802 Freedom Network mission, principles, etc

Updated: Mar 3


802 Freedom Network

Foundational Documents


Mission statement:


To provide a safe, secure and effective gathering place for Vermont patriots and free thinkers to find others of like mind and find/lend support, advocacy, and resources/information.


Principles:

  • We believe that all people are created free and equal

  • We believe human beings possess unalienable rights

  • We operate under the authority of our individual higher power and the sovereignty of the individual, as one understands it

  • We believe in honesty and transparency

  • We believe in doing no harm

  • We believe in the right to self and community governance

  • We believe in positive energy and positive vibes

  • We believe in informed consent

  • We believe in supporting and advocating for our fellow person, should they be in need of it and with their express consent

  • We believe in respecting our fellow person’s right to choose how they live their respective lives

  • We believe in the importance of community

  • We believe in distributed power in this collective

  • We believe in strategic, direct nonviolence and self determination

  • We believe in welcoming and collaborating with anyone interested in and acting in accordance with the mission and principles of this network, while staying focused on such



802 Freedom Network

Ethics


  • Assume best intentions – We are all working towards the same goals; as such, we work to welcome the variety of individual expressions and actions with curiosity and comradery.

  • Constructive feedback is welcome – We encourage consistent individual and group reflection, discussion, and feedback in a reciprocal fashion.

  • Wholeness – We bring our whole selves to this collective and respect the often emotional nature of social justice work and collective process. We agree to set aside our egos in order to respect and appreciate everyone for who they are and the unique things they bring to this collective.

  • Collective decision making – We value the importance of including everyone’s input to encourage expansive investment in the growth and effectiveness of this collective.

  • Teams – We welcome the freedom to work in small groups because they can provide accountability, enthusiasm, an assortment of ideas, and the opportunity to experiment with creative methods of organizing.

  • Visionary – We will not allow appeasements to distract our focus from the larger vision of a free and prosperous future.

  • Improvement – We regularly strive to train and educate ourselves to improve in this network and ourselves.

  • Structured for growth – We use flexible structures that plan for growth and create space for new people to engage quickly and easily.

  • Flexibility – We don’t use our guidelines, structure, or precedents to oppress people.

  • Fight Collective Inertia – We continually analyze this network, its processes, these principles, and creatively work to improve it




802 Freedom Network

Decision Making


For making decisions, we use both the advice and consensus systems. The advice system is used for most day to day decisions while consensus is used for bigger decisions. Typically, verbal and written proposals are used for both systems. Written proposals are encouraged and preferred for decisions related directly to this collective.


Advice System


Any person can make any personal decision within or regarding this network after seeking advice from:

  • Anyone who will be meaningfully affected, and/or

  • People with expertise in the matter

Advice received must be taken into consideration. With the advice and perspectives the decision maker receives, they choose what they believe to be the best course of action. The goal is to access collective input in pursuit of a sound decision, rather than create a compromise that accommodates the wishes of all.


Consensus System


The Consensus System is a cooperative process in which network members develop and agree to support a decision in the best interest of the whole, when said decision relates to the network. A decision may not be everyone’s personal preference, but is something that all can agree is worth trying. The input of the network is utilized through active listening, shared purpose, preparation, deliberation, and a focus on issues and solutions.


Consensus proposals are typically sent out twice before the final decision is reached. This is so the proposals are clear and that everyone is informed and has a chance to participate in the decision.




Proposal Process


Proposals for advice and consensus are often sent out at least twice before the final decision is reached. This is so the proposals are clear and that everyone is informed and has a chance to participate in the decision.

Questions, concerns, and disagreements can be discussed in more detail at designated meetings.

The proposal is amended to reflect the advice received and then is usually sent out again. Notes about in-person discussion can be included for context.

If someone later disagrees with a decision (whether they participated in the decision or not) they can submit a new proposal to make a new decision.

If an urgent decision is needed on a faster timeline than usual, reasonable adjustments to the process can be made for a faster decision (such as seeking advice only digitally), but never to purposefully exclude people.

If sensitive information is involved then it can be omitted from the proposal process and/or just the Coordination Team can be consulted.




802 Freedom Network

Teams


Internal Teams

Teams are empowered to make decisions with advice they gather from the other teams, individuals, and the general collective. Some decisions may be complex enough that a team chooses to seek advice and/or consensus from the Coordination Team or whole collective.


Each team has conveners who are responsible for scheduling the meetings, inviting people to attend, starting an agenda, and generally just making sure the team meets and does things. The convener roles can rotate as the team sees fit.


802 Freedom Coordination Team


The Coordination Team is the main place for in depth discussion of internal matters and ensures the overall healthy functioning of the collective. It is responsible for:


  • Facilitation – Making all 802 Freedom discussions easy and constructive (Organizing gatherings, maintaining website, managing email lists, supporting internal communication)


  • Nurturing – Supporting people in 802 Freedom to work together in a healthy way (Promoting healthy group dynamics, welcoming new people, fun internal events, conflict resolution)


  • Communications – Promoting 802 Freedom in the community (Maintaining website, social media, creating public materials, connecting 802 Freedom with the outside world)


  • Logistics – Ensuring 802 Freedom has the materials and resources it needs (Tracking money, fundraising, managing internal resources)


  • Recognizing 802 Freedom Projects – Inviting network groups to become official 802 Freedom Projects when it’s in line with mission/principles and the network is excited about it.


  • Editing the structure – Making edits to the mission, principles, security, and structure documents after getting advice from the full collective.


  • Group outreach – Reaching out to and connecting with other community organizations to collaborate on joint projects when appropriate.



Other things that aren’t covered by another team will be added to this list as they become clear.

Because of the nature of the Coordination Team, security is a concern, so it will not be open to the public or whole collective like the other teams and projects. Members of the Coordination Team will invite people in the network to join that are active, trustworthy, and connected with the community.


Why a coordination team?


As having a group like a coordination team could be potentially problematic, transparency and accountability will be prioritized. We believe the benefits outweigh the risks.


Here are some of the reasons why we think it will be helpful:


  • Gatherings are primarily a space to get plugged into the network and to cross-pollinate between the network teams, projects, and varied groups. Decision making happens outside the gatherings within the affected groups/teams, and so the Coordination Team functions as the space where full group decisions can be made.


  • It’s important that decisions about public projects and structural changes be made by people who are active in the network with a stake in its healthy functioning.


  • It’s helpful to have a group responsible for responding and adapting to complex situations and to ensure the overall healthy functioning of the network.


  • To be able to discuss