July 2012 to Jan 2013

July 2012:

July 11 – WRC protested City Pages for publishing a defamatory slanderous article concerning Nizzel George, a 5 year old, who was killed by a stray bullet on the cities northside. Instead of being sympathetic to the family’s grieving process, City Pages wrote a scathing article portraying the family as criminals. WRC will hold any mainstream media outlet accountable in their reporting.

July – WRC launches campaign to “Raise the Welfare Grants” in MN. Picketed and rallied at ST. Paul’s welfare office. Got people to sign a petition to lend their name to a post card. WRC will be sending post cards to Governor Dayton and the politicians as needed.

July – Committee worked on 10 Reasons Why We Need to Raise the Grants.

WRC continues to do outreach at the welfare offices.

August 2012:

August 9th – WRC went to Governor Dayton’s office to demand he meet with us to discuss our raise the grants campaign.

August 14th – WRC members joined community picket to Protest the Romney’s fundraiser in Mpls

August 15th – WRC will initiate a call-in campaign urging Governor Dayton to set up a meeting with the Welfare Rights Committee and to discuss a grant increase.

August 16th – WRC did group leafleting at the Minneapolis welfare office stop to protest welfare bashing brought on by the Romney campaign and the upcoming elections.

August 17th – WRC tabled at a Civil Liberties Rally regarding the grant increase. To get education and get supporters.

August 23rd – WRC protest at Mitt Romney’s fundraiser in Minnetonka and the recent political ad attacks on welfare. We demanded: Stop the welfare bashing and bring our families out of poverty!

August 27th – WRC members went to the Republican National Convention in Tampa to marched and speak about poor people’s issues.

August – -WRC signed onto a statement to support workers on strike at Palermo’s Pizza in Milwaukee

September 2012:

Occupy Wall Street’s first year anniversary, WRC member spoke at Peoples’ Plaza.

September 20 – WRC protest at news channel, KSTP. WRC demanded that the news channel 5 stop their “investigation” segments on so called “welfare fraud”. We know all to well that this is just out right poor bashing.

WRC continues to do outreach at the welfare offices but decided to branch out more into the communities. WRC leaflet and bannered in North MPLS at the corner of Emerson and Broadway Aves. in the evening. This was very successful because we were able to have a lot of people see us and talk with us. We also took pictures of people (that wanted to) holding a “raise the grant” sign. We posted these pictures on our Welfare Rights Committee’s Facebook Group and our Raise the MN Welfare Grants Campaign’s Facebook page. Most people we talked to that day are really glad we are taking up this issue and most were unaware that the grants have not been raised since 1986.

October 2012:

October 4th – WRC meet with Governor Dayton’s staff, staff of the Dept of Human Services, Representative Tina Liebling and Senator Jeff Hayden to discuss the issue of raising the welfare grants. General support to do something about this issue. They were also waiting for the outcome of the elections.

October 7th – WRC speaker at the Anti-War Rally on the Eleventh Year Anniversary of the War on Afghanistan

October 7th – WRC speaker Occupy Minneapolis First Anniversary at the Peoples’ Plaza

Continued flyering at Mpls and St Paul’s welfare offices to get signatures on our petition.

October 11th – WRC members on the Don Olson – KFAI show raising awareness in the community regarding raising the welfare grants campaign.

October 11th – WRC member, Darnella Wade spoke at the Anti-War Committee’s action at Sen. Klobuchar’s office to “Send a message to Congress: No more wars!”

October 12th – WRC members once again flyered in North Minneapolis ‘Raise the Welfare Grants’ Outreach on the corners of Emerson Ave N & Broadway Ave N.

October 17th – Call-In to Governor Dayton: Tell Governor Dayton it is time to Raise the Welfare Grants! 26 years is too long!

November 2012:

WRC to organize the Post card campaign to Dayton – Raise the Grants. People who signed the WRC’s petition ok’d us putting their name on a post card in order to send their voices directly to the Governor.

WRC wrote a “Call” directed toward the Governor and MN State Legislatures in regards to support the effort to raise the welfare grants. We contacted (and still contacting) groups and individuals to get support and signers onto the call.

WRC created Raise the MN Welfare Grants’ Facebook page and a website to raise awareness in cyber world of our campaign. People and organizations can easily sign onto the call through the link we provide.

WRC members calling the people off our phone list that was created with names that were gathered at the welfare office and other places in the communities. This is the list where we can update people on the campaign and invite them to different events.

December 2012:

December 5th – WRC attended a Conference to End Poverty to raise awareness and support of our campaign of doubling of the welfare grants. WRC picketed at the November Forecast.

December 6th – WRC meet with Legal Services Advocacy Project regarding their 1% COLA bill and to educate them on the WRC’s campaign of doubling the grant. WRC wanted them to withdrawal their bill as to not undermine our efforts to ask for the most and just amount that families need.

December 10th – WRC meet with MN Coalition for the Homeless to express our concerns regarding the Legal Aid’s bill and our campaign.

December 12th – WRC attends the MN Women’s Consortium’s round table with other member organizations. We discussed our campaign and why it’s important for other women focused groups to support.

December 18th – WRC members went to advocates meetings to read a statement denouncing the 1.7% bill. Asked them again to withdrawal the bill and back ours.

WRC imitated another Call-In to Governor Dayton for the Holidays: Raise the Welfare Grants!

December – WRC meet with Representative Liebling to discuss her being an author of the raise the grants bill.

December 19 – WRC sent postcards to Sen. Hayden to ask him to be the chief author.

December 20 – Meeting with Tony Lourey, the chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Finance division to discuss him being an author of the raise the grants bill.

During the month of December, Committee members organized for our WRC opening day rally in January, 2013. Members participated in outreach to neighborhoods, businesses, and individuals at the welfare offices, wrote speeches and a press release, made signs and banners. We called around 800 people off of our list and sent about 750 postcards advertising the event. We continue to call people off our list and ask them about “sending a post card in their name.”

January 2013

January 3rd – WRC meet with Representative Rena Moran to discuss with her as being an author of the raise the grants bill

January 4th – WRC members went on Lydia Howell’s Catalyst/KFAI RADIO show to discuss the Opening Day Rally for Jan 8th and the raising of the welfare grants campaign.

January 7th – WRC meet with Senator Jeff Hayden again to discuss with him being an author of the raise the grants bill. He resisted.

January 8th – Opening day Rally! WRC and other groups protest and rallied for economic justice by highlighting the issues of raising the welfare grants and taxing the rich. It was a day of solidarity that was shared with Idle No More, a native Americans’ group, a movement on reclaiming the land, air and water and groups protesting tar sands pipeline.

During the month of January, WRC meet with Democratic politicians to get author the Raise the Welfare Grants bill and educate them. We succeed in getting Representative Susan Allen and Representative Carolyn Laine to author the house bill while Senator Chris Eaton is the main author in the Senate.

January 9th – WRC member went to the MN Woman’s Consortium to help stuff their newsletter with WRC’s literature and the Call. They have a mailing list of 500 people. Also, placed a blurb in their electronic newsletter that reaches about 1,000 people and organizations. (We got a few signers directly from their email.)

January 10th – WRC members went to the MN Woman’s Consortium’s panel where Jessica Looman, Assistant Commissioner, Construction Codes & Labor Standards, of the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry spoke about their legislative agenda on minimum wage, workers compensation and extending maternity leave. We were able to talk about our campaign to 10 other originations that attended. Later in the day, WRC supported AFSCME Council 5’s press conference at the capitol on their priorities for the MN State Legislature to consider. We made more labor group connections at this press conference.

January 10th – in the evening, WRC member attend MN Woman’s Consortium’s legislative happy hour. This event was attended by about 50 people who are members of the Consortium. These Happy Hours are attended by the younger women in different groups. They were very happy to get our information.

January 21st – WRC members attended MLK events in Minneapolis and Saint Paul where our information was well received.

January 22nd – WRC sent a press release regarding Dayton’s proposed budget stating how WRC is disappointed that he didn’t have any increase in the grants for poor families.

January 28th – WRC meet with Representative Carolyn Laine, one of the authors, to discuss framing the grant raising wording so other politicians would listen instead of turning a blind eye when they hear “welfare.”

January 31st – WRC held a $437 Challenge/Raise the Grants press conference and action outside the House Chambers at the capitol. It’s a final push to get more Representatives to sign on to our bill to “Double the Grants.” We will be asking the entire Representative body to take part in our $437 Challenge – seeing who could live on $437 per month. While at the session Members held a banner and signs. We got to talk with a lot of Representatives regarding the challenge and to sign onto the bill. A few more Democrats signed on while the Republicans listened and seemed supportive. We ran into Representative Kurt Daudt (R) and Senator Paul E. Gazelka (R) – who last year sponsored the most destructive welfare bill but now say they are supportive and listened to us but of course would not sign on.

During the time at the session, members confronted Representative Mary Franson (R) who last year compared people who receive food stamps to wild animals. She and others were in a heated “discussion”. She stated “the economy is looking better- people should be able to find work.” She said, “I can even help you with your resume!” Members fought back.

WRC meet with Senator Julie A. Rosen, a Republican regarding the RWG bill. She says she is supportive but would not be an author on the bill.

WRC meet with Representative Susan Allen, the author of our bill. We talked strategy when the bill gets introduced.

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