HOWTO Be Member Advocate

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Current Advocates

Mel G and Matt H

When Should You Contact This Officer

Contact the Advocates any time you need help with your i3-related activities. Have questions and don’t know who to ask? Advocates. Is there some interpersonal friction? Advocates (the sooner the better, before it blows up into a major problem). Did some emergency happen and you don’t know who to tell or how to handle it? Advocates. Is it something kind of personal? Advocates (we’re sworn to secrecy).

We exist to smooth out everybody’s existence at i3. If we don’t have the answer we can point you in the right direction. If there’s a problem we can help you solve it and provide next steps. If there’s a big problem, we can bring in the big guns (the Board) if necessary.

If it’s something urgent and you need to contact us ASAP, you can get our (or any other members’) phone numbers from the CRM.


At the May 2015 Board Meeting, the Board voted to create a Member Advocate position.

When this position was created, i3Detroit had experienced a lot of growth, so not everyone knows everyone any more. We want i3Detroit to be a place where, if someone hassles you, steals from you, or walks all over you without consideration, they can't just vanish with impunity-- one more stranger in a crowd of strangers. Some conflicts can't be resolved unless the group itself takes action.

In a new social circle, sometimes it takes a while to know who you can go to. If you're new, and someone at this facility makes it clear they are not interested in respecting the boundaries you set, you should know exactly who to ask for help.

In order to keep our social circle vibrant, and retain people from a variety of walks of life, there are some situations where this organization can't just leave our members to fend for themselves. We must have their back regardless of who mistreated them-- a Board Member, an officer, warden, or cofounder; a very popular person; or a respected master builder.

It is the responsibility of the Member Advocate to remind the membership on a regular basis of our commitment to act against mistreatment.

Ways to do a good job as a Member Advocate include:

- Be aware of what is in our code of conduct.

- Either support our code of conduct, or campaign to change it.

- Never say "well, I just don't want to support our code of conduct."

- Handle private information with discretion on a need-to-know basis.

- Report to the Board and pursue the matter until it is resolved, keeping it consistently moving toward resolution.

- Provide a definite outcome one way or another, to each party who has a stake in the conflict.

- Take personal accountability when one or more parties to the conflict are not happy with the outcome.

- Maintain some means of reasonable notice to our members and guests, to let them know who they can go to for help.

- Maintain high personal availability.

- Email regularly-recurring Member Advocate reminders to the group, in which you provide several methods to contact you, and link to your photo on this wiki so members can recognize you and approach you in person.

- When a Vice-President will miss a Board/Member meeting, best practice is to inform the Board email list. That way, the group knows to not delay the meeting waiting for everyone to arrive. It is not necessary to provide an excuse. It is also considerate, before taking a break from the work you are doing together with your colleagues, to briefly inform them, so they know to move forward without holding up deliberations.

How to add one

Give access to

  • advocate shared drive
  • board+advocate shared drive
  • advocate mailing list
  • advocate forms account
  • &board-and-advocate slack channel
  • Advocate slack channel, get added by previous advocate
  • advocate box


The position was proposed by Matt Arnold at the May 2015 Board Meeting, and passed by unanimous vote. This was not recorded properly, as can be seen in the history tab of Minutes:Board_Meeting_Minutes_20150512 -- the last edit on the day of the meeting was made at 6:44pm, before the meeting would have started.