Meeting Minutes 12-15-11
Twitter Account: We know Katie has access to it, but we haven’t figured out how to get control of it.
Rotating schedule for all tasks (i.e. press releases, website updates, responding to emails, weekly media group post recruiting new members) –
Jim: Communication – sending out action alerts and updates. Jim expresses that he has time, and he just needs a little help to set up a system. Erin mentioned emailing firstname.lastname@example.org , and that this could send out a mass email. We then talked about distribution lists and the pros and cons with that. The main con is adding people to the list.
– We then talked about how many of these problems occurred via facebook. David proposed using a forum in order to moderate. He mentioned how we’d be doing this on for high point. John will share his contact list via Google documents with Jim. Distribution lists vs Listserves. This would allow for a human moderator
– Jim will do the contact announcements, David will assign him an official email account, John will upload contacts to google docs, and Erin will help get it all set up.
Occupy Press Email: Stephen wanted to share the Press@occupygreensboro.org . Stephen needs to do this particularly since he has a lot of time commitments.
– We talked about rotating responsibility with responding / forwarding emails that come into the email@example.com. It was agreed that we create an email inbox (instead of just forwarding) and that we would all have access, but that we would have a rotating schedule as to who would actually respond.
Press Releases: How are these getting done? Erin talked about the fact that she tried to do it through the website. Jim said that he would say that he wanted to ask for solicitations live at the GA. Laura mentioned that we could create form. There already exists a sticky post that stays at the top. David suggested creating a simple submission in order for it to be mentioned in the press releases. Also included “when do you want this release to come out?”. This should be a reminder that is announced as much as possible at GA’s. We should include on that link parameters for how to write a press idea. (ie, this is NOT an editorial, template formats, etc etc). These links would be sent to a common email address where we could basically cut and paste it. This would avoid editing problems. Isabelle suggested that we also include a box where they can say “do you want the press group to edit this on your behalf without changing the facts but making it easier to read it for the press release”.
– David had a suggestion about adding as an item of action of asking “who’s new here” at the general assembly. This way the new people can be seen and people can go and contact about working groups etc.
– Jim said we should simply write up our proposal and hand it out for people instead of just discussing it orally.
– If PR came to us that included political commentary, rather than edit this, we should send it back to the author and tell them that they need to revise in such a way that it’s simply specifying the event.
– Stephen said there were two underlying issues that make this tough: One was that there were too many GA’s, thus it’s hard to get this information together. Two: we also have too many small actions. Having an action every other day undermines the attention span of the public. We need to have a strategic mission: short term, mid term, and long term. It was proposed that we need a sit down where we talk about “where do we want to be a year from now? What are the pieces that need to fall into place for that to happen?” We need to have an outside facilitator for this.
– John Kernodle pointed out the process is being refined that such things can happen. His point was that the GA was moving towards this point, but that it wasn’t there yet. It’s a process. Isabelle pointed out that proposals are often created via facebook, and this discussion helped to refine the processes. Jim mentioned that he feels that there was an organic direction for more strategy, long term based is occurring. He said that to present a proposal (particularly to number two of what Stephen said) might be a bit premature; we need to wait for people to catch up to those ideas. Stephen mentioned that there are other progessive groups that are working towards the same ideas as we are. We need to be allies with them, and maybe take a page out of their playbooks. We need to sort of have a visionary retreat, maybe sometime around april or may or so; this way we can move forward without having marches all the time to avoid attention space burn out. We want to get buy in from people who don’t fit in to a specific group. The more we have events, the less powerful they are. Stephen proposed that we have something like quarterly events, not having something every week. This erodes the public’s attention.
– We talked about what the media’s role should be in these events: if there are many events, do we report all? David said that the smaller activities should be geared towards creating contacts, not for generating publicity. Jim said that we needed to find a balance of how to keep people engaged without burning them out. We don’t really know what that point is, but it should be the media groups responsibility to try and figure that out.
– Stephen countered that there is limited time, and that he wants his actions to have impact. If you can come up with the same amount of time investment that gets more people to come out/ become a part of the group. Standing out on the street also has the potential to turn people off, and so when we target things like Walmart, we might turn off people who feel down and out. Jim agrees, but pointed out that within the group there were several philosophical positions that didn’t want to work the system from the inside, and only wanted to do other things. John Kernodle said that this could be a “yes and” process rather than an either or.
– David brought up the point that when dealing with people outside the media group, we should cut them the same type of slack that we cut members within the community. Isabelle brought up the point that the feeling of community that the media group has is one that the GA is coming close to creating. The difference between the Media group and the GA are size. Jim pointed out that political correctness can become oppressive at a point, thus the need to cut some people some slack. Politically correct speech is double speak for double speak. The idea of not offending anyone is really difficult.
-Scheduled weekly post on website outlining our current tasks and accomplishments as a group (it’d be great if all groups did this).
– Occupy High Point – David reported that we had a meeting with them and that their main focus was about education; about the occupy movement and things like the income gap. It gives us the flexibility to link with other occupys and share information as it comes along. David mentioned that we were going.
Other items of action: NDAA: item re: LA refusing to support it is found on the occupytogether page. David is going to work to try and link that to the front page of the website.
Isabelle mentioned about having a survey hosted on the website, David said that he’d be able to post that as a sticky tab.
note taker: John Wright