Version 1 (modified by Hilary Goldstein, 8 years ago) (diff)


Membership & Admin WG 30 Jan 2014

Team Details: how we organize and function, tasks, staffing

Erq: The person with most experience should provide coordination, a general rule of the working groups

We need to think how to develop new leadership later, I think now having hilary as coordinator will help establish the group.

Hilary: Are others interested to be the coordinator?

Louis: How do you feel about being coordinator?

Hilary: I feel fine with it but seems awkward cause the restructuring, but I do want to have a discussion about the roles and responsibilities about my job. I was thinking for this section, send to the list for time and availability.

Civicrm discussion... abilities of mentioned. excited use

Hilary: how often we can meet?

Anallia: every other week

Hilary will put up a doodle to figure out the meeting times.

Erq: question of evaluation

Hilary: Stems from a report by Jamie about self evaluation of the working group, to help us be more organized and effective

Erq: Are you thinking of a certain period of time to do this evaluation?

Hilary: I do not have a specific time in mind, but to set goals at some point, so that we can have something to check in on.

Erq: I like the idea of this process, I think having it 2 times during the year, it will be very usefull.

Analia: How do you think is the best way to be loyal to the evaluation.

Hilary: To look at the level of involvement to help get a starting point...make up the rules as we go along

Administration: Financial issues, budget, compliant in rules, membership policy

Hilary: this is the stuff under my staff position, so I monitor expenses, track dues. I am not a certified accountant, worked as a bookkeeper. One of the key ideas discussed over the summer is to have an outside review. One thing we are not doing is we are not monitoring the depreciation and it changes tax rates. We talked about spending $1000 on the financial review. Need to decide whether to make that part of our plan. Alfredo has a suggestion about finances

Alfredo: I am going to make the proposal to appoint jamie to the treasury position. Because jamie is one of the mediajumpstart board members, he links the foundation that feeds us with the organization we are, it is the work that jamie is doing. It should be made clear that it is a fiscal responsibility, not a budgeting position. This group decides how to use the money that is budgeted. hilary as coordinator has a big role to play in that.

Hilary: I want to make clear that I cover the books in NYC and not the mexico members.

Erq: Starting in nov. 2012 we opened a bank account to receive the dues of the members in mexico. This bank account is under my name cause we did not have any organization to cover this responsibility. This is one reason we are creating the coop. MFPL in the US has a policy of strategic solidarity, and has allowed us to keep receiving our resources of our members with out actually receiving dues from mexico based members, with the exception of two members that have used VPS so their dues are much higher than regular dues members. Those two pay directly to the MFPL in NYC. One thing we need to figure out is from mexican dues will be sent regularly and how much can be held here to allow MFPL mexico to develop here. I think before the f2f meeting we will be able to send the financial report of all the months with the hope by then we will have the taxes paid. In order to be informed of the details of the regular dues that we receive.

Hilary: This is one of the key challenges for admin is we have 2 separate budgets and accounting systems. Until we have the budgets from both sides, we will not be able to do to much planning. I think we need to set aside time to discuss these numbers at the f2f.

Abi: What is the context and concern?

Hilary: The concern is that we have been approached by the FBI on a few occasions, and it might be a direct way for them to shut us down. Especially since we have members in palestine and receive wire transfers from and to make sure that our books are perfect to make sure it is not a likely way for an attack on the organization.

Erq: I think it is worth to have a general sense of the plan we want to propose to the LC. Perhaps we cannot go into details, I think this is needed.

Hilary: The idea of membership policies, not to talk about the details, but to think what this would means for what membership is and how to codify the language.

Alfredo: What do you have in mind for what membership is

Hilary: Trying to make it clear what membership is since we have organization, individual, some membership given free. The question of what does it mean to be a member? is an important question

Alfredo: I think the LC has to sign off on defining membership. There is a push by some to have rungs of leadership. I think this WG needs to work on that and develop policies

Hilary: from an admin aspect needing to knock out a barebones membership policy. The idea of clarifying our policy of membership, like this question from coordinators of when to give free membership etc

Erq: Here (mexico) we have had discussions about how the coop can work, we found the need to make MFPL policies match the legal framework for coops in mexico. It is what we settled on is the coop is run by the active members, they are considered associates. The coop has a goal to work for a community for people that benefit from the coop activities, but the community is MFPL members who are not active, but accepted our statement of unity and pay dues regularly. So what we have is a core team of active members -the coop "partners"-, and there we have 2 different kinds of members. Those that work voluntarily and people with specific responsibilities that will demand more work or more time, those will be considered, commission associates (partners), they eventually could have a salalry, the salalry will be defined by the whole core team (mostly voluntary members). What we are trying to achieve with this model is to bring our volunteers to participate to have a political high profile in developing the relations inside the coop. They will be the ones that elect the people that will be covering day to day responsibilities. We also want to have the conditions for community members to become associates. If members want to get involved in voluntary work, they should have conditions to easily facilitate them to get into working. To have a stable relationship with the WGs. When a person says they want to volunteer for 6 months, they should immediately be able to collaborate with the WGs. That is the more important aspects of the idea we want to push forward. Perhaps that is something we can think about when we talk about what membership is, being active is an important thing, to be part of plans and projects, should be considered very important, and a way to gain certain rights inside the association. This model could be considered to discuss what active membership is in contrast to non-active membership.

Hilary: There are a lot of ideas in the creation of the coop. We still have a lot to do with getting members to know what mayfirst is.

Membership: engagement and awareness: 3 areas

Tracking and moderating

We need to figure out a budget, we have 2 weeks

Hilary: the first project is database coding, we have 800 members with little to no information about them. We need to understand them in terms of relations to MFPL, whether it is core political views or those that see us as ISP. This is a detailed project to help us figure out the details.

ALfredo: The main challenge is to figure out the fields of the DB are. In terms of association to fields of acitivity. If they have been involved in things we are involved in. It is another linkage. More detailed profile in terms of where the organization is, who runs it. All

of that stuff helps organizers on this approach.

Stephen: comment on the database structure of civicrm

Hilary: What is all the informatin we want to have? then how we organize the data.

Engagement strategies

Hilary: It would be powerful as an outreach tool. Identifying groups to build relationships with, general outreach. Possibly a survey to get views. The privacy statement project, maybe something along the lines of terms of service as a project tool to connect around an issue. People Link Phone conferences, analia is doing a lot of the organizing.

Alfredo: in terms of the DB is there a way to pull every email address?

Hilary: Really a question for jamie, but i think so

Alfredo: I say we pull all of those emails, then we send an email to those people, we say we are the membership from mayfirst, you may know or not know we have organized several groups of work. We want to be in touch with you so we understand our membership. Here are a couple of our plans. Stress, a lot of members do not know we are a member organization. Invite people to respond. It is the first time we ever made that statement. To introduce the WG to the membership.

Stephen: suggesting a social type network for members to come to to participate and not leave it to just emails and calls

Hilary: An orientation to bring people into.

Alfredo: We should think about an orientation video, we have several members, we have a promo video that people like when they see it. I have a particular purpose of the email, there are many members that have never had communication with the leadership. I do not know if anything positive comes out of talking to them but the question is it possible to get the email out in the next couple of weeks.

Erq: I want to mention something about the privacy statement, that it is something very importance with the mass surveillance. I think abi can helps us here with the legal perspective, with the recent information requests we got from the state department, the EFF lawyers, have always supported us on answering these requests, the recent suggestion from EFF mentioned that we can have specific conditions in an eventual legal fight, conditions with a privacy policy that should be public, to consider that we do not keep records of our server activities for more than 3-4 days and also if our privacy policy would consider specifying that when we receive a request of log activities, we specify that we get in touch with the members for this request. The idea is in front of the court we could have better conditions if we write the most effective privacy policies. If one of our members is under investigation, if we deny to give records of our members activities, it would be stated before as part of our policies, that should not be interpreted as that we do not have an interest in not providing those records, by the fact that we do not keep them. This is not the legal aspect but the political aspect. It would be good for MFPL to promote our members to publicize this privacy policy. In order to express in a way that they are backing up the members that could eventually be vulnerable to these kinds of information request. It becomes a need to create a strategy this privacy policy. I think we can call on our members to engage on these definitions, to end up with a policy that expresses agreement inside our organization. I think that could be a great political achievement to reach this goal.

Abi: I think this is a great idea, I am not a practicing attorney, but i have the language to interpret these things. I think this is in line with our auditing to audit out policies. I would be happy to be a part of the privacy project.

Hilary: We need to prioritize these ideas, we can think about them for the next meeting. We need to have a conversation about who is going to do this work and what work. We as a team need to decide the position I am in and how to manage it.

Communication strategies

Hilary: How as a team will we help communicate with the membership? right now it has been the lowdown, we do not know who is reading it, or how it is being used. There is a lot of effort put together. We have dicussed redesign. Up dates from teams that goes out quarterly or twice a year. Revising the website, listed a couple of aareas that members go to. How to get involved.

Alfredo: In terms of Hilary's employment it is a component of the budget and work plan, it should be included in the budget for the membership WG and provide the salary. To complicate matters, the salary level we give to staff members is that the rest of the budget does it commidate in its budget. As co-director, jamie, set a level for staff to receive. We can change that, we should discuss that. I personally support the idea of continuing to hire hilary. Be that as it may we are not wedded to anything we can make those decisions on our budget.

Hilary: We have the option to offer stipends or hirer more people. We do not have line items for the budget. I do not see us having a huge budget for travel or other line items. I could use help in flushing that out.

Alfredo: Anyone else have experience with budgetting

Louis: I can work on them.

Alfredo: I am willing to help on this too. I think this group can come up with projects that include money, including travel.

Hilary: This wraps up the review of the plan as stated, what are our next steps. In advance of our next meeting, to fill out a personal statement on the level of involvement.