Above Board: What Does the Democratic Process at UUCA Look Like?

By Joetta Prost, UUCA Board Member

In last month’s Above Board column, the Bylaws Committee reminded the congregation that our May 23 congregational meeting is quickly approaching. The Board is considering ways to help foster the inclusion of as many members’ voices as possible in congregational decision-making. One tool that the Board is considering is absentee voting. Before deciding on the pros and cons of absentee voting, the Board did some brainstorming related to our fifth Unitarian Universalist principle (“the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large”). We discussed the question, “What does democratic process at UUCA look like?”

We agreed as a Board that democracy has its roots in involvement. UUCA’s democratic process is enriched when congregants attend meetings and participate in the important decision-making of the congregation. Members must have an opportunity to be heard and should be appropriately candid and involved in dialogue about issues that matter. Involvement in the democratic process within our congregation also means really listening to each other. We value inclusiveness and hope our opportunities for democratic process are as inclusive as possible.
Efficiency and effectiveness in conducting the business of the congregation help foster the democratic process within UUCA. Finding the best ways to solicit and incorporate input from members, and utilizing congregational feedback to make congregational meetings meaningful are important goals for the Board.

This discussion at a Board meeting a few months ago served as the starting point for subsequent conversation about whether absentee ballot voting would be a tool to help achieve better democratic process at UUCA. As the Board continues to explore this question (and the details of how UUCA would “do” absentee ballot voting), we welcome your input. Please do plan to attend the May 23 meeting.