VALENTINE’s VILLAGE MEETING 2/14/19
FACILITATORS: Ingrid (GreenEarth) and Omo
NOTE TAKER: Karen (GreenEarth) THANK YOU !!!
(Notetaker comment: Very hard to hear what was said on the other side of the room so not all comments got recorded. Sorry.)
OUR NEW VILLAGE WEBSITE is at https://communityvillageocf.org/
Activist Report – Intentional Communities booth
50th Update & Discussion
Budget Proposal Decision? – Arthur
One Fun Thing – Omo
Role of Council – brainstorm
Feedback (Strokes & Pokes)
OPENING: Everyone circled to hold hands, take three breaths and witness affirmation for a productive meeting, led by Vibes Watcher.
VILLAGE VALENTINES: Everyone entering the room was encouraged to pick up a kiddie valentine and take it to their seats. TIM, aka “GirlScoutCookieLover”, instructed everyone to write their name/Fair nickname and a special Valentine’s message to another Villager to randomly draw from his Wizard hat. All the written valentines were collected and the hat passed around again so everyone could have a Village Valentine.
PAUL/ Spirit Booth having an OM circle meeting, check Facebook group
SAM announced he has withdrawn from standing for Council because it has been “emotionally draining” for him. He said “it’s felt like a huge relief to know that this responsibility is no longer mine. I am handing off what I have been holding to all of you.” We [all Villagers] have “some serious work to do around council,” starting with the confirmation process. “I hope we can work together to come up with a better way of doing things.”
ARTHUR has forms and encouraged everyone who has received a wristband for at least 2 Fairs to realize they are an eligible voter and to vote in official Fair (OCF) elections.
PEACE & JUSTICE announced the annual conflict resolution skills retreat will be at Alice’s on the Fair site March 2-3rd conducted by Center for Dispute Resolution.
SOMEONE asked what is involved in starting how to start a new camp? They would like to establish a yoga & meditation camp. They are camping at Farside now and it’s full!
DAVID announcement about Moon Lodge –couldn’t hear
CONSENSUS RAP (discussion)
OMO showed his Village tshirt from 2003 and said “consensus is a beautiful thing!”
He gave some background on how it started in an institutional setting in community colleges and nonprofits and how “they let go of the dominant paradigm & it worked very well.”
Fundamental to the consensus process is the idea that each of us holds a piece of the truth and we recognize the validity of every one’s position. With the consensus process, everyone can both “say what we feel and respect the group dynamic.”
Consensus works best when the Block is used sparingly. OMO said when he was in the Peace Party, he blocked a lot, and now regrets doing so.
VIBE WATCHER noted that Stand Aside is an alternative to Blocking. The main concern for each person considering using the Block is, “Is it harmful for the community?” and “it’s not about our personal issues.”
FACILITATOR INGRID added that consensus is “a catalyst and a platform in which we can discuss and solve real world issues” as well as making group decisions.
DRAKE shared his view that the consensus process has “to protect the integrity of the conversation” and “to have responsible dialogue, we have to be open to hearing other points of view.” If that process is working well, he added, “there should be no need for a Block at all.” When that process breaks down, the Block can be used.
(Notetaker comment: Very hard to hear what was said on the other side of the room so not all of Drake’s and others’ comments got recorded. Sorry.)
SOMEONE commented that she was hearing “the B-word” being used first in the discussion, and “that’s really really wrong.” Consensus should be about “about finding what the sense of the group is and going with it,” she said.
SAM theorized that not very many of us would be open to every comment or deliberation of ours being criticized in public, and that’s what he and other Council members have had to deal with this past year (and before that). He said the upshot is, “I have a special responsibility to check myself and I hope everyone does that.”
SOMEONE said we should review the core values of the Village & Fair.
“We’re not trying to build on conflict, we’re trying to build on unity!”
SOMEONE commented that the Block has been used to stop discussions — but that shouldn’t be done “just because someone doesn’t like the trajectory” of the group’s discussion.
FACILITATOR/INGRID time to move on to the next item on the agenda.
ACTIVIST REPORT: Intentional Communities Booth
PRESENTERS: East Blair neighborhood (Eugene) community member (name), Lost Valley community member (name), Mothership (Portland) community member (name)
Adding to Consensus Rap by reporting on how each community uses variations of consensus
Handouts included: “Busting the Myth that Consensus with Unanimity is Good For Communities,” by Diana Leafe Christian, published in Communities magazine #155
LOST VALLEY COMMUNITY (name?)
Practices Sociocracy based on consent rather than consensus. Transparency in decision making is one of its three foundational pillars. Facilitation is shared.
Rounds & Circles are huge and there can be a hierarchy of circles like subcommittees
“Rounds” refers to multiple rounds of discussion to give everyone a chance to speak
Checkins conducted at the start of a meeting to announcing intentions for that meeting/moment and at the end of the meeting is Evaluations for End of meeting-==
Sociocracy challenges idea that Blocks are bad and instead takes the view that objections should be honored as “very valuable.” “You want to know what exists for ppl and you want to work through it.”
So the facilitator will actually give the floor to objector. Similar to consensus processes, the goal is “to find something that works for everyone.”
As far as group Leadership: you don’t volunteer, you show up for an election, everyone writes down the name of their preferred leader/leaders for a particular community role on a piece of paper and the votes are counted.
If you receive a majority of votes for a particular role, you are “generally expected to accept” that role in the community. He said it’s “alternative form of voting it works really well for us” at Lost Valley.
By the way they are looking for/hiring for an onsite business administrator!
Earlier tonight he attended their community meeting with about 25 people/members.
MOTHERSHIP COMMUNITY in Portland (name)
15 members, all of whom have “extremely well aligned intentions about how we want to live in community.” As a result they can use informal processes for most decisions
Their community influenced by both consensus & sociocracy
Process of distinction between “Major” vs “Minor” decisions, meaning, “how to accomplish something,” versus, “how to pay for something.”
Like LV, they also honor and really solicit the input from those most likely to object to something. Then “we just make a decision and do it.”
That process means proposal makers have to “find out where the juice is” in the group and do legwork to advance their idea(s). Many times that is accomplished simply by “camp out in the common space” and checking in with everyone there. Not alot of legwork!
EAST BLAIR COMMUNITY (name)
(Missed report, couldn’t hear speaker. Sorry!)
*(post-meeting summary here?)*
FAIR 50th ANNIVERSARY/VILLAGE COMMEMORATION
Ideas include: HISTORY WALL; FUTURE WALL; “ACTIVIST RALLIES” between acts on the Village Stage; GOLD PROPS/DÉCOR/parties theme; a HUGE PUZZLE on the Village Green, with each booth designing and offering its own piece of the puzzle; 60s era ANTIWAR/PROTEST SONGS; VILLAGE COFFEE HOUSE
TIM is excited about the idea of an “Activist Rally” to happen on the Village Green each day between musical acts on the Village stage. Each booth could come up with an a 30-40 minute speech/rally activity to get people moving and chanting and hyped up around a particular issue or cause and drive traffic to their booth/cause.
Say, with the issue of Climate Change, there could be signs & banners & songs & someone to lead people chanting something (humorous/meaningful) like, “Yeah! We Want to Change the Climate!”
RUSSELL (firstname.lastname@example.org) asked that current and past Villagers help him collect a variety of items to commemorate and display for the Fair’s 50th, including: old Fair Flyers, Photos, T-shirts and other physical Memorabilia and especially, Stories and Recollections. “We’re trying to collect all that we can at this point,” he said.
OCF DOCUMENTARY CREW is looking for images for cutaways in their 50th anniversary video, so there’s another reason to dig out old fotos and art!
Additional requests and opportunities to share will be through the Village Drum.
Watch the Drum for more discussion and post your comments!
Please share! so that the Village/Fair can “honor those stories & get them out there.” Contact Russell at email@example.com.
GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY THEME: This being the Fair’s golden anniversary, we will collect lots of GOLD things for signs and props and decorations for our parties. We will need donations of gold paint.
JEANETTE from Green Earth said as a “waste warrior” she is concerned about plastic and other not- environmentally friendly gold craft materials being used for this celebration. She asked that Villagers “be creative with the stuff you bring,” like reusing or repurpose-ing what they already have on hand and to “be mindful of what you bring” to make sure it is recyclable or reusable.
SOMEONE announced that the Fair has a fund of $1,000 to help with display builds and other 50th celebration needs. “If you need some money, just ask!”
TIM said there will a council/subcommittee meeting soon to further discuss all these ideas/plans and that “we are hoping the Kids’ Council will be a resource for the Future Wall.”
CARRIE announced that Green Earth *may not* be hosting the Saturday night cocktail party as an “Open to the Public” event this year. There is no actual booth consensus yet about that, but she was “just throwing it out there.”
Feedback/ideas? Put it on the Drum!
DAVID said the celebration should definitely feature 60’s PROTEST & ANTIWAR SONGS.
SAM suggested a “FOLK SINGER COFFEE SHOP” for the Village, but no idea who the performers would be.
TIM said Steve Brown & also Bob have agreed to help on that committee.
COMMUNITY VILLAGE WORKSHOPS
Deadline for submissions is MAY meeting.
FORM is online!!! Submit sooner the better.
2-day workshops instead of 3 days will enable more workshops to be offered!
Last year she had to turn away several submitters
ONE FUN THING!!!
Valentines reading and passing the wizard hat to anyone who hadn’t gotten a valentine yet
Example: “Look for the good in today”
ROLE OF COUNCIL (including Q & A)
KATIE (Council) said council is like the Fair equivalent of “Crew Coordinators” but really they are only quasi coordinators, so some people think “we’re overstepping our role.” But she said no one on council wants more to do!
QUESTION: What is the agreement with OCF about role of Council?
KATIE: Not clear…[OCF board] understand that we’re the Village and we do consensus and we kind of do things our own separate way. We are not approved by the Fair board.
DRAKE said there are people with different viewpoint. Problem is Council doesn’t have power, just responsibilities! If Council does have power, then the discretionary authority we want them to have goes along with how much accountability we want Council to have.
RUSSELL (Council/Village Orientation) gave a detailed explanation based on the rules that are public information (HERE: https://communityvillageocf.org/community-village-guidelines)
As the Orientation facilitator for Village newbies, he has read up on the rules and guidelines so he can pass that along for people coming in. He summarized them at this meeting.
“Our guidelines are rather simplistic & leave alot of room for interpretation” but that Council is required to uphold the Guidelines and to do things like the Village budget, meetings/agendas, CV Drum, newsletter, website, eligibility, passes, work parties.
“There is a lot that the Council handles for the Village,” he said and that everyone on Council works really hard “to make sure the Village is the best it can be.”
RUSSELL continued by saying that Council members are the people we go to when we need to know about what is happening or needs to happen! The are responsible for upholding and implementing the Village guidelines.
The Council has the role of looking at the big picture for the Village while Booth Coordinators have that role within each booth. “They were [seen as] the people that had the vision of the overall picture in mind for the Village” and to communicate that so every booth decision can take that into account.
RUSSELL also said the Council needs more interaction with individual Village members, that “we as a Village need to be in contact with Council more.”
SOMEONE FROM INTENTIONAL COMMUNITIES (coordinator?) said she prefers the leadership role and that “the accountability thing is important for me.” However the process needs to be done “responsibly and with compassion.”
What happens next, going forward? As of today it looks like we will have only five people on Council!
SAM had several comments on the topic of accountability.
First, just as in business or activism or whatever, no one is anxious to have their every deliberation scrutinized and criticized in public! “I bet no one would say, ‘I’d like a Village meeting to be responsible for me and my work!’” But that is what it has been like for him on Council and now he is standing down from Council.
“We need to come up with something… because what we have is broke.”
“What we’re really talking about here is power and power is hard [to handle] and scary.”
“We have a very horizontal structure… [and do] need to have checks & balances.”
DIANE (Council) Reminded everyone that “the Village was founded to bring social activists together, not to tell people what to do,” and that’s why we have always worked together through consensus and the ideas of “Be Respectful, Have Fun, Get the Job Done.”
Council does serve as a Coordinating Council. But “I don’t think the council is supposed to be the parent of the people in the Village!” She added, and let’s hold everyone accountable, not just 1 or 2 or 3 people!
JOE (Stage Crew) said We are a “small world network” in the Village, and it’s about getting work done. The Village is a small world.
RICK (Life Long Learning) said certain people on Council have taken on too much responsibility bec the rest of us haven’t taken on enough! Agrees with Diane, he’s here to be an activist and there’s no way he wants more rules or be told what to do. If we Villagers all got to know each other better, then we could be “be more integrated so there won’t be any more fuckups.” The way he would start is by saying, “My name is Rick, I wish I knew you more.”
OMO agreed, we all do need to get acquainted with everyone in the Village and to check in with each other!
CHECK OUT THE CV DRUM. LINK IS ON THE VILLAGE HOME PAGE: https://communityvillageocf.org) (You Are Here!)
SOMEONE asked how does the Village, as a whole, actually hold someone accountable?
FACILITATOR/INGRID noted that process has been in place for at least seven or eight years and the council election process starts at JANUARY Village meeting. Issues are addressed using private mediation & other conflict resolution approaches before people stand for actual confirmation.
SHE CALLED FOR A REFOCUS PERIOD 25 mins
TIM read from the Village minutes of 15 years ago (2004) which mirrored tonight’s discussions regarding accountability, and he was on the Council. People were saying these same things back then! “Accountability” has become associated with the Eligibility process and he explained that “it wasn’t that we were trying to tell people what to do” but he and others on Council have been trying to respond to needs and various things that always come up in the Village. He said we should develop “living guidelines” for the Council and Village.
RICK said we need a “generational knowledge transfer” on Council. He said he recently attended a seminar at MIT where he learned a lot about systems design. We’re all learning “Relational Dynamics,” he said.
SOMEONE said in her booth right now we don’t have a good feel for where everyone is at with the current Council but she will take the discussion back and bring forward to the Council any further concerns they have so they don’t have to all be aired in public at the Village meeting.
SOMEONE FROM INTENTIONAL COMMUNITIES said we need a mechanism to address those behaviors that are making it hard to do the work of the Village, because we are losing a lot of good work & some of our best people are leaving Council as a result.
JON (1991) not Vote at his first meeting he volunteered council meeting space near where he lived & he was asked to be on Council his first year! at the time the agreement was 2 mtgs & 2 work parties & he had to go through the compiled list & follow up with ppl who didn’t have enough mtgs & wp & tell them they wouldn’t get a pass. At least as of 1991 , council did have a role of enforcing rules & hold accountable Council at least has a role, if we see someone is not meeting their obligations, we …can…”Negotiate those terms, rather than dictate them”
FACILITATOR OMO likes idea of going back to booths & discussing the council’s role
ARTHUR reiterated 2 final points. One that our guidelines specify that the Council facilitates the Village in the Fair, and that means they “take care of a lot of details!” Accountability is in the Eligibility Committee. “To me, that covers it all!” he said.
LYNN said what was missing from our discussion tonight convo is “the whole Hippie ethic of peace & love & kindness… and these haven’t come up at all here!” In years past at Fair and in the Village, she said, “we used to see this Love & Kindness more…We need to do our Activism with Love & Kindness or it just doesn’t mean anything!”
BIG JOHN (COUNCIL) said Arthur is “exactly correct” in his description of the Council’s role and duties in the Village. We are a coordinating/facilitating Council with no punitive authority. The Booth Coordinators have that role! Coords vet the people in your groups. Our problem is if you have 203 people in Village you’re going to have 203 different version of what the Council is supposed to be doing.
DIANE (COUNCIL) noted that the March meeting is another opportunity to review those standing for Council. “We are standing now because we have gone through the process” and are ready for confirmation or not via our consensus procedure. Other council candidates (3-4) who “are still working through it” and they will be either be standing (or not) next month.
CONFIRMED: Karla, Diane, Big John, David
STAND DOWNS: SAM, KATIE & KIM?
REMAINING : DRAKE, TIM, RUSSELL?
CARRIE announced that the annual SOLV beach cleanup day is coming up
DAVID announcement –couldn’t hear
DIANE asked those who have been in Village for at least 20 years (since 1999) to stand (about 20 present, probably 30 total)
“What is technology?” seminar/symposium upcoming at UofO
Girl Scout Cookies on sale here now tonight!
Lost Valley needs an onsite business administrator
SOMEONE asked why there was no consent for tonight’s agenda? People drove down from Portland for a particular issue that they thought would be discussed and or decided at this meeting. The earlier version of agenda was different.
(TIM RE AGENDA) The original agenda was going to include council role discussion, evaluation, and opportunities to respond to concern. Then he got a message from Diane, who “hoped the Village would be a happier place if we did not have that discussion this month.” Council confirmation will be next month, MARCH.
This is a fluid situation that has been going on
Email to Facilitation was sent out late today or two days ago?
KATIE said she had wanted to talk about Diversity. She just sends out the meeting agenda, “I don’t make it.” She also said she wanted a chance to “talk about our shit” but the agenda didn’t allow for that.
ARTHUR appreciated and liked the Activist report. Regarding the Council election, those whose candidacy was he you’re in discussion your choice to wait for the March meeting”
FACILITATORS INGRID & OMO were THANKED/ACKNOWLEDGED for their “courage” to facilitate tonight’s meeting.