Usona Esperantisto № 2022:2 (mar–apr)

Board Meeting, March 12th, 2022

Lasta ĝisdatigo: 2022-04-18

Ĉeestas

Kun voĉdonrajtoj: Filipo Dorcas, Alekso Miller, David Beck, Charlotte Burton, Fred Meyer III, Hoss Firooznia, Jane Shevtsov, Tim Rice.

Sen voĉdonrajtoj: Vilĉjo Harris, Chuck Mays, Vilĉjo Mortono.

The meeting is called to order. A quorum is announced, and the E-USA mission statement is read aloud. Also present in this meeting are members of the promotion committee. We have a promotion committee, which serves to disseminate information about and to generally promote the language of Esperanto, and a publicity committee, which serves to disseminate information about Esperanto-USA as an organization.

Reports

Promotion Committee

The promotion committee is currently focusing on participating in online polyglot meetings and promoting Esperanto at such meetings. They have successfully gotten a breakout room in at least one such meeting and have built interest in Esperanto through these activities. Bill Harris and Fred Meyer have both been helping at these meetings as well. The Promotion Committee requests that the board support them in finding more volunteers for these activities. Phil mentions that we do have a Volunteer Coordinator and describes some efforts we intend to take steps on, toward the goal of gathering more volunteers for this and other valuable tasks that we have before us.

Phil asks if the Promotion Committee plans to make printed materials for promoting Esperanto. Will Morton replies that they plan to create anything they need to promote Esperanto to non-Esperantists, such as materials to promote at science fiction conventions. Phil asks whether they would be creating materials that local groups could use in promotion. Will Morton replies that they had discussed what would be needed for a science fiction convention, and that they could make that available. Chuck adds that the sort of materials Phil is inquiring about have been discussed, but that it would take a while, and more volunteers are needed in order to complete it more quickly. Jane offers to become more involved with this committee. She also suggests introducing Esperanto to groups which already have different primary languages represented, as a tool to facilitate communication perhaps in collaboration with local libraries and the like.

Phil asks to what extent it is planned for the promotion committee to handle social media announcements on behalf of Esperanto-USA. The discussion suggests that social media would fall under the purview of a publicity committee - to disseminate information about E-USA as an organization. Alex offers to record an announcement video on YouTube requesting volunteers to attend the polyglot meetings with the promotion committee. It is recommended that, rather than creating a separate website providing information about Esperanto, the promotion committee could instead help us improve the About Esperanto pages already on the E-USA webpage. Will Morton says they will discuss these suggestions and offers at their promotion committee meeting. Phil asks what the plan is, if any, for news releases to the press, but the committee indicates that they are currently promoting Esperanto as a language in non-Esperanto circles, not promoting Esperanto-USA and its activities. Therefore, press releases have not been identified as a primary tool for promotion committee purposes at this point. Hoss mentions that David Wolff has been working on printed and digital materials which would be available on our website, possibly including QR codes which would lead to a related website. Hoss and Chuck discuss a method by which the promotion committee could edit a sub-section of Esperanto-USA’s website, to publish digital materials about Esperanto for non-Esperanto speakers as well as printed materials for local groups to use in promoting Esperanto in their areas.

Central Office

Nothing out of the ordinary to report. Phil mentions that we don’t yet have dua bulteno about the UK in Montreal, which would include information about lodging, etc. Bill confirms that we do not yet have that, but we do have a place for members to sign up for the congress. However, no new information has been provided by UEA on that front.

Treasurer

All monthly reports appear pretty standard and as expected. David has met with Anna Bennett about quarterly reports and has plans to meet with Gary Grady, who handles our investments.

President

Phil has been trying to organise our committees and ensure that we have chairs for all of them. The finance committee, for example, is mentioned formally in the bylaws. It currently consists of Gary Grady, Anna Bennett, and Bill Harris. The president is the formal chair of that committee, but it does not have regular formal meetings as a full group. Phil submits that the treasurer should also be considered to be a member of that committee. David expresses a wish to have a better understanding of how our finances work. The board formally consents to the treasurer’s addition to the finance committee and to the other matters discussed regarding this committee. Phil suggests that we should list on our website the committee heads and contact information for them, given that email addresses on our website are obfuscated such that humans can read them but robots and webcrawlers cannot easily identify them as email addresses. Phil expresses intent of making a couple of short videos to provide information regarding local groups and regional coordinators, etc. Alekso and Phil will discuss further about such videos. Jane suggests that if multiple people are having trouble finding the information on the website, it may be that the information is therefore insufficiently easy to find.

Old Business

Website Redesign and Communication/Transparency

Committees

Phil is preparing information regarding committees and committee heads. Hoss discusses possible reasons why the previously mentioned information regarding local groups and regional coordinators were not quickly found online, as well as possible solutions. Hoss also suggests creating email aliases for committees and committee heads, in order to simplify contacting committees and keeping that contact information updated, such as by using groups.io as the board does. It is suggested each committee could get its own io group, which would have its own email address, and once set up, the committees themselves could be responsible for keeping the group up to date with current committee members. There is a discussion of public vs private groups, and the board suggests that private groups would be preferred, which would mean that whoever is the administrator of the groups (the current chair of that committee) would be required to approve any emails sent to the committee by people outside that committee.

Regional Coordinators

Another suggestion that had been proposed to the board was to have the central office double check that all local group contact information is up to date and valid. Fred explains that the regional coordinators also do that. Hoss suggests that we could structure the website such that any emails to the local groups are automatically CCed to the regional coordinator, so that they can be aware of any issues in non-responsiveness. Another suggested fix would be that monthly, the regional coordinators or central office could send out an email to each group saying “this is just a check. Please reply within [length of time, maybe 10 days]” and if no response, we can contact the regional coordinators. In order to avoid setting everything as the responsibility of the central office, Hoss suggests creating an automated system for this. Action Item: Hoss will look for ways to emphasize/make more prominent the information on our website about how our local groups are updated and what our regional coordinators do. Fred requests that regional coordinators could be copied on information requests and the responses. Bill suggests a way this could be quickly and easily implemented via our contact system.

Action Item: The Board will discuss on Slack how to help find an Apprentice Film Festival Manager for Alekso.