As all of us are aware The Cornbury Society has been lingering about with little support and direction. This is not the first time this has happened, at least once or twice the club has re-evaluated where it stood and then moved forward again. It is time for a new look and way of operating.
On the night of February 2nd about 10 of us met to brainstorm ideas on how to move Cornbury forward. The group consisted of interested parties that want Cornbury to succeed, to be a group that can be a resource and a help to ALL in the transgender community. Thank you to Linda Parker, Jennifer Paul, Marjika Van der Host, Gail Stenning, Tori Phillips and Stephanie Mitchell for their thoughts and ideas last night. Thank you to Tery and family for hosting this meeting.
The brainstorming lasted for about 2 1/2 hrs with time for discussions about our personal lives. Out of that brainstorming have come the following ideas. These points are the base from which to move Cornbury forward in a positive way.
In no particular order:
1. Outreach – open all events to everyone. Investigate educational opportunities – schools, professionals, service organisations, other support groups
2. Events/features – separate from regular meetings, as I intended it when I brought it up. Open invitation, fee to attend (but see below). Speakers, demos, etc.
3. Better online presence – forum and chat facilities on the website, PLUS people to be in them to get a critical mass of participation. That requires commitments of time from computer-savvy and knowledgeable people to be on.
4. Confidence-building among membership – that Cornbury can be rejuvenated, become something new, different and better.
Other points brought up were:
Other things that were mentioned:
– changing demographics – e.g. younger, more “out” crowd – different kinds of interest and support needed. Do we try to provide all those?
– Three Bridges liaison
– do we keep the PO box?
– do we reinstate the phone? Perhaps forward it to different people in rotation?
– primarily an online group? -> concerns about getting closeted folks physically out
– fee changes – membership fee gets you a few extra site privileges plus reduced fee for events. Lower fee to $25
As you can read, there was a lot of discussion. Since this was only a brainstorming meeting none of this is written in stone, nor part of the current bylaws. I put these points/ideas out for the members to read, to absorb and to comment on. There are positive things happening already such as this recent meeting and the dinners that Joy has booked!
The feeling of people at the meeting last night was that there should be a meeting of all members to discuss these points in an open and positive manner. The suggestion put forward was that the dinner scheduled on March 13th be that discussion period. It was also suggested that a meeting (and dinner?) be held earlier to get Cornbury moving forward asap. If the membership wishes to do that and there is enough interest perhaps we can schedule a dinner before that.
The AGM is in April so if there are to be changes there is not much time to make them occur. Basic changes to the structure of Cornbury are the ones that need to instituted at the AGM. Once a workable structure is in place it is onward and forward.
Please read these points, comment and critique them. If you do have something to write about, please have a solution as well. It would be more helpful to have solutions to your concerns.
If we cannot come up with some solutions within the next month’s Cornbury may become extinct. There are many at that meeting who do not want to see that happen, but it is up to all of you. Have your say, please contribute but do get involved in Cornbury’s future in some way. The future is up to all of you.
Thank you for reading and I look forward to reading your replies.