For matters requiring a vote in FAN

“For matters requiring a vote each FANNA will be casting a single vote. Represented FANs would vote through their respective FANNA at the neighborhood organization level. At-large FANs will vote online, the results of which will determine a single vote for the at-large FAN membership.”

This has always been a problem for me and a complete turn off. I do not think it is in line with our stated goal of inclusion. I think it is cumbersome, overly complicated, and manipulative ( not intentionally but none the less. I think our gatekeeping that requires agreeing on our founding principles is enough to protect us from someone from outside manipulating us.) I think every member should have a single vote whether in a FANNA or an At-Large voter. I do not want my voice muted by a majority opinion. Nor do I want to mute the views of another. I think separately we should encourage comments that expand on the vote that can be grouped and compiled for publication. I think decision makers looking at our data will quickly see this as an useful and transparent tool to gauge the opinion of our group and the range and strength of our arguments pro or con.

Along these lines “For matters requiring a vote each FAN member will be casting a single vote with comments if they so choose. The voting will be recorded and comments will be compiled and grouped under headings. This information will be posted on our website and forwarded to the appropriate decision makers.” Individual members are then free to make their case directly to their representatives."

@Larry_Sunderland Can you elaborate on what you find a turn-off?

I think the idea behind that structure is to be inclusive by enabling participation by individuals not represented by any FAN member neighborhood association. The at-large individual members would caucus as a single, at-large group with a vote equivalent to that of a member neighborhood association.

I don’t think there was an intent to prevent “outside manipulation”, just to maintain FAN as a neighborhood organization and not one where a single individual would have as much of a vote as an entire neighborhood association. It seems there would be little point to representing ourselves as a neighborhood organization if the voting wasn’t structured primarily around neighborhoods.

The idea of forwarding individual comments is interesting, and I look forward to how we can leverage it for greater impact and to strengthen our goals of inclusiveness.

Thanks for asking, Roger. Fundamentally the problem i have with most organizations is they try to present a united front and in the process degrade the diversity of opinions inherent in groups. A groups strength and effectiveness is directly related to the individual diversity of experience and knowledge of its members. Winnow that down through a voting process to a " winning" opinion at the expense of all others and you begin to see the " losers" lose interest and drift away. Pretty soon you look around and there is little diversity of opinion. So I think that is one of the the corrosive effects of the majority.
I am thinking about how we present ourselves to decision makers. If I was a decision maker I would be sceptical of any organization that said it was diverse and presented me with one strategy or opinion. I would still have to grapple with the complex nature of any issue. I would look at that opinion, file it away, and quickly move on. If on the other hand I was presented with an organization that’s presentation gave me a range of strategies collected from its members with the relative popularity of each noted and comments grouped and organized, I would spend a lot more time and find it much more useful. If we are trying to affect outcomes we need to be seen as a resource or tool for busy decision makers and have them linger over our presentations.

There are global issues, city wide issues, district issues and neighborhood issues and how we navigate that will be interesting. If we vote as individuals around each issue and have when we setup our individual profiles categories for district, neighborhood organization or at large, property owner,renter, business owner - whatever we choose, we can then spit out a vote that can be compiled and presented with the relative percentages based upon those profiles. Say on an issue that is district related there is 80% for and 20% against. 95% in that district vote one way and the other non district members line up some what more the other way. Property owners voted at a percentage of 80% and renters voted the other way at 60%. That gives decision makers some real analysis and keeps everyone in our group feeling heard.
We could allow comments on the vote ( limited to x number of characters) self compiled around for, against, neutral or some other headings.
It would certainly speak to our diversity and welcoming nature if we presented ourselves that way and it would avoid the corrosive effects of the mask of solidarity.
I think we could really have something that stands head and shoulders above any other organization. I know it will take some thought and imagination but what i have seen so far from this group makes me beliece we have it in us. I think we should wrestle with this for awhile before we lock in the by-laws.

Regardless of the by-laws, I think the “individual voices” idea makes a lot of sense for the reasons you mentioned. If we can find a practical way to simply let each voter on a resolution (whether a NA delegate or an at-large member) “attach” a commentary, we could forward the commentaries along with any other communication of the majority position of the organization.

Maybe there is some way to organize views as we have discussions in the forum before a vote. A framework for those engaged to self organize their position. This could then be attached to our presentation and provided to decision makers. Was thinking about that yesterday as I was working on FOR.