Personal tools


CPSR Newsletter Winter 1997


[CPSR Home Page] | [CPSR Newsletter Index] | [Winter 1997 Issue--Table of Contents ]

CPSR Chapter Reports

CPSR News Volume 15, Number 1: Winter 1997


Minnesota Chapter Report
by Roger Rydberg, Chapter Chair

A joint meeting with ACM/CPSR was held at the Radisson University Hotel (University of Minnesota campus) featuring Joel Hodroff, Founder, Commonweal Inc. who spoke on "Re-Inventing Money for the Information Economy." Joel gave an exciting update on his "Commonweal Currency Exchange Network," a system which gave everyone some idea of the coming changes in the "Electronic-Cash" society.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Dave Beal was on hand to record Joel's talk and gave an excellent recap of the meeting on page one of the business section which was printed on the following Monday, Jan 27, 1997. Ideally, these new capabilities will provide the means to transform our society to new levels of prosperity for all. Joel's project will be a start in making this new environment a truly worthwhile use of computers in our community.

The basic concept : Consumers earn credits for community service, then combine their credits with cash to buy discounted goods or services. Joel Hodroff's visionary ideas have won endorsements from Twin Cities businesses, labor, government and community leaders. Three years ago, Hodroff founded Commonweal Inc. to turn his dream into a for-profit business. This January, he won a patient on the concept. In February, Joel and Kevin Ryan and the Lyndale Neighborhood Association will kick off a six month demonstration project. Hodroff argues that once the exchange gets rolling, technology will enable the idea to take off like the Fax machines did. Whether the idea backers can organize people well enough to make it happen is the central question. This is where the local CPSR chapter comes into the picture.

Roger Rydberg, the local chapter chair of Minnesota CPSR and others will be putting up a Lotus Notes server to help with the logistics. The main corporate sponsors of the server are the DCS Corp. headed by Arnold Kwong and InnovativeSoftware Designs headed by Hank Camacho. Frequent flyer credits would not exist without computers - why not community projects leveraged in the same way?

Washington, D.C. Chapter Report
by Larry Hunter, Chapter Chair

The DC Chapter met for a holiday party on December 9th. In addition to good cheer and spirited discussion of the technological issues of the day, we agreed on a new chapter project. As many of you may know, the District of Columbia has fallen on hard times, and this has particularly affected
the DC public libraries and schools. Warren Glick, a librarian at the Martin L. King, Jr. Library, came to CPSR asking for Internet help. Sarah Elkins, the chapter treasurer took a day off work to assess the needs of the library, and Oberlin College student Matt Ball, whose home is in the DC
area, has volunteered to put his January break to work in meeting those needs, and long time chapter member Norm Oslik has also volunteered to help out. We hope to get other chapter members involved as well.

DC Chapter members have also been active in other areas. We have written letters to the Maryland Public Utilities Commission for the ISDN rate setting hearings, which recently concluded. We helped with the organization of the annual meeting, which was held in Washington, DC. Several of our members participated in a jam-packed public meeting on the Lexis-Nexis P-TRAK product at George Washington University as well.

Larry Hunter can be reached at


Return to Table of Contents, Winter 1997 CPSR Newsletter

CPSR Home Page© Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
P.O. Box 717
Palo Alto, CA 94302-0717
Tel. (415) 322-3778 Fax (415) 322-3798
Archived CPSR Information
Created before October 2004

Sign up for CPSR announcements emails


International Chapters -

> Canada
> Japan
> Peru
> Spain

USA Chapters -

> Chicago, IL
> Pittsburgh, PA
> San Francisco Bay Area
> Seattle, WA
Why did you join CPSR?

I like the health insurance opportunity.