wiki:projects/leadership-committee/jan-2012-proposal-votes/notes

Votes on Proposals from 2011 Leadership Committee Meeting

On the call: Jamie, Louis, Alfredo, Carlos, Daniel Strum, Josue, dkg, Jack, Kazebme (briefly)

PROCESS: We'll go through each proposal one by one. Jamie will first ask for clarifying questions, then concerns. If there are no major concerns it'll be called to a vote; if its approved we'll move forward, if it's not approved we won't move forward with it. If there are concerns discussion can happen but capped at 10 minutes; if after 10 minutes concerns are resolved we'll call for a vote; otherwise it will be tabled, we'll move on through other proposals, then return to discuss the more complicated ones.

expand-support

View the proposal

Clarifying questions

  • Jack: how will the budget be used, specifically?
    • Jamie: $1500 would be used to fly Enrique to NYC in order to meet some staff people face-to-face and to send an MFPL support team member to Mexico. Might also include some travel cost between Boston and NY.
  • dkg: What does the term formalize mean in this context? Happy with details, unsure with what "formalize" means.
    • Jamie: formalized is in reference to formalizing the scheduling of support team meetings.

Concerns

  • Jack: how will the person sent to Mexico be chosen? Encourage the choice to be made in an open and fair way, prioritize a Spanish speaker.
    • Jamie: important that decisions are made openly. Selection of the best person is a difficult one, especially WRT the support team. We need to figure out how to choose someone in a way that effectively builds the support team.
    • Jack: satisfied by a commitment to do this in a thoughtful way.
    • Daniel: thoughtful and transparent; important to understand why someone was chosen. There are probably quite a few times when this question could come up.

Vote

  • The concerns that have been noted will be added to the proposal along with the vote.
  • Jamie: yes, Louis: yes, Alfredo: yes, Carlos: yes, Daniel Strum: yes, Josue: yes, dkg: yes, Jack: yes, Kazembe: off the call.
  • 8 yes, we have quorum.
  • Proposal passes.

ussf

View the proposal

Clarifying questions

  • Jack: do we know what's happening this year for the USSF, or when the next USSF will happen?
    • Jamie: NPC did not make firm commitment decision. General consensus is for the NPC to call for People's Movement Assemblies to be called locally around the country; don't envision a strong NPC role in 2012. 2013 would be calls for regional and thematic social forums, with a slightly bigger but still undefined role for NPC. End of 2013 or 2014: a US Social Forum with a large role for NPC.
    • Jamie: MFPL role within USSF for 2012: providing technical assistance for people's movement assemblies to enable remote participation; still a bit vague. Additionally, help in mobilizing people to attend the World Social Forum in Palestine, which the USSF will likely decide to support.
    • Jamie: Also would participate by organizing a technology-focused People's Movement Assembly in 2012.

Concerns

  • Louis: how do NPC attendees feel about how things are going?
    • Jamie: pleasantly surprised by energy in the room, good attendance, folks were looking forward to another USSF. Mood and outlook much stronger and energetic than expected after a year of dormancy. A lot of ideological discussion which is unusual. NPC sees itself more as organizing body.
  • Alfredo: what role does the LC have in implementing this? The Technology People's Movement Assembly was controversial on the staff level, especially given the planned reduction in staff. Do we want to make sure that the LC has the ability to sign off decisively on any implementation of this proposal?
    • dkg: What reduction in staff?
    • Alfredo wants to leave the MFPL staff, whether it's feasible, how to handle it.
    • Controversy was around resource commitment. Very often Mallory is one of the leading people in events of this type as one of the key organizers within the social forum movement worldwide. She can't take this on anymore. There was therefore a discussion around resource commitment, whether we're capable of doing this, what sort of impact it would have. There was no idea that we couldn't do it compared to the positive impact it would have; in light of that, maybe this is something that LC needs to take responsibility for.
    • Alfredo: LC should approve any major activity related to implementing the Social Forum goals that would affect MFPL resource and strategy. The way this goal is written, there are a million things that can be done; e.g. not do a technology PMA, do things that demand less resources.
    • Josue: for me this feels a bit too much like micromanaging; it feels like this proposal is worded in such a way that staff can then have lots of leeway to figure out how to support the USSF in general. If staff does agree to try to put on a PMA, such an endeavor would require an incredible amount of support for a lot of people, and we couldn't responsibly jump into this in 2012.
    • Daniel Strum: In a way some of the discussions we had earlier about decision making really fit in here; we had a lot of discussion about these proposals and how they get implemented, and if a proposed action fits into a proposal but still would take a lot of resources that were not discussed when the proposal was passed that needs to come back for approval. E.g. yes, doing a PMA fits into this proposal, but to do it would be a huge undertaking.
    • Jamie: put the concerns that have been brought up as general concerns. We should put an explicit concern on this proposal that further LC involvement is requested in the event that a tech PMA is organized.
    • Jack: would not approve this proposal if it allowed for a tech PMA to be organized this year.
  • (break to discuss other proposals before returning to this one)
  • Should LC involvement be required if the staff decides to support a PMA around technology?
    • Alfredo: my issue is not only around resource dedication, all though that's certainly part of it; issue is this is a major political gesture that's in step with where we've been politically, but it's a step that LC may want to get involved in. It's a gray area, but I'm not sure it's micromanagement. It's not just a question of managing resources, which the staff has managed quite well. LC should be involved, not just in a yes or no, but also in how we do it, how we articulate the politics, and what to talk about.
    • Jack: agreed. Also have no idea what goes into organizing a PMA, and MFPL organizing this alone is different from organizing in coalition with others.
    • Jamie: The USSF proposal as written doesn't mentioned anything about a technology PMA; the proposal can clarify the nature of the support that is discussed for existing PMAs, and the technology PMA could be a separate proposal.
    • dkg: agreed
    • Josue: don't agree with the process but do agree with the end results. It seems that the way this was presented and framed, it feels like there is less political trust of the staff, and that sets up a bad precedent for how the LC interacts with staff.
    • Alfredo: LC involvement in a decision doesn't mean the monitoring of or limitation of staff activity. LC involvement can be really supportive. When you do a PMA, it's not only about how many resources are involved but also the articulation of the politics, the call, the thrust; all of that hasn't been decided. Not only about application of resources but also how you frame the politics. Before that has been a staff or co-director decision; LC involvement will be a much richer and better process. Helps the staff. Start shifting some of this work to LC which can take on the task of articulating some of these politics.
    • Josue: don't disagree with anything you just said; the way you presented this initially was that I'm not going to be on the staff anymore, so therefore decisions like this should be made by the LC. That's the issue I had; I understood that the staff used to have the capacity to make these decisions, and now it doesn't.
    • Alfredo: what I said is what I think.
    • Daniel Strum: I think this allows us to further the discussion about LC taking on some new roles and new support capacity in partnership with the staff. That might be the best of both worlds.

Vote

Pending vote after revision to include statement about organizing a MFPL PMP not being within the scope of the proposal.

wsf

View the proposal

Clarifying questions

  • What is the Mashrek/Maghreb region?
    • The next WSF will be in 2013, either in Tunisia or Cairo. Mashrek/Maghreb region is being used as a placeholder until that decision is made. This needs to be clarified in the proposal.

Concerns

  • Jack: I continue to not understand the degree of MFPL involvement in the WSF and question whether it's the best use of resources.
    • dkg: One way to look at this is: what resources will be consumed, where else could those resources be used, and would they actually be put to use. The resources I see being consumed are money for travel; sending delegates from the USSF ICT to forums in 2012, if it comes over the $1000, will not send many people, so presumably that's not about money. Assuming that this is in reference to sending MFPL members, support team, and LC. This might be more about approval of those people's time; that seems to be the largest concern about resources that might be under contention here.
    • Jamie: two LC years ago we agreed to support the WSF; the large part of this proposal is coming out of a couple year process of supporting the WSF. A year ago MFPL was approved for membership on the international council of the WSF and the Communications Working Group of the WSF. This proposal is largely around supporting the Palestinian forum in Brazil. We have been in the process of making a proposal to the WSF around supporting the World Social Forum on Palestine, including having them fund sending MFPL representatives to the World Social Forum on Palestine.
    • Jamie: argument for supporting our proposal comes out of earlier commitments to WSF and it's important to honor them; if the LC wants to rethink our proposals to the WSF we should take them up as a separate proposal. It's important for our international reputation not to just drop this but rather to wind it down. There is a process in motion and we can't just drop it.
    • dkg: The tail of the proposal addresses how this could potentially help MFPL: involving the support team means possibly taking support team members away from other work, but also might bring in membership, new people on support team, increased capacity to deal with things like internationalization; bring in additional resources.
    • Alfredo: one of the hidden things that a lot of people don't know about our international work is the impact it has on our techie resources. There are at least some definite and several probable cases of people who are absolutely commitment to MFPL work whose commitment was solidified by travel and international work; that work gives a whole other meaning to the work of MFPL that you don't necessarily see when you're only working in the US.
  • Daniel Strum: "and sending delegates from the US Social Forum Information, Communications and Technology working group to forums in 2012" – why is this a MFPL is we're sending delegates from another organization? The lines don't seem to be clear of where MFPL ends and other things start. Why would it be our job to send delegates from the USSF ICT to the WSF?
    • Jamie: we should remove the reference from the USSF ICT; there are potential alternative funding sources that would be available to send MFPL people to the WSF that don't involve the MFPL budget.
    • Alfredo: we run the USSF ICT, but that working group usually decides to send MFPL members.
  • Daniel Strum: this proposal does not in any way spell out what our support is; it leaves it very open, which is good, but we need to look at what we can do when we actually start working on these things and what's needed. We should always try to work with other people rather than work on our own, have other people take leads on certain things so we're not always the people having our resources drained. I would support the way it is with the caveat that again, if it's going to suddenly take on huge amounts of resources that are not specifically spelled out in the proposal, that needs to come back to the LC for another look.

Vote

  • Louis: yes, Jamie: yes, Alfredo: yes, dkg: yes, Carlos: yes, Daniel Strum: yes, Josue: yes, Jack: no
  • Proposal passes with one objection. Jack's concerns are noted.
  • Jack clarifies that if we were using consensus her no vote would not translate into a block.

public-policy

View the proposal

Clarifying questions

  • Carlos: Do we know what involvement in membership in these organizations will involve? What is our capacity to be members of these other bodies?
    • Jamie: minimal time or resources, mostly just signing off on this, with the exception of attendance at the APC meeting if there is outside funding
  • Carlos: who decides on what to sign off on?
    • Jamie: the director makes that decision and only signs onto letters or petitions that are extremely in line with the MFPL mission.
    • dkg: if things come up where there's not a clear decision around whether MFPL should sign up, it seems reasonable to bring that to the LC for feedback. Jamie shouldn't have to make that call himself all the time.

Concerns

None.

Vote

  • Louis: yes, Jamie: yes, Alfredo: yes, dkg: yes, Carlos: yes, Daniel Strum: yes, Josue: yes, Jack: yes
  • Proposal passes unanimously.

movement-support

View the proposal

Clarifying questions

  • dkg: is the intent of this proposal to extend the offer of free membership to any Occupy group?
    • Jamie: the proposal excludes that offer, the offer is still on the table, and the influx has slowed to the trickle (~2 in the last few weeks.)

Concerns

  • Jack: a general concern about things being pretty vague
    • dkg: there's a balance to be struck; the less vague it becomes, the more we're managing the day-to-day decisions. Not sure what the balance should be.
    • Jamie: probably most vague since we have no idea what will happen in 2012. If an important, prominent movement-based activity occurred, we were invited to do video streaming for the event, and it was funded, this would be allowed by the proposal; without funding it would not be allowed. As soon as it costs any money or is at all more resource intensive than a specific proposal needs to be made to the LC.
    • Daniel Strum: this sort of proposal should go into a governance document as a general way of operating, rather than a proposal that comes up every year. This is so general that it's just the way we operate.
    • Does anyone disagree with that? (no one disagrees)
  • Decision: the movement support proposal will be struck and will instead be added elsewhere so that it's incorporated into the general operation of MFPL.
    • Alfredo: this is a huge, because we could not decide to not focus on movement work. Example: if we decided to focus only on building infrastructure, we couldn't because of this commitment.
    • Josue: deciding what is or is not movement-related or a movement opportunity would be lots of fun to discuss; building the infrastructure of MFPL is one of the most important things we can do for the movement. This is huge, but it doesn't necessarily close of some discussions or conversations.
    • Jamie: this proposal is specifically about supporting movements, summits, and critical moments.
    • Alfredo: can we make this decision without the rest of the membership?
    • dkg: if this proposal meant something like rewriting the charter, then we'd have to take this to a membership, but that's not what this is doing.
    • Daniel Strum: I'm not proposing that we are no longer able to make decisions about this, but rather that the decision making about this is a core level function of MFPL and does not have to be a proposal every year. This really gets to the heart of what MFPL is about; we'll constantly need to make decisions about movements and critical moments.
    • Jamie: propose that we agree with that idea and take up the details in the decision-making committee; if we approve the decision-making proposal, we will formalize the decision-making process and present it to the membership.

Vote

Removed from docket, to be incorporated into general operating procedures for organization

pocttp

View the proposal

Clarifying questions

  • What does the partnership look like at this point?
    • process delayed by six months; Praxis and PTP each committed $10K. No financial commitment from MFPL.

Concerns

None.

Vote

  • Jack: yes, Josue: yes, Daniel Strum: yes, Carlos: yes, dkg: yes, Alfredo: yes, Jamie: yes, Louis: yes
  • Proposal passes unanimously.

es

View the proposal

Clarifying questions

  • Alfredo: how many Mexican groups have signed up?
    • About 60 groups
  • Josue: mayfirst.org has an English and a Spanish link, but nothing happens when you click on Spanish. Why is the link there?
    • That's a bug.
    • Enrique: But some links on the front page are translated already; content is in Spanish on about 8 pages, the rest still pending.
    • Jamie: $1500 for travel time will be used in the same way

Concerns

  • Jack: would love to see this done with an eye to supporting additional languages in the future.
    • Jamie: already working in that way, though it would be a definite LC decision to add other languages.

Vote

  • dkg: yes, Carlos: yes, Daniel Strum: yes, Josue: yes, Jack: yes, Alfredo: yes, Jamie: yes, Louis: yes
  • Proposal passes unanimously.

engage-members

View the proposal

Clarifying questions

  • dkg: no clear timeline in the proposal as written for organizing four face-to-face meetings
    • Jamie: this should be clarified as calendar year 2012 (Gregorian Calendar)
  • Daniel Strum: does it spell out who actually organizes these meetings?
    • Jamie: no; by default that would be staff responsibility, including LC members as needed. Suggesting amending it to require one non-staff LC member to help with organizing these meetings; we'd need to wait 72 hours before a vote for discussion. We don't have to have a phone call to make the decision, it could be done over email within a certain voting period.
    • Daniel Strum: I think this would be a really good precedent; people would have to gauge whether people are actually willing to do things for the LC. It's also a good test of our structure to see whether this works or not. It's a good experiment to do; I would say yes to both the proposal as it stands and to the amendment. Process should be an email to the LC, 72 hours, then another email telling people it's time to vote.
    • Jack: with the amendment, if someone from LC doesn't step up, does that mean this won't happen?
    • Jamie: if no non-staff LC member steps up to help, does that mean
    • dkg: the "not allowed" part is weird; I didn't think that any of my involvement in MFPL involves any bar on me doing something
    • (missed some notes here)
    • Daniel Strum: the proposal is what we're trying to do, if it's impossible to do, then we still do the best we can with what we have. That's pretty standard with this type of organizing, if it's impossible then one or two people should take the lead and run with it.
    • Jamie: this amendment provides us an evaluation point -- was the LC involved in organizing this? If it wasn't, that provides something to consider.
    • Jack: quorum is required for decision making, and LC involvement in this is required; "required" means two different things there, just wanted clarity on which we meant.

Vote

Jamie will add the amendment to the proposal, will email the LC when the amendment is made and start the 72hr discussion period. At the end of that 72hrs Jamie will send an email starting the voting process, which will then end in 24 hours.

decision-making

View the proposal?

Clarifying questions

  • When will the process be presented to the membership for approval?
    • At the annual membership meeting

Vote

  • Louis: yes, Jamie: yes, Alfredo: yes, dkg: yes, Carlos: yes, Daniel Strum: yes, Josue: yes, Jack: yes
  • Proposal passes unanimously.

membership-meeting

View the proposal

Clarifying questions

  • Jack: does this proposal represent something different from how this used to work?
    • Alfredo: yes, there's only been one membership meeting! So this is different.

Concerns

None.

Vote

  • Jack: yes, Josue: yes, Daniel Strum: yes, Carlos: yes, dkg: Oui, Alfredo: yes, Jamie: yes
  • Proposal passes unanimously

Feedback on the process used in this call

  • Carlos: 10 proposals might be a lot, maybe because we talked through some a lot; took a while to get into it and follow along, sometimes lost the thread of some of the back and forth; might be a personal thing. Maybe there should be less proposals, or if we know there's going to be a lot of back and forth we could break it up more.
  • Daniel Strum: this was a bit of a compromise this year because so much is changing; our in-person meeting from now on will hopefully deal with a lot of this stuff. Jamie did a great job. Process went fairly well.
  • Louis: liked that the proposals were laid out in advance, plenty of time to look at them and understand what was going on. Probably would've responded like Carlos if I were newer to the LC; keep it to less items in the future, the better, allows us to focus in more.
  • Enrique: for me there were several new concepts, would like to talk later to go into details, missed some points related to the debate. Would be glad to have the chance to talk later.
  • Jack: process went remarkably well, was really good.
  • dkg: the process went well but the number of items is too large to handle in a meeting of this length. Thank you to Jamie for organizing this!
  • Jamie: thanks to all, agree about less proposals from here on out.
  • Enrique: thanks to LC and support team for support
  • dkg: thanks to Enrique and Ross for being on the call
Last modified 8 years ago Last modified on Jan 26, 2012, 3:21:59 PM