2015 Legislative Conference Discussion Guide

Forty five minutes of the conference is devoted to in-person group discussion. See the complete agenda for an overall picture of our two hour time together. At the end of this 45 minutes you will be doing a very short report from your location online. Those who are connecting in very small groups can join Tahoma UU Congregation via the Zoom conferencing software for the discussion. It is very important that everyone has viewed the videos and other material prior to the conference.

Structure

This is a complex year, especially for climate justice issues. Based on last year's Legislative Conference, climate justice will capture the most interest. Here's a suggested procedure to structure your discussion time:

  1. If you don't already have a convener select one. Also select someone to take notes. 
  2. Take a straw poll to determine how much time people want to spend on each major issue category. Reserve at least 5 minutes for another straw poll and preparing your report. 
    1. Climate justice
    2. Economic justice, including labor issues and school funding equity
    3. Human rights, including the death penalty, voting rights and criminal justice issues
    4. Other important issues to the group
  3. Discuss each group of issues one at a time, strictly keeping time limits. By the time of the conference, we will have a list of some of the bills that might be introduced but some categories will remain less specific. 
  4. Although the final vote for our issues priorities for the next year will be an individual vote, at the end of the in-person discussion, please take a vote about priority issues for report backs and report and support the majority decision. 
  5. You will have 2 minutes to make your report back. List your top 5 priorities and argue for any of them that have not been argued in a report of another group.
  6. Rejoin the online conference and present your report.

We will have open discussion on all top issues during the final phase of our online conference. At that time you can make arguments for other issues.

Following the open discussion there will be a tally by congregation of individual reports. You may choose to do a show of hands or a written vote. The recorder will do the counting and report.

Discussion guidelines

We're sure that you are familiar with basic rules of discussion and time is so tight it's really important that we use these guidelines.

  • Step up and step back (speak up briefly and monitor yourself to make sure you aren't dominating the discussion).
  • UU's often feel passionate about justice. Help keep the discussion moving and informative by doing what you need to do to calm yourself - deep breaths, short walk, water.
  • Be as brief as possible.
  • Discuss rather than debate. Be open to all statements.
  • Stand on the side of love.

 

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Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice - Washington
We empower Unitarian Universalists to give voice to our values in the political arena.