Sunday, July 12, 2009

Continuation: UCSB Town Hall (Warner)

Schedule a UCSB Town-Meeting for Thursday July 23rd in Campbell Hall at Noon or 3:00PM (when we know that it is probably available). While yesterday's meeting was valuable, it was a "town-hall style" meeting, not a real town meeting (where power and authority inheres in the meeting itself rather than those higher authorities they address).

Preparation: Distributed caucus meetings to prepare action-items (resolutions and committees) for the Town Meeting. Caucuses should include: "Defend the University!" Caucus (convened by the group-Nelson Lichtenstein through Jennifer Holt); the South Campus Way Caucus (convened by Aranye Fradenburg); the HFA/SS Chairs (convened by Jon Snyder); as well as other caucuses throughout the university (for example of staff, union and non union, research techs, scientists, grads and undergrads).

At the Town Hall Meeting on the 23rd of July

Who: All members of the university are invited to the meeting, including our administrators, whom we would ask to sit in the body of the meeting with the rest of our 'university town.' The openness and publicness of the town meeting would be designed to do what yesterday's meeting began: to develop initiatives that represent the interests of all the constituencies of the

Election of a Moderator: the meeting elects a moderator to advance the business of the meeting: by recognizing speakers, running the votes on motions, and announcing those who have been elected to committees. Her/his job ends at the end of the meeting.

There should be three main tasks for the meeting:

I: The development of resolutions, the content of which yesterday's meeting has already begun to flesh out:
  • We must defend not defund the university;
  • We should send a clear and coherent message to the public (including and especially students, parents of students, alumni and business leaders) about the dire effects of these illegitimate salary taxes
  • We should develop a new level of transparency about the university budget
  • We need to develop witty and surprising ways to make this 'budget remedy' appear to all as the wound that it in fact is: let it be 'ugly and visible' so that it will be temporary, let it hurt the state as it hurts us, so that it will be temporary. etc.

II: The Appointment of committees to develop targeted plans of action:
(yesterday's meeting and caucus meetings suggest the following)
Publicity Committee: get our message out to all of the community
Budget Analysis Committee: get real transparency about UCSB budget
Furlough Days Planning: guidance on work actions, 60s style teach-ins, etc with a goal of uniting the university community in newsworthy resistance to the salary taxes
Sacramento Lobbying for UC Committee (to link up with other UCs,
provide templates for mass email letter campaigns)
Town-meeting Website to gather links to key websites out there, like
Chris Newfield's very important blog []
What other committees?

PS: Of course, we all hate committees because they are so slow and time-costly and ineffectual, but they are the only way to distribute work and expertise, make action participatory, and if each committee picks its chair right, much of the work can be done on email and meetings can be kept
efficient. We plan to be effectual. Committees much be large enough so their work can continue even when members are on vacation.

III: The Appointment of UCSB Town meeting Selectpersons/ Steering Committee; this group of 7 would have a very limited function: to be the official email addresses destination for the UCSB Town Meeting; it could be a point of contact for the media; it will receive and disseminate the reports of committees; it would receive proposals for future town meetings; it would have the power to schedule such a meeting, where committees would report and new initiatives be undertaken.

Communication: Who else should we draw into our discussion?


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