General Assembly Process

(Note: this document is partial, but will be continually updated.)


“Stack” is the list of those who want to speak. To get “on stack” raise your hand so the “stacker” can see you. We use ‘progressive’ stack. It means we give people whose voices have been more likely silenced or ignored in our society an earlier place in line. Someone who appears to a stacker to be a white, able-bodied man, may not be called on first, or second, or third. All others get ahead in the stack. Also someone speaking for a first time in an assembly may get to speak before someone who wants a second turn. Making a progressive stack is subject to a stacker’s limited judgment. It relies on guessing your color or sex. We make mistakes. We rotate stackers so we rotate our limitations.

A stack is “closed” when the process mover together with the time keeper determines the discussion is going long enough. This is determined by reading the assemblies signs, taking temperature checks, taking straw vote checks, or going by a pre-announced amount of time for a discussion. Usually the mood of the assembly rather than a pre set amount of time determines the limits of the time allocated if the facilitators determine there is a compelling read of the feelings of the assembly. As a notice to the assembly, an announcement can be made that “The stack will be closing after the last set of people recognized by the stacker (through eye contact) has had a turn to speak.”