So Arizona lawmakers pass a repugnant immigration bill that reignites the Brown People Fear. (I'm sure that would scan better in German. Then again, ethnically, I'm both part Mexican and German.) And the 2012 Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) General Assembly (GA) is scheduled for Phoenix next June.
Cue the agita about bringing them convention dollars. And now the UUA Board is going to act this evening. I lifted this from a GA-related group in the walled garden called Facebook. (It really should be on the front page of UUA.org.)
The following announcement was posted to the UUA-L email list [yesterday] afternoon:
The UUA Board of Trustees will hold an online Board Meeting on Thursday, May 6, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time to determine how and when a decision will be made to affirm or change the location of General Assembly 2012, currently scheduled to be held in Phoenix, Arizona. UUA Moderator Gini Courter called this Special Board Meeting following the passage of Arizona Senate Bill 1070. This meeting is open to observers; Unitarian Universalists wishing to observe can register here: http://persony100.uua.org/?meeting=6388129
When you register please use your first and last name. Once you have registered, Persony will send you a confirmation email that will allow you into the meeting which will be open at 7:45 pm EDT. Also remember the email address you used to register - you will need to use that exact email to enter the meeting. Please note: There are a limited amount of lines for the Persony (web) part of the meeting. If you try to register and it will not allow you to, you may still call into the meeting. The call in number is: 1-866-516-3949 - Attendee code: 73886534#
Gauging from the Facebook group comments, those people who have opinions have them all over the map. Here are my thoughts.
- I support boycotts that work. Read that as you like.
- Who's bright idea is it to keep holding General Assembly in hot climate states in June anyway? Or such conservative cities? The only reason that makes sense is that they're cheap. And you get what you pay for. Spare me the sermon about spreading our values. Apart from a couple of press clips and at the overloaded eateries, we're scarcely seen in these burgs.
- Planning a convention is like steering an iceberg. Can you imagine cancelling the contracts, the alternate site decisions, the site visits, the new contracts, the new volunteer arrangements and so forth?
- Each of these changes will take money the UUA doesn't have.
- Any action will lead to silent boycotts. So there's a net result to consider.
- Lower participation will be bad -- I suspect -- for those delegates who take their governance responsibilities seriously.
- I'm not going to GA anyway -- no vote, no parish, no reason -- and am all the happier for it. I'm also not calling in.
So what to do? I'll go to one of my favorite phrases: Let's get legal on the phone.
- As soon as this law is challenged in court, I'd like to see a UUA-sponsored amicus brief, should that prove useful.
- Better still. Since the voter suppression of Latino Arizona citizens is a subtext -- or is it the surtext? -- I'd like to know what a
roving mobgenteel meeting of religious liberals could legally-safely and practically do to register voters, or to support registration efforts.
For me that's money and time well spent.