2014-07-24

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who?

  • Facilitator: Sara L
  • Stack: Kevin
  • Notes: Everyone!
  • In attendance: Nicolas, Nan, Sarah L, David B, Angie, Mary, Lara, Sarah, Andrew, Yar, Elaine, Scott, Chris, Joel, David K, Jenny, Amanda, Cere, Lynn, Laura, Kathleen, Emji, Olive, Bill, Jeremy, Nico, Helen, Kevin, Jeremy, Mara, Elizabeth, Niki, Arnas, Brel
  • Delegates: David B (BAPS), Sarah (Backspace), Jenny (Sudo), Emji (TIL), Olive (OMNIdance), Helen (FNB), Jeremy (ONL), Kathleen (CAMOO)

Safe spaces

Community comments:

  • Context for why community members are present: To address incidents of sexual assault within the community, not to pass on an ultimatum or mandate.
  • If anyone needs to leave feel free
  • If anyone needs to talk to someone before, during, after, Nico is available
  • Some statistics on sexual violence

Margaretha's suggested amendments to Safe Space Policy:

  • On Safe Space
  • We recognize that banning may be one strategy among many to secure safety, trust and support within our community. In the case of rape and life threatening assault, it is probably the only one.
  • It is important to foreground the need and not the accusation. If a collective, or a collective member or members is saying they do not feel safe, this needs to be taken extremely seriously and there needs to be a process for securing their safety (not for putting an accused person on trial. This translates to the difference between “you can’t come here because you’re a rapist” and “in order to secure a safe space for our members, you can’t come in here.”).
  • We want to underline how scary, unsafe, and traumatic it is to bring sexual violence to light because it means disrupting whole communities and networks of relations where patriarchy would have us be silent and “harmonious.” For this reason, requests for safety and support often seem inconsistent, confusing and contradictory.
  • Each demand for safety and support that affects the whole OMNI collective and that involves conflict, physical abuse and/ or the perpetration of individual or collective trauma needs to be handled separately, case by case; but should have a standard process that can be recorded and documented, where needs and strategy for meeting those needs are foregrounded.
  • We recommend that the Challenging Dominant Cultures Working Group develop a proposal and a process to be approved by all collectives.

comments:

  • Independent group requested that the Omni hold off on a community meeting until they had resolved some items. Compromise was for some members of the independent group to attend this week's Omni meeting.
    • Don't want to discuss details of incidents, here to primariliy discuss the incident involving Zach and his email to the list
    • DK: Want to make a plea that if anyone has questions please address them to the independent working group or Challenging Dominant Cultures, not him. Safe space is the number one priority.
    • Emji: One thing that would be helpful would be to hear things directly from people themselves rather than second hand. We are here in the absence of survivors voices but we have two responses from Zach and TIL has issued a response.
    • Sara: If anyone wants to leave now, please do. Two letters were circulated, one to Omni, one to the independent working group and they're pretty different.
    • Lindsay reads first letter
    • Laura reads second letter to Omni listserve
      • Letters are very different. They both say, however that he wants to heal himself and be reintegrated into the community. Maybe we're in a position to help him.
      • Zach has been a member of TIL and worked on a number of projects with us. Today TIL made a statement to the group working on accountability processes. I want to say that I'm interested in finding processes of accountability that are more long term - more than just a simple ban. (Reads TIL statement)
      • Recommend a formal working group for working w/Zach Houston on developing a process of accountability
      • Someone mentioned that the two letters sounded really different. That to me is disturbing
      • Direct response is only answers to questions or clarifications
  • I find it disturbing that the first thing we've discussed is how to help the accused
  • Governance working group met and discussed how it's relevant. Important to think about what our boundaries are and what our responsibility as the Omni is vs. the larger community. Also for ban / suspension reciprocity.
  • Hard to talk about these things, I do want to focus on resolution of the issue. My impression is that we want to prevent these sorts of things from happening here and if it does help elsewhere that it doesn't get brought into the Omni. We talked about how to not allow people to abuse people in this space but also to not bring incidents that happen outside into the Omni.
  • I had no prior knowledge of this incident but I'm a survivor so speaking from that perspective, this is a very safe space, i like the openness of it but it's triggering to me to only have the narrative of the perpetrator presented. I don't know if she was asked but it's mirroring the paradigm of violence where the perpetrator is the one who tells the story.
  • the survivor is not sure whether or not they want to respond.
  • We should question whether or not it's okay to share the testimony of the perpetrator w/out the survivor's response because then that becomes the story.
  • I have no wish to close the conversation but I wanted to advance a tentative proposal in light of TIL's decision to suspend Zach. I believe we should make a decision tonight. In light of the fact that Zach has confessed to rape and that members of the community have expressed that they feel unsafe, we should temporary suspend him from the Omni and remove him from the mailing list.
  • I would like to alter the proposal: Groups agree that when one group places a ban / suspension upon a person for reasons related to safe spaces other collectives stand in solidarity with that decision.
  • What is the process by which the groups provide information so that the other groups can make informed decisions.
  • I guess this pertains to Omni policies about safe space. I feel like I am learning a lot from Matt in that he is bringing to light certain problems with the way that we talk about these things. (Legalese, political structures). I'm really sensitive to the way we are scapegoating a person. We live in a very violent society. We're all complicit in these forms of violence. There's something scary about pointing to one person and making them the problem.
  • I've experienced a lot of this. Comes down to me for what it means for people to need a safe space. I think there are ways to distill that down in ways that aren't super vague.
  • I feel the proposal needs to be revised.
  • It would need to be taken back to groups, right?
  • I commend people for talking about this but we need to think about the negative cases of this proposal and how it could be abused. This proposal should pertain only to safe spaces. I would block a proposal that didn't specify that. As a separate process, every group should have some sort of process, documented, for suspensions and bans.
  • At last night's SudoRoom meeting, Sudo passed this language: "If the Omni Oakland Collective or any of its member collectives bans a person from its space for reasons of safety, that person is immediately and automatically banned from Sudoroom."
  • Can we use the language "indefinite suspension"
  • I think personal feelings, the details of the event, what's really important is that we send a really strong message that this is a safe space.
  • In FNB, in order to ban someone, it must pass two meetings in a row

Tabled:

  • Vote on revised Safe Space Policy
  • Vote on revised Conflict Resolution Policy

Fire Pre-Inspection Reportback

  • Joel put up $100 dollars to pay for the inspection. This expense was not approved by the OOC, I'd like to propose that Joel is reimbursed following a discussion of the inspection.
  • Overall, it's really good news. Every egregious violation was something superficial. Nothing that he found was a giant expense or huge amount of work. i.e.: Missing ceiling tiles, extension cords, piles of boxes. We need to go through and eliminate all of those things before the real inspector comes through.
  • Any fuzzy surfaces have to have a tag on the back that says they are rated for commercial use or else be sprayed with a fire retardant spray
  • If we don't want to have a fire alarm system in, we can't have any more than 300 people in the building at one time. Sprinklers will not be required at this time.
  • Part of the professional services is the write the report can you email that to us?
  • Yes, he's typing up a report and it will be distributed.
  • Can we put the list on a whiteboard in the space so that we can start checking things off. Can we put up our own alarms?
  • No, we need a professional person to put up an integrated system.
  • What about egress?
  • There are points of disagreement between the home inspector and fire inspector. He thought there were enough points of egress but that the exit signs need to be replaced.
  • Proposal to pay Joel back *PASSED*

Omni Opening Date Proposal

Proposal: Set a soft deadline for opening so that we can work towards a clear goal. (How about Sept 20th?)

    • What does that mean, exactly?
    • Meant to motivate the group to get done

Finance

  • Vote on paying Jesse?
    • bills: $816.0 & ~$4000
      • Re: $816.00 **PASSED**
  • Proposal: For the month of July, these items will be payed w/out requiring a consensus votes by collectives. Division of bills TBD. Collectives will be notified as to the amount and date of payment.
    • Rent
    • Utilies:
   *** Trash
   *** Electricity
   *** Water
   *** Gas
    • Insurance
  • Solvency of groups? Do we want to pay an additional month of rent?===
    • Proposal: We pay an amount equal to a month of rent into a reserve to protect us in the event that other collectives drop out / are unable to come up with rent?
      • CCL would like to table this proposal for a week **TABLED**
      • Backspace is a new, growing, still forming entity. The space that is provided is not structurally viable for us to use as a working space. All of our efforts for the next month will go into fundraising to make the space viable. We propose an amendment for rent exemption for the month of August.
      • Backspace should re-apply to the OOC
  • Further discussion on financial transparency among collectives

BIKE Storage & Parking

http://wiki.omni-oakland.org/w/Bike_Storage#Option_2:_diagonal_bike_rack_on_48th_.2B_parallel_on_Shattuck

  • TLDR: On the 48th street sidewalk, we should be able to fit 40-50 bikes in 5 racks of 4 or 5 "inverted U" loops perpendicular to the curb.

The sidewalk along Shattuck is a little narrower, so any racks would need to be parallel to the curb. Should be enough space for 12 loops, for 24 bikes. Our first order of business would be to get delegates to take this info back to their groups so we can consense on it next week. **PASSED**

ONL

  • Assuming everything is legal and fine, is it okay to start having ONL here? **PASSED**

next week

Posting of Privileged Data

  • Status of wiki for privileged data

Working Groups

  • Upcoming Working Group Meetings
  • Working Groups that need new facilitators
  • CDC Flyering this Sunday?
  • Status of Permit Working Group?

Legal / Governance Reportback

  • Proposal for new meeting format (Jenny)
  • Proposal Revision to Consensus Process:
      • Proposal : New Voting Model

All votes called by the Delegate Council are subject to two rounds of voting. The first round passes by full consensus. If after friendly amendments and conversation full consensus cannot be achieved, the vote moves to a second round which passes by 2/3 majority. If this second vote fails to pass, the vote does not carry.

This amendment to our full consensus voting procedures is proposed in light of advice from radical comrades and colleagues who have seen groups and projects torn apart by bad-faith exploitation of full consensus voting. Our group's aim and aspiration will always be full consensus, and we will always work to make sure all voices are heard. In all of our work and decisionmaking together, let us always be guided by fairness, kindness, and justice.

BAPS mtg on books

  • David B proposes BAPS books be absorbed into Omni books
  • Public School books in the room between the bar and the ballroom
  • Jenny shares a vision of the south side basement rooms being converted into an infoshop - something we could reach out to Long Haul for collaboration with and combine with printshop resources being contributed by TIL (offset printer) and Sudo (digital duplicator)
  • Public School has a stamp, Steve signs on to update it with the new address and make it more 'omnicommons'

Future Groups:

  • Events Mgmt?
  • Focus on intercollectivity?
  • Values
  • New Member Getting to know you Committee