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Chapter Meeting Minutes 2013


November 23, 2013

A general meeting of the Contra Costa chapter of the National Organization for Women was held November 23, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Walnut Creek Library.

Attendees: Diane Bell-Rettger, Phyllis Bratt, Kathy DeFabio, Dawn Lopshire, Erika Maslan, Sarah Patton, Darnelle Shaw, Rebecca Talley.  All attendees were members of the chapter.

  • The minutes of the October 8, 2013 Chapter Meeting were read and approved.
  • President’s Report:
    • Dawn Lopshire reported on the Emerge conference she attended on November 8, 2013.  Excellent conference.  In attendance was Kirsten Gillibrand, US Senator for New York who is taking on sexual assault in the military.
    • National NOW phone banks for calling to Illinois and Hawaii for equality in marriage legislation were a success.  Both states passed legislation for equality in marriage.
  • State Board Representative Report:  Rebecca Talley reported a State Board Meeting is scheduled for December 14, 2013.  It will be a phone in meeting.
  • Membership Report:  Phyllis Bratt reported Contra Costa NOW has 179 members. Some of the members have no email address listed.  Phyllis will contact those members by US mail or phone call to inform them of the next chapter meeting.

Phyllis submitted the annual membership report for 2012 to National NOW.

  • Website Update:  Kathy DeFabio will try to find a donation button plug-in for the website.
  • Elections were held for Chapter Offices which will be effective January 2014.  All officers were voted in unanimously by those members present.  Results:

President:  Mary Davis
Vice President:  Erika Maslan
Vice President Public Relations:  Kathy DeFabio
Vice President Membership:  Phyllis Bratt
Secretary:  Karen Brockwell
Treasurer:  Nancy Bocanegra
State Board Representative:  Rebecca Talley
Board Advisor (past president is board advisor for following year):  Dawn Lopshire

  • New Business:
    • Holiday party Saturday, 12/7/13 at Mary’s house.
    • Susan Bonilla’s annual holiday breakfast will take place Wed, 12/4/13, at 7:30 a.m. at the Contra Costa Country Club.
    • Close the Gap:  Discussion took place whether CC NOW should endorse the Close the Gap program, which is trying to recruit women for 2014 and 2016 elections.  Due to term limits, these are critical years for getting more women elected to office.  Close the Gap was formed by Mary Hughes.  There was some concern about this program as to whether it was democrat or republican, or possibly very right wing.  Before CC NOW decides to endorse or not, Dawn will get more info about this program.
    • Diane Bell-Rettger informed the chapter about the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of Contra Costa County film event “Sexual Assault, Naming the Unnamed Conspirator”.  To take place Jan 26, 2014 at the Lafayette Library.
    • Darnelle Shaw attended the information session by Ca State Senator Mark DeSaulnier regarding the affordable healthcare act.  She said the session was helpful and informative.
    • Dawn Lopshire asked if we thought there would be any problem with her putting info about buying our coloring books on Facebook.  Everyone agreed, that as far as we could tell, there should be no problem with that.

Submitted by,
Kathy DeFabio




Saturday, Oct 12, 2013

A board meeting of the Contra Costa chapter of the National Organization for Women was held at the Walnut Creek Library at 2:00 on Saturday, October 12, 2013.

Attendees: Dawn Lopshire (President), Mary Davis (Secretary), Rebecca Talley (State Board Representative), Kathy DeFabio (Webmistress), Erika Maslan (Treasurer), Diane Bell-Rettger (presented information regarding upcoming AAUW film event)

  • Financial Status
    • President Report
      • Coloring Books – California History month is in March, books will be distributed to schools.
        • Dawn will investigate possibility of selling at local public libraries
        • Rebecca prepared a draft flier to be sent out via email to the membership, marketing the book for sale.
  • Moved and seconded to allocate $150 for Dawn to represent the chapter at the Emerge Luncheon, November 8th.  Discussed and passed.
  • Phone bank for marriage equality, October 15th
  • Chapter Annual Report (from Chapter to National) – Phyllis and Dawn will prepare
  • State Board – no update
  • Membership – no update
  • Website
    • Motion made, seconded and passed that Kathy prepare a brief discussion on setting up a “Donate” button on the website (via PayPal) as a way to raise funds
    • Fundraising
      • Discussed a “non-tea party tea party” fundraising mailing.
      • Requested bring other fundraising ideas to November meeting
      • Elections
        • Initial email sent to members requesting they consider running for a board position
        • Erika, Rebecca, Mary have agreed to continue with their position
        • Moved to reschedule general chapter meeting, previously scheduled for Nov 12th, to Saturday, November 16th.  Passed.
  • New Business
    • Diane Bell-Rettger, AAUW film fundraiser – January 26th, Sunday, 2pm – 4pm, Lafayette Library and Learning Center.  Film title is “Sexual Assault – Naming the Unnamed Conspirator

Meeting was adjourned at 3:45pm

Respectfully submitted:  Mary Davis, Secretary



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

 A general meeting of the Contra Costa general chapter of the National Organization for Women was held in Walnut Creek Library at 6:00 on Tuesday, October 8, 2013.

Attendees: Phyllis Bratt, Kathy DeFabio, Dawn Lopshire, Mary Davis, Rebecca Talley

  • All attendees introduced themselves.
  • A summary of the last board meeting (Sep 7, 2013) was discussed, amended and approved.
  • Treasure’s Report – not available
  • Officer Report/Old Business
  • President:
    • Attended Susan Bonilla Endless Summer BBQ fundraiser event, to raise money for run for state Senate seat.  Is running against Joan Buchanan.
    • New field director from National, Kristina Romine, in charge of developing field actions for implementation actions locally and state.
    • Emerge annual event, Nov 8th.  Kristine Gillibrand, from New York is keynote speaker.  She is currently leading congressional efforts on sexual assault in the military.
    • AAUW – movie screening in January (on sexual assault).  Representative will try to present at a NOW meeting.
    • Chapter elections on Tuesday, November 12th
      • Election committee – Phyllis Bratt and Kathy DeFabio
      • Email will be sent out requesting that individuals interested in serving to contact the election committee
  • State Board Meeting
    • Nothing to report, no state meetings currently planned
  • Membership
    • Current Membership – 181 (no update from last meeting)
  • Website Update
    • 900+ hits on the website
    • Discussion on posting procedures to help assure easy access to information when people first log into the website
  • Old Business
    • Bylaws and Operating rules – moved and seconded, adopted unanimously
  • IRS Issue update:
    • Last filing was September 30th.  Expect no immediate action due to government shutdown.
    • New Business
      • Upcoming Events:
        • National NOW rolling out a campaign for marriage equality.  Are looking for phone bank volunteers to be trained for phoning to Hawaii, Illinois, Scheduled for October 15th
        • NOW Foundation – Love your Body Day, October 16th.  Not details available.
  • Budget is needed for calendar year 2014.  Proposed for presenting at November 12th meeting.  Dawn will contact Treasurer to request a first draft of a budget.
  • Dawn to send out an email blast re sales of the women’s history coloring book
  • Next board meeting Saturday, October 12th, 2:00 at WC Library.

The next meeting will be November 12, 2013, (Tuesday evening) at the 6:00 at the Walnut Creek Library.

Adjourned at 7:05.

Respectfully submitted:  Mary Davis, Secretary


National Organization for Women
Contra Costa County Chapter
P.O. Box 4794 Walnut Creek, CA 94596

             MEETING MINUTES

     Saturday, September 7, 2013

A general meeting of the Contra Costa general chapter of the National Organization for Women was held in Walnut Creek Library at 2:00 on Saturday, September 7, 2013.

Attendees: Phyllis Bratt, Kathy DeFabio, Darnelle Shaw, Dawn Lopshire, Mary Davis, Rebecca Talley, Toby Hopstone, Erika Maslan, Nancy Bocanegra, Karen Brockwell

  • All attendees introduced themselves.
  • A summary of the last board meeting (Aug 12, 2013) were read and discussed
  • President’s Report/Old Business
  • Current Membership – 181
  • IRS Issue:
    • IRS – still in suspension for our non-profit status.  More information has been requested by the IRS.
    • May look into legal assistance to get assistance with the issue.
  • National Convention – Rebecca discussed the highlights of the conference
  • State Board – no current activities.  Next state board meeting has not been set
  • Website – Congrats and thanks to Kathy on the looks of the website and all the new information that has been posted on the chapter Website.  The following items regarding the website were discussed:
    • Comments – have decided not to add a place for visitors to add Comments yet because it is expected to be a lot of work.  There is also the potential for receiving a lot of spam.  Before adding a Comments option, we will need to further discuss further as to who will be responsible for monitoring the Comments section and/or responding as appropriate.  Will revisit at a later date.
    • Also discussed if we want to have a Discussion Board but again, comments would need to be screened prior so there is still the issue of resources to monitor the discussion board.  Will revisit at a later date.
    • Some discussion regarding whether or not to set up a chapter Facebook page.  Discussed what we would want to get out of a Facebook page and/or discussion board.  Again, resources may be an issue.  Will revisit at a later date.
    • Summary of discussion points
      • Need to determine what the focus needs to be:  discussion board or activating a Facebook link
      • Need for monitors (expect to need at least two)
      • Need to do homework as to work required
      • Anyone who wants to move this forward is invited to develop and present a plan
      • Will discuss again in October meeting – Anyone developing a plan should notify Dawn in advance of the meeting so that it can be discussed in more detail at the next meeting.
  • Bylaws – proposed bylaws and operating rules were discussed and final changes made based on discussion.  Draft will be posted on the website for discussion and comments.  Will be voted on at the October meeting.
  • Elections:
    • November meeting, Nov 12th
    • Need a list of offices and responsibilities
    • Will post officer responsibilities description on the website and will request volunteers
    • Needs to go out in a number of email blasts
  • New Business
    • Meetings – discussion of Tuesday evening verses Saturday afternoon as a meeting time.
      • Decided to temporarily try Tuesday, for general membership
        • Oct 8, 6 – 8
        • Nov 12
        • Dec 7th – holiday party – 4:00 – ?, Paul and Mary Davis’ in Moraga
    • Keep Saturday for board meetings open to general membership,
  • Task force – Military/Sexual Assault, tabled

The next meeting will be October 8, 2013, (Tuesday evening) at the 6:00 at the Walnut Creek Library.

Adjourned at 4:00

Respectfully submitted:  Mary Davis, Secretary

Minutes for Board Meeting August 12, 2013

Rebecca brought items/souvenirs from the National  NOW conference.  They were a lot of clothing items, which the group grabbed up.

Rebecca gave a summary of the National NOW Conference.

Discussion took place regarding Rebecca becoming the Contra Costa representative for the CANOW PAC.  Will be discussed at the general meeting.

There was discussion as to how often mail will be checked.  We need to make sure we take care of bills.  Erika said she could check the mail twice a month.

There was some talk about the account at mechanics bank (don’t remember too much about this).  Contra Costa NOW’s IRS status was discussed – still trying to correct our tax status.

Fund raising was discussed.  How should we go about it?  Erika suggested board members/officers perhaps could agree to an amount they could raise, and they could raise this money by fundraising or donation – may need more discussion on this.

Bylaws were discussed and were to be reviewed at the general meeting on Sept 7, 2013.  There was also discussion about posting the bylaws on the website.

Dawn proposed that the benefits of “Obama Care” could be discussed at the meeting on Sept 7.  She will take care of arranging for a speaker or presenting the info.

There was discussion of changing the meeting dates and times to the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.  We would like to see how other members feel about this.  Those present at the meeting (Phyllis, Dawn, Erika, Rebecca, and Kathy) agreed that the Tuesday evening time would be better than Saturday afternoon.  More discussion is needed at the 9/7 meeting.

There was discussion as to whether we want to have comments from visitors to the Contra Costa NOW website.  This may require a lot of monitoring from members.  Do we have the resources?  More discussion is needed.

Website issues:  Phyllis got a contact about our Facebook link not working.  It was suggested to remove it from the website until we set up a Facebook page (if we are going to do that).

Allowing comments from visitors.  There are several ways to do this if we want.

Putting a visitor counter on the website.