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participants' responses to this summary
of Meeting (Internal Discussion on strategic plan)
8301 Creekside Circle,
Bloomington, MN 55437
Johnson, chair; David Broden, Marianne Curry, Paul Gilje, Jim Hetland, Dan
Loritz, and Clarence Shallbetter
Context of the meeting:
Caucus core group is taking a break today from its weekly schedule of
interviews to look at possible changes in our strategic plan.
reviewed a memo that outlined several possible points for updating our
our over-riding objective of helping Minnesota restore its public policy
leadership role through information and involvement of our participants.
Ties that hold our state and metropolitan community together urgently need
--Demonstrate to other organizations a proven method of using electronic
capability for (a) widespread distribution of serious public affairs
information and (b) involving more volunteers in civil dialogue without
requiring excessive amounts of time in attending and traveling to
meetings. Deliberately enlarge our list of participating organizations
and make it clear that our hope is for them to consider adopting any and
all aspects of our process for their own use.
--Communicate our intent to serve as a prototype for others, with no
long-term objective for the Civic Caucus itself.
to increase the number of electronic participants. Emphasize more
involvement of legacy builders and others experienced in public policy,
while welcoming all participants.
the understanding of the Civic Caucus as a prototype by inviting a
foundation to take on a task of financing and writing a manual on the
Civic Caucus thereby making details of our process accessible to any
consideration of an appropriate brand for the Civic Caucus, depending upon
what we decide over the next year about a succession plan.
the question of a succession plan for the Civic Caucus to include the
question of whether the Civic Caucus is a temporary organization, with an
eye to be more definitive in our 2010 strategic plan. As the Civic
Caucus role of serving as a prototype becomes established, the longer-term
future of the Civic Caucus itself becomes less of an issue.
for another year any major fundraising beyond core participants
better all aspects of the current Civic Caucus process and seek to
distribute more of the workload to willing volunteers, to ease pressure on
In discussion of the
memo the following points were raised:
1. Think of a prototype, not a permanent organization--Verne
stressed that we hope that other organizations will adopt for themselves
many of our procedures that:
a. Make it possible for large numbers of persons
to have a sense of ownership without having to attending meetings.
Distribute in-depth, non-partisan information that isn't likely to be
provided by traditional mass media.
c. Give individuals an opportunity to share their
opinions and have those opinions be considered by others.
d. Maintain a strict non-partisan status, by
providing balance in airing various points of view and reaching
conclusions and by refraining from involvement in any candidate-related
2. Don't contemplate a long-term future for the Civic
the next year we'll continue to carry out our work largely as we have in
the last three years. We can then evaluate further whether the functions
of the Civic Caucus should be continued, and, if so, in what
organizational framework. With contributions from a few members of the
Civic Caucus core, we will have sufficient funding for another year
without conducting any other fund-raising.
3. Prepare a booklet describing the Civic Caucus approach--Over
the next year we need to find an organization that could finance the
preparation of a booklet, or "manual" that would describe the Civic Caucus
approach in terms that other organizations would find beneficial. It
doesn't look as if existing Civic Caucus personnel can themselves prepare
such a booklet, because they are wholly involved in keeping the Civic
Caucus program going day-to-day. We talked about whether foundations
might be willing to support such an endeavor.
4. Improving the communication of Civic Caucus materials--We
have an email list of more than 1,050 persons. We have a very good
website, where everything we produce is placed and archived.
Nevertheless, we know that our information needs much broader
circulation. We need to be open to improved ways of using the Internet.
We need to bring our materials to the attention of more individuals and
groups, including, for example, regional development commissions around
The improved communication must include the primary audience--(the participants) and also the impacted audience--
(government, civic etc.). We need to have a process and approach as we outlined in the communications plan or similar to both
broaden communications and to enable our discussions to have an impact and cause those who are interested and need the
info to go to the Civic Caucus as the "Resource and Thought Leaders of Choice" for info and public policy statements with "value".