Sunday, June 24, 2012

The penultimate plenary (Sean)

I did not post here covering Plenary #3 as I think Louise covered it.  I, too, voted for CSAI 3, reproductive justice, on the theory that we, as a movement, can be more effective there than on the other issues.  One of the nice things about voting on-line is that we can see the results of the on-line poll almost instantly, in graphic form.  As Louise wrote, CSAI 4, exploring class barriers, was the front runner among on-line participants.

Unsurprisingly, especially after seeing the on-line results, no single CSAI attracted more than 50% of the vote.  It turned out that CSAI 3, when all on-site votes were tallied, was actually the front runner by a fair margin.  Nevertheless, without a 50% majority our process calls for a runoff vote, and in this case, CSAI 4 came in second place.  So the only voting order of business in yesterday's Plenary #4 was to vote in the runoff, and we again voted for CSAI 3, which won handily.

I did not have the presence of mind to capture what the multiple-choice poll results looked like in Plenary #3 before they disappeared from the screen, but we did capture yesterday's result, just so you can see what it looks like after we vote:

The rest of the plenary comprised reports and testimony.  The budget report can be summed up basically as "times are tough, we need more money."  The take-away for me from the BOT report was that the Beacon Street HQ is at end-of-life and moving HQ operations to a different facility is going to be both more cost-effective and more productive than trying to revamp the existing facility.

Although I have some mixed feelings about certain concepts, the testimony was moving (you can read it for yourself here).  Unfortunately, the first speaker spoke in her native language, which was apparently translated via open captioning in real-time for those in the hall.  For whatever reason, though, we who were logged on to the streaming video did not get the captions, and so could not follow along.  My Spanish is pretty feeble, but I got the gist, yet still I had to divert my attention from the next speaker to catch up with the translation when it was posted.  Something for the streaming team to think about for next time, but let me also acknowledge that they have been otherwise doing a great job under what I know to be trying circumstances.

Today's final Plenary #5 will be late for us, 4:15-8ish.  We're fixing some dinner ahead of time -- this is the first GA where I've been able to attend morning sessions in my bathrobe, and evening sessions at the dinner table.  I hope to have my final report done tomorrow evening or perhaps Tuesday morning.

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