PRINCIPLES AND VALUES
At CCA, we intentionally ground our values, methods and objectives in key principles. Values are those shared ideals which broadly guide our behavior and other choices. Methods are the means by which we will achieve our specific objectives. By joining CCA we commit ourselves to this framework and do the work to live it out in our relationships.
Following is a summary of these fundamental principles, values, methods, and objectives.
Our Fundamental Principles
Our core values guide our actions. And our values are guided by these fundamental principles.
Equity – Equity is the absence of avoidable or remediable differences in power, dignity, and decent standard of living among groups of people, whether those groups are defined socially, economically, demographically, or geographically.
Equality of Voice – By virtue of equality in dignity and rights, there is an implied right to equal participation in the social life of the community on the basis of equality of voice. This is relevant in many dimensions, from equal opportunity to speak in meetings to removing the dominance of spending by commercial enterprises in the political arena. Transparency and representation are very important related aspects of equality of voice.
Freedom – in its fullest sense, this includes freedom from undue coercion by government or society, yet also – for every person - the freedom to lead a fulfilling and economically secure life. True freedom is constrained: one person’s freedom cannot impinge on any other person’s ability to experience a similar freedom.
Grassroots Democracy and Empowerment – Real democratic processes shift as much decision-making authority as practical to the broadest geographic and social dimensions. Decision making authority is primarily vested in the members of the community rather than leaders, and methods which make this manifest are prioritized.
Cooperation and Interdependence – a recognition that we are not entirely separate, particularly as these ideas relate to city affairs, an overall humanitarian vision, and the importance of shared social and economic knowledge and experience.
The Common Good – broadly, a commitment in government and society to placing public needs and the concerns of the least well-off above narrow self-interest or the demands of the privileged. In Concord this means giving policy priority to the vital needs of working families and the most vulnerable, but most especially those conditions which are necessary to fulfill one’s human potential equitably.
Social Justice – the proper arrangement of law, society, civic affairs and the economy to ensure that all people have the formal and informal capacity to shape their own lives and realize their dreams.
Our Shared Values
At CCA, we recognize that principles must inform our social norms, which are "shared values.” Following are explicit statements of those things which we prioritize in all of our relationships and engagement with each other and the public.
Mutual Respect – A commitment to mutual respect, expressed in the use of careful listening and strict avoidance of personal attacks and disparagement. We do not demonize others, we seek to understand and appreciate their needs and situations. We are open, honest and transparent with one another.
Dialogue – We give priority to learning by discussion rather than winning by debate.
Consensus – We seek the place of general agreement; we only vote when necessary.
Placing People First – We emphasize the people in broadest possible terms: the vital needs of the most vulnerable from a policy standpoint; decision making authority vested in residents, not commercial interests; people come before profits; inclusivity and empowerment.
Strictly Grassroots Funding of Politics – We engage the electorate with principles and ideas; we do not attempt to manipulate voters with money. We require full transparency in politics: no commercial contributions to campaigns (either directly or indirectly) nor independent expenditures, both of which expressly conflict with the priority of empowering the informed voice of voters.
Moral priority of principles and values – Our shared values, principles, and mutually established objectives take precedence over ideological commitments and labels, especially political ones.
Taking Personal Responsibility – We each will act and contribute to the best of our abilities; we will acknowledge our biases and relative privilege, if it exists; and we will not blame others for our disappointments.
This framework of principles and values is central to who we are as residents of Concord and members of the Concord Communities Alliance. We don’t seek to impose these values on anyone, but joining CCA is a voluntary commitment to living this shared framework.