Economic & Social Justice

PDA Tucson Economic and Social Justice Issues Orienting Team
April 7, 2012, Ward 1 Council Office, 940 W. Alameda, 10 AM – noon
Attendance:  Harvey Akeson, Rachel Deierling, Betty Fridena, Richard Fridena, Jim Hannley, Phil Lopes, Richard Brodesky
1.0        Introductions

1.1        Welcome
1.2        Approval of Minutes
1.3        Announcements
1.3.1    Barbara Warren, our Climate and Energy IOT Chair, will receive the Nichols Award for Community Service
1.3.2    Review of spring program on Thursday, April 26
1.3.3    Vetting of candidates will commence soon
1.4        Agenda Modifications: Jim Hannley is now the PDA Finance Director for Arizona.  He discussed the importance of participating in the Change for Change Program which funds PDA. 

2.0        Old business
2.1        Public Banking
2.1.1    Conference call on 3/23—Harvey reported no new material
2.1.2    Municipal Public Banking—Susan Willis sent in a report about what is occurring in San Francisco.  Links to two articles are given below.

2.1.3    County Public Banking—Betty Fridena did extensive research to learn that there is no public banking on the county level. 
2.1.4    Action steps:
Richard will attempt to contact Peggy Hutchison of the Primavera Foundation who is worked in this area. 
Richard and other IOT members will contact Mayor Rothschild and Councilwoman Karen Uhlich about public banking.  And we will see what Mayor Rothschild is doing in his Council about Poverty. 
Jim reported on innovative steps taken by the Western Independent Bankers Association, and Richard will send out that link.  It is:

3.0        New Business
3.1        Reorganization of ESJ IOT by sub-committees: public banking, women’s       issues, immigration, other:  Subcommittees are not the way to go.  We will include these matters as necessary and look for people who have a particular interest in these subjects to keep us abreast. 
3.2        PDA Tucson Newsletter: It will not be a newsletter but an occasional publication delivered to members via email in order to help with participation. 
3.3        April 26th Public Program on Open Primaries:  Phil answered questions about open primaries and clean elections.     
3.4    Chamber of Commerce:  After reading a report in today’s Star, we realize that we may share certain areas of interest with the Tucson area Chamber of Commerce.  Richard Fridena and Jim Hannley will attempt to arrange a meeting with their executives to explore common ground.      
3.5   Other: Richard has been asked to find a venue and schedule monthly meetings for a year in advance.

4.0        Next Meeting, Saturday, May 5, 10 – noon,
 in the East Room of the Ward 6 Office, 3202 E. 1st St. 

PDA Tucson Economic and Social Justice Issues Orienting Team
April 7, 2012, Ward 1 Council Office, 940 W. Alameda, 10 AM – noon
1.0        Introductions
1.1        Welcome
1.2        Approval of Minutes
1.3        Announcements
1.4        Agenda Modifications
2.0        Old business
2.1        Public Banking
2.1.1    Conference call on 3/23
2.1.2    Municipal Public Banking
2.1.3    County Public Banking
3.0        New Business
3.1        Reorganization of ESJ IOT by sub-committees: public banking, women’s       issues, immigration, other
3.2        PDA Tucson Newsletter
3.3        April 26th Public Program on Open Primaries
3.4        Other
April Econic and Social Justice IOT Meeting

We will be meeting:

Saturday, April 7, 10 AM - noon, Ward 1 Council Office, 940 W., Alameda St.

See you then!!

PDA Tucson—Economic and Social Justice IOT
March 3, 2012, 10 AM – noon, Ward 6 Council Office, 3202 E. First St. 

Attendance:  Betty Fridena, Richard Fridena, Randy Vietti, Susan Willis, Richard Brodesky
Old Business:  Richard reviewed meetings with John Fillmore and Jim Hannley as well as Richard and Jim’s testimony at the AZ House Regulatory and Employment Committee.  The group discussed the activities of the Arizona Banking Association.  We briefly discussed the convention in Winslow and the evening with John Nichols. 
Requests from Phil Lopes:  Phil has asked the IOT begin studying public banking at the county and municipal levels.  This way we can be sure our information is complete and we can be more certain of moving on the right level of government (for us).  Other groups in the US and Canada are pursuing this. 
Betty Fridena and Susan Willis will explore county-level and municipal banking respectively.  Richard will put them in touch with Susan Harman of the Public Banking Institute for possible support.
Richard Fridena suggested that we involve staff at offices such as the County Treasurer and the equivalent offices at the City of Tucson.  The group endorsed this idea. 
Phil also asked that we develop a one-pager to be used during our information and education campaign later on.  Marc Armstrong, of the Public Banking Institute has given permission for us to use the brochure section of that group’s website.  The IOT members felt that it was important to add a section about why PDA Tucson supports public banking and has asked the IOT coordinator to insert language from the PDA national goals and mission statement later as is appropriate.  As of now, the IOT has approved the following:

Public Banks are ...
• Viable solutions to the present economic crises in US states.
• Potentially available to any-sized government or community
able to meet the requirements for setting up a bank.
• Owned by the people of a state or community.
• Economically sustainable, because they operate transparently according to applicable banking regulations
• Able to offset pressures for tax increases with returned credit income to
the community.
• Ready sources of affordable credit for local governments, eliminating the need for large “rainy day” funds.
• Required to promote the public interest, as defined in their
• Constitutional, as ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court
... and are not
• Operated by politicians; rather, they are run by professional
• Boondoggles for bank executives; rather, their employees are
salaried public servants (paid by the state, with a transparent pay structure) who would likely not earn bonuses, commissions or fees for generating loans.
• Speculative ventures that maximize profits in the short term,
without regard to the long-term interests of the public.
PDA Tucson supports public banking because it. . .
·       Will serve as a needed economic driver
·       Bring people together
·       Assure community development
·       Keep Arizona capital in Arizona
·       Free access to credit.
Courtesy, Public Banking Institute
Other New Business:  We are not interested in supporting Rep. Fillmore’s bill on school district consolidation.  We feel this issue, although well intended, has surfaced before and is not popular in rural Arizona.  Similarly, the criticism is always launched that TUSD is too large.  We feel there are more productive ways to increase funding for public education. 
Working with Other Organizations:  Just as national PDA policy is to work with other organizations in a constructive way, we will do the same.  We are beginning a relationship with Local First Arizona.  There have been some inquiries from Occupy Tucson.  We are not sure of that group’s status or if our issues coincide, so Richard will send a follow-up email to OT.  We would like to have an open house or mixer in May to bring the issue of Public Banking to other interested groups. 
NEXT MEETING:  Sat., April 14, 10 AM – noon.  Location to be announced soon!

Agenda for March 3rd IOT Meeting:  10 AM - noon, Ward 6 Council Office,  3201 E. First St.

1.    Welcome
2.    Approval of Minutes
3.    Agenda Modifications
Old Business
1.    Meeting with AZ House Regulatory and Employment Committee   Jim
2.    Evening with Rep. John Fillmore
3.    PDA Convention, Winslow                                                         Jim
New Business
1.    Requests from Phil Lopes
a.    One-pager on public banking
b.    Study groups on municipal and county-level public banks
2.    Review of Rep. Fillmore’s bill on school district consolidation, NB link below:

3.    Working with other organizations
a.    Public Banking Institute
b.    Local First Arizona
c.    Occupy Tucson
d.    Rep. Fillmore
Progressive Democrats of America, Tucson Chapter
Economic and Social Justice IOT
February 4, 2012, Fronimo’s Greek Café   10 AM – noon
Present:  Rachel Deierling, Harvey Akeson, Steven Lesh, Phil Lopes, Jim Hannley, Susan Willis, Marjie Baker, Susan Willis, Richard Fridena, Betty Fridena, Richard Announcements
1.0       Old Business
2.1     Summary of Steering Committee Planning Workshop  Harvey, Richard,                                                                                                     Phil

We will:
                    Make better use of local claendars
                    Find a newsletter editor  Asked at this meeting
                    Push fair elections
                    Get candidates to take a stand, expose Dems not running clean
                    Get better connected with media and improve use of blog and                                         Facebook  Have a PDA Tucson FB page, Phil has met with                                     Rhonda Bodfield at the Star
                    Educate on 2012 elections and flat5 tax
                    Reach out to people who write good letters to the Star or Weekly
                    Develop a PDA speakers bureau
                    Create newsletter with photos, calendar, etc.
                    Seek opportunities to collaborate with other groups
                    Create mechanism for other groups to communicate with us
                    Get leaders for all IOTs.  All 6 are now staffed.
2.2     Meeting with Rep. Fillmore                                        Jim

          Jim Hannley summarized the meeting he and Richard had with Rep. Fillmore.  It was generally positive. We discussed the email campaign now that HB 2104 is in the Employment and Regulatory Committee. 

2.3     Review of H. B. 2104 (Rep. Fillmore’s bill)

          We read through the bill Rep. Fillmore has introduced.  We clarified our understanding of the language and especially issues around capitalization, bonding authority, and activities. 

2.4     Session in Tucson with Rep. Fillmore between 2/10 and 3/3

Rep. Fillmore would like to meet with our group sometime between Feb. 2 and Mar. 3, 2012, in the evening.  We have chosen Feb. 16 or 21, depending on the availability of a suitable room and Rep. Fillmore.  Phil, Jim, and Richard will be making arrangements.  We will issue invitations to all memebrs of PDA Tucson as well as other interested persons in the community.  Phil will arrange for media coverage when everything is in place. 


We will be meeting with Rep. Fillmore on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Ward 1 Council Office, 901 W. Alameda St., from 6 PM on.  Rep. Fillmore needs to stay late at the legislature, so we may actually start around 6:30.  I'll let you know later. 

Our next IOT meeting will be Saturday, March 3, 10 AM - noon at the Ward 6 Council Office, 3202 E. First St. 


Progressive Democrats of America, Tucson Chapter
Economic and Social Justice IOT
February 4, 2012, Fronimo’s Greek Café   10 AM – noon

1.0       Welcome
1.1        Announcements
1.2        Approval of Minutes
1.3        Agenda Modifications

2.0       Old Business
2.1     Summary of Steering Committee Planning Workshop  Harvey, Richard
2.2     Meeting with Rep. Fillmore                                        Jim
2.3     Review of H. B. 2104 (Rep. Fillmore’s bill)
3.0       New Business
3.1     New Projects

  H. B. 2104:  Establishment: Bank of Arizona

Our Economic and Social Justice IOT has made a considerable contribution to the development of Rep. John Fillmore's bill establishing a public bank in Arizona. 

Copies of the new bill will be shared at our next IOT meeting. 

The PDA Steering Committee has instructed Richard to contact the three Democratic members of the Employment and Regulatory Committee, where Rep. Fillmore sits as vice chair and where the bill will probably first be discussed. 

We are asking the three representatives (Gonzales, Pancrazi, and Petterson) to tell us if they support the bill and if so, what can we do to help them. 

Our next IOT meeting will take place:  Saturday, February 4, 2012, from 10 Am - noon at Fronimos.  Please join us then!

PDA Tucson Economic and Social Justice IOT
Saturday, January 7, 2012, 10 AM – noon, Fronimo’s Greek Café

Attendance:  Marty Diamond, Jim Hannley, Cecilia Cruz, Richard Fridena, Betty Fridena, Harvey Akeson, Molly Moore, Marjie Baker, Susan Willis, Jane Krosen, Rachel Deierling, Phil Lopes, and Richard Brodesky
Introduction:  Richard announced that Jim Hannley, possibly Phil Lopes, and Richard Brodesky would be meeting with Rep. John Fillmore on January 17, at 3:30 at the Capitol to discuss PDA Tucson’s proposed changes to the Public Banking Bill which he is sponsoring. 
Phil Lopes advised us to develop a document that clusters around very few issues rather than plan for a line-by-line analysis. 
The IOT agreed that developing such a document was the most important of business so that the sub-committee could effectively represent the IOT as well as PDA Tucson. 
The final product is given below:
PDA Tucson
Economic and Social Justices Issues Organizing Team
Suggested Revisions to Public Banking Bill
1.0       Governing Board
1.1        Only one (1) Board
1.2        Develop term and duties of its members
1.3        Develop policies for Board
1.4        Membership: 13 people
1.4.1            Two Senators:  one appointed by the Senate President, one appointed by the minority leader
1.4.2            Two Representatives:  one appointed by the Speaker, one appointed by the minority leader
1.4.3            Three persons representing the commercial banking industry appointed by the state treasurer:  one representing banks, one representing credit unions, one representing financial services (What is the legal definition of “financial services”?  We wish to include brokerage, financial planning, but not payday/title loans and finance companies. 
1.4.4            Two public members appointed by the governor:  neither should be from banks, credit unions, or financial services.  At least one must be a consumer.  These members should not be government employees or elected officials. 
1.4.5            Four representatives from local government: 
One from Maricopa County
One from Pima County
One from the southern counties of Cochise, Santa Cruz, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Pinal, and Yuma
One from the northern counties:  Yavapai, Coconino, Apache Navajo, Mohave, and La Paz

2.0       Making the Purpose of the Bill Clear
2.1        We would like to see this text displayed prominently at the beginning of the bill so everyone will understand the mission of the Bank of Arizona and understand it will serve as an economic driver which will benefit the people of Arizona in many ways:
          2.1.1 The
Arizona Constitution provides for the election by the people of the Treasurer.
Existing law requires the Treasurer to receive and keep in the vaults of the treasury or to deposit in banks all moneys belonging to the state.
The Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is statutorily charged with the licensing, supervising and regulating state chartered banks, state chartered credit unions, state chartered savings and loans and trust companies and trust divisions.
This bill would establish of the Bank of Arizona which would be a state bank receiving deposits of state funds. The Bank could strengthen economic and community development, provide financial stability to businesses, reduce the cost paid by state government for banking services, and provide for excess earnings of the Bank to be used to supplement General Fund purposes.
The Legislature finds and declares

millions of

(a) Arizona communities have suffered greatly since the
financial crisis of 2007. During the last several years, monthly
unemployment levels have remained above
percent leaving
out of work. Bankruptcies among small
businesses are up, capital markets are tight, and local communities
have limited resources to address their economic and community
development challenges.

appropriateness of creating a state bank.

(b) While
have been especially hard hit in this
recession, residents of other states have also suffered. In responding
to the sluggish capital markets, several states are examining the

(c) The creation of the
Arizona Bank
could serve
to more effectively meet the financial needs of the state, including,

but not limited to, the following:
(1) Supporting the economic development of
increasing access to capital for businesses in the state.

(2) Providing financing for housing development, public works
infrastructure, educational infrastructure, student loans, and
community quality of life projects.

(3) Providing stability to the local financial sector.

(4) Reducing the cost paid by state government for banking

(5) Lending capital to banks, credit unions, and nonprofit
community development financial institutions to assist in meeting
their goals of increasing access to capital and providing banking

3.0        Activities of the Bank of Arizona
                    START_STATUTE6-1810. Powers
                    The Bank of Arizona may make, purchase, guarantee or hold loans to all       entities [or parties?] in this state as prescribed by the Bank of Arizona advisory        Board of Directors and the Bank of Arizona.
                    UNDERWRITE AND GUARANTEE           
community-based organizations, economic development groups, guaranty
              education loans,,     entities servicing bonds, or other activities as determined by the Governing         Board;

;  partnerships with financial institutions,
agencies, the state land trust, and agencies preserving Arizona heritage sites,
and other stakeholder groups to better the State's economy
3.0       Initial Capitalization of Bank

3.2        Move this text to its own section:

4.0       Continued Bonding Authority of Bank
4.1        The Bank of Arizona shall have the power to issue and sell bonds as needed for its development. 

Ideas for PDA Tucson Leadership Retreat:  A PDA Tucson leadership retreat will be held in the ward 6 Council Office from 9 AM – 12 on Saturday, January 14, 2012.  IOT members were asked to give Phil their comments and suggestions for directions in 2012.  In general, IOT members feel that we are on the right track, like our project orientation, and feel that because of the current situation economic issues are the best vehicle for us to approach social justice. 

Next Meeting:  Saturday, February 4, 2012, 10 AM – noon, Fronimos Greek Cafe


PDA Tucson Economic and Social Justice IOT
December 10, 2011   Rincon Market           10 AM – noon

Present: Rachel Deierling, Marty Diamond, Betty Fridena, Richard Fridena, Jim Hannley, Marjie Baker, Molly Moore, Richard Brodesky
1.0         Introduction
1.1          Minutes from November Approved as given. 
1.2          Announcements from the Steering Committee
1.2.1              Workshop for Jan. 14, 2012, to be held in the Ward 6 Office, vicinity of First and Country Club, 9 – 12:30 to map out PDA Tucson for 2012.  We are growing and in transition.  Team members are invited to participate. 
1.2.2              Other Items will be interspersed where appropriate
2.0         Reactions and Follow-Up to Nov. 10th Program
2.1          Discussion:  More publicity is needed.  We need to find an assistant for Pam Powers Hannley.  People generally liked the presentation by Local First Arizona (Lisette DeMars) and the exemplary energy project.  The lack of satisfaction with the panel shows us that the problem is a difficult one right now and invites a creative, thoughtful response from PDA Tucson.  Marty said that it entrains where we are going as a nation so that everyone may live well.  Richard said that the latest demographic concept was the “brain hub” where good jobs are generated (Boston, Austin, Silicon Valley).  What can we as a team do to influence circumstances to make Tucson a Brain Hub?
2.2          Request from Steering Committee to work directly with Local First Arizona:  Fine.  Richard will contact Lisette DeMars and invite her to the next meeting
2.3          Should we promote an economic program?
2.3.1 Ideas: 
1. innovation grants as Pam outlined
2. some quick professional formations in eCommerce, microenterprises, etc.
3. the creation of computer shacks using discarded equipment in many disadvantaged neighborhoods
4. a progressive rent ordinance where a rent is decreased periodically if a property is not occupied--Say it decreases 15% after 3 months, 35 % after 6.
5. a model for converting the economy (cf. the Ros Boxer materials)
Richard will follow-up with Barbara Warren.6. setting up a series of workshops/studios where technical people, graphic designers, service providers, accountants, business coaches, start-ups work together in the same venue and where they are required to help one another as well as to build their businesses
7. whatever else we can think up.
                                    2.3.2 A package or just one point at a time?
This is a major endeavor.  The Team understands that everything listed here is an idea not a recommendation, but the Team has decided to take a month to reflect.  The January meeting will be devoted to this matter. 
2.4          Cooperation with:  Center for Economic Integrity
Their website is at:
Team members have decided to study the website and make inquiries before dealing with this item.  We will table it until January.
3.0       Public Banking in Arizona
            3.1       Check out the Public Banking Institute at
                        (You can join their listserv.)  We will explore this.  Richard has been asked to forward a digest of the PBI’s most recent white paper on foreclosures and banking.  PBI sees this as a What not a How Problem.  Public Banking can solve job creation and/or the foreclosure crisis. 
            3.2       Report on Meeting with Rep. John Fillmore         Jim Hannley
Jim gave a summary of the meeting that Phil Lopes, Richard and he had with Rep. Fillmore.  He discussed Fillmore’s background, interest, strategies, history, obstacles, and needs.  He stressed that our interests and the Representative’s are not very different and that we can work together.  He explained that the Representative was well prepared and quite conversant with the subject.  He also explored objections from very conservative bodies such as the banking lobby and the Goldwater Institute. 
Richard was asked to ask Pam Powers Hannley to do a story about the meeting for the PDA Tucson Blog. 
People want to know what they can do to educate people in their circle, Democratic Party clubs, etc. 
            3.3       Report on Conversation with Marc Armstrong, Executive Director, PBI
Covered in 3.1 above.

Next Meeting:  Saturday, January 7, 2012, Fronimo’s Greek Café, 3242 E. Speedway Blvd. , Tucson, AZ  85716.   10 AM - noon!   It opens at 10 AM!
Please Join Us!


The next Economic and Social Justice IOT meeting will take place on Saturday, December 10, from 10 AM – noon, at Revolutionary grounds, 606 N. Fourth Ave. 
I hope this change does not cause too much inconvenience. 
Until then,

PDA Tucson Economic and Social Justice IOT Meeting
Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011, Revolutionary Grounds Coffee House,
606 N. Fourth Ave., Tucson, AZ  85705, 10 AM – noon
Attendance:  Susan Willis, Harvey Akeson, Phil Lopes, Jane Krosen, Molly Moore, Jim Hannley, Richard Fridena, Richard Brodesky
1.    Helpers for Nov. 10th Program:  Richard F., Susan W. and Harvey agreed to help if possible.  Also, Betty Fridena and Chuck Gould have offered to help. 
2.    Financial Transactions Tax:  Next month we will be taking on this national PDA priority. 
3.    Student Loans:  We will be looking at student loan reform in light of federal activity and proposals for the Bank of Arizona. 
4.    Reminder to attend and publicize Nov. 10th Program
Editing of HB 2221
We reviewed the history and background of this bill to create a state bank introduced by Rep. John Fillmore of L. D. 23 (most of Pinal County but not Saddlebrooke plus some of Maricopa County including tribal communities, Apache Junction, and south Avondale).
We discussed and modified the document prepared by Richard Brodesky and Jim Hannley which Phil Lopes then edited. 
Phil, as chapter coordinator, explained that our schedule needed to change because of legislative exigencies as well as the coming holidays. 
As a result, Jim will ask Felicia Rotellini to review the draft before it goes to the PDA Tucson Steering Committee.  Meanwhile Richard will send it out to the Steering Committee for their review and comments. 

Next Meeting:  Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 – noon, Revolutionary Grounds Coffee House, 606 N. Fourth Ave. 

Tucson Chapter PDA
Economic and Social Justice IOT
Oct. 8, 2011, Connelly Construction Co., 320 W. Alturas St., Tucson, AZ  85705
10 AM – Noon

Present:  Harvey Akeson, Jim Hannley, Phil Lopes, Richard Fridena, Rachel Deierling, Greg Butler, Richard Brodesky
Update on November Public Quarterly Meeting:  Richard explained that there may be a short presentation on “Where Did My Job Go?” by Andrea Witte and representation from Rep. Grivalja’s office. 
There will be a panel discussion on job creation, and speakers were invited reflecting the desires of both the ESJ IOT and the steering Committee.  So far, organizations which have committed are: Pima County, So. AZ Green Chamber of Commerce, Local First Arizona, and Arizona Small Business Association.  TREO may or may not participate. 
We will also have tables done by:  Tucson Urban League, New Priorities Network, Connect the Dots USA, and possibly Jobs for Justice. 
At this point, the program is largely passing from our IOT to the Steering Committee members who are doing publicity and local arrangements. 
Update on State-Owned Bank:  Phil explained that we need to move on this project.  Richard and Jim Hannley will meet on Tuesday, Oct. 11, to start drafting a proposed bill.  Phil has two representatives who are willing to introduce the bill next year.  We understand that it will probably not pass, but it will begin public discussion.  Phil explained to the group that it is necessary to distinguish crafting the bill from getting support for it.  Thus, we will begin networking and educating after the first draft is done.
Harvey agreed to research what groups in Oregon have done about a state-owned bank.  He did so, and his materials have been circulated to all team members.   
Letters on Jobs Bill:  The team directed Richard to send a letter on its behalf to all members of the Arizona Congressional Delegation to urge them to vote to pass the President’s Jobs Bill.  Additionally, they instructed Richard to ask the Steering Committee to send a similar letter on behalf of the entire chapter as well as to communicate this desire to the state level of PDA. 
Here is the text of our letter:

Dear ______________
I am writing to you in my capacity as Coordinator of the Economic and Social Justice Issues Organizing Team of the Tucson Chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America.  As such, this letter represents 57 team members and just under 1000 chapter members. 
We are urging you and all other members of the Arizona Congressional Delegation to pass the President’s Jobs Bill as quickly as possible.  On Saturday, October 8, 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported that job creation is lagging and that nationally unemployment hovers around 9. 1%.
We recognize that there is more to work than income.  Work also brings socialization and a feeling of self-esteem.  In the Tucson area, our economy has not been diversified, and finding work has been difficult for many.  A stimulus bill is desperately needed now. 
Americans no longer feel hopeful about the future, and our young people are generally disoriented.  In addition to improving our decaying infrastructure and helping education and business, the Jobs Bill will only enhance our chances for recovery and personal well-being. 
AT PDA Tucson, we feel that this issue is crucial right now—so crucial that we are making it the focus of our quarterly meeting on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, from 7 – 9 PM, at the Hotel Tucson.  We cordially invite you and/or your representative to attend. 
Sincerely yours,

Richard L. M. Brodesky, Ph. D.,
Coordinator, Economic and Social Justice Issues Organizing Team,
Progressive Democrats of America, Tucson Chapter

Next Meeting:  Saturday, Nov. 5th, 10 – noon, Revolutionary Grounds Coffee House, Fourth Ave., Tucson, AZ 

Follow-Up:  Here is the information about the experience in Oregon:

As I looked into the background of the move for a state bank some things came out for me.  Major push was given by "Main Street Alliance of Oregon" (formerly Oregon Small Business Council) and (The "Oregon Working Families Party", who, I don't know, new to me.)   In testimony it was stated, credit for small businesses, agriculture, etc. is hard to obtain, plus very expensive, holding off money for expansion or a reliable source of  credit for them. 
Two similar bills were introduced, one in the Senate (SB 889) a committee bill perhaps as a result of work of an interim committee. (Study committees between legislative sessions)  The other in the House (HB 3452) also sponsored by a committee, a chief proponent of the bill is a member of the committee that introduced the bill. (In some legislatures if you can get a bill introduced by committee you can avoid "who gets credit" and enlist help from the opposition party members easier.)
Opponents questioned whether the concept would actually help small businesses, saying the state Business Development Department is a great resource for coordinating state investments, and it already exists.  The Oregon State Treasurer (Ted Wheeler) testified in
support of the concept (This is my take of his position.) but at the same time called for a "Virtual Oregon State Bank"  (In Oregon the State Treasurer invests state monies and has a statutory "Oregon Investment Council" for directions.) Ann Marie Mehlum, chair of the Oregon Bankers Association and chief executive of Summit Bank in Eugene, said there's plenty of money available for small businesses that are qualified for loans.  (Seems their association didn't like the idea of competition with community banks and credit unions.)  Also one additional piece of opposition was that it would create more public employees. (Of course anytime you open up a new state agency you need to staff it.) 
   This is  the original SB 889 (it was later gutted in committee and a totally different bill replaced it)  This would be a working model of a possible bill for Arizona.
You Tube Testimony  Senator Alan Bates  SB889  (short testimony of committee hearing on SB889)
Why a state bank?  Explanation of state bank uses and functions.
When the legislative session adjourned at the end of June the state bank bill died. 
I could do more research on the bills but I really can't see the purpose, I would probably find redundant material.

Next Economic and Social Justice IOT Meeting

We will meet on Sat., Oct. 8, from 10 AM till noon in the Conference Room of the Connelly Construction Building at 320 W. Alturas St., Tucson, AZ 85705.

Alturas St. is several blocks north of Grant Rd., and the address is just east of Oracle Rd. 

See you then!

Tucson Progressive Democrats
Economic and Social Justice Issues Organizing Team
Ward 1 City Council Office
Sept. 8, 2011                            7 PM
Attending:  Harvey Akeson, Richard Fridena, Betty Fridena, Phil Lopes (Chapter President), Susan Marshall, Molly Moore, Jim Hannley, Pamela Powers (Steering Committee Member), Jane Kroesen, Rick Graap (Steering Committee Member), Mike McGarry, and Richard Brodesky
1.   If any Team members wish to help out on the Climate/Environment Social Justice Conference in October, they should contact Richard, and he will get them involved.
2.   The focus for the fall PDA General Meeting will be job creation.  The Steering Committee has asked Richard to contact Hank Atha at Pima County and the Green Chamber of Commerce and Local First as well as Gloria Pro at Pima Vocational High School to see if they would be willing to participate in a panel and answer questions.  Team members are urged to suggest other organizations to Richard.  This meeting will take place in mid-Nov.
3.   An educational forum on the flat tax proposal will be held this Monday, Sept. 12, at Temple Emanu-El at 6:30.
Discussion on the State-Owned Banking Project:
1.   Changes in the Scope of the Team:  Concerns were expressed that the banking project could become so large that it could limit the scope of the IOT.  Phil explained that the IOT defined its own work but also that the project will have an ebb and flow.  Thus there would be times when the project might be quite consuming but other times when the IOT could attend to other matters. 
2.   Relationship to PDA:  In a progressive organization, projects flow up from the people so a large project will not change the relationship of the IOT to Tucson PDA or to state and national PDA units. 
3.   Paucity of Materials:  Sam Stone and Richard Brodesky had done Internet searches and had found very limited materials.  Phil Lopes was able to contact the National Council of State Legislatures and procure a bibliography of legislation that has passed or is in process in approximately 15 states.  IOT members have received electronic copies of this document.  Interested parties will also receive a copy.  And a copy will be posted on the PDA Tucson Blog. 
4.   Methodology:  Phil suggested that a group begin to review the materials and find a proposal or a piece of legislation that they found appealing.  Then the group should edit it, ask questions, consult with its author(s), and decided what it wants to see in the legislation.  This material should be approved by Tucson PDA and presented to legislative in drafters before Jan. 15, 2012. The group also will need to decide whether or not it wants a bill to be passed creating a study commission or a state-owned bank as opposed to a referendum taking the proposal to the people.  A second-tier strategy will then be to mount a citizens’ initiative. 
5.   Subcommittee:  Richard Fridena (after Oct. 1), Betty Fridena (after Oct. 1), Jim Hannley, Jane Kroesen, and Richard Brodesky agreed to serve.  Other interested PDA members are welcome to join. 
6.   Contact with Felicia Rotellini:  Ms. Rotellini
 has an extensive background in banking and public service.  Jim Hannley will contact her for possible help. 
Next Meeting:  Our next meeting will be on Saturday, October 8th.  Jim Hannley will secure a place and schedule a time.  There will be ample publicity in due course.  Oct. 8 is also Yom Kippur, so if anyone needs to have the meeting re-scheduled for religious reasons, we shall be happy to do so. 


Jim Hannley had a productive conversation with Ms Rotellini, and she will be happy to meet with us when she is next in Tucson. 

PDA Tucson
Economic and Social Justice IOT
August 6, 2011    Ward 1 Council Office   10 – 12 AM

Members Present:  Richard Brodesky, Rachel Deierling, Betty Fridena, Richard Fridena, Jane Kroesen, Rick Ringler
Guest:  Sam Stone
1.0        Introductions

1.1        Richard announced the statewide PDA meeting in Flagstaff on Aug. 20 – 21.  Anyone interested in attending should contact him for more information.
2.0        Steering Committee

2.1        In view of the cdurrent economic and political situation, the Steering Committee is looking toward very practical activities which will inform and help individuals and groups.
2.2        The Steering Committee has developed a questionnaire for vetting candidates for mayor and council after the primary.  We will ask if candidates want the PDA endorsement.  If so, we’ll send them the questionnaire and then meet with them.  Members of the IOT who wish to participate should contact Richard.  Sam Stone suggested distributing the questionnaires early and then doing the interviews no later than the first two weeks after the primary on Aug. 30. 
2.3        PDA Tucson will have a public program on jobs in Sept. or Oct.  The exact date will be determined by Rep. Grijalva’s availability.  Our IOT will put together a panel and design the program with the Steering Committee. 
2.4        Tucson New Priorities Network is a group of people coalesced around the issue of having local city councils and boards of supervisors vote on resolutions decreasing military spending.  National PDA is aligned with this group.  Tucson PDA is thus aligned as well although there is some concern about timing as so many jobs in Tucson are defense-related.  We will do publicity for NPN and have a table at their major event in the fall. 
3.0        Public Bank

3.1        Sam discussed the Bank of North Dakota documenting its purposes and success.  He asked if we would like to join with him and others to develop a statewide committee for a state bank.  We are interested in doing this although we recognize we cannot replicate the North Dakota model.  We are concerned about what this effort might mean for the future of the economic and Social Justice IOT.  Richard will refer this concern to the Steering Committee.  Richard will send out some materials and we’ll devote the next IOT meeting to this subject and see if we would like to pursue this project. 
3.2        People found Marty’s proposals below pertinent but felt that they could be subsumed to the activities of a state bank. 

Hi all,

We, my wife and I, just made plans to be out of town the weekend of Aug. 6th so I won't make it to the meeting. I did think about the assignment to come up with ideas and, since I won't be at the meeting, I'm sending them by email.
The ideas I had are the following.
  • Start something like the Businesses for a Healthy Middle Class. A list of companies that operated in such a way that they promoted a healthy middle class would be developed. The list would be posted on the internet and people would be encouraged to patronize companies on the list whenever possible. To be on the list companies would have to satisfy some requirements such as:
    • Be small and locally owned.
    • Be a cooperative.
    • Pay workers above minimum wage and provide good benefits.
    • Have the highest-paid person earn no more than a given factor of the lowest-paid person.
    • After I thought of this, I ran across the following article that has some related ideas,
  • Form an organization that bought distressed properties and create a pool of low-rent housing
    • Get large developers and credit union to provide financing. The large developers could be people like Don Diamond or Steven Fenton who often do things that are harmful to low-wage people but who also sponsor things like the Diamond Children's Medical Center
    • The Developers who get involved would act as backers for the loans but would put up money only for repairs that were required. The would get their money paid back but would not make a big profit.
    • Use unemployed construction workers to do necessary repairs
    • Form a council of managers and renters to oversee the maintenance of the properties. They would have the authority to evict renters that were destructive.
    • If the program were really widespread, it could be beneficial to the whole economy in that it would get a lot of houses off the market and thus decrease the superabundance that is reportedly holding up the recovery in housing.
    • The program should not be a charity. The houses should be rented at a price that will cover the mortgages. It could be that the combined rents cover the combined mortgages but that some houses are rented for rents that don't cover the mortgage for the house.
  • Get congress to modify the Food Stamp program so that the stamps were worth twice or three times as much when buying produce, fruits and vegetables.
  • Create a local industry to make solar-powered air conditioning units. The idea would be to have solar-thermal production of steam to drive steam engines which then drove air conditioning compressors.
    • Solar-thermal is the most efficient conversion of solar energy to a usable form.
    • All of the pieces required exist. All that is necessary is to do some engineering to put them together.
    • It is important that the fluid, probably water, used is recycled.
    • This would remove one of the biggest consumers of energy from the electrical power grid.
    • It would create a local industry.
    • It would save people money.
3.3        Helpful materials for learning about the Bank of North Dakota and a similar proposal in Oregon:

Next Economic and Social Justice IOT Meeting:

Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011, 7 – 9 PM,
Ward 1 Council Office
940 W. Alameda

The Economic and Social Justice Issue Organizing Team is committed to supporting policies for economic recovery, which stimulate the economy through public investment in job creation, builds a sustainable economy and renders economic justice. The Bush administration’s enormous tax breaks for the wealthy must be rolled back on the richest 1 percent of our population (with yearly incomes averaging $1.3 million). Tax burdens on the middle class can be eased if the wealthy pay their share. The cap on payroll taxes needs to be raised to ensure funding for Social Security—under threat from so-called “deficit hawks.” Thirty-seven million people (equivalent to the population of California) are living in poverty in the U.S. today. These immoral levels of poverty, which disproportionately impact communities of color and women, can be significantly reduced through a concerted effort, including instituting a living wage for all workers, expanded earned income tax credits, childcare assistance, and housing vouchers.

Protecting the right of workers to form and join unions in the U.S. is essential to preserving the middle class, as is federal investment in job creation, such as the Apollo Alliance for renewable energy, and investment in wireless Internet networks. We need fair trade deals with other countries that protect workers’ rights and the environment—not wage-reducing “free trade” agreements that protect only corporate rights to globally exploit unprotected labor. Finally, we need humane and comprehensive immigration reform, which insures a fair attainable path to citizenship and the rights of undocumented workers in the workplace and affirms the dignity and integrity of immigrant families.

PDA’s Brown Bag Lunch Vigils—with partners California Nurses Association, Healthcare-NOW!,, Jobs with Justice, Job Party, and New Priorities Network—aim to educate the public and our elected representatives about the costs of the U.S. wars of occupation and the better uses of our tax money for social benefits and programs, such as job creation and Medicare for all.

Our first organizing meeting will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2011, at the Pima Friends Meeting House, at 10:30 A. M. 

Our agenda will be found below, and our minutes will be posted later. 

1.0        Welcome     
2.0        Kick-Off, Tucson Chapter President, Phil Lopes
3.0        Introductions
4.0        Setting Our Agenda
5.0        Future Meetings
6.0        Anything Else?
And here are some helpful resources:

Economic and Social Justice IOT Conference Calls
Our conference calls are on the first Wednesday of every month, at 9PM Eastern Time.  (Since I’m in California and always confused about when the time difference between California and Arizona merges, I’ll leave it to you to translate Eastern Time into your own time.)  Please mark your own calendar and go to the event calendar for June 1st at to get the phone number and conference call code.
For our calls in the past, Randy and I have hosted numerous experts in the areas of labor, full employment and free trade agreements to speak to us and help us organize our actions.  On our next call, Randy and I, the national co-coordinators of this IOT, will host a round-up of reports from active ESJ IOTs around the country, resulting from our call to action opposing the Korea Free Trade agreement this week while our members of Congress are home. 
We look forward to welcoming you to the call!
Alice Chan, Co-coordinator, Economic & Social Justice IOT
Some Helpful Resources
Top of Form
For more information:  (national PDA website)
For membership:
For inquiries about our Tucson chapter:
For news about our chapter, please consult our blog at:
For news and information about the progressive movement, please consult  Our own Pamela Powers does this blog.  And she has links to many important resources. 
For contacting the Economic and Social Justice IOT Chair, Richard Brodesky, Feel free to email at: