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Code of Conduct

This is a living document and as such, it can and will be adjusted by Civic Data Alliance's CoC committee.

Civic Data Alliance's Code of Conduct

The Civic Data Alliance community expects that all of our network activities, events, and digital forums:

  • Are a safe and respectful environment for all participants.
  • Are a place where people are free to fully express their identities.
  • Presume the value of others. Everyone’s ideas, skills, and contributions have value.
  • Don’t assume everyone has the same context, and encourage questions.
  • Find a way for people to be productive with their skills (technical and not) and energy.
  • Use language such as “yes/and”, not “no/but.”
  • Encourage members and participants to listen as much as they speak.
  • Strive to build tools that are open and free technology for public use. Activities that aim to foster public use, not private gain, are prioritized.
  • Prioritize access for and input from those who are traditionally excluded from the civic process.
  • Work to ensure that the community is well-represented in the planning, design, and implementation of civic tech. This includes encouraging participation from women, minorities, and traditionally marginalized groups.
  • Actively involve community groups and those with subject matter expertise in the decision-making process.
  • Provide an environment where people are free from discrimination or harassment.

Civic Data Alliance reserves the right to ask anyone in violation of these policies to refrain from participating in Civic Data Alliance network activities, events, and digital forums.

Civic Data Alliance's Anti-Harassment Policy

This anti-harassment policy is based on the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers.

This policy is based on several other policies, including the Feminist Group of Amsterdam, Ohio LinuxFest anti-harassment policy, written by Esther Filderman and Beth Lynn Eicher, and the Con Anti-Harassment Project. Mary Gardiner, Valerie Aurora, Sarah Smith, and Donna Benjamin generalized the policies and added supporting material. Many members of LinuxChix, Geek Feminism and other groups contributed to this work.

All Civic Data Alliance network activities, events, and digital forums and their staff, presenters, and participants are held to an anti-harassment policy, included below.

In addition to governing our own events by this policy, Civic Data Alliance will only lend our brand and fund groups that offer an anti-harassment policy to their attendees. For information on how to offer an anti-harassment policy to your group, see this guide.

Civic Data Alliance is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of staff, presenters, and participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any Civic Data Alliance event or network activity, including talks. Anyone in violation of these policies may expelled from Civic Data Alliance network activities, events, and digital forums, at the discretion of the event organizer or forum administrator.

Harassment includes but is not limited to: offensive verbal or written comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; unwelcome sexual attention; unwarranted exclusion; and patronizing language or action.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from Civic Data Alliance network activities, events, and digital forums.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the event staff or forum administrator immediately. You can contact them here. Event staff or forum administrators will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event.

If you cannot reach an event organizer or forum administrator and/or it is an emergency, please call 911 and/or remove yourself from the situation.

We value your attendance and hope that by communicating these expectations widely we can all enjoy a harassment-free environment.

Email Template for Anti-Harassment Reporting

SUBJECT: Safe Space alert at Civic Data Alliance

I am writing because of harassment at a CDA Communities event, (NAME, PLACE, DATE OF EVENT or Slack).

You can reach me at (CONTACT INFO). Thank you.

In addition, CDA observes and enforces the following:

We recognise that everyone makes mistakes. We are forgiving, but not lenient. Repeated violations of these rules will results in any actions deemed appropriate by moderators, including warning the offender and removal from the community.

  1. WE ARE INCLUSIVE: Do not engage in racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, sexist, ageist, or otherwise exclusionary behavior, including, but not limited to, any and all forms of shaming, erasure, and victim blaming. Do not make exclusionary jokes, not even ironically.

  2. WE ARE INTERSECTIONAL: We expect you to be willing to examine your privilege, language and other habits while you are here, and work on a growing understanding of intersectional feminism. We aim to be a place of learning, but we also expect you to do a lot of the grunt work of understanding basic concepts yourself; use the resources made available to you, search the group for any previous discussions, and search the Internet.

  3. THIS IS A SAFE SPACE: We aim to be a safe space for all our members. We consider impact before intent, and prioritize the safety of marginalised people over the comfort of the privileged. This means that, especially as a white person, you might be called out on problematic behavior. Do not confuse the discomfort this brings with being ‘unsafe’. We expect you to get explicit, enthusiastic consent for any manner of physical contact, including sexual attention, and simulated physical contact in online conversations. Respect boundaries, including, but not limited to, the withdrawal of consent at any time.

  4. RESPECT PRIVACY: Communication within this space is considered private, and each member is free to decide how much, or how little, they want to share. Do not share photos, screenshots, conversations or other information shared within the group with people outside of our community without the explicit consent of all involved. Do not share personal information of other participants, such as (but not limited to) email, phone number, address, etc. If you have received permission in the past, ask again; circumstances may have changed, and information may no longer be valid.

  5. RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE’S CHOICES: Do not pressure people into doing or trying things they are not comfortable with. Do not mock or denigrate other people’s choices in sexual orientation, gender expression, relationships, employment, style & dress, religion, food & drink, entertainment, or other lifestyle choices. Your path is not theirs, and the options available to them may well be more limited than yours. Respect the agency of others, always, but especially if you disagree.

  6. NOT ALL OPINIONS ARE EQUAL: We give no quarter to harmful opinions, and will not entertain anyone ‘debating’ their merits. This includes ‘reverse’ anything, whether it’s racism, sexism, or any other axis, as well as white supremacy, white feminism, exclusionary radical feminism of any kind, anti-semitism, any kind of apologism, and the use of ableist language. We respect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own body. We celebrate the full spectrum of gender expression, sexual orientation, and attraction.

  7. ANGER IS VALID, AGGRESSION IS NOT: The expression of justified anger will not to be policed within this space. Tone policing and the expectation of politeness have long been used as tools for oppression, as reasons for dismissal of valid arguments, and we will not be complicit in propagating that behavior. There is no room for aggression, however; do not let your anger tempt you into violating the rules of this space.

  8. BE EMPATHETIC: We are all learning to be more compassionate, empathetic beings. When someone brings your attention to problematic behavior, thank them, and apologize. Ask permission to ask for clarification or suggestions for how to do better in the future. Do not debate or argue; even if you disagree.

  9. MODERATORS: To make sure that the spaces we provide for discussion, whether it’s the Facebook group or an event like a discussion night or film screening, remain safe, we have moderators who will monitor discussions, and intervene if they get out of hand. They have the ability to lock comments on a post, remove a post completely, or remove someone from the group if they are violation of this code of conduct, if that someone is not responsive to warnings. These moderators are volunteers, and, in most cases, will participate like everyone else. If they intervene, however, they assume the greater responsibility that comes with their greater powers, and their word will be law. You are expected to comply, even if you disagree. If you consider a particular intervention to be in violation of these rules, see #11 and #12.

  10. GROUNDS FOR IMMEDIATE REMOVAL: We do not condone threats, violence, hate speech, harrassment, or any other actions that are deemed by moderators to have caused significant harm or distress to members of this group. Such actions are grounds for immediate removal.

  11. REPORTING VIOLATIONS: If someone violates these rules, report them as soon as possible to one of the responsible moderators. For the Facebook group, this is best done by reporting the post via its ‘report to admin’ feature. It you are on Twitter, this is best accomplished by sending a DM to CDA's Twitter account. If you are attending an event, contact one of the organisers.

  12. HANDLING ADMIN AND MODERATOR MISCONDUCT: CDA is run by volunteers, people who make mistakes just like anyone else, and none of us are above reproach. Please report any violations of these rules by admins or moderator to a different admin or moderator.

💖 This document is based on the Geek Feminism wiki 💖