Portland Raging Grannies Membership Guidelines

Revised – 04/01/16

 Membership Criteria and Dues

  • The Portland Raging Grannies is part of the International Raging Grannies. As such, we are an all woman-identified group and we are all over the age of 50.
    • When we initially formed, we had honorary male Grannies; however, we no longer accept male members. If you were assigned male at birth but identify as a woman, we welcome you.
  • You do not have to be a grandmother to be a member.
  • You do not have to have singing experience or even have a good singing voice to be a member.
  • Dues are $3/ month or $35 per year and should be paid to the treasurer. Dues are collected once a year in July. You can join at any time of the year and pay pro-rated dues.  Scholarships are available if paying dues represents a financial hardship. If you can rage, we want you with us!
  • Dues are used for items such as (but not limited to) contributions to organizations we support, posters and banners, business cards, buttons, website fee, props, instruments eg. pitch pipes, parade entry fees, etc.

Meetings and Attendance

  • A new member should attend at least two meetings before participating in a performance (gig).
  • One Granny will mentor each new member at their first performance.
  • Each Granny is expected to attend at least three meetings and participate  (in a performance or support role) in at least one activism annually. Like dues, this requirement begins in July. You can join at any time of the year, and this requirement will be prorated.  If a Granny cannot fulfill this requirement but still wants to be a Portland Raging Granny, an alternative proposal can be presented to the Advisory Committee for determination on a case by case basis.
  • Members who, for whatever reason, are not able to meet attendance requirements but wish to remain a member of the Portland Raging Grannies can do so by going on inactive status. Grannies on inactive status remain on the mailing list. They are not required to pay dues but are welcome to make donations. Inactive members do not participate in the consensus decision-making process. To go on the inactive list, a member should inform the Grandgranny. A member can come off the inactive list by attending a meeting and informing the Grandgranny of her change in status. She should also pay dues, prorated based on the time of her return to active status. Inactive Grannies will be kept on the mailing list for one year. After a year, they will be asked whether they wish to remain a part of the group. They will be removed from the list at their request or if no response is received.
  • Meetings will be from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm on the second Saturday of each month with the exception of three months per year. Three months, (currently scheduled for April, August, and December) we will meet on the 2nd Sunday of the month from 2:00 until 5:00. We will have Education, Singing and Social Gatherings or more intensive Retreats roughly every two months or at other times and dates to be determined. Additional Rehearsals will be scheduled when needed.
  • We alternate meeting locations between the east and west side of Portland

Decision-making

  • The Portland Raging Grannies operate by consensus using a straw poll system (explained in detail in this document). Major decisions are discussed at meetings. In addition, a Doodle or email will be sent to all members on the mailing list before a consensus vote is taken.  The Advisory Group will decide which decisions will be sent to members via the mailing list. Any Granny can request this process for a particular decision. Other decisions will be decided by consensus of those present at the meeting, and the decision will be entered into the meeting minutes.
  • If the group decides not to support a particular cause or action, individual members may support the cause on their own, but they should not do so as a representative of the Portland Raging Grannies.
  • If an individual is uncomfortable supporting an action at which we are performing, she can opt out of that event. It will not affect her standing as a member.
  • If a disagreement arises among the members that we are unable to resolve in a healthy and satisfactory manner, a facilitator may be brought in to support communications and problem solving.

Song writing

  • If we do not already have an appropriate song, a call will be put out before the performance to write/select songs for that performance.
  • As necessary, prior to the performance, the song writing committee convenes to write/select song writing committee meeting. Members who write songs are encouraged to attend the song writing committee meeting. Any member may attend the song committee meeting. Or submit a song she has written.
  • The song committee may change submitted songs or may choose not to use it at all.
  • If your song is selected, your name will be stated as the writer.
  • If a change is made to your song that you find unacceptable, you can withdraw your song.
  • Once the committee selects songs, they will be sent to the members prior to rehearsal.
  • Members are responsible for making their own copies.
  • Once the committee has selected and approved the songs, changes to the songs will be minimal.

Three Tiers of Events

Decisions to participate in an action will be approved by the entire gaggle before committing to it.  However, if a decision is needed prior tot the next meeting, will it may be approved solely by the Advisory Group.

  • Planned Events (Performances): Must have advisory group approval and a minimum one week notice from the Doodle announcement. These are the events with a point person, and include full granny regalia and song rehearsal beforehand.
  • T-Shirt Brigade: When something comes up needing a quick response, and/or it is inappropriate to sing for some reason we will show up with signs, buttons and/or t-shirts, but not in full regalia, to provide granny support. These events must be submitted to the Advisory Group for approval.
  • FYI: These are events that do not require advisory group approval and grannies may put out an FYI e-mail for others to come, but not identify as grannies. If uncertain, consult the AG.

Note: It is fine to wear your buttons and t-shirts out and about, but not at political events. This is to avoid inadvertently associating our group with an event we do not have a consensus about supporting.

Performances

  • Performances are arranged through outreach by our members and also by being contacted by organizations.
  • If you know of an event that might be interested in Grannie power, contact the coordinator.  The coordinator may ask you to act as point person for the event.
  • If an opportunity for a performance/political action arises before one of the monthly meetings, members can perform as small delegations or as a guerilla performance.
    • Before doing so, those planning to participate should check with all members to ensure that we have all the facts about the cause and that there are no objections.
  • The Portland Raging Grannies does not charge for appearances. If an organization wishes to provide an honorarium, the monies will be turned back to the cause.  If Grannies are presented with gift cards as a token of thanks, they may graciously accept the gift.
  • Members should wear a Raging Grannies outfit for performances.
    • Colorful and eccentric hats are a Raging Grannies hallmark, and we ask that if you have only one piece of Granny gear that it be a hat. Aprons, smocks, long skirts, etc. can be pulled together to complete the look.
    • The goal is to play with the stereotypical “granny look.” Take a look at our website to get an idea for outfit ideas.
  • For each performance (as deemed necessary) there will be a point person/contact, a media contact and a “marshal” who will politely monitor the environment to assure that no non-member attempts to represent themselves as a Raging Granny.

Coordinators (Grandgrannies)

  • Grannie meetings, rehearsals, and performances are facilitated by a member(s) who takes on the role of coordinator.
  • Ideally, there are two co-coordinators: a senior coordinator who has served six months under the tutelage of the previous senior coordinator, and a junior coordinator. The two coordinators may opt to serve jointly for their entire term.
  • Alternatively there may be only one coordinator for a term of 6 months to one year.
  • The co-coordinators are responsible for
    • organizing meetings/rehearsals and song writing committee meetings.
    • sending informational emails to all members
    • organizing members for performances. The coordinator may ask members to act as “point person” for different performances.
    • maintaining and distributing minutes from meetings.
    • reporting on gigs
  • Expenditures should be discussed with the membership and voted on before taking action; however, there may be times that the co-coordinators will have to make a purchase before bringing the expense to a vote. When this happens, the co-coordinators will report on the expenditure at the next meeting.

Advisory Group (Beginning in November 2015)

  • This Advisory Group (AG) is comprised of past coordinators, the treasurer and key Grannies who act as representatives for the Portland Raging Grannies on various coalitions in which we are members.
  • The AG is advisory to the coordinators and is empowered to make certain decisions which are time critical, prior to the monthly membership meeting. The AG also assists the coordinators with complex or sensitive decisions for which extra input is desirable.

Other Roles

  • Treasurer: Handles the monies for the membership and reports on the financial health of the group at every meeting.
    • Dues should be paid to the treasurer.
  • Recorder: There is no official secretary.  Members are expected to take a turn recording monthly meeting minutes
  • Historian:  Keeps a running record of performances, songs performed, and who performed.
  • Membership: Keeps track of our membership roster, which includes names, contact information, and addresses.
  • Webmaster: Handles web page design and content and manages social media (Facebook and Twitter).
    • The webmaster receives emails sent through the website and forwards them as needed to the co-coordinators.
    • Pictures and videos taken by members should be sent to the webmaster for inclusion on the website and Facebook page.
  • Point Person: An ad hoc position created on an as needed basis for performances.  The point person acts as liaison between the Grannies and the event organizer or perform other duties as requested by the coordinator

Communications

  • Emails will be kept to a minimum by sending individual pieces of information to the coordinator who will gather all relevant information to be shared.
  • One email will then be sent to all members.
  • Members should use REPLY (rather than REPLY ALL) to respond to emails to minimize the number of emails.
  • The Portland Raging Grannies maintains a website http://portlandraginggrannies.com
  • Anyone interested obtaining information about the Grannies (either to join or to have us appear at an event) can be directed to the website for information and to contact us.
  • We also use social media such as Facebook for broadcasting information about our actions.

Progressive Stacking

While at the 2016 International Raging Grannies Unconvention in Seattle, WA, we learned about ways to support the efforts of People of Color.  One approach we learned and saw demonstrated was the practice of “Progressive Stacking.”

The progressive stack is used to make sure that the voices of people from historically marginalized groups are heard. This is done to counteract the enactment of White privilege in which White men and women often feel more able to speak out and historically marginalized people are silenced or ignored.  In a meeting, typically speakers are ordered according to “first hand up.” This approach privileges people who are accustomed to speaking and who do so without questioning that privilege.  In progressive stacking, the line-up for speaking is ordered according to (1) Race, (2) Heteronormativity, (3) Sexuality (4) Gender, (5) Ability, and (6) Class.  Progressive stacking asks those from a historically privileged position (i.e. White,,cis, straight, male, able-bodied, middle-class) to acknowledge their privilege and to “step back” from speaking.

When working with organizations dedicated to peace, social justice, human rights, and environmental protection, we strive to be allies and to use our privilege in service of those who have been historically marginalized. One way we can do so is through acknowledging our privilege and stepping back and following progressive stacking.