A proxy is a way of participating in a consensus call when you're not at a meeting. A proxy must be given to someone on the Facilitation Team — telling a friend or partner is not sufficient for a proxy.
You may proxy when we are deciding on a policy or other document where the wording has been finalized and sent out in advance, and we don't expect further discussion in a meeting. For example, if we have a final copy of a contract and we only need to take cards to get official approval after having worked through people's comments and concerns, you could proxy on that decision.
If there is a decision where there will be substantial discussion before the final wording is established and consensus called for, you may share your concerns with the group via email beforehand or by sending along something to be read on your behalf. You may not proxy a card in this situation. For example, if we're discussing a draft of a policy for which we have options of different approaches, a proxy would not be appropriate.
If the discussion leads to a decision that you don't feel you can support, you should raise the issue for further discussion at the next meeting, per our initial Organizing Agreement.
People who know they will be missing a meeting and who want to address a topic that will be discussed at the meeting are, as always, welcome to discuss it via email beforehand.
We require that people participating in a consensus decision in the group be up-to-date on the issue at hand. While this is less of a factor for people showing blue or green cards on an issue, the expectation is that someone holding a red or orange card on a question will be informed enough on the issue that s/he can speak effectively to his/her concerns, so that the group can address them.
It's important for all of us to remember that consensus decision-making is a process, and something that doesn't work for someone in the group can usually be reworked in such a way that everyone can come away happy. We encourage everyone to start discussions with a flexible frame of mind!