Draft - Proposed Simplicity 2009 Platform

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Brian Livingston
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Draft - Proposed Simplicity 2009 Platform

Post by Brian Livingston »

Hi all:

In preparation for the upcoming elections, I've taken a look at our faction's founding principles and applied them to some of the issues that will certainly be facing our community over the next few months. The result is a simple, concise list of our priorities and areas on which we will focus our efforts. This is most certainly a draft and designed to gather feedback and ideas from my fellow faction members before we settle on the final platform. In the spirit of openness and participation, I am posting it to the Simplicity Party Forums for comment and modifications.

Thanks!

Brian Livingston
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5 Simple Goals for 2009

1. Encourage greater community participation.
- Continue Events support, encourage private events.

2. Maintain sensible fiscal policy.
- Formal creation of a citizens fiscal oversight committee to assist Treasurer.
- Reduce loopholes in tier collection policies that negatively affect the C.D.S.
- Future Expansion should be pre-sold to a break-even point before purchasing the region.

3. Support reasonable, productive expansion.
- "Normal" regions should be pre-sold to the break-even point before region purchase.
- No Normal regions should be purchased until ratio of unsold land to total land is below 25%.
- Openspace regions, if planned, should be offset by budget surpluses, not tier increases.

4. Rebuild the C.D.S. image and reputation.
- Work to increase in-world and RL media coverage of major events.
- Encourage the reformation of a NGO Merchants organization to drive commercial activity. Provide some starter funding.

5. Continue pushing for simple, coherant legislation and regulations.
- Encourage continuation of RA Archivist work to demote archaic and repealed legislation.
- Repeal unneccessary or archaic legislation at the R.A. level.
- Insist that any new legislation be organized in a clear, concise, and coherent manner to promote accessibility and usability.
Rose Springvale
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Re: Draft - Proposed Simplicity 2009 Platform

Post by Rose Springvale »

This sounds like a great platform, mostly :)

I'd rather not have an obligation for presales to break even, but would support a program that includes community involvement in the theme and parcelization selection, and incentives for citizens to help with sales. As long as we continue to maintain healthy reserves, i see no reason to restrict growth in that way.

I'm just not sure who would have the time to do presales to break even... will we be adding a real estate agency to our executive staff? it takes on average 2 - 3 hours to properly show and educate newcomers about CDS WITH the land there for them to see and imagine their use. We have adopted legislation this term to attempt to put the personal touch BACK into our land sales, and because of that, while I'd like to see how some of the outside advertising and sales mechanisms, like Xstreet, work, i don't want to hold up natural growth by application of rigid percentages.

We build beautiful sims. I think we should let that beauty speak for itself.
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Jamie Palisades
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Re: Draft - Proposed Simplicity 2009 Platform

Post by Jamie Palisades »

Here are my reactions to Brian's statements, probably heavily influenced by my experiences working within the government this term. Thanks again to him for the detailed and helpful posting:
1. Encourage greater community participation.
- Continue Events support, encourage private events.
Agree strongly. This term we've upped the events budget a lot -- and it appears to have produced more new citizens. Of course you need land to do that too ... but with LA we had a lot more lots to sell, than AM, and it was really the events that got the attention of many - or maybe even most - newcomers who joined us by buying new land.
2. Maintain sensible fiscal policy.
- Formal creation of a citizens fiscal oversight committee to assist Treasurer.
- Reduce loopholes in tier collection policies that negatively affect the C.D.S.
- Future Expansion should be pre-sold to a break-even point before purchasing the region.
Oversight? Brian's idea. I see it as more levels of foolish committee/commissions/politics. We need toy run like a lean volunteer org, based on transparent, wise, agreed guidelines. The people who administer our money (Sudane, me, PIO, etc) are in exactly the same position as our creative contributors (guild, builders, even planners) -- they need to be given some encouragement, some guidelines, and predictability -- and then trust. le A tree full of non-creating owls, hooting at a creator or volunteer, is the surest way to DISCOURAGE volunteer contributions -- in CDS or anywhere. I'm agin' it.
What SHOULD happen in my view is that we should have more precise laws that constrain us, get more periodic clear plans out for public review and RA comment .. and then allow our elected officials to do their jobs. Whoever they are.

Loopholes in collection? Agree strongly. I have proposed bills to the RA that do this, Some already have passed. Others (regarding stuff like non-resident-citizens-through-a-group) are in process.

Presales? As a blanket rule, not so sure. I think RA should decide whether to approve that on a case by case basis. A mindless application of that rule might, otherwise, prevent ideas like Arria's or voids, in some cases. Rose made the same point, I think.
3. Support reasonable, productive expansion.
- "Normal" regions should be pre-sold to the break-even point before region purchase.
- No Normal regions should be purchased until ratio of unsold land to total land is below 25%.
- Openspace regions, if planned, should be offset by budget surpluses, not tier increases.
As for pre-sales, see above. On the rest? I'm just plain not sure. I think we are in a disruptive and unusual market, for SL virtual land right now, during which we will have *opportunities* to do one-time great things. I doubt a formula approach is the right one.
4. Rebuild the C.D.S. image and reputation.
- Work to increase in-world and RL media coverage of major events.
- Encourage the reformation of a NGO Merchants organization to drive commercial activity. Provide some starter funding.
I hope it's obvious that we agree with the RL media point, and are starting to make some progress there, with telegenic activities now that we've cleaned up some of the backlog of administrative matters from neglect.
Merchants? Maybe. It would require a willing, involved leader, and a critical mass of native vendors. Do we have those? CDS, and especially its majority legislative party, have long seem to oppose strong moves to attract commerce... and lately the economy simply doesn't make it fruitful, either. So to me this seems like :"good idea, but lower priority",
5. Continue pushing for simple, coherent legislation and regulations.
- Encourage continuation of RA Archivist work to demote archaic and repealed legislation.
- Repeal unneccesary or archaic legislation at the R.A. level.
- Insist that any new legislation be organized in a clear, concise, and coherent manner to promote accessibility and usability.
On points one and two, agree, the current RA archivist is from our faction, and Brian himself has done great work to clear up and reorganize access to our legal code.
On point three, hmmm. I'd love to :D But many have tried, and failed, to get even professional, Tangible World legislators to write well :D
So best we can do is (a) set an example (which Brian and Beathan and Jamie, who have written a LOT of CDS law) have tried to do ... (b) encourage future rewriting work on key old laws ... and that HORRID constitution, which would certainly get a flunking grade if submitted to a undergraduate university level course in political science .... and (c) encourage the SC to be more concrete, and less mystical and subjective, in its approach to interpreting law.

Other opinions warmly encouraged.

Regards JP
== My Second Life home is CDS. Retired after three terms
== as chancellor of the oldest self-governing sims in SL.
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