Nothing encapsulates 14NTC better than an exercise which Steve Heye invited me to participate during a project management session. The exercise was having us develop a work flow for the creation of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I was the first to go and my first ingredient was “wallet”.
Before making a sandwich (nee, engaging in work), you have to talk about resources and make sure you’re in a place where you get the best sandwich you can. Reaching for a wallet tells you if you can buy fancy ingredients and, even if you have base ingredients, I think, as metaphor naturally, making sure you have options is important before embarking on any endeavor.
What if I had PBJ last night and I can afford to eat something else? How about if the place downtown makes an amazing PBJ that I’d rather buy? Or, what if I just want to add bananas to the sandwich? All resource questions informed, to a great degree by budget.
For myself, Steve is a wonderful human and an important resource to the non-profit technology community and I appreciate the exercise because it reminded me that, even in getting to NTC, resources are important to assess before we begin charting out any endeavor.
Later this week I hope to capture more regarding 14NTC…and also chastise some folks who should have been there.
I’m moving more recent content to the Dropplets platorm because it’s easier to update and doesn’t require security updates, or any complicated (read distracting) features. It’s a very simple platform. NEWER CONTENT IS HERE
This week the “Drop the i-word” campaign had a significant victory when the Associated Press, in their style guide, determined that “illegal” was not the best term to describe persons whose unlawful presence or undocumented status was part of the story. Of course, it’s a game of semantics and doesn’t stop deportations, but language does matter.
A good example is in an alleged progressive group called Asian Pacific Islanders for Immigration Reform and Enforcement (API FIRE). Their progressive bona fides are immediately questionable because, as I said,
I know that the “Immigration Reform” game is one of horse trading…or slave trade is more accurate because this is a game where well educated citizens are playing with the lives of non-citizens. Anyhow, it’s sickening that we’re part of it in some way or another. Settler colonialism prevails even in our efforts to rid ourselves of its worst excesses.
In many spaces I occupy, and roles, I’m always forced to reconsider what power in relationships looks like. I’ll admit, sometimes, having power is good, but, what the extent of that power is is often missed. Even more ignored is the ontological nature or origin of the power.
Today, I was forced to think about this by this tweet:
The first question, is who does Rahm Emanuel work for? To me, it’s been clear for years that Rahm Emanuel works for the neoliberal forces which have been running the Democratic party for almost 30 years. These are the forces of privatization and who replaced the war on poverty with a war against the poor. This should be clear to most folks who read the news and have any degree of historical memory. As far as mainstream Democratic party dogma goes, it’s indisputable. Nowhere is this clearer than in education policy.
In education policy, the Democratic party competes with the Republican party when it comes to bashing unionized teachers. It ironically accepts the money and support of labor unions while all the while delivering nothing and, worse, focusing attacks on unionized teachers. The saddest element in the whole picture is that unions used to believe in solidarity; somewhere along the line, solidarity forever was dropped in favor of political expediency forever. Second, though at its core it’s the transfer of a public asset into a private enterprise, Democrats up and down the spectrum generally defend charter schools under the pretext of accountability and best interests of students. In reality, if such Democrats were interested in the best interest of students, the party would have an anti-poverty component tied to all policy initiatives. If politicos were interested in accountability, they would hold themselves accountable to the unions (much like they hold themselves accountable to other donors).
Of course, such an assertion shifts to straw-men such as Republican obstruction, political impracticability, etc. But then, stepping back, isn’t that a failure of commitment or leadership? Isn’t political “impracticability” nothing more than an excuse?