Due to the fact that this movement is still young, we are still in trial and error stage. We are learning day by day what works and what does not and noticing areas that could use improvements to help our movement grow and mature. That is why we came up with the Well Oiled Machine Proposal. We have identified several reoccurring issues that haven’t been resolved and we feel this proposal speaks directly to most of these issues. These are things that will show immediate results when implemented.
- Forum Representative: Each committee needs a forum representative due to forum questions and comments being overlooked and unnoticed by the individual committees that the post was directed towards. The reason for the forum is for people who can’t participate every day at GA for whatever reason, to be able to participate in discussion online. If no one is checking these daily or at least every other day, people are left feeling discouraged when they quite often don’t get a response from anyone. Good ideas/solutions/concerns aren’t being noticed by many, and more importantly, we aren’t listening to the all of the voices of the 99%.
- Committee Boards: There is a confusion as to what committees there are, who is the point of contact , and what those committees do and entail. The fact that we don’t have a camp yet makes it especially hard to identify what groups are meeting where. To solve this problem, each committee is responsible for displaying a committee board at ALL GA’s, and HQ during group discussion and meetings. This does not mean that you need to pull out a committee board every time you have a conversation about a committee, but only when you are having a committee meeting. This board includes 1.)Committee name 2.) Committee details and purpose 3.) Points of contact 4.)Committee sign up sheet for new people joining. Boards must be in a highly visible area during GA like on the stairs or under the horse, in front, and not behind speakers and moderators. After the GA adjourns, that said committee meets at the location of their board. It is a nuisance to have to search through a sea of people to find the committee member who spoke for that committee at GA by a bench, by a planter, in a corner, or just simply “over there” . They can locate the committee board, see what the committee is all about, sign up for the committee and immediately become involved using the sign in sheet attached, and meet the POC and other members.
- Communication Members of committees must be in communication with their brother and sister committees to perform as efficiently as possible. Several committees are similar and have the same general goals and ideas, where one is an extension of the other. These committees should merge and have sub committees so the work is not being done twice wasting valuable time and resources as well as other problems this issue creates. Internal coordination will bridge the gap between committees so all committees can work together as a whole and stop the spreading of misinformation, speculation, and lack of communication within the movement.
- Moderators and facilitators cannot supersede format created for the GA, by the GA. This includes but is not limited to: Speaking out of turn, cutting line in stack, or adding themselves to the end of the line anyway once stack is closed, whisper in the ear style side conversations with the moderator and or speaker while they are on the bullhorn speaking. Moderator needs to be firm and not swayed to let anyone including facilitators, secretariat, or anyone else at the GA break format for any reason other than emergency announcements.
- Emergency Announcements involve anything including IMMEDIATE endangerment of our camp, HQ, our brothers and sisters, or the movement. They should not include things that don’t require immediate attention. Direct response, points of clarity, and things of that nature are not emergency announcements
- Human Mic We all know that time is the #1 enemy of the GA. While using human mic enhances audio, the time it requires at least doubles the amount of time it would take without human mic. Human mic at the GA should only be used if and when the audience is very large or cannot hear the speaker. The audience can let the speaker know they cannot hear them by utilizing the raw power of the elephant ear signal which means “I can’t hear” . This helps create more time for the peoples voice to be heard and less time repeating those voices. Extending GA’s will most likely happen less frequently because more people will be allowed time to speak if human mic is cut.
- 15 minute breakout groups meet halfway thru the GA as a productive intermission, giving time for people to communicate in small groups on a more personal level, and giving committees time to work on solutions and issues previously discussed allowing time for non-rushed friendly amendments as well as general further evaluation on issues brought up. This also gives time to stretch, use the restroom, and collect your thoughts. This break would be after proposals are presented, and before the vote is taken on the proposals. This allows people time to make clear, concise, and well thought out votes, and time to ask questions and engage in personal conversation with the proposer, and other individuals before voting.
- Stack A lot of points on stack are repeated. Taking valuable time away from the GA process. This has been brought up before but has not yet been resolved while people continue to repeat and rephrase what has already been said. The stacker will take notes on the stackees. The stacker will be equipped with paper and pen and will write down the main points that speakers in the stack line are going to present and address. If your point is already being covered by someone ahead of you on stack, the stackers will advise you that you are repeat on stack. We encourage the GA to signal point of order and say repeat if this persists, inviting the speaker to wrap it up and have a seat.
- Moderators give a one minute verbal warning before stack line closes and not assume that all of the GA is keeping time and knows when it is about to close. Stack line is 10 minutes but can be motioned to extend at any time.
- Direct response will either be a question or a point of clarity as opposed to just jumping on the bullhorn and cutting stack to get a point across, and/or arguing. Raise your hand and say direct response so that the moderator can see and hear you if you would like to respond directly to what the current speaker just said. Remain where you are , and say your quick piece, or ask your question (which should be no more than 30 seconds) Direct response may be given at any time by anyone as long as it is an topic and directed to the current speaker only.
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A couple points:
Direct Response is only supposed to be used to answer factual inaccuracies.
About the proposed 15 minute break, is that after stack on proposals? Or after they are read and before stack?
Also what if we have multiple proposals? We can't read 2 then intermission then vote on 2. The basic process we adhere to is that there is one topic at a time. We've seen how hellishly confusing it gets when people read 2 proposals before we are finished...
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One flaw I clearly see is that people that congregate around the speakers will be first in line at the stack and always have a say while those at the top of the steps will never get a chance to even make it in line before they get asked not to repeat a point.
Another general criticism I have of the proposal is that it adds layers of bureaucracy which will slow things down even more. While the movement is leaderless, it doesn't have to be pointless. An overarching mission typically keeps people and committees on task and can be used to criticize any bad decisions a committee might make. You can also always clarify and bounce ideas off of a mission without having to add more layers of communication that slow things down.
I think your statement is a good start but probably needs a lot of work.
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