Over the years I have noticed that the minutes of ONDNA meetings often refer to Old North residents attending a meeting who are not Board members as “visitors” or “guests.”
Strictly and literally speaking, both these labels for resident meeting-attenders are false. Under City of Davis rules for the functioning of City-recognized neighborhood groups (of which the ONDNA is one), all residents of a designated area are members of its official neighborhood group whether they like it or not.*
Without paying dues (which cannot be a requirement of membership), all residents have the right to know in advance of all ONDNA meetings, to speak at meetings, and to vote in all matters stipulated by the City-reviewed and approved by-laws.
This misuse of language has prompted me to think more generally about ONDNA “membership” and, in particular, forms and levels of it. Contemplating the topic, I have come to the view that “membership” is an under-analyzed and acted-on matter in ONDNA functioning. So, in the spirit of exploration and clarification, let me think-aloud here about ONDNA “membership.”