July 28th, 2013 General Meeting

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  • Gregg's organizational tool demo
  • Planning how we will get a majority of the legislature in 2014 - http://piratenpad.de/SKwdoMqk26
  • Developing platform, media & campaign strategy for Joe
  • Coendorsement & collaboration
    • Kendra talking about Seamus' response to our endorsement questions


  • jokeefe, James O'Keefe, Somerville
  • srevilak, Steve Revilak, Arlington, MA
  • Bluestreak, Lucia Fiero
  • Kendra, Kendra Moyer, Arlington
  • gregg, Gregg Housh, Malden, MA
  • JCFiero
  • Shidash
  • David
  • Joe
  • Sevan
  • Rich
  • John


Meeting Minutes

Organization Tool Demo

It would be nice to have shared organization knowledge in a single space (as opposed to wiki + website + other stuff). Greg found a service that does a pretty good job at this: TallyFox Social Technologies AG, located in Zürich, Switzerland. Demo site, tailored to Mass Pirates: https://party.solus.tallyfox.com. TallyFox is built on top of Drupal. In building their service, the TallyFox folks have found a few bugs and vulnerabilities, and they've shared their patches upstream.

Company has an instance of TallyFox for the entire water industry. (https://water.tallyfox.com) It's a fairly well-developed instance.

Swiss pirate party has a private instance; currently in the process of getting it set up.

Brief outline of what TallyFox does:

  • "Engage" is like a micro blog.
  • "Knowledge" is for questions and polls.
  • "Events" for organizing events
  • "Library" is for storing file uploads
  • "Groups" for working groups. Groups have their own discussion areas, document space, blog, wiki, meeting organization section.
  • Project management is coming in the next release
  • There's some integration of CiviCRM (e.g., event management with registration and credit card processing for registration fees).

TallyFox is willing to let us use their product for essentially cost; about $165/month.

Risks? None that we can think of. Organization is based in Switzerland. Their servers are located in Switzerland and Israel.

It's not unusual for organizations to have internal and external sites. External for "public" view; internal for volunteers, etc. We could keep the existing blog as an external presence, and use TallyFox for internal things. Much of our wiki content could move into TallyFox.

Data Portability? TallyFox is willing to help us bring our data in. Product is standard Drupal and CiviCRM; they're willing to give us mysqldump dumps of our data.

Funding? It would take 4 people to give $40/month.

2014 Election Strategy and Planning

We'd like to organize the planning in two-month periods, and have discrete goals for each two-month period.

For August:

Many state-level positions are up for election in 2014.

We have nine congressional districts. We could have three groups per congressional district (27 groups total). We need to find people to bootstrap each district.

We need to work on platform, media strategy, developing a list of media contacts.

Super-ambitious goal: have a pirate on the ballot for each of the 209 elected positions in 2014. Federal positions might be hard; getting candidates for 209 offices will help give us name recognition for later.

Ideas for getting traction:

  • Pirate Party Mutiny. Our two-party duopoly has failed us; ask people to give us a chance, and divest from the two-party system. Even better: try to get them to do it all on the same day.
  • Work with other third-parties, and support each other's candidates.
  • Ask sitting officials to change their party affiliation.

Justin Amash shakes things up a bit. He writes Facebook posts to explain his votes, and this has helped him to develop a dedicated following.

Getting sitting officials to switch will be hard. If you're a sitting democrat, the DNC provides a ton of resources to help with re-election. We couldn't deliver that kind of support.

Can we get non-voters to register as pirates? "Register your Independence"?

We can use "209" as our goal, or state the goal without giving a number. "Run more candidates for state office than any party has run before".

More goals: candidate recruitment website, college recruitment, candidate training. For college recruiting, we need to provide a cohesive campaign strategy. We'll need to give them the set of materials to use (but allow individual groups to tailor/remix them).

How do we articulate our goals for colleges? Some groups have campus coordinators that locate potential students to run chapters. That's fine for a centralized organization, but we'd like to be more decentralized.

UMass Amherst could be an important school. People go to UMass Amherst from all over the state.

The first job for the college coordinator: assemble a spreadsheet of all colleges, along with contacts for who oversees student groups. Kendra volunteers to do this.

Could we divide college coordinator duties? One for eastern side of the state and one for the western side of the state?

Who can work on dividing the state into 27 different districts? We'll also want to geocode supporters -- could we use MassGIS's Oliver system for this? Jason can work on this in August.

Should we use subdivisions of state senate districts instead?

What's the geographic distribution of our supporters? Fairly distributed, but more heavy on the eastern side of the state.

Do we have access to voter registration lists? The state keeps one database that cities and towns have access to. Only state candidates and ballot-qualified parties can get free access to these lists. Another alternative is to purchase a copy from Democratic and Republican parties. Or, buy copies of the lists from each of the 331 cities and towns in MA.

There are lots of software tools for running campaigns, but little to no software for running political parties. Some campaign-oriented software includes registration lists.

Campaign Strategy for Joe

Joe's running for State rep in the 18th district.

What kind of bills would we like to see Joe submit?

(informal brainstorming about possible legislation, elevator pitches).


Campaign to include "I do not consent" statement with phone bills.

Hey Verizon, I'm still a customer of yours, but only because it's not practical for me to switch carriers. And although I'm paying my phone bill, I don't consent to having my call records turned over to the NSA.