Sunday, March 30, 2014

Next Coalition-Wide Meeting

The next coalition wide meeting will be Wednesday, April 16th at 6:30pm, at 1029 Santa Fe Drive in Denver.

Join us, share you experiences, and help us continue to formulate our substantive work! If you are interested in joining a committee, email

Restorative Justice
Infrastructure for Re-entrants
Public Education
Law Enforcement Re-education

Mark your calendar! Meetings to follow are scheduled for:
Saturday, May 3rd
Wednesday, May 21st
Saturday, June 7th
Wednesday, June 25th

We'll also be discussing the proposed mission statement, vision statement, structure, decision-making scheme, and name. Check them out and let us know what you think! If you're not able to make it to either of the next two meetings, email us your input at comicoalition at


The mission of the [name] is to unite all those organizations and communities in Colorado that are either directly impacted by mass incarceration, working to end it, or both, with the aims of unifying movements that were once disconnected, fostering broader collaboration, and prioritizing the struggles of people who have been directly impacted. From immigrants’ rights to workers’ rights, racial justice to drug policy reform, civil rights to police accountability, LGBT+ rights, tax justice, and more: mass incarceration is a system; therefore we must deal with it systemically. Though different communities are impacted differently by mass incarceration, it will take all of us uniting to end it. And though many of our individual efforts in the past have been successful, together we wield far more power.


Our vision is two-fold: (1) to dismantle the system of racial and economic oppression that provides the framework in which mass incarceration is both encouraged to proliferate and profitable, and (2) to collaboratively work toward sustainable alternatives to incarceration that deal with issues of poverty, homelessness, mental health, racism, homophobia, violence and militarism head on, in healthy ways, rather than avoiding the real issues. 


1) Steering Committee – 2-10 people self-nominated and chosen by group consensus (reviewed every 12 months, with re-nomination and consensus process as necessary) to perform the administrative tasks of the coalition. Nominations shall be made in writing (email acceptable), stating the reasons for interest in the membership and qualifications (to include extent of membership in coalition and/or dedication to the issues) circulated among the members at least two weeks prior to the coalition-wide meeting where the consensus process will take place.  This role does not have decision-making power but is intended to see out the necessary administrative tasks. 
Responsibilities include:
Finding a location for coalition-wide meetings, scheduling and announcing meeting times and locations, as well as securing facilitators on a rotating basis for each meeting
Disseminating announcements and updates on a weekly basis
Managing the member database, listservs and the blog/website
Doing one-on-ones with new organizational partners and regularly checking in (every two weeks) with those organizations to get updates on projects, campaigns and events
Calling/scheduling/publicizing the quarterly meet-n-greets (see below)
Stay in the loop on committees’ activities in order to be able to connect new partners with committees based on shared work
Money handling (we only have about $20 right now, unofficially, so at the moment this isn’t in high demand)

2) (Substantive) Committee Structure – leave as is, but make sure that there are open lines of communication between each substantive committee and the steering committee

3) [Quarterly?] Roundtable Meet-n-Greets – this would be an event to occur either two, three or four times a year to bring together all the partner organizations and community members that don’t have the time or resources to be present at most coalition meetings. Mingle, network, make friends – whatever you call it, these events would serve to reunify and reenergize the community. I imagine this as a potluck. We would have a go around where each organization (and individual, if they like) gets an opportunity to speak on their current campaigns, projects, events, etc. After that, there would be time for mingling so that people can connect with others who are working on similar projects, or just to network or make friends!  (we could take a survey to determine how often these should occur)


90% consensus based decision-making on contentious issues at coalition-wide meetings; St. Paul Principles (support a diversity of tactics)

We need someone to put flesh on the consensus proposal because I don't know enough about it to be able to write anything comprehensive!

The St. Paul Principles came out of the resistance to the 2008 RNC, and are as follows:
1. Our solidarity will be based on respect for a diversity of tactics and the plans of other groups.
2. The actions and tactics used will be organized to maintain a separation of time or space.
3. Any debates or criticisms will stay internal to the movement, avoiding any public or media denunciations of fellow activists and events.
4. We oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption and violence. We agree not to assist law enforcement actions against activists and others.


Top choice at the meeting so far: Communities United Against Mass Incarceration (CUAMI)

New idea: Communities RISE - Reversing Incarceration, Sustaining Equity

Other choices:
Coalition to End Mass Incarceration
Movement to End Mass Incarceration
Mass Incarceration Coalition

Word Cloud: transform, health collaborating, partnership, justice, creating alternatives, equity, alliances, systems change, praxis, fairness, community, systemic, not just incarceration, culture, impacts of incarceration, reality, evidence based approach, antidote, harness energy

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