Notes from Tactics Cttee Meeting, Sunday, April 3

Eight of us met on Sunday afternoon to fill in the tactical portion of the strategic plan.

We focused on how to get the school board to move on

  • forcing the release of the audits, a more transparent budget
  • and a budget that doesn’t balance the budget on the backs of schools
    • stop expensive Broad Institute initiatives that Brizard started without community input
    • and if there are cuts then make the cuts as far away from the classroom as possible

The challenge is how to show that the vast majority of voters support this and care deeply (litmus test).

  1. Poll: Board members seem tied to Brizard and don’t seem to feel popular discontent with the Superintendant. Our sense is that Brizard is very unpopular among parents and voters. A poll could help determine the heat of that animosity to Brizard’s plans and style. If the poll shows this then rubber stamping Brizard’s budget becomes. Lori will bring this up with CEJ. We believe we could identify funding for a poll.
  2. Postcards: We need a physical manifestation of the public sentiment. Our goal is 5000 postcards collected through liaisons, school-based activities and around town (Liberty Poll, Public Market). Jon will draft some postcards with the goals developed on Friday evening. Marie and Jon will spread to liaisons. Kelley will compile school activities calendar. The postcards can be used creatively at school board meetings.
  3. Phone bank: 21st century door knocking – we can collect phone numbers of people the school board are most concerned about (prime voters -voters who always vote and Democratic Committee members) as well as parents and set up a click-through phone bank in which the person on the line can be automatically put through to school board members to leave a message. Kelley, Dan, Dan, Henry, Phil, Marie, Jon and Lori will phone bank and recruit others. Jon will look into setting it up with Citizen Action NY. Hopefully this will be the week of April 18th.
  4. Direct presence at meetings: Turnout for
    1. Tuesday April 5 – First Public Hearing – Marie will check to see how to get an agenda item regarding the school board voting on the release of internal audits and an independent audit. We want them to vote on that. Henry will make signs to that effect. This is where we ask politely for what we want.
    2. Tuesday, April 12 – Second Public Hearing – There will be a student march to the hearing. Our degree of politeness will reflect board responsiveness.
    3. Thursday, April 14 – Finance Cttee (whole board)
    4. Thursday, April 21 – Policy and Audit Cttee
    5. Thursday, April 28 – Final Board vote

Jon and Dan will post on web and do emails. Jon and Marie will follow up with liaisons.

  1. 5. Organizational letters of support: From business associations, non-profits, business owners, neighborhood associations. Kelley will check with some neighborhood associations. This item will be revisited at the next meeting. Jon will draft a letter.
  2. Legal: We know the district is not compliant on a host of issues. Apparently this has been tried and lawyers haven’t bitten. Possible backburner.

next tactics meeting

Friday, April 8


1933 East Main Street


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