Posts Tagged ‘Legislative initiative’

The keys are now in hand to start the workhorse vehicle to carry the group through this initiative and complete the mission.  For those groups who are either starting up or have been in the trenches for quite some time, the next most important aspect is to have an understanding or agreement of the structure of your internal organization.

Ideally, it would be a good idea to decide how the legislative initiative group/organization you are advocating on behalf of should be structured.  I highly advise to stay away from a structure based on, or suggests positions of hierarchy, such as President, VP..etc.  A key reason is that structures of this type often represents control and power.  With this type of initiative neither control nor power is needed, therefore it should not be allotted to one or just a few individuals, unless of course there are only a very small handful of advocates in the group. Alternatively, it is highly recommended to lead by committee or board, or an approximation thereof to evenly share in the decision-making process and help carry the weight of those decisions.  What you will likely find, or have found if you have an existing group, is that the same individuals consistently show up to meetings and constantly contribute in an effective manner.  The people who fall into this category are going to be (or should be) your core group, in which a committee can be forged.

The advantages of this type of group format out-weighs the option of a hierarchical structure.  Foremost, it will keep egos in check because no one will have exclusive power or control.  Because the format of the committee is structured in such a way, it will allow for the core group to make decisions by quorum, where the body of people who are present, vote, and the majority vote moves forward.  An enormous advantage of decisions by quorum is that it’ll save time if any member of the group is not present then the group won’t have to postpone important votes for the next meeting.  If this approach sounds strange to you then consider this, the US Supreme Court votes in the same manner, as does any local and federal government in the US.  The reason why voting by a quorum is necessary and imperative is because you are making decisions for countless of thousands of individuals, not to mention it helps bring balance.  Although the advocates are self-appointed and have been working incredibly hard on this initiative this does not award automatic entitlement to have more power or authority over the direction of the initiative for the thousands of voiceless individuals who can not be in that room for that vote, hence standing up for the socially oppressed (Oppression = Civil Rights issue #1).

One of the sights I feel escapes the advocates in the heat of the battle is how their individual decision-making impacts countless of thousands of lives which has a multi-generational span.  Why on earth one or a few individuals would want that weight of decision-making or power beats the crap out of me.  Aside from an organization being very small, this suggests to me that either the organizational leaders, I fear, are either fool-hearty, on a power trip, or have issues relinquishing control.  If leadership is fool-hearty then leadership is not suited to be in the driver’s seat.  If leadership thrives on the power then the best interest of the initiative has been compromised and lost. If leadership has issues of control then they also have issues of trust, if you can’t trust your team than how effective can the legislative team be?

Internal structure is important, having the ability to shift cohesively in unison, like a flock of birds rolling with the shifting air current, imperative.


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Foremost and above all, the fundamental principle that needs to remain on the horizon is that this initiative is for the adoptee, and only the adoptee, no one else and for no other reason(s).  The moment this principle wavers the merits are diluted and the initiative is compromised and becomes an errant mission.  This mission is about freeing the socially oppressed by way of liberating Original Birth Certificates (OBC), and equally important it is about the growth of the participating adoptees advocating for this goal.  I firmly state, involvement in this initiative for adoptees will bring relentless opportunities for empowerment and personal growth.

One of the most critical challenges for adoptees to hurdle in order to be fully invested in this initiative is being truthful with oneself.  Truth comes in the form of admitting that he/she wants to know their personal history and admitting their desire to discover their complete identity.  Another aspect an adoptee should consider prior to becoming a legislative champion is facing fears of being honest with the people who we are most comfortable.  If an advocate doesn’t have the confidence to stand in the public lime light without the burden of what their family/friends think it’s going to be incredibly challenging to lobby on behalf of OBC legislation without the possibility of drawing media attention. If an advocate refrains from a media opportunity then the advocate is denying a major tool for education and awareness and thus the advocate is compromising the initiative.

Once the above monumental dynamics are overcome for the individual adoptee personal growth will now have the opportunity to flourish.  An instrumental dynamic to personal growth is discovering then developing one’s own voice.  As adoptees, we can all appreciate and respect how important this development can be and is; not to mention how delicate and sensitive this period of time is for an adoptee.

For those who lead the legislative packs around the country, as you need the depth of adoptee support, the above has to be understood this is what comes with the territory.  It should be additionally understood that for many adoptees this will no doubt be about facing personal fears straight on and triumphing over those fears, and with that, empowerment and growth.  One aspect that warrants caution is, as adoptees experience growth during this period the other side to personal growth is risk.  Adoptees risk exposing vulnerabilities as he/she triumphs over fear and pain as they venture into new and uncharted territory.

In the end, this element may very well not be the power the engine needs to drive the car or the gas to fuel the engine, but make no mistake about it, it is very much the keys that can make the difference between success or failure.

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