Mandatory Membership Meeting
Council Election – Board Selection
16 December 2011  8:00 pm
at the Commons, Dignity Village


With this 13th annual election
the Village hopes to put behind it a stress year
of governance by ‘nitty-picky’

Tonight’s ‘stand-and-say’
may package the past, may energize the future.
”We need to adhere to the rules.”
“…and Bylaws.”
“Board meetings ramble,
patience boogies,

meetings adjourn…nothing happens.”
“We’re not stupid.”
…“or lazy”.
“Everyone here has value.”

”We need to encourage opportunity
for members to make meaningful contributions.”
“We need a new vision
based on what we know.
And what we know is Community.”
”Yeah, we are a group of people
forced to learn community!”

“We need to create opportunity
to enhance personal skills.”
…”and opportunity for marketing
outside the Village.”
…”add value to the Village from personal skills –
wood-working, leathercraft, tee-shirts, jewelry,
ceramics, artistry, workshops in self-governance.”
…”street skills.“ …”survival.”
…”be more creative with the greenhouse.”
“More thinking outside the box.”
“What about members not in compliance?
We all know the commitments.
We signed them in our membership agreement.”

As ballots are passed out ‘stand-and-say’ mellows.
Voting is for ‘members-in-good-standing’.
Twenty-one ballots are tallied.
Mitch, Brad G, TJ, Tracey, Ed K and Ptery
become the 2012 council amid cheers
and some grumping.

The six caucus to select the new Board:
Mitch is CEO.
Brad G is vice chair.
TJ is secretary
and Tracey, treasurer.
A wink past 9 pm and this election is history.

Outside, small groups talk:
“We all want the same thing.”
“We want the Village to succeed
so we can keep our homes.”

…“but members in non-compliance?
Where’s their money?
Where’s their hours?
Quit easing non-compliance.
Those missing 40 hours/month
and $20/month for Village insurance matter.”

I listen to Mitch,
enthusiasm undampened
by the few non-compliant members
excluded from voting.
“I’m reading these people.
I’m trying to understand.
Morale is improving.
We can grow Dignity Village
into a place where earning
comes from something you like to do.
This is true. And we can.”

…and Ptery posts blank sign-ups on the Common’s door:
1. “What’s your idea on what biggest issues we need to face.”
2. “Wish list priorities.”
3. “Micro business ideas and talents.”

Villagers express choices, select leadership, self-govern.
“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I’m witnessing my third Village election.
The night is cold.
Their question clear:
“What good would we do to just throw them back on the street?”


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