Silicon Valley Commons Orientation
Sunday December 3, 2006, 10AM - 12PM
Present: Kimbra McCaul, Matthew Singh, Leo Romero
Notes by Matt & Leo


Summary: Matt & Leo interviewed Kim, and answered her questions. Discussed core values and next steps.

Introductions - see staff and user pages

Discussion of core values

  • Asset Based Community Development
    • Use assets already there to create a sustainable program. Previous approach: “this community has a problem, we’re experts, let’s fix it”. People become dependent. When experts leave, community gets stuck.
    • Community members are seen as part of solution, not problem. We’ll be working with community partners, if we choose to expand beyond the magazine, we’ll have that fundamental approach. Also helps us understand how the communities and community agencies approach their own missions. Stronger sense of community, educating people.
  • Appreciation of diversity
    • Read There is No Hierarchy of Oppressions by Audre Lorde: “There is no hierarchy of oppression...I know I cannot afford the luxury of fighting one form of oppression only. I cannot afford to believe that freedom from intolerance is the right of only one particular group. And I cannot afford to choose between the fronts upon which I must battle these forces of discrimination. Wherever they appear to destroy me, it will not be long before they appear to destroy you.”
    • Through our writing and our actions, should appreciate all forms of diversity. Create a forum for people to clarity. Appreciate, understand, include the diversity. More inclusive endeavors.
    • Stay from bias – Non-partisan. Deliberately recruit people who don’t think like us, or share our political beliefs, along as they adhere to these core values.
  • Integrity
    • Integrity comprises the personal inner sense of "wholeness" deriving from honesty and consistent uprightness of character;
    • Avoid conflict of interest; don’t sell stuff

Discussion of staff standards of behavior

  • Be punctual
  • Be accountable for your actions and words
  • Be open-minded, non-judgmental; practice empathy
  • Don't over commit; know your limits.
    • Let everyone know if you cannot do something
    • Have fun but stay focused
  • Practice active participation
    • Recognize when someone isn't actively participating and draw them in
    • Step up, step down
      • Recognize when you can speak and when to give the floor to someone else
      • Don't monopolize the conversation
      • Don't talk over one another
  • It's okay to be "in process"
    • You don't have to know the answer right away
    • We're all learning here
    • Be open to learning and challenges

Discussion of style guides

add more links here

Next steps

  • Identify people for Kim to interview
  • Arrange group interviews
  • Discuss mission & strategy
  • Identify core competencies & qualities of staff, use psychometrics (Myers-Briggs, Big Five, EI) to help clarify.