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Re: NWTRCC meeting minutes  Lawrence A. Rosenwald
 May 25, 2005 13:01 PDT 

Ruth, I'm most grateful for these minutes; they're very
thought-provoking. I'm unaware of any corrections that need to be made,
but had some reflections to offer.
The main one is this:   there's a lot of focus on outreach to individuals
who share political views with us but are not war tax resisters.   I agree
that that focus is important.   But I'm guessing that it's seemed
important for some time, and I'm wondering whether any one's compiled any
history about this: how many times outreach of this sort has been
discussed at NWTRCC meetings, how many efforts at outreach have been made,
how successful they've been. Someone told me that at a recent New England
regionial wtr gathering, some participant said something like this: "I've
been at all these meetings, and we always talk about two things: outreach
to non-wtrs, and sustaining ourselves as a movement.   When are we going
to start talking about something new?" I heard this, as noted, at second
hand, and might be misremembering even the second-hand comment.
In any case, I'm asking the question myself, and I'm asking it because,
in my unsystematic, affectionate observation of our community, our
movement, our campaign, whatever the right word is for it, I don't see
much that suggests we're being _successful_ in our outreach, or that
suggests we're growing and flourishing as a movement.    This isn't to put
down anyone's commitment, my own included, or the solid moral reasoning
it's based on, but I'm guessing that what I wonder is, what would it be
like to sit down at a gathering and raise a couple of new questions, which
at least have the benefit of being new, however crackpottish they may
seem? Here are the ones on my list:   1) Why are we so disproportionately
white (at least, at all the meetings I've ever attended)?   2) Why have we
failed to become a larger and more powerful movement? and 3), in response
to a visionary comment made at one gathering by Bob Bady (and this one I
heard myself!), namely, "if we built a better movement, people would come
to it," what would we need to do to build a seriously better movement than
the one we have now? Obviously 3) is a variation on 2), so I guess this
should only count as two questions, after all.

All the best,

Larry Rosenwald
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