wiki:projects/membership-meeting/proposal-2018

Version 4 (modified by https://id.mayfirst.org/alfredo, 5 months ago) (diff)

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Membership Meeting 2018 Propospal

This is a proposal to re-organize how we run our membership meeting. The primary goal is to increase meaningful participation of our members in planning our organization's activities.

For comparison, the number of registered participants in our last three membership meetings here:

  • 2015: 58
  • 2016: 110
  • 2017: 61

The registered participants include both NY and Mexico, friday and saturday participants, online and offline and are not adjusted to exclude people who did not attend.

The obstacles to increasing participation include:

  • Communications: ultimately, lack of attendance is a political problem - we have to continue working on communicating the importance of technology in the left's strategy for change. This plan does not directly address this obstacle.
  • Cost of travel: Our current meetings take place in-person in New York and Mexico City. While these cities contain the greatest number of MF/PL members, they still only account for a tiny fraction of our total membership. Travel and lodging is expensive, and committing to two days of meetings is a lot.
  • Poor experience of online participation: Up to now, our meetings have been designed as in-person meetings with an option to participate remotely. However, remote participation has always been an after thought and has never been properly integrated into our agenda and meeting plans.
  • Political Confusion: While our members' support for our political work has certainly broadened, there is still enormous confusion about what we are as an organization, our mission and role and why it's important for members to make decisions about this or if what they decide really makes a difference. (added by Alfredo)

Proposal

The responsibility of the members at the membership meeting is two-fold:

  • Elect the Leadership Committee
  • Propose the priorities for the organization for the coming year

The new membership meeting would take place over a one month time span and be held entirely online.

Panel discussion to frame the issues

We launch the membership meeting with a panel discussion using live video with viewers able to submit text questions to the speakers. The event is recorded and made available to all members unable to attend during the panel presentation itself.

Discussion site

We setup an area of our text-based discussion board (https://comment.mayfirst.org/) to address the membership meeting and encourage all members to use it to post thoughts and comments.

Small group discussions

Next, we announce 8 1-hour online meetings via either mumble or Jitsi (depending on numbers of registered users and our testing of the latest version of Jitsi) to discuss the priorities of the organization and ask all members to sign up for one. We pick a variety of times and dates including afternoons, evenings and weekends. One Leadership Committee member commits to chairing each of the online meetings. Our goal is to have 10 people per meeting.

If we fill up the 8 meetings, we schedule more.

We invite all members to view the panel discussion recording before hand (if they missed it) and review the comment board to see what previous groups have already come up with.

At each meeting, participants are asked to come up with three priorities for the organization.

Every group is responsible for posting their three priorities to the text-based discussion board (https://comment.mayfirst.org/) where other members who are not at the meeting can review and comment on them.

Voting

At the end of the small group discussions, the Leadership Committee is responsible for culling all the priorities generated by the small groups into a coherent and non-redundant list of priorities.

Members are asked to vote both for Leadership Committee members and are asked to prioritize the list of priorities.