Daniel Solnik facilitates to help us define our process of consensus.
Consensus use as a value system (as compared to the patriarchal power system) where empowerment comes through cooperation and equality. Consensus works when there is 1) a basis of unity, a shared goal 2) time enough to work properly 3) commitment to the values of consensus (cooperation, equality, trust in the wisdom of the group) 4) competence in the consensus process.
Blocking has been a stumbling block for us. The blocking process needs to be based on common goals and shared values where a block is given when an action is an ethical violation or harmful to the goals of the organization. That something "Feels wrong" can be a legitimate reason for blocking. The group can decide to override the block once all concerns have been heard, even if they are not met.
Some things are not appropriate for decisions by consensus. Campaigns where needs are delegated are an example. There may be a fallback position if agreement by consensus doesn't work which involve: continue working to achieve consensus, drop the issue, vote with a high thresh hold (e.g. 80%) to support an action.
The meeting proceeds with agenda items.
Announcements (Agenda item):
CdP meets every other Monday, alternating with the coordinating meetings. It may be best for us (Jim) to go the coordinating meetings--he will fit it into his schedule the best way he can.) Bay Area Week of Action will be listed in the upcoming newsletter Jim will be the keeper of the key for our meeting site for the next 2 weeks Alice and Jeff are going to the Houston Board Meeting through the Media Alliance travel special
Affinity Group reports (agenda item)
Media: publicity has been sent out on the Alternative Fund (Listeners' Fund), they support the folio proposal.
Outreach: has been losing people and feels frustrated that proposals and spokes group discussions have been taking up their time, keeping them from doing outreach.
Fundraising: Arts & Literature events will have posters available next week. Avacha will be story telling, Jennifer Stone will be there, Susan Stone has been helping to arrange the event. There will be a poetry slam (Felicity Artemis Flowers). Art Trails members have been asked for donations. Sonoma: did not meet.
Graton, Forestville, Guerneville: supports the folio proposal and the Listener's Fund.
Santa Rosa: did CRPB mailing, support the Folio proposal, discussed CdP meetings, the alternative fund, 12 Demands meeting, elections in general and the process of consensus.
Committe to Remove the Board: have retained legal counsel, fund drive notices mailed, things are going well, the suit will be filed before the board meeting.
Sebastopol: has joined the Media group
Folio proposal (agenda item)
Ralph Steiner has the original folio template and would like to see it come back. We support the folio with the detail program lists and want the schedule to be a part with a statement near the beginning that the folio is being brought back to facilitate the democratic process and support station staff and autonomy. The KPFA LAB is most compatible to the proposal which is open to alteration. There is a concern on how the folio should be funded. E-mail distribution can reduce costs but reaching 20,000 people can cost $5000. The next step is to approach station people and try to coordinate with other efforts. The time line of Nov. 1 may be doable but a group needs to get working on it. We have consensus around endorsing the folio proposal and the Media group working on it and involving numerous others in the Bay Area.
Listeners' Fund (agenda item)
The Listeners' Fund is up and running, with some bugs. The Graton group has approved sending $100 to the fund for operating expenses. Future funding will have to be discussed. We would like representation on the Board of Directors and suggest Peter Phillips from Project Censored and Larry Robinson, Sebastopol council person as nominees. Further discussion on our financial situation needs to happen before we can commit to giving money for the advertising of the fund (we have been requested to share in 1/3 of the cost). We would also like to be part of the Chair/Co-chair but no one volunteers to get involved. Jim is to continue being our contact with the CdP and attending their meetings.
Fall out from last meeting (agenda item)
Personal attacks of our members or of the KPFA staff are not okay. Differences need to be aired with respect. We are a community group working with like minded people. We need to agree to a model that does not include personal criticism and how to disagree without personal attacks. Jeff's report (agenda item) on the 9/27 meeting of the Coordinating Committee of the Campaign to Transform Pacifica which is working on coordinating Bay Area and outreach to other listening areas. The meeting dealt with the court challenge (Peter Franke), street activism (Marianne Torres) working with the LAB (Media Alliance) liaison with other groups. For tomorrow's meeting, discussions will be updates on strategy, court challenges, street activities, lobbying public officials; add the Folio proposal.
Shared Goals and Visions (agenda item). We discuss our goals and agree to take them to our AG's for discussion. A summary of our statements will be sent out for facilitation of that discussion (summary posted earlier).
We will meet next week from 7-10 (Daniel can facilitate after 8 to continue the discussion of goals and visions. Before 8, we will discuss our financial needs & goals and the Listeners' Fund update.
OCTOBER 24 SPOKES MEETING
Affinity Group reports
Graton, Forestville & Guerneville went to the station fund drive Santa Rosa: has a proposal for the National/LAB structure to be like the Federal/State separation allowing autonomy for the LABs while retaining their ability to work with the National Board; there is a need to work through a community based organization, an idea not fully supportive of KPFA during the crisis. Media: volunteers have been working with Michael on the Folio proposal; for the escrow account (Listeners' Fund) what are the set up, operating costs? We need to be able to re-evaluate our position and to educate the staff.
Listeners' Fund (agenda item)
The fund is active, the problems are being worked through. We need to decide how actively we will support it and work with it. There may be misunderstanding on why the fund is not designated for staff salaries--we need to inform the staff about how the fund works. It is suggested that we put $500 toward advertising to support the fund and to keep working with the larger group with an active voice. We may want to postpone major money decisions until after the Houston Board meeting to see what level of support we want to maintain. We need to show support of the fund to keep it in place and active. In light of our budget report that shows we have $2600 in the P&J account and $560 in cash, we agree to send $500 for advertising costs.
Financial Planning (agenda item)
The 11/20 fund raiser (2pm to 8pm) may need $1000-1500 for building costs ($250 + % at the door up to $400), promotion, printing, food. The fund raiser will be spoken work, poetry slam, silent art auction. Chris Welch will mc, Jennifer Stone is to read, Jack Foley, Avacha (African story telling) will participate. Sonoma county artists and performance artists will also take part. Admission will be on a sliding scale ($5/10-15 + donations). Several hundred are expected to attend. We need to decide where the funds raised will be go--need to list on flyer. Panels for hanging art work may be $200-500; may be able to get donations from Art Trails or the Unitarian Church--Jim will help. We agree that Atilla and the fund raising group can spend as much money as they need to get the fund raiser going. More people are needed to join the fund raising team. The meet this Tuesday 6:30 at AromaRoasters. Next week they will meet Wednesday (check with Atilla for where).
Kyle is introduced--he has joined the media affinity group for a high school project.
Ground rules are discussed and agreed to: 1)if the discussion becomes disrespectful, anyone can raise a point of process and discussion will stop immediately 2)we will listen attentively, mindful of time constraints and contribute to the discussion when a point really needs to be made 3)there will be no personal attacks, with the knowledge that attacks are a pattern of learned behavior triggered in reaction and inappropriate where we have the trust of the people within the group
Issues and Goals (agenda item facilitated by Daniel Solnik)
A concern is raised about how many people does NbfKPFA represent and how necessary is it to have a position statement of our shared goals. While 500 are on the mailing list and could be mobilized in a crisis, the active membership is limited to those who participate in the affinity groups. The more specific goals we try to get agreement on, the harder it will be to achieve consensus. It is suggested that our focus should be the affinity groups, and not a larger group statement. We see a need for a mission statement to be part of the consensus model. We need to define the core values of the group or decide if we want a more diverse concept. We need to define what goals we do NOT share as a group. Should this group be making this kind of inclusive statement that may not represent individual goals? There are concerns about supporting listener elections--this may create an umbrella for taking action that we may not have consensus on. Affinity groups are having trouble focusing on the work they feel is important. Specificity is a problem when Outreach as a group may not be able to support listener elections. A more general statement would allow the AGs to function under a broader umbrella. Consensus may be a statement of leaning toward a position but not necessarily total commitment. It is possible to use majority rule to support a specific statement where consensus cannot be reached. We agree that we still need to work through our differences.
Process of decision making (agenda item facilitated by Daniel Solnik) AGs can empower spokes people to represent their groups as closely as possible. Our groups are using consensus as an internal structure, with empowerment to make decisions in the spokes group and then taking reports back to the groups. We have a division between those who want to have policies and positions of the larger group and those who want to have a multitude of voices and tactics where the affinity groups act as the main focus. The larger group decision may empower the smaller groups as they act as part of a larger group. Individuals should not be in a position to stop others from action. If the source of action is in the AG, then everyone is free to proceed with action, not affected by individual dissent. Spokes decisions that are administrative in nature can be done with group consensus. Public statements formulated at the spokes level (interacting with the AGs) is an unresolved area--most of the work we do is not in this area. We do not have a clear consensus of our spokes group as a coordinator of action that empowers North Bay 4 KPFA as a group to maximize our shared mission or if we are a group of individuals working on the level of personal action/goals.
Fund raiser needs to know how we are to split the money raised. We agree to a 4-way split (North Bay for KPFA, Friends of Free Speech Radio, Committee for Removal of the Board, Seigal & Yee) with percentages of the split to be determined later.
We will meet in 2 weeks (no meeting on Halloween) at 6:30 to continue the discussion of Process.
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