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Meeting Minutes
Torch Club of the Fox Valley
11 September 2014
Atlas Coffee Mill & Café

Notes taken by: Jude Kuenn, secretary
Attendees:  Janet Wullner-Faiss Cloak, Dwight Easty, Paul Freiberg, Jean Jepson, Barbara Kelly, Bill Kelly, Jude Kuenn, Amy Oberg, Richard Schoenbohm, Bob Swain, Peter Thiel

Guests: none

BUSINESS MEETING

Meeting called to order at 6:35pm

  1. Guests:  none.
  2. Minutes from 5/08/14 meeting were accepted, motioned and approved.
  3. Treasurer’s report: Barb Kelly shared the current status of our finances.  Note reduced cost due to FOCOL probably dissolving 3/31/15. If yes, we’ll have to find a new home for Club’s website. Please share what you use on current site as members (Club history archived and available, offers potential new members an overview, the list of scheduled speakers, bios and address details are just some benefits mentioned). Barb is willing to build something less robust if agreeable to everyone. All website feedback can be emailed to Barb.     
  4. Old Business: Thanks were extended to Barb and Bill for hosting a lovely Summer Gathering at their home 8/14/14.
  5. New Business:
    a. Report of International Convention Delegates - Barb and Bill Kelly.
    St. Catherines was a beautiful location. IATC director is looking to establish new and expand current clubs. Existing clubs could get $1,000 to help start a new chapter (i.e.  Oshkosh). Goal: to grow current clubs by four new members each. There were three major business meetings. Some of the topics included: 1) approving the budget; 2) approving household discount for second member under the same roof (by ½). IATC is projecting 5% dues lost from second member, but hopes incentive will increase membership. Thought for further discussion: if we want more members, would criteria to give a talk be waived? 3) IATC is encouraging ‘junior’ clubs where membership is under 30 years. Next year’s Convention will be 6/25-28/15 in Lincoln, NE. 
    b. Budget information:  Reviewing past five-year financials (2009-2014), following current delegate reimburse policy, expenses are greater than income.. Major change proposed: $250 IATC reimbursement for attending delegates would be split between representatives. We would discontinue current policy paying Convention delegate registration of $330 each.
    Targeting between 22-25 members, Richard proposed building our resources:
    150% of minimum of annual expense = $2,182.50
    150% of maximum of annual expense = $2,527.50
    Treasury at $1,280.68. Goal: to set aside $900-$1,250 over 3-5 years to achieve 150% reserve. Once reserve has been met, we would revisit delegate reimbursement. Important to continue is treating guests and potential new members to their first meeting’s evening meal. Please consider proposed financial changes for further Club discussion.
  6. Announcements: Irene’s resignation was noted. Other lost members include Al Button and Neal Gamsky.
  7. Business segment adjourned at 7:15pm for dinner.
Richard presented:  Keeping Us Out of Control: The Challenge of Redistricting (LWV)
At the Federal level, a census is taken every 10 years. State Government can reproportion per 1962 Baker vs. Carr ruling where Congressional Districts need to be the same size. Redistricting cannot freeze-out minorities. State Legislature tasked with redistricting State Senate and Assembly Districts
Act 23 (2010)
former process afforded transparency prior to 2010
2011 Madison Legislature repealed Act 23, creating a state of “New Trality”. Xs and Os seem balanced, but where are the competitive districts? Lines drawn in non-competitive districts, based on party’s area of support, effecting “partisan redistricting”.
99 seats were up for re-election and only 15 were competitive; too many ’safe’ seats with this set-up. 2012 WI elections were impacted more by primary than general voting.
“Gerrymandering” coined in 1812 during MA elections: Eldridge Gerry redistricted to his benefit, like a salamander.
Seven states have resolved redistricting, using an independent body to district with specific criteria. AZ is more competitive with power to draw lines and have neutral groups. IA follows county lines with clear criteria, in place since 1981; they held transparent hearings that were publically available. WI has no clear criteria: taxpayers paid $2mm for lawyers who drew up maps and had secrecy oaths, signed to redistrict without public awareness and/or input.
We need non-partisan redistricting so there is less power to gain/control, the primaries count less and elected officials listen to the voters.
How to get redistricting done?
* Referendum? Not available in WI.
* Constitutional amendment? Not easy.
* Legislation? Can institute non-partisan redistricting.
What can we each do?
1) ask our representatives to back reform proposals;
2) ask them to press for hearings on the bills;
3) if hearings are held, attend as citizens and officials of all political stripes to testify;
4) voters need to make this an issue in 2014 elections (and in 2016 and 2018).   
After general discussion, meeting adjourned at 8:55pm.
 
Next meeting is 10/09/14.
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