Minutes from AustinPPS’s 1/27/09 Meeting

Here are the (rough) minutes of our meeting yesterday. This was our first open meeting in a good while and I’m glad to say it went quite well! We will also be getting together next Tuesday at my apartment around 6:30pm (or whenever) to do some work on the Interview Project. I will be supplying the beer, chips, and salsa.

If you are interested but weren’t at the meeting, email me and I will get you my info. Also, even if you attended make sure you see #10 below, which we didn’t get to.

1) intros- me, matt, yla, john, dan, andrea

2) discussion of parsoc and apps history

3) interview project- idea is to develop survey to get information about austin activist scene and its habits, and promote thinking about vision and strategy and process among survey participants. also will include a public interview aspect where a public interview/discussio n/talk with an activist is done, based in part on subject’s answers to survey. we will do public interviews in March, April, and May. Probably at the beginning of those months. Later we will make the decision about continuing into summer or not.

dan and yla and marcus already brainstormed around 40 questions. next on the to do list is: continue developing, editing, and categorizing question list; brainstorm list of groups we want to make sure take survey; brainstorm activists for public interview; come up with good name for this interview series. after that we need to contact public interviewees about their participation and possible date for the open interview. also we will need to develop survey in print and online format.

during this discussion matt brought up a possible visit by michael albert, perhaps combined with an activist weekend that included a set of workshops. i also talked about an initial idea i had for an austin social forum, explicitly focused on vision and strategy, something we might want to build toward in a year or two.

4) email list. having problems with yahoogroups list. discussed moving it to a new list or using current austinpps.org domain. matt suggested doing a blog for announcements and having people subscribe to it to receive updates. Dan suggested having two lists: one as announcement- only list and one as a working, open discussion list. we could transfer people from current yahoo list onto the announcement list, and also send an invite to join the discussion list. Update: Dan has set up the two lists on the austinpps.org domain. I will send out a notice to the yahoogroups people letting them know they are being transferred and inviting everyone to the discussion list if they want to get more involved.

5) Matt Tedrow’s The New Texas Radical. Matt talked about his publication. In print and online at www.newtexasradical .org. We also suggested he go to the Z Media Institute and talked about possible funding and fundraising sources.

6) Planet Parecon- this is a blog aggregator for people organizing around parecon and parsoc. currently we’re trying to get it back on track and decide whether to keep it where it is, use ZNet’s facilities, start a new blog site, or what. Also need someone to facilitate authors and content and such until it is self-sustaining. More detailed description of this is posted on my blog (and at planet parecon). Decided i would email Z to figure out if/when they can both use and give RSS feeds. I just sent that email. Update: Dan made a technical fix so PP now holds posts for a year, not a week.

7) Gibler visit- John Gibler, journalist in Mexico, author of new book Mexico Unconquered, is coming the week after spring break. i’m setting up some engagements for him. one of these will be strategy-focused talk with apps and apps-invited people. more details as events solidify.

8) state of local gaza protests- i wrote an article on this. discussion tabled.

9) New Solidarity proposal- i’m working on a proposal for an alliance of solidarity organizations. will type up ideas and ask for feedback. discussion tabled.

10) Other possible group projects: Megan couldn’t make the meeting but previously met with me about her community garden project, quilombo (www.quilombogarden s.org). She also had an idea for “potlucks with a purpose”, and we had talked about ways to have an event that was part potluck and social space for networking and hanging out with other activists, and part substantive, such as perhaps a short prepared talk or proposal, with a prepared response, and then a facilitated discussion.

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