December 6th, 2012 IRC Meeting

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Prep for the in-person meeting on the 9th

  1. Final revision of letter to members/supporters?
  2. Member survey
  3. Review of voter/supporter stats
  4. Review of planned 2013 events/activities
  5. Review of organization
  6. Review of budget

Quick Notes / Summaries Re Proposed Bills to be Discussed:

  1. Final revision of letter to members/supporters?
  2. Member survey
  3. Review of voter/supporter stats
  4. Review of planned 2013 events/activities:
    1. Continuing what we have done
      1. Pirate Info Conference
      2. Together Boston music festival is in April/May IIRC (
      3. Boston Pride Festival on Sat. June 8th (
      4. Freedom Rally on Boston Common
      5. CryptoParty
    2. New events
      1. Pirate Planning/Issue Conference?
      2. Security BSides
      3. CryptoCurrencies Conference (such as this one)
      4. Wake up the Earth Festival in JP on Sat., May 4th (
      5. Pax East which is March 22-24th. They are looking for submissions (, though they do focus on computer gaming;
      6. AnimeBoston which is May 24-26th.
      7. Digital Media Conference & Grassroots Use of Technology Conference possibly
  5. Review of organization
    1. How can we be better organized?
    2. Need committees? Which ones if so?
  6. Review of budget. Here is what we adopted for 2012

Voter info

As of 11/19/2012 we have 76 voters.  
On 2/29/2012 we had 21 voters.
Three left, but 58 joined.

Here is a break down by Gender or Age for this and the previous voter sets:

		11/19/12	02/29/12
Total		76		21	
Gender	Female	18	24%	4	19%
	Male	58	76%	17	81%
Age	18-20	10	13%	4	19%
	21-25	17	22%	2	10%
	26-30	23	30%	3	14%
	31-40	16	21%	5	24%
	41-50	6	8%	5	24%
	51+	4	5%	2	10%

I also mapped the 11/19/2012 data set by zipcode only:

I also merged in the data from the supporters list on mailchimp.  
When I only look at the MA records, that only gave us four new addresses.  
It did give us 178 zipcodes, however, which I mapped below designating 
which are voters and which are supporters:

Finally, I merged in all of the people who signed our petition to create 
the Pirate designation, so the snail mail list portion consists of 149 records.  
I have broken them out into voters, supporters who are not voters and people 
who signed our petition.  I included the three people who left in case they 
just changed their designation to vote in an election.


  • mildbeard - Erik Zoltan, Framingham
  • SplendidSpoon - Lauren Pespisa, Boxboro/Cambridge
  • srevilak - Steve Revilak
  • jokeefe - James O'Keefe, Somerville
  • davidd - David, Netherlands


  • passstab - Pennsylvania
  • cmal
  • TeamColtra


  1. Updated letter to members/supporters

Meeting Minutes


[11:57] <@jokeefe> hi! [11:57] == mode/#masspirates [+l 14] by [4Q] [11:57] <@jokeefe> brb [11:58] <@srevilak> k [12:00] <@jokeefe> back [12:01] <@jokeefe> put agenda / notes at,_2012_IRC_Meeting [12:01] <@jokeefe> long list [12:05] == mildbeard [] has joined #masspirates [12:05] == mode/#masspirates [+o mildbeard] by [4Q] [12:05] == mode/#masspirates [+v mildbeard] by [4Q] [12:05] <@mildbeard> good morrow! [12:05] == mode/#masspirates [+l 15] by [4Q] [12:06] <@srevilak> howdy, mildbeard [12:06] <@mildbeard> hi, sorry to be a few minutes late. [12:06] <@mildbeard> Erik Zoltan, Framingham [12:07] <@jokeefe> hi mildbeard [12:07] <@jokeefe> James O'Keefe, Somerville [12:08] <@mildbeard> hi jokeefe, srevilak [12:08] <@srevilak> Steve Revilak, Arlington [12:09] <@srevilak> I really like the outreach letter, [12:09] <@mildbeard> me too [12:10] <@mildbeard> Does anyone have suggested changes to the member survey? [12:10] <@mildbeard> [12:10] <@mildbeard> I can make them while we talk. [12:11] <@srevilak> I made one small change to outreach letter, adding words "making a donation" [12:11] <+davidd> ok uhm [12:12] <+davidd> only the voting age as electoral reform? [12:12] <@mildbeard> Other suggestions? [12:12] <@mildbeard> jokeefe was suggesting adding more questions and extending it onto page 2. [12:12] <+davidd> district -> party popular? [12:13] <@mildbeard> Do you mean proportional representation? [12:13] <+davidd> but i would stay away from questions 2 6 7 and 8 [12:13] <@mildbeard> why specifically? [12:14] <+davidd> it will get you framed as being republican or democrat-like [12:14] <@jokeefe> BTW: agenda/notes at,_2012_IRC_Meeting [12:14] <@mildbeard> davidd, the Massachusetts Pirate Party is extending its platform to cover the issues that are most important on the minds of voters. [12:15] <@jokeefe> we have to compete district by district [12:16] == SplendidSpoon [] has joined #masspirates [12:16] == mode/#masspirates [+o SplendidSpoon] by [4Q] [12:16] == mode/#masspirates [+v SplendidSpoon] by [4Q] [12:16] <@jokeefe> hi splendidspoon [12:16] == mode/#masspirates [+l 16] by [4Q] [12:16] <@SplendidSpoon> Hey [12:16] <+davidd> why dont you let candidates from each district say what they want on those issues [12:17] <@jokeefe> other electoral reform choices voting system: (keep FPTP, adopt IRV, change to multi-member districts, adopt some form of proportional rep) [12:17] <+davidd> nice Q jokeefe [12:17] <@mildbeard> jokeefe, I think that's a really important issue. I'm concerned that it's too complicated to put in a simple checkbox format. Maybe we have a separate page that explains the ideas? [12:17] <+davidd> the reason why i named those questions, 2,6,7,8 [12:17] <+davidd> is i think they can scare away many people [12:18] <@mildbeard> We've made the decision to extend the platform. [12:18] <+davidd> do you have an idea how the general populus from mass would anwser those questions? [12:18] <@jokeefe> agreed, mildbeard, but then they all are [12:19] <+davidd> how many 50-50 divisive questions are there [12:19] <@mildbeard> jokeefe, I was envisioning follow-up surveys that devote more time to individual issues and delve into more detail. [12:19] <@srevilak> what about question on clean elections (i.e., public funding only) [12:19] <+davidd> perhaps you could add a default anwser "leave up to the candidate" [12:19] <+davidd> on all questions [12:20] <@mildbeard> davidd, I think it would be very relevant to have a specific question on whether we should extend our platform or just leave it to the "3 planks." [12:20] <@mildbeard> srevilak, that's a good idea too. [12:20] <@jokeefe> agreed, mildbeard, questions I would like to see are - where should we focus our efforts (international, national, state, local), what would get you to help out more (haven't been asked, don't know how, not interested, not sure party will go anywhere) [12:21] <+davidd> i agree mildbeard, but this questionare seems to imply these issues will be added to the planks [12:22] <@mildbeard> davidd, that's because we've already decided in the past to cover more issues. I see you disagree with that decision, but it's been discussed many times in the past. [12:22] <+davidd> i wouldnt put myself in the disagree column on "cover more issues" [12:23] <@jokeefe> on voting age, I would add the option - Raise it to 21, if you cannot drink you shouldn't vote - but make it funny [12:23] <+davidd> i totally agree with the other questions on the questionare [12:23] <@srevilak> Just for clarity, the questionairre is going to _existing_ party members, yes? [12:23] <+davidd> it's these specific topics that i think might scare away peeps [12:24] <@mildbeard> yes, we'll mail it out to everyone for whom we have an address unless they opted out. And we should post it online too. [12:24] <+davidd> were the specific topics also decided ? [12:24] <@mildbeard> It's hard for me to imagine that sending out a survey where you ask questions would scare away members. [12:25] <+davidd> no not like that mildbeard :) [12:25] <+davidd> i mean if the questionares come back, the results might scare away people that otherwise would have become pirate [12:25] <@jokeefe> I would suggest in the opening to the survey that we state that we are a party that believes in democracy and we don't make our decisions in back rooms, but with the input and participation of our members. [12:26] <@jokeefe> "While a survey isn't ideal, it allows members with little time to give their input. We welcome your suggestion on how to improve how we make decisions" [12:26] <@mildbeard> Right, the intent is to use direct democracy here. [12:27] <+davidd> well i see a good oppertunity for pirates to enter in the US [12:27] <+davidd> in the fact that the district representative system is perverted [12:27] <+davidd> these people dont represent the people in their district [12:27] <+davidd> they follow party lines [12:28] <+davidd> in a district system you can bank on that [12:28] <@jokeefe> srevilak - the mailing is to all voters, those supporters for whom we have email address and the people to signed to make us a designation. We can put the survey in all or some of those categories. [12:28] <+davidd> by having true local representatives [12:28] <+davidd> i understand you dont want to anwser "we dont have a position on that" to tons of people [12:28] <@mildbeard> jokeefe, I just added the following wording to the top of the survey. [12:29] <@mildbeard> We want to be the party that makes decisions through direct democracy, with input from all members, rather than in a back room. While a survey isn't ideal, it allows all members to give input. [12:29] <@mildbeard> If you feel strongly that we should not have a policy on any or all of the following issues, then please feel free to comment to that effect. [12:29] <+davidd> nice mildbeard [12:29] <@mildbeard> thanks davidd [12:29] <+davidd> is there a good place where members could discuss online about these questions? [12:29] <+davidd> have more of a debate about it [12:30] <@jokeefe> I would suggest that Don't have a policy on this issue be one of the choices then. [12:30] <@jokeefe> davidd, we setup liquidfeedback, but 1) have had some problems with it 2) few people are on it or participate. [12:30] <+davidd> perhaps you can direct people to this chatroom from the survey? [12:30] <+davidd> ppnl has the same issue jokeefe [12:31] <+davidd> it is setup but to few people are active [12:31] <@jokeefe> or a blog as the swedish pirate party did, perhaps [12:31] <@jokeefe> good to know we aren't alone in that davidd [12:32] <@mildbeard> We need to have a follow-up effort on every one of these issues. Having a survey is a good way to get input, but it can't be the entire story. [12:32] <+davidd> yes totally agree mildbeard [12:32] <@mildbeard> Still, there will be some people that we'll only hear from one time, and that will be the survey. [12:32] <+davidd> is it clear at this point in time what will be the next step? [12:32] <+davidd> in the proces? [12:32] <+davidd> ifso put that at the bottom of the survey [12:33] <@jokeefe> good point [12:33] <@mildbeard> I don't think we've come to a consensus really yet. [12:33] <@mildbeard> Not that we can't. [12:34] <@jokeefe> mildbeard, I would add Reduce regulations and Guarantee Internet access to all to the Prosperty for All question [12:34] <+davidd> i think it would be a good idea to give people an honest impression of what the value of their filling out the survey will be [12:34] <@mildbeard> jokeefe, two separate items? [12:35] <@jokeefe> yes, mildbeard [12:35] <@jokeefe> I suggest that we run the survey through January (online as well) and then publish the results. [12:35] <+davidd> perhaps on some questions multiple anwsers can be given [12:36] <@jokeefe> Highlight the comments and use them for the next step. [12:36] <@jokeefe> that is how mildbeard set it up [12:36] <@jokeefe> choose all that apply [12:36] <+davidd> perhaps you could specify something like "multiple anwsers are allowed on questions x,y and z" [12:37] <@mildbeard> OK I'm adding a "Don't have a policy on this" checkbox to each item. [12:37] <+davidd> ow i am sorry [12:37] <+davidd> i see now jokeefe [12:37] <@jokeefe> mildbeard - I see that you have Deregulate many forms of industry. on question 2. so ignore my suggestion to add it to 6? [12:38] <@mildbeard> No, I think it's relevant. We may have libertarians so there should be something for them to check. [12:38] <@jokeefe> right [12:39] <@jokeefe> on the letter, any further comments? [12:40] <@mildbeard> I'm good with the letter! [12:40] <@jokeefe> SplendidSpoon, srevilak ? [12:41] <@SplendidSpoon> I haven't seen latest version [12:42] <@jokeefe> [12:43] <@mildbeard> I am adding a question on elections per srevilak's suggestion and one on voting per jokeefe's suggestion. [12:44] <@jokeefe> k [12:45] <@SplendidSpoon> Looks good to me [12:45] <@srevilak> mildbeard: I'm good with the letter [12:46] <@srevilak> I keep looking questions 6, 7 and wondering if we could somehow combine to one question on budgeting [12:46] <@jokeefe> We done with the changes to the member survey? mildbeard, do you want to post an update? [12:47] <@mildbeard> Sure, how should I post it. Can I somehow upload it to the site in wordpress, or do I need to SFTP it? [12:47] <@srevilak> defense: too much / too little, social programs: too much/too little, entitlements: too much/too little, corporate taxes: too much/too little, etc [12:48] <@jokeefe> if you have an account on the blog, you should be able to upload it. [12:49] <@mildbeard> OK then I'll go ahead and do that. [12:49] <@mildbeard> I'll send out a link after. [12:49] <@mildbeard> srevilak, you have a point. [12:49] <@mildbeard> I will take a look at consolidating. [12:50] <@mildbeard> I still think there are too many things to be 1 question. [12:52] <@jokeefe> could be one meta question that takes a different format. [12:52] <@jokeefe> defense: o too much, o enough, o too little [12:52] <@srevilak> mildbeard: yes, it's really a collection of A/B questions [12:52] <@mildbeard> yeah - have to rethink it. [12:52] <@srevilak> or A/B/C questions ... [12:53] <@jokeefe> could add no opinion [12:53] <@jokeefe> to [12:53] <@jokeefe> too [12:53] <@jokeefe> seems like I said that last week in a slightly different context [12:53] <@mildbeard> I have "Don't create a policy on this" now added to most of the items. [12:53] <@jokeefe> good [12:53] <@jokeefe> thanks [12:54] <@jokeefe> still thinking of keeping the volunteer/donate form on the 2nd page? [12:55] <@mildbeard> We're up to 3+ pages. [12:55] <@jokeefe> smaller text? [12:56] <+davidd> i think 4 is a good max [12:56] <@jokeefe> we could review on Sunday, prune it, then do the mailing between xmas/new years [12:56] <@jokeefe> 4 questions, davidd? [12:56] <@jokeefe> or pages? [12:56] <+davidd> 4 pages [12:56] <@mildbeard> I agree, 3 isn't a problem and I wouldn't mind going to 4. [12:56] == SplendidSpoon_ [] has joined #masspirates [12:56] == mode/#masspirates [+v SplendidSpoon_] by [4Q] [12:57] == mode/#masspirates [+l 17] by [4Q] [12:57] <+davidd> wouldnt it be more legible if you didnt put them in 2 columns? [12:57] <@jokeefe> as long as the pages are double sided [12:59] <@mildbeard> Double sided isn't a problem. [12:59] == SplendidSpoon [] has quit [Ping timeout: 250 seconds] [12:59] == SplendidSpoon_ has changed nick to SplendidSpoon [13:00] <@mildbeard> I don't think I have time to redo the page layout. It's not perfect but my alpha tester liked this better than the 1-column format I had earlier. [13:00] <+davidd> i think the borders help a great deal [13:00] <+davidd> but every question and almost every option is broken [13:01] <+davidd> typographicly speaking [13:01] <+davidd> its a couple of copy pastes [13:01] <+davidd> to change it to a single colum? [13:02] <+davidd> or is your software autospacing crap? [13:02] <+davidd> i wouldnt have brought it up if the spectre of more questions had not come up [13:06] <@jokeefe> so review of survey on Sunday? I can bring the completed letters for folks to sign, then with the final survey, setup a mailing party and get them out. [13:07] <@jokeefe> and move items 3-6 on the agenda to sunday? [13:07] <@mildbeard> OK. [13:08] <@mildbeard> I can have this stuff printed double sided for free. So on Sunday we should discuss how many copies to make. [13:08] <@jokeefe> depends who we want to send it too [13:09] <@jokeefe> min is 76, max is 160 [13:09] <@mildbeard> OK I will find out about 160. It's good to come with a number. [13:09] <@jokeefe> agreed. [13:11] <@jokeefe> for Sunday, i am giving some folks rides. SplendidSpoon, do you want me to pick you up? [13:11] <@mildbeard> Feel free to park on the street or in my driveway. [13:12] <@jokeefe> thanks [13:13] <@jokeefe> Thanks for your insights, davidd [13:13] <@jokeefe> Motion to adjourn? [13:14] <@mildbeard> This stuff gets better each time we get objections. [13:14] <@mildbeard> Move to adjourn. [13:14] <@jokeefe> 2nd [13:14] <@jokeefe> all in favor [13:14] <@mildbeard> arrr! (aye) [13:14] <@jokeefe> BTW: mildbeard, you should suggest your talk to be a the PaxEast panel - [13:15] <@jokeefe> aye [13:15] <@mildbeard> sorry, what talk? [13:15] <@jokeefe> torrenting in secret [13:15] <@mildbeard> aah [13:16] <@jokeefe> we can talk on Sunday. I have some ideas. [13:16] <@mildbeard> My son Ben will be interested, I'm sure. [13:16] <@jokeefe> :-) [13:17] <@jokeefe> I will be there, so I might as well put a talk together. [13:17] <@jokeefe> motion passes. gotta run, thanks all! [13:18] <+SplendidSpoon> O I dont need a ride it's cool [13:18] <+SplendidSpoon> sorry, working [13:18] <+SplendidSpoon> See you's on Sunday [13:18] <@mildbeard> adios, have a great day everyone and C.U. Sun.