Wednesday, January 14, 2015

About last night ...

I am frustrated.  I see before me more than a hundred people with essentially one thing in mind; the want and want for power.

They believe, I think, that power will get them what they really need, but may not really want; a seat at the table where their interests are being decided upon.  The appearance is that they would rather have power than seats.

If power is what earns you a seat at the table,
then power is what wins at the table;
might makes right.  Be careful what you wish for.

Might makes right, wikilink, is a decision making model
as indefensible as it is unjust and disrespectful.

There are other decision making models; better ones.
I don't know of a better one than a "roundtable".

Imagine a round table, literally.
Surrounding it;
  • a workable number* of indistinguishable seats.  *the number and the decisions regarding how decisions will be made, will be the subject of the first meeting.
  • a seat for a facilitator and scribe whose responsibility it will be to keep discussions efficient and just.
  • the leadership, of for example the Albuquerque Public Schools; the school board and senior administration.  In any case, people who are powerful enough to say yes.
  • stake and interest holders in number up to the workable limit.
  • those there agree on a specific topic to discuss and debate. 
  • Each seat holder is given equal right to participate
If you want to have an APS Community Round Table,
all you have to do is establish one.

All you have to do to establish one is to insist that the APS Board of Education make roundtables part of the agenda at District and Community Relations Committee meetings every month.

All you have to do make your servants on the board pass a motion to create roundtables, is to overcome the resistance of board members who do not want to sit at roundtables.  There are more than you would think.  No sitting board member is fighting for public participation in school board meetings.  Quite the opposite; to the tune of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of operational dollars.

You have an opportunity to elect a school board member dedicated to a seat for you at the table.
You have an opportunity to elect a school board member with a decades long record of walking the talk about stakeholder rights.

If you elect me, I will fight relentlessly for your seat at the table.  You have my word.

Who else will?

Not one candidate as far as I know, has endorsed the idea of roundtable discussions of important issues.  Not one of them is really willing to let you put your hands on the steering wheel.

Powerful people tend to avoid situations where their power does not protect them.  They use their power to avoid having to answer awkward questions about the public interests and their public service.

When the question is;
Will you provide for us, a seat at the table 
where our interests are being decided?
Any answer except yes means no.

Stonewalling means no.

Pretending they didn't hear the question
means no.

If you have to have permission to sit;
you don't have a seat; not really.

Do you really want a seat?

What are you going to do about it?
Sacrifice is the currency of commitment.
What are you willing to do, really, for your part
in the fight for your seat at the table?

photo Mark Bralley

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