Archive for April 2013

DOC meeting notes 4/10/13


Present: Dick McGinn, Jane Richter, Rick Zielinski, Joann Dodd, Richard Hogan, Greg Howard, Gini Coover, John Howell, Bill Safranek

1. Dick reported on the BORC activities and the fact that BORC had been prohibited by Brent Hayes, the co-owner of the mall where the Farmers Market occurs, to have a table, pass out leaflets, or gather petition signatures in the Farmer’s Market. This may result in the blanket prohibition of use of the Farmers Market for any political or social advocacy efforts, which will change the character of the Farmers Market. It would be nice for the Farmers Market to be able to operate on public property where free speech is respected.

Dick also told us about a CELDF effort, above and beyond the Athens Bill of Rights Ordinance, to get the townships to be able to vote on non-binding resolutions about shale gas and oil extraction within their own boundaries. Currently, townships unlike municipalities, cannot adopt ordinances, leaving the township residents(49% of Ohioans) with no voice in matters like these. CELDF is planning a state-wide conference on this matter with townships across the state represented. Such and effort is envisaged as a stop toward increasing local control by initiating changes at the state level.

2. The DOC procedures adopted last month call for annual elections to the DOC Steering Committee at the April meeting. For names were placed in nominations. They are Greg Howard, Joann Dodd, Sally Jo Wiley and Dick McGinn. It was moved and seconded that the slate of nominees be elected by proclamation; that motion was approved unanimously. John Howell will continue on the Steering Committee as Coordinator. Rick Zielinski has agreed to continue as treasurer until October when elections for Treasurer and Coordinator will take place.

3. Long(er) range considerations and plans. We broke into two groups to consider where our efforts, both education and activism, should go, who we need to hear from, what we need to learn, and what actions we want to undertake? We are aware of many aspects of our lives in which corporate interests control public polity, e.g., in agriculture/food security, in economics/banking and monetary policy, in energy and environmental matters and in healthcare, among others. Are there common elements in these that can be addressed in a fundamental way?
Some thoughts which emerged

a. Local issues gain more traction that distant issues; one such local issue is fracking; another might be rising electricity costs.
b. The monetary system in which money creation in privatized, with the result that all money is created as debt is a central problem affecting all others.
c. We see corporations taking away our rights through fine print is sales contracts which take away our right to sue the corporations by getting us to agree to binding arbitration, which is largely under the control of large corporations by virtue of the process by which arbitrators are chosen.
d. We see that our constitutional rights limit the government from infringing upon them, but not limiting corporations from infringing upon them.
e. We see corporate interests limiting our access to information, impinging on our right to know, e.g. the court decision to strike down a Vermont law requiring dairy producers to include on their labels if the cows were hormone treated. We see it through media filtering the news we get.
f. How can campaigns can be run without the infusion of corporate money? (Would public financing of campaigns be relevant?)
g. Are current OSHA laws being violated by shale gas and oil extraction procedures?
h. We need to make better use of Access TV and other outlets for recruiting more participation in DOC and to engage in education locally
i. Could we host a CELDF democracy school?

4. Announcements

The DOC Steering Committee will meet on Saturday, April 20, at 1:30 p.m. in the small conference room in the Athens Public Library. This meeting is open to anyone who would like to bring a concern or recommendation to DOC.

a. Community Food Matters – 3 sessions April 13 (Sat.), 17 (Wed.) and 20 (Sat.) (For details see
The first session, “Being Fair – Why Food Justice Matters,” will be at the Friends Meeting House, Birge Drive, Chauncey, at  4 to 5:30.
The second session, “What’s in a Name: Corporate Control of the Food System and Why It Matters,” will be at the Athens Community Center, 5:30 – 7 p.m.
The third session, “Localize It: Why Supporting Local Food Production Matters,” will again be at the Community Center, 2-4 p.m.
b. April 24, 5 p.m. in 135 Walter Hall at Ohio University – Jay Warmke speaking on his book, “When the Biomass Hits the Wind Turbine: How We Got Ourselves Into This Mess and How are We going to Get Out of It?” It is about energy. Jay says, “We are coming to the end of the world as we know – and I’m OK with that! His book is a gem.
c. May 10, the 127th anniversary of the birth of corporate personhood, Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad. UGH!
d. Fixing our Broken Money System: Achieving Justice, Avoiding Austerity,
Reducing Debt and Creating Jobs, May 12, 1-6 p.m., Cooper Union Foundation Building, New York, NY (
e. Democracy Convention, August 7-11, Madison, WI (
f. AMI Monetary Reform Conference, September 19-22, Chicago, IL (

g. The next DOC meeting will be May 8 at 7 p.m. at the United Campus Ministry Building, 18 N. College St. in Athens.