We in the San Diego Chapter would like to intervene in the discussion of a founding convention, and the parameters leading to such a convention. See discussion of a perceived need for a founding convention and proposals for preconditions for a convention here: (http://www.iopsociety.org/blog/founding-convention) and (http://www.iopsociety.org/blog/2650-convention-conditions). And see Michael Albert’s blog suggesting a poll as part of the process of deciding under what circumstances a Founding Convention should be held here (http://www.iopsociety.org/blog/a-compromise-way-to-proceed).
We have two concerns: first, we feel that IOPS does not have the size or level of development necessary to be able to hold a legitimately democratic founding convention - especially if it is supposed to be representative of the entire globe. This concern would lead us to favor a long period before the "founding convention" in the hopes that further development will take place in a prolonged interim period.
However, our second concern is that if IOPS does not take actions now (or sometime soon) that the ICC does not feel entitled/empowered to take, we may see stalled development, potentially leading to the failure of IOPS as a project.
As such we propose that IOPS hold an interim convention to provide the limited structure and procedure necessary in an interim period but resisting the impulse to lay down permanent rules, procedures, and platforms for the organization. We further suggest that this interim convention be followed by a founding convention when the preconditions for a founding convention (decided on by the ICC and members) are met, but to be held no later than 36 months after the interim the close of the interim convention.
A Note on our orientation favoring Chapter Building:
We of the San Diego chapter feel that IOPS should focus on organizing and developing chapters in the period between the proposed interim convention and the proposed founding convention 24-36 months there after. We have two reasons. First, it is in chapters where most members will develop the political sensibilities and confidence, which is a prerequisite to meaningfully participate in a founding convention.
Second, it is at this scale (the level of the chapter) where much of the work of the organization will take place, both before and after the founding convention. Initially, a great deal of the work of IOPS must be internal member development. This will best take place in reading and discussion groups on the chapter level. Thereafter, much of the work of IOPS will be agitating, educating and organizing externally. Again, much of this work will be developed and implemented at the chapter level.
Through building chapters we will both be preparing for a founding convention and building the organization organically.
The Need for a Skeletal Organization to Support Chapter Organizing:
One, reading this might ask, if the San Diego Chapter’s concern is that an adequate number of functioning chapters exist prior to the convention then how does their position differ from those who favor having a high bar in regards to how many chapters exist and function as a prerequisite for a founding convention? The difference lies in the fact that we feel there is a need for an interim stage and quite possibly multiple interim stages, which require some level of formal organization above the chapter level, which will facilitate development and growth on the chapter level.
As such, the question to be answered at the interim convention we propose must be: What can the central organization provide now that will facilitate development on the ground (chapter) level?
We suggest we need a dues collecting structure to pay for various functions that at our current small scale could best be accomplished centrally. Functions such as (some or all of): up-keep and development of our IOPS website; the development of pamphlets for recruitment and readers for internal development; a newsletter/newspaper; a magazine or central organ for propaganda; and shared funds for regional and national tours and gatherings. But we feel that these are the questions that should be hammered out at the interim convention
What we propose:
We ask that the following questions be put to the membership and ICC prior to the proposed poll on preconditions for a founding being held:
Do you support the following statements regarding an interim and a founding convention of IOPS?
“The first convention of IOPS should be an interim convention, with the limited scope of developing central functions to facilitate chapter development on the ground level (for example, developing a dues structure to support any of the following: up-keep and development of our IOPS website; the development of pamphlets for recruitment and readers for internal education; a newsletter/newspaper; a magazine or central organ for propaganda; and shared funds for regional and national tours and gatherings, and any other functions the interim convention finds necessary for this purpose.). However the interim convention should NOT lay down permanent rules, procedures, and platforms for the organization.
The interim convention should be held as soon as it can be organized, without further preconditions.
Further, a founding convention should be held when the preconditions decided by the ICC and membership have been reached but at least within a 36-month period after the holding of the interim convention”