Testing Assumptions About Tensions Between Reformists v. Revolutionaries

We need to test the assumption that any of us gets to decide what is the best path of change for the 99%. Occupy Bay Area United  in San Francisco is toying with the idea of doing a survey. 

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Cool, yeah I have seen some Occupy surveys being done but haven't seen the results typically. It would be great to get a sense of where the public is - how can we figure out how to grow a mass movement if we don't get input from the public? In SF, one of our activists has a market researcher contact and he is going to see if she would be interested in helping us.

Mmm, I am intrigued. C. A. Bradfield suggested that I get in touch with you about the work I am doing with the Connection Action Project. We set up Empathic Listening Posts in the East Bay.

When I read what you wrote, I wonder about the best process for decision making. What process will allow everyone's voices to be heard? How can we create a more participatory culture? Lately, I've been interested in discussions held by the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation.

Hi Judith, yes your project sounds very interesting! I have heard that somebody held a listening booth at the Pride Parade as part of Occupride recently and need to track down the results of that. We have talked about doing a combination of conversational in-person and briefer online surveys.

Thanks for starting this thread, Sarah.  I think based on today's NatGat dialogue that there may be some energy for an ongoing inquiry here.  I have featured it, and moved it to the NatGat forum category so it is easier for people to find.  One assumption that resonated for me was the one I hear often, but do not personally agree with, that there simply isn't any viable alternative to Capitalism.  As I noted on the call, it reminded me of something I heard recently--can't remember the source-- about how it is easier for most people to imagine the end of the world than the end of Capitalism.

It would be interesting to see where the public really is on that question. I think we are so attached to Capitalism being something good that has helped us be competitive, but we are blind to how destructive it is for people and the environment. It's been ingrained in us since at least the cold war.

I have been meaning to call you. Will try today. Nothing new on the survey, but we have some draft questions.

OK I will call at 1 or 4:15 then 

Here are the questions we'd been working on. I don't really have a theory to test at this point - I feel like this is more just information gathering - or maybe a pilot survey to get us a starting point. Or maybe my theory is that there are one or two issues people (no matter your political affiliation or lack thereof) agree are big problems that are worth fighting for/against. I was thinking this would be an online survey combined with paper in-person surveys.

Please rate the degree to which each of the following concerns you:
1.        Education costs
2.        Credit card and other debt
3.        Costs of transportation
4.        Cost/access to public transportation
5.        Pollution (causing asthma or respiratory problems)6.        Access to childcare
7.        Access to healthy affordable food
8.        Layoffs and jobs
9.        Wages not rising
10.     Access to healthcare
11.     Lack of access to political system:  vote doesn't matter
12.     Police abuse, profiling
13.     Young people being sent to war
14.     Closing down schools, post offices, bus lines and other public services
15.     Uncontrollable increases in mortgages and fear of home foreclosure
16.     Apartment evictions and homelessness
17.     Other: __________________________ 

Which of the following would you like to see Occupy do (select all that apply)

Run a mock presidential campaign running a corporation for president
Run a direct action campaign highlighting abuses of power in the economy and in politics
An "amazing race" type competition among occupiers
Stage a mass demonstration
Occupy a public space
Set up volunteer groups that bring donated food to communities that need it
Other: _____________________________

Are there any issues in your neighborhood you wish you could get help to resolve? (if yes, please describe the issue in the space provided)____________________________________ 

Have you participated in an Occupy event?
Yes ->
No -> 

Yes above:How frequently do you participate in Occupy events?
- I do something occupy-related every day
- I attend at least one meeting or event each week
- I attend at least one meeting or event each month
- I attend one meeting or event less than once per month 

No above:What has kept you from participating in Occupy events?
-Happy with the status quo
-Not interested
-Too busy
-Not sure what Occupy's goals are
-Uncomfortable with the way some Occupy Actions have gone
-Other _________________________ 

Please provide your email address if you are available for follow-up:______________________ 

Do you have any other comments you would like to share?______________________

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