ACT MEETING March 13, 2013 ON CALL: Sylvia, David, Jerome, Walda, Liz, Jackie, Rose, Jen, George Notes: Jackie
1) General debriefing assessments of March 8-10 and planning process
Walda: Positive assessment of work to clarify political moment/framing.
Liz: Packed agenda prevented some relationship building; There were some moments where it seemed we pushed through agenda when there was a sense that relationship building could have been helpful. More one-on-one conversations would have been helpful to welcome people to the space and invite them to the work. Question regarding the OWS participants and the tensions surrounding those. There was confusion about what we were asking/ how we’re thinking about movement-building and this differs from how these folks think. ‘Horizontalist’ perspective vs. base-building
Rose: Noted that for some OWS folks’ (not sure which strand of Occupy) the key sticking point was facilitation. Saw a tendency towards the reduction of politics to facilitation and how this complicated our work together. Not nearly everyone who should have been in the room was there. Proposes a retreat of ACT to review New Orleans, Philly, Road ahead…
Sylvia: New people brought some good energy and insights. Some missed opportunities for relationship building. Introductions were too brief. We need to subordinate agenda to the dynamics of the room/group. Be responsive to what participants need. More clarity on PMA process is needed. Sylvia mentioned that she was concerned about the host org's (PPEHRC's) inconsistent participation during the meeting because they were managing many logistics and local crises. I'd like us/NPC to figure out how better to support logistics so hosts can participate more fully and so that work sharing is fair.
Jerome: We should have re-thought the agenda once we saw that most participants were not NPC members. We have opportunity to do follow-up with relationship building now. FOLLOW UP IS CRITICAL.
Jen: Impressed with the breadth of people given the short planning time, uncertainty of who was coming… Most tension was over uncertainty/confusion of new folks. Also different organizing cultures, styles.
George: nothing to add
David: Need for continued political education. Homework on political framing documents wasn’t done. Outreach was amazing considering constraints and changed venue. We did restructure NPC to create new ways to
Jackie: Tension, but some good connections were made –largely in the informal interaction time. Comms-Tech- modeled and will improve its contribution; had chance to meet and strategize Needed to lay out our ‘asks’ first/ start with Sunday-membership structure/ how people can participate. Share more about ‘us’ with newcomers. They didn’t know our history or what we were bringing in terms of experience and preparation for the meeting. More sharing of what we have done/learned/history of the USSF process. Debrief --planning process—Reduce time commitments on conference calls? Can we streamline our work more? Felt too strained to put in the time and couldn’t keep up with the details to make good decisions. ACT ended up where detailed agenda discussion happened, and this may have prevented more effective strategizing on agenda- i.e., Jackie had mentioned in an early agenda or ACT call the need to bring to an earlier time in the meeting the proposed restructuring of NPC membership.
2) Outcomes and next steps a) Need to bring to NPC decisions on new membership structure-- Allies added Jerome: *We’ll maintain existing process for adding new NPC members. We need to be pro-active and follow up with people to invite applications. *WE SHOULD ASSESS whether we need to modify this process. David: We need to reach out to folks we met. Follow-up invitations Rose; Concerns about intentionality of the process of building NPC. Sylvia: It would be helpful if we could outline the issues we need to have discussions about-regarding expanding the NPC. There are a lot of changes and pushback; We should stick with existing process and figure out later whether and how to modify. Liz: Did people step up to ask to be NPC, working group members, etc.? [Yes: Jackie-to Work Group; Jerome-ACT-UP/Philly wants on NPC; AFSC will revive their participation + others]. Main ask for other groups is work groups, we don’t have to resolve the formal NPC structure to do this. Walda: Johnathan MXGM—is considering joining NPC/Youth outreach; Alliance for Global Justice-joined WG on Road to 2014 Jen: Potential 3 organized groupings from OWS participants: Interoccupy, Strike Debt and Occupy Sandy. David: Freedom Road is interested in NPC role, so is Peaceful uprising, Resoruce Dev. Work group; The outreach was intentional, so the folks that were there with whom we’d follow up are part of that intentionality. Jackie: Do allies need to apply? Are Allies all organizations? We need to clarify. [Jackie will draft a proposal to address this for next ACT call]
b) Recommendations from this meeting to NPC about the road to the next USSF:
THIS NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT TO NPC FOR APPROVAL/DISCUSSION/ TASKING—i.e., we need to ask NPC members to help carry out these agreements. i.e., PMA work. Jen: had ideas of who might help play role- Tammy, Chris Jerome: Project South wants to play a role in PMA process.
WORDING FOR NPC CALL: Recognizing that we are moving towards building a national convergence of a US Social Forum of a new type and that this might take the form of a large-scale convergence in a single city or a decentralized forum held simultaneously in multiple cities. These consensus recommendations will be brought to the NPC for a formal decision. • PMAs or other local assemblies will be used to build towards and follow-up national USSF convergence. • We will organize some sort of national USSF event/activity/convergence in 2014. • Date of a national USSF convergence will be no later than 2015
c) NPC Membership invitations/recruitment-- follow up with March meeting participants?
- FOLLOW-UP: NPC LIST – Send notes. Summarize decisions/outcomes, Ask NPC to outreach/invite new participation
David: As soon as notes are cleaned up they should go to NPC; along with these notes. Jerome: They need to go to everyone at the meeting. We need a political and organizational report from the meeting. David will start first, short draft of a report: Open letter to the movement that we’re on the road. Circulate to Jerome, ACT for editing then it should go to NPC. Jerome: Report should happen before we got to Tunisia Jackie: ALL ACT members: Please review notes
3) ACT structure and process going forward • Rose proposal for retreat for ACT Jerome: Retreat could be helpful/ face to face meeting could be helpful to address some of these issues. Should be NPC-wide not just ACT. Jackie: Left Forum as place to piggy-back a meeting of NPC folks? Jen: Supports idea Liz: Good idea, who would plan that agenda and do facilitation. Strong facilitation will be key since there are some tough issues. June/Left Forum sounds far away. David: Sees consensus that another follow-up is needed/ Strategic retreat. Jen: Would help. After Tunisia. Sooner than June if possible. Jerome: Waiting till June is mistake. Need to keep energy going. Piggybacking with another big meeting is tough. Neither one gets done well. David: Yes, we shouldn’t mix this retreat with Left Forum. But let’s get a proposal into Left Forum. We need to pay for this, so we need to make a proposal to NPC to fund this. Liz: Maybe Rose will step up to help plan. Praxis may be able to help—needs till next week. Jerome: Committee in formation –can you propose a timeframe for next week’s call?
• Recruit new members to ACT (based on working group commitments) PMA Process? Culture/ Darryl? • Appoint working group rep. and alternate to decentralize and share the workload and attention to coordination work? • Can we find ways to limit time required of ACT members? • Determine how ACT will be coordinated going forward. Do we need staff-level support to sustain and ensure intentionality of our process?
4) Other business?
David: Importance of follow-up / especially communication with GGJ. Jerome: Will connect with GGJ in Tunis David: Need to follow-up with NOLA. WHO WILL DO THIS?
NEXT CALL Wed. March 20 11:00 AM Call in: 712-432-0075 Code: 388105# (564471#)