Guiding Principles - Community Autonomy

Guiding Principles

Consider this document to be one that hangs on the wall, to which we hold each other
accountable, that we share with others in our information and outreach materials, and to which
we refer when making decisions.

We believe in the fundamental equality and potential of all people. We strive to be equal in our
methods of cooperative decision-making, and in our group dynamics and interactions, wherein
all perspectives are valued and all opinions addressed and considered. We further seek to create a
community capable of challenging inequity and hierarchy by sharing in our materials, resources
and power.

Ecological Responsibility
We recognize that our way of life is dependent on the exploitation of people and the earth. We
work to minimize our impact on the earth through reducing consumption, by meeting needs not
wants, embracing simplicity as an ethic and also a strategy, and creating a culture of non-
material abundance. We aim to return a lasting positive impact so that our efforts may extend
beyond our involvement, and will benefit the land, surrounding people, and lives of community
members in the future.

Mutual Respect and Accountability
We are creating a culture of mutual respect where we value diversity, personal autonomy and
diverse contributions. At the same time, we recognize that in order to make positive social
transformation we need to welcome personal improvement and change in our shortcomings, and
be willing to hold each other accountable to our ideals and goals in a constructive way. Toward
building a more loving, cooperative, and inclusive world, we interact compassionately and non-
violently with one another, and engage in non-violent conflict mediation when necessary.

Social Justice
We believe that our society encourages profound injustices, rampant physical and psychological
violence, ruinous ecological destruction and greed, and causes social ills from poverty to cancer
to social isolation and alienation. We recognize that these problems are embedded in the
dominant systems of governance and economy. We therefore favor radical, systemic change and
oppose today's dominant systems, including capitalism, patriarchy and white supremacy. We
realize that simply disengaging from oppressive practices is not enough; we must actively work
to eradicate their root causes.

Cooperation and Community Living
We want to shift from a cultural focus on the individual to emphasis on the community,
exploring and demonstrating the ways in which people can be strengthened by living their lives
cooperatively. We depend on each other for support in our personal lives, and depend on each
person being responsible to the broader community. This means creating a strong culture of
being together, working together, sharing, confronting conflict, and learning from challenging