Meeting Guidelines and Protocols

This information is compiled for ease of use during meetings.

Mission Statement

The mission of the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration Committee is to educate the world, commemorate our heritage, celebrate our culture, and liberate our people.

Financial Protocol

No expenditure can be incurred without going through the Executive Director in advance. This includes reimbursement of expenses outside of the set guidelines. If you expect to have an expenditure, prior approval must be sought from the Executive Director as soon as possible. Procedures exist and checks, and balances are in place to ensure that all expenditures go through a proper approval process with the Board. All expenditures are accounted for during the annual budgeting and audit process.

Public Comment

The public comment portion of the meeting is an opportunity for those with no say in the formulation of the agenda (i.e., those who are not members) to speak during the meeting. Public comment is offered in a spirit of open communication and the organization being receptive to new ideas and constructive suggestions. The Chair of the meeting may adopt a flexible approach in allowing public comment but will not tolerate personal attacks and/or indecorous behavior.

Land Acknowledgement Statement (as of January 28, 2021)

We at San Francisco Pride acknowledge that we are meeting on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone peoples, the original inhabitants of the San Francisco Peninsula.

Meeting Behavior Policy

This is Policy B.08.

  1. Authority/Scope
    1. This policy is in all respects subordinate to the articles of incorporation, by laws and standing rules of the corporation.
    2. This policy should be read in conjunction with the rules of order which govern the meeting in question, e.g. consensus model/Robert’s Rules of Order (decorum sections etc), and the Corporation’s other policies from time to time in force, such as the Code of Conduct.
    3. This policy shall apply to anyone and everyone who attends meetings of the Corporation.
  2. General
    1. This policy is designed to give guidance to those attending meetings of the Corporation as to what standards of behavior are required and what is unacceptable.
  3. Disruptive Persons
    1. In order to conduct its business in a mature and respectful manner it is essential that those attending meetings of the Corporation adhere to the process and do not engage in disruption of the meeting.
    2. Disruption is, for the purposes of this policy, defined as behavior which does not show respect for:
      1. The process
      2. The Chair
      3. Anyone present
      4. Any member, director, staff ,or volunteer of the Corporation
    3. If a person or group of persons disrupt a meeting and ignores two warnings given them by the Chair at that meeting, they will be removed by the sergeant-at-arms for the purpose of being given an opportunity to calm down. Such person or persons may rejoin the meeting later, but if they continue to be disruptive, then upon being given a third warning by the Chair, they will be removed by the sergeant-at-arms from the meeting, not allowed to rejoin the meeting and have their membership of the Corporation (in the event that they are members) suspended, pending a hearing by the Community Affairs Committee and possible expulsion as a member.
    4. Anyone present at any meeting shall have the power to call for a three second silence to help calm a tense situation.
  4. Sergeant-at-Arms
    1. Every meeting shall have a Sergeant-at-Arms who shall be appointed at that meeting and in default shall be the Vice-President of the organization.

Approved by the Board Feb 01, 2000.

Procedures for the formulation of the Agenda of Membership Meetings:

This is Standing Rule #8.

  1. Every meeting of the membership shall have a written agenda.
  2. The agenda shall consist of:
    1. Standing Items
    2. Old Business
    3. New Business
  3. Standing Items shall be items which either the general membership and/or board resolves at a prior meeting be placed upon the agenda at subsequent meetings.
  4. Old Business shall be items of business from previous meetings which shall not have been concluded and shall be added to the agenda by the board President.
  5. New Business items shall be items not being either standing items or old business which it shall be in the purview of the membership to discuss. New business items shall be added to the agenda by the board President, the board or by any three general members.
  6. Items of new business may be added to the agenda if communicated to the board President in writing fourteen days prior to the published date of the meeting. Communication may be in the form of a letter and where an addition is being proposed by three general members each must sign a letter requesting such addition.
  7. No item(s) shall be added to the Agenda at the meeting.

Consensus Model For Decision Making

When it appears that the group is nearing consensus or when a voting member has asked that the group move to consensus, the facilitator shall ask:

  1. Is there any further discussion?
  2. Are there any objections? (Does anyone wish to stand aside?)
  3. Do we have consensus?

A voting member may only block consensus if s/he has an alternative suggestion. If the alternative also does not produce consensus, another motion must be presented or the issue must be dropped/tabled. If an individual cannot support the consensus statement but does not wish to block consensus s/he may stand aside. The objections shall be noted in the minutes.

Friendly amendments can be offered (if appropriate), though the person who initiated the motion is not obligated to accept them.

If a tabled issue is still at an impasse at the following meeting, a voting member must make a motion on which the group will vote. The motion requires a simple majority to pass (unless otherwise noted in the bylaws). If an issue is at an impasse and is time-sensitive (i.e., it cannot be tabled to a future meeting), a voting member must make a motion on which the group will vote. The motion requires a simple majority to pass (unless otherwise noted in the bylaws).

The consensus model shall use the following ground rules:

  1. Participants should not speak out of turn. The facilitator will recognize hands in the order in which they were raised. Those who have not spoken on an issue will be given the option to do so before anyone speaks a second time.
  2. Comments should be brief, respectful, and relevant to the topic being discussed. Participants should avoid repetition and focus on closure.
  3. The facilitator shall put time limits on the discussion and choose a timekeeper. The time for discussion can be extended by group consensus.
  4. Participants should accept decisions with which they can live to avoid debating minutia.
  5. When appropriate, the facilitator may call a break in the meeting to allow the person blocking consensus and the person initiating the motion to try to work out an alternative together.
  6. Everyone is equal.
  7. Derogatory personal comments are inappropriate.
  8. In groups of 20 or more, the decision-making process uses a modified form of consensus. An individual who blocks consensus must still offer an alternative. One alternative may be a suggestion to use Robert’s Rules of Order to resolve the issue under consideration. If the group (less the block) rejects the alternative, the group may then resolve to override the block for a “modified consensus minus one.” If two individuals block consensus, the standard form of consensus shall be used.

It is a good idea for someone to read these rules aloud at the beginning of a meeting, especially when new people are present. All Board members should receive training in these rules at the Board retreat.