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COMMUNET Home

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COMMUNET  February 1997, Week 4

COMMUNET February 1997, Week 4

Subject:

[Fwd: activisim in search of?

From:

peter marshall <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 17 Feb 1997 13:51:22 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (125 lines)

Gordon Cook wrote:
> 
> Date: Sat, 15 Feb 1997 17:11:23 -0500
> From: "Hans K. Klein" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: Paul Czyzewski <[log in to unmask]>, [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Newsletter Article
> 
> 
> 
> [...]  The goal is to inform
> members about a major policy/governance issue concerning Board membership
> communications, with an eye toward putting it behind us.
> 
> I hope we can air and settle this governance issue well before June.  By
> then the new ED should be in place.  With governance issues straightened
> out, we can move our focus to to policy issues.  *If we ignore governance
> issues, I don't believe they will go away.*
> 
> Once governance is not an issue, I would propose the following:  At the
> June
> Board meeting we should hold a "policy retreat" to identify salient issues
> for CPSR.  We will have to identify issues that the membership is working
> on, or wants to work on (mostly working groups, I expect.)  Then we have
> to
> consider how to support those activities from the NO.  In other words, we
> move on to substantive work.
> 
> If we don't get the governance issue out of the way before then, it will
> undermine policy issues.
> 
> Hans
> At 12:53 PM 2/15/97 -0800, Paul Czyzewski wrote:
> >At 02:46 PM 2/14/97 -0500, Hans K. Klein wrote:
> >>
> >>Dear Activists:
> >>
> >>Below is an idea for a CPSR newsletter article to discuss the
> >>openness-vs-effectiveness debate in CPSR governance.  I think it is an
> >>opportunity to keep the entire membership informed (and to counter on
> line
> >>rumors with some facts.)  If done right, this will not be a divisive
> >>activity, but rather one that presents a legitimate policy debate and
> the
> >>reasons and implications of each side.
> >
> >   I don't this is a good idea.  I think it will be (needlessly)
> devisive.

[....]
====================================================
==============
>   Hans K. Klein
>   Assistant Professor           Phone: 404-894-2258
>   School of Public Policy       Fax:   404-894-0535
>   D.M. Smith Building           Email: [log in to unmask]
>   Georgia Tech

[....]

> Date: Sun, 16 Feb 1997 12:35:45 -0800
> From: Erik Nilsson <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask],
>     "Hans K. Klein" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Newsletter Article
> 
> If the board is unable to resolve governance issues with the
> help of Activists, then seeking broader input from the
> membership will not help.
> 
> There are a couple of reasons for this:
>  - Many CPSR members want to support what CPSR is doing, but do
> not want to be involved in governing it. Many of these are the
> people who refer to CPSR as a "you" instead of a "we." Activists
> is mostly the "we" CPSR, but the newsletter reaches all of the
> "you" CPSR.
>  - CPSR members who are willing and able to participate actively
> in CPSR are on Activists. I've argued for over half a decade
> that email allows us to amplify our strength. It is more
> important to accomplish useful objectives than it is to spend
> disproportionate energy trying to include those without email
> into the discussion. If the argument had merit five years ago,
> it certainly does today.
>  - The CPSR newsletter is, IMHO, sufficiently dry as it stands.
> Not only is "governance" a non-value-added activity, it's just
> not very interesting.
>  - A cycle of discussion via a seasonal print publication is a
> very slow way to communicate. If this governance discussion
> drags on much longer, there won't be a CPSR to govern, as people
> who want to get something done will find a vehicle will less
> overhead. I've spent thousands of hours on CPSR projects over
> the years, less than many but enough to do some things I'm proud
> of. CPSR always has and still does offer great latitude to an
> individual who want to accomplish something to accomplish that
> thing. Right now, however, being a CPSR activist is something I
> don't particularly enjoy and which produces too little valuable
> product for the effort, because of tedious governance
> discussions. I need to get out of this mode pretty soon, or I'll
> be tempted to practice my activism somewhere that doesn't
> require so much time for masturbatory governance discussions.
> And there are plenty of other opportunities.
> 
> In other words, an article in the CPSR newsletter is a clear
> sign to me that CPSR is an organization I should de-emphasize in
> my life, hopefully for a short time until it becomes worth the
> effort, but perhaps permanently. I say this not as some sort of
> threat (CPSR probably means too much to me for me to abandon
> it), but because I suspect that there are other CPSR members who
> will have similar reactions, thus making such an article
> damaging.
> 
> I've said it before: An organization that respects my opinion by
> jeopardizing its objectives is worthless.
> 
> When I'm in an emergency room, I don't want everyone's opinion
> respected ad nausea. I want the medical team to gather opinions,
> be decisive, and do something. CPSR's agenda is life-and-death
> too. At the best moments, for me, it has had the immediacy and
> moment of an operating theater. These days it more often feels
> like a wake. I really feel that time is short for CPSR before
> the sprit leaves us. Let's do  important things while there is
> still breath in the body.
> 
> ****************************************************

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