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Reclaiming Collective:
Restructuring Update -- August 1997

Reclaiming is in transition -- we're now officially a 501(c)(3) religious organization. The Collective is beginning to work on what that means, and what we should do next. Here's the latest update:

As of the collective's most recent meeting (June 23, 1997), we have made the following progress on restructuring.

In our March meeting, we began to gather information from the local SF Bay Area cells (such as newsletter, public rituals, administration, special projects, women in prison, etc.). We had asked them to meet and decide who they were, their purpose, what they wanted to do, how they wished to define themselves, what they may or may not want from Reclaiming Collective. This process is ongoing.

Starhawk and Beverly came to the brilliant realization that consensus process is fine for decision-making, but it's not a process for design. So as of June, we've decided to begin the process of forming charettes.* The definition of charettes we are using is the one Starhawk and Beverly used in permaculture workshops -- "small teams of two or three people look at a problem and come up with independent solutions. Then the larger group can look at the range of solutions and pick and choose the elements from each that they like the best."

We want to use this process to get restructuring designs, and a statement of core values. These small charettes are initially comprised of two collective members and one or two interested community (non-collective) member. We will shift membership, hopefully twice before the collective's next retreat in November.

Each charette looks at both Reclaiming's structure and at the core values lists to try to come up with a core statement and/or their own synthesis. In our January '97 retreat and at further collective meetings, we've managed to articulate some core values, and we have a list of other ideas which we haven't consensed on. Charettes will be provided with copies of these lists (notes from the January retreat; comments on same; a core values statement that Starhawk formulated; comments on same; lists from retreat; "bucket" items [unresolved and unclassified]).

For the time being, the scope of this process is necessarily limited to what is now the S.F. Collective and basically, Northern California, as well as coming up with our statement of core values. But it does not at this point answer questions about the larger community - we need to do this step first, and then we can tackle that aspect.

After the charettes meet, we will then move into a phase of review and synthesis.

In addition, we've decided to cancel the the community meetings, and will look for other structures in which to get community input.

* If anyone wants a long linguistic history of this rather recent American word (as distinct from its French origin), I (Macha) can write that up; I chased it down for about a month.

Love and blessings, Macha (with input from Rose and Starhawk)

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