National Convention of CofC
Raleigh, NC, August 13-15, 1999
Check out the National CofC Reports and content on the Convention.
Saturday, August 14, 1999
Even a raging storm didn't keep several hundred away from a great night
of progressive music and inspiration from national and local organizers.
Fruit of Labor and Samadhi Manifest performed
The "Carry it on!" celebration was a great success as many local people braved a raging storm and joined the CofC conference attendees for a spirited evening of progressive music and speeches. This gathering of several hundred socialists, labor organizers, local community activists and progressive performers became the high point of the 3rd National Convention of the Committees of Correspondence and commemorated the Wilmington 10 case 25 years ago, the historical textile workers strike of 1934 and the 20th anniversary of the Greensboro Massacre. Even though Angela Davis, who was to be the big draw, got stuck at the airport, Manning Marable and other political organizers more than satisfied the audience with political analysis and inspiration.
In all, the three days of this convention were well organized, providing the time and facilities to allow the crucial work of CofC to proceed. While no convention can satisfy all needs, the far greater pre-conference preparation and an agenda that allowed free and adequate presentations of the the many political and personal concerns permitted much good critical and creative political work and enabled a more substantive consideration of the various political documents, position papers, and proposals on the work of CofC.
Finally, the delegates debated and voted on over 20 improved and creative resolutions and proposals for the future of CofC. Even with time running out, democracy ruled and where necessary, open debate assured that the final resolutions and votes reflected the needs of CofC thoughtfully and respectfully. The details will be published in the next Corresponder and are to be implemented by the new National Coordinating Committee.
We will provide more information and link to any reports published by the national office.
Three of our chapter's resolutions were passed with unanimous or clear majority votes. Only Jack's "anarchist" resolution "to Reorganize the CofC" was withdrawn at the last moment and with great passion once Jack got to make his central point that the national office and structure of CofC should not be above or beyond principled scrutiny and modification.
Our resolution that an Open dialogue section be added to the national web site was referred to the NCC for implementation and passed with a majority straw vote. We were glad to see that two other resolutions also supported the greater political use and open political exchange on the national web site.
A heated and useful debate on our proposal that chapters be allowed to add relevant and useful names for the local work helped clarify for those against and those for just how this might be helpful. The final wording as put forth by the chair was that while chapters had to keep and use the full name, "they could add political, geographical and other descriptive terms" to facilitate their local organizing. The debate made it clear that this did not mean chapters would speak for the national organization nor create antagonistic and separate political organizations as chapters of CofC. With that clarification, the proposal also passed and received a majority vote.
Our comments on the value of positive leadership were presented and passed as a resolution on leadership: "Whereas leadership in CofC can be improved, be it resolved that in CofC, leadership should be encouraged to promote the work and growth of the organization. The guidelines for this should be based on the promotion of democracy, respect, and dialogue and the avoidance of sectarianism, disrespect of members and personally hostile criticism. Such an approach should more often begin with a 'yes, lets talk' than a 'no, you are wrong!'"
We will follow up with more on the political substance shortly.
We presented four resolutions. One was withdrawn and the other three passed. We will update these and the others that were presented at the convention shortly.
Resolutions and Correspondence:
1. Resolution to add open dialogue section to CofC Web site.
2. Resolutions on the naming rights of local chapters.
3. Resolution to reorganize.
Correspondence on Chapter Name: Chapter name issue
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