Present: Terry Cummings, Pat Fontes, Cathy Orloff, Randall Rose. Regrets: Patricia Raub
- Net Neutrality—There is a lot of grassroots pressure to pass this. Many Republicans in Congress don’t like it. It’s a clause in the budget bill. David Segal says they may be able to get it out of the budget bill, enough Democrats may support it. Our RI delegation is good on this.
- TPP Trans-Pacific-Partnership— All 4 of the RI delegation supported the right side, opposing this secret and scary legislation. Suggestion to send a letter thanking them for their vote. Cathy said she will draft one and send it around. Maybe have other groups sign on?
- Suggestion that the Peace group invite the other lists to the monthly book discussion. Maybe change the time to a day rather than evening? But many people, including Terry, work days. Hard to find a good time for all. Right now it’s on a Monday evening, pot-luck and then discussion. The July meeting will be at Pat Fontes’ in Hopkinton on Monday July 20. Book is “The Secret History of the American Empire” by John Perkins. VERY amazing!
- Meeting with Whitehouse— re: Fair Elections Now? Randall was contacted by a campaign finance reform group called May Day, inviting him (our group?) to join them in meeting with Senator Whitehouse re: a bill in the US Senate, Fair Elections Now. The Fair Elections Now Act says that candidates for the US House and Senate who raise money only from small donors will be given 6 times what they raise from small donors, paid for out of federal funds, as long as they agree to participate in debates. It will be funded by a tax on federal contracts, but there is a debate about that. Lawrence Lessig (from Harvard) is involved in or leading the May Day group. Randall plans to go to the meeting with May Day. Noted that in Maine candidates can’t take private money for state or local races; they get public funds. Cathy said she heard another way to do campaign finance reform is for the FCC to require that all TV and radio stations that want a license to broadcast on the airwaves (which are owned by “we the people”) would have to agree to provide an equal amount of free time to all certified candidates, which would mean that they wouldn’t have to raise the millions of dollars they now use largely to pay for media ads. She will try to contact Lessig about this.
- Bills currently before the RI legislature—Randall has been updating us by email. We did discuss the one re: computers in cars and should there be a law requiring car buyers to be notified of this computer and what info it records, and how they can turn it off if desired, also who has access to the data it records? Randall wanted to go over more bills, but we ran out of time, apologies and thanks for all his efforts in this regard.
- Organizing—We could set up more tables at events where the public will be. e.g. re car computers, we could set up a table at auto shows or near dealerships? Similar to how we did at the Cable Car Cinema when “No Place to Hide” about Edward Snowden was showing. We got quite a lot of new names for our email list at that time.
- Fourth of July action?—Discussed attending Bristol parade, or doing the Rte. 195 bridge Restore the Fourth (Amendment) as last year, or doing something at the Ancient and Horribles parade in Gloucester. No consensus, Randall to send around an email about this.
- Agreed we should meet during the summer.
- Next meeting—is Saturday, July 11, presumably at Rochambeau.
Notes by Cathy Orloff