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Who we areWe are a proud group of informally affiliated individuals who supported President Obama during his candidacy in large part because of his call for hope and a new kind of politics.
See discussions in the "Good effort but" and "Much impressed by the revisions" threads below.
Vision StatementOur vision is one of a United States that is both free and secure. We see a United States in which the ordinary citizen is afraid neither of the government, despite its ability to monitor internal affairs responsibly, nor of his or her neighbors—an America in which every citizen understands that in all just wars, people are required to sacrifice some things, but they are never required to sacrifice their natural rights, protected—not given—by the Constitution of the United States of America. Our view is of a United States in which citizen and government vigilance does not involve destroying basic Constitutional protections.
Mission StatementOur ultimate mission is to restore the fundamental Constitutional basis to United States national security laws, so that the inherent liberties of citizens are protected from government intrusion—for example, unregulated surveillance, improper invasion of personal privacy, and unacceptable limits to freedom of expression—as intended by the Bill of Rights.
Questions: is it too specific to focus only on national security issues? is there a way to ground our mission emotionally as well as legally?
Mark's Answer 2/28- I think we should focus on national security issues. We might clarify by adding specifics like "domestic surveillance, privacy, freedom of expression ... " But if we disconnect from national security we get into nirvana, like world peace or the literally hundreds of laws that the founders might find Constitutionally absurd, but which do not impact core 1st/4th Amendment rights. Also, we don't want to get in to the thicket of the Constitutionality of this-or-that wartime power of the president.
Further, once the Mission statement settles down, we need to develop an "issue tree" of which sub-issues like privacy or stopping profiling go with which vision/mission element, so that we can then develop Goals/Objectives and then lastly Tasks/Actions/Milestones.
A word about mission statements, vision statements, and so forth
All organizations have a fundamental set of principles under which they operate. A mission statement is essential. The others may include a vision statement, a stated goal or set of goals, a slate of concrete objectives, an ethics statement, operating policies, and so on. I often see these mislabeled or even misused within smaller organizations that have not been able to hire a communications expert to help them sort through these types of things. So, here are some simple definitions to help us get started:
A vision statement is the state of the world when the mission has been accomplished. A vision statement, above all, must inspire. The conclusion of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream speech ("... when all God's children, black boys and white boys, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty we're free at last.") is a vision statement. A vision statement answers the metaphorical question "what would the world be like when your organization is no longer needed."
A mission statement is what the organization seeks to achieve. It is not focused on activity, which is the means to an end. Rather, it is focused on the ultimate tangible purpose of the organization (For Example, everyone knows this famous mission statement, "To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before").
A slate of objectives/goals is a checklist of specific actions and milestones required en route to accomplishment of the mission. (For example, if our mission is to restore Constitutional principles to American law, one objective would certainly be to revamp the Patriot Act to adhere to the Fourth Amendment.)
We want our mission and vision statements to have longevity. This will provide strength and direction to the organization when facing difficult and long-term challenges. Organizations often refer back to their mission again and again during the decision-making process of the first few years, using it as a guiding principle. So, this is something we want to get right, and it is usually one of the hardest things for an organization to develop and agree upon.
http://www.csuchico.edu/mgmt/strategy/ (I like this one the best)
A key factor is that these statements should be 'shared', which means that typically the stake-holders spend considerable time hashing them out. We do not have much time so I suggest we time-box the comment period and go with what we get after 2-3 days of open discussion/feedback.
A starter idea for a mission statement if we expand to constitutional issues (from our current FISA-only state):
We actively reach out to all Americans to gather support for a return to the rule-of-law in the spirit of our Constitution, especially a restoration of Bill-of-Rights with its promise of liberty and freedoms.
Latest page update: made by MarkDorlester
, Mar 18 2010, 11:13 AM EDT
(about this update
About This Update
Per emails/agreement from Sally
1 word added
9 words deleted
- complete history)
Keyword tags: Mission Statement Working
More Info: links to this page
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|Sallijane||I've done some edits. . .||2||Mar 1 2010, 12:45 AM EST by Sallijane|
Thread started: Feb 21 2010, 9:00 AM EST Watch
. . . posted as a new thread rather than editing the working document until I got some feedback, as these changes are fairly substantial. Here they are:
We are a proud, informal association of supporters of President Obama during his campaign who believe in the president's call for hope and a new kind of politics. Our ultimate mission is to restore fundamental principles of American Constitutional Law to a range of national security laws while preserving essential national security authorizations.
Our vision is one of an America that is both free and secure. We see an America in which the federal government is able to detect, track, and block terrorists, but also in which the ordinary citizen is not afraid of the government nor of his or her neighbors—an America in which every citizen understands that in all just wars people are required to sacrifice. Our view of America is one in which added citizen and government vigilance does not involve destroying basic Constitutional protections.
|Anonymous||Good effort but ...||3||Feb 28 2010, 2:36 PM EST by JonPincus|
Thread started: Feb 21 2010, 1:46 PM EST Watch
First, thanks to Harry for taking the bull by the horns. I have three points in reply.
First, the "Obama supporters" intro. I know that being associated with Obama is the legacy of this group. However, what was right in 2008 is not necessarily right in 2010. It's been three years since Obama renounced his pledge to fight FISA and this year we learn about an extension. Continuing to say that we're Obama supporters (a) buys us no votes, (b) suggests we're slow learners, and (c) indicates that we are resigned to being kicked in the ass by our nominal leader.
There's little chance that this statement will find support among other political factions, right or left, Republican or Democratic, other than those still aligned directly with Obama. Most progressives, Tea Party activists, staunch defenders of civil rights, and all of those Democratic political figures who went out on a limb to oppose FISA only to have Obama double-cross will reject it.
I'm not saying this group should abandon its identity, but it doesn't make it easier to be defending a controversial political figure who has NEVER offered us even a hearing, let alone a fig leaf or support. Who has in fact always been in opposition to us.
Second,the resort to fighting terrorism rankles. "Terrorism" (= fear) is quickly replacing patriotism (= false pride) as the last resort of scoundrels. Glenn Greenwald wrote a major column on this recently. Must we mention terrorism each time we speak of liberty?
Third, our mission statement should get to the point: reversing FISA and ensuring Americans aren't spied on. That would be big enough for me. And small enough to attract allies without a lot of extra effort perhaps spent in vain.
I think Mark's edit's are in the right direction but insufficient. However, this is a group mind thing, so more comments, please.
|Anonymous||Much impressed by the revisions||1||Feb 25 2010, 1:52 PM EST by Anonymous|
Thread started: Feb 25 2010, 1:52 PM EST Watch
The mission statement and vision statement as they now stand are viable and translatable into policy actions.
Of course, we now face another year extension of the FISA. What's to be done?
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