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ARD- On the state of the ‘march’ and other ‘organizing’ at the time of my resignation

After Gershom attacked me on Bastardette’s comment thread, I replied with the following:
Anonymous Baby Love Child said…
GershomLet’s be clear, Ron asked me to “be our volunteer trainer and head monitor at the protest” on March 9th ’08.

After several e-mails back and forth I accepted on March 14th ’08.

So I’ve been working on this formally since March.

Which I suppose just shows you don’t even know how ARD’s own organizing and volunteer coordination was going.

Simply put you have no idea how much work I did or didn’t put into this event, but even what you did see was certainly more than 2 days, and you know it.

The list came into existence VERY late in the game. Which in and of itself was insane. The list existed for less than a week before the withdrawals and resignations began.

How the hell anyone was supposed to be organizing any kind of event without the most basic of communications vehicles between the parties? It was just unfathomable.

People were exchanging personal e-mails, waiting for permission to forward things to third parties. To clean up that mess, I advocated on May 23rd, in personal e-mail to you, that a list desperately needed to be created:

“If nothing else, it wastes time to have to reiterate multiple times over some of the basic conversations.”

May 20th I wrote you in personal e-mail:

One of the ideas we had, (though for all I know such may already exist), was to create sort of a ‘working list’ e-mail-wise, to get all of us and anyone else who will sort of be doing organizing in the lead up to the event communicating directly and up to speed on what’s going on. I’m not talking about the main e-mail list for the event, but a much smaller invite only list for dealing with the details of pulling this off. We could set up a googlegroup in no time if that’s the kind of thing you might want. Just let me know.

You finally created a list on the 23rd, after admitting that the lack of communication was really messing things up. But prior to that, organizers, volunteers, etc had no communications vehicle other than direct e-mail and phone.

Ron’s suspension piece was a hell of a lot more than just a “request of insight into suspension.”

Ron was the person who had brought up the idea of going to the National Conference of State Legislators annual meeting in the first place. Ron is the one who contacted some of us about working with DAR.

When he posted his proposed suspension piece on the 29th, this was after you had come back to us the night before with the grand total of 4 hotel rooms booked in the Best Western.

The BN hotel had more, but ultimately let’s face it the numbers just weren’t there for any kind of ‘Mass action’ as the event had originally been proposed to be.

So Ron called for suspension, and later that night the first of the withdrawals began.

I stayed on until Friday evening.

You say you’ve been organizing since August, fine.

Let’s talk about where things stood. Me resigning as the person working the volunteers for the march was ultimately not particularly relevant because:

1. There was no permit for the March nor for the picket outside the convention center. Unless something has changed there still isn’t.

2. I asked from the moment I came o board how volunteer recruitment was going. It took a long time to get an answer. When I finally did the number was first 3 people (to run a march of at the time an unspecified number of marchers- it could have been 5 or could have been 500.)

Once I was actually able to see the data, I found myself with ONE volunteer to help run the march.

So resigning at that point was practically superfluous to what Ron had asked me to do, there was no permitted march and there was only ONE volunteer.

Since you folks were clearly, shall we say, falling down in the volunteer recruitment arena, I stepped up, within 24 hours of the realization that I had one volunteer, I put out a release calling for volunteers. I specifically requested other organizers help me spread it far and wide.

Yet you never posted it to the ARD website and as far as I can tell, (since no one communicated any action to me) no one did anything with it other than me.

At the time people began to withdraw the booth had been paid for, but the additional costs for drape etc hadn’t, Lafayette square had been paid for. There was a block of rooms at the Best Western with 4 booked. The Country Inn and suites had other reservations. That was the state of things.

There was no ‘march’ other than the possibility of people walking single file to the convention center- until the point at which enough money had come together to get the permits.

I asked you on the phone about the permits, seeing as they were shall we say pretty damn fundamental to what I had signed on to do with DAR. You said you needed something from BN. So I called BN, they said they were still waiting for documentation from you. So I brought that back to you, you said it was your fault.

Hell yes there’s a lot not being said here, Gershom, I certainly agree with you on that.

Care to talk about how site traffic to use your word went “un-freakin-real” (as in wonderful) after you reorganized some aspects on the website per my suggestions?

Care to talk about how the many forms of support I gave you, personally?

Nah,that would cloud that black and white, good-guy bad guy thing certain people insist is in all this.

The truth is a hell of a lot more clouded and we ALL know it.

But from the moment I contacted you via e-mail offering to help (which you promptly forwarded to Ron without my consent) I’ve done everything I could to pull this ongoing disaster outta the crapper.

When I came on board you had gotten a redundant second hotel and signed the contract on if for as far as I can tell, no reason. That was the level of lack of miscommunication that was happening. ‘Oh but the Adult Adoptees wanted a hotel… .’

BASIC pieces of organizing were completely absent.

I do understand you’re new to this, if you remember, I gave you a hell of a lot of support about that.

Due to circumstances, some beyond everyone’s control. A lot got left to you.

Yet when we spoke on the 23rd, you admitted you had been “slacking”. So don’t sit here and tell me I have done EVERYTHING. Not you, not bastard nation, not ron, ME. that’s bullshit and you know better.

Over and over again, I kept discovering there was less there than even you thought.

I asked you how many people we had actually coming and what dates they were going to be in town for. You had no idea. That was where your idea of making the calls came from.

Fine, you can bitch about us not helping, but I was doing things like sitting in medical waiting rooms,while Marley was traveling. Both of which, you knew.

As I said even four days ago on my blog

Personally, my beef is not with Gershom.


This is not an attack on Gershom

My opinion of you in the last four days however, has changed greatly.

Thursday, June 5, 2008 3:14:00 AM EDT

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