I wanted to send an update about yesterday’s membership meeting, what was discussed and next steps.
27 people attended the meeting last night where we had a lively discussion about the proposal to develop two classes of members. Many people were uncomfortable with the idea of a participating member versus voting member, so it looks like the board may keep the By Laws as they stand and make adjustments to basic membership definitions, developing a system whereby students, seniors, unemployed and low income can offer volunteer hours in lieu of membership dues or some combination of monetary contribution and personal hours dedicated towards helping build the infrastructure of the organization. Participation on an "issue" oriented committee would not count as volunteer hours for membership. Volunteer hours in the context of fulfilling membership requirements would include activities that help build the infrastructure of WESPAC (newsletter, fundraising committee, membership committee, office painting and clean up, mailings etc)
The next WESPAC members meeting (a new name for what used to be the Administrative Committee) will take place on Monday, August 24th at 6pm in Pleasantville. Members are welcome to come at 5pm that same day to help with phone banking.
WESPAC is starting up a Coffee House series the first Friday of the month, starting September 4th with readings by Geoff and Lynn from their own poetry. Later in the Fall, we will host a dance party with DJ and other ideas have also been proposed. More input is welcome if you have ideas.
WESPAC will honor those giving monthly pledges at a social in Ardsley on Sunday, September 20th. Members who are interested in serving on WESPAC’s Board of Directors are encouraged to attend this social to learn more about board functions and expectations.
Four people have expressed an interest in planning a WESPAC Fall Retreat where folks can get to know each other better, organize skill shares workshops and spend time on WESPAC’s organizational development and focus areas.
This year, the Memorial United Methodist Church will be running the fair trade festival on Saturday, December 5th. WESPAC’s role will be organizing a Lower Hudson Valley Social Forum follow up in the church on the same day to continue highlighting the organizing going on locally on a wide range of issues and to help support the fair trade festival by bringing lots of people to the church. This past March, 250 people attended the social forum, thanks to the hard work of Antoinette, Jalal, Roger and several others.
Roger and Jalal recently hosted a media workshop at WESPAC that was very well presented and produced a "Westchester Rapid Response Network". Roger will send more information shortly.
Nada is organizing a Fall Lecture Series on Wednesday evenings that WESPAC and Pace University are co-sponsoring. Dates and topics will be forthcoming. Also, the article on challenging institutional racism has received wide circulation and feedback. The School of the Americas Watch and WRL have contacted WESPAC asking permission to re-publish in their own publications. All WESPAC members are encouraged to sign up for the Undoing Racism workshop scheduled for October 1, 2 and 3 at Fordham University. For all details please visit the http://antiracistalliance.com
There will be a WESPAC mailing on August 19th and 20th in Pleasantville from 9am to 2pm. All are welcome if available.
If you have ideas for the WESPAC Coffee House series or would like more details on any of this, please feel free to call us up.
I will be out of the office all of next week. Jalal will be taking calls on my behalf. Thanks to all who came last night and for your valuable input, energy, ideas and enthusiasm. We really appreciate it,