New Workgroup Notes Apr 14th

Community Safety Workgroup

*Go around/ talk about vision
*"Feeling For The Edge"
*Facilitation/ notes
*Small groups
*Report back

One of the facilitators speaks about the premises of the workgroup:
*focused on definitive actions
*autonomous- not based on petitioning the legal structure
*collective process
*leaving space for each other

In the check-in/go around, participants were asked to give in one sentence a vision of a world in which communities provide for their own safety:

*...mentions a desire for community where everyone knows & watches out for everyone.
*...desires community where everyone knows each other, with groups of individually known professionals to respond to crises.
*...looking to live somewhere where authoritarian power is abolished.
*...wants to see the cops become irrelevant through well-organized community response. (funny scenario given)
*...talks about their neighbors not feeling like there are alternatives to police and wants to be able to present those kind of solutions.
*...imagines a smaller kind of functioning community where the people in it have made the specific decision to share their lives.
* excited to learn more about dealing with group and individual conflict without having to rely on external authority.
*...has visions of "working on a team that has momentum" and is interested in bringing up challenging questions about what a community without cops would look like and coming up with answers to them.
*...wants to focus on mental health issues.
*...doesn't want to see police harassing and arresting people of color anymore.
*...wants a community that provides people with the essentials.

The piece we read is called Feeling for the Edge of your Imagination: finding ways not to call the police. After breaking into pairs and reading the piece, we responded to some questions at the ends. When we reconvened, we spoke about things we discussed.

*...realized they regret calling the police.
*...hadn't thought so specifically about situations in which it seems necessary to call the cops.
*...noticed how calling the ambulance necessarily entails contacting the police as well, and wondering if it's possible to call for a medical emergency separately.
*...said it was interesting for them to verbalize that "no, I wouldn't call the cops in this situation." it was liberating to discuss those kind of possibilities.
*...wondered how one would be able to get insurance money for a stolen car without having to file a report with the police.
*...thinks about the idea of cops rushing in to save a situation, and how that doesn't really happen. maybe hard to imagine a situation in which they would call the police. also suggests going on police ride-alongs.
*...interested in having a group one can call in emergencies.
*...echoes going on ride-alongs to "de-scarify" police.

There were three small groups in this session.
  • Crisis Response Team
  • Community Connectedness (formerly Isolation)
  • Food Security
We were asked to focus on 1) choosing a facilitator and note-taker for the small group, 2) creating a one sentence mission statement for each group, 3) review action items from previous session, 4) come up with strategies to accomplish mission, 5) commit to bottomline action.

These groups kept separate notes also posted on this site.

After the small groups came together we shared thoughts and ideas we were excited about, or ideas for improvements:

*...apologized for juggling responsibilities during the workshop.
*...expressed appreciation for everyone. liked their group, community connectedness. excited to have real tasks they'll go out and do.
*...realized they actually don't have community.
*...said it was a "breath of fresh air". feels hopeful, wants to critique their idea of community and building it up.
*..."felt anxious towards the end" as there was not enough time, especially for small groups. mentioned how we want to split our small group even further. rephrased some stuff we already talked about in our small group. said it "feels invigorating".
*there is a rebuttal about needing more small group time, as they liked the big group discussion. maybe further on we can hone in more.
*...felt good about talking in specific scenarios, feels real, tangible.


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