The months fly by — BACE updates from the first quarter of 2014

You may have noticed that you haven’t heard much from BACE administration in the first quarter of 2014.  The turn of 2014 saw a large turnover in core volunteers supporting the every day operations of BACE, and our new volunteers (like me!) needed time to learn the ropes and figure out how best to contribute.  We apologize for the silence, but are here to remedy that with some updates from our BACE monthly meetings, and a few notes on what to expect in the coming months.

Let’s start with the most important announcements:

  • A Tech lead is needed for the BACE website.  If you have sysadmin skills, please consider helping BACE continue to thrive. Your help is seriously needed! If you (or someone you know) is a programmer with experience in Ruby on Rails, and you can commit a few hours a week for the next three months, volunteer your time as the BACE Tech lead.  Specifically, the BACE tech lead will help
    *Modify the website to return to the original source code
    * Handle the accounts
    * Investigate and fix bugs
    For each hour that you work, you’ll receive an hour. You can obtain all sorts of services through BACE–from guitar lessons to bicycle repair to health care–and use your hours to say thanks.   To make the new economy real and connect with people who share the vision, email the BACE volunteer coordinator, Emily Wheeler, at emily(at)emily4english(dot)com.
  • The BACE core is in need of additional volunteers.  Volunteering with the core means committing to one, two-hour meeting per month (always the first Wednesday of the month from 6:30-8:30, rotating between Oakland and San Francisco), and following up on small tasks to keep BACE operational between meetings.  These small tasks can include: maintaining the BACE blog, planning BACE events, answering BACE support emails, attending local meetings to promote BACE, and more.  To get involved, join the BACE volunteer list-serve, and attend our monthly BACE meetings.
  • The BACE “board” becomes the BACE “staff”.  After much discussion, the BACE staff has decided to change the language we use to talk about our work.  Instead of a “board” doing “governance,” a “volunteer staff” would handle “administration.” We are a do-ocracy; the board has been essentially whoever shows up at meetings, not an exclusive decision-making group. The new vocabulary is meant to communicate inclusivity. You can comment by emailing support(at)bace(dot)org.

And now into the nitty-gritty.  For full transparency, here are meeting notes from the last three BACE staff meetings.

  • January, 2014.  Full minutes were not taken at the meeting, however we did draft this letter to BACE membership calling out for greater volunteer engagement.  The letter was never sent, due to disagreement amongst BACE staff about language and purpose.
  • February 2014.
  • March 2014.

And looking forward, a few goals we have for the coming quarter are:

  • Find a tech lead and facilitate the transition of BACE back to the original source code, allowing for improved user interaction
  • Plan and host a DIY Festival
  • Begin to showcase stories of successful BACE exchanges on our blog

The possibilities are limitless!  Now is a great time to get involved with BACE.  Join the fun, won’t you?


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december’s planning meeting

BACE monthly planning meetings are now on the first Wednesday of the month. For Wednesday December 4th, we’re at Sudo Room in downtown Oakland, a few blocks from 19th St BART. Meetings are now only ONE hour, with ½ hour break-out groups afterwards for volunteer tasks. Time: 8:00 – 9:30 PM
, Address: 2141 Broadway, Oakland (entrance on 22nd; please see directions). This month’s agenda is here.

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the return of the potluck?

Many have asked if there is a way to participate in BACE monthly, face-to-face, outside of our planning meetings. In the do-ocratic spirit of grassroots economics, let’s get it going!

Inspired by Arroyo S.E.C.O. Network of Time Banks, and also by successes with our own “POSSE Parties,” we thought that monthly potlucks, rotating through Bay Area neighborhoods, would be something to get off the ground. So now all we need are some people who would like to help make this happen. Do you want to be involved with the more “non-technical” aspects of BACE organizing? Is there a community space in your area that you think would be good—a library, center, office, park, or maybe even a home? Do you want to be part of the strengthening of BACE?

When we interact face-to-face as groups it really shapes what this project is supposed to be all about. Experience has shown that it’s essential to share space with each other in order to really build trust, and to build a movement that challenges capitalist values.

So let’s get it started! Eating, drinking, listening to music, offering skillshares, and sharing ideas on how to use the time bank and how to make it better…. Sounds fun already! If you’re interested, call Amber at 415 699 7011 or email

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holiday bazaar

Coming up December 8th is the Get Local Holiday Bazaar. It will be at Cloud 9 at 1320 9th St in Berkeley, from 3 PM to midnight. Local currency project Bay Bucks is co-presenting, and they offered two Time Bank users space at the Bazaar to vend their goods. (Thanks, Bay Bucks!)

Diana will accept money or BACE hours for her handmade vegan hemp edibles and wearables, under the brand Peacecock, featuring her original designs.

Katrina will be selling herbal cordials and teas that come in pocket size containers. More info is on her website. She will accept BACE hours for palm reading or tarot.

For those of you looking to bring local community-building into your holidays, this will be a great event. Shove off, Black Friday!

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daylight savings survey

We were blown away by the response to last month’s “Daylight Savings Survey.” There were 90 + respondents who received an “extra hour” of BACE credit for answering these three questions:

1. What has been your favorite experience on a timebank exchange, or what is your favorite feature on the website?
2. What has been your least favorite experience using the timebank, or something you don’t like/something missing from the website?
3. What do you hope to do with your timebank hour(s)?

The survey is closed, but about half of those who replied agreed to have their answers listed publicly. The results are very heartening and eye-opening—check them out! Here is a link to the collected answers. (Spreadsheet nerds, dig in!)

For the blog’s relaunch, we will be highlighting some of the stories shared through this survey.

All in all it was a very helpful and insightful experiment, and we are tremendously grateful to everyone who participated. It is valuable feedback that can help us make BACE better, together!

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BACE is having a POSSE Party at Sudo Room this Tuesday!

Do you have kids in your life who need to be entertained, socialize, learn and try interesting activities? All while getting to share in a delicious potluck and hangout in a cool hackerspace. Then this event and SudoKids is for your family.


“We like to keep activities a la carte, said Ray Lai one of the organizers of SudoKids. The kids let us know what they are interested in doing.

“My kids are always saying ‘Mom let’s go to Sudo Room!'” says Stephanie of Richmond. They love it here!

SudoKids is the children’s program at Sudo Room, a community hackerspace in downtown Oakland located at 2141 Broadway. SudoKids happens every Tuesday night from 6-8:30PM (dinner at 5PM).

This Tuesday will be our BACE monthly POSSE Party (potluck, orientation, skillshare, swapmeet, event). We invite all families to join us for the fun. If you would like to offer a kids activitiy or have any questions please contact Rick Simon –

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