|The Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives / Materials / Records / Inventories|
|Inventory of the Records of The Body Politic & Pink Triangle Press|
|Page 9 of 40 / Appx 1,040 words|
Page 9 / Inventory Series 1
Policies, planning and budgetting
This series encompasses the business of The Body Politic Collective as a central policy- making and planning body.
Membership in the collective was by invitation, usually made after a person had been involved for some time as a volunteer. The size of the group changed, shrinking at times to as few as five or six people and once briefly, in the summer of 1983, rising to as many as 24.  A list of everyone who ever served on the collective, and when, appears in Appendix 2.
There was no formal hierarchy within the collective, apart from rotating appointment of "coordinators" early on and "collective secretaries" much later. But there were legitimate suspicions of informal power: a group of members who lived together were dubbed "the Kitchen Collective" and later, once some members were paid, there were grumblings about the "Staff Collective." There were endless debates (and memos) about the collective's role as it changed over time.
The collective often dealt with details of office procedure, business administration and editorial concerns, especially in the early years.  This creates substantial overlap in material between this series and many of the ones that follow, especially Series 2 (Business and office administration).
With the evolution of staff and of editorial and administrative working groups, however, the collective was able to spend more of its time on general policy- setting and planning. For most of its history it met weekly (Monday nights at 8:00), though less often by the early '80s. In my time (after mid-1977), most decisions were made by consensus, with votes taken only to break deadlocks. But some minutes from the earlier '70s show elaborately formal series of motions and votes.
Many of the papers here reflect significant moments in the history of the collective, TBP and the Press, especially regarding advertising policy, internal structure and publishing goals. For instance:
From Nov 1982 though May 1987, many of these developments were reported to regular donors who made up The Body Politic Sustainer Group. The quarterly Sustainer Letter (a full set of which was received by the Archives after the 1988 Inventory was finished) is included in this series as a concise source for the internal workings of TBP and the Press in this period.
The Body Politic Collective survived even The Body Politic itself, formally disbanding only in Dec 1987. Collective egalitarianism had gone before that, with the appointment in Sep 1986 of Ken Popert as publisher, charged with saving the Press from collapse. Which he did.
The very existence of this accession speaks to that plan. It contains files from across the
operation -- collective memos, "Midmag" editorial group minutes, even fundraising
correspondence (Tom was a sustainer donor) -- that might have implicated specific people
in the decision to run the article. Clearly, all this potentially incriminating material was
being pulled together in one place -- for easy removal from the office. In both the "Men
loving boys loving men" and "Lust with a very proper stranger" cases, charges had
been dropped against individuals for lack of evidence that they had been personally
responsible for publication.
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