Flier for Friday’s event. Print ‘em and post ‘em!
Come join us for a public presentation and brainstorm for future events to usher in The New Economy. This Friday’s Huddle is being co-presented by BACE and EBBX–East Bay Barter Exchange. It will be an open format inviting input from members of our community for designing robust cash-free systems of exchange. We invite all to bring a dish to share in pot-luck and your thoughts for what ways would cash-free methods of currency inspire you the most. We look forward to your joining us–
@ the Community Space of Sudoroom and the Public School
2141 Broadway@22nd *Note––entrance on 22nd Street
freight elevator, stow your bike upstairs. Wheelchair accessible.
Friday August 2nd, 6-9pm
We’re reviving monthly POSSE parties, 3rd Fridays at Sudo Room in Downtown Oakland. Can we say, “yaaaay”? Spread the word to your friends, family, and community! We’ll have food, skill-shares, childcare, and gift circles.
Event is wheelchair accessible.
For info on getting to Sudo Room, check out the website: https://sudoroom.org/wiki/Getting_there
You can RSVP on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/567378529994045/ or Meetup http://www.meetup.com/Bay-Area-Community-Exchange-Timebank/events/129403142/
In 2009 my relationship with Bay Area Community Exchange began when I made a video about the grassroots (or solidarity) economy. (In fact, you can watch it here!) It earned me about 50 hours on the time bank and I was off and running.
Not only was I ready with hours, I was ready with knowledge that was new to me. Interviewing the organizers of the Grassroots Economics Festival gave me a lot to think about, as far as what is possible outside the mainstream economy.
After becoming a mother, I looked to the time bank for a model to find access to childcare, for one thing. Then I started volunteering with BACE to make sure that the needs of families and kids were considered in planning events, such as POSSE Parties.
My ideas and energy were well-received. It felt great! I’ve worked a lot of jobs where ideas were shot down by bosses who weren’t paying me to think, so they said. BACE is a collective, so that means board members, volunteers, and active time bank users decide what the priorities are. (One challenge with that, of course, is that we often find our long list of ideas limited by our own schedules, resources, and ability to follow through.)
I actively volunteered for over 2 years before nominating myself to become a board member (the standard procedure in joining the board). My hesitance was that as a white lady, joining a board with an already white majority reflected the toxic alignment of power that keeps people of color on the outskirts of not only the mainstream economy but also some “alternative” and supposedly “progressive” movements as well. This remains in the front of my mind.
I also felt that a board, by its very nature, is an elite power structure. Comfortable in staying outside of it, I participated at arm’s-length by doing the work I felt suited for, attending meetings, and exercising my vote. I kept reading about collectives and non-hierarchical organizing structures to learn more. (For example and its counterpoint offered a “second-wave” feminist take on the subject.)
But then the board membership began to shrink, and I saw that my presence was indeed needed—that as a parent, a youth development worker, a feminist, an artist, a skeptic, and a voracious reader of anti-racist analysis, I might be able to make a meaningful impact within and through BACE.
I also saw that whether or not my power was explicitly stated as a board member or implicitly exercised as an extremely active volunteer, it was still power. Naming it and using it responsibly felt better than acting like it was non-existent or somehow not accountable to anyone.
So last month, the attendees of the planning meeting in Oakland went ahead and voted me as a board member. Yay! I’m planning to occupy the seat for 6 months, and during that time I want to hit some goals.
We definitely have our work cut out for us with upcoming website changes, continuing relationships with community organizations, volunteer outreach, and the return of POSSE parties. (Can’t wait for more of those!) We are also working as a board to provide curriculum to use in the community, and trainings for people interested in becoming board members—learning new leadership skills, and sharing theirs with us.
And I would love to talk and work more deeply with people in uprooting structural racism, sexism, ableism, and intersections of oppression, and connecting economic justice work like time banking, for example, to these efforts. What are the benefits of time banking as a solution to inequality? What are the risks? How does it look different in our differing communities? What are the challenges? What other models of mutual aid can we learn from?
Please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have some thoughts to share, or call me at 415-699-7011. I will do my best to answer in a timely way.
Power, freedom, survival, and consciousness to the people!
Until April 2013, all BACE general meetings were held at Noisebridge on the second Wednesday of every month. Starting then, if you were watching the sidebar on the homepage, you may have noticed a change. April’s meeting was held at the Sudo Room in Oakland instead. May’s meeting will be held back at Noisebridge, June’s at the Sudo Room, and so on.
Currently, we are holding the general meeting at the Sudo Room in even numbered months and at Noisebridge in odd numbered months. The plan is to continue this arrangement for six months, then re-evaluate it and determine if we should continue to alternate meeting locations between Noisebridge and the Sudo Room or choose another arrangement.
The decision to alternate meeting spaces was made largely so that we could better accommodate both San Francisco and East Bay members. Wherever we hold our meetings, we realize that some people will have to cross the bay, that some who would be able to attend at Noisebridge can’t make it to the Sudo Room, and vice versa. On the plus side, alternating meeting spaces allows a greater range of people to attend the meetings, even if it means that some can no longer do so every month.
All general meetings are open to all BACE members, and all meeting attendees are welcome to make proposals and to vote on them. If you have an opinion on this or any other Timebank issue, please come to a meeting and make your voice heard! And if you cannot attend a meeting, you are welcome to email your thoughts, questions, and suggestions to email@example.com.
This is a guest post by Megan Stoddard, an active BACE member: On Thursday, March 18th, BACE was honored with a visit from students of the Woolman Semester School. This alternative residential high school in Nevada City, California takes high school juniors and seniors, and gap year students, for semester-long programs focusing on social and environmental justice. This was the second time Woolman students visited BACE. Their first visit, by last semester’s group of students, took place in November 2012.
Our guests were at the tail end of their Great Turning field trip, which is part of the Global Issues class taught by Emily Ziont. This trip brought them to the Bay Area for a tour of groups, projects, and programs that offer solutions to immediately pressing global issues. In BACE presentation by volunteers Ricardo Simon, Amber Yada, and Megan Stoddard, held at Noisebridge, the students gained exposure to a whole new economic model.
Questions flew. Students and staff alike were very curious about how all of this works.
Question: How do you prevent people from freeloading and taking advantage of the system?
Answer: People wouldn’t want to work for freeloaders, so that takes care of itself, and we’ve never had that problem–people tend to feel obligated to give services when they’ve received services.
Question: What if I’m a new Timebank member and I need a service before I’ve done any work?
Answer: Then you have a negative balance, and that’s okay–there’s no penalty for having given more credits than you’ve received.
Question: Is there a limit to how many credits you can have (above or below zero)?
Answer: Not really–if someone has more than fifty credits either way, we may contact them to make sure they know how to use the system, because what we really want is for people to be both giving and receiving–but again, we’ve never had any problems.
Question: Are there timebanks in other places (i.e. this student’s hometown, Asheville, North Carolina)?
Answer: Yes, and you should be able to find them with an Internet search. There’s also a timebank for college students, which probably all of you will be soon.
In the spirit of spreading the word, Woolman students Lily Bell and Augie Brinker have posted articles on the school’s blog about the Timebank presentation. (Slight correction to the article by Lilly Bell: Megan, Amber, and Rick are not the founders of BACE, just the volunteers who could make it that day.)