Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Sigh.

People who are going to GA while CC has to stay in Washington and work suck.

And judging by the schedule of future GAs, the UUA is bound and determined to always have GA right before the end of the fiscal year, so it will always be hard for me to go.

If we want to keep GA's ratio of hippies to non-hippies untenably high, that's certainly one way to do it as the end of the fiscal year mostly matters to people in management, accounting, and fundraising. None of those are big social activist professions.

And I guess with Sinkford's platform being social action, keeping the ratio of hippies up is in his best interest.

Grr.

I hate it when the people who can effectively game the system aren't on my side.

CC

7 comments:

jfield said...

I know I'm a crunchy hippy and all, but I'm only taking two days off work. Our state fiscal is June 30, but some of our programs deal with federal fiscal in October.

Many of my mom's acounting clients don't use either of these for their fiscal year. So many smaller shops just use calendar year. For her, June 30th is a little too close to tax time to end your fiscal year.

So it may not be a granola conspiracy. Most hippies don't have that kind of dough anyway. There is something troublesome about a polity that requires almost $1000 per year just to participate in the meeting.

Steve Caldwell said...

On 21 June 2005, Chalicechick wrote the following:
"If we want to keep GA's ratio of hippies to non-hippies untenably high, that's certainly one way to do it as the end of the fiscal year mostly matters to people in management, accounting, and fundraising. None of those are big social activist professions.

And I guess with Sinkford's platform being social action, keeping the ratio of hippies up is in his best interest."


I agree with our "Left Coast Unitarian" blogger that the biggest obstacle to attending GA is differences in economic resources (aka "classism").

The biggest problem for General Assembly is the cost for participating. For my family of four to attend GA (2 adult delegates, 1 youth delegate, 1 young fun camper), it's going to cost us about $1459.00 for conference fees and a hotel room for Thursday through Sunday.

And we haven't even gotten into food for the three of us who are not at the young fun camp. The only part of this being paid for by our congregation is the pre-GA "professional days" conference fee for partner in her DRE role.

Since I'm a delegate for my congregation and a youth sponsor for a youth from my congregation, I'm planning to save my receipts so my congregation can credit them as an "in-kind" contribution for my income taxes.

I'm also planning to bring bread, peanut butter and jelly, ramen noodle cups, granola bars, soft drinks, and other snacks with us for use at the hotel to cut down on our food expenses along with having some informal "hospitality suite" food resources for the two youth I'm sponsoring at GA.

Anyway, I thought the fiscal year for the US Government ended on 30 September. At least that's when the fiscal ends for the US Military and the Federal Government.

I don't think that the time selected by the UUA for General Assembly is a purposeful attempt to slight you and others in your line of work.

Between Labor Day and Memorial Day, ministers and religious educators are busy with church life to include worship and lifespan faith development for babies, children, youth, and adults. This is when most children and youth are enrolled in school ... any time during the school year would not work for parents of school age children and youth who want to participate at GA. The school year would also not work for YRUU age youth who want to participate either.

So GA is probably going to happen during the summertime because of school schedules.

Late summer is a conflict due to other UUA business meetings that happen in August (ConCentric, Youth Council).

Fall would conflict with LREDA's annual meeting. Spring would conflict with the UUMA's annual meeting.

The American Unitarian Association (one of the denominations that merged to form the UUA in 1961) used to hold its annual meeting in May. That would probably be almost as bad a a June meeting for you and it would exclude school age youth and parents of school age minors who want to participate in association business. And that would suck too.

Take care,
Steve
(a clean-cut veteran of the military with over 20 years of service who is only occassionally mistaken for a "hippie")

Chalicechick said...

Ok, different places use different fiscal years. (Odd that the government uses one fiscal year and the Federal Election commission uses another.)

Didn't think it was my line of work specifically. Congressional fundraisers number in the dozens and I assume few of them are UUs.

But LOTS of places use June 30 as a fiscal year. Most universities for example, and if fundraisers aren't well-represented in UUism professors surely are.

Do I think it is intentional? Not necessarily. But it is convenient.

A May meeting would be MUCH better for me. Don't know about anyone else.

Personally, I'd be happy if the week of the meeting simply moved around a little bit. First week in July one year, mid-June the next, then a year right before the deadline.

It doesn't have to be convenient for me EVERY year, but it would be nice if it were convenient SOME years.

CC

Kim said...

Yeah, moving around a bit would be good. Around here it conflicts with the SF Pride Parade every year.
CC, are you really completely against social action?

Chalicechick said...

Not totally against it, but I don't find the way we do it very effective and I worry that liberal politics is all people really know about who we are.

CC

fausto said...

Different orgs have different FY's. Most private sector FYs are regular calendar years, so the timing is coincidental. I think they have the GA's when they do because most of the ministers have knocked off for the summer but haven't yet disengaged completely.

If they wanted truly effective GA's there are some other reforms I could think of, though. They could require every congregation to send delegates in order to remain in good standing. They could consider whether to grant congregations a number of delegates in proportion to the size of each congregation, or to grant each congegation an equal number of delegates. They could require delegates to have specific voting instructions from the congregations on each agenda item that was disclosed in advance, and prohibit the delegates from voting contrary to their instructions, to make the votes more representative of the congregations' true intent. They could pay every properly credentialed delegate (out of the dues collected from the congregations) a sufficient travel stipend based on actual travel and lodging costs. They could choose GA locations based on maximizing the accessibility to the greatest number of eligible attendees.

Chalicechick said...

When it comes to locations, I liked UU enforcer's idea of switching it back and forth between Rhode Island and Vegas.

He's right. A majority of UUs live within a doable drive of Rhode Island and EVERYBODY can get a cheap plane ticket to Vegas.

Besides, "UUs do Vegas" is a photo essay waiting to happen...

CC