2011-12 Self-Nomination: President-Elect/President
Use this thread to nominate yourself for President.
Nominations close September 16, midnight PDT. Candidates are invited to speak at the September 17 general meeting.
Elections will open after the September 17 meeting, and the new officers will take office at the October meeting.
Per our 501(c)(3) status, all board positions require disclosure of "real life" identities.
President-Elect/President: The President will run General Meetings and act as the public face of the organization. The President-Elect takes over the office of President on February 1 of the year following elections. In the meantime, the current president continues in that role.
In order to allow the President to carry out his or her duties as the public face of the SLBA, the President-Elect (and thus, the President) must:
I hereby nominate myself to be the president of the SL Bar Association. There is much to be done in the upcoming months. Interest in the Association is waning fast. Virtually no one has demonstrated an interest in the future of the organization. All of the work that has gone before, from incorporation to getting a world-class headquarters is at risk.
Now is the time for attorneys and others who see the virtues of Second Life and a role for the legal community in it to step forward and join in the resuscitation. Other entities across the grid must be embraced. We can and must make a common cause of serving lawyers from around the world through networking, continuing legal education programs and other initiatives that can be implemented through the vehicle of virtual reality. Similarly, we can provide support to laymen in the fields of intellectual property law, dispute resolution and other contexts as appropriate.
I ask for your support.
Sam, I hope that the urgency you feel has not crossed over into bitterness. I think that such toxicity might eventually drive even more people away.
If you wish to criticize my tenure as President as inactive, I can accept that criticism but would simply point out that I never signed on to be the sole life support for this organization. Outreach is always crucial. I drove to Miami to evangelize SLBA to the Online Bar Association's 3,500 members in April 2011. I reported back to the SLBA this effort. I have not heard of any other attempt at outreach (other than your June 2011 party which was directed primarily to SLBA members). Clearly, if the organization is to survive, it needs everyone's help to connect and network inside and outside of the organization.
But it is not fair for you to write that "[v]irtually no one has demonstrated an interest in the future of the organization..." While I may join your feeling that "we need to get moving," the organization does not need a resuscitation as much as it needs to find a compelling reason to exist. The reality is that there are plenty of opportunities to "virtually" network with other lawyers and professionals outside of SL. We need to do more than simply provide a forum for CLE.
And I am sure that the potential "market" of SL lawyers for the SLBA don't see the incorporation and a meeting place as a compelling reason to network with us. Neither are at "risk": they were never an advantage to potential member lawyers.
Do we even know The interests of SL lawyers? Why would any lawyer want to come into the most immersive environment and watch a powerpoint presentation? If we handle CLE like all the other CLE providers (lecture, powerpoint) a potential member will quickly see there is no advantage to CLE in SL than anywhere else.
We have plenty of persons who care about the future of this organization without the need to paint such a "dire" picture. I have personally conducted some lively meetings and discussions every month I have been President. During the past 12 months, the following persons (including yourself, Sam) have repeatedly appeared at these discussions: Agenda Faromet, Archivist Llewellyn, Bev Landar, Esparanza Freese, jamiebryce infinity, Juris Amat, Kimbrolaw Ansar, Legal Writer, Lexis Looming, Soro Dagostino, Starlight Darkmatter, Suemoon Magic, Tim Faith. Approximately a dozen other persons make infrequent appearances, including a number of long-term SLBA members who have dropped away (Perhaps a good first outreach effort would start with them).
Many great ideas were proposed including outreach with SL directed CLE. I expect that these ideas will be developed (and hopefully executed) further in the coming year.
One recent attendee, Lincoln Beck, an IP lawyer, was asked by the group whether any other legal groups are active and charge dues. Lincoln told us that just about every other legal group has fallen away from SL. Moreover, Lincoln is unaware of any such group that charged dues. There seems to be traction to the continued charging of dues. One person commented that we need to figure how to give people enough value to justify their dues payment (which is approx $2.50 per year!). I have previously advocated abandoning dues and relying upon sponsorship to pay our tier. But if we are unable or unwilling to do that, perhaps we should go in a different direction.
Perhaps we should consider raising the dues to something like $100.00 per year and use the money to really DO something like host a really big SL event (or perhaps RL meetup at the SL Community meetings), record it and provide transcripts/periodicals, etc. While you may knock out some fair-weather members, you will have a more committed (and invested) group of dedicated members to rely upon.
Agenda's primer "Copyright, the DMCA, and Second Life" is also a great start. Recently, Agenda also put together a list of legal issues/questions by SL designers. This would be a great opportunity to engage in outreach to the SL community.
I hope that others share our concern about SL and the future of the SLBA. If you are elected I hope that you will inspire folks.
PS Don't Forget to Pay Your Dues, Folks!