Statement on Coronavirus

8.25.20

Dear community,

 

The DC has missed you in these difficult and distant times.

 

It’s my judgement as Coordinator that the DC should set an example in the community by exercising an abundance of caution. Thus, the DC will remain closed to most bookings through 2020. I will be monitoring news and information as it emerges, and if there is a compelling reason to open sooner, or extend the closure, I will keep you updated.

 

In the meantime, find below the specifics of what closure means for us at this time.

Meetings

  • No meetings or events are allowed in the space with the exception of:

    • Supply or food distributions (as of this writing, this includes only the Stone Soup Farm Share). If you wish to start a supply or food distribution out of the space you will be required to work closely with me to establish best practices

    • Video-based events filmed/broadcast in our space - for example, performances, trainings, presentations, etc.

  • These services will remain available to the community:

    • Activist Supply Closet - borrowing equipment for any demonstrations will continue 

    • Copier - the copier is still available for community members to use and will be billed quarterly unless donation is arranged

    • Zoom bookings - we also have an add-on for meetings above 100 people: https://www.democracycenter.org/zoom-bookings

  • Any use of the DC will require:

    • Users to sanitize surfaces after use

    • Masks worn at all times (except in case of reasonable accommodations for lip reading, breathing problems, etc)

    • No more than 10 people in the first floor at a time, 6 feet apart as much as possible

    • Windows open, temperature permitting

    • Where possible, entering and exiting through opposite entrances (obviously, wheelchair and mobility aid users and loading in and out will happen via the DeWolfe St ramp entrance)
       

Sanitation Policies

  • In addition to usual required clean up protocols outlined in the booking documents, users will be required to sanitize high touch surfaces

    • Doorknobs and handles

    • Any chairs or tables used

    • Coffee pot/tea kettle

    • Copier key pad

    • Toilet handle

    • Sink faucets

    • Any equipment used (white boards, sound system, etc)

  • Sanitizing materials will be made available and clearly marked in the kitchen

  • Users must inform the Coordinator if materials ran out or are low

Cleaning

  • The building will be cleaned professionally every two weeks or if someone who was using the space informs us they are exhibiting symptoms or tested positive for COVID19

  • Users will as usual be expected to sweep, mop, wash dishes, and tidy the space

Statement on Coronavirus and the Democracy Center  3.14.20

Dear community,

 

After much deliberation, we have decided to close the Democracy Center and cancel all events at least until April 30. We will constantly be evaluating this decision and keeping our community updated.

 

In the meantime, please reach out to us if your organizations need support in transitioning to virtual platforms for meetings and events. If you still wish to donate for the space you had booked, we will direct those funds into host licenses for Zoom and other supports for organizations in this time. You can donate at paypal.me/democracycenter

 

In the coming week, the Coordinator will be developing plans and ideas for how the DC can support mutual aid efforts, provide gigs for shift/gig workers, and more.

 

We look with revolutionary hope toward the end of this pandemic; organizers, culture workers, activists, and change makers are and will be using this time to expose the underlying violence in the very structure of our society and build upon the momentum we already have to bring about justice, freedom, and peace.

3.11.20

 

Dear community,

 

We have received numerous inquiries this week as to our policies and suggestions on space use in light of the global spread of coronavirus/COVID19. As of this writing, we are not planning to close the center or cancel specific events, but this may change as information comes in hourly.

 

First, we want to ground and center ourselves in what has always been true: we are most resilient when we remain connected during crisis and care for one another. We have eons of movement ancestors to call upon for wisdom, examples, and guidance about building communities that can weather any storm while inching toward collective liberation.

 

Second, we encourage everyone to take steps to “flatten the curve” to protect the elderly, immuno-compromised, chronically ill, and other vulnerable populations and not overload our healthcare systems. Check out this link for more information: https://www.flattenthecurve.com/

 

Regarding the use of space at the DC:

  • We require groups to commit to completely cleaning the space after they use it including high contact surfaces such as door knobs, folding chairs, light switches; all cleaning supplies are stored in the kitchen cabinets labeled “cleaning supplies” and hand soap refills are stored in the bathroom.

  • We provide alcohol based hand sanitizer and unscented hand soap for hand washing. Please use it!

  • We suggest groups consider cancelling events with projected attendance over 25

  • We encourage elderly, immuno-compromised, or possibly exposed people to stay home and use digital options for engagement wherever possible

  • We continue to offer to help groups develop digital/remote options for their meetings, including transitioning to conference call technologies like Zoom, google hangouts, and Free Conference Call.

  • We remind you that there is no penalty for cancellation at the DC, especially under these circumstances.

 

If your group does host in person meetings (at the DC or elsewhere), we suggest this protocol:

  • Create a digital or phone option for those who are sick or prefer to stay home

  • Meet in a location that requires less use of public transportation: walk, bike, or carpool

  • Settle yourselves about 6ft apart during meetings

  • Give “air hugs/high fives,” nod, bow your head, or similar instead of hugging or shaking hands

  • Wash your hands and forearms as soon as you arrive for 20-30 seconds 

  • Take off coats and outer layers and store them in a separate room, not in a pile

  • Minimize ordering food; try to bring your own food that doesn’t need to be heated up; if there is a communal meal have on person designated as server (rather than serve yourself)

  • Do not share devices, writing utensils, etc with others if at all possible; if you do, wipe them down in between uses

 

We will continue to partner with all of you in the fight for free and universal health care for everyone, for prison abolition, for rent control, for big money out of politics, for indigenous sovereignty, for racial justice, for LGBTQ liberation, for women’s liberation, and for the world we know should be, that will we create together.

 

We will keep you as updated as possible as information changes.

The Democracy Center

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45 Mount Auburn Street

Harvard Square
Cambridge, MA 02138

Contact:

(617) 492-8855

info@democracycenter.org