Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Greater Kansas City Chapter - Democracy for America Meeting Notes, 02/Sept/2009

Reflection: Greater Kansas City Democracy for America meeting 02 Sept 2009

Paul Rola called meeting to order shortly after 7:00 PM.

A resolution requesting President Obama to vigorously support only health care legislation that contains, at least, a public option to compete with private health insurance was read and offered to the membership for signatures.

Mike Sandbothe Introduced the steering committee: Paul Rola, president; Mike, Vice President; Katya Woolard, Secretary; Phyllis Sheaks, Treasurer; Anne Pritchett, Political Education; David Avila, Liaison and Fran Farah, Special Events

Anne Pritchett attended 2009 Netroots Nation , in Pittsburgh, on a DFA scholarship. First day, single payer supporters were out in force. Anne had a PowerPoint presentation with slides from Pittsburgh.

Ex-president Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Howard Dean and Don Siegelman were among the speakers. Cenk Ungyer of The Young Turks was also in attendance. The Young Turks radio program isn't available in KC; but, you can follow them on YouTube or Next year's Netroots Nation will be in Las Vegas in July.

Anne introduced Airick West of the KC School Board and Andrea flinders the president of the Teachers? Union.

Airick pointed out the significance of a 9-0 vote in selecting the new superintendent. And then went on to point out that, on August 12, the school board unanimously passed a series of reforms. So it looks like the board is working together and is in full support of the new superintendent, Dr. Covington.

There will be a training session for new school board members for people interested in running for the school board or supporting candidates for that position: Training will be this Saturday, Sept 5, 9:00AM to 6:00PM. The site will be the Country Club Congregational Church, near the corner of 63rd and Wornall. Airick then passed the mike to Andrea Flinders.

Andrea said the public is hearing only the bad things about the KC School District, not the good things. She stated that the upper and middle classes have largely deserted the KC School District. What are left are largely the children of poverty. Andrea also reminded us that there is a lot of discussion about the inadequacies, even though there are hitches in the system; day after day education, the real education goes on, and that is between the teachers and the students. Ms Flinders also expressed faith that some of the short comings will be worked out.

After Andrea's talk, Anne Pritchett, to emphasize Andrea's comments about the poverty within the families in the system, talked about seeing a Harvester's truck at a church only a block from a school. Parents were picking up food after dropping their children off at school.

Vicky Smith, representing the community based ?Hands On? program briefly outlined the structure of the group (8 sub-groups city wide) and its goal. "Hands On KCMSD"'s intent is to work within the school communities to make the education system more effective. This will be done through activities that are not directly involved with academics. Various projects, such as school cleanup projects, involvement in the SAC programs etc will help to make the school environment more productive.

The URL for the Creating World Class Schools through Wide Spread Community Engagement website is: www,

Last speaker was Tom Bailey of Repower America; RePowerAmerica,org. People can call Repower America at: 1-877-9REPOWER and leave a message asking Sen. Claire McCaskill to support the Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (Cap and Trade). This bill will put a cap on the amount of greenhouse gases that business can emit while offering incentives for development of new, cleaner technologies.

RePower America?s local office will be at 55th and Troost. They are looking for volunteers. Tom can be reached at: 1-913-485-0778 or at

Future meetings:

October: Theme will be ?The Change to Media in an Ever-changing World.? The community service will be food for Harvesters; Thanksgiving is coming. Bring canned goods, boxed goods, etc,

November: Theme will be DFA's version of NPR's ?This I Believe.? Participants will be invited to share their beliefs.

Tom Huffman

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