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Response to Theft in SJC

Community Update

Over the past few months, the SJCNL has faced one of the most significant challenges in the history of the organization. On March 5, 2023 the SJCNL Board notified its members, donors, and community partners that there had been a theft of our collective funds. This theft has seriously damaged the organization's capacity to attain our vision and meet our goals , as we have had to lay off our staff and halt funding important projects, such as our activity funds and mutual aid work. This theft has also laid bare serious oversights in the organization's governance and raised important questions and concerns about how policies are followed and decisions are made.

As we have come together to face this challenge head on, we have been doing our best to center our values through this process, as outlined in the Revolution of Care. This means reclaiming care, by building a movement centered on compassion and kindness that gives space to heal, learn, and grow, and to use a collaborative, cooperative, consensus-based, decentralized approach to decision-making.


In the spirit of the Revolution of Care, we held three meetings in April to share information about the crime that occurred and hear from members, donors, and community partners on how to move forward collectively. The board has carefully collected this information and is preparing a multi-faceted approach to responding to this feedback that considers the restitution of lost funds, strengthening financial and governance oversight, reparation of harm with community members, and developing a culture of accountability for the organization.


As part of this approach, the board held a Special Members Meeting to vote on the creation of three committees that will support the organization's response. As a member-owned co-operative, we wanted to be true to our democratic values and ensure that the proposed path forward is supported by our members. The board is also looking for volunteers to join these committees and help us weather this storm. We were so heartened to have more than 100 members, donors, and community partners attend March's meetings and we are hoping that folks will come aboard to help us steer this ship to a safer place.


At the Special Member's Meeting held on May 2, 2023, the following committees were approved:


Finance Committee

Terms of reference:

  • Develop a financial oversight policy that will be presented at Special Member's Meeting.

  • Maintain financial oversight based on policy. 

  • Co-chaired by 2 members. Min 3 members and maximum 7 including only 1 board member and 1 representative of each organization/team with which we hold funds in trust. Only members and representatives on committee.


Fraud Investigation Committee
Terms of reference:

  • Review bookkeeping, get exact figures for funds owed by the individual (including going through her receipts) and funds held in trust.

  • Write an incident report

  • Co-chaired by 2 members.  Min 3 members and maximum 7 including only 1 board member. Only members on committee. The board member on the fraud investigation committee cannot sit on the finance committee.


Transformative Justice Committee
Terms of reference:

  • To meet with the individual and develop and deliver a restitution plan.

  • To propose ways to support a culture of accountability

  • Co-chaired by 2 members.  Min 3 members and maximum 7 including 1 board member. Only members on committee.

These committees are expected to convene by mid-June, 2023.


If you would like to be involved, please fill out the form below.

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