The 2010 Fall Assembly took place at East Wind, and as the title of this post indicates, it was a rousing success! The FEC fall assembly is a time for delegates from FEC communities to get together to both review the activities since the last assembly and look at our goals and plans until the next time we meet. This year at assembly, there were delegates attending from member communities Acorn, East Wind, Emma Goldman Finishing School, Sandhill, and Twin Oaks, and from Community-in-dialogue Community Autonomy.
To read more about the 2010 fall assembly, including a review of our activities since the spring assembly, PEACH news, the status of Community Autonomy, and the exciting world of the FEC 2011 budget, click below.
Half Year in Review
We spent some time talking about our goals and plans for the assembly, then we got to work. We reviewed the progress made on FEC projects since the last assembly, which include the following: * LEX trips between Acorn and Twin Oaks, Acorn and EW to Sandhill for Sorghum harvest, and EW to TO;
* Writing and passing a Mutual Aid Scholarship Fund policy;
* Work on expanding FEC membership, including talking to the Living Energy Farm, a community that aims to be fossil-fuel free and an ongoing educational project; Patchwork community in Louisville, a community that has sent delegates to past assemblies that is not currently income sharing; and Community-in-dialogue Community Autonomy in Columbus, OH, a project that does not currently have a permanent home (more on this later).
* Presentations on the FEC and member communities at U.S. Social Forum, Twin Oaks Communities Conference, income-sharing presentation at the Seattle Anarchist Bookfair, Williams College radio interview, and an upcoming presentation at NASCO.
PEACH Tax Status
The FEC delegates also talked about an issue that has arisen in regard to PEACH. PEACH’s operations may not be allowed under the FEC’s organizational tax status. (PEACH functions mostly seperate from FEC operations, but operates under the umbrella of the FEC).
The FEC delegates decided to investigate this issue and find out from an expert whether or not PEACH’s operations are legal under the FEC’s tax status. We have identified various people to assist us.
If PEACH is not in legal compliance, it must become compliant. This may require separate tax status for PEACH. The FEC will continue to work closely with PEACH MELBA’s on this issue.
Community In Dialogue: Community Autonomy
Community Autonomy (CA) of Columbus, Ohio sent Mattie to the FEC assembly for the second time. CA is a Community In Dialogue (CID), a status given to communities that are working towards becoming FEC member communities. CA currently has 4 members, three of whom live in a house with other non-members (the fourth member does not live in the house for personal reasons). The community hopes to acquire a property that can be a permanent home for the project.
CA plans to utilize an income-sharing system that utilizes outside income, similar to EGFS. They are committed to providing for the needs of all members, including communalized transportation, healthcare, education, and childcare. They also compost, make humanure, keep bees, and have a greywater system. The vision is to have a community of 7-35 people that includes some sort of cottage industry for members to bring in income.
Community Autonomy is already engaged in many practices that embody FEC ideals, and the FEC is committed to supporting the project as they search for a permanent home. We are all excited about this collaboration, and to see the way that the project develops.
Mutual Aid Scholarship Fund
This is a new fund for 2010. The FEC has set aside $500 to aid individuals from communities in obtaining training in ways that will benefit home communities and/or the FEC. Applications - which should be short and sweet - can be sent to Rebecca at email@example.com by November 25 (Thanksgiving). Contact your delegate or Rebecca with questions.
FEC Propaganda and Media
The FEC delegates made plans to come up with two versions of a ‘Master’ presentation on PowerPoint that can be used in various settings. There will be a short presentation (around 30 minutes) and a longer one (1 1/2 to 2 hours). It can be tweaked to be presented in different situations. There will be a DVD version available eventually as well.
We are also in the process of creating a Media Archive of pictures and video for use in FEC promotion materials.
We also talked quite a bit about fair use of pictures in FEC materials. We are aware that some FEC’ers do not want their image to be used. We have come up with a system that ensures that any pictures or video from the last 20 years in which individuals are identifiable will only be used if the people depicted are OK with their image being used.
Talk to your delegate if you would like a copy of the PowerPoint presentation in slide or DVD form, FEC business cards, or a fingerbook (smaller than a handbook, get it?) on the FEC for events or presentations.
PEACH: the Ava House
The FEC delegates also had an opportunity to visit the house that PEACH owns as a result of a bad loan in Ava, Missourri. To make a long story short, the house is not useable unless there is a group of dedicated folks who want to spend a great deal of time fixing it up. The delegates recommend selling the house as soon as possible. A report with photos from Ethan (Twin Oaks) is forthcoming.
We approved a 2011 budget! Most of the FEC income comes from member communities. In addition to usual expenses (LEX, assemblies, expansion fund) we reserved money for site visits for future potential FEC communities (including Community Autonomy, Patchwork, Living Energy Farm, and Teaching Drum); and bought 15 FIC print directories and donated $300 to Communities Magazine. We also reviewed our changes in income for the year.
The FEC delegates made a lot of decisions, and came up with some good working plans for the next year. We are excited about what is going on in our home communities, and look forward to the time that we can add Community Autonomy to our member list! We will have another assembly at Twin Oaks during the period of March 25th-April 1st, and will continue to work on various projects until that time.
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