Friday, May 07, 2010

Passed at the UUA Board Special Meeting May 6, 2010

Business resolution for the 2010 GA:

Whereas the state of Arizona has recently enacted a law—SB 1070--that runs counter to our first principle, affirming the worth and dignity of every person,

Whereas the Association stands in solidarity with allies using a widespread economic boycott of Arizona as leverage for Love against this hateful legislation;

Be it resolved: we will not meet in a state of fear.

Accordingly, the Assembly hereby:

• Directs the UUA General Assembly Planning Committee to recommend to the Board of Trustees an alternate location for General Assembly 2012 at a location outside the state of Arizona;

• Pledges to generate from Member Congregations the amount sufficient to cancel arrangements in Phoenix for GA 2012;

• Pledges further to generate an equal or greater amount to fund ongoing efforts to Stand on the Side of Love in Arizona.

• Pledge to renew and redouble our efforts to become a multicultural, anti racist Association; to live as a people standing faithfully in opposition to systematic racism in our congregations, local communities, and in our own lives.

This was passed at a special online meeting* of the board that as many observers as the technology would allow were invited to participate in- a procedure I applaud and appreciate. The discussion was wide ranging, with many points brought up that are worth all our consideration. I have names attached to some of these, but as I wasn't able to capture actual quotes, it wouldn't be fair for me to put words in their mouths by attributing my faulty memory to them.

Cancelling will cost about $615,000 in penalties; shortfalls would have to come out of programs. (That's why fundraising is mentioned in the motion) It may also cost us in the future, as the convention business community is actually pretty small and tight-knit; cancelling may mean other cities might require advance money and more penalty clauses.

The deadline for making a decision is somewhat uncertain. As I understood the procedure, we have "dibs" on the dates in 2012, but not an absolute commitment; if another convention inquires about using the facilities, we will then be given a few days to make a decision. Since there's no way of predicting when or whether someone else will ask, the deadline for the decision is not at this moment firm. (If this is incorrect, someone in the know please correct me)

It was pointed out that going to Phoenix may put some of our own members at risk, and that they may not attend for that reason. A potential boycott of our own GA by our own members was also brought up as a risk of keeping GA in AZ.

The question of our selection policy was brought up, including the risk of our moving the 2012 GA to another city that would be unacceptable to some for different reasons.

There was discussion of whether it might be better to go and protest, that if our intent was to do something rather than make a statement, that might be more effective. Inquires about groups putting together public witnessing were made.

One question I have concerns the 2011 GA in Charlotte. In the most recent "Standing On the Side of Love" email, we were warned about seven other states that were contemplating passing their own 1070- and North Carolina was one of them. If this happens, would we be able to boycott, or would there not be enough time to change plans?

I wish I were able to attend GA next month; this may be an historic debate.

*If we can put together a virtual meeting at a moment's notice, how come the Global Warming conferences always have to be physical meetings at places like Helsinki, with all the burning of jet fuel that involves? Just asking.


Chalicechick said...

I read that Santa Fe is planning on making a city resolution inviting conventions that cancel Arizona dates (because we're far from the only one considering it) to rebook in Santa Fe.

Personally, I'd like GA to be someplace cooler if we're going to have it in June. I hope we do Baltimore sometime.


Joel Monka said...

I'm with you there- what's this thing we have about holding GA's in the desert in June? Baltimore would be great.

Bill Baar said...

I'm guessing Phoenix was chosen, at least in part, as outreach to Hispanics. The boycott, if effective, is probably going to harm more Hispanics (and I bet harm more than any harrassed under this law)....

Anonymous said...

GA's rotate among districts and/or regions theoretically to give more people an oportunity to participate. Which is why a Santa Fe bid would make sense. By the way, Santa Fe is at a higher altitude than Pheonix and at least marginally cooler in the summer. If Albuquerque, where we have a vigorous local congregation, has sufficient facilities it is even more pleasent.