General Session I (Business Meeting), General Assembly 2019
General Assembly 2019 Event #303
Unedited live captions of General Session I (TXT) were created during the event, and contain some errors. Captioning is not available for some copyrighted material.
UUA Co-Moderators Elandria Williams and Mr. Barb Greve preside over the general sessions in which the business of the Association is being conducted.
[Note: Because discussion on the consent agenda ran over this morning, the co-moderators announced that the discussion and vote about the Statement of Conscience will take place 9:00-10:00 Saturday morning.]
- Review and Adopt Rules of Procedure
- Co-Moderators’ Report
- President’s Report
- Financial Advisor’s Report
- Collection: Side with Love
- Board of Trustees’ Report
- 2014 Climate Justice Resolution Report
- Consent Agenda (PDF)
See also: Bylaws with Unincorporated Amendments (PDF)
- Bylaw Amendments to sections 5.11 (a) (1), 7.6 (b), 11.3, 11.5, and 11.7 to changing final fellowship to full fellowship
- Bylaw Amendment to section 5.2 (b) to remove in odd numbered years
- Amendment to Rule G-9.13.1 to modernize for electronic vote and clarify election preparation by Secretary
- Amendment to Rule G-9.13.2 to modernize for electronic vote and randomize the order of candidate names for election
- Amendment to Rule G-9.13.3 to modernize for electronic vote and remove “on a ballot”
- Amendment to Rule G-9.13.4 to provide for mailed paper ballots in elections
- Amendment to Rule G-9.13.5 to clarify voting at General Assembly
- Bylaw amendment to section 9.6 to increase number of petitions for nominations to 50 congregations from at least 3 of the regions of the Association
- Consider Bylaw amendment regarding Ministerial Fellowship Committee makeup (Section 7.6)
- Motion to Admit Actions of Immediate Witness to Final Agenda
See the Friday CSW Alert (PDF)
This unedited transcript is from live captions created during the event.
>> Good morning. You all ready? Here we go.
I now call to order the first general session of the fifty eighth general assembly of the unitarian universalist association.
Are the delegates ready to do the business of this association?
>> board member and vice moderator denise rimes will give us our opening words this morning.
>> as we begin our important work of the day, these are our opening words from connie simon. This is the hour, the time has come. Mindful of our responsibilities as leaders of this faith and guardians of this living tradition, we call upon that great cloud of witnesses, those who came before, those who are here now, and those who have yet to come. We seeing our presence, their love, and their support in this place at this hour. We kindle the flame to light their path and call them near as we undertake this sacred work.
>> we have a couple of announcements for us this morning. One, for those of you sight and had on site, if you look around, you'll see fabulous human beings wearing beautiful green and white or red and white striped vests.
Those folks are our ushers and our tellers. They sometimes will ask you to move from a place that you are because the space you're in has been reserved for a particular group of people or person or we are not in compliance with our fire regulations. They do it with love and we ask that you receive their requests with love.
When we get to our business voting and discussing, we have off site delegates. There is a slight time delay between what we experience here in the hall and what they experience online, and so we ask for your patience as that lag happens so that we can be assured that in our full opportunities of democracy, we are including all who are participating.
>> for our last announcement, which is slightly personal, i would love to be able to stay in the room each day, which means as much as you love your oranges and your grapefruits and your rose water and your roses, if you could not open them or put them on, that would be so great. Otherwise, i'm leaving for good. I'm really allergic to citrus, and so i really appreciate it. Like anaphylactic shock wise. It's actually not a joke. If you would please do that, that would be really great.
>> thank you for asking.
>> ready? Do we have a report from right relationship team or safety team?
>> yah, right relationship team.
>> good morning, all. It's good to be here with you. I'm the reverend sherry halliday quan. This morning, we come from across the confident insanity and beyond, from many cultures and background and discovering those cultural differences is often fun. And then there are different that his remind many of us here that this space in this place, that gathering is scene as a time and space that is meant for some and not for others.
We've had a variety of reports come to us over the last day that range from small micro aggressions, surely things that were well intentioned, and other larger structural problems.
We've heard stories of experiences that range from unsolicited comments about the appropriateness of people's lipstick choices and clothing, as well as exuberant welcomes that communicate to the young black, brown, indigenous, queer, or trans person that for the person welcoming them, it is clear that this space is not seen as theirs, but as something that they're welcomed into as a guest. Let us assume if we're all here in this hall, having gone through the registration process and the daily hassle of navigating these somewhat confusing halls that we are not only meant to be here, but that we meant to be here. I'd like to remind everyone that scooter users' space includes the scooter. That's not public space and i ask you to allow people to exit the hall and move without you cutting in front of them if you happen to be someone who's walking.
Please don't arrange the furniture in rooms. Those were designed specifically with accessibility in mind. And along these lines, i want you to share an event from yesterday. There was one session, rather popular, where the presenters rearranged the room if it a circle and in doing so, shut out scooter users. It was an unintentional oversight and when made aware of this, their response was clear: they apologized, changed the chairs back, and committed to do better in the future. With gratitude to those presenters, and apology and his gratitude for those who raised their concerns and simply wanted to access this space that was already for all of us. But it's resolve to go do better in the future.
Let us begin now.
>> our next piece of business is to review and adopt our rules of procedure. If you are on delegate on site, that mean you're going to need your orange voting card. The proposed rules of procedure can be found on pages 64 through 66 of the final agenda or program book. These rules will govern our consideration of, and voting upon, the business items that come before us during our general sessions. The rules are largely the same as in previous years. There are a couple of items that i want to direct your attention to.
Please note that rule 5 provides that no amendments to a business resolution, bylaw change or rule change will be in order unless submitted for consideration at the mini assembly for that item ,which was yesterday. So we're on time travel.
Also, please note that rule 6b indicates that thirty minutes is allowed for discussion of any proposed bylaw or rule amendment, resolution, or action on a report that is on or admitted to the final agenda. The specific change states that the time includes time devoted to discussing any amendments to the proposed amendment. Any motion to extend time for debate must be made from the procedural microphone before time for debate expires. This is an adjustment that simply clarifies the rule. Additionally, rule 6c, clarifications have been made to explicitly include off site delegates and adjust time limits if there are no speakers at the pro or concern microphone regarding calling of the question.
As a reminder, rule 7 provides that separate microphones will be designated as pro and concern for discussion of proposed bylaw amendments, rules, resolutions or actions. The pro microphone is up front on the left. The concern microphone is up front on the right. There is also an amendment microphone which has been placed at the front of the arena. There we go. Magical lights. And of course the procedural microphone which has been placed immediately in front of me.
Please note that points of personal privilege and points of information must be made from the procedural mike, not from the pro or concern mikes or the amendment mike. By the way, only delegates may speak from the microphones, except by express permission of a co moderator or whomever is moderating the debate of the moment.
I strongly urge those of you who are attending general assembly general sessions for the first time to read the rules of procedure. Particularly look at rule 6 on page 64 of the rules, so that you understand the time limits in effect. No person may speak on any motion for more than two minutes. Thirty minutes is the time allowed for discussion of any proposed bylaw amendment, rule change, resolution or action on a report that is on or admitted to the final agenda.
Before proceeding with our business, i want to introduce you to tom bean, our legal counsel, and
And nina elgo, our parliamentarian. All clear?
They help make sure we do things properly. That said, will the board secretary make the appropriate motion with respect to the rules of procedure? Thank you. Before we can do this piece of business, we need to know that we were entitled to do the business. Therefore, i am pleased to report to you that at this time, there are 2,625 people registered and present in some form for this general assembly. This year, we have 202 off site delegates with a total of 1375 delegates representing 495 congregations from all 50 states, washington, d.c., two canadian provinces, and mexico. We have, therefore, substantially exceeded all the numbers set forth in section 410 of the bylaws of the unitarian universalist association and so i confirm that we have quorum.
Moved that the rules of procedure of this general assembly as set forth in full on pages 64 through 66 of the final agenda be adopted.
>> is there a second?
>> does anyone want to discuss the rules?
Seeing one moving for discussion, we do have somebody off site.
>> i believe this might be premature, but i'm going to read for sally jane gellert, central unitarian church. I request that we remove
>> sally, that's not part of the rules. Hang onto that. Further discussion? Seeing none, hearing none, we're ready to vote. All those in favor of adopting the rules of procedure, please do so by raising your voting cards or voting online. Just give it a second for the off site delegates to get their votes in. Those in the hall, feel free to lower your cards. Passes with an overwhelming majority. The motion carries and we've got rules and procedures.
>> sarah dan? Thanks for joining us on site.
>> i'm happy to join in. Good morning, friends. There we have it. We've got to get those lungs moving. My friends, i want you to sing a little bit with you before we start our business day, because i find it most important for us to breathe. So i'm going to ask you to take a breath with me. In and out. So when i wrote meditation on breathing, breathe in, breathe out, it was in response to the events of september 11th. And since then, i'm heard all kinds of stories about people using, singing, believing in meditation on breathing. Everything from parents and their kids to two fell old who bought some pygmy goats and they wanted to calm them down in the back seat as they were transporting them back to their house.
That's a true story. It's in three parts. You may sing whatever part resonates with you. You may sing no parts. You may sing all of the parts. But i'm just going to invite you you to sing. I'm also going to invite you to rise in body or spirit. It's a long day of sitting.
I encourage you to take a breath and think before you speak.
>> what are you saying, sarah dan? We are gathered during a time of great struggle and great possibility in our faith movement and in our larger world. Our theme for this general assembly, "the power of we," speaks to the moment we find ourselves in. In recent years the unitarian universalist movement has been wrestling with who "we" are. The word "we" draws a circle around a group of people. We have been asking ourselves: where have we drawn that circle? Who is included in it and who is not? Who have we placed at the center of the circle, and who has been pushed to the margins?
Our movement has been grappling with what it means when everyone within the circle of our faith those in the center and those at the margins has a valued voice and a place at the table. And we've been exploring what it means to pay attention more deeply to the perspectives of those who have been pushed to the margins or outside the circle for the majority of our movement's history. We've been learning how doing this grows our collective power grows the power of we.
>> it doesn't feel like a coincidence that next week is the 50th anniversary of the stonewall uprising. On june 28, 1969, those who were most oppressed trans women, drag queens, people of color, young folks living on the streets fought back against police brutality. As the uprising grew and spilled out of the stonewall inn, they were joined by friends and allies in the streets of greenwich village. Together they said: collectively, we are powerful.
It also doesn't feel like a coincidence that this is also the 50th anniversary of the walk out of the 1969 general assembly by representatives of the black affairs council and their supporters, in the midst of what jean ott called "the white controversy over black empowerment." rev. Dr. Mark morrison reed helps us remember that the walk out was a moment when, to those present, it felt like unitarian universalism might divide permanently.
These events 50 years ago charged a denomination that was overwhelmingly white and straight and cisgender to not just be engaged in the fight for queer and trans and black liberation but also recognize queer and trans and black people as we, as unitarian universalists and as leaders.
They charged us to respect and follow the leadership of black and brown trans women like marsha p. Johnson and sylvia rivera, and black uus like mtangulizi sanyika (formerly known as hayward henry jr.) And whitney m. Young, jr.
As queer and gender queer leaders, we honor the prophetic elders and ancestors within the overlapping black, queer, and uu movements who made our very lives possible and gave us the chance to bring our gifts forward and serve as your co moderators, the highest volunteer leadership position in this faith.
We both came of age in a uu movement that was informed by this history and the charge to honor the leadership of people of color, queer folks, trans folks. We lead differently than those who came before us because of being steeped in this charge as young people. We mourn the fact that our movement has not always recognized queer and trans and eel of color uus and full members and respected leaders. We mourn those who have left, and honor those who have stayed.
>> when we do move the margins to the center and fully value the leadership and contributions of those who have been marginalized within our movement people of color, queer and trans people, disabled people, low income people, young people, and others amazing things happen! This is what your board has strived to do this year. For example, new understandings and practices of accountability are emerging as we explore how to ensure that our institutions and covenanted communities are accountable to the needs of all of us.
This has included refining the board's conflict of interest practices and working with uua staff and our affiliated partner organizations to create a shared ethics board and a revamped national advisory committee. It has meant making adjustments to the moderator position and the election process, as well as the pipeline for the appointments and nominating committees. And it has meant working toward modernizing the uua bylaws to make them more liberating. All these things have benefited from the diverse perspectives of the leaders involved.
But it's also important to pay attention to the impacts and, really, the cost of leadership for those who are most marginalized. All leaders, particularly volunteer leaders, make sacrifices and commitments of time, energy, and other resources. But for leaders with target or marginalized identities, the impacts are disproportionately costlier.
To use ourselves as an example, serving as co moderators has meant lost wages, lost vacation and lost rest due to spending all of our available time or our time off on our full time jobs on our moderator duties. It means extra exhaustion from managing expectations and demands of us based on our identities, and isolation from communities of support due to perceptions of conflict of interest or the boundaries of the moderator role. We are not always respected as authorities in the ways previous moderators have been, and this means fulfilling our duties takes extra work and an extra toll.
>> sometimes, the costs are too great. We deeply mourn the fact that trustee christina rivera felt the need to resign from the board due to the disproportionate costs of being a leader with a target identity. In her case, these costs included death threats and extended beyond herself to her children, which is completely unacceptable. Every time a leader leaves, for any reason, it leaves a void. We mourn the death of dick jacke and the resignation of tim atkins this past year, and we will deeply miss latifa woodhouse and vice moderator denise rimes, who are cycling off the board after this ga. But no one should have to leave because of the violence and impact of bigotry and foolishness.
Dismantling systems of oppression within our movement means doing things differently. It takes more than just different leaders, it also takes different leadership structures and culture and different ways of doing things. It takes trying things, and failing, and figuring out what to do differently. It takes slowing down, and evaluating what we are trying, and valuing the process, not just the outcome.
So, as co moderators, we've tried some things. Some have gone well and some haven't. Having two moderators is something that hasn't been tried before. On the positive side, it's not about having two people at the helm instead of one, it's about modeling shared leadership and fully believing that all members of the board can lead some way.
It's been a joy to be part of a board that is led by us all. You can see it in all of the committee work, the shared facilitation, the reports during board meetings, and in so many other ways. Especially the fact that we discuss before we vote, like a day apart. It really helps.
On the challenging side, your board had hoped that having two moderators would mean being able to share the work but this hasn't always worked. For example, the systems of our denomination and the people in them are used to having one person who knows and shares all. They aren't prepared for only one of us to attend a call, a meeting, or a gathering. So what should be an advantage is not, because our structures haven't been set up for shared leadership.
>> it's up to all of us to change the structures that aren't serving our faith and our values. It's up to all of us to try new things, to take risks, and to engage with each other in different ways. Our power is not individual, but collective. It's not top down, but collaborative.
Instead of searching for an authority to blame, let's own our own agency, get to know each other more deeply, and work together to make changes.
Instead of thinking of changes like co leadership or new governance models as magic pills that will either work immediately or should be discarded whole value, let's take the time for assessment and improvement in line with our highest values. Please take seriously the power of we this week, and your place in our collective we. Being part of this faith isn't about "i" or "me," it's about "we." as a covenantal faith we need one another and we need to be in dialogue with one another, to live our faith collaboratively, not in individualism and isolation.
Last year's general assembly dipped a toe into a different way of doing governance. This year we are moving closer to a general conference that allows for collaborative theological discernment about where we are going as a faith. This collaboration begins in active involvement in the two theme program and conversation sessions today from 1:30 to 4 and tomorrow from 9am to noon. Please take these sessions seriously. Fully engage in them from a place of care and attention to our collective "we."
We are continuing to build toward a full general conference next year where we will continue these conversations and decisions about our bylaws, what it means for us to dismantle oppression and white supremacy within our denomination and our world, our uu principles, and who we are called to be, now and for the future. We are counting on each of you to keep showing up and engaging deeply in these conversations.
>> before we move on, we want to give voice to the urgency of leaning into this moment together as a movement. We are sitting at a precipice of something beautiful, incredible, and radical in this faith but we must allow it to happen and not let fear and distrust of change be our guide.
There are a couple places in my life that feel like home. One is cedartown. There are a couple places in my life that feel like home. One is cedartown, florida, where my dad's family is from. When i step on that soil especially at the little church graveyard where so many of my ancestors are buried i feel their struggle, dreams, and joy rise up in me. The second is my home church, tennessee valley uu church, that grew me up and helped mold me to be the person in front of you today.
The third is the highlander research and education center, a place i started going to as a child and was blessed to work at for over 11 years. Highlander was fire bombed by an alt right neo nazi group in april when i was at a ministerial fellowship committee meeting. They burned down the office and left a huge neo nazi sign next to the burning building. Now, i have gone through a lot i've been ran off the road, shot at, had my picture and address and car posted on every neo nazi site in the country but that bombing rocked me to the core. We are living in a time when white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and transphobia,
And the alt right is on the rise. The question is how will we as a faith movement respond. We are also living in a time when what many social justice organizations say and do externally doesn't match up with how they operate internally. I would venture to say a lot of our churches move very similarly. Deliverables matter more than care for the people involved, or the impact the work has. It is meaningless for organizations and movements to claim to be about change in the world and operate in oppressive ways in on you decisions are maid and people are treated.
The reason why most young people leave our faith is because of the had i hypocrisy. Why would you stay? It's hypocritical. We have to do better than this. We have to decide right now what kind of movement and faith we want to be. We ready to take bold risks that might feel scary but enable us to not just say beautiful things in the world, not just be ready at the rally, but embrace the fundamental shifts and transformations necessary inside our congregations, our organizations, in the uua, and out in the world in our partner work? Are we ready to reimagine what ethics means and what being a sanctuary looks like from an anti oppressive an tie colonial and anti domination space? Are we ready to be on the side of love not just when it's convenient to wear our yellow shirts but when it's inconvenient and causes us headaches and keeps us up at night?
We need to be ready. It's time for us to go all in and be the faith movement that barb and i were taught uu ism was as children. It's time for religious education for everybody and not just the sermon so maybe we can all be on the same page.
It's time for us to put care of each other first, the impact we want to have in the world second and making the deliverables happen third. You put the impact first, deliverables will come. You must truly, fully, and unapologetically live our values, and to be the change that we wish to see.and still say righteous at indignation and not just complacent.
>> in closing, we want to give our deep thanks to the board. It's been an honor to serve as your co moderators. We want to thank our board members who cycle off this year. Thanks to latifa woodhouse for her two years of service on the board and to chelsea hendrix and tanner linden our amazing youth observers.
Particular thanks are due to vice moderator denise rimes.
Denise, we wouldn't be as successful as we appear (as moderators or as a board) without your support. You have been a steadfast keeper of details and the big picture and a calming presence time and again.
We also want to thank the uua staff and all that they do for our faith.
We particularly want to lift up dr. Jan sneegas, pat kahn, and tim brennan, who are retiring after many years of service.
Tim, thank you for the expertise, leadership, and clarity you brought to the cfo position as a uu, and your passion for socially responsible investing and shareholder activism. Pat, your work has contributed so much to the education and credentialing of religious educators and music directors. And jan, we love you. We love tim and pat, also, but jan, you have transformed the job of ga and conference services director and yourself in service to our faith. Your passion for imbuing our uu values into every general assembly while always being the voice of reason and reality is no small feat.
Thank you all for the gift of serving as your co moderators.
>> thank you, y'all. Section 10.3 of the uua bylaws set forth the following duties of the financial advisor: the financial advisor shall advise the president and the board of trustees on financial policy and shall assist the board in long range planning by reviewing the sources of funds, the application of funds designated for specific purposes, the balance between foreseeable income and proposed expenditures, and the overall financial welfare of the association. From time to time the financial advisor shall report to the president and the board findings and recommendations respecting the current financial affairs of the association and long range planning. The financial advisor serves on the uua board, the health plan board, the retirement plan committee, the socially responsible investment committee, the investment committee and the audit committee. That's a lot. So we love you. Please come to the podium.
Good morning, everyone. I am so hopeful i'm not going to fall in front of all of you. It's not clear yet whether i will or won't. So i have been very privileged to serve as financial advisor to the uua and am very pleased to report another year of successful fiscal operations in the numerous highly complex financial organizations that support the mission of the uua. The staff leadership team, under the inspired, clear, focused, passionate and compassionate leadership of rev. Susan frederick gray, in combination with the uua board of trustees, led by elandria williams and barb greve, continues to ensure that the mission and vision of our faith are centered while ensuring that revenues and expenses are carefully balanced.
Over the past few years, the introduction of a new, more equitable and sustainable formula for congregational commitment to support our faith movement was tested and revised and was implemented widely in the fiscal year ending june 2019. Change takes time and we are grateful to those many congregations who have patience with the implementation of the new formula. We ask for your strong congregational support for the new model to support our covenantal work together and ask your patience with inevitable questions or issues you or your volunteers or staff may encounter. On behalf of the board i thank you for your flexibility, engagement and continued commitment to support the work of our faith in this critical time.
I am pleased to report that the significant financial operations of the association and related entities, as reflected in the uua's budget, common endowment fund, retirement plan, health plan and beacon press are all healthy and well managed, in the hands of competent and experienced staff and overseen by committees of competent and experienced volunteers. I recognize, with gratitude for his long and extremely valuable service to our faith, the many contributions of tim brennan in his role as cfo of the uua.
Tim will retire at the end of this fiscal year. He has overseen tremendously positive changes in financial management, investment, control, and reporting, to name a few. His tireless service, optimism and humor made serving with him a great pleasure. Thank you, tim, you will be missed! I hope all of you will see the short videotaping the uua's significant corporate activism related to climate change initiatives which highlight tim's strategic leadership and commitment to this critical work.
As you know, the association has been focused on the important work of dismantling systems of oppression and white supremacy. This critical work for our faith, this is critical work at any time for our faith and it is long overdue in our faith and our country. We must all commit to learning self reflection and constructive change to support this work. I am very happy to note that all of the financial committee, investment committee, socially responsible investment committee, health plan board, retirement planning committee, and audit committee all recognize the pivotal role that money in its many forms plays in sustaining these systems and there our, the committees and staff together, responsibility for a thoughtful examination of how our work may support or dismantle systems of oppression. I am grateful to the many talented, commit volunteers willing to consider these new questions and new paths. I thank you for your support of unitarian universalism. I am thankful for our faith leaders and the commitment of so many to justice and peace for all. Thank you.
>> join me in this rhythmic pattern. And when you feel called, rise in body or in spirit. In our opening ceremony, we taught you, we rise, the movement song by levine. I'd like to just review your parts so you can sing it with a little more vigor and confidence today. It goes like this.
>> thank you, emily.
>> it is my distinct pleasure to invite to our podium the reverend dr. Susan frederick gray, our president of the uua, to give her annual report.
>> hello, beloved beautiful ones. What an honor it is to stand in this podium and to see all of you. Wow.
We are living in difficult and dangerous times. These are not ordinary times and our work as unitarian universalists in our congregation as leaders and at the uua must not be ordinary.
Two themes defined my first year as president. Number one this is no time for a casual faith. And number two this is no time to go it alone. These themes shaped my earliest priorities. First, to clarify the uua's mission and put it at the heart of all we do. And second, to strengthen relationships across our association, because when we work together, in relationship focused on mission, we amplify our power as a moral force for love and justice.
And right now, together, we have the enormous task of embracing bold institutional change that truly embodies the liberatory values of our faith: a beloved community where all people of all identities thrive.
And so my second year as your president has been about taking this work of mission and relationship and putting systems in place to carry the institutional change work forward for the long haul. Describing the work of systems is not glamorous, but it is this daily shovel work that makes the noteworthy moments possible. It is systems that make sure that change efforts lasts. And one part of this shovel work is to clarify how organizations actually move change. This question matters not just to the uua but to our congregations also seeking to unlock the power, the impact and the liberatory spirit of your communities.
So, how do you change the culture of an institution? Five things are essential:
Number 1, a clear mission and vision to name where we headed and who are we called to be.if you don't know where you're going, anything will do. Right? So you've got to be clear about mission and vision.
Number 2, you need leaders who are committed to the vision without leaders who understand and are invested in the vision, an organization will not be able to create substantive change.
Number 3, you need ongoing skill building change is not just about a mindset, it requires real and specific skills and ongoing learning and skill development.eye learning community is a changed community.
Number 4, accountable relationships beyond the organization change cannot come only from within. Partnerships with directly impacted communities root us in the needs of those most impacted by systems of oppression.
And then number 5, strong relationships within and across the institution creating change for the long term requires always developing relationships, always developing leadership, and always developing increasing commitment and the power of we around the mission and vision.
So this is the guide we are using to move institutional change at the uua and you'll hear it echoed as i dive more deeply into the work we've done this last year.
So, what's first? Mission and vision! The uua's core mission is three fold:
Number 1, to equip congregations for health and vitality.
Number 2, to train and support leaders
Number 3, to advance uu values on a national and international scale
Number 4, equipping congregations is the work of our congregational life staff who connect, companion, challenge and coach our congregations, it's resources like our whole lives comprehensive sexuality education, tapestry of faith and our hymnals. It's resourcing ministerial transitions and the uua pension and health plan that help congregations be good employers. Great news this year, we launched an improved online interface for ministerial search that's making it better for congregations and ministers,
And for the second year in a row, we had zero increase in uu health plan premiums. That is tremendous. [indiscernible]
Number 2, 2nd part of our mission, training and supporting leaders is the work we do to credential religious professionals, provide continuing education and cohort gatherings for religious professionals, lay leaders and youth and young adults. A brand new resource launched this year is leader lab an online resource that has live and on demand courses on everything from board governance and stewardship to nurturing equity and diversity in congregations. You can find it at uua.org/leaderlab.
In addition, recognizing, we have not taken a holistic look at youth ministry in more than a decade, we are launching a strategic visioning conversation around youth ministry, to identify needs and opportunities to strengthen our ministry to and with youth and to keep them in our faith.
Barb and elandria aren't the only ones growing in this faith. Me, too. Advancing uu values is the outward facing work we do to represent uu ism to the wider world, it is our international partnership and advocacy work, and it is our justice work. It is the ministries of the united nations office, side with love, love resists, congregational advocacy, and beacon press.
All of this is possible because of support for the uua and your congregation's support for the annual program fund. The uua is the embodiment of the covenant that uu congregations make to each other when you support the uua, you are supporting each other as congregations so that all of our congregations have resources, leadership, support in times of crisis, celebration in times of joy. You are nurturing each other when you support the uua. You are powering the mission of the uua and i just want to lift up congregational support for the uua is the single largest and most important funding for our core mission.
One of the ways i think about mission and vision is that mission keeps us grounded. It reminds us of our core work. But vision? Vision helps us soar. Part of the hope for this 2019 general assembly and the upcoming year is to be in discernment across our association about our vision for unitarian universalism the power of we. While this is this progress, we at the uua have articulate an operational vision to guide the changes that we must live into at the uua. Our vision is to create a uua where the aspirations of unitarian universalism as a beloved anti racist, anti oppressive, multi cultural faith community are reflected. A uua in which people of color and indigenous people, trans and nonbinary folks, people with disabilities, those of all classes, backgrounds, ages, and identities, traffic thrive. And to support our congregations and communities and their leaders to be sources of justice, equity, compassion, and liberation in your community.
Now, living into this vision is not easy. We've seen very publicly where we have as unitarian universalists have fallen sort of this vision. This year, an article in the uu world caused real harm to transgender and nonbinary uu's, their families, and allies. It is an example of the gap between our aspirations and our practice and demonstrates how we must do better. Since then, the uu world engaged the leadership of transgender religious professional uu's together (truust) and hired a non binary unitarian universalist to edit a must read collection, teresa soto edited a must read collection of essays from transgender and non binary uu's. This also sparked conversations that will continue about how the association's magazine supports the mission of the uua and how we will live into practice, one i first learned from equual access, "nothing about us without us."let's all say that. This is so important for how we live and move in the worth. Nothing about us without us. Remember that as a mantra in our work and how we communicate who we are and which voices we lift up to say who this faith is.
Another specific situation at the uua in congregational life moved us to experiment with restorative circles to address broken relationship and harm. We are all human and we will break covenant. Therefore we need restorative practices that help us build the muscles of truth telling, learning from mistakes, owning responsibility and accountability and building deeper trust in our communities.
Finally for the second year in a row we've had an increase in complaints regarding professional misconduct. Addressing misconduct is a critically necessary role of the uua and one that requires deeper investment and comprehensive response systems. This is work we dedicated ourselves to improving many years ago and we continue to try to make these systems more accessible, transparent and just, because professional misconduct undermines the power and the liberatory impact and spirit of our faith.
In the midst of these mistakes and areas of ongoing growth, we have also made important progress on core promises we made coming out of the disruptions two years ago that called us to dismantle a culture of white supremacy in unitarian universalism.
Very early in my first year, we implemented new hiring practices aimed at diversity and equity; and i am pleased to report the impact of these practices. Two years ago, the leadership council, which is the senior executive staff at the uua was 12% people of color. Today, it is 42% people of color.
Years ago, the uua staff as a whole was 19% people of color. Today it is 28% people of color. Two
Today at the uua, we have identity based groups for staff of color and indigenous, for glbtq staff members, and for trans* and nonbinary staff. And we are not done, but this is a strong this is not over. This shows the impact of the changes we ever made, but we still have a long way to go. Right? But it's a strong move forward.
Last year, i reported we would implement a culture change strategy within uua staff. To shift our culture as an organization. And this year, i am thrilled to share that we have established the cross staff jedi team justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion team the jedi team of the uua.
To help identify obstacles to full inclusion that involve power and equity and build the skills we need to create a diverse, equitable and just workplace at the uua.
Last year, i asked you to be a part of our commitment to black lives of uu for their groundbreaking ministry. Individuals, congregations, and uu institutions , including the uua. We have pledged over $4.3 million dollars for the promise and the practice campaign. And this year, at this general assembly, we are fulfilling our commitment of $5 million dollars to bluu!
These are all significant successes in living into the promise and the practice of who we say we are. But we know real change change that can affect the outcomes for people of color and others staying in our movement and leading our movement must happen at the congregational level. Right?
So here is how the uua is working to be a strong partner to move change locally. And no surprise it's all related to mission.
Last year, we said we'd develop the resources needed to live into cultural change at the local level. This year, the faith development office created an ever growing page of resources just for congregations looking to dismantle a culture of white supremacy within our congregation. They also developed a white supremacy accountability tool to be used to review congregational religious education programs.
This year, the central east region held a "new day rising" conference that invited leaders from across the region to share their stories of success and failure in dismantling white supremacy culture in their congregations. We're looking at this model in a way to bring it to more and more areas.
Second mission area: training and supporting leaders
Last year, i reported on the unprecedented number of religious professionals of color facing challenges or conflict in their ministry, and our commitment at the uua to provide better support to these leaders. This year, every region of the uua committed to individualized support to every religious professional of color and this has taken the form of stronger start ups, regular check ins, help developing covenants, and coaching for ministers of color entering multi ministry teams. This year, we are improving our records to better track and understand the realities and trends for religious professionals of color so we can better serve these leaders now and into the future. This year, we made stronger and clearer our commitments, including funding, for the uua's finding our way home retreat and the annual truust retreat and we are in the process of formalizing our relationship and financial support for diverse and revolutionary uu multicultural ministries (druumm).
Our third core we know that investing in the leaders who are historically been marginalized in our faith is the way to bring the margins in to the center and to truly change the culture of our faith. Our third core mission area is advancing uu values. Earlier, i spoke to how real institutional change requires being in accountable relationship with frontline and fence line communities. This commitment guides both our justice priorities and how we move them. This year, we clarified four key intersectional justice priorities through a strategic review unlike any undertaken in the last 15 years. This led to the creation of the organizing strategy team, because we realized that what is needed to move justice in this country is power, and power is built through organizing. We are shifting our focus to organizing and supporting organizing.
The four strategic areas, intersectional priorities, are combating criminalization, including mass i know car race, immigrant detention and deportation.
Lgbtq and gender justice
We know uu congregations are engaged in many different issues and campaigns locally, and this continues, and we want to model focus and long term relationship building at the uua, and invite as many people as possible to join.
This year the uua supported actions at the border in arizona and in san diego. We showed up to support dr. Christine blasey ford as she testified during the kavanaugh hearings; at rallies to support reproductive justice; and to stand against discrimination targeting lgbtq people.
In november, uus and the uua showed up in florida to help secure the largest voter re enfranchisement since the voting rights act.
This is what organizing can do! This is what our faith community in solidarity with grassroots communities can do!
And then there's beacon press. Embracing these priorities as a guide for who and what they publish, the press was on fire this year. As just one example, white fragility by robin diangelo was on the new york times best seller list for over 6 months! But it wasn't just that book. All of these and so many titles have been focused on publishing the voices of leaders of color, focused on organizing, fighting criminalization and racism and climate justice and we are seeing the larger community respond to beacon press and what they are putting out is tremendous.
All of this is to say, that at the uua, we are making it our mission to be a faith community that responds to the demands of this time. And there is more ahead.
This report is by no means comprehensive. These are just a few examples of system shifts, and significant wins we've had this year. You can find out more about the work the uua does through our brand new free publication the uua amplify catalog which lists our many programs, resources, and how to connect to them.
None of these big changes or the ongoing, core mission work of the uua would happen without the attention, dedication and countless hours of your uua staff over 200 people who work tirelessly and often fearlessly and certainly faithfully to serve this tradition, our congregations, and our leaders. Will you please rise as you are able so we can thank you? I want other than to see you and give you a round.
[cheers and applause]
People often ask me what the best part, my favorite part of my job is and it is getting to work with the uua staff. It is a privilege and a pleasure. Behind me, gathered with me is the leadership council of the uua. These are the strategic partners with me, with their teams, and with many of you who make our mission and our vision come to life. And we are very pleased to welcome a new addition to our team, dr. Andrew mcgeorge, incoming chief financial officer and treasurer of the uua beginning july 8.
The cfo and treasurer have a unique role. They're part of the staff and appointed by your uua board. So welcome, andrew.
And finally, i offer my sincerest gratitude for our outgoing treasurer and cfo, tim brennan. In tim's 13 years, he increased the financial health and management of the uua's resources and he made us a leader in socially responsible investing and corporate accountability. Tim has said yes to mission, worked closely with black lives unitarian universalism over the last year. He's one of the key financial leaders in our faith to saying yes to dismantling white supremacy, culture, and getting focused on mission has made such a tremendous mission in what we've been able to do. Thank you, tim, to your dedication, your service, your leadership.
I want to devote this last section of my report to speak to the future, the challenges and the possibilities that lay ahead for who we can be as unitarian universalists.
In these difficult and dangerous times, we see people doubling down on a deadly status quo rather than choosing to be bold, cooperative and innovative to meet the challenges before us. And this is heartbreaking because it is exactly in times like these when we need audacious leaders and audacious communities that are willing to take risks, to show a new way forward one that is life giving, life affirming, and justice centered.
We need to be those people, those audacious leaders and audacious communities fighting for the future and the liberation of all people. And to do this, we need each other, and we need to invest more fully and generously in the power and impact of our congregations and our larger association. A future of increasingly isolated congregations just will not cut it.
We need one another to be the religion and the people we are called to be in this time a multiracial, multicultural, multigender, multigenerational future of unitarian universalism. We can't turn back now from that vision. Our voice, our values, our ability to show up, these matter right now. And they are needed. There is more possibility ahead for our world and our humanity, but we need activists for love, and organizers for justice and democracy and protectors of democracy.
We are just 16 months out from perhaps the most critical election in our life times. One that will have real and immediate consequences for democracy, climate justice, for the lives of people of color and refugees, for women's autonomy, for the freedom of all people. This is a matter, this election is a matter of life and death. And as i've said to the ministers association on tuesday, this is no time to sit on the fence.
This election will have direct consequences for democracy, for climate justice, for our future, for our children, for healthcare, for the lives of people who live with disabilities. It is a matter of life and death.
And so i want to take these themes of and i'd love the tech deck to go back to that slide. I want to take these themes of action, risk, courage, and mission and propose to you that we uu the vote!did you hear that? That we uu the vote. I want you to see you all in your communities make your congregations into voter protection, voter registration, civic engagement, and mobilization centers. Let us show the difference the power of unitarian universalism can make. We already have a reputation as the people who show up let's build the reputation that we are a people that show up and get others to show up.
Don't wait until 2020. Get those tables set up where you are finding organizations in your community that are doing voter registration, voter education drives right now. Start getting connected. Go out into your neighborhoods. Go into the community and talk to people about the issues, about your values, and about the importance of voting. We need to be getting ready right now for 2020. Start right now, connecting your communities. Who's getting voters out? Who's starting to register and mobilize. Get connected. Help your people. If it's only a partisan party, then university make sure you have information about both parties. Right? Your people traffic choose who they want to partner with individually and you can help them connect at your congregation.
We have a choice about who will be. Will we choose doubt, fear and moderation or will we choose mission, courage, generosity boldness, love, liberation? I know what i will choose!what are you going to choose? Why are you here? Where do you put your faith? Let us be bold. Let us be fearless and courageous and let us fight, fight for what's left of our democracy and build from it. All right this
Build those muscles. Uu the vote.
>> uu the vote! Uu the vote! Uu the vote!
>> i love it. I love it. It is a joy, it is an unbelievable joy to serve as your president. What an honor. Thank you for this honor. It is my joy to serve with the board of trustees, your fabulous co moderators, barb greve and elandria williams. Executive vice president carey mcdonald, my partner in this work. I am grateful to you. And i with him inspired by all of what we are already doing and the ways that we are embracing a deeper practice of our faith and our community and a bolder commitment to risk for solidarity and justice and a more courageous expression of unitarian universalism. Let's get ready, everyone. Let's get ready. Let's uu the vote. I'm going to invite everette thompson, the side with love campaign manager. We are looking at how we use side with love in our justice ministries at the uua to help us all uu the vote. And everette is going to talk to us about side with love.
>> first of all, i love our president. I love our president.
She is our president. Yes?
And let me tell you a story about our president. When i started, before i started this great position of side with love, as our campaign manager, i was in ohio with the ohio organizing collaborative, but also uujo. And we decided that we were going to uplift the work that was happening in ohio and that's when we went canvasing door to door. Congregations all across ohio came out. Our congregations. Y'all came out, knocked on doors, and your president put on her tennis shoes and knocked on doors in the cold and everything else. I know that we know how to side with love. I know that we embody what siding with love is. It is more than just a theory that we speak, but i've seen y'all take great action and i am so proud to be with y'all and be here.
And when we talk more about what do i mean to side with love? I couldn't do this. I'm practicing interdependence. We couldn't do this work without carey mcdonald, the ost campaign director. And carey has been helping us create a space to think very big and brought about how we want to have on ramps for us to be a part of this great work of siding with love. So that means being intentional about our disability justice. About making sure that we're in alignment with the intersectional issues. And then there's this beautiful being right here next to carey, which is michael. So michael is your welcoming congregations, but also lgbtq and trust. And when he tells me side with love needs to get on the battle ground to make sure we can pass the equality act, we say yes and we move for it. Yeah.
And then when our president starts talking about electoral justice, we've got to kick it over here to susan leslie, who has been here a long time.
Plus she is a connecting glue to make sure that whatever is happening across the region that uu are his in the forefront and that we are in right relationship. And you know what they say? No new fossil fuels. When we say stop the pipeline. We can't do this work without karen. We can't do this work without caring.
But also, before i came here, i was down in home stead, florida, with some really beautiful florida uus, reverend grimes in miami. Yeah. Naples. Uu naples, uu boca raton, uu orlando. Y'all showed up. We all showed up and we're in right relationship. And audrey is not here. Said that we will align not just our theory, but our practice and our bodies. We're saying no more in child detention now.
In child detention now.
So you might ask, every one of you, where am i going with all of this? I'm going to say we have been siding with love. We have been hearing the call. We have been with partnerships with black lives matter, with showing up for racial justice, where it's the majority, with the women's march. We have been in conversation. It ain't always been easy. It ain't always been easy, when we're in conversation, but love allows us to have tension. Love allows us to silt in our contradictions and also become a healing balm. Love is what we are about and what we do, and i see it every day and throughout this hall and on the screens. So i'm inviting y'all on the invitation to actually give some money to help support side with love, but really, to help support what we believe in and what i want you to do. This is a part of our collective, but also we want to uplift y'all to say we've got this, and there's so much more we can do. And i'm an organizer, and so in organizer's fashion, and also country, we're going to do a little bit of a call and response, and i'm going to say side with love, because they're telling me to wrap up. You all come back and say side with love with me. On my count of three. One, two, three, side with love?
>> side with love.
>> side with love.
>> side with love.
>> side with love.
>> side with love.
>> thank you you all so much. Envelopes are coming around, and also to elijah, may my words always make you proud. Thank you, family.
Baskets are still coming around, so please continue to give your money.
>> we have only a decade to avoid the direst of consequences of the climate crisis. The 2014 general assembly heard this call and overwhelmingly passed a business resolution on fossil fuel divestment. My intention was to help youths live into their values, but it was really bill mckibben's do the math tour in 2012 after the election that prompted our actions.
The resolution called on the uua to reduce its fossil fuel holdings and for those few retained to use its shareholder rights to pressure companies to take action on climate change.
Climate change really percolated up to the top of the issues that we were working on. When i became uua president, i was astounded at the work that we were doing through the common endowment fund, and the impact that we were having when it came to advocating for greater responsibility from petroleum companies and diminishing emissions and in working for climate justice.
Climate justice is a movement responding to the urgency of the climate crisis in a way that actually builds equity and justice in our societies. Our shareholder influence is enhanced by working with other investors through the interfaith center on corporate responsibility or iccr. Iccr started in the early 1970s and from there pioneered the strategy of shareholder investor engagement on environmental and social issues. And the uua was there almost from the beginning in the 1970s.
Over three decades the faith community has catalyzed powerful investor coalitions acting on climate change. We are shareholders and being long term shareholders means something. And that we belong to a group of people like climate action 100+ which is $33 trillion of invested capital, one third of the invested capital in the world and when we walk in and say something to somebody, they listen these days. And so by working together to have a common set of concerns they put before 160 plus companies, globally, and they engage them. They talk to them. They meet with them. They share research with each other.
Since ga 2014, the uua has filed or co filed 32 climate related resolutions. As an example, at exxon when we demanded a scenario plan for how exxon was going to make a transition a couple years ago, we managed to get a 62% vote on that resolution, and that was just unheard of.
It was really the first time and a real turning point where the largest institutional investors in the world, the black rocks, the vanguards, the fidelities, it was your mainstream investors who said, "this is really important and this company needs to produce this report."
>> at bp and shell and glencore, all three of those are good examples of really seeing targets for how they're going to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and plans that are much more assertive in terms of moving faster, deeper, really dramatically changing the businesses.
Years ago, the uua joined westpac in filing a shareholder resolution at occidental petroleum and got 67% of the vote. It was the first time an environmentally focused shareholder resolution had ever passed at a us oil and gas company. Since then, the company has gone on and is now thinking about ways to become carbon neutral. Common is the co author of a report called disclosing the facts and last year the focus was on methane. And what we found was that a company that uua engaged with, range resources, has significantly moved in terms of its performance around methane. So where it used to be a laggard, it's actually improved its practices and its disclosure.
Trump administration is basically overturning rules on methane emissions, rules designed to reduce those emissions. After a conversation with exxon, they came out with a very public statement saying that they oppose that and they encouraged the administration to leave the rules in place..
>> i think we're at a tipping point now. Major companies globally understand the issue of climate change and the threat it is to their business. We are more powerful because we unite our assets in the uu common endowment fund and were more effective because we work in partnership with other faith and values based investors.
>> the more that unitarian universalist congregations are invested in the common endowment, the more power that we have to advocate as a whole faith on behalf of our values. So i invite congregations to consider seriously the uu common endowment fund as a place to hold their endowment resources and advocate on our values together.
>> it is and it isn't. We want to make sure that we're all back here for the commission on institutional changes report, so we're going to need your help. We can do this by using the consent agenda. So we want to explain the use of the consent agenda and what it means. The ga rules of procedure this year include the ability to have a consent agenda, which is often used by congregational meetings and our own board of trustees to group routine, informational, procedural, self plan an tore and i noncontroversial or things we hope are noncontroversial items of business. Given the fullness of the business agenda this year, the consent agenda may help this general assembly save time and prioritize discussions on the most critical areas.
We understand that this is the first time we will be doing this and so we're going to take a straw poll for each item. The items that pass the straw poll will be combined into a singular motion and the item or items that do not will be taken separately.
I'd like to remind everyone that while we can decide to debate everything, it also means that we may not have time for lunch or going to the bathroom or workshops or anything else as planned. I'm just saying, folks.
So the following proposed bylaw amendments received no amendments in the business mini assemblies. Accordingly, your board of trustees recommends they be added to and passed as part of our consent agenda. Change the word final to full in section 5.1 board of review, line 180. Section 7.2, ministerial fellowship committee, line 191. Going to help us understand what this all means in a minute.
Section 11.5, termination of fellowship and administrative suspension, line 195. Section 11.7, appeals line 200. The full section of each change can be found on page 71 of our program book. Also, to remove the phrase in odd numbered years from section 5.2, election and appointments, line 290, found on pages 70 and 71 of your program book. Remove the sentence, the secretary's decision has been final, from section 9.9, supervision of elections. Line 341. And replace it with the following text: the decision of the secretary may be changed by a two thirds volt of the board of trustees. These changes can be found on page 75 of your program book.
To make changes that normalize the use of electronic voting, while preserving the built to vote by mail for elected offices in sections 9.1 and rules 9.1 .3.1, g 126.96.36.199, g 9.3.3. G 9.3.4 and g 9.5. The text of those changes can be found on pages 72 through 74 of our program book.
And finally, we recommend the inclusion on a consent agenda of the business resolution for the merger of the ballou channing district with our unitarian universalist association found on page 75 of our program book.
Greg? At the amendment mic.
>> thank you very much.
>> i recognize greg at the amendment mic.
>> there we go.
>> the change of the term final to full fellowship in section 5.11, 7.6, 11.5, and 11.7 come to us after joint processes of discernment and recommendation from the unitarian universalist ministers association and the ministerial fellowship committee, a subcommittee of your board of trustees. The changes are intended to reflect a thinking around ministry where professionals traffic continue to learn throughout their service to our faith. Removing the phrase in odd numbered years from section 5.2 brings practices around appointments and lines with how we hold elections. The proposed change to section 9.9 changes ultimate accountability for elections to the entire board of trustees. While normalizing the procedures, processes, and formats for voting for elected offices in our association in section 9.10 and rules g 9.13.1, g 9.13.2, g 9.13.3. G 9.13.4. And g 9.13.5 allows for greater flexibility, while maintaining the ability to independently verify election results.
The g in front of a g rule stands for general assembly, and it means that the rule was created by the general assembly and, in turn, requires additional action by the general assembly in order to be changed or removed. And finally, the business resolution for the merger of the ballou channing district with the unitarian universalist association reflects the desire of this former district to conform with our association's move to regionalization. The ballou channing district held its final meeting earlier in in the spring friending the law of the commonwealth of massachusetts requires a two thirds affirmative vote of the member congregations of our association to authorize this change.
The mini assembly process revealed that all of the above changes were not controversial. Your board of trustees, therefore, recommends that we approve these changes by adding them to and ultimately passing a consent agenda.
>> so here is how it's going to work. Do you have your arms crossed? Okay. So move that the changes for an affirmative straw poll outcome be added to the consent agenda. So we're going to go one by one. If you would like the changes to be presented, raise your arms high. If not, raise your arms high. All right? So here we go. Final full fellowship, 5.11(a)1, 7.6, 1.3, 11.5, and 11.7. Okay. We need a vote for off site. Procedural mic?
>> i've got a statement from sally jane gellert, central unitarian paramus, new jersey.
>> is it a procedural question?
>> she says little. I request that we remove the consents agenda from rule 1. I believe there were too few people in the mini assembly for it to truly give consent of the body and the proceedings there were extremely confusing to off site delegates with no clear page reference, no discussion. Topic before we were asked to agree to have items moved to a consent agenda.
>> so sally, we're doing it in the main hall now, so that we will actually have the whole body's opinion. That's why we're doing it this way, too.
>> procedural mic?
>> ann wise, unitarian universalist society in the city of new york. I had a point of clarification, which was to ask whether or not read from the amendment mic is different than what is printed in here? Because i think i heard him mention something about the two thirds?
>> that's a whole thing we're not even there yet.
>> i was unclear when he was talking if he was talking about that being part of the consent agenda or if it was a separate line item later.
>> that's a separate item we're going to get to later.
>> that was my issue, because i was confused. Thank you.
>> someone at the procedural mic.
>> cheryl gray, unitarian society of florence, north hampton. I'd actually move item 5, page 3 remove from the consent agenda, please.
>> so we are just i want you to explain the process one more time. So we are all clear. We are going from each different items. Right? So we're starting with one, which is around 5.11. And we are doing a straw poll to see what the body would like. So we're not even are you asking about 5.11 or another one?
>> board authority.
>> we're not there yet. So right now we are at 5.11. Okay? First win on the page. We're doing a straw poll, which is a very different system than what we've done before.
>> just to clarify, any one individual wants something pulled out of the consent agenda, then the body traffic debate it.
>> if the body decides to not have it on the consent agenda, then it will not be on the consent agenda.
>> one traffic offer a reason why they don't want it on the consent agenda?
>> right now we are on a different one.
>> i know, but process wise, traffic we offer a reason why we'd like something pulled from the consent agenda?
>> if you want to discuss it, you have to take off the consent agenda as a whole body and then discuss it.
>> but there's a straw vote without anyone knowing a reason why something should come off the consent agenda.
>> [indiscernible] unitarian universalist fellowship of corvallis. I want you to know how one should know when one is in the hall?
>> so we are going to do yes and no. Right now.
>> i apologize. And so let's start again. Finding the full fellowship, 5.11, 7.6, 11.3, 11.5, and 11.7. If you would like it on the consent agenda, please raise your voting cards. In you would not like it on the agenda, please raise your voting cards. Okay? And we're going to wait. It's 92 6. So this is on the consent agenda. Thank you.
Number 2, remove odd numbered years 5.2. If you would like it on the consent agenda, please raise your voting cards. Thank you. If you would not like to on the consent agenda, please raise your voting cards. 94% approved, 6% no. That is not removed from the consent agenda.
Number 3, modernize for electronic wrote and clarify election preparation bisect, g 9.13.1. If you would like this on a consent agenda, please raise your voting cards. Put them down. If you would not like to put them, please raise your voting cards. Okay. 94% to six. So this is on extension. All right.
Number 4? Modernize electronic votes and randomize order number of candidate names, g 9.13.2. If you would like this on the consent agenda, please raise your voting cards. Thank you. Please put them down. If you would not, please raise your voting card. All right. We're going to wait for the off site delegate. Thank you. 91% to seven, and two abstentions.
I recognize the person at the procedural mic.
>> i just had a question about roberts rules and how they i've never heard of doing straw polls where the people that are in disagreement don't get to say anything. Is this part of robert's rules? And if so, straw polls like this?
>> yes, they do straw polls often, actually.
>> what does roberts rules say about what is incorporated in the consent calendar?
>> board of trustees. We are not limited to roberts rules. This body traffic operate how it should.
[cheers and applause]
>> if the body traffic create its own rules?
>> yes. Okay. So number 6, paper ballots. And i know this is really new for people. It's very new. Did you have a procedural? Is there a person at the procedural mic?
>> on five now? Is that correct?
>> procedural? Rebecca burger from uu congregation of wyoming, wilkes barre, pennsylvania. She says the numbers listed on the screen are only the off site participants.
>> christy stockman, unitarian universalist church of corpus christi in texas. I would like to question the order. Consent agenda.
>> okay. Procedural mic?
>> hi. I'm ann snyder from arizona. I'm looking at roberts rules. It says that if a member requests that an item be removed [off mic] a consent agenda, it must be moved. Any reason is sufficient to move an item. And in order to move an item, to discuss the item, to query the item, or to vote against it. There is a roberts rules.
>> so here is the thing. So we actually did rules of read you are and we voted on rules of procedure earlier. And so since we understand throb efforts rules sometimes is a system that's grounded in white supremacy. And so are other systems of decision making. So i'm just saying, we actually did pass rules earlier.
>> i think this rule is in the interest of democracy. This person has requested it be removed from the consent agenda. It ought to be removed.
>> so traffic i say a thing?
>> i can say a thing. Right? So we had a mini assembly and someone wanted something removed and we did. In the mini assembly, there were strong objections to something on the consent agenda. It's no longer on the consent agenda. So we actually did follow the process.
>> so i just want to say we did move some things and we have another amendment that's coming that's not on the consent agenda, because we actually did follow that process.
>> okay. I just want to point out, in this case roberts rules is a more democratic procedure. That's all.
>> that's an opinion, not a fact. And so i want you to tell you, debate is not allowed at the procedural mic. It's just not. So i mean, we've got to move.
>> am i recognized?
>> i request that the body allow roberts rules to apply for
>> we passed the rules already.
>> i just request that the body, the body decides, about in the interest of our principle about democratic values, i request that the body allow roberts rules to apply for the board authority for elections just to allow someone who may have a concern to voice it in the interest of democratic values and our principle on democratic values.
>> i would like to make sure everyone even understands what this is about. In the original bylaws, the secretary has final say. One person has final say. We're actually trying to say one person does not have final say. The final say is actually of larger body of people. That's what this one is actually about. That's it. It's to say one person shouldn't have final say. Instead, it should actually go for a larger body of people for this one.
>> a colleague told me i should move for suspension of this straw poll rule to ask for roberts rules to apply for this particular vote.
>> okay. We can vote on it. Okay. If people would like to move to you is speeched the rules for this, use roberts rules instead of a straw poll, please raise your voting card yes if you're in favor. If you're not in favor, please raise your voting cards. We're going to wait for off site. So 77% opposed. Sorry, y'all. So it does not pass.
All right. So we're on number 5 i think. Modern electronic vote and remove ballot. 9.13.3. If you elect this, please raise your voting card. Please put your cards down. If you do not, it is about this one. Okay. Go ahead. Procedure mic.
>> reverend grayson from park lake, michigan. I just would like to request that the moderator offer abstentions in the house as well.
>> yes. Thank you. So we're on number 5. If your vote is nay, raise your hand. Raise your card. So again, this is to modernize electronic vote and move on the ballot. I recognize people at the procedural mic.
>> traffic you repeat what we're voting on?
>> yes. We're adding to the agenda, modernize for electronic voted and remove on a ballot. Okay. If you're voting to keep [indiscernible] please raise your voting cards.
>> thank you. If you would like to take it off, please raise your voting cards. If you obtaining, please raise your voting cards. Or. While to be off site. 90 percent in favor, nine opposed. 88% in favor. [indiscernible] opposed and 1% okay. Now we're on number 7.
>> we've got a number in the queues. Are you ready to hear some of those?
>> are they actual procedural questions?
>> craig her oh, unitarian universalist of portland, oregon. The uu ministers association leadership recently issued a message about this proposed change from final to full.
>> so we are on paper ballots. We've already passed that one.
>> we're on no paper ballots, g 9.13.5. We did four already.
>> we're good on those. We didn't? Okay. I'm go back. We're going to do six, then four.
>> tell me what six is.
>> six is paper ballots, g 9.13.5.
>> we've got some generic questions.
>> okay. Hold on. So y'all, are you ready? Grace is a thing. Right? Yeah. So i want to give you grace, so give it to us. That would be really lovely. It's a lot of little numbers. Yes. I recognize the person at the procedural mic.
>> thank you. Debra wilburn first uu of nashville. I want you to thank the co moderators for their grace. And i notice there is a question from the off site delegates, well, just a statement that they cannot see how the votes are going out here. I wonder if there's a way for the camera, you know, to show the votes so off site delegates traffic see how it's going.
>> we can do that. If not, we can say it. I recognize the delegate at the procedural mic in
>> bernie welke, humboldt uu. A clarification. When all of these screens are showing only, the off site people and yet when you're talking about how many people are for and against, the co moderator is doing a phenomenal job under stress. It's in derate here.
>> thank you.
>> i recognize the person at the procedural microphone.
>> amanda sherber. Huntsville. With respect to our fabulous co moderators, i do believe that you may have a different numbering system on your sheet than we have been passed out. So i would like to ask that there's some confirmation made on what we have versus what you have.
>> thank you for pointing that out. While we're scrambling to get the right documentation, i also adjust want to name that the straw polling that we're doing is just about putting the pieces on the agenda and not voting in support or not support. Item itself.
>> the procedural mic?
>> this is all off site. Are you ready?
>> i'm reading for abigail humphries, first unitarian church of toledo, ohio. Rule 1, rules of procedure allows the moderator to propose a single consent agenda for items that received no proposed amendments at the appropriate mini assembly. Those of us who attended the appropriate mini assembly were not allowed to propose amendments for any items that were listed on friday's agenda as being the consent agenda. The we were not allowed to ask any questions or ask for any clarifications on items. We were only allowed to vote on whether we were in favor of adding an item to the consent agenda. We were misinformed at the beginning of the mini assembly that there would be time to ask questions about the items after we voted. Since there's been no opportunity for discussion or an opportunity to propose amendments, i believe the proposed consent agenda goes against the intention of rule 1.
>> so that would be to accept. So we did do an amendment from that mini assembly. We took that one off the agenda and we're actually do he go to debate it later today. I hear that and we actually have one that did get taken off and we're going to debate later today.
>> christy stockman of unitarian universalist church of corpus christi. May i be recognized? Very simply i am asking as an off site delegate, may i be recognized in
>> to say what?
>> allison mcleod i apologize if i mispronounced that unitarian universalist fellowship in california. We want the co moderators to ask the tellers before voting if there's any procedural person in the queue line.
>> we can do that. Another person procedural mic.
>> [indiscernible] new york city. Just to further point out clarification, regarding the numbering that you are referring to, are there's only bullet points in our agenda in the book and also in the most recent thing we can find in the app. Maybe there is a handout, but we didn't take the handouts, sustainability encouragements. If we could just refer to the specific bylaw and what it amends rather than four or six
>> for me it's helpful, i can try to not do that.
>> well, i got it.
>> i completely understand. It's confusing for us as we don't have a numbered list.
>> rule g 9.13.2, which is modern eyes electronic vote and randomize order of candidate names. 9.3.2. If you would like that placed on the consent agenda, please raise your voting card. Overwhelmingly there's a lot of people. If you would not like it on the consent agenda, please raise your voting card. If you would like to abstain, please raise your voting card. Okay. 90% approve. 12% no. And 30% abstain. That overwhelmingly passed.
Back to paper ballots, g 9.13.5. This is mailed paper ballots. G 9.13.4. Thank you. I recognize the person at the procedural mic.
>> thank you,, abigail humphries, first unitarian church of toledo. Respectfully, elandria is incorrect. At the mini assembly we were informed that the bylaw change regarding elections was not on the consents agenda. Based on final agenda, that bylaw change and preliminary fellowship were not on the consent agenda. Therefore, we were allowed to propose amendments and have discussions on the election. We were not allowed to have any discussion on any of the other bylaw changes.
Thank you for the clarification. It happened in mini assembly two, and there were two amendments or changes.
Okay. So back g 9.13.4. If you are in favor of keeping an informed consent agenda, please raise your voting card. Thank you, if not, please raise your voting card. If you abstain, please raise your voting card. Thank you. We're going to wait for off site. Okay. 92% in favor off site. 6% opposed off site. And 2% abstain off site. So also overwhelmingly passed.
Clarify voting at general assembly. I think this one is.5. G.9.13.5. If you are in favor, please raise your voting card. Thank you. If you are opposed, please raise your voting cards. If you would like to abstain, please raise your voting cards. Thank you. Off site? 95% approved and no abstentions. This also overwhelmingly passes.
Bylaw, 9.10. Conduct of elections at large. If you would like to stay on the consent agenda, please raise your voting cards. Thank you. If you would like to take it off, please raise your voting cards. Thank you. If you abstain, please raise your voting cards. Thank you. We're waiting for off site. 85% approve, 11% oppose, and 4% abstain. This also overwhelmingly passes.
9.9, supervision of elections. If it you would like for this to stay on the consent agenda, please raise your voting cards. Thank you. If you would like to have some leave the consent agenda, please raise your voting cards. Abstain? Thank you. And you have a question in the procedural line?
>> abigail humphries again, first unitarian church of toledo, ohio. I attended mini assembly, too. We discussed the preliminary fellowship and ended mini assembly two. One informed us we could discuss any other issues other than preliminary fellowship during mini assembly two.
Also, the off site delegates do not currently have an active moderator in the room with us, which is why i'm at the mic for the third time.
>> so we did that one. We did all the consent agenda in number 1. That's why. So the consent agenda and the one item was in mini assembly number 1. Preliminary fellowship was mini assembly number 2. So again, we give off site.
>> tech deck, traffic we get the off site vote for that last vote, please?
>> okay. We have to take the vote again. So 9.9, supervision of elections. If you approve for this to be on the consent agenda, please raise your voting card again. Thank you. If you oppose, please raise your voting card. Thank you. If you abstain, please raise your voting card. Thank you. And thousand we're going to wait for off site. So 91% approve. 6% oppose. And then 3% abstain. That also overwhelmingly passed.
Last one. Ballou chaining merger. If you would like this to stay, raise voting cards. Thank you. If you are opposed, raise your voting cards. If i around stain, please raise your voting cards. Thank you. We just have to wait for off site. 95% approve. 95 percent do not approve. 2% abstain. This overwhelmingly passes. Thank you.
>> take a steady breath in with me. Would you? Steady breath out. Change is hard. You want to make the motion?
>> this is for transparency. I had an allergy attack and i'm on albuterol and epinephrine, so if i go really fast, i'm really sorry. We moved to the changes receiving an informative thoughtful outcome to be added to the consent agenda.
>> a motion to add the items we have just considered through the straw poll has been made. Is there a second?
>> i second.
>> seeing many seconds in the hall, the motion has been moved and seconded. The consent agenda motion is not amendable. Is there further discussion? And before that, i recognize the delegate at the procedural mic.
>> thank you. Christy stockman, unitarian universalist church of corpus christi, texas. There seems to be a number of delegates who have not been able to review the consent agenda. Is there some way we can suspend the consent agenda until those delegates who were in mini assembly two have a chance to review it?
>> all. Items on the consent agenda are in the program book, are available through the app, have been available since the final agenda was print a few weeks ago.
I recognize the delegate at the procedural mic.
>> thank you. Carl ponan, uu church of greater lansing in michigan. I am confused about what the motion on the floor is. We just took a straw vote to add everything to the consent agenda and now there's another motion to add everything to the consent agenda?
>> yes. Carl, i appreciate that. So to be clear, the design of a consent agenda is to help us move our business forward quickly. This is new for us, all of us. This is new. The board's intents in doing the straw poll, given the rules that we passed earlier today, allow for the co moderators to remove or place anything on the agenda that we deem appropriate, and certainly we use the guidance of our fellow board members and legal counsel. The straw poll is to give us a sense of what the collective we and the power of we wanted. Oh that's what we just finished doing. Now is the more official type stuff. The motion is to accept the consent agenda. It has been moved. It has been seconded. It is not amendable, so is there any discussion about that? Okay.
So let's take the vote. You've got love the parliamentarian and legal advice, counsel. Thank you both. I'm going to go down the list of the things that are on the consent agenda before we try voting on it. I'm going to do it in shorthand. On the consent agenda is section 5.11 under board review. Section 7.6, ministerial fellowship committee. Section 11.5, termination of fellow ship and administrative suspension. Section 11.7, appeal. Section 5.2, election and appointment. Rule g 9.13.1, election preparation. Rule g 9.13.2, order of candidate names on a ballot. Rule g 9.13.2, write ins prohibition. Rule g 9.13.4, mail ballots. Rule g 9.13.5, voting at general assembly. Section 9.9, suspension of elections. Long list. Section 9.10, conduct of elections at large.
In consultation with legal counsel, your co moderators are removing the ballou channing district merge everybody from the consent be agenda and we will take a separate vote there for reasons we'll tell you later. I recognize the delegate at the procedural mic.
>> carl ponan. The co moderator just said these items are on the consent agenda. I think technically they're not, because we're about to put them on the consent agenda. Am i completely confused?
>> you're a step behind us, carl. I love it. I'm glad you're playing attention to this. The next step we will take will be the path of the consent agenda.
>> okay. Did we take the vote?
>> no. Actually, you're right. The next to vote we take will be the proposed items onto the consent agenda and then we will take a vote to pass the consent agenda.
>> exactly. And to be clear, to be clear, we need a 50% majority to pass. 51%? To put things on the consent agenda is a majority vote. This is a non debatable item. You ready to vote? All in favor of the items listed prior being on the consent agenda, please raise your cards or vote online. In the hall, it is an overwhelming majority. Those opposed? And those obtaining? And we're just waiting for the online tally. 90% in favor. 8% opposed, and 2% abstaining. Again, overwhelming majority. We as an overwhelming majority. Got to love the branding. So we have a consent agenda. The consent agenda itself is not amendable or debatable. So therefore, we will take an immediate volt. The consent an gent an must receive a two thirds affirmative majority in order to pass. Two thirds majority. All in favor of the items on the consent agenda, please raise your card or vote online. We have board members and sellers looking for the two thirds vote. We can put our cards down. Vote online. And those abstaining raise your cards or vote online. All right.
So we're all going to converse to make sure we've got agreement on what the numbers we're seeing are, and i invite you to introduce yourself to the person next to you.
>> just for people to know off site was 89% support, 10% opposed, and 1% ab stained.
>> so here's the thing. It passed.
>> i was going to say we're not going back. We're going forward. Always moving forward.
>> we need a motion for this. We need somebody to move it.
>> so we're going to take a moment to address the ballou channing district merger. It's already on the floor. All right. We're ready to vote then.
>> not rail. All the in favor of accepting as printed in the final agenda, please vote. If you're opposed, please vote. And if you are abstaining, please vote. How in the world
>> 95% favor online, 3% opposed, and 2% abstain online.
>> the overwhelmingly passes. I recognize the delegate at the procedural mic.
>> i'm baffled. You took the ballou amendment out. Did it place on the floor or how did we look it in
>> it automatically place it had on the floor. And if you remove two things, they both would have been on the floor?
>> in concurrent order.
>> this is just bizarre.
>> It's hard. It's really, really hard. We're used to doing business in one set of rules and one book that we think has been fair and allow for democracy for ages. And we're faced with a reality that that book, and i say this as somebody who loves studying it, it's not adequate to being and creating and governing in a just world that we imagine. Now we're about to volt on things we're not. This is general. Rebecca brenner, congregation of ohio valley, wilkes barre, pennsylvania, would the moderators ask people not to clap at the announcement of the result of contentious votes, please? And if you do speak, you may have only two minutes and you can only speak once if there are others waiting. In order to make sure that we all get a lunch break before the next set of things we must do, if you would, before approaching the mic, please consider what you are going to offer is a new perspective or repeat if something offered earlier. We will continue to have a couple of minutes of formal discussion with a countdown timer track on the screen by the speaker timer. Remember, this does not count toward the 30 minute limit. The 30 minutes of debate time does include time they voted to amendments to the proposed amendments. And then it must be submitted for consideration at the appropriate mini assembly. There has to be 2015 minutes of discussion before amendments to the main motion can be considered. This is the procedural mic. The motion to call the previous question is in order, with ten minutes have expired and there are people at the pro and sun mike. The previous question is in order and again, time taken at the procedural mic will not count against discussion time. 80 time by going to the procedure mic. Delegates going online. The teller as we've already seen. We are talking about preliminary fellowship, section 1.3. So move that the proposed bylaw amendment to article 11, section 1.3, to change from final to full fellowship. You never got all of these things.
>> thank you.
>> okay. Richard sungaz, unitarian universalist congregation, santa rosa, california. I respectfully disagree with the rejection of my previous procedural point asking about when items can be asked to be pulled from the consent agenda. Even if it is not dealt with now, i would like this point of process reviewed. I have a served as a parliamentarian for university senate.
>> it was removed from the consent agenda, bylaw amend men, section 1.6 to increase number of petitions for nominations of congregations from at least three of the regions of the association. I need someone to move.
>> i move that section 89.6 be amended so that the petitions require 50 endorsements from congregations from at least three districts. Do you have the precise language in front of you?
>> the procedure for the voting card. You are not ready to talk about it. You don't understand. We have to actually take a vote to talk about it. So give you a second. Now we need, to talk about it i know. Thank you. Procedural mic.
>> carl ponan, greater unitarian universalist church of greater lansing. I am not familiar with this rule that we have to vote if we have a motion in a second. Now
>> i'm tired.
>> was it in the rules we passed this morning? Because i don't think it was there.
>> i could be wrong.
>> i could be wrong.
>> no, i could be wrong. I need help. So i'm sorry. I need help right now. They're helping me. All right. We are ready for people to come to the pro concern mic. If you want to say you're in favor or anything in concern.
>> i don't know what we are looking at.
>> okay. So where can we find that, please?
>> 75. We're looking at 9.6. 9.6, which is about
>> increase the number of nominations to 50 congregations from at least three of the regions of the association.
>> all right.
>> thank you, greg and elandria.
>> thank you. Thank you, mary.
>> i recognize the speaker at the procedural mic.
>> care an anderson from the uu church on windy island. I would like to know the background of why this change. It feels less democratic than what we had and i'm sure there's a good reason and i'd like to hear it.
>> sure. So i'm going to recognize the person at the pro mic who was on the presidential search committee with me.
>> thank you. Mathew johnson, minister in rockford, illinois. The co chair of the presidential search committee, that committee and some other folks involved met to review our procedures, and some of the changes you see today came out of that. The petitions are about increasing the number of grassroots participation necessary for someone to bypass the official search committees. So if you decide that the search committee, which has been elected by the delegates, has made a grieve he is error and you want to put your own name in, we've increased slightly the number of congregations that need to support that. And so if you can't do it with a fall group from a small area, but across the association. That's why. And that's why i urge the yes vote.
>> i'm looking at the delegate at the concern mic.
>> my name is joseph turner from osaka congregation. The increase from dublin, 25 to 50, and then including one from each of the three regions. It sounds like it's making it a little bit harder, because that would require any candidates to have the means to travel, like get around the different organizations, and that would be, you know, quite difficult for someone with limited means, but has a lot of, you know, reason and drive to make change.
>> i recognize the delegate from the condition mic. And i just feel as though this is not as democratic as it was in the past, that even though the nominating committee was elected, again, as the gentleman before me mentioned, that we ought to be able to have more grassroots participation. Thank you.
>> oh, i'm sorry. Peter candace, unitarian universalist congregation in the lowcountry.
>> thank you. I recognize the delegate, the off site delegate at the concern mic.
>> beth mcgregor.
>> i'm trying to recognize the off site delegate.
>> yes. Thank you. I'm speaking on behalf of dave speights of the evergreen fellowship in marysville. His statement is the proposed increase in the number of endorsements seems to raise a higher barrier.
>> thank you. I recognize the delegate at the concern mic.
>> hi. Belt mcgregor, unitarian church of sharon, massachusetts. I was also on this elections taskforce and it's not a con. It's not an [indiscernible] but i think there needs to be a little clarification around what the current system is to committees, whether they're nominate, whether they're elect, whether they're appointed by the board who make the decisions and the recommendations, because it's not exactly elected by the whole. At least not for the moderator search. And i think this needs a little work. So i have some concerns about it.
>> i recognize the off site delegate from the concern mic, and then we'll go to the pro mic.
>> thank you. This is on behalf of sally jane gellert of central unitarian church in paramus, new jersey. I oppose this amendment as it makes it more difficult for people to be on the ballot, given that the search committee chooses only two delegates. It is not a slur to them to choose to run by petition, doubling the number of congregations, fellowships, societies needed is less democratic.
>> i recognize the delegate at the pro mic.
>> heather malar, universalist church of annapolis. I want you to the mini assembly yesterday and it was explained that the people who get nominated by the nomination committee go through several steps, several interviews to get on that, and so this was to make it more balanced that somebody would have to get widespread support before they could be put on the ballot by petition. If that's correct, i think that's fair and i support the amendment.
>> i recognize the delegate at the con mic.
>> yes. Aaron white from unitarian universalist new york city. It's not really a complete opposition. More as a concern as to the timing sometimes that's involved. And i know since the last presidential election there is a candidate that was through and a candidate i think was added by petition in a relatively short time period to do so, so by raising the threshold to 50 congregations and especially to three regions, that may impact that. So the concern about the specific circumstances, that's one, and the second thing i'm going to say is i'm not aware that there are, like, overload of candidates being added by petition such that the change really seems necessary. It isn't as if we had ten or 15 people that were added by petition. So it kind of seems an unnecessary change to address a concern that might, in the future, present itself, but doesn't actually exist currently. Thank you.
>> i recognize the delegate at the con mic.
>> there's somebody at the procedural mic.
>> i recognize the delegate at the procedural mic.
>> lee party, first unitarian brooklyn. Just to clarify what i think the prior speaker was saying, is it correct that the current president got onto the ballot by petition with only 25?
>> i recognize the delegate at the speaker mic.
>> so to answer that question again, [indiscernible] johnson from rockford, illinois, yes, because the procedure required that. If you can't get 50 congregations to sign on and aren't already connected with people in those places
>> but there would be a future rule. It's likely to come that would allow a search committee to nominate a replacements candidate. We have more years before we need to consider that for the next election. So that probably is involved by separate means. And thank you.
>> hi. Elaine macmillan from horizon unitarian universalist in carrollton, texas. Thank you. In in the past when there's been a pro and a con mic, if there was nobody at the pro mic, then nobody could speak from the con mic. Now you've changed to concern, so i don't know if those rules have changed or what. Now there's somebody at the pro and the con, but a few minutes ago, there was nobody at the pro mic, but we kept on going on with the cons both here and off site.
>> our time limit was not expired.
>> in the past, if there was nobody at the pro, you know, then i just sat down. I mean, i remember denny davidoff coming up and speaking against somebody she was in favor of just so that somebody could speak from the mic, from the opposite side.
>> we're doing things a little differently right now.
>> i'm asking, is that because it's pro and concern or
>> it's trying to be nice.
>> thank you. I oak roman catholic knees the delegate at the pro mic. I'm sorry. Recognize the delegate at the procedural mic.
>> [indiscernible] montoya, unitarian universalist church of savannah, georgia. Is it out of order to call the previous question? There's been ten minutes of debate.
>> yes. It's in order.
>> if it is within order, yes, you're saying it is in order to call the previous question. I call the previous question.
>> okay. The second? Okay. If you are ready to call the previous question, please raise your orange card. "posed? Abstentions? 87% in favor. 10% opposed. 4% abstained. Way need to confer. It overwhelmingly passed to call the question, and there's somebody off site at the procedural mic.
>> christine haager, river road uu congregation, bethesda, maryland, calling the previous question requires no second or debate. Requires two thirds vote.
>> thank you.
>> recognize the person at the procedural mic.
>> high name is [indiscernible] and i'm the chalice unitarian universalist fellowship in the [indiscernible] valley. Traffic we at least hear the number of pro arguments and con arguments?
>> there may not be the same number.
>> because we already heard a lot of con arguments and there is something that i learned at the mini assembly that hasn't been said.
>> okay. We've already called
>> what i'm saying is gone we did not hear the same number of
>> thank you. All right.
>> all those in favor of increasing the number of petitions to nominations to 50 congregations from at least three of the regions of the association, please raise your voting cards. All those opposed? Abstain? So 65 in favor, 35% opposed, and 5% abstain. So we have a two thirds vote, increase the number [indiscernible] association.
>> we had a little conference at the procedural mic. We're waiting to see if that's going to materialize. I recognize the delegate at the procedural mic.
>> matthew cinnamon, dlre from the uu congregation of york. I have a point of clarification. I'm calling the question. In the rules of business that we voted on earlier, calling the question said if there are people at the pro and con mic, you have to wait ten minutes from the last time. If there are no people, you have to wait five minutes. Ads there were people at the con mic, we had to wait the full ten minutes. The motion clock had not reached ten midges, so is it ten minutes of elapsed time regularly or on the motion clock? Because if it's on the motion clock, calling the question was out of order.
>> ten minutes of debate based on the motion clock itself, because the motion clock stops when there are people at the procedural mic.
>> correct. Ten minutes on the motion clock as displayed on the screen. The call of the moderator was ten minutes elapsed.
>> the clock on the screen said 22, which means only eight minutes had passed.
>> i understand. A ruling was played and we decided that ten minutes had elapsed. I do understand. People agreeed with the ruling at the time. I understand that it was out of order. Is there someone in the hall that thinks the outcome. Vote would have been changed by two more minutes of debate? Okay. I see a few people. Do we want to allow two more minutes of debate? Let's take a quick straw poll on that. If it you would like to allow two more minutes of debate to reconsider this motion, please raise your cards. Go ahead and put those down. If you are opposed to adding two more minutes of debate in order to reconsider this motion, raise your cards now. Any abstentions? Go ahead and put those down. The off site volt looks like 61% opposed. 32% in favor. Changing a little bit, but that's already. 7% abstain. You do not want more time to debate in order to reconsider this motion, so the previous motion is passed as we did. So we have increased the number of congregations needed.
We recognize the off site delegate at the procedural mic.
>> christine haager, river road uu congregation, bethesda. It is not two thirds. Two thirds is 67%.
>> traffic you go into more detail on that economy
>> what's happened, we need to start saying off site. Not 67%. We read the numbers of the off site. We were reading just the off site, not everybody.
>> gotcha. Thank you.
>> we are passing two thirds passed on what we see here in the hall, as well as what's off site. All those are uncounted unless someone requests that they be counted.
>> the floor is closed?
>> you can not request that it be counted now, carol, because we've already passed that. All right. I recognize the delegate at the procedural mic.
>> high. Gwen [indiscernible] uu congregation of tupelo, mississippi. I think i'd like a little clarification. I don't think people are aware that you're actually counting the audience. Say that somewhere, that you're actually counting the votes in the audience? Because i thought it was a little closer in that vote, but i really couldn't tell.
>> so we are not counting. We do not count votes unless there's a request to count them. It's an uncounted show of cards. That's what our rules of procedure say. We look to see if it looks like two thirds or looks like a majority unless someone asks us to counts.
>> on the issue, can you tell me when do people ask for a counts on the vote?
>> you can come to the procedural mic. As long as we're taking the vote, a motion can be in order for a counted vote.
>> it was really, really close. We will do a teller count.
>> thank you.
>> i recognize the delegate at the procedural mic.
>> aaron wright, [indiscernible] universalist, new york city. I have a question of information. I thought previously that it was in order to question whether or not a two thirds majority had been reached after a vote was take except declared and a decision was declared if we felt that it was not. That two thirds had not been met. I saw enough opposition that i'm not sure that two thirds was reached. And so i'm not sure how i would do that during the vote. I almost don't know how i could do it without you first [indiscernible] reached and then me saying i don't feel that way, and then requesting a count.
>> so those are two separate things. You can request that the vote be counted while we're taking the vote or you can request that we reconsider the vote after we've taken it. Which are you asking for?
>> i'm asking for you clarification of what you said, which is that the only time that i could properly request to count the vote is during the vote.
>> yes. If you disagree with the determination we make afterwards, you can have us reconsider that vote and have it be counted. Does that make sense? One is about whether the vote we're taking will be counted. The other one is about whether you trust the outcome of that vote.
>> okay. So i am asking, then, to be considered based on not feeling confident that two thirds was actually
>> okay. I am hearing, it sounds like the delegate is making a motion to reconsider the vote in a motion to counts. Okay? Thank you, tom. All right. There has been
>> you said i couldn't ask to count.
>> we're working with you. We're working with you.
>> i just want a count.
>> yes, i hear you. We're trying to help you count and we're drying to see if the body wants the count of this is the body that [indiscernible]
>> i understand.
>> your motion is in order.
>> thank you.
>> your motion is in order. It needs 100 or hundred plus one delegates for us to counts that vote.
>> 99? All right. Plus one. About 100. Friends work with me. I'm tired. We're over time. We actually only have five more minutes that we can devote to this or else we are going to break labor laws with our tech deck. We're going to move through this as quickly as possible. Go ahead and raise orange voting card. All right. It passes. So we're going to go ahead and count that vote. I'm going to re announce what we're going on. Give me just a moment. We also have off site in favor. And so we definitely have more than one none favor, so we're going to go ahead and count that vote. I recognize the delegate at the procedural mic.
>> can the moderator speak on each vote say whether we needed two thirds or 50% majority? I think that each vote was unclear.
>> that makes sense. For this one it was not actually about a vote. It was about seeing how many people wanted us to reconsider and count. So that was not i understand. I'm just clarifying. Other people didn't understand that question. We were seeing if people wanted us to recount in the future. We'll also be sure we say whether it needs a plurality, ma year at this vote, or whether it needs a two thirds.
>> i recognize the delegate at the procedural mic.
>> go ahead.
>> reverend david carl olson, lead minister at our congregation in baltimore. We violated one of our own rules by the eight minute versus ten minute thing. We can fess up about that, but indeed, had there been sufficient time for people to speak for me and others to speak at the pro mic, i think there might have been a clearer sense of consensus, and i'm going to say that to block that fuller conversation by jumping to call in the question, to me is white supremacy in action. I mean, it's about control rather than about risking us being with each other in a richer, more relational, honest way. Thanks.
>> thank you. And i want you to say a thing. We asked for assistance around whether we had reached time, because we can't just see the clock by ourselves, and so we were wrong. It was not white supremacist. I'm not going to [indiscernible] white supremacy, but we also can admit that we were wrong. Okay? Thank you.
Okay. So we're going to go ahead and redo this vote. Again, let me make sure you'll on the right page. We're considering 9.6, which is an increase from 25 to 50 congregations in order to have a nomination by decision in three regions. All right? We are considering 9.6, which would increase the number of congregations you need from 25 to 50 in at least three different regions. And [indiscernible] so on this one, if you're in favor of that, go ahead and raise your orange card and keep it raised until your teller tells you that they have count that your vote.
>> while we are taking that vote, i want you to make two announcements. One, we will have the first hour of tomorrow's general session from 9:00 to 10:00. We will receive the reports from the uu women's federation and the uu service committee and discuss and debate the statement of conscience. So tomorrow morning from 9:00 to 10:00, as well as the other pieces of business that we will still need to discuss. That will allow us to finish our time today.
The second is that we have an important announcement from the commission on social witness about the actions of immediate witness. Because of deadlines existing today and here he comes.
>> [indiscernible] with the commission on social witness. We have actions of immediate witness to vote on. There are five that have been submitted and we have voting going on right now to reduce those five down to three, which we can adopt. The five are titled build the movement for a green new deal, back from the brink, immigration and asylum, overthrow corporate capitalism, and support our first amendment rights to boycott.
The process is that among those five, we must choose three. You can vote on any three of those five with your ga app or by going online or by dropping by the csw booth. Voting closes at 2 o'clock tomorrow and the three top volt getters will be submitted, will be nominated to be submitted to the agenda at tomorrow afternoon's session. I think that's the process. I think that's what you need to know.
>> all right. We're ready to take no votes. No votes on 9.6. If you are opposed to increasing the number of petitions that you mean, go ahead and raise your orange cards now and keep them raised until your teller tells you that you can put your arm down.
I recognize the off site delegate at the procedural mic.
>> on site in
>> i recognize the off site delegate, off site person in the queue.
>> sally jane gellert, central unitarian church, pa ram as, new jersey. I respectfully request that the reports go after the voting tomorrow if we run out of time. It is critical that the business gets done.
>> in the middle of, require the majority or two thirds.
>> this requires a two thirds vote to pass, because it is an amendment to the bylaws? Still in the middle of this vote. I see some cards still raised. I recognize the delegate at the procedural microphone.
>> well, thank you, carl ponan, greater church of uu lansing. I raise this point since we're still in the count. Some of us have been lining up at the procedural mic and waiting to be recognized by the chair before raising our procedural issues. I'm just concerned, because there's a few that occasionally folks have been yelling procedural issues from the floor and have gotten a response from the moderator or the person in the moderator's so that's kind of rude to those of us who are trying to follow the procedure and wait to be recognized. If the moderators could just make sure that they recognize somebody before they entertain their procedural issue.
>> thank you for that call back into our shared expectations. I really appreciate that. Please speak from the microphone. The appropriate way to speak through the entire assembly is from the microphone, not by yelling, especially on your level. Most of the people can't hear you. We can hear you because we're a little bit elevated and sound travels. If you would like to object stain from the vote on 9.6, go ahead and raise your orange cards, not wait until your tellers tell you that your vote has been counted. This counted vote will be the last item of business we do for today. Inside of general session. We are pastime. While our tellers are counting, let's go ahead and pop out the off site vote and close that vote at this time. Please do remember to return at 1:30 for our conversations. Make sure you come back at 1:30 for conversations here in the general session haul. We'll have break out groups after that, commission on institutional change. We'd love to help guide us through conversations we need to have about the future and presence of our faith. Can we see the off site vote? Waiting for the tellers to know the number we have. I recognize little delegate at the procedural mic.
>> carol bunting, all souls, new london. A point of clarification. I thought i heard barb mention we had another session tomorrow morning. That's not in the program.
>> it's a both/and. So tomorrow morning there was what we affectionately call the stripey sections. Right? From 9:00 to 12:00. We're going to take the first hour of that to continue the business of today and we, the board, and administration, will work together to string together what would have been three hours of programming into two hours. So we can do it all. We're going to need your help tomorrow. We're adding the on site and off site now to make sure we know the full percentages. Great opportunity to practice your steady breathing.
While they're doing that, can we give a big rounds of applause to the tech deck staying a little bit late for us?
The yeses were 454. Those were let me start over. Reading the wrong column. Its other he going to be great. Thank you, evp. The yeses were 535. That is the combined total of off site delegates and on site delegate vote. The nos were 217. The abstentions were 15, which gives us a total pass of 70.9%. The motion clearly passes.
so again, people, please remember, do not applaud for votes, because it's actually not the spirit of what we're trying to be in of love. Thank you.
>> there being no further business to come before us and in accordance with the schedule as amended set forth in your program book, i declare that this general session of the general assembly shall stand in recess until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, saturday, june 21st, 2019. Please come back for the 1:30 conversation with our commission on institutional change, who has worked for two years to help get us some good information.