Changes between Version 15 and Version 16 of projects/leadership-committee/feb-2011/lc2011report


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Timestamp:
Feb 17, 2011, 10:52:34 AM (10 years ago)
Author:
Jamie McClelland
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  • projects/leadership-committee/feb-2011/lc2011report

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    1 report to Leadership Committee
     1= Report to Leadership Committee =
    22
    3 Introduction
     3== Introduction ==
    44
    5 The year 2010 was a year of major growth, in both member numbers and political visibility and influence, and significant change for May First/People Link.
     5The year 2010 was a year of major growth, in both member numbers and political visibility and influence, and significant changes for May First/People Link.
    66
    7 1 -- We are now comprised of 500 members, about 75 percent of whom are organizations. Taking into consideration that each of the member organizations has a group of its own members who use our resources, MF/PL has a "membership user base" of nearly 2,000 people. Essentially, this makes us one of the largest political progressive organizations in this country.
    8 
    9 2 -- We are now "looked to" by many of the US-based and International movements and conferences as the major source of technological work, planning and leadership. We have successfully implemented the Hemispheric Concentration strategy through our participation in the Hemispheric Social Forum and our participation in the Climate Justice and Control Movement. We have dramatically deepened our involvement with the Social Forum movement this year through our activity at the US Social Forum and in its leadership and our highly successful and impactful worfk at the World Social Forum -- with a team of five people --
    10 
    11 3 -- Our political influence has strengthened by virtue of our deepened relationship with the Social Forum movement, the Climate Control movement and our individual work with labor unions and grass-roots organizations. We continue our work within the Association for Progressive Communications Also, our stances on such attacks as those launched against member "the Yesmen" have identified us, in many minds, with a resolute stance on privacy and Internet rights.
    12 
    13 4 -- Internally, we have established a solid, working tech support group which answers support tickets and does server maintenance work. This is completely new in MF/PL.
    14 
    15 5 -- We now have 70 working servers spread across five locations. Our back-up systems are stronger and more sophisticated. Our security measures are stronger than they have ever been.
     7 1. We are now comprised of just over 500 members, about 80 percent of whom are organizations. Taking into consideration that each of the member organizations has a group of its own members who use our resources, MF/PL's user base is in the thousands. We have 1,783 individual email accounts, 1,093 email lists, and our email lists reach nearly a half million unique email list subscribers. Essentially, this makes us one of the largest political progressive organizations in this country.
     8 1. Our Hemispheric and Social Forum initiatives, as directed by the Leadership Committee, have been deep and successful. We are now globally recognized as leaders in the largest global struggles of our times. As a first for May First/People Link, in 2010 we were independently funded to participate in four social forum related events and two Latin America-based Climate Change events. Additionally, we are now members of the World Social Forum International Council.
     9 1. Our international recognition has extended beyond these two initiatives, via our continued work within the Association for Progressive Communications and our support of web sites under attack, most recently fitwatch.org.uk, which was rescued by May First/People Link member the Tachanka Collective, resulting in international press praising our organization and new memberships from the UK.
     10 1. Internally, we have established a solid, working tech support group which answers support tickets and does server maintenance work. This is completely new in MF/PL.
     11 1. We now have 92 working servers spread across five locations.
    1612
    1713All growth brings challenges and errors. We have our share.
    1814
    19 1 -- Portions of our infra-structure appear to be unstable with outages and daily downtime on at least three of our better known production servers. There have been almost no lost memberships as a result but this affects members' work (which runs counter to our priorities) and it may very well dissuade new members from joining.
     15 1. The rapidly rising complexity of web sites has increased load on our servers faster than we've been able to adjust our tech to accomodate the complexity, resulting in frequent slow downs and occasional outages. This instability has a profound impact on members, particularly their willingness to bring new members and sites to May First/People Link.
     16 1. Our Co-Directors committed two major errors this year:
     17  1. We completely missed the importance of the Net Neutrality issue and debate. While that was a very tough campaign to enter -- for structural reasons -- we didn't try to fashion our own campaign or figure out a way to get involved. That resulted in MF/PL being marginalized from the issue and many of its proponents (some of them very important potential allies for us) and it resulted in the campaign being conducted by very liberal thinking and framing (led substantially by Free Press) and devoid of any attention to people of color or working people.
     18  1. We downplayed the massification of Social media use and, rather than project an inclusive stance toward it, often balanced our actions and comments in favor of criticizing it. MF/PL has never opposed the use of Social Networking sites but, because our argument was framed so sharply, we are often identified with that stance. This was primary Alfredo's responsibility. This error also garbled the discussion around Free and Open Source Software and crippled our effectiveness in espousing that critically important position.
     19 1. While we are continuing with our past rates of growth, we have yet to establish and implement the real recruitment plan that was stipulated as a major goal last year by the Leadership Committee.
     20 1. The Leadership Committee is consciously a project in process that is growing from a consultative body to a genuine body of direction and leadership. It has not, up to now, moved in that direction and LC does not yet run this organization.
     21 1. No matter our member composition, MF/PL is viewed as a white organization by many activists of color. In part, this is because there is a deep-seated segregation in the left of this country and the first glimpse many organizations of color get of us is our techies. They are almost all white. In addition, the above mentioned stances on Social Networking sites and FOSS often cast us, in the eyes of people of color organizations, as technocrats, purists or eccentric scientists...and not practical activists.  For that reason, our current recruitment is mainly of white people and white organizations. This, given the way the world is going, is organizational and political suicide. And, of course, it means we aren't doing our job politically.  This is the most poisonous problem we now have.
    2022
    21 2 -- Our Co-Directors committed two major errors this year:
    22 
    23 a -- We completely missed the importance of the Net Neutrality issue and debate. While that was a very tough campaign to enter -- for structural reasons -- we didn't try to fashion our own campaign or figure out a way to get involved. That resulted in MF/PL being marginalized from the issue and many of its proponents (some of them very important potential allies for us) and it resulted in the campaign being conducted by very liberal thinking and framing (led substantially by Free Press . org) and devoid of any attention to people of color or working people.
    24 
    25 b -- We downplayed the massification of Social media use and, rather than project an inclusive stance toward it, often balanced our actions and comments in favor of criticizing it. MF/PL has never opposed the use of Social Networking sites but, because our argument was framed so sharply, we are often identified with that stance. This was primary Alfredo's responsibility. This error also garbled the discussion around Free and Open Source Software and crippled our effectiveness in espousing that critically important position.
    26 
    27 3 -- While there is some growth, we have yet to establish and implement the real recruitment plan that was stipulated as a major goal last year by the Leadership Committee.
    28 
    29 4 -- The Leadership Committee is consciously a project in process that is growing from a consultative body to a genuine body of direction and leadership. It has not, up to now, moved in that direction and LC does not yet run this organization.
    30 
    31 5 -- No matter our member composition, MF/PL is viewed as a white organization by many activists of color. In part, this is because there is a deep-seated segregation in the left of this country and the first glimpse many organizations of color get of us is our techies. They are almost all white. In addition, the above mentioned stances on Social Networking sites and FOSS often cast us, in the eyes of people of color organizations, as technocrats, purists or eccentric scientists...and not practical activists.
    32 
    33 For that reason, our current recruitment is mainly of white people and white organizations. This, given the way the world is going, is organizational and political suicide. And, of course, it means we aren't doing our job politically.
    34 
    35 This is the most poisonous problem we now have.
    36 
    37 Backdrop
     23 == Backdrop ==
    3824
    3925It is an understatement to say the world is dramatically changing. Recent events in several Mid-East and North African countries, including Egypt, couple with the stunning developments in Latin America hint at major movement in many of the World, movement we don't always know about or learn about in this country.
     
    4329This has two outcomes:
    4430
    45 1 -- The increased need for International communications across countries and struggles and the resulting coordination that emanates.
    46 
    47 2 -- The importance of the Internet.
     31 1. The increased need for International communications across countries and struggles and the resulting coordination that emanates.
     32 1. The importance of the Internet.
    4833
    4934Those outcomes drive our work and this year that drive has been greater than ever. The issue for the Leadership Committee is how that "drive" balances out.
     
    5540These are the "thematic bases" for the challenges mentioned about. Our work objectives for the coming year are designed to address those challenges and effectively deal with these thematic problems.
    5641
    57 In 2010
     42 == In 2010 ==
    5843
    5944Our objectives for 2010, as defined by the LC, were:
    6045
    61 1 -- work within the Social Forum movement, particularly the USSF 2010
    62 
    63 2 -- the Hemispheric Initiative (including the consulta hemisferica)
    64 
    65 3 -- Techie National Congress
    66 
    67 4 -- Resource shift from colocation to paid staff
    68 
    69 5 -- 50 percent growth in membership through outreach and recruitment
     46 1. Work within the Social Forum movement, particularly the USSF 2010
     47 1. The Hemispheric Initiative (including the consulta hemisferica)
     48 1. Techie National Congress
     49 1. Resource shift from colocation to paid staff
     50 1. 50 percent growth in membership through outreach and recruitment
    7051
    7152Some of these were met spectacularly well and we struggled with some of these goals.
    7253
    73 The Social Forum was among our greatest achievements this year. From the remarkable
     54 == WorkPlan 2011 ==
     55
     56 1. Continue and expand work with the Social Forum movement There are several Social Forum events scheduled in Global South countries this coming year and we already been invited to do tech work at some of them. We should continue providing this support work to the Social Forum movement as a strategic initiative on our part.
     57 1. Continue Hemispheric Initiative -- particularly around Climate Change The Initiative was among our most successful
     58 1. Bring on one part-time staff member to concentrate on server maintenance work
     59 1. Strengthen and Expand Support and Technologists Team
     60 1. Launch and conduct Praxis Project's People of Color Techie Training Institute
     61 1. Increase membership to 800
    7462
    7563
    76 
    77 
    78 
    79 WorkPlan 2011
    80 
    81 1 -- Continue and expand work with the Social Forum movement
    82 
    83 There are several Social Forum events scheduled in Global South countries this coming year and we already been invited to do tech work at some of them. We should continue providing this support work to the Social Forum movement as a strategic initiative on our part.
    84 
    85 2 -- Continue Hemispheric Initiative -- particularly around Climate Control
    86 
    87 The Initiative was among our most successful
    88 
    89 3 -- Bring on one part-time staff member to concentrate on server maintenance work
    90 
    91 4 -- Strengthen and Expand Support and Technologists Team
    92 
    93 5 -- Increase membership to 800
    94 
    95 6 -- Launch and conduct Praxis Project's People of Color Techie Training Institute
    96 
    97