A message from Jeff K., chairman of the newly formed LifeRing Bylaws Committee:
A group of us have begun to form and staff a Lifering committee that will probably do a number of things, but will first be tasked with coming up with a formal proposal to implement absentee voting at the next LifeRing Congress. This was initiated at the 2012 Congress, the details are HERE
The goal of this effort is to give people a more direct say in how Lifering evolves in the future, without placing unnecessary burdens on people who are not local to the location of the annual Congress.
Currently, the Congress is the supreme deliberative and legislative body within Lifering, and matters that go before Congress are voted upon at Congress by locally elected representatives of the various meetings spread throughout the organization, elected board members, officers, and regional representatives – all of whom must be present at Congress in order to cast a vote. These matters include bylaws changes, board position elections, directives to the board, and other issues that require a Congress vote.
The committee will explore how to modify this arrangement in the future, in a way that allows and encourages broader participation by people who are not required to be physically present at Congress. The details are actually complicated, and digging into the question of how – exactly – to do this raises even more questions that must be answered at the same time, but we thought that one of the first things to do might be to cast a very broad net throughout the organization and ask for feedback on a few key questions.
1) Do you feel that you and the people who share their recovery world with you in meetings, email lists, forums, ning, chat, and other venues have an adequate say in the direction of the organization?
2) How would you like to see the absentee ballot proposal unfold, addressing questions like:
– Who should be eligible to vote? Should this continue to include just elected representatives of meetings (plus others specified in 5.6 of the bylaws), or should that be changed? Should we include convenors explicity? Paying contributors? Everyone who wants to vote? – What kinds of matters should be put before the whole organization? Everything that currently goes before Congress, or just some things? – How should future proposals be put out for organization-wide votes, and what role should the annual Congress continue to play? Should ratification by Congress be necessary before matters are brought before the whole organization?
3) However the proposal unfolds, what would you like to get out of it for yourself and the people who share recovery space with you?
4) However the proposal unfolds, what do you *not* want to see come out of it? What worries you?
We will be unable to make everyone happy, but we’d like to try and see what we can come up with together that makes the most people happy and the fewest people unhappy.
You comments are welcome, please do send them by email to the committee chair – JeffK – at firstname.lastname@example.org. All input will be reviewed by the committee and we will do our best to craft something good that helps move everyone forward.
Jeff, for Jeff, Joe, Byron, Becca, Scott, Andy, Mona, …..