The possible elimination of Actions of Immediate Witness.
I almost squeed in excitement right here in the middle of work. This is something that bugged me about the GA last year in Minneapolis, the first GA I’ve ever gone to. So much of GA and the buisness of our denomination was focused on Social Justice it just seemed…well kind of bizarre to me. I couldn’t get why that was the primary focus of GA. The Board of Trustees, quoting from the UU World article,
…voted to put a bylaw amendment on the 2011 GA agenda that would eliminate Actions of Immediate Witness, a move that would reduce the amount of official business that would need to be conducted at the 2012 GA, but would also limit social justice resolutions at future General Assemblies. (Another proposed bylaw amendment would allow for the return of AIWs in a modified form in 2013.)
This excites me to no end.
You can expect me to be arguing, loudly on this blog, in support of this measure and if my congregation selects me to be a delegate again this year (which I’m going to try for), I be certainly voting for these changes. And lobbying my fellow delegates to do the same.
The format of CSAIs, although it takes a while, is better. It commits us to seriously look at all sides of an issue before making a stand. So much more has been done around CSAIs in my congregation than AIWs or Responsible resolutions – this is the right format to me. Although you lose the ability to make a stand on a sudden current event that’s suddenly bubbled up, we ought to be thoughtfully deciding where we stand beyond a 10 minute discussion at a GA.
I wholehearedtly agree with Gini Courter’s quote in the article – AIWs and the responsive resolutions have no teeth. There’s no reason that a congregation needs to even think about thinking about them, much less doing anything about them. They are pieces of paper to make constituent groups within Unitarian Universalism feel all nice and fluffy on the inside, but they don’t actually do anything. (I tried to rally my Board around the Youth and Young Adult responsive resolution, haven’t heard anything back on that front from a Board member yet.) They absolutely lack accountability. Instead of trying to make constituent groups happy with a meaningless document, how about we try to do something meaningful? That will actually change things? Or are we too scared as a denomination to do so?
Next time I see our wonderful Mid-South Trustee Nancy, she’s getting a hug.