Delegates Meeting Notes Template

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Omni Delegates' Meeting - 13 February 2020 7pm-9pm

for instructions on preparing and archiving these notes, please see the bottom


  • Introductions [15 minutes]
    • Meeting Roles
    • Delegates Count
    • Access Check-in
  • Check-ins, Updates & Report-Backs [30 minutes]
    • Brief Announcements
    • Working Groups
    • Member Collectives
    • Conflicts, Mediation & Safe Space
  • Proposals & Discussions


Introduce yourself: Name; Pronoun; Affiliation; any brief announcements; say whether you're a delegate; let us know about any access needs you have†

  • WHY DO WE ASK PRONOUNS? To make space for people who are trans, nonbinary, gender noncomforming or otherwise vulnerable to being misgendered. It's not an invitation to make jokes or trivialize the idea of pronouns. If you are fine with the gender and pronouns society generally assigns to you, please just say what they are without fanfare or embellishment. Conversely, please don't pressure anybody to give their pronouns, as that can harm trans people who are closeted or questioning. The point is to prompt and normalize asking, but not to mandate or enforce. Thank you! <3 Yar
  • Asaad/AB - FYE
  • Dennis - Liblens he/him
  • Yar - sudo room member she/her (can be sudo delegate)
  • Phil - FNB delegate
  • Rachel global women's strike. She her. Delegate
  • Jane global women's strike
  • Mary-anne - chiapas support committee - hearing impaired so project your voice
  • Roberto Martinez - he/him - chiapas support committee
  • Laura she/her cleaning/painting wg (aka "oh shit") + finance/commons wgs
  • Ken - from CCL - delegate
  • Rob - liberated lens - commmons wg, building wg
  • Tavo - spaz? - they/them -
  • Ricardo/monk - he/him - Spaz
  • Marc juul he/him - sudo / ccl
  • roya phat beets
  • karl - he/him - sudo room

Access Check In

Is everybody able to participate fully in this meeting? Do people have unmet needs or concerns?

  • Please speak loudly so everyone can hear

Meeting Roles

  • Facilitator/s: AB
  • Explanation of hand signals: "deaf applause", "raised hand", "point of process", v "direct response"(wildcard), etc.
  • Stacktaker:
  • Timekeeper:
  • Notetaker/s: juul, yar
  • Vibe Reader:
  • Who will out next meeting's agenda beforehand:
  • Next meeting's facilitator(s):


  • CCL: ken
  • CSC: maryann
  • FNB: phil
  • FYE: asaad
  • GWS: rachel
  • LL: dennis
  • Phat Beets: roya
  • Sudo: yar
  • Quorum: full!

Brief Announcements

Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits

  • Meetings: only the kitchen group meets regularly, new times tbd
  • Laura: We are in the midst of a building cleanup and shape-up effort because we're having an inspection by someone sent by out property insurance company less than a week from today (Thursday morning 2/13 10 or 11 am) we don't really know why they think our building is detiorated. I have communicated with all the collectives about what needs to be done. After this meeting I will do a walk around to see what still needs to be done and will email out about it.
    • Suigetsukan (dojo school in eastlake) got a surprise inspection from their insurance company.
  • Window in CSC has been repaired today
  • A lot of progress in the Disco Room. More help needed there.
  • Volunteer electricians are finishing the mapping of the electrical system and seeing what needs work
  • Prepped a wall in the mezzanine for painting it just needs paint
  • Shower room needs two coats on the walls and then floor
  • need a dump run, maybe rent large truck monday 2/10
  • phil encountered a hazard last week
  • ballroom mezzanine looks good. jenny organized someALL of the books. robb painted some of the handrails.
  • there's a list of tasks
  • power washing the exterior really needs to happen so we can get to fixing the window sills - maybe tomorrow morning
  • fabric was ordered for awning. should be delivered soon
  • ken: good to do even if we'll get different insurance. positive opportunity to clean/improve building.


  • Meetings: 2nd & 4th Mondays at 5:30pm
  • basement discussion is sunday 2/16 2pm - to discuss basement issues that came up in last delegates meeting
  • robb: at previous commons wg mtg ... [goes down a slippery slope with an angry rant "jenny and lucas _have_ to be there. they _have_ to be there", gets shut down by collective]
  • yar: let's not go into the content of the subject, just logistics of who should expect to be there

Finance & Fundraising

  • Meetings: 1st & 3rd Mondays at 5:30pm
  • jenny: finishing 2019 reports for property tax exemption due 2/15 - prop tax inspection scheduled for 3/26
    • wonderful!
    • background: We have applied to be exempt from property tax based on being a charitable org. We applied the year we got the building. They finally sent an acknowledgement and requested more docs (that we're pretty sure we already sent initially).

Member Collective Updates

What is going on with your collective? What are you working on? What have you accomplished? Any events coming up? Any difficulties you are encountering that you need help with?


  • Ken - We have a lot going on and have been cleaning and getting ready to get rid of a lot of stuff, including large fridge and scientific supplies that are up for grabs.
  • AB - Does OC have an ebay account?
    • Ken - Sudo and CCL have an arrangement where people are welcome to sell certain things on their private accounts an give the orgs a percentage, but no one ever has.
  • yar: is ccl paying for basement space? (no) so if ccl doesn't act soon to get rid of stuff, omni could


  • Mary Ann -Saturday 2/8 we're having a report back form the Zapatista womens' international gathering from 5-7:30pm. There was an interesting mix of women from the bay area who went down this year who will be reporting back.
    • 2018 was on intl womens day but this year they held it btwn xmas & ny. march 8, 2019, there were security problems so they couldn't hold it that year. but they expanded a lot in territory since then.
  • planning a conference of zapatista adherents, still working on it, probably march 6, 7 & 8. may get a good crowd for intl womens day.


  • Phil - Finally located a Toyota Tacoma to purchase.
  • Will be participating in the Leap Day action in downtown Berkeley


  • AB - we've had successful events and workshops, we've been trying to do things as legit as possible and better than the things we did before. We have a very nice set of community canvasses where we have invited people at events to contribute to the paintings. WOUld like todisplay in the building.
  • We have a pop-up music studio in the office, bringing in local artists and musicians on a music project.
  • yar is very pleased, people have talked about making that room a recording studio since day 1


  • Rachel - We're talking about how to participate in International Womens' Day.
  • We're doing a workshop at the UN in March giving an update since the 1985 womens' conference in China, where we got governments to agree to value womens' contributions.
  • Jane - We've been working with the Poor People's Campaign, now building toward the June 20th mass mobilization of poor people in DC. Building awareness of how many people are poor in this country, and press presidential candidates to deal with the issue of poverty in the US, not just talk about the middle class.
  • Rachel - We should show the Documentary "We Cried Power" here at Omni.


  • Dennis - Not too much...we are discussing what direction we want to go in, and what kind of services we want to provide to groups, developed a rate sheet for making films.
  • We are participating in film festivals with the film we made "Follow the Drinking Gourd" about food justice.

Phat Beets

  • Roya - our CSA is chugging along, have some new volunteers, haven't acquired new van yet.
  • New van is still to be acquired. Old van still chugging along
  • Beginning of next month doing teen gardening program 57th and dover, with children's hospital. Program with 8 kids. Last one in 2017. Finally got funding for the new round and we're really excited about it. Seems like we have a lot of support from the community at large and also the people at the garden.
    • it'll be weekly mondays 330-6, great if cameras could document
    • different from NORJC, healthy hearts program


  • attempting to clean up our space for next week. also forming a master plan to rebase in 2020 (redo floor, improve infrastructure, do a membership drive in the fall)
  • working on an upgrade to the omni door access system with improved card reading and rfid
  • matt senate set up the outdoor camera

Conflicts, Mediation & Safe Space

  • robb asked for mediation "for lucas publically attacking me, and he refused"
    • laura: he didn't refuse, he said he'd rather not unless he "has to" so that RObb changes his behavior towards others because it's "it's not about me, I can just stay on the sidelines and help with the WG or commons spaces he is not involved with."
    • someone should ask lucas to follow up, also clarify he shouldn't talk to robb until then
      • he actually asked that robb stop being aggressive and confrontational toward him in the space, and hasn't been here since the last episode. i am requesting the same - jenny
    • Laura - I'm still available to do or steward the mediation process
  • AB: TJ(aka Torrence) has been banned, mylan's ex partner, briefly former phat beets volunteer. people witnessed severe violent behavior. sleeps at omni sometimes. no pic yet. wanted to submit it a week ago. he said nasty words to mylan, that was the last straw. also stole a van? she had to leave town because of this.
    • roya: seconded. i witnessed this. person's conduct is out of line with what we're trying to be. bad energy. thank you for considering mylan's safety.
    • laura: you waited to bring this up for strategic reasons
      • no, they told joe, but max advised to wait
    • laura: for future reference, if you see harassment, you don't have to wait
    • he was spotted yesterday "trying to get a bag"
  • maybe print this out


Kitty Proposal

This proposal is for consideration by the delegates starting at the Thursday Feb 6th, 2020 meeting. If it needs to go to other Omni lists please forward it.

This proposal is put to the OmniCommons delegates to consider:

The implementation of an OmniCommons Kitty Committee of individuals, that are currently a member of any current OmniCommons member collective, to obtain, train, and maintain two cats as in-house organic rodent controls.

Currently rodents, both mice and rats, have free range of the whole building and, with cats present at all hours, would at least be under consistent predator pressure against their currently unrestrained activities.

The committee would be composed of any members of any Omni collective with active participation in regular building activities so they are most directly familiar with building operations and collective interactions. Others could participate in the committee but voting, decision making, committee members would be members of Omni collectives, tho no collective is required to send a participant.

It is proposed for a minimum of two cats so they could keep each other with feline company at late night hours or other times when not as many humans are around and a maximum of two cats, at least initially, so as to evaluate if more are necessary, without encouraging a stray hotel.

The two cats would be of a breed that is a good hunter and also low allergenic.

The committee would provide for the care, feeding, litter boxes and other maintenance of the cats along with training and the creation and implementation of the policies needed for these ends.

As the proposal author, and "known delegate entity", I would be willing to participate, as a member of the committee and steward its birth and even head up or facilitate the committee activities, as others are trained for its collective viability and leadership. I would defer to the leadership consensus of the committee at any time.

Several folks have expressed support for this draft proposal and membership in the committee, hence this formal proposal.

Plus, not to mention, but to mention, the cats would also provide a touch of nature and pleasant healing ambiance to OmniCommons similar to bookstore cats.


  • patrik and alan from CCL both opposed, reading their email responses
  • ab: bengal/serval cats are hypoallergenic!
  • ken: we're supposed to have a passcard entrance to ccl/sudo's hacker hall. they would hang out in basement.
    • yar: good luck getting them to hang out in basement
  • ken: patching holes in sudo/ccl is easier than patching the whole building. rats are way more allergenic than cats.
  • laura: i don't find housepets calming. don't like them. not blocking. but i'd want to know who the committee is & define the standards of maintaining the cats and their litterboxes, feeding, etc.
  • yar: mostly concerned for welfare of cats. insist they have health insurance. skeptical they'd want to stay in basement.
  • this isn't a full proposal, just wants to make a committee to troubleshoot and explore the idea
  • roberto: trash/cleanliness is a major problem. cat would add to the problem.
  • matt: applause to ken, this is the most creative rendition of this proposal.
  • yar is convinced they're coming form the unfinished kitchen
    • Assad: they're coming in the basement office walls too. underground highways.
  • marc: building is not rat-proofable cuz old structure, temescal creek, restaurants. also cats aren't gonna happen, too much long-standing opposition
  • Robb not convinced we can keep sudo/ccl doors shut


Discussion of Spaz Membership Proposal

  • Spaz is also writing up proposal for becoming a member collective but hitting a potential issue with regards to legal status. Curious if 501c3 status is required or if sponsorship is a possibility.
  • robb: i'd feel better if you guys took care of issues as they came up in commons wg. 10 month old graffiti, laura painted over it today. "it's driving me crazy dealing with lucas". i have 22 points for people to consider, won't raise them right now. no problem with anybody else in spaz besides lucas, but "idk what planet he's on, he's not responding to concerns". sudoroom meeting made an ultimatum. i'd feel better if you all had events here ... a period of acting respectfully. i love what you do but the way you've interacted with this place it's like you think this is a shithole warehouse you can fuck up...
    • yar: robb doesn't speak for everybody. questions for spaz: how does your collective operate (and More) but i also know people usually include it in their proposal.
    • tavo: we're not traditional we don't have regular meetings. we all work and interact with each toher. we've been doing this since 91 and have a solid community of people. we really want to be more involved. not every event in the basement has been uss. even though i haven't been so involved i've read every message on the mailing list and there's been instances where someone else had an event and none of spaz seemed to know about it. part of this is proposal is that we'd like to better steward the space and have protocols for events, also for events for outside groups.
    • monk: currently working on documents that lay out exactly what needs to be done, which positions have to be filled. noise measurements and limits. kids are gonna party and this space is saving people's lives. having a safe place for all-night parties is really crucial for the youth of oakland.
  • relevant to upcoming 2/22 discussion
  • Assad: FYE love SPAZ. we support partying. but worried about risks: vandalism, drugs, sound. if you can accomodate that, great. sound system is amazing, everyone can benefit from it, but it can't be held over peoples' heads. FYE is a member collective, we applied, pay rent, are active in the basement, we like to host events in the space. i don't think there should be a pressure to work around the speakers. it's been used as a bargaining chip. spaz shouldn't feel entitled to space because sound system is there. jenny made it complicated for us to host events here.
  • robb: but you're claiming half the money!!
  • matt: sounds like spaz is transitioning/formalizing. lots of costs to being formal, benefits to being informal. encourage you to find nonprofit sponsors other than omni. because of liability, trying to enforce/hold each other accountable. external relationship would protect everyone better
    • they used to have 501c3, maybe will again
    • marc: this meeting sounds like a terrible idea. it's about conflicts but a bunch of people are invited? robb and lucas haven't mediated a conflict but they're both supposed to be there? sounds like it will explode, real mediation should happen first. based on tonight i don't think 2/22 will help anyone
    • robb: i don't think so either
  • laura: happy to talk about 501c3 stuff. btw, we're planning to build a kitchen, it'll take up a lot of that room. consider what you'll do when that happens.
    • they'd still want to be involved, host workshops. doesn't just have to be these late-night parties. grumpy did a workshop recently.
    • assad: on that level, you should just actively keep doing that. maybe people didn't realize they were spaz people.
  • robb: i'd be flabbergasted if sudoroom said they wouldn't sponsor having free shops in sudoroom or basement. you could get sudoroom's approval rather than commons wg. also, those other events came in as friends of spaz and lucas took half the money. 25% omni, 25% spaz, 50% lucas. i objected to spaz getting $$ for events they're not participating in, we were just using their sound system. so to claim without consensus or discussion, and over voiced objections.... lucas started taking half the money. it was never okayed! parties got way out of control, got us noise violations from the city. to wash your hands of it, i don't think you're fully informed. did lucas tell you you were getting money?
    • tavo: i've been checked out the past year for personal reasons until ~5mo ago. i can't speak to those other events.
    • monk: you're confusing spaz and lucas
    • tavo: maybe more productive if robb isn't there, maybe more neutral parties coming together
  • robb: you're overlooking the fact that lucas and jenny shouldn't be on commons wg.
  • ken: with late night events, external affairs get triggered. we have to conform to certain legal things. police, fire department & DEA are existential problems for omni that delegates have to deal with. we'd much rather talk about all the wonderful things we're doing, but those outside things, you have a big potential for triggering. need to pay the most attention to. omni needs to be in good or better condition after every event. [no more fuckups] solve those problems.
  • dennis: seems like an organizational issue in SPAZ. people not knowing what's happening. maybe spaz membership need internal work, decisionmaking process
  • AB: that shower should've been painted, just out of good faith.
    • tavo: i wasn't aware about that, i'll try and organize everybody better
    • graffiti wasn't skast, it was stable
    • monk: we want to help!

Last Meeting Notes

End of Meeting