What are we gonna do ?
This organization changes itself from the top down. That's what we should do. I wrote about this briefly in a different forum but I'll reiterate here.
Remember ValuJet? If you do then you probably remember their plane that went down in the Florida Everglades back 1996. They were a low-cost, no frills airline company. After the crash they knew it was going to be very difficult to recover reputation, etc. So what did they do? They reinvented themselves. Now they are called AirTran. Same low cost, same no frills, BETTER reputation. They regulary receive high customer satisfaction awards as well as other accolades.
So, I think this organization should change its name. If it is truly pt and cg focused then incorporate at least the word patient, and maybe caregiver, into the name. Michigan Medical Marijuana Patient Advocacy? The name alone suggests that the corporation stands for protecting patients and their rights. No one could read the name and not know that. The current name could mean a number of things. If you read it in the paper and weren't aware of it you may think it stands for patients, or caregivers, or dispensaries, etc.
Change the leadership. Make the board a consortium of patients and caregivers as well as the current owner(s). Then change out the board every year or so. Make the corp. activities transparent. The added boardmembers need not have an ability to vote out the owners. Maybe only give them a fractional vote or maybe only let them vote on policy. Give the paid membership the power to vote on board members. This increases paid membership and gives the corp. more resources. It also makes everyone who pays a yearly membership genuine stakeholders who feel like they matter in the fight. Doing this will also make board members address membership concerns. No more handing down edict from the CEO because he thinks plan A is the best. Let the members give feedback.
Develop a clear mission statement that is front and center on the home page. Develop a vision statement. Develop positions. Make that stuff important. Make it so you don't have to pour over endless forum threads to discover what the new MMMPA groups is all about.
Develop revenue streams from membership dues, donations, advertising, etc. Pay the CEO a livable salary. Also compensate a board admin. Maybe provide a small stipend for mods. Require that mods MODERATE. Don't let them give legal advice, fight, etc. If they want to participate in discussions then let them sign on under a non-mod pseudonym. That way you don't have newer members thinking that the mod status means they know more and therefore following THEIR legal advice.
Hire an attorney to answer questions on the forums a couple hours a week.
Make fiances transparent so there is HUGE trust in the organization.
I could go on and on but if all of that stuff were to be implemented think of what this place could be. No complaining about money because it would be right out there to see where the money goes. No more complaining about positions because we would have a member-elected board to develop positions and strategies and post them CLEARLY for all to see.
All of the above in a nutshell---run this place like a professional organization. I have tons of ideas.
Heck if we were able to do all that then we could embark on self-policing. Develop standards and practices. Test product for pesticides, mold, etc. and give caregivers and dispensaries a "seal of approval" for clean test results. Etc., etc. If we self policed then the lawmakers are a heck of a lot less likely to tell us what to do. Many professional groups self police and the government stays out of it. Physicians, attorneys, etc.
Hire a real lobbyist. Someone with experience and a proven track record. Have a constant presence in Lansing. Even when no bills are pending. The lobbyist could also be the face of the organization. The press secreatry so to speak. Someone well-spoken and well-dressed that can present a good image on television.
Edited by CaveatLector, 13 April 2012 - 09:46 AM.