Resolutions and Representation

How to write a Resolution for the PMA in Portland

A resolution is a formal expression of opinion or intention made, after discussion and democratic decision making process, by a group. For the US Social Forum the resolutions are in the form of action and commitments. Use the following guide for crafting your resolutions.

Template from the USSF PMA Working Group:

This template is a suggestion, resolutions can and should be adapted to your community’s process.

  • Because these conditions exist:
  • And because these opportunities are possible:
  • We commit to this action:
  • And call on others in the US to join us.
Example resolutions from the Detroit 13 PMA                            How to submit a resolution

What kinds of commitments and action and commitments make good resolutions?

Most of our work is performed with only our own group's goals in mind. Movement building happens when you expand your field of vision to look across organizations, across movements and look for barriers that keep our work small and isolated. Here are some examples:

Beginner – resolution for action on only your group's short term goals, current campaign.

General: “Everyone should join our campaign and help us win...”

Specific: “Participate in our action to protest the recent editorial decision of the Oregonian”

Intermediate – resolution for action that is in-line with your current work, but looks long term.

General: “We need to work together and our campaign is one part of the broader struggle for...”

Specific: “Help us form a coalition to hold the Oregonian accountable for years of pro-developer, anti-community decisions.”

Advanced – take a step back and really think about what we need to build a movement

General: “Our movements need... We resolve to spend the next 2, 5, 10 years to build...”

Specific: “We need to strengthen our community run media. Resolve to turn our monthly community paper(s) into weekly or daily papers and/or online news sources.”

How to represent your group to the PMA in Portland

Your goal will be to represent the collective opinion to the best of your ability. In other words, your opinion matters, but only in the context of your membership in your group.

This is in contrast from how elected officials in the US usually see their role as speaking FOR us. Thus their individual opinion is the supreme factor in their decisions, even when it is the opposite of what the majority of their constituents want.

A good question to ask yourself when you're representing a groups is, “What would the group say if they were here?” Some groups may choose to send multiple members to be able to enable instant feedback for big or challenging decisions.