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Re: [vox] [Fwd] Warning CPR provisions for OpenSource under attack
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Re: [vox] [Fwd] Warning CPR provisions for OpenSource under attack

Hi guys.

So I went to the California Performance Review (CPR) meeting held today in
LA.  As you may recall, there were some organizations speaking against the
use of open source software in our state government in a previous CPR
meeting in San Jose.  I went to the LA meeting today to counter their
opposition, to show that there are California citizens in favor of open
source initiative in the government.  I wanted to give you guys some heads
up so you'll be prepared when they come visit you in Davis on the 27th, in
case anybody wants to show support for open source in our state

Here's the summary of my recommendations for you:

   1. Wear a suit.  Dress as businessy as you possible can.  Wear business
      attire.  Anything less and you won't fit in.  (I wore a  semi-formal
      and I still felt out of place.)  With an exception of a few who
      stood out from the crowd because of their casual dress, everyone
      wore suits -- they're all businessmen/women, PR people from
      organizations, and the media people, and they all wore suits!

   2. Get there early, when it opens at 10am, and sign up to speak in
      front of the committee.  They only reserve about 1.5 hours for
      public comment, and that's not much time to go through many
      comments.  I'm told they get through about 24 people in each
      session.  By the time I signed up, I was about the 48th person
      -- obviously they never got to me.

      FYI, the sign up card asks you for your name, contact info (address,
      tel, e-mail), "issue" (a one-liner about what you're gonna talk
      about), and "recommendation" (what you're gonna say when you're
      in front of the commission.)  Prepare these info in advance so
      you'll know what to write and be one of the first to get your name
      on the speaker list.

   3. Prepare an outline of what you're going to say, and turn it in when
      you sign up to speak.  The "outline" they want isn't really an
      outline -- most people turned in essays of everything they said plus
      all the  extra details they knew they wouldn't have time to say in
      front of the commission.  Basically, be concise but don't leave
      anything out.

Having gotten all that out of the way, here's the details of what happened
(please read it if you want to be ready on the 27th):

I went to the meeting right after my AI class, just as everyone was
getting off for lunch break.  There were some people picketing outside the
auditorium, ralleying against the govnernor and the CPR.  I heard only one
claim that one of the recommendations in CPR privatizes government jobs,
and they didn't want to lose their jobs.

After spending some time at lunch, I joined the meeting.  The meeting was
held at the auditorium of the Natural History Museum.  The auditorium
looks like a live theater, so it's quite large and quite intimidating.  I
wasn't expecting that kind of setting.  Anyway, the sixteen (16) members
of the commission were sitting up on the stage, at their tables.
Everyone else was down in the audience section, not quite filling the room
but not too empty either.

I signed up to speak but I knew they would never get to me because I was
about the 48th person to sign up to speak.  I wanted to at least turn in
the outline of what I wanted to say (which was a true outline, not an
essay) but they said I'd have to find this one guy in charge of all the
public comments because he already took the pile of public comments that
was there earlier.  Here's the lesson: Get there early and sign up to
speak and turn in the "outline" way early.

At first, the commission discussed among themselves about some basic
things: How much power they're supposed to have, what the governor expects
from them, what kind of conclusions they're supposed to arrive at with so
many things to review, etc.  I guess as the meetings are getting more
deeper into things, they're trying to figure out what their goals should
be.  They all used microphones so we could hear them.

Afterwards, they heard from expert panels.  Since today's topic was on
education, training, and volunteerism, they had an expert panel on
education (various upper-level people from UC, CSU, and community college
systems were there), and an expert panel from various volunteer
organizations including some educational institutions (UCSC was there.)
I'm assuming there was an expert panel on training was there earlier in
the day.

Each expert panel were about 5 to 7 people, and they sat at a table on the
audience side (not on stage), facing the CPR commission on the stage.  So
the audience only got to see their backs at an slightly-above-the-eye
level.  They also all used microphones so we could hear them without any
problems.  Each individual was asked some general questions in their
field, and each got 5 minutes to speak.  They were warned at 1 minute mark
by this lady who waved a yellow card with "1 minute left" sign on it, and
then a red "stop" card when their time was up.  Many went over their time
limit.  After each got to speak for 5+ minutes, they were asked more
specific questions from the commission with no time limit.

Afterwards was the public comments.  The chairman called out people in the
order people signed up to speak.  The speakers stood in front of the
commission on the audience side, off to the right side of the stage, and
spoke into a microphone.  There's no chairs and no podiums -- just the
microphone and the microphone stand, and the commission gets to see you
stand there and speak.  Each person got 3 minutes to speak, with 1 minute
warning just like the expert panel, and there was a guy who sat right next
to the speaker and tapped on his watch whenever the time was up and
continued to tap his watch until the speaker stopped speaking.

There were some interesting speakers who spoke during the public comment
time.  Most people were dressed quite business-like, except for a few
people.  The most memorable speakers were:

  - A group of three girls from nearby community colleges, pleading them
    not to take away any more money from community colleges.  They also
    questioned why they (students) were not asked to be a part of the
    expert panel when they were the ones being affected by the policies.
    They received a round of applause afterwards =)

  - One angry man.  He said lots of things -- how he thinks we should
    charge more for education from people outside the state, and his
    discontentment of the panel, etc.

  - This one lady who works for the government.  She criticized the way
    the CPR commission was operating -- how the common people were not
    allowed to be a part of the commission, how all the meetings are on
    weekdays during business times when the general working public can't
    attend the meetings, how the public comment time is so short and at
    the end of day when everyone's tired and ready to go home when it
    really is the most important portion and should be held earlier and
    be given longer durations, etc.  Though she wasn't completely
    correct in all she said, she mentioned many critical points about the
    commission's operating procedures that were brutally honest and real.

  - One veteran gentleman who came on an electric wheelchair.  The
    microphone stand wasn't really designed to accomodate people in
    wheelchairs, so the watch-tapping guy had to hold the microphone for

  - This one guy with a heavy accent who claimed to be a professor who
    drove from Davis.  Some kind of art/drama teacher I think.  He had
    kind of hard accent so I couldn't understand him well, but I remember
    he said America really isn't a land of opportunity which I thought was
    funny because it's way much more opportunity-rich than many countries
    I've been to in Asia, including Korea.  I guess it's all in the eye
    of the beholder.

As that one lady pointed out, the commission members got kind of uneasy
around this time when the public was speaking.  Several members
disappeared at times (bathroom break?), and there were times when most of
them were standing up (tired from sitting down all day, I guess,) etc.
There were also some minor talking, too, though they had some of that
during the expert panel session also.  So you had to be kind of
charismatic to get the attention of all the commission members --
something to make a mental note of.

BTW, there was NOBODY saying anything against open source at the LA
meeting.  That was either because none of those special interest groups
were at the LA meeting (maybe they just showed up to the San Jose meeting
since that's the heart of Silicon Valley?) or because they weren't allowed
to speak because those who never got to speak at previous meetings got to
speak first.  Still, they were at one meeting, so the OSS supporters
should counter them at another meeting.

So please go speak on behalf of OSS when they come to Davis!  It'll be at
UC Davis on the 27th, from 10am to 4pm!


On Mon, 30 Aug 2004, Bill Kendrick wrote:

> Another message from Owen, directed towards LUGOD, in fact.
> There's a hearing at UC Davis on September 27th that Owen is encouraging
> OSS folks to attend, to help rebut the closed-source lobbiests that will
> be there.  See below...
>   Please pass this along to LUGOD as well...
>     <http://cpr.ca.gov/updates/archives/update56.shtml>
>   This is the schedule for CPR public hearings.  The next and apparently only
>   remaining Northern California venue is Davis, September 27th.  Ideally, we
>   should get as many members of the Open Source community as possible to
>   attend and make comments endorsing SO10.
>   Other hearings are 9/9 (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles),
>   9/10 (CSU Long Beach), 9/17 (CSU Fresno).  If we have any way to get
>   anyone to show up and testify at those meetings, we should try to do that
>   as well.  I guarantee you the closed source lobby will be at each and
>   every one.
>   Some information for people who go to testify (I'm sure this will be
>   familiar for a lot of you, but, there are some dos and don'ts included
>   specifically from my observations of this meeting):
>     1. People are limited to three minutes.  Try to keep it under
>        that.  If you don't have anything to say that hasn't been
>        said before you at that hearing, keep your comments to
>        "I'd like to echo what has been said before in support of
>        recommendation SO10" and leave it at that.  They are not
>        impressed by unnecessary repetition.
>     2. Use this template or something very close to it:
>        My name is <your full name>, <SPELL your last name>
>        <state any relevant affiliation, such as President of
>        Linux Users Group, or, simply state I am a citizen of
>        California>,
>        and I'm speaking in support of recommendation SO10.
>        <One sentence describing your idea of the primary benefit
>        to SO10>
>        <Whatever you want to say, try to keep this to 90 seconds>
>        <Summarize>
>        Honorable members of the committee, thank you for your time,
>        and for your attention to this matter.  I also urge you to
>        review the written comments filed in support of this
>        recommendation.
>     3. Don't worry if you don't use the full three minutes.
>     4. Try to speak slowly.  Unless you've done this a lot,
>        nerves will tend to cause you to speak much more quickly
>        than normal.  Make an effort to speak slowly and clearly.
>        Avoid shouting or mumbling.
>     5. There will be a guy sitting in front of the committee that
>        will hold up a 2-minute sign, then a 1-minute sign, then a
>        30 second sign (all yellow), and, finally, a red STOP sign
>        if you are over the 3 minute time limit.  I did not see them
>        let anyone go more than 15 seconds beyond the 3 minutes, and,
>        they were generally pretty annoyed with anyone who did.
>     6. Be neat and clean in appearance.  You don't need to be in
>        suit and tie, but, it wouldn't be a bad idea if you have
>        a good one and can wear it comfortably.  Try to appear as
>        professional (in the lawyer sense of the word, not the
>        programmer sense :-) as possible.  Remember, these people
>        are lawyers and bureaucrats, so, we need to speak to them
>        and appear on their terms as much as possible. (yeah, this
>        one is the hard one for me, too).
>   Owen
> -bill!
> _______________________________________________
> vox mailing list
> vox@lists.lugod.org
> http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox

Mark K. Kim
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