Vanishing Democracy-Challenging Corporate Power Follow Up Meeting: Report from September 13, 2003


From Vanishing Democracy II, Sept. 13, 2003


Focus on U of MN: has users, training, labor, practitioners.
1. Get media to include discussion of the solutions.
2. Legislature: build support.
     a. Method of giving out Talking Points
     b. Hold a Train the Trainees


Convene a meeting of people interested in working on a Campaign for media Democracy.
Contact: Betsy Barnum 612-305-1232


1. C4CR: Code for Corporate Responsibility: environment, health, human rights, dignity of workers, community. SF#1529 & HF#1534
2. MN Constitutional Amendment: Person means Natural Person. SF#1403 & HF#1397
3. MN version of Wellstone bill: No business with off shore corporations. SF#755 & HF#914
4. FACE: Fair and Clean Elections SF#998 &HF#1382
5. Surcharge on Liquor for Treatment and Support (housing, bus fare, jobs) for people with chemical dependency and for multi-cultural law enforcement. (Submitted by John Marty 3 sessions ago.)
6. MN version of Federal Respectability for Veterans bill


1.Get legislative sponsors for the above: write to, meet with state senators and representatives
2. Organize informational house parties, meetings.
3. Articles: write for newsletters, magazines, etc.
4. Letters to the Editor


o Challenge Corporate Power, Assert the People’s Rights Study Group/Abolish Corporate Personhood

o Code for Corporate Responsibility

o Economic Globalization Group/MUUSJA (Metro Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance)

o Fair and Clean Elections/MAPA

o Labor/AFSCME 3800 (M.M.Fiedler)

o Right Here Media (Shea Peeples on behalf of)

o Health Care/Union of Concerned Health Care Practitioners

o Vets for Peace

o Minnesota for Dennis J. Kucinich



How do we pull in other groups?
     Clarify mission
     Develop a web site
     Identify groups, especially mainstream ones such as education groups
     Approach Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers, present to them, maybe join
     Is MAP a useful model for diverse coalition?
     Develop talking points for talking with them
     Build coalition with issue groups using corporate power as common ground
     Comprehensive interactive calendar on the web
     Connect with different listserves
     Make our issue relevant to a wider audience
     Offer groups ways to act on the knowledge about corporate power
     Give presentations to groups
     Develop a brochure or other info in time for the Earth Charter Sumit

What are some strategies for keeping us together as a network?
     Have regular conferences-- once a year, every other year
     Have regular meetings--monthly, bimonthly, twice a year
     Create a listserve to announce actions and events (Ann Lima will coordinate)
     Publicly endorse each other’s issues
     Set up an alliance and give it a name
     Create space for strategic organizing
     Be a decentralized, non-hierarchical group
     Be multi-racial, multi-generational
     Set up a “hot line” phone number with messages for all issues
     Support legislative actions relating to corporate power, such as C4CR and personhood bill

What are some strategies for working together as a network?
     Create working groups
     Develop a skills database--like a speakers bureau only broader in scope
     Encourage participation in our own meetings by running them democratically
     Avoid single-issue limitations
     Share information--develop a means to do this
     Have special events and gatherings that are both fun and educational

What do we want to accomplish as a network in the next year?           Form an alliance and establish an identity
     Stay in existence!
     Established meeting schedule with regular events, including “snacklucks” etc.
    Magazine or newsletter for updates on coalition member activities
     Host a coffee shop series
     End corporate personhood
     Have another conference


WEB RESOURCES - Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy - Reclaim Democracy - Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund - Movement for Democracy and Education - Thousand of titles on creating an ecologically sustainable, socially just and democratic world. - Occidental Arts and Ecology Center - “Challenging Corporate Power, Asserting the People’s Rights” Campaign - Access online issues of “Corporate Reform Weekly” - Democracy Unlimited of Humbolt County - Universal Health Care Action Network MN - Code for Corporate Responsibility - - League of Women Voters/Fair and Clean Elections - - - MN Alliance of Peace Makers - Women Against Military Madness - Right Here Media Collective - 612-280-8234

Vets for Peace - 612-821-9141


At Vanishing Democracy II a delicious lunch was catered by Val Barnes, 612-379-7405 (e-mail: She specializes in home-style cooking for busy individuals, as well as large meetings. A community organizer herself, she is especially willing to cater social justice events at a reasonable cost. She will prepare a vegetarian menu upon request.