Updated strategy

Our coalition met last night and talked about an updated strategy. In general, we feel we are on the right track. We have at least 460 signatures on our petition (311 electronic) — thanks so much to all who have signed! If you haven’t please sign electronically. The link is on our website. We’ve done two public outreach events in downtown Northampton, one in November and one in December at the Hot Chocolate Run. What we haven’t done yet is fully network with the city council. So that’s our next step.

We know from a meeting last May that Wards 2 and 3 counselors Dennis Bidwell and James Nash support our effort. One coalition member has spoken with at large counselor Bill Dwight, and he is supportive. Since our core team is all in Ward 7, we set up a time to meet with Alisa Klein, the Ward 7 counselor. Our meeting with her yesterday was postponed due to her illness.

We know Counselor David Murphy has some concerns about whether our effort makes sense with emerging 5G technology. We hope to meet with him to talk through this issue and any other concerns he may have. We addressed it in a post yesterday. We plan to meet with the remaining counselors one on one and can hopefully wrap that up in a month or so.

How can you help? If you live in Wards 2, 3, 5 or 6 your presence would be helpful when we meet with those counselors, as we are in Ward 7. It helps to have someone from their ward on our side to bring to our meeting.

We’re also going to meet with Suzanne Beck, director of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, to brief her. She was an early supporter. We hope the chamber can leverage some resources: publish a business survey ready since last June perhaps, or put out a formal endorsement.

We’ll defer meeting again with Mayor Narkewicz until we have networked with all city counselors. And then we’ll figure out where to go from there. We may attend a meeting of the city council and formally present our petitions there, and ask for debate on the topic. Or if we meet with Mayor Narkewicz first he may agree to place it on the council’s agenda.

You will be seeing periodic videos posted. These videos were filmed at Northampton High School in December. We are grateful to Jeromie Whalen, a teacher at the school, and students in the AV area at the school for packaging these up for us. They are very slick! Four interviews were held. Meting them out is probably an effective strategy.

We’ll keep doing some outreach, probably not petitioning in downtown Northampton but at local community events. We’ll be approaching certain bookstores, computer repair stores and friendly businesses to see if they will keep a stack of our brochures near their registers for people to grab. We are grateful to Paradise Copies for providing these free of charge, as well as a banner that we have been using. So far they have printed 1000 brochures for us. Show them some love by patronizing them and telling them you appreciate what they are doing for us.

We have a tentative next meeting date planned for February 20th at 7 PM, location to be determined. It can be hard to find a public space to meet. We’ll probably do it in someone’s home.

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