From US Social Forum Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
US Social Forum
National Planning Committee Meeting
16 June 2009
Facilitator-- Ariel Dougherty
Notetaker-- Jacqui Patterson


Adrienne Brown, The Ruckus Society
Alfredo Lopez, Technology Working Group
Ariel Dougherty, Women’s Working Group
Cindy Wiesner, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Jacqui Patterson, Women’s Working Group
Jerome Scott, League of Revolutionaries for a New America
Lottie Smith, EMEAC
Maureen Taylor, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization
Ricardo Martinez, Padres y Jovenes Unidos
Rocio Valerio, EMEAC
Sarita Gupta, Jobs with Justice
Stephanie Guilloud, Project South
Sylvia Orduño, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization
Walda Katz-Fishman, League of Revolutionaries for a New America

Summary of Notes:

I. The meeting was called to order at 310pm

In Detroit they are holding a People’s Summit to counter-pose the national economic summit. Tent city has been set up since Saturday. People are being asked to view this as a precursor to the US Social Forum. Corruption scandals, officials accepting bribes, people being laid off are all issues that are coming to a head. There is a big fight around the economic conference. The kick-off event for the US Social Forum is on June 22nd. We will be sending out national and local press releases launching the one-year to the USSF. A “Save the Date” will be sent to the USSF list-serve which is about 6,000 people on Monday, June 22.

III. Staffing

Anchors are reviewing job descriptions and considering positions around technology, communications, and logistics. Michael, Rocio, Elena, and Stephanie are on the interim personnel committee to answer questions around contracts, health care options, etc

IV. Working Groups

a. Outreach—Detroit outreach committee put together a wonderful PowerPoint that can be used local and national level. At the last meeting the group came up with suggestions re what can be added including outreach to different sectors: i.e. senior citizens component, block club, and Head Start. They are developing materials for outreach and trying to get more people on planning committee. First call is scheduled for Wednesday, June 24th. There was a meeting of Chinese workers’ organizations that happened in the Northeast, they are planning for a convening of Chinese Workers organizations at the USSF. There is a plan for Vietnamese left gathering to happen at the Social Forum. There is also the Palestinian national organizing committee that is considering joining the NPC. Save the Date message should be going out this Monday to the listserv. Creation of materials, branding, new look will have to happen at the face-to-face meeting. AFSCME is meeting in Chicago this weekend and JwJ will be doing outreach there, as well as to other labor bodies. JwJ did debriefing sessions at AFL-CIO of Americas and World Social Forums; there are efforts to begin organizing the Labor/Workers Center committee of the NPC.

b. Communications—The group is working on a press release. They are sending messages to 6,000+ on listserv and are working with the technology group on website content. Question: Out of the 10 slots at the AMC for the NPC, what is the distribution? Proposal is that 5 seats be available to the NPC and 6 to the DLOC. An email will be sent to the NPC list seeking expressions of interest.

c. Technology--The group is operational with 15-20 people involved. Nancy and Sylvia are members. They are working on integrating the working group into forum organizing. There are 12 email lists and they are adding new ones every week. They have set up a Wiki system and are working on upgrading of the website. The system is equipped to receive online donations through one of the Drupal modules. The site can start taking donations by June 20th A Wiki training will be conducted in Detroit around the next NPC meeting so that everyone can use the wiki efficiently.

d. People’s Movement Assembly — a gathering will occur on July 31st in Kentucky. Folks from Detroit and different regions including NW, SW, SE and Indigenous Environmental Network have committed to participating. Outputs will include timeline for Assemblies around the country, organizing kits, etc.

e. Resource Mobilization—The proposal was that we pull together finance committee to draft protocols so that we can approve budget and how it moves forward, including fiscal sponsorship.

f. Logistics—DLOC has finalized contracts for Cobo Hall and Hart Hall. Hotels are vying for contracts and offering rock bottom rates of $70-$80 on rooms that would normally cost well over $100. Those on the call were asked if anyone willing to help with some of this work? The decision was that there was a need for DLOC to spell out what kind of tasks non-Detroiters can take on. Stephanie will also provide contacts from ATL LOC to work with this working group.

g. Program and Culture--Approximately 20 people are meeting regularly. The group needs direction re who makes what decisions between the NPC and the WG. Then the structure can be decided on Culture and Program, including a possible subcommittee structure. All will be decided at the face-to-face meeting.

h. Language access—The group will be hooking up with folks at Highlander and TIGRA, as they were instrumental in translation at the last social forum. Spanish and Arabic are the two languages under consideration, but they are trying to figure out what other languages might be needed. There will be another conference call in July when Hilary Klein (coordinator of lang. access in 2007) can join. One participant observed that a lot of hemispheric activities going on. We need to determine who is attending the USSF that will help shape the interpretation needs.

i. International—There was a meeting on June 8th and the participants were Rocio, Cindy, and Sharon. International Council and Hemispheric Council are interested in being engaged, there is a liaison commission that was formed in Morocco. There is global resistance around multiple levels of crisis. The group has the logistics piece including visa support, letters of invitation, etc, as well as liaison to conversations with IC and HC. The next meeting is Monday June 29th at 3pm Eastern.

j. Women’s Working Group—The WWG meets regularly on the Third Thursday of every month at 2pm. The group will start posting its meetings to NPC list. At the Allied Media Conference the WWG will host a caucus. The WWG is about to put out a call to form a planning committee to have an organizing retreat to diversify participation and content in the lead-up to the USSF2010.

V. National Planning Committee Meeting Face-To-Face

Objectives for the meeting--July 19, 3pm to July 21, 4pm

  • Deepen relationships between/amongst NPC and DLOC: keep improving communication, cohesion and collaboration
  • Political discussion on multi-dimensional global crises and the role of the USSF in facilitating a space for the social movements to respond. Also discuss how we deepen cross-movement building in the process, at the Social Forum and beyond: locally, nationally and internationally
  • USSF alignment with Global Forum processes: International Council, Hemispheric Council and other forums
  • Workplan Development and Coordination: local/national and working groups: “cross-fertilization/speed dating”
  • Develop a Collective Timeline and Goals for working groups, DLOC and NPC: each group answer the template
  • Discussion of overall design of USSF—Envisioning the five days in Detroit 2010: March, Opening/Closing, workshops, plenaries, Concert, Peoples Movement Assemblies, etc.
  • NPC expansion plan and new structure: Recruitment of new NPC members and identify other staffing needs
  • Evaluation of interim Coordination Team and election of permanent Coordination Team
  • Deepen our technological skills: Training on wiki, website, and CRM
  • Budget and fundraising goals, finalize Fiscal sponsorship
  • Set dates for NPC meetings till June 2010

How do we coordinate? How are we designing the five days? What is our political vision of the design? How do we create a collective work plan for working groups, DLOC, etc? How do we talk about NPC expansion? How do we structure NPC? A broader advisory body, coordination team? We need to elect the new coordination team. We need to approve the budget. We need to finalize fiscal sponsorship. We also need to schedule dates for NPC from now until the USSF. We also need to re-launch the working groups. Adrienne offered to survey folks when she is in Detroit regarding their vision and priorities for the Face-to-Face Meeting. She suggested Will or Maureen, Adrienne, Danielle, Cindy, Rocio, as the facilitation team. The meeting objectives were approved by those on the call. The travel stipend for active NPC members is $350 (1 stipend per organization). Reimbursement requests will go to Project South and will be processed within a week or two of receipt. Folks are requested to attend full meeting and if possible participate in the AMC. RSVPs for NPC meeting should go to Will and Maureen by June 26.

VI. Book

Changemaker Press out of Chicago is producing the book. The copy needs to go to the publisher before the end of June and it will be ready by August. Changemaker needs $600 to consolidate all meaning that the publisher is hiring folks for formatting, footnoting, etc. There is no charge for printing as it will be all digital printing. They get it all set up and then people order the books individually and they are printed at the time. For example, if one orders 10 they print 10 and then the books go out to you within a week or two. They don’t print until you order. $25/retail $15 actual. If one orders online less than that. To download and print yourself the cost is $5. At some point the hope is that USSF will make money back. Cindy moved the motion to approve the $600 to complete the project. Jacqui seconded. All were in favor and the motion passed.

VII. Meeting Adjourned at 440pm.