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CHMA Updates: July 11, 2020

Welcome to the CHMA Newsletter!

With so much happening around CHMA, this newsletter gives a few updates from our working groups about what's been going on, what's coming up, and how you can get involved.

If you're receiving this newsletter because you have made a pledge to CHMA, thank you! You are helping make it possible for CHMA to keep on doing what we do. If you have recently joined CHMA, welcome! We hope you can get involved in a way you enjoy. That's one of the things that puts the 'mutual' in 'mutual aid'!

Browse through our Slack channels to find what interests you, and you can get plugged in through
THIS WORKING GROUPS DOCUMENT. If you don't find what you're looking for, feel free to get it started!

Update On The Phone Line Pause 

On June 21, CHMA paused our phone lines to work through the backlog of existing requests. We will re-open to new requests on July 19. While this was a difficult decision to make, the good news is that it's working! In the first two weeks of The Pause, we worked through almost half of our outstanding requests from neighbors in Crown Heights. By July 19, we should have our backlog cleared enough to respond to calls in a timely manner once again.

Call For Pledges 

Since we are moving so many requests during The Pause, our delivery numbers are up! We have delivered over $25,000 worth of food and other essential items to our neighbors over the past two weeks. We are glad to be working at this scale, but we are running low on funds to cover all of these deliveries. If you are in a position to make a pledge to CHMA, now is the time! You can use THIS HANDY FORM andeven bettercirculate it around your networks.

Updates From Our Working Groups

STRUCTURE AND GOVERNANCE is working on criteria for engaging politicians, and creating CHMA messaging for spokespeople. They have been producing All Hands meetings in which member from across CHMA can weigh in on central issues, and are working towards facilitating a CHMA-wide community call about long-term strategy.

COMMUNITY BUILDING is working through DISMANTLINGRACISM.ORG's racial equity principles as a group. In a number of firsts, they hosted the first CHMA socially-distanced happy hour behind the Brooklyn Museum, and their first internal phone banking party. They are continuing to hold weekly orientations for new CHMA members, and are in the early stages of refining this "welcome" process.

INTAKE has brought all hands on deck to work through as many requests as possible during The Pause. They have welcomed dozens of new volunteers, brought in fun 'intake banking parties' over Zoom, and they recently logged their biggest-ever workday, making over 100 calls! New volunteers are still always welcome and very much needed, so if you'd like to get involved, please SIGN UP HERE FOR TRAINING. Intake has also been coordinating with delivery volunteers to move through the backlog quickly, and last weekend got a whopping 24 deliveries out by bike in a single afternoon! Cluster deliveries by car are also a great way to get involved in CHMA, as Molly and Alex attest in the photo below (courtesy of Brooke S):

EDUCATION: The Education Working Group has begun its readings, something they encourage everyone inside and beyond CHMA to do! They started with the COMBAHEE RIVER COLLECTIVE STATEMENT, an ESSAY by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, and TWO PODCAST INTERVIEWS with Ruth Wilson Gilmore.

FINANCE's proposal for fiscal sponsorship was approved at the All-Hands meeting on June 27. They are now working to set up a four-week fundraising campaign with fiscal sponsor ioby, which will allow CHMA to expand its donor base. Fiscal sponsorship will not replace peer-to-peer payments, which will continue in Slack. Keep an eye out for the ioby page, coming soon!

COMMUNICATIONS has been supporting the phone line
pause by boosting calls for help with shopping, intake, deliveries, funding and more. They are currently working on a video about the intake process to be used for training in the future. They also have a new recruitment flyer that folks can print, post and share from home. You can find the
FLYER HEREshout out to Jake for the amazing design work! Comms was also excited to post CHMA's Mission and Guiding Principles on social media, with more amazing graphic design work by Kate M. Check these out on our TWITTER and INSTAGRAM, and feel free to repost!

ACCOUNTABILITY AND RECONCILIATION is working on a proposal for CHMA Accountability Principles, and developing a longer-term process for implementing a rotating accountability "task force." They have created a secure email address where CHMA members may direct accountability-related concerns:

TECH folks, as always, have been at the ready to fix any issues with CHMA's Slack bots. In particular, intake volunteers can now repost delivery requests after deleting the initial post, and the bot will remove a request's cross streets once it has been assigned for delivery, to protect neighbors' privacy. Shout out to John S for the work on both of these issues! Tech has also been working on a proposal for responsibly managing the data that CHMA stores. This includes deletion and an audit of how access to this data currently works.

HOUSING responded swiftly to support tenants of 1214 Dean Street facing illegal eviction by their landlord last week. Alongside members of Equality for Flatbush and Crown Heights Tenant Union, members of the Housing Working Group and others from CHMA have been defending tenants' rights by maintaining a physical presence on site, and began a CHUFFED FUNDRAISER for residents forced to find temporary accommodation elsewhere, raising over $5,000 in just one day. Photos below courtesy of Cat Z (top) and Scott H (bottom).

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Crown Heights Mutual Aid · Crown Heights · Brooklyn, NY 11213 · USA

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