Here is the text of that announcement.
As I indicated in the letter, an array of new and improved standard feedback mechanisms for 30+ Issues Forums in our network are in the works including more regular use of this 0rganization-wide blog to gather input.
So, while I feel our hand was really forced by the legal threats and direct public personal attacks on our volunteer Forum Manager to act quickly before we were ready with feedback replacement options, perhaps that is a good thing. Why? You can help shape those mechanisms and benefit 30+ forums.
So as participants from St. Paul and beyond, please share your ideas about how our volunteer-based Issues Forum initiatives should gather feedback on forum management, changes in the rules, increasing forum participation, increasing the diversity of forum participation, and more.
Let me note that we will be creating a specific forum management complaint form with more formal response policies (we get very very few complaints). We are exploring options for a yearly participant satisfaction survey of sorts (may require some funding), and we plan to use this blog more frequently for structured input on various forum management and improvement items.
Finally, from some comments about our funding sources, there is absolutely no dedicated funding for the St. Paul Issues Forum. We’ve been honored to attract Ford Foundation support for our special inclusion work with low income, high immigrant neighborhoods in Frogtown and Cedar-Riverside. It is the honest truth that the former Feedback Forum alone was taking more of our resources and attention at times than the rest of our network combined. As a small organization with limited funding serving 15 communities, we must be in a position to serve all these communities fairly as well as complete our grant funded work.
Executive Director, E-Democracy.org
P.S. Please note that due to spam received by lots of WordPress-based blogs, this blog is moderated lightly. Our no name calling and personal attack rules apply, but for the next week I will do my best to answer any questions. (Please note that due to the legal threats, we may not be in a position to answer all questions until those threats are lifted.)
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