Advocates for a public, high-speed community network for Northampton Massachusetts
Notes from our coalition meeting on October 4th
We approved an online petition! (See last post.) It took a while because we had to find the right petition site (some like moveon.org might be viewed as too partisan) and it had to have the right features, including privacy features. We selected iPetition.com. To make it behave like our proposed paper petition we were able to customize it to add fields to allow petition signers to enter the street name in Northampton where they live or the name of the street of their business, or both, as applicable. This gives it a sense that signers are legitimate. The online petition allows you to add comments that will get sent to the mayor and City Council when the petition is submitted. It’s critical to engage your friends and neighbors, via email, social media or yelling over the back fence if that’s what it takes! The coalition has been doing a lot of spade work for months. Now we need you to sign the petition and promote it! Please help!
Last week we met with Carol MacColl at Paradise Copies. Paradise Copies has generously agreed to provide free designing and printing services for the next phase of our effort: in person outreach. We hope to have that wrapped up in the next week or so. We’re working with Davon at Paradise Copies who will also try to give us a more attractive logo. The brochures should be slick and professional when completed. In addition they will provide an attractive banner that we can use!
When we have printed materials, we’ll be attending local farmers markets to start a more formal outreach effort. If you can help man a table at these and similar events, write us!
We are disappointed that we haven’t heard directly from the mayor since we met him in May. We heard that he and city CIO Antonio Pagan visited Whip City Fiber in Westfield in August to tour their community network, but we haven’t had it confirmed. In June, we provided the mayor with proposed surveys and some market research on community networks. The mayor seemed to support putting survey’s on the city’s website. We’ve checked and we can’t find any surveys. Basically were in the dark, glad that the mayor is apparently looking into the viability of a network, but wish we had some communication from him on his current thoughts and concerns.
We’ll be trying again to get some publicity. We made one attempt earlier to reach out to the Daily Hampshire Gazette on a story. We never got a reply, so we’ll try again.
We feel it can’t hurt to put our proposed surveys for both residents and businesses on SurveyMonkey, since this hasn’t been done by the city. We hope to get these up soon.
We’ll be reaching out to a number of local community groups to make them aware of our petition and surveys.