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Get Involved with SF Bay Area IMC Working Groups
SF Bay Area IMC is an all-volunteer collective; no one gets paid to work with Indymedia. You can get involved with one or more working groups by contacting Indybay.
Upcoming Meetings and Orientations
SF Bay Area IMC meetings are open to new volunteers and independent media makers. To receive meeting invitations, subscribe to indybay-news. Information on the next meeting or orientation can be found on the Indybay Calendar.
Check out Indymedia's IRC chat network at chat.indymedia.org.
Joining the SF Bay Area IMC
Once you've become involved with one or more SF Bay Area IMC working groups, you may elect to join the SF Bay Area IMC collective. The four steps to join are:
- Attend a new volunteer orientation.
- Agree to our Principles of Unity.
- Agree to our Rights & Responsibilities document.
- Send an email asking to join to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be contacted by a membership clerk, who will attempt to assist you through a three month probation period. During this period, you will be expected to perform as a full member, regularly attending general and/or working group meetings. Upon completion of the three months, your membership clerk will recommend you for membership to the collective.
Rights and Responsibilities
- Members must abide by our collective Code of Conduct (see below).
- Members must attend at least one general collective meeting per month. If unable to attend, communication to the collective is expected.
- Representing SF Bay Area Indymedia: Members must notify the collective before speaking on behalf of SF Bay Area Indymedia, e.g. when at a public event, screening, whatever. Confusion often arises when a member speaks about "Indymedia" or "SF Bay Area Indymedia" to someone who is unfamiliar with the distinctions between our individuals, our collective, and the global network. Often a member is assumed to be speaking for the entire SF Bay Area IMC collective, when instead their opinions are their own. When appropriate, members are encouraged to be explicit that any and all views expressed are personal in nature and do not represent the entire collective.
- Members should endeavor to participate in SF Bay Area IMC events.
- Members should participate in email discussions on the listservs.
- Members are expected bring problems to the collective if they believe another member is not fulfilling his/her responsibilities and/or has violated our PoU/CoC.
- Participation in collective decision-making;
- Access to SF Bay Area IMC space and equipment; and
- Access to knowledge that affects your participation in SF Bay Area IMC.
Code of Conduct
- SF Bay Area IMC participants should be allowed to decide that they do not wish to receive private phone calls, emails, or IRC communications from other SF Bay Area IMC participants as it relates to SF Bay Area IMC work. This also extends to private conversations at SF Bay Area IMC events or meetings. The SF Bay Area IMC will not intervene in personal conflicts or relationships between members.
- All SF Bay Area IMC members should feel free from undue character attacks, where an "undue character attack" is defined as being words that don't address specific problematic behaviors or actions, but instead remain general and imply an inherent personality trait. Generally speaking, members should rest assured that, whether they or another member is in conflict over some behavior or action, it is that behavior or action that will be addressed.
- Lying about or withholding information that pertains to the entire collective will not be tolerated. SF Bay Area IMC members have a responsibility to be truthful and transparent to each other with regards to SF Bay Area IMC-related matters.
Process for Resolving Conflicts
In the event of conflicts between members and allegations of misconduct and behavior that violates the CoC/PoU, the SF Bay Area IMC will use the following process to try to minimize the negative impact and find a mutually agreeable solution to the problem(s) at hand.
- A formal complaint/proposal within 14 days of the incident(s) coming up in a collective context. The specifics of the incident should be outlined, along with what the person writing the proposal sees as a reasonable solution. This should be done preferably via email so that members have some time to comment and brainstorm solutions.
- Discussion of the proposal will occur online and, if no agreement is arrived at, at a special members-only meeting that should take place no more than 14 days after the complaint/proposal was put forth.
- The special meeting should in no way be a trial, and people involved are expected to participate with the goal of finding a mutually agreeable solution to continue forward in the collective context.
Persons accused will have the opportunity to present their version of the event(s) in question, and members in attendance will be encouraged to help bring solutions to the fore of the conversation.
An attempt at consensus regarding a proposal to move forward will be made, though the person(s) involved in the dispute are not permitted to block. If consensus cannot be reached, compromise proposals are expected to be brought up, with each individual involved in the conflict expected to give up a little so that the group can gain and move forward.
Barring an internal resolution, professional mediation may be sought.
Which Decisions Are Delegated to Working Groups
Working groups are given much autonomy. Micromanaging what individuals and working groups do would create a mind-numbing bureaucracy which would destroy the SF Bay Area IMC. The editorial working group is trusted to mind the newswire, update the center column, and work out any differences regarding hiding, politics, and editorial inquiries from the world, the SF Bay Area IMC tech collective troubleshoots, upgrades, and fixes without asking the general collective about each specific item in question, and so on.
Generally speaking, working groups are expected to report back to the larger collective on a regular basis, pass along issues that it feels are better decided upon by the general collective, and overall operate under the SF Bay Area IMC Principles of Unity.
Which Decisions Are Made at General Meetings
Overall, the purpose of general SF Bay Area IMC meetings, including what decisions are to be made in them, is to discuss projects, problems, and issues that are organizational in scope. Basically, if in doubt, bring it up at the collective. Generally speaking, finance issues, general space issues, important decisions regarding the global IMC network, and collective process issues are those that the general collective must take on. Most of the action happens at the more frequent working group meetings, however.
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