Monday, March 09, 2015

AFSC APC Meetup (meeting notes)

AFSC Meetup
Left clockwise:  Joanne, Kelly, Christopher, Marielle, Cecil, Anna, Mireaya
Not pictured: Kirby (photographer), Leslie & Pedro (on Blackberry device)

Check in included reports from our circle.  I took pictures.  Lots is going on, with immigration law especially.

How does the Board get input from volunteers?  YMAs (Yearly Meeting Appointees) at a higher level, but lets have Executive Committees come up with some ideas.

This group:  unusual in having a cohesive group with across-the-board oversight.  Dividing it more, while inviting individuals to join multiple "subcommittees" (PACs), if still wanting multiple commitments, is the next schema.

I had Alien Boy, the DVD, to flash around, before returning it.  That's overlapping with oversight of civil authorities, police and so on, by citizen bodies.  Portland has a few of those bodies.  Christoper, just turned 20, is on one.

Activists want a front row seat on training, community policing or whatever.

Program Advisory Committees will be more per program, with staffers calling the shots.  An overall APC is not required.  PACs are more focused (our PACs are not Political Action Committees in the conventional Washington, DC sense).

Joanne was clear that interlocking issues (e.g. militarism + migrant rights) would mean a lot of blurring of the boundaries, between this and that initiative.

Two of us patched in by phone.  Anna, a new mother, was here in Portland.

We probably won't meet as this large a group, with this many characters, in the next chapter.  We'll join "away teams" with staff when destiny calls.  Staff will be more like casting directors, picking which circus animals they need, depending on the mission (the task) at hand.

Volunteers don't boss staff, but sometimes they represent organizational memory.  There's ongoing dynamics with volunteers.  No one particular structure is magically going to solve every problem.

Mireaya has a clear vision of where she's taking her program.  She's cutting edge and needing fresh blood, one might say.  Shaking off dead weight, in program committees, shedding skin, is part of what's happening.  Marielle (regional staff) just said "fresh blood" so I feel OK with this metaphor.

Our APC doesn't consider itself deadweight but we understand the Regional Executive Committee has regional responsibilities and West Region is ready to experiment with a new design.

Staff expressed sincere appreciation for our work together so far.  The move from E Burnside (which was literally a near death experience for Mireaya) to here, marks a new beginning in other dimensions as well.

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