2020 Members' Meeting and voting process

Calendar of Dates and Meetings

Summary

Welcome the official 2020 May First Membership meeting page!

As we witness the implosion of the presidency, dangerous climate change and the rise of fascism, the role of the corporate technology titans becomes clearer and more complicit every day.

So, what makes May First different?

It’s not just the politics we espouse, or the movement building we are committed to, or even the free and open source software we tireless maintain: May First is unique in our commitment to democratizing ownership of our technology. We are here to fundamentally change the movement’s relationship to technology.

And that’s where you, a May First member, have an important role to play!

We need every May First member to participate in our annual membership meetings, even if it’s the only thing you do for May First all year. We need you to hear our reports and evaluations on how well well we met our goals this year and to help shape our plans for next year based on the constantly changing political environment. These are unprecedented times - so we need all the input we can muster to make the right decisions moving forward.

Our membership meetings will take place from mid October through mid December and will include online meetings, forum discussions and a one week voting period.

You can register for all events on our event registration page.

Please take a look at our schedule and commit to attending at least one discussion meeting and the main membership meeting in December.

See our infographic for the full details or read on below.

Info graphic

Discussion Meetings

All meetings are scheduled for 1 hour.

We will hold the following six discussion meetings. Members are welcome to attend all meetings, or you can attend just the meetings most relevant to your organizing work.

Each meeting will take place online via the audio app mumble and also have a corresponding forum discussion via discourse for people unable to attend the meeting or who wish to continue the discussion.

Additionally, written reports evaluating our work this year have been prepared.

Please review all our reports. NOTE: All reports with “en” are in english and the ones with “es” are the spanish versions.

Please let us know which meetings you plan to attend.

Schedule of Meetings

All meetings are scheduled for 1 hour.

  • Friday, October 23, at 1:00 pm America/New_York: Assessing the current political environment The intended outcome will be 5 - 7 bullet points that describe the most important aspects of the current political situation for us to consider while planning our future work. Please review the political environment report and participant in the forum discussion.

  • Tuesday, October 27, at 3:00 pm America/New_York: Technology Infrastructure and Services The intended outcome will be 5 - 7 bullet points describing our organization’s priorities in building our infrastructure. Please review the infrastructure and services report and participate in the forum discussion.

  • Friday, November 6, at 4:00 pm America/New_York time: Movement priorities The intended outcome will be 5 - 7 bullet points describing our organization’s movement priorities for 2021. Please review the movement report and participate in the forum discussion.

  • Tuesday, November 10, at 1:00 pm America/New_York Proposal on new dues structure The intended outcome will be a discussion to ensure everyone understands the proposal and to consider proposed changes before a final proposal is put to a vote by our membership. Forum Discussion.

  • Friday, November 13, at 2:00 pm America/New_York Board Member Orientation for anyone who is considering a run for the Board of Directors If you are interested in helping direct May First, this workshop is for you. We will share information for all prospective board members about how May First’s leadership operates, expectations of board members, the history of the organization and the organization’s commitment to combatting racism and sexism. Please review our board orientation materials and participate in the forum discussion.

  • Wednesday, November 18, at 1:00 pm America/New_York. The coop structure and membership involvement The intended outcome will be 5 - 7 bullet points describing our organization’s priorities related to membership involvement. Please review our coop and engagement report and participate in our forum discussion.

Please register!

Board Elections

According to our by-laws, 5 board seats are chosen by workers and 20 are elected by the membership. Of the 20, we elect approximately 13 each year for 3 year terms.

In addition, we reserve a proportionate number of seats for members who pay dues in Mexico (about 20 percent).

This year, given the current ratio of Mexican members, one board seat for a member paying dues in Mexico and six board seats for all other members are up for election.

The board nomination period will run from November 1 through November 30th. And the election will run From December 1 - December 8th.

If you would like to run for the board, please attend the board orientation (see above). You may also be interested in reviewing our board orientation materials.

When you are ready, you can nominate yourself or another May First member who has agreed to run via this form.

The Main Meeting

By law, we have to hold an “official” membership meeting with attendance by at least 10% of our members (about 65 members).

The official membership meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 1, at 3:00 pm America/New_York

Once attendance is taken and we have determined that we have quorum, we will be able to make proposals for member approval. When voting, individual members get one vote and organizational members get two votes. Even if your organization sends 10 people to the meeting, you still only get two votes.

The agenda is:

  1. Proposal on Board elections. This proposal will ask the members to approve electing the board through a one week online ballot system to ensure as many members as possible can participate (rather than only allowing the members present on the call to vote). See below for more details.

  2. Reports. There will be four reports, all based on the conversations at the member consultation meetings that precede the Members’ meeting. The reports will emphasize the 5 - 7 priorities each meeting agreed consensed on or the general outline of the proposal being put forward.

    • Movement Work
    • Technology Infrastructure
    • Coop status and membership engagement
    • New dues proposal (this proposal will include changes to our by-laws)

The Voting Period

May First has always emphasized the importance of internal democracy and we don’t feel a single on-line meeting is the most inclusive way to elect Board members since not all members will be able to attend.

So the Board will propose to the membership meeting that we conduct the elections via an on-line ballot (the exact same voting site we have conducted our elections for the last 6 years) for a week following the meeting: December 1 through December 8th.

In that Board elections ballot, members will also be asked to rank the priorities that were generated during discussion meetings.

Additionally, the members will be asked to approve or reject a proposed change to the by-laws regarding membership dues.

Our new by-laws require a yearly meeting of members at which 10 percent of our active membership makes up a quorom. This means we need attendance by at least 65 members (the exact number will be determined on October 31st, the cut-off date for voter eligibility). To evaluate this requirement, we will be counting memberships, not people on the call. We invite members to bring as many people from your organization as you want, however, we can only count each membership once when taking attendance.

This quorum is a requirement of New York State law under which our cooperative is incorporated.