DawnD (dawnd) wrote in sfpoly,
DawnD
dawnd
sfpoly

About [kid- and family-friendly] poly events: An Open Letter

Dear poly friends, parents, kids, and others:

I have, over the past 12 months or so, especially, heard complaints
about the lack of accommodation for parents (or other specific groups)
at the East Bay Poly Potlucks. I also have received concerns about
the proposal to combine the potlucks with the discussion groups, and
concern over this issue is one of the points raised. I'd like to
clarify some things.

1) No policy decisions have been made with regard to the presence or
absence of children at the September potluck/discussion group. You are
all free to register your thoughts and concerns here (about the kid
issue, or any issue of concern to you). In fact, I'd prefer we
discuss it here on the EBPP yahoo group, because that's what this list
is for--to discuss.

2) The admin team has been struggling to provide locations for both
potlucks and discussion groups for some time now. Kid-friendly
locations have been particularly difficult to find. It's not that we
haven't looked, but locations that meet all of our criteria (e.g.,
close to public transit, kid-friendly, reasonably accessible for those
of limited mobility, etc) have been very hard to find. Sometimes we
sacrifice one or more of our criteria, in order to meet most of them.
We're not happy about it, but this is what has been necessary to
continue to provide the service at all.

3) Attendance has been declining, for various reasons, not the least
of which is that the admin team doesn't have the time and focus to
post things in a variety of locations early enough. We are
investigating various options to reduce the burden on the admins and
hosts. That means things might change. Change is always difficult
for people. Volunteers are welcome.

4) The admin team is not compensated for their time, nor the hosts for
providing their spaces. We are all doing this as an act of service. At
times (like right now, for me), this volunteer position takes away
time that we need to be doing things that would better serve our own
needs. It's a choice I'm making right now, but I wanted it clear that
none of us--the hosts, the facilitators, and the other admins--have
been paid to do this job. It is a gift of our time and energy, as well
as our physical resources. I'm starting to wonder if this is a
mistake, on the order of "people only value what they pay for." I'll
be adding this to the list of things to contemplate as we consider
where to go from here.

5) These are not "public" events. They are private events, and
therefore, there is no legal requirement for anyone to make them
"fair for all." We do our best, but it's not a Constitutional issue.
Really.

6) There are other kid-friendly spaces available for poly people with
kids. Check them out!

In particular, Dave D. is hosting an actively kid-friendly event next
Saturday the 20th
(see his posting here and elsewhere, or I'll send it
to you if you somehow missed it).

Also, my own poly pool parties ( http://bit.ly/oVjQra ) do make
accommodations for bringing children in the earlier part of the day
and evening, although we do request that anyone under 18 be off the
premises after dark. Nevertheless, especially at this time of the year
that means there are at least 2 to 3 hours in which parents with
children can be hanging out near or in our pool, in the presence of
other poly people.

Gypsy's Poly Conscious in the City events are at a location with FREE
childcare provided at the LGBT Center in San Francisco, the last
Thursday of every month (changed during holidays).
http://www.meetup.com/polyconscious-in-the-city .

Gene Dratva started a yahoo group for poly parents, though it doesn't
seem to have any real action yet. It exists, though, and would be a
perfect place to plan other, kid-friendly poly events, as well as to
network with other poly folk around issues like kid-sitting etc. I
just joined myself, and I'm going to encourage some other poly and
poly-friendly parents I know to join and post some kid-friendly events
I know are already happening in the East Bay.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SFBayPolyParents

7) Speaking of which, if you don't like the offerings that you see
here for some reason, please feel free to create something of your
own! At various times we've had people who've run craft nights, movie
series, hiking groups, kid events.... whatever you want to do, if you
create it and invite people, you'll probably find some interest. My
only warning is that it sometimes take 3-6 months to get a new group
off the ground, so don't give up too soon!

8) Lastly, as Oberon Zell says, "If you don't want it, you can't have
any!" Don't like our events for some reason? There's probably someone
else out there doing something you'll like better. Please don't just
complain about what WE'RE doing--Go find something that actually meets
your needs! I just checked, and there are 11 meetup groups in the SF
Bay Area that are about or mention polyamory. That's just meetup!
There's lots out there, if you look. You can start with Pepper's
google calendar: http://www.pepperminty.com/sfbay-poly-calendar.html.
Gypsy also has a conglomerate calendar on meetup:
http://www.meetup.com/Bay-Area-Poly-Collective/

Thanks for listening, folks.

Dawn
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
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“I would sooner go to hell for love than heaven for hate” - Judy
Dixon, Vancouver

I affirm that all is proceeding as it should, unfolding right now in
the perfect way. I send my love and gratitude out into the world, and
I affirm that all is well, and will be well, where Love prevails. So
mote it be.
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