CAMPAIGN PLATFORM 20th RA
My platform is very simple and will be reflected further and in more detail in the answers I gave in the debate which are included below.
SL in general, and CDS specifically, are social experiments in communication and social relations. To a certain extent, this means that there is no right or wrong way to do it, or to experience it. Rather, the “right” way to do it is what we want to make of it. CDS is a community of many different backgrounds, representing human and social diversity, and it is this social aspect that is what we must treasure.
Political debate, economic growth are obviously part of the social experience, but I think we have let these take over the more important aspect of being friends and neighbors co-living in what is one of the unique collection of sims in SL.
As a social experiment and with the proposal of being a community, I think we need to open ourselves to change so as to able to be more inclusive. This is not the same SL or CDS of a number of years ago. Interests change, and like any society we have to adapt ourselves to these changes. But if we forget that first and foremost, we are a community and these changes must be made in an integral manner, we begin to lose our coherence.
I want to help CDS in its process of change and development so that it reflects its citizenry and its aspirations.
SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE AT THE NOVEMBER 6 DEBATE
1) The first question is from Patroklus Murakami: "Do you support raiding the CDS reserves for a cash giveaway to current citizens? What level of reserves do you think is fiscally responsible?"
I answered this during the debate, but I will reiterate here that reserve monies are just that, and should not be used for populist gestures such as a cash give-away. It is what helps during the few lean periods that CDS has gone through, and will help when CDS wants to expand into other sims.
2) This question is from Pip Torok: "What importance do you place on building an abiding trust in each of those you represent, a trust that gives confidence that you will work on their behalf?"
There will be people who do not vote for us because they either do not have the confidence or they place more confidence in others. And we can’t expect to be effective communicators or interlocutors with everyone in CDS, but nor, as RA members, should we be in special cliques, or social or political groups, if we want to effectively represent the membership, and I said “the” membership and not “our” or “my” membership. Trust is based on transparency, knowing that what I say to one person is what I say to all, that if I disagree with a position or argument I state it in chat so that it becomes a public position for or against.
3) question from Cacilla McMasters: " I am a past citizen of CDs. My husband and I lived her for nearly 8months. Had a home and business here. When we left it was because we couldn’t get our issues resolved concerning our land after much debate and pleading. Our needs and concerns were treated as unimportant. What do you feel you can do to keep good citizens in CDs.? "
I think we should revisit our grievance procedures as well as make existing procedures more available and known. Many people have felt harassed by fellow citizens, others ignored by government. How do we make these people feel that they can approach the different institutions or members of government to come to a speedy and satisfactory result? One of the mechanisms we have in my country are Community Action Committees which are a first instance of recourse for people to air their grievances, and in many cases is sufficient to resolve them being based on miscommunication or a lesson in citizenship. More serious cases move on to higher authorities. I suggest that one mechanism could be a first instance body of citizens that could listen to these problems and propose non-binding actions to the parties involved. I also think in principle, all members of government should be readily available to listen, to make our emails public so that if there are concerns they can be readily addressed.
4) question from Kazz Lourdes: "Citing the arguement for a citizanry that complies with the bylaws of the community, is there or do you recomend a many to which the spirit of the law be adjudicated so that he that has the gold makes the rules is not ligua fraca..If so how??"
What are laws except a way of letting or forcing (in some cases) common sense and common good prevail. More than laws, we have to realize that we are neighbors, friends, and acquaintances; that we live in a social community; that this requires commitment and compromise to be a good neighbor. I am often amazed at how we forget the first rule we learned as children and that we pass on, and that is to do to others as you want them to do to you. It is such a simple idea but so effective if we all try to follow it.
5) question from Vic Mornington: "I have seen almost everyone speak on how they would engage more with communities, bring in more people, take up more events... list the top 2 ways you would do this…"
Maybe it is the anthropologist coming out, but I am fascinated with the ethnic, sexual, religious, political and social differences that bring us together. That inchoate something about CDS that makes all of us, in spite of our differences, come here to make our virtual home. And we bring our rl with us. We talk about it, it is our reference point for how we interact, we experiment with things that we are afraid of in rl. In so many ways, we are fascinating people just by being here. When we add our professions, our educations, our accomplishments, the differences become even more important because we can bring other skills and knowledges to CDS. I think that we need to draw upon these different experiences to build CDS into the future. One of the things we could do is a survey where we ask people about their rl specializations and how these could be brought to use in CDS. We, the new RA and Chancellor, could hold a type of town hall meeting with a certain frequency (every two weeks, but at different times, to accommodate time zones) so that there is a constant communication between government and citizenry. I also think that there should be one space reserved for non-thematic events, such that events that do not necessarily conform to the CDS architectural and cultural theme, but that could convoke large community participation, be allowed to take place.
6) question from Rosie Gray: "Do you think that paying for someone's tier and/or land purchase and then asking them to vote for your choice of candidate is the correct way to find new citizens?"
This is a legal/moral issue, where something may not be specifically sanctioned, yet still represent a certain moral laxness. We need long-term commitments, people willing to not just pay tier, but also to dedicate time and knowledge to make a better future for CDS. This is hard to achieve from members who are brought here under other pretenses.
7) question from Rosie Gray: "Do you think that CDS citizens should be given priority when it comes to the creation of or purchasing of new builds for the community? Explain why or why not."
I know there has been talk about an “elite” in CDS especially as regards building, but we have to ask ourselves, what was it that first attracted us to CDS? I don’t think it is the big disco scene, or the mega shopping sims. I think in most cases it was the harmony of the landscape with the buildings, the urban and rural planning that makes CDS unique in its beauty and function. So rather than talk about an elite, we can talk about an overall coherence of form and function that is CDS.
If the idea of priority means that we have to have only certain types of builds or only certain people can build then, no, I don’t think that is a good idea. But if we can establish a form of guidance, a way of getting people to understand the relation of landscape and buildings, than the priority issue is not so great.
CDS is sometimes a complicated place to understand, and I think that there could be introductory sessions with new people that come here, something like the house tour that Delia organized for Oktoberfest, to help ease them into the experience.