Central Oregon Coast NOW Organizational Meeting Minutes
December 10, 2012
Meeting was called to order at 7 pm
Attendees: Nancy Campbell Mead, Nel Ward, Sheri Ambrose, Michele Walters, Tash Wesp, Rhonda Jantzen, Alisha Kern, Alice Vachss
Announcements were made while we waited for a few more people to arrive:
Nel Ward discussed Christmas gift giving for foster children. Deb Perkins at the Newport Court House (541-265-0940) is looking for presents of clothing and toys for under 3 year old and money for gift certificates for teenagers. They apparently have everything they need for 3 years old to teenagers. Sheri Ambrose mentioned wanting to do something for homeless families but has not had much luck locating any in Lincoln City.
Attendees introduced themselves by describing how and why they are involved in women’s issues.
A summary of NOW’s history at the National level was presented by Nancy.
Highlights: Started in 1966 by Betty Friedan and a small group of women in a hotel room in Washington D.C. NOW’s earliest actions were to push the EEOC to amend regulations on sex-segregated “Help Wanted” ads, work on passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, repeal of all abortion laws, and publicly-funded child care. The NOW website has much more information: http://www.now.org.
Nel related her history with the previous local chapter which began in 1987 and disbanded about 2006, though the newsletter continued (written by Nel) until 2011. They concentrated on issues such as domestic violence, sexual assaults and child abuse by working with local schools on harassment policies, developing a Court Watch program that observed behaviors during trial for such cases and the Clothesline Project. They looked into reproductive rights by checking policies at local pharmacies. For many years they held a Celebrate Women event.
The issues important at the national level were discussed in order to identify possible actions by this chapter.
One idea for a current action would be to check current Oregon reproductive rights laws and recheck local pharmacies with the goal to write a newspaper article highlighting where we are currently stand on this issue on the coast. There was some discussion about keeping an eye on bills at the state level in regards to reproductive rights. The question was asked about knowing anyone sympathetic to NOW in Eastern Oregon to contact Greg Walden re: his positions on the subject.
Violence against Women
Nel suggested reinstituting a Court Watch program.
Nancy mentioned that Oregon’s VAWA PAC is looking for board members. There was some discussion on the requirements for meeting attendance and raising money for the cause.
Another suggestion was support of local shelters.
Rhonda asked about existence of training for local police focused on violence against women and LGTB rights. Nancy related her experience organizing a large and successful training event. She still has the manual. This could be a potential activity.
This topic will be part of the discussion at the next meeting.
There was a discussion of domestic partners rights and whether they could get their partner’s prescriptions/medical info.
The availability of Planned Parenthood on the coast was discussed as well as the status of clinics at local schools.
Training for local police applies here also.
Basic Rights of Oregon is determining now whether they will make a push for marriage equality in 2014. If they decide to go forward there will be training available and they will need lots of help “telling their stories.”
Nancy mentioned the many movements to amend the constitution to remove corporate personhood. It is not listed as a priority by NOW. Everyone agreed that the local chapter ought to focus on feminist issues.
One of NOW’s major actions in recent years has been to support Walmart employees in their efforts to obtain fair working conditions. Supporting local Walmart employees in their efforts to improve their working environment and obtain fair pay was discussed briefly.
ERA issues were reviewed. The ratification efforts will need to be redone since it was not ratified in the specified time frame.
Promoting Diversity/Ending Racism
Centro de Ayuda is in the process of reorganizing so it was recommended we wait to contact them.
The ongoing efforts of some members of Congress to not include protections for Native Americans/LGBT/immigrants in VAWA was discussed.
Legislative Process Day
Workshop on January 17, 2013 in Salem. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and House Speaker Tian Kotek will be attending. It is an opportunity to learn about the Oregon legislative process with a preview of the issues for the 2013 legislatives session in order to better understand how we can have an impact at the state level. It is $21/workshop with lunch of $12 for workshop only for members of NOW. Nancy and Michele will be attending. If you are interested let us know. You can register online at http://www.lwvor.org or get a registration form from Nancy.
Nel mentioned that Jan 22nd is the 40th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade landmark decision and should be celebrated.
March 8 International Women’s Day – Bridge Walk for Peace
NOW could/should participate in this walk.
March is Women’s History Month
Nancy showed the Women’s First posters that can be posted in schools libraries, etc. which portrays the history of Oregon women who achieved significant successes.
Nel described editorials she wrote and had sent by others to the local papers describing women who have made important contributions to Lincoln County. People read editorials.
Another suggestion was to reach out to Hatfield to find women in Marine biology, etc. who have made contributions.
Youth Leadership Academy
Rural Organizers is addressing preparing young women to run for offices and is definitely worth our support.
We were not able to make committee assignments as we ran out of time. This agenda item will be pushed to the next meeting.
Membership Information & Temporary Appointment of Officers
The application for NOW was presented. Five of the 8 in attendance are already members.
The NOW members present approved the appointment of Nancy Campbell Mead as Acting President, Sheri Ambrose as Vice President and Michele Walters as Acting Treasurer.
January 14, 2013 at 7 pm at the Central PUD Meeting room at 2129 North Coast Highway in Newport.
Alice Vachss J.D. the author of ‘Sex Crimes’ will be speaking. Her topic will be “All Rape is ‘Real’ Rape.”