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The 120-Day Initiative The Process

As many of you know, while we at are certainly focused and excited about our three event Weekend October 28th and 29th, we are even more determined that the follow-through on what we begin at that time, is successfully completed and results in what we intend: Four Initiatives for The Community to mobilize around in the areas of Community Development, Political Action, Business and Investment, and International Affairs.

Last Wednesday, we touched on the process of Dialogue that we will embark upon, beginning, in a special way, at our ‘Coffee Talk’ Dialogue Sessions which take place on October 29, 2006. And today we go a little further.

Part of why we are doing this in the open, although this process will only be undertaken by “Business and Building” Attendees, is to elevate the principle of transparency and accountability that we intend to be a hallmark of the evolution of this website from the foundation of information and education onward to community.

So, toward that end, here is a bit more information:

The 90-Minute Dialogue Sessions. We have no illusions here. We don’t expect or desire to come out of these meetings with total agreement on the initiatives. Each Attendee will have a brief period to verbally express and introduce themselves and share an idea they would like to see us consider. A 1-page form will be provided for all participants to further elaborate on their ideas and to hand in before the Session is over. The facilitator’s role is to guide Attendees into a conversation about the ideas verbally put forward, but not in a theoretical or abstract way. Rather, the facilitator has the responsibility of persuading and encouraging Attendees to explain not just their idea or the need for it – to inform and educate - but also how it would work as a Initiative. More weight will be given to explaining how an idea can become a winning Campaign rather than just why it has merit. Our focus is on operational success and how we will execute an idea, as much as why the initiative is being suggested. The easy two to three page proposal writing process; the purpose, function and process of selection of An Initiative Review Board; the Initiative Proposal review process and the voting process to pick the winning Initiative will all be explained.

The Thirty (30) Day period of on-line, off-line and telephone Dialogue among ‘Coffee Talk’ Dialogue Session Participants. This is where the rubber meets the road. The week immediately following the 28th and 29th, Attendees will receive appropriate contact information (and hopefully would have obtained some from networking over the Weekend). Off line (or online if they choose), Attendees can begin to feel each other out, reason with one another, form teams or even voting blocs in preparation for Nominations to the Initiative Review Boards, and Voting process to pick a single proposal for the Community to mobilize around.

The One Week Period For Nominations To The Three or Five Person Initiative Review Board. After this 30-day period, we will then accept nominations (by one’s self or others) for individuals for the Initiative Body to vote on to serve on the Initiative Review Board – which will be either three or five people in size.

The One Week Period For Nominees To Campaign For Votes Followed by An Election. All Nominees (who nominate themselves and accept being nominated by others) will then be encouraged to campaign and lobby other Initiative Members for their vote. The election will be determined by a cumulative voting process which allows each Member of the Initiative Body to cast five votes for one nominee or a group of nominees. This means voters and candidates can be more creative. Perhaps, some will decide to campaign together in groups of three or five, and ask voters to cast their votes in a certain numerical formula. Some may see this as a ‘ticket’ that, if it were to win, will get Initiatives reviewed according to a certain philosophy that a voter approves of. Or, maybe voters will want accountability and a balance of power and will vote two people on the Investment Review Board, who totally disagree with one another, thinking this will ensure greater debate and critical thinking and scrutiny over plans. The top three or five vote getters will serve on the Initiative Review Board.

The Two-Week Period To Submit Plans For Review. Following our easy two to three page Initiative proposal writing process, which encourages those with ideas to think them through in terms of their ability to evolve into a successful campaign and operation that can be managed effectively, all members of the Initiative Body are welcome to submit proposals to be reviewed by those elected by the Initiative Review Board.

The Two-Week Period For The Initiative Team To Make Comments and ‘Vote Out Of Committee’ Three Plans. The Initiative Review Board will comment, vote on and rank each plan with all comments and vote totals made public to the entire Initiative Body. The top three Initiative proposals will be ‘voted out of committee’ and presented to the Initiative Body for a majority vote. In order to expose all possible conflicts of interest, all Initiative Review Board Members will have to disclose their interests or relationship with all plans they review.

The Two Week Period For The Body To Vote On The Top Plan. With a period of time to allow discussion and debate to take place among the Initiative Body, a majority vote will be held on the three Initiative proposals that were ‘voted out of committee.’ The proposal with the most votes will be the official Initiative of


Following this timeline, within 90 Days (3 Months) after the “Business and Building” Weekend We will have Selected An Initiative.

After we have reached this point, the Initiative Review Board, the Writer of the Winning Initiative, and the Staff will take two weeks to organize the team of execution, responsible for working the plan and then another two weeks to negotiate relationships with external institutions.

Within 120 Days (4 Months) after the Weekend We Will Announce The Selected Initiative Before The Community and Mobilize Support.

Then, it’s really on.

Cedric Muhammad

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

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The views and opinions expressed herein by the author do not necessarily represent the opinions or position of or Black Electorate Communications.

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