Highlights of the coalition’s Wednesday evening meeting

Our coalition met at Northampton Community TV last night. Here’s a summary of what we’re working on and where things are at:

  • We don’t yet have confirmation that Mayor Narkewicz and city CIO Antonio Pagan visited Whip City Fiber in Westfield in August. We have not heard from the mayor about the trip or his current thoughts on a community network. We did hear from the mayor’s administrative assistant. We invited the mayor to attend our meeting but it conflicted with a city council meeting. We hope to get more information on this trip through a third party soon if not from the mayor directly. We have not heard directly from the mayor since our meeting in May.
  • We had also heard a few weeks ago through a third party that surveys we created would be published on the city’s website. The mayor indicated a willingness to do this when we met with him in May to gauge a probable level of community interest. However as of today we don’t see them on the city’s website. If they appear we will certainly link to them and promote them. Suzanne Beck, Executive Director or the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, is ready to notify her members about the survey when they are available. There should be two surveys published: a residential and a business survey.
  • We approved our new logo, which you can see here at the top of our website.
  • Much of the meeting was spent finalizing the wording of a petition. You can see it here.
  • We plan to start attending local farmers’ markets to see if people are interested in signing this petition. Paradise Copies has indicated a willingness to make copies of our petition and brochure, so these have to happen first. We looked at local farmers markets, where they are located, their hours and when they close for the season. There is one in downtown Northampton by the parking garage on Tuesdays and one at the Florence Civil Center on Wednesdays. There is also a winter farmers market at 67 Conz Street. We may pick other venues but will start with these.
  • We hope to gather most petition signatures electronically. We will investigate petition tools on MoveOn.org. Hopefully they can be fine-tuned to send emails to MoveOn members in Northampton only. We’ll start with local MoveOn members.
  • One member expressed a willingness to fund a Facebook ad to target Northampton residents to sign the petition. We also expect that members of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce will be notified when the petition is available, and many would sign it.
  • We did not finalize a brochure. This also needs to be ready before we go out to farmers markets. We will see if Paradise Copies in-house graphics department might help in not only printing the brochure but laying it out and folding it for us too.
  • Our Northampton High School member will see if see if their in-house AV group is interested in a video story about this initiative for its video journal The Intercept. If so coalition members might be interviewed, as well as the mayor.
  • Since our last meeting we have stood up a Facebook page, in addition to our Facebook group. Thanks to coalition member Tina for creating and promoting our page and group. Thanks also to coalition member Ryan who is more Facebook-savvy and has agreed to use his skills to better promote the page and group. Please join both our group and like our page!

We plan to next meet on Thursday, October 4 at 7 PM at NCTV.

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