Active Member Structure Enumerating Proposal:

Whereas: We, the few of us who are active members, have struggled for too long to do the monumental tasks before us as a party, while being unsure of what to ask for help from prospective active members, or realizing how thinly we are stretched at the state level. Meanwhile, newly active members do not know what they are signing up for, or what needs to be done.

Short title: ‘Active Member Proposal’

Sponsor: Brian Cady 617-943-2853 [email protected]

Co-sponsor: Roni Beal

Committees that Vetted: MDVC(Supported), YGUMB, No. Shore Chapter, So Coast, CMGR, PVC.

Explanatory background:

1. Why Sketch Out How More Newly Active Members Would Join Us, Now?

- Because then we can be more specific about where and how to join us, when we ask others to join our efforts. This could make it a very concrete question; instead of the vague ‘we want you to join us’, we can ask ‘Would you serve as local chapter-to-communications committee liaison for the next year, doing the needed work in the communications committee (for example, as the job is described at the below-mentioned spreadsheet’s job descriptions), while keeping the chapter abreast of important developments?’.

- Because then we can see just how thin our current ranks are, compared to what we need, to accomplish our goals. We're operating with just a skeleton crew; a ghost of what’s needed for the job before us, but we do not appear to recognize this lack of human resources.

- Because then I can go to local chapters and ask specific members to fill a specific empty role associated with their chapter - a very concrete ‘ask’ which is easier to think about, and commit to.

- Because then we can see how things could work, and we can think about how to make them work better.

- Because the structure sketched out would empower all chapters equally, rely on all chapters equally, and specifies personal job responsibility. This way we can have a state level group that is well-connected to our local chapters in each working committee, so there’s less alienation and more interconnection. Also we will know who does what, to encourage quality of work.

- Because when a prospective active member considers joining us, they can see the job description for the role they are considering, as well as past job holders. Perhaps their name could be entered for a role; a public commitment to their new role, letting others know who to talk to about this job.

- Because the job descriptions help us all, especially prospective and newly active members, understand job roles.

2. A vision of a more fully staffed crew of active members, with rough job descriptions, and some current and previous folks doing those jobs is available here:

- It basically has each chapter helping with each committee via a specific liaison. There are about one hundred and fifty odd liaison roles listed here. While completely filling these 150+ roles may be difficult to reach, major steps toward that goal would make a more completely functional party. Proposal summary: Each working committee will aspire and plan to have a liaison from each chapter.

Who will do what when:

- The Member Activator / Integrator will keep track of which of these roles are filled, and strive to fill vacant roles, and will work with local chapters to do so, by video or telephone conferencing with or visiting local chapter meetings.

- Local Chapter Co-Chairs will co-operate with the Member Activator / Integrator, and local chapters will help, too, during regularly scheduled chapter meetings, think about who locally could fill empty liaison roles.

Financial Impact: None.

Showing 5 reactions

  • Charlene Dicalogero
    commented 2019-01-23 19:58:09 -0500
    COMMENTS (followed by suggestions for revision, below; sorry for lengthiness!)
    The proposal, as I read it, is about creating an official recruiter role, creating “job descriptions” for volunteers, and recruiting a large number of people into various committees. (We could use a clearer statement at the top of what the proposal actually is—i.e., what is StateCom being asked to approve?)

    The topic is a critical one, as I’ve noted. I like that you want to create a stronger partnership between the work of MDV and the chapters and create more interconnection. The number the plan seeks to recruit is far more than are currently active, which is why I marked this “impractical.”

    My view, which I believe is different from the “volunteer focus” of this proposal, is that we are a party of members, mostly by virtue of being registered “J”. We strive to activate a diverse portion of that membership to run for office, support candidates and define a platform on critical issues, in order to change public discourse and policy, and ultimately achieve our vision of a better society and healthier planet.

    In this view, people who step up to join our chapters and committees are active members. Calling them volunteers, and thinking of them as primarily workers who can be evenly distributed according to the state party’s need, without knowing the people or how the party works, I agree confuses people.

    I propose that we think of all members as designers of a shared Green-Rainbow political vision, who are empowered to make those visions a reality.

    As party members who join chapters, people have an opportunity to learn, or learn more about, and participate in shaping the Green/Green-Rainbow agenda, while getting to know people who are already engaged in this work. As they are inspired and able, observing the example of people they know engaged in specific work, they collaborate to carry out the work toward reaching our shared vision.

    If people do not first join a chapter and get to know actual active members, then as you say, people do not know what’s being asked of them and what needs to be done. They need to get to know some of us, we need to get to know them and their concerns, and engage with each other in the conversations that build trust and understanding. This in most cases is the first step in becoming active within the Green-Rainbow Party/Green Party.

    Some people may join a chapter, or even a working committee, and assume a responsible role right away. I’m guessing that more often, they join through a campaign in which a chapter near them is active (& sometimes through deciding to run), where the work tends to be more narrowly defined by the limited nature and goals of elections, and where they can start out with low-risk, easy yet important tasks, such as standouts. Either way, probably some of the success can be attributed to intentional mentoring and relationship building by already-active members who they see at regular meetings.

    1. How about revising the plan to set goals over time? Setting a developmental goal of 20 diverse new active members by the end of 2019, and then increasing the number in future years, would make a huge difference in our party, while being more doable.

    While it’s a nice idea to get an individual from each chapter on every committee, it’s not necessary to get the work done. Requiring it might make forming supportive relationships harder. Most committees (except AdCom and StateCom) can function well with 5 or 6 members. Having someone I already knew from my chapter on my committee helped me integrate.

    For chapters—our “base” in a real sense—to function well, we actually need some people to focus on chapter activities, especially finding and supporting candidates. It may not desirable for every member to also be active on a state-level committee.

    2. The position of Volunteer Recruiter/Integrator: What if the position were called, “Member Activation-Integration Coordinator”? or “Member Empowerment Coordinator”? This might imply a different set of responsibilities and tasks, and a different kind of conversation with the new person, focused on the opportunities they have to meet other active members, and to start contributing actively to the running of the GRP/GP (as you know, a lot of people think at the national level, because they rarely hear about state and local).

    3. I know you talked about being the “first face” of the party to new people. How can the proposal be revised to help smooth the transition to chapters and/or campaigns? Could we write a flexible script that any member of the MDV could use to write/call people? CDLC has a script (which may not be much used yet) with questions to draw out new candidate contacts and help them figure out what they want to run for.

    RE: chapter empowerment, drawing from two of the CMGR’s suggestions

    4. Provide chapters more clear info on the various bodies of the GRP, and how they relate to each other and to the chapters. As chapter members to get to know new members’ interests and strengths, they can suggest compatible roles for their members—arising naturally from what they know of their members’ interests, personalities and relationships.

    5. Write and publish periodic e-newsletters from the GRP about what’s happening in the chapters and at the state level. The newsletters could include a list and links to openings for specific roles. With the context provided by the newsletter and the ongoing relationships within the chapter, individuals might be more likely to express interest.
    1. & 5 would empower newer members to understand how the state-level works, who makes decisions, and how they can shape and participate in those decisions, as well as what is possible for a chapter to do.

    For #4, work has begun on a diagram. Perhaps MDV and Comm Comm could collaborate on a brochure specifically for our new chapter members, along with the diagram?

    6. How could MDV and this new role help chapters do local recruitment? e.g., by increasing awareness of the existence of the chapter in the community, reaching out to community groups, and communicating ways to join?

    With these modifications, I believe we could more realistically achieve the goals you’ve defined of increasing the pool of people who can fill roles on committees.
  • Charlene Dicalogero
    tagged this with Impractical 2019-01-23 19:58:08 -0500
  • Charlene Dicalogero
    tagged this with Important 2019-01-23 19:58:07 -0500
  • Joshua Gerloff
    tagged this with Important 2018-12-12 00:51:25 -0500
  • Brian Cady
    published this page in 2019 Winter Statecom Proposals 2018-11-14 16:22:18 -0500