2023-05-25 General Meeting

Our first meeting went off with only a few hitches! Thank you to everyone that attended.

Unfortunately we had a few technical issues with our internet connection. They were entirely my fault; I should have known trying to host two laptops on my personal hotspot would have been too much. Luckily we were able to access a (paid) Xfinity hotspot to smooth things out, but we will need to figure out a free long term solution.

We had hoped to record the meeting and provide a transcript instead of minutes, but that did not work out with all the lag during the zoom call. I’ll provide a brief summary of the votes that took place below. We should have a SOP for meeting minutes following Roberts Rules using this guide before the next meeting.

Meeting Notes

You can see the slides from the meeting here. Please check the notes under the slides for more context.

Dues
Dues will be minimum $10/month, with a waiver for anyone experiencing financial problems. It is important we do not like the ability to pay dues impact people’s ability to become members.

@HipGnosis brought up adding a sliding scale, depending on income in the future and cited IWW’s model.

@collectivestruggle suggested we should have a cash only method of collecting payments. Many people do not have credit cards or bank accounts so online payments methods only would not be feasible.

@WCU_Steering should have a proposal to address both points by the next General Meeting.

General Meeting Dates
General Meetings will be the second Thursday and fourth Monday of every month. Thursday meetings will be hybrid and Monday meetings will be virtual only.

Interim Steering Committee
Thank you to the people who stepped up to be interim steering committee members. We still have a lot of paperwork to do to get WCU up and running. We will make a thread in the Steering Committee category and will attempt to conduct Steering Committee business there so we are being as transparent as possible.

First reading of Bylaws
We presented a few of the key points in the bylaws in the meeting. Full bylaws can be found here. Please review them before the next meeting. We will ask membership to approve them then.

Reading Group
Membership approved a Reading Group covering the ABC’s of Capitalism by Vivek Chibber. There are three ~40 page pamphlets that cover the basics of capitalism and class struggle.

It is meant for people who are new to the left, but it should also give everyone a better understanding of how to approach the topic with people who haven’t been in left circles for several years.

I’ll make a new thread for the reading group in the WCU non-member section and link to the PDF there. We asked everyone to read the first 25 pages. First meetings will be June 1 and June 2 5:30-6:30 (two sessions to give flexibility).

Strike Ready Pledge
Membership also approved a Strike Ready Pledge. We should promote this on social media as well as ask members of the public to sign the pledge (even if they are not WCU members yet).

I pledge my support to union workers who are standing up for their rights and demanding better working conditions, fair wages, and respect in the workplace. In light of the recent increase in striking workers and labor militancy, it’s crucial for us to stand together in solidarity. If any union decides to strike, I will be prepared to support them in their fight for a better world. I commit to never crossing a picket line and to always stand with my fellow workers.


If anyone has any questions about the meeting, please comment below.

It was nice meeting everyone. A big thanks to those who volunteered to be part of our Steering Committee!!

My brain was working a little slow on Thursday, so I’m just going to jot down a few thoughts below.

-Like Harpreet mentioned above, I do think we should have a cash option available–in addition to an online option–to pay our monthly dues. And maybe we could also consider giving members the option of paying their dues, for the calendar year, all at once.

Q: What is wrong with politics today?

-I’m probably lifting this from Bernie’s standard stump speech, but I think one of the problems with politics today is that it works really well for the wealthy, the powerful & the well-connected and not-so-great for the rest of us.

Q: Where did the “left” or the Bernie movement fall short?

-A major shortcoming of the Left/the Bernie movement is that we didn’t capitalize on the energy & enthusiasm created, during his 2016 campaign, to organize ourselves outside of elections and build the kind of working class power that’s needed to push our ideas across the finish line.

Q: What should we do besides political campaigns?

-Skillsharing
-Hold our local elected officials accountable (calling their office, sending letters, offering comments at public meetings, attending their town halls)
-Reading groups (***And I don’t mean Marxist theory or text. Or at least not just Marxist theory or text. But also novels, poetry, essays, short stories and articles.)
-Help craft and advance public policy from a bottom up approach
-“Off the Clock” Events where we can give folks a reprieve from the daily grind of life under capitalism through movie nights, potlucks, art exhibitions, etc. And in doing so, we can enrich our lives and help form the bonds for a united working class.

Q: What is solidarity?

-Solidarity is showing up for one another when we’re able.
-Big acts or small gestures of support that show you care