[messengers] open forum 2012

Date: 10 Aug 2012 17:40:20 +0200
From: Shawn bega Blumenfeld <shawnbega@xxxxxxxxx>

at the bequest of the council, auggie moderated the 1st open forum.

an announcement of the bmef raffle was made.

a presentation was made by lausanne for cmwc 2013. a motion was made
to accept their final bid by consensus. a consensus was taken, and
lausanne was approved for 2013.

proposals for cmwc 2014 were made by mexico city, new york city, and melbourne.

mexico city bid:
joaquin, head bidder, was absent from cmwc due to issues crossing the
border. the bid was presented by safa and lane from australia, along
with nadir and bega. highlights included that the mexico city was
indeed a messenger bid, with joaquin of bicimensajeros as the leader
of a growing messenger community. joaquin has been to several cmc's
and had bid a couple of times for the continentals, and was ready to
host the worlds. a forested park area on the edge of town was noted as
a place where a closed course could be easily attained. downtown was
also a possibility. the expansion of our community to latin america
was emphasized. the necessity of the bicycle in latin america was also
emphasized. the cheapness of mexico (once you get there) was noted.
100 cases of tequila were promised.

new york city:
a large contingent of new york city messengers stood forth. leaders
were crhis, austin, and victor. 3 solid potential closed courses
within new york city were discussed, focused on the navy yard in
brooklyn. concepts of nyc as a central world hub that everyone could
get to, could (re)increase our participation numbers, and would be an
excellent public display of our community and our race, were noted.
nyc emphasized their long term commitment to the community and their
vast numbers of nyc messengers as support. they also emphasized their
experience with countless large events and their participation in
cmc's.  they noted 2 options for cheap /free housing: a camping space
and a warehouse space. and they noted several massively big party
spaces. the stressed their large, tight community.

allen? stood forth. said this was their first thoughts of a bid.
melbourne has hosted acmc, but was just starting to get organized in
regards to cmwc. the race hadnt been to australia since 2006, and its
important that we move it around.

bids for 2014 were closed.

a proposal was made to change the cmwc voting system from the
consensus system to a ballot voting system. after a presentation of
the proposal, a motion was made to accept or reject via a consensus
vote. a consensus to change the voting process was not evident, a non
consensus was declared, and the proposal was tabled.

a reminder to turn in "proxy votes" for the cmwc bids at 2nd open
forum was made. (bega says "see why proxies are irrelevant in a
consensus system down below")

the first open forum was closed.


at the bequest of the council, bega moderated the 2nd open forum.

several upcoming events were announced by their organizers: alleycats,
parties, etc. perhaps of note, you could alleycat almost from here to
lasaunne every weekend without stopping. keep partying! keep messenger

the open forum consensus process was described by the moderator (at
least the best he understands it):

we would hear from each bidding city, followed by questions for that city.
after hearing from each city and direct individual questions, we would
then open for questions for all cities again.
we would then (after the appropriate motion and 2nd) would take a body
vote to see if we had a consensus, noting the addition of the proxy
voters. if a clear consensus did not exist, we would open for direct
personal discussion allowing bidders to talk with individuals (that
is: try to sway them to come over to their side). after another
motion, a new body count could be taken to see if we had a consensus,
and so forth until the numbers were so overwhelming one way that a
consensus could be declared.

following the bid process, the floor would be opened for other motions
and business including deciding the next council.

final bids were presented by 1st by mexico city then by new york city.
melbourne withdrew its bid, promising to bid again in the future.

noted on the bids: both cities were asked several questions directly
and came up with (what bega thinks were) similar answers:
on closed courses: both cities re-emphasized that they have good
potential course options, and the races would be on closed courses.
on sponsorship: both groups of organizers legitimately emphasized long
term relationships with several excellent sponsors.
on housing: both cities noted cheap housing: mexico city noting that
everything was cheap once you got there, new york emphasizing the
ability to attain group housing space.
on parties: this was an excellent case of oneupmansship. mexico city
stressed its legendary debauchery, while new york reminded us that it
never sleeps. new york added 1000 cases of beer to its bid.

after open questions, a motion was made to see if we had a consensus.

while messengers moved left or right to represent their vote for
mexico or new york, proxies were counted. written proxies were turned
in by the chicago organizers, new york bidders, and mexico city
bidders. the proxy tally was 28 for mexico, 27 for nyc, 2 for
melbourne. the coincidence that these were so close is not why they
are irrelevant.

ahh, the wonder of the consensus system. this is when it gets fun.
mark your clock now, as how long the process takes from here is the
true variable. ive seen it take hours.

-the body vote was maybe approximately 75 to 25, or maybe 100 to 50
including proxies, in favor of mexico city. an exact count was not
made at this point
-the moderator was asked to declare a consensus (it was not motioned
for at this point). the moderator stated that he didnt think one
existed: that enough bodies were on the dissenting side to present a
legitimate block, and that further discussion was needed.
- bidders began to discuss their proposals with individuals attempting
to sway them over to their side.
- a motion for a declaration of consensus was made. a 2nd was taken,
and everyone froze in place for a moment. a new york bidder quietly
said to the moderator, this isnt a consensus. the moderator agreed and
declared a non consensus.
- an actual count was motioned for and 2nd'ed. the count was 78 to 28,
not including proxies. this is of course, a non binding count but gave
us an idea of where we were. here is where proxies become necessarily
[ we a trying for a 100% consensus. a proxy can be delivered in 1 of 2
forms: one is "i vote for city X" . this becomes irrelevant, because
its vote only counts on the first ballot. it is expected and necessary
that people will be swayed one way or the other, and as we constantly
ask for new votes to be taken, these proxies arent present to recast
their new vote nor are they here to present a block as the process
comes to a conclusion. thus they only count if the proxies help create
an overwhelming first vote, which they almost never do.
the other proxy is "i vote the way Jim votes". this becomes
irrelevant, for as we reach 100%, all votes with jim will be part of
that 100%, and since 100% is everybody, the actual number doesnt need
to be counted. someone please make a motion at the next cmwc open
forum to eliminate the irrelevant proxy at least as long as we retain
this system. i guess it does give non showers a feeling of inclusion.
- individual discussion continued.
- a question was asked if we could accept the vote "just this one
time". the moderator explained that a motion could be made to do so,
it would need to be 2nded and then a consensus taken to pass. the
moderator suggested that a consensus would probably not exist as the
vote would likely be on similar lines to the current body count.
(ironically, it was a new york bidder who had made this proposal on
friday and the proposal had been shot down. i guess it would put him
in an interesting political quandary had the motion been made at this
time. however, the motion was not made.)
- the legitimacy of certain voters were questioned and the voters
accepted or asked to move aside. several non voters were asked to step
further away from the group so they did not seem to artificially swell
the vote.
- discussion continued
- the numbers for mexico city grew.
- a new york messenger stated to the moderator that they could not
sway enough people and offered concession. however, it wasnt one of
the bidders. the moderator explained that a bidder would have to make
a concession. the moderator attempted not to suggest or request that
new york do so, but rather allowed discussion to continue.
- the moderator was again asked to declare a consensus. the moderator
asked for patience.
- the numbers for mexico city grew.
- a new york bidder graciously conceded, leaving mexico city the only
bidder. a consensus was motioned for, 2nded. any blockers were asked
for, none presented. mexico city was declared, with 100% consensus as
the accepted bid for 2014. they must now present again in lasaunne for
a final acceptance. hey mexico city: this means we are all fully 100%
behind you and we expect 100% success.

a motion was made for lunch, as the pizza had magically just arrived.

20 minutes had passed since the initial body count.

we ate lunch. the forum was reopened for new business.

the 2011/2012 council was asked to step forward and announce their
intention or lack there of to continue. present council members anselm
and austin stepped forth. Anselm said he was honored to have been on
the council but did not think he could bring it its just due at this
time and would not be continuing. austin also declined to continue.

Nico Deportago-Cabrera of chicago declared he would like to continue
and his self nomination was 2nded. though absent at this time of the
forum, (he had to go do a messenger run) he stated through a proxy
that he wanted to create a process for what to do with excess cmwc
money on years when it existed. that he wanted to better define the
role and expectations of the council. that he wanted to update the
information on the website. (messengers.org)

biker bill of edmonton was re nominated in abstention and 2nded, in
the hopes that his long term commitment to the community would not
waiver if asked to serve again. his ability to manage and moderate on
the council's behalf with some specific hard to handle issues
following last years cmwc were noted.

jeff was nominated and 2nded and gave a speech about the importance of
our community.

a motion was made to accept all 3 of these people together (nico,
bill, jeff) as the 2012/2013 council, and a 2nd was taken. any blocks
were asked for either for individuals or as a whole. none were
presented, a consensus was declared for the new council.
hey new council: that means we are 100% behind you and expect 100%
effort! get to it!

further business was asked for. none was presented. a motion was made
to close the forum and party, 2nded, and without objection, we resumed
the party and closed the forum.

items that i personally noticed discussed throughout the weekend:
-the necessity of archiving. (you know - all those old websites and
alleycat flyers and stories and organizational information and union
drives and the independent company movement and tax cases and epic
party photos).
-the desire to see ifbma information properly updated (messengers.org
specifically with the current bid process, current council, links to
current championships and current email lists)
-positive roles in our community for ex and non messengers, sponsors
and friends and families and other supporters (no one that i could
find had any positive role for hipsters or fakeners with no real
connection to our community). this wasnt about the race participants,
but more seriously about our leaders and our community. the necessity
for current messengers to define the parameters of our community and
the direction in which it moves forward seemed prevalent. it seemed at
least to me, ex messengers and non messengers were also readily
accepted as continually important in our expanded community. most i
spoke to agreed however, that the current messengers must be the
driving force.
-the voting system: ballots vs consensus.
- the incredible messenger racing accomplishments of bega, and despite
his age, his ability to place 71st in the main race (8th time in the
finals) and 5th in the cargo race.
-proxy votes and their necessity or irrelevancy.
- the growing acceptance of foodengers in our community.
- what is specifically expected from a host city? a race? side events?
a certain kind of party? an art show? a meal? housing? at least some
messengers seemed to desire a better definition, though maybe just a
loose document, as to what are the minimal expectations for success of
a cmwc.
- the now greatly expanding "list of mistakes and failures" of cmc's
over the years. (without ego of course: we must pass on the details of
our specific mistakes less we repeat them.)

please excuse, or at least feel free to point out, items in this
treatise that may seem to be tempered towards my personal opinions, or
may be inaccurate in your eyes. i certainly attempted to present an
actual telling of the forums and related issues. i was of course
honored to be asked by the council to moderate the 2nd forum and to be
accepted by my fellow community in this role, which i hope i
successfully performed in a fair and accurate manor. i felt this
re-telling was a necessary extension of that request.

Shawn "bega" Blumenfeld