March 30's membership meeting kicked off a very positive discussion of the best strategies for MADSA, with about 40 dues-paying members participating. While this is a small percentage of our total membership, it included most of the most active members and a group of new ones eager to get active - a good start. Led by officers Eric Robertson, Anat Fintzi and Adam Cardo, with help from scribe Scott Douglas (in photo), we divided into small groups for a lively and very productive SWOT exercise: brainstorming about our organization's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This led to a set of initial priorities, including improving internal communications, better ways to welcome and engage new members, and developing distinctive MADSA campaigns around local issues such as housing and public transit. Minutes will be posted soon. One important outcome: Several members took responsibility for heading up new working groups (in addition to the already operating groups on political education, LGBTQ issues and Medicare for All), so that people wanting to do more than just attend big meetings can get involved in their areas of interest.
The expanded list of working groups (still a work in progress; contact links will be added shortly):
#electoral - group for those interested in interacting w/ electoral races. Since groups will often cross-polinate on goals; they'll likely end up working w/ other working groups a lot (e.g. the #mc4a-interest working group)
#mc4a-interest - group interested in taking the message of the DSA's Medicaid for All campaign and applying that message in and around the metro atlanta area, through anything from educational initiatives to ranking/engaging politicians on their relation to MC4A
#onboarding - as new members continue to fill our ranks, this group will look to provide process/education/opportunities on how we can get new members up to speed w/ the larger organization as quickly and effectively as possible.
#digital_wg - working group that manages our technical resources and how these resources advance and connect the goals of MADSA
#education_wg - outside of just onboarding new members, this group looks into opportunities to educate the chapter and community at large on socialist theory, practice, and application.
#harassmentwg - working group that's helping codify MADSA's code of conduct such that we can provide spaces that make all feel welcome
#labor_wg - working group that's looking into opportunities for how to engage w/ labor in and around metro Atlanta
#internal_com - the 'working groups' working group, for lack of much of a better description. This group will help define the pre-existing channels of communication within MADSA, how the working groups fit into those channels, and what we'll need to have in place to ensure both transparency and inclusion in our communication.
#mutual-aid - discussing ideas where we can show solidarity with the chapter and community by raising ourselves through lifting others
#housing - discussing housing in Atlanta, opportunities to show solidarity with tenants, and all things development in the greater Atlanta area
#public-transportation - talks about MARTA, other public transport options, and initiatives we can take part in such to improve the sustainability and accessibility of transportation
#queer_wg_lgbtqqiaap - this group simultaneously works as a group for all lgbtqqiaap members to act as resources to each other as well as the larger community. This is important in building a queer socialist narrative, showing solidarity with those in the community, and recruiting in those communities.