Difference between revisions of "BOGSS"
(copy from cryptpad)
Revision as of 06:09, 13 September 2023
These are the rules of BOGSS.
This was drafted on [cryptpad](https://cryptpad.fr/pad/#/2/pad/edit/hKtAjkH0814Cr5ynSChp6tjW/). It was approved at a 2022 delegates meeting.
Proposal For the Establishment of a BIPOC and Oppressed Gender Safe Space Committee (BOGSS)
Our society is inseperable from the historical processes of oppression (settler colonialism, capitalism, patriarchy etc.) which has created it. As those who wish to build a better world, we must first recognize these issues within our organizations. Traditionally in left spaces, the focus on this kind of reckoning has always been on education and explanation (primarily done by those affected by these issues) and reconciliation has been dependent on the oppressor/violator to accept wrongdoing and grow from this experience. While we believe that growth and the ability to self-critique and apologize should be extended to all but the gravest offenses, we have to reimagine the way spaces are kept safe for BIPOC/Non-Men. We have to move from "holding space for discussions" to explicitly enshrining power for oppressed peoples to wield in the maintaining of a space that values and protects their safety and interests. For that reason we are proposing the establishment of a BIPOC and Oppressed Gender Safe Space Committee (BOGSS).
1. Committee Makeup:
There shall be 5 members of BOGSS selected from Omni collectives and at large or working group volunteers/organizers. All members must be selected per the election process below.
2. Committee Elections/Congress:
The entire committee shall be up for election every 6 months at a special election meeting held at Omni. The membership of the special election meeting is the BIPOC/Gender Oppressed Congress. This Congress should be made up of BIPOC and non-men who are engaged in work at the Omni Commons, either through a member collective, organization which operates within the space, or Omni working group volunteer/organizer. The congress shall have the following caps to prevent a single organization from overwhelming the membership.
5 maximum members per Omni collective:
5 maximum members from at large Omni volunteers from the various working groups:
2 maximum members per Omni "renters" (Orgs that rent space but are not collective members):
Omni collectives and renters are responsible for selecting their congress members. The members who are "at large" may join after at least 1 month at the Omni and in the event that more than 5 wish to join, the existing BOGSS committee may vote on which members to admit. For the first election, this should be done by a simple majority vote of the "at large" members present.
2b. Nomination and Election Process:
The facillitation of the Congress is the responsibility of the existing BOGSS chair. For the first Congress, this will be handled by a volunteer facilitator. The first order of business should be the identification of all congress members and resolving any ambiguity of who those people are and from what organization they are representing.
Following this shall be a nomination period. Any member of the congress (including existing BOGSS members) may be nominated by ANOTHER congress member OR nominate themselves. Additionally, nominated candidates must accept their nomination. This nomination should explain who this person is and why the nominator feels they would be a strong addition to BOGSS. The person nominated may offer their own statement explaining their positions, methodology and background to the congress. After each nomination, the floor will open for Congress members to make objections and provide arguments in favor or against the nominee.
After nominations are complete there shall be an election process. This election shall be a 2-round runoff process. In the first round, each congress member shall have 3 votes that they may submit for 3 different nominees. These votes shall be submitted through a role call process, facillitated by the Congress/BOGSS chair.
From this first round, the top 10 nominees will be chosen to advance to the second round of elections. During the second round, each Congress member may submit 2 votes for BOGSS. These votes must go to 2 different nominees. These votes shall also be submitted through a role call process. At the conclusion of this second round, the top 5 vote getters shall be selected to BOGSS for the next term.
The first priority of this committee is the representation of BIPOC individuals. If the BOGSS Committee does not contain at least 4 non-white people, the white candidate with the lowest voting percentage shall be replaced with the non-white candidate with the next highest voting percentage.
Similarly, if the committee does not contain at least 3 non-men, the man with the lowest percentage of votes shall be replaced with the non-man with the next highest voting percentage.
A BOGSS member may be recalled due to misconduct or concerns about their decision making at any time with a majority vote of the BOGSS committee or a 2/3rds majority of the congress. In the event of a congressional removal, the proposal to hold a special recall election must be signed by at least half of congress members.
2.1 The Committee will consider every complaint or issue raised from within Omni. Complaints from exterior sources may also be taken up at the Committee's discretion.
BOGSS members should have a reasonable safe space for discussion and having a potentially threatening presence of white people/men could compromise the ability of that committee to make decisions and conduct investigations. We propose the meetings being open to all CONGRESS members with all reports/meeting notes available to the broader Omni community with names redacted when necessary. Because of the nature of these issues, it is safer for BOGSS members to be able to conduct investigations discretely before presenting reports to a broader audience. The broader Omni community is free to provide critiques/feedback to BOGSS on any of their reports (which must accompany all disciplinary actions) but ultimately it is the job of the Congress to hold the BOGSS committee accountable.
Any investigation into misconduct/wrongdoing will fundamentally require interviews with the accused. They may notify the committee of other witnesses, etc. who may speak to the issues at hand, it is the responsibility of the committee to fully investigate all witnesses to the complaints in question. These investigations should be fully elaborated in the reports that are a requisite for every disciplinary action taken by BOGSS. Accountability for the full investigation of all witnesses should be maintained through the recall process, ultimately BOGSS is responsible/accountable to the BIPOC and gender oppressed community within Omni.
All decisions for action on a complaint will be made by a simple majority of the 5 person committee. Consensus allows a minority to completely obstruct the majority. A single infiltrator or bad faith actor can completely derail the intention of the committee. Voting by consensus (as opposed to majority) weakens the ability of any group/organ to effectively do its job. We don't want to intentionally weaken the ability of BOGSS to go about its work. So for this case we would prefer to keep this to a majority vote as already written. A majority would be 3 votes regardless of whether the other two committee members are there.
The Committee will make a record of each meeting available to the Omni delegates and the BOGSS Congress.
3. BOGSS Powers and Processes
BOGSS should meet AT LEAST once per month as normal cadence with the ability for 3/5 members of BOGSS to call for a special meeting when the need arises. The members of BOGSS should select a committee chair at the first meeting after the Congress, this chair shall nominally serve for the 6 month period. The chair is responsible for the facillitation of the meeting, preparation of agendas and adherence to this document. Additionally, a secretaary should be selected who will be in charge of the scheduling of meetings and the dissemination of required information to the Omni collective, this includes descriptions and notifications of upcoming votes/decisions. In the event that a BOGSS member is not able to be in attendance, they are expected to submit an opinion/vote in absentia and are responsible for requesting any information they need to make that decision.
Issues/complaints can either be raised by a BOGSS member, submitted by a congress member to a member of BOGSS, or submitted to the BOGSS email address (TBD). BOGSS main responsibility, in addition to the crafting of special proposals, is the response to these complaints.
BOGSS shall be given special powers to investigate concerns and enforce a disciplined accountability process. The rejection of BOGSS mandated accountability can be grounds for member removal per processes defined below.
3a. BOGSS Powers: BOGGS shall have the power to...
Issue official BOGSS position statements, critiques, investigations, proposals and reports on any events/personnel/incidents etc. that occur at the Omni Commons or in the Omni community. Mandate and Define accountability/censure processes such as: Requests for apologies and self critiques. Self critiques should include a description of the harm done, the thought process/reasoning that led to the harm being done and an explanation of how the offender is choosing to pursue growth/improvement to prevent this harm from being done again. Mandated mediation and discussion with BOGSS appointed personnel. If those accused of harm refuse mandated mediation and discussion, their refusal to comply with BOGSS must be discussed and brought to the delegates meeting to present issue and proposed consequences to the delegates meeting to deliberate resolution. Broad investigatory powers which may include mandatory interviews, access to communications through Omni channels, Omni documents etc. The ability to suspend a delegate and request for a collective to select another delegate for a specific period of time. The suspension, removal and/or banning of individuals from the Omni Commons per the harassment policy. In the event of egregious violations which constitute serious threats to safety and security (e.g., a member collective working with police or endorsing police departments or being found to have connections to fascist groups like the Proud Boys or repeated unaddressed violations pertaining to abusers) BOGSS may recommend the expulsion of a member collective which must then be approved by a consensus vote of the delegates at a delegate meeting, a vote in which the collective under review may submit comment but may not vote.(Omni bylaws require amending the bylaws to remove a collective. Amending bylaws requires consensus minus one https://omnicommons.org/wiki/Bylaws#ARTICLE_10._AMENDMENT_OF_ARTICLES_OR_BYLAWS). A delegate vote (with ability to block as other delegates) which can be exercised during any delegate decisions. The permission to request special interviews with new collectives before/during the provisional period and should be notified when new collectives are looking to join so that they may do thorough investigation. This proposal is a precondition for the continued participation of BIPOC individuals and CLP at the Omni Commons. It is cosigned by the following individuals/groups:
-Community Liberation Programs (Rafiq, Danielle, Kai, Silvia, Geraldo, Billy, Veronica, Kip, Dob, Kiri)