Building Team

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The "Building Team" is all the people who take care of maintaining, improving and repairing Omni's physical facilities. It was formerly known as the loosely structured "Building Working Group".

This is an initial draft - VERY INCOMPLETE!

Why?

Problem

The building working group is too loosely organized. It's hard to onboard new members and give them a sense of ownership of the project. When emergencies happen, it's hard to know when we're allowed to spend money to fix them. It's unclear who's responsible for what things. Information and power tends to accumulate in too few people who carry too much burden and then they burn out. Work parties happen too infrequently. Clutter accumulates too regularly. It's hard to break the inertia of the status quo.

Goals

  • We want to build a social space for maintenance work to feel fun, easy and liberatory.
  • We want everybody to be treated with dignity and nobody to be exploited.
  • We want to set clear expectations for each other and clear procedures to deal with problems.
  • As much as possible, we want decisions about work to be done by the worker.
  • We want women and nonbinary folks to have opportunities to learn skilled trades which are traditionally male-dominated.
  • We want disabled folks to have as much access to the commons as possible - including people in wheelchairs, and with chemical sensitivities!
  • We want to be anti-racist, to encourage BIPOC leadership, and to work to repair the harms of white supremacy
  • We want to be transparent and responsible with money
  • We want to steward Omni Commons for future generations

Structure

Meetings

The Building Team's first meeting will be on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at 12pm. It will be followed by our first work party, 1-5pm, and our first dinner party, 5-7pm.

Meetings will take notes and post them to the omni wiki. Some regular meeting items will be:

  • Who is the current membership?
  • What's happened since the last meeting?
  • What money do we have?
  • Who wants to become a member?
  • What unmet needs do people have?
  • What do we want to change?

Future meeting times will be decided by the group. Maybe the pattern of meeting -> work party -> dinner party will be successful and we can replicate it.

Decisions

Decisions will default to naive consensus among members. We expect decisions to be clearly communicated so that everybody has time to consider them. When a member objects to a decision, we expect them to say so promptly. Decisions may include:

  • how to spend money
  • how to use space
  • changes to meeting times
  • changes to membership
  • other changes to how the team operates

Members

The initial members will be Yar and [need to check in with people]. The existing membership can add new members during meetings. To be eligible for membership, you have to show up to at least 2 meetings. If you aren't participating or aren't upholding our values, then the other members can remove you. The list of members will be reviewed at each meeting to keep it active and accurate.

Members will have 24/7 access to omni and be able to participate in team decisions.

The group will need to develop processes for how people can spend money and how to give people access to money. tbd

Budget

The building team will have its own bank account. Each month, Omni will transfer $1000 into this account. When delegates approve a budget for special projects, that money will also be transferred. When projects go under budget, the team keeps the money. Over time, we expect this bank account to grow. It will be used for:

  • Emergency repairs to fix immediate hazards
  • Regular maintenance of spaces and facilities
  • Improvements of spaces and facilities
  • Tools, fasteners, hardware, protective equipment
  • Cleaning products (chemicals, trash bags, mops/brooms/etc)
  • Bathroom supplies (toilet paper, paper towels, soap, etc)
  • Paying contractors to do skilled work (carpenters, plumbers, electricians, hvac, locksmiths, pest control, etc)
  • Roofing supplies, especially [Henry 587](https://henry.com/retail/white-roof-coatings/587-100-acrylic-dura-brite-white-elastomeric-roof-coating)
  • Food to feed people at work parties
  • Small stipends to pay for transportation and expenses for people to come to work parties (need-based)

This money will NOT be used for these things, which will still come from Omni general funds:

  • Utilities (EBMUD, PG&E)
  • Paying Waste Management for regular trash/recycling/compost pickup

This structure will supercede the "20% of ballroom income" proposal from earlier this year.

Space

The building team will store supplies in a few specific places at omni:

  • Mop room: also known as the "hacker bathroom" - mops and mop buckets will be stored here. Eventually we will replace a urinal with a full mop sink (which is also required to open the entrance hall cafe)
  • Cleaning closet: things people need to sweep and scrub surfaces, or restock bathrooms
  • Secure storage: Tools, expensive hardware, things otherwise likely to get stolen
  • Basement stage: The raised red area along the basement east wall. This will store larger materials. Open for now, but eventually we'll secure it.
  • Ladders: tbd, wherever they fit for now

Outside of specific active projects, the building team will NOT store anything anywhere else!!!