Ross sent checks from the picnic to the National Office. We should
get the funds back, less cost of literature.
Tom Gallagher gave a report on Harry Britt's history in SF politics (for
14 years the successor to Harvey Milk, narrowly defeated in a run for Congress
by Nancy Pelosi) and DSA (he was a national Vice Chair for many years). Britt
is running for state assembly. The candidate to beat is Mark Leno,
who has the big bucks, though he has been moving to distance himself from
Mayor Brown. Holly Their and Steve Phillips are also in the race; the
first was initially thought to be Brown's candidate, though the latter seems
The primary election is Mar 5 or 12, 2002. There will be a lot of items
on the ballot. Every Sat and Sun there are literature drops, and phoning
every evening. Next Sat at 10 am there will be an office opening party
for the campaign at 2150 Market St. Next Fri at 6 PM there will be
a labor fundraiser; Britt was endorsed by the SF Labor Council. He
also has the surprise endorsement of Carol Migden. There is also an
Tom says the staff says Britt has rejoined DSA.
Tom said that raising money by phone seemed the best route; an event may
be too ambitious (based on past experience with the list). It might
be useful to contact people throughout the Bay Area. Getting and using
the DSA mailing lists should not be a problem (Ross will check) as long as
we're not giving them out.
Tom thought the cost of a mailing to at least the SF people (about $100)
was something we could come up with somehow, perhaps from the campaign.
The proposal to do a mailing, subject to availability of funds, was accepted
by consensus. If it is not done before, we will do the assembly and
mailing at our next meeting.
Ross will check with E-Bay about contacting people their for funds, and with
national about using our lists, getting more current ones, and seeing if
Britt's application is in..
Tom will draw up a post-card sized appeal and be in touch with Ross about
doing the mailing.
SF Progressive Alliance
Michael and Betty will go to the next meeting at 7 PM, Jan 23. If they
can't make it they'll let Bob or Ross know as alternates.http://www.nukewatch.org/Congresswatch/housebills/pdf/HR2459.pdf
Ross repeated the story, detailed in earlier minutes. There was support
for sending a letter to Kurt, and possibly doing more. Ross will draft
something for the next meeting (or possibly earlier circulation),.
Tom Edminster in SF took quite an interest in the case. Michael and
Tom said they'd get contact info to Ross.
According to a (fundraising) call from DSA, supporting HR2459 is a national
DSA project. The idea is to contact representatives about co-sponsoring
the bill, which comes from Dennis Kucinich and is supported by the progressive
caucus. Everyone said they would contact their rep (neither Pelosi
nor Lantos has signed on; Woolsey and Lee are co-sponsors).
This led to the question of the best way to contact Congress post anthrax
scare. The feeling was regular mail might not get through, and probably
a phone call would have the greatest impact. e-mail is another option.
More info is available at
Betty reported that there are a series of hearings being held throughout
the state on health care alternatives for CA. Reportedly there are
7, probably coming out of a study funded by the legislature. The Health
Care for All Campaign, with which we have worked, is trying to turn people
out for the hearings: some of the alternatives are quite good, and others
aren't. The hearings are being done by the state, throughout the state
(including Oakland on Feb. 7). Unfortunately, Jan 4 was the registration
deadline, but perhaps it's not too late to get in. The conference is
all day, and is free unless you don't show up, in which case it costs $50!
(800) 858-7743 or (916) 278-6633 are the phone numbers for the conference.
Bob and Betty reported being impressed by "Incident at Oglala" on the events
surrounding Leonard Peltier's conflict with the police. Robert Redford
apparently is pushing the 1.5 hr film, which describes the death squad environment
leading up to the better known events.
Bob will look into making arrangements to show the film, perhaps as a kick
off for a film series. Anyone who would like to make their house and
TV available, please speak up. Ross agreed to publicize our need for
What is Socialism?
We kicked off a wide ranging discussion of Socialism, using the pieces by
and Ross (in pdf
) as springboards. It's difficult to summarize the discussion, but
I noticed two axes of disagreement. Some people felt they had a fairly
comfortable sense of what socialism would be, and others felt quite uncertain
and unhappy with the available answers. Secondly, to the extent that
there were specific visions, they ranged from central planning along the
lines of the Soviet Union to a market economy with progressive taxation along
the lines that some have called (not in the discussion) "slightly imaginary
There was particular discussion of the merits and demerits of the Soviet
Union, as well as the comment that we shouldn't get too hung up on it.
We will continue the discussion next time. People are invited to contribute
additional pieces for general consideration, and we will also look at Cy
Gonick's "A Democratic
Socialist Vision for the 21st Century
". The Boulder DSA reported this sparked a good discussion in their
Ross is assembling various bibliographies
on this subject.
Sun, Feb. 3 at 2 PM at 11 Panorama Dr.
Minutes prepared by Ross Boylan January 5, 2002.
Spelling of Peltier fixed Jan 20, 2002 (thanks Jason Schulman).