On Saturday, July 23, 2022, Alliance For Just Money (AFJM) members met for our fourth Annual Membership Meeting. Almost half of our members participated in this gathering, logging in from four US time zones and three other countries. A good time was had by all!
The meeting was divided into two parts. Part I was devoted to business and Part II was more interactive. Members showcased outcomes of Year 4 projects and shared about collaborations that began in Year 4 and will continue into Year 5.
Part I: Taking Care of Business
Steve Norris, AFJM’s Year 4 Vice-President, moderated Part I, welcoming members and sharing AFJM’s community guidelines, which were drafted this spring by AFJM’s ad hoc committee for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. The committee was formed to help AFJM be a space in which everyone feels welcome as their authentic selves.
To follow, the chairs of AFJM’s seven standing committees and three ad hoc committees summarized their accomplishments, and election results were announced. For full details on the Year 4 activities, see AFJM’s written Fourth Annual Report and Financial Report for 2021-2022.
A few Year 4 highlights:
- Voter turnout for this year’s election was a record high at 77%! Co-Managing Director Tabitha Enriquez reported that John Howell, Bo-Young Lim, and Tom Wilda were elected for full 3-year terms, and Bruce Rogers-Vaughn was elected to complete the remaining 2 years in the term of a vacated seat that he filled. AFJM thanks these members for stepping up to serve on the Board and asks members to consider doing so next year.
- The Legislative Action Committee and Membership and Movement Committee reported on very productive work in Year 4 including updating the NEED Act for 2022, approving an AFJM antisemitism statement, initiating phone banking, and sponsoring A Radical Gathering.
- The Finance and Fundraising Committee ran an effective end-of-2021 fundraiser, piloted a “cold marketing” campaign, and initiated a member-based campaign for new subscribers.
- The ad hoc committee Democratizar el Dinero, a group of Spanish-speaking monetary reformers from the Americas and Europe, met monthly to share their experiences with the money system.
- Co-Managing Director Ryann Enger reported how AFJM’s Youth Caucus brought together monetary reformers younger than 50 for stimulating, fun, productive activities. Their efforts included researching climate divestment groups, hosting multiple Coffeehouses, and supporting social media campaigns.
AFJM president Howard Switzer brought Part I to a close by thanking all AFJM members engaged in this work, in particular outgoing Board member Mary Sanderson.
Part II: Showcasing Year 4 Projects and Collaborations
In Part II of our fourth Annual Membership Meeting, members were in for a storytelling treat! After learning about Storyform Science at our July 2021 Just Money Festival, AFJM hosted a workshop in February for members to develop their own monetary stories.
At our Annual Membership Meeting, four members shared their Just Money Stories live. Each story was about 3 minutes long and used the ‘arc of story’ to teach their empirical findings about money in an understandable, memorable, and compelling way for listeners. Members in the room were electrified by hearing peers’ stories. Be on the lookout for their recordings coming soon on AFJM’s website and YouTube channel!
Next up was a segment on the American Monetary Reform Act (AMRA), AFJM’s fully reviewed and updated version of the NEED Act that had been conceived by the American Monetary Institute and introduced into Congress in 2011-12. AMRA was developed by our Legislative Action Committee (LAC). A PDF version of it along with a short AMRA fact sheet are available on our website Archive page.
John Howell walked members through a version of AMRA that highlighted changes from the NEED Act. John’s main goal for the presentation was to help members both familiar and unfamiliar with the NEED Act to come away with a good understanding of AMRA and how it achieves Just Money reform. A recording of the 25 min presentation is available on AFJM’s YouTube channel.
The LAC will host a Coffeehouse on Wednesday, September 14th at 8-10PM ET focused on “Educating Legislators, Candidates, and Voters on Monetary Reform.” Mark your calendar and register in advance!
The final part of our fourth Annual Membership Meeting showcased AFJM’s collaborations that members pursued with other organizations in Year 4.
As described at AFJM’s Coffeehouses in January and February 2022, efforts are being made within the League of Women Voters (LWV) to bring attention to the need for monetary reform. The work grew from local and state presentations in 2021 by the Athens County League, which then formed a monetary study group for its members and interested members from other Ohio Leagues. The study group produced a proposal that was endorsed by the Athens County League and Board. The Athens Monetary Committee presented a caucus session at the LWV 2022 National Convention in June. The Athens proposal and national presentation are available on the Athens County LWV website.
As a result of the national presentation, the committee has expanded to 18 League of Women Voters contacts from 14 states and aims to support Monetary Studies in other local Leagues to generate nationwide support for a monetary position statement to be adopted at the LWV 2024 National Convention.
Next up, the Membership and Movement Committee shared plans and materials that its Advocates & Mentors subcommittee developed to aid newcomers to Just Money reform. These materials include a Money Quiz they previewed at the Annual Membership Meeting as well as PowerPoints, videos, and papers.
Finally, members reported ongoing and potential collaborations for Year 5.
Members connected with three women’s organizations in Year 4: the Maternal Gift Economy Movement, the Women, Money, and Democracy Committee of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and An Economy of Our Own. While there are some differences in our perspectives on the money system, we hold much economic critique and aspiration in common, and plan to collaborate in year 5.
Bruce Rogers-Vaughn shared about congregational work he is engaged in to help people of faith learn about the money system. John Howell continues to bring money matters to various Quaker organizations, as he has over the past few years.
Ryann Enger concluded the reports on AFJM’s collaborations by sharing about “A Radical Gathering” on June 24-26, 2022, co-sponsored by AFJM, Move to Amend, A Radical Guide, and People’s Collective for Justice and Liberation. Sessions addressed ecological justice, racial justice, economic justice, and maintaining peace, sanity, and security amid nonviolent protest and resistance.
AFJM’s leadership in and presentation with An Economy of Our Own at A Radical Gathering gave visibility to AFJM among progressive constituencies. A Radical Gathering paved a positive path for AFJM to build new collaborations with the organizations represented.
Moving AFJM Forward in Year 5
AFJM’s fourth Annual Membership Meeting was an exciting launch into Year 5! There are already monthly Coffeehouses announced on our Events page.
The Board’s first meeting was on August 27th and Year 5 Officers were decided: Steve Norris, President; Bruce Rogers-Vaughn, Vice-President; John Howell, Secretary; and Lucille Eckrich, Treasurer. AFJM thanks these members for their service on the Board!
And thank you for being a subscriber! If you are not yet a member and you endorse AFJM’s Mission, please join now! We also encourage you to invite friends, family, and neighbors to subscribe or become members. We can only achieve Just Money reform with growing widespread public awareness! As a member, you will be invited to attend AFJM’s Annual Membership Meeting next July celebrating five years of progress towards achieving Just Money!