Violence Prevention Coalition of Bedford

Membership Roster

Program Review

Block Party Guide

Guidelines for Civil Discourse

Operating Principles

             The Violence Prevention Coalition (VPC), created in May 1997 is a coalition composed of both members of the community (parents and residents) and providers of social services, law enforcement, businesses, spiritual leaders, school representatives, and many other interested or concerned parties.

The mission of the Violence Prevention Coalition was adopted on or about October 1997:

We believe that all forms of violence are unacceptable and that community life requires nonviolent resolution of conflict.

To further its mission the VPC established the goal of being proactive in stemming the tide of violence through education, resource identification, referral networking, and direct assistance, where appropriate, and in general creating an atmosphere for peaceful resolution of conflict.

 To ensure a consistent group effort, we have voted to adopt the following operating principles:

1. Violence Prevention Coalition (VPC) functions in harmony with the by-laws or organizing principles of our parent coalitions; however, we do not have an executive committee or elected officers.  To ensure stability and a sense of history, a steering committee comprised primarily of representatives from the founding organizations will have authority over decisions delegated by the VPC.

Steering committee will have two year staggered terms.

2.The method of decision making is consensus of those present at each meeting, and consistent participation is encouraged.  This ensures that the opinion of everyone is heard and discussed and taken into account.  Should consensus not be achieved, we propose the modified consensus format called Martha’s Rules of Order:

  • Yes, I’m for it.
  • No, I’m against it.
  • I abstain.  I’ll sit out and let others decide.
  • I object!  I cannot live with this decision.

Majority rules in all votes except the latter where group members work to address the objection of the group member(s) and retool the decision.

3. Violence Prevention Coalition asks that the vendors providing or contracting services to the community meet program goals, provide progress reports on the project, and participate as a member of the team.  VPC encourages vendors to recruit Team members from program participants.

4. Should funding become available, decisions on funding requests will follow an outlined schedule.  In the event of a “crisis” for funding, it will be necessary for the agency requesting emergency monies to leave this request entered into the agenda for the next scheduled meeting.  Representatives of organizations or individuals who request funding are expected to exempt themselves from voting on their own funding proposals.

5. Members of the Violence Prevention Coalition work as a team; therefore, all decisions, including grant applications, additional funding or spending, media representation, or representation at other events need approval of the group.

6. Violence Prevention Coalition supports the concept of collaboration and partnerships and encourages all parties to work in concert.

7. Violence Prevention Coalition is responsible to other organizations as its funding sources and to the targeted community to ensure that activities or events are accessible, user-friendly, inclusive, safe and reflect a healthy community.  Therefore, events sponsored by VPC must be alcohol and drug free, follow separation of church and state guidelines, and support community improvement and involvement.

8. Facilitation of the meeting will rotate with the clerk of each meeting assuming responsibility for minutes of that meeting and notification and facilitation of the next meeting.  Meetings will be held monthly, the first Tuesday of the month, at 7:30 a.m. in the First Church of Christ Congregational, 25 The Great Road, Bedford.

If schools are closed or delayed due to inclement weather on the day of a regularly scheduled meeting, the VPC meeting will be postponed to the following week, same day of the week, same time, and same location.  If schools are closed or delayed due to inclement weather on the day of the rescheduled meeting, the meeting will be postponed until the following month.

Operating Principles adopted by VPC December 1, 1998, with understanding that they would be reviewed annually.






Rev 2/02, 3/05