Coalition meeting update

Thursday we met at Northampton Community TV. Some of of the stuff we discussed:

  • Upcoming meeting with Mayor Narkewicz. Yes, it is possible to see the mayor but it takes about six weeks in our case. We’ve got a meeting scheduled with him on May 20. We discussed how to use our time effectively since we have just an hour. We did some brainstorming but will refine it online in a Google Doc. It’s still unclear who we can bring besides the known attendees. Suzanne Beck, Executive Director of the Northampton Chamber of Commerce, plans to be there. We also want to come with some success stories and actual metrics to present to the mayor and CIO Antonio Pagan. We hope our recent trip to Whip City Fiber in Westfield will be helpful as they are building a community network even though Comcast provides service to the city.
  • Outreach. On April 23 we submitted an OpEd to the Daily Hampshire Gazette. It met their guidelines and they accepted it. But does this mean they will publish it? As it’s been about two weeks and nothing yet, so we’ll raise the question with them on whether it will actually be published. They certainly don’t have to publish it, but you can read it here. Share it with your friends! We brainstormed other ways of raising public awareness. We may reach out to WHMP and see if they want to interview us. We also talked about whether there were local groups, local businesses (aside from the Chamber of Commerce) that might be interested. Any such network would need a source of funding and if there were local businesses or nonprofits willing to fund basic research that might be helpful. We plan to reach out to Florence Bank to see if there is any interest there.
  • Website/social media. This website underwent some improvements. It has a new style and we’ve created a Twitter feed and a Facebook group. Do you have any social media expertise? We could really use some help in this area so please write!
  • New members. We are a small but dedicated team. We have a bunch of people who are less engaged but seem willing to help once we get more media attention. We think a Gazette OpEd from us if published would do this, along with more outreach. We brainstormed ways to use the energy of new members. We need help in surveys, finances, documenting similar test cases, social media expertise and an interface with the Chamber of Commerce to start!
  • Chamber of Commerce. We sent a draft survey to Suzanne Beck which we expect she will send to the chamber’s mailing list. We hope to have some results to share with the mayor at our meeting. Suzanne is busy with a big event at the moment but hopefully can get on this soon.
  • Easthampton Community Network. Aaron from Easthampton shared news that a subcommittee has been formed to more formally look into this issue for Easthampton.

We have a Google Hangout planned for May 15 and will meet again at NCTV on June 7. See our calendar and plan to attend!

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