Code of Conduct (CoC)
This is a living document that describes how we’re building East Bay for Everyone. It is a guideline as to who we’re looking for. Originally adopted April 2016, it was updated September 2018.
The following Code of Conduct (CoC) applies within our community:
East Bay for Everyone (EB4E) is a supportive, safe, welcoming environment for all, regardless of level of political involvement, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, personal appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religion, nationality, or other similar characteristic.
Please be kind and courteous to each other. No personal attacks; direct strong emotions at ideas, not individuals. There’s no need to be mean or rude.
Political debate is greatly encouraged and part of how we develop. Be respectful, use healthy forms of discourse, and be open to new ideas. This isn’t a science.
Respect that people have differences of opinion and that every decision carries a trade-off and numerous costs. There is seldom a right answer, especially in political activism.
As a political movement, we need cohesion of vision. While healthy debate is essential to progress, disruption and co-option of EB4E is counterproductive and harmful. The problem is so much bigger than us.
Please keep unstructured critique to a minimum. If you have solid ideas you want to experiment with, be prepared to do the work yourself.
Get consent before sharing communications between members of EB4E. There’s an expectation that what goes on in Slack, Discuss and other communication tools are not on the record and should be kept between the participants. The only exception is gathering documentation for a code of conduct violation.
- That said, please use care in your communications. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want read back to you in a courtroom with an unsympathetic jury.
We will exclude you from interaction if you insult, demean, or harass anyone. That is not welcome behavior. Our definition of harassment includes:
- Violence, threats of violence or violent language directed against another person.
- Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or otherwise discriminatory jokes and language.
- Sharing or displaying sexually explicit or violent material.
- Sharing or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information (“outing” or “doxing”), regardless if said information is technically public, the result could be bullying or harassment.
- Personal insults, particularly those related to gender, sexual orientation, race, age, religion, or disability.
- Inappropriate physical contact. You should have someone’s consent before touching them.
- Unwelcome sexual attention. This includes, sexualized comments or jokes; inappropriate touching, groping, and unwelcome sexual advances.
- Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following (online or in person).
- Sustained disruption of community events, including talks and presentations.
- Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
Remarks that violate EB4E standards of conduct, including hateful, hurtful, oppressive, or exclusionary remarks, won’t be tolerated. Cursing is fine but never targeting another member and never in a hateful manner.
Remarks that the Community Working Group find inappropriate, whether listed in the CoC or not, are also not allowed.
Private harassment is unacceptable. No matter who you are, if you feel you have been or are being harassed or made uncomfortable by a member, please contact a member of the Community Working Group immediately. Whether you’re a regular contributor or newcomer, we care about making this group a safe place for you and we’ve got your back.
Likewise any spamming, trolling, flaming, baiting, or other attention-stealing behavior is not welcome.
To render this Code of Conduct effective, East Bay for Everyone has a group of volunteers pledged to uphold it. This group is called the Community Working Group.
The Community Working Group (CWG) is to be made up of an odd number of volunteers and their identities must be known so members can get ahold of them.
- New members of the CWG are nominated by any member of EB4E and appointed by a simple majority of the other members of the group.
They are entrusted to maintain, update, and uphold this document as objectively as they can.
Some details of CWG reports, investigations, and actions are to be kept private to prevent retaliation. We must maintain an atmosphere where people feel comfortable coming forward.
The CWG follows these policies for upholding our community’s standards of conduct. If you feel that something needs attention, please contact the CWG. The intention of this process is rehabilitation, not punishment.
When someone comes to the CWG with a credible allegation against a member, an investigation will be performed. Witnesses will be called to corroborate the story, evidence (such as screenshots or photos) collected. In instances of they said/they said where there were no witnesses, past documented behavior will be taken into consideration.
- It is the CWG’s duty to be thorough and fair while investigating the matter and if there is not enough evidence, no further action will be taken.
A member of the CWG will speak to the accused member to 1) outline the allegations, 2) point out how it violates the Code of Conduct and 3) explain the actions that could be taken against them if they don’t acknowledge the allegations and commit to taking restorative steps.
If they make an earnest effort at self improvement, no further action will be taken.
If this is not well-received, CWG will then respond with a written warning.
If the warning is unheeded, the person will be asked to step away from East Bay for Everyone to cool off for a period of time determined by the CWG.
If they come back and continue to make trouble, they can be be banned i.e., indefinitely excluded.
- The CWG may choose at its discretion to un-ban the person if it was a first offense and they offer the offended party or parties a genuine apology.
- If the CWG bans someone and you think it was unjustified, please take it up with a member of the CWG in private. Public complaints about bans are not allowed.
CWG members are held to a higher standard than other community members. If a CWG member creates an inappropriate situation, they should expect less leeway than others and may be asked to leave the working group.
It should go without saying that CWG members who either report a violation or who are reported must recuse themselves during the investigation and subsequent actions.
Those in positions of leadership are held to a higher standard, as their behavior reflects on the organization’s values. Violations to the Code of Conduct by leadership can be damaging to the entire organization and create mistrust. Therefore they can be grounds for dismissal from the position, be it board member, officer, or co-executive.
When someone comes to the CWG with a credible allegation against an EBE leader, the process will proceed as outlined above with the following additions:
If a written warning is issued, the EB4E leader will be asked to write a clarifying statement and apologize to the membership of East Bay for Everyone.
If they fail to write the statement, they will be asked to step away from EB4E to cool off for a period of time determined by the CWG.
- Because those in leadership might be leaving tasks undone during this break, they need to pass these off to someone else, either an officer or organizer.
- “Stepping away” means not logging into Slack, posting in Discuss, or attending events.
After they come back, they must provide a written plan for improvement which will be revisited in 3 months from the date of return. If in 3 months it’s been found that they have violated the code of conduct again or not followed their improvement plan, the CWG could recommend immediate dismissal from their position and, depending on the severity of the violation(s), a ban from the organization indefinitely.
Because dismissal must be attained through the board, the EB4E leader must recuse themselves from said board discussion and vote, if the board decides to take that up.
If you wish to report a violation of the Code of Conduct or otherwise request CoC Working Group intervention, please fill out this form:
[contact-form to=”firstname.lastname@example.org”][contact-field label=”Name (Optional)” type=”name”][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email”][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea”][/contact-form]
Code of Conduct Working Group
- Kieryn Darkwater
- Libby Lee-Egan
- Jesse Lovegood
- Tomasso Sciortino
- Liat Zavodivker