include travel, housing, and honorarium for 2 lecturers. An estimate would be $4500 – $5000, but only actual costs would be included. This format focuses on community rights.


  • A new publication from CELDF is about to go to press. It is 24 pages printed on newsprint with color and is a community guide in 3 parts:


  1. Introduction to community rights;
  2. State by state community rights;
  3. Building a movement for community rights.


The title is Common Sense: Community Rights Organizing. Stacey offered to send 200 copies to me once they are printed for circulation.


  • When asked what issue(s) were of current interest, I discussed our local issue of The Chauncey and urban sprawl and the Bakken pipeline that has been proposed. The pipeline seemed to better fit the model of environmental consequence. Stacey suggested that I contact Ben Price, National Organizing Director of CELDF to arrange a conference call. She indicated that CELDF is currently working with groups to oppose pipelines in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York by working with municipalities on ordinances.


  • When I asked about Thomas Linzey being available to speak, I was told that he was compiling an itinerary for travel through the end of 2015. Stacey encouraged me to get in touch if we might be interested in extending an invitation for him to speak in Iowa City so that we could be considered for his schedule.


June 10, 2015         Phone call to Ben Price, National Organizing Director CELDF (717) 254-3222 to follow up on possibility of scheduling Democracy School here in Iowa City sometime this fall. Suggested venue: Johnson County Extension Building is available Friday, November 13 and Saturday, November 14 as well as November 20th/21st.


  • Democracy School is generally only held where a community is doing active work on an issue, not simply for educational purposes.
  • We discussed the current petition for the Bakken pipeline, but it does not go through Johnson County as currently proposed. Ben would need to be in contact with representatives from a county affected by the pipeline that has a county board of supervisors who would be willing to support drafting an ordinance to block the pipeline.
  • He asked about Home Rule and I said that according to their website, Iowa is not a Home Rule state.
  • In order for him to become involved, we would need to find a core group in at least one county to discuss action in a conference call with Ben. The purpose of the call would be to consider working with the Board of Supervisors to draft an ordinance – a Community Bill of Rights. This effort could involve more than one county in the state.
  • We need to consider who might be most inclined to action and then have them set up a conference call with Ben.


  • Ed Fallon? List of 15 counties where pipeline is proposed?


June 11, 2015         Phone call to Stacey Schmader, Administrative Director and National Democracy School Director (717) 498-0054 to follow up on Thomas Linzey’s lecture schedule.


  • Cost would be travel and accommodations (actual) plus honorarium of $2500. This could include any small private discussions Thomas might have with individuals or groups at meals aside from his primary speaking engagement.
  • Availability is in November when he will be also traveling to Ohio and Virginia.
  • I requested either Nov 13/14 or 20/21 as that is when we know the Johnson County Extension Building is open for our use and would provide accessible and flexible seating and parking. I am not sure what the cost might be. Stacey will put us on the schedule for November and see which weekend works better.


  • Iowa Hawkeyes have home games on both November 14 (Minnesota) at 7:00 p.m. and November 21 (Purdue – senior day) time TBA.


  • The publication from CELDF – Common Sense: Community Rights Organizing is being printed June 12th and should be ready for distribution next week. We would have 200 copies to distribute to organizations and interested individuals to help promote Thomas and the work CELDF is doing.


  • Dates for the public hearing for the Bakken are projected to be in late 2015. The IUB set aside November 12 through December 2 for that purpose.


  • We need to identify other groups who are interested in bringing Thomas to Iowa and decide what our interests are in having him come.

Comments are closed.