WI Research Team Meeting 4/20

Attendance:

  • Renee
  • Christal
  • Elmer
  • Peggy
  • Jeff

Check Ins:

  • Jeff – rose – beach, thorn – busy.
  • Christal – rose – made it to mom’s house for passover weekend. Thorn – tough staying in and worrying about kids.
  • Peggy – thorn – Easter – practiced social distancing so didn’t get together. Holidays only time to connect w some family, but didn’t get to this year. Rose – been checking in w folks at national level, calls feel good. Great healing justice call last week. Making progress in WI. Maybe this pandemic will enable us to question incarceration after the pandemic ends.
  • Elmer – Rose – all set for grad school. Chatting with boys. Thorn – was able to move forward with client on his website, but old domain crashed their email.
  • Renee – Rose – made some connections w friends she hadn’t heard from in a very long time (30 years for one of them!). Thorn – been very sick, diagnosed w Pnemonia.

Agenda/Updates/Discussion

  • Elmer – starting to recognize severity of COVID and learning from other groups about how to pressure power holders. Had meeting on Saturday. Are other efforts part of this? How to merge/ combine efforts?
    • Research on releasing people starting to dry up. Wants to focus on the law and what other states are proposing with motions, where we can take advantage of WI laws.
  • Peggy – 4 of us have been working on a week of action. Took part of week of empathy w Cut 50. Encouraging people to do different actions. Clemency coast to coast meet the other day. Elmer made a meme on what gov, DOC chair, other officials can do to release people.
    • Gov sent out a message saying his hands are tied, nothing else he can do. Next convo was how to get governor to stop saying his hands are tied.
    • Week of action –  every day pick a diff person to target, ending w local rep. Pressure them to contact governor.
    • Seen movement from within DOC. They’re not talking about it. Only willing to say they’re releasing nonviolent misdemeanors.
    • Met on friday to prepare presentation for EXPO statewide on Saturday
    • Elmer created AFB frame.
    • Peggy starting to send staying safe on inside letter
    • Last week state started distributing cloth masks to people on the inside. Through core links.
    • Tailors in prisons making the masks.
    • After week of action will review letter to governor and pressure officials to release people on the inside
    • Christal was able to connect w team members.
  • Christal – 3 orgs per person? First 3 days looking for sponsors to spread the word, then doing marketing
    • Tory Lowell? Facebook live influencer. Advocating on HOC. Could be good to connect with.
    • Outbreak in Milwaukee facility. Told them need an emergency plan. Said they will test everyone. Now beginning to disinfect. 30 people tested positive.
  • Renee – national guard now testing everyone there.
    • Acting as correctional officers.
  • Christal – work in this group has been helpful to get info and connect w folks
  • Elmer – collecting and compiling data has been helpful for me. As long as there’s a plan, we have info, and we know what we’re trying to do and we can locate the data, then it feels useful, prepares us for possibly being sidetracked for another project.
  • Peggy – this has been a catalyst for us meeting even if Jeff can’t join. Fact we started this as power analysis has helped focus. Now we know 4 major areas where change can come from and we’ll be strategically targeting those groups. Jeff’s feedback like with petition – what’s the goal? Why doing actions? How to make it achievable, measurable – that’s been helpful. Set goal for petition signatures and surpassed. Helpful to set and achieve goals.
  • Discussion 11:30-11:50 (10 min): Where to focus for this week?
    • Elmer – week of action. Sooner we get stuff out the sooner we can get ahead of other stuff. Still excited about power mapping. Earn what other movements are doing. Seems some other movements might be doing better.
      • Sheriff in Racine not supporting stay at home order. What to learn from that?
      • Having a democratic say in terms of how to proceed could be useful. EXPO might be taking too long.
      • Webinar possibly on the 29th
      • Week of action next week week
    • What can this group do to make week of action most effective?
      • Get sponsors on board and tell them how to participate
      • Don’t have great way yet to measure outcomes
      • Monday having people contact governor by way that’ s most comfortable for them. No real way to gauge that.
        • Considered asking people to register to be part of week of action. 
    • How to measure social media reach?
      • Twitter analytics – Elmer can help navigate
      • Ask sponsor to share meme or flyer as an ad
      • Try to get 3 orgs or more to support that action
      • Paid ads
      • FB targeted ads
    • Christal been researching other efforts outside of WI to get people released
    • Renee – looking into other orgs for sponsorship.
      • Wondering about Kairos prison ministry might be willing to participate in week of action.
      • Street Angels
    • Looking for sponsor groups that EXPO members have relationships with.

Next Steps

  • Renee: identifying sponsors, gathering list of resources that people might need when they’re getting released. How to connect people with resources. Thrift stores are closed right now.
  • Elmer – Working on visual elements. Shoot any ideas to Elmer for graphic design. The more to choose from the better chance of making an impact. Cast a large net and pick out best parts. If you have ideas, memes, other graphics for week of action send it to Elmer to work on. Visual impact is key for social media. Keep updating legal resources
  • Christal – Focus on organizations and sponsors. Has a cousin that’s a pastor w multiple churches. Will see if he can support. Will need flyers and info to present to him. Researching different places that are building movements and campaigns similar to us so we can learn from them. Looking into legality of releases which varies by state. Finding story lines like finding someone who was released early – maybe Nancy Zo can help? Others w loved ones inside to see how these different stories can be used to support our efforts, identify spokespeople.
  • Peggy – Working now til Wednesday to build sponsorship. Email peggy as you identify potential sponsors. Thurs morning hold a zoom call w sponsors to explain what we’re doing, how they can help. Then work w Elmer to develop sponsor pack – give them visuals and other resources to tweet and share out and grow momentum. Work on week of action and webinar. Developing FB page for week of action. Working on sponsorship. Chalk talk – need to develop that idea. Clemency coast to coast did great job w chalk talk, also in CA. Was very powerful, want to do that here.