2016-02-06 LC Meeting Notes

These are the notes taken in the US. See also the notes taken in Mexico.

Budget Discussion

Jamie-presentation of budget

Proposal to move to one location for servers/ reviewed the pros and cons-- security and costs/savings. Also plan to obtain portable IP addresses which increases our flexibility and ability to leverage providers. So the net impact of move has fairly minimal risks. However, catastrophic loss of servers in a single site would be very difficult/not impossible to overcome

Membership dues

Recommend effort to try to recover more member dues through follow-up on member dues invoices. hire contractor to do follow-up phone calls; possibly add a mailed invoice-which would require obtaining member postal addresses.

Question about whether membership will be expanding or contracting. Budget anticipates 5% decline.

Mexico- problem of dues payment-should we discontinue services to non-paying members to improve payment.

Servers question

Concerns about the future trajectories of attacks and steps we should be taking to protect from anticipated responses

The partner we're working with on the portable IP addresses has a solid history in security/protection. He resisted National Security Letter for years and fought it successfully. This signals that this is a good political relationship for us.

Requested changes to US budget

  • Add expense for hiring contractor to pursue late membership dues payments
  • Add additional expense for unforseen DDOS mitigation costs
  • Add new income: new fundraising drive
  • Add additional expense for general unforseen expenses

Mexico Budget report

  • Like US, we have some unpaying members
  • The Rosa Lux payment is $4800 and CIMAC gives $3600. CIMAC has not paid yet.
  • Mexico also raised funds for the Tijuana project - about $2800.
  • The budget is very close to reality - based on real income
  • There is a big effort to recover membership dues, most work is voluntary
  • In Mexico, people first look at service. We must first reach stability in service. Working through service transition of laneta members.
  • Expanding membership is political work: Francia, Jacobo working in different fronts.
  • We incorporated trasngenic corn - it is a political act. Speaks to trust in our infrastructure. Has had a strong impact in Mexico. Harvesting of transgenic corn has stopped - they are part of MF/PL.

Discussion: Growing membership and building commitment of members --to pay dues--is a key part of the work we need to do. Jamie has big role in the US as administrative and support and we need more support. BUDGET VOTE: Both budgets approved with proposed modifications

Additional commentary: Possibly use funds for interpretation to re-activate our volunteer interpretation group

Presentation of Membership Priorities

Written presentation.

Summary/Overview of Member meeting priorities

  • Large emphasis on movement work in this membership meeting priorities.
  • Big concern with security/privacy surveillance--this is fairly new
  • Concern about movement unity--building cross-cutting alliances within the larger movement
  • Member education and development-concern about our lack of communication with members and desire to address this.
  • These concerns all overlap. Addressing, e.g., movement work can contribute to membership development


Membership Proposals


  • Let's separate 1) raising dues and 2) restructure dues. Jamie a little opposed to raising dues, but interetesed in splitting existing dues into: $50 membership dues and $150 service fee. Membership comes with 1 email account.
  • Sandra also opposed to raising dues but in favor of restructure
  • First issue with membership: we need to be an autonomous organization and prioritize our own resources. If this is helped by restructure the dues than I am in favor of it. But we must avoid the perception that are a service provider. What can we expect from members not paying dues if we increase them. In the US median income is 6 times higher than in Mexico - affects our members.
  • We have to be careful that we don't lose our political essence.
  • To just offer email services but if you want to access more services, you have to pay what you owe.
  • Option: we could only increase fees on US side. It will take work from leadershi committee to enage our members.
  • MF/PL is supported by organizations that are not willing to switch to our services. If you give them the option to join with $50 a year, and you don't need the services, groups like CMJ will join. This would be a MAJOR change in our organization.
  • Good thing to do, should be done jointly with political work so people do understand the politics. Should incude people understand the vulnerabilities that are facing if they don't switch to our services. We need to hold the line to ensure the left is not shut down by using only corporate software.
  • People who join should sign a pledge
  • In Mexico - it would be hard to convince organizations to be members if there were no services.
  • Different levels of services is touchy, when talking about common good. We should try to solve the problem of collecting funds by collecting funds, not by restructuring.
  • On solidarity point - maybe they don't have to be so systematic. Maybe it could be done by polishing political differences.
  • JG proposes developing political perspective on different sectors and ask groups in those sectors to contribute more
  • Proposal to ask people to develop these proposals so we have time to discuss membership proposals
  • Principle of equity: everyone gets what they need and pays what they can.
  • About impediments to joining MF/PL - have we ever put it back to CMJ and others - what do we need to change in the software to get them to join?
  • Problem is that opposition to joining is not rational - most of movement doesn't know enough about tech to evaluate: that's proble - we don't educate enough. These are social networks - you have to be in the network. We can't offer that. We have to help protect people.
  • We agree that: there is going to be a proposal on new membership dues, different in US and Mexico
  • We did not approve increasing the dues
  • Setup new dues structure - this passes. A new proposal should be developed for the next meeting on how this should work

Movement Proposals

Jackie and Rob's movement proposal Alfredo's campaign proposal

  • Getting everyone in the room will be a big step forward and we should evaluate after the initial meeting. Can something similar happen in Mexico?
  • The TPP in mexico is very big here. Those that are here belong to different organizations, so we need coordination.
  • Maybe we could contribute by ensuring TPP conversations are secure when happening internationally - we have already extended our services to keep these conersations happening.
  • If we move forward with campaign - we have to speed up our internal process and establish a political stand that would convey all isms and global sentiments. We are all in agreement to continue developing this campaign with nuances from discussion.

International proposal

Jackie's WSF proposal:

JG: Mallory could not be here today - but want to acknowledge that she has done a tremendous amount of work in this area already

Still need to figure out how to better integrate member priorities into this proposal.

JG went to solidarity economy Mont Blanc forum in France on economics and I discussed importance of tech in building economic solidarity. One plank of the resulting statement was on role of technology - should be administered by and for the people.

JG proposes that we join the Mont Blanc board to participate in working on this project.

I await reactions for the next time we meet.

Last year we participated in APC (association of progressive communications) meeting. We have to resolve how we are going to belong to this group.

At Left Forum, Rob worked on global solidarity discussion. We would like to repeat this again this year.

With regard of APC: can people from US participate in Latin America discussions? APC has members that refect the full political spectrum from liberal to radical. We want offer our resources to mexico participation - our experiences, etc.

Other proposals

Enrique's on several topics

To be discussed at future meeting because they were introduced too late without time for LC to review


We approved JG as chair - we were not able to secure additional co-chair nominations. we will continue searching for a co-chair for next meeting For campaign: are we directing it? Or are we participating? Answer: we care calling it together, but it is too big for one group to direct Proposal: three meetings per month:

  • Admin team - covers budget, membership dues proosals, etc.
  • Campaign team
  • Leadership Committee

JG: Add internationalization meeting - every few months Modification: combine the LC meeting with the campaign meeting - happens in one 2 hour meeting (1 hr LC, 1 hr campaign meeting) Support team continues - but radically changed from an all purpose organizing tool and new features group to a maintenance team of members with root access. All new tech organizing and new features is channeled through the campaign meeting. Jamie should put this proposal into writing and submit to LC

Last modified 6 years ago Last modified on Feb 8, 2016, 9:07:19 AM