NCA Meeting Protocols

• All general meeting attendees must sign the Bivens and liability statements upon entry and are expected to adhere to statements held therein.
• Assembly attendees must follow Roberts Rules of Order for making motions and for voting on issues (see Appendix A).
• We are a no cell phones event - leave your phones at home or in the car.
• Be punctual to the meetings and stay until the meeting is adjourned.
• Raise your hand to speak and wait for the moderator or speaker to call on you.
• No speaking out of turn, interrupting, or speaking over others.
• Yield to the Moderator and adhere to any speaking time limits.
• Make comments as brief and succinct as possible.
• Please do not repeat yourself or other speakers’ sentiments if those comments were already spoken on the floor.
• Before someone is called on to speak a second time on an issue, the moderator may allow others who haven’t spoken yet to have priority.
• The moderator has the right to interrupt, cut someone short, or move the agenda along as they see fit in order to keep discussions focused on the topic and to help the meeting be as productive as possible. Reasons may include but are not limited to: if someone is repeating themselves, straying off-topic, or going overtime.
• No reading long documents during general assembly time.
• Not all agenda items will have time for audience comments or Q&A. Any remaining questions or comments a guest or member may have can be shared during the public sharing period (previously known as “Grievances”).
• If someone is disruptive and breaks protocol once during a meeting, they can get a warning from the moderator or bailiff. If they get three warnings it is grounds for removal from the meeting. Moderator and bailiff will use discretion on when to enforce this as some disruptions are more benign than others. The moderator needs to bring a motion to the members to remove the attendee. Before initiating a removal, the moderator will do their best to practice tolerance and understanding of people’s concerns and will try to redirect impassioned participants to share their issues during public sharing time or by presenting a motion during the New Business section of the agenda.

NCA General Guidelines

•We strive to be flexible, humble, receptive, kind, and respectful in how we engage with other members at meetings. Everyone is asked to extend common courtesy and respect toward one another by not shouting at, cussing, being rude, or insulting one another.
• Principals Before Personalities: Maintain a focus of working together on behalf of the common goals and values of the assembly at large, not on behalf of one’s own agenda or needs.
• Information Integrity Act: Our members are asked to only share accurate and truthful information that has been verified.
•We encourage people with differing opinions to engage in whatever discussion is on the floor.
•We warmly welcome comments and presentations from people of all faiths and political ideologies, however, NCA is a strictly non-denominational and non-partisan assembly of community members. The opinions and statements of speakers do not necessarily reflect that of the assembly as a whole.
• One must be a member in order to hold an officer position.
• Officers must vet all new speakers that want agenda time. This should involve some kind of interview process.
• All communications between officers, members, and meeting participants on our email list can be made public for educational uses and for transparency’s sake.
• In order to reserve a slot on the general meeting agenda, please email the officers ahead of time by responding to the newsletter or contact them through the “Contact NCA” tab on our web app - with a proposal for how you’d like to use the time. The officers will let you know if your item is approved.
• Most meetings will follow the same agenda structure (see Appendix B). Appendix A Robert's Rules of Order For Fair and Orderly Meetings. Robert's Rules of Order is a set of rules first published in 1876 by Henry M. Robert to run effective, orderly meetings with maximum fairness to all members. The basic handbook of operation for most groups provides common procedures for deliberation and decision-making with the full participation of the membership body. The conduct of ALL business is controlled by the general will of the whole membership - the right of the deliberate majority to decide. Complementary is the right of at least a strong minority to require the majority to be deliberate - to act according to its considered judgment AFTER a full and fair "working through" of the issues involved. Robert's Rules provides for constructive and democratic meetings to accomplish the business of the assembly, with undue strictness never allowed to intimidate members or limit full participation. Meetings work best when all members are familiar with the rules.


How to Use Motions
A motion is a proposal that the entire membership takes action or a stand on an issue. Individual members can:

  • Move a motion
  • Second a motion
  • Amend motions
  • Debate motions
  • Vote on motions

Types of Motions
• Main Motions introduce items to the membership for their consideration. They cannot be made when any other motion is on the floor, and yield to privileged, subsidiary, and incidental motions.
• Subsidiary Motions change or affect how a main motion is handled, and are voted on before the main motion.
• Privileged Motions bring up urgent items about special or important matters unrelated to pending business.
• Incidental Motions provide a means of questioning procedure concerning other motions and have priority.

Presenting a Motion

  1. Obtaining the floor

    1. Wait until the last speaker has finished.
    2. Rise and address the Moderator.
    3. Wait until the Moderator recognizes you.
  2. Make Your Motion

    1. Speak in a clear and concise manner.
    2. Always state a motion affirmatively. Say, "I move that we ..." rather than, "I move that we do not ...".
    3. Avoid personalities and stay on your subject.
  3. Wait for Someone to Second Your Motion

    1. Another member will second your motion or the Moderator will call for a second. If there is no second, your motion is lost.
  4. The Moderator States Your Motion

    1. The Moderator will say, "it has been moved and seconded that we ..." Thus placing your motion before the membership for consideration and action.
    2. The membership then debates your motion, or may move directly to a vote.
    3. Once your motion is presented to the membership by the Moderator it becomes "assembly property", and cannot be changed by you without the consent of the members.
  5. Expanding on Your Motion

    1. The time for you to speak in favor of your motion is at this point in time, rather than at the time you present it.
    2. The mover is always allowed to speak first.
    3. All comments and debates must be directed to the Moderator.
    4. Keep to the time limit for speaking that has been established.
    5. The mover may speak again only after other speakers are finished unless called upon by the Moderator.
  6. Putting the Question to the Membership

    1. The Moderator asks, "Are you ready to vote on the question?"
    2. If there is no more discussion, a vote is taken.
    3. ONLY MEMBERS are permitted to vote. Meeting guests must abstain from voting.

Voting on a Motion
*Division: Members raise their hands or stand with the ayes or the noes. A count is not necessarily required unless it appears to be a close call.
•Allow motions that are in order.
• Have members obtain the floor properly.
• Speak clearly and concisely.
• Obey the rules of debate.
• Most importantly, BE COURTEOUS.

For a more comprehensive guide to Robert’s Rules of Order, please visit:

Appendix B
Nevada County Assembly General Meeting Meeting date, start time, end time Meeting location Officers present

  1. CALL TO ORDER, INTRODUCE NCA • Restate the basic meeting protocols (sign in; no phones; speaking protocols; punctuality; donations; we have a web app! How to get on the agenda? How to sit in on core meetings?)
  2. ROLL CALL FOR NEW GUESTS • Welcome new guests ask their name, location, and what brought them here. • Encourage guests to become members.
  8. NEW BUSINESS - For each item of business, indicate:
    1. Title or topic
    2. Short description
    3. Person responsible
    4. Time allotted