Updated: 15 October 2019
The Ontario Basic Income Network’s (OBIN) aim is to bring about the implementation of a basic income program that is adequately funded, unconditional, and will leave no low-income person worse off. Such a program will function as a complement to livable minimum wage laws and existing social support programs that are efficient and effective.
OBIN works to increase public understanding of and lobby governments for the implementation of basic income by building and strengthening the network of advocates in Ontario, as outlined in the Framework document below.
A critical mass of supporters is essential in order to obtain and maintain government actions. All individuals and groups in Ontario are invited to join. A $15 annual contribution is requested to cover operational costs.
The structure for the Ontario Basic Income Network (OBIN) includes the following elements:
- All affiliated individuals and groups in the Province
- A Coordinating Team (C-Team) composed of
- A Facilitator
- Five Coordinators
- Optional topical teams that can be appointed by the Coordinators on either a short or long-term basis as need be
In the event of competition for any of the above positions that cannot be worked out informally, there will be an appeal to OBIN to resolve the matter, using an on-line consultation and selection process and voting if necessary. The C-Team will work interactively with OBIN in whatever ways are mutually agreeable. The C-Team will be kept as small as is feasible in order to encourage horizontal interaction and meetings as frequently as necessary. The C-Team will be accountable to OBIN, to which the Facilitator will report in writing at least twice each year.
Areas of responsibility for the Facilitator and the five Coordinators (along with co-positions) are described below. All will be responsible for working to build and sustain the movement. Coordinators will propose a mandate and plan at the beginning of each year for review and approval by the C-Team.
Some activities are suggested below for each Coordinator, but the list is not meant to be compulsory or complete.
Term commitments for each position will be for a year at a time and positions will not have term limits. At least one month prior to year-end, if possible, position holders will indicate to the Facilitator whether they are interested in continuing or whether they want to leave the position. If a position becomes vacant, volunteers should indicate their interest in taking on this role.
All Coordinators will be empowered to interact directly with OBIN as appropriate
- by encouraging reciprocal communication about their areas of responsibility
- by receiving, proposing, and helping to coordinate collaborative initiatives for OBIN or with
particular affiliated groups or solo activists
- by recruiting volunteer OBIN members to join short- or longer-term “Topical Teams” to work with
them as circumstances require.
1. Internal Relations Coordinator: expansion of OBIN, active recruitment, education and mentoring of new volunteers and potential new group initiators, sharing useful materials, etc. This should lead to the development of a sense of community within OBIN through facilitating Network communication and collaboration, sharing information regarding local initiatives, developing common actions and language, organizing meetings within the Network and discussions of various kinds.
2. External Relations Coordinator: building relations with other provincial allied organizations/campaigns, various sectors, labour unions, Basic Income Canada Network (BICN), governments, etc.
3. Promotions and Communications Coordinator: creating online and hard copy publications, promotional materials, videos, website, tag lines, strategies, and associated plans, organizing communications content, handling relations with the media, interviews, etc.
4. Special Projects Coordinator: responding to special projects arising from the current political and social environment that strengthen OBIN’s advocacy efforts in support of basic income in Ontario and beyond; advancing basic income on the political scene; promoting an understanding of the experiences of basic income pilot participants; conducting screenings of the Mincome documentary in Ontario communities; drafting editorials and op-eds in major media outlets to expand public awareness and education on basic income; dealing with pilots, elections and other major but time-limited projects in the social and political world of basic income. This role will enable the C-Team to deal flexibly and in a timely manner with significant events that affect the basic income movement.
5. Youth Coordinator: increasing awareness of and support for a basic income among youth in Ontario; developing a network of youth advocates for basic income and liaising between the youth network and the C-Team; starting and supporting initiatives targeted specifically for youth; building relationships with allied student/youth organizations. This person will work in collaboration with the BICN National Youth Coordinator.
6. Facilitator: keeping the Coordinating Team functioning effectively, focusing on avoiding overlap; troubleshooting; planning C-Team meetings; developing and maintaining databases; acting as spokesperson for the Coordinating Team as a whole by preparing bi-annual reports to OBIN, etc. This person will create topical teams as necessary to administer finances, minutes and action lists, proofreading of web documents, etc.
Note: The Facilitator and the 5 Coordinators are strongly encouraged to select people for co-positions as soon as possible. The co-positions are highly important for the ongoing functionality of the C-Team. Co-coordinators will work and share responsibilities in their areas.
As OBIN is a volunteer network, it's inevitable that changes in members' health, paid work, and/or family lives will interfere with their available time and energy for OBIN work.
Sharing responsibilities can both protect C-Team projects from languishing and spread out the workload when the work becomes too heavy for a single person.
The Coordinators may enlist the help of one or more short- or longer-term topical teams to help them meet their general responsibilities. The Coordinators will propose a team mandate, recruit volunteers from OBIN, and disband the team when the work is completed. The topical teams will be accountable to the C-Team leader. Volunteers to fill the teams need to be selected by the relevant Facilitator/Coordinators to ensure the potential for effective working relationships.