Hi, folks – I haven’t had time to open the PDA emails, but wanted to put in my 2 cents on ideas for the future, and being even more (see my last point) effective . . if I’m repeating what others have said, please excuse. I have a lot of ideas – this is normal for me – and I’m very to-the-point – but it doesn’t mean I’m critical. If it should come across that way, please attribute it to email – you can’t see my face.

 

 1. Those issues meetings – in future, let’s flood them! They can’t say we weren’t there, It’s more efficient of our time if it works, and I’m told by old-timers it’s the easier way to get things through.

 

 2. Carl Sciortino suggests – keep checking w the powers that be every step of the way – “Am I doing this right?” Then they can’t say you didn’t. Lesley said they knocked the paper ballots down from nearly 600 to 350, mostly by rejecting those that didn’t have the Senatorial district on them. I suspect they could have done the same to the Iraq petition, had they wished. Carl also explained to me that procedures really were violated around the Charter question. I think the fact that so many were asking to do them one by one even though it meant 2 more hours must have rattled them a bit. However, I also think the Charter opponents shot themselves in the foot by trying to insist on a roll call after it was clear they would lose (and the roll call would clearly have taken 2 more hours). (Just to be clear: I hadn’t had time to consider the Charter, but voted to consider individually on principle, so they could see more opposition to things-as-usual.)

 

3  POLITENESS. No matter what! & comply with their rules promptly & politely when told to (eg. No nondelegates at breakout meetings). Granted, they probably exaggerated about this, and granted they were rude too. And granted they were likely looking for reasons to say we were difficult. But let's gIve them NO excuses for asking others not to sign! In any event, some people really are turned off to all of us and all the causes if we offend them by not being polite. And angry powers-that-be dig in their heels that much harder. We are trying to influence people, and build alliances, right?

 

RE: mechanics, organization, preparation, person-power: 4. MOre lead time for preparation would have helped a lot -- for the petitions; for organizing; for carpooling; for finding places to stay at homes. 5. Xeroxes of text brought in/ready ahead of time. (It was quite a cliffhanger for the paper ballots thing.) 6. There was a shortage of petitions, and it was sometimes hard to find them. The hotel room location and the CPPAX tent location did help. There was also a shortage of information sheets about the petitions.

 

7. At least for some of us, carry more than one petition together. For me, carrying all 4 worked; (people would say they’d signed, I’d list all four, they’d realize they missed one; or they’d sign several at once or just the one(s) they wanted to – efficient in terms of talking time). For others, carry just one -- also depends on individuals’ enthusiasm for the work. But in this case, the 2 for affairs and the 2 voting petitions could have been carried together. This also makes it easier to get those Senatorial districts in w/o taking forever. This is probably obvious – I focused on delegates wearing simpatico stickers (and I opened by saying “you look like my kind of delegate”). BTW, some IRV talking points -- I said I’m from Cambridge, and usually give my #1 away to a sure loser I really like, or whose top issue I really like, knowing that my #2 will be used ( for someone I care about, or for lesser of evils) -- a lot of people really liked that!

 

8. We could have carried maps of the dumb Senatorial districts. This would have helped when delegates weren’t yet wearing their credentials.

 

9. We should have drilled it into ourselves that we only wanted delegates, and needed to ask -- not only a waste of signatures, but a waste of time!

 

10. More $ would have helped some – to xerox, etc. Should we consider fund-raising?

 

11. More personpower -- this overlaps with $, and also with organizing. Splitting hotel rooms (could have held 8 -- someone could have checked) -- would have meant more personpower. And many could have done the $10; others we could have funded. Remember, most activists don’t have much money.

 

12. Earlier arranging of carpools -- avoids going by train, need to take hotel rooms if necessary. Maybe more would have helped out if they could have gotten a ride, and if they could have come both days, especially w/o going home in between. Maybe more would have come if they knew they had a ride for just one day. You get the idea.

 

13th, final, most importantly: A lot was done, and a lot pulled off, in a very short period of time, beforehand, and at the convention in a confusing setting, with opposition from the powers-that-be’ed (who will take us more seriously next time) – the energy was incredible – we did some real education – WE SHOULD BE CONGRATULATING OURSELVES – and we will learn from it, to be even more effective next time.

 

Kudos to all of you,

 

Martha Older

 

PS Doubt I’ll have time to write again – it’ll be a while before I can even read the emails – sorry. But it was neat to meet you all! What a swell group.