I thought I had finished, but as I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I figured out the other elements that I felt were missing from tonight's meeting.
As I've worked with different groups in the LGBT community, and seen how things happen, I've noticed that we are actually quite the cheery bunch and that we all have many skills, qualities and items that we can contribute to make things go in the community. In these town hall meetings though, we aren't being asked to help create or work or do anything useful. It seems like just a fill-in on what is happening.
I propose that we institute an impartial mediator during each of these meetings, with no two meetings being mediated by the same person.
I propose that each group come with a list of projects, events, etc, that they want the community to know about, and that they need help with. They can give a brief spiel about the event as it is presented on the agenda, and then people will have the opportunity to sign up after the meeting is over. We can organize food drives, service projects, parties, fundraising, and anything else we can think of this way.
I propose that every person try to bring an ally with them to the meeting. LGBT people are not the only ones affected by the issues in our community, and we all should try and bring our friends. If possible, we should also invite our elected officials.
I propose that we design a set of rules that are in effect during each meeting. This would include only making comments that are constructive; no comments that call out an individual by name; no speaking out of turn, etc. If we don't have rules to set the tone of the meeting, we won't accomplish anything.
I propose that we choose 1 or 2 topics to be discussed as a community during each meeting. These could include racism, sexism, outreach, community awareness, our education system, bullying in schools, homelessness, etc. There are many important topics we need to address, and they will never be discussed unless we provide some time. I think 1 topic would be ample, allowing us at least an hour for discussion.
I propose that an agenda for each meeting be published. I recognize that some issues come up on short notice, but if each meeting has an agenda set 2 weeks in advance, people will be prepared to discuss the pertinent topics.
I'm sure there are many other things I am forgetting, but we need to demonstrate that our community is a force to be reckoned with. If we come together once a quarter and actually accomplish something, we may be able to work faster to receive equal rights.