For the most part, I enjoy serving on a few boards. Not only does it offer me satisfaction knowing that I might have a role in helping a worthwhile organization fulfill its goals, but I enjoy the networking and camaraderie I build with fellow board members and other people involved in the organization.
But there is one aspect of being part of a board that I dislike: daylong workshops!
Last week I felt compelled to attend such a workshop for one organization on whose board I sit.
The organization hired an out of town “specialist" to lead the session.
Midway through the morning session, after I had downed my fourth cup of coffee and began tearing away at a stale oat muffin, the specialist started talking about visioning.
“Cast away all pre-judgments" he said, clearly uttering words straight from the visioning chapter of the Day Long Workshop playbook. “Think creatively. Think outside of the box. Embrace each others ideas. There are no bad ideas."
If I had a toothpick, I would have used it to prop my eyes open.
“There are no bad ideas?
Yet, such advice might soon be relevant for those of us here in Rogers Park. If that which pundits are now speculating about proves to be true, our community might soon find itself in search for a new Alderman to fill the seat now occupied by Joe Moore.
For those of you who don't follow this stuff, there is a strong chance that Governor Quinn will appoint Alderman Moore to a cabinet level position, thus opening up his slot. There is speculation, grounded in a Tribune article printed earlier this week, that the Mayor will give major consideration to any recommendation offered by the Alderman, who, in turn, suggests that he will have his 49th Ward Democratic Organization, headed by Committeeman David Fagus, engage in a community process to recommend a successor to fill his slot until we can conduct a special election.
Which begs the question: how does a community select a temporary Aldermanic candidate who the sitting Alderman can then recommend to the Mayor?
Allow the 49th Ward Democratic Organization to interview and select prospective candidates?
That's one way, I guess, though questions will arise as to who is actually part of the Democratic Organization, how this process would work, and whether the organization's members might already have allegiance.
Can we do better?
Under the leadership of Alderman Moore, we are the community that introduced Participatory Budgeting into North America. In this, the third year of engaging in this process, we, the residents of Rogers Park (at least those of us over 16 years of age) have participated in a unique and inclusive process wherein we decide how our ward's share of Aldermanic menu money is spent.
Some of us love the process. Others find it a useless exercise. Others simply don't care.
But it certainly is innovative, and, we have learned through the Alderman's email updates, people throughout the world have learned how residents of the 49th Ward embrace a fair and open processes.
If we in the 49th Ward are faced with selecting a successor for Alderman Moore, perhaps we can engage in as innovative and inclusive a process as the one we engage in for spending menu money.
Let's again remember that we are simply speculating. There is no assurance that Alderman Moore will receive the appointment to the state wide cabinet post, and, if he does, congratulations are in order.
Yet, its not to soon to consider the appointment process if indeed, the Mayor does seek a recommendation from our Ward for a successor.
I invite anyone possessing creative ideas to respond in the comment field below.
Remember: no idea is a bad one.