For this democracy building work to be successful we need to be very inclusive across the full diversity of our electorate and community in terms of age, culture, work, location and more.
We would greatly appreciate your help to personally invite anyone else you know who might be interested and willing to either get involved in the Kitchen Table Conversations (KTC) or by becoming a member. All members and participants in KTCs must abide by the KTC guidelines.
For the next few months, the major activity will be hosting ‘Kitchen Table Conversations’ to listen and learn from people right across our Electorate. We want to gather their feedback to see what are the important issues in the New England Electorate. From this, we want to put together a document that outlines the values and issues that are important for us, voters!
To do this, we need people to help us host gatherings, as well as facilitators, note takers and research analysis. We will need to establish a social media presence during this time as well, so roles in communication and social media are needed too. Also, some fundraising will be required to cover the costs.
The findings that emerge from these conversations will be provided to the local member, but will also assist in the selection of an independent community candidate for the New England Electorate. The candidate will then be responsible to create and run their election campaign, including recruiting their campaign team and fundraising.
It is important to reiterate that this political election campaign is separate to, and not part of, the democracy-building work we are proposing now.
Kitchen Table Conversations are a means for small groups of people to discuss what matters to them about democracy, representation and priorities for the electorate in a safe and respectful environment.
The type of commitment will vary depending on the role you are prepared to take on. You tell us what you can do, and we will factor it into the activities. If this movement is to progress, it will do so on the basis of volunteers, but those volunteers must be realistic about their commitment and the use of their time and skills.
Based on Indi’s experience, we think the coordination roles will require 4-6 hours of volunteer work each week. The other roles, such as hosting Kitchen Table Conversations, can be kept to a level of time that you are willing to give.
Up to the point of launch initial funding has come from members of the original group. However, if this movement is to progress, funding from membership fees and donations from interested people will be required to cover costs, though these will be modest and kept to a minimum.
It is considered premature to discuss candidates, before we know the issues and values that will determine the type of candidate that is selected. This is a critically important difference in doing democracy, rather than politics.
Should the Group agree that an independent candidate should run, a process for selection of that person that includes all members of the Association will be conducted. It will not be an individual putting themselves forward on their own platform, it will be a person who best understands and responds to the issues and priorities presented by the group.