Minutes of first meeting by conference call Saturday, October 25
Eight participants from Freehold, Newark and West Orange in NJ, New York City, and Denver, CO. Members of NY Greens, IWW, Freehold Day Laborers, NY-NJ Rapid Response Network
We agreed that the first step is to hold community forums on the economic crisis to arrive at proposals for a Workers Recovery Plan and action proposals which can be brought to regional conferences. The idea is to have community meetings that bring together people from immigrant rights, labor, anti-war civil rights and other movements, and to publicize them to the general community as widely as possible. The forums would have brief presentations on the economic crisis and its causes, proposing possible demands and local actions, then have general discussion, getting everyone’s ideas. We would aim to have the forums in early December. Participants agreed that the first meeting may not be large, but that it was important to get the ball rolling.
In the discussion, Tom from Freehold emphasized that foreclosures were not the only problem and not even the main one for many people. Day laborers, for example, were facing evictions from rentals and loss of jobs. Two key ideas raised were a massive government jobs program rebuilding the cities and a halt to all foreclosures and evictions. One proposal was to mobilize community protests at Sheriffs offices to demand they halt participation in evictions, as happened in Chicago. The issues of housings and jobs can be linked with a jobs program that builds millions of units of new housing. Legalization of all immigrants, which allows them to fight for higher wages, can also be part of a Recovery Plan, which must include ways to increase wages.
An idea that came up after the meeting was to set up a website and forum to discuss possible a Workers Recovery Plan.
A list serve has been set up for the organizing committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
The next conference call will be Sunday, November 9 at 11:00 AM Eastern time. We invite everyone from all parts of the country to participate. Dial-in Number: 1-517-417-5000 (Midwest)
Participant Access Code 950507