- 10:00 Welcome to the General Assembly. What to expect today
- 10:10 Review ORMA successes
- 10:20 Hear from endorsed candidates
- 10:30 Breakout groups – Discussion of ORMA Priorities
- 11:15 Break
- 11:30 Report back from breakout groups.
- 12:00P Group discussion: What could ORMA do to make you more engaged in its activities?
- 12:30P Close
- 12:31P Stay-on call option
Agenda for noon discussion
Organizational Vision for ORMA
National OR maintains a database that contains contact information for 30,000 people who are “members” of ORMA. National OR defines members as all people who interacted in a positive manner with OR. This includes people who merely opened emails and others who attend affiliate meetings regularly.
ORMA defines members more narrowly: Only people who attended at least one OR event are considered members. This definition provides us with an ORMA member database of about 9,000 people. ORMA also has a supplementary list of contact info for 8,000 “supporters.”
Whether considering a database membership of 9,000 or 30,000, we are talking about a great deal more people than the approximately 1,000 people who regularly participate in various OR activities. The challenge for us today is to consider what ORMA is required to do to do in order to have a far more active membership.
We are asking you to address that question in 45 minutes. What do you think ORMA and its affiliates and caucuses should do to activate and organize more people like you, your friends, your neighbors, co-workers, and/or your allies? Be thoughtful, honest, creative and brief. Be positive. If someone else’s idea doesn’t work for you, don’t knock it in this session; just move on and be positive. Now is the time to speak up. Our aim is to have an “essential” conversation. Try to keep your remarks to under one minute. No one who has spoken once will be recognized a second time unless every voice has been heard or has chosen to “pass.” This is as much a listening as an opining session. Speak from the heart.
What are the actions that you most wish that ORMA would successfully carry out in 2020? And how would you determine if the action was successful? ORMA sets its priorities by a vote of its members. We last did this at the General Assembly in January 2019. At that time we voted to have five priorities:
- Medicare for All
- Green New Deal
- Affordable Housing
- Money out of Politics
- Voting Reform (Ranked choice voting, anti-gerrymandering, anti-voter suppression)
The need for action of each of these issues is at least as urgent now as in January, 2019, and the ORMA General Assembly Planning Team, in consultation with the ORMA Coordinating Committee, is of the unanimous opinion that there is no reason for the General Assembly to propose dropping any of these priorities. In addition, in light of the upcoming national elections this year and the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, we know our action agendas will be full.
Each ORMA General Assembly participant will be randomly assigned to a small breakout “room” in which priorities proposed by individual members, caucuses, or affiliates will be presented and discussed. We are using random assignments to maximize the mixing of experiences and ideas. In these breakout sessions, all proposed priorities will be brought up for consideration, so that every General Assembly attendee will have an opportunity to address the issues.
In the breakout sessions, priorities proposed by individual members, caucuses, or affiliates should be presented for consideration by all. The General Assembly Planning Team believes that every General Assembly attendee will be given an opportunity to address these issues.
A note-taker in each room will bring back your contributions. We will then gather together to get report backs from each breakout. Each note-taker is encouraged to report priorities that received endorsement by multiple members.
It is important that priority proposals include an outcome that allows us to measure our success. For instance, suppose you propose a priority to achieve a more progressive Massachusetts Congressional delegation. For this priority you could say that replacing Richard Neal with Alex Morse would be your measurable goal. Or, as an alternative, you might say that holding 40 phone-banking sessions for Morse would be your goal. The priority and its successful outcome measures are up to you.
After the GA, the ORMA Coordinating Committee will create a ballot of proposed priorities. Members will then vote for their favorites by ranked-choice voting.