March 21, 2019, the Community Village Council met for a weekend retreat at Alice’s, on the OCF site. Present were Big John, David, Diane, Tim, Russell and Karla, along with Shadow Kim and former Council member Lois. We played together, ate together, and spent considerable time discussion how to best facilitate the Community Village as we put on the Oregon Country Fair, Community Village Division, for it’s 50th Anniversary.
After a difficult confirmation process, we were eager to find ways to be together in love and respect and move forward. Here we go.
Please understand, these notes are written by Tim who is just paraphrasing and summarizing. Nothing here is a direct quote and I may have gotten a few things not quite right…
We began with an Intention Setting Exercise, led by Kim. It was a great start.
Diane read a section of Council Role from the mid-eighties, just to provide a bit of historical perspective to our ongoing conversation.
“THE COMMUNITY VILLAGE COORDINATING COUNCIL The Council is entrusted with organizing the planning and operation of the Village. It is comprised of interested and committed individuals who meet throughout the year. Council members discuss and make policy decisions, coordinate meetings, liaison with the Oregon Country Fair board and staff, record happenings, distribute information, engage in problem solving and troubleshooting, answer questions, and generally ensure that the Village runs smoothly, effectively, and in a cooperative manner.
Most policy decisions are made by the Coordinating Council with input from and review byu the general membership of the Village.”
She also read a section warning that if you do not fulfill your work party responsibility you will get a “severe lecture.”
We were reminded that “Booth Empowerment” is limited allowing certain members to avoid their work party requirement by having someone fill in or cover for them.
We discussed the need to update our guidelines re: registration process. This was noticed by Russell during his Orientation sessions, content of which was first developed by Sue T and Jen-Lin. ALL will look for edits. respond with suggestions.
We looked for ways to be more welcoming to newcomers…Have them sign in and then meet them. Have newcomers stand up and introduce themselves. Ask Booth Coords to help us all meet newbies and connect them with Russell.
Moon Lodge sent a message asking to be on the Village Agenda for April to ask to be reinstated as a Booth. Discussion points included…what about trans folks? Maybe this would be a bad precedent leading to other requests for dedicated space. In 2018 Moon Lodge used 20 day passes. They were not a booth very long…
Karla (booth liaison) will speak with them and ask them to prepare a solid proposal, including answering these questions: 1. What is your mission? 2. Who will you be serving? 3. Why not be a part of Areas, as a Service Booth? 4. Would you be a Service Booth is you were a Booth? The Council is prepared to offer a recommendation if the proposal is received in time to review before the Village meeting.
Council Roles. We did two round tables on this subject, with varying points of view. How do we keep folks accountable for work parties, etc.? Council needs to consent on any action before it is implemented. We need to articulate clear expectations so that it is easy to identity those who do not complete them.
Each booth is a gift to us. Not good to have booths watching / spying each other. Booths are different, shouldn’t critique each other.
Where is authority? How is it structured? Do we take punitive measures? How do we help booths that are struggling?…we’ve done it many times.
Educate about the Guidelines and what they mean. Council IS empowered to make some decisions for efficiency and confidentiality. What does it mean to “Uphold our Guidelines”? To carry them out, that’s what. Perhaps just say, “If you don’t meet the guidelines this year, you may not get a pass next year.”
If people have concerns or complaints with Council or Booths, we must use our process to address them asap, get the people together and talk, with mediators if needed.
There is a conflict resolution circle group in the Village starting, re-awaken the Agents of Reality. They will have a report in April.
We took a walk for lunch to the Village to look at storm damage. See it HERE.
Last year an Eligibility Team was set up and reviewed the eligibility forms for Wild Edibles and Intentional Communities. Once passed, these booths would then receive less scrutiny for the following 2 years, except for new participants. Members of that Team are no longer on Council, so we are abandoning the Team idea for now. Instead, along with each booth coordinator reviewing the spreadsheet of forms data and determining if a member is eligible or not, their Council liaison will have access to the Booth eligibility forms and discuss any red flags that are identified. (each Council has 3 booths to liaison in 2019) Council liaisons will then share their evaluations with the booth coords prior to the Monday Eligibility Meeting. So. Lotsa work for that weekend, April 13-14. Be ready. A red flagged group may be asked to come to the meeting and state their case. Because the Village is a platform to the World…you gotta be an activist!
CRG, Coordinator Resources Group. This is a new limited group of Fair crew coordinators that is supposed to help manage the Fair somehow. However, it is fraught with internal strife and the perception that it is not functioning the way it was imagined. Diane will keep us informed and let us know when it is ready to the VIllage to be represented.
Diversity Discussion. This involved another double round table and we gave it a lot if thought. Many are concerned that historically marginalized groups don’t feel welcome, feel shut out even. Others mentioned that we are diverse in many ways – gender, culture, age, income level among them. There are so few people of color in our area, not that many activists to invite. Who/what do we have to sacrifice to make space for them? But we need to make a space for them if they want to join us. Perhaps more in the booth discussions should take place to find ways to focus on historically marginalized groups, which is happening in IC booth.
The Fair Diversity Task Force distributes day passes to historically marginalized groups like people with disabilities (KindTree – Autism Rocks gets some). Diane is in this group, which has opening you can apply for.
We discussed the issue between Drake and Katie this year, and encourage them to go through a healing process, which we think is happening soon.
We also hope a brief talk on the 3 Chips – Respect, Fun and Get it Done – at Village meetings. This may be included in the Council presentation we agreed to give in April.
This year a number of committees have been formed. There are no large construction projects scheduled, beyond tree/branch removal. So we consented on this for 2019 only:
Participating in a Village committee will count toward fulfilling part of your eligibility requirement: 50th committee, Diversity committee, Consensus committee and Conflict Resolution/Agents of Reality committee.
All – Update Guidelines re: eligibility
All – Review Orientation packet for possible updates.
Karla – Ask Moon Lodge to prepare proposal and share with Council prior to the Village meeting.
Tim – Compare Council Roles documents.
All – Sunda 4/14 review eligibility forms for red flags, discuss any found with booth coord
Karla – Agents of Reality intro at Village Meeting
Kim and Plato – Diversity committee intro at Village Meeting
Kim and Nel – Consensus Committee intro at Village Meeting
Diane – Diversity resources from Fair available to Villagers
All – Review Moon Lodge proposal, make recommendation if possible
Diane – CRG report.
Tim – develope Council presentation for Village meeting