« on: March 08, 2012, 12:21:10 PM »
First of all, I realize that I am late throwing my hat in here. As Scott pointed out, this may be taken as demonstrating my lack of concern, desire, respect or any other lack, and I accept that. So, why am I jumping in at this point? Simply put, I am excited by the prospect of coming changes. PSI is going to evolve and grow with so much new talent and energy coming to the EC, and I'd love to be a part of what will spring out of the new EC.
To answer Suziqsmith's (and other's) questions:
1. I think one the best ways at the moment to meet the challenges of our mission statement is to 'ground' NPS. This is because I believe that growing NPS by adding more teams is a great way to spread slam. There is a limited number of potential host cities who can handle NPS at the current size, with even fewer potential host cities being able to host a larger event. As mentioned in numerous previous posts going years before this EC election, experience for the host city helps with the running of the tournament, relationships with venues, the local government and the general population who makes up the majority of our audience. It seems to me and many others to whom I've spoken, that a group of 4 or 5 potential host cities putting on NPS in turn would prevent all of the 're-invention' that goes on every time a new host city takes on the challenge.
2. My first experience with non-profits was working as office manager at the Alabama Wildlife Rescue Service where I was promoted to general manager. My major responsibilities were volunteer coordination, book keeping (I worked with a CPA to clean up years of books and to successfully resolve difficulties with the IRS and Alabama Dept. Of Industrial Relations. I also created and provided to the board of directors all the various reports and balance sheets. Nothing else I did there relates to PSI.
Currently I am vice pres of New Dawn Unlimited, Inc, a non-profit centered around spreading poetry, spoken and page. I have held this position for over 5 years. As VP I am the program director, booking events for our stable of poets, and running our local slam (which I have done since 1998).
Also, I am the current tournament director for Southern Fried, the largest regional slam on the continent. I have done this since '08.
3. As for time, I have a very flexible schedule, and I can dedicate at least 10 hours a week. When needed I can spend much more time on PSI, as I did when I was on the committe studying the 'points system'.
4. The biggest change I would work for is grounding NPS in a few host cities. This is a difficult event to host and Austin proved that previous experience hosting can make for an incredible tournament. WOWPS and IWPS are fine as they are, and actually work to bring our community to new cities... this in itself fulfills our mission statement.
One thing I believe most important to keep is the community base. Our tournament structure, with judges taken randomly out of the audience, competitors being mainly chosen by their respective communities, and the practice of taking organizers and volunteers mosty from slam family keeps this 'thing' we have as more of a community event than a sporting event. I want to preserve the atmosphere of our events.
Another thing I will always fight to preserve is the SM ownership of PSI and all our events. This is our democracy.
5. Legacy. Yes, very much. We've been given a beautiful thing and we should water and weed and grow this craziness until we span the globe.
6. Poet safety is paramount. At our local slam there was a preditor years ago who was known to take advantage of freshmen women at our college based slam. So, I began a series of public service announcements where the audience would end up chanting with me, 'No means No!'. The dangerous person was visably shaken and quit coming to the slam.
Each situation is different, but it is important to make sure that all persons are made aware of potential dangers in particular cities, and potential violators within our ranks need to be made aware that harming others will not be tolerated.
7. Volunteering. In '03 I sat in on a protest. This was my first time volunteering at an event. I have BM'd at preliminary bouts, semi-finals and finals. I have scored at prelims, semis and finals. I served on the infamous 'points committee'. I have served many times on the scoring committees at NPS, IWPS and WOWPS.
8. If I don't win, I will continue to do as I have, volunteering, reading the various discussions, and I will work to preserve all that I think is good for our community: the democracy, creative input, grass roots driven governance.
Finally, I know that I am late coming in here, and that Scott will probably burn me publicly for jumping in so late (bring it, I deserve it), but I have considered running for years, have been in discussions about the EC with several current and past members and I believe that the time is right for me to be able to make meaningfull contributions to the Slam Family.
Thanks for your time!