After repeated assurances that a move would not mean a downsize, thereby garnering our support as a Committee, the West Region management team: (A) downsized our Office and (B) dissolved our committee. After we worked our butts off to move out of the old office, friendly to walk-ins.
The staffer that worked hardest to accomplish the move is the one for the chopping block, most ironically. And walk-ins? No one knows where the new place even is (hint: near Red Square and Movie Madness). We've gentrified ourselves out of the picture.
So why do Quakers allow such evil in their name? Well, for one thing, they don't know what's going on. Regional Executive Committee is devoid of Oregonians so it was easy for the unrepresented state to have its Office axed, despite promises and lies.
These people hardly ever meet and most Quakers don't know what a listserv is and therefore expect the world to plod along as slowly as they do, with Business Meetings only monthly (guffaw), or less. Organizational memory leaks away in conference calls, nothing recorded. What a mess.
Nothing really gets done at this pace and our numbers are understandably dwindling.
Also, Quakers are losing their enthusiasm for Peace Work and prefer the blanket comfort of being against Climate Change, as if the Biosphere had ever not been changing, and yes, thanks to humans in large degree.
Such a nice safe discourse, the suburbs compared to inner city struggles with Racism and other cancers of the soul, such as Affluenza and "nuclear superiority" (oxymoronic in the extreme).
So sweet and antiseptic, to be against "oil trains" while gassing up at the nearest pump (oil is cheap this summer and USAers are guzzling like mad). Who in the Pacific Northwest wants to ruin nature? Talk about playing it safe!
Given a combination of ignorance and apathy, it's no wonder the back office blood suckers are able to ax the talented while keeping jobs for themselves. Capitalism gets away with so much profitable crime, is right up there with organized religion on that score.
The relocated Office is in a building prominently marked for sale by the way. Did our earlier landlord kick us out? No. Were our co-tenants begging us to stay? Yes. Glowing promises of a better tomorrow are what suckered our Committee into stepping off a cliff, score one for the West Region management team.
Even when the bottom line was starting to look good, they pick on Portland, as if we had nothing to do with things getting better. I say we did, and we will continue the Peace Program in Portland, with or without Quaker support. The Unitarians have proved reliable.
Things look pretty bleak for the AFSC though, just as it was turning one hundred years old. Rufus Jones was a cool dude but couldn't predict everything, not even Hari Seldon could.
Will we recover by 2017? Not necessarily. They're pretty stuck in their ways in Philadelphia, I'm able to report, having been to quite a few meetings there. Actual people want to talk Doctrine of Discovery and show up prepared to do so. But these privileged Corporation folk just want to preach to the choir and pretend our West Region will just go away. That's the east coasters for ya.
Don't expect too many miracles from people who know nothing much beyond Windows (we have some stellar staff, but are way top heavy in admin, judging from experience on the ground, not from abstract financials).