Over the last several months, Sonoma County ACEs Connections (SCAC) has been struggling to develop organizational guidelines and committees. We have attempted to adopt them on several occasions but have not been able to agree on a plan. This has been especially frustrating for some of us, because back in November of 2015, SCAC voted to adopt a group of committees. For a variety of reasons however, folks keep wanting to reinvent that wheel. I am proposing one more attempt to discuss our purpose and organization, by going back to our origins.
In the early days of SCAC, the group was smaller. About eight to ten of us would meet at Mary’s Pizza Shack and talk about what we wanted to see develop in Sonoma County. We had a strong sense of what we wanted the group to be, and what we would do differently.
For example, we believed that the division of services in specialties like health, education, criminal justice, etc., only complicated our ability to recognize and address the root causes of trauma. It’s rare that a person could have a problem in one area that does not spill over into other part of their lives. So one of the things we wanted to do differently was not divide up into the usual groups, with all the healthcare people on the “Healthcare Committee” and all the educators on the “Education Committee.” At the very least, talk to different people! Unfortunately in our discussions, some folks have suggested forming exactly those committees.
We also recognized that people were passionate about adverse childhood experiences. The issues of toxic stress, trauma and resilience resonated deeply with what we have seen in our personal and professional lives. We wanted SCAC to be a source of continuing inspiration. However, our recent debates about bylaws just seem to suck all the energy out of the room. Continuing the debates on bylaws over several meetings just made folks wonder if this was really where they wanted to invest their time.
So I invite you to come to our meeting on January 25th, as we discuss the historical vision and proposed direction of SCAC. I’m hoping you will hear a vision that you can believe in. Hopefully, we can then move forward, making Sonoma County ACEs Connection the organization we all want it to be.
If interested, I have attached some previously produced documents that discussed our approach and structure.