Proposed position statement on Community Revitalization

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Beathan
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Proposed position statement on Community Revitalization

Post by Beathan »

Revitalize the Guild, Revitalize the Community:
A Proposal for Revitalizing the C.D.S

I see that the Simplicity Party, both through individual effort and collective effort of Simpletons, and through the political process and RA service, has an opportunity to revitalize the CDS community, moving us passed the morass into which we have fallen in our heated and often vitriolic debate concerning the Judiciary Act. Just as the CDS is not a single-purpose community centered around its effort to develop a judiciary, the Simplicity Party is not a single issue party. The scope of our project has already been defined to include promotion of democracy throughout SL, a simplification of our Code of Laws through our "kill bill" effort, a simplification and streamlining of our Constitution (to prevent the proliferation of Constitutional branches of government Pel has recently warned the CDS to avoid in his discussion of the SC as part of the Judiciary Commission), and our planned expansion, geographically, politically, culturally, and in our population.

The Simplicity Party is not just interested in making our lives and our institutions simpler. We are committed to make our lives and our institutions better. We believe that a commitment to effective simplicity, either described as Occam's razor or as mathematical elegance, leads to this improvement in quality of life. We are committed to simplicity because it is better than complexity -- not just because it is simple and therefore appeals to our simple minds. Even the most complicated mind is better off when it can move onto newer, brighter and better things because it is not weighed down by unnecessary and Byzantine complications in the world it moves in and through.

As the party of simple solutions, we are dedicated to avoid the multiplication and proliferation of governmental branches, as well as to the principle that those branches should have simple and focussed tasks which do not duplicate the efforts of other branches. We see the reformed Guild as the best institution for revitalizing our community, and commend the efforts of those involved in Guild reform. Our efforts to improve our community should focus on, and proceed through, the Guild.

I think that we can apply the principles of the Simplicity Party to improve and revitalize our community. We can do so by focussing our efforts in four areas:

1. Public improvements, architecture, builds, and expansion.

2. Immigration and advertising.

3. Sim beautification and litter control.

4. Public and community events, and event hosting.


1. Public improvements and expansion.

The Simplicity Party's policy on territorial expansion is dealt with elsewhere. The Simplicity Party's policy on expanding the CDS's cultural influence in SL, by promoting democratic institutions generally, is also dealt with elsewhere. Further, our population expansion, which is closely tied to immigration, is dealt with below.

The CDS has an exemplary and successful record of building a high quality community with a fine architecture aesthetic that shows a keen commitment to thematic congruity and civic function while preserving beauty. There is not much room, if any room, for improvement to this commitment. If there is any room for improvement, it is in the process and the completion of the process, rather than the end to which the process is directed. The Simplicity Party acknowledges that there are several uncompleted projects relating to the rebuilding of Neufreistadt from the Ulrikan attacks. This work should be completed, but not at the expense of a draining of our resources from expansion.

Therefore, we need to develop a mechanism for prioritizing and performing the work that needs to be done, both on our existing sims and on future sims. Volunteer work, especially work by citizens, has been our primary method in the past. This is laudable -- and we need to continue and reward this commitment of citizens to our community. Historically we have recognized the labor of our citizens by memorializing their efforts in the names of roads and other landmarks. Such recognition is deserved, as well as very easy to do. Such a practice of recognition should continue, providing for the acknowledgment of any productive citizen who wishes to be so memorialized, although laborers should be able to opt out of such recognition if they wish.

However, we should also augment and supplement the volunteer citizen labor force by actively encouraging immigration of skilled builders and by continuing to offer training and apprenticeship to noncitizen volunteers, who can then be encouraged to immigrate into the CDS when they have proven their skills and received their training.

2. Immigration and advertising.

Beathan has proposed, in conceptual form, a mechanism for promoting and encouraging skilled immigration into the community. This proposal has been widely supported with promises of donations to develop a funding source to provide for subsidization of immigration costs. Pel, and others, have expressed a proper concern that this subsidization not take the form of a welfare program or create a laboring underclass. Moon, and others, have indicated that the Guild is intended to serve the function of attracting skilled citizens to the CDS, and of organizing and training those citizens when they arrive. These insights should be incorporated into Beathan's proposal. This can be done by creating a new institution under the administration of the Guild, funded by donations, to supplement or pay the civil service salaries of public builders. Such builders can become citizens of the CDS by association with CDS building groups, and can earn their salaries through their work, rather than receiving it as a hand-out. Further, by public recognition and acknowledgment, we can give the labor of these public builders the respect and recognition it deserves, thereby avoiding the creation of a labor underclass.

However, we must endeavor to keep this process as simple as possible, and to use existing institutions as much as possible (rather than creating new ones). This can be done by empowering the reformed Guild with the tasks of planning and constructing new sims, and of attracting skilled immigrants by including them in the building group. The Guild should be set up not only as a Constitutional branch of government, but also as a land-owing group, so that members of the Guild can become citizens by virtue of their membership. Members of the public building group should then become citizens by virtue of being members of the Guild. The restriction on citizenship through group membership should be relaxed to specifically allow noncitizens to become citizens by joining the Guild as paid civil service employees. Thus, we can and should have two parallel methods for becoming a citizen -- land ownership and labor through the Guild. We should avoid creation of class distinctions between these groups by providing inworld mingling at events and recognition of accomplishments that benefit the CDS. We can and should reward exceptional efforts by the public gift of a residence, and should set public works salaries at a level sufficient to pay tier rent and provide some surplus for other needs.

We should attract citizens by both active recruitment of skilled builders who have proven their talents by building elsewhere and by general advertising. The reformed Guild should put together a plan to encourage new members and new immigrants. All CDS adverstising should feature the opportunities available to builders and other skilled practitioners of SL professions -- including training, companionship, and the work itself. Our communication with the rest of SL should highlight our democratic project and governmental institutions, but should also highlight the opportunities for skilled builders, scripters, and desigers to join a society of similarly skilled people dedicated to their mutual interests and improvements. We need to make sure that our reformed Guild is up to the task of fulfilling this promise. Further, the reformed Guild should form an informal committee of "headhunters" to seek out and actively recruit talented builders who would contribute to our community both socially and aesthetically.

3. Sim beautification and litter control.

We should refocus our efforts in future builds and future improvements of our existing sims on the creation of public art and garden space. The CDS is remarkable in its commitment to public space -- and in the amount of land dedicated to public use. Heretofore, much of this land has been set aside to serve a governmental function. If we are successful in avoiding the further proliferation of governmental institutions, we will not need much more land dedicated to governmental use. Existing land should be sufficient. Therefore, we can and should dedicate future public land to aesthetic purposes.

The Guild should use its immigration policy and powers to recruit landscape planners, plant creators, and public artists. These are recognized SL professions, and our definition of labor should expand to include these professions. Further, we should employ such people, through the Guild, as civil servants, and actively involve them in the creation of future sims. All future sims should include landscape and foliage design and creation in addition to architectural builds.

Much recent effort and concern has involved litter control. Litter control is an important public function. Littering is the most common form of griefing in SL, and it should be treated as such. Therefore, we should specifically charge Marshals of the Peace with the job of litter control, and give them the permissions needed to remove litter in all CDS sims. (There are several aspects of the Judiciary Act, including most notably the Marshals of the Peace, which are not controversial. These sections should be set forth in separate legislation, so that the popular aspects of the Judiciary Act are not tied to the unpopular aspects. Further, we should follow Pel's suggestion and make Marshals of the Peace part of the Executive Branch of government, reporting directly to the Chancellor and acting as Chancellor deputies in their enforcement of CDS laws, including litter control.) So empowered, the Marshals of the Peace should be appointed and given watch hours as soon as possible.

4. Events.

We should plan a yearly calendar of events for all CDS sims, based on their theme. This will allow us to have sufficient lead time to prepare the events and to advertise them. As event planning is a recognized SL skill, we should make the planning, advertising, and running of events a guild function -- and should encourage skilled event organizers to immigrate to the CDS under Guild auspices, employing them as civil servants. Similarly, we should actively recruit and employ skilled hosts and hostesses, who can act both as tour-guides and as hosts and hostesses for our events. Ash's efforts as a tour guide and ambassador have shown just how valuable it is to have people inworld to greet visitors and show visitors the sights of the CDS. Hosting events, both our own and those of inworld groups, will greatly enhance this process.

Conclusion

Thus, we need to look to the reformed Guild to take the lead in revitalizing our community. The Guild exists for all SL laborers in the CDS. We need to expand our definition of SL labor to go beyond building and scripting, to include all recognized SL inworld skills, including hosting, advertising, and event planning. With such a definition, the Guild can become both the center of our civil service and the operative arm in our foreign and immigration policy. We should do our best to make the Guild the vibrant institution it can and should be. One of the first tasks of the Simplicity Party should be to join with Moon and Jon and the other reformers of the Guild to accomplish this goal.

Thus, to put this in simple terms, we should form a list of useful SL professions, including scripters, builders, landscape designers, architects, plant creators, event planners, hosts and hostesses, and others, and then should seek out and recruit, through the reformed Guild, such people, giving them jobs and making them citizens through the vehicle of civil service through the Guild. We should then use all the skills of our current and new citizens to improve our current sims, design and build new ones, and improve the number of events and activities in our Sims, so that people say, "there is always something going on in the CDS."

Beathan
Last edited by Beathan on Wed Dec 27, 2006 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Gwyneth Llewelyn »

Beathan,

You should definitely get in touch with Pelanor and Jon and talk to them about your ideas of the "New Guild", you have so many common points with them :) From my point of view, I think that a discussion group where is clear that members from all existing parties have a common goal — restructuring the Guild under guidelines which are similar — would benefit the citizens quite a lot: all-around consensus, from all politically-minded members of our virtual nation, in the way the Guild [i:32wu5m11]should[/i:32wu5m11] work, is definitely a very, very good sign!
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Diderot Mirabeau
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Re: Proposed position statement on Community Revitalization

Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

Beathan,

I can't thank you enough for this truly great work, which encompasses practically all the thoughts I think can be put into such a policy. I concur fully with Gwyneth's assessment of the policy and would recommend its adoption in full - save for one small issue: Do you really think it is necessary to let the guild be a constitutional branch of government and by extension have its 'labourers/residents' become civil servants?

In my mind letting the guild continue as a government branch carries the risk of introducing unnecessary complication with regard to the status of the talented builders that the Guild might wish to support as residents.

Personally, I think the reformed Guild would be better off as an NGO - possibly chartered. There would then be no need to consider its active members civil servants and there would be no complication regarding land ownership (which would then be wholly private) and its use in enabling citizenship. As you know there is already an act, which allows for group ownership of land bestowing citizenship on every owner in so far as the total amount of land is equal to or greater than 128 sqm per owner. I think this provision should be enough to enable the reformed Guild to offer benefactory citizenship to talented builders as a private institution.

Even if the new Guild does not become a government branch we may well decide to bestow upon the NGO guild certain privileges such as the first right of refusal to carry out public works including restoration, city planning and sim design/building.

What do you say to this?
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Post by Beathan »

Gywn --

I think you are exactly right. Good ideas know no party -- and I think that Pel and Jon are onto something. I admit that I listened to them and stole liberally from what I heard.

Diderot --

I have no deep commitment to the idea that the reformed Guild should be an arm of government. To me, this is a question that involves CDS history and political commitments which I am too new to fully appreciate. There might be a commitment to making the new guild the equivalent of the A.C. -- which was one of the original branches of CDS government. However, there might be problems that arose from the AC being a branch of government which I am not aware of.

However, I think that there is good reason to have a branch of government that is just the civil service -- without having that branch associated with the Executive or the Legislative or the Judicial/Philosophical. If I were given the task of rewriting the U.S. Constitution, this is the change I would make. The Legislature should legislate; the Judicial/Philosophical should set the direction of the political debate and should resolve disputes; the Executive should enforce the laws and defend the state. However, it is not clear to me that diplomacy and constructive public service should be done by the same group that polices the state. I think that this combination produces unhealthy attitudes about public service and about state security.

I think that the use of the Guild as the civil service arm is not necessarily a complication -- it may well be a benefit. However, I know that there is a lot of C.D.S history to inform this debate -- and that I don't know this history well enough to be informed by it.

Beathan
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Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

It just occurred to me that we ought perhaps to have a position on the Altenburg re-development and how it could be used for re-vitalisation of the community? Does anyone know the status of this?
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Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

I'll soon come around to editing these policy documents to be inline with what we agreed upon at the plenary meeting.

Before finding the time to do so however I'd like to suggest here that we delegate the responsibility for development of the Anzere infohub to either the CDS Traders' Association or The New Guild or a coalition of these under a franchise agreement where the NGO in question agrees to undertake ongoing maintenance of the place.

This underlines our philosophy of empowering citizens, traders and others who have a direct incentive for it to work to create a thriving community without the need for unnecessary politicking or bureaucratic decisionmaking in making the slightest small but needed changes in the infohub.
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Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

Patroklus has made a good post in the Business forum where he asks the following question:
[quote="Patroklus Murakami":149ad2o0]I'd be grateful for others' views on whether it's more appropriate for the maintenance of the Anzere infohub to be the responsibility of:

a) an individual
b) a government institution (and, if so, which one?)
c) a civil servant (and if so, which one?)
d) an NGO (and again, if so, which one?)[/quote:149ad2o0]
Personally, I think the infohub should be formally owned by the RA, which should pass a law to charge the Executive with setting up an agreement for its day to day maintenance under a franchise agreement.

The franchise agreement should have a duration of six months renewable upon assessment of the fulfilment of the conditions in the contract.

The conditions should include some of the following clauses:
1) Maintain or increase the level of traffic at the infohub
2) Prepare, make available and update a collection of notecards describing what NFS/CDS is all about
3) Prepare, make freely available, maintain and continually renew interesting and thematically relevant content at the infohub
4) Ensure a reasonable level of access/representation at the infohub to various defined parts of CDS (or NFS?) business and civil society under certain specified conditions (i.e. one notecard and texture per NGO and shop or one stall or one, unique house and 100 prims or similar) and making sure that submitted content is screened for suitability and put up at the infohub within reasonable time

The possibility of obtaining the contract should be announced in the executive forum and a 14 day deadline should be given for those wishing to submit a proposal.

The contract should be awarded to the group that can present the most compelling proposal outlining how they intend to achieve the above aims.
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Post by Aliasi Stonebender »

[quote="Diderot Mirabeau":29a04esb]
Personally, I think the infohub should be formally owned by the RA, which should pass a law to charge the Executive with setting up an agreement for its day to day maintenance under a franchise agreement.
[/quote:29a04esb]

You're missing something, Diderot.

[i:29a04esb]We do not own the infohub.[/i:29a04esb]

I don't own it. The CDS doesn't own it. The only thing that makes this info hub different from any other infohub is, in accordance with the 'Adopt an Infohub" policy LL had, we have one of our groups set to be able to place things at the hub and not be returned.

Also, strictly speaking, while I claimed it on behalf of the CDS, it was claimed by me. I do not know if Linden Lab would be responsive to people other than myself unless I notified them; it's a mini-version of the "Estate Owner" problem.
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Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

[quote="Aliasi Stonebender":365jon5t][quote="Diderot Mirabeau":365jon5t]
Personally, I think the infohub should be formally owned by the RA
[/quote:365jon5t]

You're missing something, Diderot.

[i:365jon5t]We do not own the infohub.[/i:365jon5t][/quote:365jon5t]
My mistake. Re-phrase to "Personally I think steps should be taken to formally grant the RA the right to decide on the usage rights for the infohub."
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Post by Aliasi Stonebender »

[quote="Diderot Mirabeau":bcy7vzff][quote="Aliasi Stonebender":bcy7vzff]
My mistake. Re-phrase to "Personally I think steps should be taken to formally grant the RA the right to decide on the usage rights for the infohub."[/quote:bcy7vzff][/quote:bcy7vzff]

I wasn't being facetious. The steps that would be taken is me granting that right to the RA. I'm not entirely sure that's appropriate, given this seems a very Executive-ish responsibility.

I'm not particularly concerned about the RA 'doing things wrong' as I imagine the end result would be similar in either case.
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Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

[quote="Aliasi Stonebender":2qtr3op1]I wasn't being facetious. The steps that would be taken is me granting that right to the RA. I'm not entirely sure that's appropriate, given this seems a very Executive-ish responsibility.[/quote:2qtr3op1]
I'm sorry but I don't understand the distinction you are making here. Please be a bit more elaborate for my sake.

My desire in having the RA acquire formal ownership of the privilege of deciding how to design the infohub is to emphasise that it is owned by the whole of the CDS. As far as I know this status has not been formally pronounced before and it needs to be done before the responsibility for executing a policy on how to maintain it can be enthrusted to the executive.

Surely, the decision on how to prioritise between different parts of our community's access to the daily management and upkeep of the hub and the extent to which the hub should be used for the promotion of different goals is a matter of policy that should be discussed and decided upon by the political part of our government?
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Post by Aliasi Stonebender »

[quote="Diderot Mirabeau":2nimulmr]
My desire in having the RA acquire formal ownership of the privilege of deciding how to design the infohub is to emphasise that it is owned by the whole of the CDS. As far as I know this status has not been formally pronounced before and it needs to be done before the responsibility for executing a policy on how to maintain it can be enthrusted to the executive.
[/quote:2nimulmr]

What I am saying is, as of [i:2nimulmr]now[/i:2nimulmr], I think it is very clearly within the Executive domain. 2 (c) and (d) of Amendment 11. The entire purpose of the Infohub is to publicize Neufreistadt/the CDS, and the Executive has perogative to appoint people as needed to discharge the duties of the office.

This is not to say the Executive cannot submit the question to the RA, and I've no objection to doing so. (And satisfies 3 of the same amendment nicely!) But I believe the distinction is important to prevent erosion of the Executive's powers.
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Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

Okay, well leaving the issue of institutional/private ownership aside I think Top's posts in the Business forum especially the one with the screenshot have highlighted the need to have an active, promotional presence there.

My proposal is that the Executive develops some means through which to delegate responsibility for the maintenance of the infohub to a group of citizens, who as part of the process of obtaining this limited term franchise prepare a proposal stating how they intend to fulfill one or more of the following goals:
1) Maintain or increase the level of traffic at the infohub
2) Prepare, make available and update a collection of easily accessible pictures and notecards describing what NFS/CDS is all about
3) Prepare, make freely available, maintain and continually renew interesting and thematically relevant content at the infohub
4) Ensure a reasonable level of access/representation at the infohub to various defined parts of CDS (or NFS?) business and civil society under certain specified conditions (i.e. one notecard and texture per NGO and shop or one stall or one, unique house and 100 prims or similar) and making sure that submitted content is screened for suitability and put up at the infohub within reasonable time

The possibility of obtaining the contract could be announced in the executive forum and a 14 day deadline should be given for those wishing to submit a proposal.

The contract could then be awarded to the group that can present the most compelling proposal outlining how they intend to achieve the above aims.

Is this something that we can all approve of? I'm perfectly fine with having this become a policy discharged through the powers of our Chancellor.
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Post by Sleazy_Writer »

[i:25p8j4di]I totally second this![/i:25p8j4di]


With following remarks:

- I want to put time and effort in this, but not on my own (Diderot? Anyone else?)

- Although the job is in essence Exec., I think the RA should discuss who should have the 'actual power'. Think of: 1-person/Landverwaltung dependance, ensure durable CDS influence.

- (1) Should be phrased as: "Make sure to direct traffic present at Anzere *TO* the CDS". There should be attention for the Newbies' bad behaviour.

- It would be my preference to have the people with the 'actual power' either under our Exec. as a civ.servant, or under our RA. But that can be discussed at the next RA meeting.
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Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

I think the CDS Traders' Association, The New Guild or the CDS Tourist Guides would be perfect organisational entities from our civil society, which could be entrusted with this responsibility under the orderly framework of an explicit agreement.
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