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Floor Sponsor

Nat Fortune, Franklin County

Requested Vetting: Ad-com, working committees

Proposal Text:

(1) No one may be lead sponsor for more than one proposal per meeting.  That person -- the lead sponsor for the proposal --- also agrees to become the 'project shepherd' should the proposal pass. 

(2) the Project shepherd becomes the contact person for all the committees involved in the project, including ad com, helping them keep track of progress (or lack thereof) and upcoming deadlines and milestones. One of the milestones should be date for conclusion of the project. 

(3) the project shepherd reports back to the next state committee meeting on the actions that have occured implementing the proposal and the current state of the project. This report should be no more than 1 - 2 pages, is to be in writing, and should be submitted at least 2 weeks in advance. Time will be set aside early in the state committee meeting (either as a committee of the whole or in a working committee) to discuss the report and the implementation of the adopted proposal. 


If you value your time, think the proposals you put forward and state com agrees to are important enough to merit successful implementation, and want state com to be a more productive body, sponsor and support his proposal.

State Committee meetings could be an excellent opportunity for getting work done: long-term planning, training, and implementation of past proposals. State com could also become a quarterly opportunity for productive, in-depth, in-person meetings of working committees. Instead, we often spend most of the day discussing and debating limitless numbers of new proposals, without any time allocated for their implementation.  By taking on less, we could make progress on those we do take on.

This proposal asks state committee representatives to prioritize their time and ideas by putting forward as floor sponsor no more than one proposal per meeting. It also seeks to improve the proposal's chances for successful implementation by giving the proposal sponsor an integral role shepherding the implementation of the proposal and assessing of results (and asking the sponsor to be willing to invest their own time in their highest priority). 

In addition, if the proposed project is an important priority, then so is the follow through, and the best person to ensure follow through occurs is the person for whom this project is their highest priority. At present, because there is no limit on the number of proposals a single enthusiastic representative can make and no incentive for a representative to prioritize their suggestions, the time required for preliminary consideration and explanation of proposals even the sponsor considers low priority or would have no time to help implement  expands beyond reason, crowding out timely consideration of other proposals and limiting the time available for state com to actually engage in long-term planning and productive work.  


Showing 9 reactions

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  • Scott Laugenour
    commented 2013-01-14 19:26:36 -0500
    I will support this proposal.
  • Nathanael Fortune
    tagged this with Will co-sponsor 2013-01-14 19:24:59 -0500
  • Nathanael Fortune
    tagged this with High_Priority 2013-01-14 19:24:58 -0500
  • Michael Heichman
    commented 2013-01-03 20:43:59 -0500
    Dear Nat and other StateCom Members:

    I believe that Nat had introduced this idea before he withdrew it at the last StateCom meeting.

    I find the proposal to be upsetting not only because I believe that this proposed policy is unnecessary and would be harmful, if passed, but also because I’m feeling paranoid about its intentions.

    I have been a member of the merged party since before the merger, when I was a member of the Rainbow Coalition Party. I can remember a time when the StateCom had played a more active and vibrant role in our organization. A time when we had lots of proposals, and from time to time many disagreements, sometimes quite disagreeable. It was a time when there was a great deal of discussion on the statecom-discuss list; from time to time, someone would resign from the e-mail list and even from the statecom, because it could get quite contentious.

    I believe that many of the veteran members of the StateCom look back at those days and are much happier that the StateCom of today is a much more peaceful place. As for me, I must admit that I once again represent the “minority opinion” and for the most part, do “miss the good old days”.

    I must admit that I have made a large number of proposals over the years. While my psychology is no doubt complicated, I believe that a great deal of my motivation has come from a belief that our small group of prophetic comrades has played and can continue to play a more important role in the future in the creation of a better Commonwealth, Country and Planet. To be modest, I believe that while I have communicated a ton of words, I have backed it up with a great deal of work and deeds these last 10 years. I just took a list of the current members of the StateCom. Some of you are relatively new and others have been around for many years. I believe that most of you have never initiated a proposal. The result of this proposal, if passed, would mean it would be less likely for you to do so in the future. And most definitely DO NOT come up with a wonderful idea unless you are willing to be its shepherd!

    In a very short period, Nat’s proposal has generated a great deal of excitement. He has struck a cord. I shudder at its significance. Most certainly, the future of our statecom and party will continue to grow more peaceful.

    I ask the manager of the proposal to point out examples of proposals since January, 2012 that have lacked a “good shepherd”. After all, if we have a problem, there must be many examples to support this part of the proposal.

    On the other hand, if the real intention is to prevent any member of StateCom to be the “manger” of more than one good idea in a 3-month period, I must confess my repeated guilt.

    For the record, I have made 2 proposals for the upcoming StateCom. Before I read Nat’s proposal, I had already announced that I had, after receiving feedback, withdrawn one of my proposals.

    I might be a little paranoid. However, I believe that my behavior past and present might be the major motivator behind this part of the proposal.

    I also want to share the following: I often find it difficult to find a co-sponsor for my proposals. While others seem to have no difficulty finding sufficient co-sponsors, I do. No question, the quality of our ideas plays an important role in the relative ease or difficulty of getting co-sponsors. There is a possibility (that I will not admit to, so I call it a possibility) that maybe from time to time, I have not received co-sponsors because my ideas are clunkers. Yet, I do know that from time to time, I have had difficult getting co-sponsors even when I know that some StateCom Reps agree substantially with my proposal. Group dynamics and psychology are a challenging mystery.

    While I believe that the “good shepherd” proposal, if passed, would be harmful, I question its necessity. Part of the template to submit a proposal is “implementation”. I believe that it would be very appropriate for StateCom to make sure that the question of implementation be satisfactorily addressed by those responsible for its implementation before StateCom would approve any future proposal.

    Mike Heichman
    Suffolk County Rep
  • Richard Vaillette
    commented 2013-01-03 13:51:09 -0500
    To anyone who has attended a statecom meeting in the recent past; the simplicity and logic of this proposal makes the Background/Rational seem almost totally redundant.
  • Nathanael Fortune
    tagged this with Will co-sponsor 2013-01-03 13:50:06 -0500
  • Nathanael Fortune
    tagged this with High_Priority 2013-01-03 13:50:06 -0500
  • Elie Yarden
    commented 2013-01-03 11:11:21 -0500
    Please, please, pretty please!
    Add me as an enthusiastic cosponsor.
    Elie Yarden
    Greater Boston Chapter
  • Nathanael Fortune
    tagged this with High_Priority 2013-01-03 10:58:49 -0500