"These are rules we made up to govern ourselves."
Updated and agreed:
- August 4th, 2011 (by Coordinating Council members and Workgroup Organizers),
- October 19th, 2011. Based on decisions September 26th, 2011 (by Coordinating Council members, with email update to Workgroup Organizers).
- November 8th, 2011. Updated Section 3 for Community Workgroup Organizers.
- March 6th, 2012. Updated Section 5 to link to current Terms of Service. Added member voting process to the top of section 7.
- April 4th, 2012. Added link to the Election Rules as amended through the member voting process March 27th.
- April 20th, 2012. As amended through the member voting process April 17th, abolished workgroups as they existed.
- May 11th, 2012. As amended May 8th, abolished the Monday night civics meeting in section 7.
- March 19, 2013. Ended term limits for the main organizer and updated vote process. Will update Constitution soon to reflect updates.
These are rules we made up to govern ourselves. We expect to change/amend these rules to reflect our changing needs.
1. Coordinating Council members.
2. Main Community Organizer.
5. Terms of Service.
7. Member vote, and other mechanisms for redress.
1. Coordinating Council members.
For questions about coordinating “Collective Agency” overall: Be asked for advice on what you’re comfortable with and what you think is a good idea. Be a leader on discussing expectations. Have a key and be able to host when you want to within reasonable guidelines.
- Decision-making meetings: Participate in Decision meetings about policies for “Collective Agency” overall, including this Constitution. 2/3rds majority vote within the Coordinating Council is required for decisions made by council members. (These are, in reality, recommendations, and action is up to the individuals who implement them.)
- Represent: all of the broad interests at “Collective Agency”.
- No hidden agendas: Each Council member should be clear about his or her intentions, and transparent about his or her interests and motives.
- Elections and Education: Be a Coordinating Council member elected at an annual vote for a one year term (not the limit), and educate new members during the transition period. There should be 3-6 coordinating council members at any time. The term for all Council members starts and ends on June 15th. Mid-term elections may be held. See the “Election Rules” page.
2. Main Community Organizer.
As the main Community Organizer for “Collective Agency” overall, be the main:
- Fiscal contact: Responsible for collecting and delivering payments and receipts for rent, utilities, and other independent contractors, as you are comfortable with and can agree to, with transparency and accountability, within the limits agreed by Coordinating Council members at Decision meetings and within this Constitution overall.
- Be a Coordinating Council member: who also has these main Community Organizer responsibilities.
- Elections and Education: As main Community Organizer, you’ll be elected for one year maximum, and educate new members during the transition period.
- Intent to give 45 days notice: to members if can’t fulfill term, with time for an election, and train the new person for a week.
- Be paid as an independent contractor: with a fixed stipend each month that’s much less than you’d likely make in any other job with similar responsibilities for the amount of time worked, because you’ll have a lot of influence and decision-making and leadership as you think best within the “Collective Agency” policy expectations, the legal agreements you enter into, and the laws in effect in Portland, Oregon.
- Train people on the policies as needed: so that they can be leaders with autonomy who organize and train others. Practice “open book management”: with people who support the mission, share what the expense and revenue numbers are, and educate what the numbers mean and why those choices are made.
- Be the main Community Organizer: in the role of host / contact who welcomes and hosts people, especially paid meetings, paid members, and visitors, and speak about what is happening here, but with the goal of showing many other people how to welcome, host, and speak. Make yourself as replaceable as possible, so that you can focus on new areas of responsibility, and so that the policies are learned by as many people as possible.
“Host” means: anyone having people over. You agree to:
- Be trained by a council member,
- Be responsible for following the Host Checklist, and
- Any questions or suggestions? Tell the person who trained you. If they are not available, tell a Coordinating Council member and/or the main Community Organizer.
The kinds of hosting are:
- Regular hours: Hosting during regular hours is easiest, you don’t need to open up or lock up.
- Locking up: Hosting people already here, and locking up, is also not too much work.
- Letting people in: Hosting after hours and letting people in is much more involved, with a much bigger checklist, than simply agreeing to be here and lock up before people who are already working here for the day go out.
5. Terms of Service
The implicit agreement for anyone here or involved in any way, is to act within the Terms of Service.
Have interactions that are “conversations” where you are open to learning new things and/or changing your perspective. Act in ways that you think are supportive of “Collective Agency” members as individuals and overall.
Decisions are based on precedent, as real and specific questions or issues arise, made here by active members within their defined areas.
- Members are: Coordinating Council members and Paid Members.
- Members have: keys and 24/7 access, storage, and mailing addresses.
Members can accept contributions or sponsorship as an individual or entity that is “part of” or “of” “Collective Agency”, but the contributions must go to you as an individual or entity, and be fully shared, transparent and accountable to other members, by reporting to the Coordinating Council members.
You agree that “Collective Agency” is an organization, an unincorporated association, but is not an “entity” (although entities are involved in various legal “layers”). “Collective Agency” is an address name, and a group name. “Collective Agency” cannot “do” anything, cannot hold any assets, and cannot make any decisions or agreements; only individuals can (or as defined by U.S. law, entities can be said to) do things. Each person is fully responsible for their own actions.
You agree to intend to represent the group, overall or in part, the concepts or the actual persons, and your relationships with each and with all, in ways that are supportive and considerate, with integrity, as you define those words.
7. Member vote, and other mechanisms for redress
A. For Constitution and/or Terms of Service changes only, the proposal, debate, and vote need to be passed by 2/3rds majority vote by the Council, and 2/3rds majority vote by members who come to the weekly democratic meetings. Meetings are:
- the weekly Council meeting on Monday (4:30-5:30pm),
- the weekly Civics meeting on Tuesday (3:30-4:15pm),
where every member can vote at only one of the meetings.
There will be an independent moderator/chair for each meeting. Provide a meeting agenda with proposed items at least 2 full business days in advance (by 4:30pm Thursday for a Monday Council meeting, and by 3:30pm Friday for a Tuesday 3:30pm Civics meeting).
B. Members can vote to override decisions of Coordinating Council members, by the main Community Organizer, and/or vote to make new decisions, through a “member vote”.
- Members should reasonably: ask about and consider any implications of agreements already made.
- Contracts: for members or meetings already agreed to should not be stopped or interfered with.
- 2/3rds majority vote: by all members in a member vote is required to override a decision or make a new decision.
The “override”, like all other “Collective Agency” policies, will only be a statement of an expectation, and it will be up to each individual to decide on his or her own what to do. This is a voluntary association.
- How do I start the process of a member vote? When 10% of all members have signed their agreement to a member vote, with a description of what a “member vote” is, then a question should be put to a member vote.
- Member votes: should have enough time for all members to reasonably be educated, while also being fast enough to be effective.
- Priority requests: Regular conversations should also be pretty effective. Member votes should be at least once each year for elections, and are expected to be pretty rare.
All members will act within the limits of the Coordinating Council overall… or as they think is best.