Transition Notes from Chong Kee / Bay Bucks
Dear LNE Community Group,
The following notes reflect a final debrief between Chong Kee Tan, Aaron Lehmer-Chang, and Diana Abellera. We wanted to meet to discuss a few final “hand-off” issues and to reflect on some of Chong Kee’s concerns before he embarks on his new life in Oregon.
We wanted to honor Chong Kee's leadership and contributions and ensure that his thoughts are passed on as he transitions the LNE Convergence from Bay Bucks to the LNE Collaborative.
Thank you Chong Kee and best wishes in Oregon!
Technical handoff issues:
Will send spreadsheet of LNE 2014 participants from after sending them a transitional notice about “passing the torch” to the new LNE 2016 collaborative. Diana and Chong Kee will create a “passing the torch” message to be sent soon.
Chong Kee requests to be removed from all listservs except advisory/community list, and to have his profile removed from the website to reflect his departure.
Diana, Alli, and Aaron will assume admin control of the Loomio platform, being sure to post Core Team meeting notes, committee proposals, and strategic issues needing discussion.
Concerns and recommendations:
Using #BlackLivesMatter exclusively has been a point of concern for Chong Kee. While he abhors police brutality against African American, he pointed out that Latinos and Native Americans also suffer such killings and cannot be ignored. He feels that the remedy is not to ask "white masters" to acknowledge that black lives matter, but to ensure minorities have the same power and resources so that police will not dare to single anyone out. E.g., if the police had shot a white Google employee, other white folks won't campaigns telling police that #SiliconValleyLivesMatter, they will make sure all involved are punished and it will never happens again. We should not be asking for crumbs (ie not be shot on the street) but to aim for full equality. He also feels that BLM is too exclusive, by excluding other people of color; it is making a plea for its own place of privilege in the movement for social justice. Instead of simplistic importing of BLM's frame and language, LNE 2016 should frame its work and program as broad-base “anti-racist” alliance to include everyone.
Chong Kee also expressed concerns about privileging Oakland and folks from Oakland in our outreach and registration drive efforts. If the goal is to empower folks who are facing discrimination or displacement, then LNE should prioritize reaching out to anyone who is structurally disadvantaged, regardless of whether they can afford to have an Oakland address. He also cautioned against using exclusive language around “Oakland-only” rhetoric. It can leave folks out of the conversation and devolve into chauvinism, if we’re not careful.
Regarding our decision-making processes, Chong Kee cautions against allowing a small number of people becoming an insular group that keeps important discussions from happening amongst the broader group. When you are open and transparent, everyone feels involved and can choose whether or not to participate. The Loomio platform, he reminded us, is designed to be a repository for key documents and a decision-making platform for key proposals and ideas. We reaffirmed our commitment to ensuring that proposals from the Program, Communications/Outreach, and Fundraising/Finance committees are shared on Loomio, that opportunities for commenting and voting are shared to the broader group to ensure that everyone is in the loop and invited to participate. Chong Kee shared that folks in the LNE 2014 group seemed more invested and willing to participate because they were kept regularly updated and encouraged to weigh in.