Losing Focus on Our Values

Have the recent discussions about illegal immigration triggered a reaction from CCGLA’s board of directors that now has this community organization discriminating against immigrants?

Recently the CCGLA board amended its’ bylaws to prevent anyone who is not a registered voter to be eligible to be a director or officer of the organization. To become a registered voter, a person must be a United States citizen. People who can’t become citizens include temporary workers (H1-B visa holders), international students, green card/permanent residents, and undocumented immigrants.

This action reinforces the widely held (and destructive) view that immigrants are second class citizens. While immigrants may not have the same protections under the law as citizens, they deserve the same levels of dignity and respect. How can an organization that advocates equality, dignity and respect, offer none of these to a group of residents in Collin County? Isn’t this new bylaw in conflict with the values for which CCGLA stands?

One of the original purposes of CCGLA was to bring together a community that reflected the diversity of people and their backgrounds that lived and worked within Collin County. I believe the founding CCGLA board reflected this diversity. I also now believe that the current board does not.

It is a concern to me that CCGLA now appears to support what many of us on the founding board were fighting against: discrimination. Discrimination is not just a GLBT issue. Everyone can be discriminated against for any reason. It happens every day, but should it happen within an organization that’s purpose is to fight against it? As one of the founding board members, I am disgusted that the CCGLA board has written such a discriminatory rule into their governing documents. I am equally surprised that the only founding board member remaining on the board supported this change.

With the annual meeting only days away, let’s hope the membership of CCGLA hold this board accountable for their actions, and refocuses the organization on its core values of advocating equality, dignity and respect in our community.

Living Web

In the latest edition of Newsweek (April 3, 2006), there is a story titled “The New Wisdom of The Web” by Steven Levy and Brad Stone.  In this story, a number of new startups are discussed, and how they are changing the way the web impacts our lives.  New online services like MySpace (Rupert Murdoch paid $580 million last year for this), Flickr (Yahoo recently aquired this for $35 million), Dabble, del.icio.us (Yahoo owns this too now), among others were highlighted to explain how the web is becoming a more dynamic, or living, environment.  One of the points of the article explains that many have termed this new phenomena, Web 2.0 – however, suggests that a more appropriate name would be the Living Web.

Some outstanding claims made in this article include the figure paid for MySpace by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, that recently MySpace signed up 270,000 new members in one day (a Monday), the more interesting fact that Flickr started as a Canadian company, AND had the first photosof the September 2004 Australian Embassy bombing in Jakarta; before any news wire.

Trailing this article is a listing of new innovations that are already (or soon-to-be) launched on the web.  These include Digg (a techie news site), Plum (a online collection/organization tool), and Jajah (a telephone service that uses landlines).  There are others, and I’d recommend reviewing the article.

Why are Governments Untrustworthy?

This answer came to me during my third class for the day – Sociology of Community Organization.

It appears that we don't trust the government, as they don't trust us. Of course, one could argue that the government doesn't trust 'us' because 'we' are untrustworthy – but that doesn't as comfortably as the other assertion.

Sociology is creating more chicken and egg scenarios as each class passes.

"Some people say…"

Watched the OutFoxed! DVD this evening.  Like F.9/11 it shares a lot of insight into the way Fox does business, and the bias that exists with their reporting.  A lot of the focus is on the tag-line “Fair and Balanced” which throughout the movie is disproved many times.  One of the areas of concern is the distorted view that Fox viewers have of the world.  One survey asks if the US had proof that Iraq had WMD's and the Fox News viewers reported a huge 67% (or somthing) and NPR/Public Radio viewers were down around 5% (I might have got some of these wrong, but it was that obvious

Another part of the show that is quite interesting is when you hear some of the phrases that are used on Fox very frequently, however you don't realize how often they are used until they are all put together. 

“Some people say…”